reading letters telling stories

Earlier this week my grandma and I spent an afternoon together reading letters, telling stories, and eating ice cream. We read the correspondence of sisters, between a Midwestern farm in Indiana and the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. My grandma’s eldest sister, my Great Aunt Catherine, was laid to rest a few weeks ago. She enjoyed a long and lively career in the city while my grandma raised a family as the wife of a professor near their hometown. My grandma laughed and laughed as she read aloud one letter she wrote her eldest sister in the ’40s (thanking her for the use of her high school formal and including a joke she had heard that day over the radio). The letters sparked many lively memories, which led to storytelling. The afternoon was ageless.

chocolates and succulents

My living stones are outgrowing their egg cups! Isn’t it just when you think something is not going to change, you blink and it has? If nothing else, time changes things. Even when it’s misty and foggy, things grow, reproduce, or die. So I am propagating my succulents in the spirit of growth. If all goes well, I will share them with those of you who like the little muted water retainers as much as I do. If only chocolates could be propagated…

tartlet pincushion

Oh dear, it sounds like an unfortunate stage name, but really, it is the cutest new accessory perched atop my sewing table (yes! I now have a dedicated sewing table with a non-borrowed machine on it!). I was flipping through Zakka Sewing last week when I spotted a new use for my extra tartlet tins: pincushions. It takes a circle of fabric, some sturdy thread, a little stuffing and some glue to complete. I used the extra fabric from my old favorite pair of grey winter socks and the material from some stretchy gloves I got on clearance for 25-cents. Understandably, the wool finished sturdier, and I ended up doing a double stitch before gathering it up into a pouch. Once the pouch is tightly stuffed, tie it off, turn it upside down and glue it to the tin. Almost good enough to eat.

golden hour in the gallery

A friend’s happenstance run-in with painter Brooke Pickett during a pit stop on Magazine Street led me to a gallery opening at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans last weekend.  The paintings alone reminded me of Philip Guston’s work, so I wasn’t surprised when I read in Pickett’s interview that he was important to her as an artist.  But as I walked into and around the gallery as the sun was setting, it was Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series compositions that came to mind; the light was changing the work on the wall even after it was finished.  The way the light hit the windows into Diebenkorn’s studio largely informed his compositions (this video shows him sitting in his studio like it is a gallery).  The image of my friend Jillian taking in her old schoolmate’s paintings is my humble photographic homage to Diebenkorn, because why can’t the gallery be a studio, too?