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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…

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!

WOW, can’t believe how fast time seems to dissolve before my eyes. Am I making it go fast spending endless hours behind this computer? It seems I start something online and the morning hours fade into afternoon and then the afternnon till the wee hours of the morning – HOW DARE THEY – it just ticks away too fast doesn’t it!
   I have been working on a website and have come to a standstill again with moving portions of it – so at a loss for right now and can’t even look at it I am so tired of the whole website thing. Instead first of all I will show you nature  from the past week, then move on to Fourth Fridays in Sanford last night.
      gerber daisy new blooms not ready to show their faces   
  my new mailbox snake, likes to hang out where the empty mockingbird nest is, maybe that’s why it’s empty.
  damsel fly eats hoursefly.         

Now for Friday night at Fourth Friday Artwalk.  Headed out and the first thing I thought, wow, the time change does make a difference, I can remember it almost last month as the sun being so low on the horizon,    but not tonight as I made my way to Sanford, rounding the corner on Commercial Street, I stopped and took a photo of a cool building that I would love to step into.      The first people I saw were members of the Gateway, as we walked up to the Welcome Center,      my favorite jazz guy was there –  saw Jane Kerle doing her Plein art painting.       The Welcome Center had a title of  “It’s All About People” for this month’s exhibit and I did a quick glance, then left to go met Adam and Ari at the clock.  We decided to go into Maya’s Books and you should too, it’s a very cool bookstore and has plenty of merchandise.
    Here he is with one of Giger’s art books, Necronomicon.  I left them looking through stacks and headed for The Gallery on First where several artists were present and working on their crafts, Debra Lapallo Ryan was painting a rock with cats, could not photograph them, but her rocks rocked – also Sharon Hyder gave me the tour of her booth, she shares her space with her daughterwho paints and does portraits, both do a wonderful job of painting and Sharon had so many pen and ink detailed drawings to look at, again, out of respect for the gallery no pictures, though Sharon let me take some, you will just have to look for yourself.
   Went to my ‘fav’ place where I can take as many photos as I want, The  ART AFFAIR of course! The theme was about ‘green art’,  everything made from recycled items. I was met as a celebrity and now I have been honored with my own official badge that hangs on their hook for these events or for anytime I just want to feel elevated – I grab my badge and feel like I am at home.      I am listed as “their favorite blogger” – how cool is that! The Art Affair Gallery is featuring artist Peter Cerreta’s work                This peace sign by Steve Stepp made of resin soldiers was one of my favorites, was told by Fern Matthews who herself  is a tremendous sculpture, no, I mean sculptor, so don’t ask to see the Fern Matthews sculpture.  She is also a gifted glass maker,  that Steve made this with plastic soldiers from the 1960s.  Here’s a close up:
     he also is a sculptor and has other work in the gallery. Here’s a few other views – you must visit and tell Ronda that Abbe sent you!        There are Julie Kessler metal scultures, her work is quite intricate – here’s one of her paintings:
          Mauricio’s gummy mugs          

              So many cute and affordable items.  I also ran into Chuck Dinkins who is now  executive director of the Seminole Cultural Arts Council. He’s a easy to talk to guy AND I didn’t know he was a professional skateboarder, (now retired) – it seems Chuck has worn many badges along the way to where he is now. I have to sit down and talk to him sometime, pay him a visit, he’s very interesting. 
    Headed back over to the Welcome center to watch the winners of the monthly artwork, I got there just as they finished, but I did see Rae Marie who owns Framing 508 Gallery on Sanford AVe. – she won and award and recognition for her dedication and hard work, she does so much for monthly shows, I am glad they did this, plus she came in second place for her artwork. Anyone who knows Rae Marie knows she is just a radiant sunbeam always smiling and happy and glad to see you. Her framing work is well known by many as is her painting.
    As I was going to take her photo, a dragonfly chose to rest upon her winning pastel.   She LOVES dragonflies. 
the details in her pastel were unbelievably precise – what a work of art– go to the Welcome Center and see all the pieces. There won’t be another exhibitition until September again.   Here are some of the entrys:       The First Place winner.   

