Channeling my nature hippie today. Went for a photo-shoot with a good friend. These aren't what the main shoot was about, however, but let's just say that the main shoot isn't fitting for a PG-13 blog... ;) In the meantime, here's some shots I took in between. 
 
 
Here I am, back from my vacation. Well, I guess it was technically a vacation, even though it was a lot of work and I think I'm more rested now than I was during the actual vacation. Maybe I should reevaluate my definition of vacation... That aside, I returned from Ocean Shores*, WA with flat, round, smooth rocks lining my pockets, purse, bags, and glove box. Whenever I see a nice skipping rock, I have to pick it up. I can't pass up a good skipping rock. (Or can I not skip a nice passing rock?) The beach is a perfect place to find excellent skipping rocks. Thank you, erosion! Mindless hours of combing and perfecting my walking-barefoot-on-sand technique**, I ended up with a too-heavy plastic bag of rocks. Oh boy a bag o' rocks!! I'd pay it's weight in gold for such a fine bag of rocks. Well, if I had gold to spend willy-nilly, anyway. 
Back at the body of water that wasn't fussy with waves (the canal), I set to work. I rolled my pants up, took the stance (think: kung-fu), and set to launching those rocks across the surface of the water. 
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Mmm...
My mother bought me a book called "The Art of Rock Skipping" by Norene Sandifer. It has some wonderful things to say about rock skipping. This lady gets me. 

"Propelled by one single motion, the stone skips and soars-- for a few seconds defying mass and gravity-- before it inevitably falls back to Earth." 

Skipping rocks is for sure one of my favorite hobbies. Broken into percentages, rock skipping is: 40% Fun, 23% Meditative, 2% Showing Off to Your Friends, and 35% Bonding with Nature. First you have to seek out the perfect stones. A couple inches in diameter, flat, and smooth. Some claim that triangular rocks work just as well as smooth rocks but I am not a believer. Oval and circle rocks all the way, friends. After your pockets are so heavy with rocks that they're threatening to pull your pants off, you're all set to begin skipping. I can spend hours skipping. It is the best form of meditation. (I almost typed "medication", but then I realized how appropriate that also is.)
So there I was, standing in the canal, waters warm from the sun, my rolled-up jeans soaking, my feet wedged into perfect divots of mud, poised to strike. Or, you know, skip. 
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Pew pew pew! I always want to give rock skipping photos laser sound effects.
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Pow!
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Blam!
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This one is my favorite because you can actually see the stone...
I'd also like to point out that it is very difficult to snap a photo of yourself skipping rocks with no timer or tripod. I wore the camera around my neck and had to trust that I had focused it a moment before to get a decent photo. It was quite fun, though! 

*Also known as HEY TOURISTS COME HERE AND SPEND YOUR LIFE SAVINGS ON SALTWATER TAFFY AND KITES. 
**You know how penguins walk? Kind of waddle-y, back-and-forth? Yeah. 




On an unrelated note, here's a photo of Jomo in my closet. 
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And my Dr. McNinja poster.
 
 
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This is my totem. 
A totem, in this respect, is an assemblage of items and symbols that represent an identity. In this case the identity is me. 
So I made this totem. I decided to use a bunch of natural materials kind of exploding out of a box, symbolizing my adoration for all things Earthy. The empty box represents the future and the path my art will take me down (woo, mystery)! 
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I went to an artist party community get-together on Saturday evening, and the theme of the meeting was to create a totem. The meetings are held in an old dance hall lake house. The dance hall is made of old, sturdy wood and has every kind of eclectic charm. Tiny wrap-around porches, views of the lake, whale vertebrae stacked in the corner, a hot tub that doubles as a natural rock fountain, tables painted with murals and not a single chair that matches another... That place is heaven. The air is concentrated inspiration. You walk in, breathe, and need to make art. NOW. 

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They gave us all sorts of tools and materials to work with and I went to town immediately. It was like magic. I had an idea, jotted down a sketch of it, and busily began assembling it. 
Other artists would come by to say hello, introduce themselves, share their art, and admire mine. I met a man who specializes in hand-made wearable suits of armor and a woman who makes large scale collages out of discarded cut-up Starbucks cards. The people there are so cool. 

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The hermit crab made of wire was basically a last-minute addition. And when my snake, Virgil, shed his skin, I wove that in as well. 

I plan on attending every one of these monthly artist parties. As many as I can. The people there are my people. My tribe. My culture. I feel at home there, which is rare, for me. Home is a very powerful word and a very powerful idea. Home is where you belong, and I belong at that wise old dance hall in the woods. :) 

 
 
Attention readers. Today, your homework is to take a walk in the woods. Take photos of beautiful things. Try to imagine what birdsong would look like as a painting. Pretend you are an insect exploring a huge world. Absorb some much-needed Vitamin Sun. Attempt to describe the color green with only words. 
Here is an example of the assignment. 
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Class is now in session. ;) 
I just wanted to share some random beauty with you guys. These photos were taken in the greenbelt in my neighborhood. On either side is an elementary school and suburb, but I tried to not show them. I wanted to catch the ephemeral, simple beauty that this tiny stretch of woods has to offer. 
Next update will hopefully have some more art. Thanks for reading. ♥
 
 
I often take photos of weird or interesting things and keep a few on the memory card and upload them all at once. Here's some. :) 
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This watermelon is BEAUTIFUL! Look at those weird swirlies! My mom was cutting it up and took it in to show me. It's not altered at all, just pure, natural beauty. =D I love nature!
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These photos are a series taken once every day of the same pinecone. I picked it up one day on a walk in my neighborhood and since then it's expanded. I think it was the change in temperature from the colder outside to my room. I want to animate these images somehow, if anyone can, I'd love that! :D
Anyway, there's my little contribution to Earth Day. I love this day of the year because it sort of reminds everyone to be more friendly towards our planet. It's hard to keep up being environmentally conscious, but Earth Day reminds us to stay vigilant. At least it does for me.  
Heck, the way I see it, our planet is the only one we've got. At the rate we're consuming and growing, all of the usable materials will be gone soon. I'd like to preserve the planet so that future generations can enjoy the beauty it has to offer. Like the watermelon, or the pine cone. Simple things are beautiful, and the Earth excels at beauty.