Thursday, December 29, 2011

There's A Sky In My Puddle

See more skies from around the globe at Skywatch.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, December 26, 2011

Puddle Strewn Path At Crescent Beach

'TWAS THE DAY before Christmas when I rushed to Crescent Beach in South Surrey for a last minute present. The few shops there were mostly closed and the only gift I found was the sun pouring out in the late afternoon after a morning wrapped in a gray heavy rainfall.

Looking up from the puddle strewn path I saw something appear like a moon out of reach. Instead of a nest, balloons were stuck in the branches of a tree. Strange ... I was thinking about blocked balloons as a metaphor for the bursting of dreams earlier in another post. The awful sight was a reminder that the plastic bubbles that float so prettily in the air are a hazard to wildlife.

The sky seeped through a misty veil making blue reflections in puddle mirrors.

Oops ... I nearly stuck my foot in some clouds.

I went around a blob of a log that resembled a beached whale ...

almost stepping on the roof of a house like Santa.

The bay, of course, was the biggest puddle of all.

Spent grasses had a bouncy response to the sunny break in the weather.

Puddles nestled at the foot of empty benches. There were few people out enjoying the scene ... they were probably busy elsewhere shopping.

This message at the window of a closed store is the same as the one I have on a Penelope card (scroll all the way down to see it) where she sits on a big iconic rock in White Rock. The sign might have made a nice gift but I had to move on to a nearby mall and melt into the crowds before Christmas.

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On Poking Pins In Dream Balloons

THIS PHOTO was snapped by my daughter months ago at an art gallery event in Vancouver. Filling an entire room with balloons is kinder to the environment than sending them adrift in the air. The image played in my mind as a metaphor for all the blocked creative potential, wishes and goals bursting to get loose and not yet realized. Keeping dreams afloat isn’t easy but sticking pins in them surely won't let them soar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Piecing Together A Vision At Kwomais Park

THE ART AT MY FEET was a pleasant surprise at the end of a forested road to Kwomais Point Park in South Surrey. The mosaic circle was a meaningful touch added to the newly completed plaza by the community buildings.

A little online research revealed that the creation, eight feet in diameter, was a very effective collaboration by visual artist Deborah Putman and ceramic artist and potter Connie Glover.

The fluidity and interconnectedness of the work was compelling. I was drawn to the "no beginning or end" aspects of its intricate design. It adorned the park like a beautiful bauble attached to a grand necklace.

There were circles within circles ...

and familiar creatures roamed the tiles.

Land, air, fire and sea were all represented.

Details captured the water's edge environment perfectly,

paying homage to the wildlife that nests yearly above in the trees ...

and that swims magnificently in the bay below.

Taking several pictures of the work, I regretted not photographing a large prayer circle of simple stones removed months ago during reconstruction of the park that was once a church camp for children. Thanks to the directions on this mosaic I can say that the former circle was on the western side.

It wasn't easy tearing myself away from the spell of the patterns.

Heading home along the forest path I saw more natural connections.

Worn out shrubbery, evergreens and leafless trees wove a messy tapestry.

The circle of life was visible all around me as I stepped through the dissolving unkempt litter of fallen leaves.

I was glad to have had those solitary moments with the mosaic and plan to visit it regularly before the official reveal at a grand opening next spring.

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, December 12, 2011

Creative Overflow At Elgin Hall In Surrey

THE URGE TO FASHION handcrafted wonders or to capture a special moment with the click of a camera is unstoppable. With all this creativity spilling over it is a good thing there are chances to display the results this gift giving season. It was especially nice to see Lynette's work from Imagination Lane at the Elgin Hall Craft Fair where I dropped by on Saturday.

I couldn't resist purchasing a few of her art cards and was thrilled to see the shot she captured of seagull chicks hatched in the eaves of the White Rock Museum. As far as I know this is the first time the historic building and former train station had become a nursery to baby gulls.

Across the room Simon Andrews was showing his lovely captures. Some scenes seemed to float on the table blending the lines between art and reality.

