If you’ve been blogging awhile, you’ve probably had days when you feel like giving up. It takes too much time, your readership is growing too slowly, you’re not sure if your blog really stands out. You feel like your work doesn’t matter.
But you’re not a quitter, so you decide to stick it out a little longer and try a fresh approach.
Check out the following suggestions for making your blog even better than it is now, with ideas from some of the best blogs on the web.
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Last week’s Diva Challenge was to tangle in a larger format than you usually use. Since I usually make my tangles on a 3-inch tile, I worked in my 5×7-inch sketchbook instead. Having a larger area to cover took a lot more time–three sittings instead of my usual one, which is why I’m posting this so late.
I’m getting into the holiday spirit:
Patterns used: crux, cuidad, heartline, fiore, golvin, moving day, leaflet, static.
A couple weeks ago, my daughter Katie accompanied me to the Serbian Festival in Phoenix to celebrate my birthday.
Serbia is located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan peninsula, east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea. In 1918, Serbia, along with Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Slovenia, merged to become Yugoslavia. They disbanded into independent nations in 1991 (I am greatly over-simplifying their struggles).
The festival took place at the beautiful (and colorful) St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, which was open to the public. We went on the second day of the two-day festival.
One of the missions of the church, besides worshipping God in the traditional manner of Serbian Christians, is to preserve and pass on the culture and heritage of Serbia. The church also sponsors folklore groups for children and teens to teach and keep alive the traditions, music, and dances of Serbia.
The foyer to their Cultural Center was open as well, featuring educational exhibits, including these authentic Serbian costumes.
When we arrived, Srbija, a three-piece band (keyboard, accordion, and drum set) was playing Serbian music. I recognized some of the songs and joined the line of dancers doing the lesnoto step.
No ethnic festival would be complete without food, and this one was no exception. Katie and I split a palacinke (Serbian crepe) filled with nutella and ground walnuts.
The band played some more Serbians songs, and a bunch of teenaged girls (and an older woman) got up to dance.
But for me, the main event was the church’s Serbian folk dance groups. First up were the little kids:
Next were the Juniors:
And finally the Seniors:
Below, the girls dance in a circle while the boys grab onto the girls’ belts.
And here, the boys and girls are arranged like spokes on a wheel…
In the photos below, the dancers are linked together by holding on to each other’s belts:
As the program went on, the dances grew more and more complex. The girls always smiled. They were so beautiful, and the boys, so handsome. Aren’t their costumes gorgeous? Many of them were made by hand by their mothers, including the embroidery.
A dozen inspiring articles to spark your creativity:
My offerings for the Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt, bridge:
The first is at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
The next is a footbridge over the canal near my hone.
And finally, a merely decorative one in my neighborhood.
A great big thank you to artist and instructor Gail Bartel for this fabulous painting tutorial. Check out more of her artwork on her blog, that artist woman.
The trees are a swirl of brightly coloured leaves, or at least they were until we had some really strong winds and they all blew away.
Here is a great little fall project.
– nice paper for painting on
– green masking tape (painter’s tape) optional
– acrylic or liquid tempera paints
– pencil or black pencil crayon
– oil pastels
Tape paper onto art board using masking tape. This will give us a nice white border.
Using white and blue paint your background. You want a white oval off centre and then light blue and darker blue. Have the kids paint in a circular motion.
Set aside to dry.
This one was with acrylic.
I did this one with disk tempera to compare.
Starting with brown, paint dashes around our oval.
With brown we stay away from the white oval.
We then add orange covering some of our brown dashes and work a little closer into the oval.
After orange we add yellow.
As we get into the centre with the yellow add a little white paint to mix a really light yellow.
Set aside to dry.
When the paint is dry remove the tape.
With a pencil or black pencil crayon draw your tree trunk. You want to come from the corner closest to the centre of your swirl.
You want it to look like you are looking up into the tree.
Using black oil pastel go over your tree trunk lines and fill in.
Now you could just leave it at this point but oil pastel looks better if you blend it a bit.
In my studio I would just use a paper tortillion but at school we don’t have them around so the kids use a q-tip.
If my lines are quite fine I will take the q-tip and break and use the little broken end to blend my fine branches.
Here is a comparison of acrylic vs liquid tempera.
The acrylic covers better (more opaque) so your lights are brighter. For the liquid tempera I added some dashes in pencil crayon in orange, yellow, and light yellow to help with this after the paint was dry.