Fast and Furious Flash Floods

Fast and Furious Flash Floods

The emergency notice came loud and clear on my cell phone, Flash Flood WARNING. I didn’t have too far to go from the building where I had been at a meeting. My car was innocently waiting for me under the torrents of rain, so I held my so-called raincoat tight, pulled the hood over my head, mocking myself for leaving my umbrella behind, and raced to the safety of my sweet little Honda Insight. And got soaked.

This wasn’t the day to be driving that small driving machine that still gets fifty-six miles to the gallon, more than my son’s motorcycle. Once in the car, I raced up the hill out of that parking lot that was sure to flood in another five minutes. Traffic was heavy on the avenue, all heading to Connecticut’s truck highway, the infamous Turnpike, I95, the least likely to have a flash flood. It was around 4:30 pm, traffic is usually mega heavy, heaven only knows why the vehicles were not horizontally stacked.

Traffic was moving steadily, but slowly. I got into the middle lane, the safest that would be the last to cover over with water. But it was moving too slow for me, so I maneuvered to the left lane that was practically empty of cars and water. I kept up my speed watching for any sections that were filling with that stuff falling from the thick black clouds.

I only had to go five exits, about thirteen miles. Moved back to the middle, noting the water beginning to fill in my current position, and hung there till I got close to the next slowpoke. I moved back to the left lane that now had one of those tour buses illegally in front of me, but thrilled to have it carve the way. Almost at my exit, I moved over and out of the now backed up traffic. It was easy to leave the highway and onto the road home, praying that I wouldn’t drown on any of the streets.

I ran into one significant puddle, but my little car behaved like the Little Engine that Could. It took me straight home with nary an incident. I got the mail and pulled into the garage.

WAIT! I’m not done. On my way up the stairs from the garage, I could see that Tom was outside doing something. I stopped, went back down the steps and turned into the basement, the floor was filled with about an inch of water.

“Oh no.” I traveled all that way, no problem, and found the flash flood inside my basement. Soaking wet through my raincoat, my jeans wet too, I forgot about my condition, put on my snow boots that I keep in the ready and headed to help fix the situation.

Yup, water was filling our basement, the drain outside the back door was clogged. Asked Tom where our wet vac was, got a couple of pails to bail out that water like I was in a sinking boat, while Tom was building a dam to try to stop the water from running into the drain and wishing I had sandbags.  I started vacuuming out the water, my priority, and Tom was building a dam, his priority. We survived, both of us soaking wet, but in spite of all this, my Geraniums were blooming in their pot on the deck, a little bit of pink sparkling reminding me that mother nature is amazing.

And how was your rainy day?

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art

Chocolate is Never a Mistake

Chocolate is Never a Mistake

It was a perfect plan, or so I thought. Last week, I sent out a newly revised newsletter to my subscribers. So many of you emailed me that you, “love the new look.” Thanks for that!

After proofreading several times, the newsletter looked pretty good. New logo, new banner, new images. And I included a fun, little quiz asking my subscribers what kind of chocolate they preferred: dark, milk, or white. As a treat, I would draw a name and send that person a $10 Amazon gift card.

We decided on Monday, April 23rd, midnight for the deadline to the quiz. And the draw on Tuesday, April 24th. Then we decided to change it to the 19th and 20th, but forgot to change the dates in the newsletter! Big sigh. So this is what I did: instead of one winner, we had two winners: one from Friday, the 20th, and one from Tuesday, the 24th. No way would I leave anyone out. Mistakes happen, every day, in every way. Whether big or small, I was happy to have two winners, that date change turned a mistake into a double delight. Love Gail.

By the way: here are the results of the chocolate survey: It was pretty even between those who preferred dark chocolate (40%) and those who preferred milk chocolate (40%), with a smaller group who preferred white chocolate (20%).For Tom and me, we prefer dark ’cause ‘they’ say it’s good for you. Right?

And of course, it’s never a mistake to enjoy a piece of chocolate: dark, milk, or white.

I post here every Thursday morning at 5 a.m. Hope you’ll stop by.

Here’s another delight for you, Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark, or their imported Belgian big bar with or without almonds, or from Phoenix, AZ, Cerreta French Mint Truffles.  Yum! Cerreta.com.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in summer 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

 

SHADES OF GREEN

SHADES OF GREEN

Shades of Green

Shades of Green

Green is the color between blue and yellow on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a predominant wavelength of roughly 495–570 nm.

SubtractiveColor

SubtractiveColor

In the subtractive color system, used in painting and color printing, it is created by a combination of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; in the RGB color model, used on television and computer screens, it is one of the additive primary colors, along with red and blue, which are mixed in different combinations to create all other colors.

Many creatures have adapted to their green environments by taking on a green hue themselves as camouflage.

Green leaves

Green leaves

Several minerals have a green color, including the emerald, which is colored green by its chromium content. In surveys made in Europe and the United States, green is the color most commonly associated with nature, life, youth, spring, hope and envy. Green is also the traditional color of safety and permission; a green light means go ahead, a green card permits permanent residence in the United States. Political groups advocating environmental protection and social justice describe themselves as part of the Green movement, some naming themselves Green parties. This has led to similar campaigns in advertising, as companies have sold green, or environmentally friendly, products.

