Monday, January 31, 2011

Engaging Your Senses

This is the time of year of blah! When a lot of us, develop the winter blues, cabin fever and some of us SAD.  I think all of these tie in together, lack of sunlight affects our moods. I didn't think I had a problem, til we moved to Alaska. We arrived January 5th, years ago.  Alaska is the land of the midnight sun and I really felt it. I remember driving my son to preschool, it was 9am and pitch black outside. The Sun didn't make an appearance, til 10am. If  the day was overcast and gray, it was really difficult, by 3pm it would start to get dark. I managed to be okay, when i kept busy, starting going out and meeting people. Later a job, saved my sanity.  I think this is why Valentine's Day is such a big holiday. We need some color, some chocolate to alter our moods, something to look forward to. Flower gifts brighten one's home;chocolate soothes one's soul. BUT, can't we do things now, to tend to this feeling. Baking muffins, making soup, a new plant, rearranging the furniture,making something for your home, or perhaps some new scented candles can all brighten our mood. We need cheer; It is people and the little things, gestures that brighten our mood.  What do you do to fight winter doldrums?

Friday, January 28, 2011

I am better for it

Sweet Kolleen from Heartwingsisters, does a weekly segment on Friday. She shares a life changing story, "I'm Better, for It". I was chosen to share my story. You might want to check out the other Friday posts; She does this every week.

Thanks Kolleen, for making me feel brave~ I know you are! xXx

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Think Thank Thursday

Isn't this gorgeous; I couldn't find a photo that I had that portrayed the beauty I wanted. I decided to look on Etsy.  Here I found this woman, Crystal with a shop, called "The Demure Dragonfly",(love the name). Mario and Crystal work in photography, illustrations and artistic designs All of the photos listed, in their shop, can be ordered in just about any size and in several different print finishes, framing options, and on various merchandise (mugs, magnets, etc.) Every photo can also be ordered as a photo card set. Just inquire for more information! I thought it would be fun to use a talented team to portray the poem I wrote today~

Poets United prompt #33 is Fire; fireworks came to mind. I wanted to end it on the birth of adulthood, not the grand finale of life.

Green fertile mind grows,
Once a bit seasoned, the flame ignites.

Youth smolders, internal heat erupts
Blisters form, as passion roars.
Radiating warmth with fits of rage.

Scorched gifts, burn into furrowed brow,
Oppressive humidity, sucks oxygen out,
Slowly arrogant n' proud, dissipate.

Intensity sparks light of hope,
Enlightenment is kindled,
Passion's promise glows,
Best Wishes of future planted.

Oooh's and aahh's arrive,
as fiery rain dances,
Display breathtaking beauty,
Triumphant new birth

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A-Z challenge

Lee of Tossing it out, has done it again; He has posted an A-Z blogging challenge. I participated last April; It was challenging, but fun. I met,so many fascinating bloggers.  You can go to Lee's now and sign up, it starts
April 1st, no this isn't an April Fool~(We all wondered last year, but we now know Lee is serious and a great host)

Lee says it best:

             "Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays.  In doing this you will have 26 blog posts--one for each letter of the alphabet.   Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet".
              "You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge.  There is an unlimited universe of possibilities.  You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about.  You don't have to be a writer to do this.  You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craft work.   Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z".

Lee is also a master juggler; He has rounded up some other bloggers to aid in administrating the challenge.
His words:  There is no way I can expand this Challenge to 300 or more participants and expect to do it alone.  That is why I've joined up with three of the most successful bloggers and blog event organizers that I know.

"Star blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of the popular science fiction novel CassaStar.   He's organized events such as the Movie Dirty Dozen, The Top Ten TV Shows Blogfest, and the current Top Ten Music Countdown-- each one of these an unqualified success.    Alex is determined to see A to Z go to 500 participants and with him on board I think we can do it".

