1.3.15

CANDID SHOTS: How we celebrated CHINESE NEW YEAR


EVERY YEAR WE TAKE AN IMAGINARY TRIP TO ASIA 
TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR--A TRADITION THAT GIVES MUCH HAPPINESS AND JOY TO THE CHINESE CULTURE AND OTHERS. 


YIKES, GRAMMY POSTED OUR KIDDIE PHOTOS 
ITS OKAY, WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY 
FOUR  LITTLE GRAND-KIDDIES

WHO LIVE IN SINGAPORE. AND
NOW ARE A BIT TALLER.



THEY INSPIRE US WITH OUR AMERICAN VERSION OF CNY !
CHEF DANIEL PREPARING FRESH FISH FOR OUR FEAST
FISH TASTED AS GOOD AS THEY LOOK....NOTE THE BEAUTIFUL EYEBALLS !
NOW THE CHALLENGE PLACED IN FRONT OF THE AMERICAN GRAND KIDDIES WAS......
TO EAT THE FISH EYEBALL IS A CHINESE TRADITION, ONLY BESTOWED UPON GUESTS OF HONOR.
TWO GK'S DECIDED TO EACH EAT AN EYEBALL, KNOWING THAT THEY ARE INDEED, VERY SPECIAL. 
"DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. JUST PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH AND SWALLOW."
THEY DID IT!!! YOU CAN SEE BY THEIR FACES THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY A DELICIOUS EYEBALL WHEN YOU ARE A GUEST OF HONOR. 
TIME TO STRING LUCKY ORANGES AND LUCKY DOLLARS ON TO STURDY STRING.
A WISH FOR THE YEAR IS WRITTEN ON THE BEAUTIFUL RED AND GOLD JOSS PAPER. 
OUTSIDE WE WENT TO MAKE WISHES AND THROW OUR ORANGES HIGH INTO THE TREES.
AND THERE THEY STILL HANG TODAY.  


WE ALREADY ARE A VERY LUCKY FAMILY !  
WISHING YOU THE SAME IN 2015 ! 

17.2.15

The Storm of the Year?

My previous post we were excitedly preparing for the snow storm of the "year," well, season.  Indeed there was a storm.
Through the night the rain pelted the windows with darts of cracking sharpness. The temperatures plummeted down with accelerating speed.
I awoke at 2:30, scurried to the front room window, hoping to see falling SNOW through the crack in the blind. 
BLACKNESS. 
6:30 AM, there would be snow, the weatherman had promised.
Within a few hours, our world transformed, encapsulated with thick, clear, wavy ICE! 
Seeing the cup half full, I reasoned that ice in and of itself is beautiful. 
I hadn't charged my camera batteries for nothing. I headed outside, staying safely on the porch.
Our little world was beautiful in unexpected ways... 
 tiny miracles of life encapsulated in coffins of clarity .
 long lengths of rough branches, magnified.
 black streets, silvery white.

Later this morning as I sit at the computer, shafts of sun pierce through the barren branches, angling onto my desk. All is well. A few photos, a bit of editing, and acknowledgement for expectations.
Sounds of neighbor boys outside on their snow pans, racing down the center of the icy street. Oblivious to everything but fun.
Pups hopping on padded paws, licking up the icy goodness.
Red Robins splashed against deep evergreens tipped in ice.

The fleeting pleasure of something different is just as lovely.

What I saw this morning.
Life under the weight of nature.
KK Flourish
Predawn, weighed down branches, nothing stirs.
KK  1 AM 
 Sun Flare breaks through, shedding warmth.
Robin Egg Blue, the first sky color to greet me.
Sun rises, droplets fall, cycle in completion.
We ate the winter soup a few days ago. But today we feast upon the visual bounties of Nature's Fickleness.

A large prayer sent the way to those who have more than their share of harsh weather. May you be warm and safe. Your blue skies are coming.

15.2.15

Expecting a Cold Wave

Rumors have it that it might, just might, well maybe, sort of
Snow!
Yup, a bit of snow in the forecast for Monday or Tuesday.
Here in the south it is an occasion for cheering, scrambling through boxes for gloves and hat, and being pretty assured that there will be NO school.  Just a dusting of snow calls for a Snow Day!
Pretty Please, just enough snow to get outside and take some pictures of the Funny Bunnies making a modest size snow-lady, or the dogs romping wildly on the slippery grass.
Just to be sure that all is ready, decided to make a soup.
Ham Hock and Red Lentil Soup.


