Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pico the Pirate. Arrrr...

Since it would be almost impossible and quite cruel to dress a bird up for Halloween, I created a different kind of costume for Pico. After deciding she was going to be a pirate, I had the interesting task of figuring out how to make her her very own pirate ship.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of learning how to mold leather with Andrea Masse-Tognetti before her segment on the show. I had no idea leather could be used as a sculpting medium. Andrea explained to me that leather has a natural bonding element and when wet, it can be shaped and when heated and dried, it holds its form. If you've ever noticed, Elmer's glue has that little bull logo—well, white glue has cow hide in it—hence, leather has that natural bonding quality. Yeah, glue is not vegan. So once I had my shape determined and cut out of leather, I stitched up the sides with a tan waxed twine, wet and molded the ship, then stuck it in the oven. While that was cooking, I painted a few dowels black for the mast and sails and quickly sewed up the scraps of leather to make an archers' platform to fit around the main mast. The archers' platform consisted of a 1 1/2" circle, with a hole in the center to slid a dowel through, and a 1 1/2" strip that was stitched around the circle, creating a shallow cup.The sails on the ship were made from a cut up white t-shirt. I used a thick red fabric marker to make the stripes. The skull flag was also a scrap piece of t-shirt that was colored black, with the classic skull and cross bones that I cut out of a Halloween wine label from MS Crafts line. I used brass grommets and rigged the sails to the mast, threading through some thin white yarn.
Pico's pirate ship isn't nearly as complex as a real
Brigantines or Schooner, with only one mast, a simplified bow spirit in the front and none of the interior ammo or stolen goods, but one part I had to fashion her ship with was an anchor. The anchor I sawed out of a sheet of brass with a jeweler's saw, slightly filed and polished it and hung it outside the boat on rope.The boat doesn't stand solo, so I propped it up with waves cut out of blue oak tag and wrapped around a cookie tin lid. I camouflaged the hot glue I used for the waves with blue sand.After the segment was complete, Pico would not leave her ship! She was a proud pirate and excellent ship mate! I would sit on her shoulder any day... if she weren't sitting on mine. :)
"I love you Pico!"

Finally Airing! Today on Martha...

Today I demonstrated how I made my Pico Halloween headpiece with Martha on her show. Although it was a more complex craft, we still had a lot fun making it. Pico was there with her pirate ship and I gifted to Martha, a Coral Ann headpiece, so she joined us too.
The mask/headpiece was obviously inspired by Pico, my parrotlet, and my obsession with her. When I thought about what I was going to dress as for Halloween this season, I thought maybe I should be a pirate—ahoy matey!—since people tell me I look like one with Pico is on my shoulder. A pirate costume seemed too, I don't know, generic, so I decided to make Pico the pirate and I would be her, the parrot! Watch the video from the show and learn how to make the headpiece here. Thanks Martha and the Martha Stewart Show for having me on and Nick D'Emilio for the show photos.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Clear Art Planet

This beautifully organized and displayed beach debris is the work of artists Gilles Cenazandotti and Thierry Lede for their Clear Art Planet project. In an effort to clean the worlds' beaches of washed up objects, the pair teamed up to create a magical exhibit of litter. A brilliant example of promoting a cause through art. I have many inorganic sandy shore finds I could contribute.
Its okay to pick up litter.
There's no point in me rambling on about how important using less truly is. The slightest measures and small parts do count...the evidence is in the sand.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Vicki, Victoria, is my mommy. She was planned 9 years after her older brother, 12 years after her sister—born July 18 1947, on 139 Division Street in NYC. Yiayia put her in the truck with the movers when she was 4 and settled in Astoria, Queens. Sometimes I look at her now and still see her as I would imagine her as a little girl. She was a mom when I was growing up— she never missed a day packing us lunch, or making dinner, doing laundry and keeping the house clean. She keeps a stocked pantry and has enough food in the house to feed a small army. She's got the most amazing thick black hair though she thinks its dreadful. She probably would have been a model had she not flown through a windshield at 18, almost losing an eyelid. A wardrobe to kill for when she was in her 20's—she had to mail 20 pairs of shoes home from Greece after spending the summer there. She was a buyer at Bloomingdale's in NYC and worked the ticket booth at Lincoln Center. She was wearing all white when she met my father for the first time and knew he was the one. She was married for 8 years before she got pregnant. She nicknamed Melissa, Doozer and me, Boudgie when were babies. She used to take me to painting class when I was little. Now she is a nursery school teacher, Ms. Vicki.


