Thursday, March 31, 2005

More thoughts on painted paper ...

     Journaling is something I have done for a s long as I can remember. The little black leather book in the corner above is my real journal, the smell of it's leather and refillable gold gilded pages are so familiar.  I have used that journal much less this year, learning to journal here in J-Land has been very time consuming, I'm sure that many of you can relate to that!

     Besides the little black journal, I have also kept an illustrated journal with paintings, drawings, photos and such mixed with my words, my thoughts, my memories. Because I have been so busy posting photos here this year, there have been very few entries in that journal either, so ... the last 2 postings here have been an attempt to mix things up a little visually and to play around a some with the different media options I now have available.

     I've never really considered myself a writer, you are always sure to find typos, misspelled words and punctuation issues here. I'm very thankful that so many of you are able to look beyond my imperfections.

    Top left is part of the cover of one of my favorite books, The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. Free Peace recommended it to me and although I am not disciplined enough to practice my morning pages exercises every day, I now sort of practice this method in my little black journal when I have time, and some of those thoughts have spilled out onto painted paper in my last two entries.

     The flex pay documents in the collage are just something else that was on my mind today. A year ago my company contributed $100 and I've been contribution $5 each week to this flex pay plan. The concept is good, it's tax free money to use for medical and dependent care expenses and not included as part of your income.

     They supply you with a Master Card to use for co pays, prescriptions, over the counter medications and supplies, dental visits, eye glasses etc. Mandy and I have not had many Dr. Visits this year so there is a balance of $270.04 in the account and I was just notified that if I don't use it by 4/30, I will loose it. So ... I've been weighing my options today, I could use it for a dental visit this month, Eeek! I hate the dentist!

     I hate dental visits so much that I've been pondering the possibility of using the $270.04 to buy a lifetime supply of eye patches, wart removal medication, arthritis pain relief cream, laxative and feminine care treatment products by the end of the month, just to avoid having to make a dental appointment! We'll see ... I've still got a little time to decide!

                                       *** Coy ***

Monday, March 28, 2005

A 2 Day Weekend ...

     It was really great to have a 2 day weekend this weekend, that almost never happens for me, 6 day's a week gets really old. I crammed so much into the last 48 hours ... barely took time to sleep.

      Up really early on Saturday morning to work on my S.A.D. flower garden for several hours. (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Yep, very over grown and winter ravaged :-(


     I wouldn't really call it happy yet but no doubt it us much less S.A.D. than it was on Friday.


    Checking out some seasonal color at Home Depot, will need something bright and beautiful to liven things up once I get it under control.


     Went shopping at B.J.'s with Mom and Mandy for the seafood for Easter Dinner. Brittney (my niece) is coming home from college. I love Brittney!

     Lunch with Mandy at our neighborhood Pizza Hut, we know how that girl loves pizza. 4 of her friends that she grew up with work there, they got to do a little catching up :-)

     2 of her other friends came in while we were there, one pushing a stroller with the most adorable boy baby with the biggest blue eyes, the other girl was very pregnant ... about to pop actually. I said a quiet "Thank You God" (if you know what I mean) as I sat there an oogled over the beautiful baby.

     Mandy was doing the driving ... we saw a 4 ft iguana in the middle of the road with eggs all around her, it did not look as if she had been hit by a car yet. We pulled off of the road, Mandy grabbed a huge plastic bag and ran a great distance at lightning speed to rescue the iguana from the speeding traffic.

     By the time I circled around to pick her up a man on a bicycle had stopped to see if he could help the sobbing child and the huge terrified hissing lizard.

     We drove to a nearby reptile store, where a very nice young man was kind enough to come out to the car with Mandy to check on things. Apparently the lizard had been hit, thus expelling the eggs into the road, internal injuries were just to much.  Mandy cried and cried, and I was thankful that the nice man offered to take care of the reptile that had by now expired in my car. Would the rest of my afternoon could have been spent giving a proper burial to this huge iguana?


     Instead we stopped into a few of our favorite 2nd hand stores. Every girl needs a place to rummage through used stuff from time to time.

