How to Make a Fresh Flower Lei

Having a beach or Hawaiian Luau themed party? You must make a lei! Nothing says “beach” quite like the lei. Leis are necklaces that can be make with just about any material that can be strung together, from candy to feathers. But of course, the most popular leis are made of flowers. Fresh flowers are the best, as they are the most fragrant and attractive, but artificial ones can also be used in a pinch. Just about any fresh flower can ...

Sweet and Sour

This picture was taken in Sorrento, Italy, a few years ago. Those sunglasses are large enough to fit around my big head. When I snapped this I was reminded of an incident I hadn’t thought about since the fourth grade. My Portuguese grandpa had a green thumb and could grow just about anything. He was hard of hearing and didn’t mind me shadowing him and pelting him with questions he either ignored or couldn’t hear. Behind his house grew a small grove ...

Boo! Meet the Ghost Plant

Scientific name: Monotropa uniflora Other Common Names: Indian Pipe, Corspe Plant, Ice Plant, Fairy Smoke The ghost plant is aptly named for its ghostly white appearance. The flowers are white because it does not contain any chlorophyll. It does not need sunlight for its development. Rather, the ghost plant is a parasitic plant; it gets its energy from the fungi from nearby trees. Adding to the eeriness and spookiness of the plant, the ghost plant lives in dark, shady environments. They can ...

Thirty Years In Waiting

Most people visiting our home don’t notice it, not that I’m surprised. I myself am inclined to disregard these unless they are on a wall in a doctor’s office, behind a surgeon discussing how he is going to slice me open. Then I check to be sure the document didn’t come from the Caribbean, embossed with a picture of Bob Marley. I’m talking about college diplomas. I got to thinking about mine because a friend recently blogged that, while attending his ...

Haiku: Dreams Are Made Of This…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt Haiku: Dreams Are Made Of This… Cherry Trees Dreams are made of this… Sweet, glorious, pink tree blooms Each a wish come true Dreams are made of this… A walk cocooned by  tree hugs Bright with blessings too. “Do all you can to make your dreams come true.” Joel Osteen Haiku: Dreams Are Made Of This… Special Tree Dreams are made of this… Hold tight; make your dreams come true Like a bright spring bloom This post was ...

At The Met: The Incomparable Alexander McQueen Show – Savage Beauty…

“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.” Alexander McQueen At The Met: The Incomparable Alexander McQueen Show - Savage Beauty... the end then back to beginnings At The Met: The Incomparable Alexander McQueen Show - Savage Beauty... yes, the lines took almost 2 hours At The Met: The Incomparable Alexander McQueen Show - Savage Beauty... very long but fairly fast moving lines The final days of the Alexander McQueen exhibit are here … and the ...

The art of not writing, and making a habit of it…

I realized years ago that I wanted to write.  Not just essays for school, or long thank you letters to my relations for gifts they felt I would like, but stories. Each Sunday I read what I had scribbled down, to my sister and a collection of large teddy bears and dolls who had no option but to sit and listen to me. I moved on to bigger projects when I was about eight or so.  I announced that I was ...

Green – Travel Theme

I love following Ailsa’s travels and viewing her wonderful photographs and this week her theme is “Green”.  Read more here My selection is from close to home - my garden. It will never feature in Home and Garden;  it is a tennis court, soccer pitch, fairyland, petanque pitch, campsite and, if I get the chance, a relaxing spot to unwind with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and a favourite book! I just love the different shades of green that you can see, depending on the weather and ...

Tough to Say “Happy Easter” After Reading This…

Many people ignore or take for granted the idea that Jesus was crucified more than two thousand years ago. However, the barbarism  of that mode of death was and is one of the most cruel means of tortured death. I came across this Medial Description of the Crucifixion by Dr. C. Truman Davis. These types of readings have been around for years, but if you’ve never had the chance to read – it’s enlightening – however, the phrase “Happy Easter” seems wildly ...

In My Hands

I remember carrying the tiny gray bird home, his frantic heart beating wildly against my careful hands. I’d found him in a field tucked between two tenements when I was playing army with the neighborhood boys. I was designated as the nurse even though I could handle a stick gun as good as the next guy. I’m not sure what type of bird it was but I knew it was a baby because of its scrawny neck, too thin to support ...

