5

Looked Like Rain

September didn’t disappoint, it has just saved the heat wave till the end. That’s what we’ve been promised for the weekend, although today still has a nice fall breeze going on.  A few days ago I was in San Pedro.  Unusual clouds that looked like rain, but VERY humid. Here is a photo of the LA Harbor (in San Pedro) where cargo comes in from all over the world.

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A view from the hilltop residences.

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Now a view on the other side that looks out to the ocean along Pacific Coast Highway.  It’s at the bottom of the hill in this photo. You can drive PCH all the way up the California coast.

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A little bungalow, with a seasonal pumpkin on the porch.

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While walking in the humidity at day’s end, as the sun was setting, it looked like a giant ball just sitting in the street.  Hard to tell in the photo, but I could see the entire circle.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Continuing thumbnail sketches and collages.

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After walking the Camino, we stayed a few days in Madrid.  I thought I’d show this tiny book I got.  It’s 2 inches by 3 inches.  It has a leather cover “con 25 ilustraciones.” The title is “Granada La Bella.”  It’s a book about the city of Granada in Spain, with 25 pictures.  All along one of the main avenues, there were bookstalls and vendors selling old books.  Of course my eyes were drawn to the smallest ones.

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Do you feel fall in the air where you are, or is summer lingering?

Thank you to all who stop by and check out my posts.  It’s fun to share, and also to receive your feedback.  Enjoy your weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

8

Awakening the Soul

I’m enjoying sketching tiny.  Perhaps I’ll do a daily journal of tiny, although I’ve never been good at daily sketching.  It’s more like when the idea hits me.  But I’ll give it a try.

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Also having lots of fun with my “accumulated stuff” collages.

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Our September has been feeling like October.  September is usually stifling.  I remember going back to school as a child, and the non air conditioned classrooms would be unbearable.  But a few days ago we actually had overcast conditions.

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The cooler air is very pleasant for walking.  Since returning from the Camino, I really have a need to walk each day.  The weather has also given me some good photo opportunities while I walk, with the sun poking out from the clouds in a subtle way.

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The kitty is going through all the changes the internet says she would from week to week. She weighs a pound, but RUNS across a room.  She is getting a lot of socialization from Lucy and Charlie.  Maggie is indifferent, but then she’s the one that went through mothering her own puppies not too long ago.  She’s sitting this out.

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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”       Anatole France    poet, author

Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

 

3

Tiny kittens and things

Still waiting for inspiration, so in the meantime, I sat down and drew some tiny thumbnail sketches from my photos on the Camino. Tiny is fun.

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Then I got out all my scraps of accumulated paper.  For example, if I paint something and I don’t like it, I’ll cut out the parts I like and save them. I figure they might come in handy for something, along with other tiny accumulated things.  I took some pages from an old French literature book, and started sticking things together.  Sticking things together is very fun. In the one below, I drew a small picture from a Camino photo with oil pastel.  Oil pastels, also fun.

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I am keeping busy bottle feeding and caring for a two-three week old kitten. I’m fostering it from the shelter where I volunteer. As tiny as she is, she’s on the go if she’s not sleeping.  The picture is a little blurry, since I couldn’t get her to stop moving. She’s what they call a Torti. She will be ready for adoption in a month or so.  I’m hoping to find someone to adopt her so I know she’s going to a good home, rather than return her to the shelter.

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The theme of the exhibit I was in was “Play.”  I went to the opening, and again a couple days ago to take some photos.  The day of the opening was very crowded, and difficult to see everything.  This first one was behind glass so it is not real clear, but in person it had a beautiful quality. The colors and softness went so perfectly with the image of the child. It was an etching with a collaged photo. I love etchings. I took a class when I was at CSUN.

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The next one got an honorable mention.

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This last one won first place.  The whole piece was made with Legos.

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I’ve been walking in the cool evenings. Remarkable weather for September. Today is overcast, but the cooler days are wonderful. I have walked past this house many times, but last night my husband told me it was Louis Zamperini’s house at one time. He was a World War II prisoner of war survivor, and they recently made a movie about him. My husband is a newspaper photographer.  Many years ago he got to ride in an old World War II plane with Mr. Zamperini for a story the paper was doing.  My husband said he was a remarkable person and had amazing stories to tell.

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This little plant sticking up in another yard caught my eye.  It looks like a little sparkler you see on the Fourth of July.

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It looks like we’re starting the fall earlier here than usual, although by tomorrow, it could be 90 degrees…

Enjoy your summer/fall weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Lemonade Days

While I wait for some creative ideas to spring forth, I thought I’d show a few mixed media pieces from the past. I had visited Giverny, the home of Monet many years ago, and included it in a map series I continue to work on. Besides his house, there were beautiful gardens and lily ponds.

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I like to mix paper with fabric. The next photo is paper I painted, stitched, cut up, then mixed with pieces of fabric.

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The last is part of a series of small quilts that I hand sewed, using pieces I cut from old thrift store clothing. I wanted a lot of texture, so I left the pockets on.

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I was out in Santa Monica last week, and I drove past some murals that had been painted in 1983 when I was living there. They are so representative of the coastal beauty of that city.

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There is an old merry-go-round on the Santa Monica Pier, and the next two show that the horses have come to life and are running along the ocean.

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I also did another historic stair walk, this time in Pasadena (home of the New Year’s Rose Parade). A lot of steps (990), but some going down, as well as up.

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As for warnings to dog owners, this wins for the most unique.

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You can see, since the houses are built on hillsides, some are rising up, and others I’m looking down into as I walk past.

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Being that it’s still summer weather here, (in the daytime), I’ve been experimenting with making different types of lemonade without adding sugar. The first try was almost too sour to drink. I’m getting closer, though, to something drinkable and tasty.  In the pitcher below, I added two lemons, one orange, four frozen strawberries and cold water.  The froth is from mixing it up in a gadget called a NutriBullit.  I liked the taste. It was primarily water with a hint of juice flavor.

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Beautiful evenings, with a preview of Fall air, as I walked through the neighborhood the last few nights.

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Here you can see coastal clouds rising up in the distance.

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It is unusually cool today for August 4th, and those of us who are staying home this Labor Day weekend are enjoying it immensely.

Have a good long weekend.

 

7

C R E A T I V I T Y

Summer is winding down, and we’ve been having cool evenings that feel like fall. September is still to come though, and this is Southern California. Historically, it is by far the hottest month of the year. But the old predictable weather patterns no longer exist, so we will see what September brings.

I have no creative endeavors to share, but I do have some from other people, and some of nature’s creativity I’ve noticed recently.

Here is a a collaged mini dresser, my journal making friend Toni Mattock made from matchboxes.

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And the latest from Anonymous Starbucks artist.

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Creativity in Nature.  This was blossoming out of a palm tree.

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Bird of Paradise.

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A dragonfly with those sparkling, transparent wings.

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A piece made from nature that I saw at a local nursery.

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This last one does not fit into a creativity category, and my phone could not capture or do it justice.  So you’ll have to believe me that it was an enchanting sight. I was walking at night down a hill in a residential area. The moon was orange and very full.  There were millions of lights from homes spread out in front of me.  The thought of the amount of electricity used in this one spot multiplied by homes, offices, and streets around the world was boggling.

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Reading or watching news to stay informed, is a constant reminder of all the sorrows in the world. The painful reminder is difficult sometimes. I was also reading some quotes by Mark Twain (so funny), and watching old Seinfeld episodes (so funny), and decided that this quote of Twain is so true, (although not funny).

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

I hope you are enjoying your days.

 

 

 

6

A Drink And Inspiration To Go

I saw this on the bulletin board at Starbucks as I was walking out the door with drink in hand. I had seen another one a while back. It seems like the purest way to make and show art. Sketching on what’s available, then posting it anonymously for the world to enjoy.

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I tried a couple of my own, although I did them at home, and they’re not anonymous.  But my creative thought process is on hiatus, so it’s all I could do.  It was fun using a pen on the napkin.  I was forced to make quick delicate lines or it would bleed.

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Since I am living in the historic stair capitol of the world, and the weather report said it would be cooler today, I drove out beyond downtown LA to climb some stairs.  It started out lovely.  I have a guide book that I follow, and it said Judy Garland lived in the castle house below with her mother and sister in 1933.

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The weather was getting warmer, but there were intermittent shady spots, and more fun things to see.

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Below is a very creative Little Free Library someone made in the shape of a cat.  The little free libraries encourage people to take or leave a book.  They are scattered around the city, and in other states as well.  You can see my reflection in the glass.

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The author of the guide book has never been the best at writing clear and concise directions. Today, as we descended one group of stairs, the directions read, “The staircase ahead continues down to Riverside Place.  Ignore that, and instead turn left onto the unpaved Silver Lake Court, and walk approximately 90 yards. There, just before India Street comes in on your right, bear left and walk through the grass up the slope.”  A photo below.

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The weather was now very hot, and neither India Street nor a grassy slope appeared.  We found our way back to civilization, but needed to resort to GPS to get back to our car.  The routes of these walks have you start at a specific point, and ultimately make a circle so you wind up back at your starting point.  I’m glad we had parked in some shade.

I bought this group of rolling pins at my neighbor’s yard sale.  I’m thinking of making some sort of giant wind chime (although being wood they will not chime), but the size might look like a nice sculptural element in my yard.  I’ll need to paint them with some sort of weather resistant stain so they’ll stay intact.

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And this last photo of some trees at a park near my house as I was walking one evening.

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I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the outdoors with good summer weather (or winter if you’re in New Zealand).

 

 

 

 

 

15

You’ve Got Mail

I love mail art.  One of my favorites is the one Pablo Picasso sent to his friend Jean Cocteau.

