Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hello, 2016

I'm in this weird place. The start of a new year is exciting and full of promise but it also makes me a little hesitant. I regularly struggle with wondering if I'm going in the right direction with what I'm working on and I have a hard time picking a priority in case it's not the perfect choice for that point in time. This post is a little brain-dump to hopefully clear out the weird start-of-a-new-year-trepidation fog.

Post for the Parks process pieces...

1.) Post for the Parks is COMPLETE!

2.) The Post for the Parks shop is under construction and should exist later this month! (Prints, pins, stickers and a poster featuring all 59 watercolors.)

3.) I need to catch up on my estimated quarterly taxes but I don't really know what I'm doing - or maybe I do. Who even knows? Probably the tax people, maybe they should just do it for me.

4.) I recently started going through my books and donating a lot of them to the library. Books that I have realized I will never finish or have finished ages ago but don't need to read again. It's helpful and makes space AND I love to think about others enjoying books that I enjoyed (or started to).

Shenandoah National Park - May 2015

5.) 2015 was pretty good to me. We had some nice adventures to Shenandoah, Acadia, Baltimore and New Hampshire. We went to see friends get married in Western Mass. and had a great road trip with other friends there and back.

6.) There are a lot of new projects I want to work on but I am sort of stalled trying to figure out which one to work on first. I'm in the middle of designing and painting my brother-in-law's wedding invitations so those are definitely first on the list and I hope that by finishing those I will magically be inspired to pick the next project.

7.) Etsy has been SLOW. The holiday season was just mediocre for me which is worrying but also slightly freeing?

Community Garden 2015

8.) I'm already looking forward to this year's garden season. I saw one of my garden buddies out in the real world recently (almost didn't recognize him bundled up in a coat) and I can't wait until my $30 is due and I can count myself in for another year.

ANYWAY. Everything is great, I just feel weird and a little overwhelmed by the promise of this fresh new year. As I'm typing this I am also realizing that I feel very strange without my Post for the Parks deadlines. They were really good for me and maybe even if it's not a whole project, I may need to set some other kind of scheduled goals.

I guess it's time to get to work!
Happy New Year. I think I'll try to post more. Maybe.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New England Craft Fair Round-Up!

Hello Friends!

Do you like shopping small, shopping handmade? If so, I have got a list for you!

It's holiday craft fair season! New England boasts some incredible shopping events and I thought I would make a handy place to find 2015's fairs and markets. (If you know of one I missed, please leave a comment so I can add it in!)

Scroll down for a list with links!

I'm super thankful for all of the amazing creative folks who share their work online. You are so inspiring and I'm happy that some of you are my real world friends! ❤️ This is my annual reminder to #shophandmade #shopsmall and #shoplocal as the holi

Concord Handmade (Concord NH)
Nov. 20 - Dec. 29

Craftland (Providence RI)
Nov. 27th - Dec. 31st (also year round)

Bust Craftacular Boston
Nov. 28 & 29

Herbstalk Winter Herbal Market (Somerville)
Nov. 28

Craft Fix 2015 (Portsmouth NH)
Nov. 29

Harvard Square Holiday Fairs (Cambridge)
Throughout December

JP Crafts Fair
Dec. 5

Society of Arts&Crafts' Craft Boston
Dec. 11-13

SoWa Holiday Market
Dec. 12 & 13

Picnic Portland (Portland ME)
Dec. 13

Gather Here's Handmade Holiday Show (Cambridge)
Dec. 19

Egg-A-Go-Go will be at the Bust Craftacular (making my triumphant return to the Cyclorama after the end of the BBB, RIP), Picnic Portland and Gather Here's Handmade Holiday. I hope to see you there!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Baltimore and Shenandoah National Park

In May, Curtis and I went to visit my brother Jack and his girlfriend Kristin down in Baltimore. Their place is in Fell's Point which is a cute neighborhood right on the harbor. It's experiencing quite a bit of growth, with all of the old factories and warehouse spaces being turned into housing.

On Tuesday we went to Shenandoah National Park! We started at the North entrance of the park and drove about a quarter of the way down the Skyline Drive.

Shenandoah National Park - May 2015

We stopped at a few scenic overlooks and took a short hike before we turned around and headed back to Baltimore. Shenandoah is BEAUTIFUL. I especially recommend it if you like driving and enjoy hiking.

Shenandoah National Park - May 2015

Jack and Kristin recently got a plot at the Patterson Park Community Garden. It's a beautiful place!

Baltimore May 2015

Baltimore May 2015

After visiting the plot, Jack took us on a walk through Patterson Park and the Butchers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.

Baltimore May 2015

Baltimore May 2015

During our stay in Charm City we ate some great food. Dinners at Fork & Wrench and Peter's Inn and breakfast on our departing day at Milk & Honey (below).

Baltimore May 2015

It was a VERY nice visit and a great trip. Maybe next time we go we'll see a few museums - this time you couldn't pay us to stay indoors, the weather was perfect.

