cold-weather helmet liner bathing suit

This has become an annual tradition for me, a kind of tribute to my mother. I apologize to those who have read it before, but I have new readers who I think will enjoy it.

It’s bathing suit season, in preparation for the unveiling of the bathing suit I have been collaborating on, I think reposting this old story about my mother is appropriate. If you haven’t read it before I hope you enjoy it. 


During World War II, my parents became refugees and ended up in a DP (displaced persons) camp in Germany, where they were taken care of by an organization that eventually became a part of the United Nations. This is a picture of my mother, in a bathing suit she made there, out of cold-weather helmet liners. When my parents fled from Latvia they had been able to bring, like refugees everywhere at every time, only what they could pack in one suitcase. 

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women who work or women working?


Women’s Bodies At Work

I think this woman working is just attaching the sail to the…what’s that thing called? I’ll just call it a cable. It’s crazy how even the simplest of tasks, ones we ourselves are unacquainted with, can look mysterious. Ever see a cook whack a clove of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife? If you didn’t know what they’re doing, it would look positively barbaric!

There are so many jobs that women do, and the women doing them all look very different.

I love this woman’s strong body. She looks like she belongs standing on the rigging of a boat. Do our bodies choose our occupations, or do our occupations form our bodies, or neither?

I’ve seen what looks like a delicate little creature carving up a side of beef. And I’ve seen what might once have been called a “battle-axe” gently cleaning a wound. 

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narcissists one and all

Instagram to follow:

From the UK, a mother with two beautiful daughters. It’s nature, whimsy, “big knitting,” and bunnies, yet manages not to be too “cutesy.” It’s quite lovely.

Picture of the week


I took this picture at an outdoor market called the Grand Bazaar. The GB takes place here on the Upper Westside, Sundays, during the summer. This picture was on the back of a silky, if not silk, kimono. I was working opposite a wonderful small maker whose work this was. Here’s a picture of Carmen.carmen

Interesting isn’t it, we tend to fall in love with people, and even things that look like us. It seems we are all narcicists to one extent or another. It’s human nature, we like what we see in the mirror whether it’s an actual mirror we’re looking into, a piece of art, a dog, or our partner. It’s when we start picking apart what we see in the mirror, that things fall apart. 

If we can see the beauty in ourselves, are we more apt to see the beauty in others?

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Anna Wintour and bare arms

I wrote recently about my “profound sadness” at reading about women our age wanting to hide their arms. I exaggerate, but it’s something I am very much interested in, if not obsessed with. Then yesterday, perusing some of the channels of social media that I do, I discovered this picture of Anna Wintour.


 And hallelujah sister, Anna Wintour does not feel bad about her arms!

I’ve been watching Anna Wintour’s arms now for awhile (see, it really is an obsession). I noticed years ago that she favors sleeveless dresses. Besides her ubiquitous sunglasses and snooty attitude, both of which I appreciate, she is often seen sitting in the front row of fashion shows in exquisitely cut, sleeveless Armani, Missoni, or Chanel frocks.

One can understand why she might like sleeveless dresses, she has very nice, toned arms. Apparently she’s an avid tennis player and still today you can see that underlying fitness. We all know that Wintour can afford to wear anything she wants.

Obviously though, at the age of 67 she still wants to wear sleeveless dresses. 

I’ve seen advertisements for creams that are supposed to fix the crepey skin of the upper arm, but I’ve never heard of any sort of cosmetic surgery for upper arms. If there was, I’m pretty sure Anna Wintour would know all about it and perhaps she would have it done. I like to think though, that just maybe she’d say to hell with it.

In any case, I find this picture of Wintour empowering, and I don’t even like that word.

Whether or not you can afford Chanel, if you can dress with style and feel good about yourself, don’t feel bad about your arms, bare them.