Friday, October 18, 2013

Centreville, VA

Location: Centreville, Virginia, USA
Date visited: October 2013

On a rainy furloughed day, my friend and I took advantage of the time off to visit the Stuart Mosby Civil War Cavalry Museum right here in my home town. I visited once before a few years ago during their open house, but the collection is much more extensive now. We were also treated to a common perk at such tiny museums: a private tour of everything. The men working there were extremely knowledgeable and personable. Good times.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cologne, Germany

Location: Cologne, Germany
Date visited: April 2013

The Cologne Cathedral Treasury is full of bejeweled golden goodies, most of which contain body parts from saints. Glitzy and creepy, all in one.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bonn, Germany

Location: Bonn, Germany
Date visited: April 2013

One of the highlights of our trip was Beethoven House. He only lived there the first few years of his life, but it's the only Beethoven residence in Bonn still standing, so it's been turned into a museum. We sprung the extra 2 Euro for the audio tour, which was good because all of the signage was in German and we would have had no idea what we were looking at. The whole place was fascinating. There were a lot of the original instruments, as well as more personal things like ear trumpets. The audio tour also let you hear what the instruments actually sound like when playing Beethoven's music. The most heartbreaking part was when they played Beethoven's music as he would have heard it at various points in his life. "Ode to Joy" was basically unrecognizable, it was so muffled. The entire experience was pretty unforgettable.

I am unreasonably proud of my "many faces of Beethoven" page. I like how he looks all grumpy in all the pictures except the Beethoven who wants to give you a hug.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cologne, Germany

Location: Cologne, Germany
Date visited: April 2013

Cologne Cathedral is probably the most impressive church I've ever entered. It's simply amazing. I tried to include the most representative pictures but photos just do not do it justice. Every corner reveals more amazing art and architecture. Definitely somewhere worth seeing. The boat tour on the Rhine, however, was less interesting. We mostly went on it as an excuse to get my husband off his feet for a while.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Copenhagen, Denmark

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date visited: April 2013

By far our favorite place in Copenhagen was the Nationalmuseet (national museum). It was informative, entertaining, and free! There were bog people galore - apparently the ancient Danish were into human sacrifice via tossing people into the bog, so they're all really well preserved. The museum itself used to be some sort of castle, and a few of the rooms were decorated as they were when folks were still living there. All in all, it was a really great place to explore, and their brunch buffet was pretty darn tasty too.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cologne, Germany

Location: Cologne, Germany
Date visited: April 2013

The NS Documentation Center is a Socialism museum housed in an old Gestapo prison. The graffiti on the walls of the basement cells was haunting, but the upper floors had no English signage. It appeared to be an in-depth history of the Nazi party, but since everything was in German we didn't really know what was going on. It's something that I'm glad I visited, but I would have gotten so much more out of it had I been able to read the captions.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gothenburg, Sweden

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Date visited: April 2013

We did not spend nearly enough time in Gothenburg. Though originally we went for the 2013 BookCrossing Convention, we'd go back in a heartbeat. The people are nice, the city is beautiful, and there's plenty to see. Included in these pages are Flying Barrel (delicious), Haga (would like to see when it's not pouring rain, thanks), the Poseidon statue (which I made horrible comments about), and Skansen Kronen (which we stumbled upon entirely by accident). Wish we could have spent another several days there. Maybe next time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cologne, Germany

Location: Cologne, Germany
Date visited: April 2013

Gross Sankt Martin isn't the most impressive church in Cologne, but it's still quite lovely to visit. My favorite pamphlets to include in these spreads are ones that include photographs of the interiors, especially big panoramas that really show the scope of the place.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Copenhagen, Denmark

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date visited: April 2013

To be honest, we weren't that impressed with Copenhagen. It was okay, but honestly we could have skipped it. But we tried to make the most of it while we were there, and did kind of enjoy our random tour of Christiansborg Palace. We checked out the castle ruins underneath, which weren't the most interesting (yay for unidentifiable piles of rocks!), but the video about the history of the building was unintentionally humorous, as it seems to have had a problem with fire. After the second conflagration we started making jokes about the king of Swamp Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "So I built a third castle. That one burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp!" Later we wandered into the chapel portion of the castle and learned that it too had burned down on another occasion. We decided to leave before the building caught fire again, as it was clearly overdue.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The National Book Festival

Location: Washington, DC, USA
Visited: September 2013

The National Book Festival is an annual event to celebrate books and reading. It's mostly author talks and a Pavilion of the States, where each state library system with information and stuff for the kids. It's not my favorite festival (too crowded and usually none of the authors are anyone I'd want to see) but sometimes I go with some of my fellow BookCrossing buddies. I particularly liked the artwork on the program this year. Too bad it poured rain all afternoon.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The National Holocaust Museum

Location: National Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC, USA
Visited: September 2013

I almost didn't make a spread for this museum, thinking it might be construed as disrespectful, but I think it's more important for me to remember my experiences here. You can't take photographs inside, so these pamphlets are my only real reminders of the collection and its impact on me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The National Postal Museum

Location: National Postal Museum, Washington, DC, USA
Visited: June 2013

This is a cute little museum and a definite must-see for any lover of snail mail. It's kind of a pain in the butt for me to get to (as is anything on the red line of the Metro) but well worth visiting. I was there on a day when they had a stamp collecting kiosk, so I pasted the ones I picked out on this page.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Washington, DC

Location: Washington, DC, USA
Visited: June 2013

My friend Ruby was moving to upstate New York, so we all gathered in DC for one last day of cavorting around the city. The DC Aquarium is just a teeny collection of tanks in the basement of the Department of Commerce, and takes almost no time at all to see, but I always enjoy looking at critters. Afterward we got drinks and snacks at Old Ebbitt Grill on 15th Street. It was tasty but the waiter never did figure out that I was being completely serious about just leaving the pitcher of water on the table.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Prince William County, VA

Location: Bristow, Haymarket, and Brentsville, Virginia, USA
Visited: April 2013

The following is my LiveJournal entry from this day, because it covers everything I want to say and I am far too lazy to think up new words, much less type them all in:

Knowing it was the last chance I'd have for some snarfage before Europe, I took advantage of the gorgeous weather to explore some of Prince William County. It's kind of stupid that I haven't done more snarfing here, since it's far closer to my house than Loudoun County or, in fact, most of Fairfax County. I started near Haymarket, stopping at Beverley Mill. It's a ruin now, just four walls and no roof, but it's reinforced and has rows of benches inside. I suppose that means they must hold events there, but there's no lighting or stage area so I'm not sure what that would be. Anyway, I eventually pulled myself out of the rather relaxing area inside the mill and relocated at a nearby picnic table so I could sketch.

It's my first attempt at urban (well, rural) sketching, and it didn't come out quite as nicely as I'd hoped, but hey, it's a learning experience. I'm used to drawing things much smaller and closer, like pottery or photographs, so this was a nice challenge. I probably should have spent more time on it, but as usual, I rushed through because my attention span is far too short to worry about rendering all that stonework accurately. I almost didn't even draw the tree.

Afterward I headed into Haymarket proper, and noticed that the road to my next snarf was blocked off with flashing blue lights and a bunch of tents. It turned out I'd stumbled upon Haymarket's Earth Day festival. I enjoyed chatting with the goats, donkeys, and turkey. They also had chicks and bunnies and ducklings. As I browsed the stalls among the crowds, I was mistaken for a mother twice. The second time was most entertaining, as the woman at the table asked me if the children could have snacks. I was confused, said, "What children?" as the family near me began walking away, and the woman realized her mistake. I said, "They're not my children, so...yes!" I guess I must look matronly.

My next stop was Brentsville, and when I arrived at the historic centre I saw another group of tents - pup tents, housing Civil War re-enactors. I got a photograph of some of the guys, figuring that would work as a representative shot of the Brentsville Historic District.

