Sunday, September 10, 2006

I really feel like a teacher now...

Too many times I have been plagued by doubt about what I am doing or if I am making the right choices. This is especially true career-wise. I just never felt like I was doing the right thing or that I was being a fraud and somehow would get "found out." I shall not delve in to this subject much further than to say that after four days of student teaching I could not be more sure and positive I have made the correct choice. Even when I went back to school and started taking my art education courses was I this sure.

How did this revelation come about? Well, the obvious trigger was stepping into my role as student teacher this week. I have an amazing cooperating teacher, Kate, who has gotten me in front of the classroom and teaching almost immediately. She is pushing me and challenging me and making sure I try. Even when I need rescuing, Kate is able to fill in my gaps in a truly supportive way and does not make it feel like a reprimand or mistake. We are the same age but she has 5 years of experience. And she rocks!

Now all this optimism should be tempered by reality (at least a little anyway). I am having fun and doing pretty well all things considered. But I am certainly not perfection! With Kate's guidance on lesson planning, gap-filling during class and general support I am able to minimally sputter, stall and grind to a halt. My best analogy is that it is like learning to drive standard...I know what I need to do, what I want to do and how to do it...I just need a lot of practice to make it all go smoothly!

What's the scoop? Well, I am at the High School for Fashion Industries which is a magnet high school here in NYC (the students have to apply to attend). The students can major in art, fashion, and merchandising. There may be other majors but I am just getting to know the school. My teacher is responsible for a Senior Portfolio class and a Photography class (both are double periods or 90 min. long) and one grade 9 Intro to Art class. This is what she is having me teach. It is the last period of the day and is 45 min. long. The minutes zoom by so quickly! I have 34 students which seems like an enormous group, but really they are so quiet!!!! This will change I am sure, but for now they are terrified.

I can't wait for school tomorrow!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Another Finished Sweater!

Hooray! I finished the button band for my cropped cardigan (finally). This is the first major project I started and although not the first finished, I am still pretty excited. I am loving the vintage mother of pearl buttons, the chunky ribs and the color. I can't wait for the weather to wear it.

I am not, however, loving the way the button holes turned out so I may re-do it at some point. Although truthfully I may just re-sew the buttons to see if that improves the line of the button band and button holes. Otherwise I will definitely need to rip out the band and try again. These button holes are horizontal rather than vertical and they were far more complicated than they need to be in my opinion (knitting each section around the button holes separately, breaking and joining yarn, etc.) I like the idea of binding off a one side of a button hole and doing a cable cast on for the other (no breaking & joining yarn). We shall see!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Beach Weekend With The Girls!

Last weekend I went to Cape May in New Jersey with two of my bestest friends, Kaylia and Deb. We had a wonderful, relaxing long weekend together. There are more pics here.

We had one fab beach day, one slightly cloudy day (ideal for shopping, meandering and observing the ocean with out fear of extreme sunburn) and generally pleasant weather. We lucked out and avoided major rain that hit everywhere around us. It would have been nice to have a bit more sun, but the company was what was made the vacation.

We stayed in a charming B&B barely a block from the beach. This seems to be the norm for where we were. So much so that the three of joked we should buy one that was up for sale and take up permanant residence. If it weren't for the impossible price tag we just might have thought about it more seriously. Of course the men in our lives might have something else in mind!

We did decide that this should be an annual affair...perhaps extended into a week of fun with a short time allotted for outsiders to visit (previously mentioned significant others and perhaps nieces and nephews). This was a fantastically relaxing weekend filled with lots of girl talk, celeb gossip mags, yummy dinners and a true sense of "getting away from it all." Even Calgon couldn't have done a better job.

Arriving back in NYC definitely caused the care-free feeling to quickly dissipate and made me realize that I do look forward to living out side of this place I call home. Don't get me wrong...I love the city but there are certain aspects I could do with out. And I do look forward to having a house and a lawn and a garden sometime soon. It is like a weird limbo...I want to be here and enjoy NYC's many wonders, but at the same time I am itching to start something new.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oh yeah! Another finished project!

Since I was finally able to send my felted purse to my swap partner I can post it! I blended a few designs from Pursenality Plus by Eva Wiechmann to get the right shape and handles. The main yarn I used was Knit Pick's Wool of the Andes in Chocolate and the pink details were knit from the leftover yarn I used for my ribbed scarf.

I used a magnetic snap to keep it closed. It is pretty cute and I hope my partner loves it. I must admit it was hard to send it off! I also really liked the way the yarn felted or fulled to be more techinically correct. The color stayed true to the pre-felting color and it was a nice wool to knit up.

