Weekend Fun

This weekend (August 18-19) is the Collingswood Crafts & Fine Art Festival, and I am super delighted (can you be super delighted? I think so!) to have been selected to be one of this year's participants. It's my first juried show, and I. Am. Stoked.

 You'll find me in Booth #6, down near Powell Street (and the Devil's Creek Brewery)!

You'll find me in Booth #6, down near Powell Street (and the Devil's Creek Brewery)!

I will be taking along a bunch of work at different price points, including some new pieces: Martha's Garden (30x40), Janet's Light (16x20), A Rose by Any Other (24x30) and Muriel's Garden (24" square). All four of the pieces are super high vibe florals:

I will also be bringing some of my more spiritual work, including a set of seven chakra lotuses mounted on a wooden plank, four 12"-square Buddhas, some framed goddess pieces, plus a large Buddha head and large Winged Goddess. Plus, of course, art tambourines and original collage  pieces and greeting cards and even some bookmarks that are original art on heavy watercolor paper. Below are the five Buddha pieces I'll be bringing - the first four are 12" square ($150 each), and the last one is 24" square ($900).

I sure hope the weather holds - it looks to be super nice and not too too hot - and that lots of folks roll out for the event! If you are in the area, please stop by!

Coming soon: COLLINGSWOOD

I am so excited to have been selected as one of the participants in the Collingswood Crafts and Fine Art Festival on Saturday, August 18th, and Sunday, August 19th.

2018Postcard copy.jpg

At this precise moment, it still feels a bit surreal, since life in July threw a lot of curve balls, from the death of my wonderful Aunt Janet to my dad being hospitalized for an emergency gastric bleed and finding out he has esophageal cancer. We still don't have a prognosis (though we will get one tomorrow), and I'm still not home. But knowing that this particular light is out there, whether it's at the end of this tunnel or it's more like the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel, which alternates tunnel and surface a few times, is making things a bit more bearable. 

I'm planning on bringing along art tambourines, large canvases, smaller pieces, greeting cards, and bookmarks made from original art. 

Seven ways to clear and raise your own energy

In mid-June, just ahead of solstice, I shared a post with 5 ways to clear the energy in your home. Happy energy inside your home (or your workspace) is definitely a good thing, and helps to support positive energy for you and anyone else who lives, works, or visit there. But there are times when we all get bogged down. Maybe we are tired and hangry; maybe we've had one thing after another go wrong, or nothing is going our way; maybe we've been hanging out with people who drag us down.

I mean, all of that happens. And sometimes more than one of those things happens at once. It's easy when that occurs to lose a bit of our shine, and even to allow ourselves to wallow. After all, what can we do to change it?

Well, I'm glad I asked. Because I have some thoughts on this one. 

 Love, Breath, Air

Love, Breath, Air

First, do what you can to release any negative energy that may have attached to you (or been pushed on you) by other people or the general state of the world. Then, do what you can to raise your vibration (your own personal energy vibration) and get yourself into a better frame of mind. Here are some specific actions you can take to clear, raise, and protect your own energy levels

Salt baths: 

You could choose to literally wash away and neutralize negative energy by taking a salt bath: add two cups of Epsom salts to a warm-to-hot bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. Sea salt also works, and some folks swear by a combination of Epsom and sea salts; others add one quarter cup of baking soda to help neutralize chemicals present in the water (such as chlorine), though I'm not 100% clear on the science here. I typically add 8-10 drops of therapeutic-grade essential oils to my tub as well. Oils smell good, and they can have their own health benefits. Lavender is calming and relaxing; peppermint is invigorating and good if you have sinus issues or a headache. 

Epsom salts have all sorts of health benefits, since they are composed of magnesium sulfate: the magnesium is absorbed through the skin, and can help with migraines, digestive issues, and more. One trick is to keep your feet in the water during the bath to allow all that warmth and salt to wash around the reflexology points all over your feet. Another is to slide down and get the back of your neck into the water for a while as well, to allow the warm water to work its magic on any tension you carry there. And finally, pull the plug (or, more likely these days, flip the drain switch) while you are still in the tub and imagine any and all negativity washing away from you and down the drain. 

