oo oo oo

My farewell 3×5 is for Cecile and the standing ovation LOUD applause she received with her trio. Imagine a young woman with the future of classic jazz in her heart and you will understand. Per Wynton Marsalis: “She has poise, elegance, soul, humor, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” And all of that is true. You can hear the brain behind the voice and phrasing. And her Mack Avenue musicians mesmerized the audience.

She gave the audience a Valentine, both bitter and sweet of the following:

I Only Have Eyes for You
If This Isn’t Love
Laugh, Clown, Laugh
Step Sister’s Lament
I Get a Kick Out of You
So In Love With You Am I
I’m Hip
You Bring Out the Savage in Me
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
What a Little Moonlight Can Do
There’s a Lull in My Life
Something’s Coming

So here is a sparkling farewell and a shout out for a voice to follow for many, many years. Merci Cecile.

Thank you also to those of you who showed some interest in this project. I will add some remarks to the About page tomorrow, which, is, as Scarlett O’Hara said, another day.


“Make something loud today. And let everyone know it’s the last day of your year.”

First, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. Second, what a way to end a year. My brother-in-law got us tickets to hear Cecile McLorin Salvant at Stanford tonight.

Go to cecilemclorinsalvant.com to find out about this extraordinary singer.

So here is out little ditty, to be shared with friends who love the garden/farm/ outdoor world, getting their knees and nails dirty and sipping tea between tasks. A perfect way to celebrate getting older. I can’t wait!

Only one more 3×5 card to go and the year’s creative adventure is up!

color key

“Create a new birthday song or tradition. Bonus: Get people to sing or do it at the next birthday party you attend.”

When we were young, my cousins made up a funny birthday song for their dad: You’re getting older/ Too bad for you!/ Do not panic? For we are here/ To help you? Forever more!

My song and new tradition inspiration came from a favorite book, Sarah Midda’s South of France: A Sketchbook. A small but fat volume with watercolors and drawings of everyday things and people, fruits and vegetables, trees and mountains. I love the way the back cover is an index of color for daily delights. Add a tea bag and some old garden tool button and we are almost there.


Nothing like a hot day in the olive groves of Provence. I enjoyed the dashing effect and using oil pastels. As my favorite French prof said: the beauty is in the movement. I hope Van Gogh had a good day that day.

Perhaps I should not consider a career of art forgery.

“Extend an existing photograph or painting beyond its current edges.”

Many years ago my son and I were horrified by a mom and her little son. They were painting a plate to be glazed and fired in a kiln for the boy’s father. The looked at the boy and said: “Now Shreve, don’t paint outside the lines.” Poor kid. I bet it has haunted him his entire life.

I actually spent many happy hours doing just this in 1989 when travelling alone in Switzerland and France. A great way to pay attention and dial in to details around you.

close tea

A perfect combination of beloved things: tea, tea cups and saucers and books.