Sunday, May 24, 2020

QSDS: Memories Saved, New Ones Delayed

If not for the Coronovirus pandemic, scores of people would be arriving in Columbus, Ohio today to start their adventures in learning at the 31st annual Quilt & Surface Design Symposium. On Monday, students would begin working with dyes and paints, cutting and sewing fabric and learning new design skills. They would be shooting photos as teachers showed artwork or demonstrated techniques. I would be right there with them, as the historian, documenting the mastery of new skills and the excitement of compositional breakthroughs. We cannot welcome friends with hugs, stand shoulder to shoulder during demonstrations or sit and chat during lunch. But we WILL all do this again. It's a part of our very being.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Shirley Temple Pitcher

My mother loved Shirley Temple. She never tired of watching all those old movies. The story is that she won this little glass pitcher, probably a giveaway at the movies. "Dish Night" was a popular event during the 1930s. Like many who lived through the Great Depression, her instinct was to save everything, but this was special. I have spent most of my life examining and questioning that sometimes-fuzzy line between collecting with a purpose and hoarding. But some items have acquired Family Treasure status and deserve to be saved, regardless of their intrinsic worth.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Deadnettle Lawn

The sloping front yard of a local business has been neglected this spring. The deadnettles claimed it. Their purply top leaves and tiny flowers were backlit in the late morning light. The longer I stared, the harder it was to hold on to my sense of scale. It was as if there were acres of them instead of a few square yards. Deadnettles are members of the mint family. They were used as poultices for wounds and brewed into tea. The next time it invades your garden, save a few and toss the top leaves and flowers into your salad. Your great, great grandma would approve. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

View Of The White Garden, Hidcote

In May, garden lovers make pilgrimages to Hidcote, the magnificent garden estate in the Cotswolds. But not this year. None will stroll along the Long Walk or take note of a particular variety of peony blooming in a border. This spring, the gardens are there for only the wildlife to enjoy. While I dig the crabgrass out from among my bloomed-out patch of daffodils, I will imagine wandering from leafy garden room to garden room. In my mind, the lilacs are in bloom and it’s always sunny enough to tell the time on the White Garden's sundial.