Golden Sunset In The Park

Golden Sunset  In The Park

It's full-on Summer here in Nashville, which means it's hot; very hot. Hot enough to confine outdoor activities to early evening. The retreat of the sun behind the hills leaves everything bathed in the golden glow of sunset.

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A Lovely Little Christmas

A Lovely Little Christmas

My better half and I had a lovely little Christmas. He has had to work long, hard hours this month so I surprised him with a nice dinner on Christmas Eve.

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Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

January 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. The last day of January is designated as a time to elevate the heart and soul through observing and/or creating works of art.

How serendipitous. I was just marveling at the new Spring/Summer show from Alexander McQueen and the brilliance of building an entire collection inspired by wasps. Haute couture is more than fashion; it's high art.

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I finally put together two shadow boxes filled with goodies from my visit last fall to the Alphonse Mucha exhibit at the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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This weekend I will be attending the opening of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Highlights from the Detroit Institute of Arts at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts. I'm very fortunate in that my local museums often host wonderfully interesting and important exhibitions.

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I sorely miss being able to create art. I'm hoping that my hand will soon heal sufficiently for me to resume my 3D artwork - even if it's slowly and steadily. Don't get me wrong, I'm thoroughly enjoying being creative with the blog, and the fellowship with all the wonderful ladies I've met since I started Spashionista Report nearly a year ago.

What will you create today?

I Got Presents!

I just thought I'd take a moment to share with you the lovely gifts I received for the holidays.

My wonderful friend Lani conspired with Matthew Perry Bretherick and got me this lovely pewter clutch with skulls detail from Shi. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

My brother-in-law supplied the lovely purple paisley silk scarf. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Mr Spashionista did a great job picking wonderful presents for me this year. Here's a stationary exercise peddler I've been wanting (yes, really). Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I love this purple floral cover for my Note tablet. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

He really outdid himself in the jewelry department. The bracelet features some of Alphonse Mucha's pieces depicted in charms. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

If the necklace looks familiar it's because I already own a companion piece in amethyst. Like it's mate, the amber necklace is from 1902 and was made in Prague from Sworovski crystals. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Later today we'll treat ourselves to a home-cooked steak dinner.It's supposed to snow tomorrow but we're already planning our after-Christmas shopping strategy.

How about you? Did you get what you wanted for the holidays?

You Gotta Have Friends

In this the last installment of my Cedar Rapids adventure it's only fair to introduce the people and resources without which I would never have attempted this trip.

Meet my friend Glenda Watson Hyatt. She writes a terrific blog called Do It Myself and is the author of I Can Do It Myself, an autobiographical account of living with Cerebral Palsy. Glenda has made it her life's work to help make the world more accessible for everybody, so when I seriously contemplated making this trip she was the first person I turned to for advice. She gave me a few pointers in selecting a truly accessible hotel room, then referred me to her friend in Iowa, Deb Brown. Deb is an entrepreneur and founder of Debworks, which specializes in helping businesses get the most out of the ever-expanding world of social media.

The first - and best - thing Deb did was point me towards the right city! For whatever reason, the website from which I initially learned about the Alphonse Mucha exhibit listed it as being in Des Moines, not Cedar Rapids. The next was to send someone out on my behalf to physically inspect hotels to confirm that the amenities listed were, in fact, available. Based on these findings I chose the Hampton Inn North in Cedar Rapids.

 

The room we stayed in featured one king-sized bed with enough room to wheel up to on either side, and an accessible bath tub and toilet. The desk was wheelchair accessible and the closet, which is not pictured, had a lowered closet rod from which to hang your garments. Likewise the dresser and TV stand had drawers that were easily maneuvered from a wheelchair. The room also had a visual alarm and notification devices for the doorbell or door knock and incoming phone calls. Last, but not least, it had a coffeemaker; vital for my existence!

The staff was very friendly and helpful. I only have two complaints about the accommodations. The door to the room was impossibly heavy. If my husband hadn't been with me I don't think I could've opened it on my own. The other, bigger problem was the bathtub's floor was as slick as ice. There were plenty of grab bars and great access to the shower head, but as soon as I sat down I slid to the front of the tub! I solved the problem by using a hand towel as a tub mat of sorts.

To be fair, I was contacted by email after we got home to inquire about our stay and when I shared my concerns was assured that maintenance would be notified and the problems fixed. If I ever have occasion to go back to Cedar Rapids I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the same hotel.

I also had the pleasure of meeting my new friend Deb Brown and her friend Melanie, for lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn in the Amana Colonies. The food was delicious and the company was easy and fun. Deb has a wonderfully dry sense of humor, which I deeply appreciate, and Melanie is a really sweet lady.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App That's Melanie, Deb, and myself from left to right.

Interestingly enough, Deb is a regular speaker at the Small Town State of NOW, which was, “Originally called the 140 Characters Conference, aka #140conf, the State of Now takes online interaction and turns it into an in-person conference. The State of NOW is made up of immediate communication tools  like Twitter, Google +, Facebook and many others. The 140conf explores how the State of NOW is disrupting business, education, agriculture, media, celebrity, music, politics, public safety, and our culture.”

"You have to speak at State of NOW Nashville." She insisted.

How can I refuse a chance to be "disruptive"? Glenda wants in, too. We're all trying to get the details and logistics to bring this to fruition. I'll keep you posted.

Fashion Friday: Nouveau Bohemian

Today I'm honoring my muse and hero Alphonse Mucha, who was a Bohemian in every sense of the word.

We often think of bohemians as a throwback to the hippie culture of the 60's but this is not the origin of the word. The term means "gypsy" in French and was originally used by the French to describe people from a certain region of Europe. Not only was Mucha born in Bohemia-Moravia, which is in the Czech Republic, he was also, "a person, as in an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices".

What might a 21st Century Bohemian - a "Nouveau Bohemian" - wear?

How about a Bohemian tunic in charcoal from Pyramid Collection? Even though it's, "brocaded, brooched, beaded, and trimmed in front in a medley of design elements" it's more boho-chic than hippie-chick. Add some color with Lucky brand skinny jeans in ginger. If you get a chill throw on this FactoryExtreme red frill black leather jacket. If you're going to go overboard or literal - or both - the jewelry is the place to do it.  Start with an antique garnet bracelet, an onyx cuff from Natalie B Two, and Crissy's Bohemian style pink stone earrings. Slip your feet into your Dafo leg braces, tie on your Converse red suede hi-tops, and embrace your inner Nouveau-Boho-chic.

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!