I’m in mourning for my summer vacation. I will be wearing black for a while. I could potentially do this all year, lol. I love wearing black, especially with blonde hair.
When I am in my classroom, I feel a bit like a caged animal. I can’t go to the bathroom whenever I want to – I have a two minute window here and there, which takes adjusting to after having so much freedom over the summer.
I have two bathrooms in my house now and central air – no air condish at school.
And so, those two things are the only cons to my job. Not the students or the curriculum, or the amazing community of Chittenango, New York.
It is so fun to create new lessons, to introduce new art concepts and to just spend time with my students again in my own classroom.
I’m starting with some drawing and graphic design projects. I’m sharing information about Keith Haring and his art retrospective at The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. I just found out it isn’t over until October 11th – which means maybe the students can convince their families to take a trip out there? That would be incredible!
I started the school year in this Free People cotton dress. It is so comfortable and colorful! I just love it! Thank you, Bloomingdales! <3
The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!
There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!
This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!
The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.
She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)
I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.
Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.
I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.
It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.
Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!
Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.
Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).
Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.
The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.
Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3
They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.
Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.
They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/
Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.
OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.
Here are my #ootd Instagram pictures from the last few days. Elaine and I were all over the place – Clay & Cicero, New York for a concert and ice cream, Watkins Glen and Hammondsport, New York for a state park hike and a winery visit, Camillus, New York for a shopping experience and lunch, Jamesville, New York for trivia and a sunset view on a farm/restaurant…
It was so much fun to discover places together. I dropped her off at the airport yesterday morning. She lives in Florida. We have been friends since the sixth grade. I was maid of honor at her wedding. We go long stretches without texting or calling then just pick up where we left off and catch up on our lives. I am so lucky. So grateful for our friendship. Grateful for the new memories we created this past week. Thank you, Elaine!!! <3
I am opting for loose fitting dresses and peplums, as I navigate the end of the school year. I am up a smidge more than five pounds since the school year began. This is due in part to ice cream and most recently, to the spanakopita from St. Sophia’s Greek Fest (so good!).
It is also because I have spent the majority of the school year sitting behind a desk. I will get myself back to normal soon. No – I will not be the person with a closet full clothes that do not fit! <3
Spring 2021 has a T-shirt and skirt vibe – with boots in case of rain. I love the comfort of this look – the crew neck looks best on Zoom video. It does feel like a style that is the most “me” :cotton top/leather skirt. Masks not optional – yet.
I did a mini skirt/dress week. It is getting warmer outside here in Syracuse, so, why not? Ten weeks left until summer vacation.
I bought this dress (above) to wear on my birthday two years ago. It is a BCBGMaxAzria with keyhole top and cutout at the waist. I’ve only worn it twice, so, I decided to wear it to work by pairing it with a matching cashmere sweater, as well as leather pants. Next time, I will lose the pants – it was an experiment – details to follow.
Elaine is coming to visit in July. We were talking about the way airlines charge – luggage is extra these days, so, is it less expensive to ship your clothes UPS? Lol – I said, why not just wear all your clothes on top of each other?
That is sort of what these recent outfits represent. I wore the above look on Thursday. We had a two-hour delay/freak snow-storm thingy and it was cold. I dressed in my BCBGMaxAzria turtleneck dress with the uneven hemline then decided to throw on cropped pants and the matching cropped wrap sweater. It was strangely comfortable/oddly satisfying. I think I look like a Punky Brewster-esque monk and yet, I got a lot of compliments that day. Fashion is perplexing when a miss becomes a hit.
These next two looks (above) are adding a skirt and leather pants to my AllSaints leather dress. The skirt look felt genius until I went on errands after school that day. I came home with six inches of rain wetness on the hem of the maxi! Still, I felt fabulous in it. The leather on the dress and pants is lamb – very soft and stretchy.
I’ve tried to get this Rebecca Taylor denim dress into circulation by pairing it with pants and sweaters, but I don’t think it works or at least it doesn’t photograph well. 🙁
I bought this BCBGMaxAzria dress (above) three years ago to wear to my 55th birthday party. I like using it as a tunic paired with more BCBG stuff – sweater, pants, sandals.
I love this Joie leather dress, but it is one of those pieces where you think people will say – oh there’s that dress again. I experimented with it as a jacket and with a top underneath with moderate success. I mean – it is such a beautiful piece, it can’t look bad no matter what you wear with it! Yes, finally! The perfect item. Think I will wear it again next week. 🙂
Can a girl have enough leather dresses? Answer: not really.
Wearing all black is like wearing a uniform. There is comfort to it, and a sort of simplistic language, that absence of focal point, that thing where someone says, “I don’t remember what she was wearing, but she looked great.” Or at least that’s the dream, isn’t it?
I used to do a Black Mondays thing but now it’s just about what feels right in the moment (a.k.a. at 6:55 am).