Words

Do you think that certain words are overused these days?

In conversations, in publications, in social media, there are words that are repeated over and over so much that they often lose their appeal. Their purpose.

I know ~I~ tend to overuse certain words when writing. I’ve caught myself repeating words like “like” and “as if” every other sentence. That’s one of the words/phrases I double check for when I read through something.

I also find myself saying “cool” and “wonderful” and “amazing” a lot. I suppose it doesn’t take much to impress me, and those are the words that instantly come up when I describe something new that I like.

The media is just as guilty of overuse to get a reaction, too “Exciting,” “cutting edge”, “innovative,” and “unprecedented” are just a few of the over-used words referred to in polls on the Internet.

Often these words, when seen, loose the punch they were meant to give. Especially if you overuse them in the same article/story/conversation.

But I also find that when you substitute words for the most popular ones, your pattern of speech changes. If I change out “I had a wonderful day yesterday!” with “I had a superb day yesterday!” does it feel the same? Flow the same? If I say “Her artwork is stunning” instead of “Her work is marvelous,”  does it mean the same thing?

I was thinking this morning about a name for this blog.  I wanted to talk about sharing information or advice or other blogs I enjoy with you. Sharing links or ideas or snippets of conversation that may bring a smile to your face.

Of course, you can also share drugs, diseases, gossip and hatred. Perhaps that’s the double edged sword of many words. They  can be taken either way.

All this came about because I wanted to let you know I enjoy sharing other people’s blogs with you. I know there are a million blogs out there, everyone creating their own niche, their own following. And that you already have too many blogs you are already committed to.

But like a great recipe, if there’s truth and/or humor and/or information to share from someone else’s offerings, it’s worth sharing. If you share because you are impressed and delighted by what you experienced, that’s good. If you share because it is an unpopular opinion or because you want others to be “on your side”,  that’s not as positive.

Try to extend and renovate your vernacular. Wonderful and amazing are great words, but use them sparingly. Find other adjectives for your same-o same-o. Shake it up! Reinvent yourself!

Sharing is cool. So is language. Use both to your embetterment!

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527–1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and books.

He was a conventional court painter of portraits for three Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague, also producing religious subjects and, among other things, a series of colored drawings of exotic animals in the imperial menagerie.Arcimboldo’s conventional work on traditional religious subjects has fallen into oblivion, but his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruit and tree roots, were greatly admired by his contemporaries and remain a source of fascination today.

Art critics debated whether these paintings were whimsical or the product of a deranged mind, but the  majority of scholars hold to the view that given the Renaissance fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre, Arcimboldo, far from being mentally imbalanced, catered to the taste of his times.Arcimboldo did not leave written certificates on himself or his artwork.After the deaths of Arcimboldo and his patron, the emperor Rudolph II, the heritage of the artist was quickly forgotten, and many of his works were lost.When the Swedish army invaded Prague in 1648, during the Thirty Years’ War, many of Arcimboldo’s paintings were taken from Rudolf II’s collection.His paintings have been cited as precursors to Surrealism and were highly prized by Salvador Dalí and other members of the movement.

More of Giuseppe Arcimboldo‘s wonderfully strange paintings can be found at https://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/ and https://www.wikiart.org/en/giuseppe-arcimboldo.

 

 

Where Your Thoughts Dwell | Heavenletters — Rainbow Wave of Light (repost)

 

Reach out for the diamonds and the rubies of the universe. 

Wonderful thoughts for a Saturday morning.

 

God said: You have to get out of thoughts about yourself, not because you have to be unselfish, but because thoughts about yourself are on a limited track. You can go only so far with thoughts about yourself. They are in a one-way direction, or they go round and round in a small circle. You […]

Where Your Thoughts Dwell | Heavenletters — Rainbow Wave of Light

 

 

Birth Is Easier Once It Happens

It felt like I birthed a baby. Although at 69 that would be somewhat of a miracle. 

The anticipation, the anxiety, the apprehension of putting something out there in front of the masses is an experience unlike any you have undergone.

People may laugh at your work.
People may make fun of your work.
People may not like your work.

For all that and more, most of us are not willing to put ourselves out in the open for others to view.

I know that’s how I felt when I had my first craft show. I mean — what are Angel Tears? Why would I want one? They’re homemade, not precisely crafted by a machine. The stone is a little off here, a little off there. 

Yet….

I birthed yet another fruit of my loins (so to speak) last Monday.

Put a book out there for people to download. For free. Something that had been percolating in various stages of embryonic development for 20 years.

Yes, 20 years.

I have written a lot more books since Corn and Shadows, but none like the first. The biggest hurdle has been jumped over, or, in my case, climbed over with a ladder and landing pads.

Isn’t that how your creativity goes?

Isn’t there something about your first creation that holds a special place in your heart?

Maybe it wasn’t your best work. Maybe it was rough at the edges or painted a little darkly or the stitches weren’t quite even.

But it was the first. Your first baby. And letting it go out into the world was a tough experience for you. Wasn’t it?

But if it wasn’t for that first release, that first foray into worlds not yours, for eyes not yours, emotions not yours, you would never have moved on to create what you do today.

For some, once is enough. For one reason or another, Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. Margaret Mitchell only wrote one book.

For others, hundreds of paintings or books or ceramic pieces aren’t enough.

But for me, Corn and Shadows was a start.

Don’t be afraid to share your work with the world. People just want to feel you, know you, through your work. Just another phase of taking one step out of the door. It is frightening and nerve wracking.

But it is also the most liberating feeling you will ever get from your own true self.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Boguslaw Strempel

 

Boguslaw Strempel is a photographer living in Dankowice, Śląskie, Poland.Strempel is know for showcasing the charming landscape of his country and of the Czech Republic.There is something at once magical, mysterious and eerie about fog, but Strempel focuses mainly on the former.He enjoys shooting landscapes in what appears to be the wee hours of the morning to capture the mist that hovers above tree lines and mountain ranges before being evaporated by the sun.Highlighting the stunning picturesque scenes in his own native country,  Strempel eeasily tempts people to travel to those beautiful countries.Full of staggering beauty, his portfolio captivates the magic of the land and the wilderness. A step into Strempel’s photographs is a step into the past.

More of Boguslaw Strempel‘s breathtaking photography can be found at 500px and at ArtPeopleNet.

 

 

Corn and Shadows is Available as a Free E-Book

 

I am thrilled to be able to offer you my first book for free download!

 

Corn and Shadows

 

Midlife covers a wide range of emotions and second thoughts, and 43-year-old Annabella Powers was experiencing them all.  Frustrated with her job, her husband, and herself, all she wanted was a little excitement in her boring life.
Crashing her car at the bottom of a rain-soaked hill, Anna wakes up in 1880 Claremont with broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Doing her best to recover, she is drawn into an atmosphere of suppression and strict social mores as she befriends the 17-year-old daughter of the estate while matching wits with the domineering matriarch and her bullish son. Besides all of that, Anna finds herself falling for the estate’s caretaker, a handsome rogue half her age.
A story of twisted relationships and forbidden love that may tear the family apart, this is a novel of self-discovery as a woman comes to grips with her age and emotions in a world not her own. 

 

Just go to the Corn and Shadows page and click the title.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comments, criticisms, and questions are always welcome.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Jennybird Alcantara

Jennybird Alcantara is a Contemporary Surrealist painter from Oakland, California.

Deeply inspired by mythology, transformation, and the logic of liminal, dreamlike states, Alcantara is celebrated for her oil paintings of fantastic worlds populated by whimsical creatures and symbols.Characterized by ornate forms painted in luminous colors including pinks and reds, Alcantara’s style appears to be influenced by both academic realism and popular Surrealists.

Her art has been described as morbidly romantic, with a dreamlike narrative at its core, reflecting the connections between living beings and their environments.

Some works combine human and animal forms as well as flowers and decorative objects in a single composition that resembles a portrait or silhouette.Alcantara combines these motifs to create a symbol of the universal connection between all beings.She claims that she takes an intuitive approach to creating her brilliantly hued paintings.Alcantara’s art uses the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between, as well as the relationship between the beauty and cruelness of nature, that of the natural world as well as human and animal nature.

More of Jennybird Alcantara’s wonderful art can be found at https://www.jennybirdart.com/.

 

 

Faerie Paths — Fairy Child

 

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild–
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

~ Robert Graves

 

The Weird World of Evil

I’d like to do a little speculating, a little exploring, a little wondering today. Come play me……

Let us first clear the way with this  miserable disclaimer just so we can talk:  I am not challenging anyone’s faith, doubting anyone’s truths, nor making sport of anything sacred, eternal, or inspirational. 

Now.

The movie Solomon Kane begins:

There was a time when the world was plunging into darkness and chaos
A time of witchcraft and sorcery.
A time when no one stood against evil.

Now you know me. I like to play with ideas and words and dreams. And the beginning words of this movie made me wonder.

What exactly is evil? What turns people into evil creatures? 

Let’s leave out the devil for a moment. The Prince of Darkness, Antichrist, and Diabolus, too.

Evil begins as a state of mind. A state of emotional instability.

Now most of us are emotionally unstable now and then. Many of us are questionable, period. But we don’t turn evil — we don’t kill or maim or abuse. We don’t haunt or terrorize or cause irreputable damage to minds or bodies.

Babies aren’t born evil. I don’t believe there is a code in one’s DNA that says “this one is evil.”

So where does it come from?

Is it bred into someone from birth? Is it manifested by abusive parents or negative sensations or  bullying at school? Is it a result of a bruised ego? A broken heart? An unbearable pain?

Hitler was an evil man. His part in World War II contributed to over 42 million deaths (and that’s a conservative estimate).  Was he evil because he merely wanted to keep the species pure? Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (259–210 BCE),  was responsible for the death of over a million people just because he wanted to build a wall to keep out the nomadic tribes of the north. Genghis Khan (1206–1227)  was reported to have killed upwards of 40 million people building the great Mongol Empire, having reduced the world’s (then)  population by as much as 11%. Did he manifest all that evil just to be the boss? An estimated 30-40 million Chinese died as a result of Mao Zedongs repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “Marxism–Leninism” China. Was he evil because he wanted all of his people to think alike?

Then there’s small time evil. Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Scott Pederson. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Uvalde. The list could fill — does fill — pages in the history books. 

You see what I mean? 

These people were the personification of evil. Self centered, single minded, steadfast in their point of view. I do not one teeny tiny bit understand nor condone their thoughts, their actions.

But were they evil? Or merely misinformed? Misguided?

Evil is not the thing of sorcerers and demons. It is a human-bred mental illness that spreads from the host to those around them.

I often wondered why Sauron wanted to rule all the people in Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings. Or Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. Fiction is just as full of evil doers who want to rule and don’t mind killing half the population to get their way. Was it for the money? For the fame? For slights against their character, real or imagined?

Evil is so much more complicated than black and white statements. It doesn’t come from talismans or mirrors or crypts or buried crosses. Evil doesn’t arise from spells or enchantments or curses.

It is much more personal. Which makes it much more real.

You have to admit, evil is one of those esoteric topics that never really have an explanation or reason. 

Where do you think evil comes from?

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Terhi Tolvanen

Terhi Tolvanen was born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, and studied silversmithing at the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts.She moved to Amsterdam in 1993 to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Instituut, from which she graduated with a master’s degree.Though she began with silver, Tolvanen later began to and make sculptural jewelry using unconventional materials.The artist is revered for her observations of nature transformed into stunning, sculptural jewelry.Juxtaposing wooden branches with silver metalwork, concrete, pearls and stone, her wearable sculptures transcend expectations and norms. Her repertoire of materials is amazing: silver, metalwork, concrete, opals, light and dark pearls, stone, and more; woods include cherry, Corkscrew willow, hornbeam, pear, heather, lavender, and elm.This amazing artists creates all forms of jewelry, but for this showcase I chose her necklaces for display.Tolvanen makes no compromises, yet they feel comfortable in their scale as they are comfortably built for wear, as if nature intended them to be just as they are, and for them to be worn.“I feel as if making jewelry is a dance,” Tolvanen shares. “I feel I should go along with materials, not work against them. What I’m trying to do is isolate the best in the material, to use it in a logical way.”More of Terhi Tolvanen‘s unusual and wonderful jewelry can be found at https://www.terhitolvanen.com/. 

 

 

I Want to Go Somewhere!

I know — it’s usually in the depths of winter when the snow is blocking the doorway and cars are slipping into the ditch and the temperatures barely reach zero that people get cabin fever and want to get out and go somewhere.

Here it is, the beautiful full days of summer, green fields and golden corn and lazy fishing in the late morning and I want to go somewhere!

Anywhere!

I don’t have much money, my husband doesn’t have any vacation time left (except for the scheduled fishing and hunting trips), I have a craft fair coming up in a few months that I need to make inventory for, grandkids to see and entertain, and yet…

I want to wander aimlessly down some artsy street and stop at some nameless café and watch the people wander by as I sip a glass of Moscato or lemonade.

I want to wear oversized flowy dresses and boho hats and lots of fun crafty jewelry and stop at art galleries and copy down names for my Gallery blog and find an off beat bar that plays jazz and swoon until I get sleepy, then wander to my hotel and fall heavily and blissfully asleep.

I want to try local cuisine and buy homemade crafts and try not to look too touristy while I try and pick up their local accent. I want to get confused with the time change and local customs and sit in the park and listen to their neighborhood orchestra do their best to play Moonlight Serenade.

I want to watch the crowds on the city streets ebb and flow with a natural rhythm that is special to that particular part of town, and enjoy the city’s night lights from a quiet bench not far from where I’m staying. I want to try a small town’s version of Chinese food and a big city’s attempt at a Chicago-style hot dog.

I want to sleep late and stay up late and sample the local news and weather reports and watch the crop reports when it’s raining out. Then I want to find the rain and dance like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain.

I want to watch sunrise on the lake and sunset over the mountains. I want to feed popcorn to the birds and chocolate truffles to myself. I want to cry for those who couldn’t be there with me and text those who wish they were.

I have cabin fever right smack in the middle of summer.

Where should I go?

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alisa Lariushkina

Russian artist Alisa Lariushkina molds countless coiled ribbons and small twists from air-dry clay to create idyllic scenes brimming with color and texture.

Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Lariushkina erases the line between painting and sculpture with her mesmerizing polymer clay art.

Instead of paints, this Lithuania-based artist uses these versatile modelling medium to draw the images on a flat canvas.

Thus, she creates tactile paintings that you can both see and feel.

She renders scenic landscapes by sculpting pieces of clay into expressive, swirling shapes that resemble lines.

The individual pieces of clay that make up each artwork are by formed by hand and glued together.

Describing her work, Lariushkina says, “I make figures and framed landscapes of clay. I developed my own style in 2015, using various materials for sculpting: air-dry clay, paper clay, acrylic paints, crystals, and beads.”

“…I can tell you that I came to [clay sculpting] quite spontaneously…Since then, I improved the technology, found the best materials, and made my products more durable and of better quality.”

More of Alisa Lariushkina’s delightful sculptures can be found at https://www.instagram.com/liskaflower and at https://mymodernmet.com/alisa-lariushkina-polymer-clay-art/.

 

 

Faded Memories — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art (repost)

I love the colors, I love the thought of Asemic writing. Tiffany always seems to capture my mood through her paintings. Especially on this Saturday night.

Maybe her colors and her style will capture your mood, too….

There’s something mysterious about Asemic writing. What does it say? What does it mean? What language is it?? The answer is nothing. Asemic writing is just scribbles, marks, and nonsense. It adds whimsy and character to abstract art. It can suggest a love letter, a dear John letter, all kinds of scenarios! I’m constantly reminded […]

Faded Memories — Tiffany Arp-Daleo Art

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Normalynn Ablao

Artist Normalynn Ablao has taken her talent for crocheting to a whole other world — the world of food.Based in Lathrop, California, Ablao creates amazing-looking food out of yarn. Her creations are so delicious-looking they often leave you hungry. Swapping starch for stitches, crafter Ablao (aka Copacetic Crocheter) crochets “fiber-rich” crocheted cakes, cookies, and pasta made of 100% yarn.

The pieces are charming in their scale while paying homage to comforting meals.Ablao views the possibilities of a crochet hook in the same way a lettering artist would see a pen.

“The dynamic between the crochet hook and yarn continues to amaze me,” she says. “The crochet hook is like a pen, and together with yarn, it’s as if I’m writing in cursive, which represents beauty and grace.”“I have a profound appreciation for edible art and am grateful I can create fiber food for all of us to enjoy its transient nature over and over again.”

Ablao is a non-profit intermediary helping to raise funds for non-profit organizations.

