I am back to work and school! It is fun getting dressed up, not so fun going into a building with no air conditioning, but I adjusted to it within days. And today – it actually felt cold in here!
I spent the summer in exercise clothes, bikinis and shorts. I hiked seven miles a day and did pilates twice a week or so. Working on fitting teaching into my exercise schedule, lol.
As for artwork, I took down my art show at the Sullivan Library in Chittenango, New York, and I plan to exhibit the Talisman paintings in October at the Half Moon Bakery and Bistro in Jamesville, New York. Eight paintings are still on display in the Lawrence Pavilion at Summit Medical Group in New Jersey. They will be there until January, I think, unless the show gets extended.
Penny Santy is showing her paintings in the Chittenango Middle School library! She will give a presentation about them on November 15, 2016. I am planning to do some projects based on her work. Four classes will be doing oil pastels or paintings of cows and bulls as part of my SLO tests.
In addition, I’m planning lessons on George Rodrigue, Jasper Johns, Keith Haring, Wolf Kahn, Japanese wood block prints and Greek mythology. So fun!
Here are my most recent #ootd pictures. I am grateful for Katy Conden, my fellow art teacher, work colleague and all around bestie who has been taking such good pictures with my Samsung Galaxy 6. She makes it so fun to vogue it up every morning.
I am getting my hair done more frequently these days. Amanda LaDue at Miracles in Fayetteville, NY is a true miracle worker. She has single-handedly transformed my look. The other day one of my work colleagues told me that I look younger now than I did ten years ago when we first started working at the middle school together! That is so sweet!
It is such a thrill to get such positive responses on Facebook and on Instagram as well, where a lot of other fashion bloggers are giving me kudos, most notably the local fashion sylist, Jackie Terribile (@thesmalltownstylist) She is a friend of my little sister. Jackie blogs about the Syracuse fashion scene and does some guest hosting on a local morning show.
I am a lot older than the typical fashion blogger so, yes, it is all so flattering and wonderful. I am empowered by Madonna’s statement about her Met Gala outfit and the idea that age should not even be relevant when it comes to fashion, beauty and all that.
The above picture was taken by Roberta Mou, the Home & Careers teacher (when Katy was absent one day). Note the kitchen background. I am never normally in a kitchen, lol. I never cook except to make cupcakes once and a while for the art talks we have at school.
I wore this white dress on a day I was demonstrating an India Ink lesson! I wore two smocks. In my defense, I love this dress and I can’t just stare at it in my closet and not wear it once and a while. I am going to an event at the end of the month that has a dress code – resort casual – and this dress is perfect except for the color. It is literally never appropriate to wear white to anything wedding-related unless you are the bride.
Nine West asked to repost the above picture on their website and on their Instagram account. Those sandals are my most recent purchase. They are so comfortable. They come in two other colors – emerald green is one of them. They have a zipper in back and a gladiator style lace-up in front. I love the support this style offers!
The beaded cross necklace – my mother got it from the Indian Village at the New York State Fair in the 1940s. I am in love with it! I built many of my outfits in the past two weeks around this blue, gray, beige and gold color scheme.
Now that the school fair is over, it is pretty much smooth sailing until the end of the school year. Hopefully, the backgrounds in my #ootd pictures will improve, meaning I will start cleaning the room and putting away unnecessary supplies. (Sure I will.) And then before we know it, it will be summer vacation!
Yeah, I guess I am not a typical fifty-something, lol. No cooking or cleaning, but a big yes to a stress-free aesthetic in four-inch heels.
Here are the outfits I wore to work from the past couple of weeks. I donned my orange Trina Turk dress on Friday in support of Syracuse University sports (my alma mater). The men’s and women’s basketball teams did well this year. They both made it to the Final Four! There was so much excitement in this town. I watched the last three games at different venues and it has been a blast. Last night, the crowd was disappointed with the outcome, but that energy turned into an amazing night of dancing to the live band that took the stage at Shifty’s once the game ended.
Of course, Mother Nature took the loss a bit harder and decided to give us back our snow!
How crazy is this? It is the view from my back porch taken a minute ago. Yes, just this morning! Funny, because yesterday I was contemplating whether or not I would mow the lawn today….
My 5th graders finally finished their wood sculptures. They are currently on display in the school library. Next we will tackle a slab/hand built clay sculpture. I haven’t done the lesson in ten years, which was the last time I taught 5th grade art, so that should be fun!