"Power-blogger  Jen Daiker from Unedited  jumped right into blogging last April by joining up in the A to Z Challenge.   In her short span of blogging she has amazingly passed the 1000 follower mark--I still am flabbergasted by that feat.  Blog events she has hosted or co-hosted are the Guess That Character Fest, The Great Blogging Experiment (with Alex Cavanaugh and Elana Johnson), and The Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest.   If only all 1059 of her followers blogged from A to Z with us!"

"Talli Roland from her self-named blog and the author of The Hating Game , her recent novel which is still doing hot business.  When Talli did her Web Splash to coincide with the release of The Hating Game, there were hundreds of fans who helped kick off the campaign with their own blogs.   She'll be in charge of our international affairs since she currently lives in London, England.   And Jen is already building her army of followers while Alex is taking control of CassaStar and the universe--it's a busy crew here."

Don't be shy...join us; It's fun and you'll  make a lot of new friends~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In My Own Little Corner

I am alone today, for the first time in over 6 weeks. I love my family, but to be creative I need time alone.. It is just the way, I'm made. I can find random bits of time, but seems like I always have to tuck it all away. This makes me think of the song in the movie, "Cinderella", the version I watched on TV, when I was young.
"In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be"; today I'm wearing my crafty hat. The prince is out of town, the kids are at school and my Fairy God Mother is me, allowing myself to do whatever I want, for today. I did do a few chores, before I declared it to be My day.I decided to wash all the bedding today; my kids have been sick. I found a Marie Claire magazine, I bought for some reason, fashion, hair ideas for my daughter. Anyway, I took this "Are You Too Sensitive Test?"   I am...not all of it fit me, but a lot sure did.

A few things that hit the nail on the head:  I am sensitive to caffeine, I startle easy, have an appreciation for arts and music, other people's moods effect me, and I find I need to retreat, withdraw and find some privacy, etc.  It makes sense, my family will say things, "What is wrong?" or they don't understand why I HAVE to have my ALONE time. I will stay up, til the wee hours in the morning to get it. I can't get up in the morning and have it, the Prince gets up at 4:30am. There are some down sides to this, as well.  It just makes me wonder, if it is part of being creative?  Do you need time alone, to ponder your thoughts?  HSP(highly sensitive people) seem to have a complex, rich inner life and active imagination.  Do you find this true for YOU?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Poets United

Poets United new prompt #32 is based on a song in the movie Casablanca, "As Time Goes By".  Every third week in the month, there is going to be a prompt relating to a musical or movie theme.  Interesting...   I found this the most difficult poem to write, so far.  This is the anniversary date of my Dad's death. It is fitting, this would be movie related. A lot of you know, he wore a star by day(Texaco business) and shown them on the silver screen by night.  Movies were one of his passion, he also loved music, too. He and my Mom met at a movie theater. He was the projectionist; she the concession stand, candy girl. When I was a teenager; I sold tickets, there.
My Dad passed before the magic of VHS, DVDs, flat screen TV's and High Def.  I suspect the Texaco business would of been a movie rental store. I grew up in this movie theater, I spend a lot of weekends going to the movies with him. My Mom also learned to be a projectionist. Would you believe my comfort food is popcorn...

Stars rise n' fall
spliced memories blur the lines,
Reels of pain n' joy arrive,
Caught in a tangled net of stardust.

Kodachrome dreams paint
recycled memories in an adult mind.
Lights, camera, action,
Man enters scene dressed in green hope,
star shone by day on gas fumed
oil stained hands,
At night, silver screen smile
change overs perfected.

Popped fresh thoughts of youth,
Paramount Proud candy girl,
Love of film,cast them together,
Romance, song and trivia, the bait.

Super Nova so bright to remain for long,
Aperture's focus, family n' fun,
Comedy n' drama middle themes,

Frozen tiny stars fell,
During his last matinee,
Dim the lights,
Final scene at  Heaven's gate,
audience lost must go on...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breakfast Cookies

I know sounds like an oxymoron, but it can work.  YOU just have to rework your oatmeal cookie recipe.
There are many ways to tweak it, to add nutritional value.

