Saturday, July 31, 2010

Awesome inspiration and taking some time

I got a lovely gift (this amazing spell box!) in the mail from my friend Connie of Saschi and Squee. When you get a minute, check out the etsy shop she has with her talented friend Ashley.

Here's what I love about blog world and flickr (because I have more than one friend who does not get it): the visual that goes with the narrative.

There is a frenetic feel, to me, about facebook. I feel hurried, and like 5,000 people are watching me type. Why is that? I don't get that feeling when I look at people's blogs, or their flickr streams, or comment on them. And believe me, I DO NOT NEED to feel any more frenetic than I do naturally. But I digress...

Connie is a very talented artist, and she, like so many others here, has inspired me to try new things. I love everything about this box: the colors, the images, the textures. Thank you so much, Connie. I am a lucky duck.
The summer is zizzing by, and I have decided to take some time to enjoy it. Put the brakes on. Skid to a stop and just enjoy the yard, my kids, and my DH before school starts, and the daily grind kicks in. I want to try some new paintings. I have some writing to do, too.

And look at this garden! The DH has planted zinnias for me to cut and enjoy. The butterflies love them.

It is bursting at the seams with tomatoes. I can take no credit for them, but they are delicious.
And we got some peaches! So I have some serious eating to do.
The morning glories are covering everything that isn't moving.
I hope all of you get some time to enjoy these hot, lazy days of summer. Because you know what is right around the bend. In the Mid-Atlantic, something beside morning glories will be covering everything. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Cantina Time!

The lovely Deb, from Midlife Poet is having a Cantina Party!

I am running late as usual.

It's because I had a hard time picking out a swimsuit, but I think any one of these is just the ticket.
Deb, you don't mind if I bring a few friends, do you? These girls are fun.

Wait, one of the neighbors is at the door.

"Hi, Brad!"
Psst - Deb, Brad wants to come. He says he can lifeguard for you. That okay?

I wanted to bring a non-cheese dish, so I popped into the kitchen this morning and whipped this up.

I thought a few of these in the pool would make for an interesting time.

I'm bringing along a local Cantina band. These guys rock.
Gizmo is insisting on tagging along. Don't worry, he gets along very well with cats.Wait, someone else is at the door.

"Hi, Hugh!"
Psst - Deb, Hugh wants to come. He says he will bartend for you. That okay?

So Hugh and Brad and I are driving over. We can't decide which limo to take.

This one?

Or maybe this one.

I like this classic one myself.

But really, I think this would make the drive much more fun.

We'll be there soon!

Monday, July 26, 2010


We had rain yesterday, and wind. I was inside a movie theater at the time, watching Angelina Jolie kick some serious booty, and I couldn't decide if the thunder I was hearing was from the soundtrack ( "BAM!" "ZAP!" "KAPOW!") or outside. Turned out it was outside.

The skies cleared in the evening, and I saw this:

I just had to share!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yes, I am spoiled...

This is in my backyard. Literally. A family farm called Butler's Orchard. (Pardon the truck antenna, it was too hot to get out and take a photo!) They have "pick your own" fruit from June to August (I am trying to remember that blackberries and raspberries are coming up soon). In the fall you can pick your own pumpkin, and they have Christmas trees, too! The other day, we were out picking up a chair that Caity bought at a thrift store (the apple doesn't fall far from THAT tree) and we stopped in here to buy some fruit.
We bought local peaches and plums. They are very yummy.This is a log house that was on the property when they bought it back in 1950. They used to have a farm "market" under an apple tree behind the house. Three of their four kids have gotten degrees in horticulture from the University of MD, and work the family farm. They have three generations working there (plus a whole lot of my neighbors!).

I sometimes get so busy that I forget how truly fortunate I am to live where I do.

Thank you, Butler's Orchard, for providing a lovely place to shop for fruit and veggies, artisan cheeses (I need more money!!), fresh flowers, jams, honey and gifties. For saving 300 acres from development in the middle of suburbia. I love you truly. I have been a bad neighbor, hiding in my air-conditioned house, but I will come visit you more often.

Life, she is good. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Blue Box...

I am melting from this heat. Unfortunately, this melting process does not seem to include my hips, thighs, or the other overly-padded areas of my body. Just my brain.

Yesterday, I hid in my little studio nook and finished the blue box I started. I'm happy with how it turned out. It's always good to get the 'first' of a new thing finished. Now I can make more, and I won't worry about it so much.

