My sister owns two businesses: Syracuse Yoga (6181 Thompson Road, Suite 803, Syracuse, New York 13206) and Soflea, a small store operating in the basement of Wildflowers (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13203).
Sophia Tashkovski is part of the McCarthy Mercantile. Her collection of flea-market finds and antiques includes her signature horseshoes, brass trays, statuettes and wicker baskets, as well as furniture and rugs.
Items are one-of-a-kind gems and so, there are always new finds to covet, which always makes the shopping experience a fun adventure.
Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s open today!!! (you’re welcome <3) Enter Wildflowers then head to the basement where the collective of shoppes is housed.
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
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.
Here are the rest of the encaustic horseshoe paintings. These are all the 5″ x 7″ ones. They are mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard painted masonite. I will be installing them at Syracuse Yoga sometime next week!
They were a lot of fun to make! It is a series of twelve. They were created on a product called Ampersand hardwood, which is available in a lot of different sizes. Since I prefer working in dozens, I will need to order them – Commercial Art Supply in town cannot keep them in stock. I had to drive to Rochester, New York to get enough to do the series.
I did not use the Monopoly money this time. Instead I experimented with text, adding a variety of letters including old typewriter keys and Scrabble pieces. The O in love is the top hat from the Monopoly set. It has now been completely harvested for its parts. I love a good game piece! <3
Here are the pictures of my first dozen horseshoe paintings. They are 8″ x 10″ encaustics on masonite. I mounted them onto 11″ x 14″ chalkboard painted masonite, but cropped that part out to concentrate on the detail.
They will be for sale at Syracuse Yoga next month. The horseshoe is a theme at the studio. It is part of Sophie Tashkovski’s logo for the business. Luck is sort of infused into the positive energy I felt while creating them. And if like attracts like, then I am certain the new owners of these paintings will have their shazaam moments with these gems. They will feel the power of the spirit in which the art was created.
I am soooo excited to share these with you. I had friends over while painting them, which is so unlike my former hermit-ey self who needed to create in secret in order to manifest a wow moment. I now love the feeling of camaraderie while in artist mode – the amazing vibe I got from my friends encouraging me to forge the path and complete the task of making art again. Art with a purpose this time and that felt supremely good.
Pictures really do not do them justice. You must experience encaustics in person. So much beauty in the texture. It has this quick momentum to it that justifies gesture. The drips, the rawness of the terrain from smooth to rough and back again. It speaks volumes. I remember the first time I experienced a Jasper Johns painting at the MOMA. It was love at first sight.
I did not learn how to do it until 2012 when I took a grad course at Syracuse University via hosting a student teacher at work. As I was learning, I struggled with the concept that I was/am a professional artist creating work for a class – did that make the work student grade, as I was learning or was I intuitively just good at encaustics?
I know the answer. We are always learning and growing as artists. I now have pure confidence in myself and in my ability to dismiss that silly query. I am in love with this body of work and that is not just good enough, it is everything. It is about my hand making choices that resonate with the energy of the moment; it is the look, feel/touch and the smell of it all. The fragrance of beeswax lingers in my house. I just love it all. It is, like, in a word, glorious. It just fits. <3
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.
Sophie’s logo is a quatrefoil of horseshoes. It is a combination of relaxed elegance, abundant positive energy and a pinch of luck.
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.
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!
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!)
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….
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.
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!
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).
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!
I am so honored to know these beautiful, talented young business women! They are truly kickin’ it!
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! <3