May 31

Poetry & Kindness 21.0

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Every Friday, I share a poem. Friday is also the day I post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place. I call this the Kind is Kool challenge.

I offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so “Comments” are turned off every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 21 Church Grand Cayman

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Giving And Taking

Who gives and hides the giving hand,
Nor counts on favor, fame, or praise,
Shall find his smallest gift outweighs
The burden of the sea and land.

Who gives to whom hath naught been given,
His gift in need, though small indeed
As is the grass-blade’s wind-blown seed,
Is large as earth and rich as heaven.

Forget it not, O man, to whom
A gift shall fall, while yet on earth;
Yea, even to thy seven-fold birth
Recall it in the lives to come.

Who broods above a wrong in thought
Sins much; but greater sin is his
Who, fed and clothed with kindnesses,
Shall count the holy alms as nought.

Who dares to curse the hands that bless
Shall know of sin the deadliest cost;
The patience of the heavens is lost
Beholding man’s unthankfulness.

For he who breaks all laws may still
In Sivam’s mercy be forgiven;
But none can save, in earth or heaven,
The wretch who answers good with ill

John Greenleaf Whittier

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x200

Week 21 Challenge – Think about ways you can volunteer. Take one step of action.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

May 30

Inspiration Results – May 30

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Every Monday, I post a painting “inspiration.” Every Thursday, I post how I interpreted the inspiration. I decided to do this to keep myself painting, to strengthen how I go from an idea to a painting, and to give myself permission to play and try new things. For the next several weeks, I’m taking my inspiration from the great ideas you sent me.

This week’s inspiration comes from Kirsten of Peaceful dog…SEASHELLS.

Seashell Girl 3

I’ve been working on this painting for several weeks, and I’m still not done. I started it as I was entering a “slump.” I’m still a little slumpy, but working through it…I hope.

How to be HAPPY!

HTBHappyBadge

Every Thursday, Jay of The Depp Effect, posts something that makes her happy, and I’m playing along. She encourages us to look around and notice the things that make us happy. I enjoy this challenge because it makes me consider the things that make me happy, but are easily overlooked. It’s a wonderful exercise in attention and gratitude. Please grab the badge and join in.

Here’s something that makes me happy…DEVIL’S FOOD COOKIE CAKES.

Devil's Food Cookie Cakes

I’m kind of being silly this week. These cookies really do make me happy, but they also make me disgusted with myself. They’re peddled as a fat-free cookie that’s good for you, but they’re not good for me because whenever I buy them, I eat every single cookie in one quick sitting. I know I should exercise self-control, but I can’t seem to do it with these. The only way I can control the compulsion to eat the entire box is to not buy them at all, but every once in a while, I get a box and just give in to the goodness.

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 10 Comments

May 29

Curious Questions

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Curious Questions

I love trivia and the interesting history behind things, so imagine my delight when I found this book, What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper? by Andrew Thompson,  in the bargain bin. Here are a few curious questions and their intriguing answers.

When was toilet paper invented and what was used before then?

The Chinese invented toilet paper in the 14th century, and the Bureau of Imperial Supplies began to produce paper for use by the Chinese emperors. However, it wasn’t until 1857 that the first factory-produced toilet paper was made, by American Joseph Cayetty, who named his product “Therapeutic Paper” and sold it in packs of 500 sheets. Cayetty’s name was printed on each sheet.

Before the invention of toilet paper, different areas of the world used many different things. In the U.S., newspapers and telephone directories were commonly used, as were other books. The Old Farmer’s Almanac was actually printed with a hold punched through the corner of each page so that it could be hung in outhouses, and the Sears catalog was widely used until it was produced with glossy pages, after which its use as a hygiene product became unpopular. Corncobs were also used. Ouch!

Why do some coins have ridges around the edge?

Many years ago, coins were made out of precious metals such as gold and silver. This tempted some people to file flakes of the valuable metals from the edges of the coins and then accumulate the shavings. To combat this problem, ridges were carved into the edges of the most valuable coins. If the ridges remained unaltered, this showed that none of the precious metal had been shaved off and the coin was still good legal tender. Also, the ridges–collectively known as reeding or milling–made counterfeiting more difficult. Only the valuable coins were reeded; lower-denomination coins such as the penny were made of common metal, which made reeding unnecessary.

