Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghostly Sunset ...

Happy Halloween ... Embrace your inner child.  Pause and lighten your hearts for awhile.  SMILE : )  Enjoy dressing up and trick-or-treating.  Be safe.  Peace & Much Love to ALL.  ♥

[image removed for editing]
"Ghostly Sunset" (low res.)
@Copyrighted Photograph, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

I took this photo on Saturday evening at twilight.  It had been drizzling off and on all day.  Then  Out of nowhere the sky just magically came to life.  I barely had enough time to grab my camera, point and shoot before God's breathtaking painting had vanished into a sullen blanket of deep indigo.  Now a 'real' photographer might be upset that there wasn't time for setting up a tripod or to tweak with the camera for optimum settings ... Me, I think the ghosting effect in the tree branches (due to longer exposure time and the camera being hand-held vs. tripod) is wicked cool and tres apropos for Halloween.  This capture is very mysterious and magical to my way of thinking, and you know me ... I just love it when conditions are ripe for the mysterious and magical to awaken from slumber.   Happy Halloween, ya'll!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Puppy Dog Tails, Frogs & Snails ...

Puppy Dog Tails, Frogs & Snails ... That's what little boys are made of ? So we're told.  And what about little girls: what are little girls made of? Sugar, spice and everything nice?  Hmmmm .... I wonder?  Which always gets me into trouble.  Maybe that's just what we let you think? ; )

Well to each his or her own.  Here's my take on what little girls are made of ... This is a late night, free-form, headache mixed with reminiscent meanderings about playing dress-up as a kid write.  You see, I had quite the active imagination as a child.  I still do! ... Just ask my kids. Anyhow, this is just for FUN. It may need some revising after sleep? I'm working on a formal, structured write for All Hallow's Eve, but things have just been so crazy here lately. It seems unlikely that I will finish my ghoulish write by Halloween?  But, in the meantime, you can enjoy playing dress-up with me. Off we go! Do hope you'll be able to keep up ....

"Dress Up"

Escape into a world of buttons, ribbons, chiffons, lace and bows.
Slip into characters heralded imagination of unlimited mind sows.
Enter a whole new world of possibilities, hope embracing dreams ...
To be master of a world where nothing is quite exactly as it seems.

Here sky is no longer a limit, as imagination unfurls infinite domains.
In imagination's world nothing need remain the same, boring or germane.
Daring to put imagination to the test, boundaries lie at visioneer's behest.
Select your attire & adventure begins! Compass to set: N, S, E orWest?

Leather chaps, old pair of riding boots & a tattered, well-worn cowboy hat.
With a red bandana tied round the neck and a tin-foil star that's where it's at.
Grabbing a broom for horse, sets the course for adventure in Wild, Wild West.
Lassoing steer of a bed post with pink jump-rope proves a challenging quest.

Throw off ratty old cowboy hat and dawn a pirate's filthy garb instead.
A patch over eye, a dagger in boot, red bandana now tied about the head.
Sleeping bed becomes a pirate ship, with bedsheets billowing wind-filled sail.
Dreaded captain's holding at the helm, in search of treasures to prevail.

Compass made of a batteried alarm clock steers safely through ocean's dread.
Follow map, till "X" marks the spot lying in a cave upon ocean's swirling bed.
Powder monkeys have loaded the ship, careful not to leave a single scrap behind.
Sun sets on treasured bliss: envisioning ways to spend the loot'll blow yer mind!

Alas, a more gentile adventure's calling with a visit to Antebellum South parade.
Seems with pirate loot a right young, ruffled-top, bow-embellished Bell can be made.
Floral bonnet gracefully tops head, while ringed-hoop skirt makes it right hard to move.
Beaus with Belles, waltz wall-to-wall till clock's stroke of midnight signals a new groove.

Into the night, shed satin slippers to zip some leather zippers becomes a clever spy.
Seems sheik of Tanzanir has 'misplaced' his city's most sacred treasured Golden Eye.
Pink jumprope easily scales foreboding walled fortress of Tanzanir's evil rival sheik.
For deep within this enemy's palace lies the treasured object of secret mission's seek.

Metal baton weilded becomes a deadly blade, aids in battle towards palace's heart.
Left-right slashing, blades of guards clashing, leads path to hidden treasured part.
Mission accomplished, places Golden Eye into Tanzanir Sheik's most grateful hand.
Alas, super-spy needs no thanks, as silently she's vanished like passing desert sand.

Next to unwind with celebration out upon the town, dancing till all hours of night.
Pretty Modern Princess emerges wearing beaded gown of flowing chiffon-white.
But best you beware:  Modern Princess needs no saving or silly bejeweled tiara.
In fact, this princess is a downright handful, with most vivid untamed imagination. 
To have any chance of keeping up, might I suggest: buckle up and hold on tight!

