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Making Things Happen

Once a month there is a flea market very near my house. One woman always has lots of wonderful old buttons and fabric for sale.

Today she had some old sample books of fabric.  They contained all the colors on the color wheel, with interesting names for each.  They were intriguing, but I didn’t know how I would use them in a project

I didn’t buy the sample books, but I found these 1940’s post cards that I purchased. They show different places in the United States from that time.

I received the postcard below in the mail as an advertisement. I wanted to use it somehow in an art piece.  I made some lino stamps, stamped them onto old book pages, and added a little black ink. On the black and white post card, I painted a little water color.

Some final shots of a tree in my back yard.  I think it has enjoyed all the rain we’ve had, because it is in full flower.  That’s my little art studio that my husband built, behind it.

For several months now since the election, people in large cities and small cities have been visiting the offices of their elected officials demanding that their health care not be taken away.  All these people that have never been involved in politics before, made something happen because they were out there reminding politicians to do their job.  And it worked!  24 million people will not lose their healthcare.  Amazing.

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave.”   Rainer Maria Rilke

Have a beautiful week, and thank you so much for visiting my blog. I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

10

The Sun, the Moon…

The other night I walked in Redondo Beach overlooking the ocean.  I went with my two Camino walking buddies.  The sun was shining and the air was crisp when we started out.  We got to see this as we were nearing the end of our walk.

On a walk through my neighborhood I saw this.

I made some spring images with water color and a handmade stamp, some very thin paper and text from old books.  I then cut them up to send out as cards.

My bougainvillea is getting brighter as we move further into spring, and the tiny dormant plants have pushed through the ground.

There is a Japanese store near my house where almost everything is $1.50.  They have so many tiny and cute things.  It is very difficult to buy lots of things I don’t need.  But I couldn’t leave the store without buying these, especially because I have an old wooden chair I got from a thrift store that needed some. Tiny llama booties for the legs so they don’t scratch the floor! (Four in the package).

I just watched the Committee hearings of the Russian ties and involvement in our Presidential election.

“Three things cannot be hidden. The sun, the moon, and the truth.”   Buddha

Enjoy your week.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

5

Blooms

Here in Los Angeles we are enjoying spring weather, but the East Coast of the US is having a major snow storm as I write this.  They even closed schools in New York.  Snow outside my window would be very fun since we never get it, except in the mountains.  But for now I have  spring flowers to share. This tree in my neighbor’s yard is just starting to blossom.  Soon it will be covered with pink flowers.

A nasturtium in my yard.  The leaves are huge.  They almost hide the flowers.

I’m sharing a flower piece I made a while back.  It is all hand stitched.

In the following pieces I used handmade paper. ( I didn’t make it).  I stamped the colors onto the paper, and added some ink. After stamping the flowers in rows, I cut some up to experiment with different arrangements.

This next “flower” is just a dandelion, but so pretty. The rain brought a lot up from the ground.

And the last is a photo of some Gerber Daisies I gave my mom for her birthday.

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”     Claude Monet

“The earth laughs in flowers.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Arrival of Spring

San Pedro is about 20 minutes drive from my house.  The climate often has the feel of the Mediterranean. This past Thursday was one of those days.  The air brushed against my skin with just a hint of breeze blowing.  I drove to a small park that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and I felt like I was in Greece.

Nearby the park is the Korean Bell.  It is a huge bell surrounded by a beautifully painted pagoda.  It was given to the city of San Pedro by the the Republic of Korea to honor veterans of the Korean War, and consolidate friendship between the two countries.

I’m participating in a monthly art project with blog artists in Germany.  Each month there is a theme, and involves handmade stamps and patterns. This month is spring flowers. I’m thinking of ideas, but in the meantime I remembered an acrylic piece I had made using a linoleum stamp.  I was trying to make each row a shade lighter as I scrolled down the canvas.

I also found this piece of fabric I bought a while back, but haven’t decided what to do with it.

And here, a photo of some beautiful flowers I came upon during my walk yesterday.

“I had always planned to make a large painting of the early spring, when the first leaves are at the bottom of the trees, and they seem to float in space in a wonderful way.  But the arrival of spring can’t be done in one picture.”  David Hockney

Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

8

Book Art

The Los Angeles Folk Art Museum is having an exhibit of Book Art.  I went today and came out very inspired.  First, a couple photos of the wonderful old houses near the museum.

There were all kinds and sizes of book art on display.  The first is by Howard Marshall, and reflects his African American roots.

The next one was made by Susan Sironi, who used a surgical scalpel to carve out a delicate sculpture from a book.

This next one was photographed by the famous LA artist, Ed Ruscha. As you can see in the title, it is “Every Building on the Sunset Strip,” which is a very famous street in Hollywood.

The one below, was a book photographed by another famous LA artist, John Baldessari. Read the title, then check out the photo that follows.

A tiny box with rolled up newsprint.

I pulled out something I started a while back, all hand stitched, but never finished.  The second photo shows what kind of detail I need to add to each square.

A look at the sky last night in front of my house.

“At any street corner, the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”       Albert Camus

But I was not on a street corner.  I was in my house, watching Donald Trump address Congress on TV.

Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

 

9

Finding Diamonds

I went out walking every sunny day this week, before the rain started up again.  Along with the sun, there was a beautiful blue sky.

While I was walking, I found some diamond patterns to share with my blog friends in Germany.

When the rain came today, I sat down with my paper, paints, and the lino stamp I showed in my previous post. I cut out diamond shapes and assembled them into one large diamond.

I also went to a local quilt show today.  I am always amazed at the exactness in the sewing of professional quilters.  This first one was made by my neighbor.  She has made many many quilts over the years.

