Liberate Your Art

This is the first year I’ve participated in the Liberate Your Art postcard swap. Such a very cool idea! I have absolutely loved it, it was such fun to receive artwork in my mailbox from all over. The swap, organized by Kat Sloma from Kat’s Eye Studio, consists of sending Kat 5 postcards along with postage and address labels. She receives postcards from all over the world (1290 of them!) and then mixes them up and sends them out all over the world. (Ok, that’s a really simple way of explaining it – it is way more work than that!) I think this was the coolest  thing I’ve been involved with and can’t wait to do it again next year!

This is a pic of the postcard I sent. I haven’t seen it posted anywhere yet, so I have no idea where it went. I would love to find out! (Info about my cards is posted at the bottom of the page.)

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The first postcard I received was from Sassy at sassyangelac.com. She shared some yoga with me: the Warrior Pose.

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My next card is a painting by Suzanne Sperlwww.sperlygirl.com. The quote on the back of the card reads: “get out of the way – step on up – step into your greatness – let your light shine – let your love show” – kebmo

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My next card reads: “Go your own way” by p’shaw design with this quote on the back: “You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” – Georgia O’Keefe.

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My fourth card is from Deanie Houghtaling from Wildsandsphotography.blogspot.com. Deanie loves carousel horses and the horses pictured on the card are from the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix.

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The last swap card comes from Judith www.hollowjb.wordpress.com and is a colorful scene of parasols and patterns.

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And my last card came from Kat Sloma herself, thanking the participants in the Liberate Your Art 2013 postcard swap. Kat’s card is beautiful blue design called “Adorned and Alone. Kat’s website is www.kateyestudio.com.

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I plan on framing all of my postcards together with a simple black frame. I’m hoping to find a special frame at the Goodwill and give it another life. Kat has put together a slideshow of all of the artwork used in the swap. I will post a link as soon as I can. Overall this was a great opportunity and I loved participating.

Liberate Your Art Swap Participants


A little about me: I am a single mom to two redheaded teenagers. My daughter, who I lovingly refer to as “Margo”, is pictured on my postcard. This was a photo that I took of her for her senior portraits this past fall. She will be entering Northern Illinois University this coming fall and I will so miss my photo buddy. Now I will have to drag my son around for photos. He will love that, I’m sure.

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The next photo on my card is a monument in the cemetery where my father is buried. I was taking photos around my hometown last fall and the colors of the fall trees were just spectacular.

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Living in Chicagoland we get to experience all four seasons – most of the time. This past fall was when I decided to start taking photos a little more seriously, and it was a good time since I love the fall months the most. Color is very important to me – I just love bold bright vivid colors and this fall we had an abundance of color in the fall leaves.

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This final photo is kind of an homage to my daughter who is a big fan of the TV show Doctor Who. I took this photo in the same cemetery where my father is buried and I spent the better part of a beautiful fall day. Although I am not a religious person, I love sculptural angels, and photograph them every chance I get.

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In addition to photography, I am employed by the local school district, and also run a social enterprise called Blanket Statements where for each blanket purchased an additional blanket is donated to a women’s shelter to help women in need.

There are many ways to contact or follow me:

Leslie A Photography: www.leslieaphoto.com, www.facebook.com/leslieaphoto, email: leslie@leslieaphoto.com

Blanket Statements: www.blanketstatements.org, www.facebook.com/blanketstatements, email: info@blanketstatements.org

April 15th

Today is tax day. I did mine, myself, for the first time ever. Mailed them out last week. I’m quite proud of myself actually. So today was going on like a normal day…work, out for photo taking at lunch, more work this afternoon – then I heard the news.

Bombings at the Boston Marathon. At first I thought it might not be anything too serious. I hoped it wouldn’t be anything too serious. It turns out it is something serious. My heart is saddened. I know Boston. I’ve wanted to live there for years. Ever since visiting there in high school back in 1981. I thought it was just a fabulous town.

When my then fiance and I decided to get married – we eloped due to all sorts of issues – the first place that jumped into my mind was Boston. I loved it there. We did elope there – met a justice of the peace in the Boston Public Garden on the fourth of July. I don’t have any photos since we were alone there. It was a good time, though. Boston on the fourth of July. We ate lunch in the Union Oyster House. With Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. There were there fresh from the parade.

