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One of the products I made today on my store at Zazzle from a skateboard extreme design made several years ago. Love it as a tie.
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During the last few weeks at the ArtLab in Staten Island where they gave me a scholarship to attend clay classes and sponsored clay for me to use, I was able to make this small sculpture – seen here without the glaze.
The other two pieces that I made –
after the fire destroyed, Art, Artist, Cricket House Studios, cricketdiane, design, designer, disabilities, disability rights, homeless, homelessness, Inventing, new art, new design, new york city, NYC, poverty, Real-life, sculpture, Staten Island, studio
This was the first post made on the new blog for CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios but I’m moving it over to this blog instead because the new blog is going to have other kinds of information on it and this is more personal.
What I wrote a few days ago –
Real life is crazy – that is what is crazy. I’m sleeping on a neighbor’s living room floor. Nobody will take a Section 8 voucher which I have and is still good for about four more weeks and they probably wouldn’t rent to me anyway because I found out yesterday, my credit score is now 74 (since the fire.) Utilities continued charging me after the fire until the final fire incident report could be given to them that only came about a week and a half ago.
My daughters had a GoFundMe campaign which included only them after they lived in my house for nearly three years with my paying all the bills from my limited money and supported them and their children along with doing most of the housework and watching their children far too much of the time. The Senators office in Staten Island that was supposed to reimburse us for staying extra days in the hotel room after the fire while they were supposedly trying to get reasonable accommodation for me – didn’t reimburse us and didn’t get any reasonable accommodation for me from HPD either.
All the resources from HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) that should be available to me aren’t – because they won’t make any reasonable accommodation to me so that I can be where I know and am familiar with the physical space and people and environment. One neighbor put me out of her house after three weeks to keep from me having any rights as a “tenant” in housing court just in case that ever might be something I would do which meant I slept outside in the yard of the abandoned house next door to hers one night and half of the things donated to us are ruined still sitting there at that yard next door to her house.
Another neighbor up the hill is charging me $150 a month plus $20 for electric to sleep on her living room floor with some of my things lining one wall in tubs and crates (things people have donated or I’ve bought since the fire because nothing was recoverable from the fire. ArtLab gave me a scholarship to take a clay class plus sponsored a bag of clay for me to use and each Monday, I’ve been going there to create in clay and have made four pieces – three pretty good ones and one ugly one that probably needs to be thrown away.
My daughters have scattered and are not here “helping” me although I’m not sure how much help they would be anyway since things are so confusing and extremely expensive from bus fare to having to run all over the place and get things done including replacing IDs and trying to find a place to live and getting something to eat. And, getting the final fire incident report to all the utilities and cable service so they’ll stop charging us for a house that is burned down.
The problem is, that because of head injury and PTSD from domestic violence years ago, if I don’t stay where I already know, especially after this extreme traumatic event, I could very likely lose most or even, all of my ability to function. Being able to walk, talk, know my name, understand where I am, write, find my own ass with both hands, know to wipe it myself, understand what I’m hearing and seeing, know where I’m waking up and why I’m there – are freedoms I don’t want to lose on top of losing my home and everything I’ve worked on for the last 32 years that were destroyed by the fire.
It isn’t very likely that I will ever make lots of money because I never remember what all I know and what all I can do. That is a definite drawback of head injury. People around me will say how long they’ve been in business or been doing something – I know somewhere in my mind that it has been a very long time that I’ve been doing whatever it is – but unless I really sit down and take a couple hours to figure it out – I don’t know. I was doing it yesterday – so it has been a while. And, I had always thought that if I’m good at it, then it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing it – whether it is forty-five years or two. But, there isn’t a practical way for me to tell anyone as I’m standing there with them, that there are good reasons that I know what I’m doing in art or sculpture or the business of product design or inventing things or writing or computer stuff or anything.
When one of my clay pieces that I sculpted was being brought from ArtLab to where I’m staying, I stopped off at a little book cafe where a lot of people know me. One of the men saw the piece and tapped it with his keys – an extraordinary clay pottery piece with beautiful glazes and sculpted with leaves on one side of it, a large bowl-like vase for a table centerpiece to hold fall and Christmas flowers. But no, it couldn’t be real art because he knows I’m homeless and has never seen my art. This is ridiculous to an extreme.
I travel up and down the hill of Benziger Ave. where my house burned down with a thirty-lb. plus backpack on my back pulling a small rolling suitcase with my computer in it and my purse slung across its top by the handle every day going to these places. For the past month and a half, every time I’m going out – that is how I look because I can’t leave the computer here and if I was going to use the internet, up until a few days ago, I had to go somewhere else to use it – the ferry terminal or the cafe book store.
The libraries would not let me in because of the rolling cart I had to begin with and then because of the rolling bag that has my computer in it because they decided not to let those things in the library to keep homeless people from coming into the library. Anyway, it has meant that I couldn’t use the internet at the library or the resources at the library during this entire time. About two weeks ago, I hid my computer in this living room space and walked the half-mile to the library without it so I could check out some videos. There was no way to stay the forty-five minutes that the library lets me use their laptops and get online because my computer couldn’t be safe that long where I stay so I had to go back with a few videos in hand to watch.
