Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
You know me, skeptic extraordinaire, fascinated nonetheless by any and all things spiritual and mysterious... and I think there must be a reason, so old it has been forgotten, behind the connection of ghosts and spirits with Halloween. All Hallow's Eve, All Saints' Day, all these things must surely have been recognized at this time of year for a reason. I imagine there are plenty of theories about this, so I'll just tell you about my quick Halloween afternoon ramble on the backroads.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Oh, you know I wanted to believe, way back when I was in fifth or sixth grade. James is in fifth grade, and Kate in fourth, so I guess their fascination is right on schedule. I also wanted to believe aliens and the Loch Ness monster were real. Wanted to believe, sure did. Really believed, not quite ever.
Still, despite the skeptic in me, I have to admit that I don't really know the truth about sasquatches, aliens, mysterious monsters, and other creatures who make the grade in Scooby Doo's world. Actually, maybe all the Scooby cartoons ending with the revelation that the bad guys were dressing up as the mythical monsters helped reinforce my budding skepticism when I was a kid. There's also the fact that if I'd really believed, then I would never have been able to sleep at night since I was already the biggest 'fraidy cat in the world!
So, which strange, mythical, outlandish creatures make the grade in your world? Which ones have you, or someone you know, seen? Which ones do you wish were real? Which ones are you convinced will be proven to be real? Which ones make you laugh and snort coffee out your nose when someone speaks seriously of them?
Me, I believe lots of people truly believe they've seen alien space craft, sasquatches, Loch Ness monsters, and such. I believe plenty of people truly believe in faeries and sprites and other friends of Tinkerbell. I believe I want to believe in some of them myself... and probably will continue to enjoy imagining their lives and their stories, even when half of my brain is insisting they cannot possibly exist in the real world. So, there. How's that for a definitive answer? I'd write some more, but everyone else is back upstairs watching the "Finding Bigfoot" marathon, and I'm afraid I'll miss something interesting if I don't join them for a while :)
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
- Every day is unique. The sun rises in a slightly different position, at a slightly different time. Clouds, temperatures, moisture, winds, and all combine to create different scenes in the sky. It's the same for each of us, too. We rise, knowing each day is a little bit different from the very beginning. Our thoughts, feelings, family and friends, pets, and all combine to create different situations in our world.
- Each of us has our very own unique perspective. What you see as clouds to the north, I see as a storm brewing in the south. What you see as a passing event that doesn't affect you, I see as a big problem heading my way. Other days, you see rain, and I see the rainbows.
- Dark clouds may obscure the view, but the stars and planets are always in the great sky. Daily details and small problems may blind us temporarily to possibilities and the grandness of life, but those miraculous things are always out there, waiting for us to enjoy.
- Ah, but I know someone will think of this, so let's not forget that the star light we see from any given star may be tricking our brain. The light takes so long to travel to us that the star may actually have died before we ever see its light. Easy, peasy... the kindnesses you show to another person may have happened long, long ago, but the effects continue to shine in their life long afterward... or, the people we have loved in the past might have left our lives, but the love we felt still fills a space in our heart for as long as we live... or, you may have a dream that was very real but didn't seem to be coming true, until years later when the hard work you put into it finally produces results.
Obvious, I know, but I tend to forget. Trying to capture these thoughts and write them helps me remind myself, ya know? Sky therapy, yeah, that's what I'll call it. This morning when I stepped out the front door in search of a good picture to start the day, all I saw was those dark clouds on the horizon... until I remembered those 360 degrees and looked all around me. The faint light of the coming sunrise shone above those clouds. The half moon hung right over my head. Stars were still blinking in the western sky. It's all there. We just have to remind ourselves.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Eh, so what.
What I really like about this picture is the dappled sunlight on the druid's face. Um, if that is supposed to be a druid, I should say. I confess to having loved a few Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer portrayals of Batman, but I'm not very well versed in the details of the storylines as they appear in the comic books and become translated into movies. I just happened to think this guy and his twin who stood on the other side of the archway looked the way I imagine Druids would look if I designed the set of their world: serene, powerful, in possession of some sort of magical sword or weapon but not brandishing it, infused with the light of Nature.
I do love the way the simple but bold lines of this sculpture can evoke so much thought from me. I think that says a good deal about the people who have the fun of designing those scenery setups for the amusement park. Gorgeous work, Six Flags peeps!
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
- Who owned that farm when the barn was built?
- Who cut the wood and took it to the sawmill?
- Did that wood actually come from trees growing somewhere on the farm?
- How much did it cost to buy the metal for the roof?
