personal history

223/365: lunch @ the veranda, st. james hotel


Last Friday we journeyed down river to visit friends in Davenport, Iowa. Along the river roads, we stopped over in Red Wing for a lovely lunch at the St. James Hotel. It’s where we spent our first Valentine’s Day, where Brad proposed, and where we celebrated one of our early anniversaries. We wanted to share this history with the kids and revisit them ourselves – adding a fresh memory to the many treasured stories that already unfolded in this place.


the classics

214/365: shakespeare


I will always love books. The very thing-ness of them. The design, the way they age, their heft.

I miss those college days when I had time to sit on the floor of the used book store, combing through art books or scanning for paperbacks. I consistently had an appetite for books – pictures, places, words, possibilities  – that exceeded the hours in a day.

I dream that someday I’ll have time for books again. Time to open the cover and disappear into the world of the story. Time to read the most beautiful words twice.

P.S. How do you like the new blog design? I wish the pics were bigger, but otherwise I dig it.

03.20.13 never enough

Happy first day of Spring!

It is heartening to think of the days growing longer and the warmth of the sun gaining momentum each day. Here, in Minneapolis, where I live, however, this first day of Spring is the coldest of my 40-something lifetime. So, on a day when winter is really feeling like enough is ENOUGH, I turn to Thoreau.

I had a friend years ago who used to say that you couldn’t hate someone for the same reasons that you love them. Nature is like that. It is part and parcel. Beauty and terror, serenity, and brutality. Winter wind and summer sun. And, no, we can’t ever have enough. Even when it seems that we have way too much.

blog032013_walden79/365: walden

03.10.13 working it

Some days you just have to make hay while the sun shines. Yesterday, I was so busy making hay that I ran out of sunshine and found myself at bedtime without a daily photo. Luckily, the studio where I’d spent most of the day, is within falling-down distance of my bed; I snapped a couple shots of the work-in-progress and called it a night.

blog031013_studiowork69/365: studio table with business cards and utility knife

The work-in-progress: new business cards and spring note cards for my newest retail outlet: Urban Cottage!

01.29.13 better with age

I appreciate modern architecture, but I like to inhabit worn-in spaces, buildings with the character and grace that come from age. I don’t need everything perfect or new, that’s not how I live – and I certainly don’t want to live in fear of making a dent or scratch.

I like to sense whispers in the walls, the accumulated touch of thousands of hands and feet,  the sunlight and shadow of all the days – good and bad. Like old people who can still paint pictures of the past, these spaces provide continuity, holding us in the strong arms of our collective history as we go about our lives. What a great place to learn.

blog_012913_gym29/365: GYM / EXIT (Hale School, built 1930)


I’ve always been a bit of a library junkie. In my graduate school days, I relished the gathering phase of any new project, hauling arm-straining, backpack-breaking loads of books back and forth to my tiny apartment . Never mind the fact that I would never have time to read even half of them.

It always struck me as just so exciting that I could find all this information, all these pictures, and learn about exactly the thing I was interested in at that very moment. And so, in my excitement, I lost all self-control. With passion running to obsession, I stacked book upon book – conquests in my hunger for knowledge.

Some things never change. In my newly rekindled love affair with the library, I am back to amassing heaps of books with abandon . But now, instead of academic tomes, it’s gardening, photography, and food, food, food. I believe I may be insatiable…

Day 20: Cookbooks

Cookbooks: Simple, Fresh, and Pasta

P.S. I realize the photo looks innocent. This is a partial stack of books from today’s check-out. One of several I’ll make this week 🙂


Today, I am taking a deep breath and reflecting on our many days of family and festivity. Which we enjoyed thoroughly despite a family medley of poorly-timed illnesses.

Glass half full? Well, I couldn’t taste anything – total bummer as I love to eat – but, I came through four consecutive Christmas parties weighing two pounds less than I did going in. Unprecedented! And proof of how crummy I felt.

Now, about that sale…

woman and sale sign, nicollet mall

I’m always one to grab a holiday bargain, especially ornaments, fancy bows, and holiday cards for next year. If you can relate, here’s a special offer:

25% my Holiday Card Collection! Just go to my etsy shop or website and enter coupon code XMAS25 when you place your order.

I’m looking forward to sharing a lot more photography, blogging, and creative projects in the new year. I think it’s going to be a good one.