Support the Irish Arts

As I was writing this blog post, the Gilmore Girls episode currently playing on my iPad, season 3 episode 7, referenced Riverdance. That is the best possible sign that today is a great day to support the Irish arts! Former Riverdance dancer Kincaid Stringer & his mother Shannon Kincaid, a painter, have teamed up for a great cause. They’re selling seven of Shannon’s paintings through Indiegogo for a COVID-19 relief fund; all proceeds will support Irish actors, artists, backstage workers & crews, clubs, concerts, cultural & event spaces, dancers, dance schools, festivals, musicians, performers, singers, theaters, & writers. I grew up dancing & singing so the arts are very important to me. Riverdance is the reason I asked my mom to sign me up for dance classes at the age of four so the Irish arts are also very important to me. Let’s not forget my Irish ancestors! 🇮🇪 The arts have done a lot for us in quarantine so it’s only right that we give back. You can choose to only donate money or receive a painting or two or seven in exchange for your donation. If it’s not already obvious, I’m buying “The Dancer.” Can’t wait to have a gorgeous Irish dancing queen above my bed! 👑 Please consider setting aside $25, or more, to support a great cause & get a piece of Ireland for your home. 💚🤍🧡

*NOTE: The Indiegogo campaign ends on September 17th, & the paintings will ship in November. Because of COVID-19, please consider that shipping could be delayed.

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Irish people’s love of dancing has been well documented throughout their written history. In fact, one of the earliest references to dancing details a visit between the Mayor of Waterford and Mayor of Baltimore in 1413. The modern Irish dancing of today is no longer merely a processional combination of singing and dancing as an act of celebrating, but a sport that produces athletes that are physically strong, as well as creative and artistic. What was once a tradition specific to Ireland (as well as England, Scotland, and some parts of America) caught like wildfire in 1994 with the debut of Riverdance. The theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance took the world by storm and has been a global phenomenon ever since. Now, twenty-five years later, the Irish dancing community consists of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world today. Teachers from around the world have committed themselves to spreading their love and passion for Ireland’s traditional form of expression. Regardless of how far a dancer progresses competitively or professionally, being an Irish dancer is something that is inextricably bound to their identity forevermore. In this piece entitled “The Dancer,” you feel the excitement, the confidence, and the artistry that comes from expressing a centuries-old tradition that has touched the hearts of many.  – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland and Scotland combined have a rich culture within the performing arts, which has resulted in a thriving gig scene. Musicians are constantly pushing the boundaries in order to create new and fresh work that is often steeped in tradition. Many are staunch believers that musical traditions must be preserved as they always have been – the “play it like my father used to” kind of sentimentality. Yet, every generation brings a new wave of talent that feels that this attitude discourages progress and evolution. This debate between tradition and innovation is a tale as old as time. Still, many feel it is possible to honour your origins while also exploring and adapting to the future; they are not mutually exclusive. Irish music legend, Míchéal Ó Súilleabháinn, believed that traditions are never frozen, but rather are fluid. He believed that the idea of authenticity originating from a pure source located in antiquity was bogus! This painting is for the new wave of artists and musicians who are creating some of the most incredible new-age folk / Trad music in the world. Project Smok, Beoga, Talisk, Ímar and the like are leading the way for the future of Irish music. – Kincaid & Shannon

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Ériu is the goddess of sovereignty and the mythological mother of Ireland. She is often interpreted as the modern-day personification of Ireland. Along with her two sisters, Banba and Fódhla, Ériu was a part of a triumvirate of goddesses. Before their final defeat, each goddess requested that the island be named for her. This was granted to all of them, but Ériu became the chief name in use. The old Irish name Ériu evolved into Éire in modern Irish and depending on the case is spelled Éireann or Éirinn. This is how we finally arrived with the English name for the country, Erin. The painting has been imbued with symbols to depict all that Ériu embodied within pre-Christian Irish culture. Ériu represents the sacred feminine, as illustrated in the column capitals, or the decorative element at the top of a column, that represent the three phases of a woman’s life cycle – the maid, mother and crone. The stars behind her and the lunala around her neck evoke her role as a lunar goddess. Her hair bleeds into the trees, depicting her connection to the earth and its bounty. She holds this bounty in her hand as a glass of mead, which was served at the feast of Goibhniu, and offered immortality to those that drank it. Around her head is a ring of knot work encasing the land, which is topped by the stone of divisions from the hill of Uisneach, the symbolic and sacred centre of the island in Irish mythology. Ériu’s bones are said to have been laid to rest on this hill and serves as a gateway between the Underworld and the world above. – Kincaid & Shannon

