Friday, July 31, 2009

floating in a field

floating in a field
lacy ladies
in simplicity
and marvelous
in beauty

lazily i lay
seeking solace
in the glow of
their glory
lofty lovelies
daintily dancing
soulfully swaying
floating in a field

photos and poem
(c) 2009 julie king

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

having it all

i so enjoy conversations with young people these days. it's fun to hear and reflect on how they view the world compared to how i view the world. it's all about the different experiences, the eras we grew up in and the number of years experience we have, i guess. recently i was discussing how we know when "we have it all" with a young co-worker. i was saying that i was never spoiled as a child and yet never wanted for anything. she said how is that possible? and, i said it was quite simple. i had a home to live in, food on the table 3 times a day, constant entertainment with my 4 siblings, and a huge forested yard to play in. raised to respect hard work and the value of a job well-done, we found contentment in gardening and selling strawberries and other vegetables in a little roadside stand. we never expected more than 1 or 2 gifts on our birthdays and were very appreciative of what we got. we would never have even considered whining for a toy or throwing a fit to get a candy bar. it was simply a different time, a simpler life, when it was easy to be satisfied with few material possessions and still feel like we had it all.

the photo is me at around 3 years of age on christmas day. it is one of only 2 dolls i remember owning until i got a barbie on my 12th birthday. i love the look of pure delight on my face.

i count my blessings very day and know that i truly have it all!

p.s. after posting this i was looking at the picture again and thought, wow! i actually had nice eyebrows when i was a toddler. willow recently did a post on eyebrows and i commented that i have overplucked for decades and now have to pencil in a good bit. oh, to have those lovely eyebrows today. big sigh!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

projects that needed "tweaking"

constant readers of this blog know how i love the movie "you've got mail". i know many lines of the movie by heart and while working on some projects over the weekend i heard tom hanks saying "i've got a project that needs . . . tweaking". it stuck with me and today's post is all about my weekend projects.

first an update on presley. the good news is that he gets around fairly well and i can take him on walks. the bad news is that he poops out about 1.5 blocks from our house and i carry him back home. he seems to really enjoy the fresh air but when his legs give out he is done and mama must step into rescue her old sweetheart. above shows how badly presley needed a good haircut and grooming.

here he is all trimmed up and showered. i still need to trim up his legs some more but it was a good start. he now gets a shower instead of a bath as he has a tendency to simply relax down into the warm bath water and i fear he will drown. with the shower i can hold him up better and he is much safer.

as promised i spent the better part of our rainy saturday in the art room. i applied a print of my sirena bella mermaid original collage to the above painted canvas and added the shells i collected in florida last october. it will hang in our guest bathroom.

the above is a 16" x 16" board painted black which i added mounted prints of the rusty old car photos i took this summer. i plan to hang it in my family room.

i painted this canvas a chocolate brown and then added mounted mini prints of some of my country vignette photos which i took the day after i got my new nikon. this will hang in our master bedroom.

another canvas with my shadow shots photos mounted. i haven't picked a spot for this yet but know i want to hang it in the house somewhere.

i'm off to the kitchen to make zucchini bread and then take a bike ride.

take care to all of you!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

rain patters

rain patters on my early saturday morning window
answering the question "what will i do today?"
i will relax and rejoice in the cozy nest that is my home
my art room will be my haven from the hectic work
that drains me and has me yearning for peaceful
solace found in putting paint and paper to canvas
the sound of slowly tearing paper will be the
lowly violin accompanying the staccato beat
of the rain washing over my world
refreshing my soul and awakening my heart
to the healing power of rain patters

poem and photos
(c) 2009 julie king

Thursday, July 23, 2009

simple living

simple living
9 x 12 canvas
mixed media collage
(c) 2009 julie king

and so continues my series of mixed media collages dedicated to simple living. this one was so fun to make. she just grew and lived and breathed all on her own right onto the canvas. her simple little pink dress is a scrapbook paper that i really love embellished with a bit of white pastel to intensify the flower pattern. i tried to "weave" the basket with paper but ended up simply painting it. her hair had a mind of its own and kept growing and curling and twirling away. when i look at her i smile and imagine she's working in the garden on a particularly humid day and her hair proves it. hee hee

i still need to add the title "simple living" and will then list her in my etsy shop.

speaking of simple living i have two volunteer tomato plants thriving in my back flower garden. they came up all on their own, hidden away behind the asiatic day lillies. no planting, no toiling, no cost. it doesn't get any simpler than that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the whistling season

sunny day windmill
(c) 2009 julie king
shot with nikon d-60

yesterday i finished reading the whistling season by ivan doig. set in 1910, it is the story of a widower raising 3 young sons on a prairie farm. told first person by the 12-year old eldest son, it is full of humor, a bit of mystery and good old-fashioned family values. i found it to be a delightful read and actually laughed out loud a few times.

