Friday, November 12, 2010

"Green Light!" Work Sold ~ as Environmental Note Cards

"Green Light!" Photography by RLHall ArtfulExpress
This work was meant to remind everyone that one simple change can make a huge difference in the fight for environmental protection, Go Green!

I'm happy with my switch from regular light bulbs over to CF bulbs. I decided to try them because of the environmental issue, but also because of my frustration with regular bulbs. Certain areas of my house must experience power surges, or something, that constantly blow out light bulbs. Plus the fact that it seems every package of bulbs purchased would have a bulb that either didn't work at all, or blew as soon as you put it in and turned on the lamp. That may be due to the fact that I normally only purchase them to keep on hand when I find they are on sale. Though I buy only brand name bulbs, I have come to believe that when they end up with a bad batch of bulbs, they mix them in with the good ones in a multi pack and sell the resulting defective package at a discounted price. It just happens too often to be just a coincidence...

I still buy only brand name energy star rated CF bulbs on sale, and they seem pricey. But I've found that they last so much longer, and work just as well in the blow out areas of my house that it makes it well worth while. In the last two years, I have only had to just recently replace the bulb that blew in the one lamp that is constantly used. And every bulb from the packages have worked well right from the start.

These bulbs don't flicker or make noises like other flourescent lights tend to do and they give off less heat than regular bulbs. The lighting is visually adequate and comfortabe. I bought one package and began replacing the regular bulbs that blew with a CF bulb. Now all my lights have CF's in them. And I think it has made a noticeable difference in my electric bill, though it's hard to judge with the service rates constantly increasing. I do continue to conserve energy by turning off unnecesary lights. I'm happy to contribute to environmental protection in such a small, easy way that is also better for me personally and could really make a difference - (see paragraph below) - imagine if everyone made the switch to more environmentally safe lighting in their houses and businesses like I did!

Energy-saving compact fluorescent (CFs) use a fraction of the electricity, which means lower electricity bills and millions of tons less global warming pollution. And in the summer, because they don't burn as hot as incandescent bulbs, they'll lower your cooling bills. If every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent bulbs with efficient bulbs, the pollution savings would be like taking 3.5 million cars off the road! This, and the following, information was taken from the Environmental Defense Fund site...

Energy-saving compact fluorescent (CFs) use a fraction of the electricity, which means lower electricity bills and millions of tons less global warming pollution. And in the summer, because they don't burn as hot as incandescent bulbs, they'll lower your cooling bills. If every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent bulbs with efficient bulbs, the pollution savings would be like taking 3.5 million cars off the road!

How to make the switch

1. Start with one bulb.

There are lots of choices, so before switching all the bulbs in a room, try just one to make sure it gives the kind of light you want. Look for bulbs with a color temperature between 2650 and 2850 degrees Kelvin or labeled "warm white."

2. Know your watts.

Look for a CF bulb whose wattage is about one-quarter of the incandescent you're replacing. For example, a CF bulb in the 15-watt range replaces around a 60-watt incandescent.

3. Check the shape and size.

Both the CF bulb and its ballast (between the glass and the screw-in part) can be bigger than standard incandescent bulbs. Inspect your lamp or light fixture to make sure it can accommodate the CF bulb.

4. Be careful choosing CF bulbs to use with dimmers.

In order for a CF bulb to work in a dimmer, it must be specially designed to do so. Read the package before you buy a CF bulb for a dimmer-controlled fixture.

5. Look for Energy Star.

The most energy-efficient CF bulbs carry the Energy Star label, the imprimatur of the government-backed energy efficiency program.

6. Dispose of burned-out bulbs properly.

All fluorescent lights contain trace amounts of mercury. But don't worry — there is far less mercury in CFs than in thermometers or old thermostats. Plus, using these bulbs helps prevent mercury from being released into the air from coal-powered power plants. When they burn out years down the road, recycle them. Visit Recycleabulb or Earth911 to find your closest recycling location.

