Friday, March 30, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~Cool Architecture

Hi Everyone,
             I am sorry for the lack of posts this week.  I have been feeling a bit out of it.  Not really sick...just a bit tired. But that is not what you are here for right? If you are visiting me on a Friday It's because you are looking for a bit of Art. So lets get to it... Today I want to post a bit of Architecture. I love it. In fact when you are in a big city all you have to do is look up and you will see all sorts of examples of great art.

One of my favorites is strange or "different" kind of buildings. I am always amazed at how creative Architects can be. Whether its a home or office building...if its unique...I'm in!

             The First video is self explanatory...posted by  . My suggestion is that you turn down the volume a's kind of loud

                     The next Video is genius! This young man turned his family's old apartment into his own high tech bachelor pad. He is so creative !

                       posted by 

Cool right? I love the use of the tinted windows. I bet his neighbors are a teeny tiny bit jealous.

Have a beautiful weekend !

                                        Blessings, Joanne

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~Egg Art

 Well another week has zipped by and the weather lately is definitely a kiss from God!

Today my post is about...eggs.
Do you dye eggs for Easter?

I loved this activity with my kids. No matter how careful we were our hands would inevitably get stained with blue or red dye.

One year in particular (when I was very very pregnant with my Son) my daughter and I dyed eggs. I worked in a school so I had a whole week off and my Husband and I decided that we would take a family trip before the arrival of our second Baby.

I packed our suitcases and the day of the trip we were all ready......except....

I realized that the dyed eggs that were in a little bowl in the fridge were missing.

My daughter who was three looked a bit guilty when asked...

          "Sweetie, did you take the eggs?"

           "Um Yes Momma."

   She thought it would be fun to hide the eggs as we had done with the plastic candy filled ones.

OK, these were real eggs

           we were leaving on a week long trip

                      It was already very warm outside.

Hot......hard a rented apartment where the landlord lived right down stairs.

I had visions of coming home from our trip to find a hazmat team inside our apartment searching for the cause of the stench.

Needless to say I needed to find the eggs....ASAP

I calmly asked her where she hid them.....

               "I donno Momma, I forgot." was her answer.

I started the search as I called out to my husband


Off we went on an impromptu scavenger hunt for eggs

There was one under her bed.
       and one in her closet and a few in her drawer and one on the window sill.

I think we got them all....We went on our trip and had a great time.

Now that I think of it weren't there 6 eggs? Oh well, maybe somewhere in that old apartment is a petrified blue hard boiled egg with stickers of flowers on it.

 Please enjoy these videos of what else....Egg Art.

 I had to include the most famous and expensive eggs in the world  
One sold for 18 million dollars!                                

        The next one is my favorite. It shows Romanian woman created traditional decorated eggs.

I hope you have a weekend filled with great surprises! 
                         Blessings, Joanne

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday's Fashion~~~Ginger

                The other day I heard one of my favorite old songs " The way you look tonight" and I instantly thought of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. For this post I'm going to concentrate on Ginger and her awesome sense of style!

There was something just mesmerizing about the way she danced and the passion that both she and Astaire  had on that dance floor....It was classy, it was romantic and it looked effortless...lighter than air.

She had a huge say in all the outfits that she wore in her movies. In fact Astaire was furious at her choice of the very famous feather dress. He told her that she shouldn't wear it because the feathers got in the way and he would constantly pick feathers off of his suit. She got her way. Sorry Fred, ya just can't tell a lady what to wear!

I Love love love this dress! The collar is darling and the dress flowed. Loved the shoes too!

This dress screams DIVA!

          This dress was heavily beaded and even smacked Fred Astaire in the face while they were dancing

                                                    Love the bead work on this dress

The Feathered dress. If you watch the movie you can see feathers flying off and sticking to Fred Astaire's Tux

               I've included a video I found. This was posted by Shufflehop. The song was sung by Olivia Newton John        
 In addition to the genius that was Fred and Ginger...look at her style...just beautiful.


Doesn't the video just make you rest your cheek on the palm of your hand and sigh? I think every girl would like to be dipped while dancing and kissed like that!

One word..........DREAMY

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Answer To Yesterday's Question

Hi everyone!

  Can't fool you guys!
                 Yes, we were on an actual submarine.

The sub was part of the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan and it was a sight to see.

Mindy got the correct name...Its called the Growler and I was amazed how compact everything was...even the toilets! The tour guide told us that the men spent two months on this sub and when we went downstairs it was so cramp and everywhere you look their was a chance to bang your head or knees.

The men slept in bunk beds ( They call them Racks) four cots high.the beds are six feet long, about half as wide and have about a foot of clearance over the average person’s forehead. how the men in the bottom bunk could stand it was beyond me. The guide also told us that there were bunks even in the torpedo room...could you imagine sleeping next to something that could blow up Manhattan?

We also toured the Intrepid Carrier
Huge comes to mind     the decks are 900 feet.The size of three football fields


           1944     weighs 27,100 tons


The USS Intrepid was built in 1943 and in World War II  she battled and destroyed over 600 enemy aircraft. In addition, she was called to combat during Vietnam and served as a NASA recovery ship.

She held a crew of 3,400 commissioned and non-commissioned naval personnel.
                      On the first floor They had a seal opening where you could see deep below. There is a ladder on the side...could you imagine climbing down?

                                           This is the top of the carrier where all the planes and helicopters are kept. I kept going back in my mind to those grainy WWII documentaries. At one point I was told I was standing at the exact same spot a Kamikaze plane hit.


                                When I found out this was the Captain's quarters ...I couldn't believe it. It was so tiny....then I saw the crew's quarters and thought the Captain quarters were incredibly spacious in comparison

                               Upon entrance we saw this replica of the intrepid made entirely from...Legos!
                               My 10 year old Son was in Heaven!

We even experienced some rides on flight simulators. 
It was a beautiful Spring day and we learned so much too. 
On our way out of the city I took a few pictures of the Freedom Tower that is being built along side the World Trade Centre Memorial. I still cannot bring myself to visit the sight. I grew up with the towers as part of my view from my bedroom window. ( I could see one and I could also see part of the Empire State building). 
I took these from our car.   
    Notice all the red lights? They seem to say...stop and look                                 

Have an Great Day everyone!                                   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can You Guess?


Can you guess where we went this weekend?

Here are some clues...


Do you know? Take a guess.
Tomorrow I will post the answer

Have an Awesome Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday~~~My First Black and White Painting

This one was a toughie,
              I had to post Art that fit into the theme of  "Firsts"
Then it came to me.

The First black and white painting I ever painted...

As a student I loved working with charcoal . My goal was to sketch something with those black crumbly sticks that had shadow and highlights so perfect that the viewer would forget that they were looking at something that consisted of just shades of black and white.

I tried again this time using acrylic paints and my sweet daughter as my model...she was 11 years old.

     It was early summer nearly sunset and we were at the beach. She had rolled up her jeans. I took her picture and then developed it in black and white. When I did that all those cool shadows and highlights showed up that I might have missed if the picture was in color. I focused on her feet and the cool folds of her rolled up jeans. I also liked the way the rocks were lit by the setting sun.   I thought  "I can make a cool painting from this."

This was one of those paintings that seemed to flow naturally and never frustrate me once. It is one of my favorites. You can make up any story you want for it.

To me its just my little girl standing still for a brief moment...long enough for me to be able to store the moment away for safe keeping. Right after the picture was taken she ran off to explore and collect more rocks.

I hope you enjoyed this week's art.

                     Have an Amazing Weekend!!!

                                              Blessings, Joanne

Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Time Mom

 My Daughter was born right on her due date.

"Yes, I got this all under control." I thought

"Sure I'll lose a bit of sleep, but I have everything I need (Thanks to three baby showers)" I said

The apartment was clean.

The bassinet was ready.

That was the last time I felt organized and in control.

We drove home with our little baby and placed her on the bed to change her diaper. Hubby threw the diaper away and wipe wipe wipe baby clean and ...done. The Hubster and I made a great team.

under control.

Baby was hungry. I fumbled with my new ability to produce milk, but voila!.. success and baby happily fed.

under control.

Dad ran out to have the 900 pictures (he had already taken of the baby) developed.

baby slept.

Everything was great, organized and tidy

later that night....everyone slept.

After 24 hours of knife twisting labor and being nourished by pure adrenaline. I attacked my bed with a furious need for sleep.

             in my deep exhausted dream I heard a sound.

is that a cat?

what would a cat be doing here?...we don't have a cat.

I awoke not really knowing... then realizing oh yes THE BABY! I had a baby!

Hubby and I both up. I fed the baby while Hubster got the Diaper changing things ready....still in control

Loving our New baby, loving life, thankful to God and completely confident that with just a bit of effort all the new parent warnings would stay at bay

yes we control

                                    two weeks later.....

The house looked like a bomb went off there. Suddenly baby items multiplied and took over like a hoard of marauding Huns

I threatened  that anything Hubby did that resulted in the awakening of sleeping baby...were grounds for divorce


I cried when I was happy
   I cried when I was sad
    I cried when I was laughing
        I cried when I was mad


I was the Dr. Seuss of an emotional disaster

I had the uncanny ability to survive on a mouthful of old raisins and de-caf coffee.


A nice hot shower might as well have been up hill, in ten feet of snow five miles away....because as much as I tried I could not get to it!!!!!

Throughout all this craziness I was told I was normal...NORMAL... and I was assured before I knew it things would start to fall into place and I would feel a bit more in control

               My Daughter is 14 and my Son is 10....

                             I'm still waiting

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday's Fashion~~~First Holy Communion Dresses

When I was 8 I looked forward to my first Holy Communion. This is when a child receives Communion in the Catholic Church for the first time. I had gone to catechism classes and we were prepared. 

 There wasn't much fussed for Boys, but for the girls ...that was a different matter altogether! The dress and veil were very important, and (even though it shouldn't have been)  the best part for me was going to pick out my dress

As luck would have it ...I didn't. Mom picked it out and in turn I wasn't in love with it. ..not yet. 

I wanted a long dress....Mom chose short.
I wanted shiny satin material....Mom chose Lace.
I wanted pearls and rhinestones...Mom thought it was perfect just the way it was.

The one thing I did love was the little white purse that included a white pearl and crystal rosary and tiny mass book. This purse is exactly like the one I had.
            Image result for communion purse and rosary set

And of course the little crown and veil. This one looks a lot like that one I wore.

My Mother bought the generic one that the Church suggested we all wear. I didn't care, as long as it looked like a crown I was happy.

I remember walking to church in my dress, gloves and veil and feeling everything was perfect...I even changed my mind about the dress.
Here on Long Island First Holy Communions are a very very big deal. Catering halls are booked a year in advance and It is not uncommon for a family to go to more than one celebration in a weekend. DJs are hired and florists are already swamped before that big wedding push in June. It seems that it's all about the party and not enough attention goes to what the day is all about.

My own daughter had a simple, but beautiful dress of her choosing and I made her little silk flower bouquet. We celebrated with just immediate family at the house and we all had a good time.

I was curious to see if Communion fashions were any different in past decades and this is what I found.

1800's     This girl seemed older and it looks like she might have worn a corset of some sort...ouch


                      1920's     she kind of looks like a 1920's flapper right?
                                   Image result for communion dress 1920

1940's   This little girl had it all. The long tea length dress and bible
              Image result for 1940 communion


1960's   Dresses were a bit shorter                                               Image result for 1960 communion

    I dug out my own  dress

                                         My Communion Dress

                                               lace on dress

 My Daughter's Dress   

                    Detail  ~~~Looks like rain drops

Looking at all the pictures of communion fashions...styles really haven't changed much. Attention to pretty details was key. Moms in the 1800's probably fussed over their daughter's dresses to make sure everything was perfect and Moms today do too. Little girls then most likely fantasized and looked forward to wearing the dress and veil as much as they do now. I don't think that will ever change.

                                                    I kind of like that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Date and the Attack of My Hair

Continuing the week of FIRSTS

 We met while he was back home on leave from the Army.

Summer was almost here and I had kept in touch with him. We wrote letters to each other religiously and Saturday nights we would talk on the phone; me in my little kitchen...him in an Army phone center.

Still...just friends, but yet again there was a sweetness to him that I just couldn't resist. It made my heart flutter.  He even sent me flowers when I was feeling low.

When summer came around he phoned and told me that he was coming home on leave and would I like to go out with him. It would be our first real date.

         "OK" I said.

That is when I started to get nervous. I was going to spend the entire day with him. What if after all this time we didn't like each other? Or Gasp...He didn't like me!  I wanted everything to be perfect. So I decided to tame my curly locks and straightened my hair. I mean you can't do a sultry hair flip with a head full of unmanageable curls.

