Up, Up and Away!

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There is nothing like the thrill of a window seat on an airplane ride!  I love seeing all the amazing sights down on the ground. It is amazing that we get to understand the world from a different perspective. Things that seem large are tiny and cute. The designs of cities and towns become beautiful in a whole new way, the roads and square plots of land and houses forming patterns and pictures.










Probably, being on an airplane ride will be the highest up in the air I will ever get. But with technology moving so quickly these days, who knows! Maybe tourist space travel will be a possibility some day. Although it is hard to imagine it will be available to anyone except the super the super wealthy.

Speaking of outerspace, I was excited to hear about the possible discovery of another planet in our solar system. I propose it be called Pluto Junior, since everyone was very disappointed over the loss of Pluto as planet status. Pluto Junior can never replace Pluto, but at least in name it can play homage.

If the planet exists, it would be a big ol' planet, ten times the mass of the earth. This maybe-a-real-planet only orbits the sun ever 15,000 years.

Here is an interesting article on Slate by charming astronomer Phil Plait if you want to learn more from an expert about the exciting news of a possible new planet!

It's Now or Never

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   Here is an illustration I did of a slightly angry yet very determined forest girl. It's now or never!


The forest girl has lived with the forest animals, sprites and woodland elves here entire life. They live in a mushroom village underneath the trunk of an enormous tree. Lately, things have been changing in the forest. The city creatures are encroaching on their land. The city creatures are made of cement and iron. They come toppling clumsily into the edge of the woods. They have spindly legs and bulging eyes. The City creatures cough and smog comes sputtering from their open, toothy mouths. The city creatures plop down and all the foliage dies. Instead, tall and ugly buildings sprout upward and outward. Miserable faces appear at the windows. The faces look around and scowl. The forest girl knows something must be done. It's now or never.

Oh, How I Love the Library, Part Two of Infinity: Book Titles and Covers Edition

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Something else fun about the library: Finding books with funny or odd titles or books with beautiful or interesting covers.

Titles:

'Peppy Monologues', because a monologue should be peppy! Why waste time on a dreary, lackluster monologue.

"Merry Old Mobiles..." I have never been a car enthusiast, but maybe I could be a 'merry old mobile' enthusiast.

"Little Mammals of the Pacific Northwest" I am definitely a little mammal of the pacific northwest enthusiast. All mammals are amazing, but the little ones are some of the most wonderful.


 "All About Brushes." Sometimes I am charmed by the specificity of a book. An entire book about brushes! Somewhere out there in history, a brush lover eagerly sat down to his writing table and penned a book about brushes.


"Foolish Figleaves?" This one tickles my fancy because it's funny name. I think someone would name their band Foolish Figleaves, the question mark being optional. 



Covers:


'Mermaids, The Myths Legends and Lore.' The script and illustrations around the title are both really pretty. I also like that the cover looks a bit beaten and worn around the edges.'



'Folding Paper Masks.' I love the lady's wide eyed expression and her hair cut.


'Moon Lore.' I love this illustration. It is so pretty. The title reminds me of a short story I listened to on the podcast/radio show 'Radio Lab.' The short story is called 'The Distance of the Moon' and it is by Italo Calvino. I recommend giving this episode a listen! It is Radio Lab: Distance of the Moon.


 'Russian Criminal Tattoo.' An entire encyclopedia (and only the first volume) dedicated to such a specific type of tattoo. Neat!




Oh, How I Love the Library, Part One of Infinity: The Dance Edition!

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 Library's are some of my all time favorite places in all the world. They provide endless hours of interesting entertainment. Here is something I recommend. Go to your local library, go to the section on books about dance, and peruse the pictures. It is hard not to smile or be wowed by the joy and artistry of dance!




The super old pictures are my favorites. I imagine this book is from the twenties and that this lady lived out in the country where she made-up quirky dance moves. All of her dances told stories (like this one about an old man). Then one day, two cultural anthropologists studying small towns in the mountain villages of America came across her. They were wowed by her novelty and her small town, aw-shucks charm. The two anthropologists abandoned all notions of scholarly pursuits. Money signs glowed in their eyes, they thought they found a star! They took the country dancer to the big city where they dressed her up as a sailor and made her the star of her own show. For six months straight, she sold out theaters to sophisticated city dwellers, looking to reconnect to their more innocent, less jaded roots. But the country dancer was a passing fad and soon faded into obscurity. Her passing fame did not bother the country dancer. She had never wanted to be a star. Every time she was on that stage, she missed the birds, the trees and her country friends, who use to play the best music on their old guitars and banjos for her to dance along to. The country dancer felt free when she could finally leave and go back to the life she had always had. Now, the only thing that remains of her stardom is one picture of her preforming one of her dances, 'The Old Man.' At least, this is my guess about the back story of this picture and dance. But of course, it could be something entirely different!


This disco lady is so glamorous. I like how her hair is glowing in the light and her skirt looks to be caught in mid flutter in a gust of wind. As a person who really likes to dance but is quite a clumsy dancer, I think confidence in your dance moves goes a long way. This 'disco dyonosoaring' lady is full of confidence!


These dance moves definitely look a little goofy, but that is another thing wonderful about dance. Dancing gives you permission to be goofy. You can tell by the dancer's smile that they are delighted. I will say that the guy dancing in the shower on the left seems like he is engaging in an ill-advised activity. It is good to find something you love so much that you do not want to stop, but let's leave the dancing to dry surfaces. 


