Sunday, September 26, 2010

Design notebook

Cristybella has a particular affinity for the seashore and treasures from the ocean.  Seaglass doesn't wash up along the beaches of the Texas gulf coast, but on her travels to other shores, she has been fortunate to find a few pieces.  She also expanded her collection through a highly strategic eBay acquisition.

While in Warrenton last Friday, we noticed plenty of yard sculpture.  One in particular was a little metal item resembling a leafless tree, just the branches.  I didn't even notice it amongst the millions of other products lined up as far as the eye could see.  But Cristy pointed out that if we hung seaglass from that little tree, it would be a pretty addition to our house.  I hadn't considered it before, but had to agree.

On the other hand, why not just use natural branches?

So we did.

And this is the result.  One final touch will be to add sand to the bottom of the vase, that crucial element, that when combined with a broken piece of glass, an endless ocean wave and abundant time will produce a beautifully rounded frosty droplet of sea glass.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The face of poverty

The third Saturday of each month I make a trek to the northern fringe of downtown, the location of the Houston Food Bank warehouse. I pick up four boxes of food (non-perishable pantry staples) to deliver to the four clients I serve: senior citizens living in poverty. I started volunteering in 2002. The seniors on my route are very personable and all extremely grateful for the moderate amount of food they receive to help them make it through the month.

Last Friday, I received an email from the nonprofit organization that runs the Food for Seniors program indicating that it may be canceled at the end of the calendar year. So I decided to take my camera along the next day to start creating a little photo diary of the experience. Point in fact, one of my clients had asked me to bring a picture of myself for her, and I thought a picture of us both together might be much sweeter.

The decision making process regarding the tenure of this program at the parent organization is undoubtedly a complex one and I don’t pretend to have access to all the facts. The only thing I know for certain is that the seniors on my route live a truly impoverished existence and they need the supplemental food this program provides.  Whether they get it from this organization, another similar one, or not at all remains to be seen.

I lived in an urban neighborhood for 15 years, only a mile or two away from most of the seniors on my route. But the similarities between our lives ended there. I have never known poverty and it occurs to me that attempting to document this harsh way of life in images is nothing more than pretense. In fact, when I look at these images, they seem pleasant. Perhaps I edited too carefully, selecting out the photos troubling to the eye. Perhaps in the months ahead, time permitting, my camera and my conscience can be more honest.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Scenes from the urban Houston landscape

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday wordle - approaching autumn

In south Texas, we have a long way to go before cool weather arrives, so looking forward to autumn is more of a state of mind.  It is about finding comfort and sharing those feelings of warmth, love and peace.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Design notebook

Not too long after we moved into our house last fall, I went on the hunt for a pretty armchair and thought I scored a bargain with this find at $40 from Craigslist.  Then I saw it in person and wasn't so sure.  The finish is blotchy and the arms are at an improper height.  But still, it has that pretty cane back, so at that price, for an occasional chair, I decided I could live with the imperfections.

It had been my intent to make a cushion cover for the chair and after all these months, I set about that task his past weekend with an inexpensive oatmeal colored woven cotton fabric from Jo Ann's. 

I'm pleased with the outcome and will no doubt tackle another occasional armchair in the not too distant future to cover the grossly outdated green velvet cushion.

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Passionate about shoes, serenity, chocolate, innovation, fireflies, community service, creative expression, tolerance and love.

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