On another note I think I may have another soon-to-be finished project! Yesterday I mentioned that I am waiting for buttons to finish my cropped cardi from Knit1. This past week I won two auctions on Ebay for potential button candidates. The first arrived yesterday...

They are a nice pinkish Lavender which looks nice against the Rose Heather yarn. These are also big...2 inches across. Did I mention I got 50 of them?!? I need three so I have a few (47) to spare.

My other win was this lot...

The mother of pearl buttons are 1 1/2 inches across and look nice. I also got a couple of slides. One of which will probably grace the shoulder of my Tempting II if all works out as planned.

I have to wait the second lot to arrive before I make a decision and even then it might involve input from outside sources.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yarn Habit...

Ok...I'll admit it. I am a yarn/knitting addict. I can't stop thinking about it! I officially have a stash and it is growing...probably too quickly. I am also developing a taste for the nicer yarns!

I started out with Lion Brand Wool-Ease. A nice yarn to be sure, but I have quickly moved on to Rowan Calmer, Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora and others. Granted many came from the sale bin at my new fav place to spend Friday afternoons...The Point. What could be better than a great cup of coffee, great yarn, wonderful knitters and me knitting!

In addition to the projects listed below I have a few other yarns in the stash. I have to figure out what to do with them but on to the good stuff! (Of course the pics are barely doing the colors justice but you get the idea)

So here is my list of WIPs:

1. Cropped Cardi from Knit1 (only waiting for the buttons to arrive so I can finish the button band)- Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Rose Heather

2. Tempting II from Knitty- Rowan Calmer in Blush

Soon-to-be WIPs:

1. Sizzle from Knit and Tonic- Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in color #18 (a lavender purple)

2. Green Gables from Zephyrstyle- Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Columbine Blossom

3. Tzarina Wrap from Wrap Style- Adrienne Vittadini Nadia in Copper (#807)

Green with envy!

I have my first wearable last!!!

I knit the Shapely Tank from White Lies Designs using Knit Picks Shine in Grass. When the yarn arrived I could not believe how green it was. This is definitely the brightest thing in my wardrobe butapparently this is a good color for me. I got lots of compliments when I wore it last Friday. (Yes it has been done for almost a week...I just couldn't blog it until now.)

Apart from making the sleeve opening a tad small (should have knit another 1/2" or so) I think it looks pretty good. You can see the close fitting sleeve here...

This is a good pic of the over all fit...

And this is the closest I could get to the actual color (and it is a nice view of the side detail)...

Saturday, August 05, 2006


That about sums up how I am feeling lately. Partially because of the heat (getting better) but also because my summer is almost over and not one thing has gone as planned.

I thought I would have a leisurely summer to work a few hours a week in the office, work on some projects and frequent the beach regularly. Ha! That plan fell apart when the newly hired secretary walked out one Friday in June never to be heard from. As the assistant I was asked to step up and fill her place until a replacement was found. This should have taken a weeks, but when I left on my pre-determined last day of employment on July 31st there was still no new secretary.

Needless to say very few fun projects have been completed...a few but not many. I did finish my "Fill-A-Purse" swap on Craftster. My swap partner should receive her package soon! I will post pics as soon as I know she has it!!!

The other major plan that completely back fired was my intention of going camping with my parents, my sister and her family and other friends that I used to camp with every summer growing up. This is the saddest part...I am not going because my husband's grandmother passed away. She had been ill so her passing was not shocking, but still sad. The funeral is in the middle of the camping week so it will be impossible to meet up with my family. I am where I need to be but I do lament not being able to be communing with nature.

On a more positive studio class's art work has been transferred to Pearl Street Gallery in Brooklyn! The gallery site has not yet been updated, but I can say I have my first real show in NYC!!! I used a different selection and arrangement of pieces which seemed a little less contrived than the school show.

Now that I am done working I am hoping to get a little fun & productive time in before student teaching. We shall see!

Friday, July 07, 2006

What day of the week is it again?

Right...Friday. Good. Can I sleep in tomorrow? Yes? Whew!

It has been a hectic June/July so far and I am so looking forward to having August off. Filling in for the secretary who walked out and left the office in shambles is more than I should have taken on. I am glad that I now only have my ceramics class and a project for my museum course to work on in July. I have crafting on the brain and not nearly enough time!

My show went up in the TC gallery...yeah! Here are some photos. The rest can be seen in my Flickr photos)

This was the culmination of my month-long Advanced Studio course. We were able to work on what ever we wanted to develop into a full studio project. I have been playing with photo transfers and wanted to take that process into my art work. The class worked around the theme of "Found in Transition" and it suited all of our very different projects (I still need to photo the rest of the show).