     I loved the smoking guy, he was my favorite this time.  
    Left and took a few pictures of the buildings                The fire station.   
love the jazz guy in the dark too, think of the photo as an abstract because it came out so poorly   
And then I headed home, passing the electrig grid on 46 and back to the house where Adam was having movie night with his friends, Brothers Bloom was the featured movie. .     Now I am trying to figure out how 7:30am is now 7:06pm?  There is t goes, I’m in a time warp, oh well, perfect excuse to go fishing — byeeeeeee……

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…

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. 

First things first, before going to the reception I spent time out in the back watching ‘heron wars’.  Two males vying for the affection of the nesting female.   One had his way with her.

While the other waited in line for servicing.    But the male who had been first in line chased the other suitor off
– they went in circles till the other male went back to his own nest,  and the alpha male came back toward the nest and sat watching for the other male to hone in. I suppose we will have some eggs in that nest soon.  It’s fun living in between rookeries.
Then it was over to Sanford,   Taking pictures on the run. At the Welcome Center there was wonderful art.  I saw other artists I knew, met some I didn’t know, and talked to others who were there supporting the arts like Beda, Pam and Chuck and Bev who came to support the cause.  The Welcome Center was packed.
The Zoo had brought over animals, a possum  – (I see possums nightly – though they are not on a leash) And the coolest owl.  
I could have taken picture after picture of his gorgeous face and eyes!   After wandering the room, Adam and I went out to walk the street, (not in a soliciting kind of way,) and came to a newer art gallery store, Called Art AffairGallery.    They have amazing art and gifts. Julie Kessler is one of their featured artists known for her mosaics and metal work. She does not fail to amaze with the work she does.

Ronda Richley is the owner and has great taste for stocking her store, she was very enthusiastic about making her Gallery a staple in Sanford that people will be drawn to, go visit and have a look, at 303 East First Street next to Fawn, she really has the passion to make it grow.
We went up to Jeanine Taylors which is always filled with talent beyond talent.
Hollenbachs the German Restaurant was packed with people waiting in line. I like their desserts, but I’m not into their regular meals,  but who am I? They had plenty of people waiting to eat. Otherwise, the Stones Throw Bistro which is new has a nice menu and was busy.  Maya was closing her bookshop and came over to the Welcome Center.
There was a jazz singer by the door of the Welcome Center who was singing and playing with a lot of heart, it really lent itself to the artsy mood.
Talked to my friends again, listened to which artist won the first prize for being the voted  for piece of artwork, – (not mine) – but the winner,  Heather had sculpted two pieces, a dog and cat out of clay and she deserved the prize.
All in all it was fun, and I was so happy Pam came after working all day, and it made me happy that Beda and her adorable neighbor, and Bev, Chuck and Pam came out to share in all the festivities.  I wish I had gotten a photo with Pam and Bev, but did get one with Beda,   And had Chuck take a photo of Adam and I and I look like a mad, serial killer. So I plastered on a smile  with photoshop:  poorly I might add

Then it was back home so Adam could do his thing and I could do mine, (getting on the computer to give a blog report.)
So when you have a moment, get to downtown Sanford and have a look at the mentioned places, and also over at the vintage boutique, Fringe which has moved above Maya’s bookstore, Kim the owner is a lot of fun as are the clothes, you can even rent clothes from there.
Gotta pack and get over to Tampa tomorrow, ahhhhhh, the I-4 anxiety —

It’s 10:oopm, I’m sitting here after trying to take pictures of the “blue” moon through the fast moving gray web of clouds. So here’s an abbesworld look at the moon:
The full moon didn’t show up as the heron and I fished tonight.  It was gloomy all New Years Eve day.  I looked up at the herons nest this morning and wondered how it could hold eggs as it seems so lacking in good structure.   It really is not like the nest there several years ago, the last one was huge and really thick.  This one was built by a young, very inexperienced first nestor.  The male flew by me this morning to bring the female one stick.     He walked briskly to give it to her and then left for the day.   I have no idea if eggs are in that nest, but somehow I doubt it.

