Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cast-offs & Commitment~~Sail On, revisited

photo by legalwheel @ 
In March
about the 
going on in the brick building shown above,
housing the new office my daughter shares 
@ 11th Hour Racing in Newport, R.I.

It's April
 The project's finished 
& Amy featured it in
Upcycling the Office With a Nautical Touch

Click above for Amy's full scoop,
 before and after shots 
& the story of what 
imagination, determination 
& a clever sense of design can do. 

photo by Miranda Harple
To get you started, here's the table 
crafted by Cody Harple 
from wood reclaimed from the
classic 1885 yacht Coronet 
currently under restoration down the street at IYRS
the International Yacht Restoration School

& the finished conference area now enclosed 
by Quantum's recycled sails & shipping pallets. 
photo by Miranda Harple
To bring you full circle, 
below I've recycled part of my March blog 
showing early project photos

 It's Freewheelin' Friday! 
 Dedicated to Artistic Endeavors of all Sorts  

makes a lot of spinnakers...
Spinnakers by Umberto Luparelli 

 Since they make sails for the big guys, they have lots to play with.  Tim Wilkes Photography

In conjunction with  11th Hour Project  & Sailors for the Sea, they're dedicated to clean regattas & racing responsibly. 

Take a look at 11th Hour's new Newport office~~
Used Quantum sails room dividers:

Used Quantum sails & shipping pallet recycle bins:

 ~~recycled for recycling~~
clever, creative & responsible

In Amy's words:
Using reclaimed materials was a must 
for our office.  
We are very conscious about minimizing 
the use of non-essential materials 
and maximizing the use of old materials 
by re-purposing them. 

This is an artistic endeavor worth applauding &
so click on over to their Facebook pages:
Quantum Sails Newport   &  11th Hour Racing

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 1912~~2012: Happy Birthday Fenway!

 It's Freewheelin' Friday! 
Dedicated to Artistic Endeavors of all Sorts
Click & check it out

Tear down? 
Sweet Caroline, I think not. 

Green Monster, grass field, CITGO sign

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Oh right, 
it was & they did.
Hang in there Wrigley Field, 
we're the only two left.

Thank you, (click ☛)Janet Marie Smith

and the boys who've played there

That first game they beat what grew up 
 to become the Yankees. 
I've loved both.
Yes, I am in front of the Bronx tear down
wishing my rabid Yankees fan brother a happy birthday
in, aaaaahhhh, 2004

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

And she'll name a character after you!

Fun stuff! 
Fellow novelist Victoria Thompson is at it again. MURDER ON FIFTH AVENUE 
~~# 14 in her Gaslight Mystery Series~~
is about to launch & she's running a contest.

Vicki's FFB (Faithful Fan Base) kept asking: 
“When are Frank & Sarah going to get together?”  

The answer:
 (Sort of. You didn't think she'd give it all away?) 
14 Gaslight mysteries in 13 years &
     Vicki's finally figured out how to help the series protagonists overcome all their obstacles, become a couple—& still keep solving mysteries together.

She’s having a contest!  
                ~~Join the fun~~ 
She finally gets Frank Malloy & Sarah Brandt together.

If you win, Vicki will name a character after you 
(or a loved one of your choice).  

✍  ✍   ✍
To see how she sets the wheels in motion, check out Murder on Fifth Avenue, the newest Gaslight Mystery & May release from Berkley Prime Crime.  

& visit (click ☛) Victoria’s website for details on how to enter the Contest!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog tour alert!

     Lisa Graff has a busy week 
you don't even have to get off the couch to join her.

She's even having a
☝☝Check it out! ☝☝

Follow along on her blog tour. I double dog dare you. 

Monday, April 16th: 

Tuesday, April 17th:  

Wednesday, April 18th:  

Thursday, April 19th:  

Friday, April 20th:  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Full Circle

 It's Freewheelin' Friday! 
Dedicated to Artistic Endeavors of all Sorts

     To bring my ramblings on (click 'em ☛) Scribner's, ◆ Maxwell Perkins,Treasure Island & N.C. Wyeth full circle, here's my secret:

Once upon a time I wanted to illustrate children's books.
Osmosis had a lot to do with it. 
Andrew Wyeth    North Light
     For two years before I left home for college & what passes as my adult life, I studied painting with Carolyn Wyeth in her father N.C. Wyeth's Chadds Ford, PA,  studio.
Carolyn Wyeth
      As her only teenaged student, I also fed the dogs, crawled through the window when she locked us out, (sat outside on a bench for half an hour the day of my portfolio review when she forgot my interview) painted, memorized her critiques, & listened. 

"Old Pew" N.C. Wyeth
for R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island
Scribner's Illustrated Classics 
     Her father reigned as America's preeminent illustrator during its Golden Age &  his birchbark canoe still hung in the rafters. He'd been dead for 20 years by then but his bottles, busts & palettes, saddles ~~props of every kind~~ leaned in corners & filled musty shelves as if he'd just gone over to the family house down the path.  

