Thursday, February 28, 2008

All Look Same?

Over the years I've worked on a lot of different jobs finding people of different ethnicities to participate in photo shoots. I fancy myself as being fairly savvy at telling the difference between a western european vs. a central european a japanese person from a chinese person. Just recently I had to cast bona fide chinese people and bona fide japanese people. The clients are very picky because the ads are running in their own countries.

I was talking to one of the model agencies today and she showed me a great website called alllooksame. I recommend going to the website and clicking on the exam room. Unfortunately you have to register, but it takes a second to do that. Then you look at faces and try to guess if they are Chinese, Japanese or Korean. It's pretty interesting. I failed miserably.

Monday, February 25, 2008


We finally had a nice amount of snow here. While I was at the Met seeing the Jasper John's show Gray with my friend Simone, Neil and Lindsay built this adorable snowwoman.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Poetry in Stitches

Here's my new favorite sweater from the book Poetry in Stitches. I bought the book and a kit for this sweater years ago. I didn't enjoy knitting it because the row repeats were so long, I couldn't memorize them. That meant that I had to have my nose stuck in the book to look for each upcoming stitch. The glacially slow rate was killing me, so I put it down and there it sat glaring at me from my closet for years.

In a fit of spring cleaning last year, I pulled the sweater out (calling the 2" I knit a sweater is reaching a bit) and decided that this was adding to my psychic weight. I asked Mari, a former knitting student of mine, to finish it for me. She did a beautiful job and it is one of my favorite warm sweaters. It goes beautifully with the green scarf my sister made me. Lest one thinks I don't knit at all, I made the hat.

At my former fiber arts school, Urban Knitter, Mari met one of our teachers Shirley Paden. Mari instantly stood out as a star pupil with her instant grasp of new concepts as well as her lovely and insanely prolific knitting. Mari has gone on to be one of Shirley's main knitters when she's designing a project for Vogue Knitting or one of the other magazines she designs for.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Les Peaux de Lievres

Here's an lovely video using over 700 frames of knitted imagery. The band is called Tricot Machine (knitting machine) and the song is called Les Peaux de Lievres.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Learning to draw

A friend of Lindsay's gave her a book on drawing animals and Lindsay's aunt Dani gave her an easel for her birthday. Here are her drawings of 2 lions. She did the entire one on the left, and the mane on the small one on the right. The other creature is the beginning of a cat that later got arms, legs and a tail.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This weekend we decided to break our routine and go up to the Berkshires to visit Neil's parents. Neil's dad is making a miraculous recovery from his second hip replacement operation, but they are still somewhat housebound due to the snow and ice outside. His father is able to walk quite well with a cane, but it is too risky to go outside and possibly slip on the ice.

It was a real treat for us because we have basically had no real winter here. I'm not a huge fan of the cold weather, but there is something very unnatural about bypassing an entire season. I don't count one week of cold weather to equal winter.

We took a short, but pretty walk behind the Beckerman's house to see such lovely ice sculptures as the ones below.

Lindsay is a real nature lover, and for the most part gets deprived the absolutely wonderful childhood pleasures of things like eating snow and icicles. She more than made up for that this weekend. She must have consumed a gallon worth of snowflakes. We even served her snow soup.

Then we decided that since the ponds weren't quite frozen enough to skate on, we would make our own rink. Neil got his parents hoses and sprayed a patch of their yard to make a rink. After the first attempt of using frozen hoses, we got smart and hung them by the fireplace to thaw. The second attempt was much more successful.

I got a new pair of skates that weekend on a pretty impressive sale. They now make sporty INSULATED skates! What a great idea. Wonder why that took so long to figure out?? I don't have a photo of it, but some of the droplets of water from the hose froze before landing and made beautiful frozen jewels. We felt like we were gathering diamonds as we skated around the rink. It was a very special winter weekend for us.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So cheesy

The more technology (and stress for that matter) creeps into my life, the more I look for a simpler life. I learned knitting as a way to de-compress from my work. Then I learned spinning. Then I got very interested in bread making. Now I'm interested in making cheese. I joke with friends saying that soon they will see me beating my laundry on the banks of the East River.

So far I've made yogurt and mozzarella. I bought the book shown above along with supplies from the author who runs New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. She has a kit for 30 minute mozzarella. I was somewhat skeptical because you use a microwave. However, I made a delicious ball of fresh mozzarella. And felt very clever I might add. Here is a tutorial on making the mozzarella. I highly recommend trying it. You end up stretching the heated curds like taffy and then rolling it into a ball.

I'm not sure what kind of cheese I'm going to try next. I need to make or buy a press to make hard cheeses, so I think I'll stick with soft cheeses for a while. Now, I just need a good source for fresh milk...mooooo!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Frozen New York

Here's a fun video of an improv group in Grand Central Station. I love how something unusual and totally harmless can bring complete strangers together.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A new week

The week my grandmother died was one of those weeks that was totally off the charts. If a meteor hit the apartment, it wouldn't have surprised me. I even got a jury duty notice that week. For Valentine's Day. Seriously folks, it was a bad week. It was far worse for my grandmother and other beloved family members though.

The next week was a busy work week. I had to cast people of different ages, gender and ethnicities for a pharmaceutical ad. Nothing too sexy. I saw close to 400 people in two days, which kept me busy and thinking of things other than personal stresses. I also helped a friend out at the New York International Gift Fair at the Jacob Javits Center. It was fun to be surrounded by hand-made crafts. Each artist had a booth with their artwork for sale. Retail buyers would come through looking for items for their shops. It was friendly and so much lower-key than my industry. People were nice and uncomplicated. There weren't people blowing their chests out trying to prove how in-demand they are. I would almost say it was a breath of fresh air if it weren't for the completely stale recycled air in the convention center.

This week is a re-group. Pull the apartment back together, work on the upcoming fundraising event at my daughter's school, retouch more images for Getty (which put itself up for sale. Again, that happened during that awful week)