Friday, November 4, 2011

My Favorite Night in Wonderland!

We plan for this, in small ways, all year.  Collecting costume bits and pieces...having lunch meetings...making trips to wig shops and fabric stores.  It's a joy that's hard to describe, for we creatives who participate.  New York City's Village Halloween Parade, is an annual event that can't be compared to anything else. 

This year, was the 39th annual and my fourth time participating.  I would be walking with my daughter, Natalie...along with  more than 6000 others.  With an estimated 2,000,000 spectators, you can bet that the energy in Greenwich Village on October 31st, is weird, wild, and wonderful! 

Natalie and I managed to get a little video.  It was difficult, because all we wanted to do was play and dance and make the always-amazing connection to the huge crowd from all over the world.   In years past, we have been elbow to elbow with the thousands of other ghouls, demons, zombies and ghosties, marching in the rain and cold....but it didn't matter.  Once the adrenaline kicks in, you're "on" and nothing exists but the sights and sounds of one of the most exciting annual events on Earth!  This year the Halloween Devas were smiling on us and somehow, we made it to the front of the parade and found ourselves wandering among giant skeletons and towering eyeballs!  I had conversations with puppeteers, posed for the paparazzi and had a lovely photo-op with the Spider Monkey, one of the most recognizable and beloved puppets in the parade.


Natalie Miniard as a Clown Fairy

Natalie was magnificent!  Her own creativity, along with my other daughter's (Sarah Johns who did Natalie's make-up.  She stayed home with my new grandson this year, but was well represented by Natalie's beautiful face!) artistic brilliance, made for a stunning and colorful Fairy Clown costume that the photographers just couldn't get enough of.  I was an Unseelie Faerie, this year, and couldn't have had more fun making my tu-tu, customizing my wig and wearing contact lenses for the first time! 

I suppose there is more I could tell of our Halloween Adventure in Wonderland...stuffing our wings into cabs, enjoying a Michael Jackson Tribute Concert at Rockwood Music Hall, after the parade...but I have a lot of clean-up and recovery still to do, so I'll leave you with this:
Halloween Commute

 Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!  I'll be looking for pictures!

(  While doing a little research for this blog, I came across a wonderful interview from 2004 with Jeanne Flemming, the Artistic and Producing Director of New York's Village Halloween Parade.  I enjoyed it so much that I want to share it with you HERE.  )

(c) 2011 Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wonderland on 9/11 Eve

Michael was late. He always picks me up at 6:00 on Sundays, but on 9/10/11 he was late. Traffic. There's lots of traffic in and around Wonderland and so I really couldn't do much, besides wait... patiently. At least I tried to be patient. I think I looked Patient, anyway.

I work in Jersey City. When I leave the building that I work in, if I look to the left, there is a lovely view of the Goldman Sachs Building and, beyond that, the tips and tops of Wonderland (NYC) peek over the local buildings. Michael finally arrived around 7:15. The sky wasn't as bright as it had been at 6:00. The light was leaving the day behind and shadows were beginning to deepen. I was just a tad-bit annoyed at having to wait for an hour and fifteen minutes for Michael, but managed to soothe myself with a little deep breathing.

After saying "good night" to the folks at the front desk, we walked out onto the sidewalk and I looked to my the East. The Goldman Sachs Building towered above the neighborhood. As I looked at it, I noticed the windows. I quickly turned to see an amazing sunset in the western sky, the dark, pink, smokey curls reflecting in the windows of The City's buildings in the East.

When I'd left for work, that morning, I had seen my camera in a chair and grabbed it, on impulse. I had it with me all day and assumed I would take it home, unused. I even thought, as I looked at the beautiful sky: "Omg...this is beautiful...where's my cam...oh wait...yes!!" There it was, in it's case, tucked under my arm. In haste, I shoved my purse and some other things into Michael's hands, reached into the camera bag and gently lifted out my favorite toy!

*snap* I love that little sound. It means that I've captured something interesting to be explored, later. I snapped a few more, then got in the car with the camera strap still around my neck. As we rode down Marin Blvd, I looked down a cross-street and could see the WTC Freedom Tower, under construction, just on the other side of the Hudson River, a few short blocks away. *snap*

It hit me, all at once. The Tower...the light..the sunset...PHOTO OPPORTUNITY!!!!

