Poetic Illustrations on YouTube

Poetic Illustrations on YouTube
Poetic Illustrations on YouTube

Maz at the Kennedy Center

I have been contemplating on how to even begin writing this blog.  The greatest gift that Jen and I receive through this project, is meeting our heroes.  Each individual we meet is an experience of its own.  In the month of November we had an amazing opportunity to meet the one and only Maz Jobrani!!!  Personally, he is one of my favorites, and yes...it is mainly because he is Iranian!  :)  He has an amazing story to tell, and he tells it through his jokes and stand up comedy shows.  One of the areas that he has been talking about in his shows is immigration. (please check his show on Netflix-- https://youtu.be/Vz8-MGVDs2M)  It is a hot topic in the news and in our country.  The main reason why we decided to do this book.  Maz Jobrani is an immigrant, from Iran.  He is our hero because he is proud of who he is.  He does not try to hide it, or deny it.  On November 16, 2018 Friday at 8 PM, we attended the Maz show at the amazing Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  


Before the show, we had the opportunity to meet him in person.  As usual, we always like to give a gift to our heroes.  The gift is a picture frame (the illustration on the left side and poem on the right side).  As he read it, he liked how his teeth were "very straight" in the illustration and the poem gave him goosebumps.  It always puts a smile on our face when our heroes are moved by our work.  The work that THEY have inspired.  Oh yeah...I HAD to ask Mr. Jobrani for an autograph.  I just had too!!  :)

Jen was not present with me on this journey, because family is our number one priority and her son had an important football event the same night.  So the video below is just me, myself and I.  Hope you enjoy and as always thank you for following us and supporting us.  It means a ton!  

Rock Candy Vintage

Rock Candy Vintage

"Vintage & New Apparel & Homegoods”

77 Main St
New Paltz, NY
          Phone: (845) 255-1090

We walked up and down the main street in New Paltz, checking the front windows, and enjoying the scenery. It’s a pretty cool town. Drawn to Rock Candy Vintage in hopes for vintage finds, we found so much more when we decided to enter the store. The first thing I laid my eyes on was a bag on the wall with the words, “Emotional Baggage”, and I knew I had to have it. I didn’t even have to shake the hand of the owner to know that we were in the presence of good people. The better than best part is that there were two “Emotional Baggage” bags. Perfect. One for each of us. So of course, we bought both. 

Next we introduced ourselves to the owner, Candy and Dan. We exchanged a few pleasantries, but in short order found ourselves in a great conversation as if we’d known them always and we were locals in this town. This was our store. A familiar place that we had been many times. We scooped items up left and right knowing that though this is how it felt, we would soon find ourselves miles from there, and if we didn’t take the opportunity to get something while we could, we’d likely regret it. They not only carry vintage apparel, but also home goods, sewn works and artwork made by New Paltz locals. On top of that, they give back! For their grand opening, they returned 5% of their sales to the National Association on Mental Illness of New York State.

While Azy learned about Ganesh, and chose a beautiful sculpture she spoke with Candy about a bit, I turned my eye toward a vintage iron-on of the cover art from Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album…and then it was as if the sky opened up rays of Heaven's light shined on this iron-on and angels with sequins jammed with guitars and a grand piano and ELTON HIMSELF was in the store serenading me and begging for me to take the iron-on home and craft it into the most divine custom t-shirt the world, or just my closet, had EVER seen. How fitting as I had tickets to his farewell show that very next week! So that's what naturally had to happen. Among the other sublime findings we immediately plunked into category of “HAVE TO HAVE” were essential oil roll-on’s in a strangely appropriately named Mermaid scent, and Mandarin Orange & Coconut, Feminism & Squash the Patriarchy patches, a “Love is all you Need” pin, and a National Parks hat we bought to honor one of our our heroes, none other than the “Father of National Parks”, John Muir. 

The variety of amazingness we picked up there has been added to what I’ve come to call the holiday collection of “A few of my favorite things”…which ultimately will be best given wrapped up in packages tied up with string, of course. PERFECT. Holiday shopping that supports small, local, female owned businesses - CHECK, CHECK & CHECK! Gifts that give back - CHECKAROO! Gifts that support causes we can feel good about - ALL OF THE CHECKS!!! Upcycled, Vintage, & Recycled items as gifts - YES TO THE CHECKS!!!! I get a CHECK! And you get a CHECK! EVERYBODY GET A CHECK!!! Mic drop. 

A few of our favorite things!

Rock Candy Vintage is an awesome place that supports and brings the community together! If we were locals, we’d be there every last Friday night of each month for their Late Night Fridays! Tequila shots, live music, opportunities to meet local artists, a $5 vintage T-shirt rack, and 10% of the profits returned to Puppies Behind Bars sounds like a legit great time to us! See?! We told you they’re awesome! Go meet them! Fall in love with the store! Just go!! Find out for yourselves!!!

This hat had to come home with us. We'd like to share a little bit more about why! If you zoom in, you'll see that it says National Parks on it! Being that John Muir is responsible for establishing and advocating for so many of our natural parks and open park spaces, naturally (pun totally intended) we had to have him in our book! Muir was originally from Scotland, so he's our resident Scotty hero!  Without him, we simply cannot imagine what it would be like in the United States without  our National Parks such as Yosemite, as well as public park spaces like Golden Gate Park in San Francisco or Central Park in New York City.

