Friday, February 25, 2011

Rainingslushyuckiness: Can Spring be far behind?

Yes, the weather is so sloppy today that I had to come up with a new word for it. It snowed all night, about 4-6 inches, then started raining this morning. It's been pouring all day.

Through the rain on the windshield

But who wants to stay shut in on their day off? Not me. So I took a ride in celebration of all wheel drive. I may have to curtail that activity soon-gas prices are up to $3.30 a gallon this morning!

I love red in the winterscape
These pictures were taken in the pouring rain.  But look! There are buds on these trees.  Can Spring be far behind? I have faith-the sap is flowing. It is starting the big thaw before the ground warms up and sends us daffodils! Dawn of The Feathered Nest already has them!

Look closely: Buds!
The last two weeks I've been printing some of my photos and framing them in preparation for hanging an art show. Granted, it's in my office building, but we have real art shows, publicized and everything. Though I showed my collage art a couple of years ago, this is my first show of photography, and it's been fun blowing them up and framing them. It is actually a heady experience, seeing your favorites enlarged BIG! It could become addicting. In that case, I'll have to actively seek more showings. Hmmm. Just remember, when I'm rich and famous, that you saw them first! (see my slideshows)

I just finished reading Inner Excavation by Liz Lamoreux. This is a great book to help unlock the creativity inside of us. She has chapter after chapter laid out to encourage and teach us how to journey inward through photography, poetry and mixed media art. I will never think of my camera in quite the same way now. Just reading this book has got my creative juices squirting away. I think this is what I have been aiming for for a long time.

My photo, with other people's designs applied

I've  been playing around in Photoshop and am starting to understand more and more of the potential it can unlock for me. A class I took a couple of weeks ago showed me that I know more than I think, but I hunger for more-I couldn't get my questions answered. So I play.  Maybe that is the key...

My photo, with someone's design applied, coloration fiddled with

There is so much to learn, though, and I can't seem to find my way. I see digital art in magazines that blows me away and I want to learn how to do these things. But without going back to college for graphic arts, who will teach me? (to quote a commercial I once heard)

My photos, my design

I see some potential, but not enough information!

My photos, my adjustments, my design

I'll keep working on finding my learnin'! I have gotten a lot of help with on-line demonstration videos, etc. and I will keep seeking a local hands-on teacher. I am determined!

I have a lot more thoughts in my head at the moment, but I'll spare you a long ramble. Winter never fails to turn into Spring, and it is starting to happen already.

Have a wonderful week!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Goodness, Where've I Been?

Goodness, just when I thought I'd get so back into blogging, I have slacked off for weeks! I seem to be living life in spurts. When it's really busy at the office, I don't spend any time working at home, and everything suffers--I mean housework, watering plants, blogging...My cats like it, cause I come home and just sit down for the evening with a good book.

So, winter is progressing. The days get longer, but not warmer. We've had 7 major storms in under 6 weeks. Isn't winter in New England the quintessential curl-up-with-a-good-book place to be?  I've been wishing I could get my creative groove back, and with that thought, I logged into Amazon and went shopping...

In the last week I've gotten these three great books, Some of my favorite artists and bloggers are in them, like messages from friends ready to teach me whatever they know.  If that isn't cool, what is?  If you are a mixed-media artist or even a wanna-be, these books are great inspirational tools!

I have some new projects brewing in my brain already! After I get my photo show hung in a couple of weeks, I'm sure I'll jump back in to my creative groove (I think)!

Remember my screen-porch project last spring? I've been storing things in there for the winter, with hopes of opening a resale shop in the summer months. It is an unheated "room" I call a shed-room.  In the summer it is a nice open breezy spot to hang out and read or even sleep on sultry nights. When the porch is too buggy or too hot, the shed-room is breezy and lovely.

I went in there the other day to find that stalagtites were hanging from the ceiling and covering my cute coffee table and knickknacks with ice. I moved what I could out of the way, but much of it is still frozen in place.

The ice had built up under the eaves and behind the wall in the attic over my screen-porch. If it had happened a couple of feet to the left, it would have flooded the kitchen ceiling, possibly disrupting the red squirrel who has taken up residence there. I hear him rolling nuts around up there every evening.

This place is hardly insulated and is nearly impossible to keep warm. It is usually about 55 degrees F. in the kitchen on these cold days. In the core of the house is my cozy room, a little spot where I keep my recliner and shelves full of books for snuggling in by the major heat vent. There is very little light. Plants survive in the one bright  but cool living room with southern exposure for a few hours each day. They look forward to summer in the screen-porch or the patio, as do I.

Thru my frosty windshield
As much as I like living in this old hulking former hardware/lumber store, I dream of a home with all the amenities. I enter the HGTV Dream Home of the Year and the Publisher's Clearinghouse contests on line every day, just in case it is my turn to win.

I have a few more local winter pictures for you. In a month or so this will all be a memory. We'll be going to the maple sugarhouses and getting stuck on muddy back roads.

This snack bar does a booming business from May till October.

Stay Warm and Cozy!