the sky has fallen and emaline in the park

I’m writing to you today from the wreckage of my dear old place. The plaster ceiling collapsed on Monday. I’m crammed into the “safe section” with all my belongings and lots of dust. All my plans for October are canceled and I’m scrambling to get things together to leave for the rest of the month at least.


The event itself was shocking and my brain has not really worked right since. All the rubble is still here ( which is interesting…..) and I sift through sometimes looking for tiny things that might have survived.

tiny tea cup among the rubble

I hate to wish time away. Especially October. It’s such a good month. But the next few weeks feel impossible. I will keep you posted as the situation and my whereabouts unfold.


When the catastrophe happened I was having a perfect rainy October day, hand sewing a rag doll, sitting right underneath. I’ve got good reflexes. She and I just ended up dusty and surprised.

emaline in the park

Her perfect October continues, spending blustery days in the park among the fading flowers and leaves, reading about star crossed lovers and thinking her wistful thoughts.

emaline ragdoll


  1. Oh, my! What a mess. So glad you and Emmaline weren’t hurt and I hope nothing beneath the fall was damaged.

    • Oh, what a shock. I am so sorry this had to happen with you underneath. Please be careful.

    • Hi Marlee – I was extremely lucky in both regards. Most of what got ruined is easily replaceable and a lot of precious fragile things miraculously survived.

  2. dear ann
    i am so sorry..i have had this same an small stdio on 84th street in 1981..84th on the west side is edgar allen poe street, or it was back then, and it was truly a terrifying nightmare. Hit on the head takes on a new ferocity.
    if you would like a bit of gentle help, please let me know and i will arrange a day in Brooklyn.
    i know you will get through this, but i surmise from the brevity of your post, and my own experiences with flash disaster, the difficult nature of the task that you now are engegd in.
    you are loved ann.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much. It’s funny how many new Yorker friends have falling ceiling stories. It is all a mess currently in everyday but I hope it will be better soon. The dust alone is a nightmare.

      Hope to see you soon,


  3. Thank goodness you were not injured. That is really the only thing that matters. All else will be put to rights in time and you will be back to your normal routine before you realize it.


    So sorry to hear, Ann. What a shock! Here’s hoping you have a peaceful place to land w/ a bag full of your indomitable creativity. Love & light to you

  5. OH pauvre Ann …. De France je vous souhaite beaucoup de courage , je pensais à vous en ce moment car je fais vos champignons dont le modèle est super ….. Vous méritez un joli nid douillet …. A très vite de vous lire de nouveau. Amitiés.

  6. Vicki Obenhaus

    So glad you are safe! (Your photographs are so wonderful, you make even this disaster look beautiful!)

    • Thanks Vicki – there were parts of it that were kind of beautiful – in a Miss Haversham kind of way.

  7. Dear Ann,
    I’m so sad to hear of the mess that happened. But I know the perfect place for you will be found. The beauty and creativity you share with the world surrounds you, and your home can’t help but always reflect that joy.

  8. Linda Pewaukee WI

    I’m so sorry to hear about your home. Of course you are still trying to absorb what has happened. Take all the time you need to heal. This is a really big deal, thankfully, you are physically ok. I just wanted to let you know that people are thinking about and praying for you daily. I just finished seven little dolls, they really are addicting. I did add “tramp stamps” and belly buttons to all seven! So cute. Linda S Pewaukee, WI

  9. Life can be terribly disruptive to the creative process. Glad you (and Emaline) are alright. Here’s wishing your home a speedy recovery and all back to normal.

  10. Oh, my! I’m glad to hear that you’re okay, but it’s probably as hard to process as losing your home to a fire. Your beautiful little home has always seemed like a part of your identity, and I hope you’ll find a sweet location that is just as perfect for your creative inspiration and comfort!

  11. I am very sorry for You and I am surprized that You were able to put some pictures from your Emaline in that lovely spot under the tree

  12. I’m so glad you weren’t injured. A similar thing happened to us in our front room earlier this year, but it was only the part of the ceiling in the bay window. Fortunately neither of the cats were on the settee underneath at the time. I hope you get your ceiling fixed soon!

  13. I feel your pain. Glad to hear that you are physically ok. I too have had various disruptions including a water leak in the cellar that required pumping out a foot of water, a power outage during travel that resulted in 2 refrigerators and freezer that required cleaning and major use of baking soda and deoderizer to remove the smell; ventilation system repairs that included the repair man crashing through the livingroom ceiling, broken water lines after an unexpected hard freeze, broken gas line, broken water line to an ice maker, etc. All adversely affecting the creative process.

    You will get through this, although it seems daunting and overwhelming. I hope the repairs are quick and that your life returns to normal very soon.

  14. Kelly Boss

    Oh Mrs. Morgan, I am so sorry other about this. I am happy to know you and your beautiful doll are safe. Perhaps you will want to carry her with you at all times in the future! I hope you can find a peaceful place to continue your beautiful work….and I hope November will be your October! Blessings…Kelly

    • Oh Mrs. Morgan, thank you so much. I have great hopes for November!

  15. Maureen Willetts

    So sorry to hear about your catastrophe, it can cause such a mess, we have been in our house for over 50 years and have had 2 ceilings fall in.
    Each time no-one was in the rooms which was a blessing, but such a mess and then new ceilings to be placed.
    But it will pass and you may find a hidden blessing, who knows.
    Keep In touch and take care of yourself. Maureen UK

  16. Carol in MN

    So sorry to see what happened to your home Ann! So glad you weren’t injured and are in a safe place. Hopefully things will be repaired quickly and you’ll be back where you left off creating and enjoying again. Just a little detour in your journey. Most importantly you weren’t injured. Take care, Carol

  17. Karen Waggoner

    I hope you find somewhere comfortable to live through the renovations. I know I speak not only for myself, but for others in that we all enjoy your creations and your writings.

