Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Digital Photograph - Nu Image...

I loved this door. A Nu Image. Don't we all need a Nu Image. I love how they painted the brick around the door and used the brick for their sign.  Very Folk Art.  Enjoy the day!

Signs from Irene...

I love the signs and makeshift grafitti art that people come up with during these storms. I thought I would share a few examples with you.  It takes a special kind of faith to put up these pieces of plywood and walk away knowing what is on the way...

Good Bye Irene....

These folks had come to see what was left of one of the oldest historical cottages on the beach.  Unfortunately all that was left was these stairs. What a shock ! I think this picture sort of says what everyone is feeling when they see the damage done by a hurricane.

Nags Head North Carolina that was hit very bad.  Here is one of several floating houses.

The pier at Atlantic Beach

This is the main drag in the Outer Banks.  The road is washed away in twelve different places.  This will take some time to rebuild. Many people were cut off because of these road breaks.

Loss of power and downed trees are the worst inconveniences of a storm. They also can cause the most injury after the storm.

North Carolina made it through the storm.  I think we were hit with the highest winds[gusts of 85 to 100 miles an hour], most rainfall [14 to 18 inches in some places], and a lot of damage, as many as 1100 homes lost. Total dead for North Carolina 7 from the storm.  Thankfully, all my family and friends are fine with little to no damage.  I am so blessed.  I want to thank everyone who sent me kind thoughts and prayers. I really appreciated it. More than you probably realize.

There will be a lot of clean up in the next few days and weeks from this storm. All up and down the East Coast. I hope all of my blog friends are all right. I am thinking of you. Yesterday as I listened to two talk radio condemn all the hype of this storm all I could think of was 44 dead in 13 states.  Several billion dollars in damages.  True it was not a Fran or Andrew or even Katrina, but it was large, brought lots of rain and wind, and impacted a very large area.  I am thanking my lucky stars and hoping every one is fine regardless of what any one else says!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Flower

Today I woke up to gloomy grey.  The air is still. I turned and saw this flower.  I realized it was exactly what I needed today - a bit of beauty.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene - She is getting more intense...

Wow Irene is really getting stronger and bigger.  Last night before I went to bed she was 290 miles wide and getting stronger. Rain bands were starting to hit North Carolina. She is definitely on her way.

The temperatures here were in the 90's and they are saying the ocean temperatures 30 miles out are around 88 degrees. That is warm.  Hurricanes feed on warm air and warm water. Unfortunately because it is still early in the season and this summer has been a scorcher on the east coast there is a lot of fuel for Irene. I am predicting that she will hit category 3 status, but not be able to sustain it. Definitely a category 2 when she meets North Carolina.

Let's talk about size. No matter what people say - size matters with these storms. If she is 290 miles wide. Then there is going to be a whole lot of trouble inland. From the eye 80 miles is sustainable hurricane force winds. After that it will be tropical force winds. You will have tornadoes spawning off of those winds.

So...let's say when Irene hits land that means 145 to 150 miles inland will be highly impacted. The first 40 to 80 miles inland will feel the total brunt of the hurricane  after that the next 110 miles will get a really bad storm with chances of tornadoes.

I have learned the hard way that just because you are 200 miles inland you will not walk away with out some kind of damage. If you are 120 miles it will be bad.

So please keep an eye on how large Irene is getting, where you are in relation to the eye and you can figure out how bad it is going to get. One of the other things is that Irene is not moving very fast. This could mean she could be around for as long as 15 hours in your area. Also, when they move slow they can stall, grow, and create a lot of damage.

The other thing is that the higher up inside Irene - the winds will be moving faster and there will be greater circular motion. Those skyscrapers in large metropolitan areas are not always prepared for this type of motion. There will be falling glass and possible parts of buildings falling. Please be careful if you are on the street.

Now I want to talk about true stories from other hurricanes that have resulted in injuries or worse. You would think common sense would prevent some of this. I think it is lack of sleep and stress from the storm which causes this total lack of sense.

Do not let your kids or other adults stand in the holes of large uprooted trees. If you cut these trees up many times once the top branches are cut the tree will pop up again. It is very hard to pull someone out of a hole with a large tree on top of them.

Do not stand on ladders and cut tree limbs with a chain saw. The limb may fall and knock over the ladder and the chain saw cut you, or the limb may hit you in the head, body, etc.

Hurricanes because they are so long create a lot of stress. Please be careful cleaning up especially if you have heart problems. It is going to take several days and in some places weeks to clean up. It is going to be hot with no wind and very humid after the storm. Pace yourself.

Wear tennis shoes or boots. This storm has just blown in across an ocean. It will bring with it some crazy things you do not want to step on. Getting to a hospital will not be easy to get that tetanus shot.

Do not drive around and gawk when the storm is first over. There will be downed power lines, glass, nails, trees, assorted debris in the road. You stand the chance of getting a flat tire. [I got three or four from the aftermath of Fran] There also will be limbs in the trees that haven't made it to the ground yet.

