Nanook of the North

Well, I finally gave in to the approaching winter at Fake Rock Farm (45th latitude), packed the Element up to its gills with fabric, paints, patterns, computer, audiobooks and snacks, and headed east to Meg Staley Handmade winter headquarters at our house in Cold Spring, NY.  Definitely cozier than our wheezy Michigan barn in the nippy months.

Or so I thought.  Until Saturday, when a freak snowstorm dumped 8″ of very wet snow on trees that hadn’t even begun to shed their leaves, and as soon as you could say “Uh-oh,” the power went kaput.  And with the power went the news, the coffeemaker, the entertainment devices, lights and  heat.

Since trunk show deadlines are looming, I kept on working until i was forced to crawl under the covers.  By the second night I was ready for a hot meal and shower and my dear sister, Lynn, gathered me into her warm Central Park West apt.

Today, just after snapping this shot of me in my LED headlamp and other power-less accoutrements, the lights flickered on.  Just about 48 hours and none the worse for wear.  Now I can take off my Davy Crockett hat,  headlamp and fingerless gloves and greet the trick-or-treaters.

Peaches and Figs

The weather at Fake Rock Farm is finally turning, and I’ve cut off the tips of thumbs, forefingers and ring fingers on my old red wool gloves to stretch my studio time out in the barn.  After an hour or so of printing and cutting on my table, I retreat to the kitchen tap to revitalize manual dexterity.  Soooo, I was wandering around in my i photos and when I found this picture my sister took at her home in Collevecchio in August, it asked to be posted as a melancholy reminder of summer passing.

Chicago, Chicago

I love Chicago.  Especially in the fall, when you can cozy up in a colorful sweater jacket and scarf and hit the streets for a day of walking, looking at art, architecture, shopping and eating.  We ventured forth while taking my granddaughter, Violet, to visit colleges (!!!) nearby and while Jerry and Violet explored the U of Chicago campus, I toured the Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright – designed home finished in 1910. What a treat!  After that, we visited Millenium Park  to see the Bean (officially entitled Cloud Gate Sculpture.)  The experience was unlike any other. Here we are gazing at our contorted selves in the giant sculpture:When you go under the sculpture and look up, this is what you see.  I can pick Jerry out of the image because he’s taking a picture, but otherwise I’m lost.  What you can see, though, are 3 replications of a sweet 16 party, dressed in emerald green satin finery, posing for photos.  Mind-boggling and a total crowd pleaser.  I love Chicago.


I could have titled this post many ways, but it comes down to this:  my 90-year-old mom, Kay Staley, is a force of nature with indomitable spirit, joie de vivre and a power of example to all of us fortunate progeny.

She is also a tennis fanatic.  Mom began playing at 10 years old in Berkeley, Ca, when her mother, in an effort to redirect her daughter’s tomboy pastimes like football with the neighborhood boys, got her onto a tennis court, which at that time was a slightly more acceptable sport for a young lady.  She played up until 2 years ago, when a wrongly prescribed antibiotic wreaked havoc with her achilles tendon!

The love of the sport and emphasis on fitness has been has been deeply instilled in her daughters and grandsons as well, and on Labor Day, Mom took us to the US Open for a terrific night of tennis and family celebration (missing a few key members!)


from right:  my nephew, Max Linsky, mama Kay , Kate Eastman (Lucky’s squeeze), son Lucky Gretzinger, son Henry Gretzinger, Meredith Jacks (Max’s fiancee!), husband Jerry Gretzinger, and me.

Thanks to Gramma Kay for giving us such a wonderful night and for being such a light in our lives.



Jerry’s Map!

My husband, Jerry Gretzinger, is a fantasy map maker and a couple of years ago, I commissioned Greg Whitmore, a family friend and really skilled videographer, to make a mini movie about Jerry and his map.  My able son, Henry Gretzinger, also helped with the camerawork.  The movie accompanied Jerry’s first map show and was also posted on Vimeo, a site for videographers to exhibit their work.  This film was just now picked as a Vimeo favorite and is now kind of a cult viral hit!  Watch it here.

I also provided a link to Jer’s blog on my earlier post  Fake Rock Farm.  His map pieces decorate the front of our barn!  Congrats, hubby!