Muir was the founder of the Sierra Club, an explorer, a conservationist, philosopher, glaciologist, an advocate for preservation, a wanderer, and a naturalist with roots in farming. He also invented from time to time. He walked countless miles in this country, and saw it as many should. If we could see it the way he did, we'd likely never want to pave another piece of it. We’d want to preserve the beauty that we destroy haphazardly and frequently without guilt. 

Read more about John Muir here:

Learn more about Ganesh here:

The image in my iron-on added the perfect touch to my concert experience! Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour really is all the badassery you'd hope it would be, and so is my shirt - TRULY AMAZEBALLS! I couldn't believe my eyes when I found this at Rock Candy! It was perfect! As was the concert.

If you don’t already own this album, do yourself a solid:

Spoiler Alert - If you haven't read the articles and reviews already then you may not want to know how the concert ends!

The end of the concert...

Do you have tickets?...

Have you seen it?...

If not...and you adore him...like I do...

Are you sure you want to know?...

It is the last one...

The farewell tour...

Farewell Yellow Brick Road...

For those who are still reading...with Elton panache, he exited the stage by stepping into the scene of the yellow brick road to say, "Farewell"...and it was humorous...beautiful...touching...and vibrant, just like he will always be!

Just like a good ending, our time at Rock Candy Vintage did have to conclude. However, Azy and I luckily make friends where we go. And Candy and Dan are definitely on the friend list! Thank you to you both! You made our side trip through New Paltz a wonderful experience and we can't wait to get back to explore the town some more, visit you both, and see the special new finds you have waiting to be discovered and treasured!

Marching the streets of DC!

One thing that I love about working with Jen is that we both are driven when it comes to this book.  We have taken a cruise, bus, metro, and many ubers to take us to where we want to be.
This video gives a glimpse of what our October 29th 2018 day looked like, and below we will take you on a journey to see what Poetic Illustrations completed within 24 hours!

October 29th 2018 was a big day for us.  We woke up with a very specific mission and goal.  That is typically how we approach any trip really.  We started off with a collaboration with ModCloth (www.modcloth.com).

ModCloth is an online retailer of indie and vintage-inspired women's clothing.  They provided us with four (roughly 20 lbs in weight) boxes to donate to local organizations in the local Virginia/Washington DC area.  We were much honored to help ModCloth is providing the donations to Empowerhouse (an organization that provides support for women in domestic violent relationships) and to Loisanne's Hope House (a homeless shelter for women with children).  We greatly appreciate ModCloth for their kindness and generosity.  Please visit their website, they have pretty amazing items :)

After the adventures with visiting the two organizations in Fredericksburg, Virginia, we just HAD TO stop at Katora's Coffee shop!  Oh my...that place is A-maz-ING.  You are drawn in every corner of the shop; with the graphics, wall art, items to shop, and of course their none other than vegan chocolate chip muffins!  I have never seen so many varieties of teas!!  (www.katoracoffee.com)  Not only did Jen and I have our amazing mid-breakfast break, but made a new friend with the owner of Katora Coffee shop, Ms. April!!

Of course we had to say our goodbye to April, and head out to our hair appointment!  Oh yeah.  Jen and I had our do's done.  We had a big event in the evening and needed to look our best.  So we headed out to Winning Image in Stafford, Virginia (https://www.winningimagesalonanddayspa.com/)
and during our appointment, we goofed off just a bit.  Jen even did the "vogue"!  I have the video...I may share it one day.  ha.

So after a grueling 3 hours of twirls and swirls, and 20 cans of hairspray...We were ready to head out to DC!  We ventured with the metro, and met with Larry Moffi from Settlement House Press at -Old Ebbit Grill.  It was great to meet "Larry the Man."  (Jen and I have knighted him with that nickname--and yes---we do give nicknames).  Food was fabulous, and so was the company.  Super nervous about the event and not knowing what to expect, the Catalogue for Philanthropy (https://www.cfp-dc.org/cfpdc/index.php) event was so much fun!  We had a wonderful opportunity to meet great individuals that help out their communities.  In order for a non-profit organization to be in the Catalogue, they must apply and go through a vigorous process.  We recall one organization applying three times, and they were extremely happy that they made it!  The Catalogue for Philanthropy provides opportunities for many of the non-profit organizations to receive financial support and awareness within the community.  That evening we met incredible individuals from:
1. artivate (www.goartivate.org)
2. The Arc (www.TheARcofNoVA.org)
3. Gandhi Brigade Youth Media (www.gandhibrigade.org)
4. dcgreens (www.dcgreens.org)
5. Thomas Raffa (www.raffa.com)
6. Matt Gayer-Catalogue for Philanthropy
Not only did we build relationships, but friendships.  But that is what we do.  This book is not just another book.  It is not just another poetry book, or an illustration book.  It is about connection, relationships, friendships, humans bonding around the community, nation, and the world.  No matter what the storm, barrier, conflict, that comes our way, we face it head on.  On this trip, we did just that when it was crazy windy!

Ramadan: More than just fasting

Picture source:  https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/happy-ramadan-2019-ramzan-mubarak-wishes-images-quotes-status-wallp...