Wednesday, October 31, 2007

halloween fun...



I took George and Michael to meet up with Claire and Cathy for some trick or treating tonight. It was fun. There were three ninjas and a black cat. It was the first Halloween that we didn't spend at home and didn't give out candy. It feels strange to be taking candy from people that you cannot reciprocate for. Everyone was very sweet and gracious, I wish them all lots of sweetness in their lives, at least I can do that ;-).



Here are a few photos from the evening....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

peace train, again...

Deja vu again ;-). I had put up a video of Cat Stevens performing Peace Train after a conversation about pianos and 70's music. Then I received a notice from Jerry Wennstrom about his new work, The Piano, and posted some information about that. Well, I just received an email from Jerry and Marilyn Strong with a new version of Peace Train, with beautiful images of Iran...sometimes things just keep coming around again and again...I want to honor that by posting this video here.

I think that focusing on the beauty of a place that is now under threat of war may be a good antidote to all the negative messages that we normally get. This is a slide show with a new version of Peace Train sung by Yusuf Islan (aka Cat Stevens). If you click on the video it will take you to its own page on YouTube where there is more information and links at the sidebar concerning Iran.


Slide show of images in Iran MEDIA WILL NOT SHOW YOU

Piano...the video...




More music by Uakti...a Brazilian band who make their own instruments...


deja vu...

I just finished watching this movie...Deja Vu, directed by Henry Jaglom...with Victoria Foyt, Stephen Dillane, Vanessa Redgrave...

Henry Jaglom creates movies that have the feel of a home-movie...lots of 'real' people, acting that is not scripted, etc. It felt a little funny, almost like I was listening to people in a documentary, but the theme and the dialogues that came out of it were fascinating. Now, I'm watching the movie over with commentary by Henry Jaglom and Victoria Foyt, husband and wife, who wrote the story to begin with. They are commenting on the scenes, interrupting each other, and having a philosophical discussion about the differences in how they each see life as either psychological/mental (Jaglom) or mystical/emotional (Foyt)...this may be even more fascinating than the movie!








Los Angeles store owner Dana (Victoria Foyt) is shopping in Israel where a meeting with a mysterious woman leads her to Paris and the White Cliffs of Dover, an appropriate spot to fall in love with English painter Sean (Stephen Dillane) who is married. Soon, however, Dana is off to London to rejoin her business-partner Alex (Michael Brandon). Dana and Alex, and Sean and his wife all wind up together as weekend house guests of John ('60s rock performer Noel Harrison), brother of Skelly (Vanessa Redgrave). With true love looming on the horizon, Dana and Sean decide to abandon their companions for each other. Screenplay by Foyt and director Henry Jaglom, who took a different approach to the theme of love and affection in his autobiographical Always (1985). Shown at the AFI/Los Angeles Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

Saturday, October 27, 2007

blue skies again...

Always, the rain eventually stops, the rain clouds clear, and today the sky put on a show for me...lots of blue and pink and white.
I am choosing to see a bird in flight in this cloud, maybe a dove...peace...what do you see?

Friday, October 26, 2007

where did the flowers go?...

Once again I find that I have posted something about a planetary phenomenon and didn't actually get to see it myself. Kateri and Pixiedust both commented on how beautiful it was (thank you!)...we've had nothing but clouds and rain since I was able to post my photos of blue flowers and hearts in the trees....what a switch. It makes me so happy to hear about other people's experiences of seeing the moon...at least I can live vicariously through their words ;-). Good enough reason to blog about it.


This is my bit of color for today...the Glenside train station in the rain. I brought my sons here so they could take the train to a Halloween party, then drove later tonight in a heavy downpour to pick them up from the party...they wanted the fun of taking the train there, though I was told later that the ride was boring...not much happening, only commuters getting on and off...oh well...I probably would have enjoyed it more than they did ;-).


