Posts tagged art museums
Chicago. Favorite moments

Hi friends, I promise that I'll be back next week with a great two chapters from The Happiness Project. I'm still playing catch-up professionally and domestically, and I totally played blog hookie last night and hung out with my bookclub ladies (and an amazing flourless chocolate cake).

Can I share with you some wonderful moments that can only be found in Chicago? If you're near the city, take advantage. This will not be my-vacation-photos-post, mostly. :)

1. THE ART INSTITUTE - Please promise me you'll take just an hour (or much, much more) and see the amazing array that's available. Here are my top 3 favorites from this trip.

2. A BOAT TOUR- Yes, it is so tourist. I've been to Chicago dozens and dozens of times, and this was our first time on a water tour. I learned a ton about the architecture, and the kiddos got to take a break from all the walking. A lovely way to spend 90 minutes.


3. MILENNIUM PARK - We visited during the rain and in the sunshine. Both times we found new treasures to enjoy. Spend 5 minutes or 5 hours people watching and listening to the symphony.


I've been up in the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the John Hancock building and enjoyed both views. I'm not picky, and again, this is tourist, but on a clear day, the views from up high are so wonderful. Take an opportunity to see it all from a bird's eye perspective. My kiddos loved/were-totally-frightened-of the glass floor possibilities!


These can happen anywhere, and don't need to be in Chicago, or even on vacation for that matter. But, when I think back to what I loved most about our time is the simple stuff like the funny faces we made at each other in the elevator mirrors or bouncing on the beds or splashing in the puddles.

Vacations allow me to really look at my husband and my children and see the incredible blessings they are (all the time), and I'm so thankful for our latest adventure.

How about you, friends? Have you visited Chicago lately and have some great recommendations?



The art of creation


I've been thinking a lot about creativity lately. First, I had my daughter, M, in art camp last week, and she came home with all sorts of inspiration. Second, I've been following and loving this series by Sandra and Jen on Creativity (go over and get inspired, while you nod your head at all the points that hit home!). Third and fourth, I'm an art major (I wear that badge proudly more than a decade after college), and soon and very soon, I get to talk about art, family, and creativity over at Classic Play!! Oh, sorry, too excited. More about that on Wednesday.

One of my favorite college courses was entitled Art as a Response. Art can be such an amazing way to express all that is good, challenging, confusing, and wrong with the world. Around here, summer is the time to respond. Granted, it's always a busy time, too, with kiddo camps and classes, friend gatherings, and extra professional stuff for me. Nevertheless, the art student in moi still thinks of summer as a time for projects and doing. Did you make a potholder from the loom or the latch-hook run over the summer like I did as a child?


As a grown-up, I try to go to the art as a summer treat. As I mentioned yesterday, we visit local museums and take in art fairs wherever possible. Sometimes this warm inspiration has to keep me going through the long, gray months of winter here in the Midwest.

I have big hopes that I can turn inspiration into creation this summer...likely in August when professional life calms down a bit. I have my calligraphy pens ready to work some hand-lettering goodness on a few prints that have been in m brain for way too long. And my once-termed "living room" really wants to just shout out its new title as the ART ROOM but it needs a creative wind to blow through it with some touches of whimsy and organizational structure.

While I wait to dig into those, I'm succumbing to the best kind of peer pressure with a blog DIY date. I'm totally delighted to be meeting up with Louise and a dozen other great bloggers on a fun DIY date. If we lived anywhere close to one another, we'd have a crafternoon over at Louise's house, like all of her besties get. But, instead, we'll enjoy it via the blogosphere.

And our inspirational material: Washi tape. I'm still craftering away on this, and I can't wait to show you the results!!!

How are you taking in the art this summer? XOXO, MJ

ps. I'm still trying to figure out how to transfer my Disqus comments, and I really want to talk back to you...please know that I'm working to get them up ASAP. In the meantime, I'm having a lovely discussion with my head.

Funday Fashion Monday: Art museum


Hello!! Welcome, welcome to our new home. Don't you just love shorter URLs? I have a new crush, and it's on SquareSpace, the wonderful new friend of Pars Caeli. More on this great move later...for now, I'm just so excited that you're here. It's going to be an amazing week, I promise.

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Please and thank you for your patience as we unpack boxes and organize the closets over here in our new home. There are kinks to work out, but it's so exciting to finally be here.

I had a lovely weekend! How about you? We spent Saturday on the shores of Lake Michigan, digging big sand holes and riding on the truck/ship combo known as the Duck. Sunday we celebrated Rembrandt's birthday with a trip to one of our local art museums that was hosting a family day.

Have you visited an art gallery or museum lately? Have you taken your children? I took my two little ladies yesterday, and we came with our sketchbooks and pencils, ready to capture some inspiration. They loved every moment, and we could have easily spent more than our 2.5 hours waltzing through the galleries. If you haven't read it yet, check out Gabby's post on visiting art with your kiddos. Check the comments esp, great ways to get more out of the experience!

Here are some great summer finds for your next trip to the art museum (or anywhere else wonderful this sunny season).

Those shoes: A nice cork wedge to help you go up and down those flights of stairs as you ponder whether the modern art or the kinesthetic sculpture garden or the Renaissance oils were REALLY your fave.

These earrings: These lovelies are just the right amount of dangle mixed with a touch of sparkle.

That flattering tank: The levels of shirred fabric on this one compliment curves and the tone will coordinate with summer's great pops of color.

This sweater to keep you cozy: Not to be granny on you, but museums can get chilly so keep this bright mustard cardie in your purse or on top of the tank, just to show that you know how to mix it up with color.

That leather yumminess: This tote is supple, large, and can hold all the supplies you take into the museum and all the gifties you take home from the shop.

The sketchbooks and pencils: I find spiral-bounds to be child-friendly and ready to go anywhere they're needed. We stretched out on the floor right in front of our favorite paintings to capture the colors. These pencils are lead free, and they come in a CD case. Super handy and great quality for the price.

That, that skirt: My fave piece is the amazing tiered lace skirt. I've seen lace detail a lot lately, and this lace is done well and wearable. It comes in two colors, and you'll have a tough time deciding which is more awesome.

That's all friends. I hope your Monday is bright. What were you up to this weekend?