Art & Music!

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Yesterday was one of those perfect days where I accomplished everything I said I would do.  I did pilates, as well as some light housekeeping then went to my hair appointment (love you, Amanda!), hiked at Green Lakes State Park, and ended up downtown for some great art and music!

For real, lol.  I took these pictures and everything (for those of you who maybe thought I was still off my rocker chasing Pokemon).

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The AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is in full swing.  I caught the tail end of it last night – the vendors will be there all day today and tomorrow until 6:00pm in Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.  A lot of my friends/Facebook friends are there:  Michelle DaRin, Barbara Conte-Gaugel, Peter Valenti, Tim See, and Michael Heagerty, as well as dozens of artisans from around here and out of the area.

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There is so much to see.  There’s clothing, jewelry and accessories, paintings, ceramics, furniture, soaps….  It is really an incredible experience.  And since working the Lavender Fest for Michelle that time, I can appreciate the dedication it takes to spend all day in a small tent in ninety-degree heat with few bathroom breaks in order to interact with customers face-to-face.

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I think that is the best part of making a purchase from one of the vendors – that you get to know them and you walk away with an experience rather than just some trinket.  You experience the artist’s passion for what they do and you take with you a part of them, the part that contains a vast amount of love.

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That is truly special.  I love that.

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Last night’s music event in Clinton and Hanover Squares was the Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival.  More music tonight with the band Atlas taking the stage around 8:00 pm!  Hope to see you there!

Summer rocks!

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Sizzling Summer Ceramics

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My new favorite place: the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro!  It is located at 6500 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY (13078).

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Cozy…and delicious!  The cupcakes are perfection.  This place reminds me of every Wayne Thiebaud painting I have ever seen.  Proprietor Debbe Titus prepared amazing quiche and salad (and iced coffee!!!) for my friend Bobbi Rock Petrocci, art teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, Dewitt, NY, and me last week when we visited to discuss our upcoming art exhibitions.  Mine will be during the month of October 2016.  We installed Bobbi’s show this morning.

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Bobbi’s former student Beth L. helped too – a recent graduate who will be attending college in Albany this fall.  We used the technique I call measuring!  Lol – math and art are like two fingers crossed, as are art and every other subject in school.  There was a lot of measuring here – to make sure the shelving was of unified height and the same distance apart and to insure the shelves were level.  This part took the longest but once the structure was in place, everything made sense and the pieces fit beautifully.  It is the first ceramics show in the bakery!

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It was really incredible watching Bobbi work out how to decorate this space.  It was as if her vision was coming alive before our eyes.  She used the small shelves to exhibit her own work alongside student work created during CBA’s Sizzling Summer Ceramics Camp.

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Students created these pieces during the intensive one-week event.  The work will be on display through the month of August 2016.

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For more information regarding this exhibition and the bakery including hours of operation, contact the owner at 315-492-0110 or check out the website – www.thehalfmoonbakery.com

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More information to come regarding my show including a plan to have a little gathering/reception, maybe on a Sunday afternoon.  I will be showing a dozen paintings.  Super excited! ❤  And Bobbi Rock Petrocci will be back in November 2016 with a new crop of CBA student ceramic art!  🙂

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Sums Me Up

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For those of you who may actually think highly of me, this is going to make me look very bad.

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I did not go to the art reception for this new exhibition at The Point of Contact Gallery, 350 W. Fayette Street in Syracuse, NY.  I pilfered the photos off Facebook.

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In my defense, if there can be one, I have been spending my days chasing pokemon at Green Lakes State Park and my nights enjoying live music at various venues in the area.  I blame the pokemon craze on my twenty-three-year-old friend Helen, who exposed me to this phenomenon.  I kept wondering why people had their cell phones at the ready while hiking the trails instead of experiencing the wonder and beauty of nature.

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No apologies.  I was obsessed with the game for three days.  It is all I talked about to CFOs of major corporations and other super-duper successfuls at my high school reunion.

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Of course, once I ran out of weapons to capture the pokemons, the thought of purchasing more ended it for me and I snapped out of it, lol.

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Now I am back to normal, albeit obsessed with getting a good photo op of the owl family that lives in the space between the two lakes.  (This one was taken by my friend, Animal Behaviorist Janet Ridgeway).