Today's transits brought this (in Kim Marie's words):
October 26 - Mercury retro makes the second of three waning sextiles to Pluto on October 26 at 27 degrees Libra-Sagittarius. The first one was September 24 and the last waning sextile is November 8, both in Libra-Sag. This aspect will bring repeated messages of speaking the truth in all our relationships.
Pluto is direct and in the final degrees of Sagittarius. Lies are coming out all over the place, the question is - are we listening? Libra is the psychology of listening, while Mercury is the anatomy of listening. Together, Mercury in Libra is learning how to really listen to what another is actually stating. Pluto has some powerful messages so make every effort you can to listen to the many voices coming through.
Trust your intuition as the most powerful voice may be just a whisper. Universal truths are timeless, and bring a sense of relief even if we still feel some insecurity with Sun in Scorpio. As new information settles in, the relief and sense of “rightness” comes through stronger and stronger.

This was a tough one for me. Miscommunication was pretty rampant, and looking back to Sept. 24 (through the magic of saved emails) I found that ease in communication was a very major issue for me at that time as well. Hopefully the third time around on Nov. 8th makes everything more clear. At the time of the transit in late September I was feeling so very unheard...I am not one to shout, I have always needed people to ask me questions and really, truly listen to me. So, what I wonder is, am I supposed to learn to shout?, or just make sure that the people that I associate with are ones who know how to listen and care about what I say? I'd prefer the second choice...but sometimes I wonder what it is that the Universe is trying to show me, and if maybe I'm just not 'getting it'. Sometimes shouting is the only way, when you've spent most of your life trying to keep the peace and 'make nice' in the hopes that others will be nice in return. It doesn't work ;-)...though I'm not sure yet what does.

I did spend the afternoon sewing a Halloween costume...just a black ninja top...I had fun with it. No pattern, just a rough outline taken from a martial arts gi top. I cut rectangles out of black broadcloth and then pieced them together...I've actually never done that...I always needed a pattern, even if I had to make it myself. The top actually came out great, if I can say so myself. I guess it was great because I was so afraid that one wrong move was going to ruin the whole thing. The last part was the edging around the front. I made a strip of fabric into a folded-over belt-like piece, and then sewed it onto the collar area and then down the front of the gi on both sides. Mentally, I couldn't see how it would work, almost like working with a moebius strip, but my fingers knew better what to do and it worked...so funny...my mind works differently these days and I find that I can do things that I never would have thought I could.

Oh..and now I'm re-reading what I wrote and realize that I'm wrong! My first clothing creation was one that I made when I was about 7 or 8. Someone gave me a wonderful piece of purple and white striped material that was only about a foot wide, but maybe 6 or more feet long. I used one part of it to make a wrap around mini-skirt with fringe on the side, and the other to make a halter top that I cut into to make straps and tied the rest in the back. No sewing at all, just some safety pins for the skirt. There's a photo somewhere of me standing with my bicycle (I guess I rode it with the mini-skirt ;-)) in front of my grandparents house Upstate NY. I wonder where that photo might be now. I think my memory of it is good enough, though...I was so proud and happy with that outfit. What happened then? School, maybe...somewhere along the line I thought I had to have patterns for everything. Almost forty years later, I find that I don't ;-).

I guess I'm learning, slowly...just don't always know what it is that I'm learning until I look back at it and see it from a distance.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

big full moon...

Trying to get some full moon info in here before the event tonight, which will occur at just before 1 AM EDT. I've been working on a Halloween costume and some other things, so this will just be a little info and some links to check out if you're interested.


"BIG FULL MOON: Tonight's full Moon is the biggest full Moon of 2007. It's no illusion. Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and this one is a whopper. Why? Read the answer below."

You can read some more here at SpaceWeather.com.

Kim Marie gives us a theme to focus on in her forecast for the month HERE.

"October 25/26 - The Full Moon of Taurus is October 25/26 at 2/3 degrees Scorpio-Taurus. This is the annual Full Moon to test our degree of self-reliance. Scorpio energy is intense due to this emotional ability to intuit the bottom line of power in any situation - who has it and who doesn’t. It can make others feel insecure when Scorpio energy strips away the social surface niceties.

