SIA: “Star Catcher”

I’m thinking that I didn’t nail this SIA challenge as well as I had hoped… I knew, somewhat, of what I wanted to wear for this one, hosted by Salazar over on 14 Shades of Grey, but I’m not exactly sure how accurate I was in getting the colors right.

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My sweater, which was too hot for me to even wear at the time, is more of a manila color than a gold yellow, as seen in the painting (Star Catcher by Remidios Varo). If I had the time, I would have went in a different direction for this SIA. But I had fun with this, both with deciding on my outfit, as well as my location (I love my new house!). Even if I did it wrong, the point of SIA is to have fun and enjoy it. Looking at it from that P.O.V., I think I did good. 😛

Be sure to check out Salazar’s blog on Wednesday to see how everyone else interpreted this painting. From what I’ve seen so far, everyone did wonderful!

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SIA Post: “The Siesta”

Once again, I’m breaking the rules here by posting late. Augh… But I think I’m okay, so here it goes.

Kim, over on her blog, Fierce Fashion, is hosting this particular SIA challenge, which also marks the first time that I’ve participated in a challenge in which she is hosting (yay!). She picked a really awesome piece called The Siesta by Paul Gauguin, a very summery and warm scene. And despite summer being my least favorite season, I do like this painting. And I had the perfect backdrop to pose for my photos: my patio! Check them out below!

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Not too shabby if I do say so myself. My shirt is one that I have received on my job for our summer reading program, which just ended. Each year, we have a theme. And this year’s theme was based on one of my favorite subjects: astronomy!

I felt that the design and color of the shirt matched the design on the woman’s skirt in the foreground of the painting. Not in exactly the same way of course, but well enough. I’m slowly building up my supply of graphically printed shirts, so this was the best that I could do.

And of course, these photos wouldn’t be complete without my trusty fedora hat, which I’ve featured on the blog once before. It really helps enhance my look!

So that’s it for me. Be sure to check out Kim’s blog on Wednesday to see how everyone else saw this painting and put together their outfits based on it.

I wish to add the fun fact that this SIA is perfect timing for me, as lately, I’ve been listening to flamengo and Spanish guitar music. While I’m a die hard fan for western classical music all the way, I do enjoy other genres of music as well, and this is one such genre. It often puts my mind at ease and helps me to reflect on things better than any other type of music. I find it to be very relaxing. Give it a listen some time!

Also, as promised, I’m posting additional photos from the previous SIA so that you can see my shirt design in more detail. Enjoy!

SIA Post: 18th Century Pocket

Unfortunately, this will just be a real brief post for the latest SIA project, curated by Daenel, over on Living Outside The Stacks, due to my being late in writing this and not wanting to be late in posting again (so much for that, ha ha…).

Anyway, here is what I’ve chosen for this SIA topic:

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I earned this hiking spree shirt years ago for our annual fall hiking spree, held at our metro parks each year. I thought the muted, casual colors of both of my pants and shirt matched well with the SIA choice that Daenel has chosen. And the print on both the front and back of my shirt represented the print well on the pocket.

That’s all for now! I will come back on later to go into more detail as to how I came about in choosing this outfit for SIA. But for now, check out the round-up on Daenel’s blog to see how everyone else went about in interpreting this awesome piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postcard Post: “Spring Revival”

We are well into summer now, as it’s evident by all the heat and humidity that we’ve been getting over the past few days.

As such, the postcard that I’m presenting seems a bit inappropriate to show, as it’s more spring-like than summer. But in my effort to try and keep the blog alive, and the fact that I had some postcards left over, I figured it would cool to present them now. I haven’t done any new postcards since before I moved, so why not?

Spring Revival Postcard

A pretty simple painting with a happy and cheerful appearance and easy on the eyes. I painted this back in April, when it was still fairly chilly outside and my attempt to “will” warmer temperatures to come. Well, I guess it worked because we certainly got those warmer temperatures alright. Try scorching hot and humid, as a more accurate way to describe this heinous heat.

Anyone have a pitcher of icy lemonade that I could have? 😉

SIA Post: “Children at the Beach” (Or Not!)

Its been a while since I’ve done an SIA post, and I’m probably breaking the rules for it by posting this after the round-up, but I think I’m okay. The readership is super low here anyway…

But let’s get to it, shall we?

This latest one was hosted by Salazar, over on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey. It’s a watercolor piece called Children at the Beach by Maurice Prendergast. And what a marvelous piece it is, with its obscure, but vivid use of color, done in the post-impress ionst style. And like most post-impressionst style paintings, the focus is on the abstract look of the piece, which is clearly seen in this particular painting. Salazar chose this piece because it is a watercolor painting, and she has been painting in watercolor with her own beautiful pieces (so proud of her!), which you can see on her blog as well.

So here is my interpretation for this piece:

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Not very exciting outfit-wise, but effective nonetheless. I do love the cerulean blue of my shirt, which, being the color of the ocean, fits quite nicely here, wouldn’t you say?

One thing to note: this is my first SIA photo at my new place! The backyard is huge, with lots of room for new angles and spots to take photos. So even if my outfits are boring, at least the backdrops in future photos won’t be! The balcony photos of my apartment are long gone. But these future ones will be even better!

That’s all from me! Be sure to check out Salazar’s blog in the link above, to see how everyone else went about in interpreting this interesting piece!

Book Talk: May 2019

It’s been forever since I’ve talked about books. Besides the fact that the blog has been dormant for several months, truth be told, I just haven’t been reading that much. 2019 has been an extremely busy and extremely stressful year for me. Between the moving, which is happening this month, and some personal issues that I am having, I haven’t had much time to read.

However, I didn’t want to completely abandon the whole “book club” idea that Salazar and I started a few years back. So I came up with the idea of having a “book talk”, rather than a “book review”, which will allow me to briefly talk about the books that I am reading, even though I haven’t finished them. Weighing these two possibilities, I feel that this is the better of the two options, as it will allow me to present multiple books at once, as opposed to just one, which is unacceptable to me.  Plus, doing it this way sort of binds me to the books that I present, as I do tend to hop around at times. 😛

So with all that said, let’s get to the books!

First up is a children’s book (of course!), called Focused by Alyson Gerber. Reading the summary on the inside flap of the book, as well as the first chapter, immediately drew me into wanting to read this. The main character, Clea, is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Reading part of Clea’s story leads me to believe that I may have this, or at least a minor case of it, because I sometimes feel like everything distracts me and I can’t seem to focus on just one task. Actually, the older I get, the more I feel like this, ha. Or maybe I just take on too many tasks at once. Either way, I have a really good feeling that I’m going to enjoy this book.

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Next up is a teen book called The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad. The cover alone attracted me to this book. Artistically, it juxtaposes quite nicely with the text on the cover. And the woman on the cover, who I assume is the main character, Fatima, has such an alluring gaze, that it would be almost criminal to not pick this book up.

From what I’ve read so far, this book seems to combine my two favorite genres into one; fantasy and historical fiction. Historical fiction because it mentions The Silk Road, which makes me think of the Han Dynasty of China (130 BCE-1453 CE), and fantasy, as Fatima appears to have the power of fire, given to her at birth. I’ll be curious to see how the author ties these two genres together.

One more thing to note about this book is the super awesome glossary that’s included in the back. I love it when an author includes a glossary! Because it’s set in a different time and place, many of the words may be un familiar to readers outside of the culture. But some of them I am familiar with as I have read more than a few books in which the stories take place in the Middle East. But still, a glossary is always a handy tool to have.

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The final book that I have to present is called The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova. This is an adult, non fiction book that caught my attention one day (sort of hard to miss that bright red cover!). Basically, the author seems to focus her book on charlatans, bamboozlers, con artists and flimflammers, and how even the smartest people can be swindled so easily by simply relinquishing the one thing that no one can afford to lose: trust.

I may or may not finish this book; not to say that it’s not interesting enough. But this one may take me a while to fully ingest. The author has numerous YouTube videos out there, some of which I have viewed, which sounds like she talks about much of what she discusses in her book. But I think that I will read it because I am a reader and I pride myself on being a bibliophile, despite my rather slow pace. So we’ll see.

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So that’s it for me. The next time that I come on here to discuss books, I hope to be telling all of you how much I enjoyed them. Stayed tuned! But until then, check out my friend, Salazar’s book reviews,which you can see on her blog, here.

 

Postcard Post: “Mount Fuji”

Doing these posts from my phone really helps me to appreciate my computer more. It takes me nearly twice as long to type out a post on the phone as it would on a desktop. And considering that it probably won’t be read anyway, it seems more trouble than it’s worth.

But yet, here I am. 😛

But really, there’s not much to this post, so it’s not really that bad.

As the title of this post implies, this is Mount Fuji. I looked online for a good photo of Mount Fuji, which I found many of. Once I found one that I felt comfortable with painting, I just went for it.

And truthfully, even though the texture of the mountain came out nicely, the size of it seems off. I could have made it a little bigger at the top, so that it looked less like a molehill with snow on top. But still, not too bad. I’m always making mountains out of molehills anyway. 😉

Mount Fuji Postcard

The Return of the Pharoah

If you’re a true fan of the anime, Yu-Gi-Oh!, as I am, then you’ll know exactly what I’m referencing in the title of this post. And after months of not posting a single thing, I truly do feel like Atem, often referred to as “Yami”(my favorite name for him), or “Yugi”, the titular character of the show. And to truly understand the title reference, you’d have to have seen the anime, as well as the totally kick butt movie, Dark Side of Dimensions, which ends the series in a proper and efficient way, and which I’ve seen at least 5 times since its release back in 2017.

Of course, I’m far from being a Pharoah, or even a leader for that matter. But my long absence from the blog (for those who read it), has perhaps puzzled you.

Simply put, I lost my computer months ago, back in early February. We had a power outage back then, which totally “killed” my computer. Won’t turn on for anything.

