As the world falls down…


I have not been a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction since reading The Road (which still gives me occasional nightmares) so I was surprised to find myself engrossed in ‘Bannerless (Bannerless Saga #1)’, by Carrie Vaughn, from the very first page.

After finishing Bannerless I decided if I survive some world-altering event I hope to end up in a Coast Road-like society, where conservation is king, tolerance rules, and government is low-key and localized. Individuals must earn the right to breed and crimes are primarily crop surplus or ‘bannerless’ pregnancy related.  That is until a murder occurs, and Enid of Haven (our protagonist) is charged with figuring out what happened and by whose hand. Bannerless alternates between a coming of age love story and whodunit tale while exploring the meaning of family, responsibility, and shared history.

Ms. Vaughn is categorized as a YA fiction writer.  Is it wrong that this Grey Goddess still enjoyed her tale?  I hope not, because there are more Bannerless books to come and I want to read them all.

How about you?  Do you like post-apocalyptic fiction?  What are you reading now?  I just began The Driver (by Hart Hanson, which I am also enjoying) and would love to know what books are keeping you up and reading late into the night…

*As the World Falls Down – David Bowie (Labyrinth)

Dedicated follower of fashion…

Grenadine Tawny Port Ballet Slippers

If you are a ‘dedicated follower of fashion’ you know the Spring 2018 shows are in full swing at NYFW.  In the real world it’s time to think about fall, the upcoming holidays (Halloween! Thanksgiving! Christmas!) and replacing tiny bathing suits with oversized sweaters.

The 2017 fall colors and trends include red, burgundy, navy and grey (four of my favorite colors) featured in furs, velvets, winter florals, midi skirts, and statement earrings, to name a few.  I’ve been browsing through the September issues of Bazaar, Vogue and Porter, along with surfing the web, and found a few things that check my Grenadine, Tawny Port, and Ballet Slipper boxes.

9 West Scastien Slouchy Boot  |  Cozy Fleece Hi/Lo Pullover   |  YSL Rouge Pur Couture Dazzling Lights Lipstick  |  Zara Satin Floral Midi Shirt |  Sunset & Spring Framed Satchel  |  MOMA Maasai Glass Earrings
Jocelyn Feather Bolero  |  Zara Floral Print Kimono  |  Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon Parfum  |  Theory Boatneck Cashmere Sweater  |  Target Large Stone Double Drop Earrings  |  Zara Gathered Leather Over the Knee Boots  |  Convertible Bucket Bag Backpack
Miss Dior Parfum  |  Karinkalt Leather Trim Print Dress  |  Quay Australia Muse Oversized Aviator Sunglasses  |  Kate Spade Blushing Blooms Drop Statement Earrings  |  Chelsea Suede Boots  | Zara Shaggy Textured Coat

Over the next few weeks I will check my favorite navy, grey and spruce ‘boxes’ and show you how to recreate some of my favorite runway looks.  Stay tuned…

*Dedicated Follower of FashionThe Kinks

Embrace another fall…


Fall 2017 New Reads

Even though fall doesn’t ‘officially’ begin until September 21st Labor Day always marks the beginning of autumn for me.  I am ready to put summer behind and embrace the fall – for me the season of football, oversized sweaters, hearty meals eaten fireside, and lots of reading.  Here are a few of the books I am looking forward to reading before the arrival of winter…

  1.   Future Home of The Living God – Louise Erdrich (available November 14th)
  2.   Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan (available October 3rd)
  3.   The Address: A Novel – Fiona Davis
  4.   The Golden House – Salman Rushdie
  5.   A Boy in Winter – Rachel Seiffert
  6.   Here We Are Now – Jasmine Warga (available November 7th)
  7.   See What I Have Done – Sara Schmidt
  8.   The Indigo Girl – Natasha Boyd (available October 3rd)
  9.   Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng (available September 12th)

How about you?  have you read any good books this summer? Are you looking forward to reading anything special this fall?  I’d love to know…

*Embrace Another FallRobert Plant

Greasy gears on a carnival ride…


I can’t pinpoint when my love of fairs began but it started at a very early age. Community fairs, school fairs, county fairs, state fairs – I love them all.  While each style of fair is unique all fairs have things in common, including entertainment, contests, rides, pageants, games of chance and food… Continue reading “Greasy gears on a carnival ride…”

8-23 Ephemera

Zebrafish eye and neuromasts
Ingrid Lekk and Steve Wilson, University College London

I spent a lot of time last week exploring ‘all things eclipse’ prior to viewing the big show on Monday, along with preparing for a one-day geneticists meeting, planning a water conservation art installation for September, and driving to Indianapolis and Mobile to help my children get settled into their new apartments and another year of college.  What little free time I had left was spent watching pre-season football (Go Eagles!) and web-surfing.  Here are a few things which captured the totality of my attention (and hopefully yours as well).

