Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

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The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Many Beautiful Things Coming!

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Believe in the darkness what you have seen in the light. ~ Lilias Trotter

Now, here’s a movie I can really get behind. Many Beautiful Things has just been put on my Must See Movies List. And best of all, Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crowley) of Downtown Abbey fame is starring in it.

This movie is based on the life of artist Lilias Trotter and the setting is Victorian England. The storyline involves art, dreams, talent and true callings.  Wants verses desires, and conflict between lady vs. herself are all in this heart-stirring movie. All things good stories are  made of!

According to the website, this movie began premiering in national theatres February 6 -14. If it doesn’t come to your local theatre, a DVD of this movie will be released in time for International Women’s Day. Shop on the movie website for it along with these other products:  Lilia’s Trotter’s 1876 Sketchbook and 1889 Sketchbook and a children’s book Lily: The Girl Who Could See or Parables of the Cross. Why not put them all in  your shopping cart?

Here’s the trailer which will give you a little insight into this movie that looks very promising for a very fulfilling evening of entertainment!

See you tomorrow! We will see what other beautiful or good news we can dig up. This  blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of This World Art Launch

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Happy New Year, Everybody!! Today I will be sharing some very exciting news about two artists whose work I am proud to say fulfills me every day because many of their published art prints hang on the walls of my living space…

Last week as I read the blog My Life with the Masters, I thought “Jumpin’ Jupiter! This news is out of this world!”  American artists Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik have made history and literally brought science and art together when their paintings were launched into space and are now rotating the Earth at phenomenal speed.

According to the article written by Kristen Thies, “This art/science journey initially began when James Nadir, a Silicon Valley engineer who retired from Intel invited Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik to create 1.25” x 1.25” paintings to be placed into a small space capsule aboard the International Space Station.”  To read the full article, please visit My Life with the Masters.

If you are not familiar with these artists, Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik, learn more through their bios. I came to know this husband and wife team of master artists back in 1998 through the beginnings of an independent publishing venture, Stove Prairie Press, LLC. Much of my knowledge about the industry can be attributed to these pioneering artists whose work has reached new heights in this New Year! Congratulations, Richard & Nancy!!

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, EVVY award winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday, January 4th!

 

 

Do You Have the Answer?

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When we can’t piece together the puzzle of our own lives, remember the best view of a puzzle is from above. Let Him help put you together.” ~ Terri Guillemets

Did you see the images of the two churches posted on yesterday’s blog called Where is this Place? If not, scroll down to view them or follow this link.

Today, I’ll share a few more pictures to help in your quest to solve the puzzle. The images from Edifice #1 are all taken from the exterior surrounds of the structure, except for one. The grounds are beautiful, immaculate and a very peaceful place to visit. Where is it?

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All of the images of Ediface #2 (below) were taken inside the structure. Although the exterior of the building is impressive, more stunning are the interior colors, the icons, the painted ceilings and walls.  The interior is as awesome  as some of the greatest cathedrals of Europe.

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If you know where these two churches are located, hurry and comment on this blog. The first person to correctly identify the names of these places of worship wins a complimentary copy of my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The answers will be revealed tomorrow morning on All Things Fulfilling.

 

 

O’Keefe in Everyday Life

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“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”  ― Georgia O’Keeffe

I’d always been interested in the art of Georgia O’Keefe. Any artist who paints flowers so magnificently, is alright by me!

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, NM. The art was beautiful, as expected but, what I enjoyed seeing, through black and white photos, was the life of this woman outside of her studio. According to a short film I watched and from reading other literature, O’Keefe found much pleasure in simple tasks of daily living. Images of O’Keefe walking her dogs, hanging out the wash, sitting on the roof of her adobe house and cooking outside over an open fire all acquainted me with her on another level.

She painted much more than flowers. She lived, painted and exhibited in New York City. What a surprise! I’d always thought her entire life was spent in New Mexico. After she married Alfred Stieglitz, America’s first advocate of modern art in America, New York is where she and other modern artists began to proliferate. Her summers were spent in Lake George, NY.