7. See if your utility offers rebates.

Energy-efficient bulbs help utility companies lessen their load at peak times, so sometimes they run special programs or rebates to encourage you to make the switch.

For more tips, visit the Energy Star CFL Buyer's Guide. It has everything you need to switch to energy-efficient lights.

*** You may want to read the following articles before deciding to change over to CFL Bulbs, or supporting the governments ruling out incandescent bulbs. Especially if you have pets! :

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Doors for Cabin, found for FREE at

These are beautiful quality doors, only 3 yrs old and I found them offered on !
FreeCycle is a wonderful program and is free to join. It is available nationwide, and anyone can offer items that they no longer need, or find items that they do need - all for free. There are several groups for towns and regions in my local area, and on Yahoo! they are all listed in my Yahoo! groups, so it is easy to check new listings, or add a listing yourself. It's a great way to help the environment by keeping useful things out of the landfills, and saves you money too. I've gotten some great finds and passed on things that I no longer had a need for, but were useful for someone else. You can even put wanted ads up for specific items.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Attractive White Caterpillar with black spots/ careful it's poisonous...

I spotted this lovely white Caterpillar crawling along the deck railing the other day and tried to get a decent picture with my cell phone. Something told me not to touch it. I was never squeamish about picking up caterpillars, but have found that I have a nasty reaction from the slightest touch of a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar - so I am more careful now. Besides those long black guard hairs sometimes indicate the 'stinging' type and as I tried to get close enough to snap a pic, it seemed quite aggressive and kept rearing up towards my hand. Pretty feisty for a little guy. 

Upon investigation, at  Wikipedia,  I find that it is indeed one of the top poisonous caterpillars. Caterpillars represent the larval life stage of a Moth, and acquire chemical defenses from their host plants on which they feed. This caterpillar primarily consumes hickory, pecan and walnut leaves, but will also eat those of ash, elm, oak, and willow, among others. Their feeding occasionally causes local defoliation of nut trees, but usually doesn't cause lasting damage.

The long black hairs, two near each end, cause itchy rashes in some people. And these caterpillars can also bite. Mature caterpillars are found from July to September, and feed in groups of 100 or so in the early period, skeletonizing the leaves. They become solitary later.

It's cocoon in the pupal stage is woven loosely with hairs in it, is dark in color and is found in the leaf litter over the winter. In spring Lophocampa caryae emerges, also called the Hickory Tussock Moth or Hickory Halisidota. It's Fore-wings are yellowish-brown, marked with white blotches with a stained glass appearance. The hind wings are mostly white. The body is 'hairy' and pale brown or tan. They fly as moths through May and June.

(This photo from Wikipedia)

From North American Moths, I read that "The adults of most species of moths don’t eat – they don’t even have mouth parts, and for the duration of their adult life they live off of the fat reserves they built up as a caterpillar. In these species, the adult moths will live for only about a week or so, during which their main purpose is simply to seek out a member of the opposite sex and reproduce." 

They lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves, where the larva can find nourishment upon hatching.

At the American Journal of Emergency Medicine you can find information on the treatment of poisonous reactions to this caterpillar.

Also check out The 20 Most Toxic Caterpillars, accompanied by beautiful photographs of each. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Stonework Cross

This Chimney was crafted by the same couple who's Bear Paw design we borrowed for the sunburst stone base we used for our wood stove (see earlier post). It's quite large and very impressive when seen in person. The special creative touches lend a meaningful aire to the stonework pattern. Notice the stakes representing those that pierced Jesus' hands and feet, and even a rusted barbed wire wreath to signify the crown of thorns that was placed on his head...

They have built many outdoor stone walls and fences, a large porch and the inside fireplace as well. Seeing their projects inspired us to try it for ourselves and we've found it very rewarding and enjoyable, yet tiring, work. We hope to plan more stone structures ourselves. 

“The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Visitors

Suddenly it seems Dragonflies have come up the hill from the stream near my Studio and are descending on our main Cabin area. They are all over, where we seldom noticed them before. All different kinds and sizes. This large one, about 3" inches in length, got trapped in the cabin and made a loud ruckus in the window until I rescued it by placing a scrap of wood near it until it landed on it and then slowly transferred it outside. Upon investigation into Autumn behavior of Dragonflies I've found that they migrate much as songbirds do. Apparently migrating every couple of days, while resting in between or on windier days, and then moving south again. I read that they migrate only in the day after two nights of successively lower temperatures. I guess I'd never thought about what happened to them as winter approached. I found it interesting reading and assume that their visit to our cabin must have been their first push to the south. Though they may have been visitors from other parts, since our stream is south of our cabin. Perhaps they have spent the summer on the ponds just over the rise north of us. 
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

The Dragon Fly

In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs. They could not understand why none of their group came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water.

They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to her.

Soon, one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface. She rested on top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation that made her a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain she tried to keep her promise - flying back and forth over the pond. She peered down at her loved ones below.

Then she realised, even if they could see her they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.

The fact that we cannot see our loved ones or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death is no proof they cease to exist. ~ Unknown

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stone Wall built for behind Woodstove

The rocks and mortar have been applied to the wall above the sunburst stone mosaic base (see earlier post) for the wood stove at our cabin. The rock used was native rock from our land, held in place with Thinset and then filled in between with mortar. It turned out great! Though we won't see the final result until tomorrow when the mortar has dried to a lighter color. Each time we complete one of our projects, my honey keeps saying that he and I are making our dreams come true...just what we have both always wanted... 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recycled Telephone Book Kite

Decorative Kite created from an old telephone book, with each page folded into 1/2 of a kite shape. Used pop cycle sticks were placed to look like a kite frame, and then added old wire with used plastic bag and marker tape pieces tied on for tails. There are actually 3 tails on this kite, which hang down in front of the window. But the sunlight is bright and the tails are only visible mostly at edge of window since these photos were taken with my cell phone. The body of the kite wasn't painted or colored, it is just patterned by the print on the pages of the phone book. I liked it that way because it reminds me of the kites my Dad used to make for me out of newspaper when I was a kid - they flew better than the regular store bought kites everyone used to have...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mayo Jars Reused

I'm saving mayonnaise jars to use as storage containers in my studio. To keep them organized and out of the way, I used two screws to fasten the lids to the ceiling above my workbench. The low ceiling is under the small loft, and I am situating the jars on the back side of the beams which support the loft floor. The above photos show them from the back, but from the front they are much less noticeable. Those shown are the small size jars, but larger jars work well too. Just unscrew the jar from the lid, to take it down and add or remove items and then screw it back up into the top when done with it. The clear plastic jars make it easy to see what is in them, and they are more or less air tight when closed. Great way to store odds and ends, and smaller items that could get misplaced easily. Keeps them near your workspace and right at your fingertips. Both inexpensive and a good way to recycle that plastic and help the environment. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tagged on #Creativity Daily

Happy to see that one of my recommended links on Twitter made it to be a top story for  #Creativity Daily. Comic Creativity appears in the Art & Entertainment Section at
Nice to know that someone besides me found the recommendation interesting, and enjoyed reading the linked article. Thanks #Creativity Daily I appreciate the added exposure!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunburst Pattern Stone Work

We decided to create a Sunburst Pattern in the stonework base for our wood stove at the cabin since the building was constructed in accordance with the sun's rise and set, the strategic views and for sunlight from southern facing windows. The sunburst is historically known to represent Truth And Light. The stove will be supported by the four bricks placed in the mortar at the back half of the base. There will eventually be a full stone wall behind the base and wood stove. The stone mosaic was made from native rocks gathered on our land, and was purposely constructed with a rustic rough style. The mosaic was laid out within a deep wooden base with support beams throughout and a false floor built a few inches deep for the heavy rock and mortar placement.    


