Hot Air and Meatballs

If you were hoping for meatballs, i apologize for the false advertising.  There are no meatballs here.  I just didn’t know what to call my post, and I’m hungry… so meatballs came to mind.

But I hope you will stick around because I have plenty of hot air.  Just some photos taken a few weekends ago at a local festival.

I can’t believe I have lived in Connecticut all my life, and never knew the festival existed or that they had these early morning launches once a year… but a friend at work mentioned it.  Often on my lunch hour, I go walking at Norton Park down the street from our office. The event takes place at this park.  The park is nice enough… I really enjoy my walks there.  But that morning it was transformed into one of the most amazing places I have ever been.

I rolled out of bed at 5am on a Sunday (which would typically be unheard of for my lazy ass) and decided I was not missing my opportunity to witness the annual balloon launch. My husband opened one eye wondering where the hell I was going at this hour, and begrudgingly, but surprisingly offered to join me.  (I hadn’t really invited him since, not in a million years, did i think he would get up that early to go with me.)  It was still dark as I rushed him out of the house, my heart racing that I would miss the launch… but we got there and hadn’t missed a thing.  One by one, two by two, they came to life… and floated away.

There are really no words I can write to share with you how amazing that morning was.  I felt like I was in a cartoon.  My pictures might explain it a little better… and yes, that little white dot is the moon.  But you have to see it with your own eyes to really get it.

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It was so worth getting out of bed.

xo skyblue

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Tree at Norton Park

Please learn more about the festival here!  I think you can even sign up for ride!!

The Top Ten Reasons Skyblue loves ~ SHE HAS TROUBLE WITH NUMBERS ~ by Joann Loftus

I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds of online contests on blogs, facebook, instagram… but never considered entering one.  I guess if it’s not a million dollars, or a date with Mark Wahlberg, i’m not really interested.  I just really don’t want any more stuff.

A few weeks back though, I did enter one of those online contests.  I just happened across it, cruising through my feed, and for the first time I was like… “hell yah! sign me up!!” The very talented, inspiring artist, Joann Loftus was giving away a print…any print!  A hand embelleshed print of one of her original mixed media paintings, which i absolutely drool over.  Yup. I occasionally drool over art.  And, Mark Wahlberg.  Enough about him though… I won the art!! And I just wanted to tell the world!!!

It came in the mail wrapped up in this delicious paper with a special note on one of her sweet cards. (her painting Create)

IMG_4646I couldn’t WAIT to open it.

Rewind about a year… my husband and I did a lot of work remodeling our bedroom.  It was my first little attempt at being a “designer”.  I had this vision that just wouldn’t go away.

I had become passionate about the project… Together we made it happen, and it became a huge part of a healing process we were going through after some health issues.   The room was transformed from mostly-dreadful to semi-delightful, but with a severe lack of funds, the project came to a screeching halt before my favorite part of the design… the ART!!!  I knew there had to be art, that wasn’t my own, that I hadn’t seen yet.  When I saw it, I would know.

IMG_4660I brought up this back story because it is important for you to understand how excited I am having added the first piece of art (besides a few of my own which don’t count) to our Bohemian Zen bedroom.  When I saw the contest Joann had posted, I knew I wanted one of her pieces in our bedroom.

Most artists would agree, nothing says appreciation for someone’s art like forking over some well-earned dough.  Since I wouldn’t be paying for this piece, I wanted to somehow express how much I really did appreciate it.  Sending a heartfelt email just didn’t seem enough.  So I broke out a top ten list… written especially for Joann, and pasted it into the email.  I was pretty sure this whole thing was a scam, since it seemed much to good to be true, but I sent the email with my painting of choice.

It was not an easy or instant decision…I can relate deeply to so many of her pieces (Create was actually the first runner-up!)… but without a doubt it was meant to be, She Has Trouble with Numbers.

IMG_4669So here is the top ten list…

The Top Ten Reasons I love She Has Trouble With Numbers, by Joann Loftus

1. This was the first Loftus I ever saw.
2. I didn’t much love my short curly hair that wouldn’t grow out after chemo.  I liked her short “curly-ish” hair when i first saw her.  It made me like mine more.
3. She reminds me of me.  I’m terrible at math.  I mean really terrible.  It gives me hives.
4. She has daisies on her cheeks.  Heaven knows, I love daisies.
5. She will look so pretty in my bedroom.
6. The painting reminds me of my husband, who is fantastic at math.  He helped me “double” a recipe today.
7. The colors are amazing.  They remind me of our quilt, a gift from my mom. She, like my husband, is excellent at math and does our taxes like a CPA Ninja.
8. The painting reminds me of my dad, who, like me, is also terrible at math.
9. Did I say, I love the colors?
10. I can’t stop looking at her.  I feel like she was painted especially for me.IMG_4671
… when Trouble arrived in the mail last week, she was even more lovely than on my computer screen.  I knew she belonged in this room. She has found her home right next to my bed… and next to my alarm clock.  The numbers 5:13(am) could not be more troublesome.
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Anyway, more than that, I love that I see her everyday first thing when i wake up, and just before i turn the lights out.  She’s home.
Thank you Joann.  I can’t wait to save up for my next Loftus!
xo,
skyblue
***
Please find a piece for your own home, or for someone you love at Joann’s Etsy store and see what she’s up to on her Facebook page.
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Let’s stop for a moment, as Autumn light fades.