As a bonus, the day we went to Shenandoah was our 2nd wedding anniversary! It was a good one! :)
Shenandoah National Park - May 2015

~ Sarah

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Community Garden 2015!

Hello Spring!

Community Garden 2015

Yesterday was Memorial Day - the official unofficial start of the safe-to-grow-things-outside season here in New England! This is the first year I don't feel completely behind schedule working in the garden. I was able to get out early and turn the bed over before our first group clean up day. Some of the other gardeners even remarked how EARLY I had gotten started on my plot! [insert smug garden expert face here]

Community Garden 2015

We had already started a few seeds indoors and when we went off to Baltimore last week, I put them in the ground under some scrappy little tents. This is my second year starting tomatoes from seed and I hope they are as successful as last season!

Community Garden 2015 Community Garden 2015

Everything is blooming! The tulips are goneby but irises are opening, the lupine are incredible and the poppies are getting ready to burst their little fuzzy pods. And I should mention the weeds are also having a great spring. Despite the fact we haven't had real rain in ages. I heard last night that we are 5 inches under where were should be for rainfall since March 1st. Oof. Needless to say, we are going to water pretty regularly.

Community Garden 2015

This is our plot currently. I am starting some climbing vines under those water bottle greenhouses. The bottles are more to protect the seeds from digging squirrels than anything else but hopefully they are also helping to keep some moisture in. The tiny tomato babies are also out there. And I planted seeds for: echinacea, calendula, chamomile, beets and peas. Bulbs for ranunculus and freesia are at the close end. The sedum and black-eyed Susan that Bill gave me last year are doing GREAT.

Community Garden 2015

I'm trying to keep up with my garden journal this season. I always start strong and fade out as the season wears on (how many times do I need to put "went to weed and water - AGAIN" in the log?) but this year I hope to at least keep track of what grows and what doesn't.

Community Garden 2015

Community Garden 2015

I posted some of the pages from my previous garden journaling efforts in my Behance portfolio.

How is YOUR garden growing? :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Post for the Parks - a response!

So, I received my first response to one of my Post for the Parks pieces yesterday. And it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting.

PftP Returned Package

Mount Rainier National Park sent their painting back to me - business card and all. An interesting development!

PftP Returned Package

Along with the painting was this form letter:

Ftp Returned Package
(If this is too small to read, click here for a bigger version.)

I have to admit, I was a little sad since I don't think that this response matches with the intended nature of the project. BUT this is a good lesson in realizing that people interpret things differently. Who am I to expect anyone to want to keep an unsolicited item?

It hadn't even crossed my mind that a park would have a museum collection or that my little sketch would be seen as wanting a place in that collection. Now I feel like some kind of ego maniac. I actually had imagined that this would end up stuffed in a drawer in "staff offices" but hey, it's neat to have it back!

PftP Returned Package

Receiving this return is making me think more about art and ego and assuming what someone's response to work will be. Because part of this project is about not seeing the pieces as precious and museum-worthy, I feel a little bad (and slightly embarrassed) that the package was opened and my project viewed in such a way. Who am I to assume that another person will accept the burden of caring for this painting (since generally people think paintings should be cared for)? I didn't intend for it to be treasured but how is anyone else supposed to know that?

I would be interested to know what other people think about unsolicited art - art itself being something that as a society is a loaded thing (Is it art? Is it good art? Is it worth something? Is it worth saving? Should it be precious? Should it be garbage?) and how its value might be interpreted in a way you didn't intend.

So now I pack all the pieces back into the very official Department of the Interior manilla envelope and stash it away. It's my responsibility once again.

Oh! My favorite thing about this returned package is that in the bottom right corner of my form letter is a red scribble, the loop-dee-loop kind made when trying to get a pen's ink flowing. I LOVE IT.

So, to make it official:

Mount Rainier National Park Parcel -
posted: January 22nd, 2015
returned: February 17th, 2015 (All items returned except mailer and backing board/cello sleeve painting was shipped with/in.)
received: February 26th, 2015

Thanks for following along!

And P.S. let me just say PARK CURATOR?! I had no idea there was such a thing. What a dream job that must be!


P.P.S. In case you are wondering, below is what MY form letter reads. This letter goes out with each piece...

Hello [whichever] National Park,

Greetings from Boston Massachusetts. I am working on a project that involves making a small painting inspired by each of our National Parks. I am researching each park, creating the paintings, and then mailing the paintings to the parks.

Each week of 2015 I will be mailing out a painting to one national park and also posting the painting online. I am completing the paintings and mailing them in the order in which the parks gained their National Park status. I am using the addresses listed as the official mailing addresses of the parks, some are not located within the actual parks – if you want to forward this on to someone within the borders of the park, please do!

This project is part examination of treasured wilderness protected by our government and part thank you love letter to those who work so tirelessly to preserve special places for the plants and animals that live there as well as human visitors.

No response is required or expected, I am simply sending my art on ahead of me to the parks I haven’t visited yet and back to the parks I have been to.

Sarah Coyne