The best part of making this was that I had a little story in my mind as I worked. I titled this "Alone With My Thoughts."

I hope you all get some creative time today. Sneak it in while no one is looking. Stealth creativity.
Become a creative ninja, ready to pounce on the first opportunity. Think like Angelina Jolie in Salt (which I am going to see this weekend, just to soak up the a/c and live vicariously through AJ for 90 minutes).
My melted brain needs it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why I love thrift stores...Part 37

Just popping in to share two little treasures I bought at the thrift store.

One is a book from the 50s. The line drawings in this are just too cool. It was only a couple of dollars! I love looking at the art from this time period.

But the treasure that made my heart flutter is this cloth. I got two panels (I think they were curtains from a kid's room) for a dollar. A DOLLAR.

I love everything about them. The colors, the art, the fabric (which feels like worn linen).
I thought I would use them for dolls, but I can't cut them. I have no idea what to do with them, besides use them for inspiration. :)
I am a happy girl.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Experiencing time...

I heard a snippet on the radio the other day, that made me stop and think. Someone mentioned a study that said people all over the world feel that time speeds up as they age. Days just whizz on by, unlike those lazy days of childhood.

Some interesting theories about this have popped up (here's an NPR article on the topic). One theory says that when we are young, everything we experience is new (they use the first kiss as an example of how time feels to have 'stopped' or gone into slo-mo). When something is new, our brain makes lots of memory 'snapshots' of it as it captures the experience. That, in turn, causes us to feel as if time has slowed down.

First memories are dense, and when we recall them, it gives the illusion that it must have taken more time to experience. The NPR article uses driving to your new job as an example. The first time you do it, it seems to take forever, but as it becomes routine, time flies by.

I experienced this a little on our trip to Florida. That week seemed much longer, and when we got home, we all commented on how it felt like we had been gone for a long time.

Of course, we were all staying up late, and we traveled in the car for hours to get there.But maybe it was because we weren't doing our 'routine'. We broke the pattern, and every day was something different.So what does this mean? Well...

We all have to start traveling to exotic places. Stop whining. Just break out the credit card and get to it.

Alter your route to work (I'm sure your boss will understand once you explain that you are stockpiling new memories so time will not appear to be whizzing by!)

Kiss new people every day (What? It's a new experience if it's with someone new, right?).

Okay, problem solved.
Now I am going to go used car shopping for my daughter, and while it qualifies as a routine-breaking experience, I'd rather train an anteater. Or learn how to walk on stilts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A cool Halloween giveaway!

All you have to do is pop on over to the EHAG blog and enter. You could win some very awesome Halloween goodies. Go see! Besides, thinking about Halloween will help cool you off. :))

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stretching those creative muscles...

First of all, you'll be happy to know I am no longer cranky. Thank you all for your help in that department. You are all so very nice.

I did a little 'counting of the blessings' (which are many!), had a great conversation with a friend I have not talked to in months, started a book on Van Gogh's year in the Yellow House, made some awesome grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner last night, and in general, got over myself.

I made myself a "Cheer up!" gift, this skelly painting I am calling "The Barista". I decided to keep it and hang it in my kitchen (I am going to have prints of it in my etsy shop in case someone else out there likes having a skelly holding coffee mugs! :). I think we should all make little gifties for ourselves. We are our own best friends, after all.
I have been feeling this need to do something different, in both my writing, and in my art. I've spent many hours looking at art on the internet. I've tried to pin down what kind of book I would like to write (as opposed to what kind of book I think might sell, which is always a slippery slope). I don't talk about my writing as much, because for some reason, if I talk about a book, I don't write it. All I will say is that it involves a ghost. :)

On the art front, I rediscovered Joseph Cornell. I love his work, and the magical, otherworldly feel he created.I also love that he was self-taught, shy and reclusive. I love that he took care of his brother who had cerebral palsy. An interesting guy, that Joseph. His boxes have always fascinated me (like those Cabinets of Wonder), and so I am thinking I will play with assemblage boxes!

The first time I do anything, it is usually a disaster, but that's how we learn, right? This will be my starter box.

I took a little masonite box and painted it blue (it has layers and layers to go yet).

Here are some pieces I think will go inside it. I might change my mind. Probably.
I wanted to share this picture of my work area, just in case you were suffering from some delusion that I am at all like Martha. It looks like a bear (maybe several) with anger management issues has looted a Michael's craft store. Not pretty.

Am I embarrassed? Yes. But at least I am not cranky! :)