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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Yellow Pilgrim Rose Through my camera lens, leaves and a stem frame a single yellow bloom. In fact, it’s the only blossom blooming on an old woody rose bush called The Pilgrim.  Mother Nature did everything she could do to make sure I didn’t miss this beauty.

#1 – Let Go, Be Happy
When I first stumbled across this article, I thought to myself, “Not another self-improvement list!” But when I actually took the time to read the 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy, I was glad I did. Some of us get set in our ways and fall into negative thought and behavioral patterns. The points in the article serve as good reminders of ways to keep life in proper perspective.

#2 – The Wheels on the Bus

Old School Bus Transformed Into Mobile Home

Justin Evidon

The wheels on this old bus still go ’round and ’round thanks to architecture student Hank Butitta’s efforts. After purchasing an old school bus on Craigslist, he renovated it into a mobile home – complete “with beds, tables, storage and social areas, and a working sink and toilet.” He’s now taking it on the ultimate road test, a 5,000-mile cross country trip!

#3 – A Bit of Whimsy

William Kass

William Kass

Combining food with miniature toys would seem to result in an odd art form, but not in the hands of photographer William Kass. In his photo series Minimize, his choice of materials inspired him to create whimsical scenes. It’s an imaginative way of viewing the world.

#4 – Villages
Whether or not you believe in the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” you will still enjoy taking an armchair stroll through some of the Most Beautiful Villages Around The World.

#5 – Know Your Worth
Know Your Worth

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

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T-shirt Gift Bag The wanna-be artist in me was delighted when one of my nieces requested manga drawing materials for her birthday. Rather than spend money on a paper gift bag to hold her art supplies, I thought it would be more fun to put them in a cute and sturdy t-shirt bag. A while back I posted the instructions on how to make a T-Shirt Bag, but since this bag was a gift, I made the finished product nicer by adding a few steps: I “boxed” the bottom and sewed bias tape around the raw openings. After transforming a black and white “History of Art” t–shirt (leftover from my art docent days) into a bag, I tied it up with a large colorful ribbon. My talented niece now has a reusable gift bag/art tote and I’m pleased that I re-purposed another item!

#1 – Art in Clothes and Clothes in Art

Art by Kaarina Kaikkonen

Kaarina Kaikkonen: The Blue Route

Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaikkonen re-purposes t-shirts and other second-hand clothes with a different creative goal in mind. She creates dreamlike art installations. The power of her work lies in how she ties her message to each site of installation. Ms. Kaikkonen says of her work, “My work talks about people, how people from different backgrounds are connected together, about life as a journey.” You can see more of her work here.

#2 – Clever Kitchen Ideas
Reuse broken hangers as bag clipss A hanger can be used for more than hanging clothes as seen by this photo. Check out these 10 Clever Kitchen Lifehacks.

#3 -Made You Smile
We can all come up with clever and creative ways to make our lives easier and more enjoyable, but how about coming up with ways to make each others’ lives happier, at least for a moment? It can start with a smile. Mark and Angel Hack Life have compiled a list called 88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile and the first entry is “Smile often.”

#4 – Exploring Caves
Fingals Cave in Scotland Exploring caves around the world is not at the very top of my bucket list, but I can say that I’ve been to at least one of the caves featured in 23 of the World’s Most Insane Caves That You Can Explore. After looking through this series of photos of nature’s amazing creations, I am now adding visits to a few of them to my bucket list!

#5 – Creativity According to Rainn
“Everyone is creative in their own way and that, that creativity is a great thing. It’s a human thing and it needs to be nurtured and it can help us go down life’s path and help us to become deeper, richer, more satisfied human beings.”
Rainn Wilson

“If it’s a pure expression of yourself no matter what it is or what medium, it’s going to shine. It’s going to resonate. You could look inside of yourself and you could have a canvas and you could paint a dot in it, but if that is where your creative purpose is taking you then it needs to be that dot.”
Rainn Wilson

Let your creativity shine this weekend!

