Related Posts with Thumbnails

Happy Birthday Alexander!!

29 December 2008 56 comments

It's my son's 19th birthday tomorrow so here are two of my favourite songs from one of his favourite groups... Queen...

latest progress on WIP of Alexander and Kelly

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun filled New Year celebration on Wednesday too!!!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted.

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WIP Alexander and Kelly

19 December 2008 54 comments

A couple of months ago I took a series of photos of my son and his girlfriend...hoping to finish the never ending portrait of them...

so the other day I finally started on the portrait (again) I'm hoping to finish it by the end of January...

Oil on Belgian Linen

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House hunting and..

13 December 2008 55 comments

Moving in by Norman Rockwell
Moving in

I shall be moving house before the 12th January 2009 so I may not be online much during this period.... I imagine that I'm going to be pretty busy with house hunting ...packing... and organising a
I'm giving away 1,000 EC credits to the reader who can guess the actual day that I move in/out...
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and a joyous New Year ...

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Portrait of Daphne finished.....

9 December 2008 50 comments

photo reference

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The Spirit of BEAR-iuca

7 December 2008 18 comments

Mariuca recently announced Roxy as the lucky winner for the Mariuca Bear Contest. The Mariuca Bear now carries his official name BEAR-iuca In keeping with The Spirit of BEAR-iuca, I have joined the meme so please join us in the quest to send BEAR-iuca all over the world into your homes, bringing you lotsa luck and cheer along.

The Spirit of BEAR-iuca
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a powerful Genie Princess named Mariuca who was known throughout the land as the friendliest, most popular blogger in the blogosphere kingdom. Adored and admired by international visitors and commentators from around the world, the Genie Princess travels the blogosphere on her magical flying carpet, always looking for ways to share her good fortune with others.
Over the past two years of blogging, Mariuca has met so many new people, from all walks of life and all over the world, each one bringing a little of their culture and lifestyle when they visit and comment on Mariuca’s two sites. So on her 2nd Blog Anniversary, Mariuca wanted to celebrate with all of her international blogosphere buddies by hosting a bear-naming contests at Wishing On A Falling Star and Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery and to pass her two lucky, cuddly teddy bears along to the winners who came up with the best names.
On the opposite side of the world, from the moment Roxy (the prolific Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blogger) and her sweet daughters London and Maddie saw the teddy in his personalized t-shirt and blue muffler at Wishing On A Falling Star, they knew that he needed to come to live with their family in Mendham, NJ. The threeNew Jersey girls named him immediately and burst into a wonderful song for BEAR-iuca:
BEAR-iuca, BEAR-iuca, amazing teddy cheer.
BEAR-iuca, BEAR-iuca, we’d love you to come live here!
Mariuca received 16 possible names for the Mariuca Teddy Bear, making it hard for the Genie Princess to choose just one…then Alakazam! A bolt of lightning delivered the perfect way to share BEAR-iuca’s good fortune to bloggers around the globe. While the soft, stuffed, cuddly BEAR-iuca is on his way to live with Roxy, London, Maddie and Rex in the Roxiticus Valley, the Spirit of BEAR-iuca is racing through the blogosphere to bring happiness, holiday cheer, and beary best wishes to everyone who welcomes him into their online home and passes along the BEAR-iuca good luck charm to ten friends.
Please play along with us by following a few important rules:
1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Spirit of BEAR-iuca badge of teddy bear cheer.
2. Pass along the Spirit of BEAR-iuca and his cheery badge to as many people as you like.
3. Leave a comment HERE once you’ve passed on the Spirit of BEAR-iuca.
4. Once Roxy and the Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List.
5. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

1. Mariuca 2. Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 3. Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery 4. Roxy’s Best Of... 5. Bay Head Blog 6. Roxiticus Best Blogs 7. Emila's Illustrated Blog 8. Metz - Empty Streets 9. The Spirit of Blogging 10. Speedcat Hollydale Page 11. Snapshot 12.purplefrogcat 13. Turn-u-Off 14. Simple Life 15. A Little Girl Talk 16. Life in the Lapadula House 17. Spicybugz World 18. The Mom With Brownies 19. Our High School Homeschool 20. Our Five Dangerous Boys 21. The Big Dog 22. LadyJava's Lounge 23.Moments of My Life 24. Life is too short to be ordinary 25. A Great Pleasure 26. Time Goes By 27. Life According To Me 28. Laketrees 29. This is a miracle 30. Porcelain Doll31. Moms...CheckNyo 32. Wonderful Things In Life 33. Sweet Nothings 34. Hot Shit Form Here 35. Not Just a Mom Site 36. The Life of a Mom 37. Wiehanne Lounge 38.The Painted Veil 39. My Crossroads 40. Little Mermaid 41. LOVE's Haven 42. Also Mommy 43. The Journey 44. 44. Comedy Plus 45. Making sense...(somehow) 46. The Modern Mom47. Stay At Home Mom 48. Picture Clusters 49. Maiylah's Snippets 50. Sweety tots 51. My Discoveries 52. A Life to Remember 53. Rekha 54. Crissy's Haven 55.Crissy's Library 56. Crissy's Zone 57. Shopping Blog 58. Crafts and cooking 59.Asian Mutt International 60. A Simple Life 61. I AM KCAT 62. A Girl For All Status63. Berry Blog 64. Carnation 65. Pinaymama's Diary 66. Life's sweets and spices67. The Callalily Space 68. Butchay 69. Blessings in Life 70. Pinay Mommy Online 71. The Ruby Posts72. Day Break 73. R...E...B...E...L?!? 74. VDAY CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY 75. Just the Tip of the Iceberg 76. Honeysweet Learning Center 77. Vsk8shop 78. A Diva's Hammer 79.Arlene - Joys in Life 80. Listening..Learning..Living 81. Mommy's Little Corner 82. Living one day at a time 83. Momhood Moments 84. SUPER INFO THAILAND 85. Life Ramblings86. Samantha Ysabelle 87. Kikamz' Just About Anything 88. SigneSays 89. Normz 90.Mymy 91. Lynlyn 92. Your Caring Angels 93. In The Eyes Of The Beholder 94. dayfly 95.Night Clicks 96. Life is What We Make it 97. Dancing in Midlife Tune 98. Fida Abbott99. Lofty Matters 100. Modus Vivendi 101. Aha Mama! 102. Anything Goes 103.Chopsticks 104. YOU Next!


the gang over here in OZ would like to invite ALL of my readers to join in on the fun..
BEAR-iuca would love to visit you all ..

