Paris is always a good idea. Especially if you’re hungry.

 

Paris is always a good idea.

 

Especially if you’re hungry.

So let’s brush up on our French first.

(And then go eat some french fries to calm our hunger pains.)

La Cigale et la Fourmi

La Cigale, ayant chanté
Tout l’été,
Se trouva fort dépourvue
Quand la bise fut venue :
Pas un seul petit morceau
De mouche ou de vermisseau.
Elle alla crier famine
Chez la Fourmi sa voisine,
La priant de lui prêter
Quelque grain pour subsister
Jusqu’à la saison nouvelle.
“Je vous paierai, lui dit-elle,
Avant l’Oût, foi d’animal,
Intérêt et principal. ”
La Fourmi n’est pas prêteuse :
C’est là son moindre défaut.
Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud ?
Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse.
– Nuit et jour à tout venant
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise.
– Vous chantiez ? j’en suis fort aise.
Eh bien! dansez maintenant.

LA FIN

-by Jean de LA FONTAINE   (1621-1695) (hey, like, that’s +300 years ago, you guys!)

Didn’t understand a word?

No problem!

Here. I’ve faithfully translated it for you:

Cindy Cicada and Miss Ant

Cindy Cicada, after having sung
her heart out
all summer long,
found herself
positively famished.
A chilly wind whipped around
the corner of State & Lake,
sending shivers down her spine
and makin’ her tummy go rumbly.

She hopped on the “L“,
boarded the Brown Line,
got off at Irving Park,
plodded the half-mile to her two-flat,
unlocked the door to her Apt. #1C rental,
bee-lined straight for the kitchen,
opened the fridge,
and peered inside.

“I spy with my little eye…..nothing.
Oh, wait! I see something green
in that Mason jar on the bottom shelf.”

Cindy took a sip.
And spit it out real quick.

“Eeeeeeww. YUCK. Gross.

Musta been that green smoothie
I made way back in May
(and musta forgot to finish)
before summer started.”

Quick as a cricket,
she hopped over
to Apt. #1A across the hall.

“Heya, Miss Ant, high five!
Whacha doin’?
Long time no see!
Got a bite for poor lil’ ole me?
I’m staaaaarving!
Got any of those yummy kale chips?
How ’bout some quinoa salad?
No? Nothing? Nada?
OK. Hmmm. Uh.
Could you spare me some dimes then?
I’ll just pop down to the street
to get us some tacos and green tea lattes.
How about it? Say yes!
Pretty please, Miss Ant?
With raw sugar on top?
I’ll pay you back before June.
August at the latest!”
promised Cindy Cicada to Miss Ant,
“Cross my heart, hope to die,
scout’s honor, pinky promise,
and all that jazz, ya know?

Neither a borrower nor a lender be“,
retorted Miss Ant.

“I’ll even pay you interest!”
countered Cindy.

“I’ve got a question for you, Ms. Cicada.
Just what exactly were you doing
all season long when you’ve been gone?
Weren’t you supposed to be out looking
for a job over summer vacation?”,
Miss Ant interrogated Cindy Cicada.

“Um, ah, I was following my passion,
ya know, Miss Ant!
Ya see, I’ve got a song
inside me and
I’d sing it in the morning,
I’d  sing it in the evening
all over this land,
to every person who’d come my way!”

“You were singing?
Yes. OK. Alright. I see.”
said Miss Ant sternly.
“I am so very happy for you.
Well, then, why don’t you
go and dance?
With the stars?
Just don’t be deluded
into thinking
you’ll be chosen for
America’s Got Talent.”

THE END


Miss AntMiss Ant
A financial adviser who regularly shuffles papers 9-to-5 plus overtime and week-ends.
Appears weekly on CNN Special Insect Hour.
During her down time, she is a successful de-clutter lifestyle blogger whose informative articles have been published by the New Yuck Times, Huffingbug Post, and Respidery29.
Wakes up at 4:45 a.m. to tread on her Step Master and write +2000 words in her book before heading out to work.
Favorite foods: Kale chips, mango spinach smoothies, and chocolate caramel sauce.
Biggest Confession?: Devours entire boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts in one sitting when no one is looking.

