Saturday, March 29, 2008

Poetry and Darkness


This week was Spring Break for us and it has just FLOWN by! Not for the usual, good, we-are-so-busy-having-fun-where-has-the-time-gone-? issues, but because Maia just can't seem to kick this nasty virus that seems to be plaguing nearly every human in Manatee county that I know... except for my husband. :) And that's great news, because viruses usually really like him!

This illness is a weird one that gets you and then goes away for a few days and then decides to kick into high gear again, just when you think you've got it licked. After watching movies with Maia until 2:30 a.m. this morning, since she couldn't lie down to sleep without coughing terribly, and then sleeping on the couch while she, poor baby, slept sitting up on the love seat, I decided a doctor visit was in order. Hopefully the antibiotics - which seem to be helping everyone else with this bug - will kick in soon and she'll be on the road to recovery.

Even when my children are sick, I can only sit by so long letting them play on their Gameboy or watching videos. We usually have a one-hour media limit each day unless there is something special we watch together as a family or they are sick. But still. So, looking for something that would interest her one evening, after she'd read the entire book I was going to assign her for school next week, I pulled out a box of Magnetic Poetry that was shoved in the back of the pen and pencil drawer in the desk. Score! :)


This is a great "game" that I've had for years even before I had children. It's gone in and out of hiding (back in when those tiny tiles all over the fridge start to drive me nuts!), but in the past, the girls mainly played with them as magnets and not as words to create poetry. We ended up having a really great time and easily spent an hour on the floor of the kitchen.


Just flipping the tiles was fun in and of itself. We talked about meanings of words and said them as we flipped them just to hear the strange order in which they would come out. Then the poetry-making session began.

Maia, age 11, wrote:

a gift as luscious as chocolate and as elaborate as diamonds is not as essential as a friend

I wrote:

we worship language for the symphony of pictures like a sweet, summer storm crush of rain

it stops

and
shines beneath the sun in a languid, pink lake

Then Eve came in and joined us and of course she wanted to play too! At age 8, she wrote:

water star white winter wind blowing from the sky above

What I was trying to convey in my poem was the idea that language is so lovely and it is always thrilling to me to not only paint pictures with words, but to find just the right word to describe what you want to say.

It was great fun. If you have a set of magnetic words and haven't played with them in a while, it might be a treat to get it out again.

---

I would be remiss here at Golightly Place if I didn't mention the fact that Earth Hour is tonight - wherever you are - from 8 to 9 p.m your local time. It's just one hour folks. What a wonderful idea! We'll be lighting a candle tonight and hope you'll join us. You can read more about it here and here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Live Lightly Meets Golightly!


Well, the Live Lightly Tour has headed off up the road toward their next stop in Tampa. But here are some shots from our weekend with them.

Matt, Sara, and Bella rolled in a little before 5:00 p.m. Friday night. My brother-in-law (Mike) and sister-in-law (Lena) had just arrived for dinner with their two children, Cole and Misha. Paul had just gotten home too, so we all got a chance to meet our new friends. After supper, we all got a chance to peek into the RV.

Bella and Misha enjoyed a snack on the tour...



... while Eve and Cole had fun playing with the stickers Sara handed out from some of their sponsors.


We were all disappointed on Saturday when it decided to rain... and rain and rain... all day. Our plans to relax at Siesta Key beach in the sun were nixed, so while the guys hunted down a source for veggie oil to fuel up the RV, Sara, Bella, and I did some thrift store shopping (my girls went to play with their cousins at Grandma's).

Saturday evening, we all decided to check out the new raw restaurant in Sarasota called Veggie Magic. Most of us really enjoyed it, but there was one among our party that wasn't too thrilled with her raw pizza. We found a regular veggie burrito for her elsewhere after dinner!


On Easter Sunday the Jannsens came with us next door to our neighbors/our house church. Afterwards, we were back at our place for an Egg hunt and brunch.










Notice the sunshine! It was a terrific day, so we all decided to give Siesta Key another shot. I didn't take my camera, because it was quite windy and I didn't want to battle the sand. But we all had a really good time. Worn out by the time we got home, the kids had an early night and Sara and I got to watch this dvd on a raw food family that I had been wanting to see and that Sara owned.

