Favorite Wordpress Blogs

 

I found a blogger who is new to me, but has been around here on WordPress for a while- Brad Young Art…A few of his posts that I liked in particular: 8/23/15 Space Needle, 7/26/15 Blondes and Tennessee, 4/19/15 Chicago Skyline, and 4/5/15 I Thirst.

I particularly enjoyed the different cities featured in his designs- many are only blocks from where I lived (our apartment up the street from Seattle’s Space Needle), or at least the same general yet beloved area (the Midwest rocked my world). Go check out his great art and sweet commentary!

It’s worth mentioning that the only way I came across Brad Young Art (and many other great blogs) is because he simply clicked that “LIKE” button on one of my posts, so I went and looked at his work… go discover some new blogs and encourage the love of great subjects today, everyone. And don’t forget to give that positive feedback.

While I’m at it- I’d really like to give a shout out to a few other fabulous writers I have come across over the course of this year while playing around on WordPress:

Cool San Diego Sights!– great pics and fun insights into what’s happening in the San Diego area

Cycling in the South Bay– about as introspective and funny as a cyclist can get, with life choices, hobbies, and family offered up on the Altar of the Blogosphere

Story Shucker– short, well crafted stories from a talented writer. I’m always looking for his works to show up in my favorites feed.

Finding Jeffrey– a family friend who can produce more thoughtful and humorous writings in two minutes with only an elbow on the space bar than an infinite number of me on an infinite number of keyboards could ever hope to pound out. Get cranking on that book, Jeff, we’re waiting.

Cooking with a Wallflower– I had to narrow down from a couple dozen food bloggers I’m following on WordPress, and Andrea’s blog has a fabulous compilation of really good recipes, wonderful photography, and culinary world finds that she came across on the Big Ol’ Web.

Part Two- Del Mar Fair, Finally! Snarky Good Fun…

Not my mess!
She did get more in her than on the floor…
Why I am really at the fair...
Why I am really at the fair…

After taking all the time we wanted to go through the Flower and Animal Exhibits and the “Crap You Can Buy at the Fair” booths (we warned each other “don’t make eye contact with any of the vendors!), we hit the food stands before moving onto Art and Hobby exhibits.

STUDENT ART and PHOTOGRAPHY:

IMG_6936Let’s just get this one out of the way- here’s my son’s work on display- his art teacher is always really great at sending in the work of several students each year. She rocks!

IMG_7041IMG_7040Student art takes up most of the first floor of the West Grandstands building. If you get to the San Diego County Fair, do NOT miss this exhibition. The talent on display is nothing short of amazing. Let me share some of the more spectacular entries…

IMG_6950IMG_6949IMG_6942

Their art truly was a highlight of the fair for me. These pieces need no explanation by me, they speak for themselves. I am impressed by what our county classes can do, and these teachers deserve awards, every one from every school.

IMG_7050
Zoom in for explanation- a great photography class idea!
IMG_7051
Love this guy’s story- zoom in to read it…

PLEASE, Click on the photos to bring up larger views of these student exhibits- they deserve a closer look!

COLLECTIONS- Fascinating to the Fabulous:

Miniature Foldout Photo Collection from World Fairs and Expositions
Miniature Foldout Photo Collection from World Fairs and Expositions
Miniature Foldout Photo collection, from 1900s-1980s
Miniature Foldout Photo collection, from 1900s-1980s

Miniature photos on keychains, necklaces and other souvenirs dating from 1900 to 1980… totally cool.  Another collection was similar, but all from world fairs and expositions… equally cool.

Click on all of these photos to bring up larger copies and then you can read the test which describes the collections and the motivation behind the displays.

IMG_6956
Shark Egg Cases
IMG_6959
Things Left Behind in Library Books

Some of the more interesting collections on display included a father and daughter’s group of shark egg cases that they amassed to show disbelieving friends that they do, in fact, exist. Another case held… this is great… a collection of items found in books that have been returned to the library. I would bet that no one has ever thought to collect such a genre, ever before, in the history of lending libraries.

Collections and Craft Entries from the Clever to the Weird and the Wait… What???

The Swede- she's speechless
Cat Fur and Lint?The Swede- she’s speechless
IMG_7065
“Cat Fur and Clothes Dryer Lint” Yes, you read that correctly…

This really is amazing on more than one level. The sheer fact that someone collects dryer lint and cat fur is surpassed by the oddity that they decided to display this collection. Publicly. At the county fair.

IMG_6974
I wonder what this fox would say…
Shirt Pillows
Shirt Pillows

After the fur and lint display, we were losing it. Other oddities included this beautifully crafted fox… we couldn’t figure out why the beads? It made us want to demand that artists be allowed to include a note about the inspiration behind their pieces, just like the Collections are able to display. We loved the goofy shirt pillows, a great recycling idea.

IMG_6973We saw jewelry- something that I don’t have a lot of patience for, but my friend crafts gorgeous pieces herself… look at this great idea for what to do with all the pressed penny souvenirs that you may have collected in your travels!

IMG_6967I love pottery and had to include this piece. Look at the colors! Great job, artist!

Cookie Tea Set!
Cookie Tea Set!

IMG_7069

International Cookie Dolls!
International Cookie Dolls!

Food Exhibits

The Food Exhibits were puzzling to me… I am dying to know how they are judged. Honestly, I’m such a snob about my own cookies, for example, that I looked at the winning chocolate chip cookies and thought “Humph! My cookies look better than these… I bet they taste better, too.” I ought to back up this proud attitude of mine and enter them next year… that ought to shut me up! I have to include these cookie sculptures simply because they are so well crafted.

Next year I will be back- not only for the Indian Fry Bread Tacos and Garlic Fries, but maybe even to throw my own chocolate chip cookies into the judging arena.

“Though she be but Little, she is Fierce.”

Saw “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with The Girl. I’ve never seen it before and always wanted to, so when she announced that she had control of the TV for homework’s sake, I joined in. I loved it when the “Though she be but little, she is fierce” line came up- I forgot that it came from this play and was surprised to see what the scene was like that contained this favorite quote.

Yea for English assignments that mean I get to watch Shakespeare that I had yet to see!

The lovely featured photo at the top came from this wiki page. It is a detail from a painting titled “The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania” by English artist Joseph Noel Paton in 1849.

I found this print on  etsy.com and it is available for purchase... click the pic for the link
I found this print on etsy.com and it is available for purchase… click the pic for the link

It’s Cajun Food Night!

Isn’t that a beautiful painting for this post? Titled “Decatur Evening, it is by Artist Dianne Parks- http://dianneparksgallery.com/

My daughter doesn’t cook, but somehow she lucked out- her boyfriend does! Even better, we got included in this round of Cajun Night at his family’s home. Woo hoo! My exposure to Cajun is extremely limited, and what I’ve had I have not liked. I’m glad to say that I have now enjoyed a couple of dishes that I would LOVE to have again.
So what wine goes with jambalaya and crawfish étouffée? The adults need something to drink, after all. We skipped the suggested beers that populated the online searches and brought a Viognier to share. Should have bought the Zinfandel, too… Tonight’s bonus- the Hanger 24 stout we had before dinner.

I am so very glad that we were able to have dinner together despite how late we kept all the kids up on a school night. We may be bad parents, but at least I found out that I like crawfish! It’s all good. You know what will be fun? Reading this post tomorrow morning after all the wine and stout have worn off. Yep, it’s all good!

Cajun food and a really great Viognier... gotta post the name of the wine.
Cajun food and a really great Viognier… gotta post the name of the wine.

On God and Art- Marc Chagall Quote:

“When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it – a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand – as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it’s bad art.”
Read more quotes attributed to Chagall and boat-loads of other nifty people at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcchagal100782.html#XprZh1wmoOZjXeST.99

“Birthday” by Marc Chagall, 1915, MoMA

See more Chagall prints for purchase here: http://www.art.com/gallery/id–a60/marc-chagall-posters.htm