Do not drive through water. Turn around. Creeks, streams, rivers, ditches, are all going to be bursting at the seams with water. Water is one of the most powerful forces of nature. It only takes a few inches of water to pick up a car or pick up truck and sweep it away. I can not tell you how many people died in Hurricane Floyd doing this.

Things are things. They can be replaced. Your family, loved ones, and you can not. Be a little kinder to each other. Reassure your children that things will be fine. Have everyone pitch in together to help. They need something to do to make them feel better, to release the tension. It is okay to tell them that you were scared, thank them for their help. Most of all just be thankful.

Speaking of things...Pull out the camera from your box and take pictures of the outside and inside of your house. Try to get in touch with your insurance agent BEFORE you begin the clean up.

Trees touching your house, fence, deck, pool, porch, and vehicle should be left alone. Your insurance will pay to have these removed. Trees that are just down and in your yard are your responsibility. Often you can get a deal on removal if the tree removal company does them all.

Be wary of people who show up and want to replace your roof or cut down trees that you do not know or have not asked to give you a bid. This type of situation brings out a lot of scam artists. It is better to wait than to be conned.

As the governor of North Carolina said "Prepare for the worst and Pray for the best."

Do not walk around barefoot in storm water. You could get hepatitis,blood infections from any open cut or scratch, etc. This is an AP picture of one of the islands after Irene came through. What a mess!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene is Coming ... Get Ready

This is the possible forecast for the East coast for the next couple of days.  If you are not a little worried then I will tell you to get worried. Having lived in the South forever I can tell you Hurricanes are not to be ignored.  I have been through Hugo, Fran, Floyd, Isabel, and all sorts of minor players - category 1's and 2's. For all ya'll up the east coast near New York City and Boston please do not take this mildly. If this hits your area and it is around high tide you are going to be in big trouble.

Start today to get your Hurricane kit together. You are going to need some essential items. Don't go hog wild and buy too much - just follow my list and you will be okay.

1. Batteries for a few flashlights. Everyone in your house should have a flashlight. Get batteries to refill them twice. I also have some battery powered lanterns. They are good at night. Candles are okay, but you run the risk of starting a fire, and even the firemen will have trouble getting there in time to put it out. Keep candles out of reach of  small children for obvious reasons.

2. A radio that takes batteries - batteries for several refills. This is your lifeline when the power goes out, and it will go out.

3. Water - you need three gallons per person and a couple extra for cooking. Fill every container you can get your hands on with water starting now. It comes in handy to flush your toilet. When the storm is a couple hours away - the rain starts - fill your bathtubs with water. Take a hot shower and wash your hair. It might be a while before you get that pleasure again.

4. Make sure you wash and dry all your clothes before the storm hits. You will be going through alot of them during clean up.

5. Food - do not rush out and buy everything you can. You will be eating that freezer up the first couple of days. You want things like bread, peanut butter, tuna fish, soup, etc. Canned food that you can heat up on the grill. Get some bananas, fruit that does not need to be refrigerated. If you have pets make sure you buy them extra food also.

5. Speaking of the grill - you need to go today and get your propane tank filled up, buy an extra. This might be the only way you have to cook for a few days.

6. While at the store get two cheap sauce pans that you can put on the grill. Boiling water for your coffee or tea, spaghetti noodles etc. The bottoms get a bit grungy on the pans.

7. Figure out where in your house will be the safest. Basement, or a room away from the wind and large trees. Go outside and look at your house and see where the trees are. Your neighbors trees. The storm will come in one way. Then several hours later the wind will shift the opposite way - that is when alot of tree damage occurs. They are weakened by the first few hours of wind then picked off after the eye passes and the wind starts again.
Once you have figured out the safest room in your house, move your radio, blankets, and some mattresses in there for people to sleep. Do not leave baby's in cribs or children in their rooms. Have a little sleepover party together.

8. Get all of your prescription medicines, insurance papers, a camera, phone chargers, any thing you think is important. Put in plastic ziplock bags. Have a box to put it all in - if you have to leave it is all in one place - and put in your safe room with radio and sleeping stuff. Pack a change of clothes for each person in your house in one suitcase. Also, an extra pair of tennis shoes. Keep in safe room. If a tree goes through your house, or the roof is torn off, you can get out quick, every thing is right there.

9. I take pictures or video of my home outside and inside, before the storm gets there so I can show my insurance agent. Just in case.

10. Hurricanes take a long time to go through an area. We are talking hours - 6 to 10 hours. They start with rain bands and get more and more intense. When the eye passes over it is relatively still - although the air will be green with all the churned up vegetation. It is a smell you will never forget. Then the rain will start again.
Stay inside.
During a small category 1 storm the wind blew the screen off my son's window. I went down to recover it and as I opened the door the wind picked up the screen, blew it across the yard where it went through a 7 or 8 inch round tree and the corner of the screen was embedded in the side of my neighbor's garage. I realized then that could have been my head or neck or other body part.
Things you do not really think about become dangerous missiles. Think about that scene in twister where the hubcap cut the guys head open in the garage.
So take down your plants, bring in all your outdoor furniture. If you can not bring it in put it as close to the house as you can. Park your cars in the garage after you have filled them up with gas.

