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I've been thinking about stuff lately and the conflict between stuff and space. I try to follow the law laid down by William Morris;

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Here's a shelf in my studio which holds stuff--each piece is either useful, like the crayons and the little animals which I use for models, or beautiful like the children's art, or memorable like the Joy Joy cup--family members will affirm its preciousness-- the Wilfredo Lam chair from my visit to Cuba, Saint Barbara, RGB, Madame VP and Saint Joseph.

As far as I'm concerned everything passes Morris's rule.

Last weekend I went to see the wonderful work of my friends Cheryl and Larry at their Open Studio. Their work is both inspiring and delightful-so useful and beautiful.

Cheryl's Blueberries

Larry at his easel.

I was especially impressed by Cheryl's system of organizing her stuff.

There's a place for everything and she knows it because she made lists.

Can you imagine what this stuff would like like in a pile on her desk? She'll need it all some day and now she knows where to find it. Well done, Cheryl. You set a great example.

Tomorrow, April 27th is my Dad's birthday.

He would be 99. He would hate being 99. He did like stuff; he collected stamps and coins and loved keeping his collections in order. I've been keeping my loose change in a jar and when it gets full I count it all and put it into those little paper rolls, take them to the bank and it's like giving myself a little present. I miss Dad every day but doing things that I know he would love brings him close.

When Sam was just starting out in his culinary career he worked at Amy's bread in Chelsea Market. He took me on a tour of the kitchen and we both felt like Dad, a wholesale baker himself, was with us. He would have loved that. Dad's on the right in both shots here.

     He was a great Dad. He wasn’t perfect; as he said, there was only one perfect man, but he took the many gifts he was given in life, put them to good use, and shared everything abundantly.

This weekend in Hendersonville, NC, we'll celebrate the life of my aunt, Mary Jane Brokaw Swanson. She was the last of her generation in our family which means, Brothers and Cousins--now we're the grown-ups! I look forward to visiting with my far-flung family, sharing memories and giving thanks for the many gifts our elders left us.

Here are my grandmother's four granddaughters--we're all born under the sign of Taurus!

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٢٧ أبريل

Wow, Barbara! I see my card of blue paintings on your shelf! I am very honored. Thank you! - Linda Stillman


٢٧ أبريل

Loved how you remember your Dad. I have done that too since he collected coins and stamps. He passed in 2018 at the age of 93. I am also Taurus born. I was visited by two robins today.


٢٦ أبريل

It always seems to be a bit of a battle with "stuff" and it's a battle many of us do not win.

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