Friday, December 26, 2014

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day

Christmas Bells. Church bells ringing. The magical feeling of sleigh bells. All over the world different kinds of bells -
 from small tinkling ones to large, heavy bells that peal for miles around have special meaning.

The great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote many cherished works. One of my favorite Christmas Carols was written by him.

Tragic events in his life, the death of his wife, and the injuries his young son suffered during the Civil war, did not discourage him, nor crush his faith. He still had hope. He still saw a light in the distance.

During one of the darkest times in American history he wrote "I heard the bells On Christmas Day", a poem that reflects grief and despair, but triumphantly brings us the well-known message of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men".

The classic Bing Crosby version of this beloved carol is special to me.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Solstice Joy

The December solstice marks the longest night here in Northern Hemisphere. This year winter solstice in Norway marks its entrance 22 December, three seconds after midnight.

Winter solstice is an astronomical event that marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year, The southern hemisphere have theirs in June. We usually call it "the day the sun turns". Slowly, the days will be longer and lighter, even though the following couple of months are wintry - cold and snowy.

There's even a facebook group celebrating the 2014 winter solstice. To a northern country like ours, it is an event worth celebrating and looking forward to. The dark and long days leading up to winter solstice take their toll on many. Autumn depressions are rampant, many flee the country and take a vacation to warmer, sunnier places, and some buy lamps for light therapy.

Personally, I find this time of year charming. I treasure the pre-Christmas season and time to do things indoors.

Last Saturday morning I walked with the love of my life and Hector, the Wheaten Terrier down the path through the woods by the Duck and Cherry, past the neighboring farm and nursery, to where the landscape opens up to the southern beaches of our little island. Mist hovered over the fields with grazing sheep. The determined morning sun burst through the foggy air. The scene was magical.

Photos from Reier Beach, below the Duck and Cherry, December 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hope for Everyone

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

There is hope for each and every one of us. An important thought in a busy life full of wordly schedules, chores, and to-do-list. How to slow down enough to take time for what's truly important? How to remember that whatever we do or wherever we are, there is always the offer to "be found" - to be loved and taken care of by the good shepherd.

A Christmas message today. An opportunity to implement the words peace, hope, love, and goodwill to men into our lives. 

The parable of the lost sheep (see video) is for everyone.

Photos today taken Saturday by the beach below the Duck and Cherry.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Magical Snow

Snow is such a magical thing.
It comes down silently, slowly, floating a little here and there, then lands on cold and exhausted ground. Within minutes the world is transformed into whiteness. Dry, brown leaves are hidden. Grass and wilted flowers are hidden under the soft cover to slumber, just for a while.

Magical, because the dark and short days before Christmas are now lighter.
Magical, because children and dogs run out of the house laughing and cheering, dancing around in the snow, throwing it up in the air.
Magical, because it adds to the spirit of the season. December and Christmas should have snow.

So, to convince you even more, please watch the supersimplelearning version of "Little Snowflake". It's adorable. Whenever I think of this song, I hear my grandson, Dean, sing this song. It melts my heart.

♫ Snowflake, snowflake, [Snowflake gesture.]
little snowflake. [Little gesture. Snowflake gesture.]
Little snowflake [Little gesture. Snowflake gesture.]
falling from the sky. [Snowflake gesture moving down.]
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake.
Falling, falling, falling, falling, falling,
falling, falling, falling, falling... [Snowflake gesture moving down very slowly.]
falling on my head. [Snowflake gesture landing on top of your head.]
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake.
Little snowflake falling from the sky.
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake.
Falling, falling, falling, falling, falling,
falling, falling, falling, falling...
falling on my nose. [Snowflake gesture landing on your nose.]
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake.
Little snowflake falling from the sky.
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake.
Falling, falling, falling, falling, falling,
falling, falling, falling, falling...
falling in my hand. [Snowflake gesture landing in your hand.]
Falling on my head.
Falling on my nose.
Falling in my hand.
Snowflake, snowflake, little snowflake... ♫

Photo of Dean and his little dog, Bellie.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I Have Been Waiting For Advent

I grew up with a father who was kind, gentle, and a bit crazy. Funny crazy, creative crazy. He was the life of the party wherever we went - and he loved to visit people. His heart was open to give of himself and his pockets were often empty after meeting with someone, as he gave them the last coins he had.

I also remember waiting for him. Waited as he had to have everything to perfection before we could go somewhere on one our many evening visits. Waited as every inch of ice had to be scraped off the car windows when days where cold and frosty. Waited as he had errands to run all over town - and I had come to meet him and get a ride home after school.

