My Marimekko

March 16, 2017

Marimekko print — Winnie the Pooh

Marimekko print, detail

Back in the 1970s when I was working in Minneapolis, I found this Marimekko fabric panel at a fabric warehouse.  I bought it and saved it in my fabric stash, until about a decade later when I had it hand-quilted and made into a baby quilt for my daughter.  I still love the graphic style of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh images.  I suppose you could call it a vintage quilt, and for me it is a cherished keepsake.

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle is currently hosting an exhibit of Marimekko fabrics and designs.  A friend and I went yesterday, and we found the colorful pieces quite uplifting on a gray, rainy Seattle day.  I only wish the exhibit were larger, as it left me wanting to see more work from this captivating design house.

Marimekko is a Finnish design company, and its team of designers create not only fabric prints, but also simple and fashionable clothes and home products.  I could easily see myself wearing some of the loose, blousey, simple dresses over black leggings.  If you are interested in finding out more about Marimekko, its website includes a blog, and a series of posts entitled “Every Print Has a Story,” that give some background into the designers and their work.

Here are some photos from the “Marimekko, With Love” exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum:

 

 

 

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World of Wearable Art exhibit at Seattle's MoPop

World of Wearable Art exhibit at Seattle’s MoPop

I recently wrote about the Yves St Laurent exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, but there is another fashion exhibit currently showing in the city at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project).  A friend and I went to see the World of Wearable Art show which features winning looks from New Zealand’s international design competition.  The fashions all were constructed using unconventional materials — fiberglass, wood veneer, plastic, old tires, etc.  These artists’ imaginations are off the charts!  I loved the hybrid offerings, a marriage of art and fashion.  Here are a few samples:

Warrior outfit made of tires

Wood veneer

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The venue, a building designed by Frank Gehry, is as stunning as the exhibits in the show:

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The Museum of Pop Culture is on the grounds of the Seattle Center.  Just look for the Space Needle, which stands as sentry over the grounds.

Space Needle

Space Needle

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Seattle Space Needle viewed from Kerry Park

Seattle Space Needle viewed from Kerry Park

The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, is still one of Seattle’s icons.  I didn’t intend to have this image dominate my sightseeing spree around the city with my sister and her husband, but once I noticed its reflection in the glass creations in the gardens of Chihuly Garden and Glass, I was captivated by its presence.  Here are 14 photos of the Space Needle out and about Seattle:

Space Needle from the glass house at Chihuly Garden and Glass

Space Needle from the glass house at Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Space Needle from the fountain at the Seattle Center

Space Needle from the fountain at the Seattle Center

Space Needle from Calder's Eagle at the Olympic Sculpture Park

Space Needle from Calder’s Eagle at the Olympic Sculpture Park

 

 

In the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

In the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

I’ve spent the past 10 days taking my sister and her husband to some of my favorite places in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.  Audrey’s vacation priorities were family and National Parks, but before heading off on a couple of road trips, she wanted to spend the first day after their arrival in Seattle recovering from jet lag.  The highlight of our day out and about Seattle was our visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass, which showcases the work of glass artist, Dale Chihuly.  It is located at the base of the Space Needle at the Seattle Center.  When we arrived, workers were cleaning up from the annual Bumbershoot Festival.  (Bumbershoot is another name for umbrella.)

Bumbershoot Alley at the Seattle Center

Bumbershoot Alley at the Seattle Center

Two of my favorite spaces are the Persian Ceiling Room and the Glass House inside Chihuly Garden and Glass.  My sister liked the gardens outside, where glass sculptures are artfully placed next to a diverse selection of colorful plants.

Sculpture in the Sealife Room

Sculpture in the Sealife Room

Persian Ceiling with reflections on the wall

Persian Ceiling with reflections on the wall

Detail, Persian Ceiling

Detail, Persian Ceiling

Mille Fiori Room

Mille Fiori Room

Chandelier

Chandelier

Macchia Forest Room

Macchia Forest Room

Glass House

Glass House

Garden outside

Garden outside

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Greenwood Avenue North at 8:00 a.m. this morning

Greenwood Avenue North at 8:00 a.m. this morning

Today is the annual Greenwood Car Show, and this was the scene on the street outside my workplace, the Greenwood Library, this morning at 8:00 a.m.  I can only imagine the crowds later in the day!

I took a few minutes before starting work to wander around with my camera.  Enjoy!

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Double take! Proud owner of Ford Deluxe

Double take! Proud owner of Ford Deluxe

Zephyr

Zephyr

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Driving down the avenue to their parking spot

Driving down the avenue to their parking spot

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Vintage picnic tableau

Vintage picnic tableau

Urban sketcher

Urban sketcher

Self-portrait in highly polished car

Self-portrait in highly polished car

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The proper stances for viewing cars -- hands in pockets (preferred) or crossed arms

The proper stances for viewing cars — hands in pockets (preferred) or crossed arms

“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.”
— artist Frank Gelett Burgess

King Stefan and Maleficent on the street outside Comicon, Seattle

King Stefan and Maleficent on the street outside Comicon, Seattle

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Seattle is in the midst of an invasion of comic book characters — villains and heroes — here for the Emerald City Comicon(vention).  People are obviously passionate about these characters.  I suppose dressing up and striking poses and acting can be imaginative ways to express some of the more hidden aspects of one’s self.

Valkyrie

Valkyrie

Steampunk Ariel

Steampunk Ariel

Baroness from Cobra Commander (attending with her husband and young son. Imagine having a cool mom like her!)

Baroness from Cobra Commander (attending with her husband and young son. Imagine having a cool mom like her!)

Most of the attendees were cheerfully willing to allow photographs, and they assumed all manner of gestures and poses.  Quite coincidentally, I had just read parts of Amy Cudder’s new book, Presence:  Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, in which she asserts that the physical body has the ability to change the mind.  She gives examples of power poses, such as one called “The Wonder Woman” pose, which practiced for just two minutes a day, or two minutes when needed, can have an empowering affect on the body and mind, and therefore, can result in real meaningful impact in social situations.  (I highly recommend that you watch her TED talk about how body language can effect changes in your mind.  I think every girl and woman would benefit from watching this 20-minute talk.  Cudder is quite convincing and backs her assertions with studies and real-life examples.  You will never look at Wonder Woman in quite the same way after hearing Cudder’s talk.)  I was tickled to see that the women I photographed at Comicon quite naturally struck some of the power poses Cudder describes (enlarging gestures, like arms out or up, chin held high, etc.) while dressed in their costumes and regalia.  Perhaps some of this body language will carry over into their lives in ordinary clothes!

Here are some more portraits from my short wander through the streets and the lobby of Seattle’s Convention Center during the Comicon festivities:

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Seattle’s Folio Athenaeum

January 23, 2016

Folio Seattle, Reading Room

Folio Seattle, Reading Room

“Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark … In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.”
— Germaine Greer

Seattle’s Folio Athenaeum opened this week, and I joined this subscription library — not because I needed access to more books to read (I’m already buried in books) — but to have a convivial space to retreat to away from home and its distractions.  I spent a few hours there on my day off work and I was able to take some photos and complete a couple of small watercolor sketches.  Folio is a comfortable, light-filled, quiet place to work.  I will use the space regularly, I hope, for blogging and sketching, painting and writing.  Maybe having a place like this will help me to sit down and make art more regularly!

Folio’s lending collection is tastefully arranged for serendipitous browsing.  Books are arranged, not by Dewey decimal system, but more intuitively by theme.  There were several subject areas where I found enticing books, but I refrained from borrowing because I have too many books currently checked out of the public library.

How does Folio and an athenaeum differ from a public library?  This article gives more information.  I look forward to attending Folio’s literary events and rubbing shoulders with fellow readers and book lovers.

Folio Seattle

Folio Seattle

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Workroom

Workroom

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Interesting architectural details

Interesting architectural details

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