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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Pipevine Swallowtail Pupae Living to evolve and evolving to live, a butterfly’s short life is one of purposeful change. From egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult, the butterfly develops through a process of metamorphosis. The Greek word metamorphosis means to transform or to change shape. How is your metamorphosis going? Are you a butterfly, yet?

#1 – Who’s Got the Button?
Augusto Esquivel's Button Art Augusto Esquivel clearly has a button and, in fact, he has millions of them. Using sewing buttons and monofilament, this Miami-based artist transforms the function and appearance of buttons into three-dimensional sculptures and portraits. In his own words, I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. Click here to go to his website and then click on a year to see button pieces completed that year.

#2  – Work It Out
Hit the Gym Motivations Need a little motivation to exercise and change your body? Here’s All the Motivation You Need to Hit the Gym from the Daily Zen List. If you don’t belong to a gym, don’t let that stop you from exercising. Open your front door and just start walking!

#3 – Food With A View
22 Incredible Restaurants with Insane Views Transform your dining experience with a visit to one of the restaurants listed in 22 Incredible Restaurants With Insane Views. If you could travel to any one of these restaurants in the world tomorrow, which one would you choose?

#4 – Make It a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood
If anyone tried to change the world for the better, Fred Rogers, host of the children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, did. Themes of self-acceptance, acceptance of differences, grace, and kindness resonated with both children and adults. Watch this old, but inspiring 5-minute video as Mr. Rogers accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

#5 – Change
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer

Now go and spread joy!

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Poppies and Oaks Take a walk through this photo with me. What do you see? Trees? Yes, what kind of trees? Flowers? How many different colored flowers are there? Looking at the shadows, from what direction is the sun shining? How observant are you when you are out and about? When you go for a walk, do you take in the sights, the sounds, and the smells that bombard your senses or do you push the sensory inputs away? Although it’s nice to chat with friends or listen to a book or music while walking, every now and then try being fully present during a walk and be grateful for the wondrous world around you.

#1 – The Gift of the Present
20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every Day Do you feel as if you operate on autopilot most of the time? The hustle and bustle of our days can carry us million of miles away from the present moment and distract us from reveling in the only moment we have for sure. Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. wrote an article called, 20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every Day. Whether you practice meditation or not, read through her list and select one of the entries to try today. You might find that, as a result, you are a kinder, more patient, and more focused person. I appreciated the entire list, but these five entries resonated with me:

Think of your mind as a swinging door. “Thoughts and feelings come in and out, like people. Be the door, not the doorman.”

When you turn on the faucet, focus on the bigger picture. “See the water flowing down from the glaciers and mountains, running deep into the earth, sustaining you and all life.”

Visualize a mountain lake with a smooth, glassy surface. A breeze sends ripples across the water. As the breeze quiets down, so do the ripples, and the water returns to being smooth. When something ruffles you, return to this visualization. “Feel the ripples and then let them settle.”

When you get home from work, every day, stand in front of your door and appreciate the moment. Rejoice in it. “Breathe in and out three times.”

As you’re trying to fall asleep, “imagine that with each breath you are melting into an ocean of light and space.”

#2 – The Bottom of the Jar
Whole Foods Condiments Do you throw away bottles or jars of ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise when just a little bit remains in the container? The next time you’re in that situation, don’t throw it away. Try creating something new by using one of these recipes from Whole Foods. For example, did you know that you could make Caesar Dressing or Honey Mustard Marinade with just the tablespoon or two that’s normally left at the bottom?

# 3 – Discard Art
Hey, how many times do I have to tell you not to throw stuff away? Instead, use your imagination and let your inner artist come out. You could create:

Giant Fish Sculptures from Discarded Plastic Bottles
Fish Sculpture From Discarded Bottles

Dresses From Recycled Materials Money Dress: Dress ,made from recycled materials


Stacked Book Sculptures
Used Book Sculptures


Watch Part Sculptures
Watch Part Sculptures

Junk Part Portraits Junk Parts Portraits

#4 – A Letter From Dad
A Letter From a Father to His Daughter Dr. Kelly Flanigan, a therapist, wrote a inspirational and thought-provoking letter to his young daughter about relationships. Every person, not just women, should read it. Relationships are two-way streets and both parties must know their worth and must recognize the value in themselves.

