Monday, March 31, 2014

Fruit Of The Vine

I was about to declare that spring had finally arrived but decided to check the 10-day forecast first ... lo and behold ... the temperatures will be in the 70's all of this week but by the end of next week they'll drop again into the 50's ... 

For the time being the sun is out and temps are mild so I decided to focus on Spring and share something I wrote a long time ago ... it's not specifically about Spring but seemed apropos anyway ...

I really have no clue when it was written ... what I do know is it's never been shared publicly ... and it felt that the time had come ...Spring Has Sprung ...

  Once upon a time, all God’s creatures

Human and not

Were like a medley of fruits

On the vines of God’s outstretched embrace.

One day, as part of some oddly Divine plan

The fruits fell off the vines

And sank into a strange amnesia

Of who they were and where they had come from.

While each and every variety

Was luscious and delectable on its own merits

They strained for a sense of superiority

One over the other.

God sat back and watched

At first mildly amused but

Gradually becoming dismayed

And then disgusted.

The situation had gotten completely out of hand.

Free will was not exactly working

In the Divine Right Order as anticipated.

Self will was running wild.

At first, God was at a loss as to what to do

Until one day, God turned to that which

God knows best to do.

He brought the rains, which turned into floods

Which gathered all the fruits together

Into one great mixture.

Then the baking sun warmed the mixture

And the cold wind cooled it back down.

What remained was a delicious nectar

Of all the individual fruits

One indistinguishable from the other

But each adding to the richness and

Uniqueness of the mixture.

God was pleased.  All was one again.

And it was good!

© Susan Schanerman 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Up In the Cloud?

If you're anything like me and have been writing and/or drawing for any period of time ... then you also have accumulated dozens, if not scores of notebooks and journals. The challenge then becomes ... what do you do with all that brilliance?

Since I will be moving at the end of May ... and my new living situation will be considerably smaller, I'm being forced to downsize. I know that when I left Fla. and came to GA. in 2006, I tossed a load of my daily writing journals. I had to admit to myself that I would more than likely never look at them again.

But my mixed-media journals, scrapbooks and original artwork is another story. Enter Mod Notebooks ... As simply put as possible "Mod Notebooks Sync Your Doodles to the Cloud."

"Mod notebooks are traditional paper thread-bound books which can be immortalized online. Once the notebook has been filled, customers simply mail it back to Mod, where it is scanned and digitized for free within five days." - - from

Then you can access your notebook using the Mod App or the pages can be synced to Dropbox, Evernote or OneNote. 
Mod is available in 3 versions ... plain, ruled or dot grid ... it uses 120 GSM paper so there's no bleeding ... and it's exactly the same size as the iPad mini.

The cost is only $25 which includes the app and pre-paid postage.

What do you think?

Visit heARTmattersAndMore for my latest and greatest additions ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Art and Beauty Can Be Found Anywhere

Back in February (2/15/14 to be exact) I shared some amazing art that I had discovered at Colossal - the Art and Culture blog. The email I received from them today had two stories that I thought were worthy of passing on.

The first is about two artists that create Cut Paper Light Boxes, by cutting layers of watercolor paper, placing it inside a shadow box and then lighting it from behind with LED light strips. Be sure to check out the articles ... it has a video where you can see the art as it's being created.

The second story describes a most unusual art-form that is becoming more and more commonplace in Japan ... Can you guess what this is?

believe it or not, these are beautiful and intricately stylized Manhole Covers!
"As to why this phenomenon developed, signs point to a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction ministry who, in 1985, came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to design their own manhole covers. His objective was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers." - Colossal

Subsequently, a "manhole craze" took off and different municipalities began competitions to see who had the best designs. Today there are more than  6000 artistic manhole covers in Japan, according to The Japan Society of Manhole Covers ... Yep, you read that right !!

FYI - I also discovered the Japan Ground Manhole Association.

Be sure to visit heARTmattersAndMore at Etsy

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bring Who You Are to the World

52 Weeks of Conscious Contact: Meditations for Connecting with God, Self and Others by Melody Beattie is a book I have read … and reread … and reread … 

It’s actually not a book to read at all … rather, it's a book to study … absorb … and apply. Each of the 52 weeks is a Value or Quality which will enrich … enhance and empower our lives ...

