Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hey everyone --


I've had a great week with my sister.  The first time she came here, a couple of years ago, we did "big" things -- whale watching, Big Sur, the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  But this time, we kind of hung out and did things close to home.  Of course, Saturday and Sunday were given over to Open Studios, but Sunday night we had friends and family over for a steak barbeque and that was a lot of fun.  

Sea lions at the wharf

We went to my watercolor class on Thursday, and yesterday we went to A Work of Heart to do a class called "Juicy Collage."  We all (including daughter) came out with collages we were happy with -- pics tomorrow, I hope.  It was big fun.  

Pelican outside Stagnaro's

Today we went down to the wharf, bought the requisite t-shirts, had lunch at Stagnaro Bros.  on the wharf, and stopped by Marini's, where they have every candy you've ever dreamed of, including chocolate covered bacon.

Then we took a drive down West Cliff, stopping to watch the surfers at Steamer Lane.  It was a nice relaxed day to end our time together. 

Steamer Lane surfer

We had a pizza dinner and then played cards, just us girls (my Loved One was playing in his darts league).  

We had a good time together.  I'm sad she's leaving tomorrow and even sadder that we live so far apart (me:  California; she:  Minnesota).  But at least we got to spend this week together.  There's something about people who have known you your whole life -- you never feel quite as comfortable with anyone else . . . 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A brief hiatus


Hi everyone -- I'm probably not going to be able to post again until the middle of next week.  My sis is here, Open Studios starts Saturday, so I have a full schedule for the next few days.  Hope you all are having a great time, and don't forget me!  :)  I'll see you soon. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oh boo hoo - and other things.


My sister arrives tomorrow and I have so much to do and I hardly slept a wink last night.  Woke up about 2:30 and that was pretty much it for the night.  Must get myself going so everything is nice for her arrival!

Here's Buttercup, minding the Open Studios greeting table.  She's sitting on the bookmarks to make sure they all lie flat :)

Isn't she big now?  But she still looks sweet.  On the first day of Open Studios, we kept her in the bedroom with my Loved One, watching a football game.  But the second day, I allowed her to wander around and join in the fun -- and she was a big hit.  She is so darned sociable -- she'll go right over to greet people coming in, allow herself to be scratched, and so on.  And she only bit one person :p   That person started to scratch Buttercup's tummy and you know how cats are when you do that -- they can get kind of aggressive and scratch you with their hind feet and bite you.  It was just a little bite, and it was all in fun (I hope the lady thought so!).  In my experience, cats aren't that fond of strangers -- our other cat heads for the hills and hides whenever someone comes into the house.  But Miss B is as friendly as she can be.

     A planter in my garden with mission bells -- 

I have to wrap it up and get busy, but I did spend a nice time with a friend this morning, catching up -- she is an artist who does wonderful things with journals, makes purses, and so on -- you might visit her at Redwood Mountain Musings to see what she's up to.  And check out her Etsy store -- she has nice digital downloads but really, look at the purses.  They're gorgeous.  Great to see you, Chris!

A great Tuesday to you all -- 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Raindrops and 5 Fact Friday


It's been sprinkling here, so I went out in the garden to take a couple of pictures.  It's also 5 Fact Friday, and that's fun, so . . . 

1.  My favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso.  No matter how many times I watch it, I always wind up in a puddle of tears.  There's something that really speaks to me about the man's life, and then it's so sad at the end when the . . . well, maybe I shouldn't post a spoiler.  If you've seen it, you know what comes at the end.

2.   I love roses.  This is my little teeny tiny Tequila Sunrise rose -- it's about two years old and it's finally a little more than a foot tall.  It has two beautiful blooms.  I also have Hot Cocoa, Westerland, Blaze of Glory, and Joseph's Coat.  I have to give credit to the woman who tends my garden -- thanks, Jana.

3.   I love Shakespeare, ever since I was about 13.  I like so many of the plays -- but my favorites are the plays in the Henriad -- Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V.   What I like even better, though, is to teach Shakespeare to students who think they won't like it.  They most usually do.

  Here's the other bloom on the Tequila Sunrise.

4.   When we were little, my German grandma would make us spaghetti noodles sauteed with butter, sugar and cinnamon.  I've never know anybody else who's eaten this.  Anyone ever had it?

5.  The first dog I ever had was a Shetland Sheepdog named Bonnie Lassie.  She was a wonderful dog.  She was easily trained and very well behaved.  When my parents had parties, my brother would dress her up in pajamas (with her tail coming out the fly) and send her down to the living room.

 A single Westerland rose --

So those are my five facts for today -- what are your five facts?  :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Rare Occurrence --


We had thunder today!  If you've never lived in California, you don't know how rare that is -- once, maybe twice a year, here on the coast.  We had a sudden downpour and one beautiful clap of thunder, right overhead it seemed.

