Last week there was a day I forgot to bring a mask. I had to wear a standard issue one from the stash the school gave me. Ugh! It is crazy how different school is these days with the masks and the social distancing – the integration of the on-line technology and all the paperwork/organization/mayhem. But it hasn’t put a damper on the fun.
My students are happy to be back in school. I only actually have classes twice a week and students are there one day and at home the other day. My colleague and instagram photographer, Katy, and I, have been working together to recreate our art courses to align with the new safety protocols and to allow students to access the courses on-line. No clay, paint or collage work this year – the focus is more on formal principals of art, illustration and design.
We purchased sketchbooks for everyone, as well as dry media including markers and colored pencils. We are still working with the local Lions Club (awesome!) to create peace posters for their international contest. Some of my students may become professional artists by the end of the month.
I know I haven’t blogged much since the onset of these “Covid-19 months”. I plan to improve my on-line store on this site – I’ve upgraded the website to the bells and whistles one, but I haven’t really gotten around to uploading more than a few bracelets for sale. I have a new email address – firstname.lastname@example.org. And I did go to a museum today. I’ll be writing a couple of blog posts about that soon.
I’m happy to be back to school too. I love fashion sooo much – love getting dressed to go someplace. I’m having fun incorporating the mask into the mix – the ones from Kes are phenomenal because I can wear them around the neck during mask breaks. My other favorite ones are by Jonathan Simkhai and, yes, my own, available on www.redbubble.com.
Oh, and, of course, I am a blonde now so I look a lot different than I did in March.
Welcome to my world. Here are my 2020 #ootd school pictures thus far. My Studio in Art students have been painting with acrylics – these paintings are going to blow your mind. They are sooooo good!!!!! I think they only need a couple more weeks to complete them. I have been wearing stuff that wouldn’t freak me out if it got paint on it. I guess I am saying that fashion is taking a backseat at the moment. I’m a control freak about the brushes – I tell them to use however many they want and need, and I will wash them, so, I spend about twenty minutes washing brushes on my lunch period every day.
Today was the first day of the 2nd semester, believe it or not, which means we are already half-way through the year. I am giving pre-tests and prepping lessons – lots of cool things to come: oil pastels, collage, more paintings and clay!!! I’ll be switching up the artwork on the cabinets soon, as well as eventually organizing the excessive amount of white paint on that back counter, lol, for those of you who scoff at the mess. (It is an art room, after all – that’s what makes it fun and funny). Special thanks to Katy C., my colleague and photographer, who laughs with me every day. <3
Here are my #ootd pictures from November 2018. The black cropped leg BCBGMaxAzria pants go with everything! I ended up getting a second pair because they are so spectacular. Not sure why they were not made in other colors. I love silk as well, and silk velvet is soooo amazing! I’m sure my dry cleaner loves that I wear it too, lol.
I was able to incorporate my Wonder Woman boots (above) in this one! They are Sorel – I think I paid one third of the retail asking price for them, maybe less!
It is fun keeping track of fashion because I can see what combinations I have done with separates – what items go with what, and as a result, I can assess what one new thing I may bring into the mix that will serve me best. The morning I put this look together (above), I was, like, how do these two things match? – that is so cool! That Kobi Halperin top is embroidered cotton – very wonderful texture in person. There is a version of it in all white hiding somewhere in the universe for me to find.
Rebecca Taylor has a new concept right now where you can pay a monthly fee and rent up to four garments at a time to wear until you want to give them back and then get more. I have my eye on a few pieces from her holiday collection right now. Go to www.rebeccataylor.com for more information.
This top (above) is from 1999! It is my first Trina Turk, the reason I fell in love with her work! Mine is a size Medium, which is a bit large for me now but I still love it and wear it often.
This BCBGMaxAzria gown (above) was my outfit for my annual Friendsgiving dinner. About twenty-five of us dined together at Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse. It had been hanging in my closet for two years and so, I was very psyched to have an opportunity to wear it. I sewed bra cups into the lining because the bodice neckline made it difficult to find undergarments that worked. Easy-peasy!
Here I am wearing Rachel Zoe (above) at my friend Tracey’s pre-Thanksgiving house party. I have this top in black too.
I found this Alice + Olivia silk-velvet halter top on a final sale on saksoff5th.com. I think it was $40? Something like that! It is my new favorite thing. I paired it with those black cropped pants seen in every other pic, lol, for a trip to the movies last night.
This year I made a lot of dreams come true Halloween-wise. I have wanted this Wonder Woman outfit since I saw the movie last year. I scoured the Internet, specifically Amazon.com and found every piece of this costume except the boots. And they were on a ridiculous sale at saksoff5th.com – an additional 30% off the sale price. I love them!
My Calvin Klein patent leather booties made three appearances this Halloween, the BCBGMaxAzria cropped pants, two! And that split sleeve jacket worked its way into two costumes as well!
I chaperoned the Halloween dance at school, went to a party at Wildflowers Art Gallery, danced to the disco band Fondu at the Rocky Horror event at The Palace theater and sang karaoke at my friend Jimmy’s annual Halloween bash at his home.
But my favorite dream, even more amazing than being Wonder Woman for a day, was dressing as a Mousekateer at school. I used to watch re-runs of the original black and white TV show when I was a kid and I have always wanted my own Mickey Mouse hat complete with red satin bow on top. The leather skirt was the very last they had at Freepeople.com. It was a size 0 and miraculously fit perfectly. Thank you, Maria at SewMaria Boutique for giving me pointers on how to attach the letters to my sweater (dry iron – no steam). It was scary because the spare top I had is cashmere and that turtleneck is far too itchy! I was praying to not mess up, lol, and yes, it all worked out.
Lately, I’ve been living by the mantra “everything is always working out for me.” My mom even had three Mickey Mouse dolls to choose from, which would seem so random, but then again, she has everything. Like you could ask her to produce a yo-yo circa 1972 and it just magically appears inside the kitchen junk drawer. Nothing is really a coincidence. Life is truly a dream. Living a lucid dream.
There is no air-conditioning in school. We take my #ootd pics early in the morning and by the end of the day I am sometimes somewhat of a hot and sticky mess. I am grateful to have two fans mounted on the walls in my classroom and I have been drinking tons of iced coffee, water and a Gatorade every day.
No complaints though, as Syracuse, New York weather feels like Florida right now and we are on the verge of summer vacation!
Here are my most recent outfits. My Rachel Zoe dress needs the dry-cleaner stat, as Friday was a particularly muggy day. It is currently a silk version of what my hair looked like later that day – that frazzled ’80s rock star effect that we all discarded with the invention of flat irons. Seriously cringe worthy, lol. I wore boots that day because I was sure it was going to rain mid-day, but that rain did not appear until I was driving home from work. It lasted all of fifteen minutes leaving us with perfect outdoor festivals weather for the weekend – Ozstravaganza in Chittenango and Taste of Syracuse downtown.
While I was off work, I did a lot of on-line shopping. I found these Marc Jacobs boots for a ridiculously low price. They are beyond fabulous. I love them – worked them into several outfits in the past two weeks. The Calvin Klein booties and the Joie velvet sandal booties are new as well. The Joie shoes are phenomenal. They are velvet with a pink leather lining.
Of course, it didn’t begin and end there. I am on-line shopping every day. I guess constantly is not an understatement! I put stuff into my virtual carts and go back to visit it all, watching for sales or special deals. It is fun! Like instant manifestations. I desire something and somehow after a short time, I can afford to have it. Lately, I cannot get enough silk. The Cinq à Sept dresses and tops are all silk. This is a hard brand to buy on-line because the sizing is not consistent. The black dress is an XS. It fits fine when I am wearing it, but I practically have to dislocate two shoulders to get it on and off, lol. I purchased it on a final sale. I bought three tops in a size small; one had to go back because it was tight and had a snag, so I thought that was weird. It is a new company – I am not sure what is going on there.
I am still not quite myself physically. Up five pounds, which should get blasted this vacation week with any luck. I go to Syracuse Yoga every morning. It is my sister’s studio. She has a special two-week unlimited package for $30 for new practitioners and an unlimited package for $105 if you use auto pay. If you are local, you should totally check it out! The instructors are amazing!
I am also hiking five miles a day and doing pilates when I can fit it in. And no, I don’t wear heels when I take those walks. I wear these awesome Brooks waterproof sneakers that I bought at Fleet Feet. The service there is magical. You tell the salesperson what you do – run, walk, other sports, etc. and they go in the back room and bring you exactly the shoe you need. They are the best!
And while I am on the subject of plugging businesses, Amanda Losecco is my hairstylist at Miracles. I am there every two weeks. I LOVE her! <3 She has, seriously, single-handedly (she and her mad colorist and blow-drying skills) changed my life for the better.
I was talking to someone the other day about my fashion obsession. It was the salesgirl at the BCBGMaxAzria shop within Lord & Taylor at the Destiny Mall in Syracuse. We decided that it was my hobby. I have a passion for fashion. I just love when I find something new that I consider to be so “me”. I love the fabrics and colors, love when I buy something that works with something else in my closet. It makes me sooo happy. OMG, I love my life.
One of the best parts of getting back to work has been reuniting with my favorite photographer/bestie/colleague/art teacher/partner-in-goofiness, Katy C. We have resumed the #ootd. Here are my latest outfits coupled with some from before my two month hiatus.
