Pics Appear as Paintings

After Vacation

If you’re like me, returning from vacation and going “back-to-school” this week is HARD! ;(

I so want the beach-living-life and living-in-the-moment with little to do to continue. If only I didn’t have to work….

Although our vacation was cut short by tropical storm Hermine, we had the most glorious weather for a 2 week getaway. I can’t complain that we were evacuated and caught one of the last ferries to Hatteras during the only day of rain.

Beach Sunset Ocracoke_AIE

Pics Appear as Paintings

Upon returning, I have tons of photos to organize and delete from my phone due to lack of storage. Yes, I cursed Apple and thought of that new Google phone advertisement that uses other phones’ “storage full” alerts just as you’re trying to get that single moment captured. It’s happened to me more than once! Just like the yeti crossing the forest, I almost didn’t get this picture of the Pamlico Sound on the most calm and perfect-beach-day, right before the storm and look what showed up!

Dolphin in Pamlico Sound_AIE

A shark in the water!

Actually, it’s a bottle-nosed dolphin, and not a shark but sure spooked me at first, especially after thinking about the many shark bites that have occurred in the Outerbanks in waist deep water, as I’m fishing in waist deep water. I’m used to seeing dolphin in the ocean, beyond the surf but still in moving water with waves. This is why I was surprised to see this one swimming with its mate in great arks while blowing water out their spouts, as they serenely swam from the sound at North Point, where the calm waters meet the rough Atlantic waves. I tried to capture this but alas, I really needed something better than an iPhone. If you look beyond the waves, you can see how calm the water was in the sound.

North Point Ocracoke_AIE

What I really wished I had was one of these fairly new photo apps that adds filters to your photos to make your pics appear as paintings. NPR questions whether it is “art”? Photography is an art form and choosing how to display one’s photograph adds to that description. They are not real paintings however and should not be misrepresented as such.

I personally don’t think anyone is doing that but instead sharing on various social media networks, for which they are meant.

Prisma translates your photos into various styles and those used by famous artists and Artisto works similarly for videos.

I loved these two examples, one of Venice, my favorite Italian city, and the NPR building, in DC, using Prisma’s appropriately named “wave” app for this post.

Venice Prisma App_pic as painting_AIE

NPR building with Prisma Wave app pic as painting_AIE

I have a lot more photos to share but want to try these apps first.

Kayaks Ocracoke_AIE

We kayaked to Teach’s Cove where Blackbeard hid but was caught and supposedly beheaded at this Springer’s Point Beach. The pathway through the woods is beautiful and creepy — what I call American Gothic and very True Detective-like.

Kayaks with Running the Storm Prisma app filter_AIE

Kayaks with the “Running the Storm” filter using the Prisma app

In the meantime, I’ve spread out all my collected shell treasures so I can make a wreath or something to visually enjoy rather than just adding them to storage.

Beautiful White Shells_AIE

Beautiful White Shells via Dinner en Blanc

Finally, I’ll end this post by relaying a funny story about one of our last nights in Ocracoke when we closed down Zillies while waiting in between bands of rain from the first tropical depression that threatened to evacuate us but fortunately, petered out. It was a good excuse, however, for more rounds. We met two NOAH researchers, who were there working on excavating the many shipwrecks off the coast. They recently discovered a German U-boat that they had been searching for for 8 years! I asked them when is the PBS documentary going to be aired? They weren’t too sure on that but did mention a story that was due to publish in the Washington Post the Sunday after we returned. Then they asked us, “What does one do for 2 weeks on Ocracoke?” That was an easy answer, “live in the moment” and enjoy the many different surprises this island always delights us with. This year it was Dajio’s for breakfast, shrimp fest and pizza and ghosts! (another story), as well as listening to new live music, like Barefoot Wade. He can do a mean island-man Led Zepplin and Red Hot Chili Peppers acoustic all with guitar and steel drums! Who knew? Here’s his Lets Slowdown as reminder to the hectic fall ahead. (Ocracoke is so hippy, but I love it!) 😉

When we returned, and finally went through the huge mounds of mail back home, we were lucky that I decided to restart the paper early. The article published on Thursday, the official non-resident evacuation day — the day described at the start of this post. We left the next morning since we weren’t being run out and enjoyed one last night in what I think was a haunted house, complete with a friendly-spirit, river-mink that visited us and had a beautiful sunset off the deck. Although, not the same as the Blue House, which we had to move from the second week, it was lovely in an odd, mid-century, kind of way.

