Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Knits and Crochet

In between all the big birthday celebrations we've had around here(see posts from mid August to present!!!) i have been getting some work accomplished. At night when i finally sit down i get out my needles, looms and hooks and get to work. I've tried a few new patterns and found a few that are keepers!
Like this Bunny Blankie, crocheted out of 100% natural cotton. And the crocheted acrylic baby blanket under the bunny...
And these little booties for easy and sweet! in acrylic and cotton

The cuffs can be turned down...

or left up to cover more of that little baby leg. And the soft ribbons that are laced thru the stitches can be used to gently snug the bootie to the baby's foot.
I made hats, hats and more hats in all sizes and shapes, with rolled brims and cuffed brims....

and these hats were made from yarn bought at The Paper Sparrow. All of these offerings are currently for sale at The Paper Sparrow, but i am trying to set aside a few things for my upcoming Etsy shop! ...someday.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

End Of Summer Birthday Bash

At the end of Summer, right after school starts up for the year, we celebrate Seth and Lola's birthday. They were born on the very same day, but seven years apart. Carly and Jeremie had a big birthday party in the back yard, and everyone was invited. And what a beautiful day it was too!
There was a little fairy at the party!
Lola's Aunt Kate bought her an outfit for her special day, and Daddy bought her balloons.

This little fairy was irresistible and her Gumma couldn't help but hug her all day long!

Lola was fascinated by her Minnie Mouse and Elmo balloons

a kiss for the balloons...
Sadly, they flew away during the party but i am sure the birds really enjoyed them too

Here is the little Lola Fairy snacking in the garden...

Oops! Frosting on her crinoline!

The other half of the birthday brigade was very busy hiding in trees and running thru the neighborhood. Here is the Commando Unit resting for a bit before they charged around the block again.... I was very fortunate to catch them sitting still for a moment. I think the birthday boy was trying to avoid birthday kisses and hugs by constantly moving and changing locations...This strategy worked for most of the day...Eventually he was captured and held prisoner by the huggers at the party.
There were little Commandos too!

And the Commando team even accepted recruits!

As she was the only girl at the party, Lola loves to play with the boys!

There were bubbles to blow...

and magic red sparkle shoes to wear!

"matoes" to eat...(Lola's favorite veggie-tomatoes)

and fairy wear to share! Here is GG (Lola's Great Grandmother and my Mom) trying on Lola's headband. Silly GG!

Then it was time to take a little break before opening up the birthday presents!

This year, Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, and yes, even Barbie were big at the party for Lola.

While Seth got some cool clothes, GI Joe action figures, Lego building sets, and money!

Lola shared her new Elmo phone.

and Seth's friends admired his birthday stash.

Lola with her new cloche from Aunt Sandy...

Finally the gifts were all unwrapped and it was time for the cake.
and it was DEeeeeLICIOUS!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Carly !

Happy Birthday to my baby Carly. It seems like only yesterday you were born!

We've traveled and grown together thru pigtails
thru the teen years (oiy!)

and we've watched you grow from a little baby to a beautiful grown woman

who has given us the treasured gift of grandchildren.

Happy Birthday Carly! Enjoy your special day, and know that Dad and i love you very much!

Monday, September 21, 2009

From The Ashes-An Article from the Metroland Magazine

Here is an excellent article written by my friend Kathryn Lange Guerin about Sam and the gallery fire for Metroland Magazine, on the stands right now.

