3

The (Almost) Sighting of the Rare Indigo Bunting

Since I only had my i phone when I went to the marsh a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t get good photos of the birds there. But my friend Alex brought her very large camera, so I’m going to share some of the lovely photos she took.  The baby geese were just a week or so old.

Here is an egret.

Here is the blue bird that we thought was the rare Indigo Bunting.

Not sure what kind of bird this guy is.

I got together with my crafting friend Toni, and we made some paper quilts.  This one is about 9 inches by 9 inches. Water color and acrylic. I was trying to make some kind of a pattern.

Then I cut it up again, and placed the colors in a more random order.  I didn’t put it through the machine again since the stitching was still there, but now the stitching was also more random. I used a metallic thread.

And I made a couple more boxes.

Some plants I found during a neighborhood walk.

Some kind of a cactus.

Hope you are enjoying your days.  It feels like summer here.  We’re already complaining about the heat.  Thank you all for visiting my blog.

 

 

5

Sun (flowers) And Rain

It seemed as though summer had arrived here in Southern California.  The temperature was rising.  Sure signs of summer were appearing.

But then we got a day of very cold winter rain.  Not typical at all for May.

The weather has stayed fairly cool since then.  Last Saturday was a day of bird activities in Los Angeles.  A friend brought over her very large camera and we went to the Madrona Marsh five minutes from my house. It is nature preserve in the middle of my town.  When we arrived, we were told that a very rare bird from Mexico was sighted at the marsh that morning.  They said it was so blue that it looked purple. It’s name is Indigo Bunting.  We saw a blue bird, but not the rare Indigo Bunting.  We did see several groups of newborn geese.  I had only my iPhone, so I wasn’t able to get photos of the babies, but I got a couple photos of the adult geese.

I’ve continued to fill small boxes with tiny objects.  This first one is connected, but there are two separate photos of it. I buy eggs that are from humanely raised chickens. Some of the paper in the box is from the egg carton.

The next one has mini recreational objects.

I have more that I’m working on, and eventually I’ll attach each one to cardboard.

“Because we have viewed other animals through the myopic lens of our self importance, we have misperceived who and what they are. Because we have repeated our ignorance, one to the other, we have mistaken it for knowledge.”   Tom Regan, American philosopher

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Enjoy your day.

 

 

 

 

 

7

Moving Into May

In the early evenings on Thursdays, my two Camino friends and I walk near the beach.  Last week we saw a large group of whales making their way up to Alaska.  Pictures were difficult because I was too far away, but it was magical to see them lift their heads out of the water.  They were very close to shore. If you look at the middle of this photo and a little to the left, that black spot is one of them.

Other views from that evening.

I’ve been working on a variety of projects this past week.  Below are a couple sketches from my Camino photos.

A friend and I might sell some of our crafts in an upcoming flea market.  I took a lot of things I have accumulated and started cutting, and gluing.  The first is the start of some small boxes.  I plan on mounting them on cardboard with wire to hang on a wall.  I’ll show that when I finish.  I think it will give them a sturdier look.

More to come.  The recipe above came from a very old cookbook I got at a yard sale.  It looks like it’s from the 1940’s, and is bound with string. It was put together by the Borden Company. I remember my mom buying Borden’s evaporated milk to use in various recipes when I was a child.  I love the illustrations in the book.  I’m going to use some of the pages to stamp on.

I’m gluing extra plates and cups together to make cookie pedestals.

I have been involved with a small political grassroots group since the 2016 election.  We want to help get Democrats elected to Congress in 2018.  We are ready to launch a website in two days. The site will have information on candidates and voting rights around the United States. The name of the site is Blue Sweep LA.

That’s all for now.  I hope your week is good.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

7

April Ramblings

Last Tuesday a friend and I had a craft day.  She lives high on a hill surrounded by native California plants and trees.  Everything was very green after the nice amount of rain we had during the winter months.

It is quite an effort for my Honda to scale the road to her front door, but once there, the view is lovely in every direction.

Inside, we sat down to make “crafts.”  We thought we’d start with some mail art.  There was a lot of “stuff” to choose from.

Even with so many choices, I couldn’t seem to capture the ideas that I had in my head.  I decided I’d give it another try the next day at home.

Here is her dog Abbey, in contemplation.  Abbey is pure joy, and likes to shower you with it when you arrive.

So at home, I tried again with some mail art ideas. The weather lately has been perfect to utilize the outside art room.

A view from the inside looking out.

This first one I used a window stamp I made, for Mullein Art blog.  I decided on stained glass windows, and used a little water color.

For this second one, I made a wave stamp.

A walk around the yard.  Some Morning Glories.

Bottle Brush tree.

Some potted succulents.

Sophie has been enjoying the nice weather as well.

I hope all is well with you.  Have a good week.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

11

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.