Friday, February 25, 2011


Hey blog is going under construction, so it might
disappear for a spell!

My very good and oh so talented friend Susie
is going to customize my blog...


Stay Tuned Friends...



Feeling kinda nostalgic today.
Been digging through photos lately for my new blog, marketing, etc.
After taking a pic of Emily this morning,
I started thinking about her Dad.

She is such a wonderful, Super bright and talented Kid....funny too.
I hope from wherever he is in the Universe, he can see her
and he is proud at how she is turning out.
He was crazy about her and she is such a blend of both of us.
He use to say, "With my talent and yours, she is going to be the next 
Frank Lloyd Wright"

John has been gone over 7 years, but not a day goes by that I don't think about him.
He was a General Contractor, Cowboy and all around Good Guy!
There wasn't anything that guy could not build.
He held certifications in almost every aspect of construction,
able to build a house from the bottom up,
could weld, build a car, did fine woodworking.
Everything he did, he taught himself to do.
We worked very well together and had immense mutual respect for each other's abilities.

We were married on a hillside in a field of wildflowers.

Yes, he looked like Wyatt Earp and YES, I had black hair at the time. 
Then we had a good old fashioned Back Yard BBQ Country Reception.
Red/white checkered tablecloths, coke bottles with wildflowers,
bales of hay with galvanized bins of bottled water, beer and such.
Before DIY weddings became the Rage.

We were re-purposing vintage finds 12 years ago,
before it all really started taking off like it is now.

Shelves from Footboards...

a few of His Carvings...

One of the Benches we built...
Our kitchen cabinets he rebuilt as well as window frame/shelf...

A Cradle We designed together...Emily slept in in for a short time.
Em puts her shoes in it now.
The second moon on the wall was the template we created for the finished product.
It now hangs High on my studio wall.

I had a store for about 6 months,  John welded the metal for this sign
and of course cut the wood, which I Painted.

This is the year my youngest son Dylan graduates from High School.
It was the year, he and I talked of finally moving to the country somewhere.
Country Boy he was, he was vying for Montana or Texas.
A place he could have horses.
I just wanted to live somewhere with seasons, some land, a HUGE garden...
a place where you weren't on TOP of your neighbors
and of course a big old Barn with His/Her Workshops.

Life goes on and my life is not bad,
but some days one is more nostalgic than others.

Have a lovely weekend friends.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trash Picker....EEEWWWW!!!!

Been a bit of a trash picker yesterday and today.
The Starbucks at my local B&Noble is closing.
So there is the GIANT rollaway dumpster filled
with all kinds of metal and scraps that I just wanted to haul away.
One the side of said dumpster is two palates, a big broken mirror and one of Starbucks
really cool metal magazine racks.
So, I look around for a contractor.
There are several contractor trucks.

Ask the guy I found, "is this stuff trash?
This stuff should really be recycled"

He says, "Well, the stuff in the dumpster Starbucks corporate won't allow
us to touch, but this stuff over here is just trash."

My reply, "So, I can take this metal piece?"

He says, "Sure, I have never seen you before and am going inside right now."

I smiled and said, "You don't see me"

Irony is HEAVY and while trying to whisk it away, it gouged my leg.
(Blood dripping down my leg as I scramble to find my first aid kit)
Darn it...he said I could take it!!
(shaking my fist at the sky)

Isn't it cool?

Then this morning on my way back from taking Dylan to the High School...
(It's trash day in my neighborhood)
There is this old oak, wash basin dresser thing
(Crusty Metal caster wheels that still roll!)
...with a pile of other stuff near it.


Now, how to get it in my Jeep...just
then this 8th grade boy walks around the corner and offers to help get it in my car.
Sweet boy.
His Mother must be crazy too.

Also dug in the pile of rotten cardboard, a soaked mattress and old mini blinds
and uncovered two cool old teak (I think)
wood Beach chairs.
My Grandparents had some like these.

and being the occasional 
Dumpster Diva!!!!

Happy Junkin' Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hanging with my Gnomie...

Yesterday Em and I went to see
"Gnomeo and Juliet"
It was a really cute movie.

I've always loved fairy tale characters and spent my childhood
playing with imaginary friends.  
When I went to sleep, 
visions of my dolls coming alive and playing 
all night long ruled my imagination until I nodded off.
I would even try to fool them and pretend to be asleep, then
open my eyes super fast...but there were always still
where I left them.

Yes, there is a gnome in 
my garden...Just one...that I know of anyway.
He is getting kind of faded & me thinks
it is time for a wee repaint.

 Em and I decided to come home and sculpt
a couple of gnomes.
My favorite gnomes in the movie were the little ones.
As she watched me, her confidence started fading.
"geeze, you are so fast Mom, I can't do it like you"
I had to remind her, I was like her once, fumbling my way...
everyone starts somewhere
and no one is ever perfect,

So, I gently coaxed and prodded her.  
She wanted me to just
take over and do it for her, but nope.
I am a stubborn Mom
and as a parent, each day has multiple
opportunities to teach
our children.