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WIP of Daphne

1 December 2008 54 comments

the Portrait of Durano's beautiful daughter Daphne is progressing well...
I will probably be finished by the end of this week..
Durano was the winner of the Win a free Portrait for Christmas Competition..

Music Monday

Maurice Jarre - Doctor Zhivago

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted.

Awards and Memes

Double Decker Tag
Mariuca at MPG was tagged by Mrs. Ezman and Nick.
All you need to do is answer each question with two answers
Two names you go by
1. Kim
2. Mum
Two things you are wearing right now
1. Black tee
2. Black trousers
Two things you want very badly at the moment
1. an ironing person
2. more paintbrushes
Two things you did last night just before bed
1. watched a DVD called Mongul
2. cleaned my teeth
Two things you ate today
1. potato and leek soup
2. a ham and tomato breadroll
Two people you just spoke with
1. my Mum
2. Charlotte
Two longest car rides
1. Sydney to Melbourne
2. Belgium to Switzerland
Two favourite beverages
1. Coffee
2. Juice
2+1 persons who are chosen to do this tag
I'm leaving this open for anyone who wishes to take this tag..

A big thank you to Mariuca for these awards that she kindly passed out at Mariuca's Award Gala

Thanks to Judith @ Judith HeartSong for the Arty Pico award too!!
I am tagging everyone in my feel free to take any of these awards..

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laketrees is 2 today !!

21 November 2008 44 comments

L is for Lovable
A is for Artistic
K is for Kinky
E is for Exquisite
T is for Trendy
R is for Revolutionary
E is for Enjoyable
E is for Enthusiastic
S is for Skillful

What Does Your Name Mean?

'Blue Dancers after Degas'
© Kim Barker
(Private Collection - Belgium)
Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas - 2005

WIP of Daphne

the Portrait of Durano's beautiful daughter Daphne is progressing well...still have and veil to complete..
I'm hoping to complete before the end of November..
Durano was the winner of the Win a free Portrait for Christmas Competition..

Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas
1m x 75cm
Zinc white , Titanium white, Paynes Gray and a touch of Ivory Black...

Today is Absurdity Day!

I am the guest blogger for JLo's No-Ho
at [zany life + crazy faith]
NO-HO stands for November Holidays
Why not check out my post...
leave an absurd comment on my absurd self portrait and the best comment will win 500 ECs

More quizzes for your blog...

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

What Does Your Name Say About You?

What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

What's Your Blogging Personality?

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School's Out!

17 November 2008 76 comments

for Charlotte...

Charlie (in black) with friends (Year 12 Formal) on Friday...

As Charlotte has recently turned 17 she will probably take 12 months to decide what she wants to do...
I know she's not interested in taking the trip north to Queensland for Schoolies Week ...which is a relief...
click on the cartoon to zoom

Pink Floyd - Another brick in the Wall (HD)
[chorus at end by pupils from the Fourth Form Music Class Islington Green School, London]

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are strictly for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted.

WIP of Daphne

Last week I started stage one of Durano's beautiful daughter Daphne..
Durano was the winner of the Win a free Portrait for Christmas Competition..

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When You Taught Me How To Dance

10 November 2008 68 comments

Katie Melua

from the magical film Beatrix Potter...

Come join us in Music Monday and share your songs with us. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and we will all go and visit you. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are strictly for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted.

and talking of magical...Charlotte, Mum and I went to see my Sister's...

Baby Ballerinas Concert - 2008
Civic Theatre - Saturday November 8

photo - Kim Barker

Inside the theatre
photos - Peter Williams....

my Auntie, my Sister in Law with niece 'Maryanna', Charlotte and my Mum

Maryanna's sisters...Marissa...Tamika and Tahlia are in these photos...can you find them ?
Photos - Jacinta Mackey

[More Group and Individual Photos]

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I Want to Adopt a Teddy Bear

6 November 2008 35 comments

Mariuca is celebrating Mariuca's 2nd Birthday with a special blogoversary contest where she is offering an adorable Mariuca Teddy Bear to one lucky Mariucan! :)

The special name I have chosen for Mariuca's Teddy Bear is "Little M"
My reason for wanting Little M is that I believe I can give this adorable Teddy a wonderful life with lots of mates and good Aussie love and caring....
I have created this slideshow to show what sort of life Little M would have if I am lucky enough to win...
This would be a typical day in Little M's life over here in OZ...

thank you to Charlotte for taking the photos


In order to be eligible for entry to the Mariuca 2nd Blogoversary Contest, you need to:
1. Be a true Mariucan and Subscribe to Wishing On A Falling Star. Leave a comment once you've subscribed.
2. The Mariuca Teddy Bear needs a name so get creative and come up with the coolest one you can think of.
3. Post your entry at your blog, linking back to this post (and picture if you like) and tell Mariuca why you'd love to bring the Mariuca Teddy Bear home.
4. Leave a comment on Mariuca's post with the link to your post once you've posted your entry.
5. International entries are allowed.
6. Contest runs from 3rd November - 3rd December 2008 (12 midnight Malaysia time).
The winning entry will be selected by Mariuca, based on the BEST NAME and REASON for wanting to bring the Mariuca Teddy Bear home! :)

The Mariuca Teddy Bear was specially ordered by Mariuca from the creative Emila!

Contest Entries

1. Bono - Mariuca Baby Bear
2. Jackie - JonahBear
3. Adrian - Marzipan
4. Nessa - Randy Rover
5. Emila - Wentworth
6. Ken - Donnie
7. Saffa - Choco
8. Roxy - BEAR-iuca
9. Dhiya - Ali
10. Kim - Little M
11. Janice - Love
12. T.H. - Brown Mariucan
13. Debbie - Macario aka Mac

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Dona Nobis Pacem


Peace - Unknown
Peace - Unknown

Peace Globe Gallery - Australia

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Melbourne Cup 2008

3 November 2008 41 comments

Win 1,000 EC credits or a free 125 ad at laketrees for a week!!

1. Pick ONE horse here
before 3pm Tuesday 4th November (that's tomorrow)

* If your horse wins then you have won the prize...
* Do not pick a horse that has already been selected by someone else...
* There are 24 23 horses in the the competition is open to the first 24 23 people who comment..
* If your horse is scratched then you can pick another horse (if available) before the race starts..
* I will be taking comment moderation off for the competition period...

Live Link to all the action:

Picks so far:
# 1. Mariuca - Mad Rush(USA)
# 2. Sharon - Septimus(IRE)
# 3. Lilly - Zipper
# 4. Diane - Alessandro Volta
# 5. Speedcat - Nom du Jeu(NZ)
# 6. Jackie - Prize Lady
# 7. John - Profound Beauty

handy links:
Emirates Melbourne Cup field
Fashion news
How to Pick the Cup Winner
General Admission tickets on sale now
Buy Fashion Images

Melbourne Cup Update:
Viewed has won the $5.5 million Melbourne Cup with Bauer in second and C'est La Guerre in third.
Viewed survived a desperate photo finish to give master trainer Bart Cummings his 12th Melbourne Cup.
Viewed, ridden by Blake Shinn, just outlasted a spirited final burst from Bauer, with C'est La Guerre third.
"A nice win,'' Cummings said in his usual laconic manner.
The top Kiwi hope Nom Du Jeu, who won the AJC Derby, finished well back and pre-race favourite Mad Rush also failed to fire.
Allesandro Volta led the field through the 1200m mark from Septimus before the final race for home.

my money was on # 5...7...8...9...17 and 18.....drat I was close!!

I'll be looking at the horse that came in first out of the 7 horses picked by my readers...and the prize will go to the reader who picked the fastest horse..
New Zealand Derby winner C'est La Guerre, now representing the 2007 Cup-winning connections of Efficient, finished strongly for third, while 2007 Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly charged home along the rails to finish fourth ahead of Irish-trained Profound Beauty and Cummings's second runner, Moatize, ridden by Victoria Derby-winning jockey Clare Lindop.
so that makes John the winner...congratulations John....thanks to everyone for joining in the fun!!

Happy Happy Birthday to

Diane @ Much of a muchness

and Renny @ RennyBA's Terella

Wishing you both a wonderful day!!!

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A Portrait for Christmas and Love

2 November 2008 26 comments

"Congratulations to all who entered: I'm sure the considerations involved provided valuable insights for the authors. A number of entrants in this competition submitted well-written, deserving reasons to be awarded first prize. The universal aspect of family values and connections is revealed in quite a few, but my choice is No 14 Durano's because the story and its implications are poignant, yet uplifting. The chance to right wrongs reinforces the importance of hope in everyone's life."

Jan Dean 1st November 2008

Congratulations Durano!!!!
and to all of the entrants for your wonderful contributions...
thank you!!!
A special thank you goes to Jan, the Judge....
your time and deliberation was very much appreciated Jan...


you can read all of the entries here...

1. Netster
I like to take part in this contest too. I like to win a portrait of my mom.
Every time I look into my mom eyes I know there’s one thing she kept screaming and screaming inside. My lack of present with her, I know I’m dumb! I am near and yet so far. I spend very least time with my mom it’s hard to explain why. I was her gold and I can’t be parted with her when I was young, I would cry so hard that people around me just hate me because I’m loud! I love my mom so much that I just can’t live without her! But that’s has changed, I guess life taught me to be independence and I cry no more and I was so independence that I forgot to go home and when I did, I just don’t know what to do or say. I wish I could still be so close, I like to be her baby again like she uses to cuddle me when I cry, happy or sad. Buy me stuff when I act cute bring to me to every where she go and in her heart I was the number one.
If I win this portrait I will try to make it work again… “Mom I have something special for you and it’s really really special!” I hope to see her shinning eyes with hope and dream again.

2. Daily Blissings
I wanna win this so bad I'm nearly wetting my pants. Ever since Leonie Allan did a customised soul art piece for me I'm now keen to have an original portrait of my husband to sit beside "me" on the wall.

3. Lilly's Life
I would love to win a portrait of my only child, my daughter Jordan. Just to remember the way she looks at a point in time. She changes her style regularly as per this post Message from your Mother so I never know what is coming next. She is the joy of my life even though she lives far away.

