Thursday, March 28, 2013

Educational Opportunities; Noteworthy Blogs 3-28-13

Researching and learning new things is something I enjoy.  While the last few years time has been limited and I haven't done as much independent studies as I would like and usually do, I have kept looking for unique opportunities.  Finding low cost opportunities beyond my local library is getting easier with the expansion of the Internet.

What I found to share today, is two blog posts written about this very thing.  The name of the first blog, had me laughing.  I mean really   "The Art of Manliness", with the tag line "Revisiting the Lost Art of Manliness", I wasn't sure what to expect.

learning1Fact being, not being a man, I almost didn't read the article, figuring it was slated towards men and would be very biased.

In a way it is, however the information about how to access free sources for expanding and continuing your life long learning are universal.  He has provided quite and extensive list and I can't wait to start exploring them.    Though it will be days before I stop giggling over the blog title.  

getting-a harvard-education-online-freeWorking on Living is a blog I follow on a semi regular basis, as the author has some great ideas on how to make small changes to improve your life.  To focus more on living, than just surviving and working.   He goes into how to acquire a "Harvard education online and for free".

Now, if you are wanting college credit towards a degree, this probably isn't the way to go and the author does cover that.  However, if you are looking to expand your horizons, you can't go wrong with any of these options.

Are you a life long student? What do you study?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Many Shades of Purple and Spring

I cannot believe it is already the 26th of March, the year is marching right along.  The nice thing has been that we are having some unusually nice weather for this time of year.  Yeah, us!  The flowers are blooming, here is the first bloom of the season in my yard.

Most of the flowers in my yard are of one shade of purple or another, which I like.  As one of my favorite things about spring is all of the riots of blooming color that can be found in flowers.  This got me to thinking about artistic pieces and what lovely shades of purple that many artisans use in their designs.

What is your favorite part of Spring?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Noteworthy Blogs 3-21-13

Ah the joys of spring, fresh blooming flowers, dirt under the nails, the smell of fresh turned earth and oh the aching knees.  

It has been a super busy time in the garden this year, more so than normal.  The back fence is being replaced and I have to admit it has been an area sorely neglected, hence the extra times.  Which I am loving being outside so much,  yet I could do without the aching knees.  

I was pondering how to avoid the aching knees, one morning while and did a quick internet search.  What I found was that in some cases I have been causing my own aching knees when I squat to do something, go figure.  Low and behold I found a two part blog on how to properly Squat.

Part one covers the basic squat and weight distribution.  Basically how, that most of your weight should be on your heels.  That was my first issue, I was squatting with my weight on my toes.  

Part two moves up and goes into proper foot placement and alignment of the body.  This part I have some challenges with while gardening.  However, paying attention to all the tips and putting them into practice as much as possible, it has greatly reduced my aching knees.

Anyone have any other tips on how to ease the aches and pains of long hours in the yard?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Day of Spring 2013

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, according to the calender anyway.  No matter the weather I am looking forward to Spring.  It is one of my favorite times of year.  For me Spring signals a time of new beginnings  new growth, signs of warmer weather to come (weather is relative of course) and a renewal in the cycle of life.

Everyone has a flower favorite, or at least I assume they do, I have several.  Yet, for me, one of my favorites since I was a child is the first flower of the season.  While it may not be exactly true, especially for different regions with different climates. The first flower of the season I look forward to seeing our Daffodils .  To me they signal the true beginning of spring.  I love seeing them pop up and bloom when there is still snow on the ground ( a rarity in the Pacific Northwest, but I have seen it.).  The flowers dancing in joy with the gentle spring rains or swaying softly in a light breeze.  Their vibrant yellow colors shouting out a midst the dismal grays we see in the last dredges of winter trying vainly to hold on.

I created this collection back at the beginning of February, when I was cold and dreaming of spring.  Yep I was cold and dreaming of spring.  Warmer days, gentle spring rains, flowers blooming, the smell of fresh turned dirt, torn nails, blackberry bramble scrapes, vegetables growing and flowers blooming.  The whole nine yards.

Fortunately we have so many talented artists, on Artfire to choose from...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Farmer's Martkets; Noteworthy Blogs 3-14-13

He He, Farmer's Markets are starting to open up for the season, I am so looking forward to this and can't wait.  This Saturday one of our favorites opens up, so looking forward to it. Fresh vegetables  fruits and grass fed free range meats, all of the straight from the source.  Direct from those who grow and raise the food, can't wait.

Market tents

Portland Farmer's Market at Portland State University is our first choice in markets to visit   The variety and choices of vendors is superb.

Oregon City Farmer's Market is another one we enjoy.  It is a bit smaller, but you can find outstanding produce, vegetables and flowers.


Here is a helpful article for when you have fresh cut flowers, on how to keep them fresh. that I found.  It talks about keeping them fresh longer by using a variety of surprisingly common, everyday household items.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Steampunk Volume Two

It's time to take another look at the varied artistic forms that Steampunk can take.  Last week, in Steampunk Volume One, I showed you pieces that are easily recognizable and stuck with various different metals for the material.  Today, we are looking at various different medians that are used in Steampunk designs   From material to glass, to feathers, it really shows that Steampunk designs and creations do not have to be limited to metal.

My personal favorites this round are definitely the hats, they are just plain fun.  Though not being able to wear hats (I look awful in them) I just admire and compliment them, lol...  Enjoy!