Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo play

I should be doing 100 other things, but...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Here's what I'm thinking...

Wishing you Peace and Love 
as you celebrate 
what is sacred to you
in this season of Light.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How in the world

did I get here? Thanksgiving is already over, my first child just turned an age that stuns me, my youngest grand is turning 3 and I am now, according to the government who labeled me "adult" at 21, officially "old" having just turned 65!

Thought I'd better take a minute to post before the Christmas madness begins and I wake up in 2013.

I have still been painting! Regularly! with the most amazing women. Our most awesome (as my friend Nancy calls her) teacher is Charlotte Backman, a painter of mandala.

I previously shared the first one she guided me through and here is what I am currently working on.

I'm not sure what will establish it as "done" but I know I'm not there yet. I have plans for more dots, lines and a nice boarder. Mandala painting has really slowed me down. They are a meditation aid and I find myself really getting into the flow when working on one. It's a good thing.

And, as it seems to go in my life, one good things leads me to another. A few weeks back I had the opportunity to spend a day at Charlotte's taking a Thangka painting class from a delightful Tibetan monk, Yeshi Dorjee.  Do yourself a favor and visit him on Facebook.

This is going to take awhile to complete and I am looking forward to every moment. If you go to Yeshi's page you will see wonderful work. Also google Thangka and you will get a good idea of what I am undertaking!

Light is such a funny thing. The golden dragons at the top are actually the same gold paint as the diamond at the bottom. As you can see, I will be busy. There will also be waves around the fish. I learned many new techniques in this class that will apply to all of my art. But I have to say, the real life changer for me was the teaching and meditation that Yeshi did with us in preparation for painting. He shared processes for achieving happiness that I have been working on with dramatic results. 

I am getting a bit more settled in my art room. I was, in fact, all settled until the husband and I found a little dining set; table, chairs and buffet at a super bargain price. The tables I had were either too big or two small to make me happy and this table was just right. Now I am moving my considerable stash of paper and ephemera of all kinds from bins to my lovely new storage. THEN I will be DONE! I will!

It is good to be able to get my hands on my toys and I have returned to my habit of snapping little vignettes around the house. Here is one in the kitchen.

Over the years I have collected quite a few chickens. One of the things that made me sure this was the house for us was the kitchen drapes. They have chickens on them! Don't know about you, but it's not every day that I see drapes with chickens on them.

This was one of my favorite things at the ranch.

After a huge wild fire went through most of our property, taking out several structures but sparing the house, we commissioned this painting from Joy McAllister, an accomplished artist who is part of the Pomona Artists Colony. For many years it was the focal point of our veranda. We brought it with us to the new house, although at 4'x8' and very heavy, we knew it would be a challenge to find a sheltered place to hang it that would support it. 

We thought and we thought, we measured wall after wall. Outdoors was no longer an option. There are no walls under enough cover to shelter it and the sea air would surely ruin it. Inside we discovered two possible place, both of which were high up and difficult to get to. 

But, we underestimated the resourcefulness and the helpfulness of our son! He and his long time friend rigged ladders and risked their necks to hang our lovely lady over the back staircase. This photo depicts how well this location showcases our painting but it does not begin to demonstrate the daredevil feat of getting it up there.

Now, I just have to find a good place for this beauty languishing in the garage.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Every moment of our lives brings change. Hopefully I can learn what to let go and what treasures to bring to my new adventures. And if life has taught me nothing else, I have learned that there is always another adventure and more treasure on the horizon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I think I am finally making some headway getting settled into the new house. It seems to have been a long exhausting ordeal.

But I am making progress! These are shots, taken on my big girl camera that was literally in the very last box to get unpacked. The photos are a bit weird, I think camera may have been bounced about a bit. This is my new art room. I think I will be very happy here!

                                     Hey, I said "progress" not "perfection"

So here's what I'm thinking: I am exhausted, moving is so stressful, I'm not as young as I used to be, I had to move my Mom in the midst of moving myself, I have Fibro, whaa!!!

