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Posts tagged ‘weekly contest’

7/12 Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Beautiful entries for this week’s challenge prompt, “ethereal,” each with a little different take.  The favorite, though is Cathy Coley’s magical poem. Incredibly beautiful, Cathy!

Finally quieting for nap
my daughter nurses,
tossing her feet to my face
as when she was littler, toes to nose
in laughing games of ‘stinky toes!’
dreamily seeking the same.

Now fifteen months,
she has spent the morning
running across the backyard
barefoot, chasing the dog,
picking unripe tomatoes,
watching for my reaction,
dodging, one in hand,
out of my reach,
squealing in thievery delight.

Her feet to my face, I inhale deeply,
as she is latched on, rhythmically
sucking, most peaceful sound on earth,
lids sleepily closing.
I inhale deeply in the spaces
where her toes meet the sole of her foot
the in between, the nothing,
the soft padding
pressing into my lips, my nose,
roughening skin from
barefoot wandering
where once all was softness
pressing into my face
the ethereal scent
sunwarm grass,
freedom, independence,
and a girl, a baby no more.


From Miranda Helin Hersey:  This mosaic illustrates is a mixed-media collage I made on the theme “ethereal.” How did I get from “ethereal” to “surrender”? I started with a map of the Earth and a round canvas. You can’t really see Africa anymore, on the left, but it’s there. I was thinking “sky” and “heavens” and a view of the Earth from above. I wanted blue and dreamy and starry. But I wanted a word on the canvas too, and I realized that what made sense to me was “surrender.” There is something in here about my phobia about astronomy and my fear of the little peon-hood existence we all live down here on the planet. Here, I surrender to the miniscule reality of existence, and pay my respects to a very powerful response to the present moment.

The collage looks quite different in varying light. The paler photos (lower set) were taken at night using incandescent lighting; the bluer set (top) were taken in diffuse morning light. Reflecting light in such different ways qualifies as ethereal, no?

My 4-year-old son did his own collage project(s) alongside me for most of the art session, which was fun. A two-fer 🙂

miranda surrender


From me (Kelly Warren): This photo immediately came to mind for this week’s prompt.  You might be surprised to know it was taken at the beach.  I was walking out to the beach to hopefully catch some nice morning shots, so the blazing summer Florida sun had not yet dried out the humid morning air and the moisture seemed to just hang there.  A simple beach flower that just seems to ethereally float out of the frame…

Take my Breath


This week’s prompt: “finger print”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Sunday, July 19, 2009. Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

7/6 Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Some wonderful Fourth of July entries!  I think the one that will all take our breath away is the beautiful poem and accompanying photo from our lovely Miranda Helin Hersey, below.

Independence Day

On Friday morning, July the third
Liam nursed for the last time.
I did not know in the moment,
and so I did not say goodbye
to my little nursling
and the many years of my life
— six? —
that I have spent nursing my five children.
I did not imprint the memory, did not
photograph the image behind my eyes
the feel of him in my arms, the scent of his
warm hair against my arm and the pillow,
the pale blue sheets.
It was just another morning.

But that was three days ago.
I was ready, I thought.
And he was ready, for the most part.
But now that it has ended
(he isn’t asking, and
doesn’t seem to mind)
I find myself awash in grief
as if I have lost something,
or someone.

A part of my life has ended
as it should, naturally —
there is no more giving of new life,
sustaining that life, inside and out.
My body is mine now, forever.
No more sharing.

This strange milestone hits me
hard, and I reach for Liam,
burying my nose in his soft hair,
trying to remember.

miranda babyboy


From Cathy Coley: Baby C spent the morning of July 4th out harvesting beans and tomatoes.