A chat with the talented and friendly Simon revealed he puts extra effort into the matting and framing aspects to protect and showcase his work.

At a nearby table Myrna Decock of MAD Creations seemed anything but angry. Her handcrafted teddy bear ballerinas were as charming as she was ...

and her decorated Santas were definitely jolly.

Myrna has a knack for making tea candles look edible. To me, they looked as yummy as mint candy or chocolate.

It was also nice to meet Nicci Battilana at the fair where I discovered her eye-catching cards. Nicci is a gifted artist known for the slogan: "Life is too short to be bashful". Living by those words, she quickly reorganized and made room at Elgin Hall for displaced crafters who had purchased tables at a canceled event elsewhere. Nicci's can-do attitude is also seen on youtube in an HCTV episode of That's Clever where she merges her artistry with a craft.

Incidentally, on a cautionary note, I learned earlier that some crafters are being defrauded by paying for tables at nonexistent fairs. Unfortunately, thieves can also be creative and take advantage of the season in unexpected ways. Nonetheless, I was glad to find all the knitted caps and scarves, decorations, art, jewelry and glitter I expected. The sparkling event had me wishing I had reserved a spot for my Penelope Puddle cards at the fair.

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Three Little Pigs Out In The Cold At Christmas

Nativity scenes are diminishing. This seemed to be a tale of a different sort decorating the front lawn. Now that I look more closely, I see more than three.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Upside Down Umbrella

This post showcases the letter "U". Visit ABC Wednesday to see how others showcase letters from A to Z. You can also visit Wordless Wednesday to see how stories are told through pictures.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vatican Angel Debuts In My World

THE ORNAMENT I purchased in a gift shop during our 2010 visit to the Vatican in Rome is making its debut on our Christmas tree in BC this year. The season rolled around so quickly that I missed putting up a tree last year ... unusual in my world as I have always kept up the tradition.

Unwrapping old decorations to put on artificial boughs, I realized many ornaments have special meaning (including one of Penelope pictured below). From the thrill of discovering the best tree amid rows of scented evergreens when my daughter was small to the era of guilt over "killing" a live tree, my feelings about the ritual and what it represents have taken twists and turns.

Stresses and demands can squash the joy right out of the festive season that does have its somber side, depending on personal circumstances. As journalist Jimmy Cannon said in the mid 1900s, "Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected."

Unrealistic expectations and falling short of a picture perfect life can mar the ideal described by author Washington Irving in the early 19th century when he said, "Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."

I suppose Christmas in its many manifestations is whatever one thinks it to be. As it continues to evolve, Canadian society oddly seems to have made the true religious icons of the holiday quietly disappear so as not to infringe on other faiths in our diverse culture.

Prior to its association with Christianity, the evergreen symbolized renewal of life. So whether or not one believes in the biblical supernatural birth of a child and the resurrection there is still room for wonder when decorating a tree, if only to celebrate the miracle of new beginnings that we see all around us in the natural world.

And as reminded by this picture of a Santa-decorated tree, created by my daughter one year for a contest, where do the presents go if there is no tree?

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do Turtles Have Toes?

I SPOTTED A LITTLE GIRL with brightly colored toenails (click photo for detail) during a visit to Granville Island in Vancouver last August. She was enchanted by the rather large character making its way slowly and steadily away from the nearby pond along a littered walkway towards the vines.

I noticed that the shade of the child’s nail polish somewhat resembled the pinkish-red strip on the turtle's head. It also looked as if an artist's hand had etched orange symmetrical patterns on its armor.

I learned that this is likely a Red-eared Slider with five toes and long curved claws on each webbed foot. Unfortunately, I was not able to count the toes or to see if its nails were polished ... even at its unhurried pace. But it was clear to me that this roaming reptile needed no paint to add to its natural beauty.

This turtles and toes tale showcases the letter "T". Visit ABC Wednesday to see how others showcase letters from A to Z.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms