Veterans Impact Project

Yesterday I visited the third annual Art and Culture Expo here in Richmond – 75 art, performance, heritage and community groups. There were 24 performance throughout the day and interactive booths with the best of Richmond on display. If you didn’t get to it this year, put it on your calendar for 2015!

My daughter was there for Da Capo, a children’s musical education group whose choirs she accompanies.  I was providing support, and getting a taste of what’s going on around town.  I also was particularly interested in an effort Art on Wheels has had in the work for several years – their Veteran’s Impact Project. Our own neighborhood artist and good friend, James Robertson, built the ballista that was used by veterans and their family and friends to hurl representations of objects of significance to veterans against a clay panel. The panels were then cast and mounted. This was the unveiling of those panels!  They will eventually be on permanent display.

Paper Bag Journal

Don’t you love it when ideas come together?!  I saw on Pinterest a tutorial for a twist on making journals out of paper bags. It’s dated 2007, so you may have already tried it. The part that appealed to me was wetting the bags, then drying them to add texture.

A few days latter I was at Michaels for art supplies, and on their $1 rack found lovely embossed brown gift bags, one with an Eiffel Tower design. I’ve been fixed on that image for the past week or so, as my sister’s off in two days for a European Tour! Not me, oh well. But anyway, hmmmm…

Yesterday I tried using one of them, and a bunch of saved paper produce bags, for journals!  I just did one signature, and hand stitched to bind. I’m pleased with how they came out – main journal, and two small ones for experimenting with various media.

South to Spring – A Travel Journal

Early in April I traveled with some of my fellow retirees to Savannah, Beaufort, and Charleston for an early taste of Spring!  Trees were leafing out, azaleas were blooming and the marshes and Spanish moss added nostalgic atmosphere!

How to save the memories?  In anticipation of the trip, I put together a journal with maps and various papers – graph paper for notes, water color paper, drawing paper, plus a pocket in the back.  It worked very well for notes during the trip.  Once I got home I added photos, some water color sketches from my photographs, and tipped in more maps and brochures. I’m pleased with how it came out.  It’s been a handy tool for remembering all that we did, and for sharing the details with friends and family.

Free Libraries

Our local county library has been closed since January for renovation.  Sigh.  I read instead of watching that box, and depend on my library for real, hold-in-your-hand books.  So now I have to drive 5 or 6 more miles to the next closest public library.

Then I remembered a recent article I saw somewhere on free libraries.  Do the search – Little Free Libraries pops up! There’s even a map that shows where they are – and there’s one on the street where we used to live in Woodland Heights, right on one of my weekly routes thru town.  I stopped by a couple of times and found several books I’ve enjoyed. I returned them, and stashed a few more of the books that keep accumulating around here.  I had a trip planned to Kilmarnock, checked the LFL map, found a library there, visited and found another great book (and left a couple)!  I’m hooked!  Check your neighborhood – if there’s not one nearby, set up your own.

I first encountered the concept in Chicago in 2007.  Daughter number two and I were in town, stopped by to visit with my neice, and she told us about a news-box-turned-free-library. This was in 2007 and the box was recently set up: write-upwrite-up with photos.  Compliments of Grid magazine, March/April 2014, I’ve learned that in front of Books, Bikes, & Beyond, right here in Richmond town, you’ll find three magazine boxes filled with free books!

So when you’ve misplaced your Kindle and your book-reading software goes kaputz, check out one of these real live FREE book sources!  Keep reading.

Beautiful Turned Wood Vase

Last week I visited with my Aunt Ann and Uncle Walter in their new home in Hiawassee, Georgia.  They’re nicely settled in, and Walter has his workshop in full swing!  I watched as he put the finishing touches on his most recent creation. The news article tells of a program he gave to the local garden club.  He’s been making and selling his beautiful wood bowls and vases for quite awhile now – for more info see his website.

World Pediatric Project and Bon Air Artist Association

Artful Healing

Artful Healing

If you’re in the Richmond area, or would like an excuse to visit, join us for the first Artful Healing event on Sunday, March 23rd at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.  A portion of the proceeds from sales of the art that will be on display go toward the World Pediatric Project. For twenty years the Bon Air Artist Association held a Spring open air art show – the group felt it was time for a change!  I’ve been awed by the quality of Bon Air Artists pieces, and thrilled that some of my photographs will be included.  Hope to see you at the show!

Creating Art at the Speed of Life, by Pam Carriker

Last fall Cloth Paper Scissors was advertising an art journal workshop to be held in Charlotte, NC in October. One day, four sessions with four teachers whose work I admire, all supplies provided. I really wanted to go, but wasn’t able to convince anyone to go with me, and couldn’t convince myself to travel the six hours there on my own.

So instead I bought Pam Carriker’s book, Creating Art at the Speed of Life (she was one of the instructors) and spent 4 months working thru her 30 lessons on art journaling!!  I thoroughly enjoyed the exercises and learned many amazing things about working with mixed media. The book is set up so that you can do as little or as much at a time as you wish, and/or life permits.  I highly recommend it for anyone interested in expanding their art journaling skills.  And looking to have fun doing at the same time!