Sunday, November 30, 2008

red friday etsy shop update

i am very happily participating in the red friday etsy shop update originated by tracy at the vintage sister studio. so far, there are 7 participating shops. each of us will be adding new items to our shop on friday, december 5th, just in time for christmas gift-giving!! see the links to the right and please stop by on friday to check out all our new wares!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dreamy town

dreamy town
12" x 9" mixed media collage
on solid aspen
copyright 2008 julie king

headed home to dreamy town
my heart and soul are there
it's just a sleepy little burg
with a homey, quiet air

the homes are closely nestled
together on a hill
the people recognize me
it's such a welcome thrill

children's voices call me
aunt julie, play a game
what blessed reassurance
that everything's the same

mom is in the kitchen
and dad is in his chair
my siblings' love surrounds me
oh what a love we share

delicious food and laughter
a trivia game to play
my soul sighs in satisfaction
oh how i want to stay

goodbye my special dreamy town
i'll say a little prayer
that when i next come visit
i'll find my solace there

happy thanksgiving, all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

sweet addiction

here's my finished piece that i gave a "sneak peek" of back in late october. i'm loving all the textures, patterns and colors! that's it for today folks. short and sweet but still a sweet addiction!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

stack of books

i've been completely unmotivated about blogging this week. not sick or too busy, just blah and uncreative. maybe i just didn't have anything new to say. smile! so it was karma when i visited willow's blog this evening and saw she had participated in a literary quartet meme. oh ho this was just what i was looking for . . . something to sink my teeth into and get my creative juices flowing. what better thing for me to write about than BOOKS???!!! if you've been following my blog since the early days (march this year) you'll know that i've had a love affair going with books since childhood. i love to read books, buy books, collect books, talk about books, recommend books, revisit books, check books out of the library, well you get the picture.

so, i'm being my typical rebellious self and renaming this meme "stack of books". pick one fiction book, one autobiography, one non-fiction book and one book of your choice from any genre. tell why it's on your favorites list. the only other rule i imposed on myself was that the book had to be a resident of my artroom book case. there are dozens of favorites which i no longer own but i wanted to post of photos of my picks. so, here goes:

panther in the sky by james alexander thom is historical fiction at its best. it chronicles the life of tecumseh, starting in 1768 when he was born thru 1809 when his tribal homelands were taken over by the white man. i was intrigued by the indian customs when i first read it and am always empathetic to the indians' plight when i revisit this book. i've read all of thom's books (long knife, follow the river, from sea to shining sea, etc.) but this one still stands out as my favorite.

i've never been a huge fan of autobiographies but thoroughly enjoyed born standing up by steve martin when i read it earlier this year. nostalgic and touching, his recounting of how he carved out a name for himself as a stand up comedian was most endearing to me.

i received a copy of the prophet by kahill gibran as a gift in 1973. a country-girl/college student wearing rose-colored glasses and carrying a fervent belief that i would change the world, i was being exposed to a whole new world of ideas and cultures. kibran's writings had a big impact on my idealistically youthful self. (btw, i just noticed that my hardback copy of this book carried a retail price of $4.50; that was the srp, not the sale price!!)

the stack of books i photographed features j.k. rowling's final harry potter book because i love the colors of the book jacket, but my final free choice selection is actually the entire set of 7 harry potter books. i was completely enamored by this series of books from the very first word. not only have i read each book multiple times, but have spent many contented hours discussing the characters, plots, ideology and utter creativity of each one (mostly with my daughter). was i sad when the final book was read and laid aside? yes. will i be sad when i leave the theater after seeing the final movie? yes. will the heart of a poor orphan boy who awakened the world to the joy reading live on in my heart forever. absolutely!

if you love books and would like to play along, please consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

real or rumor?

after several weeks of rumors and speculation, the company i work for laid off 47 people on friday morning -- 20% of our salaried employees. what a scary and disheartening day it was. i am safe for now and feel so grateful to have a job! my heart goes out to all who now face unemployment and finding a new job. i was there in april of this year and know how tough it is. please keep these and all the other unemployed people across our country in your thoughts and prayers.

wonderful willow posted a link on her blog today for a site which allows you to place a photo from your computer into a museum setting. what fun this is! this one made me wonder how many hundreds of hours it would take to collage little bitty pieces of paper onto a canvas this big. yikes!! you can have fun with it as well by clicking here!

i'm working on christmas presents and spending time with presley tonight. he was not good at all yesterday morning but is doing much better today. we never know from one day to the next how well he will be able to walk and get around. we count each additional day we have with him as a gift.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

christmas aprons!!

well, it's begun for me . . . the wonderful holiday season! i'm making my lists, shopping at lunchtime and making goodies to give as gifts. my plan is always to have all my shopping done before thanksgiving but i never accomplish that goal. and, the making of gifts lasts up until the very last minute. there's always just one more idea for a great little crafty gift!

a couple of years ago, i made my mom, my daughter, her daughter and myself matching christmas aprons. when we all got together at mom's house to bake cookies together, i presented each of them with their apron. what fun to wear them while we baked together. it sure made me miss grandma j, my mom's mom. she was a terrific cook and pastry chef! when i was small and we got together with grandma j's scottish-german family for christmas there were huge platters of every kind of christmas cookie and candy imaginable. hours and hours went into the making of those delectable treats!

