Monday, May 31, 2010

Looking Up

I lived near here for four years; I came to this park frequently, for a break from the work, a breath of green space, a bit of an escape. I walked under and around this arch…how many times?

Washington Square Park

And while it is certainly possible that I’ve forgotten, not once do I remember looking up and marveling.

Why does it take half a lifetime to learn to look around and really see? Why does it take the marvel of a much more famous arch to prompt the curiosity of the origin of a work of art, a tribute, a wonder?

How many times have I stood beneath this famous underside of the Arc de Triomphe, and taken this exact same picture, fascinated and delighted each time?

Arc de Triomphe
And so the parallel was drawn as I stood beneath the arch in Washington Square, looked up and snapped this very similar photo.

Washington Square Park

Perhaps it takes half a lifetime to develop the vision to appreciate the world around us, perhaps it is the wonder of technology and digital photography…whatever the reason, today I was able to look up, remember fondly my time in Washington Square some thirty odd years ago, my more recent times in Paris, and to be glad to be able to look up and feel the satisfaction of having experienced.

And yes, according to Wikipedia, the 1892 Washington Square Arch was indeed modeled after the 1806 Arc de Triomphe of Paris.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Inspiration - Unbounded Creativity

I have a new favorite attraction at Disney World, something that was so creative and so imaginative and so moving and enthralling that it moved me to tears.

Well, ok, most anything can move me to tears, but to actually have them run down my face and to need a tissue to blow my nose...now that is the kind of unbounded creativity that just blows me away, something I can only hope to aspire to.

It is hard to describe the many elements...the colors, the sounds, the motions, the creative use of technology, but it is something which I will not soon forget!

Nemo Musical

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inspiration - Design Done Right

The attention to every tiny detail, each element and facet "designed", perhaps unnoticed by many, is a source of unending inspiration to me, who loves details, and loves them blown up to larger-than-life sizes.

Take for example this simple set of dominoes, nearly as large as me, and forming not only a visual barrier, but a wonderful composition of basic color and line, part of the new Midway Mania attraction at the Pixar Studios section of Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Studios Dominoes

And this giant replica of a Chutes & Ladders board game...on the ceiling!

Chutes & Ladders Ceiling

The entire area, and the attraction in particular, is nothing short of brilliant!
Walt, you would be proud of the legacy you have left behind!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inspiration - Travel Memories

To experience the countries of the World Showcase ala Disney World would be an enlightening experience in isolation, but when it can bring back memories of wonderful travels, it is a wonderful source of inspiration.

Epcot Paris

Epcot Paris

It's funny that in all my trips to Epcot, I had never quite noticed the bouquinistes before...it took fond memories of strolling the bouquinistes along the Left Bank of Paris to notice the little replicas here.

Epcot Paris

Likewise, memories of Venice make this mini Campanile and Doge's Palace all the more special to behold.

Epcot Paris

Monday, May 24, 2010

Inspiration - Fireworks

I ooh and aah with the smallest child, jump up and down and clap my hands excitedly, for the lights bursting over the purple-lit castle are a wonder to behold!

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inspiration - Mosaics

There is not always the time to make art, but that doesn't mean one's artistic endeavors are not functioning, for while there may not be the time to make art, there is almost always the time to be inspired, to store the inspiration for another time, to admire the creativity and inspiration of others.

And at Disney World, this comes in droves.

Here are a few shots of the magnificent mosaics in the archway of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

Castle Mosaics

Castle Mosaics

Castle Mosaics

Imagine not only the placement of every tiny tessera, but the design, the selection of color, the incorporation of perspective, not only to tell a story, but to instill beauty in an area that would be sufficient undecorated as an archway between Main Street and Fantasyland.

Thank you, Walt, for your unending genius and inspiration.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Digital Mom

OOOhhh, I have discovered a fun new hobby in digital scrapbooking!

This newest captures a precious Mother's Day photo in all the colors and things I love!


Mother's Day

Once again credit to Jessica Sprague and her designers for the lovely papers and elements.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Digital Fashion

I like learning new things, like how to create digital collages in Photoshop.

I like combining new things with old loves, like pictures.

Fashion Show We Love Pics

This 25 layer collage - background, photos, mats & frames, text, and the ultra-cool shaped clipping mask, reflect some of the new skills learned in Photoshop Friday from Jessica Sprague.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Purple Fleur

While on a walk to visit the goats last week, I walked past a flowering bush with lovely purple flowers right at my eye level. How pretty, I thought, as I walked past.

"Come back", said the purple flower, "I am worth a closer look!".

"Indeed you are, purple flower."

As I had my camera right in my hands, I needed no more coercion to snap a few pictures of these delicate beauties.
Purple Flowering Bush Purple Flowering Bush

Then there was a nice surprise this week as I heard from my blogging friend Carla, who was the first to teach me, via her online lessons, how to layer digital collages. While I don't yet have her expertise, I am happy with this result of one of her lovely background "colour" palettes, representative of the Chelsea flower show, my flower pictures, and text and floral images via The Graphics Fairy.

I especially love the effect of the text showing through the delicate petals of the flower.

Purple Fleur

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Con-scrap-ulations!

How to wrap up 4 years in one photo?
How to express the pride, excitement, and hope for the future?
Some quickly chosen pictures, a red background of course, some sewing elements for the fashion major...

CCA Recap

...and thanks to Jessica Sprague for the elements and Photoshop instruction.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bunny Sighting!

Twice this week Tod has reported seeing bunnies in the neighborhood...once along the pool in the back yard, and once in the street in the early morning.

Today, it was my turn for a sighting!

I was walking by the front window when I noticed a hopping.
I happened to have my phone in my hand, and so, several pictures (through the screen and window, thus blurry and gridded) and a lot of hopping later, I managed to capture the little intruder, before he hopped off to the left.

Bunny Sighting Front Yard

Also of note is the fountain, in pieces. Hopefully before too much longer this long-neglected outdoor element will be bubbling and gurgling and spitting streams through the lions mouths.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Goats on the Hill

The rainy season ran late this year, but it is probably over by the first of May. And so it is time to do a little mowing and weeding.

Enter the goats!
Goats on the Hill

Spied high on the hill above Silver Creek, these working animals are doing a fine job of cleaning up the fence line. I look forward to their arrival on the hill just beyond our back yard fence!