Thursday, September 18, 2014

Omigoshi, It's Suminagashi!

(the minute the teacher tonight revealed this phrase had once been on her syllabus, I know I had to use it)

Beatrix and I had so much fun last week painting book pages at Junket that we decided we needed to go back this week, and Patrick was eager to join us. Tonight, Meg was teaching suminagashi, which is the art of Japanese ink marbling. I have a friend who used to do it on silk scarves (gorgeous!), but starting out on book pages turned out to be genius.

Beatrix and I made a good team marbling the ink and setting down the paper:

The finished products:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

She Sells Seashells

This was my making-it adventure today.

For some reason, the beach at our family cabin in Lake Osakis has many fragile shells. It's no Sanibel Island, but Beatrix collects them, as my cousins and I did before her. The problem is, they tend to smell kind of lake-y and terrible, and they are fairly fragile.

Today, I spiffed them up with a coat of paint, and I think they look pretty good (and it encases the smell). Beatrix likes them too, though she points out correctly I should have asked her first.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Chance

I love my clients. In every single case, I work with them because I love what that do and how they do it — an especially amazing feat when my roster varies from a circus school to theaters to labor unions to a mental health association.

Right now, you have only a few more chances to see some amazing work, though, and I would suggest  you hop to it!

Mixed Precipitation is a performance company exploring text, space and form with festive theatrical events that inspire social engagement. They are best known for their "picnic operettas" — operas held in community gardens, that also bring in samplings of local food grown and prepared just for the production. Their “King Arthur” is the best show of theirs yet, and plays just one more weekend; for more information.

Lloyd Brandt and Rosie Cole have a wackily innovative company called Fools Productions/Theatre of Fools. For years they have been doing their Wacky Chicken piece at the Renaissance Festival, and it’s a great way to whet your appetite for their amazing work. See them now in the Festival and look for a larger piece coming soon!

(on a completely un-related note, we also saw Book of Mormon tonight and laughed our asses off!)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ace of Vase

Yesterday, I decided to make some painted vases. It was a mixed project, which is maybe better for purposes of this exercise than a perfect one.

I started with the kind of cheap flower store vases that seem to breed in our house:

Then grabbed some old paint from the ends of cans in basement. Mixed up the grassy, thickened paint, and then poured some into each vase. Gently turned each vase until the paint coated the inside, which both took more paint than you would think and of course did not cover evenly.

Dumped out the extra paint, then turned them upside down to dry. The paint, of course, continued to kind of sludgily come out.

The lighter one turned out well. The darker one needed a second coat, so we will see — not so certain on that one. Of course, they can't be used for flowers now, but they are very decorative!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Painting

Tonight, Beatrix and I went to Junket: Tossed & Found to make things. Every Thursday, their artist-in-residence, Meg (who also was, apparently, one of Beatrix's teachers at ArtStart this summer), leads you through some found-object art. Tonight it was painting with gouache on book pages. And you all know I love book pages.

Beatrix's pictures (the pair with the flower pic) were amazing.

My first one (the wine glass) really sucked, but I did better with the wavier one.

Once I got into the flow, I really enjoyed it. I've resolved to rip apart a book, buy a set of gouache paints, and start painting. Beatrix wants to make paintings like these at her birthday party, but of snowflakes.

Next week, they are going suminigashi (Japanese ink marbling on paper), so I think we'll go back. Wanna join us?

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Enrichment Activities"

Beatrix loves her school, but there are a lot of other activities she would like to do as well. One reason she loved all her camps so much this summer was the variety of experiences. My friend Tracy said she limited her girls to 2 things each, but I quickly pointed out she had 3 girls….

So we are going to try to keep that up this fall, with:

-  Circus classes - they are a client, and she has grown up with them, and loves it there! This year she'll take 3 classes (acrobatics, side by side, and balance), and we'll see how she likes them. She already loves SbS with her friends!)

-  Ballet - after 2 years with the beloved "Miss Amy," she's moving on to Ballet Minnesota. She'll be a mouse/rat in The Nutcracker this winter! (plus she'll be in class with her good friend Frances).

-  Spanish - 2 days a week, she takes Spanish at school, before school, though Language Sprout.

-  Discovery Club - 3 days/week, after school, finally allowing us a little extra work time (especially Patrick).

-  Piano - through the Shubert Club's "Project Cheer," she can take a free piano lesson every week. She started today and loved it!

-  Violin - we're still looking for a violin teacher — any ideas?

-  Daisies - she adores her pre-Girl Scout troop. I do too.

-  Book Club - some friends of hers started a monthly book club. Much like mine, it's about 20 minutes talking about the book, and then some play. But it totally inspires her to read!

Somehow, the schedule works a little better this year, or maybe we are just getting used to it. It's great to see her try all these new things!

(in the picture, she is at her first piano class, wearing her Daisy shirt!)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Losing Molly

Yesterday, I lost a woman very special to me — my college theatre colleague, Molly Glynn. Molly, a very well-loved part of the Chicago theatre scene, was killed in a truly freak accident in which a tree fell on her while she was riding her bike. She leaves behind a grief-struck husband, two fiercely-beloved sons, and a whole community of friends and admirers. Molly was truly an amazing force, and her loss leaves a big black hole in the world.

Molly was by no means an integral part of my daily life, though I enjoyed connecting up with her and was hoping to get to Chicago soon to see her in a show (she was a truly compelling actor, the kind who lights up the stage herself while simultaneously being part of a great ensemble cast). I had the same relationship with her that I have today with so many my Tufts Arena Theater friends —I loved the ability to connect up with her, to get a glimpse of what she was doing and what her life was like, and to feel so proud that we have all come so far and are doing great things. Seriously, my feed is so full of people creating incredible work that it makes me feel hopeful, every single day.

The loss of Molly is, though, almost more of a reminder that that time is really over. It's like when John Lennon was shot and we all realized that now there was no chance the Beatles would ever re-unite. That little world that we created, over 25 years ago in the dim spaces of a now long-demolished oval-shaped theatre space, will never be back — and it was so, so important to us.

I would not be the person I am today without those people and that experience. I honestly don't think any of us would. So maybe — just maybe — if that the door to that world is firmly and truly closed, what we we need to do is make the door to the future even more promising, and to let a little bit of Molly live on in the work that we do.

(but what I wouldn't give to be together with all of you right now, drinking contraband bad wine in the green room…)

PS - Another way to ensure Molly lives on is to give to her trust.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day First Grade

Full of sass and ready to go!

Monday, September 1, 2014

344 Summit

From SARPA's blog on 344 Summit: