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.

 

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.