Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I just returned from my morning walk...seduced by the sweet sounds, sights and smells of our blooming woods, I ventured into the thick of it to see what I could see. I came upon two young deer drinking from a small pond formed from our many days of rain, camouflaged perfectly in their soft brown coats, I almost missed them. There were a couple of young, sleek black geese cavorting on the same pretty puddle, a rainbow of birds singing and dancing on the breeze-including two beautiful, big hawks making lazy circles in the clear blue sky, spring peepers conversing loudly, a big, oozing owls nest high up in a tree, and, ooohhh! all the shimmering shoots poking through the warm mahogany earth. I found sweet, tiny lemon yellow woodland flowers just blooming among the crusty, rustling leaves...and, pale lime buds on every tree and bush. This is such a glorious season! Made all the better by a warm and sunny day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I thought since I was writing about John Denver's music, it might be fun to post a photo of the girls in front of The 'Rocky Mountain High' Rock at the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado. My daughter's and I spent a beautiful afternoon there a few weeks ago.

The Sanctuary is a very spiritual place. If you listen closely as you wander around those big boulders...you will hear John's sweet songs. Soulful words swirling on the mountain breeze.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I love the song 'Poems, Prayers and Promises' by John Denver. Back in 1972, while I was living in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, I went to see John in concert at Red Rocks outdoor amphitheatre. This was one of the first songs I heard him sing, and the beginning of my life-long infatuation with his unique brand of folksy-country music. At our wedding in 1974, the young singer-guitar player sang it so sweetly. Even now it brings back memories of our magical wedding day. It seemed the perfect name for this whimsical little wedding bag.

This sweet little clutch was a special order. I really loved how it turned out so I thought I'd show it here. It is made from bits of a weathered-white vintage wedding gown that belonged to the Mother-of-the-Groom, glitzed with jewels of antique pearl and crystal that belonged to groom's grandmum.

I  added tiny wool loops under the flap and made a detachable beaded handle from more of the antique pearls and crystals (again, belonging to the groom's grandmother) so the bride can easily attach the handle to the bag if she so desires.

 I lined the bag with pieces of an antique silk pillow case, and, for the finish, took a slip of silk ribbon upon which I wrote the bride and groom's names and their wedding date and carefully stitched that to the inside of the bag.

The bag is a lovely little treasure sewn with bits of sentimental family heirlooms.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Easter Weekend has just passed. My girls, who all live far away, were not going to be home. So, my husband, Tom, and my son, Austin and I decided to head up to our rustic little cabin in the woods to celebrate the spirit of the holiday...enjoying each other and the soulful prayers Mother Nature whispers.

This prayer by Michele Linfante is one of my favorites.
It isn't necessarily an Easter prayer, but, one that speaks to me.

That to have the eyes of an artist,
That can be enough,
The ear of a poet,
That can be enough.
The soul of a human
just pointed
in the direction of the divine,
That can be enough.
I tell you this to remind myself,
Every gesture is an act of creation.
Even empty spaces and silence
can be the wings and voices of angels."

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This morning I opened my mailbox and found something amazing. A hand written letter!
My friend MD doesn't e-mail or text. She's not on Facebook or MySpace, and she doesn't tweet. She staunchly refuses to communicate via those "impersonal" ways of communicating (she says)...so, every few months she sits down to write me a long, loving letter. In many ways, she frustrates me. I can keep up daily with all my other friends and family via a quick witty e-mail or text message. I can check to see what's new in their lives with a peak at their blog, Facebook or Twitter. With MD I sometimes have to wait a couple months to find out what's new.

I have to admit, however, that I couldn't wait to tear open that envelope! Her letters are always a heady, sensual experience. I love the feel of the thick pink parchment paper between my fingers, the look of bright turquoise ink she has made "her trademark", and the faint, fresh smell of her favorite perfume upon the pages. I smile at her doodles and 'smiling', 'frowning', 'shocked', 'angry' little faces she has drawn among the written words. It's like she is right here with me, her essence there between the lines.

Letter writing is a lost art. I remember when I used to take such delight in hunting for beautiful cards, lovely stationary, bright, bold, colorful inks with which to write letters. I would enclose bits of glitter, confetti, or tiny found objects I had scavenged. They were mini works-of-art. And...Oh, how I remember the innocent, tear-inducing letters I would receive in turn from my children. Their sentimental 'Mother's Day', 'Anniversary', 'Thanksgiving', 'Halloween' poems. Their loving 'thank-you' cards and letters...each written in their unique style, each a treasure to savour and save. A tangible gift to return to. Reread. Rejoice over. Again and again and again. Yes, I faintly remember those days.

Thinking about those letters has made me impatient go dig out my colored india inks, my ancient writing pen, my pile of pretty papers and write some letters. It has even given me a fabulous idea for the creative book Kristin and I are talking of writing. We are thinking of a "Griffin and Sabine" book of sorts, a back and forth sharing of ideas, drawings, paintings, even mini collages of our creative process when making our handbags and jewelry. MD's letter has me thinking we might use zesty colored inks and sumptuous, thick parchments. Even envelopes of confetti and found objects.

I might even take the time to write some real old-fashioned letters now and again. I think dear MD might have the right idea.

Friday, April 3, 2009


The roots of Rockabilly (from Rock'N'Roll and Southern Hillbilly/Country) is sometimes said to have begun in the 1940's and 50's with the women who took over factory jobs during World War II, like 'Rosie The Riveter'. America relied on women in a very public way and at the height of the war, one out of three defense workers was a former full-time homemaker. While women worked outside the home during the day, at night many would get gussied up and dance the night away. Rockabilly began as that 'working woman-tart sex kitten' pairing.

A Rockabilly girl is passionately proud of her background, roots, and who she is. A Rockabilly girl has attitude and supercharged style. Rockabilly was often called 'Retro Punk', 'Dixifried Vintage', 'Rebel Couture', 'Bohemian Grunge', 'Rock Star Fashion', and 'Harajuku' in Japan. The eccentric Rockabilly look today might be a big baggy coat, slacks and creeper shoes; rolled up jeans and a tied up shirt with spiked high heels, a 50's pin-up girl dress and fishnet stockings, thigh-high boots and an acrylic mini-dress, leatherette pants and a man's suit jacket... fashion pairings that are a bit inappropriate with an exaggerated sense of occasion. And, always an exuberant amount of embellishment: oodles of bangles, belts, feathers and chains. Rockabilly is the combining 'comfort with an unexpected edge'.

Although Rockabilly has faded in and out of fashion through the years..it is making a comeback today in a explosive way. Resale and thrift shops are in vogue again. Tattered Couture is the rage as everyone begins to recycle, reuse, and repurpose old clothing and accessories.

And, I am thrilled to learn that my eccentric bohemian style is 'in'. My thrift store jackets, leatherette pants, wild gypsy frocks, lace-up boots, and rhinestone tiaras have probably always seemed a bit odd. But, for me, fashion has always been about fun. I am happy to keep rockin' Rockabilly (: