Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Books for Soldiers

For awhile, I've been an official volunteer with Books for Soldiers. It's been very satisfying to send out flat rate boxes filled with books, snacks, and other necessities, like pens, shampoo, soap, for our troops. Friends give me books or I buy them at my used book store or branch library (for very little money.) I do this out of frustration with a war that I couldn't prevent, to support those who are over there fighting, in hopes that somehow, I'm promoting peace in someone's heart. This feels more supportive than forwarding an e-mail. I never expect to hear from any one that I send a box to, I know they're busy, and pens and stationery might not be available, but today I got a letter of thanks. It brought tears to my eyes. It was so sweet and so appreciative. If you want to do something meaningful, no matter how you feel about this war we're in, join the volunteers at Books for Soldiers. I go to the section called Forgotten Soldier and choose my recipient from that list. I don't always send a package. Sometimes, I send postcards or a note. Please think about joining me as an Official Volunteer. For the cost of a stamp you can do something really good.

Elflog - this morning

This morning, my little cousin and I put a pink ribbon on the shelf for his mom. We were really excited to see the new things. "Peace" in wire writing and a yellow flower on a stick. The little beads and things on the shelf itself had been rearranged. What a treat to see this shelf!

Friday, August 22, 2008

30 minutes of "fame."

I had 30 minutes of local fame today. Woo Hoo! I was interviewed by Tim Bowring on his show: Zero Hour on WRIR (97.3) This is our local indie radio, check it out on-line, it has a live stream you can pick-up. Tim put me at ease and I completely forgot about the big microphone right in front of me. He's an excellent interviewer, really listening, and asking questions that made me think more about what I do as an artist. I talked about Artist Trading Cards, mail art, the art-o-mat, and the RealSmallArt League. I hope that some listeners will become interested in creating some small art themselves. Come on, everyone, make some art!!

Market update

Yesterday was a slow day at the market. It was nice weather, sunny but not so humid, a nice change, but not so many people. Maybe it's vacation time? We had gorgeous eggplants, radishes and tomatoes, plus lots of other veggies. We had a young helper, who was a very good worker. I'm wearing a blouse made by Mayan women in Chiapas, Mexico. Amy, the organic farmer whose stand is across from ours, buys them directly and sells them at the market. I never wear this much color, but I really liked this shirt and thought it was perfect for being a veggie vender.

The wooden bowl was a gift for Chuck. It's walnut wood and made by Tom Lowe, who does really beautiful wooden pieces.

Bonnie is also across from us and brightens our view with her great tie-dye items. She's so good at this. Have you ever tried to do more than one color? I can only do single dye but she does really intricate multiple colors.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Our berry share has been so great. Chuck has become a berry chef! He made a raspberry sauce, which we had on waffles this past Sunday. Yesterday, he made a sauce with his blackberries and that was quite delicious on some vanilla Soydream.

Monday, August 18, 2008

KootSacs, cool sacs!

I got some really cool nylon sacs to use for bulk food at the market. I'm so excited about using these that I just had to share them with you. I found them on Etsy at KootSac.
I used a large one for a couple ears of corn, the red one has an "oriental snack mix" in it, the yellow one is candied ginger, and the little purple one has crushed red pepper in it. When you get your goodies home, you transfer them to containers, then rinse out your sacs and hang to dry. I tie them off with rubber bands and write the item code on my shopping list - for example: red bag 20184, and I give the check-out clerk the code. It works well, though a twist tie works, too, I just didn't want to bring any of those home with me. SO, be more colorful when you shop while using less plastic. Yay! Thanks, Morgan!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Elflog update, Postcard 103

This afternoon, I saw that the previous item I'd hung on the post had been taken. It was a "found-art Weathergram." SO this evening, I placed Postcard 103 on the shelf. Can you see how the sun was setting and giving such a nice light to the pole? The shelf is a riot of tiny beads, jewelry making fittings, a U.S. penny, a U.K. coin, the "art matters" stone and the shell are still in place. It's all very festive.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Elflog + a new venue

My friend Andrea sent me some of her "found-art" to post on the shelf. This morning, I put her Weathergram (#112?) on the pole. Doesn't it look good? I love it on there and can't wait to see how long before someone finds it, and hopefully, checks out her site Found Art.
I put a second piece in my new venue. The other day, walking my dog on our usual route which takes us past a "field" in the middle of a block, I noticed something new. The "field" is enclosed by a chain link fence with pointy things at the top. It's been this way for years. Nothing much happens within this area. Well, the other day, there was a yellow sign attached to the fence - "POSTED no hunting, fishing, etc." Huh? In the next section of fence was an empty plastic sleeve/pocket secured with plastic lock ties. I went back there on my evening walk and, into the pocket, inserted a quick pencil drawing and a quote, just for the fun of it. This morning, I added one of Andrea's "postcards." Sorry, Andrea, I forgot to write down the number. I hope you have a record of the ones you sent. I have two more items, another "postcard 103" and a "book." I can't wait to see what happens with the "Pocket Gallery!" Watch this blog for more developments. For those of you in the area, the Pocket Gallery is in the alley behind Doctors' offices on Grove Ave. That's the clue. I'm smiling as I write this!!

Blog Action Day: the beginning

This is a view of the park and fountain "lake" which is within walking distance from our home. There were some ducks on the lake, a stop over for them on their flight to somewhere else, possibly. It was very quiet out, I was walking alone, enjoying the sight. I'm using this image to remind those of us who are lucky enough to have plenty in our lives, to be without want for the basics of shelter and food, that others are not so fortunate. This year, Blog Action Day, 15 October, focuses on poverty. I will be posting on that day in connection with the action...this is the beginning. Check out how you can be a part of this discussion.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My new range (for cooking.)

We bought a new cooking range, but surprise, surprise, it didn't fit where the old cooking top had been. aaaagh!! Lucky for us, Dave was nearby and was able to saw the through the tile and wood, enlarging the opening. He, also, was able to put in an electrical outlet to accommodate the starter, this is all so new and MODERN! It looks very nice and best of all, it works! I can cook!

Peachy pie, so peachy!

This past week, our fruit CSA gave us lots of peaches, so Chuck wanted to make a peach pie. He used his dear aunt Elna's recipe for the pat-in crust (no rolling necessary.) He blended in the soy margarine with the flour and egg, sliced the peaches and mixed them with sugar and lemon juice, patted the dough into a long baking dish, put in the peaches, flattened little pieces of the dough to put on top, dotted with butter, and baked. It was delicious!

Purses for Change

Here's a sample of the Purses for Change that I sold on Saturday. Oddly, the skull ones didn't sell. I really thought those would go fast. Hmmm. I'll post those in Fritzi, my Etsy shop, where they might be of more interest. But, I was happy with my sales and that I was able to help out ART 180.

Jonny Z festival and ART 180

On Saturday, I particpated in a street fair, fund raiser, festival for ART 180 and Jonny Z. Chop Suey books has these a couple times a year to raise awareness and money for their MoBikesMoBooksMobile and a chosen charity. This year, they also honored a friend who died last year. A mural was painted by his friends and another by children working with ART 180. I offered to sell my Purses for Change, with half the proceeds going to ART 180. I asked Noah to give me some Skull-a-day tees as I didn't have enough merch' for a table. I was given a part of a table and offered to also do the raffle since it gave me a chance to interact with passers-by. "Hi, do you have your raffle ticket, yet? Only a dollar!" then I'd point out the tees and the Purses for Change. It was fun. I sold 15 of the 20 PfC and several tees, and lots of raffle tickets. The 5 hours went by quickly, there were lots of people, live music, lemonade and watermelon for sale, and friends who stopped by to visit me.

Friday, August 08, 2008

These lovely Asian eggplants reminded me of my favorite recipe. It tastes just like a dish I had in a restaurant in NYC many years ago.You can see the recipes on my VOX blog.
We had heirloom tomatoes, lovely green zebras, which many people think are the kind of tomatoes that fried green tomatoes are made with, but their not. They're green and they're ripe. The orange one, which don't show very well in this image, are called Valencias, and I forgot what the red ones are called, but they're all delicious. We had a small helper yesterday. Anna from Arizona! I'm glad that I did some cooking yesterday as today I have NO cook top. We were replacing our old one and had some problem with a) measurements b) electrical connection. The new one has an electric starter...duh...did we think, "Oh, one needs electricity." No, we didn't, SO the plumbers were here at 730 a.m. and discovered they couldn't do too much but did the new gas regulator; now we need 1) a carpenter 2) an electrician. I was laughing on the outside but, you know what on the inside, as the plumbers left. Happily, our neighbor is having work done on his house and his friend came by and can do what we need. Whew! Maybe I'll have a new cook top by Monday. Oh dear, cooking meals, hmmm, well it's summer so cold food is better anyway.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fruits and veggies

Last week, I got some Tongue of Fire beans. Aren't they beautiful? I simmered them with some garlic and they became a nice beige color. I've been snacking on them or tossing them in my salad. Though there are fancier ways to use them, I've enjoyed them plain. The okra was lovely, though I personally don't care for it. Lots of people seemed excited that it was available. As usual, the Sun Gold tomatoes were delicious. Last summer, during the tomato festival, our farmer's Sun Golds won an award. This year, we didn't have the festival at the market. I'm sure they'd have won again. This evening, Chuck picked up our fruit share from Agriberry CSA (community supported agriculture.) We got some blueberries and LOTS of peaches. I put the water bottle next to the box to give an idea at the size of the fruit. REQUEST: please send me a link to any good but easy recipes using peaches. (not with Bisquik, however, as Chuck is trying to bake from scratch.)

Purple Martins

This very cool thing is happening in our town right now. The Purple Martins are on a stop-over on their way to South America. They roost each evening in a line of Bradford Pear trees (no fruit) that line the edge of the parking lot by the Farmers' Market down in Shockoe Bottom. It's amazing. The sight of hundreds of birds flying low over our heads into the trees and the sound is amazing. I've never seen or heard anything like it before. A friend send me these photos as I couldn't capture any images the night we were there.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

My collage...

I recently created 3 small (4.75" x 4.75"/12cmx12cm) collages, two of them I'm submitting to the National Collage Society juried exhibition. This is one of them, the one not entered. I worked on a substrate that was a printed enlargement of a collage I'd made in Paris in 2006. The enlargements didn't really do anything for me, but working on top of them was quite good. It also gave me the opportunity to use some very small photos I had that are from 1922, 1929, and 1933.

Our short trip to DC

Our cousin was in DC for a conference and invited us to join her for a couple days after it was over. We stayed in the Omni Shoreham and had a nice view of the pool. Here's how it looked on the first night we were there when there was an amazing rain storm, with thunder and lightening. A light show! We went to the National Museum of art, where this Calder mobile is installed. We saw, for the third time, the Martin Puryear show. I think we're official groupies now. Another wonderful show, which made us sad, though happy that we got to see it, was the treasures from the Kabul museum. Not much left of the treasures, or Kabul, I think. Brave curators managed to save some of the items that were in the museum. We're standing in front of the big poster advertising the treasures. Later in the day, we stopped at Teaism for some, of course, TEA! The boxes they keep the tea in are so beautiful. Afterwards, we went to the Phillips Gallery to see a show of work by Richard Diebenkorn, photographs by Brett Weston and work by Jacob Lawrence. What a wonderful day of art. And as we left the city the next day, heading home, we passed the Washington monument. I was able to capture this image with my cell phone. It was a short visit, but filled with art. We were energized by it.