art on a schedule

Yesterday, an artist friend of mine posted a fetching link on her fb page.  It was from some folks across the pond who’ve created Not Another Bill, a subscription service which offers a monthly dose of hand made art.


It’s a lovely site filled with beautiful pictures of past postal presents they’ve sent to intrepid collectors.  I am smitten.  And I began to wonder, how many of these situations are out there in the world?  How many artists, writers, etc. are offering these sort of beer-of-the-month type of access to their work?  A little googling, as well as a look to some of the folks I follow in the interweb sphere, gave me my answer, and I have a few here to share with you.

First off, there is Sylvia at the Indigo Vat.


I first discovered her fiber work on etsy and really have coveted her felted head scarves forever.  But then I found out that she also is a wonderful writer and storyteller.  You can check out her blog to get a taste of her style and day to day artistic process.  If you like what you see, she has a subscription offering to receive, in the mail, her Grey Fox Epistles.  I’ll leave the describing to Sylvia, as only she can put it best.  But my guess is, subscribing to her fairy-tale letters would be a bit like getting magic delivered to your post box on a regular basis.  And who couldn’t use more magic and whimsy in their life?

Next up is an option I found via the google search, but I like their approach.

newlogoAt Art in a Box it’s a little less CSA (Community Supported Articulture: you basically get a box of art, but you never know what’s coming exactly) in that there is some semblance of personal input.  You tell them three words that describe your taste in art, and they send your subscription based on your taste.  A little less of a crap shoot, though honestly, none of these subscription options I’m showcasing here seem to be sending anything crappy out into the world.

If you have plenty of art in your life, but lack, say, inspiration, look no further than the musings and drawings of Michael Nobbs.  At his site, Sustainably Creative, Michael candidly shares how he manages to make a living at art making, while grappling with debilitating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  What I love about Michael’s work is that he approaches art and career making much like I do – with Micromovements – little bite sized bits of What’s Possible, that eventually add up to Real Tangible Work. (For example, Michael has written BOOKS!!!)  Michael has a website where you can get plenty of inspiration to get started on your own artistic pursuits, but he also has a subscription to his more in depth work regarding creativity and right work that you might find useful if you are looking to ramp up your own work in some way.  Do pay him a virtual visit or drop him a line and say hello!


I’ve written before about how much I love letters and letter writing and fun post in any form.  I’m going to dig around these subscription options and maybe look into purchasing one.  What art subscriptions are you aware of? How do you utilize the postal service to distribute or share your work?  I’d love to hear about it, as well as suggestions for how you might like to see work from me be distributed in this fashion.  It’s a tempting notion indeed….

Walking the line(s)

I’ve been thinking a great deal about lines lately.  Not just the drawn line, of which I am overly fond, but other lines and how we toe them….

train lines, airlines, bus lines, online vs. offline, lines of code, wrack lines, Irish Dance lines… lines lines lines.


In the past couple of weeks (possibly longer, though I am not entirely sure of the timing) you may have come to this lowly little blog and found offers to buy, ahem,’ v!@&ra ‘, if you catch my drift.  Yep, I was hacked.  Which had me and my already over worked husband combing thru lines and lines and lines of code to try and figure out the issue.  We had some help via my server and their email service, which in the long run, worked – combined with our just-enough-to-be-dangerous skillz on the computer.  That said, there will be some changes in the coming weeks.  I have hired a gatekeeper, per the recommendation of my bloggety friend out in Colorado, Rachel at 6512 and Growing.  This gatekeeper has techie skillz to help keep this virtual space up to date and protected and she works with a server that is, get this, wind-driven.  This appeals to my luddite soul and while I am all for blogging and online this and that, I like my feet firmly on the ground.  I am thrilled to have folks who feel the same way on my team of awesomeness.  Welcome MB  and the folks over at Canvas Dreams who will hopefully be hosting this site soon.  I think this will be a beautiful partnership, if Rachel’s online presence is any indication.

Anyway, the timing on all of this craziness online, while I’m sure never good for anyone, was just awful.  Here I am trying to get my Taos trip up and running and anyone who might be new to me or the blog would arrive on my virtual doorstep and, well, you know.  On top of everything, as is usually the case, the smalls had us running hither, thither and yon with their activities, which have been slightly more worldly and otherworldly of late….

Early March will forever be a difficult time for our family as we mark the passing of our friend Esme.  This time is especially tricky for my youngest who still has 6th grade memories of a terrible time, that she now grapples with as a young adult.  So we just do the best we can.  We are fortunate to have a special tree to visit planted in Esme’s honor by her family, and we were doubly fortunate that on this particular afternoon, we had the place to ourselves.

esmes tree

The tree is growing beautifully and I am hoping to see it bloom later this spring.

esmes tree message 2


Sometimes only messages left to be delivered by the fairy folk will do…..


esmes tree heart

The ties of friendship are indeed beautiful and if nurtured, can be strong enough to span the globe.  Below are two old friends in the Jazz tradition, Isi (who is better know as Dr. Rudnick at SCPA) and Kas (who runs a fabulous Jazz program at the Zelenski School of Music in Krakow, Poland.  These two came up with an idea that brought our two countries and schools together for an exchange of students and music this spring.  A group of students came over to visit in March and we quickly came to call them family.

old friends

jazz kids

mum and the boysHere’s me, mama Bogard, with our boys who stayed with us, Olav and David.  Jack, there on the right, is now over in Poland visiting them!  The magic of the student exchange process cannot be underestimated.  The logistics of managing it all can be exhausting, but all families I have spoken with seem to agree, it’s worth the effort.

the boys speaking the same language

While David spoke little English, he excelled at just about any instrument he touched, and while officially here to play double bass in the jazz band, he wowed us at our weekly Irish music session with some fabulous traditional tunes from Poland.  It was so fun to speak the universal language of music with our new friends.  I wish we could have kept this group of kids around longer but they had to head home.  And of course, our kids had to get over there to explore Poland!  I am sure they are all having a fantastic reunion there together!

You might think, with my track record for travel, that I would have gone with them to Poland… and believe me, I thought about it.  But there was a different trip to take.  My little Irish dancer, who was just learning her over-downs yesterday it seems, was due to go to Boston for the World Championships in Irish Dancing with her ceili and choreography teams.  So I went to Boston and did the dance mom thing, applying stagey make-up and watching the kids do what they do best.

irish dancing linesThe McGing gals placed 5th (in the world!) in the Sr. Ladies’ Choreography competition, which is no small achievement.  And it was wonderful to witness their hard work come to fruition.  On most days it looks a lot like this:

lines practiceBut for the teams and solo dancers who work their hardest, it can wind up looking like this: (below is Maddie’s friend Katie who is a world class solo dancer! Just had to share this picture as it really shows the athleticism and poise these kids have.)

air time


I am still amazed at times at what the extra-curricular lives of my offspring look like.  I couldn’t have predicted any of it!  But for as worldly as they are in the pursuits of their passions, they are still woodland creatures at heart.  Mads is off for spring break and is spending the day in the Red River Gorge with Tony, her cousins and one of the dogs.  Not a bad way to shake off the stress of a world competition.

And while everyone else is hither, thither and yon, I have chosen to hang out at home for a few days.  Trying to get caught up here on the blog now that the code is clean,  doing some drawing, in which I am sorely days behind and spending a little time outside.
my familiar

Hoping that I can trade in the airlines, train lines, lines of code, standing in lines, etc, for some lines of newly planted seeds and maybe a new story line….

veggie lines

story line