Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm a Fan of...

As I was browsing the internet this morning, stumped for a blog featureI thought about what is happening right now: it's Halloween tomorrow; it's Autumn; it's daylight savings time this weekend; Nutcrackers are in rehearsal all over the place in dance schools; holiday items are being advertised; Thanksgiving is coming up;...none of these topics felt inspiring to me today and I hadn't done my homework this week to choose a featured artist from any of my connections. I turned to a couple of my usual resources for inspiration and ideas. First, I thought about Andy Goldsworthy, an artist I have featured in a previous blog post. Thinking I may feature him again, with his autumn leaves art offerings, I went to YouTube to see what videos might fit the bill. From there I started clicking on the related videos and started to feel myself begin to wake up and after discovering a number of topics and artists which I'll save for future posts, I rediscovered a site which I've visited several times in the past, but seem to have put out of my consciousness. Upon this rediscovery, I am baffled that I was able to do that! is full of incredible talks, demonstrations, and wisdom. The videos can be rather lengthy, but they impart so much per minute of viewing that the fact that it is free makes me feel like I have access to an incredibly valuable treasure.

In my search this morning, I found and watched this talk by French aerial photographer, environmentalist, and humanitarian Yann Arthus-Bertrand:

"Yann Arthus-Bertrand is an aesthete with the soul of a moralist. He uses the beauty of the world to beguile you into a photograph in which a larger lesson awaits. His lesson is about the planet in jeopardy."
Richard Lacayo, Time

If you have time to watch only part of this now, I encourage you to bookmark this blog or the page to hear and see what this amazing man has to share. And, although I have yet to watch it, having just discovered it moments ago, I have bookmarked this YouTube video of HOME, a film that has no copyright and (as I understand it) is his gift to the inhabitants of this planet, to educate and motivate people to save the Earth now. In his words, "We have to believe what we know....It's too late to be pessimistic."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Meet and Greet

This is the third Tuesday I've done a "Meet and Greet" and I've gotta say: I really enjoy this segment! Some segments take less time to prepare, and I am a visual person and just love looking at photographs, but reading about the people who have left their "footprint" on my blog by following and discovering their talents and reading where they are from, and in some cases, learning a great deal about their lives through their blogs and profiles, makes me feel so grateful for this opportunity that technology has enabled! I feel like I have friends all over the world, and although I haven't met them, there is a connection and a mutual respect. I love that!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Haley of ohvotrecoeur, Highton-Ridley, and Michele of By Your Side.

Haley, who lives in Toronto, is multitalented. Her passion is music and she is a self-proclaimed " hopeless romantic and lover of all things sweet, vintage, indie, and artsy". Her Etsy shop, Ohvotrecoeur, lists vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories, as well as adorable paper creations such as origami cupcake toppers! Haley's original music is available for purchase on her music website, so check it out! Haley also blogs, tweets, and can be found on Facebook.

Originally from Scotland, but living in Plymouth, England, Mark Highton-Ridley is an accomplished photographer, having had work featured in magazines and on the BBC website, as well as several galleries. To list all of his accomplishments here is beyond the scope of this blog segment, but I encourage you to browse his various blogs for yourself, with links to his featured works in several different venues. Attracted mainly to black and white photography, but with equally gorgeous color photos, his stunning work explores beauty as well as decay. Mark Highton-Ridley's work can be seen on his website, and not one, but 1-2-3-4! blogs!!! Click on each of them and give them a look!

Michele, of Portland, Oregon, is the artist behind By Your Side, which carries original handmade purses and handbags. Colorful and fun, this creative endeavor began when the stay-at-home mother of 2 could not find the "perfect purse"! Looking through her Etsy shop, I will venture to say that more and more people will be finding that "perfect purse" as more people discover her shop! Michele has a blog, also called By Your Side, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her items...the holidays are coming up and what woman couldn't use the perfect purse?!

Thank you, Followers, for being part of my global community. For those of you who may be reading this but are not followers, if you would like to be featured in a future "Tuesday Meet and Greet", please click on the follow button on the sidebar or on Facebook's Networked blogs and I will try to feature everyone that has information, creative endeavors, and business opportunities that they are trying to share with the world as a thank you for following my blog!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ashes and Snow

One of the most all-encompassing, inspirational, awe-inspiring museum exhibits I have ever experienced occurred about 3 years ago (maybe 4?) in Santa Monica, California. The Ashes and Snow museum came to visit and so we went to visit the Ashes and Snow museum. Yes, the whole museum travels! The building is erected using recycled materials and the nomadic museum is home to the vision of Gregory Colbert, and it houses his spectacular photography and films. From the moment you enter until you leave, you are transported to another place: one that is deeply spiritual. (In the last few seconds of this video, you can glimpse a small section of this incredible exhibit.)

I urge you to pore over this website and to see this exhibit, should you ever be fortunate enough to live in a city to which it travels. Here I am, several years later, blogging about it and still moved by the profoundness of the experience.

Visit Made by SwirlyGirl!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Sunday Best...the last of my Faulkner Farm sharing!

Faulkner Farms, in Santa Paula, California, is an historic landmark that now belongs to California State University and is used as an agricultural education venue for the area.

