Category Archives: color

The Oregon Coast

Standard

There are simply not sufficient words to describe the beauty of the Oregon coast!  Even “stunning” undermines its graceful beauty and breathtaking scenery.  John recently surprised me with an unexpected getaway, and I put together a little slide show to show what we’ve been up to over the last 48 hours with our dear friends, Peter and Toni, in Newport and Depoe Bay, Oregon.  Enjoy this slideshow, and my other Arte California posts!   Subscribe for regular updates.                                       Rene Best guitarist

Nurturing Creativity

Standard

You know, you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to do something creative each day, and I think that it’s very important to do something….anything that is creative, each and every day.  We are teaching this lesson to Ingrid, who  often goes out with me for duo photo shoots.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 12.42.03 PM

The object is to stroll down Division Street in Portland, and to photograph every letter of the alphabet sequentially.  These photos are then sold, via Ingrid’s own Amazon account, and are used by collage (and other) artists in their work.  While it’s nice that Ingrid can earn a little pocket money, the more important lesson for her is the art of looking.  This exercise makes her look closely at things, and to really examine and think about them.  This sign was a good example.  She read every word of it, and we had a great talk about it along our way.

Each letter forms its own complete composition.  We discuss things like color, shape, form, edges and other aspects of the design so that Ingrid can get a better overall picture of what the project is about.  She does really well, too!

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 12.59.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.00.06 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.00.55 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.02.44 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.03.52 PM

It usually takes us around 2 hours to capture the entire alphabet.  There are some tough letters, such as “Q” that can be difficult to find.  We also have a rule that once a letter is photographed from a specific window, one can’t photgraph that same letter from the same window again, so this adds more of a challenge.   I got her this little Pentax camera for Christmas.  She’s so proud of it, and takes very good care of it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.05.55 PM

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.07.07 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.08.01 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.08.59 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.09.48 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.11.02 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.32.12 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.12.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.13.02 PM

Sometimes the letters come out fuzzy and out of focus….but that’s ok, too.

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.13.56 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.15.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.15.54 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.16.56 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.18.22 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.19.22 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.20.27 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.21.24 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.22.25 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.23.21 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.24.06 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.25.00 PM

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 1.25.54 PM

Ta-Daaaaaaaaa!  If you are an artist and would like to use any of the photos in this post only, please feel free.  These photos are not up to our usual high standards, but some of the images are nice.  (I particularly liked the composition of the letter “B”.)

 

Dodging the Rain

Standard

Nothing has changed.

John is in Pittsburgh, and I’ve been here enjoying the rain and the fine company of my family and friends.  However,   I find that I accomplish so much more when I’m by myself.  I have been slowly going through the boxes in the garage so I can move them into storage and set up my studio out there. I’m donating more than I’m keeping.  Just tired of having so much stuff. Our living room is now crowded with musical instruments…..five guitars, a complete drum kit, two big mic stands, mics, amps, cords everywhere.

I took a break from everything and decided to do a little photography today, so my new  camera came out of the box  for its first experimental shoot.  It is the most complex camera I have ever owned, (Canon EOX 5d Mark IV ) and it will take me months to learn how to use all of its features, but today, I did take a few shots and downloaded them to my computer. I’m on a learning curve, and also spoiled by the ease of use of my old camera.  This one does so much, but as of yet, I can only access limited features.  I figure I can teach myself a new one each day until I get the hang of it.

I played with lenses…telephoto, macro….and  filters.  I have my eye on an EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens for coastal shots, but I have other, more important, priorities right now.   The Oregon coast is all kinds of beautiful, but I need that lens to really capture what I see.

It rained today, and I stood in my living room and took a few shots, and some more from my front porch. I loved the way the clouds filtered the light, and felt these were good shooting conditions, so here are some of my first efforts. These are unadulterated raw images and I’m not thrilled with how dark they are, but I’ll  learn..

1beebs

chair

1leaves

shroom1hummingbird

red-leaf

storm-clouds

more-red-leaves

6hummingbird

As a closing note, I love this little hummingbird who sits on the very end of one of my rose bush stems and guards the feeder.  See how his feathers around his head are warning everyone to stay away, even as he naps?  If you have the chance, watch, “Super Hummingbirds,” on PBS.  I watched it over the weekend with Ingrid, and we loved it.  Truly a fascinating documentary.

Until next time.  Hugs to all.

Save

Save

Moving Right Along….

