Saturday, January 30, 2010

City Hall, Philadelphia

(Creative EveryDay/Flickr Project 365 photo for 1/29/10)
City Hall, Philadelphia
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Take a deep breath and smile...

(Creative EveryDay/Flickr Project #365 photo for 1/30/10)
My girls are asleep...I'm listening to steady in and out of their breath. I've been searching for quiet moments...found one and now I'm savoring it. Quiet moments...connections...future themes to explore with Creative EveryDay and Flickr Project 365... For now...I just listen...and breathe.
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Paper rose...

This photo is taken from this pretty paper heart ornament given to Paul and I for our wedding.  We've always put it on the Christmas tree.  This year it is staying out as a Valentine's Day decoration.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Morning Sky Blessings...

(Professional photographers and knowledgeable amateurs need not read any further -- in fact, don't!)

~Still reading????  OK, you've been warned, though!~

I took this photograph!!!  
I touched it up in Picassa and LOOK!!!  
Isn't it beautiful?!  


Well, Mother Nature made it, but I made this photo!  
This is the morning sky photographed from my deck door on 1/26/2010.  It had rained torrents the day before and there was so much motion in the sky as the storm swirled away and the sun prepared to rise:

And, look, here's the whole view.  It's such a blessing to see a morning like this one.

Blessings all around...hug someone you love!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paper star...

This pretty paper star was given to me recently by a dear, lovely person.  Isn't it beautiful!  Imagine the patience needed to create this!  This friend of mine is fantastically artistic -- she's talented in so many ways (this just nicks the surface).  And she shares of herself so graciously and generously.  One of her many gifts is working with young children -- it's magical to see her interact with little ones!  This friend inspires me to live more authentically and creatively as well as with courage and caring.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a kinder soul!

I've been trying to capture the star for many days now.  It was never quite right.  And, then, yesterday an abundant rain poured in sheets just bursting upon my window.  The lighting was perfect and I just love how the star looks with the pouring rain as a backdrop (no pun intended!). 

Knock, knock...

This fantastic specimen is the door knocker from our old front door.  We had to replace the door this past fall.  We forgot to take down the knocker!!  We phoned the contractor -- he had tossed the whole door, knocker included, into a dumpster.  We had the nerve to ask if by any chance it could be retrieved.  He said he might just possibly try...

Days and days passed...and then one day it appeared on the door step.  We are so grateful to have it back.  It's a beauty!  We aren't ready to give it a more permanent home...for now it looks lovely on the living room book cases. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

the possibility of the miracle is here with us almost every day

60 yard pass
by Charles Bukowski

most people don’t do very well and I get discouraged with
their existence, it’s such a waste:
all those bodies, all those lives
malfunctioning: lousy quarterbacks, bad waitresses,
in-competent carwash boys and presidents,
cowardly goal-keepers inept garage mechanics
bumbling tax accountants
and so forth
now and then
I see a single performer doing something with a
natural excellence
it can be
a waitress in some cheap cafe or a 3rd string
coming off the bench with 24 seconds on the clock
and completing that winning
60 yard pass
which lets me believe that
the possibility of the miracle is here with us
almost every day
and I’m glad that now and then
some 3rd string quarterback
shows me the truth of that belief
whether it be in science, art, philosophy,
medicine, politics, and/or etc.
else I’d shoot all the lights out of
this fucking city
right now

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bottles, part 1

Bottles, part one.

I have a lot of bottles.
They are all sentimental.
Paul has dug them out of various places for me over the years.
I love to use them in our home.
I love the way they reflect the light.
In any season, they just look right.
So, there'll be more bottle shots, I'm sure.
Someday, I'd like to make a spirit bottle tree.  

painting of this type of bottle tree by Regina Halushka made for 
the Bottle Tree Beer Company.

The first time I saw one was in the movie WinnDixie.  I've since learned they are a form of folk art in the American South, having originated from Africa.  I prefer the dangly ones like these.
We'll see...I'll be sure to post it if I make it happen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Old Fashioned Water Bottle...

Today's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Objects" photo:

Paul procured this for me soon after we made our home in Bethany.  