My focus became the deterioration that I found around my in NYC. There is a lot of it and although it is sad that beautiful ornamentation on buildings is falling apart, there is a unique and beautiful character to this dilapidation. I took lots of digital photos around where I live and school...lots of photos!

I explored three ways of presenting these images. The first was prints of some of the photos. I kept them small and chose a few that did not become transfer prints and displayed them in a box I found in the studio that matched my focus. It was an old wooded planter with a water damaged inside. And check out this detail...

Notice how the shadow lines up with the angle in the photo. This was a complete fluke...I lit the piece the night I hung the work, came back the next morning to take pics and afterwards noticed this about crazy! A subtle detail which no one would notice unless I pointed it out, but how crazy is that!?!

My second was an exploration of one image I was fond of...the black door. I love this photo! I printed the photo on design vellum and found that the light coming through the transparent image was quite nice. The old light box in the studio looked a little worse for wear and complemented my over-all focus (yeah!). The prints above it are a clear transparency, a vellum print and a photo transfer. I like the "transition" between the materials and how it affects the image.

And lastly my photo transfers! A labor of love. I have three groupings of of rust, one of peeling paint and one of cracked wood. In each group there are three images that fall in to the group heading. I did a double transfer for each piece. One transfer of the photo and one of the text. The text is a passage I pulled from the web about each process of deterioration that is also printed and displayed with each print. The paper the passage is printed on was soaked in water and crumpled to add to the character. Not sure how successful that addition was, but it was fun creating them!

All in all I am pleased...I hung my art, set the lighting and only relied on my classmates for springboards for my ideas.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Found in Transition

I have been a busy bee working on a series of works that combine digital photography, photo transfers and painting for my advanced studio class I am taking this summer. I am pretty happy with the process, I am just struggling making sure that my hand and artistry is in each piece...not just my technical process. I love the photos I have been able to take and the transfer process. This week I need to focus on making it my artwork.

We are getting ready for the show and I have my walls picked out, the flyer is ready...all I have to do now is finish my pieces and install them next weekend. Here is the flyer for the show!

There is a possibility of taking our work to a gallery in Brooklyn that is associated with some people at school. Other than the exhibits at the school gallery this would be my first public show. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Color Catch Up...

This week has been insanity! So I am a little late with the rest of my color posts because I have a show to finish art works for in 8 days, a group project for my month long Museum of Modern Art Roundtable course, the program secretary at school quit suddenly (with out notice) and as the assistant I get to fill in until a replacement is found and last but not least I needed to get my friend's wedding invitations finished (I crafted them for her). Whew!

So here are my last three color photos...

(a faded black door...part of my upcoming art show and not a b&w photo)


And Red & Pink

Now that the invitations are done (I'll post about those later...I was in a rush and didn't get a chance to scan/photo them) I can focus on my art work for the show and my lesson plans for my musuem class.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Brown Tuesday...

And here are the browns...

White Monday (Better late than never)...

The wonderful idea of posting color themed pictures has popped up again this week (credit here). There was a round of this a little while ago so I am happy to do this again...especially since I am taking photos for my advanced studio project. Many of the photos I'll post this week are from my source photos. There will be more on the projects later!

Here are my whites...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Not Exactly Scarf Weather...

I finished my scarf using that yarn I was drooling over in this post. I know I won't be able to wear this creation for quite some time...especially since the weather in NYC is hazy, hot and summery.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Walking in Brooklyn

Yes, I love to walk. This time it was group fun.

My Advanced Studio class made a trip to the Dumbo section of Brooklyn to visit a small gallery that we very well may have an exhibit of our work at the end of the summer. That is a story for later when the details have been confirmed, but what I really want to share is some of the pics that I took while we wandered.

This is a piece of art created by one of my instructors. He creates pieces of art that are placed outside somewhere. They tend to disappear before too long, but he documents them and checks in every know and again. This particular piece sits in a second floor arch way of an old warehouse in Dumbo. It is a little hard to see, but is a back view of a woman and her spine is a violin. A real violin I might add...

I am not sure if this was a piece of art, a poster or what not, but it looks quite intersting in its current state...

This was another architectural detail that caught my eye. Like others that stop me in my tracks this one is a littel decrepit, but the pealing paint adds character. This sort of thing might be the inspiration for my next set of art works...

And to close this post...these are the feet that carried me around (sporting my snazzy red mary jane mules).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Floral Goodness...

