Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vacation: Manhattan visit

We walked and walked and walked! My pedometer logged 28,000 steps and that was just one day! No wonder most of the Manhattanites we saw were thin!
We took the Amtrak train to NY. We arrived at 5 pm on Tuesday and walked the 9 blocks to Dupuy's Landing, our home-away-from-home, a second-floor apartment on 22nd Street in Chelsea. Chelsea was a great location...lots of interesting restaurants! And dogs everywhere! I counted 12 dogs in two blocks as we walked to dinner one night.

After dinner, we got a late-night snack from Breadstix Cafe to take back to the apartment. Chocolate Cheesecake for me, a cannoli for Rob. Both were very good.

Wednesday was an early get-up because we had a long walk down Hudson River Park to Battery Park to catch the ferry to see Lady Liberty. Tip: If you go, leave your pocket knife at home...none are allowed on Liberty Island but I don't recall reading that in the literature. Somewhere in New York there is a huge pile of discarded pocket knives! We spent most of the day at the Statue and the museum on Ellis Island. Here's Rob in the great hall.

On Thursday we made a pilgrimage to Mood Fabric (fabric store for Project Runway, the best reality show ever! Go Mondo!). It's crammed full of fabric. My grandmother, who sewed nearly every item of clothing she wore, would have been overwhelmed, yet ready to right dive into all the choices. I bought a souvenir for myself that will be part of a necklace someday and one for my brother that will be incorporated in a Christmas present.

After Mood, we walked to Greenwich Village for a walking food tour. The food was good but what really impressed me were the graphics in Murray's Cheese Shop. Words in red and yellow used as graphic elements on the wall, signage, packaging, etc. -- very nice!

Thursday night we went to the Upright Citizen's Brigade (within walking distance from our apartment) to see the Colbert Show Writers do improv (they all have improv in their background. It was really good and the shows are cheap! Thursday was $5 a ticket and we went back on Friday for $10. Can't beat that!

Friday morning we took another long trek...this time through Times Square, Central Park and a visit to the Cooper-Hewitt design museum. They just happened to have a show about sustainable ("green") design -- one of Rob's interests -- and admission was free because of the construction.
Times Square was crowded and it was only about 10 am. I snapped a photo of us on Forever 21's big screen. There we are right below the top part of the 2 (Rob's in the orange vest.)

I tested my new camera's wide screen setting on our walk home through Central Park.

Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast and headed back to Penn Station for the trip home. It was a fast, fun trip!

*Lots of good food found its way to my tummy. Here's where we went and what I had...
Dinner Tuesday: Jake’s Saloon.
Thai Chicken and Shrimp Salad -- Cherry tomatoes, Cucumber, Mint, Basil, Tangerines Pineapple, Cilantro, Jalapeno Chile, Peanuts, Thai Dressing washed down with the best wheat beer I've ever had.

Food Tour Wednesday
These are some of the places we stopped for a quick taste:
and this place looked good but we didn’t stop there:

Dinner Wednesday: Spice at 9th and 22nd (there was another right down the block!)
6 o’clock Train Spicy Fried Rice -- Chili pepper with egg, bell pepper, onion & sweet basil  - YUM!!

Dinner Thursday: Pars Grillhouse (Persian)

Lunch on Friday: Centolire

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Virtual Paintout: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Here's my latest for Bill Guffey's Virtual Paintout. So many beautiful flowers everywhere you drop the Google Streetview yellow man! I went with colored pencil this time.
This scene can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Collaboration: The one-of-a-kind KatManDu necklace

I love opening my etsy site and finding a convo there for me. You never know what fun thing might be waiting for you there. Today's mail contained one I've been waiting for.

A while ago, Christine Damm of StoriesTheyTell, asked me if I was interested in participating in a collaboration (along with Claire Maunsell  of StillpointWorks). She had an idea for a necklace using beads created by all three of us. Today she wrote to say it was finished and posted on her blog.

Look how fun this is! The red-gold-gray-black combo is very striking and of course, the little KatManDo pendant just makes the whole thing! :o)   I feel some new beads in this color combo coming on...

In the post Christine gives her own thoughts about original works, and provides links to an interesting post by Leann Udell (whose site just sucked me in for about an hour!) about creating from your own point of view, and understanding why you create what you create. 

I've never really given any thought to why I create, other than that I know if I don't, I get antsy. I've always known I was going to have some sort of art-related career (graphic design is where I ended up as so many of us art-inclined kids did!) If you had met me at age seven many, many moons ago and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you "artist." I never considered any other path.

In college, what I liked best about my art classes was critique day. We were all given the same assignments, yet none of the final work was a copy of, or even very similar to, any other. It's also why I love Project Runway...you get to the see the process of criteria/creation/success or failure over and over. It's great to see those times when an idea comes to fruition, and perhaps even more interesting on all the occasions where it doesn't.

When I'm not making something I'm usually thinking about what I will make when I have time. I'll give some thought to the whole idea of my "story" to see what lurks under the surface.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beads: Doodle Ladies and friends

While I'm listening to whatever's going on in meetings at work, I'm often doodling ladies' heads. They're either a full face or a profile and a bunch of hair. They've been my doodle of choice for 30+ years so I decided to capture one in clay...

Monsieur Acorn (his beret was an acorn cap until I decided he needed a face)...

and a few boutonniere beads...


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