Wednesday, August 22, 2012

About tea.

So I realize it's been quite a while since I've written a post. I've become rather adept (or so I thought) at writing about teas in, as I have discovered, a rather scientific and efficient manner- even if I haven't posted about them here. I describe the dry leaf aroma, then the wet leaf and then lead into the flavor of the tea itself and the kind of sensation it leaves the drinker with.

However today I was reminded by my tea instructor (and master) that tea is much more than that. Describing such teas as I am so gratefully allowed to experience should not be a scientific review- it should be, as previously stated, an experience. There is of course, a little bit of "this flavor" and "that aroma" to go into detail about, but tea is about life. It is about its own life and your life and how they coexist in that moment when you brew tea in the gong fu cha style.

Now I must admit- sometimes brewing tea with a certain sincerity and forwardness that it requires makes me nervous. Focusing on the tea and making an effort to be calm and relaxed within the moment and the now can fill me with anxiety. When I think of "now", I actively try to forget the "then", which of course, in tern, makes me think about "then"- past present and future. It reminds me that I am in a state transience or at least I hope I am. I am at the beginning of many forks in the road and while I've barely started, I need to start making decisions (and hope that they are the right ones) and start moving forward. The idea of being at a standstill to me is terrifying, as it becomes so easy to do and when I brew tea I can't help but think about all this. It can be scary at first, when I begin to heat the water and smell the dry leaves but as I begin to focus I remember that I am here and in this moment right now, everything is alright.

What is past is past, now is now and later will come. One step at a time.

It is with that initial jolt of anxiety and then the calmness that follows that I start to brew.

I work to focus on the tea- it's appearance, taste, aroma, sensation but I also observe the other moments that occur. I watch as the light flowing from the window onto the gaiwan as it shifts from being cool to warm to cool again. I am not in a hurry here (and being a New Yorker, this is a very rare thing indeed). And maybe that's what becomes so attractive about the tea. When I have time to practice gong fu cha all is well with the world and my life. Even if things are going poorly, in that moment everything is ok because I am alive.

I apologize as I don't really have a conclusion for this post so I hope this will suffice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My most important tea lesson

Now, I've been learning about tea for a while, but I'd say today I learned my most important lesson, which can basically be concluded as- learning to chill the fuck out. Being able to to relax, go with the flow and respond to the tea is key in making a good cup. Now, I have known this for a while, but today was the day that it really started to make sense- you could even say, it "clicked"z. I get so stressed out and panicked in life that I am anxious most of the time and it affects the way my tea tastes. Making tea is a practice in meditation and I hope to work harder in it when making tea, but also, to let it affect me in daily life.

Secondly (which again, I already knew, but it's starting to become more and more apparent)- water. Water is key. Tap water will make all your tea echo the same flavor- being from nyc, tap water is perfectly safe to drink and considered some of the best tap water in the US, however because of the pipes, it can still taste like copper. Now it seems that all my tea at home tastes like copper. Time to get a water filter...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


One of newest prints of The Virgin Mary and The Annunciation.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lion King

My mom came to visit this weekend and yesterday we went to see The Lion King on Broadway. Now I know, I know, everyone in New York has seen this at some point in their lives but this was my first time and wow, it was amazing! The costume and set design was so amazingly astounding that, as pathetic as it may be, I began crying when I watched. The mechanics were perfect in every way and so creative in the way that they attached to the body and moved. I apologize for this not being the most useful of "reviews" but let's just say that I highly, highly recommend it.

We also canned tomatoes (which I have been looking forward to doing for a while) and this morning made Tropical Muffins. The muffins turned out wonderfully, nice and fluffy and moist!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Evil Eye Bra and Panties Set or Your New Superhero Costume

Ta daaa!! Kelsey is back in action! Here is a picture of one of my newest piece, entitled "Evil Eye Bra and Panties Set or Your New Superhero Costume". I don't want to say too much on it because it is part of a series to come, but enjoy~

Let today mark the day....

Let today mark the day that I FINALLY made my first set of perfect, unburnt, unbroken and un-distorted pancakes! I have always had trouble making pancakes and end up with a sloppy mess of charcoal pieces and batter- BUT NOT THIS TIME! I'm not sure how much of this is common knowledge (I may have just been missing out on general known facts, but I'll pass it on anyway, just in case there are other people like me that struggle when making pancakes) but first of all, I was out of butter today. Instead of butter, I used Pam Baking Spray on the pan, and instead of using a large pan, and trying to make several pancakes at once, I used a small one, only doing one at a time. And of course, I kept the stove at medium-low.

Good luck pancake makers!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fiber time!

Here is a picture of some fiber I spun up a few days ago. It was only around 4 oz or so, so it was a mini project between spinning other things but ta daaaa- here it is! I believe it was some sort of a wool/merino blend.