Enigma 137: circle-dot bones

I have these bone beads. When I hold them, the bones make a sensuous clacking sound. Against a strong light, they are translucent. Each is inscribed with lines and circle-dot motifs, front and back. They remind me of some kind of ancient dominoes, but are more likely shamanic — meant for divination or for healing. […]

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Gusty day on the edge

26 mph west winds, gusting up to 43 mph. Only a dusting of snow, but I had to brace myself from being blown over. Hard to capture the drama, but you get the idea. The span of ice over the lake disappeared but now thickly covers about a third of our bank. I’m fantasizing that […]

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Sketchbooks, art journals

Ambition. Improve my drawing. Not to be realistic, but to be expressive, with fluid and confident lines. Method. Be disciplined about a sketch-a-day challenge? I keep trying , but I quickly descend into silliness and give up. And I’ve always been too intimidated by the prospect of an “art” journal. Rumination. I started “The Sellable […]

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Wisdom from my foremothers

After delving into the stories of my ancestor-women, I saw that these stout-hearted, independent souls had given me the gift of their practical wisdom. I think of it as “moxie.” Use your head.Lean into the longing.Never be a martyr to a mortifying situation.Throw your arms around uncertainty.Don’t listen to fools.Trust your noble heart.Move your feet […]

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Winter Moon over Ontario

Watching the full moon set over Lake Ontario is a winter treat. For several months the northwesterly azimuth is right, but… with great lakes come thick clouds. I’ve learned to try to get a photo as soon as I see it. Waiting till it’s a huge orb low on the horizon usually means disappointment. Today, […]

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Be the wind

Assignment: to design a border in Photoshop (i.e., a horizontally repeated pattern printed along the selvage edge of a bolt of fabric) Result: It should have been easy, but nothing worked till I resurrected a 2007 doodle — five off-balance little pencil figures. I put them on a colorful striped design, but continued to torture […]

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PASSION & PERIL: on sale

If you understand the passion of collecting, if you are fascinated by the perils of the trade at its most extreme, you’ll love this novel. In 2008, with PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD, I joined the ranks of indie publishers using the innovative Print-on-Demand technology. The novel should have been published by a […]

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Designing for energy

I’m focusing on fabric design this winter as a practice. Like some people play games or do sports, I design because it’s fun and has beneficial social and psychological side effects. I’m in it for the process, not the product. But, as always, I take myself seriously. Stretching does not mean scrambling to the top of […]

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Dogs: not just for Instagram

The New York Times this week published “Dogs Before Instagram: Vintage photos from the New York Times archive show the enduring power of the pooch.” I’m not really a dog person, but vintage I got! This photo of a darling young girl and her pup is from our late 19th-century tintype collection. I posted it […]

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