Sunday, May 31, 2009

And I thought I loved MY dog

People here really love their dogs. Maybe a little too much. Taking your dog for a walk- OK

Taking a walk with your dog in a stroller- NEVER OK.

She's probably the owner of this car.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mountains for my Mom

Last Summer, in the midst of a deep depression, my folks whisked me off to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

If you've never been to Highlands, North Carolina, put it on your to do list. It is not only a fantastically quaint yet simultaneously culture packed little town, but it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside anyone could dream of.

Artists flock to Highlands more and more, and it is easy to see why. The southern Appalachians provide endless inspiration.

I've had this painting bouncing around in my head for so long it is not even funny. Having finished it was actually a tremendous relief.

When Mother's Day came along this year I knew I wanted to create something personal for my Mom. Then, when I found this gorgeous hand carved Sant Anooka tray I knew it was the perfect vehicle for a scenic painting to honor my parents' thoughtfulness and love.

Thank Heaven my folks haven't gotten sick of getting paintings as gifts yet!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fabric Flowers; Here's How!

These aren't your grandma's flimsy fabric flowers. These beautiful blossoms are tough enough to take daily abuse, which means they can be attached to clothes, accessories, even keychains.

Here's what you'll need to make some yourself: synthetic fabric (wide ribbon works well, also), a pencil, scissors, a candle, a lighter, a bowl of water, thread, needle and some random beads or buttons Here's how:

First- Find some synthetic material. (Cheap Dollar Store scarves work great!)

Next cut out some circles to make the petals. They don't have to be perfect- look at any real flower and you find that petals aren't perfect- they're all different shapes and sizes.

When you've cut out as many petals as you'd like your flower to have, get out a bowl of water and light a candle.

Hold each petal just close enough to the flame to singe the edge.

Go all the way around, until the petal is singed all the way around.

Not only will holding it near the flame keep it from unraveling, but it will also cause the fabric to warp, making the circle look more like a real petal.

If you hold the fabric too close and it catches on fire, don't freak out- just dunk it in the water.

After you have all the petals singed around the edges, arrange the petals in the shape you would like them, and stitch straight through the middle. Make sure that each petal is securely attached to the others. Sew several stitches to make it stronger and more durable.

Next, find some beads or buttons that coordinate with the flower and cover the center stitches by sewing them on one by one.

Make sure to securely knot off the thread when you're finished sewing on the last bead on.

Now you can sew the flower onto anything you'd like.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BIG NEWS! (well, big for me, anyway)

Did you know I love Etsy Labs?

If you don't it's because you haven't talked to me in the past year or haven't read this blog post.


I'll be teaching my technique for making silk flowers by hand, using fire as the shaping mechanism.


So, let's recap: Etsy Labs, 4-8 pm, June 1st. It's completely free and all materials are supplied.

If you're not in New York City, we'll be broadcasting live on the web here.

(Yes, you have to make a username to log in, but it's free and only takes a second, so don't be lazy.)

If you're not crafty, it's o.k.- my etsy shop is coming up roses!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bank of America, REALLY?!

Got this in the mail from Bank Of America.

It's my interest check.

Honestly, I wish they would've just mailed me an unused stamp because, really,

a check for $o.11?

Gosh, with logic like that I can't figure why a bank would fail.


Got to get to the bank!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Aren't Madsen bikes just the cutest?

Whoever thought them up must have tried carrying groceries home on a bike.

(It's not as easy as it sounds)

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Friday, May 15, 2009

The kindness of strangers abounds!

It was a sunny day and I wasn't eager to go home because I knew no one would be there, so I went for a walk after work, following the sound of a peppy indie rock band I turned a corner and went up a road I hadn't been down before.

Lo and behold; a farmer's market! I wandered around a bit stepping between the flats of herbs and crates of fresh picked vegetables.

I hadn't intended to spend a dime, but the proud owners of an orchard had figured out ways to incorporate apple cider into everything.


So my little bag was filled with apple cider doughnuts

(rolled in cinnamon sugar to be sure... as if there were any other way to have an apple cider doughnut.)

I returned to the farmer's market today, since the weather was so lovely, in order to reacquaint myself with the delightful apple treats.

