Thursday, March 31, 2011

Art Happenings: NYC: Friday

OH NO!!! A pipe burst at Brick, and so this event is POSTPONED until next Friday, April 8th.

Tomorrow, April 1st, head over to Brick in Tribeca for The Renaissance Art Showcase!

The Renaissance NYC hosted its opening night of Fridays at Brick on Friday, March 25 introducing series of art showcases accompanied by special musical performances each week in TriBeCa, New York. The weekly Friday events in April will include an art showcase with up-and-coming artists followed by live musical performances.

Artists & Styles: painters, mixed media artists, photographers, musicians and beyond.

The purpose of our endeavor is to promote the next generation of artists within a culture of sharing, growing and exploring. We are creating a place-a forum-where ideas can be shared, works discussed and progress can be made.

Please join us beginning with the art showcase at 7:30pm until 10:00pm for an evening with friends, drinks, hors d'oeuvres and a musical performance.

Thank you to all of our supporters who have shown their support for our new venture as The Renaissance journey continues. We look forward to seeing you on Fridays at Brick NYC.

Artists for April 1 event
-Neil Enggist (featured)
-Annika Moller
-Teny Eurdekian
-Elizabeth Nistico
-Clay Calvert
-David DeSimone
-Jack Walsh
-Diggy Lloyd
-Nicole Rutsch
-Hannah Barbakoff
-Danielle Pottberg
-Andrew Kalantarov

Musical Performances
April 1 – Brother Han

Here are photos from the March 25th event as seen in PAPERMAG.

Amazing Link: GO, READ, DO!

Austin Kleon writes a list of ten things he wishes he had learned when he was in college.

This is a definite must read, so kindly circulate this through the blogosphere.

Visit his blog to read his post. You will be glad you did!

Thankful Thursday V.4

Honestly, since returning from the NAEA Conference in Seattle, I have been having SUCH great days! Thankful Thursdays were a way to make sure I power through my week at my very challenging job and step back and think of the things that are going well, instead of letting the challenges get the best of me.

This week I would love to highlight how particularly amazing my job is. I love my students, even the ones that give me a hard time. Yesterday, I had a complete breakthrough with a scholar and found that she is incredibly talented at observational drawing at such a young age. I was SO excited and I am so proud of her for her focus! She is in first grade. Here she is proudly holding up the beginning of her drawing (we were focusing on contour lines to facilitate observational drawing skills).

I am thankful for my friends at work.

I am so fortunate to have an amazing team to work with. Each at the end of the day I meet up with a few of my colleagues and we laugh and complain and joke with one another. It really makes a big difference to have people that you work with you can lean on and loosen up with. We have our own little inside jokes, and they are definitely rubbing off on me. Yesterday morning I was caught saying one of the Dance Teacher's catch phrases and I didn't even know it!

They are very upbeat and full of energy and I am so glad to have met them.

I am thankful that I found an apartment across the street from a park where people are working out morning, noon and night.

I see joggers, cyclists, walkers, people riding horseback and people stretching and playing ball with their children every day. It is so motivating to see people of all ages taking charge of their health and committing to being active. That kind of activity is infectious, and the proximity of the park and the people breaking a sweat has motivated me to get in there and sweat as well.

With the help of upbeat music, sometimes my dog, and sometimes my skates, I find myself striving to be more efficient at work, so that I have more home time and therefore...more exercise time!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Live, Listen and Learn V.2

My father was up this past Sunday and he is the absolutely KING of giving advice books, motivational tapes etc. Literally no visit with my father is complete without some sort of motivational tape set to listen to in the car. This time it was a set on Persuasion.

I am going to be honest, there are things I wish my Dad would have taught me...things about how to take care of my car (like, hmpf, change the oil why don't ya!), or how to save money at an early age and the dangers of credit cards etc. (Yes, he taught me the saying: Pay yourself first...but I never quite GOT IT until more recently). He didn't teach me how to not destroy my Jeep, credit, or give myself an emergency fund at an early age, but he did teach me a lot regardless. We can't expect our parents to be the ONLY sources of information or to cover every single base, right?

I will certainly be able to post more than ONE Live, Listen and Learn tidbit from my father, but for now, here is just one quite valuable piece of information that he has passed along to me:

Your TIME and EXPERTISE is worth MONEY!

