Sunday, June 30, 2013

Painting my heart out

Many year ago I painted full time. I have been longing to return to it. But differently. Before is was mostly murals, now I wanted it to be more soulful.

This horrendously hot weekend, I have devoted to finishing two paintings I started over a year ago. Large pieces. 

The geisha was inspired from a 1920's poster. Rob loves this painting and is thrilled she is done and gracing the wall in our bedroom.

The large piece with hearts was one I started while taking Flora Bowley's online class. 

I think the antique frame really sets it off. 

I also hung all of my vintage saris from India on my curtain rod. Our room is pretty complete now except for Cord covers for the hanging lamps.

Finally, our room is done.  Been undone for so long!
Hope you stayed cool this hot so California weekend! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sow, So, Sew...

Life is funny.  All sorts of twists of fate, happenstance and serendipity.

Last year, through Facebook, I made a couple new friends.

Since I often accept friend requests from people I don't know on FB, because of my work.
"Friend" can be a loose descriptive in terms of FaceBook.

But in this instance, my new friends were actually "friends of a friend", actually an ex boyfriend. (I am sure I have violated some grammar rule with how many times I used friend in that sentence???) While dating this guy, I never had the honor of meeting these two people as they at the time, lived out of the country.  Our quirky quips commenting on said "ex-guy's" FB wall bonded us quickly and we FB connected.

Totally cool couple, wished we lived closer since they are into gardening and their Dogs, like I am....and they appreciate re-purposing and love to work on their cool mid-century house.  So, after I painted this jewelry box for myself a few months back, she commissioned me to paint her childhood Jewelry Box.

I was honored and she shipped it to me.  Well, she graciously gave me free reign artistically and after too many months in my book, I got it done.

Now, the "why" as to how I designed this piece.  Julie has a blog named "Sow, So, Sew"  LOVE her play on words.  Go check it out...  I decided to spin off of her blog title. She is very committed to posting on her blog. (unlike me).  At first I was going to use all three versions of "So, Sew and Sow"...but "SOW" resonated with me the most.  After all, she loves her garden...but more than that, "SOW" has so much to do with everyday life.  We "SOW" kindness, love, hatred, patience, impatience, etc, etc.  One very often "Reaps what one Sows".  ( you get my gist).

I had a lot of fun layering colors, shapes and patterns on this box and of course had to include three dog prints because Julie and her hubs have 3 labs...all three names start with the letter "G". They are all rescued labs and three different colors.  The 3 "G" network is how they refer to them , get it?  Love it.

Oh, and the blood drips from the heart are not some sort of Goth thing.  
More of a heart overflowing type of symbolism.

At the same time I completed Julie's Jewelry Box, I did one for Emily and I.  
It had a tear in the top, so I had to adhere a foundation of paper to paint on.

So, there you go.  You just never know what friends you may reap from what you sow.

Thanks Julie for the Commission!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday BLISS!

I woke up today with every intention of painting ALL day.
But when I went into the Rabbit Hole (Garage Studio)...
I just couldn't escape.

Besides there were this box of bottles and various religious objects calling my name.

So, I listened.

At first, they were going to be a bunch of soldered bottles to add to my collection.

This lovely little Mary statue is so dang sweet.

Should she perch upon this bottle???

The Virgin Mary and Jesus pictures with vintage millinery under convex glass, just HAD to go on a bottle...RIGHT?

I played with the layout over...

and over...

UNTIL I liked it...

But then I thought....just another soldered bottle.

To sit on my shelf.

What else could I do???

Something different.

(haven't used that one in a while)

A sweet vintage tole rose wall sconce.

Plus it would challenge me.
How to attach Mary and Jesus to the candleholder?

Tinned wire was wrapped and spirals made to solder the backs to it.
Yes, had to foil the entire backing of each glass picture.

Then more roses and leaves were added
after I dug in my box of treasures flowers...

Along with a little porcelain parakeet.
The parakeet is broken on one wing tip and the tail.
But doesn't matter to me.
We are all a little broken after all.

For the little white Mary statue,
she graces a bottle that I can remove her from.  I only epoxied her and the metal flower to a cork I altered.  The bottle has sea glass, driftwood and shells from a trip Emily and I took with my Mom last year to Cambria.
This way, I can add to the bottle.

The carved wooden Buddha hand is so peaceful to me.
Plus I LOVE hands.  Praying hands, Buddha hands, Santos hands, The Hamsa.
Hands are wonderful.  Not only to they help us do everything, they love, worship and heal.
Probably my favorite body part.

So, though I didn't get much painting done today,
found out that my grandson will not be here until tomorrow night.
That means all day tomorrow painting in my studio.
A custom jewelry box and to finally finish my 4ft tall Frida painting.

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Studio Bookcase

There is an odd "L" shaped wall space in my studio.
When this room was a living/dining room, this space
held the television.  


