this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Beer Cap Art

Dr. J has been drinking and we’ve been encouraging him to drink more.
Can I get you another beer honey pie?
Dad, are you finished yet?
We rarely ask for Dr. J’s help in creating our art but in this case we NEED him. Mostly because I’m a lush and beer gives me a buzz after the first half (I have a much better tolerance for wine and vodka!)

I am passionate about using recycled material to create art and believe this is going to be the next movement in art. The monkeys got a Capster Kit as a Hanukkah gift from The Queen of Creativity. What started off as ‘kit’ art, has now manifested to cutting out paper, gluing found objects and making pins, magnets and play things out of beer caps. They monkeys love to make beer cap art and give them away to friends. They want to start selling them along with their lemonade and are currently building up their stock. When I was little I remember making necklaces after hammering a hole into the cap.
How cool are the airplanes they made using recycled cardboard- they really fly well off the 2nd story landing!

I even enjoy creating beer cap art alone. There is a satisfaction in the limitations of the size of a beer cap that make it less overwhelming. On a day that I have not expanded my creativity I can take out some glue and ‘fill’ the caps as I see fit. When we have company I try and encourage everyone to save their caps- and I've been buying beers with cool caps!

Here are some images of truly spectacular works of art made using beer caps.

Questions to consider while creating:
What materials (medium) are we using to create?
What types of art genres use found objects or recycled objects? (most commonly Assemblage but also Found Art, Junk Art and a fairly new term is Up-cycled Art) 
What textures are used? (Intrinsic to the properties of metal, paper, plastic etc.) 

Do you have any interesting uses for beer caps?


Summer Vegetarian Eating

The foods in season and the herbs that grow plentifully in our garden guide our summer menu.

We don't grow bananas but this is a common breakfast: bananas, non-fat vanilla yogurt, soya milk
Lunch: Greens, tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil
Washing and prepping mint
Using a bunch of fresh mint, left over corn on the cob, tomatoes and whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe's I made this quick and easy veggie meal.

When it is super hot out I prefer to not eat meat so we are eating lots of vegetarian meals and fish.
Dr. J and I were vegetarians before we had monkeys and now we tend to eat meat seasonally.

The next night for dinner I made salmon patties and used the left over couscous, adding new herbs.
Salmon patty with a chunk of Blue Stilton and couscous salad with fresh cilantro, tomatoes and red onions.

Do you find you also eat less meat when it is hot out?

If you are a vegetarian what are some of your favorite summer dishes?


Livin On Trash

Most of our waste today is comprised of plastic. Plastic, which is made from petroleum, is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except for a small amount that has been incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals.
This statement makes me sad. If I let myself think about the state of our world environment, I get overwhelmed by the magnitude of how thoroughly humans have screwed everything up and how we continue to. I watched a documentary a few years ago about the Pacific Garbage Patch and was horrified by the density of plastic waste that is concentrated in our oceans. The thing is –where the hell did we think all that plastic waste was going?! The pacific garbage patch is an enormous stretch of floating debris which is as shockingly deep as it is wide.  Estimates range from 'the size of Texas' to the size of 'Spain and France, combined'. 
As shown in these tables the ocean currents have created conditions which favor a convergent zone of stable water where in 1998 it was published exists a mass of plastic debris.

Obviously ‘plastic debris has significant environmental and economic impacts in marine systems’ and human health. The main problem in determining the volume of debris is that we currently do not have the resources to measure it.  By having an better idea of how much trash we are dealing with we will be better able to find a solution. 

In the mean time a Dutch based architectural company has come up with an idea to use the plastic debris and create a self sustaining island habitat suitable for humans to live on. Proposed to be about the size of Hawaii’s biggest island, Recycled Island will use the waste currently in the ocean to build a habitable land mass. The island will be an environmentally self sufficient community using compost, wind and solar energy without negatively impacting the environment.
The concept of Recycled Island is not naturally pertinent and admittedly a fanciful solution to a grave problem. However the Pacific Garbage Patch is not going to disappear without human intervention. The fact that skeptics even exists would suggest that any amount of attention drawn to this issue will help pave the way to establishing a set of goals and solutions that might begin to make an impact in our lifetime, or that of our children’s.

To read the ten main characteristics of Recycle Island and check out their website click here.
To read a short and interesting article by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health click here.
To learn more about the Great Garbage Patch and the source for the leading quote, click this.


Newport Beach- California

Newport Beach was ranked this year as the richest city in America and the median home price is one million dollars.

Named New Port in 1871 by the ‘Lower Bay’ ranch owners the population was 206 people in 1905.  In 1906 after the construction of a railway line between Los Angeles and Newport the population escalated to now around 100,000.

Newport is one of my favorite beaches. The beach front stretches ten miles long and has great surfing, boogie boarding and sand castle digging conditions.  I took a bunch of photos of some of the houses along the beach and just behind the beach. Many of the homes are for rent and/or sale.  The contrast between the older bungalows and the newer multi level homes makes for a discombobulated neighbourhood.  I find the smaller homes painted in bright colors to be the most charming.

Many of the homes have fantastic detailing: beautifully tiled, stain glassed and chandelier home fronts. 

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Sorry- No Chicken Dinner-
I did my first follower appreciation giveaway-
My monkey chose the winner.

Grace of My Year In Haiku-You Won. 
Grace is a regular commentator on my posts and always has kind words and insightful thoughts.  I have been inspired by her poems to write more of my own and for that I am grateful. 
Thank you so much to everyone who entered- to my regular followers thank you so much for making blogging such a fun experience and to my new followers I sure do hope you stick around and continue to enjoy my posts and thoughts.
Thank you to Walldecors!
Have a Happy Sunday!


