it's over already?

How can it be that summer is nearly over? I hardly felt like I knew it had started...and here we are: the end of August.

Oh well, I have to say- despite some sadness, we had a really lovely summer. I'm a strong believer in slow, unstructured days in the summer. I like to let everyone sleep in, stay in pj's all day, and wander through palydates and fort-building, book-reading and backyard exploring at will. I allow the kids to experience boredom- I think that it's when we're not quite sure what we want to do that we take the time to come up with a creative solution to our boredom. Creative solutions to anything are a winner in my book. We did sprinkle in a few tennis and soccer lessons. Some swim lessons too- though more was learned, in my opinion, during the lazy days at the beaches of the little lakes around here- and at the two day cousin-swim-extravaganza down at my sister-in-law's pool. Mostly, though, we floated through each day as it came.

lazy days

In that vein,  here's my piece for Cathy Nichols' Found Art Friday. The theme was Back to the Beach. Personally, I wasn't too drawn to the theme at first: I sunburn terribly, don't love to be hot or sweaty and am not super comfortable in the ocean: big aquatic creatures scare me, so I'm not the type to just drift along in the ocean for an afternoon. I also found myself remembering jellyfish infestations ruining days meant to be spent in the surf when we would visit the beaches of southern New Jersey where I grew up. But I didn't want to do a piece about scary fish or ouchy-peeling sunburns, so I took a little time to let this theme percolate.

Gradually the memory of a summer month spent at a house on Long Beach Island came to me. It was truly a month of nothing but walking down to the beach with a book and a towel, lazing around in the sun and the sand, then heading back to our temporary beach home for a nap, a big, hungry meal and time hanging out with whichever combination of friends or family were camping out with us at the house that week. If I remember correctly, the only sure thing on our 'schedule' each day was a walk to the ice-cream shop. That was a perfect, lazy summer- even when the jellyfish were floating by.


Sincerely getting some work done

A great shop in a neighboring town has offered to help test market the line of notecards, gift tags etc. that I'm slowly beginning to develop under the name Sincerely Handmade. I whipped up a bunch of petite gift tags, larger wine bottle hang-tags and notecard sets using all sorts of vintage epehmera, and I'm super happy with the results.

So, if you're in the Wauwatosa area, check them out at Tuesday's Child on Harwood. I'll be making more for my booth at Cedarburg's Arts Weekend in October, but in the meantime if you're dying to hang a great tag on a wine bottle you're giving as a  hostess gift, or to write someone an actual old-fashioned letter that you mail with a stamp- shoot me an email and I'll hook you up.

I haven't been painting much this summer, but I did run one children's collage workshop- also at Tuesday's Child - which was a lot of fun- kids are soooo creative.

Other than that, I've been busy in terms of summer stuff: hanging out at little lake-beaches with the boys, working in the garden, painting rooms, wrapping up some unfinished projects (hemming curtains) and planning new projects (an upholstered headboard). We've had a good deal of family time too...much of it generated by the loss of my grandmother- but despite the sadness that brought us together- we were together, and that was wonderful.

Now we're into August, and I'm really going to try to fit in more time in the studio. I'm excited to get some work done. Also, with a September deadline to talk to a shop in the Chicago suburbs about carrying my work, and an October deadline for my first booth at a weekend art fair, I'm motivated to replenish my 'stock'. So with any luck, I'll be back with a few more posts this month.