A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We often hear, particularly on the last day of a year, "What are your goals?"
2011 brought us one special gift. What more could we desire?
We would like to share this gift with you. No, it is not Jewels, gold coins, shiny new cars, a mansion.
We wish you the ability to see without eyes, hear without ears, soar without wings, enjoy without expectations, etc. We want you to simply, BE, this year. 
Love where you are. Enjoy what you have. Allow yourself the peacefulness of being.
Make this your only resolution and you will find the greatest treasure - all else will fall into place.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Journal Writing - Diane Keaton

A Memoir - Diane Keaton
This autobiography, which is in part extracted from journals written by Diane Keaton's Mother, is of interest to us - we began the adventure of journal writing some months ago.
We've discovered that writing about our thoughts, feelings and events bring to focus that which is important and worth keeping and remembering.
According to Ms. Keaton, her Mom wrote daily - until she could not write any longer. A selection of her memories, written and sometimes supplemented with newspaper clippings and photographs, now reach out to us as a reminder that she lived a full and wonderful - and thoughtful - life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Lights Atlanta

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens presents a grand display of holiday magic using nearly one million lights, including "...a galaxy of stars in the woodlands; whimsical bees, butterflies and other lighted pollinators in the Edible Garden; and 200 show-stopping, color changing topiary forms choreographed to holiday music on the Great Lawn."
Wish we lived closer to this spectacular celebration of light:

Atlanta Botanical Gardens
November 19 – January 7
5 – 10 p.m.
For more information: Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On a Winter's Day

At the beginning of the year, we posted a photograph taken as we walked along the ocean shore. As we approach the end of 2011, we post several photographs shot as we walked the path at Silverlake Reservoir. It rained the day before, and in the distance we enjoyed lightly dusted snow capped peaks. Cool, crisp and beautiful weather accompanied us as we walked.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Climate Change - A History

If you still are not a believer in climate change, then this should change your mind - assuming that your mind remains open while watching and listening:
TEDxPSU - Michael Mann - A Look into Our Climate: Past to Present to Future

Saveur - Best Food Blog Awards

We enjoy reading Saveur Magazine, not only because it guides us through recipes, but because it concentrates upon specific countries or regions - or a type of food, meat, dessert, etc. Much like reading a journal, we are treated to in-depth writing and come away learning something more than how to prepare a particular dish.
So, when we came across Saveur's list of blog winners, we decided to present a selection of them to our readers.
For a complete list of Saveur's Best, please go to: Saveur
Best Baking and Desserts Blog: Joy the Baker
Best Cooking Blog: Smitten Kitchen
Best Food Photography: What Katie Ate
Best Wine or Beer Blog: Vinography
Best Video Content: FoodWishes
Best Culinary Essay: Bon Appetempt
Best Restaurant/Dining Coverage: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Monday, December 12, 2011

Robots - Next Gen

NAO - the new robot of Aldebaran Robotics

Inspiring Tiny Home

Usually big ideas come in big packages. However, the inspirational idea for this very small home makes use of every spatial inch (meter). An abandoned garage is transformed into a functional home for a photographer who splits his time between Paris and Bordeaux.
You will be amazed at this "house within a house". 
Fabre/deMarien Architects
Video:Kirsten Dirksen, Fair Companies

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Santa Fe Clay - Holiday Gifts

Santa Fe Clay
Support Local Ceramic Artists!
December 2: 3pm - 7pm
December 3: 9am - 2pm
Studio members, students, teachers, and staff, will be selling their work for the upcoming holiday season.  This is a chance to meet the creator and buy handmade holiday gifts.
545 Camino de la Familia
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: 505-984-1122
Fax: 505-984-1706

Santa Fe Clay website

Five on the 30th

As gleaned from several of our favorite websites and blogs:
Holiday Gifts for Foodie Friends - Cool Hunting
Wearable Sculpture - Cool Hunting
Green Holiday Gift Guide - Inhabitat
Earthscrapers - TreeHugger
Algorithms and cars running red lights - Popular Science

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joe Cariati - The Opaques

Opaque Glass

Last year, we published a story about Joe Cariati (April 27, 2010) - and presented his transparent glass work. This year, we present his new work - the Opaques.
While we think the work speaks for itself, we repeat the following text from his bio:
"For me, the purity and essence of the process of glassblowing is immediate, there is a sense of urgency, the glass must be blown while it's hot! There are no breaks, there is no time to rest, no lull. My approach is to craft the glass quickly and efficiently; clean, pure, simple and beautiful."
Earlier, we wrote that Mr. Cariati's glass work is "clear and clean, without embellishment or decoration. It maintains the integrity of the material..."

