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.

 

5

Museum Day Two

The Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles recently had an exhibit of art by Latino/Latina artists who drew inspiration from ideas involving the US-Mexico border.

This first one was built of cardboard to represent the hilltop dwellings in Tijuana (a city in Mexico just across the border) and parts of LA.

In this next one, the artist unraveled the thread from a Mexican blanket called a “serape” and created geometric shapes on the wall.

Tires are sometimes used in building construction found in hillside barrios of Tijuana. This artist also carves them to use in printmaking.

This structure was made from Patron tequila bottles. The bottle design is created by skilled glass artisans, and one of the ingredients in the tequila comes from the agave cactus which grows throughout the Americas.

I took photos of a couple of the houses near the museum. They were so magical looking,

I captured some Christmas spirit while walking through my neighborhood the last couple evenings.

Snow is not in the forecast, so we make snowmen out of lights.

And turn Palm trees into Christmas trees.

I also went to a Christmas tree display at a hospital near me. The trees are decorated by volunteers and sold to raise money for the neonatal department at the hospital.

Someone really liked the “Peanuts ” characters.

This next one was decorated with vintage ephemera.

Southern California has experienced many fires in the last week. Along with dry vegetation, the winds we usually get in October arrived even stronger as December began. My sister and her family were among the many many people forced to evacuate their home. Luckily, their house was saved. It will be a couple weeks before they can return. As so many houses around them were destroyed, there is a lot that the city has to do to clean up, and restore electricity. So luckily also, they are able to stay at my mom’s house since we haven’t sold it yet, even though the week before we donated almost everything to the Refugee Resettlement Program.

“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?”   George Elliot

Thank you all for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Strolling in the Sunshine

One of the administrative headquarters of Paramhansa Yogananda is located in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles. It is one of the older areas of LA, where the houses were built on hillsides. At that time, there were no roads for access, only historic stairs, that still exist. The large administrative building was originally built as a hotel in 1909, and people needed to use a cable car to get to it. Yogananda bought it in 1925 to use as a school. It is now referred to as The Self Realization Fellowship Center. There is another Center in Malibu.

The grounds are open to the public to walk around and enjoy the peacefulness and quiet. That’s what I did yesterday with a friend. I was in need of some peacefulness and quiet, so it was perfect. I took some photos to share. It was another warm beautiful sunny day.

The following two photos were images on some large planters.

The next two photos show one of the old beautiful houses and streets in the residential area around the Center.

Thank you for visiting. Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

8

Sightings

We have had some beautiful cloud formations that change throughout the day. The color of the sky is so blue, and the sun shines brightly but is not the hot sun of summer. These are our November days. Perfect for walking, but the sun is gone by 5:00 now, so I have to schedule accordingly.

I was so surprised to find these on my walk yesterday. I’ve never seen any mushrooms like this except in books.

In my yard, my Mexican marigold plant is in full bloom. The more I trim it, the more it grows. It covers an area the size of a small car.

This next photo is one I took from my car on the way to my mom’s house. We have a lot of packing to do there. Most of it we will donate to charity. It was Sunday morning so there was very little traffic on the freeway. Sunday morning is the only time the freeway is not completely packed with cars. Usually you would not see the road in a photo like this, just solid cars.

Today was my day volunteering at the shelter. This little guy was there. I’m sure he had been someone’s pet. He was very friendly and continued to wag his tail while we talked to him.

The November theme for Mullerin Art blog is mark making with the color gray. I have to think of some ideas to make my own marks, but here are some I found in the neighborhood.

a tree.

fence.

tire marks on a curb.

Finally, there is a store called Anthropologie that always has the most creative window displays. This was their most recent.

Not a lot to report, just sharing some recent sightings. Enjoy your days. Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.