Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Freebie - end of summer

Labor Day marks the traditional end of summer for families accross the country. Our kids went back to school two weeks ago. But, for many, this is the last day of the pool being open, the last day at the beach, the last big weekend for those big barbeques.

My friday freebie, vintage postcard offering, is a tribute to those sensational swimming pools of years gone by and the family weekend at the beach. Enjoy your long weekend. Happy Labor Day!

Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen. -Leonardo daVinci

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

looking for reasons...

Sometimes I ask myself why...

Why don't I carry my camera in the car with me? This question came up today when I saw an elderly man, in shorts, white socks pulled up high, smoking a pipe, riding a pink vespa. Why, oh why didn't I have my camera with me? Hopefully the description creates a nice visual for you.

Why should I look for that long lost friend? This summer Kerry and I joined the facebook craze. And craze it is! It is a time-sucking, I mean networking tool that allows you to find long lost acquaintances and current friends and keep in touch in yet another social-electronic way. I think I may be addicted. So, the question is, if you find that long lost friend, do you send the message? What if they don't reply? Do you take it personally? For me the answer came when I found a friend from college. We had lost touch and she had since moved to Europe. When I found her, her reply was, "I have tried to find an email address for you every now and then, but with no success. I'm really glad to hear from you." So, I am glad I did. Thank you facebook.

Kerry and I frequently ask ourselves: why should we continue writing our blog, when so few (if any) people comment? The answer came in the form of an email last week. After my first post about the public art committee, I received an email from the Mayor of Lafayette who, in her words, is a "regular reader" of our blog. Hello Mrs. Mayor!
Questions asked, and answered. I guess I shouldn't go to far to look for those reasons why, I should just give it a try.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Join us..

Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy. [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat. ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 25, 2008

Art Around Town

Since I am a new member to the Lafayette Public Art Committee, I thought I should familiarize myself (and you by default) with the art around my town.

We have two public art installations at our library. The first is a tile mosaic mural that I showed you before. I love this one. It is my first personal experience with public art. To fund the project (many years ago) they (the powers that be) "sold" tiles to members of the community. My mom bought tiles for me and Jeremy as a gift. Somewhere on that mural, on the backs of the tiles are my and Jeremy's names. My mom never knew what she started with me, with that gift of tile. I appreciate this piece for its historical depiction as well as its complex medium. Imagine putting together a mural that big, using only 1 inch black and white and gray tiles.
The second library piece is a metal sculpture that sits at the driveway to the building. It is called Within your Reach. I enjoy this piece for its whimsical nature. It is a depiction of joy and childhood, as well as reading and learning.Stay tuned for more Art Around Town. There is lots to share in our little town. We love art, we embrace art, we make art public. Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Freebie

A few more vintage black and white photo postcards. These ones are curious. Is she a nurse or a nun?
What happened between photo one and photo two that changed her mood so drastically?

(right click the image to save it to your computer for your own use)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Americans for the Arts

We just found out that October is National Arts & Humanities Month. It is sponsored by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Their website says:

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. Held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts, it has become the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. From arts center open houses to mayoral proclamations to banners and media coverage, communities across the United States join together to recognize the importance of arts and culture to citizen's daily lives.

I know October seems far off, but it's not. Now is the time to plan. Buy your theater tickets, plan or attend a performance, go to a museum, go to a gallery, visit an art studio (wink, wink), buy some local art, go to a local concert or play, attend an art festival or street fair, read poetry, write poetry, the possibilities are open to your imagination. What will you do for National Arts and Humanities Month? Why wait? Why not start now?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Ah, the children are off to school today. I have one child in 4th and another in 5th grade. Before school starts, we have an extensive back to school list of supplies that we are to provide for our children. Can we afford the supplies? yes. Do I feel they are necessary to my children's education? some yes, most no. I won't even get into the need for ziploc bags (of which I completed 9 years of primary, 4 years of high school and 4 years of college without ever using one in the classroom.) Okay fine, so I did get into the ziploc bag issue.

I have a larger issue - 108 pencils. Between my 2 children we were asked to provide 72 pencils for 4th grade and 36 for 5th grade. Does this not seem like a waste? Each year my mom would buy me a 12 pack of pencils of which I was solely responsible for sharpening and taking care of them, for the year. I cherished my pencils and they were always best when they were sharpened as far as they could go and still be usable. So what is the goal of having so many pencils per child? It can't be taking responsibility for your property. It can't be environmental responsibility. What could we possibly teach our children by requiring that they provide a wasteful amount of consumable goods in the classroom? I would love to know.

I say teach your children to use goods wisely and take responsibility for your supplies. A pencil is a wonderful tool for learning, art and conversation and should be valued not wasted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Public Art

This summer I applied for, interviewed for, and joined the Lafayette Public Art Committee. As a longtime resident of Lafayette this seemed a natural fit. It has been a very interesting experience for me, so far.

I applied for several reasons. A friend of mine, who was a member of the committee, told me of the opening. As an "artist" in Lafayette, I thought it might be a good for me to get more involved in the art community in our small town. So, I filled out the application and hoped for an interview. The application forced me to think about my views on art, describe my background in art, and discuss what I thought of public art. These were actually challenging questions, to me, to define art is personal and subjective to some extent, but public art is forces us to collectively define what is "good" and what real art.

The interview was also challenging. I have not interviewed for a job for many years. I was worried my art views would be questioned. Maybe I would have to really define "good art". Instead, the panel of five really wanted to know if I had some time to volunteer and if I could "play well with others." It was, to some extent, about the nuts and bolts of working in a committee and getting things done. I guess I fit the bill. Seven people interviewed for four positions on the committee.

Last night I attended orientation and first meeting. It was a great group of people and I am excited to work with them and get to know them in the coming year. Part of our orientation, however, was to learn about the government involvement with our committee. This part was the most surprising to me. (It has been a while since I had a public sector job.) Since we are an adjunct committee reporting to the Lafayette City Council, we fall under all the public government rules, which makes sense to me. We receive public funds and our actions have to be open to the public. This also makes sense to me. Here is how this translates: more than two people from the committee cannot have a conversation, via telephone, email or in person without announcing the "meeting" and posting an agenda 24 hours in advance. This is where I was shocked. So, if I run into two other members of the committee at my favorite coffee spot, we can not discuss anything about public art, I am not sure we can even discuss art.

During the rest of the meeting, we got down to business. I am excited about their goals and the current projects. As a small town, Lafayette has made it a goal to support art and put art in public places. It is nice to be part of a community with those goals. I would like to share the art in my town with you in the coming months. You can let me know what you think about public art. Oops, am I allowed to say that? I had better check!

(The above photo is of the Mary Miller Historic Mural located at the Lafayette Public Library. The mural is a mosaic tile installation, made up of 1 inch black, white and gray tiles to create the "photographic" depiction of the city founders and local coal miners.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School Means Back to Art

For the next few weeks we will be publishing copies of stories on our business that are seen on

Now that Boulder County schools are back in session, the Helen Parker Art Studio can resume its open hours. Partner owners, Rachel Hanson and Kerry Feiman are forced into semi shut down for the summer due to 4 kids running about. "We can usually work one day a week during the summer. The girls are pretty good but only have so much patience," says Feiman. They use their summer hours away from the studio for throwing around ideas and planning events for the Fall. They also fulfill their Amazon orders and website orders which still keep coming in even with a faltering economy.
The events for this fall are bigger and better than they have ever been. The invitation only Fall launch party for their Milagro Jewelry line is always a much anticipated event. This years party features an exclusive one of a kind line of jewelry. Guests will need to make their choices quickly or they will be gone forever. It is a great social hour with food, drinks, prizes and give-aways. This year also features an exclusive preview of October's Big Art Show. Gathering new exhibiting artists, the show will feature various jewelry artists, potters, fabric artists and home decor art pieces. The show will have twice as many booths as last years. "This year's art show features some very talented new artists and pieces. I can't wait to do my own holiday shopping there," says Hanson.
In addition to the shows the studio will expand its open studio and store hours. They will be open to the public every Tuesday and Friday from 9am-11:30am.
The studio is located at 600 E. Simpson in old town. The studio entrance is through the west gate located on Finch.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Freebie - on vacation

"Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else." — Lawrence Block

"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." -- Mark Twain

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. ~Lin Yutang

(vintage travel postcards--right click to save to you computer)

Enjoy your summer travels, wherever they may take you. Soon enough we will be back to school, back to work, and back to the rhythms of the year. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

La Bufadora

The mossy area right below the blow hole

I promise this is the last day of cruise photos. We got some nice shots of an area in Ensenada known as La Bufadora. It translates as "Snorting buffalo." It is a naturally occuring blow hole in the rocks. The amount of water that it sprayed varied and surprised quite a few onlookers. There is a similar blow hole on Kauai that we are fond of called spouting horn. It does not spray as high as La Bufadroa. I enjoy these natural phenomenons and encourage you to check them out if you are ever near one.

La Bufadora as it spouts off

The swirling eddies below the blow hole

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Towel Art

One evening on our cruise, we found our stateroom attendant in our room turning down our bed. We thought it would be amusing to tease him a bit and we came in behind him and started joking about him sneaking in our room. Well, we apparently surprised him quite a bit but he knew were joking around in good fun. That evening when we returned to our room, we found a surpirse waiting for us on our bed.

A towel elephant with Mike's sunglasses on

The next evening we came to our room to find ......

A towel d
og with my sunglasses on.

But the next night was the best, we walked into our room to find and amazing towel animal and to find our stateroom attendant hiding outside our door to get us back with a surprise when we walked into our room. It was great fun to have all of these little touches and to have a playful relationship with the staff.

Oh, you want to see the grand finale of towel creatures, okay........

A towel monkey hanging from the ceiling. Now remember cruise rooms are quite small, so he was right there in your face when you opened the door.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ahoy Mateys!

Our Ship, The Monarch of the Seas ,as seen from Catalina Island

Well, Mike and I are back from our exciting cruise. We went from Los Angeles, to San Diego to Catalina and then to Ensenada, Mexico. We had a great time even though we had been to all of the ports before. We went on Royal Caribbean cruise lines which are absolutely huge. The boat held 2600 passengers and had two full dining rooms. There was a casino, several stores, a gym, two full bars, a night club, a buffet restaurant, pizza place, teen night club, kid's area, two swimming pools, a rock climbing wall and basketball court. PHEW! I hope I didn't leave anything out.

Mike and I enjoyed relaxing and walking around the various ports. We ate far more than we should have, with dessert being served after every meal. I'll fill in more this week on other aspects of our trip but here are some pictures to start you off.

Porting in San Diego

Scenes at the swimming pool

Friday, August 1, 2008


(The Aquamaids on Parade are from a vintage postcard. They performed four shows daily at Cypress Gardens in Florida. Feel free to save the image to your computer for personal use.)

on regaining perspective...
I have been doing too much complaining. It's hot. I have to wait for people. Some of the people I encounter seem to be, well for lack of a better word, stupid. (not an intelligent word, I know, maybe I should say unintelligent, dim, or slow )

I realize, I have been doing entirely too much complaining. Especially when I take the time to look around at others.

My 40-something, diabetic neighbor went in to the hospital to have surgery on a foot infection and had his leg amputated from the knee down. What makes it even more horrible, is his insurance was cancelled last month.

Our blog friends Kari and Kijsa are dealing with loss. Their father died unexpectedly and suddenly. They are dealing with the sadness and good-byes that shock a family when there is a sudden death.

I guess, I need to be more thankful. My life is full, my children and my husband are healthy. I am happy. I have always considered myself an optimistic person. I need to live that, complain less and be more grateful for what is good in my life.

I hope your life is full, too. Take the time to enjoy it.

Dog Blog 4

Hi, it's me, Blue,
I am back at the Hanson's for the week. This time I brought one of my girls along with me. It has been so much fun hanging out with three girls for the week. They really like me. They like me so much, I wanted to do something to pay back their kindness. I can't go shopping, because I am a dog. I couldn't bring flowers. Rachel would be mad if I dug up her garden. I tried catching the squirrels, but they are too fast. I did have one up a tree for a really, really long time, once. That was fun.

I thought long and hard about what kind of gift to bring. Then I smelled it. I am not sure what it was, but I smelled it in the garden. So I sniffed. I sniffed and sniffed until I found it's exact location. I love detective work! They would be so excited when I bring them their gift. I wondered what it was that I smelled. Then, it moved! It hopped, really. So, I grabbed it! I was very gentle. I didn't want to hurt it. I gently picked it up and took it to the edge of the porch. I stood guard over it and barked until Rachel came out. She took one look and said, "Oh gross!" I guess she doesn't like toads. She just let it hop away. Too bad, I had named him Fred. He was my friend.

The rest of the time was pretty fun, too. I brought my favorite blue stuffed animal with me. I managed to remove both squeakers, one ear, and half the fluff. I still have work to do.

It's hot here. Something about the dog days, whatever that it. I heard Rachel say it would be 102. That must be something.

So, the week is nearly over. I guess I will be glad to go home. Maybe Fred will come too.

woof, woof-
-Blue (the dog)