I blog about my life as an artist, what I'm creating and thinking about creating, what I'm writing, crafting, sewing, weaving...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friendship; Jennifer Lopez, "Louboutins"

So, I know it's been a while since my last blog post, and it will be at least another 15-18 days because of thesis, weaving and end-of-the semester business coupled with senior year. I just wanted to share some thoughts I posted in a note on my Facebook page.

This is a note I wrote earlier titled "Who/What is a 'friend' anyway?"

"I'm sure there has never been a word with such a diversity of meaning, but as with a great many things, I could just as well be wrong. The definition in itself is dynamic in that one's perception of who/what constitutes a "friend" is based upon past experiences, good or bad (and even that is relative). The role of "friend" differs from person to person in that there are varying levels of "friendship" which leads the idea of "friend" into the realm of becoming an echelon within a rigid, hierarchical system of classification solely dependent upon situation as opposed to the beautiful, dynamic free-flowing exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas that are inspirational and profound.

What brings about this evaluation of "friend"? Well, life has an interesting way of bringing people in and out of our existence. My personal reality is shaped by the experiences I have with each person who passes through my life, whether the encounter lasts mere seconds, a few hours, several weeks or many years. Each person teaches me something new: something new about people, the world, and myself. Some of you have taught me what I desire in a friend, some of you have given me the exact opposite realization, and that's okay. Learning is experiential and having multiple points of reference is key to understanding and processing information successfully. Some of you have been my friend for 15-20 years- we've been through break-ups of not only our own friendships but also romantic relationships, but as friends, we always made up- I'm thankful for you. Some of you have been my friend for far less time, but we've forged a bond despite the brevity of our acquaintance; I am also thankful for you. Some of you, I had an unfortunate lapse of judgement in believing you to be a real friend when in reality, there was an ulterior motive actively at work, and I'm thankful for you as well as you have taught me the most of any relationship I have had the opportunity in which to participate.

I always say that I'm going to "diversify my friends portfolio" by ridding myself of the toxic people in my life, but now I realize the procrastination period must end and the diversification must begin. As life has taught me, I will continue to meet various people who may not always have good intentions, but I have also learned that for every one of those people, there are many more people who are pure of heart and proceed with good intent. I only have time to devote to those friends who are positive and have a true interest in me as a person, a complete person. The totality of Self is never fully understood and that is the door through which relationships with others invites us to experience more of ourselves. I'm learning to open that door only to those people who are deserving of entrance.

So, thank all of you tag-ees of this note, and also those of who I didn't, for teaching me about humanity, myself, friendship and when to open and/or close the door to my Self."

Side note: I can't wait for the new Jennifer Lopez CD to drop early 2010 "Love?" I'm so excited and the first single, "Louboutins" is so inspirational!!! Who says a woman needs to cry "woe is me" when leaving a relationship? I hope more women take heed and throw on their Louboutins, walk it right up out the house and show him the tail lights of the Benz exiting the driveway!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Long Time No Blog!

Well, it's been quite a long time. Decided I'm writing my thesis using on the religious paintings of Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (aka Caravaggio) with a special focus on the tenebroso technique of chiaroscuro. What it is I will attempt to prove or disprove, is another story.

I also started weaving again! Yay!!! It's been waaaay too long.

Lastly, I need an iPhone app developer asap! I have 3 fantastic ideas for apps. I asked two of my friends to help me, but they are insanely busy so I need to go outside of my circle of friends for this one. So, if you or anyone you know is an app developer, gimme a yell!

Must go back to my research, next post will include pix of what I'm weaving right now.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

No Art?

I've not created a single work of art, neither sketch nor finished painting, woven textile, spun fibers, nada in over a month! I'm going CRAZY. It's due to my extreme schedule of FT internship (which is fantastic) and PT evening/weekend job (which I also love) in addition to my children (who I love most of all), changing my mind constantly about my thesis (Japanese textiles, West African textiles, Japanese art), and trying to actually have a life that isn't defined by work/school... And that's the short version. I got to handle ancient Egyptian mummy wrappings (linen) still the highlight of my summer. I have 598 unread emails and I need to raise a little over $37,000 so I can actually finish school in May. I have an idea for a fundraiser in the works, but I need a little more time to get it together (designing and creating the work, photographing it and putting it on my Etsy and Artfire accounts-then finally getting the word out). I have to get back to my Japanese homework now before my Sensei kills me lol, actually he'll just laugh hysterically because my life is so over-scheduled my retention is nil. Any suggestions for getting the fundraiser out there please let me know. No links today... sorry :-(


Monday, June 1, 2009


Ok, so this Wendy's Frosty video link has NOTHING to do with my life and my work besides the fact that I think it is absolutely hilarious! 

