Weekly Challenge – Intricate

“When we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.”

Carl Sagan

(6 photos)



This week Krista threw us a curveball with her challenge, Intricate. I’ve opened my response with an example of some incredible craftsmanship in Beijing, China. The details above are from the roof of one of the Imperial Palace buildings. One can only wonder how much time and effort went into the design and implementation of this amazing work.



“What we see above ground is only the outer margin of an ecosystem that explodes in intricacy and life below.”

Amy Seidl

As I have traveled throughout the world, I have been continually amazed by the incredible commitment of craftspeople everywhere. From a rooftop in China, to church domes such as the one above from our journey to  Budapest, to the beautiful scarves of a Vienna street market below, beauty has been lovingly and painstakingly created by people everywhere.



“Books are like women, all more or less have the same form, buts it’s the intricacies of what’s inside that makes them special.”

Dave Alexander Ramos

It has been said that whatever you choose to do, do it well or do it not at all. The intricacies of some of the beauty I’ve witnessed around the world gives tangible proof of how true this is. Below, the delicate lacework seen in a typical home in Provence, France.



“Imagination is … the basis of language, the arts, the sciences, systems of philosophy, and the all the vast intricacies of human culture.”

Ken Robinson

Closer to home, the beautiful sweetgrass baskets of the women of the Gullah culture – made with skills passed down for generations – provide another example of intricate beauty resulting from many hours of incredibly detailed effort.



 “The people who respond best to the intricacies of tea are people who enjoy wine.”

James Labe

Also perfected through generations here in Charleston, the delicate intricacy of iron working. In 2009 at age 97, we lost a local icon, master blacksmith Philip Simmons. In 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Mr. Simmons its National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States can bestow on a traditional artist. While he is no longer with us, his beautiful ironwork can be found throughout Charleston as well as in museums throughout the United States.



“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.”

Deepak Chopra

It seems wherever you look there is beauty to be found. In the efforts of craftspeople who create marvels such as I’ve shown here, or in the intricate natural beauty of a spider’s web or a butterfly’s wings, if you are open to it you will find it. To see the intricacies some other bloggers have featured, click here.

105 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge – Intricate

    • Thanks Tricia – we were in China for a month and honestly I could easily have spent another month and STILL have felt there was much more to discover! I found it fascinating and full of both natural and man-made wonders. A terrific destination for anyone interested in exploring other cultures.

  1. I’ve looked at your book “La Provence”. Loving it! There is a portrait of a white horse eating grass in Camargue that I adore 🙂

    • Thanks so much Paula, how nice of you to take the time! I loved La Camargue and wish we’d had a bit more time there. The white horse was very cooperative 😊

  2. What a lovely diverse collection for this challenge. The final quote from Deepak Chopra is very fitting, but I like your own reflections too. I think the lace is my favourite pic this week, although the pic of the gullah basket is very elegant.

  3. Great look at the intricacies humans are capable of producing ~ a true artist’s touch you bring out in these photos. I’ve always thought of artists as people who produce things of peace and hope which makes them so valuable to the world. Your photos brings these to us is art defined as well. Cheers to a great week ~

  4. Beautiful photo work by you, Tina and some very fine examples of great craftsmanship. Love the quotes and the stories behind your photos. You made me rethink about the Norwegian Hardangersøm now! 😉

  5. Hi Tina,
    Missed you so…😉
    Love, love, love all of these excellent photos
    specially the Sumptuous Scarves ~ clever
    for this theme! I have to say everything made by hands, hearts and minds are intricate
    masterpieces, don’t you think? Beautiful
    Entry once again, Cheers!

  6. A wonderful post, Tina!!! Your first shot..intricate craftsmanship is quite amazing! I just love seeing the world through your lens!! Thank u for that!!

  7. How beautiful! The window is my fav but all are so gorgeous. Would have never guessed the first was a roof. Such Pretty colors. The light & textures of the basket are amazing. Love the story behind the the iron works. Thanks T!

  8. What a beautiful interpretation on this week’s theme. ” if you are open to it you will find it” You are so right. Intricacies are all around us – that’s they beauty of life. The finer details always paints the bigger picture. It’s amazing how some of us can dedicate our entire lives to doing just one thing, like crafting art of sewing scarves. Certainly lots of love goes into such creations and no wonder so many works of art look so beautiful to the eye. Great shots 🙂

    • Thanks Mabel – yes your comment is right on the money. Some of us do only one thing but do it beautifully. Others (like myself) spread ourselves out among many things, enjoy them all, but never achieve greatness. Which is the best approach? Hard to say, isn’t it?!

  9. How lovely Tina , you’ve covered the great intricacy of craftsmanship from a great many people working together to complete a long lasting legacy to the *simple weaving of a basket by one …
    Great selection for the theme . I’m rather taken with that charming window in Provence 🙂

  10. These are all so lovely and your stories behind each shot are wonderful – especially your Curves of Iron shot.

  11. I loved the Carl Sagan quote – great start to your post! Your pictures were incredible – so very detailed and the intricacies showed up wonderfully. I think the lace in the windows was my favorite, but they’re all good.


  12. Tina, you’ve chosen some beautiful examples of intricacy. I’ve seen many of the lace curtains in Provence and they are truly beautiful, as are the shutters themselves. I love the Sweetgrass basket you showed. Every time I see or hear about them, I think of the tea shop ministries by Laura Childs. Have you read them? As usual, I enjoyed your quotes, especially the one linking tea and wine.


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