Showing posts with label learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label learning. Show all posts

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Time For A Reunion!

This past weekend was the Annual Moore College of Art & Design Alumni Reunion!

a.k.a Totally Awesome Saturday of Fun!

I had never before attended a Moore College of Art & Design Reunion. I was so excited and nervous. Excited to see all the awesome Moore Ladies, nervous just because I didn't really know what to expect. There was also the added excitement because one of my special occasion necklaces the Braided Vine of Crystal Blossoms was picked to be in the Annual Alumni Exhibition, "Small… But Not Restricted". 125 Alumni were selected for the show and I simply can't say how honored I am to be included!

The only way to know what the reunion was going to be like was to go! The weather being what it has been, I got a room at the Embassy Suites just down the street from Moore. This ended up being a really smart plan because it snowed and rained throughout the day Saturday. An extra perk was that my room had an awesome view and I was not about to let some stupid snow get in the way of me having my fun. 

With all of that being said Moore does their reunions a little different. Instead of each graduating class having separate reunions, Moore has an annual reunion for all Alumni, all years. This allows the woman of Moore, young and old to come together in our creative sisterhood for a day of make'n'take classes, lectures, a gallery exhibition, and to top it all off, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones.

I chose to enroll in the offered Macrame class taught by a local Philadelphia Knit-wear designer, artist, and fellow Moore lady, Janell Wysock. Her vibrancy and knowledge led to an honest adventure into the art of macrame. Even though those dang little knots could be a bit frustrating at times it was so much fun to learn a new skill. One that I can't wait to incorporate into my own work. I even got to take home the spool of yarn I was working with, which was such a pretty blush color.

The whole day was a blast. I got to laugh with old friends and meet new ones. The whole day people called my friends and I babies because we are all considered fairly recent graduates having ranging from graduating a few years ago to just last May. There were woman at this reunion who had graduated over 30 years ago! 

At the reception for the Alumni Exhibition I even got to see a friend of mine who I had not really scene in person since we graduated from the fashion department together. The night didn't end there for me though. I then braved the slushy city sidewalks and slipped, slid and laughed my way back to a local restaurant to meet up with another Moore lady. She is one of my dearest friends and was one of my dorm-mates and I have to say it was so nice to catch up with her. We live quite a bit apart so any chance to meet up we take.

It was so nice to see everyone and to be back in the warm inspiring embrace that is Moore. Though I must admit I am sure glad there was no homework this time. My friend Samantha of SamiBStyle and I did leave notes for our old professors from the Fashion Department! It was such a great day and I look forward to next year!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ahoy! The Tale Of The Jolly Roger Cake

This past weekend was definitely an adventure. I have said before that when I am not making jewelry for Celebrated Lady, I am usually doing some type of cooking/baking. I've posted many cakes I have made in the past and my most recent learning experience is no different.

From the when my best friend told me that the theme for her little boy's fourth birthday was going to be Disney Jr's Jake and the Neverland Pirates I immediately knew I wanted to make Captain Hooks Ship the Jolly Roger.  One, because I knew if I could pull it off it would look really awesome, two, it would score me tons of cool Auntie points and three, because I had never made a boat cake before or anything of the kind. I knew it was a gamble because I was so out of my comfort zone. 

There was also the added challenge of needing to decorate and assemble the cake in a different location from where I baked it, another situation I have not ever encountered. With all of this being known I dove in head firs,t fully committed. Little did I know near the end  the cake had some issues and I feel like playing smash a cake.

The reason the cake almost never was? Well, my undoing was that to keep the cake fresh during transport I wrapped it in plastic wrap. Sounds like a genius plan right… well it wasn't. It kept the cake nice and soft alright, so soft that the icing just about refused to stick. This also did not bode well for the fact that the pattern I created for the cake required it to stack… three layers high in the back of the boat. 

All of this was just the precursor to the cake catastrophe that happened. I was almost finished decorating the cake and it didn't look perfect but it looked cute… and half of the back of the cake completely COLLAPSED! I just stared at it… It was 9 o'clock at night and the cake collapsed! After a minor freak out of the woman in the kitchen.. This being my Mama, Aunt, Best Friend, and I… my Aunt ended up saving the day. How? She brought in a big tub of toys and said, "I'm thinking props." That is how the orange life boat came to be and the cake was saved!

