Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flower Shop On the Rue Royale, Brussels

Fine examples of Belle Epoque architecture stand all over Brussels. The facade of this flower shop is one of my favorites. On sunny days, the reflection of the modern building across the street fills the windows of the facade, forcing viewers to really look in order to discern the curves of the finely crafted wooden and brass door. It's an almost psychedelic experience. I hope that others will still plan to visit Brussels, where they can dine on moules and frites, get to know the friendly, welcoming citizens, discover architectural gems and bring home fine chocolates. I would happily go tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Wrong Side Of the Embroidery

“ The back looks almost as perfect as the front” used to be high praise. For generations, needlewomen were encouraged to keep the back of their work looking as tidy as possible. Over the years, practicality has won out for me. Embroideries that are to be used, not just looked at, require sturdy beginnings and endings. I have been wondering why those  honest knots and thread tails should be relegated to the “wrong side” of the work.  What is the wrong side? Here are the backs of some of Rosalie Dace’s teaching samples. As in-process stitcheries, they have their own beauty and verve. If you would like to see more of Rosalie’s work and perhaps spend some time in class with her, check out this link:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pink Grasses

After the rain, a veil of delicate grasses draped themselves over the heads of bloomed-out coneflowers. Bereft of their petals, they stood like glamorous women wearing evening gowns of pink gauze, sparkling with raindrops. It was beautiful and mysterious, but also spooky and slightly ominous, like a spider web or the scarier, sturdier webs of bagworms that sometimes cling to unfortunate trees. Soon the sun would banish the raindrops. Winter will fell the grasses. Such fragile beauty is, by nature, an ephemeral thing to be enjoyed in the moment.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Festival Photographers

Like Brigadoon, the 2015 Houston International Quilt Festival has come and gone. One morning before masses of people arrived, I came across a lady instructing her friend on how to position the iPad so she could photograph Yoshiyuki Ishizaki's quilt "Kan Oh Chi Rai." Later that day, when it was crowded, I observed an amusing but sad phenomena that is becoming more common. When two or three large-screen users block the view of those surrounding them, some would-be viewers give up and begin looking at the images on those screens instead of the actual quilt, like concert-goers in the cheap seats watching the Jumbotron at a Rolling Stones concert. Let's all try to be kind and considerate. Then we can all see the quilts.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Angel of Death

Even on a bright sunny day, meeting up with the Angel of Death can be somewhat daunting. He is one of the more imposing figures in Milan's Monumental Cemetery. He leans against a replica of an ancient sarcophagus, linking his own Victorian countenance to the death and burial customs of an earlier age. I wonder about the small figure sheltering under his wing. Is this a representation of the departed family member? It’s all a reminder that life is fleeting and death is eternal.