Standard

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, my business became an official LLC in the state of Oregon!  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  A professional website is in the works, and I am scouting locations.  My partner and I do not expect to open our first retreat until the spring, but there is plenty of work to do until then….and it’s all exciting and lots of fun.  I am working on my certification as an Integrative Wellness and Life Coach to go along with the new business.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-28-52-am

Meanwhile, a creative spark hit my brain and I have been on a roll in that regard. Yesterday, I finished the underside of the wings on the giant butterfly that I am mosaicing. Each tile is individually hand cut glass and placed by yours truly.  By the end of it, I swore I never wanted to see another gold tile! However, I’m happy that it’s done, and will be so happy when I get the body area completed so I can grout the whole thing.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-31-15-am

For those of you who didn’t see the other side when I posted it previously, here is what it looks like pre-grout:

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-33-59-am

And…as if that were not enough, I am on a shrine making kick.  Here is a heavy one that I only recently started.  Who knows what I will add to it, nor how it will turn out!?  This is a very loose rough draft which might look completely different when I finish. I am using hand-formed clay on Wediboard with lots of found objects. Nothing is glued down yet.  Just messing around with different design ideas. I will post more photos as the project progresses.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-37-06-am

Meanwhile…everything is good in life and in love….and absolutely nothing has changed there.  I feel as happy as ever.   I hope you do, too!   I start training for a new job today that will help me meet my opening business expenses.  Looking forward to that as well.

Until next time, I remain….

Stacy Alexander

 

In Addition to Oil Pulling…

Standard

In the past, I have written about oil pulling, and how swishing a little oil around in the mouth for 20 minutes each morning can make the teeth sparkle.  Oil pulling  really works, and remarkably so.  Everyone knows that brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are also important aspects of maintaining a healthy smile. What is considered less often, however, is how one’s diet can affect his or her dental health.

The foods that a person chooses to eat and drink–or NOT eat or drinks– can have a tremendous impact on his or her  dental health.  Consider the following foods to eat for shiny white, healthy teeth:

Strawberries

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.02.11 PM

Even though strawberries are bright red, they can help you have  brilliant white, healthy teeth. Despite their appearance, the small amounts of malic acid in strawberries actually helps remove tooth discoloration.  Be  forewarned that too  much malic acid can damage tooth enamel, so be sure to brush well after consuming strawberries.

Apples

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.04.02 PM

As saying goes,  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”…. But how about the dentist? The crispness of apples are absolutely great for the gums. Apples strengthening the gums as you chew. Eating apples also increases the production of saliva, which helps neutralize  bacteria colonies residing in the mouth, and reducing the risk for tooth decay.

Cheese, please

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.06.53 PM

 

Do your mouth a favor  and indulge in some cheese.  Cheese is chock full of calcium, which strengthens the teeth and gums.  You never have to worry about tooth discoloration resulting from the extra time you spent sampling from that cheese tray; since cheese is basically colorless, surface stains are a non-issue.  Even nut cheeses (as opposed to dairy cheeses) are high in calcium and good for the teeth.

Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.09.09 PM

When it comes to health food, the cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and  broccoli are all-stars.  Cruciferous veggies are  rich in vitamins and low in calories.  Oh, and raw broccoli’s tiny florets also serve as miniature toothbrushes!   When one chews, the florets go to work, gently scrubbing the surface of your teeth.  Same deal with cauliflower.

Oh, Nuts!

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.25.49 PM

Consider  choosing a snack  that will give your body a nutritional boost while also brightening your smile. Nuts, with their crunchy texture, help to remove plaque and stains from your teeth while you chew them.  Nuts are  loaded with protein and healthy fats, making them an excellent snack option for your body’s oral health and overall health.

For other teeth whitening tips, refer to my blog post on the Ayurvedic practice of OIL PULLING, Click Here:  Ever Hear of Oil Pulling?

Foods and drinks to avoid

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.27.29 PM

Now that you know the foods to stock up on to help maintain your healthy smile, are there any foods or drinks you should avoid? While most things are fine in moderation, let’s consider some foods and drinks that can be detrimental to your oral health:

Chewy candy.  Sticky, chewy candy  typically stick to your teeth for extended periods of time. In addition to feeling uncomfortable, the sticky, sugary residue left behind on your teeth provides a feast for the bacteria in your mouth. The result is the breakdown of your enamel and, ultimately, potential tooth decay.

Citrus fruit. You might be surprised to learn that citrus fruits– and particularly lemons and grapefruit– are not friends of your teeth. Although they’re loaded with Vitamin C that’s good for your body, they’re also extremely acidic. Over time, that acid can erode your tooth enamel.  Be sure to brush well as soon as possible after consuming citrus fruit.

