Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paste Paper ( PaperArts )

This last weekend, Terry was gone for 3 whole days.  I have had a ankle giving me some problems -- so I stayed in, giving it time to rest.  I have had some trouble finding art supplies.  While my friend Joan was here we found a place that had some gouache in little jars.  We tried using it for paste paper and really had a good time.  However, I tried to letter with it yesterday and it was horrible!  

Paper is my next issue.  I have found Canson MiTiens (?) and some acrylic paint.  When I was home in October, Barbara Close helped me pack a lot of Arches Text Wove.  She kept saying, "Sheryl, that's a lot of paper!" Thank goodness I brought so much!  So, long story short -- while Terry was gone, I cooked the best batch of paste I have ever made!  Spent Friday evening playing.  Saturday, I drafted a couple of templates for project ideas I have had for a while -- so, hopefully I will have some of those to show you soon.
I know, I know my designs are a little redundant -- my next project is to go shopping for tools.  

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Photo Walk -- Nisantasi (photography)

Today, I met a friend in Besiktas to walk around.  This is her part of the city and I hadn't been there at all.  I was excited for her to show me around.   We walked around and she showed me were the weekend market is located.  I am still amazed at how each part of the city has a different feeling;  a flare of it's own.  After lunch we were walking up toward the Nisantasi area (Yes, this is when the fateful deed happened!  Forever it will be known as "spit street"!) to see what we could find.  We walked through a nice little park and looked at the bronzes of local writers.  As we walked out I saw a man laying in the grass taking a nap in the shade.  I guess he was alive, thinking back on it, I do think it was strange that he was on his stomach.  This street is where the high-end stores are located.  Gucci, Rolex, etc, they are all there!  And of course, it is up-hill.  I mean UP-HILL!  I really haven't decided if it's easier to walk down or up a street.

We get to the next big intersection and we see a really neat old looking entrance. To something!  So we walked up and it was an old cemetery.   Cats were laying around (waiting to scare us!) and on some of the concrete thingys, people had put bee hives.   The weeds had been chopped down and many of the graves had been disturbed.  As we walked we could see bone pieces.  Joy was just sure they were from cows, I'm not so sure.  We found dates from 1924 to 1933 as burial dates.  I am sure when this was first established it was a beautiful, park like place with a nice entrance.  
Very different from what we are accustomed to in the US.  When they bury a loved one, the body is washed then wrapped in some kind of shroud.  A coffin is used for the ceremony but the body (without coffin) is then lowered into the ground by the male members of the family.  It is my understanding that the same plot can be used for multiple family members.   It seems that this cemetery has been abandoned for whatever reason.  I was curious that I didn't see and "evil eyes" here.  

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SHOES - Quote of the day!

Creativity often consists of
merely tuning up what is already there.

Did you know that the right and
left shoes were thought up a little 
over a century ago?
Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

I thought these shoes deserved some kind of accolade -- Shot through the window of a very expensive shoe store --  

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Monday, June 27, 2011

Storks in the City (travel)

S t o r k s

I can't believe these birds!  Right in the heart of Selcuk the storks were nesting on the top of high line poles.   While we were in Pammukale some people checked into our hotel who had just come from here.  After visiting Ephesus, we drove to this place for a look ourselves.  We went to the hotel (we are always looking for a great place to stay) and went upstairs to the rooftop deck.  It was really shocking to see how close they were. . .

. . . the funniest thing was, when the little ones would poop, they would stand up and it would fire out straight.  I mean like someone had squeezed a mayonnaise bottle.  Not only was it visual but you could hear if it hit the street or someones car.  These were pretty big birds!

Thanks for stopping by . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ephesus -- the city that keeps on giving! (Travel)


I was here with some friends last October 2010 and I can not believe how much it has changed.  I thought it was spectacular then but the new excavations are fantastic!  I can't even explain how much reconstruction has taken place.   
This excavation is huge!  So much that is new and so much more information.  I wonder what they have found that would contribute to our knowledge of the people who lived here.  Actually, within this frame, somewhere, is a stone which commemorates the death of Cleopatra's sister.  
I am actually standing on the seats of the public latrine.  (Across from the house reconstruction site) looking towards the stadium which is just out of the frame on the right side.  This was not here before.  Where the columns are standing, is called  "Marble Street".  I wish I had made notes because I don't have the date it was constructed. Terry rented us the audio tour guide sets.  It was really interesting to hear about the site and the excavation.  
 Here are some Greek letters that I found to be pretty interesting.  I loved the large "T" right in the middle.  Most of the stones with letters, that I had seen the last time, were locked away in a portion of the ruin.  I hope for them to be on display the next time I go --
This is an actual sample of a "Mile Stone" used on the Roman highways.  These actually became status symbols among the rulers of the time.  Some of them would have the likeness of the current magistrate.  It seems that on certain roads the miles stones were more extravagant.  Sometimes, the stones would be turned upside down and re-carved to save on material.  Usually the numbers were painted red for better visibility in the grass.  