I have fallen in love with a new-to-me brand: Cinq à Sept (5 to 7). I love every piece and am finding room in my closet for these silk confections – three dresses, two tops and counting!
I am also such a fan of Marc Jacobs boots. He and I are the same age. Lol, he really gets me. I feel like the lasts for these shoes were made from molds of my feet. Cray-cray awesomeness!
I love having somewhere to go every day. People often tell me that they never had a teacher like me, alluding to my work fashion. When I was growing up the teachers always made an effort – they wore mini shift dresses with high heels. Had their hair done in the beehive coifs of the day. Were prim and proper, and so, so smart. Beautiful. Miss Emerson, Miss Clancy, Miss Daniels, Miss Adsitt…. I loved going to school back then too. Thank you, Tecumseh Elementary for a dream. I guess I always aspired to be just like these amazing women. Didn’t actually realize it until now – wow!
I love fashion. Love to get dressed every morning for work. Love feeling good about myself, happy, relaxed, confident and this feeling contributes to the dynamic of each day.
We have so much fun. Art is about imagination – imagining your dreams via learning how to draw, how to visualize solutions. I am currently working on four or five different things with the students – clay sculptures and bas-reliefs in a couple classes, horse paintings in a couple…. The Studio in Art students are painting barn landscapes using Wolf Kahn’s color palette and my 5th graders are doing double duty – first an additive wood sculpture then an invention à la Da Vinci. More to come in regards to that one. I will tell you the story of my invention soon. It’s hilarious, I promise. <3
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.
Someone on Linkedin.com asked me what the purpose was of a particular blog post, as if, perhaps, I appear as a scatter brain all over the place artist, like I have no purpose, maybe? On the same day, a reader professed a non-stalker style (he assured) love for me and my personality.
This all necessitated another one of my existential meditation quests. Who am I, and what am I doing here? I paint in oils with collage, paper collage, watercolors and encaustics, and have many different looks to my work – the symbology look, the abstract expressionism one…. I also like to draw realistically.
I am a visual artist who has had gallery representation in the past and is seeking it again, an artist who wants to sell my work in whatever/wherever the venue. In this case, it is on the internet – on this blog, on shopify on redbubble and through other social media – my Facebook like page and now on Instagram.
I broke down and entered the new millennium, and purchased a smart phone. Now I can tackle instagramming my head off, because I had read it is the place for savvy art business peeps.
I am also a person who loves fashion, something that seems to go against the rules of the starving artist. I can’t help it. I posted about Karen Bakke’s fashion illustrations last week and in a previous post, shared my sewing skills with costume design.
When I first started this blog, it was to share only my artwork. Then it snowballed into the what-I-want-you-to-know-about-me more three dimensional me. Kind of a let the chips fall where they may and by chips, I guess I mean the puzzle pieces of my persona. I am many things and I can’t pigeonhole myself into being one person, place or thing.
Last weekend I was a judge for a juried exhibition of artwork. It was sponsored by the local penwomen association. I used my expertise as an art critic, something I don’t technically do when I blog about local art shows. And I do that because I feel like you can’t just exist alone in a small city art community. I’ve always believed that we Syracuse artists can be successful together as a team rather than going the lone wolf route.
I’m not being paid to blog, so why not blog about whatever art related topic is going on in my world or in my head, or whatever. I love writing, and it seems like maybe that is what I’m doing here, to answer that linkedin woman’s question.
With that said, I’m really fascinated by the job of fashion blogger. That it is a job, I guess. Something that would have appealed to me when I was in college and still does.
Now that I am on Instagram.com (my handle is karen_tashkovski), I’ve decided to post #ootd, which stands for outfit of the day, if you don’t know the lingo. Someone takes a picture of me so that I can post my head-to-toe fashion and in this way I am a fashion blogger too!
My favorite designer is Trina Turk. She liked the above picture on Instagram as did shopBailey44 because I’m wearing a Bailey 44 top. Those likes totally made my life. They really did. Because it still fascinates me that the world has become so small that you can reach out to your favorite _______, whether it be designer, fashion house, famous artist or celebrity, and they will respond with a little red heart.
That positive energy blows my mind. It is such a feel good feeling!
My work look is about layering. I pretty much always top it all off with a cardigan (or blazer). Long sleeves are difficult because my hands are in all sorts of things from clay and plaster to paint. I’m constantly washing and drying them, so I usually remove the sweater and add an apron or smock and maybe a pencil or two behind the ear.
I worked five days straight and I can’t remember the last time that happened what with all the snow days we’ve had, the superintendent’s conference days without kids (technically still work, but you know what I mean), the bout with the flu and vacations. I’m thinking of doing a dress or skirt week soon. Well, as soon as it stops freaking snowing here in the ‘cuse.
No #ootd today. I’m still in my pjs (Calvin Klein).