Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-bye 2013

Looking Forward to 2014 and Wishing You All a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The clock is winding down

Here on a cold and rainy day, everyone curled up in their respective nests, the hours pass quietly. There is so much to read, maintain, resolve and create in the midst of the boundless content provided by the web. Observing as we all succumb to our digital devices of cable television, laptop, and smartphone make me appreciate that we reside in a very different world than the one in which I grew up. Still I wrangled everyone to assemble for brunch and my husband and kids made dinner. The routine of meals maintains the comfort of predictability and keeps us moored as we orbit separately.

(Restoring order in my office and reducing the clutter- I am uncovering a lot of images as I work and seeing things anew. Hope you enjoy the vintage moment pictured above.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The wise and unwise in us all

I'm doing something radical it seems, an effort which warrants words of "You are so brave!" from friends of uncertain standing. You see, I stopped coloring my hair. I decided I was tired of pretense. I found myself envying the men I know a little too much who seemed to take the actual color of their hair in stride. For the most part, they don't appear to subscribe to what someone else thinks it should be- it can be what it actually is. What a concept. Unlike many of my female peers who need to relentlessly engage in hiding the obvious.  No, we women must engineer to hide our physical flaws, we have to struggle in to spanx (something I thankfully don't need....yet) and find our co-conspirators, our hair colorist, or buy the box religiously at the drugstore and then surrender to the mess of covering what really is, in hopes of being what will be admired.

And my d.h., when I asked him if he was getting use to my silvery hair gave me the reply you would never seek in your worst hour, "What does it matter what I think?" Yes, a dark marital moment for sure.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Now that it is the day after the day after Christmas, we are settling into the vacation groove. The days begin slowly and then a wave of socializing begins. Someone heads out with the car, or someone needs a lift-often there is a kid over who eyes me with a smile and a little wariness "Is your mom going to talk to us or leave right away?" and then the chatter resumes as I make my exit.

So, it's mostly quiet. A chance to clear my desk, with time enough to make waffles as a way to move the day along, and the chance to think about life after holidays. Until they go back to school it will likely be this unfurling of lazy days, a few outings, and sufficient food to keep the various members of my household at bay.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Relief

Christmas turned out to be much more fun than I anticipated. (My son lasted through dinner and then disappeared before dessert to head over to a friend's- a better presence than last year....) The movie we chose was too crowded so we bailed and came home to prepare even more for the company coming to dinner. I didn't spend all day in the kitchen (thanks Nora!) and my offspring actually seemed somewhat pleased with their gifts. There were no extravagances- the nutty shopping sprees for "stuff" are firmly in the past.

What was lovely-
That we were together. That everyone smiled. That bickering was kept to a minimum and I felt a welcomed sense of calm knowing that all was okay in my world.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and....

Happy Holidays! Wishing one and all the warmth of family, friends, well being and a full heart on this Christmas and in the year to come.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Art Issue

The art issue of W is always a great one and worth reading if you are interested in the art world, fashion biz, celebrity, culture, and hipsters of the moment. It is front loaded with ads for the expected brands, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Gucci, etc. with their perfectly positioned models wearing great clothes and styled to the max. Still, the editorial is awesome and this year's featured images of George Clooney by 5 female artists and photographers, including Yayoi Kusama who directed and styled the cover. (Also, incredible images of Kristen McMenamy as a mermaid- beautiful!!)

( As a fellow lover of the dot, I'm a big fan of Kusama. My friend Ellen reminded me of an earlier picture I had once taken of her when she was a vision in dots on a beautiful spring day- so I'll share that below.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday at the Artist Baker

A snowy ride to Morristown brought me to The Artist Baker where a gingerbread house gathering was in full swing. The dining room was busy with kids and adults crafting fanciful creations while nibbling on the fun decorations. Smiles all around as a festooned neighborhood rose on the table.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snow light

Up early one morning to see snow falling outside,  I found myself entranced by the silvery light in the downstairs bath-
a moment to share.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hope floats

Like many in December, I'm trying to tie up a lot of loose ends before the end of the year. December also happens to be the best retail window to sell a box of Kate Spade Larrabee ornaments or a set of Pottery Barn Reindeer napkin rings on Ebay and it's rapidly closing- so I am listing with more intent. As I write, the dress above (found thrifting and rejected- modelled by one of my daughter's friends) has 20 watchers so I wonder how high it will go. It definitely creates a little bubble of excitement as I go about my day. Go figure.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chilling in Sleepy Hollow

Yesterday we had our first real snowstorm of the season and last night we braved the elements to visit our friends, David and Sandra, who live nearby. The boys were not fazed by the cold temperatures and hopped into David's backyard hot tub for a soak and a beer.
(How could I not photograph that?)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Source Material

Sorting through a drawer of scarves I came upon the one pictured and realized I had 

channelled its spirit in a fabric I recently designed for my class at F.I.T. (as seen below).

