Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving means the start of Christmas Card Season

Every year, I force my husband and son into a fancy photo shoot in hopes of a Christmas card money shot. And we got a couple of money shots this year. But I also like to make homemade cards for the arts sake. Here are three.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Live Creatively

Complete scraplift from Amy Tangerine. I just joined the Studio Calico kit club and couldn't resist her sample from the kit.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lovely Day

Digital collection by Karen Funk, "Opposites Attract"; 
Mye De Leon, "Smears"; 
Gina Cabrera, "Arizona Autumn"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week in the Life - September 15

So here we are. The last day of my detailed journaling for the week. It was a good week to journey. Lots happened. Lots still going on.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 screening with Noah, his mom and his sister at the UA Court Street. Play date. But Ethan wants a real play date next. Where they actually play. The movie was adorable and it was cool to watch a film before it's out release day.


The move was 95 minutes long. We only had 10 minutes to get to swim class. No traffic. We made it 5 minutes late. Ethan learned the breast stroke. He did a great job and got a tattoo with the swim school's logo. Very cool. AquaBeba Swim.

Week in the Life - September 14

Today was pretty emotional. I set up a meeting for Ethan to see his brother who was in town from California. I thought it would be awkward at first but Ethan saw him and ran up to him and gave him the biggest hug. It was very sweet considering Ethan was an infant when we last saw his brother.

We met at Brooklyn Bridge Park, my favorite park in all of the 5 boroughs. It's a beautiful place and there were many who agreed. There were at least a dozen separate wedding parties being photographed there as part of their big day.

The day was so long and emotional, we were all in bed by 9:30 pm.

Week in the Life - September 13

I finally made a visit to my son's school. The Headmaster/Parent Forum is every Friday from 8:30 am to 10 am. First I will say the format of these meetings is impressive as was the attendance and the diversity of the families. That was a pleasant surprise. It was a safe space and a very respectful event. The Headmaster is sensitive to the needs of the parents and is dedicated to making the school's model work in spite of the obstacles of the NYC public school system. Mood Chart.

I of course voiced my concerns about the busing system. It is an absolutely poor mess. There is no reason why things should not go smoothly considering that the busing system is over 40 years old. You would think it would be a well oiled machine by now. There is a ridiculous policy that children, no matter what age, may be let off the bus whether or not there is an adult awaiting them. Children as young as 4 years ols ride these buses. The parents at the forum were up to the challenge of getting such a ridiculously irresponsible and possibly illegal policy changed. My hope is restored after such a terrible busing week.

I decided not to drive, which is a first. I took a cab to the school and the subway to work. Never been on the 3 train before.

When I got off the subway at Columbus Circle, I decided to walk around the mall and see if Kris was available for lunch. She wasn't but there was some yummy eye candy in 2 of my fave stores...Cole Haan and Coach.


Oh and I found two pieces that I want for my new kitchen from Williams Sonoma. More yumminess. A stove and an island. They are perfect for my vision.

As I arrived on campus, I got my first real look at the 9/11 memorial. I find it to be in such a strange location, thought I understood why they chose it. It seems too sacred to be so public if that makes sense and it's depressing to have to pass it day in and day out.

To end the day and a very very very long week, I headed to happy hour with a handful of colleagues. It was a nice way to end the week and get to know a few folks on a different level.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week in the Life - September 12, Part II

Today started out as usual. Occasional silliness. See below! This is just 7 A.M.

Our new routine of waiting for the school bus. It has yet to be on time. 

At least he likes the kids he's going to school with.

Decided to drive into work again. Line at the parking lot. Thankfully it's not full.

Atomic wings night! Still not happy with the return home policy regarding the yellow bus. But tomorrow I am going to the headmaster/parent forum to voice my concerns. Ready with my paperwork and highlighter. Ready to change the world.

Week in the Life - September 12, Part I

I am on the Get It Scrapped creative team and this month's assignment was to scrap a page inspired by Frida Kahlo. I cannot share the layout just yet but I can at least share the inspiration.

The first photo is of Frida's bed. She was very ill and had butterflies attached to the top of her canopy bed. 

Here are 2 of Frida's "selfies". I believe she truly invented them except with paint and canvas. In these paintings she is surrounded by nature, including butterflies.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week in the Life - September 11

Today was nerve racking because I didn't know what was going to happen with my son's school bus escapades. He got on the bus no problem. But was the ride home going to be successful?

I finally spoke to the teacher and I got a call from the city's Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT). What I learned from OPT was quite disturbing though they did take responsibility for yesterday's debacle. Apparently, it is perfectly acceptable, according to the Dept of Education for a child, aged 6, to tell the driver that it is OK for him to get off the bus without a caregiver waiting for him! Really? My child can't completely wipe his behind. He certainly does not have critical thinking and decision-making skills. I also learned that the driver is supposed to wait until the designated time if she arrives to the child's stop early. The former policy sounds wrong to me and I am on a mission to research this further. In fact, the school's student handbook contradicts this policy....more to come.

