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First let me tell you that last night I was blogging when Ringo made a jump on my desk and a dive for the wall and looked like he was listening to something intense. So I listened too. What was it? I saw no crawling bugs and then worried, what if? What if  rats were back in the attic or garage? I walked out to the garage with Ringo who inspected the territory  and could find nothing to kill. I felt that was a good sign. He then went out for the night and I sat at my desk and tuned into to the house, keeping my ears open to every creaky, creepy noise that comes with a 50 year old house and when it is dark outside, the imagination is ripe!   (Ringo finds nest of newborn rats in garage last October)
I still have traps set up in the attic and change them every few weeks, only time will tell. So far I hear no foot steps. That cat is a prankster, maybe he was just trying to liven things up. Tonight Frankie has taken over, she just stares into space, she’s old and that’s what she does. If she does what Ringo did, then I will freak out and call an exterminator,
This morning woke to the same old Dante’s Hell outside. I am hoping that by next week my computer will be fixed and my Photoshop and CD/DVDs will be able to be reinstalled and I can work on my art again. Photoshop is like colorfully applied heroin, I am not doing well without my daily fix, (not of heroin, of Photoshop.) “Au natural” is not working well for me. But at least my Alpha is back and the lens working. Here’s a few morning shots:

Actually the squirrel and jay were the day before.
Tonight I drove over to Casselberry where I thought the Arthouse was having a reception.   There was no one inside that I could see, but the door was open so I went in. No one was in the main Gallery, but I did hear voices in the back to discover artists painting away. It was a class. I felt dumb when no one knew of a reception, but did take time to notice the Gallery filled with an Exhibit I think was called Magnificent 7. The colors and theme were pleasing. Here are a few of the works:
and there was photography too  – The building itself is wonderfully serene.  I enjoy the view of the lake from all the windows.  Inside the walls invite you to exhibit.   I walked outside and came across a huge hawk who only sat still for seconds when he noticed me.  he was a gorgeous speciman!  But he was quick. The views around the building are wonderful as I have stated in past blogs. Have a look:  
The lake and walkway are fun, the landscaping has become so lush! But the lightning was becoming plentiful overhead even with a mostly blue sky.
I finally found out through another lost soul that the reception was inside the City Hall building. There I found Linda Moore,  the Recreation Coordinator there talking to some of the artists.  The exhibit is called “Dance of Life” and the passion was very intense.  I met artist, Gary Paduch. His stirring paintings were absorbed as soon as you walked in. I learned he also writes and has a book and plans on writing another. All can be seen at  his website at  http://gf.paduch.com he has a gorgeous and intense body of work. Take a peek and enjoy!  Here is a view of some of the “Dance of Life” exhibit,  the artists on display are,  Betty and Jim Bay, Stephanie Kindle. Mactruque, Dale Metz, Monte olinger, Berto Ortega, Gary Pauch and Steve Piscitelli. I am only showing a few paintings, the rest are for you to discover.
http://www.casselberry.org/ I never knew Jim Bay was a painter, but he did this small jazz piece. Betty his talented wife must have rubbed off on him after all these years.  There were a few sculptures – go see it all yourself. 
When I left at about 7:45pm, the sky to the east and north were threatening. The sun was getting low when I reached Country Club but I veered off and tried to get a few pics   This is over Crystal Lake

The noisy bully of a storm was showing off overhead and thunder got louder.  The clouds over my own lake were very dark and menacing.  I did shoot a quick video as it was almost too dark. And as I shot, I noticed a heron in my pine, I have not seen a heron in about a month. I was excited by it’s presence and watched till it flew away, maybe tomorrow it will come back. Enjoy the storm that passed over,        have a great tomorrow and an even better one after that!

Yep, summer is shamelessly flaunting itself. The air is hot, the lake is hot, the pavement is hot, the blood is curdling. Glad for air conditioning, but the bill is red hot –that muscle of a machine is working outside full time pumping cool air in.
Wildlife is an early morning or evening event, even then, nothing new and not much variety.
I did come across some adorable muscovy ducklings when I stopped for gas near a retention pond. People give me the strangest looks as I wander off with my camera – I can’t help it if I my eye fixates and I must follow!
The days weave their paths into each other and I am just a drone to my slacker brain and the screen of the computer monitor.
I wonder and marvel at  how “A types” operate. I spoke with Kim Nelson today when I stopped to pick up the two pieces I had at an exhibit where she works. Kim is head coordinator at the Museum of Seminole County History while also teaching Humanities at Seminole State College and writing a novel.  She pulls total triple duty and is cool as a cucumber in her total ability to handle her priorities and have everything mapped out. I do believe it must be genetically engineered. I try and juggle and my balls are always on the ground all over.
She told me that during her last trip to Italy she found her family over there had a detailed geneology mapped back to the mid 1500’s — now that is a sign of great record keeping skills her family has passed down. Her novel is a work of fiction based upon her family, I have no doubt it will be a terrific read when she is finished. She inspired me to get excited about writing again, but only till I got back home and sat in front of a blank page that read, “add new” after I hit my abbesworld dashboard . I have a novel  I gave up finishing it over ten years ago.  Even with my writing group, once I found photography, it seemed so much easier as my eye and brain could coordinate and compute their efforts in silence without coaxing words from the brain. It didn’t require adjectives to describe taking photos.  People could bring their own thought when observing thus sparing me the words on paper.  When writing constructively via short story, poetry, etc.,  my brain must blast out cohesive thoughts and the gears need to be grinding and that is too much thinking in details, the stuff I dread anymore. Maybe because I am not sure if I come across well in my writing vision, but with photography, when I have an exhibit, my work speaks for itself – I like that! People really are not afraid to tell you how they feel, and you can read faces from across a room that makes me feel like I have accomplished something.  I guess I am doubting my creative flow and its’ results. For now, I have left some of my writing in the hands, or rather paws of my beat poet cat alter ego,
cool Ringo, my “Cat Kerouac”   or “Ringo ‘Kerou-cat’ as Kim called it.  And even though Ringo does have his own blog,  http://incatdreams.wordpress.com look at the last date I updated,  I need to write if Ringo is going to actually be a poetry-cat. I mean, how can you be thought of as a “serious” writer if you don’t write? (Blogging is just my excuse for looking busy.)  Oh well, enough  – here’s some quiet down time to enjoy the leisure Florida pace, Alice had her rabbit hole, I have abbesworld, and abberantsverse and art2submit, and and and….


I am still without my photoshop on my main computer and am using my son’s lap top as back up  to do some  editing till my friend helps find my missing driver lost inside the tower, oh such a  addictive AND vindictive machine. And maybe one day the Geek squad at Best Buy will see about getting my DSLR back to me – it’s been almost a damn frigging month already – hint hint Best Buy!
Oh don’t mind my cussing, it’s just between the heat, two computers, 5+ blogs and one digital camera, lack of sleep, politics, getting ready for photo exhibits, and looking for nature to enjoy, my brain is melting.   Creativity Kills!
WHEW – What a day! I did the dumbest thing, forgetting that my CD/DVD drive has disappeared off my computer. And since my Photoshop was not working properly, I decided to go ahead and un-install the Photoshop and reinstall. The trouble was, after I uninstalled, I forget the drive would not recognize the CD, so I feeling like pulling out my freshly dyed hair. I am using some vague program to clean up and resize the pics for this blog, but can’t get real creative with my own work. And add to it that no matter which icon I click on, I can’t get the paragraphs to behave either – this is going to be a long blog, literally.  Frankie
is helping me by shedding and drooling all over the keyboard.  
Tonight was Alive After  5- aptly dubbed, Tropical Nights. It was a
busy one.   I was amazed at the crowd seeing that the last two Alive After 5’s have not been as packed.   This one was rocking. My mission was to go and see the art for the fund raiser for the Icla da Silva Foundation,
they match bone marrow with Leukemia patients. This was going on at The Art Affair Gallery.    Mauricio Murillo, photographer/artist has been active with this foundation and The Art Affair decided to raise money via raffle tickets and bidding on newly painted work. Mauricio had the big room and it was wonderfully painted and decorated with his comical Gummy Bear Art.
There was a camera and loose gummies for making your own individual picture.   And Mauricio was talking with the customers.   These are internationally known artists working their magic on canvas before the public.  Marie DeCosta was painting a leopard to bid on.  She does wonders with motion in a painting.
Both Marie and Peter Cerreta are favorites, I probably say that each time but it’s worth repeating. Here’s a look at Peter’s work:      Peter painting and his sculptures 
Toelle Hovan was busy beautifying purses and canvas.
Trish Vevera  too had paintbrush in hand   outside was a caricature artist, I think he was the one at Rae Marie’s from my last blog when I was there.  Here’s a view of the new artwork on the walls:
Tom Abbott wasn’t there, but knew his work right away. And that is Marie’s painting all finished and looking from the outside in. Adam and I bought raffle tickets, we are excited to see if we win anything.
Out on the streets, here were the sights:  Suddenly the wind began to blow and the sky darkened, but luckily the rain passed over. I stopped by The Gallery on First and Mary was there to greet me with her warm  hello and then she introduced me to their artist of the month, Virginia Maxfield,  she was charming and very excited about how she came about painting with such bold strokes and color. Her work elevating! She has taken an intuitive approach, doesn’t think about it, just goes with what she feels and obviously she feels great -Take a look:   You must see these close up, they were dancing with color. She paints some with tempera some acrylic. I took the photos with distance to them and now I am sorry I didn’t zero in to give you a
closer look, gives you an excuse to come to Sanford’s galleries and have a look yourself.
I ran into Sharon Hyder in her booth and found her sketching.  Otherwise, Gallery On First has lots of interesting artists and artwork available to buy. The folk art is very welcoming and makes one feel elevated by the mood.  I hope one day soon my own daughter Andrea   will get enough of her own work to submit for a show, here’s a sample:
love her cat art!
Back out on the street was music, food and artists with their tables.
The Consignment shop, Bailey’s Upscale always has 50% off during Alive After 5.
One vendor Joanne Borges who does detailed ceramics has made a new fun line,
Also ran into Bonnie Sprung who is very prolific, she had many items for sale from magnets, to paintings and clothing:  
So have you had enough  of this layout? I have, it’s been hours since I have been doing this and I am going out to look at the Perseids meteor shower.  But before leaving, Sanford I saw two lovely familiar faces, sweet Ari and Adam. 
And a shout out to my middle child who turns 30 today, Happy Birthday new Daddy!   I did leave Sanford and enjoyed looking at some of the old architecture as I made my way home   When I arrived at home, there was my Ringo,  but he didn’t get to go fishing tonight, I was too busy doing the blog.
Gotta run and look at the sky! Have a great view of the heavens and a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy!