From her great success as an artist,  I would never have considered that she was anything but a person who had all she needed right inside of herself from the start. But according to this quote, not so! “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe

I love that! And I look forward to reading more about this woman of extreme talent who had traits of self-doubt that each artist struggles with, from time to time, going about the days of fulfilling oneself in the world of art.IMG_20150221_153831_642

Above: Photo of Georgia O’Keefe taking a car ride.

IMG_20150221_154346_188Above: Replication of O’Keefe’s studio inside the Museum. The photo is the view from her studio window in NM. These are her art supplies, with a work in progress on her easel. Her studio and home in Albiquiu is also open for touring.  That has been put on my “For Another Day List.”

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Above: Non-floral O’Keefe painting.

IMG_20150221_155447_610Above:   Black Hollyhawk & Blue Larkspur (middle painting – my favorite in the Museum).

Below: The Georgia O’Keefe Museum Gift Shop has a wonderful selection of books, DVDs, notecards and other products with the “signature” Georgia O’Keefe art licensing trademark.

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See you tomorrow! We will be talking about an art form that I saw in my travels that I had never witnessed live before until my visit to Santa Fe, NM last week. It was thrilling and fun!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

A New Year – Life’s Puzzle Pin

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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ~ Brad Paisley

The summer before last I had seen a few intriquing and thought-provoking pieces of jewelry that peaked my interest  at the Dorchester Art Center gift shop. This fall when I spoke to the Bayshore Bookies, a book group from Dorchester County, Maryland about my newly released memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected I stopped in once again.  I was hoping they still carried the objets d’art so I could get a second peak. Sure ‘nuf, they did.

The artisan, Joyce from  “Back in Tyme,” handcrafts the pins which I think are symbolic of what a New Year is all about. Take a look at the image of this pin. Creative, isn’t it?

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To my way of looking at things,  each element crafted into the bauble represents a part of life:

Puzzle pieces. What’s to come in our futures is a mystery. Sometimes befuddling,  isn’t it?

Old clock (watch) pieces. Time passes by quickly. Sometimes we aren’t quite geared up for all that happens. Sometimes we lose track if we aren’t fully dialed in. Makes life interesting.

Feathers! We hope there is some “fluffy stuff” in our lives. That’s what makes it worthwhile living! Agree? As they say “when feathers appear, angels are near!” What a divine thought.

Sea glass. Like people, each particle has it’s own journey and it’s own story from tossing and tumbling.

A crescent moon-shaped object. We go through many “phases” in our lifetime from birth to death. The crescent moon has appeared in art throughout the ages because as Debbie Keil-Leavitt says, “it inspires us to think that it might be a cradle for our newly-born dreams.”

If you wish to read more about what Debbie Keil-Leavitt says about the power of the crescent moon, here is an interesting article, full of mysticism. http://bit.ly/1AYu7s9.

On this day before the New Year, I’d like to remind you to tune in and be grateful for each minute, each new hour and each new phase of your life. Embrace life’s surprises. Find fulfilling, positive things even in the difficult. Often times the little mysteries of life are gifts to be explored and discovered just like this inspirational piece of jewelry.

What are your dreams for the New Year? I hope you’ll actively pursue them.

NewYearClock 2015

 

Window into a Composer

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Advent – Day #11   A Window into a Composer

Art has long been associated with churches. As I sat in the Holy Name Catholic Church last Friday listening to the beautiful composition The Messiah from composer George Frederick Handel,  I was reminded of how so much music has lasted through the ages.

In “My Beloved,” chapter 16 in my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, I  kept the legacy of Frederick N. Crouch alive. This ballad was written in 1837 and the family connection is explained in the chapter.

kathleen mavorneenFor more information on ordering the award-winning memoir by Sue Batton Leonard, please go to these links.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh