Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween Reading

I'm amazed it's almost Halloween. My youngest daughter asked if I'd decorated; this is one of her favorite times of year.  She's off at school and I'll admit it's not the same without her giggling in my ear about where we should put everything.  Nevertheless I couldn't resist putting up some of our favorites like the murder of crows, eyeing us from their perch above the kitchen table.

It seems my reading also takes a turn to reflect the season. Are you interested in something good to read to match the Halloween mood?  Here are some of my recommendations, books old and new, fiction and non-fiction, to get you into the spirit.


Erik Larson's account of the majesty of the Chicago World's Fair is also chilling in the telling of the serial killer who haunted the halls of the event.

From Here to Eternity is about death rituals around the world.  It might be macabre for some to learn about an open-air crematorium in Colorado or you might be fascinated.  The book's not meant to be frightening, but some might not want to read about what other cultures do to honor their dead.


Ah, Rebecca The book that introduced me to the potential creepiness that can be contained in delicious and quiet prose. A classic.

Theodora Goss has a bit of fun with Victorian heroes and villains in her book, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter.  Can you imagine what would happen if the daughter of Dr. Jekyll met up with a survivor of Dr. Moreau's island?  And, what if they joined forces with Sherlock Holmes to solve murders in London?  It's a fun offshoot from some old horror stories.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Work in Progress

I love to scuba dive.  It's something I wish everyone could experience.  The beauty, both familiar and foreign.  The colors, rich and surprising.  The rhythm of the waves as you descend.  The stillness as you explore.  The serenity you feel as you become a part of such a magnificent world, even for a short time.

It has inspired me to create a new series of work.

The first piece is now on my design wall.  I'm hoping the piecing and the colors are evocative of rolling waves.

If all goes well, the three sections will be separate pieces of a larger quilt.  The way I'll connect the sections is an experiment yet to be tried, but fingers crossed.

It feels great to be back in the studio again.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Feathers: A mini obsession

Does this ever happen to you?  You take a bunch of pictures and, when you look back through them, you realize you've taken pictures of the same subject over and over and over again.

That happened to me last week: I took a ton of pictures of feathers.  Wherever I looked it seemed there were feathers that grabbed my attention.  No, there wasn't a pile of feathers where something had met its demise.  Instead, these were feathers I saw -- almost daily -- on my walk/hikes.  Different species. Different locations.  I wonder why these captured my eye.  What, perhaps, is my subconscious saying to me?

Even took pictures of a bush with flowers that look feathery.  HA!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Little Things and Big Things

Here are some life highlights since my last post.

  • My design wall is no longer empty. Hooray!  More on that in another post, but here's a sneak peek. (Apologies for the bad lighting.)
  • Docent training for the upcoming exhibition Object out Loud at the Katonah Museum of Art, featuring Arman and Nick Cave.  Many of you may know Nick Cave, but many may ask, who is Arman?  He's a French-American artist that I hope you'll get to know.  He was a contemporary of Rauschenberg and Warhol, yet didn't get recognition by the NY art critics at the time; that said, he is in the collections of the Met and MoMA.  (He was very well regarded in France from the almost the start of his career.)  It's going to be an exciting exhibition.  It's great to work with a museum that so often creates its own exhibitions and, therefore, furthers artistic scholarship. The exhibition opens October 15th.
    The home page banner announcing the exhibition.
    L: Detail Nick Cave, Hustle Coat
    R: Arman, detail, Big Parade
  • A trip to Chicago and Indiana to see my parents, spend a bit of time with our oldest,
Fun graffiti in her neighborhood
Sweet Piper, who was a foster and now has a home with my daughter.  At 9 years old she was having a hard time in the shelter, after being surrendered when her original owner died.  Now we're having fun speculating about her genetic makeup.
  • and visit our youngest a Notre Dame.  We also tailgated with the in-laws and friends who's daughter is also at ND.  A fun-filled weekend.
  • My mother-in-law's 75th birthday:  Somehow, I forgot to take pictures when we had 10 people over to celebrate.  I have to get better about taking family photos. I don't know why I always forget.
  • Simple pleasures: I'm enjoying reading and taking pictures on walks and in my garden.  It seems there are a lot of praying mantis in my garden this year, though I'm not quite sure why.  My reading is keeping step: The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery and The Queen Must Die by William Longwood.   Anyone read either of these? My book group is now reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn so I guess I'm switching to coming-of-age stories. (We just finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. Anyone read that?)
Praying mantis giving me the evil eye when I jostled "his" leaf.  I'm certain I blinked first in this stare-down.
Up next: October break with my two college-age children.  I'm so looking forward to spending time with them!