Sunday, January 28, 2018

Baltimore - 2 Churches

A disclaimer seems appropriate given the photographic content of this post. I am not a religious person by anyone's definition. On my best days, it could be said that I am spiritual, but even that is sketchy. At the end of the day, though, churches fascinate me. It's the architecture - the creativity and skill that went into the designing, planning and constructing of such buildings. Like any big city, Baltimore is filled with churches.

One of my favorites is the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church. Located near the George Peabody Library, this Victorian Gothic beauty dominates the skyline along Charles Street.

The building is made [of] six of different types of stone. Its extraordinary color (especially when wet) comes from the use of the now rare green serpentine metabasalt from the Falls Road area of Baltimore County, and buff and red sandstone trim.  (from the church website)

The stone carvers' marks, evident on every stone, 

 bring to mind hand stitching.

It is impossible, for me, to pass this beauty without touching the carvers' marks and wondering at the history and stories behind them. Did each stone carver have a signature mark? Did it vary based on the stone? What thoughts occupied the carvers minds while their hands produced such beauty, etc.

I would love to see the inside as well. A kind lady stopped while I was photographing 

and assured me that the inside is just as spectacular. 

I did try the front doors, but they were locked. Perhaps on a future visit...


The Baltimore Basilica's facade is quite a contrast. 

It presents a very imposing front, complete with  majestic columns.

I must admit to being a bit baffled and disappointed as I walked up the steps, finding this church more akin to a federal building than my idea of a cathedral. And then I entered.

 The lightness of the interior stopped me mid step and all disappointment fled 

to be replaced by awe.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Baltimore - George Peabody Library

Greetings from Baltimore, Maryland! I'm in town for a few days to visit friends and explore the city. Yesterday, I strolled along Charles Street and stopped in at the George Peabody Library.

I've seen photos of this glorious library before, never realizing that it is open to the public. Walking through a smaller room to step into the doorway and be greeted by this spectacular site was one of those jaw dropping, breathtaking moments that will forever be remembered.

The Peabody Library building, which opened in 1878, was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind,  

in collaboration with the first provost, Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison.  

Renowned for its striking architectural interior, the Peabody Stack Room contains five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies, which rise dramatically to the skylight 61 feet above the floor.

The ironwork was fabricated by the Bartlett-Robbins Company.*

This architectural gem is truly awe inspiring. A second visit was required on my way back to the hotel later in the afternoon. Many of the tables were occupied and I couldn't help but wonder what one would think if I sat down and took out my stitching. Another time...

*exerpt from George Peabody Library History

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Baltimore harbor, January 23, 2018

Baltimore harbor, January 23, 2018

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Permission to Play

I am honored to be a guest blogger over at Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch's blog this week.

Patricia asked for a few words about the mark making workshop, Permission to Play, that I'll be teaching at her Open Studio this October 4-7. ('s not too late to register...but be quick!...there are only a few spots remaining)

We'll be working with paper

 and cloth.

I'll bring my sewing machine for machine stitching on both

and even my typewriter for an extra bit of magic.

There will be circles and

and stories

 and even a line or two.

Won't you come join me for a few days of mark making fun? Just click here to find out more about the class.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Lake District - Grasmere and Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils...
William Wordsworth

This quote from Wordsworth graces the stone at the beginning of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden at St. Oswald's Church in Grasmere. Wordsworth lived nearby in Rydal and, from what I can gather, attended services at St. Oswald's. He even planted 8 yew trees in the churchyard and he and his family are buried near one.

I find old graveyards and tombstones fascinating. Each stone pays tribute, some simply, others in grander style.

 They mark a life, hopefully, well lived and well loved.

20 years ago, I sat in this churchyard for quite a while, enjoying the solitude as well as the company of a small bird who lit on the bench next to doubt hoping for a crumb to be thrown its way...

taking in the shapes,   



scents and sounds of the area.

What had been a sleepy little village on our last visit was a bustling small town yesterday. It's good to see Grasmere thriving.

And the birds still provide company at lunch.
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