As for the fox, he didn’t show. I called a trapper who wanted a bunch of money as if I was asking him to send a fox to Alaska in the first class section of a plane.
The day as I said was cloudy and there was no recognition of it being the last day of 2009.    It started beautifully – this morning the sunrise was ostentatiously orange!    Then it went downhill and stayed cloudy.  
I was supposed to be framing art for the Gateway show that has to be turned in on Sunday.  But I decided to try some macro photos.


There is just too much beauty out there. I played around way too long.
The cranes were lounging around. What is fun about the cranes is how they recognize other cranes flying over. When they see a fellow crane winging it on by, they open their mouths and give that big noisy scream.  They don’t do it for any other birds, the woodstorks flew by and not a peep, but one crane can spark their loud hello.   I am finally now at 11pm getting the frames worked on with the help of Frankie and Ringo.   
I must say this past year has brought me so many riches, my family and so many people who are genuinely encouraging — so many people who have been my friends for decades and excuse my quirks as just belonging to Abbe.  It’s wonderful to have found some lost childhood friends this year, and new friends and other bloggers who read me as I read them.  And where would I be without the beauty of the surrounding bounty of life surrounding me.  I am so lucky to have so much. I can only hope that the new year brings you all the wonderful pleasures you desire. For me, I hope to continue taking that photo that someone will appreciate as much as I do, for it to be a source of something comical, something healing, something just to take the edge off , or something to inspire one by.
Happy New Years to my children and family, to my writing and blogging buddies, to my artist friends and political arguing friends, to those I know and those I don’t, all I can say is, make this your best year yet, find your passion and go for it! Enjoy the things around you, find a cause and put yourself into it, and most of all love love love –
Peace and happiness and love – Abbe
some fireworks…

I had to pick up Hendrix  today from 55 West downtown where he had hung in a model rental, and it rented so Jimi had no further service.  Anyone need a Hendrix photo?  And since I had to go downtown, I decided I would make a few stops along the way, one was at Borders in Winter Park where the Animal Welfare Alliance was wrapping holiday gifts for donations, I was eager to help and dropped off wrapping paper and bows. Gail Nagan is trying hard to get her dream of the low cost spay and neuter clinic realized and she is making all efforts to fund it, so if you need something wrapped or would like to volunteer to gift wrap, please call her, (407-462-2320 )  — she would love the help.  But of course, I am out of sequence, first I stopped off in Casselberry.   Went to Casselberry Art House and WOW, I was not prepared for how it has morphed since last time I visited!  They have revamped the whole space around it into a absolutely ‘bucolic’ – peacful space!  The street Melody has been sealed off so you must turn on Triplet.  The Art House itself remains the same in it’s arty-ambiance. Linda, the Recreation Coordinator was getting it ready for an art exhibit.  It looked interesting.  I didn’t take photos on the inside only because I was not sure how their artists would react. But, here’s photos of the new outside. 

Look at all the crows!   And my favorite spot, the wonderful fountain!    
The jets go in several sequences and you could take a lap top and sit and reel off that novel you have been wanting to write, but your brain is in blocked mode. Or read a book — this setting over looking the lake and the wonderful boardwalk will help relax you!  This really added to their city hall.  They have concerts and art shows, go to their website, the Art House offers art lessons and other types of classes too. They have a seniors group that also meets, call 407-262-7700
for more info or go to their site, www.casselberry.org or cut and paste
http://www.casselberry.org/index.aspx?nid=338
It was after that , that I went to Borders and I also got an assiago pretzel, not that great.
Then I figured I would stop to see what was new at the Comma, Karen had sent out notices about her latest exhibit,  “4 The Birds” – I missed the reception, they even had live birds from the Orange County Audubon Society!  When I parked, there was a window with ‘day of the dead’ figures.