Even though as a perfectionist I see so much more I could improve upon with this cake, I think the final result wasn't to bad. At least I learned not to wrap a cake in plastic wrap. Hey, 200 ways not to make a light bulb right? My nephew liked it so that is really all that matters anyway!

And While I can't say it was the prettiest or most successful cake I have ever made, it sure was tasty! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cheering Them On!

I am not what you would call an "avid sports fan". I have fun watching sports and going to games but besides knowing who scored a goal or what team got the touchdown, I get a little lost in the details.

This however did not stop me from going to my step-brothers Sled Hockey Game.
C and my Dad (the goalie coach) getting ready of the game.
My step-brother C is the goalie for the Vineland Sled Stars Hockey Team. A team that as their website says "provides an opportunity for those players who would never have the chance to play ice hockey due to a physical disability to play."C himself is Autistic and hockey is his life. When I was invited to one of his games I jumped at the chance and I am super glad I did. I have been able to go to two of his games so far! 

Sled Hockey, if you have never heard of it, is when the players sit in specially designed sleds and use two sticks to propel themselves down the ice. Believe me though these kids can really get going on the ice… they move so fast! They really are amazing. I have to admit I got really into it and was cheering right along with everyone for our team.

I think its amazing that a league such as this exists for people with disabilities. Because it is so much more then that. Seeing how much heart these kids put into these games, who to think… without the sleds they wouldn't be able to play. I am so happy to cheer them on!

If you  know someone who might be interested in sledge hockey or have a child who might be interested in looking for a local team, there are teams all across the country. If you are in the South New Jersey Area or just want to know more about the sport and see my step-brothers team, stop by their website.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Learning To Share

Everyone has a dream. My dream is to one day actually have a physical shop. An artist consignment shop and thrift store mixed together. A shop where I can host jewelry parties and events. I know it will take a lot of work but I am driven to do it. I have always wanted a store of my own. I used to draw pictures like the ones above all the way back to when I was eight years old. I would watch "You've Got Mail" in awe of the wonderful Kathleen Kelly and her Shop Around The Corner (though I hope my shop has a different fate) Sometimes a dream is more then a dream it is a calling.

I have kept this dream close to my heart for years. Only really sharing it with friends and fellow artists. I don't really know why I did this… maybe because I was too scared to admit that I cared so much about it. I am learning though that sharing it, is better. I have only just really started talking about it openly. Telling people about my plans and how one day I will have a shop. I guess maybe I didn't want to hear people question me about whether or not they believed I could really make it happen. Like many did when I said I was going to open my Etsy shop. This dream was sacred to me and I didn't want negativity corrupting in. Silly me though… I kept it so close that I didn't give the dream room to grow… to expand through the support and input of others.

It has been fulfilling to share this dream of mine. To know that not only I, but others believe in my dream and want to help me create it. I drew this sketch as the first physical representation to myself of what I dream my shop to be like. I find myself when I go out with friends pressing my nose up against the windows of empty shops, trying to peer in so I can imagine what it would be like to have Celebrated Lady be there.

I constantly wonder and plan. What type of items will I sell? How will the dressing rooms look? Where is the best location? All things I think about. Oddly enough a lot of the time right as I'm trying to fall asleep. My own version of counting sheep. I want the shop to be filled with light. To be bright and organized and to ooze with the creativity and the history of it's stock. A room for jewelry parties and where I can meet with brides to discuss designs for their very special wedding days.

Right now I feel like all I can do is plan. I feel that the planning is only part of my path on the way to my dream. Everyday I realize something new about this dream of mine. One day I just know I will be working in this shop of mine and I will stop to look around and see all that I envisioned. All that I dreamed will truly exist hopefully giving inspiration to another little girl wandering through the store.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ode To The Thank You Note

I find that there is just something great about saying thank you in a special way. I for one am a fan of the handwritten thank you note. My Mama and my Nanny both got me started on this practice. In a world were writing letters by hand does not always happen very often anymore, it's nice to have a reason to sit down and show some gratitude through pen and paper.

