Doodle for Google 2019

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I just mailed these Chittenango Middle School entries to the Doodle for Google 2019 contest.  This year’s theme is “When I Grow Up, I Hope….”

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These are some of my Art-8 and 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art student entries.  My 5th graders also took part in the contest.  The deadline is March 16th so there is still time to mail in the stragglers’ art after winter break, thank goodness.

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Among the recurring themes – ending world hunger, space exploration, and fun with animals.  Other ideas included fashion, graduating from high school/college and cheating death.

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One of my favorites was this one above – solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo gang.  Who doesn’t dream about this from time-to-time?  Really, I know you do!

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The prize is $30,000 for the individual student, $50,000 in technology for their school and their google doodle will be on a T-shirt.  It will also grace the web-site for twenty-four hours (and proclaim the winner the title of Chief Doodler for the day).  So cool.

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What a huge and most amazing thing it would be if one of my students wins the whole shebang?!  It will be the greatest thing that would and could ever happen in my career, lol, except…this was the assignment I gave as lesson plans for the substitute when I was absent on family leave the week of my father’s passing.  So, technically, I guess … no – oh, come on now, this is crazy talk…I will still take pride in a win.  Making art that helps a student visualize their dreams? – now that is a win-win! ❤

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The American

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In 1956, Vasil Tashkovski came to Syracuse, New York alone, as a sixteen-year-old boy, a runaway who escaped the Iron Curtain fleeing Communist Yugoslavia for Greece, an incredibly dangerous journey that led him to a refugee camp where he lived for a year while waiting for permission from the American Consulate to live his dream.  It is the story of legend – the boy who dreamed of being an American.

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He was my father.  Dad married an American girl and had three American daughters with whom he only spoke English.  Yes, he helped many Macedonians from his village come to this country including his own brother and his family, and you can argue that his life’s purpose was to help them.  But if this is true, then the desire was fueled by a belief that these others would see what he saw – opportunity, liberty and freedom to live an authentic life in the greatest country in the world.

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To just be.  Dad was always there for us.  Always healthy and strong.  I truly thought he was indestructible – until he got cancer and suddenly passed away.  I mean, I just never thought about a time that he wouldn’t be with us.  He was seventy-nine.  It happened last week, so the wound is fresh and raw.  There is never enough time with the ones you love.

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Eagles are currently wintering in Syracuse.  About seventy at last count.  It seems like the most obtuse idea.  For many years, Onondaga Lake has been the number one most polluted lake in the nation and yet our national bird is here living off fish from said lake, with families in tow soaring around in all their glory, wonder and perfection.

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It is simply amazing – and ironic to see these majestic creatures here now.  I don’t think I had EVER seen an eagle in real life before this moment.  Our national bird!  It feels like they are here for Dad.  I like to think they are.  And that Vasil Tashkovski is soaring with them.  I know he is.

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You can park at Destiny Mall and see the eagles in the trees across the railroad tracks or drive to Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, New York to see them wading on the shoreline.  Bring your cameras preferably with telephoto lenses in order to paparazzo them.  There will be a guided birding walk on March 2, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30 am.  It is sponsored by the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.  This link is to their Facebook page.

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The incredible photographs accompanying this post are by my über-talented friend Julia C. Banach.  She is an award winning (and currently self-described amateur) photographer.  I am in awe of her work here.  Just so magnificent!  Thank you, Julia, for capturing the majesty of these creatures.

Find more photography by Julia on Facebook.  This is the link to her “Like” page.  Become a fan.  She has recently updated her page to include incredible animal shots from trips to the local zoo, as well as gorgeous sunsets and full-moon illustrated landscapes.  Really beautiful work!  I have no doubt that Julia’s photographs will appear in nearby art galleries and museums very soon. ❤

 

Dozens

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I thought it would be fun to create trompe l’oeil donuts.  We made them from an armature of aluminum foil, paper towels and masking tape.

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Students then applied Mod Podge with a brush to paper towel bits, adhering them to the armature.  They really looked like glazed donuts – so cool!

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Cell-u-clay was next.  It is a paper pulp that is applied wet in a sort of oatmeal consistency.  This was the frosting.

