Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Honeysuckle-- the color of the year 2011- Fashion news Mother-Daughter Press

You may ask yourself why is everything in the store pink?

Wren singing in style-- "its honeysuckle
The word is Honeysuckle. 

Honeysuckle, the color (it's one color?), was selected as by Pantone (corporate authority on color) as the 2011 Color of the Year as well as the defining hue for spring 2011. Pantone's Color of the Year declarations have influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries including fashion, home and industrial design for more than 10 years.  This means everyone from the upscale to the lowscale-- designers of everything from clothes to sheets-- have incorporated the Honeysuckle hue into their spring 2011 lines.  

They say "Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor," and "The hue's uplifting effect is attributed to the fact that its mother color is red, the most 'physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.'"
If you dont work in the fashion industry and your color vocabulary is limited, by all means check out some color hype & try this
Describing the color honeysuckle- hype and hyperbole

Here are the first fashion industry drawings to pull us toward spring where we will be wearing ....

.... what sounds like a lot of pink....hope you look good in shades of honeysuckle. If all else fails wear the plant all over you. It is gorgeous, blooms are longlasting and includes every shade of red, purple and orange. Very rich.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Congratulations Gib Parrish -- On top 20 list of most read articles for 2010

R. Gib Parrish
Congratulations Dr. R. Gib Parrish!  2010 Year in Research Nominee

Every year, the prestigious foundation- Robert Woods Johnson (RWJF) reviews the research they have funded and they select the most influential research articles for the year.  These nominations and the Research award provide the Foundation an opportunity to recognize the excellent work of these scientists grantees.  The top 20 articles nominated for 2010 represent not only excellent research and scholarship but, were also the most frequently viewed research articles on in the past year."

The title of the paper was:  Measuring Population Health Outcomes
By: Parrish RG
In: Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy, 7(4)
Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Published: July 2010 
Next?  They hope to narrow down the list from 20  to the top 5 articles.  The Foundations says, "We need your help to select those articles that most that influenced policy and practice, shaped our thinking about health and health care or stood out in other ways. Using the voting buttons in the link below, please select your top 5.  See the  Twenty most viewed articles 2010- Robert Woods Johnson
All are available online and, if you want , cast your ballot for up to five.
Polls are open until December 23 and results will be published in early January, so please vote now!"

We are this pleased and proud. (photo Michael Jermyn)
Join us-- send Gib kudos and drop him a line or give a call
Email:  Gib.parrish@gmailcom

Summary of nominated 2010 Research Paper"Measuring Population Health Outcomes" 
by R. G. Parrish

An ideal population health outcome metric should reflect a population’s dynamic state of physical, mental and social well-being. Positive health outcomes include being alive; functioning well mentally, physically and socially; and having a sense of well-being. Negative outcomes include death, loss of function, and lack of well-being. In contrast to these health outcomes, diseases and injuries are intermediate factors that influence the likelihood of achieving a state of health.

On the basis of a review of outcomes metrics currently in use and the availability of data for at least some U.S. counties, the author recommends the following metrics for population health outcomes:

  1. Life expectancy from birth, or age-adjusted mortality rate;
  2. Condition-specific changes in life expectancy, or condition-specific or age-specific mortality rates; and
  3. Self-reported level of health, functional status, and experiential status.
When reported, outcome metrics should present both the overall level of health of a population and the distribution of health among different geographic, economic and demographic groups in the population.

Best wishes to all of you in these cold winter days as the solstice approaches and many festivities begin.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The danger of too few stories-- womens voices

For anyone that has learned the power of narrative and story particularly, if they were not in control of those stories that were supposedly their story.  A single oppressive story shapes the lives of all who tell it and receive it.  It shrink-wraps everyone like a web.

I give thanks to Ben Bellows who shared this gorgeous video and I dedicate it to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes -- the queen and the trudge- the fairy and footslogger keeping stories alive but, even more important, for reminding people of their own power as storytellers and audience.  Your/my/our story has not been told.  To find your voice, start by talking. 

"Tell me"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stor: The lost cat and the graphics artist --humor rich & dark

This "story" presents an exchange between "Shannon" mistress of a lost cat and "David" the graphic artist that she is hoping will help her design a poster to find her cat. This is a tale of passive-aggressive co-workers, using art and words to obscure communication, and a moral tale -- albeit at the expense of a fictional kitty-- that is too good not to share.  What happens is dark delicious humor.  Enjoy enjoy.