Happy tunes:

We all have different ones that we like, so I'm not giving you an exact playlist. But play the music that makes you smile, or makes you want to shake your groove thing. Bonus points to you if you actually shake it, since that will get the qi circulating in your body and circulating is better than stuck any day.

Go outside.

Yes. Outside is an amazing place. During the daytime there is sunshine (or the cleansing power of rain or snow), and at nighttime there are stars and the moon. Maybe you can't see them, but you can feel that they are up there. You can get some fresh air. Feel the breeze or wind (if there is any). And even in a city, you can find places where you can hear the birds as they call to one another. You can share some tree energy if you'd like (from admiring them to sitting in their cool shade to literally hugging them). But just being out in Nature is a proven energy booster. 

Exercise:

Good news! You can pair this one with being outside AND listening to happy music, for an energy-boosting trifecta! Turns out that getting a move-on, whether it's walking or running, Pilates, yoga or weight-lifting, hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, skiing, or tai chi, is not just good for your physical health; it's also good for your mental health and your energy levels. Yes, I get that you may be tired afterward and feel you have less energy than before you started, but the energy levels we're talking about are more like mood and state of mind. Those are likely to be elevated after exercise.

Meditate:

I mean, I'm sure you figured this would be on the list, right? And that's because meditation works. If you can't get around to exercising (and hey, I get that -- sometimes I am physically unable to do too much due to two chronic autoimmune conditions that cause pain and fatigue), meditation can be just as effective at helping your brain (there are studies on this) and can reduce pain, boost mood, and more. And there are some forms of exercise that marry meditation with movement, such as qigong, tai chi, or walking a labyrinth. Any form of regular meditation works to reduce stress and can improve mood and energy levels by detaching from other people (and their energy) and finding your own center. It helps to stabilize and recalibrate your own energy vibration. And it helps you remember that YOU are the one who gets to decide how to react and/or how to view things that happen in your life. When paired with any of the other energy tips in this post, you are bound to raise your own vibration.

Essential oils and crystals:

Possibly more "woo-woo" than some of the other items on the list, but so many people swear by these that I'd be remiss in not mentioning them. It turns out that essential oils each have their own energy vibrations, and those with high vibrations can raise a person's energy vibration. The same thing goes for crystals, which vibrate at their own frequencies as well. Some of them (black onyx, jet, black obsidian) are supposed to offer protection against negative energy; others such as rose quartz enhance love and reduce stress; amethyst helps to quiet the mind. I'm not going into great detail on these since there are so many oils and stones out there, but if either of those options appeals to you, by all means get in touch and I'll do what I can to point you in the right direction.

In closing

When I make my art, I first make sure that my studio is full of positive energy, often using the techniques I described in my solstice post. I also make sure that I'm in a good place energetically, and that I'm putting positive vibes into my artwork and my paint strokes or other techniques. It's my way of making art that vibrates at a high frequency.

Fireflies and Sparklers

The first lightning bugs I saw this year were just before the Solstice. I love seeing them flash by now, conjuring memories of childhood and chasing (and sometimes catching) them in the yard with my brother and our cousins. They remind me of happy, sweaty nights running around outside, of mosquito bites and popsicles, of box fans in the windows. Those flashes of light remind me, too, of the sparklers that come with the 4th of July--a holiday that is rushing at us, and will arrive in the middle of next week.

 "Soaring" An original mixed-media collage on watercolor paper, comes matted and framed. $64

"Soaring" An original mixed-media collage on watercolor paper, comes matted and framed. $64

This time of year is a good one to remember how our country became independent, and how it's up to all of us to protect our independence. It's a good time of year for sparklers (if you like them - I . . . like seeing them, but won't handle them), for paying attention to safety rules when it comes to fireworks, and to celebrating with patriotic music and red, white & blue decor. It's a good time for hotdogs and burgers, for clambakes and corn on the cob, for fresh watermelon (hopefully without seeds, though I remember with fondness my grandfather teaching us how to spit them off the porch), and for popsicles. It's a good time for "Stars and Stripes Forever", whether you sing about web-footed friends or not, and for the 1812 Overture (because CANNONS!, though the song was written in 1880 to commemorate the Russians beating back Napoléon back in 1812), and for ooh-ing and ahh-ing with neighbors when your town does its firework display.

