sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 25, 2009

my d.c.: exhibit
posted by soe 9:05 am

Last month, Rudi and I made it up to Cleveland Park to catch a rather unusual solo art exhibition for D.C.

Who, you ask? Monet? Judy Chicago? Thomas Kinkade?


Eric Carle, of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame.


This summer the Stanford in Washington Art Gallery brought the work of one of America’s most recognized children’s picture book artists to the District for all to enjoy.

It’s a small gallery — roughly the size of a two-floor townhouse, so it can only house two dozen pieces or so. Part of the downstairs was set up with Carle’s books in kindergarten-style cubbies set at ground level to encourage young readers to enjoy them.

Two Ducks

Sunshine Smiles

There was a looped video running upstairs with an interview with the artist, who showed how he takes a piece from start to finish. He paints and colors on tissue paper to start and then cuts them into small pieces before rearranging and pasting them onto his canvas. He accents the work with crayons.


The great thing about seeing Carle’s work up close is that you really get a chance to see the detail. I’d urge you to click on some of the smaller images (particularly the cricket up above) to get a better look.

This is what you see in a book:


But when you see the originals, you really notice certain details, like the rhinoceros’ toenails:

Rhino Toenails

I was glad we were able to make it up to see the exhibit. If you live in New England, Carle and his wife run a picture book museum in Amherst that looks like it could be a really fun day trip.

I was wholly inspired after seeing this exhibit. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Eric Carle Philosophy

Painter (and His Cat)

Category: arts,books,dc life. There is/are Comments Off on my d.c.: exhibit.

September 24, 2009

recognition, impending, and last one
posted by soe 8:26 am

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. My friend Laura is a semi-finalist for teacher of the year in Connecticut. She is a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners type of teacher (the kind who never would have put up with my B.S. in high school) and I’m glad to see that rigor is sometimes rewarded.

2. Our friend Brian and his wife are expecting an early spring baby. And they’ve bought a house.

3. The final weekend of summer was glorious. Rudi and I spent Saturday together outside eating brunch, gardening, and sitting at a cafe. On Sunday, while Rudi did his usual long ride, I hit the farmers’ market, hung out at the park, and went on a shorter ride that ended at Baked and Wired for a cupcake and cocoa. All in all, you couldn’t have imagined a nicer end to the season.

What beautiful things have cropped up in your life recently?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

September 23, 2009

3 a.m. and travel is impending
posted by soe 1:58 am

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I seem incapable of being an adult and preparing for travel in a normal, daytime manner. Instead, an impending trip usually brings panic and clear eyes about the mess I live amidst on a normal day-to-day basis. Packing must be put off in lieu of dishes, laundry, or general housework. (Yes, I know where this comes from…)

Take tonight: I was home by seven. I could have packed for Salt Lake and been ready to get a somewhat full night’s sleep if I’d been dedicated. Instead, though, a movie took precedence. And dinner. And cuddling with the cats.

Right now? Dealing with the eight pounds of tomatoes I’m not sure will last uncooked in the fridge until Sunday. And tidying the living room. And queuing blog posts. (Don’t forget to stop by while I’m gone…)

Okay, yes, my stuff is pretty much ready to go. I piled shirts on the couch before dinner. And all the clean underwear I own is there, too, making my task merely one of picking several pairs to take with me. I even have a relatively clear idea of what knitting and reading will accompany me. But it’s not in the bag.

There will be no sleep tonight. And that’s no one’s fault but mine.

Category: travel. There is/are 2 Comments.

September 21, 2009

monday music at midnight: great big sea
posted by soe 11:03 pm

An old favorite covered by a fun band.

(Yes, Sarah. Next time, definitely.)

Category: arts. There is/are 2 Comments.

September 18, 2009

free, online, and old friends
posted by soe 12:18 am


My eyes are closing, but here are three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Our photo service at work has been down for the last few days and I’m up against a deadline that requires some pictures. The National Park Service comes to the rescue with public domain shots (and buggy code, but stuff that was easily fixable once I realized what they’d done). My new graphic for our work page looks very pretty.

2. We lost PBS and CBS entirely during the digital conversion. Recently, we realized PBS puts Mystery! online for two weeks after airing, so we’re caught up with Inspector Lewis.

3. I haven’t talked to Jason in ages but have a vague recollection of Rudi sharing a Facebook update on him while I was half asleep. I call to offer congratulations, and he picks up the phone with the happiest sounding “Soe!” I’ve heard in a long time. It’s good to catch up with him and Essia and to hear all about the excitement in their world these days. Online updates are fine, but there’s just something about hearing a voice on the line that can really brighten up your whole day.

What beautiful things have you noticed this week?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

September 17, 2009

after all, [we]’ve come to know you
posted by soe 3:52 am

Mary Travers, one third of the folk music and political activist group Peter, Paul, and Mary, died yesterday of complications related to bone marrow cancer.

I can’t believe how painful it is to write that. We knew she was sick. Peter Yarrow had announced back in August that it was unlikely the trio would perform again together. But, yet, she’d beaten the cancer into remission several years ago when the doctors told her she wouldn’t. We were sure, even if no one said so, that she would vanquish her foe once more. But sometimes the story doesn’t have a happy ending.

If you’re around my age, this might have been one of the first Peter, Paul, and Mary songs you learned:


Category: arts. There is/are 4 Comments.