Art Drop-Off 4/2/20

Really really early on April 2 my husband and I took a nice wandering walk from our house into Glenside, PA, about 1.5 miles away, and through the business district before we headed back home. Nice long walk, about 5 miles in total.

I left a tile from the recent tile project in town. This one:

Clay Bird Tile 9 3-20 4x4009

I set him in a planter along Easton Road, the main thoroughfare, nestled among the flowers. You can look at him in place and enjoy him, or you can take him with you.

Glenside is an area of small shops and businesses. Pretty much every place had a notice on its door explaining its closure. It’s very hard to see these notices. I feel that each one is hiding despair and the desire to cry behind a stoic face, with their wordings that express the unfathomable in dry and plain talk, beginning, “by order of the Governor”, or, “In order to safeguard public health…”, or similar phrases. It hurts.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (7)

I have never seen Easton Road with zero traffic. It has a stream of cars traveling along it any time day or night. Not this morning, when in usual times it would be seeing a pick-up in work traffic. This morning I stood in the street to take these photos.

We walked down the street toward the railroad overpass. Wait a minute. Look at that!

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (8)

What is it?

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (10)

Here’s what. A collaborative art project – college, municipality, transportation authority.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (11)

I’ve seen it in the daytime but since I don’t go this way at nigh, I have never seen it lit up. In fact I had no idea. Wow! It’s just beautiful.

Even this guy at the karate studio down the street thought so. He couldn’t stop staring at it.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (9)

All right. That’s helped me today. Thank you, art, once again, for stepping in. You made a difference to this one person today.

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.


Art Drop Off – April 1, 2020

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.

Here is the second tile dropped off from this group:

Clay Head Tile 3 3-20 4x4001

Since it was such a beautiful day, I took a walk from my house to Curtis Arboretum, about a mile or so from home. This location is another township park, formed from the grounds of a former residence, like Robinson Park yesterday . This residence, however, was in a whole other league: the owner was the founder of Curtis Publishing (Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, etc.) The estate was called Lyndon; the house has been demolished and only the ballroom remains, along with 45 acres of gently rolling land planted with specimen trees.

First I’ll show you the drop-off site. I set the tile on the exit gate stone pillar. It’s facing the road, so if you drive by you will see it. Stop quick (there is not much traffic on Greenwood Avenue right now) and get out of your car and grab it if you want it; otherwise just give a wave.


I walked into the park. Since I’m not a car, I can go in the exit. I headed toward the building. It’s now rented by a catering company who made improvements, with township input and cooperation, to the building and grounds. The features were all part of the estate’s structures.

And here is a view of the park.


I turned and walked up to the front of the building. Fun fact: this is where I vote. So I get to see the beautiful interior of this building a couple times a year.

Odd-looking little place, isn’t it? Take note of its features. I found a photo from about 1925 that showed the estate (when the house still existed).

If you look at the image (I’m not showing it because I’m not sure about copyright, but you can find it here, courtesy of Hagley Digital Archives, Hagley  Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE) you’ll see what I describe next.

In the photo, the mansion is the big structure in the lower left. Looking at the building, you can see the ballroom attached to the left side of the building. I got so excited at seeing this photo and pinpointing the features of the house – I had never seen the ballroom as it was meant to be.

All right. Moving along, I left the park and continued my walk.

I’ve written some posts related to Curtis, Curtis Arboretum, and the Curtis Building in Philadelphia (home of the stupendous mosaic Dream Garden, colored glass designed by Maxfield Parrish and executed by Tiffany). Take a look:

Curtis Buildinglook here

Curtis Arboretum and the Sunshine Projectlook here




Art Drop Off – March 31, 2020

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.


All right, here is my first drop-off.  This tile was the subject.

Clay Bird Tile 12 3-20 4x4008

I took a walk from my house down the hills into my former neighborhood, which is only about a mile away. We lived here from 1992-2003, and then we moved to our current location. As you may imagine, the old neighborhood is still very familiar to me, being so close. I decided to set the tile on the stone wall surrounding a park:

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (2)

I placed it so that it is visible and if anyone wants to take it, they can, but it can also be enjoyed as it is, if a passerby would rather not pick it up. I want to be cognizant of people’s feelings these days.

Let me tell you a little about this area. This section of Cheltenham Township, Old Wyncote, was built up about about 130+/- years ago. It surrounds a commuter rail station that in the past would have been a quick link to the city of Philadelphia when other transportation was slow or uncertain. Therefore, this area, like a lot of my township, was originally a place for wealthy people to build large estates for a country place, or for affluent people to have a summer home out of the city. The houses are large and many are elaborately decorated with patterned shingles and lots of porches.

