Christmas at Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill Mansion in Fairmont Park is all decked out for the holidays.  This year’s theme is “Celebrating 250 Years of Designing Women.”  The Christmas Tree in the main room is decorated with ornaments showing women’s fashion plated from Godey’s Lady’s Book.  If you never heard of Godey’s Lady’s Book, you are in for a surprise.  Godey’s was the premier woman’s fashion magazine in the United States from  1837 to 1898.   But it  was more than a magazine.  Women relied on it for information and articles on everything from cooking to housekeeping to health to etiquette.  It contained sheet music, short stories, book reviews, etchings and essays by the leading intellectuals of the day.    Its female editor, Sarah J.  Hale, wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and convinced President Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.   Hale was also a trend setter who knew what her readers wanted. In 1850, she started a fad when she introduced the American public to the Christmas tree when she published a picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert  and their family gathered around their holiday tree.  

Here are some pictures of Laurel Hill.

If you want to take a look at Godey’s Lady’s Book,  press here.  You can download articles and other materials here. And enjoy your holiday.


Bob’s Garden in the Fall of 2017

Things are quieting down in Bob’s garden about now and the last of the summer flowers are starting to fade.  The cacti are getting themselves ready for the winter and the turtles have gone to the bottom of the koi pond to wait out the cold weather.  The banana tree didn’t throw off any fruit this summer but its long, broad leaves still made me feel like I was in the tropics.  Here are some pictures of Bob’s garden in the fall.


For more pictures of Bob’s garden over the years, press here.

Pictures of the Week

It’s always fun to post from your cell phone, but a handy option to have. I am under the radar this week but thought I would share some pictures from last week’s Flea Market at the Kimmel Center.

Summer Walks, Summer Flowers

  One of the things I love most about Philadelphia is the unexpected little streets and alley ways that stretch from Queen Village to Point Breeze and all the neighborhoods in between.   Here are some flower pictures I took on some walks around the city.1.SummerFlars0728_1417522.SummerFlars0728_1418043.SummerFlars0728_1418204.SummerFlars0728_1418235.SummerFlars4526.SummerFlars5077.SummerFlars5368.SummerFlars556

119 Years is a Long Time

That’s how long the Fleisher Art Memorial  has been holding its annual adult student exhibition.  At the time of the first show, the US was at war with Spain.  The average yearly salary was around $450.00.  There was no income tax.  Pennsylvania Hospital offered a horse-drawn ambulance service.  City Hall and the Broad Street Subway were off in the future and the Fleisher Art Memorial opened and started offering art classes to the people of Philadelphia.   The Annual Exhibition closes on March 24.  It’s worth a visit.

For more information, press here.

Where I’ll Be This Saturday



Saturday, January 21, 2017
10am Logan Square to Eakins Oval

For More Information

To volunteer

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Event Flyer

It’s Time for the Mummers!

2016 is screaming to a close.  Who knows what the New Year will bring?  One good thing it will bring is the Mummer’s Parade.  I’ve written about the Philadelphia Mummers and their fascinating history and traditions in past years but I’m always learning something new.  I saw the badges and ribbons pictured here at an exhibit at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park.  





At first, I thought the badges and ribbons were awards of some kind.  In fact, they were Mummer identification worn on parade day.   “New Years Association” is just another term for Mummers club.  

Mumming  is an ancient European  tradition.  The first modern Mummers Parade took place in Philadelphia on New Years 1876.   The first “official parade” was in 1901.   

To see pictures from the 1906 Mummers parade, press here.

Cross-dressing was a Winter Solstice and Carnival tradition that transitioned into the Mummers Parade without any political hysteria.  It was considered good fun.  And still is, as the picture below will attest.  That is my husband gamely posing with some happy Mummers.

Ken and Mummers2

To read about cross-dressing and the Mummers Parade, press here .


For the 2016 Parade lineup and route map, press here.








Thanksgiving in Philadelphia

What else could provide a better example of the bounty and abundance that we should all be so thankful for this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year?  Reading Terminal Market.    Here are some pictures of the hustle and bustle on the day before the turkey lands.

Diane Marimow


The  Parkway has long been the  home of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum.  The relocation of the Barnes from Merion to the Parkway  sparked a flurry of development and the designation of the neighborhood as the Philadelphia Museum District. The Park Towne Place apartment complex, which has rebranded itself as Museum District Residences,  hired a curator and acquired art to  fill the common areas of the complex and  an  art gallery that contains a permanent collection of about 100  works, many of them by Philadelphia artists.

The gallery has space for rotational exhibits.  Park Towne Place plans to have several public art openings each year.  “Constructing Organics” is the first show and is open until December 2016.

Diane Marimow  is  one of the Philadelphia artists whose work is showcased in the “Constructing Organics”  show.   I loved her massive  hand-built pieces that evoked memories of the seashore and marine life.





Diane Marimow  teaches  at The Clay Studio  and has exhibited widely.  See more of her work here and here.


Into the Forest in Philadelphia

Last year, polymer artists Emily Squires Levine and Laura Tabakman  spent some late summer days in the  Colorado mountains and were so inspired by their walks through groves of aspen trees  that they decided to collaborate on an installation.

The result  is “Into The Forest” which opened for public viewing in Philadelphia on September 12.  Located  in the South Tower Art Gallery of the Park Towne Apartments in Philadelphia, the installation  is part of the “Constructing Organics” show which features work by three other Philadelphia artists.  InLiquid and AIMCO  co-sponsored the show.

I attended the opening and was excited to see polymer art recognized as fine art. Laura, who lives in Pittsburgh, was not able to attend the opening but Emily did an excellent job of  explaining how she and Laura were influenced by their hikes through the aspen forests and how they translated that experience into an intriguing installation.

Here are some pictures

Painting by Jeffrey Keith



Emily talks about “Into The Forest”


Installation at twilight


The Philadelphia venue is only the beginning for “Into the Forest.”

I first learned at  the EuroSynergy conference this summer that  Emily and Laura, who have been joined by award winning polymer artist Julie Eakes plan to expand “Into The Forest”  into an  international collaborative project.  Laura  announced the project at the end of her Synergy presentation on “Getting Your Work Ready to Show.” She’d  already wowed the audience with her stories  about how she scouted exhibition  opportunities for her incredible polymer and mixed media installations.  After she revealed the plans for the international collaboration she invited everyone to volunteer via a Facebook group set up for the purpose.   I volunteered right there on my iPad and many people in the audience did the same.

You can volunteer too. Just go to the Facebook group page, here.   You can follow the project on Instagram (@intotheforest17).   Read more about the project on the Polymer Arts Blog.

Several  polymer events to support the program are in the works.  Emily will lead one at the September meeting of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild.  For information on this meeting, go to the PAPCG blog.