Have you seen the work of Motoi Yamamoto?  He's an artist from Japan who creates extremely intricate pieces of art using salt.  Yes, salt.

You have to see for yourself... all photos courtesy of the artist's website:

Can you imagine how long this takes?!

And how does he not track through the salt and have footprints everywhere?  {I think there might be glue involved somewhere, but STILL...}

For his most recent exhibit, 'Return to the Sea',  Motoi {or someone at the particular museum} does a really cool thing on the last day where they gather up all the salt and actually put it into the ocean or closest body of water.

Here's a video of the salt removal at the College of Charleston:

Or... maybe Motoi has schooled us all and figured out a way to get out of cleaning up his exhibits!  :)

'Return to the Sea' is on exhibit now through May 26 at The Mint Museum in Charlotte.  Check it out!


to Arizona and back

Last week, I made a very quick trip to Tucson, Arizona -- less-than-48-hours quick.  The pace was very reminiscent of the trip I made around this time last year to New Hampshire, which you can read about here.

{And you can read about my previous time in Arizona here!}

I have to pause in somewhat wonder that I have traveled from one corner of the US to the absolute opposite corner in less than a year... and I really, really love that my job takes me to these places.

Anyway... where to start without boring you to absolute tears?

Well, here's a quick look at the finished model unit at our property, which is why I went out there:

And a peek outside the unit window reveals where the Wildcats play...

And another shot from the unit... those mountains look fake.

Can we just talk about THOSE MOUNTAINS?
I am in complete awe every time I travel to this area.  Nice work, Creator.

Seriously.  The lone shopping cart in the Target parking lot flanked by beautiful mountains.  How is this real?!

Moving on...

Before I left the area, I had to try a West coast staple for lunch:

It was good.  If I had to cast a vote in the national debate over In-n-Out vs. Five Guys, though... gotta go with the Guys.

Making my way back to the Tucson airport, this photography caught my eye in their ticketing area:

Excuse the glare.
There are those mountains again... and a real cowboy.  So cool.
{Not like when Sissy asked Bud if he was a real cowboy...name that movie!}

I was able to rearrange my flight schedule home, and when I pulled up the new boarding passes, this appeared in all its glory, ladies and gentlemen:

First on the plane = first row = leg room for days!
{This was for the last leg from LAS to BHM... pretty great for the 3-1/2 hour flight.}

On my first leg from Tucson to Vegas, I just couldn't stop looking out the window...

How can it be so different here - a desert - than where I live, only a 4-hour plane ride away?  
We live in an awesome country.
{And right about now, my friend/co-worker Rebecca is laughing at me if she's reading this because she is very well-traveled from a young age and makes fun of me for taking photos from plane windows.} :)

Hey, how about a couple more aerial photos from the plane?!

Bye-bye, LAS!

Halfway home, over Texas... 

I finally got home after 1:00am, which meant I spent most of the next day doing this...

It's a good way for the travel-weary to recuperate, JACK.


laughter > Mondays

Helloooooo on this Monday. {which also happens to be Tax Day - so, double whammy}

Yesterday's final round at The Masters was pretty exciting... good one for the Aussie Adam Scott.

{That photo is just for you, Julie!}  :)

Besides that, I did catch SNL as well.
Vince Vaughn's monologue was especially enjoyable.  I thought the audience interaction was pitch perfect.  
This is my favorite kind of quick humor.  

If you missed it, here you go:

{Particularly loved the 4:08 mark when he begins to take a jab at people living through cell phones these days... "It's OK to put down the phones and be part of the memory" - so, so good.}

In keeping with last Monday's post, I'm trying to offset the work week dread with positive things like good music and Vince Vaughn.

So, I found this delight on Etsy that takes a lighthearted approach to my least favorite day of the week:

We'll see if it sticks.

Have a good one!


music > Mondays

If you didn't see Bon Iver on ACL this weekend, here's your Monday morning catch-up.

It was mighty good.

Going into George Washington cherry tree mode... I cannot tell a lie: when I first heard Justin Vernon's voice a few years ago, I thought it was a joke.  That's a unique falsetto, ladies and gents.
But it grows on you.

Just watch this performance.  I can't even count how many band members, let alone instruments, there are.  
But it works.   It works well.

Here's to a harmonious week. :)

{Note: video embedded for you subscribers/e-mail recipients...}

Watch Bon Iver on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.


saturday special


This is a REAL product for sale on Amazon:

I don't want to hear another word about The Sequester, OK?




I almost thought they had stopped making these pens.
Then I discovered the nine-pack on that recent trip to the 'mart... MULTI-COLORED.


Doesn't take much to make my day.


a peek into my work

Last week's project installation in Michigan was a clubhouse for an off-campus student housing property.

You might recall this picture I posted last year in an instagram post:

Well, that drawing turned into this:

Before we take a further look, you have to know that I did not specify the awesome finishes in this space -- the credit for those goes to a highly talented design group.  I was merely responsible for the actual furniture, shelf & mantle fillers, and anything hanging on the walls.

The overall feel is kind of an old-English pub mixed with some modern elements to reflect the students and their university...

And, there you have it.
Blood, sweat, and only a few tears wrapped up in a cool clubhouse!



It's not so bad following a celebratory Resurrection Sunday.

He is risen!  

That is an amazing truth that will never change... such hope!


So... I've been traveling for work.  More on that in a second.

First, I need to address the disappointment I faced at a Walmart vending machine today.


It's my fault.  I walked out of this particular Walmart shopping trip thinking, "Wow, they had everything I needed and the transaction time was minimal," which is the polar opposite of how most of my experiences in this store usually end up.

I couldn't just be happy with that.
I had to stop and get a water out of the machine.  
{Dang it, dehydrating sinus meds.}

The cost was $.75.
I was expecting a regular size bottle of water.
Silly girl.
The result, as you see, was a tiny, palm-of-my-hand sized bottle.
For a split second I thought, "Good one, Wally World!  You replaced all the water bottles with a sample size for April Fools Day."

Hey, I realize this is a grade-A First World problem of the most immaterial kind... there are people across the planet who would treat this bottle as gold.
I just can't believe I paid $.75 for a thimble of water.
I'm a cheapskate.


OK, back to work travels...

I spent most of last week in The Great White North, aka Michigan.
{I know that nickname is usually reserved for Canada, but I consider anything above Kentucky to be "The Great White North".}

It was cold. 
And it snowed almost every day I was there.
I'm not used to that the last week of March... or ever.

Early morning...  I never got used to Christmas trees being the real trees of the landscape. 

A Northern standard... had to eat here.
As expected, they only had Pepsi products.  {Tear falling...}

Does anyone know if this is just a Michigan thing?
All the traffic lights had these directional signs about the turn lanes... and they were very helpful because the lanes did not make a lot of sense.
I've never seen these in any of my other travels.

On the way back to the airport, this beautiful building arose from the horizon...

We had enough time to take a quick browse through the aisles.
Furniture mecca!

This was a good trip, and the installation went really well.
Check back this week for a few snapshots of this project.

I've got another trip coming up soon, and the full calendar of summer installations is now closing in.

On the road again...!