Last week the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum hosted an evening for bloggers and I was lucky enough to receive and invite!  The museum is one of my all time favorites and recently went under a renovation and expansion. Unfortunately, my little one came down with a fever (teething time) so I sent my super intern Jacalyn and her friend.  Here is there account of the evening at the museum.  (I am soooooo jealous they got to see the the former apartment space occupied by Isabella an unopened to the public.  Lucky ladies!)


We were so lucky to have special permission to photograph the entire property. Let me tell you, the artwork and architecture of this house is incredible! The museum staff has done an amazing job preserving Mrs. Gardner’s art collection and personal property.

The courtyard is the central focus of the house (for good reason, its gorgeous!) and every room in the house can view it.

The Tapestry Room is a main attraction in the house, everything is original to Mrs. Gardner’s collection and they have tried to recreate the set up that she enjoyed. Previously, this was used as a concert hall however with the new addition it has stopped being used for that purpose.

Something that I noticed a lot of throughout the house was intricately detailed chairs.

The museum has just completed a huge project which added an entirely new wing to the building. Instead of making the addition look similar in style to the original house, they chose for their new addition to have a more modern style. The goal of this style was to have lots of glass and windows so the focus stayed on Isabella Stewart Gardner’s residence.

Art for the soul

February 8, 2011

It pains me to think how long it has been since I was last in a museum (my honeymoon over a year ago, I think), so this past weekend I made a date with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  The afternoon provided some much needed me time, where I just wandered from gallery to gallery.  I could let the art history major, nerd in me wax on about each piece I saw, but I think I will just share some images of what inspired me.






Serene Sculpture




Troubled Sculpture

This piece is terrifying and fascinating all at once.




Field note sketch book.


Georgia O’Keefe


Animal & human inspiration










I want a jacket with a sleeve like this…designers…please.


I spy a Missoni print!  Who knew the colonialist were so on trend and clearly not worried about copyright laws.


More beautiful graphic patterns

Love this color combination of green, orange, blue and white.

Ink blots folded to create symmetrical pattern.  Love, love, love this.



Woven rug.


Inlaid ivory on a chest


Chinoiserie wall paper in the Art of the America’s Federal gallery


Cabinet of Curiosities

July 12, 2010


Collecting &  Cataloging

Maybe it is the biologist in me (I began college as a science major), but I love collecting and cataloging things.  Perfect little conch/hermit shells are one of them.  I am by no means a pack rat but there is something about  studying and organizing a collection.  I am fascinated by the different shapes and colors.  I wonder why an animal would choose one shape or the other, or how a shell forms in the first place.  Then the artist in me takes over as I really just like the pretty shells.  It’s really not that deep.


My shell collection


All in a row

These are more rounded in shape with a pointed end (If anyone knows the scientific name I would love help…a Google search did not provide much)


These have little spikes.  (Again, these are VERY scientific descriptions.)


This clam shell is as hard as marble.



I must be in cataloging mode, because I couldn’t resist separating and lining up the flowers I cut this weekend in my family’s yard in the North Carolina mountains.  I decided to make fresh flower arrangements for the dinner table and it turned into a scientific exhibition.  When my husband asked my mom where I was she simply responded…playing in the yard.


Okay, enough with the OCD.

Real Madrid

December 15, 2009

Madrid was a bit of a blur but it was great to get a little taste of the city.  With it’s narrow medieval streets, stone buildings and beautiful plazas, old Madrid was perfect for just walking around and exploring.


We found this crazy antique shop.  Too bad it was closed for Ciesta, so we just gawked through the windows and snapped some photos.

Crazy Colorful Feather Hats

A Feather Tie!

Sea Urchin Lamp! – Perfect for the summer beach house…hehe


The Prado Museum

The Prado Museum did not disappoint.  The Velasquez’s, Zurbarans, El Grecos and Goyas were a dream to see in real life for this Art History nerd.  I am always so taken with the darkness that exists in a lot of the Spanish painters’ works, especially Goya.  They were haunting.

The museum did not allow photos inside but here we are goofing around outside.

* Good travel note: The museum is free Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm.  We got there around 5:30pm, only to discover this, so we popped over to the Hotel Ritz to have a drink first.  Very beautiful old hotel with a great lobby.


Spain is a great place to walk around at night.  Most businesses stay open until 10pm and most dinner places don’t even get started until then as well.  The historic buildings, palaces and churches are also lit up so beautifully, that staying up late in Spain seems to be required.

Walking around the Palacio Real (The Royal Palace)

Bar Snacks


After the busy cities of Paris and Madrid, we were ready to hit Majorca, and I think I have to say it was the highlight of our honeymoon.  Saving the best for last… next stop Majorca.

Ahhhhh Paris!

December 11, 2009

There is nothing like Paris…and Paris on your honeymoon…sigh…it was wonderful.  We spent most of our days walking around, popping into lovely little cafes and just enjoying each other.   The honeymoon haze was in full effect and I just loved it all.


We landed in early in the morning and thankfully our room was ready at 9 am!  We had a fabulous 4 hour nap before venturing our to see the city.

Espresso to help get us going that afternoon

(man I still look Jetlagged but who cares…I was on my honeymoon :))


The Louvre

We got to the Louvre late in the day (which I highly recommend).  We found that people were heading out long before the closing hours suggested and it didn’t seem as crowded as everyone always warns

While the group around the Mona Lisa was still quite large…

…the rest of the museum felt like our own private palace.  It was wonderful.  Adjacent to the Mona Lisa is Veronese’s Wedding at Canna and it is beyond impressive.  It is enormous and has so much other interesting things going on.

Good doggie

Bad kitty.

Spinone Italiano – I think we also spotted a Spinone Italiano dog in one of the many beautiful tapestries.

Doesn’t it look like my sister’s dog Jake?

First glimpse of the Eiffel tower from the Napoleon Apartments in the Richelieu wing.

Great photo by my husband

Fabulous jewelry

Reminds me so much of this gorgeous bracelet my siblings gave me last year for Christmas.  I love it so much.  I even wore it on my wedding day!

We had dinner that night at Café Marly which is located in the Louvre palace complex, just below the dramatic Napoleon Apartments. The restaurant was recommended to us by multiple people, and it did not disappoint.  After walking around the Louve all afternoon the atmosphere and location of the cafe made us feel like royal invited guest.  Well that and the delicious wine.


After dinner, we walked back to our hotel in the Left Bank

This glossy rainy street scene just screams Paris to me.

Oh yes, and the amazing sancerre wine just completed to whole picture.

All of that in just day one.?!?!  Part deux tomorrow, I promise.  Until then…dreaming of Paris.  Bonne nuit


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