Monday, August 27, 2012

new york trip - part one

 My mother always said that the best trips are the unplanned ones, where you just pick up at the last second and go, no expectations, no plans, just a willingness to be led where the trip will take you. 

I think I meant well in trying to put a bit of that spirit into our little stop in Brooklyn, NY on our way upstate -- I usually tend to over plan for every little thing, easily spending all of my time gathering and none of my time doing -- but the fact is, I dropped the ball.

Let's just say that the hotel I booked in the dark (at the last possible second) looked great from the lobby!  So we were up and off to explore Brooklyn by 6:00 am, when almost no one else was awake yet, meaning we kind of had her all to ourselves. 

After some quick breakfast and a stroll through the park we headed to Bedford Avenue for a visit to Spoonbill & Sugartown book store.  We went back in three times that day. Yes, it's that good. 

Nona and I visited Mociun, just the two of us.  I was pretty blown away by the beauty of Caitlin's space, and by what wasn't there as much as by what was. Editing is the hardest thing to do, I think, but when it's done well it has such a powerful impact.  I picked up some Robert Blue pottery pieces there. They are my official Brooklyn 2012 mementos.

I was pretty excited to visit Catbird, as well, and was so glad I did.  Nona got to pick my birthday gift this year (with some help from her dad), so she selected a beautiful Marly Moretti bracelet.  The friendly staff mused with her about the glories of tie dye while she awaited the sparkly package. She was so proud.

After a bite to eat at Five Leaves (yum), we headed to Acorn toy store. This place is so pleasant and soothing with it's hefty Waldorf leanings and gentle beauty, so we were easily lulled into chatting with people for more time than we had in our budget while the girls played. 

Before we knew it, it was too late to go the Noguchi Museum as we'd wanted (shameful!), which just means we have to go back really soon for a day of gardens and museums. 

On our way out of town we made one last stop at Blue Marble Ice Cream for some cool cones and were on our way to the beautiful Catskills.  I kind of regret not taking more photos in Brooklyn, but I trust the spirit of our little trip won't be forgotten, photos or none. 

images: taken with iPhone © Kristen Gregg

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kay Sekimachi

 We recently spent a day at the Textile Museum in DC and I must say, it's one of my new favorite places. We came for the exhibit on Japanese textiles (which was amazing) and unexpectedly found the exhibit, Sourcing the Museum, where modern textile artists were invited to select pieces from the museum's permanent collection and develop new pieces inspired by them.  

I immediately found the weaving by Kay Sekimachi (last photo above) and had to be cajoled to leave it. several times over. I returned to stare at it on four separate occasions while touring the museum, and it was the last piece I burned into my memory before leaving. Kay's selected inspiration piece was an Incan alpaca yarn tapestry (the smaller of the two images in the final photo), and as beautiful as the Incan piece was, I couldn't take my eyes off Kay's (she painted the warp prior to weaving).  Photographing the art was strictly prohibited, but thankfully the museum has provided images of each weaving and their inspirations online -- all of the contributions are amazing, by the way. 

In a follow up internet frenzy, I found some of Kay's other work and several interviews with her. I am in complete awe of her: her work, her home, her presence and manner.

The first two photos above were taken by Leslie Williamson for American Craft Council (Weaving the Sea). If you haven't already read this piece (I hadn't, though I can see it's gotten some love out there), I couldn't recommend it more.  Nona would like me to add that it's really, really amazing that Kay has a real abandoned hornet's nest above her reading nook.

I've seen the name Kay popping up again here and there, particularly in the middle.  If you love it and need a great reason to pick it, Kay Sekimachi could easily inspire your naming process. 

Finally, this video chat with Kay is too good not to share.

images: 1-2 by Leslie Williamson for American Craft Counsil , 3-5 courtesy of browngrata arts, 6 by Renee Comet for The Textile Museum

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A real life Margot, a grown up one!  I loved this interview with artist Margot Bowan on Freunde von Freunden.  What a perfectly fitting name. She looks like a Margot, right?  And don't you always envision Margots to be artists of one kind or another? 

image: by Georgia Kuhn (another goodie)

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Halona has such a beautiful sound doesn't it?  It's the Navajo word for 'good fortune' and the name of Etsy shop, Halona Glass.   I love Halona's terrariums, hangings, and the story of how the Brooklynite behind this shop developed her craft.   (found via)

images: by and courtesy of Halona Glass

Monday, August 6, 2012


An interview with photographer, Clotilde Boisrenard. And her blog.  Isn't her name amazingly lovely? I so love it. And her pictures. 

image: by Clotilde Boisrenard via