#5 – Just A Moment
“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Be in the present. Now go and spread joy!

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Double JoyA thoughtful gift of a plant with two garden stakes multiplies my joy every morning. As someone who enjoys nature and who has an affection for birds, I clearly appreciate the plant and the whimsical hummingbird. But knowing that my personal mantra is “Spread Joy,” my friend also gave me a garden stake with the word “joy” on it. What she doesn’t know is that every morning, when the bright eastern sun shines on my backyard, my joy doubles!

#1 – Napkin Notes
Napkin Notes A man named Garth writes words of encouragement on napkins before placing them in his daughter Emma’s lunch box. As a dedicated dad, he has been giving her these napkin notes, since she was in the second grade. But now, after being diagnosed with a cancer that gives him only an 8% chance of living beyond 5 years, Garth is accelerating his note-writing. He plans to write an additional 826 napkin notes, so that Emma will continue to receive notes in her lunch box after he is gone until she graduates from high school. Read about Garth and Emma’s inspirational story and check out their Facebook page.

#2 – Mother, Art, and Climate Change
Zaria Forman: Art and Climate Change Rena Bass Forman, an artist and photographer, conceived an idea to retrace the 1869 Arctic trip of American painter William Bradford, but unfortunately she did not live long enough to realize her dream. Her daughter Zaria Forman, a Brooklyn-based artist, fulfilled a promise she made to her late mother by leading an expedition called Chasing the Light up the northwest coast of Greenland. This trip inspired many realistic pastel drawings of icebergs. In an interview posted on My Modern Met, Ms. Forman says, “My hope is that these drawings bring awareness, and invite viewers to share the urgency in a hopeful and meaningful way. Art can facilitate a deeper understanding of any crisis, helping us find meaning and optimism in shifting landscapes.” Ms. Forman also traveled to the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, to continue her focus on climate change. Below are links to see more of her incredible artwork:

Exploring Climate Change Through Art: Giant Pastel Oceanscapes and Icebergs Drawn By Zaria Forman

Zaria Forman Website.

#3 – A Hum a Day Keeps Stress Away
"Flying" Hum Want to begin the day in peaceful calm or end your day completely relaxed? Or do mid-afternoons present the most stressful moments? In any case, all you need to do is hum. Check out Osmosis, a “Frequency-shaped Meditation Drone Generator. The site reads, “Humming enhances breath control and extends exhalation. It also creates deep vibrations inside your chest, helping you to relax, ease stress, and balance your mind and body.” Locate the steady hum behind the soothing tinkling of bells and hum along. Feel better?

#4 – Valentine’s Day Upcycled
Upcycled Gift Boxes Not wanting to rush the year along, but Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away! Instead of buying heart-related stuff at your local craft store, how about upcycling something you already have around your house? Start by making these lace-inspired gift containers, made with plastic containers that previously held powdered drink pouches.

#5 – Joy Follows
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Guatama Buddha

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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Christmas Cookies Like fog rolling in and stealing the sun, winter doldrums came and swept over me. Even though it’s not officially winter yet, I’ve been feeling kind of blue these last couple of weeks. Realizing this, I knew I desperately needed a special kind of therapy – cookie therapy. Luckily, a friend sensed my mood and we set up a “therapy session.” Baking and decorating cookies with reckless creativity and chatting and laughing made my case of wintertime blues disappear.

#1 – The Cookies
The cookies featured in the photo above are my holiday version of my Valentine’s Day Cookies. Click the link for the recipe and directions. These decorated shortbread cookies are cheerful to look at and delicious to devour!

#2 – Edible Gifts
60 Ideas For Homemade Edible Gifts If Chocolate-Covered Bacon, Earl Grey Kumquat Marmalade, or Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti sound delicious to you, just think how impressed your friends will be when you give them one of these edible gifts. PopSugar’s post Over 60 Ideas For Homemade Edible Gifts is filled with intriguing and interesting ideas. Some of them take advance planning such as making homemade limoncello or vanilla extract.

