Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Dante and Beatrice

This is a hand painted rendition of Dante and Beatrice on Vellum, which is believed to be from the 1700’s. Note the colors, and I have included some detailed photos.

Dante (in red) approaches Beatrice and her maidens. Dante, is a poet, and is often portrayed with a book. Notice the detail of his finger inside the book to hold his place. The maidens protect Beatrice, as she is not allowed on the common streets alone without a chaperone. Her virginity must be proceed, and to protect her honor is to protect the family from scandal.

The detail in the folds of the garments is just incredible, and the details of the buildings. The lions flanking the staircase in the background…just beautiful! The diaphanous veil that she is about to pull over her face to show that she is a modest lady. Ahh, so much to love about this small painting.

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Villa San Juliette

I love visiting Villa San Juliette, they are the neighbors of Ranchita Canyon Vineyard. The beauty there is magnificent, the grounds evoke an image of European splendor. The artistically rendered gates open at 11am, the driveway is punctuated by cypress tress, and olive trees. The statuary, and landscape transport your soul to a place of divine harmony. I feel as though I am in an ancient Roman painting…bring on the banquet!

I have visited VSJ many times, but have never had the opportunity to meet the two gentlemen that own the winery. Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe  are the owners, and I am told that the two met as schoolmates in Liverpool and a friendship bloomed. Both young men loved to entertain and as they grew into adulthood, this shared passion led to careers that often intersected,  as dancers, then as choreographers and as producers of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Despite their demanding schedules, in 2004 these two friends made time to catch up over a dinner in Las Vegas. They asked the sommelier to surprise them with a bottle of Cab, and, when both glasses were poured, the conversation took a momentous turn. The wine was spectacular, spurring an interest in the Paso Robles AVA that would grow into a love affair. And thus, in that first sip, the dream of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery was born.

Smitten as they were, just one year later Ken and Nigel purchased a pastoral 168-acre property located at the northern edge of the Paso Robles AVA in the small town of San Miguel, California. A healthy vineyard was already established across rolling slopes and ideal soils, so Ken and Nigel directed their energies towards enhancing the natural beauty of the vineyard with a tasting room styled after the Tuscan villas that Nigel had enjoyed during trips to Italy.

Ken and Nigel’s belief in Paso Robles wine country comes to fulfillment in Villa San-Ju- liette’s comfortable tasting room, superb wines, and idyllic vineyard views.

The two are the producers of American Idol. They also produce many other talent shows, as well as own the winery. In 2013 the winery became SIP certified, which is no easy feat. One must be able to demonstrate their sustainability, water, animal conservation, soil health, and the overall carbon footprint are measured.

Their wines have won several awards too, so it’s so worth a visit. Every time I have visited, I have been fascinated by what appears to be a sculptured wind vane. I recently was told that the “Fat Monk” is a second label. I can’t personally attest to it’s yumminess, but the Fat Monk looks super cool.

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Medici Family

Since I was in second grade I loved everything about Italy. I especially loved that the Medici family were patrons of the arts, learning, and architecture. He regularly had gathering where the men would talk about philosophy, religion, and democracy.

Through the years, I have kept journals, and checked off dreams as I have accomplished items in that particular journal. One line item that has not been checked off is to be a part of a “think tank of women”, until now.

Last month, I met Lorelei at Slo Maker Space, she is founding investor and board member of, OMG! This is a super awesome place, and it is a learning lab! Honestly, you have to go to the site to check out all the cool stuff that anyone can learn. Anyway, Lorelei started a group for women that are or want to become entrepreneurs. This incredible group meets once a month, and we check in on each other to keep each other on track.

Finally, I get to check this off my list, I found a group of powerful women to meet with every month, and fulfill another aspect of my dream. Empowering other women to rise up, and give each other strength!


Collections and Obsessions, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Photography

Early Renaissance

My sister purchased these two pieces from a flea market about 20 years ago. They are black and white photographs. One is of the Holy Trinity, that was done by Masaccio. He was one of the first artist of the period to incorporate the  illusion of space in a painting. This painting is in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy. IMG_9043

The second photograph is of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary and saints by Mino Da Fiesole, which is in the Fiesole Cathedral. He was an artist that was believed by the Medici family. He sculpted Piero di Cosmo de’ Medici.