Designing with Ann Sacks

One of my favorite things about being an interior designer is discovering new products and using them in unexpected ways. I always strive to create one-of-kind rooms, using products that are current without being trendy. And that’s why I love Ann Sacks! Her tile and stone products are unique and timeless. Here’s a sneak peak at a client’s kitchen where we used one of her new products as the focal point of the room’s backsplash. The lantern-pattern ceramic art tile is pillow-cut, ...

Awesome Wedding Proposal

Here is one of the most memorable and unexpected marriage proposals I've ever seen. It's only a minute long and worth every second. To tee it up, the guy is named Josh and he has invited a bunch of friends for a seemingly delightful gathering atop a four-story building. The rest is "cruel" magic.... Question: How did you propose or how were you proposed to?

Our Cardboard Cutout Baby Stand-in

Our Stand-in Cardboard Baby My wife, who’s 41-weeks pregnant today, has her last scheduled out-patient doctor’s visit this afternoon. They’ll check and see if there’s any additional dilation and cervical thinning to (perhaps) indicate when the baby might be making his soon arrival. If the doctor tells us  there’s no additional action and that the boy is hunkered in tighter than a WWI Doughboy in a embattled trench on the Western Front – we’re prepared for a C-section later in the week. In the ...

Renting Textbooks … Is It for You (and Yours)?

Digital art by Idea go The most expensive textbook I had to purchase in college cost $29, if memory serves. I think on average I was probably spending about $15 per book, so the most expensive one was about twice the normal cost. In the late 1960’s it was a jaw-dropping amount. The shock of it was good for at least a week of conversations with other students before other topics took over, like which fraternity party to go to the ...

Inspiring Warm Refreshments

It may be cold outside, but when I cuddle up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, I’m warm and cozy! That’s why I love hot beverages. Just a few sips and you’re enveloped in warmth. In fact, I think the only thing better is an entire room that makes you feel the same way. So grab a cup of Joe and let’s have a little fun with interior design! Take a look at the following rooms and see ...

5 Things About Your Dad...

My dad in his 20's Heading into Father's Day, I wanted to open the blog for tributes to our dads.  Below are five statements that you can complete in the comment section if you'd like - pick one or all - but let us know what makes your dad great! My dad passed away suddenly several years ago and I still miss him today. If your father is still alive make sure you finish these statements below and tell him what he ...

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Colour Mixing Blues

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French Ultramarine (Hidden Violet) This Violet biased Blue is semi transparent and contains a large amount of Violet. When you compare it to a green biased blue you can definitely see the Violet colour within it. Ultramarine Blue was – according to Ralph Mayer – originally made from ground and refined Lapis Lazuli and therefore one of the most costly of art materials. Even more confusing is the fact that …

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Underpainting

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Underpainting – what value does it have? If you have been following my blog for a while, you will have noticed my shift to underpainting most of my works now. Why do it? Well the main advantage is that it can give great depth to your work if it is covered by several thin layers of paint over the top. Underpainting is not only a rapid and economical way to envision and develop compositions, it also aids the artist …

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Creative Processes – Talking About Resistance

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You see, creative spirits need to be free. They cannot create within the bound confines of strangling political and religious systems. It is the work of creatives to push at the boundaries of human understanding. Which of course why so many of them are not recognized as a genius until after they are dead. Society takes a while to catch up and because it does, and for all the reasons stated …

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Waitete Revisited

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This is a theme that has been popping up a bit this year. A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting to match one that one of my collectors bought earlier in the year. She requested a similar scene but with a more moody/misty feel to it. Which progressed to an under layer of colour and establishing the sky clouds. These clouds flowed really smoothly – such a pleasure to paint when it all works! …

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Mixing Colours Yellows

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What you need to know about yellow before you start mixing colours. Cadmium Yellow (Hidden Orange) This Orange biased Yellow is opaque and contains a large amount of Orange. When you compare it to a Green biased Yellow you can definitely see the Orange colour within it. Even though Cadmium Yellow is also from the cadmium heavy metal family, it’s toxicity is so low as to hardly register and …

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Its Finished!!

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Yeah!! Its finished. It is finally finished! Pretty much a marathon really. Here are the final stages. You can see I took it even further out there than last weeks image…. and then scrapped most of it…. Dance of Life Take … How many was that? and here ….. drum roll!!! Its Finished!!! This is the final abandonment …

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The Craft Of Creating

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Much has been written on the processes of creativity and painting. About both the more esoteric and the technical skills that we need to acquire along the way. What do I mean by esoteric skills? These are those things which extend beyond the range of what brush to use or how to manipulate your materials. Rather they are those unseen gremlins that litter the creative path, whether you are a …

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