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This Is My Century: Margaret Walker Centennial

Margaret Walker(1915-2015) Centenary: Wonder of the Book

This Is My Century: Margaret Walker Centennial
This Is My Century: Margaret Walker Centennial, Jackson State University, 2015.

 

Margaret Walker(1915-2015) had her Centennial in 2015.  I wrote about her poetry for a previous Margaret Monday, and it was a pleasure to discover that places were planning events for the Centennial.  The University of Delaware Library had an exhibit, Margaret Walker: A Centenary, with a cool series of book covers, which you can view online.

I resonate with this quote:

“When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.”

Margaret Walker

 

 

Standing with Paolo e Francesca by Beverly Pepper at the Grounds for Sculpture

Standing with Paolo e Francesca by Beverly Pepper at the Grounds for Sculpture

Standing with Paolo e Francesca by Beverly Pepper at the Grounds for Sculpture
Margaret Almon standing with Paolo e Francesca(1999) by Beverly Pepper at the Grounds for Sculpture (2015). Photo by Wayne Stratz.

In 2014, Stratoz took a photo of me standing with the Beverly Pepper Vertical Vantaglio statue in Rochester, and so when I saw this Paolo e Francesca by Beverly Pepper at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, I asked him for another photo.

I love the arrow implied within the African Black Granite, and the green trees behind filling in the color.  This sculpture was part of a retrospective of Pepper’s work at The Grounds for Sculpture in 1999, when she was 75.  She’s still making art in 2015.  What I aspire to, yes, indeed.

A Nutmeg Outing to the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ

Independence Day: 4th Anniversary of Self Employment

Sweets on the tea tray at The Village Teahouse

Celebrating a Birthday at The Village Teahouse in Upper Gwynedd, PA

Celebrating my birthday at The Village Teahouse in West Point
Celebrating my birthday at The Village Teahouse in Upper Gwynedd.  Photo by Wayne Stratz.

Stratoz had the fine idea to try the new tearoom for my birthday, The Village Teahouse in West Point, PA(Lansdale address).  We have a history of going to tearooms at least 20 years, with Stratoz usually being the only man in the room, which doesn’t bother him because he enjoys taking tea.  We used to go to Thyme for Tea in Lansdale, and were sad that it had closed, so it was a treat to visit The Village Teahouse.  When I called to make a reservation, the woman on the other end said “Oh, you are a Margaret too.”  The owner is Margaret Miley Shaffer.

Tea at The Village Tearoom
Tea at The Village Tearoom. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

The theme is Alice in Wonderland, and we were seated in the Mad Hatter Room.  I was tempted by the tea with lavender and if it had been a black tea, I would have gone with it.  Instead I tried the Wedding Tea, with rose petals, which was more frilly than I usually like, but when the server asked if I wanted more tea, I ordered the Oolong(which is what Stratoz had) which was more my speed.

The Full Tea started with a two tiered tray topped with scones and tea bread, lemon curd, cream, and fig jam.  The tea sandwiches were a nice array for a bacontarian such as myself since there was a tasty variation on a BLT in miniature form, in addition to vegetarian options of egg salad, carrot salad on raisin bread, cucumber, and then Stratoz ate both roast beef sandwiches.

Sweets on the tea tray at The Village Teahouse
Sweets on the tea tray at The Village Teahouse, chocolate cherry cupcake in foreground. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

Dessert included banana cream tarts(which made me think it was Stratoz’ birthday since he enjoys bananas and I don’t ;-), but I ate both chocolate cherry cupcakes, followed with a lemon meringue tart and a chocolate dipped shortbread cookie shaped like a teabag.

The Village Teahouse designed by Milton Bean
The Village Teahouse designed by Milton Bean. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

In addition to satisfying my sweet tooth, The Village Teahouse is a Victorian designed by Milton Bean, Lansdale architect, in 1896.  I had heard a talk by Drexel Librarian Leopold Montoya at the Lansdale Historical Society.  Montoya became entranced with Bean when he discovered his house was designed by him, but little information was available, even though Bean designed over 1000 area homes and churches.  Our house was built in 1900, so the The Village Teahouse had a 4 year head start on us.