Want more memorable humor?  It is winter and it gets dark early.  This kitty-tale reminds me of my all time favorite Youtube video called "herding cats." It is a hilarious short piece that we posted before.  If you missed it run, do not walk, to watch it.  See Herding cats

Kitten with an attitude, "Who are you calling cute?"

If you like these tell us by clicking "like" or add a comment-- even anonymously. We thrive on your good humor. 
Best wishes Sharon and Natalya.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Review of Adorama / Pro-Line Individual 35mm Slide Protector Sleeves for 2x2 Mounted Transparencies, Clear Both Sides, Box of 500

Originally submitted at Adorama

Adorama / Pro-Line Individual 35mm Slide Protector Sleeves for 2x2 Mounted Transparencies, Clear Both Sides, Box of 500

To protect slide transparencies

By Mother-Daughter Press from Vermont on 12/7/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Strong Construction, Keeps out dust

Cons: They take skill to put on

Best Uses: In plastic sheets, Archive, Storing slides

Describe Yourself: Pro Photographer

Was this a gift?: No

These little "slide condoms" are essential to protect the slide and give the image as long a life as possible. With the rise in digital these little things have become hard to find. Regrettably they always come in a big storage box that I do not need but cannot seem to avoid it.
I looked high and low and found them here and they work well, good quality and fit within the plastic sheets I use for storage.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Girl Math: Try this a word problem for your heart and frontal lobes

Watch this! A short clip from by William Ury the masterful negotiator and
peacemaker from a recent TED talk. It features a word problem using "Girl Math"
It is a story about transformation

Finding the 18th camel.
In this story the wise woman elder takes the long view and
by cleverly using math and intuition she creates
surprising and practical Magic
Magic that heals and in some cases
may cause laughter and a heart full of breath

This is what we hope to do and to encourage in our work via
Mother-Daughter Press

Sorry for the need to re-post. All the linking pieces didn't... but, hopefully I have a better sense of the process. Please let me know if what comes doesn't work


Monday, November 29, 2010

Are Cardinals spies for Santa?

Male cardinal peeks out discreetly from holly bush. Perhaps watching you?
There is an astonishing array of religious, Native American, and European stories about the symbolism of the male cardinal and how he got his feathers.  Don’t miss your chance to read the best of old stories, new-age inferences, and some crazy history at this website: cardinal-pagan-bird-symbol-of-renewed-vitality by Jill Stefko

My favorite comes from German legend.  Reportedly the male cardinal was believed to help Father Christmas, aka Weihnachtsmann, by watching childrens' behavior to ensure they were good.  The cardinal as a Santa spy?  Surely they aren’t watching us and then tattling.

What is he watching and who does he tell?

It does raise questions about Santa's other data sources. Meantime, keep sharp and be nice just in case.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cardsets and fun stuff for Winter Holiday gifts

Classy Cardinal
Warmest greetings to all!
As the days grow shorter the world becomes colder join us in celebrating the flashes of cheering color and light in the natural world. These galleries feature images that convey the essence of winter and the holiday season:
We're excited to share some of our big news:
  • Mother-Daughter Press!  With the addition of new artists, including daughters and grandchildren, Gay Bumgarner Images is now consolidated into Mother-Daughter Press and brings an even wider diversity of images while still featuring Gay's creative work.
  • We have gifts and new products such as card sets, mousepads, and ready-to-hang mounted images .
  • A new printer, new collaborators, and a new source for paper mean that all of our products are even more affordable, including the fine art prints. See our prices.

New Products
Card Sets:  In response to complaints that "there are too many great images -- I can't choose", we have put together card sets.   Below is a preview of our seasonal selections:
Snowy Nest in Pine

"They are so beautiful I can't send them"
           --So, order two.
Customized Card Sets Express your style (and excellent taste!).  Choose several images or order a whole 10-card set of your favorite image. 

We can help you create a customized gift for the special people in your life --  the gardeners, birdwatchers, flower lovers, the earnest, or those with a quirky sense of humor. 

Mousepads are a great way to have everyday objects made beautiful.  Choose your favorite image.

