Monday, May 28, 2012

School's Out!

Happy Memorial Day to all Americans and Happy Monday to anyone who doesn't celebrate Memorial Day.

Hi. It's Lou Anne again.  I had so much fun hosting the mermaid challenge last week that I volunteered for the next one. Some of you may not know that I was an elementary school teacher for over 20 years.  Since many of my friends are teachers, I can't help but think about the last day of school and the promise of a summer vacation.  Of course, teachers don't get paid for their time off.  When I was teaching I found my vacation time getting shorter and shorter every year.  Still,  the idea of school being out for the summer has stuck with me since childhood.

I loved going to school when I was a child, but that excitement I would feel at the end of the school year is indescribable.  It meant that I could stay up late playing kick the can and chasing fireflies and sleep in as late as I wanted.  It promised long summer days, laying by the community pool and trying to get a tan, even though I ended up with just a bad sunburn and lots of freckles.  My summers consisted of camping and fishing trips, visits to see relatives, and vacations at the beach.

One year I attended Vacation Bible School at a local church and made a mosaic chicken from different colors of beans and macaroni.  My friends and I put up lemonade stands.  Occasionally we presented spontaneous theatrical performances for anyone who would watch.   Every Fourth of July I'd adorn the spokes and handlebars of my bicycle with red, white, and blue crepe paper and proudly ride in a parade around my neighborhood. One year, my dad helped me plant a miniature garden that produced a tiny watermelon and two little ears of corn.  The smell of freshly mown grass, the sound of the sprinkler, and the taste of a ripe strawberry bring it all back for me.
Graphics Fairy

Most adults don't have an extended summer vacation.  In fact, kids don't even get the whole summer off anymore.  But there is something special about the completion of a year of school.   It's a major milestone for all children. You might be a parent who has kids that just finished the school year.  Like the Old Woman in the Shoe, you may be hoping summer will pass by quickly.

Graphics Fairy

This week's challenge invites everyone to take a minute and imagine that school is out for the whole summer.  Maybe that means you get to relax all day and drink iced tea while reading romance novels.  Perhaps it's your invitation to get those white sandals out and wear them all the way until Labor Day.

It might bring back a memory from childhood.   Perhaps you'll think of making more mermaids or just creating a piece of art because you feel like it and it makes you happy.  It's up to you what you decide to share with us.  I'm confident that everyone will have some connection with the fact that SCHOOL IS OUT! If you don't believe me, here's your certificate:
Reward Of Merit
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mermaids Results

Where do the Mermaids Stand?

This week I challenged all of you to share your interpretation of a mermaid.  It was my first time hosting a challenge and I couldn't wait to see what all of you came up with.  I discovered a beautiful bouquet of mermaids from some very unique and talented artists during this magical journey.  I also got to know each of you a little bit better.

On one blog, I found someone who shares my love for animals and developed a mermaid from her alter ego.   There were lots of pretty mermaids, some were voluptuous and others, transparent.  Most had hair, but one was in-between hair-dos. There was even a tiny baby mermaid.  Many had dual purposes, like marking a book page, catching the sun, spreading love across the world, traveling through the mail, or beautifying a paint box.  Each mermaid was the inspiration of a fellow artist and all represent the magic we carry in our imaginations. 

I must admit, I knew all along where the mermaids stand.  You're all here, right beside me and my fellow image makers at Inspiration Avenue.  We are presented with the gift of your creative visions every time you share a piece of art, or pause to comment on one.  I am honored to stand with all of you in this gallery of mermaids.  I hope you'll visit each of the blogs and get to know each other better. 

 Thank you all!



                                                                             Ritu Dua







                                                                      Anne (Cornucopia)



The only tough part of this whole thing was  to select a winner.  I looked at all of the images, again and again.  I loved them all but I had to pick one.  That was my job.  So, I finally decided to choose one with a vintage flair and a postcard format that tied in with our postcard swap.