I would kindly give you the recipe but I didn't have one....just say I "hoofed" it!
I must have been "channeling" Julia Child...as I diced all those potent onions.

Pinterest Image

If you are afraid of Butter use Cream !
Thanks Julia, you are a woman after my own heart. 

14.2.15

Master Chef Valentine's Brunch


(Anyone watching Master Chef Junior?
We are all addicted to it.
Amazing what an interest in young kids cooking is happening in kitchens everywhere.)

9:30 AM, Valentine morning, three cute Funny Bunnies showed up on our doorstep, ready to cook, eat and play.
Miss G. baked "from scratch" these yummy blueberry muffins and chocolate dipped strawberries for our Valentine Brunch.
Hmm are we sure it
isn't Chinese New Year? The holidays are pretty close together this year.  The Asian store by our home has super fun cookies, crackers, candies and STUFF, like the kitty ceramic bowl. 
Pretty cool with your shades and pink cheeks. 
The Master Chef cooking station.  Mr.G one dozen scrambled eggs, no shells please. And Miss G.the pink/chocolate chip pancakes. 
30 minutes to go, man your stations.

 
A little snug at the cooking station,but all hands working their culinary magic. Auntie TaTa offered to do the bacon.
2 minutes left.  Time to "pretty up" your serving platters.  Times UP!
 Have you ever wondered who cleans up after the kids are finished cooking?
Hmmm I know!!!
BREAKFAST WAS FANTASTIC, EVERYTHING DELICIOUS, WARM AND NO EGG SHELLS!
We hope you have had a lovely Valentines with your favorite big and little people.

Thank you Kim Klassen for your presets: summersun, gentle and touch of drama. 

6.2.15

Moving On From Picasa: a Personal Journey with Computers

For many years I depended upon Picasa to store and edit my photos. At that time our family used a PC. 
I liked Picasa, it was easy to use, allowed a small amount of editing and then easy to publish or share from.
My "smooth" world changed when my PC unexpectedly  expired/died. 
Lesson: Pendulum-of-life swings back and forth.
In the Beginning: Our first family computer was a Mac. It is an understatement the "grief" it brought into my new computer experience. 
Eager to learn basics, I took a class from a retired ex-Army sergeant. I was the only female in an all male class, conducted in a "military" sort of way. I became unglued...nervous...intimidated. Little learning took place in my jumpy mind and shaky fingers!  
Eventually our family moved on to a PC and for some reason it appeared so much easier but was it?  

Over time, Mac's evolved into Apple and I became more curious, more desirous of what I was reading.
My family thought I was crazy/not thinking/not practical/ but Bingo! Change! I did it and have never looked back. I am now fully committed to Apple. And with that the use of Lightroom and Photoshop.  
It is all about Exploring, Learning, Practice and Doing.... (personally found so much easier to learn second time around!)

 I use Google and Yahoo.  One day I was thinking about my years using Picasa on my PC. Thousands of photos had been left in my old PC that suddenly quit.  Bless (Google's) Heart, as I rummaged around their various options and found hundreds upon hundreds of my old photos, albums and paintings  done years ago!!!  It was a walk down memory lane reacquainting with paintings and photographs I had totally forgotten about. 
Sharing with you a few paintings I rediscovered from way back when......



        The pendulum does swing.
 Thank you Picasa for saving what I thought I had lost. 
A deep pleasure to FIND YOU AGAIN !  
A bit of my life memories have been restored.
Addendum: I use iPhoto to collect and store phone photos. These are transferred to folders on my harddrive. I use a Master Lightroom Folder to move photos into LR or PS.  It took awhile to "sink in." But there is no way but up!  PS: almost all adult kids use an Apple computer.   

