Hats Off, Hats On

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“Building art is a synthesis of life in materialized form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.” ~ Alvar Aalto

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about hats because it was recently Easter and because I’ve been wearing many different hats lately. When I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s no Easter outfit was complete unless it was topped off with a new spring coat and a matching headpiece. It tickles me silly when I think of some of the hats my mother wore to church. She had a yellow one that was shaped like a bees hive, and there was even a little fuzzy bee that was glued to the mesh that surrounded the hat.

hat etiquetteIn my childhood days it was not a rare occurrence  to see men and women as well as boys and girls wearing hats on occasions that called for dressing up like going to church. It was all part of Sunday morning tradition.

Teaching children manners were of utmost importance when I was a kid and that included making sure kids were well versed in the etiquette of hat wearing. It’s been said by writer Alexander McCall Smith that “manners are the basic building blocks of a civil society.”

Do you think we are better off being a more relaxed society or would you like to see a return to some of the niceties that were present several decades ago?

Please take this one second poll on All Things Fulfilling. I’d love to know your response.

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

 

 

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The Young Artists in Them

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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~ Pablo Picasso

On Friday, a number of nine and ten year old students, who are Junior Girl Scouts, expressed their love of writing during my presentation “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” When I admitted to my weakness of rising extremely early at 5:30am to 6pm to write and record what I have often been thinking in the middle of the night, a few said they, too, wake in the wee hours of the morning with ideas to put down on paper.
GS13 croppedSo, each junior Girl Scout was given a spiral-bound notebook to embellish with reflections of their own personality, design sense and color preferences. The notebooks are bound to hold up no matter where they travel and no matter how long it takes to fill the pages with words.They’ve been given a strong foundation backed with Duck© Tape! I never realized there are so many colors and patterns of Duck© Tape now available.

With a promise of returning to teach the Girls Scouts how to make paper roses, the group set about doing their own craft project after my presentation. The rest of today’s story will be told in photos – enjoy the colorful personal journal creations made by Girl Scout Troop #12622.

 

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Isn’t individual creativity a wonderful thing? Come back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, I’m looking for some opinions. And on Thirsty Thursday, you’ll enjoy a post called Spirit Not Withstanding!

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Sue Batton Leonard,  the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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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Georgia Okeefe DVDS

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.

Library Browser Finds

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“I took my time, running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull a title from the shelf and inspect it. A sense of well-being flowed through me ….” ~ Beth Pattillo

I’m truly convinced it’s time well-spent allowing oneself a lengthy browse in a library. The other day I came across a book that if you read only one book this year, The Awakening of Miss Prim should be it. In my opinion, this publication that I randomly came across should be front and center of any library. For a short time, it probably was. But books, even the best, quickly get backlisted.

Old world libraryBriefly, the storyline goes like this. A woman takes a job as a private librarian in the small town of San Ireneo de Arnois. When she arrives she finds that the community, an enclave of sorts, is filled with villagers from the baker to the florist to shoemaker to bookstore owner who have fled from other places to settle where there is something special, “it’s unusually harmonious.” Most believe that by “returning to the old ideals of a simple, traditional, family-based economy” it is what is best for society.

Hailed as “an ode to the simple joys of life,” by Huffington Post, through this impeccably rendered fictional story one comes to understand why books, art, culture, civilty and philosophy matters. Without these things entire generations of people’s values and relationships with one another are altered.

This International Bestseller by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera “set against a backdrop of steaming cups of tea, freshly baked cakes and lovely company” is a short, charming, and deeply thoughtful story. A treasure to behold for all readers.

An interesting side note: This debut novel was originally published in Spanish in 2013. In 2014 it was re-published in paperback, and in English.

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

Fondness for Frederick

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“You have to know the past to understand the present.” Dr. Carl Sagan
I’ve taken the opportunity to blog about the town of Frederick, Maryland on quite a number of occasions. I have great affection for many Fredericks that have been in my life. You will understand why if you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
My affection for the town of Frederick comes for what has been salvaged out of what was once a run-down, ramshackle place during my childhood. Now, it is a place to be proud of! Art, architecture, history, tourism are all the things it has going for it!
To read other articles on All Things Fulfilling about the revitalization of Frederick, Maryland, visit these links.

