Thursday, December 16, 2010


"In short, we cannot grow, we cannot achieve authentic discovery and our eyes cannot be cleansed to the truly beautiful possibilities of life, if we simply live a neutral existence."  Armstrong Williams.

Photo: the Old Coast Road, Big Sur, CA

Photo and quote from my book.

There's been a vast improvement on the health front over the last week. Phew! Thanks so much for the posts here on my blog and private emails. It means a lot to me.

If you need a quick pouch of bag for a gift you might try making a drawstring bag. I found this tutorial to be one of the best I've seen. For some reason, maybe my brain cells still aren't connecting, I couldn't figure out how to create a quick drawstring bag. Stacy has a beautiful wood checker board but the checkers have walked out of the house. I found a nice set of wood ones on Amazon but they need a container.
New Followers to my blog:

Monday, December 06, 2010


Photo and quote from my book about possibilities: "Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."  Gloria Steinem

You might have thought that I've been writing the 50,000 word novel that I started on 11/1 for the contest, but that didn't go as planned. On 11/7 I came down with a virus that forced me to my knees. Stacy also had the virus and happily and shockingly enough she got over it. (her immune system is suppressed by anti-rejection meds she takes for the kidney transplant.) I kept going downhill to the point that I couldn't get out of bed and when one has two people to take care of that isn't a good thing. I was able to finally get help from Senior Helpers for mom and Stacy; at least they were fed and the laundry was done. After being ill for 1.5 weeks my jewel of a neighbor insisted that I go to Urgent Care where after a few hours the lab tests showed that I was too ill for their help. Being transported to the ER by ambulance brought on hysterics. I was all alone. At midnight I was told that I was critically ill with potassium levels so low that I needed to be monitored for arrhythmia, plus my blood count was so low enough that I was ordered to not get out of bed, I might faint. Lovely. My system was completely out of whack. After answering a million questions at 2am it was determined that my mental state had probably contributed more to the crisis than the flu had. Exhaustion.
      I had to arrange for 24-hour care for mom and Stacy and all I can say is that I didn't get one bit of rest in the hospital during the days I spent there. Running the household from a hospital bed was an experience I hope to never repeat. It's been a few weeks now since the crisis and I'm starting to get my bearings, very slowly, but my brain cells still aren't connecting which isn't conducive to getting much done. My take on that is that I'm supposed to rest and heal not only my body but my emotional state. To that end I haven't made plans to do anything outside of keeping doctor appointments.
     I have no idea what direction my life will now take, but I needed to stop everything I was doing in order to make room for new possibilities. Obviously, hitting a cement wall of health issues has me questioning everything in my life.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


 Woke up in a funk for some reason. I kept hearing the phrase, "Get happy any way you can." What makes me happy is to play with photos. It worked!

What makes you happy? I'd love to hear.
This is a vintage image that I've used a few time. (more available on my etsy.) The background on the top one is one of my paintings. The bottom version is manipulated from tree bark. I'm sure that you guessed that.

You might  have noticed the logo on the right for NaNoWriMo? A good friend, Pam, and I are taking the challenge together, it's good to have an encouraging buddy! The goal is to write 50,000 in 30 days. The idea is to write a rough draft of a novel without editing it. The daily goal is 1,667 words a day. The first day was easy. The second day wasn't as easy due to a long-drawn out doctor appointment; I didn't leave the office in very good mood. I would have taken the day off, but this early in the challenge I didn't dare. Yesterday was endless, but I managed to write more than 1667 words. Day 4, I haven't started yet. I probably should start . .. oops! the earth just shook. I prefer small earthquakes but could have done with this tiny one. I'm sure that the news tonight will be full of predictions, once again, about the big that is believed to happen soon. Oh, and the weather will be a major topic as well; record breaking heat this week.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Stacy at 43!

Every year on November 1st I remember what the "specialists" told us when Stacy was eight months old. "There is too much damage, we don't think she'll be here to celebrate her first birthday." HA! Stacy has proven that even specialists don't have the answers.