People around the country continue to organize in small groups, visiting their congressional representatives offices, organizing town hall meetings, writing letters to Congress and resisting.

“The man who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.”    Chinese Proverb

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you are enjoying your days of sun, rain or snow.

6

In the Moment

I found this picture of a carved door in a magazine.  I liked the texture, so I made a small linoleum stamp with similar lines. That’s the stamp on top of the picture.

I used acrylic paint on the stamp and applied it to water color paper.  Half way through, I made stripes with water color paint on the part I had not yet stamped. Then I continued stamping over that with acrylic. I used less paint in some areas to get a distressed look.  I think I’ll make more with different patterns and colors.

A couple of “weather” photos showing some of the changes we’ve had from day to day.  The first one you can see Sophie in the shadows peeking out from behind the garden pottery.

The next one was in between down pours of rain. Beautiful fluffy clouds covered the sky.  We are expecting a lot more rain this week.  Last year we were very concerned about the lack of rain.  There has been so much rain in Northern California this year, that the largest dam in the U.S. is spilling over.  The concrete structure that carries water downhill is collapsing.  It is a dangerous situation to people living near the dam.  About 200,000 people had to be evacuated.

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite things.  When I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain last year I quickly learned to order “Cola Cao,” instead of “hot chocolate.” Hot chocolate in Spain is very thick like pudding, but Cola Cao is what you drink on a cold day.  There is a place near my house that sells food products from Spain.

Including Cola Cao!

I was thinking about my time walking the Camino as I looked around that store yesterday.  A joyfully peaceful experience of being in the moment.

Thank you all for visiting.  I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

12

Another Week…

A couple days of rain, a couple days of sunshine, repeat. I have a little room in my backyard that I use for an art studio. The temperature inside corresponds with the temperature outside. So when one of the sunny days came, I went outside to play. There is a big window that looks out over the yard, and in this photo you can see Sophie on a chair looking in.

She eventually came inside to relax. We are enjoying her a lot.

I played with some lino stamps I had made and added water color.

Then I took different stamps and water color and made another mini paper quilt.  It’s about four inches by four and a half inches.

The rain has made everything green.  This first photo was taken on a walk through the neighborhood.  The Spanish lavender was growing into this other plant that I don’t know the name of.

On the next street, the pink flowered plant had some nasturtiums growing into it.

In my own yard, these white flowers came up from planted bulbs.  They have a tiny green dot on each small petal.

And the orange tree is filling up with oranges. I couldn’t help notice the white spots of sunlight on them. If you were painting a picture, you’d know exactly where the light source is coming from.

There is a 1,172 mile underground oil pipeline being built from North Dakota to Illinois. It poses a threat to water, wildlife and farming, and is being built very close to an Indian reservation. Federal regulations and established treaties with Native American tribes are being ignored. I attended a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in downtown yesterday. Marchers were carrying a plastic pipeline above their heads that was about as long as one city block.

“Perseverance is a great element of success.  If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”     Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting.

 

 

7

Captains of Our Souls

I’ve been out and about in different areas of Los Angeles this week. I went to a miniature show in Anaheim, home of Disneyland.  I’ve always loved things in miniature, but I’ve never seen tiny things as amazing as some of the items at the show.  Everything was made by hand.  One woman had made tiny fruits, vegetables, and bread.  Each piece was about a half inch or smaller in diameter.  They were totally realistic looking.  You could cut them in half with a tiny knife and the insides looked real also.  You could even peel the skin off of these avocados.

The photos are not in focus, but I only had my phone with me, and picture taking was difficult with everything being so small.  You can see the seeds inside of the bell pepper, and in the bottom left, the orange peel is peeled from the orange.

Another seller, who came all the way from Dresden, Germany, made TINY houses, trains, clocks etc. out of wood. These tiny bears and children were about a half inch long and had arms and legs that moved.

The show had everything tiny you could think of.  There were also miniature paintings.  When I got home I decided to make something tiny.  I came up with this miniature “paper” quilt.  I used water color, acrylic and some lino stamps, then sewed the pieces together.  It is four inches by four inches.

Next I went to an area called Century City to see a photo exhibit.  It has a lot of very tall office buildings similar to downtown.  I used to work there many years ago before I started teaching.  The days have been beautiful, and the buildings were all reflecting off each other.

On to South LA for the weekly meeting with my grassroots political action group.  We sat in an outdoor area of a cafe where the shadows created some nice imagery.

We’re staying vigilant amidst the daily onslaught of unconstitutional acts by the new administration.

We are still masters of our fate. We are captains of our souls.       Winston Churchill

Thank you for visiting.

 

 

8

Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand

I was one of the 750,000 in Los Angeles that attended the Women’s March.  We were lucky.  The weather was perfect.  The day before and the day after it poured.  The day after I was on the freeway, and suddenly the cars stopped.  There was so much water in one area, it looked like a lake.  All lanes of traffic had to merge into one lane in order to drive through the water at the most shallow point.

So many parents brought their children.  A good lesson of democracy in action.

In this shot everyone was listening to a singer named Thelma Houston sing her 70’s disco song “Don’t leave me this way.” She joked that’s what she would say to Barack Obama if she saw him.

A blog friend made this gorgeous painting that she entered in an exhibit.  She also had it made into posters.  If you would like to buy one, here is the link.  http://www.zazzle.com/jghio_designs

I haven’t had time to paint or sew, but I took a photo of the house next door that looks like a painting, and some photos of building patterns while I was marching through downtown.

While I was at the march Saturday, my husband texted me that he was making spaghetti for dinner and had also gotten some chocolate. When I got home he had the TV on. It was amazing to me how many countries participated in marches. I took off my walking shoes, sat down to enjoy some spaghetti and watched with renewed hope. Enjoy your week and thank you for visiting.