Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Wishes

2012 teeters on the brink of its last day, holding tenaciously to its last few hours before the dawn of a whole new year. We, the inhabitants of this wondrous little blue planet, have miraculously survived the prophesied End-of-the-World Mayan calendar event. I suppose someday our world will end - but not just yet. :)

For the up coming year I wish for humanity to become more compassionate of those who are different than us, whether those differences are physical, cultural,  religious or simply difference in opinions, please let us be more understanding.  
May we all be kinder, gentler,  more giving and forgiving. 
Our Earth is a finite space that we share with a great many people, may we all be more mindful of and more courteous to the comfort and the feelings of others.

For all my lovely readers I wish you a New Year blessed with good health, may your lives be filled with happiness and the love of family and dear friends and may your endeavors be successful and prosperous. This I wish with all my heart.

Happy New Year to each and everyone !

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Photo above is a lovely example of the 3D artist's ability to create realism and the perception of depth.  The birds actually seem to be flying out of the painting.
Please note to view a bigger and better picture just click on any of the photos.
Today I have an appointment with my ophthalmologist for a yearly eye exam.  Though the procedure is painless it has that annoying aftermath of leaving me with owl eyes from having had my eyes dilated and of course things like sunlight and any bright light is intolerable.  Therefore I decided to post my last photos of the Sarasota annual Chalk Festival, before my appointment and while my eyes are not super sensitive to light.

Photos above and below are truly whimsical. I loved the juxtaposition of having the lion being the psychoanalyst listening intently to his animal tamer patient.

The photo below was an interactive piece where a person can sit within the painting and look  as though they are a part of it.  Unfortunately there was no one volunteering for the seat of honor when I snapped this picture and just as unfortunately there was a large  tripod, with a profession camera mounted to it, that blocked the "sweet spot" for my taking photos.  Even from this slightly off center viewing position, one can see how the troup of acrobats appear to stand up and out of an otherwise flat  painting
Lastly my favortie, not because it was more creative or bigger, brighter or even better than any of the other works of street chalk art but simply because the bright red nose on the circus clown stood out proud and loud . . .  even if I stood slightly off center. 

Don't know about you but I'm now in the mood to go see a circus.  :D 

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Matter of Perspectives

 photo above is a portion of one of The Sarasota Chalk Frestival's paintings.  I look forward to seeing the profession photographer's photos to see the depth and dimensions of this piece.

(First of all I wish to say that I had intentions of posting this yesterday but that didn't happen. My hubby had to go in for another surgery to remove some rather deep precancerous skin cells. So I had to be available to drive him home after the surgery and to care for and keep an eye on him afterwards. Believe me, keeping an eye on him was no easy task, he wanted to run to the store and other places and did not want to just sit and rest. It was only when his surgical incision began bleeding that he agreed to sit still awhile and not to run around town doing errands.)

 This batch of photos is a hodge podge of 2D and 3D  chalk art.  In many cases the paintings were too large for me to fit within my camera's viewing field and had I stood farther back the perspective would have been completely lost.  In case anyone doesn't know, you can click on the photos to view larger images of them, which helps to see the detail and perspectives of the paintings (of course with my not so adept photography skills, sometimes even the largest of pictures doesn't improve the viewing. lol)

Photo above. Though I can see the cleverness of this painting I'm sure it would have been better viewed from above rather than on an angle.
Photo above shows a bright and colorful piece rich in whimsy, I have a feeling the little girl's bunch of balloons would really have stood out had I been able to stand just a few feet more to my left, unfortunately there were people standing a few feet more to my left.
Photo below is unusual as it is basically black and white, but it is rich in realistic details.  I am fairly sure that when viewed from above it would have had some 3D definition.

Photos above and below.  I thought this particular piece was unique.  You can easily see how the marquee stands proud from the pavement, giving it an undeniable 3D illusion.  But alas, again the piece was too immense to capture completely within my camera view finder.
Blogger is behaving petulantly this morning and tends to freeze up every few words and my cursor disappears as it goes through its, far to frequent, "save" procedure.  I will however muddle through this. :D  The photo below is of a local building that has been painted by an artist depicting a scene from a time long ago.  The paint is in tones of black and white giving authenticity to its vintage quality. 
Blogger is being incredibly annoying so I will stop for now and save the rest of my photos for yet another posting.  I hope that I'm not boring anyone with what may seem like a very repetitive series of the same event.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Stroll Down Chalk Boulevard

As I begin to type up the next installment of the Sarasota Chalk Festival, I look out upon a gray, dark and rainy day.  Today is the last day of the festival and hopefully this bit of rain is very localized and doesn't carry southward to the city of Sarasota where it could render the chalk paintings a murky mess.

The chalk festival featured both 2D and 3D art work and I soon learned that perspective (where the viewer was actually standing) made all the difference.  Unfortunately, due to the crowd, the most desirable perspective was not always readily available.  I truly envied the event photographers who had unlimited access to ladders, scaffolding and "straight-on-frontseat-center" viewing advantages.  I am looking forward to viewing their professional photographs.

The photo at the top of this post is (I think) a 2D painting.  It is an imaginative one, as were most, featuring a circus performer atop the arena, her foot disappearing through a hole in the top of the  roof . . . and then reappearing at the bottom of the painting through a hole that the blue-chalk "artist" is busy sketching.

Below is whimsical work of 3D chalk art.
And below is what I think could be called 2D art.

Wish I could have been able to take advantage of the ladder used by the event's professional photographer  . . . or that I was another foot or two taller.   But anyway the above photo is my ground-level perspective . . . all 4 ft. 11 inches of me.  :D

Below is a nice example of the 3D art.  The toys are all rather shabby and are laying at the bottom of what appears to be one of those "Grab a Prize" machines that you see at carnivals and amusement parks.

Bottom photo shows how the "grabber" really pops and stands upright in clear 3D definition . . . especially visible with the people in the background.

There are more photos of this year's festival in my photo files but as I mentioned in another posting, I don't want to flood you with a bunch of my mediocre pictures.   If any of you are interested in reading more about the Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival their website is :


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Circus Comes to Town - Almost !

Once a year the city of Sarasota Florida hosts a Chalk Festival.  Chalk artists from around the world come to paint the streets with their chalk art - even the big name 3-D chalk artists (the ones you see in all those email attachments). 

This was my first year to actually see this Sarasota event and to walk down the boulevard (along with a crowd of onlookers) to view these incredible pictures.

Granted the elephant in the photo above is not 3-D chalk art - it's a statue heralding Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus.  Sarasota was the winter home of the old Barnum Bailey Circus, here the performers could relax and practice their routines before the next circus tour began.  So this year's theme for the chalk art was "The Circus".  Very apropos.

Everyone wanted pictures and a few daring souls even ventured out on to the tight rope. 
Careful there, don't fall !

I will be posting more photos of this event but I didn't want to post them all at once for fear of overwhelming anyone (especially since my photography is not the best - lol)

The following photo is not of the Sarasota street chalk art but I couldn't resist snapping a shot of someone snapping a shot ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

Our little lemon tree with a branch full of lemons.  Looks like life is giving me lemons so guess I'm going to be making lemonade.  :D
Or maybe lemon meringue pie ? What is your favorite lemon recipe ?
Wonderful comment from Meeling of TheHairyPeach:
Here is a great (and easy) recipe that I've made and it's oh so yummy!

ps - I want to thank all of you for your lovely comments and kind words of encouragement regarding my bout of vertigo.   I am feeling considerably better though still have a twinge of dizziness every now and then.   This I may have to learn to live with, as my doctor ... well to be nice, I'll just say he thinks there is not much that can be done about it. :D

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Touch of Vertigo. . . or. . . Could You Please Stop Spinning?

