Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas in New York 2014 - The Annual Kids Visit

One of my favorite days each year is when my kids come in to Manhattan for the annual Christmas visit. 

Nothing makes me happier than having my son on one side, daughter on the other, and grandson in the middle!

Liam loved the doggie hat, with flaps that kept it securely on his head.

I've been calling the twins "Thing 1 and Thing 2" in these Christmas stretches.

The Annual Holiday Fair at Grand Central transforms Vanderbilt Hall from a place to pass through to a place to stop and meander...

Fun for the man who loves his ties...

...and the lady who loves her hats...

...and for the child who loves toys on wheels.

My grandson's favorite part of Grand Central Terminal - riding the giant escalator.

At the annual Holiday Train Show at the NY Transit Museum, miniature Metro-North, New York Central and subway trains depart from a pint-sized Grand Central Terminal.

Speaking of pint sized, he didn't let the bigger kids push him out of the way when it was time to get a view of the train.

And it's not a complete visit if you don't get a train of your own, complete with push-button light and train whistle.

And afterwards our friend Rosie brought so many Crumbs cupcakes that we had a wonderfully difficult time choosing.
Three little monkeys under the giant Rockefeller Center tree.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas in New York-FAO Schwartz

From the moment you walk in the front door, greeted by a living toy soldier, this store is the fantasy of fantasies. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas in New York, December 2

If you aren't familiar with the entirety of Handel's Messiah, it is done in three parts and is about (as you might imagine) Jesus Christ as Messiah. It's often performed at Christmas, but sometimes at Easter as well.  Seeing it at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, was a real treat.  Part 1 is about the prophecies before Christ's birth and ends with the Annunciation; Part 2 is about the Passion of Christ and ends with the much-beloved Hallelujah chorus. Part 3 is about the resurrection and rebirth of Christ.

In the picture below, the entire chorus is standing for the Hallelujah chorus, including additional choir members who are present only for that one part, seen in the second picture in two levels of the balconies.  It truly sounds like the heavens have opened up and a choir of angels is singing when you hear this performed live at Lincoln Center.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas in New York, First Night

I'm going to try to post as many Christmas in New York photos as I can this year, since it's my last year in Manhattan.  I won't say I'll be posting daily because that's just too much of a tall order for me -- but hopefully at least every few days.

Today I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my friends Pat, Benedicte and Shirley. We saw a few new exhibits (cubist, costume exhibit display of women's mourning attire, and El Greco among them), but the most seasonally memorable was the yearly Christmas display.  There was a time when you had to sneak a photo of the tree, but they've given up on that prohibition and we are now allowed to click away.

In addition to the silk-robed angels hanging from the tree, there is a baroque 18th century Neapolitan Nativity scene nestled around the base of it.  If you've never seen it in person, you have to visit during your next holiday in New York.

Three of the four amigos. We look like a 1970s album cover.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Trends

I'm always a day late and a dollar short.

Someone just asked what this year's Reinbeer trend would be. Reinbeer?

For the similarly uninitiated, here are Reinbeer:

I'm still working on the Ugly Sweater Party trend and trying to make sure I don't wear one by mistake...

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Later today I'll be going to my daughter's house to do pumpkin carving with my little grandsons (ages 1 and 2) for the first time in their lives and probably the 55th in mine. After that we're going to a Halloween parade together, and I've been debating what kind of quick costume gramma can come up with.

One of the nicest things about having grandchildren is that I get to watch - and sometimes take part in - the same things I did with their parents. The circle of life!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Altered Books

I had three final sets of pages to work on for my Hawaii friends' altered book group. As an off-island member, I send my work to the group and the pages are "tipped in," or added to each person's book using tape or glue. Every member selects a theme, and it's up to each artist to decide how to interpret that theme. It's always interesting to see the many different responses to the same topic.

The first set of pages was for a theme of "Word Play" -- the unique, often silly ways that words can be used. The words on my pages are a song my mom used to sing to me when I was a kid, and that I sang to my own children.  I used watercolors enhanced with pan pastels for this spread:

The next theme was "Beginnings," and my interpretation was based on a quotation I found that resonated with me.  For this one, I used paste paper for a background (made with my friend Shirley last week) and created a faux chalkboard with a message about overlooking some things in life in order to embrace others.

The final theme was "Open and Close."  At first I couldn't think of anything inspiring, but my husband helped me brainstorm. Pandora's conundrum - to open or not to open - was the perfect fodder for these pages.

You can see how the flap on the right folds out in the photo beneath this one.

 Inside the flaps are all the evils, with hope in the center.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I liked making them!