We have been friends for 45 years. Ahhhh...We wanted a year long project to celebrate our 50th year. We came up with the extremely original idea to create a BLOG. We will focus on exploring, experiencing and doing art. Let's see where this takes us.
The other day I was asked to create a birthday party art event for a group of 10 year olds. Not exactly my target audience I want for HeART*Felt, BUT I am not going to say no to paying customers. At least not right now! I talked my nieces and nephews ages 6-10 into experimenting with me. Take a peak...
Ella and Mahla helping to mix paint.
They insisted on posing....
Getting to work.
Final mixed-media projects.
We placed all of the art work on a bench in a sunny window!
It was a wonderful "get lost in the process." project....Go make something!
In honor of Lucy's Big Day, I wanted to share some thoughts and long ago photo's. I have not seen a few of these in a while..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCY!!!!!
Lucy is a special friend to me and many others. She creates a bond with people that is heart felt and long lasting. She stays in contact with people and makes a difference in her friends lives. It is easy to say I wonder how so and so is doing and the other is to call them up and say I would like to drive 4 hours to meet you for lunch today because I want to catch up. She embraces on every level. I am a better person because of the the way she lives her life and my involvement in it.
The 1980 original selfie:
When all we had to think about was summer fun
Jeff, a dear old friend in 1980
All that Tab and twizzlers...
Prom Picture Party 1982 (no parents were there and we still figured everything out...)
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 awhile....meet Face to Face. I guarantee it will be worth it!
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.
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.
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.
Some of our friends. Wish we had a picture with everyone, drats.
Here is to celebrating good times and cherishing good friends.