Sunday, November 29, 2009


i've been pondering . . .

. . . how thankful i am for turkey. it helps reduce the sugar headache from eating double helpings of pecan pie, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie with a huge dollop of whipped cream.

. . . how much i love the slant of sun into my east windows in the fall. it comes from a new southern angle that casts wonderful shadows and spots of glorious warmth.

. . . how much i still miss sweet presley.

. . . how blessed i am to be the grandma of 3 adorably wonderful grandchildren. they all visited yesterday, along with their parents and uncle matt, for a huge pan of lasagna. my cup runneth over with love!

. . . how wonderful technology is. i used photoshop to turn an ordinary photo of black eyed susans into the dreamy one above. love it!

. . . the eclectic tastes of our 4 kids. i turned them loose in my art room yesterday with the directive to each pick one of my original collages to keep. i would never have been able to guess which one each of them would select. it was fun to watch!

. . . where to go from here. i need new challenges, new goals, new heights to reach. the new year must be near.

. . . what a lucky, lucky girl i am. while i sit here typing, hubbie has filled and started the dishwasher, brewed our pot of coffee and started a load of wash. life is good, my friends, life is good.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

i am a lone tree

i am a lone tree
standing tall

i am a lone tree
branches furled

i am a lone tree
who will join me?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

be happy

good morning coffee cups
mixed media collage
20" x 20" x 1"
solid aspen wood
(c) 2009 julie king

this is my latest repurposed collage. i pulled this one out of the artwork graveyard in the corner of my art room and painted over the rather ugly landscape i created months ago.  i've so enjoyed reworking these pieces. i'm thinking about spending a couple of days applying random crumpled paper to boards and canvasses to have ready when i feel like creating. it is great to be able to get straight to the nitty gritty of the design without having to lay all the foundation, etc. the top layer of color on the cups is pastel chalk applied heavily in multiple layers. i like the look of chalk applied over textured paper. i've been doing some quick sketches in pastels on brown kraft paper and textured scrapbook paper. i'm trying to train myself to simply let go and let the design flow out my fingers in quick and minimal strokes. it is fun but i have a hard time letting go and not overworking it. it is fun and relaxing though.

a short day of work today. yeah!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

growing up

i've been thinking about how different it is to raise a child these days compared to when i was a child or even when i raised my kids. my mom never worried that someone was going to abduct one of her kids. she was not concerned about hormones in meat, what we were being exposed to on the internet or the side effects from a flu vaccine. i never felt pressure to dress my kids in name brand clothing or to sign them up for 14 after school activities so they could "compete" with other children. we had it easier than today's parents, for sure.

if you've read this blog for any time at all, you'll know that i write often about wanting to return to a simpler way of life. when i see parents embracing a simpler way of life for their families, i'm touched. i so respect a return to good family values and keeping children as children as long as possible, giving them time to play and be innocent.

so here's to all the young parents doing their best to raise their families in tough times. this is one mom/grandma who is thinking of you and knowing it can't be easy!


Monday, November 23, 2009

photoshop fun

more photoshop fun today. i did this one at work a while back and just stumbled upon it again. i think it looks like it has been printed on tissue paper or some kind of soft wrinkly paper that has absorbed most of the ink. i really like the effect.

work is slow this morning and i'm enjoying it. many of the marketing folks in my wing of the building are off all week so it should be fairly quiet and uneventful. i think my creative co-workers and i have earned this break. it has been a very hectic few months.

i'm about 1/3 of the way thru stephen king's newest novel under the dome. it is fast-paced and quite intriguing. it's a much tighter writing style than many of his books in that it is all action without all the long descriptive paragraphs. i love all that descriptive writing but the pace of this one has me hooked.

tomorrow i'll post photos of my newest collage, a coffee theme. i'll also be listing quite a few originals in my etsy shop over the next week or so. sales at the hotel gallery have been very slow so i've decided to pull all my work out for now. despite slow sales i refuse to stop creating art. things will turn around eventually. i have faith!

happy monday all!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

she wakes

she wakes slowly and leisurely, savoring the warmth of the blankets and the reassuring sound of quiet. her eyes squint open just a hair to see the sunlight peeking thru the blinds. she hopes for a beautiful photo op day, maybe a stroll at the pond or a trip to the cemetery. thoughts of getting up and heading to the art room dance thru her mind but no, just a few more minutes of this cocooned bliss are needed. images of recent captures play like a staccato slide show in her mind's eye. she tries to remember which ones haven't yet been posted on her blog. blog post ideas swirl, as always, and she smiles, knowing one will rise to the surface to be plucked when the time is right.

finally, she rolls out of bed, carefully, quietly so as not to awaken hubby. she yearns for a solitary hour or two. despite the cold, she does her morning stretches, feeling the old muscles gradually loosen and a few bones crack their morning protest. a quick trip to the bathroom, the donning of her pink robe and she's headed to the kitchen to brew a small pot of classic folgers. her trusty homemade rice bag is placed in the microwave for 4 minutes. while it warms she opens blinds, relishing the bright angle of the early morning fall light.