Odd to realize the connections betweens the objects in your life and the creations that they inspire.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Committed to Community

This year, I spent some engaging hours photographing the annual report for the Westchester Library SystemThis organization's mission is to support its members, the 38 public libraries of Westchester County by providing infrastructure, notably maintaining the technology employed by the individual libraries and cataloging of new acquisitions, the delivery system that moves over 2,000,000 titles on the request of its patrons (the residents of Westchester County through inter-library loan) along with countless programs; including training for GED tutors, medicare and health care counselors. I especially enjoyed photographing the Learning Ambassadors Program which allowed 21 high school students from eight libraries  to work at their local library under the guidance of a librarian.  For most of these teens, it was their first real world job. The list of WLS good works goes on and on. Pat Braja, WLS's talented director of development gave me great guidance as to what they hoped to document. Through her, I got to witness a lot of special moments.

I met the director of WLS, Terry Kirchner, at an event a few years earlier, where we first discussed the possibility of our working together- so I asked him to add a few lines about the work I created for this year's report below.....

"Working with Dorothy has been a wonderful process –her enthusiasm and passion are contagious, and she made all of us feel comfortable as she visually recorded our stories. Dorothy helped us to view our world from a new perspective and we look forward to working with her on future projects."

Monday, December 9, 2013

A recent acquisition

Yesterday, the sight of two sets of vintage English china arranged in piles on a table captivated me at an estate sale. One episode of temporary insanity and $20.00 later I had purchased the remains of one set including 8 dinner plates, tea cups and saucers, rimmed soup bowls and small fruit coupes in the most charming Myott/Staffordshire pattern called "Elegance". They were just too beautiful to leave behind.

(full disclosure: I might have a personality disorder where dishes are concerned.)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thinking Holiday ( A Share)

It dawned on me this morning that December is starting to really move along. Thinking about all the loose ends to tie up, the holidays to summon forth, jobs to finish, our eldest coming home from school and the minutiae of daily life makes me feel a little zany but discovering this charming print by the wonderful Heidi Kenney on Spoonflower has brightened my outlook considerably!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The End of the Beginning

Last night my textile design class came to an end and I'm a little sad. My instructor gave some inspiring homework assignments- I'll miss them!  She did a great job of teaching us and there were so many talented people in the class!!
F.I.T. is an amazing environment for learning and creating and I am grateful for the chance to have been there.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

She Speaks My Language

From the NYTimes

“Objects have their own integrity and energy, which is something people who live among objects understand,” Ms. Greenberg Rohatyn said. “They speak to each other, creating a dialogue, which is what personally gets my heart beating.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Moment of Truth (on Thanksgiving)

There's a lot many of us have to be grateful for, but getting along with my family is not one of them, you see, we really don't get along all that well for any period of time and based on my husband's remote nature which requires him to disappear on a regular basis, has contributed to everyone's idea of emotional intimacy. Five to twenty minutes when you can plug in (long enough usual to eat a meal, like Thanksgiving) and then go your separate ways. So, in the interest of keeping it real, I'll make a heartfelt confession of my own. The loneliness of living with my family is driving me crazy.

Current Events and Houseguests in Sleepy Hollow

There is gratitude aplenty here along the river. Fragrance of delectable foodstuffs fill the house in anticipation, the Menorah waits idly to be deployed again in a few hours, and our college junior is home with her new addition- a kitten that is slowly exploring his temporary abode.

 Amid the frustrations, the strife, and all the harder complexities of family life, I wish peace and happiness for one and all, an end to hunger, irrational conflicts, greed and inhumanity. It all comes down to the basics in the end.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Polaroid Love

I am not the admirer in question- rather my friend Max who makes an effort at least once a year to shoot the 20x24" Polaroid camera which has captivated photographers and artists alike since the first one was built and put to use use in 1977. I've had the opportunity to both create images with the camera as well as have my portrait taken and it's a remarkable experience both ways. Yesterday, Max was working with the camera to make some nudes. The photographic prints are always fascinating for their size, detail and uniqueness. Still, each piece of paper you expose comes with a hefty price tag ($200.00 per piece along with the studio rental time and the talents of  two technicians to create an exposure) so this very special camera is for a very select few. Using my digital camera- which "captures" visual information via pixels electronically made me aware of how the present intersects with the past. Still a compelling image is a compelling image, no matter how it is created.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Colder Temperatures have Arrived in Sleepy Hollow

An image of mine from 1977 with me as the model - taken by my dad with my camera. Seeking the message in a gesture is something that has captivated me for as long as I can remember. I wonder where that comes from and all the many people, places, objects, films, words and images that have inspired me along the way.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cinderella and Me

I am the mother of three able bodied children- and like many other parents, fortunate enough to (mostly) maintain a level of middle class life, my progeny can often appear to me like the laziest human beings alive. 

