April 27, 2009

Healing with Color and Art


High on a hill a mile east of my studio is the new Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The colors and shapes of the buildings are breathtaking, and the art inside is rich and bright and healing. I've watched the construction for several years and couldn't believe someone actually built this playful structure in our city, much more accustomed to corporate and cloudy-sky gray. It makes me wish I could be a child again.

For more, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a great story with video of how art plays an important role here. The Hospital opens next Saturday. The photographer of this picture is Lake Fong, a friend of my photographer and talented artist also.

March 23, 2009

Spring: Washington DC

Lots of green at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market

More green at the Market

And flowers everywhere


Cherry blossoms and magnolias at the Smithsonian Castle

My favorite mask at the Museum of African Art

March 9, 2009

Welcome Mikayla and Burke

Mikayla%20at%204%20days%20old.jpg Brudders.jpg

A little over two years ago we welcomed our first grandnephew, Elias. Since then we've had 2 additions to our extended family: Grandniece Mikayla, daughter of Katie born in September 2008, a real beauty, and Burke born last month, younger brother of Elias. We're sure Mikayla has grown some since this picture, but we don't have any recent images.

March 8, 2009

As Seen in the Movies....

Ruby Dee (with Alicia Keyes) in an episode of Iconoclasts, wearing a farleyfarley linen Downtown Shirt in "meadow" batik.

Julie Walters (with Meryl Streep & Christine Baranski) in Mamma Mia wearing a farleyfarley linen-silk Shopping Shirt in "sunshine" shibori.

It's always fun to find our own work in films or tv or print. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, there's usually someone to alert you. My friend Rae called me up on Christmas Eve of 2007, excited that she had seen the actress Ruby Dee wearing one of my shirts on the show Iconoclasts. And then this past December, Matt from Bellagio, said he thought he'd seen one of the characters in the film of Mamma Mia wearing one of my shirts. That was enough for me to go out and buy the DVD. In the first 20 minutes of the film, the character Rosie wears one of my shibori shirts, later wears it wrapped around her waist. It took me awhile to confirm that it was one of my shopping shirts, the unique longer front. So now we can say, as featured in.....

March 7, 2009

We Dyed Yarn

Naomi, Annie, Claire, Kathy, Ilene, Carol

On March 1, we joined with our favorite Pittsburgh yarn store, Knit One, and held a yarn dyeing workshop in the farleyfarley studio in the Strip District. It was an enthusiastic group of yarn fans, including three good friends and fellow knitters, who were ready to experiment with new techniques for dyeing cotton, wool and silk yarns, including my very own favorite, Sprinkle Dyeing. Hopefully we'll do it again soon!

Sprinkle dyed cotton

February 23, 2009

Yellow House


In two weeks this yellow house on Chincoteague Island will be ours, for better or for worse. It's a "grand" house as far as Chincoteague goes, last lived in by "Woose" Reed, a successful fisherman and town poet. He moved there in 1962 after the house he had been living in was flooded in the Good Friday flood. The story goes that this was one of the few houses that didn't have water on the first floor. I know it's on high ground because it's only two houses from my recent studio, across the street from the only supermarket on the island. It has not been decorated since Woose moved in and downstairs each room has some style of orange carpet, the woodwork is turquoise; upstairs is a collection of linoleum, but also a long claw foot tub. It needs lots of work but its bones are good and I look forward to creating a clean, simple environment in which to host guests and create. And for the next year, we'll be living there while our other house is renovated. Who knows what will come out of The Yellow House: quilts, jewelry, photography, textiles, maybe even some poetry.

Detail of the original front door

The "Poet's Room" an upstairs closet with room for a chair and a desk

April 15, 2007

The Julia Gallery of Papertowel Art


We are lucky to have Julia working as one of our Studio Assistants. In our studio that means she, along with Song our other Studio Assistant, stretches, paints, washes and irons fabrics; inspects, presses and packs the finished garments. And she sorts scraps and takes out the trash. A few months ago I noticed a number of papertowel sheets hanging to dry and realized that when there was a spill to be wiped up, Julia didn't just wipe it up. She used her creativity and skill as an artist to fold and refold the papertowel with each spill until there was art. Now we have hung those pieces on the wall along the painting table to brighten out space.


April 8, 2007

April is the Cruelist Month


March 31, 2007

The Pansies are Here!

On this last day of March, I celebrate the end of winter, one that we thought would never start, and then, never end. In one six week period we had six days of below zero temperatures, a serious ice storm and three snow storms. Everyday was a challenge just to get to the studio. In Pittsburgh there is always at least one hill between you and your destination. We got behind in our work, we wore coats in the studio, and all the while our friends from Florida would call and ask, what's the temperature. Fortunately, our cold was their bonus as they seemed to to be reordering every few days.

But now it's over, mostly. There is the chatter of bird songs every morning, the buds on the Norway maple are chartreuse, and I came home Thursday to find that Dave had planted pansies in every available pot, all sizes and colors, smiling in the cool temperatures, unfolding in the sunlight. We welcome spring, the sun, and the warmth.


February 1, 2007

Goodbye Antonio

For the past 15 years I have been eating most of my lunches at a little bakery around the corner from my studio, Il Piccolo Forno, owned by Antonio and Carla Branduzzi. Antonio was a baker from Lucca who began offering simple but tasty salads, pasta, soup, foccacia, all cooked from scratch, A few days before Christmas I stopped in to order a dozen of Antonio's fabulous sfoigatelli, we chatted and agreed that I would pick them up the next day. That evening Antonio sufferred a heart attack and stroke, and nine days later he died. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette His funeral was attended by over a thousand people, from politicians to tv reporters, artists, house painters, executives and laborers, all the people whom Antonio had touched. The other day as I walked through the alley and the bitter wind stung my face, I thought, soon I will round the corner and walk into the warmth of Antonio's bakery. And then I remembered that it was closed, and he was gone.