Their THINGS have become my THINGS

Their THINGS have become my THINGS

I believe my own creativity was quietly ignited and fostered by my father who photographed, and my mother who quilts.  Both activities required lots of THINGS.

It’s fascinating to ponder why we consider certain items essential, and how attached we become to those THINGS.  For me it boils down to a few reasons—memories, personal history, usefulness, or the love of the THING itself. 

My father has been gone for a while, and I recently moved my mother from their apartment to a higher level of assisted living care, which involved a deep and sometimes emotional digging into the long-lived lives of my parents.

There were the usual items to deal with: documents, photographs, various collections, antiques, coupons, letters, clothing, books, hand-written notes to self, furniture, jewelry, tons of fabric, etc. etc. etc.  I often found myself wondering why in the heck my mother still had this or that, but decisions had to be made and much went into the dumpster. A LOT went into the dumpster.

But a LOT did not. My mother loved sticky notes. They were everywhere (which often made us giggle) and were very helpful to my siblings and me as we dispersed the more loved and personal THINGS they kept around. She would write, “Give this to so-and-so,” “Don’t give this away-was my mother’s when she was a child,” “Sell this, it’s worth something,” “Donate to whomever,” etc.  Seriously, the notes were invaluable.

The task was completed and I returned home with 2 small boxes containing my share of THINGS that I found precious; my parents honeymoon album, my father’s Air Force jacket and flight maps, my mother’s quilts, hand-written letters, many many photographs and slides, and my mother’s first shoes.

So when it came time for my mother to choose a few items to take to her new room, the fabrics and Singer sewing machine (which she’s had since a she was a young woman) were the only two must-haves. For my mother, these essential THINGS are full of her memories, tell her story, and are the tools which will enable her mind and hands to continue creating…and I can relate to that.


PAPER, PLANT, SUN  photography material

PAPER, PLANT, SUN photography material

A little something to think about with Saint Valentine's Day just around the corner...

I was inspired by a book, THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, to assemble a collection of my Botanical Portraits which "speak" of love, passion and beauty. A few of them are: FORSYTHIA-Anticipation, LILAC-First emotions of love, QUINCE-Temptation, FUCHSIA-Humble love, and CLEMATIS-Mental beauty.

Some of the meanings came from the book, and some elsewhere, but I loved applying the Victorian concept of this unwritten suggestive language to my photographs. And believe me, there are plenty of shall we say...ungracious messages to be sent through a flower case you were wondering :) 

**To find out more about my upcoming exhibit featuring this collection go here.

**To check out the book, THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS, go here - it's a good read about how flowers and their meanings helps a young woman from the foster care system communicate and connect with world. Click on the Flower Dictionary tab to find the Vanessa Diffenbaugh's compilation of meanings.



Colors, textures, & patterns are the stuff that makes me pay attention to and relate to my environment--especially when I am in new surroundings. These elements are my built-in filters and it’s kind of how I ‘find my way’.

A recent trip to Santa Fe, NM made me sit up and take notice (travel will do that). My guides were flawless at placing me in the spirit of the place. Holy dirt was included.

Here are a few pictures from the trip that will no doubt spark new pattern designs, but of course!


Wherever I go, I shoot photos of colors, textures, and patterns made by nature and by man. I have a constantly expanding photo catalog, which I admit is loosely organized, that I refer to for design inspiration, color palettes, and sometimes just to make my brain feel good :)

This is a sample of found colors/textures/patterns that I came across in Portland, Oregon this spring. I might use this as a springboard for a surface pattern design using these earthy warm/cool colors and textural feel.

Lichens on wood & metal patio table with past colors and rust exposed by age.

Lichens on wood & metal patio table with past colors and rust exposed by age.