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC_AIE

Sunset at Faraway Oaks in Ocracoke, NC

Reflecting on my reply to the NOAH guys, one of whom I had seen several times over the years (Ocracoke is a small enough place for this to occur and start to get to know locals), it would be nearly impossible for me to live there and have to do work. There are just too many temptations to enjoy. I realize I gave them an answer that really doesn’t apply to their situation. Oh well, I hope I see them next year, as they mentioned they were parked by the island cemetery and I relayed the story about how our friend’s bike lights just randomly went out while riding by there and then he heard really strange sounds that weren’t just the wandering wild chickens. His cute but chatterbox 6-year-old son suddenly got verrrrry quiet, bringing his father a bit of eerie relief. The NOAH guys laughed and hesitantly said “no,” they didn’t need a “walk home” (– to their car) when I offered jokingly. Fortunately, we were biking home but in the rain and laughing all the way. This is when I wish someone had gotten a picture. Fun times I won’t forget.

The wooded path at Springer's Point Ocracoke_AIE

The wooded path at Springer’s Point, where ghosts have been seen.

Springer's Point path into the Ocracoke woods_ AIE

Springer’s Point path into the Ocracoke woods

single-grave-in-cemetary-in-woods

Graves in the wooded cemetery & single flower carefully placed

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A Month of Celebrations

This has been quite a month of celebrations, so much so that I haven’t had a lot of time to document but here it goes — in bullet formation.

January – a Birthday is always great when it happens to land on a long holiday weekend, as my husband’s does with Martin Luther King Day. We took advantage when taking our son back to UVA for his final semester. We had recently discovered a new place, where we’ll be staying in May, and decided to test it out by staying over a night before heading back to DC. What a great decision! Shenandoah Crossing, in Gordonsville is a part of the BlueGreen Resorts and lives up to its promise of high style glamping. Although we stayed in the lodge during this cold, winter visit, we’ll be staying in a yurt and a 3-bedroom cabin with extended family later this spring.

BlueGreen Shenandoah Crossing Lodge_Art Is Everywhere

Shenandoah Crossing Lodge

Shenandoah Crossing room decor_Art Is Everywhere

Clever way to display framed pictures in the room

Shenandoah Crossing Lodge Restaurant_Art Is Everywhere

The Lodge Restaurant

Shenandoah Crossing Yurt_Art Is Everywhere

Shenandoah Crossing Yurt

February – Valentine’s Day is one that we don’t usually celebrate but this time it fell on a Sunday and luckily Monday was a holiday — Presidents’ Day. Yippie, we could actually enjoy the Wine Bars with the wine pairing I had planned in advance because this day didn’t fall on a work / week day or break our vow to give up drinking during Lent, which we sacrifice — except for the weekends.

I had picked up the Wine Bars from Fleurir and what a wonderful pairing it was. I never knew chocolate could make wine taste so much better and vise versa. I’ve already given these as a first year anniversary present to my son and his wife as well as good friend who shares the same birth month, but I had never tried them myself.

Fleurir Wine Bars_Art Is Everywhere

Fleurir Wine Bars – photo by Hannah Hudson

The only problem to the way the evening ended was pretty humorous, actually. Peter normally cooks melt-in-your-mouth steaks. For some reason, the ones we got from Whole Foods maybe had more fat than normal? Not sure but when flash pan-frying, they created so much smoke that the fire alarm went off. It wouldn’t have been a problem normally but since we’ve “upgraded” to a digital phone service, the alarm folks couldn’t get through the home phone to reach us as the alarm had hijacked the phone system with blasted warnings, “FIRE ALARM, leave the premises immediately!!” Well, the fire truck made it to our house before we could alert ADT to stop them — can only go through their 1-800 number. OK, as if this wasn’t embarrassing enough on a street with close-knit neighbors. The fire alarm went off again and guess what, yep, the fire truck paid us another visit. Crap! Lesson learned, we changed the phone alert pathway and at least we didn’t get charged. At this point, more wine and chocolate pairing was the best plan.