Full confession, I checked out this book when I first moved to Seattle because I wanted to learn the Charleston. I love the twenties and their is something about the Charleston. It is a cute and peppy dance! I never learned the whole dance, but sometimes I cycle in my modified versions of Charleston moves into my free-style, not-at-all-graceful-or-coordinated, dancing for fun.



I love the yellowed pages and the graceful dancers.


These dancers are using their flowy outfits as part of their dance. The layers of swaying cloth add to the grace of their postures. Another thing I love, when old, old library books have crumbling, yellowed pieces of tape, repairing a tear from a long time ago.


  My favorite part of my 'dance-book-perusal' was when I found a beautiful note:


I blacked out the person's email. He could have easily uploaded his request on the internet, but instead he chose to put this note in an old dance book at the library. There is something very romantic and idealistic about it. I hope someone who wanted to learn swing dancing found it and contacted him. This note was written a year ago this month. By now, he and his dancing companion could have fallen in love over a shared joy of dance and gotten married. Or maybe he didn't fall in love but found the perfect dance partner. Either way, a note left in a library book is such a sweet and lonely way to reach out to the world. 

Cheerful Forests, Haunted Forests

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Here are photos I took of the forest several months ago. I went on a beautiful hike. The only bad thing was that my camera ran out of batteries. During this hike, I saw more forest snails than I have ever seen before. Usually it feels like great luck to see one forest snail. I must have seen fifty during this hike! The only proof I have is the one picture I took of a snail right before my batteries died. Forest snails are especially beautiful. They have more of a twirl to their shell than garden snails. They look more whimsical, like the type of snails that a forest sprite would ride in a story book.







Forests are either cheerful places brimming with life, calm places full of peace, or creepy places full of terrible mysteries. All the forests I have been to have either been cheerful or calm, but I'd love to visit a spooky forest.

I learned about a spooky forest in Transylvania called Hoia Baicu forest. All sorts of strange and amazing things happen in this forest. A wide variety of strange activities happen in this forest: UFO sightings, ghosts, missing time, sudden illness, black fog and floating faces.

One story I read was about a little girl who wandered into the woods. Probably she was chasing a butterfly, picking wildflowers or pretending she was a great world explorer. Caught up in her little kid world, she went too far into the treacherous woods. Her family must have been distraught over their missing child. They probably thought they would never see their little girl again. But then, five years later, the girl came wandering out of the woods. She was wearing the exact outfit she had been wearing five years prior (either she didn't grow very much or the outfit must have been snug.). The outfit looked in pristine condition, no dirt smudges or signs of wear an outfit would surely experience after being worn for five years. When asked to recount what happened during the five years she was missing, the little girl remembered nothing.

The forest was named after a sheep herder. He lived a long time ago and spent his time with his sheep, walking from one place to the next. Maybe all his sheep had names and he talked to them while they walked together. Maybe he remained silent and listened to the sound of his sheep's gentle baa's and the jingle of the large bells around their necks. Certainly he must have cared about all his sheep. If you are responsible over another's life, it is difficult not to form a bond. One day, the shepherd wandered into the forest with his two-hundred sheep. That evening, he never returned home. He was not greeted by a wife and a hot bowl of soup. He did not get rest his weary feet by sitting down in his favorite chair while his children recounted stories from their own day. He disappeared with his baaing, jingling sheep never to bee seen or heard from again.

Sometimes people enter the forest and feel intense anxiety. They develop strange rashes that blotch their skin. Their heads feel tight and full of intense pounding. They don't feel comfortable. They just want to leave.

Sometimes they hear disembodied voices or see glowing orbs.

Probably, once someone walked into the forest and saw nothing at all except trees. Instead of anxiety they felt disappointment. The stories weren't true, at least not for them, at least not yet. But they probably vowed that there would be a ghost or a UFO or an uneasy feeling somewhere out there in this world full of strange occurrences. Maybe, after their failed haunted forest trip, they visited a haunted house. This time, they saw the most amazing ghost float from the rafters. A glowing blue haze of ghostly light appearing just for them.

(Sources:

Baidya, Sankalan. "20 Interesting Mysterious Hoia Baciu Forest Facts."Facts Legends. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <http://factslegend.org/20-interesting-mysterious-hoia-baciu-forest-facts/2/>.

Swancer, Brent. "The Cursed Forest of Transylvania | Mysterious Universe."Mysterious Universe. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/12/the-cursed-forest-of-transylvania-2/>)

A Wonderful World of Trees!

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I went to the garden nursery around Christmas to take pictures of the trees and animals. 














  One thing I like about Christmas is the excuse to bring a live tree into your house. This year, I also brought in live bugs. First I found a big brown beetle meandering across the couch. Then I found a lady bug nestled on the cat tree. It is a good thing I found the little creature before one of my sweet beasties did. Trees are like individual miniature habitats full of creatures. 
  When I was in college I lived near forests full of trees. There was a constant battle between the people who wanted to cut the trees for profit and the people who wanted to save the trees. Once, I had met a girl who had lived in a tree for a couple of months to try to save it. I never asked her what she did up there in the tree during her days. I imagine lots of reading. Maybe she drew pictures of the forest creatures she witnessed from her high up perch. 
   According to an article I read on the NPR website, there may be 3 trillion trees! Trillion is a number that is basically meaningless to me. I cannot even visualize what a trillion is. But I know it a lot! There may be 390 billion trees just in the Amazon basin. Imagine all those trees full of creatures and life! 

The Gorilla, an Illustrated Poem

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I have a bunch of poems that I have wrote over the years and I have decided to start using them for art inspiration. I made a poem I wrote called 'The Gorilla' into a comic. Here it is!












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