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Each student (in two of my 8th grade art classes) created a dozen donuts.  Because I didn’t think six was enough, lol.  They painted the Cell-u-clay with acrylics and added decorative details.

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Some students glued their finished pieces to foamboard and others placed them in boxes provided by the local Dunkin’ Donuts.  The projects are currently on display in the library at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

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I just loved this project.  I think everyone loved it!  Students in the 9th period B day class even came in during their study hall to become “donut fairies” – they helped the A day group!  Everyone helped each other and it was truly magical.  So fun! ❤

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Au Naturel

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Today in Syracuse, New York, the weather took a nosedive into frigid dead-of-winter temps, but inside the Edgewood Gallery, ( 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, New York, 13224) the landscape is vibrant, warm and creatively cozy.

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Proprietor Cheryl Chappell has curated “Nature of Things”, a delightful show of oil paintings, ceramics and jewelry, which will be on exhibit and for sale now through February 22, 2019.  The art reception was tonight with two of the four artists in attendance.

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Rob Glisson‘s landscapes in oils are the stars of this show – several of them sported red sold stickers within the first hour of the opening.  He starts the work as plein-air pieces then takes them into the studio to re-envision them as fantasy worlds contemplating shadows while paying attention to color, volume and depth.  He concentrates on creating worlds that tell a story inviting the viewer to lose themselves within the frames.  I am a huge fan of his work and it is such a pleasure to see so many pieces hanging salon style alongside the lovely cow-dominated oil paintings of fellow artist Adriana Meiss.

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Jan Navales pinch-hit for Dana Stenson tonight, offering visitors information and guidance in selecting for purchase some of the silversmith’s latest creations.

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Karen Jean Smith‘s ceramics have the look of carved wooden objects.  These tromp l’oeil pieces are thrown then hand carved.  She adds the knots and other textures using an intuitive style.  Her work evolved into these thrice-fired amazing creations via an interest in representing nature, specifically water chestnuts, which led her to focus on representing wood.  Some of the pieces are kiln-fired and others are wood-fired.  They are painstakingly glazed using a watercolor technique.  They are really so, so cool.  I just love this series!  She also sold a few pieces at this opening. 🙂

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These artworks are surprisingly affordable.  A lot of them smaller pieces, to add to your art collection or to start one, which is a great New Year’s resolution – I will start my art collection this year!  I will support local artists! Oh, yes.  That has a nice ring to it. Seems like the natural thing to do. ❤

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2018 Fashion Finale

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Rebecca Taylor top, French Connection skirt, Calvin Klein booties
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Talitha top, Banana Republic pants, Nine West booties
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Saks Fifth Avenue sweater, BCBGMaxAzria skirt, Eliffete tights, Marc Jacobs booties

Here are my #ootd pics from December 2018.  A few new pieces are in the mix, like the lace tights and my first Milly top.  OMG, I love stretch silk, which is a silk blend with a bit of spandex in it.  You can tell that I am a huge fan of silk, cashmere and leather.

I wear two smocks while painting and using Mod Podge, which is my new go-to instead of using Plaster of Paris for sculpture.  I’m doing a form of papier mache instead and it is amazing.  Can’t wait to share my donut project!

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Aqua Cashmere cardigan, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGeneration booties
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Rachel Zoe dress, Calvin Klein booties
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

The other big project is…Artist Books!  My Studio in Art students are creating these very cool books using sports equipment, lunch boxes, ceramic bowls and musical instruments.  They will be done by the end of the semester.  Then we will start watercolor!

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Trina Turk dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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C by Bloomindales cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
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Milly top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Marc Jacobs booties

I will eventually clean off the back counter and prepare for new students in February.  Art – 8 only meets every other day for one semester.  I am able to do about three or four projects in that time – a drawing, a painting, a sculpture and a clay project or some combination of those things.  Right now we are finishing up sculptures in the five classes and drawing in the other two.

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C by Bloomingdales cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings, Ugg boots

I did not get any clothes for Christmas, lol.  Or did I?  Santa was good to me.  I know him!  (I really do!) ❤

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Rachel Zoe dress, Coach clutch
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BCBGMaxAzria top, pants, and belt, Nine West boots

Who’s Greek Now?

