Monday, December 30, 2013

More Love Shack Shots

 Just a few more photos of our trip to the Love Shack.

The weather was delightful, low '40's at night 
and mid '70's during the middle of the day.

We took long walks through the woods and by the stream.

And like two 10 year olds, scuffed loudly through 
every pile of sycamore leaves we saw!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Love Shack Holiday

We have been promising ourselves for years that one Christmas we would steal away and quietly celebrate just by ourselves.

And this turned out to be the year.  We returned to the Love Shack just out of Ojai where we had spent a wonderful weekend a couple of years ago.

Ethereal  quiet, wood smoke from our stove, stars everywhere, a burbling  creek just outside the window.

We brought a few decorations and a small tree.

A stop in Santa Barbara on the way down for a delicious lunch
 and a stroll through the beach-side Art Walk.

And a visit to nearby downtown Ojai to see 
the Christmas sights and do some last minute shopping.

But, mostly just solitude, reading, jouranling, listening to music,

watching candles burn and being together.

Holiday bliss.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa Time

From workshop to stocking.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Time

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Time

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.

Friday, December 20, 2013

From the Bookshelf

This delightful children's book follows a family through the entire holiday season, from baking and decorating, visiting and shopping, from the first sight of red ribbon in a shop window to the boxes of used wrapping and dangling tinsel put out in the dustbins. All through the book are the wonderful pictures of Peter Spier - this is a "true" picture book - no words. And yet, the story is told in the bright, ringing tones of a Christmas bell. Out of print and rather expensive (even on Amazon) you should find a copy at your local library.

From start ... finish!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Time

Love this vintage snap of "Raymond" with Santa and his horse.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Ludwig!

Happy 243th birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven!

My very favourite piece Symphony #6 known as the The Pastoral Symphony.  Listening to this is like a weekend in the country at the best type of B&B.

Listen, enjoy and raise a glass to a brilliant composer!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Suitcase Saturday - Christmas

photo courtesy of

 Just a few suitcases...

 some big, some small.

photo courtesy of

some full...

photo courtesy of 

some waiting to be filled.

Colourful joy for the season!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holding my Place

I've been dealing with some health issues for a month or so and haven't been in the studio very much - good to know that my big black cat Mouse is on guard keeping things ready for me to get back in there!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You've Got Mail!

One thing I love to collect are old bunches of letters - I'm old enough to remember when all our communication was done this way and there's a delightful nostalgia about the stamps, postmarks and old envelopes.

I tie them up with ribbon or string...

and keep them in a vintage painted box I
 found at a thrift store in Santa Barbara once.

Some are from far away countries, some different states...

 wonderful logos and typography. 

Each one a bit of history.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Life on the Coast

Sunlight on the pier on a Cayucos Sunday morning.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Becky & Paul - Part Two

 Here's the piece for Bronwyn's birthday, titled Becky & Paul. I started with a 12x16" deep-sided frame. I painted the canvas side in a cool green that was a favourite shade of both my parents.  I also painted the sides and the small turned in edge of canvas on the back.  The wooden stretchers were painted with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle in Antique Linen.  The vintage carpenter's rule is for my dad's love of building and working with wood.  The knitting needles for my mom who spent so much time with them in her hands creating beautiful sweaters for us.  Bronwyn is a knitter too.

For the back ground I made copies of their wedding certificate on parchment paper.  The three pictures that Bronwyn asked for went on next.  They were scanned and then printed on cotton fabric, which I fringed and then attached with horizontal brads.

I used a WWII medal and uniform ribbon, a uniform button and a small propeller to represent my dad's military service.

Her school letter and class ring - Citrus High School, Azusa class of '43 - and a donkey from her collection surround my mom's picture.  All were attached with brads or heavy gel medium.

Small copper number pins (used for storm windows in days gone by) show their birth years.
 I loved doing this piece and Bronwyn loved receiving it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Becky & Paul - Part One

Paul Perry and Becky Ewart on their 
wedding day - October 28, 1945

 A few months ago my daughter Bronwyn asked if I could do an art work about my mom and dad, her grandparents.  She knows I work better with a deadline so she said "For my birthday maybe?"  I ask what kind of piece she wanted and she said anything, the only caveat being that I needed to use these three pictures.

My mom in her backyard in Azusa, California
 during the war years.

 He grew up in Malone, New York and joined the air corps in his early ‘20’s.  He was stationed at Edwards Army Air Corps Base with his buddy Red.  One day Red was going to Azusa to meet his girlfriend Audrey and said “Why don’t you come along Paul, maybe she’s got a friend!”

She was born in Azusa, California and was still in her mid-teens when her friend Audrey said “Come out with me tonight, Red said he’d bring a friend along.”

He was 25, she was 16.  She was Presbyterian, he was Catholic. He quit school after 8th grade to help support the family, she was on her way to college.  She was outspoken, feisty and full of love.  He was quiet, thoughtful and full of love.

My dad in his Air Corps uniform in San Dimas Park, California

She wrote to him everyday when he was sent over seas – to Africa, to Italy, to France and Germany.  He was de-mobbed in early October of 1945.  As soon as he could, he hopped a cross country train to California.  There was no scheduled stop in Azusa for passenger trains, but everyone on the train said “Come on, stop so the soldier can get off and see his girl!” The train didn’t stop but slowed enough that he could jump off to the clapping and cheering of all the other passengers.

Barely 3 weeks later, on October 28, they were married at St. Frances of Rome in Azusa.  Her sister Harriet (Tat) Dark and her brother-in-law (married to her sister Betty) Everett Hendrix were the witnesses.  She wore a dress she made herself, he wore his army dress uniform. Friends and family celebrated with them at her parents’ house on Soldano Ave. in Azusa.

He and she were married for 54 years, had four children, and a very happy life together.  

On Friday I'll show you the piece of art I created for Bronwyn

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Birthday, Bronwyn!

Happy Birthday darling girl!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Autumn Splendor

Autumn colour,

rusty leaves.

Here's a couple of turkeys that survived the holiday.

A pre-Christmas view of red and green.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Giving gratitude for all blessings received.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fabulous Shoes

Several years ago Margot made me these 
great coppery high tops
 and I wore them so much they literally fell apart.

But one of the wonderful things about being married to the 
founder of and creative genius behind  Sassy Feet is
she's always happy to make me a new pair!

These are the latest. Van knockoffs from Payless,
painted Neopaque Brown, then stenciled in
  Lumiere Super Copper using

And the crowning touches?
Custom stitched laces and
a distressed embellishment
 rescued from the original pair
Aren't I a lucky girl?!