I'm currently on Week 11 and this is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've gone through the book. I don't know about anyone else, but I seem to need continual reminders ...

Can you remember a time, before life got to you, that you innocently accepted who you are? Maybe you could recapture some of that feeling. Bring who you are to the world.” 

- Melody Beattie, 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact, Week 42, Self-Acceptance, p.210

When I first read that quote, what immediately came to mind was my artwork ... or as I refer to it my heARTwork … So child-like and innocent and pure, it's clearly one of the ways I recapture my innocence and bring it to the world ... I’m not so sure about the self-acceptance part.

It’s taken me a long, long time to feel OK-enough to be able to reveal my work but I finally have … and that feels really good. And what feels even better is receiving acknowledgement and recognition for what has emerged from the deepest part of me … my heART ... mySELF …

I remember saying something similar years ago with regard to my collection of poetry ... something about it “… emerging from the deepest part of me … my SELF …"

And when I finally realized "that my SELF is really no different than any other SELF … except that I just happened to be expressing it at this time and place in this particular manner," I was able to share it.

Funny, how those words written more than 25+ years ago can reflect the same feelings today ... 

We all come into this world innocent and pure … And then as the years pass,  in our own unique way, we each begin to forget that Essence and grow into something/someone totally different … essentially forgetting the Truth of who we are.

The way I see it, every form of Creative Expression can be the means of recapturing our original Essence … of Innocence … of Purity … and Love ... and bringing who we are to the world!

"You look in a mirror to see a reflection of your face look at art to see a reflection of your soul." - George Bernard Shaw

P.S. Did you know that the word ART is considered the archaic present 2nd singular form of the verb To Be

heARTmattersAndMore Gallery at Etsy 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Color Your World With Love

Last week (Tuesday, 3/11) I wrote a post entitled "When Words Fail."  Well, I'm feeling that way again ... sort of ... maybe it's more like so many thoughts and ideas are racing around my mind, I can't seem to settle down and focus on just one.

So, I'll share the most recent Doodle I've completed. The black and white drawing was among those I shared last week ... but now the color has been added. 
I said that the working title was DoodleAPrayer ... but then I wasn't really sure about that ... Then I thought about God Loves Me ... or maybe Gratitude Prayer.

The qualities or values I selected (or maybe they selected Me?) are the things I feel are critical for a rich and wondrous life ...

Don't you find it amazing how much difference Color makes? How it brings things to Life! It's like before it was Dead and now it's Alive ... Vibrant ... Surging with Energy and Emotion.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Flowers ... Beauty ... And God

Flowers and Beauty and God go together in my mind. What prompted this profound perspective, you might want to ask?

Every day ... one of the things I do is scan my MSN home page to see what's going on in the world since yesterday. I don't pay much attention to the so-called NEWS ... I'm more interested in human interest-type stories ... like my post yesterday about Robert Downey Jr.

I especially enjoy the MSN photo section ... the Must-See slideshows I've posted most months come from that area.

Today I took the time to view the 35 image collection entitled "Exotic Flora" ... which then got me to thinking about Beauty ... Flowers ... Art ... Nature ... and the Master Creator.
To see the entire slideshow CLICK HERE.

Then I went to one of my favorite sources for quotes

Just like one of my favorite sites Idea Champions does, I decided to come up with a list of quotes that I found especially meaningful ... so here's my 

15 Quotes on the Meaning of Beauty

1. "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

2. "To love beauty is to see light." - Victor Hugo 

3. "Beauty awakens the soul to act." - Dante Alighieri 

4. "Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears." - Edgar Allen Poe 

5. "Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." - Anne Frank  

6. "Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite." - Frances Bacon  

7. "In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." - Christopher Morley  

8. "Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal." - Dante Alighieri 
9. "If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents." - Robert Browning 

10. "We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature's greatest healers." - Ellsworth Huntington  

11. "Beauty is one of the rare things which does not lead to doubt of God." - Jean Anouilh 

12. "When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." - Mahatma Gandhi 

13. "Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." - Franz Kafka  

14. "Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words." - Edgar Allen Poe  

15. "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." - John Keats

I then began to look up some quotes about Flowers ... I really liked this one 

"Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding." - Gian Carlo Menotti

I even wrote a quote myself ...

Flowers are God’s way of reminding us “Smile … Be Happy … Celebrate Today!” - Susan Schanerman