Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My husband is a huge fan of Robert Heinlein and has turned me onto some great reads like "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" and "The Door into Summer". It appears the late Mr. Heinlein had a special place in his heart for cats. When I read the quote below I just had to pass it on.

Cat Woman Letterpress Print

Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to it.

Robert Heinlein

"I Am Tekha Sher,
The Tiger That Lives Inside Your Mind"

Thanks to these Etsy artisans whose imaginations are out of this world.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Beads of Courage

I purchase a lot of my accent beads from lampwork artists Becki Meckier and Sharon Peters. I've been spending a lot of time in the studio lately and realized I needed to replenish my stash to prepare stock for Fall shows. Once again the stars aligned and I found out yesterday they were both going to be in Sacramento for a meeting of the NorCal Society of Glass Beadmakers and a trunk show today. No brainer ~ Road Trip!

Sharon emailed me the flier and directions. The second agenda item was BEADS OF COURAGE: Have any donations? Bring 'em along! I had no idea what this was so I googled Beads of Courage and discovered an incredible organization. From their website at

"The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path." The program is currently in 90 children's hospitals in the US, New Zealand and Japan serving over 15,000 children.

Take a moment to watch this video from CBS Sunday Morning ~ March 24, 2011.

I've gathered a large bead collection over my 20 years of design. Interests change as my experience grows so every once in awhile I go through it and set aside beads I probably won't use. After reading about Beads of Courage last night I realized I'd found the perfect destination for the beads and delivered a large box today, shopped, visited with the artists and met some new ones. A good day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Joy Of Aging - Side & Sound Effects

There are definitely side and sound effects to art of aging and let's face it we're all cruising into new and unknown territory. Here are a few of the ones we've cataloged so far:

"Don't Be a Sissy"

AccuWeather: Body parts seems to do a better job of projecting changes in the weather than our local news.
Knees Louise: Squatting is no longer an option unless there is a block and tackle handy or my husband is close enough to give me a hand up.
Toots Suite: TMI ~ but a reality of life ~ think dueling banjos.
HipHopitous: The first 10 steps that follow arising from a seated or couch position. One would think we were budding hip-hop artists with all the snapping and popping, but alas we're just trying to get the booty in gear.
I've groan to love you more: It's a scientific fact that if you swear a blue streak when you stub a toe, hammer a thumb or bark your shin, it will hurt less. Must release endorphins or something, like laughter or a good cry. Who really knows but as long as we continue to laugh about it, it's cool.
CompuStoveUp: Too much time on the computer may (read that as will) lead to shoulder cricks, now what have I done and tendinitis. How do I know this? Talk to the shoulder. We humans need to spend less time riding herd on computer games, social networks and email and more time doing something physical like digging in the garden, working out, doing yoga or dancing.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My husband constantly surprises me with his insightful observations of the human condition. He is a preschool teacher, a chef, a gardener, and an artist. He is also a voracious reader of both science fiction and the news. Considering the state of the world I wonder, at times, how he tells them apart. 

I came into the house the other day and he was gazing out the kitchen window down towards the garden. I asked what he was up to. He just pointed to a piece of scrap paper on which he had written the following words: 

The Intuitive Mass

Transition occurs
when enough people arrive
at the same thought
at the same time
without being told
what to think

I'd call those words worth pondering. I know he's on to something, because I often do my best thinking while appearing to stare into space. That's my creative time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Walk in the Park

The sun is out at last, time for a walk in the park, but alas which one? Sonoma County is rich in state and regional parks and home to an unbelievable array of summer to fall celebrations of life. The two major ones this weekend are Peggy Sue's All American Cruise and the Health and Harmony Festival. No matter where you go you'll see cars right out of American Graffiti and humans right out of the 60's Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. We grew up during those heady times so see no need to join the crowds.

We decide on River Front Park just west of Windsor. You can take the back way from our place and avoid any highways and traffic (our favorite kind of road). We packed at picnic lunch, binoculars and a camera and hit the road about 10:30 this morning.

The park is adjacent to the Russian River and has several good sized "lakes" that were formerly gravel pits. Only one, Lake Benoist, is open to the public right now, but it's a nice 2 mile walk. Bass fishing is said to be good and there is prime Blue Heron habitat on the south side. Most fledglings have left the nest already but we did spy a nest about 80 feet up a dead spar with large Heron chattering up a storm. There are also other winged attractions this time of year: some yellow, some black, some turquoise and some in camouflage gear like this beauty.

