Flowers for my Sister

“Take joy in another’s success.”  ~ LR

I’m proud of my sister who is receiving recognition and an honorary award at her university.  She goes “beyond the call of duty” and lends  a helping hand whenever she’s asked or sees the need.    Here’s flowers from my garden:

Sweet Alyssum Geraniums and Purple Iceberg Roses

 

Congratulations, sis!!  xxoo

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Firing Up My Imagination

Girl on Bear by LR

Girl on Bear by LR”

“We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I’d never heard of them.  Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you.  You have to imagine it on your own.” ~Brian Andreas

Now I don’t know who Brian Andreas is, but I liked this quote.    I’m trying to fire up my imagination and create a world that I can visualize and when thinking about it, I escape for a short time. My mind wanders:  a restful place, a retreat, a sanctuary, a cottage, a glen, a hilltop, where I can watch the stars and dream.

Last night, around 10:30 p.m.,  the crescent moon was low in the sky to the west.  Why is the moon in the west?  Why so low in the sky? It’s still early.   Is the moon setting?  Usually when I notice the moon rising it is towards the east.  And it’s so big.   And then it is high overhead.   Do you ponder the movement of the moon?

I think I will Google Brian Andreas….I’m back and guess what.  Brian Andreas is a storyteller and an artist and I have two of his prints in my studio and I didn’t even make the connection.  His art is full of whimsy and color and there are stories on each print.

Brian Andreas

This story says:  “There are things you do because they feel right and they may make no sense and they may make no money and it may be the real reason we are here:  to love each other and to eat each other’s cooking and say it was good”.

I’m looking for whimsy and here it is right before me and I just need to open my eyes and say aye.

 

 

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Do You ETSY?

Sketch girl in straw hatEtsy is an on-line, e-commerce site made up of many, many individual shops of handmade, or almost handmade, products.   Some shops sell craft supplies or vintage items. It seems like a perfect match for me.  Etsy’s been around since 2005 and has sellers and customers from around the world.

I’ve been following a few shop owners to see what they are selling and how they run their site.  Having something to sell is only part of the equation.  There’s the layout design of you shop, and how you’re going to ship, and marketing so people come to your little shop.  And then there is the huge decision of what to sell.  I’ve experimented, followed whims to here and there, created a wide assortment of art and dolls and crafts.  Maybe too wide.

In the world of Etsy, I think it is better to have a theme, or a recognizable “look”.  Questions:  Should items have a functional purpose?  Be practical?  What do people like?  Want?  Need?  Can I make enough to stock a shop?  How much time till this take?  Will this be fun?  How much work?   Have I made anything worth selling?  Or do I want to create something new?  My head is swimming with questions.

As a secondary source of income, I want this to be fun.  I want whimsical.  My mind is escaping as I create a world.  And from that world I am envisioning products.  And while I am jotting down notes and drawing little pictures I am also exploring what Etsy is all about.

Do you have an Etsy shop or are you thinking of one? Do you have advice to share?  We can learn together.  The home page of  www.etsy.com has lots of ways to find shops.  There are Search Bar, Browse, Categories, Shop Local, and other ways.  Many blogs have links to their Etsy shops.  There are YouTube videos on How To set up an Etsy Business and Wikipedia has a long article.  And there are blogs that talk about Etsy Shops.  And there are the shops themselves and making a purchase to see how it all works.

Please leave a comment and share your stories.  Let’s learn together.Sketch Book designs 2

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Sending Flowers

Hydranga VarietyNext weekend there’s a baby shower for my daughter.  I’m going to be a grandmama!  So that calls for lots of flowers!

Cactus 3

Paperwhites in Bloom Close-Up

Paperwhites in Bloom Close-Up

Peony View 2

Have a Sunflower Day!

Have a Sunflower Day

Spring!  Sunshine!  Water!  New birth!  Life!  Seize your day and make it joyful!

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Commercial Inspiration

Dalzell-House-2[1]While watching the Olympics there were two commercials that caught my interest.  I scrambled to write down the words and to search the internet for more details,  not to buy or use the product advertised, but because I was inspired by the words.

Commercial #1:  Expedia.    The visual begins with a mom reading a story to her son…
“Once upon a time, there was a boy who traveled to a faraway place.  Where villages floated on water and castles were houses, dragons lurked, giants stood tall.  And the good Queen showed the boy, it could all be real.  Find your storybook.”

