July 1st, 2014
June 27th, 2014
I’ve noticed something interesting in the past year – butterflies seem to make an appearance when I least expect them. Whether it’s in my work or in my garden, they seem to seek out my company. A little while ago, I spied something fluttering in our hydrangea leaves: it was a butterfly, partially entangled in a spider’s web. She kept trying to escape, but part of her wings were nearly fused together by the strength of the spider’s silk.
I normally don’t interfere with Mother Nature, but I admit to being very sentimental about these creatures and I decided to help. She stopped fluttering when I approached, and I unentangled her as best I could without actually touching her. She climbed into my hands once she was free, and I could see she had remnants of silk fibers still adhering to her wings. I gently set her on the sidewalk, where she proceeded to drag her wings along the cement, which was the perfect solution: the rough pavement caught at the silk and trapped it as she moved, allowing her to free herself from the rest of the fibers.
I ran back inside to fetch my camera, and captured a few images before she tested her wings and found them ready for flight.
June 2nd, 2014
April 30th, 2014
April 29th, 2014
For some reason, each time I return to England, it is sunny. Days and days of sunshine. Entire weeks of nothing but sun and breeze and glorious weather that is so very un-English it surprises me every time.
When I lived here, however, that never seemed to be the case. I needed to keep a plastic grocery bag in my pocket to tie over the saddle of my bike when I locked it somewhere, so that upon my return, I’d not have to suffer the indignity (and discomfort) of a wet bike seat and the unfortunate markings on my jeans that occurred as a result. I cut my long hair short because I could never, ever seem to get my hair to dry quickly in the constant drizzly mist. I once tied the bound copy of my thesis inside three plastic bags to keep it dry inside my bag as I cycled (in a deluge) to deliver it to the Examination Schools.
But the weather for every subsequent return, for the weddings of friends and for the sharing of my beloved former home with my boys? Sun.
“Mom, I don’t believe you when you said it was always rainy,” each child has accused, as he squints up at the cloudless blue sky and asks me to hold his jacket because it is early April, yet strangely it is too warm for such things.
Did I imagine all that water? Did I imagine cycling on dark streets hung with mist so thick I could feel it swirl around me and settle on my clothes? I may have. Because now, years later, my new memories created with my boys are ones of warm, vibrant days; of beautiful sites not obscured by fog but illuminated by a bright spring sun; of picnic-ing on (dry) benches and holding little hands – rather than the handle of an umbrella – in my own.
March 28th, 2014
Most people who have jobs also have coworkers. Coworkers can be wonderful, they can be annoying, they can be your support system, they can be the most challenging thing about your day. Sometimes, they can be all of those things at once.
I have two coworkers in my studio.
They have very loud barks which alert me to the presence of the mail carrier and the Fed Ex guy (good) and to the presence of every pedestrian, squirrel, bird, and leaf that dares travel anywhere in the vicinity of their lair (bad). They keep me company (good) and they never leave my side, which is generally not an issue until you’re asked to send photographs of your new pillow design to a textile magazine and you end up with the results above (bad).
I eventually had to lock them out of the room in which I was shooting, only to open the door a few minutes later and discover the toilet paper from the bathroom had been unravelled and rolled throughout the entire surrounding area. The younger dog seemed quite pleased with this situation (bad), while the older one slunk away in shame (good), but at least I was able to submit my photographs on time…right after I cleaned up 627 yards of toilet paper.
March 27th, 2014
February 27th, 2014
January 29th, 2014
January 17th, 2014
This is one of the first pieces I’ve created in 2014, and a part of what I hope will become a larger series featuring the beautiful architecture of row homes both in Philadelphia and beyond. I’m now on the hunt for houses. I carry my camera with me at all times, and can often be heard saying “Wait, pull over!” if I’m the passenger in the car. If I’m driving, it’s my children who do the talking: “Seriously, Mom? Again with the row homes?”
“That’s life with an artist, my darlings,” I usually respond, though I know they secretly enjoy being part of my process…when they come tip-toeing into my studio, the first thing they do is look at my computer screen to see what I’m creating, and they’ll often pull up a chair beside me as I work. Or, in the case of my seven year-old, will plop down directly onto my lap. He’s getting a bit tall for me to see over his head when he does this, but I love it nonetheless.
Sometimes I ask them for input as I work, and sometimes I finish pieces late in the night, long after they’ve gone to bed. They know they can always scamper into my studio in the morning to see what I’ve done while they were asleep and dreaming under the stars.