StudioAly website: the website is up for now. I created it in iWeb. One of the pages has WAY too much text, but I have not had an opportunity to revise the site. It was my intention to build the site in Dreamweaver and Flash, but I doubt that will happen this summer because I still have to prepare for my thesis. In due time...

Back to basics, so I haven't updated my blog in almost a month. I've started my conservation and curatorial internship at the museum, it's amazing! I'm really enjoying my internship experience. I had the pleasure of observing the intake of a Pre-Columbian bowl, a 19th Century crazy quilt, a 12th Century Chinese robe and several other works.  I get to work on the quilt. I'll also get to visit other conservators in the studio in paintings, paper and photography, too!  My interests lie in textile and object conservation, so I'm in the PERFECT place.

Artwork: no new work :-( 

Fundraiser Etsy and Artfire shops: still not up yet :-(  I intend to get them officially up and running this sunday, for sure... hopefully- that's the goal at least.  I need to get them up and running soon because I really need to raise funds for my senior year of tuition.

That's it for now, I have to go. I have to play with my children!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Finals, finals everywhere!

Ah, the joys of finals ;-) I have to finish my 8 page paper (which is a critical analysis of the movie Juno from a feminist perspective) and I have to refine a couple of shorter papers.  Today is my youngest son's fourth birthday, tomorrow is Mothers Day (I work from 10-7, so I won't be able to celebrate with my children AGAIN-worked last year too), two finals on Monday (8:30 & 3:30) and one on tuesday (3:30)-whew! I then have a few days "off' and then I begin my museum internship.  

Aside from my busy schedule I wanted to share my favorite jewelry piece I've created thus far.  It is my untitled pendant in Fine Silver, with reticulated silver and a 14 KY gold bezel.  The stone is  picasso marble.  Boy has this gone through so many design transformations! It began as a completely different idea and transformed.  As much as I understand the principles of design, I also love the principles of inspiration.  In art school, we are given the tools to design, but the designs themselves come from within. There is a certain trust an artist must have and a relationship with the Self that facilitates great work.  

Anyway, the pendant evolved like much of my work does. Because of that, I never really go into working on a piece with any definite goal in mind.  Even during the "final moments" I may be inspired by something else.  At that point I use the idea as inspiration for another direction.  The design process is where the magic happens. The process of designing and re-designing is magic in and of itself. By understanding the "rules" it also gives me the tools to break the rules as I see fit;-)  

The pendant: I usually design to showcase not only the materials but to let them speak for themselves.  In short- I don't over-design.  Sometimes, to make a point, I may, but I usually stay clear of excess.  The back is pierced and, theoretically, could also function as a "front."  I'm happy with it overall, and I enjoy wearing it. I don't intend to sell it, but if the price is right I just may have to part with it ;-)  I do have to pay tuition afterall and my school is 30k a year!  Jewelry fabrication is my new favorite love ("new" for about a year now). I don't have a fully outfitted home studio yet, but I'm working on it! My teacher is AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC and you should check out her website. Its her name, as you may have guessed, is Dawn Bergmaier and her work is phenomenal! I wish I knew how to make a link... I see a button I will try, let's see if it works. Looks like it worked! Yay, I learned something new. I'm on my way to becoming a professional blogger, too LOL. Now if I could only customize my blogpage...

Friday, May 8, 2009

I finally did something with my website

As you can see, I sorta did something to my website.  I put it together in iWeb (yes, I'm a Mac) so I can have at least something to hold me over until Christina gets paid to develop it :-)  She's a graphic designer who does great work. Christina Peña designed my logo and business identity package and I absolutely LOVE it all.  It's very me, very whimsical yet still has a business feel to it without being too rigid and corporate.  Christina did a great job of capturing my personality, needs and wants in the design and layout.  Her website is and I highly recommend her work.  I just need to save up some money so I can hire her to build my super duper website.  So, for now, it's the iWeb site I put together.  I doubt I'll be able to learn HTML, Flash and Dreamweaver all by the end of the summer with such ability that I'll be able to create and design a spectacular website for myself. So, I'll leave it to the professional!  Also, it would be rather pointless to incorporate another design aesthetic into the mix.  Each designer has a completely different approach to the process and I really want this to be a cohesive identity.  

