“The Full Moon of May brings bright brushes to paint the Earth canvas with infinite flowers. In the Full Moon light of this month, the flowers are said to grow at night, and even dance in honor of the moon.”
As Spring blows in across the Northern Hemisphere, liquifying the last bits of ice and snow, rainbow-colored water droplets begin to penetrate thawing ground. If you have hearing like Kat, you’d be able to detect a distinctive “unzipping” noise made by thirsty compacted soil as its pores open wide to receive the welcome runoff. All this soil soaking and swelling creates an underground uproar; hundreds of thousands of micro- and macroscopic critters wake from their winter slumber to get on with their important job of soil building.
The saying, “as the worm turns,” now assumes the literal meaning. Earthworms and their kin play a crucial role in soil development as they “worm” their way around under the earth’s surface.
Ahhhh! February …. long celebrated as the most romantic month of the year. If this rings true for you, why? Is this the month when hugs and kisses are most popular? Maybe it’s more about exchanging flowers, cards and a giant heart-shaped box of chocolates? No matter the reason, apparently what began as a pagan celebration way, way back in the year 270 AD, was officially designated as a “romantic holiday” in 1375 by the English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, in his poem “Parliament of Foules.” If nothing else, his “designation” kicked off an annual tradition of card giving, at the very least.
And what about the cards? Remember those vintage Valentine’s cards shared with hopeful wannabe elementary school classmates? Then this card giving thing morphed into pastel colored candy hearts with sayings like “Be Mine” ….. “U R Cute” …. “Crazy 4U.” Do candy hearts still exist today? If so, would they say “Text Me” …. “Ur Tweet is Sweet” …… or maybe “Friend Me on FB.”
Flambé is not into flowers or candy (much), but she does have a few lovers and tons of friends. So in honor of all her followers, whether romantically inclined or otherwise, she’s just popping in to wish everyone a wonderfully romantic Valentine’s Day!
I usually don’t commit to a single word to spark my inspiration for an entire year … there are so many! But, as this is the beginning of a brand New Year, and so many New creative and adventurous opportunities lie ahead, I’ve decided to challenge myself with discovering all things “New!” Ta-da …. My word for 2023 is officially “New!”
I’m constantly inspired by my creative friends who dare to explore New ways to express themselves …… Elaine who writes beautiful and sometimes unusual poetry …… Susan, Jane and all of my Zentangle friends, who turn inked lines into magic ….. and last, but far from least, Karen, a wonderful artist, kayaker and outdoor enthusiast, who captures her discoveries and adventures in her nature journals (visit Karen’s blog and see for yourself! https://iamchasingbutterflies.wordpress.com).
And of course there’s my Konstant Kat, Flambé, who pushed and prodded me to create a New image of her curious and playful side. So I opened a New journal to celebrate 2023, and redressed Kat anew. A smiling Flambé must mean a good beginning to this New Year, right!
Now for the hard part …… I’ll strive to break out of my usual-usual, and explore New-to-Me things, along with trying some New approaches to my journaling and art. I’m certain Flambé will be keeping an eye on me, and I hope you do too. Stay tuned!
Thank you followers ….. for being there and also for encouraging me to carry on. I’d love to know what you like about my posts and what you’d like to see more of and/or New. What and who will inspire and challenge you to be your best during this year-long journey that lies ahead as we take another spin together around the Sun aboard planet Earth?
Wishing you an exciting 2023, full of happiness and health, and most of all laughter and fun!
But underground, plant roots fest ….. Winter is for fun.
Today’s the day, Earth’s tip at max ….. Solstice is upon us.
Sunlight grows, it bounces back ….. Time to raise a ruckus……
What is a Solstice and Why.
Ancient astronomers, noticing that when the Sun reached either its highest (Summer) or lowest (Winter) point in the sky for the year, appeared to stand still. They came to know these two days as “solstice,” a word that combines the Latin “sol” for Sun and “sistere” for To Stand Still.
Contrary to common thinking, the Solstice doesn’t last a full calendar day. Instead, it lasts only a brief moment before the earth begins to right itself, causing daylight hours to either shorten (Summer Solstice) or lengthen (Winter Solstice). And depending on where you live, the change in daylight hours can be swift (8-9 minutes/day above the Arctic Circle), to less than 1 minute/day as you near the equator.
The Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice 2022, occurs Wednesday, December 21st. Also known as the hibernal (from the Latin hibernalis which means anything wintery) solstice or The Longest Night, it’s the time when the Earth reaches it maximum tilt away from the sun. The Winter Solstice, the day the sun is as far south as possible, marks the official beginning of astronomical winter (as opposed to meteorological winter, which starts about three weeks prior to the solstice). And just for fun ….. stand outside at noon on December 21st, and if the sun is shining take a look at your shadow. This will be the longest shadow you’ll cast for the whole year!
Solstice marks the changing of seasons, and has been cause for celebration in many cultures over hundreds of years.
On this day of Thanksgiving, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to all of my creative friends and acquaintances who have encouraged and inspired me along my artistic journey. Whether you realize it or not, without your pushing and nudging, cheering and challenging, I might still be stuck in a causality loop of repetitive and, dare I say, boring attempts at something resembling art. Because of you, I’ve crossed the threshold of humdrum “wanna’ be” to humbly admitting myself “artist.” You know who you are, for you are all many and amazing! From my active Zentangle days to today’s infatuation with nature journaling, this post is dedicated to you.
But today I pause to pay special tribute to a remarkable woman, Jo Flaherty. An amazing artist with a beautiful grasp of design and color, Jo was a master of the flow and rhythm of even the most complex of Zentangle patterns. She prolifically created works of tangled beauty, but also knew how to have serious fun in her art-making, all while exploring new methods and media. Jo was a natural teacher, coach and mentor, and we spoke numerous times to discuss her various techniques involving composition and color blending. Always willing to provide caring critique and advice on approaches to my work, Jo was extremely influential in my evolving style of art. Even today There are hints of “Jo” peeking through my journal pages. Such an inspiration!
The devastatingly sad news of Jo’s passing earlier this month was such a shock. She will be greatly missed in the art and Zentangle community as a wonderful artist and friend to so many. We all need a hearty dose of “Jo” in our lives, and I’m so glad she graciously and selflessly took me under her wing all those years ago.
Salvatore Dali said it perfectly ……. “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” This was (and in so many ways, still is) Jo. Someday I hope to follow in her artistic footsteps.
From the bottom of my heart ….. thank you Jo Flaherty (1953-2022)
Love those who’ve inspired you. Their gift is priceless.