Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That Crazy Genius, Frank Lloyd Wright

Walking the path through the misty verdant woods, the house appears subtly. Like one of the natural wonders on the hike.
From the bridge that crosses the stream to the entrance to the house. Imagine stepping down from the living room to dip your toe in the stream.The structure emerges from the rock. The rock emerges from the structure.
Feels like walking under another rock outcropping, safe shelter from rain. It's all about cantilevers.
Go! Take the phenomenal tour to see the inside, all original furnishings, of the best presrved Wright building. Support the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in their excellent stewardship of Fallingwater. Bring a camera (not just your camera phone.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On the Mall: Library of Congress Book Festival

I biked over to the National Mall this morning, met MB and friends to listen to authors speak about their books. I probably would have headed for the history section on my own, but, luckily, the girls chose the food authors tent and it was fascinating to see and hear Spike Mendelsohn and Ree Drummond share their secrets. Each is much more than an author: Spike is a young + famous chef, player on Top Chef, owner of Capitol Hill's Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza. Ree is a The Pioneer Woman, mother, wife, homesteader extraordinaire. You've probably heard of them. I suffer from lack of pop culture exposure.Spike worked in the kitchen since he was a kid, has a passion for good honest (local, organic) food prepared simply. Plus, he's adorable - especially sans hat.
His cookbook.

Ree is charming, hilarious, humble, self-deprecating in a loveable way, and obviously a woman to be admired for her accomplishments on the homestead and how she shares them through her blog. From her story, it seems like she just fell into blogging - and also (surpising to me!) designing her blog, with a little bit of help. Her cookbook.

The Pioneer Woman shares Ten Important Things She's Learned About Blogging. Brilliant.
This further clarified my stance that I am not a blogger. {But I'm glad Ree Drummond is a blogger.}

Friday, September 24, 2010

D.I.Y. Digital Buttons

The cool guys at curbly, the D.I.Y. website, asked me to do another fun project for the website: Illustrating "Buttons" for 12 different Sections of the site. I think CRAFT and HOME TOUR are my favorites. Surprise?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alexandria Evening Tide

View from the Alexandria waterfront toward Maryland, just across the Potomac, and northward toward Washington DC. Alexandria was established in 1749 and forty years later found itself surveyed into the boudaries of the new federal capital of the United States of America, the District of Columbia. Originally surveyed a square, ten miles on each side, taken from the states of Maryland and Virginia on either side of the Potomac River, the new 'federal city' established its core at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, several miles north of Alexandria. In 1846, Congress heeded the petitions of Alexandrians and the Virginia state governement and returned the former Virginia territory within the federal District to the state of Virginia and local jurisdictions. Alexandrians celebrate their founding with a grand fireworks show and concert on the waterfront a few days after July 4, following the nation's Independence Day celebration. The heavy flight path to/from Reagan National Airport (see airplane above) and the heat lightning added to the light show in the sky as the constant moon beamed, only changing color slightly throughout the evening.
The fire engines are poised for action, doors ajar, uniforms set for slipping on as the firemen jump into the truck.
Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks.
We felt like we were in Savannah, walking around on a summer night, catching a breeze on the riverfront, peeking in windows of historic homes, seeking the warm lights on brick and following our curiosity.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Shameless Nostalgia: "Accessories of Old"

Accessories of Old is not just an evocative title to talk about vintage findings, it's a shop in Frederick, Maryland and an online shop. I wandered in today, after delivering an order of stationery to sell at The Muse. My mother and I went back in time, she found memories of her childhood and her mother's heartland glamour, I took photographs and tried to justify buying some accessories of old for myself. I ended up with a nice stash of vintage ribbon, for business use. We wondered...how does one amass all this old stuff in one place? The answer is better than imagined. Read it HERE. The shop is going out of business so head over to the 50% off sale at 151 N. Market Street.
I wished Afton was still here. I think she would have loved Accessories of Old.

My Shameless Nostalgia: Wish I was a Farm Security Administration Photographer

These rare photographs, from color slides, seemed the perfect companion to Norman Rockwell's painterly scenes of American life of the early-mid-1900s. These FSA and Office of War Information images are also drenched with color and reality. They are dirty and precious and frought with humility and survival and dignity.
The photographs were published online by the Denver Post and came to me, in perfect timing, by my friend, Paul.
Afton took me on a photo tour of their Maine summer last night, with stories of life lived as it was thirty years ago: moose, sea chowders for dinner, small towns with big crowds in for an annual pirate festival, booming fishing and ship-building industries faded so that Maine towns are a ghost of their former selves, buying a loot of real good old stuff for not a lot of money...
The stuff of dreams.

My Shameless Nostalgia: Awed by Norman Rockwell

Oh, my! Norman Rockwell is a genius. I've been hoping to get to see this exhibit from the collections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas at the National Portrait Gallery. My very good friend, Afton, visiting with her husband en route from Maine to Arkansas, was my cohort yesterday in exploring The National Mall, its monuments and museums, by bicycle. We soaked in the paintings and their accompanying stories, both the background story of how and why Rockwell made the piece and imagining our own narratives that naturally form from such tender images. I felt so patriotic and hopeful and genuinely touched, leaving that gallery of stories.

I hope I haven't denigrated the work to post these images here. My message is GO SEE THE SHOW! Info HERE.

I've been listening to Christmas songs from the 1950s, now, for the entire evening. No doubt inspired by My Shameless Nostalgia.