Wednesday, January 31, 2007

a spot of beauty...

... amidst this.
I've been using the phrase 'the winter of our discontent', just cause I like the sound of it, but frankly, we are a little bit tired of the grey. We fully acknowledge that as Californians, we really have no room for such complaints, but we miss the garden.
Seems we've had far more freezes-- and deeper-- than usual, and no rain, and things are looking much deader than they should. Some things which usually bounce back in spring are looking not-so-bouncy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

...and the winners are...

If I had an award to give (...and, why don't I?!) for the most avid followers of my blog (s), it sounds like it might have to be a tie between these two-- my mom, Jan, and my sister Dawn. I only see Dawn, who lives in Wisconsin, once or twice a year, yet while she was here everything was as familiar to her as though she lived up the block, having seen it on The Blog. All the members of my family are-- and always have been-- incredibly supportive of me, my art-- you name it, and I am so grateful for them. Thanks, guys!

(here's the whole jolly crowd out at our annual 'women's weekend retreat", on crab night. photo taken by brave token male!)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

treasure from the past

I did this watercolor when I was-- probably 10...? around the time when my family was driving every weekend through the countryside to our cabin in hte Sierras, and I was reading books about 'olden times'... Ah, the artistic promise.

It's uncanny how similar it is to what I still like in a place.
I especially like the little wild things (deer & rabbit) sitting politely just outside the fence. You really need to click to enlarge this one and see all the little details.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

also from the 'archives'

these are some of last year's camelias, photographed on a painting for background!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Dawn!!!

Sorry we're running on a bit of a delay here--- can't wait to see you this weekend!

memory and reminder

We've just been wandering through our I-photo archive, marveling at the beauty of spring & summer, and trying to believe that one day , all this will come again!

Friday, January 19, 2007

office office office

It's all about the Great Office Re-organization Project of '07 right now. It's really hard to think about doing much else when things are as they are in here.

I'm happy to report--it's coming along.

The main structural needs were: shelving, lots o shelving; new desktop work area; filing system.
Before shelving could go in, the walls needed to be painted. Needed.

Yesterday I went to IKEA for a marathon day. If you've never been, IKEA is the organization SuperStore. But so many choices, my head was totally swimming. Luckily they have a cafe inside the store, so you can periodically take breaks, sit down, re-group. I was inside of there for HOURS. Because it's a ways away, I felt like I had to choose SOMETHING and come home with it, so I could start to put some of this back together. Then they were out of the brackets which were central to my system. And after I came home and talked my way through the catalog with Tony-- I changed my mind.

So I'll be going back next week. I had gotten a very utilitarian system because you could attach a table top right into it, but I'm going to go with the nicer looking one after all. The way it looks like it'll go-- the current huge desk will be my craft/art work surface-- the new station will be where the computer goes.

Have I lost you yet? And we're thinking about removing the huge mirrored closet doors, replacing with curtains, and making that space-- which has shelves and drawers and stuff inside-- easier to access.

Oh yeah, we've got ideas!

Today, it's been about purging. Really getting rid of stuff. Trying to be ruthless. Great volumes of clothes and books are piling up (to remove), and tons of recycling has gone out. Even some furniture.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year's Resolutions?

Here's one of the first finds of the office cleaning event.
I'm sure I got this postcard (a year or more ago) to send to friend Wendy, co-owner of the fabulous Albatross Pub), in Berkeley.
We really needs to cut back on the Pawnshops & Seedy Hotels.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Oh baby, it's cold outside.
Down near 20 for 2 or 3 nights running. Trying to protect plants & pipes. Wondering if some amount of freezing has caused a water softening equipment failure... We'll know more on Monday.
Meyer Lemons. What you can't tell here is how LITTLE they are!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I found this little plant irresistible, out in front of Trader Jo's the other day.
(Maybe it was the subliminal adver-tising... hmm?)

That is one big cat, no matter how you look at it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

pink, pink, pink

The top two roses are blooming in the old cemetary at the top of the hill; the third is a camellia in our yard.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


The first flowering quince of spring (?!) has been spotted. They're always early.

But speaking of Global Warming..
a) if you have not seen it, watch "An Inconvenient Truth". I think this should be mandatory viewing for students, maybe starting at junior high age.
b) check out the changes to the 'hardiness zones' map at the National Arbor Day Foundation. Hardiness zones are to tell you what plants can grow where, based on how cold it gets and for how long. If you go to this page, and click play, you can watch the warmth creep northward in the temperature changes from 1990 to 2006. For my family in Wisconsin, this may mean you're no longer in zone 3, but possibly 4 or even 5!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

gardener's resolutions

If I have one New Year's resolution that pertains to the garden, it would have to be this: in 2007 I will not spend as much time working in the garden. Which may seem strange, considering I love working in my garden, but it's like this. As an artist, I'm self-employed. I choose my own hours; I have to be self-motivated, self disciplined. I have been gardening when I should be at work. A lot. (to visit my art blog, click here.)

Let's face it, gardening is easier than painting. And you feel... productive. The plants tell you what needs to be done. Or if they don't, there's GardenWeb. Gardening is MUCH easier than MARKETING your artwork. Gardening is easier, and more fun than, say, doing your taxes. organizing the office. cleaning the garage. Any number of things that desparately NEED to be done around here.
You can garden all day, every day, and never run out of things to do. I've sometimes found myself imagining what I would do if I had more land (we have 1/5 of an acre), but quickly remind myself it's probably a very good thing I don't.

I'll still spend PLENTY of time in the garden, and it will look great. It'll still provide us with immense pleasure. I'm just planning to spend at least as much time working on the other side of those french doors, in the studio, as I do in the garden.

Still, today was beautiful-- t-shirt weather, sunny and warm. And January 1st is the traditional first day of rose pruning season in Northern California. The days are short, so what if I just prune til dark?

Go to older posts