February – a Birthday is always great when it starts with a Friday. Actually my celebration started a few days before, on Wednesday, when we went to listen to Big Sam’s Funk Nation at Gypsy Sally’s. What fun!! I always get excited when I see bands from my hometown playing. This big brass New Orleans band with the lead singer, Big Sam Williams, gives a jiving, “urban funk” performance that just gets you up off your feet. He’s the former trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The 8 Ohms Band started the set and gave a great foot-stomping performance and certainly prepped the crowd for Big Sam, who came out and played a song before intermission.

8 Ohms Band_Art Is Everywhere

8 Ohms Band

8 Ohms 2_Art Is Everywhere 8 Ohms 3_Art Is Everywhere

Sams Big Funk Nation_Art Is EverywhereOn Friday, my real birthday, my good friend Liza had these gorgeous flowers delivered. My other good girlfriend, Marty, delivered her famous individual size coffee cake. Soooo nice! Sometimes, I get so busy, I forget my birthday. This wasn’t a big year and still people remembered.

Beautiful Birthday Flowers_Art Is Everywhere

These look so lovely with the portrait that was retrieved from my Aunt Katherine’s painting stash.

Relatives sent cards and my wonderful in-laws really surprised me with with beautiful vintage style, mother-of-pearl handle, double-blade, Congress Muskrat, pocket knife from A.G. Russell. There will be all sorts of uses for this beyond what I might know. I just have to remember to remove it before traveling on a plane.

A.G. Russell Pocket Knife_Art Is EverywhereWe topped off the evening with a fun night of pool at No. 9 Lounge (above the Majestic Lounge) at Evening Star Cafe. This is a somewhat hidden spot upstairs for pool, beer, meeting new pool buddies, listening to cool tunes and eating scrumptious food. I loved my cream of cauliflower soup with raisins. I need to get that recipe!

No 9 Lounge Evening Star Cafe_Art Is Everywhere

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a recent picture with the pool table in the far back (via Biz Bash)

Afterwards, we saw 13 Hours at the movie theater, which we rarely do these days but this is big screen worthy, as is The Revenant, The Martian and the latest Star Wars, all of which we’ve bucked up to see on the big screen. The movie tempered the mood but was well worth seeing. In fact, if everyone saw it, they would certainly question those publicly conveyed chain of events and the government’s role in them. Makes you think, if only….!

A Leap Year Anniversary — that comes every 4 years, gives us two times to celebrate in one year. This is our 7th special anniversary and we celebrated it at Magnolia’s On King, a relatively new Southern style restaurant that gets it right. We started out with the appetizers I love to have each time I’ve gone, stuffed dates with blue cheese and wrapped with bacon. Mouth-watering good! I’m using for our Easter Brunch! I had the best meal. Evidently, we lucked out because our celebratory night was on Monday — Gumbo Night. Wow! Excellent! A larger meal than Peter’s and just the right amount of spice.

Magnolias Stuffed Dates_Art Is EverywhereThe best part was heading upstairs to the Palm Lounge. It reminds me so much of New Orleans with the exposed brick wall, deep red walls brightened by firelight and rattan ceiling fans that I’ll go back to see in action when it gets warmer out. Tyler, the welcoming and talented bearded bartender, was willing to create a drink of our choice as long as he had the base to work with. We asked him about amaros and he said he was really liking Caramaro right now. Well, it’s one of my favorites so I asked him to please make a drink with it. This is the divine delicacy that he crafted with 1/2 oz gin (that I normally don’t drink), topped with egg white (Ramos Gin Fizz style) and a spritz of Angostura bitters.

