Thursday, July 17, 2014

Perfect Summer Day

Yesterday was just an amazing day. One of the perks of being a teacher is that we are free for a good 6 weeks in the summer. I try to take advantage of the time to meet up with friends I don't get to see during the school year. I really do try to keep connected with people from all the different aspects of my life. I know most people do that through Face Book- BUT I want to do it Face to Face. ( I have a theory: Instagram - which I am on because baby Audrey is highlighted there often-will become the new Pinterest/Face Book and I won't actually have to learn Face Book!)
So I try to cram catch-up lunches in every week of summer. Yesterday was a jam packed day. I got to go to yoga with my favorite teacher in the morning. Met my friend Peter for lunch in the hip and groovy West Loop. Did a DIVY bike ride with my daughter Virginia. Had coffee with Virginia and her adorable girlfriend Zoe at the Lill Street café and finally ended my day at my fabric painting/dyeing class at Lill street.

Here is my friend Peter whom Billy and I met in college. We were all in the musical "Godspell" together at University of Illinois in 1985. A better pic of Peter in a bit. What I really wanted was a picture of the table he was working at.
                                             I think the design would work quite well at HeART Felt!
                We walked over to "The Goat Girl" cafe and had a yummy late lunch. We were able to catch-up on all of the happenings in our lives.
I zoomed up to Ravenswood and met Virginia and Zoe at the Lill Street cafe. Virginia then helped me learn the DIVY bike system. Basically there are docks with these blue bikes all over the city. As long as you dock a bike within 30 minutes of getting the bike you can travel all over for just $7.
                                                       A GORGEOUS bike riding day!
                               On our bike ride I made Virginia stop for ART...
                                                                       Here is the up close of the church's mosaic.

I finished up the day in the Lill Street textile studio-dyeing fabric for 4 hours....
                                                          A classmate's work.
                                           Some of my fabrics which I created during class.

Call a friend whom you have not seen for Face to Face. I guarantee it will be worth it!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Birthday

When I was a kid I always felt a bit disappointed that my birthday fell in the summer. During the school year your name was called over the PA and you got to bring in treats share with classmates. The teacher always made the day special. It was hard to have a summer birthday party because inevitably one of your friends would be on vacation when you held your party. My parents ALWAYS made birthdays special-we got to open presents at the breakfast table and then in the evening of your birthday you got to choose which restaurant our parents took JUST the birthday kid to! Not sure if their intent was to make the birthday child feel special-or it was a cost saving strategy. ( I have 4 siblings.) I suspect it was both.

Now that I am ALL grown-up (hardly!) I LOVE having a summer birthday. I have been so lucky in my 50 years to only have had to work on my birthday a couple of times...I love my special day. This birthday has been pretty much a WHOLE summer celebration. I am not stopping at our Michigan week long adventure. I have decided to throw a birthday party for myself (with the help of my husband and my kids.) My birthday falls on a Friday this year so even more reason to have a party right on the day. I have the invitations completed and just today I delivered all of them. That in itself was an adventure.....Take a look.
                              Here are the invites I created. I really only like handmade written cards.
This is my "around town bike" which I delivered all of the in town invites with.

                                                        Lovely summer flowers around town.

                     Our friend Carol's amazing gazebo which is best visited during a summer thunderstorm!
Love the red bench against the big white flowers....
                                                 Eileen's American flag she created with a neighbor's old fence.
                                                             After all of the invitations were delivered I even had time for my favorite form of summer exercise-laps at our public pool. There is nothing better than to have the sun beating down as I swim methodically and meditatively away. I think it might be my form of water yoga.

                                                            Here is to summer....Enjoy it!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The adult summer slide...

We have all heard about the kids summer slide.  The months of TV, video games,staying up late, too much junk food etc, leading to the academic mud slide in September.  I am having the equivalent of one myself. Too much wine, staying up late watching all of those damn shows people are talking about, bad back (from said couch jockeying), too much junk food etc...What happened to me?  Okay life happens and throws us curve balls, how do we "stay right" or "get on track" or "pull our shit together"? I have to go back to the theme of the year and ACT (or like Lucy LEAP). Going back to things that have worked in the past I am going to start by:

1). Make a list of things I want to do this summer.   It is only July 6th for Pete Sake!
2). Spend more time in nature.  Beauty and scarcity is a creativity boost for me.
3). The Julia Cameron "Artist Date' still holds true.  Do one a week.
4). Drink less, sleep more, exercise...DUH
5). Be curious.  Ask more questions, LISTEN and shut the damn up about myself .
6). Embrace the days.  We are so lucky to have them.
7). Observe the everyday creativity and let yourself be inspired by it. (SEE BELOW).

I know this is a silly observation but I go into the bathroom at my local Mariano's grocery store to see the flower display.  I mentioned this once to the floral designer and she was so tickled that I had noticed and that it is a highlight of my trips to the grocery store.  Here are a few and then how I interpreted it at home.

My interpretation.  With Swiss Chard from the garden.

Hard to get out of slumps isn't it?


Monday, June 30, 2014

Week long celebration

As you know Eileen and I have been friends for a VERY long time. In our 40th birthday year we spent a long weekend in NYC together visiting galleries, museums, Broadway shows, shopping and of course eating and drinking...This year we could not decide what trip to take together; go back to NYC, do a road trip, go somewhere neither of us had been to...THEN Eileen's brilliant husband suggested renting a house that we could invite friends to share with us.

So back in February in the dead of winter Eileen and I trolled the internet for a vacation house to rent. I thought it would be an easy task, BUT it took WAY more time than I expected. We decided on a house which was under 2 hours away in Michigan. We were hoping for a week in August (which is right between our birth dates) but the only availability was mid June. The weather wasn't great BUT the company was FANTASTIC! We invited 20 different mutual friends and they just rotated through the house for 2 nights each. Lots of laughter, some tears (mostly on my part-HUM) great food-each friend brought part of a meal and TOO MUCH wine- I am detoxing now!

It was a great kick-off to the birthday summer...

The cottage and many cars...

Activities, making terrariums...


Making sand masks


Sand castle by Eileen and Barb

Amazing paella by Carol and Judy.  Still thinking about it.

Beach fun

Some of our friends.  Wish we had a picture with everyone, drats.

Here is to celebrating good times and cherishing good friends.

Thanks for coming!

Eileen and Lucy

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grey Day

In contrast to Eileen's amazing Napa Valley pictures, my pictures today were from an early morning bike ride which threatened rain. Although grey reads dark and gloomy most days-I find a rainy day almost refreshing. Gives you permission to be lazy and unproductive-right?!

 The Movement of the clouds right before a storm always amazes me. It is like a stop motion camera in quick time.
Color is more defined on a grey day. I am sure scientifically is it NOT-BUT to me it is....
Summer is here. Time to slow down, relax and recharge- grey day or not!
Have a wonderful week.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yountville, CA

I just spent 16 days in California.  The longest I have been away from home ever.  I was helping my son recover from a surgery and helping him set up his new apartment.  The scenery on my morning walks was breath taking. Here are a few things that caught my eye of this charming town located in the heart of Napa wine country.

The quintessential Napa shot

The goats that live at the French Laundry gardens.  A early morning snuggle.

What a charming gas station.  They also sell the most amazing homemade granola.

A dream house...

I created this zen spot in Ted's yard

Team Ted

Here's to a healthy and safe summer!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Biking adventure; bikes, books, and art

Chicago during the summer is the place to be! Every weekend has a plethora of interesting neighborhood festivals to enjoy...Yesterday, Billy and I met our longtime biking friends Amy and Dave for a biking city adventure. We hit 2 different events, biked along the Lake Front, explored new neighborhoods, Geocached, and found art along the way.
 We started out at the Chicago Tribune's Annual "Lit Fest." Many, many tents set-up in the Printer's Row/South Loop neighborhood. You can browse books and pop into different tents to meet and speak to authors. There were scheduled talks and workshops you could also attend. ALL FREE!
The highlight, at this our first stop of the day, was a talk given by Tribune columnists Mary Schmich and Eric Zorn. She spoke about her career as a journalist and read from her book of columns. She had many words of wisdom. Two ideas in particular struck me; 1) She spoke of an editor whom she described as politically incorrect, sexist and many other attributes which would not be accepted in the workplace today-BUT that he was a manager of people. He could tease out what each individual excelled at and positioned his people to work with their strengths. This notion seems to be lost in my world today! 2) She also spoke to the practice of cursive writing. My take-away; Cursive writing is a wonderful, calming practice which allows writers to be thoughtful. SINCE we no longer teach cursive in schools, I fear another practice of CALM will be lost to this next generation of our technology driven world!
We biked south along Lake Michigan to the Hyde Park neighborhood and the 57th Street Art Fair.

 I made our party stop a number of times along the way for public art...
                                                                        Art Fair
                                                                        and a silly pet picture!
On every adventure we take with Amy and Dave "Geocaching" happens. It is a movement which Amy has embraced with of her many interests.


 We ended up stopping at 2 different historical taverns. For drinks and a lovely rest to our biking adventure.
                                                                 Here is to friends and adventures-