I love that:  find your storybook…find your storybook.

apple_ipadair_ad_2014[1]Commercial #2: Apple.  This commercial shows images of people in unique activities and the voice of Robin Williams as John Keating quoting from the film “Dead Poets’ Society”.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.
We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.
And the human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.
But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!…of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless…of cities filled with the foolish: what good amid these, O me, O life?’
Answer.  That you are here – that life exists, an identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.  That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse.  What will your verse be?”

ee2686005e4dbe454fb08e099bb10ade[1]What will your verse be?  I love that.  What will your verse be?
And…What verse have you already written?  What verse are you writing now?

 

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Exude Hope

Tile Design 2March 2, 2014.  6:10 a.m.; to the east, pink hint to mostly blue sky; to the west, grey sky and maybe more rain.
The last two days, we’ve had torrential rainstorms, but long-drought California needs the rain.

Staying home I resumed my clutter-clearing.  I want to simplify my life believing I will have more energy, and believing I will have more control over my life.  And I do have control over what I keep and what I let go of.   I found this quote on another blog:

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” ~ Laurie Buchanan

There was a moment of truth when I first read this quote.  Yes!  I’m in control.   But, then a bit of reality creeped in:  I wouldn’t choose health issues, or being around someone with health issues and that is my life right now.  And my mind jumps to marriage and loyalty and family and those are all choices too.   But, here was another quote by Laurie:

“my heroes exude hope — a belief in a positive outcome”

I live with a hero!

I’m not sure if I qualify.  My mind jumps ahead to all the What Ifs?  My mind jumps ahead to the worse case scenarios.  I refuse helpless, I refuse being unprepared.

So I find solace in clutter-clearing, a process of letting go. And a process of organizing.  I’ve written about organizing in my blog each January/February for the past few years.  I’ve read and re-read this book:  Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui  by Karen Kingston at least three times.  Karen gets very systematic on giving away or throwing away stuff that has lost meaning or relevance.  For me, the process has taken on a more determined force.

For example:  I had three shoe boxes of greeting cards given to me over the years; cards for birthdays, Christmas, baby, thanks or hello, etc.    Karen Kingston’s advice:  “save the best and get rid of the rest”.   My mantra became “save the best and get rid of the rest.”

But I did take a detour on this one.  At Christmas I took old Christmas cards and cut them into strips and made paper chains for decoration .  For the baby shower coming up, I have taken most of the old boy baby cards and cut them up and made a paper chain decoration.  (The pastel blue and neutrals are actually quite lovely.)   And I feel surrounded by the good energy of all those givers who sent those cards.  I see bits of my father’s handwriting, or mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, friend….this turned out to be a powerful force field.

Chain Christmas

Chain BabyAlthough I haven’t gotten rid of  all the cards yet, I did recycle them to a new use: a powerful force field.  I didn’t expect this.

I think my favorite chapter in Karen Kingston’s book, is how to systematically let go of books. This chapter is for the book lover who treasures books almost above all else.   Here’s what she advises:  “Begin with cookbooks you’ve never used…move on to textbooks and reference books you haven’t touched in years, children’s books you or yours have outgrown, novels you weren’t interested enough to begin or finish, books with theories you don’t agree with….and on.”

Note:  7:37 a.m., the rain has returned and it’s another downpour.  I’m glad I caught that patch of pink sky at 6:10 a.m.)

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Artist Play Date – Roger’s Gardens

Marilyn 2eFebruary 22, 2014 – Roger’s Garden “A Day of Art”, a nursery in Corona Del Mar, CA.

My friend, Marilyn, invited me to participate in an artists’ open-air event where 50 artists would paint on location, outside in the beautiful and peaceful gardens.   I felt excitement like I haven’t felt in years, so, of course, I said an emphatic YES!

And WOW! We were in a profusion of colorful flowers with other people who shared the same passion, and lots of friendly visitors stopping to observe the progress.  What else: old-fashioned white-wood gazebos, meandering trails, water fountains, water fall, and a daffodil festival.  This gives you a sense of the setting.

Now, I haven’t painted outside, let along painted in oils outside, in years.
Planning:  First, what paint supplies to take, what to pack, how to get from car to gardens…all the logistics.  Sunscreen, sun hat, thermos of hot tea, lunch, directions….camara, apron, sweater.  I would be gone from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.

And I did arrive on time and Marilyn and I set up in the gazebos where we would have shade.  The day was supposed to be warm…and it was warm when the sun came out from behind the clouds, but got cold when hidden.  So, I was very glad I had that thermos of tea.  And just to set the scene some more, I brought two china teacups for us to use.  Nice!

