Tuesday, February 27, 2007


VW owners love to personalize their traveling companions. After taking this, I kept thinking this plate looked familiar ... finally, I made the association with a friend.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Crossing Bridges

I love the structure of bridges and try, on every trip, to take photos of them, a daunting task in a moving vehicle.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


This show is so big that it can take hours to get your vehicle to the loading dock to load up your booth. We were lucky. From start to finish, it took us about three and a half hours to breakdown. When we left, around 8:30 p.m., we passed a huge line of vehicles (over a hundred, at least) waiting to get into the building. It was going to be a late night for many.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Flower Arranging

One of my favorite show tasks is picking and arranging the flowers used in the booth.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Show Time

The American Craft Show in Baltimore is the largest juried, indoor craft show in the nation. Over 800 of the country's leading craft artists show their work here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Show Setup/American Visionary Museum

Yesterday was a travel day with my boss to Baltimore, Maryland for the American Craft Council Show. Today was setup. Here's a not very glamorous behind the scenes view of the dock area and the contents of our truck which needed unloading.

A must-see if you are ever in Baltimore, is the American Visionary Art Museum. We planned our day well and spent a good part of it there. We especially liked the exhibit of mechanical toys and automata. Paul Spooner was a favorite. He
re's a page that shows one of his creations in action. To learn about other mechanical sculpture artists and see more figures in action, visit the Cabaret mechanical Theatre site.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cough, Cough

Feeling puny.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Quiet Drive

The sparkling sunny sub-freezing weather of the last few days is over. Snow now covers tree branches which were recently enclosed in ice. A good day for a quiet drive through a local cemetery.

My favorite bakery has the best sesame ciabatta bread, firm crust with a chewy, large-grain texture inside, delicious pastries and mini-focaccia pizzas ... mmmm.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bead Show

Nothing like a bead show to brighten up a winter day. Last year, I experimented with a few sparkly faceted glass beads only to find that the supplier did not have anymore when I went to reorder. Fortunately, she was returning to China for a bead buying trip but made no guarantees. Lucky me, she found all except one color. I bought them all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ice Everywhere

As destructive as they can be, ice storms create breathtaking beauty. When the sun comes out, the ice sparkles like diamonds.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Brrr! It's Cold

We got everything yesterday, snow, sleet, rain. By evening, shrubs and trees were developing a coat of ice. As much damage as the ice can do, its effect is beautiful, giving the landscape a fairyland appearance.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rolling Pennies

My grandmother kept a penny jar as many people do today. When I was a kid, she would keep me and my siblings occupied when we visited by asking us to count her pennies. Occasionally, the pennies got rolled as I am doing today and taken to the bank. But, mostly, the pennies were used as entertainment. We stacked them, made walls and forts out of them, played grocery store.

Penny facts (sorry I am not citing sources but you can look these up):
  1. Millions and millions of pennies are thrown away each year, and not necessarily on the ground but in the trash, because they are a nuisance for some people to carry around.
  2. Support for picking pennies up off the ground is eroding. The practice varies widely by age group. Seniors will bend over more often than young adults.
  3. About a quarter of the people who pick up pennies respect the superstition of only picking up heads and about a fourth of this group actually turn the bad coin (tails) to benefit the next person.
  4. Pennies cost more than one cent to make.
  5. The most expensive penny is a rare one minted in 1793. Only four are known to exist today and their worth is estimated at more than $275,000.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Doctor Appointments & An Exhibit

An exhibit of embroidered textiles I visited today. More images at F.I.G.

Tomorrow it is supposed to snow, sleet, rain. The city is hunkering down. I gave thanks that my doctor appointments were today, instead of tomorrow. The mammography technician told me that it took her three hours during the snow storm last week to drive home, usually a fifteen-minute trip, and the receptionist said that it took her two hours just to get out of the employee parking garage because everyone was leaving at the same time and no one would let her ease out of her parking space into the exiting traffic line. In fact, everywhere I went this past week, I heard similar stories.