Malachite green. A giant malachite vase in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Malachite green. The green giant malachite vase in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

During the Italian Renaissance, accessories were rampant and palaces were decorated with shades of green accented with minerals and cache pots. Interiors reflected the life styles of that time.

A 10th-century celadon pot from China (Musee Guimet, Paris). Celadon is a pale greyish green which takes its name from a character in the French romance Astrée by d'Urfe (1610).

A 10th-century celadon pot from China (Musee Guimet, Paris). Celadon is a pale greyish green which takes its name from a character in the French romance Astrée by d’Urfe (1610).

Emerald

Emerald

Our lives reflect the world today, no differently than the 16th century, or any century for that matter. If people are concerned about their future and whether or not their job is secure, they tend not to buy items in dusty or dirty tones.They  tend to respond to colors that are more upbeat.

Art has impact in our color choices, as does music trends and rock stars. We tend to mimic what we see. Are people saving our planet? If so, obviously greens and blue are important.

There was a time when hospitals thought green was calming, and perhaps it is, but it also  can be depressing. Today, color is used to enhance the patients moods. There’s a great deal to discuss about color and the shades of each color.
In the 1990s, the greening of America became a priority. Green was a popular car color. In 1996, green was the number one color choice for cars. I loved my celadon green car and apparently so did other people because their cars sometimes came way too close. But I think they just didn’t see the car. The color blended in with the trees and grasses. We couldn’t wait to get rid of the thing.
If you have questions, please ask away in comments.
PORTALS

PORTALS

There is no separation between art and architecture. Except for movement through space . . . visual or physical.

Biltmore Gardens in springtime

Yesterday in my art workshop, David Dunlop’s lecture and demonstration was about portals. David is an amazing artist, scholar,  purveyor of dreams. He inspired this blog.

Everyday, every time we move through a space, it is usually through a portal, a doorway, an opening, a defined path, all perhaps leading to the light. We are drawn to the light.

In Alberti’s S. Andrea edifice below, the entrance is a Romanesque portal with its typical rounded arch. All portals have a shape of some kind, relative to the era and country. The Romanesque period was from actually approximately 800 A.D. to 1100 A.D. The portal with its rounded arch was used throughout history, as you can see here. This one, in Italy, was created in the15th century.

S. Andrea in Mantua, Italy by Leon Battista Alberti 15th century. Portal arch is Romanesque

I think a portal could also be an obvious path leading somewhere. I couldn’t resist the picture of the Biltmore Gardens in springtime above. And the light . . . look at the light. The light pulls you into the garden.

Have you had any experience with portals? How many have you seen or walked through that changed you, your views, or your life?

 

WHAT DOESN’T VICTORIANA LOOK LIKE?

WHAT DOESN’T VICTORIANA LOOK LIKE?

Phlip Johnson

Philip Johnson Glass House Contemporary Interior, New Canaan, CT

 

 

 

 

Please note the clean, contemporary, organized space in the Philip Johnson Glass House.

All images are from Victoria Lyon Interiors www.victorianlyoninteriors.com.

This week’s blog is about space, order and design and has nothing to do with taste. Taste is ambiguous and personal. You can apply your taste to any of the basic concepts discussed.

The images above are vignettes of traditional design.

Old world elegance mixes with modern colors and textures to create the master bath/dressing area for the lady with very discriminating tastes. Designer Victoria Lyon says her space “evokes the casual elegance of an English country house,” but also brings in modern touches that “let us know that the lady of this manor definitely belongs to the 21st century“.

The dressing area features sweeping curtains, a feminine skirted dressing table and a plush chaise. Old world fixtures, a free standing burnished metal tub and a sparkling marble shower create a bathroom with character and class.

The image below “Traditional Country” is an uncluttered, well-organized, well-designed space. The soft, warm color on the vertical planes (walls) is comforting and pleasing. Warm deep colors have vibrations, move forward into the room and take up visual space.

traditional country

Traditional Country www.victorialyoninteriors.com

Crowding can cause conflict in a life, in a mate, in a child. All this talk about beauty, function, good design, what does it mean? If you like lots of stuff around you, okay. But how is it arranged? Is there order? Is there negative space, meaning quiet space? A place of peace?

Function … what in the world? Clocks have a function, cars have a function, computers have a function. So what has function got to do with space? Space has to provide a place for you to stand up, lie down, sleep, wake.  And all the activities in-between. Where do you write your checks, where do you write your stories, where do you play? If you have any, where are the kids, where do they snack, where do they do homework, where do they play?

Here are a few examples of functional items. Clocks, clocks tell time, what would we do without time? Cars are constructed to take you from point a to point b, computers output and input information. If we take a look at the world around us, everything we need is organized in some way.

You may like contemporary, you may like traditional, you may like the American style (mixture of both), it doesn’t matter. The images above are well-designed, well-organized, functional spaces.

Nineteenth century Victoriana had no specific order. The more stuff squeezed into a space, the more it supposedly displayed great wealth.

Order is important for our well-being.

Thank you to Victoria Lyon interiors for her gracious participation in this blog. www.victorialyoninteriors.com.

Come back next week for more Victoriana surprises. Remember to post your comments. I especially enjoy your inquiries and challenges.

What about you, your home, your office, your play space? You love clutter. OK! But is it organized?

 

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