Samson Contompasis
Photo and article by Kathryn Geurin

From the Ashes
A month after a fire demolished Albany’s newest gallery, individual determination and community support have made huge strides toward rebuilding
By Kathryn Geurin

Samson Contompasis seems completely at ease in his temporary role as construction foreman. No stranger to sweat and power tools, the hulking artist has sculpted stone and painted cityscapes that stretch for yards. But his latest effort is one of restoration and rebirth.
A month after an electrical fire burned through his apartment and gallery, Contompasis is shaping a pile of lumber into new interior walls in the expansive, gutted Albany loft. Sawdust sticks to a layer of sweat, and he steps onto the rusty balcony for a smoke, still volleying affectionate insults at his father and fellow artists working inside.
“If the gods want to test our mettle, then so be it. The show must go on,” wrote Contompasis in an open letter to friends, family and supporters of the Marketplace Gallery on the day after the fire. Five months and five art shows earlier, Contompasis and his two brothers had established apartments and opened a burgeoning gallery space in the old Greenbush Tape and Label building on Broadway. The fire claimed everything in Contompasis’ apartment except for a few photographs. Fire, smoke and water damaged artwork. Xena, the family’s beloved American Bulldog, was lost to the blaze.
“That’s the hardest thing,” chokes Contompasis. “I can laugh about everything else, even the artwork. We lived in Xena’s house,” he smiles. “That’s just the way it was.”
But losing nearly everything wasn’t going to deter the artist from continuing to build what he’d begun. “I’m trying to think of it as a chance to have a blank slate,” he says, “a clean, clear canvas. We’re pretty much just taking everything that the gallery was and improving on it. And really, that’s all art is, taking something and making it better.”
Less than 12 hours after the fire, Contompasis was back inside, boxing up whatever could be salvaged, tossing whatever was destroyed. The next day he’d begun demolishing the ruined interior walls.
He is at once wildly energized and deeply peaceful about the process. Over the shrieks of power tools, Contompasis shouts his serene philosophy. “That’s just what needed to be done. There’s nothing else you can do. My brothers and I all bucked up, packed up what was left, and started starting over.”
All three brothers are artists. All lost something to the fire. All are determined to rebuild. “We all create. Through that we’ve created a network, and that network has supported us through this.”
The day of the fire, the folks from Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany contacted Contompasis to let him know they were already planning a fundraiser. This past weekend Silver Fox Architectural Salvage and Drops of Jupiter floral design studio joined forces in throwing a fundraiser at Albany Flea. Befitting the gallery they were organized to support, the events resounded with creativity and community. On Sunday, live music set a soundtrack for work on a communal painting. Kids in garbage-bag smocks worked alongside professional artists and 20-something hipsters. Cash donations taped to a whimsical blue money tree fluttered in the breeze, and fire-damaged art hung for sale alongside unscathed work.
After dark, a troupe of fire spinners put on a blazing show that spoke to Contompasis’ spirit of affirmative defiance—the element of destruction harnessed for celebration and rebuilding.
“The support has been magnanimous. It’s been coming from everywhere—fellow artists, people who have never seen our place, people who had never even heard of it, people who knew all about it, even people that literally just feel bad about losing Xena.”
The efforts have already raised between $2,000 and $3,000, with donations ranging from $1 raffle tickets to $500 checks, and every penny has gone to buy building materials. “Thanks to all the support, we have the means to just go get our materials and get to work,” say Contompasis. “We haven’t had to waste time wondering where we’re going to get wood or screws. All our energy has been put toward rebuilding. It’s very motivating.”
The first fundraiser raised enough for Contompasis to purchase the lumber and begin rebuilding. The second funded the purchase of the rest of the lumber and some of the wiring. “It’s all been happening in phases,” says Contompasis, “Putnam Den in Saratoga, I just did a gigantic mural up there, they offered to help in any way they could, so we’re planning an event there sometime in mid to late October. We still have to buy outlets and lighting, around 100 pieces of sheetrock, we have a ways to go, but we’re going.”
On Sept. 4—the third anniversary of Albany’s 1st Friday, and only two weeks after the fire—Contompasis mounted Epic, the art show he’d been planning to open that evening. “A fire is not going to stop me from having a show,” he insists. “I already had the artists lined up. I just needed walls to hang it on.” Space at 4 Central Ave. was donated as a temporary home for the gallery, and the show went forward as planned.
Contompasis hopes to reopen the Marketplace gallery in early November, and a short visit to the bustling site makes that daunting goal seem entirely achievable.
“I want every person who walks into this place to see where the money went,” says Contempassis, surveying the still-hollow shell of the loft, his vision of the future sparking behind his eyes. “I want the entire gallery to say thank you, to show people that this is beautiful—that every one of them was part of this rebirth.”