she settles in her art room chair, warm rice bag on her lap and her favorite blue blanket wrapped snugly around her still half-asleep body. the first sip of coffee is ecstasy. she checks gmail, catches up on facebook and heads over to her blog. she pushes aside the twinge of guilt that she has not visited her favorite blog links at all this week. she remembers that she posted the bwo link on her blog; she really does want to live a blogging life without obligation. she refuses to apologize for living her life to the fullest, rather than living to blog. but still there is the twinge of guilt.

as she reads and travels from link to link, site to site, she marvels at all the talent she stumbles upon in bloggyland. she remembers how intimidated she was by all of that talent when she first started blogging. but she pushed thru those feelings and let her own personal creative wings take her to places she never dreamed possible. she is content and at peace with her place in the world. as she pulls inspiration and joy from her blog visits, she slowly wakes to new opportunities to grow and soar. she says a prayer of thanksgiving for all she is and all she has. and, she wakes to the glory of a new day!

p.s. this post was inspired by ruth at synch-ro-ni-zing. i fell in love with her recent blog post written in this same kind of third person voice. i knew i just had to give it a try and found the writing of this post deeply satisfying. thanks for the inspiration, ruth!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

i will play

sunny days
cloudy days
days of
sleet or snow
i will play

up a tree
under a rock
beside the
sparkling stream
i will play

dusty chalk
messy paints
with paper
stamps & ink
i will play

on the road
nikon in hand
in shadow
or in light
i will play

young at heart
slowing down
graying at
the temple
i will play

happy heart
full of hope
at peace
with who i am
i will play

Thursday, November 19, 2009

there she goes again!!

in a world of constant change i'm comforted by the fact that i never cease to be tickled pink by fun shots like this that i capture with my trusty friend, missy nikon!! even more fun is the look on hubby's face which says, "there she goes again"!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a different light

believe it or not, both of these photos were taken on the same day within 2 or 3 minutes of each other. the difference? one is taken facing north and one is taken facing south. i absolutely love the contrast between these 2 photos. it was one of those delightful serendipitous moments when i shot them. the sunny side photo was taken first and as i walked past i looked to see what the back view revealed and liked it even better. isn't life a lot like that? doesn't time, maturity and perspective let us look back on events and see them in a completely different light?

take care, my friends!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

aged to perfection

"king's vinyard"
mixed media collage
solid aspen wood
12" x 18" x 1"
(c) 2009 julie king

a few weeks ago i was thinking about wine which i really don't know a lot about. i wondered if i was a bottle of wine what would i be. not knowing enough about white and red varieties to pick one, i decided i would simply be "aged to perfection". i've been through all the stages from fresh off the vine to early fermentation (full of youth and vigor) to mature, yet still aging to where i'm at today. i like being aged to perfection. truth be told, i'm full-bodied as well and i'm becoming more and more comfortable with that as well.

i created the above piece on sunday morning. it's another art graveyard resurrection -- i'm starting to think that these revisits are some of my favorite pieces of art. this one is definitely a keeper but i'd be willing to do these as custom pieces with a name of your choice if anyone has an interest.

what kind of wine are you?

Monday, November 16, 2009


mixed media collage
solid aspen wood
24" x 48" x 1"
(c) 2009 julie king

layoffs have come and gone at my work and i'm still standing. ten of my co-workers were let go last wednesday morning. my heart is heavy with sadness for each of them. more changes are underway with new leadership, responsibilities and moving of offices. i feel so grateful to still be employed.

the above piece titled "rejoice" was done on a piece of wood i rescued from my artwork graveyard. it started out to be a horizontal beach scene and i never liked anything about it. so saturday night i painted over the multi-colored and layered background to create this new piece. i love it and couldn't be happier with it.

thanks for your continued readership of my blog although the posts have been random lately. i've made a conscious decision to live a full life instead of living to blog. many of you know what i mean, i'm sure.

((hugs)) to all of you on this beautiful monday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

lunchtime stroll

i spent a wonderful lunch hour at the arboretum near my work one day last week. it was a bit nippy but the sun felt so good and i found the entire time so therapeutic. i have a bad habit of staying at my desk and letting the stress and pressure of work get to me. when i force myself to get away i feel like i find the real me, the person who can let go of all the worry and find beauty in the simplest of things. i was completely enamored with these tree tags and took a whole series of shots from different angles with varying amounts of tree and clouds.

my heart leaped with joy when i saw these wonderful shadows and reflections! i could feel the tension wash away as i walked through this area.


this overhead arbor woodwork created those delightful shadows and reflections. i could have sat and watched the clouds through this  frame all afternoon.


loving how the sun made these leaves look almost transparent. funny how i feel that way at work sometimes -- like i don't exist in the brilliant mix of beautiful young talent. that's when i most need to get away with my camera and find the confident, creative me.


wouldn't it be great to sit here with a hot cup of tea, a warm blanket and a good book?  no one to bother me or outshine my contributions. no competition, no deadlines -- just peaceful solitude, the warm sun and happy thoughts to keep me company.


fall makes me really think about seeds and how they are both the end of something and the beginning of a new life. i love full circle moments and seeds signify that concept to me. 


this shot captured my eye as i loved the contrast between the strong grass and the soft, fragile seed fronds against the cirrus clouds. just like these seed fronds, aren't we all a little vulnerable?


 i took a series of these shots as well with the chain in focus sometimes and out of focus sometimes.


this little duck so inspired me. it's as if he knew we was creating a picturesque moment for me to capture. he knew i was having a down day and he provided that little spot of beauty i so needed to see. he confirmed my belief that beauty is all around us if we only open our eyes to see.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

hearts + seeds + shadows

 we had a wonderful day with jenna and ben yesterday! jenna loves my art room and spent a good deal of time playing with paints. although she is becoming resistant to grandma's non-stop photo taking she did play along with the above shot. her mom was less than happy to see the paint coated into jenna's nails and cuticles but we had fun and that is what matters!!

ben enjoyed chasing shadows in my art room and sitting under my art desk. what an adorable little chubbykins he is!! 


bill and i played tag team. he watched ben while jenna and i saved pumpkin seeds for planting next year. above are actually green gooseneck squash seeds. we saved 6 different kinds of pumpkin and squash seeds and will make decorative envelopes next time she's her and then give them out at the holidays. i think she will enjoy planting them in uncle matt's garden next year and then watching them grow. matt, you've been forwarned that jenna has plans for some of your garden space!!

while i took a nap with ben (the only way i could get him to stay asleep) bill and jenna flew a kite. she thought it was wonderful fun. eventually both bill and jenna joined ben and i in our king size bed for a nap. how i would love to have a photo of the 4 of us all snuggled up together asleep!!

today is for recharging the batteries and getting some fresh air!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

lonely leaf

autumn is definitely here now with winter on the cusp. most of the beautiful leaves have fallen and bare branches are making solitary silhouettes against the sky. it was dark by 6:00 last night and it is cold this early morning.

we're off to indiana bright and early to pick up jenna and ben for the day. i've so been looking forward to getting my grandma julie fix.

happy weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

joyful little folk

joyful little folk
original mixed media
12" x 12" x 1.5" canvas
(c) 2009 julie king

here's a new collage i created on sunday. still enjoying all the wadded tissue paper layering that goes into these 3-d pieces. this is the third in my little folk series. it will be listed on my etsy soon. if you're interested, please just let me know.

we looked at a rescued dog last night, thinking of possibly adopting it. she was a cutie, part beagle and part jack russell terrier. we were tempted but she had way too much energy for us, particularly since we're gone for long hours at work.  we'll know when it's right but definitely a mellow sweetie with lots of huggable personality is perfect for us.

time to snuggle up with a blanket and a book. i'm reading margaret atwood's the year of the flood. it's quite intriguing. finished reading the world according to garp by john irving yesterday. i read it decades ago and enjoyed it again the second time around.

hugs and have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

embrace change

one of the things i've always liked about fall is that it is a time of change. childhood septembers brought new shoes, new clothes and new school supplies. a return to college in the fall reunited me with friends and presented new academic challenges. both of my children were born in the fall, the very best kind of change ever. and, of course, there's the most beautiful changing of seasons here in the midwest. 

during my career i've always delighted in changes at work which are often accompanied by new responsibilities, new office space and of course new office supplies. the company i work for is under new ownership with a new ceo. changes are under way. two consultants are interviewing our entire marketing staff (myself included) to determine what is working and what is not. it's a bit like having a role in the "office space" movie where they bring in 2 consultants (aka the bobs since they are both named bob) to decide who will be kept and who will be let go. in other words, it's all rather surreal.

although i'm a bit worried like all my co-workers are, i find a bit of peacefulness deep inside me. the decision is out of my hands. there's nothing else i can do but wait and see. i lost a job i adored in april 2008, survived it and moved on with my life. if it's the worst thing that ever happens to me, then i truly am blessed.

one of the many things i love about my life as a 50-something woman is the fact that i no longer tie my overall sense of self or accomplishment to my day job. i am a hard-working, dependable employee who does her best. but the job does not even come close to defining who i am as a person. and i like that feeling of being so much more!! it is liberating!

so bring on the changes! i will embrace them and then at the end of each day i will embrace the more of me -- the playful poet, the creative sojourner, the hopeful artist -- the real me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

experience you



have you ever felt like a drab black & white photo
competing against a kaleidoscope of brilliant hues?

does it feel like your furtively lurking shadow
has more personality than you do?

is the merry go round joyously spinning
while you stand timidly watching?

if so

stand up
stand out
fight back
fight boredom
take a class
take a new path
spin a new web
spin a new life
seek the light
seek new truths
find yourself
find a way
grab onto
that merry go round
experience joy
experience life
experience you

Sunday, November 1, 2009


mixed media collage
12" x 12" x 1.5"
gallery wrapped canvas
(c) 2009 julie king

we know our lives are abundant when

we feel the joy of laughter
and the release from tears

we are rejuvenated by a ray of sun
or patter of rain on our face

our hearts are buoyed by
nature's simple pleasures

we know we have many things
we could easily live without

hugs and a kind touch are generously
gifted without embarrassment

we choose to feel blessed
with what we have