Be Ok with the Full Moon emotional excesses in early solar Scorpio. It allows you to realize what lessons you need to work on this month. When we merge with another and osmosis to new levels of power the complete lesson is to then step back into the next level of self-empowerment...."

Eleanor Haspel-Portner for Simply Your Self™ says (in part)...

"This full moon brings with it a shift in the way things feel. For many people this shift comes just at the right time. It gives hope again shifting discouragement or fear that may have built up inner uncertainty for many people over the past couple of weeks. With this full moon comes a brief respite of clarity between the two axes of awareness: the body/mind/instincts and the feeling/mind/instincts. Use the day to align to the inner still place you feel...."



Monday, October 22, 2007

mondays and treasures...

Monday is here. This weekend was wonderful and full of gifts. A visit from a friend on Saturday who I'd been quite distanced from, but who always seems to be a part of my life no matter what. A phone call on Saturday that I returned on Sunday which led to a new understanding of working with flower essences. I had given this person a 'mystery essence', not telling her what it was because I felt that the explanation would interfere with her experience of the healing properties of the essence. The outcome so far is an uncovering of buried treasure within her in a new way...an unraveling of parts of her life that need to be understood. I also went shopping with my sons on Saturday for fabric for Halloween costumes and for food...it was a lot of fun.

So, today I have the backyard and porch to myself again, and found more treasures. I wonder as I am just 'being' there and taking photos, why?...while other people are sitting behind desks at work...but there are insights and gifts that are so necessary for me...have you ever, ever seen this?...

I thought my eyes must be playing tricks on me, you know, when you've been looking towards the sun and then you see colors that aren't there?...but here they are in the photos...a cloud rainbow!














...and another blue flower in the sea of browns and greens....



Blue relates to the heart, to innocence and expression (talking, writing, sharing, etc.)....




...and a heart in the trees....





along with this nuthatch who was furiously attacking the bark on this oak tree to get a meal...














These are the things that I feel like I am missing when my backyard/driveway is full of people and cars...but I also look back at that time and wonder how often I will have the chance to feel like I've got a UN meeting going on in my backyard! Argentina/Italy, Peru and Russia were all represented there...and although I felt like I was an unwanted intrusion into their festivities, while they were intruding into my quiet space, still it is always fun to experience the wonders that others bring to my life. Being separated from my husband while still living in the same house brings a lot of uncomfortable feelings, especially when his friends are around and I wonder if I am seen as the 'problem' who won't toe the line and be a 'good wife' ;-). Cultural differences alone bring a lot of differences in expectations among people, and that combined with my own sense of myself as an individual creates a lot of inner and outer conflict.

So, today I find my hearts and birds and rainbows and blue flowers and all is well with the world.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

peace, again...

This is what I found today when I finally did get my quiet coffee break on the back porch...
...peace, truly....there is so much that noticing this flower represents to me, but I don't think I will write it all here....it is connected in my mind with over 20 years of experiences, and a culmination of all that has been working its way through me these past days...
There is a connection to rabbits in all of this...and mothering and nurturing...so it is pretty neat that this is called a Mouse Flower...it is also known as an Asiatic Dayflower, because it is a cultivated flower from Asia that generally only flowers for a single day, unless it is in a shady, cloudy environment, which this one is. I photographed it in my hand because I couldn't capture the gorgeous blue color as it was in its bed of brown and faded green...and it reminds me now of a photo that Kateri has on her blog of a mouse that climbed into her hand. The emotional connection is similar for me, as well...trusting and timid as a mouse this flower seems to be.

So, not an explanation, just an image and some emotions connected with it. Maybe it means something to you as you look and read...

literary debut ;-)....


Well...at least on Deviant Art...not me, my son George...
Here's the beginning chapter of a part of a story that he is writing (scroll down). More can be seen HERE.

Also...to the left is his preliminary drawing of the character Myrkr from the story...