It's a water container from the New York/New Haven and Hartford Railroad.  

See, cool, huh?

Photographed outside in the winter sun, it often travels around our home and is currently stationed in the living room where it holds cat toys on fishing poles (abuse of antiques!).

Here's a great shot of a New York/New Haven and Hartford car from *julia at Flickr.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Doctor's orders...

Today's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo:

When I was pregnant with Emma, I had a terrible cold/cough/sinus infection thing going early on.  This is a list the doctor wrote out for me of over the counter medications I was allowed to take while pregnant.  I was afraid to lose the note, so I stuck it to the inside of our linen closet where it has remained since.  For more than 11 years I've looked at this note -- it reminds me of the innocence we had back then -- the joyful anticipation of our first child, our sweet baby girl, Emma.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Soothing stones...

Today's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo:

We have a small bowl of "Soothing Stones."  You can sit, run the stones through your hands, and just breathe.  You may just find the "Ahhhhhh!" stone.  
(The intention is "Ahhhh" as in the sound you make when you exhale a deep breath...not the "Ahhhh" you shriek when you've just seen a spider.  I'm dealing with some parenting trials and tribulations tonight and that stone looks a whole lot like the sound you make when you are pulling out your hair!)  

Are you mocking me, soothing stone?!??  Huh?  You want a piece of this??  Let me see what you've got, Mrs. Soothing Mc-Soothy pants.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emma's heart...

Today's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo:

Emma presented me with this heart 9 years ago.  She was two years old at the time.  

She was shopping with my parents and *just had to have* this heart for me.  



Tuesday's Creative EveryDay/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo:

It's Grandpa Dave's toy horse from when he was a little boy.  Grandpa Dave is Paul's dad.  We don't play with this toy's quite delicate and has been patched up in places already.

He sits safely atop our living room bookcases.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Soup anyone?

for today...
Paul's Great-Grandmother's soup tureen.

Kind of looks like a tattoo in this photo!

It's actually creamy white with gold flowers.
We currently keep it in the front bathroom.  It looks so nice holding extra wash cloths & hand towels!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year's Eve Moon...

Shot from my deck...and coming only slightly close to capturing the beauty of the's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 "sentimental object" isn't really an object at all.  It's the full moon from this past New Year's Eve.  

Simply stunning!

Borysewicz Dairy, Southington, CT

Saturday's Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 Sentimental Object is this small milk bottle.  

We picked it up along the way somewhere, early on in our marriage.  It's special because it's from Borysewicz Dairy in Southington, CT - the town I grew up in -- well that...and our affinity for "old junk."

A Worthy Welcome...

Inspired by Harrigan Howdy's: Fast. Cheap. Easy. Valentine's Decoration and Jam*Jilly's Content Decor, I took this welcome sign piece of paper I had taped to my wall (I'm admitting this?!) and created a Welcome Sign I can display proudly.  

It's the same paper, taped now to a cute (cheap) scrapbook paper, and framed!

Thanks for the inspiration Harrigan Howdy and Jam*n*Jilly!

Tattered angel...

(My Project 365/Creative Every Day Photo)
Friday's Every Day Creative/Flickr Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo is taken from an angel given to me by a friend who passed through my life, but not before she changed me ~ another incredibly wise, strong, compassionate, peace-loving, kind, smart, funny and artful woman who left her mark on me.  

This beautiful angel has fallen off the wall hundreds of times.  She's lost the pretty, delicate, lacy banner she used to hold, and the crown on her head.  Her toes look chewed off, but she's still holding up, and I love her for it. 

She currently sits outside my bedroom door, near another window from PopPop's and some spin art by Annie, reminding me of the beauty that has been brought into my life by people like this now far-away friend who has had many struggles of her own and shared so generously of herself.  

Who has come and gone, but left the beauty of their spirit in your life?

UPDATE: I have just found a beautiful project over at The Pleated Poppy and I may transform the window a'la "New Life for an Old Door".

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Colors of friendship...

Here's my Project 365 "Sentimental Object" photo for today:
I see a flower in there, do you?  
Can you guess what this is?

