Thursday, July 18, 2019

A second day in Cuba

Today I'm joining Chris at Pear Shaped Crafting again, our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her theme We're all/going.

Today I'm featuring the back side of yesterday's trip to Cuba.

No trip to Cuba would be complete

without visiting the capital, Havana.

This shows the entire island and some of the surrounding islands, too.


is most famous for its architecture and its waterfalls.

It is famous for its Neo-classical architecture, which is filled with arches.

One should not miss Santiago de Cuba.

It is the second largest city on the island.  It is also considered the cultural capital of the island.  This gorgeous cathedral sits in the center of a park in downtown Santiago de Cuba.

As mentioned previously, this is the reverse of the used file folder from yesterday's art.  I began by spritzing the substrate with handmade shimmering mists.  When the mists were dry, I cut images from various travel brochures. I copied (from the internet) a map of Cuba and printed it on my laser printer.  I then needed a way to distinguish all these images, so drew lines between the cities and the images they represented.

Thanks for your visit today and your support of my art.  It means the world to me.  I hope you will also join me at Art Journal Journey with your own We're all/going journal art.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

We're all heading to Cuba

Today I'm joining Chris at Pear Shaped Crafting, our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her theme We're all/going.

Today we are headed to Cuba.  This is Cuba as we know it today.   However, many of us know little about Cuba because of its history.  We could go back as far as 1492 when the Arawak Indians inhabited Cuba when Columbus landed on the island.  The Arawak soon died from diseases brought by the sailors and settlers of Cuba.

In the early 1800s, Cuba's sugarcane industry boomed, requiring massive numbers of black slaves to harvest the canes.  After numerous uprisings, slavery was abolished in 1886.  An 1899 treaty made Cuba an independent republic under U.S. protection.  The U.S. occupation, which ended in 1902, accomplished two things.  It suppressed yellow fever and brought large American investments.

In 1933, a group of army officers, including Fulgencio Batista, overthrew President Gerardo Machado.  Batista became president in 1940, actively occupying and running a corrupt police state.

In 1956, Fidel Castro launched a revolution from his mountain camp.  Many anti-Batista landowners supported the rebels.  The U.S. ended military aid to Cuba in 1958, and on New Year's Day 1959, Batista fled into exile.  Castro then took over the government.

The U.S. initially welcomed what looked like a democratic Cuba, but within a few months, Castro jailed anyone he deemed a political opponent.  Castro got rid of Cuba's military pact with the U.S., confiscated U.S. assets, and established Soviet style collective farms.  The U.S. broke relations with Cuba on Jan. 3, 1961, the day Castro formalized his alliance with the Soviet Union.  It was at that time, thousands of Cubans fled the country.

Fast forward to February, 2008, when Fidel Castro ended 49 years of power by announcing his retirement. The 81-year-old, who ruled Cuba since leading the revolution in 1959, said he would not accept another term as president. Raul Castro succeeded his brother, becoming the 21st president of Cuba.

In March, 2009, the U.S. Congress voted to repeal the long-standing restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting Havana and sending money into the country.   In April, 2011, Cuba made the most significant change to its leadership in over 50 years, by appointing Jose Ramon Machado to fill the second-highest position in the Communist Party.  It was the first time since the 1959 revolution that someone other than the Castro brothers was named to the position.  The appointment was made at the party's first congress in 14 years and coincided with several changes being made to allow for more private enterprise in Cuba.  In October 2011, buying and selling cars became legal. Also, Raul Castro started allowing Cubans to go into business for themselves in a variety of approved jobs.

On October 16, 2012, the government announced that in early 2013 Cubans would no longer be required to have an exit visa when leaving the country.   President Raul Castro promised this new policy in 2011 to answer the rising demands for change by Cubans.

The new policy stated that as of January 13, 2013, Cubans could leave the country on vacations or forever.  They would only need a valid passport and a visa from the country of their destination.  It also stated that Cubans could stay abroad longer, up to two years before they lose their citizenship and benefits. However, the new policy also stated that Cubans could be stopped from leaving the country for "defense and national security" reasons. This part of the new law suggested that while Castro and the Cuban government were answering the demands for change, they were also maintaining tight control of political dissidents.

In December, 2014  President Obama announced that the U.S. would resume full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which included opening an embassy in Havana. There hadn't been any diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.

With diplomatic relations restored, the ban for Americans traveling to Cuba was lifted.  Before December, 2014, Americans could only travel to Cuba with permission from the U.S. State Department.  After December, 2014, tourists from the U.S. still had to go as part of a religious, educational, or cultural group, but the lifted travel ban made it easier in other ways for Americans to visit Cuba. Internet access, an embassy, and the use of credit cards were soon available for the first time to assist Americans while in Cuba. Also, the U.S. government began allowing Americans to bring small quantities of items back from Cuba, including cigars.  Cuban cigar makers estimated that their sales would increase from $3 million to $6 million in 2015, due to the new rule.

In May, 2019, Cuba imposed rationing of staples such as eggs, rice, beans, soap, chicken, and other basic necessities.  Some believe it is because of the U.S. trade embargo, while others blame it on Venezuela's inability to provide much needed and expected aid.

We must visit Cuba, while we still have the opportunity to do so.  Our windows of opportunity, in my opinion, show signs of closing.

Let's pack our bags and head to Cuba while there is still time to visit.

The first place we should visit is 


Of course, no trip to Cuba would be complete without visiting Havana,

the capital of the country.

It is also the largest city on the island.