My Studio in Art class is working on a mixed-media still life drawing and the rest of my 8th graders are painting their clay projects. They have a choice of metallic paint or fluorescents. The glow-in-the-dark element is soooo fun! One of my students donated his black light to the classroom. We can now check the projects in progress to see if the paint is covering well. Thanks, Joe S.!
The end of the marking period is fast approaching, leaving only ten weeks of school for the year! Wow. It was about this time last year that I got my first cell phone. Yeah, I know! I was living under a rock for the first fifteen years of the new millennium.
Stephanie G., one of my Studio in Art students from last year, was the one who told me about #ootd (outfit of the day). I guess you can blame her for turning me into a fashion monster, lol.
But, of course, I was already coo-coo ca-ca for fashion. It seems as though time has flown by this school year but at the same time… it seems to be standing still. I don’t feel as though I am aging. I actually really love the way I have finally caught up to myself. To my dreams for myself, I mean. Because suddenly, I’m achieving everything the real me has ever wanted.
And in the process, I have found my life’s purpose. Giving visual voice to local artists. Assisting them in any way I can to help them achieve their goals and dreams. Offering positive energy to students – not to persuade them to have art careers necessarily, but to help them fall in love with art, with the arts. And to believe in themselves in the way that they know they can achieve anything they want. That they should not stop working towards a goal until either they achieve it or stop desiring it.
It’s taken me a while to learn this stuff, but time hasn’t actually mattered, if that makes any sense. This journey has been the true gift.
Okay, time to throw on the giant parka and venture out into the April sprinter (winter in spring?) wonderland on my way to a brunch date with one of my besties. But first I need to decide what to wear….
Just got home from an amazing business/fun trip to Jersey City, NJ. Now I am in my PJs with my cat on my heart thinking about what I will wear to work tomorrow.
Here are my looks from the past couple of weeks.
The weather is getting warmer here but for a while it will be darker and probably colder in the mornings because of Daylight Savings Time.
My new Michelle DaRin choker is currently in heavy rotation, lol. I have been wearing a lot of pink because of it.
All of my clay projects are drying and the 5th grade wood sculptures are glued (will need to put all the boxes away!). Am going to be doing some painting in some classes starting tomorrow, so I will need to compensate by wearing short sleeves.
One of the main reasons I haven’t been blogging – I was having technical difficulties with my Instagram account. The pictures were not saving to the camera’s gallery. I tried uninstalling the program and reinstalling it and it didn’t work until tonight. Yeah, tonight it worked. Weird.
I must be more relaxed or something – I am on vacation. Or maybe it’s just an example of perseverence, although I had been on the verge of giving up, lol, over something so simple.
A former student asked me how he could get his creativity back. He thinks he’s lost it, I guess. And the truth is, no one can find it for you. You just have to take the time to quiet your mind of all the bugs that are attacking you.
No more I’m not good enough…I can’t do this and all that junk. Believe you can do it. Know you can. Then think about how you will do it and just do it.
I know that some of my friends did not like hearing me say that I did not want to make new artwork until I started selling the art I have already made. It is not that I lack creativity. I just desired a sign from the universe that my art is leading to other great things. It is very important to me to achieve financial success as an artist because I want to show my students that it is possible. I mean, that is one reason. I mean, I didn’t make over a thousand works of art for them to just be stored away forever. That doesn’t make a lick of sense.
And then, I haven’t been doing anything to make any of it happen. I haven’t been actively seeking venues or peddling my wares anywhere since the Natur-Tyme exhibit where I sold a handful of $5.00 cards. So, I kind of sound like a person who does not take my own advice.
The truth is I wanted to manifest getting an art show in a passive way. I was already doing everything I could to get myself out into the stratosphere. I am here. Right here. And on Instagram and Linkedin and Facebook. I have over 20,000 views on this blog. I wanted someone to find me. Someone who was looking for me and my art because they know it will sell.
Well, it finally happened. I will give you more details as it gets closer to show time. I was asked to be part of an art show at a medical facility in New Jersey. The show starts some time in April with a reception on May 5th, 2016. I will be exhibiting and selling my Dreamtime and Echolalia series paintings (it is an animal-themed show). The curator saw my work on Linkedin.com.
Trina Turk recently replied to my comment on her picture on Instagram. She said, Love you, too and something about wanting to be an art teacher one day! I have the dream of meeting her one day, becoming friends and maybe even working with her – designing clothing with silk dyed to match my watercolors.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I would actually be interacting with her on social media. Things can happen. You can mold your life consciously even if you dream big.