My Dad, Harry, is the oldest of five. He was born in 1945 on a military base in Virginia, lived in Queens, but moved upstate to Ashland when he was seven. I imagine he was always outside from that point on. His parents had chickens, he was given a rifle at 11, so he hunted and trapped. He read a lot growing up and hitchhiked. He graduated top of his class and moved to the city to study engineering at Manhattan college. He joined the navy and retired as a captain after 26 years. He studied architecture at Harvard and has an extensive book collection. During the week, he was always home on the 6:15 train from the city to have dinner with his family and he never misses mass on the weekend. Now retired, he wants to travel more after his recent trip to China. I have to call the house at noon to catch him nowadays, he is usually outside doing something, building a stone wall, chopping wood, painting the side of the house. Oh did I mention he loves to ski. He used to call me a noodle and now he writes me letters.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

family tree.

Brief family history:

James Eoanidis was born in Constantinople in 1905. He emigrated it to the States, leaving his father, brother and sister (mom died when he was 2) at age 14, arriving in White Plains, New York when he was 21. In those seven years he lived in South Africa, France, England, and South America. He spoke 7 languages. He moved to Manhattan and opened a bakery. A Greek bread man, my Papou. I get my love of animals and blue eyes from him.

Mary Juras is also a Greek, born 1916 in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She is my only living grandparent, now 93 and still complaining. She has the softest skin, barely any wrinkles, and was mowing her own lawn at 90 years old. She's quiet and listens, not a big talker and always asks if you're hungry. If you visit her unexpectedly, she excuses herself and returns with blush on. She's my Yiayia.

Harry St. Clair born, I think 1912, in Brooklyn, NY with French and Irish folks. He worked in a bank. He had a stroke, when I was a kid, after shoveling his long driveway following a snow storm. He would garden at the nursing home. Before that, when we would visit, I remember him sitting in a folding chair outside, always wearing a foam baseball hat loosely on top his head. I always thought he was so cute in a turdy Grandpa way.

Lillian Dorsch was born in Jamaica, Queens, NY, a few years after my Yiayia. She was a crafter. She made us a Christmas ornament every year for the tree. I remember she took Melissa and I when we were little to a local craft fair in upstate NY, where her and Grandpa lived. She bought me a pretty rock, I think it was green. She was all German, collected owls and had these googly eye stone creature magnets she made on her fridge. I probably get my patience for crafting from my Nana.

James married Mary and made my Mom.
Harry married Lillian and made my Dad.

inspiration series.

Since I have been busy making for an upcoming craft fair and haven't had time for lemmemakeit how-tos, I thought now was a perfect time to give some credit where it is certainly due—to those who have inspired me.
When I graduated from college, my senior portfolio book was a sort of compilation of what made up me. And when I think of myself, I think of a bunch of things; of course my family and how I was raised, my friends, my lover, my pets and animals, certain experiences I've encountered, but specifically, the artists who have particularly stood out and inspired me to be who I am. Because who you are is never original. We are all made up of unique components gathered from everywhere around us, that mold us into what and who we are. Without each other, a single person would be lost, so in this book of mine I gathered all the minute components that have been influential in my life.
Anyway, I tripped on my external hard drive right after printing my book (thank God) and lost 4 years of graphic design work. I scanned the pages today and am starting a short series of posts that help you understand me and where I came from.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh bondage. Up yours! 1234!

November 1996. Jackie's 13th birthday. New York City. The suite at St. Regis Hotel...I'll never forget the staffs' faces when the 5 of us barreled up to the shrimp sculpture breakfast buffet: steel toe boots, zippers, safety pins, loud, crazy eye makeup at 9 am... priceless.
Remember Antique Boutique and the five floor Canal Jeans on Broadway? Manic Panic and the surplus of vintage Levi's under 20 bucks? Remember when St. Mark's Place was punk?
Oh the 90's.
Oh black & white photography class!
stop bath.
Freshman year of high school, I buzzed my over-the-counter jet black hair off. Mom would do it with Dad's razor. I got 8 baby teeth pulled that year too—I never smiled. No need for color photography, my world was black and white, literally, a number 5 contrast filter.
13. Truly when I found myself and knew what I wanted to do.
Make stuff.
and here I am today. 13 years later.

