Saturday, April 03, 2010

Clay Aiken Fans Celebrate Easter

NEW BIRTH -- This beautiful tiger lily graphic by Sally commemorates Easter and the rebirth of Spring.

Rebirth and Renewal

Easter Celebrates Resurrection

Sunday Christians all over the world celebrate Easter, an occasion commemorating the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The day also honors the rebirth of Spring and, for many, the renewal of faith, hope, and new life.

Coincidentally, the 2010 season of renewal falls when Clay Aiken fans are anticipating "Tried and True, the singer's first album with a new label, Decca Records. Released Thursday, the high resolution retro album cover is making a splash throughout the Internet. The track list is viewable on the double clickable below.

Double clickable TNT cover

Since its conception as a holy celebration in the second century AD, Easter has had its non-religious side and, like most Christian holidays, was originally a pagan festival.

The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating Eastre, their goddess of offspring and of springtime. When second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity, but in a clandestine manner.

To save lives, the missionaries cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.

Pagan Eastre Becomes Easter

The pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense to alter the festival itself and make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.

Both the rabbit, Eastre's earthly symbol, and the exchange of eggs, a celebration of springtime's rebirth, were centuries old customs of the pagan festival that eventually merged with the religious Easter season.

More about the history of Easter and the parallel pagan festivities can be read at Wilstar.

Photos Extol Spring Blessings

This blog's pictorial celebration takes place in four stages -- the glorious landscape photographs by my friend Sally; clickable blends of Clay Aiken photos by the fandom's graphic artists; and Sally's beautiful floral graphics signifying the rebirth of the spring season; and the latest on Kai and Lia.

Many may remember the featured artist as Sally888, who in the past shared many of her stunning photos and graphics in a Clayonline blog.

Even though I have played for countless Easter sunrise services, I have never been to Canada. Sally's beautiful photo of a sunrise along the Ice fields Parkway transports one to the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Lake Louise near Banff, Alberta, reportedly the most photographed lake in the world, was once recorded by Sally.

In this photo, Sally captured springtime morning in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, a state I called home for 17 years.

Fans Applaud Clay's Voice, Heart

Clay Aiken fans first followed the exceptional voice from Carolina. During the past seven years, they have also become enthusiastic supporters and participants in his charitable causes, inspiring the motto: "We came for the voice but stayed for the man."

In 2003, the singer and Diane Bubel co-founded the National Inclusion Project to bridge the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them.

Appointed a UNICEF ambassador in 2004, Clay has made several international trips and participated in numerous projects for the world relief organization.

'Dancing Like the Stars' Benefit Set

In an annual benefit for the Foundation, the National Inclusion Project and A Step to Gold International Ballroom will co-host Dancing Like the Stars at Raleigh's Southern Women's Show on April 25.

Local celebrity participants are busy practicing with their professional dance partner to provide great entertainment for the show attendees. You can read about the dancing celebrities here where a practice video of each couple will be activated soon.

With a click, supporters can vote for their favorite couple and make a donation to the Inclusion Project.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Looking back, these handsome clickables feature Invisible926's 2006 Easter design (1); Clayquebec1, photo by Invisible926, (2); cindilu2, photo and screen cap by Galrow and Spotlightlover, (3); AmazingCA's JNT05 blend, photos by Renee4Clay, (4); and A Beautiful Mind's Easter graphic, photo by Scrpkym, (5).

Flowers a Canvas for Nature

Nature's splendor resonates throughout Sally's floral photos and graphics. My special affinity for the first is the annual
North Carolina Azalea Festival celebrated in my hometown of Wilmington. The 63rd "best party in the South" will occur next week, April 7-11.

The Festival is a celebration of Wilmington's exceptional artwork, gardens, rich history and culture during its five days of entertainment that includes a parade, street fair, circus, concerts, pageantry, and all that is Southern.

For more information, see Upcoming Cape Fear Coast and Wilmington, NC Events, or call 910.794.4650.

Joining the pink azalea in this springtime gala are sweet-fragranced freesia and a lovely apple blossom.

Grandchildren Welcome Spring

In March, grandchildren Kai and Lia enjoyed a visit with a new friend, Twyla, whose mother captured many moments of the weekend with her camera. The weekend was filled with lots of "girl talk," eats, kiddie play, and, of course, shopping sprees.

Below are four clickables from the weekend. Lia is in light purple, Twyla in stripes, and Kai in white.

Wednesday Kai and Lia visited the dentist and received excellent reports. In addition, we learned that Lia has the makings of a "social animal" while her brother may be joining the teaching ranks within our family.

Apparently, the minute they entered the dental office, Lia "abandoned" her family and made a beeline to the other children in the waiting room for some interaction. A little later, Kai also joined the group. Soon his mother heard him teaching the other kids how to count in English and in Spanish.

LOL, must be in the genes!

Below are clickable graphics celebrating Kai's previous Easters, one by Sally (2008) and the other by Ashes (2009):

Happy Easter ~ Blessed Passover ~ Joyous Spring, Clay Nation!



Cathie (a.k.a. scootieboots) said...

happy easter, caro...another fantastic blog. thank you so much for all the joy you've given us through your talent & creativity. God bless you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

Where do I start?? First....A VERY HAPPY EASTER to you and yours. I love the Easter lesson, it is wonderful this Easter morning.

Your blogs are always full of so many goodies....I love "Sally's" flower photos, graphics and the photo of sunrise in the Canadian Rockies. Just beautiful!

Ahhhh, we can all celebrate with the soon to be releasted (Is it June yet?) "Tried and True" album by Clay Aiken. How exciting to see the album cover this past week.

Your grandchildren are so adorable! Lia is getting so big and Kai is quite a little man. It sounds like fun was had by all this past weekend. Thank You for sharing.

Last but not least....THANK YOU for all your wonderful blogs, that are packed full of wonderful information. You are the best!!!

Have a Great Day!


claysweetea said...

What an absolutely beautiful Easter Blog! Such wonderful Spring artwork! Thank you!

claysweetea said...

I have to add another comment to say Happy Easter and how darling your grandchildren are!

MissSally said...

I enjoyed seeing some of my photos, it's like visiting old friends that I haven't seen in a while. Thank you for including them, Caro.

The grand babies are so precious, and always my favorite part of your blogs. I so appreciate your sharing their images and stories with us.

Happy Easter to you and to your readers!


Anonymous said...

Another unique, intricate, and well planned out blog. I don't know how you do it, day in and day out. You must have a very busy mind that you never run out of ideas. Wish some of it would rub off on me. Maybe I'm just lazy. Lois

LovesClaysVoice said...

Beautiful blog Caro! Happy Easter!!!

SueReu said...

Wow, this blog packs a punch of information and truly wonderful pictures!

Happy Easter Caro, hope you are enjoying your day

Anonymous said...

Love what a teacher that young man is..:) cute , they are so cute!!! Thanks for sharing them . Hope all of U had a awesome Easter! Take care, Donna in WI.

IamMesmerized said...

First of all, a Happy Easter to you and yours.

Wonderful blog, Caro! Thank you.

Sandy said...

Hope you had a wonderful Easter day Caro and thank you for this wonderful blog!

All the beautiful graphics had me thinking of our wonderful Ashes who as we know left this earth way too soon. I think of her often and how happy she would be with this new album and how excited she would be about Clay and Ruben touring together!

The pictures of the grandchildren are so adorable! They grow up so quickly. We just learned last week that Alyssa gave her bottle up "cold turkey". She's not walking on her own yet but almost there. Connor is at that wonderful boy age of almost "9". He laughs a lot with us as well as does a whole lot of eye rolls as if to say "Yeah right".

Have a wonderful week!


deyabird said...

Very beautiful blog. Happy Easter, everyone.

T said...

Happy Easter Caro! Beautiful Easter blog and seeing Sally's beautiful photographs are so refreshing.

Can't wait for Clay Aiken's "Tried and True" album. It's always nice to get Clay updates in your blogs. It's great!

Love the latest photos of Kai and Lia. They are so precious and adorable. Lucky grandma you are! I'm so happy and it always makes me smile seeing their photos.

The graphics brought so much memorable moments. I really miss Ashes so much & I know she would have been smiling seeing the latest photos of Kai & Lia.

Have a wonderful Easter and a lovely week. Take care.



sharleen said...
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Abdul Rafay said...
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NaveenAli said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Caro. Happy Easter. :)

Thanks for sharing the history behind Easter. Love the graphic art you shared from Sally. She is an amazing photographer. She does not just take the picture.. she captures the soul in the picture.

Awww. Kai and Lia look so adorable and their friend Twyla is adorable too. :)

Great blog Caro.



katy said...

Love your blog and all the work you do to keep it up. Wonderful!

sharleen said...

Such wonderful Spring artwork! Thank you!
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