4. Sharon Hart
If I am fortunate enough to win, I'd want you to paint my granddaughter's portrait because children grow so quickly that it's important to capture a sense of their beauty and innocence while they're young. I wish I had painted portraits of my kids when they were toddlers, but alas I was too busy playing 'mom' to paint.
One of my favorite quotations is by the author of the Little Prince,Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” I'm not sure that there's a cathedral to be found within my granddaughter, but I'm confident if it's to be found, it'll be by an artist holding a paintbrush. Here's to the artists and to the "rocks" that await their vision!
The Heroic Tardis of Portraiture

5. John
Before photography there was a time that only a portrait could capture the depth and clarity of a face, a life, and of a soul. Since photography, portraiture still captures in mankind that which is less fleeting – a great portrait reveals a core that cannot be unearthed in 1/100 of a second. A good portrait preserves an age and a spirit, rather than a moment. In portraiture, art is generated by the synthesis of subject and a formidable painter. Kim, I believe daughter, Mariana, would be a wonderful subject for your commensurate talent. She is my little angel. Sorry for bragging.
Mariana is six, soon to be seven, and she is charming. She can play with dolls one minute and then score a goal past larger kids in soccer. Her eyes twinkle and she has a warm engaging smile. She is small for her age, but she is sharp and friendly and funny. She is photogenic,\ tough and kind. She would love to participate in the creation of a Kim Barker painting, to be a part of your vision and creativity. It would be an honor to your subject. Thank you for considering us…..
PS. To assist I can supply as many pictures as you need and can also post small video clips so that you get a sense of Mariana.

6. Le
I think I would ask to have my darling MIC captured ... he is father to our wee lads and is a little camera shy ... so I think this would work perfectly :) I even have the spot picked out

7. Bokjae
How many of you remember the song 'Protrait of My Love' sung by Matt Monroe back in the late 60's? The starting 2 lines go like this, There could never be, ....A portrait of my love...........
There is a such melancholy to hear the song and the pining for the love of his or her life!
For us this coming Christmas, number one on our Wish List will be 'A Portrait of our love'. We want it to be displayed in the family house for our future generation to know that marriage works. We cannot afford to have the portrait painted by re-known artist but hey! there is a chance to have your dream Portrait done for free by re-known artist from Australia!
We would like to have the photo on our blog here to be the subject for the portrait. It was the best smile Rock has since after her stroke and she looks perfectly happy! What a beautiful stroke survivor and it shows there is life after a stroke!

8. MissKris
On Christmas Eve my husband and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary. We eloped to Surfers Paradise and whilst we never had a professional photographer we were lucky enough to have one or two pictures snapped.
It would be so fantastic to be able to give my husband a portrait of our wedding for his anniversary gift.
My husband is my hero, he encourages me to go after my dreams and helps me each step of the way. He works incredibly hard to support our little family and always has time to listen to me ramble on about my day

9. Cindy
When I first thought about who I would really want to have a portrait of I thought of my Mother. But then I realized that could cause some hurt feelings and I wouldn't want to do that, though I would love to have a portrait of her. So, I thought, maybe I would like a portrait of my cat, Ricky. He's getting old and I won't have him much longer. A portrait of him would be a wonderful reminder and remembrance but, he is my cat and no one else is as partial to him as I am. Then, it came to me- I would choose a portrait of our old Smokey. Smokey belonged to all of us and was a member of our family for nearly 17 years. He's been gone for two months now and I still keep listening for him to paw at the door, wanting to come in the house. I still cry when I remember that he won't be back. Some would say, "he was just a dog..." and he was, but he was also so much more to all of us. He was a member of our family and he was so loyal. When Smokey was about a year old (we've had him since he was four weeks old), our barn was hit by lightning. Smokey was in the barn. The barn was full of hay upstairs and the hay and the old barn timbers burnt very quickly. When we realized the barn was burning (just a moment or two after the lightning strike) we rushed to save any of the animals that we could. My sister who lived with us at the time was able to free Smokey and we worked at getting the other animals out until the fireman arrived and made us stop. We saved as many as we could but we were not able to get them all. Smokey was not hurt in the fire but he never forgot it and after that he would never even let the girls burn papers on their own. He would go with them to the burn barrel and wait until they were ready to go back to the house. He used to walk over town with the kids and would sit at the window in front of the store until they came out. He liked to watch them through the window and would wag his tail when they were in the candy aisle. Smokey loved candy- especially chocolate. I know- dogs are not supposed to have chocolate. We were never able to convince Smokey of that though and he once ate 6 pounds of chocolate Easter bunnies one Easter. Every night before he would lay down and sleep he would make a patrol through the house, making sure he knew where each person was sleeping. During thunder storms he would sleep for a little while in each person's room. When anyone, and it didn't matter if it was an adult or one of the kids, mowed the lawn Smokey walked beside the mower every step of the way. When the lawn was mowed Smokey's feet were green. We had a big lawn but he never missed a step. There were those who were not fans of Smokey and his vet clinic was full of them. Most of the vets were afraid of him. He would not let them muzzle him to give him any shots that he needed. The vets got so that one would lead him out back and pull his head through one of the headlocks, hanging on tight, while the other vet sneaked up behind Smokey to administer the shot. One day our oldest daughter accidentally ran over Smokey with the pick up. He ran and hid under the house and I ran to call the vet. On the other end of the line a tremulous voice asked me, "Is this for Smokey?" Expecting to hear "Bring him right in!" I told her that yes, it was Smokey that was hurt. She then told me, "Well,you know that they would have to knock him out to examine him and that's not good for head injuries. If he was able to run under the house, and if he's still alive after two hours, I would think that he's going to survive. He did.
The kids used to have a little campfire wood business as we lived close to the entrance of a state park. People used to pull in and get wood, leaving the money in a box if no one was home. One day a very large woman pulled in, loaded some wood in the trunk of her car and before she had time to get back in her car, Smokey suddenly realized that someone was there. He came flying around the corner of the house barking ferociously. Our pickup was right beside the woodpile and the lady must have thought safety was more quickly gained there than in her car. She put her hands on the tailgate of the pickup and her feet cleared it just about simultaneously. I never would have thought anyone quite so large could be so agile. We still laugh about that one.
So, you see, Smokey was way more than "just a dog". He was loved by each and every one of us and is missed terribly by us all. A portrait of him would be a wonderful tribute to his love and devotion to us and a wonderful reminder to us of our Smokey.

