Day 44: Two.Eighteen.13

It was a day full of packing. Or, rather, staring at boxes and willing them to pack themselves. (Unsuccessful, I might add.) So incredibly unfun. The older I get, the less fun packing and moving becomes. I used to actually LIKE doing this stuff.

But this particular task does indeed require creativity. Yes! It’s true. Packing can be an art form if you want to be efficient and not wasteful. For instance: How to pack boxes so they are not too heavy but filled completely as to not wast space. Or: How to get your lawn flamingo to cohabitate with your owl desk lamp…

This particular creative task will most likely extend into the next several weeks. I will try to spare you from lengthy rants about how much I despise the sight of cardboard in future posts.

On a more upbeat note, I leave you with this. On this President’s Day, I give you a Love Song, Kid President style. Sharing LoVe is what it’s all about, after all.

Here’s to another day of creativity…


Day 43: Two.Seventeen.13

One of my favorite things to do in Philadelphia is go discover more incredible details at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Whenever I have friends in town, I make sure we head to this incredible world filled with mosaic and found-object art. This is upcycling at its best. And it’s always a special treat when Isaiah is on-site working or speaking to guests. Just so much talent and creativity and beauty surrounds you, literally from floor to ceiling, when you are in this magical, magical place.

Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens – “Art is the center of the real world”

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 42: Two.Sixteen.13

Today was my moving party. Well, more accurately my going away party. I love entertaining – mostly the decor and ambiance side of things. I also did the cooking (it was all edible, hooray)! Event planning is a career track I could see myself enjoying. If I didn’t have this innate need to do something philanthropic that is. Although, I suppose the event and party planning I do through my non-profit career, as well as my own organization totally fits the bill for creating parties for good.

Moving Party

Moving Party

At this particular party, I set up a Kraft Korner – a ton of random crafting goods I have accumulated, that I didn’t want to pack and take with me. I was expecting a few friends to indulge me and decorate a candle holder or something. I had NO idea the ENTIRE crew would get into it and create some of the coolest pieces of re-purposed art around! (mobile, framed drawing and collage, bouquets of flowers…) Instead of getting rid of things, I now have even more to pack because they all left their amazing pieces for me, sigh!

Kraft Korner Delights!

Kraft Korner Delights!

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 41: Two.Fifteen.13

For the past three years, my job has been to assist 8th graders in a charter school apply to ‘college prep’ high schools in and around Philadelphia. We try to ensure that they go on to charter, magnet, parochial, or independent schools. The process in Philadelphia, as in most urban areas, is twisted and backwards and designed to have families and students fail every step of the way. The schools we help them apply to are competitive, and so we do our best to instill in them how important their 7th and 8th grade years are for their entire futures. While I find fault with so much of the educational system, (I’m not going to go into that rant here) the message we try to convey to students is a universal one – BE KIND. BE A GOOD PERSON. That is MORE important than acing all tests and getting honors.

Today, in anticipation of me leaving, I met with the entire 7th grade class as they begin to embark on the high school application process journey. I wrote the following poem for the first class I worked with. I found it again recently as I was sorting through files, and it felt fitting to end with it, too.

I want to share a story about a boy named Billy

He spent all his time in class goofing off, acting silly


He knew all the answers when he put his mind to it

But instead of working hard he, well, he blew it


He kept his friends laughing, talked back when redirected

And although his class chuckled, they never seemed to be corrected


Because they knew the importance of having fun at the right time

And took school seriously – hard work is no crime


They studied, participated in discussions, went on trips, got rewards

They kept telling him – Billy, you can do the same, get all the benefits good behavior affords!


His teachers kept telling him he could be the best

If only he listened more in class, and studied for tests


But he didn’t pay any mind, kept thinking he was so cool

What he didn’t realize was, being really cool, meant doing well in school


When it came to 8th grade, his high school options were slim

If only he had chosen a PATH more like his friend Jim


Who was off to shadow days at private schools like William Penn Charter

He knew he could have done it, why hadn’t he tried harder?


This is a cautionary tale of a year gone wrong

Don’t let this be you – you’re way too strong


7th grade is an important year so don’t be a fool

Your grades, attendance, behavior, all decide your future school


Your teachers, administrators and families know you can do it

So this it the time, Young Scholars, to put your minds to it


You know what you must do

(act right, work hard, stay focused)

To show us, show your families – most importantly show YOU


That you are a leader, a scholar, a star

That you have big things ahead of you – that you can go far


I’m telling you, each and every one of you

You can do it, please believe me, I know it’s true!


Now is the time to focus, next year is too late

Work hard now, and you, too, can be great!

Here’s to another day of creativity…


Day 40: Two.Fourteen.13

I have to admit, Valentine’s Day came and went this year without much fanfare. I almost forgot, even. (But remembered enough to wear my pink pants to work.)

While I don’t buy into the candy-filled monstrosity Valentine’s Day is, the idea of sending love is one I can wholeheartedly get behind. Especially when it’s done in an artistic way.