Each work within this series is definitive in shape. Unlike transparent glass, this work is dense, has weight and, as a result, seems less embellished. The eye reads each as precise and elegant. The opaque color communicates a no-nonsense quality - a "take me for what I am" sensibility.
No matter the color, this new series is both strong and beautiful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

David Cerny - Sculpture

David Cerny, sculptor
Prolific artist, David Cerny, (born 1967 in Prague, Czech Republic), created a large scale installation at 3700 Arco Corporate Drive, Charlotte, NC. For more information about Mr. Cerny, please link to his website, below.
stainless steel, motors, computer driven control center, water, etc.
Height: 30 feet, weight: 14 tons

Monday, October 24, 2011

Belinda Oakley sings!

Talented singer, songwriter + actress
Not long ago, while walking along the path at Silverlake Reservoir, we stopped and listened to Belinda Oakley sing. The sound of her voice drew us away from our early morning walk. She sang with eyes closed, caught up in the reverie of her music. We, too, were "caught up" in her sound and look forward to hearing more from her.
An accomplished singer-songwriter, Ms. Oakley recently released a collection of songs, written in London with her producer, Adrian Hall. The EP is entitled, "Bittersweet" and we know, after listening to her perform in the above video, you will want to hear more, too!
For further information, please visit Belinda Oakley's website.

Santa Fe Clay Gallery

Jesse Ring, TV Dreams, 8 x 3 x 4", 201
From the press release:
November 11 – December 31st, 2011
Opening Reception Friday, November 11, 5: 00 – 7:00 pm

Birdie Boone
Cindy Guiterrez
Jennie Johnsrud
Jesse Ring
Amy Slater

The Santa Fe Clay Staff exhibits their ceramic artworks!
This small staff manages a supply store, national gallery and educational studio program: Birdie Boone (Studio Manager), Cindy Gutierrez (Retail Manager), Jennie Johnsrud (Retail Assistant), Jesse Ring (Warehouse Manager) and Amy Slater (Gallery Assistant). The five co-workers at this ceramic facility have varied and extensive knowledge of the ceramics medium. Their individual skills and techniques range from wheel-thrown to hand-built and slip-cast. The processes, glazes and finished pieces are as varied as the individuals who make them. This exhibit showcases the people who sell, ship and answer hundreds of questions about ceramics daily.
Chuck Adylett, King Fool, 8 x 8 x 6", 2011
January 6 – February 18th, 2012

Opening Reception Friday, January 6th, 5: 00 – 7:00 pm

Curated by the Santa Fe Clay staff, a spectacular collection of functional and non-functional teapots from ceramic artists across the nation will line the walls of our gallery.
545 Camino de la Familia
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: 505-984-1122
Fax: 505-984-1706
Santa Fe Clay website

Monday, October 17, 2011

Selected Postings

As gleaned from several of our favorite websites and blogs:
1. Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum in Imabari City, Ehime, Japan by Toyo Ito & Associates Architects. Photograph:Ken Lee 2010, from Archidose blogspot
2. Al Gore Strongly Supports, Occupy Wall Street, from TreeHugger
3. Shiro Studio: Marble Lunar Crater Trays from Designboom
4. Gigantic Melting Vitruvian Man - Vanishing Arctic Sea Ice, from Inhabitat
5. Woody35 Cabin: 350 sf, from TreeHugger

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alyssa Remington, Photographer

Alyssa Remington, Photographer
(Please Note: All images shown here are protected under strict copyright laws and are under the auspices of Alyssa Remington. They may not, under any circumstances, be reproduced, downloaded, or manipulated without Ms. Remington's express written permission. Commercial or private use without Ms. Remington's explicit written consent is prohibited by law and is punishable through US and Worldwide copyright laws.)
Years ago, Viet Nam was a place of fear for America. American soldiers took great care not to trust any Viet Namese citizen, including women and children, out of fear their lives may have been in danger.
Although there are brave soldiers who fought and still carry wounds from the past, we know that time has healed the national heart of both Viet Nam and the United States.
It is a country of lush, exotic beauty and we have come to know its people as gentle, kind and peaceful. We no longer see Viet Nam as enemy. Many Americans, in the years since the war, have traveled here - including photographer, Alyssa Remington.

