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Saw this little guy as I got on the Denver Light Rail today.

Don’t you just love little touches that make your day better?

Those of you who read my blog have figured out that I’m a sucker for cool graffiti. Not the average tags and names- but cute stuff that makes me smile more than a blank wall would. While I was in Paris, Germany, and Spain, I took some photos of my favs. I now realize, that I have no pictures of German graffiti! Wonderous strange!

french metro graffiti-popes
Saw these dudes scribbled on a Paris Metro billboard. I think they’re popes… or clergy? Not sure, but I love how much time this had to take the guy who was obviously drawing with a sharpie on public property in the middle of a metro tube… and no one else cared.

Meow meow graffiti
On a random street in St. Germain. This was some sort of obstruction to keep a car from coming up onto the corner, I think. Well decorated for sure.

Paris metro tile
I know that the art on descending metro stairs isn’t technically graffiti, but it is so varied from stop to stop that I enjoyed every one individually anyway. This was my favorite. I think it’s the Rue de Bac station.

heads on the street graffiti
Who doesn’t love heads on a sidewalk? I don’t know how these were painted/drizzled onto the pavement, but it seemed the same texture as the paint used in marking out the lines on a street. From Paris outside the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.


Also not graffiti, per se, but a very neat way to decorate a wall on a low budget. I think this was on a side street in Zaragosa, Spain.


Also from Zaragosa. It seems that this was a billboard that an artist “stole” and painted over. Very clever.

spain graffiti
I really hope this is a Transformer… In Zaragosa, Spain.

squirrel graffiti
This is my favorite by far. So favorite that I’m giving you two images of this bad-boy.
Understand that this image was taken in an extremely small alley around midnight while I was under the influence of tapas and wine. I was standing on someone’s doorstep to get this shot!


As you can see… pure awesome. Another example of an artist “borrowing” the billboard, but this genius takes the cake! I love the x-ray break used. Very cool. This artist also did a really tall rabbit in the same style that I saw while on a bus- I think someone faster than me took a picture, but I haven’t tracked that person down yet.


Ha ha! Barceloneta, you are hilarious! This photo was snapped at the port of Barcelona, near that crazy tall statue of Columbus pointing to America. I love blobby dudes.

mario graffiti
Pixel-mario graffiti! Aw-yeah! This was sprayed on a temporary construction fence outside the metro one takes to get to Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. Te amo, Mario!

Well- that’s all the ones I have now. I know there are more on my mother’s camera, and like I said, some other travelers took some for me, so I’ll put them up as I find them. Enjoy the under-funded-city-improvement-happy art!

I’ve never been a fan of “cork crafts.” You know, the kinds of things you can make with your collection of corks- kind of an ego trip concerning the amount of wines you’ve consumed, and absolutely a hoarding problem.

But what’s a girl to do when she opens, on average, ten bottles of wine a week? Corks are cool- but there are only so many you can have in glass jars or piled up in corners. Finally, I decided to break down and make my father a cork board! However, since I didn’t like the “normal” styles of cork board, where one cuts the cork in half lengthwise, I decided I wanted to see the wine-end, which to me, is far more interesting.

Materials:

Corks (the number is dependent on your frame size. I included champagne corks)
A Shadow Box that’s depth is less than a cork.
Tacky Glue (I used Aileens)



Step One:

Remove the glass from your shadow box- you won’t be needing it.
With the back still in the frame, set on a hard surface like a table, or the floor, collect your corks and start lining them up inside your frame, careful to arrange them so that the reds are evenly distributed among the whites, and the large champagne corks are scattered. Make sure your corks are so snug inside that if you picked up the frame, they’d magically stay in there.



Step Two:

Place the piece of glass on top of the corks once you have them where you want them.

Holding the glass against the corks with one hand, flip your whole frame over onto the glass, with the back of the frame now facing upwards. The glass should ensure that none of your corks fall out!

Step Three:
Open the back of the frame- it should be all the “backs” of the corks you just organized. Now the glue begins. With your tacky glue, place a liberal amount of glue on each cork. I also ran lines of glue along the back of the frame in random squiggles, too. I used tacky glue because of its slow drying time and at its price I don’t mind using half a bottle of glue!

Step Four:
Replace the back of the frame, and re-turn all the mechanisms that hold the frame in place. This next step may not be essential- but I decided to glue the back of the frame in to place. I actually glue all along the seam and flattened it with my finger.

Step Five:
Pressing the glass against the corks from the bottom to assure corks down fall out, flip the cork board back over so that the cork is now facing up again. Remove the glass.
Run your hand over each cork and press them firmly down, making sure the back of the cork makes contact with the back of the frame, so it can be well stuck with the glue you just applied.

Step Six:
Wait. I waited two days before moving my cork board- but it might only take one depending on your climate. Affix any wall hangers you may need; note that since the cork board is frequently touched, two wall hangers on opposite sides of the frame is ideal to keep it from shaking on the wall.

Now wrap it up for your loved one with a lovely wine note like: “I’ve met a lot of Moms, but your my favorite vintage.” or “Dads are like good wine- they get better with age.” How about, “Cabernet pairs well with steak, and Sauv Blanc pairs well with chicken. But my absolute favorite pairing is you and me.” or if you want to get really technical: “My favorite appellation is Home, and you’re my favorite label.”

Recently on my drive to work, I heard a fascinating story on NPR about an Eagle Repository down in my very own Denver, Colorado.

An Eagle repository? Doesn’t that sound crazy? It was love at first hearing, and I delved in to a little more research on the matter.

As we all know- it’s illegal to kill a bald eagle, and perhaps you may also know that it is illegal to find a dead bald eagle and take him home with you… even taking a feather for your cap is a faux pas. This has always saddened me. I find a lot of dead birds- and I wish I could scoop them up and take them home, but without a permit for half of them, I’d be in huge trouble. the other half, like song birds, are never legal to take home. That’s just not fair. They’re dead! They’re not doing anything! But oh well. One can only argue with the law for so long.

At any rate- the Eagle Repository is a place that collects dead eagles, catalogs and packages them, and then gives them to Native Americans who have been on waiting lists for eagle parts which they use in ceremonies and rituals. The waiting list is long- and it only allows for card-carrying natives, but I’m wondering if I could go see the facility. It’d be a pretty fascinating field trip. I’ll let you know if it pans out.

In the meantime, here’s the link to the NPR show: Colorado Public Radio: Inside the Eagle Repository