Vacation Highlights (part 1)

Time to get active on this blog again! We just spent a wonderful month in Europe. We went for a family wedding, and stayed for a family vacation. We visited four countries and I hope to post something of interest from all of our stops.

Our first destination was Venice. Italy is known for its leather goods and paper marbling, among other things. One shop we stopped in had loads of colourful leather journals, but the artisan's name was not available (they looked handmade). With the exchange rate (Euro/Canadian dollar) I thought they were a bit high priced for such a basic design so they stayed on the shelf.

I picked up a couple of sheets of marbled paper in another shop. They were not able to tell me the artist's name there either, only that she was from Florence. I'm going to hoard savour them for a while with some other papers, until I figure out what to do with them.

We also happened upon a several interesting art exhibits, two of which I'll highlight here:

Part of the Venice Biennale, we saw Ai Weiwei's installation S.A.C.R.E.D., where he has recreated his time spent in a Chinese prison.

Using a series of containers with windows or peep holes, the viewer is allowed a glimpse into his daily routines in prison, always with two prison guards watching over him. To read more about this exhibit, click here.

On a lighter note (pun intended), New Zealand's Bill Culbert's exhibition Front Door Out Back displayed everyday furnishings and objects altered and energized with beams of light.

This exhibition passed through several spaces, interior rooms and exterior courtyards, playful and contemplative. To read more about this exhibit, click here.

I didn't know anything about the Venice Biennale before happening upon these exhibitions (and still don't know much). I think you could spend a month in Venice and still not see all the exhibitions/pavilions that are part of the show. We spent two days in Venice, and reserved most of our time for appreciating the uniqueness of Venice: seeing the sights and enjoying the canals and narrow winding streets, and of course, gelati! 


  1. Hi Laura, thanks so much for posting!
    I missed you a lot, when people disappear I always start to wonder about their health...
    Fortunately you are absent because of a trip to Europe. Isn't marvelous?!
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, they are beautiful. I found interesting that you speak a litte about marbled paper because I started to learn how to make some of them. I am in the basic step yet, but who knows?
    Welcome back, it is so good to keep in touch with you.
    Have a great weekend.


  2. Looks like you had a great time, such a wonderful excuse to go to Europe! Venice is beautiful indeed (once you overlook the garbage floating in the canals)! Look forward to seeing photos of where you went next.

    1. Yes, it was a fabulous time Andrea, and everything was very clean in Venice. I didn't see any garbage in the canals, and people were always out sweeping the streets.

  3. Keep the photo's coming, enjoying them.

  4. Wow! Such a great experience. And keep hoarding those papers to your hearts content. It'll take a special project to pull those out of your stash I bet!

    1. Tawny, it was awesome! And me, hoard? never, lol.


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