The photograph is of the machine that takes mammograms. Some women avoid getting mammograms because they are afraid of the pain. Studies have shown that extreme pain is a myth. There may be mild discomfort from some, similar to a tight-fitting pair of shoes, but it is only for a very short time, less than a minute per x-ray for me.

When I saw this plate, I interpreted it as "3-D Dreams." Later, I saw another plate, 2D BEACH. A sign my interpretation was right?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bunny Collection

When I first moved into my house, a domesticated rabbit appeared in my yard ... then, another ... and another ... and another ... until I eventually had seven. Easter pets abandoned? I housed and fed them. Now, they are gone and I collect rabbit figures in memory of them.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fine Arts Sampler Weekend: Recital

This weekend is the Tri-state area's 21st Fine Arts Sampler Weekend where more than 30,000 people are expected to attend more than 200 free arts events in over 70 locations. This year's theme is Fiesta, A Celebration of Rhythm.

While at the downtown library for another purpose, I heard music. I stopped to listen. Unlike the boy in the striped shirt who was very much at ease and an expressive piano player, the little girl had a case of stage fright. She sat silently on the bench. An adult from the audience, her mother, I think, came up and whispered something to her as she guided the little girl's hands to the keyboard. After a few more encouraging whispers and guiding, the little girl finally began to play.

Calligraphy class update. We have progressed from warm-up strokes to families of letters of which there are four. The first is based on "O," ocedgqs. Maybe, one or two O's on my practice page show promise ... practice, practice, practice.

Friday, February 9, 2007


This is the wooded area I pass driving to and from work. It was dusk, which is the time the deer show up. They were in two groups, about a dozen in all. Even though this area is close to the road, many drivers do not even notice them, they blend so well with their environment. One driver did stop and took some photos from his car using his cell phone. Then, he decided he wanted to get closer and tried to approach through high grass. Needless to say, he spooked the deer.

The best part of discovering this vanity plate was watching the double take of the woman whose car was parked next to it.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Slipping and Sliding

Hard to see but that's me sliding down the hill on a very slippery piece of plastic, my pooch running behind.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Quilt Building

I have always liked this old building. The square glass windows in shades of grey and rust remind me of an old patchwork wool quilt I own, made from scraps of men's suiting.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Winter Landscape

An early afternoon view of the beginning of a much anticipated snow storm. People in more northerly climes would laugh at the near hysteria that six to seven inches of snow wrought and the city-wide gridlock that resulted. In deference to our city, we do have quite a number of hills, but the biggest issue is that we do not get much snow, so most of our residents do not know how to drive in the white stuff when we do get it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Looking Out

I am fascinated when my cats pull the venetian blind slats to look out the window. It supports my belief that animals have intelligence and memory and a particular kind of "manual" dexterity. This particular cat showed his smarts as a kitten, when after a few nights of observing my other cat using a cat door to leave a room, he did the same.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Calligraphy: First Class

When I was in grade school, penmanship was taught using the Palmer Method. Writing exercises involved making loops and up-and-down strokes. Now, years later, I'm at it again. I signed up for an italic calligraphy course. For years, I have wanted to improve my handwriting by learning this script. The first class met today and our assignment was to learn to use a nibbed pen by making random marks.
In the afternoon, I met with a fiber interest group (f.i.g.) of friends and artists to share a potluck and recent projects. More on my F.I.G. blog.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Self-Service Dog Wash

Doesn't he look happy? I love the sign in front of the shop. Makes me smile every time I see it. My few experiences of washing my dog at home were a watery nightmare so I am happy to have discovered this place. They supply everything ... warm water, shampoo, towels, blow dryer and a plastic apron to keep me dry, mostly ... and hints. Did you know that you can postpone the inevitable doggie water shake by washing the head last? It's the wet head that starts it all.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Community Garden

Doesn't look like much now, but come spring ...