I hope you are enjoying seeing these places -- 

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quote of the Day (Photography)

"Ah, summer,
what power you have to 
make us suffer and like it!"
Russell Baker

I am amazed at how different it is here than in Oklahoma!  It's really been pretty mild so far -- the flowers are just fantastic -- the roses are huge and the everything else is flourishing!  

Have a great day!  Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"My Turkish Joys" Cheesecake Class (cooking)


Oh my gosh!  This was so much fun!
Please meet Joy -- an American Chef, expat living in Istanbul and my friend.  She is a wonderfully creative cook who enjoys sharing her talents with us.  Wether it be bringing food and treats to game day, sending food with her husband to work or now my favorite, teaching us in her home.  She had several of us over on Monday for a Cheesecake class.  My husband loves cheesecake so I was all in for learning how to make this taste sensation!
The first thing we made was the No-Bake cheesecake.  It was so much fun to see the substitutions she has found here for use in this recipe.  For me that has really been one of the hardest things -- finding what will work. 
We also made a "Homemade Cherry Compote" which was so easy.  I would have never tried it on my own but seeing how it's done make a world of difference for me.  I really can't wait to try it with apples or blueberries.
This is my friend from Africa -- She is carrying a brand new American!  He's due in just a few weeks and we (well I am) getting pretty excited about it!  She's enjoying her No-Bae Cheesecake! 
This is my other new friend -- we had actually met at on another occasion -- She sells the Turkish made jewelry that she is wearing.  I am sure I will have more to share about that in the coming weeks.  She also with child! 
We also had a great demonstration on how to make NY Cheesecake -- Turkish style!  I loved seeing this and really have loved eating it!
These are the "pakets" (that is what we call food to take-out here) that Joy made for us to bring home.   Actually yesterday I had the Cheesecake Brownies for lunch!

So, here is the deal -- I challenge you to go to Joys Blog and find the recipe for the No-Bake Cheesecake.  You say what is so challenging about that?  Well, it is in metric, also, Turkish ingredients.  If you take this challenge, be sure and post what you have discovered about translating and coverting recipes.  It will be fun for you and google has all the tools you need.  Go ahead and try it . . .

Hope to see you soon -- Sheryl

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Popcorn -- Better than microwave! (Cooking)

Here in Turkey, microwave popcorn is very expensive.  I never really liked it much except for the connivence.  I had tried to make popcorn on the stove but it was flat, hard and greasy.   I even wanted popcorn one evening so badly that I stopped in at the theater in Akmerkez to take a large bag home, paket. (that's what you say when you want to take food home or away from the restaurant.) I was amazed that they were ready and fixed me right up.  

So, I had a friend here, I did the Goggle, and found a popcorn recipe.  I wanted to put the link here but I can't seem to find it again. In her post, she said that her mother had learned this method of the Jiffy Pop Popcorn Bag.  I am just sure that is where my dad learned it too!  

The Best Popcorn Ever!

1/3 Cup popcorn
3 Tbsp Corn oil
1 tsp salt

Put oil and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Drop a few of the kernels in the oil.  When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn to the oil and removed from heat.  Put lid on the pan and wait 30 to 45 seconds.  Put pan back on the heat and the corn will begin to pop almost immediately.  Leave on heat until a few seconds pass between pops (just like microwave popcorn).  This was something she added and it works great.  Throw some butter into the already warm pan and pour it over the popcorn.  