  18. {{{Ann}}} My heart goes out to you. It’s a tough truth but remember that things can be replaced. You’re safety is what’s important. I’m so glad that you weren’t physically harmed.

    And how nice to see your doll! Just looking at her made me feel peaceful. She reminded me of a woman I saw decades ago whom I never forgot. I was walking down a street in Greenwich Village back in the 60s on a summer evening. I was passing a house that wasn’t set back. The living room window was right there beside the sidewalk. I glanced over and briefly glimpsed her sitting in an easy chair reading under the light of a standing lamp. She looked so calm that she became a lifelong icon of composure for me. Your doll reminds me of her with her black dress, her book and her serenity. All the best to you both!

  19. so sorry about your situation. i guess that is the both the blessing and curse of living in a lovely old building. wishing you a speedy return to a safe place.

  20. Ann I am so sorry to hear about your horrible surprise. I’m glad to hear you have quick reflexes though! Thanks for letting us know so we can send our support and love through the ether. I hope some happy surprises come out of it somewhere. XOXO

  21. It is so very difficult when our sense of place gets disrupted. It goes right to the quick.
    Wishing you a return to harmony and creativity.

  22. Louise in Australia

    What a shock for you – I send warm wishes, and hope that you and your home will be soon restored to safety and stability. I have recently made a basketfull of little cats and mushrooms during recovery from surgery, and deeply appreciate the wisdom you share so generously. No pics of the “sewings”, as my daughter has claimed the basket of tiny things for her family!!

    • Thanks so much Louise. I’m so glad you enjoyed the patterns and that they were a hit with your daughter!

  23. Thankfully you and Emaline survived the the ugly surprise. Here is hoping the repairs can be made quickly and life can return to normal. Blessings.

  24. I am so sorry to hear this. I imagine you are in a bit of shock. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope it can be fixed soon.

    • Thank you Sue and I think you are right – it is a kind of shock. I’ve been slow and foggy ever since.

  25. So sorry to hear of your disaster. Hope you come out the other side soon. xx

  26. Very sad that this should happen to such a beautiful maker and all her precious accoutrements. Thinking of you from Australia. Debra

  27. So sorry to hear of your disaster Ann. You downplay it with your calm and measured words, but you must be in shock. So glad you weren’t hurt, and your beautiful doll survived unscathed – she is a model of composure! Hope your ceiling gets repaired soon and you can get your life back on track.

    • Thanks so much Kim. Emaline is eternally composed. I however, have been a banana all week.

  28. Fran Boydell

    Dear Ann,
    Thinking of you as you restore your self and your home.
    Take care.
    Fran ( from Australia)

  29. Maycee. UK

    Dear Anne,
    Hello, So Sorry that you have had this disaster, what a shock!
    I am sure you will soon get back into your old routine, once
    things are sorted. ,Hopefully something good will come from this.
    Take Care.
    Best Wishes

    • Thanks Maycee – I’m looking forward to my old routine in November.

  30. Emmaline is a tiny lifeboat of calm in a sea of chaos. I hope the tenor of your days returns soon.



  31. Oh No! Henny Penny was right?! I’m glad you are ok, and hope your beautiful space is back in ship shape soon!
    Must have some interesting upstairs neighbours Ann!

  32. Elizabeth A. Bishop

    The falling sky metaphor, I like it. All is well according to your agent E. I am inspired by her push through the setback by reading from the Bard. Allowing art to allow the bright side of a dusty week.

    • Thank you Elizabeth, E thanks you too, she sure does love a tragic romance.
      Did you know there is a wonderful poet named Elizabeth Bishop?
      She was, coincidentally, born in the same city that I was.

  33. Lynne Owen

    ANN, you have a lot of people who care about you, and I am one of them. I so enjoy watching you create your happy artistry . I’m glad you weren’t hurt.
    I hope your landlord will fix this up for you. I’m glad it wasn’t an Earthquake…
    you might not have gotten out.

    • Thanks so much Lynne. I’m glad it wasn’t an earthquake too! We had a tiny one here several years ago and it was terrifying.

  34. What a fright and it isn’t Halloween. I can joke because you are okay !!!!
    Love the picture of Emaline in the park !!!!

  35. Angela Stavropoulos

    Oh, Ann, how terrifying! I’m relieved that you (and Emaline) were unscathed, but I imagine the mess you now have to deal with is intense. I hope you are back to some semblance of a normal living situation very soon, and it sounds like your sense of humor and wonder have remained intact to carry you through it. And gosh, I don’t know what, but if there is anything we loyal fans can do to help, please say so!

  36. Oh Ann, what a fright that must have been but look at all the love it has produced! You are such an inspiration to so many people 🙂 So glad you are ok, and I know you will turn this around into a positive, i look forward to seeing where this turn takes your journey xx

  37. Oh my goodness! I saw the photo in my email and I’m so glad that you are safe! I’ve admired your apartment so many times in your posts, it has been a wonderful place to showcase your talents and creativity. I can still see in my mind’s eye the ships sailing through your ceiling and past the windows I hope you will be settled again soon

  38. oh NO!!! glad you two have quick reflexes!
    i’ve had 3 ceilings fall on me, though none quite as dramatic as yours i don’t think! it does look rather beautiful and somehow somewhat fitting in a very Miss Havisham way…
    good luck sorting it out! xoxo

  39. Nancy duncan

    Your doll is charming…and she must’ve worked some magic the day the sky fell in…

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