Have any of you ever had vertigo ? I woke up Friday morning to find the room spinning around me and each step a challenge. Managing to stumble my way into the kitchen, I made myself a cup of coffee and thought perhaps it was just a severe case of morning grogginess. A cup of coffee later, things had not improved.

In the past I've had a condition call "Positional Vertigo". 
Positional Vertigo is a condition where a small crystal of calcium breaks away and finds itself inside the inner ear, there this tiny crystal plays havoc on the tiny hairs that allows us to know what position our body is in . . . are we standing, laying down, bending forward etc. With my past episode of positional vertigo, whenever I tilted my head back to look up I was overcome with dizziness and would lose my balance. A neurologist helped me by showing me a maneuver to repositioned the wayward crystal back out of the way, where it would not bother me and eventually my body would reabsorb the annoying little crystal.

But Friday morning was different. The dizziness was constant, there appeared to be no definite position that was worse than others. However I did try the maneuver taught to me by the neurologist . . . several times . . . nothing happened, the condition remained the same. Eventually I called my doctor. Since in my present condition I was unable to operate a motor vehicle and John, my hubby, was not at home so could not drive me, my doctor phoned in a prescription for a medication to help with the nausea and that also had been shown to have some affect on dizziness.

When John  got home he went and picked up my prescribed medication and I began taking it . . . one pill every 8 hours for 5 days. If after 5 days I am still dizzy I need to go see my physician.

During this I found the best thing to do was simply sit still and so I lounged on the sofa and looked out the window wondering about the strange dizzy sensations, that's when I became aware of another sensation, a pain and achiness at the back of my neck. Now my thoughts went to; "What the heck could I have done to hurt my neck?" And then it struck me. Why the memory completely slipping my mind, I haven't a clue.

Thursday evening John and I were coming home from having had a pleasant evening dinning at a favorite restaurant. As we came down our little two land country road, the vehicle ahead of us appeared to turn left into a driveway; only that was not the case. The driver was obviously not where he thought he was supposed to be and decided to turn around, he may also have been drinking as he missed the driveway to the left by several feet. Anyway he then proceeded to back straight across both lanes of our little country road; without looking and without regard of other vehicles on the road. 
John lay on the horn but the driver continued backing up. There wasn't enough distance to bring our car to a safe stop so John swerved abruptly to the right. Though our road is asphalt it has no paved shoulder, the edge is just a straight drop-off, as our car careened off the road it was like driving off of a curb.  As our car swung violently around the backend of the other vehicle, John managed to keep our car from going too far to the right and into the muddy ditch.  Then there was the return to the asphalted road with its sharp edge; an abrupt, bump up.  
All of this happened very quickly and I had not been prepared so had not braced myself. Even though I was wearing my seatbelt I had been tossed and shaken pretty good through all the sharp swerves and bounces. Afterwards all I could think about was how fortunate it was that John had avoided hitting the other car broadside and had prevented a serious accident. Counting our blessings, I then quickly dismissed the incident. However the incident had not quickly dismiss me.

Today is Sunday and there is some improvement of my vertigo symptoms. Now I can at least look at my computer monitor and not feel like I'm doing barrel-rolls in a small airplane. So if any of you are wondering why I have not responded to your comments in the last couple of days the above explanation is my reason.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Like a Snowball . . . It Keeps Right on Rolling

"Woman, thy name is vanity." Have no idea who really said it or when.
Though it sounds hauntingly like something from Shakespeare it is not, or at least not entirely. "Frailty, thy name is woman" is how it was originally intended and is from Shakespeare's "Hamlet".

Today my mind's not wrapped around this particular quote but in one more up-to-date, more relevant; "Politician, thy name is greed." Or perhaps thy name is corruption, or self-serving, self-centered, arrogant. In what other job or profession does one, can one give themselves the perks and raises that our political leaders do . . . okay, well maybe big shot CEO's with their mega-million dollar salaries. Ironic though that it's the little people like you and me, those at the bottom of this totem pole, that foot the bill. When will it ever end ? It's become like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and bigger. Will the day ever come when that oversize snowball reaches the bottom of the hill and finally comes to rest, losing all inertia ?