10. Jackie
Thank you Kim for this very special opportunity for everyone to have a chance to have their portrait done by you. You are a wonderful person with talent extraordinaire. Just the thought of possibly winning this fills my heart with so much happiness.
I started down this road we call life fifty one years ago. And like many, my road has been a tough one to follow. From the very start while still in my mother's womb the pattern was set and my destiny sealed to enter this world with many injustices to fight and over come.
I was blessed by God to be given the strength to fight the battles and win. For that I thank God every day. I thank him this very moment and ask his guidance in revealing my personal story of my life.
I am an adopted child. My biological mother was wild, careless, and would go forward, in life to have three children, of which, she kept none. I am the oldest of the three. I have a younger sister whom I have never met. Since I was the oldest she was never told by her adoptive parents that she had an older sibling.
A younger brother was born five years after me but died within seven hours. I was fortunate later in life to track down both of my biological parents, meet them, and confirm the story of how my life began and why things were done as they were.
My biological parents were in their twenties when I was conceived. They had been living together for a while but were not married. My father, an artist, wanted to get married and keep me. But, my mother did not want the responsibility. So she packed her bags and disappeared out of his life forever taking me along with her.
For many months she lived in a tent on the Sabine river in east Texas with her father in hiding while I was in her womb. What money she made during this time and for a great portion of her life was earned via smuggling heroin out of Mexico and into the United States.
My biological mother and my adoptive parents met through one of those illegal baby mill hospitals that we now hear so much about. This particular one was located in Henderson, Texas. It was closed down years and years ago. But, none the less, hundreds of babies were born there and adopted out. It was the place to go if you could not adopt anywhere else.
Also it was the perfect destination for any young woman wishing to hide the fact of her pregnancy, or to hide the birth of a child when the father would not consent to release parental rights.
So on January twenty third, nineteen hundred and fifty seven I was born. And for the sum of five thousand dollars the name on my official sealed birth certificate was falsified as was my mother's. My father was listed as unknown. The move was very successful. My heritage was stolen.
It would be almost forty five years later before I found my biological father and met him. He died six months after our meeting. He had spent his life time hoping to find me. I thank God to this day that his prayers were answered before he passed away. He never married and never had any other children. He lived his life in solitude with his art. Many of his paintings hang in some of the most prestigious homes and public places in the great state of Louisiana.
For an adoptive child there are so many questions that always linger in the back of your head: What is your heritage, why did they choose to give you away, what medical conditions are prevalent in your genetic make up, and who do you look like? In my case I did discover that it is my father whom I favor the most. And my oldest grandson is a walking twin of his lost biological great grand father. His passing was sudden and sadly I have no pictures of him.
I could continue on and type hundreds of words relating to many more obstacles that I have had to over come due to this illegal adoption. But, I won't out of respect for my parents who did adopt me. The only thing I will say is that they had been denied by the state to adopt for nine years. An illegal adoption was their only alternative.
The reasons for denial through the state were valid, critical and very responsible on the state's part. My child hood was very far removed from anything that could be deemed even reasonable much less normal. They are long since passed away also. Although my life as a child was difficult I still and always will love them.
I have been blessed with two wonderful, intelligent, talented and hard working daughters who both have hearts of gold. My oldest is an Assistant Professor of English Literature currently working on tenure track at one of the top twenty universities in the south eastern part of the United States.
My youngest is a registered nurse who is charge on her shift, in the emergency room, at a large and busy hospital. She is also the mother of my four most treasured and loved grandsons. They range in age from fourteen to five months old. They too are bright and very talented. All of them have the soul of an artist and the natural ability and talent that was handed down from some one that they have only heard stories about.
Perhaps it seems selfish to want the portrait done of myself. But, I have spent most of my adult life trying to put the pieces together related to my heritage. So that my off spring for generations to come will know theirs and where they draw the colors of their lives from.
To be able to also have a true family heirloom, a portrait of myself, painted by some one so special would be the ultimate gift to me, beyond my family, that I could ever hope for in this life time.
For generation after generation my decedents would not only know their heritage verbally. They would also have something tangible to look at. Yet another validation of where they come from and maybe even who they look like.

11. Jane
I would like the portrait of myself. Not that I am vain.but rather for the very simple fact that until I was in my 30's I never had anyone that I could identify with when I looked at a single photograph.
Until I found my birth mother and sister and the rest of the family in the UK and received some photos and was like OMG they look just like me..
For my own two beautiful children I would like them to be able to look upon such a portrait of me and always know where they came from and who their Mother is..There is nothing better than seeing yourself reflected in someone else and knowing that you belong...

12. Diane
I was going to enter this competition but after reading some of the other entries, I realised I couldn't even begin to come up with a reason why I should win that would compare with some of those, I don't envy the judge the task of choosing the winer!
As I already have a wonderful portrait of me drawn on paper which I won here last year (and I think the chances of winning twice are infinitesimal), a portrait on canvas would be a stunning thing to own, however, two portraits of me smacks of vanity!
So now, I have an even bigger problem - who to choose as a subject? One of my boys maybe? But who to choose? They are both so gorgeous in their very different ways - one dark, one blonde - I couldn't possibly choose between them. I have no partner at the moment so that's out - which leaves Milo...gorgeous in all his puppyness, which is going to pass so quickly. I have only owned him a week and already I can see changes. So I choose him so you can capture his cuteness, his puppy scruffiness and charm in your inimitable way. A wonderful moment frozen in time, with more character and depth than any photograph - and a portrait of him would be so suitable for one of your amazing monochrome paintings!
Now I'm off to post about this on my blog....

13. Amy
Kim has offered to do a portrait, a free portrait, worth thousands of dollars, as a gift, a free gift for someone for Christmas. This gift that Kim is offering is PRICELESS. I am asking that Kim paint a portrait of my Mom, Bunny Sherman. Mom will be 85 in January. She just recently had a serious bout with pneumonia. Her lungs have taken a beating from the many years of smoking and her vision is failing. But, she is still very much ‘Bunny’. She is smart, she loves to play bridge, she swims, and she does yoga. She lives in New York City and makes full use of the many services offered to Senior Citizens in the City. She lives a full life, she loves the theatre, going to the latest movie, going out to eat with her friends and family, she loves her grandchildren. She is generous and thoughtful. She has friends from when she was in 7th grade and many, many more from college, camp, when she was an executive director of a non-profit organization, when she was president of the Board of a school for children with Autism and now, has many new friends in her building for Seniors which offers her independent living with lots of bells and whistles in case of emergency. These people, many of them well into their 90’s, along with the ‘young ones’, the staff, were extra-ordinary these past few weeks while she was in the hospital and when she came back to apartment after almost 3weeks. I know that she will be able to SEE Kim’s portrait of her, because that’s Kim’s style, bold and strong, yet capturing the essence, the spirit of her subjects. So, I submit to you, my Mom, affectionately know simply as ‘Bunny’.

14. Durano
I have instilled in my children the idea of looking for signs or gestures that validate or contradict what people say to them; actions that go beyond mere words.
Among them, my eldest, Daphne, was most exposed to this concept, and also bore the brunt of the ups and downs in my career. I always felt I had a lot of making up to do where she is concerned. Such incidents as her refusal to leave the church during her First Communion until I arrived, which was 11 hours later because of flight delays. Or, her refusal to change into her night clothes during New Year's Eve at age 10, and feebly attempting to keep her head up waiting for me till 4:00 AM to light our traditional fireworks. I arrived 6 days later because a civil war erupted in the country where I was.
She knew I didn't want to let her go because I owed her the most. The night before her wedding,she kept asking me if I was comfortable with the idea of giving her away. I gave her assurances that I was, but I believe she was looking for a sign.
I would want her to be the subject of the portrait if I'm fortunate, garbed in her wedding gown. It will be the sign Daphne seeks that says I have graciously surrendered her to her husband - to love, care for, and cherish for the rest of her life. :-) Durano, done!

because it is Music Monday I'm posting a favourite of Charlottes...
she would like to have this played at her the future

LOVE - Nat King Cole

Come join us in Music Monday and share your songs with us. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and we will all go and visit you. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are strictly for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted.

Why not join up for Music Monday. Visit Lady Java to find out more

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dark and mysterious works....

31 October 2008 31 comments

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Ivan Albright (1943)

Ivan Le Lorraine Albright (February 20, 1897 - November 18, 1983) was a magic realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still lifes.
Ivan Albright and his identical twin brother, Malvin, were born near Chicago in North Harvey, Illinois, to Adam Emory Albright and Clara Wilson Albright. Their father was a landscape painter, and came from a family of master gunsmiths, whose original name was "Albrecht". The brothers were inseparable during childhood, and throughout much of their young adulthood. Both enrolled in The Art Institute of Chicago, a coin-flip deciding that Ivan would study painting and Malvin sculpture. Ivan particularly admired the work of El Greco and Rembrandt, but was quick to develop a style all his own.

Adam Albright moved his wife and sons to Warrenville, Illinois in 1924.
Albright attended Northwestern University, but dropped out and took up studies in architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During World War I he did medical drawings for a hospital in Nantes, France, morbid work that probably influenced his later style. After working in architecture and advertising briefly he was pushed away by commercialism and took seriously to painting. After living in Philadelphia through most of 1925 and 1926, he returned to Illinois, where he began to achieve some substantial success, having his first show in 1930.
Among Albright's typically dark, mysterious works are some of the most meticulously executed paintings ever made, often requiring years to complete. Lace curtains or splintered wood would be recreated using brushes of a single hair. The amount of effort that went into his paintings made him quite possessive of them. Even during the Great Depression he charged 30 to 60 times what comparable artists were charging, with the result that sales were infrequent. In order to survive he relied on the support of his father, and took odd carpentering jobs. An early painting of his, The Lineman won an award and made the cover of Electric Light and Power, a trade magazine. However his stooped and forlorn portrayal caused controversy among the readership, who did not consider such an image representative. The editors later distanced themselves from Albright's work.
Albright focused on a few themes through most of his works, particularly death, life, the material and the spirit, and the effects of time. He painted very complex works, and their titles matched their complexity. He would not name a painting until it was complete, at which time he would come up with several possibilities, more poetic than descriptive, before deciding on one. Such an example is Poor Room - There is No Time, No End, No Today, No Yesterday, No Tomorrow, Only the Forever, and Forever and Forever Without End (The Window), the last two words actually describing the painting (it was as such the painting is generally referred). Another painting, And Man Created God in His Own Image, was called God Created Man in His Own Image when it toured the South. One of his most famous paintings, which took him some ten years to complete, was titled That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door), which won top prize at three major exhibitions in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia in 1941. The prize at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York earned him a $3,500 purchase award and a place in the permanent collection, but, not willing to part with the work for less than $125,000, Albright took the First medal instead, allowing him to keep the painting. Albright was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1942.