This one sentence gets so lost on so many of my friends, particularly females. This notion was further drilled into my psyche by Suze Orman's book Women and Money, and Lois Frankel's Nice Girls Don't Get Rich.

How often have you volunteered to help some cause and wore yourself completely thin, exhausting the possibility for you to do something for yourself, and spending way too much time and money on the organization that you were volunteering for? Now, I am not against volunteering, but I am against volunteering because you think you HAVE TO, or it is YOUR ROLE, or because you feel GUILTY. Never volunteer more hours than are healthy for you! Never volunteer for a cause you do not fully support, and as soon as you feel you are being taken advantage of...speak up and delegate out tasks!

How often has a friend asked you (if you are crafty or have any skills), to "hook them up" with something? A tattoo, a haircut, a piece of art, a handmade dress? Come on, I know you have made a million things for friends without even wincing at the fact that you didn't even ask for material supply coverage! DON"T DO IT! Didn't you learn this trade, sometimes going to school and paying costly tuition bills, spending hours of time learning how to master your craft? Perhaps you even spent money to get licensed! I often give art as presents, or give my friends a discount...but you have to AT THE VERY LEAST COVER MATERIAL COSTS! Also, if your friend has a skill (or something you have been eyeing), never underestimate the power of the barter, or trade!

Jessica Hische made this great "Should I work for free?" flowchart on the subject:

Visit her site for a full scale version.

Last but not least, DO NOT UNDERSELL yourself. Do not charge way below market value for your goods, your time, or your expertise. Just because you may not have a store/job/boss over you dictating your wages, does not mean you should sell yourself short!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Recap (Monday)

WOW! What a family filled weekend!

This weekend I spent time with my sister and the lovely German exchange student Laura. My sister and Laura met up at the flea market at Hell's Kitchen, and I was supposed to meet them in the afternoon. Words of advice: Do NOT drive to the area of Hell's Kitchen and expect to find parking on a Saturday! Let's just say, I missed the flea market and headed back to Brooklyn defeated.

My sister and Laura showed up with sushi ingredients and Laura taught us how to make sushi! (Which was surprisingly easy: sushi making post to come!)

They also bought us dessert from Teany, which was super yummy! I had the Peanut Butter Bomb Cake: delish!


We went on a walk at Prospect Park, and I strapped on my rollerskates (per my goals for the week!) and had a great time, it was a beautiful walk and I love living so close to a park!

After dinner and dessert we watched Parks and Recreation, which is HILARIOUS, and then had a sleepover!


My dad and stepmom came up from Lancaster and we went to ABC Carpet and IKEA to get inspired and shop around. We ate lunch at ABC Kitchen, which uses local and sustainable ingredients to make beautiful and exciting dishes. It was a bit pricey, but my basil tomato pizza (hold the cheese) was really good!

Check out this cool lucite chair from ABC Carpet! So fun to sit over a cactus, I love it!

If I have kids: this is the type of rocking chair I would want! Ha, sure this thing would not last through little ones in the house, but man is it beautiful!

I got these gorgeous tumblers at ABC Carpet. They are so awesome! When I do my makeover post, I will show all of the tumblers, they rule!

My dad's favorite cookie is a Malomar (hence my dog's name), and he was SO excited when we went into a bodega and Malomars were on the shelf. Too bad they were empty boxes used to just fill up the store! Hahaha! I watched my poor dad's heart break when we picked up the box and it was light as a feather!

A totally family filled weekend, and NOW I have lots of work to do in my house with my new finds and my new sushi making obsession!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday's Song (Whole Living Action Plan!)

Today's Whole Living Action Plan Daily Challenge is to take 10 minutes or more to workout or get your body moving, so even if you don't have a long time to get to the gym, do not underestimate the benefits of a quick run, some weight training, or even a dance party!

I can't help but shake it to almost all of Yelle's songs, here is Je Veux Te Voir by Yelle:

(lyrics not for the faint of heart...but if you don't know French you can just pretend that she is singing about wholesome things!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hearty and Filling Vegan Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Muffins

If you are trying to cut out white flour, this vegan muffin recipe is great for just that! I can't attest to how "healthy" they are, as you see there is a full cup of sugar in the recipe...but there's no eggs, and if you get a good soy margarine you don't have to feel awful about snacking it up with these guys!

2 cups wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup soy margarine
1 cup applesauce
1 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond milk

2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries, blackberries and chopped strawberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients thoroughly: soy margarine, applesauce, sugar, vanilla and almond milk.

