Saturday, December 30, 2006

Derek Jones - Our Featured BLOG VILLAGER

Janey Loree: "Who is Derek Jones? Tell us more about Art by Derek Jones!"

DEREK JONES: "I am a professional artist living in the Scottish Borders - though I am English and have only been here for about 22 years so I am still an incomer(!) My main interest is figure drawing and painting using local amateur models. I show my figure work as far apart as Edinburgh and London and in the past in Amsterdam. I live near a working harbour and if not working with models I enjoy doing paintings of boats etc .... the colour and mess of a working harbour appeals to me - probably reminds me of my studio.

I am fascinated by techniques and at the moment am exploring the use of combining a pastel underpainting with acrylic to finish off. I am a traditional printmaker using etching, aquatint and mezzotint whereas with my figure work I am more experimental combining a mix of pastel, charcoal, collage, type, acrylic etc etc."

Janey Loree: "What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?"

DEREK JONES: "I started blogging because I am a bit of a hermit and it seemed a good way to communicate (though I don't use many words in mine!) and blogs seemed more dynamic than traditional websites."

Janey Loree: "When do you do your blog reading?"

DEREK JONES: "I have no set routine - I usually dip into various lists of blogs to see what turns up - but my interest is usually in blogs by visual artists of one kind or another."

Janey Loree: "Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?"

DEREK JONES: "I noticed the Blog Village link on several blogs I had looked at and took it from there."

Janey Loree: "Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?"

DEREK JONES: "I use the blog to keep folks in touch with my current work - if a gallery or individual shows some interest I ask them to have a look at the blog - I belong to some online gallery websites (such as this one which DOES INCLUDE NUDES so if that might offend don't look!) but the blog shows what is going on now."

Janey Loree: "How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?"

DEREK JONES: "I have only one blog - There are lots of blogs of artists showing a new painting everyday and that interested me but I do try to show a new image as they are finished - sometimes daily sometimes every few days."

Janey Loree: Derek Jones may be well known as a figure painter, however his commissioned "Boat" pieces are my favorites. With the six pieces that he shares with us, starting with "small it is !" and working through to his latest "high and dry", Derek has captured the ambience of these little boats located in the local harbours in the Scottish Borders of Great Britain! I invite you to watch Derek's blog for the next painting in a "series of faces" that he will be showing in 2007.

As fellow BLOG VILLAGER red dirt girl has already stated, "…..your work is beautiful! hazy, re-living a dream......"

Art by Derek Jones is well worth the visit!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 249 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Blog Village - A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere

Not long ago, Kilroy60 decided to celebrate the anniversary of his blog's first year on the Internet by having a Commentathon. His goal was to reach 365 comments within a month's time, and he actually came close, with at least 311 comments.

Many of those commentors were fellow Blog Villagers. This may have a little to do with his latest post, or maybe nothing at all. Who knows with Kilroy?!?!? Anyway, I encourage you to follow the link in the title and read and comment on some of the Villagers whom the big Kilroy has chosen for his Hitchhiker's Guide.

Thanks, Kilroy60, for giving these fine blogs a featured position on your blog. Let's pay back his kindness, folks, by visiting his Guide, choosing a Villager or two, and commenting on their blogs! Kilroy is not going to be upset with you if you leave him a comment, either!!!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 246 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Get to Know the GateKeeper - Our Featured Villager

Janey Loree: "Who is The Gatekeeper? Tell us more about Pieces of Me!"

The Gatekeeper: "The Gatekeeper is a fictional character in my unpublished novel: Paragon: Swords of the Watchers. He is the keeper of the holy scrolls - recording the history of all the worlds in the universes of the Almighty One.

Thus (that's how the Gatekeeper speaks) I kept the name Gatekeeper for my blog. After all it's the pieces of my life he is recording. He also handles most of the posts at my church's blog, The Gate. How appropriate, don't you think?

Of course, when I'm not the Gatekeeper, I am known as Debby-a-stay-at-home single mom who's trying to write for a living. Christian fantasy is a hard sell but gaining popularity and I won't give up. In the meantime I'm just writing articles here and there. One story published in a local newspaper, one in the online magazine Dragons, Knights and Angels, and a devotion in The Upper Room, coming out in May, 2007.

By the way, I was born in Hollandia on the very big island known as New Guinea, just above Australia. I am the daughter of two wonderful people who survived a POW camp in WWII. There are many stories to write, and I've been interviewing my parents for a while now.

When I was two years old we were evacuated by the Americans and taken to The Netherlands - something about a war between the Dutch and Indonesians over ownership of New Guinea. If I did my research I would actually know who won that war. It wasn't my family. Time moved on and by the time I was eight I was relocated a third time. Queensland, Australia was our next stop. I almost made it through high school there but Dad was offered a pastoral position in a little church in Southern Cal. So off to the USA we flew. And here I am . . . still . . . thirty years later."