Snowy Nest in PineSnowy Nest in Pine

Mounted Images Affordable and elegant, ready-to-hang. These small, card-sized images are less than $20 and make a lovely gift.
Because the possibilities are vast and your choices will be unique, you will need to phone us (802-592-3357) or EMAIL to place your order.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Decorating your winter with Cardinals

The subtle signals and habits of the birds are divined by the watchful photographer
 She translates them carefully crafting the elements into a place
An environment that through myriad signals calls out
invitation and assurance

 Almost invisible: a male Cardinal peeks out between matching maple leaves

An early wintery mix collects and soaks into feathers enriching the colors

November: A female cardinal is dusted and jeweled with falling snow

A bright world made fresh after new snow

Fluffy feathers appear fragile and belie their warmth

And, when they came as they would
It was almost certain 
that on those perfect branches would be
berries, a touch of snow, sprigs of evergreen
and icicles in long luminous drips

Birds look so good in berries!  
New images of cardinals photographed by Gay Bumgarner 
Which do you like best?

Note: if you want to mix and match these cardinals with other birds in card sets you can do!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What now: Rally to restore sanity - pictures and thoughts

Tomorrow... today.  WE HAVE TO VOTE!
Vote with your feet, your time and, of course,
your Ballot.
See more pictures and signs from our time there

Natalya and I just returned from the Rally to Restore Sanity, and on our way there a question was raised in an article in the NY Times and then repeatedly by other news organizations, gaining steam as these things do when the media amplifies itself. 
"Why are you going, and what do you expect to happen?"
The question surprised me because it had not crossed my mind: the reason(s) seemed obvious.  Beforehand,  no one asked me why I was going.   But, once we began traveling, the question kept coming up, and this set me to the task of trying to articulate, at least to myself, why I was there.

I went because I wanted to vote with my feet.  I knew that if many of us went to the Rally -- all stripes and spots -- it would make an impression.  So, what did we say or learn?
  • That civility is important; it might save us.
  • Showing up matters, in whatever way possible (in costume, via internet, in other satellite locations).  It makes the wacky voices seem less important. It puts people on notice.
  • Humor helps.  It only hurts when we don't laugh, and much of life and politics has not felt funny enough to me recently.  Outrage and frustration were getting the best of my normally wry optimism.
  • We are not alone.  There is a community and I am not alone with my concern (alarm?) and sense of loss, but what to do? I wanted, nay needed, ideas. I needed to explore my confusion with others that felt as I did and hopefully build community, a plan, a great slogan, and  hope. 
Certain formative experiences prior to, during, and following the Rally helped me clarify why attending was important to me and galvanized me to begin framing that answer that the media kept putting out there. 

The first experience was when "we" -- my daughter, and two friends that are college students at Tufts, and I finally arrived at the Mall after having battled our way via Metro.  We saw so many people that had been forced to give up and simply couldn't get there. There were too many people for the trains and the roads.  Throngs of people greater than any I had seen at other rallies.  Getting to the Mall in Washington DC required physical strength and endurance, which many could not muster so they had to settle for sending their best wishes.  It also required a financial commitment especially for those coming from outside the Washington area, which meant that many simply could not attend. Fortunately, there are those -- to whom I offer my blessing -- that made it possible for others to share the experience via the "inter-tubes",  satellite events, and a bazillion websites.

The second and third moments came to me and with the crowd.  It was a roiling, moving, ever increasing, crowd.  Tightly packed, disorganized, straining, and almost scary.  We had to be careful: there were dogs, little kids, wheelchairs, old folks. I was aware of a mounting frustration and the fact that my feet were barely on the pavement. My daughter Natalya and I were holding hands, but sometimes we were separated by cross-currents of people who almost broke our outstretched arms and handhold.  People were uncertain and trying to find their place.  There was grumbling, pushing and rising tension-- a sense of scarcity.  Then something started; A woman's voice was close by saying, "It's OK", "Be kind", "Give way".  It was like a murmur from your mother.  I joined in, quietly offering encouragement and support for my daughter and for others around us who looked nervous and were caught in the eddies.  "We are OK", "We are here", "Maybe this is the event, a huge Conga line emerging, and it's OK". Then a man somewhere behind wryly commented, "OK, we relax for wheelchairs, but not Segways!", which was followed by laughter.  It caught on and other voices spoke kindly reminding us of our better selves.  We looked up at each other instead of our feet and we smiled.  In this way we were drawn away from the edge of impatience, bad behavior and whining.

And then it became clear that my daughter and I would not be among those who would be close enough to actually see or hear what was happening on the stage at the Mall.  We are crowd sissies.  Yes, this was disappointing and relieving.   Natalya and I headed out toward the edge of the crowd where there was more space, and where it was a circus, a picnic, a party, a place to meet.  By 1:30 pm a lot of us along the margins and edges recognized this reality and settled into the fact that our version of the event was going to be between us and that whatever was happening on stage we could watch later.  It was a great comfort to know that the event would be well documented and easy to find on the Internet and that simultaneously most of my friends were watching it from wherever they were.  Now we weren't trying to get anywhere; we had arrived!  We introduced ourselves to each other and laughed at signs, helped hold signs, wrote more signs, took pictures, and spoke of many things.  As Ariana Huffington rightly pointed out in an interview on Sunday,

"It was just amazing, the fact that they were there, even though they had flown from other parts of the country.  Because they wanted to have that sense of community and connection. And that is what you observed if you walked around the rally. It wasn't just what was happening on stage, it was what was happening among people there."  

I  decided that being there was still important: I waved to the helicoptors overhead and occupied my bit of landscape for the body count.

The other epiphanal event was later that afternoon when I introduced myself to an Arabic news reporter who was willing to talk to me after he finished filming.  I asked him, "How will you tell this story?" my arm sweeps out towards the crowd, I wondered, "What does your audience want to know and what will surprise them?" He said, "A comedian calls and people come! There are people here from all over the US and so many.  There are more here than even for the President who was recently in Chicago.  It is amazing!    Why do you all come?  What has he done? He has never run anything-- it is easy to make fun of politicians"  He was polite and these were sensible questions.

I nodded agreeably, admitting that we had traveled all the way from northern Vermont. He gawked and asked, "Why?"
It was then, as I stretched myself to respectfully and clearly answer his question, while desiring not to appear like a kook, that the windshield cleared.  I've spent years in the Middle-East, Afghanistan, and with Arabic, Farsi and Pashtun speakers. They would get it, and I wanted to tell them directly why this odd sight was, in fact, wonderful and, I hoped, important.

"So now what?"asks a sign.

Well..... Vote!  You have to vote!
Then....what to do is at least this much, nothing fancy or new,  just a good place to start.
Keep voting everyday with your money and your attention.
Lets give our attention to things that deserve it and stop being distracted by "squirrels". We do not have time for this. 
Gossip is harmful.
Name calling is mean, and it never makes anyone more likely listen
Facts are important.
In fact, facts are findable, and on this lets not be fooled or fooled with. Its not playing politics, advocacy, campaigning or marketing.  It is lying.

Be encouraging,
To laugh at your (my) self, and
To be quiet and listen.
And, perhaps to make and wear more signs -- maybe this should become a habit.  We can explore the creativity and fun of signs, buttons, and T-shirts.  Who knows some of what comes may turn out the be a rallying cry, a marching song, a lightening bolt straight to the heart, the funny bone, and the truth. We could use something like that.

Meanwhile, as in the manner of Friends (Quakers), truth emerges from many voices well heard.  Go online and read more signs.  They are on Facebook, Huffington Post, everywhere and taken together all of them are a message and the truth. Yep, even the one about scrabble; and the one that says, "Merge left"; and the one that says, "Obama kills kittens"; and the one that suggests, "Hey, what if we all chipped in? We could make sure there is enough medicine, schools, and places to play." 

Vote....please Vote...encourage great acts of civil obedience and revolution by voting.
Make sure that the narrative that the media has been chanting incessently becomes part of a new storyline that reads, "OH MY! Big News! We all thought there would be a blood bath, but now, it seems sanity prevailed."

 Photos by Sharon and Natalya McDonnell

What do  you think.... did the rally change anything?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Managing the message of sacrifice and economic austerity

What do we need to spur us on when asked to sacrifice and tighten our belts for the greater good?   A good slogan, of course.  Cultural voyeur Dr. Meg Harper, now of Limerick, Ireland, and Limerick University, offers this:

"I'm seriously committed to informing you all about the culture here, as you know. I've recently found a way to encapsulate Irish attitudes towards the current economic and political troubles. In England (and Northern Ireland), there's a resurgence of (commercially inspired) interest in a slogan and poster that was printed and put up all over Britain in 1939. On a red background, simple white letters read "Keep Calm and Carry On." 

