Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New's Eve

Wishing a wonderful year full of health and happiness for all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Beautiful Baklite

One of my dear friends gifted me with these beautiful 
vintage Bakelite salt and pepper shakers

I'm a sucker for anything Bakelite, and as much
 as I love the jewelry,I'm always extra fascinated by the
 objects that were created with it. 
I'm afraid they're much too pretty to use!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

From the Bookshelf

As we all know, Christmas isn't Christmas if you don't get new book.  And this is the one I found under the tree.  Maira Kalman's latest - full of her wonderful paintings and stories.  Partially based on the collections at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, it's a fascinating look at the the beautiful things with which we love to surround ourselves. It's impossible not to smile, laugh and think, just a little more than usual when immersed in one of Maira's books.  Highly recommended


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas to All!

A Jolly Old Elf 11x14"

"And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!'"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Bells of WWII

One of my favourite holiday poems, 
I can never get through it without tears.

The Bells (1940 version) - Rachel Fields

What will the bells of Paris say
To those who wake on Christmas day
Where the Seine flows on by the buildings gray
On Christmas in the morning?
"Noel! Noel!" the bells will peal
Above the echo of iron heel,
To a city bowed by a yoke of steel,
"Noel for Christmas morning."

How will the bells of Munich raise
Their carols of forbidden praise
For hearts remembering gentler ways
Of peace on Christas morning!
"Once," they will toll. "we dared to play
Good will to men on Christmas day
To men who mock us and betray
The faith of Christmas morning."

What will the bells of London cry
Where death and danger ride the sky.
And men put on their boots to die
On Christmas day in the morning?
"Hail," they will clamor, bell for bell,
"Burn us, and break us with fire and shell,
Still we will answer "All is well,
Take heart on Christmas morning!"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Life on a Different Coast

Sea, sand and snow.  On this Winter's Solstice.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Favourite Toy Friday

I know that in this day and age, toy guns are politically incorrect,  but back in the '50s and early '60's it seemed like almost every kid on the block had a cowboy outfit complete with a pair of six-shooters - remember the smell of the caps?  I played cowboy so much that almost every year I wore them out and would get a new pair for the holidays. On Christmas afternoons my dad and I used to play cowboys on the back porch using all the big boxes from under the tree as cover. For several years of my childhood Christmas wouldn't have been Christmas without a new set of cowboy pistols.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

Blessed are you,  Lord our God
sovereign of the universe
who has kept us alive, sustained us,
and enabled us to reach this season. (Amen)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ice Scene

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to do
at Christmas was set up the ice scene.

I loved placing the skaters on the pond
 (a pie tin covered in foil).

And decided where to put the skiers and sledders. 

A few pieces have been added over the years,
but most of it is pure '50's vintage, including several
bottle brush and candle Christmas trees.

There's something magical about seeing it
and realizing that I've been putting it up
every holiday season for over 55 years.

Keeping a precious Christmas memory alive.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Yes, Virginia

Virginia O'Hanlon

Something I re-read every Christmas - what a message of hope and belief.  Published in The New York Sun, in 1897, I am wondrously amazed that the editor of one of the most prestigious newspapers of the time would write this uplifting editorial.   

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

Francis P Church - editor The New York Sun

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

French santon nativity figures from a Paris flea market

Bit by bit the decorations are going up.

I made this angel in second grade, in 1959.

I'm resting after each spurt of energy,

My dad made the church in the late '40's and the red sleigh 
was a junior high shop project constructed by my brother.

and then getting up and doing some more.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5x5 Exhibit Opens

Art Heals Years of Pain 5x5" Erin Perry

The 5x5 exhibit opened last Friday in Putnam, Connecticut and is also open now on Seth Apter's blog at this link.  The link shows all the artwork, which was created by artists that contributed to Seth's first book The Pulse of Mixed Media.  So the pieces will be available not only at the gallery, but through the on-line link as well.  Take a look, some amazing and wonderful art in a small format.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Life on the Coast

Last evening was the annual Lighted Boat Parade
here in Morro Bay/  Always lots of fun and a great way 
to kick off the holiday season!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Favourite Toy Friday

I wonder how many of us mixed media types out there
 can trace our love of toy theatres to this classic toy
 from the early '60's?

My dear brother got me one for Christmas one year and
 I loved putting on the plays, coming up with new ones,
and of course having my little cowboys and civil war soliders
attack it every now and then!
Aren't childhood memories precious?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bring on the Rain

Some long awaited rain on the Central Coast and what
better way to spend a rainy afternoon than with black cats,

tea in my favourite mug,

 in front of a toasty blaze,

and plenty or books!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Last Leaves of Fall

As December begins, we bid adieu to
 the glorious colours of autumn.

Wild turkeys on Thanksgiving Day.

 Vineyards preparing for their long winter's nap.

All these shots from Sebastopol,
about an hour north of San Francisco.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

five by five

When Seth Apter's first book came out, he invited all the contributors to make a 5x5" piece of artwork based on one of the questions we had answered in the interview section of the book. I made mine and sent it in.  Now many of those pieces will be in an exhibition at The Empty Spaces Project in Putnam Connecticut during the month of December. So I'll be in my first show on the east coast!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Vintage holiday postcard from my grandmother's collection.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Small World!

My good friend and writing coach extraordinaire Judy Reeves  recently taught a workshop in La Mansanilla, a tiny fishing village on the Pacific coast about 90 minutes south of Puerta Vallarte.
Margot and I spent a couple of weeks there in 2005 and had a wonderful time - fresh caught shrimp, Mexican beer and lots of relaxation. Judy posted the above picture on faceBook and I realized we'd been there for breakfast.

In fact I'd done a quick sketch of it while waiting for
 our food to arrive. Pequeño mundo.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life on the Coast

Morro Rock from the beach in Baywood Park.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favourite Toy Friday

Writing about my red and yellow buckboard 
in the last post, made me think of this.

My dream toy when I was 10.  The Marx Civil War set. 
 It was a bit expensive, so I didn't have one. 
 But the little boy next door did - 
 and I occasionally got to play with his,

Ten years ago, my older daughter found one on eBay 
and surprised me for my birthday!  Every now and then I order 
some extra pieces to add to it, a dead horse, an ambulance wagon.

I was so amazed by the gift.. Even almost 50 years later,
 the magic held.  I love setting it up and playing with it.
 One of the best presents ever - 
and definitely one of the biggest surprises. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Past Recaptured!

 I was playing around on eBay the other day and just for fun I entered some clues into the search box to see if I could bring up one of my favourite toys from over 55 years ago.

And there it was!  My good ole red buckboard with yellow wheels. Exactly the same.
Just like I remember it. We had some great times, playing with my miniature farm set and all my cowboys. Pretty cool when you can recapture such a happy part of your childhood for less than $10.00 and free shipping!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Hunting and Gathering

Still going through my stash to find
 goodies for the latest project.

I've got it all sitting on the studio table, marinating away!

Had a four day hospital stay that slowed me down a bit, 
but feeling better and ready to get going on this new artwork.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Welcome Bronwyn!

My daughter Bronwyn is arriving this morning all the way from Missouri. We'll be having a family Thanksgiving a week early, and this year she'll be making the dinner - not just eating it as in this 1982 shot above.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From the Bookshelf

When I was in fifth grade back in the early '60's, my best friend Linda gave me a book for my birthday.  I was a voracious reader then - just as I am now - and books were just about the best gift I could receive.  The book she gave me was Trixie Belden and the Gatehouse Mystery. I absolutely loved it. I was able to amass many others in the long running series over the next few years and I read them often. I don't know if it's being retired or being sick or whatever, but recently I had an urge to read them all again.  The first, Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion, was written in 1948 and the books have a charming vintage feel. I've owned the first six (in the old original Whitman cello versions)  throughout my life, so I started my Trixie Marathon with those.  Then I was able to find the later paperback versions in lots on eBay for not much per book.  There are 39 all together and I now have the first 32.  I am really having a blast revisiting these.  Talk about literary escapism.  Hey - it keeps me off the streets and it's lots cheaper than drugs!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Armistice Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.