Started out at Rae Marie’s, Framing 508 Gallery,    She had artist, Alfredo Mujica painting an adorable dog portrait.  His cubism work is right next to the dog he was working on. He does caricatures for private parties.   Rae Marie always has new and exciting ideas going on. Besides being an accomplished artist herself and framing expert, she has new products at her framing Gallery, Healthy Coffee’s by the Healthy Coffee Company.     These are blends of natural and organic herbs with the coffee like ginseng and reishi. Adam drank one and said it was delicious. I am not a coffee drinker, but Rae Marie supplied me with an energy packet to mix with water and try. It’s too late for energy right now however.  Check with her for opportunities with new coffee line. The web address is www.healthycoffee.com or you can get in touch with Rae Marie at 407-324-1577. She is also carrying a new line of honey from Winter Springs called Black Bear Honey.    Rae Marie designed the adorable logo   based on Lola, a baby bear rescued and handed over to live at the Care Foundation,  www.theCAREfoundation.org — a non profit organization that for 20 years rescues and cares for abused and abandoned wildlife based out of Apopka, Florida. Rae Marie can do amazing things with a brush or with framing materials, here’s a view into her gallery at 508 S. Sanford Avenue, Sanford, Fl.
left and right  and her studio has many many framing and matting choices.  Rae Marie is always the most enthusiastic person and I swear she always glows. Go see her shop and enjoy conversation. She has all types of services to offer.
Upon leaving we noted the Stokes Fish company building and had to pay it homage:  It’s no longer a fish store, but another business leases the space.
Onto First Street and stopped at Ronda’s Art Affair. they were selling raffle tickets with the money going toward the,”Buy Arts, Save a Life” fundraiser for the Icla da Silva Foundation that recruits bone marrow donors for adults and children with Leukemia. From August 12 through September 4th, a percentage of the sales from the gallery will benefit the foundation. On Thursday August 12, artists will be there at the gallery doing live art. There will be a Silent Auction and Raffles for gifts. The Raffle drawing will be August 27th, go take a look around the gallery and help a great cause.  www.artaffairgallery.com — Here’s a peek at the wonderful Art Affair, that Ronda always has her wheels grinding and keeps things moving.   Love Peter Cetera’s work,  wonderful cerebral thought to them.  Peter also does and teaches  sculpture and had his students work portrayed with his art, be has got a crew of really bright artists. Enjoy their work:  
There are many more at the Gallery . And of course, here’s some more paintings, Peter’s and others.  Featured in the main room was the mixed media of Melissa Daddis. Her mixed media is playful with strong abstract tendencies.
She has an upbeat feel to her approach to art.  Then of course Tom Abbott and his wonderful sculptured/dimensional work is always rather what I would title, ‘thrusting’, it’s out there to grab and keep your attention.  He loves making art that really comes alive, the picture lacks a lot in the detail of this piece. There are other artist’s work all over the gallery, and can’t name the names, but enjoy the work:

Those two are Ronda’s, she has so much style and a love for trees, and for tree love.

And Mauricio and his gummy art.  And Toelle Hovan who was painting outside Julie Kessler’s presence  and Leon, the Lake Mary food critic was on hand too.  www.lakemaryfoodcritic.blogspot.com/.  I think he eats out more than I do, go read his reviews if you are looking for a place to dine around here.
Walked on down to Jeanine Taylors, Gallery on First. Melissa Menzner had a lot of work there and is doing a class on memory boxes which is something she has added to her fantastic body of work  – to see it check it out at the site  http://www.jtfolkart.com/
I adore her pieces!   She totally hand sculpts each face. The expressions and eyes are just wonderful.
These pieces are off the internet,  you can see what the Gallery At First has at the website.  Went by each room, lots of work in progress. Lorie Ann Harris had just done a bird  a wonderful bird that I can’t do justice by.   Her mom, Sharon Hyder had a cozy and warm fuzzy painting  – her paintings always invoke a warm, inviting feeling and that is just how she seems too. Jeanine also features the wood workings of in-depth artist,  Ab the Flagman, his osprey is just filled with detail, have a look when you go.
Back out on the street, the sky was making it’s own art:   The almost full moon was just beautiful, looked like it was filtering through smoke.   The clouds just could not make up their minds about rain and decided none was necessary.
Lake Monroe looked pretty calm as we made our way home.  Lots of enthusiastic fishermen and women though.
My Sony Alpha trew me for another loop while at Rae Maries, the mechanical motor that retracts the lens has taken another lens out and I fear it will do my long lens again. So back to the shop and I shall be camera-less, like a man without a country, a dog without a bone, actor out on loan, riders on the storm, whatever, I will be miserable and grumpy – But also might be time to explore a new camera to replace the Kodak. So don’t look for a blog for a few days. Enjoy your weekend, mine will last a million years without a camera in my hands – with the third eye gone, I feel almost blind…

Lots to do coordinating the exhibit for University Club and making sure it is a fine representation for the Gateway Photo Group – the work by the contributing photographers is beautiful, it will be a terrific show – so off to University Club on Tuesday to look around and chart wall space. But today, my daughter had off and she took me to lunch at Willowtree in Sanford, a very noted German restaurant.  We stopped by Andrea’s first where her cats were lounging, Musa and Cocobella looked like Romeo and Juliet,  Little Cocobella was looking so adoringly at that devil Musa.  Andrea had taken a picture with her and Musa, I loved it so must add it of course.    Then we headed to Hart Sister’s Tea Room on Park Avenue and thought we would grab a bite to eat there, but they were closed. It’s an adorable setting.   there was such a nice garden setting and plants around the place.   But since it was closed we ventured to First street and the gallery’s were closed so we headed to Willowtree and ate outside.   The place was still quite full and it was 1:30pm.  I had quiche which was good, but the honey mustard pecan dressing for the salad was excellent. Andrea had a sandwich, neither of our choices were German dishes, but if you like the schnitzel and knockwurst, liverwurst and bologna loaf, this is for you! The desserts looked wonderful, but neither of us really wanted any, we were full.   They do have great desserts!   My sweetest daughter and I strolled up the road, passed Maya’s and saw the Yoko John Poster:  and then saw something I didn’t expect – a rooster at Two Blondes and A Shrimp! He was a poser!    They say he comes around all the time, wonder if he came from Horstmeyers on Commercial Street, they have chicks for sale.
We stopped and bought a few things at Baileys Consignment store and then went over and looked at Miss Libby’s Antique Emporium.  They had moved their recently, but I believe Miss Libby said she and her husband had been at another location down the block for 14 years.  They had done a beautiful job of placing all their antiques. It was well organized. Had a lot of glassware and lots of Harmony Kingdom boxes which are so much fun to look at.
and Betty Boop!   There is furniture, original artwork, primitives, coins and a very cool monkey   Enjoyed our talk with Miss Libby who was happy to help us.
address is 204 E. First Street – 407-328-8298.
We had a nice chat and then headed home. It was a lot of fun, thanks Andrea for lunch!
Last night I was a stick in the mud, could see some of the Sanford fireworks from the backyard, also saw my pesky little raccoon who decided to eat the remaining cat food.   While Ringo decided he did not like the commotion at all and came in and even sat on my lap voluntarily, a first!   I had to watch to see who I let in — didn’t want a raccoon on my lap!  I watched Bye Bye Birdie and sang away with the movie..  
This morning the jay were at it again, in fact, I had forgotten there were so many fledgling birds. They were trying to be the boss of everyone and chased off the other birds and squirrel.   Though the doves are pretty feisty too.   There was a showdown between the squirrel and dove, but they called a draw and both stayed.
The jays then came in pairs:   and had a few words,  

the third brother joined in, then two more.   They were hard to get at one time!  Then it boiled down to two and they argued and both flew off — but they come back now again and again and it never gets old.   and to look at this last picture, it is my tribute to Independence day, the natural beauty of the red, white and blue!