Michael (patient, understanding Michael who is also a photographer) turned the car around and we headed for the River Walk. We followed the view to the World Trade Center Memorial in Jersey City, created to honor those who were lost, from this area. It is park-like, but with something that looks like a large, grave stone with picture of the WTC and behind that...giant pieces of twisted metal which had been part of the World Trade Center, itself. Just across the Hudson River, from this spot, the actual buildings had once stood.

No one with a heart could stand in this place and not feel....something. To be standing there on the eve of the anniversary of that historic tragedy was moving, beyond words. To be standing there, camera in hand on one of the most beautiful evenings with deep blue sky, fantastic clouds and deep pinks and yellows of the sunset in the West, reflected in the windows of the New York City Skyline was a joy that when mixed with everything else, brought tears to my eyes.

Pushing tragedy to the back of my mind, I lifted my camera. I didn't want to lose this. It was beyond a desire to make photographic art and my only thought was "I have to show this to people". Whether or not I did this scene justice, will be up to others to judge. I'm sure there are those who could have, and probably did, create more detailed, more technically correct...more professional photos. These are from my heart. They have not been "photo-shopped" and only have had minor editing for contrast and color, and only enough to show the truth of that night.

I have NEVER seen "Wonderland" look more beautiful...and I'm only able to share it with you...

....because Michael...was late.

Copyright 2011 Bettina Makley

See All the Photos on

Monday, April 25, 2011

Robbie Goes to the City!

A group of us took the PATH into "Wonderland", the other day. We had lunch at "Eataly", a restaurant/grocery store on 23rd St. Whatever they serve you, you can buy the ingredients for, right there. It's huge, noisy and rather amazing. The word "crazy" kept coming up. I've never seen anything quite like it and we had a blast, eating great food, sipping wine and watching people shop for groceries. Wine-sipping was, of course, limited this trip, as we had responsibility for precious cargo.

Robbie slept for a while, then woke up, staring at all the food on the table. At three months he finds other-people's food fascinating, though he only drinks "Mommy Juice", right now.

Doesn't he look like "The Flyling Nun" in that picture? Could he be cuter? His Aunt, Natalie, was very considerate to put a napkin on his head to keep the crumbs off, don't you think?

All in all, it was a wildly pleasant adventure and I hope to go again, soon.

Robbie has gone with his Mommy and Daddy back to West Virginia...sigh... We're SO missing him!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Visualizing a Sunny Day!

Right now, it's lovely out. I'm not sure about the temperature, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue. All around Jersey City the trees are beginning to bloom and daffodils are popping up their shiny, yellow faces.

I love Spring.

The other day, while exploring one of my favorite thrift shops, I stumbled on a small, framed print. It was an art work of the Boat House in Central Park. Not sure of the original medium, but the Japanese Magnolias were in bloom and all the little, toy boats were sailing around. It's a wonderful, colorful picture.....and of course I bought it. I've scoured the Internet, searching for it, because I'd love to know more about it, but luck, so far.

Any way, it's such a lovely, little scene and I realize it's that time of year! The trees are beginning to bloom and the people will be sailing their little boats, again!

So I am planning, on Monday or Tuesday, to make a trip into the city. I'm taking my camera! I want to get a shot from the same angle as my little print. So I'm visualizing an amazing day with sun shining and birds singing! I love Central Park in Spring.

Since I haven't taken any pics there, yet this year, here's one I took last year around this time!

Daffies in Central Park

Happy Spring, everyone!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Hello, everyone! :)

It's been almost two years, since I had a terrible hard drive failure and lost a lot of time and work. I've been on line with a nice laptop for a while, but did not have my comfy, digital art set-up, until now. Thanks to my very dear significant other, Michael, I'm all the way back and loving creating on this machine, once again! So, as I was planning a complete revamp of my Web presence, I had two choices.
  1. To update and refurbish the old sites.
  2. Start over, completely
I came to the conclusion that updating the old would be like putting patches on clothing...and though there is still a 1960's Wild Child in here, somewhere, I'm really feeling a present need to sweep everything out and start all over.

So here we Website (coming soon) and lots of new projects to share.

If you were a follower on my old blog (thank you) and it will still be there, but all future creative updates will be made here, so I hope you will follow me, here, as well. Update: See my old blog! I'm keeping it and this one will be for my New York (and surrounding area) adventures!

Planning some exciting things for future posts, so I hope you will come along on this wild ride through Wonderland. Here's a little eye candy...some of my photography. It's called "Painting the Roses Red".

Whew! It's great to be back!

Love, love, love,