We walked all around town. Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, the Commons. I love it there. Today I am saddened. It hits close to home. I know this city, I’ve been there. My heart is saddened for the good people of Boston.

I took these photos over the weekend. They seem appropriate today.

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Super busy snowy week

We’ve all had them. The week that just gets away from you. My kids are involved in activities at school. The girlie just finished up her last high school musical – The Wizard of Oz. Best high school production I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen quite a few, as well as played bass in a lot of them. Their technical elements and costumes were just spectacular. I wish I could have taken photos, but they had a real paid professional there taking photos and I didn’t want to intrude. Story of my life – never wanting to intrude.

And the boy is in baseball. Every day baseball. So I am spending long hours in the car waiting, mostly without internet connections because the high school seems to be in some sort of pit where no connections can be made. I did spend a lovely couple hours sleeping in the sun in my car the other day. I enjoy the sun.

It’s also been a busy week health-wise. Doctors appointments, tests I’ve been putting off for years, finally getting things taken care of. It feels good to know that is all done. Just the waiting on results now. My doctor is over an hour away (and a tank of gas) so while I was down there I took advantage of the snowy day to stop into a forest preserve I’ve never investigated before. Got some lovely photos. Tried to sneak up on the wildlife, but they heard me coming a mile away, as my 14 year old mini van is squealing something terrible. I think I need a Prius. I’d be able to sneak up on nature then for sure.

Here are a few photos:

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Morning angst

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 8.26.01 AMToday did not get off to a good start. We had a dusting of snow overnight. Normally a dusting is no big deal, but in actuality there was quite a bit of ice underneath the dust. I travel about 20 miles one way on my commute. I am blessed to no longer have that over an hour commute I used to have – 20 minutes is long enough now.

Listening to the radio this morning I was hearing how bad the roads were to the west of us. Luckily, we were heading east. Had a bit of a rough spot getting out of the driveway and up the couple hills we have near us, but after that it was mostly smooth sailing.

Until we hit Grayslake. I drop my daughter off at school on my way in to work, and this morning was like any other morning. Except for the ice. We were almost to school when we hit our first patch of ice. Car slid right, then slid left. Luckily no one else was on the sleepy neighborhood street. I corrected and we both looked at each other. Cripes. Got to the stop sign and again, slid, antilock brakes kicking in just in the nick of time to stop. But it was close. I started to make my turn but noticed another car coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to have enough traction to make a quick turn, so I stopped. And was immediately honked at by the SUV behind me.

No worries, but I wasn’t going to try to attempt to turn in front of an oncoming car with the ice I’d just experienced under me. Once the car passed I made my left turn towards the school. Destination in site. And also a crash at the next corner. My daughter said – hey that looks like my friend’s car! And sure enough, it was. Luckily it wasn’t the one that had hit the tree in someone’s front yard. Her’s was the one right next to it. The kids were fine – both out on cell phones, but they were blocking the westbound lane a block from the school drop off.

The cars coming eastbound waited as we passed the accident. The SUV was still behind me as I dropped off my daughter. And the school security guard makes everyone coming out of the school head west, so once again I had to go past the accident. And now there were more cars, coming from all directions trying to get past it with only one lane open. I stopped and let the oncoming traffic come since I needed to turn at that corner. Person in the SUV once again honked impatiently.

I finally made it to work a few minutes late, which means I was about 20 minutes late in total since I’m usually in early. Listening to the news there were quite a few accident this morning. You could hear sirens everywhere. School bus hit in a neighboring town. Cars in ditches. And everywhere horns honking and impatient people. I hear comments about people not knowing how to drive, about how they don’t have any problem with the conditions.

I know I am super sensitive and this morning just taxed me. I needed a good cry by the time I got to work and especially after hearing comments by others. I just don’t understand how people got to be so impatient with each other. When did it become “all about me?” And no longer “about us?” What happened to loving your neighbor? Perhaps we all need a reminder to think of others too. Not everyone has 4 wheel drive, or even good tires. Some people are doing the best they can with what they have.

