Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wabi Sabi Desert Plants

One morning when we were in Santa Fe we woke up early and went for a walk.  George's goal was to look for birds and mine was to photograph anything that caught my eye.  It is amazing what you can see if you walk slowly and really take time in the desert.  At first it might appear like endless junipers and dry arroyos, but if you stop and really get up close there are incredible things to see everywhere.

When I got home and looked at my photos I realized the majority of them were of dried out seed pods.  This always make me think of my favorite wabi-sabi books so I pulled them out and found this nice quote to end with from "Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, & Philosophers" by Leonard Koren:

"Though things wabi-sabi may be on the point of dematerialization (or materialization) - extremely faint, fragile, or desiccated - they still possess an undiminished poise and strength of character."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts - Sketch

When we were in Santa Fe I went into town one morning with the intention to sketch the cathedral.  When I got there the sun was coming up behind the cathedral and the front was in shadow.  When I turned around to see what the sun was shining on I was greeted with this view of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.  Seeing how I am absolutely mad about adobe architecture, I think it was a stroke of great luck that the sun made me turn around that day.  This building is absolutely gorgeous!  I love the portal, the vigas, the curved walls, the balcony and towers, and the enclosed patio gardens.  And this is just one example of the amazing architecture downtown.  Santa Fe truly is one of my favorite places to visit and I already can't wait to go back.

(click image to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bird Scissors

When I saw the booth of Sayfullo Ikromov and Salimjon Ikramov at the International Folk Art Market I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't believe what I saw...could it be hand-crafted bird scissors?  How awesome is that?  As you know I like to collect bird-related everything and I had never seen this before!  I stood at this booth a crazy long time just examining all the birds.  There were flying birds, perched birds, male and female birds, and what appeared to be woodpeckers and herons.  Not only were they beautifully crafted but they also cut really well.  And in addition they would write any name on the scissors that you wanted (George's name is on the pair above).  It is so much fun to shop at a folk market like this and find something truly unique and beautiful that really speaks to you.  Thank you to the Ikromov's for bringing such wonderful objects into being. If you would like to contact the Ikromov's you can email them at raisa@salomtravel.com.

Monday, July 22, 2013

International Folk Art Market - Santa Fe

Last week George and I went to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We had never been to the market before and this year we planned our trip around it.  It is the largest Internation Folk Market in the world and it did not disappoint!  It was truly a feast for the eyes (and ears, stomach, fingers and nose!)  I loved seeing the incredible work from people around the world.  The craftsmanship was amazing and it was truly a delight to meet the artists.  I also loved the variety...figurines woven from horsehair, the most-incredibly intricate gourd carvings, beautifully crafted jewelry, finely woven textiles, crazy musical instruments, scary masks, huge brightly-colored paper flowers, baskets woven from pine needles with amazing designs, Scandinavian wood carvings with lovely folk designs...I could go on and on!  Needless to say I had a wonderful day and will post soon about the artist whose table I couldn't leave.  (A big thanks to G for having lots of patience with me while I oohed and ahhed and fretted over what to buy!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Peach Haiku

When I was looking in my folder of free Dover clipart for this post I came across the following a haiku I liked by James Kirkup:

Haiku should be just
small stones dropping down a well
with a small splash

I loved this haiku but I found it strange because it was given as an example of the 5-7-5 syllable rule for haiku.  But after I read it and counted the syllables it appeared to me the last line is only 4 syllables.  George thought maybe you could make it work by pronouncing splash as two syllables.  Anyway, it reminded me that you needn't always follow the rules.  I struggle with this concept because I am a rule follower.  And I really struggled with it when writing the poems for Zen Kitty and Zen Birds.  In the end I decided to write "haiku-like" poems (meaning I used however many syllables I wanted) for both those books.  I made this decision after reading a great book one day in the bookstore.  (I wish I knew the name of the book but it was just something I randomly picked up one day.)  The book stated that many of the haiku written by famous Japanese poets did not follow this pattern and most definitely don't follow the pattern when translated.  It went on to encourage the haiku poet to just use as few words as possible to get the idea across and to not obsess about the number of syllables. That was all this rule follower needed to let go.  And even though the above haiku does follow the "rules", I now feel completely happy to walk on the wild side when writing haiku.  If that means I am now a rogue bad-ass haiku writer (or just a bad haiku writer) then so be it. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pretty Peachy

Last week the peach tree in my Dad's back yard was chock full of beautiful peaches.  Everything about them has the essence of softness...from their fuzzy coat to the way the color gently fades from yellow to orange to pinky-red.  And the shape is so crazy adorable!  I love the way the two cheeks are separated by a valley on one side that ends in a miniature peak.  There couldn't be a much more pleasing object to hold in your hand.

When I went out to pick them with my Dad I had to run back to the house to get the camera because the light was perfect and they were practically glowing!  He just called me last night and told me he picked 60 more peaches and was asking what to do with them.  I told him he should make jam and found this great website about how to do it.  Hopefully next time I see him he will have some pretty peachy jam for me to sample... I will let you know how it turns out. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bee-utiful Purple Coneflowers

I was excited to zoom into this photo and find such a nice focused honey bee.  I always try and photograph them but they move on me. Lucky for me this one took a half second rest from his busy-bee purple-coneflower-checking schedule. 

I took this photo at my friends' house in Yellow Springs last week. They have a beautiful yard with a large section set aside for native wildflowers and the bees (and I) love it. Their house is close to John Bryan State Park and it is always such a treat to sit on their back porch and listen to the birds and have dinner with them.  Thanks Jyoti, David and family for such a lovely evening!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Round Folk Tablecloth

This tablecloth was another great find at the Springfield Antique Extravaganza this past May.  As you know I collect vintage folk tablecloths and I couldn't believe my luck when I came across this one... I have never seen a round tablecloth in this style!  When I got home and tried it out on my entry table I was also happily surprised that it fit my entry table perfectly.  It did however have the same problem as the round tablecloth that I designed for Valentinte's day - it shrank more in one direction so it was no longer a circle but an oval.  I tried to ignore it but every day when I came down the stairs my eye went right to that uneven hem.  So I finally broke down and hemmed it  (again, breaking my rule of not buying things that need fixing).  But I love these adorable yellow characters and the charming Pennsylvania Dutch design makes me happy every time I see it.  So in the end it was worth it breaking the rules. 

Happy Fourth of July everyone!