Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Today is EARTH HOUR & I am mulling over what to do in honor of this annual event. The weather here in NYC is up in the air for this evening so:if the rain holds off I am going to take mass transit into the city and photograph some of the buildings in darkness. If the rain hits my best idea so far has been to light a candle and meditate for the entire hour. (P.S. My meditation practice is horrible these days so this option should prove really FUN!) Either way, I plan to turn off everything, & unplug all outlets so that there are no draws on power during this time. &, of course, I am hoping everyone does the same! For more info. go here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Message in a bottle-sort of

Ideas...I found 2 "bottles" at Jacob Riis this weekend and picked them up not knowing what I would do with them. As a child I used to walk the beach looking for bottles with messages tucked inside. I found one or 2 but the problem was-you have to break the bottles to get at the message-not something you  do on a lovely beach where folks walk barefoot! But I did love the idea of messages sent in bottles & found by someone you will never meet. With these examples, you can read the full message without breaking the glass and the small one is going to be filled with small paper hearts. Just me mulling over an idea...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beach combing

We went to Jacob Riis Park -part of Gateway  National Park. It has a very wild quality to it this time of year. I was amazed by the amount of clam  & snail shells . 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

baby road trip

In keeping with our current beach going: today we go to : Montauk! It should be very windy and beautiful! My mom is coming and we are all bringing lots of layers & thermoses of warm tea & cameras & bags to carry found stuff in. (Last week's visit to Jones Beach was impromptu & stuff got put in coat pockets which means everything is still full of sand!)
Later today: I learned something important today-destinations that involve  a long drive will not necessarily bring larger dividends than those just minutes away.In other words, the closer Jones Beach was far more wonderful than the farther Montauk. It was a beautiful day but it was also busy and a bit dirty-on the beach  one found fish heads & spines every few feet along with other debris . Kind of a sad reminder of how "we" ruin the most beautiful places with our own carelessness. There was a nice fireplace in the "cafe" .(It was not called a cafe when I was a kid!We called such places snack bars and since the food is the same ,why  upscale everything? ) But it somehow felt like something was missing. Some spirit or soulfulness. I am more than willing to admit it might just be me but I was left underwhelmed. Perhaps my disappointment  lies with another mistake-going back to a place that held such strong memories. Time changes things and not always for the better. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

sketch books

not exactly new but-sketch books. I have always had one and like the way they record both my life & my art. I usually go for small in size as you want something you can easily carry with you everywhere.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

something new & totally useful:virtual bubble wrap. If you find you have some time to kill in between saving the world & moving towards enlightenment, why not? 
Click here to find out more & explore & of course, be sure to turn your volume Up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jones Beach boardwalk (365 # 79)

A view of the boardwalk & the older, removed  boards . Kind of sad to see. The artist in me wondered if there wasn't some way they could be re-used / repurposed. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK"S DAY! May the luck of the Irish be with you today & always! 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beer of choice at Jones Beach is:

The collection of  beer bottle caps. Seems folks like Corona,Bud Lite & Heineken. Of course this was an informal survey. 
P.S. Can you spot the "unusual" cap in the mix? 

snow fences & sand dunes (365 # 75 - 77)

 A memory  from childhood: running around the dunes created by snow fences. That and being caught , maze like, by their frame work. I love their weathered look. 

umbrellas (365 # 71 - 74)

Umbrellas galore! I noticed this broken window and went to take a peek inside. I found a multitude of umbrellas huddled together , waiting for Spring to come. The colors are evocative of  the type you would have found on beach chairs and umbrellas when I was a child. I could not resist perching my camera on the window's ledge to try and see into the umbrella's home. They really did seem to be peering out at the world, quietly waiting for someone to let them come out and play. A mix of happiness & sadness. 

"Trash" (365 # 68 - 70 )

Here are some shots of funny, odd things one finds while walking on the beach near the end of winter. Little children's toys & assorted signs that life is lived here. Some are interesting purely because we make things in odd, eye catching  colors. I noticed a grouping of beer caps in the sand and was attracted to their worn look. Once I began looking for them, these caps seemed to be everywhere! Judging by the accumulated rust  on some of the caps I would have to guess some have been at the beach longer than others. You'll read more about these caps later. 

