Monthly Archives: July 2013

HARLEQUIN EDITOR FINDS HER OWN “HAPPILY EVER AFTER,” 25 YEARS LATER

In 1984, high-school-sophomore Patience Smith, wallflower and devourer of romance novels, gets ditched by her date at a formal dance. Sam Bloom, a popular, handsome, devilish senior she’s crushing on big time, whirls her into a dance. After he graduates that spring, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again.

Fast forward to 2009. Patience, now a senior editor at Harlequin, has “dated everyone in Manhattan” and is sick of it. She has passed the age of the standard romantic heroine whom she reads about every day at work. If she still holds out hope for true love, it’s the kind you put in a pretty little box in your attic and try not to think about every day.

From out of the blue, she gets a Facebook message from none other than Sam (a French professor who now teaches at FIT), to the tune of “Weren’t you that redhead I danced with all those years ago?” He produces this photo, taken at that formal, her dropped jaw not yet shut:

This story’s glass slipper: a photo of Patience Smith and Sam Bloom at a high-school dance in 1984.

They discover that their long-ago interest was mutual, and they quickly fall in love. Wedding bells ring in 2011.

She takes his last name, because, duh, “Patience Bloom” is like the most perfect name for this story, so perfect that when it appears in the upcoming memoir (did we mention that her memoir, Romance Is My Day Job, debuts in February from Dutton/Penguin?), readers will probably roll their eyes and decide it’s a pseudonym.

Cue the orangey sunset.

The cover of Hue magazine, Summer 2013.

DJ SPOOKY HAS DONE EVERYTHING EXCEPT TAKE A VACATION

Hue is ambivalent about the concept of a “renaissance man,” not least because women need not apply. But OK, maybe just this once.

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, who guested at FIT’s Sustainable Business and Design Conference this spring, has done a lot that most deejays have not. He is the executive editor of Origin Magazine, an “art and conscious lifestyle” magazine. He composed the score for Downloaded, a documentary about Napster that VH1 is releasing later this year. He served as artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum, creating compositions based on exhibitions. He released a popular iPad app for deejaying. And he’s got a social conscience: After a trip to Antarctica, he wrote The Book of Ice, “part fictional manifesto, part history, and part science book” about climate change.

The cover of “The Book of Ice.”

Along with that came Of Water and Ice, an atmospheric, brooding symphony based on charts of troubling weather and temperature patterns. The music veritably brims with urgency.

Hue only wonders one thing: When does he sleep?

Paul D. Miller in Antarctica. Photo by Maria Thi Mai.

DJ Spooky

ADVERTISING DESIGN ALUM CREATES A KNOCKOUT PHOTO

Hue has long been a fan of photographer Alex Bitar, Advertising Design ’92.  He shoots for a wide variety of clients, including Aéropostale and Polo Ralph Lauren, but he also takes some amazing pictures on his own.

“These two just went at each other for a whole match, but it wasn’t personal. That’s what struck me: They instantly put it all behind them,” Bitar says.

Bitar took the image at a mixed martial-arts event.  (Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport. Considered dangerous by some, it became legal in New York only in 2013.)

In the spring, Artworks ADL, the art exhibition fundraising arm of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that works to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and advocate for justice and fairness for all, asked Bitar to submit a piece for the show they mounted to mark their 100-year anniversary.  The exhibition, entitled, “Imagine a World Without Hate,” appeared in June at the Benrimon Gallery in Chelsea.

Hue is down with this theme, and this photo.  We all have interpersonal conflicts; that’s life. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that the other person is human too.  Thanks for reminding us, Mr. Bitar.

SUCCESSFUL ROMANCE NOVEL COVER ILLUSTRATOR’S LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL COVER

For more than 20 years, Leslie Peck, Illustration ’87, painted the covers of romance novels, bodice ripper and genteel love story alike. Although the contents may have been tawdry (Hue wouldn’t know), the covers were often masterful. Take a look at some of those covers in Hue’s summer issue.

But they didn’t come cheap, and, as publishing houses looked to cut their spending, these lush paintings went by the wayside. Peck, looking for a new career, turned to painting the world around her: farm animals, still lifes, potraits. Hue thinks she gets them just right.

See more painted beauties on Leslie Peck’s website.

GETTIN’ CRAFTY WITH HUE

Hue’s summer issue features a profile of Katie Covington and Janet Crowther, Jewelry Design ’08 and ’09, respectively, and their company, For the Makers. Essentially, it’s a monthly subscription to a craft box, a little kit with the materials for four accessories, jewelry and the like. Very cute and fun for crafty people short of time and/or inspiration.

Not being one to write about something without trying it (especially when it comes to baked goods, but also for other products), Hue requested a sample and got to work.

For the Makers’ “Wintergreen” box. (Photo courtesy of For the Makers.) Hue made the stretchy bracelets and the cup holder.

First up was a five-minute project to make elastic bracelets. All it involved was threading a metal bead onto an elastic, then tying the elastic. Easy peasy over easy!

The bracelets were in pretty colors and were incredibly easy to make. In retrospect, Hue should have mistrusted the confidence that this early success brought on.

Next, Hue tackled a rather more difficult project, a felt coffee sleeve. Considering how much coffee Hue drinks (and, admittedly, how little jewelry Hue wears), this would be eminently useful.

The directions are here, if you’re curious: https://www.forthemakers.com/projects/slate-coffee-sleeve

First step was to cut out the paper pattern, and to cut the felt in that pattern. Considering Hue’s expertise in cutting patterns, that was no trouble at all.

Someone far more talented than Hue cutting the felt. Image courtesy of For the Makers.

Next, Hue had to sew a beaded chain onto the edges of the felt by stitching in between each tiny bead. The idea is pretty brilliant: a throwaway chain turns into a perfect row of studs with the help of some black thread.

It is not clear how long this step was supposed to take, but Hue is sure it took longer than it should have. In fact, the length of time it took will remain a secret. OK, fine. It took two hours.

Someone far more talented than Hue sewing on the chain, bead by bead. Image courtesy of For the Makers.

After that herculean labor (somewhere on the difficulty spectrum between washing out the Augean stables and slaying the Stymphalian birds), stitching the ends together and adding the studs was relatively easy.

Unfortunately, Hue’s version didn’t turn out quite as good as the one in the picture. And it doesn’t seem quite as big as it’s supposed to be. It fits nicely around an 8-ounce coffee cup, but it barely grips the base of anything larger. Perhaps this is a sign from the crafting gods to drink less coffee.

If the lines don’t look straight, you’re probably intoxicated. Photo by Smiljana Peros.

ADDENDUM: Since this article was written, Hue found a real crafter in the office, Julianna Dow, to make the most complicated project of all, a funky necklace. As you can see, she had no trouble with it. Which suggests that these crafting projects are perfect… for the right person.

For the Makers’ necklace… looking good! Photo by Smiljana Peros.