my daughter and i make much more ordinary cookies and candy when we get together -- puppy chow, decorated sugar cookies, fudge, shortbread cookies, etc.. megan has announced that soon-to-be-4-year-old jenna is about to outgrow her apron so this will be the last year for her to wear the original jenna apron. good thing i bought plenty of red fabric and felt. this is one tradition i hope to continue for decades.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

chilly november morning

we were running errands yesterday morning when i said to bill can we run home and get my camera? the pear tree immediately above had caught my eye and i just had to photograph it. so we did and then being the wonderful trooper that he is, bill drove around for a while stopping when i spied something that caught my eye. it was windy and cold and overcast but my heart was singing with joy! looks like another cold, windy, overcast day today. a good day for soup and a movie. i'm voting for you've got mail!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

hopeful beach huts

in a quaint little fishing village
beside the turquoise sea
there's a row of hopeful beach huts
like sirens calling me

they speak of tranquil mornings
of sand and shells and sun
a gentle breeze caresses
as dolphins jump in fun

the message of these cabins
is one of hope and peace
a washing of the senses
a soul's most blessed release

my soul will be awakened
when i venture there
love and joy will surround me
i'll be hopefully aware

this new mixed media collage is titled "hopeful beach huts". it is 36" x 18"on solid aspen. it is a tribute to my time on the florida panhandle.

enjoy your weekend! i'm off to have coffee!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

in my mind's eye

in my mind's eye lives an image
of perfect symmetry
of radiant, sparkling color
in tranquil harmony

in my mind's eye lives an image
that sings a siren's song
illusive and intriguing
it plagues me all day long

in my mind's eye lives an image
that's become my current goal
i see it all around me
i feel it in my soul

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

crane in marsh flowers

my latest commission is done on a 12" x 18" piece of solid aspen. the picture doesn't do justice to all the textures and layers of this piece. i used lots of crinkled up tissue paper under the body of the crane and for the reeds at the bottom. plus the acrylic paint flowers are built up in layers as well. it was a fun piece and has gotten rave reviews from my client and all my co-workers.

i'm headed to the kitchen to fix a quick bite of supper so we can watch the election results! i was at the polls at 6:10 this morning and finished at 7:55. can anyone beat my hour and 45 mintes spent at the poll? it was well worth it!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

altered expectations

i went off on my merry little vacation with high expectations for hot, sunny weather and hours of sunbathing and reading on the beach. i was headed to florida after all. the first day was great and exceeded all my expectations. the second day we woke to 42 degree weather and high winds. i was bummed. i had waited months and months for this get-away. how could it be so cold? and the wind on the beach was wicked. plus, the shells were practically non-existent.

so i let myself wallow in self-pity for a bit and then kicked myself in the patootey with an admonishment to make the best of it. so, we threw on sweat pants and heavy sweatshirts and spent the day on the beach anyway. i decided to practice my photography skills and once i forgot about the wind had a delightful time. and, who says shells have to be perfect and big? i concentrated on the tiny imperfect ones and came home with a treasure trove of nature's beauty.

bill was right there beside me taking some wonderful photos (all the photos featured in this post were taken by my wonderful hubbie) and diving into the surf for shells. brrr!!!

bill was also great about playing along when i wanted to take some artsy shot. once i sat not far from a flock of sea gulls and said ok when i'm ready flap your arms and holler so they fly. what fun it was to shoot, shoot, shoot as they flew away. the photo in my header above is one of the ones i took during this escapade.

of course we enjoyed talking to the few folks walking the beach. one older couple told us about some friends who were about to host their young grandkids at their condo. the grandpa went to wal-mart and bought two large bags of exotic shells. when the kids showed up the grandma would divert their attention while grandpa seeded the beach with all the exotic beauties. i loved this idea and it fueled the fire for my idea to talk about expectations and how we creatively alter them to keep our spirits up.

one thing that surprised me was how the sea gulls would turn and face the setting sun late in the afternoon. standing on one foot, each bird would seem to paying homage to the light and heat. there would at times be up to 40 or 50 birds in the flock and each would be in the same position on one foot.

it made me wonder if we shouldn't all do the same thing each afternoon. big bunches of us standing united, facing west and saying a prayer of thanks for another wonderful day. standing one one foot optional.

although i'm sure my hubbie would not admit it, he had expectations on this vacation of spending time alone with me away from my art room. his expectations were met. no alterations needed. we spent 24/7 together breathing in the sea air, riding our bikes and relaxing together. what he may not know is that i was composing blog posts in my head and envisioning works of beach-inspired art at least part of the time. he had 100% of my company but my mind was still brewing up all those creative thoughts.

so vacation taught me a few lessons about living and creating life rather than expecting life to hand me my expectations on a silver platter. and, it was so much richer for the lesson!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

come, walk the beach with me

we're home from a delightful week at the beach . . rested and a tiny bit tan and full of energy! i'm busy in the art room finishing up a few pieces to deliver to the hotel gallery and also a couple of commissions. i missed my art so much but it was good to get our batteries recharged. more photos soon, stories and art to share!