Here is the recipe from my oatmeal, for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:

2 sticks butter,1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, l tsp vanilla ext,
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of salt(optional), 3 cups oatmeal(I use
old fashion) 1 cup raisins. Mix wet then dry add vanilla and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes.

Here are some tweaks: for the butter, you can use peanut or almond butter. YOU can use 1/2 the butter, 1 stick and some canola oil. I melt the butter, then slowly drizzle in the oil and stir. You can use baby food, or applesauce or mash a ripe banana then add some canola oil to equal the two sticks of butter.  I cut the sugar to 1/2 to 2/3 cups brown sugar, again, here you could use stevia, splenda, molasses, honey, brown rice syrup, whatever you like. The batch I made yesterday, was 2/3c brown sugar.

No one noticed, because I replaced my flour with 1/2 cup ground almonds. YOU can grind nuts, to make nut flour. I used Dark Chocolate flavored, not coated almonds(Cocoa Roast Almonds). I then substituted 1/2c. coconut, I use unsweetened if I have it, but didn't. I used regular, then I added 1/2c. wheat germ(it is over in the grocery aisle near the oatmeal, cream of wheat cereals).  I used only 1/2 cup all purpose flour. I didn't cut back on the oats, if mixture is dry you can add a tbsp of water. I then add, dried fruit and nuts, what I had on hand. You can get really creative: dried pears, raisins, apricots, cranberries, etc. Whatever you and your family like. If you wanted more protein, you could add the a scoop of your protein shake(Whey is good),
but read labels to see what the ingredients are. I also like to add the dried fruit n' nuts to the top of my cookie.
You could say they are Trail mix cookies and use them for snacks. It is rare my family eats them for breakfast. My children seem to like lunch for breakfast, but everyone likes them. Try them, they are fun to make and the combos are endless~

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Romancing the Paper

I am taking this class,with the talented Rachel Emilie Jackson. She has had her art work published, in many Stampington magazines.  She is known for her mixed media, paper and book art. Her class is about using pressed flowers, diluted paint mediums, stamps, and different papers, while learning, some of her techniques. It is a lovely vision, to think of using flowers in art, during the winter. It does inspire thoughts and dreams of spring. I do wish I had an abundance, to go pick from. I did dry some last summer, but not enough.  I love the soft palette and ethereal look of her art. Rachel shows you how to dry flowers and how to treat and store the delicate blooms.  This was a Christmas gift, which I hope will inspire me, all year long~

I did find some delphinium on their way out and purchased them; I hope they dry well. Some blooms do not.

                              In reality these are bright royal blue, they should fade to a light lavender~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hollywood Spy

Dezmond of Hollywood Spy is holding his annual award ceremony; Dezz has a wonderful blog! He updates and enlightens. with entertainment news of what is up and coming.  He says it better, " THE HOTTEST OF ALL THE COOLEST EXCLUSIVES FROM FILM AND TV WORLD, EXCLUSIVE NEW PICTURES, TRAILERS AND UPDATES.". You can even go and vote for who you would like to see be the next Bond, James Bond that is! All kinds of juicy tidbits of up and coming new movies; He also shares who might be cast! I love his site, if you haven't discovered him, check out his previous posts.

Dezz, I had some drama getting ready for your gala event, I was mistaken for paparazzi...(so sorry for my delay)!  There is no way I would miss one of your events~ (I hope there is a photo here, I'm having issues with blogger, again).

 I will soon be by wearing this gown;  Yes, this is Mary-Louise Parker. I am hoping my stylist, can help me pull off this look.
Oh Dezz, I am glad the ER is ready for me, in case I faint, but it isn't over Brad Pitt, it would be this hunk.
He is ready for his close up and so am I   :-*

See YOU, at the after party; Congrats to all who were nominated and the winners!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Think Tank Thursday

Poets United prompt #31 is Random Deviation. We had to go to Deviart and at the bottom of the page
lower middle of the column, there is a link called Random Deviation. When you click on this random art work appears. We were to do this and then use the image provided, as inspiration for our poem. This way
it is most likely, everyone will have an unique poem, this week.  This was my random art used to inspire my poem~

Leaves in July

by Ultraviolet Oktober
(a wall of leaves in Gardens Dallas Museum of Art)

Small green buds erupt, tightly woven bring forth Mother Nature's
promise, the birth of Spring.
Nature's New Year showers Earth in delicate notes of blush pink
vintage white and  pale yellow,
Rain showers the land with her fresh perfume.
Season premiere grows and bends the twists of fate,
pathways extend like brain waves.
Time marches on, suntan booth of photosynthesis breaths new life, freshens
Earth's breath.                                                          
Daylight grows,blue skies brighten summer's symphony, almost time
to turn over a new leaf, The veil of shielded green shades our spirits.
Fall's brisk wind arrives,pigments of color appear, a passionate dance
gives one last glorious show,
Soon Fall's grace will dismount, the tricks n' turns of the performance will fade.
The finale of the season a colorful carpet replaces faded brown one.
Bare branched, arms reach out to greet the sun.
December's solemn gray mood will permeate the dazzling blanket of white, soon to
appear. Draping the silhouetted trees and bushes with winter's silent slumber.
Mother Nature,soon will wake them with her warm hug and the sighting
of Robin's first visit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Artful Journaling

I was working on my art journal, something that is new to me. I doodle, write ideas down all the time in notebooks, but do not have one designated place for journaling. Did you know there is a magazine, dedicated to this craft.  I say craft, because these artists exude so much talent, it is a unique magazine. You can see the inspiration and ideas behind the artist, peer into their worlds, their thoughts. Who doesn't love to get an insightful view of the process of any type of creative medium. I know I do. 

Art Journaling ..."will take you inside the pages of some of your favorite artists for an up-close-and-personal look. Detailed photos and insightful commentary will help you to discover your personal journaling style, with hints, tips and tricks for creating a stand-out page. You'll learn the techniques the pros use, and find the inspiration to take your own art journal to the next level." (Stampington)

 The 3 artists mentioned on the cover, all have blogs and online classes, if you are interested:

L K Ludwig  offers several classes and has written several books, you can find her at her site:
The Poetic Eye 

Dina Wakley's  blog is called Ponderings, her classes are on the left of her site.

Roben Marie Smith also offers online classes and tutorials on her blog, Every Life Has A Story
Here is a sneak peek

I haven't seen this issue, yet;  it is insightful to give it a try. This is just a page I doodled, then painted and scribbled on.  I think when we reveal our fear and expose ourselves, our art, our words, we open doors, that can help us heal~

 The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams...

~Eleanore Roosevelt

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Think Tank Thursday

Poets United prompt #30  this week is Observation.   There are so many directions one can go in. I chose a sunrise, this photo if from my back yard a few days ago.


Darkness dissipates as Mother Nature paints the canvas sky,
With fluid dreams of fuchsia, orange and mauve, 
A swirling dance as the morning burst
Open like an orange peeled,
Revealing incandescent light,
Silhouetted trees stand steadfast as the final imprint
Of night parts ways,
Begins the passionate birth of day.
The yawn of morn starts,
Translucent ribbons of light fray out,
Spread cheer of the star’s arrival,
Bursting forth brilliance, 
Passion explodes as the resin glow fills the marine blue sky,
Muslin clouds fringed with gray dust and sepia part ways,
As night gives its final hug good-bye,
The canvas changes again,
Awakening the passion of a new day, 
Brilliance of mood appears,
Blanketing our landscape, 
Transcending the gifts of time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

*photo courtesy of  The Graphics Fairy~

Here is to new beginnings, fresh starts, a time to dream, set goals, think of the ways this year can be better. I hope we all can find time, to cherish the past and look forward to the future. This year I hope we can all make time to fulfill lost dreams, and awaken new ones. 

Resolutions don't work for me, I rather make small steps towards a larger goal. What about you? 

"And now let us welcome the New Year full of things that have never been". ~ Rainer Maria Rilke 

Happy New Year to you n' yours~xXx