And it's a good time to spend a day clearing out your cupboards to get rid of expired food (throw it out!) and stuff you really don't want anymore (donate it to a local food pantry- just because it's warm doesn't mean that everyone has access to food; this is especially true for families who relied on free breakfast and lunch during the school year and now have to figure things out seven days a week instead of just on the weekend, and for seniors who sometimes don't have the same programs available to them during the summer months to help them with food security). Because independence is great, and Independence Day can be awesome, but remembering that we're all inter-dependent is still a good thing, and helping your neighbors (even if you don't know them, really) is a good way to celebrate our interdependence, and to help them feel they're still independent.

Five ways to help clear the energy in your home for Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice will occur this Thursday, June 21st. It's the day of the year with the most daylight here in the Northern Hemisphere, and for many of us there are reasons to celebrate. It's the official start of summer here in the United States, despite this week's preemptive heatwave. 

 A 6" square canvas with a mixed media sunflower.

A 6" square canvas with a mixed media sunflower.

One of the things I've been doing to prepare for the summer/solstice is to clear the energy in my house. Given the amount of disheartening news these days (which is a massive understatement, and doesn't convey how gutted I've been by recent events at the southern US border), clearing the energy and raising the vibration has merged into self-care for me, and is keeping our house a bit of a haven, even though we allow the news in daily.

5 ways to clear the energy in your home:

  • Set an intention to clear any "stuck" or negative energy
  • Open windows (if you can), turn on fans (ditto), turn on all the lights, and blare some happy music to encourage energy to start moving
  • Open the doors to any closets in the room your in, then clap your hands or, if you prefer, ring a chime or bell, into each of the corners in the room and closet so the vibrations will start to move any stuck energy
  • Light sandalwood incense or burn sage (a smudge stick) in order to burn off any negativity and encourage energy to flow. If you cannot tolerate the scent of either of those choices, light an unscented candle with the intention that it burn off any negativity.
  • Bring in houseplants to clear the air (literally) and add living energy to your space.

This Saturday, September 23rd, I'll be one of the vendors at Solstice Soul Fest at Sunset Auditorium in Pitman, New Jersey. The event will occur from 9 am to noon, and will include free yoga, live music, and a variety of vendors. Come on out and celebrate solstice!

Somers Point Art in the Park is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The forecast for Saturday, June 16, 2018 is sunny, with a high around 79 F in Somers Point. I'm looking forward to being there in Kennedy Park for the 3rd Annual Art in the Park event, and I'm starting to plan out which pieces to take along.

This event is focused on what they refer to as 2D art - paintings, basically. No sculpture, no crafts (including "fine crafts"), no jewelry. For sure, I'll be taking literary collages such as the four you see below (click on them to see them larger), along with greeting cards and several larger paintings.

I'll for sure be taking "Flowerburst" along with me, along with lots of other larger works. 

IMG_1982.jpg

And I will definitely have hot air balloon and sailboat collages available for sale - they are perfect for summer, and would be the perfect addition to a child's bedroom or, well, basically anywhere you want some fun and whimsy.

If you or a friend or loved one will be "down the shore" this weekend, I hope you will stop by during the day on Saturday to shop. And to see other artists working en pleine aire, visit the food trucks, listen to music, and more!

It's all about goddesses

Allow me to explain . . .

Last week, I spent three days in St. Petersburg, Florida, in an art workshop with Australian artist Tracy Verdugo. It was a great week for me, both because I was studying with Tracy and because I had my older daughter along for company. She lives in Charleston, so my husband drove from New Jersey to South Carolina with me, then flew home. Sara then drove with me to St. Petersburg. We had a great "girls' trip", and I had a fabulous time learning with Tracy and networking with the other women in the class.

 Tracy and me. What a beautiful soul she is!

Tracy and me. What a beautiful soul she is!

We began a large canvas on the second day of the workshop and completed it on the third. I was thrilled when this lovely image emerged from the chaos layers. I see her as a winged goddess, though if you prefer to see her as an angel, then I'm okay with that, too. 