Miss Ant as seen bogging on www.HelloMyGoddess.comCindy Cicada
Multi-passionate entrepreneur who sings acapella
while weaving, felting, and tap dancing.
Crochets golf stick covers in her spare time.
Enthusiastically collects heirloom recipes.
Wears her sponge bob pajamas all day long.
Loves to snuggle with her pug named Unicorn.
Big fan of Barbie’s instagram. 
Favorite foods: Red Hot Chili Pepper Flavored Dark Chocolate Ice Cream.
Oh, and of course, Hulk Pancakes.
Biggest Confession: Spends Sundays
(and most Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and sometimes Saturday nights)
on pinterest searching #Anthofave.

What a pity these two lovely goddesses have nothing in common.

Or do they?

Let’s see:

Miss Ant thinks Ms. Cicada should act like an adult
once and for all
and get herself a real job.
As for herself, Miss Ant secretly admits
to feeling constantly stressed out
but, hey, “no pain, no gain”
is her motto.
She’s been worried lately
about her blog readership
and is keen to learn the secrets of
doubling her followers on FB, twitter,
Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube, Google+,
and Periscope.
Oh, and especially on her blog.

Cindy Cicada thinks Miss Ant works
at a soul sucking job
and will regret her dull life
on her deathbed.
As for herself, Cindy secretly admits
that her vision boards
and tapping
aren’t exactly
having money appear
miraculously in her bank account.
She feels confused.
She knows she should monetize her voice skills.
But how?
Perhaps she should begin by learning how to
double the followers on
her (*ehem* kinda lame and boring) blog?

How about you?

 

Are you feeling stressed in your 9-to-5 like Miss Ant?

Are you feeling confused like Ms. Cindy Cicada?

Are you hungry for some blogging advice?

 

Do YOU want to double your followers on your blog?

 

Never fear, April is here!!!

 

“How can that be”,  you ask, “if it’s still  September?”

Answer:

Because April is not a month.

April is a faery-god-mother-good-witch-of-the-east-of-Blacksburg!

And she’s here with some darn good ol’
solid put-it-into-action-straight-away advice.

Amazing April is teaching on CreativeLive
so that Miss Ant, Cindy Cicada, and me (and you, too!)
could learn the secret to to doubling our readership followers.

Huzzah!!!!!!

 

Let the show begin!

Deets on the who/what/where/when/how/& why:

This post is a part of the Double Your Followers blog tour
to spread the word about April Bowles-Olin’s upcoming CreativeLive course.
Does hearing the word ‘marketing’ make your armpits start to drip with anxiety?
Are you terrified of sounding salesy or like you have the personality of a dead blowfish?
If so, come join me and 2,500+ entrepreneurs who’re taking
April’s latest CreativeLive course, Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing.
You can RSVP and watch for FREE.
Yep, free.
High fives, wildflowers, wine samples.
Who doesn’t love free?

 

Are you going?
Tell me in the comments below!
So we could pass each other notes during class 😉

How was your summer?

HelloMyGoddess

What did you do over summer vacation, my lovely goddess?

I wonder if elementary teachers still assign kids to write an essay entitled “What I did over summer vacation”.

Mine no longer go to the little-kid-school so I don’t know the answer to that.

Here’s what I did.

(Other than moan about the heat…..)

OK, I admit. It wasn’t exactly holiday & margarita time.

Not for me anyway.

Was it for you?

Did you go anywhere exciting? Tell me about it!

I *tried* to work but boooyyyyy was it HOT this summer! (There I go complaining about the heat again.)

I spent more time sweating and thinking that I *should be* working  than actually working.

If you’ve ever lived in a hot climate sans A/C,
then you’ll know exactly that a human body feels
like a stick of butter sitting out on a hot city street.

Ahhh, yes, but today autumn is now in full swing and the weather couldn’t be more perfect!

My brain is finally functioning and I am finally able to post a bunch of photos with a clear mind.

Here goes, my lovelies!

Enjoy!

First of all, to keep track of time, I took this photo of my front window in the very beginning of spring. (Right, I know this is supposed to be about summer, not spring! Remember this photo. There will be a quiz question about this later. 😉 )

 

sunlight in southern Spain

Pretty, huh? I love the view, too!