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011. All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

I just realized that today marks the birthday of another feisty lady:  Lady Liberty.  It would seem that today is apparently the 125th birthday of the United State's Statue of Liberty.  Lady Liberty, our symbol of hope and vision, lovingly cradling her fire of freedom to light the American dream in all the hearts of those who pass her way.  Happy Birthday, Lady Liberty!!

Apparently web-cameras with amazing views of the Statue of Liberty have been enabled to allow never before seen view of and from the statue.  I'll see if I can find the link and post it here for  you.  Okay, found it!  Here's the link to the Statue of Liberty live streaming web cams.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another photograph from my walk along a deserted beach at twilight ...

@Copyrighted Photograph, 2011.  All Right Reserved.

(Location:  Puget Sound, WA USA)

"I delight in my imperfections, for without them there would be little point to this journey."
~Isabelle Black Smith


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A walk along a deserted beach before twilight ...

I don't think this is my poem ... While walking along a deserted beach at twilight this evening, with my camera, I came upon this lone figure fishing in the waters of the Sound, with slow, methodical, determined intention and these words just came to me.  Perhaps, this is the fisherman's poem?

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.
(Location:  Puget Sound, WA USA)


I welcome it ...
If hurt permeates
Trickles deep,
Deep down inside.

I welcome it ...
Even while fearing
Its power to split
Me open wide.

I welcome it ...
The hurt,
The pain,
the feelings.

I welcome it ...
Even if the entire
Experience leaves Me
Once more reeling ...

I welcome it ...
Because at least
I know that
I am still alive.

Hardness has
Not settled here
And somehow
I will survive.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.

All that is heard need not be spoken ....


My thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Turkey affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.  I have several photography friends who live and work in Turkey.  I am anxiously awaiting to hear that they are all doing okay ... Ati, Tahsin, Bekir, and Fikret.

10/27/2011  I have heard back from my friends in Turkey and thankfully they are all doing okay.  I am so thankful!   I will continue to pray for healing and recovery for those who were not so fortunate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favorite Paintings for Autumn

I needed a distraction today, so I decided to browse through some wonderful art images on the website.  In keeping with the theme of Autumn (from my previous posts), here are some of my favorite Pre-Raphaelite paintings for Autumn.  I enjoyed listening to various selections from Bach, performed by Lara St. John, while assembling this album.  Hope you will enjoy as well.  There is a poem that accompanies this ART album ... though this poem has not shown itself  to be worthy of harvesting as yet.  Perhaps, I will post it here at a later date?

"Autumn", By John Atkinson Grimshaw

Song:  Bach, Concerto No. 2 Allegro Assai, Performed By: Lara St. John*

Assembling this album while listening to classical music makes me miss opera.  I have not been to an opera for quite some time now.  "Carmen" is now playing.  I have not seen this opera.  Perhaps, I'll summon my fairy godmother and she will allow me to attend?

Now onto more solomn thoughts ... Of course, I am well aware of events transpiring in Lybia this day (with the rebel forces finally cornering and brutally ending the life of their country's former dictator), but today is not a day to dwell long on solemn things for me ... as I have my own personal issues to contend ... Perhaps tomorrow I will process these world changing events with greater contemplation.  In the meantime, God Bless all the peoples of Lybia.  May the people of Lybia come to embrace and implement true democratic ideals as they work to reshape their country and government.

*[I will not be enabling the music link for the Bach piece mentioned above.  I would love to share some of my favorite music here on my blog, but the music industry is just making harder and harder to do so "legally."  So, I give up!  It's not worth my time and effort to try anymore.  I've shut down my mp3 storage site.  If someone else knows something I don't about sharing music, please enlighten me.  You would think that sharing music would generate a broader audience for artists and boost sales?  But I guess some people abuse shared music and find ways to copy and download the music for free.  Even if most people don't copy and download music illegally, the music industry seems to have vice grip on all music.  Even if I own a legally purchased CD or album and I rip a copy of a song for use in mp3 format it may not be legal since I am "altering the format of the music" (e.g., I did not purchase the song in the original mp3 or other digital format).  And it seems as if you have to live in a foreign country in order to illustrate and create a video using a song on  So sad ...]

1/27/2012 ... Very strange.  I have been thinking about opera these last few days and one night --when I did perchance to actually sleep and dream-- I even dreamt about attending an actual opera.  Well the next day the opera fund raising committee just happens to call.  How strange is that? Is this the next form of mass advertising:  psychic messaging? ; )

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Film Industry's Dirty Little Secret?