Her reward, she shares, is fourfold: crocheting is therapeutic; contributing to charity provides the support it needs; helping to improve the welfare of the environment, people and animals are self-fulfilling; and the entire process makes her happier each time.

More of Normalynn Ablao‘s delicious looking creations can be found on her website, https://www.copaceticcrocheter.com/, and at showcases such as Instagram and  https://mymodernmet.com/normalynn-ablao-crochet-food/.

 

 

A Victim By Choice

One of the reasons I have too much on my plate is that I overfill it all the time.

I suppose that’s acceptable if it’s Thanksgiving dinner, otherwise the pressure  to get it all done in a respectable amount of time is pretty high.

Now, I am not an over-achiever — far from it. I do my best to finish what I start, and most time do a pretty good job of it.

But now and then (more now than then) I get some sooper dooper idea and get all pumped up at the front end and once I put my foot in the water it’s too late to pull it out.  I have to go in all the way.

Sometimes I wait a spell before I jump in. Finding (and paying for) a booth at a craft fair. Making plans to meet family or friends for dinner. Flying out of state for a wedding.

Other times I jump in without thinking. Booking (and paying for) a second craft fair. Offering to bring a dish to tomorrow’s whatever and not having a thing in the house to cook.

I suppose we all do that. Get swept away in the moment. Fall for the grander scheme. I mean gee — it seemed like such a great idea at the time!

I’ve been thinking/dealing/researching getting older and how it affects us all for quite a while now, either as a participant or an assistant or a planner.  I put together some thoughts and a five topic outline and want to make it part of a weekly blog for five weeks here.

Man, that’s such a great idea up front!

But what about two weeks in? Will I have enough information? Will I be able to make the point I’m trying to make? Will I get responses and interactions from my audience?

This time I’ve taken a paumse between idea and implementation. It’s like the menu I made last night for dinner doesn’t look as sparkling in this morning’s light.

That’s the point of today’s ramble. Don’t discard you flashes of insight, your great ideas, your real out-of-the-box experiences. There is a reason you get these feel-good, lots-of-work ideas. Don’t suppress them — let them out into the daylight!

You don’t have to act and react to them immediately or even do anything about them. But you should acknowledge them.  Toss them around like shrimp in butter. Think about how they cook. How much work it would be. If you’ve been looking for something new and different to try.

It’s all good. Believe me — you can do it!!

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wilfried Grootens

Glass artist Wilfried Grootens was born in Uedem, a small town in the German countryside near the Dutch border.At the age of 15, Grootens first apprenticed as a glass painter at the Derix Company in Germany where he learned to restore antique stained glass windows.Four years later he left on a near decade-long adventure to travel the world, play music, and experience the cultures of Asia and South America before eventually returning to his work with glass.In 1988, he received a Master Craftsman’s Diploma in Munich and by the following year had opened his own studio in Kleve.By the 1980s, he had mastered the optical float technique where he paints, stacks, laminates and polishes layers of glass to create his sculptures.The cubes are cut and polished to perfection. His painted patterns seem to float within the cube, creating a magical display of optical illusionThousands of very fine brush strokes of varying tones on each layer recede or expand in size gradually and, when seen together, form a miraculous three dimensional globe which seems to be suspended in the cube.“With my glass painting I fill transparent, geometric spaces whose visual explorations produce surprising variations in forms,” Grootens explains. “Different perspectives on apparent spherical floating built-up forms of linear brush strokes reveal to the viewer new perspectives within the object‘s space.

More of Wilfred Grootens‘  amazing glass work can be found at https://wilfriedgrootens.de/en/wilfried-grootens-glas-artist/ and https://contempglass.org/artists/entry/wilfried-grootens.

 

A Few Blogging Thoughts

According to Website Setup, in 2021 there were over 600 million blogs on the web.

Think about that. 600 million blogs. 600,000,000 individuals decided to put their thoughts, their experience, their advice on the Internet. That’s THREE TIMES the population of the state of California (Population: 39,613,493).  That’s more than the 2022 population of the United States (332,529,000).

Think about that. A lot more than attended Woodstock in 1969 (500,0000),  more than the largest attendance of a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XIV, 103,985), more than Mick Jagger’s net worth (500 million).

That’s how many people who were offering their thoughts/opinions in their own setting called a blog in 2021.

Where do we all fit in?

I didn’t check, but if 600 million writers published three blogs a week, that would be 1,800,000,000 chances to read or learn something new in one year.

Again … where do we all fit in?

It’s easy to get overrun by numbers. Like a non stop train from Chicago to St. Louis, once it get going there’s not much (short of catastrophe) that can stop it.

I myself am NOT a numbers person. I’m more than lost in a crowd of five. So you would think being faced with such numbers, such odds, would be overwhelming.

It’s not.

In a world as big and diverse as blogging, writing what you write won’t matter to approximately 409 million people who view more than 20 billion pages a month (Ultimate List of Blogging Statistics and Facts, Updated for 2022)

But it will matter to you. To those one or two people who “get it.”

That is why you have to constantly work on perfecting your craft. Know who you are and what you want to share. Be an authority on what you write, even if you are still learning (and don’t be afraid to say you’re still learning!)

Have a purpose to your story. Whether it’s a parable, lesson, advice, or encouragement, do your best to connect with your readers.  Even if your blog is sharing grief or confusion, share it in a way that others can learn from it or understand it a little easier.

Next week I’m getting together with my bestie mother/daughter team to help them both get started on their own blog.  What they’re going to write I don’t know. But I want to show them how to start … how to keep it going. And how to keep excited with every new offering.

I might not be as good as 599,999,999 other teachers, but I’m alright. 

Get your own gig going! And spread the word!

 

 

I Love When Creative People Get Excited

I want to talk about a friend’s blog this morning — a friend that I made through this blog. I’ve never met her in person, but from her creativity I can tell we’d be besties in no time flat. That’s because I find her constantly creating, constantly experimenting, constantly exploring.

Laura Kate over at Daily Fiber is always doing something. Quilting, knitting, collage. I’m already envious of her expanding boundaries. But Laura writes about everything — the beginnings, the ends, the frustrations, and the victories.

She is but one of the creative sprites I’ve met on this magical journey.

That’s what we should always strive for. Trying something new, loving it if we don’t succeed, loving it more if we do. Creativity is an open ended road. Curving, climbing, keeping straight for long stretches of time. But it’s always moving forward, always evolving. Always improving.

Let me know how YOU deal with that creative muse that’s always tickling your fancy. And click on the link below to see the beginning of her knitting project!

 

Cast-on Monday: Search and Swatch

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sunday Evening Art Gallery 1

Today’s blog is for those of you who love art. Unique Art. Amazing Art.

I have been going back over past Sunday Evening Art Gallery blogs for various reasons, and it has brought back phenomenal feelings and memories of artists of various fields.

My first year of posting art was 2015. I published 37 blogs that year. a mere drop in the bucket to later years. A mere drop in the bucket for many of you.

But what artists in those 37 blogs! They were amazing! ARE amazing!

I can’t share all 37 here, but I thought I’d start sharing 10 at a time. Just as a reminder. Just as another way to show you the magic of Creativity.

 

Stairways to Nowhere

 

Clark Little

 

Martin Koegl

 

Stilettos/High Heels

 

Kurt Wenner

 

Crowns

 

Guido Daniele

 

Svetlana Bobrova

 

Nathalie Miesbach

 

Kaleidoscopes

 

 

Three Shades of Midnight

 

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
Whether to keep me away from monsters under the bed
Or to help my dreams I do not know
Danger lies in what you cannot see
And more so in what you can
and fear of the unknown a constant
The world is strange and wonderful
Yet it’s midnight and my feet are off the floor.

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
I don’t think it helped with the monsters under my bed tonight.
They slipped outside when I wasn’t looking.
I ran onto the deck and shouted at the screams hey hey stop that
After an intense struggled and haunted response it stopped
I shot a beam into the darkness. Two beady silver eyes looked back.
My dreams will be alive tonight, taking me where they will.
But it’s midnight and my feet are off the floor.

 

It’s midnight…and my feet are off the floor.
I barely made it, imagination stalking my heels.
I must stop this falderal and fiddle-dee-dee.

The moon is almost full and poetry this is not.
Too much goes on in this world I will never understand.
Better to deal with the monsters under my bed and dreams in my head.
Nonsense is easier to bear when it comes from within.
All is well now, for it is midnight and my feet are off the floor.

http://www.rasaint.net/ - Glitter Graphics

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Il Lee

Il Lee is best known for his ballpoint pen artwork; large-scale abstract imagery on paper and canvas.He also creates artwork in a similar vein utilizing acrylic and oil paint on canvas. Lee, born in 1952, is a Korean painter who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.Lee received his B.F.A. (painting) in 1976 from Hongik University, a Korean school said to be “Western oriented.” He then moved to America; first to Los Angeles, then to New York, where he earned his M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in 1982. He studied etching as his minor at Pratt, and the sharp needles became a preferred tool. The sharpness of its line interested him enough to continue pursuing it through other avenues.

 The earlier works were all drawn on paper, but Lee soon began to work on large, primed canvases.The artist spends weeks, sometimes months, applying layer upon layer of ink to each artwork.Linework is built-up through a “scribbling” technique reliant upon the “speed, spin, and angle” of his pen in repetitive motions, sometimes becoming so dense that the line-work becomes a flat field of ink.The thicker layers can appear coagulated on the surface of the paper or canvas, with the dried ballpoint ink giving off a shiny purplish-blue hue.When working with paint on canvas Lee utilizes empty pen casings and other tools such as bamboo sticks, scribbling in the same gestural manner onto a wet surface layer to reveal colors underneath — an inversion of his ballpoint method.

More of Il Lee‘s distinctive artwork can be found at https://artprojects.com/il-lee/il-lee-ballpoint-pen-on-paper/. 

 

 

Cool Me Off

A humid, cloudy, lazy Saturday here in the U.S. Midwest.

It’s summer. Smack dab in the middle of heat, mosquitoes, and humidity. This is the type of weather that we go to art fairs, Renaissance Faires, and family picnics. We sit outside and sweat while we play baseball or bags, admire paintings we can’t afford, and push the kids on the swings.

We also try and get a lot of chores done during this hot, sticky, unbreathable weather. Not only do we undertake bi-weekly tasks like mowing the lawn and pulling weeds, but work on the car, walk the dogs, barbeque everything, and go to baseball games.

We are very active in the summer. Just like we’re supposed to be.

My problem is that I sweat walking across the street during this weather. My pores get a cleansing whether I want them to or not. It’s hard to look beautiful when your skin is shiny with sweat and your hair is up and you’re wearing the least amount of clothes possible.

Not that beauty matters anymore — but hygiene does. Comfort does. Endurance does.

All the art fairs and music concerts and medieval times around here are all in the hottest months of the year, July and August. They are fun,  family oriented, and entertaining. Artists finally get to show their wares, cream puffs and funnel cakes take center stage, and you can stop and listen to almost any kind of music your little rhythm heart desires.

So what is the point of all of this?

I had to stop and think of this one. Seeing as when I started writing I was going in one direction, and between cream puffs and music I got lost.

Maybe it’s just that there is always something to do during the hot summer months. There is no reason to lock yourself away or complain that there’s nothing to do. The world offers so many things to explore, and summertime is no different than other seasons.

Yes, there are uncomfortable parts to summer….bugs and sweat among the top 10.

But there’s also so many rewards. The thrill of watching a little kid hit a baseball. The fresh air of the morning while you take yourself or or dog for a walk. The beauty of pottery or metalworking or watercolors from hard working artists. The beauty of flowers bursting in full colorful blooms everywhere you look. The thrill of nature that surrounds you when you are camping or riding in a canoe.

The heat will pass. So will the mosquitoes. Prepare well, then get yourself out in the world. It’s waiting for you.

What kind of activities are you all about in the summer?

 

 

 

 

It’s TIme to Open the Doorways to Our Minds … (repost)

A repost of my friend’s Sketchuniverse repost of Janet’s blog at My Life as an Artist (2)…  (whew! I kept it straight!)  It’s a beautiful post — a feel-good post — check both of their sites out!

 

It’s time to Open the Doorways to our minds so that we can adapt to our changing world.

capturing shadow play on courtyard steps in Olhao Portugal – watercolour.   Disappearing steps symbolise for me – the unknown….

 

If ever there is a place that is conducive to exploring the creative process….it has been the school in Olhao, Portugal where I have been fortunate enough to teach for quite a few years.      A place I have come to think of as a second home….

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Spiral Staircases

 

The mind spirals down
The swirling staircase
Searching for its quick escape

Spiral Staircase,  Mira Matar

 

Spiral Staircase, the Louvre , Paris

 

 

Living Staircase, Paul Cocksedge

 

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest

 

Umschreibung Stairs, Munich, Germany

 

 

Baroque Staircase, Melk Abbey, Austria

 

 

Siller Stairs

 

Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia

 

The Sprinkenhof,, Hamburg, Germany

 

 

Life is always interesting, isn’t it?

Craig Haupt

Life is always interesting, isn’t it?

Just when you think you know something, something else comes along and pulls the rug out from under you.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there’s a big foam pad to fall on.

I had a blog written for today, one that was about people being contradictions, saying one thing and doing another. It was a whiney little blog that, on one hand, was therapeutic, on the other said nothing new.

Then I talked to one of my best friends.

One who transferred jobs and picked up and moved three states away, leaving us friends back in Wisconsin forlorn and texting. 

It was a delightful conversation.

We complained about the usual things, laughed about family and people and personalities and told each other how important it was for us — for women — to have our own personal time and personal space, and talked about getting older and aches and pains, and shared camping stories. 

And the fog lifted.

Why do I bore you with this triviality?

To show you that it doesn’t take much to turn things around. To turn half empty to half full. To turn adversity into a learning, growing opportunity.

We all get into ruts. The same old job, the same old family disputes. The same dinner menu on Mondays and the same shopping schedules on Wednesdays. Nothing wrong with ruts, except you never get anywhere. It’s like being stuck in quicksand. 

All you need to get out of the rut is a shot of friendship. A meeting of the minds. A dip in the pool of Creativity. Whether you are connecting with an old friend, a new friend, or Vincent Van Gogh, all you need is a peek in someone else’s mind. A glimpse of someone else’s dreams. 

In making intellectual connections you are able to rise above the ruts and find a way to make a better life. Better choices. A chance to work on those dreams you’ve kept hidden for so long.

That’s why I am always pushing Creativity. In all its forms, all its diversities. The art of friendship is no different than the art of painting or calligraphy. All are enlightening, all are opportunities to shake off the gloom and moodiness that comes from ritualistic routines.

Talking to my friend reminded me that it’s time to get back into my own Art Experience. There’s always something new waiting around the corner. 

For you and for me.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Christel Assante

French artist Christel Assante creates detailed carvings on egg shells using  knives, vinegar, and a diamond coated mini drill.Born and raised in France, she grew up with no artistic education, more of just regular school, and  did not go to college.Assante likes to draw a lot, and is not sure what got her into egg art, but possibly the idea of symbols being transformed to a 3D environment.She uses emu, ostrich, nandu, goose, pheasant, duck, and quail eggs for her art, but prefers the nandu because it is thick and gives more possibilities, but very difficult to find.While she is carving, she prefer to hold the egg shell in her hand to minimize vibrations.It can take her up to eight hours to carve a goose egg shell and one week for an ostrich egg shell.Once her piece is completed, a light bulb is placed inside the carved shell through a hole which magical reveals every tiny, intricate detail in her creation.“The egg shape allows to present scenes which evolve as you turn it around,” Assante shares. “I like this idea …”More of Christel Assante‘s amazing carvings can be found at https://www.art-et-artisanat-du-monde.com/francais/boutique/Liste_oeuf_christel.php.

 

 

 

I’m So Excited!

I have been combing the world — and the Internet — for unique artists for upcoming Sunday Evening Art Gallery blogs, and I must say, I am so pumped!

Thank you for being a part of my past and my future. Unique art is everywhere — let’s find it together.

 

FUTURE ART GALLERIES

 

Wilfried Grootens

 

Boguslaw Strempel

 

Christel Assante

 

Gil Bruvel

 

 

 

Take Your Reader on The Journey! (Revisited) — Writing your first novel-Things you should know (repost)

Doing a little research, I found Jan originally wrote about this topic on November 19, 2019.

The advice is still spot-on.

Get writing! Today if possible — Tomorrow at the latest!

 

 

I’ve written several blogs patting authors on the back and thanking them for the joy they provide to people like my mom. She is elderly and can’t go to the places she would like to visit, but my mom loves books. They take her not only to places she would like to go, but places […]

Take Your Reader on The Journey! (Revisited) — Writing your first novel-Things you should know

 

 

Another Try…all and Err…or

Here it is, actually Sunday night, and I’m feeling agitated/messed up/peaceful/chatty/thoughtful once again. I’m sure you’re all here somewhere with me.

I have been thinking about starting some kind of routine/ritual both in the morning before I get out of bed and in the evening before I go to sleep. Something to refocus me: something to guide me, relax me, teach me; something to give my mental chatter and A.D.D. a rest.

I’m not much for religion these days — I held onto a little bit of it through the years, just enough get me through, but I think most of it disappeared when I lost my son.

I’ve tossed around several Goddesses for a number of years, along with spirit guides (who helped me write my books) and guardian angels who watched my back. I’ve looked for faeries to light my way, along with miracles meant only for me and words that blow through the pine trees that only I could hear.

So perhaps it’s time to take a break from the airy fairy and try some actual, old fashioned therapy.

I’ve thought about reading poetry before I get up in the morning. Not necessarily the creations of friends and newfound poets, but the old-fashioned ones. Robert Frost and taking the road less travelled and Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and Marilou Angelou. Beautiful, soulful poetry. Simple start-the-day poetry. No preaching; just musical words.

A beautiful way to start a day, don’t you think?

Then, when all the madness of the day is done, instead of wasting time online on Facebook or some other mindless rot, I have started going to bed, listening to soothing music, and reading a classic, physical book. Not an iPad book, not a magazine — a real live  book.

I am beginning to think our grandparents and great grandparents had it right. No TikTok, no television series we have to catch up on, no blasting rock and roll or video games till midnight. I mean, all those are wonderful activities — but not when we need to sleep.

Life is full of love and play and intellectual stimulation. Full of highs and lows and frustrations and dead ends. But it’s also a gateway to wonderful worlds, wonderful thoughts. We just have to find a way to get to them.

It’s the calming of the mind that recharges us. The calming of the psyche. The calming of the soul. We can deal with anything during the day, but it’s the dawn and the twilight that really connects with our soul. Our center.

We need to find ways to reconnect.

If you have access to Amazon Music, there are a couple of music playlists that work well for me: Studying Music: Music to Study By, Relaxing Piano, Study Music, New Age Music, Meditation Music, Classical Piano,  Calm Music Piano: Soothing, Relaxing, Soft Background Music for Sleep, Massage, and More,  and Study Music: Soothing, Calm, Relaxing New Age Music and Classical Piano for Studying, Meditation, Yoga. 

Most of the music is minor chord relaxation music — I hope it helps you relax and dream as well.

Let me know how YOU reconnect with yourself.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Pablo Reinoso

Pablo Reinoso is a multidisciplinary artist known for his sculptures and public installations. Born in Buenos Aires and living in Paris since 1978,  Reinoso combines surrealistic concepts with furniture design to create immersive structures using wood, stone, and metal.His passion for the arts developed at a young age, and he studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires before fleeing to Paris in 1978 to escape the political upheaval in Argentina.The artist creates his artwork through different series where he crosses, grinds up, rummages through, and explores different worlds and materials.Having studied architecture but being multifaceted, curious, and often self-taught, Reinoso has always straddled disciplines (sculpture, photography, architecture, design).A constant feature in his work is his penchant for endlessly questioning, subverting, using materials or objects against their grain, bringing opposites together, and playing with the limits of impossibility. “The extravagance of spirals and twists in my sculptures has led some critics to describe my art as “baroque,” but in truth, I always create my pieces with minimalism in mind.,” Reinoso says.“Though winding, the lines are always clean and distinct, and monochromatic tones have permeated my collections across the years.”More of Pablo Reinoso‘s wonderful designs can be found at https://www.pabloreinoso.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Věra Lišková

Czech artist and designer Věra Lišková (1924–1985) was a Czech artist and designer known for her use of clear glass and her intricate final products.Lišková studied at the State Graphic School in Prague from 1939 until it was closed during World War II; she graduated from the School of Applied Arts in 1949.She began her career as a designer of functional glassware, working for such glass companies as the Vienna-based J. & L. Lobmeyr and Moser.Lišková started to make her borosilicate glass sculptures in the late 1960s.The artist pioneered the technique of working borosilicate glass over an oxygen flame, which enabled her to make the large, abstract sculptures for which she is best known.Both strong and delicate, Lišková’s work reflects the nature of the material used to create these detailed art pieces.Many of her pieces include spiny, sharp designs and clean lines, all bringing into focus her fine glass work.More of Věra Lišková’s glasswork can be found at http://www.artnet.com/artists/vera-liskova/.

 

 

Finally Finished Friday — Daily Fiber (repost)

I once naively thought that quilting was about sewing together pieces of fabrics that appealed to the quilter. While this is true, Laura Kate has shown that often there is a story behind the material. A story of someone’s world, of someone’s heart.

Take a few minutes and see how my friend has put together a quilt made of pieces created in another time, another place.

Starting back in January with some musings over passed-along weaving samples, today I celebrate the finish of a fiber object unlike anything I have done before. Margaret Howard wove her samples on a small loom that she kept at the family’s summer house in northwestern Wisconsin. When I first saw them, I felt that these […]

Finally Finished Friday — Daily Fiber

 

 

 

Friends, Friendship, Friends Forever

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

~ William Shakespeare

 

I just came back from meeting one of my besties for lunch (Hi Andi!). My friend is fun and witty and loves doing things with her family and friends. I had a great time.

Last week I went shopping and stayed overnight with four of my besties from my old neighborhood. We hadn’t seen each other since the memorial, and we shopped and laughed and and talked till 1:30 am. We all had a great time.

A month or two ago we met our two besties half way between Tennessee and Wisconsin and toured Indiana’s covered barns. We ate and laughed and drove around and camped and had a great time.

Two months ago we went over to our besties house and had dinner. We talked about kids and upcoming craft fairs and had a great time.

Whenever I go to my kid’s house, no matter what kind of day we’ve all had, we always manage to talk and laugh and gossip and have a great time. (Hi Sarah!) Bring in her parents and every day is a party — even when we all are dog tired and can’t move off the sofa.

You may say I’m lucky.

You may think I have the gift of friendship or the gift of gab — or both.

But friendships come easy, right?

The minute you hang with someone you can tell if they’re going to be lifelong pals and confidants or if they’ll just do for the evening. That’s the easy part.

Real friendship takes work.

It takes calling them, even if you’re the last one to make contact. It takes driving longer than you want to drive just to meet for dinner or shopping. It means giving up something you want to do to do something your friend wants to do.

It means asking — and taking — help, even if you don’t think you need it.

You can have one best friend or a dozen. Your bestie can be a male, female, or gender neutral. They can be your classmate, your neighbor, or your mother-in-law.

Friendship has no boundaries, no parameters. It just is. 150% of you. All the time. No matter what.

Sometimes friendships get tested. Distance, morals, misunderstandings. Things said and misunderstood. Things misspoken yet heard correctly.  Friendship can be roasted, toasted, and tested.

Some make it through fire and ice.

Others break apart and drift away.

But we all can have friends. We all need friends.

True friends love you just the way you are — with all your quirks, with all your weaknesses, with all your dreams.  Friends are there to pick up the pieces and glue you back together.

And, if you are a true and honest friend, you will glue them back together too.

Give your friend a call this evening. Drop them a text. Even if it’s been a year. A month. Yesterday. Give Give and Give some more. Don’t ask for anything back — just enjoy the giving part. That’s who you are. 

If your gift of love is used and abused, that’s not your problem. It’s theirs. Tenfold.  You were always true to yourself. So move on. 

One never said friendship was perfect. But one thing I do know —

Make sure you are your own best friend first. 

 

 

 

Is Creativity Considered an Art Thing?

Now that I’m done running around for a few weekends I am ready to stay home for a few weeks and CREATE a few things.

First off, of course, is to create a version of a clean house.

But I digress.

After all the “chores” that need to be caught up on, before I start the assembly line for new Angel Tears for my Fall show, there are things I want to do around here that are basically …. creative.

I wonder if I am being an artist while I rearrange the pots on the front deck to look like an outdoor room? If going through the stack of artwork we have collected in the last 30 years to find fresh pictures to hang on our bedroom walls is a form of Art Appreciation? Is moving a plant from the bathroom counter to the window sill testing the esthetics of the world of art? 

Repainting my bathroom and closet and bedroom was the biggest art project I’ve been involved with in years. Two tones of gray, painting the edges of the shelves a different color, new rugs, new shower stall, all were brought such a wonderful feeling of contentment when finished. I picked out the perfect water glass,  moved a wrought iron sun from a forgettable place in the basement to the top of the cabinet, and bought the cutest pots to repot plants we received at the memorial.