Speaking of identity. MY BOXES ARRIVED TODAY!!!! I'm so excited! Now when someone purchases my jewelry they'll have the option of shipping it in a lovely box.  The photo is from my iPhone and I didn't do a great job of photographing it. I took just a quick snapshot and the lighting was poor, but you get the picture.  The imprint is a metallic purple, and I absolutely LOVE them! I was hesitant about getting the white box with the swirls on it (think classic jewelry boxes) I really wanted a glossy white box, which my supplier doesn't have (they only carry glossy black, which has nothing to do with my identity as a business). My boxes, like everything else, is made from recycled post-consumer materials so I don't feel guilty about purchasing paper products. 

I finally found an affordable place to have my business cards printed too.  Its called Greener Printer and their website is  I received their sample materials and their print jobs were wonderful, but a while ago I couldn't afford it.  Recently, they added a self-upload option that would make the printing significantly less expensive (and within my budget) so I'm going to place my order next friday when I get paid. I'm very excited to finally have cards.  I vowed not to print them if I didn't find a company that uses recycled paper (or non-paper products) and soy or vegetable based inks AND it had to be affordable.  Search is over! I now have to focus on finding someone who can do the same for my envelopes and letterhead as well. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. I also have no idea how to create a hyperlink within the blog, I can only enable the title as a link. If you have info, please share via comments.

That's it for the moment. I have finish my finals. I have several more papers to write so I must be off. Until next time!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

West African Textiles

So, I changed my mind (to which I'm totally entitled) about my thesis direction.  Instead of traditional Japanese textiles (which I still do LOVE) I'm moving toward West African Textiles.  Africa is definitely a continent, so to begin narrowing things down, I chose West African to begin and then I'll further refine my direction after doing some reading.  I associated a link with the title (above) to a website from the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries Africana Collection to some beautiful textile designs.  I'm excited.  I'm going to intern this summer at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, and I am beyond elated! I'm excited about the opportunity to work with the Curator and Conservator (who will remain nameless because I did not ask permission to put their name on my blog- I respect people's privacy) and I know I will gain a wealth of knowledge. It will also give me much needed fuel in honing in on my thesis topic.  I hope to, by the end of the summer, have an annotated bibliography of about 30-35 resources to begin and then I'll begin more specific topic-related research after I feel comfy with the general info.  Twenty pages doesn't seem like much, but at the same time there is a lot riding on my thesis.  Graduate schools will consider my thesis topic as well as the quality of the thesis itself.  I'm not sure if they'll view the video of me defending it, but this is the beginning of the rest of my life as a future art historian, conservator, curator, scholar, etc.  I definitely think that after this first internship, I'll have a more concrete direction in terms of what I want to study for graduate school.  I'm still very strongly leaning toward textile conservation for my MA, but I'll have to take a two year break before graduate school to fulfill the science requirements- two years is a very long time.  Should I get a first MA in AH while also fulfilling the science requirements and immediately upon completing the first MA, move into the second for conservation? That sounds like a plan. After that I can take a much needed break before applying to a PhD program. Ah, life. So many goals, so little time! For now, I'll finish my finals for this semester, but I still need a plan (however fluid it may be) so I can prepare for the necessary steps. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Great Weaving article...

Click on the post title to view the link on the Weavezine website.  I absolutely LOVE Weavezine and the accompanying Podcast  Weavecast.  I'd like to say I'm an avid weaver, but I spend most of my time writing papers for now, but that will soon balance out.  Anywho, the link I've posted is to an article that introduces some textile sleuthing that assists weavers (or textile enthusiasts) with determining the draft of a favorite textiles that is pre-woven.  It really helps with re-working a draft to suit the needs of the designer and also with rearranging colors and altering textures.  This is one of the best articles/methods of instruction I've found thus far.  My weaving library is not all-inclusive (there are about 75 titles I'm looking to add to my current library of about 50), but this is definitely one of the best I've read despite the shortcomings of my biblioteque.  Ice cream would be good right now... Ok, I'm focusing. Check out the Weavezine at and I also recommend listening and/or subscribing to the Weavecast as well.  Syne conducts some amazing interviews and has great information to offer everyone, not just weavers and fiber artists. That's it for now, I'm back to paper writing. One more thing, thanks for the votes on my blog posts below Anonymous person. I can't wait until I get my first comments! It is also my summer project to "trick out" my blog and personalize it with my logo and possibly some artwork in the background. I also want to add links to my library, other books/what I'm reading, and stuff like that. I have to do a bit more research on HTML, I guess, but stay tuned. I'm excited about it. TTFN, Aly

