an ideal gift idea...

You don't take a photograph, you make it. ~Ansel Adams

Our daughter discovered several years ago that she loves photography; I love her photos. Jeff and I recently received a handmade accordion book with her photos taken from different places she’s been to the last couple of years. She purchased the book from a bookbinder at an art show this past Fall in Rhode Island. It is simple and stunning, by itself. But, when filled with pictures that allow us a peek into her world while she is away, it becomes a precious thing.

Bookbinding is such a cool art---an ancient and useful one. Here are a few art books I’ve recently discovered on Flickr.

1. Dirty Folder Book, 2. livro artesanal - caderno, 3. Rose Journal, 4. blue/gray suede gratitude journal


works in progress…in the gloaming

Our workspace is a room Jeff built just off the side of our house. It is full of windows on every wall. In the late afternoon, the lowering sun seems to shine a spotlight on all of our works-in-progress, as if it’s checking for any misbehavior or out of line conduct before the night settles in. I am always drawn to this corner of this house, but especially so at this time of the day, and this time of the year, when the gloaming comes so quickly…

Scotland in the Gloaming is a blog “…showcasing the best photography of Scotland bathed in that colourful ambiance that comes at dusk: 'the gloaming'.” The photos are picked from the Scotland In The Gloaming photo pool on Flickr. They are brilliant, stunning and beautiful. Take a peek if you are in need of colorful inspiration.

flickr favorites … uses of bamboo

Jeff and I share a love for the beauty and usefulness of the fastest growing plant on earth and among the most primitive of grasses. Every morning the sun rises and emits its rays through the tall stalks of our giant bamboo. The magnificence of the bamboo and the need to cut it back has created ideas (many ideas … it's not difficult; it has been noted that there are more than 1,000 uses for bamboo).

“Bamboo is both road and map
where use and beauty overlap…
...Bridges, baskets, paper, flutes
in summer, shade, at dinner, shoots…”

Would you like to play?
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's cool and quite excellent blog to join in :)

from the land where lemon-trees flower…

We are grateful for the rough lemon tree that grows down the lane - for the simple and bright beauty of dangling lemons, the smell when you slice them, and most of all, lemonade. My favorite drink to serve at our family gatherings, but during lemon season, the coldest months of the year, I almost always have a fresh pitcher of homemade lemonade in the fridge---thanks to this extremely humble looking and uncared for tree.

The secret to great tasting lemonade is to start by making "simple syrup". This dissolves the sugar in hot water and keeps the sugar, and the sweetness, from sinking to the bottom of the pitcher.


1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
8 cups water


Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Add 1 cup of iced water to cool the syrup before adding to the lemon juice.
In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 6 cups water.
You may need to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste; some lemons are sweeter than others. If you’d like to give it a real flavor booster, add a teaspoon of lemon extract.

Lemons can make me very happy, regardless of their sour reputation and so does this song by the Books…

I leave you with ‘The Lemon of Pink’

objects of sentimental worth …

Jeff and I are in the middle of a home improvement project ---weatherizing our upstairs (where our kitchen and dining area are) by covering the walls and ceiling with insulation panels and then, over that, wood. That means I have to pack up everything that is on a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. The new bookshelf, we will build, will be much smaller---less than half the size of the current one. So I’m in the age old dilemma of what to keep and what to move out…hmmmm.

The most difficult task for me concerns the objects, on the shelves, which are not books. I’ve realized that things I typically display are items of sentimental importance. Deciding what stuff will go up on the new shelves, and what to do with what will not, is a bit bewildering. I’ve decided to start cataloging them into a photo album…maybe if I know that I will always be able to pull out a photo of a favored object, then I won’t have such difficulty in deciding to find a new home for it.

These are just a few of the pieces that are currently under review:

I have to laugh at the task ahead me; these are just a few of items I am pondering over...

Back to the Oblio sculpture, Oblio is a character in the album, movie and play called ‘The Point’---needless to say, our children were raised on the movie. It has cult classic status in our home. If you have the time, take a look at a small clip from the enchanting and whimsical movie.

flickr favorites...bowls

Bowls, I believe, must be the universal symbol for the place in our hearts where nurture, comfort and sharing dwell. They are an ancient man-made creation that really hasn’t needed to be improved upon--- from the earliest days they were simply perfect.

“And my stomachs got some tasty food
that’s making me feel good
cos sharing some meals is something
i wish the world could do…”
~“two shoes” by the cat empire

Would you like to play?
Build your own mosaic and visit Artmind's cool and quite excellent blog to join in :)

What’s your type?

How would you like to have a personal conversation with a psychiatrist and learn what type-face you are?

A clever web site was shared at the How about orange… blog, this morning. 

The brainy and chic people at Pentagram developed this web application---in their words: “Researched over seven years with a team of 23 academics across Eastern Europe, ‘What Type Are You’ asks the four key character questions of our day, analyses your responses in exceptional detail and recommends one of 16 typefaces as a result.” It also gives you a history of the type face and lets you see who else had the same results.

I was given Dot Matrix…hmmmm. You know, that’s kind of funny; dots seem to be a recurring theme in our designs lately. :)

If you want check this web app out, go here. The password is "character." And thanks, so much, to Jessica  for sharing this.

a sunday morning collage...

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."
~Bob Dylan

new bottle for new year…

Our first art bottle of the year…Grannies Pint.

You know…I’m not sure how Jeff comes up with his names, but this one made me smile really big, and I don’t even know why. :)

a found treasury…dreaming of blossoms

I found a treasury that has reminded me how much I love the colors of gentle spring blossoms. And, while we still have plenty of greenery here in southwest Florida, a looming freeze warning is threatening to take it away in one evening. If that happens, we will be looking upon soggy brownness until the first shades of pale green buds appear on our surviving tropical and native plant life. This lovely treasury recalls what I’ll be dreaming about until that first pre-spring morning.

Beginning from the top left corner, the talented featured artist are::

MarcoLaGrenouille’s Le Manege - 6x6 Fine Art Photo
Ablemabel’s Poppies Sign
Crazycakes’s czech art glass buttons for your creations...
Sherrifairy’s Marie Rose Leaves Fabric Block 5 x 7
Vividcolors’s Walk in the Park Lime and Mustard Organza Flower Necklace
ErikaPrice’s Sonata Opus 132, Trembling Rose Sterling Silver Earrings
OldeHansa’s Berkemeyer
Cynthiavardhan’s 10 Red and Pink Dishes
Countrywindows’s Praying Mantis
Artbycarey’s Pink Rose realism original oil painting
Febrarose’s PMC, Turquoise, Citrine, Apatite, Mixed Metal, Bracelet –Aspen
Gaialai’s Handmade Lampwork Jewelry - Sunrise Fairy Bells Lampwork Necklace

This treasury, called “Soft roses and gentle greens", was currated by LaurenceCollection. They have a beautiful pair of earrings in their shop that I love, love, love…