Brick Rodeo 2021

When I was a young girl, my parents bought me a red bin filled with hundreds of plastic bricks to build to my heart’s content. My first project was a pirate’s ship. It’s been a long time since I last played with them, but last week I had the opportunity to attend a Lego convention called Brick Rodeo! It was such an incredible trip. The builders’ imagination led to the creation of some awe-inspiring pieces. I have created a separate Instagram account for all the photos I’ve taken. Here are a few of my favorites!

Valentine Card Creations Within my Mess

Valentine card fun
Glittery shapes and ribbons
Charming passerby

Good evening from my part of the world! I’m working to get caught up on reading so many of your wonderful blog posts. My schedule is such a work in progress! It’s still fun to write a haiku. Right now, I’m juggling a project and I was excited when I saw this YouTube video below. I absolutely loved how Madhu designed her cards!

One of the guys in the Rotary Club shared with us a project he needed help with. His group decided to make some Valentine cards for some folks in the nursing home. I thought it would be fun to participate! I eyeballed my supply of red construction paper and set a goal to make SIXTY of them by the 12th. Yes, I think the fast-forward feature on her video temporarily deceived me. 😉

I often tell people one of my favorite gifts a friend gave me was an Xacto paper cutter. It helped speed up the process of cutting paper! I even had to set some proportional relationship equations to figure out the right dimensions since Madhu gave some different ones for me to work with.

Yipee! I’m so happy I get to use some of my origami paper and supplies! It’s been a while since I last touched them. Today’s featured merchandise is my kimono patterned origami paper that a friend got me as a birthday gift!

I have been interested in origami ever since my mom made me my first paper boat as a kid to play with in the rain puddles. I remembered that being one of the reasons why I really enjoyed a rainy day. Because afterward, I get to be a pirate sailing all of the puddles in the neighborhood and adventuring with the bugs that came out.

Image by Vicky Vitullo from Pixabay

Later when I was in the sixth grade, my history teacher shared with us a historical children’s book to read together called, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”.

Diagnosed from leukemia from the radiation bombing from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako decided to fold 1000 peace cranes in the hopes of being granted a wish: she just wanted to be able to be on the running team despite her illness. It’s debated whether or not she reached her goal, but her actions inspired all of her friends and family to continue on.

Afterward, Sue DiDicco founded The Peace Crane Project to honor Sadako. Students would fold the cranes, write a message of peace on its wings, and exchange it with another classmate.

After the boat, I enjoyed teaching the class how to make a paper crane. It’s still one of my favorites. I make them whenever I can, and make cranes out of candy wrappers and the paper that come with my Subway sandwiches.

Anyway, I’ll call it a night and share a quote by the grand master of origami: Akira Youshizawa!

My origami creations, in accordance with the laws of nature, require the use of geometry, science, and physics. They also encompass religion, philosophy, and biochemistry. Overall, I want you to discover the joy of creation by your own hand the possibility of creation from paper is infinite.

Akira Yoshizawa

Fun Words, Serious Words, and Everything in Between

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.

Yehuda Berg

Hi there! Hope you are enjoying the season’s festivities. Today’s prompt about words has my mind circling many random topics today. A few nights ago, I played some fun virtual holiday games over Zoom with some friends. Trivia, a scavenger hunt, guess the language, I spy… One was an A to Z holiday word game. I ended up with a lot of foodie words. 🙂

Bloggers here have whipped up some creative posts with words that have enriched my life. It’s obvious that how we construct phrases can leave an impact. I’ll never forget the day I looked at the first page in my dad’s English learning book from the refugee center. His instructor wrote an encouraging note saying how important it was to learn these words and phrases as it can help you navigate life in a new country.

Fun Words to Say

About the Author from the Back Flap:
Seth Lerer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was educated at Wesleyan University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago. He taught at Princeton before moving to Stanford University, where he is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. The author of many books and articles on medieval and Renaissance literature, he is known nationally for his audio and videotape series, The History of the English Language, for the teaching company.

A few years ago, I really enjoyed a book about the development of the English language by Seth Lerer. I wrote a fun research paper as well as conducted some surveys about the invention of words and how technology has affected its development by interviewing people in the park. Most people were open to chatting with me about their favorite words. From Pig Latin to Spanglish, it was fun to listen to their varied responses.

Do you ever have words in which you like how it rolls off your tongue? I remembered how my friend and I were discussing how we enjoyed words with the “ch” sound. Charity, Chelsea, Chill, Charisma. For me it brings back memories of the Chia Pet commercials! Ch- Ch- Ch- Chia!

This morning I was reading from Katrina’s list of “10 Words that are Fun To Say” I enjoy 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10!

