Archive for December, 2007


Friday, December 28th, 2007

It’s amazing how the turning of the year and the return of the light affects my mood. There I was, the Eeyore of Brooklyn feeling like nothing will ever change and how the hell did I get here. Two seconds more daylight and I am filled with hope, balancing my checkbook and making grand plans for the next five years. Magical, magical planetary influences.

So I give you what I think may be my all-time favorite picture of myself.

Summer in the mid-1970s; wild and free in the enormous garden of family friends, clad in Mexican cotton and having successfully fought off any and all hairbrushes for many a day. (Likely taken just moments before my mom took the shears to my head in an impromptu attempt to preserve her sanity and keep the child welfare folks from carting her off, accused of cruel and unusual hair styling.)

I love the spirit of the picture, and it’s my wish that 2008 bring more of her playful energy into my life. Teach me, oh little one.

holiday baking madness

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

I had to take a day of just staring at the wall after making all these in the space of a week. What was I thinking?! Can’t blame the sugar high before the fact.

I’m off to do some wrapping. With “help”.

Have a relaxed next few days!

mini tree

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

We spent last Christmas at my place so M didn’t decorate much. I thought it was sad that he didn’t have a tree, and I kept seeing these ones on flickr, and then the moths snacked on my green sweater and next thing you know I was making this guy.

I sewed the rick rack on before giving it to M and he got to “decorate” the tree, pinning on the buttons and pom-poms which I then glued in place.

For the base I used a scrap from an old screen-print mandala. I inserted cardboard to make the base flatter and used a wooden knob that was kicking around the studio for the tree trunk.

This year the crazy holiday crafter struck again when I decided to make an advent calendar on November 30th. Pictures soon.

Thanks to M for these photos.

city mouse, country mouse

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Driving home to Brooklyn we came through Times Square. Culture shock on a grand scale.

For months now I’ve been thinking of New York as a demon lover – the one who doesn’t treat you well, who throws you just enough crumbs to keep you stumbling along in the relationship, who endlessly promises and rarely delivers. The one you stay with too long, can’t find a way to leave.

I’ve had a growing suspicion that my relationship with this city may be over. I no longer feel a deep sense of relief when the pilot announces the approach to La Guardia. I crave a garden and limited entertainment options. I’m even nostalgic for driving, for goodness sakes.

Our trip upriver was not merely a vacation, it was as a scientific experiment exploring the city-leaving premise. I didn’t expect a clear answer but within a day I knew. I felt the wide open sense that I could leave New York. Walk away. Like the moment when you look at your husband/lover/partner, the person you see morning and night, who is central to all your days and decisions, and realize that one day, possibly soon, this entire life you’ve constructed together will be gone. This person will be friend or memory. Your paths will part and start new.

But before anything changes there is today. And tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow. M and I just shacked up; his job isn’t as portable as mine; we may never want to revisit the trauma of moving which is reason enough to stay put. It isn’t clear where we would move to, and it isn’t enough to want to go.

Who knows where this will lead.

bye bye vacation

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

We’ve been home for five days and still I’m posting pictures of our little vacation. Clearly I was in dire need of a break.

I took pictures of our room at the Country Squire. As I was looking at them, deciding which to post, I noticed the connections between some of the details:

Speaking of details – we visited Olana, Frederic Church’s house overlooking the Hudson.

The building is covered in ornament, inside and out. It reminded me of the work of Horta and Charles Rennie Macintosh; complete design with all the elements considered in unison. Makes me want to create a home that is in itself a work of art.

Unfortunately the guide was most specific in her veto of indoor photography and, as per usual with these things, none of the postcards or books in the gift shop showed enough of the detailed stenciling and carving that I wanted to run home and emulate. A six-month stenciling obsession nipped in the bud.

This’ll be my last “I’m in love with Hudson” post. I think. I’ll try.
“Be here now. Be here now…”

hudson on the hudson

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Hudson is very, very quiet; especially compared to New York. The silence made it easy to stop and notice the details.


Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Hudson has a full range of holiday decorations – from tasteful white lights to a Happy Birthday Jesus installation, complete with rosary-hung plastic pine tree. All tastes are catered to.

out of town

Friday, December 7th, 2007

We’ve skipped town; on Wednesday we hired a car and drove upriver for a few days. A break and a deep breath.

On our way out of New York we stopped at the Bronx Zoo since neither of us had ever been. I’m ambivalent about zoos, and wasn’t sure if it would be inspiring or upsetting. It turned out to be mostly inspiring.

My favorite parts were the Mouse House…

and the reindeer bottoms.

day of the dead

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007


I’ve been thinking about the Day of the Dead; maybe it’s all the leaves fallen from the trees. I’ve never seen the celebrations but I love the sugar skulls and brightly painted skeletons.

In France the day is La Toussaint, All Saint’s Day. When we were in the Pyrenees this Spring we stayed in a house that backed up to the village cemetery. I took pictures of the grave markers, many of which were metal. There was a pile of them stacked against a wall; their “Eternal Regrets” long outlived.

Sad and beautiful.

first snow

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

We had snow yesterday, making for a cozy day of making earrings, sewing in the studio, old movies, and hot tea to stay warm in between bursts of rattling heat in the old radiators.

M was busy with all things computer in the office. We visited each other to deliver peppermint patties and progress reports, and yelled companionably between rooms.

Today the snow has disappeared; just another damp city Monday.