Isa’s Journal

The Power of Three

Reflections on Isa Catto Studio’s Third Year in Business. Modeling our first wallflower sarong in the garden with the ever faithful Rose. Photo credit: Caitlin Atkinson Hot Air Transport A year ago, my family crawled into a hot air balloon gondola in the predawn darkness of Kenya’s Masai Mara. We slid into the gondola, which…

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Taking Up Residents

Celebrating the Aspen Words Writers in Residence program and the importance of supporting creative process. I have a stubborn case of look at me/don’t look at me syndrome. As an artist, my fine art is on full display, and it’s no small joy when people respond to my creative expression. The same goes for my…

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Common Currency

“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question…

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Seriously, Why Watercolor?

Watercolor is underrated. It’s a medium linked to hobbyists, children, Prince Charles, and retirees. And me. I used to paint in oils until I developed a bizarre allergy that delivered hives. At times my arms looked like they’d been attacked by a mammoth, angry insect. So I moved on to water-based mediums like acrylic, but…

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A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.Tennessee Williams April brings back my sister Heather. She arrived on April 7th, 1959, and left on October 17th, 2014. We were born six years and one month apart to the day and for me, April…

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From the Ground Up

Spring in Woody Creek. In the right season, I sink to my knees. Something is always churning at ground level and I might catch a good floor show. Gardening may be a sanctioned hobby, sustained by a million garden centers, buoyed by as many blog sites and adjacent social media chatter, but a gardener who…

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Showing Up

A spotlight on a Colorado non-profit that shows up: Valley Settlement Kids on El Busesito is one of many amazing Valley Settlement programs. We are surrounded by invitations to be present, to be mindful, and to pay it forward. Which is a good thing. That said, sometimes I feel paralyzed by all these invocations to…

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Funny Valentine

My husband and Rose It was easy to fall for my husband. First off, he’s kind —a real eye smiler. He has a razor sharp wit. And his eyes are green. But I’m getting ahead of myself.   Daniel and I met, ironically, on my least favorite “holiday” — Valentine’s Day — 23 years ago.…

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Magical Thinking in 2022

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”Joan Didion Around my home. Every year I pen our kids a New Year’s Letter, but frankly, it’s also a primer for myself. So here’s the 2022 edition: My DEAR ones: Another year means another annual letter.…

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