After completing my sugary mission I took a few minutes to listen to a man play a guitar more skillfully than anyone else I've ever seen.

It was simultaneously soulful and perky- the kind of thing that's perfect for painting to, or cleaning to, or really just anything.

I could've listened for hours, but after a few songs I felt the need to move on, so I went to put a dollar in his guitar case. I started chatting with him. Turns out not only is Alex Simon an extremely talented musician, but he's also a very nice fellow! Before I knew it I was walking away with a copy of his c.d.!

Pleased as punch, I continued my stroll to the fresh flower vendors. A single hyacinth stem lay on the counter, so I picked it up and inhaled it's gorgeous scent. The vendor looked over and said "take it! It's the last one, and no one is going to buy a single little stem of hyacinth- it's yours."

How is it that everyone in Manhattan is in a good mood today? I swear, more random people smiled at me today than ever before.

As I looked up on the subway ride home to see the old lady across from me flash me a smile, I realized why- I had been smiling at them! The beauty and generosity of the musician and flower vendor had put me in such a good mood that I hadn't stopped smiling throughout my whole trip home.

These thoughts were still with me as I boarded the bus and a man carrying a huge bundle of wholesale flowers sat down next to me. He grinned at me clutching my single blossom, (I smiled back, of course!) and said- "those are beautiful- I've never seen them that color!" "Why thank you," He replied, "they're the leftovers from a wedding my company did. He took my lone stem of Hyacinth and grouped it with a bunch of hot pink ones. "Here you go!"

Oh no, I couldn't!

I didn't think I could take three random acts of kindness from strangers in one day!

"Please," He insisted, "Enjoy."

Well, okay :) But please, take some of these delicious apple cider doughnuts!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too much of a good thing...

Remember January?

Worst. Month. Ever.

I didn't work a single day that month.

Not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't find any work.

Come February just checking the mail was an open invitation for a stress induced stomach ache.

(I know Peter likes to say that what I earn is nothing compared to his student loans- cause they pay the rent- but believe me, utilities and food become a very big deal when there's no money for them.)

Toward the end of February I had a job, and was even earning some income painting- yipee!

But back to January- I put out over a hundred resumes in the city.

That was four months ago.

Now I am getting job offers all the time.

and I can't stop accepting them.

I worked 75 hours last week across three jobs.

I got another offer today.

I just can't decide what to do- each one has it's own benefits and disadvantages.

I guess I'm just afraid of saying no to a job, then losing the work I have and being right back in January again.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

My favorite stereotype;

We were out shopping one day and the cashier handed my mom her change ($2.00) in the form of a two dollar bill. Mom took the change unhappily, and gave a displeased "ugh" as she put it in her purse.

"What's wrong, Mom?"

"He gave me a two dollar bill."


"You know who uses two dollar bills, don't you?"

"Um... the French?"

"Nudists. Ugh."


"They think it's funny. Nudists love to use two dollar bills."


I guess it's true- you learn something new everyday.

And THAT is my favorite stereotype.

Nudists love to use two dollar bills.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I. Have. No. Idea.

I've been hanging around Union Square (Chelsea) a lot lately.

It's my favorite 24/7 freakshow.

I've seen so much craziness there.

Everything from elderly women on Razer scooters to men wearing fuzzy pig costumes.

Last week there were lots of men with mega phones shouting frantically in Spanish to no one in particular.

And this guy. I have no idea what he's championing, what his sign says, or what his flag represents, but I'm sure it's something very very important.

Uh huh.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Weatherman's a Liar.

He said it'd be raining all weekend.

But it didn't.

In fact it was lovely last weekend. The rain clouds kindly postponed their visit to allow us one splendid day together, so Peter and I put it to good use getting to know our borough better.

We hopped on the Q60 and rode it until we got somewhere more interesting. I found a great thrift shop in the interesting little suburb of Sunnyside.

(But I won't allow myself to go back until I've altered and worn all my current clothes.)

It's been such a busy week.

So much is going on!

Including something secret(ish) involving this wierd looking pic: I promise I'll tell you what's up with this soon... but I won't say when- you'll just have to check back frequently!