Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Son's first "Commercial"

My son and his friends created a commercial for "Dandruff Shampoo"...  My son is the one in the shower...  This is a "twodaydude" production, directed by Austin Elliott, concept by Zac Messik and acted by Will Bednar.


The Poetry Jam, "Summer Chillin'"

My girls learning to ride

"Summer Chillin"

Summer breezes ruffled her mane,
the wind caught in my hair.
Off on an adventure we went,
the two of us made a fine pair.

The birds chirped and twittered
as we walked along the forest path.
I was in heaven enjoying my freedom
thankful for months of no math.

"Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on my Head"
quite often a favorite melodic choice.
Her ears happily twitched as we trotted along,
she alone appreciated my alto voice.

We owned time; we could do as we pleased.
A quick splash in the stream?
Yes, right before we rounded the fence
on our way home for a scoop of ice cream.

Summer air, breeze, song, and sun.
Add swimming and sweets, of course,
and that, for me, is "summer chillin'"
done right!  Now all I need is a horse!

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, June 21, 2011

This is for the "Poetry Jam".  Please hop over and enjoy the other entries - I am hosting and the theme is "Summer Chillin'".  There is a day or two left to enter until next week's "flavor" is introduced!

I am currently looking for a horse to lease and my girls are leasing the pony Icy this month, enthusiastically learning to ride (and doing a swell job, I might add!)  I am really enjoying spending so much time with my girls and looking forward to the day we can ride the forest trails.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Three photos, three challenges

This is the pony, Icy, we are leasing this month.  She is a beautiful 7 year old mare and she has one blue eye (she sees perfectly fine with it).  This is for "Macro Monday."

This photo is for the "Creative Exchange".  I had a hard time deciding which I liked better, the b&w or the color version.  I selected the photo below as I think it has an almost "polaroid" look to it.

The photo above is for "Perceptive Perspective", theme: "water fun".  I went to the Inn on Biltmore Estates with three teenagers a few weeks back and their idea of fun is totally different than my three year old sons!  This was about 10 pm at night and the water was PERFECT.  

Magpie Tales #70 & Poetry Jam "A Secret, Preserved"

Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales, Tess Kincaid
A Secret, Preserved

Musty stairs, filtered light,
my breath labored.
The attic, once familiar,
once comforting, is barren.  Almost.

My grandmother's fading presence,
her history, whittled down
into a solitary cardboard box, its dented,
dusty corners bent with age.

Reverently I kneel,
my clasped hands unfold,
seeking memories within.

Hand cut paper people,
hidden for decades, greet me,
their accordion hands linked together,
eternally dancing.

I trace carefully written
curves and loops fading into sepia paper
and embroidered initials upon a
delicate handkerchief;
a cherished rememberance?

Fresh young faces from 1918 smile;
a first kindergarten class?

I tilt a frame, capturing dim light
and become hypnotized by
sensationally dark eyes
peering into my world, into me.

Backlit, she glows with antiqued vigor;
I realize this is "she", Jenny.
The one whispered about,
the one of whom questions
were not to be asked.

Eavesdropping, I learned a single tear
slid from the corner of her eye
moments before her death.
Intrigued, I never forgot,
hoped to one day know more.

Now I hold her in my hands, beauty preserved,
protected for all ages behind old glass.
I close the box, decide to keep
the "dancing people" and the photograph.

The "secret" remains hidden,
but her image is finally, once again,
graced by the light of day.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens June 20, 2011


Most recently, I submitted this to "Poetry Jam", December 6, 2011.   I apologize if some of you have already read this poem.  I'm real busy this week and wanted to participate in Poetry Jam.

This is for Magpie Tales #70.  The photo that Tess Kincaid provided reminded me of a face that I have been fascinated with since a little girl.  This poem is loosely based on a family "mystery", one that really cannot be answered as the last one to know the "story" was my grandmother.  Jenny was her sister-in-law, my grandfather's much loved older sister.  Jenny died in 1909.   I loved walking up the wooden stairs to my grandmothers attic.  The old beds and quilts and boxes were so much fun to touch and look through.  I remember a box I loved to play with - it was full of all the things my grandmother used as a teacher of elementary children around the year of 1918.  I believe this was one of her first classes:

I also submitted this to One Stop Poetry's "Form Monday".  The topic is Free Verse, hosted by Shay, aka "Fireblossom-Word Garden".  I have considered my writing a from of poetry, specifically free verse, but now, I'm not so sure.  I am a newby at attempting poetry - hesitantly started in October of 2010.   I don't mind hard critiques, actually welcome them.  I might not have time to go back and caress a "poem" right away, but I can apply words of advice as I move foreword...

Also submitted this to OSP's "One Shot Wednesday"#51.  By the end of the day on Wednesday, there will be well over 100 submissions!  

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Evening's Stroll

A stroll with my daughter ended up being a really beautiful experience as we watched these swans swim into sight.   I have seen them numerous times while driving by and I plan on getting out early one morning in hopes to find them in the soft light of early morning.  Wish I had a more powerful zoom lens...  The photo below is for "Weekend Reflections".

