5

Blue, Gray, Back to Blue

We finally got two days of rain. But even during those two days it was sporadic, stopping and starting. While I was driving in the car on the first day, it was pouring. I was STOPPED at a red light when I took this photo.

In between the rain stopping and starting, I took the dogs out for a walk.

The neighbors grass was so green, and their vegetable garden was soaking up the water.

Then I saw this.

But today we were back to beautiful and very warm sunshine. I was out near my mom’s house. Some of the buildings had shimmering reflections. The giant horse was outside of a restaurant.

I stopped at my mom’s to help my sister trim all the rose bushes. She and her family are still living there after being evacuated from their house due to one of the huge fires we had here. Their house had a lot of smoke damage and needs some repair.  As we trimmed, there were still a few roses blooming that I brought home, along with  oranges from the tree.

Here are a few more collages from vintage papers. The first one incorporates some images from small books about places around the world that I had as a child.

This next one has some images from a stamp I made.

And this last one has pages from a child’s school autograph book from 1927. It belonged to my mom’s aunt.

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Outdoors

I made a quick trip to San Pedro, about 20 minutes from my house. I have a few photos overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The second one shows Pacific Coast Highway, which you can drive north for about 655 miles and takes you up past San Francisco.

A saw these two people playing basketball. A beautiful day and a beautiful place to play, looking out at the ocean.

This next one is also San Pedro. A friend participates in planting this garden in an open space between businesses. People can take what they need and leave a donation.

I have a couple more collages to share. This car was an advertisement in a magazine from the 1940’s.

A few more observations from my yard. My neighbor’s guava tree is full of guavas right now. The squirrels enjoy taking a couple bites from the fruit, and then leaving the rest uneaten.

I took this next photo looking out onto the yard from the window of my little art studio. If you look closely, you can see Maggie (white, in front) and Lucy (black, behind), running after a squirrel. The squirrels run along the top of the wall, and the dogs chase them from the ground.

Here is one of the first lemons on a tree I planted sometime last summer. The tree is growing upwards very slowly, so I was surprised to see a couple lemons on this very short tree. You can see how close the branches are to the ground.

And finally, some planters I made a few years ago from cement, perlite and peat moss. If you make them large enough, they can resemble the troughs used for farm animals to eat out of.

Usually when I go out for a walk, I go about two miles. I’ve been wanting to increase that, and so today, (after being housebound for a couple weeks), I walked four and a half miles. I was very pleased. It’s fun to just walk with no purpose in mind. Often I just don’t take the time to do it. But now is the time, because the weather is is so agreeable. I just need to get myself out the door.

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting and reading my blog.

 

 

 

 

4

New Year

I have been going through all the vintage ephemera I got from my mom’s house, and some that I have gotten at flea markets. I started cutting out pieces that I liked. Then I grouped them into piles that I thought I could put together in collages. It was a nice way of saving what appealed to me, and also preserving memories, without keeping everything and just storing it away in cupboards. It is so easy to accumulate things that we don’t necessarily use or look at often for enjoyment.  I have made quite a few collages so far, but I will share two of them now. I still want to put some stitching on the others.

My parents grew up in Minnesota. My father went to Seattle Washington to get work as an airplane mechanic after World War II. My mother followed him out there, and they got married. This first collage has some of the information about the train she took to Seattle in 1949.  Some of the other pieces on the collage are from vintage brochures of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks where we camped every summer.

This second one includes some of the many old product brochures from the 1950’s that included recipes.

I’ve been stranded in the house the last couple weeks due to bronchitis. It’s given me a lot of time to cut and paste. I’ve toured my backyard each day to feel the sunshine, since I haven’t been able to go on my neighborhood walks. While wandering in the yard, I looked for some interesting things to photograph. The winter state of the yard is kind of bleak. No snow landscapes, and no rain to bring out the green. Here are a few things from my patio. I don’t know the name of this first plant. A friend gave me a tiny clipping from her plant, and it has grown exceedingly well and large with these little dangling flowers.

This next one is one of the many succulents I have acquired.

Finally, although I am pretty housebound, I have ventured out on occasion to the drive-thru Starbucks very close to my house. I love hot chocolate. I make it at home a lot, but it’s always a treat to get some from Starbucks. They make  excellent hot chocolate. Since this Starbucks is a drive-thru, I like to sit in the quiet of my car and enjoy it.

Happy New Year.  May the New Year bring us rational thinking and compassionate leaders that want to work for the good of the world and its people. Thank you all for visiting.

 

 

7

December

Just a few things to share as 2017 is nearing an end.  The strong winds blew a lot of the oranges down from my mom’s orange tree. Usually, they are not fully ripe until March, but I think the unusually warm weather has the trees and plants confused. I didn’t want them to go to waste so I collected them and made some orange juice. Wow, delicious!

