Saturday, December 29, 2012


 Saturday. 30’s, Bone cold, windy, misty rain.

Dearest Readers,

I’ve turned into a sprig and twig thief. I’m loving the thrill of snipping a rogue shoot or breaking off a length of vine or dried berries right out in the open, and casually walking away with my treasure. On my walks my eyes imagine flower arrangements wherever I look. It’s becoming an addiction. Today I snatched a dogwood twig from a pile of discarded clippings on the street. The evergreen branch below was quickly snapped from a bush at the Decatur Post Office, and the nandina berries came from a neighbor's bush. (I'm guilty!)
Version 1
Here is my first attempt at Nageire Ikebana, or “tall container plant life arranging”. Up to this point I’ve been doing Moribana style in low dishes with the plants supported on weighted pin holders. This grouping in the pudgy pottery pitcher is simple, but I think a good first step. I feel like I’m learning my A-B-C’s, and this is maybe D-E- and F. What do you think?
Inside this little pot I’ve inserted some cross braces made out of sticks below the water level, and tight against the walls. This allows the plants to be supported near the top of the container, and cascade down over the side. I manipulated the evergreen by bending and curving the stem by hand. In this version the dogwood branch on the left is too straight.
Version 2
 In version two I relaxed the dogwood with a slight angle, and removed a couple redundant shoots. I added the happy face on a wooden skewer to humanize the piece. The arrangement is for a sick friend, so I felt it needed some humor and less calculated posing. I’m “happy” with it.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Dearest Readers,
It was windy and cold today, with a piercing, steely sun. Yesterday was doused in rain.
The Underground Nest-tulle netting, cotton threads, glass beads and acrylic-8 1/2" x 6" x 4 1/4"
I long to curl up in an underground nest, to hibernate in a warm, hidden burrow lined in cotton threads. I dug a deep hole last summer, and climbed back out on a ladder. Now I long to tunnel down horizontally and sleep, protected from the weather and the ways of the surface world. I fashioned this little nest-ish pouch
to satisfy this yearning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


 Tuesday. Sunny, Breezy. 57 degrees at dusk. Ground saturated after two days of rain

 Dearest Readers,
 The school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut created a vacuum in my heart. I’m thinking a lot about those 20 first graders, 6 teachers and staff mowed down by Adam Lanza, another loner kid with military style guns on a rampage. The motive is still unclear. I also mourn for his mother, the first victim he killed while she slept in their shared home. She is often left out of the official death count when commentators discuss what happened. Here are two living memorials I made today to the memory of those who died. The first features 27 dried liriope berries–one for each of the victims. The second uses a milkweed pod with 27 silky seeds bursting forth. You can click on each image to enlarge.
In Memorium #1_27 liriope berries, cedar sprig, baby pine cones on white porcelain plate 12.18.2012
In Memorium #2_27 milkweed seeds, milkweed pod, vine around white porcelain plate 12.18.2012
 Finally, I feel the need to affirm life. Here are my three grandchildren who do not know about the school killings. May they live their lives to the fullest. I am happy to learn that my fourth grandchild is on the way.
Jack Ercin 4, at my house 12.16.2012

Rosie Ercin 2, at my house this Sunday 12.16.2012

Roman Proft 4, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY, May 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Sunday: Cloudy, Warm. Low 70’s. Rain possible tonight and tomorrow. 

Cecelia Kane Digging the Hole-August, 2012-West Rutland, Vermont

Dearest Readers,
Over the past six months I’ve been on a spiritual journey with the earth. I harbor an existential, intuitive knowing that soil, rocks, roots and the process of digging down below the surface of the visible world holds a golden key to my awakening. Last summer I dug a deep hole at the Carving Studio in Vermont. I blogged about my thoughts as I delved into the soil that my ancestors may have seen or walked upon in the mid 1800’s. They are buried a mere four miles from my hole site.
Right now I’m somewhere in a mental tunnel between the lower earth and the surface. This is not a scary thing. Digging down, not climbing up is my source of inspiration. This week I began creating small sculptural burrows inspired by drawings of holes and tunnels that I had created in preparation for last summer’s hole-dig. Here are the first two, and the drawings that they are based upon.
Red Hole and Black Nest

Red Hole

White hole
White Tunnel
Ikebana has also entered my life, kicking in the door and diverting my attention to the groundscape, and the plants along my daily walk route. Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement–a sparse, stripped down, asymmetrically meditative approach to presenting nature in a dish. I was asked to help at an Ikebana weekend workshop a month ago. After assisting the teacher, I was free each day to attend the classes. My Western mind cracked open and the light of Eastern philosophy and aesthetics poured in.  Each arrangement embodies elements of heaven, earth and humanity, along with “assistant” flowers who bend to the three main triangular-positioned plants. Much time, observation and consideration goes into placing and trimming back the elements of each arrangement. One must not be afraid to cut off leaves to accentuate a beautifully curved stem. It parallels the Buddhist ideas of non-attachment and finding the flow. I leave you, readers, with a few beginning samples of my Ikebana arrangements.  I gathered all live materials from yard detritus, or plants growing on empty lots, near boarded up stores or in my backyard.
Reminder: You can click on each picture for an enlargement.

Ikebana #1-White Basin
Ikebana #2-Green Basin
Ikebana #3-Small Scalloped Container
Fall Ikebana #4-White Basin
Final Hole Lined in Marble-August 2012-West Rutland, Vermont

Interior View with lashed Ladder and Deep Lower Hole

Monday, December 3, 2012


Weather: 43˚ when I woke up. Rising to 73˚. Wah-hoo!
Dearest Readers,
Rosie’s Alphabet Book is finished and published. I uploaded the text and images Thursday night to In two weeks one printed book at a reasonable price is due at my doorstep.
Copies and a preview of each page will be available online after December 15th at my "bookstore"

As a refugee from years in the printing, advertising and graphic design worlds, this is a miracle. In the late 70’s I was doing paste up and mechanicals...literally gluing printed type on boards and making photostats (PMTs) of solid “line” images (usually black and white) or cutting amberlith plastic squares to position pictures that the pre-press area would “strip” in after the pictures had been split into 4 pieces of screened film by a color separator into dots of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. (cmyk). In the 90’s and in my 50’s, I struggled to learn the digital revolution, and I’m glad I did. I’m not a computer graphic genius, but I have my feet firmly on the computer room floor.

So here are the final letters where I left off: S-Z, plus a revised J image and rhyme.

At the bottom of the blog is a newly completed self-portrait and quilted vintage portrait hankie.
J is for your brother Jack
Who likes to climb trees
in the front yard or back.
S is for sound
That comes to your ear.
It could be a train
Or a plane that you hear.
T is for train
With the blocks and the whistle.
I can't think of a rhyme,
So I've added a thistle.

U is umbrella
That's inside out,
Blown by the wind
And tossed about.

V is for Vespa,
A motor scooter,
That makes so much noise
You might like to mute her.

W is for wagon
That's red and plastic.
Rosie likes to ride in it–
She thinks it's fantastic.

X marks the spot
Where a picture should be.
I'm sorry to say
There is nothing to see.

Y stands for Yowie!
A happy sound.
You might shout it high,
Or low on the ground.

Z is for Zebra
The alphabet's friend.
We need her to bring
This book to an end.


New Self-Portrait #27-Unsure

New quilted hankie portrait-#38-Feeling Reborn