    Born into Brothels <-- click was playing locally so we did go to see it. This move was an amazing documentation of true hope found amidst chaos and squalor (exactly as expected). If you get a chance to see it, you should.

     Zana Briski's gift of humanity reminded me of my friend Ellen. When my children were growing up, I helped her to found a youth activity center for at risk children in our community. This was one of the most fulfilling experiences I can remember.

     I moved on out of necessity during my nightmare divorce, Ellen is still there and has made it a full-time commitment to this project ... she's my hero! My kids went back as they got older to help Ellen and her kids at the center, or maybe I should say for Ellen and her kids at the center to help them:-)

     There was a local carnival going on near the Cinema that night, we took a photo of the Ferris Wheel but did not go in. I hate that fair, I wont go into details here, better left for "Between You and I."


     We did stop at Borders book store, also near the theater. We choose a stack of books to browse through at the cafe and we each picked out a new one to bring home.

     10 hours later we finally made it to Publix to finish up with the shopping for Easter Dinner. It was late by the time we got home and we still had a lot to do. We died Easter eggs, they came out pretty nice for us being as exhausted as we were when we started.


     Mandy for the first time ever, helped me put together the Easter baskets, one for her, one for Brittney. A little reluctant at first to take part in something that has always been such a hush hush ordeal, part of her still wanting to experience the childlike thrill of surprise. 


     This was one of those coming of age moments ... it was the first time we ever spoke of the responsibilities and duties involved in being the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause! I think she liked it!

     We read our books while the eggs saturated in there dyes and when it was all over we finally cleaned up the mess and went to bed, exhausted after 19 fast paced hours on Saturday!



     Easter Daywe stayed home all day, never even left the house ... that almost never happens. My sister and her staff had to work, they are in the party decorating business and 18 months ago someone booked a Bar-Mitzvah for March 27th. No one even noticed that it was going to fall on Easter!

   Mandy and I spent the whole day getting the house company ready and preparing for an awesome seafood boil. Mandy and Brittney opened their Easter Baskets and played with all the stuff inside just like when they were little girls.  That bright beautiful glowing face in the middle photo is Brittney (my niece) one of the people that I love most in this world. She's smart, she's energetic, she's decisive and a born leader, she's also the creator of many beautiful things and defiantly one of us!



     The first photo above is the beginnings of the authentic Caesar salad that we make, yes egg yolks and anchovies and all.  We love Caesar Salad! Got so busy that I forgot to take a photo of the seafood the one below is one from last year, almost an exact copy of what we had yesterday, table setting and all! This year every plate had a tiny gold wrapped chocolate bunny! 



     My friend Frank Smith called in the middle of Easter Dinner. I have not seen Frank since I lived in Atlantic City, (over 25 years ago) and it's been quite a while since we have even spoken on the phone. Frank is so artsy, he's an amazing songwriter, but then again 25 years ago, almost all of my friends were amazing, artsy songwriters. 

     The conversation was very brief out of necessity, maybe we will talk again soon, who knows? All in all, this was a pretty great weekend, hope yours was too!

                                      *** Coy *** 

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Dancing in the Rain ...

     One year ago, I wrote my first entry here at Dancing in the Rain!

     I had absolutely no idea at the time what an adventure I was in store for. Who would have guessed on that day that I would become part of a community so deeply connected by the stories that we tell as we explore our own passions, fears, triumphs and failures.

     Unless you experience the connection first hand, there is no way to know what it's like (if you have ever tried explaining it to a friend then you know what I mean) lol.

I'm sure that each of us begins writing here for different reasons but most of us stay because of the personal connection and true life friends that we find here in our own little corner of cyberspace. 


          Graphic and Haiku by Coy, July 2004!


AOL J-Land

circle of creative friends

sharing who we are.

     I want to thank each of you that have stopped by my journal this past year and left a kind word behind. I also want to thank each of you that have written an entry here in J-Land that has made me laugh or made me cry, an entry that has inspired me to think or to become more involved, an entry that encouraged me to become more creative or to just be a friend  ... I love this place! 

                               *** Coy ***        


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Three birds, one stone!

      I promised Renaissance photos but I've been really busy for the past couple of days. I love this time of year ... busy is good!