Every fall, the Rotary Club hosts a festival that lasts for the entire month of October where people can come and spend the day choosing pumpkins,

strolling through gardens,

listening to live music, eating pie and funnel cakes, browsing through the antique store in the old barn,

riding on the ponies, walking through the hay and corn mazes,

taking a hay ride, tossing pumpkins with the "pumpkin chucker" and holding baby chicks and ducks in the petting zoo. The atmosphere is relaxed and happy

and children, with their faces painted and bellies full of kettle corn love trying to lift the giant pumpkins and climb the old tractors found around the property.

When a live band isn't playing, canned music is played over speakers and that makes the festive atmosphere complete!

Wandering around the grounds, one is mesmerized by the variety of color and textures that Mother Earth bestows upon us and I return home grateful that we live in an area of such agricultural abundance.

My family always looks forward to our day trips to the pumpkin patch and then we pore over the colorful photographs and funny videos that have captured our day and help to cement the memory in our consciousness till the next year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Sunday Best

The barn on the property of the farm that hosts the pumpkin patch we went to last weekend, along with the Victorian style farmhouse with which it shares the grounds, was built in 1886. Well taken care of and resplendent in it's fresh coat of red paint, the only sign of the barn's age are the shutters in the cupola. Personally, I'm glad that they haven't been repaired to look as good as new! The slightly askew slats add character and mystery to the structure that makes me want to peek in through the cracks---and perhaps see an apparition or at the very least, some forgotten treasures of yesteryear abandoned and layered with dust and cobwebs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday Best...Continued

Picking up where I left off on Monday, I want to share more photos from our daytrip to a nearby pumpkin patch. These butterflies were in an area of the farm (which is owned by California State University and is used to educate people in agriculture) that is divided into small gardens. There is a garden made up of plants that excite the senses, another that demonstrates plants from around the world (which is in the shape of a world map and has the plants growing in their native "countries"), a medieval garden, a medicinal garden, a Spanish Mission garden, a Peter Rabbit's just a lovely and creative spot where butterflies, hummingbirds, and I have no doubt, lots of other critters abound!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Meet and Greet

It's Tuesday! Time to meet a few more of Made by SwirlyGirl's Side Lines fantastic followers! I'm so grateful that there are people out there that want to check out my photos, ramblings, and discoveries that each week I'm setting aside a day to thank them and introduce them to everyone who visits my blog.

Elisabeth, who resides in Pennsylvania, is the artist/owner of Glistening Glass and she creates and sells fused dichroic glass jewelry and accessories in her Etsy shop. Her pieces are really stunning and right now she is offering a discount on multiple purchases, so you might want to take a look and see if there is something that might fit the bill for your holiday shopping! You can see her photostream on Flickr, too!

SCJ Jewelry Design, from Washington, creates and sells sterling silver and fine silver jewelry with natural stones, pearls and crystals. Her Etsy shop is filled with unique and gorgeous rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings! Sandy Cahill, the artist/owner of SCJ Jewelry Design, also has a blog and can be found on Facebook and Flickr. (Pssssst....she offers free shipping!)

Boston, Massachusetts resident, Adrian La Roque has two blogs: By The Canon Viewfinder and FOTOĆ©RASE. Both showcase Adrian's beautiful fine art photography. Browse through his blogs and feast your eyes on his and other photographers unique point of view.

If you would like your shop, blog, or profile featured in a future Tuesday Meet and Greet, become a follower on here or through Network Blogs and eventually you will be one that I will publicly thank! For those of you who are already following, thank you! I look forward to featuring you and getting to know you better!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Best

I usually post this segment on a Sunday and choose pictures from days that my family and I have spent doing something fun together that are more distant memories, but yesterday we spent the day at one of our favorite Pumpkin Patches and I am so excited to share it with you that I'm going to pick a few of my favorites for to share with you over several days this week.

Today I've chosen this hummingbird who seemed very happy to have his photo taken:

These may or may not end up in my shop on cards or as matted prints, but if you are interested in purchasing a photograph of any of these or others on my blog, please let me know!

Made by SwirlyGirl is on Etsy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Favorite Things

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page and immediately I decided that I needed to share yet another unbelievable exhibition of unique and wonderful art! Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm a Fan of...

Bill Martin, from Pennsylvania, is the artist owner of Purified Art, which he describes as "unique future-primitive silver art jewelry".

Bill recently joined a group I am a part of and although I would like to run a more in-depth feature in the future that includes an interview, Bill is a busy man at the moment and I will have to wait for that!

That doesn't prohibit me from posting an introduction, however, for those of you who may not be familiar with his work.

What strikes me the most about Bill's jewelry is the bold, clean lines, the heavy look of his metals combined with his stone choices which combine to create quite masculine and substantial wearable art pieces.

He has developed a personal style which is recognizable at a glance and yet his pieces are so different one from another.

Looking through his Flickr gallery, you can see that Bill's talent runs deep and that he could just as easily and successfully have chosen another form of artistic expression.

Purified Art can be purchased on Etsy and you can visit Bill's blog, Purified Art, as well as his Flickr photostream. Bill can also be found on Twitter and Facebook!