Thursday, September 30, 2010

A family that goes to art galleries together stays together

This past weekend was Beyond In Western New York.  All the galleries were open in Buffalo with no admission fee.  Buffalo is a rather small city with an extremely large arts community.  I personally feel Buffalo should restore historic buildings downtown and turn them into art buildings like at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia or Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.  Buffalo could use an art institute or something.

My family and I gallery hopped Friday - Sunday.  I believe a family that goes to art galleries together stays together.  We've been going to art shows/openings all my life.  We were more of an art gallery, reenactment group, Williamsburg visiting kind of family rather than going to amusement parks.

This weekend we went to: 

Albright Knox Art Museum
CEPA Gallery
Burchfield Penney Art Museum
Big Orbit 
El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego River
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
Hi-Temp Fabrication
Hotel Lafayette
Squeaky Wheel
Starlight Studio and Art Gallery 
Western New York Book Arts Center
Carnegie Art Center 
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Anderson Gallery
UB Center for the Arts Gallery

It was quite a weekend!  Now rice rafferty is newly inspired and ready to get back to the studio to continue making things!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wine, Yarn, and Animals

Two weekends ago I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.  The countryside was absolutely beautiful. The Finger Lakes Wine Tasting was also going on that weekend as well as next weekend.  It was warm, sunny fall day and there were scarves, yarn, and animals abound.  They had lhamas, sheep, and rabbits there since they use their hair for making clothing.

After the festival we headed up to through Honeoye Falls, which is a stunning little town.  They have a waterfall right in the middle of the town (that's my kind of place).  Next, we drove up to Rochester.  I really love Rochester.  It's a beautiful little city.  We drove through the suburbs up to Lake Ontario and Irondquoit - Durand Eastman Lake.  Since it's almost Halloween (well not quite but in Western New York we like to start Halloween as early as possible) we drove to Durand Eastman Lake which is known to be the place where The Lady in White appears.  The story goes back to the early 1800s when a woman's child went missing.  The mother of the girl had a feeling the farmer next door raped and killed her.  Every day the mother went wandering the woods with her dogs searching for her daughter.  Eventually she was left so grief stricken she threw herself off the cliffs into the water.  They say on a foggy night you can see the Lady in White rise up from the lake and continue to search for her daughter.

When we drove up to the lake I had a strange familiar feeling.  I knew "this was it."  There was a white swan swimming in the lake which gave an eerie feeling (it was almost dusk too..ooohhh spooky).  It's a gorgeous little spot between two lakes Durand and Lake Ontario.  The story of the Lady in White was also made into a movie.  I recommend checking it out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spread Joy Wherever You Go

The day my mom was having her mammogram my coworker told me she was diagnosed with cancer.  It was terrifying to sit and wait the past few weeks to see which way the pendulum would swing.  My mother doesn't have cancer, but both my mother and my coworker are having a lumpectomy surgery on the same day next week...kind of freaky, right?  Today, I told my coworker my mom is having surgery the same day and she felt kind of comforted that she's not in this alone.  I was hesitant about telling her at first, but i'm glad I could bring her some comfort during this really difficult time.  You never really know what people are going through or how you can bring joy to someone in an unexpected way. 

Rice Rafferty also has big news.  Our, in the Pink, rice rafferty Statement Necklace will be available tonight at Viva for Life ;~)  So happy to be part of the solution ;~)   

2010 ViVA for Life, Buffalo, NY, an evening of celebration benefiting
The Western New York Breast Resource Center
at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Work or Play?

"You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play." --Warren Beatty

Friday night I was supposed to go out with my friend Kristen; however, plans fell through.  I sat down and decided I needed a chill session so I turned on the 2 hour Grey's Anatomy season finale from April that I missed.  Yes, it's now September, but this was great because now I don't have to wait months to see what happens next!  WOW.  I'm not so into tv these days, but it was riveting.  A shooter was in the hospital and a ton of our favorite characters were getting shot.  Grey's Anatomy always has an action packed season finale.  The story had me on the edge of my seat and it was heart felt.

After Grey's I put on a more calming Hallmark movie (my secret pleasure).  I looked around the studio and decided to make something (my hands must always keep busy).  My mother recently hand dyed a few yards of tulle bright oranges, pinks, and yellows.  I started making little rosettes and stitching beads and pearls for some new corsages.  It was just me...alone on a friday night and it felt damn good!  While playing with the tulle I got a flashback of my favorite movie when I was kid West Side Story.  I thought of the scene when Natalie Wood was dancing around in the seamstress clothing shop, her family owned, singing the song I Feel Pretty.  It feels like things are beginning to click and fall into place.  I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.  I'm on the right track!  Hours go by like minutes and I don't want to stop working.

The picture above is the tulle.  Aren't the colors delicious?  I had fun just playing around with it.  Have you ever noticed great ideas often occur when you're playing?  I suggest to make some time to play today.  What will you do?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the Pink

My mum [who has breast cancer] is a fighter. I've got that from her, I know she's a fighter.
Naomi Campbell

Rice Rafferty has joined the fight against Breast Cancer.  Our new line "In The Pink" was inspired by the pink ribbon and breast cancer awareness.  We plan to give a percentage of the sale of this line to Look Good Feel Better.  The next most important part of recovering from cancer after all the surgeries etc is feeling good about yourself and finding the beauty within to keep going.  Our designs are meant to help people find their beauty and joy in in life again.

Cancer is something that has touched at least one family member, friend, or acquaintance.  The earlier we detect problems the faster we can fix them.  Get a mammogram once a year.  If you're too afraid to do it for yourself then do it for your loved ones.  Both of my grandmothers and my aunt had breast cancer and they're all survivors. 

Our line includes statement bib necklaces and corsages.  We hand dye our tulle and use upcycled beads, pearls, and upcycled jewelry to embellish the accessories.  The bib statement necklace pictured above also incorporates one of our handmade and hand painted polymer clay roses.  The back of the necklace is reinforced with a soft fabric and our rice rafferty label.  The necklace length is adjustable with the long ribbon.

We're also looking to donate a necklace fto a breast cancer organization to be raffled off or auctioned off.   Please contact us if you're interested in purchasing an accessory, helping out or know an organization we can help.  Thank you!

(Bib Statement Necklace $115, Corsage $22)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fabric Flower Corsages

The beginning of September has me reminiscing of homecoming season - brisk autumn evenings watching football games and the homecoming dance.  I loved dressing up and going to school dances with my friends.  I was thinking about one of the most memorable parts - the corsages!  The wrist corsage was such a fun part of the homecoming dance, but it always made me sad when the flowers would dry out.  I decided this would be a great idea for a new rice rafferty design - upcycled fabric flower corsages.  A corsage is a great way to dress up any outfit for weddings, dances, homecoming, prom, mother's day, or just a special evening out!  A corsage is also a great keepsake.

The wrist corsage above is made from pink tulle, shear nylon floral petals, pearl beads, and an elastic wrist band.  Corsages can also be made so you can add live flowers into it too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be Green and Chic

Check out our new headband for autumn 2010!  Look glamorous and chic in our up cycled silk rosette headband.  The headband is eco friendly because it's made from upcycled beads and hand dyed silk.  Green tea, beige, and terra cota red colors glisten as you wear the headband.

Live Today for Tomorrow is Uncertain

Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.
Helen Keller

Last weekend my great Aunt died.  We have a very small family, so one person really makes a big difference.  I was lucky to see her just a few hours before she died.  It was sad to see her in this state and not her happy, bubbly self.  I looked at how beautiful her skin appeared and I admired her beautiful wedding picture sitting in her room.  I wondered...Did Aunt Katie have any regrets?

A death tends to bring up all the old feelings of grief from everyone you've loved and lost.  Death also causes me to ask - "Am I doing what I want with my life?"  "What can I do today to minimize the regrets I may have on my death bed.  Live life to the fullest!  There really is no time like today to make a mends with an old friend or a family member that you lost touch with.  Every day presents new opportunities for change.  Do you have any regrets?  Is there some trip you'd like to take or an instrument to learn?

Last night I had this sudden urge to gesso a canvas and just free form paint.  Some emotions can only be expressed with a pen or a brush.

The funeral is over now.  Family flew in from California, Washington state, Louisiana, NYC, Florida, and Buffalo. Everyone has returned home, but we're left with this sinking feeling that a member of our family is no longer here.  Even though we can't see Aunt Katie anymore she lives on in all of us.