Chloe '09 4th of July 004


From me (Kelly) : More in the mood for small-town goodness than big city traffic, we went to Fernandina Beach for the July 4th festivities…..parade, band and chorale, and fireworks. I had all intentions of capturing some great photos until I reached to capture a shot of the funky painted van outside the Green Turtle only to realize my camera card was still stuck in my computer at home.  Sigh…  I actually took this festive picture on another recent patriotic day: Memorial Day.  She’s a grand old flag.

kelly-glory


This week’s prompt: “ethereal”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Sunday, July 12, 2009. Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

6/29 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Two steamed-up entries for your palate this week.  Miranda enjoyed a great night of cooking while Kelly salvaged a photographic moment.  Welcome back to the challenge, Miranda!  We’ve missed you!

csca_class

Cambridge on a Sunday Evening

Tonight I cooked with a group of strangers.
At first we were stiff and unknowing, with each other and with the kitchen.
Then we settled at our cutting boards.
We peeled and chopped and diced.
We sauteed, roasted, and boiled.
We blended.
We dipped hot pans in ice baths.
Fresh lasagna noodles in fat yellowy ribbons through the pasta maker.
Oh, my new knife skills!
I love the apron, a fresh kitchen towel folded at my waist.
How have I cooked for so long without the proper uniform?
The mise en place enchants me;
the ramekins filled with color and order and potential.
There is, I see, a calm rhythm in food preparation done right,
not my usual frenetic scramble.
We plated and admired.
We ate and talked and became old friends.
And I walked away from the whole mess, not a dish to consider!
Ah, culinary luxury.
Tomorrow I will order an apron and claim my own kitchen anew.
Although next time, I won’t escape the dishes.


From me (Kelly): On our recent St. George Island vacation, we found a little path that led to a secluded bayside beach right at the end of our cross street.  When we first went out there, I noticed it was the ideal spot to catch a spectacular photo of the sun setting over the bridge from the mainland, so I planned to come back out there that evening to catch the sunset.  First night…cloudy and hazy from the heat.  Second night…hazy from the heat.  Third night…hazy from the heat.  But while I was waiting for a break in the haze, I looked down and saw how the setting sun was shining light on the gem of the area…the lowly oyster.  Ninety percent of the oysters consumed in the state of Florida, many of them steamed, come from the bay I was facing.  I’d say they deserve a photo op!

Florida Gems Apalachee Jewel 2-FLK


This week’s prompt: “The Fourth of July”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Sunday, July 5, 2009. Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

6/1 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Lovely “Sunday” entries this week.  Congrats to all!  The favorite is Karen Winter’s beautiful watercolor painting.  Karen writes:

“I painted this little watercolor a while ago on a sunny Sunday,
looking for a way to express the cheeriness of the day and my mood.
It literally was a “sun” day, with the radiant light streaming in the
window and illuminating the still life setup.”

sunday-sunshine karen


 
From Cathy Coley: The best Sundays of my entire life are spent at the beach. Here is May 31, 2009.  S in red, K is Cousin It, and C is the curly girl.

cathy-sunday


From me (Kelly Warren): The girlies and I created these for Sunday PostCard Art.  This week’s theme was “Happy Birthday”.  We enjoyed an art-filled hour together Sunday afternoon.  Our postcards L-R: Sarah, Kelly, Olivia.

Sunday trio 5-31


This week’s prompt: “Celebration”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Sunday, June 7, 2009.   Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

5/13 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

As the only two entries this week, Cathy Coley and Kelly Warren take the prize for perseverence!  🙂  Cathy shared a fun poem, while Kelly wrote an essay of memories. 

From Cathy Coley:

Laughter

My mother has a cackle
to shame crows and grackles.
I inherited it from her.

But even more than the laugh itself
is the ability to laugh out loud
from toes and bellies,
and to spin legendary hilarious stories
from simple mishaps;
to survive, even when surviving
Doesn’t seem like the better option.

But to do so, we laugh.