Why does the date for Easter change?

Since the exact date of Christ’s resurrection was not recorded, no generally accepted date for Easter was fixed. In AD 325, the Council of Nicea was convened to decide an array of topics, one of which was the date for Easter. It was decided that, throughout the Church, Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21.  Applying this formula, Easter Sunday must fall between March 22 and April 25.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 17 Comments

May 28

Happy 6th Birthday, Freedom!

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Freedom Is Six

I’m in the dog house because I missed Freedom’s birthday. Freedom turned 6 years old on May 14! Here’s a little tribute to Freedom:

F – Feisty

On a visit to Wolf Park, the guide explained to us that in a wolf pack, dominance doesn’t always relate to size and strength. Often it has more to do with attitude. I had to chuckle because Freedom has attitude+.

R – Rebellious

There is a little rebellious streak in Freedom. I’m confident that she’s not convinced that the humans should be running the household. When my husband tells the pups to go lay down, Casper and Nikki go nicely to their beds. Freedom, on the other hand, will go over to her bed, circle around it but stay standing. If it’s important and my husband insists, he has to go over to her and repeat the command. Then, slowly, reluctantly, she’ll lay down. I probably shouldn’t, but I kind of get a kick out of her sweet stubbornness.

E – Eldest

Freedom is our oldest.

E – Enthusiastic

Freedom is always ready and enthusiastic…for anything. When I come home, she does the cutest little hopping up and down on her front legs. She’s even taught this move to Casper. I ignore it because I like to keep homecomings as calm as possible, but it always makes me smile.

D – Dominant

Freedom’s the boss and she runs a tight ship.

O – Odd

Freedom has the cutest crooked ear and a bald neck, chest, tummy and butt. One of the greatest lessons the pups have taught me is to be comfortable in my own skin. Humans spend so much time wishing and trying to be “something else.” Not so with our pets. Makes us seem silly.

M – Marble Eyes

When she turns these eyes on me, I melt.

Marble Eyes Freedom

Happy Birthday, Freedom! I love you.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 20 Comments

May 27

In My Studio – May 27

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Here’s what’s been happening in my studio…

Seedy Lady Doll & Quilt

For the last few weeks I’ve taken a break from craft and painting. Although “breaks” can be refreshing and necessary, getting back to work can be painful. Fortunately, since I have a system (thanks to my blog), I just have to start working the system that’s in place. It’s still painful.

First order of business, get working on one of my unfinished projects…four mini quilts and four dolls. This week, I finished the Seedy Lady doll. The picture shows the doll with her matching mini quilt.

This Week’s Inspiration

In 2013, I’m doing Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration.

I’m currently working my way through a list of ideas that you all suggested. I left off with an inspiration from Kirsten of Peaceful dog…SEASHELLS. I spent two weeks working on this painting before I took a break, and I’d like to finish it up.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio, Inspiration | 9 Comments

May 26

Seedy Lady Doll

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My two weeks break from painting and crafting is up, and it’s time to get back to work. Before I took my “break,” I decided to spend several weeks finishing up an unfinished project…four mini quilts and four dolls.

Lady Patterns 2

Today, I worked on Seedy Lady.

Seedy Lady 1

I still have a few things to do…add some blush to her cheeks and perhaps a little tea stain to the white flowers.

Seedy Lady 2

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

May 25

A Walk Around The Block

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Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

A Walk Around The Block

I love the simplicity of this week’s Artist Date. A quiet walk around the block.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 16 Comments

May 24

Poetry & Kindness 20.0

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Every Friday, I share a poem. Friday is also the day I post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place. I call this the Kind is Kool challenge.

I offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so “Comments” are turned off every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 20

The Story Behind The Remembrance Poppy

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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 John McCrae (May 1915)

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x200

Week 20 Challenge – Express gratitude to a veteran or veterans organization.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

May 23

Artist Statement – Part 2

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Typically on Mondays, I post a painting “inspiration,” then on Thursdays, I post how I interpreted the inspiration, but I’m taking a two week break from painting and crafting in order to recharge my battery. Last week, I started thinking about my Artist Statement.

Artist Statement Part 2

Detail of Sculpture by Jaume Plensa onboard Celebrity Constellation

An Artist Statement is a basic introduction of you as an artist. It generally covers such things as why you make your art, what inspires you to make it, what it signifies or represent, how you make it and what it means to you.

I found a helpful guide on Molly Gordon’s website titled How to Write and Use an Artist’s Statement. I didn’t take the time to work through the steps, so I thought I’d begin by drafting a statement. It will be interesting to compare my rough draft with the statement I create after working through the exercise. Here’s what I came up with:

A smile. A spark of recognition. The thrill of finding a painting that represents who you are. That’s what I want you to feel when you see my artwork. I paint girls and animals that convey honesty, simplicity and spirit. My paintings are one-of-a-kind and special, just like you. When you choose one of my paintings, you have a piece of art that is yours and yours alone.

I use acrylic paints to create my colorful paintings. How do I begin each painting? Sometimes I begin with a sketch; sometimes I begin with a word or idea; sometimes I just start by putting paint on the canvas. I start the process and let the character spring from those beginnings.

My goal is to create paintings that touch people’s spirits. There’s something special knowing you chose something that speaks to who you are and who you want to be. It’s a special offering…from me to you.

I welcome any suggestions/ideas you may have. If you were looking at my art, what would you want to know? What do you think makes it special?

How to be HAPPY!

HTBHappyBadge

Every Thursday, Jay of The Depp Effect, posts something that makes her happy, and I’m playing along. She encourages us to look around and notice the things that make us happy. I enjoy this challenge because it makes me consider the things that make me happy, but are easily overlooked. It’s a wonderful exercise in attention and gratitude. Please grab the badge and join in.

Here’s something that makes me happy…SPRING FLOWERS.

Lilacs

Writing my Artist Statement, I was reminded of my goal to make my paintings one-of-a-kind. That made me think of beautiful spring flowers. There’s something special about these flowers that come out in the spring and then are gone. They are mini lessons in enjoying the beauty of the moment.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

May 22

Home Parties

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Last Friday, I hosted an Origami Owl party.

Origami Owl Box

Origami Owl is a line of jewelry that includes lockets, charms, chains, plates, dangles and tags that you put together to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that reflects your story and style.

Origami Owl Display

I have always loved home parties, both hosting and attending. I remember my mom hosting parties…Stanley Home Products, Tupperware and Beeline Fashions. In fact, my mom had just signed up to sell Stanley Home Products when she found out she was pregnant with yours truly. So how did it all begin?

Stanley Hostess Party

Photo Source

At the turn of the 20th century, small companies, like the Fuller Brush Company, went national. In 1931, Frank Stanley Beveridge, a successful Fuller Brush salesman, opened his own cleaning supplies company, called Stanley Home Products. Beveridge learned that one of his salesmen was making record-breaking sales by demonstrating his products in the living rooms of women “hostesses” who volunteered their homes and invited their friends to attend “a Stanley party.” In exchange for her efforts, the hostess was given a complimentary hostess prize, such as a toaster, a coffee pot or free Stanley products.

Retro Tupperware Party

Photo Source

In the late 1940s, a woman named Brownie Wise discovered that she could make a good living from selling Stanley Home Products and became one of the most successful unit managers in the Detroit area within one year. Wise took the skills that she learned as a Stanley dealer and manager and capitalized on them when she stumbled across Earl Tupper’s product, the Wonderbowl. She convinced him that his products should be sold not in stores, but at home parties, where women would demonstrate the revolutionary, unbreakable bowls to their friends and neighbors. Tupper hired her on the spot to head up his entire sales operation, Tupperware Home Parties.

This interesting information comes from a new documentary by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt called Tupperware! presented by American Experience on PBS.

Beeline Fashions Postcard

Photo Source

One of my favorite home parties from the 1960’s & 1970’s was Beeline Fashions. Founded by Beatrice F. Birginal (known as “Bee”) and her husband J. Edison Birginal, Bee had a knack for mixing-and-matching clothes. Bee’s line of clothing, hence the name, was founded on a uniquely simple fashion secret…buy three or four pieces and get five or six outfits. It was about getting more for your dollar through color coordination.

I always thought it was very grown-up and glamorous having a rack of clothes brought to your house, then having your friends over to try on and model the different outfits. Of course, there were also special party snacks. No wonder I have fond memories.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 23 Comments