creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

4 Seasons of Fabulous Feets of Daring Do photos in 2013
2013 proved to be the most diverse and busy year ever for this performing artist and creative consultant, with lots of growth and learning opportunities, new experiences, and fantastic artistic celebrations. I spent the New Year's Eve contemplating the year that was, reflecting upon the various accomplishments and lessons. Here are a few highlights by month.

January 2013
The year got off to a good start, with focus and attention being put on creative collages once again. My midnight collages brought my practice of art happening at night before bed, rather than during the day and became a great way to unwind throughout the year. I performed for the Theatre of Note's Annual Theatre Marathon as well as brought "Songs & Stories For Our Days" to Palm Springs (Thanks Tony & Michael). I also began working as an assistant for Video Designer and Programming wizard Jon 9, with my first gig at TEDX Caltech - the subject was the brain!

February 2013
February continued my love of gardening - wintertime being such a great season for growing winter crops in LA at The Alien UFO* Garden (*Urban Friendly Organic). A trip to Tucson for the annual crystal fair/show with good friends Sky, Orit, Theo, and Goldiscruffs (Scruffy) brought home some real treasures. I relaunched "Songs & Stories For Our Days" in LA, this time performing the show as a singing bartender and with some new staging twists - I look forward to finding some time to do the show again sometime in 2014.

March 2013
March brought another fun performance at PLANET QUEER, the monthly variety show hosted by Ian MacKinnon & Travis Wood. My experience with an earthworm in the garden created a festive and educational performance about the importance of the lowly creatures in life on the planet. Once again I worked for the LA Women's Theatre Festival as video editor and videographer. Getting to video and meet the festival gala host Danny Glover was a highlight, as he was one of my favorite actors from childhood. The month ended with a most wonderful camping trip to one of my favorite nearby getaways, Joshua Tree Nat'l Park.

April 2013
April started with the first annual Hay Days LA by the Los Angeles Radical Faeries to honor the founder, Harry Hay's 101st birthday. Joining the new community has become a wonderful part of life in the year 2013. Drag Bomb night was indeed the bomb. A trip to NYC was most inspiring - especially catching all the life in bloom. It was under a tree, with blossoms blowing in the wind like a fairy tale, where I finished writing the song "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?" based on the book by author & gay rights pioneer Malcolm Boyd. I performed the song in his honor at Lambda Literary's event OUT WRITE! I also enjoyed filming a scene for Ian MacKinnon's Gay Historgy Part 3 as Zephyrus.

May 2013
May turned up the heat! Once more Ian MacKinnon and I co-produced GAY MAY DAYS, a fantastic frolic and celebration of gay history and gay nature. Many memorable moments came from the weekend festivities, including a return of Doug Hammett's amazing unicorns, a return of a section of my Cavafy's Caress performance, the earthworm, being a drag queen bee, and a most wild pagan evening that ended in one of the most memorable May Pole experiences. The Alien UFO* Garden kept providing quite the bounty, and helped inspire my role as WildMan for the California Men's Gathering, where I covered myself in mud and garden materials to inspire men to embody the theme of "Flourish" for the opening nights performance.

June 2013
June kept me on my toes. First there was my Legacy Garden installation for The Lavender Effect in INSTALL:WEHO, in which various U-Haul trucks were host to various artist's work. The Legacy Garden is an altar space/shrine honoring LGBTQ greats from history created from repurposed & salvaged materials. It was complete with a glitter nail polish and make-up mirror station which several people enjoyed throughout the days festivities. I enjoyed getting all glittered up once again for original performances at both WIG OUT & PLANET QUEER. I volunteered for various events in West Hollywood celebrating One City One Pride. Then I journeyed up to San Francisco where I participated in FAETOPIA, a most marvelous week-long event by the Radical Faeries of SF. I got to perform 3 different times, including a 10-minute piece based on the poetry of James Broughton at the after party of the film documentary premiere of "Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton." Who knew that after the week was done, I would be on a new mission to create a full length tribute to his poetry?!

