A collection of interesting, fun, and/or thought-provoking things I encountered this week.
First, a shameless plug: I'm one month into a new 365 project. What I learned from my last one was that I needed a more spontaneous, lighthearted assignment this year. So I give you Play by Play, a 365 project inspired by my love of silly toy photography. It kicked off with a week of Swiper the fox in the Dominican Republic (I love Swiper and he's easy to tuck into a camera bag while traveling), and I've stuck with my canine friend ever since. That's him in the photo at the top of this post, having a sail on a rainy day.
Which reminds me of a John Stuart Mill quote shared by Terry Border today: "That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time." So when I'm baffling neighbors by lying in the street taking pictures of toys floating in puddles in origami boats, I'm doing a public service.
Public-service-wise, if you feel like being slightly less eccentric but still spreading some love, check out Kind Over Matter's printable free compliments and free positive thoughts sheets. Fun! Maybe leave one on the community board in your coffeehouse or school?
Via Kind Over Matter's Friday Lovelies, I found this wonderful "warning" about self-portraiture. It reminded me of my friend Heather, who is doing a self-portrait 365 project this year. Also on the 365 front, there's a new Facebook group for 365 artists.
I was reminded of Kind over Matter by her appearance on RecycleArt. I wouldn't necessarily define all of the projects there as "recycled" - for example, using new pencils as sculptural materials - and some of it isn't exactly art - like these compost bins - but there's something for everybody. I was called to check out the Simple Science demonstrations from Linda Dong. Knowledge can (and should?) be elegant!
Just like I do every January in Virginia, I'm wishing the weather would commit to either icy/snowy or sunny/springy. We go from scraping windshields to prepping the garden in the same day. I've recently spent two afternoons cleaning up our flower beds and veggie garden, organizing the garage, refilling bird feeders, pruning shrubs, and generally getting into a springtime mood. I'm ordering new Mud Gloves and a sieve for our compost. I'm also telling myself NO MORE STICKS OR APPLE STICKERS in the bin. We're lazy composters and never turn the darn thing, and those plus corncobs and unbroken eggshells make it to the bottom relatively intact. Everything else has turned into beautiful moist humus, which I'm using to mulch the garden. I'll eventually turn it under. The warm weather has me thinking about seeds and pea fences and getting rid of some of the shrubs in the yard so that I can plant a dogwood and have a nice bench or two for reading on lovely spring afternoons.
Photography leads me to remember to share that HandsOn Greater Richmond has a call out for photographers to document their community efforts. I've signed on to volunteer and plan to choose one or two events a month.
Finally, while my back yard is lovely and ice is pretty, I've been wishing to be back on Sanibel Island lately. I've had at least five or six recent dreams about shell collecting! Where do you want to be right now?