“You’ll have a lot more respect for a bird after you try making a nest.” – Cynthia Lewis
But those black and white sheets did not belong in the same picture!
So…. Continue reading
“Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself.” – Teresita Fernandez
Panama City-PANAMA – Like a stepchild that it is not, an impromptu project at Barb’s condo in Panama has been waiting in the queue of stories to share. After receiving another two-year nonresident visa to work in the arts, I was free to leave Ecuador without a lot of red tape to return. I first visited Costa Rica for a week, took care of personal business, visited with friends, and then on the return trip to Ecuador, bailed out in Panama to spend a week with Barbara.
Barbara is my amazing and tireless friend who is selfless when it comes to helping others. Here are images from some of her past visits, starting with when she helped create the Magic Carpet at Casa Loca.
Postscript: Last year’s earthquake altered that Casa Loca chapter. But let’s move on….
Barbara has helped me with SO MANY projects, and even if it were just a week, it was time to spend time with her. “I’ll be bringing my paint brushes,” I stated, “so be thinking of a project.” Continue reading
Near Playa San Miguel/Pueblo Nuevo de Bejuco – Costa Rica.
A counter top makeover quickly morphed into a totally-different style for a guest house outdoor-style kitchen. The original was painted about six or seven years ago and had seen much use. It deserved a renaissance treatment with fresh paint! It was easy to spot the areas of heavy use, and we tossed around ideas for dodging similar problems in the future. Hank and Marie have decided to put this part of their property on the market, and the counter top was one of few things that needed attention. See: “A Little Monkey Told Me” for a sneak peek.
We enjoyed passing many tranquil hours – in the zen of painting in harmony and at times making room for others to help as well. Thanks Patty and Wendy for your help!
“You will fail many times but in failing you’ll learn and in learning you’ll find your way. Remember, there are no mistakes in life but only lessons, and lessons will keep on repeating until learned.” Paulo Coelho
Mindo Ecuador – The tragedy of last year’s earthquake has had an unusual effect on me; my patience and tolerance, thanks to several challenging lessons, have strengthened. A project-in-progress for the ‘Artist’s Nest’ has tested that statement!
Two local workers have been helping with a 3-day project that has stretched into eight. If I sweep the sawdust and debris five times, there’s always a sixth, and most likely a seventh, though at the end of the day these two sweet workers clean the entire area well before leaving.
When I grab the broom to sweep the steps yet again, I find that I don’t sigh and say to myself, “Again…” or get frustrated at redundant tasks. I think, “What those people who have no home would do to have this problem!” In addition to lessons learned via my nephew Don, “While the Worlld Outside My Window Goes Insane” , I think of those on the Pacific coast that lost so much, and I ‘Let it go’ instantly.
Whoosh! Gone. Not worth it. That post (above) connects me back via the photo tribute to Don; with 124 comments, it’s surely one of the most popular ones for inspiration.
And the lack of stress and frustration is genuine! There’s no psyching myself into trying to dump the stress; it’s never allowed residence or even a Timeout Corner as each day brings new surprises.
The workers are so kind and sweet, and Perejil (a nickname) does amazing work. He’s very patient and goes to great details, so the work has taken longer than expected. It’s worth the extra days, and in the story of my day, my week, my life, what is important is the quality of each day — and each day as been crammed with positive experiences.
Are you curious to see the project in progress? Put on your hard hat, as there’s no hand rail, the main reason this project began! Continue reading
Once upon a time, long long ago, a precious four-year old burst into tears when the art teacher stepped into his classroom on the second week of school. “Art?” little Sam whimpered, “My mother didn’t tell me about art….” He cried and cried and eventually stopped — about the time class was over for the day.
A week passed, and I again disrupted his normal routine, and he cried again.. Not so much, but my presence made him uncomfortable… He cried during the first part of class, but then calmed. I think by the third week he accepted this strange interuption and in another month, he embraced the concept of art and all of the surprises that the art teacher shared with his four-year old peers. I often said that teaching those four-year olds was a bit like jugging one too many balls; their attention spans were short, so I tried to provide many options each week to hold their interests …
Four years later when that same cluster of students was drawing one of their classmates who sat in one lone chair in the middle of the room, I silently marveled, “Wow.. they are getting a likeness, not just an icon, and they probably should not have the skills to do this at this age – but no one has told them that they couldn’t… and Mrs. B believes in them – therefore they did it – and did it well!” Continue reading
Late last night as I was painting, I remembered we were approaching another Rabbit-Rabbit Day, and I visualized writing a post with a picture of a rabbit. (See Rabbit Rabbit May Day.)