IMG_1989.jpg

Once our workshop was over, I had to head home to New Jersey pretty directly, since I had a scheduled event on Sunday, June 3rd: the Day of the Goddess event at Lavender Koi Yoga in Berlin, New Jersey. I spent Friday night in a hotel in Virginia, where I made a handful of small ink goddesses on watercolor paper based on my painting, one of which sold at Sunday's event. Below, you can see a shot of the crowd in the space, the Winged Water Goddess (who did not yet sell), and what my set-up looked like.

Now I'm home, and settling back into something like a routine, all while starting to plan my space and products for the next two events I've got lined up this month. AND I am still working hard at my business studies, since I was fortunate enough to be selected as a grant recipient by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in conjunction with the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Creative Capital to be part of the Artist Professional Development Program. 

I'm also about to start a major decluttering/energy-clearing in the house. Think paring down, scaling back (when it comes to "stuff") coupled with raising the energy vibrations here using cheerful music (perhaps turned to the loud side), fresh air from open windows and doors, and some feng shui techniques like "clapping into the corners" in order to get any stuck energy moving, and burning a bit of incense in order to clear any stagnancy. It's something I do from time to time, and it definitely results in a house that feels lighter and happier.

Finally, if you'd like to sign up for my email newsletter, which gets you inside information on where I'll be, what my newest pieces are, and the occasional private sale, I hope you will click the button below and do that!

When you should be getting ready for the Pitman Craft Show,

To pick up on the post title: "When you should be getting ready for the Pitman Craft Show," but instead, you spend your morning cleaning your entire studio and bringing new furniture in. The table you see in the top left photo below was just a pile of lumber yesterday morning, and my wonderful sweetheart spent the afternoon turning that wood into the table you see. I love it--and him--so much! We carried the table in yesterday, and this morning it sparked me to clear and clean the room, including washing the canvas tarp that I use under the table I paint on in the center of the room. This new studio gives me so much joy. I love having my own space to work and dream, and a place to hang my art and my vision boards. This room feels like freedom, in so many ways.

The cart to the right of my teal cart came in from the garage today. It moved here with me, and was sort of taking up space but not really functioning well out in the corner of the garage. Now it's holding all my stamping supplies, pastels (soft/chalk and oil), watercolors, oil sticks, gelatos (sadly not the ice cream variety, though I *think* I have some in the freezer), and other non-acrylic media. And as the bottom right photo above shows, an Ikea rack also came in from the garage where it was being under-utilized (and now houses a lot of canvases and other supplies).

I'm super thrilled with the studio, especially now that it's starting to take better shape, but it did pretty much derail my day by tiring me out. I've spent the afternoon working on writing better copy for the products listed for sale on my website. The greeting cards, hot air balloons and sailboats are done! I'm just over halfway through the tambourines and collages shop, and am taking a break from writing copy to write this blog post. LOL!

I will be taking greeting cards, hot air balloons, sailboats, tambourines, collage hearts (not even posted in my shop yet!) and a few literary collages with me this weekend to the Pitman Spring Craft Show. I'll be in space X151, at the corner of Theatre Avenue and Broadway. The Craft Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 19th, though there's unsettled weather in the forecast at present, so there's an outside chance I'll be selling things on Sunday instead. (I'll know for sure on Friday.) Whenever it is, I sure hope to see some friendly faces--and sell a lot of items!

It's all about FREEDOM

I know it's not just me who gets their best ideas (or some new insight or clarity) while in the shower. This morning's "a-ha" moment for me was that so much of my art is about FREEDOM, and about FINDING PEACE.

Freedom of movement and/or freedom to travel, represented by all the sailboats and hot air balloons. Freedom of expression, represented by various styles of art as well as all those words and phrases found in my literary collages and even in some of my abstracts. Freedom to make noise and be heard in this world (tambourines, anyone?). Freedom to be my whole self, to paint with abandon, to discover new things.

Below you can see an assortment of my artwork - from large paintings like the Buddha and "Love, Breath, Air" to new hot-air balloons, sailboats, and literary collages.


What a lovely gift freedom is. And so many of the constraints I have been getting rid of or pushing past are limitations I either placed on myself or allowed others to push on me. All those "shoulds" I internalized over the decades. All those warnings meant to keep me "safe" that actually built walls and boxed me right in. 

