Friday, November 28, 2008

Art In A Carton - Do you want to play?

It came in the mail a few weeks ago. My "Art in a Carton" gift from Susan J. Letham in Rendsburg, Germany. I found out about this 'round robin', of sorts from Mollye Self's blog site. Mollye is a ZNE member living in Shreveport, LA.( I love the wonderful global connections we can make in the Internet art community!)

Here's what Susan says about "Art in A Carton..." What is "Art In A Carton"?"Art In A Carton" is essentially a three-for-three swap. It's an artsy little "Pay It Forward" idea I dreamed up over Christmas, while hunting around for something small and sturdy in which to package and send out an item of art. While surveying my kitchen-come-art-studio, I picked up an empty milk carton. All of a sudden, my mind went "click!", and an idea was born. Standard milk- or fruit juice cartons are a perfect way to package and sent small items of art, and they can be turned into art objects in their own right, too!"

What you do to take part in "Art In A Carton"You find three half-litre or litre (or one-pint or one quart) milk or fruit juice cartons and make sure they are clean. You decorate the outside of the cartons, then fill them with small items of your own art. See the list below for a few starter ideas.You send one "Art In A Carton" package to the person who sent "Art In A Carton" to you.Then you take a look at the address labels, find a label with the oldest date, and send the second "Art In A Carton" package to that person.Send your third "Art In A Carton" package to an artist of your choice. It might be a good idea to ask the person if s/he'd like to play, that way it's more likely they will keep "Art In A Carton" moving along. For this package, choose someone whose label is not already included in the "Art In A Carton" label collection. Along with the third carton (only the third carton), you package up the project description that came in your package, the remaining artist's address labels, and pop in two labels with your own name and address. Remember to write the date on which you package up your project on the back of your labels. At some point a little further down the art line, your labels will carry the oldest date, and other artists will send "Art In A Carton" to you as a gift.You are welcome to make and send more than three "Art In A Carton" packages if you wish. Just make sure each package that you send to a "new" artist (the third and further packages) contains a project information sheet and a set of labels with dates. Make copies of the labels if necessary. Email me if you need a fresh or additional copy of the project information sheet.

The contents of each box will vary, depending on what I feel like making or what I use from my art gift stash. Items might include mini art chests filled with artsy delights, ATC, little art journals, paper dolls, journaling , art clay faces, matchbox art, unused rubber stamps, tags, ornaments, and the like

Ok! Now that's how Susan describes the project. The photos here are the very cool art items I received from Susan, also in the box are the addresses of the two people I am suppose to send art to, as well as two labels that I will forward that the next person will send art to.

Now where do you come in? If you would like to receive an "Art in a Carton" box from me, and are willing to post photos and links on your blog and will be willing to send out three "Art in a Carton" gifts, two addresses which you will receive and one person that you line up.......leave a comment below! I will pick a name from all the comments received and you'll get my box of art and will be included in the game. ( I'm dreaming that lots of folks will want to play.) And you can wait til after the holidays to send your art, as mine may not get to you right away. So leave a comment by December 15.

So if you would like to see a better explaination of the whole thing, visit Susan's blog

I love the work that Susan sent, this very cool folder, a little collaged ornament/box, velvety leaf, a fabulous ribboned and jeweled pyramid box made with origami papers, just beautiful, and a stash of fun fibers. The box is decorated with a very cool Moroccan image and sparkly sequins.
I hope you will play along.

Be sure to check out my non-profit group's blog to see the progress of our toy distribution to families in need in St. Louis.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeff Foxworthys 12 days of Christmas

I've been listenin' to the Christmas radio station, can't help it, I get the biggest kick out of this song. There is probably a fine line between "shabby chic" and "redneck" and not sure what it means if you don't know if you have crossed it or not!

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the holidays! Getting ready for toy distribution at BRO
( And hope to get back into some art projects during December!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Six Words For America

Here is your chance. Inspire our new president.

Six words to Inspire a Nation!

SMITH Magazine and the National Constitution Center ask you to help President-elect Obama inspire America.

In six words, give him guidance. Or offer ideas for his inaugural address. Or share six memorable words for January 20th and beyond.

In six words, a President can say a lot: "Malice toward none, charity for all," "Nothing to fear but fear itself," "Like a thousand points of light."

So give your speechwriting a try. Submit your words before January 5, 2009. Thanks to Bernie Berlin of "A Place To Bark" for the link.

Here are my 6 words

"Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Veteran's Day 2008 Part 2

I enjoy wandering around the cemetery and reading the stones, imagining what the people were like and what their families were thinking about and remembering when they ordered the stones. Here are a few, humorous, sad, profound, and ordinary.

I'm worried about these two wives being together for all eternity, what were they thinking. But they both loved the same man, I assume, and it at least appears they weren't divorced wives. Can you imagine that,....?

The cemetery gives you a print out of about 50 different religious emblems you can have on your stone, or you can choose to have no emblem. . I found this grave way over along the wall, near a back entrance. They bury people, sort of in order as they die. Very military. But makes sense, they work in a section for several weeks, then wander to another. I had a morbid need to watch the progress after my parents died. ( they died about 6 weeks apart) My mother passed away first, they had a temporary marker at first, they would bring in a pallet of markers and install them all at once. I saw my mom's marker on the top of the pallet, then they had them leaning upright against a stone wall, it was very tempting to try to thumb through them like cards, but they must weigh, gosh....a lot....( a technical term). My mom was on the front of the stone for about 2 -3 weeks. Then my dad passed away, and they brought in a whole new stone, putting my dad on the front and my mom on the back.....

I digress as usual, I thought Pershing Flanders sounded very cool, he wouldn't want an identifying mark other than Musician Artist..and a cut above.

I was just sure this read Harley Davidson.

Michael Joseph Blassie had been interred at Arlington National Cemetery in the tomb of the Unknowns, as the Unknown from the VietNam War. His remains were identifed with modern technology, and he was reinterred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

So remember our Veterans and those who serve all of us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Veteran's Day 2008

Veteran's Day at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri. My parents are buried here. And it sounds strange, but I enjoy going there. It unfortunately is a very busy cemetery, performing over 30 burials a day. So many WWII veterans. I find it comforting is some strange way, to know they are all watching out for each other. It is interesting to go and see the changes that occur and how folks remember their loved ones. I'm fascinated by some of the things that folks have written on their monuments, and saddened as well at times. You can tell when someone has lived a full long life, or their life was cut short by war, or perhaps they were a child of a veteran. Everyone has a story.

If you wander into the older section, you see that the cemetery overlooks the Mississippi River, in the center of the photo you can almost make out the Gateway Arch. I've altered the lighting on this photo, it was a gray day, with the sun peeking in and out. Pretty typical for St. Louis in November.

I stood around and waited for the sun to come back out at this section, the bright sun glaring on the head stones was wonderful.

More playing with Photo Shop Elements, maybe someday I'll figure out what I am doing, and can do it on purpose.

My dad's stone, my mom is buried here as well, she is memorialized ( is that a word) on the back. Remembering their wedding day, and that they are together forever.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Ginkgo leaves!

ginkgo biloba leaves

It started off as a gloomy fall day. The weather report grim. A hard freeze is expected this evening and those plants that have been hanging on in the planters are sure to bite the dust tonight. Then after midnight, rain. Rain will mark the end of the fall leaf photos til next October. I wandered out to my non-profit group ( ) and was struck by the yellow leaves. Driving down the street, there would be a car, covered with yellow leaves, and the contrast with the charcoal asphalt was striking. I didn't have my camera. I took care of my assorted projects, headed back home, and got it. Those darn people cleaned off their car. But all over town, these ginkgo biloba trees were sheddingtheir leaves at precisely the same time, and almost all of them at once. I drove aimlessly through Tower Grove Park ( need to remember there are other drivers, they managed to miss me, whewwww). I stopped and took a couple of photos and one of the ladies from the Knitter's Guild saw me, she was headed to the BRO with Build A Bear bears we gave them last year, that her group knitted little sweaters and hats for. I told her to tell the folks I was distracted and would be back shortly ( I am a volunteer). Then, Eva from church drove by, she was as excited as I was by the leaves. Ok, we were starting to back up traffic. I drove around and got a few more, outside the fence at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The photos don't really do the day justice, the contrast was impressive. So my friend Chrysti at Altered Abbey asked on Twitter today....What did you do that was creative, well here it is.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Odds and Ends of Life

Some musings.....

The election came and went, and how exciting was that. I worked as a Democrat Election Supervisor at the St. Louis County Poll that was located in the Tesson Ferry Library. Concord Township - 96. There were 1300 voters who braved the beautiful weather and the threats of long lines. Some waited over an hour to vote in the early part of the day. After about 11am we had a steady flow of people. Everyone was orderly and polite and patient. What more could you ask for. Well. I got more. The people I voted for actually won for a change. We didn't make Missouri a Blue State, But St. Louis county was true blue for Barrack Obama and Jay Nixon.

America is a wonderful place and all we can do is try to find common ground, and work together for the good of all the people!

Staying busy preparing for Toy distribution with my non-profit group I need to do some blogging for them. We have already packed up toys for over 1500 children. The agencies will be picking up their toys during the next two weeks. First on the list is the Juvenile Court of St. Louis, they will be picking up over 250 toys and books for their Winter Festival.

Our toy distribution days at our office will be December 1 - December 5. Parents and social workers will be coming in during those days to pick up gifts for their children and clients. During that week we will distribute toys for 1750 + children. Our trusty team of holiday volunteers will show up and give us much needed help! Hope to post some photos.

We received a donation of 3,000 books from First Book. We had to rent a UHaul to get them in one trip! There were 6 pallets!

Hasbro Toys sent us 101 toys for our distribution!

Art has gotten placed on the back burner, there are some Somerset STudio submissions I hope to make in the next few weeks.

We have Thanksgiving Dinner at our church. My friend Dena and I will host, we have done this the past two years, this will be year 3. My house is too small to have family and friends in, so we have it at church, invite folks who have no plans, and have three ovens to roast the turkey, bake pies and breads. It's fun and there's always room at the table. ( Not to mention room for more than one table!)

St. Louis weather is turning cold and gloomy, but the leaves are still brilliant and hanging on. Winter is sneeking in!


A fun little dog collage, made on a rolodex sized card!

Monday, November 3, 2008