Category Archives: jewelry

Secret Chamber

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I have always been drawn to the exquisite beauty of all that is Ancient Egypt.  I took an Egyptology course at University College while teaching at Bryant & Stratton back in the ’80s to answer a student who questioned why and how Egyptian fashion was selected as the first chapter in the costume history textbook.

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The answer lies in art, because all of our history to do with ancient cultures comes not from the written word, but from pictures – in this case hieroglyphics, tomb murals and, of course jewelry, as well as the remnants of clothing made of linen fiber.

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I learned that Napoleon’s French army invaded Egypt in 1798.  They rediscovered the antiquities and were the first archeologists to investigate the area.  It wasn’t the painstaking attention to delicate detail that it is today or even remotely a respectful handling of human remains.

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Many mummies were burned as fuel for steam engines, which is just so tragic.  Later on, in the following century, Egypt became an exotic vacation spot for wealthy Americans who enjoyed purchasing the baubles, scarab beetle decor, and mummies!

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They held mummy unveiling dinner parties back in the States, stuff like that.

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Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.  This significant find catapulted Egyptian archeology in terms of the level of importance, the regard for history and the sheer magic in attaining this priceless treasure.

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Somewhere in the middle, during the Victorian age, Cazenovia Public Library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son accumulated a collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts including an intricately wrapped-in-linen mummy for the purpose of creating a museum.

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And so, yes, there is a mummy in this library.

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Yesterday, Janine and I visited Cazenovia, New York; first stop, Cazenovia Artisans, second, Common Grounds and next, to the library to see this exhibit.  We ended up at Empire Farm Brewery for lunch.  Janine had never been to any of these spots nor had she an idea this breathtaking collection even existed.  So, my thought is that not many of you know about it.  You’re welcome!

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When I taught elementary art at Bridgeport Elementary School in our district, I decided to add a few lessons on Ancient Egypt culture to the third grade curriculum, because I had this knowledge I wanted to share.  I created a cat mummy sculpture lesson.  Naturally, no pets were harmed.  Students’ sculptures were made of an armature of plastic bottles and styrofoam balls.  They were void of remains, unlike the actual cat mummy at this museum.

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At Chittenango, it is the sixth graders who study the ancient civilizations in Social Studies.  They do take a field trip to Cazenovia Library, as the village is adjacent to our school district via Route 13.  I highly recommend a visit.  It is free and really quite extraordinary.

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The library is located at 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035.  It is open Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  Call (315) 655-9322 for more information.

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The museum space is also home to a gallery for rotating local artist/art organization exhibitions, as well as a wonderful exhibit of birds and plumage in fashion.  They also have many interesting activities for children including puzzle clubs and such.  Yesterday they had a hot chocolate and cookie station available.  Set in a Victorian mansion, this is truly a quaint and lovely experience that really packs a secret chamber punch.  So special!  ❤

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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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Workin’ It

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BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGeneration booties
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Trina Turk top and pants, BCBGeneration sandals
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Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top with BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, BCBGMaxAzria pants, BCBGeneration sandals

Catching up on blogging – there is a new feature on word press – maybe not so new; I only just discovered it – that I can program when the blog articles are posted.  So, now I can write a bunch on the weekends and post throughout the week, which is genius!

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Trina Turk top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGeneration sandals
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Lord & Taylor cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria pants and sandals

It has been a whirlwind autumn – exercising, meditating, socializing, art business-ing, shopping, lol.  So much to do!  I have attended art shows that I did not post about due to their fleeting nature – those pop-up shows offer no opportunity to generate customers after the fact and I simply could not post in real time.  I am just not that organized, unfortunately.

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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGeneration booties
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Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGeneration sandals

I was invited to join a group holiday art show.  I will investigate that more today to see if I have anything that will fit the space.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Free People cardigan, Rachel Zoe top, BCBGMaxAzria sandals
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Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, BCBGeneration sandals

Here are my most recent outfits of the day at work.  You can see the progression of the plaster pig sculptures behind me.  They are finished bar three.  Students painted them, added details and finalized the last component, which had them finding a location and photographing the pig in a composition.  I will post those pictures soon!

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Screw blazer, Bailey 44 top, 7 For All Mankind jeans, BCBGeneration sandals
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Banana Republic sweater, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties

All of my students bring the school I-Pads to class.  Some have taken to photographing or videoing their progress on art projects and it is really fun to see that progression.  We are always in the now and tend to forget the immediate past on the way to the journey.  This is such an amazing way to witness their own incremental learning.  I love it!  In the earlier #ootd pics you saw the beginning stages – how students wrapped bottles with paper towel and tape and they just looked like blobs.  A little leap of faith later and these sculptures became badges of honor.  I love it when students take pride in their work.  It is just the greatest gift a teacher can receive.

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Trina Turk dress, Karl Lagerfeld boots
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Michelle DaRin Jewelry ring, Trina Turk top, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West sandals
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Banana Republic cardigan, Bebe top, 7 For All Mankind jeans, BCBGeneration booties

Kickstarting

I spent the weekend creating encaustic paintings of horseshoes to exhibit in my sister’s new yoga studio.  Sophie Tashkovski will be opening the doors to Syracuse Yoga sometime in May.  This is such an exciting time for our family!  We are so proud of Sophie.  She is an amazing yoga instructor and business woman.

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Sophie’s logo is a quatrefoil of horseshoes.  It is a combination of relaxed elegance, abundant positive energy and a pinch of luck.

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The artist in me had been dormant of late – the facelift I gave the Honor Thy Master series kickstarted an eruption in me.  The red hot magma (love saying that) is the passion/blood/desire flowing from me to paint again.  On Friday, I purchased some supplies then spent all day and well into the evening on Saturday in production.  I felt the electricity of luck flowing through me as I worked.  Today I mounted the dozen piece collection onto chalkboard-painted masonite.  Tomorrow I will do touch-ups and pick up some hooks to attach to the backs so they will be ready to hang.

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I also plan to purchase a few more things from the art supply store.  I have momentum now and I don’t want to lose it.  I will continue to make progress.  There’s a smaller series of horseshoes on deck and I hope to create angel paintings and maybe more hearts – they are my bread and butter.  I love when I not only have an idea in the creating of work but in addition, a place to put them once they are done.  Yessss!

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Janine came over as I was painting and I gave her a lesson in encaustics.  That was fun – she took these great photographs to document the process.  (And, OMG – no make-up and junky paint sweats, lol!)

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As much as I love teaching, I really wish this could be my life all the time.  It is so much fun! I would need more than a kickstart of motivation though, in order to turn it into a real 24/7 business.  I would need to be passionate about the business end and that is more dormant/inactive (really closer to extinct) volcano in me all the time. When Sophie and our friend Gina were talking spreadsheets over drinks at Kitty Hoynes last month, I kind of zoned out, as if they both sounded like the teacher on Peanuts.  Blah-blah-woh-waah….

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Gina operates Saunacuse, a sauna studio using infra-red technology.  (At Christmas, I bought my sisters gift certificates to go there – it is amazing!)  I wish I could be as business savvy as they are, and like our friend Michelle DaRin is.

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She is the business woman’s business woman role model – artist, educator, wife, mother, jewelry designer, and…kickstarter.

Michelle and her husband are looking to expand their business, which has gotten a lot of press/national attention recently.  I am in awe of her raw talent.  Her work is infused with so much positivity.  Wearing the copper-based enameled bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, you can actually feel the energy radiating from the collection and affecting you harmoniously as you dance your way about the day.  And by you, I most definitely mean me.  I LOVE wearing her jewelry!

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Michelle DaRin jewelry bracelets, BCBGMaxAzria dress and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
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Banana Republic T-shirt and skirt, Michelle DaRin jewelry, Calvin Klein sandals

Michelle DaRin Jewelry has started a Kickstarter campaign.  They are looking to fund a project in which Michelle has more studio space and in addition, a place to teach metal-smithing classes (She has an Art Education degree from Syracuse University).

https://www.michelledarinjewelry.com

Check out the link to the funding page at the bottom of this blog post – you aren’t just handing her money for the heck of it.  It is a business transaction.  You will receive jewelry – and basically get it for a lot less than the retail value.  The more you give the more you get of her hand-made one-of-a-kind pieces.  The money will also go towards the hiring of staff trained in the manufacturing of the goods, as there is a strong need to meet the demands of the increased interest in her work.  Win-win!

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I am so honored to know these beautiful, talented young business women!  They are truly kickin’ it!

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Click the link below to see how you can participate in manifesting this new and improved vision for Michelle DaRin Jewelry!  I promise you will love it! ❤

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/392921309/jewelry-with-soul?ref=project_share

 

Happiness Factor

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Chan Luu choker, Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Hue tights, Coach booties
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Free People top, Bailey 44 skirt, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

Here are my latest outfits of the day.  My colleague Katy and I have so much fun at work.  It is a joy to be there!  We are working on a project together – a presentation for our peers that will take place during the Superintendent’s Conference Day on Friday.  Each time we finish another sample of the activity we share them with each other and get really happy and giddy.