Janey Loree: "What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?"

The Gatekeeper: "Blogging for me seemed an easy and creative way to keep in touch with family, since we are pretty much all over the planet - Indonesia, Holland, Australia, Washington, Northern Cal, Southern Cal etc. So I built it, but nobody came. My brother left a comment once. Then I thought of journaling my daily life which seemed interesting enough to me. After all, I'm a stay-at-home-single mom (now there's a story of grace) with a daughter attending Biola University and a 14-year-old son (who I home-school) making a living in Hollywood."

Janey Loree: "When do you do your blog reading?"

The Gatekeeper: "My son is on the computer for most of the day so I read blogs in the evening. Sometimes I get carried away and read some good posts till two in the morning. There are some great writers out there with interesting lives."

Janey Loree: "Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?"

The Gatekeeper: "You know, to be honest, I don't really remember how I heard about Blog Village. It must have been while surfing other blogs and probably clicked on someone's banner. Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Janey Loree: "Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?"

The Gatekeeper: "My blog is very personal. Sometimes I write about my kids, sometimes I write about writing. I like to do book reviews, Christian movie reviews and translate Bible stories the way the Gatekeeper would tell it . . . maybe . . . if he was funny. However, I've had to revert to writing ads so I could make a few extra dollars to pay the rent - we're trying not to spend the money my son is making."

Janey Loree: "How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?"

The Gatekeeper: "I try to post every day to keep the content fresh and hopefully interesting. The ads seem to fit in with the rest of the posts. Usually it's hard to spot when I'm posting an advertisement, but sometimes it's kind of obvious. Sometimes it's just hard to miss. Nonetheless, I've promised to keep the integrity of the blog which was meant to be a positive influence on the web.

One of my writing buddies from my writer's critique group helps me out once in a while. She likes to write devotions and also records the minutes of our meetings. She gets very creative. My main blog is Pieces of Me , but I am also the "Keeper" of my church's blog, The Gate. If you visit us there don't let anyone know my real identity. Just kidding, of course."

Janey Loree: "Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?"

The Gatekeeper: "How about we hear from the Canadian missionary in Holland, Just Your Average Revolutionary, - sounds too interesting to pass up. I never thought of Holland needing missionaries. What was I thinking?"

Janey Loree: Stop by to see how The Gatekeeper organizes the chaotic and unorganized events in her life. The Gatekeeper has a unique way of writing that, if you don't watch out, will draw you into each post! Read The Gatekeeper's book and movie reviews, share what you think about her posts, and remember to vote for her in BLOG VILLAGE. Encourage her to share her parents enduring story, and catch The Gatekeeper's view on age old Bible stories.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 239 Villager blogs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

RED DIRT GIRL - Our Featured Villager

Janey Loree: Who is Red Dirt Girl? Tell us more about you and Red Dirt Poetry!

RDG: Well, the name "Red Dirt Girl" comes from a song title of the same by Emmylou Harris. It's a story about two best friends growing up in the red dirt hills of Alabama. I grew up in the red dirt hills of Georgia about 45 minutes from the Alabama state line.......I fell in love with the song and the name the first time I heard it. I've been calling myself "Red Dirt Girl" ever since.

I'm a 42 year old soccer mom of 3 and step-mom to 1, who probably should spend more time doing the laundry than blogging! Red Dirt Poetry is an off-shoot of my original blog, Red Dirt Girl. My initial intent was to do a 'fantasy' blog of high heel shoes that I'd love to own and wear intermixed with 'noteworthy words' such as quotes, my poetry etc. In putting that blog together, I realized I had written enough poems in the last 8 months that I could give them their "own space." So, Red Dirt Poetry was born!

Janey Loree: What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?

RDG: My first introduction to blogging came from a former boss of mine. I worked for a non-profit ministry part-time. One of the ways he kept in touch with missionaries from around the world was through blogs and blogging. He was the one who showed me how to set a blog up. At first I had thoughts such as: who would want to read my ramblings? what is the purpose of doing this? will it be too time consuming? But I went ahead and started a blog. I found that the blog became a creative outlet for me and actually encouraged me to sit down and write each day or so. What I love about Red Dirt Poetry is creatively combining artwork with the poems. I hunt the internet looking for just the 'right' image to convey some aspect of the poem written.

Janey Loree: When do you do your blog reading?

RDG: I have no 'set' time that I sit down to read. However, generally, I blog in the early mornings (with my morning cup of 'joe') right after the kids have been sent off to school. If I am around, I will read and/or post during the early afternoon until the kids are home. After that I have no time for blogging - my family and its activities take priority. I don't blog in the evenings nor on weekends!

Janey Loree: Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?

RDG: I saw the Blog Village banner on a couple of blogs that I had visited. I got curious one day and clicked on it. That's how I found Blog Village. I liked the concept a lot. It feels more like a community of friends here rather than a bunch of anonymous bloggers trying to get links.

Janey Loree: Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?

RDG: My blogs are definitely personal. I blogged, originally, because it gave my creativity an outlet and was a place to 'store' all my personal thoughts and feelings. As my blogs evolved and changed, I have to say that blogging is now also about having fun. I enjoy 'meeting' new people from all over the world through them. So, now, blogging is as much about making friends and maintaining a community as it is about being creative for me.

My poetry blog has introduced me to a number of other poets, writers and artists in the 'blogosphere.' Their work has definitely enriched mine, expanded my horizons and continues to inspire me each day. My poetry is becoming better and better as a result. Having a blog dedicated solely to poetry also helps to 'keep me on track.' I am forced to sit down and work with a poem or two each day, or at least jot notes down for future work. Part of the 'business' of writing is just sitting down and actually 'doing it.' Blogging helps to create the 'structure' and 'discipline' I need to write.

Janey Loree: How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain?

RDG: Currently, I am maintaining two blogs: Red Dirt Girl, and Red Dirt Poetry. I had two other blogs before these that were much more along the lines of personal essays, thoughts, feelings, and faith based discussions. However, because of their personal nature, my husband felt our lives were a little too exposed to an 'unknown' audience. So, I shut them down and started up these two blogs.

On Red Dirt Girl, I post 5 times a week. I never post on weekends. Three of those days are fantasy shoesdays, where I post a pair of shoes. The other two days I reserve for a quote that has grabbed my attention recently - sometimes related to shoes, most times not. It's a quirky, eclectic blog and meant to be pure fun. In part, it's very funny because I am quite tall and do not wear high heel shoes!!

On Red Dirt Poetry, I post a new poem 2 to 3 times per week and occasionally a critical essay or quote on poetry from an outside source. During the week of Thanksgiving, for instance, I ran a week long series of my favorite poems from other poets. This blog is definitely more personal and intimate. I work with subject matter from my own experiences and life, including the fact that I have bipolar disorder. All of this becomes 'material' for poems. I select art that I love for one reason or another to help illustrate my thoughts and ideas. You really would have to spend some time at this blog to get a 'sense' of who I am and what I am about.

Currently, I am on a holiday 'hiatus' from blogging and will not begin posting new material again until January. So stop by Red Dirt Poetry when you have an extra minute or two and look through the site. I hope there will be a poem or two there that will 'speak' to you and your experiences of life!

Janey Loree: Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?

I would be very interested in reading about Derek Jones and His Art . I find his work to be dreamy, evocative - quite lovely. I've had contact with him regarding using some of his images to illustrate my poetry. And he has been quite kind and receptive to the idea. ~ Red Dirt Girl

For an e-clectic wandering through free verse, lyrical imagery and fantasy shoesday, Red Dirt Girl’s blogs not only include her poetry, but poems from her favorite authors, including a special poem written by her 11 year old daughter, a.k.a. “Mini Dirt Girl”. Stop by encourage our fellow VILLAGER, who posts “non-posts” while she is supposed to be on a sabbatical until January! – Janey Loree

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 235 Villager blogs.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Meet Our Featured Villager - BILL of NEW ENGLAND PHOTOS

Janey Loree, who has several blogs on BLOG VILLAGE, including Paper Doll Cut Outs and Mustang 'n' Cowboys, volunteered to interview her fellow Villagers for me, and I jumped at the chance to have her do it. So here's her first interview.

Good Morning Bill and Wendy,

In an effort to let the VILLAGE Community know more about you and why you blog, please answer the following questions:

1. Who is New England Photos? Tell us more about you!

2. What prompted you to start blogging in the first place?

3. When do you do your blog reading?

4. Where did you hear about BLOG VILLAGE?

5. Why do you blog? Is your blog personal, business, etc?

6. How often do you post and how many blogs do you maintain? (add a plug for your website here!)

7. Bonus Question: Which BLOG VILLAGER would you recommend for the next interview?

Thank you for taking some of your precious time to let the BLOG VILLAGE Community know more about NEW ENGLAND PHOTOS!!!

Bill wrote:

“Who am I? I am a fifty year old New Englander from Granville, MA. My hobby before photography was restoring 18th century homes. Over the last 20 years or so we restored six homes, mostly in Litchfield County Connecticut.

A few years ago I had an internet provider that offered a free website; I thought “Why not start a blog”, so I put down some of my thoughts on the site. I decided that really was not me, so I decided to join Blogger and create a photo blog. I decided to show photos of New England, some historical, some scenic, some bizarre, some just real life, hopefully all interesting. The area is beautiful and I like to show it off.