The last two days have been gorgeous! It took me quite a while to get to work yesterday only because I was distracted by all of the flowers that suddenly exploded around my apartment complex. I just had to stop adn take pictures...I just couldn't resist!!!

The two areas that seemed to be the most photogenic were the roses and the irises (along with other purple flowers of an unknown name).

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I decided that it was time to try some new knitting projects last week. I picked up a copy of the Summer Knit.1 and was excited about some of the sweaters I saw. They may be a bit advanced for me, but a girl's gotta learn sometime, right?!?

I decided to try the green cropped cardigan (for anyone who has seen the mag, you probably know exactly which one I am talking about). It seemed more challenging than what I have done so far, but not so complicated I was afraid of trying. I picked up a nice pink yarn for it, but not the one you see above...that is something else entirely!

While I was browsing (a store that sells the standard yarn manufacturers...not a shmancy lys) I found this lovely spun yarn by Kramer Yarns called Mauch Chunky. That is what you see in the photo above. The color is titled "Rhubarb" and the photo does not do it justice in any way. I fell in love with the color. It was a bit pricey for my budget (Approx. $5 a skein) so I only bought 2 skeins. I had no idea at the time what I would do, but on my walk home I figured my best bet was a scarf (another one) but I would do something that would not overwhelm the color and texture of this nice yarn. I found a post somewhere with a pic of a simple scarf (knit 3, purl 3) and decided to do a thin scarf (24 st across) and make it quite long. I just started and I love it. Such a thick, chunky ribbing for a luscious rhubarb yarn.

Not that this yarn captivating me isn't enough, but the very end of one skein looks like a five pointed star...which is shown in my photo. To top it off there is a swirl in the middle...could it be more perfect!!!

Ok...I'll stop with the yarn lust now!

Monday, May 15, 2006

And now for something completely different!

I have no idea if anyone actually comes back to see this little blog o' mine but if you do you will probably notice I am trying to change things up a bit. I want this to be a space of my own... and be a better reflecion of my style. The blogger templates are a little limiting so I am trying to find a free template elsewhere or gather enough saavy to customize one to suit my fancy. It is a bit of a headache but could to be quite nice once all is said and done.

I did want to post pics from two seperate walks I took over the weekend. I always see neat little nooks and crannies all over NYC that (unitl now) I would pass by with a memory picture. Now that I have my sweet little Canon PowerShot with me I can actually make a record of what I see. Love it!!!

So with out further ado, here are my latest snappies...

There are so many wonderful architectural details scattered about the city. Many go unnoticed because they are not in the best of condition or attached to buildings you wouldn't suspect would have such treasures. Take for example the colorful ceramic tile work- that is on a narrow section of wall between Burlington Coat Factory's storefront windows. In some spots it looks like there is some sort of compound that held some other covering overtop of the tile work. This happened alot in the 80's when antique or vintage was not in vogue. I am glad that is no longer hidden!

The face with the peeling paint, although in disrepair, has so much character. Although he could ue some love, I think that he is quite wonderful as is.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ack! Too many crafty ideas not enough time!

The semester is starting to wind down which means lots of work to finish! On top of all of the work I am doing I have a million and two craft ideas that I want to try.

My knitting is coming along...I am having the problem of the occasional dropped stitch but all in all it is going well. I have a project I want to try (which I won't mention in detail just in case my swap partner is reading) and it invloves felting! I have never tried this so it could go horribly wrong. We shall see!

I have been researching felting and I have all sorts of things working against me. Living in NYC generally means you have to use public laundry machines either at a laundry mat or a laundry room in your building. I do have a laundry room, which greatly reduces the public aspect, but our machines are front loading. Wouldn't it figure that a top loader is recommended for felting. Go figure! I have been brainstorming a few ideas to increase the friction and agitation that will give me good felting results.

First- friction. There are recomendations all over the place for using a bag to control fibers that could ruin the machine plus recommendations for including towels for friction and agitation assistance. So I think I am going to fashion a towel bag to control stray fibers AND add extra friction directly to the item to be felted.

Sencond- agitation. I definitely do not want to put too much in the washer so that there is as much movement as possible. I do want to include some heavy items to help out though. Jeans seem to be prefered. I am thinking one pair of jeans and a towel or two. I also imagine a couple of washings will be needed. When time comes to felt I will post my progress and techniques.

I haven't had a lot of time for ATC production the last few weeks (with the holiday and all) so I made three last week. The theme of "God" is still in progress but I stretched it a little to include "goddess" as well. Here is what I came up with...