A Good Match

via Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Ben Huberman on the Daily Post challenged his readers to come up with a “good match.” Mine is a bottle arrangement I made in my bedroom. I’m crazy for bottles, and I love colors, so this is a perfect decor statement for me. My OCD kicks in from time-to-time and makes me rearrange the locations of the bottles within the arrangement, but that makes me happy, too.

Here’s how they look:

colored-bottles

Can you tell my tastes fall somewhere between Gypsy, Bohemian, dumpster-diving?

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Aesthetic

Webster’s Dictionary says the word “aesthetic” can be explained as “a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.” Now, what in the world could be better than this philosophy? I mean who wouldn’t want to study this philosophy all day long?

When food is viewed as aesthetically pleasing, it indicates that the food at least looks like something you can hardly resist eating. For me, that means desserts, unfortunately. My love of all things sweet has forced me to look at millions of baked, frosted, and candied edibles over the years. In fact, I have a Pinterest page dedicated to doughnuts, no matter how they’re spelled. Take a look. Yes, the beauty of the pastry has much to do with the associated level of craving. This photo is from the Sprinkle Bakes site.

Lovely! And yet again, wedding color. Wish I could do my own food for the wedding. I'd have a blast baking.:

In the realm of art, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but there are those works of art that have universal appeal. Immanuel Kant, the 18th-century German philosopher, argued that it was not the piece of art itself that was beautiful or not, but the way in which individuals respond to it. I think a good example of Kant’s idea is street art. Some folks see street art as vandalism, others see it rebellious, and many see it as remarkably beautiful and transforming ART. Here is an example of one of German street painter Edgar Muller’s work:

sidewalk art!! Amazing.:

And one my favorite areas for appreciating beauty is in the field of interior design. For me, when I see a room, of whatever style, that is balanced, textured, unified, and inviting, it makes me feel that all is well.

Cinnie May of JBM Designs and featured in New York Spaces
Beautiful Examples Of Scandinavian Interior Design 13
impressiveinteriordesign.com/beautiful-examples-of-scandanavian-interior-design/
Adding personality to a simple space is kinda my thing. Sometimes that personality is a sophisticated, refined, French woman and sometimes it’s a young, fun, modern party girl. When you start with a basic foundation it’s so much easier to bring the crazy in a way that doesn’t feel permanent or too committal – and... Read More …:
https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/a-modern-makeover-with-method

 

Whatever your aesthetic may be, join me in celebrating all kinds of art, design, style, and genre of beautiful things everywhere. And let me know what is aesthetically pleasing to you.

New Blog Site and Five Blogs I Like

Since my last blog, I have changed my site’s theme. I loved my old look with the rising balloons. It really represented my style and my point of view. But the practicality of the old theme was what was bothering me. The words were small and difficult to read on the blue background, and the page was a bit confusing to navigate. So, for a more readable and easy to access blog site, I chose the one you are looking at now.

Today I want to share with you five blog sites that I really like, along with the reasons I think these blog-writers are doing such a great job. Let me know if you have some favorite sites also. Let’s get our talented friends more of the recognition they deserve!

I like very much to read Dear Kitty. Some blog because I so agree with her political views and I admire her ability to explain why she feels the way she does about what is currently going on in Washington. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy her blogs when she is writing about subjects not related to our national government. She often writes about the environment, animals, and other topics of interest to nature-lovers and those concerned with the environment.

dearkitty

Another favorite of mine is Lowlife Magazine because of the writer’s edginess, love of movies, and his spectacular street art finds. I am never disappointed when I click onto his collection of quirky and extremely interesting collection of ideas and photographs.

lowlife

Mega Luxus has some of the most beautiful photographs of art, sculpture, decor, design, and other fascinatingly lovely things that I have seen. Get your creativity boost by heading over to this fabulous website.

mega-luxus

If I ever have a rock band (which I can’t really see happening) I’m going to name it after the blog Eat Sweets and Be Merry! I am truly a “sweet-aholic” and would eat sweets only all the time if I could. At Eat Sweets and Be Merry there are recipes for desserts, cakes, lemon curd, and so many other sugary delights. Just experiencing her site gives me my sugar fix for the day!

cropped-pie-header1

I also have a weakness for Wanderless in Beruit because I am fascinated about what a lovely, young girl says, thinks, and does in Lebanon. Malak’s fresh and positive take on the world, everyday activities, and her life makes me feel better about the state of our planet, in general.

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This list was great fun to assemble, and I plan to do it again from time to time. Do you have any special blogs you’d like for others to enjoy?

