Tuesday, August 31, 2010

standing in one place


During my recent vacation to the Adirondacks I sat on the same rock for quite some time enjoying the clean air, sounds of the running river, and really, just doing nothing.  I decided to take some pictures from that rock, all different views and angles, but from standing in just one place while I looked around to fill my camera lens with goodness. 

and then standing...

and waiting for tom to emerge from his swim...

Monday, August 30, 2010

camping in the adirondacks

My husband Tom and I decided to rent a cabin and do some cabin-camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. This is our "home away from home".
photo credit: Tom & his i-phone!
published via mobile blogging...amazing!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

old fashioned fun with queen anne's lace

When we were kids we always picked Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus Carota), also known as Wild Carrot, (and a member of the parsley family...really?  who knew?) on our many walks.  It seemed to grow everywhere and made some of the prettiest flower bouquets. When I was in Pennsylvania with my niece this summer she came back from a walk with her mother and low and behold, she had a handful of Queen Anne's Lace!  My sister, being a school teacher, as well as "super mom", as I like to call her, had a special project in mind for the afternoon (something we also used to do as kids with our parents).  She called it a "science experiment" to spark the interest of my four year old niece and her 10 year old second cousin, and showed them how to turn the pretty white blooms into fancy colorful flowers.  

Step 1: 
Cut stems of Queen Anne's Lace.

Step 2: 
Fill a cup with water and add several drops of food coloring.  The more coloring you add, the more intense your flowers will turn.

Step 3: 
Place the flowers in the cup, cut side down, and wait 24-48 hours. The color will intensify with more time.  Checking the flowers often to see the "progress" is all part of the fun!

queen anne's lace in blue food coloring

queen anne's lace in red food coloring

To turn flowers more than one color, use several different cups, one for each color.
Food coloring can temporarily discolor skin and may stain clothing.  Parents should assist children with this project.  Have fun!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

happy birthday to me!

i made myself one of my favorite treats... 
if i could pick one "meal" to eat a day, i would choose dessert ♥

confetti squares from martha stewart

...and i got a nifty new camera!

diana mini from lomography

what else could a girl ask for?
a pretty sweet husband, amazing family & friends, and good health doesn't hurt either ♥


Friday, August 20, 2010

sock monkeys & so much more!

Last weekend I visited one of the Antiques Garage Flea Markets in NYC.  What a place!  I went to the one located on West 25th St. between 5th and 6th, and it is indeed, in a parking garage.  The second location is the Hells Kitchen Flea Market, located at West 39th St., between 9th and 10th.  The West 25th St. Market is 2 floors of of vendors and collectors selling all kinds of wares, basically anything and everything you can imagine. Most vendors had a "no photography policy"...so I suppose you will have to take my word on it for now and add the garage to your own "list" of places to drop into when in the NY area.  I personally have been on a mission this summer to knock some places off my "list" of places I have been wanting to visit and even re-visit.  Living in the burbs, and having worked in the city, people tend to think you have seen and done it all...not true!  With a city like Manhattan, rich with culture, it is constantly changing and evolving.  Museums and galleries change shows monthly, new restaurants pop up weekly, and stores open and close daily!  There is always something new and exciting do.

 I was quite taken by this sweet selection of vintage, hand made, sock monkeys just waiting for a new home inside the garage.  Sock monkeys have always been a stuffed "friend" I have been fond of.  Their sweet and quirky demeanor make just about everyone smile.  In doing a little research, I found out that sock monkeys (and other sock animals) were first crafted in the early 1900's when mothers started transforming Red Heel socks that were made by The Nelson Knitting Mills in Rockford, Illinois.

Today, new sock monkeys can still be purchased.  However... I have seen fresh, new, hand made takes, (all from amazing etsy artists below), on the classic Red Heel Sock Monkeys that are just as sweet and lovable.  

Marco the Sock Monkey from The Monkey Factory

Handmade Sock Monkey from Super Sock Monkeys

Bling Angora Sock Monkey from Indy & Cleo

Socktopus from Friends of Socktopus

Mischievous Mustache Monkey from Friends of Socktopus

Prefer to make your own? The Sock Drawer has several fun DIY kits!

Which one is your favorite?  A hard choice I know!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

what's your favorite color crayon?

On my way back from visiting family in Pennsylvania last week my sister decided to surprise my nieces and stop at the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA.  The Crayola Factory is a hands on discovery center where you can not only learn about the Crayola brand, but there are dozens of interactive activities and projects using the Crayola products offering hours of fun and enjoyment.  There is even a demonstration showing how the world famous crayons are made!  On the third floor, you can visit the National Canal Museum where there are 4 hands on galleries created to help teach their viewers about the importance of canals to our country's early development of commerce.   Inside the gift shop (among all the take home goodies), you can see the world's largest crayon!  It is made from 123,000 recycled blue crayons!  Crayola is also going GREEN!  I was very happy to get a free new black barrel marker (made from recycled bottle caps) with one of the tokens you receive upon admission to the factory.  Crayola recently built a solar farm and is now producing 1/3 of their products with solar electricity.  Markers and crayons are being produced with a little help from the sun...go Crayola!

view from the elevator

crayon coloring center...everyone loves to color!

a very busy craft room!

Crayola is going GREEN ♥

the world's largest crayon! DOB October 11, 2003
made from 123, 000 recycled blue crayons, weight: 1,500 lbs
length = 15 feet, diameter = 16 inches

what's your favorite color Crayola crayon?