Freedom to not take on other people's expectations. Freedom to refuse to allow others to impose boundaries or limitations. Freedom to break free of any of those boundaries I accepted or set for myself. Freedom to be seen and heard; freedom to step back from the noise and be alone, too. Freedom to not care too much whether other people will think I'm nuts if I . . . (fill in the blank). 

Freedom to find peace. Peace of mind, for sure. But also the freedom to accept myself as I am, and to be at peace with myself. At peace with my weight, my health, my emotional state. When I'm painting or working on collage, I am so in the moment, in the flow, that there is nothing but peace and the making of art. Maybe that's why so many of my larger paintings have peace built into them: Buddha, a dove, words that invoke a peaceful feeling, meditative elements meant to slow the viewer down and invoke a sense of ease and peace.

What does freedom mean to you right now? What would peace be for you? What are you ready to let go of?

Getting ready for some sales events

Today, my husband Morris and I (and our wonderful neighbor Devon, who came running over to help us when he arrived home from school) set up the 10x10 tent I bought for art festivals, complete with side walls and sand bags. And then we set up the display pieces that Morris made for me (he even bought a fancy miter box saw to make all the many, many cuts, and then stained all the wood), and hung art on them. Tambourines went on the chicken-wire screens, and canvases and framed art went on the "ladders". 

 Dry run in the street outside our house.

Dry run in the street outside our house.

There is a table, covered with a tablecloth, in that back left corner, holding wooden boxes that display greeting cards. And the ladder at the back left of the tent holds small heart pieces.

 Here's a look at some of those small heart pieces. These are 6" square.

Here's a look at some of those small heart pieces. These are 6" square.

My first official outing with this tent and set-up will be on Saturday, April 28th from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Williamstown Arts Festival. Here's a link to some information about the event.

I will also be at both Pitman Craft Shows this year - the Spring Craft Show will be on Saturday, May 19th from 9 am to 4 pm along Broadway in Uptown Pitman. (It's exceedingly long notice, but the Fall Craft Show will take place on Saturday, September 15th, in case you want to mark your calendar.) 

And just to make sure that June isn't left out, I will be one of the vendors at the "Day of the Goddess" event taking place at Lavender Koi Yoga in Berlin, NJ on Sunday, June 3rd. More on that, and some other possible summer events, to come when I have details!

In the meantime, if you'd like to receive emails with further information, I hope you will sign up at the form on my home page!

It's been a busy week around here

This week was taken up with lots of construction work. As a person with a couple of autoimmune disorders, I usually sleep until about 9 a.m. most days, but that wasn't a possibility this week, as I had to be up before 8 four out of 5 days, and the fifth day, I had to be up at 8. 

But look! They framed my new studio! And put a roof on! And even managed a bit of Tyvek and an installed window (ahead of a rather wet and wild Nor'easter)!

 See my sweetheart in the grey, talking to the project manager?

See my sweetheart in the grey, talking to the project manager?

Despite all the NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE (that's me, channeling the Grinch), I managed to get some work done.

In fact, I did so many boat collages that I can offer you a boat show!

The 8"x10" boat pieces are going to be priced at $80 and the 11"x14" ones will be $100. Holler out if you spy one that you want!

In the next blog post, expect to see the finished studio. Oh my gosh, you guys, I am so excited!

Breaking ground on my new art studio

You guys! Things are getting real around here. I woke up this morning to the sound of men's voices in my backyard. (Which was unexpected and mildly startling, but anyway . . . ) It was the contractor and the masons, here to start digging the foundation and footings for my new art studio.

IMG_0616.jpg

Can you see Miss Kismet in the window, supervising? 

By the end of the work day, the footings were dug and most of the dirt they removed was carted away. Next up, an inspection . . . and (if all goes as expected) the foundation will be poured on Wednesday

And, um, hey - if you have been looking at my work and would like to help me out by clearing some space before they remove those glass doors and I have to clear half of my living room, just give me a holler. You can see a lot of the available pieces here on my website - three different galleries: one for paintings, one for literary collages, and one for art tambourines.

Support Clean Ocean Action's efforts to stop offshore drilling

Most of you know that I live in southern New Jersey. I live about an hour from the coast, so Morris and I get to the beach a few times each year. The beach is beautiful, but if new proposed regulations are allowed to go through, offshore drilling will change the view forever.