To continue the orange theme, and show how the plants are confused, I encountered this on one of my walks.

Among all the the things my mom saved over the years, there were some vintage Christmas items. This first one is a photo of two of my cousins taken in 1950. The Santa looks a little creepy. I’m trying to decide if it’s a real reindeer. It’s possible because they were living in Minnesota.

When I was a very young child, milk was delivered to everyone’s home, in glass bottles! This is a card from our milkman at the time. Early 50’s.

The Christmas card below is from 1931. I love the illustrations.

This next one is made with gold foil. The tiny mail box opens up and has a Christmas greeting.

This last one is transparent plastic. Again the tiny bell folds up with a greeting inside.

When I went to the Folk Art Museum recently, I checked out the Museum store. They always have the most wonderful things at museum stores, although expensive. I treated myself to a book intended for children. I wish I had thought of the idea for the book myself. It’s called They All Saw A Cat. It shows how different animals saw a cat walk by, but each one saw something totally different due to their Perspective. The art captured this idea perfectly.

Below is one example of what the fish in a fishbowl saw.

What a great concept to introduce to children, and a great reminder to adults.

Have a lovely Christmas, and thank you all for visiting.

 

8

Museum Day

I recently visited the Japanese American Museum here in Los Angeles. They were having an exhibit of Japanese artists who were born, raised, or living in Mexico City, Brazil, Peru and Latin American neighborhoods in Los Angeles. A mix of styles, and all excellent.

Starting with this piece that filled the entry way of the museum. It looked like string, but examining it closer, it was fuzzy like yarn. The sun coming through the window perfectly enhanced the gaps in its construction.

This next artist uses old wood that he finds, and dried plants in his work. Here he painted on a thin piece of tree bark.

On the next artist’s work, I noticed that the mark making was actually tiny words when I got up very close. It reminded me of some of Mano’s mark making she has shown on her blog, mano’s welt.

I could not capture the wonder of this next piece with my camera. There were hundreds of small hanging containers with fabric flowers inside to represent cherry blossom trees.

This last artist is actually a tattoo artist as well. Her drawings are so realistic, people come to her with a photo of someone and she creates a tattoo from the photo. The work shown in this first piece is pencil and spray paint on wood. The second is colored pencil and spray paint on paper.

My last photo is something I came across on my walk today. A seed pod from a tree and some paint someone sprayed on the sidewalk. A small spontaneous collaboration of nature and man.

Have a good week. Thank you very much for checking out my blog.

 

 

 

6

Yellows, Oranges, and Blue…Skies

Beautiful weather. A shining sun in a bright blue sky. These first two photos were taken In Long Beach, about 25 minutes from my house.

Yellows and oranges falling from trees, or still clinging, waiting for the right time to let go.

The oranges are at my mom’s house. I’ve had to go there a lot to put things in boxes to donate. A Refugee Resettlement group is going to take the furniture. There were only a few remaining roses. I brought them home along with some clippings of the stems to reroot. Hopefully they will survive, and I will have rose bushes to plant in my yard.

I couldn’t resist taking these colorful photos of some glassware from my mom’s.

This is an old Argus camera I used when I was eleven years old, I found it tucked away in a closet at my mom’s. You have to look through the top of the camera to see what you are taking a photo of. I’m going to research, to see if I can get film and try using it again.

Here is a photo I took with it in 1964, when my family went on a camping trip. The car is an old Ford Falcon.

When I was in college, I bought a book called “Diary of a Century,” with fantastic photos by Jacques Henri Lartigue. Many were taken when he was a child, starting in 1901. Even that long ago, and being so young, he was able to capture people in motion with his camera. Check out his work, if you haven’t already.

The next two photos are the artwork of my friend Toni. She used small tin boxes for these collages. The second one is from the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web.”  I love them.

Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

10

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

11

LA Days

The last few days we’ve had cloudy skies. It is typical for June. It has even been given the name of “June Gloom.”  Right before the gray skies arrived, we had some beautiful bright ones.  These are some photos towards the end of one of those days. Everything seemed to be glowing.

I had some buttons in different yellow/gold shades that I wanted to do something with, so I sewed them onto a canvas along with a few little metal pieces.

I had also gotten some beautiful vintage buttons at a flea market, and sewed them onto paper.  I need to get a frame so I can display them.

I went downtown last Saturday to participate in the “March for Truth.”

While I was there, I captured some of the city’s details to share with you.

There was some construction going on, so signs directed pedestrians where to go. They are building many new high rise apartments.

Parking is difficult to find downtown, and very expensive.  This lot was only $8.00 for the day.  It can go as high as $20.00.

Street venders.

I love LA. It is a mix of old and new, ethnicities and cultures.  But for those same reasons it is a joy when I have the opportunity to visit other places.

I hope you are enjoying where ever you are at this moment.  Thank you for for stopping by my blog.