The best way, for me, to spend an afternoon is by wandering through second hand stores, antique stores and junk shops. I find the greatest treasures there. What seems useless to one person is the beginning of creation for another. I look for those things that, in their day, were useful. Somehow those items lost their purpose and were discarded. How many times have we found those cut glass candleholders and passed them by because there was nothing noteworthy or unique? How many times have we walked past the candleholders that were dinged and chipped because their appearance was old and used? There are always shelves full of discarded art and frames. These things can be brought to life with a little creativity and time and then, once again, become a thing of interest and beauty. May they find a place in your home.
In our world we look at people, things and places and we evaluate them based on our idea of perfection and whether or not it conforms to our understanding of how things SHOULD be. Participants in the cultural plan have been programmed to believe that if you do A, B and C you will achieve success. The models for beautiful, successful and acceptable are paraded before our eyes setting the program in our brains for what we should believe and model ourselves after that. No longer is our society programmed to discern these things for themselves. Soon we find that those standards, those paths to success laid before us are not true. They never quite get us there.
Stop for a minute and observe, listen and allow the reality of what is before you to enter into your thoughts. Not by holding it to an expected end but appreciating it for what it is....right now in this moment.
These chairs are a great example. They were CRAFTED by someone. The oak in the chairs is well grained and so beautiful. There are imperfections, dings and dents that have come from 60 years of use. Some can be sanded out without effecting the design and some are just left and become part of the character of the piece. They are not without flaws but they are perfect.....beautiful just as they are.
My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
When you're drowning, you don't say 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,' you just scream.
I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can... But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.
I found this Chanukiah laying on a shelf at a second hand store. It was solid wood with no decoration. It would not stand on its own and the wood pieces would not fan out without tipping over. I let it lay on my "TO DO" shelf for a month or so and then decided I needed to get it done BEFORE Chanukah!
I began laying out the design, the color scheme and sketched it out on paper. I put the base color on the wood and then began working on the design. It didn't quite look the same as the vision in my head. I wanted to somehow paint realistic peacock feather design on this wood piece and it was not working out. So I backed away and went to do something else for a while. I walked back to the project and began making brush designs with my color scheme on the body of the bird. I liked it! The project evolved from there with the final touches being the bead work.
My son, JMatheny, is a very talented artist that can transfer images to canvas and they are realistic, authentic and original. He is capable of doing that with almost anything he can envision. I try, I even lay out plans that I think will work but it never turns out the way I plan. Does that stop me? No.
Sometime we don't create because we compare ourselves and our skills to another talented individual that we admire. We stop the creativity in ourselves because it doesn't look the same as someone elses work or better yet...we are afraid to make a mess and have to start over. My son and I are both talented and creative people with very different skills and visions. Don't let a failed design, a funny sketch or a crazy idea stop you from creating unique things. My son and I are both very talented in very different ways and the world needs our creative ideas.....more importantly the world needs yours too!
One of the senses that awakens our entire being is our sense of smell. We walk into a room or space and we are drawn by the fragrance that hangs in a room. We walk by a bakery and we inhale the aroma of freshly baked bread. Freshly baked cookies draw us in and cause us to forget all about that promise to stick to a diet.
These fragrances have filled our homes over this past holiday weekend but there is more to come. Cookies for school, parties and events must be baked. There are desserts for the office party, tins to fill for neighbors and family and all the festivities that fill this month, whether Hanukkah, Christmas or any other celebration. In our house we also add birthdays to this list.
We have taken Natural Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, added the perfect agent for extraction, and aged the vanilla to perfection. This natural vanilla will be the perfect flavoring for all of your holiday baking. Would you like to try something untraditional and unique? Try Organic Culinary Grade Lavender Extract in your recipes! Happy baking!