I enjoy watching the frenzy of the season build, build, build over the month of December to a fever pitch on Christmas, then melt into a languid glide for a few days before the madness of New Yearness arrives. I've been in a total retreat the last few days: drawing, reading, curling up with my tea and coffee, relaxing, dispensing of obligations, taking evening walks up the hill to my favorite spot in town where I get a beautiful, sparkling view of the NYC skyline. Even twentysome miles away, it still dazzles. And it centers me.
Wishing you a peaceful last week of 2011! I'll be back before that, though -- my pen has been very busy and it has more to say before the year closes.
I always wait until the penultimate moment to whip up teacher gifts. Normally it is because I'm a procrastinator. This year it is because I haven't yet sorted out when and where to breathe, let alone brew up a usable gift idea. I went through my bookmarks to see if I had filed away any ideas before The Move, when my mind was still intact in Kansas, and LO! There it was. Washi taped binder clips, courtesy of organizing queen Marcia. I got an assortment of 60 red, black & white mini clips at Office Depot for $4ish. To my delight, I found that the minis are precisely the same width as the washi tape, so one tiny piece covers the whole clip. Another bonus: the tape is sticky enough that there's no need for glue. These are easy and quick to make, so if you need a last minute gift idea for someone, you could easily go on a clipping frenzy and wrap them up in time for Christmas.
P.S. Sorry for the lousy image quality. An essential part of my camera wound up in storage, so I have to iPhone it until I retrieve my goods. Or buy a new camera.
These words have been floating in my creative cauldron for a while and they finally found their home on paper. Just a little doodle about the importance of carrying yourself around life with color and confidence. The little lady reminds me a lot of my friend Rachel Awes, she of festooned head and free-spirited mind, who scatters color and happiness along every path she travels.
Montclair, New Jersey! It's a wonderful, diverse, colorful, cultural little burby burg about 15 miles west of New York City. Our hearts were wholly intent on anchoring here, and we searched at length for just the right place, but timing and logistics did not work out in our favor. S'OK, though, because I'm still close enough to make frequent escapes. And so I do. Last week I had my brows done in a salon that was formerly a church. (I'm guessing I was in an old confessional, as I found myself telling the waxer all sorts of things that I would never spill.) This week I went back just to go back. Next week I'll go there to do something else.
Thanks so much to all of you who made my sale a success and my birthday a happy one, and thanks also to the local artists who have welcomed me with open arms (especially sweet and incredibly funny Karen who gathered many of us at her house last weekend for an afternoon of creating). Connecting with the creative tribe, no matter where I am, always makes me feel right at home.
It's my birthday & I'm celebrating with a little sale in the shop! Use the code BIRTHDAY20 for 20% off your order today. Sending you all love & thanks for being such a gift to me these past few months through such a zany time in my life! ♥
The winner for the copy of Personal Geographies is Mary from Summit Scribes. Mary, I couldn't find any contact info for you, so hopefully you'll check back here to find out! Please send me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday evening, December 11, and we'll have North Light send your book on its way. Thanks everyone for participating!
I had an impulse to sew paper, and these museum brochures were happy to step up to the task! I cut the papers into 4"x5.5" pieces, folded them in half, zipped up the sides with embroidery floss, and now I have little holders for my bookmarks and magnets and holiday gift cards or whatever other flat things I might want to give away. They could work for journal pockets, too.
The paper was thick and hearty, at least 100 lb cover weight, so first they needed a hole helper. A mini punch did an adequate job, though it got in the way of itself, and I had a hard time seeing how to space and align the holes along the guidelines that I so neatly penciled across the sides. That is why the first few holders look like they were made by a drunkard. If I made them again I'd use an awl for better visibility, but the urge is now satisfied so I won't. The upshot of the wonky line is that my recipients will take one look at them and say "Yep! Definitely handmade."
Yesterday morning I went back to the city for a day of quiet, solitary strolling. I picked up eavesdroppings on the trains, had coffee, talked to myself and the things I saw, went back to MoMA for a few more exhibits, wrote, took in twinkly lights, watched Manhattan go from sleepy to busy, gazed at Gwyneth Leech's outstanding illustrated coffee cups at the Flatiron Prow Art Space (each used vessel is a remnant of someone's conversation over a cup of coffee), and scattered a handful of Jill's postcards for Personal Geographies across the blocks. I put a lot of mileage on the red shoes, but quiet & lengthy exploring always seems to leave me well rested. As for today, I'm working on a bunch of papery jotters and dreading the third grade Homework Hell that awaits us this afternoon when the bell rings.
Yesterday, somewhere in between school dropoffs and pickups and holiday performances and homework anxiety and wrong turns and the never ending house showings on our quest to find a place to live, I made a field trip to Morristown NJ -- an encampment of 18,000 people about 30 miles west of NYC that is considered the military capital of the American Revolution. George Washington once spent a full winter here; I only had an hour for lunch. However, George did not get to meet sweet Sarah for an awesome Afghan meal and an excellent discussion about art & architecture, nor did he get to wander this adorable little downtown full of history that had not yet happened when he pitched his tent on Morristown Green. I think I got the better deal.