Coffee & soda. Not surprisingly, coffees, teas, and sodas are not healthy choices for your teeth. Not only do they stain your pearly whites, the caffeine can dry out your mouth. Additionally, sugar– which is present in soda and often added to coffee and tea– is used by plaque bacteria to produce acid that ultimately attacks your enamel.

Save

Bitten by the Mosaic Bug…Again

Standard

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.50.37 AM

This year, I have again been asked to participate with a plethora of other international mosaic artists, in the 2017 Beyond Borders auction.  All proceeds go to benefit Doctors Without Borders , an organization that helps people in third world countries receive medical care to which they would not otherwise not have access.

For Doctors Without Borders, the ability to respond quickly to medical humanitarian emergencies is crucial to saving more lives. Unrestricted funds allows the organization to allocate their resources most efficiently and where the needs are greatest.  This is a good cause, my friends. I hope you will attend the virtual auction and find something you like, because the money really helps a lot of people.  Plus, there are some incredibly talented artists and many pieces from which to choose.

As I anticipate the design of this year’s piece, I am mindful of the fact that I have a whole lot on my plate right now with opening my retreat business and continuing my writing business…but I cannot function properly without art.  I have to have it, at some level, which is  why my sketchbook never leaves my side when I’m lounging in the evenings.   I miss working in mosaic, and am going to get back into it. It is hard work, but it is something that I truly love.  I love glass especially.  I love its properties.  I love the way it cuts, and how the light dances across its surfaces.

I have one project started already, which I can probably finish up fairly quickly.  I am building it on a wooden substrate and it is already extremely heavy.  After it is finished, it will probably weigh up to 12-13 pounds.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.14.15 AM

Other than the round “globs” (as they are called…..those white, round pieces that you see on the tips of the wings…) each piece of glass was hand cut and placed by me.  I am now working on the body, and haven’t quite decided what approach I’m going to take with it.  I may end up painting part of it, because the surface is so uneven.  The underside is all gold  and blue tiles, and is very sparkly!  The grout will unify all of the sections and pull the piece together.

The wings are asymmetrical, so getting a balanced look was difficult to achieve.  The OCD in me hates the fact that the dark blue colors aren’t symmetrical, but after it’s all grouted, it will look better.

I really hate to grout, but after one applies the mud and begins to wipe it off, that is when the magic happens, and that is what transforms the piece into a work of art.  I am excitited bout this one.

I am getting ready to begin a couple of other pieces as well.  One celebrates a new life, and the other,  honors a life ended.  My cousin, Daina, is getting ready to become a grandmother on Juy 3rd, so I am making the new baby a small mosaic for his or her nursery.  I’m thinking about a white star….or a pastel colored heart.  Still considering what I will make.  It will be something simple, fast and easy.

The other piece will be for my friend, Sarah Beth, who left this world recently, in a tragic, tragic way.  Her loss is a tremendous one, and weighs heavily on my head and heart. She was my friend for more than 40 years.   I am, at this time, working on a design for a three dimensional encasement for her ashes.  She always wanted a home with children, so I might do a house-shaped piece. Not sure.  This is a tough call. I need to get past the point of crying every time I think of her death, before I can proceed, but I feel that working on this particular piece will help the healing process.   (That theory was the foundation of my thesis when I got my masters in Psychology.)

So….today is another day.  I am working this morning.  John and I are getting ready to go out for a long walk with our puppy.  Then, my friend, Baranna, is coming over for a few hours this afternoon.  Anticipating a good day….because, after all, life goes on…with us or without us.

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Day #28 – Looking In

Standard

  

Day #21-Wet

Standard

  

The Power of Empathy

Standard

This is my friend, Nan, a powerful woman that I am very proud to call a friend.  Please read about her new television show by clicking HERE.

1nan

Day #8 – Sadness

Standard

Original photography by

Stacy Alexander © 2015.  All Rights Reserved

Day #7-Forgotten

Standard

  

Day #1-Many

Standard

  

Day #31 – Ha Ha Ha 

Standard

A note about this photo:  The thing that makes this photo appropriate for today’s theme of “Ha ha ha” is the fact that I took this picture of my husband, John, on a day we spent at the San Francisco Zoo.   I looked at him in his red shirt with the lighting just so, and I thought he looked handsome, so asked him to stop so I could take a shot.  We didn’t realize until later that he had stepped in front of a donkey picture that was part of a mural.  Both of us thought the results were hilarious….everything from the expression on his face, to the obvious donkey ears.  🙂

Day #28-Pink

Standard

  

Day #25 – Lucky

Standard

Original photograph by Stacy Alexander.  ©2015

Reno, Nevada

Day 23 – Good Times

Standard