So, here are our Gnomies...side by side.
Mine is the one on the right, hers on the left.
Both are under 2 inches tall.

So, yesterday was spent hanging with my Gnomie, Emily...
watching Gnomies 
and sculpting Gnomies.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Muse

After what has been a really BAD 8 is time I posted SOMETHING.
I will start at Last Friday11th, where this post really started.

On Friday the 11th, Emily had the day off
for one of the President's Days.

We spent the entire day drawing and painting in my studio.

That kid can sketch and sketch and sketch.
I admire her childlike absence of fear
and the fact that her creativity is so fluid.
Her young mind is clutter free.  No deadlines, bills to pay,  laundry to do, 
groceries to buy, dinner to make, house to clean, etc. etc..
All of the stuff that jumbles my creativity is devoid watching her
fill pages with drawings.

We both chose canvases and away we went.

I LOVE Emily's drawing on the canvas.
She did not want to paint it.
When queried, she said she was afraid, so I didn't push.  
She will start painting when she is ready.

The girl I created is a representation of myself...
happily taking the leap into the great blue sky, brush and palate in hands.
Onto my new direction.
Rita says it should be my new business card.

Yesterday I decided to paint Emily's girl while she was at school...
she was so surprised
to come home and see her done and Loves it!

Our work side by side.

 I look forward to a lifetime of creating and painting beside my daughter Muse, Emily.
 I want to absorb her childlike fearless creativity and hope she maintains it before the
realities of adulthood take over.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Do you know the "SHOULD BE's"???

(this is them)

I am rather well acquainted with them lately.

Having three shows coming up, I
Should be working my fingers to the bone to produce work....
Should be doing some drawings for Vintage Susie who is going to re-do my blog....
Should be doing everything else but what I did today.


I didn't want to.

(Can't you see me stomping my feet???)

Instead, there was this beautiful vintage velvet pillow cover haunting me.

It kept taunting me for the past two years....

"DOOO something with me..." it pleaded

Inspiration came when I got this SUPER cool Bag at Sirens and Saints at the last Urban Barn sale
a few weeks ago.
Now I couldn't very well ignore my sudden inspiration, could I?

Sooo the "Should Be's" were silenced and I went to work constructing my new Bag.

I did decorative whip stitching up both sides of the strap which is a wide hem
that was cut off of damask drapes.

This UBER cool Gold Velvet Bow thingy, (think it was a headband)
was altered and sewn on the new purse strap...

Decorating buttons and crocheted roses were attached to cover the raw edge of the bow...

Cool Fringe was added to the underside of what would become the front flap of the bag
and a lining was constructed of a piece of vintage damask curtains...

I boxed off the inside corners to give the lining a squared


A gorgeous vintage brooch was added to the front flap.
Now the pillow cover that haunted me is Happy.
And I have another cool bag to carry.

Now, I haven't totally been resting on my laurels lately.
The "Have Been's" have been very inspirational.
Have Been doing Yoga Every day.
 Have Been eating well.
Have Been losing weight and toning up.
Have Been planning my new artwork & year.

Guess it is not as bad as it all sounds.

So, tomorrow the "Should Be's" will be replaced with the 
"Will Be's"  who WILL force me to get to work on what I SHOULD have been doing today...

That is of course until the "Could Be's" sneak through the window and distract me once more....

Hope you have an INspirational Friday and weekend,
forget the "Should Be's"
and do what you WANT!!!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

California Winter

As much as I detest California Summers...

I LOVE California Winters.

It has been only one month since we cut our Rose Bushes back
and they are already starting to bloom.

My citrus trees are heavy with fruit.

My Nectarine and Plum trees are ready to burst with blossoms.

Oh, and how I LOVE those pink and white blossoms...

I have this GIANT Mini Marguerite Daisy bush
that was planted 7 years ago as a one gallon plant.
Each year it gets bigger and bigger like a giant round pom pom
covered in daisies.  Is is almost 5 ft wide all around.

My lavender is blooming and the bees are happy pollinating
my Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Lavender.

Kolancho survives outside all year here.

Yes, for some of the downsides to living in Southern California, 
the Winters here sure make up for it.
It rains a day or two here, then it is gorgeous.

I am thankful for this gift, 
since much of our country is buried in snow with below Zero temps right now.
The next time I hear a So Californian complain
about the winter here, I would really like to slap them,
but I won't.

I'll just show them a pic of my friend Barbara's Home, who
lives in Rhode Island and is so sick of the snow,
she is ready to hop a flight and stay at my house.

Here's to Winter, where ever you are!