Today on All Things Fulfilling, enjoy just a few more pictures from the Harvest Fair that I went to last weekend in Frederick.

Hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday October 11th at Ukazoo Books in Towson, Maryland where I will be doing a book signing from 1pm to 4pm. A short author talk will begin at 2pm.

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 Two photos below are from: Smokestack Studio  – great place.  Loved it. http://www.smokestackstudios.com/

 

 

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday! More sites and scenes from Washington, DC  will be featured!

This blog brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard on an East Coast book tour! For information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1y21igm.

Capitalizing on Historical Aspects

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History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us. ~Johan Huizinga

“More cities and towns ought to do this!” I stated to my sister as we walked the streets of Frederick, Maryland on Friday evening during their Harvest Fair.

“Do what?” she asked.
“Capitalize on the assets they already have – you know, put new energy into historic cities and towns rather building new. Our country’s heritage is something our citizens should to be proud of. I think this town has the right idea.” I said. “I’ve seen some interesting historical aspects that presented in a history book, I wouldn’t dream of reading about. But being immersed in it as a tourist I am drawn into it. Even that Museum of Civil War Medicine, is neat. Seeing the artifacts is better than trying to read about it.” http://www.civilwarmed.org/.

“I agree but what else do you like so much about the town?” my sister inquired.
“The architectural details of these historic buildings, the vintage clothing shops, the retro furniture in these antique shops…..the town seems to be emphasizing all that. And obviously people are interested. I mean, look at all the people. Years ago, you could have never have convinced me to stop here.”
Over the past three or so years, I have visited this town willingly and each visit only gets better. People from the greater Baltimore/Washington D.C. area seem to be flocking to this town. The streets, shops and restaurants were busy! Each time I’ve stopped, the town’s identity seems to be more clearly established as a historical landmark, thanks to grants for Main Street historic revitalization efforts. Frederick Maryland has been “deemed a masterpiece in Maryland” by the New York Times.

If you are a Civil War buff, traveling to Gettysburg or Antietam battlegrounds, make a point to stop here. And don’t miss the canal area of the city. There are special things to be found especially during the spring, summer and fall.

Enjoy these pictures from the streets of Frederick, Maryland. Tomorrow I will share a few more images!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I look forward to sharing a few more things that I found of interest.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The award winning book is available in audio, paperback and e-book through this link. http://amzn.to/1y21igm

 

Weekend of Exploration

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“Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.” ~ Saint Ambrose

It’s going to be a fun weekend! A chance to do some exploring of things that hold my interest in Washington, DC. I’ll be with my sister and her husband.

national botanicgarden-washingtondc9On our list for Sunday is the National Botanic Gardens and the National Portrait Museum. Two of the few museums in the District of Columbia I have never visited throughout my lifetime. The botanic gardens is a museum quite different than many others in our nation’s Capital. The treasures within the walls are living plants – many of which are not indigenous species to the United States. It gives our citizens an opportunity to see plant life from places all over the world that we may not ever get a chance to travel to. Specimens from the jungle, desert, mountains and plains, both rare and endangered have been assembled and are growing in eco-systems that mirror their natural environments.

Being an art enthusiast , it is surprising that the National Portrait Gallery is also one of the few federal buildings of importance I have never been to in Washington, DC.  After reading the blog www.castlesandcoffeehouses.com called Edith Warton “The Age of Innocence” http://bit.ly/1vzQ927 about a painting in the collection at the National Portrait Museum, I vowed that on my next trip to the East Coast I would visit it. It is a Washington, DC museum I didn’t get to as a child and haven’t yet in my adult years. Well, here I am, ready to enjoy it tomorrow.

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I’m sure I will be taking photos throughout the day to share on a future blog for those  don’t get a chance to travel to the East Coast.

See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday. Have a great weekend!

This blog brought to you by www.allthingsfulfilling.com and award-winning author of  the anthology Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  http://amzn.to/1vCTf7k. Don’t miss out on the audio version, it holds the treasure and also won 2nd prize in the EVVY book awards!