Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Ronnie Hughes

Ronnie Hughes was born in 1954 and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

He learned glassblowing with the help of a friend after graduating from Wake Forest University in 1976..In 1980, after hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hughes came upon a field of hundreds of breathtaking Pink Lady Slipper orchids, which inspired him to change his subject matter completely.Using both clear and colored glasses, Hughes create his wildflowers and then integrates them with his free-formed, solid glass bases. His sculptures stand entirely on their own in continuous glass, a more challenging and time-consuming process.Hughes believe that the purity of clear glass lends a mystical feel to the flowers, emphasizing the delicacy and fragility of our natural world.The colored blossoms provide a vibrant focal point while the clear glass challenges the observer to look more closely and to use their imagination to complete his vision.More of Ronnie Hughes‘ delicate, beautiful work can be found at https://hughesglass.net/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Rita Faes

Rita Faes is a photographer who lives in Belgium. The details she finds and brings out in her images is amazing.

The colors and the flowers she finds are remarkable.

You can find more of Rita’s marvelous work at her old blog (which is inactive but full of beautiful photography) , https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com), but definitely sign up and follow her at her new site,  https://gwenniesgardenworld.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

thIn going through my PPL (Past Post Library), I noticed I’ve never once written on Valentine’s Day about Valentine’s Day.

Why do you think that is?

I do have a husband that I’ve Valentined in my heart for over 35 years. I have two great sons that also deserve my Valentine, along with a sweet daughter-in-law, her great parents, two sets of great best friends, and my two Valentine grandkids.

But somewhere along the line I never connected my love for them with Valentine’s Day.

I know it’s a holiday created by Hallmark, another way to cash in on human emotions. Nothing wrong with that. Candy, flowers, heart-shaped cakes, all fall into the going-the-extra-mile for your sweetie. There are online articles about 10 Valentine’s Day Flowers and their Meanings, Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Box of Chocolates, and other romantic inklings to set the mood.

The love of my life has never really given me anything for Valentine’s Day. And that’s been over 35 years. Am I insulted? No, not really. I knew 35+ years ago that he was not the roses and chocolates type. And that was alright. It still is. For most of my life there was so much more we could have done with the $50 he would spend on flowers or wine. My Valentine’s Day gift would be an extra pizza in the grocery cart or rent a movie from Redbox.

Times have changed. We are in a better financial place than we were 10, 20, even 30 years ago. Our Valentine’s Day money went to taking my grandson to see the Lego Batman Movie. That was fun — that was love.

Yet…

Three girls at work today had flowers delivered to them. Does that bother me?

Well, a little.

I could say that my hubby shows his love for me in other ways…

…he gives me money to go out and buy my own flowers.

I guess that’s Valentine’s enough for me.

Side Trip — Gwennie’s World

aSometimes you find a blog that says more with pictures than with dialogue. This is what I find with my Belgium friend Rita, aka Gwennie.

I tend to shy away from commenting on photography blogs, because with today’s equipment the most fantastic images can be found all over the Internet, and I am in awe of it all.

I take a personal interest in Gwennie’s World (https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com/) and her former blog Gwennie’s Garden (https://gwenniesgarden.wordpress.com/) because her photos are so up close and personal. I have tried flower photography myself, but since my only weapon is a cellphone, they pale in comparison.

Maybe it’s because I’m all thumbs at gardening, or that she lives in the North of Belgium at the border with the Netherlands, but I have never seen such gorgeous pictures of plants. Whether from a flower show or her own garden, Rita has a knack for catching the details of the simplest — and most unique —  plants.

I really want you to take time and drop over to her blog, Gwennies World, and see her magic for yourself.  Here are some images to get you going:

Gwenniesworld

https://gwenniesworld.wordpress.com/

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GW2

GW4

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Gwennies Garden

(https://gwenniesgarden.wordpress.com/)

GG3

GG1

GG4

gg1

Thanks for joining me on this fun Side Trip!  See you Soon!

 

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Spring? What is That?

CAM01111 (1)Dare I whisper — Spring is (almost) here in Wisconsin!

With my luck, a snowstorm of epic proportions will fall on me for saying that, but what-the-hey — I think the medicinal qualities of semi-warm air is worth the test of a last, lone snowstorm.

I’ve been reading blogs and Facebook entries saying that Spring has already popped in some Southern venues. I’ve seen pictures of flowers and birds all around the Net. Well, I can tell mine is coming, too, for it’s Mud City outside my front door.

People in Wisconsin don’t have the same kind of Springs that other people have. Oh, we have flowers peeking up through the ground and birds singing their little hearts out…but we also have grills popping with bratwurst and people shopping in their shorts and sweatshirts.

My grandson and I practiced our first “don’t tell mom” episode over the weekend…he was riding his Hot Wheels down the hill/driveway, trying to make a sharp right turn at the bottom. There was only one tip-over in the mudsnow…he was getting the hang of it. Alas, he couldn’t continue down the straight part and turn left and downhill to splash in the huge puddle in the middle of the driveway, for he couldn’t get enough traction to speed through the mud.

That will come next week.

Why do we do such wild things the first day the sun shines and we don’t have to wear gloves? We wear a sweater instead of a coat, seeing as even though it’s 29 degrees in the morning it will be 48 by the time we get out of work. 48 degrees. That’s Popsicle weather for most folks. We drive with our windows down, turning on the heat only out of necessity. We sing Beach Boys and Bon Jovi songs at the top of our lungs, the cool…er, cold… wind barely tossing our hair. (It is fresh air, you see..) The snow isn’t even melted yet and yet we’re planning barbeques, Fests, and trips to the zoo. We are eating more fruit and veggies, hoping to take a pound or two off before we put on that bathing suit, and cleaning and oiling our lawnmowers — just in case.

I’m sure every area has its quirks when it comes to Springtime. Most of us have woken up in the dark and come home from work in the dark for so long that any ray of sunshine is a ray of hope for humanity. So any ritual to bring Gaia to her feet is welcome.

I think part of it is that we are celebrating another year of life. Another year of being alive. Another chance to make it right. When I drive with the windows open and smell Mother Nature’s scent, I thank Her for allowing me one more year of puddles and flowers, of sunsets and crickets, of bonfires and marshmallows.

So the second you sense Spring in the air, GO FOR IT! Walk out on the porch in your underwear or ride your motorcycle or go buy bulbs and seeds or bring out the barbie and cue something juicy. Embrace the change of seasons — and of life. And just say thanks. Again.

After all, you never know if they’ll have grills and brats in heaven…