She goes on to say, "I recently saw an Irish equivalent, which I'm enclosing for your edification."

Thanks Meg!  This speaks volumes, and just as the Irish equivalent might confuse or scandalize Americans I suppose we need a uniquely American version.   Let me leap into the fray and offer two (tongue in cheek) American options. 

Or perhaps this...with a nod to our French comrades:


If you have a alternative or perhaps a suggestion for a more positive message, please speak up.   I would love to hear your suggestions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Laughing about bad medical journalism could lower your blood pressure-- or not

Check out this link from the excellent blog by Gary Schwitzer called "health news reviews".  In one page he reviews the article titled ....
"Eating watermelon could lower your blood pressure" from the Orlando sentinel this month.
article "watermelon and blood pressure"
Then he provides and demonstrates a set of clear and useful criteria to use while reading about medical studies to see if they,  .....pass the laugh test.  

You don't have to be a health journalist to find this list useful.  Special note, Ano Lobb and Sam Wertheimer... this one is dedicated to you and, thanks to Nancy Jamieson at the Alaska State health department who keeps her eye out for such tools and tricks for the public.

Since it is clear that one can make medical stories up wholesale I offer my own learned conclusion-- eating fun food, such as watermelon, lowers your blood pressure, most likely. So does laughing.

You want more animals laughing... here is a start
Show me animals to make ms smile!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Robins in crabapples a gorgeous sight in New England

Fecund --Abundant ---Fruit--Food

Robins Feast on profusions of crabapples
We have not had robins in New England at the feeders this time of year. Maybe they are stopping by on their way further south when once they just passed us by. Less in a hurry because its just not as cold as before. Our crabapple trees are overflowing with fruit. The robin, once common to my Midwestern eyes, now seems enormous and confounded us at first-- "what is that?"  Now they are like 747's among the juncos, finches, chickadees, and nuthatches.  
What bird doesn't look better in red berries?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big HUGE Amazing Pumpkins at the Pumpkin festival in Damariscotta Maine

Whatever you have been doing with pumpkins I would bet it doesn't begin to compare with the town of Damariscotta Maine.  Last weekend we took a fall New England walk-about and stumbled upon the greatest pumpkin festival ever.  

Now only are they big-- This year three pumpkins were state record breakers, all over 1400 pounds-- but, the citizens seem to take the whole thing with a hearty dose of whimsy and good humor.

The history of the pumpkin festival in Damariscotta is not long, 3 years, but it has caught on with admirable enthusiasm and now there is an ever rising bar to explore and improve all things pumpkin including the pumpkin regatta -- yes a pumpkin boat race, costumes, carved and painted pumpkins by talented artists, decorations, and even pumpkin shooting or launching plus, pumpkin edibles of all sorts.  If you like pumpkin art definitely consider a visit.

Check out pictures of the 2010 Great Pumpkin Festival in Damariscotta Maine.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

China & a view of overpriced appliances that do what the sun does anyway

 Wash and Fly.... no need to dry: 
A demonstration of energy efficiency by 
the American field sparrow

This from author Sharon Astyks's science blog called  Casaubon's Book is a vignette I shall call-- Dryers and China

 "As increasingly affluent Chinese embrace all the accouterments of the modern, middle-class Western lifestyle -- big-screen televisions, automobiles, washing machines, double-door refrigerators with automatic icemakers -- one glaring exception stands out: the clothes dryer.
For reasons practical as well as cultural, most Chinese consumers simply don't like clothes dryers. Don't want them. Don't trust them. Won't buy them. And, even when they have them around, won't use them.

 According to a spokesman for the appliance store Best Buy, the Chinese market for dryers -- or even washer-dryer combinations -- "is by no means fully developed.'' In the chain's stores, dryers and washing machines with dryer functions make up just 10 percent of all washing machine sales.
Other businesses report similar experiences. Zhao Na, a saleswoman for Haier washing machines, a domestic brand, said, "Our factory stopped producing dryers since last year because they don't sell.'
It certainly isn't true that a couple of billion non-dryer users "can't" be wrong, but in this case, there's a real likelihood that they aren't".