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I am not apologetic about my social life either.  This has been an amazing summer so far. Many memories with very special people.  A lot of singing and dancing.  (In fact, I was doing exactly that on the night of the opening – to Brass, Inc. at Borio’s.)

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Good times and great fun!!!!! ❤

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I will try to get out to see the Sum Art show in person.  A lot of fabulous work by some of the best talent in Syracuse.  It is up for another week or so.  Check their Facebook page for more information here.

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Retail Queen

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Back in the ’70s, my friend Leslie Noble and I would take the tail end of the cash register tape and turn it into a Miss Dey Brothers sash while working behind the candy counter at the Shoppingtown department store in DeWitt, New York.  This was the beginning of our retail careers, lol, at sixteen and seventeen years old, and the start of her creative life as an actress and mine as an artist.  We learned to make change without a calculator and to always put the customer first.  Actually, we used to include the customers in our social conversations while still sharing noteworthy sales information, providing them with a fun shopping experience to go along with their Swedish Fish gummmies and Godiva chocolate.

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I have worked retail many times – I was a Co-Manager at The Limited in Florida in the ’80s.  I used to always get A+ ratings from the secret shoppers.  Used the dialect known as broken English to assist the Spanish speaking customers visiting Miami from Peru and Argentina.  (In my defense, I took French in middle school and high school).  I sold countless pairs of leggings and oversized shoulder-padded tops to them.  It was all about nodding a lot and having a positive tone.

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Michelle DaRin didn’t know any of this about me when she asked me to cover for her at the Skaneateles Lavender Festival yesterday, but somehow she knew she could trust me to do it. I did not hesitate with my response.  It was like a gut instinct told me that I should be there.  I just knew it would be an amazing experience that I would never forget – and it was!  The festival was Saturday and Sunday at Lockwood Lavender Farm, 1682 West Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY, (13152).

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I am a customer of Michelle’s and a huge fan.  She is like fashion royalty to me here in Syracuse.  A real-deal artist designer who lives and breathes her style.  She creates hand-casted bronze charms then joins them with individually linked beaded chains.  It is all her, start to finish, a one-woman operation, so you know her attention to detail contains the true spirit of her artistic vision.

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I am particularly in love with the copper-enameled pieces.  No two bracelets are alike.  She shapes the pieces, glazes them and fires them in a small kiln then unites them with a leather cord or wristband.  The colors are exquisite – a vibrant palette that pops in combination with the rich textures of the cowhides.

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It was so special to converse with her customers, many of whom, like me, were wearing her pieces and were back for more.  The bold jewelry works best when layered for that hippie-chick appeal.  It is a youthful, yet more a sophisticated than trendy look for women of all ages.

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And men too.  There are cuff links and belt buckles in her collection.  I think the geometry of the looks in bracelets, necklaces, and rings make many of them work as unisex.

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Yes, I wore everything in my arsenal – two necklaces, five bracelets and my red enamel ring.  I learned to use the Square credit card application to process charges.  It was really surreal, like I was dreaming the whole thing up.  I think back to last September when I spoke to Michelle for the first time at the Westcott Street Fair in Syracuse, and I remember seeing the bracelet rack and wishing my arms would look like it one day.  Now they do.

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I built up my collection piece by piece.  Some were gifts, some I purchased on-line at www.michelledarinjewelry.com and some I bought at her various appearances at local arts and crafts shows.

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I worked all day with only one pee break then somehow with help from the neighboring tent and my cousin Jackie, I managed to get the whole operation into my car and drive it home.  It was actually more work than I do in a typical day at my job as an art teacher.  Crazy!

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It was exhausting but so fun.  Thank you, Michelle’s customers, who visited me and supported her with purchases.  It was like being a substitute teacher – praising my friend for her amazing talent and work ethic, and selling her wares while not having to make any of the merchandise (akin to not having to prepare lesson plans). It’s definitely not something I could do every day, which is why I don’t peddle my own artwork at those events.

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I am so grateful for Michelle’s trust and friendship.  Naturally, I worked for jewelry.  Lol, I still have a little retail queen in me.  I will do almost anything for fashion!

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Michelle DaRin and her jewelry will be at the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival at the end of the month – Friday, July 29th through Sunday, July 31st, 2016.  It is around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse.  She is tentatively scheduled to participate in a ladies night event at Krebbs in Skaneateles, New York on Thursday, July 21st and she will be at another event at Pottery Barn in Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse on July 23rd. ❤

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