Friday, January 29, 2010

N is For ........

...... long winter NIGHTS ........

and where better to spend them than with the Bbest team!

This colourful night light from Chris1 will go a long way to seeing you through!

Pop this picture of the Datura flower on your wall and you will think it's a summer night! It's from heronkate and worth more than a second look.

Wish upon a Blue Moon hanging in the night sky by sixsisters

A winter's night doesn't have to give you the blues when it's as cool and pretty as this 

How about spending a night at the opera with joonbeam?

and lastly, but by no means the least - don't forget to check out the shop of
Nightsky where you can find these beautiful honey and raspberry earrings.

Good night!  Sleep tight......!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wish Upon a Star

Star Light, Star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight

I know I can't be the only one of us that looks up to the stars at night and makes a wish. I'm almost obsessive about it. Once I see the night sky and spot a star.... well I consider it bad luck to not recite the poem and make a wish. And it has to be the first star I see... sadly that sometimes turns out to be the light on an airplane and I have to begin again but not before I wish the passengers on the plane a safe journey. :) Can you say OCD?

Our members are fabulous artists for sure but today I've reached outside our little bbest universe and into the vast Etsy unknown to bring you a peek at some other beauties.

Earth Star Studio

Paper Quilt Studio

What do you wish when you see that first star?

Tonight, along with my standard ... "I wish I don't wake up 3 or more times to use the bathroom" I will wish that you all take a second to look up into the magical night sky.... and
that all your wishes will come true.

Life is good.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mmmmm…Food, drink, and Bbest!

“Sally!” I exclaimed.  “You look terrific,” I said, as I opened the door and shooed her inside out of the cold.  “What is it that is different?” I asked.  She replied, “It must be my new haircut.  What do you think?”  “I love it,” I answered.  “Come on in, and let’s see what else is new with you,” I invited.

Sally came in, laid her coat over the arm of the sofa and sat down with a big grin on her face.  “Okay, what’s going on?” I asked.  Sally leaned forward with a big smile and said, “I’m gonna be a grandma!”  “Oh, how wonderful,” I cried.  ‘Grandchildren are just the greatest thing ever invented,” I laughed.  “You know that I take care of our son’s two children every day at their house.  They are four and two, and we have become so close.  I am so happy about that because before I started watching them, we only saw them once or twice a week, and they hardly knew us.  Now, it is Mamaw this, and Papaw that, and we are told they talk about us all evening long, too!”

Sally laughed and said, “I hope we can see our new grandbaby really often, too.  There is nothing like bonding with them when they are young.  They never forget those days!” 

“I know, because that was true of our granddaughter who lives in Florida.  For the first two years of her life, her other grandmother and I took turns taking care of her.  I sure did collect lots of flying miles.  And once when I was there, Hurricane Wilma struck, and let me tell you, that is a story for another day!  But, it is thrilling when our sweet granddaughter runs to me at the airport and throws her arms around me and says, ‘I’m so glad you are here, Mamaw!’” 

“I can’t wait,” said Sally.  “And, I bet there are lots of baby things you can show me from your Bbest Team.”

“You know, we can do that next time you come over.  You will love the things my Bbest Team friends make!  But, for tonight I’ve picked out some others for us to enjoy.  I just did a search for black and found some gorgeous things!  Let’s have a cup of peppermint tea and some of these delicious snickerdoodle cookies while we look,” I said.

“Mmmm,” sighed Sally.  “Food, drink, and Bbest Team creations…..what more could anyone want!”


zuda gay rose ring

sixsisters window cat

magdaleneknits scarf

knotty sheep yarn

jstinson bracelet

jnoriginals java jacket

glitznglass glasses

imaginuity beret

eversodear black and silver

figments mighty oak

dreamwhimsy black necklace

cb basement neck warmer

chris1 pendant

birose button bracelet

altheap black silk scarf

“Fabulous,” sighed Sally.  “I want them all!”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flowers in Winter

This is the season of the year when we long for winter to pass and for spring to break forth . . . only it will still be a while before that happens for most of us. There is the occasional break in weather, but if it fools the bulbs into poking their heads up through the snow, we worry! We know it's too early even though we wish it were not so. We sit hunkered down in our houses with this longing, but there are ways to bring spring in long before nature allows spring outdoors.

