Jun 24, 2011

See you soon....

I'm off to Michigan for a week or two to relax, swim, sail, build sand castles and hang out with my family.  I'll be back after the fourth of July with lots more New York studio and city news to talk about.  Have a great holiday!

Jun 23, 2011

Five Things I'm Loving in NYC Right Now

 1.) The Kelvin Slush Truck.  Just the other day I said to Katy, "wouldn't it be amazing if there were a place to get slushies that weren't too sweet, and were just natural ingredients or even just cold frozen tea? " All of a sudden, yesterday, I'm walking down the street and whammo!  There it was!  Thanks, Kelvin!

2.) The New York Public Library.  The top floor reading room is my favorite place to get office work done.  It's cold, peaceful, and best of all quiet.  Even in Brooklyn, quiet places are few and far between, and sometimes it's worth the train ride to Manhattan just to work in cool silence.

3.) The Brooklyn Farmer's Market.  Who knew that New York was so far ahead of Michigan/Illinois' growing season?  Not me.  So, you can imagine my look of excited shock to find raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries all waiting for me on Saturday at Grand Army Plaza.  My friends in the Midwest (K!) will be happy to know that our chest freezer is officially plugged in, and we've started refilling it with Jersey fruits. 

4.) The view from my studio window.  While the view from our front windows is all Brooklyn- loud buses, kids playing on the street until midnight, neighbors blasting Motown all day Sunday from their parked motorcycles (please, please stop!), the view from the back of our house is completely different.  Out there are five story tall Catalpa and Maple trees, cardinals, woodpeckers, and a tiny little pond filled with fish. 

5.) Uncle Louie G's Italian Ice Stand, and the sweet lady who handed me the list of non dairy ices on Sunday.

Jun 22, 2011

Oh, Louise......

At long last, getting in just under the wire of the show closing and me leaving for vacation, I made it to Chelsea this afternoon to see the Louise Bourgeois Show at Cheim and Read.  It was worth the wait.   Just look at these fresh, bold, summery collages of colored cloth:
I love Bourgeois' work so much, and I think about her life as an artist a lot.  She worked until she died, which wasn't until she was 98.
I visited her once in the Chelsea loft she lived in during one of her artist salons in 2005.  At the time, her number was publicly listed and anyone could call and invite themselves, so I did.
I arrived at three in the afternoon and was whisked into her parlor to sit and wait.  The walls were covered in years of warped and peeling exhibition posters, drawings, and notes.  It felt like we were sitting in the living room of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, (remember her?)  and all of us, drinking cognac and coca cola and red wine were completely hushed when out from the decrepit kitchen shuffled the queen herself, in bare feet and leaning on a walker she came and sat down amongst us, and one at a time we all sat next to her and showed her our drawings.
I think I used her powder room three times, not because I had to go, but because from the toilet you could look at the sketches that were drawn right into the wall in the tiny little space.  The whole afternoon felt like a pilgrimage, and I remember thinking, upon my return to Chicago, that anything could happen in New York.  I met Louise Bourgeois and sat in her living room on her ratty old couch, for god's sake.  It was pretty cool.

Maira Kalman at the Jewish Museum

If you're in New York right now (or anytime before July 31) you've got to see the Maira Kalman exhibit at the Jewish Museum.  The Principals of Uncertainty, an autobiography/journal/record of Maira and New York has been at the top of my book pile for a long time.  I love the curious, honest, colorful way that she represents her world, especially New York City.  When I was in the process of moving here, Kalman's book was a touchstone that made me excited about the move.  I bought my autographed copy at the Strand, where Kalman has done several readings.
Ever since I read an article about her in the Times where Maira talked about doing most of her work in public, and especially on the subway, I rarely get on the train without looking around to see if she's there drawing.  Could it be?  Is it her?  Is she catching this woman in the crazy hat? Is it possible that she's looking at me?  Will she make a drawing of the two kids who got on the train with a cage full of rats? (Don't get me started)
The exhibition, which includes many of the original drawings for The Principals, also includes objects from her house, photographs, embroideries, and more.  The museum is an easy stroll up fifth avenue if you're in town for the Alexander McQueen show at the Met, you don't want to miss this show. (Free Saturday's!)

Jun 16, 2011

Chocolate Sailboat

I do love stories about sailboats, and this ship, which arrived in Brooklyn two days ago full of CHOCOLATE, deserves a mention.  Just when I'd forgotten that I'm living next to one of the world's biggest harbors, the Wall Street Journal (of all places) gave me  a friendly reminder.  I'll be first in line at Dean and DeLuca to buy a taste.

Jun 11, 2011

Show extended, and another announced!

In gallery news, I'm pleased to tell you that the show in Chicago at Packer Schopf, Red Sky at Night, has been extended to June 25th.  I'd love for you to see it if you're in Chicago!  AND- if you're in Michigan, three of my works are up as part of a group show at Trilogy in Three Oaks with  Deborah Baker and Kathy Halper ...wish I could go see it all myself.