I walked in the back door of Comma and felt like I always do,  that I am in a first class art gallery! And Karen comes out and always greets ‘silly old me’ as if I am a paying customer. She has always been a great teacher about the people and techniques and pieces she has on the walls and on display.  She told me I had to photograph the t-shirt I was wearing and call it “Something”, so here’s my shirt –   Yep, that shirt is a trick, a ploy to divert the eyes and keep them focused upwards and not at my chubby Jewish thighs!  The shirt as you notice has two tigers in strategic placement.  It is a shirt you see coming at you.  But I always wear shirts with something visual, many times with something to read,  like Dr. Suess – 
but that’s another blog and neurosis folded in my t-shirt drawer!
And here’s a tour of Comma Art Gallery:

The glasswork by Duncan McClellan, his color and usage of design were truly beautiful.   Love the swans.  My favorite was a collage and stitched piece of a women and a crow.   There is always unique jewelry and the same with the artwork.
Grady Kimsey is totally awesome.  Karen’s painting is always fresh and inspiring.  She’s very diverse!
Patrick McGrath Muniz has an astounding icon view of art, it’s ironic and totally eye consuming, you really have to look at the detailing of his art.  You must venture down to 813 Virginia Dr. and see the art work.  Hey, I can’t show everything, I want you to go have a look. And if you are an artist, there is gallery space available, e-mail Karen at  commagallery@gmail.com   She runs an internationally known gallery and will be glad to fill you in.    http://www.commagallery.com
I  enjoyed my visit there, but knew Jimi was waiting. I bid Karen ‘adieu’ and moved on to Orange Avenue. I  hate driving the one way, narrow  streets of downtown. I parked and walked several blocks to new 55 West condos that did not sell as condos, but as rentals, they rent out briskly.  I walked in and asked for  Jimi Hendrix, the ‘concierge’ guy seemed rather uppity! Hey desk guy, get over yourself, in the dictionary your job title is only a fancy French name for a front desk watcher/janitor.
Jimi and I marched back with 9 minutes left on the parking meter.  I played “the Wind Cries Mary” and “Little Wing”, (my song to myself) over and over as we traveled down Rosilyn onto the east I-4 ramp and off we cruised to our Sanford exit.
I didn’t go right home,  there was that one stop at Giovannis for eggplant parmigiana,  (Pam, I just couldn’t wait for a visit to Brio.)  Jimi waited politely in the car.
Giovannis’ garlic rolls are the best, I love Italian food and pasta, (too much) it all fits in with the  strategy of  wearing flashy, eye grabbing, catchy t-shirts.  I bet Finola Hughes would grab me off the street for a fashion makeover, Heidi Klum would recoil in horror looking at my wardrobe choices, while Wendy Williams might burn my shirts with her lighter as she does with beef jerky— Please, don’t tell any of them where I live…