At the ferry terminal where there is free wifi, it requires spreading my computer and extra keyboard and file folders on the floor over by the windows to do it, because it has been too cold and windy to do it outside where there are seating areas to spread it out. I don’t think the ferry terminal was intended to be any real place to use the wifi they offer, it isn’t practical in any sense of using it except for a quick phone thing which is probably what they meant for it. But I did it anyway a few times, with my things spread across the floor by the windows out of the way of where people were waiting for or getting on the ferry. That was interesting.
I’ve also made a couple trips down to the HackManhattan makers space over the past couple months because the Makers Space in Staten Island charges $250 a month and refused to allow me to trade any time with my skills helping them for time in the makers space. They also weren’t interested in the list of classes that I said I could teach which could have been a bit of money to me for this time that has been so impossible financially and in every other way. The same was true for the nearby Temple of the Arts, where they let me stuff envelopes for a few dollars but have no interest in the classes that I could teach from sewing to piano to art to computer skills. As much as it would help people in these areas and in Staten Island to have what I know how to do available to them, it downright doesn’t matter because the resources that could make it possible are very closed to me by the people who have them.
Since the internet service finally got sorted out and they let me have it here, I’ve been able to create a few products over on Zazzle which are now the only remaining archive of my work since all the digital files, photographs of them, hard drives with the files of them and computers were destroyed by the fire. I’ve also worked on this new blog a little but it has been really hard to gather any thoughts about what to put on it and finally I have given up and put this for lack of a better idea. I really want to add the structural materials libraries that I love and things more in line with creating and inventing – but no, the confusing things around me are too much to get focused and there is no chance I’ll have a home out of all this or an office or a studio or in fact, have any money to do anything at all with from my efforts.
There are also six new video clips that I loaded onto my YouTube channels a couple days ago. They aren’t wonderful, but they are appropriate to the current situation. And, hopefully, I can add some content soon that isn’t about my personal difficulties butt is instead something about painting, creating, making, inventing, doing business online, materials, resourcing, or any number of other nifty things I know a lot about – including some great valuable content among all of it.
That’s it – I’m tired of talking about it now except for this – among the fifty million things that are wrong right now, I am thankful and have great admiration for the many, many people who have helped me, are helping me, have extended the hand of friendship to me, have let me lay my head in their homes, have given me a computer and shoes for my feet, sent me a bit of money to buy food, taken a moment to say hello and give me hugs. Despite everything that has happened, I can say I’ve survived it thus far because of these things and they have kept me going and kept me demanding of myself that I not quit even when things seem so terrible and they are. It is amazing to see that I can write after all this and as that is not something small in my world – for that I’m also very grateful.
- cricketdiane, 11-27-16
A few days ago – maybe a month ago now, I created a new blog for CrricketDiane and Cricket House Studios. You can find it here –
This is the first post for it which you can find there –
Since our home and studios, business office and 32 years worth of reference materials, supplies, equipment, business marketing tools, books, completed work and research burned to nothing on August 18, eight weeks ago, it has been hard to wrap my head around what to do next. All the things needed when a move is intentional are required at the same time all the things necessary to do after a disaster have needed doing too.
This new blog is the beginning of a new day in our business and in my life as a career inventor, writer, academic and artist. It should be interesting and our team at Cricket House Studios and especially me, are hoping you will enjoy coming along for the ride with us on this exciting victory dance of the Phoenix rising from the ashen wasteland of that fire. My wrath against all that mess is enough to make this dance a great one if not magnificent in its daring and passion.
So, welcome to a new day at our businesses including (but never limited to) – Cricket House Studios, Cricket Diane Art and Design, The America the Beautiful Show, The Inventors’ League and Mad Scientists Group. We look forward to an epic tale of the extraordinary kind as we move forward and each day glints a measure of that which we hope to share with all of you as you join us in creating this victory – together.
It is difficult to write now – more than ever. Today, I finished glazing a sculpture at the ArtLab which is the last clay class until Winter session starts.
ADA, brain injury, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, cricketdiane, disabilities, disability, disability issues, disability rights, homelessness, Human Rights, inequality, New York, new york city, New York state, News, news events, news tips, NY, NYC, nys, poverty, ptsd, Staten Island, Staten Island 6 alarm fire, Staten Island fire, survivors, US Constitution
Would anyone care about those things in America as we fight for our freedom from poverty in a city whose basic and possibly legitimate desire is to price us out of existence, neglect us, or use our lives’ facts as a basis to derive their own employment income and profits while denying us services? Would they like knowing about it at all?