I haven’t been able to get it fixed, or even get a new one. And it will probably be a while before either of these happen. That leads me to my next point. I’m moving!!! I’ve been busy packing up all of my belongings and getting things organized over the past few months. My family and I hope to make it happen by the end of May. That’s really pushing it, but we’re remaining positive that we’ll be ready for it in a few more weeks.

Hopefully sometime after that, I’ll be moved, have my computer up and running, and will be blogging more on a regular schedule.

For now, I must use my phone (my poor fingers!) to create posts, which I’ve thought about doing for a while actually. But feeling that no one has been reading the blog anyway, and the fact that I’ve gotten sort of lazy over time, I never tried doing it this way. But it’s cool, other than the tedious tapping that I have to endure! 😛

I will do my best to keep up with posts, but I can’t fully guarantee it.

I wish to thank my faithful followers who are still following my blog and haven’t given up on me. You all are the best! 😀

Once I get more accustomed to doing this on my phone, I’ll be posting more, computer or no computer.

Stayed tuned!

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Me, in my favorite outfit; my return!

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My moving boxes with all of my books.

Musical Masterpieces #s 5, 6, And 7 – January 7th

We made it through our first week of 2019! I feel pretty elated at that fact; that and the fact that last week marks the first week since I started blogging that I published a post for five days in a row. To me, that’s a pretty big accomplishment for the blog, which I feel quite proud of. 😛 I was thinking of how to continue the Musical Masterpieces posts, as there is no posting over the weekends (???), so this is what I came up with. I’ll start with today’s musical piece and then briefly talk about the Saturday and Sunday ones. Sounds good to me! So, let’s get to today’s piece.

Today’s musical masterpiece is composed by a French man named Francis Poulenc. According to Burton-Hill, Poulenc was a homosexual who was all about the fun and pleasure seeking that life had to offer, in terms of ‘racy relationships’. His earlier pieces apparently reflect his personality and perspective on this.  But after losing a close friend of his in the 1930s, and dealing with the hardships of the 2nd World War, his later pieces take on a more serious and reflective tone. That can clearly be heard in the piece for today, Les Chemins de l’amour (The Paths of Love).

Saturday’s piece, Crucifxus, by Antonio Lotti, is a short choral piece, written to reflect the death and burial of Jesus. You can hear it here.

And yesterday’s piece I liked pretty well. Composer, Max Bruch, wrote this piece when he was just 26 years old, in 1864. And even though it took him over a year and a half to write it, Bruch was not 100% happy with it. However, it was quite popular with other people during his lifetime. I can see why. It’s filled with a lot of rapid and upbeat string playing; enough to bring up just about anyone’s spirits. You can hear it for yourself here. There were several YouTube videos I found that played this piece. I chose this particular video simply because I like the violinist and how well she plays the piece. 🙂

Musical Masterpieces #4: String Quartet no. 13 in B flat major, op. 130 5: Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo by Beethoven – January 4th

Today, we’re introduced to one of my favorite composers of all; Beethoven, followed after Vivaldi and Bach respectively in my order of favorites.

Even if you’re not a fan of classical music, you’ve probably at least heard of Beethoven and know about his unfortunate handicap of being deaf towards the end of his life. Besides being deaf, he was also an interesting individual. While he could be extremely moody, such as refusing to perform his music if he didn’t like the audience sitting before him, he could also be quite the humorous type. He once poured a plate of food on a waiter and then laughed about it. And you wouldn’t want to go to dinner with him at a restaurant, as he would often leave without paying the check and instead, write music on it. Like I said, interesting individual. 😛

Being the dedicated musician that he was, Beethoven cared little for hygiene and personal appearance. Never bothering to wash his clothes, his friends would exchange his filthy clothes with new clean clothes during the night when Beethoven slept, never noticing that the clothes that he put on in the morning were different from the ones that he wore the day before. Yeah…

“I am never alone when I am alone”, he was stated to have once said. I’m not sure if that was meant to be a sad statement about his condition, or just one of his many quirks that made him who he was. Kathleen Krull, the author of the book Lives of the Musicians, paints a very vivid picture of Beethoven’s life. I just gave you some of the interesting highlights. Check out her book to find out even more shocking facts about the famous composer!

So, on to the music piece. I must admit that even though this was composed by one of my favorite composers, I found this piece to be rather dull. I’m not really a big fan of the slower pace that this piece presents, and those that are like it. I prefer his piano and cello sonatas, which have the more upbeat, rapid sound that I’m used to. It’s okay for what it is, but is not something that I would want to listen to over and over again. You can check it out here.

However, I can’t completely dismiss this piece because according to Burton-Hill, author of Year of Wonder, this was one of the sample pieces that was sent into space back in 1977, along with many of Earth’s other kinds of music, with the hopes that other life forms that may be out there in the universe, will come in contact with the ever playing phonograph.  I like how the author ends today’s entry by saying that she hopes that whatever aliens that find this have a decent record player. I hope so too. And who knows? They may not even need such a device to play the golden record. I mean, they’re aliens, right? 😉