(Which means that he is now creating his own drawings and writing the story to go with them...yay!...an astrological note here...this is happening while he is experiencing a long-term Pluto transit to his natal Uranus and Saturn...Pluto transits are transformative transits.)



THUNK. Still quivering slightly, the ornate dark-steel shuriken glinted in the pale morning light, one of the prongs nearly entirely buried in a large knot on the tree's trunk. “Crap,” Jio said under his breath, to no-one in particular. He had miscalculated the distance, and the shuriken had hit slightly below target. No matter, it still had hit the target, even if not quite as perfectly as he had hoped it would. He summoned a small shadowrift in the air to his left, and pulled another shuriken from the pitch-black portal. He seemed to merely twitch for a moment, and with another loud THUNK, this time tinged with the screech of metal on metal, the second shuriken buried itself into the tree and halfway through the now-ruined first shuriken. Jio grinned slightly to himself; he never tired of the feeling of breaking things. It was a rather primitive feeling, but enjoyable none the less. He suppressed his grin before it threatened to widen, and drew another shuriken from the rift.

~continued here~

*shuriken photo added by me for those of us who don't know what it is ;-)...although I'll need it even more for myself, as I am being enlisted into service as a weapon maker for Halloween costumes!

piano...


The latest artwork by Jerry Wennstrom.
You can see more and read more about it on his new blog!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

peace...

My quiet time sitting on the back porch with my coffee was spent surrounded by loud latin and russian men, cars, a freezer truck and the sounds of a speed cutter....I missed my trees and birds and quiet time watching the wind in the leaves on this beautiful October day...so here's my antidote for the moment....





Along with some words for today's transit from Kim Marie...

October 20 - Finally the Sun makes a waning sextile to Pluto on October 20 at 26/27 degrees Libra-Sagittarius. Here is the opportunity to let go of old giving and receiving patterns for emotional security reasons and understand how unhealthy these patterns are. You may know you should not loan your financially-challenged friend money again, yet, you get the subtle feeling of superiority at how much better you handle money. Can you find the power to say no and allow them to learn their own lessons?
You may know you need to clean your own house, or hire someone else to do it, yet your mother or grandma does it for free as you make excuses that they need something to do. Work out a fair exchange of energy. Gift them a monthly massage. Do not set your self up to be the maid next lifetime around.
We all have thoughts and understandings in our head about what is fair and healthy with the relationships in our lives. Put them into action. This means all relationships beyond the acquaintance level – family, work, friends and lovers. Libra is not limited to intimate relationships. Do whatever you perceive to be highest and best for all concerned, especially for your self. May you be most successful!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

mercury...


Mercury is retrograde right now. Communication becomes so important...and yet so difficult as well. Things said may have to be said again, until it is clear that the meaning was taken correctly. Efforts may end up with results opposite of what was intended. It is a time for looking within and reflecting on the past, recent and not so recent, in order to be ready again for the future when Mercury goes into direct motion again.

Yesterday, everything seemed to be upside-down. The very disturbing sight of squirrels who didn't make it across the road was all over the place...I don't know if that's related to the retrograde, but thinking does seem to get confused, and many squirrels were running out into the road only to stop in the middle and try to decide if they should go forward or back before that car got any closer. My box of bagels ended up upside-down on the floor after one such encounter...better a dirty bagel than a dead squirrel, I think ;-). Maybe they are a good metaphor for what we humans do at this time...run around in circles and try to do things straight when all around us is not straight at all. Maybe deciding that running in circles is a better thing for a little while would be easier on us all!

The retro period goes from October 11th to November 1st this time around. The midpoint happens October 23rd. This can bring us to a time of opening up to new ways of being and new connections with people. Robert Wilkinson, in his Aquarius Papers blog, gives a lot of information on this...too much for some (but so thorough and informative!)...so I am excerpting some of the indications here:

"Remembering that nothing turns out as expected during a Mercury retrograde, and that things take strange twists and turns and there are curious returns of people, ideas, and experiences in new forms that resemble old forms, open to useful but overlooked angles of viewing things, learn and teach through a sense of perspective of how past and present relate in unusual ways, and be alert to roundabout or indirect communications that show things going on below the surface."

~~~

"We'll wind up with a new ideal, new ways of relating to others, new people to relate to, a new sense of balance and proportion in our lives as a result of this period. This initiates a time of regenerating, reversing magnetism in some areas while attracting what we need in other. Drop obsolete ideas and views, as well as interpretations and how you communicate. This time will help us review why we have had to purify and concentrate recently, and will cement our ability to make this a more enduring part of our lives."