July 2013
I did the cross-country trek from SF to Iowa, where I spent another summer working and connecting with my family roots. While I was unable to work as much as I have in years past for Dirty Face Creek Farm I still enjoyed the bounty of farm life. You can still see what the farm is up and the cool wool rugs that Jessica makes at I caught up with dear high school friends at our 20th reunion: I really love our class of '93 and enjoy how genuinely excited we all are to reconnect and how time has given each of us new appreciations and perspectives on our lives. I look forward to the 25th. I also enjoyed creating and presenting a brand new performance piece, "Songs & Stories 2 Fools Between Worlds", a sequel to the first cabaret show.  It was great to explore and share a new piece with around 60-70 friends and relatives and to present various costumes and props (which I dragged across country in my golden trunk case). I look forward to developing the show for a run in LA sometime in late 2014.

August 2013
The trek from Iowa to Los Angeles was another beautiful experience - taking a different route than I ever had before - across Kansas & Oklahoma. I caught up to some work in LA and then prepared myself for the indescribable and most wonderful experience of Burning Man. Check out my previous blogs for more details and images - there was so much to see and do - really remarkable. I am in such appreciation for my friends in The SunnyMooners camp for making it happen.

September 2013
After Burning Man, I once again had to catch up to work in LA. I am grateful to have flexibility with my schedule. I took on some new professional organizing and video editing gigs. One of the great joys of September was producing the gay theatre icon Robert Patrick's brand new, tour-de-force show "What Doesn't Kill You...Makes A Great Story Later" on his birthday! We're bringing the show back for some encores in March of 2014.  I also enjoyed once again performing the "Hymns to Hermes" James Broughton poetry piece for PLANET QUEER audiences.

October 2013
October brought a retreat to South America, where I was able to once more explore the Amazon jungle and complete my writing of the James Broughton show and some new songs! I enjoy the active busy bee life, but it's retreats like this that allow me to slow down and sink deep within to complete new work - much to appreciate.  I ended the month as a Nymphomancer Witch in a fabulous and glittery performance with Ian MacKinnon and Travis Wood - quite a fabulous way to celebrate Halloween and get my witchiness on with friends.

November 2013
In November I co-produced another wild performance art event with the remarkable Ian MacKinnon called HOMO-HARVEST, featuring a large ensemble of some of LA greatest underground performance artists. It was sublime to wear stilts and perform a new piece as Harvest Man. I wasted no time cleaning up the show, as the very next day I flew to NYC to be technical director/stage manager for R. SKY Palkowitz's premiere in the Broadway District of her solo show "CALLING AMERICA: DON'T HANG UP!!" While there I caught up with a few friends, visited museums, enjoyed leaves in Central Park, saw Charles Busch's cabaret, and went to the historic spot of Cafe Cino on founder Joe Cino's birthday and did a special frottage rubbing of the plaque there for Steven Reigns upcoming Feb 2014 event The Gay Rub.

December 2013
Things did slow down a little bit in December so I could catch up on work and enjoy family time in Iowa for the holidays. It was a cold week, but most heart-warming. Before the holidays, on lukcy Dec 13 I attended the comic book premiere in LA for my birthday sister April Hava Shenkman. Last year on our Dec 29 birthdays we performed our The Happy Happy ReBegin Day Celebration, which I know helped manifest the amazingly diverse 2013 year. I also worked backstage for three nights on a dazzling show called "Esque," featuring the remarkable international designer and performer talents of my friend Yozmit. I capped the year off by doing several more collages and grounding myself with artistic energy. Such a year demanded that I spend some alone time hibernating during my birthday and the new year -- otherwise I would never have been able to write this blog! Feeling rejuvenated, now...onward to 2014!