I always have my camera at the ready; it travels with me everywhere I go. The few times I have been without it, I have been sorry due to missing some great photos; like that time a moose was just standing twenty feet from the road. I snap photos everywhere I go and then research most of them. I amaze myself with the amount of history that is all around New England, things that I have never even heard of.

I really like to hear from people that have moved away from New England and come to my blog to visit back home again. One woman who is in the Peace Corp. in Bulgaria wrote me that she liked visiting my site for just that reason. What I really would like is to hear from someone who used my photos and description in a class assignment or a teacher sending their students to the blog to see what the first Law School in America looked like, or something like that.
is my only blog and it keeps me busy. I post every day; in fact, I have over 1000 photos posted on my blog right now. Keeping this blog also keeps me visiting places all over New England and is making me more observant; I notice a lot more of my surroundings.

I get up early in the morning and surf through blogs while eating breakfast, I do my posting in the early evening so I don’t miss a day. I often think about putting my blog in a different format since I notice that people search for things on my blog and don’t seem to stay long enough to even find what they are looking for. I will have to work on that.

One day I got an e-mail from Rosemary inviting me to join Blog Village and here I am.

So stop in and stay awhile and see what my New England is like.

Bill Owens

New England Photos

Janey Loree adds:

Just as the name implies, New England Photos, is a photo blog filled with pictures and researched facts that give an excellent insight into New England History. Joining BLOG VILLAGE in early September of this year, New England Photos is currently in the Top 20.

With comments such as “I love your photos, and enjoy the time spent at your blog.” from Marion, and “Great collection! I've only visited New England once; I feel like Cape Cod became part of my soul.” from Kilroy … don’t you feel a tug to check out this photo blog?

Don’t forget to leave Bill a comment that you stopped by his blog. Remember to vote for New England Photo and rate the site back in BLOG VILLAGE. I just found out who invented basketball! ~ Janey Loree

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 233 Villager blogs.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Call for BLOG VILLAGE "Comment Pals"

Our own Villager, Tomas, of Captain's Bridge, has started a new blog, Modus Vivendi, about the Art Therapy Club he volunteers with at a mental institution in Lithuania. He and I have been emailing back and forth, trying to come up with some ideas about how BLOG VILLAGE might be able to help these people. We decided that they would enjoy having some "Comment Pals." They don't read English, and Tomas has the only access to a computer, so if we will all make a habit of visiting his Modus Vivendi blog and saying hi to the people in the photos, Tomas will translate for them, and I'm sure it will lift their spirits. Judging from the art work that can be seen, some of them are quite talented, and would appreciate the encouragement of some outside opinions.

Modus Vivendi will be joining BLOG VILLAGE soon, so you won't have too much trouble finding it. Please take this project to heart and show the community spirit that I know we have.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 230 Villager blogs.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

She's Not Tooting Her Horn, So I Will!

Our very own Villager, Sheila, of Alabama Kitchen Sink, has been asked to write a blog for the city of Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in the website. This is a big deal to me, as an Alabamian, because I use the site as a resource for all kinds of local information. I even find out where the Birmingham Estate Sales are going to be each Friday from that site!

She's just gotten started, but if you'd like to see what she's written so far, here's the link to River City Views.

I just happened to see this piece of news by accident, while surfing through BLOG VILLAGE. Do you know of any other Villagers who have won awards or been recognized in some way? We'd love to let everyone else in our Community know all about it, so by all means email me, and I'll get a post up about it as soon as possible!

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 225 Villager blogs.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Our First Stick-to-it-tiveness Award Goes To

Well, have you ever had trouble getting your blog to look the way you wanted it to? If you can honestly say NO, you'd have to be in the minority, I suspect.

As the admin for our TopList, I've been able to help several Villagers, from time to time, get their BLOG VILLAGE voting link banner on their blog, so that it worked properly and looked the way they wanted it to look. Most of the time, that's an easy task, but every once in awhile, someone has a bunch of trouble with their template. It's as if the template is possessed.

One of our Villagers has been plagued by such a template lately, but she's been a real trouper and hasn't let that wayward template beat her.

I'd like to honor Merry Mama, author of the Six Kids blog, with a Stick-to-it-iveness Award for her persistance in working on her code until she finally did get the BLOG VILLAGE voting banner to show, at least in IE.

Why not stop by her blog and see what she has to say and give her a virtual pat on the back, OK? And now that her voting link is working, you might want to vote for her, too. I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Interested in joining BLOG VILLAGE?

Start HERE.

BLOG VILLAGE was established on May 23, 2006, currently with a membership of 226 Villager blogs.
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