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Yesterday my friend Pam and I went on a quest to find the “National Museum of Women in Art”. It was said to be in Deland and since Pam is a member, we thought we would go find out what she is a member of. So we trucked it up to the beautiful, quaint city of Deland, about 15 miles away.  We went to the address on the Google map and it turned out to be the Cultural Arts Center at Stetson University. We wandered in and looked around at the gallery, the work was abstract expressionist by Florida artist, Harold Garde. Every piece was vibrant, really alive and embracing, I gravitated to his “puppet” series, one of a few series he has on display. The exhibit will be there till the 15th of this month –

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But, when we asked about the Women’s Museum, no one had heard much about it. And the women working there as volunteers were quite wonderfully informative. So we back tracked and went walking with our cameras to downtown and ate at Norville Barnes which had excellent food.    restaurantnorville-2_edited-1 Then off we went through the downtown looking for places of interest where Pam can work with her infra-red film.  We found a very cool bookstore with many antiquarian books which I love. Then there was a very fun pet store, Animalia which had terrific snakes and lizards and koi besides other pets. 3beardedlizards-1 Outside there were robins flying all over and they so remind me of growing up in Ohio and seeing those wonderful red breasted birds. 21109robins-1

But still no National Women’s Museum.
We went to take photos of the Wharf, an older building where artist Courtney Canova has painted people on the windows.  21109thewharf-1 And as we walked back to the car, we scame across the Artsan Inn and on a fluke Pam looked up and saw a sign, (no not from God, an actual sign) that read, National Museum of Women in Art. We wandered in and took the elevator where it directed us, the second floor, because there are only 2 floors. And we peeked in all kinds of room and found it. There was a featured artist on exhibit and we found a women who welcomed us there and said yes, this was where Pam was a member. They hoped to host many one person exhibits. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the artist, but she had remarkable detailed work, plus a painted ostrich egg!   3 (this photo from the Artisan Inn itself, not one of mine)
So Pam and I had a great time and had fun discovering part of Deland which I can say I would be happy to live in such a wonderful and friendly town. Everyone we met was so open and nice. Being a University town with Stetson has shaped this into a cultured city with lots of history and charm. I would go back at the drop of a hat.
When I got home I fished, no fish caught, but weather all day was so perfect you could not have asked for a better day to enjoy!    a few more pics:100_4994_00 Methodist Church  21109elizabethhall-1 Elizabeth Hall.

For more visit:   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

dsc03807dsc03833dsc03818filler-stained-glass Yesterday went to Flea World to see the “big cats”. It turned out to be one huge bengal tiger named Woosy weighing almost 500 lbs. and when they brought him out of his cage and you looked at the size of him versus the handlers, there would have been no way they could have controlled that beast had he wanted to head for the wilds! Only a short fence separated us from him and it would been an easy leap into the stands for some native meat! But once freed from his cage, they lured him to a table and fed him meat chuncks while they talked about the animal rescue, Central Florida Animal Reserve a  non-profit org. in Cocoa Beach.  They have many big cats there and are trying to get the word out about conservation and the environmental impact on animals around the globe.  The man who spoke really knew the many aspects of big cats and the world conditions of wild animals and poaching. The big cat ate, then was lured back to his pen with more raw meat. I made sure I sat behind others so the cat would have a choice before getting to me if he decided to make that break.
Afterwards I wanderd through the mostly desolate place, so many vendors gone, booths empty. I wandered down one remote aisle and found a wealth of info in Book Conservator, Douglas Filler. He had a booth that stood out from the phony purses, gawdy jewelry, and old candy among the many arteries along the way. Dougs booth had a feel of true class and appreciation for antique books and their leather work and history.  He had a nice tiffany looking lamp and an antique desk with bookselves lined with interesting titles.  Doug restores old books,  has a fetish for old Bibles which he does amazing restoration on.  He also sells rare and old books, makes stained glass, makes beautiful glass detailed book cases, collects art noveau and Dali illustrations and loves to speak about folklore and obscure history. He was so enthusiastic about his craft and hobbies, has been restoring books for 15 years from his home in Geneva Fl.  It was so nice speaking to him because I love antiquarian poetry books. I only wish I had a bigger knowledge of folklore and history that he is so easily able to speak about.  It was a wonderful find and I hope he gets business from being so far away from the heart of the flea market throngs, though the throngs were very few on Friday. Anyway, his site is
http://www.curiouslore.com or email him directly at  douglas@curiouslore.com

    Today they kept saying would be wet. It threatened a lot with thunder and lightening off and on, but
I am still waiting for the big rain. In the meantime, because of bolts of electric zapping across the sky, I didn’t think it a good idea to take my fishing rod and go fish. The sky looked very convincing with it’s mean intention.
   The sky this morning at 6:00am was wonderfully rich with color, and the birds were active all day, as they seem to be when rain is coming. I would look outside and see beautiful flurries of blue and red and gray crossing paths to eat bird seed.
   The winds carried the songs of birds wrapped inside, what a gift for a quiet Friday…

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