And now, for the walk, I mean swim down the red carpet, 

to be showcased in our Red Carpet Gallery

and receiving the coveted Red Carpet Winner Badge

The winner is Anne.

Please don't forget to return tomorrow for our new challenge.  I can't wait!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Where do the Mermaids Stand?

Hello everyone! I'm Lou Anne, AKA Misplaced Mermaid. I'm one of the newer members of IA and this is my first time hosting a challenge. I was able to choose one of my favorite topics for this week and you'll soon see that I'm a mermaid fanatic. I'll start with a little bit of mermaid history.

Mermaids are mythological aquatic creatures with the head, arms, and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish, as represented in the folklore, literature, and popular culture of many countries worldwide.

A male version is known as a “merman,” while either males or females may be referred to as “merpeople” or “merfolk.” That being said, I suppose a “Mailmerman” would be a “Mailmerpostaldeliveryperson.” Fortunately, not many mermaids go into this field due to the fact that walking is a major part of the job.

In Greek mythology, mermaid-like creatures, called sirens, would use their beauty, charm, and lovely singing voices to lure sailors to their deaths.

In both English and Scottish legends, mermaids were unlucky omens for sailors.  They even have been known to swim up rivers to freshwater lakes.

Sometime between 1895 and 1905, John William Waterhouse, a member of the British Royal Academy, painted  “A Mermaid.”  Though hidden in a private collection for many decades, this painting resurfaced in the 1970’s and is part of the Royal Academy collection.

In Denmark, The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen captured the imaginations of generations of children and adults alike.  A bronze sculpture of her, made by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, is a major tourist attraction in Copenhagen.

Many movies have been made depicting mermaids.  Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, Splash,   Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides, and The Little Mermaid  depicted mermaids as either evil or beautiful creatures and captured the hearts of many worldwide.

Claimed sightings of both living and dead mermaids have come from places across the globe.  In British Columbia, sightings were reported during the late 19th century and again in 1967. The infamous pirate Blackbeard and his crew reported seeing many of these bewitching creatures, perhaps after drinking several bottles of rum.  In Israel, a prize was offered in 2009 for $1 million for any person who could prove the existence of a mermaid off its coast.  That prize hasn’t been awarded to date.

Beginning in the mid 20th century at an aquatic park called Weeki Watchee Springs State Park in Florida, young ladies have entertained audiences by performing underwater as mermaids.

Submariners during WW2 wore US Navy Mermaid Liberty patches on the inside of their sleeves, which only showed when their sleeves were rolled up.  This pair is advertised on Ebay.

Finally, my favorite piece of literature about mermaids is in Robert Fulgham’s book All I Need to Know Learned in Kindergarten.”  He explains that mermaids are special people who don’t quite fit into the standard “box.” I believe that many artists, myself included, fit that category.  You can view him telling the story here. 

So for all of you mermaids or mermen out there, I invite you to stand here on Inspiration Avenue beside my fellow mermaids and me and share your artwork as it relates to the topic of Mermaids.  I am excited to see how each of you interprets the topic.  Here is one more example from my portfolio.  

                                                                 Birth of a Mermaid

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art with Heart line-up!

A wonderful, beautiful, straight-from-the-heart line-up this week!  

Each and every one of the entries for this weeks theme really
lived up to the challenge!  I was blown away as I went from blog to blog.
Such great sharings - to me that is the essence of blogging.  
When the door of someone's heart is standing wide open,
one feels so welcomed and heartened by the warmth found inside.

Please take the time to follow all the links to the blogposts and entries below
 and read the posts.  
I promise you you will learn much, laugh much, be inspired and feel your heart soar in the presence 
of such creativity!!

And now for the walk down the Red Carpet

to be showcased in our Red Carpet Gallery

and taking home the coveted Red Carpet Winner Badge

Inspiration Avenue

The winner is :


  Be sure to come back tomorrow for an all new challenge!


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