Saturday, January 7, 2017

Dieting Cardinals

Putting those chubby cardinals on a quick diet was easier than expected. I traced part of my first design but slimmed their heads and tummies. The outline is also an easier curve. If I keep this up I'll be ready for art school soon. 😉 The Slender Cardinal Template PDF is now on my tutorial page.

Slender Cardinal templates

DH and I had a very quiet holiday but managed to travel several times. We finally visited Hearst Castle. My last visit was many years ago. How many? Well, there was only one tour at the time so my mother and I walked all over the place.

This visit turned out like a scene from L.A. Story. Steve Martin's character wanted to go take a trip with his girlfriend but he was the weekend weatherman. He prerecorded his spots because "it's always sunny and seventy in LA." Of course, it stormed all weekend and he was out of a job. We chose the worst day to visit: stormy, blowing, cold {for California.} The hills run straight down to the Pacific from the house but we couldn't see it. We couldn't even see ten feet in front of us so touring the gardens and grounds was out of the question. Nevertheless, the rooms are stunning and we enjoyed our visit.

Hearst hired architect and civil engineer, Julia Morgan, to build La Cuesta Encantada with reinforced concrete to withstand an 8.2 earthquake.  I was particularly taken with the ceilings. Some were from Spanish monasteries and European castles. Shipping them amazed me and then Julia installed the ceilings in new rooms designed to their dimensions. Other ceilings were contemporary plasterwork.

Antique painted wood and contemporary plaster ceilings at Hearst Castle.
Ceilings at Hearst Castle

Hearst and Morgan also installed contemporary and antique tiles throughout the house and grounds. I loved the rooster and donkey window screens in a tower bedroom.

The lower right tile is in the kitchen and contains a Latin motto... with a typo. It either reads "Sine ipso factiv est nihil" meaning "without him nothing was productive" or "sine ipso facto est nihil" meaning "without him nothing was done." Which do you prefer?

Hearst Castle tiles and window screen, 

The lamp with statuette was in one of the guest houses while the lampshades were in Hearst's personal suite. They were made of old vellum in such poor condition they weren't able to be rebound into a book. The top one is a record of indentured servitude while the bottom is a musical score. Can you say cutter quilt?

Desk lamp with statuette and two lampshades of antique vellum

Enjoy the day, Ann


LA Paylor said...

slender cardinals! It's been a lean winter apparently. I've been to the castle twice. I try to imagine staying there and the antics that went on. The fairy lamp is awesome

Kaja said...

I like the skinny cardinals. Hearst Castle is amazing - especially those ceilings - and a bit mad at the same time; thanks for the virtual tour!

Ann said...

Those poor cardinals. I wish I could lose weight as easily. It is interesting to imagine staying at Hearst Castle although I'm more likely to have been part of the cleaning staff. Not as much fun. There are so many details to see. I love visiting houses that have original furnishings, don't you?

Ann said...

This quilt is moving along very slowly. It's been on the shelf for a while because I'm unsure how to proceed. Now I'm determined not to take it off the wall until it's done. (That'll show me!)
Hearst Castle was a treat. The rain gave us a hint of some of the maintenance issues they face although the castle itself is in great shape. I'm glad I don't live there. Too much stuff; you'd never be alone. The "cottages" are lovely homes that could easily fit in current neighborhoods... if you don't count the valuable antiques everywhere.

Mel Beach said...

I always enjoy seeing pictures from your travel adventures and living vicariously through your blog posts. Thank you for sharing!!

Stephie said...

Those up-cycled lampshades are brilliant! There's a kind of crazy pompousness to the ceilings though, I don't know they just seem so out of place. Still, if you're that wealthy you can do what you like I guess! I really love your little cardinals and look forward to seeing them take flight :)

Ann said...

Haha. I always felt I was the one to live vicariously.

Ann said...

Two funny stories: They've had a conservator for the last five years cleaning one of the ceilings with a q-tip. Mainly it was smoke from the monks' candles. Hearst had a beam added to one room; painted to resemble the original. Now they are clean, the new one looks odd. Can't clean it.
After seeing these I realize how bare our modern ceilings are. These would be perfect for sleepless nights; better than counting sheep.