Thursday, March 31, 2011


tulips are one of my favorite flowers. they herald spring, come in a large variety of colors and  have such a lovely shape. little bouquets of them for sale at wm or kroger really pull at my heart strings. i give in and buy them occasionally. but mostly, i just try to enjoy them in their natural setting or by taking photos of them.

i read online that "tulips are like a favorite pair of jeans or your mom's fresh-baked cookies in that the meanings of tulips express genuine coziness and comfort in all of the right ways. a comfortable flower choice, tulips are not too elegant, too romantic, too big, too small, or too bright; the tulip is always just right."

no wonder i like them soooo much!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the benefits of napping

willow and i have fallen into a wonderful habit since i'm not working away from home. we nap! some days i may stay up up til 2 or 3 in the morning in the art room, sleep in the next morning and then take a late afternoon nap. other days i may get up extra early to be creative and then go back to bed around noon. it's not that i'm not productive, because i am. i just go with the flow of how i feel and when i feel like getting things done.

lest you think this is a lazy woman's path to the poor house, google gives the following benefits of napping:

  • Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
  • Naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.
  • Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

i really didn't need an excuse to nap but low and behold now i have several! in addition to napping, willow also likes to have her picture taken. she's quite a poser!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

quiet solitude

"quiet solitude"
6 x 12 x 1.25 wood panel
mixed media collage
(c) 2011 julie king

months and months ago i bought an old beat up thesaurus of quotations at the thrift shop. it is copyright 1941 and the guts had come completely unbound from the hard cover. it is broken into topics like hope, retreat and virtue. each topic starts out with an all-caps headline which are pure perfection for adding words to my art. i must confess that sometimes i get lost in the quotations themselves. on saturday i challenged myself to pick two words from the book and then create a piece of art that depicted the words. an hour later i had cut out numerous words but settled on quiet solitude. i liked the idea of a single flower to represent solitude and the mix of blues and greens have a quiet air about them. i used old tissue paper pattern pieces to create the 3-d vase, petals and stem. a bit of acrylic paint and some bright quilting thread accomplished my simplicity goal.

i love quiet solitude and feel somewhat sorry for those who are not comfortable in their own company. i am at my best when i'm alone; perhaps that's not actually a good thing though. hee hee

Monday, March 28, 2011

that's how you know

in the middle of repotting a bunch of root-bound plants yesterday afternoon, i noticed a delicious stream of sunlight poring thru my south-facing kitchen window. i immediately grabbed my camera and placed this glass cake stand in the light and clicked away. the "cake stand" is actually a glass candle holder and a glass plate that i glued together. each piece was a .49 steal at goodwill. it sits 5 1/2" tall and 7" wide. i keep my shamrock plant on it on my kitchen countertop. i love the daintiness of it and someday i may make a large cupcake to sit perfectly on it. but that's another day, another project.

anyway, the thrill that shot thru me when i saw that shaft of sunlight was quite exhilarating and a long time coming. it got me to thinking how one way i gauge the level of my depression and overall well-being is by my interest in photography. on blue days where i have trouble getting up and dressed, my camera sits idle and lonely on the coat closet shelf. on my good days, photo ops seem to present themselves quite frequently. so i've promised myself that i'm going to use my camera as my therapy. hopefully, on the blue days i can spark some good vibes simply by getting lost behind the lens. it certainly was cathartic today!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

she followed her heart home

"she followed her heart home"
12 x 12 x 1.25 wood panel
mixed media collage
(c) 2011 julie king

i've had 2 very productive days in the art room with a total of 7 new pieces created and ready to top coat. woo hoo! i moved my art table so that willow could lay in the sun while i worked. it was a win-win for both of us. she got a sunny nap and i got some creative time free from miss noseyness playing with my brushes, chalks, pencil and rubber stamps. the sun has moved to the southwest at this early evening hour so now she is snoozing on a pile of old pattern tissue paper laying on the table near my west window. she sure is wonderful company!

so now i'm going to take a nap, too. all the creativity and the tail-end of my cold have me feeling wonderfully pooped!

more photos soon!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

in my little life

i'm so pleased with how my art looks hanging in the "across the street antique mall" in hagerstown!! it's surreal to walk in there and do a double-take. i need to get back to the art table now so i can have a fresh selection to hang somewhere else.

thank goodness for mucinex!!!! it is keeping "stuff" at bay and my coughing to a bare minimum. my ribs are so sore that i'm also taking tylenol a few times a day for somewhat pain-free breathing.

i put willow on canned cat food today. she is sooo skinny even though she eats all the time and has been wormed. she goes back to the vet on  monday to get her sutures out and i'm anxious to ask what the weight loss is all about. she loved the canned kitten food and now is all snug asleep on my feet. i'm so blessed to have her in my life.

a few good books i've read recently: room by emma donoghue was the most unique book i've read in a long time. it had me thinking about survival and the lengths we'll go thru to protect someone we love. the help by kathryn stockett was phenomenal and i highly recommend it. lisa scottoline's think twice was very compelling and a quick read for me. jodi picoult's latest, sing you home, was good altho not my favorite of her books. well worth reading!

that's it for today -- all the little happenings in my little life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


i've been down sick with a terrible cold for a week and a half. i caught it from the grandkids who seemed to spring back much more quickly than me. being under the weather has allowed me time to ponder a few things about life -- not just my life in particular but life in general.

sunshine improves everything! my coffee tastes better while sitting in a spot of sun. the need-to-do list seems shorter and the desire to do anything at all is stronger when the sun is streaming in my windows!

perhaps forcing a cat to be an indoor cat is not a good idea. i decided that i wanted to shelter willow and keep her inside all the time. since spring has sprung, she has been plaintively meowing at the doors and windows. yesterday i broke down and let her come out on the porch with me while i read in the sun. even though she wandered off the porch to explore the bushes in the neighbor's yard, she never wandered far and ran right back to me when i called or if a loud noise scared her.  we will continue our short supervised forays into nature as i know how special outdoor time can be.

my camera is at the center of my recovery. during cough-free moments i've traveled out into the neighborhood with my camera. seeing the world thru a lens focuses all my energy away from me and my miserable cold. it lets me transcend the physical world and enter a magical world of make-believe. that dead leaf is really a magic carpet dancing in the wind. the feisty squirrel in the tree is telling me to please go spy on someone else. each photo i capture tells its own unique fairy tale of mystery and lore.

 i'm off to my mom's to hang my sheets and blankets on the clothesline, a task i really, really love to do!