We incorporated the Bear Paw design shown in the earlier post below as well as the ancient symbols of The Eternal Spiral Of Life And Nature, and Drops Of Change. These symbols were found in many different tribes and cultures and are represented here using more common materials that we had on hand, namely copper pennies and nails strung together with wire for use in a nail gun. The pennies are dated 2010, to reflect the year we began work on the cabin. These ancient spiritual symbols generally stand for the continuation of life's spirit and the ripples of change that affect life and nature. Our initials, the date that we bought the land and a few small shadow designs were also carved into the wet mortar. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bear Paw Design

We are in the process of doing the stonework for our wood stove at the cabin. We recently visited friends who had incorporated a bear paw design in their natural stone fireplace. They had created theirs from a small horseshoe, while using a second broken or cut horseshoe as the toe/claw marks. Which they inbedded into the wet mortar. We used things that we had readily on hand to recreate their idea. Part of an old tarnished muffler clamp and various sized rusty nails accomplished the look we were after. We actually included several bear 'prints' into the mortar between the rocks in the base platform for our wood stove. The Native American Bear Print Symbol stands for 'Good Omen'. A pleasing rustic touch to our overall design which will include the base and a full stone wall behind it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Wrap-Around Deck

Our Cabin is only one floor, but since it is built on a slope the deck we planned is mostly 12' off the ground. We designed the strong railing so that it is easy to see the view and watch the wildlife that wanders nearby. We wanted the look of a nature sanctuary, and facilitated this by using framed steel fencing in green, in place of a spindle construction. The color blends in beautifully with the surrounding foliage. And since this main deck is off the back wall of the bedroom on the East end of the cabin, it is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise while enjoying our morning coffee. We'll be able to enjoy the afternoon sun here, but by dinner time the sun has moved around to the other end of the building so that it is comfortable for our evening meal. We are very pleased with the way it turned out.
From the main deck there is a 4' wide walkway that wraps around the back side and opposite end of the cabin. This far corner, especially, has the feel of a tree house. The deck is wide enough to place a couple of folding chairs there among the close branches and take advantage of the cool shade they provide in summer. This deck also serves as an alternative escape route in case of fire or other emergency, since there is only one other door at ground level.  

Around the tree shrouded corner the deck spans the West end of the cabin and leads to what will be the closed in front porch. Built with storm windows all around and storm doors at the front and side porch entrances with an access door to the connecting deck, it will provide a screened in area when the windows are opened in warmer weather or a sun room in cooler temperatures with the windows closed. A perfect spot to watch the sunset any time of year. The enclosed area will surround the corner of the building nearest the front door and ground level windows, to discourage intrusion when we are not there. The rest of the deck and windows are in-accessible from the ground without a ladder. 

The closed in porch will be just to the left of this photo, with the door there to access the west end deck. We hope to eventually build a slightly lower level deck off of this side with a couple of steps leading down to a seating arrangement of built in benches surrounding a fire pit. A gate will be incorporated into the existing railing where the steps descend and the added deck would still be 8'-10' off the ground with the same style railing completely surrounding it so that possible access from the ground would be discouraged.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Featured on Craft!


Noticed that my blog entry showing the Privacy Blind created from water bottles has been featured on Craft  It seems to have spurred a host of visitors to my site, which I greatly appreciate! The above post was also tagged by Technorati.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peace Project

iphone art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

My boyfriend noticed postcards that were left to be given away at a local convienience store. He brought one home to me, since it had artwork on the front pertaining to Peace and he knew I would like it.  The postcard was produced by Varga Gallery in Woodstock NY. It serves as an announcement for the 'Peace Project' on YouTube which runs until August 31st.
Check it out! :-) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fall is in the air, I can almost smell it...

Photo Art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Fall is in the air, I can feel it. It's been rainy the last couple of days here in New York. But the night air is cooling down and I've seen Canada Geese in v-formation, and smaller song birds are starting to flock up as well. Lately the calls of the Blue Jays seem to be announcing the season's change.