1) Pandemonium 2) Cabal, 3) Shenanigans 4) Perfidious 5) Mustachioed 6) Fandango 7) Pusillanimous 8) Pantaloons 9) Drosophila Melanogaster 10) Bourgeois

Rue de Francs – Bourgeois, Paris Storefront
Image by edmondlafoto from Pixabay

Inspirational Word-Finds

I also found a word search book as I was de-cluttering my room. It was quite a treat since it’s been ages since I’ve done a word search! I really enjoyed doing this one because Chicken Soup for the Soul compiled a set a quotes in each puzzle to find. It made me commit to memorizing “uplifting quotes to brighten your day” in order to find them. 😉 The reward center in my brain was happy from the dopamine kick. I’ve finished three so far:

No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”

Brian Tracy

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.
Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.
Silence is when we hear inwardly; sound when we hear outwardly.

Henry David Thoreau

It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I also discovered a compilation of thoughts on colored note cards called “Leaves of Wisdom” from The Ladies Bible Class at the University Avenue Church of Christ. Today’s succinct thought:

Behold, I bring you good news. You are loved.

A. M. Chadwick

Winter is Feeling Different

The first day of winter was a few days ago, and I’m shocked that I can walk outside in shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of December this year! Granted, I don’t live in Australia where it’s probably summer right now. Normally, there’s sleet or snow and cold, bracing winds to match where I’m at. Am I going to complain about this pleasant surprise? No…but it makes me think about global warming.

This past Sunday I was reading news of the nation’s new climate team in the local newspaper. I’m grateful to learn that this diverse group has the background and experience to tackle these issues head on. Below are some galvanizing words from the president elect. Looking forward to see how actions pan out in time.

“This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity.

They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms.

Together, on behalf of all Americans, they will meet this moment with the urgency it demands — and seize the opportunity to build back better with good-paying union jobs, climate-resilient infrastructure, and a clean energy future that benefits every single community.”

President Elect Joe Biden

#Paint-Chip Poem 49: The Romantic Gift

“Maybe our Happily Ever After hadn’t worked on the first shot. And maybe Happily Ever Afters weren’t a singular event. Maybe they were something you had to work at, and build, and never give up on, as long as they were something you still wanted.” 

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Pitter patter of rain subsides & puddle evaporates
As the sun rays reaches the ground’s surface
Overjoyed and egg-static, the suave gentleman
Egg-xits the grand foyer in great stride and
Moon walks across the outdoor patio
Over to the fireplace where he takes a seat
Chilly air lingers – hearthstone warm to the touch
Emotions resembling to the lyrics of a Tangerine Dream song

You've been out of my life sometime now
Seem like a long, long while
Sometimes the thoughts of you
Bring tears to my eyes
While the times that bring a smile
I remember what you told me
We would always be close in our hearts

He gingerly snaps open a leather jewelry box
Marveling at the vintage turquoise Faberge egg earrings
Rated highly by the jeweler he bought it from
Excited to surprise his beloved on her birthday
The symbolism behind her birthstone alone
Wisdom, tranquility, protection, hope
Qualities to seal the relationship with good fortune
Giving it to her should be easy-peasy
Yet their long-distance history together
Makes for a complex arrangement

In reference to:

A Ballad to Night Land Creatures

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.

Gregory MacGuire

Everyone knew no one lived in the night lands
But that wasn’t quite true
Despite the fumes which have propagated far and wide
Within the intoxicating depths of the forest, lies the birth of a new guide

Photo Credit: Kevin Parish @ What Words May Come

Bursting free from her protective chrysalis
Such an immaculate soul
From the throne of her exotic bloom, she reigned
Like her predecessor, she was wild and unwilling to be contained

Everyone knew no one lived in the night lands
But that wasn’t quite true…

Shadowy woodland creatures once lost and lingering
Within the saturated blue shadows
Troubling tensions have long stirred about insecurities
In spite of their self-doubt, their guide brought them out of their obscurities

Everyone knew no one lived in the night lands
But that wasn’t quite true…

Glow worms once hibernating underground
curiously peeked above the surface
Glistening dewdrops sparkle amidst the foggy twilight
Grass glitters with gold as the guide protects the land mid-flight

Everyone knew no one lived in the night lands
But that wasn’t quite true…

Frozen frogs once encased in layers of ice
Bellowing croaks in the distance
Their eyes darting about as they look for their flies
As they thaw at an excruciating pace impatiently waiting for their prize

Image Credit: Listverse

Everyone knew no one lived in the night lands
But that wasn’t quite true…

In reference to:

#SoCs- Ornamental Tales

Linda G Hill: SoCs – List

Hello!