Jones Beach : Part 2 (365: # 65-67)

More from Jones Beach: these are sign posts -very reminiscent of cut paper artwork and very much in keeping with all of the typography. Spotting one puts a smile on your face as there is something very cute about them. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jones Beach ( 365 # 61-64)

I went to Jones Beach today. A joy. The weather was O.K. -nice enough that major bundling up was not required but cool enough(little sun) that gloves were a must!  I love many things about the beach-mainly I love the water , fresh air and lovely sky. But I also love the building materials used, the designs and colors! & I love all of the stuff that can be found:washed up shells, BEACH GLASS and strange...trash. I guess you can call it something else but really , it is the stuff we leave behind and throw out. Trash. I also love going to the beach "off season". In summer, it is a very different place. I happen to love the emptiness of off season. & how things look shut down & different from summer time. It is like peeking into an open shuttered window on someones summer house:seeing the furniture covered in sheets ,a layer of dust covering everything. At the beach , sand covers everything in wind blown dunes. (Here is where the trip takes me back in time, to childhood) I spotted an open window,umbrellas peering out at the ocean like children waiting to be let outside to have some fun! There was so much to see that I'll post in batches . One last thing: the benches-there are several types-some cement, others wooden. The wooden ones have plaques with names and dates-what a wonderful way to remember someone! 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

oatmeal anyone? (365 # 60)

On my walk today I something new on the lone bill board I pass. I had to ask myself just what folks were thinking when they came up with this particular concept...It definitely does not have the desired effect on me! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Fun with Gold Leaf" Part II

More fun with gold leaf today: 
These are the slim envelopes of leaf.I love the way they look. The type, the glassine. Everything about them.  They have not been opened in decades! Next is a photo of  the paper left behind once the gold leaf has been removed and applied to something. I had a little disaster this evening. I got ambitious and attempted to gold leaf one of my Christmas tree candle sticks. I am going to sleep on it before deciding for certain but I fear this idea was not one of my best ideas! Maybe certain things should never, ever be gilded. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

gold leaf anyone? (365 #58)

I did something new this week: working with gold leaf! I have a small box that holds gold leaf from my Grandma Claire & Grandpa George. I "inherited" the gold leaf several years ago and placed it into this box to keep it from blowing away.  If you have never seen gold leaf:it is this wispy thin layer of gold stuck on thin paper and it flakes off and blows away with little provocation. So , in the box it sat. Then I got some glue and pondered what to do with it all. I happened to be fond of collecting rocks and thought-why not place gold hearts on rocks-and my experiments began. This is rock #1 resting atop my gold leaf box. Here is the question:do I keep these rocks & give them as gifts? Do I place them back into the forest where I found them, for folks to find? I happen to have my eye on some larger rocks that I pass on my walk in the park. There is this theory that winter's frost actually brings rocks to the surface and these 6 large ones have appeared in the last few weeks. They really do seem to need a new home, sitting there by the side of the road on Myrtle Avenue. 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring? (365 # 57)

The very last of the snow is melting. Who knows if there will be any more? 
I am finally back to walking after catching back to back colds with fevers! As I walked between raindrops today, I looked for signs of Spring. There are small flowers coming up in gardens everywhere but in the less cultivated parts I saw very little beyond some deep red buds on trees. I did see lots of moss growing along the stone and cement wall that encompasses portions of the park and it all looked vibrantly greener today. 
As I walked I began to think of springs gone by. As you get older I find the past creeps into my life a lot more than it used to. I recalled those first brave flowers getting hit by late snow falls. In particular, my paternal grandparents had (until last year) the most amazing magnolia tree and almost every year it's gorgeous flowers had their lives cut short by snow. Then there were the flowers I always looked for :the Lily of the valley clusters. The crocuses-also known as every squirrels favorite snack-no matter what you put around  to protect them . (My parents used something scary  - literally called dried blood.)  Forsythia were also early bloomers as was my grandparents pear tree. It had the prettiest blossoms but do not make the mistake of smelling them! Their scent was awful! It amazed me that each flower transformed to become a pear by fall. What a miracle! 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

365 # 56-in a blue mood

the new candle sticks in the kitchen window

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Christmas tree candle sticks & hearts (365#55)

Today brought several new things: I created my very first candle sticks (out of the trunk of our Christmas tree!) and made 2 small heart stamps from corks! I'd like to think of both creations as recession friendly projects-both recycled materials that would otherwise be tossed out and both "cost" little to make . BEST of all, both will bring great joy to me & others!