As an inspiration for her work, Ms. Remington lists her son as primary. She states, "I derive my greatest fascination and joy in faces, particularly of children. It warms my heart to see these young souls, so vibrant, present and happy in their lives; lives uncluttered by the objects of contemporary culture." 
In this case, the subjects of Ms. Remington's photographs are the hill-country people of Sapa, in northern Viet Nam. Fortunate to have been there during the celebration of the New Year, the photographer was able to capture the inhabitants while dressed in their traditional costumes. Those depicted in the more somber, black and navy colors, are from the Black H'mong area. While those dressed in very colorful outfits are of the Flower H'mong hill people.
Markets also play a prominent role in Ms. Remington's work. She was particularly fascinated with the variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables presented by vendors, as well as the variety of fish, fowl and other animals - all parts used, none discarded; all prominently displayed  in plain view - none wrapped into neatly stacked, tidy packages, as in our American grocery stores.
I don't know about you, but, I feel something when I view these photographs. There is an atmosphere of place, the sound of children playing, laughter or water rushing through a young woman's hair as it rinses out soap-suds. Although, one might refer to these as the work of an excellent photojournalist, I prefer the word, artist.
Ms. Reminington did not use a digital camera here. Instead, she uses film. Her only formal photography education, in a statement from her, was a class taken in her junior year of high school. I suppose when one is passionate about her work, creativity flourishes. Take a closer look at each photograph. Spend time and view each with a detailed eye. You will know that these images are special.
Allysa Remington's dream is to travel third world countries, assisting in births (she is a Doula), and photographing "happy, laughing (and sometimes somber) children; children who live their lives with dignity."

Unfortunately, the website for Alyssa Remington's photography no longer exists.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Palm and Clouds

Another special evening in Silverlake - one evening among so many beautiful evenings on this side of Los Angeles.

Gaté, Gaté

In our last post, we forgot to add the prayer, relating to Buddha and, indirectly, to Kwan Yin. From the CD jacket insert, (Heart of Perfect Wisdom - A Sufi Song of Love), Robert Gass* writes:
"...Beyond The Beyond draws upon the sounds and tonalities of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, using both overtone chanting and Tibetan bells. On Gate Gate, these Eastern timbres are woven with modern American folk idioms, classical choral realizations, and some jazz chording. The resulting tapestry is, I believe, unique but true to the spirit of the chant and the lineage.
The primary chant is adapted from the famous "Heart of Perfect Wisdom" sutra. Also called the "Heart Sutra", it is chanted daily in Buddhist centers throughout the world. In this sutra, the Buddha is speaking to one of his chief disciples. The text is said to contain the essence of the Buddha's teachings. As one recites or listens to these sacred sounds, it is possible to pierce the delusive mind and open the to wisdom of the heart."
Gaté, gaté
para gaté
para sum gaté
bodhi, svaha!

Gone, gone
gone beyond
gone beyond the beyond
hail to the awakened one!

*Many musicians have performed this prayer. One of the most beautiful (not having heard all), in our opinion, is performed by, "On Wings of Song and Robert Gass". Also included within this CD is, A Sufi Song of Love.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Courtyard Kwan Yin

Our neighbor, when viewing our garden, suggested we now needed a female deity, such as Kwan Yin, to balance out our 2 Buddhas. Taking this as a challenge, we searched far and wide, until we came upon the correct Ms. Yin. Of course, it was decided that she needed her own space; one without any males present. (A powerful woman has no need for men.) So, we chose our courtyard as home for such an important deity.
Kwan Yin was not any ordinary deity. In fact, originally, she was not a "she" at all.  It is a historical fact that Ms. Yin is the Chinese version of the male god, Avalokiteshvara. Say that 3 times!
In both Tibet and India, this deity was initially recognized as a male. Interesting that this lovely creature evolved from male to female - or perhaps, may actually be a combination of the two genders. Who would have thunk it?
Kwan Yin is a compassionate goddess. However, the word, Karuna, (similiar to compassion)  has within it, "ru" from Sanskrit, meaning to weep. Karuna actually is more akin to the word, empathy, meaning that one internalizes the suffering and the pleasure of others. Or in the case of this avatar - it is a form of transmutation through the light of spirit, affected by her material form. This is why Kwan Yin was and is so beloved. She, in effect, is the iconic female - the World Mother, much like the Virgin Mary. She cares for all her children.
One last thing, which I found most interesting when researching Kwan Yin was that, often she was depicted with a moustache - perhaps, further proof that Ms. Yin may have been a Mr. However, her masculine side is negated by the softness of her appearance.
So, welcome home Kwan Yin. Believe me, this is the perfect place for you.
Statue from Design Toscano

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