The New Adventures of an Old Magazine

When I saw Domino Magazine on the newsstand again I nearly fainted. My favorite magazine was back, resurrected from the dead! Oh happy day! Dance of joy! But just as soon as I began rejoicing, I remembered that Domino was only back for two limited editions: Spring/Summer “Quick Fixes” & Fall/Winter “Best Rooms.” Suddenly, its presence was a little more like seeing your best friend as a zombie, knowing they have to be killed shortly after.

A few disappointments prevail: both issues consist of mostly recycled material from the magazine’s 4 year run, so there isn’t too much that is new, and it’s $11 to boot (those of us who renewed our subscription lost out 3 years back when the magazine cancelled, joining the ghosts of Blueprint and ReadyMade).

However brief though, it is nice to see our beloved magazine sitting among the other home decor magazines, some of whom have lived long before and after Domino, some whom I hope will survive.

I still love paper magazines. In my collection are art magazines, graphic design, home design, illustrated J. Peterman catalogs, Anthropologie catalogs, and the ever-precious Domino. I also hold onto the first (and possibly last) issue of Living Room Magazine, Fall 2000, with one of my favorite decor covers (illustrated birds!)Though I mourn the loss, I’ve had to move on. These days, I browse through Lonny (which is by far the best substitution I have found for Domino so far), Rue, Living Etc, Dwell, Elle Decor (preferably UK), Home & Decor (Singapore), HGTV, Flea Market Style, Flea Market Decor, and House Beautiful…just to name a few. Not to mention all the design blogs, but don’t even get me started on that long list.

At any rate, Domino, I miss you… perhaps this little resurrection is a test to see how well you fair in this new market, with the economy on the rise, with the constant growing interest in home design. Perhaps you will be back after all. And if not, a girl can still dream.

magazine display photos © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); Living Room Magazine © 2000 Better Home & Gardens; all other photos © Domino Magazine

Bushcraft: Piñatas & Animal Heads

Usually I come to Bushcraft ready for spontaneously unplanned artist playtime, a real divergence from my daily life. But I’ve had a long-standing professional interest in learning paper mâché, so this time I arrived armed with ideas + a (sort of) plan on how to execute it. This month’s theme was piñatas, with the intention of smashing them next month at Bushcraft’s one-year anniversary party. Here are my sketches of animal heads that got me started:

The first thing we did as a group was collect newspaper, toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, egg crates, etc, in between last month’s Bushcraft. I don’t recall ever making paper mâché as a kid, so this was all pretty new to me. The rest goes a little something like this:

Stay tuned for more paper mâché updates! You can also check out my Flickr photo set here.

photography & sketches © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), karaoke photo © 2012 Declan Zimmerman (, Bushcraft group shot © 2012 Laura Lee Gulledge (

Out to the Sweet Unknown

“So I took off running / I ran over the hills / My odyssey through concrete and steel / Gonna keep on going / I don’t wanna stand still / Gonna keep on going / I don’t wanna stand still.”

I thought an appropriate way to start this new column would be with something known my whole life, family, which has become an unknown due to the dismantlement of the matriarchs.

Today was grandmother’s birthday; Thursday marked the four-year anniversary of my mother’s death. While I’m not ritualistic or big on cemeteries, I felt a strong desire to visit their shared plot. And while I’m not usually superstitious either, I have noticed the number 11 having a significance throughout my life; their plot location at the very meeting of these two important numbers.

The cemetery, located in Middle Village, Queens, is also within walking distance from my grandmother’s house. My grandmother died just 4 months before my mother, both women suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s respectively, nearly 30 years apart in age. My aunt, uncle and cousin still live there, keeping my grandmother’s apartment on the second floor eerily intact. Lately I have been having reoccurring dreams about this house; I knew eventually I would have to go back.

Having been raised here almost as much as my own home, there are so many memories living within these walls. The dolls behind glass looking out at me, chachkies and knick-knacks; everything still in its place. The lingering smell of Sunday dinners, holidays, and cooking; stored within these familiar dishes.

This is the mural I stared at for hours as a kid, hands tucked under my head as I lay on the floor, feet propped riskily on top of grandma’s perfect sofa. Without younger siblings or cousins to play with, I would create scenes within the wallpaper’s landscape again and again; its beauty still vibrant and as fresh as the day she got it. The origin of my obsession with chandeliers still dangles just above it.

I was also surprised by something so familiar and yet foreign to me now: homemade tomato sauce made by my aunt and shared with my cousin, just like the good old days of long ago.

This Heartless Bastard song not only kick-starts what I hope to be more exploration, but every word rings true as this particular point in my currently transitioning life: “Oh, I’m longing to be, out in the sweet unknown. I’m gonna keep on going, I don’t wanna stand still. Out in the sweet unknown.” 

While I nostalgically dream about these known times that have long since passed, one thing I do not miss: being that scared little child, so afraid of everyone and everything. Here’s to the risks and the adventures; to finally embracing a life less travelled and enjoying the journey, wherever it may take me. Here is to the sweet unknown.

“I could do all these things. Oh, I have the power.”

photography © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); song lyrics & album cover © Heartless Bastards