11. Get some cash. When the stores open most of them will not have power. They will be doing the purchases by hand. It will be a cash only situation.

Mass transit - like the subways are likely to flood if there is a storm surge. You do not want to get caught underground. Also, power outages in buildings with elevators is a problem. Keep that in mind if you have someone who is ill. Stairs might be a problem.
One of the traditions of these hurricanes is to help your neighbor. Then bring out the grills and share a few meals.  Pull out some board games and cards. Maybe that book you have been meaning to read. Make some new friends! The power companies are scrambling to get everything back to normal.
It should be interesting to see what this storm does. It is early in the season. I have a feeling this is not the last storm of the season.

Early damage on one of the islands

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Butterfly Freebies...

One thing I have noticed the past few weeks - as the flowers come into their own the butterfly population increases.  One of my sons has butterfly bushes along the front and side of his house.  They are full of butterflies from the early morning to the early evening. They drive the dog bonkers.
Here are a few butterfly prints I have found along the way.  I hope you will enjoy them and find a little place for them in your art.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Digital Collage ...Art is...

An Artsy Canvas Photo Album...

I took several workshops at Donna Downey Studio a few weekends ago. The second day of the weekend workshop, we made a Canvas Photo Album.  I am going to show it to you with out the plastic picture inserts. It was a morning project. Very simple but extremely effective.

This is the cover

I love the way the text ruffle looks back and front.

Three pages have text ruffle with different colored lace.

Three pages have canvas ruffles and lace.

Blank pages to fill with journaling an art. Can't wait to get started.

A Few ATC's...

Here are a couple of ATC's I made from a kit that Donna Downey sells. There are four in a kit, but my fourth one the picture is all blurry. So I am just sharing the three of them. It is always fun to see how other people do things, the materials they use,etc... I think it helps you to see things in a different way. I am not big on the pearl stuff, but it does add texture and light to things.  I forget about simple things like popdots to elevate and create more texture.  I used my inktense pencils and water brush to add color on these. Enjoy!

Canvas Heart Book...

This is a canvas heart book from a workshop I did a couple weekend's ago at Donna Downey's studio.  It was so much fun. We started with painting a few of the hearts red and a few of the hearts white. I have not had a place to really create in awhile.  So taking a few workshops has really been a wonderful thing for me.

Here is the cover.

We dyed these flowers with painty water or glimmer mist sprays.

Stenciled and stamped then outlined the flowers with a pen.  It has been a few months since I have worked on canvas.

Another hand dyed flower and some added glitz.  Every heart should have some glam on it.

I love this fabric letters. They create another layer of texture.

Each of these hearts is to have photographs on them. I just left places and figured I would put them on in the end.

I loved the saying on the stamps on both of these hearts.

This heart is suppose to have a picture of me on it. I am going to have to rummage around for that!
Hope you enjoyed this wonderful little book I made in the workshop. Several people did there own thing and did blue books and there was a purple book. I really thought they were all amazing.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Digital Collage - Possibilities...

This is one of the buildings I have honestly thought about buying. I love the color of it. It needs a world of renovation.  Yet she seems to be holding her own. I sort of feel that way sometimes.  It would be a cool place to live, or a wonderful place for a buisness or maybe both. Any way, I thought I would share the possibilities of this old building with you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Art with Peacocks...Freebies

Sandy's Vivien

Walter Crane

Lovely print

Cole advertisement

Leighton woman feeding the birds

in the garden

I have been hearing stories lately about peacocks showing up in all these strange places.  In trees in neighborhoods, walking through small towns, on a favorite jogging path.  Then a friend sent me an email of a beautiful albino peacock.  All of this brought back fond memories of another time and place. I thought I should share some of my favorite peacock images. All of these images are before 1924. I hope you enjoy them. 

Unexpected Treasure

Yesterday I went out to look at houses, some drive by's, and to take photographs.  It was hot compared to earlier in the week.  On Main Street in the town that boasts being the home of Cherry Wine Cola I spotted an old hardware store.  I decided to check it out and see if I could not find a Cherry Wine Cola to cool off with.
I did, and I found that the hardware store had a little bit of this and that, from screws to antique quilts, sandwiches and colas, and two very nice salespeople.  I found these treasures, a really good pimento sandwich and my Cherry Wine Cola. I felt like I had walked back in time 50 years or so.  It was like once you entered, time had stood still. Fans kept you cool, all the displays were old, it was such a treat.

Very old twine.  Some is the original twine sold to wrap packages. It sold for 10 cents.  I bought it for 10 cents. Amazing!

Beautiful lace. I bought enough to dye and enough to just have. I love lace, so delicateThis too was the original price.

Bins and bins of string.  All different sizes.  I had to have at least one of every size.  I think they make a statement sitting all together. So simple, yet...

I love old cutlery. I bought these for a dollar.  I think I will smash the spoon bowls and then make plant markers out of them.  A winter project.