I loved these blooming flowers on the trees.  I have no idea what they are but they remind me of fireworks.

Don't know what these are either, but love the vibrant colors.

I know this is a Cardinal that reallly was hard to capture as he was busy darting in and out of trees.

I think this is Queen Anne's Lace and I wish I had been more patient as this is blurry.  I like the idea of this and will give it another try - maybe bring my tripod along next time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Flash 55 and "Two in Tandem #6" - "The Rain Dance"

Photo Courtesy of Jinksy
The Rain Dance

Oh glorious summer,
your inspiring breeze and
melodious sounds
make me feel

Oh brazen clouds,
I  will help you,
for the light strongly flickers,
yielding only momentarily
its golden touch
to your somber mood.

Oh trusted rain dance,
Grandfather taught me well!
I know my pounding footsteps
and magic song
will help bring rain.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, June 16, 2011

This is for "Two in Tandem #6" This is a painting provided by "Alias Jinksy" and Elizabeth of "Unraveling" also has a beautiful image for us to respond to.  I would have loved to take a stab at both, but just don't have the time this week.

Did YOU ever do a rain dance?  I remember one summer late in the '70's my sister and I and some friends really worked a rain dance, and boy did it rain.  We ran around with our swimsuits, the warm rain cooling us off on a hot summer day.

This is also a Friday Flash 55.  Visit the G-man's blog, HERE.  Click "comments" to find the links to other stories in 55 words!

Magpie Tales #69, "A Legacy"

Photo Courtesy of Magpie Tales - Tess Kincaid

A Legacy

“Sally sells seashells by the seashore
She sells seashells on the seashell shore”
Olive and Lulu, born in 1882 and 1887.
As a youngster I couldn’t get enough
of their master storytelling and
tongue twisters.  At their feet I sat, listening;
“The seashells she sells are seashore shells,
Of that I’m sure.”
laughing and enjoying their frivolity.
Innocent fun, two uniquely educated
woman, inspiring a generation to live
life to it’s fullest.  To embrace the mind.
She sells seashells by the seashore.”
A fascinating mixture of ladylike manners
and snappy, intensely focussed minds.
Worlds of imagination lurked behind 
Lulu’s laughing eyes and dancing voice.
She hopes she will sell all her seashells soon.
Olive a bit more demure, laughter a bit softer
was not outshone by any means.
Sweetly she matched her younger sister’s wit;
both master storytellers, they.
If neither he sells seashells
Nor she sells seashells
Life cloaked them with eternal youth
as their legacy is one of uplifting hearts. 
To this day when I hear “Sally’s Seashore”
tongue-twister of letter “S”,
Who shall sell seashells
Shall seashells be sold?
Olive Ruth & Lulu Belle Beckington live on.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 4-9-11

* * * * *

These two woman never married and devoted their lives to education and teaching.  They bought a house and lived together, teaching in the state of Oklahoma.  (If a woman got married "back in the day", they had to give up their career.)  They were my grandfather's cousins. As I recall, the tongue twisters were NO problem for them!

I have also submitted this to "Magpie Tales" #69.  I wrote this back in April, but since my summer has been so busy that I barely have time to sit and eat (which isn't a bad thing), I will "cheat" a bit and use this one.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Poetry Jam - "Temptation & Forgiveness"

Photo Courtesy of Poetry Jam
Temptation and Forgiveness

A trickle of sweat defies
the rapidly moving paper fan
imprinted with the Savior's face.
My red tongue licks the salt
from my upper lip, almost
giving away my secret.  His eyes
remind me of my transgression,
but I cannot resist temptation.
I pop another sinfully sour
red explosion into my mouth,
careful not to swallow the pit.
The perfumed shade and the
stickiness of the imperfect
ones upon the ground
make me think, for a moment,
that I am in heaven.  I stop
fanning and look into His eyes
and ask forgiveness.  He understands.
I hope my grandmother will, too.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 14, 2011

One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother's cherry trees and our family picking cherries in the summer.   My mom canned and I'm sure my love for cherry pie began with that tree...

This is for the "Poetry Jam".  Click and check out the other participating poets.  I also submitted this for One Stop Poetry's "One Shot Wednesday #50".  I was the 115th entry!  I guess it is the place to be on Wednesdays!  :)

A few of Biltmore's garden statues

A few of Biltmore's statues...  I'm saving the lions and a few house "details" for tomorrow.  HERE is an interesting guide to Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains.  I have it set for Biltmore and I think it does a nice job with its presentation of what is to see when visiting the estate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Biltmore's Italian Garden

The Biltmore Italian Gardens are very peaceful.  I copied the following description from the Biltmore website:  Frederick Law Olmsted envisioned this space as an outdoor room for Vanderbilt and his guests. With its three symmetrical pools, manicured lawns, and classical statuary, the elegant Italian Garden is the perfect setting for quiet reflection. However, the contemplative mood transformed into a festive atmosphere whenever the Vanderbilts and their guests engaged in a lively set of tennis, on the grassy area nearest the house. After the match, guests could slip through the handy basement doorway to change clothes. 

"HERE" is a link to all the gardens that are on this estate.

