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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.
58 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

Florida Scenes August 19, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor.
38 comments

A crowded Palma Sola Causeway serves as control central for the annual Bottle Boat Regatta.

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Boats float using recycled 2-liter plastic soda bottles as flotation devices.  Unless they don’t, float.

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Cows seldom enter.  They’re not interested in rowing boats or “bragging rights.”

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Downing grass and chewing cud from first light to last light consumes them.  Makes sense . . .

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Even if stomach #1 is stuffed to overflowing, they’ve got other tummies on “stand-by.”

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Florida’s fields of green and grain alternate with miles and miles of shoreline.

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Gator sightings are common along the banks.  In fact, you can almost bank on it.  (Less common are Crocs wearing Crocs.)

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Hear rustling in the reeds?  Get ready to *snap* that shot.

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Idle Gators love to smile and say, “Let Go My Leg-o!”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

MASHterFULL MASHterPIECES! August 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink.
48 comments

Art Center Sarasota invited us to MASHterPIECES ~ an event co-sponsored by Goodwill.  Participating artists upcycled art purchased from Goodwill, putting their own spin on it.

Other galleries displayed original pieces in all manner of mediums.

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Having a glass of wine or other adult beverage in hand enhances the Art Viewing experience for us.

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As does nibbling on nibbles.

At MASHterPIECES, the caterer set up a MASHterFUL Mashed Potato Bar.

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With all the fixings!

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We soaked up some delightful art with a side of smashed tatties.

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With all the fixings!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

How do you like your potatoes?  In the jacket . . . or out?

A Safari @ Lowry Park Zoo June 4, 2015

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

Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa is a family friendly place with animals, rides, educational shows, and splash fountains for kids.

“I kid, you not.”

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We went a few weeks ago to talk with the animals.

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First stop, the Safari Explorer to ride through the Savannah.

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We saw giraffes and zebras.

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Rhinos and elephants.

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Turtles and tortoises.

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We saw curious critters.

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And others more standoffish and aloof.

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We saw animals napping.

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And eating.

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Or waiting to be fed.

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“Lettuce lets us help ourselves.”

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We walked the Florida Boardwalk and saw otters, bears, and deer.

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And sunbathing reptiles.

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Decorated for Zoominations, pathways overflowed with colorful balloon elephants.

Some large.

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Some small.

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All guarded by lions.

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The Blessing for Fortune and Safety

These elephants and their lion guards represent a world of peace and harmony which we wish to express to you all!

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We saw Dragons and Peacocks.

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Pandas.

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Flowers and Fish.

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And more.

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As soon as we got home, we showered.  We felt a bit “gamey” after hanging around animals all day.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Calm Self-Awareness May 27, 2015

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

Many folks think that MORE achievement will bring them MORE money to buy MORE things which they believe will bring them MORE happiness.

Often they are disappointed as they tick the boxes and find that they are MORE stressed and LESS happy.

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Be honest with yourself. The world is not honest with you. The world loves hypocrisy. When you are honest with yourself you find the road to inner peace.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

When we’re tapped into our authentic self / our inner artist, we’re in tune with a “higher vibration” that allows life to flow.

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Remaining mindful of our thoughts (to make sure they don’t lead us down the wrong road) pays dividends ~> think of all the time and energy we save by not driving around endless loops, taking divergent detours, and/or getting stuck watching tedious replays.

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Calm self-awareness allows the Tao to surface and illuminate our journey as the path unfolds before us.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Post:  Be Honest With Yourself (The Middle Ground)

Stuff By Us December 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, People.
46 comments

Don’t get the wrong idea . . . we don’t spend all our time sitting on our hands waiting for others to gift stuff to us.  Sometimes we make it!

In high school, I hooked this rug (which gives you an inkling of where I wanted to live).

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BFF made this bookcase which we use as a table in the front hall.

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I cross-stitched this small sampler which hangs in the kitchen.

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BFF made a second bookcase for my office.

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I cross-stitched this large sampler which may be adopted out soon.

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Or not.  We’ll see.

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Here’s a built better by BFF bench that sits by the front door.

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Two more benches we used as coffee tables are patiently waiting in the closet to be repurposed.

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I sewed the button Christmas tree next to this copper teapot.

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We didn’t make this bench . . . but it’s the first antique we purchased after we got married.

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This Scottish seaman’s trunk is 400 years old.  It stores all my Santas and Christmas decorations “out of season.

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I painted this Whimsical WELCOME.

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And this little patchwork Christmas tree (next to the Santa).

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One year, I painted 12 Santas as gifts and kept one in a blue coat holding a wreath (far right).

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I decorated 13 of these trees one year to give as gifts.  I kept one.

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And last (and least) I painted the Christmas tree in a thimble stand that keeps my Christmas Critters company in front of a few more favorite heirlooms and keepsakes . . . BOOKS!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you have heirlooms that you enjoy all year and others that emerge only at the holidays?

Related posts:  Making Your Dreams Come True * What Have You Created Lately? * Why Do We Keep Stuff? * When Pigs Fly * Adults Have All The Fun . . . NOT! * Sense and Nonsense * My Rogues Gallery * My Blue Period

Keepsakes From Nieces, Nephews, Friends December 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, People.
25 comments

Over the years, we’ve received arts and crafts projects from nieces, nephews, and friends which we pull out and enjoy every Christmas.

Here’s “My First Santa,” carved by Earl E. Dix in 1994, next to a Christmas Tree with working lights crafted by Jane Nast, circa 1986.

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Jane Nast’s angels and wreaths adorn our “big” tree which sits on the Tilt Top Table made by dad.  My sister-in-law Laura cross-stitched the tree skirt.  The blue scarf belonged to Great Aunt Edie.

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Long before we moved to Florida, our niece Sarah presented us with a trio of alligators and a beady eyed snake.

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Her older sister Emily gave us a stocking to hang by the chimney with care.  Since we don’t have a chimney, we hang it on the hutch.

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Jessica, who just hosted us for Thanksgiving, did this adorable needlepoint of a cat eyeing a canary.

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Andrew presented us with a hand-print reindeer (in the basket on the bottom shelf of this refinished table from Vermont).

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Knowing my love of zebras, Sarah painted me one with a purple sun.

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A talented illustrator, Jan Philpott, painted Ziggy the Zebra for me.

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She also painted this “Think Pink” beach scene for us.

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Mike Jenkins sketched this caricature of me in college.

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And Nicki Gioseffi gave us this gift from the heart.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Family Heirloom (Grannymar)

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