Monday, December 15, 2008

St. Teresa in Ecstasy

If you are ever in Rome, do not miss this amazing statue done by Bernini, housed in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria near the train station.
If you are inclined to read more:

Its Snowing In Portland!

Last week I had a wonderful dinner with my friends Sally, Cheryl and Bonnie at Bar Mingo in Portland. We have all neglected our blogs lately and agreed to get each other going by having a deadline to get some kind of post up by today.
Well,last nite it snowed in Portland! I love it when it snows here, the city stops moving and everything takes on a surreal quality.
I wanted to decorate the tree last nite, but since the snowstorm hit, we cant get it. Today I am going to go and take some Holga shots of the snow and I will post those as I develop them. I hope you all in Portland are settled back and enjoying this rare occurance! Sally, Cheryl and Bonnie, I can't wait to see the blogs!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fooling Around

Wow. I just learned Layers in Photoshop. Sounds lame but a big step for me! I wanted to know how to combine photos and can't ever get around to it. Now maybe I will blog more? I could look at photos on the Internet for hours!!!!! -stace

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And So Then.........

I know, this is really old news, I am continuing the saga of the Cortona workshops, 2 months after the fact but hey, I need to get updated and then I can be more current. (At this rate, I should be there by maybe, oh, summer 2009?)
So as we moved from Sally's workshop into Michael's and Jane's, Italy decided to pull one of their all too familiar "sciopero" or train strike, the day all of Sally's students were departing and the day all of Michael's and Jane's were arriving. Luckily, we found out 24 hours in advance and were able to hussle some alternate transportation in and out of Cortona for everyone. This included Sally's dear husband Brad, who volunteered to pick up to stranded students of Michaels, Marilyn and Connie, at the Florence airport. Now, Brad had never met them, so we devised a system for them that Brad would present at the arrival gate, see above.
They all found each other just fine, Marilyn and Connie made it to Cortona, and so did the rest of the gang. We got a hold of the Pre-pods, (returning Michael de Meng students, more on that later) Karen, Gerri, Paula, Kathryn and Joy the evening before the strike as they were sipping aperatifs on the Grand Canal in Venice, told them they would have to find another way to Cortona, so they jumped in a rental car and headed down.
Class began as scheduled!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Are Back and

Hey everyone-I am so excited to now return to Blog Land after a month off...I was waiting to get together with my friend Didi, who helped me to design a new banner, now I have no more excuses to not blog, I LOVE the new and improved banner! But since I have spent the past 2 hours figuring out all this tech stuff and choosing colors, type font, etc. I shoud go to bed, I never seem to stop looking at blogs til about midnight, it is so seductive, I could spend a lifetime just looking at arty blog and web stuff -stace-

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cooking in Cortona

One of the really fun things we did at the Cortona workshops was a cooking demo and dinner following with my dear Cortonese friends, Denyse and Ivan. We traveled up an extremely curvey mountain road to arrive, I was green by the time I got there, but Denyse told me to eat bread to settle my stomach and I was fine.
Denyse and Ivan making pasta
Pomodori (tomatoes) for the pasta sauce
Brad (Sally Jean's husband)showed unbelievable fluidity when jumping into the cooking, he that went back and forth
between cooking like a pro and then taking amazing photographs of the food. I set about copying his photo techniques and got some good ones.
Brad at work

My Brad-inspired arty food shots
Ivan takes out the fresh focaccia we made with flour, egg, olive oil and rosemary. To die for!
I love it when Denyse laughs!
Cindy and Milliande, having a great time, they don't eat wheat, so
they were out of luck on this meal. They made the most of it with their parsley platters:)
Thanks you guys, youwere such good sports!
To say the least, we had a great time, and one of the best meals I have ever eaten! Stay tuned for shots from the following week's cooking class.

Thank you Mike!

Mike Jennings (BoneFolder) very graciously photoshopped my Michael and Sally photo, its a keeper! No more guy standing on Michael's head! Check out his blog, workshops, company at the link above, its really cool! -stace-

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just One More

Just one more little photo and post, I can't stop...Sally, Michael, Stace, Bonnie and Brad (Sally's hub)
around the kitchen table at Casa San Marco in Cortona. Cheryl was here too, but she took the picture. It was such a laid back relaxing evening. See Bonnie? There WAS a photo of the two of us after all!
Thats it, I need to STOP now!