I hope you try this -- Leave me a report of your experience in the comments -- I would love to know!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hierapolis: An Unexpected Surprise (Travel)

Hierapolis was such a surprise to us.  We had planned our trip around Biblical references and the places mentioned in the New Testament.  (I found today that this place is mentioned in Colossians 4:13, so much fun finding it in my study!)  We booked our accommodations at Pamukkale because it was a tourist area and felt that it would be a great place to stay.  When we looked at the reference material on what this place was, it became apparent that we needed to include this ancient city in our tour.  It is not one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, however, the Apostle Philips was martyred here.  
The above is a tomb that was just one among many.  I mean a couple hundred or more.  They were built by the prominent citizens for the remains of themselves and their families.  There was a shelf built around the interior (of the same stone) to be used until the body had decayed.  The smaller ones in front were used basically the same way.  I guess just not as prominent.  
This is the main street that had actually been covered up by the travertine waters.  This aided in it's preservation.  Special equipment was used to extract the pieces.  Immediately to the left, after entering these arches, is the public latrine.  It was totally collapsed, caused by an earthquake, but it was preserved by the travertine which allowed for the almost complete reconstruction.  This 1st Century WC was complete with water for hygiene.  
 I am always looking for letters while in these ruins.  These are Greek and I was pretty disappointed that I found no Roman letters.  I do really like the two characters in the bottom right.  I am thinking that I might try to study Greek, at least to be able to translate it.  
 The next four photos are from Terry's iTouch.  He really had a great time taking pictures and video. The above is the resting place of the Apostle Philip.  Philip was martyred here and during the 5th Century this Basilica was built to hold his remains.  It is called the "Martyrion" and is an octagonal room with eight smaller rooms that open into the larger through 3 arches.  This structure would have had a wooden dome.
 This is part of "St Philips Bridge".  I don't really understand how it was put together but I was amazed at the sheer complexity of this structure.  How did these people built cities of this magnitude?  The water system here was amazing.  Water flowed and was accessible by the people who lived here.  
 This stadium was huge! I couldn't believe how big it looked from far away! (I didn't go to it because it began to rain, hard!)  Terry was amazed at the restoration that was being done here.
 More of the stadium -- I have never had such clear idea of what this part of these massive structures looked like.  They hope to again be able to use this stadium for concerts and other entrainment.  The locals are very excited.  I am sure for the tourist opportunities that the completion of this stadium will bring.
As you can see one of the tombs has been over taken by the travertine waters.  This view is looking back toward Laodocia.   Thank you so much for coming by -- Sheryl

Monday, June 20, 2011

Laodocia - The Luke Warm Church (Seven Churches Tour)

Laodocia, I do believe it was and is the best known of the Seven Churches of Revelation.  (Mentioned in Colossians 4:12)  This infamous name has been included in songs and poetry for centuries.  The luke warm church!  One interesting thing I learned on the internet (in doing my research for this trip) was that Revelation is not as mystical as it would seem.  The people who it was written too, knew exactly what it meant.  I saw a video of a young preacher (I wish I knew his name or could find it again) at the site.  It was before excavation had begun so apparently it was quite a while ago.  He told that with Hieroppolis to the North having naturally warm water, all year round, and Colosse directly to the South, with it's naturally cold water all year round; had  an impact on the message the Lord wanted to convey.   

We actually expected to find nothing at this site but a pile of rocks.  We did know and expected to see the site mapped and surveyed but what we found was such a wonderful surprise!
 The above is a shot directly down the main street.  It seemed that columns lined both sides making verandas and porches to the buildings they were attached too.  I couldn't believe the beautiful granite and marble that was used for these columns.  
 This is a temple that is being reconstructed using some new materials along with the old.  We couldn't determine who the temple as dedicated too.  It could have been to any number of gods worshiped in this community. 
 This is where Zeus's temple was located.  A friend and I were talking today about how some much of what we learned in school is actually beginning to fit together.  (She too has been traveling around Turkey.)  The similarities between the cities and the architecture is really quite amazing.  I didn't find any Roman letters here either.  That really does seem strange to me - especially since these were Roman cities!
 Laodocia was truly on the top of a hill.  Not a mountain but you could see for miles in every direction.  This is a shot of Pamukkale and the natural Travertine -- Hieroppolis is above this on the hill from which the waters flow that makes this an amazing attraction.   I will have have more on the sites in the coming days.  

I am loving going down memory lane with you,  reminiscing about our trip --
 Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quote of the Day (Photography)

". . . and the day came when the 
risk to remain tight in a bud was
more painful that the 
risk it took to 

I took this in my friend Connie's front yard.  She hasn't been feeling well, so this is for you and hoping you get better soon -- Love, Sheryl

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just a Pretty Picture! (Photography)

I was looking at some of the MANY pictures I have taken over the last month.  I saw this one and ran a few actions on it -- just to see what would happen.  I wish I had made notes because I can't repeat it.  I hate it when that happens.   We were in an older area of Izmir on our way to the airport.  I looked across the street and this window caught my eye.  This would be a window typical of any village or city in the low rent district.  Yes, I do believe those are plastic flowers in the window box!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