All in all, a busy and nice few days with lots of food and fellowship and fun. Thanks for visiting, guys and blessings on your travels!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Things

Look at what my mama bought me yesterday:


They can make me run fast and jump real high!

lol. :) Oh, these shoes make me smile every time I look down at my feet!


So, here it is, Friday. Sara and her family will be arriving soon. The majority of illness is but a memory - other than Maia's lingering cough from time to time. So now we just have to pray for NO RAIN. There is a chance for it tomorrow, but I am hoping for our guests' sakes that the weather will turn for the better and we'll be able to have our day at Siesta Key as we'd planned.

We wrapped our week of school yesterday and today we are officially on Spring Break! Yahoo! I am hoping with some of this new down time I will get a chance to finish some knitting WIP's and play with my new art supplies!


Some of my supplies are cheapies, but they are mainly for the purpose of exploring. I bought some gouache, which I have never worked with and a set of soft pastels. But FIRST, I will be working on my latest painting/collage that I am SOOOOOO excited about! :) I am having such a good time with it and it is very hard to tear myself away for - well, pretty much anything! It is challenging to have real life continually "interrupting" my creative work. I have to be patient with the work and be thankful for the little chunks of time that I do have to work on things. Unlike the knitting or crocheting, it is harder to paint/draw and do other things. Lately, I have been getting up earlier and working in the mornings before I need to wake the girls for school. It's working well for me for the time being.

I did get a chance to finish Eve's fingerless gloves. I want to cast on for a new pair of socks or Fetchings, but I also want to finish up my cardigan. I'm working on the first sleeve on that one right now.



So, you know, I have to say that I realize I haven't posted anything in a "go lightly" vein for a while. When I originally started my blog, I thought I would be sharing much about care and steward ship of the earth. I still do all those things, but I guess I haven't written about them much because it is such a part of me that I don't necessarily always think these things noteworthy. Also, as I have been at this for a year and a half now, I think a number of things have changed for me. I realize I write and post more about my art now; it's just where I am in the journey. I don't plan to change the name of my blog, because it still fits me, even though it may not specifically fit my blog, per se. At the same time, I named my home Golightly Place before I ever named my blog such, and it is still my home ~ growing and changing along with me.

I hope to have some fun photos to share with all of you of our time with the Janssens, our visiting family, and Easter. In the meantime, give thanks, Believers, to our Lord today, for the sacrifice he made for us on this day. Have a blessed Easter holiday!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Art, Fevers, and Fun :)



Hooray! My art supplies arrived yesterday! I haven't had a chance to take photos of them yet, but I will and I will share what I hope to do with my new toys! :)

Yesterday was a good day. I finished a little birdie painting in my moleskine and I think it is going to be a good point for jumping off into some other work. I have already started scribbling notes down in an idea notebook so I don't forget! And now that I've got even more materials with which to explore, I'm SO excited!!

Last night was inspirational too. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are visiting from Minnesota. The cousins really enjoy playing together and now that they are older, it's getting easier for Grandma to stay with them for a few hours so we parents can get out for a bit. So, last night we went to Village of the Arts located in downtown Bradenton. They were having their annual "Moonlight Movie and Martinis" night. It was raining on and off, so no movie could be shown, but OH. It was just terrific!

How is it that I have lived here for 4 1/2 years and I have never been to this? This is a charming little area with homes from the early 1900's that have been converted to studios and galleries. Some are both and some are also occupied by the artists themselves. It was really a lovely evening with little tents scattered here and there for martinis or wine tasting and food from local restaurants. I met some lovely people and was just so inspired by them living in and among art and artists all the time. Dreamy. :)

It got me to thinking about some things that I really want to do and what I need to do to make those things happen. I left feeling a bit braver. :)

Well, cousins who love each other also manage to spread germs and so the little one here who wasn't feeling so well and honored her bigger cousin by allowing only her or her mama hold her, also shared her virus. But that's the price for love, right? :)


So, Maia is down and out this weekend with a fever... and so are the visiting cousins over at Grandmas. :( We are all hoping for quick recoveries for them all. They are staying for a month, so they have some time to recover and still have some fun.

In the meantime, Eve is staying away from EVERYONE (lol!) and playing more games with Mama and Daddy. A bowl of peanut butter cereal with chocolate soymilk and a game of dominoes (after setting up a domino run) doesn't replace big sister, but it's not a bad substitute.