Because I painted late, and because I get weary arguing with the WordPress ‘Improved’ Write-New-Post options, I selected slumber over writing this post. Continue reading
Hola Sports Fans; I’m writing via off-line mode while taking a break from a floor project. Black paint is drying, so it’s best to take ten or more giant steps away from the work and enjoy a break! Nine pieces of plywood make up this large jigsaw floor puzzle that will upgrade an 8-foot area that overlooks the river. Clear thick plastic protects each finished panel until all are fine-tuned and adjusted to merge with the others. The design should be ready for varnish on Tuesday. It’s been a challenging and rewarding project, and you’ll see the entire floor on the next Timeout for Art.
Yesterday my dear friend Silvana, back from her internship in Minnesota, dropped by the house and happily accepted the task of filling in areas with color. We set up a work area on the balcony and watched the birds and fishermen as we painted. Time flew, and at sunset we stopped to take photos from a slightly-different vantage point before she returned to Jama.
With so much sadness in the world events, hopefully the above quote made you smile! While playing tag with the electricity and internet (two days with power, yay!) I’ve enjoyed switching between precision work on a floor project to fun garden art. Painting straight lines fatigues my arms and shoulders, so my muscles appreciated the time out in the garden.
I’ll be on the road today and with a tour group until Sunday. Enjoy the images of the floor in progress! Continue reading
(Why didn’t I do this years ago?) Th colorized version replaces the generic silver design of the mini-laptop! With a little leftover paint, I also brightened the facade of my silver-colored camera!
Now if I can figure out a way to improve the internet signal strength! John and Mary McDonald recommended that I upgrade from gerbil power to hamster. The hamsters, I’ve found, are a bit lazy and would rather eat than run that wheel round and round. With gerbil power, only this image uploaded. Its been a busy week! Part two should arrive tomorrow!
(Now it’s time to prompt those little gerbils into another power-up marathon!)
Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless. When you find something at which you are talented, you do it – whatever it is – until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. (Stephen King)
As if to compensate for the most-recent 2-day power outage, a burst of energy kept me working at full throttle for the past several days. After painting touch ups on the wooden balcony floor, I protected it with two coats of a transparent sealer. Between coats, I painted the inside panels of the balcony white, then rolled a medium to light blue and then a lighter blue over that.
The little built-in bench looked quite anemic beneath the colorful moon window, so i painted the back a pastel orange and the seat area in light blue/green colors. As the afternoon progressed, I added more depth and movement with strokes of color. Continue reading
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Focus; “…For this challenge, get out there and take a picture demonstrating the concept of focus.”
Each week I photograph the progress on the compass design (painted on concrete floor) from several vantage points, so with pleasure I present the almost-finished design from many-different angles.
Because this is a floor, I keep asking myself, “Lisa! Are those little bitty details really important?” Continue reading
“I don’t want technology to take me so far that I don’t have to use my brain anymore. It’s like GPS taking over and losing your internal compass. It’s always got to be tactile, still organic.”
Years ago I worked in a design studio for a company that produced custom carpets for hotels, movie theaters, casinos and private businesses. Every so often we received an order for a hand-made rug, and the pattern had to be drawn on a huge canvas that was stretched to correct proportions in the warehouse. To my amusement, most of the younger designers were graphic art whizzes, but their drawing skills were horrid! I quickly became the hand-made rug specialist, and I would leave a note on my desk, “Gone to the briar patch! – ‘Brer Rabbit.’
How I loved the challenge of using my math and drawing skills to transfer a complicated design onto a giant canvas, then color code the areas to be filled in by another person!
I still enjoy using my internal compass to draw a complicated design on a forlorn concrete floor and watching the room slowly transform! These photos illustrate one of several projects that tested my drawing skills this week. Continue reading
Last year’s It Started With One Lightpole opened with a story about my friend Luchy Cevallos Sabando. The post was one of the most popular for the entire year.
Multi-talented Luchy tapped into his creative genius and opened a cybercafe with emphasis on cafe and not cyber! He wondered what he could do to attract more business, and before our afternoon painting session was finished, people were slowing down and taking note!