Our first stop today was at the lab for blood tests, Stacy has an appointment at Loma Linda on the 8th. The second stop was in Rancho Mirage at the River Shopping Center where we ate outdoors at Acqua Pazza, a Bistro we'd never been to before. Their breakfast menu is huge; Stacy finally settled on blueberry waffles. Yum!! The view from our table was marvelous, the temp in the low 80's and the sky is so clear today that mountains are all in view. Sometimes the sky is hazy from humidity or dust after a windstorm so the mountains aren't as visible. Stacy glowed and was so thrilled to be outdoors. What was I saying a couple of weeks ago about Fashion Island in Newport Beach being spectacular? The River is about 1/4 of the size of Fashion Island and is mostly restaurants but it's pretty spectacular too. And yes, that's Stacy walking away from Acqua Pazza in route to Borders. I nearly missed getting her reflection in the window on the left. Happy Birthday my darling girl!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


 Two months until the end of the year and I've already chosen my word for 2011. Possibilities. 2010 was the year of Courageous, a word that I often wished I hadn't chosen, but has proven to help me through some difficult times. Helen Reddy's 1970's anthem, "I am woman, hear me roar," often comes to mind when I'm feeling less than courageous.  I have traveled alone three times including San Francisco, treated myself to dinner in restaurants, become friends with a neighbor, started to conquer my fear of going to the dentist, and numerous other things that I'm proud of. Courageous was a good word.

But, there are too many days when the world seems to be out to defeat me. Enter possibilities. We always have them if we choose to remember that they are endless

For a long time I've wanted to create a book of some of my photographs but it wasn't until I started collecting quotes about possibilities that the two came together. I'm pleased with the small book that I created to celebrate my youngest daughter's birthday; she'll be 40 next month which means that both of my daughters will be in their 40's. How did that happen?

"There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we're here to explore new possibilities," by Ray Charles is one of the thirty-eight quotes in the tiny collection. These are three of the photographs in the book shot in the 1980's using slide film with an SLR Nikon camera. I have boxes of slides and until I purchased an Epson scanner that has the capability of scanning slides it seemed that the slides were merely quaint artifacts. Artifacts that aren't aging as well as Kodak guaranteed.

 Both the top and bottom photos were contrast tweaked. The center photo is PSE8 manipulated. All of them were shot on the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, and Point Lobos State Park.

The book is perfect for gifts, including yourself, and is available at Blurb, see the side bar.

Quote: We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist. Queen Victoria

Monday, October 25, 2010

Faux Ink Drawing

I love the look of ink drawings even if they're faux. Simply change the photo to black and white and pump up the contrast, then play with levels; all done in PSE. This is another version of the Back Bay.

I'm trying to get the art grove back, it's been MIA for way too long. The calender looks a bit crowded to fit enough days in to suit my needs for creativity, but then can't creativity be found in everything we do? Hm, not exactly what I had in mind. I need paint and fabric, and I need them now!

I'm attempting to clear the decks for more fabric art and in order to do that quite a few items in the etsy shop are now marked down. The clearance prices are good until 11/22. And I've added a few more vintage portraits.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


 Did you miss me? Two weeks ago I was in Redondo Beach keeping my grandsons out of trouble while their parents celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary in NYC. Last year they were in Norway when my guy had the debilitating strokes, so its been a year since that devastating event.  

After my daughter and SIL returned I had a day to myself, one without an agenda. I drove down PCH, aka Pacific Coast Highway, and stopped in the
renovated and now very upscale town of Huntington Beach. Why you might ask? We lived in Huntington Beach in the 60's. I graduated from Huntington HS, Stacy was born in HB and Corey in Newport Beach. From HB I continued south to Fashion Island and in my opinion all malls/shopping centers should look like this one, though, here in the desert it would be a ghost town all summer due to the intense temps that rarely go below 105.

 I wandered around the mall for a couple of hours and ate lunch outdoors even though it was a bit chilly, in the 70's.
 I forgot to take photos while I was on the other bay side of the mall. Oh well, these few photos gives you an idea of the architecture and landscape.
 Just below Fashion Island, to the north, is an area called Back Bay. We lived on the other side of it in Costa Mesa in the 50's. Could I be that old? Back then there weren't any houses on the cliffs. The one-way road that skirts the bay is quiet, so much so that I sat and enjoyed the peace before turning on the GPS. I had no idea how to get on the freeway from there. When I was a kid most of the freeways hadn't been built. Once I was on the 405 I was back in Redondo Beach in about 45 minutes; it took over two hours on PCH to get to Fashion Island.
 More of the Back Bay. And below is a shot that I knew was destined for PSE manipulation.

So, the tooth that caused horrendous pain over a week ago was cracked below the deep filling. I've now had two extractions in five weeks which I believe is more than enough tooth loss.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Check out this! A thermofax screen made from one of my photographs is now for sale.

I'm out of commission right now due to dental problems. I hope to blog again soon, in the meantime check out the screen and the other ones that Lynn offers. I can't wait to use it myself!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Piccola Arte

Components: background is a mono-printed discharged piece. The embellishment is a piece of re-purposed jewelry that is attached to painted fusible web. The trio of burnt orange is hand-dyed fabric. The piece is 4x6 inches. Available at etsy

     Will the brutal temperatures ever end? Even with monsoonal storms for the last few days the temps have remained over 100 degrees.

Quote: I am never wrong when it comes to my possibilities. Placido Domingo         

Monday, September 27, 2010

Black and white

I think that Blogger has gone insane! At least I was able to post a photo, but it keeps moving all over the page. Sadly I don't have the patience to deal with it, so I'll make this short. I've been scanning old negatives and slides and ran across quite a few, actually, hundreds, from the 1980's. This is one of them photographed at Point Lobos, and started playing with it in PSE8. What a learning curve fixing/tweaking photos on the computer rather than in the dark room.

Anyway, I ran across dozens of cabinet photos and will be posting them on etsy soon. But before I do if anyone has any interest in them let me know. I'll scan them later today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Interesting, I guess. I can't post photos to my blog. Does anyone know if Blogger is having problems? Looks like they're making changes again and so far they don't work . . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trifle for my birthday

Isn't this Trifle gorgeous! My jewel of a neighbor went out her way to get it for me. The local Jensen's recently closed and the next one isn't handy to get to. I had a tooth extracted on Thursday so I'm a bit under the weather and this decadent dessert will surely hit the spot! I understand from my daughter that a Kindle is in route, I'm looking forward to that. Today is the last day to leave a comment for the give-away. I'll have Stacy pull a name out of a hat tomorrow.

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time. Jean Paul Richter

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Purple

For a friend. 4x6 inch piece using the fusible web that I posted on 6/27. I've got to paint more fusible web. The organic textures that are serendipitous are grand.

There are five more days to leave a comment for the Give-away.

Quote:    The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something.
~Carl Sandburg

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Purple Passion

Memories of 9/11 have been on my mind today. Purple is said to symbolize royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony,  transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, and mourning all of which seem to fit today.

Components: black acrylic felt with painted fusible web ironed on. Two digital images printed on fabric, stuffed and sewn on. One digital image strip, on the left, sewn on. One Raku button attached to the top stuffed piece. Gold paint. Machine stitching. Clean cut edges. Fabric piece adhered to painted mat board.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Greetings and Labor Day

Greetings from La Quinta.  The rocky Santa Rosa Mountains  greet me every day. I don't have a view of them quite like this being that houses and trees have nearly obliterated what could be an awesome panorama, but I know that they're there. When we dive out of the development this is the vista we see.

I created and sent out this post card to four names I was provided with at

In case you need a history lesson about Labor Day
go here:

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Project 12 from Digital Expressions.

The "real" project is on my photo blog but I couldn't resist playing with a few of the things I learned from this jam-packed lesson. There's only two layers in this image as opposed to four on the final one.

The bottom layer is a photo from Balboa Park in San Diego. The other photo is one of me that  Roger took on our first trip to Las Vegas in 2008. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic;  he took me to see Cher for my birthday last year and this year he's in a nursing home. I'm still standing . . . .

Talk about a talented artist, this is amazing.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Give-Away and Crazy Quilt

We're not a sentimental family or one who hands down heirlooms, but when I found mom sitting on this quilt this morning I nearly lost it! It's been folded and stored in a dresser drawer for the last four years until this morning when mom discovered it and put it on her bed. The quilt was made by mom's grandmother and passed on to mom by my grandmother. And of course it goes to me followed by Stacy.

