Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hey Clay!

looking like a dufus with my unfinished tea bowl. I look like a smell something bad!

Tonight I took a Japanese pinch pottery class and it was awesome! My friend Adriana and I signed up for a private pottery lesson at the Togei Kiyoshitsu Pottery Studio in NY in which they taught us how to knead the clay properly and make a cup/bowl and a plate for $35 bucks! So cheap for a private lesson. I'm definitely signing up for the 4 week private class.
The cup was definitely harder to make and it turned out more like a tea bowl than a cup, which is fine, the teacher said it's more like a traditional matcha tea bowl.
The plate was much easier and it was really fun stamping a design into it and then beating it with a tiny sandbag!

Inside of my tea bowl. I stamped it with a really cool design.

My plate with tiny flowers and leaves. All of these are in the first stage pre-firing and pre-glaze. We have to wait a week for the clay to dry and fire it, then we can glaze it and fire it again. I will post those steps here too.

In the background I'm wacking my plate with a small sandbag. In the foreground is Adriana's cup inverted getting a foot sculpted on.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer endings

After my Kinokuniya excursion my partner and I continued my Japanese themed day, we went for a delicious dinner at Geido in Prospect Heights. I had a yummy bowl of chicken katsu, total comfort food.

The next morning I got up early, as per usual, to walk the dogs and I figured if I up anyway I should take my bike out and head over to Governor's Island. I got ready super fast and had some french bread with fig jam and cheddar for breakfast then jumped on my bike and headed for pier 6 towards the ferry. Got there at 10:15am and I was disappointed to find out the first ferry was at 11am, that wasn't going to work because I was taking Budda for his grooming appointment at 12:30pm. I decided to troll around my bike and check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. My first reaction was, WOW! I can't believe how amazing a job they did. It has two beautiful lawns on a hills, lot of new trees, a kayaking area and just spectacular seating on the waterfront with views of downtown Manhattan. I spent about an hour just enjoying the breeze and sun by the water on a green lawn, so sweet!

Then back on my bike to get my dog from my apartment and drove him over to Yukino to give him the cutest haicut ever! While he was getting groomed I went back to grab my bike then headed over to pier 6 again and to the park.

The sun and the crowds were a little too intense for me so I pedaled over into Red Hook towards Ikea. I trolled around the Ikea waterfront park then I stupidly went into Ikea. I say stupidly because the mass of people killed my bike troll buzz.

Sunday Debra and I had a sad morning because we had to part with one of our fosters, little Inga. Her new parents came to pick her up and it was a bittersweet parting. We know her new home is going to be really great but its sad to say goodbye.
After saying our goodbyes we rode our bikes into Williamsburg to get brunch at Dresslers. It was really yummy but very pricey. We jumped back on our bikes and went into Greenpoint had a beverage at a nicely ac'd bar and back into the scorching heat pedaling quickly back home as our skin began to sizzle from the 93 degree heat.


Dressler die-cut chairs

Little Bjorn snoozing later that eve.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Friday, August 27, 2010

Japanese books and other goodness

Friday I took a very leisurely trip through Kinokuniya with the intentions of getting a couple of fashion mags and a new supply of craft books. I also picked up two rement boxes and a momiji doll. I will post pics of the momiji, rement and one more book in my next post.

This dress book has some of the prettiest dresses I've seen so far coming out of the Japanese pattern books.

This book has amazing hair accessories and jewelry a lot made with lurex yarns, really pretty.

I never knew how to make some of the more complicated flowers before to add to a bag or an outfit and this book has patterns and step-by-step instructions. Some of them are a little bit more difficult because they requires a special iron to mold the petals of the flowers.

The little creatures in this book are so dang cute, that even if you don't make them it's just really adorable to see.