May the year ahead be filled with lots of creative honey to share!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Feast of Love

Harvest Man Jason - all photos by Gregory Frye
Nov 8 & 9 brought a bounty of the freshest, hottest underground gay performance art that Los Angeles has to offer in the show HOMO-HARVEST: a mix of music, spoken word, video art, and fabulously interactive tasting ceremonies - all centered around themes of food, nature, and the rituals of autumn. I co-produced and curated the event alongside the amazing Ian MacKinnon and featuring over 20 different performers. 

I started off the evening on stilts as Harvest Man, an 8’ tall "Green Man"-like figure. I re-purposed one of my original costumes (The Tree Spirit, from a performance piece called "Ash: Axis Mundi World Tree" - I'm glad I keep my costumes organized) with a few autumnal leaf flourishes and a staff of fall flowers.  As audience arrived to the venue through the parking lot, they were greeted with a fire pit and my larger than life presence. Once inside, they were treated to a warm atmosphere complete with our sacred Cornicopia altar, a Tarot card reader, and Glitter Manicure station.


click on photos to enlarge
After a pre-show band warmed up the audience, Ian hosted the evening and summoned me into the theatre to propel the audience into our sexy & sacred evening with a performance ritual that cleansed the space and introduced the concept of our interactive tasting rituals - which started with our sexy Harvest Tribe feeding grapes to the audience after I told the myth of the difference between heaven and hell.  I then finished the piece with an original song I wrote called “Feast of Love.”

The performance helped set tone for our evening of autumnal festivities.

The script and lyrics are below.
All photos by Gregory Frye (
IAN summons Jason as Harvest Man to invoke some ritual. Jason on stilts enters at side door near stage – stands there to perform:
HARVEST MAN JASON: Happy HOMO-HARVEST everyone! It is Harvest time, the season of the year where the bounty of our labors has been gathered and it is time to share with each other and celebrate.  It is the time of year where our hands have worked hard to gather up the goods, the harvest grains, vegetables, and food we need to sustain ourselves. Our hands have toiled. They have touched the sacred energy and grace of the Earth. They have reached into the fertile soils, both physically and spiritually. They have gotten dirty in that process and there’s nothing wrong with being a little dirty. I imagine tonight you're in the mood for some good clean AND dirty fun! Am I right? It's ok to have a dirty mind, but let's maintain some good hygiene. So let us welcome to the stage our sexy Harvest Tribe to help invoke a bit of ritual magic for us to cleanse our spirits so we can enjoy our rich feast.
As he speaks the Harvest Tribe enters in reverent procession to the stage down the center aisle, lead by two performers with a bowl of soapy water and a bowl of pure water. They step onto the stage and face out to the audience in the center, about a foot apart from each other, soapy water stage left, pure water stage right. They have enough space in front of them for other Tribe members to walk in front of them and still remain on the stage. All Tribe members have a wash cloth over one shoulder.
4 Sexy Harvest Tribe members line up behind Doug & Jeff on the stage in a semi-circle. They pause. 

HARVEST MAN JASON: Ah yes, we must maintain a proper balance between what we deem as clean and dirty. Both are essential parts of life, and we shouldn’t be scared getting a little dirty in order to gather up the goods. But we are here to feast on those goods. And so we must cleanse our hands.
The tribe member stage left moves to side with the soapy bowl. He dips his hands inside, sloshes around sexily, and holds up the soapy water and lets it pour out of his hands slolwy, rubbing the soap around - sensuous. He moves across in front to the other side and rinses his hands in a similar manner. The next tribe member dips into the soapy. And this cycle continues. When all are done rinsing, they take the towel on their shoulder and dry their hands. All 6 tribe members fulfill this task.
HARVEST MAN JASON: Our hands are the greatest tools for our labors and we must cherish and respect how they serve us.  There is a time and a place for each. But out of respect for each other tonight and to better serve everyone, our Harvest Tribe cleanses themselves. And as they perform their ritual act, they cleanse for all of us. We create a sacred space here at Spirit Studio where all of us can cleanse ourselves from the outside world - enabling us to be fully present to receive the presents of HOMO-HARVEST. Breathe in and breathe out – feeling clean and refreshed. Our Homo-Harvest tribe has performed their ritual washing the hands - stick around you never know, you may get to see them cleaning up some other body parts too. Now, just to be certain we're germ-free, we’ll give ‘em a quick antibacterial squirt... as required by the various health codes and regulations of state and federal government Food and Drug Administrations! Ah. Ok.  Good.
Ian squirts everyone with anti-bac lotion as a final little funny moment. Ian rings the chimes again. The Harvest Tribe raises their hands into the air, palms to the audience to show they are all clean. They then walk over to the Cornicopia Altar, and lower their arms to grab a bunch of grapes in their hands - keeping their elbows locked. They then mingle upon the stage. 