#3 – In The Mirrored Room
Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room - the Souls of Millions of Light Years Away Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama created an art installation called the “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” that is both breathtaking and surreal. Lucky New York City folk can visit this amazing installation until December 21st at the David Zwirner Gallery. How I wish I could step into that room!

#4 – Finding Courage
How to Find Courage In the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion sought to find courage, not knowing it was already within him. Each day we face a variety of struggles, most of which we deal with and then we move on with our lives. To do this requires courage. Like the Cowardly Lion, many of us don’t realize that we already possess the courage we need to face issues. We just need to uncover it. While reading an online magazine this morning, I came across an article by Steve Keating called How to Find Courage. Although it was written by a business man for a target audience, its message is applicable for everyone.

#5 – Never Too Late
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Go Now and Spread Joy!

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Entering the Creepy Room A white door at the top of the stairs rests slightly ajar and tempts a young woman to enter. The floor groans as she takes her first steps into the dusty room. As her eyes adjust to the dim light, she spies dark shapes lined up under the shuttered windows. Closer inspection reveals large bags leaning against one another for support. At the tops of the bags, scrawled in cursive handwriting, are the words: Torsos, Necks, Bottoms, and Arms. Red specks cover the carpet and a cutting blade lies nearby. It’s quite a messy scene. “Mom’s at it again,” the young woman sighs. Acknowledging her mother’s late night activities forces the woman to shiver and contemplate the approaching cold weather. As she slowly closes the door behind her, she says thoughtfully, “How nice. Mom’s making more t-shirt scarves for the homeless.”

#1 – Igniting a Strand of Firecrackers
T-shirts The power of one is like lighting the fuse on a strand of firecrackers. In September, I conceived an idea that would help both the homeless and planet Earth. In 100 Scarves: Making T-Shirt Scarves for the Homeless, I wrote about making scarves and tote bags from clean and gently used t-shirts. To help me reach my goal, I solicited t-shirt donations from friends and acquaintances. To date, I’ve made over 50 t-shirt scarves and 10 t-shirt tote bags and taken them to a local homeless shelter. When a dear friend of mine saw the scarves and bags she was inspired to help. Not only did she clean out her drawers and closets, she asked her friends to do the same. Very quickly word spread and soon friends of friends were donating t-shirts. Sitting in my dining room are close to 500 t-shirts and other pieces of clothing. Items such as jackets, vests, sweaters, and long-sleeved t-shirts will be donated to the shelter as is. People I don’t even know purchased brand new t-shirts to donate to my cause. Another friend gave me scarves she had knitted which reminded me of my own bag of knitted goods. All the scarves I’d knitted, but never given away as gifts were added to the pile. Once a strand of firecrackers ignites, each individual explosion affects the next one and the spark continues.

#2 – Monster Face Pizzas
Monster Face Pizzas Monsters are everywhere this time of the year. They can even be found hiding in our food! From Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Blog comes this monstrously easy idea. Think of how much fun kids would have creating their own Monster Face Pizzas at a Halloween party!

#3 – Art That Makes The Cut
Yulia-Brodskaya10-640x808 Using a technique called quilling, Moscow-born artist Yulia Brodskaya painstakingly cuts, curls, rolls, and glues paper to create her incredible three dimensional artwork, as seen on fubiz and on her website.

#4 – Creative Ideas
Chair and Bookshelf All In OneRecipes, design concepts, storage solutions, and re-purposing ideas can all be found in Simple Ideas That Are Borderline Genius. Some of them I’ve posted about in the past, but others are new to me. Who doesn’t appreciate a good idea?

#5 – The Power of One
“First with the head, then with the heart, you’ll be ahead from the start.”
Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

NOW GO AND SPREAD JOY!