 You may not agree with this choice in your life but it is always useful to consider the query:  
Are my time-saving appliances and methods (e.g., hair dryers and even clothes dryers) actually, or possibly, enslaving me?

 There follows a remarkably entertaining and civil discussion about dryers, line drying, the role of women and how to keep your clothes from getting stiff sans electric dryer (versus solar passive or "line" drying).   I just couldn't help adding the illustration of 'fly and dry' by the Field sparrow (Spizella Passerina). Enjoy!

Must see movie-- Queen of the Sun-- bees abuzz

In 1923, Rudolf Steiner predicted that imposing an ill-fitting industrial culture on bee cultivation would end up destroying the bees' own successful, adaptive culture. As one reviewer in Seattle said "there's a deeply, embarrassingly human truth to his criticism of our attempt to modernize bees for productivity, when they are still our leading models for density, sustainability, and allocation of resources."  Directors Taggart Siegel and Jon Betz have made a poignant film about relationships.  It is a love story if you will, between bees and the world.
Thus, rather than bees as agricultural product or tools for humans, Queen of the Sun offers a counter narrative, bees as teachers, and with much to show us.
The story is often told from the bees-eye-view including zoooming through fields at bee-height, your eye attracted by vibrant colors. And bees in close-up or en masse appear with the human "supporting characters," as Taggart Siegel calls them. They are beekeepers (commercial, backyard, and rooftop), farmers, philosophers, scientists, celebrities (Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva), artists, and educators.
The movie is getting enthusiastic reviews-- quirky, fun, funny, visually beautiful, interesting, and important. It is in Vermont this next week and with such great reviews it will be popping up in more and more places. You can watch for it online at 

Field of wild mustard waiting for bees

Bee boxes arrive 
A bee look-alike the Snowberry Clearwing Moth, nemaris diffinis, another great pollinator 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Local Photographers collaborate with Marriott to decorate new Residence Hotel In Colchester, VT

Marriott opens new Residence Inn
hotel near Burlington, Vermont

On Tuesday, September 14 Marriott opened The Residence Inn Burlington Colchester, located at 71 Rathe Road, six miles from the Burlington International Airport. With 4 floors and 108 suites this new hotel offers accommodations with separate kitchens, sleeping and work spaces.

What else is new about this facility? A few years ago the President of Marriott Corp, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. visited the Burlington Marriott on Battery street and noticed the work of Bill and Bene Dodge on display in the dining room. The specialty of Dodge Studio's are breathtaking images of Lake Champlain and Vermont. Mr. Marriott liked what he saw, and suggested that for a new facility being planned near Colchester that Dodge studios collaborate with the Marriott interior design teams proposing the use of art in the hotel that would feature the landscapes and highlights of the local area with the intention that guests not only feel at home but also that they see the best of the region they are visiting. Artists and photographers Bill and Bene Dodge from Dodge Studios and Silver Maple Editions along with Sharon McDonnell of Mother-Daughter Press and Gay Bumgarner Images produced this novel "staying in place" concept for Marriott. A chance to deepen the sense of having visited somewhere and gaining familiarity with a place.

The pictures are large-scale, breathtaking images of Vermont -- including Lake Champlain, the Northeast Kingdom, the animals and plants of the area and other unique aspects of Vermont that make it a top travel destination. In choosing to decorate the hotel in a way that honors both Vermont and Vermonters, the Marriott organization has made a beautiful environment for both employees and guests. See the slide show below -- it gives only a wee taste of the many pictures used. Or better yet, visit the hotel in person to experience this art first hand:

Marriott - Images by Gay Bumgarner Images and Mother-Daughter Press and Dodge Studios, Bill and Bene Dodge

If you like the idea, talk it up. Let the Marriott know, let the artists know. Tell the guests that what they are seeing is Vermont and even if they cannot get to all its lovely places-- soak it up-- in pictures. Hotel art is for once something to brag about. I hope the Marriott is rewarded by their "risk". The Marriott Corp may not be playing it up in their advertising yet--perhaps they should take more credit and brag. We hope it is an idea that catches on. Maybe when we go on business trips and stay in nice hotels we can expect to learn more about the place rather than see generic pictures from "anywhere" off Art as conversation, as a guest service, facilitating a nice experience and familiarity.

