This made me think of the magical world of Ullabenulla -- The Doll's House of Petronella Oortman. Seventeenth-century doll's houses were not children's toys, they were a hobby for ladies, comparable to the cabinets in which gentlemen kept their collections. This is one of three seventeenth-century doll's houses that have survived intact. It was commissioned by Petronella Oortman, a wealthy Amsterdam lady. The house is remarkable in that all of the components are made exactly to scale. Petronella ordered miniature porcelain objects from China and commissioned furniture makers and artists to decorate the interior. It was extremely costly to create a model house like this. Petronella probably spent between twenty and thirty thousand guilders on her doll's house. In the seventeenth century she would have been able to buy a real house along one of the canals for that price. There are details of each room, have a look at the nursery.
Remember Diana Ross portraying Billie Holiday with chic sunglasses and scarf draped around her head, reclining in lounge chair, her legs covered in blanket, green expanse of hospital lawn stretched out to the camera?
I have always remembered these scenes from movies. Always thought it looked good, but boring. Weren’t they bored just sitting there having their nervous breakdown or medical threat?
Today I had my own version of that scene, albeit, dirty pajama bottoms with a mismatched soup-stained T-shirt. Gingerly, I made my way downstairs. Visit fall hydrangeas, plump, ripe grapes make the backyard smell like grape jelly. See a few potted plants that need to be planted.
Pulled up a reclining lawn chair to greet a shy September afternoon sun. (I take note of how different the September sunlight is). Eyes closed, listening to birds, exploring patterns on fabric on chair cushion, watching flies, catch a cloud skipping across the sky, hearing cars full of parents rushing home to cook dinner, take kids to practice. Just sit there. With nothing particular in my head except to soak up a couple of minutes of sunlight. A nap here, a spot of peppermint tea there, a movie, sleep, trying to remember medications, showers, fevers.
It feels queer to have a your life halted. I have never really experienced this before. Tonsils out at 5, birth of my son, age 36. That was hardly a night at the hospital then we were off to be parents. I have a terrible eye injury once and my way to will myself not to be hurt or sick was to run home from the hospital and mow the yard with 60 stitches in my face.
I have lost track of time. I was very ill, then a blur of needles, IV’s and white sheets, now home and a blur of eating, sleeping, medicating, feeling sore, vulnerable, human. Not in charge. Not thinking of anything but how to fill my next 30 minutes and make myself feel whole and good. My life coming to a halt.
Thank you all so very much for your sweet and kind thoughts to my speedy recovery!
p.s. Does anyone know just what is going on with Hotmail these days? I am changing my email for now until I can figure that out. kimcarney13 at yahoo dot com. I am using this for now, until I can figure out what is wrong with hotmail, that email acct. THAT I PAID FOR. Can not access my yahoo acct either and Gmail wants to send me a text message before I can sign up. WTF? Enough email problems for this hour.
Too busy with a weird work schedule. Yesterday was chilly enough to have the first fire of this fall. I managed to crawl over lots of boxes to get to my sewing machine. Printed out one of my my poppy photos and stitched on it. Part of decoration I am adding to the first of seven pieces of a Round Robin Art Project. Finally managed to finish up the first piece, get it in the mail to the next participant. I will be working on until ArtFest in March, where we will all meet up and share.
The highlight of the day was when Maureen came through Edmonds and we spent a wonderful afternoon visiting, eating, talking of cameras and art studios. She was one of my first flickr contacts, sharing her amazing landscape photography, and of course Sam, the dog I love via flickr. With the face of a teenager and the spirit of a wise, old shaman, is just as lovely "in person" as she is on her blog. She and Liz are meeting up Friday, I really wish I could get together with them! And I wish I had taken a better photo of us ;(
And fall threads in celebration of the chill in the air.
Me and my husband, when we were fresh and new. Anything was possible. This is my favorite photo of us, that we took of ourselves many years ago. I remember the day, putting the camera on the top of the car, taking the photo. Laughing. Feeling as the sky was the limit. The photo has sun damage and I am afraid to take it out of the frame.
A story about how in sync we are sometimes. I walked to our local art festival two blocks away, checked everything out, came home. D wanted to go to the art festival to grab some lunch and ask me if I saw any good art options. I noted most of the vendors were the same, but I saw one or two pieces that were interesing. Never mentioned what the art was, who the vendor was. He came home having purchased three pieces of art. When he unwrapped them, they were the exact art vendors and two of the prints I had made a mental note of exception to go back and further investigate their prints! Those things happen all the time. When I said I wanted a chihuahua for my birthday many years ago, he responded a resounding "No". My birthday, no chihuahua, so I guessed he wasn't kidding about having another animal in the house. A couple of days later, he came in with Pica tucked inside of his coat, having driven all day to collect my little chihuahua with a white heart on his head.
