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My Waitress Dreams is a journal that tells the story of a waitress and her experiences and frustrations with different aspects of her work. Roberta Lavadour uses a stereotypical guest check pad commonly found at diners, even though it appears from the description of the special of the day, which includes lemon mousse, asparagus, and baby red potatoes in dill sauce, that her job was at a more upscale restaurant. The familiar and nostalgic green and white order tablet and the text that it contains communicates to the viewer that, whether at a five-star restaurant or at a no-star greasy spoon, the life of a waitress can be arduous and stressful.



In the end, although our waitress is bemoaning the difficulty of remembering the day’s special and complaining about the irritating cooks, our instant recognition of this evocative and iconic found object makes us smile as we sympathize.

My Waitress Dreams
Roberta Lavadourr

The feeling of nostalgia is also at the center of Fragrant Phrases by Patty Bruce. The book memorializes Bruce’s experiences of learning to knit, embroider and sew from her grandmother.  Her memories of learning these traditional crafts are stirred together with recollections of the sweet aromas of her grandmother’s baking and her common sense sayings that ultimately were carried from one generation to the other.

The experience of this book begins with a box adorned with vintage paper and appliqués. Inside the viewer finds knitting needles, buttons and other sewing accoutrements.  A book inside the box is filled with aphorisms and quotes about

living a good and happy life – the “fragrant sayings” of the title – which are accompanied by antique photos, doilies, vintage trim, and sewing memorabilia. 

By combining this time-honored text with the intriguing yet commonplace objects, so symbolic of hominess and a past age, Bruce presents a captivating and delightful multi-layered homage to her grandmother.

Fragrant Phrases
Patty Bruce


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