IMG_0563.jpg

HORRIFYING, isn't it?

The above image came from Clean Ocean Action, an organization dedicated to keeping the New Jersey shore clean. They are currently fighting proposed federal regulations that would open the New Jersey coast to offshore drilling. 

If that organization sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because I mentioned them last fall, when I announced a series of acrylic ink pieces I'd made. I've sold three of the original seven, and each sale ($48 each) has contributed $12 to Clean Ocean Action to help them with their cause. 

The four remaining pieces are below, so if one of them "belongs" to you, I will be very happy to mail it to you and pass a donation along to Clean Ocean Action. Meanwhile, whether you are in NJ or elsewhere, know that these proposed regulations involve sea coasts throughout the country (with the apparent exception of Florida due to a personal favor to the governor), so if you don't want to see oil derricks, perhaps consider checking out the information at Clean Ocean Action and leaving a comment before the March 9th deadline.

If you are interested in any of the above pieces, please let me know and I will be happy to get it in the mail to you (and to turn over $12 per piece to Clean Ocean Action). 

About 10 days until Valentine's Day

And things are still on sale, if you think your loved one would appreciate a literary collage, an abstract painting, or a beautiful piece of art on a tambourine. Take 15% off the listed price, or (if you are signed up for my newsletter) take 20% off.

 Tambourines with collage and paint - $60 each.

Tambourines with collage and paint - $60 each.

This week has been a super exciting one here in southern New Jersey. And not just because the Eagles are playing in the Super Bowl and everybody is amped. Just yesterday, my 10x10 tent for art festivals arrived (along with bright blue sandbags to keep it from flying away), and today I got my first shipment of greeting cards, and I am THRILLED with how they turned out!

New literary collage: "If you were coming in the Fall". $125

I'm hoping to be accepted into several art festivals/craft shows this year, so I've started dreaming what the inside of my booth might look like - and making more items!

If you would like a piece of art for Valentine's Day, please get in touch and order it by February 8th at the latest so I can be certain it will get to you in time!

Valentines Day is coming!

In just under a month, it will be Valentine's Day. Full disclosure: I have occasionally had extremely mixed feelings about Valentine's Day. The cons fall into the "it's a madeup/Hallmark holiday" and (in some times past) "it's here to remind me I don't have a person who means that much to me" categories. The pros fall into "LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE" and it should be celebrated, the "these days I feel pretty good about myself", and the "I am madly in love with my husband, Morris, what's not to love about a day celebrating love?" categories. 

This year, those pro-Valentine's Day vibes are winning out for me. If you love somebody, or want to show some love to somebody (even or especially if that somebody is yourself!), then it might interest you to know that I'm running a sale in honor of the day, because we could all use a little love in our lives, and probably some new artwork as well! So if you are interested in the sparkly new things in this here post, or in any of the pieces on my website (I promise, I'm working on how to make the galleries more "shop-able"!), I'm gifting you with 15% as a way of sending a little love your way. (Newsletter subscribers get 20% off - and they've known about this sale for a week already!)

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love
— Lin-Manuel Miranda

How about making a little noise about your feelings? Try art on a tambourine. Each of these includes hand-done collage and painting, and will come with ribbons, ready to hang (or play). $60 each before your 15% V-day discount (20% discount for newsletter subscribers).


Not feeling the (tambourine) music? That's okay—there's some quieter (in decibels) artwork available, including these brand-new literary collages. If you click on them, the embiggen and given you more details on size, materials, and pricing:

 Collage, mixed media, hand stamping, and a wee original drawing on a 9"x12" canvas board, featuring a quote from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

Collage, mixed media, hand stamping, and a wee original drawing on a 9"x12" canvas board, featuring a quote from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

Here's a linky-link to the gallery where you'll find my literary collages (including a sweet little rose with some Sense & Sensibility text collaged in and a number of quotes that might be just the thing you (or someone you love) will love. And here's another link to the other paintings I've got available, including a sweet little bird collaged from hand-marbled papers and some abstracts. If you think any of these pieces are just what the Cupid ordered for Valentine's Day (or any other occasion), just get in touch with me and claim your piece! I'll get it packed up and in the mail for you, and get your my PayPal info for payment!