When my mind needs a rest of everyday mundane matters such as cleaning toilets or paying fills, I turn to my new addiction. Bridezilla and Platinum Weddings on the WE channel. The perfect combination of obscene and riduculous that keep me completely entertained and disgusted at the same time.
If you need to have a video of your million dollar wedding, here is your site. Please take a minute to watch a couple, you will not regret it.
Frost Lighting has some wonderful and unusual lighting ideas special enough for any princess bride.
So on the lighter side of "I do's" -- I was invited to the most fun "mock" wedding party for a friend who made the mistake of "running off" to get married without telling anyone. So ... another friend was thrilled and obsessed with throwing her a secondary wedding, replete with a thrift store wedding dress, alterd and fitted for her, rewritten Dr. Seuss wedding vows, champagne and luncheon. It was the most memorable wedding I have ever attended. Congratulations, you two love birds!
I did not grow up in a house that we owned. I lived in apartments and rentals all of my life. So when we purchased this house, our house, my first house, at the age of 36, experimenting growing flowers in my first garden was a treat, a constant experiment. I have had an experiment growing back there ... have finally narrowed it down to a few of my favorites that I grow now. Then I started photographing them with my little Nikon Coolpix 900 many, many years ago. With every image that appeared on my screen from my camera, from my eye, from my flower -- I was thrilled, excited, enchanted. I found macro (Raynox lens) photography and spent time in our local nurseries photographing flowers. My peonies, the beloved hydrangeas, my few remaining roses, all become the focal point of my awe and love. So Floral Treat for me, for Studio Friday, is a dream. Not in art but in photography. I am not a photographer, but my flowers have made me become an aspiring photographer -- in trying to capture their magic. I feel it is my privilege everytime I photograph some beautiful, living thing that is growing in my backyard. I could not make any art that is more beautiful than the real thing, that inspire me everyday to get out my camera and capture the moment.
This is a piece that I submitted Humus, but never hear back from them, so I am guessing they did not pick my submission for their site.
Peonies in vases from my yard, my beloved hydrangeas, macro flower experiments.
I heard tonight on NPR that Ann Richards passed away today of cancer. I adored following her career not only because she was smart and witty, but also honest, hard-working and delightful. I admired her, but the moment I feel in love with her was when some magazine spread of her, on the beach with her granddaughter, in all of her glorious aged body in a one-piece bathing suit. Unashamed, unaltered from any surgery, just wonderful and beautiful and honestly herself. From that moment, she was my hero. No matter, that she was the 45th Governor of Texas and open doors for women in politics, had demons that she faught. The moment I saw her in that photographs, I thought, "that is a woman that deserves to be a hero". Go with the angels, Ann Richards, you will be missed!
later Dallas Morning News Blog has a sweet entry on Ann Richards.
After seven stories chronicling his diagnosis, treatment and recovery from prostate cancer, my co-worker, Mike Stuckey's gripping, surprising and often hilarious series has come to an end. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Mike has turned the corner from cancer patient to cancer survivor. Read more of the package, LowBlow. A true story of hope and courage.
I was going to take a shower, make-up, do the hair to take a photo with my mom, but did not quite get around to that today. So before the sun sets on this Tuesday - me and my mom! She has been my best friend for 50 years, she runs my errands, helps me everyday with everything and still tells me to clean my room :0. I love you Mom! More Self-Portrait Challenge's about relationships here.
It feels inappropriate to blog about anything except 9.11 today. I don't care how many times I see the image of jetliners flying into the twin towers, I still can not believe what I have just seen. It was that disbelief on the live broadcast, and is still the same gut-wrenching feeling when I watch reruns. People jumping from a burning inferno. The stunned look on onlookers faces. Every heartbreaking second of that morning lives in my eyes, seered into my memory that I wish I could forget. We are all changed by that day. More fearful of strangers, more alert, more paranoid, we joined the rest of world in being targets of manaics bent on their jihad of hate and destruction.
What I hate to see and hated to see in the afermath of 9.11 was the way we treated our own Muslim communities, Arabic citizens, people of color, who spoke another language, any language suddenly became the enemy, object of suspicion. That was just as gut-wrenching as watching airplanes explode into the side of a building. And of course, then there was the propaganda of this adminstration constantly mentioning Iraq, Osama Bin Ladin, Saddam Hussien, 9.11 all in the same sentence over and over and over again until many Americans thought that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9.11. The next tragedy was the U.S. getting involved in Iraq, losing focus on Afghanistan, Osama and the Taliban.