I have been watching a lot of foreign films lately ... French films that is.  I am watching these films in an effort to improve my French which has gotten a bit rusty these days.  A few days ago, I stumbled upon a French Romance-Thriller titled "Anthony Zimmer", released back in 2005.  The mystery-spy thriller is one of my favorite genres, so I uploaded the movie and begin watching.  The descprition for this movie wasn't very extensive, so I really didn't know what to expect ... but as the movie began to unfold the storyline looked very familiar to me. 

About 20 minutes into the  "Anthony Zimmer" movie,  I figured out that this movie was basically the same storyline as the recently released blockbuster movie staring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, "The Tourist."  I couldn't believe it? !  Granted there were a few variations, but basically the story was the same.  Actually, I think I found the storyline and characters in the French film to be a bit more believable and exciting.  The setting was different too:  The French film is set on the French Riviera, in Nice ... "The Tourist" (American version) was set in Venice.  Instead of a boat chase along the canals in Venice there are some amazing car chase scenes in the French film.  


These two movies being essentially the same got me to wondering just how many other blockbuster American films had been so blatantly base-lined off of French and other foreign films?  Well, I'll be sure and let you know if I come across any other copycat films. 

I have to say, the French do make some pretty impressive films.  Another recent favorite of mine (also a "chick flick") was "The Princess of Montpelier."  The costumes, setting, and cinematography in this film were beautiful.  The acting was decent and I could really relate to the free-spiritedness, yet intelligentence tempered with  level-headedness of the main character (the princess), Marie. And yes, I had silly tears in my eyes while watching this one ... but don't tell anyone ; ).  So if you're if you're in the mood for a good foreign film, you might want to check out the latter two titles.  Let me know if you have other foreign film suggestions; I'd really appreciate the input.  Let me know if you stumbled across any other copycat films as well.  Happy film watching ... next best thing to escaping into a good book.  Enjoy!

10/20/2010  Found another pairing ... "La Femme Nakita"  (French)  and "No Way Out" (American).  There are bound to be more .... you think?

11/15/2011 ... Okay, to be fair ... I noticed while inadvertantly catching the end of the movie "The Tourist" on television late last night that the movie did credit the original move "Anthony Zimmer" with being the baseline for the movie "The Tourist" ... But this honorable mention was burried on like the very last page of credits, after the song credits and listed in very tiny print.  Still, they owned the source ... so that is something.

12/20/2011 ... Just watched another action-thriller, newly out in theaters (but also available on demand for a small fee):  "The Heir Apparent" .  I don't even have to write a review because another individual,  Matthew Stechel, sums up this  movie rather nicely in his review:

"The Heir Apparent won't be the most memorable film you've ever seen...but it was a well done enough action film of the "old school" french variety that will play very nicely on TV in years to come. Sleek enough to hold your attention and telling a story that doesn't insult your intelligence but won't really tax it either--the movie works well enough while its going, but once its over you'll either have trouble believing what you just saw, or you won't really care what you just saw--you'll just wanna see another movie asap.

Requiring a daring man of action to save the day but really just a continuing series of action sequences barely held together by a continuing storyline (ironically not unlike district b-13 which while an awesome movie is much much more of an example of "new school" french action film that's more in vogue right now.) The Heir Apparent is supposed to be more of an old school french action movie--like this could've easily been made with jean paul bellmondo in the 70's.

Largo Winch is the adopted heir to the CEO and founder of this gianormous company--when the ceo is found dead--its up the adopted heir to find out why, who, when, and if possible save the rest of the company. (Largo is a guy who loves breaking out of places--you see him as a kid running out the window of his bedroom--he hates being cooped up in one place...naturally a break out of jail sequence is included here, but with the nice twist that largo really really doesn't want anyone to help him with it....he's also apparently fiercely independent which just makes you wonder why he's doing what he's doing but no matter.) Anyways the bulk of the plot is basically Largo being recruited by the board of the company to do whatever he can to keep the company from being swallowed up by its main competitor. (this requires basically getting the majority of stock in the company back from the guy who owns the competitive company, but of course there's so much more to that then just going up to the guy and making him hand over the shares of stock) That's really all you need to know---anything else is stuff that comes up throughout the story that you just kinda roll your shoulders and go with--otherwise you'll have too many questions and to question what's happening here is besides the point.