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday !

Nine years ago today a wondeful little boy was born. I didn't know him then but finally met him when he and his Daddy fell in love with my daughter Carly. It was then that i fell in love with Seth, the very first day i met him. Ever since that day he is and always will be my special boy...
Then 2 whole years ago, on the very same day Seth was born, Lola came into our lives, and i fell in love again.
It's really hard to get them into the very same picture, unless you pose them (IF you can hit the shutter button while Lola is staying still. Not easy!)
but these two people are what makes my life Blessed and very very happy.
Happy Birthday Seth and Lola! See you at the party!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Art Saves Animals

I have been invited again this year to participate in the Annual Art Saves Animals Event for the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.
It is an honor and a pleasure to donate a piece of my work to this event to benefit the Shelter, as many, many of my beloved animal friends have come from this Shelter my whole life long...
I decided to donate this hand chained faceted amethyst and smokey citrine necklace and earring set, in hopes that the winning bid brings some much needed funds to the animals that are housed there.... It's a wonderful feeling to know that something you enjoy doing can bring some happiness and comfort to others, whether they have 2 legs or 4!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gifts from the Garden

From the Summer gardens of our friends Diana and Ken Eggleston. Fresh from the Earth. I took this picture and thought it was just as pretty as a bouquet of fresh flowers! So i thought i would
share it with you....
Thank you Diana and Ken!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My Sister sent me pictures of the new puppies this morning! The pics were taken in low light and a few are a little bit blurry, but i couldn't wait to share the pictures with you! Here's Momma, Miss P, with her 4 babies..Here's one little adventurous guy
and here are the other three.

Here's a picture of Momma and babies so you can see how small they are... At first glimpse they look all black with white markings, but they are tri-colored, with bits of brown fur here and there.

This is a little blurry but you can see the brown markings in this picture.

Momma resting with her babies

But as you can see, they don't stay still for very long! Momma has her full!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Day at the Flea Market.

Yesterday my friend Kate , Bill and i went to the Silver Fox Salvage Company and the Albany Flea Market, which was having a fundraiser day for our friend Sam's Marketplace Art Gallery that was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago. I had never been there before and am so glad i found out about this place. I LOVE looking at eclectic collections of stuff like this. It gives me so many new ideas to work with! This is the inside of the Silver Fox Salvage shop. There was everything from vintage buttons and costume jewelry, to local artistry and huge ancient stained glass windows and panels rescued from old crumbling churches. We got halfway there when i realized i forgot my camera! But my friend Kate has a wonderful phone with a good camera in it so she was gracious enough to take these pictures for me to share with you. As you enter the building from the back side this is what you see...

This place is HUGE and full of goodies to dig thru

It's actually the salvage shop, plus lots of little booths and nooks rented out by locals who have art, jewelry and wares to sell

There is a resident kitty who slept on this seat all while we were there, and there was also an old dog who made the rounds...

This is what you walked out to when you entered the flea market part of the day. The tagged things in the front of the picture were being raffled off, and the money would go to the restoration project.

It was cloudy and a bit windy...

There were some paintings still available that survived the fire , and some new ones added to the group. My friend Kate bought a painting she really liked from the fire, and i bought a painting of Mary done by Sam's Mother Jackie Brickman, who is a well known local artist.

They had seating set up and a DJ there. The big panel paintings surrounding the DJ were painted by Sam. We went early in the day to see what was there for sale so that we could support the fundraiser, but after 4ish, there would be food and bands playing and the crowds would come then too. But we were happy to support the fundraising efforts again, to discover a new place to visit and shop, and to get more bear hugs from Sam the Back Cracker