Finally, we will be having company next weekend too! Sara, a blogger at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly, and her family are on the Live Lightly Tour (see a video about their cool ride here... it run on veggie oil!) and will be staying with us over Easter weekend! We are all so excited and hope to take them out to Siesta Key for some fun in the sun while they are with us. I'm sure I'll have a lot of new photos to post of our adventures together.

In the meantime, we are hoping to nurse everyone back to good health and get out in our fabulous, springtime weather. Orange blossom perfumes the air everywhere! Praise God for orange blossoms and springtime! It's coming your way!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Latest Sketch


Not a lot of time for writing today. Family from out-of-state has arrived and will be staying nearby for a month! It's very exciting and I'm sure we'll be quite busy. I know my regular routine of sketching may be thrown a bit, but I am hoping to maintain some consistency. We'll see.

This latest effort was done in fits and spurts - like most of my art. In a small format, one would think that a small sketch would be easy to finish. But there are interruptions... questions about math and plans for block parties and birthday presents that need wrapping and, well, life! So, though I feel frustrated from time to time, I know that the first dream of my life was to be a mother. Artist comes after that. So time is needed and as seasons change, so will my art.


I did just order a bunch of new, fun supplies from Dick Blick that will likely arrive in a week! New toys! Lots of new things to explore and new ways to play! I will share them here when whey arrive!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Inspiration - It's a long one!



Where do you look for inspiration? Of course, it's all around us and for me, as well as for you, I'm sure, it's always changing. The internet, for me, is loaded with inspiration: from intelligent, well-written, colorful blogs, to educational websites and tutorials, to podcasts, to Flickr images, there is an abundance of inspiration out there every day.

For the most part, I truly feel that, in some ways, my days are buoyed by these things available to me. For me, the amount of art, craft, and design that I can now see and hear and talk about on a daily basis is something that was lacking in my life previously. I think that my be one of the reasons for the popularity of Ravelry, craft, and art blogs. In the past, unless I was able to go to a museum or gallery or take a class, I wasn't physically able to be around an artful culture.

While I made for myself an artful and creative life, I often found myself hungering for someone else to inspire me. I've always been a bit of an anomaly, I think, to some of my friends. We are the ones - homeschooling, vegetarian, environmental... colorful, etc. - that people would kind of tip their heads to one side and say things like, "Oh... well, what do you eat then?" or "What will you do about socialization?" or the very common (and fitting many a situation) "Ohhhh... that's interesting..." I never begrudge people their curiosity, it's just that oftentimes I felt like the curiosity. :)

But now... now I don't. There are those who would smirk at the idea of online community. They say things like it's virtual and not "real," as if there are no real people on the other end. But for me, who has often felt like an island in my "brick and mortar" communities, my online connections are meaningful because so many people can simply relate. And because of that, my "islandness" in my "real" life has become that much more tolerable. I do not feel as lonely in my need for connection with folks who can talk hours on end about the lovely, squishiness of yarn or the great color in a photograph or the way light is captured in a painting. I can do that at any time; not just on rare occasions. In fact, because of places like Meetup.com, I have gotten connected with people in my own OFFline community and now enjoy a weekly knitting night at a local coffee shop.

***

I love images and get quite inspired by a splash of color or a new angle of looking at something. I love the way light changes everything throughout the day and how looking at something mundane through the lens of a camera or the eye of an artist can elevate it to something of beauty. I love that people can do that... and that we do.

Around my house, I like to see those colors and images that lift my mood and so there are places around my home where I can enjoy them.

One place is my inspiration board. When I posted the photos of it on Flickr, a friend said,


"What a great idea. What do you use them for? Your paint or your photography? Amazing colors and love the collection/shell boxes!! What a great idea!"
and I replied,

"Oh, they are just images and colors that strike my fancy. I rotate them in and out. I don't use them for anything specifically, but I begin to see patterns that emerge that help me. For example, I've really latched on to the blue, brown, and green color palette, I've noticed, and so those are the colors that I'll use when I paint my laundry room in the next couple of months (when I find the time!) I have a postcard of a favorite painting from the Ringling Museum of Fine Art (the blue Mary there) and an inspirational poem. There's a picture of a hairstyle I like as well as favorite family photos. Sometimes they are just things that I just want to let my eyes rest on - if that makes sense. I cut out many many images from magazines and use them in my journal. I am able to look at them from time to time when I look back over everything, but there are some images and photos that I've taken that I just want around me because they are so very "now" for me. Perhaps they are not things that I would want to have framed - like the shot of the little stuffed owl I liked in a toy store I visited - but I just want to see it. So, mostly, I guess it is a small reflection of the present "me" and the board changes as I change. Thanks for asking. :) "

I also like to keep a rotating "gallery" of photos on the fridge in acrylic sleeves that I found on sale at Target. They were all in one long strip, but I cut them into thirds and backed them with magnetic tape.