Today started the same as always which is always a smile getter,   DSC04351re
The sandhills came flying over the lake for breakfast.  I then checked the rat traps and nothing – no bodies, where do they hide? I even did what the Massey guy mentioned, he said to throw away all rotten fruit under the citrus trees because he said a pheromone is emitted from rotting fruit that draws rats from all over — perfect I thought and brought a rotting grapefruit in and put some of the pulp in the traps. It was obvious today that not all rats are drawn to rotting fruit!
DSC04349-1re The butterflies were busy and this one had gorgeous silver inlay on those delicate wings! It really glimmered metallic when the sun hit the underside. I didn’t capture it in the photo, but it was a fine Gulf Fritillary example.  Ran errands and saw this egret running through the parking lot near Marshall’s  100_6472re He posed briefly but had places to go, so did I.
Back home the sky was gorgeous,   100_6451re full of lines and swirls.  The planes were on their way to destinations unknown, but I am going to call the airlines and request the pilots that pass over the lake at night while I fish, wave.
100_6455re They could drop off some peanuts on their way to Sanford.
I got dressed and ran over to the cutest little coffee spot in Debary, The White Cup coffeehouse at 17/92.  Two of the Gateway group members, Ed and his wife Nan were having a reception.  100_6473re They were given excellent wall space by the owner who also serves a mean cup of different coffees, cold and hot, also tea and smoothies and she has a menu with many goodies.   100_6475re
Ed and Nan  Cogle are world travelers and you could tell from both their art styles that they loved India.
What is also evident was their love of wildlife too.  Ed does photography, Nan had a mixed media approach.   100_6476re They had a nice reception packing the innards of The White Cup.  I even met a guy who was just there to get a great cup of coffee and the art was a big bonus. Art IS a big bonus. I tried to get my family physician to have an art wall in his brand new doctors office he just moved into, but he didn’t. I think it would be welcomed by the patients to have photos and art by local artists to stare at as they sit and wait and wait and wait. I would have even changed it out every couple months, that’s how it would work in Abbesworld, art would be much more employed and enjoyed by the public and as a means to inspire others. So if you are reading this and own a business, please give local artists a shot at displaying their work.
As I was about to leave, Ed was taking some photos,  100_6479re I took some also to show you that you need to SUPPORT THE ARTS!  Go out to a gallery, check out the Heathrow Arts Festival at Colonial Town Park this weekend, or pick up a brush, pen, camera and make something. Find the artist inside yourself and maybe even discover something you didn’t know you could do.  And if you happen to be on your way from Sanford to Debary, stop by the White Cup and enjoy the owner, the beverages and the art. Also — please remember that next weekend  The Gateway Center for The Arts in Debary is having a Holiday Boutique with lots and lots of artists selling their goods for the holidays. There will be table after table of artwork for all  to enjoy.  So through the week I will keep bugging you to go.  I will have a table too so stop and say hello!
Now put away part of that paycheck of yours to buy something out of the ordinary for someone this holiday season – Buy local art!    100_6504re

(pictured is a cup I will have for sale featuring my photograph, “lee’s alien dinner”)

100_3939res Today I drove downtown,

I had artwork to drop off –
I had to find the right building.
Downtown Orlando is not huge,
not New York or Los Angeles,
it’s pretty easy to manuver EXCEPT for the sarcastic one way streets
who snicker when they know they have you trapped in a city force field
and the streets hold the parking spaces hostage.

I circumvented blocks two and three times,
right street, wrong way –
braking behind gawkers, and half filled city buses.
circling and waiting for that “red sea parting” moment
in which a building would bust its’ seams
exposing the place where I needed to be
and my gray Sierra chariot would stop and
a valet would open my door and carry my art
with white cotton gloves to the waiting public.

A wish unfulfilled
as I parked 4 blocks from my venue
lugging ziplocked art up the avenue
trying to find store front numbers
on the tiny mapquest sheet that only depicted a star
on a flatlined street –
I officially had the downtown Orlando Monday Blues.

Passing rough, bushy characters who looked like they protected
Mick Jagger at Altamont.
Passing executives in their noose suits,
foreigners with cameras and smiles,
gapped teeth children,
Buddhists and Viet Nam vets,
but no nuns, or not in a habit anyway.

I watched an old woman feeding bits of bread to sparrows,
five little brown birds surrounded
her gnarled hands with arthritic fingers.
There was a man soliciting with a sign because he was “impeared” –
his impairment was spelling
I could have my own sign for that –

Police on bikes wrote tickets,
was that Brian Feldman trying to be a city bench?
One man (?) wore large spike heels and a flirty sun hat
with a flowered broach on his chartruse tank top,
(or maybe it was a woman in need of a shave?)

The laughing sun was held at bay in part
by the taller buildings – it was still early
so at least I was not under the complete solar microscope
while  heading up Church Street.
The funny thing was, home at my desk
if I had read my email thoroughly
I would have noticed yesterday they had changed the day
from Monday to Wednesday.

But this was Monday, Monday, a day for downtown blues.
Lugging and looking
lugging and looking.

