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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mothers of the Heart

Mother’s Day. Runny eggs, burnt toast and fresh squeezed orange juice replete with pits -- and the crumbs to show for it in the Sunday morning sheets.  Smeared handprint paintings crafted with tempera and glue at pre-school, and Hallmark cards bedecked with teapots and teacups and wicker flower carts. It’s a rite of spring and a day when we raise moms everywhere up for the thanks and generous praise they deserve.

But today I’m thinking about some of the other moms I know – women who are not called mom but who are mothers nonetheless…to their nieces and nephews, grandchildren, students, godchildren and friends’ children.  Maybe they never gave birth or maybe they did, but in either case they are more than a name and a connection – they have consciously chosen to be a shaping force in a child’s life. 

I’m blessed to know many such women who, by choice or circumstance, found they were needed  in some way and rose to the challenge. These loving, devoted Other Moms became the element of change in a child’s life, helping them discover their own success and reach for goals they would otherwise never achieve. We know it only takes one caring adult to fundamentally change a child’s life – and how lucky the child who has parents AND a mother of the heart to help them on their path. 

To each of you – and you know who you are - I raise a lightly - but lovingly - smudged glass of pulpy, watery orange juice. Salut!




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Night Garden - Intuitive Painting

Two years ago I took a Flora Bowley class on intuitive painting that has changed they way I look at creating art. The process begins by creating a glorious mess, messing it up some more, and more again -- and then finding the art inside that noise. The challenge is to go at it without preconceived notions -- not to impose what you want to see on the canvas but to find the image hiding there.  

Here is the final painting, which I titled Night Garden.



It started out looking very different.

First it looked like this...

And then it looked like this

And after a while it looked like this

You can see the underpinnings of the final painting in the above stage.



 The details 


They remind me of little ecosystems inside a larger one


Just waiting to be found. 




Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five Things


Do you have numbers that are special to you? In my life, the numbers 22 and 222 come up frequently.  I grew up near Route 22, my parents lived in a home with 222 in the address, and my mom was born in 1922. My husband's dad's burial plot number is 222, and his mom was born on 2/2. (Interestingly, she died on 11/1.)  It makes me wonder whether these repeating numbers happen all the time and we just notice them when something calls our attention to them -- or whether there really is something to numerology.




I'm signed up for another MOOC (massive open online course).   Usually I take classes through Coursera, but this one is at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and it looks like it could be a fun class for anyone, anywhere to explore art in their area.  Let me know if you sign up, too.



I don't know how these two parents, with three babies less than a year apart, get themselves to the gym five times a week plus and ongoing schedule of online college classes at night, but my morning walks are looking very sluggish compared to their initiative.












A recent art journal page (theme words with friends) with the Beatles song All My Life in the background.
 My favorite kind of sewing - the messy, shabby kind - recycling jeans into a doorknob hanger with a pocket inside for secrets and treats.

That's my five. What have you been up to?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Five on Friday

By now anyone who regularly reads this blogs knows that Five on Friday is seldom five and often not on Friday.  I thought of changing the name, but why change with a good thing?

And in that tradition, the following is a list of more than five words and phrases I’d like to see retired in 2015.

In no particular order.

Robust – politicians, realtors and investment people seem to like this word.  A robust market, for example. 

Transparent – often used with robust.  A robust and transparent investigation

With teeth - a robust and transparent investigation, with teeth   This particular investigation is meant to do more than just look pretty.

I can’t even   well then, please don’t

----porn  (as in food porn.) 

BAE – unless you are Pharrell, you probably shouldn’t call your beloved this acronym for Before Anyone Else

Sorry not sorry – oh so clever. Reminds me of the previously-retired "what part of no…"

Hashtag -  it’s #Annoying #Ridiculous and #Distracting and says more about the person using it than they might ever imagine

Twittersphere – where is this place?

Hipster - you know, that guy who looks like he should be featured on a Smith Brothers cough drop box


Selfie – No surprise here. We all absolutely know this word must go. The funniest selfie moments for me this year were in Disney, seeing people standing in front of Cinderella's Castle, smiling broadly in the “I’m having a wonderful time” position, then clicking off their phone and immediately returning to their usual scowl.

I shall try diligently to retire my two favorite - and completely exhausted - words: awesome and amazing. #Resolution #New Years #Buffoon

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in New York 2014 - Tiffanys

Come and trim my Christmas tree with some decorations bought at Tiffany's;
I really do believe in you;
Let's see if you believe in me...


The exterior of Tiffany's looks like giant topaz surrounded by cascading diamonds.











Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas in New York - Bergdorf Goodman

It's the gold standard for windows all year long, but the Christmas displays go beyond the imaginable to breathtaking.  The 2014 theme is "Inspired," and each window is based on a major art form.The main windows reflect literature, architecture, theater, painting, music, dance, sculpture, and film.  Smaller windows are also themed -- see "Photography," below.  It's hard to capture these windows on film due to the reflection of the glass, but I tried to include some of the best images for you to enjoy.








Monday, December 22, 2014


An assortment of images from Midtown.

Trump Christmas tree is always elegant

And the Trump store is all about -- you guessed it -- Mr. Trump.

A Bendels Display


The Peninsula Hotel has some of the most beautiful decorations, including these two golden reindeer prancing over the entry.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Towers over Midtown, right next to Saks.

The Lego store at Rockefeller Center features a vintage display of ... Rockefeller Center.

Windows at Anthropologie are always my favorite. This year birds are a theme.

These ornaments in front of the Chase building always look like they are floating in the water.