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French Lessons

Mrs. Chatterbox and I were recently discussing our trip to France last year. We had a great time and experienced none of the snootiness for which Paris (excluding the rest of France) is famous. This wasn’t so in ’76 when we were newlyweds and backpacking through Europe with a copy of Frommer’s Europe on Ten Dollars a Day. Back then we had several interesting experiences in Paris that involved ordering food in restaurants. First, I need to confess that I speak ...

Nine Basic Steps To Blogging. (videos)

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." ~ Henry Ford There is no way Henry could have envisioned the technology of today especially the computer, much less blogs. Still he would have quickly adapted and understood the necessity for planning and building a blog according to a combined series of organized steps. Thinking through what is necessary in putting together a successful blog is important, but not required. Doing it correctly can bring your blog to ...

Inspiration: A Taste For Balance…

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ― Rumi Flavor: (1)Distinctive taste; savor (2) A distinctive yet intangible quality felt to be characteristic of a given thing: “What matters in literature . . . is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or color of a particular human ...

Good Friday in the Algarve

For those still in employment and trapped in the office how many times have you desperately waited for a Bank Holiday weekend, and then the weather is pooh? All week you’ve looked out of your office window longingly at the sunshine, counting the hours before you can escape. The big day arrives and then it rains! Not just spits and spots of rain where you can dodge the raindrops, or even a drab mist, but full on rain like a ...

How to Throw a Garden Party!

Summer is in full swing! The flowers in your garden are blooming.  It’s the perfect time to throw a floral themed garden party to show off the beautiful flowers in your garden. Here are some ideas to get you started. Ice Cold Drinks Perfect for the Summer: Hibiscus Mint Iced tea Lavender Lemonade Strawberry hibiscus-tea lemonade Food featuring edible flowers: Stuffed zucchini flowers Lavender & fennel crusted salmon Scones served with rose hip jelly Edible flower salad Cupcakes with edible flowers Strawberry and violet sorbet If you plan on providing alcoholic drinks, ...

Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in January

My personal diary. Over the next year I will be keeping a monthly diary of all the fruit and vegetables I grow in my urban garden here in the Algarve. Gardening is one of my passions, and although my efforts are not always successful my tenacity makes up for what I lack in knowledge. I’m always open to suggestions (or encouragement) so please feel free to leave a note in the comments section below. December was the first entry in my ...

Share Your World

To participate in Share Your World, click here 1) What was the last URL that you bookmarked? The last URL I bookmarked was Vivian Delores, which is a blog I just started in memory of my mom. I am not quite sure what all I will do with it, but page 1 is finished. 2)For relaxation, would you rather meditate, swim, walk, listen to music, write, read, yoga, qigong, or other? In a perfect world I would go horseback riding to relax. Since I ...

Farm Report Aug. 18, 2012

A picture of my son and grandson on our recent visit to the farm The big news on the farm this year is the drought we have been having. It has been one of  the hotest and driest years on record in Iowa and much of the midwest. A lot of Iowa’s corn crop is not going to amount to much. This is going to be tough year for a lot of farmers, not just the crop farms but the livestock farms as well with the ...

Hosting My First Challenge At I.A.

As I've mentioned previously, I'm a new member of Inspiration Avenue, a small but international conglomerate of artists who support one another's work. I love this group of women, Maggie, Lisa W, Hettienne, Shelly, Dianne, Kim & Lisa D , they're all creative and endlessly friendly. I'm enjoying being a member even more than I thought possible, having other artists to talk to has really helped focus my artistic journey. This week is my first I.A. challenge and I decided the theme would be "You've ...

A Beginner’s Guide to Holiday Greenery

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, nothing says winter holidays quite like fresh greenery! As convenient as faux/fake greenery may be, it just doesn’t compare to fresh greenery! Decorating with fresh greenery is a beloved holiday tradition and will bring festive cheer and a wonderful, fresh fragrance to any space. There isn’t anything quite like the beauty and perfection of nature! Types of Holiday Greenery Eucalyptus, an attractive, scented greenery popular in cut arrangements and garlands but tends to dry quickly. English Holly is ...

Dictamnus – The Real Burning Bush

When you use the common name “Burning Bush” most people assume you are talking about Kochia, a popular annual that is grown for its foliage which turns red in Autumn. But they’d be wrong! The true Burning Bush is actually Dictamnus, (also known as the Gas Plant) a plant with a magical quality that will amaze you! You see, if you light a match near the flower heads once the blooms have faded and on a warm still day the volatile ...

a weaving arachnid & another misspelling

an orb weaver. the first time i noticed one like this, was about a year ago. she was on the front porch...in the same area as this one. she was much bigger than the one who spins her web out there now. these Orb Weavers are nocturnal. the ones usually seen are females. they have bigger, rounder bodies. top side under side she waits...night after night...not just for a meal...but for a male too. the males are smaller, and their main purpose in life is to seek out a ...

Amazing Pumpkin Carvings Featuring Flowers!

Happy Halloween! To celebrate the occasion, here are some of the most amazing pumpkin carvings featuring flowers! Photo Credit: Flickr Photo Credit: diynetwork.com Photo credit: Flickr Photo from romanticideasinlife.wordpress.com Photo credit: designspongeonline.com Photo Credit: Flickr photo from smartcanucks.ca

Making Mistakes

Making Mistakes Making mistakes – This one is a Real Biggie.  Why? Because most of us are constantly striving for perfection in our creative endeavours, we don’t do well with mistakes. Mistakes however are an integral part of the creative process. Mistakes and persistence go hand in hand. You cannot progress without mistakes and imperfections.  We need to reframe how we look at mistakes.  We need to see making mistakes as opportunities for growth and understanding. In fact everything we do is ...

Visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Stephen - The Chubby Chatterbox

Peculiar Picture #17

To my knowledge, this illustration from my royalty free CD Business Fundamentals has never been used.

Years ago I sat in my studio imagining what sort of illustrations art directors could use. Altogether, I created sixty images for my CD and I still receive royalty checks. Most of these illustrations have made their way into books and magazines around the world, but this one has yet to be published.

Can you think of a purpose for this picture?

Note: This site will be closing soon and moving to chubbychatterbox.com/blog.

Hope to see you there.

Stephen - The Chubby Chatterbox

Stephen - The Chubby Chatterbox

Visit Stephen Hayes’ blog Chubby Chatterbox for excerpts from Hayes’ memoir The Kid in the Kaleidoscope, a collection of observations about growing up in the Fifties, Sixties and beyond. The Chubby Chatterbox is an unabashedly sentimental journey seen through the eyes of an artist, traveler and world-class screw-up.

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