Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fun House Photos

I think today might be one of those great days that will live on in my mind as bright, effortless and fun!
I love hanging out with these two...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catch a Shooting (Rising) Star

What a wonderful and whirlwind few weeks!
Starting with LaLa coming to visit, then a week filled with dress rehearsals, tech and a pre-holiday celebration with Grandma & Grandpa, a coupla fantastic shows of Jungle Book (with Annie as the unforgettable Kaa, Mother Wolf and a stand out part as a Prickly Pear!) and finishing up with a wonderful visit with Grandma Pinky Mae Rose!
So fun!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Pat Hog

I know, it's no fun in the re-telling.
And yet, here I go again...
Pat and I had the BEST time
ever together the last three days.
I know I always say that.
It's always true!
And I don't think there is a way to translate exactly why it was go great without diminishing it.
So, I will just re-cap;

-We had a laugh attack at a hair salon, that quickly climbs to 2nd place in the history of all laugh attacks for us. (
First place still has to be Reno, where our laugh attack continued, on and off for almost three days, leaving us weak and painfully muscle sore. ) This newest laugh attack went on so long, and was so embarrassingly public, that the stylist at the salon brought us a box of tissues. As she handed the box to us, the look on her face was a mix of pity and fear.

-A dynamite haircut for Pat, despite the above.

-A trip to Mastick (fabulous Senior Center thrift store) where we each found at least two great pieces.

-A fantastic Chinese full body massage. Four of us gals lined up in a row of massage chairs. It was Pat, myself, dear Jen and Kristin of West Vista Urban Farm School.

-Hot homemade apple pie as a punctuation, preface or in place of most meals.

--Tickets to Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond. Just go see it. There were at least six works in that show that transcend this realm and spoke of pure vibrating communion with the creator. The Nabis works especially. Many brought tears to our eyes. I could go on, but really, words are pitifully insufficient next to these works.

-A sparkling visit to a park and a walk on the bay between rainstorms.

-Dim Sum at East Ocean Seafood. Fortunes were read in the tea leaves.

-And Annie! My darling! Despite calling me a "Pat Hog" she did a fair bit of hogging as well. She made Pat breakfast, decorated her bed and door to her room, sang, played piano, acted out scenes for her upcoming show, held hands with, draped herself on Pat, and told a million stories and got Pat to herself as well. Annie, your are wonderful!

I'll stop gushing now.
Love you Pat!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Inks + Carving Tools + Brayers + Papers + Temperature + Pressure + Patience



My studio has a strong smell of ink, lots of paper, tape, wet and dry cloths, palette knives an the constant streaming of Netflix movies.
(A few from my queue - Bela Fleck-Throw Down Your Heart, Imitation of Life,
The Art of the Steal,

Say Ahhhhhhh!

Annie's got a slight case of the sniffles so we went to pick up some herbs and vitamins at Dr. John Nieters' office, and he took a few minutes to look at her throat, feel her glands, take her pulse, and make sure she didn't have Strep.

Annie loves seeing him.
She came right home and made him this card as a thank you.

Thank you John!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pure Heaven

For those of you who don't yet know the pure joy of a heated mattress pad, I encourage you to buy one, upgrade to overnight shipping, and know the deep pleasure of slipping into a deliciously warm bed!

It's the modern version of a few warm rocks placed in the bed on a cold winters night.

I literally moan and squeal with delight each time I get into bed. Really!

If my words don't move you, see this pleasure beautifully illustrated above by Annie.

If you're curious, and you need further encouragement, know that it can help you save on your overall heating bill. Rather than heating your whole room (or home) just heat the bed. We just heat ours twenty minutes before going bed, and turn it off as soon as we slip in.

Pure heaven!

Thank you for the gift LaLa!!
(The original of the above artwork is on it's way to you via snail mail!)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to Build a Duff House, or I Could Look at My Baby All Day

We went for a hike up in the redwoods today. Wow! Today's weather was so warm and amazing and the view of the San Francisco Bay glittered and sparkled! I went looking for sticks, lichen and eucalyptus for a project, and Annie quickly decided to build a Duff house to shelter small animals from the coming winter rains. (Annie has informed me that "Duff" is all the redwood leaves, sticks and debris on the forest floor. If you pile enough on your structure, it becomes rain proof and keeps the cold out.)
I liked Annie's structure, but mostly I couldn't keep my eyes off of her! What a delight to listen to and watch as she worked!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Day

Annie and I scurried off to the thrift store before my first class began this morning. I found this blue linen shirt.

After the morning class left, Annie and I continued doing foam printing together and I LOVE how her prints turned out.

Here I am waiting for my afternoon class of boys to show up.

And here they are in all their glory!

It's already dark at 5:45 p.m. and here I am, talking to LaLa Pat while I get ready to post this to my blog. Another great day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Foam Printing

I finally did an printing experiment that I've been wanting to do using foam trays. You know those kind that meat and fruit are packed on? Friends and neighbors have been saving them for me, and I finally can offer this project with the kids in my studio.

The following are a few simple steps to use your foam trays and make repeated images. Step one, using an exacto blade I cut out a flat piece from the tray to carve on. Step two, I then used a light pencil line to layout my design, then pressed much harder with the pencil, creating a deep ravine that would convey my image. Step three, using my Brayer and Block Printing Ink, laid out the red paint on a flat surface covered with freezer paper, then transferred the paint as evenly as possible onto my foam "block". Step four, lay the foam "block" onto good paper, cover it with a hard-backed book, and you can see my lovely (and petulant) assistant in action, applying even pressure to make a good solid transfer. I'll post the kids work with foam prints in the studio this week on Alameda StudioTime.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Little Family

I've been working on a holiday nativity scene for our dear friends the Taylors. So far, I've worked in silk, wood and wool to create a Mary, Joseph and the newborn Jesus. I love the colors and the non-traditional costumes. The parents stand approximately 8.5" and are completely pose-able.
Next, the manger/structure. I've got a date with a eucalyptus tree this week to collect bark.

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Haircut in Almost Ten Years

Goodbye barrettes, hair ties, and long hair.

I'm So Glad She's My Kid

Someone around here feels happy about me!
I feel happy too!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preparing for the Haunt

Annie woke up at 2:00 a.m. Saturday night and got up, came to my side of the bed and asked if it was too early to get up and prepare for Halloween! I took her a loooong time to fall back asleep, and I've been tired all day because of it.

These pictures were taken when the sun (finally) started going down and we were preparing to go out and Trick or Treat. At the last minute, I stayed back to hand out lollipops to the kids, since I was tired and a little Halloweened out.

Mostly I was pooped because we held a Halloween dance party Saturday night, and we dressed up, danced, feasted and to me, that was Halloween this year.

Annie loved the dance party, and she was out-of-control excited all day about Halloween and Trick-or-Treating. Then she can't decide whether to hand out candy or go in search of! She did both. After she got home, she took at least half her candy and gave it away to those last few ghouls and goblins passing by.

Aren't these two creepy?

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

So Alive

We really enjoyed the Día de los Muertos exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California today and it left me with a great feeling of aliveness. For me it's a mix of awe at the mystery and emotions around death and the afterlife, and the sheer joy of living.

Nothing illustrates that joy of living as much as watching the children in my life! Living with bravery, gusto, endless amounts of energy and big emotions and a fresh, creative approach to each moment.

Here's to life!