All the waiting has made me patient. I don't mind waiting. I don't mind sitting behind a slow driver in traffic. I don't care if I sit in the car waiting to pick a family member up at the train station and the train is half an hour late.

Yesterday was the first day of Advent - the waiting period that leads up to Christmas Eve.
Here in Norway, four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve are celebrated by lighting one candle the first Sunday, two candles the second Sunday, and so on. It's a lovely tradition. Some sing songs and also have Christmas lights on a tree outside the house in time for the first Sunday of Advent.

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word "adventus", meaning "coming".

What are we waiting for? Christmas? Nativity? The birth of a Savior? Presents? Family traditions? Music? I don't mind admitting that my expectations are a combination of many of these. Maybe not so much presents anymore, but the cozy feeling of home, family and remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

So, I wait. And it's worth while the wating - in fact the advent period is a gentle, loving kind of waiting. In fact I have waited for this "waiting period"a long time already.

Today's water color was painted several years ago and made into a Christmas card. It depicts the Norwegian Christmas "nisse" who takes care of the animals on a farm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hurry A Little Slower

There are so many thoughts proclaimed and advice given to folks in search of a better life, prosperity, and happiness in a busy, entangled world.
This world we live in - is it stressful? More than in earlier days? More than for someone who lives on a deserted island or in a hermit's cave? More so for a city dweller than a farmer in a picturesque valley?

No matter where we live or what we do for a living, stress can be more or less what we make it.
Everyone needs food on the table and an orderly life where laws are obeyed and daily chores fulfilled. But how can we make our days better? Happier? More fulfilling?

I would not put all my chores in a box and dig them down in the ground only to be open by curiosity like a time capsule in the distant future. Some chores are actually fun to do. But there are ways to help make a busy day less stressful. Here are some tips:

Do less
A wise friend said that in order to do more, she needed to do less. With that she meant that in order to have the opportunity to be available to give aid, help, and comfort to others, she needed to do less of the things that are unnecessary.

What makes you happy? I have lists of things to do every day. I like lists. Silly me! But I often choose the fun things on my list. Life should be enjoyable. Make sure you add fun things on your to-do-list.

Enjoy the moment
Savor a hug, a few minutes to talk with someone you love, watch the view and feel grateful for its beauty, or grab fifteen minutes to put your feet up and do nothing. When my kids were little and I felt like I could topple over with exhaustion at any moment, I would now and then lie on the floor, close my eyes, and just "be" for a little while. It gave me the strength to continue.

Don't let time pass you by
Sometimes putting chores aside to listen, to share, to help, can save your own day. It will give you a feeling of gladness that will energize your being and make you better equipped to face your own challenges. Why? Because in being kind, you will gain strength and confidence to get through your own everyday life. Blessings come to those who try their best.

Slow down
I am still working on this one, but it is good advice. And by this, I mean that it's important to learn to slow down without feeling that you are doing anything wrong and without having pangs of conscience attacking you. Maybe easier said than done, but it can mean saving a moment - or a day.

Today's water color is called "Walking the dog".

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confusing Confusius

Are Confusius and the word confused related?
They should be. The ancient Chinese philosopher, editor, politician, and teacher, who was born 551 BC, was  not always easy to understand. He confuses me with his way of speaking, but I admire the principles he champions; strong family royalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders, and the well known do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself.

Whether he is the source of a religion - Confusianism - is a question in itself. But although it is sometimes discussed as a religion, it is a based on an ethical and philosophical system. Confusius shared many pearls of wisdom, but is also known for believing in astrology.

But being confused is something I know a lot more about than the philospohies of a old-time Chinese thinker. It seems to be a natural trait or talent I have.

The Uncyclopedia has some interesting thoughts about the confusing Confusius:

The idea of confusing was first discovered by a confused Confucian philosopher Confucius in the confounding era of confusion while he was confirming the creationof corn compounds in complimentary condiments. During that time, Confucius's son, Confusedconfused the concept of confusion with the considerably moreconfusing concept of confusing the confused into confusing other confused concepts with connivingly confident cunning conmen until it eventually carried back and confused Confused's career and created confusion in the already confused Confused's confounded father Confucius which caused him to condemn Confusedconsiderably. The confused son of Confused's grandfather's grandson, Confusing, attempted to un-confuse the Confucius family's confusing confusion by re-confusing the yet un-confused by asking Confused to confuse Confusing into confusing Confucius into confusion by further confusing his cousinConfusion, intoconfusion by confusing Confucius with Confused's confused confusion Confusing confused with Confusion's confusion to confuse Confuse's confusion by them allconfusing Confucius into confusion and so consolidating Confused’s confusion into one confidential confederacy through contemporary nuclear fusion but confusesConfused Confucius not into Confusion - since that was his cousin.
And the rest is history.
The page also says that the best method to instill confusion is to constantly contradict yourself. Interesting. I am probably guilty of that.