Halloween '08

If dressing up for Halloween is haunting you, fear no more. I have an easy solution. Learn how to make some cute costumes using a hoodie sweatshirt! I showed Martha how to make the big bad wolf and lil' red riding hoodie last year on her show, but the process can be customized to turn a hoodie into almost anything. Visit the craft dept blog for even more details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dear Creature

I stumbled across Dear Creatures' autumn 2009 look book a couple days ago and it just made me smile. Well this is something I haven't seen in while! The styling really brings you back to the late 60's model days of Twiggy and Penelope Tree.And lets not forget to credit the talented Charley Harper, whose graphic art of animal and nature have been a true inspiration for me the past few years. The leaf imagery is unmistakeably his I assume.Great way to execute a mood by layering photography and flat art. The mixed media concept was a fresh way to showcase a new line of clothing. Feels autumnal, certainly era influenced and more like pieces of art than a designer's collection. I like. Think I might do some photoshop experiments this weekend...

The Fashion Blanket

After some snap shots and rubber stamping, Melissa was ready for me to put my graphic design education to use. Finally sent her the finished blog header for her newborn fashion blog. A collection of images, inspiration, shopping guides and —my favorite— the economical haute couture rip offs!
Be a follower of the fashion blanket and wrap yourself up into style bliss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

things change.

First they sold the church, then they closed the flea market—goodbye weekend pleasures— now weeds grow in the cracks of the empty concrete parking lot whose future is destined to become a high-rise . All of this was hard to accept, but over time things change. The Brooklyn Flea has been discovered since and the local vendors on Ave. A returned to the perimeter of the lot, along the fence, to sell the junk they've collected throughout the week. It's not the same but it will do—it has to.What didn't have to change was the mural on the building's side over looking what was the last Alphabet city flea. Probably my favorite billboard advertisement ever (painted by the local Chico of course), not only for it's public service but it's charm. I've spent hours in every weather condition staring at this three-story-high piece of art while Ashley, wheeled and dealed or made his second rounds, standing there admiring it. I was sad to see it primed over and it's replacement being started...
What is this monstrosity? A Kobe Bryant video game? I do give the artist credit—the guy took a week or so to hand paint this on a platform and that is certainly impressive. And it is pretty hilarious that an NBA eyesore is towering over Vampire Freaks. I'm sure they're ecstatic.

This is my goodbye to the mural on Avenue A and 11th street, the memories we've shared are forever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Busy Bird

I haven't had too much time this week to post. I am busy working on a segment for next week, where I will be making my Halloween headpiece. The show will be airing October 28, so be sure to tune in!
I leave you with my inspiration:

After breakfast Pico cleans her beak on my hand. I hope feathers are all grow in by next week!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

bird on a branch

Same object, two completely different materials.
I turned an old craft into a new craft when I cast this faux-porcelain bird branch in solid sterling silver.
The faux-porcelain was made by painting a small branch with white acrylic paint, epoxying on a white mini mushroom bird on it and dipping it into a white tinted two-part resin. I went to the jewelry exchange on 47th street and had a mold made of the branch and, with the process of lost wax casting, had the branch cast in silver. After a good polishing, I drilled two holes in the branch's ends so that it hangs level. Using pin heads, I attached a chain. Slip it over my head and I got myself another new necklace...I'm on a necklace kick I guess!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

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anchovy lunch break

Martha is crafting with Isabella Rossellini today on the show. I am very excited she is here promoting Green Porno, a must-see!!! They are making an anchovy headpiece I recreated from the Bon Appetit Anchovy episode. This series is right up my alley: the crafty art direction, the subjects and the science of reproduction... paper, animals and privates! Amazing! Please, if you haven't already, spend an hour and watch the three seasons—it will make your day, week... heck, it made my year.
video: Sean Ennis
editing: Ashley Graj