Wahoo!! We will try to get more pictures to share.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What does big government mean?

  Greetings I have had it! I have listened to people shout bumper stickers at each other and the other day one more person said "no more big government" and I had to start researching. I have started tables of data to show trends and yet I would really like to know.... what do you think "Big government" means and what should I count to see if it is big, bigger, less big or whatever?  Can you help. What do you think I should "count" as I try to define the size or "bigness" of government?

Thanks Please leave ideas on this blog, facebook or email. You do not have to register.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Making news...PBS NewsHour and the effects of stories and images

See NewsHour coverage about an initiative
called Peaceworks and OneVoice
Male Peacock, Pavo cristatus, displaying
Images matter
If I cannot picture it I cannot create it

In the tangled story of something like the Middle-East
the PBS NewsHour tells me story
about how peace is kindled and possibly made
about how journalism chooses the stories we tell,
the pictures we see
These images re-form in our minds
reform our minds
they become our stories
they are possibilities
a story about
how reality starts

As the young business visionary who started the projects says "We're moving from theory into action. And the first part of the action is actually visualizing what is it that the people are going to do and then helping empower the people to actually start..."

See the clip "Hostile Neighbors Come Together as Trade Partners"

Courage applied to peace in practical measures is something I need to see more often. I want to tell the NewsHour that this journalism helps-- this type of story is important. It is news.
If you do too, you can click on their feedback page and tell them so.


This post is dedicated to Bruce Dan MD who makes fun of me for watching PBS because, as he says, I am the only one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Note Card Sets-- Easy for you

New cards sets-- check them out

Many people that visit our website are astonished at the number of images --- truly lovely images --- that are all available but, too often they became overwhelmed and say "YOU CHOOSE". And so, we do sometimes and its great. Making a coherent set of cards is science and Gut Gestalt. We did an iterative process-- thanks to the committee friends Bill and Bene Dodge in Burlington, Suzanne Rhodes , Morgan McDonnell, Gib Parrish, and of course Gay Bumgarner herself.

Gay loved taking theme pictures and for many years she had a chair obsession thus, creating a gorgeous array of places to sit that were collectively called "Sitting Pretty". Anyone that had a really great or unusual chair would let her borrow it so she could place it in all sorts of settings. Her interests in the chairs, how she placed them, what they symbolized, and the story implied changed a lot over the years but... that is, another story.

This set is called Rural Living -- Four gorgeous country scenes. On the back of all cards we have collected stories, facts, odd ball information and lovely poems-- each relating to the image on the front-- as a way to learn and enjoy the cards a bit more.

For the Rural living set on the back of the picture with the iron wheels we explore all the different uses of the term "re-inventing the wheel". It turns out engineers have a rich set of stories and concepts about this and many related sayings such as "reinventing the square wheel". But, not to give away too much, the wheel has been reinvented at least 2-3 times depending on your definition.

These card sets are available online or by EMAIL here or in Burlington Vermont at Silver Maple Editions in Burlington, Vt.

Next onwards to winter birds -- cardinals, birds of all type, with berries, and snow.
Feel free to suggest a card set or theme for one....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's coming on Harvest aka autumn

Before the 16th century, Harvest was the term used to refer to the season. However, as more people  moved from working the land to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and autumn began to replace it as a reference to the season.  The alternative word fall is limited primarily to North American English.

All cultures have an Harvest festival, and without exception the theme is a celebration of food (YIPPEE!) and eating.  A good food celebration included elaborate feasts and food displays. Tables, homes and even people were decorated  with foods such as grains, corn, flowers, fruit, gourds, acorns, corn stalks and cornucopias as well as the colors of autumn. 

Harvest celebrations are a time of gratitude and merriment combined with a dash of dread as the fall equinox -- a day of equal light and dark-- heralds the impending darkness and cold of winter.  This year the Autumn Equinox is September 23rd.  

We've creating a new gallery of Harvest season images and you can see them all in the slide show below.   It emphasizes images of New England and the Midwest, with stunning fall foliage as well the more subtle signs of the changing seasons.

Fall - Colors and Changes - Images by Gay Bumgarner
And, to go with the pictures here is a favorite poem for the Harvest season by Mary Oliver called

"In Blackwater Woods"

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver ~ (American Primative)