The young ladies at the drop off point were sympathetic to
an old stressed out lady,
out of breath-
out of place-
out of patience with the city and herself-

But as I made my way back down the blocks
back toward my truck with the hour time limit on the meter
I was glad to briefly have been there,
among ‘city–fied worker bees’,
to absorb this bustling image of people and cars in a hurry,
of buildings humming with demands,
of hungry mouths being fed at the shelter,
of children giggling and wailing at a daycare playground,
of honking  and the wonderful aroma of garlic rolls
coming from that small Italian restaurant.
It’s good to be among culture and art,
expensive boutiques and lawyers and
banks and snobs and slobs and body odor.
I felt light, Ginsberg-esque as he took
his stroll through a Supermarket in California;
focused on images,
of “aisles of husbands”,
because I was shoulder to shoulder at times
with someone’s spouse or their secret lover.
I passed the abused wife, covering her bruise in long sleeves
on a summer morning,
the man in need of a root canal and
no means to pay for it.
I was holding Ginsberg’s hand,
as we both wanted to shout, ”

"Who killed the
pork chops?  What price bananas?  Are you my Angel?"

The morning was still new,
all the jackhammers and drills of city music
had a nice Dharma beat .
I swear we saw Walt Whitman on Magnoilia and Church,
he was asking for a ride to the “Y” at Thornton and Mills
to ponder the road less traveled.

I waved goodbye to Allen
who was thumbing a ride to College Park,
And I drove home knowing I was not alone,
happy to be headed back to Abbesworld;
a place of quiet,
of birds and wildlife,
of creativity.
A place to shake off the downtown Orlando Monday Blues
by threading it through the hook on my fishing pole
and letting the line go slack when a catfish swallowed it whole –
I reeled it in and the catfish jumped off and spit the blues out on the ground,
“worse thing I ever tasted – stick with bread”, he spat three more times,
kicked me in the shins and went diving back to the lake,
I knew then this was where I belonged…

ABbe

lakemarygazebo-2res It’s always fun to go to the Farmers Market on Saturdays at the back of the City Hall of Lake Mary. I went early to go get some of my favorite honey.  DSC09638res Frederickson Apiaries will be opening their own store and bakery in a few months. Will have to go for that grand opening! Orange blossom and wildflower are my favorites.  After walking around the many booths, I walked across the street to where they had opened a new shopping area.
The first store was Morris’s Market, they are carrying fresh produce, honey, meats, cheeses and they also do the Farmers Market with their own booth.
100_2356res There was a floral shop next door and I forgot to take the photo, but it had a beautiful courtyard in the rear packed with plants. Next to that was Coastal Gifts and Decor. 100_2366res
giftres There was jewelry, note cards, knick knacks with a flair for Florida seaside decor.  Next to that was Kristin Shaw’s trendy clothing boutique called, ‘sophie and trey’.  100_2367res Inside were reasonably
priced men andwomens clothing.  100_2368res Kristin organizes the once monthly, Paint The Towns. Now she is trying to organize artists for the Farmers Markets so they can display their wares on Saturday mornings. If interested, contact her, 407-324-5747.
The artists who were displaying were ‘Nine 2 Five’, Tina Pochedley who had beautiful handmade jewelry on her table, 100_2373res I apologize for having taken it from a distance.  She works with silver and precious and semi precious stones and does private parties. Her number is 407-467-8138.

Also on display was Shelia Golden who does wonderful animal paintings and collage and note cards, there are some on display at Coastal.  sheliares-1 contact:  http://www.sheliagolden.com
The last artist on the street was Randall Smith who does very cool robot paintings and robot figures.  100_2369res100_2371res
To check out his work:  To contact Randall:
RandallsRobots@aol.com. 407-923-2075
The artists are always good to talk to and as I always say, support the arts!
On my way back to the truck, I stopped at the SPCA booth and got a t-shirt for making a donation.  spcares spcares Remember, not only our artists need support so do the local animal service groups!
Walked past the Orchid Nanny,  100_2377res Though those orchids are gorgeous, I have a very deadly thumb with plants that need attention.  But I find inspiration everywhere and always have a fun time making abstracts out of the picture I took.
orchidabstract-1res sheilagoldeninspired-3res

