8

Life

In the last few months I have written on my blog about being at my mom’s house, shared her old recipes, photos of her roses, and walks around the neighborhood where I grew up. I was there to help take care of her as she could no longer stay in her home by herself. Although you did not know her, it seems appropriate to share that she has passed away. It was fortunate for her that she was able to stay in her house that she had lived in for 60 years, and fortunate for me that I had this time with her these last few months.

She grew up in Minnesota, probably the coldest state each winter, so when she and my dad moved to a southern California beach town in the 1950’s she was in paradise. This is a photo of her with my brother at the beach near their apartment at the time. She fit right in, looking like a Hollywood movie star. Those are my cousins in the back.

She would draw pictures with me when I was a child. She was especially good at cartoons.

In her later years, she and my dad loved to ride bicycles, and participated in group bicycling events.

Probably her biggest love was watching the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball games on TV. In general, she loved baseball. Here she is at the National Baseball Museum in New York.

Look for joy in each day.

 

 

 

5

Insects

We are having cool evenings now. It is the subtle way that Autumn approaches us here in Southern California. But it is very welcome.

I don’t have too much to share, but I wanted to join in on the insect theme at Mullerin Art. I came across this praying mantis in the rose bushes at my mom’s house.

Quite some time ago I made some hand carved stamps of butterflies and used them in a mixed media piece.

When I think of insects, my mind doesn’t include butterflies in with the crawly insect types. But in going through an old children’s dictionary, I came across this group under “insects.”

Today I got the stamps out and arranged them in more of a pattern, since they should be in such a format for the Mullerin Art blog theme. I stamped them onto a vintage garden magazine from 1949.

I am always so impressed by the pattern making of other creative participants at the blog site. I have not yet acquired those skills.

This beautiful stamp came on something I received in the mail recently.

Finally, I can’t ever think about insects without thinking of the story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. It is about a man who wakes up one morning and finds that he has turned into an insect. I read it many years ago, but I might have to read it again after all this thinking about insects.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

10

Simple Pleasures

I walked outside this morning and was hit by a COOL breeze. Ahh, the simple pleasures. It has been extremely hot this past week and very humid.  I glanced up at the sky. Very pretty.

Then I checked out my plants. I found some very tiny yellow mushrooms in one of the pots. Cute little things.

A blob of water sitting in the middle of one of the succulents. It looked like something gooey, but was only water.

A few peppers and tomatoes from the garden.

Last Saturday I went to the Los Angeles County Museum to see an exhibit of an artist named Carlos Almaraz. He is a native of LA, particularly Echo Park, that I visited a couple weeks ago. I showed some photos on my blog of the giant lotus plants at Echo Park Lake.  Alvarez painted a huge piece with three panels of the lake. This is only two of the panels.

Here is his version of “Starry Night” in Los Angeles.

I liked the way the light fell on the chair in this one. It is oil on paper rather than canvas. It was under glass, so the details were difficult to pick up with my iPhone.

After the exhibit my husband and I went to a restaurant across the street. They had murals inside depicting Los Angeles in the 40’s. Again, the quality is lacking due to the lighting and using my phone. It shows Wilshire Blvd, which is one of the main streets going through downtown, and the street the museum is on.

I am still enjoying the cool air coming through my windows.  Don’t know how long it will last, since September has just begun, but it’s a nice break.  Thank you as always for visiting.

 

 

 

8

August

Last week we experienced some cooler weather, but September’s triple digits have arrived a few days early. I was able to enjoy the outdoors, and noticed the changes in my mom’s yard. One of her neighbor’s has a magnificent grape arbor. Some of the grapes have grown over the wall into my mom’s yard.

In fact, a seed must have blown over as well, because there is a grape vine beginning to grow among my mom’s roses!

Her orange tree is full of oranges, but won’t be ready for picking until next spring.

The roses are still making an appearance, this one with a visitor.

It was even cool enough in the evenings to walk around her neighborhood. It’s interesting to walk through the streets where I used to ride my bike as a child. I found this on the sidewalk. It says 1957, one year before my family moved there. My mom has lived in her house for about 60 years.

The sunshine followed me inside, before it set for the day.

