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 3/27/29

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.


A Quick Drop-Off at Montco 1/10/20

I was at Montco today for Poetry Marathon and I thought I’d leave a tile in the outdoors there.

School is still not in session yet but you never know who might happen by. I decided I’d set it on this concrete barrier near the parking on the walkway into the quad.

The tile is small but bright:

Here it is in place.

I set it out in the morning. It was still there when I left for the day. I’ll check next week. The tile I left last week in the vestibule:

is not there this week! Fantastic!

Art Drop-Off 1/3/20

Here is the first art drop-off of 2020! I left this small clay quarter-circle face tile at Montco (Montgomery County Community College) in the vestibule of College Hall, where I was in the library today for Poetry Marathon.

It’s been a little time since a drop-off took place, though I’ve been carrying this fellow around in my purse for some time. Let’s blame the end of year and its rush of routine changes.

Anyway, here we go.

Here is College Hall and the vestibule I refer to is the glass projection at the front of the building.


PO 1-3-20 (2)


I set the tile on the ledge of this planter/bench:


drop off 1-3-20 (2)


It’s located to the right as you go in the vestibule:


drop off 1-3-20 (1)


on the front side of the structure.


drop off 1-3-20 (3)


If you hurry you may be able to grab it!



Art Drop-Off 9/9/19

I left this tile along the Pennypack Rail Trail, in what we old-timers along the trail call the “new section” (it’s only been open 4 years or so as opposed to 7 or so for the “old” section). It’s a more wooded environment and most of it runs very close to the creek. There are several cuts through the rock that the trail passes through.

Art Drop off 9-9 (2)2

I set the tile in a ledge I’ve used before. It’s a little higher than my head. You can see the tile in place on the right.

Art Drop off 9-9 (1)1

I made quite a few face tiles like these and sold all but two. I’ve decided to let these be giveaway art. I like making them, and I like the look of them out here in this environment – I’ve gotten the idea to make more specifically for this location. A good winter plan!


A Little Figurine and a Tile and Poison Ivy

A couple of recent art drop offs to show you. First one – this tiny figurine.

Art drop off 8-28-19 (3)

On August 28, I set him on a bench in Lorimer Park along one of the trails in the interior of the park. Oh look, my foot wants some attention too, I guess.

Art drop off 8-28-19 (2)

As an explanation, the Pennypack rail trail runs alongside Lorimer Park – in the park, there is a network of rougher trails, very hilly, and then of course the picnic area and ranger station. This location is along the Pennypack Creek with the rail trail behind and high above it. The little guy is on the right-hand bench.

Art drop off 8-28-19 (4)

Here you can see the bench and then how the trail moves on beyond it. I like this section of the park. It’s harder going with rough footing and hilly, as I said, but it’s set down in the valley right here and very quiet with the sound of the creek and the birds being the accompaniment to the crunch of my feet on the gravel.

This morning, September 3, I went out early and walked along the rail trail from the parking lot at Welsh Road, some distance from the location I just mentioned. The trail does offer so many routes, and if you include Lorimer Park and the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust preserve, you have miles and miles to indulge yourself in. But I digress.

I recently went through my assortment of tiles and pulled out some to leave out in the world. Some art I make specifically for art drop-offs and some of it is drawn from my inventory. No plan or idea as to how I choose what to leave – I just take a look at what is there and what might be appealing. So you will be seeing more tiles in the next few drop offs, I think.

Anyway, I left this one along a tiny ledge in one of the cuts in the rock (remember, this was a train line, so to keep a steady grade, there are quite a few cuts through hills along here).


Here it is in place and in the context of the trail (in the first picture the tile is the yellow blob in the center – in the second, the location of the tile is marked with the arrow).

And here is a picture of my sworn enemy, poison ivy. It’s growing on this tree by the parking lot. No tree hugging here, please.


Art Drop-Off at the Beaver Pond 6/21/19

I took a walk in the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust and found myself once again at the lake the beavers created there. It was a gray morning after several days of rain – lots of sloshing through the mud kind of environment. Here is the current view of the pond:

The pond drains across Creek Road (which is really a broken pavement trail right here) and into the Pennypack Creek, creating a little stream. Did you know that tadpoles are living in this shallow water? Yes, they are, and I have been watching them get bigger.

Have you ever wondered what the tadpole thinks as it morphs into frog? How would it feel to be one thing changing into another? I would like to ask a butterfly, I guess, as to what its memories are, and then compare them to a frog’s thoughts on the matter.

Anyway, here is where it is all happening.

I had two items to leave today. One is this little figurine.

I noticed this sign:


Here’s what’s hanging from it.

I was so excited. Another art drop-off already here! I decided to let the figurine join in.

I walked around the corner for another view of the lake.

I set this tile on a bench. I thought it was very suitable for the site. I made this tile by pressing the cut end of a stick into the clay and emphasizing the striations with an underglaze wash. Notice the mark where the branch had a split in it.

Here the tile is in place, there on the right end of the bench.

I went on my way. I’ll be back another day to visit.

Art Drop-off May 29, 2019

Today I ran along the Pennypack Trail, above the Bryn Athyn post office, and left a cat tile along the way:

This area of the trail has a sad history. It’s the site of a train crash in December, 1921, where, due to heavy snow and miscommunication, two trains collided head on at this curve between two rock outcroppings. The wooden coaches burned and twenty-seven people were killed and many others injured. The wreck made the national news (look here for the contemporaneous NY times article) and as a result wooden train coaches were outlawed.

There is a small monument just out of sight around the rock outcropping (in my photo, at the top of the picture).

I did some searching for photos (look under Bryn Athyn train crash). Many of the sights look very similar today, almost 100 years later. This peaceful recreation trail takes on more meaning, thinking about the accident.

Pennypack art drop off 5-29-19 (4)

All right. I continued on my exercise, went up the trail to the end, came back, and on this return trip crossed at the upper bridge to the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust side of things. I wanted to check on the beavers!

Well, I saw no beavers in person but once again, I marveled at their work. I love looking at this lake they have created.

I went on my way, reflecting on the flow of time and how events, people, and animals all leave their marks, layers added every day.

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