Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year! (or February is finally over!)

Snowed again last night but my spirits are beginning to lift. While I was scraping my car off this morning, I heard a robin. Couldn't see him, but I knew he was there and he brightened my day. He's a sure harbinger of spring.

Spring must surely be around the corner. Now we just have to get through March when this city will turn into one giant grey slushie!

Also read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and I didn't feel so bad about surviving a long winter with modern conveniences. I think my grandmother grew up in a home with an outhouse. I can't begin to imagine using one all the time...

Today's quote comes from William Wordsworth: The birds pour forth their souls in notes, of rapture from a thousand throats.

And a joke for today:
Q: If you were stuck in a room with only a calendar, how would you survive?
A: Eat the dates and drink from the spring!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunsets on Lake Michigan

Sunsets on Bradford Beach, February 23, 2008. These two photos were taken with my cell phone and no adjustments have been made to these photos.

I love the pinks, oranges and blues. Notice that the surface of the lake is lighter than the pink shade in the sky. How cool is that?

A few moments later the color has changed yet again. Had I known that I'd be able to transfer these photos to my computer, I would have taken more because the light changed very quickly.

Went back to Bradford Beach on the lakefront today at the same time with my digital camera hoping to duplicate the colors. The water was too rough, I think.

Stormy water off Bradford Beach on November 21, 2007. I love the contrast between the stormy blue grey skies and the green water. Also taken with my cell phone and no alterations have been made to this photo.

I figured out how to connect my cell phone to my computer via Bluetooth! (Didn't read any directions - think I saw someone demonstrate it on the Today Show last week.) Once connected, it was easy to upload photos from the phone. That's good to know for future reference!

Today's quote comes from Frank Lloyd Wright: If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will Winter Ever End?

Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 21, 2008. Temperature 10 F.

For those of you who know me, you know that I love the ironic, absurd and strange things in life. The photo above illustrates this exactly. I know the sign is small - but it says NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY Swim at your own risk.

I don't know about you, but a frozen Lake Michigan beach in February with a beach that is covered in about six feet of snow and ice does not look appealing.

I also enjoy looking at the structure of a tree during the winter. This tree stands about 50 feet from the shore of Lake Michigan.

Lunar eclipse AP photo Feb 20, 2008

Watched the lunar eclipse last night. Very cool and amazing. Tried to photograph it, but some things are better left to film cameras instead of digitals. It was below zero here, so the sky was extremely clear.

Today's quote comes from George Bernard Shaw: I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Frost Photos

Frost is so transient. I saw these frost patterns sparkling in the sun this morning and they were gone about an hour later.

Today's quote comes from Goethe: Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Art Jewelry Magazine

Pearl Necklace IX by Yevgeniya Kaganovich Photo by Art Jewelry Magazine.

Art Jewelry Magazine's March 2008 issue featured my alma mater, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. The article's focus was on the resurgence of the metals department in the Peck School of Fine Arts. I graduated from UWM with a degree in Film and Video when that department was young. I'm happy to see the fine arts grow at UWM.

Click here to see some of the jewelry and metal work done by UWM instructors and students.

And for those of you who live in Milwaukee, the Peck School of Fine Arts is offering a lecture series that sounds really interesting.

Another quote for today comes from Picasso: If there is something to steal, I steal it!

Living in a Winter Wonderland!

Frost on my kitchen window. Feb 10 2008

Old man winter's just about got the best of me! This week has been a challenge for me - nearly 20" of snow on Wednesday, followed by more snow showers on Friday and Saturday and today it's been below zero all day.

Of course there are plenty of people who wait all year for this weather - ice fishermen, skiiers, sledders and skaters. I like to watch the snow fall.

It you want to make your own virtual snowflakes, click on this link! This is a very cool flash site. Enjoy!

Today's quote comes from Verna M. Kelley - Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Artist Charley Harper

All illustrations by Charley Harper.

I saw a piece on Sunday Morning that introduced me to an artist whose work is inspiring. Todd Oldham interviewed Charley Harper and I love Mr. Harper's interpretation of nature and science.

The hard edges he uses seem so 50s and 60s in style, yet his illustrations look completely modern - as if they had been created last week.

Today's quote comes from Steve Jobs: Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the result's of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Don't Forget Mardi Gras, Cher!

Krewe of Hermes - photo by John Donley.

Mardi Gras is very early this year - celebrate it on Tuesday, February 5.

The official colors for Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These colors were chosen in 1872 by the King of Carnival, Rex. He chose these colors to stand for the following:
Purple represents justice
Green stands for faith
Gold stands for power

My header is a giant Mardi Gras Bead I made after Katrina. I'll be wearing it on Tuesday!

Check out the Barkus Parade in the French Quarter - Pooches on Parade!

Here in Milwaukee people of Polish descent buy Packzis (which is pronounced poonch ki) - traditionally a prune-filled danish on the day before Ash Wednesday.

I'm celebrating by making a pot of red beans and rice and here's the recipe (not mine, but simple and good.)

4 cans red beans, drained
2 onions, chopped
1 c celery, finely chopped
1 lb andouille sausage (can substitute smoked sausage)
3 cloves garlic
cajun seasoning to taste

hot sauce to taste
6 green onions, chopped
cooked white rice

Put all of the first ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender (about two hours). Smash some of the beans to make the gravy.

Serve over hot white rice and garnish with green onions and some hot sauce. Put some South in yo mouth!

Today's Mardi Gras quote comes from Mark Twain: It (Mardi Gras) is a thing that could hardly exist in the practical North... for the soul of it is the romantic, not the funny and grotesque. Take away the romantic mysteries, the kings and knights and the big-sounding titles, and Mardi Gras would die, down there in the South.

February is Upon Us!

Milwaukee County Courthouse - what Frank Lloyd Wright (who sent in plans for a design for the courthouse) called a "Million Dollar Rock Pile." Ain't that the truth.

Well I made it through the entire month of January with nary a stop into any bead store or a JoAnn's or Michael's. My pocketbook is happy and a little fatter! I did it! I'm going to try another month, but I'm running out of a particular crystal that I use to make what may become my signature pin. I've already made 4 of them and the giftees all love them and wear them.

Haven't been beading so much lately - lots of year end clean up on the books at work which wears my eyes and my brain out. Going in shortly to finish more work without distractions. Soon the books will be closed for all intents and purposes and life can get back to normal.

Funny how easy it is to have one thing in your life that needs more attention at the moment and everything else takes a back seat until things cool down.

I'm going to try to get back to beading this week. Sometimes, though, you just need a break to come back at it fresh.

Today's quote comes from Bob Newhart: I was never a Certified Public Accountant. I just had a degree in accounting. It would require passing a test, which I would not have been able to do.