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Thank you to everyone who entered the Bird Decal Giveaway- The contest is now closed and I will announce and contact the winner soon-


Thrifting With A Monkey On My Back

Yesterday I went thrifting.  There was a lot of negotiation, bribery and threatening involved, because it was not a monkey free trip.

You need to be good, Yes it’s going to take a long time, I will buy you a treat, If you are not good I will take away the treat.
I had an awesome time. (Don’t ask about the shadow/monkey).

I thought I would see if they had any cute summer dresses and they did-I tried on six (monkeys love it when you go in the fitting room) and I bought two. I am wearing one today and tried to get a good photo. I have a new appreciation for Etsy shop photographers! The very first photo is by a monkey the others are me in a mirror.  It matches my toe nail color perfectly although I was not trying to match- the Oh So Koi- by Opi was already on my toes when I bought this dress:

I am in love with the ruffles down the front, the ruffled sleeves and the cute coral colored buttons that go the whole length of the dress- And it fits me perfectly.

My jump for joy moment was when I found the FREE TO BE YOU AND ME book for (drum roll) 99 cents! When I was a child I had a record player in my playroom with several shoe boxes of vertically stacked singles from the 60’s and 70’s- To this day I know songs by heart from my parents’ collection.  Out of all those records I only had two of my own, Free To Be… You and Me and There’s A Hippo In My Tub.

This book has all the song, stories and poems from the original soundtrack and even includes some scored music. The primary focus of the album was to teach tolerance and acceptance and to defuse gender role stereotypes and to celebrate feelings, happiness and individuality. I fell for all of this. A lot of the poems, stories and song are still relevant in today’s world. The idea was conceived by Marlo Thomas and features such artists as Carol Channing, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross on the album and in the subsequent movie/video.
My favorite outtakes from the soundtrack and now book are:
Free to Be… You and Me, Boy Meets Girl (the story of two new born babies trying to figure out if they are a boy or a girl), Parents Are PeopleMommies are people/ People with children./ When mommies were little/They used to be girls,/ Like some of you/ But they grew.” I remember listening to these lyrics really wanting to picture my mom as a little girl AND picturing myself as a mommy! It’s All Right to CryIt’s all right to cry/Crying gets the sad out of you./ It’s all right to cry/ It might make you feel better./ It’s all right to know/Feelings come and feelings go.”

My two MOST favorite are both by Shel Silverstein Ladies First: “I am a real little lady. Anybody could tell that”-is a story about a little girl who "ladies first's" herself to a tasty demise by a lair of tigers- and Helping.

The funny thing is that Ladies First was my favorite as a little girl but Helping is my favorite as a mom. Dr. J loves to sing “And some kind of help is the kind of help that helping’s all a-bout. And some kind of help is the kind of help we can do with-out”- during those ever so helpful moments when the monkeys are creating more work for us while they ‘help’ us- Of course the monkeys have always been oblivious to the sarcasm or true meaning of the lyrics.
Click to read reviews or to order the same book for as little as one cent! Or order the CD for less than $5

I found this grainy video of the movie that I vaguely remember seeing- the sound quality is great- just the video sucks- anyway it’s 44 minutes long- I just played it as background and it made me feel so happy.
If you are interested the first two songs are Free To Be... and Boy Meets Girl (voice by Mel Brooks).

Free to Be... You and Me (1974)
Uploaded by QzDaddy. - Watch more music videos, in HD!


David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle is one of my all time favorite photographers. He works in film and advertising and has published several books that showcase his talent of staging controversial scenes using famous people. His book titles include: LaChapelle Land, Hotel LaChapelle, Heaven to Hell, and Artists and Prostitutes. Mr. LaChapelle also directed Elton John’s Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace, The Red Piano.

Some of his more recent shows include: Rape of Africa (with Naomi Campbell), Jesus Is My Homeboy and Artist and Prostitutes.

To read reviews see photo from his books or to order his amazing art books click on one of these titles: LaChapelle Land, Hotel LaChapelle, Heaven to Hell, and Artists and Prostitutes.
Visit David LaChapelle's website.


The Perfect Window

When we lived in Detroit my mom (Queen Of Creativity) made a curtain for the monkeys room using bits and pieces she had, to make this quilt panel.
When we moved to our house the window in my older son’s room was large enough that it needed two panel’s- Without the same fabric and not wanting to discard the original the Queen quickly put together another panel with colorful fabric and the same trim.

I like the new mis-matched look.  A quilt is often about piecing together fabric that induce memories. These curtains remind me of the time when we lived in an apartment and my monkeys shared a room.  They also reminde me of how much my mom loves us and would do anything for us. 
This is my older monkeys room.  I came up with using red lettering and did the whole room in one night- just me and a bottle of wine. He loves it.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be- Yogi Berra


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


A Day In The Life Of A Lady

Blueberry Smoothie
Blueberries, vanilla soy milk, vanilla fat free yogurt, flax seeds
Herb salad, shredded carrots, shredded purple cabbage, homegrown tomato's (compliments of Dr. J's extremely generous M.A.-K), fresh mozzarella, guacamole- salt and pepper
Tofu with curry balls rice and veggies

Indoor Laundry Drying inspired by GardenMama who reminded me to enjoy moments like these.
If you are interested in wining your own set of 18 bird decals like the ones pictured, enter HERE.

And the song that I can't get enough of because at the end of the day I love it when dirty laundry is aired in song lyrics- Kim is such an asshole. This is a live version- not the best sound quality but I love it live.

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