Hold on, have been gone since last Thursday and have had things happen! First people things, went to Tampa for a baby shower and my son, Aaron proposed to his girlfriend, Leila.  That was a lot of fun. Lots of people and scenery and gifts and a great time.   Thanks as always to Mark and Lynette for the use of their home for these wonderful parties and to all the hard workers who set it all up and took it down. Came home Sunday after spending two nights with three hours of sleep while listening to the poor cat in heat. Don’t worry she is an indoor cat,    but what is really funny, there is a slab porch with no screen out the back door, and Sasha the cat will not go off the concrete, she hates hates hates the feel of the grass.
Before I got on I-4, I was cutting through a Home Depot to get gas and caught sight of two osprey in the trees, had to stop and take a couple pics.   Then off it was toward O- town. Finally I was ready with my camera to take the upside down RV’s I always forget about –  They were near Dover.  At one point the artist was told to remove them, luckily, that has changed —  http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/mar/14/owner-told-remove-vertical-rv-display-dover/ — I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy seeing that display!
And then the monotonous ride to Orlando and the rejoicing when downtown appears ;   .
At the house, the herons have left the nest, nothing is there anymore, though the neighbors still have their family in the trees. The wood ducks too, they have taken their family and gone – didn’t even say goodbye.  The grasshoppers are horrible,
They want to dine on way too much. Most of my neighbors kill them, I have been told to fish with them, but can’t bring myself to bait them.  So they eat.  The birds are still busy even though the heat is overwhelming.
The moorhens have six babies.  The jays and cardinals also have fledglings:   The cranes were yawning in the heat.
The grackles and crows and mockingbirds continue fighting.
I was going to go to an meeting for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission about banning the penning of fox and coyotes for hunters to let their dogs loose upon- what an unfair advantage! Apparently it was well attended and they will pass the ban. I actually slept through it this am, I woke and it was 10am and the meeting began at 8:30am, whoops… Glad there are so many dedicated animal protectors via animal rights activists. Orlando has a large share.
At 1pm, I went to Debary   to  see the Gateway Center for the Arts exhibit. On my way I stopped at the White Cup on 17/92 in Debary to see if Jon D. Miller’s  work was still up, and the artist was sitting there when I walked in!   
So here is a sampling of what is hanging:   A Horoscope theme of mixed media on wood and canvas and even prints of the originals.  Here’s a few close ups:  

Jon’s painted palm fronds are just as colorful and fun as he is:   Jon’s so enthusiastic,  and even though this show comes down this Friday,  I am sure he will be somewhere else – if you are interested in his art, contact via email:  Toyseum@aol.com.   Jon does murals, interior painting besides portraits and even body painting.
Don’t forget that the White Cup has a selection of coffee and tea and is now making their own yummy desserts.

Then hit the Gateway because my friend, Judith Segall and another new friend, Mary Segal were both showing with Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson and Joanna White.  Judith is an excellent paper maker and gives classes. She has worked on making mixed media art that can be touched for the enjoyment of sight impaired people. I remember her telling me she went to Gainesville and took a class years ago about applying art as therapy. Here she has applied her knowledge as a paper maker, painter and being that she is sensitive toward someone who might not have the visual ability to see the colors, but as in nature, they can touch and identify the shapes. Her pieces are always well thought out and very beautiful:

Always love the depth of Elizabeth’s collages. Her colors are just stimulating and fun!  I have seen her do collage and it’s magic! Mary Segal does striking, long panels of soothing colors with mixed media – she has quite an interesting approach to her art.
The hanging box art by Joanna White was of small boxes strung together to make long chains of color, that looks like a time consuming project!.   There were other boxes too of varied descriptions,
and some long shots   Just a few glimpses into the brains of artists. The show will be on for about 3 more weeks I think.
The front lobby had adorable individually made bird houses for auction:  
Here’s some info, click on photo for larger reading and contact the Gateway Center For the Arts for more info. emails for Mary Segal = marysegal@yahoo.com,  Judy Segall = http://www.judithsegall.com/
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson  http://www.nelsoncreative.com/gallery/
On the way home I saw a anhinga relaxing at Mayfair   I went home to relax and even tried my hand at fishing, not one thing is biting but the turtles and don’t want them biting my hook! I Took a walk instead.  One day seems to mesh into the next, but at 3am, I guess that’s how it seems – good morning!

Kim Nelson must be thanked for all the hard work she did in getting the Museum of Seminole County History’s latest exhibit up and running.  It is all about native animals and settings around our state of Florida. There are taxidermy samples on loan from The Student Museum which is supposed to be really something to see, I have never been there, must make note to go.  Here’s a look:  The art works shown are from artists:
Betty Bay, Jeanie Beline, Myrna Cumming, William Haight, Sil Horwitz, Pradeep Lodha, Robert Mier, Ted Page, Robin Maria Pedrero,
Mark W. Rice, Linda Shawde, Doug Snider, Julia Thompson, Rusty Wahl, Amy Weick, and “yours truly” are all displayed to show the intricacies that have inspired us as artists.  Here’s just a few so I don’t spoil it for you:   This beautiful bronze cast was done by Amy Wieck, she has two pieces that are so detailed that it keeps you looking and wondering how the process is done.

The wood carving by Mark W. Rice of two owls craved into a stump makes you smile. Rice was the 2003 national Champion of Chainsaw Sculpture – now that’s a title!   There were acrylics and photographs, sculpture and carvings. The turkey painting to the side is by Robert Mier – the woodpecker and marina painting belong to Myrna Cumming. There are more to ponder and it is up to you to get yourself and others over to take a look at the whole place. The exhibit will be up until August14.   Here’s some photos of the Museum itself.  
It was an old Folks Home at one time.   Always enjoy seeing the

cameras.  

1906 Blickendorfer Typewriter made a bit ‘arty’.   Remember, Celery was a big part of Seminole County history as were the Swedes who came here to work the crops.
Upon leaving, the new Courthouse is just around the bend.  
Get out and support the locals! Museum of Seminole County History in Sanford, Florida. Admission $3 for adults – $1 kids

300 Bush Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: (407) 665-2489

A hot hot Saturday played out today. My friend, Sonja Greenlee was headed to Seminole State College for the annual reading by the winners of the Revelry poetry contest.   Each year they have submissions starting in February nationwide for this wonderful literary venue with a nice cash prize. Sonja was one of the top winners  I am proud to say, she is an excellent writer! Congrats to her and I wish I would have gone to hear the winners read their poems.  If you are interested in a copy, contact the SSC English Dept.
This morning the sky was killer bright at 7am –   It felt like almost a dozen suns had lit the sky showing no mercy!   The Weatherman said it would feel like over 100 degrees and they were right, WHOO, the humidity stuck to you as close as an oil slicked bird!
I was at the computer working on my art blog when I heard a banging on the porch, it was a grackle trying to get the heck out. I bought a butterfly net for $1.00 at the flea market and it has been one of the best purchases ever! The poor bird was tired as it ran into the screen over and over. I got it in the net and lifted it out, (camera close by of course.)   He was mad, but he was not as mad as he might have been if Ringo had been on the porch! So off he flew to join his flock as I went back in and tried to read up on a few things in my camera manual to bone up for the Camera class with Ken Elliott.
The class was nicely filled with people holding their DSLR Canons and Nikons, me always being the only one who shoots with a Sony Alpha.
Ken explained how aperture, shutter and ISO all worked in conjunction and had everyone working their f-stops and shutters, my camera does not have the same button positions and it is still a bit confusing to me, but I plan on getting out and try and use my Manual mode more often.  Ken gave an interesting history lesson on cameras and the inner workings and had good visuals. Afterwards he did a sidewalk shoot so the people could go experiment.   Whoops, I screwed up the settings on that!  Here’s Ken talking to one of the attendees.  He may do this again. His photography is hanging in the Art Affair gallery in Sanford, go take a look at his work. I’ll tell you a secret about him, he has a tripod fetish, loves his tripods and all the fittings.
I walked over to The Gallery On First for Hot Summer Nights. The artists were out meeting and greeting and eating. They had a nice reception going with new works upon the walls. That crazy baby mixed media of Cherie Dacko was on the wall, that just cracks me up! I saw Stewart Jones new work and of course, his pelican really got to me..
Another bird painting that was so beautiful was by Debra DePollo Ryan, beautiful white herons     mastered on canvas. Debra has a wonderful way with showing us her thoughts via calm water and peaceful settings.  She is delightful to talk to.
Sharon Hyder had wonderful sunrise and moon paintings and I admired a turtle painting which her artist daughter and booth mate, Lori Anne Harris had painted the frame  and of course Sharon’s husband had made the frame, again, they always have a solid family unit always going on.
Stan Surman had beautiful oil work. I liked his painting of a young child who had paint all over it. And then there was Aurore Brunet who does gorgeous crafting of collage and paint. Her colors and compositions are always so interesting.  
What I found most amazing were the artists’ visions – the depth of meaning to their personal work. Aurore gave me such insight into the painting next to her showing a sad letter covering the woman’s heart with the words of the French children’s song, Allouette written on the paper. Allouette is a bird, a skylark and the song is about plucking the feathers from it. The expression and detailed work can’t be seen to do it justice from this photo.  All I know is I was singing that song in my head as I came out of the gallery and looked out at the angry sky.  I hummed the tune all the way home thinking it such a haunting song really , telling a bird that it was going to have the feathers pulled from the head, wings, feet. I thought about holding that struggling grackle in my hands today before freeing it, the feel of the sturdy warm body, it’s heart beating furiously, — could I have pulled even one feather?