"we should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.   -- e.b. white --

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

dorky me!!

what happens when you try to bend your glasses just a hair so they fit better? you end up looking like a gigantic dork!! luckily, i found my back-up pair and can still create art and take photos! big sigh!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

bird watching the willow way!!

yes, willow has taken bird watching to a whole new level here on north plum street! the last photo cracks me up -- see the look of panic on her face as she tries to figure out how to get down?! after dangling for a few seconds, she simply let go and fell gracefully to the desk. she's my kind of cat -- living a daring life, backed up by faith and perseverance!

so far she has not tried to do this again -- yet!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

early morning art class

i had jenna and ben overnight last night and our morning started with some art in the sunshine. jenna is already an accomplished mixed media artist in that she truly loves to combine paints, marker, crayons, glitter, tape, pastels and ribbon all together on one piece. ben is perfecting his coloring technique -- the straight-up-and-down-method. lol  if you ask him what color he is using he always says blue or wellow. and that is not a typo! best of all, jenna likes to mimic her grandma julie by creating her masterpieces in her pajamas.

my cup runneth over!

sweet yellow crocus!!

i was walking the girlie girls yesterday morning bright and early and what did i see?! these gorgeous little yellow crocus were blooming in a neighbor's side yard. there was a whole row of them in front of the house. after our walk i went back out (alone) with my camera and shot these uplifting photos. my heart was singing so loud that it almost drowned out the sound of the church bells ringing. lol

Friday, March 11, 2011

the smell of dirt!

i spent the day with my mom today and it was just glorious! just us girls -- mom, me and bella and zoe! we went out for lunch, did some shopping, repotted some indoor plants, staked out where we want our garden to be plowed and scoped out the future chicken coop. yes, we are going to have chickens in the shed at mom's. i'm so excited!!

while we were busy the girls ran around the yard and the woods with their noses stuck to the ground. oh, the smell of fresh dirt must be heaven to their noses after such a long winter!!

one day in the country is worth a whole month in the city!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

little fish

i got this little guy for $1.25 at goodwill!! he is 6.5 x 4 and has no markings on the bottom. probably not worth a thing but he begged to come home with me and i said well sure! he'll make a cute little vase on my kitchen windowsill.

i have tons of art in process and hope to have sunshine tomorrow so i can get some decent photos. a local antique store called 'across the street antiques' is letting me hang my art on a commission basis. woot!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

on a wing and a prayer

it may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
the mind that is not baffled is not employed.
the impeded stream is the one that sings.

- wendell berry

life is like a cup of tea
it's all in  how you make it


on a wing and a prayer

- the bee gees

tomorrow i awake to a new day and a new life. 

no job

no dress clothes

no schedule

no impediments to happiness or following my dreams

my heart is soaring on a wing and a prayer

Thursday, March 3, 2011

i'm jaded!!

many women adore diamonds. others ask for furs. me? i'm collecting jade. a quick trip to the thrift store at lunch today netted these lovelies. all for just $6. i'm a happy camper now that i've gotten my weekly thrift fix.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

i could live in a book

i love books!! i love to read books, pick them out at the library, browse for them at the bookstore and collect them on my book shelf. and, now i am buying for them at goodwill and the thrift store so i can make these adorable vintage book bird houses!!! it took me three tries to get this one that i like but once i figured out the process it was quite simple. i'll try to post a tutorial soon on how i made this! i have a grouping of three hanging in my living room and they are tres cute!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

seeking the shine!

after weeks of trying to keep willow out of my plants in the south-facing dining room window, i gave up. i moved all the plants aside and placed a folded-up towel for her majesty's basking. she's very content and purrs her thank yous to me as i pass by.

i find myself seeking the shine as well these days. when stopping for a bite of lunch, i politely ask if i can be seated in on the sunny side of the diner. i park my car so the sun streams warm it up for my afternoon drive home. and, already i have spent an hour or two reading on my sunny front porch. yes, i had a coat on, but STILL!!

each day is getting brighter

i've been noodling and tweaking a few new things in my studio, including these wood panels. i used photoshop to combine some of my original photography with my original poetry.

i printed them out on high quality epson paper and mounted them to 6" x 12" x 1" wood panels which i painted matte black. 

each panel is signed on the back by me and can sit on a shelf or hang on the wall. 

my favorite is the i am enough one. i have one hanging in my kitchen where i see it and read each time i open my cupboard for well, you  know, a sweet treat of some sort. it's a wonderful reminder of who i am, what i can do and where i want to go.

each of these is available in my etsy shop.

at almost 7:00 this evening it was still twilight out which really gives my heart a boost. i'm counting the days until i have more free time to enjoy the sunshine, get some exercise, eat healthy and be good to me! only 6 more work days and then i'm out of my corporate job and onto my next journey. i can barely control my creative wings which are fluttering and bursting with energy.

thanks to each of you for continuing to follow my sporadic posts. your words of encouragement mean so much to me! ((hugs)) to each and every one of you!