My final stop of the day was Bristoe Station Battlefield. It was a nice walk, though by that point the sun was at such an angle as to make my sunglasses not so useful anymore. Either way, by the time I got home I was pleasantly exhausted.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Visited: May 2013

On a whim, I drove up to Artisphere in Rosslyn to attend a mail art making session hosted by a Craftgasm, a lady I know on Twitter. It was all kinds of fun and inspiring. The scan of the first page is kind of awful because the Artisphere sticker is a little glossy, and I think the reflection did weird things to the contrast. The stamp-covered person on the Artisphere pamphlet was, as far as I can tell, a coincidence, but it certainly fit in well with this spread.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Location: Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Martinsburg and Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA
Visited: March 2013

I don't usually incorporate pictures of corpses in my spreads, but Antietam commemorates being the bloodiest single day of the Civil War with loads of old photographs of dead people. So it only seemed fitting to include one here.

This was a weekend with my girlfriends and fellow Markeroons: Six, Ixy, Kate, and Ruby. The first couple pages are dedicated to the battlefield and cemetery, which we spent quite a lot of time traipsing about, while the last page is about the hotel we stayed in for two nights and the delicious little cafe we found for lunch one day, Blue Moon. Definitely recommended.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visited: April 2010

I had no idea I was in love with Vincent van Gogh until I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He was simply amazing. The left page is about one of the special exhibits we also saw, a collection from the Mesdag Museum. Good stuff all around.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flagstaff, AZ

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Visited: August 2008

A coworker and I had an afternoon to kill while on a business trip to Flagstaff, so we hunted down the San Francisco Peaks, the highest point in the state of Arizona. He'd heard that in the summer, the ski resort Arizona Snowbowl opened their lifts to the summit. It was my first ride on a ski lift (as I've never actually been skiing), and the half-hour ride each way was delightful. The view was spectacular as well; you could even see the Grand Canyon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Visited: April 2010

I don't remember how I heard about this place, but I managed to talk Cookie (my friend and traveling companion) into visiting this cemetery. I hadn't known it would be so artistic. It was one of those unexpected decisions that led to quite a memorable experience. The stuff you didn't plan is one of my favorite things about traveling.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Baltimore, MD

Location: Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Visited: March 2013

The brochure for Fort McHenry had a huge print of the original Star Spangled Banner taking up about three quarters of one side of the sheet, so I used part of that as my background. The walk around the Fort was windy and cold, but we warmed up with some spicy BBQ at HarborQue just up the street a bit in Locust Point.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Utrecht, Netherlands

Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Visited: April 2010

This is another Utrecht spread that I'm not sure why I didn't scan in before. Cafe de Zaark was where we met up with other BookCrossers at the end of our tour. Everyone was just so friendly! I included my Horoscoop (why is that capitalized when April isn't?), even though I haven't the faintest idea what it says. I also purchased one of the Dom Tower coins (since that was one of the sites we saw), though for the life of me I can't recall where it went. I should go dig that out sometime.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sedona, AZ

Location: Sedona, Arizona, USA
Visited: July 2008

When driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff, we stopped in Sedona, land of gorgeous rocks. I was interested to read that it was named after a woman, as I've never met anyone named Sedona before. It's kind of pretty.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Occoquan and Lorton, VA

Location: Occoquan and Lorton, Virginia, USA
Visited: February 2013

Sometimes while I'm out snarfing, I accidentally learn something along the way. For example, all that yellow stuff above is from the Suffragist Memorial in Occoquan Regional Park. Usually when we read about the Suffragettes, it's all about Seneca Falls, New York. I hadn't realized so much happened in my home county of Fairfax. Nearby I continued my education at the Occoquan Workhouse, where many of these women were imprisoned for their efforts to get the right to vote.

On this same trip I toured historic downtown Occoquan, including the Mill House Museum. The man working there gave me a thorough history of the region from the disappearing Dogue Indians in 1681 to the devastation of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Fascinating, and his enthusiasm was pretty inspiring.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Textile Museum

Location: The Textile Museum, Washington, DC, USA
Visited: January 2013

I'd never been to this tiny museum hiding back in a Dupont neighborhood. They're preparing to move to a new building, so the only exhibit was The Sultan's Garden. It was kind of nifty but after about five minutes we were done.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Renwick Gallery

Location: The Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC, USA
Visited: January 2013

My friend and I biked from Tenleytown to the Renwick Gallery, where we spent most of our time exploring the 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibit. There was a lot of truly strange stuff, but also a fair amount of beautiful and/or ingenious items. The huge installment on the left side of this spread was made entirely of paper.