Snapshot: Kim Bald

Occupation: I am an upcycle artist. Since I was a kid, my mom would say, “Don’t put anything down, or Kim will turn it into something!” Most recently, I’ve been working on a series of 26 crosses in response to 12/14. They are made from wood pallet pieces, scrap wood, drift wood, wine staves, and any other recovered finds I have I my collection. Each one has an inspirational word, selected by my colleagues at Broadview Middle School, where I am a paraeducator, and then written on another piece of recycled wood and attached. The crosses were posted outside my home until June 14. Then the teachers who selected the words could make a donation and keep that cross. The few that are left I’ll sell at my friend’s store on Long Beach Island, and that money will be donated to the proposed carousel memorial.

Family: I have two sons. My oldest, James, is married to Nicole, and they live in Danbury. My son Dylan is 21, and a chef at The Tavern in Monroe.

Pets: I have three black cats, Samson, Shadow, and Raydon.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I moved here in 2010 from Danbury.

What do you like to do in your free time? There’s always a project, indoors or outdoors. My art takes up most of my free time. I make upcycle jewelry in addition to the art items I build. It’s always about keeping my eyes open for things I can use in my art, wherever I am. I do write for a magazine on Long Beach Island, a local, informational magazine, and I love music.

Do you have a favorite kind of music? I like all kinds of music genres, but I lean toward the blues, more than anything else.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? Long Beach Island, N.J. I’ve been going there since I was a kid. It’s quiet, the sands on the beaches are wonderful, and the sunsets are so beautiful. They are trying so hard there to recover after Hurricane Sandy. When I go down this summer, I’ll be working on trying to get my mom’s house there back together. She just bought the house three years ago, and it had 42 inches of water in the first floor after Sandy.

What is the best thing about Newtown? The people — they’re all so nice! People stop and say hello, and people even wave you on when you’re driving. I was terrified of the flagpole when I first moved here. It’s a nice town to live in. I’m lucky.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mom, without a doubt. She is the kindest, most encouraging person. I strive to be who she is. She’ll do anything, for anybody. She encouraged me to do whatever I wanted, to follow the dreams.

Do you have a personal philosophy? Be nice, and be kind. If we were all kind to each other, wouldn’t that be great? It would almost be scary!

Do you have a guilty pleasure? I go to Jersey and lay on the beach and read. It’s about the only time I actually read.

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