Would it be newsworthy that one of the families of those that lost everything in recent Staten Island 6-alarm fire on Aug. 18, 2016 (last Thursday) is made up of three women who were in the neighborhood less than a year? who were on a Section 8 Voucher and foodstamps and SSI, but working to build a business, one going to college, and one working to be a freelance photographer and journalist? And survivors of domestic violence, brain injury and PTSD, with a lot of homemade strategies and common sense tools to overcome those disabilities, many of which are now lost?
SI 6 Alarm Fire Victim Phillips Family is about to cost the city of New York about $9,000 a month plus services
NYC through ineptitude, irresponsible use of policies and resources, ignorance of the ADA and other disabilities rights laws and innapropriate application of policies and improper application of Congressional and State Legislature directives for handling homeless individuals, disabled persons and others of our most vulnerable populations is about to inadvertently cost themselves and other State resources over $9,000 a month in shelter costs plus other administrative costs, other services and specialized service costs plus all meals, and cash assistance to our family when it isn’t the ONLY wasy to do it? And is actually illegal to force us or even try to force us to try and do it against our best interests, against our basic welfare and against our basic human rights as American citizens? Did you know that? Did you know we could help NYC decision-makers by using our story as an example of how people in our city are being more defrauded by this agency ineptitude of policy making than all fraud of any kind across the entire state being perpetrated by poor people, people with disabilities, elderly or young single mothers with children who are often claimed as the scapegoats for America’s problems? Are you tired of hearing sad sack tales and would like to tell America something else that is interesting, elegant and wonderful and all so horrible all at the same time? Would they / and you, be interested?
08-24-16 2.46 am, Hilton Garden Hotel, Staten Island, NY, NY,
Author – CricketDiane 2016, Diane C. Phillips
ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights, cricketdiane, Department of Justice, diane c phillips, disabilities, disability, disability rights, equality, Human Rights, inequality, injustice, new york city, NYC, rights, SI fire, Staten Island fire
Today HPD (Housing Preservation & Development) in NYC demanded proof that I have disabilities. My house burned down to an unrecoverable state last Thursday. Red Cross gave me & my family a letter to give HPD about it. They were supposed to help us get permanent housing and our Senators here are helping to bring that about, Sen. Savino and Sen. Watson.
There were four families sent to HPD with us. We were all supposed to be expedited into permanent housing. I have SSI and NYCHA Section 8 from the house that burned down. HPD had been supposed to waive req. for id forms of usual because we had them in the house.
HPD (NYC) demanded the same forms of id as for any other situation – which we had gotten from the computer at the hotel for the SSI award letter and all the docs we could find online. HPD kept all of us waiting for over three hours with all our children in tow in a very small noisy waiting room, then told my family that we were to go to the family shelter, as they told the other four families whose homes burned next to ours.
I said that wouldn’t work for me because of my disabilities, brain injury and PTSD from domestic violence. I said that it was already too much overwhelming information, they had us come from Staten Island to the HPD office in person, wait with my daughters and grandchildren over 3 hrs, added more stress and difficulty already and I couldn’t afford to be in another place that I don’t know, don’t understand with so many people and things I would not be able to understand and that I didn’t want to end up like a retarded person drooling on myself because my brain would shut down with that much more stress.
He asked me if I had proof of my disability (insisted several times, not just once) and denied that he had proof despite the fact he had written down that I have SSI for my disability and a Section 8 Voucher to have a place to live because of these disabilities not allowing me to do better for myself yet.
I don’t understand, am I supposed to have a disability tattoo, a disability set of papers like a thoroughbred dog gets to prove l have rights to services and accommodation as a disabled person, even though SSI is obvious proof that I have a disability. HPD works with domestic violence survivors (often with children and young children) and people displaced by fire or flood for expedited fair housing appropriate to their unique and particularly specific needs. Is this how they are treating everyone in our most vulnerable populations when they are most stressed out, most emotionally distraught and while they are undergoing some of the most massive and unexpected difficulties in their lives – and in mine. I’ve lost everything.
My family has lost everything. The other families who came in about an hour after we did, but are our neighbors, lost everything, or very nearly everything. Why would this man who was supposed to be helping me, ask me for proof of a verified, way more than well certified disability and then deny me and my family any option of permanent housing of any kind PLUS demand I show proof of my disability as if it is required of me?
And I said he could look it up, that I was willing to give my permission for him to see my entire case file at SSI, if that would help him to decide whether I have disabilities or not and he said he couldn’t do that. Oh yes he can. I could’ve signed a form and he could’ve looked it up through SEction 8 which HPD is directly connected to or called SSI to confirm it, after I signed such a paper although getting SSI is a pretty good proof all by itself. I was shocked and hurt and offended and disgusted that he probably does this to all the disabled people, elderly & survivors of domestic violence he and the HPD ofc is supposed to be helping.
Please fix this. They can’t do this to people. I didn’t deserve it and they don’t either. We did not go to the shelter. I don’t want to be in a mental hospital because even one more drop of difficulty is added to this already impossible, emotionally devastating situation
08-23-2016 US Dept of Justice ADA Complaint Form – CricketDiane, Diane C. Phillips 2016.