     I also wanted to do Scalzi's weekend assignment in celebration of the first day spring, I was very inspired by Althena's drawing ... (that kid has got talent).

     Plus ... I really wanted to have time to do Judi's artsy essay contest this month, I do love her theme.

   So, here goes ...


A fairytale look

at all the colors of spring,

makes me feel happy.


     Haiku's always make me think of Mumsy ... do you think she still reads us?

      BTW-Judi, I know that my fairytale photo essay does not meet the criteria for your contest, but you've got to admit that it ties into your theme really well. Can't you almost see, smell, taste, hear and touch the 16th century through these tiny windows?                              

                     *** Coy ***

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Where They Live ...


  I've poured over books and I've reread the play. I've searched through most interesting websites and made some new friends along the way.

     I've watched the movie with Everett, Tucci, Flockhart and Kline and bought a copy of the ballet choreographed by Balanchine, that I've already watched several times.

      I've opened so many e-mails that you've sent me with links to gorgeous fairy art and kind words of advice on where I should start.

     But really I just wanted to go where they are and to see where they live. I wanted to hear what their accents sound like and listen to the music that they play.

     I wanted to try out their foods and to sample their grog, but mostly I just wanted ... to take lot's of photos!  

     Okay I'll stop now, Dr. Seuss I am not, but recently I did get an up close and personal look at life in the 16th century ...  anyone want to see?

                                       *** Coy ***

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling ...


     The quote above is an old Irish blessing, the girl in the photo is Allison from work, we call her Alli Daughter ... because she has never made a really good son. No, she's not triplets, just having a little fun with Photoshop today.

     Besides the Irish Soda Bread that Jo's sister made and sent to work this morning, (thanks Judy ... sort of), Alli was the most festive thing around today!

     Heres hoping that none of you drink way to much green beer tonight and if you do may there be someone around to drive. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

                           *** Coy ***

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pacific Northwest Ballet ...


   <-- click


     The convention <-- is not until the end of May ... you weren't thinking that you've heard the last about Shakespeare's most romantic comedy here, were you?

     I assure you that this growing obsession is only temporary, but for now expect to find traces of this reoccurring theme here at Dancing In The Rain, because this is my journal and ... this story is on my mind. 

     In a previous entry, Albert <-- added this comment:

     Hey Coy, I don't know if you'd be into this or not, but George Balanchine choreographed Midsummers Night Dream as a ballet, and it's a truly magical production-- it's available on Amazon if you feel like forking out the bucks.  I saw it live in NY and was blown away. lots of sprites and fairies, and an awesome Puck.

good luck!  --Albert

     I ordered a copy of the ballet on DVD and I watched it last night ... It truly was magical. You can click on the link under the photo above to take a look at the program notes, where you will find details about the ballet in the making.

    Who would have thought that this entire story could have been portrayed entirely through mime and dance? The costuming was of particular interest ... I've been asking for visuals and it does not get much better than this.

     A Mid Summer Night's Dream has been in this dance company's repertory since 1985 and I would love to see it live someday but for now I will watch it over and over on DVD. Thanks Alb ... I am grateful to have so many artsy friends here in J-Land and for the perfect recommendation!

                              *** Coy ***

             Has anyone else watched this Ballet?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In squalor, hope!


Born into Brothels  <--- click              Kids with cameras Calcutta <--- click

     I read an article yesterday in the lunchroom at work about a newly released documentary that is seeking to record and change life for some kids in India.The film is called "Born into Brothels" and it is now at the top of my want to see list.

     The story is about a New York photojournalist named Zana Briski and her journey into Calcutta's red light district where she is assigned to photograph the prostitutes that live there.

     Moving into the brothels to get closer to the women, she finds herself surrounded by the children of these sex workers. It does not take long to notice that the children are fascinated by her camera and Zana in return becomes fascinated by the children. The documentary records her efforts to make a difference in their lives. Can't wait to see it!

                                 *** Coy ***

                   Have any of you watched it yet?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Finders Keepers???

     In my neighborhood there is always a lot of pedestrian traffic. People walking their dogs, mommies and daddies out with their strollers ... little ones in tow, women out walking in groups, families spending a little time together after dinner, etc.

