Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Campfires, Glowsticks and the Works

Hola happy campers, here are some photos for you: Campfires, Glowsticks and the Works!
The kids kept the fire glowing late into the night, chased each other around the campsite with glowsticks, roasted, burned and flame-broiled marshmallows, danced to the strum of a guitar and the beat of a drum, played shark-attack at a nearby lake, built moats in the sand, hiked through the hills and kettles left by the big melt of the ice age and just generally enjoyed themselves. All of which made up for the short car ride, which was more traumatic than the 7 hours to Ely and included baby puke, traveling without a map, driving on gas fumes for 6 miles to the nearest gas station, rolling past the registration booth w/o a sticker and endless squabbles and debates about these previously aforementioned incidents. But it certainly feels like summer when you finally get out of the car, walk through the pine needle floors of the woodlands, hear the owls cooing on the perimeter of your campsite, swim in a chilly lake, drink iron-colored well water from a rusty hand pump and have the smell of the campfire permeate your clothes. And so we say hooray for camping. Hooray, hooray, hooray for camping!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She's Crafty!

Yeeaah! I got my fire photo selected on the Elements Self Portrait Challenge last week, got a subscribtion to Ready Made for my b-day and went to the Art Vs. Craft show over the weekend. These pleasant memories got me through a few days of nit picking lice off Juj's head, laundering and vaccuuming the whole house in 90+ degree weather, having a piece of nonfiction rejected by a literary magazine (it still hurts!) and getting a call from the fraud department saying that someone attempted to use my credit card to purchase $3,000 worth of cricket equipment in India (Busted!).

In any case, I spied a fabulous hand-made skirt from Madison based Orangyporangy, purchased a yard of animal print fabric from the mini-apple's Crafty Planet and was inspired by many of the neato, crafty creations that people are making. Owls are big, so are sock monkeys, screen printed tees, bibs, felted bags, and clothes and purses made out of "reclaimed" or recycled materials. Also discovered Etsy, an online marketplace for all things hand-made. Just too good to be true!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fire Chasers

We spent the afternoon of the Fourth in the backyard of my aunt's for a family reunion with folks from my side of the family... folks we don't often see as they hail from the pacific northwest, the windy city and simply the other side of town. Ever since my grandma M passed, these gathering have become rare and it was a pleasure to dip my toes in my own genetic pool for an afternoon. More about water later, but the Fourth flourished in fire. The kids chased fireflies late into the evening and sat on curbs watching trails of light fall from the sky in bursts and flares. We experimented with night flash photography, photographing friends and neighbors as they made their way through the streets back home for the evening We slept through the showers of roman candles and bottle rockets that continued late into the night down the street and across the alley. And I dreamt of mistaken identity and secret lives, babies and burning toast, my synapses firing wildly like an atomic blast, a crackling pinwheel, pyrotechnic explosions. And then the smell of gun powder, the rising smoke, the dust and dreams tinged green that hang in the air for hours after the burn.