31 October, 2012


Tiny Barack Obama made a pretty cute pirate!
Happy Halloween, Spookies.
Hope you get more treats than tricks.

30 October, 2012

Who's That Girl

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.
I paraded around daily in my star spangled underoos, yellow plastic crown on my head, declaring whichever piece of furniture I was sitting on to be my invisible helicopter.
I also wanted to be Stevie Nicks.
I would wear one of my mom's flowered sundresses and spin around the backyard, pretending I was in the Gypsy video.
As a slightly older child, I wanted to be Barbara Walters, after doing a school report on female journalists. If Christiane Amanpour had been around then, I'm sure she'd have been the focus of that particular phase.
I still have the need-to-be-cut bangs from the time I wanted to be Chrissie Hynde.
But Stella Ehrhart takes things to an entirely new level.
The incredibly cool eight year old from Omaha, Nebraska, goes to school each day dressed as a different historical woman.
Activists, artists, actresses, singers, Ehrhart has dressed as them all.

Stella as Aung San Suu Kyi
Stella as Georgia O'Keefe
Stella as Joan Baez
Now that I'm an even bigger little girl, I kinda want to be Stella Ehrhart.
'Cause she's all kinds of awesome.

29 October, 2012

Lost in the Supermarket

Last spring, or, better yet, just before the spring, I flung myself full tilt boogie into craft fairs, art markets, and other such handmade extravaganzas. I made and made and made, stocked up on and embellished little brown paper shopping bags, designed and laboriously hand-cut a ginormous stack of business cards, and thought, fleetingly, about changing up my displays.
You see, my displays are a bit of a touchy subject for me. They were thrown together, literally, out of a few pieces of scrap plywood, decoupaged in a paper quilt of vintagey floral scrapbooking papers, and poked and prodded with pastel-painted cup hooks. Rough-hewn as they might have been, they did the trick. They showed off the necklaces that started this whole little juggernaut off with great and eye-catching aplomb, setting my humble little booth apart from the other guys.
But, being hastily thrown together out of scraps, and carted too many times to too many outdoor shows to count, they are a bit worse for the wear. They were only ever expected to make it through that first show. That was two years ago.
Every second person to enter my little space at every single show I've ever done has, in some way or another, expressed a love of my displays. The displays with the holes where a hook can no longer be screwed in. The display whose back is covered in duct tape (classy). The displays with the torn paper edges, slightly camouflaged by a half a roll of scotch tape. The displays that fall over at the mere mention of a breeze. The displays I am beginning to loathe. But at the same time, I just can't seem to let them go.
So today, as the wind roars outside and a steady rain falls in the basement, I am turning my thoughts once again to displays. With one more outdoor show to go this season, I know I'm already pushing my luck with my pretty, raggedy displays. (I'm hoping they can forgive me and see me through the holiday shows, once I tell them we'll be inside!)
And wishing I was just 1/10 as creative as Sarah Bagner, the brainchild behind Supermarket Sarah. Sarah's premise? The lovely object you are buying is coming straight off of her wall. After all, when a customer walks into my booth, isn't that kind of what I'm having them do?

Wishing you a bit of creative inspiration this week, my friends.
And to my fellow East Coasters, stay dry, stay safe, and may your hurricane parties be more epic than the storm itself.


09 October, 2012

The End of the Summer

Family vacation.
It's something that has happened every year since Nephew One was born.
After the summer officially ends, after the lifeguards and exchange students and families have packed up and headed back to reality, we slip quietly in.
My parents rent a house on the beach, and me, my sister, her husband, and two little boys happily help them fill all of the empty guest bedrooms.
There is nothing to do, nowhere to be.
Mornings are spent watching the sun rise, my mom and her oldest grandson wrapped in a blanket singing "Here Comes the Sun."
Breakfast is leisurely and often sugary. We watch the dolphins swim by while we finish the last of the coffee.
The days are spent on the beach, wrapped in layers if it's cloudy and cool; otherwise soaking up every last warm ray of post-summer sun.
Books we started reading months before get finished, as do the new ones just begun.
Nephew One pretends to be a pirate, a crab, a tractor moving piles of sand.
Nephew Two is still too little to pretend, he is instead content digging, splashing, and running after sea gulls.
At noon, a church bell rings. We call it the Beer Bell.
It is a signal to gather all of the towels and the toys into one pile and head in for lunch.
Naps happen.
For babies and adults alike.
As the sun sets, we need a stretch from our lazy day.
New wiffle ball rules are made: double points for hitting a beached crab or fish; triple points for an air-borne sea gull.
Cartwheels are done in the outfield.
Nobody wins.
Nobody loses.
Dinner is a poorly choreographed ballet of too many people around a too small stove, conducted and danced in our pajamas, sun-kissed skin and sandy hair.
Nephew One loves the dinner time jammie parties.
And the sleeping parties he has with his little brother, the two sharing a room for the first time ever.
Nights are spent playing Candy Land, checkers, and Vacation Rummy.
But only after we watch the moon come up, and the stars and planets twinkle.
We scatter on sofas and chairs and fall asleep, one by one.
We sleep early. We wake early.
We are lucky for this time.
We are happy.
And we will hope to do it all again next fall.