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I don’t have any vintage postcards, but I wanted to try some mail art, so I gathered some postcards I’ve collected from museums and started playing.  This first one is my submission to SUNDAY SKETCHES.  It’s a very simple water color with a little stitching.

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What got me started was something a friend and I are working on to sell at a craft/collectible fair in the fall.  We are making tiny journals (about 3 inches by 4 inches).  I had so much stuff out on my table, that besides the journals, I got some ideas for mail art.  Here is one of the journal covers.

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And a few more pieces of mail art.

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The last two don’t have an address, so it’s more like art on a post card.

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The following photos are not anything extraordinary, but I took them when I was walking the other evening around 7:00. The AIR was extraordinary.  Although I live about five miles from the ocean, there was an ocean breeze blowing, and the sun was casting long shadows.  The light on the side of the street where the sun was still shining, was so beautiful as well.  I’m always aware of the kind of light created at different times of the year.  In fall, there’s a yellow glow as the sun is setting.  As I walked, the light and air were so typical of the end of a summer’s day, being so near the ocean.

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It is impossible not to be aware of the very sad direction life is moving in, here and everywhere.  It is also impossible to find words, but impossible to ignore.  I found these.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Albert Einstein

 

 

 

15

Summer Days

There’s a contest over at Blue Chair Diary Blog. The following is my entry.

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We’ve been having warm weather here, but not too hot.  Perfect for eating outside under an umbrella, and lovely cool evenings for walking.

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I delivered my entry to LA Municipal Art Gallery yesterday.  They offer adult and children’s art classes.  I’ve always loved this sculpture that students made years ago.

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I love tiny things, and recently I found these envelopes at a Japanese store where everything is $1.50. They are one and a half inches by two and a half inches.  The cat and hedgehog ones are slightly larger and have tiny tiny writing paper to go with them.

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It’s hard not to come out with arm loads of stuff you don’t need. This little owl pitcher is about two and a half inches tall.

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Another stair walk today in one of the coolest areas of LA, Silverlake. Very funky, creative vibe.  This house had an elevator from the street to a bridge to get to the house hidden up on the hill. That’s me in the corner taking a picture. But this is my son’s photo. It gave a better sense of the location.

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So many difficult and tragic situations happening in the U.S. this week.  I hope the coming week brings some joy to all.

 

 

 

 

13

Show And Tell

I made several attempts at sketching, but it just wasn’t working. I finally put the pencil down, took a clean piece of paper, and started brushing on water color without drawing first. One attempt below. Flowers on a window sill.  For Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog.

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Another small sketch I made from a photo in a cooking magazine.  I have a difficult time with faces, so this was fun.

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A little show and tell.  (Something we got to do in elementary school. We’d bring something from home to hold up in front of the class, and tell a story about it.)  I was visiting my mom yesterday, and saw this piece I had made for her some time back.  She was a real recycler of wrapping paper way before it was popular.  She had paper going back to birthday parties from the 1960’s. I cut the paper into squares and sewed it together.  Then I bought some fabric that looked similar, and made a border . The photo is not great, because it was taken through glass.

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Speaking of 1960’s, I still have these plastic beads and paper mache pin.  Definitely an era of bright color.

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While at my mom’s I also took a photo of this amazing quilt we got at a yard sale for 20 dollars! It’s completely hand sewn, and goes to the floor on three sides of a queen size bed. The fabric looks like it’s from the 1950’s and is in excellent condition.

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One more thing from my mom’s. Someone put up lights around this palm tree one Christmas, and just left them up.  They are lit up every night.  It seemed almost appropriate, because we could hear a few loud booms from fire works, even though July 4th is not until tomorrow.  People sometimes shoot off a few before and after the 4th, although it is illegal in most areas.  The loud sounds are so difficult for pets, and the dogs at the shelter.

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Enjoy today, and happy fourth (of July).

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12

Loving LA

Below is a small watercolor from a photo I took in Spain.  Still working on patience when using watercolor.  It’s difficult to wait for layers and sections to dry before proceeding.  My entry to Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary blog.

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Another week, another museum and stair walk.

This week I visited The Japanese American Museum.  They had a beautiful exhibit of photographs taken by Japanese Americans in the 1920’s and ’30’s. The glare on the glass made it impossible to take good pictures.  This one, below, was the only one that came out clear.

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A smaller exhibit at the same museum was an advanced display of origami.  Two examples.

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Today’s stair walk was in the hills of an area called Echo Park.  The streets themselves have to be some of the steepest in southern California.

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Some artwork up high…

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and below in the sidewalk.

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Each house in these older areas is unique. No two are the same, unlike the many tracts of houses in the LA suburbs.

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I think graffiti must be worldwide.  I saw some even in tiny Spanish towns.  It is spread all throughout LA. from downtown to suburbia.  A creative and courteous sign requesting people to refrain.

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Happy weekend to all.