Monthly Archives: February 2011

Choosing Beautiful

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The weather report is showing an arctic storm headed our way with possible snow at sea level. Unheard of for these parts of California. I do like winter a great deal, but I have noticed through the photos I’ve been uploading that I must be searching for spring.
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We’ve been getting eggs again and blue & green ones at that! Our three new chicks have started laying. They started right before Christmas and have been blessing us with three eggs a day ever since. Our egg carton is so beautiful now. Our older three chickens haven’t laid since last spring. They started up after winter, but then molted and then we moved the new chicks in with them over summer which must have thrown them for a loop. I am hoping that they start laying again too.
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The blue and green one come from our two Americanas and the brown one from our Buff Cochin. I am so excited to have three different colored eggs now. As I wrote about a few years ago, being able to grow or raise your own food allows you to add beauty to your life. Why pick chickens that lay white eggs if you have the option for blue eggs? Why plain mustard greens when you can choose chinese mustard (love that picture!), why not add an orange watermelon into the mix. There is a lot of ugly in my day to day, runny baby noses to wipe, dirty diapers to wash, taxes to file, floors to clean, so when I go outside and get to bring these lovely things inside it really does turn my day around.
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Hope you are well and staying warm!

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15 Minutes to Slow Down

Resolution : Draw More

I made a resolution to draw more this year. And it is one that I plan on sticking to, come hell or high water. I was an art major at one time, I drew as an outlet my entire life, but then I grew up and my daily life got filled with all sorts of things. Drawing took a back seat. So this year I’ve vowed to sit down for 15 minutes each Wednesday morning and draw, something, anything. 15 minutes isn’t very long, just time for a quick sketch really, but I wanted it to be an obtainable goal and I can do 15 minutes.

This day I drew a leaf of a scented geranium that grows outside our dining room window. I started drawing plants my senior year of high school when we had to do senior reports. Did you have to do one of those too? Well, I grew up at the base of Mount Diablo and spent a lot of time hiking all around it as I grew up. So when senior report time came up, I decided to create a book called, The Urban Dweller’s Guide to Mount Diablo. To call it a ‘book’ is really stretching it, it was more like a hand bound booklet. I delved into the flora and fauna of the area and started drawing and writing it all out. Ever since I’ve been fascinated with drawing plants and leaves. It is so soothing and meditative to try and replicate a simple little leaf. And you learn so much about the botany of it all when you draw it. I was always terrible at sciences but when I draw it things start to make sense to me.

Even if you think you can’t draw, I encourage you to try sitting down one day and drawing a leaf. Maybe even trace the leaf, if the idea of drawing the outline of the leaf seems overwhelming and then slowly fill it up with the veins and other lines you find inside. It is a nice thing to do when your shoulders are up to your ears with stress. Slows you down.

Sea Ranch Cards

Cards I made using my print gocco from drawings of grasses up at Sea Ranch.

And I don’t know about you, but I can always appreciate something to slow me down!

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