Slowly add in flour mixture and stir until just mixed. The batter should be kind of sticky. Feel free to add a bit more applesauce or almond milk if the batter seems too thick.

Fill up muffin tins (I would grease these a little) or baking cups (I use If You Care large baking cups) 3/4 full with batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

I realized after I went to make muffins that in my move and in an effort to simplify, I donated my muffin pan. No sweat, I just poured the batter into double muffin pan liners and set them on a baking sheet, which did the trick!

Okay, so they are a little bit like muffin discs, but that's cool too!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

I ate (cheese) pizza and wasn't struck by lightening!

Nor did I get sick....

I have been grappling with the idea of vegan versus local versus what the heck do I eat and why do I eat it?

After completing October Unprocessed, I got to thinking a lot about what processed foods I put into my system as a result of being vegan. One of the things that I am concerned about is vegan cheese.

Let's for a minute take a look at the ingredients:
organic soy base (filtered water, organic soymilk powder)
organic rice malodextrin
organic soybean oil
organic rice flour
pea protein
calcium and sodium phosphates
contains 2% or less of: sea salt, carrageenan, mono & diclycerides, natural flavors, lactic acid (non-dairy).

Okay, so it is vegan, but could I make it myself? NOPE! This ingredient list screams made in a lab. Not to mention, it is distributed in Florida, so the fossil fuels it takes to get to Brooklyn contribute to my questioning of it.

Yes Yes I know, "But D you are not a locavore anyway!" I mean, if you check out what is in my fridge you will see that I have tomatoes out of season, avocado, bananas, and a pineapple for gosh sakes! But I DO try to think about what I eat and try to eat and support a lot of local agriculture.

Now, the next thing. I disagree with the way animals are treated and kept in factory farms. Disagree is way nicer than how I feel but for all intents and purposes, I disagree with it. So how can I support farmers who are keeping animals the correct way? How do I support my local farmers that are competing with big factory farms; my local farmers who have higher prices but also higher ethical standards, and less face it, better products.

I support these farmers by going to the farmer's market, by looking for locally sourced goods at my neighborhood stores, and I support them with my money, by things like joining a co-op or a CSA.

This day, I supported them by eating cheese.

I still am not completely decided on what way to swing. I doubt I will find myself being a regular cheese maker or eater, but for this one time, I didn't feel so terrible about what I was consuming. I think it is up to each and every person to make their own decisions that are best for them and their beliefs....but the most important thing I think, is to be an educated consumer. Think about where your food comes from, and let that guide you.

Some books that I recommend on the subject:

These are absolute MUST READS:

An awesome (un)cookbook with great benefits inside on eating vegan and raw:

If you have some extra time and are interested, these are good resources:

Art Happenings: NYC: Thursday!

Two openings tonight, not to be missed! First, head up to Queens, Queens College Art Center. 65-30 Kissena Blvd. Flushing, NY 11367 for a peek inside Looking for Home.

Looking for a Home is a work -in- progress installation which concerns the themes of consumerism and the culture of disposal, recalling environmental awareness in the realm of domesticity. For one month this installation will monitor and examine the rejection of household objects, which are often thrown away while still in usable condition.

This space is being populated with found furniture and domestic objects dumped on the streets of the New York metropolitan area. It will grow out of sidewalk finds that the artists make during their residency. The objects are cleaned, repaired and categorized; the progress is monitored and then documented. The resulting piece will be a fully or partially equipped living environment, depending on the luck of the findings.

The objects, which assumingly have been replaced by new commodities are, in Looking for a Home, kept relevant by the artists’ discovery. This site-specific environment reflects the state of abundance and rejection in the item‘s found location. While the sale of anonymously mass-produced household objects is encouraged by the supportive framework of fictional stories around the objects and designers, Looking for a Home focuses on the stories of the objects’ lives and their use, adding an enriching personal layer of a real story connected to specific people and their environment.

The public is encouraged to use this space as a working area, and to share thoughts/comments on the items. Since Looking for a Home is a work in progress, please follow its development on site and online here.

Open Studio at Queens College Art Center, Thursday March 24, 5-8PM of Marek and Kristyna Milde's installation project, Looking for Home.

Then head on down to the Lower East Side for Silent Noise Art Opening and Auction at Gallery Bar, 120 Orchard St. NY, NY.