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2012 Photos

These were back in the days of going back and fourth to Bay to SLO.

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Gift Shop

IMG_7947The week I got back from South Carolina I was really busy. We had so many items arrive for the gift shop, prom weekend, and snickdoddle was leaving the farm. Plus, I am finishing a couple of renovation projects. So, not much time left in the day to write.

Here are some of the cool items we now carry at the gift shop of the winery. I was even testing how everything would fit into a basket. Alle-Pia salami, if you haven’t had this salami, it’s out of this world delicious. It also has not nitrates. I have probably met the pigs that became this salami.

The bread sticks are the ones that we offer in the tasting room for people that are tasting wine. They have a savory rosemary essence that just marries the wine so well. I added a Swell bottle since having water is always helpful.


Our beautiful baskets we offer…


The one on the far left, is hand painted, the platinum and rose gold are part of the metallic collection, purple is in the middle, blue marble in the front with the kelly green.


Some of our newest coasters…


Olive utensils, aprons and magnets too.


Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Saturday Special

Collections and Obsessions…Romance

Romance is in the air in so many ways and so many places in my house that I often lose track. The beauty of people sharing special moments together is beautiful, and knowing that there are many artists that have made it a subject for spectators means that other people believe it is beautiful too. Here are some examples of Romance on my walls, shelves, and tea pots.

MessiaenA young man trying to woo a young lady. This is a detail of the painting on a Meissen vase.

IMG_0367This is a couple dancing. The couple is of German origin. I am not sure about the manufacturer.   IMG_0364 Another Meissen Vase detail. IMG_0368 The dancing couple are a Swarovski couple. She is holding a mask, and he is a Spanish dancer. IMG_0365 This is a detail of a larger painting. IMG_0359 A couple picnicking, painted on a saucer. The manufacturer is Dutch. IMG_0360 A teapot from the Dutch set. IMG_0366 Many couples in a park, this is a detail of the painting. IMG_0362 A couple on a tea chest. IMG_0373 A dancer at a masquerade ball. The grouping is a Dresden piece, which is made in Germany.     IMG_0361 IMG_0370 A teacher and his pupil. This is a painting by Meadow Gist. IMG_0379Even pillows with Romantic themes.

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Steve Thomas

ads  I purchased ten limited edition prints that are signed by Steve Thomas. I love that each of the ones I purchased are about the area where we live and work. Cayucos, is a beautiful beach town that recently rebuilt it’s pier.                                                IMG_6906   Hearst Castle is one of the State parks in San Simeon, CA. Mr William Randolph Hearst donated it to the State of California. The story of Mr. Hearst is a fascinating one, and the castle is a vision beyond compare.        IMG_6907 San Luis Obispo is the home to all kinds of recreational events. Riding bicycles through the area in the summer is the highlight for many that come from many different countries to join in on the fun and excitement. IMG_6900 Edna Valley, is another area in our county that offers impeccable wines.           IMG_6908 The downtown area of San Luis Obispo not only offers great boutique shopping, but also an old fashion theatre, and our historic Mission.

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Maryanne Jacobsen

Life is about helping our fellow human beings help themselves. Artists are some of my favorite, they are not asking for a handout, but a hand up the ladder of success. Since I have been busy doing other things, I haven’t had time to blog about my favorite artists. Maryanne is very talented, and when I saw this beautiful piece it was calling my name. Her lightly flamed red hair, Her glance at the spectator as they are enjoying watching her as she collects flowers in her basket. Her pale skin against the range of colors in her garden. The few curls on her neck, the sheen of her silk dress in the sun, all exquisite details that draw in the viewer.

Is this an extracurricular activity for this beautiful woman? We caught her in the middle of doing something, and she looks beautiful doing it.

cutting flowers

If you are interested in Maryanne Jacobsen, please click here. She also exhibits at Gallery 444 in San Francisco.