I only remember about 3 places where the fabric has frayed and now there about a dozen. The quilt is very fragile and I have no idea how to restore it, though, I have a feeling that handing it down stops with Stacy and me. So, perhaps I should figure out a way to hang it in Stacy's bedroom. She loves it! And maybe it's time to enjoy it before it falls apart.            


What I'm thinking is that anyone who leaves me a comment about what I might do with this gorgeous quilt or which section is your favorite will be in the running for the give-away to celebrate my birthday. The deadline is Sept. 18th. I do have a favorite area on the quilt and happily it's still intact.


This was timely for today. It's about the Alzheimer's Memory Quilt show. I asked mom why she had put the quilt on her bed and she told me that it's always been on her bed. It's never been used on a bed. Mom did have it draped over a round table for a few years and that could be when some of the damage occurred. Though, as old as this quilt is I  imagine that just time has taken a toll on it. I love the decayed and frayed areas, but if those areas can be stopped from further aging that would be ideal. Anyway, go to the link and hit "listen." I defy you not be moved! More puzzle pieces of mom's brain have disappeared and now she has no memory of where this beautiful quilt came from.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Project #11

"Digital Expressions" project #11

About 4 years ago when I was cleaning out 23 years of stuff before the move to the desert a neighbor tossed some things onto the growing pile in the front yard. Fortunately, before the guys from a group home arrived to haul everything off to the dump I saw a crate and photographed it. So, the words are from the wood tobacco crate and the skulls are also from my personal photo archives. The crate photo was inverted which changed the brown of the crate to blue, then an image of a skull was duplicated and layered onto the background of the crate; the backgrounds were erased. There is also another layer of a rock wall. I had such a great time with this project that I did it twice, the other digital image is on my photo blog.  Maybe this piece is a commentary about tobacco? If it is it's unplanned.

Need a hug? go here:

Quote: Don't look outside of yourself for a leader. Hopi Elders after the 9/11/01 terror attacks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I don't have any new work to share so here's a photo of the furkids who will be 11 in Oct. Yep, they're hefty. They're brother, the protector on the left, and sister and go by the names of Spencer and MizRiley.

Mom chose the Give-away this time and it goes to the person who made the last comment. Val! I'll get something off to ASAP. My birthday is next month so I might have another Give-Away. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Give-away and Cirque du Soleil

Out of commission due to an infection. Grr! But I still wanted to work on something and I find that when the energy is lacking it's the perfect time to get out something old that might be ready for tweaking. I made a few changes to this Cirque Du Soleil piece and was immediately in memory-land experiencing the few Cirque performances I was privileged to see. Memories!

There's still time to leave a comment for the Give-away. See the post from a couple of days ago. Thanks in advance for your comment.

Get Happy here

And enjoy your weekend!
“Always remember to slow down in life; live, breathe, and learn; take a look around you whenever you have time and never forget everything and every person that has the least place within your heart.”

Monday, August 16, 2010

Photo tricks

There is something intriguing about aged things and even though I don't use a lot of vintage items in my work I'm drawn to them. I posted the original of this photo of my photo blog and when I discovered a site that generates vintage photos from originals, well, I had to try it out. Where did I find the link? At Photojojo where you'll find more fun things to try. Instant gratification!

And yes, even if you've received a give-away from me before you're more than welcome to leave a comment on the last post for another try.
And what is the mystery photo posted two posts back? It's the top of an eggplant.

Thought for Today
"For me, it's the only goal worth aiming for: a transformation of consciousness that allows me to know that I am no better or worse than any other being. That I simply am." Oprah

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This is the latest 4x6 inch piece listed and it's time for another give-away. This time it's for one 4x6 inch fabric art piece. All you need to do is let me know what you'd like to see on any 4x6 inch piece such as: a  photo of? canceled stamps or not, a particular motif like a leaf,  abstract designs using fabric, or something I haven't mentioned. And do you like quotes on art pieces? Deadline for leaving a comment is my mother's 84Th birthday on August 24Th.

                         Quote: Eat for health. Play for fun. Work for joy. Love for life. Sally Huss

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nuggets of Joy

Nuggets of Joy have evaded me lately. grrrr! But today they seem to be plentiful and perhaps are making up for the last week or so? I've watched this video numerous times after seeing a post on Face-book and today it popped into my radar again. There is something very poignant and uplifting about Tanya Davis and her approach to being alone. Kudos to Bravo fro producing the video and to Andrea Dorfman who filmed it. It's shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Enjoy!

