Summing Up Summer

Maybe it's because I have been a teacher (or a student) for so many years, but Labour Day weekend always seems to signal the end of summer, even though technically there are still three weeks left! It is a time of transition and new beginnings. It often feels more like the "new year" than January 1st does. It's been quiet on the blogging front for a while, so I thought I would squeeze in a blog about our summer just hours before the Labour Day weekend is officially here!

We enjoyed July and August with a few special events like the garden wedding of my brother Paul, to Jane, in July just outside of Ottawa.

It was a beautiful event and we enjoyed meeting Jane's family and friends as well as spending a few days at a picturesque resort with Paul, Jane, my nieces Emily and Meredith, Meredith's husband Daniel, and their cute kids, Eli and Hazel. Eli, age three, was always entertaining, and sweet Hazel, six weeks old, was a delight to cuddle and hold.

We enjoyed hosting friends in our garden...

and a getaway to the cottage....

We've also been working hard "behind the scenes" in the studio this summer. It was definitely time to purge, clean, and re-organize the studio. You know, face the facts that if we hadn't figured out how to use that special little "doodad" we found or created six years ago, that it was probably time to let it go! It was a goal to actually create a system to put similar things together and label them instead of squirreling them away in a myriad of little boxes and containers. Although the process was time-consuming, what a sense of accomplishment to now be able to quickly find whatever we need for any given project. O.K...there are still gremlins in the studio that hide things on us...but not nearly as often!!!

Another big project undertaken this summer was figuring out how stay cool in the creative zone! With record breaking temperatures this summer, we knew we needed to do something to make the studio a functional and comfortable space. The studio has always baked in the hot summer afternoons with west facing skylights and windows. We finally got blinds for the skylights, (a step up from the aluminum foil I taped up there) and a roller blind for the west facing "tree" door. We love the way the tree is still silhouetted through the blind while shielding the studio from the afternoon sun.

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to get air conditioning into the studio. Angie saved the day by watching a YouTube video on how to take out a casement window, and succeeded in taking it out! The two of us were then able to install a beautiful little air conditioner in the end window. What a sense of accomplishment (and relief) when we could welcome summer workshop participants to a cool studio and could spend afternoons ourselves creating in comfort.

So now that we have an organized (mostly) and cool studio, we have retreated into the creative zone to get ready for our fall events! We have been having fun experimenting with some new materials and can hardly wait to show you our creations. We'll be spending much of September getting ready for the 24th annual Mary Allen Studio Tour which will feature 29 Waterloo artists this year. It takes place on Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th.
We'll fill you in on all the details and give you a sneak preview of some of our creations in the coming weeks. In the meantime, embrace and enjoy the last long week-end of the summer!