Further along the trail we find a bench that looks across the lake to Mount St. Helena. It's a beautiful and peaceful spot to stop for lunch and take a load off.

I was taken by the dedication sign on the bench and the self written obituary placed carefully between the slats. Tom, it seems, was an architect, artist, traveller, outdoorsman, and photographer who lived his life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same. You gotta love this place.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vintage Warbirds

I have a thing for old warbirds, vintage planes from WW II. We live about 20 miles from the Sonoma County Airport and Air Museum, home to a number of these restored beauties, so it's not unusual to see one fly over now and then. I'm like Pavlov's puppy. I hear those prop driven engines and I'm out of the house in flash with my binoculars.

I don't know where this obsession started but the seed may have been planted by my folks. They took me to the Unlimited Hydroplane Races at Pyramid Lake outside of Reno, Nevada when I was a kid. The engines that powered the monster 28' boats in the early 60's were surplus WWII aircraft engines like the V-12 Allison and Rolls Royce Merlin. When they went by at full speed your entire body would vibrate, way better than even a Grateful Dead drum solo at full volume.

So this is a big week for vintage planes locally. The Collings Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation devoted to supporting living history events ( has a B-17, B-24, and P-51 on tour and have been at the Sonoma County Airport for a couple of days. My husband was reading on the front porch yesterday afternoon and all of a sudden I hear him shouting "get out here quick" so I grabbed my binoculars and joined him. What an incredible sight to see this baby fly right over the house.  

Starting tomorrow the restored B-17 Flying Fortress ’Sentimental Journey’ and the B-25 Mitchell ‘Maid in the Shade’ are visiting the Sonoma County Air Museum ( on tour. I will definitely head up there with my camera, I might even take a flight over Sonoma County. I mean really what's life about if you can't treat yourself to one of your long term fantasies now and again?

Last year I went up to see the Sentimental Journey and started chatting with a gentleman wearing a vintage leather flight jacket holding a picture. It turns out his father had be part of the flight crew and the jacket belonged to him. I was honored to photograph him with the plane holding his dad's photo. Talk to your fathers, uncles and grandfathers and learn a little more about your history. Visit a local airshow in your area or check the links above to see if the tours are coming to your hometown. You will be thrilled and amazed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back of the Closet

Every so often I get out the ladder and explore the netherworld of the large storage area above my closet. My motivation was prompted by the continuing rain (its June for crying out loud), it was time to see what was up there again and I was given a wonderful large brim red hat with it's own box that I want to store up there out of harms way. 

When I was a kid one of my godmothers gave me a piece of silverware for each birthday and Christmas so that I would have nice settings for entertaining when I was a grown up. The thing is we're BBQ people, we don't have sit down dinners. The box has been stored "up there" for 20 years, it's contents rarely used, so I got it down for a look see. Her heart was in the right place, but her count a little questionable. To my amusement I found 4 knives, 3 salad forks, 16 teaspoons, 14 forks, 4 butter knives and no tablespoons. So my question was, why am I storing it, why not use it for everyday. Geeze Louise, that was a hard one!

We hold onto stuff for various reasons but there comes a time when one has to cowgirl up and make some decisions. I'm donating some really cool and useful things to our local VNA Hospice Thrift Store. My red hat now fits up there just fine.

Might be time to take a look in some of your "out of sight, out of mind" nooks and crannies. You may find something inspiring, some things to donate to a local charity and best of all liberate some space (a girl can never have enough storage). Good luck on your mission.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordsmith Series ~ Post Script

Driving east on 299
Heading for the Oregon Outback
North of the Southeast border on old 395
On our way to the sagebrush sea
 Home to the ponderosa and juniper tree
Travelling the Emigrant Trails Scenic Byway
To see who's been on the migration flyway
The scenery is hard to beat
and it's time to give our buns a rest
And fix a bite to eat
So we stop on the crest of a mountain pass
With a vista that made us gasp
Delighted with the visual treats
We turn to look around
And suddenly have to take a seat
Cowboys in chaps and rigging exiting a dusty pickup
A tempting photographic moment
Until they step out into the road
They’re walking Pomeranians
Leashed and coated for the cold
All I can think of is the perfect raptor lunch
Furry with a bit of crunch
What’s happened to the cowboy?
Where have all the ranch dogs gone?
The ones who rode shotgun in a pickup bed
And worked all day
For just a pat upon the head


Thanks to these Etsy artisans I've regained my senses
Blue Heeler and Pasture

"Cowboy Accessories"
Cowboy Break Time