Doodles, sketches, Pixels, iPads, Computers and a human.

What makes a drawing? What makes Art?  The ‘tools of the trade’ and changing as fast as the art world always has…..In doing some internet digging here are some interring words.

 “Art Authority, one of the top apps for viewing artworks, has already upgraded its resolution to match that of the new iPad. The app claims that with retina display, seeing art on the iPad is “as good as in a museum.” That, of course, is questionable since no app can truly replace a museum experience, and in our quest for high definition, one often forgets that life itself is free of pixels. We do not need an iPad to see the world, let alone artworks. Nevertheless, the increased resolution can only serve to improve the quality of apps such as Art Authority.

With more and more app developers upgrading to the newer resolution, the digital world of the iPad will surely emerge as sharper, clearer, and more inviting. But let’s hope we won’t lose ourselves, along withour sense of sight, in its stunning display, and will remember to look up at the world, at real life, from time to time. Maybe give our retinas a glimpse of the horizon or better yet, a piece of art! ” -

That is all about the VIEWING… what about the CREATING?

There is Art made on paper and then one way or another put into a digital form to show up on-line… there is “live performance Art” – taped and put on-line to share with the world… there is art totally created with digital computer tools, their is sculptural art, and jewelry art and on it goes on and on, mind boggling….a never ending fuzzy and wonderfully drawn line (to be corny) drawn in the sands of art time. Who else has read Harold and his purple crayon?  This purple line goes on and on….just like art…

I find the iPad an incredible freeing and fantastic creative tool…It is part of my Digital Art. Below is a drawing that sums up what I feel about “digital art” right now, this day, this minuet and will probably change in five minuets.  A funny mix of styles, even the traditional is not traditional anymore. In this case the most traditional tool is Photography. (Today some folks still question whether photography is an art. For the record, I am clear that it is.) In this piece it’s the background image, a travel photo of a rocky coast.. Export it into SketchBook Pro (IiPad app) and Brushes (another iPad app) …recreate…. add a cartoon like sketch made on the iPad.  Enhanced by exporting it to Photoshop on my desktop…. then take it all back to the iPad and PSTouch (Photoshop for the iPad – it’s amazing!), add another photo, this time taken with the iPad camera of what was actually a table edge right in front of me (can you find it?) Back to “big brother Photoshop” on the desktop…. add a few more adjustments and lighting needs. Doing it on the desktop just because it is bigger and I have ever tool possible to me there. This is what I end up….. A mixed media, modern art work? Marty (the fish) looks TOTTALY out of place and yet there is also something fascinating about the juxtaposition. All these tools/devices/skills/modes of creativity are all mixed up together, not fighting each other, just hanging out toghter waiting for use. Is that what you feel about digital art? At the very least it is an intriguing process to pursue.

As it was stated above- “…one often forgets that life itself is free of pixels. We do not need an iPad to see the world, let alone artworks… remember to look up at the world, at real life, from time to time. Maybe give our retinas a glimpse of the horizon or better yet, a piece of art!”

Birdelini and World Water Week

Birdelini and The Great Wave
Birdelini and The Great Wave © Botanical Beauties and Beasties

Yesterday was World Water Day…..Birdelini is showing her support!

“Water pollution is a main cause of reduced water availability and can have serious impacts on the environment and on human health. Pollution stems for inappropriate industrial and agricultural practices as well as from urban waste production. In agriculture, overuse of chemical fertilizers and of pesticides leads to contamination of water bodies (rivers, lakes, underground aquifers). Intensive livestock production can also impact the quality of water resources if measures are not taken. New, more integrated approaches to food production can substantially improve the situation and limit pollution.


Protection also means conservation. A good soil, well maintained, can capture much of the rainwater, and avoid surface runoff which causes erosion and the loss of soil nutrients. Conservation agriculture is a farming practice that makes best use of available water, increases the resistance of plants to droughts and at the same time contributes to improving both the quantity and quality of groundwater and rivers.

Management of watersheds and the protection of water sources are also important. Forests can play an important role in protecting water resources.”

Shoes……By Bella Birdelini

Birdelinin says;  “As do many woman, I rather like shoes! I like to wear them as fashion statements, I like to look at them, I like to design them.  So today I am sharing some of my recent shoe Designs. Hope you like them! To see each one larger click on the sketch.

Yellow BootA summer sandalFun Flats

As expected, Bella Birdelini (my Label)  shoes are created from imagination and renewable resource fabrics or materials. I am having a favoloso time sketching, expect to see more sketches, shoes, and many other things!” sneaker

Saturday artwork for fun

Two Birds of a feather….. If opposites attract  then what is this?

2 Birds....

   Zoie and her friend. (friend is a iPad sketch we did from SketchBook Pro) 


Moe wants a new iPad!

The Retina display is amazing and he and the whole gang will look even better! He is swimming to shore to think about all this!

Moe and the great wave



What a super Hero may look like to a Botanical Beautie or Beastie!
I just discovered SketchBook Pro-Watch out world! 