NO PLUCKING WAY!

Ah, Tuesday has morphed into Wednesday – I am in a time warp again as another day squeaked by. Where oh where do these hours go?
Anyway, it was a hot one. Woke at 7am yesterday and the moon was still gleaming against the blue.  Aaron threw out the cast net and got a few shiners and he brought in a bass and a gar. 

Then he and Leila headed back to Tampa  with their Bella,     I  had so much fun being with all my kids this weekend, family is so important! Don’t forget to tell yours how you feel and often…

On Saturday I had run over to Sanford and was in Maya’s Bookstore and saw this,   an adorable baby sated in sleep. Yvette, the owner was keeping a very close eye on him as his mom, Wee Gauthier, an orchid vendor with “Orchids For All Occasions” put away her flowers as the Saturday Farmers Market was coming to a close. They were gorgeous orchids:  As you know, I have a black thumb.  But back to the sleeping baby, I am excited to have my own new grand baby this August! I hope I will be a big part of the babies life.  My daughter made sure to get a romper for the baby that expresses who I am,   The weekend with family was wonderful and went so fast, only wish Aaron and Leila lived here so we could all be together much more, what can I say, I’m selfish! But Tampa certainly is not California — get over it Abbe!
Andrea had come over with all kinds of baby madness shopping and had made an ADORABLE diaper cake, she’s such a talent:  
Back to Tuesday:  wildlife and the yard.
The cranes came this morning and Papa crane had quite a conversation with one of the babies:
I still have not heard any baby noises from the wood duck box, but she keeps an eye out for me and flies away as soon as she senses I am near. She is a very nervous duck.   I also bet the mallard couple have some eggs somewhere around here too, they are still hanging around.
The baby heron are so funny, one flew up in the tree after Papa crane chased him off, and he acted like he was going to kick some crane butt, but he was only making a spectacle of himself.  
The flowers too look beautiful:   the rains do make them bloom and die faster. The birds too have been busy and the cardinals are back again, it seems they were MIA for a while.   and of course the crows    common grackle.   and Mr. squirrel.
and of course my window view. Head on outside and enjoy something in nature.

I bet you are wondering by that title what I did last night and maybe you’re conjuring up names possibly linking me to some guy I might be hooking up with, well you will have to read and find out won’t you? So let’s begin at the beginning, noontime Friday :
Lunch with my good friend and neighbor, Sonja Greenlee who is also a contributing monthly Culinary  Columnist for the Sanford Herald. We ate at Amura which is ALWAYS great! Their sushi is the best around – hands down, chopsticks up! Plus the conversation is fun as Sonja is a traveler and had just returned from New York where she got to hear Jill Biden and Caroline Kennedy Schlosberg  speak. We can chat away for hours. Afterwards when I was ready to drop her off, I requested a walk to see the garden as she has a wonderful green thumb and she uses that thumb to stir many a great meal she has created and garnished perfectly. Unlike me who feels mac and cheese made from the box and served on fine china qualifies as a gourmet meal, Sonja does not hesitate to cook from scratch using her variety of veggies and herbs. Everything she creates is ‘eat-a- licious!  Here’s a view,    and that’s just a portion of it. She has snow peas, squash, lettuces, chard, collard greens, tomatoes, cabbage, beans and herbs too, even corn this year,
and her flowers,  the  glorioso lily was a stunner.
Went shopping after that, wanted something new for Art Walk tonight, I needed some pants. But how is it, I went to Ross and ended up with dresses? Casual long kind of hippy dresses. I never wear them, but they felt so comfortable for summer and the price, $12.99 was so reasonable I got 3 of them and two pair of $9 sandals.   That cute cat bag I bought for Andrea.
All set I thought except I needed a short sweater, to cover up and I knew Andrea had a few. While my closet looks like a cluttered, flea market vendor, she has a designer closet and things are organized. So I ventured over there at 6pm as the art walk was beginning and she dragged out clothes and more clothes for me to try on. So by 7:30pm, I had a bag full of things and went back home fully prepared to wear a dress. Well, my bed bed became an abstract, fabric  artwall of color. Clothes splashed everywhere.  Yikes, my mind was as confused as my bed. while confusion is part of the alchemy of my gray matter, I ended up wearing clothes I already had in the closet – go figure?  Please don’t suggest clothes therapy, though I could use it as my normal look usually consists of T-shirts with peace symbols or funny sayings and jeans. As I stood in a spaghetti strapped long dress so completely comfortably, I felt kind of naked, like I had too much airspace. While liberating, it felt kind of like I was in a nightgown. Now here I was wearing, “Abbe-shabby-chic”, okay, forget the chic part, back to the comfort of old jeans and ‘t’s’. I will wear the dresses around the house. By then it was 8pm. later than I normally get there.
I drove upon a very crowded Art Walk in downtown Sanford. The night was perfect, a soft, nice breeze coming off Lake Monroe and the full moon were my escorts up and down First Street. I always run into people I know.  Here’s the view:
For $20 you can have a ride behind that huge Belgium horse.

The parking gets fuller and fuller at these venues! I stopped at The Gallery on First  http://galleryonfirst.com at the beginning of my artwalk. Painter, Stewart Jones  stewartjonesart.blogspot.com and I struck up a conversation and he gave me a post card proclaiming The Gallery On First was having their first annual summertime art show, it’s June 5th- June 27th. The reception is Saturday June 5, from 6pm to 9pm. Here’s some of Stewart’s work along with Cindy Sturla also a painter who shares the booth.
Also spoke to artists Lori Anne Harris and Sharon Rae Hyder, they are always so full of fun and family oriented in their booth, Lori’s son was there and told me his is working on his Anime art,  I told him I would stop by next month and check out his work, the talent pool continues to spread in their family, make more wall space!
Cherie Dacko was not there, but I did see her finished piece, the baby and it is very cool, but since she was not there, I didn’t want to take a photo without permission. It is facing the outside, so take a look a look if you are walking the downtown streets.
Mary K. Shaw is always a smiling face too, she is at the desk or helping people out, plus she too is a contributor Community Columnist for The Sanford Herald, does all the writing for the arts, so if you have a local exhibit coming up around Sanford, or are maybe you are a Local artist showing elsewhere, contact her via the Sanford Herald,  497-322-2611.  she will put it in the Herald.
Then I headed back to my home gallery, The Art Affair. (http://artaffairgallery.com)  – I say my home gallery because even though I don’t have work there,  Ronda never fails to make me feel like a ‘homie’!  I keep watching as that gallery under her watch expands and expands! It’s exciting to see the artists grow and the wheels turning in her head with ideas. Here’s some of the new work,
Marie DeCosta had brought this in and it was not hung yet, but loved the perspective. She and photographer Ken Elliott have been into ‘bikes’ lately.
Marie DeCosta     Ken Elliott

Really enjoyed the look of Patrick Flannery’s circus art.  Oh my, I don’t know who did this to give them credit.   Gum wrapper purses – Melinda Dadelis, budding artist.    

Mindy Colton has intaglia horse prints.   These collage prints are from Jolie Spellman.  Ronda has plenty of work over there too.  

Toelle Hovan has colorful paintings, check last months archive for her chair picture. She will also be teaching Acrylic Painting for adults in July. I really enjoyed her small purse paintings. 

Toelle and her husband were celebrating their anniversary and could not have looked any happier! Congrats, keep going!!! Check with gallery for art classes being offered this summer.
Then it was time for the new venue Ronda is featuring along with the restaurant, Two Blondes & a Shrimp! Every 4th Friday beginning tonight, The Art Affair will be having a meet and greet and mingle with the artists at 9pm at the restaurant until whenever the last person stops chatting! She was so excited to show off this new art venture.    She shooed us all out as she locked up and off we went to the restaurant.  The Rand building which houses 2Blondes & a Shrimp, was built in 1887, named for Frederic H. Rand general manager and Attorney for the Florida Land and Colonization Company. The interesting thing is going to the courthouse and doing research on land records and seeing the vast amount of property and land dealings that company did. The building was also home to the Newspaper, The Sanford Journal.  The ceiling, floors and bar are all original features.

