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Reworking Threads

Photo: Theresa May Obrien

We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride here in my beloved city of Istanbul. A chaotic life has left me scattered, unable to write much, only make. But recently, an international women’s group asked me to reflect on the intersections of craft and culture, globalization and activism I’ve experienced in my 20 […]

Istanbul at a crossroads

Bosphorus view from the Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi Terrace, Emirgan

A series about our spring Turkish Tulip Craft + Culture Trip: Istanbul along the Bosphorus

Beyond the protected Old City (at least in Sultanahmet, since other parts of the Fatih penisula are currently being ‘rearranged’) is the rest of European Istanbul, to the north of […]

Collage as a way of recollection

Visiting icons of decorative art can be overwhelming. It’s easy to fall into the ‘tourist trap’ of taking a million photos, but not really seeing the place while there. I document all the interesting details first, then take time to sit and let them all soak in…as best I can, knowing there are other visitors […]

Connecting the cultural dots: Sultanahmet

Relishing the layers of inspiration in pattern, color and texture of Istanbul’s Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past civilizations. The first of several posts about our spring Turkish Tulip Craft + Culture Trip: Sultanahmet

When Istanbul was green: a mosaic from the Great Palace of Constantinople, royal residence to the Eastern Roman or Byzantine […]

Safe, scary or a place for sharing?

With tulip leaves on our terrace well up, spring is on its way early here in unseasonably mild Istanbul. We are anticipating our May journey. Turkey has been in global news for some serious reasons already in this New Year, so it’s time for an update!

Closest to home, the disappearance and murder of […]

Another year over, a new one just begun

Welcome 2013!

That strange pull


That strange pull of what you love…

Autumn has always been my favorite season, for its palette of colors that so match my creative eye. Unlike the renewal of spring, that other season harbinging change, this time of year reminds us to prepare for the future, to harvest what we’ve grown, […]

Spanning years, cultures and creativity

Ouravatar is a detail from a suzani, hand embroidered silk and cotton textiles traditionallybegun at the birth of a daughter for her dowry. A suzani’s circular motifsrepresent Gardens of Eden, reminders of an abundant life here in an earthly paradise. These circles imply connection, the arcs of bridges spanning divides andeven cultures. Colorful rainbows […]

Manifesting Destiny


It took a random trip back to Istanbul in 1998 for me to recognize that I could create any kind of life I wanted. I didn’t have to follow the American Dream to‘success’: the corporate high salary job, a big house, the nice car with the hefty lease. I was living a good life […]

Full bloom


Until I moved toTurkey in 1999, I didn’t fully realize that a person could have more than one home, more than one country, more than one culture. That we don’t have to choose. Having a personal connection to multiple cultures is the best way we’ll learn to get along with each other on […]