Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two Way Gift for Christmas

A few weeks ago I asked my granddaughter Natalie what she wanted for Christmas.  She said "fabric."  I was surprised and charmed by her request.  And I knew immediately where to find some glorious goods.

Kathy is my lifelong friend who lives in a very old, enormous Victorian home.  It's the kind of place that has flocked wallpaper, inlaid wood floors and an organ.  The grounds include a coach house and yard with a gazebo.  More important for this story:  that house is filled with everything!  Kathy knows that someday she will be able to use or share whatever comes her way. Nothing is discarded. So, when I mentioned "fabric",  I knew that little snatches of silk, cotton, velvet, prints, solids, feathers, and more, would appear.

We made our selections for Natalie carefully.  Could she handle silk?  No, too young.  This animal print is perfect!  Yes, it goes on the pile. Oh look, here are some bells.  Pink?  Definitely.  

Two old friends having a ball putting it all together.  What a gift to us.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Misplaced Admiration

There's something so "Shawshank" about those two bank robbers who cut a hole in the wall of their cell, fashioned together some bedding and a sling and then, REPELLED DOWN EIGHTEEN STORIES to the street, and for now, to freedom.  

I have to confess I hope they get away with it for at least a little while.  Just to honor the shear nerve of it.  And to tweek the system.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Friends,

Recently,  Elsa Mora, the wonderful artist who is a light in my life, asked me to edit her writing for her new web site Art is a Way.  Today, I helped her with this letter which I want to pass on to you.

Dear friend,
The beginning of a new year is a good time to think about what we want to do with our lives. I am personally excited to begin 2013 by opening the doors of Art is a Way.  From there,  I will be giving my best as a creative person and as a human being. I built Art is a Way to make your life and my life better, even in a small way.

I believe that each of us has the power to do positive things, for ourselves and for others. I also believe that most of the things that are positive and meaningful have to do with creativity. Nature itself is a continuous creative miracle and we are part of that miracle. Creativity is living our lives with purpose, it is using our individual talents proactively and it is doing our best in all the areas of life.

Nature does not know failure.  Failure is a concept we put on an organic part of life.  Thinking this way will help us avoid feeling discouraged when things don't go the way we want. Disappointment can be a call for creativity. This year let's use our creative energy wisely.  Let's be flexible, adaptable and courageous. And let's stay connected to ourselves and to each other.

Art is a Way will be here to bring a ray of sunshine to your days. I am looking forward to a year full of surprises, friendship and creativity.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Confessions of a Techie

"They worked in a windowless room in Chicago they dubbed 'the cave.'"  That sentence caught my eye today as I was reading about the techies who created the programs that brought in the money and sent the voters to the polls for Obama's great victory.

I, too, worked in a windowless room in Chicago on a presidential campaign.  It was Adlai E. Stevenson's campaign against Ike.  The windowless room held a secret entrusted to me and my colleague, Mary Lou Beaty.  It was a "high tech" machine that allowed an ink pen to replicate Stevenson's signature on one letter after another.  The recipients wouldn't know he hadn't signed it himself.  This was confidential work because those letters went to VIPs and big donors.  

One of the highlights of working on the campaign was meeting Eleanor Roosevelt who visited headquarters more than once.  (IMAGE SPOILER ALERT):  she was dripping in mink and had long fingernails painted bright red.

Several years after it all, I learned that the very same windowless room,  where Mary Lou and I were trusted with secret work, held atomic research from the University of Chicago that lead to the development of the bomb!

That's about as high tech as I'll ever get close to, don't you think?