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BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGeneration booties
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Chan Luu choker, BerkleyCashmere cardigan, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic pants, Nine West booties
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Banana Republic cardigan and top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Ugg boots

That happiness is reflected in these pictures, I think.  I am very relaxed in front of the camera because I am inside-out happy.  My life is just really fun.  I am grateful for my job, my colleagues and students, family and friends, and for art, fashion, music, good times…and Jif natural crunchy peanut butter…. ❤

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Banana Republic top and skirt, Ralph Lauren boots
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Karl Lagerfeld boots

BCBGMaxAzria selected a couple of pictures of me to share with their Facebook audience. They were plucked from my Instagram account via the hashtag (#) BCBGmoment.  So exciting!  And satisfies my childhood fantasy of being a fashion model, lol.

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Baublebar choker, Free People top, Trina Turk skirt, Nine West boots

I started taking piano lessons!  I can play rudimentary versions of five songs!  Next up singing lessons, and maybe, eventually, I will be fearless enough to do an open mic night somewhere.  Nothing’s impossible when you have the happiness factor on your side. 🙂

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Banana Republic top, Free People top, BCBGMaxAzria skirt, Hue tights, Nine West booties

Tashionista on Fashion

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Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk dress, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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BerkleyCashmere cardigan, Free People dress, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Nine West booties
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Free People Cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

Here are the #ootd Instagram pics that I hadn’t posted (have I?).  Oh well, I can’t remember.  I haven’t done a fashion blog post in a while.  It seems that I may be running out of new combinations and so, we are talking a lot of re-runs.

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Free People Cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, EnzoAnglioni boots
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Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk skirt, Hue tights, Nine West booties

I just received all the March issues of all my fashion magazine subscriptions.  They are so thick with the Spring collections!  Makes me desire new stuff.  I am loving what Marc Jacobs is doing.  Just saw the fashion show on-line.  It was cute mini dresses with oversized jackets and mid-calf boots (and funny bowler hats).  Loved the proportions.  I feel the urge to on-line shop….  Someone should really try to stop me.

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Free People cardigan and top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, BCBGeneration sandals
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Karl Lagerfeld boots
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JCrew cardigan, Free People top with BCBGMaxAzria tank underneath, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties
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Banana Republic sweater and skirt, Hue tights, Nine West booties
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Free People dress with Victoria’s Secret tube top underneath, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, belt and leggings, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Michelle DaRin jewelry bracelets, BCBGMaxAzria dress and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
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Banana Republic cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties
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Free People cardigan and dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Michelle DaRin jewelry choker, Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk dress, Nine West booties

Army of Thieves

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According to the literature for this exhibit of sculptures by Vanessa German, “when assembled together, these power figures resemble an army of women on the march”.  German creates them from a plethora of found objects.  The mannequin parts are plastered and tarred then assembled and dressed via wiring, sewing and gluing the objects in place, adding jewelry and dress that evokes some form of armor.

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They become modern soldiers lined up in effect, like those terra-cotta figurines found at the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in China.  It is incredibly breathtaking and powerful to witness.  The work is in the Sculpture Court and in the Wampler and Robineau Galleries on the first floor of the Everson Museum of Art (400 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York).

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Tonight was the art reception for this exhibit titled de.structive dis.tillation (a nod to the chemical construction of tar), as well as for the Bradley Walker Tomlin retrospective.  I will be attending an in-service for teachers in March that focuses on the latter.  I titled this post Army of Thieves because the German sculptures stole the show, which is totally ironic in that the upstairs galleries are full of local artists work and that has ALWAYS been my dream for the Everson, lol, and includes my colleagues and former S.U. professors in its mix.  Vanessa German is a product of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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German’s dolls are meant to tell the story of/create a dialogue about the social injustices of the African-American experience.  It’s to do with destructing in order to construct.  Rebuilding a world and giving voice to a type of commitment to peace, joy and love in spite of challenges.  The result is the whimsical and harmonious sound of texture, a cultural heritage-based beauty and personification that has the potential to resonate for everyone in our community.

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It is the flavor of intense joy.  There is so much to see here!  Flea market finds that take your breath away.  Attention to detail with regard to fabric and fibers.  The sculptures are skateboarding and riding tricycles, standing on soap boxes and rejoicing as they stand for one’s tears and for the healing hope of a better future.

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You need to see them!  I really ought to plan a field trip for my Studio in Art students.  We just finished creating sculpture/mobiles of paratroopers using plaster, found objects and humanoid forms, so, this would be right up their alley.

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The exhibit continues through May 7, 2017.  The Everson is planning a day camp for students during the week of Mid-Winter recess (that starts a week from today).  Go to their web-site for more information or call them at (315) 474-6064.  They will also be doing a Saturday workshop for children, and in addition, several events such as family day and docent led tours of the exhibitions. ❤

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