The boys, out of school as of Friday, are my new daily companions as I weave through meetings and my art life. They are usually delightful to be around most of the time, but they take good cheer to the next level in the holiday season. Together we brought a big, lush tree from Bloomingfoods into the living room and started decorating it. The room has a fresh smell and it’s a great treat to pull out all the ornaments. As we hang them I get to remember how each piece is associated with my family history, from pre-wedding gift ornaments to pieces we got when the boys were born to special ornaments that Grandma gave us over the years. It’s a walk down memory lane. The boys are now deep into their advent calendars and are awaiting the arrival of Grandma and great aunt Lois on Thursday. That meant we had to launch into major cleaning mode to prepare the house so it doesn’t look like an artist with two kids lives here. The aptly named jungle room will become Lois’ bedroom so we picked up and sorted all the toys, games, legos, videos, and everything else a kid could accumulate over the years. We’ll be delivering care packages to the Recycle Center, Opportunity House and any other worthy place that will take the second hand games and toys.
Of course all the family activities exclude much time for creating art this. That’s OK, even artists need a week off. I did make a few sweater petals, and I did re-stock my sweater petals at By Hand Gallery and the "Bike the B-Line" t-shirts at the Downtown Visitor's Center at the Buskirk-Chumley theater. Fortunately, the theater is right next to Blu Boy Café and Cakery. We had to stop in to fortify ourselves before heading over to Lennie’s for celebratory pizza. At the noon BEAD meeting we ran into Chad Rabinovitz from the Bloomington Playwrights Project and we chatted about the grand reopening of the BPP in January. It will feature two commissioned art pieces (including one of mine!) and coincide with a new play called The Boy in the Bathroom. Chad says it’s an excellent production, so Jim and I will check in for an afternoon matinee. We’re also excited to see the Cardinal Stage production of Annie on Christmas Eve. It features two friends of the boys, Marlena Wagschal (our former neighbor) and Joelle Jackson (a preschool contemporary of Jacob).
On a final note, where art and life coincide, I was briefly banished from Target as the boys wanted to do some Christmas shopping without me. A woman who was a total stranger to me walked up and asked where she could buy my sweater petals! Maybe she saw me in this month’s issue of Bloom magazine—did I mention that I was one of the "7 Artists that Inspire" ?!? Well, why yes, I am! The answer is that you may stop by By Hand Gallery, Wonderlab, or you can find them online at Sweany Artworks online. Jaime Sweany was the owner of the Wandering Turtle Art Gallery downtown, and now she’s off on her own art endeavors. She’s a good friend and I like to support her. Oh, and speaking of supporting friends, local artist extraordinaire and truly tireless supporter of the Lotus Festival, Deborah Klein, is packing up her bags and moving back to Australia. We went to a delightful reception Sunday to say goodbye. Local artists each contributed a quilt panel to make a beautiful going away present for Deborah to help her remember her time in Bloomington. We all wish her the best down under.
Until next week…