Awesome embroidery patterns

Absolutely gorgeous lacy crochet!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sewing things

Last night I poured myself a nice glass of Blue Moon beer, grabbed my pins and scissors and got ready for some fabric cutting. I pulled out the Nani Iro fabric, pinned my pattern and away I went.... Snip snip snip. The fabric is ready! But after looking at it again I'm starting to feel like the yoke should be solid black, sucks cause that means I wasted some very expensive fabric. Well at least the pieces are small. I may have to postpone sewing it on the weekend until I but some black woven fabric that will look nice with the Nani Iro one.

Yesterday I went to Ennju for lunch to get some Japanese Curry Rice and normally love them but they totally screwed me with forgetting my order and making me late back to work. While I was there I picked up some yummy green tea and chocolate candies in mushroom shapes.

okay is it me or it this singing mushroom looking like a body part?
- Posted by misskitty1970

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Girl and a Dress

self-portrait ©2010

I finally got my pattern books out and picked a dress to make with the Nani Iro fabric I bought to sell ( no worries I have plenty for sale) on etsy.
I found all the pieces of the pattern which can always prove to be a challenge with Japanese patterns luckily there were only 5 pieces. I got out my pattern tracing paper and permanent skinny markers and traced the pattern, then cut it. Now I'm ready for the fabric but I had to take a True blood break with my partner and furry babies.

stylish dress book isbn978-4-579-11185-5

I've started sketching more these days, I've put together a multi-artistic tote bag to take with me everyday on the subway. I have a large Shinzi Katoh bag that I stock with a thick sketch book, colored pens, mechanical pencil, eraser, Pigma Micron markers, 2 crochet projects, crochet hooks and a little sewing kit.
With this in tow everyday I'm sure to create something. Below is a little girl I sketched out for a doll I would like to sew.

Pio Pio ©2010

Berets, Blankets and Bikes

my bike

I haven't written in a while, unfortunately my job has been sucking the creative juices right out of me. I've had plenty to write about but no time nor energy so I'm going to try and rectify my blogless days or daze.


On the crafting front, I started working on this beret for myself. I bought this lovely heathered baby alpaca yarn, fingering weight, in Stockholm on my trip in June. It's a really warm rusty orange, my favorite kinda orange. It's super soft. The pattern that I'm basing it on calls for a worsted weight but I wanted the beret to be more floppy less structured. I'm also working on a blanket for my dog Budda who loves to snuggle in his blankets but all of them are just ugly. I bought some worsted weight organic cotton in grey and citron and I started a simple geometric design of color blocking. It'll look nice in my living room and feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all plus'.

a Sataurday morning snuggle

This week and weekend past was pretty eventful, aside from my deadline rich day job, we had lots of kitty drama. First starting last Sunday we got up at 5 am to take the 3 kittens we are fostering to the very scary ASPCA mobile spay/neuter van. Aside from the real assembly line and lack of information the location of where the van was park was in a god-forsaken area of new, East New York right next to the Brooklyn Animal Care and Control (BACC). It smelled bad, we were surrounded by warehouses and factories and the very sad feeling of what was going on in the BACC building. Our poor little kittens went through hell that day, all I have to say is, never again, I will shell out the hundreds of dollars for a private vet. The kittens were stoned and belligerent for two days and then to top it off Bjorn's prison tattoo (yeah they tattoo these babies after neutering/spaying with a knife and some ink no fancy tattoo gun for them) gave him an allergic reaction. Inga, his sister was right behind him with an allergy and a little blood from her surgery site, freaked us out! Did I say, NEVER AGAIN! After a dozen calls to the ASPCA and our private vets we had to rush them up to Harlem Friday morning, diagnosis, they're fine.

Sweet baby Olaf

After all the insanity of Friday morning I went back to work and left early to spend a little q.t. with little Olaf who's new mom was coming at 4pm to pick him up to start his new life. Farewell my little buddy. We love you.

more Olaf

lost to the smokeys

Backtrack to Thursday evening, I have been in search of a painting studio for over a year with no luck, I finally found the studio of my dreams, minus ac and heating. Alas, I was not picked from the folks who applied for the studio. In the end it was a blessing because I found out that some of the other artists sharing the studios did some "light smoking", like that's a modified "no smoking", WHAT! Smoking around oil paints and other flammables equals bad, and smoking in general is just bad for you. No thank you, next.