     You can't really get anywhere from here, not on foot but if you walk down the block and out of this section you can take a nice long walk exactly 2.3 miles in a beautifully  landscaped, well manicured park like square.

     It's to bad that the developers here did not think to add huge front porches when they were building these houses, it would be so nice to sit out there and watch the neighbors stroll by in the evenings.

    Anyway ... with all of the foot traffic here, sometimes I will find things in the front yard that someone has lost on their journey. I've discovered over the years, that if you leave it there for a day of two someone will usually claim it.

     Not this time, I found the colorful splash bomb above on the front lawn on Sunday ... it's now Friday. I was really hoping that it's owner or someone that thought it was cool would have taken it by now. (It cant stay there forever.)

     Every time I see it I kind of smile, a few years ago my kids would have picked it up right away whether they needed it or not and would have reminded me of the finders, keepers rule. Do any of you know the real rules to the finders keepers rule?

      It's brightly colored and it's a splash bomb, to cute to throw away but this finder will be holding out for just a little longer hoping that a keeper will come along. I guess I'll give it until Sunday!

                                       Happy Friday all

                                           *** Coy ***

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Quick Update

Wooo Hooo, I'm Going!!!

      Click Here

     Thanks to all that have kept your fingers crossed! I really had to jump through hoops to get time off approval, I even offered her my first born if she would sign on the dotted line. As you can imagine ... she was way to smart to fall for that!

     It's spring time and things have been very hectic around here so I don't have as much time as I would like for updating, but ... I did want to mention that I'M GOING!!!

      Oh ... in my Photoshop class I have recently learned how to completely erase all signs of my Ex-husband from my family photo history if I were so inclined. I won't do it, but ... the point is I could if I wanted to!      

      Mandy is doing well, she's still living with her 2 room mates and it seems to be working for her. She was working part time in a hair salon and then took another part time job in an attorneys office with my friend Sheila. The kid's been working 6 day's a week like her Mom!

     This past week she did resign from her job at the salon and has accepted a full time position at the attorneys office, she loves the environment there, the attorneys are strong young women, (great influence). Okay ... you can save your lawyer jokes!   

    I guess there is something to be said about having 1 full time 9-5, M-F job as opposed to two part time ones, it will be the first time she has had Saturday's of in years! 

                                             Happy Thursday all

                                                  *** Coy ***


Sunday, March 6, 2005

Saturday ...


 I Spent the day with my friend Mary Lou yesterday, we both had different ideas about what kind of plans we should make. She wanted to go to the Hard Rock, I wanted to go to Calle Ocho in Little Havana (Miami), yep ... Latin Carnival (Mardi Gras) bright colored costumes, 40 stages with top name Latin bands, food and people from around the globe. (I didn't win this time!)      We decided to compromise and start the day off without any plans and wait to see where we end up!

     I met her at her place, it's a 4o minute drive for me. While she was finishing up a few last minute details and phone calls I went outside to take a few photos.


     Mary Lou lives on the intercoastal so there's always plenty to see. As I was taking a few upclose shots of flowers, I heard a grumbly voice call down from above ... Him- "you're wasting film." I looked up on a balcony and there stood a man holding a huge white circle. No doubt that even the voice from the balcony above would have to agree that the two shots above were not a total waste, but I decided to play along.

     Me - "these flowers are beautiful, but maybe you've got a better idea, do you think I should be taking photos of you?" Him- " No, you couldn't afford to take photos of me." Me- "Okay ...  what do you think I should be taking photos of then?" He holds up the big white circle Me- "should I take a photo of that?" Him- "No you would be wasting film!" Me - Okay, then what should I photograph?"


He turned the circle around ... it was a brightly colored table top that he had painted. Him- photograph this. Me - Okay I will. Him - Did you get it? Me - yes and you are right ... that was not a waste of film, thank you. He walked back into his condo and I continued what I was doing.

     As you can see, many of the neighbors have boats ... nice ones!


     It was a busy day on the water ... boats, boats, boats! Mary Lou lives by a draw bridge, it's a high boat traffic area. 