Inspired by Love, Us founder, Ms. Wise’s bad-ass tattoo (the one on her arm, wait till about minute 3:08 in this video – but make sure to peep the rest of the message, too) I decided to rearrange some letters of my own, to make a Valentine’s Day message for you. Much less evolved, but heARTfelt all the same:


Happy heARTs Day

Happy heARTs Day

no tears, just

hear this. i

heart you.

ART. saves.


Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 39: Two.Thirteen.13

I have a jumble of things I have accumulated in my apartment – handy at one time or another – that I no longer wish to drag with me from one place to the next.

Throw them into a landfill you say? No way, not me.

So. In advance of my going away party this weekend, I have assembled them strategically in the alcove where my tv is supposed to sit. (The tv is part of the collection I am parting with.) Tonight I made a sign, out of materials I had lying around, that reads, “Take Me Home Tonight.” My hope is that the combination of my clever (hehe) Valentine’s Day-themed craft project, coupled with copious amounts of yummy drinks we will be serving up will have people taking pity on me, and then taking home my no-longer-needed goods.

Take Me Home Tonight Craftiness

Take Me Home Tonight Craftiness

That’s right Mother Earth, I’m looking out for YOU.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 38: Two.Twelve.13

Today was just an insanely glorious day. Not because it was more so than a bright, spring day in June or a crisp, autumn day in October. But because it was an unexpected, any-old-kinda-day in February. Sandwiched between dreary and glum, this one turned out to be one for the books.

Had it been a different kind of weather out – not the kind where I welcomed the fresh air and sunshine in through my open car windows – it probably would have been an altogether different kind of mood day, too.

But because the sky shone so bright blue, the sun kissed my cheeks ever so softly, and the winter chill lifted long enough for us to remember what warm could feel like, everything happening throughout the day was brighter, too.

Thank goodness for the little, unexpected delights this natural world gives to us. If we stop to take them in.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 37: Two.Eleven.13

The Virgo Viral Dilemma. Part 1

I’m pretty good at planning events. If I do say so myself. But I always feel like it’s pulling teeth to get people on board. When they get there it’s good times through and through. So why all the agony leading up to it?

I’ve read The Tipping Point. And Unleashing the Ideavirus. I’m pretty savvy when it comes to social media. I mean, at least, I can hold my own. So how come it seems like those other people are always getting hundreds and thousands of people to RSVP and show up to their events? And I’m not talking celebs here. Cause I get THAT draw. But like, other creative people with similarly awesome stuff happening. Why come that isn’t me?

And then it hit me: This Virgo thing is getting in my way. AGAIN. Three reasons why I have decided Virgos and Viral campaigns don’t mix*:

  1. Letting something go viral means you have to do just that – let go. And Virgos are the most complete control freaks I know. Letting someone ELSE post a comment on a facebook event page I created? That has a typo in it? I shudder to think.
  2. Virgos are passionate and detail-oriented. And did I mention, passionate and detail-oriented? I would NEVER think of planning, creating, or endorsing something that wasn’t going to be freaking awesome. It just doesn’t occur to me that other people don’t get that. Like, I have to give you more than an excited, jumping up and down, “This is gonna be awesome!” for you to believe it?!
  3. Then there’s the whole patience thing. I’m not actually sure if that’s a Virgo trait or not (or lack thereof) but I do know I, specifically, have none. So when I post an event, and then send a follow-up message, WHY HAVEN’T YOU RESPONDED ALREADY?!?!?!

How to overcome the Virgo Viral Dilemma? That’s Part 2. (And I dunno when that’s going to be making its appearance, so I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath.)

*disclaimer – I realize I’m completely overgeneralizing about Virgos in this post. But whether you buy into all the sign stuff or not, there’s no denying that THIS Virgo at least, has the above characteristics.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 36: Two.Ten.13

No Sympathy Needed


It’s a thin line, the one between being alone and feeling alone.

And I have lost it.


The line I mean.

Surely I am not alone. Far from it, in fact.

This self-imposed loneliness.

Makes it hard to see it.


The line I mean.

This is no cry for Ben & Jerry’s or flowers or sympathy. Far from it, in fact.

Merely a reminder that the thing we want most ain’t always right.


Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 35: Two.Nine.13

Arguably, today was perhaps not the best day to go on a walk along the water. (I am convinced anyone running today is of a different species.) But I had a bit of free time, felt the need to be outdoors doing something at least slightly active, and as we learned in Day 30, Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are two of the places I will miss, but don’t get to enough. So why not.

Even though the wind was stinging my face like crazy, it was bright and sunshine-y and all in all lovely. Here are a few of the photos I collected while out and about.

origami crane along Boathouse Row, Phila

origami crane along Boathouse Row, Phila

snowy steps to the river

snowy steps to the river

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Phila Museum of Art Sculpture Garden

Phila Museum of Art Sculpture Garden

Here’s to another day of creativity…