The Village Teahouse designed by Milton Bean
The Village Teahouse designed by Milton Bean, 1896. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

 

The Village Teahouse opens in Upper Gwynedd article in North Penn Life, July 20, 2015.  As we were leaving, the owner told us it was always nice to meet another Margaret.  Even though she goes by Meg much of the time, she does have Margaret’s Late Day Tea on the menu, so she is Margaret approved.

 

The Village Teahouse

PHONE

(215) 699-1800

HOURS

Wed-Sat 10a–4p
Call for special event hours

LOCATION

1919 West Point Pike
Lansdale, PA 19446

Margaret Shepherd, Author and Calligrapher

On the Trail of Calligraphy: Margaret Shepherd

Cat Print by Margaret Shepherd
Cat Print by Margaret Shepherd

 

There is a quote that has circulated with great vigor on the internet ether, “Sometimes your only available mode of transportation is a leap of faith.”  It is attributed to Margaret Shepard, and as I searched to find more about the author, nothing came up except more permutations of the quote and then finally, someone mentioned this Margaret is a calligrapher. Then I found Margaret Shepherd, and I suspect the quote is an example for calligraphy in one of her books.

Margaret Shepherd, Author and Calligrapher
Margaret Shepherd, Author and Calligrapher

I had been eager to move from printing to cursive in the 2nd grade.  I loved making the joins, and studying the letter forms.  When I was a junior high student, I bought a book about learning calligraphy(which may have even been written by Margaret Shepherd), and some of those chisel tipped pens that purport to be the key to beautiful writing.  I carried the book and pen around for many moves, but calligraphy happened in mostly my imagination.  For someone who lived for reading, an art that incorporated words was thrilling, but again, I was first and foremost a reader, not a calligrapher.

Margaret Shepherd helped create the Boston Calligraphy Trail, which I hadn’t known about, and which sounds wonderful.  There are 26 beautiful letters to discover in the Boston Public Library and surrounding neighborhoods by following the trail guide.  On her blog she writes of returning from Finland with photos of Art Nouveau lettering and numbers.  I love that she was photographing typography in the wild.

Ruach for Frank. The Breath of Life. Nutmeg Designs
Ruach for Frank. Commissioned for inspiration while he was in the hospital. The Breath of Life, glass on slate, 12×12 inches, © 2015 Nutmeg Designs.

As someone who spends a lot of time surrounding letters and numbers with glass mosaic, I do now practice a craft that incorporates reading.  Many leaps of faith led me to this work.

 

A Cat Named Margaret by Lisa Congdon

Margaret knows how to do Fridays.

A photo posted by Lisa Congdon (@lisacongdon) on

Artist & Illustrator Lisa Congdon has a cat named Margaret(named for the artist Margaret Kilgallen, who I will save for a future Margaret Monday.)  When I started drawing again, I found an online class from Lisa Congdon, which allowed me to revel in pens, and her encouraging nature.  That she has a cat named Margaret makes me like her all the more.

Margaret F. Crowther - Workshop on 3-D Forms

Margaret Crowther(1936-): Tapestry in 3D

 

Margaret F. Crowther - Workshop on 3-D Forms
Margaret F. Crowther – Workshop on 3-D Forms

Margaret Crowther(1936-), is a British textile artist who creates 3D tapestries by hand, many without a loom.  She knots and twists and builds up textures.  I am smitten with her use of orange, and color gradations, and the three dimensional levels.

Margaret Crowther, SOLSTICE, 110 x 150 x 12 cm, sisal, synthetic
©Margaret Crowther, SOLSTICE, 110 x 150 x 12 cm, sisal, synthetic

Margaret Crowther creates custom work for homes, and Sinead Lawler describes the process of commissioning a piece, conversations about colors and textures.  The artist created a special box (or as the author put it a “bespoke box”) for carrying it to the client’s home.

A Blue Sky Swirl by Margaret Almon
A Blue Sky Swirl by Margaret Almon, glass on slate, 7 inches.

I love to use levels in my own work, and the way they catch the light, and create a terrain.