HARVEST MAN JASON: And now, for a story. A parable for each and every one us to ponder. The Difference Between Heaven and Hell. There is actually very little difference. And it is all make-believe anyway - we pagans know better. But if you were to ever visit hell, you would find a large and ornate banquet table. A sacred altar, which we all gather around for sustenance. And tonight this stage, and this entire theatre space is our sacred offering table altar. And piled upon that table is a feast of the most delicious foods you can imagine - the smells are incredible - the visuals a delight. And surrounding the table the denizens of hell are gathered, and they grab the food and look forward to eating it…however, they have no elbows!
HARVEST TRIBE struggles…trying to get food into their mouths, but with elbows locked can’t do it. They moan, groan, growl, salivate, frustration!!!

HARVEST MAN JASON: Oh! How terrible. To have everything you could ever desire to eat in your grasp, and yet be unable to taste it, unable to enjoy it! And so they struggle and are utterly tormented by the fact they can not eat the glorious feast! That is hell!!! Now, if you were to go up to heaven, you would actually see a very similar situation. For once again, there is a beautiful banquet table laid out - exactly like in hell. Everything that you could want to eat is there to tempt you. And just as in hell, those gathered around the table in heaven, have no elbows. However, they are happy. They are joyous. Why? Because while they have no elbows and cannot feed themselves, they have figured out, that they may feed each other. AHHHHH!!!!
HARVEST TRIBE becomes happy and blissful, holding the grapes up to each other to bite and nibble upon. Frisky! Fun!

HARVEST MAN JASON: And that simple act, makes all the difference between Heaven and Hell. And oh, how fortunate we are, that we are here on Earth. The space in between those worlds. And that we have elbows. So we are at choice. We can feed ourselves, or choose to feed each other. But tonight, if you are willing to play the game with us…our sexy Harvest Tribe, would like to treat you with a taste of heaven…so if you would like, let our clean-handed helpers feed you.

HARVEST TRIBE steps down from the stage and makes their way out to the audience, feeding various audience members the grapes, spreading out and taking their time to connect with the audience. Audience may enjoy more than one grape from different tribe members. They may opt out of receiving one. All is welcome.

So we’ve invited you here to dine at our table
And we wish to perform for you, if we are able
In exchange and in honor of life’s banquet which has been set before us here!
We wish to dazzle your tastebuds and pleasure your palettes
All the while amazing you with the alchemy of performance arts long time collected and transformed into confections!
While they delight all the physical sensations, of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste
How we shall also feed the mind and nourish the soul!
Oh we are blessed that we get to enjoy such moments where we get to share in this Feast of Love with each other
Oh yes, it’s a Feast of Love
That we sweetly deliver
It’s a Feast of Love
That we totally savor
It’s a Feast of Love
That will feed us forever
It’s a Feast of Love
That we’ll always remember
And we’ll hum, hum, hum
For it’s so yum, yum, yum
Oh yes, it’s a Feast, A Feast of Love
And I will happily sing for my supper
Alongside the rest of the gang we have gathered
And when the time comes I will even gladly wash the dishes
With the best possible of wishes!
But for now, I’ve already cleared my plate, and eagerly await for seconds and thirds!
And the harvests and banquets will go on and on
Long after the time we are done, done, done
And the sharing we give keeps on giving
To nurture us as we carry forth living
There will always be new ingredients to entice us
Different methods and styles to try galore
While we can endeavor to explore them all
This HOMO-HARVEST of ours is beyond compare to enjoy!
Oh yes, it’s a Feast of Love
That we sweetly deliver
It’s a Feast of Love
That we totally savor
It’s a Feast of Love
That will feed us forever
It’s a Feast of Love
That we’ll always remember
And we’ll hum, hum, hum
For it’s so yum, yum, yum
Oh yes, it’s a Feast, A Feast of Love

And for that we’re eternally grateful
That we shared in this feast of love while able
So I can truly, truly say, I will always appreciate
The invitation to dine with you at the table!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Producing Robert Patrick Playwright

poster by Andrew Adam Caldwell
On Sept. 27, 2013 I produced the icon of gay theatre, Robert Patrick, in a brand new, one-man memoir show called "What Doesn't Kill Me...Makes A Great Story Later". It proved to be a very historic evening; not only was it celebrating Mr. Patrick's 76th birthday (our original title for the show was "The Spirit of 76"), but the audience was filled with long-time RP friends, fans, the "newly converted", and several performers from The Caffe Cino, THE historic NY performance venue that became the origin of Off Off Broadway theatre. Robert Patrick has done a great job of archiving much of the Caffe Cino history - one can see his presentation about it here.

Myself alongside 4 Caffe Cino "originals": Gwen Van Damme, Jacque Lynn Colton, Robert Patrick, and Jenny Ventriss
Robert Patrick thrilled the audience, taking them on a 90-minute ride through his humbling experiences of celebrity, with occasional outbursts into song and supported by video clips from various theatrical productions. He transformed the tragic into magic, bringing laughter through his witty remembrances, which hindsight has redefined into a very memorable and informative history.

Robert Patrick was a triumph! (photo by Jason Wittman)
His performance was a revelation to many. Only a theatre professional with the pedigree like Robert Patrick could pull off the amount of memorization, character impersonations, and a cappella singing as he did. Here are a few comments/responses to the show:

"I was expecting a good evening, but this was much more than I anticipated. It was a wonderful evening from a gay pioneer." - Wendell Jones 
"A brilliant evening of theatre. Wonderful to hear of your work through such a talent of story telling. Enjoyed meeting you and every moment of the show." - Robert Babish
"What a fabulous show. I'm so glad to finally get the full story on Robert! It was hilarious, and moving, what a ride!!"-  Ian MacKinnon
"Bravo! The singing, the stories, the celebs, quite the sleigh ride!" - Duane Otis Boyer

Robert watches Shirley Knight perform in his play "Kennedy's Children" for which she won the Tony for Best Actress in a Play (photo by Jason Wittman)
It was a sublime honor to work with Robert in producing this show, and naturally it feels good to have inspired such fantastic, new work from a pioneer of gay theatre. 

PRODUCER'S NOTE (from the program)
Whenever I meet Robert Patrick for coffee or lunch I always leave having been entertained by his stories on a multitude of levels. They usually contain some element of theatrical history, a twist of fate, a dash of wit, a heaping helping of philosophical perspective, a dirty detail or two, and a rotating cast of celebrities thrown in for good measure. 
As a gay performance artist and writer I relish this unique and vibrant connection to the origins of gay theatre and these lunches become extravagant banquets for feeding the mind and spirit leaving me filled with ideas and chuckling amused by his.
It became obvious these memoir stories deserved sharing with an audience. We set a date for the show (which just happened to be his birthday), I left for the summer, I returned and he had a whopper of a story ready to tell as only he can. So now there is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate and go along on his journey with his new piece. One feels there is much more to come! The man is a walking treasure of stories and consummate entertainer, but with a very unique point of view that is singularly Robert Patrick playwright.

Monday, September 16, 2013

BURNING MAN 2013 Cargo Cult: Part 2 Gifts & Dazzling Lights

Framed by Marvin, The Vortexegon - photo by Gregory Frye
Many of my favorite moments and experiences from the week at Burning Man have to do with the acts of gifting, that is one of the main principles of The Burning Man philosophy. It is wonderful to  see it in action everywhere from others and from yourself in a variety of ways, from simple acts of kindness to grand gestures of goodness. It brings a smile to the spirit to be surrounded by that atmosphere, one that seems far too rare at times in the world at large. 

On the first night there, my fellow Sunny Mooners and I spent a lot of our time touring the C.O.R.E. (Circle Of Regional Effigies) art projects on the Playa encircling the main Burning Man sculpture (the man atop the UFO was the centerpiece this year).  A couple members of the Sunny Mooners were members of the Idaho C.O.R.E. and contributed to the building of a sculpture called “Marvin, the Vortexagon” -- which was by far one of my favorite art pieces of the week.  "Marvin" was a marvel, made out of a repeated pattern of geometric squares spiraling programed with a series of LED lights that channeled through it to beautiful effect. The colors and patterns were constantly changing, sometimes displaying solid hues, sometimes shifting into a full spectrum of chasing lights. It was an absolutely stunning achievement - and very exciting to know some of the hard-working creative team behind it.

Video for personal use only - music by (of which I am a member)

Our camp captain, Gregory, designed and built a tower of lights that we set up at our campsite to help define our camp. He brought a bunch of prismatic glasses for people to have fun viewing the lights with. That first night we brought several glasses onto the Playa and our group gazed at Marvin's lights through them, making the experience 10 times more dazzling.

Marvin, The Vortexegon by Idaho CORE
It became clear as we stood in awe of Marvin with the glasses, that we were not the only ones who ought to witness the "augmented" beauty. So we handed out glasses to various spectators and invited them to put them on. The reactions were priceless; big gasps of joy, smiles, laughter, and the continuous passing on of the glasses on to their friends or the next person who stepped up to the sculpture with phrases like “Wow, you have to see this! This is amazing!”  Strangers were united in on the Playa by their enjoyment of art and beauty. It was a terrific way to start the week and tap into the spirit of gifting. We hadn’t planned on any of this, making it all the more wonderful to allow spontaneity some space to manifest. It didn’t take long for us to pass out all the glasses we had on hand that evening, some people took the glasses with them to witness the effects at other light sculptures, some gazed at the sculpture of lights for a few minutes and set the glasses down on Marvin so others could happen upon them.

Rand takes a photo of his fellow Lollipop Guild campers framed by Marvin
At one point an eight-year old girl dressed in pink furry vest and boot covers came up to marvel at Marvin. I asked her if she wanted to try on the glasses. When she put them on, her face lit up as bright as the LED lights and she started giggling with glee. Her guardian mentioned how great that the pink glasses matched her ensemble and I invited her to keep the glasses. A few minutes later I met her parents, who live in Reno and have been to the Burn 5 times previous, but that this was their daughters first. They thanked me for the gift. Later, I saw the girl again at a different location. She was looking at another art piece with her eyes normally, and then placed the glasses on for an enhanced view. The sharing of a gift becomes its own type of gift to yourself and makes you feel good for contributing to another Burners experience.

More gifting stories and Burn experiences to come!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BURNING MAN 2013 Cargo Cult: Part 1 - Virgin No More

These fabulous feet enjoying this year's Burning Man alien/UFO related theme!
At long last, 20 years in the making, I attended my first Burn and am a Burn virgin no more! Now I see what the hoopla is all about.

It truly is a remarkable and hard to describe event, involving among other things, hundreds of official art sculptures and thousands of art occurrences/happenings/events co-created by the over 60,000 people who set up camp for a week in the middle of a harsh, barren, dusty landscape. A magical wild city pops up like Brigadoon for a short period of time, then vanishes leaving no trace behind for the rest of the year. During its brief time it is a non-stop city that pulsates with life 24/7, containing everything from the sacred to the profane. People ride around in decorated bikes and strange art cars spew fire or glow with lights, many of them thumping along to the pulse of a DJ playing music and gathering the masses to follow and dance alongside. Various workshops are held all week long and the main economy for the week is gifting - so once you buy your ticket in (and bring along everything you need to survive a week) then everything you experience is free.

The week culminates in the burning of some of the sculptures from Thursday through Sunday night, reminding us all about the ephemeral nature of our lives. For me, watching sculptures burn is both a heart-wrenching and breath-taking experience. More on this aspect in another blog.

Feeling the smile of a first Burn
I still find it hard to believe I have known about Burning Man since 1993, when I did some research about the origins of rave culture and alternative art scenes for a speech & rhetoric class presentation. Incidentally according to my research, some of it comes from the legacy of good ol' Woodstock and Woodstock like events in Great Britain - where traveling bands of a music and arts scene would just  take over a meadow or farm pasture and camp out doing performances until they were kicked off the land - eventually making their way to into abandoned warehouses or applying for venues.

As a performance artist in Los Angeles, I have hovered around some of the Burner culture and friends who go for years, but never found the right moment for actually attending. I appreciated the Burn from afar, knowing that in some way my life was filled with similar experiences, but without really knowing what a true Burning Man experience was. All that changed when some new friends encouraged me persistently to attend. My Labor Day was uncharacteristically open, so I figured the time had come at long last to dive in. It was both what I expected and beyond what I expected. One cannot truly grasp the full scope of the event until they are there. I took to it fairly easily, as the spirit and aspects of it are all familiar terrain for me, but I still found myself in awe by its staggering and beautiful magnitude.

The Sunny Mooners camp tower and sign at sunset - designed by Gregory Frye
I attended with a new theme camp group called The Sunny Mooners. I wanted to create something for each member of our 10 person group, but knew I didn't have a ton of time, so decided that making some camp themed bandanas would be great, as I heard they were essential garb to have handy for the heat and dust. Winds frequently kick up the dust and a mask and goggles are needed in such times. While in Iowa over the summer, I bought some material from my aunt's quilt shop in the small town where I grew up (the beautiful Inspirations Quilts). I found two different batik fabrics, one that looked like abstract suns and one abstract moons. I sewed the two lovely fabrics together using four different colors of thread, did some trim work, and viola - we had our Sunny Mooner bandanas! I loved seeing the various members proudly wearing their swag out on the Playa (the desert stretch of land where the art sculptures are), and it felt good to immediately be part of the gifting spirit of Burning Man - which happens to be the theme of another blog...

Passing out the stack of bandanas
Batik fabrics suggesting our theme camp

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

XCountry Adventure: Kansas & Oklahoma Haunts

Fabulous feets at the cross roads

A few more pictures from my drive across country from Iowa to Los Angeles. This part of the drive was through Kansas and Oklahoma, which included some rather fascinating abandoned areas. The gloomy rain clouds also contributed to the desolate atmosphere. I find a kind of haunted, yet serene beauty in places like these. Click on image to see it full size. Enjoy! 


Snowflake is a wonderful xcountry travel companion!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

XCountry Adventure: The Pollinator Prairies of Madison County

Fabulous Feet enjoying the prairie
Enjoy these photos from an hour spent among the prairie around the Roseman Bridge of Madison County, Iowa. While on my drive from Iowa City to Los Angeles, I stopped here in search of a very special locally made type of honey I had purchased from the gift shop the year before. Alas, the store was closed, but I enjoyed engaging with the various pollinators surrounding the area instead. The sight of around a dozen different giant yellow swallowtail butterflies among the prairie sunflowers was inspiring.

Roseman Bridge (where "Meryl and Clint" fell in love)

Can you spot the two butterflies bookending the pic?

Down by the riverbank, some tiny Eastern Tailed Blues gather together for suckling the moisture
You can see the flash of blue on top their wings.

Underside of a Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly with wings open

A popular thing for visitors is to sign their name on the bridge, as this German tourist is doing.

A scene from another era