Folded Napkins – 5 Years of Commitment to Design

The Housewrighter - Folded Napkin

Folded Napkin

Happy 5 Year Anniversary Juliet! Today marks another notch on a societal calendar reminding us that we should celebrate. As if we need any reminders to do what comes so naturally to us. Since the day you sat across from me, in the now defunct “Gravitas” restaurant in Houston, we have celebrated yearly, monthly, and often daily ceremonies of love and experience.

In so many ways I think you were born to celebrate. In no way is this more beautifully illustrated than the large kitchen drawer, in our new apartment, filled with perfectly folded decorative napkins. No matter how small the place we have called home since leaving Houston 3 years ago, we have had a devoted space for gorgeous table linens, fine place settings, and exceptional service-ware. This is no accident. This is the life we have chosen, shaped, and mostly you, have designed.

These folded napkins are the visible outreach of your attention to the details of the heart. Few can see your ability on display, healing the broken hearts of your patients and their families. Few could know the intricacy of our creative life, and the commitment you have to me, and my challenging career pursuits. What people can see is, your radiant smile, your abundance of colorful scarves (mentioned in a prior anniversary letter), and the intricate folds of your beloved serviette(s).

By default, your creativity is crowded in your profession, so your passion is channeled in textiles, flowers, and paint colors. Your vision for our future includes even more color, more detail, and more intricacy than I can easily comprehend. I have grown to love our napkins, and not only because they represent an impending meal. I love them because I see your hands in every careful bend in their fabric. I know when they are out, that our simple weeknight repasts are elevated. More and more often I crave our time cooking, sharing, and our beloved Beethoven.

As people, I think it is essential that our grasp of our spouses must grow, equal to our wish to better ourselves. To me, the more I know about you, the better I have become. I like to believe I know some of the things that bring you joy, and I often try to avoid more of the ones that bring you pain. I miss the mark certainly, but my intention to do it right continues to grow.

We celebrate 5 years tonight with a meal, great wine, and just us, alone in a new home we are growing to love. However, we understand our celebration is not limited to the specifics of time and place, it is continual. For we have celebrated for years in our home, together. We will not measure the success of our marriage in years, countries visited, or professional accomplishments achieved together. We can measure the success of us, by pretty little pieces of cloth, folded with precision, displayed with love, and frequently shared.

Thank you Juliet for being you, unwavering in your design, and your desire to design our lives. I love you so much more than I knew I was capable of loving.

Michael

The Italy Rules

The Housewrighter- Italy Rules

The Gondolier

The Italy Rules are my set of guidelines for the first-time and infrequent Italy traveler. I have traveled to, lived, and worked in Italy frequently over the past 20 years. In this time I evolved from a curious tourist to hardened, salty, veteran of the trials, travails, and pitfalls, of one of the world’s most visited countries. One usually dreams of Italy for years before finally setting their foot into the proverbial boot. The dream usually crashes in much less time. This post is really for the traveler who has not been deep into the Amazon or climbed to base camps in Nepal. This post is for those of you who enjoy modern conveniences, large bathrooms, and the amenities of a comfortable Western life. For the most part, I am you. I love my big bed, my central heat and air, and my very fast wi-fi connection. However, Italy is reason enough for me forego these luxuries for a few weeks or months out of every year.

[Read more…]

SF Photo Walks April 2014

The Housewrighter - Ferry Fog

Ferry Building Fog

Sf Photo Walks is a new series of photos based upon my walks in San Francisco. I tend to do my best Don Draper impressions while walking through the beautiful city by the bay, rather than napping. I was on my way to meet my Catalan (I was reprimanded for calling her a Spaniard) friend for drinks and tapas at Coqueta, when I saw this convergence of light and fog. I had just been at the wonderful Intimate Impressionism exhibit at The Legion of Honor, and I was inspired to work backwards to a sketch on this image. I adore the Transamerica building in downtown SF, and I enjoy how it looks so at home with black and white palm trees. The darkness in this shot represents the difficulty inherent to selling art. The plight of the Ferry plaza art merchant is challenging. I love walking through their work, as I am always inspired to work harder on my images. (Captured with the Olympus Stylus 1 – edited with Snapseed – Glaze – Waterlogued – and Image Blender) [Read more…]

Father Figures and Ford Mustangs – Part 2

A Classic

This is the continuation of Father Figures and Ford Mustangs Part 1

The speedometer only went to 85  in those days, and it had been pegged since before the last gear change. Andrew’s eyes were fixed firmly on the road, while Kelly and Angie vied for rearview mirror territorial supremacy. Mike nervously glanced from the girls, to the road, to the speedometer, and around again, while his palms filled with sweat that he wiped against the gelled sides of his hair. EAGLE 97 had been playing horrible music all night, and when Mister Mister’s Kyrie made its third pass for the evening, Andrew reached his right hand from the wheel, and without so much as a peek at the dash, he quickly pushed the milky gray cassette tape into the deck. [Read more…]

Father Figures and Ford Mustangs

Father-Figures-1-600x448

Father Figures and Ford Mustangs is series of fiction on the actions and dreams of a young man, reared in rural Texas. The series is part of my upcoming book and my first piece of new prose for The Housewrighter.

