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!
It’s been relatively warm here. Sunshine – no rain, no snow. I still feel comfortable in bare legs and/or sandals at forty degrees!
I think that’s because last winter it was, like, four or more below zero in the winter, so we Syracusans think that thirty degrees is sort of warm. It’s a relativity thingamabob.
Whenever I wear Trina Turk, the amazing fashion designer likes or comments on my Instagram pictures so, of course(!) I do it as often as possible. Here is the outfit with and without the Banana Republic cardi.
This Free People cardi is in heavy circulation. I just love the color. It’s a sort of raw sienna/yellow ochre dealio, which truly suits me. I am always instructing students to use this color as the underlying structure to a painting or a colored pencil drawing – the perfect neutral.
Been going to Green Lakes after school every day – I either bring exercise clothes to change into or I’ve been wearing leggings almost as a uniform, which is just easier.
The picture below was my casual Friday look. We call it dress down day. The teachers contribute money to fund various charities in order to wear denim since jeans are technically not professional attire.
I always top my look with an apron or a blue smock during the school day. I look more like this crazy guy when I am not posing for a picture:
He’s Gustav Klimt.
I love this man! His work is sooooo beautiful! He was very eccentric. He loved cats to the point that I think he hoarded them. I only have the one – I am not technically a crazy cat lady, but just being an artist, the word crazy is tossed about a lot directed towards me, like some sort of embraceable put-down, lol.
Right now, I have something like six or seven different preps – I am doing different lessons in every class. Painting – Wolf Kahn barn paintings in acrylic, fluorescent clay lizards and frozen faces; additive sculptures in one class, reductive sculptures in another…what else? Colored pencil dessert drawings à la Wayne Thiebaud and Japanese fan mixed-media pieces, Needless to say, the classroom is a crazy, topsy-turvy mess.
So, smock, cats, crazy…you can see that I identify with Klimt. We could have been besties in another life.
This is my favorite Klimt painting. When I stood in front of it at the Met years ago, I literally wept at it’s beauty. It just has this innocent freshness. The painting is actually life-size. The girl and I are the same height. Hmm, that gives me an idea for a fashion look…. Think I will sport the side hair part tomorrow, maybe wear my white BCBG Max Azria dress again…but I think I will pass on the white tights.
I’m the kind of creature of habit who basically could listen to the same CD in the car for months – not just the CD, but a particular song, lol. I am all about repetition. All about routine. (I can sing Billy Joel’s Vienna over and over again and not get bored with it!)
I just feel comfort in that stuff. I have this idea that I will sing on stage someday. One of my “bucket list” dreams is to do the national anthem at a sports event. I know I can do it. Someday, I am sure I will.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the things I wanted for myself when I was a kid. Even the far-fetched stuff. A lot of great things have been happening to me lately, a lot of dreams coming true. It’s kind of very cool.
I met some people at the Syracuse International Film Festival a couple weeks ago. There was discussion of an art movie that may be filmed here. I may achieve the goal of being an actress! Well, an extra, but still!
I also talked to two people about acquiring art exhibitions for my huge inventory of artwork. I am sure at least one of those will come to fruition. Am quite certain I will find the right fit for my work and ultimately sell, sell, sell!
And because these things are happening, I think it is making me a better teacher. I feel absolutely fearless. Like everything that happens will be the absolute best possible outcome for me.
It helps me teach kids that they can achieve anything their hearts’ desire. It’s not just positive thinking. It’s the kind of blind faith that allows one to take that leap. It’s truly an awesome feeling.
Dressing up for work is super fun. As you can see, I am a creature of habit with fashion. I just love Trina Turk and BCBG Max Azria. They both like my Instagram posts, and that is such a huge thrill. I am sooo grateful for all the compliments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!!!!
Life has truly never been more fun!
***Special thanks to my photographer and art teaching colleague, Gina Fargnoli, who makes me feel so relaxed and happy when she takes my picture every morning for my #ootd! You are the BEST, my friend!
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
The weather is all flim-flam again. Hot last week, cold today, rainy tomorrow. It’s really all over the place. So for the last two weeks, it’s been dresses and sandals or pants and sweaters, or something in between.
There are four weeks of school left! Can’t believe how fast it all went. (Go bears!) I have some art shows planned for the summer – more about that later!
I live in exercise clothes and paint smocks in the summer, so I don’t foresee posting outfit-of-the-days (#ootd) between June 24th and Labor Day-ish. But I can’t rule it out. I was thinking about going back to the say yes policy I practiced last summer. I already said no to a bunch of things this week – I’m still working on it.
I love this Banana Republic olive ponte knit dress. It was the last one on bananarepublic.com – on sale with an additional 40% off. I never get breaks like that. In a dream world, this fashion blogging would lead to free clothes from my favorite designers. And if you are listening, I’m a 0 in Banana Republic, a 2 in Trina Turk and a small or XS depending on style and a 0 in BCBG Max Azria. 7 1/2 in a sandal, 8 in boots.
I know it’s kind of a fantasy – too bad I wasn’t born in the ’90s, because these girls seem to be living the dream.
My sister suggested I change out my poses and another person thought my classroom was messy. But those are my favorite things about my photographs (I am the only person on Instagram currently using the hashtags #fashionintherealworld and #fashioninrealtime). That and my shoes. If I had a dollar for every time I heard how-do-you-walk-in-those-heels?, I would have that six figure salary!
I wore this outfit the day I taught gym classes in addition to art in order to help out with the dance lessons – swing, bunny hop and hokey pokey for the WWII event. I wore Champion fitness gear under that yellow tunic top. Got very sweaty that day jumping around for the equivalent of four hours. I don’t know what I was thinking. It was totally exhausting!
I feel most comfortable in black. I usually wear it every day of the first week of school because I am in mourning for my summer vacation, lol, and then I’m partial to black Monday throughout the school year. I think I have at least eight different pairs of black pants – and a new pair at the alterations place getting hemmed as we speak. But whatevs, you can never have enough.
Purple though – almost nothing. We do a purple Thursday at work. I just can’t do it. It’s so Donny Osmond’s socks circa the ’70s. I can technically wear that Trina Turk pink dress. It’s actually the it color of last season – wild orchid. Or I can do what some of the bloggers do – initiate a pink Wednesday. That’s from Mean Girls or Clueless or some such ’90s chick flick. I’m sure those big buck fashion bloggers would know. 🙂 😉