  On my last day at the studio, Carolyn gave me the Dundee Marmalade jar she & her father~~& I~~had used to mix that linseed oil and turpentine. 

Now it holds pens & pencils on my desk.


As it turned out, I don't illustrate books, I write them. 
                                             But my friend & cohort Brian Lies does both.
     It didn't take long for us to discover our mutual love of "Old Pew." Look closely. Brian's homage to Wyeth's masterpiece appears in his NYTimes best seller 
                                                               BATS AT THE LIBRARY    
Bats at the Library 
     When Brian discovered I have the Treasure Island poster in my office, he surprised me with his pencil study.

My homage to two beloved  illustrators... 
Homage for me.
Pilgrimage for you?

Maxwell Perkins CT house &  
The Snapdragon Inn, Windsor, VT

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' homestead Cross Creek, FL

N.C. Wyeth's house & studio via 
The Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA

The original Charles Scribner's Sons bookstore 

597 Fifth Avenue 
between 48th and 49th Streets
New York, New York

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When Books Mattered, Part 2

Ernest Hemingway &
F. Scott Fitzgerald

     It's probably safe to say the days are over when a writer hit a dry (or particularly alcohol-fueled wet) spell & his editor put said writer on an allowance & supported him. Financially & physically. 
                  Maxwell Perkins did.

  It's also probably true that these days editors aren't much interested in single spaced manuscript pages that arrive by the crate load.
                 Maxwell Perkins was.
     Charles Scribner's Sons, publishers of Edith Wharton, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry James, J. M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ring Lardner, Jules Verne, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Mary Mapes Dodge, Howard Pyle, & about everybody else you've ever heard of, hired Maxwell Perkins in 1910.

     Scribner's~~perhaps all of publishing~~most famous editor joined the house about the time they launched their  Illustrated Classics series (☚click for Part 1).
     In his short, brilliant career, Perkins coddled, cajoled, encouraged, mentored & guided men & women as they gave us some of the most memorable settings, plots & characters of the twentieth century.

  ☟     ☟       A sampling        ☟     ☟


~~Which brings me to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings~~ 

orange groves, Cross Creek, guest rooms, 

her journey 

& mine

which I'll explore in Part 3 of
 When Books Mattered

In the meantime the full story of Maxwell Perkins awaits in 
A. Scott Berg's 

~~Do yourself a favor~~

Start with this renowned & beloved editor, 
then work your way through his clients,

one fascinating read at a time. 

“Just get it down on paper, and then we’ll see what to do with it.”

Maxwell Perkins




Friday, April 6, 2012

Yet another spin cycle~~

 It's Freewheelin' Friday! 
Dedicated to Artistic Endeavors of all Sorts

It ended with this

and started with that  
my first floor powder room. 

     Or, more accurately, it started with my mother's advice back in my new bride/ house hunting days: "You want the laundry room on the first floor." 
    3o years, 3 houses & 9 years of prep school campus housing, sharing a far-end-of-the-former-dormitory W&D with 12 fellow faculty & administrators later,


That is, voila after 3 color changes on the cabinets  
& 2 on the walls,
plus a visit from my favorite plumber & electrician, who also hauled those suckers from the basement.

✄   ✄
Then I got to the fun stuff.

I framed my lifetime collection of Playbills.
This took weeks because I re-read them all. 
Broadway over the toilet; Boston productions to the left of the window; opera & summer stock to the right;  5 years of Wilmington, DE, Playhouse road companies behind the door, & ballet to the left. 

The powder-cum laundry room has an odd little tub/shower, too. I re-hung the curtain I made featuring my favorite e.e. cummings poem, i carry your heart with meas well as the vintage Coke tray from my mother-in-law. 

The backsplash holds the shots of our harbor during a hurricane. My sea glass gets tossed into the used vigil light container I recycled from church.

Have I mentioned MacKenzie~Childs?
6 years ago it was 17 degrees the day I hiked across 3 avenues & up15 streets to meander through their Manhattan showroom for Easter gifts (bunny finger puppets). 

I snagged the Courtly Check Enamelware cup for myself & 5 years later brought it into the laundry room from my office where it had been accompanying the Mackenzie-Childs shopping bag I use as a trash basket.

    I screwed the cheesy, cheap, white knobs back on the cabinets. Lightbulb Moment #1 sent me to my office for a Magic Marker & gold felt tip pen. 

   Nearly a year after the project, my sister gave me the soap dish. Lightbulb Moment #2 hit me last month. I sat at my desk staring at the box the soap dish arrived in & sneezed. I got up to get Kleenex from the powder-cum laundry room.

     24 hours later I'd removed the oval logo with an X-acto knife, slathered on 3 coats of polyurethane and transferred the tissues. 


I used a local Laundromat as a prop in The Chick Palace. I know Johanna & Lilly would get a kick out of this space. 

Now if I could just remember to take the tissues out of my pockets before I do the wash.