That is why I can't help but have fun with it. I love collecting old and new stationary that sits in anticipation for me to use it. When I do, I take time selecting the perfect card or paper to fit the person I'm thanking. Then I choose stickers or stamps to fit the recipients personality and occasion. Personal touches just make the note come to life! Lastly after I have written my note I seal the envelope with wax. I have a small collection of seals. Some are vintage others not, but I use them any chance I get. 

I put all this thought and feeling into each note because I truly want to convey how thankful I am. I have seen first hand how much a thank you can mean to someone. Over Thanksgiving my Nanny shared dinner with my cousin (her grandson) and her husband. My cousin asked her if he could take some of the leftovers to an elderly neighbor of his who he helps out. My Nanny of course loaded my cousin up with food to take to his friend. The next week my Nanny received a card in the mail from someone she did not know until she started reading it. It was from my cousins neighbor, thanking her for the meal and saying it really made his day. When my Nanny shared the note I could see the happiness and pride in her yes from knowing that she helped someone and also that her grandson had as well. I myself was smiling and a little teary-eyed.

I bought a book a while ago that I honestly have yet to get around to reading. (I always have a long line-up of books)  It's called "The Art Of Thank You: Crafting Notes Of Gratitude" by Connie Leas, I can't wit to read it. To learn and expand my knowledge of this tradition. If only to share what I know, so others can join in and make more people happy by letting them know they are appreciated.

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's My Party!

I always get the most reflective around my birthday, which happened to be this past Sunday. I turned twenty-four.
While most people may make their plans for the next year and resolutions during the end of December, I always do it around my birthday... Yup it's just what I do. I look back at the age I'm leaving and look forward to the one I'm growing into. This year is no different.

I went to a psychic for fun once and she told me my twenty-third year would be the start of great things and a really good year. I remember on my birthday, I wanted the year to be full of adventure and great change... Well it sure was. I've moved, have grown, become closer to dear friends and family and though there were downs, there were an abundance of major ups as well. I mean I couldn't really have asked for more.

It's fun to look back but now twenty-three is over. The year of twenty-four has started. I want much of the same things as last year, to grow, learn and continue doing what I love with the people I love... and of course I made a birthday wish but I am not going to share it... why? Because if I did it wouldn't come true silly!

Now that I'm going on the first week as a 24'ian I'm so looking forward to what adventures are waiting for me. I don't really get depressed about getting older either. I've worked hard to get to where I am ... age included. I have however reached a new realization about how much I love and appreciate my family.

I had a small party and my Mama went all out for it. I even let her bake my cake this year! I usually bake my own or get ice cream cake. (My birthday used to be the one time of the year I got to make a cake but now I bake so often I didn't mind letting my mom make one for me.) My Mama was so excited! She did an amazing job. It was so tasty too!! She made me a daisy cake because daisies are my favorite. It was a lemon cake with butter cream icing.

My Mama got me balloons and some fun cake plates with Lalaloopsy on them too!! Hey just because I'm not a kid doesn't mean I don't enjoy awesome balloons with cute little cartoons on them that are made from sewing supplies! They are still floating about my kitchen island in all their helium filled glory and they make me smile every time I see them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lesson Learned

My Mama's little cat, enjoying some sun in the new house.

Welp... I MOVED!!!

Which is awesome and it's also the reason I've been absent here for a bit. Besides the taking time to settle in and unpack a copious amount of boxes. I just been quite unsure of what to write or what about. I started this post, crossed it out, avoided it and flexed every procrastination muscle I have.  It's just hard to focus my mind when it's all wonky from moving and living in such a state of transition... for me it is anyway.

So when my Mama confronted me about why I hadn't written lately I told her about my trouble with organizing my thoughts and gave her the excuse, "besides no on wants to read about me being whiny and not being able to write."

"Why not?" was her answer, "it's honest."

So here I am giving it a shot and feeling like the worst brand of a total Miss Whiny Pants. Still My Mama is right... she has a habit of doing that. I started writing and the words started to come together.

My Mama is quite the writer. I don't know why I didn't seek her advice, most likely due to my theory that if I keep quiet about it maybe she wouldn't notice? WRONG! ... and maybe a dash of procrastination... I had boxes to unpack...

