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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

7

Before the Rainbow

After the rain…

Before the rainbow, I watched the changes in the sky.

More rain is expected.

I went to a tiny funky restaurant a couple days ago to meet with other people from a political organization called MoveOn.org. It was near USC in Los Angeles.  It’s an eclectic area of LA.  The restaurant’s name was Revolucinario African Tacos.  The owners are a husband and wife, she being Asian and he being Algerian and an excellent cook.  It was energizing to meet with people of all ages and ethnicities to talk about how we, ordinary citizens, could make some beneficial changes to our democracy.  We will get together weekly, and build on shared ideas.  Initially, we will try to find similar groups around the country and work to get people elected to Congress that believe in climate change, believe that health care is necessary, believe in stopping voter suppression, etc. etc. for the 2018 elections.  The walls of the restaurant had money taped all over them. I asked the owner about it, and she said someone started it, and it just continues.  People will come from other countries and leave some of their currency taped to the walls.

I have been trying to find inspiration for something creative to work on.  In looking at some of my fabric pieces, I decided to go in that direction.  Maybe mix with paper, as I did in this first piece. I alternated strips of fabric with water color painted paper.

I love Post Impressionist and Expressionist painters. The next two were inspired by Cezanne. The first one is an applique from his painting titled, “Basket of Apples.”  The second one was just inspired by the colors in so much of his work.

Oscar was adopted!  I hope he is enjoying his life with a wonderful new family.

So, to close, I leave you with this.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside, on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”   Milan Kundera

I wish you that peace.

Thank you for visiting.

 

 

7

Just the Way You Are

We have been getting a lot of rain after our drought last year. It started earlier than usual as well. I have an area in my back yard where I have plants, with rocks filling in the open spaces.  Every winter, it fills with grass and clover.  Initially, the green of the new growth is so beautiful.  It looks like velvet.  But as it gets nearer to spring, it becomes overgrown and brown.  Each year when that happens, I tell myself that I will just leave it be.  But at some point, I begin digging up a little each day.  I’m going to see what happens this year.  In the meantime, here are a couple photos of the winter growth.

I visited the Folk Art Museum in LA last week.  It is one of my favorites.  There was an exhibit by a fiber artist named Kay Sekimachi.The first piece is a bowl made with flax and Kozo paper. It’s laminated with silver and gold leaf.  The second is made with leaves.

The next two are examples of her weaving.

As for myself, I have been playing with designs that I can use with linoleum or fabric.  Here is one.  I keep looking at it to see where I could break it up or where it needs altering.  I used water color to fill it in.

A couple of items made by my journal making friend Toni, because I love how she uses recycled materials.  The one on the right is a mini journal made from a cereal box.  When you open it, the inside of the front and back covers are the outside of the cereal box.  I love the maps on the label on the left, along with the plastic motorcycle to enhance the theme of travel.

A hand stamped card arrived from another blog friend in Germany today.  It is such a fun surprise to open the mailbox and find a hand written greeting.  We rely so much on emails, that the mail box is usually just filled with bills and advertisements.

A couple shots from my walk early this evening.  Fruit is appearing on citrus trees.  Angels are appearing in gardens.

When my son was little, I’d watch a show with him called “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”  To an adult, Mr. Rogers seemed almost too nice. The songs, kind of silly. But the main point that Mr. Rogers made EVERYDAY was that he liked us (the viewers), and other people can like us, “just the way you are.” I think he probably was very helpful in conveying this idea to children.  I found a quote of Fred Rogers, who in real life apparently was the real deal, a VERY nice person.

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch.  That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive.  Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”

Perhaps the show’s lessons were not just for children.

Have a wonderful week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Looking For Joy

I am creatively idea-less. Possibly spending too much mental energy on ways to resist the oncoming negative changes after January 20th.  I had always meant to keep my blog posts light, but because of this president elect, I have never felt the concern for my country, and the world, as I do now.  It also feels strange to talk about my fortunate life, knowing there are so many Syrians struggling for survival.  But there is a joy in doing this blog, and I think doing joyful things sustains us.  I think we actually have to look for joy and be open to it.  I find it so often in situations with animals.  I saw a video of shelter dogs at a pet store choosing their Christmas toy from under a tree and then bounding through the store with it. Just looking at happy dogs makes me happy.

