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A wedding story.

Our daughter, Shiri, got engaged last month. We are so happy for her, (and for ourselves!). We have an entire year to dream about themes, colors, invites, menus and more. Both Shiri and I share a love for design. Although a lawyer by trade, she is a talented artist and has impeccable taste. We have decided to do it all on a small budget and use lots of creativity and ingenuity to make it one beautiful wedding!

Above, we are experimenting with an alternative to live flowers. These I made from grosgrain ribbon, fake stamens and some floral wire and tape.

I'll keep you all posted as our ideas come along.


Beauty over the ages.

I have a few plates by Piero Fornasetti, a witty, imaginative Italian artist who made his art between 1933-1988. He is well known for his series of plates and pieces of furniture. He had a signature style; black and white representations of a woman's face are among his repeated elements.
Look at the photo of the plate. Isn't she beautiful? Three different images of her hang near my breakfast table. Being a 10 day veteran of Weight Watchers I am trying to have proper meals at the table. As I munch on my low cal, low taste food, I study her. She is serene, feminine and hauntingly beautiful. And yet the contour of her face is wide, her cheek and chin full. She is not what we would consider the perfect woman now a days. In fact I could see her in line, right in front of me, waiting for her weekly weigh in.
Fornasetti found the image of this woman in a 19th century French magazine. Her name was Lina Cavalieri. She was considered a great beauty in her time. Looking at her as I eat my 7 points of food (Weight Watchers system of points per/meal), I think: how lucky was Lina? She would have been able to eat good food and still be happy with how she looked.

Ahhhh, beauty over the ages...


Election Day.



Prehistoric colors

It's been a busy week. Just a little injection of color as we head into the new week. Have a great one!



When my husband, Reid, and I first arrived in Cambodia six years ago, it was late afternoon. We came to bring home our little nine month old daughter, Nina. We arrived late and were told we would not be able to meet her until the following morning, so we made our way to our hotel. As we walked into the lobby, my eyes were immediately drawn to a display of cards. The cards were embroidered scenes of Cambodia stitched in wild and wonderful colors with images that were simple, na├»ve, and so beautiful. There were also embroidered cards of flowers that seemed to give off beautiful fragrances, and cards of embroidered butterflies, so life-like that they looked as though they would fly right off the page. But the cards that haunted me the most were those depicting village life in Cambodia. I soon discovered that these cards were made under the tutelage of an organization called Tabitha, whose mission it is to teach land mine victims new skills. These bright and joyous scenes were embroidered by people whose lives and bodies had been torn apart by the “left-overs” of war. Tabitha’s goal is to help these people regain their earning power and their self-esteem. There is so much more to say about these people and about Tabitha, but I much prefer to let the images speak for themselves. When we returned home, I framed a series of these cards and hung them in Nina’s room. They are there to teach her about the land of her birth and about hope. You can visit Tabitha’s website to learn more about its mission and to see many more examples of the beautiful crafts that their trainees make. When you're on their site, follow the link for Tabitha Foundation of Canada.

I often look at my threaded needle and think – what a great tool this can be!


Birthday roses.



On Friday we went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I keep forgetting how lucky I am to have that amazing building, with all it has to offer, right at my doorstep. Frida would have been 100 this year, had she lived. There is something about dying young, (excuse the morbidity), that keeps you young. The first part of the exhibit was a collection of photographs which were memorizing. They gave a glimpse into her life and at the same time were beautiful in themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.

One observation that I found fascinating (we walked around with the audio commentary), was the difference in how Chicana women perceive Frida and how Caucasian women perceive her. While Caucasian woman think of her as a tragic figure, a victim, Chicana see her as a brave heroic woman who fought against her fate, a symbol of passion and perseverance.


Nina's fishies

a work in progress

When Nina was younger she loved looking at fish at the doctor's office or the aquarium. She particularly liked the weird ones with the goofy eyes. They inspired this piece that has been sitting in my unfinished pile. Spring is here and I need to work on colorful pieces so... out came Nina's fishies. Hope to complete them soon.


My new orchid plant

I love this spotty orchid.
It just joined our household.

and brought on
some fiber experiments...


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©Orna Willis
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