Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Allegany County Courthouse with it's gargoyles:
Emmanuel Episcopal Church in the heart of the city with it's original Tiffany windows (yep, Tiffany himself designed them), this was also part of the Underground Railroad. There are tunnels and rooms beneath the structure that were once part of Old Fort Cumberland.
Some other pictures, including our street we lived on:
I really miss Cumberland and it's people, just a lovely area of the world. I cherish the time we spent there and all the fabulous friends we made. If you ever get a chance to visit, please do, the city and surrounding areas are not to be missed!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Textiles used to be a very stable, exciting and vibrant industry. I have heard stories of the lavish parties and trips people used to take - when times were good. Unfortunately for the Textile industry, times haven't been "good" for the past 10 years (or more) - basically my entire working career. When my husband graduated from college he missed his graduation because he was already working, people were fighting for textile graduates. That was a while ago. Since then, I have watched mounds of people lose their jobs, little towns die (or at least scramble to reinvent themselves as something other than a "mill town") and old manufacturing facilities turn into condos or just left to waste away. How sad. The saddest part is not many made a fuss, there were no bailouts or lifelines for them. I watch the news these days and I sigh because the way most people are feeling now is the way I have felt for most of my career. It's tough walking into work each day not knowing when the hammer will fall. I got laid off from two different companies in the course of a year - yeah, I used to joke I was a walking country song waiting to be written. I just picked up, moved on and prayed, a lot.
The industry is a completely different animal now, mostly overseas. There are a few manufacturers here that hang on, and I hope they do well. I hope people start to realize more and more how important it is to support them. But what I want you to take away from reading this is that you have to evolve too. I have learned this the hard way. Get up, dust yourself off and plow on. I'm having to look at my future career path in a completely different and creative way, because what I used to do, in the capacity I did it in, is slowly dying out. Maybe this economic downturn will force more people to be creative, entrepreneurial, and use outside-the-box thinking. I sure hope so, I am looking forward to a very bright future, and that this hard time will soon pass.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Fabulous! (I wonder who made those metal sleeves for Dior?) Visit Style.com and click through the collection, it's a wondrous journey from look to look. Galliano is pure genius with the Couture. I'll touch more on that in another post. Any of these dresses I would be happy to have in my home as art! Hazaah!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
How cool! I quickly snapped the picture. It got my brain going - how many other things have I overlooked or didn't think twice about because I didn't take the time to really look. Look at the picture again, think how much effort someone went to to design that and how creative someone was to suggest they actually make a manhole cover as sort of a piece of art? How many more of these cool covers are there out there? On my travels since, I have made an effort to look down and notice manhole/utility covers on the streets and sidewalks and take pictures of them. It's something I look forward to doing, like hunting down treasure that may or may not be there. Some have been interesting, but none have lived up to the Seattle one. My point is to take time and just look around and notice some things you may have overlooked before - you may be pleasantly surprised! I'll leave you with some other covers I've found on my travels. Have an inspiring day!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I keep quite a few binders full of images/articles and the like that I have pulled from magazines throughout the years. If I find something interesting or inspiring I pull it and file it (more on this habit of mine in another post). Somewhere along the line I had pulled the editor's letter from Harper's Bazaar because it had pictures of then editor Liz Tilberis's office (see below - I'm unsure of what month it's from, but it's certainly during the late 90's). I love seeing creative people's working spaces, I find it fascinating. I really admire the late Ms. Tilberis. She reinvented Bazaar into a very graphic, fresh and visually stunning fashion magazine. The layouts, graphics and typography really made an impact (thanks to Fabien Baron - a genius that way). Sometime after I purchased the pillow, I was looking through one of the binders when this page caught my eye. If you look closely at her office you will notice (I know it's hard) 4 yellow Manolo Blahnik pillows - the same as my pillow - right on her sofa!! I did a double take. Now I'm not saying that I may have one of those pillows that once resided in her office (I'm sure more than 4 were made), but I can dream that it was. Right?! I can imagine in my head that the pillow I have once had a more glamorous life in NYC and had been a part of a very exciting time at that magazine. It may have overheard some very interesting conversations between very interesting people.
