Tag Archives: NYCB

Farewell to the Nutcracker

nikkiikkin nutcracker farwell 1
2013 has just minutes left.  I decided to take the countdown as a challenge to get one more post in this year!
What a year it was for me and our family!  While I’ve shared a lot on instagram and Facebook I havent have a moment to post more than once about what Im spending the majority of my life doing   in December: the nutcracker and cookies.
Id like to wish a farewell to my daughters first year in the New York City Ballet Nutcracker!  She has had a blast and although it was a lot for our family to juggle, as a mother I can sort of compare it to childbirth and say (now that it’s over) it wasnt so bad to go through.
Im glad that Macy had the extra time to develop some great friendships with some really nice girls  and I’m glad that I had the extra time to chat with some really nice parents.
 nikkiikkin nutcracker farwell 2
Of course there were lots of cookie involved.
nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 4
I was thrilled to make Nutcracker cookies for so many people and organizations this year.  My original little guy made his way to events at the Ohio Dance Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet, as well as several other of my etsy clients.
I also made a new Nutcracker design for Joffrey Ballet School NYC for the dancers recital gifts.
nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 5
But what was most enjoyable was sharing cookies with the children’s cast at NYCB’s Nutcracker.  Macy was super proud to pass them out and when they announced that I had made one for each of the 65 kids the parents applauded me…..I covered my face in astonishment.  The children were so sweet, many of them came up to thank me, its like they really understood how much time each little cookie took me and they appreciated it.  I made a solider, angel and sugarplum fairy with the costumes as close as possible as I could get to the real deal.
nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 3 nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 2 nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 1
I loved taking snapshots of the life going on under the stage each night (incase you aren’t familiar the children perform about every other day for 6 weeks)  Since there is not wifi or cell service on the Lower Concourse of the David Koch theatre the children entertain themselves in traditional ways, like card games and Jacks.  Yes kids still know how to play Jacks!  They celebrate birthdays, give secret santa gifts and squeeze in homework.  Parents read the newspaper, address their christmas cards and occasionally share a bottle of wine.
I thought a collage was best way to share all of those backstage shots, for my readers and for Macy its sort of a keepsake.  One of the snapshots of Macy made it as our Christmas card, sometimes those are the best!
Nutcracker collage 2013 2
I hope all of my other ballet moms had unforgettable holiday performances and I look forward to continuing to share and chat with you all next year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
XOXO, NIKKI
Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Cookies

Nutcracker Gifts for a Ballerina

Nutcracker gifts 1

Well, it must be a tradition for me to become so busy in October that I can’t post regularly.  It happened last year and again this year.  Its nothing new for me to become entirely occupied with my projects daily, but this year I can’t place the blame on just a Halloween party and our fabulous costumes.   We have been consumed with my my 11-year-old daughter Macy’s ballet life.  Our chic tween, will be a solider in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center this year.  We are so proud and excited for her!   She is a student at School of American Ballet and throughout the year she has amazing opportunities to be invited to perform with NYCB, last May she also performed in Firebird.  Since the last week of September she has attended 2 days of rehearsals a week on top of her 4 days of regular class.  Starting the day after Thanksgiving she will be in performances every other day…24 performances in 6 weeks to be exact!

While my cookie, cake, Halloween and craft to-do posts have piled up,  I really just want to fast forward to current events because the Christmas season happens in a blink and I want to enjoy it and share it!  So lets just talk Nutcracker gifts, shall we?  Since I proudly made Macy’s announcements on social media Ive gotten a few requests for gift ideas to commemorate her experience, as well as other ballet moms asking for ideas for their own ballerinas.  I already had a pinterest board and desktop file full of gift ideas so why not make a post for it?