In 1903, when Binney & Smith first introduced Crayola crayons there were only 8 colors: black, brown, orange, violet, blue, green, red & yellow.  Now there are 120 colors to choose from!

almond, antique brass, apricot, aquamarine, asparagus, atomic tangerine, banana mania, beaver, bittersweet, black, blue, blue bell, blue green, blue violet, blush, brick red, brown, burnt orange, burnt sienna, cadet blue, canary, caribbean green, carnation pink, cerise, cerulean, chestnut, copper, cornflower, cotton candy, dandelion, denim, desert sand, eggplant, electric lime, fern, forest green, fuchsia, fuzzy wuzzy brown, gold, goldenrod, granny smith apple, gray, green, green yellow, hot magenta, inch worm, indigo, jazzberry jam, jungle green, laser lemon, lavender, macaroni and cheese, magenta, mahogany, manatee, mango tango, maroon, marvelous, melon, midnight blue, mountain meadow, navy blue, neon carrot, olive green, orange, orchid, outer space, outrageous orange, pacific blue, peach, periwinkle, piggy pink, pine green, pink flamingo, pink sherbert, plum, purple heart, purple mountains' majesty, purple pizzazz, radical red, raw sienna, razzle dazzle rose, razzmatazz, red, red orange, red violet, robin egg blue, royal purple, salmon, scarlet, screamin green, sea green, sepia, shadow, shamrock, shocking pink, silver, sky blue, spring green, sunglow, sunset orange, tan, tickle me pink, timberwolf, tropical rain forest, tumbleweed, turquoise blue, unmellow yellow, violet (purple), violet red, vivid tangerine, vivid violet, white, wild blue yonder, wild strawberry, wild watermelon, wisteria, yellow, yellow green, yellow orange: information obtained from Crayola website 

so many colors...but everyone has a favorite.  what's yours?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

have a wonderful week!

getting a natural citrus, strawberry & raspberry slush from kelvin natural slush co.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  I will fill you in more on mine later, but for now I am busy making a list of all I need to this week.  A few inspiring posts from the web... may they inspire you too!

Top ten art shows to see in NY this summer.

Make your own raspberry slushie from smitten kitchen!

I "heart" weddings...and this french country wedding posted on design sponge is super sweet!

Personalized oilcloth lunch bags on etsy...perfect for back-to-school!

Creativity Matters...catching up with RISD President John Maeda and the RISD blog.

US House of Representatives designates 2nd week in September "Arts in Education Week".


Friday, August 13, 2010

the county fair

My family reunion in Pennsylvania every year is scheduled around the biggest summer event in the area...The Huntingdon County Fair.  My aunt and uncle have a beautiful house on the lake and invite all the relatives to come stay the week and of course at least one day is spent visiting the fair.  The fair is a huge event and has been going strong for over 100 years.  This fair is "known as the premier agricultural exposition in Pennsylvania".  You can find everything from the largest head of broccoli, to the best kept farm animals, to all kinds of baked goods, educational exhibits, and local businesses advertising their wares.  The fair of course also has the usual carnival rides and food booths, music and dancing, and for those looking for added excitement, you can't miss the demolition derby!   It is also a great place to go and learn about the area and all that it has to offer...including the farm animals (my niece even got to milk a goat this year!)  Awards go out for the best veggies, flowers, and animals, along with the annual crowning of a fair queen and her court.  The sleepy town of Huntingdon, PA really comes alive with the growing traditions they keep going, year after year!

off to see the animals!
judging pen (youth/4H market lambs)

monkey bread...a delicious fair treat, a must have!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

the simple life

I'm off in PA for a week for our annual family reunion.  I haven't been able to make it for a few years due to my graduate school studies and work schedule.  Every year there are a few places the family has on the list to go.  I was pretty excited this year to make it back to see some of  favorites.  Today I went to Peight's Country Store with my sister and two adorable nieces.  Peight's is an Amish country store with two locations, one in Belleville, and the one we went to, in Mount Union.  I love buying things in bulk...especially candy!  In NY, when I was working on the Martha show, we would frequent Economy Candy for all kinds of bulk candy to dress the set with at great prices.  Peight's has bulk candy pre-packaged for prices that actually beat Economy!  The store is not limited to candy however.  It is a true country store filled with fresh, local, fruit and veggies, homemade pastas, dried goods, home goods, and also an in store deli serving the family favorites of fresh ham salad and sweet lebanon bologna...just to name a few of the other things you will find as you browse the isles of this gem of a store.  If you are ever driving through this part of Pennsylvania I suggest you drop in to check out (and sample!) some of the pure and simple life at Peight's Country Store.

Mount Union is a sweet, sleepy old town.  My sister was a great tour guide and stopped along the way so I could snap a few photos of the sites.

i "heart" these old coca-cola signs

bridge into town

the convert hotel...not sure it is still in business 

on the way into town...top's diner was super busy for lunch!

cute car wash outside of town

peight's booty!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

my proud mom moment

This past Friday marked the end of my second session of teaching photography classes at SUNY Purchase this summer.  This session was a 4 week, pre college course for high school students interested in developing technical and aesthetic skills in photography, using both digital and 35mm cameras.  The kids did an amazing job during the 4 weeks learning to use their film and digital cameras.  They also learned how to develop film and print in the darkroom and edit their photos with Adobe Photoshop in the mac lab .  In the final days, they learned to edit, mount and hang their work for the group exhibit.  After all the work was up on the walls, I had a true proud mom moment and gushed to tell them how impressed I was to see the finished product.  They really did an excellent job from start to finish over the few weeks we spent together and it could most definitely be seen in the stellar exhibit they presented.
    students made invitations to invite their friends and family to the exhibit

each student had individual portfolio reviews with myself and the co-teacher for the class together, to help edit work for the show

exhibit space ready for guests to arrive!

a guest arrived with invitation in hand!

each student wrote an artist's statement to accompany their work...
they included digital and darkroom prints; as well as a book made digitally using Adobe Photoshop

people really liked looking through the books!

till next summer...