At the end of March, I had the enormous pleasure of spending time at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center going through their enormous collection of artifacts from the Perkioman region of Pennsylvania. Candace Perry, the collections’ curator, spoke at a local quilt guild’s meeting on the quilts in their collection that I was lucky to attend. Seeing the quilts and listening to her speak about them was really inspiring, both as a photographer and as a new-ish quilter. The texture, personal vision and fine craft of the quilts was incredible to see in person and I was really curious to see how they would work as photographs.
Ms. Perry was generous with her time and incredibly knowledgeable about the Center’s vast and varied collection. She was very passionate about it and spent quite a bit of time with me picking out artifacts from the collection.
While editing the images, I was drawn to the pictures that used the quilts as two dimensional compositions over the ones with the other objects in them. I really was thinking about the hands of the maker and how to convey details that, to me, fascinate me so much in older quilts. The quilting stitches, the piecing, the minor mistakes and the design of each of the quilts are what I look for when I see older quilts. It causes me to wonder about who that person was, what their life was like and what that work meant to them. I felt including the artifacts was creating a false history that I was uncomfortable with.
That said, I am really pleased with the way the images turned out. I wanted to visually examine the quilts and was trying to find smaller compositions within them. It was important to me to convey the intelligence of their design, the details of the makers’ hands and the way the quilts have worn over the past century.
I’ve only really included the three best images from the 6 quilts that I photographed. I’ve created a separate gallery on flickr that contains more images that I highly recommend you take a gander at.
I have had much luck with rented houses’ landscaping and previous owners’ taste in flowers. At the other house A. and I lived in, we had two roses bushes that produced fat, fragrant blooms in a light, warm yellow and a deep, rich red. These picturesque daffodils came out of our current backyard, all cheery and bright.
I recently (finally) got around to putting together The Stash, which I am pretentiously calling A Curated Collection of Vintage Housewares, Accessories and Miscellany. Check it out, tell your friends and let me know what you think.
Over the past few months, I’ve been really considering the stuff that populates my life.
For a long time, I spent my spare time buying things because buying stuff feels really good in a consumer culture like ours. I could make comparisons between hunting, something stalking it’s prey or whatever but I’ll spare you that. I had (have) a thing for old stuff, beautiful stuff. As a result I have ended up with a glut of old things, sitting around, taking up space. I have been learning to let these things and how to sort them into valuable and not valuable. It has freed up physical, emotional and psychological space in my life and I feel like I am moving forward.
The Stash is way for me to turn around all the stuff I’ve purchased into a small income in order to dig myself out of my debt from credit cards and school loans. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing. I’ve made one sale and was featured in a really lovely treasury, which is pretty encouraging, considering I haven’t had much of chance to promote the shop.
It was also really fun to spend time photographing all these items to really show off what it was about them that I really loved. I think they turned out wonderfully.
I recently was given the opportunity to publish images of Virgin Mary shrines in Strongbox Magazine, a fabulous, free online photography magazine. It was rewarding to revisit these images, as I hadn’t really looked at them as a collected whole in a long time and I am pleased with the edit I came up with.
Go check it out. Tell all your friends!
(Life moves on here, day by day. I am immersed in other projects outside of photography right now. When the weather clears up and I am working again, there will be more regular updates.)
I put together a final set of images from the state game lands, where I’ve been shooting the last year and half or so. It’s reassuring to see them assembled together and they are even somewhat cohesive.
October has come and gone this year and as always, there were pierogies rolled, stuffed and pinched. We have already eaten through the stash I brought home, eaten them pan fried with butter and onions (or leeks), tossed with seasonal greens, with a side of local sausage.
I want to talk about how incredibly important pierogie weekend was this year, to write eloquently about how even though my grandmother is gone, she is still there with the family when we get together. How she holds us together, even in her absence. I want to explain to you, dear reader, how strange and bizarre it was to go through her sewing room’s contents, her jewelry. To be in her house, without her there and to think about how we live our lives and the things we carry with us through it.
But I am not up for the emotionally draining task of opening myself up like that to a blinking cursor and an audience. I miss her terribly, in such small ways. Largely, I don’t think about it but when I do, it is sudden and the memories are an assault to my calm, causing me to crumple into a ball of sadness and tears.
And I can’t do it today. I have mending to do, laundry to fold, projects to work on. I can’t give myself over to the process of my grief today.
Single Green Leaf, Purple Astor, Moss Pelt. Sunbury.
Ravioli made with beet root paste, filled with herbed ricotta cheese.
Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. From Linfield PA.