Mother and Child

Tasha Tudor 1940 child nursing

Browsing the Internet last week, I ran across these beautiful photographs of a young Tasha Tudor with her family and children, taken by Nell Dorr in the 1940’s for the latter’s book Mother and Child (which is sadly no longer in print). We just purchased Pumpkin Moonshine for Fay to honor autumn and Halloween, so I’m reveling in the sweet coincidence of running into these pictures of the illustrator so soon after being introduced to her work.

I saved a few of my favorites to share with you, if you’d like to take a look…

Remembering Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Late last night, I was sitting on the couch with Jonathan and noticed A Little Princess sitting on my bookshelf, buried amongst the other books I saved from my young years. I suddenly got really excited and burst out to Jonathan with a gasp: “Oh my gosh! In the doctor’s office waiting room last week, they were playing Shirley Temple’s A Little Princess and I was so upset I couldn’t stay and watch it — it’s been years since I’ve seen it! It was always my favorite movie versions of the story and one of her best films.”

I jumped up to grab the book and also pulled Heidi off the shelf, another great adaptation of Shirley’s. I became so nostalgic and began explaining how much I adored her films as a kid, and how much watching them shaped my sister’s and my childhood.

At this point, Jonathan (the graduate student in Film Studies) revealed that he had never seen a single Shirley Temple movie. I was aghast! I vowed to him that I would now be dropping everything to dedicate myself to educating him on one of the most iconic (and adorable) film stars in Hollywood’s history.

Then, this morning, he woke me up with the news that she had passed away…

Stardust

Stardust_portrait_9545_by_Sergio_Albiac
Stardust Portrait 9545

One of my favorite things about the internet today is how artists and creatives of various sorts have found interesting ways to collaborate with others, specifically: me and you and everyone commonplace. I went into great detail about my excitement (and involvement) with Foster Huntington’s The Burning House, which was my first foray into these free, online collaborative projects. When opportunities like this arise, I can’t help but join the legions of others who want to be part of it.

Which brings me to the Stardust Project by Sergio Albiac. Sergio created an imaging program that can take pictures of people’s faces (submitted by anyone who wants to be involved) and generate unique portraits using a mosaic-smattering of nebulae images taken from the Hubble. He’ll provide you with three different portraits, and they’ll also be posted with the thousands of others on his Flickr

Outing: The Huntington Library Desert Garden

Huntington Library Cactus Garden 01

For the first time since I left college almost five years ago, I’m living within 30 minutes to an hour (with Los Angeles traffic, it’s a crap shoot) from my sister and numerous friends. This gives me incentive to leave my one-square-mile of comfort, and explore, explore, explore.

There are endless things to do down here, and so much I don’t know about the area. I’ve resolved — along with Jonathan, Kim, and our friend Shannon — to see more of it.

The four of us started last Saturday with a trip to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and while there are umpteen reasons to spend the day there, the main reason I wanted to go was to see the Desert Garden

Christmas and Thankfulness

PaperFashion Katie Rodgers Merry Christmas 2012

Thinking of my friends and family, near and far today. I am happy happy happy today, and hoping that everyone is enjoying their Christmas mornings.

It’s still the early hours of Christmas, but we all know that the height of the season comes just before the presents are ripped open and the tree’s base becomes barren. Mugs are full of hot coffee, breakfast is cooking, and we’re slowly making our way towards opening gifts.

The best time of the holiday for me, always.

I’ve been pretty absent during this last quarter of 2012, but I had to let everyone know:

I love you. I wish we could celebrate today and enjoy the last days before the new year together.

Kiss your loved ones today. Cherish your gifts, and relish in the generosity of others.

Be thankful. I thank you.

(Image by Katie Rodgers, aka PaperFashion)

In Case of Fire

Burning House art installation Texas Clint Alexander Emily Sloan Alexander July 2006

Have you heard of the blog The Burning House created by photographer Foster Huntington? Over a year ago, I stumbled across a post on Apartment Therapy that asked:

“If your house was burning down, what would you save?”

This led me to Foster’s blog which showcases photographs submitted by people of the belongings they would hope (and try) to save in the event their home caught on fire.

My Classic Movie Childhood

buster-keaton-in-sherlock-jr-1924

With Jonathan deep in film school applications, the process of talking through essay topics, master thesis options, and personal statement talking points has gotten my heart going pitter-pat for old movies — my old mainstay…

The Bread and the Knife

Robert Chailloux still life Bread, bracken, apple and eggs

I’ve been thinking about poetry quite a bit lately. After a conversation with my friend Killian, I realized that the majority of poems I love are because I heard it read by someone else first, and thus reading it myself brings out the same intonation and musicality created by the person whose voice spoke the same words.

Poems like this stick with me, ones like John Keating reading “O Captain, My Captain” in The Dead Poet’s Society or Posner reading “Drummer Hodge” in The History Boys.

Or 3-year-old Samuel Chelpka reciting this poem, one of my new favorites, from memory:

“Litany” by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

 

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

 

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

 

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

 

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

 

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

 

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and — somehow — the wine.

Isn’t Samuel incredible? (You can watch him reciting Collins’ “Walking Across the Atlantic” too!)

What’s interesting to me is I’m not entirely sure I would have stopped and noticed this poem if I had simply read it somewhere. This is what makes me a bit sad, more than anything. Can I only be drawn to poems if I’ve heard it read in a movie, or by an adorable 3-year-old? Admittedly my exposure to poetry has been minimal compared to other friends of mine who not only studied it consistently in school but also write it themselves, but I wish I had the ability to read poetry and connect simply because the words or passages speak to me, to discover the flow and rhythm of the language on my own.

I’d like to start reading more poetry, so to help get me started: what is your favorite poem? I’d love to know! Please feel free to share in the comments.

(Image: oil painting by Robert Chailloux, “Still life — Bread, bracken, apple, and eggs”)