Contest Winner Announced!

My apologies for missing my own deadline yesterday- I had an unexpected kind of a day, a good one, but forgot all about the deadline.  Now, a winner, chosen randomly from all the entries....Toni K.  Please send me your mailing address, Toni, and I'll ship your sampler right out on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Jun 8, 2011

Perle Cotton FOUND!

Just in time to get going on the new samplers that you all seem to be ordering (Thank You!) a student of mine from Squam, Bonnie, e-mailed to let me know that Herrschner's has all their size 8 perle cotton on sale.  So many students at Squam told me that it was impossible to find this stuff at their local stores, so hooray for an accessible online source!
Of course, in NYC, I'm partial to Daytona Trimming, but if you don't happen to live in the big apple, it looks like Herrschner's has got all the colors!  Thanks, Bonnie!

Jun 7, 2011

Newest Sampler Has Arrived-With a Summer Giveaway!

The newest sampler, Summer Lines, has arrived along with the heat in Brooklyn.  Get your printed version today, and settle in next to the nearest air conditioner to work on it!  They are available in limited supply at the shop, as well as a (very limited) supply of the Knotted Stitches Samplers left over from Squam. I'd love to mail you one, even though the post office is not air-conditioned.....
This example was hand stitched this spring by my generous mother (you may remember her from thread organizing fame) while she and my dad toured across the country by train on their way to the Grand Canyon.  I wish I could have been on that trip, but I'm so grateful that she could stitch this up- amidst the final push of getting my work ready for the show at Packer Schopf and all the preparations for Squam I was pretty slammed last month.  Thanks, Mom! 
In honor of the beginning of summer, I'm hosting a giveaway for this newest sampler.  To be entered to win, leave a note in the comments about where you're planning on taking your embroidery this summer.   Shakespeare in the park?  The Jersey Shore?  Fire Island?  Mackinaw Island? (I wish!) If you had a sampler, where would you embroider it?  Leave me a note and I'll pick a winner by lunchtime (EST) on Friday (June 10) .  Good luck!

Jun 6, 2011

Back from Squam

I got home from Squam last night, filled up with the joy of teaching.  I hadn't done that since December, and I really missed it.  Thanks to everyone who came and took my classes- I loved meeting all of you and hope we'll meet again sometime for another workshop.  I didn't take a lot of photographs while I was in New Hampshire this year, but I did bring back this tip for you:
 Madi, a student of mine from Fort Worth brought out this gem of an idea one grey afternoon.   I couldn't get over how smart this was, and I can't wait to go out this afternoon and get my very own book light to shine some light on my hoop.  This is the perfect tool for car trips, bus trips, plane trips....etc.  Thanks Madi!

In case you're wondering what she's working on, it's one of three new samplers that are currently in the process of being listed at my online shop.  This one was custom designed for the Stitch Dictionary workshop at Squam, and a few leftovers are now up and ready for sale.

Jun 3, 2011


The tides are inpsiring to me.  They come in, they go out, everyday they are different and everyday they are the same.  The idea that something which  is constantly changing is always normal is comforting to me. 
 The smell of the ocean as soon as we hit the coast (and especially after we crossed the bridge onto Deer Isle) is one of my favorite smells in the world.  

I love the water, and even though I might loose some kind of born in Michigan credential, I especially love the ocean.
Just look at all the life that's in there! On Friday morning Katy and I drove to a nearby beach with our friend Carole to pick mussels.
 Wearing our mud boots and warm fleeces, we lifted huge layers of kelp to uncover dinner.  You can't do that in New York City!  Or you can, but I'm not sure what you might find to fill your plate....
Later that afternoon we hiked along another beach and kept on hiking (since it was low tide) out to an island, and onward to another.  For a Midwesterner like myself, the idea of walking to an island across the ocean's floor on a sunny afternoon is pretty amazing. 

Jun 2, 2011


Last week Katy and I packed a rental car and headed north to coastal Maine for a much needed vacation from the city. 
Exactly one week ago today it was so cold that we both wore silk underwear under our pajamas and piled wool blankets on top of our sleeping bags.  The temperature outside right now in NYC is more than double those dreamily chilly Maine digits. I'm not cut out for the heat. 
We spent the week on Deer Isle, the largest lobstering community in the United States.  We ate like kings for the week by picking and steaming our own mussels, and eating locally caught scallops, crab, salmon and lobster.  I think our omega fatty acid levels are all set for awhile.  
 One of the things I like the most about the island is all the paraphernalia of lobstering.  Every time I've been there I'm surprised and inspired by the bright hot pinks and oranges of the lobster cages, bait bags and buoys.  I always expect them to be plain wood like the ones you see in antique stores.  Even lobstering is bright and modern in color!