from my the house across the street

live, love, laugh, and remember to play everyday!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A month full of goodies........

My sister began getting Advent calendars from our mom each year, beginning when she was about 8 or 9. Until then, I knew nothing of such wonderful treats. Of course, if I had, I would have opened all the little doors and consumed each little chocolate before December 2nd rolled around.
I'm fortunate enough now to take part in a different ritual, yet one that is every bit as exciting as any Advent calendar could have been! This is Artvent, a group of 31 fabulous artists who create--and swap--wonderful little treats to help get through the month of August. This year, as mentioned in a previous post, we swapped charms.
As you can see, each day of the month has its special little package (the 18th is mine, and I already know what it is but I'll open it on the 18th anyway!). The packaging alone is fun, artistic, and in some cases, rather ingenious. There is a "master list" of who created each day's charm, but I don't really plan to consult it.....I like the idea of not knowing whose art work I'm opening.
There was a grand gathering on Thursday the evening filled with potluck, fun (so I'm told) and swapping the treasures. I was unable to attend because of a trip to a conference, and I think it's amazing that people were able to get there. An incredible downpour--- with angry clouds, wind, and rain coming down as if shot from an automatic weapon---hit the area as I was driving in the general vicinity of the party. It was unbelievable how long the rain just kept coming, hard and fast. At one point I noticed cars ahead of me swerving out of the lane-----an extension ladder had been blown (?) off a truck and was in pieces in the middle of the lane. That storm wasn't enough to stop the Artventers, though! I picked up my goodies last week, and had to leave them in a bag---out of sight but not really out of mind---to avoid temptation. Today I decided that I could live with having them in view because I'm especially feeling the need of something to look forward to.
I have found myself feeling rather shocked and surprised that the beginning of school is quickly approaching. That means summer is pretty much over, although my perception is that it has just barely begun. At the same time, it seems that the heat and humidity have been dragging at me for far too long now, and I'm wishing for some cooler, crisper days. Even the nights, when the temperature dips a bit, feel too muggy for my comfort. I detest the sensation of dampness in the air, often pressing against me, thick enough that breathing is a struggle. In spite of living and working in air conditioned environments, I find myself completely exhausted.
Will this August be significantly different from any other in the muggy midwest? I find it difficult to believe it could be. While the climate will most likely be something I will find myself simply enduring day after day, I will look forward to each morning's special little treat.........each day will begin with something new. And each night will find me anticipating the next day's package.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Last Weekend's Project

In addition to working on things for the swaps I committed to, the big project of this past weekend was installing this sweet little air conditioner in my studio! I successfully removed the huge monstrosity of a no-longer-functioning air conditioner from this window a couple of weeks ago........quite the task, believe me. I felt like I had conquered some heathenish monster. The heat will no longer keep me out of my studio!


I don't know where this little yellow leaf came from, or how long ago it was captured between the downspout and the side of the house. At first glance I thought it was floating in mid-air, but a close up look told more of the story.........the leaf is suspended in the middle of a very large spider web! Even strong breezes and downpour didn't dislodge it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Taking the Plunge.............

.............with my first "big" swap. I say big because it's more than the usual dozen atc's, and big because I'm swapping with a group of people who are complete strangers to me. It's only kind of intimidating, though, because I feel ready for this kind of challenge. Some of the swapmates also have blogs, which I've visited, and can see that I will be swapping skinny book pages with some very talented artists.

This swap is being hosted by Chrysti, whose skinny pages, and tutorial on creating backgrounds, can be seen in the current issue of CPS.

I am also making charms for a swap that will take place in less than two weeks. Charms aren't done, of course, but they are completely created in my head, which is where most all the work takes place, anyway!

Then there is my atc swap group, a bunch of fabulous and fun women who meet once a month to connect, laugh, vent, find support, get inspired, and.......oh, yes, swap atc's!

Committing myself to these kinds of artistic adventures motivates me to actually create rather than just think about creating. And it gets me to clear up some space and reorganize so that I can actually get some work done.

Since I will need to mail off my charms in a couple of days, I guess I'd best get to work!!

Friday, July 06, 2007


Collage, 10" diameter, 1997.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Inspire Me Thursday: Light

The sun, just high enough to show itself above neighboring buildings, peeks through the matchstick blinds at the top of my stairs.
I love the light of early morning, often with a soft haze at this time of year. The day has not yet become abuzz with activity, but is beginning to transition through its awakening. Birdsong begins before the sun sends its rays over the horizon, almost as if their sweet music calls out the sun.
This is light.

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