Venice: Is It Goodbye?

It was during my last few hours in Venice, sipping my last Aperol Spritz, this bag on a gal’s shoulder was suddenly at eye level with me.

She let me take a picture and I just saved 1000 words.

Venice grabbed hold of me on my first visit in the 80’s.

Don and I returned on a cruise in the late 90’s.

I went back in 2013 and blogged about it here on June 29 of that year.

I went again on May 5, after a cooking trip in Verona, convinced I would say goodbye.  Maybe I will; there are so many other places to explore.

Verona was certainly one:  Roman and medieval in art & architecture, handsome of people, lovers of dogs, low prices, fashion-forward, great food and Prosecco!

Venice does not reveal herself so quickly.  Venice is a mystery.  Venice causes you to get lost, give up looking at your map, and allow you to discover.  Some delights I found include door knockers, Carnival shops with ready made costumes and masks as well as artists’ studios for custom masks, marbled papermakers, old churches with amazing art, food markets with interesting restaurants close by, cafes, canals small and large with their bridges just tall enough for a gondolier or delivery boat to glide under,






and building decoration,

such as a stone carving

or this magnificent Della Robbio.




There was something very new this time:  chichetti, pronounced chi-ket-ti. Wine bars!  Stand up only, serving wine, beer and prosecco from which the Aperol Spritzer is made.  Looking out my hotel window on the rainy windy Sunday I arrived, I noticed a group of people milling around a storefront with drinks in hand.  I grabbed my umbrella and went to inspect.

So glad I did.  I ordered an Aperol Spritz…paid my 3 Euros and wondered how they can make money at those low prices ($3.37)!?  There was a bench for two inside and there I perched, chatting with Sam, the owner/barman about this novel concept.  His space was 23 square meters (247 square feet!!!)  He also served slices of French bread with toppings such as prosciutto or salami.  One euro!

Monday was Murano glass bead shopping with several opportunities to get lost and Tuesday was a discovery day on a route never traveled before to end up at the Rialto Fish Market.  Lunch at a fish restaurant on the Grand Canal.  Both days were sunny and concluded with a stop at Sam’s chichetti.  There were three times as many people as on rainy Sunday.  Volume is how they make a profit.

That concludes the travelogue.  A brief philosophical analysis will help with the “Is it Goodbye?” decision.  I’m kidding, it’s not philosophical.  I operate a lot by intuition.  To that end, there are three incidents to ponder:

  1. As I am dining in the hotel restaurant at a table with a view of the bridge over its canal, an older nicely-dressed gentleman pauses on the top of the bridge, turns to gaze behind him, then continues across.  I believed he was saying goodbye.  Like me.
  2. Back in my room, I gaze out the window and see a sea gull gliding along the canal.  When he gets to the hotel, he turns back and flies into the dusk.  He too is saying goodbye and going somewhere else.

3. I bought a charm for the Tiffany’s bracelet my friend Sandra gave me. It is the large heart on the right.

It says “Please return to VENEZIA.”

I confused myself.  This doesn’t say goodbye.








Cate Blanchett Elevates Turquoise to an Oscar Win!

Cate Blanchett Elevates Turquoise to an Oscar Win!

Cate Blanchett Elevates Turquoise to an Oscar Win!


No news can ever be too old in my bead world. So here is my take on the Oscar 2015 jewelry. Just one take, really: Cate Blanchett!
She wore a stunning choker-length bib made by Tiffany (who knew they were into beaded jewelry?) featuring turquoise, aquamarine, and diamonds. Perhaps they were attached to a net backing since I saw no stringing materials.
I noticed her early on the Red Carpet (didn’t you miss Joan Rivers?) and my first thought was that she was wearing a multi-strand of various-sized turquoise beads. Being ever so smarmy, I thought “way too casual”. Fortunately, she hung around for many shots and I caught the sparkle of the diamonds. How original! How daring! Thank you, Cate, for putting beads in the spotlight!
Other watchables were Scarlett Johansson’s teal bib going from her neck to her décolletage; Viola Davis in pearls and diamonds; and Margot Robbie wearing an incredible vintage sapphire and diamond piece.
I plan to let the turquoise and pearls inspire me as I make my Spring, er, March return to my studio.
You’ll see them here and at Open Studios, July 11-12 and August 22-23.
On the personal side, I chose to sit this winter out. Lucky choice, it turned out, to have selected this year for my knee replacement. I am snug as a bug staring out at the massive snow banks instead of walking and driving in them. Lots of physical therapy and connections with friends near and far has made it work for me. I am progressing well and actually venture out into the whiteness on March 9. Let life re-commence!
Studio life returns on March 2. After a general tidying-up, I am going to do a few winter-white-cold weather-snowdrifts visible out the window-type necklaces in rock crystal, pearls, moonstone. Thanks, Robin! I was complaining to her about the cold snowy views getting in the way of happy beading when she suggested I just let them inspire me!


Tiffany Necklace Blanchett 2015