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Praying Mantis ImageOh! Hello, young praying mantis. Would you mind holding that pose while I run inside to get my camera and tripod? Minutes later, I came out to find my new garden friend still sitting there on a leaf by my front door. As my camera lens zoomed in on him, I saw one of his five eyeballs rotate towards me and I noticed the slight up and down bobbing of his curled tail. I’m still experimenting with the macro aspect of my new camera, but fortunately I’ve found a “willing” subject to pose for me!

#1 – Praying Mantis Trivia
Praying Mantis Image In case you’re like me and you think it’s always good to know a little something about everything, here’s some interesting information about these fascinating creatures from the site ThePrayingMantis.org:

A. The word “mantis” comes from the Greek word meaning prophet.

B. The earliest fossils of the praying mantis are from Oligocene, a geologic epoch dating around 23 to 34 million years ago.

C. The praying mantis has excellent eyesight and can see up to about 50 feet away.

D. The praying mantis is the only insect that can rotate its alien-like head almost completely around!

E. In most mantids there is one ear in a form of a small slit near the legs and has two eardrums and tuned to 25-60 kHz, which allows them to hear the ultrasonic sounds of bats as they near so they can dodge them quickly.

F. The praying mantis is actually more closely related to the cockroach than to grasshoppers!

G. A State Insect? Yes, it is true. The European Mantis (mantis religiosa), a native of Southern Europe became the official State Insect of Connecticut on October 1st, 1977!

#2 – A Happy Home
Entry way bench No matter where you live or what your state insect is, being happy in your home adds joy to life. The site Hooked on Houses posted this list of 10 Ways To Be Happy At Home:

1. Stop resenting what your house isn’t and start appreciating what it is. There is always something to be thankful for!

2. Respect it enough not to clutter it up with things you don’t really like or need.

3. Have a comfortable chair in a quiet corner where you can read and recharge.

4. Turn the TV off and your favorite music on.

5. Keep fresh flowers on your kitchen windowsill in glass jars or bud vases.

6. Try eating dinner by candlelight, with music, for no special reason. And use your best dishes.

7. Create character where there isn’t any – crown molding works wonders!

8. Surround yourself with your favorite “happy colors,” whether they’re trendy or not.

9. Display something from your childhood that you treasure.

10. Don’t try to replicate the look of a model home. Strive to create spaces that exude warmth, love, comfort, and peace.

The author then asked for readers’ input which led to an additional 20 More Ways To Be Happy At Home.

#3 – The Pixel Painter

Art by Hal Lasko

Art by Hal Lasko

97-year-old Hal Lasko is an incredible and inspirational man. He is now blind and deaf, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what what he loves to do – create art. An online article about Lasko says this: Using an outdated version of Microsoft Paint, Hal Lasko is able to create anything from pixelated nature-inspired sceneries, animal portraits or abstract pieces. Building works of art pixel by pixel is a time-consuming process, but 97-year-old Grandpa says he has learned to be patient and never rush the creative process.

Prints of Mr. Lasko’s art are for sale with 10% of the proceeds going to Veterans of Foreign War programs.

#4 – Mah Jong Addiction
Mah Jong After my husband helped my mom upgrade her computer software, she complained that she didn’t like the new computer Mah Jong game he installed. There was one specific version she liked for its layout. After some searching, he found a compatible version for her to try. She’s very happy with it, but the only problem now is . . . he and I can’t stop playing it. Rev up those brain cells and try playing this Mah Jong game, but tell yourself you’ll only play it once! Click here for a link to a video on how to play the game.

#5 – Life
“Don’t go through life; grow through life.”
Eric Butterworth

Have a great weekend!

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Shape the Hive Two is better than one, three is better than two, four is better than three, and so on. Being a part of something larger and grander, lends us support and strength and gives us a better perspective. No matter what each of us is experiencing, good or bad, life is just better when shared with others.

#1 – Shape The Hive
Shape The Hive Be part of a creative community and help SHAPE THE HIVE, a digital interactive art piece. The website states: “SHAPE THE HIVE, at its foundation, is a creative community. Members contribute pieces that, when combined with others, will form a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.” Participants create and add images to cells using their own photographs. The built in software allows participants to manipulate their images to give their cells different kaleidoscopic effects. This is so easy and fun to do!

#2 – Makes Me Think
A while back I posted a link to a site called Makes Me Think: Today’s Thought-Provoking Life Stories. People submit entries about occurrences and observations that made them think (MMT). Recently, I came across this site again and I remembered to bookmark it on my computer this time. Reading the entries always engulfs me in an array of emotions and often times renews my faith in my fellow man. Here is a sampling:

Today, I went for a run and decided to go thru my town’s cemetery. While I was looking around, I came across an older women in a lawn chair reading a book next to a grave. I began talking to her, assuming she’d lost her husband recently, but it turns out she has done this every week for the past five years. Her love and devotion MMT.

Today, I am 16-years-old. I learned CPR yesterday in health class. I had no idea I would have to perform CPR on someone this afternoon. And when the paramedics arrived, they told me I undoubtedly saved my mom’s life. MMT

Today, instead of calling the cops on the homeless man that was caught stealing canned soup from the grocery store where I work, the store manager bought the homeless man an entire case of the canned soup he was stealing and told the man he’d prefer never to catch him stealing again. MMT

#3 – A Word To The Wise
Dishwasher Fires We’ve all heard about clothes dryer fires, but how many of us have heard about dishwasher fires? I normally don’t write about these types of things, but a friend recently shared her dishwasher fire experience with me and I think it is information well worth sharing. The interior of her home is being completely gutted, because of the extensive fire, water, heat, smoke, and soot damage. In her words,” . . . the common culprit appears to be an electrical defect in the control panel that was used by many manufacturers in the late 90s up through 2005-2009. Many, many models by many manufacturers are under recall – but nobody knows! Like many people, I did not register my appliances because I didn’t want to be flooded with junk mail/e-mail. Most manufacturers have a place on their website where you can check which serial numbers are under recall. Encourage people to do it – and to register appliances. Also, do not run the dishwasher when leaving the house or going to bed.”

Here are a few links I found regarding dishwasher fires:
KitchenAidFire.com
General Electric Recalls 1.3 Million Dishwashers for Fire Hazzard
Maytag Recalls Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazzard
ABC Action News “Dishwasher Dangers”

#4 – When The Mind Says Goodbye
After listening to my friends tell me their stories of dealing with parents who have Alzheimer’s Disease and after watching this video, my eyes were opened to this sad and cruel disease.

#5 – Counting Hours
“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”
~Anonymous

Show someone you care this weekend and your weekend will become infinitely better!

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First Kiss Rose Delicate porcelain-like petals unfurl into a creamy kiss of pink — First Kiss to be exact. All the qualities of a first kiss can be seen in its blossoms: blush, innocence, and joy. Admiring the beauty of this rose had me wondering about the person who named it. This person’s first kiss must have left an everlasting imprint. Do you remember your first kiss?

#1 – 96 Seconds of Joy
This video has been around for awhile, but it never fails to make me smile. The pure joy the dog exhibits is a reminder for all of us to live in the moment and to do what we love with gusto!

#2 – Amazing Product Designs

Bottle Opener Cell Phone Case

Bottle Opener Cell Phone Case

Loving clever and innovative designs, I always enjoy sharing them. Some of these designs, compiled by Glorious Mind, are Eco-friendly, some of them are extraordinarily clever, and some of them are just playful.

#3 – Homemade Hand Scrub
Black Sand Hand Scrub After a long day working in the garden or around the house, it’s nice to treat your hands to a moisturizing scrub. From the site StyleList comes this recipe for Black “Sand” Scrub, a scrub packed with good things:

1 cup leftover coffee grounds
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
1/4 cup of steel cut oats
Contents of 1 tea bag of high antioxidant tea

Combine coffee, oil, oats, and tea in a small disposable bowl until everything is well-blended in the oil. Scrub into skin using a circular motion.