What you see below is a rough draft . Instead of making sketches, I often jump right in and try to create what is in my mind, while praying that my fingers stay nimble and cooperate. I was toying with the idea of being able to carry a small vial of perfume around like a necklace. perfume bottle www.HelloMyGoddess.com
perfume bottle www.HelloMyGoddess.com

perfume bottle www.HelloMyGoddess.com

The project still needs a lot more tweaking. This may be a future collaboration with a perfume maker. But sshhhh, don’t tell anyone. It is still a secret!

Next stop: a trip to the farmer’s market! I’ve lived here so many years and I still loooove going to buy the freshest and finest fruit and veggies at the weekly outdoor market. I didn’t take my camera with me this time but here’s what I brought home.
summer fruit 2015 www.HelloMyGoddess.com

Summer in July: nectarines and melon.

This Spanish melon is named “Piel de Sapo”. A very unappetizing name for one of the most delicious summer fruit of all time! What’s the translation? Toad Skin Melon. Yuck or Yum?!

Here’s the bounty from a different day:

summer fruit 2015 www.HelloMyGoddess.com

summer fruit 2015 www.HelloMyGoddess.com

August bounty: 3 different types of plums, cantaloupe melon, and black grapes.

(Can you guess we love to eat fruit around here?)

After getting a nice, healthy sugar rush from all that fruit,  my work / play time began.

I made some bags.

They are made of linen, my imagination, and interesting tidbits from my overflowing collection of “cool stuff that I can’t throw out yet”.

Doesn’t this bag look adorable sitting on my sofa next to the new cushion covers? ( I also made the cushion covers this summer out of Lithuanian linen because the old ones were all sad and bedraggled.)
See that painting? Too bad you can’t see the whole thing here. My uncle is an artist. He made it.  This is definitely the most precious piece of art I own.  I’ll have to take more photos of it another day. In the meantime, you can see more paintings by Vytautas O. Virkau here.

textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

textile bag tote /www.hellomygoddess.com

 

This is the other side of the green linen bag.
textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

Here’s a completely different bag with views of the Spanish sand, blue sky, and golden sun.
Long live the summer!

textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

Here are all the summer flowers blooming on the other side of that bag.

textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

Here’s the inside of the bag. Lots of pockets and more flowers!

textile bag summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

Sometime between the fruit shopping and the bag-making, a blue moon came and went.
I was inspired to take some photos and even write a teeny poem.

blue moon www.HelloMyGoddess.com july 2015

moon goddess poetry www.HelloMyGoddess.com Hot
Eerie
Summer
Eve.
Nightly
Moon
Worship.

Can you see the words “Here Now” in there???

Time for a completely different project.
Here I am dying a vat of linen. This kind of activity is best done outside.
Good thing I lack no outdoor space!
Hot boiling water on a hot summer day.
Way to go, Indre!

DSCF5190ok

Pot of gold!

DSCF5198ok

 

Drying in the summer sun. It should actually have been in the shade but I didn’t have enough of that! In any case, it dried within minutes so the lovely fabric wasn’t out in the sun very long.DSCF5199ok

I decided to name this color “Golden Sands of Sahara”. Beautifully luscious, don’t you think?

And now it is time to make a dress out of the lovely linen. Here is it laid out and already cut in my sewing studio.
(This is the time of year when the name “sweat shop” was a very apt description of this place.)
Oh, in case you are wondering. Yes. Those are stones. Real stones. From the beach.
I use stones as weights when cutting my fabric. Very handy!
DSCF5200ok

 

Now I am sewing a bit of bias tape that goes in the dress.

In case you are a sewer and are curious to know: I’m using a special attachment that magically turns a strip of fabric into bias tape.

DSCF5201ok

I’ve nick-named my old industrial Singer “Old Faithful”.

I was in a hurry to get the beautiful dress sent off to my client, so I didn’t take a photo! Oh, well! It really looked stunning in that golden color. As I was packing it up, I could just picture it being worn together with a chunky honey-colored amber necklace.

I don’t know what kind of necklace my client wore with the dress but I know she does have very dark hair. This golden color must look stunning on her!

Since I can’t show you photos of that other dress,
here’s one I took of the sample dress in ivory linen.

linen jacket dress www.HelloMyGoddess

Next I made another one in black linen. Here’s the linen laid out on the table before cutting.