Any who...

I have always admired how easy writing seems to come for my Mama. I always remember her keeping hand-decorated books, covered in ribbons, filled with her words and poetry. She would leave little quotes in my lunch boxes and have little papers with phrases and things taped and stuck everywhere. Some were simply to be remembered others to lay in wait like little hidden treasures.

I do this too. On my computer in books to be used as bookmarks... all over really. I like my Mama fill them with quotes and words I love, books I want to read, and phrases to remember.

Well look at that... I was whining that I couldn't organize my thoughts to write and now that I have I can't shut up. This post is now
three pages long in my notebook, I hand write my entries before typing them here.

It's funny how things work out that way.

Lesson learned... If all else fails... always write it out!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Leaving Rose Hill

I love Spring at Rose Hill.  The old boards creak beneath my feet as I walk through each room... every room has it's own smell... it's own story. Light and air flow through the windows transforming the hibernating old house into a lively sun washed escape.  This is my last Spring at Rose Hill... I plan to remember every bit... every moment of it.

Rose Hill is my childhood home. I have lived other places but nowhere as long as I have here. Since I was three these plaster walls have been my home. The almost 100 year old house isn't fancy and in fact needs a lot of work but for me it's always been home. I know I will cry the last day I leave for good.

I have left Rose Hill before but I've always been able to return... this time I will not be able to. My Mama is moving on to a new home as well.  I have had this feeling in a minor form before when I graduated college. A place I lived in for four years. The place I really feel I became who I am in I had to leave. I knew the day would come... goodness I wanted it too. My last days spent there I even felt like I no longer belonged, it was no more my home... and I could never just walk the halls or sit in my sun soaked dorm overlooking the city streets. I feel very much the same way now. I feel Rose Hill is pushing me on like a good parent knowing that I have the rest of my life ahead of me, that this house is no longer meant for me... and knowing once I leave I can never come back.

I am so full of mixed emotions. Excitement for my new home, a new place to fall in love with and to create memories in. A home with so many things I want and need. At the same time though my eyes tear with leaving the home I've loved for so long. Even though I know my Mama and I are making the right decision there are always those little devils of "what if" and "doubt". They creep in at moments when least expected, but I do know that this is the right path.  The time has come to move on, to grow, and that just can't happen here at Rose Hill. 

So with that being said to combat the evil "doubts" and "what ifs" I am choosing to focus on what I am over the moon excited about. Like being closer to family and friends. Having the space to throw dinner parties and for all the new and exciting memories to make that I have not yet even thought of.

 One of the major things I'm super excited about is my new studio. Don't get me wrong I'm very appreciative of even having a studio. My current studio has great character.  Two Large pocket doors lead into a cozy room with a wood stove is in the room and is surrounded by natural brick... I love exposed brick so it makes up for the space the stove takes up.  The room was once my Dad's den, then the family computer room, till I took it over to use as my studio. I have loved working in the space but I have never truly been able to make it mine... in an odd way I have always felt I was borrowing it. At my new home I have a room that will just be mine... and it helps that it has it's own closet! My current studio has no built in storage once so ever. 

Even though it will be sad to move on, when I think about it it's not really that hard to. It's time. I have so much to look forward to and I'm glad that I finally can begin to share this journey with others. A lot has changed for me in the past two years and I know there are still so many more changes to come.  I'm excited for the adventure.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Remembering Happy

I know I usually post on Wednesdays but this week I had trouble uncovering the right words to say.

A great woman passed away this past Saturday. Happy Fernandez was the president of my Alma mater (Moore College of Art & Design) for 13 year and my entire time there. She was kind, intelligent and always ready with a smile for you when you passed her in the halls. 

Moore College is not like other colleges where you maybe see the President only at official functions or just to shake their hand on graduation day. Moore is an all woman's art college, one of only two in the world, and is made up of only roughly 500 students. We are a small community and at Moore everyone interacts with every one. 