This park, Robinson Park, is the remnant of one of those estates. It’s low-lying and for water runoff issues was saved from development in the 1990’s, becoming a small park instead. The house the land belonged to is right behind it (reddish-roofed house).

The park has a pond (what we would call a runoff basin these days) and in warm weather a fountain sprays.

There is a small community garden:

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (6)

but otherwise it’s just a peaceful place.

The stone walls are from the estate days and, like much of the area, are protected under historic preservation laws. Our house in this neighborhood, which was located up the hill off to the left of the scenes I have showed you, was one of these houses. The exterior of the homes cannot be altered without permission (except for paint). When we moved here these homes were not desirable and many were in bad condition. Since then, things have changed, and the houses are getting cared for.

The stone walls, as I was saying, are extensive.

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (3)

In this view I am looking up the street. The house in the picture marks the end of the park. In this next view, I have walked up to that point and am looking back.

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (5)

It may interest you to know that Greenwood Avenue, running alongside the wall, is normally a busy street – cars come one after another all day long. On this day I was able to walk in the street, only occasionally stepping up on the sidewalk as a car came along. It is not an experience I have had before.

Anyway, the tile is at Greenwood and Bent Roads, facing uphill. If you are in the neighborhood, say hello!

Art Drop-Off 3/30/20

And how do you know? Just look at the sign! I left these two tiles in front of the sign for the high school across the street, yesterday morning about 6 AM.

Art Drop-Off 3/27/29

We had a beautiful day on Friday, March 27. I was busy with projects but in the afternoon went out for a walk. I chose my familiar neighborhood route, circling the athletic fields of our local high school right across the street. Each loop is 1/2 mile, so it’s a nice stretch.

Here’s the front of the school:


And there is my house, over there.


I took along a tile to join the one set out previously on a bench.


Here they are together:


After a couple of loops I turned and went along the parking lot. A gingko tree had been cut down recently. Here is its stump:

The sap glistening in the sun caught my eye. I prodded it gently – it has resistance, but is still sticky. Not quite amber yet. I smelled it, wondering if it had that gingko odor (why I thought it might, I don’t know) but no. It smelled like pine.

I did a circle, observing a couple of student drivers…the high school, with its array of parking lots and drives, is a time-honored location for local teenagers learning to drive. You know them when you see them – the sometimes lurching stops, the hesitant turns, the young person with a death grip on the steering wheel, the older adult in the passenger seat sitting at attention…stay clear of these vehicles if you are walking!

I then went a few laps around the lacrosse/softball fields. The little flowers scattered across the grass attracted me to take a closer look:

I need my friend Diane to classify these little guys for me. I wish she were here and we could maybe do it together. There are plenty of these little clumps, we could easily stay 6 feet apart and yet be here out in the sunshine chatting.

After all of this wandering, I went home and set up my lounge chair in the back yard. It was cool in the shade but I got a light blanket and a book and I was all set.


Art Drop-Off at Sunrise

A couple of days ago my husband and I were out for a pre-dawn walk. We didn’t go far, just circling the athletic fields in front of the high school across the street. You can get in plenty of miles without going far from home – it’s a half-mile circuit. Here is our house, way across the softball fields, from the high school side of things:

Art drop off 3-25-20 (5)004


Anyway, we left a tile on a bench at the school. I took these photos after a couple more circuits, giving the sun some time to make its appearance:

As the sun came up, the apartment buildings across the highway warmed up, too.

Art drop off 3-25-20 (7)005

Art Drop-Off 3-19-20

On March 19 my husband and I walked the newer section of the Pennypack rail trail and left this tile hanging on a tree:

We also spotted a little owl figure set on a rock, and we hung him on a branch too.

It’s interesting about this little guy. Someone makes these and leaves them around the park, as I have done with my own art. Here is another one from some time back, and read here if you want to know how I encountered it:

Pennypack Eco Rest. Tr 6-19 (3)


Art Drop-Off 3-18-20

On March 18 my husband and I got out to the Pennypack rail trail early for a walk. I have decided to try to stay with 5 miles per day as long as the weather permits.

3-18-20 art drop off (2)

I left a little container with a tag in it in one of the train control boxes along the route.

Here is what my message said.

A Triangle of Art Drop-Offs – March 14, 2020

My husband and I took a walk this morning in Norristown Farm Park. It’s a location you have seen before. We have done a lot of miles on the roads in the park, not to mention some orienteering events.

Our county is on shutdown for the coronavirus. The park is closed, as far as gatherings and the facilities, but the roads are open for walking, biking, running, etc. It was a beautiful day and we chose this location for the sense of isolation and peace it has, even though it’s in the middle of a busy suburban area.

All right, let’s get going. Our object was to walk, enjoy the weather, and drop off three tiles remaining from the set I mentioned a week or so ago. Here is the original group of nine:

Tile Wall Hanging 2-20001

Six were left in the Fort Washington State Park last week. So we intended to put these out in this park and finish things off.

