Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ask Away Friday with Barnadyn from "B is for"

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It's Ask Away Friday again and my second week returning to my favorite link up. If you're not familiar with it, Ask Away Friday was created by my  girl Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and is a weekly thang where bloggers get to know each other through swapping 10 questions which we post for all to see. If you'd like to see some of the other participants, swing by and visit our lovely hosts to check out the links to all the Ask Away Friday Partcipants at:

This week I am partnering with Bernadyn from B is for where she blogs about her adorable family of 4, her love of all things crafty, and her amazingly delicious and often healthy(er) recipes. Check it out! Her baked goods look as good as they probably taste- I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...

Here we go!

1. I’ve only briefly been in New Jersey when our flight to New York landed there.  What’s your favorite thing about New Jersey?  What’s your least favorite?

I'm a proud Jersey girl, despite N-J getting a bad rap. I've heard all the "armpit of the country" insults and complained along with the rest of the natives about the bad press we received thank to the "Jersey Shore." In reality, Jersey has the best of everything. Where I live I'm close to Philly and New York, the same distance from the beach and some of the most beautiful mountains, mansions, and farm land you've ever seen. I love that we get to live all 4 seasons. Summer and winter aren't unbearable while Fall and Spring, though sometimes short, are absolutely beautiful. There isn't much I don't like about NJ, but I sometimes wish I wasn't born here, because it is SO expensive to live here.

2. How often do you visit New York and what do you usually do when you visit?
I don't go to the city nearly as much as I would like. I'm actually closer to Philly where I live now, though where I grew up Manhattan was just a 45min. train ride away. I was lucky to visit monthly as part of a Broadway Bound Kids club in Middle School, which allowed us the opportunity take a bus in and see a different play each month. Since then my husband and I go in at least once a year to see a show and I accompany my middle schoolers on trips to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recently, Rock of Ages is one of our favorite shows to see, but my favorite adventure was just a few months ago when I visited a friend who took us to "The McKittrick Hotel." It's a big warehouse in Chelsea that is home to a bunch of awesome bars and an interactive, immersion theatrical experience,  called Sleep No More which has planted itself at the top of my to-do list. While there, we visited The Heath a bar/restaurant decorated to the nines as an old train station. There you can eat in old train cars while listening to live music or head upstairs to Gallow Green, a whimsical, roof-top bar that felt like it was straight out of A Midsummer Nights Dream.
(Left Image and awesome description of the whole McKittrick experience, Right Image)
3. What is your favorite craft you have made so far?
Oh man, asking me to pick a favorite craft is like asking me to choose a favorite child. Actually, that might not be the best analogy because though my crafts are my babies, I would never leave my baby undeveloped and abandoned as I do to many of the crafts I start and never finish. SO...I'd have to say some of my all time favorites are the marquee letter and palette bird that are both part of my blog header. I made the marquee letter a while back and posted about just this week: DIY Marquee Letter. Sadly, it has since fallen apart because I didn't have it displayed securely in my house and after taking one two many tumbles, it just died. No problem though, I'm going to cut it out of wood next time and use actual metal around the edges (add that to my never-ending, crafty to-do list...) My palette bird is another fave and has gotten some pretty cool attention on Pinterest. Here's the whole story on that one from way back in 2012. It was actually my first DIY post and second post ever: Bird Silhouette on Palette.

4. What craft projects do you have lined up in the future that you are the most excited to finish?
Speaking of my crafty to-do mentioned, it is pretty much never-ending. I started a second palette project 2 summers ago. It still isn't finished and I explained my plans for it in a little "vlog" teaser way back when. It will eventually look something like the image below.

This is a pretty popular Pinterest pin. I already assembled the wood, distressed it, and wrote out the letters, I just have to paint it. Don't ask me why I ditch projects in the last phase. I have a short attention span, and even less available time, but I will get back around to it soon because I am planning to hang it in Vi's room when we re-do it this Christmas in a "big-girl" style. All in all, my favorite crafts are anything that will add to the style I am trying to develop in our home, so another one in the works that I go back to every so often is another "h" (I have a thing for letters...) This one is a bigger version of the little Anthropologie knock offs that I posted here: Anthro. Style Fabric Letter. I bought a "V" at Anthro for Violets room, but come Ruby time, they were sold out, so I made one. I have since made and even sold a bunch, but I lost steam (are you sensing a trend? I feel like such a slacker...) 

5. I wish I had been able to create a belly cast when I was pregnant.  Your work and all your art work looks so beautiful and creative!  What is your favorite belly cast painting you have done?
Thank you! I've actually only done two and I have 2 unfinished in my studio (surprise! Haha)
The first one I did for a friend who actually introduced me to the whole concept and the second one was for my sister's sister-in-law who is an OB-GYN. She was planning on hanging it in her office to advertise for me, but I honestly don't know how I would actually make a business out of that right now with the amount of time it takes. That one is my favorite of the two though. She wanted to make it look like Van Gogh's, Starry Night so it was a fun challenge to recreate the style of one of my favorite artists.

6. If you could paint a portrait of anyone famous, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

I spent a lot of time thinking about this one. In a way I think it would be cool to paint one of the old masters like Van Gogh or DaVinci, but using the new technology we have today. I'd be all like, "Ok Mr. DaVinci, see this thing here? It's called a camera. I'll take your portrait via photo and draw from that, then give you a call when it's done!" I can imagine that sitting for a portrait to be painted was extremely frustrating for both the subject and artist. From a romanticized perspective though, maybe it would be more like Jack and Rose from Titanic. All come-hither tension and stuff. It might be pretty cool to go back to the good ol' fashioned ways! I have people ask me to paint them all the time. My high school gym teacher actually asked me to paint him naked on a horse. He was joking obviously, but I always wondered what someone would do with a painting like that? Hang it above their fireplace?

Anyway... Ian Someralder would be pretty cool to paint in real-time. If I'm going to sit and stare at someone for hours at a time, may as well enjoy the view, right? Plus he has amazing features. There 's a lot of energy in his whole look, it would be a fun challenge to try and capture that on canvas. Just those eyes alone would take at least an hour...Look at that smolder. I wonder if he owns any horses ;)
Photo Cred

7. I enjoyed your post and insight into Halloweenmas and the snowman with the pumpkin face!  It does feel like Christmas prepping starts earlier every year, here in our local stores, a few of them had Christmas items out in September and I did read somewhere last year when one of our local florists said they had to set everything up by September.  I enjoy November but this month does seem to be neglected even though Thanksgiving is an important holiday, too.  Does your family usually eat the same dishes at Thanksgiving?  What is one new dish you would love to eat this year?
It does, doesn't it? I'm a big offender of that this year too because I have this crazy idea to decorate my house all big bulbs, light up plastic figurines retro and I have to get a jump start on it if it's all going to come together. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving though. We do the standard fare: turkey, stuffing, green beans, yams (my personal fave! Mom makes them with marshmellows, walnuts and apple slices. It's amazing.) We generally have cranberry sauce from the can though and I wouldn't mind experiencing something unique and different in the way of cranberries this year. Any recipes, B?

8. What is your favorite dessert to eat at Thanksgiving?
I'm not a big pumpkin pie person. I like pumpkin in general, but not the pie version. Usually some warm apple pie and ice cream is my go-to, with a cup of coffee mixed with some Baileys. MMmmmm....

9. Teachers are such blessings in our children’s lives and I appreciate them so much more now that my son is in school so thank you for all you do.  Do you have a special teaching moment that stands out in your mind that you could share with us?
Thank you so much! It is nice to hear that, especially in the current situation we find ourselves in the midst of education reform. A lot of blame gets put on the teachers and I find that, though not all of us are blameless, over- testing our students, creating a one size fits all curriculum, and overall approach does nothing to actually help bridge an achievement gap. I am lucky to work in a building with some of the most devoted and talented professionals I've ever seen who all truly and dearly care about our students and enjoy coming to work each day. It is so hard to put my finger on a single moment that stands out. It means a lot to me when students who have moved on to the high school come back to my classroom and say how much they miss the art room. I work really hard to make it a place they love being and when they acknowledge that, it warms my heart. These kids make me laugh every single day. I love that I get to follow a group of students from their 6th to 8th grade year, and see them mature and grow. I love hearing a student say they are proud of their work, and most recently I tried out a new Pop Art project with my 6th graders that totally blew me away and surpassed my expectations. It was a very rewarding experience. 

10. What is something you hope to achieve with your blog in the next five years?
I would really like to say that in 5 years I will be using my blog as an adequate supplemental income, but right now I just want to make it through the next few months posting regularly without losing steam. I used to have some pretty grand bloggy dreams and they're not dead, just on hold for a bit.

So that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to Bernadyn's questions. I had a blast answering them! Don't forget to stop by "B is for" to see her answers to the 10 questions I asked her.


  1. That is beautiful work by your students! Sleep No More sounds like a cool place to visit, I'll have to make note of all these places you mentioned whenever I visit in or near New Jersey. Ooh, I would love a pic of Ian hanging somewhere, I know I wouldn't get tired of looking at him! Maybe your gym teacher wanted to send that horse photo as a gift to someone, who knows what they do with those pics? I'm wondering that now, too! We have the same thing on our table for Thanksgiving along with a side of homemade mac and cheese that my hubby's grandmother makes. It's really good, I should get the recipe for that. I don't have anything for cranberries but my mom and sis love them, that would be a great idea to create something and share it with you all! Great swapping with you this week, have a good weekend. :)

  2. I'm actually going to New Jersey tomorrow so I was nodding along with how people assume it's a nasty place. It's not! And I remember going to NYC constantly in my youth.
    I hope you do achieve your blog dreams and don't lose steam! And the belly cast is amazing.

  3. Hi Meg! I am so happy to have you back with us weekly... I always loved your Anthropolgie knock off and actualy thought it looked better! I love the belly casts...I always wanted to get one done but could never find someone...I wish I knew you then!!

  4. I kinda wish that I dyI'd a belly.cast with my youngest. I did take some awesome maternity photos. :)


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