A few days ago I visited a place in LA called Griffith Park. It covers about 4,000 acres of land. It is one of the largest urban parks in North America. There is a huge observatory there to look at the stars. At the entrance is this cut out of Smokey the Bear.  Smokey was in TV commercials when I was little to remind people to be careful with matches when visiting forests and National Parks.

I saw a deer that day also.

I also went to an exhibit at a museum in Pasadena.  If you watch the Rose Parade, they start the parade in front of this museum, and you can see it on TV.  The exhibit was some of the work of the “Blue Four.”

Vasily Kandinsky…

Lionel Feininger…, Alexei Jawlensky, and Paul Klee.

Many years ago I was inspired by the piece above by Feininger, and carved out a scene from a large piece of linoleum. His was carved from wood.

The museum has a beautiful garden with Henry Moore statues throughout. When I saw this one it looked so whimsical. Two people sitting in the sunshine like many of the visitors.

That’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your days. Thank you as always for visiting my blog.

 

 

3

Cloudy Day Adventure

Recently I went through all the small pieces of fabric I have, and selected some favorites.  I enjoy sewing by hand. I used the pieces to hand stitch a scene looking out of a window. Some of my favorite paintings by Matisse, Chagall, Dufy and others are window scenes, although they usually include part of a room interior. But I wanted to kept it simple. This window is about nine by twelve. The flowers and vase are from a vintage quilt.

Quite some time ago I hand stitched another window, although there isn’t any scenery, just what’s sitting on the window sill. This one is about sixteen by twenty. Perhaps I’ll make a series of hand stitched window scenes. It’s very relaxing.

This morning there were clouds in the sky that were supposed to last throughout the day.  A perfect day to go on a historical stair walk.  The older areas north of LA are built on hillsides.  Before the streets were put in, people had to carry their groceries, furniture etc. up old stairs that still exist. It is one of my favorite things to do. I get to see areas that I would miss just driving on the freeway. It’s always a little adventure.

After passing this school, we came to a rural area.  You can see the golden color of summer here, in these large open spaces. I’d like to go back in Spring when it will be in bloom.

One of the sections of stairs had 219 steps.

Lots to see on the way up.

Unusual houses and garden decorations.

Modern renovated houses.

Little gardens and decorative stairs.

This window had a curtain made out of beautifully cut paper.

A view from the top.

A couple nights ago I was walking near my house, and the air was so cool it reminded me of Fall weather. It’s not too far off, but we still need to see what September brings.  It is our warmest month.

Thank you always for visiting.  Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

4

Sunday In The Park

I am not an early riser, but today I got up very early so I could walk in Los Angeles before the heat set in. I have never seen the freeways so empty. It was early, but also Sunday, which is the only day and time they are not packed with cars. My friend Alex lives a little distance north of downtown. I arrived at her door at 7:20 am. Our destination was an area near her house called Echo Park. It is another of the older areas built in the early days of LA. There is a man made lake there called Echo Park Lake. Originally it was designed to be a drinking water reservoir. That was in 1870.  Today it is definitely not for drinking, but a beautiful place to visit. There are giant lotus plants.

Water lilies.

A fountain in the middle. Here you can see it through the palm trees.

There are ducks walking, people walking with dogs, and people walking without dogs.

The neighborhoods surrounding it are very diverse.  Old houses small and large.

But it’s known for it’s many historic Victorian houses. They are not my favorite. Too ornate.

It’s always a nice adventure to see parts of the city that I have not seen or don’t see often. I’ve been trying to walk in my own neighborhood in the early evening when the air cools down. A few photos of my recent excursion.

A flowering cactus.

This next one is a plumeria. It is a native of Hawaii.

This reminded me of my childhood.  We used to write with chalk on the sidewalk all the time.

The black mass in this last one is not clouds, but a rolling wave of fog coming from the ocean as I was finishing my walk, even though I live four miles from the beach.

Not many creative ideas this week. Only another small sketch on an old sheet of music.

I like to see new areas and wander around. I enjoy wandering.  A quote from Anatole France, “Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”

I hope you are able to wander some this week, or do whatever you enjoy.  Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

10

Days

Each week I stay a few days with my mom to help her. The weather there is much hotter than where I live. The days reach 100 degrees. Although the evenings are still warm, it’s enjoyable to be outside. Here are a few shots taken one evening after the weather cooled down a bit. The tree on the left in the first photo reminds me of a castle.