It was so much fun. It felt like I was creating Installation Art.

Is this what an artist feels before they paint their next picture? Before they carve their next statue? 

Dictionary.Com has a few descriptions of this very big three-letter word:

1.  the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. 

2.  the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. 

That covers a pretty wide territory. But does it cover making a dinosaur garden in the backyard with my grandson? Does it include taking the pile of “stuff” off the kitchen table and replacing it with a vase with pretty flowers in it? 
Art is many things.  You are an artist, whether you believe it or not. If it brings you pleasure, a feeling of success, if it is satisfying and organized or just plain pretty, you have created art.
I hope our Creative friendship lasts a long time. I love hearing what you do to make the world a more attractive — dare I say prettier — place.
Don’t be afraid to share your artsy ideas. We ALL would love it!

Swallowed by The Sun (Revised) — Ivor.Plumber/Poet

I have turned a fellow blogger into a friend — someone whose work makes me happy. Ivor is that sort of poet. Poignant, clever, hitting the notes of current events with delicate yet form strokes. I really feel this poem. Please go to his site sometime and check out all the great things he’s written.
 
You won’t be sorry.
 

On a fiery hot suburban street Cobblestones are melting the crowd’s feet Bursting blisters, of the ignorant Burning souls, in the innocent Ultraviolet rays are scorching everyone Our world is being swallowed by the sun Oh, what have us human’s done All the rivers are running dry Fish lay on barren land, wanting to die […]

Swallowed by The Sun (Revised) — Ivor.Plumber/Poet

https://ivors20.wordpress.com/

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Painted Stairs

In tackling this Gallery, I decided to go through the front door and pick out art that has been hand painted on stairways. There are many other ways to decorate your stairs: peel off stickers, ceramic tiles, and wallpaper to name a few. I included stencils because even though you have a ready-made pattern you are still doing the painting.

I am trusting that these wonderfully unique painted staircases will be your “Stairway to the Stars.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Still Running

My notifications told me today that I am on a 9-day streak on Humoring the Goddess.

I didn’t realized I yakked that much.

Maybe it was that I filled every other day with a ditty to be published so I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my readers. Maybe every other day turned into every day when I left my computer charging cord at home and began to panic. Maybe it was the frustration of typing on that old mini computer where the cursor flipped, skipped, and deleted at its own whim.

I came back from the boys’ fishing trip yesterday and saw that my calendar is stuffed beyond stuffed pepper mode for the rest of the month. Discovering a new way to type a story over the weekend squirreled away the last energy I might have saved up.

 I am already exhausted.

It’s not that I don’t want to see and do everything. I really really do. It’s just that I can’t seem to put a halt on the spinning part.

Seeing grandkids is always a priority. Seeing my friends who helped me through my recent hard times is a priority. Travelling to our cabin to get “away from it all” is also a priority. And now that I’m hot to trot on writing this new novel, THAT is a priority too. 

That’s just the top tiers.

I have too many priorities, I think. I’ve got to slow down.

How do you do it all?

I know I know — prioritize. Learn to say “no.” Limit your time on the get togethers that happen more often. Assign more “me” time.

I’m afraid none of those alternatives are going to happen.

I’m going to be 70 in six months. I hope I make it till then. I hope I make it another 20 years past that. I don’t want to visit people when I’m on the other side. I might scare them away with my angel wings. You know?

So I feel like I’m living in a whirlwind NOW NOW NOW state of body and mind. Like if I don’t do it all and think it all and feel it all and keep it going everything will stop, and so will I.

Let me know how you do everything you do.

Or what you tell yourself as you collapse on the bed every night……..

 

 

Sunday Evening Art — Auguste Rodin

 

François Auguste René Rodin (1840 – 1917) was a French sculptor, generally considered the founder of modern sculpture.

The Old Courtesan (La Belle qui fut heaulmière)

 

Rodin endured a somewhat tumultuous life in his early years that nearly discouraged him from becoming an artist.

The Three Shades

 

He wanted to attend the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in his teens, but was denied three times. He worked for decades as a craftsman, but completely abandoned his pursuit to be an artist after the death of his sister in 1862.

The Kiss

 

Rodin joined a Catholic order that same year, but it was Saint Peter Julian Eymard who noticed Rodin’s incredible talent and encouraged him to resume his life as a sculptor.

The Thinker

 

 

A trip to Italy in 1875 sparked his creativity after having studied the sculptures of Donatello and Michelangelo.

Young Girl with Roses on Her Hat

 

After this, Rodin was inspired to create a number of masterful pieces of sculpture that are considered to this day to be among the greatest works in history.

Monument to Balzac

 

Rodin stripped away many of the narrative references to classical myth that were still attached to academic sculpture in the late-19th century and placed a new stress on the dignity of simple human moments.

Burghers of Calais

 

Rodin was a naturalist, less concerned with monumental expression than with character and emotion.

Madame X (Countess Anna-Elizabeth de Noailles)

 

He dedicated most of the last 40 years of his life to working on an expanse of sculptures that formed what Rodin titled The Gates of Hell.

The Gates of Hell

 

The pieces associated with this work are considered to be Rodin’s greatest accomplishments.

More of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures can be found at https://www.musee-rodin.fr.https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/rodn/hd_rodn.htm and https://www.artst.org/rodin-sculptures/.

 

 

I Am a Fan of Top ___ Lists

I am a sucker for top 10 or 20 or 30 lists.

I don’t know how the creator/writer of these things gets their info; for all I know it’s the author’s faves and nothing more. Google the top 10 and see what comes up. The same top 10 differ from site to site. (The blue copy links to the founding site.)

But I digress.

What a way to waste an afternoon.

But here are some random “tops” that will make you smile this warm Saturday afternoon. If you don’t agree with these tops, fear not. There’s always another top 10 list somewhere…..

 

Top 10 Best Guitarists of All Time

1 .  Jimi Hendrix

2 . Jimmy Page

 

18 of The Most Amazing Photographs Ever Taken

A pickup truck flees from the smoke and volcanic ash ( pyroclastic flows) spewing from the Mt. Pinatubo volcano that erupted during 1991 in the Philippines

Daredevils Gladys Roy and Ivan Unger Play Tennis In Sky, riding on the wings of a biplane as it flies over the city in November 1925.0

 

Top 10 Pop Songs of 1999

1 . Britney Spears – Baby One More Time

2 . Ricky Martin – Livin’ the Vie da Loca

 

Top 10 Scariest Animals on Earth

1 . Human

2 . Shark

 

Most Expensive Air-Jordan Shoes

1 . Air Jordan 12 ‘Flu Game’ Shoes — $300,000

2.  Air Jordan 12 OVO Shoes — $100,000

 

10 Most Popular Foods in the World

1 . Pizza

2 . Sushi

 

The 12 Deadliest Insects in the World

1 . Mosquito

2 . Tse-Tse Fly

 

AFI’s Top 100 Films of All Time

1 . Citizen Kane

 2 . The Godfather

 

Top 10 People Immortalized as Foods

1 . Ruth Cleveland — Baby Ruth

2 . John McIntosh — Apples

 

Top 10 Most Expensive Teas in the World Money Can Buy

1 . Original Dong Hong Pao — $645,000 Per Pound

2 . Panda Dung — $31,700 Per Pound

 

Top 10 Fastest Cars in the World

1 . Bugatti Bolide —  500 kmph

2 . Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ — 490.48 kmph

 

10 Most Famous Statues in the World

1 . The Thinker — Auguste Rodin

2 . Statue of Liberty — Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

 

The 10 Most Beloved Christmas Cookies, Ranked

1 . Pillsbury Sugar Cookie

2 . Chocolate Snowball Cookies

 

 

Top Ten Tallest People Currently Alive in around the World

1 . Sultan Kösen, 251 cm, 8 feet 3 inches

2 . Brahim Takioullah, 246 cm, 8 feet 1 inch

 

Top 30 TV Shows of 2006

 1 . 24

2 . Psych

 

10 Favorite American Foods of All Time

1 . Burger

2 . Cheesecake

 

Top Ten Most Dangerous Bacteria on Earth

1 .Tuberculosis2 . Streptococcus

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — DZO-O

Under the odd name of DZO (in capital letters) is Olivier, a self-taught artiphist, symbols explorer, and freelance designer from the South of France.Thanks to a family with an artistic affinity, Olivier graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Toulouse and begun a successful career in graphic design.But with the creation of the artistic counterpart that is DZO, the French artist wanted to go deeper into his exploration of the “noosphere”, a philosophical concept about human thought.