When I finally climbed out of bed at 10:30 this morning I as greeted by 9 cactus blooms and yes I know I've shared photos of them before. But if there is infatuation shouldn't that be shared? By the time I wandered outside the heat had taken its toll on the blooms and they were beginning to lose their joy and fall off of the plants. Hm, they might make great still-life images. I envision hours of playing with PSE using the dozen or so images that shot. More images are on the photo blog.
 Any guesses about what the top photo is of?

Quote: Learn to expect, not to doubt. In doing so you bring everything
 into the realm of possibility. Norman Vincent Peale.

The free counter on the right side of this blog hit 16660 today. Wonder who will be #16666.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Piccola Arte

While the 4x6 inch size is mostly known as the postcard size I'm introducing another way of looking at the small size; Piccola Arte, Italian for small art, or to my way of  thinking, compact art.

The copper patina heart shouted rustic at me so I complied. The red flannel background was discharged; the surprise during the discharging process is what color will present itself. Gold! Red and Gold with turquoise play well together.  This piece that I've grown fond of  is now listed on etsy

Mother Nature, or is it the individual nature of a tree, has dumped leaves on the ground in a way that looks more like the fall season than the middle of summer. At first I feared that the Bottle Tree was succumbing to the months of over 100 temps, but it seems that the dumping of leaves was due to new growth, phew! More photos on my G-photos blog

I didn't want to announce the names of those who were picked out a hat by Stacy until they had received the give-aways for my blog anniversary. So, Seth, Penny, and Doreen were chosen. I'm considering another give-away for my birthday on Sept. 18.

Quote: At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self.
Brendan Francis                  

Friday, July 30, 2010


Recently I returned to working with acrylic paints rather than figuring out ways to finish some fabric pieces. I seem to box myself in and wonder if I should plan how to hang a piece before I begin creating it. But  that would curtail the spontaneity that I depend on. The size of these three pieces are 5x7 inches.

They're more brown black, and ivory white than black and white and nearly impossible to color correct for posting.

The substrate is 4-ply mat board that was heavily textured before washes of paint were done. The first two work well as a diptych.   (pay it forward 4x6 size prints available on etsy.)

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only
 waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.
Rainer Rilke             

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gull with two beaks?

When I matched up the eyes of two seagull photos this emerged.  I was working on Project #10 in the Digital Expressions book by Susan Tuttle. The first one I created can be seen on my photo blog. The piers are in the San Francisco bay and if I hadn't taken the early morning walk I would have missed photographing them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

San Francisco Morning

A week ago today I was in San Francisco enjoying the cool morning air and marveling that the expected fog was hanging over the Golden Gate Bridge rather than enshrouding the city. I'm not an early riser but I knew that if I didn't get up early and venture out to photograph I'd end up checking out of the Radisson and not be able to find decent parking. The trees sparkled in the early morning light and while others were busy looking down in their rush to get to work I was looking up.

I walked for about seven miles which is six miles past my limit and I felt the burn from the climb up and down hills for days afterward. But the glory of standing on Lombard Street looking down the steep incline I had slowly walked up remains with me. From Lombard I walked straight down to the bay where I joined the march around the bay; bikers, joggers, and strollers like me all seemed to have eyes on the bay as we bumped into each other. (more photos on my other blog)

Rather than share a inspiring quote by Sally Huss I'll direct you here, scroll down and enjoy!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Manipulated Photos

Back in the dark ages, the 80's, when I had a darkroom, it could hours or often days to manipulate a photograph. This one is a window with torn curtains with a second image of clouds over it.

In order to get the blue effect split developing was called for. My notes on the back say, Selenium and blue, and I have no idea how it was done beyond that other than it took hours and hours to get a few prints. Fast forward to 2010 and in a short time one can manipulate images without breathing in nasty chemicals. Project #4 in Susan Tuttle's book, "Digital Expressions" is marvelous and in just three hours I had four new images from my photo collection.

Quote: To have peace and confidence within our souls--these are the beliefs that make for happiness. Maurice Maeterlinck

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy July 4th!

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck