Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last Friday Night Date Night

I've been wanting to go to a sidewalk chalk art show for a really long time. When I saw billboards advertising a Chalk Art Festivals to raise money for kids in Foster Care...w00t!
I put the event at the top of my "things to do" list.
It was held at the really wonderful Gateway Mall, which is a great place to visit anytime anyway.
I convinced Bernie to make the event our Friday Night Date Night Date.
We arrived shortly after the artists got started. Each artist/group of artists paid a $1,000 entry fee, usually sponsored by a company or some other organization.

Sweet, and not even finished yet.
Doing a chalk drawing on concrete sounded fun to me until I watched the artists for a while. It is not easy to sit on concrete or kneel on concrete for long periods of time.

Some of the artists were blending their chalk work with their fingertips. I wondered how raw their fingers would be by the time their drawings were done.

Yes...artists suffering for their art!

(Naturally we ate. Do Bernie and Jill ever go anywhere together and not stop for something to eat? Noooo! In this case: Crab cake salad. Yum! I guess I was still on a Southern food kick!)

By the time we finished dinner Peter Pan's picture had progressed nicely.
Some of the artwork was so lifelike! Each artist seemed to have their own plan: some started in the middle and worked their way out.

Others worked top to bottom with an artist working on each side.

Most of them were working from a print.

Lots of them drew a grid and filled in each grid to match the grid of the picture they were using.
A few "famous" artists were given larger spaces and had their work chained off. The event lasted two days with judging at the end. It irked me a bit that I wouldn't be able to see the completed art...even though the mall is just 20 minutes from home!

Since we were in the mall...a bit of window shopping was in order.
OK ladies: tell the truth: Is this dress a thumbs up or thumbs down?
My high school home ec. sewing teacher would have had a stroke if I had turned in something like this. Is it possible that sewing has become a lost art and such raw stitching is the best that can be expected now days? Or is this an excellent example of cutting edge (HA! pun intended!) punk/steam punk/indie couture?
(I'm wearing a dress that I sewed as I type this. If I were to take it off and turn it inside could look close to this. Wonder if I should try wearing it like that at work?)
I'm still gritting my teeth to hold back from buying these two framed magazine covers.
I"m thinking the floral hat is a Sally Victor...

Bernie did some shopping the sporting good store.
Yes, it doesn't take much for us to have fun on a Friday night.
Best of all, we were able to support a good cause too.
Be on the look out; there may be a similar fund raiser coming to your area soon!

The only thing constant is change.

Oh boy...would I ever love to look like her!

Cute hat, bright eyes, gloves...

You will never guess where I spied her picture.

Here's a hint....can you guess what this is?

Or how about this?
Oh come on. Try. You are using yours right now.

Here's another hint. Aren't they darling?

I'm loving the fun temple bars designs on glasses now days.

The fun temple bar ones were adorable, but on me, the frames crossed right across my pupils. So I tried on these. No...I just couldn't handle that look either. Plus with my heavy prescription those big lenses would have been quite a burden to carry on my face.

These I loved, but again, they sat so that I was mostly looking through the top of the frames.

Still guessing what those first things were, and where I was?

I thought this poster was quite interesting.

High blood pressure causes eye vessels to become squiggly.

As you could tell from the two pictures of egg yolk looking things, my eye vessels, happily, are nice and straight. My blood pressure is perfectly normal!

I had no idea what my eyes really looked like until they were photographed with a whiz bang new thinga-mah-bob at my eye doctor's office.

Isn't it funny to think that I use my eyes all the time but didn't know what they really looked like?

The brownish spot is where the vision is focused. Isn't it amazing that the brain decodes the way light hits that spot and makes it into images?

Stranger still: the brain is what interprets the stimulus and and allows a person to see. The eyes are not really what makes one see; it is the brain that does that miracle.

Current technology is now allowing blind people to see by using their tongues to receive electric signals based on images like are taken with camera.

One blind guy climbs rock walls just by touching a small electonic wand to his tongue. His brain interprets the stimulus and he can "see" where his next rock or toe hold will be.
He literally sees through his tongue!

Picking out a new pair of glasses is never a fun thing for me. I can't see without my glasses; I now depend on a quick digital photograph of myself to decide if I like how various glasses look on me.

This time I got the pair above; the frame is brown in front and orange in the back.

A little different for me...but hey, I get a new pair every year.

This for a change.

Why not?

It will be fun.

If I can't look like the dolly in the cute ruffly hat, then I'm just going to go with glasses that are a wee bit different than normal.
And be thankful I don't have to worry about messing up my lipstick in order to see with a tube on my tongue!

Field Trip: Yesterday's Work, Today's Pleasure

As some of you more faithful readers know, I work a short day on Thursday and have Friday-Sundays off.
To make the transition from "Employee" to "Free Spirit" on Thursday afternoons, I try to go explore something in the downtown area before heading home.
Last Thursday it was a wonderful small park about three blocks from where I work.
Long ago, in the late 1800's, the property belonged to Brigham Young and served as a kitchen garden/orchard for his large family.
Newcomers to the area frequently found employment working in his gardens until they could get settled on their own properties.
To commemorate those long ago times, the park was created as a sculpture garden, capturing daily life of those pioneer workers.

I think any mother of a boy child can relate to this sculpture: what is it about boys and sticks?
The hardworking mother knows to keep her boy close at hand, letting him play as he will as she toils.

I appreciate the strength that is portrayed in this nearly life sized sculpture. It is particularly fun to see in the summer when the water flows through the real life crops (in this case peas and onions).

Seeing her work in the typical long sleeves and full skirt of the day makes me pause and count my blessings: I routinely gather most of my produce while wheeling a cart through an air conditioned grocery story, comfortably attired according to the season...which means bare legs and arms in the summers.

How quiet and hopeful she would have been, this imaginary woman of the garden. Her work was not for trendy carbon foot step saving food production; she was gardening well aware that her family was counting on this garden for their future meals.

As I walked the shady path beyond the statue, I was entertained by a musician filling the air with sweet notes...

sounds that were sweet enough to match the sweet fragrance of the blooming peonies against the fences.

The lady of the hoe had a friend (sister wife?) who stood at the end of the row, looking at water and soil mixed in the cup of her hands.

A little further on men were hard at work, harnessing the stream for use at a water wheel.

Utah's state motto is Industry; it's symbol is the beehive. Work was an expected part of life and was celebrated as a good thing by those who settled Utah.

I often marvel at what they managed to create with simple muscle power and hand tools.

Team work...a way to build community; a way to invest in each other's future.

Was it all work for those pioneers?

Again...if boys are involved....

You know there was horse play and jumping into the mill pond on a hot summer day!
Plenty of people now days see this scene and think "oh how pretty!"
Would many of them know why such a structure was built?
Would they think it was just to make a splashy sound with water falling from the wheel?
To my delight, the park planners included a means to pass insight and knowledge along.

I think the workers in this garden area might have been particularly curious about the use of this structure.

Free concerts in the park each summer?
Actually not too surprising; Brigham Young was a great advocate of music and theater.
He led people who worked hard, but knew how to enjoy and make sweet music too.
Is it a sad commentary that my life with all the modern conveniences still has me so busy that I have yet to attend one of these concerts?
I think it is...

(I personally enjoyed a few sun warmed peas fresh from their pod as I walked about.)

Was this garden a one-of-a-kind thing in early Salt Lake City? fact the city (originally called Zion) was designed to make such farming possible for just about everyone. The city plan won awards in it's day for being so forward thinking and practical.

Just across the street from the park are large colorful houses on lots that clearly have been subdivided to suit building needs of the modern era.

The view the other way is of the state capitol.
There is not a bad view in any direction!

So this is how it was was..a city block of 3 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon.

Just me, a flautist, a mother, grandmother and two children are there to enjoy the space.

I have to say it was hard not to ask the small family to pose for a picture. The small boy in the stroller could have passed for the twin of the wee lad playing with a stick in the water; the women were attired to match the garb of the women at work in the field.

I wondered if the sculptural scene struck them as depicting "modern day" or "olden times" activities?

And what did the little girl think of me as I went about in my slacks and sleeveless top?

(your chance to read more if you wish...just click on the picture to enlarge.)

The park is situated just slightly below street level, and a berm of wild flowers catch the breeze that blows freely through the open iron work fence.
Such a pretty place to visit, and so close to where I work.
There is a reason I rarely go there on a work day:
I'm afraid I would find it too hard to leave!