We parked by the East Norriton park area which includes the bocce courts and started into the county park. You may remember this park is the former farm for the adjacent state mental hospital. In the past, it was thought therapeutic for patients to work if they were able, and the farm produced the food and other supplies for the hospital for decades. The fields are still rented out and you can see remnants of last year’s crops ready to be plowed under for planting.

These scenes are near the dairy barn in the middle of the park.

We swung along road toward the creek and left this tile at a culvert bridge. (Notice I took my own advice from last week and put strings on the tiles to hang them with.) The tile’s location is pointed out by the black arrow.

We continued on the road. There is a short section that’s on the mental hospital grounds, near the powerhouse. We walked out on to the bridge and looked back at the building.

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (5)

Now, turn around and walk over the bridge. We left the second tile hanging on the log barrier. (Sorry, I forgot to put an arrow on the photo, but it is in the middle of the barrier.)

We moved on. The road winds around, crosses railroad tracks, and there is a split at which we took the lower branch so as to walk around another quiet cornfield. It took us past this house, one of several on the grounds remaining from its past life:

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (4)

and along to the bottom of Norris City Cemetery (if you are interested, we made a leisurely visit to this cemetery about 2 1/2 years ago. If you’d like to know what a white bronze grave marker is, for instance, you will find out in the post. And a view of the bocce courts nearby is also part of it.)

Norristown Farm Park drop off 3-14-20 (3)

We turned to go up the hill and placed the third tile on a tree branch to the right of the road. (This time I did include a black arrow to show you.)

Now the tiles are all gone. Thank you for coming along with us today.

A Circle of Art Drop-Offs

A few weeks ago in my studio clay class, our assignment was to make ceramic wall art, some kind of installation or piece that could be hung on a wall. I made a couple of things – a set of glazed tubes and a set of glazed tiles.  I made the tile set because I was not sure the tube idea, my first choice, would work out.

Well, it did turn out well, so the tiles were extraneous to my purposes. Actually, both sets of objects are kind of…extras. I really don’t need anything more for my walls and so I kind of had other ideas for both arrays of objects when I was making them.

I wanted to put them outdoors as art drop-offs. And that is what I am in the process of doing! Today was the first step.

Let me back up and explain a little more. Here is the array of tiles I made.

Tile Wall Hanging 2-20001

You see that they have holes in them – one in each corner. My idea was that if I had turned them into a wall piece, I would attach them to each other with wire, in some configuration.

I thought about doing it, but I decided I just didn’t want to put the time into it. The project’s excitement quotient for me was middling. I’d rather be doing something else.

So…on March 8 my husband and I took 6 of the tiles to the Fort Washington State Park and left them in various locations. We followed the 5K cross country route, walking it. Here we go.


We parked at the bird observation stand and walked down the hill, turning on to the trail running along the perimeter of the park. As you can see, it was a beautiful day, sunny and mild.


We left the first tile on the hay bale that protects sledders from crashing into it…


they come down this hill when there is snow. This winter, though, there has been NONE, and so this lone hay bale is all that has been needed. Usually the park puts out a multi-bale barricade.

FW SP 3-20 Tile 1 (2)


Next stop – this birdhouse. The little sign says it is an Eagle Scout’s project. We participated by leaving a tile. If you are looking for it, it is at birdhouse 29…


The third tile ended up on this picnic table. If you are wondering where to look for it, it is near the knobbly-trunk tree.


We continued on. The ground has gradually been rising but now we are getting ready to ascend to the upper level of the park via a steeper trail. We left the fourth tile hanging on a branch at the entrance to the trail. It had occurred to me that maybe it would have been nice to attach loops to the tiles so that they could be hung on tree branches, but I didn’t get around to it. I think I will try it for the ones I have remaining from the set. I like how the tile looks on the tree.

The upper level of the park is devoted to group camping – Boy Scouts and other organizations use the area and there are several campsites.We left the fifth tile on a picnic table in one of the campsites, alongside a random object that had already taken a spot there:

From there we continued back to our starting point and began the last leg of the trip. The 5K course repeats some of the ground we have covered – remember this section?

FW State Park 3-20 tile 1 (5)

and then the course takes a sharp right turn across the park, with a steep uphill climb following the power lines. This hill is a challenge to climb. By the end of the summer I will be able to run it again, but today…we walked. At the top we stopped and looked back down the hill (and I am telling you, photos do not convey the steepness…)

FWSP 3-20 tile 6 (1)

Anyway, we left a tile on a branch near the top of the hill.

Recovered from our climb, we decided to run back to the car. It was downhill all the way, why not?

Remember, there are three tiles left from the set. I will find a home for them soon.

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