The etymology of the word confusing is also, well, a bit confusing. Most common is the belief that it originates from the Latinconfundere (to confound).

Similar words:

to bewilder
to mix up
to make unclear
to make higgledy-piggledy
and many more

It is obviously a well used word, having the need of many synonyms.

Confused bird . . .

Goal-oriented bird

Back to Confusius. Here are some of his thoughts:

  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  • The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
  • You cannot open a book without learning something.
  • To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
  • The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
  • When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

Smart man, that Confusius.

Comforting to know, many of us are confused - every day. It happens to the best of us. Especially when it comes to love. Just listen to this 1963 version starring the fabulous Barbra Streisand of the song, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. She makes it sound glamorous to be confused.

Pictures today:
Confusius from Wikimedia
Two photographs of bird footprints. For some reason, bird footprints always make me happy.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Feng Shui Who?

For some reason, I am into cleaning up and going through piles of papers, notes, and newspaper clippings lately. And I actually enjoy it.

And I have many piles. Notes for stories, book ideas, and thoughts for talks. Small photos torn out of magazines and newspapers that grabbed my attention when I first saw them. Do I feel I need them? Yes, because I am hoping to paint this or that image one day, or simply be inspired by the picture, enough to trigger ideas for a story.

There is a certain order in my mess. Archiving is actually something I enjoy doing. Although I am aware, that my treasures are someone else's garbage. My pretty baskets filled with ideas and inspiration, may look like clutter that should be thrown away to someone else.

I read an article about Feng Shui this morning. Even before I learned about this Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment, I knew for a fact that I needed to do the dishes and tidy the room before starting a new water color or write a story passage. A clean and tidy room makes my juices flow better and helps me feel more creative when my surroundings are harmonious. No kidding.

"Clutter robs us of peace, harmony, motive, concentration and energy."

Feng Shui goes even further than my Broom Closet. It involves where on your property your house is built, the shape and structure of your home, the surroundings, interior design, placement of furniture, colors, shapes. All these things subconsciously work into our beings.

There's no need to replace your house or redo every room. Small changes may have a great effect. Little things like picking up small messes here and there,cleaning, dusting.

Why? Because it's positive. It brings harmony. It breeds good energy.
This is not hocus pocus, but simply common sense. Clutter and uncleanliness may act as blockages.

Am I good at this? My house is often messy and unorganized. I am not a great example. But I know that I feel great when it's clean, tidy and harmonious. Simple life.

Today's art is a drawing I did for an article I wrote a few years ago about "Spring Cleaning My Genealogy".

Source: "Feng Shui i huset gir balanse i livet" by Trond Folckersahm

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Listen to the Silence

When Ronan Keating sings his beautiful rendition of the hit You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All, he makes me believe that it's true.

Silence is Golden is another song on the subject.

The Proverbs in the Old Testament state in 17:28 -  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Each person has a unique personality; some are outgoing, some are shy. There are those who love to be the center of attention in any setting and others who prefer sitting in the back, observing the ongoings.

I found this articles with a long list of advice called How To Be a Quiet Person on the Internet.
The articles is divided into three main areas:

  • Having a Quiet Demeanor
  • Being Quieter In Conversation
  • Leading a Quiet Life
Each section has these undertitles:
Act more cautiously
Keep your body language approachable and gentle
Stay calm in volatile situations
Earn other's trust by being to the point and reliable
Learn to command respect through using fewer words
Rely on your face to express yourself
Know yourself - and do the opposite

Have a point when you speak
Let the other person dominate the conversation
Observe the body language of the person you are talking to
Stop interrupting people
Ask questions that focus on the other person
Lower your volume
Take a moment to open your mind

Find a hobby
Spend more time alone
Spend more time with introverted friends
Consider seeing a therapist
Stay true to you

Sometimes closing one's mouth is a good thing, especially if unkind or hurtful words are about to escape and enter ears and minds where they will be kept in a drawer forever.

