Monday, May 30, 2011

The rainbow around us

This has been the wettest and chilliest of springs.
Everyone seems to be complaining of gray skies and disappointing cold.

But still we are surrounded by a rainbow of joyous color.

Shall we take a quick walk around the garden?
Lilacs in pink, white, purple and multicolor smell even better than they look.

The blueberry blossoms are so lovely even when dripping
and the tiny green cherries are so heartening.
Can't you just imagine their glowing red in July?
You must come for a slice of homemade pie this summer!

For now, isn't this an array of lush greenness? 
Don't you love spring green?

Under the apple tree, the bluebells burst with color.
In another day or two the lily of the valley will join them.

I know they're called bluebells but they look so purple to me...

The sun peeked out and look what is beside the trellis.
More blue! And look at the splashes of yellow.

Just over the fence are those bane-of-the-gardener's-existence, wild morning glories and buttercups.
I am pulling them out, one by one, like the enemies they are.

And yet when you step back and look,
even the dreaded buttercup is so amazing.
It almost glows, doesn't it?

I am inspired to take my brushes out and finish up some work I'm doing for a women's shelter. 
I will hang six pieces for them very soon and I think one of them needs a tad more yellow...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

She who holds my heart

She is two years old.
A living breathing miracle, that child.

When I'm with her I find myself laughing.

Occasionally we get a glimpse of the woman she'll be someday...
but mostly she's simply herself, living in the moment.

Ordinary life with her is extraordinary.

I hold her in my arms or clasp her hand as we cross a street but truly it is she who holds a big chunk of my heart in those sweet two year old hands.

Oh, how precious it is, the love of a child!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Play time, grownup style

After the show closed, boxes were sealed and the suitcases packed, my friends and I decided to play a bit. What would you do with a brief morning in New York?

Why, a quick visit to Central Park, of course!

We began by a tour via PediCab...

... trundling through the park and stopping to photograph the carved details, flowers and fountains.

Strawberry fields, the carousel, the ice rink, ball fields and beautiful ponds. 
John Lennon's memorial caught my eye.

It was raining but I didn't mind in the least.

After a ramble in the Park we zipped across to Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, window shopping and popping in to peer at the pretties in Tiffany's and Saks and Godiva.

 Looking at some of the high fashion, I wondered who wears these things. Odd green mittens with a sleeveless dress? And the pattern on the outfit on the right... my goodness.

Some of the shop windows made me almost drool.
You can hardly see it here but this background is made of rare book illustrations that are pure genius.
(See me in the reflection at left, snapping the photo?)

Sephora. My, oh my. So roomy and golden inside, so ornamented on the outside.
It looks like a gigantic music box from time gone by.

Just look at the cherubs, the gilt decorations on classic black, the striped awning and fancy carved details. Are you smitten? Don't you wonder who carved and gilded such beauty?

The shop windows are captivating even if you're not a shopper.

On we strolled to Rockefeller Center where Crabtree & Evelyn, Lego and Anthro beckon.

I fell prey to some chocolate raspberry tea and a few ounces of oranje rooibos at the tea shop, my only purchases. I do love a nice cuppa! 

And it's light enough to tuck into a tiny corner when you're worried your bags might be overweight.

 I sniffed the fragrance of chocolate in this over-the-top confectionery. 
For the woman on a budget who is watching her calories, sniffs were enough. I knew where we were headed next!

On to Thomas Keller's new Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Plaza. I love Bouchon.
Time for sandwiches and pastries.

Jane, Julia, Annie and I munched, seated sister-fashion on a bench nearby.
 Who noticed the rain? We were too busy eating to care.

Oh, hallelujah! 
Chocolate hazelnut tart!

Then off to the airport, where a jet swept us into the sky, winging us homeward.

New York is the perfect place to work and play.
What a lovely adventure!

And now home. Thankful.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In New York this week...

Yours Truly has been off adventuring again.
I was Nervous with a capital N since I was showing an entirely different look to my work.

My booth was wreathed in pink and hung with my bright new images.
Colors galore...
I did the whole rainbow on top of that pink!

You know I reinvented myself this year.
Change is not easy, and sometimes can be downright frightening. I took a deep breath and am so glad I switched gears and took the risk.

I am now firmly on track, having found some wonderful new opportunities to partner with manufacturers and publishers who are absolutely stellar.

And oh, the fun of seeing dear friends! Here's my friend Jane Shasky, whose watercolor birds and florals enchant every time...

And Eliot Treister, owner of Raffit Ribbon, who has more style in his fingertips than anyone I've ever met and is utterly humble about his impressive accomplishments. 

I captured my friend Caroline Simas, who was my roomie for the week, as she hung her booth. We are partners, setting up our booths together and laughing ourselves silly in the process.

Megan Halsey fed us on cupcakes and smiles... 

And I had dinners like this one with Demdaco artists and product development team.
Oh, how fun it is to partner with creative people!

Tomorrow I'll share the drippy joy of a morning spent in Central Park and window shopping Madison Avenue before we headed home.

To those who have encouraged me, believed in me and urged me forward, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Bless you for whispering "go for it!" when I was hesitant about this fresh calligraphic / watercolor / typographic / cut paper combination and giving me courage to try something bold and new.

Heartfelt and sincere thanks.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Mr. Wonderful, knowing I needed a rest, kidnapped me this weekend.
It was only a few hours, but so refreshing.

Seattle is nearby and a world away. 
No matter how many times I visit Pike Place Market I never tire of it...

... the cheese maker, the fishmonger, the glorious fruits and vegetables...
All of it looks like a still life painting, and fairly sings out, "SPRING!"

Everywhere you look there is something more splendid than the glimpse before.

When we finally turn away I am almost dazzled. 

But not so overcome that I miss the architectural delights of Seattle, a truly amazing city. Art deco touches on buildings, beautiful water drains underfoot... there is just so much beauty the city has to offer.

And the delights of window shopping!
I was not the only one to fall prey to the shopkeepers' artful windows.

After a few hours we headed back to the train station. 
Time to come home.

What's your getaway place? Where do you go when you need a little break? 
I am so glad Mr. Wonderful knew I was tired and snatched me away for a day-long adventure.