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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Express Yourself!


I obsess buying gifts for the loved ones in my life.  My fear is that it will be put aside never to be used or appreciated or even worse re-gifted!  I want my gift to be admired and my loved ones to know that I put thought into the gift.   I want my gift to say that I thought about them, who they are and how much they mean to me.  I just didn’t stop at the local Walmart and grabbed an item in one of the marketing displays and tossed it in a gift bag.   

There are very few people who do not admire some aspect of nature.  It could be wildlife or flowers.  Throughout history we have been fascinated with nature and have assigned thoughtful symbolism to it.  Take a look at some examples of flowers below and the meaning behind them.  You  may just find that perfect gift!

We have used the language flowers to express ourselves for centuries.  Flowers were important in ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece. It was thought that the most effective way to express your sentiments were the giving of flowers. 
 

Serendipity – Petunia, Forget-Me-Not and Pansy Kaleidoscope Design
 

Petunias symbolize that your presence sooths me.  The Forget-me-not expresses true and faithful love, fond memories and hope. The pansy expresses merriment and you occupy my thoughts. It is believed if  a pansy is placed over someone’s eyes while sleeping, upon waking that person will fall in love with the first person to appear.

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My Heart's Desire - An exotic Asian Lady Slipper Orchid Kaleidoscope Design
 
 

The exotic orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility.  It was used to influence the gender of your child.  Males consuming large roots would generate a boy, females consuming small roots would create a girl.  In Feng Shui it is a symbol of the quest for perfection, abundance, spiritual growth and purity.
 
Blazing Beauty - Red & Yellow Orchid Kaleidoscope Design
 
Pink Orchids convey pure affection.  The root of lady's slipper was used as a remedy for pain, muscle spasms and nervousness. 
 
Lady In Waiting - Pink/Showy Lady Slipper Orchid Kaleidoscope Design
 

Feathered Fauna  - Bird of Paradise Kaleidoscope Design

The Bird of Paradise is so named because it bears a resemblance to a brightly colored bird in flight with the same name.  This flower represents joyfulness and not surprisingly paradise itself.    When a woman gives this flower to a man, it represents faithfulness.

 

Mau Loa (Hawaiian for "Forerver")  - Pink Plumeria Kaleidoscope Design
 
Hawaiians consider plumeria the symbol of perfection and new life.  The Chinese who are not accustomed to sharing personal feelings give a plumeria to their sweetheart to say "I love you".   In Hindu culture, brides wear plumerias in their hair to show their loyalty to their new husbands.
Summer Dreams - Tiger Lily and Daisy Kaleidoscope Design
 
The Tiger Lily is given as a sign of mercy and compassion.  It also symbolizes wealth and pride. There is a superstition if you smell a tiger lily you will get freckles!  The daisy represents innocence and gentleness.  Giving a daisy means loyal love.
 
Wonderfully Wild - Columbine and Lilac Kaleidoscope Design
 
Purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love.  Columbine is associated with the Norse goddess of love and fertility. It’s symbolism represents sexuality, love, and seduction.
 
 
My designs are available in pendants, sun catchers, compacts, paperweights and more!  Here are a few examples, or visit my Etsy Shop to view more options!  I have several floral designs!
Serendipity Compact Pocket Mirror
Wonderfully Wild Glass Paperweight


My Heart's Desire Pendant
 
Feathered Fauna Suncatcher

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Benevolent Bear – A symbol of our Veterans!


I would like to start out my expressing my eternal gratitude to our veterans.   There is no way to thank the men and women of this country for their bravery and sacrifice.   I do not want to forget the families of the veterans who have also made a monumental sacrifice as their love ones leave home, putting them in harm’s way for our country!
To answer the question why would a bear symbolize a veteran?   I have chosen the bear because bears symbolize benevolence, bravery and peace.  The bear is also a strong symbol of motherhood.  A mother bear is a devoted and determined mother!  They are a contradiction of sorts as lurking below their peaceful exterior lies a fierce warrior that will protect her family and his domain with a resolute power.