His dynamic drawings are incredibly complex. They swirl with archetypal figures, animal totems and symbols that threaten to burst off the page.

His art speaks to the old etchings and engravings of religious and occult manuscripts while it flirts with alchemy, witchcraft, and blasphemy. 

It is at the same time disturbing, haunting, and stimulating.His intricate drawings, full of enigmatic detail, mix sensuality, darkness, and mythology.The message beyond the lines have a seemingly secret meaning, surrounding the world of DZO with mystery and fascination. More of DZO-O‘s mesmerizing work can be found at http://www.dzo-o.com/.

 

 

Will I Getter Done This Time?

INSPIRATION ►INTENTION ►OPPORTUNITY ►RESULT

This is the way our personal growth should go.

*Get inspired to do something.
*Set out a plan to get it done.
*Find the opportunity to work on this something.
*Finish project — getter done.

This is the way I hope to get things done through the end of the week.

But I know me.

Get inspired to do something. All the time. Over inspired and over excited. Set out a plan to get it done. I outline, research, strategize. Got it figured out. Find the opportunity. Five days at a cabin, being by myself all five days as the men go fishing every day. Finish project. After I go for a walk, read a few chapters of a book, reread the plan, reread the previous written books (if necessary), take a nap, read my Facebook, text a few friends, flip through a magazine, make a sandwich, color a mandala, and check my email.

Is this ever you?

A perfectly planned day/few days/week of finally getting your artistic inspiration off the ground and up into the stratosphere. You’ve got your material, your paints, your sketches. Your storyline. Your collage materials. Your wood.

And now the time has come.

You get distracted. And keep getting distracted. And before you know it you’ve wasted a half day or more doing everything but your heart’s desire.

What’s the matter with us?

Or is it only me?

I’m going away for a few days with “the boys.” The boys plan on fishing all day and watching stupid movies all night. The perfect atmosphere for me to take advantage of. I don’t want to stay home by myself — I don’t want to hang around someplace where there are a dozen housekeeping tasks waiting just for me.

We don’t have TV or Internet at the cabin. I have a hard drive full of great music, a computer full of research, a kitchen full of healthy snacks, and two dogs to keep me company.

The perfect atmosphere to write.

But I’m weak when it comes to distraction.

Not every moment is filled with distraction — there are many times I’m lost in the creative moment. I love it. But there are always bread crumbs — or maybe cookie crumbs — that beckon me to follow. To waste time. To lead me astray.

Let’s hope that I get some real writing time in this week. My fortitude is not what it used to be. Words are just a little harder to come by these days; I know that not too long in the distant future the words might even fail me. There’s a few more stories I’d like to tell before the words fade away.

I’d hate to waste that precious time surfing the Net for kitty pictures….

 

 

Walking. With Moment that Sticks. — Live & Learn

 

Yin and Yang everywhere you look. All you have to do is look.

Take a few moments and read….

4:33 a.m., or so. You are so damn precise with your clock. I pulled into the Cove Island Park parking lot, my headlights illuminated her…sleeping. Hold that thought. It’s been 770 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk. Like in a row. I was going to share a different story.  A running story. I page […]

Walking. With Moment that Sticks. — Live & Learn

 

 

 

 

Gift Rocks

My family went camping this weekend, and my little six-year-old grandson found a Friendship Rock at the campsite playground. For those of you who might not know, a Friendship Rock is just a (usually) flat rock that someone has painted and left behind for someone else to find.

Friendship rocks can have words on them, scenery, abstract designs — anything. They are so fun to find — you feel like a faerie has left her work behind for you someplace.

So the next day we bought some acrylic paints and found a handful of flat rocks throughout the campground and had a paint fest. All ages joined — four-year-olds through 70-ish flower children. Some of us wrote a message, others made abstract designs.

It was  a come-together moment for all of us.

Our little group.

Painting the words “Peace” and “I Love You” for someone else to find. To make someone else’s day.

Life is made of small moments like this. Moments of gratitude, of comradery and friendship and pockets of love. Not doing anything special but sending friendship up into the atmosphere and into the rocks we were painting.

Sometimes the answers are so simple. The solutions to mankind’s woes can be found in small brush strokes or made up songs or making stained glass out of construction paper.

No war was fought. No shootings. No shouting matches.

Everyone got to express their inner thoughts with paint and rocks.

The next day we drove around and left our little gifts for others to find. Down by the beach, on a rock near the walking path. We hoped that the next person who found them would smile and feel good and share that feeling with others.

Find your own peace through Art. It will make you feel better.

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — The Art of Food

The articleThe Fascination with Food in Art History” by Elena Martinique at Whitewalls states that, as a cornerstone of our very existence, food has always played a significant part in our social and cultural lifestyles. Thus, it is no wonder that the depiction of food in art spans across cultures and all of recorded human history.

Just as majestic as any portrait or landscape, the depiction of food through painting is an arduous and creative talent.

As we sit and enjoy our Sunday dinners, let us wander through the world of food artistry and enjoy some of the more famous interpretations of the sight and taste of food.

 

Apples and Oranges, Paul Cézanne, 1895

 

Vertumnus, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1590

 

Mound of Butter, Antoine Vollon, 1875-1885

 

Still Life with Apples, Vincent van Gogh, 1887

 

Viva la Vida, Watermelons, Frida Kahlo, 1954

 

Eucharistic Still Life, Salvador Dalí, 1952

 

Fruit and Vegetables with a Monkey, a Parrot, and a Squirrel, Frans Snyders, 1620

 

Still-Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels, Clara Peeters, 1615

 

Still Life with Cherries, Strawberries, and Gooseberries, Louise Moillon, 1630

 

Cauliflower And Pomegranates, Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1890

 

Still-Life with Ham, Lobster, and-Fruit, Jan-Davidsz de Heem, 1652

 

 

 

Some Interesting Galleries

Since (at the moment) I am hanging around the campground, trying to relax after running back to town to watch my (four-year-old) grand daughter’s dance recital, I thought I would share a few amazing and fantastic Galleries I’ve shared in the past.

Maybe hold on till evening — grab a goblet of wine or chocolate milk — and have a tour! Love you all!

GLASS HOUSES

 

Mézesmanna — Judit Czinkné Poór

 

Masayo Fukuda

 

Remedios Varos

 

Bubbles

 

Chris Maynard

 

Valeriya Kutsan and Alexander Khokhlov

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faerie Paths — Faerie Trails (a poem)

Faerie Trails

Pearlescent sponge-painted hues
Pink and blue and grey

Reflect the morning sunrise
Down the dew-covered path
Rose-colored diamonds
Sparkle on blades of green
Plodding steps
Announce my arrival
Into her delicate sphere
Fairy prints
Blushes of pixie dust
Tinge the edge of the leaves
Marks of a carefree spirit
Dancing through the woods
Her laughter is reflected
In the tinkle of wind chimes
The dawn’s breath quickens
Bending strands of leaves
And delicate flowers
Guarding the edge of the field
Dissipating her scent
Into the wind
In the arms of emerald green
I glimpse the sparkle of wings
And the glitter of freedom
My leaden steps follow
Tiny prints on velvet green
Wind chimes choir in the distance
Musk and earth and pine
Mask the scent of her passing
The morning sun spikes
Between the trees
Blocking my view of forbidden realms
Leaves tremble yet remain steadfast
She is gone
Protected by the world beyond
Leaving me to wonder
If the rose-colored diamonds
Were hers at all

 

Claudia ~ 2011

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Richard Royal

Richard Royal is recognized internationally as one of the most skilled and talented glassblowers in the studio glass movement. Having spent his early years as a ceramicist, he began working as a glass sculptor in 1978 at the Pilchuck Glass School. The birth of this new and exciting artistic movement appealed to the young artist.

Royal worked his way through the ranks to become one of Dale Chihuly’s main gaffers.This relationship lasted several years and consequently led to Royal’s emergence in the art market in the 1980’s.Royal’s explorations delve into the theory that all things have a geometric significance or a mathematical sequence.  Royal’s vision is to create organic sculptures  using rigid components to portray this concept of growth and clarity in form.His shapes are unusual, striking, and bright, just as glass should be.More of Richard Royal’s geometric masterpieces can be found at https://richardroyalstudio.com/. 

 

 

The Power of Love

Let’s be brief.

The world out there is messed up. Mass shootings at grade schools,  graduation parties, and outside of bars. The horror of death is everywhere.

It seems like the world has gone mad. It certainly has tinted our view of the future.

Yet….

I went to one of my youngest son’s bestie’s wedding Saturday. It was a lovely affair.

You know that my son was killed in February by a mad gunman. Sitting in the church before the wedding, I kept thinking that the bride and groom should have been my son and lady.

But I digress.

Before, during, and after the celebration I was surrounded by the love and support of his friends and friends’ wives and parents and friends of friends. It was phenomenal.

I tried to keep the emotions in check — after all, this was a friend’s wedding, not a memorial. My husband and I were honored to be invited. I mean, we’re parents of someone else’s kid. 

The point of this blog is that the world is not going to hell. Individuals may be, but not the world as a whole.

There are wonderful people all around you. People who love openly, who fear death and love life just like us. And they are there for you and me.

A wedding cannot bring back what has happened, but it can bring together people who love and remember. There is no better support group. I will always love these guys.

Give the world another chance.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — We Make Carpets

 

The Dutch collective We Make Carpets has spent the past decade transforming everyday objects and materials into site-specific installations, and has taken the world by storm since its formation in 2009.

Pasta Carpet

The trio has exhibited their work at reputable museums from Australia to the United States, in continuous pursuit of new forms and possibilities.Cup Carpet

 

They are guided by a simple belief: that mass-produced objects and materials lose their exceptional beauty due to their sheer quantity and availability and the carelessness with which they are used and thrown away.

Sponge Carpet

 

Even if they take a close look at something like a simple scouring sponge, a chip fork or a clothes peg, it’s hard to identify their quality, technical ingenuity and colors.

Candy Bar Carpet

 

We Make Carpets works patiently and diligently for days to create a pattern and ultimately a fragile carpet never intended for anyone to walk on.

Paper Roll Carpet

 

The carpets are temporary, made on the spot with no thought out plans or sketches beforehand.

Shuttlecock Carpet

 

The three artists cast each other a knowing look when the first patterns begin to emerge, seemingly out of nowhere (the only real preparation is buying the product in bulk and getting a feel for the space).

Army Carpet

 

Eventually, a work of art starts to materialize on the floor; a transient and vulnerable carpet made from items in the same product family: chip forks, scouring sponges, clothes pegs or countless other disposable items.

Mussel Carpet

 

The hard work and the meticulous placement of identical materials or objects in ever-changing patterns and directions generates unexpected results.

Hardware Carpet

 

The stunning patterns, the breath-taking colors, or the austerity of black and white suddenly raises questions about usage, disposal, and longevity.

Stirrer Carpet

More of We Make Carpets can be found at http://wemakecarpets.nl/.

 

 

I Suffer From Mindyourownbizitis

Occasionally I find myself suffering from mindyourownbizitis.

Has this affliction ever affected you?

It starts almost unnoticed. Someone asks your opinion, and you give it. Someone else asks for your advice, and you give it.

After a while you find yourself offering your thoughts when someone else is conversing. Sharing your ideas even if the discussion has nothing to do with you or what you’re doing.

Before you know it you’re telling people what to do, how to deal with their problems (and non-problems), and how to think. How they can do better, feel better, how they can free themselves from whatever it is you think they’re suffering from.

It doesn’t take long to turn from innocent helper to know-it-all busy bee.

I think I fall into the latter category more that I should.

I find myself sharing my opinions even when I’m not asked. Advising friends and family members who never really asked for help. They’re letting off steam; I’m opinionating.

Now, having an opinion is fine and dandy. That’s what makes us human. Citizens of the Earth and all. Sharing your opinion is fine and dandy as well. People should know who you are and what you stand for.

Telling someone else how to raise their children or deal with their job or their extended family members is not the way to go. Especially if you’ve never had their kind of job or their kind of kids.

We all try not to do it. But we all do it.

We are all asked to help, advise, listen, and share. And we all want to help, advise, listen, and share.

But we have to realize that our opinion is our opinion. That we are neither right nor wrong but just an opinion. We don’t know what others are going through. We don’t know their secrets, their background stories, their small triumphs and minor setbacks.

All we know is what others want us to know.

We have to be smarter than our old selves. We need to understand when we are being asked for an opinion and when we are being asked to be a sounding board. We have to learn to share without pushing. Give our thoughts without proselytizing. Offer our support without trying to change lives.

We cannot change someone else’s life — we can only support them when they decide to change it themselves.

We can all use someone else’s thoughts, point of view, love and support. But in the end we don’t want someone else to tell us what to do.

Especially if that somebody else is a know-it-all busy bee.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Christina Bothwell

Christina Bothwell (born 1960),  is an American contemporary fine arts glass maker.Bothwell is known for glass, ceramic, and mixed media sculptures that portray the processes of birth, death, and renewal.She studied painting under Will Barnett at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but gradually moved to working three-dimensionally using ceramics and cast glass as well as antique toys, taxidermy animals or small furniture parts. Increasingly drawing on animals and the natural world around her, she saw the potential for combining glass with the materials she was already using to bring lightness and delicacy to her work.Bothwell’s pieces are often a union between her own mythology and lucid dreams.She challenges herself to portray the soul, inner awareness, and the connections between life and nature through her art.“Art has always been a form of retreat for me,” Boswell shares. “I view my studio time as an anchor, a compass that orients me toward the things in life that feel good and bring me joy.”

More of Christina Bothwell‘s art can be found at https://christinabothwell.com and https://www.hellergallery.com/christina-bothwell/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day — Sergeant Stubby

Copied from the Dogington Press 

 

MEET SERGEANT STUBBY: THE MOST DECORATED WAR DOG IN HISTORY

Before he became the most decorated war dog in American history, Sergeant Stubby was homeless: unwanted, unwashed, unloved, and scrounging for scraps on the streets of Connecticut.

For his valorous actions, Stubby is recognized as the most-decorated dog in American history. But before he was a hero, he was homeless: unwanted, unwashed, unloved, scrounging for scraps on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut in 1917. His fortunes changed, however, when he ran into a young Soldier training on the grounds of Yale University – Private First Class Robert Conroy of the 102nd Infantry Regiment – who adopted the scrappy little stray and named him Stubby for his short stature and tail.

Stubby

The U.S. military didn’t have an official “military working dog” program at that time, but Stubby’s natural survival instincts and devotion to his adoptive family quickly made him an invaluable addition to the men of the 102nd. He received only one piece of formal training from Conroy and his buddies. When their commanding officer demanded to know why there was a dog in the ranks, Stubby raised his right paw to salute, rendering the officer speechless and ensuring Stubby’s place as the official mascot of the Yankee Division.

When the Yankee Division arrived in France, Stubby was given special orders to accompany them to the front lines and saw action in four offensives and 17 battles, serving for 18 months on the western front. He located wounded Soldiers in “No Man’s Land” and – since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans – became adept at warning his new family when to take cover.  His keen sense of smell gave him the ability to detect incoming mustard gas attacks, once saving an entire company by alerting the men to don their gasmasks.

Following the retaking of Chateau-Thierry by the U.S., the women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. Able to differentiate between English and German, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after catching a German spy and became the most decorated war dog in history. Following the war, Stubby returned home to a hero’s welcome, touring the country leading victory parades, meeting three sitting U.S. presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge), appearing on Vaudevillian stages and serving as the mascot for Georgetown University, where Conroy was studying law.

On March 16, 1926, Stubby passed away peacefully in his sleep, in the arms of Robert Conroy. On April 4th, 1926, the New York Times published the heroic pup’s obituary. You can read the full text here: http://ow.ly/KqXo50E0h29.

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Watches

You can wear an expensive watch and still be late.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

 

 

Nsquare Snake Queen Automatic Watch

 

Xeric Halograph II Automatic Rosewood Limited Edition

 

Jacob and Co. Billionaire Watch

 

Space Invaders Watch

 

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Watch
Lady Arpels Planetarium Watch

 

Devon Tread-1 Watch
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet

 

Bird Repeater Watch

 

Xeric Trappist-1 Automatic NASA Edition Blue Supernova Watch

 

Graff Diamonds Hallucination Watch

 

Be brave enough to live life creatively — Purplerays

How can you not love a message like this?

 

. Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. ~ Alan Alda 💚 Text and […]

Be brave enough to live life creatively — Purplerays