I first met Happy during an open house and portfolio evaluation day. I knew Moore from my time in their Summer Arts and Design Program but I was nervous out of my mind anyway. I wanted to go to Moore so badly. My Mama and I were waiting for something, I can't really remember now what, but we were just keeping to ourselves chatting. This woman came over in a bright purple suit and just started talking to us. She flashed a warm smile and asked how my portfolio review went. We continued talking for probably about ten minutes, discussing my time in the summer program and why I love Moore so much. She talked about why she loved the location of the school and agreed with many of the same reasons for why I loved Moore. As our conversation came to an end she shook my hand and said "It was a pleasure to meet you Jennifer. I'm so glad we had a chance to talk. By the way I'm Happy, I'm the president here at Moore." I smiled and she walked away leaving the gallery onto another part of the small two building campus. I looked at my Mama dumbstruck that the woman I had just been having a casual conversation with was the president of the entire college. I couldn't wait for the train ride home to be over so I could tell everyone when I got back. That small little conversation meant so much to me then. It still does now.

That was just the beginning though through my time at Moore any time she passed you in the hall she would smile and say hi. She got her lunch from our cafeteria the same as the students and other faculty. and one time, we stood and waited for our rides, talking about the snowy weather and homework.  

There were others at the school who knew her better then I, who were much closer to her, but the little things that she did, not having to and no matter how insignificant they may seem meant a lot to me as a student of Moore College of Art & Design. 

This is a loss to the City of Philadelphia and to the Moore Community but we at Moore are a group of strong women who will persevere and continue on while remembering the wonderful women like Happy who helped make our experiences possible. 

Happy and I on my graduation day May 201
 Here is the link to Moore's remembrance of Happy as well as her obituary.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Year

The past few weeks have been wonderful. A wonderful time spent with family and friends, eating great food and laughing. There was the Night of Seven Fishes with my Dad on Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning with my niece and family, and a Turkey dinner my Mama made that was absolutely another level of amazing I have never seen before. 

Also here's my cat looking quite dapper for the holiday's. Every year I dress him up and he is a really good sport about it. He's old and is just happy to have a warm radiator to lay on in the same room as me. I have a theory that he is really just a classic old gentleman out of the 1920's or something, who has a big white mustache and wears reading of course I dress him up in bow-ties and printed ties but that's just me.

 It was nice to take a break from the everyday and really just relax. I truly didn't know how much I needed it. I took time away from the computer, only checking things when needed and paying the necessary attention to my shop. Other then that though... no Internet, no computer games, just family time. I can't even take credit for it either. It just happened, I just found myself not logging on.  To just shut the door to my studio for a bit to refresh. A little unexpected gift to myself. I have to be honest it was wonderful and needed. 
Now it's back to work though and I am excited about that. I have so many new ideas, so many things to make. That is what makes the time away so wonderful. It rejuvenated me and made me ready and clear for the new year and new inspiration! So here I sit, in my studio facing a new year head on. I sit at my sunlit desk and look at my new calendar (by artist Kim Jacobs). The illustration for the month of January is a studio, a sewing machine on the table. bolts of fabric and a cat. I find it fitting for all I see in the unmarked days are possibilities and opportunities that only a new year can bring.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Traditions, Trees & Thoughts

 For this month the blog circle ladies and I decided to reflect upon our year and to share any family traditions one might have for the holiday season. 

and I'm going to share a little tradition my Mama and I do every year.

What is it? Well it might seem weird but every year we name our Christmas tree.
 Seems a bit silly till I explain it all, so here it goes.

It all started about three years ago when my Mama and I wanted to have a real tree for Christmas... They just smell so pretty and look so nice, but neither of us really liked the idea of killing a tree just to have it in our house for a year.

When I was little my Mama read me the story of "The Fir Tree" by Hans Christian Andersen. I don't want to give away the story but it made me, even as a small girl, not want to have our tree only be for a Christmas should be more than that.


For the past three years or so we have gotten a potted tree! Yep, a big ol' pine tree in a pot of dirt and each year we name the tree. We've had a Theodore, a Ferdinand the Fir, and this year I introduce Charles Dickens! (we are fans of the Christmas Carol around here) He is currently our most treasured house guest and has found his place in my studio. Which I find it most enjoyable to have his company and it's convenient, because our curious climbing cats can't get past the pocket doors. He is all decorated with a ton of lights and old ornaments that were from my Mama's childhood as well as handmade masterpieces from mine. A few others are there too that we have collected along the way.

