Archive for November, 2007

late fall

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

I walked by this building a lot before noticing the intricate tiles above the main windows.

Somehow they manage to be bold and subtle at the same time, and remind me of this page from the 1989 Quilt Engagement Calendar, which I kept.

The quilt is called Late Fall, by Junko Okuyama based on the Broken Dishes pattern. I just googled the artist and found that Wee Wonderfuls blogged this same quilt 3 years ago. We should start a fan club.

happy thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Despite all that warring for independence, we Brits are still here. Oh well. Enjoy the ride.

This is my 100th post! Whodathunkit.


Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

The insane holiday baking frenzy that always grips me has arrived. First in line – biscotti to send as a gift.

Phase one baking: biscotti loaves. The recipe is from baker extraordinaire Wendy, these here with dried cherries and semi-sweet chocolate.

Phase two. Enough to feed the masses. Or one giant brother.


Monday, November 19th, 2007

I was looking at friend Kevin’s Flickr pics and saw these:



Photos of Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth at the Tate Modern in London. I love the pictures, and after reading a little about the piece I love the sculpture even more.

Salcedo is addressing a long legacy of racism and colonialism that underlies the modern world. A ‘shibboleth’ is a custom, phrase or use of language that acts as a test of belonging to a particular social group or class. By definition, it is used to exclude those deemed unsuitable to join this group.

‘The history of racism’, Salcedo writes, ‘runs parallel to the history of modernity, and is its untold dark side’. For hundreds of years, Western ideas of progress and prosperity have been underpinned by colonial exploitation and the withdrawal of basic rights from others. Our own time, Salcedo is keen to remind us, remains defined by the existence of a huge socially excluded underclass, in Western as well as post-colonial societies.

In breaking open the floor of the museum, Salcedo is exposing a fracture in modernity itself. Her work encourages us to confront uncomfortable truths about our history and about ourselves with absolute candidness, and without self-deception.

Living in Crown Heights (a neighborhood synonymous nationwide with race riots) makes me extra hungry for anything that speaks to the presence of racism in our world. Being part of a tiny white minority, feeling the weight of my skin and privilege and education, trying not to impose, trying to connect… feels very much like trying to avoid giant cracks in the sidewalk.

75 cent skirt

Monday, November 12th, 2007

I made this skirt from some yardage I had in my stash, bought years ago in a thrift store. The lining fabric was also from my hoard, as was the interfacing and thread. I did have to buy the zipper – for 75 cents.

I used a Burda magazine pattern but because the panels were too large for my fabric I drafted a version with 6 smaller panels instead of 2 large. That worked out really well. I alternated the grain direction and the fabric hangs beautifully.

I can’t decide whether the skirt looks cute or like drapery. M likes it; my jury’s still out.


Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I was woken by the sound of rain during the night, and this morning dawned gray and dreary. M had on the local news and the weatherman promised clear skies by midday, but I didn’t believe him. On a rainy morning it is impossible to believe in sunny afternoons; they are too opposite.

The weather is thankfully immune to my faith in it and this afternoon was blue sky and leafy shadows.

As I’m typing I can hear the imam’s call to prayer from the mosque up the hill. This morning, as I made the bed, I heard church bells. Not opposites, despite how it might seem these days.


Sunday, November 4th, 2007

The best way to spend a Sunday.

Or any day really.