Sunday, February 27, 2022

Detail, Arts & Industries Building

 Started in 1881 and built to display the latest technology, the Arts & Industries Building was the Smithsonian's first museum. Badly in need of repairs and restoration, inside and out, it was on the National Trust's list of Most Endangered Places for a long time. I've always admired its exuberant exterior. Multicolored enameled bricks run in bands and frame windows. Carved stone medallions punctuate the roofline. The wrought iron gates are the essence of Victorian design. Now, until July, 2022, the building is open for a special exhibit titled "Futures." It's a chance to view the interior and to consider what may be the future of this important building.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Bowling Balls

 Who knew that bowling balls could be a delightfully whimsical edging for a front walk? Having bowled only twice in my life, I had no idea that they came in so many colors. The lanterns hanging from the porch repeat the theme very nicely. How does one acquire dozens of bowling balls? Did someone in the family own a bowling alley? Do bowling balls get too old and too worn to use? So many questions, but no answers. I am too shy to knock on the door and ask. It remains a mystery.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Artist Trading Cards

 Every other month, a group of friends makes ATCs for each other. These days when in-person meetings are still rare, it's a way to stay in touch. It's an excuse to do something creative, on a small scale and in a very small series. One person might experiment with a new art supply or some bits of fabric remaining from a larger project. Another may pull out paints or rubber stamps that have languished, unused for a while. It’s good to have a deadline. There is no set theme, but in February, my own choices often reflect memories of elementary school valentines, cut out and embellished with paper lace. You can never go wrong if it includes a heart.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Hand Dyed Fibers

 How do you spend your free time? A couple of friends had a series of marathon dyeing sessions this summer and autumn; fabrics, T shirts, old linens, ends of lace, embroidery fibers---anything that could be colored or re-colored was fair game. Winding up dyed and washed skeins of floss and perle cotton, admiring the color variations as it slides through your fingers, is an immensely satisfying activity. We marveled at the colors and textures when Suzanne showed us her completed embroidery fibers.  It may be gray and icy outside, but she has her own personal rainbow in a box, ready for stitching.