We always laugh when watching programs or movies that take place in San Francisco and they show thunder and lightening -- it's such a very rare occurrence, and we never have the kinds of storms you all have in the Midwest.

I finished another collage yesterday.  It was supposed to use the golden section/mean/ratio, whatever you want to call it.  Here it is:

There are some things I kind of don't get about this -- our teacher gave us some examples, and it's kind of hard sometimes to see how the composition follows the ratio.  But I dove in anyway.

Here are the components I used.  While I was searching around the web, I found the picture on the top left of the golden ratio, and it sure looked like an elephant's trunk to me.  So I gathered up a bunch of stuff and got to work.  Here's the end result, one I'm pretty happy with -- 

Linkup with AlphabeThursday

The text spiraling around the frame is from a description of elephants' behavior.  What do you think?  I like it.

So my next challenge is to replicate it in real life -- I love doing digital collages, but I'd also like to see them off the computer and be able to touch them.  So I went and got some silk fabric today that I'm going to try to print an image on, and see how that comes out.  Any ideas for me on how I might do this?

Hope you're having a great "hump day" -- 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Okay, I'm back --


As you can imagine, the last couple of weeks have been very hectic!  Now I have a breather until the 20th, when I do Open Studios again.

The people who came were lovely -- all very nice and interested in art.  I talked about my work for hours and hours, which is a very nice thing, I can tell you.  I sold some pieces, which is great, but they told us that the money isn't really an important thing -- it's nice, but there are other benefits, such as making contacts with people who can help you get to the next step.

So today was pretty much a day of rest, though I had to get going on the work for my new collage class.  I'm in the second quarter, so we're supposed to choose a theme; mine is "illuminated manuscripts."  The teacher told me to do three quick collages as a warm-up, and I decided to do them digitally.

This is the first one I did -- my idea is to combine my photography (the dahlia in the center) with other elements.  I want to include text and border elements that will give a nod to the decorations of illuminated manuscripts.  Other than that, I'm wingin' it.

This is the second one I did -- it combines a picture I took of cows, text, barbed wire looking like grasses, I think, a border of names of cattle breeds, a sunflower and cowbirds in the corners.  I'm happy with this one.

The third one is full of flowers -- for some odd reason, the very favorite post of all time on this blog is about Flora, the Goddess of Flowers.  Every week, people search for that term and wind up at my blog.  So here's my thanks to all those folks who have stopped by:

I'm not sure that this one has a real focal point, but I'm pretty happy with the energy in it.

Here's my question -- I did these digitally, which is great as far as it goes, but I'd like to do them non-digitally.  The thing is, what's cool about making it in Photoshop and you can vary the opacity and use the various blend modes.  How would I do that with paper?  I guess I could try using transparencies, and tissue paper and so on, but I'd have to do a lot of experimenting.

Anybody have ideas for me?  Who's done collage?  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day One -- Over!


Well, it was a pretty good day, Open-Studios-wise.  I had about 50 lovely people come through the exhibit, I got to have very nice conversations about my work (with folks who were very complimentary), and I sold a few things besides.  What could be bad?

I had the intention of taking pictures of all the activity but somehow forgot about that today -- I'll try to get a picture of the admiring crowds tomorrow :)

Here's what the dining room looked like this morning:

Pictures on all the walls, of course - and here is the decoration I made -- a pink pumpkin (!) with Peeps -- 

So now I can relax and enjoy tomorrow.  It's actually kind of quiet most of the time, and then people show up.  My favorites:  the six ladies who showed up together and exclaimed over my new floor as soon as they were in the door!  They liked the pictures, too.

Hope everyone's doing well -- 

Friday, October 5, 2012

T minus 24 to Open Studios!


I'm about as frazzled as a human being can be, what with Open Studios starting tomorrow.  I have soooo much yet to do, but it will all get done.  I'm hoping that tomorrow all I have to do is take a shower and do my nails, but we'll see about that.

I finished my demo board last night -- we're supposed to show how we produce our art somehow, but when you do photography on a computer, let's just say . . . it's not too enthralling.  So I made a board with screen captures and photos:

 Not a great pic, but you get the idea.  Also my front entryway is almost ready, with a new outdoor rug that was just delivered from Amazon:

Pay no attention to the Amazon box in the corner.  It won't be there.

So now all I have to do is make signs, buy crepe paper, go back to the storage place and get the A-frame stands I have there, get change from the bank, hit Trader Joe's to get some snacks . . . and then maybe I'm done for today.

More pictures tomorrow!  Sorry I haven't been posting!  It's been a little crazy around here!