But I digress. My thoughts and prayers are with families and friends who lost loved ones on that day. For our majestic country. For brave NYFD and NYPD. For all the poor souls who boarded flights that day, thinking it was an ordinary day.
Tools of the trade for Studio Friday this week. My Mac and mouse being my most trusted and favorite tools, cameras, the tools in the garage, drill press, belt sander, drills, miter box, saws, sand paper. Just thinking of those get me all excited to go home and do some work. Then there are the much-abused, much-loved paint brushes. I guess I have never met a tool that I didn't like.
My son is my universe. From the minute he was born he has been the best kid a mom could ask for. Always smiling, with a great sense of humor, a wonderful sense of fairness, brave, adventuresome, honest, forthright and a good helping of common sense. Sometimes I would see kids in the store throwing a little tantrum and think I can't remember M doing that once. I wonder why of course, because kids do that kind of stuff. I have always been able to just talk to him honestly about his behavior, not yell, not get mad, not scream. Just explain right from wrong and he got it. He was always so hard on himself for anything wrong-doing he had done, that I did not have the heart to take punishment any further. Of course, we have our moments, he is far from an angel. I thank God everyday for him. His name means "gift from God" and he is my special gift.
So I am very late, but with broken down cars, boys returning from KC, all kinds of yearly exams, school starting, etc. It is no wonder I miss it ;) Anyway, a good friend told me the other she was worried about me because I blogged to much. That I don't have enough "real people" time. Maybe she is right but I don't think I blog to much. After trying to keep up with everyone's blog and what you guys actually write. I don't think I blog enough. Anyway, that is just a non-bloggers point of view.
Just went through my del.icio.us list of grabbed a few of the many, many I have saved.
The girls visited Olympus Spa for a salt body scrub. Now on my top ten list of things to do. My skin has never felt so soft so clean, so renewed after 50 minutes of hard scrubbing. Heaven! I am examining all of my vices to see which I can give up to have this done once a month. ;)
Flipping through MS Living the other day, I saw this simple idea for chair covers, to add fun and color to the dining room. And I have my own ideas I think I am going to do for my dining room for the fall/winter. Maybe a little patchwork? Some fall leaves? In the summer I would like to print out my flower photos on fabric and sew those on the back. A monogram? I have lots of vintage Christmas tablecloths that would be perfect for that. I have not even changed out the lanterns on the ceilling all summer. I bought some stretched canvas for new dining room art. The dining room needs some attention.
It could not get any more beautiful than two people finding each other in this harried and weird world we live in. Two people that can read the newspaper together over coffee, attend their church together, vacation together, watch the sun set together. It is exciting to think we have a new family to share Christmas, stories, make memories together. Congratulaions, you two!
I have been slacking on the challenges lately. Thanks to Amy's suggestion of using my Illustration Friday post for Inspire Me Thursday challenge of "Inspired by Design" seems to be a perfect fit, and multi-tasking use of one post ;)
Safe is the challenge for this week's Illustration Friday, dedicated to my little canary who died a couple of years ago. I tried to keep him safe from harm. But he succumb to his illness one night and I buried him in the backyard under his own little tiles that read "Birdie's Eternal Song". I try to keep my cocker, Scooter safe from pain, keep my son safe from the world, keep my mom safe from cruelity, my husband safe. Don't we spend most of our lives trying to keep the ones we love, safe? My apologies to this 1930's illustrator.
Inspired by these beautiful Deco images sweetly supplied by normavalentine, I made some color swatches for a project I am working on. I picked this, this and this for starters. Drawing some boxes and sampling the color in Adobe Illustrator and saving a file for later. It is a wonderful way to have color inspiration on hand.
Then I came across this Cigarette Card and I love the texture of the background. I have some of these and the offset printing, when it is just a little off, is what gives it interest! I have always wanted to try this and yesterday I did a very quick experiment with dotted lines in Adobe Illustrator but I like the effect and want to redo it now with more attention to the patterns. And for the image illustrated itself, it just spoke to me. And I wanted to recreate it.
Admittedly, I have not had time to just play in Adobe Illustrator lately, except to throw the quickest image together in 20 minutes for work. So I stopped, took time to play, to look, to revel in color and sweet, simple, clean lines, to remember the program that I love so much. What fun! My extra time lately has been going to crafts, paintings and shrines, and I missed you old friend!