~~~

Here's my wish for us all ~ that we take this time with a sense of humor and allow insights to penetrate and gently shift us into new ways of being. Keep your mind open and remember to breathe ;-).

*artwork from Dover's 120 Great Fairy Paintings...
...Rehearsal in Fairyland by Richard Doyle, 1870

cathy again...


EyeOfOmegaComicPage3 by ~EyeOfOmega on deviantART

She continually amazes me with her talent! This one feels like the inside of a dream.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

gorgeous fall day...


This is the kind of weather that I could live with all year round! Clear, crisp, bright sunny days...heart shaped clouds ;-).


It all leaves me kind of wordless...though there's a lot going on in my head...so that might have something to do with it, too. It's a day where I could just float away and let the world take care of itself. I've been working out flower essence combinations for a few people, so it's always good to let my mind settle after that. I put in a lot of energy with these....taking in what a person says and does and what they are wanting to heal within themselves. Sometimes an intuition will come to me that seems to be totally opposite to what they are telling me, but then it will make sense to me...it all depends on the person and their situation. I take a person's astrological 'signature' into account as well. It is so good that I have many interests, because if I only focused on this, I would burn myself out very quickly. Enjoying nature, photography, making jewelry, all these keep me balanced...along with the time I spend with my two sons...the contrasts are important, to help keep my sense of perspective as well.

I haven't quite gotten into a routine that I am happy with, but things are coming together and falling into place...































This wonderful gift came in the mail yesterday...from pixiedust...she asked for a favorite word...I chose 'play'...there is a good quote somewhere about that...basically, when we live our lives in the spirit of playfulness, all kinds of good things can come to us...


There is a package of Mexican chocolate, behind the card...smells and feels so good... with instructions from pixiedust for melting 2 (or 3 ;-)) triangles of it into hot milk...
the egg shaped piece is a prayer card with the alchemical symbol for gold on the front, and pixiedust's words on front and back...and 'my' word on a bookmark...too pretty to hide in a book, though! All arranged onto a shawl that I knitted a while ago of the most wonderful yarn...knitting time is here again...
...who could have known that blogging would open up a whole precious world of people and experiences?!

I opened a book of Rumi poetry to this poem today...so I will leave you with it's message...

The Sacred Liquid...

Are you jealous of the ocean's generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this gift to anyone?

Fish don't hold the sacred liquid in cups.
They swim the huge fluid freedom.

new moon coming...

...on Oct. 11th at 1 am edt....
This one will be activating the I Ching hexagram 57...The Gentle...
In the Human Design System, this actually affects a part of our energy field...so, I probably haven't explained this before, but if you spend some quiet time around the time of this new moon, you could possibly tune in to your inner sense of intuitive clarity...there may be some intuitive insights available to you at this time that you are not normally aware of...try it!

Does that mean that if you don't do this, you won't have the insight? No, I would think that since this is a new moon, a beginning of a new cycle, whose theme will carry through to the full moon, that this is also setting a tone for the next two weeks...follow your own inner sense of what works for you...

"Acuteness...
The perfected intelligence, where clarity eliminates doubt and ensures manifestation."

Monday, October 8, 2007

magic card...

Just a short post, with a Magic the Gathering card that was given to me by my son George the other night...Careful Study...a message to me...I've set it up on my desk as a reminder...
Books are like crops—they must be thinned for best yield.

