October 31

Inspiration Results – October 31

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I’d hoped to have at least a little more done on my Halloween Girl painting, but alas, no.

Halloween Girl 1

Looks like Halloween Girl will have to wait until December. Happy Halloween!

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 6 Comments

October 30

NaNoWriMo

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Have you heard of this? NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo

I’d heard of it, but never was interested in participating. Recently, I read about it over at Elka’s blog, The Elka Almanac, and a seed was planted.

My blog has been a huge challenge for me the last few months. I feel dried up. I think a lot of that is due to changes in my life and the structure I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I suspect that I come across, on my blog, as much more organized and focused than I am. I’m about as flighty as they come. I combat my flightiness through structure. There is no way I could write a blog without structure and a plan. Unfortunately, the structure I set in January 2013 doesn’t fit so well now.

My goal when I started writing What Remains Now, was to reintroduce myself to my creative side. Over the last 3 years, I’ve explored creativity and fallen in love with painting my girls. I started 2013 with those two passions (creativity and painting my girls) first and foremost in my mind. I set up my 2013 posting schedule to keep myself moving ahead in those two areas. Then, life changed. Now, I find myself with a full-time job and a lot of new changes, challenges and focus. So what now? That’s what I’m asking myself. I don’t have any answers.

Now, that little seed. The idea of writing at the intensity of NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in November or 1,667 words a day) called to me. I think because writing is magical. I can be totally confused about something and by writing it out, clarity will come. So, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. Not to write a novel, but hopefully to write myself into some clarity.

What this means for my blog…For the month of November, I’m not going to write or follow my schedule. Every day I’m going to post a picture and a quote, similar to what I did in 2012 with my “Daily Inspiration.” I’m also going to turn off my comments. I hope this helps me. I feel lost…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 11 Comments

October 29

Nutro Crunchy Treats

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This month, we’re reviewing Nutro Crunchy Real Apple Dog Treats from Chewy.com. They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Awesome!

Nutro Crunchy Treats

Key Benefits

  • Made with real apples
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Made with healthy whole grains, such as whole brown rice and oatmeal
  • No wheat, no corn
  • Made in the USA

Apparently, our mom has no ability when it come to taking “receiving treats” photos. But she always seems to have the camera handy when we’re trying to sleep.

Freedom Sleeping Treats Review

Dear Chewy.com,

This is not the way I feel about receiving treats to review. I get very excited about treats.

Sincerely, Freedom

Casper Sleeping Treats Review

Dear Nutro,

This was not my reaction to your fabulous treats. They were delish!

Sincerely, Casper

Nikki Sleeping Treats Review

Dear What Remains Now Readers,

We loved the treats. Our mom is just a lame picture-taker. The treats were super yummy.

Sincerely, Nikki

Thank you, Chewy.com for asking us to do this review. We received a free bag of Nutro Crunchy Real Apple Dog Treats for doing this review, but our opinions are always our opinions. We cannot be bought. Well, we probably can be bought. If you have a huge offer you’d like to make, please feel free to tell us about it.

Sincerely, Freedom, Casper & Nikki

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 14 Comments

October 28

In My Studio – October 28

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

Autumn Girl 5

I didn’t finish Autumn Girl, but I got her to the point where I’d like to let her be for awhile.

Fabric Owls Failure 3

I made this cute little owl. I wanted her to stand up, but the wire I used to make her legs and feet was too thin, so she just falls down. You all had some great ideas for salvaging her.

Halloween Girl 1

My newest painting inspiration is Halloween. I don’t like to plan out my paintings, I just like to start slapping paint on the canvas. It looks a little crazy when I start. Here’s the start of Halloween Girl.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio, Inspiration | 13 Comments

October 27

Fabric Owl Failure

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I know that during my crafting career I’ve had to have had many first-time successes. This wasn’t one of them. I started out wanting to make these cute owls.

Felt Owls 1

The first one I cut out (using the template in the magazine) was too small for me to enjoy working with, so I made the pattern just a smidgen bigger. I cut out my wool felt pieces.

Fabric Owls Failure 1

I made these cute feet.

Fabric Owls Failure 2

Then, I made the owl. The failure…she won’t stand up. The wire is too thin. Drats! I’ll see if I can get some stiffer wire, and I probably won’t stuff the next one. Live and learn.

Fabric Owls Failure 3

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 18 Comments

October 26

Ten Thousand Villages

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Every week, I take you on an Artist Date with me. The Artist Date comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

I have been terrible about making time for my Artist Date. It’s time for me to be a little more proactive with my calendar and schedule them in. For now, here’s where I’ve been spending much of my time…my new place of business.

Artist Date TTV 1

Ten Thousand Villages Mishawaka.

Artist Date TTV 2

It’s an inspiring place,

Artist Date TTV 3

filled with beauty and whimsy.