Here it is another day of gray and rain threats, nothing I can do about it and I really don’t even mind it. Somehow it seems like a dreary day you would veg out and listen to Procal Harem or Led “Zep’ – oh I am so 40 years ago aren’t I?
But after three days of ice-cream cookies and junk food, I had to get out.  I ran some errands and did even stop by the marina.
There was nothing floating around in the water and only a few fisherman and very little wildlife, still no muscovy ducks. I did see a couple mallard duck mothers and their ducklings, one had almost a dozen ducklings,  52109mallardclan-3_edited-1 I thought her brood looked well disciplined.  The wind was not as brisk as it had been the past two days of driving rain. The marina waters were pretty calm
52109shipsinmarina-3_edited-1 52109marinawalkway-1_edited-1

There were a lot of homeless people sitting around the park which is always sad to see. Also saw some vultures
looking bored. vultureresize
I came home and attempted to go fishing, the wind was built up again and there was no use in bothering after several casts came floating back. There was a huge yellow rat snake that I saw and he saw me and he went right over the seawall and into the water. he swam out to the lily pads and did a big loop and came back to the other side of my property, back to dry land. ratsnakeedit The sky looked like it was trying to build some momentum, even Ringo didn’t bother coming out with me which is unusual. The heron family is long gone, the mama never comes to fish anymore, have not seen her since before going to Tampa almost two weeks ago. I do see one of her babies down near the channel that leads from our lake to the next. I have not seen the crane family in almost two weeks.
Tomorrow I take my two photos to the Gateway Center for The Arts for an upcoming show called “Abandoned Houses” – other than that, I am working on a dream series of work to go with some of my poetry and hoping to present that somewhere for an exhibition. Art is never quiet once it infects you, it squirms it’s way out of you and then you must find it a home just like you find a pet a home. Someone has to fall in love with it enough to buy and take home. The best part for the perspective art owner is that the artwork does not have eat, crap or have to be neutered, so there, now go buy some local artists’ pet project!

21009rovermuscoveyc-31 The visitor showed up this morning, he ate some seed and flew off. I have named him Rover, a good name I figured. He is definitely all male! He also is very shy but mixes well with the other 3 ducks.

Last night the moon was so awesome — dsc02448edited

it was just huge. The fishing was also quite good for bream and shiners.  My heron came down at his usual time and waited on the stump for me.
dsc02405 then we walked down to the lake where the ducks were rooting around in the grass and water and Ringo took his position on the concrete to watch the water. The cranes flew south dsc02391 and there were lots of birds flying overhead. It reminded me of the plane recently in the news that sucked up some flying geese and landed in the Hudson. Let me tell you, the Sanford International Airport is about 8 miles away and for how low those planes are coming over my house, I am very surprised that this has not happened on top of me!  The bottoms of some of those planes look close enough for me to hook if I were casting as they flew by!  The bird traffic at night is similar to that of our rush hour, birds and ducks hurrying off to find their sleeping spaces.  Last night I saw so many large flocks moving in all directions and planes that looked like they were only yards above them, I can only wonder when that will happen here – SCARY!
It should be mid seventies today – YES! Wildlife active out there. At some point I do want to go back to Blue Springs on a windless day, though the mantees might be gone with the warm temperatures.
As I was coming out this morning, a woodpecker was upside down on my one small feeder by my desk window. He looked like an acrobat 21009woodpeckeronfeeder-1 It seemed very silly since he has plenty of birdseed on the regular feeder and the stump. I have seen had 2 woodpeckers on my feeder a couple days ago dsc02315
I hope they will also be nesting here soon. I am still waiting for the cranes to find their nesting place. I know it will not be in the water this time, the water is still too high. We  have lots of air traffic at my house as usual, it’s just the way I like it. Have a good day and create a place for nature in your own yard!
Today I am still looking at how to build a website – yikes there are so many sites and instructions. I am reading how to sell stock photography – wow there is so much to learn. It makes me feel like escaping this machine and go back and take photos, oh, I just talked myself into that idea, bye!

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