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Smile And Say . . . WOW! December 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

To see some amazing Travel Shots . . . Visit the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Gallery.

Prepare to be WOWED because some of the shots are out of this world!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Seriously, Smiles? December 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.
32 comments

grumpy_thinkingIn old photos, dating back to the 1820’s, few subjects smiled.

Some have conjectured that the lack of smiles correlated with the lack of dental care . . . or the long exposure times.

A recent article in TIME magazine suggests that it had more to do with the mores of the day:

Experts say that the deeper reason for the lack of smiles early on is that photography took guidance from pre-existing customs in painting—an art form in which many found grins uncouth and inappropriate for portraiture. Though saints might be depicted with faint smiles, wider smiles were “associated with madness, lewdness, loudness, drunkenness, all sorts of states of being that were not particularly decorous,” says Trumble.

And since most photographs had professional photographers behind the lens, they called the shots:

. . . high-end studio photographers would create an elegant setting and direct the subject how to behave, producing the staid expressions which are so familiar in 19th century photographs. The images they created were formal and befitted the expense of paying to have a portrait made, especially when that portrait might be the only image of someone.

So when did we start smiling in photos?

With the rise of snapshot photography!

“Take the camera out of the professional and put it into the hands of the snapshot photographer and then they can do whatever they want” says Gustavson.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Now You Know:  Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos?

Happy Holidays! December 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness.
20 comments

One of the new FREE apps I’ve tried ~> Paper 53.  It’s a FUN little app for drawing, sketching, painting, and creating personalized greeting cards for everyone on your list.

Here’s a sample of what it can do . . . with a little input from you:

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Tech Tip:  If you don’t want to set up an on-line account at the App Store with one of your regular credit cards, use a $25 or $50 VISA Gift Card instead.

Plitvice Lakes National Park October 31, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
31 comments

If my bucket list ever expands to include Croatia . . . Plitvice Lakes National Park is on my itinerary!

For more amazing images:  Plitvice Lake National Park

Aah . . . that’s better!

10 Weird & Wonderful Museums July 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
40 comments

If you’re taking a road trip this summer and need to get out and stretch your legs or rid yourself of pesky “numb butt” . . . here’s a list of wild and wacky sites to see:

10 Weird Museums Worth Stopping For (Allstate)

So, what’s on the list?

Everything from Bad Art (Boston) to Bananas (Mecca, CA)

From Dummies (Kentucky) to Einstein’s Brain (Philadelphia)

From Superman capes (Illinois) to Toy & Action Figures (Oklahoma)

From Funeral History (Houston) to Matchstick Marvels (Iowa)

From Aprons (Mississippi) to Potatoes (Idaho)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy the weird and the wonderful?  The wild and the wacky?  Are any of these ten sites calling YOUR name?

A “Tardy” Post June 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature.
39 comments

I took this photo in July 2012 while “stationed” in New Jersey for several weeks after my dad’s death.  I’m a bit “tardy” in sharing it with you.

At the time, the profusion of Black-eyed Susan blooms whispered:

Think of all the beauty still left around you and Be Happy.  ~ Anne Frank

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Here’s a “tardy” view from our front door of a single bloom.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

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I took this next shot in December 2015.

It’s taken me all that time to get over the shock of stumbling across this shocking Pepto Dismal Pink.

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It looks so much better is “dusty rose.”  See . . . even Flo the Flamingo agrees.

“Yo, Flo!  You’re looking fine-feathered, my friend.”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Green Is The New Black April 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Sustainable Living.
34 comments

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Decor Direct (in Sarasota) jumped on the eco-friendly repurposing bandwagon long before it was cool!

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As a result, it acquired lots and lots of wagon wheels . . . which it transformed into terrific table tops.

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Don’t need a table?  How ’bout a wagon wheel bench?

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Not a fan of wagon wheels?  No problem . . . use shutters.

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No room for a double-wide bench?  Consider a throne.

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Sunburn woes?  No worries, mon . . . dis Tiki Hut’s got ya covered!

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Aah . . . that’s Green!

7 Ways Creating Art Benefits Your Brain March 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
60 comments

200px-RealMotherGooseCreative expression is good for us.

Art has helped people with anxiety, depression, addictions, PTSD, chronic pain, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s.

And it’s FUN!

Here are 7 Ways Creating Art Benefits Your Brain:

#1 Stress reduction ~ creating art gives your brain a break by focusing your mind and pushing worries aside.

It’s relaxing, meditative, and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

#2 Art stimulates the brain to create new neurons and synapses, improving connections, communication, and memory.

#3 Art increases the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine, which boosts drive, focus, and concentration.  Dopamine helps ward off depression and protects the brain from aging.

Mr. Weiss Classroom#4 Art increases brain plasticity, fluid intelligence, IQ, and attention.

It enhances cognitive abilities and memory even for people with brain disorders.

#5 Art immerses us in the NOW as we go with the flow and enjoy the journey.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein

#6 Art lets us forget our troubles and express our feelings.

#7 “Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  The Mental Health Benefits of Art for Everyone

Photographs & Memories December 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
37 comments

_0001aMemories are funny beasts.

Resurrecting sad moments may encourage sorrow to re-surface.

But even the happiest memories can make us sad as we reminisce about “the way we were.”

Moreover, memories are easily misfiled, mislaid, muddled up, and manipulated.

For a fascinating (and memorable) article about the way photographs erase and distort our memories:

Shutterbug Parents and Overexposed Lives (New York Times, 2/22/15)

Cheshire_Cat_TennielWhen we disrupt an experience to capture a photo, it hinders our ability to store the memory intact.

As Dr. Linda Henkel, the noted psychologist, notes:

“We’re collecting trophies of our experiences rather than being engaged in the experiences.”

Now, smile and say, “This is NOT a Kodak moment.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Hop On The Bus, Gus! December 1, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.
49 comments

J.K. Rowling gave a commencement speech at Harvard one year.

In that speech she said, “You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.”

I agree with her . . . and with Oprah.

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Island Trolley by Barbara Hines ~ Anna Maria Island Art