Something about empathizing with another's feelings who is not their peer in age can cause a kind of hypnotic glaze to fix itself on my teenager's face. As a parent you can demand, request, command or cajole participation in household chores- with all methods producing strikingly similar outcomes. Very little (or worse, lackluster) participation on the part of the same crowd you call on better days "my offspring." So, I try to seek my higher power as I once again clean the fireplace, cinders and all.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wishing Myself Elsewhere

It turns out I am not a fan of living with someone when they are a senior in high school. (At least in my experience having been a rocky period both with Daughter #1 and now Daughter #2.)

The bottom line is having to stay parental even as they see themselves as young adults seeking all the freedoms they desire. No one said it was easy. (understatement of the day.)

From the Archive

Sometimes it hard to know what to make of things- too much clutter and dissent leads me to retreat and examine. It's a sunny Saturday morning- best to push whatever I can't control to an outer mental orbit and focus on what is.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Treat from the Kitchen (and more)

I don't know what has prevented me from cooking this delicious dish but it took my friend Max coming to visit to whip up a batch from the unripened, end of season tomatoes from our garden.

 We have been blessed with a lovely fall and the kale and beets are mostly hardy. Many of the trees are still aglow with their autumnal glory.

(And Max's fried green tomatoes were delectable. Something I will have to learn how to make for sure.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Just across the street from Andrea's establishment, The Artist Baker, in Morristown, NJ is Tuxton,  a formal wear store for men. Its design reminds me of my childhood, my excursions to downtown Cleveland via the Rapid Transit and the stores I passed en route to my father's office to meet him for a ride back to our house in Cleveland Heights at the end of an afternoon of exploring. Funny the nostalgia certain associations call forth, often in a blink of an eye.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Sign (Possibly)

You never know when and where the next marvel will appear. This morning, making eggs for my high school senior, I cracked the first of her two eggs for breakfast in to the buttered pan, and there it was. A double yolk. So I take that as a sign of double goodness on this Friday a.m. and I wish you all the same.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Come on By

For anyone who lives in 10591 or nearby, Jenifer Ross is a fellow resident and an inspired businesswoman who created Watercooler, a co-working space located in Tarrytown which has become one of our community's favorite enterprises. This Friday, November 15th,  I'll be taking part in Watercooler's pop-up shop as part of Tarrytown's monthly 3rd Friday where I'll be seeking volunteers for my upcoming  Valentines 2014 web greeting ("Who or What Do You Love?") as well as selling an assortment of quirky and desirable tabletop items from 5-9 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Milestone (for me)

from this morning's stat counter on my blog

Thanks to all of you who took the time to look, read my posts, and comment when you had something to share. I appreciate your interest!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roni Horn's New Work

A photo from the opening of the artist's current exhibition "Everything was sleeping as if the universe was a mistake"" at the Hauser-Wirth Gallery in New York. 

"Do you desire what you imagine?" or "Do you imagine what you desire?"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Conner Ives

I am always happy to cross paths again with interesting individuals that I have met before- and when I heard that Conner Ives was going to be showing one of his dresses at an annual local event call Project Greenway, I knew I wanted to see what he has been up to. A few years back I photographed an amazing dress he made out of coffee filters and doilies (over dyed with coffee) and this year he brought a whole new set of elements to his creation, working with a vintage lace tablecloth he found at a flea market, crocheted pieces made by his grandmother and horse hair purchased from Montana. I was intrigued to see the originality that flows through him and into his work. Next year he is off to college to study fashion design and I know the world will be just as fascinated by his talent as I.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

If these walls could talk

Lately, there's been a flurry of yard sales and church rummage sales and like a bee to a flower I am drawn (despite the fact that I don't need a thing). Maybe it's the opportunity to see how other people live and examine the possessions no longer desired. Stores have a kind of magic, yet I am far more fascinated by the many items of all description arranged on tables or in piles, hoping for a buyer and priced to sell.
And yesterday, at an estate sale held at a majestic home of a wealthy homeowner who had amassed a major doll collection- there in the living room, a marlin was mounted above the fireplace as though it was pushing its way out of the wall.
Quite a decoration to grace an elegant living room. You know there is a story there.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

(5.5) Million Dollar Listing

My better half and I made a recent excursion to Glen Cove on Long Island to see a designer showcase, called "Home is Where the Heart Is". This Gold Coast mansion, built in 1890 by Charles Pratt (who founded Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller In 1874) was a wedding present from Pratt to his daughter Lydia. (John D Rockefeller is one of my village's most significant residents having at one time controlled most of the available land. You can find my post about my visit to his property Kykuit here.)

It was your usual extravaganza of designer bells and whistles including a lot of great light fixtures. It was fun to take it all in and see how much (and how little) we simpler folk have in common with the 1%. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's a Wrap

In the spirit of looking backward, I wanted to gather some of our more personal and prosaic Halloween 2013 moments. (with a nod to my very talented husband who spent a very hectic and mildy stressed out day creating three memorable jack o' lanterns that graced our property this year.)

And many thanks to the fun visitors who came to our door!