This blog is about my community, my artwork and fashion because I have all of these other dreams. And I think it is perfectly okay to slide your creativity around to wherever it takes you. Who knows where it will stick? There are bound to be more glitches along the way. That is kind of the fun of it. To never lose faith even when junk makes you feel like quitting.
I have a few more goals to achieve with the remainder of this February break. I am buying a car, so I guess these fashion posts are going to seem redundant for a while. While preparing the stuff for my taxes I tallied how much money I spent on clothes this past year and it was kind of a lot. (No, I don’t deduct any of it, lol) It would be nice if clothes were free, wouldn’t it? Just thought I’d throw it out there if anyone is listening. Would love to make that one stick….
I am officially starting my Christmas vacation! Wore this holiday look today. My new BCBG Max Azria pants with my favorite top and a sweater I never wear, lol. But my absolute favorite part of the above look is that I could wear sandals to work today! It is sixty degrees in Syracuse. Yes. On December 23rd! Last year at this time we had a bunch of snow. A week later we had these cray-cray sub zero temps!
I am LOVING this warm weather. Green Christmas, here I come.
After Christmas, I am going to put on my thinking cap and start making future art plans. I expect to concentrate on this art career of mine. I should have bigged myself up a few weeks ago – I could have sold some art and merchandise from my redbubble.com site. You can still buy it, just not in time for Christmas. Oh well.
I’ve been in a whirlwind of social activity, including art stuff – like I went to Plowshares, an art show at Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY over the weekend. I went there to shop for Christmas gifts because I am a firm believer in buying local.
The vendor in particular – Michelle DaRin. Michelle is a jewelry designer and I absolutely love her work! She often does art shows and fairs but you can also find her work here. For Christmas, she is offering different specials every day.
I also stumbled upon a great boot sale at ninewest.com. On Black Friday, they had 50% off boots then an additional 20% off that, so, I bought lots. Not that I needed them, of course, but now that I am fashion blogging, I just desire new things. Curbing spending will be a New Year’s resolution…or not. I say it in my head then go – nah!
Most of my waking hours are spent on bcbg.com. They have 60% off stuff! Just bought a top, and pants that I haven’t worn yet. As you can see, my new belt has been in heavy rotation these past two weeks!
I see Amanda LaDue at Miracles in Fayetteville, NY every three weeks. She added more highlights to my hair to the point that my blonde sister asked me if I was single-white-femaling her, lol. We are definitely twinning right now!
I took my sister’s yoga class for the first time ever. She is an instructor at O Yoga. It was really pretty amazing! I am a pilates girl but I think Sophie is about to convert me to yogini – nah!, well…maybe….
Trina Turk was doing 30% off stuff. What you need to do is get on the emailing list so that you can receive invitations for all the special sales.
I am not sure what is up next – there are loads of craft fairs going on. A new art gallery in Armory Square and several art exhibitions that I have been invited to attend through my connections on Facebook.
As for my own work, I will wait for whatever comes my way in the new year. I am planning to revise my Shopify.com store and you can still purchase merchandise with my artwork on it – phone cases, T-shirts and mugs – through http://www.redbubble.com.
I guess that is another New Year’s resolution – to be more the vendor than the customer – nah! well, you know…yes!
The school year is winding down quickly. I started working here nineteen years ago. It’s basically the longest relationship I’ve ever had discounting the ones I have with my immediate family members. It doesn’t seem like so much time has passed.
There is history and yet I feel like a time traveller in a way. Working with 8th graders tends to take me back to my own middle school years. It was 1976. I remember having a crush on someone because he resembled Shaun Cassidy or was it Leif Garrrett? (the kid didn’t like me at all). Having a faux Dorothy Hamill haircut that took years to grow out (not showing you a picture of that!). Getting a 96 on the Algebra regents – I’m still angry with myself that I made the same subtraction mistake twice, which caused me to lose the two points on each mistake.
Whatever I had, I purchased with my paper route money – clothes, art supplies and eventually a 150-watt stereo for my bedroom so I could listen to Casey Kasum do the American Top Forty after delivering the Sunday morning paper.
I honestly can’t remember where I bought clothes then. Department stores? I remember that there was a Levi Strauss store in Shoppingtown Mall where we bought colored corduroy jeans. Our shoes came from Thom McAn.
It was a completely different time. I always had to be responsible at such a young age, but instead of teaching me to save money and build a future, I think what I learned is that I will always know how to work then buy stuff with the money I earn. I will eventually retire from my job, but I will never retire from being an artist or a writer. I will never abandon creativity. In that respect, I may not be rich but I will always have riches.