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Rio Samba Rose Trick or treat? The early morning sun cast a spectacular golden glow on a rose, necessitating an impromptu photo session. After downloading the images to my computer, tone-on-tone color variations, curves, and shapes filled the screen and fooled my eyes. Was I looking at an abstract painting? Cerebrally, I knew the answer. But for a few seconds, my brain refused to recognize the rose and registered only its glorious components. I was both tricked and treated, don’t you think?

#1 – Inside a Wave
Inside a Wave Imagine a wall of water curls over you. You’re inside a wave. How would it look? What colors and shapes would you see? Take a Look Inside a Wave answers those questions with a collection of fascinating photos taken by different photographers from around the world.

#2 – Color and Shapes

Artist Beatriz Milhazes

Photo by Felipe Dana/Ap

Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes’ life is filled with colors and shapes. A statement by French artist Yves Klein influences her work. Milhazes says, “Klein said he painted in one color because once you add another, you have conflict.” She desires the opposite effect in her artwork. She wants conflict. Watch the 8-minute video to see more of her colorful work and to learn more about her unique techniques.

#2 – Jack-O-Lantern Designs
140 Pumpkin Carving Designs Pumpkin? Check. Carving tools? Check. Design? Nope. If you’re looking for jack-o-lantern designs, look no further. It’s Written on the Wall provides links to (At least) 140 FREE Halloween Pumpkin Carving Patterns. That’s almost too many designs to choose from!

#4 – Life-Changing Sentences
You Learn More From Failure How many of you remember the childhood saying. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As a child I bought into all of that, but as an adult, I recognize its folly. Words have power. They influence, they wound, they encourage, they make our hearts sing, etc. Lifehack offers a list of 10 Sentences That Can Change Your Life. These sentences may not change your life completely, but the powerful thoughts behind them will make you think and possibly question your current beliefs.

#5 – Limited or Limitless?
“There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; it’s what we do with them that’s important.”
Jim Rohn

Now go and spread joy!

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Twisted Oaks

It’s the golden dappled sunlight that dances on trees.
It’s the gnarly twisting branches that beg to please.
It’s the patches of lichens that soften the hard.
It’s the music of leaves scattering in yards.
It’s the warmth of friendship and much happy talk.
It’s the many pleasures of a lovely autumn walk.

Linnell Chang

#1 – Self-Improvement
The Only Way to Improve Your Situation Is to Improve Yourself In the article The Only Way to Improve Your Situation Is to Improve Yourself, the author offers easy and helpful suggestions of ways to improve your mind, body and soul. In my opinion, a long walk works on all three areas, but it must be done briskly, with frequent acknowledgements of the miracles around, and all the while living in the moment.

#2 – There’s No Substitution for Good Health
Healthy Recipe Substitutions It can be daunting to wade through the whys and hows of healthy eating. Thanks to this list of 83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions, all of that has become a little easier. Yes, the list is long, but that’s good. That means we have options. The list is broken down into these categories: baking, stovetop, meals, snacks, seasoning, alcohol, and cooking methods. Why not try green avocado puree in lieu of butter?

#3 – Kermit the Wise
Kermit the Frog Quote Speaking of green . . . Motivation and inspiration can be found in all sorts of places and from all sorts of people. In this case, it’s coming from the Muppet’s character Kermit the Frog. Check out these 12 Kermit the Frog Quotes for Your Bad Days. It will make you smile!

#4 – Never Too Old to Finger Paint
Painting by Iris Scott If you’re not too old to learn something from Kermit the Frog, then you’re definitely not too old to finger paint. Artist Iris Scott accidentally stumbled upon her technique of painting with her fingers. Wearing surgical gloves, she applies oil paints to her fingers and paints in a post-impressionistic style. I love what she says about her method, My fingers dance rapidly across the canvas – some say it reminds them of a piano player in action. The colors collide and meld into my composition, raw oils are squeezed straight from the tubes, the texture is thick and juicy. This chaotic scene goes on well into the evening. To stay focused I dance, I sing, I stretch. Her art is incredibly rich in colors and textures.

#5 – What Life Is About
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
~Gilda Radner

Go and spread joy!

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