Quite often I find myself seething at the thought that our present day politicians and most of their predecessors saw fit to give themselves the best of all things, a fantastic medical package, superior retirement plans, perks and benefits out the wazoo . . . always skimming off the thickest, sweetest cream . . . and who pays for it ? No happy face here, I think we all know who's pocket it comes out of.

Received an email the other day proposing that government at all levels be scaled back, that all have become too massive, like lumbering dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are long extinct and perhaps the time has come for our over sized government to do likewise. The email made sense, especially the part about how many billions would be saved yearly, but could it ever be done? Doubt it! Politicians are certainly not about to ax themselves out of a job or any of the sweet and overly decadent benefits that have been accumulated over time. Think that would be like pulling bear's teeth !

I've also heard people question the party system, is it needed and what good does it do? Yes guess it has caused division in this great land of ours. It's become an "Us against Them" mentality, which may be fitting if applied to a highly charged sport event such as football . . . our team against theirs. In football, baseball, hockey; team rivalry is fine but has no place in government, a body of people who are supposed to be dedicated to serving this nation and it's populace. Unfortunately they've lost sight of who the general populace is. It's not the upper 1 or 2 percentile with their mega-million dollar mansion, like Donald Trump, the bulk of the US populace is made up of the middle class . . . you and me. The last thing on their minds is to serve us; all they want from us, the suffering middle class, is our vote and our money in order that they may skim the cream off this country and live their lives of luxury.

And so the snowball keeps right on rolling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Florida Sandhill Cranes

Today I looked out of our dinning room patio doors to see this sight.  A Florida Sandhill Crane.
Not wishing to frighten the bird I took a few photos through the glass (and also the screening of the patio), so unfortunately the pictures are not very good.
In the dark photo below I took the picture from another window and you can see how the bird towers above the top of our patio table, which is the dark mass in front of the crane. 
 They are big birds and this one was with a mate, probably a female as she seemed to be busy preening for the camera. 
Now that she has all her feathers in place she poses and looks directly at the camera. 
Here's a few facts about our Sandhill Cranes:
Males and females look alike, males are larger than the females.
Height 2.6 to 3.9 feet (80 to 120 cm)
Average weight males 10.1 lb (4.57 kg) females 8.9 lb (4.02 kg)
Wing span 5.4 to 6.9 feet (1.65 to 2.1 m)
For years now I've been hoping that Santa will bring me a new camera, one that I could capture decent photos of the wildlife that frequent our rural area. But each Christmas all I get is a lump of coal. Guess I need to start being nicer and a lot less naughty.
Later in the day the Sandhill couple decided to visit our neighbor's yard, perhaps they were expecting to visit with the Canadian Geese who've been away for awhile now . . . We think they went to visit relatives in Canada for the Summer. 
Since this is a far as the zoom on my Mickey Mouse camera will get me (and I have cropped the photos as close as I could before they got too grainy)  I  found a photo online that allows one permission to use its images freely.  The photo below is a magnificent one of a Sandhill Crane and its chick.  The little ones are so adorable. :)
Photo from the files of Wikimedia Commons
The Photographer is Dawn Huczek

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Pearl of a Giveaway

Most of us are familiar with Pearl's Bog, "The Beading Gem's Journal"  and many of us are aware of and have entered her marvelous giveaways.  Pearl's  latest giveaway is for an incredible bracelet that is as beautiful as it is eco friendly - made from recycled bicycle inner tubes.  Check it out and be sure to enter the giveaway. :)
If the click on link is not working for you here is the URL - I would not want anyone to miss this outstanding opportunity:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Busy But Getting Nowhere

