Pucci: Antidepressant in Fabric Form
At the same time I’ve been nurturing a baby boy, soon to be born in July, I’ve also been nurturing another baby: the manuscript of my novel, GENTLY USED. It’s a multi-generational tale about a vintage clothing store and the stories behind the clothes on the racks and the women who work and shop there. Doing research for the book was almost as much fun as writing it. Over the last year, I amassed a lot of pictures and information, uncovering more vintage fodder than I could ever include in a single novel. And, of course, I stumbled upon some new obsessions. What I didn’t have room for in the…
Commitment to Creativity
Last Friday, I attended an opening reception at Absolutely Art for the mixed media work of Madison artist Juliette Crane. Juliette is one of those people who radiate creativity. I first met her at the Wisconsin Book Festival a few years ago, when she was taking a break from art. Well, she’s since gotten back into it, in a big way. In less than two years, she’s created a vibrant and prolific portfolio of works in her unique, whimsical style. She’s happy to share her process, too. She teaches and often writes about the ideas and techniques behind her artwork on her blog. Do you ever have one of those…
Four Centuries of Fashion
I’ve been doing a lot of research on vintage fashion for a novel I’m working on. I recently came across a treasure trove of information on the website of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perusing the photos of garments from the 1600’s through today is like taking a walk through time–albiet in a corset and sometimes painful shoes, but always looking fantastic. Here are a few of my favorite ensembles from the Met’s archives. All photos are from the Costume Institute’s website.
Feels Like Home
I’m thrilled to have the talented blogger and decorator Doreen Creede from Style Maniac guest posting today on Glossing Over It about interior design. Decor is something I admire and enjoy, but I don’t have any background in it, so I was thrilled when Doreen agreed to say a few words about her own approach to a designing a room: Candlelight glows against the soft brass of my vintage coffee table; its mirrored surface gleams with glasses of garnet wine, platters of creamy goat cheese, and bowls of savory sundried tomatoes. Shoes have been kicked off, pillows smushed behind backs, lights dimmed low, music turned up high. Flames lick against…
Check out this extra-cozy bus shelter on State Street that some UW-Madison design students created with local knitters, to coincide with Gallery Night. Have you ever seen a more cheerful place to catch the bus? Happy Friday, everyone. Have a cozy weekend.
Willy St. Fair: Be Anything but Ordinary
The motto of the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood on Madison’s east side is “A Place for All People.” Nothing proves that motto better than our annual free-for-all, the Willy Street Fair. We’ve got robots for peace. We’ve got the Wacky Wheeler (see photo). We’ve got a cadillac that shoots giant bubbles from a tuba. We’ve got stiltwalkers and unicyclists galore. Come one, come all, and bring your kids and your dog. Just don’t be ordinary. Because being ordinary is the only way you won’t fit in. Photos courtesy of Connor Sabatino.
A Creative Space at the Ocean’s Edge
It is a rare and priceless treat to peek into the space where someone creates art. It is even more extraordinary to meet the artist, hear his voice, and have the opportunity to thank him, in person, for his contribution to making the world a more beautiful place. I had this opportunity with Peruvian artist Victor Delfín a few days ago in Lima. At age 83, Delfín still works daily in the stunning studio he designed at the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Lima’s Barranco neighborhood. His vibrant daughter, Lilian, runs a bed and breakfast on site called Second Home Peru, which also serves as a gallery for Delfín’s…
Textile Heaven in Peru
I have been a bit delinquent in posting because I´ve been traveling in Peru. One of my favorite parts of visiting new places is perusing (pun intended) the local markets. I´m in love with the colorful textiles that grace every market stall and alley tienda here. Blankets handwoven from lambswool and alpaca are not luxuries here… they are everday objects, used to haul firewood, carry babies, dress tables, and adorn beds. Aren´t they lovely?
Who’s Afraid of Experimental Theater?
When I hear the words “experimental theater” I picture this scene in David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day: I’m slicing this pineapple now, I thought. Next I’ll just rip apart these sock monkeys and pour the stuffing into this tall rubber boot. Good, that’s good. Nobody pours stuffing like you do, my friend. Now I’ll snip off of my hair with these garden shears, place the bottlecaps over my eyes, and we’re almost home…A week after my drugs ran out, I left my bed to perform at the college, deciding at the last minute to skip both the doughnut toss and the march of the headless plush toys. Instead,…
Busy Gal Barbie
Ten years ago, a friend gave me a card with this vintage Barbie image on it and I saved it. I know Barbies are less-than-popular these days because of their sexist implications, but I love this print. I played with the plastic Mattel dolls into my early teens (I was not cool if you haven’t already figured that out). I kept up characters and complicated plots that lasted for years… and then went on to immerse myself in feminist theory and gender studies in college. Contradictory? Perhaps. I think it was good practice for fiction writing, though.