Church on Governors' Island

Onward. Saturday, Debra and I joined our friend Michelle for a bike ride on Governor's Island, which we tried for the first time last weekend, and we loved it. It's so close to our apartment, the ferry leaves from pier six in Brooklyn which is a 10 minute walk from our place or a 5 minute ride. The ferry is free from Friday to Sunday from Brooklyn. We saw some cool historical buildings and biked around the island enjoying the cool breeze off the water. The only thing you have to beware is the folks who are riding the blue bikes. These are rentals and these people don't know how to ride a bike, I almost got hit by a bike at least 4 times while I was there. Another cool thing on the island is the "beach". There's a small patch of sand with plastic palm trees and a beer and food stand, it's kinda surreal with the city skyline in the background.

- Posted by misskitty1970

Monday, August 2, 2010

Painting Murals, biking and snuggling kittens

Summer, painting at P.S. 19

The past few days have been very rich with activities. Wednesday afternoon I got my haircut at Fringe on Broome, after way too long of not getting a haircut. Owner and Head Stylist, Amy, did a fabulous job once again. I was waiting for her to get back from maternity leave as I grew out into a puffy wig, thank god it's tamed again. That eve we met friend for dinner and to see a documentary screening at the SVA theatre for Downtown Calling, a very cool documentary about the NY art,music and dance scene in the 70's and 80's.

Thursday, my company through NY Cares sponsored a volunteer program that I participated. I joined a group of coworkers at a public school in Williamsburg, P.S. 19 and painted Murals in various locations throughout the school. It was really fun, satisfying and super hot (no ac in the school). All of us separated into groups and my group painted a mural in the school's entrance of a castle and grounds already drawn by one of the elementary school students. We picked really bright colors for the castle bricks since who wants to look at some drab gray castle bricks, and the trees and other foliage were painted in lots of happy greens a-la-Bob Ross. I was so hot I thought I was going to pass out, luckily my coworker and friend, Summer volunteered to get on the über tall ladder to get the high bricks so if I was going to fall it would be a short way. After all the bricks were completed we moved onto helping two other peeps from our group in finishing the trees.

We cleaned up and thought we were done, but sadly the NY Cares volunteer informed us that we had 30 minutes remaining to the end of our volunteered 3 hours so we were assigned to paint clouds in the school's library were other coworkers were painting large murals of illustrated book covers. This was a fun activity with an interesting effect when you have 5 people all painting clouds in different styles. It was really pretty and happy looking in the end. Time to really clean up, the slop sink backed up of course so we had to use an off-limits sink to wash our brushes and hands, somehow I ended up cleaning majority of the brushes, oh well.

Friday, my partner and I went to see the Kids Are All Right which was really good and depressing at the same time, made me realize yeah that's our lives sans kids and sperm donor.

Inga watching our neighbor

Saturday, we put our foster kittens to the test and upgraded them to unsupervised time out of their crate. We did this for two reasons, the kittens were going cuckoo crated for long periods of time and we were sick and tired of cleaning the crate 10 times a day. For the most part they are out of their crate just overnight and when my partner and I are out of the house. They passed the test with flying colors, yay!

Odd but cool mural in Williamsburg off Kent Ave

While the kittens had free roam of the apartment with our dogs as the nannies we took our bikes out to Williamsburg which was a pretty painless ride and had lunch at Egg. Debra and I both had the same thing, this delicious country ham with cheese on a biscut with fig jam and a side of cheese grits, yum! Oh and I had a very refreshing Arnold Palmer made from the freshest lemonade and home brewed iced tea. We pedaled back to our neck of the woods and found all was right in our home.

Brunch at Egg

That eve we had our friend Linda over to chill, snack, and snuggle some kittens which is great for everyone.