We also have a gallery of our own rotating artwork in the dining area in the kitchen.


These are a few things around our house, but inspiration comes from everywhere and is always changing. Here are a few sites and sounds I am currently finding inspirational:

More inspiration boards: Inspiration Boards

A supremely inspiring video of an artist who creates dolls and jewelry using only her feet!

Gennine's beautiful art blog.

Be Creative Every Day.

One of my new favorite podcasts: Stitch It!

... and an old favorite: CraftyPod
(btw, CraftyPod is simply a great site, even if you don't want to listen!!)

Okay. I have so many more, but I won't flood you with links!

Thanks for hanging in with me if you made it to the end of this post! I guess the topic is something near and dear to my heart and I just had a lot to say! Have a wonderful and inspiring weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Color!


So, new color on my blog and all around my springtime, Florida yard! Just look at the beauty that landed on our feeder today! What a shock! Painted buntings are not usually this far north; their region, in our state, is usually southern Florida, around Miami. We were breathless this morning as we watched him. I had to run and get my camera and then (of course) the batteries stopped working, so I had to run and get the charged batteries. Thank you, God, that he did not fly away!


So, today has been pretty cloudy with a cool front moving through. Yesterday was quite sunny, though, and it is my favorite time of year for my impatiens. I plant my impatiens every fall and they last through almost to the end of summer. A few survive even that and go on to another year if I pinch them back after they get pretty leggy.

But at this time of year, they are nicely filled out and when the sun shines on them they just glow.

Impatiens

The passion fruit vine is flowering wonderfully right now too. Come early summer, the butterflies will lay their eggs here, and the vine - prolific right now - will be eaten nearly to the ground, but will come back bigger and better than before! You can't go wrong with that! :)

Passion Fruit Flower

The girls have been spending a lot of time outside in the tree. Ah, our jacaranda tree; such a good friend to all.


Maia was doing a bit of bird watching (and turtle watching in the pond) herself the other day when her favorite goldfinches showed up on their way up north.


Then she moved to a better vantage point...



Meanwhile, inside, Lambie was sick yesterday morning and so he was brought to the breakfast table to be watched over carefully by Eve while she ate. I just love pictures like this, because while they are a part of my current every day, they are, in truth, too fleeting.


Finally, I had a little business with a sheep myself! I carved my first hand-carved stamp on Sunday and I really like the way it turned out! I imagine it will go quite nicely on a gift tag for hand knit items. And sheep are just my favorite mammal, so it seemed appropriate that it be my first stamp.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

I've loaded my pictures a bit differently this time; hope it doesn't cause a problem. I am hoping to have a bit more time for blogging coming up here; I feel it's been a bit neglected of late. Then again, company is coming! I'll save that for another blog post, but in the meantime, I hope these photos have added a little shot of color to a month that is just yearning to become spring!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yay!

A new header for me! :)
I have news to share and, perhaps, some more updates to make, but for now this will have to do, as it is after 11:00 p.m. But thanks to this tutorial and my sweet husband - who knows a heckuva lot more about Photoshop than I do, I now have a new header. Thanks Paul and thanks, feeling stitchy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy March!


Went to the doctor today and it turns out I have an ear infection. While I can't do much else, I can sit here and mess around on the computer and knit. I put together a mosaic for my February Project 365.

Here are the yarn projects I'm working on today:

My top-down raglan cardigan. Other than a failed knit tank for myself, this is my first garment.

Finishing up one redone fingerless glove for Eve to try.


And working on a crocheted blanket in a shell pattern fro Project Linus.


The yogurt is in the yogurt maker so I can counteract the antibiotics I'm now taking. It's a lovely day here and it's March! Spring is just around the corner my northern friends! Have a lovely weekend.
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