Around the Square by Margaret Almon

Sally Nixon: Illustrator Starting the Week with Margaret Monday

I hadn’t done a Margaret Mondays in awhile, and then I found illustrator Sally Nixon on Instagram.  She has a character named Margaret who seems to have randomly shown up one day, and kept coming back on Mondays.  I love a Margaret who has a dog named Nora Ephron and reallys digs donuts.  

I was looking for pen and ink drawings on Instagram because I started drawing again, and I am fascinated by hatch and cross hatch marks.  Sally Nixon creates a wonderful atmospheric world from black lines.  She mentions “netflixing the hell out of the X Files” to encourage the atmosphere, which Stratoz and I started watching this spring, for the first time.  It’s definitely affected my dreams, though not with the same artistic flair as Sally Nixon.  

 

Day 84. #illustration #drawingaday #draweveryday #pen #watercolor #acrylic #365daychallenge #365daysofdrawing #drawing

 

A photo posted by Sally Nixon (@sallustration) on

This last one isn’t a Margaret Monday, but I love the quilt ~ reminds me of another my loves.

Around the Square by Margaret Almon
Around the Square by Margaret Almon, glass on wood, 8×8 inches ©2007

Margaret Avison(1918-2007): Intensity of the Seed

Margaret Avison reading poem
Margaret Avison reading poem via the Word Guild on Flickr(2004)

Potentiality

Humble is the intensity of
a seed.

It lies there
too small to cast a shadow,

as the invisible is too large, compassing
light and shadow both;

yet there is
a bond that makes them one.

(From Always Now: Collected Poems of Margaret Avison)

July 1st is Canada day, and it fell on a Monday where I on occasion write about Margarets, and I thought of the Canadian poet Margaret Avison.  I am sure I read some of her poems in high school in Canada, as her name appeared unbidden, but when I started to read more about her, I did not realize that she wrote contemplative poems, poems arising out of her renewal of Christian faith in 1963.  She grew up the daughter of a Methodist minister, and had some missing years from the church.

While reading about Margaret Avison, I came across a blog called  A Month with Margaret, and when I looked at the author of this blog, I recognized a familiar name, Sally Ito, also a Canadian poet.  She studied poetry at the University of Alberta with my father.  I remember reading Sally Ito’s work when I was writing my own poems, and resonating with her imagery from the Bible and faith.    Sally spent a month with Margaret Avison, in the archives, gathering the sense of the late poet, and reflecting upon her.

What a lovely serendipity to find A Month with Margaret on Margaret Monday!

 

Margarete von Brauchitsch(1873-1939): Embroiderer of Gorgeous Gridwork

 

Margarethe Von Brauchitsch, Tafeltuch, 1910
Margarethe Von Brauchitsch, Tafeltuch, 1910

 

 

 

The embroidery of Margarete Von Brauchitsch(1873-1939) reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style Architecture, with stained glass made with an intricate grid  I had a chance to see Wright’s Dana-Thomas House when I lived in Illinois in 1994, and the delightful repetition of pattern was evident as it is Margarete Von Brauchitsch’s work.  John Hopper of the Design. Decoration. Craft blog gives the most information available not in German in his post Margarete Von Brauchitsch: A Modernist Designer.  Margarete created stained glass and tile in addition to embroidered linens, and had her own workshop with 16 employees.  She is not well known, which often is the case when I research intriguing Margaret’s.

Back Porch Dana-Thomas House via Becky Pitzer on Flickr.
Back Porch Dana-Thomas House via Becky Pitzer on Flickr.

Margaret Nelson(1901-1981): Botanical Block Prints

Solomon Seal, Margaret Nelson.
Solomon Seal, Margaret Nelson.

Margaret Nelson(1901-1981), was a member of the Folly Cove Designers(1938-1969), made mostly of women, who were residents of Cape Ann, MA.  Although many of the members were not formally trained as artists, Margaret Nelson attended the Boston Museum School for sculpture.  I have Solomon Seal in my garden, and Nelson’s print has a verdant crispness, with the veined leaves.

Pineapple by Margaret Nelson
Pineapple by Margaret Nelson

Stratoz and I collect papercut art, and Margaret Nelson’s Pineapple print echoes the precise cuts of the papercutter, and the pineapples converge in a glorious mandala.

More images at my Margarets Pinterest Board.