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 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.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Unfortunate Bank Sign

We've all seen signs like this one, where the light has burned out on part of it, creating an inadvertently humorous typo. I still regret never stopping to capture an image of the Goodyear tire store's sign that, for a couple of years, said "Goo ear." A neighborhood grocery store had an unlit letter O for so long that shoppers still refer to the store as the "Fod Star." A bank cannot afford to have a partly-lit sign for long. It implies a lack of attention to detail. Burned-out letters also imply a lack of funds. Happily, this sign was fixed quickly, but the image still makes me chuckle.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bloomed Out Perennials

The days are getting shorter and the perennials that made it through the summer are getting seedy. Literally. This is a good thing. I have seen goldfinches perching on my neighbor's coneflowers. They were most likely looking for a palate cleanser before returning to the sunflowers down the street. There is an odd beauty in these flowers as they undergo inevitable changes. Petals turn dusty shades of mauve, then become gray, then almost black before they drop. Those are Victorian mourning colors, worn in reverse order by the coneflowers. Winter is coming but the coneflowers will rise again in the spring.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dream Garden, Switzerland

There are places in the world where, late in the season, you can easily discover a lush, colorful dream of a garden. Our weather has finally turned cooler. A few days of rain and mist are greening up the crispy crabgrass in the side yard. The ambient light reminds me of a cottage garden glimpsed one misty day in Switzerland. It was tidy and colorful. The Swiss are proud of their asters---so many asters, in every color, size and type, standing tall amidst the roses and chrysanthemums. I feel so lucky to have seen it. Now it is in my head forever, the perfect fantasy of a cool weather garden.