The lillie pad's splash of color contrasting with the stone walls and statues is mesmerizing.  It isn't hard to  imagine the sounds of laughter and conversation of long ago...

I took these photos mid-day and hesitated to share them as the shadows are harsh.  But I got to thinking that this IS a garden designed for full sun and to be enjoyed as such.  Yes, photos with less shadow would be nice, but I think the play of shadow here is interesting.

This sweet cherub is at the end of the garden, centered overlooking the expanse of lillie pools and statues.  The house can be seen to the right and the covered terrace is directly in front of the Italian Garden.

The photo above is for "Macro Monday".

Views from the covered terrace.  I submitted this to the "Creative Exchange" as I think it exudes peace... I wasn't sure which one to use of the two, but chose the top one...

Tomorrow I will post the other statues from the Italian Garden.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Phone Call, a poem

Photo Courtesy of Rob Hanson for One Stop Poetry
The Phone Call

I close my eyes and
hear your voice, faintly.
My memory flutters
and skips like an old
movie reel, your voice
distorted; static and distantly
urgent, you told me
you loved another.
I clasped the receiver
for hours.   Did I think
I was holding on to you?
An antique now,
it gathers dust
along with my dreams,
ripped out of the wall,
its purpose, its life
ended.  As mine did
the last day you called.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 12, 2011

This is for One Stop Poetry's "One Shoot Sunday".  Rob Hanson is the photographer that was interviewed.  My week has been so hectic and I had hoped to spend more than 15 minutes on this!  But the midnight hour is upon me so... it is what it is! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Images from the Past, Part 7 - My Grandmother's 1915 Yellowstone Journal

1915 was nearing the end of the horse drawn carriages in Yellowstone.   A couple of years and they would be gone, replaced by automobiles.  Here are a few photos that feature horses and the various vehicles they pulled...  My grandmother, I believe, is to the left of the white horse.  I had NO idea she could ride!  I am participating in "Sepia Saturday" - please give yourself a treat and see what other photos and memories from the past are being highlighted today.

I like the above as the horse drawn vehicles were soon to be replaced by the automobile... which is "lurking" in the background, above right.    My grandmother is sitting on the far left.

I believe Marguerite is the second to the right.  Doesn't it look like LOADS of fun to trial ride these mountain trails!

This is one of my favorite photos.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - "The Playground"

Swiftly ascending the pole,
the girl pauses at the top
for a last look over the towers,
tunnels, and swings.
"When", thinks the mother,
"did she outgrow this?"
The girl tackles the beam effortlessly;
her mother's outstretched hand
not needed for balance.
Childhood's scampering by,
but the mother knows
she will once again
be needed.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, June 10, 2011

This is for Friday Flash 55, a story in 55 words.  Please visit the G-Man's blog "Mr. Know it All"!

Biltmore Walk - The Bass Pond

The above photo I THINK is of wild grapes?  The colors are not enhanced in anyway - just mother nature at her best!

I see so many natural "frames" while walking along Biltmore.  The following description is from the Biltmore.com website "HERE" - (what to see each month in the gardens).  I printed out the paragraph about the Bass Pond below, but I encourage you to visit their website!

Enjoy the Bass Pond

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the Bass Pond south of the Azalea Garden was created in 1895 by building a 20–foot–high dam on Four Mile Creek, which enters the valley from the east.  Olmsted paid careful attention to such details as the bottom surface (rock ledge and clay), the depth of the water (sloping from the shores to 20 feet at the dam), the irregular shoreline, the need for two small islands as protected nesting sites for shore birds and waterfowl, and the types of varied vegetation along the shore.  But the most ingenious aspect of the pond is the flume, which was engineered by Olmsted to carry storm waters laden with silt and debris through a brick aqueduct under the pond and out the base of the dam, thus avoiding siltation of the pond.  Renovated in 1990, the flume continues to serve its original function and remains unique to Biltmore.  The lovely curved brick bridge, which you may recognize from a scene in the movie "Last of the Mohicans," and the boat house on the north shore designed by the architect of Biltmore House, Richard Morris Hunt in collaboration with Olmsted, complete this beautiful setting.

These black and white photos I love because somehow it just captures the texture in a unique way...

I submitted the above boat house for "Weekend Reflections".

The bridge was used in a scene from "The Last of the Mohicans" with Daniel Day Lewis.  I didn't have time to walk over to it and take some unique shots, but I will next time.

The above is some Photoshop fun.  Might use this as a guide for a watercolor.   This weekend I plan on posting some of the amazing statues that grace the gardens of Biltmore.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Biltmore Walk - The Walled Garden - Part 2

I'm not sure if this was a caretakers cottage or just a garden shed.  Maybe it is used as an office today?  Either way, isn't it charming!?  

Frederick Law Olmstead created this "garden of ornament rather than utility" at Mr. Vanderbilt's request.   When touring this garden one can dial a number with a cell phone and listen to a  self-guided tour.

I had a little Photoshop fun above.  The flowers were a little bit past their prime and this was a fun way to play with them.  I think I should try and watercolor the image above...

Tomorrow I will post photos of my walk to the Bass Pond.