Monday, December 31, 2007

i'm not blue

So it looks like 2007 is coming to a close...We'll be raising a glass to the new year...or maybe it will just slip into our lives while we sleep and we'll wake up to find we are in 2008.

Pantone made the announcement that the color of 2008 was 'blue'. Out with green, out with with iris or cerulean blue...yeah I like blue... According to the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspects of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic.” I like's's soul-searching...we could all use more of that in 2008...

Let me tie up some loose ends before I bid you so long, farewell in 2007...I hate leaving things unfinished and unanswered and I get behind on your questions sometimes.

Pattisl: Yes...that's Dakota (my sister Veronica's son), Becca and Jesse (my kids) and Devon (my neice).

Anonymous: I don't think Veronica has ever worn any of my pieces in a movie...though they did use some pictures I had taken of her when she was younger in a "Cold Case" I think it was.

Karen: Thanks for the post on your blog...and to all who add my blog to their blog...much appreciated.

Flassie Fil's: Pintoid Camera? Multitoid? Spytoids? That is so darn cool...there is so much to learn...and only 24 hours in the day.

Frank: Glad you enjoyed all the customs and traditions. They were a mish mash of things I had gathered here and there so feel free to print them out and spread them around.
Thanks also to all you blogges for writing the traditions you have that make your season special.

Connie: About the Rose Parade...I did it many times...froze my tush off many times on that parade route...I did it one year in my spacesuit with Bill Mumy...Here I am ready to start the parade with
Tab Hunter...Anyone remember him? Gotta love the gloves and mini cape...

Will see you on the flip side of the year...I'm signing off for this year 2007...thank you everyone for your comments and kind words...for flagging down my blog for a read every now and then...and for indulging my whims.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

these are a few of my favorite things...

Isn't she darling...the Diana...a Holga camera that is so colorful, creative and cute. I have wanted one to shoot with for a while now...I just need to load her up and go...I can't wait to see what she produces with my eye behind her...
This happy trio has been begging to hold my tea for awhile now. The family was so good to me... I smile every time I glance upon this cheerful trio... Mackenzie Childs has intrigued me for years and I have collected their pieces one at a time... and here I got three all at once! Gotta love those checks....

This felt purse was a gift from my sister Veronica. She found it at her sons school boutique. All felted and cozy and nifty. I dig it.
Nothing like a gift from the heart...Sarah gave me this commissioned piece (I'm sure it was commissioned cause that's Sarah and me!) ...this artful creation was made by the talented Jennifer Gordon . Love it!

...and so this week of holiday vacation continues. My garden is all dormant from these freezing LA nights (well freezing for us anyway...), there is a pile on my desk several feet high that needs attacking, there is glitter Everywhere...all sparkly and magical...I think I might leave much to do before the bells chime at midnight on December 31st...
But till then...I think I'll go watch another movie and eat some cookies...thanks to Mark, Madelyn and Paul and Steve. You guys really know how to keep the waistline trim.
Tomorrow is another I be it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


parties and friends...presents and laughter and family...

pj's and movies...

gearing up for a new year...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

christmas morning....

I will honor Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
Charles Dickens - The Christmas Carol

May your day be merry and bright!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

and then there was light...

Those aussies know how to celebrate....
Pause my Holiday music to the right before beginning this outrageous display...then turn up the volume and see how they enjoy down under...
Thanks David...

Friday, December 21, 2007

traditions - part 3

In Britain, the Christmas tree was introduced in the time of the personal union with Hanover, Germany. but the custom did not spread much beyond the royal family. Queen Victoria as a child was familiar with the custom. In her journal for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, "After dinner...we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room...There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees...". After her marriage to her German cousin, Prince Albert, the custom became even more widespread.

Because of my English heritage, it just wouldn't be Christmas without putting up a real tree and decorating it in the old fashioned style with colorful decorations and white lights. Some of the decorations I have had for over 40 years and I love unwrapping them once a year. Here is our tree this year...before the tinsel is on it. Tinsel reminds me so much of my childhood Christmas'.

Putting a lump of coal in the stockings of naughty children comes from the Italian tradition of La Befana, in which Carbone Dolce, a rock candy that looks like coal, is often used as a joke…

Joel Roberts Poinsett imported the poinsettia from Mexico in 1925 while he was the country’s US ambassador. Because it blooms only in December this flower of purity quickly became associated with Christmas. In New Zealand, Pohutukawa trees are described as 'natural Christmas trees', as they bloom at Christmas time, and they look like Christmas trees with their red flowers and green foliage.

The Anglo-Saxons associated the powers of the mistletoe with the legend of Freya, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. According to the legend, a man had to kiss any young girl who accidentally wandered under a sprig of mistletoe. Before he could plant his kiss, the man picked a berry from the sprig. When the last berry was gone, the kissing was over.

In 1843, Sir Henry Cole wanted to see if civilians could make use of the new UK public post office. His idea was the Christmas card. He designed the first card with artist John Horsley and sold copies for 1 shilling each.