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I decided to infuse the 8th grade Medusa  drawing project with real people.  I was driving to work a few weeks ago and the idea just came to me, lol, but would the teachers at Chittenango Middle School go for it?

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On the half day, I sent out an email then I ran around taking pictures of those who were receptive to being immortalized as Medusa.  The principals were even on board, which was so, totally, awesome!

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Students selected from the faces and added the snake hair and Greek pattern border.  We watched excerpts from 1981 and 2012 Clash of the Titans while using Sharpies and colored pencils.  Here are the results.  They used 16″ x 20″ white heavyweight tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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I have two classes working on a new batch on brown Kraft paper.  It is such a fun project.  So many possibilities with regard to color schemes and composition.  So incredibly satisfying!

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This artwork is currently on display in the hallway outside of my classroom at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.  It will be up for a while, at least until the end of the semester at the end of January.  I will display some of them at the school fair in May too.

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Best in Silk

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Trina Turk silk top, French Connection leather skirt, Nine West boots

Here are my #ootd pictures from November 2018.  The black cropped leg BCBGMaxAzria  pants go with everything!  I ended up getting a second pair because they are so spectacular.  Not sure why they were not made in other colors.  I love silk as well, and silk velvet is soooo amazing!  I’m sure my dry cleaner loves that I wear it too, lol.

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Cinq a Sept silk dress, Via Spiga tights, Sorel boots

I was able to incorporate my Wonder Woman boots (above) in this one! They are Sorel – I think I paid one third of the retail asking price for them, maybe less!

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Ulla Johnson silk dress, Calvin Klein booties
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Kobi Halperin top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Calvin Klein booties

It is fun keeping track of fashion because I can see what combinations I have done with separates – what items go with what, and as a result, I can assess what one new thing I may bring into the mix that will serve me best.  The morning I put this look together (above), I was, like, how do these two things match? – that is so cool! That Kobi Halperin top is embroidered cotton – very wonderful texture in person.  There is a version of it in all white hiding somewhere in the universe for me to find.

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Rebecca Taylor silk top, BCBGMaxAzria silk-velvet pants, Joie sandals

Rebecca Taylor has a new concept right now where you can pay a monthly fee and rent up to four garments at a time to wear until you want to give them back and then get more.  I have my eye on a few pieces from her holiday collection right now.  Go to www.rebeccataylor.com for more information.

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BCBGMaxAzria sweater and skirt, Nine West booties
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Rebecca Taylor silk dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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Trina Turk silk-spandex top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Marc Jacobs booties

This top (above) is from 1999!  It is my first Trina Turk, the reason I fell in love with her work!  Mine is a size Medium, which is a bit large for me now but I still love it and wear it often.

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Free People cardigan and leather skirt, JCrew T-shirt, Marc Jacobs boots
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Akemi + Kim for Anthropologie dress, Via Spiga tights, Calvin Klein booties
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BCBGMaxAzria silk dress, Calvin Klein booties

This BCBGMaxAzria gown (above) was my outfit for my annual Friendsgiving dinner.  About twenty-five of us dined together at Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse.  It had been hanging in my closet for two years and so, I was very psyched to have an opportunity to wear it.  I sewed bra cups into the lining because the bodice neckline made it difficult to find undergarments that worked.  Easy-peasy!

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Cinq a Sept silk top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, BCBGeneration booties
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Rachel Zoe silk top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Calvin Klein booties

Here I am wearing Rachel Zoe (above) at my friend Tracey’s pre-Thanksgiving house party.  I have this top in black too.

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C by Bloomingdale’s cardigan, Rachel Zoe silk dress, Via Spiga tights, Calvin Klein booties
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BCBGMaxAzria dress and tank top, Nine West boots
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Free People cardigan, Alice + Olivia silk-velvet top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Calvin Klein booties

I found this Alice + Olivia silk-velvet halter top on a final sale on saksoff5th.com.  I think it was $40?  Something like that!  It is my new favorite thing.  I paired it with those black cropped pants seen in every other pic, lol, for a trip to the movies last night.

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Trina Turk silk top, BCBGMaxAzria silk-velvet pants, Marc Jacobs booties

What will I wear next?  Stay tuned….

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BCBGMaxAzria top, sweater, jacket and pants, Marc Jacobs booties

 

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