Sometimes I find myself staring at that pillow thinking "What if?" and "Maybe..." And it always makes me smile.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
That's how the theme song for the Nickelodeon cartoon by the same name begins. If you aren't familiar with this cartoon - is there anyone out there who has not seen at least one episode? - it's about a plucky, fun-loving fry cook that resembles a yellow kitchen sponge. He lives in the ocean in a town called Bikini Bottom among his fellow sea creature friends:
Patrick Star - best friend/starfish
Squidward Tentacles - best frenemy/squid
Eugene Krabs - boss/crab
Sandy Cheeks - best friend/squirrel (?!)
Gary - best friend/pet/snail (that meows like a cat)
I've watched SpongeBob off and on for years and I've just recently started watching it again - A LOT! Probably because Nick runs it constantly and maybe, just maybe because I need him right now.
It's a visually stimulating cartoon, cleverly drawn, full of life and fun. (Even super-hip designer extraordinaire Marc Jacobs has him tattooed on his arm!) It's humor and story lines appeal to a variety of ages. And honestly, as much as SpongeBob can drive you crazy with his endless optimism and energy that borders on crazy, you begin to realize how fun life could be if you didn't take things so darn seriously.
I particularly love the episodes that contrast SpongeBob's optimism and joie de vivre with his neighbor Squidward's pessimism and endless striving for being something more than just a cashier at the Krusty Krab. I tend to relate to Squidward more, but I want to be like SpongeBob. I want to bounce out of bed and be peppy and ready for the day, SpongeBob would love if he could work 24 hours a day - his passion is making the best darn Krabby Patty ever. He finds joy in the mundane. SpongeBob is a childlike in his approach to living life, Squidward is a jaded and bitter adult who can't get outside the box. SpongeBob is present and living in the moment, with an undying optimism for the fun that will be in every day.
With all the craziness going on in the world, I know I certainly need that lesson right now and watching this cartoon has made me very aware of this. I need to be optimistic towards the future, but more importantly I need to be joyful everyday. Even if I have to make my own version of Krabby Patties, I shall do so with zest! I've read countless numbers of books on being present, finding your purpose, etc. and all it took was this little yellow sea sponge to make me "get it". Maybe we all need to watch a little less news and a little more SpongeBob. If nautical nonsense be something you wish...
Monday, March 2, 2009
My bad gifting came to the summit of badness on our first wedding anniversary. Let me set it up. I was under the assumption, that while we were both employed and making good money, that we were going to keep the gifting modest. I mean we were trying to renovate the master bath, back room and eventually the kitchen. So I picked a very modest gift (a fine wooden lap desk from Levenger - I'm embarrassed just to type this), I thought he would be proud that I gave him this useful and reasonably priced item! And of course a card. I was very excited!! Well, that fateful day rolled around and I presented him with this lovely item - not wrapped of course. He kind of looked at it funny and smiled a bit, meanwhile I'm beaming like the sun. He looked at me and said "You gave me a piece of wood? I mean I like it and will use it, but it's a piece of wood." He then handed me a card, I opened it up and inside next to the flowery words of love was a picture of the most lovely cashmere Hermes scarf that would be arriving later in the week in that wonderful orange box from the store in NYC. (Cue the losing game show music) I suck! He, to this day, does not let me forget that I gifted him "a piece of wood". In my defense, he uses it everyday, but it probably wasn't the best choice for that occasion. Since then, we have made an agreement that we will just buy things for the house or put money in for a vacation instead of exchanging gifts for these occasions.
I'm so gun shy about giving gifts that I usually just don't and wait until the pressure of the occasion is off. Then I can just casually find something during the year that I think the person would like and just send it then as a surprise.
So I apologize to everyone to whom I have gifted the weird, inappropriate, off-the-wall and what-the-hell was she thinking gifts that usually arrive late and unwrapped.
I am truly sorry.