     In the photo on the right, I was having a little fun with Photoshop (new skills from my Wednesday night classes). I actually used parts of 5 different photos that I took all within a few minutes of each other. I added an additional boat (the one up front) to the already brisk boat traffic photo, I also added the floating Pelican, the flying pelican and the GoodYear Blimp ... all from different photos. Kind of cool, right?


     We ended up spending a large part of the day at the Palm Aire Resort and Spa with all of the Snow Birds escaping the relentless winter in the north! That darn groundhog!

     Mary Lou gets and employee discount so we went for the royal treatment at the spa ... steam, sauna and a totally relaxing massage, ahhh ...we love employee discounts.

     It was a leisurely, rejuvenating afternoon and then we did end up driving to Hollywood to the Hard Rock. I go there frequently but she had not been since they opened the huge shopping area. (she so owes me Calle Ocho next year) 


     I'll give you a tour of the Hard Rock in another entry but I did want to share the photo of my frosty friend from the north, that was outside in the courtyard. I really thought she was a statue ... then I saw her move, it was very few huge animated movements, there were only 2 of us in the huge and very crowded courtyard that saw the little dance ... we stayed for at least 15 minutes to see if she would move again and that girl did not even bat an eyelash. Quite artsy but that's one job that I would not want.

                                *** Coy ***


Saturday, March 5, 2005

Listening to moonbeams and following snails ...

    I ran across a magical web site yesterday when doing a general search for drawing fairies. I'm posting a sample of what I found there with the permission of the writer. Her Name is Carol Rosinski, she is an artist, illustrator, teacher and lover of life ... great title, right? I love the imagination behind the creative words found there and just thought I would share.                             

                                       *** Coy ***



How to Draw Fairies (First you must find one.)

To find one, you might:

listen to moonbeams,

follow snails,

look behind wishes,


feel around under aspirations.

To draw a fairy, you must hold it in your heart and whisper your dreams to it. Only then will it trust you and let you see its essence.

Hold the fairy's essence in your heart like a butterfly cupped in your hand. Offer it bird seed and chocolate so that it will linger.

After you have learned to balance this delicate creature in your heart, then you can begin to draw it. Open your eyes wide and hold on to your pencil gently. Let your pencil dance across the paper in a celebration of love and fairy dust.

Don't linger here to long. This is a magical place and you are only granted admission for the duration of your enchantment.

Carol Rosinski
Drawing Lessons and Fairy Dust


Thursday, March 3, 2005

Time Off Request, Conventions and Rain Checks ...


                 Wow, thanks for this one Jeanno ... it's beautiful!

     I've put in a time off request at work for the last week in May. I'm Hoping to attend The Face and Body Art International Convention in Orlando. It's such a busy time of the year for us that even with months of advanced notice, my time off request might not be approved but I've got my fingers crossed!

     It is a four day convention, jam packed with classes and workshops taught by many of the most experienced artists in their field. Here's the link to the website if anyone wants to take a look at the photo galleries. Cool stuff is found there!

    click here

     The best part about this years convention is the theme ... A Mid Summer Night's Dream. I'm so excited at the thoughts of watching the masters and learning to create fantasy faces of the characters from Shakespeare's Fairy Kingdom.

      On last night of the convention, there will be A Mid Summer Night's Dream Enchanted Ball where all will attend adorning there most imaginative fairy art and costumes and will celebrate until the wee hours of the morning.

     So ... now you know why I've been searching for fairy tale art this week. Thanks again to all of you that went out of your way to help with my search. I'm still not sure I've found the exact illustrations I'm looking for but you have given me a really good place to start.

     Suzypwr ... if you can't find the book, maybe you can remember the name so I can try to find one. 

     Michael ... if you happen to run across that illustrated folio you mentioned I would love to see it. Scan, post, send ... oh, and did I mention that the convention is in Orlando? Maybe I'll try to take you up on that rain check for lunch! lol

                                    *** Coy ***


Wednesday, March 2, 2005

He's back ...


  with tales of monsoons, baseball, a screenplay, waiting tables, Bark the musical, falling in and now out of love and learning to play the guitar.

     See for yourself ...

     This Sublime Dance  <-- click

     You'll want to add this one to your alerts!

                                   *** Coy ***