Monday, November 30, 2015

Just strummin' along, singin' a song... hopefully!?

Today's post is a little departure from my usual Show & Tell... Visual Arts have always been my first love while Musical Desires have always taunted me as something beyond my reach! It's no secret to those who know me that I do love to sing... I grew up convinced that life should be a "musical", I have seen every old movie musical that was ever created (more times than I'd like to admit!) In my prime, I could not only quote the dialog [word for word] but I could keep up with each song & dance number as well! Through the years the joke in my "circle of family & friends" has been that I could have been a "Star" if it weren't for the microphones... yes, you heard correctly, just the sight of a "mic" seems to render me speechless!! This crippling phobia has robbed the world of a "talent" that was just never meant to be... at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!! Luckily for me, my little church choir doesn't use microphones and I have never had a problem with projecting my voice loud enough to be heard! If anything, I have been asked many times to allow other voices to be heard (over compensation, I suppose!)   Eventually, I thought that playing a musical instrument would fulfill those yearnings to have music in my life... just one problem with that idea, for whatever the reason (possibly, "no" natural talent or patience) I have never been successful at learning to play even though I have made many attempts!! Let's see... I have bought about a half dozen guitars, both acoustic & electric... I have even tried lessons, but I'm not sure who was more frustrated, me or my teacher?!  So, I moved on to keyboards... you guessed it, time & time again frustration took it's toll and I finally vowed to give up my quest! I have managed to be content with that decision for several years; that is, until recently... almost as if it were taunting me, I found myself creating a Bucket List with "Learn to Play a Musical Instrument" in bold red letters!! What's that all about?! It's never too late, right? or is this a case for "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? So, for the past several weeks I've been going back & forth between "I must be crazy" and "what the heck, maybe this time it will be different!?" One thing that I am sure of, No more guitars or keyboards... that's it, try something new... a fresh beginning!!  

After lengthy internet research and a trip to the local neighborhood music store, my mind was made up. I came home with what I'm believing to be the perfect  instrument for me to "conquer" once and for all... a Mandolin... yes, I am a "cockeyed optimist"... only time will tell! (Thankfully, if frustration starts to send me over the edge, I always have my ART to bring me back to sanity!!)

My New Mandolin - closeup
 Full view

Thanks for stopping by... Until next time, Ciao!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pass the cranberries...please!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings to you, one and all... 
not only for today, but always!! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Call of the Wild... Animal Lanterns!

Today's Show & Tell is a continuance of my trip to The Chinese Lantern Festival... I really enjoyed the Animal Lanterns and felt that they were exceptionally creative... they ranged from whimsical to realistic but their life-sized presence succeeded in bringing them to life right before your eyes!

The following pictures really don't do them justice, some of the scenes were actually animated which added yet another dimension to their designs. 

King of the Jungle with His Subjects
Hyenas (very creepy in person)
Life-sized Giraffe Family
Life-sized Zebras
Life-sized Mother Tiger & Cubs
Ceremonial "Baby" Elephant
Ceremonial "Young Adult" Elephant
Peacocks - approx. 20 ft. fanned out
Butterfly Garden
Pandas Playing
Dinosaur World
Dinosaur World
Tropical Birds
Snail - approx. 5ft long
Ant Colony - approx. 5 ft. each, 8 total in display
Lantern Fish
That's about it... thanks for letting me share my journey with you,
I hope that you found a bit of fun & enjoyment along the way!!
Blessings to you all... Ciao!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Light up your life... Chinese Style!!

Due to a resent bout with the flu, I haven't been able to keep up with creating new posts for my loyal followers... Sorry for my absence,  the good news is that I'm finally getting back to a somewhat normal routine!!

Today's Show & Tell is all about showcasing a little excursion that I [finally] went on a few days ago... The Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival had been scheduled for Spokane as an outdoor fall event. I had made plans to attend when my travel companion became ill resulting in our original plans being cancelled... our second attempt to go became futile when I came down with the aforementioned pesky flu bug... soooo, third time's the charm? Finally, travel day arrived...  I started the morning by opening the drapes, only to be shocked at seeing snowflakes the size of silver dollars falling to the ground! I was definitely not prepared for a 2 hour drive with winter road conditions, especially since my snow tires had not yet been installed, nor was a prepared to walk around in the cold night air to see snow covered displays!! What to do?... cancel again (it would be the last chance before it ends) or hope for the best & hit the road! Well... luckily the forecast was that the snow would just be a morning fluke that would clear by noon... all roads were clear and good to go!

In my opinion, The Chinese Lantern Festival was definitely worth waiting for. It covered several acres of Riverfront Park which was the original site of the 1974 Worlds Fair. All the displays were bigger than life... handmade metal frameworks covered in silk... beautifully lit, colorful works of art!! 

I have decided to spread pictures out into two separate posts..
(the next post will feature the Animal Lanterns.

Below: photos of Part One of the Chinese Lantern Festival... 
they certainly don't do them justice.


Dragon - 160 ft long - showing this pic with person to compare it's size!
Chinese Wedding at Temple
Life-Size Animated Wedding Characters from center stage above
It's hard to judge just how big these are... approx. 25 ft. wide
Approx. 15 to 20 ft. tall

 Each Kid is about 6ft. while sitting
Approx. 20ft. wide & tall

Approx. 30 ft. tall

Approx. 20 ft.tall
Festival Gate  (people pictured in front help to shows it's size)
Approx. 30 ft.wide & 25 ft. tall
Each flower is aprox. 5-6 ft. tall and lined a walkway about 40 ft. long
Walkway about 50 ft. long with these lanterns on both sides - the flowers twirled
Hope you enjoyed this first installment of my journey to 
The Chinese Lantern Festival... 
Stop by for Part Two when I feature wonderful life-sized
Animal Lantern displays, until then... Ciao!!