We are pleased to bring you April’s guest contribution from the enchanting Liz Shuman. She is the fingers behind the Paper Crane Project, one of our very favorite photographers and an excellent companion for ice cream cones or afternoon coffees. Please step into Liz’s world and enjoy the glory of its corners, edges and textures.
A Most Delightful Yellow Chair
I got this chair on Craigslist for $15. The chair is old, yellow and matches our orange desk famously. Sometimes I think of replacing the desk, but I would never consider getting rid of the chair.
Sometime around late December I bit the bullet and dropped meat completely from my diet. There I was, a brand-spanking new vegetarian and I was starving. It became painfully clear that I would need to learn how to cook vegetables and at the very least they would need to be edible, if not enjoyable. It was then that I fell in love with asparagus. I found a ridiculously easy recipe that not only yielded edible results but they were enjoyable as well! Who knew? The easiest asparagus recipe is as follows…
Wash and cut one to two bunches of asparagus. Slice three or four cloves of garlic (though I’ll tell you, the more the better). Take a soufflé dish (or a dish/pan that is safe to put in the oven) and pour in a bit of olive oil. Layer the asparagus covering it lightly with olive oil and salt and evenly distribute the garlic slices. Once you’ve followed the aforementioned steps, put the pan in the oven and turn on the broiler. Ten minutes later you have yourself a most delicious asparagus dish. Wasn’t that easy?
Now go eat your vegetables.
The evening I took this picture our electricity had suddenly gone off. Chris and I had an excellent time with each other, we drank some wine and played a very long game of Scrabble.
In this age where everything needs to be plugged in to be enjoyed, it was refreshing to know that we could sit in the dark and enjoy each other’s company.
The other man in my life, and the cutest being to ever grace the Earth, is our beloved feline Henry. Although I’d much rather not reveal my crazy cat lady tendencies, I’m afraid I must. I love this cat so much I will, on occasion, pick boogers from his little, pink, wet nose.
Putting Two and Two Together
I love diptychs.
Birkenstock Wool Clogs
I’ve had these clogs forever. I won’t get rid of them. In fact, the thought of chucking them hardly ever crosses my mind. I really only think about discarding them when I make the stupid decision to wear them in the winter and, not thinking, step in a puddle.
Who cares if they have holes all over them (as easily seen in the picture) and the left one is starting to come apart at the toe? I personally, think that’s part of their charm. I love these clogs; I’ll wear them until I, literally, can’t any longer.
The Paper Crane Project
I’m a very impulsive person; I’ll be the first to admit it. So, on impulse, I recently announced to the world wide web that I would make 1000 paper cranes and send them to people all over the world. I didn’t think about the potential cost of the project, nor the massive amount of time it might consume. And I certainly didn’t think about the fact that I don’t even know 1000 people. I got an idea in my head and I felt in my very core that I had to make this project happen.
But, about a week or two into the project, anxiety set in. You see, I’m a social worker; I wait tables to pay the rent, and in September I will be an unemployed grad student. Right about the same time I faced the financial reality of the project, two generous friends swooped in and saved me from myself.
I am eternally grateful to George and Lori who auctioned off beautiful art, allowing me to continue on with my crazy idea. In some ways I’m glad I didn’t give the idea too much “rational” thought prior to its launch. If I had, I’m not sure the project would have ever become real.
Although I’ve been vague when asked, the paper crane project is about something that people lose faith in all too often. It’s about the kindness in humanity and the little things in life that can mean so much. I am so thankful to all who have participated; the response has been overwhelming in the best of ways. I keep folding the cranes because of the kindness of strangers. It is the words of people I will never meet that keep this project alive.
When I was just a wee one my aunt had a Polaroid camera, which I coveted: partially because I was never allowed to touch it. These were the days way before digital imagery and that camera was my first dealing with instant gratification.
The thought of a camera that provided pictures immediately, as long as you could be patient for one minute, blew my young mind. Although I wouldn’t have a Polaroid to call my own until twenty years down the road, it was then that my lust for the Polaroid camera began. In this digital age, I now own four Polaroid cameras that I use on a regular basis, and I love each one of them.
Chris and I have lived in the same place for almost two years now. It’s small and, like many Bostonians, we probably pay too much in rent, but we love our home. It’s quaint, and perfect and just the right size for us. Could we use more space? Probably. But in the time we’ve been here it’s become home and, for at least another year, we’ve decided to stay put in our lovely little abode.
Sometimes, the biggest questions that loom over you solve themselves simply and perfectly; and they do it all by themselves.
I recently went through the excruciating process of applying to graduate school for my Master of Social Work, and for months obsessed over the pros and cons of two programs. The first program was a top-caliber stretch—a dream even—but as the months wore on I wondered if it was a dream I actually wanted. The other program was well within reach, and would allow me to move forward with my life, without uprooting it. The former would entail at least three moves in two years’ time. The latter would allow me to remain in my comfort zone but more than that, it just seemed like a better overall fit.
I agonized over the decision until one beautiful Saturday, when I received a letter from the director of admissions at Smith College’s School of Social Work. The letter told me that, “regrettably,” I’m just not Smith material. Receiving that letter was the equivalent of dropping a two-ton weight I had been carrying for months; I never knew I could be so happy with rejection. As a result, I was forced in the direction of my “perfect fit”: I will attend Simmons Graduate School of Social Work in September, and I couldn’t be happier.
I love Boston and I love the life I’ve carved out here, and I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to really get to know this beautiful city, both by attending school right near Fenway Park and through grad school placements within the community. Best of all (and definitely not the least of it) I don’t have to move away from Chris (and Henry).