Silent Noise is a silent art auction and party curated by Alexandria LaPorte and Chris Barreto, featuring the work of 25 emerging New York City artists. SilentNoise is a mixed medium show including photography, sculpture, illustration, painting, and mixed media.

Thursday, March, 24th at Gallery Bar, bidding from 6:30-10pm. All opening bids $50 or less.

At the SilentNoiseNYC Tumblr page you can preview the work that will be up for auction tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Live, Listen and Learn

I talk A LOT! I really talk so much that I used to find myself (and sometimes still do), after a hang out session or date thinking, "oh my, I didn't let the other person/people get a word in edgewise...I need to stop talking and start listening!"

I have gotten a lot better at this, but it always helps me to remember just how much I learn if I shut up and listen sometimes!

In my Live, Listen and Learn posts I will be highlighting some form of really valuable information, tips or tricks that I have learned from others. Some info could be from someone that I have dated (because a relationship is never really a failure if you learn some secret recipes!), some may be friends that I am still close with, or others that have faded into obscurity. Regardless of where they are now, I know that each person I come in contact with, makes some sort of impact on me, some big, some small. And each person you meet and spend time with, or speak with...could be a person that changes the way you think, live, or simply sort your laundry.

Let's start simple!

Bethanie who was a close friend in High School kept the neatest closet that I ever saw, (I on the other hand, used my closet as a fort or sometimes vampire hangout). Whenever she came to school her clothes were very nicely pressed, and somehow she never had any lint or pet hair on her clothes despite having a dog (Patches: wow, how do I remember her dog's name!?)

Basically, with my complete lack of care for what I wore in High School, unless by care you mean cared enough to purposely draw the design with marker myself, she was the polar opposite of me. I did shut up and listen however and learned a trick that comes in handy for adult me.

I know that Bethanie learned this trick from her mom, so really I can credit Mrs. P for this gem:

If you want to avoid lint/dog hair on your clothes, especially clothes that are black, hang them inside out. Simple and it works!

Thanks Bethanie and Mrs. P!
(this post would not be complete without an awful High School picture of us, Bethy is in front of me, and I am the one in the pink...with the...haircut, ha!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Snack Attack!

I have been eating baked kale almost every night this week, and for good reason. It is quick, and super yummy, and in terms of a snack food, does not make me feel like I am eating snack know that guilty feeling when you eat potato chips? Well I don't because I eat BAKED KALE! :)

I have used this as a side dish to meals, like pairing it with mushrooms and grains; or quite often just eat it on its own.

The longer you leave it in the oven, or the less olive oil you use, the crispier it gets, so you can tailor your recipe to your mood.

Baked Kale:

1 bunch kale
olive oil
salt (I use coarse sea salt)

variations: (use in addition to or instead of salt)
cayenne pepper

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

1. De-stem kale and roughly chop or rip the leaves into smaller pieces.
2. Place kale in a loose pile on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto kale pile (either a couple of sprays, or pour for about 2 seconds...I never really measure the amount, you just need a teeny bit)
4. Time to get messy! Take your hands and scrunch together the kale to coat as many pieces with the olive oil.
5. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes (remember, the longer you have it in-the crispier, so the first time you make this, check it as you go and bake to taste).

Consume sans guilt!

Marek's Birthday

A little get together for Marek's birthday. I got home from Seattle and the NAEA conference, and Alex and I headed over to Bushwick to celebrate with Marek, Kristyna and friends.

The spread. They always outdo themselves. There are various homemade dips, some vegan and raw, along with all different types of breads, stuffed peppers, veggies and more!

Kristyna explaining her work to Alex.

The ladies reviewing a magazine which recently published an article about Kristyna's work.

Beautiful homemade cake made by Kristyna!

Vegan Risotto, yum!

Marek opening presents.

Honza and Alex telling weirdo stories.

In addition to the amazing foods already prepared, Marek whipped me up some vegan berry ice cream with cashew cream on top of it when he realized I couldn't have the cake (eggs in it), this is just the way they are! So amazing! One of their dips was made with cashews, almonds and homemade (homegrown) sundried tomatoes. They are inspiring! We also enjoyed Honza's homebrewed beer, including his much sought after pumpkin ale!

Always a fun time!

If you didn't check the link, definitely check out the project Marek and Kristyna are collaborating on right now, LOOKING FOR HOME...currently being installed at the Queens College Art Center.