The Pressure is On!

Thanks Michael for mentioning our blog! Now the pressure is on to get with it!
So where to start?

Well, I'll go to recent history. A couple of years ago, Rob and I started Arcangelo Productions, a company we created to host week long artist retreats in Cortona, Italy and Bali. Our list of fab instructors have so far have included:
Michael de Meng, Sally Jean Alexander, Nina Bagley, Traci Bautista and Jane Rosemont.

Last month, we had both Sally Jean and Michael back for a second time in Cortona, along with our good friend and talented photographer/instructor, Jane. It was a fantastic 3 weeks with everyone, I had a such a great time!

The quintessential Italian shot, beautiful signora, leaning out the kitchen window in Tuscany. (Sally Jean)

Michael and Sally, 2nd time in Cortona in the main piazza. I just noticed the guy on top of Michael's head, if I knew Photoshop, I could remove him...After I finish bugging Michael with endless, "how do you do this...?'' re. blogging, maybe he can teach me Photoshop?

And finally, Michael (again?) and my pal, Jane, who has the most amazing eyebrows and red with pink streaked hair EVER!

And lastly, my favorite view and photo of all: The Church of San Francesco in Cortona with the Val di Chiana and Montepulciano beyond.

I love this church and have 500,000 photos of it stashed away, so you'll mostly see various versions of it snuck in my future posts as I go along.

Well folks, I thought I could post and paste many more photos this evening but this little one took about 2 hours to figure out, so its late and time to sign off. I will write of further Cortona adventures tomorrow...

Buon notte! -stace-

Saturday, October 11, 2008

and then some...

And as a special thank you to my pal Michael, I am posting this photo of him, I have been waiting to use this for 2 years since his and our first workshop in Cortona together. At one of our group dinners, he was introduced to the wicked "green stuff", more commonly know as Liquore di Alloro, a homemade, heavy duty, 40% alcohol after dinner drink, made by Trattoria Dardano, in Cortona. It is known to have slightly hallucinogenic qualities. As I remember, he experienced a particularly fine teaching day the next morning.

Stace's Prima Posta

All right, I need to do MY first post since I'm the one that was yattering to get this blog set up in the first place...I showed my dear husband Rob, how I had set up the banner and he went in and beat me to it...he was off and running!!!
I am so thrilled to have figured out how to set up this blog, I have been wanting to create a blog forever and was highly motivated after we spent a great week with our good friends, Michael and Judy, who were in Portland for Art and Soul. I credit them for pushing us to get this going,

Grazie mille guys!


just another interesting part of going to Paris......looks vaguely familiar to me....

I have so so many photos as Stacey never stops clicking .....I could post them all at once, but I don't want to flood the Blogoshere and shut the whole thing down...slowly......I am having fun with this.....

ok. ok. so you want to see the rest of they are in front of some glass pyramid, but I was too busy chasing flying Euros to notice much of anything.

So, you guessed somehow. Yes, we were in Paris this summer exactly at the peak of the Euro....lunch sitting on the curb for $100. That was fun, but you only go around a million times in these many lives we have.

This time we did not visit any museums and just enjoyed being in the City of Lights playing in the many parks and outdoor cafe's...... Paris......

la prima posta

....and, so here we are complete Blog-o-phites. My name is Rob and I share my life with my wife, Stacey, who is my everything.....We live in Portland, Oregon with our two sons Jesse (17) and Corey (13).

We divide out time between Portland, OR, Cortona Italy, and Bali. I feel blessed to be able to spend my time in these magical places.

For many years we owned Urbino which was an eclectic lifestyle retail store located on N.W. 23rd Ave. here in Portland. We traveled extensively on buying trips for the store which lent us an excuse to see many areas of the world.

We spent a lot of time in Italy which became a second home to us. In 2001 we jumped off the proverbial cliff and moved our whole family to Cortona, Italy for a year of living Under the Tuscan Sun (nice name for a book). I use the phrase as Cortona is the locale for the book and movie.

I have lots of stories of what our life there was like and how it changed all of us........I plan on posting them, if anyone is interested?