We Call it Star Wars

 

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“I’m Your Father”

I didn’t expect our son to grow up this quickly, but at just over 2, he’s developed a love for Vader, Yoda and R2-D2. Guess some things really do pass on in your DNA cause his father is a lifelong fan. Here’s a recent painting of Darth Vader I made for his room- and of course, one of Jedi Master Yoda who is coated with a layer of glow-in-the-dark paint. My original idea didn’t include him- I only wanted the quote on canvas serving as a double meaning (pertaining to my boy and the little green one) but my husband thought it’d be better to include him. I can’t take full credit, though, because I used a tracing projector to draw him. It might dull an artists’ skill if overused but just between you and I, once in a while, it’s ok to cheat a little.

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McKenzie Who?

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This wicked-ugly table

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needed something other than a bulky tablecloth to make it presentable in our kitchen. With black and white stripe cushions on our wicked-ugly, beat up chairs, I figured painting black & white stripes on the table would be a good fit.

Dummy move: painting the black stripes on, THEN painting the white stripes in between

How it should’ve been done: paint the entire table one color (white) and THEN paint on stripes of another color (black).

This will take half the time and have you cursing only half as much.

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Below, I painted the black stripes on (over the painters tape).

Next came painting on white stripes by taping over the black ones once dried.

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Finished Product (see our freshly painted pink chairs?):

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Other little things that make me happy…

Regina Spektor reminding me how it works:

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Rotary phone I bought at Under the Pig,  Antiques & Collectibles (with a 212 area code! yeah baby)

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Retro straws and straw container I found at Homegoods:

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and a little striped hook from Anthropologie:

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Leaving New York

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My 87 year old grandmother is moving in with my parents today. She’s leaving her apartment in Queens where she’s lived for as long as I can remember. After months of trying to convince her to make the move after being hit by a stroke, she finally agreed to take my parents up on their offer and she’s on a plane now en route to Florida.

Just this morning, I woke up realizing the sadness that comes with this move. Little things that add up to big, meaningful memories. Visiting her and my grandfather in the tiny 1 bedroom apartment- him treating us to the old-fashioned Charms lollipops upon our arrival. Four-course home cooked meals unlike any other. The creaking noise of her wooden floors underneath our shoes as you walk through her apartment. Her old-school rotary phone that I called home on when visiting her alone during the summer (make one mistake dialing and you have to hang up and start all over again on that damn rotary dialer). A strange, antique pie mold hanging on her wall. A bookshelf of old books including a stack of copies of one written by my Grandpa, though, I have no clue what it’s about because it’s all in French. The loud squeak her front door makes when you open it. Water you can drink straight from the tap that, for some reason, comes out fizzy at first like soda water. Rollerskating up and down the sidewalks outside her building. Pressing the buzzer with her name and apartment number on it and waiting with anticipation for her to press back and let us in. The old, strange artwork hanging on her bright white walls. Hearing city traffic outside her street-corner apartment when the windows were open. Loving and standing in front of the AC unit in her bedroom catching a break from the hot, humid New York summer heat. So many small things that I’ll miss, I can’t imagine what type of heartache she must be feeling knowing today was her last day there. As my brother said, New York will never be the same. So much to love in that city- so many restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops to see. So much history. And still family to visit. But without our Nan, no, New York will never, ever be the same.

 

 

The Waitress

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Creating artwork using the New York Subway Map was something I’d always wanted to do. Figuring out just what to do with it was never easy, until the other day-I had a piece of spare wood laying around that was going to be trash til’ the thought of a skyline came to mind. I owe that thought to a song by Atmosphere, The Waitress– one of my favorites by the Minnesota-based hip-hop group. I was originally going to use the first line in their song as the foreground of this piece but decided it looked better without any writing.

Starting with snapshots taken of one of the maps I’d saved from years ago, I edited each photo to black and white sections of places in the city that meant something to me, printed and cut them to form a skyline and glued and sealed them to the painted slab of wood. Now I have a piece that reminds me of all the special stops in New York I’ve taken. And a creation birthed from one of my favorite songs.

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