While I was vacuuming


Instead of placing one piece of paper on the inked palette, I grabbed three scraps & laid them in place over the inked palette & Ostrich fern leaves.

As I was vacuuming up dust and dead bugs on our porch, I thought about how we spend our time. Housekeeping and life’s daily chores are necessary, and can even provide a contrast to the more challenging activities in life. In fact, more than one artist has written about deriving comfort and time for reflection from the doing of life’s ordinary tasks. But if you are a maker—a creator of something that didn’t exist before you started your creative process—keep at it. Your “making” of something is making a difference, surely for your own satisfaction and joy.

Great fun printing at Washburn Library

It was a wild time at the nature-printing demo and sale yesterday at the library. If you made time to stop by, thank you. If you kindly purchased some of my note cards, please know I really appreciate that. And if you bid on a print, or purchased a print—yes, some of the 8×10 matted prints sold!—I am honored and grateful.

The two volunteer Friends of Washburn Library sold more of my work (not counting the auction bids) than during the three previous years the library has hosted the demo and sale. I attribute this to your support & enthusiasm, and also to savvy librarian Gloria, who posted a note on Nextdoor (a neighborhood-centric social media platform). Several people arrived at about 10:40 in anticipation of the 11 a.m. demo. They received extra credit for watching, and helping, me set up.

As for the demo, I wish I’d thought to have the video capability on my phone or camera engaged when people pulled their first prints. The crowd of 10-12 people made a spontaneous “Ahhh” sound. It was really fun.

People made very nice prints. More adults than kids printed yesterday. Usually it’s the other way around at the library. 

Valuable lessons learned from the silent auction:

Most people start with the minimum bid, which frequently becomes the only bid. Thus I sold quite a few prints for $15—which I was prepared to do.

Works sold quite ecumenically, i.e., works I really like as well as those I don’t, all sold. This is a lesson for me in letting go. We talk about this during yoga practice, but actually allowing one of your “children” (prints) to go to a “good home” takes some resolve.

One work had a bid of $20. That dismayed me. It’s not my favorite work, but technically it’s the best. It’s also done in a style I no longer do and don’t plan to resume doing. What did I do? Bid $25. I will pay the library $12.50 for my own work, but I will keep that one for myself. Another good lesson learned.

One print had four bids, from which I learned which piece, of all of them, appealed to the most people. I will bear that in mind as I go forward with my creative pursuits.

Shown here is the work of Lisa, an enthusiastic—and artistic—kindergarten teacher in an environmental school within the Minneapolis Public Schools system. The beautiful leaf is common milkweed on which Monarch butterflies lay their eggs.

Nature printing at Washburn Library

This Saturday, August 19, 2017, please stop by the Washburn Library in south Minneapolis to print a leaf to frame—or stick to your refrigerator!

The fun runs from 11 until 2. In case you’ve got any cash left over from enjoying nearby farmers’ markets, my note cards will be available at $3 each or 6 for $15.

And, the framed prints on exhibit in the library are all part of a silent auction that ends at 2 p.m. Sizes range from 10×13” to 16×20”. The minimum bid is $15.

All money from sales will be shared equally between me and the Friends of the Washburn Library. They, along with librarian Gloria Olson, make this event possible.


If you’re booked this weekend, please put these other creative events (listed below) on your calendar for the coming months.

Fresh Art Studio Tour
Site 12, western Wisconsin
October 6–8
10 a.m.–5 p.m. each day

Boutique by the Creek
Saturday, November 11, 10–5
5012-12th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Women’s Art Festival
Saturday, Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center
2924-4th Ave So. (just north of Lake St.)

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