Friday, May 31, 2019

Spring 2019 What's in Your Driveway?

I've been back from Paper & Book Intensive for a week. 
This was my fourth time to attend over the past 8 years. 
Lots more on that in the next post.  

When I got home summer activities began in earnest right away,
despite the fact the weather has remained rather chilly.
We hosted a couple from Ontario via the SERVAS organization for 2 nights
I've mentioned this organization in a past post.  

As it happens a couple we met in Alaska 4 years ago on a Kodiak trek to see bears 
(also mentioned in the same post) spontaneously got in touch 
to see if they could visit since they were passing through our  area.  
This is what showed up in our driveway.


A rather spectacular travel camper. 
They are from Berlin hence the German made vehicle. This camper has been their home
 for the past 11 months while they have traveled this continent.

 It was so good to see them again. 
Now we need to plan a trip to Germany to visit them! 

We had the 2 couples plus a dinner already planned with 6 more friends. 
Busy few days. Harriet was a huge help in the kitchen while Merrill & Oliver toured
 Leelanau County with our new Canadian friends to see Sleeping Bear Dunes.

   Meet Oliver & Harriet. 

Check out Oliver's Instagram
He is a wonderful photographer and has been documenting their travels on this platform.  

It will back to artsy stuff next time.

Friday, May 10, 2019

A to Z Reflections & Beyond

It was a busy Spring for me with lots of requests for custom fabric vessels. I still found time to participate in the April A to Z Challenge and crossed the finish line. 

This was my 4th year participating in the A to Z April challenge. It felt a bit easier this time 
in some ways, not in others. I am a very organized person 
(ask anyone who knows me) so getting the posts done,
many ahead of the date which takes a lot of the pressure off,  was not too tough. 

All during the year I make notes of blog ideas as they pop into my head or present themselves in other ways. A conversation, a link I've followed , an artist I admire, a process that intrigues me.
 I created a word document with ideas for each letter I can refer to when April rolls around from my jotted ideas. It's good to have paper & a writing utensil with you at all times! 

Jeremy, your graphics are great! Thank you for the hard work on these. 

As the month unfolds I find creating posts gets easier with the repetition. 
That alone is worth the effort. The trick now is to carry it on through the rest of the year.
 I think many of us who participate struggle with that.

One thing I find interesting, and a frustration to me, is that there are very few visual artists who participate in the challenge. I wonder why that is & why it continues to be that way. Any ideas folks?

The hard part this year for me was finding the time to look at other blogs, make comments, & reply to the comments on my posts. Creating a post for each day is time consuming. As an artist (or a writer) we need to carve out time for our own creative process, let alone getting involved with so many others. Is it because my art requires lots of hands on time away from a computer, where as writers are creating as well as following & responding at their computers? Dunno.


This year the main list (which I was part of) was not monitored to remove those who signed up for the challenge but did not follow through. Not a huge deal for me but I was disappointed every time I went somewhere that didn't amount to anything. Some one else mentioned to have a list by category would be helpful. I agree. Also lots of participants did not have links back to their blogs 
when they commented.  This was encouraged in the past.
 I would love to see people make it part of their commenting routine.


A few of my favorite finds this year:

Wendy's Waffle
During the month Wendy had an alter ego, Alice, who I found delightful.

The Versesmith
A fun poem every day.

Trudy at Reel Focus was a regular visitor & commented often.
Thanks Trudy!   Plus she mentioned me in her reflection, I'm honored!

Rob from England visited. 
That is one of the things I love about the challenge.
You make cyber friends all over the world.
His random posts are fun to read.

Mandy, an intrepid world traveler dropped by
from With Love about the travels of she & her husband.
Visually a lovely blog.  

One more. I think Donna & I have been following each other since a couple challenges back.
She is a great writer. Her posts this year were so interesting.
Her images she used as a jumping off point were thought provoking.
Donna B McNicol, Author
Thanks Donna for being one of my regulars. 

I apologize for not mentioning everyone, but you all understand I'm sure.

I think I only got a comment from one Moderator. Maybe 2.

Overall I did not get as many comments as I had hoped. Maybe my comments here will encourage more visual artists to jump on board. Overall views appeared to be down this year.
We may all be suffering from too much screen time.
 The jury is out on my participation next year.