We took a short cut over the hills yesterday, and on the way, climbing up a seasonal dirt road I commented that autumn was just around the corner...the woods are starting to thin out now, you can see the deer through the forest trees as they start moving towards the streams to drink just before dusk. You have a little more warning, as they prepare to cross the roads as you pass by. We stopped for a mother and twin fawns, who had probably just lost their spots recently, to let them cross in front of us safely. And caught sight of many more whitetails both in the more distant fields and nearby at the woods edge. As we finally reached the very top of the hill we saw our first view of Maple Trees whose leaves had begun changing to that almost fluorescent orange color.

Yes, Fall is in the air, I can almost smell it. I don't think I could live anywhere that doesn't experience four distinct seasons. I welcome each one with joy, but tire of it as it's end draws near. Though autumn is my favorite time of year, it always brings a kind of melancholy feeling along with it. I suppose because it brings to mind the harshness of the winter months, and loss of the vibrant life that surrounds us in more hospitable times. It's a time to reflect on our lives as another year's end begins to seem within reach and to regret all the things we had hoped to accomplish while the weather was fine, but never quite got around to because we were too busy with our carefree summertime living.

There is still the fall, with it's more comfortable temperatures and that colorful beauty that inspires us anew every time it comes around. There is still that wish for peacefulness and quiet that the cooler seasons brings, and the hope for spring with it renewal of life and love and another new vivacious beginning.        

Monday, August 23, 2010

Work Sold ~ PJ Bear

'PJ Bear' Original Sketch by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

This is a simple sketch of the pajama bear that my Grandma Kyler gave me when I was born.
I think I probably slept with it every night for a third of my life :-)
I still have PJ, though he is worn and limp, he still makes me smile with that sad face and cuddly ways.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recycled Bottle Art ~ The Beginnings of my Bottle Tree


Bottle Tree' ~ photos taken earlier in summer by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

I chose this tree for the bottle tree outside my studio, since it was in the perfect spot, was quite symmetrical and at a smaller size so that I could easily hang bottles higher in the tree before it grew too large. It has also always been quite sparsely leaved so that the bottles wouldn't become so hidden by the foliage. I've begun dangling bottles from the limbs, and have many more strung with wire and ready to hang. I plan to continue collecting discarded bottles and adding them as I find them.

 Since this year the summer weather came so early and has been much hotter than usual, along with the adequate amounts of rain we've received, the woods on our land are much more lush than usual. The undergrowth and weeds are three times higher than it normally grows. The trees are growing faster with abundant greenery. It's beautiful, but as a result my bottles are becoming harder to see! 

I'm hoping that once I get the rest of the many colored bottles in place and am able to gradually add more as the tree becomes larger that they will be more visible. And once the weather returns to normal, if global warming hasn't taken a permanent stand as yet, I think it will be as I first imagined.

This tree will grow into a gnarly, kind of ancient looking tree in time and stay fairly low growing, if the others of this type on our land are any indication. Since I have always been drawn towards trees that have character I am looking forward to the bottle tree that resides in my determined imagination.

Though I love the way it looks now when the sun illuminates the colored glass and the shadows of the leaves add interest. It is located at the bottom of the trail that leads to my shack and visible as you are heading down the hill, it is just across the way from the building and visible from inside. I often find myself lost in thought, watching through the windows as the sun shimmers and shines off of the glass, and sparkles brightly as the breeze gently rustles the leaves.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recycled/Found Art ~ Whimsical Moon

Whimsical Moon ~  photos by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

I had some stars (I think from the dollar store) lying around and decided to create a moon to go with them. The moon was made from a 2 liter pop bottle, the curve in the plastic providing an outward bulge to each side so that it was hollow in between and widest on the rounded edge. The eyes and mouth are just cut out, with a swarovski crystal bead placed in the open areas to reflect a little light. Both sides were laced together with old used fishing line, and it was stuffed with strips of clear lightweight packaging plastic, saved from the garbage, to create a mottled and kind of glowing appearance. A found, apparently hand made ceramic figurine is attached, so that she appears to be swinging on the cusp of the moon. They are all hung from the peaked ceiling of my studio with more fishing line, in front of a high well lit window.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer will soon be coming to a close ~ Autumn is on it's way...