Santiago de Cuba is best known for its beaches, tourism, and hand rolled cigars.

Vinales and the Vinales valley, a protected area/region, are not to be missed.

For this page, I began with a used file folder that I spritzed with handmade shimmering mists.  When the mists were dry, I cut images from various travel brochures.  I then outlined each picture and wrote the name of the city as part of the frame.

Thanks for sticking with me through this brief and abbreviated history lesson on Cuba.  Thanks, too, for your kindness and support you show for my art.  I hope you will also join me at Art Journal Journey with your own We're all/going journal art.  

Monday, July 15, 2019

*T Stands For 6th Anniversary* and an Asterisk*

T Stands For Tuesday turns six today.  I hope Inlinkz works, because I may not be here when this party starts.  I'm taking the youngsters to the airport, where I will wait until they are in the air before I leave the gate area.  Regardless, let's celebrate.

It's time to throw a party

and celebrate the event.

I'm drinking water to which I've added a wedge of lemon.

I've also created a tag for your enjoyment.

The sentiment reads:
Six years celebrating your chosen drink.

I have to admit this looks really quite delicious.

I would gladly drink this if I had it in front of me.

It's now time to get down to business.

Let's review the "rules" for the ATC swap.  Sorry, even though I don't like rules, this time we must follow them.  I've been assured Inlinkz works on this blog and I even tested it Friday when I joined Try it on Tuesday.   

1.  Link your DRINK related post below using Inlinkz.  Add an asterisk (*) after your name.
2.  If you forget the asterisk, simply look for the trash can (below your name) and delete your name and URL.
3.  Link your name and URL a second time with the asterisk after your name.
4.  Do this ONLY if you plan to pass on an ATC to the next person on the list who has an asterisk after their name.
5.  The next person with an asterisk whose name is after yours is the person you send your ATC to.
6.  Contact them and get their snail mail address.
7.  Send the ATC to them sometime before T time next Tuesday, July 23 (or 23 July), preferably the sooner the better.
8.  The last person who links with an asterisk will send to the first person on the list who has an asterisk.  The circle is now complete.
9.  This swap is called Pay-It-Forward or PIF, and that is what you are doing.
10. DO NOT show the ATC you plan to send to your PIF on your blog this week.  Wait until your PIF partner has received it, please.  It would be nice to have a reveal party in two weeks.

If you are not swapping an ATC, please link as you normally would and make sure there is no asterisk after your name.  You do NOT have to swap an ATC to celebrate today.  Please join in regardless.  Put on your party hat, bring out the noise makers, and help celebrate six years of T Stands For Tuesday.  I'd love to see a record number of participants joining this 6th anniversary.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

ICADs, week 8

These are my ICADs for week 8.

Day 39
Day 40

Day 41

Day 42

Day 43

Day 44

Day 45

Thanks for stopping by to see this week's ICADs.  If you want to join, please see the ICAD on my right sidebar.  It will take you to Tammy's blog.  Thanks, too, for your continued support of this summer project.

Also, I want everyone to know that the T Stands For Tuesday post is scheduled, but in case the link doesn't work, I may be late to the party.  I'm taking the youngsters to the airport today and, providing the flight is on time, I will be home.  However, be aware, I will stay in the gate area until the children's flight is in the air.  Only then will I return home.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ulrich Art Museum Mural

This is the second post from the Wichita State University (WSU) Campus.  Please see yesterday's post where we checked out the Pizza Hut Museum.

Wichita State has an impressive collection of sculptures.  There are 76.  In my opinion, this is the jewel in the crown.  It is a Joan Miro.  It is titled Personnages Oiseaux or Bird People.  I'm not sure you can call this a mural, but that's what I'm calling it so I can join Sami at Sami's Colourful World and her Monday Murals.

There's a story behind this original mosaic of Venetian glass and marbles, the only one of its kind.  First, it is the only piece like it that Miro ever created.  Second, he donated the design, while WSU students and private donors funded production which took five years to create and install.  It was completed in 1978.

In the early 2000s, this beauty was beginning to show its age.  In 2009, the museum decided that it needed to be repaired.  It took two years to determine the best way to achieve that, because it had to be studied before it could be removed from the side of the museum building.

This is a huge mosaic at 28 X 52 feet (8,53 X 15,85 meters). Each of the 88 panels was removed and taken to a restoration specialist.  It took five years to complete the restoration, which included developing and implementing new methods and practices specifically for this work, while staying true to Miro's original design.  In addition to the glass and marble restoration, the original particleboard backing of the tiles was removed and replaced with stainless steel to prevent deterioration.  This beauty was reinstalled in late 2016 and now shines much like it must have when it was first created.

For those of you unfamiliar with Miro, he was a Spanish painter, who also worked in sculpture and ceramics.  He was born in Barcelona.  He is most famous for surrealism and abstract art, both of which are evident in this installation.

As the youngsters and I walked on campus to the museum, we saw several sculptures, but were too far away from them to get good photos.

Finally, I did everything I could think of to get this map to show on my blog.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get the PDF to work.  I hope you will click on the link below and see all 76 of these wonderful sculptures that sit on the WSU campus.   There are some incredible works, including a second Joan Miro, two by Auguste Rodin, a Henry Moore, a Salvador Dali, and a Fernando Botero, among others.

Please note the map is old and the Original Pizza Hut is shown at its old location, not in the new complex.

Thanks for visiting this gem with the youngsters and me and thanks for dropping by on your day of rest.  Don't forget to visit Sami's Colourful World, especially if you like murals.