I have learned to use the word


with the greatest of caution.
Wernher von Braun
We were on a tour of an old area of Istanbul.  I turned around and saw this this attempt to make something beautiful in an otherwise dismal place.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Philadelphia (Travel)

This was a very surprising site.  We drove into a town, I am sorry but I don't know the name of it, and truly it was the dirtiest village I have been to in Turkey.  This kind of thing really does make you think twice about the power of a curse.  
 I loved these cursive carved letters that was on this stone.  I have no way of knowing when it was written or when it was left at Philadelphia.  I had just never seen anything like it.
 This stone or plaque is the first Christian evidence we have seen at any of the sites.  Below is a close up of the lettering on this stone.  Doc seemed to think it was greek.  

 Another stone from this site.  There was a lot of Arabic carved stones here also, which were interesting but they would have been added much later, after the Christian era.  In an area down the street from this main section is an excavation going on.  It seemed to Terry and Doc that this was something recent.  This would be a great place to visit again in a few years -- the revelations that will come about these people will be amazing.
 I just loved the garden here!  Especially these tiny grapes -- this makes me want to grow some!

 More carvings -- 
 These were two of the columns left standing.  I seems that they connected with arches at 3 wide and two deep, but that could be a small estimation.  In the hole to the bottom right is what is in the picture that follows.
I am not sure if this part was actually under the ground or if it has been covered by the many years of earthquakes.  If that is the case, these arches would be very tall.  

Thanks for coming by -- Sheryl

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

Twenty years from now

you will be more disappointed by the 

things you didn't do than

by the ones you did!

So throw off the bow lines

Sail away from the harbor

Catch the trade winds in your sails --

Explore ~ Dream ~ Discover

Mark Twain

Sardis (Travel)

We drove through some pretty amazing countryside to get to Sardis.  We really didn't know what to expect, thinking we would encounter something small like the site at Thyatira.  When we drove into the town of Sart, we saw a sign that said "Temple of Artemis", so we follow the sign.
 When we got to the end of the road, it wasn't really very clear where or what we were going to see here. After we went to the restroom and got our tickets, we ventured down this long path.  We rounded a soft corner and there were columns standing at the far end of some kind of foundation.  The above picture is of a close-up view of what the tops look like.
 This is part of the base of one of the columns.
 This is the whole site facing away from the entrance.  I was in fact very disappointed at this point.  I am wanting to find Roman letters carved in some of these stones and there was nothing!  I really can't give you an idea of how big around these columns are around -- maybe a big tractor tire?  I am amazed how these stones just seem to be tossed around.  Piecing these giant buildings back together must be a daunting task.   Terry and Doc had gone up the the little path you can barely see in the middle to the left of the columns.  They were looking for the rest of city.  It was hot and when they finally got back to Diane and I (who had retreated to shade and chairs) they to were disappointed.  But, Diane had overheard some people ask where the gymnasium was located.  So, we knew it was at another location.  (At that moment Diane was the hero!)  This city was huge and covered a lot of territory.
So we drove to the gymnasium which was located on the other side of Sart.  We got out and headed for the site.  We were able to park very close and that made it much nicer.  This part has been reconstructed using some new materials along with the old.  I am not real sure exactly what this place was but there seemed to be a swimming area off to left in this picture.
 This view is from the back or what would have been the inside -- this does no justice to showing the size of this building.  Doc and I were out here wondering around.  We go clear to the back and up a rise.  Actually, that is where I probably shot this picture.  We were heading back around the side when I saw a sign that said "the Synagogue" so I began looking around.  I was standing on some pretty exciting tiles, shooting pictures when Doc informed me that I was standing in the entrance.  

 This view is taken about halfway into the main section of the structure.  I was fascinated by the different tile work that looks like our modern day quilts.  In this area very bright colored tiles were used.  As you can see below purples, blues and reds.  They really were vibrant.  The alter was flanked by lions and I loved the stadium area in the back -- I don't know who sat there exactly.

This became my all time favorite place in Turkey the moment Doc said "Sheryl, Paul preached here!" He walked on these tiles.  Probably sat in that stadium area.  Leaned against the door post at the entrance.  I can now close my eyes and more clearly see what these places looked like -- I still can't believe it!  

As we drove away from Sardis we could see where other places of exploration were underway.  I can't wait to come back to this site and see what else they find.  As we drive, we are always saying "Look there is piece of a wall" or "do you think that mound has something under it?" -- vineyards as far as the eye can see.  Beautiful country side, so not what I expected in Turkey!

Hope to see you again soon -- Sheryl