'Queen Anne's Lace Flowerhead' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) is a summer flower and is the forebearer of the carrots we eat today. The taproot of Queen Anne's Lace can be dug up and eaten like a paler carrot, though the leaves are toxic.

'Black Eyed Susan Blooms' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Black Eyed Susans are one of the most common wildflowers along summer roadsides and in sunny fields, if cut for a bouquet they will last for 8-10 days in a vase.

'Common Daisy' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

The Daisy gets it's name from the Anglo Saxon words which mean "day's eye" because the flowers open as the day begins. It's leaves are edible and can be used in salads.

'Field Flowers' ~ photo by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

The summer wildflowers shown here are now being joined by the flowers which are indicative of the fall season. These photographs were taken last week of the field on our land, and since then I've noticed that the thistle plants are going to seed and the Golden Rod, Ragweed and Chicory are all flowering along the roadsides. All signs that Summer will soon be coming to a close and Autumn is on it's way...but that's okay, because fall seems to be my favorite season.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rear View Mirror Art

Original Beaded Rear View Mirror Art by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Created for a dear friend, by request, for her new car...woo hoo! :-) 
The sun shines through the medallion, illuminating it beautifully while the square Swarovski Crystal beads send rainbows throughout the interior. The colors of the piece reflect the awesome color changing paint of the exterior, blues, greens and  purples... 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recycled Water Bottles ~ Privacy Blind

Original Photos by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Privacy blind created for the window in my small writing loft in my Creekside Studio Shack. Made from the bottom sections of water bottles, fastened together with fishing line and hung on a rod. I remove it and hang it below the window on the wall, when I wish to have a clearer view of my woods. I plan on producing more for the windows in the lower portion of the building as well. I love the atmosphere it provides, while still letting the light in and obscuring the visibility from outside both day and night...

First, I cut off the very bottom section (I used bottles with a flower-like design on the bottom) of each water bottle with a sharp knife, making each 'cup' the same depth, 3/4 - 1" deep.

Then I used a paper punch to make holes on all 4 sides of each cup, about 1/4" from the cut edge.

Last I used fishing line to tie rows of cups all together quite tight, side by side, to create strips the width of the window. And in the same way later tied the strips together at top and bottom until it was long enough for the length of the window.

Also tied the top row a little more loosely to a curtain rod. Then they're ready to hang. The most time consuming, and inconvenient part is collecting and storing the bottles until you have enough to work with  :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Woodland Shadow Studies

Original Photographs 'Woodland Shadow Studies' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

Photos of shadows cast by setting sunlight through trees surrounding our cabin, whose outside walls are currently covered with Tyvec. I imagine they would make an interesting background for some types of art, and I plan to experiment with them, and perhaps other shadowy images, in different ways. Though I find them intriguing as they are - we have noticed several gestalt patterns (mostly faces) within the swirling shades of gray and white, though the actual impression of leaves and branches is somewhat ambiguous. Do you see any shapes that are familiar?

.         .        .

World English Dictionary
Gestalt (ɡəˈʃtælt) — n , pl -stalts , -stalten ( sometimes not capital ) See also Gestalt psychology a perceptual pattern or structure possessing qualities as a whole that cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts [C20: German: form, from Old High German stellen to shape]

   Read more about gestalt phenomenon at

The Old Apple Tree

Original Photograph 'The Old Apple Tree' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress

This is one of the apple trees surrounding our cabin, an old orchard that still produces delicious apples, though small ~ the trees have been neglected for many years but they are beautiful all year round . . .
Spring blossoms, summer foliage, fruit, fall colors and interesting ancient looking shapes and textures against the white winter snow. Not to mention the perfume of the flowering trees and the taste and smell of warm apple crisp on a cool frosty night :-)
A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. ~Welsh Proverb