Now for the second important part of all this ...Why do we name the tree and what do we do with it after Christmas has passed? Well we dig a hole it the yard and plant it. This way the tree continues to grow and thrive. It's fun to be walking around the yard greeted by old friends such as Theo and Ferdi who I'm sure have made pleasant company with the Oak (Great Oak), the Hawthorne (Nathaniel), and the Ash (Ashe). It might seem weird but it's what we do... our little tradition, with our newest addition Charles.

I also like to make the joke that we have a true eco friendly tree.

Now that I have shared with you one of my favorite Christmas time traditions I will now reflect,
Looking back... overall... 2012 has been a wonderful year.

2012 has been a year of baby steps for my. Soft little steps forward. I'm every improving my business, Celebrated Lady, making changes when I find better ways of doing things. I have finally truly found the creative direction that my heart wishes to soar. 

Finding a supportive group of other artistic ladies to that help each other out with progressing down our artistic paths has been a wonderful adventure as well... one I would definitely not trade in. 

And so,

That for me is all I could really ask of a year. I grew, I learned, and I had fun while doing it. 

To continue along in the circle for another great tale of December Reflection check out 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Color, Print, Texture

There are many things that I love and enjoy about art...and well life because life is art. Art is everywhere in the littlest of things. What I enjoy most in those little things is an unexpected color combination, a great pattern, or an interesting texture. 

I surround myself with colors usually of the teal, yellow or orange variety, but I love colors in general. Which is kind of funny now that I think of it because there was a time when black was the only predominate color in my wardrobe besides blue jeans. Maybe I have had a color enlightenment! Now on an average Fall day like today I can be found wearing striped boat shoes, a teal skinny pant, a rusty orange and cream cable knit sweater with a chunky violet covered sweater coat. See! Textures, patterns and color! 

What started me thinking about how much I just want to celebrate three of my favorite things about art happened this past weekend when I found an awesome vase. This weekend past was the annual studio sale at Wheaton Village. It's like a space with a few shops, an awesome glass museum and where many local artists work their craft in glass and pottery. This is why the studio sale is so awesome. One because everything is on sale, two because you get to see everything at once that the artists have been working on. My favorite section is the seconds... sorta like the mess ups or imperfections table. I got my favorite drinking glass from that table last year and it is the most interesting colorful glass ever. Anywho this year there was this whole table filled with bright colored vases with all sorts of colors and patterns! Their smooth exteriors ran with stripes and chevrons. Bright oranges, aquas, greens and yellows danced about. I would have bought the whole table if I had the money and the room... Since I have neither I settled on choosing a favorite, which was easy because one stood out to me immediately.

I love this little vase! How the chevron moves along the surface the blue like water with the greatest pop of yellow! It now has a home in my studio, reminding me about how much I love the things I love about art as it patiently waits for me to find something to put in it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Growth & Learning To Share

It's funny how I can think back to how hard it used to be for me to keep up with my blog. My blog may only be a couple of years old but it feels like forever ago that I started to share my stories in this space. I was still in college then. With it time brings a wisdom and it's funny the difference just a couple of years makes. I still have a lot to learn about my writing, but then I feel no matter how much I learn I will always be learning... always growing... and with that living life.

I feel that I am finally starting to discover my voice. I am delicately navigating my way through being able to have a feeling and express it in written words, which I'll be honest is a bit hard for me. I make the joke that I talk with every bit of my body. When I tell a story I use my hands will wave with emphasis, my voice will rise and fall with the intensity of the tale, and I've even been known to dance around when telling a truly exciting story.  This is part of the route of me having a bit of an issue with sharing my stories here, with you. How can I get the same effect of, with just words? What words truly reflect my voice. Words that are authentic to what I want to share and feel?

 Blogging every week has become a fun routine. It also makes me sometimes stretch myself to step out of my comfort zone. Whether it be sharing thoughts on an emotional subject or doing something I wouldn't have before because the adventure had will be well worth it and will come with a great story to tell. 

A great way to look at life is that it's made up of those great stories. Our parents tell them as their parents  did and we grow up making stories of our own. I am just glad that I'm discovering how to share my stories, to be here with all of you, and for the stories to be from the heart.