"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

The Cataract Chronicles — I’m Not Lovin’ My New IOL

Author Barbara Falconer Newhall after cataract surgery and IOL in right eye. Photo by Barbara Newhall

After cataract surgery — a brand-new IOL in the right eye . . . Photo by Barbara Newhall

Note: Husband Jon thinks I get a little cranky and whiny in this post. If so, my apologies. My experience with writing personal essays has taught me that it’s wise to wait until a life challenge gets resolved before writing about it. That way you stand a better chance of avoiding bathos and self-pity. But these are The Cataract Chronicles, after all. My first surgery was three months ago. It’s time for an update, and today’s news is — I’m feeling cranky and whiny.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

“You’re going to love it,” everybody was telling me as my first cataract surgery approached.

They were wrong. I don’t love it.

Friend after friend told me how, wow, when the doctor took the bandage [Read more…]


The Baby Quilts Are Ready — Now All We Need Are the Babies

Quilt piecings made of flowered calico in primary colors and black dating to the 1970s. Assembled in the Berkeley, California, quilting studio of Sue Mary Fox. Photo by Barbara Newhall

This one goes to the first grandchild. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Grandchild No. One is due in February, and this time the quilt will be ready.

Faithful readers of this blog will remember the story of the 40-year wait my brother and his wife had before I finally delivered their hand-made wedding gift to them. It was a crazy quilt made of colorful, flowered calico, pieced together on an old Singer sewing [Read more…]


Visions of the Baby Jesus Light Up Centuries of Art


Madona and child painting. The Cologne cathedral. churches. mary. madonna. Housed in the Lady Chapel, this is the Dombild by Stefan Lochner, a local painter early 15th century. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Of all the paintings of Mary and the Baby Jesus I’ve spotted on recent travels, this is the most elegant. It’s the Dombild, on view in the Lady Chapel of the Cologne Cathedral, Germany. It was painted in the early 15th century by a local, Stefan Lochner. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Baby Jesus. Far away and long ago a baby was born, one who has inspired centuries of artists — and lights up the dark days of winter. [Read more…]


Holiday Gifts: Fun, Funky Fiber Art — Woolly Scarves, and Down and Dirty Angels

"South Beach Gizzy," $300, by Cordelia De Vere, who worked in glass until cancer struck in 2009. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“South Beach Gizzy,” $300, by Cordelia De Vere, a glass artist who took up fiber art after cancer struck in 2009. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

More funky gifts from the artists and craftspeople of Berkeley, California. This time we celebrate fiber art in the form of in-your-face dolls and woolly felt scarves. [Read more…]


Funny, Funky Gift Ideas — Bernie Sanders Earrings and Clocks Made of Vintage Books

Earrings with photos of Edward Snowden by Fuff. $20 Fuff@fuff.net. Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios Dec. 5, 2015. Artists show and sell their wares.

Edward Snowden earrings by Fuff of Berkeley, $20.

Earrings with photo of Bernie Sanders. $20 by Fuff. At the Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios 2015.

Or maybe you’d rather give Bernie Sanders earrings. Photos by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Yes, thanks to the ever-creative minds and nimble fingers of Berkeley, California, a funny, funky gift can be yours to give for somewhere between twenty bucks and, oh, maybe, three hundred.

I took these photos at the annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios last weekend. The [Read more…]