I am not bound for any public place,
but for ground of my own
where I have planted vines and orchard trees,
and in the heat of the day climbed up
into the healing shadow of the woods.
~ Wendell Berry

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Work Sold ~ 'Sweet Scented Lilac Toes'

Original Photo 'Sweet Scented Lilac Toes' by RLHall, ArtfulExpress
I am thinking of the lilac-trees,
That shook their purple plumes,
And when the sash was open,
Shed fragrance through the room.
~ Mrs. Anna S. Stephens
~The Old Apple-Tree

Friday, August 6, 2010

Porcupine from recycled materials

Porcupine crafted from recycled phone book & pop bottle labels by RLHall Artfulexpress 

Thursday, August 5, 2010


'DreamTime' Mixed Media Collage by RLHall ~ ArtfulExpress 
I've been reading about dreams lately, and most recently finished the book 'The Dream Encyclopedia' by James R. Lewis. The subject matter includes all phases of dreams and dreaming, covering ancient beliefs to modern thoughts about the process of dreaming from all over the world. He touches on the psychological and physical aspects, as well as the religious and emotional importance that dreams have in all our lives. The ideas I've absorbed from this and other related studies, have inspired this mixed media piece - created with recycled newspapers, paints and ink on illustration board. Ideas expressed include wishes and fears, love and hate, problem solving, dream flying and falling, astral planes and travel, dream sharing and collective unconscious, spiritual messaging and interpretation. I am looking forward to seeing the movie "Inception" to see how dreamtime is expressed in this sci-fi flick...

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
~Khalil Gibran

“Dreaming is not enough. You have to go a step further and use your imagination to visualize, with intent! Forget everything you've ever been taught, and believe it will happen, just as you imagined it. That is the secret. That is the mystery of life.”
~ Christine Anderson

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Captured Faerie ;-)


"I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell . . .

Because I was taught to dream . . ."

~ 'Fireflies' by Faith Hill

This song always makes me think of my Parents ~ Dad used to catch fireflies for me and leave them on my bedside stand, when I was a kid. I would wake up in the night and see the glow from the jar and then lay and watch them flit around until I fell back asleep. In the morning I would hide under the covers with them, and try to make out their waning shine in the dim light.

I remember asking them if fairies were real? They were sitting in lawn chairs in the front yard, while I laid in the grass reading a storybook. Dad answered "Some people say they've seen them." My Mom added, "You'll just have to watch closely, and maybe some day you'll know for yourself." Have you ever seen them, I asked? "I thought I might have once, but it flew away so fast I couldn't be sure. But I have seen what are called fairy rings, where mushrooms grow in a circle on the ground, it is said that fairies dance in them."  
Ooooh, really?

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I doubt that I would ever be so cruel as to trap a fairy, without good reason. Especially since I've heard that they can be quite the tricksters if you cross them. But this found fairy is missing a wing, and has two injured ankles as well. Otherwise I'm sure I would never have been able to secure her in the pickle jar, if it wasn't for her weakened state. I felt she needed a safe place to stay, for protection against predators and such. Even a house cat at play could be very dangerous for her, let alone the many woodland creatures she might encounter. I've done everything I can to make her as comfortable as possible, providing a nice log seat and a bed of moss. A pool of water to soak her ankles in, a bouquet of flowers to cheer her and tiny seashell bowls of honey and fresh water for her sustenance. The lid is riddled with many airholes, and I've even spruced up her dress, hair, wing and face with paints, since she was so very pale. Though she seems sad and hasn't spoken, I think she knows that I have saved her from total destruction. She remains quite inactive, but sits on a ledge on the porch of my creekside shack, where she can enjoy the morning sun but is nicely shaded in the heat of the day and her perch looks out over a flourishing bit of nature which fairies are known to love. I just hope that she uses her magic to bring happiness to those who look upon her with favor.