#4 – Three Simple Materials

Art by Kumi Yamashita

By Kumi Yamashita

Last Friday I featured an artist who used thread and nails to create huge rainbow-like art installations. This week I’m featuring a talented Japanese artist named Kumi Yamashita who uses similar media to create portraits. Of her Constellation series, Yamashita says, “This body of work consists of three simple materials that, when combined, produce the portraits: a wooden panel painted a solid white, thousands of small galvanized nails, and a single, unbroken, common sewing thread.” While on her website view some of her other amazing portraits made from different media.

#5 – Dreamers and Doers
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Kiss someone you love this weekend!

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Romeo Small tufts of hair sticking out over his eyes resemble the white bushy eyebrows of an old man. Only a thin isthmus of hair prevents two bald spots on his face from becoming one large one and deep wrinkles that were once hidden by hair are exposed and reveal his age. There is no doubt that radiation treatment for a cancerous nasal tumor has made my dog Romeo look older. Yet, despite his post-radiation appearance, my playful and mischievous dog of the past is slowly returning. As I watch him naughtily shred paper, I smile. Before, such an act would have been met with a frown, but now it brings me joy.

#1 – New Uses for Old Things

Foil Cupcake Liners as Candleholders

Foil cupcake liners as candleholders

I got excited when I found an article on Real Simple’s site called 700+ New Uses For Old Things. With the aid of photos, the article offers many unconventional ways to use everyday items. You can bet I’ll be taking notes as I check out all of these ideas!

#2 – Making Rainbows

Gabriel Dawe Art Installation

Plexus No. 5 by Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe Art Installation

Plexus No. 19 by Gabriel Dawe

Artist Gabriel Dawe installs rainbows. Using colorful thread, Mr. Dawe transforms large areas of space into rainbow-like art installations. Check out more of his work on his Facebook page.

#3 – Handwriting 101
Ever wonder what your handwriting reveals about your personality? Take a look at the infographic below to see what your handwriting says about you:

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

#4 – Summer Reading
If you or your kids are looking for interesting books to read this summer, NPR has you covered with their Summer 2013 Critics’ Lists. You’re bound to find a title that catches your fancy!

#5 – Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!

Steve Maraboli

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Bathing Birds The lyrics “Splish, Splash, I was taking a bath . . . ” played in my head as I watched a Mourning Dove and a Lesser Goldfinch shake and shimmy while bathing in the cool waters of my backyard fountain. With triple-digit temperatures predicted for the next couple of days, I have no doubt that the fountain will be a HOT spot for my backyard friends!

#1 – Hot Weather Tips
Hot days create dangerous conditions for pets. If you have a pet, refresh your hot weather knowledge by reading these articles:
ASPCA’s Hot Weather Tips
Keep Your Pet Cool During Dog Days of Summer
How to Cool Your Cat Down in the Summer

#2 – Travel Smart

Travel Tips

Use straws to bring small amounts of liquid with you

Whether traveling near or far, you are sure to find at least one travel tip you’ll want to try from the article 14 Clever Travel Hacks To Make Your Trip Awesome.

#3 – Can You Unlock the Lock?
If you’ve ever imagined yourself being as clever as Sherlock Holmes, you’ll want to try playing CombinationLock. With a timer ticking away, you’re given clues to determine the lock’s 3-digit combination. Additional clues can be requested to make the game easier and an additional reel of digits can be added to make it more challenging.

#4 – Unwoven Light
Soo Sunny Park Art Installation Artists push boundaries to find ways to express themselves and to interpret the world around them. American artist Soo Sunny Park used chain link fencing and iridescent Plexiglas tiles to create an ethereal fantasy of light. She says of her artwork Unwoven Light, installed at Rice University in Houston, Texas, “Like a net, the sculpture is a filter that is meant to capture the light that is already there and force it to reveal itself.”

#5 – Your Journey
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.”
― Asha Tyson

Have a great weekend!

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