When my nest started to empty of children,  the room became used less and less.
Moving my studio into this space has been the best thing,
but this little odd area has always bothered me.

I conceptualized various bookcase configurations, but custom
building one was really the only way to tackle it.
Kind of like one of my favorite Designers,

Originally I had the idea to create a totally asymmetrical configuration using antique corbels, shadow boxes, columns and random vintage architectural pieces.

So for my birthday, My Man spent the day working with me to
create this Bookcase.  But my original design wasn't working well for the "L" shape of the wall,
or a Thomas Wold inspired wall.

So, we opted for Table legs, tree branches and some high grade plywood.

I have to give a serious shout-out to my Man.
He is not a woodworker by training and did the most amazing job.
I was pretty impressed with in construction ingenuity!

Best part?  Table legs were FREE.  I picked up a table at the curb last year on trash day.  
The tree branches were from the local neighborhood after our seasonal
crazy winds.

But...I have a SECRET....

The branches are NOT all Birch.

Only the two bottoms ones are.

The topmost ones are from a eucalyptus tree and the second from top shelf is from a cypress tree.

I faux painted the top three to look like the bottom two.
Fun to return to my trompe l'oeil mural roots for this.

Over the MOON happy with the outcome, but I am still in a quandary about what to do to the shelves.

Paint and distress?

Stain them dark, to go with the OLD wood on much of my studio furniture?

What do you think???
What would you do???

Monday, June 3, 2013


Last week was my birthday.  47.  Ugh.
WHERE or WHERE do the years go?

It is such a funny thing to wake up one day (at least it sure feels this way) and feel suddenly "Old".  
I look around seeing handsome baseball players, firemen and police men and when I use to think, "hubba-hubba".  I'm now saying things like..."crap, they are my sons age, what cute boys they are"


I guess one day, I will look at them and say they are my grandchildren's ages.

Such is life.

Still feeling fortunate to be alive, no matter the age.

Anyway.  Had a lovely B-day with my most precious daughter Emily.  She made me my favorite tea and my standard breakfast. of Sourdough with peanut butter, sliced bananas, honey and cinnamon.

We did pedicures in our fountain on the patio (yes, I had only 2 days prior drained and cleaned it)
Was kind of fun and earthy to do a pedicure this way.  Sitting in out garden, listening to the birds and water sounds...sipping tea and painting our toenails.

Then we were off to lunch at El Torito, (free b-day entree, YAY!)

Next we headed to a Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights. I have never been in a Buddhist Temple and it is on my bucket list to visit the places of worship of many Faiths.  This goes along with the occasional reading I do educating myself about different faiths.  I find it fascinating.  I wanted to take more photos, but they did not allow them inside the two temple buildings out of respect for those there to worship. I didn't want to be some weird tourist, so my photo taking was minimal. Was also amused that they had a dress code.  Some women and children were also there sightseeing and had strapless dresses on.  No bare shoulders in the temple.  Totally like a bit of modesty when it comes to faith, but this is just me.

The temple was lovely, they have free audio guided walking tours.  An area to purchase tea or to have free hot tea.  Many people came to worship while we were there. Emily and I enjoyed watching their traditions.  Mostly female Monks walked the grounds, heads shaved, in their garments reading from what I would guess were religious books...or speaking with followers and doing chores.  I really enjoyed it and gathered some education about the Buddhist Faith.

Carved marble Foo Dogs guard the entrance to the first temple.  And I can't help but smile at a Happy Buddha.  Did you know that the large ears on a Buddha signifies Compassion?  That we should listen more than we speak.  I love this symbolism.  The fat belly signifies prosperity.

From there, Emily and I headed home to tend to the doggies and then had a date with one of my sons to see the film, "The Great Gatsby". was awesome and we LOVED it...except for the sad parts.  :-(

My B-day was lovely and do I feel "older"?  Well, from the day before, no.  But from years past, Yes
I do.  The body and energy DOES change. Thank YOU Menopause.  ;-/

I also feel more well rounded (not just my figure either)  ;-)...more grounded, relaxed and centered than I did even a year ago....especially more than a decade ago.  So, youth while it has it's perks...not sure I'd trade it for spending time with my kids when they were small again.  But that's what Grandchildren are for!  

Friday, some friends and I headed to The Vintage Marketplace to shop and visit friends.  I use to sell at this show.  It is a wonderful place to sell and to buy.  But my life is taking a different direction which is why I am not selling there right now.  It is always a beautiful show put on my two people I LOVE and respect very much, Rita Reade and Christie Repasy.   It is so much fun to visit all of my lovely friends who sell and buy here.  The event is as much social for me as it is for buying!

Saturday my man built a bookshelf I conceptualized for my Studio.  This is an entirely different Blog post I will share tomorrow.  Wait until you see it!  Totally RAD!!

My B-day weekend ended spending it with the littlest light of my Life.  My grandson.  Yep, my age is just fine, because I have this little man in my life...

Life is Rich because of the people I have in it.