4.2.15

Don't Be Afraid to Go Out on a Limb

 ...it's where all the fruit is.  Shirley MacLaine
It could be suggested that I went "out on a limb" when I       enrolled in another on-line class.  
"I shouldn't, restrain yourself, put on the brakes." I murmured, reproachably.
"But it is so fun to learn new things and meet new people!" my less pragmatic side countered.
I always lose the pragmatic arguments.  And thus happily
enrolled in one more of Kim Klassen's fantastic photography classes.
Kim suggested we photograph fruit, more specifically, 
CITRUS FRUIT .
  "Hmm healthy to snack on after photographing," last word goes to Justification. 
Indian statues. Once sold in Indian markets, like American 20's-30's green depression glass.  Wasp nest, minus the wasps, found in the folds of our table umbrella. Black and White bowls from neighborhood Asian market. 
Fun tea service found in an Elevator Shop in Hong Kong. Don't forget Chinese New Year is coming up.
The Year of the Goat.
Provence, France where printed fabrics and pretty dishes are hard to resist. Citrus fruit: Harris Teeter's.

Looking forward to sharing with you more photos as I move through the various lessons.
I did have a pragmatic "light bulb" moment while fussing with still life setups and photographing.
A few of these vignettes will be perfect to paint on canvas.
But don't hold your breath.  




All work on S. Furner Fine Art is copyrighted. 

14.1.15

The Eskimo has 52 names for SNOW.

 There ought to be as many for LOVE !
                                                                                                   Margaret Atwood


               Love.  Appreciation. Understanding. Acceptance. Reverence. 

These past days, week, have been hard to watch on news broadcasts. Incomprehensible. Stunning. 
How do we reverse. How do we change the tide. How do we make a difference.
I suggest it takes:
Little steps. Baby steps. 
Read poetry to a shut-in.
Trade smiles with a passer-by.
Slip a note into a book sharing what you loved about the book, for the next reader to discover.
Hold hands with the elderly.
Knit gloves, neck scarves for a rest home, homeless shelter.
Build a birdhouse for a neighbor. Better yet, paint it bright colors.
Keep dollars in a pocket to slip into the red bucket.
Let another car merge in front of you.
Be a Fairy Godmother to a neglected child.
Change one's mind, attitude and perceptions.
Hug another.
Care for animals, all living creatures. Adopt from a shelter.

Donate gently read magazines to a neighbor, a doctor's waiting room, senior home, hair salon.
Choose a charity that really makes your heart happy.
Listen deeply when another speaks.
Understand and learn about other cultures.


It is funny being human, share your humorous stories, generously.
For one day, only say "yes."
Meditate upon what it means to not go hungry.
Forgiveness multiplies and melts away rigid positions.
Hang a chalkboard in an accessible place, write weekly affirmations.
Donate to charity items that are worthy of our brothers and sisters.
Tithe your talents to another, an organization, a worthy cause.  Give liberally.
Hang a world map on a wall, mark where different people live that we want to better understand. 
Read often to a child.
Listen to a child Read.
When we see sadness in others, catch their tears.
Listen more than one speaks.
Open your mind to looking at people and actions with clarity. 


Celebrate the qualities that we share with everyone.
Hang a world map on a wall, mark where different people live that we want to better understand. 
Read often to a child.
When we see sadness in others, catch their tears.
Listen more than speaking.
Open your mind to looking at things from various angles.

Celebrate small moments in your day. They are the cream on top. 
Hand out popsicles in the park.
Invite friends over for an "art night" to create something unique.
Be a fabulous friend to someone seeking friendship. 
Look for the good in ALL. 

May 2015 be THE YEAR where we ALL seek to love, understand and value others. 
Little Steps.     Baby Steps. 

13.1.15

TO BLOOM

In December I planted assorted bulbs and succulents to bring a touch of summer warmth and light into the darkest months of the year. 
Indoor bulbs planted in "treasure to trash" containers.
Although I do not have a gardner's magic touch, everything did grow, in fact so tall and gangly (in some instances, over two feet!!!)  that many long stems and leaves, before they could bloom, fell flat on their "faces." 
Pretty obvious I didn't really know what I was doing. 
But some did me "proud." 
And THEY lined up to have their portrait taken.





Joining Kim Klassen's Tuesday Textures.
Texture: Abstract 

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude, then a cluster when there is hardly time to breathe."
        May Sarton