Then I think of what lies ahead for all of our fellow travelers on the East Coast who face massive, heartbreaking and backbreaking clean up, if not the loss, of their homes on top of everything they have already been through. Then there are those who were injured and, most heartbreaking of all, those who lost loved ones. I am sending them peace and love, and endurance so that they may soon have healed hearts and homes. And I am sending a donation to Red Cross, aware how little that will do to ease the suffering of so many. What happens to one of us happens to all of us.

And I am going to stop whining. And be grateful, for all of the obvious reasons and for our children, all grown with families and lives of their own, who were incredibly helpful, supportive and caring all during our move.  I promise to keep some perspective.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Once and Forever

Once upon a time, in a neighborhood of tiny Post-War bungalows, three little girls and one baby sister played together nearly every day and grew into best friends. Then high school, boy friends, weddings and relocations happened and they lost track of each other for over 30 years.

Say what you want about Facebook, but that was the magic that brought these baby-day friends back together to spend a wild and wonderful week at Myrtle Beach last year where four, lets just say "seasoned," women discovered they were still those same little girls and one baby sister and they still loved playing together all the day long. Email, snail mail and Facebook have kept them in touch and that special bond between people who knew each other when, has kept them in each others hearts.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling a bit blue and overwhelmed and that leaked out in my post. A few days ago, I opened my mail and found this amazing present from the baby sister who I always wished was mine. Thank you so much Little Joanie. I tear up a bit every time I look at this beautiful bit of love.

Here's what I'm thinking. Life is good. I am counting my blessings. What comes after a zillion?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Morning At The Pier

La Galette Creperie, located across the street from the San Clemente Pier, is the latest   discovery of great places to eat in our new neighborhood. Scrambled eggs, nice and moist, ham and swiss all wrapped up in a lovely crepe and topped with b├ęchamel, devoured at a small metal table on the sidewalk looking at the ocean. Sigh. It was a good morning.

We have been so busy "moving to the beach" we have not taken enough time to "enjoy the beach!" That simply must change.

We walked off that b├ęchamel by crossing the street and train tracks and walking to end of the very long San Clemente Pier. Come on along.

I wish I had my good camera, this does not do him justice.

                                                I LOVE PANO

Who is the guy with the white sox?

Pedestrian tunnel under the tracks


                             Just about long enough to make up for breakfast.


Here's what I'm thinking: Gratitude for a great morning and someone to share it with.

P.S. Someone (you know who you are) should be California Dreaming right about now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

As everyone knows, moving can be stressful. Add to that moving your 83 year old mother and her lifetime of memories to a Senior Living closer to you, and you will understand why I have not been in my happy place here lately. I miss my friends and my old activities. I am exhausted and Fibro has dug in deep. I feel ridiculous, this is a great house, the view of my dreams, and here I am all low down saggy and blue.

Ahhhh, but the Universe doth provide. A friend who lives closer to me than before I moved invited me to a painting class today with Charlotte Backman, an amazing artist who specializes in Mandalas. Check her out, Mandala Visions, her work is beautiful and she is a good teacher, besides being of a LOT of fun!

She coached me into making this in just one day.

Besides spending time with my friend and learning from Charlotte, I met several accomplished and wonderfully wild women who I hope to see often. One of them took this photo and emailed it to me. 

So, things are looking a LOT rosier in my little corner of the world. Good company, good art, just what the doctor ordered.

So here's what I'm thinking. Try to remember, "this too shall pass" and something pretty darn wonderful is always waiting in the wings.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My darling daughter sent me this photo from Barnes and Noble today. That is one of my journal pages on the cover of Somerset Studio Art Journaling magazine. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world when they published some of my words and pages twice before. But they have knocked my sox off this time. There is a nice selection of some of my pages inside as well. This is a beautiful publication, as are all of their magazines, and if you are not familiar with their work do yourself a favor and pick one up. If Art Journaling is not your "thing" there are so many other offerings you are bound to find something you will love.

So, I hate to brag and run, but it's getting late and I am pooped from moving the husband and myself from ranch to beach and now my Mom. I'm soon off to dreamland.

Speaking of dreams, here's what I'm thinking. I have dreams coming true at an alarming rate lately. Even some dreams that were so deep in my heart I didn't really know they were there. Trust what ever it is for you that is greater than yourself and keep plugging along. It seems we do get what we deserve and I think every one of us is pretty darned deserving.  Sleep well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still at it

Still doing all of the moving in things. Maybe I'm over anxious to be settled, but I thought I'd be done setting up by now. Step by step, one day at a time, I know. To cool down the anxiety I was working myself into, I decided to turn on my poor Mac that is crammed onto the top of a plastic table and visit with all of you.