There is much more to an Irish pub than just having a drink. In Ireland, pubs are central to the way of life. Similar to a church, they represent a pillar of Irish social life and community. A place where pints, comfort food, live music, and sport can be always be found; somewhere you can meet friends, neighbors, or even complete strangers, in an inviting atmosphere. It’s for these reasons that recreations of Irish pubs can be found in any city around the world. O’Connor’s was opened as a pub in Galway in 1942 by Thomas O’Connor, and is currently operated by third generation O’Connors. Every inch of it decorated in eclectic memorabilia, the pub has become famous for its hospitality and world-class live music. So much so that Ed Sheeran used it as the location of his music video “Galway Girl” in 2017 featuring actress Saoirse Ronan, furthering the pub’s world-wide recognition. – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland has a rich tradition of various festivals taking place throughout each year. The Rose of Tralee was first held in 1959 and has since been held every August in Tralee, County Kerry, to select a young woman to be crowned the Rose. Cities all over the world host their own selection balls to determine who will represent them in Ireland. The festival bills itself as a celebration of the “aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility, and Irish heritage” of modern young women. Bursting with music and dancing, this festival celebrates the very best of Irish culture and the future of Irish relations worldwide. The winner and their family become a part of a global network, showcasing how Irish culture is thriving amongst the Irish Diaspora. They say, “Once a Rose, always a Rose.” – Kincaid & Shannon

A session is a casual gathering of musicians playing traditional Irish music, usually taking place in a pub, but has also been known to take place on street corners or even in someone’s kitchen. Irish “trad” music has garnered a deep appreciation, not just in Ireland, but also around the world. It’s important to note that a session is more than just a casual jam between musicians – the focus is on the instrumental tunes found within the Irish tradition – reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slip jigs, and the like. Whether it be in a pub or someone’s home, sessions are times of brilliant music and ever-flowing drink that have a certain habit of continuing late into the night, if not into the wee hours of the morning! – Kincaid & Shannon

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

These are just two quotes from one of the biggest literary personalities in Ireland’s history, Oscar Wilde. A literary treasure, Wilde was a hugely popular playwright and poet in the late 1800s. Besides well-known works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lady Windermere’s Fan, his biting wit and flamboyant style gained him notoriety as well. As a people, the Irish are known for their good sense of humour, which has bolstered them during periods of great hardship throughout history. Wilde embodied this intrinsically Irish trait to the very end. Even as he faced death, he was cracking jokes and reportedly said, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” A collection of art in support of Irish culture would be incomplete without paying homage to Oscar Wilde. – Kincaid & Shannon

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHAx8IE3PTk&feature=youtu.be

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Blogmas 2014 – Quizmas Shenanigans

Quizmas Shenanigans (Source: http://www.instant-quizzes.co.uk/product_images/uploaded_images/wise500.jpg)

Good evening readers!  So, here’s the deal.  I am once again feeling less than jolly tonight, but instead of being “Bah Humbug”, I want to improve my mood.  We are going to have some fun and do some Christmas-themed quizzes together.  I have chosen one quiz from each of my favorite quiz websites.  Feel free to explore and find more on your own.  Warning: they are addictive and will take up hours of your time.  Let’s do this…

Which Christmas decoration fits your personality?  “You got a Christmas Tree! Everyone and anyone can feel the awe and majesty that you can give any room. And it is in that moment, that the beholder knows that it is finally Christmas. You are the decorations of decorations, as you yourself, are in turn decorated again with hangings, lights, and ornaments of all shapes and sizes. From house to house, you are incredibly personal, as no two of you are alike. Some like you so much, they don’t take you down until Spring!”  I have no words.  This is both the funniest and the most flattering compliment I have ever received.  I am obsessed with Christmas time so I don’t have a hard time believing I ooze Christmas spirit.  But awe and majesty?  That makes me sound pompous.  Here is the link to the quiz: http://www.playbuzz.com/avibwx10/which-christmas-decoration-fits-your-personality

Which foreign Christmas tradition are you?  “You are throwing food at the ceiling.  In the UK you’ll be shouted at if you don’t eat the food put in front of you, but in Slovakia you’ll be expected to throw food at the ceiling.  It’s thought that a spoonful of turkey and gravy lobbed at the ceiling on Christmas Eve by the head of the household will predict how much luck the family has the next year.  The more food that sticks to the ceiling, the better their luck.  Unless, of course, you’re the person who has to clean it up.”  What does this say about me?  Apparently I get major holiday mood swings.  Fair enough considering my love/hate relationship with Christmas spirit this year.  Here is the link to the quiz: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jackdanielsuk/which-foreign-christmas-tradition-are-you?b=1

Can we guess your favorite Christmas movie?  “It’s a Wonderful Life.  Forget about all these newfangled holiday movies – you’re into the classics.  You love a feel-good movie with a message, and every time a bell rings you’re positive an angel gets its wings.  You like nothing more than gathering around the TV with the people you love to carry on the Christmas tradition of watching George Bailey learn how to appreciate life.”  False.  This is not my favorite movie, and I do not hate modern holiday films.  However, I do love feel-good movies with a message, and I do treasure traditions shared with family so this result is 50% inaccurate.  If you are wondering, my favorite holiday movies are “Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” and “Nativity Story.”  Here is the link to the quiz: http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/7kYouobapL1/Can+Guess+Favorite+Christmas+Movie

I hope you enjoy these quizzes as much as I did.  Feel free to comment and let me know what result you got and how you feel about it.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

What does December have that other months don’t have?  The letter D.

How did Scrooge win the football game?  The ghost of Christmas passed.

What kind of motorcycle would Santa ride?  A Holly Davidson

Why was Santa’s elf depressed?  He had low elf esteem.

What did the reindeer say before beginning his comedy routine? This will sleigh you.

(Source: http://www.jokeschristmas.com/Christmas-Puns/)

 

***My links:

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA/feed

Rosh Hashanah 2014

Rosh Hashanah 2014

Shalom readers!!  I will keep this post short and “sweet” (PUN INTENDED) in honor of the Jewish New Year celebration.  I am feeling very grateful today because my recovery from [wisdom teeth] surgery has been, for the most part, smooth sailing.  There have been moments of pain and discomfort, but the exchange was sleep and ice cream.  Do I really have cause to complain??  I may not be part of an elaborate Rosh Hashanah celebration, but I am celebrating in my heart.  I have one favor to ask: I am restricted from eating anything but soft foods for obvious reasons.  Will someone please eat challah and something made from apples for me??  Please & thank you.

In honor of my Sephardic ancestors, I leave you with this Ladino greeting: “Anyada Buena, para munchos anyos.”

“Have a good year for many years.”

L’shanah Tovah readers!!

– Lauren Michele :)

Art Blog: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lagirl93/

Tumblr: http://laurenmichelephotography.tumblr.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA/feed

 

Tradition!…TRADITION!!!

holidaymovie

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my nod to “Fiddler on the Roof” because I thoroughly enjoyed belting out the song.  Moving on to all things Christmas, here is my December 10th favorite:

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?  My favorite family tradition is not one that has been passed down from generation to generation nor is it one that has been around since my birth.  My favorite family tradition started in 2009 (only 4 years ago); I am not quite sure how the idea came about, but since then, my family has attended the movie theater at least once around Christmas time, usually on Christmas Eve, Christmas day, or the day after Christmas.  The first year we went, it was Christmas Eve; we saw “Sherlock Holmes” and came out to a blanket of snow.  Not too shabby!  This year, we are planning to see “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.”  We saw The Hobbit last year so we are all eagerly awaiting the sequel.  What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele  :)

“Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.”  – Roman Polanski