Woodland Wanderer
 In June, I had the opportunity to spend the day and photograph the bears in the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr, MN.   I had a photographers pass and roamed the field with these magnificent creatures.  They are completely wild roaming free without barriers.   They are fed of course, but they are not captive in any sense.  The volunteers respect and abide by the bears nature.
Bear Essentials

 I will cherish this exhilarating experience forever.    I must admit I was extremely intimidated, as I stood, unprotected and vulnerable in an open field with only my camera between these powerful animals and me.    I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and reminded myself as long as I respect their space, do not impede, and take care not to pose a threat to them, they will allow me to observe and photograph them.

To my amazement, my first photo opportunity was a mother bear with her three cubs.  She remained tight to the edge of the woods first, analyzing my presence for any potential threat..sniffing the air, ensuring her babes were safe.   She became more comfortable and slowly brought in her cubs within 50 yards from me.   I struggled with the intense desire to get closer to get the perfect shot and the need to uphold my unspoken promise to them to respect their world.  My respect for them paid off and even the cubs stopped to pose for me! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 I was surprised to see how calm the bear were as they moseyed around the field looking for food, resting in the shade and taking in the beauty of their surroundings.   A calm washed over me as they transported me into their world.   The only time I felt tension was when a large male entered the field putting momma bear on extreme alert.  She rushed her babes into the woods and up a tree.   This large male had a powerful presence that unsettled me as well!

 

It was an incredible experience; I hope to visit again soon!   Please, please remember if you are photographing wildlife to respect their environment.  Wildlife is no different from us; we do not want our comfort zone and homes intruded on!  Do not be a wildlife paparazzi!
 
Black Beauty
Until next time....take care! - Mel

 Looking for gifts with bears on them?  Here are a few of my products.
 
 
Woodland Wander Paperweight



Black Beauty 12x12 print
Bear Essentials 15x15 Framed

Bear Essentials Pendant


 

 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Enchanting Butterfly


The butterfly has captivated us with her exquisite splendor and delicate grace.    Our love affair with the butterfly throughout history has compelled us to immortalize her in literature, mythology, song and numerous art disciplines.    I have also become a captive to the butterfly’s magnificence.   I share with you how I have commemorated the butterfly and the interesting symbolisms from different cultures.   
Monarch Melody
 
My  favorite symbolism of the butterfly is from Greek mythology   The Greek word for butterfly is Psyche (pronounced sikee).  Psyche is the Greek Goddess of souls and is the wife of Eros (A.K.A. Cupid).  Psyche was once a mortal, a mortal that surpassed the beauty of Venus, Cupid’s mother.  Venus was jealous and did all in her power to stop her beloved son from falling in love with Psyche.  Venus failed numerous times at murdering Psyche.    Cupid (Eros) beseeched Zeus for mercy and Psyche was made immortal.  This love story has a happy ending and Psyche and Cupid wed.
Beloved Psyche
 
The Monarch butterfly  migrates to Anganueo, Mexico around the holidy known as The Day of the Dead.  The people of this town belive these butterflies are the returning souls of their deceased. 
Monarch Marvel
 
In one of the Russian dialects, butterflies are referred to as "dushuchka" which is a derivative of the word "dusha" also meaning soul.
Aurora's Aria  Aurora is the goddess of the dawn, renewing herself every morning by flying across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun.


The Irish have a aphorism, “Butterflies are souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory".

Butterflies also symbolize: Resurrection, Transition, Celebration, Lightness, Time, and  Soul.

A Blue Butterfly (Blue Morph pictured)
A blue butterfly is used to show joy and happiness.  It is said that observing a blue butterfly or holding it can have a calming affect.  It is also considered a good omen, as they are rare sights in many parts of the world. 

Sapphire Splendor

The Mandarin Chinese word for butterfly is "hu-tieh". "Tieh" The Chinese translation of butterfly means "70 years", therefore they have become a symbol for a long life. In this culture, butterflies have also become representative of young men in love.

