Monday, September 17, 2012

Gifts of Beauty, Positive and Negative

I just had to have these flowers. Is there anything like a sunflower to say, "Happy happy!"?  The Kansas state flower always says happy to me.
The cheery yellow paper that came with the flowers
makes an excellent addition to the thin tissue paper for a gift bag.
I love the woven textured feel to this particular paper.

Speaking of gifts, my baby sister had a birthday this past weekend. She asked for a Keurig from her hubby. Being a lover of themes, I decided to go with the "my cup runneth over" theme. So I  bought a big sampler of flavors for her, put them in a white pitcher that I would otherwise have taken to Goodwill,
and wrapped a coffee-colored ribbon around it.

My daughter
made a card that says "Life is Good."  I wrote to my sister, "Life is good because God is good.  You're the best gift a 14-year-old girl could get, except for maybe a new purse."

My only regret about her babyhood and toddler years is that I was too self-focused to appreciate her.
Life was school, friends, boys, cheerleading, talking on the phone, and sleeping in. That didn't leave much room to really love on a precious little bundle of pinkness.

I would like to think I'm not such an adolescent any more.

A close-up of the coffees before I stuffed tissue down on top of them.  I also gave her some cold, hard cash in case she'd
like to buy one of those (overpriced) inserts for filling with your own coffee.  (Mine always comes out too weak.)

My personal favorite in regular coffee for the Keurig is Gloria Jean's hazelnut.
For decaf, Timothy's is smooth and delish. Of course drinking decaf is a bit like
driving a car with deflated tires; it gets you where you need to go, but not nearly as fast.

Today in the drawing class I'm taking, we continued with still-lifes, and how to

draw by being able to see negative space.  (The shapes of the things around the objects--the empty spaces--that help us "see" the positive ones better.)  The exercise was difficult; the brain gets used to "locking on" to positive space. For example, look at a kitchen chair. Your brain sees the spindles, the back, the seat, the arms, the legs.  But the only way it perceives those things is by relating them to the empty space that's between the spindles, between the back and the sides, between the arms and the seat,
and so on.

 The still life above (with trophy, harp-shaped decoration, and
wooden quill pen)
was our last one of the day. I may cringe for putting this up, but I'm all about
showing "before and afters" with the hope that someday I will be able to produce
 a lot of "after"-type artwork with ease and great satisfaction. 
But for now, I am enjoying the blessing of being able to "see" better than
I "saw" last week. I'm thankful for the Mother's Day gift of an art class from my
family.  It's my first time as student instead of teacher since 1987.  Love it!!!

There's beauty all around--in sunflowers and textured paper,
smooth coffee and shiny pitchers,  baby sisters and charcoal sticks. 

It's so much more pleasant to dwell on the positives than on the negatives, but without the negatives, we would not appreciate the positives at all.  Life would be decaf all the time.
Yet our cup runneth over, if only we will see.


danielle said...

Pretty flowers and a sweet gift for your little sis.

Joyce said...

A sweet thoughtful gift for your baby sis. Happy Birthday to her : )

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Great post Zoanna! Love the sunflowers and I'm in love with Keurig so love that idea of a gift for sure. I'm thinking I need some pumpkin flavored coffee right now.

Yes, my cup runneth over as well!

Beth Zimmerman said...

It's getting late and I need to get off the computer but I wanted to let you know that I have finally found my way back to blogging although I have a new "home." Would love it if you would come visit me.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Came back to take more time to read. What a blessing that your family gave you such a precious gift! I'm sure that you will enjoy the lessons you are learning for years to come!

Hope your sister has better success with her Keurig than my husband had with the one I bought him. I think it imploded the day the warranty expired. Sigh ...