i love stories about life on the prairie. there's something about homesteading and survival against the odds that attracts me. of course i read laura ingalls wilder's little house on the prairie series as a child and willa cather's my antonia is an all-time favorite. i know in reality that it was a very rough way to live but my mind gets caught up in the romance of a large family living in a 4 room cabin, growing their own food and cooking over an iron spit in the fireplace.

another attraction to prairie life is the one room schoolhouse which is very close to my heart. my elementary school years were spent in a country school in dalton, indiana where two grades were taught in one classroom with one teacher. it was much bigger than one room, but still had a lot of the charm of those old prairie schools. as a first grader i was able to listen in on the 2nd grade lessons and vice versa. my brother was one grade behind me so every other year we shared the same classroom and the same teacher. our school had a huge playground where we played softball or kick ball during recess. i'm sure we had a small cafeteria but i have no memory of it or the food we ate there.

a few memories from my days at dalton school:

• in 2nd grade, jerrell dennis chased me down and sat on me until i promised to marry him

• i was in a little club that had rules about what color leotards we wore on what days of the week

• my 5th grade teacher, miss spoon, had been a missionary in africa before coming to dalton school

• our principal, mr. cain, let us take turns ringing the huge school bell at the end of recess

• i had my nose stuck in a book on the bus ride to and from school every day

if you're looking for a good book, please consider the whistling season. it has a fun twist at the end that will make you smile!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

laugh WITH me

time for some fun, ladies!! note the title of this post is laugh WITH me which is different than laughing AT me. oh, believe me, i have no trouble at all laughing at myself but i hope you'll all feel a bit of empathy for this old gal as she pokes fun at herself!! the above photo was taken during a work luncheon to honor the last day with our spring intern. i've cropped it so i'm the only one visible. notice anything unusual about me? notice how i'm clutching my purse like one of those old ladies on sitcoms? you know the one. she sits grasping her purse in her lap, in constant fear of having some random stranger whiz by and steal her purse. when i first saw this photo i thought "omg, i'm THAT old lady!!!"!!!!! next thing you know i won't be able to stay out after dark or drive myself to the grocery. hee hee this totally cracked me up and my co-worker barb and i are still laughing about it.

ok, so now you're all talking to yourselves, saying "what in the world is she doing??" is she exercising in the back yard? nope. is she trying to fly? definitely not. is she waving down the neighborhood ice cream trolley? good guess (i love ice cream) but no again! here's the story on this series of hilarious self-portraits!! the morning after i bought my new nikon bill and i were having coffee in the back yard. he was playing with it and trying to test the rapid burst to see how many pictures it would take and how fast. he suggested i jump up and move around in the back yard so he could snap a few shots. there are about 20 of these ridiculous photos. funny how bill had this wickedly sly look on his face the whole time he was shooting. i'm sure this was quite funny in person.

so there you have it, folks . . . proof of my aging dorkiness!! i've always been a dork; i suspicion it is much less cute at this age. oh, well! i'm still young at heart!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

weekend vignettes

early saturday morning found us hitting the little miami river in our kayaks. it was 62 degrees when we set out -- i think the coldest weather i've ever kayaked in. it was a 4-hour trip with some of bill's co-workers and we had a peaceful time out in the wild.

canoes all lined up and awaiting their trip upstream to the drop-off point.

today i spent a good part of the day in indiana visiting family. seeing amish buggies along the road is quite common. jenna and i saw two on a 5-mile stretch.

jenna was quite fascinated with this leaf that had been eaten up by insects so that only a lacy frame remained.

i hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

evening falls

evening falls
quiet reigns
light fades
shadows grow

evening falls
crickets chirp
geese fly
dew falls

spirits awaken
hearts soar
feet meander
evening falls

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

duck eggs

i was puttering around in the art room this evening when the phone rang. it was my 4-year-old granddaughter jenna. she wanted to share with me an idea she had for an art project we would do together when she comes to spend the night. she wants a girl with a button nose and beads in her hair and the rest of her body would be out of paper. those words are pretty much as they came straight out of her mouth. we chatted a bit about other things and then i told her that mama duck has returned to her nest in the flower bed and has laid 10 more eggs. i told her i had taken a picture and my precocious little angel asked "grandma, can you post the picture on your blog so i can see it?" i laughed out loud. what 4 year old looks at blogs??!! but, at jenna's request, above are the duck eggs. jenna, please call me tonight and let me know what you think.

here's my "simple pleasures" original all wrapped up and ready to go to the post office, handmade tag and all.