What else have I learned in thirty-nine years? I still have a tendency to crush on men who break my heart, lol. So I haven’t learned anything there. Yeah – no wisdom there.
My fan-love for Dorothy Hamill though – my sister met her at an event last year and in conversation, Dorothy said, “Send your sister my best regards” !!!!!!
And Algebra is probably my favorite subject to work on with students in my study hall. I love a good Greek theorem. Math is eternal even though the way it’s taught these days is in a wonky new math style. My way still works. I want to say it’s because of the teacher I had in 8th grade, but to tell you the truth, I can’t remember anything about the teacher. Man or woman? IDK!
I guess I would prefer my students to remember what they learned in art rather than simply remembering me and my silly antics. At the very least, my hope is that they have fond memories of the middle school experience – like in my own life, a lot more comedy to drown out the drama.
As for clothes? I shop on-line mostly. Banana Republic, BCBG, and Lord & Taylor dot coms are my favorite. And when I review my purchases, which I kind of do reluctantly because I kind of don’t want to see myself coming and going (fashion should be about individuality so encouraging people to copy you via a stellar review seems a little bit defeating) – I call myself Tashionista.
Dare I say that this year was the best ever? Don’t want to hurt the feelings of students who came before, because it’s not because my students were better. Okay, don’t want to do the same to my current students. The truth is that after all these years I had a paradigm shift. I changed my outlook about love, life, art…pretty much started realizing that life can be seen through rose-colored lenses without needing glasses at all. And even though I am nearly forty years older than my 8th grade self, I still have 20-20 vision.
I started each of the last two school weeks in all black. Black Monday is definitely a thing. I actually wore the same top both times – this BCBG Max Azria cotton top is sensational. I have it in white too and also in white in a crew neck. The quality of this brand is over the top fabulous. I either buy it at www.bcbg.com or Lord & Taylor. Oh, and sometimes at Bloomingdales.
I had these pants hemmed because they were 1 1/4″ too long. Am totally in love with the little slits at the bottom – they are definitely my new favorite thing. Also love that I’m in a size 0!
So anyhow, I am starting to re-run outfits but am still working on changing it up. For one thing, I got a haircut. It will grow back in about a minute; it grows so fast. But this will be fun and different for a while.
I love the above outfit. The top and pants are both Trina Turk. The top is a silk/spandex blend. The color is that rich oxblood it-color from last season that is still very big. I bought my first Trina Turk top in 1999. It’s the one I’m wearing in my profile picture – also a silk/spandex blend and probably my favorite thing in my closet. It’s older than my students but has transcended time in a way that very few fashions can. Surplice front, bishop sleeves and of course, black.
Here is that same BCBG Max Azria top I mentioned – in white but in the crew neck. Found it at the BCBG outlet store in the mall – marked down and 30% off (final sale). Such a great deal!
This dress currently has over fifty likes on Instagram. My most liked posting. The first time I wore it, it was like a ninety degree sauna in school, so I had on sandals and had my hair in a giant bun. But this day, last Thursday, it was much cooler. I was subbing for the teachers who left with students on a field trip and I spent a chunk of the day in an air-conditioned computer lab. I love this dress so much that I got it in white too. Think I’ll wear it tomorrow – students are just about done painting so it might be okay if I’m careful and wear my smock. When I look at this photograph, I miss my hair because most of what is ombre ended up on the salon floor (sad face). But it will grow back.
These Seven For All Mankind jeans are like something out of a dream. I think I spent an hour trying on jeans and these were the last pair. They fit like the ones in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Crazy. Had to have them. And size 25! Yes!
We had a BBQ for my birthday, so I pulled out the boots I bought for my Native American costume (needed them when I taught at Lake Street Elementary – they had a Thanksgiving feast every year where the kids all dressed as Pilgrims and Indians). Love them but would love them even more if they had a heel, which goes without saying. I have this Bailey 44 top in three colors – black, gray and this scarlet red. The shorts zip in back for a really smooth line. They are Trina Turk.
This cotton/silk BCBG Max Azria sweater is reversible. I wore it the other way a couple of weeks ago. I love it both ways! It’s like two for the price of one.
Finally, another Trina Turk dress. The size 2 dimensions are my measurements. It’s like buying couture. This dress looks so much like a flat pattern sloper. The difference is that the fabric is this jersey stretch double-knit and not a muslin draft. It was available in black but I waited too long to get it and missed out on it.
So Trina, oh great goddess of my fashion world, if you are listening and there’s one in your secret dress lair that you’d like to gift me? Then I accept. You are my favorite. <3