But words are also good, loving, and necessary.
The wisdom is to learn to balance words and action, and develop character traits that will do good instead of harm.

I have a good friend who says she loves to listen to the stillness.
There is also much wisdom in that.

Today's water color hangs in our cabin, Eljarbu, in the mountains. There is hardly anything more quiet than snow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Witch Way?

Every day there are ample opportunities to choose. Which way to go when walking the dog? What to wear? Should I. . . ? Could I. . . ? What if. . . ?

To be able to choose for ourselves is a gift. A gift from a loving Heavenly Father. It is freedom in being allowed to choose and to make decisions.

Often we feel that we don't have a choice, that our path is set by others. There may be things that happen in our family, within our circle of friends, and we feel we simply have to, should, ought to. . . Something that puts us in a situation we did not want or choose.

Nevertheless, we choose how to deal with it, how to get through the day, how to favor the best part, and see the good in a situation and in others. We choose to have a positive attitude, we select to become a better person, we opt for progress and happiness.

And that happiness is often found in ways we cannot see at first. Happiness may be helping someone when we are tired, instead of relaxing in front of the TV. Progress may be seeing fruits from our labor, and the good feeling that comes with having been a friend to someone.

So, which way? What will be best in the end? The road can be a bit of work, stones to skip, wet ground underneath, but it can also be fun and fulfilling.

Photo: Wind Witch on top of our garage by the Duck and Cherry and a water color depicting a path through the woods. It splits into two directions. Which is the best one to choose?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sleet and Complaints

The icy mixture of rain and snow coming down outside the windows of the Duck and Cherry.
It looks cold.
Have I been out to verify that statement?
Yes. And it felt cold, too.

I don't mind. It's that time of year. The days are shorter, evening approaches sooner every day, I want to make warm soups and homemade bread, and I am starting to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There are still things undone in the garden around the Duck and Cherry. There are projects that have to be continued next spring. But I have no complaints. The summer and autumn have both behaved wonderfully.

I saw a sign the other day which said, "If you have a complaint, please press the red button." The red button was placed under a mouse trap. You know, the kind that would hurt your finger if it snapped?

It goes along with the complaint sign in my kitchen.

I imagine 300 miles is too far for anyone. By the time they got there, they would have forgotten about why they ventured those 300 miles in the first place. Fatigue and hunger would have overcome their senses and other complaints would have precedence.

In my book, complaining is a negative and degrading process - one that takes you downhill and pushes away smiles and harmony. Better keep them complaints few and to the point, if ever they should be allowed out and about.

In the meantime, I will tell myself to be better at complimenting and finding good things in people and life.

Photo today: A handpainted sign bought in Amish Country in Ohio.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chocolate in the Rain (or any other time)

It's raining.

Funny me, but I really like rain. It's refreshing,
It gives me the opportunity to sit and watch, sipping warm herbal tea or even better--hot chocolate--listening to the soft downpour.
It also gives me the chance to put on a rubber boots, a warm coat and a funny, floppy hat and walk Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, down the paths in the woods by the Duck and Cherry. He really does not care if it's rain or shine.

I have three problems with the rain today, but they are "overcomeable". I have the living room rug hanging out on the veranda. Airing it out has taken on a new meaning now that it is also semi-wet under the tarpaulin. Also, Hector's wooly fur will be quite dirty when we eventually meander outside. And, probably the problem I struggle with the most today--it is such a chocolate kind of day. I have already had several pieces and the urge does not seem to go away.

I have heard that eating the same amount of white and brown chocolate will give you a well-balanced meal, that chocolate is made from beans and is actually a vegetable, and that the great tragedies of old were written by people who did not know chocolate.

A writer and artist like me, who spends a lot of time pinned down on a chair, warm socks on the feet, and a table filled with papers, sketches, notes, and books, I tell myself that putting the chocolate a few paces away in the kitchen, is great exercise. You get up and walk across the room and get one little piece at a time.

So, the following saying suits me just fine:

“Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.” 
― Justus von Liebig

And while I'm at it,I will give you a few more clever sayings about chocolate?

 “It was like having a box of chocolates shut in the bedroom drawer. Until the box was empty it occupied the mind too much.” 
― Graham GreeneThe Heart of the Matter

  “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

“The End is Nigh!" the man shouted.
"Is there still time for hot chocolate?" Riley asked.
The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. "Ah, maybe, I don’t know.” 
― Jana OliverForbidden

“A dark-chocolate truffle melts in my mouth, and I forget about everything else ... even the fact that I'm on a diet.” 
― Barbara Brooke

Enjoy a piece or three. . . 