I guess it's just that time of year when it becomes a continuous game of "catch up".  Between trying to promote my invisible etsy shop,  AlmostPrecious and make new creations I find myself rushing to "catch up" with laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening, grocery shopping etc. etc.
So today my unfortunately neglected blog is getting a quick promo post . . . and an apology to all my wonderful blogging buddies -  I'm sorry I haven't been dropping by as often as I should to read and comment on your wonderful blogs.   :(
Wish there were someway to make my online shop self-promoting.  :)
Below are a pair of my latest creations - Teddy Bear earrings with pink fiber optic Cat's Eye  beads.
As many of you know fiber optic Cat's Eye beads have motion built into them the "eye" moves smoothly up and down as the bead is moved.  Since these fiber optic beads are top grade "A" beads they have a well defined eye and incredible movement.
Okay now I'm off to try to type up a few more jewelry descriptions for my etsy shop and to take a Gazillion more photos . . . of which only about half a dozen will be good enough to use.  lol :D

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Egret In A Magnolia Tree

I was browsing through some of my old posts and noticed that this one had never been published and was marked as a draft.  Perhaps because it didn't have photos.  I've spent at least an hour sorting through old photos trying to locate the one that had been the inspiration for this post.  Since writing the post below, the yellow lantana has died and we've long replaced it with a type of low growing holly and the small magnolia has grown considerably. My how time does go by.

Occasionally we get a flock of cattle egret that visit our yard in search of tasty treats, tasty to an egret that is. In this photo they decided to descend upon and around our magnolia tree. The cattle egret is much smaller than its impressive cousin the large Snowy Egret, but they are still a very attractive bird and always catch my attention.

Somehow I doubt that "An Egret in a Magnolia Tree"  will ever replace "A Partridge in a Pear Tree". 
BTW -  I've been trying to figure out how one can re-post old posts on Blogger.  Has anyone done this?  And if so how do you do it? I would love to know. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Been a Long - Long Time

Hurray - I made it into a treasury.  I know for some of you who've been in a number of collections this may not seem like a big deal, but it has been a very, very long time since someone chose one of my pieces to feature in their treasury.  Believe me I am truly honored.  :)
If you care to view the collection and perhaps leave a comment, I'm sure the curator would be most pleased.  The link to the etsy treasury is below:

Photo below shows how the art glass bead and silver chain look when worn.  A pretty and becoming piece of jewelry.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LOL But Not About the Cost of Sterling Silver

Lately I've been busy trying to create and put items into my etsy shop, AlmostPrecious.  I'm reverting back to selling my handcrafted jewelry after having sold supplies for a couple of years.

Some times I can spend days or even weeks designing and fabricating a piece, other times it can go very quickly.  My latest piece was a simple leather choker but I invested a lot of revenue into Sterling Silver beads and findings.  A tiny sterling silver swivel clasp ended up costing me $6 and believe me it is a small clasp. 

When I calculated what I had invested in parts alone I was shocked to see it was over $20 , I would have liked to have listed it for that amount - unfortunately that would be impossible as I would actually end up losing money. :(

The only up side is that I adore the piece.  It is one of those things that makes me smile (just like my little Frog Prince makes me smile). 

Last year I tried to sell another creation of mine.  

The lovely rose quartz heart and heavy sterling silver pendant cost me a good chunk of money when I first purchased it.  Now with today's sterling prices it would cost at least $40 all by itself without a necklace. 
Since it is an Awareness necklace I realize it is directed at a specific buyer - someone who wishes to gift a special friend or relative and let them know how much they admire their courage and strength and determination to battle and survive Breast Cancer. 

 I hope that maybe this October (which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month) that perhaps someone will see it and think; "What a lovely gift to give my - sister - friend- mother- wife."  Or perhaps a wonderful soul who battled the "Big C" herself, will wish to own it to let everyone know that the battle of Breast Cancer is far from over.  Someday there may be a cure but today all we can do is support cancer research and "Hope for a Cure".
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...