Take a step back....

How about now?

Isn't it pretty?!  

Hanging in my window its beauty transforms as the lighting changes, shifting, sometimes spinning, reflecting light and color -- a beautiful metaphor for my life's journey.  It is a friendship ball given to me by someone very, very special to me.  A dear friend, who is also my Annie's godmother.  I have had it hanging in my window ever since I received it (except for a few months when it hung precariously from a tack in my bedroom -- eeek!).  

I see it every day and it reminds me of the connections we have to one another and it inspires me to live my life with the spirit my friend lives hers, with kindness, courage, faith, humor, generosity, and artfulness.  She puts those traits into action again and again, shining her light into the lives of those around her.

When I and my family donate to the Red Cross tonight (Haiti Relief), I'll be thinking of the people in need and the people who help, in ways big and small -- people like my friend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wedding Sampler

Today's Project 365 "sentimental object" is this beautiful sampler....

My lovely mom made this for Paul and I when we were married.  Created in counted-cross stitch, it remains one of the most beautiful samplers I've ever seen.  Thanks, mom!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting my craft on...

Serious crochet binge took place's one of the creations:

It's a Ruffle Scarf!

Just fooling around, using up old yarn scraps.  My 7 year old loved this!  Here's the pattern it's based on.  I didn't have the correct size crochet hook, so mine is more narrow.  I have Pattern Phobia -- usually just use variegated yarns and one style stitch to make pretty scarves and blankets.  This pattern really is my first successful use of a pattern ;-0  Giving me encouragement to try some others.  In any event, viola, my craft.

What are you working on these days?  

The Good Mother

Horrible title and name for this object, but that's what we call her around here!  

So, let me introduce you to The Good Mother...

I saw her at 10,000 Villages, in New Haven several years ago.  I immediately burst into tears.  I have not come to motherhood gracefully...I have struggled greatly along it's path.  When I saw this figure, I was overcome.  I didn't buy it that day, but after a couple of weeks of not getting her out of my mind I went back.

Peace, strength, bliss, love...

The way her arms just envelope the child, it's hard to see where one ends and the other begins...

The softness and strength of her ample form...

How she's *holding* that child like there's no one and no thing else in the world...

I wept.

Looking at her, I just know everything will be alright...that I can love enough and be loved enough.

The look of pure bliss, peace, and utter love she holds in her face...

Unconditional love and acceptance...

And those hands...they can hold all the grief and all the joy in my heart... (this photo of her hands is my photo for the Project 365 pool on Flickr)

She is a symbol of the powerful divine feminine spirit of nurturing and protection.  When I think of her, at times, I'm the mother and at other times, the child.

My daughters and I often take our troubles, our hardest or unanswerable questions, to The Good Mother.  She stands sentry in our living room.  Look closely and you can see her looking over my karate crew here.  

Do you have a symbol of feminine love and energy?  

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do you see what I see?

I see reflections of love, of happiness and joy, of craziness and whimsy, of tears and smiles, of crazy dance moves, of laundry and laughter, of comings and goings, of books read and cuddles shared...

This mirror is sentimental as it is made from a window that comes from Pop Pop's house.  Pop Pop, Paul Lipkvich, is Paul's grandfather.  Paul and I lived at Pop Pop's early in our marriage, while I was pursuing my Master's in Education in a program that had me interning during the day and in a full load of classes at night.  I couldn't have completed my degree without Pop Pop graciously allowing us to live with him -- there was no time for me to have a paying job during that year.  We ended up staying with him for two years and when the windows were replaced in the house, we nabbed them.  Paul and I made mirrors out of several of them.

All those years letting in the sun at Pop Pop's and now this window sits in my living room, bearing witness to our family's life.

Look carefully and you'll see more writing all over the house (on the mantel and along the ceiling - oh yes I did, gah!), you'll see other sentimental objects to be featured in future posts, and the dust and fingerprints living a full life leaves little time to clean.  I look forward to many more reflections of our life in this mirror, as we grow ourselves, our marriage, our children, and their children...

just. love. it.

Is there an object in your home that has been witness to your changing family?