Specially concocted Cardamarro Sour at Magnolia's_Art Is Everywhere

Specially concocted Cardamaro Sour at Magnolia’s

I can’t think of a better way to end the month, except, we may continue the celebration. We learned from our friendly bartender about Captain Gregory’s, a new (but not so) secret speakeasy to try, “a hole in the wall” inside the Sugar Shack Doughnut (hole) Shop, of all places. Looking forward to continuing new discoveries into March… 😉

Hint - Capture the Flag_Captain Gregory's_ Art Is Everywhere

Hint – Capture the Flag

The Art of Speaking

I was posting on the Slipcovers for Your Walls blog for Casart coverings about Apple’s latest run in with the FBI about providing a backdoor entry on their devices in relation to their existing home technology, when I came a several great videos on Fast Company.

You could say these videos below explain how there is an art to the well-crafted interview, so the interview questions are perceived the way that one wants the interviewee to hear.

Art of Speaking_interviewing_FastCompany_on Art Is EverywhereOtherwise, the interview becomes a classic case of you say this but this is what they hear.

Actually there’s an art to speaking in general, so keep watching the second video. It humorously shows the double speak within office meetings.

Too funny and too true! (from Fast Company)

If you want to see more, head on over to the Slipcovers for Your Walls blog post on Apple Wants to Unlock Your Door.

Hack & Nearly Whacked!

I almost got whacked by a tree!

There was no good reason why a I should hear a crackling crescendo from a large branch shearing from our backyard tree when I looked up on that clear, beautiful, 70 degree, slight-breeze, sunny-spring day. It was cool air more than a breeze, a picture perfect day. I decided to finally plant the plants that I had bought 3 days before. I was finally filling the pot by our tree with a fairly large caladium so it would show where a clematis used to be in that shady spot. I heard the cracking and thought, “what’s going on at the neighbors?” Then, when I looked up, the cracking was a large tree branch breaking. I saw it in slow motion fall and the sheared edge came directly toward my face. I couldn’t move. I was pinned between the table, tree and pot at the corner of the garage. I had to move forward to get out and that would be moving in the direction of the falling limb. I put my hands up and got ready to crouch. The tree limb landed on our garage roof. The branches bounced when hitting 3 neighbors’ power, telephone and cable wires (including ours) that formed a net underneath. Amazingly, nothing snapped. The wires are still holding up the tree. When I looked up the sheared base of the limb was 2 feet away from my head. Our outside lights averted a break again. The base is resting directly on them.

Plant_AIE

The caladium I was planting and getting ready to remove the bird’s nest when….

Tree limb_AIE

…this cracked and fell right above me

Full tree limb_AIEThis is the second time a limb has broken after we’ve already had the tree cabled and pruned. That was  a few weeks before my son’s wedding just after we had hung the patio lights. Only 2 bulbs broke but the wire never did.,

Although I was sitting in the back room when that larger tree branch fell on the roof (which we ended up having to replace) @ 2am, this recent break was much more scary. There was a flash where I thought this could be it. I can only say it must have been by the grace of God that it didn’t hit me.

This brush with fate made me think of a more beautiful rendition of a tree with Emma Hack’s brushwork. The female is camouflaged by the artwork. The tree envelops her.

Emma Hack_Nude-Model-Background-7 on Art is EverywhereI thought I’d turn this frightening experience into an enlightening Zen moment — to be in the moment, peaceful surrounded by Nature’s beauty and profoundness.

Emma Hack’ artwork has all of these attributes. Click link for previous post.

Emma Hack Nude-Model-Background-6 on Art is Everywhere

Being in awe of the beauty

Emma Hack_Nude-Model-Background-3 on Art is Everywhere

Being brushed with Nature

Emma hack_Nude-Model-Background-1 on Art Is Everywhere

Being Zen – One with Nature

And being thankful that I wasn’t actually whacked by a tree!

Political Artisan Doodles

I guess we all can get bored in meetings but I guess I really never thought of presidents doodling their way through them.

This article on Artisan Politics had me in stitches — not only the doodles themselves but the commentary from professional cartoonists, who know their doodles for sure.

Click on each image to see a larger (readable) view about these political artisan doodles. Click the back button to come return to the post.  I’m not sure why these images came out so small.

Artisan Politics on Art Is Everywhere Artisan Politics on Art Is EverywhereI have to agree, Barack’s sketches are not bad and may be the only thing I like about him.

Click here for previous posts about caricatures.

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