Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Really Great Wall of China

The main wall in a local bakery/coffee shop is a vintage china lover's dream. Don't ask me how all those plates are attached. Perhaps epoxy, as no hardware shows. It's a good example of how a large group of anything can make an impressive statement. Care has been taken to make all the plates relate as a unified group, overlapping them, while still leaving a little space for the wall to show through, here and there. The more time I spent looking at it, the more I noticed the differences in the sizes, colors and patterns of the plates. A tight mass of similar somethings accentuates the differences between all those somethings. It's a design lesson mounted on a wall. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Leaf Strewn Creek

The day after a night of rain and strong winds, I stood on a little stone bridge and looked down at the creek that runs under it. So many leaves had fallen that you could barely see the water. It was the autumn equivalent of lily pads covering a pond. A very dry summer has made this a tough year for the trees. Many have shed their leaves without the normal show of yellows and oranges. It's been a tough year for a lot of people as well. I stood on the bridge, thankful for the joyful colors of the trees and for the fact that whatever lies ahead, we will keep trying, keep going, keep doing our jobs, just like those trees. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Last Red Leaf

Oak Hill Cemetery is a quiet respite from the busier, more tourist-haunted parts of Georgetown. On an autumn afternoon, the trees glowed in the slanting light. With so many golden leaves all around her, the woman who stands on the Lanston memorial reached up for the last red leaf on the branch above her. There she was, arm perpetually raised, gazing at the leaf that remained just out of reach. For a moment, I searched for some mournful significance in this, but those rustling curtains of golden leaves all around me blew it away.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Line Of Keys

A week ago, crowds at the Houston International Quilt Festival were looking at quilts and making purchases from the vendors. On the third floor, the last classes had been completed and the workers in the Education Office were going about their wrap-up tasks. I left just as the keys to the classrooms had been laid out in numerical order and checked to confirm that they were all there. That striped line represents many days of learning and inspiration shared by almost 150 teachers. A key can be both freedom and responsibility, unlocking the door to something new, then  keeping class equipment and personal possessions safe. It's good to have the key, but everyone is relieved when it rejoins collection.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Pair Of Flags

As Americans, we have been trained from birth to respect our flag, to feel a sense of pride, ownership and unity at the sight of it. In the midst of the concrete and steel canyons of Manhattan, this pair of flags conspired with the sun and sky  to elicit all of those patriotic emotions. Very soon, the debating, shouting, editorial-writing and finally the voting will be over. The rest of the world admires the United States for our ability and determination to hold elections, then, whatever the results, work together for the good of the country.  I hope we continue to live up to what that pair of flags represents.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Cookies

A member of our quilt guild made Jack o Lantern cookies for the October meeting. Halloween comes and goes quickly, so why not get some more use out of that pumpkin cookie cutter? Nowadays we can find the perfect shade of orange icing in the cake decorating section of the craft store. That means we can avoid past disasters caused by the need to shake out drops of red and yellow food coloring from tiny bottles. Whether or not you are a fan of candy corn, using it as the features on the Jack o Lanterns is a clever example of repurposing. It shows that we can exercise our creativity and then...eat the results.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Unusual Barriers

"What the heck ARE those things?"  Sometimes I can almost see the thought balloons containing those words floating over the heads of tourists. In parts of Washington DC close to the Capitol or the White House, these bellows-like security features can be found at the entrances to underground garages,  making it impossible to drive in. They remind me of accordions gone awry or giant fireplace bellows being birthed from the concrete. They spend most of their lives unnoticed, compressed flush with the sidewalk so there is an element of surprise. The bright yellow color scheme gives them an unintentional air of whimsy. Lord knows we can all use a little whimsy in our security features.