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Little Life Surprises

Sometimes we get some surprises in life and it almost seems that the little ones are the best. When I was 15, I had a back operation for scoliosis. During my recovery for 6 months, I was confined to my bed in my bedroom at home. A few people visited, others sent cards or letters, but mostly I was alone. One thing that delighted me was an arrangement that an Aunt sent me. It was a deer vase with philodendron planted in it. I loved to look at that deer, and kept it by my bedside so I could view it as often as I liked. Over time the philodendron grew too large for the vase and had to be transplanted. I never planted anything else in it.

As time when on, I lost track of the original vase and my memory of it. But one day in 2016 I remembered it and wondered if a replica could be found on the internet. I searched but came up with nothing, so I eventually gave up in frustration. Then in July of 2017 after turning 65, I was visiting a resale shop not far from my house, and was almost done looking at everything they had. I turned a corner, and on a bookshelf was the exact deer vase. I was delighted!!! The price was reasonable, so I bought it and brought it home. It took 50 years for me to be reunited with something from my childhood. I’ve visited countless resale shops over the years but have never run across this deer. Not that I was looking for it, but I would have recognized it and bought it, if I had ever seen it on my prior visits. And the fact that when I began to think about the vase again after all of these years, I suddenly discover it nearly in my own backyard! I doubt that this one is the same one I had as a child, but it is making new memories for me to attach to the old.

Below you can see the current vase with more appropriate foliage planted in it. It looks like the deer is jumping through a thicket rather than being overwhelmed with plant life. I am enjoying this new vase and reliving the memory of the old one. This is not a huge surprise that entered my life, but it certainly is a welcome one!


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I have always felt more comfortable handling black and white art because I enjoyed exploring different ways to control the Japanese Waterfall ACEOmediums I used. When it came to color, I felt frustrated because there was TOO MUCH to control. I was on control overload and this frustrated me. I guess as an artist, I am too much of a perfectionist. However in 2009 I discovered an art form quite by accident while scrolling for art on Ebay. It was a tiny version of a regular piece of art. I saw art that was original and I also saw art that was shrunken down and made into giclee prints. I joined a couple of groups on Ebay that created mini art, and started rising to their challenges each month to create ACEO’s of my own.

ACEO’s are 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ sizes of art. This is near to a business card size. ACEO mean Art Cards Editions and Originals and are collector items like baseball cards are. In fact an ACEO is usually protected in a hard plastic baseball sleeve. The story for these tiny pieces of art came from long ago when artists in Europe wanted to give a sample of their art to prospective buyers. They would create these and pass them out. Over the years, they became collectible. I’ve personally seen them sell for as high as $250 on Ebay. I’m sure there are those that sell for more. I have both created and sold my ACEO original Art and Editions.

Japanese River ACEOAt the top is my most sold art for ACEO Prints. It is a piece that was created from a testing area I was using for watercolors for another painting. (See above.) When I saw all of the colors in this area, I thought, “I can’t waste this, I have to do something with it.” So I looked it over and decided it looked like an abstract version of a Japanese Waterfall. If turned sideways it looks like a river (See left photo). So basically there are two pieces of art in this one piece. It’s never been so easy for me to create a piece of art and this one was truly a surprise.

Watercolor continues to be my biggest challenge as an artist. I tried creating several ACEO’s with watercolor. Because these are small, the frustration of handling color is still there for me, but on a smaller scale. I don’t feel as overwhelmed. My watercolors continue to look overworked, and I have not yet been able to capture the fluid and carefree style that true watercolor artists display in their work. It may take a long time before I’m able to get to that point of true fluidity. They make it look easy for sure. This butterfly was my first attempt that I made in an ACEO form. Following it are other attempts.

So as I work with tiny art, I keep exploring techniques that are uncomfortable for me to increase my understanding of both the technique and my skill using it. It is less of a risk this way, but produces good results. At some point I’ll be ready to create a full size piece of art to use the new skills I’ve developed.

How about you? What challenges have you overcome and how did you do it?

Rainbow ButterflySea Shell #2 Watercolor

Sea Shell #1 Watercolor

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My memory of the 4th of July involves sparklers. As a kid these were magical and something we could handle on our own. To be sure we had to be careful of any sparks hitting our hands as we held them, but for sparkler-july-4the most part, they were fun and not dangerous to us. I loved the sparks flying off like a mini firework. We also used them to write in the air. We moved them around to spell our names or designs since they left a brief trail of light to see an image. Sometimes we’d try holding them in both hands. We felt rich holding these mini light shows and enjoying one another’s antics with them.

We never put on fireworks but would watch the ones put on by neighbors or look skyward to see those bursting in the sky around our neighborhood. If the trees weren’t in the way, we could get a pretty good view. A few times we went to our cousins house where there was a hill to climb and watch the city light show. And of course there were times that we went directly to the city light show and braved the traffic, coming home late at night all tuckered out. I’ve even gone as a single adult to these city light shows, fighting with my lawn chair for a good spot. And also taking advantage of the vendors with all kinds of tempting treats and fast food. Hot Dogs, and any number of ice-cream treats and drinks.

How about you? What are your July 4th memories? Do you carry on those traditions today or have you made new ones? Let’s keep celebrating!

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Celebrating Freedom

In the USA as we embark on a celebration of the 4th of July, we reflect back to where our freedom came from. It came from those who labored over the crafting of our constitution, hours of discussion and decision making, in order to build a country where it’s citizens could freely enjoy certain rights and liberties without harming others. This was no doubt a daunting task and required intelligence, boldness, and commitment. It also required a moral compass to guide them to discover and understand what would be right for each citizen for they had a need to plan for many years into the future. Some gave their lives for their decisions, and others lived a long and healthy life. It was a task that was tough, it was decisive, and it was controversial. We thank them for the solid foundation they provided for us as a country that is unique in this world. We prosper, we freely move about, we can think and believe as our hearts see fit, and we can dream of the possibilities and work to make them happen.

We are also grateful for our military who constantly watch and stand ready against those who would seek to harm us. Many of these good men and women themselves suffer dire consequences in the process of protecting our country. Let us not take their dedication and their service lightly. Let us revere and respect their choice to allow themselves to be put in harm’s way in order to stand in the gap of freedom for us all, and the sacrifices they make personally in setting their wants, needs, family, and desires aside to maintain freedom in our nation. Each of us has been touched by their choice and loyalty to our homeland and revel in our continued ability to remain safe amidst threats beyond our borders. Thank you to those who have served, are serving, and will serve to protect the United States of America.

Finally, this is a time of celebration, so freely celebrate in the way you choose. Make it a good one with family and friends, stay safe, and luxuriously relish the freedom we have.

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You may wonder about why I would want to sell on Ebay or any other venue for that matter. I love putting great items into people’s hands. It’s like Christmas every time I can wrap a great product and ship it to the USA or around the word. I love to read people’s comments as they receive their item and tell me how much they like it. The only thing I miss is being there in person to see the light in their eyes and their reaction to what they have purchased. You can do that at Christmas if you are with the person you gave a gift to. I always compliment them on their great choices. I’ve even told them “You Rock!” … hahaha …

I also love decorating. Yes I’m a nester and I can’t wait for the next nester to find my store, pick something out, and add it to their home or office to make them feel special. I am always on the lookout for something interesting to decorate with. Something eye catching or homey. Something to brighten up a room that is enjoyed and talked about, and maybe envied too.

We have so many wonderful products to choose from. Drop in and case the joint …. oops I mean look around and enjoy what we have that you could see in your own home.

Taste of Elegance: http://stores.ebay.com/Taste-of-Elegance

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