Summer is long gone.  Fall is nearly devoid of all color.  New England is known for its breathtaking foliage and autumn wonder, but the window is small.  It feels like i blinked and the color was gone.  Last weekend, I knew it would be my last chance of the year to enjoy the warm sunshine and colors in my yard.  Tiny still-lifes everywhere. I didn’t want these moments it to go unappreciated and forgotten.

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Sure enough, here it is the following weekend, and the grey veil has settled upon us.  The sky is drab, the blossoms are shriveled, and the trees are almost bare.  Sandy threatens to wipe out what remains.  It will be cold and grey for the next five months.  Goodbye color and light…for now.  This is where art comes in.

“Dawn’s Garden” sky blue

Stay safe in the storm.

xo skyblue

The (Most Adorable) Elephant Parade

For those who might like to escape for a few minutes to Happy Land… what? so, i happen to think there would be hundreds of the most adorable colorful elephants in Happy Land…

Elephant Parade

linked from the lovely Little London Observationist.

Thanks for stopping in today.

peace. love. and happy elephants.

ejl x.o.

My heart in full color

I often wonder what it must be like to not love art… to not love creating.  I can’t even imagine it.  People seem to think i am part yoga hippie,part crazy cat lady, and part health nut.  I have no idea why people think I’m a health nut. I had a raspberry danish, two cups of coffee, a glass of root beer, and a large handful of m&ms today.  The other descriptions are pretty accurate i would say.  A day of fun for me would be a few hours at the flea market, another few hours painting in my studio, and another hour or two doing yoga and belly dance.

I was thrilled to spend a few hours in my studio this weekend.  As I worked on a couple of paintings, I found myself asking,  “Why do I love art so much?  Why do i long to spend all the hours of daylight in my studio, sketching, gluing, painting…

I haven’t figured out exactly how to answer that question.  But i decided (for once) I would not judge every stroke, and second guess every color choice, and worry if my paintings would be good enough, or if they would have anything worthwhile to say… I would instead simply enjoy each stroke, and notice the juxtaposition of colors and shapes.  I would just get lost in my paint and let my brushes speak what is in my heart.

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These are some close-ups of the series i’m working on for my living room.  I love the way paint and canvas unite to make the most interesting patterns and textures from the close-up perspective.  More to come i hope.  Happy Monday!

e.j.l. xo

Christmas Happens

I am a hot-HOT mess during the holiday season.  Every year this is so.  I do not adorn my house in lights.  I do not put up any trees or tinsel.  i do not even send out cards anymore. I am just not good at what has become “Christmas”.  Trying to find the energy to go to work every day, when every moment of your free time becomes – shopping, baking, wrapping, frosting, traveling, coordinating, buying, cleaning, planning, rushing, organizing, mailing, cooking, standing in obnoxious lines… I long to simplify this madness.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with the madness.  I am just simply not good at it, I can’t seem to find the energy for it, and I have not figured out how to not go into debt more and more every single year because of it.  I know it is not healthy when I start worrying about it in August, only to become paralyzed from about November 15th straight through until January 1st, just before the New England winter really starts to suck and I start to stress out about tax season. (-:

Regardless of my obvious aversion to this red-green-and-glitter covered-money-making-machine mania we call Christmas, I am blessed beyond words.  Much of my trouble keeping up during this season, is self-induced drama, stemming from procrastination, poor planning, laziness, and forgetfulness. Looking through my photos today, i realized i am easily distracted… by the most ridiculous things.  It is a wonder I get anything done.  I tend to fall in love with the most random moments… i want to draw them, i want to write a poem about them, I want to take photos of them.

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In between my hot flashes in the mall…are the fantastic surprises, delicious food, family gatherings, and sweet moments.  This is the only way i know how to even slightly express my gratitude to the universe…

e.j.l. xo

Brooklyn Flea – Check!

so i never did write about my afternoon at the Brooklyn Flea, did i?

