Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween: Bride vs. Indian

Every Monday in October we celebrated Halloween at the resort, much to the delight of our largely European guests. Pumpkin carving, trick-or-treat (with a big box of dress-ups I put together for children who didn't have a costume) a haunted house and Halloween circus show, the complete American holiday. I dressed as a ghost and performed a hoop act in the circus show, I’m a little shy, but if you promise not to laugh you can see it here. I'm back in Maryland now, so I spent the day poking through old photos. Here are some highlights of Halloween past. An eternal question emerged... who would be the blushing bride and who would be the wild indian...

Baby Amy wearing my outgrown halloween costume, mama made this by hand

Bride and Indian strike again!

My mother lovingly sewed the whole family indian costumes, hand beading and fringing each piece. They are a staple of Halloween in the Merrick house to this day. The gown above was originally intended to be my mothers wedding dress. In the end she opted to wear a simple Gunnysack (much more her style) and the fancy dress was reassigned to the dress up box.

later mom crafted this magnificent horse to snaz up the old costume

This time I'm wearing my fathers indian shirt as a dress.
Later my mother crafted this amazing horse to snaz up the old costume.
It makes me laugh to think that Amy and I can still be found dressing up brides and playing hunter-gatherer for wild berries and branches in the woods...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saint Lucie River

Things are slow here at the resort now that the children have returned to school and very few families are vacationing. It's a much needed lull after a long summer. Finally I have the enjoy the place that has been my home for the past six months.


Monday, September 5, 2011

in good company

Why do we feel such a strong desire to be surounded by beautiful things? Experiencing beauty, even in the smallest way, elevates us. We find things beautiful because they are in accord with our inner world, a visual representation of our beliefs and dreams, our hopes and our experiences.

I just purchased these little pincushions, made with great care by Liane of Enhabiten. They sit beside my machine as I work and I feel I am in good company. I respect her vision so it's inspiring to have a piece of her creativity in my workspace.

I look down beside me as I sew and see this patchwork of vintage prints. I think about the day, long ago, when these fabrics were still uncut and some enterprising women fashioned her vision of beauty into a garment, loved then faded, and finally preserved as a quilt. Used and worn within an inch of it's life, this quilt took on the unique loved-ness of things shaped by time.

I've been spending a lot of time at the machine these days, both for work, and for my own investigations into what I find beautiful. My next project has been growing in the back of my mind for some time now, I'm ready to jump in and let it cary me away. I'll tell you more about it soon ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Selby Botanical Gardens

I you are visiting Sarasota, I highly recommend a visit to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. We arrived late in the day so I did not have as much time as I would have liked to explore the seven acres of epiphytes, bromeliads and orchids. What I did see of the Texaco Oil founders 1920's estate was quite exquisite.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If you can't go naked..

When I was sixteen years old I sacrificed one of my mothers indian gauze dresses to make this swimsuit. I used instructions from an old 70's sewing book, titled "If You Can't Go Naked Here Are Some Clothes You Can Sew on Fast." The suit is a bit worse for wear and has many sloppy mendings but it's still one of my favorites.

After breaking camp at Myakka River we headed to Siesta Key for a dip in the gulf.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Myakka River

To celebrate my birthday I gave my self two special gifts; A new camera and a long weekend excursion to the golf coast. Myakka River State Park is truly enchanting.


Far from the amusement park flash and suburban sprawl typical of Florida, I felt completely free and at home in this place.


Under the hammock of live oak and cabbage palm, every branch is lushly curtained with Spanish moss. Wild tree orchids, resurrection fern and multicolored lichens catch hold of the gnarled bark and take root.



Even the heavy heat of August does not penetrate the canopy, and for once, the moist air feels in keeping with the surroundings.




Golden silk spiders weave giant orbs through the trees and I saw no less than ten alligators patrolling the waters. Their still emotionless eyes in a constant state of meditation. I felt like I had entered another world.




The Civilian Conservation Corps built a series of beautify crafted palm log cabins in the mid 1930’s. I fully intend to book one for a few days when I reach the end of my contract. I'm not sure why but small hand constructed buildings speak to me on a basic level. Simple, humble and charming.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

love in the banyan trees

Key West, 1976.
Their eyes met, dancing in the sunset, bare feet in the sand.
They disapeared into the twisting limbs of the banyan tree.
Branches entertwined, roots mingled and overtime
grew together to became one.

A few weeks ago they came to visit me in florida and I caught a glimpse of those two young lovers.

If only I could be so luckey

mammerrick climing the banyan tree

thirty one years of marage

After 31 years of marriage my folks are still kissing in the banyan trees.

Happy Anniversary

Sunday, March 6, 2011

living on location

I’m settling in nicely to my new location. My sewing studio is arranged and costume production is underway. There is a lot of work to be done, but living on a country club resort is a good incentive for proper time management. Yes indeed, I think the next three months will be just fine.


I sit on the end of the marina, my back against wooden pilings. The sun warms my skin, through a haze of clouds overhead. I am surrounded by lapping, splashing drips of water against the hull of boats in the harbor and the percussive cling clang of metal pulleys on tall masts. Although the breeze is gentle, a whirling whistle can be heard between the boats. Such is the melody of the marina. Blue paint, weathered wood, white canvas and reflected shimmers of light on the water. I’m happy to find that my wifi works here. It’s such a peaceful spot, a place to recharge my spirit.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

rasberries and roses

These pictures were taken on my last ramble through the woods before leaving home, two weeks ago. Woodland brambles tipped with red are one of Maryland's earliest signs of spring awakening. It makes me happy to think these buds will become raspberries and roses by the time I return.


There are few things in life that make me happier than creating a cozy nest, so these past two months have been a true luxury.

Mama and I wove this egg basket together on her birthday this past January.

Amy and I designed this two part stencel.
I drew and cut the shapes. Amy picked and mixed the tonal colors.
We tag-teamed the paint job.

All the Merrick women had a hand in designing these curtains for the living room. I was lucky to have the time to work out the pattern and sew up the final product.


Mom was so happy with her curtains that I put together a variation on the same theme for the dining room.

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