Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin carving!

It's been a few years since we carved pumpkins and I LOVE it so this year we finally did it again! 


I get a little excitable when carving pumpkins so this year I decided to carve Van Gogh's Starry Night!



It turned out pretty well and it was really fun to make :)  Jesse, like me, doesn't really like carving scary pumpkins so he made a whimsical leaf-eyed pumpkin:


Now, both pumpkins all lit up!




Fun stuff! Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Detroit Institute of Arts

A looong time ago (read: 2 weeks ago) before my mom came to visit, Jesse had a fall break so we decided to get out of town and see some of Detroit! We spent most of our time and energy at the Art Museum but also got to check out some of the downtown sights. 

First up: the Detroit Institute of Arts!


You guys, this place was huuuge! We barely saw 75% of the main floor in the 2 hours we were there.  We'd have stayed longer but there is only so long that you can contain a toddler in a museum full of things he can't touch ;)   But all the same, we really enjoyed it!

This gorgeous front hall housed suits of armor from France and Germany from 1300-1600 or so. 


This is how Niko spent some of his time: 


And this is how he spent the rest!




Oh boy. I always forget just how much I love art until I'm at a museum and can just bask in it.  I LOVE it! 



Jesse and I both loved this room painted by Diego Rivera in 1932-33 (it took 11 months!).  The whole room was covered in beautiful stylized murals depicting industry in Michigan.  The main frescoes (obviously) depicted the auto industry, but others showed natural resources and scientific advancements. 


But I think my favorite part of the museum was the modern and contemporary sections because I got to see SO many famous paintings that I learned about in classes at BYU!

I think they had 4 or 5 original Van Goghs:



An original Cezanne:


Some Degas:


James McNeill Whistler:


And then there were some paintings I just loved because they were beautiful!


(Can you tell I'm very attracted to impressionism right now?!)



One of my favorite paintings was this one by Adolphe William Bouguereau:


Now look close up, and see how photo-realistic it is:


Stunning, right?

Ok, I've gotten to that point of the post where I start to just photo dump the rest of my favorite pictures...here goes!




A window designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! This is for you, Aaron!



Ok, I also really like abstract art.


This piece had paint so thick it stood out several inches from the canvas. I loved the technique but especially the emotion of it! 

Finally, we had gotten to the point where Niko was doing this... 


as well as occasionally resting his head on Jesse's (so cute!) so we decided we should call the museum quits.

After the museum, we drove around downtown a little (so many Art Deco buildings! So great!) before finally heading to check out the Masonic temple. 


It was built in 1926 and now has several theaters and such on the lower levels that are open to the public.  We didn't go inside but we loved looking at the beautiful design!





And finally, an existential thought I found painted on the sidewalk:


We loved seeing some sights in Detroit and can't wait to go back to the museum :D

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Michigan Law school in the fall

While my mom was here, was obviously had to head down to campus to show here where Jesse spends all his time! 

My sweet mother now lives in the west where there are very few squirrels, so she was very excited when she saw that campus was practically swarming with them.  So excited, in fact, that she fed a few!






We walked around and showed her some of the buildings Jesse goes to class in, and of course, the gorgeous law library.  And then, we had to take a picture of how lovely the outside of the law library looked in the fall!



Mom, I can't tell you how nice it was to have you come visit us.  It was so cozy and perfect having you here and I'm so glad you were able to come! You're welcome to come back any time you can/want :) We love you!!!!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

One of the last days my mom was here, we escaped the fall chill and checked out the lovely Matthaei Botanical Gardens just a few miles away. 

It was warm and lovely and we enjoyed getting out of the house and warming up :)

Nikolai loved running around and looking at all the plants!




I loved taking inspiration from the beautiful plants and textures:




There was also this really cool display where you could look at these lovely succulent plants through a kaleidoscope:


Interestingly, I was able to take a picture through the kaleidoscope and came out with some awesome pictures!




I have decided that one day when I discover how to keep green things alive, I will have a bonsai tree! So obviously, the bonsai trees were my favorite :D



But Niko's favorites were the fish! 


And then, some carnivorous plants!



Lastly, a photo dump of plants that I found especially beautiful:





It was a lovely little outing and I've now decided Niko and I are going to spend a lot of cold winter mornings there :) Thanks for coming with us, mom!