Category Archives: travel

a shakespearean feast…

Today is a bit overcast and very damp, lots of melting and running water about. It is definitely warming up and looking a bit more like spring. The sunshine is trying to peek through and much of the snow is disappearing.

This exhibit at the MIA has been going for some time and I wanted to see it before it ended. I am quite fascinated with the era of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare and was curious to learn a bit more. I learned that in Tudor times the feast referred to the savory portion of the meal and afterward, the sweets were actually known as the banquet. Painstaking effort would be taken by artisans to fashion all types of sweetmeats as the crowning touch to the robust feast just eaten. This was only available in the most aristocratic circles as it was still very costly to produce. It was a way to show status, wealth and power. I found it very interesting as it is not what is portrayed in movies when thinking of this period in history. Have a peek here to learn a bit more. Does this period in time interest you too?


a day trip…



The weather here has cooled off a bit which seems to make so many things more enjoyable. I did a little day trip a couple of days ago, roaming through the countryside and doing a bit of thrifting along the way. It was just a beautiful day and fun to have a wonder round.  Along the way I found these retro dishes that made me smile as they seem so happy and bright. I couldn’t resist the little pair of candleholders either, so simple but always useful. I also came across this little vintage trip journal and thought it was just so sweet; it has such a humble quality to it, beckoning the owner to jot down travel plans. The globe was an earlier craigslist find, just love the older ones. It is always fun to have a little free time, slow down and enjoy some solitude. As I was at the waters edge I felt somewhat transported looking at the way the sun reflected on the waterlilies. It reminded me of a Monet painting, so calming.  Hope your weekend is going well. Any plans for day trips of your own? dawn x

meeting holly becker at anthropologie

Hello everyone! I had such an unexpected treat last Wednesday evening. Anthropologie added one more visit to Holly Becker’s book-signing tour and it was right here in the Twin Cities. How exciting! Her book Decorate launched this past April. It is full of design ideas, great photos and bunches of quotes from top designers.

The evening began at 6:30 with a mood board presentation given by Holly Becker of Decor8 and to my surprise Leslie Shewring was assisting in the demonstration. Holly gave hints and tips on how we can all access the looks we are drawn to by collecting items we love and placing them on a board to get a feel for a certain room or project. This helps us keep our focus and enthusiasm for the project.

We then got to sample some lovely treats that were so pretty to look at and tasted even better…

It was lovely to take a few moments and be able to have a chat with Leslie of a Creative Mint. She is sweet, calm and down to earth. Anthropologie made such a festive setting for Holly to sign her books, there were so many unique things to look at while we waited.

It was a real treat to be able to have a few words with Holly face to face. She is encouraging. bubbly and enthusiastic. It is very apparent she loves what she is doing. Having taken the Blogging Your Way e-course this past spring, it was so much fun to meet these dear ladies face to face. They have vision and dedication, are gifted and warm. It was so much fun to spend the evening engaged in this event.

minneapolis institute of arts

Yesterday we spent a bit of time at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts enjoying the treasures that are housed there. The building has an amazing presence and is filled with nearly 100,000 works of art spanning over 5000 years of history. Truly something for everyone. It had rained on and off all day, but turned out quite lovely as you can see, with the skyline of downtown in view.

One of my most favorite periods in history is during the Tudor and Elizabethan reigns. I was very fascinated with the portraits gracing a portion of the walls on the third floor that were painted at the time.

This couple named Moritz and Anna Buchner lived in Germany and were of new money, he was the city alderman and a well to do merchant. The portraits were painted in 1520 in order to capture their status for posterity and were given pride of place.

I could not help looking into the man’s eyes that are so fixated. He would have been looking directly at the artist nearly 500 years ago, and I was looking right into his eyes as well. What was he thinking, what was going on around him, what was life really like at that time, what did his life turn out like, did they have children? I had to ponder.

In this year King Henry VIII was still married to his first wife and had a young 4 year old daughter.

This painting depicts a fair noblewoman who was most likely involved with the English court or the royal household. She is dressed in finery and holds a prayer book, which only those of wealth and status could afford at that time.

This painting was done in 1550, at this time ‘to be’ Queen Elizabeth was 17 and being held under minimal house arrest for ‘plotting against’ her half brother Edward VI. She would remain under suspicion for the next 3 years until his death.

This portrait of a seven year old girl was the daughter of French King Francis I. Her name was Charlotte and sadly only lived to her eighth year.

Painted in 1522, King Henry VIII’s own daughter Mary was only six at this time. Some 30 years later she would reign for 5 years after the death of her half brother Edward VI. She would come to be known as ‘Bloody Mary’ for her cruelty to the ‘heretic’  Protestants.

This lovely girl was painted in Germany in 1545. The colors and textural combinations are so beautiful. The details still look like items from Germany today.

In 1545 King Henry had only two years to live and after Edward and Mary’s death, Elizabeth would at last take the throne in 1558 where she remained for 45 years until her own death in 1603. These years gave England much peace and prosperity.

I hope you enjoyed this trip back in time. History has so much to teach us and so often repeats itself. Are there certain historical eras that you like learning about?

Have a great weekend and perhaps you can get out to visit a museum near you.  dawn xo