Some of the action scenes are pretty cool...and the lead actor has an appealing what me worry? attitude that matches the tone of the movie perfectly. The reversals and double reversals that happen throughout the movie don't really add anything besides obstacles for the main character to hurdle over--but hurdle them he does, and well. Kirsten Scott Thomas appears but adds nothing except maybe a sense that something significant is supposed to be happening here, but its pretty clear its not. Ummmm the movie was entertaining enough--like it was fun to watch, but after an hour or so it gets kind of dull, like you start to wonder what the point is, why is Largo Winch so perfectly willing to be used by his father's board members when he himself has no interest in running the company at all anyways---there are flashbacks of him talking to his father that are meant to give depth to largo's character but only serve to remind us that we could be watching a much better movie if Largo could just somehow get out from his father's company's shenanigans. Anyways--it was an OK movie--but there were hints that it could've been something more. As it is its not bad, its actually pretty fun to watch but i'll prob forget i saw it in a day or two."  (please see IMDb link above for more info)
Apparently there is also a sequel to this movie titled: "The Burma Conspiracy."  So if you like the film "The Heir Apparent", then know that another follows.

It was kind of neat to flip through the list of movies that some of the other actors have done.  For instance, I knew that recognized the character "Naomi" ... She was the Princess of Montpelier (in the movie by the same name) that I had mentioned in my original post.  The list of movies also gives me other ideas for additional French/foreign films that I may want to watch in the future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn: Love this time of year!

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year, my favorite of the four seasons.  I love the feeling of the crisp cool air upon my skin, as Autumn's brisk breeze softly rustles through the changing leaves while choosing to spiral a few choice pickings down upon the eagerly awaiting ground below.  It's as if nature is weaving her own hand-crafted, glorious blanket of color, a vibrant tapestry to softly cover the harvest landscape.  And of course, this blanket, when raked together, is absolutely heavenly to JUMP right on into!   You're never too old for leaf jumping, right?  I especially love the dazzling display of vibrant, earthy colors swept across the Autumnal landscape  ... the rusty crimsons, the coppery browns and especially the fiery reds and sunset oranges.  I LOVE the fact pumpkins have become ripe enough to harvest and to finally enjoy:  from carving works of ART, to baking edible goodies, making soups and toasting the leftover seeds, loaded with tons of salt: YUM!!  I love the abundant aromas that dance about in the Autumn air:  the smell of fireplaces burning seasoned wood.  The release of oaky, maples and cedars wafting into the crisp clean air is simply divine, especially when coupled with the scents of cinnamon, allspice, cloves and hot cider.  I love hayrides, bonfires, roasting marshmallows, sipping hot apple cider or warm buttered rum ... And, of course, one cannot overlook my favorite holiday:  HALLOWEEN!!  Who can't appreciate any legitimate excuse to act like a kid once again.  = )

"Autumn walk at twighlight"
@Copyright Photograph 2010.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.

What a glorious time of year!  I hope that you and yours are enjoying your Autumn thus far as well.  We've already put the Halloween decorations up.  Our front porch and yard are bursting at the seams with Fall & Halloween decorations.  The cooler weather has set in this past week and our leaves have begun to change colors.  It's so beautiful up here right now:  I just LOVE IT!!  I hope to find some time and energy to venture outdoors to capture some of this year's fabulous Fall foliage on film soon.

"Three Scary Jack-o-Lanterns Be We!"
(Pumpkins carved by my three children last year.)

I just received a letter and wonderful package of Halloween goodies from a talented photography friend now living in Arizona.  She really sounds as if she is missing the wonderful display of Autumn that the Northwest puts on this time of year.  I seem to recall the desert landscape doesn't change much during the Fall season, with respect to color anyway.  The desert is most alive in the Spring season, another glorious sight to behold.  So with this in mind, I am posting few of my favorite Autumnal photos from last year:  These are for you, Jana my friend!  Peace & Much Love coming your way from the Pacific Northwest. ♥

[11_25_11 photo deleted.  To view goto my Flickr site via link on main page.  Thanks!]

"Autumn Breeze"
@Copyright Photograph 2010.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.

[11_25_11 photo deleted.  To view goto my Flickr site via link on main page.  Thanks!]

"Indian Dance"
@Copyright Photograph 2010.  All Rights Reserved:  Isabelle Black Smith.

Lastly, here is a link to some of my favorite tunes for the season ... 

P.S.   My Autumal photos displayed above, along with other photos, will soon be for sale on my artist's website (TBA). And if you happen to have a good recipe for pumpkim soup, please leave me a comment.  I have yet to find a recipe that I like.  I love pumpkin soup!! Thanks in advance for your help : )

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Can a Man Learn How to Be Romantic?"

So someone asks ...

