a look back at spring

September 16, 2013

a look back at spring

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photos:
1) hand shadow holding a petal in michigan league courtyard
2) table shadow in michigan league courtyard
3) looking out through the courtyard wall
4) one of my favorite doorways on campus, at the dental school, i should photograph it at night
5) stenciled near the power center (i googled the date and I think this must refer to the uc davis police pepper spray attack on occupy wallstreet protesters)

Searching for something to post about, I came across these photos I took on campus in May? April?

I remember that day.

I met my daughter in the Michigan League courtyard. She had just recently returned home from her first year of college. The whole summer was before us. The students had just left town for the summer. There were parking spaces to be had. The trees were in excessive bloom. It was a day to pause for a moment on the sidewalk under a petal-raining tree and to breathe and be grateful. I did and I was.

Then we fast forwarded to here and to now.

Do I sound nostalgic? I am a little, but happy for fall. The students are back, with their energy and brilliance and shiny, shiny selves. (Were we ever so shiny? Ah yes, before we had kids…or maybe before we had mortgages. Responsibility is dulling.)

Walking my dog this morning I was excited to see burning orange leaves on mostly green trees. Maybe tomorrow I will remember to bring my camera. Soon I will be pausing to breathe and to be grateful, under a tree raining copper leaves.

I hope you will be too.

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foolish thoughts

April 1, 2013

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foolish thoughts

photos (1-4 from the Festifools flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/festifools/pool/show/)
1. lovely skeleton
2. ann arbor mayors john hieftje (heeft-ya)
3. audrey
4. green men…or women?
5. wayne white’s LBJ head from http://buy.beautyisembarrassing.com

This Sunday will be the 7th year of the Festifools event in Ann Arbor and I will once again be out of town. Gah!

This crazy University-Ann Arbor Community event is mostly a parade of giant handmade, paper maché puppets/kinetic sculptures, and many silly fools— in celebration of April Fools day. I think most of the spectators are really celebrating spring, art, community and creativity- my favorites!

The event has expanded to include a homemade luminary parade the Friday night before the event, food stalls and I’m not sure what else because I have never attended!

My daughter and I did help with puppet making one year. We mistakenly thought we were volunteering to make our own large puppets, but it turned out we were just paper machéing, for 3 hours, puppets for the students of the UM professor who started the Festifool event. It was fine, everyone involved was really great, but it wasn’t what we had expected.

One of these old days I am going to watch this fool fest. One day I’m going to make a puppet of my own—which anyone is welcome to do, with their own space and resources. Being in the parade isn’t that interesting to me. I would rather watch, but I imagine there are plenty of fools, or festifools, who would be willing to parade around with a puppet.

You see, I have thought about this.

Instead of making a puppet, I might make something like this creature on stilts…but maybe a friendlier version, so as not to make small children cry.

Or I might make something like Wayne White’s LBJ head (above) featured in the documentary, Beauty is Embarassing, which I really, really want to see. (I have only seen the trailer.)

Or maybe something like Fifi, sans the vehicle, made for Baltimore’s Kinectic Sculpture race (which I am also intrigued by!).

I will definitely not be making anything like the puppets from the play War Horse— I’m a hack, not an artist. Have you seen these puppets?! So fascinating you have to remind yourself they’re not real. (There are many youtubes of these puppets, just search War Horse puppets).

These creative images and possibilities will be percolating in my brain until the right time, space and/or enthusiastic conspirator comes along.

I hope that time is before the next Festifools event. I hope that next year, I will be in town to help contribute to the foolishness! I hope to see you there! And I hope, that you will want to carry my puppet.

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What’s making me happy this week 03.30.13: photos, a pickpocket, and sarcastic waitresses

photos:
1. happy card from my daughter
2. minestrone soup
3. Owen Was Here facebook page: Beautiful Detroit

Here’s what’s making me happy this week:

1. A homemade card from my daughter. I love that girl.

2. Minestrone soup. So easy to make and so delicious topped with parmesean and fresh basil. I’m not sure what the definition of superfood is, but I think this might be this.

3. My community college photography class. I will be sorry when it ends, even though I’m pretty sure I’m the worst in the class.

4. …speaking of photography, the Owen was Here facebook page is making me happy. Daily, beautiful, photos of Detroit and Detroiters– refreshing to see Detroit featured in something other than “ruin porn.”

5. Dinner at my friend Suzanne’s house made by her spouse who loves to cook. Beef bourguignon (yes, I did have to look up the correct spelling for that one)– Tres magnifique! As was the company.

6. I’m not sure that I can say Apollo Robbins is making me happy …but he sure is intriguing! I first heard him on NPR’s Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! But he was recently featured in the New Yorker, which I read after hearing him on WWDTM. He is a Las Vegas performer who goes by the subtitle: Gentleman Thief. He is a pickpocket who robs people on stage, even though they know that is exactly what he is going to do. He takes their wallets, scarves, keys, watches, cell phones…and he explains in many videos how he does it.

7. Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me…that show always makes me laugh.

8. Getting warmer and sunny here finally! Snow is GONE.

9. …speaking of sun…Ritchie Haven’s version of Here Comes the Sun is making me happy. (The intro is long, stick with it!)

And I say, it’s alright.

10. breakroomstories.com (where restaurant workers post the good, the bad and the ugly stories and photo from the field…) Some of it is raunchy, but a lot of it is very funny.
Be sure to look at the “tip jar” photos.
Sample Post:
Me: “Hi, I’m Megan, I’ll be your waitress tonight.”
Customer: “Well, hi, I’m Joe and I’ll be your customer for tonight”
Oh, the laughs that were had. ._.
-Megan

I love Megan!

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diy: pretty flower bracelets

When my daughter was home on break last week we had a long list of projects we wanted to try. These bracelets were one of the few we got to!

I saw this project on the Oh Joy! Blog and wanted to give it a try: {Valentine’s Day} Floral Friendship Bracelets…

We are so ready for spring and those flowers are so pretty!

We changed a few things:
1. We didn’t have the time (or the production team) to dip dye the ribbon (though I do like that effect).

2. Instead of using real flowers, we used artificial so the bracelets would last. Finding artificial flowers for this was not as easy as I had expected. I found some papery flowers in the scrapbooking section at Michaels, and we bought a bunch of coral flowers that were on a plastic stem. We pulled them off and pulled out the plastic stamen that attached them to the stem leaving just the fabric flower. I don’t think I would use the paper ones again. I had worn the yellow one (paper flowers) to work before I took the photos and they had been in and out of my coat sleeve a few times and look a little worse for the wear.

3. Instead of using hot glue, we hand stitched the flowers to the ribbon. Not pretty on the backside. This can be covered with another ribbon for those who have the time!

4. My daughter used a snap fastener on the back—which is much more practical than tying a bow. I think I will do that with mine, which I now depend on someone to tie on me (and the long ribbon ends are not great when you are using the ladies’…)

5. We singed the ends of the ribbon in a flame (grill lighter) to keep them from fraying (a tip my mom learned from Martha Stewart).

Once you have the supplies, these are quick and easy to make!