Luchy’s artistic touches throughout his Palo Santo Cafe and his nearby hostal leave little room for improvement! Several times I volunteered to help with a new project, but there was no obvious space for custom art.
Last week while visiting Luchy’s Palo Santo, I reminded him that I’d love to help with a new project. He pondered for a few minutes, then showed me an area in the VIP room that might make a fun backdrop for group photos. We did a bit of brainstorming, then started on Wednesday and finished on Saturday! Continue reading
“Good drawing forms the ‘bones’ on which a strong painting hangs.” (Chris Bingle)
Jama Ecuador – Last week I sketched this cow skull then did a test to see how it would look with zebra stripes. What do you think? Would it make a fun painting, or should I consider this an exercise and move on to another subject – like bright colorful coffee cherries?
Today I spent time at Palo Santo Cybercafe, which is more cafe than an internet service. Opening around 7:30 most evenings, Palo Santo has a brisk business and an easy vibe.
Luchy and I had discussed doing a joint painting project in his “VIP” room, and today we began that task.
Luchy’s drawing and painting skills are excellent, so I was amused that he chose to watch instead of paint! He wanted a backdrop for photo moments, and since the word “Jama” means “iguana,” he visualized a large iguana draped across a limb a little higher than shoulder level. We discussed several ideas, and then he watched as I mixed paints and began to ‘draw’ with the paint.
“Aren’t you going to use a pencil first?” he asked cautiously.
“No,” I smiled, “it’s not necessary… there’s no need for pencil…” Continue reading
Sarah Dettman’s friends and family helped with this Sunflower painting to help brighten a community laundry room. It’s my pleasure to present it to all of you out there in WordPress world! Continue reading
The trip to the Amazon has been postponed, so today finds me taking a two-day time out in Mindo Ecuador. This morning I visited the Butterfly Garden, located three kilometers from town. What a delightful childlike immersion in nature I spent while trying to capture the elusive blue morpho with my camera! Continue reading
This week brought many creative challenges while I spent time with my friend Sarah Dettman and her family. From the hummingbird and butterfly murals, to the sunflower painting for their laundry room, my paint brushes have had a workout!
Yesterday while Sarah was speaking to a WorldTeach group, I sneaked back to the courtyard and left a smile for her to find later! She and her husband walked right past it several times before Eloy spotted it! Continue reading
Today’s Daily Prompt states:
Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.
Photographers, show us HANDS.
Hands? Do I ever have an assortment of images of hands!
Enjoy! Continue reading
My trail is about to take me out of town for a few days, so enjoy this final postcard from Barb! See you when I’m back on Wednesday! Z
Dear fans of “Zeebra’s Designs and Destination.”
WOW!!!!! I must say I am not only amazed but also totally overwhelmed with the response that Lisa has received on her WordPress Blog concerning the Zeebra’s Flying Carpet’s Post Cards.
Thank you everyone for the encouraging comments and well wishes through all of our journey on the “Carpet”. What fun we had. Lisa has such a great spirit, (as you all have seen) energy and love that it’s easy to catch it from her…..and that I did.
I left Ecuador with a lot of fond memories and a little sadness at having to leave Lisa and “The Riverhouse.” However I will cherish all of those memories, new friends, not only from the towns we visited, but Lisa’s Blog as well. Continue reading
The floor design strengthens with each day. Barbara continues to keep the pace and endures long hours of painting! She’s tireless and forever cheerful, and she quickly switches to other tasks if I’m bogged down with meticulous attention to details on the floor.
My friend Silvana dropped by the house and helped with the border. Before she left, we enjoyed a hibiscus/white wine/’agua con gas’ drink and then watched the birds come home to roost.
Are you ready to see the latest images?! Continue reading
The riverhouse received an injection of energy this weekend! Gonzalo de la Fuente and his beautiful family crammed many memories into their short break from the port city of Manta Ecuador. Gonzalo is quite the Renaissance Man, and his graphic arts skills keep his dance card full. I am grateful for his tireles help whenever I need posters, invitations, a press release, catalog, book marks, business cards – he transforms and improves the concepts. Although I often visit Gonzalo and his family on their turf, this was their first trip to the Jama area. These photos reflect one of many great memories from their two-day visit.