 

Fairy Gardens

I have been in love with these sweet little gardens since I began seeing them on Pinterest a few years ago. I love to make things like this with my granddaughter, but we just have not gotten around to this project. I think maybe this summer we might make a fairy garden on the covered porch so it will be protected, because I can’t imagine letting one get damaged in any way.

fairy-garden-bird-house

Having never really been into miniatures, I can’t figure out what the allure of these little neighborhoods is for me, but for me they really have an intrinsic charm.

broken-pot-fairy-garden

It seems they can be whimsical or downright intricate, both of which are just fine with this girl! And there are variations on the “broken pot” look.

diy-broken-pot-fairy-garden

And they can be a themed garden, like this farm miniature:

fairy-garden-plans-fairy-garden-ideas-mini-garden-ideas-barn-sunflower

You can even get the, as we say in the South, store-bought versions, but for my money, that’s like cheating and not nearly as much fun.

mini-gardens-miniature-fairy-houses-fairy-garden-ideas

If you have made a fairy garden, please share it here. If my granddaughter and I get one made, we’ll certainly share our project.

I feel a bit happier just thinking about these tiny treasures. Hope they brought a smile to your face, too!

“Real Neat Blog Award” Surprise

Thank you, Petrel41 at Dear Kitty. Some blog. You are what I would call a special, interesting, intriguing, intelligent, encouraging, multi-talented person. And somehow you saw my blog and nominated me, along with ten other bloggers, for the Real Neat Blog Award, for which I am very honored. Run, don’t walk, to the Dear Kitty. Some blog site. This award graphic was created by Petrel41 to represent this award in 2014.

First, I shall answer the seven questions asked by the author and nominator from Dear Kitty. Some blog.

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

Well, I’m so new to blogging on WordPress (just a few months), I’m pretty sure that most folks who read my blog are those who got started about the same time I did. I have a feeling the excellent WordPress Team groups us around the times we begin blog, making our fellow bloggers kind of a support group. At any rate, new bloggers are wonderful supporters of one another, and this camaraderie has boosted all of our blogs’ popularity.

2. What is your favourite sport?

It must be soccer, because I love to watch my grandchildren run up and down the field. 🙂

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?

Back to my grandchildren, every summer I host what we call Camp Gigi – which includes swimming, making, fishing, playing, sliding, painting, storytelling, fireworks, and much more. This last summer, for the first time, several of the kids’ friends came along for the ride.

4. What is your favourite quote?

It may be erroneously credited to Einstein, but I love it still:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

Drama, of course!

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

I wish that I had learned earlier on that love is an action. I know now that the romantic idea of love is great, but won’t get you through the rough times. It would have been nice to understand that love is an action and taking actions each day is what makes life joyous.

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

I played the guitar in high school and college and it helped me make friends and allowed me to bring something to the table, so to speak. Just because I wanted you to know that I clicked on your musical instrument link, may I say I had a friend who played the viola da gamba. I can also tell this about you: if you do not know about this instrument, you will want to hear it. Sounds like this:

Marin Marais (1656-1728) – Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont de Paris “The Bells of St. Genevieve” from La Gamme et Autres Morceaux de Symphonie (1723)

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

Queen of the Girl Geeks

Kaitlyn, Me, Myself and Everything Else

cookandenjoyrecipes

MissTalkaholic

Eat Sweets and Be Merry

gilliansvoiceonpaper

The Wonderful World of Hygge

Like all of you, I am a lover of words. Sometimes I get a kick in the pants by the way a word sounds. Who can resist saying Zimbabwe? Other times a word wins my heart based on its meaning, like the word lagniappe. And then there are words like hygge (pronounced hue-gah).

Who else but the Danish would come up with a word that explains so much about something so minimal, yet all-encompassing? This word has become popular in the US over the past couple of years, probably because so many of us are searching for calmness, coziness, and peace. I knew when I first read about it, I would be eager to find out more about the whole idea.

As everyone already knows, hygge is a word that defines a particular feeling, ambience, or state of being that assists those who live in places where winter evenings can begin at 4:00 o’clock and snow is pretty much continual make it through the dark periods.

todbjerg-111304_640

The juicy part is all the things that come together to make hygge happen. Allow me to share some of the ways it is explained:

  • a feeling
  • a mental state
  • coziness
  • well-being
  • candlelight
  • warm food
  • family-time
  • the manner in which people behave towards one another
  • intimacy
  • comradery
  • conviviality
  • contentment
  • gratitude
  • festivity
  • food-making

The idea, the word, the concept draws me in. If you’re thinking about reading a great book in front of a fire while covered in a furry throw and drinking hot chocolate with your dog by your side, then you’ve gotten the point. Maybe hygge does have something to do with the fact that Denmark normally makes it to the top of the “happiest places to live” list. But we all know that happiness rarely comes from outward objects, settings, or food. Still, count me as one who is going to get deep into the hygge movement this year. Want to join in?

comfort-594210_640-1

Crossing

Crossing the Jordan River, for Christians, means going to heaven. When the children of Israel fled Egypt in search of the land God had promised them, they first had to cross the Jordan River. In the New Testament, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Eventually, Christians began to use the Jordan as a metaphor for the crossing that would lead to the final “promised land,” or heaven.