Mike pushed hard on the sides of his head, attempting to hold his hair flat against the force of the wind blowing from the open convertible top. His chemically straightened mop was no match for Ellis county roads at high rates of speed. He was reluctant to grasp the top of his overgrown bangs so he didn’t come off  like Audrey Hepburn on a scooter in Roman Holiday. He knew he still looked completely ridiculous, but his self-conscious calculations could not be restrained, and so he continued to push, looking more and more like he was covering his ears to block the shriek of a passing ambulance. With his hands occupied, the bolo tie round his neck swished back-and-forth across his gaunt torso. While he was the second tallest guy in his class of 300, he thought his height insignificant supported by a mere 155 pounds. The discounted Guess jeans he wore were easily a 1/2 inch too short for gangly legs. The black and white printed rayon shirt made his pale skin appear pearlescent, and his dark brown eyes seemed as black and one-dimensional as a shark’s. Still, a booming voice, laser -wit, and a fervent curiosity made him gregarious enough to ask questions that well-heeled kids would not have asked. He did not belong in this fast-moving foursome, but he was good company, especially when no one else was around. He would later understand the true nature of being the sidekick. [Read more…]

Olympus Stylus 1 Trials – Russian Ridge

The Housewrighter - Russian Ridge

 

Olympus Stylus 1 Trials at Russian Ridge is part 1 of a series of photos I have taken with my new Olympus Stylus 1 Camera. I am slimming down my camera bag for upcoming trips to Mexico, Northern California, and Denver. This amazing piece of equipment takes beautiful images and weighs so very little compared to my Nikon DSLR. These shots, taken at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, show some of the capacity that this little gem of a camera has, equipped only with its factory settings. [Read more…]

iPhone Imaging Class – California Wine Country

The Housewrighter - iPhone Imaging Classes

My next  iPhone Imaging class is in the California Wine Country’s El Dorado County Feb. 22nd at Miraflores winery. This is my third event with Miraflores and I could not be happier working with this fine winery and great group of people.  I am pleased to announce we have 6 spots left for this 4 hour intro to iPhone imaging (and wine tasting).

We will touch on composition and light, as well as the tools to process images into fantastic memories and/or pieces of art. Please see the winery posted details below and give them a buzz if you would like to join.

Hope to see you there! [Read more…]

The Housewrighter est Arrivé

The Housewrighter - Point Lobos

Like a force of nature, here comes The Housewrighter

 

At long last, the site I have envisioned since 2010 is a reality. For those of you here from The Blissful Adventurer, thank you for your amazing support over the years. I hope you will enjoy this new iteration of my work and share once again in the comments and details of what I am posting.

What the hell is a Housewrighter? That is a great question. A friend of mine in San Francisco suggested that my previous site sounded like a new age retreat, and that I am far from new age. I agreed with him immediately, and set out to find a new name to better illustrate what I do. He mentioned that my surname carried a lot of weight, and that perhaps something incorporating it would be better for branding. While I generally despise marketing terms, I trusted him, and within a couple of days I had come up with this: [Read more…]

Travel and the Ethereal Images

Travel and the Ethereal Images is the link to our gallery show Nov 2-26, 2013 at Miraflores Winery in Placerville, CA. There will be 2 artists receptions this weekend Nov 2 and 3rd at 1PM each day. Join us for wine, conversation, and a chance to enjoy our work. Click any image to begin a full-screen slide show (manual controls included) with details, sizing, and pricing information.

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Travel and the Ethereal — A mobile photography exhibition Michael and Juliet Housewright are mobile phone photographers inspired by years of foreign travel. Their work has been featured in yearly shows in Denver, Vermont, and the outstanding online publications, Your Life is a Trip, and Hipstography. Their first exhibition at Miraflores features images shot using only an iPhone in Hong Kong, Italy, California, Utah, Vietnam, and Colorado. Their work often blurs the lines between the concrete and the abstract. What is apparent immediately is how close the viewer feels to the subjects of the photos and how incredible the sense of place has been captured using only a mobile phone. You may see more of their work at www.theblissfuladventurer.com or at Miraflores. A reception for the artists both days at 1 pm.

Travel and the Ethereal – Our first solo photo gallery show!

The Blissful Adventurer - Travel and the Ethereal

One of the Centerpieces of our show

Travel and the Ethereal  is our first solo photo gallery show! Beginning Nov. 2nd,  16 of our most treasured images displayed in a  limited engagement at the wonderful Miraflores winery in California’s Sierra Foothills. Artists’ receptions November 2nd and 3rd at 1PM each day, with wine and one-on-one time with Juliet and me. This is one of the proudest moments of my adult life and 2+ years of devotion to this craft to make it happen. If you are in Northern California we would love to see you, and please tell your friends. It is because of the amazing support I have received on this blog that I am at this point in my career. A huge thank you to my amazing readers and brilliant colleagues. [Read more…]