- How many seasons of savings had to be gathered to build the barn?
- Was there a barn-raising with neighbors bringing food and spending the day joking and laughing while they put up the frame?
- What did the farmer wear? Overalls? Khakis? Whatever Sunday clothes had been worn to rags?
- Did the farmer's wife keep chickens and a cow in that barn?
- Who milked the cow?
- Did the cow have a name, like Bessie or Ol' Bossie?
- Were there barncats and hound dogs sleeping in the sunlit loft on winter afternoons?
- What happened when the farmers got older and could no longer handle all of the daily chores?
- Did someone move back home to help them run the farm?
- Did those helpers attempt to slow the ravages of time, or did they just let it all slowly die?
- Are there any antiques hidden in the corners of that barn?
- Would anyone get mad if I parked the car on the bank of the road and walked into the barn?
See? Lots more to think about an old barn that's tending toward chaos, isn't there?
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
'Midst lovely autumn's tears, I will walk the path of restoration. I will scoot my feet along the seeding grass, kicking the colorful leaves of memories, looking for meanings and divinations like so many hidden acorns waiting for the squirrels. From autumn's front walkway, summer's abandoned list of needs is still apparent, and I will sort them as I saunter toward the porch. From autumn's creaking porch swing, winter's rest will beckon, and I will nod sleepily. Autumn will be a lazy afternoon of life, the napping and daydreaming afternoon we need between summers and winters. The balm of intermittent soft showers and faint golden sunlight heals our restlessness and soothes our spirit.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Spirals and repetitive borders speak to me in some materials, but the copper piece and the glass piece don't seem to be speaking to each other. Maybe, a different glass beadalina sculpture is the answer, but I'm not sure which one. Maybe, removing the nail polish and starting over on the design I want to etch is the answer, but I'm not sure about that, either. That's not the point of this post, though.
The point of this post is that I wonder how many of us feel as if the foundation of our personality, the base upon which it was built, is no longer a good fit with the person we have become? I wonder how many of us still value that foundation but feel we have grown beyond it, even out of it? You know, we feel our start in life was a solid one but that it somehow isn't big enough to hold up the meandering floor plan full of add-ons that is our personality now.
Well, I suspect this topic is way beyond being addressed in a single blog entry, so maybe I'll just leave it at this and coyly say, "It's food for thought."
Truth is, I'm sleepy, and the brain is not functioning full-tilt. It's more like my brain is wandering here, there, and everywhere, and still only moving in circles... interesting, intriguing circles, but circles, nonetheless :) Guess it's time for sleep. Maybe, I'll dream about writing the rest of this little essay! Good night, and sweet dreams to each of you!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Finally, here is a midway shot of the Himalaya carnival ride. Take the colors in these images, multiply them exponentially by 47, and you'll have an idea of how lovely the colors were at dusk at the St. Clair County Fair last Friday night.
Ahhhhh... sigh... Wouldn't it be fun to help build and decorate all those rides?
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
What caught your eye today? Did you pause to admire it, observe it closely, experience it? It's easier said than done, this pausing. There's little time for it when you're grabbing the mail, downing the last sip of coffee, trying to find your keys, and jumping into the car to head to work. When it's still summer, the kids and I don't have to do the early morning rush to school... and I am lucky enough to be able to pause and look more closely when something catches my eye. I hope I can remember to do it occasionally once we're back into the school routine (them to their school, me to mine for work). Despite the rush, despite the anxiety of wondering whether you'll beat the bell if you have to turn around and go back to the house because someone forgot their glasses or you noticed your shoes don't match, despite the stresses of modern living, it does us all good to pause to gaze at the world around us.
It's funny how times have changed since I was a kid. I don't remember my mother ever catching grief from other people because she was a stay at home mom, but I can attest to the guilt and grief that can accompany it nowadays... see how I felt compelled to mention it before I continue with the "pause when you can" message? Anyway, that brings me to another conclusion. People can be in the stressed out phase or in the pause-and-enjoy phase at any given time. It's not just that there are two types of people (with apologies to the Type A and Type B personality theory), it's that each of us has the potential to be in either phase. We don't have to confine ourselves to one mode all the time. The laidback Type B can step it up, and the perpetually stressed Type A can relax... it's all a matter of timing and opportunity and remembering it's possible.
To that end, I figure sharing what you see when you pause is bound to be a good deed. It opens up the view to people in the rushed phase. If only for a few seconds, it reminds them sunlight changes its hue from season to season and apples aren't just crayon red. It captures and pares down a scene into smaller vignettes that can be easily consumed. It's sort of like making life vitamins to supplement busy schedules. So, open up. Here are some vitamins to pop when you have the chance:
- Summer sunlight floods our front window in the morning hours. This house has a lovely triple window in the dining room. It is uncovered, except for the small light-blocking shade the former owners installed to cover the middle panel when the sun is beaming in the morning. Sometimes, even I pull the shade. Ah, but it is amazing to see the sun bathe whatever is on the table. The pinks and reds and pale yellows in the apple skins were glowing this morning. As I walked by the table, coffee in hand, I couldn't help but stop and look at the shadows and highlights on the plump apples. James thought these Cripps Pink apples looked so delicious that he reached back into the bin at the store and grabbed an extra one to buy.
- Venturing into the jungle that started the summer as a garden, I found the first gourd among the buttery yellow blooms and light green, fuzzy leaves. Faint light yellow lines run vertically on the deeper yellow body of the pear shaped gourd, and a tiny green hat tops it off.
- The watermelon vines are wandering all over the garden jungle. There have been many small yellow blooms, but I still haven't spotted a watermelon. While I was contemplating whether it's too late for those watermelons to start growing, I glanced down to find a big fat snake snoozing on the landscaping pebbles. He was about two feet long and an inch or so in diameter. Talk about pausing... I think my almost bare in flipflops feet froze and my heart stopped. (Oh, and now the vicious cycle circles more strongly. The garden is too overgrown with grass and weeds, so I'm scared to get in there and pull stuff out because there might be a snake waiting for me. Since I haven't pulled all that stuff out, now there's really a snake enjoying living in the garden. Ack!)
- Breakfast: Cooked an egg in a little bit of pepper and butter, covered it with the leftover red peppers and onion and mushroom from last night, and sprinkled it with shredded parmesan cheese. Let it all bubble. Put it on asiago cheese bread toast with mayo and a slice of tomato. Eating it with a fork because it slides hopelessly side to side if you try to pick it up.
That's all from me today. Hope your day is filled with little opportunities to pause :)
Monday, August 1, 2011
- writing your name on the first page of a new notebook
- lacing the strings on a new pair of shoes
- pulling open the spout on a new carton of orange juice
- breaking the vacuum seal and smelling the scent of a new bag of dark roasted coffee beans
- sticking the key in the ignition of a new car for the first time
- mowing the grass for the first time in the spring
- making the first mark on a squeaky clean whiteboard
Well, the list will keep growing as the day progresses, because I'm going to will myself to think in terms of "new" and "fresh." This reminds me, why do little boys like to wear the same pair of socks until they are crunchy? Don't they recognize the good feeling of pulling sweet smelling clean socks onto your feet?
See, look at that. "Fresh" doesn't even have to be brand-spanking "new" to be good. Renewal is often even better than the first-"new"-al. The first time you do something, you can't compare it with anything else. Remember your very first day of school? It was exciting, wasn't it? I remember waiting for the bus on the wrong day, by the way. After about an hour of my mother telling me to quit waving and making weird chopping gestures at passing cars, we figured out it was the teachers' first day! Anyway, the point is that I was so excited and ready for school, but I had no idea how that feeling would compare to other back-to-school days. Each year, there would be friends and fun and challenges awaiting... and I could compare those exciting new things to last year. By the end of any school year, you're ready to move on to the next year, even if it's a little scary. The sense of renewal floods your mind, doesn't it?
- This year, I will make hundreds on all my spelling tests!
- This year, I will lay my clothes out the night before and not rush so much in the morning!
- This year, I know I can finish my projects early!
Hee hee, it's catching, isn't it? The joyous sense of renewal is hard to ignore, once you start thinking about it. You can limit yourself to New Year's Day, and the start of school if you have kids or work in a school system... or you can choose to have that feeling 365 days of the year.
Hmmm. One or 2 versus 365? I think I'm opting for 365! Happy Fresh Start, Everyone!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Working without wrapping the glass around a mandrel (stainless steel rod) does not come naturally to me.
I suck at it, to be blunt.
I'm trying it again.
Any time I try something new, I work so slowly and tentatively that it seems I'll never make progress.
Procrastination and hedging are definitely tied up with lack of confidence and uncertainty of outcome.
That is all.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Yes, rules are invaluable to artists. Rules pinpoint a place to start your process, whether it is melting glass or etching copper or any other artistic endeavor. Life experience, school, books, and online information all give us the base upon which to build our creations. For instance, my newest art adventure involves trying to shape and patina copper to use with my glass sculptures. As usual, I'm a year or so behind trends, and lots of people I "know" from the glass world have already mastered this copper art.