In the old days, down here in Mississippi, folks would say of someone who had died that he or she had “crossed over,”meaning they had crossed the proverbial Jordan River to be with God. So, for many who were born in these parts, the word “crossing” had a spiritual connotation.

Since we’re talking of “olden times,” I am reminded of many songs that were sung during the folk-song era that had to do with this subject matter, one of which was “We are Crossing the Jordan River.” Joan Baez and Bob Gibson did a duet of it at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. I found a copy of the song on http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=7555, and copied it thinking some might like to hear it again, or for the first time.

We Are Crossing The Jordan River – Click To Play

jordan_river_in_area_of_jordan_river_park_in_summer_2011_2

My parents tell me that in the past, many individuals went to churches that baptized members of their congregations in nearby rivers or ponds. I’m betting there are still some small churches that continue this practice today.

No matter your spiritual beliefs, it seems to me that believing that death is simply a transition, a crossing, if you will, to another place, universe (parallel or not), or form is as good a way to think about our endings as any other.

My Superpower in the Style of a Fourth Grade Poem

 

 

Nobody’s ever asked me before,
And probably won’t again.
But I have a secret power,
Though I’m not sure just where it began.

You could call my power courage, I’m guessing,
But not in the usual way
For I’m pretty afraid of so many things,
And the list increases each day!

No, my courage comes in a different form,
It’s all about thinking, “I can!”
For example, if someone said, “Let’s build a boat!”
I’d say, “Yes, I’m ready, by damn.”

Or if someone asked me to help them
Write a book about how to crochet,
Although I’m just a beginner,
I’d start researching facts right away.

And if something was wrong with the placement
Of the furniture in the den,
Before anyone could stop me
There’d be chairs where the sofa had been.

I’m not bragging, in fact, it’s annoying to some,
Because they might want to decide
If their towels were folded and put away
In the manner that fills me with pride.

But I just have to face it, this is my fate.
I think I can do everything.
Deep down inside, I know that’s not true,
Still, my confidence seems to take wing.

My finished product’s not perfect.
So many times it is not.
But jumping right in and attempting
Is the only superpower I’ve got!

Renewing

This is what I love about entering into a new year. Even at 70, or maybe because I am 70, I feel that turning the proverbial page and seeing that there is another year to enjoy makes me feel renewed. I am past the point of making resolutions, and I have promised myself never to use the word “diet” again, but it does occur to me that the coming twelve months will be like opening a new box of crayons. So I am going to “re-establish” a few things in my life, if I can find the courage, keep the ideas straight in my mind, and persist.

fireworks-5thnov2011-banbury

 

 

Number one is reconnecting with people I love. I have allowed myself to isolate a little too much in the past years, and I want to change that and resurrect myself, as it were.

I also want to practice being passionate. I am fortunate to have several gifts and talents that I love to use, but this year I want to savor and take delight in the possibilities. I want my crocheting, writing, building, gardening, and jewelry-making to take on a new glow, a fresh aspect, as if I were learning to do these things for the first time.

And, above all else, I am not going to be fearful. I’m talking about that free-floating anxiety that has no basis in reality, but which feels as true as being bitten by a snake. I’m throwing that emotion away, erasing it from my persona, kicking it into the an imaginary junk yard somewhere in another galaxy. That emotion has not served me well and will no longer be my “go-to” state.

I also want to give more. Not in a sanctimonious way, but because it makes me feel so dang good myself. It seems to me, if I could do one good thing every day for someone who needs that one good thing, my days would be enormously happier than if I did not do that one small, seemingly trivial thing.

To those who blog, those who read our blogs, and to everyone who reads this page:

Here’s to a Happy and Prosperous 2017!

 

Pillage

I took a long holiday break, and some of you know that “breaks” can sometimes be the same as “stops” for writers. So, I’m patting myself on the back for walking back onstage.

I chose this prompt because my house  has been “pillaged” by the armies of people who have come and gone and by the wrapping and unwrapping of gifts. It also seems that taking down decorations and getting rid of Christmas trees gives the place a look much like the barricades scene in the musical Les Miserables.

To get back to my regular routine is going to take monumental patience, strength, stamina, and a clear head. I do, however, have a plan. It is to take regular “hot chocolate with marshmallows and peppermint sticks” time-outs. I’m thinking every two hours is a good formula and will keep me in a better mood as I make order out of chaos.

By the way, here is a link to the best hot chocolate recipe on the internet. It’s made by Stacy over at http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/homemade-hot-cocoa-mix-worlds-best/. You know it’s the best because she uses the world’s best cocoa powder and she has a picture of a Kitchenaid mixer at the top of her site. ‘Nuff said!

Image result for vintage kitchenaid mixers

Think of me, please, as I plow myself out of this mammoth pile of all things holiday. The light is bright at the end of the tunnel.