I think it's been true of every generation -- this longing for winter to pass and spring to bloom. In one of my favorite vintage books, Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them by Samuel Smiles (1889), there is a chapter devoted to "Common Enjoyments."  Mr. Smiles provides us with some simple ways to bring spring in:

"Have a flower in the room, by all means! It will cost only a trifle if your ambition is moderate, and the gratification it gives will be beyond price. If you can have a flower for your window, so much the better. What can be more delicious than the sun's light streaming through flowers -- through the midst of crimson fuchias or scarlet geraniums? To look out into the light through flowers -- is that not poetry? And to break the force of the sunbeams by the tender resistance of green leaves?

"A flower in the window sweetens the air, makes the room look graceful, gives the sun's light a new charm, rejoices the eye, and links nature with beauty. The flower is a companion that will never say a cross thing to any one, but will always look beautiful and smiling. Do not despise it because it is cheap, and because every body may have the luxury as well as yourself. Common things are cheap, but common things are invariably the most valuable. Could we have fresh air or sunshine by purchase, what luxuries they would be considered. But they are free to all, and we think little of their blessings.

"There is indeed much in nature that we do not yet half enjoy, because we shut our avenues of sensation and feeling. We are satisfied with the matter of fact, and look not for the spirit of fact which is above it. If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower."

"But why not, besides the beauty of nature, have a taste for the beauty of art? Why not hang up a picture in the room?  . . .Any picture, print, or engraving that represents a noble thought, that depicts a heroic act, or that brings a bit of nature from the fields or the streets into our room, is a teacher, a means of education, and a help to self culture.

"It serves to make the home more pleasant and attractive. It sweetens domestic life, and sheds a grace and beauty about it. It draws the gazer away from mere consideration of self, and increases his store of delightful association with the world without as well as with the world within.

"The art of living may be displayed in many ways. It may be summed up in the words, 'Make the best of everything.' Nothing is beneath its care, even common and little things it turns to account. It gives a brightness and grace to the home, and invests nature with new charms. Through it we enjoy the rich man's parks and woods, as if they were our own. We inhale the common air, and bask under the universal sunshine. We glory in the grass, the passing clouds, and the flowers."

I have a small potted amaryllis sitting on my desk as I write this post. The bud is almost to open. I can tell it will be a deep rich red bloom -- and it is my reminder to breathe and enjoy even winter while hoping for spring. With so many wonderful ways to brighten our homes and lives with amazing BBest Team art and ways to inspire our own creative meanderings, winter won't last long! There are way too many flowers in winter to keep it cold and foreboding for long!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Another Year of Us being Us...

The Little Boy

Helen Buckley.

Once a little boy went to school.

He was quite a little boy

And it was quite a big school.

But the little boy

Found that he could go to his room

By walking in from the door outside,

He was happy

And school did not seem

Quite so big any more.

One morning,

When the little boy had been in school awhile,

The teacher said:

Today we are going to make a picture.

Good, thought the little boy.

He liked to make pictures.

He could make all things;

Lions and tigers,

Chickens and cows,

Trains and boats -

And he took out his box of crayons

And began to draw.

But the teacher said, Wait.

It is not time to begin.

And she waited until everyone looked ready.

Now, said the teacher,

We are going to make flowers.

Good, thought the little boy.

He liked to make flowers,

And he began to make beautiful flowers.

With his pink and orange and blue crayons.

But the teacher said, Wait!

And I will show you how.

And it was red, with a green stem.

There, said the teacher,

Now you may begin.

The little boy looked at the teacher's flower.

Then he looked at his own flower.

He liked his flower better than the teacher's.

But he did not say this.