Art Stalker

A couple weeks ago I had a revelation about Valentine’s Day after seeing all the “I hate Valentine’s Day” stuff floating around the web. I wasn’t going to let the whole couple oriented aspect of the day get me down. So I ordered myself a little something. Not knowing of course, that I got an anonymous treat that day, but today my super special treat to myself arrived in the mail. All the way from the frozen tundra of Canada.

I’ve been following this artist for about a year or so, maybe two. We are both members of The Artisan Group, and I was immediately drawn to her artwork. At first I thought they were photos. Nope. Paintings. Phenomenal paintings. I’ve been watching her post links to her goodies on Facebook, and checking out her etsy page for some time. Yep, call me a stalker. I stalk art, among other things.

So for Valentine’s Day I splurged and bought myself a print that I just adore. It is three feathers – a robin, cardinal, and blue jay. And if you know me at all, you know that I’ve posted many of my own photos of each of these birds. They visit me often in my backyard. I adore them! So when I saw her painting of these three feathers together, I knew it was meant to be. And when I say I splurged, I really didn’t – her prints are very well priced. But I don’t usually buy stuff for myself all that often, so for me it was a splurge.

Today my goodies arrived!!

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Forgive my less than glorious photos, but I was at work and excited to open my goody!!

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So when I flipped over the envelope to open it, look at her stamp! How cool is that! “Packaged with care using re-used, recyclable materials. Go Green! Recycle!” Oh Jody, so good.

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So I pull out the expertly wrapped Kraft paper package and see a cute little tag and a beautiful business card stuck on the front. It was just like a perfectly wrapped gift.

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Here’s a close up of the back of her card. Aren’t the feathers gorgeous? I should have posted the other side too, but I’ll post her contact info at the end of this post.

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So I carefully unwrap the paper, and find a double cardboard package. Carefully, cut the tape and there it is! Beautiful!!

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It is even more beautiful in person that online photos can show. Truly a work of art. I don’t know how she does it, but I am just in awe of her talent.

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This is my first official art that will hang in my new house. Once I have the upstairs part renovated it will be hanging in my living room. Once I get it all matted and framed up I will post another pic. Hopefully it will also be hanging on a finished wall too!

Please visit Jody Edwards Fine Art – she has an etsy shop: jodyvanb.etsy.com that has all sorts of items, from her original paintings, to prints, and even greeting cards. She even has one of a Fisher Price Little People person (my other vice). I especially like her paintings of nests that are customizable – she can paint in the number of eggs that you’d like. Which makes a WONDERFUL mother’s day gift – add in the number of eggs for the children your mom has. I might have to get myself one of those too.

You can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodyEdwardsArt?fref=ts Tell her I sent you and keep gushing on about her paintings.

Jody: Perfect! Couldn’t be happier with my purchase!

 

Morning Has Broken

Do you know who Eleanor Farjeon is?

I did not, but today is her birthday. Per Wikipedia: Eleanor Farjeon was an English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. Many of her works had charming illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. Some of her correspondence has also been published.

The reason I’m bringing up Eleanor Farjeon is because I saw information posted about her on a Facebook page this morning. I didn’t stop because of her name, or her birthday, but because lines from a children’s hymn she wrote were posted. A hymn she wrote in 1931 that you probably know and love.

Morning Has Broken

Morning has broken like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in the completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with the elation, praise every morning,
God’s recreation of the new day!

Now this hymn has special meaning to me, which is what made me stop and notice this morning. As many of you know, and for those who don’t, I am a musician. I started playing guitar when I was five. Before I could read, even. And sometime around 3rd, 4th, 5th grade I played this hymn in church – solo me – on guitar. I remember so clearly standing up on the stage (sorry, if that isn’t the correct church term, I’m not so churchy anymore), with me guitar playing away with Cat Stevens singing in my head.

It was quite a moment. I’m sure that wasn’t my first time playing, as a matter of fact, I remember playing a lot in grade school. For assemblies, for show & tell, even sitting in art class. I used to sit and play while the other kids were working on projects. Looking back I led quite a different life. But standing up there in the quiet church playing in front of the congregation was really something. That feeling has stuck with me all these years. And that song always touches my heart.
Happy birthday, Eleanor. And thank you.

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Me, circa 1973