It’s been such a busy season for me. I have an ever growing list of all sorts of to-do lists. School, career, relationships, books, movies, recipes, some crafty creations. When I face some stress during the school season, Aristotle’s quotes remind me of a reason why I put myself through it all:

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

Aristotle

A friend shared with me that last one a long while ago. It stood with me ever since!

One day, you think I would have more sense, and cut back. Give myself more breathing room. Maybe I can burn some of those lists and send those ashes flying away on a windy day. 🙂 Experts say that people can optimally focus on 4 or 5 things at a time.

The present is such a gift. Right now, heart-warming stories of ornaments are on my mind.

When we were kids, my parents decorated our Christmas tree with greeting cards friends gave us, bookmarks, ornaments we made as kids. Glittery paper rings, popsicle stick frames, ornaments made out of yarn or dried noodles. I was always touched by my parents’ sentimentality and wondered why they never bought any ornaments or threw any of our creations away.

For them, the ornaments are more than just a pretty fashion accessory for the tree. There’s a story behind each of the ornaments. How happy we were to make these ornaments for our parents. How happy my parents were to receive a card from our neighbors and friends. How it brought us all together. A tree brimming with true joy and happiness.

When I was a student officer for the Guild of Geeks, I loved painting ornaments on the windows of the school with my fellow club members for a holiday contest for Christmas. We also painted Beamo, Dr. Who’s time machine, among other well known pop culture references. We won 2nd place which scored our club to have lunch with the university president on her balcony! We actually had some folks trained in light saber fights. What an amazing, albeit nerdy memory!

I remembered when one of my friends who was running for office extended an olive branch to his opposition by creating a Christmas ornaments with his opposition’s son. Despite things getting ugly during election time, I wonder what memories his son will choose to take with him. Hopefully, remember the spirit of the season in spite of politics.

I want to create a new memory. My mom and dad collected some pine cones on their nature walks. I took some back with me during Thanksgiving. I’ve been wanting to create a pine cone wreath. Give some out as Christmas gifts. I found so many inspirational ideas!

I was also curious about some other random stuff like The History of Ornaments and What kind of Christmas ornament are you? Quiz.

Kinda Square Photo Challenge

Featured Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

Hi everyone! Becky Winchester over at the Life of B has hosted another square photo challenge (KindaSquare) for October. This month’s theme is related to kindness:

  • Something of the kind (mirror images, carbon copies and doubles)
  • Our imagination kindled (inspire us!)
  • Of its kind (a unique object or could be a picture of nature and wildlife)
  • Kindred spirits (kindness in action or photographs of people)
  • Take kindly to (something you like such as my Warbler on Sunday or Ellie’s cheese)

Kinda Square’ Rules:

  1. Take a square photograph of something that reflects the theme
  2. Create your post for any day in October, and pingback to one of my daily squares
  3. Include the theme’s tag – KindaSquare
  4. Leave a comment on my post as well as your link
  5. Whether you post squares or not, be a kind member of the Square team and make time to visit others and the square galleries

I took some creative liberties with my gallery frames and included all 31 shots! Enjoy! 🙂

1. Volunteered at Habitat for Humanity with this gal! We chatted about our favorite Korean dramas!
2. Our Rotary Club hosted a fundraiser to build these cool mini-libraries around town.
3. 10 Bit Works is an awesome maker space. Members build all sorts of neat projects here!
4. These cute scarecrows are a sight for sore eyes at the coffee shop!
5. These ducks were not afraid of me at all! They waddled right at me expecting a meal!
6. Meet Chi-Chi and Coco, our lovely parakeets!
7. So many monarch butterflies on my morning walk!
8. Lovely flowers that remind me of a trumpet!
9. Gwangju Pagada’s entrance is really inviting!
10. Love the heavy contrast of light and dark! This sole leaf caught my attention!
11. What a peaceful pond! The saturated colors were so calming!
12. These fascinating tree root knots created a woven masterpiece of light and shadows.
13. An incredible fire show at a local Japanese restaurant!
14. An incredibly beautiful and ornate church door of a UNESCO Heritage site!
15. Nothing like an obstacle course to start your morning! It’s harder than it looks!
16. I’m grateful for the ability to vote. I have friends on all sides. It’s been a crazy election cycle.
17. These purple berries look so delectable, but they might be poisonous. So… NO SA!
18. Take a seat! I always welcome a park bench when I see one. Wonderful conversations take place.
19. Such a bright, cheery lot!
20. I was climbing a tree, and I saw this curious tag. I wonder whose studying this tree!
21. This lovely, clay nativity set was made in Mexico. A blend between simplicity and symmetry!
22. I absolutely love pop-up greeting cards!
23. San Japan anime convention poster is stunning! Sparks a sense of wonder!
24. I love how the sun light hits this particular flower. It was such a gorgeous day!
25. There’s always a compelling story behind an old, rusty piece of machinery!
26. I love stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’! Every person has a story to share!
27. During the pandemic, I began to cherish this pink bubble of positivity.
28. This park has a “Kindness Rock Garden” where people can pick a rock and paint it for others.
29. I wonder what the artist was thinking when he made this sculpture!
30. The little boy wants to take the moon home with him!
31. My friends had such a lovely floral arrangement when I visited them!

#Paint-Chip Poem: Think of Me Fondly

Image Credit: Telegraph, Why the Faroe Islands needs 37 words for fog

Far from the rolling hills of Denmark,
lies Aalborg’s famous House of Music.
Beyond the brushed aluminum exterior,
audience members gaze upon the stage

Opera enthusiasts wait for the singer
With shut eyes, she whispers “open sesame
as the invisible curtains part ways in her mind
Starry backdrop of lapis lazuli skies
gives way to her glowing presence

A brilliant spotlight shines upon her
Thousands of sparkles glitter across the stage
Her melodious voice flowed with honey
with no signs of rusty inflections

Image Credit: Think of Me (The Phantom of the Opera, 2004)

Think of me, think of me fondly 
When we’ve said goodbye 
Remember me, once in a while 
Please promise me you’ll try 
When you find that once again you long 
To take your heart back and be free 
If you ever find a moment 
Spare a thought for me

“Think of Me”, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera

Image Credit: Musikkens Hus, Aalborg House of Music, Aalborg, Denmark

Aspen Ideas Festival

No Idea Is So Outlandish That It Should Not Be Considered With A Searching But At The Same Time A Steady Eye

– Winston Churchill

Enjoyed this year’s invigorating Aspen Ideas Festival these past few days. Various leaders around the world engaged in a deep discussion of the ideas and issues across many disciplines that both shape our lives and challenge our times. It’s virtual and free to attend. Past videos from this weekend have been archived and ready for the public to view. For more information: https://www.aspenideas.org/attend/festival

The Importance of Play: A Mysterious Lion Captivates

As we grow older, our playgrounds change – where do you go to play?

Shelley @ Quaint Revival
Created a word cloud with Background Image from Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Hello there! Hope you are all well and safe!

Shelley’s quote peaked my interest today. How often do we neglect this area of our lives dismissing play as being infantile and frivolous? Throughout history, many influential people asserted the importance of play.

  • Albert Einstein: “Play is the highest form of research.”
  • Mr. Rogers: Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning.”
  • Johan Huizinga: “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”
  • Abraham Maslow: “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
  • Roger von Oech: Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.

Play relieves stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. It improves connections with your relationships which can help ward off depression. Play helps increase vitality and helps replace negative beliefs and behaviors. For adults it can be something small like flirting with your partner, joking with your coworkers, or enjoying spontaneity with your relatives.

A Young Adult’s Playground

There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

A few days ago, I received a gift in the mail. As I unwrapped the box, I was stunned by the beauty of “Mysterious Lion”, a wooden Unidragon puzzle. I found out my thoughtful siblings mailed it to me as a surprise for my birthday. Mom called the night before and laughed when I told her I received a “toy”.

My eyes got watery. Unintentionally, the gift was rather meaningful and symbolic for me. VJ invited her readers to think about circling this week. For me, the invitation to play again was coming back full circle. I remembered the joy I felt to complete a puzzle as a child. Even though it’s been a while since I physically completed one, I was always attracted to things resembling a puzzle. Circling around the idea of solving a mystery.

My heart swelled a bit when my Facebook wall was flooded with lovely messages from local friends. It’s a strange sight to behold since I’m typically not active there. Since the quarantine however, all sorts of groups popped up to hang out. I had trouble choosing a non-profit to invite donations this year. So, I created a short video featuring non-profits that help the local community to drum up support.

Google Arts and Culture partnered with more than 2000 museums all around the world. I virtually explored some of these spaces and their exhibits. In the evening, I watched Verdi’s opera, Un Ballo de Maschera, a free nightly streaming at the Metropolitan Opera.

I had a very small gathering to celebrate in my cozy home. My roommates created a tasty meal of BBQ ribs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, ambrosia salad, chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing. My boyfriend helped me build a desk as we enjoyed chatting with one another. My friend gave me hilarious t-shirts, Hawaiian floral hair clips, makeup which I’ll probably feature soon on Instagram.

Creating this banner made me feel pretty happy and features my bright personality. 😉 Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to your face. 😊