Photograph - courtesy of unsplash.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Admiring the Neighbors

Everyday treasures can be found in your neighborhood. It depends what you look for? It depends how you define treasure.

We live on the same street year after year. We meet neighbors across a common fence, through bushes bordering our properties, in front of garage doors. We chat about the weather, the lack of snow shovelling tractors appearing on snowy days, and which trees should be cut down.

I have not always had neighbors like that. Nice ones, who care about others and contribute to a friendly atmosphere on our little street.
We once had a property with plans for building a home to suit the needs of our family, but when we found out that one neighbor had shot the other neighbor's dog and a third one was collecting signatures to get our family off the street (because they did not like the design of our house). Needless to say, we sold our property and moved on to friendlier pastures.

Life is simply too short to waste on strife and collecting enemies.

The Duck and Cherry is firmly planted on a street with a variety of interesting neighbors. They are good people and I like them.

I brought my camera on a morning walk with Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, and captured some of the clever ideas my neighbors display. I admire my neighbors for what they have accomplished on their lots.

Here are some of the things I especially like:

An easy nature friendly garden without much fuss. 
Flower beds are up on the front side of the house.

Nice-looking and clever bin made for drying and storing wood for cold winter months.

Massive wall resembling a Greek fortress supports the hill towards this house.

Excellent workmanship from this stone art work in front of a garage.

Gates on the allee with two porter's lodges on either side.

Berry bushes planted on the corner of a property, 
which otherwise would stand useless and unnoticed.

Pretty flower beds. 
They belong to the neighbor I ask for advice on everything garden, 
like when and how to prune the apple and plum trees.

Nicely built stone planter.

View from the allee. Old trees and stone fences on either side. 
Sheep on the meadow.

Our own stone wall. Arnfinn dug the soil by hand and built this fence. 
I especially like the curve shown here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seasonal Ramblings

Many people have favorite seasons of the year.
We have just experienced one of the best summers Norway has ever had. Pleasing warm days, sunshine, swimming, hiking, and eating outside. In a country where the sun is absent during the winter months--that is does not rise high enough on the horizon--I would say that many Norwegians worship sunshine and get excited when the thermostat creeps above the 20 degree Celsius line.

Not everyone has summer as their favorite season. There are actually those who prefer the crisp days of winter with its contrasting hues; dark green pine against white snow and bright blue skies or days when sky and snowy grounds seems to be melted together in a fluffy, soft, rosy-white coldness.
Some prefer the season of renewal, chirping birds running to and fro building nests and clucking brooks bringing the melted snow downstream.
Or autumn, the colorful, fiery season when school starts, apples are harvested, preparations for indoor activities flourish, and anticipation for the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the agenda.

Me, I like them all. I love living in a country with changing seasons. I love the way nature changes and being in God's creation during all kinds of weather.

I believe I change a little with the seasons, too. The expectant, anxious feeling of what a season entails, the thrill over what that season will bring and what I will learn, is exciting to me.

But if someone would ask me straight forward, "What is your favorite season?" I believe I would answer spring again and again. Even though autumn for some reason makes me feel more creative, summer lifts me up with rays of sunshine and wonderful smell of rain on fields of clover, and winter takes me outside for walks on white paths of serenity.

I have lived in countries without changing seasons, evergreen areas of our planet where hats and gloves are redundant. I missed the seasons, the changes in climate and hours of daylight. I longed for spring flowers to pop up in patches where the shy warmth of sunshine had melted the snow. I missed watching the migrating birds in the sky and noticing how plants go dormant or come alive.

The warmer climates have their seasons, too, but it's a simpler version of mild and cool, hurricane or typhoon season, and wet and dry.

Just like preferring a certain season, we have opinions about where we enjoy living.
Much variety, even more people with different opinions.

That's life.