DSCF5320ok

 

Another favorite tool of mine. A hand-sized cutter. cutting fabric

 

I didn’t take a photo of the finished jacket before shipping it out to my client but here’s one from before.HelloMyGoddess Wrap Around Dress / Jacket

 

And now for something completely different.
Ideas on my jewelry-making table.

ideas on studio desk www.HelloMyGoddess.com

View of the entire desk top. OMbejesus. Yeah, it IS a mess! *yikes*
(Please note that I do not usually allow people to see this. )
I have at least a 458 ideas laid out on this desk. All at the same time!

messy studio desk

 

Here I had to clear some space and make a bunch of sterling silver earrings that got sent out to a quaint gift shop in North Carolina. If you are ever in North Carolina,
make sure to stop by The Qi Garden.www.HelloMyGoddess.com

making of earrings www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

“Hey, mom”, I hear my son say one fine summer morning. “”Could you help me take some photos of my donkey skull please”? (Say whaaaa…??? You are wondering what this is all about. Briefly, my son is a musician in a band called Donkey Hot Pink. To create the album cover for the band, he took an old cow skull, made donkey ears out of papier mâché, and painted it bright pink, black, and white. We had found that skull some years ago abandoned in the countryside and took it home. Can you tell we live in a crazy creative household?)

I took lots of photos that morning. Here are 2 of them.

donkey hot pinkdonkey hot pink

 

donkey hot pink www.HelloMyGoddess.com

We both decided that these photos weren’t exactly right, so we asked a professional photographer for his help. Here’s the clear winner:

skull 2

photo by Rod Westwood

It was exactly what the band wanted! The album is due to be out soon. We are looking forward to that!

Time to eat!
It was too hot to cook many days so I’d often make smoothies instead of meals.
One of my favorite had frozen bananas, a mix of frozen berries, raw almonds, and rice milk.
Great color!
Yummy, healthy, and nutritious, too!

DSCF5289ok

yummy smoothie www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

This is an Egyptian papyrus. I have lots of them in my garden.
I like the way a single one looks in a simple bottle and often have one on my big wooden table.

Did you know that the word “paper” comes from the word “papyrus”?
That’s because the ancient Egyptians first made paper using dried papyrus.
I love words and love learning curious facts like this. Don’t you?www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

More great food on a hot summer day. This time I prepared a salad and even baked some rye bread. I improvise when I make salad. Other than lettuce, this one had nectarines, red peppers, raisins, raw pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of candied ginger. My mouth waters just writing this and looking at the picture…..salad www.HelloMyGoddess.com

The rye bread I baked. healthy lunch with salad and rye bread www.HelloMyGoddess.com

Some of my friends say I should forget about fashion and become a professional chef.
I enjoy cooking (better yet, eating the result!) but prefer to treat it as a hobby.

Remember the very first photo up there?
Quiz time!
Can you spot the differences between the first photo and the one below?

green summer www.HelloMyGoddess.com

The sun wanted to be in the photo, too!

here comes the sun www.HelloMyGoddess.com

 

First week of September. Here comes the rain! Finally, the hot spell was over. What a relief! I do love the summer but it was hotter and more humid this year than ever.

 

DSCF5311ok

View of the teeny town of Mojacar up on the hill.www.HelloMyGoddess.com rain in spain

Voilà!

That’s it!

Did you like the visual journey?
Do you think I should continue making bags, jewelry, and dresses?
Or become a professional cook?
Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to tell me a bit about your summer, too!

One Piece of Advice

I had just posted a link yesterday to an interview with Liz Gilbert (that I had been meaning to post about 6 months ago and never got around to it…) and voilà, whaddhya know, a brand new interview with her appeared on the world-wide-spiderweb immediately afterwards.

This reinforces my belief that ideas are “out there”, floating around, and it is up to us to know how and when to capture them.

If you have a secret desire to write a book, make art, play in a band, create perfume, dance, and somehow *never* get around to it,

here is my One Piece of Advice:

Watch this video!

(And if you already have written your book, danced your dance, sang your song and all the rest, you’ll still find this interview incredibly enlightening.)

Here it is: the interview featuring Liz Gilbert (bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love).

Click on the picture below to take you to YouTube.

liz gilbert interview 22 sept 2015

 

 

Enjoy!

women & power & fear

I am LOVING this woman!

Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame

is much more than “just” an author.

Whether you love her

-OR-

whether you don’t even know how she is,

listen to this:

Women, Creativity & Moving Past Fear

 

12www.HelloMyGoddess.com

ARTWORK by FREDERIQUE EDY