30 July, 2014

Another Roadside Attraction (Vol 2)

You guys.
Remember forever ago, when I suggested we take a road trip this summer?
And then we didn't?
Blame it on sky-rocketing gas prices.
But they've dropped now, and there's still a few good weeks of summer left.
So buckle up, we're hitting the road!
We're making the run from wherever you are to L.A.
Specifically, Vine Street in the 1930's.
Oh. Did I forget to mention our road trip mobile was capable of time travel?
It is. Pack accordingly.
Los Angeles, for some reason or other, was ripe with bizarre, literal architecture in the early half of the last century
(think Brown Derby).
Buildings in the shapes of things; creatures.
There must be a metaphor in that somewhere,
in the town where people go to escape who and what they are, 
recreating themselves, becoming someone else.
The Hollywood Flower Pot was no exception.
There was no questioning what might be found in this quirky building,
a giant pot filled with equally giant flowers.
And smaller ones for purchase.
The real deal inside the fa├žade.
Brilliant stroke of advertising genius, really.
 A building, a flower shop, disguised as a flower pot.
Another character in a city chock full of 'em.

23 July, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are

I made ice cream again today.
The same basic recipe as the honeysuckle.
But this time, mint.
My mom's mint grows wild.
It knows not the boundaries of the herb garden she, at one time, tried futilely to
keep in contained within.
It grows like a free spirit,
refusing to color inside the lines.
A sprig here, thick-stemmed and leafy, growing up between rows of oregano.
Another, there, tangling with the thyme.
It played hopscotch across the low brick border it was originally planted in.
It crops up in little thickets,
filling in the bald spots where the summer sun has scorched the grass.
Those little thickets.
The leaves bruise when you walk unknowingly over them,
the fragrant oils rising up and tickling the humid air.
The ice cream was an attempt to tame the wild beast.
Or perhaps to try and capture some of that spirit.
I'm not sure which.
It earned a thumbs up from my team of tiny taste-testers.
Of course.
They're a wild bunch themselves,
recognizing a kindred spirit when they meet.
I gave it a thumbs up, too.
I like the earthiness of using the leaves.
Lettuce, O called it.
"Will you take the lettuce out of it before you turn it into ice cream?"
I took it out.
But it left something behind.
Something not found in extracts or oils or artificial flavorings.

16 July, 2014

Lightning in a Bottle

One of the most summertimey things in all of summer has to be fireflies.
They are such a uniquely hot-weather phenomenon.
Catching a mason jar full of them is a right of passage.
When we were little, my sister and I, squeamish and normally avoiding anything that crawled, flew, or fell into the general category of "bug",
would catch them and bring them to my dad.
But instead of putting them into a jar, he would pull off their lights
(I know, I know.)
and stick the little blinking butts onto our fingers.
For a few short moments, before the light faded and went out, we would prance around the yard
with our fingers glowing,
the queens of the night.

And fireflies are precisely what comes to mind when looking at the works in
Canadian artist Amy Friend's series of photographs she calls Dare alla Luce.

The altering of the vintage images using points of light is a wink and a nod
to the light from which the photographs had been created in the first place.
Friend describes the process as "giving the photographs back to the light."
Fittingly, the series' title is an Italian phrase that translates to describe
the moment of birth.
{All images Amy Friend}
Twinkle twinkle, my friends.

11 July, 2014

Happy Weekend

Just about twelve hours and counting until it is, officially, the weekend.
Mine promises to be busy,
selling all of those carefully crafted pretties to the masses.
At least those that chose to remain in the city on a hot July weekend.
There is a general exodus out of here come Friday evening,
what with the close proximity to the shore.
If you have the choice, you'd be a fool not to trade hot concrete for sand between your toes.
I should know,.
I made just that trade earlier in the week,
playing hooky from all that is important for the day.
I ate an orange creamsicle for lunch.
I got sunburn.
It was divine.
But back to the here and now.
Should you find that you are one of those who chose not to leave the city this weekend,
well, count yourself among the lucky.
For The City of Philadelphia has options,
good options,
and won't let you down if it's a great day out that you crave.
I've packed up the travelling show and me and the pretties are hitting the road, starting today.
I'll be at the 30th Street Craft Market today, Friday the 11th, from 11-4.
Come hang out on The Porch at 30th Street Station with me and my super talented friends.
There will be food. And mini golf. And trains.
Tomorrow, I'm pretty psyched to check out the brand new Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Hammocks. Food. A river view (and a river breeze!).
The fine folks at Art Star are curating a weekly
Me and the pretties will be hanging there, under a tree, from 11-3 tomorrow.
So, like I said, Philadelphia will not let you down this weekend.
There are plenty of opportunities to peruse handmade goodness, nap in a hammock, or take in the final game of the World Cup.
Go Argentina.
Have a Happy Weekend, you guys.

07 July, 2014


In the past few years, I have made a lot of necklaces.
A lot.
I have a deep love and feeling of giddiness for each and every one of them.
Despite that, I try, oh so very hard, to keep an emotional distance.
Sure, some sneak in, teasing me and taunting me and telling me to love them better than all the rest.
And those can be found hanging alongside the rest of my personal jewelry collection.
The temptresses.
And, sure, some of them I have a difficult relationship with.
Those that seem such a good idea at the time,
but then for some reason or other, just won't fit together right.
The challengers.
But it's all still love.
I can usually see how things will fit together while everything's still scattered...
sometimes when I'm not even there.
In dreams, the colors come to me, and I'm in the basement before the coffee's even brewed,
laying out the flowered pieces before the fog lifts and the dream is lost.
But this one.
Named after a song by the band Luna, because, oh, yes, she is so very, very Romantica.

She was not born like the rest, a vision from a dream or struck inspiration at a flea market when that last, perfect missing piece is stumbled upon.
No. She was born out of pure happenstance,
from a misfit collection of this and that.
One lone earring missing a pearl, the other, a rhinestone.
A broken clasp shaped like a leaf, and a cameo picked up on impulse.
I've always been a sucker for a cameo.
And, finally, this gold thing.
A starfish, maybe. Or a flower.
By itself, gaudy.
Probably just as gaudy with the wrong pieces surrounding it.
But here, it found it's place.
Fell in with  the right crowd.
A collection of what would ototherwise be junk. 
But here. Here.
It's all just perfect.
All of these weathered odds and ends bringing out the beauty in one another. 
Like Venice. Beauty in the decay.
It may be my most favroute thing I've ever made. 
But I won't be keeping her.
She's bound for bigger things than the occasional jaunt out around my neck.
She needs to be shared, to be sent out into a wider world.
I'll be sad when she goes. But proud.