The old bamboo light fixture near the front door looked pretty forlorn. Influenced by the Mola theme, it now sports colors inspired by coral snakes. While I was painting, the small container of black ‘jumped’ out of my hand and splattered the white wall. Ugh! I was challenged with a ‘think fast’ prompt as Rorschach patterns dribbled down the wall… Continue reading
After six months of extreme dry weather, typical of this dry rain-forest climate, the clouds turned on their taps and kicked off the new year with slow gentle rain. And more rain. And more rain. And more rain.
Friends from Colorado are in town to check on their home that’s under construction in the area. I’ve upgraded from a life ankle deep in mud on the river to a short stay at a cute hostal while they are here. (The photo above shows the road between my house and town.) All’s fine here, though the internet has been painfully slow. I have had problems sending emails, commenting on other posts or replying to WordPress comments. Continue reading
2012 in Pictures, Don Koen, Flooding in Manabi Ecuador, Hand-painted concrete floors, Light Post Painting in Jama El Matal, Lisa Brunetti, museo bahia de caraquez, Museo Cancebi, Museo Portoviejo, Peace March, The Mola Series, Wear White for Peace, WordPress Photo Challeng My 2012 in Pictures, zeebra art
Frizztext’s Story Challenge has reached the end of the alphabet, and I had no problems finding images for the letter Z! There are so many zebra options in my files for this week’s challenge, I will try to dole a few more out during the week.
Let’s go down the steps and see if we can find some z images to kick off the week!
banana flower recipe, banana nut bread, Bananas, Chifles, Cooking with bananas, cooking with plantains, Costa Rica Cuisine, Ecuador cuisine, Galivantas Recipes, hummingbird cake, Laylitas Recipes, Panama Cuisine, patacone recipe, Super Sweet Blogger Award
I try to keep bananas on hand to use in place of sugar when blending a natural drink. My present favorite drink contains papaya, red hibiscus blossoms, fresh mint, maracuya (passion fruit) and the optional banana. Since red and green make brown, the mint makes the concoction a bit ugly – but hey! – dim the lights and enjoy the flavor while your body drinks in nutrients! I often forget to strain the drinks before serving my friends, and they stare at me with this, “You really don’t expect me to drink this….. do you?” kind of look!
Have you ever wondered what bananas look like when you find them in the wild? Enjoy a trek with Kris and Joel in Panama’s northern region and see some bananas that don’t quite look like the ones you buy at the supermarket!Read it HERE: Let’s Go Hunt For Bananas!
John and Mary McDonald in San Clemente, Ecuador showered me with an ‘all you can eat’ bananafest (as well as an amazing Sunday feast!) Read how they happened upon a surplus of bananas HERE: Yes, We Have Bananas!
WordPress asks us to rewrite our first post. I enjoyed this challenge, pulled up my first post about custom floors and interiors, hit ‘edit’ and reworked it by changing the title.
After revising it, I searched for the publish button, and woe is me! It remained under the original’s format as an update.
Alas, the best way to point you to the revised post is by this method!
Thanks for following the dots to the revised post, and I hope that other bloggers learn from my mistake!
Some photo challenges seem to be tailored for my interests. The Island Traveler asked for interpretations for the word Create. No pondering was necessary for this challenge, as my friends Hank and Marie had just helped transform a problem area of the river house into a creativity chamber!
Moving the kitchen to the far side of the room last month allowed space for a petite sunroom. The stunning view became the focal point, but the new “picture” window presented a security problem. How could the window be protected from break-ins?
A creative answer materialized just in time for Hank and Marie, who were on their final week of vacation, to help with a new “I Can Do This” painting project! Are you curious to see what we did?
Frizztext tosses his alphabet challenge each Tuesday. Pulling up from behind just under the wire with O for Olive Ridley, I am now slightly ahead with the prompt for P! The tagword of “Painting” trumped Pelicans, Portoviejo, Pacific Ocean, Peace March, Photo Challenge and PreColumbian Art for a chance for the spotlight!
From the archives comes an eclectic assortment of paintings from a handful of years! Rather than ramble on about my work, I’ll let the paintings take the stage! Continue reading
WordPress has a fun Daily Prompt, which states, “Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.”
Ladies and gentelmen: I present to you the revised first page, posted about a year ago this week! Thank you for your tireless and amazing support! Z
Custom designs add a lot of character to a room. Stroll with me through a few creative projects and see if you agree! Continue reading