All of my art "stuff" is still packed up waiting for the new cabinets it will live in so I thought I'd share a few journal pages that have not seen the light of day.

This guy was in a random newspaper article I was reading, don't remember what it was about, and I became fascinated with his face. I don't do a lot of faces, I'm usually not very good at them. But this was one of those I-can't-believe-I-did-this moments. He seems very familiar to me, I don't know why. 

Ah, just another existential moment with a pen and an empty journal page.

This reminds me that I am surrounded by love. And I am pretty amazed how much this leaf looks like the one off of the tree. 

Well, I'm off to dinner, as soon as the latest in a string of workmen leaves, so I'll close with what I'm thinking.

Time and Space are just little games we play to keep ourselves from exploding at the beautiful immensity of it all. Game Over. I'm going to relax into the velvet pillows of reality. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This is one of the last photos I took at Trails End Ranch.

This is one of the first photos I took at Trails End at the Beach. Yep, we did it. We have always talked about living near the ocean and now here we are.  As much as we loved that old ranch, as much as I miss the bears and deer and coyotes and wood peckers, as much as I miss the solitude, I love the new view, I enjoy the cool air and I love the over cast mornings. We left the Ranch in good hands. It is now part of a university who will use it as a field station. The house and property will be preserved and generations will benefit from that magical and very special  place. 

I am no longer at the very end of civilization and cannot believe how FAST the internet is, I get mail at the end of my driveway, the trash goes in the can right outside the door. There is absolutely no yard work here because there is NO yard to speak of. I really don't know what the husband will do with himself, but I am just fine. Even my poor dogs are adjusting to doing their business in a much smaller space, having people walking and driving right by their house (this probably is the most disconcerting to them) but they do love laying on the decks and going freely in and out of the doors which you can just leave open here with no worry of snakes coming on in.

I might even blog more regularly!!!!

You have been along on all of my journeys, so I'm bringing you up to date on this big one.

So, here's what I'm thinking. Never give up on a dream. Just keep it playing there in the background like elevator music. One day the doors open and you find yourself at the floor of your dreams.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring has Sprung

here on the ranch. Pairs of birds, bickering like married people, are very busy stuffing nests into every nook and cranny they can find on this old house. I love to watch them. The girls hang around until the guys come back with twigs, twine and dog hair and carefully tuck it into the chosen space. Right away, the girls start raising a ruckus, pulling out this piece and that, scolding and scolding. The boys take off and try again. But there is always time for making up. Let's just say romance was clearly in the air yesterday and it seemed that nearly every tree had a pair of lovers.

Speaking of old married people and love being in the air, the husband continues to bring flowers. These are the most unusual roses I have ever seen. Creamy on the outside and Purple-Red inside. They are all dried out now but are still, and maybe even more, beautiful.

I never get tired of watching the quality of light change with the seasons. It's a daily magic show inside as well as outside.

Having always been partial to orange, Poppies are one of my favorite things about California. That color just knocks me out. Especially when they come up right beside their Lupine neighbors.

So, I have been regaling you with talk of Spring in order to not seem quite as excited as I am about...                                                          


Not in a million years did I ever think this would be me!

I was over the moon several months ago when I was included in my daughter's article, Three Generations of Art Journaling in the Stampington's Create With Me and now here I am in this issue of the beautiful Stampington Art Journaling magazine with my own article on Artful Upcycling. They do such a first class job with their publications, I am beyond proud to be included. I am also very humbled to be in here amongst so many very talented artists. Get a copy; it's full of inspiration and tips as well as being 143 pages of eye candy!

Here are a few pages from my current journal:

Discover "hidden poems." Pick out random words on a book page, the newspaper or for some real fun, use ad copy. It is quite amazing what is hiding in plain sight! 

Here's what I'm thinking.

Sometimes it just takes a little patience and a little watering for the promises to be kept, for the dreams to come true.

This little miracle happened literally overnight! Don't forget, it happens every day.