He just turned his paper over

And he made a flower like the teacher's.

It was red, with a green stem.

On another day,

When the little boy had opened

The door from outside all by himself,

The teacher said:

Today we are going to make something with clay.

Good, thought the little boy.

He liked clay.

He could make all kinds of things with clay:

Snakes and snowmen,

Elephants and mice,

Cars and trucks -

And he began to pull and pinch

His ball of clay.

But the teacher said:

Wait, it is not time to begin.

And she waited until everyone looked ready.

Now, said the teacher,

We are going to make a dish,

He liked to make dishes,

And he began to make some

That were all shapes and sizes.

But the teacher said, Wait

And I will show you how.

And she showed everyone how to make

One deep dish.

There, said the teacher.

Now you may begin.

The little boy looked at the teacher's dish,

Then he looked at his own.

He liked his dishes better than the teacher's.

But he did not say this.

He just rolled his clay into a big ball again

And he made a dish just like the teacher's.

It was a deep dish.

And pretty soon the little boy learned to wait,

And to watch, And to make things just like the teacher.

And pretty soon

He didn't make anything of his own any more.

Then it happened

That the little boy and his family

Moved into another house,

In another city,

And the little boy had to go to another school.

This school was even bigger than the other one,

And there was no door from the outside into his room.

He had to go up some steps,

And walk down a long hall

To get to his room.

And the very first day

He was there,

The teacher said:

Today we are going to make a picture.

Good, thought the little boy,

And he waited for the teacher

To tell him what to do.

But the teacher didn't say anything.

She just walked around the room.

When she came to the little boy she said:

Don't you want to make a picture?

Yes, said the little boy,

What are we going to make?

I don't know until you make it, said the teacher.

How shall I make it? asked the little boy.

Why, anyway you like, said the teacher.

And any color? asked the little boy.

Any color, said the teacher.

If everyone made the same picture,

And used the same colors,

How would I know who made what?

And which was which?

I don't know, said the little boy,

And he began to draw a red flower with a green stem.


Just a little congratulations

on pursuing your art

in spite of any odds you may

have met up with along your way.

Thanks to all my BBEST friends

for just being you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What’s in an avatar?

Since we began to delve into the world of the world wide web I am sure that like myself, many of you will have learnt all manner of things that would have seemed to be alien from anything we grew up with. 

We communicate in so many different ways via our computers.  An avatar is an important part of your online representation of yourself, usually a picture of you that shows up in places where you leave comments or forum posts.  Using social sites like Facebook, My Space etc we can reach others when no other form of communication could have done in the past.  Also, blogs or forum groups where we can exchange ideas with like minded people whether it is a group of friends like Boomers and Beyond or groups who follow similar thought processes.  An instant way of being recognised is to have what is commonly called an avatar.  No, not a copy of the recent film!  This would be in the form of a small square picture that has been created from a personal photo of oneself or a photograph of something we have made.  This is especially helpful when running online shops since your customers can instantly see what you are about.  Otherwise, your customers might like to see what the artist behind the work actually looks like since the personal touch is always more favourable.

When using your avatar for selling purposes it is useful to remain constant.  imageFor instance, the avatar can be a part of small version of your shop banner.  I have often used a picture of one of my pieces of encaustics for my artist’s shop.   It can be good for marketing purposes for the potential customer to be able to recognise you from your avatar.

imageLikewise, when I chat with friends I prefer to have a personal picture.  This is easier to change as often as I wish since it is not used as a marketing tool.

Looking through the BBEST team try and guess, without cheating, to whom the following avatars belong!  No prizes but just a bit of fun!

Here we have avatars that suggest what the author is about.


imageimage  An example of how the avatar has been matched to the banner belonging to this shop! imageimageimage imageimageThe more personal touch – how old?imageimageimageimage

Well, I guess because I was looking at the BBEST shops I found very few personal photos!  Now did you guess which avatar belonged to which seller?  Answers on a postcard etc!!!!