I was out on the deck, doing some seasonal tidying up, when I turned around and was greeted by this sight - all three cats longing to join me. We used to let our cats out whenever they wanted, but a very sad loss put an end to that. Henry is allowed to go out if it is the middle of the day. The other two are sometimes allowed out, if someone is with them. Kind of sad because I know how much they love the outdoors.
Gobs of embroidery floss purchased at an online auction ... and I got a great price!
Finally finishing this little taupe nine-patch. I thought I might make it a sewing roll-up, or even a book of some sort, but no - I just want it to be a nine-patch with no particular purpose but to please the eye.
"There’s a loaf of moldy bread on the kitchen counter - please don’t throw it away. I want to see if I can get some prints from it." Yes, that is a typical sentence at our house.
Bill and Adeline ... two of my favorite people.
Vintage glass floats (most of which were gifts) in an awesome vase (which was a gift).
Studio clean-up: slowly, slowly reclaiming my space.
So sorry ... Were You Trying To Read?
Interesting tree. It's calling to me.
It's a lady, trapped in the tree.
There are mushrooms in the garden. I'm guessing it's because I just had the garden beds dressed with nice organic mulch.
I’ll bet they are delicious and perfectly safe, but no way am I going to test that theory by eating them. There are certain lessons which were hammered into my head as I was growing up in Poughkeepsie, NY:
- Don't eat mushrooms in the wild.
- Never ever try heroin.
- Don't have sex until you are married.
You know what they say: Two outta three ain't bad. :-)
I found this chimney swift on my dining room floor. Is there a message in this? I have felt a very strong connection with birds this past year, believing them to be spirit guides, here to escort me through the minefield of cancer treatments; here to keep me safe and help me prevail. Birds have been very close ever since last June when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. In recent weeks (months?) I have had a few experiences of seeing birds bid me farewell. Seeing them say their job is done, I don't need them to be such close-by chaperones, I'm going to be okay. And I've wondered: is that true?
So, dear Swift, did you come to give me a message? What does your death mean? Is it about transition? Your energy has moved on. It may be the end of a cycle for the birds and me ... a door closes and a window opens. The wisdom imparted by "my" birds, the lessons learned these past months, will not be forgotten. And I'm pretty certain my lovely feathered spirit guides will always be here with me when I need them.
This was my father’s old iron lantern and it was in our back yard when I was a kid. Daddy loved his garden and "the Japanese lantern" seemed to play a special role on nights when he would light a candle inside it and we would sit in near darkness, enjoying the flickering illumination of our own private space. I don't know if the lantern actually is Japanese; my father spent some time in Korea before I was born, so maybe it came home with him when he returned. It has been a part of my garden for the last forty years or so and I am now more attached to it than ever. I was startled, in a pleasant sort of way, to see a similar one in Jude's yard. It's nice to run into a distant relative when you least expect it.
But it seems so odd to me that my father has been gone for more than forty years. That's such a long time. And my mother - I think it's been about thirteen years, but I still feel like she died recently.
Lily says: Good night and sweet dreams.
I love to shop! Photoshop, that is. So, I thought I’d share some examples with you because it is amazing what can be done with Photoshop. Mind you, I am by no means an expert, but I have played with it for years now and I keep learning, albeit very slowly.
Above, an image of a boy in Poughkeepsie, NY, circa 1978. I got lucky with this shot.
As you can see from the original image, right, Photoshop helped a great deal in creating the arresting image it became.
An edited image of a geranium, above, and the original, at right. The edited version of an image isn’t necessarily better than the original, but it’s always interesting to see where a little fussing with the settings may lead.
At left, a gorgeous little girl I spotted at a friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, there was a mess of distracting arms and legs surrounding her precious face, as you can see, below.
Once again, Photoshop came to the rescue.
Above, another shot from the wedding celebration, this time of a charming boy named Finn.
The original photo was okay although a little flat. I could have just popped the contrast and be done with it, but I decided I really wanted to isolate the image of Finn, which is what I did in Photoshop.
I've been experimenting with a new camera. It is a Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II. If you have any experience with this model or maybe an opinion regarding a point and shoot camera you particularly like, I'm all ears. I have 14 days from the date of purchase to decide whether I want to keep it or not.
Ciao & Meow
One of the places I like to visit for viewing art online is Artists & Makers Studios. I'm not sure, but I may have totally neglected to tell you that I was invited to join their Artists Beyond Our Doors section, which means there is a page at the website for me. I am flattered to be included in this group of wonderful artists and makers. Here is a little peek at my page (you can "click" on it, to see the full page):
I'm pretty sure you (or, at least most of you) will agree: the most amazing artist and maker of all is Mother Nature. Here is our Redbud Tree, loaded with blossoms which won't be around for long - but they sure are glorious while they last. Just stunning. I'm so glad Adeline and Bill coaxed me out of the house, to enjoy the beauty which is around, and to benefit from the healing that comes with being close with nature.
Another kind of art which I really, really love, is music. A friend telephoned about a year ago and urged me to listen to this amazing cover of Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence. Mind you, I had never heard of David Draiman (the singer), or of Disturbed (his heavy metal band); nor have I ever warmed up to Conan (the man and his show where this performance gained so many fans as well as garnering Disturbed a Grammy nomination); and I was never a fan of Simon and Garfunkel although, having been born in 1950, I was at a proper age to be a fan when they were so wildly popular in the late sixties.
I trusted my friend's advice so I went online and partook of the now famous performance by the man with all that metal hanging off of his face. And, Wow. Really, Wow! I was knocked out. I kept playing it, over and over and over. I fell in fan-love with David Draiman, although I don't think Heavy Metal will ever cause my heart to skip a beat. And the lyrics! Oh my, I never paid attention to the lyrics until hearing this rendition. They are beautiful and sad, provoking the kinds of thoughts which make my heart ache. The performance is also not just about the music; it is visually thrilling as well. I could go on and on about this but I'll simply offer it here, instead, with the hope that some of you will take the time to watch and listen to the entire performance because it needs and deserves that for it to be fully appreciated.
If you would leave me your thoughts about this performance, I'd love it.
And a little cancer anecdote:
I was writing to someone recently about how cancer made me happy, something I hope to properly describe and share with you in the not too distant future. Auto-correct changed happy to happen, and I thought, Yes! That too!