have a wonderful wednesday!

a summer song

celebrating summer today with this altered photo and a video of one of my favorite summer songs! turn it up LOUD and dance along with me!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

me and the chickens

"simple friends"
9 x 12 mixed media collage
(c) 2009 julie king

while collaging and painting away on this new piece, i was chuckling about the time that my sister kathy and i went to visit aunt helen and uncle chet. they lived in a very small 2-story farmhouse with a small garden and a sizable chicken house. on the second day we had explored the entire property and were feeling quite bored. one of us (ok, it was me) wondered out loud what would happen if we took the garden hose into the chicken house and did a little spraying. my aunt and uncle were napping in their chairs in the parlor so into the chicken house we went, garden hose in tow. at first we just did a small stream of water in the general direction of the chickens and it was so much fun that of course we intensified their shower to a full-on blast. who knew chickens could flutter around that fast and make that much noise??!!

at home the next evening, our family dinner was interrupted by the telephone ringing. my mom answered and said a very friendly "oh, hello, aunt helen". kathy and i gave each other a panicked look, knowing mom and dad would not find the chicken shower nearly as funny as we had. frozen in place at the table, we heard mom utter a series of reallys and on mys and i'm so sorrys. our collective goose was cooked.

i'm sure mom was very embarrassed and dad was awfully disappointed in us but mostly i remember that look on my brother rodger's face when mom told my dad what had transpired at dear old aunt helen's house. it was the look of having missed a double scoop chocolate ice cream cone. or the look of having stayed home while the rest of us went to the county fair. his look said, "oh man! darn! i can't believe i missed all that fun!!!"

i still need to add the title "simple friends" to this piece and then i'll list it in my etsy shop!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my life in shadows

we're home from a loooong bike ride. my legs are sore but it was exhilarating! nothing like the wind in your face while enjoying the country scenery.

wishing all of you a wonderful sunday!

for more fun shadow shots from around the world, please visit hey harriet!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

let me be a dandelion

i've been thinking about how our lives are like a dandelion. despite incredible odds and hardships we are able to push ourselves up and stand strong. although battered by the winds of change and harsh times, our roots are strong, allowing us to persevere. we know to gather in a supportive community of soul mates who applaud our successes and send hugs when they are so needed. we bloom where we're planted, infusing the world with a bright flash of creative inspiration. our blooms wither and it is then that our true gifts to the world are revealed to be dispersed by the wind. our gifts include knowledge, the voice of experience, and compassion for those who struggle on the paths we've already traveled. as our gifts settle into the world, sometimes close by and other times in far-off places, fresh seedlings appear to stand on their own and bloom. we stand in the background, applauding, supporting and relishing the glow of their existence. and they in turn support us and send hugs when we most need it.

let me be
a dandelion
whose seeds
and light

let me be
a dandelion
whose gifts
and wide

let me be
a dandelion
whose seedlings
and spread

let me be
a dandelion
whose life
a difference
for others

let me be
a dandelion
who continues
to bloom
long after
its prime

let me be
on the wind
a song of hope

photo & words
(c) 2009 julie king

Friday, July 10, 2009

more port huron photos

yes, folks, that was a scuba diver jumping off the side of the walkway into the river!! he tried to outsmart me so i couldn't get photos of him but i was persistent!!

time to relax and watch a movie. it was along, tiring work week! have a wonderful weekend. we plan to do so as well!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

simple pleasures

"simple pleasures"
9 x 12 mixed media collage
(c) 2009 julie king

SOLD on 7/11/09

crisp, clean laundry on the line . . . wooden clothespins once used by grandma . . . the whippy sound of towels dancing in the wind . . . burying my face in the scent of sunshine . . . sleeping on heavenly fresh sheets . . . all simple pleasures gone by but never forgotten.

i don't know when i've enjoyed creating a mixed media collage more than this one. she captured my heart, awakened my creative spirit and has me yearning for more. thanks to brandi for suggesting dot eyes and willow for voting for a demure look. i think i've captured a hint of both in her sweet little face. i've just listed "simple pleasures" in my etsy shop. i know someone will want to give her a good home.

i have 3 canvasses laid out ready for the background. did i mention i'm having fun? take care all!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

inspiration strikes

inspiration hit this evening and i started this new mixed media collage. i'm envisioning a series dedicated to living a simple life. so far this one is untitled and very much a work-in-progress. i'm doodling around with face ideas and expressions. will she have big expressive eyes and a wide smile? or a demure closed eyes look? faces are difficult for me. not like my favorite little circle flowers that make me happy!!

i promised you more port huron photos today but collaging took precedence. maybe tomorrow. until then, sweet dreams my friends!