In the Japanese culture, butterflies are thought to be representative of young maidens and marital bliss.
Hsien (pronounced shun). Hsien is one of a group of benevolent spirits promoting good in the world.
 This amazing creature throughout history and all over the world has enchanted us. 
 
I have translated these designs into pendants, paper weights, sun catchers, decorative tiles, compacts and prints!   Please check out my Etsy site for more information! 
 
Sun Catcher
Some pictures of my butterfly product.
Sun Catcher

Pendant
Sun catcher
Pendant
Tile Table
 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hummingbirds and their Symbolism and Fun Facts

I love these little energetic birds.   Tiny and cute, I relate to them, as they are hyperactive like me.   I often wondered if there is any special symbolism to them.   I now know why so many of us are naturally drawn to them. 


Tiny Dancer before I kaleidoscoped it.


The overall symbolism of the hummingbird is joy.  
Tiny Dancer


In animal totems the hummingbird is a powerful symbol of life and joy,   

 
Hyper Hummer Before I kaleidoscoped it.



Because of their ability to hover  hummers are often thought to be reminders that life is meant to be savored, their tireless activity symbolizes perseverance.

Hyper Hummer



Because hummingbirds do not simply flap their wings up and down, but instead move them in the pattern of the infinity symbol, or a figure eight, they are often thought to symbolize eternity and everlasting life.

Miniature Marvel before I kaleidoscoped it

If you are still not enamored with this little bird here are a few fun facts to convince you how incredible they really are!


Miniature Marvel

  • Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world.
  • The bright radiant color on hummingbirds comes from iridescent coloring like on a soap bubble or prism.
  • A hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

Hummer Heaven

  • Hummingbirds are very smart and they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill. They will remember your feeder and how  often you fill it!
Hummer Heaven before I kaleidoscoped it.
  • A hummingbird can dive up to 60 miles per hour
  • Hummingbirds can also hover in mid-air, fly sideways and even upside-down.
  • They are FEARLESS!  When a predator, such as a hawk, is in a hummingbird's territory, it will sound a high-pitched warning call, then the tiny bird will start attacking the unwanted predator by dive-bombing it.
Summer Hummer before I kaleidoscoped it

Summer Hummer
 
Bring joy and perseverance to your life and put out a hummingbird feeder and a few flower pots out this spring!  Get a comfortable lawn chair, a glass of lemonade and enjoy the show these tiny little creations will put on for you!  You are sure to be entertained!

Take care,
Mel

Interested in the kaleidoscope photos of the hummingbirds?  Please visit my shops below.  You can get these in pendants, coasters, trivets, ceramic tiles, keepsake boxes, compacts, paperweights, note cards, matted and framed prints,  magnets and  ornaments!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SNORKLE FACE!

I thought I would just take a quick moment to share with you what happens to your face while snorkeling!   Like your mother always told you…if you hold your face like that it is going to stay that way!  Thank goodness my snorkeling mask impressions when away!  I could have been a poster child for wrinkles!




 I am fair skinned and burn easily.  I had to stay completely covered in the Hawaiian sun.  What a get up!



It was like flying without being afaid of crashing! 


What  a magical world it is under the water’s surface.   I was hypnotized….mesmerized…enchanted!  I can’t wait for my next snorkeling trip.  




The sea turtles will always be my favorite!






 And as a finale to my blog……

I have been blessed by receiving this award from the Baskets by Rose. She has pick my blog along with four other blogs and gave us each our award. Please stop over and visit her blog http://basketsbyrosebasketsbyrose.blogspot.com/

This was such a wonderful surprise to receive.

The Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is a German word which means “dearest” or “beloved”, but can also mean “favourite”. The aim of the Liebster Blog Award is to draw more attention to some really lovely blogs with 200 or less followers.
If you happen to be a recipient of this award, you must do the following:
Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
Share your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
Post the award on your blog.
Hopefully the 5 lovely people you choose will give the Liebster to 5 blogs they like as well.

Here are the 5 sweet ladies I have given the Liebster
http://katersacres.blogspot.com/

Take care!
Mel