(whoops, lousy night photo of the bar– that’s why I will be taking the photo class offered by Photographer Ken Elliott so I have control over the dark – (go on website at artaffair.com for details)
The old brick walls came alive with a flurry of assorted work. Ronda and Marie has hung everything that morning and wow, Ronda knows how to hang, hey Ronda, new sideline, offer to hang shows on the side for a nice price!  This collection will stay up for 6 months if I am not mistaken.  Here’s a look:
Sherri the operating owner and Ronda stand united on the notion of supporting the arts! (And so should you!) Come over and eat at Two Blondes & a Shrimp noted for their Tomato Pie, Shrimp and Grips, linguine and clams and soooo much more. Sherri had a wonderful area with hor doerves for us! I ordered a mixed green salad as it was past 10pm, and had a wonderful dressing, I think it was coconut vinaigrette. I will have to go for lunch. They are closed Mondays, open 11am-3pm for lunch Tues-Sat. and then reopen 5pm – 10pm weekdays, except Friday and Saturday at night they stay open till 1am.  Chris the manager will be glad to help with anything you need. 

The artist table was outside near the band,  I must say I was walking around snapping a few shots talking to painter, Trish Vevera about going to Poland and to artist Tom Abbott   who does dimensional art that has to be seen in person. Peter Cerreta too was there   his work has to be admired for the amazing patterns and symbolism. I did not go over and tell Peter how I enjoy his pieces,  so here is a shout out to tell you Peter.
The Lake Mary food critic,  http://lakemaryfoodcritic.blogspot.com/ Leon and I chatted about our mutual love for food, he is quite an amazing cook and caters the food at Art Affair from time to time. I shared my secret of beating Kraft spinach and artichoke Philadelphia cream cheese into my mashed potatoes – yum! As I am sitting here, I’m getting hungry!
I enjoyed speaking to others around the table, upcoming artists Melinda Dadelis.  She is going in very cool directions for her future. Marie DeCosta’s husband and I spoke about music and touched on Greg Allman as her husband works at the Daytona Beach Harley dealership and Greg had just been there. Now here is how the story goes full circle -6 degrees of separation: Sonja, who I had lunch with was married to Bob Greenlee, who passed away a few years ago, he owned Kingsnake Recording studio and in high school, Bob was in a band with both Greg and Duane Allman – a weird Kevin Bacon moment for sure!
Finally I had to get going and left a few faces still talking into the night. I drove home, my date followed closely, hovering over me street after street, it was my moon of course and the clouds beautifully veiled that moon as if I should be holding wolfbane as protection to ward off the spirits that might be invoked under that moon of the ancients.   

Now think about checking out ALL Sanford art and remember both the Art Affair Gallery and the 2 Blondes & a  Shrimp will be having the after Art walk meet the artists, next one June 24th – 9pm — You must take a good look at the local  talent and also enjoy a meal at 2 Blondes & a Shrimp in which you will be so busy looking at the art, you won’t remember who you are even eating with, a great place to take that someone who you really could care less about, but you owe them a meal – haha – But really, it has a great feel, like an eatery in a sophisticated big city scene. Go and let the walls and the food do all the talking…
SUPPORT THE ARTS AND ALL SANFORD BUSINESSES!

The poor duck in the duck box,   almost every time I pass by the box going toward the lake, this duck flies out and cries all across the lake to where she plunks herself in the water and screams and screams. I feel bad that she is so paranoid and worried when she hears me. When she was gone, I made Adam look in her box, he saw three eggs, that was last week, bet they have hatched.   I try not to go in front of the box, but she knows even when I am out there walking way off behind the box. the good news, she always comes back.
So many lubber grasshoppers all over, they are eating my plants.   but so what? Hey, they are hungry and I’m sure the birds find them a nice meal.
Stopped by Museum of Seminole County History   on Bush Blvd. and 17/92 to drop off a couple photos for “Where The Wild Things Are”. The poster,   was designed by the The museum’s Coordinator, Kim Nelson’s talented husband, Robert E. Mier who is a wonderful wildlife painter.  http://www.artnatureflorida.com
He’s a busy guy, he does a lot of art shows around the state, seems to have mastered marketing skills, a rarity for many artists like myself. I need to gather him to speak to our Gateway group, he has a lot of knowledge he could share on the business end.
The exhibit will be shown in their back building,   it has a lot of items unique to our Florida history throughout both buildings.   Kim will be working her magic to coordinate her space   into a wonderful exhibit featuring many Seminole county artists. The show begins June 15th through August 14th, hours:  Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 PM and Saturday from 9 to 1 PM –
Kim is quite an effective Coordinator and just a great person to talk with. So please come out to the Museum and not only visit the exhibit, but to walk through a huge history lesson.
Other than that, tonight is Artwalk, so gearing camera batteries up for that. Have been trying to take photos of the full moon, will be glad for that photo walk with Ken Elliott so he can teach me how to do it right by next full moon cycle! Here’s some nature pics to leave you with:

Seems like things are steady with the winged visitors, my mallard couple, the whistling ducks and the wood duck in the box are sticking around. Don’t want to bore you with details.
I took photos of mostly flowers yesterday under a very intense sun.

They are also saying there could be a storm brewing in the Caribbean, will it mean anything for the oil spill? I can’t take seeing the oil coated pelicans and the coated eggs! One has to wonder if there was a hurricane with all that oil and it is picked up by the winds, can you imagine the splatter of gook that will have to be cleaned off the homes nearer the water of a storm, it would be messy for sure! BP is going to be doing a lot more damage control when the cities closest to the water are coated in grease!
My flowers at end of blog, but look at this:
Ken Elliott, http://www.kenelliottphotography.com/ a fine Ormond Beach photographer who is currently exhibited at The Art Affair in Sanford is offering a wonderful way to learn your camera – A Camera Walk!  Here’s the details:
I’m going, come join us – class is limited, but this should be a real hands on way to learn and the price is soooo right! Hurry, space is limited.

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA

With Professional Photographer, KEN ELLIOTT

SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2010, 3:00 PM

Professional Photographer, Ken Elliott, will show you how to take control of your camera and shoot under a variety of lighting conditions your camera might not otherwise be able to handle by learning what your sensor can do, and setting your camera on manual. The session includes an informative talk about your camera, and its settings, as well as a question and answer format geared to your individual level. With his extensive technical knowledge and gift for capturing the perfect shot, this session will be a treat for any level. It is a hands-on workshop followed by a photo walk led by Ken, where you will actually experience first-hand how he captures the great shots for which he is recognized.

NEED TO BRING: DIGITAL CAMERA and its MANUAL

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 HOURS. Discussion inside the Gallery and a photo walk.

FEE: $29 per person.  CLASS SIZE LIMITED.

Ken is a professional photographer, located in Ormond Beach, Florida, specializing in fine art, commercial and event photography. Born and raised in Louisiana, Ken began shooting at the age of 8 years old, when his father (who had run the photo lab at a US Air Force base) gave him a Leica IIIc 35mm film camera, and then proceeded to teach him how to develop and print his images. This started a life-long love of photography.

Ken later started his first business as a commercial product photographer. He later joined the family manufacturing business, and photography became a hobby. Ken’s third business startup involved creating 3D computer models and outputting to video tape and large format printers. It was there that he began using Photoshop; and digital editing tools. As digital cameras became common, Ken found his two worlds merging. His experience in teaching AutoCAD, 3D Modeling, and Photoshop led to his teaching digital photography to other photographers in the area. After moving to Florida, Ken returned to fine art photography as a profession.

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LIABILITY-   ART AFFAIR GALLERY, RONDA RICHLEY, KEN ELLIOTT, KEN ELLIOTT AND ASSOCIATES, AND ANY OF THEIR AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES ,WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PERSONAL PROPERTY, NOR TO INJURY, LOSS OF LIFE OR LIMB, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY DURIING THIS SESSION, TRAVEL TO AND FROM THIS SESSION. THE PARTICIPATION IN THIS SESSION OR ANY OTHER EVENT SPONSORED BY ART AFFAIR GALLERY WILL BE UNDERSTOOD TO IMPLY AGREEMENT AND CONSENT ON THE PART OF THE PARTICIPANT OR AGENT WITH THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH HERE.

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ART AFFAIR GALLERY

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the rest will be some shots of flowers I have taken:


First the business of art:  Friday night the Casselberry ArtHouse held a reception for the exhibit,  “Celebration of life, Bohemians Redeaux” – saw a few of my old group members from  Womans Caucus for Art and their work. Here’s some of the art that will be on the walls for the next few weeks.