I had not been introduced to a straightening iron yet so I used a blow dryer. My hair was long. It took me two hours to do my hair. But it was worth it; it was smooth as ...

He came to my door and as soon as we saw each other we hugged. His eyes were the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen.

We walked around my neighborhood. I took him to South Street Seaport and we had Italian ices ( something he had been craving for months). He asked if I would like to take a drive to the beach.

Sure I said. But inside I cringed.

Now if you are a person with curly hair you will completely understand. Curly hair and the beach just don't mix especially if you have just spent two hours straightening it.

"What the heck" I thought "I have enough product in my'll be OK."

We took a nice drive to Long Island where we had a late lunch first. I excused myself to go to the ladies room. I looked in the mirror and was pleased that I still looked fine.

We drove to Jones beach and we walked along the boardwalk. He took my hand in his and it was a perfect it was meant to be there.

We talked,

      We walked

          We laughed,

              We walked some more. It was windy and a teeny bit humid. As much as I was enjoying our walk. I started to feel something going on with my tresses, my locks, my hair.

The only way I can describe it is that I felt my hair .....expanding. 

It was sucking up all the beach air and moisture like a big giant fluffy hair sponge. The beach, a humid day, and the wind were the perfect recipe for a hair disaster. Just as we were passing a restaurant on the boardwalk I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the windows.

This is what I saw.

 it was a combination of this

and this


with a pinch of this

 and a dash of that
                                Phyllis Diller


Now with all due respect to Phyllis Diller Her look was purposeful and part of her act

                        My look....not so much.

I was able to twisted my lion's mane/cotton candy locks into a ponytail and side braid, all the time wondering why My Date hadn't said anything. Was he just being polite?

Later in our relationship when we reminisced about our first date I laughed about it and said.

"My hair was so frizzy and wild and you never said a word!"

He said "I never saw anything wrong. To me you looked pretty."

I just loved him for saying that.

It's true what they say...Love is blind...Thank God!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Week of Firsts~~~First Day in a New School

Over at Ma's blog she posted something very very cool. She asked her followers to link their very first blog post. I remember being so excited to post my very first bit of writing here and every day I would write my little heart out only to check and not see an inkling of a comment. I think It took over a month for a comment to appear. Sometimes firsts can be kind of hard.

Anyhoo, This started me thinking of firsts; so that is what this week will be about. Firsts.

Lets start.

First day of school.

The summer had gone by in a flash and I was starting to worry about the first day of school. I was finally entering junior high school and that meant 7th grade.

That also meant a brand new school for me.

A bit of history now.... for many years I was bullied. I don't know why I was targeted. I don't why teachers seemed to be blind to it, but everyday I went to school with the knowledge that "They" were there and that depending on their mood ...well that would determine how my day would go.

would I be tripped?
would my things be stolen and broken?
would there be kicks (under the communal table) so hard that they would leave bruises for weeks? There were times I fought back, but I was completely out numbered.

It was no relief when I graduated 6th grade because I knew that was going to go to one of the  roughest Junior high schools around. Lets just say It had a very bad reputation.

I begged.....yes begged my parents to let me go to private Catholic school. What kid does that?... a kid desperate for an escape.

My Dad agreed, he had heard the rumors of the new school so he was all for me going to Catholic school.

The school year ended and I cherished the summer. It was my time of year. I was free from taunts and fear.
When September rolled around and it was time to get back into school mode my anxiety started again.

I thought " Am I fooling myself? What if this new school is no different? What if I am bullied all over again?"

I was starting this school in 7th grade when most of the students had been there since kindergarten. I would be the outsider yet again.

My Dad took me to my first day of school. I walked in as all the other kids had already sat down after morning prayers.

My skinny little knees were knocking from fright. Sister Mary Francis (not her real name) escorted me into the class. Everything looked foreign to me. Before me was a sea of kids all in the exact same clothes...weird ..I thought.

Then I noticed something a bit strange.

a little wave coming from a student in the second row......

It was a friend from My church.

then I saw another little wave...

another friend from Church

and then another and another.
              source            source

all together there were five friends from my Church! They were all there! These were the girls that attended Sunday School with me. These were the girls I made communion with and confirmation just the year before. We were all in the choir together!

At lunch we all sat together at the same table and they welcomed me into their group.... and I knew it would all be OK.

There is nothing like seeing a friend in a room full of strangers to set your mind at ease.