Category Archives: jewelry

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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Gallery Hopping

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Yes – Joyce, Penny and I were gallery hopping Friday night.  Here we are at the Edgewood Gallery for the Mixed Media show! (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224)

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This show is comprised of Clare Willson’s whimsical mixed-media pieces combining metal found objects with a painted under-structure, Arlene Abend’s metal sculptures and copper jewelry, Talking Trickster Studio’s pottery by Amy Komar and Sheila Roock and Terry McMaster’s abstract art.

Clare sold four small pieces before she even arrived for the opening, which is so great and worth the wait.  Cheryl Chappell, gallery owner, curator and framer extraordinaire, books her artists well in advance, sometimes as much as five years in advance!

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It is really very impressive how each exhibition is so different from one another, and each pairing of artists works so well together.  That, combined with the punch Cheryl packs in terms of breadth of works fitting so nicely in the space, the great spread of wine, grapes, hummus, crackers and Brie, and the always amazing conversations with all my cool artsy friends, made for a great time!

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Clare’s boyfriend bought her one of Arlene’s fabulous necklaces.  Arlene Abend always surprises me with something new.  Although she prefers to work in steel (“I hate copper – it doesn’t fight back” was what she said with a smile on her face), the copper jewelry appears simultaneously delicate and strong (or feisty more-like, lol).  Arlene is such a spit-fire.  I just love her to death.  I am always telling my students the story of how she was in art school, took a metal-smithing course on a whim and fell in love with it.  You never know where art will take you is the point of that story, and a result of Arlene’s journey are these wonderful reasonably-priced pendants and pins.

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Amy Komar is another one of my Facebook friends who until last night, I hadn’t actually met.  As with social media though, we seemed to know a lot about each other and ended our conversation by hugging it out.  I loved her positive energy!  She glazes the collection of pottery while her Talking Trickster Studio partner Sheila Roock is the wheel-throwing expert.  Many of the pieces are created in porcelain with a fun-loving cat-(dog? no whiskers so…)man and other whimsical imagery decorating the surface.  I believe these pieces may be cash and carry while the wall art will remain on display until the take-down date of September 23, 2016.

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I met Terry McMaster for the first time Friday night. Lol, I didn’t get a selfie with him – oh well, next time! He is known for his photography – I purchased a print from a basket of cards he was also selling.  These new paintings are somewhat of a departure for him.  He agreed to a future exhibition in the library gallery at Chittenango Middle School.  I am looking forward to working with him in the future!  Exciting.

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Call Cheryl Chappell at (315) 445-8111 for more information including the contemporary art and frame shop’s hours.  Check out the web-site too!

 

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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