Now, I spoke to Ethan's master teacher, after some phone tag. She was quite apologetic and answered all of my questions. She indicated that because of my concerns and what occurred with Ethan, the school revised some of its protocol. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better. What I have also learned through this 72 hour ordeal is that these incidences are more common than not. THAT is quite disturbing. Something has got to change and it should not take the disappearance, or worse, of a child to change policy. So I am happy that the school responded quickly and made necessary revisions without too much arm twisting.

In addition, each child that takes the bus gets this tag with the bus route number, the cross street and their initials. Ethan announced that it should NEVER be removed from his bookbag...EVER. No worries.

On a more somber note, it IS September 11. 12 years have past since the towers and Pentagon were struck and the planes crashed. Seems like only yesterday. There was a lot of traffic and I took and alternate route and without realizing, I ended up behind the towers' footprints.

I saw these structures that look like airplane wings and I wonder if airplane are part of the overall theme of the design, architecture and museum. I guess we'll know soon enough.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week in the Life 2013 - September 10

Sigh. Day 2 of school. We started off better. The school bus was less late. I missed the teacher's call who was going to provide me with the answers I needed yesterday. And then BOOM! I get a call. strange man says "I have your son." Sounded like a ransom call. Turns out he is the father of the other kids who live on the block. Never met him in my life. Thank goodness Ethan knows my number. Bus driver released my son into his custody. Why? A stranger! Thank goodness he was kind and assisted Ethan to be safe. Thank goodness the neighborhood busy body was on her porch and took Ethan in. His sitter was minutes away. Bus was 20 minutes EARLY. Started a 2nd barrage of irate letters to the school and the NYC schools chancellor. NO RESPONSE! So upset. So emotional. LIVID. Work to do. Complaints to make. Visiting the school on Friday morning.

Added emotions. Attended a 9/11 memorial event for the college's alumni who perished in the 9/11 bombings. My colleague "planted" 2,977 American flags on the college lawn to represent each person killed. He "planted" 68 John Jay college flags to represent the 68 alumni who of the college who died. He "planted" 60 national flags representing the nationalities of those who perished in the bombings.

Added emotions. My husband's son's stopped by for a surprise visit while we were gone. We haven't seen him in 5 years. He's a vision of the future. Ethan looks just like him! Looking forward to a happy reunion.

Good news. Family addition in December. Isaac Christopher in 4D.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week in the Life 2013 - September 9

I have decided to work on Ali Edward's Week in the Life project this year. And boy has day 1 really be a real slice of life. Today is the first day of 1st grade for my son. New school. New kids. New method of transportation....a public school bus! My anxiety about it was through the roof. Ethan acted like it was a limo. But, I was ready and cheerfully said goodbye and of course took photos. And the kids at the bus stop wanted to be in the pictures too. So that was great. Bus was 20 minutes late and the driver seemed frazzled but all forgivable offenses on the first day of school.

The day seemed to be going according to plan. The administrator responded to my email telling me she saw him in the corridor and was fine. Called him Elliott instead of Ethan, but that's fine. Then comes after school. My sitter calls me at 3:40 to tell me the bus was nowhere to be found. Again, no problem. First day and the bus wasn't due until 3:58. 4:15 passes. 4:30 passes. No bus. I call the school. Busy signal. It finally rings. Voice mail. I left a message and quickly got a response.

"There was a mix up. Ethan and the other children on his bus were accidentally put on the wrong bus." Not a mix up. It's a Fuck UP! Luckily someone realized and the kids were quickly returned to the school awaiting another bus to pick them up. NO. I'll send someone. His sitter got in the car and picked him up. 5:30pm. Finally got home but missed Karate.

Needless to say, it was an emotional day. All I could think about was what could have happened. All that could have gone horribly wrong but luckily did not. Let the letter writing campaign begin...PTA President, Headmaster, Master Teacher, and DOT.

It's on! 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Click. Groupon!

Gotta love Groupon! My colleague signed us up for a photography class in Central Park this weekend. The instructor is a landscape photographer and a pretty good teacher. I have been teaching myself photography in drips and drabs. I must say that an actual walking tour is the way to go. It's hands on learning. The light shifted enough during the 2.5  class, due to the time of day, that we were able to see what settings go with various types of light.

The biggest lessons I learned were how to pan (see biker) and the role of ISO and shutter speed. I still need a lot of work on my aperture and depth of field selections. But I also think that a 35 mm lens presents limitations to this technique.

I definitely need more lessons. But I feel good about what I know so far. Practice makes perfect.