They had quite a nice reception and wish I could have stayed longer as I missed a lot of good people. And Rob, your quiche was delicious!   This was before it got crowded – it was a tribute to Sharon Pollard who talked 11 other artists to go with her to Paris a few years ago to spend time and together and to be themselves in a city known for great culture, the  10″ X 10″ paintings reflect their view . Sharon has since passed, but her legacy through art is very much alive and at the Arthouse, Enjoy!

The weekend flew away, the days melt like ice cream on a hot pavement.  I have enjoyed the squabbles of the crows versus the mockingbirds. Where ever you go you see familiar battles with the smaller mockingbird chasing the crows out of their domains. The mockers must be guarding nests.  

The crows love to aggravate and they are food hoarders, the load their mouths with as much as they can fly away with. This guy was hurrying to get everything!  The crows are sticking around lately.  Love their cocky demeanor.   So much fun to watch.
the heron babies are huge, fully grown, but they still come back at night to the nest to feed. I don’t think they know about landing on the land yet???   They are rigid young fliers.
As for the herons, spotted them yesterday out my window:   later I saw the mother enjoying a nice Sunday bath before rejoining the family for a stroll, here’s the sequence of pics:  
Her head fully submerged.  She was enjoying her time alone.   Sheddiing a feather.   laughing out loud at her own jokes.   refreshed!    
catching up with the family.   baby stretches his wings high in excitement.  Mother calms him down   more love  
They all groomed themselves.  the babies are great groomers.     And love their faces.
Then of course, must add some flowers and scene from the other night fishing, hope I have de-stressed you…

haha, this beauty is part of life here too.
and a visitor from Saturday    ….

Just saw Atlantis take off   it’s always fun to watch that machine propel upwards, It was traveling at 13,000mph they said. It was clear as a bell, but I really like those night launches even more.
Last night I spun the art wheels beginning at Seminole State College in their art gallery. To my pleasant surprise, Megan Paquette in now the curator, they selected a winner in Megan. Just walking into the duel exhibit of Kathleen Kent Chenet and Terry Trambauer Norris you could tell what kind of eye Megan had with how she hung the show, it was perfecto.
The atmosphere though relaxed had a classical feel to it, Kathleen’s style is easy on the eye, good prosaic scenes, nice fit, a Naturalizer if it was a shoe.   Terry’s still lifes were a classic, the oil painting you view upon walking in was a stunner! Her work makes you blink your eyes to make sure these are paintings, what realism! These were masterful strokes.  And I admired the frame choices of both women, the show was classy.
After eating eating a couple little pastries, I headed out to Sanford  de Mayo and it was poppin’ and hoppin’!
People were lined up for food tickets, art vendors lined the streets, it was one of the best third Thursdays I have seen. I heard many vendors ran out of food early.
I walked along to the Art Affair Gallery to get my “badge”  and there was my son Adam and his friend Antonio, I saw them briefly and lost them to the crowd.   I worked my way up the crowds down First Street.  Stopped into Jeanine Taylor’s Art Gallery – Gallery On First and as always enjoyed the view. I was happy to see that Cherie Dacko was in and was working on a spectacular new edition to her work. She has a style that is so much fun and full of a weird irony in the faces of her subjects, I have to wait till this particular piece is finished, then I hope I can post it – I adored it, could hardly stop looking at it. Cherie was chatting with Aurore Brunet whose use of color livens up any room. It’s great to chat with these artists, if they are there when you visit, they won’t bite I promise! Talk to them, give them your thoughts, ask them questions, they enjoy that the public is noticing.
I stopped at Sandra Sheetz Wise’s table, she is an Ovation-TV artist and has articles written about her work recently in Sacramento Talent Magazine and the June issue of Time South, both extremely complimentary toward her surrealistic style. Again, irony and surrealism feeding off each other .  She has a wonderful style which suits her. Her messages are painted for you to discover, her link:  http://sandrascheetzwise.com There was a lot of jewelry booths, wood working booths and a few photography booths.
Wood worker David L. Dotterer,   can be contacted at  (cut and paste)  dblueb119@aol.com   There was a very tattooed singer belting out his music    sorry, can’t see the tattoos from there. The music was LOUD – REALLY LOUD. Stopped by Washburns, the unique furniture is just worth taking the drive to see. If only my home wasn’t packed already.
Loved these huge “masks” 
Headed back to base at Art Affair Gallery where Julie Kessler had the main room and she deserves her place. She had many metal sculptures, all so interesting. I’ll let the photos speak for her.  
The hearts were all wonderfully detailed – well thought out as all Julie’s work is.  Of course she has her collage/paintings too     and more metal  .
There was other new works and more artists to show off at Art Affair Gallery and owner Ronda Richley is great with a brush too.
Marie  DeCosta’s colorful flowers were stunning.   She and Ken Elliott both have photography work also, check for last months blog.
There were small prints by Beau Wild   her work is richly detailed, liked her subject choice.
Tom Abbott was there and his work is very dimensional and cool!  
and my favorite  The dimension and coloring is beautifully entwined.  Of course there was more, and I can’t name all the artists , but have a look at some more works:   The flower on this was huge and dimensional. Loved the colors of it.   Peter Cerreta’s monkey acrylic was masculine and I liked the composition of his work.   And of course the mini items, affordable and fun.   Even the clocks are a perfect gift for anyone. Of course, I must mention Mauricio Murillo and his Gummy Art, he is doing so well with his work, had great showing in Washington DC and will be in Ybor City soon, here’s a couple pieces.  
OH MY, I almost forgot about Leon who does the food for Art Affair, he also has a blog as he is a food critic. Need any advice on anything related to food? Want the scoop on where to eat?  http://lakemaryfoodcritic.blogspot.com
Then it was back to the streets to go home. Art Affair Gallery  http://artaffairgallery.com

Whoops didn’t ask permission, so blurred the face.   Ran into Paul Ingwalson my old next door neighbor, he is a good  photography mentor, gave me a lot of advice and he is a terrific study in inventory. His Landscape and Wildlife Photography is refreshing, he studied in Daytona before taking on photography and he travels a lot which gave him the photo-itch. He is also doing large canvas work too.  
Paul  Ingwalson photography
I also saw the artistry of Alberto Quintero http://www.xcreativegroup,com/alberto his creations were beautifully crafted.
Stopped by Riverhouse Pottery, the colors inside are always so inviting, there is an excitement about that place.  Saw my Facebook friend Cecil Herrings featured works, she is a creative soul for sure.   and what a fun area they have in the back of their buildings.   Then as I was almost to the car, I crossed the path of glass blower, Steven Monser who has Monser Glass Studio, monserglassstudio.com  – what gorgeous and colorful pieces he has. His studio is in Lake Mary, here’s a sampling: 
and one he asked about the shape   It was gorgeous!  Aw, if only I had an unlimited credit card! There is so much I would want to buy! Now go out and support the local artist community!

Yesterday I worked on a new website in the am then got tired of it all and had to run and get my taxes finished in Casselberry.  Distraction number one. Afterwards,  I stopped at the Goodwill, (distraction 2)  on the way to see what they had in baby necessities and wow, they had plenty. cribs, highchairs, strollers, toys bassinets, there was a lot of stuff. I guess I will need to be keeping some baby things of my own after the little he or she is born.  I have been amazed at the prices of car seats and cribs and miscellaneous at places like Target or Toys R Us – I am in sticker shock! Baby needs seem much more expensive these days. But it was fun looking. The only thing I saw that I was tempted by was a cute vibrating baby ‘recliner, kind of a reclining seat for a very young baby. It had a cute sea horse and fish theme that stretched above the seat on an arch and it was all supposed to move with batteries, but they had no way to test it, so I decided against it, but I would not mind an adult version it looked so relaxing! (OMG, is it time for a barcolounger for grandma/Abbe?)
Next to the Goodwill on 17/92 in Longwood is Decor Galore, a used furniture and antique store, (distraction3), since I am an antique myself and I love wandering and reminiscing.  They had a lot of interesting stuff, here’s some examples:

the buggy looked really old and right next to it was this…
I thought it would be very effective if this boar head was sitting in the baby buggy!
There was this velvet painting of an Indian, but did not understand the ‘hand moustache-beard thing’. What was this subliminal message saying?
It’s kind of scary!   a cool old childs car.   And then there was a wooden carved hawk by Ohio Artist, Spirit Williams who is a carver/sculptor.  It was about 2 feet long and hung on wall. The detailing was beautifully done, and it wasn’t cheap either,  over $300.  Click on pictures to look in detail.

http://www.sculpturebyspirit.com/  link for Sprirt Williams.
They had a good selection of pictures, lamps, chairs and knick knacks.

It’s always fun to go into these places and see things of familiarity. (As a distraction from building a website)
Today I didn’t even work on the site, Instead I traveled to another real antique,  

DeBary Hall, built in 1871 by Frederick Debary. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. And at one time it was quite a hunting and social lodge in it’s day. Four generations of deBary’s lived there and now it is owned by the state, managed by Volusia County. They have art shows there, but it is done by submission. I wanted to check out where they had the artwork displayed as at one point it was kept on easels in the deBary house, then for a while they displayed artists’ work in the barn.    

