February 28, 2016

Art surrounds us.

Posting a few reminders that, indeed,  art surrounds us,  from our long weekend in Vancouver, where Canadians are expressing amusement, bewilderment, and concern about American politics as it is unfolding. Enough said.

On our way out of town we sampled the Main Street shopping area, where we had not been in previous trips. My favorite from our limited-time survey was Collage, a quirky little store that offers classes for kids and a very playful attitude. More on it later.

4Cats is a small art store that also offers plenty of classes for all ages, and I liked their window messages!

A few more quick and untouched snaps from Vancouver. Can't post to Instagram from my phone in Canada so saved a few up. Do be sure to scroll to the bottom for the best of it all. Then I hope you'll head on over to the latest (Lately-Hardly-Ever-) Daily Amazing with apologies for the hiatus but a truckload of Amazings ready to share. Really!

art surrounds
art surrounds

The pièce_de_résistance of the weekend were these wonderful fellows. I stayed and drew and relished their whimsy. I am going to post more about these later. They are wonderful.


February 26, 2016

Catching up

Hubby broke a bone, I had a weeklong subbing gig, we're knee deep into redecorating, laying carpet, painting, so I haven't  been here for a bit. It has been a wet, wet (but tepid) January. I'll be needing some sun soon. Very. Soon.

Some updates:

I'm not going to Bangkok soon...if ever...but if  you are planning a trip there, you must read Girl in Florence honeymoon summary of days in Bangkok. Lots of cool information and photos.

Perhaps it's more likely that you'll be in Florence one of these days, or love reading about your favorite Italian places. You will enjoy Georgette's Girl in Florence blog for vicarious pleasures.

Ciao I'm Georgette! A curious American digital marketing strategist, Freelance writer and a certifiable ‘Tuscan Texan’ living and breathing all things Florence. I blog about scooting around Europe & Italy and sharing local spots I love. Slow food, anything with ginger & beagle mentions make their home here. Keep in touch with my adventures with your favorite glass of vino and join the fun!

And she recommends the maps of Nancy Chandler which led me to her memorial site. Nancy died suddenly mid 2-15 and left a legacy of great maps of Hanoi, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. Read about Nancy's interesting life and the art legacy she leaves  here.

Copyright Nancy Chandler

And speaking of the alphabet a bit ago,  here's a very unique one!

"These glorious grains of sand gently groomed by the grinding power of the Pacific Ocean."
Reading the ABCs from Space
By Adam VoilandDesign by Jesse Allen & Paul PrzyborskiDecember 15, 2015
A few years ago, while working on a story about wildfires, a V appeared to me in a satellite image of a smoke plume over Canada. That image made me wonder: could I track down all 26 letters of the English alphabet using only NASA satellite imagery and astronaut photography?

With the help of readers and colleagues, I started to collect images of ephemeral features like clouds, phytoplankton blooms, and dust clouds that formed shapes reminiscent of letters. Some letters, like O and C, were easy to find. Others—A, B, and R—were maddeningly difficult. 
He remarks that his collection is almost "Seusslike" and adds links to find out more about each geographical place. 

And a reminder: There's always something new at Almost-Daily Amazing on my web site, and the archive holds all those Amazings before.  Click on the chair in right panel to head on over.

Nice not to have your chase your food

Astronaut Leland Melvin reflects on what it's like to return to Earth in a charming animation that points out all that we take for granted.

Animation by          Source: Quipsologies

February 14, 2016

Tapping the Inner Child

I am having fun in Carla Sonheim's Y is for Yellow online class. Our assignment this week was childlike relief prints. It happens that the school I sub in had a recent art fair; I replicated some artwork by mostly 6- and 7-year olds, trying to capture the essence to start. Then we worked some magic. Carla's got the Secret Sauce. Love love the imagination that get stirred. 


I know what giraffe-tee. 

Which way was I going now? 

Eye on the prize.

 And, a confession for Valentines Day.

I couldn't resist. So I bought one for each of us. Is there anything more decadent than a sugar cookie?  I mean, at least chocolate is a food group.


February 11, 2016

Budding Artist, Artist Buddy

This is my buddy, Davis. He like to draw and make things.


     He drew me a spider. Lotsa legs and nice big spidery eyes, don't you think?


February 9, 2016

Spring Teaser

We had a lovely break from gray and rain today. Almost 60! Felt like spring, except the buds are still hiding. Took a break from my Mega-Zine building and took a walk in the neighborhood. We are surrounded by mountains.

View a few steps from our house. 

The mountains wrap around the neighborhood view. 

We need to walk a block to be able to view the Lake. And more mountains. 
Methinks the iPad cover slipped down but I'll say I did it on purpose for effect.

February 5, 2016

More thoughts on creativity


I think this book will be lovely, don't you ?

How to be a Wildflower Book Trailer from Gabriel James on Vimeo.


In a recent NY Times, a thoughtful article about the connection between giftedness - especially child prodigy - and creativity. (Spoiler alert: there's not much instinctive connection.) Parents can raise a creative child by...backing off!


And on the subject of creativity, this Times article extolls the virtue of serendipity, "the art of finding what we're not seeking." People who enjoy "prospecting" the unknown in activities such as spending an afternoon browsing through unfamiliar territory/subjects count on finding treasures in odd places. These are the people that love the happy surprises that pop up wherever  they look. According to the article, dredging the unknown is engaging in a highly creative act.

In a survey of patent holders in one recent year, 50% of patents resulted from serendipitous process. I used to emphasize this with my students, sharing the stories of velcro, rubber, and teflon. (Go here for many more!)

As an information junkie myself, I agree with this notion most heartedly.

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