I’m not one to create a bucket list, but if i had one, this would be on it… several times.  If you read “Big Lights…” you heard that i spent a lovely weekend in NYC a few months back with some of my dearest loved ones.  During our jam-packed fun-filled weekend, these people were sweet enough to spend a few hours with me, weaving through countless rows of humble, hand made treasures & forlorn, unwanted stuff, begging for someone to love them… give them new life, a hip home.  I have fantasized about spending time at the The Flea ever since i saw a TV story about the two guys who started it, and the people who pursue their creative, entrepreneurial dreams there.  I really couldn’t believe i was at The Brooklyn Fleeeeeeea!!!  I tried to document how happy i felt to be there.

Although i love my tiny home in the suburbs, i long to walk out my front door and find something unexpected around ever corner for miles and miles, in every direction.  Colorful people, interesting architecture, giant art…So much to enjoy and take photos of.  Maybe if the Brooklyn Flea was in my backyard, I would not see the magic that is there, behind rusted chain link fences… the weathered objects modestly posing for passers by, the humming voices of friends and strangers, the delicious smells and warm sunshine. My only wish about that day is that i had some cash to burn… maybe next time.  This time i was happy to stroll through with my point-n-shoot, and take in the invigorating energy that i was surrounded by.  This was a good day… made even better by the Ample Hills ice-cream.

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If I did have a bucket list, it would not be filled with sky diving adventures, extreme mountain climbing or triathlons.  This is just not me.

It would, however, be filled with the most colorful places, and the most creative friendly faces.  And i would find a way to include lots of cupcakes and ice-cream.

Have a good day… a really good day.

e.j.l. xo

What would be on your list?  Have you done anything on it yet?

http://www.brooklynflea.com/

http://www.inc.com/articles/201105/small-business-success-stories-brooklyn-flea.html

http://amplehills.com/

Supakitch & Koralie on littlecommas.wordpress.com

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was fantastic, thanks!

Since I’m having trouble uploading pics this week, I will just share a post found on this great blog littlecommas@wordpress in case you missed it on Freshly Pressed.  (Besides, I wanted to try the Press This function.  What great fun!)  I love all the content on this site and I am now a follower… but this post I found to be particularly inspiring.  One more thing for me to be grateful for…getting to see this video.  This is a lovely dance if I’ve ever seen one. Thank you, thank you!!

Enjoy!

e.j.l. xo

Supakitch & Koralie.

p.s. Congrats littlecommas getting Freshly Pressed!

Big lights will inspire you

Nothing energizes me and exhausts me, so acutely and simultaneously, as a busy weekend in New York City…especially a gorgeous sunny October weekend.  I can barely walk afterwards, i always gain about five pounds, but I can’t stop thinking about it’s beauty for days and weeks afterwards.  Beautiful streets, beautiful people…my senses max out as i try to take in every building, every face, every color, every word in lights.  I’d add, every smell… but there a few of those I could do without.  Many are delicious and lovely of course!  I feel like i am being yanked in fifty directions by sticky peanuts, greasy hotdogs, giant cookies, and tiny cupcakes.  Did I mention the pizza and ice-cream?  Ample Hills, Brooklyn, Shout-Out!!!

I often long to live in the city, to be able to experience it’s rich brilliance day in and day out, to be able to walk outside for miles and miles.  But visiting is pretty great too.  I tend to take a LOT of photos while i am there.  Someday I’ll get my “real” camera, and a clue how to use it, but for now I must express myself with my husband’s point and shoot.   This past weekend in NYC was especially breathtaking.  Thanks for coming with me, Amanda! Thanks again for having us Mel, Sean and Teru!

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absolutely inspired, sore as f*ck, and always hungry,

e.j.l. xOO

p.s. i think the only thing i forgot to take a picture of was the Ample Hills ice-cream shop in Brooklyn… i was very distracted.

p.s.s.  Brooklyn Flea… I did not forget about you!  I will save a separate blog post just for you!  (-:

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

Michelangelo

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I had this piece of wood.  I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…

It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio.  It was a Saturday, my favorite day.  I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision.  There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…

And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood.  she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt.  i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing.  i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there.  i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling.  at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait.  I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish.  then i just started painting.   When she emerged, I was her.  She was me… the dancer inside me.  She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was.  But there was some sadness in her eyes.   i named her Daisy.

i have danced on and off my whole life.  Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good.  I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void.  In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80.  For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs…  just no dancing.  I was surely never going to dance again.  i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.

It seems Daisy came into my life just in time.  She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing.  I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer.  i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way.  Each plie, at my own pace.  Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose.   I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing.  it would heal my body.  it would heal my spirit.  and i might even wear a bikini again!

Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy.  My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again.  I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more.   Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated.  Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves.  But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her.  What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her.  And now she is free.  Still a little sad sometimes, but free.

e.j.l. xo

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p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels.  I just liked the quote. (-:

Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”?  Did it effect your life in some way?