Wednesday, September 24, 2014

PARIS - Outtakes and Museum Art

So much to see, so little time. . .
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
A boulevard in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées runs from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles De Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. Along the way many interesting and unique sights are visible. In the image below  an entrance gate with detailed styling catches the attention of passers-by. Paris excels in wrought iron work.
A Parisian Gate along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, by DG Hudson



Back Garden, Long View

Versailles, France - the back gardens, by DG Hudson

The gardens at Versailles are magnificent, but don't step on the grass, as the security guards are always attentive. That's what I heard from someone else who had been there and was reprimanded with French fervour. Considering how many tourists visit and how many may or may not be considerate, it is likely a requirement to preserve the beauty. The walk is long, but this was entertainment for the royals and the court.


Designer Mini-Display
from the 20th Century

Lanvin miniature display at the Carnavalet Musee, by DG Hudson
There were not so many 'designers' as there are today when the label, Lanvin, was in its heyday. The display above was shown at the Carnavalet Musee, Paris. Fashion is another byword in France, thanks to Coco Chanel, Lanvin, Dior, etc.

Carnavalet Musee, top of the stairs, by DG Hudson

A wall Mural graces the top of the stairs in the museum. How many of the faces in the painting were of guests at the house or the owners? It's interesting to speculate, but murals were intended to reduce blank spaces and add interest for guests.


What have you seen lately by walking around your neighborhood? Or cruising the internet? How great would it be to have murals on the walls of your residence?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!


Carnavalet Musee, an 'a to z' post

Versailles, also 'a to z' post


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pick Up Sticks, Hand-carved - A Photo Study

There are many uses for sticks, something any child and any dog can relate to.  Sticks appeal to anyone who needs the help of a walking stick, or likes one for hiking. Think Gandalf and wooden swords.

Hand carving produced these sticks shown here, a hobby that hubs just started doing in the summer of 2013 when we picked up a few branches that had fallen. After that, we acquired some more branches from a vacant lot next to a friend's house, and trimmings left near some of our walks. The wood used for these sticks was 'found' wood, not purchased.

A sampling of the Collection

Hand-Carved Wooden Swords, and Walking Sticks, photo by DG Hudson

There are three wooden swords in the first photo, and hubs has also fashioned a few wooden knives, suitable for use as props perhaps. There were drumsticks for a musician friend, and magic wands for those who needed one. (we are Harry Potter fans. . .) He liked the creation process and everything was hand done, carefully hand-sanded, stained with tea stain or for the dark areas, a purchased stain. Each is protected with a varnish finish to protect the stain and provide some weatherproofing.



Detail of carved sticks, photo by DG Hudson

The yellow stain on some of the tops of the sticks, in the photo below, was created by soaking a few threads of saffron in water and using that as a stain. Depending on the amount of tea stain applied, nice shadowing results on the natural air-dried wood. Some effects result from leaving the layer underneath the outer bark in place, as it will retain the stain differently.

Carved wood collection, prop of DG Hudson
More Detail 

Basic Staffs and Walking sticks, photo by DG Hudson

These photos illustrate something you can do to occupy idle hands or just for the thrill of hand-carving something that is pleasant to look at and possibly useful. I had planned to show these prior to hubs' illness, as he agreed. We are not taking orders or selling anything, this is simply a sharing of hobby ideas. I am the recipient of two walking sticks and one French style sword. The time may come when I need them. . .

Do you have a hobby or skill that you use to produce gifts or interesting things? Do you like walking sticks or a staff (like Gandalf used)? 

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PARIS - Aerial Street Views and the Étoile

From the Arc de Triomphe and the Étoile, the pattern of the streets radiate outward and buildings must adapt. The trimmed chestnut trees lining the boulevards soften the effect until winter comes.

Paris - Streets and Architecture from the Arc de Triomphe by DG Hudson

The Étoile (renamed the Place Charles de Gaulle*) forms the center with the Arc de Triomphe rising majestically above. Architectural conformity creates pie-shaped wedges, altogether a pleasing pattern from above, and not as noticeable at ground level. In the top horizon on the left of the photo above is the hill of Montmartre and the outline of Sacre Coeur.


The Long View

The straight line effect was intentional to allow a free flow of military parades and were part of the Haussmann plan for fixing some of Paris' major convoluted streets. Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann was appointed by Napoleon III to renovate the older streets. 

Wide boulevards allowed the military good line of sight and eradicated unwanted elements of society along with decaying buildings and impassable winding streets. Originally these accommodated carriages and later vehicles as seen in the images.


A sense of order

On the left in the image above, you see the stone edges of the Arc de Triomphe top level as I needed to photograph between the restraining bars on the top level of the monument.


At ground level

Back on the street, this is what it looks as you circle the Arc de Triomphe on left. Round and round they go, with up to ten lanes of determined drivers. This is an orderly version shown below. (One driver told us, you must be somewhat aggressive, and pretend you don't see the other drivers. That sounds like a lot of places. . .)

NotePlace Charles de Gaulle came into existence as the Étoile, translated as 'Square of the Star' and includes the Champs-Élysées. It was renamed in 1970 after the death of General and President Charles de Gaulle. It is still referred to by many using it's original name, and a nearby metro station shows 'Charles de Gaulle - Étoile'. The historical axis of the monuments (Axe historique) cuts through the center of the Arc de Triomphe.

Do you like aerial views? Are you interested in the layout of various cities, and how architecture can emphasize the design? Would you climb the 300 plus steps to get to the top for these views?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

References Place Charles de Gaulle or Étoile Details on Haussmann