In 1943 he was commissioned to create the title painting for Albert Lewin's film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. His realistic, but exaggerated, depictions of decay and corruption made him very well suited to undertake such a project. His brother was chosen to do the original uncorrupted painting of Gray, but the painting used on the film was from Henrique Medina. Ivan made the changes in the painting during the film. This original painting currently resides in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Albright was a prolific artist throughout his life, working as a printer and engraver as well as a painter. He made his own paints and charcoal, and carved his own elaborate frames. He was a stickler for detail, creating elaborate setups for paintings before starting work. He was obsessive about lighting to the point that he painted his studio black, and wore black clothing to cut out potential glare.
Later in life Albright lived in Woodstock, Vermont. His last visit to his old home town of Warrenville, Illinois was in 1978. The City declared Ivan Albright Day, and honored Albright with a full day of festivities. Albright's biographer, Michael Croydon, was on hand to present the newly-published richly-illustrated book called Ivan Albright. The library featured a large display of photographs from Albright's years spent in Warrenville.
Despite much time spent traveling the world, he never stopped working. Albright made over twenty self-portraits in his last three years, even on his deathbed, drawing the final ones after a stroke. He died in 1983.
On the 100th anniversary of Ivan Albright’s birth, February 20, 1997, the Art Institute of Chicago opened a major show of his work. Appears the Man, a photograph of Ivan Albright and his most famous work, The Picture of Dorian Gray, can be found in the Warrenville Gallery located at the Warrenville, Illinois City Hall.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered one of the last works of classic gothic horror fiction with a strong Faustian theme. It deals with the artistic movement of the decadents, and homosexuality, both of which caused some controversy when the book was first published. However, in modern times, the book has been referred to as "one of the modern classics of Western literature."

thanks to SHARON HART for her insights on this subject

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Music Monday - Que Sera, Sera

27 October 2008 37 comments

(Whatever Will Be, Will Be) - Doris Day

for daughter ...who is seventeen ...this song is for you...

thanks to Mariuca for introducing me to Music Monday......

Come join us in the Music Monday and share your songs with us ok. Leave the actual link to the post here and we will all go and visit you :)
Please note this links are strictly for Music Monday participants.

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A Royal Tag for Peace

23 October 2008 21 comments

November 6, 2008

Get your own peace globe at Mimi Writes

I have been tagged by Mimi, the Queen of Memes to join the Blog for Peace Project
The story.

The Peace Globe project began in the fall of 2006 with a simple post from one blog, Mimi Writes. The post ignited a flame in the blogosphere. The flame became a passion. The passion became a movement. It amazingly traveled from blog to blog to blog across the globe. Bloggers wrote passionate articles on what peace means to them, along with the promise of three Latin words scribbled on a globe - Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) - branded with the integrity of their names or blog names. It was positively inspiring to watch. And it began to happen all over the world - from Singapore to China to Afghanistan to Brooklyn.
It was simple. And powerful.
In less than three weeks bloggers from all across the globe will blog for peace.We will speak with one voice. One subject. One day.Won't you join us?
Join The Revolution

Here are the rules
(1) Copy this into a post (2) ADD YOUR NAME to the bottom of the tag list(3) Tag as many people as you'd like.
How To Get Your Peace Globe
In 4 easy steps!
1. Right CLICK and SAVE the peace globe from the designs here.
2. Sign the globe using Paint, Photoshop or a similar graphics tool. Decorate the globe anyway you wish. You can even include the name of your blog. Click here for hundreds of inspiring examples from previous BlogBlasts.
3. Return the peace globe to Mimi via email ~ mimiwrites2005 at - Let her know your blog's name and url by leaving a comment here and signing the Mr. Linky. Your submission will be numbered and dated in the official gallery . Your globe and post will be listed on the Official BlogBlast For Peace website and The Peace Globe Posts page.
Here's the most important part.
4. On November 6, 2008 DISPLAY YOUR GLOBE IN A POST. Title your post "Dona Nobis Pacem". This is important. The goal is for all blog post titles to say the same thing on the same day. Write about peace or simply fly your globe.
Go HERE for the other 3 globe template choices!)

Mimi Queen of Memes, has royally tagged the following.......
(Before you copy this list on your blogs, ADD YOUR OWN NAME to the bottom of the list. )