Hmmmm ... Not sure I want to be the one to answer this one.   So I will defer to the "experts" on this particular question.  You see, it just so happens I received a link to this slide show in my inbox yesterday:  "19 Secrets Women Wished You Knew."  Even though the intro says for "men only", I read through it and this set of tips actually has some really great and insightful advice.  So if you happen to be a guy who feels lost in your dealings with women maybe this slide show will give you some much needed direction?

"19 Secrets Women Wished You Knew." (source WebMD).

Keep hope and take heart in the fact that half of the time we women don't honestly even know what it is that we want ; )  And let me close with this thought:  Flowers are NOT superfluous! There is nothing quite like a sweet smelling bouquet of beautiful flowers to melt your lady's heart.  You don't even have to spend a small fortune.  For example, some of the grocery store bouquets are not half bad if you take your time in looking through them.  I happen to love wild flowers as well ... knowing that someone took the time to walk through a field and pick flowers just for me is one of the best gifts of all : )  Don't be afraid to ask for help in selecting your bouquet if you have any doubts.  Add a bottle of nice wine and you're well on your way to a romantic evening already.  ♥

P.S.  Click on the "Image Source" for the above photo to be taken to another blog where you'll find a rather engaging read on creating the perfect "evening for two."  [ Please excuse my many typos and unusual word choices??? ... I have been sick these last few days with fever and as a result my words are all mixed up and I'm not thinking too clearly.  A fever for me is like having a few glasses of wine.  Think I've fixed most of the typos now and the link under the photo is working once again. Just trying to be of some help as a new weekend unfolds and help out a friend.  Peace & LOVE : )]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Color your WORLD ...

Drizzly afternoon with nowhere we have to be, so kids and me decided to change things up. We pulled out some old paint pens ... most of which had begun to dry up ... and each decorated an old piece of clothing. I chose a pair of well, well worn blue jeans. These pants are so faded and worn they are almost white. Good use for something you would otherwise likely throw away and we had fun. Word of advice: make sure you have a well ventilated area to work in as the paint fumes get heady. Maybe that's why we were giggling so much? Maybe that explains my strange patterns ... I don't know?  I was going for a flames and falling star motif.

VIP Note: there is a toxic warning on these if ingested, so this may not be so great of a project
to do with small children.  There may be non-toxic pen choices out there?

Well, this is as far as I got on mine before the paint ran out. We will have to make a trip to the store to restock on paint pens so I can finish. FUN to create and paint = ) Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that I am doing fine ... slowing down and reconnecting with the more important things in life these days.

The kids have named these "Mom's Circus Pants" ...
Wonder if they will be seen in public with me if I wear them???
Maybe, I'll finish painting these and be a Hippy/Flower Child for Halloween. : )

Here is the t-shirt my middle daughter made ...

A great RAINY DAY project!   = )

Spend some time with your kids: they help put perspective back into your life.

Later P.M. ... Discussion at dinner.  The girl's have now moved beyond these being mom's "circus pants"  ... should I tell you what they dared to write down the back of the right leg? ; )  Well the flames on the back are big clue.  Too funny ...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Farewell Mr. Jobs ... Your light will continue to shine and inspire for generations to come

Today the world has lost a visionary genius ... an innovator and technology pioneer ... a great man who has truly made a difference in this world.  Farewell, Mr. Jobs, Your light will continue to shine and inspire for generations to come.

 Steve Jobs, 1955 - Oct. 5, 2011

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently ... they're not fond of rules.... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things ... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do." ~Steve Jobs

Apple's official statement and info link for emailing condolences, memories and thoughts:

"Remembering Steve Jobs Across the web"... via WIRED magazine

Timeline of Steve Jobs in Pictures

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Noosphere ... (pronounced "no" + "spehere")

I've been pondering the notion of "belonging" this past week or so ... what it means to "belong" and where do I "belong" ... true belonging vs. socially accepted norms and definitions for belonging.  ... And I'm always looking for patterns, connections and associations in every aspect of my life, almost on a subconscious level ... it's just an integral part of who I am, so it should be no surprise that I stumbled upon this link to a youtube video about the "noosphere" ... a concept that until today was totally foreign to me, but it fits rather nicely with my ponderings of late.  As I always say, "I am an empty vessel waited to be filled" and thus it follows that I am always searching, listening, exploring and pondering the world around me.  I love it when I make a connection such as this.  Well watch for yourself and see what you think ... and thank you to whoever it was who entered "Richard Doyle" as a search topic on my blog.

This video also makes me feel better about the internal struggle that I often have going on between the artistic right-side of my brain battling with the logical, analytical left-side of my brain ... the artist vs. the engineer.  Maybe my struggles give me a better --or rather, a unique-- perspective on the world?