Man, as if my week wasn’t exciting enough, I had to go and slip on an icy sidewalk this weekend! I landed smack on the corner of a frozen planter box – right between the ribs! I was gasping for breath as D. rushed to my rescue and helped me up.

I managed a day at the studio, then a full day at the newspaper, while the bruise crept up on me. By the end of work today, I was almost doubled over with a stabbing pain shooting between my ribs and my back muscles. It would be hard to explain the feeling without using the kind of words that would probably get me on a WordPress “bad blog” list somewhere.

Suffice to say, I’ve made an appointment with the doctor. Although I’m not looking forward to a Tuesday spent on my back, getting x-rays. Still, it’s better than a rib through a lung, or any of the other doomsday scenarios my coworkers enjoyed describing to me today!

While you are wishing me luck, check out this adorably morbid ceramic magnet from L’esperance Tile (above).  Love it!

Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm  Comments (3)  


Wow, has it been a couple of weeks? It feels like YEARS!

I am at the precipice of some big changes, and I’ve just got my fingers crossed and I’m going for it. This Monday I gave two-week’s notice at my newspaper job. I finally decided that I had had enough. I won’t go into all the reasons why I’m leaving, but suffice to say that it is a very emotionally draining job.

I picked up part-time work in a little gourmet cheese shop and cafe, walking distance from my apartment and nearly across the street from my studio. My goal is to spend this spring and summer walking outside, rejuvenating and making enough pottery to participate in some of the local art fairs. All my applications for grad school are finished, so hopefully I will be accepted somewhere and can start school in September with new energy and a fresh attitude.

Of course, we’ll be poor – poorer than we are even are now – but I know that D. cooks up some mean rice and bean burritos. We’re not going to starve.

The gorgeous little dandelion pendants above are by Beth Cyr, a wonderful Etsy artist who made the silver dandelion ring I wear every day. I bought the ring a couple years ago, to remind me why I was making some difficult choices at the time. Now I’m thinking about that again, looking at her work and realizing that every one of those decisions were good ones. Hopefully this will turn out just as well!

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 8:56 am  Comments (3)  

Need snow? We’ve got you covered!

Gotta love that snow! D. and I took off for a hike mid-blizzard on Saturday. We were nearly alone in our four-mile hike through the city, and it was great. We stopped at a great Jewish deli for hot soup and potato knishes, slid around on the metal sidewalk grates and got thoroughly soaked.

This morning we woke up to my car completely buried and the city at a standstill. D. dug out our front walk and then the steps for the elderly folks on either side of us (what a nice guy!). Settling in for a quiet day of cleaning and writing from home…

Anybody else do something fun in the snow this weekend?

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 11:39 am  Comments (3)  

Organic geometry

euphorb3 bw

My assignment last week was finding the geometric shapes in organic objects, for which I talked my way into a greenhouse where I used to work in college. Cacti and interesting patterns galore. I think this may be my favorite assignment so far – I loved getting up close and personal with the plants and making miniature landscapes out of a few leaves.

Many of the plants I photographed were the very same ones I pruned, carefully replanted and researched while I was conducting an inventory of the building in 2002. Many still had little labels in my own handwriting. It was fun to see which have grown and which are in bloom. A little like visiting old friends!

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leafy bw

Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 8:14 am  Comments (3)  

Leaves and petals and thorns…. oh my!

fern4 bw

pitcher bw

cactus4 bw

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm  Comments (4)  

Captured Moments

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Even D. has not escaped my prying lens. I captured a few shots as he was working on the wheel a couple weeks ago, and I think they look gorgeous in black and white. I love the smooth look of the clay against the rough textures of towel and brick wall.

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I also loved working with the editing tools in photoshop to pull out the deep blacks and bump up highlights – it brings every photo into this magical graphic world, where everything looks a little more sharp and dramatic. I could easily spend all afternoon on this!

dennis throwing4

Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 10:38 am  Comments (2)  

Walk in time


Some of the outdoor shots of the church came out better, since there was a lot more light to work with.

I loved how everything about this building seemed ancient and worn, like I was stepping back into another century. But it was a real piece of work to capture that on film (or in pixels, strictly speaking). I had to use the frame of my shots to edit out cars, phone wires and other signs of the modern world. I am all the more impressed by professional photographers – it’s amazing how difficult it is to capture what my imagination sees on the actual image.

But, as with all things, I’m sure practice will help.




Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm  Comments (2)  



This week, I took my camera down to an old local church building and talked them into unlocking the main sanctuary for me. It’s an amazing room but has been abandoned for decades. The walls are starting to crumble, the stained glass is punctured with holes and cobwebs hang off the carved wood pews. I felt like the explorer of some ancient ruins, sneaking around and trying to capture a shot of a beam of  light piercing the dust.

Unfortunately, it was very dark. So dark that most my photos are too blurry to show. But I guess it was a case-in-point lesson on shutter speeds, and now I know that I seriously have to start traveling with my tripod.




Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm  Comments (3)  

A different view


Doing my photography homework makes for some strange experiences! Last week I went wandering through one of Philadelphia’s major tourist sites with a big camera strapped around me. But while most the folks there were taking pictures in front of the Betsy Ross House, or posing with a poorly paid actor in revolutionary get-up, I was twisting myself into a pretzel to get nice shots of wood fencing or drain pipes.



Published in: on October 7, 2009 at 10:32 pm  Comments (6)  

Sunny Philadelphia


I may, finally, be pulling myself up from my deep, dark pit of work. My fingers are clinging to the edge…it’s just one good pull, a last ounce of effort and I’ll be over the top.

It hasn’t been all back-breaking lately, though. The weather has been that perfect mix of sunny and low humidity that comes to Philadelphia once in a blue moon. Everyone is out on the street with their kids or their sweetheart…today I drove for a while behind a tiny octogenarian on an American-flag plastered scooter. I guess it was just a good day to go puttering around South Philly.

Around the block a church is holding a St. Padre Pio festival. Last night D. and I caved in to the sound of rock ‘n roll and the smell of funnel cakes wafting in our windows. We tossed our homework aside and went out to join the party. D. lost a fiver on a game of chance (it all goes to the church, right?) and I had some incredible burnt sugar gelato (think creme brulee in a cup).

D. has been taking lots of pictures walking around Philly lately, so here’s a little taste of our city…





Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm  Comments (3)