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02 April 2014

A Most Eggciting Adventure in New York City!

April 2, 2014.

I went to New York City this morning for a business discussion and also to purchase materials for my bookbinding projects & classes. Instead of taking the cab or using the public transportation, I got an unexpected bonus from walking from one place to another place. Unbeknown to me, I found out that Fabergé has revealed the Big Egg Hunt today this morning at 7 am. I saw a few in the Flatiron area, and I was enthralled. I had wanted to spend a little more time finding more eggs, but my time was limited and I plan to go back again to find more eggs. Here are the photos that I've taken:

                                                                       Romero Britto ^

                                                                        Michael Owen ^

                                                                  Theo A. Rosenblum ^

                                        Stamberg Aferiat/Tsang + Vilanova ^

                                                                               Josh Stika^

From the Big Egg Hunt's website, I understand that there are over 260 eggs located in all over the five boroughs. I plan to go back to Manhattan and find some more to take photos. Oh, this is going to be FUN!

01 April 2014

Back to the Blogosphere!

Hello everyone,

First of all, I'm now back to the blogosphere. Wow, I have been out of it for almost four years, and I have been encouraged to get back to blogging as I have so much to share! For several years, I have been busy with letterpress printing, stenciling, bookbinding, collage, and documenting.

Secondly, I've just added a list of the upcoming classes on the left column. Last Saturday March 29, 2014, I just completed a test run of my new stenciling & bookbinding class, and it was a fabulous success. My wonderfully talented students were able to stencil & create book cloth for the covers, and bound two text blocks of different sizes in one day - look at what they have created! You can learn how to do the same at two retreats - one on the East Coast (July 2014) and one on the West Coast (September 2014). See photo below:

Aren't they WONDERFUL?!? But wait, all you're seeing are the front covers. The link to the video shows more details of the samples that I've created for the retreat classes: 

I will be showing you the samples for other class in another post soon. Looking forward to creating more future posts and hearing from you. :-)

02 December 2010

The Peters Valley Experience (Part 2, 3, & 4)

Part 2: The Mailboxes

Mailboxes?? Yeah, and each one of them at Peters Valley Crafts Center is different. I did not realize that I had that many photos of them so I decided to put these in one category just like what I did with fire hydrants. Think of this part 2 as a photo gallery...

I noticed that one mother bird took advantage of the missing door (above), but where is it? I saw that it was on the ground close by (below).

Part 3: The Food

For some reasons, I didn't sign up for the meal plan. Instead, I paid for each meal individually as I was eating breakfast at a local B&B place nearby. But on the first day of the workshop, I had my breakfast at this dining place after the end of the early morning trip from my home. Oh yes, they do serve vegetarian diets.

I'm sure you're wondering at to what the heck that thing on the left side of the above photo is - that's one corner of a big tent - see below. We had a choice as to where we can enjoy our meals: 1. inside; 2. on the porch; and 3. under the tent.

Look at how festive it was on Fourth of July! Love these colors of the gelatin dessert! Here's the lunch that I had on this holiday at Peters Valley - I believe it was my first time I was away from home on this holiday. No, I didn't see the fireworks - not interested, tho.

I believe that the photo below shows the last meal I had before I left Peters Valley to get back home before heading down to North Carolina for Penland School. Oh, by the way, a big black bear did appear in this area - I have a picture of it taken by someone from Peters Valley Crafts Center, but I didn't have the time secure the permissions to publish his photo on this blog.

Part 4: The Lodging

For some reasons, I decided that I would stay at a bed & breakfast place instead of staying on campus. Somehow, I found this spot on the web and decided that I would stay there for a couple of days to avoid the Interstate 80's commuter traffic. I did commute back to Peters Valley on the last day. This is The Inn at Maple Lawn in Layton, NJ. Please notice that the dark color in the photo below is supposed to be dark green, not blue. I don't know what was wrong with my digital camera - it acted as if it decided to be color-blind early in the morning. You can see better colors on their website - it is actually that green!

I stayed in the room on the second floor in the front. It is a pretty big room with the modern conveniences including air conditioning and HD television! It is very funny to see a very Victorian room with all these high tech - no, the high tech stuff were not done in steampunk style, but that would be a fun idea!

I spoke to the one of the owners of this place, and he is a woodworker. He and his wife did a beautiful job with the whole place - he told me about the original owner who was a doctor. Very, very interesting history! And by looking at the way the rooms were done, I could tell that his wife is a mixed media artist, and he even showed me her studio. No, I did not take a photo of the studio - I consider that a private spot and I want to respect that person's privacy. Anyway, I have not met his wife yet, but I hope to drop by for a cup of coffee and chat with her when I get back to Peters Valley to visit the crafts store.

I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfasts there alone - I was the only guest there at that time and their daughters did a GREAT job of making me feel at home! When you make reservations to stay at this place, be sure to tell the owners if you are taking any workshop at Peters Valley as they will contribute a percentage to the Crafts Center. I strongly recommended this place - if you can walk up the stairs as the two guest rooms are on the second floor.

01 December 2010

The Peters Valley Experience - July 2-6, 2010

Part 1: The Village

The first time I came to this place was when I was a high schooler, attending their crafts fair in this location. I went back to the crafts fair again last year (2009) but it was in a different location - Sussex County Fairgrounds. For a long time I have wanted to came to this village for a workshop, and I got an opportunity to attend Beatrice Coron's papercutting workshop, Short Cutz.

At the beginning of last July, I drove my car into this area, and got myself registered at the Peters Valley Crafts Center's administrative building. Before I tell you about the studios, the food, where I stayed at, and Beatrice's workshop, let me show you the rural area in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Here's the sign for the parking...

A map showing where I was (as pointed by the red arrow on the right).

The middle building is a store, and the other two buildings...umm...I forgot what they were...

This area used to be called Bevans, NJ, but it's now part of Layton, NJ.

The crafts shop...

Pots of pretty plants on both sides of the stairs...

To me, this is really an interesting building. I find it unusual to be three stories high in the middle of "nowhere".

In front of the tall building are three cool pieces of sculpture - covered with broken ceramic pieces.

Further up the hill is a kitchen and dining hall.

In the corner of the wraparound porch is a bird's nest...cute babies.

Peters Valley Crafts Center's administrative building.

The red barn...

One of the on-campus lodgings...

The "church" - it's now a meeting place. This is where all of the current instructors (the ones teaching from July 2 to July 6) gave their talk about their work - most of them also showed the slides and/or videos. All of them in one night, and they were AWESOME.

Interesting old gravestones - I am sure if that name (Layton) has anything to do with the changing of the village name...

I discovered this cool accident while I was taking photo of the "church".

One of the roads...very quiet and not too many cars.

One of the pretty stone houses...

Walking path between studios, parking, and dining room.

Saw this sculpture on the walking path.

Love this rural vista!

Maintenance building...

Ah! That's my paper-cutting instructor extraordinaire, Beatrice Coron!

I will tell you more about her and her work, but let me show you something else first - coming soon in the next posts. Stay tuned!

26 November 2010

March 2, 2010: Window Shopping and Dining in NYC

Since this day (March 2) was the last day of Printing with Polymer Plate workshop, I decided that I would celebrate my birthday belatedly at a restaurant even thought it was on Ground Hog day. Yeah, a whole month later, but better late than never. I made a reservation on-line for dinner at Union Square Cafe using the Open Table's website. I arrived at this restaurant too early so I decided to do window-shopping on the six blocks long section of Broadway between Madison Square Park and Union Square Park. I saw an interesting object in front window of a furniture store, Environment, and I have no idea as to where it came from. I should have gone into the store to find out, but I didn't. I checked out their website, and I found it very interesting (and green, too).

Next store is ABC Home which is one of my favorite NYC stores to browse. It is so full of ideas for using both new and vintage items. I later found out last month that the basement is now filled with items from The Conran Shop which made me very happy - I can check it out in this location instead of having to go all the way to their bigger store on the Upper East Side. Anyway, in this particular window display, I learned about the South African bead craft organization, Monkeybiz, and also a little about Barbara Jackson. I looked for more information and found out that there was an exhibition of the beaded people & animals held at /Nancy Hoffman gallery back in 2004. The gallery's website contains really good pictures of the exhibition itself (very colorful), and it made me want to visit this gallery in Chelsea art district soon to see the works by other artists.

Next store - another favorite - Fishs Eddy which is diagonally across from ABC Home. I love this store - all restaurant quality dinnerware. I am not fond of fancy, expensive and delicate chinaware - I prefer the thick and heavy dishes.

Love the way the wooden trays were used - as shelves.

As soon as I saw this, I thought it was such a clever idea - glassware repurposed as a chandelier. It looked so COOL!

Finally, it was time for me to go to Union Square Cafe. I heard about it many times in the past, and it was on my list of top NYC restaurants that I wanted to try. It was Danny Meyer's first restaurant, and I have heard of his name. I also owned a cookbook co-authored by both him and Michael Romano. I also found out that Danny's group also operates two cafes at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) - that fact alone from Wikipedia explains everything. I have had lunches at MoMA's cafe they were just superb. Anyway, at the time I was there at Union Square Cafe, Carmen Quagliata was the chef. Look at how elegant this plate of butter...

Three different pieces of bread, and a bowl of wonderful olives (got my second one after I ate all of the first bowl).

Since I had little time before I went to a printing studio, I had to order several small dishes. First one is Winter Vegetable Minestrone with Parmigiano Reggiano. Earthy & divine.

Next is Sliced Cara Cara Oranges with Fennel Vinaigrette, Toasted Pinenuts, Mint and Ricotta Salata. They looked eeriely like tomatoes, but they're actually oranges. Not orangey, and not tart, either. Can't describe the taste of this cool orange - totally unlike any other oranges that I've had. Also, I didn't know that ricotta is also available as firm. Several days after I visited this place, I unexpectedly found these cara cara oranges at De Piero's in Northern NJ, and I was able to figure out how to make this same salad myself at home. It is now one of my favorite winter dinner starters.

Last one is Greenmarket Squash Tortelli with Cranberry-Sage Brown Butter. Oh wow! It is so delish, and no, I am not going to try to figure out how to make them myself. I am hoping to go back there again soon. I gave them a positive comment in Open Table's evaluation form, and I got a very nice personal thank you note from this restaurant. I am very impressed.

Unfortunately, I could not stay longer for the dessert as I had to be at a printing studio on time to finish my project below.

When I go back to this wonderful restaurant, I will make sure that I will have more time to enjoy the dinner - hopefully with a friend or two.