7

Treats

Whew! It’s been really hot here, but cooler weather arrived at last. It was even possible to go outside for a walk. It’s been a while since I have had time, or cool enough weather to do so. There was a very strong feel of autumn in the air today. With autumn, comes Halloween, which will be here in a couple days. Adults dress in costumes and go to parties, and children dress in costumes and knock on their neighbor’s doors for candy. That was an exciting activity as a child. My brother and I would come home from “trick or treating” and dump all our candy from our bags onto the floor. It was as fun to look at all the different kinds as it was to eat it. Here we are in 1956. I don’t know how appropriate these costumes would be now. It seemed that toys and movies in the 1950’s were about cowboys and Indians.

Here’s one with costumes that came with cloth masks. Actually a little bit spooky. In later years, the masks were made of stiff plastic. I remember them being not too comfortable for breathing as we ran from door to door.

I have not had time to think about making art, but I have been going through boxes of old stuff at my mom’s house. Besides the photos, I found many beautiful old seasonal cards. These small Halloween cards are from 1922 and 1923.

The following party invitation is from 1931. My mom was a saver…of everything.

During my walk this evening, I came across this yard decoration for Halloween. It is becoming popular here for people to put up giant inflatable yard decorations for the different holidays.

Inflatable decorations are not my favorite, but I have a real Halloween kitty. Sophie chose not to wear a hat in this photo. I don’t know if I have mentioned that she insists on going for a walk when the dogs go walking. She might think she’s a dog.

In keeping with the autumn theme, here are a couple persimmons from my neighbor’s tree. She usually makes us some delicious persimmon cake, but it’s been too hot to turn on an oven. I’ve always loved how persimmons look. They are so pretty.

Last Sunday I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to set up a space at a flea market. I went with two friends, and between the three of us, we had quite a few things to sell. We have all enjoyed going to thrift stores and flea markets over the years, but it was time to get rid of a lot of things. One person at the flea market had this cute old trailer as part of her display. It was a great way to get people to come over and look at what she was selling.

A couple more images from the past. These people are my great grandparents. (My mom’s grandparents). The photos show them on their wedding day in 1893 and again, 50 years later on their 50th wedding anniversary. They moved to the United States from Norway, and started their family here.

During the hot weather, there was a hummingbird that came and sat on a bush outside my window for several days, at the same time each day. It’s so rare to see a hummingbird sit. This photo was taken through the window screen.

That’s all for now. I hope you are well, and enjoying your days.

 

 

 

8

Forty Four

I’m coming out from the haze of despair after the election. Tomorrow I will put on my walking shoes, drive downtown, and join in peaceful protest. Although the outcome has been decided, I cannot just forget all the hateful language used during the campaign.  Already acts of hate have increased because the perpetrators have been given approval to act out.  It turns out that 48 per cent of the country didn’t vote.  Maybe people will realize the importance of participating.

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I’ve only done a little sketching lately. This first one made me think of wallpaper around a window, so I made another very QUICK sketch with that in mind.

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I’ve always loved the window scenes of Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse.

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Our weather has reverted back to summer.  Warm days, but very pretty light at end of day.

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I didn’t realize until I got home and looked at this next photo, how the shadow is an extension of the tree.  The tree is actually planted in the middle of the circle of newly mowed grass.

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The kitty is now officially part of the pack. We adopted her. I think she might be thinking she’s a dog at this point. They all play together. And if they go out, she goes out. When they come back in, she’s right behind them.

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President Obama met with the president elect at the White House a few days ago to explain things to him and assure a peaceful transition of power.  He knew some of us were disappointed, but he said we had to pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off.  What a class act. Such dignity, offering whatever assistance he could to a person who rejected the legitimacy of his Presidency. I will truly miss the 44th President of the United States.

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9

Global Art

I have not made a lot of art myself this week, but I have seen some magnificent work by two other people.  The first was an online article about Nidaa Badwin, a Palestinian woman, who spent 20 straight months in her 100 square foot room creating art.  The day before she went into exile, she was leading a youth program in Gaza, and was taunted by officers who criticized her clothing and eventually hit her.  She took a series of gorgeous Baroque looking photos using only what she had in her room: newspapers, vegetables, egg cartons, sewing machine, typewriter, and bedspread.  I have a few to show, but there were many more if you want to check out her story.

