What does Knox Gelatin have to do with handmade paper? Well, it’s all about sizing. I created this handmade paper during a wonderful and intensive indigo-dyeing workshop with Mary Hark at Women’s Studio Workshop several summers ago. We made paper, then dyed it with indigo. We also dyed fabric with indigo, using Japanese Shibori techniques.… Continue reading Sizing It Up!
Remember the raccoon family that was living in my neighbors’ roof? Look who has taken over the space now! Momma squirrel and her adorable babies. They have been frolicking all week, and I feel happy and sad watching them. They are seriously cute, and a joy to watch. I know how destructive it is to… Continue reading New Neighbors
Tiny Houses Part II
I was visiting friends on Long Island this summer. They live near Fire Island National Seashore and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. Their verdant yard is a wonderland for living things of all sorts. The plants and visiting wildlife change with the seasons. Some of the creatures build structures, and they are absolute works of art.… Continue reading Tiny Houses Part II
Tiny Houses Part I
No, I am not talking about my Brooklyn apartment! I am talking about the amazing abodes created by the wild Monk Parakeets in Brooklyn! This particular spot near Brooklyn College has some elaborate nests. A friend and I took an evening summer walk awhile back — hoping to spot fireflies (we did) — and found ourselves nearby,… Continue reading Tiny Houses Part I
Where the Heart Beats
“So it is with the places preparing to teach us. It’s only when the heart begins to beat wildly and without pattern—when it begins to realize its boundlessness—that its newly adamant pulse bangs on the walls of its cage and is bruised by its enclosure… To feel the heart pound is only the beginning. Next is to feel the hurt—the tearing of the psyche—the prelude of entry into the place one has always feared. One fears that place because of being drawn to it, loving it, and wanting to be taught by it. Without the need to be taught, who would feel the psyche rip? Without the bruise, who would know where the walls are?” — Kay Larson, Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
I was sitting in my reading nook by the bedroom window. I had just finished Orla Kiely’s terrific book called Pattern. I was diving into Chronicle Book’s In Pattern: Marimekko. It was a frigid day, but the sky was blue and the sun was streaming in. I turned to look for my two feline muses:… Continue reading Mod Muses
I have recently discovered the pleasures of Pinterest, and have been busy creating boards with all kinds of designs and designers that inspire me — especially pattern and textile design. I also keep old school scrapbooks that I call “inspiration books” where I paste colors, quotes and images that make my creative juices flow. One day… Continue reading Retro Reflections
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
I write. I design. I sing. I create art. I also cook, clean, hold a job, go to yoga, maintain relationships, and attend cultural events. Oh, and sleep. I try to get eight hours. And what about time to meditate and daydream? What about time to read and take walks? How can I fit it… Continue reading Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
A Lost Art?
I still write letters. I don’t do it as often as I wish I did, but when I do write, I try not to skimp. For instance, when I write out my holiday cards, I include a hand-written letter to each person. I send a lot of cards, so this can take me a very… Continue reading A Lost Art?
I was preparing savory tarts for Thanksgiving (rosemary fennel for one; leek for the other — to make a flamiche.) When I floated the sliced vegetables in the sink, they made wonderful patterns, reminiscent of 1950s organic textile designs. My giant eucalyptus branches also fit the ’50s fabric bill. It would be interesting to trace… Continue reading Edible Patterns