Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Tree

It's creative Christmas-time here in Brooklyn and this year, I hand stamped and sticker-ed a stack of holiday cards (with cute little sad penguins and sparkling hearts) and since transporting an actual tree home on the train isn't really an option, I decorated our apartment with a book tree. Yes, a book tree! I found the idea HERE.

The bottom layer consists of coffee-table style art books (Mary Engelbreit: The Art and the Artist, Beautiful People with Beautiful Feelings, Nikki S. Lee: Projects); the middle tier contains picture books, spiritual guides, philosophy essays, poetry anthologies, novels, a text on neuroscience and an atlas (Airstream Living, The Spell of the Sensuous, There is Nothing Wrong With You, The Brain that Changes Itself, Actual Air); and for the topper we have my trusty, very used Thesaurus and a miniature log cabin incense holder which smokes a lovely, wintery, Balsam Fir scent from its tiny chimney. See Paine Products out of Maine to order your own. It's delightful!
Being so far away from Seattle is difficult, especially during the holidays. I suffer from severe homesickness. However, building this little nugget of joy not only brightened my mood (and my living room) but is built out of the words and pictures that inspire me. I love libraries- having shelves of books in my home has always been intrinsic but having a vertical library-shrine dedicated to holiday joy, decorated with shiny, sparkly objects? Yes, please.

I want to thank my boyfriend's wonderful mom for so generously contributing the lovely ornaments, stockings (hung from the guitar stand with care) and other embellishments which arrived this past week in a giant, goodie-filled box.  A second humble, sincere expression of gratitude is owed to my mother, father and sister for the other overwhelming package of gifts and good-luck charms. This project, nor the parcels underneath the "tree" would not have been possible without the love of family.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dream House

Dream House is an sound and light environment designed by ultra modern minimalists, composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela, hosted by Mela Foundation. I visited the space recently and left calmed in a way I cannot describe. A very interactive, fascinating experience.

The Dream House reopens Thursday, November 17th, 2011 and is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 2:00pm - Midnight.
visit the Dream House page for more information

The Dream House and MELA Foundation are located at:
275 Church Street between Franklin St & White St

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seattle Shout Out - Burning Beast at Smoke Farm

When feeling homesick for Seattle, I dig around in the old memory box (my brain, computer files and literally a box I have under my bed). Today I came up with one of the many incredible adventures I was lucky to embark on with my band, Hallways.

We played as a five-piece band throughout 2009 and during that Summer, were offered an incredible gig at Smoke Farm, a privately owned mecca of earth, north of Seattle that hosts the playground for Seattle based non-profit, Rubicon Foundation. Smoke Farm was hosting the 2nd Annual Burning Beast, a tribute to the Seattle restaurant industry and a sincere celebration of food and the customs inherent to eating.

As part of the entertainment, we were granted free entry to the event and allowed to participate in all the festivities. As a tireless connoisseur of education and an employee of the restaurant industry, I can honestly say I have most enjoyed meat when prepared by humans who respect the sacrifice and ritual of preparing and consuming beings that were once alive with love in their hearts. This festival for me, in this day and age of fast food, excess and lack of connection to what enters our bodies, was the epitome of such an experience.

We ate the most incredible, sustainably-raised meat and fish, we made dear friends, we bonded over our years of hard work in customer service, we celebrated a hard working community, we honored the beast we ate and we ate, we ate, we ate. We played music until the wee hours with our dear friends and we drank, we camped, we lived!

I miss you, my dear, dear home of Seattle, Washington. This is one of my many love letters to you. You should definitely go to Burning Beast next year.  xo, *Stephica

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The American Museum of Natural History

Grant and I recently visited The American Museum of Natural History. I had assumed Monday mid-day would be a quiet time to reflect on and nerd out in The Halls of Minerals and Gems and the Dioramas, however tourist season is upon us and field trips from a cavalcade of institutions have apparently taken over New York City. Due to the crowds, we cut our afternoon there a bit short but then ended the day with a romantic stroll through Central Park. Lovely. I heart Science! Read More below to see all 56 pictures I took...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Science, My Love!

Science was introduced to my academics as both practical tool and inspired history by my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Janet Mock. Throughout my year in her 3rd/4th-grade split-class at Parkwood Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, students' horizons were broadened through unusual but highly effective techniques.

She fostered an unusually intimate and liberal social and scholastic environment. We were encouraged to grow as individuals and bond as a team, to build a structure of trust and curiosity. Lifelong friendships and defining memories were composed. As the process of learning became fun, joyful and exciting, our eyes opened to the endless possibilities of the universe. We performed Shakespeare's Macbeth, went on countless field trips to science, art and performance centers, math came in the form of games with names like "Spink!", she read literary masters to us by candlelight, used positive reinforcement in the way of class slogans that we would all shout together: "oh joy, oh rapture, it's spelling time!". She never underestimated our intelligence or curiosity. Class projects were team-oriented and challenging, personal relationships and youth dramas were deemed relevant to our growth and time was set aside to explore social issues. These practices and the tools acquired from them altered the course of my creativity and direction in life.

Seeds that were planted, flowered to become symbols of love. My study of rocks, stones and the depth of beauty within the earth inspired me to study geology as an undergraduate with a fascinating professor who's passion also ignited my own. Theories of evolution, mass extinction, and concepts of time and space offered endless opportunities to analyze reality. This new understanding of the relationship between internal and external worlds served as validation of my personal experiences in enlightenment and spirituality.

The premise of this blog is to remind myself and my readers (all five of you) to stay open to the exploration of all things. Through discovery and awareness, what may look plain on the surface, must surely contain something extraordinary, if we can only stand still long enough to question and yet also trust its reality, even if that reality seems foreign. I have experienced  a stream of natural energies released by this process of leaving one's mind open, which then can alter perception and experience. Isn't this the magic of life? How often do we stand still long enough to discover a hidden truth?

Mrs. Mock activated my interest in education as a fundamental tool for understanding and participating in our universe. There have been other formative teachers in my schoolingmy English teacher, Mr. Steve Kelly at Shorewood High School, my involvement with Washington State art camp, Centrum, along with my entire elementary school experience at Parkwoodthat I plan to honor further in future postings. My deepest respect goes out to these facilitators for relaying information in a constructive and stimulating fashion. From my perspective as a student, when the learning process reaches far beyond textbooks and deadlines and pushes one to question everything previously learned, we become inspired to dig deeper and make connections out of sheer passion. To me, this is the miracle of teaching.

What inspires you?

The idea for this post came after discovering my new favorite store in Manhattan, The Evolution Store, located in SoHo.  Additionally, I can't wait to visit The American Museum of Natural History...oh, what new adventures await me here in New York City!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cookin' with Sauce

Oh man! So most of you know I recently moved from Seattle to Brooklyn, NY. I never would have made it this far without the help of my Shoreline, WA crew. One of the perks of living with Alex, my current NY roomie is getting to dine on the delicious creations of this very talented chef. Alex and my other bestie/roomie, Omar, both write for blog, Supply & Demand. I have to share not only Alex's talent in the kitchen but this sweet photoshop pic I helped him design. Visit Supply & Demand for his first of many recipes!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

North Korea Exhibit B

Go see this documentary. The imagery is incredible and the use of propaganda in the North Korean government is powerfully linked to the US on many significant levels, especially poignant during the Bush administration (film made in 2004).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Plethora of Pandas

So it's looking like I will need to change my musical project name from "Sad Panda" to something more original, even though I still think it's a perfect fit. I didn't realize the phrase was coined on South Park. Urban Dictionary description:

An unhappy, disappointed person. The phrase can be traced back to an episode of the cartoon South Park, in which the "Sexual Harassment Panda" teaches the children what is and isn't sexual harassment.

Is it a coincidence that the author of this entry is named Stephanie M.? I mean really, is it Spring yet? Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beauty enters in all forms...

Beauty enters in all forms
thrills me to upper level confessions
falls away from this I am in now
hunts me like there is no tomorrow.
Only these collective moments
building blocks to later lives;
what we consider to be extreme,
yet only kittens compared
to the extension of this universe-
only fragments.
I try too hard to document
their passionate actions
strange comforts
unbearable loveliness
proof of being alive.

Monday, January 10, 2011

King of Hearts

Sadness, hope, truth, humor, art and love- all beautifully wrapped up in one amazing French film.

Le Roi de Coeur (King of Hearts)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mike Dipetrillo

So I was grabbing a Stumptown espresso (best coffee in the world) and a mighty tasty mini cupcake of the month (banana cake with peanut butter chocolate fudge frosting) at Cupcake Royale in Caphill yesterday and zap! (laser beam sound) tractor beamed toward the art of Mike Dipetrillo aka mikeatron. His series of Zodiac illustrations (the images below I took at Cupcake Royale) line the art gallery-style walls in colorful sincerity. I heart this art. Visit mikeatron at his Homepage.

Dipetrillo's bright acrylics, environmentally conscious humor and delightful mythological depictions brightened my evening. Images of Zodiac available for viewing at Cupcake Royale, Capitol Hill location. Better yet, go attend the reception on Thursday, January 13th 2011, part of one of my favorite local events- BLITZ Capitol Hill Arts Walk.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We went out for Pho last night for our New Year's Eve dinner at Ballet (a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant in Capitol Hill) and my fortune cookie said:
"You will be fortunate in everything you put your hands to". At first, I dismissed it but then my sister asked me to reconsider it's application. Currently in my life, writing, making art and playing the piano are some of the most important things I do. I don't want to over analyze (me? no!) but lately I've been seeing beauty and purpose in the little things. So here's to a fortunate 2011! Happy New Year!!

And apparently I'm not the only one who's read into this statement. See Cindy's blog, Hello for her entry on this very subject.