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The second was a documentary called “Sky Ladder,” about artist Cai Guo-Qiang.  He was a young boy during Mao Tse-tung’s rule of China, and the story follows his life as an artist leading up to his work using fireworks and his dream piece called Sky Ladder. His thinking is truly innovative and remarkable. I recommend watching it if you have the opportunity.

We got another night of rain.  It’s wonderful to have rain so early in the season since our summer was so dry.  I don’t have any rain photos, but here are a couple of my favorite autumn photos from last year.

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I went to a local flea market yesterday.  Lots of fun things to see.  I bought an old globe.  I love maps and globes, but globes are usually expensive. This one was only five dollars.  Our world has gone through many changes since this globe was made.

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A lot of vendors had vintage Christmas decorations for sale.

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I have continued to play with watercolors.  The first one was a couple of sketches I cut up and put together as a collage.

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Enjoy this last week of October.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

9

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

6

Urban Salvage

Trying to get a flow going after walking every day on the Camino. Still walking several miles each day. Took a drive downtown today to see an exhibit of furniture. It was all made by a group called the LA Box Collective who use reclaimed materials and urban salvage. In this case it came from a 2011 storm in LA. The winds reached 100 mph and damaged nearly 5,500 trees just in Pasadena. All of the furniture had a pure but elegant quality. The top of this small table was so smooth, but contrasted well with the jagged edge left in its natural state.

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I loved the odd shape of this large table, and the heavy but refined look.

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And an indoor lounging chair.

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The artistry was inspirational.

I have a blog friend who loves finding charming houses while exploring. I do too. The designs and ambiance stir the imagination about its history or remind me of places I’ve been or would like to go. So often I’d love to be able to knock on doors to see inside. The folk art museum I was at today is on a busy street called Wilshire Blvd. It’s not directly downtown, but in the downtown area. Lots going on there, like the ever growing Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s next to the La Brea Tar Pits. A place that once trapped prehistoric animals who got too close thinking it was water. The tar is still bubbling to this day. Anyway, there are new restaurants and large business structures, and down all the side streets are very old classic apartments and houses. Here are a couple of the apartments.

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While I was in Spain I checked out all the styles of houses we passed in all the small towns we walked through.

This one was on our second or third day.

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I haven’t picked up a pencil or brush since I returned from Spain. I’m posting a little sketch I made in my travel journal when I was there. We were staying in an old house from the 1700’s. It had been owned by generations of the same family since that time. We stayed in a couple old houses that had been restored, but this one was pretty much the way it had been in the 1700’s.

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I am still processing my time on the Camino. As with any time you spend away from your routine, it seems further away as you resume your life back home. But I must say, I felt how Joseph Campbell once described life:

“It’s not the meaning of life we’re after, it’s the feeling of being fully alive.” I felt fully alive.

5

Toledo

We took the train to Toledo today. Only a half hour from Madrid. The old part of the city was built on a hill and surrounded by a river. People are still living in apartments along the very narrow streets.

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The stained glass photo and the following picture are of the Toledo train station. Even the train station looks medieval.

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These last two photos show Madrid on a Sunday morning. Very empty. The only place open for business was Starbucks.

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The second one was a huge wall on the side of a building with plants growing out from it.

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The weather is warming up. We chose a good time to walk the camino. Thank you again for all the comments. I loved reading them.

2

Madrid – Part 2

At about 5pm the streets fill up with people walking here in Madrid. Today was crazy. They are setting up for a festival. Stages are being put up, streets are packed and police are in the main squares.

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The following photos don’t show the chaos, but tomorrow we are going to take a day trip to Toledo to get away from it. Toledo is a small medieval town about half an hour away.

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The buildings are very tall everywhere in Madrid and many have huge statues on top.

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When you order hot chocolate here, it is thick like pudding. If you want ordinary hot chocolate it’s called cola cao, like Nesquik. Today though we stumbled on a churreria. They serve thick warm chocolate that you dip churros into.

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Pets of the day. They were waiting for their owner outside of a restaurant.

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