Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Halloween Party!

The Marmelade Gypsy invites you to a Halloween Party!

Step inside! There is fun and fancy...


Black cats...

Pumpkin cats...

Mentally disturbed cats...

Glittery cats!

And Marmelade cats with an attitude!

Pumpkin people...

And lots of decorations!

Creative memories from friends afar...

Ghosts and goblins.

And very scary boy cats!

And when all is said and done, it's time to take off the costumes and go home!

I hope your Halloween is filled with goblins, ghosties and beasties!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Something Spooky in the 'Hood

I was taking my walk and for whatever unknown reason decided to walk up a street I generally don't. I suspect it was because it was such a beautiful day, I wanted to spread things out a bit.

Sometimes we're supposed to do what wasn't expected, simply because we're meant to find something.
And what a delight -- from far away I noted something spooky on the lawn!
As I approached, I discovered it was a "cemetery" with some unusual residents!
I don't know this neighbor.

I think I should -- there's a lot of creativity going on in that house!

Halloween is coming! Boo!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pink in Canada

Happy Pink Saturday! I've taken a couple weeks off and I'll be on-and-off for a few, but it's good to be back this week!

For more Pink Saturday posts, visit Beverly who has the link list!

Today my images come from recent visits to Stratford and Niagara on the Lake, Ontario.

In window boxes...

On the ground...

And in store windows!

I loved the last of the beautiful foliage...

And it's never too early to think of Christmas!

Please visit Kathy at KathyKat Collects who always has fun Pink Saturday posts!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Now on Chopsticks --- Style, etc., part two

Now on Chopsticks and String -- Part two of our blog discussion on style, art and creativity.

Here's the opening...

What is style, anyway?

If people were to look at me, they would say I don't have much, and what I have hasn't much changed in far too many years. The same hair (a brief foray into long hair was a pain), more or less the same build, the same type of clothes -- corduroys and sweaters or bright shirts; definitely bright! And tennis shoes.

I asked my friend Suzanne to describe my style and she said, "Bright and accessorized."

So maybe I do have style. Or, "a" style.

We all have styles we like -- I like warm, casual, comfortable -- Mission/arts and crafts style for furniture (though I don't really have any of that, much to my sadness), wood and brick, quilts, copper, folk art. A little bit country, but not "cute" country. I love color.That's reflected in my creative work, too. Not too formal. Colorful. I hope, comfortable.

I'm not a "steel" or "chrome" or terribly contemporary person. I love it when I visit others who have a clean and uncluttered style, but it doesn't work for me (although Frank Lloyd Wright, with his clean arts and crafts lines is an exception. He can go modern or traditional).

And we have styles in what we do creatively. Some of us do more traditional work, while others are far more contemporary. Some are realistic in style, others more abstract. And then there is me, who sometimes feels a bit artistically schizophrenic!

So, are we repeating ourselves?

Read more at Chopsticks! (I will leave comments on the "comment page" for those posts, to continue the discussion!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quieter Colors

Nothing like a bracing walk on a cold, gloomy day to bring the colors from vibrant to pensive.

So walk with me at one of MSU's hidden gems -- the water garden behind the MRI building.

Small waterfalls tumble over smooth rocks, wrapped into a landscape of reeds and grasses,

Only the fish seem to have the requisite orange garb of autumn!

I discovered this spot one day after having an MRI in the adjacent building. It was a quiet, pleasant place to walk after spending more time than one would like laying in a tube, senses having been assaulted by a cacaphony of excruciatingly loud sounds.

With each passing season, the garden takes on different colors and different moods.

When I first discovered this garden, it was a gray, cold, snowy day and the colors of this water garden were monochromatic -- white snow, gray rocks, skeletons of black branches from the trees and bushes at water's edge. Right now, the colors are warmer...

But not for long.

(You didn't really think I'd leave you without any color, did you?)

Of course not!

Enjoy these last fleeting days of autumn with a walk in your special place.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Harry the Heron

Think glorious autumn day -- crisp, cold -- but not that biting cold. Just the bracing morning chill that keeps us walking briskly, hands in gloves, scarves wrapped around the neck, leaves rustling at our feet.

Add a bright blue sky speckled with puffy white clouds. The first sun, I might add in days. And color. Glorious color.

I decided to take a walk around the ditch (thank you, Rick), camera in hand, for what could be the last of the color. Certainly the walk down brought some splash!

But the ditch itself was looking more muted. There may still be leaves on the trees, but clearly, we are moving toward the end of fall, even though autumn continues until the solstice.

I reveled in the tons of brown and gold.

No flaming red -- just deep burgundy.

A jogger, a few dogwalkers, the occasional duck surrounded me as I walked around the giant pond.

Can you see the heron in this photo? (Harry, I call him)

What about this one?

Or this?Yes, now you have him!

This heron reminded me of a very rich post I read by Anno on Saturday. "It's all junk," she said, and then richly created four scenes she had observed the following week in such detail that one could feel the story beginning. She'd had no time for writing, yet I contend she was "writing" all along.

Why does this heron remind me of Anno's post? It's simple. You really had to look to find him.

I'd been walking about and I thought I was really looking at things -- framing them, mentally editing as I looked for the right view.

Yet he blended in with the environment so completely, I missed him. He certainly wasn't obvious. In fact, it was only at certain angles that I could see he hadn't disappeared.

He stood, straight, tall and very still, surveying his pond. His neck would extend, slowly, deliberately. I wasn't sure what he was looking for -- but he knew. When he saw it, his head dipped quickly into the water. I was too far away to see what came out, but I suspect it was the first course.

I would contend that the first skill of any writer, artist, doctor, teacher, cook, parent, scientist isn't a technical one. No grand vocabulary, mix of media or surgeon's knife can bring about an ideal end if the artist doesn't first observe.

It's in "seeing" (or "listening," if you like) that we note the little things that may seem irrelevant, yet carry an importance all their own. Try people watching (read Anno's post) -- there are stories there. The child or partner who says, "OK," when asked "how was today," may not mean "OK" at all.

I'm not saying we have to read between the lines on anything that is said. But sometimes there are important messages in what isn't said. Messages that require further investigation.

It's very easy to fall into the patterns of our lives. We go to someone's house and we don't notice things have changed. A new outfit, a haircut, a new chair. The mess finally cleaned off the table. Maybe we notice and don't say.

I nearly missed Harry the Heron. That would have been oh, so sad.

* * * * *
Some folks will go to great ends for photography. In Michael Maurer Smith's case, it's New Mexico!

Mike's Dissent Decree often gives me more food for thought than my brain can handle. He's a gifted photographer who is in love with New Mexico.

He's traveling now -- or has been. If you're into the Southwest or just want to see some blue sky for a change, check out his travel blog.

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