HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Barcelona looks very festive during this time of the year; take a look at these snapshots. Merry Christmas, everyone!!! :D

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HOUSE ILLUSTRATIONS

Yes, that is true; and something more
You’ll find, where’er you roam,
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.

But every house where Love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.

– Excerpt from A Home Song by Henry Van Dyke

house illustrations(Illustrator: ?. Images from kan.weibo.com)

MINIMALIST

Beautiful images + beautiful words = the Encyclopedia of Exquisite Delights

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what a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms

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give me where to stand and i will move the earthstand-9nov2013

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if you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl,

but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward

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the most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet opposites-26oct2013 Untitled-1

being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantagesodd-one-17nov2013-2Untitled-1Images with captions by Exquisite Delights

OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE

It’s the most popular symbol of the Christmas season. I’m talking about the Christmas tree, of course.riga03

Did you know that Riga in Latvia is the home of the first Christmas tree? Legend says that it was first erected over 500 years ago, and was decorated with paper flowers and burnt on the bonfire after the ceremony.

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This tree was standing on the exact spot where the first recorded evergreen tree used in a New Year/Christmas celebration was put up: in front of the House of the Blackheads at the Town Hall Square in Riga. Of course, if the city is known as the home of the first Christmas tree, then it’s only appropriate that the holidays come early to the city, too. We took this photo during the first week of September.

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Some countries celebrate the Christmas season way past New Year’s Day and the Epiphany. The ribbon-adorned tree in the capital of Andorra, for instance, was still up during the last week of January.

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In the German city of Cologne, you will find the biggest Christmas market right in front of the Cathedral, and under the tallest natural Christmas tree in the region.

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The tree also supports the market’s grand canopy of lights.
leidentreeFinally, here’s a picture of the floating Christmas tree in Leiden, Netherlands. Yes, it was floating because that’s a (frozen) canal right there.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

THE GIRLS IN JONAS LÖFGREN’S DRAWINGS

One of the first images that I “pinned” to Pinterest was this illustration by Swedish artist Jonas Löfgren. It is Enid Coleslaw, the lead character portrayed by Thora Birch in the movie Ghost World. On Pinterest, I labeled it “my doppelgänger” because it (sort of) reminded me of myself with the black-rimmed glasses, and the chin-length bob parted on the side and held in place by a barrette. Here are other young female protagonists as interpreted by Jonas.  Jonas Löfgren 02

Tora Birch as Enid Coleslaw in the film adaption of Ghost WorldJonas Löfgren 03

Emily Browning as Violet Baudelaire in the movie Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams in the television series The Addams Family

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Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal TenenbaumsJonas Löfgren 04

Violet Parr in the animated movie The IncrediblesJonas Löfgren 06

Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice

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KRISTIN AND KAYLA

I had so much fun reading the blog of wedding photographer Jason Lee about his adorable daughters Kristin and Kayla. I found myself laughing at one picture then going “aww…” at the next. (Case in point: this entry.) Jason is not only a talented photographer but also a brilliant storyteller. And, yes, the biggest fan his beautiful girls could ever have. 9207751309_1d43f0bb6a_o6803249671_5aa1aba981_o6209848851_f27c973dd3_o

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OF RAIN AND WALL POEMS

Feel like going on a “poem hunt”? Then you should visit Leiden in the Netherlands. Scattered around town, you will find muurgedichten – 101 poems in different languages that were painted on the outer walls of various buildings. You would see, for example, poems by William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda and e. e. cummings, and those of Dutch authors who lived or studied in this university town. And because we’ve had nothing but rain this weekend in Barcelona (rain and snow in some parts of Spain), I thought I’d share with you one of the wall poems we found in Leiden in 2010. It is titled “Pluja” which is the Catalan word for rain. We saw this wall poem one afternoon while walking back home after birdwatching.

Pluja wall poem in Leiden photo by denimandgray

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OYSHO CONTEST ENTRY

When I was six, I participated in an art contest in celebration of National Nutrition Month. I drew a boy surrounded by smiling fruits and vegetables. I won and took home a set of pop-a-point pencils. I was on cloud nine! But the truth is, I didn’t even know I was in a contest at that time; I just thought that the other kids and I were doing something enjoyable for school.

Win or lose, even without big prizes at stake, I’ve always found contests a lot of fun. So when I received the e-mail  announcing Oysho’s Pop-Up Gallery drawing competition, I didn’t need to be convinced to join.

My entry was inspired by an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s book Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. In Chapter 5, Alice told the Queen that “one can’t believe impossible things.” The Queen replied that Alice just didn’t have much practice. She added: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

And here they are, my five impossible things (during breakfast): a flying milk carton, a dancing apple, a nerdy teacup, a fitness buff teaspoon, and a hippie chic slice of bread. Put them together in one (death-defying) circus act and you get impossible thing no. 6!

So, how many impossible things did you believe today?

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SWEET SUDS

Some food are too pretty to eat. That shouldn’t be a problem in this case; after all, the “treats” pictured below are actually bars of soap. Yes, you read that right. Regina Panzeca of Soapopotamus developed and created these handmade soap bars from goat’s milk. And, as if making them look so real wasn’t enough, Regina also made sure that they smell like the real deal: a freshly baked and frosted doughnut, a warm and sweet cinnamon roll, or a comforting slice of chocolate cake!
Jumbo Cinnamon Roll Double Goat's Milk Soap Bar by soapopotamus, $6.00Big Pink Donut Goat's Milk Soap Bar by soapopotamus on Etsy, $5.00

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