From me (Kelly):

girls at zooWhen I snapped this picture of my girls and their friends on a recent field trip at the zoo, another picture immediately popped in my head. In my memory, that picture was of my mom and a group of her friends sitting outside their high school. Sometimes Sarah looks so much like my mom as a child, it’s scary. I searched for the picture for days, knowing that I wanted to compare the two, and when I finally found it, I realized it wasn’t of Mom and her friends. It was of Nana and her friends! In my search, however, I came across another group picture of Mom that I don’t ever recall seeing before. It’s funny how a simple picture can tell so many stories and bring back so many memories, while at the same time leave you with so many unanswered questions.

Nana group028Nana looks to be about 14 or 15 in her picture; there’s no date on the back, just “Wimauma High School” in her handwriting.  She’s on the far left, looking much like me, actually.  She would have been 15 in 1941, four years before Mom was born.  What was her life like at 15 in the small town of Wimauma, just outside of Tampa, Florida?  Had she met my Granddaddy yet?  It looks to be summer in the picture, so Pearl Harbor still sat peacefully shining in the Hawaiian sun.  How did she feel when the calendar turned to December 7, 1941?  She had three sisters and a brother.  Did Uncle Oscar go off to war?  He was older than she, so I can only assume he did.  He died before I was born (one of our more colorful family stories as I understand he was murdered running moonshine), but I have many memories of Nana’s sisters, particularly Aunt Livy, my Olivia’s namesake.  At 88 this August, Aunt Livy is my oldest living relative.  I look forward to spending some time with her this summer hearing all the stories of her youth…stories I didn’t think to ask Nana about before she sunk heavily into Alzheimer’s.  Nana died just three weeks after my girls were born, yet if Alzheimer’s can leave you a gift (with a little help from God), it did.  When Aunt Livy went to see her shortly before she died, she told Nana Sarah and Olivia had arrived.  Nana’s response? “Yes, I saw them.  They have the most beautiful red hair.”  She had never seen them.  Memories of grandchildren she never met in life…. 

Brownie Mom027Mom’s group picture is stamped on the back: Girl Scouts, March 12, 1953—Released Official Naval Photograph—If Published Credit Line Must Read “Official U.S. Navy Photograph”.  (There’s your credit, Navy.)  Mom (middle row, fourth from the left) was eight years old. Sarah’s little face peeking out from 1953…  I guess I never really knew Mom was a Girl Scout, but it does make sense since she encouraged me to be one.  I started out in Brownies and worked on up through the Cadet ranks in high school.  What was Mom’s life like in 1953? She was born in Key West, where this photo was taken on the tarmac at the base where my Granddaddy was stationed and spent a good part of his military career until he and Nana were transferred to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1969. Mom grew up on that Key West base and met my dad while she was in nursing school in Miami.  I can only imagine what life was like on a tiny little island, the southernmost place in the country, on a Navy base.  I’ve learned bits and pieces of my mom’s childhood, primarily from Aunt Livy and her son/my cousin Ray, who grew up with Mom in Key West.  Mom died way too young so I didn’t get to hear all those stories from her.

I learn my family’s memories through pictures like these….a guesstimation of memories I suppose since I’ve learned so little of the real thing. One of the side effects to being a child of so many divorces?  Perhaps.  You don’t talk too much about family history when your own history as you are living it is so hard to understand. The upside to this is that I can make those memories whatever I dream them to be.  I can make my Nana a wonderful story teller and adventurous soul, as I’ve always guessed her to be by the humor she shared while I was growing up…even in the stories she created while living with Alzheimer’s.  And I can imagine my Mom as a free-spirited little girl running around with her arms flying like the airplanes she must have seen landing and taking off daily on that base, surrounded by friends and laughing.  Always laughing.  And I can learn from them, and use them to create memories for my own children.  And my girls will remember adventure.  And they will remember laughter.  And they will read my stories of them to their red-headed children, creating for them memories of their moms.


