“Create your own unexpected celebrations”

The above quote is from Keeping Life Simple by Karen Levin

There are a number of ‘official’ holidays during the calendar year and the ways of celebrating those have become somewhat ‘scripted’ over the years.  Many are becoming overly drawn out due to their commercialization.  I’ve seen Christmas items in the stores by the first of October.  Is it really necessary to promote Christmas for over four months?

I was flipping through the book “Keeping Life Simple” by Karen Levine when the above quote caught my eye.  It got me to thinking; what could I do to create and celebrate an unexpected holiday? Of course it would be something inexpensive; after all I’m on a budget.

So I started to consider things I like to do that I haven’t done in a long, long time.  I came up with:

Walk in the Park Day —– Pack a sandwich or two, some fruit, a bottle of water and maybe a book.  Then head for a nearby part and spend a few hours just enjoying the scenery and the weather.  Maybe take some pics with my digital camera.

Walk in the Domes Day —– Much like Walk in the Park Day except spend a day wandering around the Milwaukee Domes, a series of large garden areas under glass.

Window shop with a friend Day —– Grab a friend and go for a leisurely walk in one of the local malls.  Sit in the concourse or food court and enjoy people watching as everyone scurries about intent on their business.

Buy Flowers for a Friend Day —– Go to a Flower Shop, buy a small posy and either send it to or give it to a friend just because.

Bubble Bath Day —– Take a day off from work, sleep late and enjoy a long, leisurely bubble bath with good music and a scented candle.

Off to the Zoo Day —– Borrow a friend’s child and go to the local zoo.  See the zoo through the child’s eyes and rediscover your own sense of adventure & fun.

These are just some that I thought of.

Perhaps to decide what sort of holiday you want to create, you could make an “Unexpected Holiday” box.  Decorate a shoe or other small box with paint, paper, stickers or whatever suits your fancy.

Make a list of the things you’d like to do for your celebrations or holidays.  Using a fancy font that you like, type the list in large (24 to 48 point) font on perforated business card or index card blanks.  Once all the items are printed, separate them into individual cards; fold them in half and put them all in the box.

Pull a card out when you find yourself in need of something to look forward to.

Keep adding things to do for your ‘unexpected celebrations’ as you think of them.  It’s okay to recycle ideas if it turns out to be something you really enjoy.

What are some of your ideas for ‘unexpected celebrations?’

Artist Date Creates Inspiration

Trip down to Lakefront Festival of Arts, Take 2. (Take 1 was aborted due to raindrips)

Around noon, I was going to set out for the Lakefront Festival of Arts.  For those not familiar, the LFA is an annual event in Milwaukee, WI that draws artists from all over the US.  I noted artists from Cali and Florida and numerous states in between.

I took my time on the walk from the house to the Milwaukee Art Museum grounds where the festival was being held.  Along the way I snapped a couple things that gave me ideas for my own art. A corner finial suggests decoration for my tiny top hatsMetal Giraffe Sculpture

At one point, I sat down for a brief rest (I know when to listen to my ankles and give them a rest).  One guy was taking his pet lizard for a walk.  A number of people out walking their dogs strolled past.  Two adorable little Chihuahuas came up to sniff my fingers and get petted while I sat there. After a brief rest, I was ready to finish the walk to the LFA.

Walk up to the gate, pay the entrance fee, get a wristband (rapidly replacing hand stamps in many venues) and a program.  Then it’s into the shade of the large marquis tents housing the exhibitors.

Oil paintings, jewelry, fiber artists, wood artists, ceramics, metal, porcelain, paper and mixed media of every sort.  People from all walks of life browsing, chatting with the artists who created the work.  Trying to stop at every single booth was not on my mind this year.  I only wanted to pause at those artists whose work really inspired or spoke to me in some way.

Sarmite Wearable Art

Taken @ Sarmite Wearable Art. All images used with permission and may not be reproduced.

The first thing I saw as I entered the shade of the tents was Sarmite Wearable Art.  Geometrics and designs in bold colors and combinations.  I saw a few things that would do very nicely for Steampunk.

Vintiage inspired pins & rings

Taken at Mikel Robinson’s booth.All images used with permission and may not be reproduced

As I meandered through the tents, other shops caught my eye.  Mikel Robinson’s vintage style work gave me some ideas for the gears and cogs that I have accumulated from the deconstruction of 3 IBM Selectric typewriters.

David Burton's mixed medai with toys

Taken at David Burton’s booth. All images used with permission and may not be reproduced

David Burton’s 3D Mixed Media used a number of recognizable icons of comics, film and TV to create interesting murals in matte black.  Some pieces have old time kitchen implements worked into them.  One mural had a unique spot of color – the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.  Stood out in a very playful way against the matte black.

Who knew that cut paper could create such ethereal and fanciful images?  I’ve never seen paper art of this sort before, so I stopped for a few minutes to chat with the artist, Carol Menninga, as she knit a sweater while watching her space.  She told me she folds the paper and scissor cuts it to form the intricate shapes shown in her booth.

Carol Menninga's cut paper art

Taken at Carol Menninga’s booth. All images used with permission and may not be reproduced

There are a number of shops where I lingered, admiring the workmanship and creativity displayed.  One of the most impressive was Unzicker Design.  She works in fine chain mail style garments and accessories decorated with beads and other embellishments. Seeing what she had done has inspired me to pick up pliers and start knitting again.

Chain Scarf/Tie

Taken at Elaine Unzicker’s booth. All images used with permission and may not be reproduced

Elaine Unzicker wearing her creations
Taken at Unzicker Designs booth. All images used with permission and may not be reproduced