Zeus’ Domain

I suppose that I should have posted this one first, but considering I hadn’t created it yet that task would have been impossible. I’m always a little out of time anyway, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

Zeus is the God of the sky and thunder, and the ruler of all Gods on Mount Olympus.

This creation shows Mount Olympus towering in the background there, as viewed from the banks of a small babbling brook that runs through the lush valley below. I haven’t a clue as to what any of the plants and trees are, they’ve merely been created out of scribbled shapes in PowerPoint. The sky is the same one I used in Athena’s Gateway yesterday… but all things considered, absolutely every singe photograph ever taken of the sky is of the same one anyway!

I wonder where my imagination will lead me next?

Athena’s Gateway

Athena is the Greek Goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law, justice, mathematics, strength, war, the arts, crafts, and skill. She’s quite busy, all things considered. Unlike Athena, I’ve had a lovely lazy May Day today. I wrote my Wordle this morning, and then started the above creation, left it for a while, and came back to it this evening to finish it off. The lazy bit was the time in between. It was glorious, I don’t mind saying. I love a good lazy day, I do. Does wonders for Feeling Good!

I also like being creative, so I gave myself a creative sandwich day today – creative burst on either side of being lazy. Hehehe!

I normally post this kind of post over on my ‘Art Blog’ (that makes me laugh whenever I use that term, but that is what Splodge and Splatter is meant to be all about – creations and stuff!) and then, on occasions, use the image created for inspiration for posts here on Beyond the Sphere. As I’m concentrating on trying to reach my blogging target of 2,000 posts by New Year’s Eve on this blog, my other blogs have taken something of a back seat for now… although I shall continue to post on them as and when.

Now, this post. And this image.

I wanted to go for a Garden on Mount Olympus type feel, so the beginnings of this post actually took place yesterday when I took several photos of the sky. I couldn’t resist the contrast of the pure white clouds and clear blue sky, so whipped out my mobile phone and took a snap or two. I chose one of the photos to use as the background here.

The rest of the picture is made up merely of random shapes in PowerPoint. I wanted to go for a kind of marble-effect structure, so joined together a few rectangles, bevelled them and added a 3D effect to them . The leaves came next, some made up out of the ‘official’ pointy-circle shape (that’s the technical name for it – around here, anyway – PowerPoint calls it a Teardrop!), and others just by creating a wobbly shape via the mouse. I used the gradient fill option for all, and quite liked how things turned out. The yellow flowers were created the same way, and the grass is just made up of small versions of the long-leaved plants.

When I put everything together, I felt the image needed just one more thing to finish it off, so I used an overlay of another image I created the other day, and made it really transparent, so it added a little magical glow to the image. That’s how I see it anyway. And finally, I created a little TOM emblem to use on these PowerPoint creations instead of my usual signature.

Athena’s Gateway is now complete. I wonder where my journey around Mount Olympus will take me to next? Only time will tell!

Wordle: The Place

Part-way along the bluebell path
There comes a point – a moment –
Where the light causes the skin to tingle
And the wind starts to burn like fire

Here, a great yearning to run will be felt
Together with a sensation of boundless energy
As each cell in the body receives power
From this mystical source

Dimensions join in this place
Silken threads hold each Universe separate
Like eggs in a great cosmic web
But here, one can tap into any dimension…

And with grace
Return to tell the tale

The Heart Nebula Nova

Picked up this afternoon by the Feelgood Far Array, the relatively newly-discovered Heart Nebula appears to have vanished completely from the region of space it was occupying.

The deep space array telescope detected a fluctuation in light radiating from the centre of the nebula at around 14:30hours today (Saturday)

Three of the four radio-telescopic cameras went on the blink for an hour or so after snapping the event, with only one capturing the before image (above) the during image (below), and the after image (below that)

The final image, dark and almost empty, holds at least one clue. Scientists think (they can’t be sure) that at the centre of the sector is a strange pulsating vortex, the like of which they feel they have seen before… but can’t quite be sure where…

Obviously, further details on this story will appear as and when they come to light.

Still Shining Through

Even after all the winds, and the hailstone, and the snow and frost

Nature still shines through in her very own multi-coloured glorious way!

Trees don’t grumble, but I bet they stand and reflect in their own way


And wildlife just get on with their day to day things regardless,

Although, they too must stop to ponder the gloriousness of it all at times!

Remember to Feel Good this weekend!

monthly theme red

The Sound of Summer! Up! Up! And Away!

Just picture it… lounging on a recliner in a peaceful garden on a hot Summer’s day. A little babbling brook trickling by adds a little Summertime Sparkle to the proceedings. Just as you are about to drift off in the warm breeze, this song is carried from some nearby source. It’s always good to have something to lift and carry you on a lazy, balmy, Summer’s day.

And here’s Andy Williams’ version:

What’s all this about? I hear you ask (thank you person at the back there!) Well, I’m looking to find the Beyond the Sphere Sound of Summer! Over the next few weeks, I shall be posting different versions of songs which I feel would add a bit of Summery Magic to everyone, and at the end of which will post a poll, whereby we can vote for our combined Sound of Summer! Just for fun… and even if it isn’t Summer where you are, don’t worry! You can still take part!

All music videos are posted for entertainment purposes only and remain the property of the bill payer artist concerned – I’ve merely ‘borrowed’ them for dramatic effect. If I were to provide my own version of these songs, the entertainment value will plummet to it’s lowest ever level, and we’ll have a damp, dark Summer.

May’s Theme

Here we are, about to start another month… and with that comes another Monthly Theme! As May only has three letters in it, the theme I have chosen links very well indeed. May is named after the Greek Goddess of Spring, Maia, and pronunciation-wise Spring is also the shortest season… however all seasons have six letters in English, so this link is a little more dubious… but little is better than none at all! And we are still in Spring here in the UK, so that ties in nicely as well.

So, what is the theme for May? I hear you ask. I shall tell you! It is…

…it’s the little things…

If you so wish to use the theme for one or more of your posts during May, here are all the details you need:

There aren’t any rules actually, just a few guidelines:

  • Write a post (or more, if your imagination is well and truly fired!) based on the theme I provide. The post can take any form / genre / length you choose.

  • Link your post to the post on this blog (Beyond the Sphere) that introduces the theme for the month (so basically, THIS POST for May’s theme!)

  • Visit other bloggers who take part, and read their interpretation of the theme.

  • And that’s it! Oh, and if you could pass the word on, that would be lovely. The more the merrier after all!

And have fun!

More than a Spring in the step!

I’m STILL getting over my cold, but feel a thousand per cent better than I did yesterday. The cold is still there, however, so after this has been typed up and sent out into Blogland, I shall once again be curling up beneath my duvet and drifting gently off to the Land of Nod, before once again being dragged back into reality by a screeching alarm at 5:15am. In the morning.

I decided to treat myself to some wine earlier this evening, for the weekend, and, as my cold is now fizzling out, I decided I would walk to the shop for it.

Now, decisions and I aren’t nesacelery the best option. I could hear the thunder constantly rumbling above the Mansion. What could possibly go wrong? I thought as I set off, out through the Door, along the Driveway and out of the Grinds.

I reached the road which led onto the main road where the wine shop was, and I noticed the blacker-than-black clouds that filled the entire sky above me. It’ll pass… I thought to myself, as I continued walking.

A few steps further along the road, I noticed the light had a strange look to it. Not at all like twilight or dusk, which wasn’t actually due yet, but more of a flicker. A sizzly-look, if you like. I brushed this to one side as well, and continued walking, the gentle breeze blowing through my hair.

I then realised there was no breeze. It was dead still. Everything. The only thing moving was me. Not a leaf, a branch, a daffodil or bluebell wavered. Very odd. I walked passed a parked car, and noticed my reflection in the passenger door’s window. My hair was standing on its end. I was walking through some kind of static cloud – it was this that was causing the sizzly look, I figured.

I was in the middle of my ‘oo-er!’ moment, when a very loud clap of thunder brought me back to my senses and started me running toward the main road. I use the term ‘run’ with extreme poetic licence. At this point, the heavens opened. Not with rain, snow or hail, but prong after prong of forked lightning. All around me these bolts were sent groundwards at an alarming rate. They looked as though they were heading towards the ground anyway – they could have been going the other way. I only noticed the flashes and the crackles.

I continued running, hoping not to be singled out by one of these wild and wayward lightning bolts (luckily, I wasn’t!).

The hailstone started just before I reached the shop. Golf-ball sized, clobbering and whacking me on the head, shoulders, back, arm, legs and IN THE FACE! “Not in the face…!” I wished, as I waited for the shop’s automatic door to slide open. It had become confused by the hail, so was working slower than usual. 

Inside the shop, I dripped around to the wine aisle, selected my wine and queued at the counter waiting to be served. The assistant announced that it was raining heavily, then looked out of the door and re-announced it was hailstone the size of golf balls. Some of us in the queue were already well aware of that fact, however.

Wine paid for, I left the shop, and walked back to the Mansion. In the few short moments of me getting served, the storm had passed over. The Sun was now shining brightly once again, and everywhere was steaming nicely.

My hair was an absolute mess when I checked out my reflection in the mirror back at the Mansion. Thankfully, I didn’t have any visible hailstone-marks anywhere.

We’re in Spring now. Yes, I know we can have April Showers, but even that was pushing it a bit!

Wednesday Wordle: Cold’s Embers

The siren in my head has gone,
Just a fragment of the cold remains
In the wreckage of my aching body.
Eyes swollen with salty tears
Still leak for now. And only for now.

I’m still suffering from a cold at present, but nowhere near as bad as the past few days. I’m slowly getting back into visiting and blogging again, and through it all I’ve managed to keep the posts ticking over… which, actually, is a small miracle in itself! This is the last Six Word Wednesday, hosted by Brenda (at the Sunday Whirl – link on banner above!), so I’d just like to say a quick Thank You to Brenda for providing these words – and the Sunday ones, obviously! – it’s amazing what inspiration can come from a few different words!

Chainsaw Melodies

With lips red raw and cracked, I hauled myself out of bed just after the alarm sounded at 5:15am. I dragged myself to the Bathroom, and even before I switched the light on I could see the equally red eyes peering back at me. I really should have left the light off. Beneath my eyes were a couple of bags that would have helped with an average-sized family’s shopping for a month. Above my eyes, my hair was slicked in places it had no right being slicked in. With aching, heavy arms, I ruffled my hair before running the bath. The ruffling made no difference whatsoever apart from highlighting just how achy and heavy my arms were.

I lowered myself into a nice, comfortable, warm bath, and noticed my backache, which made the bath less comfortable. And then the warmth brought out a hot sweat.

Eventually, my bath was complete. My temperature was back to normal, and I could finish my ablutions with relative ease. I say ablutions, but after all was complete I looked no better than when I first started. Sigh.

And sighing makes me cough at present as well.

Can’t win.

Having another early night tonight, slightly later than last night’s early night, but still early all the same. I feeling loads better than I did yesterday, albeit marginally, but I’m still barking like a toad with a chainsaw rammed in its throat.

I hope to be able to catch up with all blogging aspects tomorrow.

(No toads were harmed in the making of this post, although it’s very possible a throat was.)

Ode to a Cold

Thou blight me with thy rasping throat
Running eyes and deepened croak
Leaking face and aching arms
And others of thy wondrous charms
A cough that starts and doesn’t stop
A sneeze! A sneeze! A sneeze and hop!
A stinging eye in a shade of red
An insatiable yearning to go to bed.

Thou blight me with a thumping head 
As well.

As I said.

Thou blight me. 

And tonight I rest.

For tomorrow is another day.

I’ve come down with a shocking cold today, goodness knows where from, although I think it has been brewing in the background for a couple of weeks now. I’m completely shattered, so I’m switching off for now… having an early night.

I must apologise once again for not visiting or replying to comments, but I will get round to it in due course!

Warts and all

It’s #SelfieArt Day today (25th April) so I thought I’d have a go.

Now, regular visitors know that my Selfies are somewhat strange things, usually consisting only of the top of my head, but lately, my eyes have been getting something of a showing as well. I decided to use one of these Selfies for my first ever actual watercolour (on paper) painting. I usually do digital stuff (badly – but I have a go!) but lately I’ve been getting the urge to use watercolours and oils.

I’ve bought myself an easel, a set of paints – two actually – several stretched canvases (is that canvi?) and umpteen different sized brushes… and haven’t used any of them yet. Instead, I also bought myself a couple of mixed media A4 sized ring-bound art pads and a tin of el-cheapo watercolour paints which came with a brush. And it is with these that I have produced my first ever cartoon watercolour. Just for a practice run, I must add.

I was expecting a masterpiece and got a smudge.

The face is blotchy and a strange yellow/red colour, but I decided to use that photo anyway. The hair is terrible, but I’m used to that. And the eyes are two different sizes – something I hadn’t really noticed before, until I started analysing my features in minute detail. Not different in size as in Quasimodo (or is that Popeye? I always get them mixed up) standards, but noticeable never the less when you look. Unless the photo was taken when I had one of my eye-twitches. That must be it. The large eye had a blain at the time of the photo as well, so that could have been slightly swollen. I’ll go with that as well.

So, I quickly sketched a basic head shape, popped in a couple of odd-sized eyes, and scribbled a few strands of hair. Then, I used most of the yellow paint filling in the gaps.

I’m my own worst enemy, and gave myself just one hour to do it in. Time’s short, and I’m well behind on my blog visiting and replying to comments, yet here I was painting.

The more I painted, the more the el-cheapo brush’s bristles started to flare outwards. When it came to painting the eyes, the bristles were that far akimbo every stroke went beyond where I intended them… so the odd-sized eyes became even odder. I just went with it. Five minutes left, I had no time to worry about such things.

The strokes became dabs and then that was it. Time was up. The result is published above, with the original Selfie (although I shan’t say which is which!)

The last Selfie I painted, digitally, was this one:

This one, however, was completely from memory, and it was at a time when I desperately needed a haircut. I think it was this one anyway, my memory isn’t quite what it used to be.

So, there we have it. A first for this blog. I doubt I’ll be getting any commissions for portraits to appear on bank notes or anything like that, but that doesn’t matter. I spent a good hour sploshing a few colours around, and the next hour being hyper-critical on myself. All in jest, obviously!

With thanks to Charlie at Doodlewash, who told me about the SelfieArt Day, and naturally I had to create something… I have a 2,000th post deadline to meet. But I’m not giving up… I’ve got all that gear to use now, and good or not so good, it’s all good! I’m sure practice will make perfect. Watch this space!

Wordle: Cult

“Follow my vision; follow the light!”
Bellowed the prophet on stage that night
I’d watched him climb from a pit of fire
And saw him float higher and higher
“Look at me; resist the sin!
Come! Follow me. Give in. Give in!”
The crowd around me looked on and cheered
The man on stage looked back and sneered
Those at the front didn’t stand a chance
Already hypnotised into a trance…
I think I was too, eyes starting to close…
“Now cast aside your unholy clothes!”
They stripped naked, one by one,
The nightmare now truly begun
My shirt was opened to the waist,
Enough, I decided; I needed space
To get away, to find somewhere to hide
So I fled the tent to the hills outside.

The Sound of Summer! Kokomo!

Do you like to Feel Good? Do you?

I do!

And so, for the next six weeks, I shall be searching high and low for the ultimate sound of Summer! (Beyond the Sphere stylee, that is!)

I shall post a couple of different versions of Summery Sounding Sounds each week, and at the end (of the six weeks!) there will be… yes! you’ve guessed it!… a poll, where you, my most excellent visitor, can cast a vote to help to decide the Sound of Summer… around these here parts, anyway! I have eclectic tastes. I’m surprised I spelled eclectic correctly, but at least it’s the right word! I hope you can join in the fun, and enjoy the music. Here’s to a Great Summer, yes? YES!

This week, Kokomo. Inspired by the Evian Babies, this definitely sounds of Summer, doesn’t it?

Numero Uno…

Numero Dos…

Obviously, I do not own the music, words, or Muppets included in this post. They are all included here for Feel Good purposes only. I hope they work!

Saturday Selection

The bluebells are out in force now. Above is my first attempt at taking a moving photograph of them. It’s a bit jerky and uneven, but it’s a start, I suppose! And below, a regular still photograph of the newest bluebells to emerge.

And below, still some waiting to emerge:

And below, not a bluebell, but a blueberry…

Not by itself, I might add. Joined by a couple of strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi slices, all combined in a delicious Summer Fruit Tartlet which I devoured after tea.

If you look closely at the blueberry, you may notice my latest Selfie. I go to some extremes for my Selfies, you know!