Here’s the results of the day:

By LindaGirls in Garden 1

My intent:  girls in the garden, impressionist style, nostalgic, pastel, loose strokes, texture.   This sketch may be finished or I may go back in and reinforce some details.  Not sure yet.

By Marilyn:  Marilyn 3e

As a thank-you, here’s a mini bio.
Marilyn Scott-Waters is a children’s book illustrator, writer, paper wizard, and much more.  I’m always inspired!  She has at least six books published and several more in progress.  Visitors from around the world receive her monthly newsletter and free paper toys.  If you are looking for fun activities, creative inspiration, or special gifts visit Marilyn at her website.  ( http://www.thetoymaker.com ).  Another by Marilyn:

Marilyn 1eThe day was a delight to my soul!  An artist’s play date was just what the doctor ordered and I enjoyed every moment.  And I’m inspired to start painting again!

P.S. the thumbnail art at the beginning is another by Marilyn.  She really let herself play and experiment.  Enjoy!

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Valentines of Love

To CE from Ellen M 1887Happy Valentine’s Day:
I thought I would share some antique valentines on this day of love and remembrance.  I am curious, who in the world celebrates Valentine’s Day?  Is this a custom in your state, country, part of the world?  I meant to do some research but didn’t.  Merchants love this day, but I think husbands and boyfriends feel stress. Women want to share and receive. Kids feel the excitement of cards and candy put into their decorated Valentine boxes.  Custom, tradition, symbol, Victorian, share yours!  My husband will get extra hugs today.

From my great-grandparents collection (who I never met):
This first card (above), dated 1887, was from my great-grandmother Ellen, to my great-grandfather before they were married.

Here’s another one dated 1887.  This one is three-dimensional, three layers, very intricate and detailed. The sentiment inside says “Thou art the star that guides me along life’s troubled sea, and whatever fate betides  me, this heart still turns to thee.”

3D 1887This next one (below), inscribed on the back says “To Roland from Nelly”.  I believe my grandfather, Roland, was born in 1901 for this card came after that.

To Roland From NellyThe last card below, has no date or inscription.  I like the image.

To My Darling
The sentiment inside says:
“To My Darling:
Darling! that’s the word I love; All new-fashioned words above;
Of love that’s fervent it doth tell, Let such love between us dwell.”

One of my favorite memories, as a child, maybe age 8:  My class at school was going to exchange valentines.   My mom bought me a booklet of cards, maybe 8 1/2 x 11, and each card had to be punched out and assembled.   The details, maybe a bouquet of flowers or message or heart or box of candy, had to be inserted in a slot.  I can see those cards in my mind and still get great joy feelings.  The memory is so strong, it must have been the artist in me, the make and do aspect of assembling the cards before giving them away.

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Sick? What do you do?

Sketch LiliesIf you are sick then these flowers are for you with a Get-Well-Soon-Wish to get well soon!

It is rare when I’m down and under with something so I started self-medicating with over-the-counter cold and cough elixirs over a week ago. I rested more, ate chicken soup, kept warm, stayed home from work.  I don’t even remember the last time I stayed home from work sick.
(I actually enjoyed that immensely.)   My cough seemed centered in my throat, so I mistakenly thought my lungs weren’t involved..

Well, my cough continued to get worse so yesterday I went in to see the doctor – “viral bronchitis”, she said.  I am now on prescription medication, both an inhaler to help with the inflammation in my lungs and take-as-needed pills for the cough.  I was surprised that cough medication comes in pill form.  Anyway, the doctor said the infection was much deeper in my lungs.   I spent over $300 yesterday but it was worth every penny.
Mantra:  Treasure your health.

One great thing from this past week…taking time off work:  my creative brain had a chance to begin to open.  I’ve started some sewing projects and have other ideas organized.  My daughter and I have talked about selling at a craft fair later this year, for the holidays.   So I’ve started production.  I’m feeling excited, so it looks like sewing and making small dolls will carry me on their creative waves this year.  We will also make some wooden Santa’s and ornaments.  And who knows?Sketch GirlsDoll Corrections 2

Wood Santas

Wood Santas

Quote for the day:

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.
I’ts splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
~ L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables

 

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Take Joy

Sketch Take JoyIs Joy a choice?  Say YES!  And I choose a joyful outlook.
Move. Nourish.  Believe.  This is my mantra.  Move. Nourish. Believe.

 

 

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