SUper Hero
a quick doodle made on my iPad with SketchBook Pro -

13 Healing Powers of Lemons – Fun Food Fridays!

Wiz, Bou's cousin
Lemons are so good for you! I love lemons, the look, the smell, the taste and the color! 

These words come to you from a care2 post on Feb 2, 2012.  This may not be the most glamorous list but…..( “If you’re not getting fresh lemons into your diet, you may want to reconsider after reading the many health benefits of lemons, lemon juice, pith (the white part), or zest (skin).

Here are 13 amazing healing powers of lemons

  • Bowel-Cleansing:  The bitter taste of lemon gives these fruit the ability to increase peristalsis–a pumping-motion in the bowels–which helps to eliminate waste from the bowels and improve regularity.  Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning.
  • Cancer:  Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including limonene—a naturally-occurring oil that slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals.  Lemons also contain a substance called flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.
  • Colds and Flu:  Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work in conjunction for a serious punch against infection.
  • Liver:  Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
  • Nutrition:  Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.
  • Balances Body Chemistry:  While lemons are acidic they interact with the body’s metabolism to have an alkalizing effect on the bodily fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.
  • Allergies:  Lemons contain the phytonutrient hesperetin which has been shown in studies to alleviate allergic symptoms.
  • Brain and Nervous System Disorders:  Containing the potent phytonutrient tangeretin in the peel, lemons have been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
  • Eye Disorders:  Rutin, found in lemons, has been shown in research to improve the symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy.
  • Anti-Viral:  In addition to being effective against cold and flu viruses, terpene limonoids found in lemons have proven anti-viral effects on other types of viruses.
  • Diabetes: In addition to improving eye problems linked with diabetes, lemons contain hesperetin which lowers blood sugar levels (when they are high).
  • Gall and Kidney Stones:  The citric acid found in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
  • Anti-Aging:  The vitamin C found in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.

Cook with Lemons!”

Read more:


Oh – and don’t forget, Drink that water too!  I like warm lemon water all year round.

See ya all on Monday!  


Does our “fashion” and wearable art (i.e. our clothing) define us?

I am fascinated by this! We all know if you dress “better” you feel “better.” How much do you think about your “personal style” and the ID tags you attach to that? Hmmm – just fascinating.

From a site I enjoy called Design You Trust, I came across this man named Dean Christian.(link)  Here is his take. Check out his website for more info and images. According to his twitter page he is a Fashion/portrait photography student in LA. I think he is a good find to watch.

Photo by

“Clothes are a funny thing. When we put a certain piece of clothing on it can change us. It affects how we feel, how we walk down the street, how we go about our day. For many, style is a form of self-expression. You can often tell how a person is feeling by what they are wearing.

But does our style define us as an individual? Does it ultimately replace one’s identity?” – Dean

Here is Birdelli with and without…. hmmmmm

The ID of clothing
Can you see yourself in this outfit? Well, OK, maybe without the hat!

Never Hide! Meet Antoinette Ledzian.

Antoinette: Gordy & The Journal Lady ®

Gordy is starting his INTERVIEW process – if you are an artist, or know one that might like to be included please let us know!
Gordy: Hello and welcome to The Journal Lady® (aka The Memory Keeper and Antoinette Ledzian. Author, artist and befriended of strangers.)

The Journal Lady and I meet a few months back, her energy and “joie de vivre” was instantly clear. At that time I had no idea how wildly creative and wonderful her “ways and means” or how diverse and fun her art is. It turns out she utilizes any medium which illustrates the written word . . . She tells me that “My middle names are *Serendipity* *Organization* and *Inspiration* . . .
I love following my bliss and trusting my intuition which leads to synchronicity and continual new experiences which from stories that usually get posted with my photographic images on flickr in the form of “six word stories” . . . (see link below) That all sounds great and we kept on chatting.. When I asked about herself and her art the wonderful answer was. “Every day is filled with a new adventure because I totally trust the creative process, truly believing that through my art I have learned to overcome any obstacles, and most importantly, turn negatives into positives at every turn. Every day is a gift . . . and every corner turned presents another opportunity to create ART!”

It is clear from your wonderful website and links that you are a lady of many talents! Since you name is The Journal Lady I assume that is a major part of you, true?

Antoinette Ledzian
I Have been “visual journaling” long before it became a fad! Some of my work is featured in “Art and Healing” by Barbara Ganim. Although I am a “Certified Expressive Arts Facilitator” I don’t hang out a shingle, but DO incorporate my experiences in day-to-day living and teaching the arts.

I have studied and practiced art my entire life, taking classes with instructors from all over the world . . . from Colby Sawyer College in New London, NH to the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, RISD, The Letterpress Guild of NE, and through calligraphic organizations or adult-ed classes. My husband and I have written, illustrated and published a book entitled, “The Cat Who Lost Its Meow” . . . a book about processing loss through art and journaling. 

Gordy: Is there a process to your work?
Antoinette: I utilize any medium which illustrates the written word . . . photography, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, collage, letterpress, graphic design, fabric, fiber and, of course, calligraphy! I have been blessed with the luxury of living and creating in my home/studio on a daily basis for over 30 years. For 10 years I held a summer camp for 9-12 year olds entitled “Art Bound Camp” where we wrote and painted, combining the results in a journal, complete with illustrated covers. (links to this on

Gordy: What do you love the most about creativity?
Antoinette: The satisfaction that bubbles up from deep within, especially with visual journaling, is invaluable to personal growth. No activity nor purchase can compare to using God’s given gifts to the fullest.

Gordy: Do you consider yourself an “environmentalist?”
Absolutely, without a doubt . . . as artists, my husband and I are insatiable recyclers. From cooking a chicken and eating leftover concoctions for days, to cutting up old clothing for sewn collages, pillows or journal covers . . .
Going to the dump is a challenge at times! Even worse is returning from the landfill with a perfectly good item, which begs to be recycled.

Gordy: What connection to sustainability (if any) does your work have?
As a writer and journal keeper, my connection to sustainability goes hand in hand, as my natural well never runs dry. Creativity and resourcefulness are always at my fingertips in concrete or virtual form. This spills over into invaluable skills for adjusting to life’s ups and downs. The ability to take time to reflect is invaluable to the growth process and becoming the best at being me so that I can give back to others in an inspirational way.

Gordy: Are their links to websites of your work?
Note: We (at Botanical Beauties & Beasties) were lucky enough to be a featured in Colorful Expressions- read all about us! 

Gordy: Where, how, can folks find your great pieces?
Readers can contact me through my website. We have occasional home studio shows.
Gordy: My final question to you is …what advise, tips do you have for aspiring artist and/or creative souls?
CREATE CREATE CREATE . . . take time to use all your senses every day.
Avoid Television at all costs (haven’t watched it in over 40 years) . . .
Go to art openings whenever possible.
Enroll in classes to stretch one’s knowledge.
Be true to yourself. Have FAITH.
Keep records and pictures of your creations for reflection.
TALK TO STRANGERS . . . do interviews and post to flickr!

It’s National Soup Month! It’s Friday. It’s Pho-day!

It’s friday and Julia and I love Pho from my head to my toes!

Julia and Pho Soup

So here is a recipe that is fairly easy to make. You can adjust as desired. THis one is veggie only. Traditional Pho has thin sliced beef, that works too! So would Chicken or tofu!

This recipe is from a website called The Kitchn. I like their ideas and philosophies of food and planet.  Here is a little bite (ha ha) about them.

“The Kitchn is a site for people who like to get their hands dirty while they cook.
It is for those who care about the quality of their food, and how it affects the health of themselves and the planet. It is also for those who want to cook more, but are shy in the kitchen. It’s a place to dive in deep, and embrace the joy of one of our basic needs: food.”


Now- on to the Pho! – the rest of this post is from their page. To see some wonderful photos to tempt you even further – go to the page they posted with the directions!

“There are few better comfort foods than Vietnamese phở. When I’m on the verge of a cold or in need of a culinary pick-me-up, I sit down to a restorative bowl of aromatic broth, slippery rice noodles, and fresh, customizable garnishes.

Between the broth, noodles, and assorted garnishes like onions, herbs, chiles, and lime, phở (pronounced “fuh” not “foe”) is a wonderful interplay of textures and flavors. Traditionally, the soup is made with beef or chicken bones. Vegetarian versions, called phở chay, may be found at Buddhist establishments or restaurants catering to contemporary, Western clientele but, sadly, these often leave much to be desired.

In the interest of making vegetarian phở at home, I consulted my mother, who recalled her experience living in a Vietnamese Buddhist community that made meat-free phở broth with a medley of spices, ginger, and lots of carrots. This recipe is my interpretation. While it admittedly lacks the richness of meat-based phở, it’s still quite fragrant and filling without being heavy. There’s also room to make it your own by adding different proteins or vegetables. I continue to work on perfecting the broth, so let me know what you think!

Vegetarian Phở (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
Serves 2

1 large onion, peeled and halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16″, 1/8″, or 1/4″ width depending on availability and preference)

Toppings (optional)
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, or seitan
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, or broccoli

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, culantro/saw-leaf herb
Hoisin sauce, sriracha (optional)

For the broth
Char onion and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.

In a large pot, dry roast cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When spices are aromatic, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, and charred onion and ginger.

Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.

For the noodles
While broth is simmering, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)

For the toppings (optional)
While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.

To serve
Divide noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into each bowl. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.

Time off. Resting is good too.

We will be taking this week off, even Beasties need some down time. The Whole Gang at Botaniumus wishes you all the very best for 2012.

Zoie is taking some time to dance, swirl, and enjoy. All the creatures hope you can relax, enjoy and do a little wiggling yourself!

For those of you that celebrate Kwanzaa Merry Ones to you!

Take a little time to wig, wag, and enjoy.