So far it's not helping any...but I'm hoping it will work some magic on my piles of books ;-). I gave a whole box of books back to a friend of mine not too long ago, and she emailed me over the weekend saying that she planned to give them away and did I want to take any of them back? Could it be that I am some sort of magnet for books? I wonder if there's a flower essence for that ;-).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

last one...

Finishing up my account of our trip...imagine spending a few hours somewhere and then spending a few days talking about it! I'm wondering what this is all about ;-)...but I guess my memories of past trips there is all a part of my blogging about it, so it's more to me than just a day trip.

After two beaches, we stopped in the Cape May lighthouse parking lot and headed to the restrooms to change out of wet clothes. At that point, everyone was ready to head into the city of Cape May and walk and eat, so we found a parking spot on Ocean Ave...not easy since the place was very populated with visitors and parking was not easy to find. There had been an Oktoberfest event that day as well, though we didn't want to stop for that and miss the daylight at the beach. We walked to the Washington Street Mall from there, just a few blocks away.

I love mermaid imagery, and had to take a photo of this in front of a store on Ocean Ave...


















Fudge samples were abundant, and there were many stops for these....
















Horse and carriage tours are fun to see...not so fun (as I found out later) when you're ready to go home and get stuck driving behind one when the driver is pointing out historical buildings...but they eventually make a turn at a corner...




We stopped to get food and sat outside with our pizza, etc...then headed back to Beach Street for a final pitstop and to check out the ocean in darkness....it was quite an experience...lots of stars overhead, and you walk onto a beach that disappears in front of you into blackness with the sound of the ocean waves somewhere in front of you....really fun, but Claire seemed to be getting cold and everyone was tired, so it was time to move on....





Exiting the beach took us past Henry's restaurant....what's the opposite of OPEN?...








Then back in the car and home...took me awhile, too...a wrong turn took me through Wildwood...then back onto the Garden State Parkway and onto 55 for about 2 hours. We dropped off Claire at home and headed through Philly to take Cathy home (not without getting a bit more lost, though, before getting onto the Besty Ross bridge to get back into PA). A few things I am learning, as I have been through so many changes in my life and in my way of thinking and doing things, some things need to be adjusted. I always used to use maps to get around, and with more and more reliance on the internet I now print out driving instructions from google maps...this does not work for me! I need to see a visual outlay of the roads...then I can orientate myself wherever I am because I have an inner sense of direction based on the visual of the map and the roads, etc. Having incremental directions...go 2.9 miles and make a slight left...does not work for me! The other thing is that when I first started driving, if someone told me to 'drive carefully' it felt like they were questioning my driving abilities ;-). Now, it feels more like a warm hug! I not only had that experience before we left, thanks to Lex and Tom, but as we were leaving the apartment complex after dropping Cathy off, it happened again. I was expecting it though...the gentleman at the gate has to raise the gate to let me out when it's late at night. He's gotten to know my face, now, and the last time I went through it was a bit later than usual, close to 11 pm...and he made it a point to call out of his door to me to drive safely and have a good night. This time it was past midnight, and I told the boys that he would probably do the same...the later it is he seems to get more concerned about me....George suggested that I'd be disappointed if he didn't...I thought so too...but I slowed down and lowered my window just in case...I wasn't disappointed...he unlocked his door and came out to make sure that I knew that I had to drive carefully now ;-)...I told him how much appreciated that was, as I'd been driving all day...and he smiled even more broadly and told me two more times...funny how my perception of these things has changed!

I was quite exhausted after all that...and have had somewhat of a headcold/allergy ever since but that's getting better now. We're making plans for another trip, this time to look for crystals and minerals...trips that we'd planned to take last year but that didn't materialize. This year I think they'll happen.

And, with George's permission, I am putting his thoughts about the day here, from his DeviantArt Journal written when we got home...