A Great Pleasure
A Journey Into The Mind & Life Of A Teenager
A Piece Of My Mind
A Room Of Crazy Scrapper
A Simple Life
A Word In Edgewise
Alasandra & The Cats
Amazing Life
Amel's Realm
Amori,poesie,arte,chat by Hanna
And Miles To Go Before We Sleep...
Angell'z Secretz
Another Desert Rat
Anyhow Blogs
Anything Goes
Apples Of The Eyes
Are We There Yet?
Are You Grateful?
Asara's Mental Meanderings
Ask A Lesbian
Attitude, The Ultimate Power
Backroads West Virginia
Balitang Kalye
Beggar's Shot Glass
Betty's This and That
Bijoux & Banter
Billy Warhol's Billion Dollar Baloney
Bits and Pieces
Bits and Pieces by Jan
Blessings In Life
Blogger Happy
Blue Dreamer's Top Five
Bogie's Wonderland
Byrningbunny's Challenge Page
Cafe At the End Of The Universe
california is a recipe for a black hole
Candid Karina
Cap'n Dyke Lesbian Pirate Queen and Rogue Blogger
Captain Picard's Journal
Carver's Site Or Is That Sight?
Castle Of Nannbugg
Cathy's Resurrection Corner
Caught In The Stream
Chanel's Journal
Chocolate Mint Girl
Chronicles and Tales Unlimited (RED)
Chrysalis Angel
Clean And Simple
Comedy Plus
Communique by Ivanhoe
Crazy Working Mom
Crows and Daisies
Daisy The Curly Cat
Dana's Random Blatherings
Dating Profile Of The Day
Deep DownThe Heart
Diario de Iza
Dixie's Heart And Soul
Dottie's Place
Down River Drivel
Drowsey Monkey
Duward Discussion
Emila's Illustrated Blog
Everyday Healy
Everything and Nothing
Expressions and Thoughts
Feathering On My Nest
Fil-Am Never Ending Stories
Filipina In Hawaii
Find Out What Jen Finds
Fishing Around
Foster Me Up
Foxxyfyrre's Honk 'n Hollr
From The Roads
Good thoughts, good trades, good life
Hahn At Home
Happy and Scrappy In Ohio
Happy Life
Health Psych
Heart Of Rachel
Hello?....Is This Thing On?
Hnetka Goes HMmmm
Hobbies And Such
Home In France
Hootin' Anni's
Idaho Daily Photo
In Search Of Life
Inner Wall
Isis Dominguez Lahora
It's All Good
It's Not A Weekend: It's A Lifestyle
It's Sanni-licious
JB's Small World
Journey To Authenticity
Julie Pippert: Using My Words
Julie's Blog
Julie's Jewels & Junque
Just About Scrapping
Just Me And My Creations
Just Write
Keep Fondly In My Mind (Twinkletoe)
Kids, Cats, & Books....What Else Is There?
Lakeside Lair
Larry Hnetka Goes HMmmm
Last Minute Lyn's Life
Late Bloomer Boomer
Late Night Latte
Leaf Float Down River
Leaping Before I Look
Life and Adventure
Life Is A Roller Coaster
Life's A Dance You Learn As You Go
Lowdown From Lois
Luz de Luma, yes party!
Mama Pajama
Managing Autism
Marie Millard
Mattress Police
Maya's Window
Meezer Tails
Memoirs Of A Chaotic Mom
Mickey's Musings
Mighty Mom
Mimi Writes
Minnesota Mom
Minority Kills
Modern Musings
Mom Knows Everything
Mom's Musings
moms...check nyo
Monday Morning Power
Mother Of Shrek
Ms Cellania
Much Of A Muchness
My Blog Rules
My Colorful World
My Dogs Keep Me Sane
Namnet's Philosophizing Playground
New England Lighthouse Treasures
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Nyumix's Blog
O'Ceallaigh & The Quill
On A Limb With Claudia
On The Wall
Opinionated Black Woman
Our Two Little Princes
Pet Monologues
Pimp Your Blog
Pinaymama's Dairy
Points Of View
Precious Moments
Queen-Size Funny Bone
Quilly's Pacific...Paradise?
Ramblings and Whatnot
Ramblings Of An Idle Insomniac
Random Autumness
Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts
Rojoy's Daily Update
Rooms Of My Heart
Rose Of Sharon
Rose' World
Royal Kitties
Run Away Thoughts Of EMZ
Sacred Ruminations
Sarah Spelled The Right Way
Sarge Charlie
Saturday 9
Screw Perfection
Second Effort
Secret Agent Mama
Secret Monologues
Shannon's Moments of Introspection
Ship's Log Of GT281
Simply Sassy
Slavery Bliss
Space Of Reality
Speedcat Hollydale
Straight Forward Comic
Strange But True
Stray Thoughts
Sunday Stealing with Judd Corizan
Tangled Up In Twyla
Tarheel Ramblings
Teacher Julie
Tell Me About It
Teri Teri Quite Contrary
Tertium Quid
That Grrrl
The Backwoods Drifter
The Beacon
The Best Is Yet To Come
The Big Leather Couch
The Calalilly Space
The Cookie Sheet
The Evil Blogger Twin
The Furry Bambinos
The Furry Diva
The Gaytheist Agenda
The House Of The Flying Monkeys
The Ice Box
The Junk Drawer
The Kat House
The Morning Meeting
The Painted Veil
The Puppy's Palace
The Random Forest
The Rising Blogger
The Salty Mooch
The Starr Ann Chronicles
This And That
this is Jo Kate Moss, but not
This That and The Other Thing
Trav's Thoughts
Twisted Sister
Vaguetarian Tea Room
Valerie Joy
Valley Girl
Vixen's Den
Wading Through My Stream of Consciousness
Wandering Consciousness
Weird Sanctuary
Weird Sanctuary
What She Said Too
When Silence Speaks
When Your Only Tool Is A Hammer
Will Think 4 Wine
Will Write For Food
Witty Writer Gal
Wonderland Or Not
Work Of The Poet
World So Wide
Writer Cramps
WTIT Tape Radio
Your Caring Angels
Zaius Nation
Driven To Distraction
Why? What Have You Heard?
....................................YOUR NAME HERE.


The Uber Amazing Blog Award

Mariuca's friend Ruby
passed this award on to her and then Mariuca passed it onto me. Thanks very much Mariuca...
Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!
The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.


this was a fun tag from Mariuca too. She was tagged by Nick
I have to name 5 quirky things about me so here they are:
1. I once stood under a horse when I was little.
2. I eat a lot of chicken and I mean a lot..
3. I like to dance to any music a lot..
4. I drink very strong tea..3 teabags..
5. I've lost count of the number of paintings and portraits that I've painted over ..

I am not tagging anyone in particular...
I'm just leaving the tags open to everyone on my 2008 Blogroll...

If you wish to participate in any of these tags let me know in the comments section and I will add your name..

Silent Voices Loud Screams

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About The Author
Kim Barker is a Visual Artist (Diploma in Art and Graduate Diploma in Education). She is also a fully trained Reading Recovery Teacher. She has taught RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) and Cecchetti Ballet Syllabii. Kim also manages the Top Artist' Directory and PoeARTica as well as her blog laketrees She lives with her family on the Eastern Central Coast of Australia. Follow Kim at laketrees on Twitter for updates and news