The flowers think it’s funny

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DSCN1669 Laughing Orchids, WEBSIZED

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MTM: Exhibit at the Brewery

1475880014812You could call it “stepping out in fear and trepidation” or you could call it “making the leap”  — or any of a number of other phrases — but last fall I committed to being the artist of the month at my favorite local brewery.

After much thought and procrastination, I chose the photos that I wanted to display and then had them printed and matted. A few were from (or will be on) the walls of my own home.  All of them are for sale.

DSCN3048 Websized, Multnomah Tree

This picture of trees in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon (above) normally hangs on my living room wall. It was the only one that I had already shelled out money for — the rest of them (twenty-nine 8×10 prints, plus some larger pieces on canvas or metal) were paid for over the past two months in the hopes of recouping at least some of the cost in sales.

DSCN3041 WEBSIZED, clothesline, pink floral

These photos of my artwork were taken prior to adding labels with the title and price of each piece.

DSCN3046 Websizedm bird house, hummingbird wings

For the 8×10 photographs, I had them printed at a local shop on metallic paper and then a local gallery matted them and added hanging hardware on the back.  I’m really thrilled with the results!

DSCN3049 Websized, Palouse Barn and grain display

I spent 4 hours hanging out at the brewery on Friday evening. Two friends from Canada drove down to surprise me, and my good friend ~A~ stopped by for an hour after work.

DSCN1659 websized, first Friday at Bellwether

I’ll be popping in to visit off and on all month. While I hope to sell at least a few pieces, it’s exciting to just see my photographs hanging in a public space.

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Your turn:  What’s something you’ve done lately to step out of your comfort zone?

 

 

Farewell to 2016

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For many reasons, 2016 is a year that can’t end soon enough. Not only was a misogynistic, racist serial liar (just to name a few of his well-documented traits) elected as the next President of the United States, but the world lost some amazing artists as well.

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Sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty around us when so much bad stuff is in the news.

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But I see the light of hope shining in the efforts of so many people.

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The darkness cannot overcome the light.

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And even in the unpleasantness, there are moments of beauty to be enjoyed.  We only need to be watching for the opportunities that surely await us.

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Glass in the Garden

My dad chose to retire far from family and is now in an Assisted Living home. I’m visiting him in Arizona this weekend, something I do twice a year. One of the things we do together is look at photos on my laptop computer. He gets to travel vicariously through my pictures and today you do, too.

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The Seattle Space Needle reflected in a gazing ball outdoors in the Chihuly Glass Garden.
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Back in August, SuperDad and I met up with son#3 in Seattle for a day of playing tourist. Visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass had been on my wishlist for a long time and I love the pictures I was able to take there.

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reflections from Dale Chihuly’s basket phase

These beautiful glass sculptures are the artwork of Dale Chihuly. As such, I cannot use the photographs I have taken and sell them on cards at the farmers’ market.

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This glass sculpture rests on a reflective surface and brings to mind a fountain from the sea.

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Close-up of the “sea fountain” sculpture

I’ve got over 250 photographs from my time at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Not all of them are great, but I’ll attempt to do a better job of sharing the best of them with you. If I can’t sell them, at least I can share the beauty, right?

How do you decide what to share and what to keep to yourself? Are there any rules you wish you could break? 

 

Give Me Beauty (or give me dust)

Today I am focusing on beauty instead of guilt.

Oh, the guilt is still there — in the thick dust on the shelf in my bedroom, the clutter of Christmas remaining here-there-and-everywhere — but I am choosing to focus instead on beauty.

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There is beauty in the brilliant sunny morning. Our well-below freezing temperatures insure that the snow and ice are here to stay for a while, and the sun shining in a pale blue sky glints brightly off every surface touched with white (even if that white comes from dust). The red glass and crystal amongst the green cacti may no longer be seasonal but I still find it mildly cheering.

DSCN8671 Christmas cards and coffee

There is beauty sipping coffee from a cup gifted to me [years ago] by a young son. There is beauty in the opportunity to open and read Christmas cards from friends and family far away.

Our mailman finishes his daily route in our neighborhood after dark this time of year. He rushes to the doorway and I hear the clatter of the metal lid against the brick as he delivers junk mail, catalogs, bills, and those precious cards and letters. He rushes off to the next house yet we rarely match his hurry to see what he has brought, for it is the height of dinner preparation and all hands are busy.

But now — now it is the quiet morning, with children off to school. Christmas ticks slowly away here on day number 9 of twelve. There are no gifts to be wrapped (or made!) and the final stamps were affixed to envelopes last night for my own Christmas greetings. I prefer to not think of them as belated until those 12 drummers have finished their drumming. Now I can sit quietly and read each card and letter sent by friends and think about each one, wishing we were together sharing our news in person. I nod empathetically as I read about one friend’s move last spring, the farewells and new beginnings all too familiar to me. I smile with delight over the “Happy Thanksgiving” card sent at Christmas by an older friend, who knew what she was doing but sent it anyway rather than not send a card at all. Oh, how I love her! And those precious smiles on the faces of my grand-nieces…

decorated by boys (note the angel facing the tree)

decorated by boys  (note the angel facing the tree)

Yes, I choose beauty this morning over guilt.

I only wish that I had been able to do that a few weeks ago, when the cards were arriving daily, when I focused instead of the hurry, hurry, hurry of getting the sewing done and the decorations hung, strung, and placed (most of them by someone else).

And even now, when I am about to elevate my foot yet again (I have to do it to keep the pain and swelling down still at 5 weeks post-op) I will attempt to enjoy the Christmas tree in my living room. Oh, it mocked me yesterday — mocked me to tears of frustration over its mere presence — which is almost humorous since I normally keep it up until Epiphany. I had to stop reading** what others were saying in blogs and on facebook about how their Christmas decorations were put away and houses back to a state of clean and clear of clutter.

But TODAY! Today I am choosing to focus on beauty. So I will admire those decorations created by my children when they were younger. I will appreciate the glinting of sunlight on the coloured glass balls. I only see these things for a few weeks out of every year, so I want to take joy in their presence.

Yes.  There is beauty everywhere, and today I choose to notice, appreciate, and enjoy it.

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**This will also explain why there are currently 242 unread blog posts in my Reader. Two hundred and forty-two! Say that aloud in the voice of Toula from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
I just did. 🙂