This week’s prompt: “Graduate”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Sunday, May 24, 2009.  Note the submission date change!  You have a few extra days this week and we’ll start posting the contest on Mondays with a little hint from Miranda.  (Great idea, Miranda!)  Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

5/6 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Flowers abound in our lovely entries this week!  The favorite is a gorgeous painting from Karen Winters, which blends so beautifully with our new header!  Karen writes:

Descanso Gardens, a renowned botanical garden in my home town of La Canada Flintridge, California, is beautiful in every season. In late spring, when the bulbs and roses are in bloom, it is at its most spectacular. As one of the featured artists at the Descanso gallery, I enjoy painting in the gardens whenever I get the opportunity.

karen-1
The Descanso Rosarium includes roses from around the world – from the earliest wild roses to the latest hybridized AARS shrubs. Some are fragrant, some treasured just for their color or form. I would have a hard time picking a favorite among them. This impressionist landscape focuses on a crepe myrtle bush surrounded by roses and represents late afternoon in the gardens.


From Nina Newton:  Here are a couple of things I’ve been working on this week with May Flowers in mind – actually I’ve been working on the kids for quite some time now, ;o) but love getting pix of them in all kinds of settings. So, when they came in with a bouquet of dandelions for Mama, I just had to take a picture of them!  The other little project is an embellished camisole that I worked on for my Etsy shop, but as I was working on the flowers, I thought I’d share it with you all.  It may not stay this way, as I like to change things up a bit before I’m completely satisfied with the results (maybe flowers all the same color instead of the gold and ivory . . . . . and maybe ivory lace instead of black) I was just thinking about my options.  Here it is for now with my rendition of May Flowers on a little summer top.  Thanks for all the fun, Nina @ Gossamer Wings Studio by mamas*little*treasures.

nina-annie

nina-cami


From Cathy Coley: Just got back from New Orleans and picked the iris, rose and peony from my gardens, thinking of the challenge and taking a photo.  When I put them in the vase together, up popped the idea of three lovely girls so close; what would they say to each other?  Then America’s Next Top Model popped into my head, and here is the result:

Peony, Iris and Rose

Peony, Iris and Rose woke up one morning,
shocked they were in such close proximity. 
Iris piped up first, “Sheesh, you two stink!”
Peony, offended, shrieks,
“Oh, yeah, well, you sure are calling attention
to yourself – wearing purple and yellow together!”
Rose huffs in agreement, “Not a bit of subtlety in taste.”
Peony, throws in “Oh, and shocking pink is so subtle?”
Iris interjects, “Well, at least, I’m not fat.”

cathy-1


From me (Kelly): These flowers grow in the marsh grasses by the water in our area.  I took these just outside our neighborhood seafood dive, Chowder Ted’s (the Cheers of Heckscher Drive), but they also grow all along our back fence line by the river.  The flowers are actually yellow (maybe a saltwater version of dandelions?), but I had fun playing around with them in Photoshop, turning them into an orange watercolor.  We are only five miles from where the river meets the ocean, so our little stretch of paradise is pretty much salt water. 

may-flowers

This week’s prompt: “Memories of Mom”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.  Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

4/29 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Only two entries for our April Showers prompt, and with them comes a welcome back and a congrats to this week’s winner Dale Meister for her lovely necklace, pictured below.  Dale writes: “I have created a necklace inspired by the ‘april showers’ prompt.  I know this isn’t exactly the usual media you get at your blog. I hope this is okay. This is my second time participating, after following the ‘little black dress’ prompt a while back.”  And we’re happy to have any media Dale! 

dale


From me (Kelly): a photo entitled “Marion County Roadside”.  I took this shot last year about this time on the way home from a meeting in Tampa.  I’ve always wavered back and forth between wanting to live my life on the river and wanting to live my life on a horse farm in Ocala.  Some of the most beautiful property in all of Florida is along U.S. 301/441 in Marion County horse country.  I loved how this view captured the rain on the left and the sun on the right at the same time. 

 marion-co-roadside-blog


This week’s prompt: “May flowers” (did you see that one coming?)
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.  Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

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