Below is a photo of Oscar, a dog at the shelter last week.  Fantastic dog.  I took him out to the play yard and laughed watching him chase after his toy.  I showed him to everyone that came in.  Hopefully someone adopted him and he won’t be there tomorrow when I go.  I can’t take him because I’m maxed out.  It would be difficult to provide for any more than I already have.

I received some special surprises in the mail recently that brought joy.  One was a hand stamped card from a blog friend.  It was not only exciting to receive the card, but going to my mailbox and finding a hand stamped envelope with postage stamps from Germany was like finding a small treasure.  When I was in elementary school my brother and I had a stamp collection. It was at a time when people didn’t do a lot of traveling like they do now, and the stamps represented exotic and mysterious places that we could only imagine in our minds.  Although I’ve been able to visit many countries as I grew into adulthood, I still love stamps from other places.

Another treasure I received was from my journal making friend.  A tiny one inch by two inch “treasures” book. Inside are equally small envelopes for treasures.

Since I am currently idea-less, I have a couple of older pieces of mine to share.  This was an old linoleum print I made. I carved a linoleum tile and then used printing ink.  Later, I painted a canvas with acrylic, and also applied acrylic to the tile to transfer the image.  I  added some hand stitching with gold thread and a few tiny beads.

This was something I hand stitched for my mom one Christmas.  I was reminded of it when I went to her house and saw it hanging.

No post is complete without an LA weather update.  We’ve actually had some rain and very cold days.  One night the wind knocked out our electricity.  I had to gather candles to put throughout the house.

And our local mountains are covered with snow.

Wishing you joy this week and in the coming New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

It’s Coming On Christmas…

Christmas is covering the neighborhoods.  These soldiers were made by putting four terra cotta pots together.  They were about three feet tall.

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This display was at a shopping center.

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Maggie, Charlie, and Lucy are ready for our cold night walks.

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And a recent photo of Sophie.  She’s about four months now, and looking quite a bit bigger than the day I brought her home. She likes to be with the dogs.

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A new mail art piece, with a little vintage embellishment.

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I was going through some lino stamps I made, and pulled out this piece I had used some of them on.  It is acrylic on canvas. The deer stamp I made from a photo in an art history book.  There is some hand stitching and glitter added.

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We had some beautiful sunsets a few days ago.  This is a view from my front yard.  The lights in the left corner of the second photo are lawn ornaments.  People love to put giant inflatable Christmas decorations in their yards that light up at night.

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“It’s coming on Christmas

They’re cutting down trees

They’re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace.”           Joni Mitchell

I hope you are enjoying your days.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

 

5

City of Angels

I haven’t had time this week to do any art, but I’m showing a piece I did a while back.  It is on canvas, and the background is painted in acrylic.  I wanted the borders to look like tiles, so I cut some small linoleum squares that I used as stamps. The idea for the center was taken from a book of drawings by Claude Lorrain, born in 1600.  I used watercolor for the tree and then highlighted it with some hand stitching.

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The air is getting a little chillier at night.  We actually had more rain yesterday.  During this time of year, a temporary outdoor ice skating rink is installed in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.  It is an enchanted scene at night with the lights from the tall buildings.

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I protested peacefully last week with 8000 other Angelenos who are distraught about what is happening in our country.  I had to park quite a distance from the starting point of the rally, so by the time we marched and got back to our car, we had walked nine miles.  All the practice I did to prepare for the Camino last April made it very easy to walk those long distances in Spain.  But now I’m only walking two or three miles a day, so getting back to the car after the rally was a challenge.  It was worth it though.  It was good to be there.

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The waitresses in this restaurant came out to show support.

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Finally, I went to a Christmas sale at a thrift store a few days ago.  I think they had saved all their Christmas donations from the last year for that day.  It was packed with stuff and shoppers.  I bought this little embroidered mat, and a six inch tree covered with tiny  hand-painted Santa faces.

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“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”  Martin Luther King

Enjoy your week.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

11

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.