Artist Date TTV 4

I’m honored to represent these artists from around the world,

Artist Date TTV 5

and privileged to work with a group of volunteers who are passionate about fair trade and sharing the artists’ stories.

Artist Date TTV 6

Certainly makes getting up in the morning easy. Now I just have to work on getting my “off work” time in order.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 11 Comments

October 25

Poetry & Kindness 37.0

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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 37

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The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door,
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;, vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”, here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”,
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore,
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;,
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door,
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore,
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered,
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before,
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore,
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never, nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee, by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite, respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!, prophet still, if bird or devil!,
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted,
On this home by horror haunted, tell me truly, I implore,
Is there, is there balm in Gilead?, tell me, tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil, prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting,
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!, quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted, nevermore!

Edgar Allan Poe

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x200

Week 37 Challenge – Go meatless one day a week.

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

October 24

Inspiration Results – October 24

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For the remainder of 2013, I’m working on paintings inspired by the ideas you all suggested. I doubt if I’ll completed any painting in a week, but hopefully you’ll find it interesting to see how my paintings develop.

The first inspiration was AUTUMN. This week, she got a face. I’m going to put this painting away for now. I want to do more with her, but I’ll take some time to look at her casually and see if I can come up with what she needs.

Autumn Girl 5

Now I’m going to start on a painting using the inspiration…HALLOWEEN.

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 12 Comments

October 23

Reading Plan

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Reading Plan

I love to read and am currently reading several books. I’m pretty scattered when it comes to my reading habits. I see a book that looks good; I start reading it, and most of the time, I finish it. Sometimes I don’t. I was thinking about setting myself a reading plan for 2014. Nothing too rigid, just six or so books that follow a plan so I get a fuller sense of a subject. Here are some of my ideas:

Classics

One author

One decade

Books about books

Biographies

Have you ever followed a reading plan? I don’t know if I’ll do it; I’m just musing out loud.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 22 Comments

October 22

Mini-Me Theatre – Charm School

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Welcome to Mini-Me Theatre.

In our first episode, a package arrived. When the mini-me houndies opened it, they discovered Mini-Me Twinkie was joining the family.

In our second episode, the mini-me houndies learned that Mini-Me Twinkie’s manners left a lot to be desired.

The story continues…

After discovering that Mini-Me Twinkie’s attitude wasn’t the best, the mini-me houndies asked Mini-Me Twinkie if she would like to go to charm school. Mini-Me Twinkie agreed.

MMT Charm School 1

“Welcome Mini-Me Twinkie.”

MMT Charm School 2

“We will be your instructors at Mini-Me Houndies Charm School For Unrepentent Kitties.”

MMT Charm School 3

“I must be in mini-me hell.”

MMT Charm School 4

“Let’s begin by learning to become a mini-me lady. A mini-me lady says pleasant and complimentary things to acquaintances. For example…’Mini-Me Twinkie, you look very pretty with your attractive red neck ribbon. It’s a very fresh look.’ Now you try.”

MMT Charm School 5

“Mini-Me Freedom, roses are red, violets are blue, God made me smart, what happened to you?”

MMT Charm School 6

“Alright, we’ll continue to work on being complimentary. Now Mini-Me Twinkie, a mini-me lady always says ‘May I,’ not ‘Can I.’ For example…’Mini-Me Twinkie, may I help you get to know some of the other students?’ Now you try.”

MMT Charm School 7

“Mini-Me Nikki, may I ask you a question? Are your parents siblings?”

MMT Charm School 8

The mini-me houndies decided that perhaps social conventions weren’t the best place to start. They decided to focus on education.

“Mini-Me Twinkie, a mini-me lady is educated and reads the classics.”

MMT Charm School 9

“‘Thou mangled toad-spotted lewdster!’ That’s Shakespeare.”

MMT Charm School 10

If not literary pursuits, perhaps the language arts.

“Mini-Me Twinkie, a mini-me lady learns to speak French or Italian.”

MMT Charm School 11

“Mini-Me Twinkie! Hand over that book!”

MMT Charm School 12

In a last desperate attempt, the mini-me houndies hoped the culinary arts would appeal to Mini-Me Twinkie. Kitties are known for their finicky eating habits.

“Mini-Me Twinkie, a mini-me lady cultivates a sophisticated palate.”

MMT Charm School 13

“Is Mini-Me Freedom eating the poop out of my litter box again?”

MMT Charm School 14

The mini-me houndies realized they had their work cut out for them.

MMT Charm School 15

To be continued…

The mini-me’s are custom handmade by Lynne of  Dip-Dip and the Bridge. Want a mini-me of your own? Contact Lynne at chi-chigirls86@hotmail.com and she’ll give you the details.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 23 Comments