I looked for gifts that were not only a symbol of the nutcracker suite, but also sings to a ballerina’s heart:  hello gorgeous pointe shoes!  What really fueled the idea for this post was my excitement for a tastemakers tag sale at One Kings Lane featuring vintage and bespoke NYCB items.  Signed point shoes, vintage costumes & play books and beautiful canvas prints.  I hopped on One Kings Lane 5 minutes before the sale started yesterday, I banged on the door at “0 minutes” and I went straight for a colorful tutu print by Wendy Whelan, NYCB principal dancer and photographer.  After I bought it within in 2 minutes of opening, I watched all the signed toe shoes be scooped up with in 5 min and half the entire sale sold in 10 minutes.  My print was limited to a dozen and sold out in 30 minutes.  Im so glad I was on top of that one!! I intended to make a post with one of a kind items from that sale, but there isn’t anything left!  I sill included 2 items for inspiration in your search for a special gift.  See item info and links below.

nutcracker gift guide21. Nutcracker Sugarplum Fairy fine art print 8×10, $35 – Clementseye.etsy.com

2. Marizpan and Candy Cane NYCB Tonner Dolls – collectors items that can be found on ebay

3. Signed Pointe shoes from Tiler Peck, NYCB principal dancer, $150- One Kings Lane, sold out :(  Signed pointe shoes pop up in different places like eBay too, so be on the look out, having a pair that once belong to well known ballerina is a dream for aspiring young dancers.  If you can’t find a signed pair, a custom made embellished pair of pointe shoes are the next best thing – Pointe Creations, (prepare for beauty overload when you click on this link)

4. Nutcracker set of 8 note cards, $19 – Clafoutis For her thank you notes to friends coming to see her perform!

5. This SWEET Clara doll has a disclaimer: you have to make it yourself!  Wee Wonderfuls sells rag doll patterns…but maybe you could request a custom doll, its worth a shot!

6. Tutu Print by Wendy Whelan NYCB principal dancer and photographer, $55 – One Kings Lane, sold out :( again sorry to post an unavailable item, but its TUTU gorgeous to not include.  Use this image as a inspirational springboard for your search of a similar print.  UPDATE:  OKL has renewed quantities of this print, but sale ends 12/15

7. Official NYCB Headshot of Allegra Kent, $15 – eBay  So graceful, so ethereal! I’m thisclose to ordering this for Macy.  Allegra Kent was a NYCB principal dancer joining at age 15 in 1953, she danced for 28 years!

8. Sugarplum Fairy t-shirt, $24 – Covet Dance She’d wear it proudly all year!

9.  Nutcracker Illustration Art, $15 – TheArtfulBumblebee.etsy.com These colorful and playful illustrations come as cards or 8×10 prints

10. Nutcracker cookies, $54 per dozen – By yours truly!  Nikkiikkin.etsy  Im making these puppies like hotcakes this season, fresh, homemade, so delicious and an absolute knockout in detail.  This Romeo has special powers, watch as the little girls squeal with delight, I promise some nearly cried from joy when Macy passed them out to her dance class last year.

11. Jewelry is always a girls best friend.  Ive selected 3 necklaces that will be a special reminder of the hard work and beauty she displayed on stage.  Tutu Style, $38 – SharonTasker.etsy.com, Little Ballerina Ballet Shoes, $24 – SmallBlueThings.etsy.com, Personalized Nutcracker Necklace, $27.50 – BeautifulAsYou.etsy.com

12. It’s a trinket box, it’s a decoration, it’s just really dreamy.  Sugarplum fairy holiday box, $30 – SparkleLovesWhimsey.etsy.com

13. Sugarplum fairy ornament, $24.95 – PetalBelles.etsy.com Macy still loves the idea of fairies and their magical world, this is a nutcracker crossover, so its perfect and there is no reason that it has to be packed away with the Christmas tree.

I hope you enjoyed my list and found something that you think your ballerina would cherish.  I also have a pinterest board with many other ideas, check it out HERE.

21 Comments

Filed under Celebrations

A Day of Ballet Class for Macy & Some Exciting News

nikkiikkin a day of ballet Our family’s schedule dramatically changed when Macy started attending classes at School of American Ballet last September.  It wasn’t a hard decision to accept her invitation to dance there, but we knew that we would also have to accept that ballet rules our life right now.  We are so proud of her and her diligent attitude in her dance studies.  She has come up leaps and bounds in her strength and ballet education since she started.  With only a handful of absences and almost zero complaining, this has been her life 4 days a week.  3 of which are right after a long day at school.  Our time everyday at SAB is more than just waiting the 90 minutes while she is in dance class, we have much more time invested in it than that.  I wanted to share our family’s nearly daily journey and the logistics it takes for Macy have this amazing experience.

MACY’S DAY AT BALLET

We made a decision early on that it was a waste of time for us to pick Macy up from school, walk home, wait 45 min and then walk back to the train.  So we leave straight from school pick up and get to SAB earlier than needed.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 1

It takes 3 trains for us to get to Lincoln Center.  Its not really a big deal, when you live in NYC, transferring trains is a just how its done.  Sometimes you get lucky and there’s no wait for the next train to arrive and sometimes the train runs late and you have a long wait.  Its sort of the way traffic is everywhere else, its out of your control and you have to be patient. On the plus side you have time to read a book while you travel, in Macy’s case she has 45 minutes to work on homework.  She usually uses the time to do her reading but sometimes she gets distracted.  Especially if a 6 foot tall transvestite with purple hair and giant boots is making a scene on the train.  Would anyone be able to pay attention with that going on?

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 3

We dont always take the last leg of train, sometimes we walk from 59th street to 66th street.  It’s not much difference in waiting for the 1 train and making the 7 block walk.  I often use the extra time we give ourselves to run an errand at the Shops at Columbus circle, printing at Kinkos or to mail a package.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 2

There is always something going on at Lincoln Center.  We stumble upon events ranging from the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera, to movie premieres (we saw Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebs at the Great Gatsby premier last week) just going about on our day of ballet.  The area of Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is made up of several world renown organizations.  The New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, The Julliard School, New York Philharmonic, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts  and School of American Ballet to name just a few.  Last fall a sky walk crossing over 65th street opened to connect the buildings holding Julliard and SAB to the main Lincoln Center buildings.  Which makes it easier for me to stroll Hudson over to the plazas where a fountain, a reflection pool and grassy lawn are, if the weather is good we often walk over to enjoy their beauty.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 4

At our earliest arrival to SAB we have about 30 minutes before we can order from the dinner counters at the Julliard & SAB Cafe.  We LOVE the cafe!  I honestly dont think I could handle all of the hours and days we have to spend doing this if I didnt have the cafe to eat and wait in.    Serving  just Julliard and SAB students, staff and families, it has a  grill, hot entree counter, soup and salad bars and sandwich counter, several drinks and luckily brews Starbucks coffee.   We spend a lot of time there and see many interesting performing arts students.  It really is the heart of these two performing arts schools, as students are not just eating there between classes before they go home.  Both SAB and Julliard have resident students that depend on it for meals that are healthly and full of variety.  We on the other hand eat mostly pizza, Hudson does at least.  Macy likes to eat salad and yogurt and I enjoy the fact that its affordable and I don’t have to cook dinner on ballet nights.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 5

The Cafe is located on the lobby level of the Rose Building, SAB is on the 5th floor.  Unfortunately the school has very strict rules about photography on the 5th floor.  Parents are not allowed to stay on the 5th floor while their child is in class, which is a new rule this year.  There is actually several seating areas with big comfy sofas up there, its a shame really that we can’t enjoy it during class time anymore.  We are also not allowed to observe classes, but twice a year there is a Parents Observation week.

Before each class, I get 20 minutes to help her get ready, not that it takes that long.  Some days she has a morning shower and we do her bun in the morning.  On those days her bun is high and more classic looking.  On dry hair days we do a low bun with a side part just before class.  Macy is getting good at doing the bun herself now, she likes to use a bun form to get a big showy bun, but in general she has pretty silky hair that goes into a bun easily without too many fly aways.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 6

And here she is ready to go to class!

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 7

After class, if we are lucky and Macy isnt socializing too much she can be dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes.  We don’t usually run any errands after ballet, we have about an hour commute and are just ready to be home.  If you are wondering about Hudson during our ballet days, he doesn’t go every time.   On most weeks, Jacob is home for 1 or 2 of the ballet days and  one of us stays with Hudson.  When he does go, he often falls asleep in his stroller on the train ride there and of course eating dinner and watching some netflix is part of his day anyway, he just has to do it away from home.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 8

And now for Macy’s exciting news!  During the year SAB students are asked to fill childrens’ roles in ballets at New York City Ballet.  This being Macy’s first year learning ballet so intensely we have not auditioned for any of the open calls, but some of the ballets roles are chosen directly by the Children’s Ballet Master……

nikkiikkin a day of ballet 1

Macy has been chosen to perform in the ballet Firebird with the NYCB for 4 nights in May at David Koch theater!   It really was a surprise to us that she was offered this experience so soon, we are so proud of how hard she has been working. This week she begins rehearsals and of course we plan to attend all 4 performances.  I cant wait to she my baby girl on stage at Lincoln Center!  I will certainly have more to share as it happens, so stay tuned.

8 Comments

Filed under I heart NY, The Chic Tween

Nutcracker Cookies

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 6

What happened to November!  Where have I been?  I can not believe that I haven’t made a post in a month, I was getting so good at being regular with my post too.  Well, the good news is I have a ton of material to write about because while my blog was static I was busy.  Mostly, what has been keeping me busy is cookies.  I  have made more cookies in the past 4 weeks than I have made in my whole life!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 1

Im going to start my cookie presentations off with my most accomplished cookie design and order to date.  200 Nutcracker cookies for Joffrey School of Ballet in NYC!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 5

Joffrey School of Ballet graciously contacted me for a second time to do cookies for their recital gifts, this time the order doubled and the complexity of the cookie quadrupled!  While there are many characters and designs that can represent ballet and the Nutcracker suite, the Nutcracker himself is the most beloved.  Even thought Joffrey asked for design examples, I knew that they would pick the Nutcracker and I knew that I could not scale back in his detail, every part of him is so important.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 9

I ordered my cookie cutter from Coppergifts.com, my first order from them and it wont be the last.  Their cutters are top of the line, thick copper hand formed with beautiful craftsmanship on the seam.  As soon as my soldier arrived I put him to work!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 2

I  broke the tasks up by days in order to cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed my the large order.  Day one I mixed all the dough and set to chill, day two I baked and day 3, 4, 5 & 6 I decorated in batches of 50.  I guess that seems like a lot of days to work on an order but I can’t work 9-5 like a job, I usually work during nap time and at night so I can concentrate.  I put my husband and daughter (and MIL who was visiting during the tail end of my order) to work tagging and bagging the cookies.  So a big thank you! to them for pitching in.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 3

While each Nutcracker was the same design they all turned out with faces that my husband and I thought had different personalities and we had a good laugh many times about what type of “person” some of the cookies were.  My favorite was when the eyebrows turned out a bit furrowed and he looked menacing.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 10

Of course, in my eyes, each cookie had slight flaws.  It would be impossible to make 200 perfect cookies, but overall I was very pleased at my craftsmanship and really proud to have pushed myself and taken on such a detailed design.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 7

I love to photograph my work, this time I even got an over the phone crash course in how to use manual mode on my camera from my sister Jes at Captured By Jes.  I got some really great shots and didn’t have to take a million pics to end up with one non-blurry picture to post, Thanks Jes!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 4

Just after finishing my order we attended the Nutcracker at Lincoln center, while I have always liked the nostalgic Nutcracker story, this beloved character now has a special place in my heart.

So what else did I do in November?  Well, I am super excited to share the cookies I donated to a bake sale at Dwell Studio, which the founder Christiane Lemieux personally thanked me and showed them off on their blog.  I also did some cute ballet cookies for my niece’s birthday party.  I still have to show off my daughters Halloween costume, I know its Christmas season but its really good I don’t want to wait a whole year to share!  And I also have the full set of photos from my Halloween dinner party table that was featured on Amy Atlas.  Wow!  So stay tuned, I’ll try really hard to get those posts up soon :)

If you are interested in ordering these Nutcracker cookies, I have a listing up on my etsy shop HERE.  Until December 19th I am available to make and ship out each made to order batch within 3 days of placing your order.  There is still time to gift this wonderful cookie for a party or stocking!

15 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Holiday, SugarCoated