"Just got back from the beach today, with my Mom (~AlchemyOfLife) and brother (~Blaze13), and friends Cathy (~EyeOfOmega) and Claire (~piikachuu). Cape May, New Jersey is always an awesome place to visit, and despite it being late in the year, the weather was great. We ended up visiting multiple beaches on Cape May Point, and did a great job wearing ourselves and each other out. We ended the day checking out the beach one last time, after the sun had set; the ocean is really something at night.
Most of us either slept or fought off sleep on the way back, completely worn out. Of course, me being the insomniac that I am, I wasn't one of the lucky ones to fall asleep on the way back; as a matter of fact, three hours later, here I am writing a journal. My legs ache like hell, but I wouldn't mind taking the two-hour car drive back up to the point again, sometime soon. :D (doubtful that the weather will stay this nice long enough though.)"

I think he puts it all into perspective pretty well!

Check out the post after this one with his latest art, too.

new artwork by George...


Geo: Collaboration Number 024 by ~Jioruji-Derako on deviantART



Artist's Comments
Fullview is highly recommended.

Credits first:
Original lineart ([link]) by :iconepicmyst: (*EpicMyst)
Coloring by me :iconjioruji-derako:
Character created by me, with a bunch of help from EpicMyst (she probably doesn't realize how much she's helped me really create this character. :aww:).

Anyways, this is Anjiru Kuro (but you can call her Anji). Original character of mine, I made her quite a while ago, I suppose, but she never really became a fully fleshed-out character until more recently (maybe, say, six months?). EpicMyst was Über-cool in granting me a giftart a while back, and this is it; I'm incredibly happy with the finished picture. Coloring it even popped me out of my current artist's-block, more or less.

I got PhotoShop CS1 recently, so this is my first finished work to come out of that. I used a WACOM Graphire 4 pen tablet for this as well. Continuing with my method of using every technique I learned previously and applying it better in the current project, my coloring style is much the same as it's been recently; lay down basic colors, touch up with shadows, then go at it with Dodge, Burn, and Smudge. No fancy filters or anything for this work; not much I could add, aside from proper shading and whatnot.

All in all, this was a ton of fun to color; if you haven't already checked out EpicMyst's gallery, you really should. =P I've probably plugged her gallery more often then needed, but you can take all those extra ones and give them to your friends! :D

Advanced Critique encouraged, but not required. Skin shading's still my weak point, but I think I got it down fairly well here.

Geo.>

Monday, October 1, 2007

more beach adventures...


...and so...looking back at these photos I realize that we were getting a clear directive to head south! ;-) Well, I'm kind of kidding here, but this is pretty clear...road signs in the sky! I remember noticing the cool looking cloud, and photographing it, and not thinking too much about it at the time, but how nicely it fits into my story now!










Just one more from our first stop, before I move on...a flock of geese high up over the ocean....











We got back in the car and headed down Sunset Blvd to the end at Sunset Beach. I hadn't been to this beach in years, not since the kids were little, and had remembered it as being covered in beach pebbles...larger than what I saw on Saturday, but maybe that changes over time, or I just remembered it wrong...still, I think they were larger than this....

It is still quite different from a sandy beach. You're actually walking on pebbles, tiny to larger ones higher up on the beach....the group headed up the beach to explore while I couldn't take a step without finding one more wonderful treasure....






















The first thing to greet us before we even parked the car was the deep orange and black of a monarch butterfly. The guys found them hovering around the flowers near the beach, but they were too mobile for photos. Here's a bit of the flowers, though...

...and someone who did stay still...for quite a while...



even while everyone climbed around on his/her resting place....
















I actually have 122 photos from this day....you're seeing a sampling, and I'm agonizing over the ones I'm leaving out ;-)...


I think you're getting a nice overview of the day, though...here's a distance shot after I headed over to look for butterflies and the gang headed back to the beach...looks like the ocean is going to drain off the side of the photo...

There's an article here about this beach, and the wreck of the World War One concrete ship, Atlantus, (which you can see just beyond where everyone is standing)...and how it causes all these pebbles to wash up here, including Cape May 'diamonds'...



Just a bit more to come, of our walk in Cape May...a little later today, I think.

I'll leave you with this video...Weird NJ visits Cape May's Concrete Ship...