Thursday, March 31, 2011


I've started a new twitter, @artsyplantsy.  Here I'll post all the little things that don't merit a full blog post, like tons of pictures of sprouting things, or art I see while I'm walking around.  And of course links to interesting artsy or plantsy blog posts.  I like this new name because I feel more free to post the things I want to post, and feel like people will follow me based on those things, instead of having lots of random Jewish organizations following me because of my username even though none of my tweets are Jewish-related.

I haven't decided how I will include a feed to artsyplantsy on the blog yet.  But if you want to follow along while I'm still in the rough stages, please follow me!

I think this new twitter account signals a move from my JewishGal brand that I've been working under for the last almost four years.  I'm not really connecting with that part of me right now the way I was back when I started this blog (and the other JewishGal things, like my old twitter account).  I'm more Jewishly active in my private life than I was back then when I was a Jewish professional, but I'm less interested in using that part of me as a lens for my public life.

What I'm saying is I'm contemplating a major shift that will have minor effects.  I am thinking about moving my blog and revamping it, including all of the past posts, but under a new name.  I'm thinking of consolidating my "brand," changing my personal website url from the obscure "spiffywafer" to something that is more cohesive with the rest of my online presence.  I don't have any ideas, but coming up with a new twitter made me think about it.  But I don't think there will be any major effects on any of my regular readers' experiences with my blog, website, etc, other than typing in a new url when you want to see what I'm up to.  I've been spiffywafer since 2001 and JewishGal since 2007, so it's kind of a tough choice!

In any case, look forward to future unveiling of something big and more put together than the current semi-connected website, blog, and twitter accounts.  But not yet.  Still kind of busy with what's on my plate right now!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary :)

Today is our second wedding anniversary.  It's funny that it's our "second" anniversary because we've been together for eight years!  But two years ago today we got married.  It was 75 and sunny (maybe a little misting of rain in the afternoon).  It was such an amazing day and an amazing weekend.  :) :)

This past weekend we sponsored kiddush and scotch club at shul and I made this surprise centerpiece while JewishGuy was at work.  He didn't know about it until it was on the table at shul.

I tried to recreate our wedding invitations in a found object sculpture.  Ha!

We decided not to do anything for our anniversary except go on a date and get a big cake with two candles in it.  It's too hectic to plan something crazy and really we don't need to do anything but spend time together.  AW.  MUSH.  Also, last year, our anniversary was the first seder, so we spent our anniversary at a stranger's house with lots of people we didn't know (and a few people we did) getting drunk and eating matzah.  Actually it was a TON of fun!  But having a big piece of cake on our anniversary is definitely an improvement over matzah.

(Anyway, we still haven't been on a honeymoon.  Whatever...)

Happy 2 years!  Looking forward to many, many more.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I've started my garden already.  It's still in the 40s out so whatever starts growing won't go outside for another few weeks, but I'm supposed to begin sprouting them inside so here we are.
So far I've already got spinach (above) and tomatoes that I can actually see above ground!  Also planted is basil, chives, bell peppers, and oregano.  Dill and cilantro will be sown once the weather warms up because they both want to be outside and don't transplant well.  Other plans for plants include mint and maybe jalapeno peppers - the peppers I am planting from seeds from peppers I got from the grocery store, so I don't know if they will actually grow, but you can sometimes see peppers growing inside other peppers so I assume there is at least the possibility.

I don't have a good track record for these kinds of plants, so that's why I'm growing from seeds this year instead of buying little plants.  The whole set-up so far has cost about $7, so I haven't invested too much money in it

Meanwhile, I've also planted the bulb I bought a couple of weeks ago and it is growing away...  It looks more and more like Edward Scissorhands kind of hand, as the fingers sprout further and further up.  At least it looks less like someone giving me the finger.  I can't wait until it blooms, because I really don't know what it's supposed to look like.  The guy at the plant store said this thing would grow in a cup of water, but since I planted it it really took off - in the cup of water it was growing roots but the tips of the parts that already looked like they were growing started to die.  And I even found a use for the flower pot I made last year in ceramics, yay.

Also, I purchased some wildflower seeds that I'll start tossing around the flower bed in a couple of weeks.  I'll do a little at a time, once a week or every other week, up until June.  Hopefully things will start to grow as other things are sprouting so we can have flowers all summer.

Also!  I think Mable the Maple has started to bud.  Pictures of that later.  Remember how pretty she was last fall?

I'm loving how green and fresh our apartment feels right now.  I planted a couple of spider plant babies I took from work and hung it in the window and they seem to be enjoying their new location.  I made some clippings of my plants I brought from Chicago and I'm letting them root so I can help them fill out (no thanks to the cat who keeps eating the leaves).  And I've got all of these things sprouting, hopefully to turn into one pretty awesome herb garden come May.  Hopefully I won't get stressed and neglect my plants like two years ago...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

what the what (new playlist)

I've listened to all of my playlists so many times ... I am ready for a new one.  This one I still haven't tweaked, I don't know how good it is yet, but here it is anyway!  The title pretty much describes how I feel about it.  It's kind of bouncy, kind of upbeat, but not in your face.  It's for cooking, cleaning, or running an art group when you're struggling to stay awake.

what the what
(put it on shuffle, it's pretty random)

Sheryl Crow, "Love is a Good Thing"
Rolling Stones, "Not Fade Away"
RJD2, "Good Times Roll Pt. 2"
Dispatch, "Flying Horses"
The Duhks, "95 South"
Moshav, "Hallelu"
The Cave Singers, "Oh Christine"
Black Eyed Peas, "They Don't Want Music"
Garbage, "Til the Day I Die"
Regina Spektor, "Dance Anthem of the 80's"
The Dodos, "Jodi"
Hadag Nachash, "Melodikah"
Bronx River Parkway, "Donde"
Led Zeppelin, "When the Levee Breaks"
Van Morrison, "Gloria"
Leona Naess, "Blue Eyed Baby"
North Mississippi Allstars, "Freedom Highway"
O.A.R., "Road Outside Columbus"
Sarah Jarosz, "Can't Hide"
Santana, "Oye Como Va"
The Mountain Goats, "In the Craters on the Moon"
Marcy Playground, "Gone Crazy"
The Presidents of the United States of America, "Peaches"
Rabbit, "Ladybug"
Mnemonic Sounds, "Keeping it Quiet"
Ray LaMontagne, "Three More Days"
Florence + The Machine, "Between Two Lungs"
Nick Drake, "Cello Song"
David Mead, "Chatterbox"
Thievery Corporation, "Exilio"
Sufjan Stevens, "Come on! Feel the Illinoise!"
Spoon, "I Saw the Light"
Violent Femmes, "Video Killed the Radio Star"
Harry Belafonte, "Jump in Line"
!!! (chk chk chk), "The Most Certain Sure"
Sara Bareilles, "Many the Miles"
Blind Melon, "Wilt"
Incubus, "Battlestar Scralatchtica"
PJ Harvey, "The Mess We're In"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mixed Media Inspiration Book

For a group that I am running I am working on a mixed media inspiration book.  I can't wait to write more about this project but it isn't finished being outlined quite yet.  It's very exciting, though!  Click the link below to see the whole book (the images were too large to post on the main blog page).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Some finished work... (finally?)

I've been making lots of stuff in the studio but I haven't shown anything.  Also I have forgotten to pick it up AND I was having trouble with glazing on the dark brown clay that I love so much.  Here are three of the seven things I brought home with me this week.  One of them is another handle-less coffee mug.

The glazes aren't so exciting because I am working on the form more than the glazing.  I've got a few bowls of varying sizes and one other small cup.  Two tall narrow cups and one tall narrow vase are in the bisque fire this week so I will glaze them next time I go in.  I made a third tall narrow cup this week after much struggling with the clay - I felt like goldilocks in there (this clay is tooooo soft, this clay is tooooo hard).

I'm excited because I'm really starting to build up inventory.  In July I will have lots of small bowls and cups to sell at the conference.  Yay!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hamentaschen 2011

I made this movie about our hamentaschen this year.  We've been making them every year for a while but this year it was different for some reason.  Anyway, it was still fun, and I made this fun little video about them, so watch!

Ever since that movie "For Your Consideration" came out, Purim has a whole new meaning.  One of my favorite lines from that movie is something like "How could you do that as we all sit together at the Purim table."  I laughed so, so, so hard at that movie, but I wonder how many non-Jews thought it was funny.  Their Purim suedah was the saddest meal on earth.  I'm glad ours aren't like that!!

Purim starts Saturday night and we've got a weekend full of parties planned for us, plus giving out nice little mishloach manot packages.  How fun!  I'm looking forward to it so much I totally forgot that St Patrick's day is tomorrow.

And of course I'll probably wear the same costume I've worn for the last five years.  What can I say?

Happy Purim everyone!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Dumbo Wedding

3.13.11 - bride and groom pose for wedding photos in front of a mural in DUMBO, NY


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today we went on a trip to DUMBO.  We're trying to visit different neighborhoods in New York, starting with brunch at a new restaurant and then walking around the area.  Usually it's because something interesting is going on in the area that we can do/see while we're there.

For brunch (what New Yorkers call brunch starts at 12:30 on Sunday) we went to Dumbo General Store Cafe, which reminded us a lot of one of our favorite restaurants on Houston, Brasil.  The food was tasty and fresh, but the coffee and tea wasn't as nice as the food - it's not unusual, so many of the good restaurants we go to still brew Lipton tea and don't use the nicer coffee beans available in New York.  The only one that had good tea and coffee that we've been to on these outings was tablespoon in Chelsea, still one of my favorites.

Then, after some wandering, we went to the Monster Drawing Rally at the Dumbo Arts Center, a fundraiser to support the center and other galleries in the area.  The admission was a suggested donation of $10 each, and all the drawings made during the rally would sell for $50.  It was interesting... we got there early on so maybe the best was yet to come.  Also it is their first year doing this, so they are still working out the kinks.

We saw wedding pictures being taken, wandered into a "these are random cool things I like so I'm selling them in my store" store, a boutique store for men with amateur pornographic images in the dressing room that you could see from the store, a book shop with a book making studio and performance  space inside, and were nearly blown away by all of the wind!

So. DUMBO, check!  So far we've explored Union Square, Chelsea, Chinatown, and DUMBO, with some quick visits to other neighborhoods, too.  And our quest to eat around the city continues...

(check back for pictures from our trips, they will have their own entries)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring is almost here (feeling grounded)

This bulb looks like it's giving me the finger.  I bought it today at the plant store when I stopped off to talk about Spring planting, which should happen in the next few weeks.  I asked about what to plant in my partial-shade / shade garden space, and had a great conversation with the guy who works there who has some good tips about gardening for cheap. 

And then I bought this bulb.  I've already forgotten what kind of flower it is.  It just sits in water for a week or two and it will turn into a few purple flowers.  I'm excited to see this bulb grow as a sign of impending Spring.

It's been a stressful couple of weeks, which is why I don't have much to report.  I'm feeling more grounded today, but a lot of that could be due to the warmth and sunshine that's going on right now.  I walked around for about three hours this afternoon, which just felt so good.  I dropped off my film from my Holga, so I'll have that early next week and I can't wait to see what's on it.  Now I've got the windows open, soon I'll be playing some music, making art, and getting ready for Shabbat.
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