I’ve been absent from my blog for a very long time now for a variety of reasons. Life has a way of taking some twists and turns and for a longer period of time than I wanted, I lost my muse and my voice. I’ve managed to continue to post my daily Instagrams, which is good for my creative side, but for a period of time the words for a blog just simply haven’t been there.
I was, however, introduced to the art form of Zentangle last year about this time and I found it to be very calming and absorbing. Each tile begins with a few basic lines and I usually have an idea of where I’m going with them, but they very seldom end up there. The process seems to take on a life of its own and my finished work usually surprises me.
Since 1980 I’ve crafted valentines for a small group of people that feel I’ve connected with on an artistic level, or perhaps they just seem to understand something about me that I can’t quite explain. The list stayed small in number because I never wanted the valentines to be mass produced but each year I make a few extras. Last year some complete strangers get those extras. I carried them with me as I was out and about on February 14th and it was a fun twist to gift them to someone who had no idea who I was. Some years it’s a proximity thing…..a valentine might be given to someone that has come into my life for a season for whatever reason.
If you’d like to read the history of the valentines click here. It’s one of three posts that tell their story. Part two is here and you’ll find part three here.
Most years the valentines are all the same, sometimes each one is different. That is the case this year and thus, the reason for this blog post. I thought the recipients might want to see the others, to understand just how unique each one is. I put them into envelopes before I addressed them so in essence, each one chose it’s recipient. Not all of them made the cut as valentines but I’m including them so you can see the variety of the work. Plus, I just wanted to see all of them in one place.
Valentine’s Day is most often thought of in romantic terms. I prefer for it to be a day on which I simply let people know I love them on one of the many, many levels that love blesses my life.
Who needs ruby slippers when you can wear gold shoes?
These were proudly worn by a sweet little girl in front of me at the grocery store a few days ago and she very happily let me take a picture of them.
I could really use a pair of gilded shoes about now. Tapping then together probably wouldn’t transport me anywhere and I wouldn’t suddenly be dancing the night away just because I was wearing them but they would definitely make my heart smile.
Again, a gentle reminder that it’s the little things.
Life has been barreling along at a hundred miles an hour lately, a definite change in pace from the years right after my husband retired from the military. It seems I’ve been saying “yes” far too often lately.
In addition to that the universe at large, or perhaps just the algorithms that be, decided to send all the emails about blogs that I follow which includes this weekly photo challenge, into my junk file, so I was behind the power curve for this post.
Which is all just a long explanation as to why I’m using a photo from the past instead of something new this week.
This young lady is now four and a half but this is one of my very favorite pictures of her and her parents, taken from behind, as they shared a very tender moment.
Sometimes being behind or perhaps seeing a scene from behind, is a good thing. And sometimes being behind the power curve results in revisiting a very good memory.
I found a monarch caterpillar on my tropical milkweed several weeks ago and brought her inside, hoping to keep her safe while she grew and fed and made her transformation to a butterfly.
In this photo she’s a fifth instar, attaching herself to the top of her enclosure, ready to molt for the last time and enter the chrysalis stage.
Here she is eight days later. During the chrysalis stage the caterpillar liquifies inside the cocoon and reorganizes, almost magically transforming into a butterfly. Even after decades of research, scientists admit that the details of this metamorphosis are not completely understood.
I’ve always enjoyed flying on cloudy days. The fascination never lessens for me but my flight on Monday was unusually mesmerizing.
Layer upon layer of clouds accompanied us as we slid through the atmosphere and my gaze was riveted on the ever-changing skyscape.
On this particular flight my mind was on this week’s photo challenge which had me exploring the latest version of my phone and what it had to offer in the way of video and pictures that move.
Life on terra firma has lately been confusing and sad and much too busy and so it was a welcome interlude to recently be up there among these magnificent vistas where my mind and heart could rest, if only for a few hours.