Saturday, May 26, 2012

Watermelon Days

Watermelon Days
The first sure sign of summer is not the summer solstice, June 21st or lightening bugs captured in a jar.  It’s a juicy, sloppy, slurpy bite of ice cold watermelon. A head plant into an entire watermelon half, as pictured above, is the best way to enjoy it.  You really should try it sometime.  Just forget about all pretense and plunge in. Make sure you aim for the middle. When you come up for air you’ll know the true definition of “delight”.

The dictionary describes delight this way … a high degree of pleasure, enjoyment, joy or rapture. Mr. Webster must have been thinking about watermelons.

These girls just describe it with a big “YUMMMM!”  Adding a long hanging - on– the –end  twang to the “um” part.

Sheer delight. Summer bliss.  Watermelon days are here again.

So, go feel like a kid again. Find a watermelon. Slice off a big chunk. 
And take your first bite of summer. Head plants are optional.
With watermelon slurps & smiles,

Lilly, Alexa & Sophia - watermelon girls.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Go Where You Are Celebrated!

“Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated”.

Do you remember the last time you were really celebrated?  Applauded, cheered, exulted, praised and partied over? Let this photo remind you of what it feels like.
Photo by Kathy Ward
 This is Marybeth, our creative art director, as she completed the grueling Iron Girl Triathlon last Sunday at Lake Lanier in Georgia.  Most participants were dragging themselves over the finish line at this point, with grim but accomplished expressions, after completing a 1/3 mile swim, 19 mile bike ride and 3 mile run.  It was tough. Marybeth, however, crossed the finish line with a steely determination and then glanced up to see that, to her surprise, her supportive audience had grown! James & I were among her family & friends cheering her on!  She hadn’t expected all this attention, all these adoring fans! This photo captures that moment.  That split- second moment when she realized that she was being celebrated with extravagant love.  A cheering crowd of family, friends and surprise supporters, shouted, yelled, hooped and hollered and completely abandoned all respectable forms of congratulations.  We we’re insanely proud of her, unashamed in our expressions, and we loudly and publicly showered Marybeth with support.  She was celebrated and it absolutely caught her off guard.

 I love the expression in this photo. It’s an expression we should all feel. Really.

We should all have this arms-out-stretched-I-can’t believe-I’m-so loved-and-celebrated-feeling everyday.  Because we actually have someone who does celebrate us.  Everyday.  He rejoices and shouts joyfully over us. Just listen to how much:

“The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17

Just read that over again with your name in place of the “you”.  You are celebrated every single day. It’s an amazing thought. It’s a running- around- the- yard- I’m- so- incredibly- filled- with -joy –and-love- I -can’t -contain –myself- feeling.

You really should allow yourself to feel this way today.

 And tomorrow.  And everyday.

 The lover of your soul is having a party over you all the time.  Just think about it awhile and let the champagne bubbles of that being- loved- emotion pop the cork off of any ordinary day.

Feeling bubbly,

Celebrated granddaughters, Sophia, Lilly and Alexa running around the backyard.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Artists

Some kids just have a joyful spark and touch your heart as soon as you meet them.  The young artists we are featuring today are two such people! Their creative expressions simply pulse with life, laughter and love.  Perfect sentiments for Mother’s Day!

These young artists, Madison and Katie, are the daughters of Marybeth Wydock, the creative art director at Velvet Lime Girls.  They began to show signs of their artistic DNA, passed on from their mother, at a very young age.  Here are a few of their early expressions.

Madison Wydock created the piece above, entitled, “Sunflower”.  Who would have imagined that a sunflower could explode with such vibrant color?  Looking through the eyes of a child can be so inspiring!  We love the color washes, the squiggles and the center section filled with circle details. (“Those are the seeds, silly”). We’ll never look at sunflowers again without thinking of Madison’s spectacular interpretation. It just makes you want to celebrate when your eyes are pulled into the party going on in the center of that flower… and then, dance around a bit with those salsa-style squiggles scattered around the petals. If you look at it too long, you may find yourself dancing around the room with a sunflower clenched between your teeth doing the rumba.  Watch out, this painting has passion.

Katie Wydock created this next piece above, entitled "Butterfly”.  You have to know Katie to really appreciate this piece.  Notice the smile on the butterfly.  It’s not just a normal smile.  It’s a larger than life, I’m- about- to–pop-out-of-my–skin-smile. (Or, out of my membrane, green shell or exoskeleton).  He’s grinning from ear to ear, or antenna to antenna, since they don’t really have ears, do they? He has to be the happiest little butterfly ever created and he seems to be holding a surprise.  He knows something you don’t know and he just can’t wait to tell you.  There’s a little flap down his side that opens! Really. A little slit that holds a secret message inside! His smile almost gave it away, but the kaleidoscope-colored wings filled with unimaginable patterns hold your eyes in fascination.  You just have to rest a bit on those wings before you open up this dimensional piece … those wings almost look illuminated. When you do open up that long green body, the sentiment inside gives the butterfly away.  He was really a love bug, with beautiful wings, carrying a message from the heart.  That’s what Mother’s Day is really all about anyway. Carrying messages of love from the heart.

Celebrating Mother’s everywhere,

Message inside Katie's butterfly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Art

Rebecca Rhodes Ladikos.  Circa 1987.  Copyright RRL.
The next few days we’ll be featuring some of our favorite Mother’s Day artists.  The first two artists that are featured belong to that heart- warming group that mothers everywhere recognize. Children. Many mothers have artwork from this talented group gracing their walls and refrigerators.  Today’s selections come from a collection known as “our children”.  In my mind, they were the finest little artists around in the late '80’s and early '90's.

Our daughter Rebecca, did the first piece above, an explosion of vibrant colors in an expressive, watercolor palette, around the age of eight. The color combinations and styling hint at a future talent now showcased at Velvet Lime Designs, as she splashes us with color selections and ideas for artwork that inspires.
Caleb Rhodes. Circa 1991.  Copyright CR
Our son, Caleb, did the second piece, an architectural study in pencil and watercolor, at around the age of eight also.  The linear projections, lines and “scaffolding” reveal a passion for building structures that is now seen in his projects at Green Friendly Homes.

We love creative expression around here and we’re especially fond of the ones made by children.  We’d love to see yours and share them with our friends!  So, send us a copy of your favorite little artist’s work to: info

Look for originals from Marybeth’s girls tomorrow!

Celebrating “our little works of art”,