Now they keep it in the auditorium.    As I walked around the house I saw one rocker on the porch really moving. The wind was pretty brisk. But I preferred to think one of the deBary’s was on that porch rocking away. As I got ready to leave, I looked up and swear there was an image in the window looking out at me  

So I made my way on home again and tried working on a website and the photos I was putting on happened to come out really big, and gave up for a while. I still have not gone back to look and see what the problem is, it is much easier to blog. I think tonight I will list some pics on Etsy instead:      http://www.etsy.com/shop/incatdreams.
And now I will attempt at distraction #5,  so will try and fish though the wind is really whipping the water about and it almost seems worthless to try.
but anything seems easier than setting up a business! Why is this such a hard concept? Making money, what is wrong with a bit of capitalism. Maybe that spirit in the window was trying to scare me on home where I am supposed to be a slave to my keyboard and monitor.  But that spirit did not know the strength of the lake spirits that are calling for my presence. Yes, easily again I am leaving the screen and leaving the business of art behind – there’s alway hump day, and Thursday…

” Curiouser and curiouser”, Adam and I headed up to Deland to experience the Florida Museum for Women Artists. The exhibit is called “Almost Alice” by Artist, Maggie Taylor. So after all the water issues were solved, we headed up north for about 17 miles.  I made Adam man the Kodak as we drove along, he fired a few shots of things as I would point them out.
As we passed through Orange City, we saw the orange:   I loved this guys look, though I did enhance his hair in that is was orange spiked and I gave him an afro, but honestly, his hair was that color.
We passed so many photos we missed, I will have to go again and stop along the way.   So many cool looking antique shops. The drive is easy. We passed The Gateway Center For the Arts, then Stacey’s Buffet where the abundance of food is amazing and good, the owner is very kid to the members of Gateway. But we didn’t stop to pig-out, we headed straight on through. Didn’t stop to see if any manatees were up at Blue Springs Park, I imagine they have taken off as it has been so warm.
Deland pops up like Sanford, a main drag filled with blocks with lot of little individual shops including art museums, many restaurants and bars considering it is a college town to Stetson and what a beautiful school it is.  The Fish building is on the corner of  W.. New York and 100 N. Woodlands Blvd, or as we call Woodlands, 17/92.      Which of course morphed into an Alice kind of mindset for Abbe   
We parked and walked the side streets and I came across this bug that was HUGE, at least about 4 inches long   That thing was squashed like the bug it was!  

We bounded up the stairs at The Fish building to the second floor. I had been here once before this place was viable, it was in construction phase with no defining rooms, just framing wood to map out space.  The Florida Museum For Women Artists is all about promoting women’s art, simple as that. So simple I joined while I was there. Maybe sometime, I can submit and have something accepted to show, now that would be a real accomplishment.
The volunteer greeted us and gave us instruction about voting for very interesting planters    that were ‘planted’ in different corners in the galleries of which there are three, plus a cafe and a gift shop.  I asked about taking photos, but I was not allowed so the pictures I have included are off the web.    This Maggie Taylor Collection is part of a collection  at the Samuel P. Ham Museum of art at the University of Gainesville where she lives. Her technique involves scanning tin-type images and merges them with photos and then layer manipulation. Ah, I wish she would take me under her wing. The collection is stirring, wonderfully surreal and sort of made me think of the funky twins in ‘The Shining’. I loved it all. Adam and I walked around twice to take it in again and again. The photos each in their dreamy tone have so much depth and texture to them even though they are prints. The had the book for sale at the gift shop and I must say the gift shop has quality art pieces for sale.   We loved Michele Davdson’s jewelry.   And there were plenty of other items.

After we left, we walked up the main drag and since we were under time constraints, we went to eat lunch at The Main Street Grill then made our way home, past the Courthouse.  and looping around again onto 17/92 heading south.    Was it the effect of Maggie Taylor — because we swear, there was a wolf in the vehicle in front of us!
Finally home, I looked for my two books, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Illustrations by John Tenniel, colored by Fritz Kredel. These books accompanied me to college in 1968.  Must lovingly look over them again.  (And indulge in my new favorite flavor of Goldfish, SMORES!
The Florida Museum For Women Artists was wonderful, (they do charge admission) and it’s always fun spending time bonding with your kids! Could not have asked for a better day, weather almost 80 and sunny, but we didn’t notice the weather till we were almost home, it seems we were lost in the rabbit hole in Deland…    {Tenneil/Kredel}

Well, so much for my Mothers Day!  I was thinking about this really nice flatware I wanted as I stood on the roof this afternoon over at Andrea’s townhouse and caulked around the upstairs bedroom window.   I sat up there overlooking Lake Bellaire which looked like it was getting algae too. People must be mindful of over fertilization of their grass. But to get back. I was on the verge of asking the kids for some Reed and Barton flatware I had admired, and knew that would be something fun for mothers day. I kept it in the back of my head all afternoon. I didn’t go to Sanford’s Alive After 5, instead I fished and then came in because the turtles, 5 of them were harassing me by going for the bait. I went to go look in the dryer when I noticed my water pump was running and running and there was no water on. When I opened the garage door I saw a problem… now I guess I will tell the kids I want a well tank instead of the flatware. See those mumbo-jumbo of contraptions?   That is my water system, the blue tank is the well pump tank, the middle is the chlorine tank, then the softener and then the charcoal tank. If you notice, you will see water all over beneath the pump tank, yep, the iron has eaten through the bottom of the tank and it gave way and has been leaking as I was fishing which of course is after business hours! Water was gushing when I came out to check on my wash after fishing. Now it feels like a hurricane has passed through as I have had to turn the water to the house off. BUT– I have a great water team, Bill and Bradley who own Discount Water Supply  on Airport Blvd in Sanford. Bill is good about calling me back and smoothing things over and assuring me I will live through the night and won’t flood out.  I will have water tomorrow. Bill really gives good lessons in water equipment and I write down his lessons on the wall above the tanks,   they read like Biblical verses of things to live by regarding water, like which spigot turns off water to the house, which is the by-pass for the salt tank, which is the testing spigot. Too much for a brain to absorb. So I wrote them in permanent marker on the walls and live by them.  Bill even provided me with my own little ‘plug’  so during hurricane season or if a bad storm would turn the electric off for hours, I can plug right into my generator so I have water. When you live with a well, it does make you appreciate water usage that much more. Tonight I even miss simple flipping on the spigot at the sink to have water, for now  I pour about a tablespoon of water in my hand and some soap, foam it up and then a small amount of water  for a short rinse. It makes one mindful of what a precious commodity water is.
But to get back to Mothers Day, I had so wanted this nice inexpensive flatware to replace all the cheap broken sets that are now occupying the drawer.  But think I will ask the kids for the new Pump tank, that makes more logical sense and I will certainly use it enough. These things aren’t cheap. Gosh, $200 for a tank which hopefully will last for years, and I also need a new charcoal refill, another $200 also, but once both are put into place, they should last for years. I have no monthly charges for water and sewer, but things must be maintained for up keep to have good water. Most of you have city water, my water is loaded with iron and goes through a chlorine tank that then washes out the chlorine via salt and then the charcoal, there is no flouride in my water. I have noticed that that now have chlorine free systems, there are options to maintaining clean water.
I guess flatware can wait for my birthday, well, that’s in August  – ummm, my front truck tires are wearing out, maybe the kids can buy me flatware next X-mas…

This young mockingbird was outside my window this afternoon   – it was eating seed and then seemed to get tired and it sat down. 
It almost toppled over, but straightened up and flew off.

Yesterday I set up my solo exhibit at the Maitland Library which is a wonderful place. I am also working on an Etsy site to sell my work, but left the details to drive over to the beautiful Library.
The librarians I encountered could not have been nicer or more accommodating, Pat, thanks so much if you read this. My work will be up for the month.

Here’s a few pics of my show,  “Cat Dreams and Wings

Afterwards I walked around Lake Lily next door and took pictures then headed to the Maitland Art Center just a short hop away. A photo of mine did not sell at an auction last week and it was to be dropped off there by Jerry Bell whose wife, Gayle, a painter, had rounded up other artists to donate work for an auction to send to the group, Doctors Without Borders for continuing their work in Haiti. I was sad to hear my photo did not sell along with a few others. But they did raise $5000!
AT MAC they looked for my picture, but couldn’t find it. I figured maybe Jerry had not dropped it off yet. I lounged around a bit and enjoyed the surroundings, though the giftshop and gallery were not opened. I headed across the short street for the Chapel, a wonderfully serene and soothing place. The style of the chapel is called ‘Mayan Fantasy’. The buildings and grounds are all part of the National Register of Historic Places. The first photo is of the original home which is now the Gallery and Gift Center.

The Chapel in its’ Mayan theme is an intricate and captivating work of art, have a look.

The owner, Jules Andre Smith bought and designed this place in 1938– he was an architect besides being an artist and he set up an artist colony called The Research Center. He lived there until 1959 and during that time he saw the need for artists to come and find their own solace and inspiration – I can’t imagine how cool it would have been to have belonged to the ‘entourage’,  those lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the place back in the day.
Now the city of  Maitland owns the land and buildings and makes great use of it  for conferences, art classes and lots of Weddings which is a perfect place for them! I went to a writers conference there years ago, the atmosphere was electric. It’s the aura! Here’s the link  www.maitlandartcenter.org
Here is the view of the Formal Garden.  

I decided to head back to Sanford as it was getting to be about 4pm and traffic moves at a turtle pace.After arriving, I grabbed Adam and got some dinner at Applebees. His friend Ari was at the AAA building in Lake Mary where the Seminole County High Schools were showcasing the area AP Art students. There was to be a reception and awards. We went and the place was packed and the art was amazing and professional. These students have big futures! The style and individual work was so impressive. The show will remain up for 3 weeks, so you have time to head up there and take your time, there is so much to look at — it is definitely worth the time. Adam and I really enjoyed the quality of the art. Ari’s work shows she has a solid artistic soul!
Finally when I got home I sat down to email Gayle to ask where and when I should pick up my picture. There was an unread email from her, I opened it and she said my photo sold at the golf course that Jerry had been playing on that monring, he was showing a golfer the picture and the guy bought it! That made me really happy. being an artist and selling art is hard work, so it sure is nice when someone appreciates it enough to buy a piece. I always feel honored when that happens, especially with something kind of ‘off par’ – an ‘out of gallery experience’ for sure…

All day the weather service has thrown out the “C” word, “cyclonic activity”.  Apparently there were swirling weather dervishes all over central Florida.  Brighthouse channel 13 kept an atmosphere of fear and doom and impending present natural forces waiting to pounce: straightline winds, tornados, lightening, blinding rain, floods, etc etc.
My weather radio   kept going off over and over with tornado and thunderstorm warnings, it gets to a point where it’s like ‘calling wolf” via a robotic voice calm as Hal in 20o1 Space Odyssey that tells you you are about to die if you ignore this radio command.  I called in The Cat in the Hat to soften the blow and point out the irony of a robot’s voice controlling the sheer panic of real people.
As soon as that blatant noise goes off warning of warnings, I look around and if I don’t see or hear anything, I figure ‘Hal’ must have meant the tornado was headed somewhere else and I don’t have to unload the linen closet and step in while concrete block falls around me.
The birds had been active all morning.   The clouds low and growling from the warm southeast. Marching like they had a mission to accomplish by fighting  the north with it’s cold front.  As I said the birds were  busy,  (squirrels too).

This grackle shook off the loose water.

The woodpeckers were tapping out their SOS to the other peckers to seek a deep hole and stay there.
Mama heron flew over for a visit.  

I looked across the lake and could see the father crane and grabbed Adam to go have a look, (yes, even tornadic activity can’t stop me from risking limb and life to see baby cranes .)  The mama had flown back over and we saw the babies,   one which had run under the wire fence and the other was soon to follow. When the parents noticed that they had a couple peewee escapees, they could not figure out how to get through that fence and kept banging into it.  Their bird brains did not compute metal as part of nature’s mesh.

Meanwhile the colts were bolting with their new found freedom and fear of the unknown.   So Adam chased the adult cranes out toward the water and they found they could get over to their offspring. We didn’t see the babies after that, they were on private property inside that fenced yard. I am hoping soon they will swim those babies over in a week or so so I can get close ups.
At 4:00pm was the ribbon cutting  by the Chamber of Commerce for Rhonda Richley’s new re-opening of Art Affair Gallery to a larger space at 301 East First Street in Sanford. I looked at the weather and decided to wait it out a bit. At 6pm I left and was glad I got to see the new space. Even with the weather alert many people were out attending Alive After 5 which had an Irish/ St. Patrick Day theme.
The gallery was packed with people, it was a wonderful turnout. I met artists and or photographers: Marie Decosta,  Mauricio Murillo, Ken Elliott and Gummy Bear
shown here with Mauricio who does wonderful satiric gummybear art.   Look at that, Mauricio and GB are the cover of In Progress urban arts Mag!  Mauricio’s work is quite humorous and he says he enjoys making people laugh. You can’t help enjoy his work.   
here’s a link  http://www.murilloarts.daportfolio.com/ Mauricio is also quite involved with the Icla Da Silva Foundation matching bone marrow donors to Leukemia patients.
Marie DeCosta had a room full of acrylic abstract paintings that were bold and full of imagery. She also had nature photography and her prices were very fair.

Ken Elliott a photographer from Ormond beach was gracious and gave me great tips on using the manual setting. His work was testament to his professional eye.  http://www.kenelliottphotography.com/ Ken does a lot of fine art and commercial work.  Thanks again Ken for all the tips and the stories. I enjoyed his sunset photo of a red sunset that he caught.  I had one of those nights a few weeks ago after a wonderful vertical rainbow and the sky rather tapered off into a rich sunset as I fished  – this was how it looked. And if you read my blog, you know I fish quite often!  Except not tonight.
There was a room that featured a student artist, Andrew Allen McCoy
The collage by Constance Payne was very telling. I was told she is a tattoo artist and takes in young artists and tries to help them focus on their lives and their art.    One piece is Payne’s and the others are students.  They learned well.  And on with the show, here is more of the Art Affair expanded Gallery. Rhonda does her own textured art and she is not shy with her colors and subjects.  There was artwork made out of soda cans, baskets out of paper, jewelry, very imaginative woodworking and much more, whatever the texture, whatever the medium, paper, rock, scissors, you will find something to suit you.  And it’s not a place where you can only look and can’t afford to buy.  Go take a look, you will enjoy what Rhonda has done for Sanford, she’s added a lot of class and fine art. Here’s more proof:

And here’s a few of my own “abb-strax” resulting from trying to take night photography of the surrounding events from outside. That included a group of Irish Bagpipe players.

Busy working on my solo show at Maitland Library opening April 1st.  I got tired of making a mess   and decided to leave it and run up to Sanford for Fourth Fridays. Had to see how the exhibit at the Welcome Center was going.
The weather was rotten, threatening to rain and cold, but I shoved a few layers on me and a long coat and left.   There was a beautifully orange sunset which looks grand through my purple tinted shades.   The downtown area was once again busy making me wonder – what recession? The German restaurant always has a line on Friday night.  The Welcome Center was comfortably packed. The saxy saxophone player was indoors, I’m sure if he was outside, his instrument might get too cold.  
The hung work was placed wonderfully, Nancy Irish and Kathleen Chenet are a well oiled “placement” machine.  Here’s a few pics:   I love so many pictures, but those onions rock!

Ann Holstein’s still life pictures look like the work of old masters.   Click on photos for larger view. The show will be there for a month. The next one will be about architecture.  You can submit your architecture work via photos until March 5th, call 407-302-2586 for further info.

Out on the street, people were briskly walking to the Gallery On First. I walked in and know I am not allowed to photograph, but if you get a chance, go take a look at Theresa Disney’s new bedspreads, they are a trip.   Inside an author was signing a book about Dragons.
Over at Rhonda Richley’s gallery, she greets me like an old friend and was excited about her Art Affair Gallery moving to a larger space almost next door to her gallery now, on the corner of Palmetto and First Street.  She expects to make the transition soon.  Her new space will give her a lot more wall space. 
Soon Rhonda’s gallery will be thriving like Jeannine Taylor.  Both will have different art that really doesn’t compete with each other. I am predicting good things for Rhonda.  We will watch her grow together.  AND, she needs work to fill her space, artists, contact her at 407-466-6365 . Check her out at http://www.artaffairgallery.com
Walked past the Wine Bar, it was hardly occupied.  But just a couple doors down, the Riverhouse Pottery was rockin’.

This is a business that teaches pottery classes, so call them if you want to throw some mean pots or cups or whatever, they can make it happen.  They had beautiful stained glass, pottery, jewelry and much more.
They teach kids and adults.   407-323-9272, call them for class schedule.  Sanford is trying hard to become an art center, bravo for them. AND I can’t forget Rae Marie at Framing 508 Gallery, she does so much work with Alive After 5 and all the promotions she helps with the Fourth Fridays, if you need something framed professionally, give her a call, she’s been framing and matting many years. Let her give you a price and show you what you can do with those prints laying around. Framing 508 Gallery, 407-324-1577, tell her Abbe made you call.
And that was it for me last night, went home and worked on photos and also worked on a few pictures that I took on Thursday at Lake Lily, there were plenty of muscovy ducks and ducklings all around the lake. I bet we saw a total of at least 75 babies with their mothers. It was just adorable. Here’s some nature pics to add to the conversation:

I love muscovies, so this is a small patch of land I like to look at the faces and document them

Threw in a seagull because of the color combo, loved the polka dot fringe.
Okay that’s it, have a good Saturday night. 

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