Friday, January 29, 2010

From the Heart

Oh how fun it is to draw and's just delightful! :)
My two pages I did for the Art Journal Journey with Missy.
The theme: "From the Heart"

Pen, watercolor, acrylic and markers!

True to life! One fat cat, one skinny cat. :)

It feels like Spring...the weather has been wonderful. Except the "long run" day of my marathon training, when it was windy and raining for most of the 5 miles. This week is 7 miles and I hope it's a good weather day! At least most of the days have been sunny...good for my garden because the seeds are now sprouting!

A lovely little flower on my Bell Pepper Plant

Sprouting Squash!

The Heavenly Blue Morning Glory begins it's journey

Bachelor Buttons, tiny but determined!

Do you think my Orchid is trying to tell me something?
Like, "Hey, it's time to repot me!"
Repotting Orchids isn't easy. Just getting it out of the pot is a chore.
The roots are like tentacles from some underworld creature.
You must gently clean and trim them before potting it anew.

Beauty is blooming, so out came the camera this week!
It's been quite some time since I have taken nature shots.
The last few months have been filled
with travel and street photography.
I realized this week just how much
I miss being in nature with my Nikon.

Photograph of my Lavender Pinata which made
the pages of Flickr Explore this week:

I've always loved this quote and it's the title of my set on Flickr with all my flower photographs:
"The Earth Laughs in Flowers"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sowing the Seeds

This past week was one of "sowing seeds".
It started with the devastation in Haiti. It's so heartbreaking that the poorest country in the world, one that is just a few hundred miles from our borders is going through such horror.
In these times, most of us, myself included, wish we could just fly there in an instant and help everyone. But even just donating cash or goods can help the people of Haiti sow seeds for the future, a future that hopefully will be brighter, safer and full of hope. So donate we do, clothing, blankets and money and send prayers on wings of love.
Closer to home, my quest to create a sustainable, organic lifestyle continues with the first seeds being planted. Finally, the fine Florida weather cooperated and I was able to sow Chives and Squash. In addition, I sowed a bountiful of blue flowers: Forget-me-not, Bachelor Button and of course, my favorite morning glory: The Heavenly Blue
I was lucky enough to have two years of these amazing blooms and can't imagine my garden now without them. I also paired the white, large Moon Flower with the Heavenly Blue. I've had good luck growing the Moon Flower before and hope I'll be blessed with it's night opening blooms again.
To help my garden along, we have begun our own Composting. I have a stylish stainless steel kitchen compost container. Here, kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings, paper towels, tea leaves and other organic material are stored until a trip out to the patio compost bin, a green plastic drum that sits up on a black bar. This is where lawn and garden trimmings are tossed as
well as feathers from the ducks and birds, shells and any other organic material I find while gardening. The kitchen waste is dumped in and a few times a week the drum gets turned to mix the materials and help the rotting along. I find the whole process completely and utterly fascinating. Not only will I be making rich organic soil, but our trash output to the landfill will decrease by 35%!! Imagine if everyone did the same thing? That would make a huge impact on our planet. Sowing seeds for the future. :)
This week also included sowing seeds for my health. Loran and I signed up for Disney World's Half Marathon:
I started training this week, running up to 5 miles. Next week will be up to 7 miles, the third up to 9 and so on until I am up to the 13.1 miles needed in order to finish in the allotted time of 3.5hrs. Loran is a perfect partner for this challenge. We've been together during other strenuous challenges and know that we can count on each other for support, motivation and encouragement.
The training this week has been going great, my miles have been under 12 minutes but a headache has followed the workout which concerns me some. Hopefully, it will subside as my cardiovascular health improves but I will keep a close eye on it and see my doctor if necessary.
Speaking of doctors, today my cat Pi Ling had to go see her doctor after one of her anal glands ruptured through the skin. It's one of the most painful looking things I have ever seen and I feel so bad for her. She seems to be doing good now that she is home but the wound is open because it has to heal from the inside out, so it can't be stitched up. I have to keep it clean and give her medicine orally. She should be back to normal in no time and hopefully she won't have to deal with this again.
So much seemed to be going on this week, but I still managed to work a bit on my photography and in my art journal which I'll be posting pictures of soon. I also was able to spend some time with my beautiful friend Loraine and my lovely Lita who moved closer to me! yay! In fact, she's about the distance of a a few weeks maybe I'll run over to her apartment instead of driving!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome to 2010

Where has the time gone? 2009 just breezed right on by and now the first week of 2010 is about to come to a close. Having spent most of 2009 traveling I am looking forward to 2010 as a year to concentrate on things closer to home. Mainly, my photography, garden and art. Oh yes, and this poor, neglected blog!
I never have resolutions...not because I can't keep them, but because the things I resolve to do are things I strive for daily throughout my life: to live an inspired life of love, kindness and health and a creative life filled with vision, motivation, beauty and art.
I spent the last year cultivating my Butterfly's in need of some preparation for the upcoming season and I'm excited to get out there and renew the commitment I've made to those most delicate creatures of nature. In addition, I've now decided to create a sustainable, organic garden for Charlie and I to enjoy. Limited by space and critters (oh how the coon and rat love to dig up stuff), I've settled on a few fruit trees, herb garden, wildflowers for brewing tea and filling my large patio with a vegetable container garden. Most will be protected from all critters except for my cat Sambuca who last year ate all the blooming bulbs off my sunflowers. But, I'll worry about her later. For now, I have to worry about the weather.
Florida is in the longest cold snap in decades and this has delayed my January plantings of Crookneck Squash, Dill, Chives and Thyme. As soon as the temperature climbs back up to 60°F I'll be able to get my January plants going. I did manage to start my Avocado plant. No hurry on this baby. Even once I finally get it into the ground it will be 4-10 years before it yeilds fruit. Avocado, my friend, you will teach me patience. While waiting for the optimum time for planting, I have begun, yet again, another art journal. To help me stick to it, I've decided to tie it in with my gardening attempts and my nature photography. I've also joined my beautiful, talented friend (and distant cousin) artist Missy Trent in an Art Journal Journey! She's so inspiring and motivating and she will help to keep me on track! I'm not too good with mediums other than oil, but I am up for the challenge of using watercolor...learning, discovering. Missy gave us a "prompt" to start our first entry: Winter. Living in South Florida makes that a challenge. Even though we are currently experiencing colder weather right now, I rarely think of winter when I am here. However, I have noticed the birds plucking the winterberries off the bush. It seems to be a favorite of the Mockingbird and the Red-Winged Blackbird, both who like to sit on a branch and just eat to heart's content. Difficult to get a shot of them on the branch...will need to try a longer lens and quieter shoes for as soon as I step outside, off they fly!
My first Art Journal entry for 2010: Winterberry!
I usedwatercolor, marker, pen, handmade paper, acrylic, glitter, tiny doll buttons and some die cut birds to create the page. If you would like to join Missy on her Art Journal Journey, check out her blog:
As the first week of 2010 winds down, I'm excited by the challenges I am creating and I'm sure this year will be an inspired one! Next up: processing more travel photography, creating collaged gift boxes and working towards completing my first 5K run!