Today's water colors are of migrating birds and a farm in summer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Akvarellkurs - Water Color Classes

Drømmer du om å male noe som kan settes i passepartout og ramme og henges på veggen til glede for deg og andre? Ønsker du å uttrykke følelser gjennom kunst? Lengter du etter å skape noe av et blankt ark?
Kanskje trenger du et lite puff i riktig retning for å virkeliggjøre denne drømmen – en guide som kan vise deg hvilke stier man skal gå gjennom en jungel av teorier, stilarter og utstyr.
Og den stien du velger blir din. Bare du kan sette ditt eget merke på det du vil oppnå.
KUNST OG FARGER; nybegynnerkurs i akvarellteknikk kan være noe for deg. Kurset der du sammen med andre finner gleden av å observere, velge et motiv og utføre det. I tillegg lærer vi hver gang litt fra kunsthistorien; kjente kunstneres liv og verk er inspirerende og spennende!
Kurs for: Barn – ungdom/voksne
Sted: "The Duck and Cherry" i Moss eller etter avtale
Du lærer blant annet om:
Utstyr                                      skygger og glasurer
Penselbruk                               perspektiv
Akvarellteknikk                      vått-i-vått
Komposisjon                           kunsthistorie
Chiaroscuro                             og mye mer!

Nybegynner voksne A: tirsdag 9. sep kl. 18:00-20:00            Pris: ukentlig 4 kurskvelder 1000,-
Nybegynner voksne B: torsdag 11. sep kl. 18:00-20:00.        Pris: ukentlig 4 kurskvelder 1000,-Vidergående kurs settes opp etter endt nybegynnerkurs.
Hva trenger du? Når du melder deg på kurset, vil du få en liste over hva du trenger av utstyr og materiell. Det vil være ark, pensler og farger. Dette må du selv kjøpe inn og ha med deg.
Hva får du? I tillegg til undervisning og samtaler får du hand-outs og en liten forsfriskning på hvert kurs.

Heidi Eljarbø Morrell Andersen har hatt stipend fra Kunst- og Håndverksskolen i Oslo, studert Art & Design, fargeteori (Color Analysis) og kunsthistorie på Brigham Young University i USA og hatt inspirasjonskurs med Øyvind Sand. Hun har designet korsstingsmønstre for norske ukeblader i 16 år, som også har blitt solgt til utlandet, tegnet annonser for aviser og holdt separate kunstutstillinger i Norge og Østerrike. Hun har undervist kurs med akvarellteknikk og fargeteori, gitt privattimer og hatt undervisning på skole.

Akvareller, oljemalerier og korsstingsdesign selger hun gjennom utstillinger og bestillinger. 
Bilder kan sees på Facebook: Heidi Eljarbo Studio, Pinterest og bloggen «Tales from the Duck and Cherry» -

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It may Surprise You Why I like Four-Leaf Clovers

Summer around here will have fields of clover, humming bumble bees, and fluttering butterflies.

Why am I fascinated with the four-leaf clover? The answer may surprise you. I am not looking for a lucky charm, nor an addition to my bouquet of wild flowers to put in a glass vase on the dining room table.

What I love about it, is that  something that is actually a mutant or gene anomaly, is known as a bringer of luck, a positive good-doer.

So how to find one? You have probably scanned fields, country road ditches, and back yards as a child, looking for the lucky plant. The fun in bringing it back to show your  mother, maybe pressing and drying it to keep for years, maybe forever.

They are actually not as difficult to find as one may think. I have found many. Just this summer I found the specimen on the photograph shown on this blog. I bent down to look for one, and lo and behold, there it was, right away.

Four-leaf clovers are mostly found in patches of white clover, genuine mutants are where the red clover grows. Don't let the 1 in 10 000 number discourage you. It's totally possible to find one or more.

Hope - Faith - Love - Luck.
You guessed right. Those are the symbolic blessings of the four petals.

But traditionally, there are many blessings connected to the four-leaf clover, as it will bring you luck in love, games, sports, war, and business.

Put it in your wallet and it will bring you economic posterity.
Put it in your shoe to help you find the way.
Have a four-leaf clover in your pocket when you look for fairies (Medieval times).
It will be a power to protect against evil and bad omens.
You may carry one for magical protection and to help ward off bad luck (Druids in old Ireland).
Bring one along as a lucky charm (Celtics).
Present one as a wedding gift to bless a young couple's union; it is a symbol of eternal love (Ancient Egypt).

And if you are eager to marry -
If a young woman desires marriage, she should go looking for a four-leaf, clover. If she is lucky enough to find one, she should eat it. Then, the first man she meets after eating it - he's the one!
Another lucky trick is to put the four-leaf clover in your shoe in the morning and you will soon thereafter meet the one you should marry.

There are also divine symbols to the plant, as well as the tradition that its magical powers will turn on you if you don't respect it, if you give it away, or throw it out.

It's not only among the emerald green hills of Ireland that you may find a four-leaf clover. Although, they claim to have more than anywhere else. Clovers are found in many areas.
So get down on your knees, peruse the area, and see how lucky you get.