My mom has some old newspapers from the small town where she was born in Minnesota. They are from 1925.  The illustrations for the advertisements are wonderful. The dresses show the styles of the 1920’s.

Besides needing a fashionable hat, it seems gloves were an essential part of your fashion statement,  the latest style having “cuffs”.

Here is a recent sketch I made while reminiscing on the Camino. I used a vintage music sheet I got at a flea market.

More roses from my mom’s garden.

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for your visit to my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

6

Past and Present

I went to a flea market last Sunday.  It was a warm day, but still fun looking at old stuff.  I like old paper items and found these.

A Nature magazine from 1949.

Some cards and postcards from the early 1900’s.

And an old book of Norwegian sardine recipes.

Here is one of the recipes. (Notice the sardines are arranged like a SUN). My grandmother was from Norway. I remember there always being sardines in the cupboard when I was a child, but the recipes in this book are pretty unusual.

I walked around a neighborhood in San Pedro the other day. There were pretty clouds in the sky, but the air was humid. The homes in this area are old and charming, and many overlook the port.  Ships from around the world dock there.

The next one was driving back home. The port and water are on the other side of these bushes.

A few miscellaneous shots from the week.

A small sketch.

Maggie after her bath.  Although I dried her with my hair dryer, she was still shivering.

Flowers in my neighbor’s yard.

And a very tiny lemon (the size of my thumb nail) that fell off my lemon tree.

That’s all for today.  Enjoy the remainder of our July days.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Patience, Wisdom, and Other Essentials of Life

Still very hot here in Los Angeles.  Lots of sunshine.  Even as I strolled the air conditioned aisles at Daiso, my favorite Japanese $1.50 store, I was reminded of the sun when I saw these.

So in following the sun theme at Mullein Art blog, I bought these straws to make something creative.

After I cut them up and glued them together, I used one as a stamp. When I finished, I took it outside to photograph it in the natural sunlight that I wake up to each day.

I had stamped it on shiny paper, so I took this next photo under lamp light at night, and got  kind of a sunny glow effect.

Yesterday, still being warm out, my husband and I went to our favorite place for fish, Baja California Fish Tacos.  It is very small, and there are usually more people in line than there are tables with chairs for sitting. But even if you have to stand at the bar, as we did yesterday, it is worth it.

The plate in the front is a shrimp taco, and the one in the back is called ceviche. Ceviche is raw fish with lemon juice.  The lemon juice cooks the fish, and then tomato and red onions are added.  It is wonderful on a hot day, or anytime.

Finally, a photo my friend sent me.  She and I work at the animal shelter together.  She is fostering these four small puppies for a few weeks. Then she will take them back to the shelter to be adopted.

I cannot foster any more animals, because when it’s time to take them back to the shelter, I adopt them myself. And now my house is full. I am a foster failure.

She also sent me this.

So true.  Enjoy each day.

 

 

12

Here Comes the Sun

I’ve been spending time at my mom’s house. She’s ill and not able to stay alone, so my brother, sister and I take turns staying wth her.  She lives about an hour’s drive from me, in one of the areas that gets the hottest weather.  The past couple weeks it was 110 degrees.  The heat is tolerable when it’s dry, and the evenings are nice for being outside.  But lately there has been a lot of humidity which is not typical.  Very unpleasant. Before my father passed away, he planted many many rose bushes.  The extreme heat fries the blooms, so while I stayed with my mom, I would go out each day and cut the buds to bring in the house.  They would bloom in a couple days.

This next one I held up to a painting of flowers.

My mom is 87 years old, and saves almost everything.  She had hundreds of old recipes from newspapers and magazines.  The old illustrations were fun to look at.

I’m also reading Don Quixote.  I started it years ago, but didn’t get very far. Now I will continue to read until I get to he end of the 1,050 pages.

Among my mom’s very old treasures is this bracelet depicting some of Don Quixote’s adventures.  I love this scene of him charging the windmill.

A setting sun on vintage post cards to link to Mullein Art blog. I made a small stamp for the water.

A sun painting by Vincent Van Gogh. I saw the original many years ago at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.  Everyone in the museum seemed to be humming the song, “Starry Starry Night.”

I got this sun in Mexico. It hangs in my kitchen.

Enjoy your sunny summer days.  Thank you for visiting my blog.