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hopi Prophecies Presented to the UN

So, those of you who know me know I am a very spiritual person.  That being said, I usually do not evangelize and I believe everyone has their own experience with their beliefs, etc.  I'm taking this moment to share a link with you of some very insightful words, no matter what your spiritual beliefs are.  I believe these words are beautiful and from the heart.  I know that on the cursory level, this has nothing to do with my art, or art in general, but knowing me is know that my art is from inside me and incorporates all aspects of my life, not just materials, tools and techniques.  Please enjoy the reading by clicking the above title which will take you to the linked page with the translations from the Hopi language.  Enjoy!

Delta Zeta Sorority Temple University Greek Sing Champions for the Third time :-)

Aside from the merriment, Delta Zeta Sorority stands for much more. Here is a bit of information from the official website:
Delta Zeta's "national philanthropy, supported by both collegiate and alumnae chapters, is speech and hearing and The Painted Turtle camp...
Delta Zeta has a philanthropic partnership with the Sound Beginnings Program...Gallaudet University... and the House Ear Institute, which is one
of the world's foremost research, teaching, and treatment centers in the field of hearing." Information copied from the Delta Zeta Sorority website

Vatican Plans to build largest solar plant

I just wanted to post this link here just click on the title above to go to the Bloomberg website and view the article. I think its is a beautiful gesture for the Vatican to install solar panels on their 740 acre property.  Here in the States, when there are power overages and the panels generate more energy that is consumed, they have to cut the person a check...  How does a company write a check to God???

The interesting part is they're getting crap about it and people are attempting to diminish the amount of change the panels would provide regarding the global climate.  That's the problem we are faced with now. Too many nay-sayers.  If everyone does what they can to help and the people/organizations that are able to do more take advantage of their opportunity, we will not only be able to reduce our carbon emissions levels for now, but also make sure that future generations have a planet on which they can live.  

What are your thoughts???

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yummy Yarn from Habu Textiles NYC

If you click on the link it'll take you to their site (I hope).  But, if not I'm trying to add a pic too :-) I still need to play around with this.  Habu Textiles is one of my FAVORITE yarn and weaving studios of all time!!! I also love Lion Brand Yarns.  LBY also has a studio in NYC. Info for both:

135 West 29th Street Suite 804
NY, NY 10001

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
34 West 15th Street
NY, NY 10011

LBY even has MACHINE KNITTING classes!!! I love my knitting machine. I've been a hand knitter for 20+ years and it's really nice to have work go by a bit faster at times. It's still very zen and I can also design my own punch cards for original motifs.  I don't consider it being a lazy knitter or a cop out because you still need to understand knitting as a structural form for creating a fabric.  The principles of design still need to be understood and in order to break the rules you need to know what they are! 
Weaving... Pure yumminess!!! I have a 40" Macomber Ad-a-Harness loom. Currently have 8 shafts but it's upgradable to 10. I'm not sure if I'll ever get to 10, though especially since there's so much that can be explored with 4, even 2! 
Spinning... I have an Ashford Traditional wheel and I love it! What more can I say. Ha ha ha funny moment flashback- so, about a week ago I showed up at my job with little soy silk fluffies all over myself because I was spinning and felting before work LOL.
That's it for now. Any stories you want to share?????

I have no idea how to customize my blog...

Well, I'm in new territory as a blogger.  I usually just read other people's blogs.  I really just want to add my own *pizazz* and a little bit of sparkle (ok, no glitter) to my blog. You know, logo, work, books I'm reading, links to my fave blogs, etc. Cool stuff. I have no clue how to do that. I just updated my Twitter page, though. I like it. I want to add a link to "follow me on Twitter" too. I think if you click on the title, it'll take you there. If not my user name is CraftyPhoenix on Twitter. I'll figure it out soon. I have to post a picture of the scarf and felted brooch I made for donation. I'll do that later on today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Blog Post!!!!

Hello World!

Ok, I finally give in! I have decided, at 10:45 pm, to start a blog. I intend to blog about my art and design work, what's on my needles, what I'm weaving, spinning, planting, etc.  I also intend to blog about environmental advancements and whatever else is on my mind. I believe in positivity, so I will approach this with a glass-half-full mentality and try to see the bright side to even the most grim of circumstances. These are my intentions, they shall be put into action. I have, or blogged :-)