Hope your week (and upcoming weekend) leave you inspired…

*Mess Around – Ray Charles

Set the controls for the heart of the sun…

Eclipse Mania

On August 21st everyone in the US will, weather permitting, experience some part of the total eclipse of the sun.  Here in Nashville, we are expecting 500,000 visitors to join us residents in watching the totality, which is expected to be a two-hour show from start to finish.

Since I forgot to buy glasses I plan on going old-school and make my own out of a Lucky Charms box.  If you purchased glasses check to make sure they are ISO 12312-2:2015 solar glasses to avoid damage to your eyes.  There are a lot of fakes out there (in our area, a local school district and college just destroyed thousands of dollars of non-ISO solar glasses purchased by accident).

I’ve been spending a lot of time checking out NASA’s Eclipse 101 exploring all things eclipse.  You can find interactive maps and eclipse activities, enter the eclipse quilt design contest, learn about eye safety and even watch the live feed on August 21st.

Check out  astrophysicist (and my sewing buddy) Natalie Hinkel explain why she loves space, the stars, punk rock, and drinking.  Her enthusiasm is infectious (and is partly to blame for my own eclipse excitement)!

Did you know the Monday’s eclipse has been nicknamed the ‘Great American Eclipse’ because it will cross through the United States and no other country.  Check out more fun eclipse facts and indulge in some sweet planet lollipops at the same time.

I wish I had some little ones to share the eclipse viewing with. If I did, I would get them ready for the big event with a game of Solar Bingo or by reading Dr. Seuss’s There’s No Place Like Space (sadly, minus Pluto).

Special events deserve to be remembered with special art.  To commemorate the event I plan on buying a t-shirt and poster (or two) from artist, astronomer, and night sky ambassador Dr. Tyler Nordgren at Space Art Travel Bureau.

Finally, I am going to keep Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on rotation as I watch the eclipse in all of its epic totality.  I can’t think of a more perfectly suited opus to accompany the earth and sun as they perform their eclipse duet.

How about you?  Are you psyched about the eclipse? Will you watch? Do you have any special eclipse viewing plans?  I’d love to know…

*Set the Control’s for the Heart of the SunPink Floyd

Leaving, on a jet plane…

The art of packing light

I just returned from a lovely holiday where I did nothing but hang out with my family, sharing meals, conversation, competitive Scrabble games, and binge watching TV (I’m looking at you S4 The Great British Baking Show).

When I purchased my flights I had not realized that the return portion was with a carrier that charged for the ticket AND for the seat, overhead bin, checked baggage and in flight snacks.  Hell, I was ready to bring along a roll of toilet paper in case they charged for using the loo.

Inspired by Project 333 and 33 articles of clothing = 25,176 different outfits (not to mention my ‘everything has an up-charge’ flight’) I packed a super light carry-on with my clothes and a tote bag with my books, laptop, and drawing tablet.  Surprisingly, I had plenty of outfit options – and relaxing activities – to get me through the week.

I am intrigued by Project 33 and think I am going to give it a try once fall arrives.  How about you?  Could you survive with only 33 items (including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes)?  Let me know if you want to try along with me…

*Leaving on a Jet Plane – Peter, Paul and Mary

I could make a transformation…

Lily Clayton Hansen Quote Transformed

I recently changed jobs and now get to work around and with art every day.  I’ve always been good at incorporating my own graphic and stylistic sensibilities into whatever project I am working on but its been many years since art was truly part of my day-to-day responsibilities. I’m not going to lie: it feels a little like a treat each time I open my office door and realize I get to spend the day surrounded by drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculpture… Continue reading “I could make a transformation…”

720 in the books…

July 2017 Books
Summer time and the reading is fine

It’s been some time since I made a ‘9 at a time’ book purchase.  I’ve been relying on my local library to satisfy my reading needs, often with limited success.  If you use your library then you can relate – the shelves don’t always offer the books you’d like to read, so you make ‘will do’ choices which aren’t always as engaging as the cover art and book flap accolades led you to believe.

Thanks to a very thoughtful – and completely unexpected- thank you Amazon gift card I just placed an order for nine books that I hope will take me through the dog days of summer and keep me from playing library ‘book roulette’ until the fall.

How about you?  Do you prefer buying or borrowing books?  What are you reading now? What are you looking forward to reading in the next few months.  I’d love to know…

*720 in the Books – Ella Fitzgerald

My sweet potato pie…

Eat your veggies

I no longer plant my own vegetable garden (thank you deer!) but it hardly matters since I have access to three different farmer’s market close to my home from May through October.  I love to wander the stands and load up on corn, tomatoes, herbs, eggs, melons, and baked goods.  One of my favorite things to make with my fresh veggies is a summer vegetable tart….. Continue reading “My sweet potato pie…”