In 1923, Calvin Collidge ceremoniously lit a 48 foot Balsam Fir from Vermont, his home state, in the Ellipse outside the White House. In recent years, the president of the United States has lit the National Christmas Tree in an annual televised event during the month-long festivities known as the Pageant of Peace.

Fruitcake reigned supreme in the age of Queen Victoria, and it was a staple of Victorian tea.

Stir-up Sunday is a centuries old slang term for the day that English households start preparing their ‘Christmas puddings.’ Or you can just buy one at the English shop…they taste pretty much the same once they are drowned in brandy and lit on fire while singing "bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer. "

Italian families’ traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with a meal of seven different kinds of fish. The reason for the number seven is hotly debated. Depending on who you ask, it could be the number of sacraments, wonders of the world, deadly sins, hills of Rome, days Joseph and Mary traveled, or a host of other explanations. Whatever the reason…that is a lot of fish.

French Buche de Noel is commonly known as the Yule log. That’s a sponge cake that’s been covered in frosting or some other filling and rolled into a log-like cylinder.

Stripes on candy canes began appearing in the early 20th century. Originally they were just straight white sticks.

Glogg is the Scandinavian version of mulled wine. Gluhwein translates from German as 'glowing wine'. The apple cider from Trader Joes is pretty yummy when heated with cinnamon sticks and orange slices swimming in it. Or add some alcohol for that glowing factor.

Advocaat, a Dutch/Tyrolean liqueur is found in several popular winter drinks including the traditional egg nog.

British tradition claims that eating this during the twelve days of Christmas will bring happiness through-out the next year. While the traditional mincemeat recipe calls for meat and suet, many commercial versions are vegetarian. While this may be an acquired taste…my Christmas would not be the same without a slice of mincemeat pie or tart with Birds custard poured over it.

While traditions may vary near and far...incorporating them into your celebrations makes for special memories that children take with them through their adulthood. I think they also contribute to peace and harmony which is what the holidays should be all about. I love the comments readers of my blog have written with some of their holiday traditions. Thanks for helps to keep the spirit bright!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

holiday traditions...part deux

Here's some Holiday traditions that you just might want to start in your own home...

Germany: The Christmas Pickle
The last ornament that is put on the tree is a glass pickle, which is hidden in the branches. On Christmas morning, the first child who finds the pickle ornament receives an extra present.

Lithuania: Sing For Your Supper In order to receive their gifts, children must perform a song or dance.

United Kingdom? Crackers Crackers are short cardboard tubes wrapped in colorful paper. They are typically set next to each plate on the Christmas dinner table. When the crackers are pulled - with a bang! - a toy or gift and a festive joke fall out! christmas celebrators with their cracker hats

Denmark: "Cut and Paste Day"
Family and friends gather together for an afternoon of cutting and pasting to create tree ornaments. Everyone brings scissors, glue, colored paper, and a variety of materials. Hearts are a favorite for they symbolize love and family warmth.

Spain: Luminarios These festive lights are made by partly filling paper bags with sand and inserting a candle in each bag. The luminarios are placed along walkways and garden walls to guide the Christ child to each home.

Poland: The Star! On Christmas night, everyone watches the sky hoping to see the first star and shout, "The star!' When the star appears, everyone exchanges good wishes and the holiday feast can begin.

Phillipines: Gift raffle. Children choose numbers hanging from the Christmas tree and then find the corresponding package under the tree to open. This is cool...especially for a large family.

Netherlands: Hide and Seek In addition to the gifts received from St. Nicholas, the children play a game of hide and seek. The children will look in the cupboards and cubbyholes of the house for special gifts and they are rarely disappointed.

Ireland: Story Time
On Christmas night, the oldest member of the family gathers everyone around and tells them stories. The Night Before Christmas is a good one to start with...

Finland: Joulusauna The Christmas sauna is a popular tradition in Finland that is over 2000 years old. They typically sit in hot steam for 15-30 minutes during the late afternoon before dinner. This probably warms up those frozen toes and bath anyone?

Italy: Panettone is a typical bread of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year around Italy. Italians bought more than 68 million pannetoni to eat or share last Christmas… This sweet bread with bits of fruit (we are not talking fruit cake) is delicious toasted and lovely with tea. yum...

Monday, December 17, 2007

merry sounds...

Pause my music by going to the Sonific box on the sidebar so you can fully enjoy this merriment...
You can start the music again while you peruse my blog by repressing the pause button. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

we interrupt this holiday for some art pub news...

I'm a member of
Art Pub Studios...a nifty group where career-minded artists gather to help promote and support each other in their professional endeavors. The name was created with this goal in mind...the name "Art" representing their common bond and the name "Pub" being synonymous with "a place where friends gather and share", as well as a shortened abbreviation of the word "PUBlished". Now Art Pub has a blog where each member is featured with their own weblogs, sharing art information, tips and ideas. It's a great place to scope out and guess what? I'm the featured Artist of check it out when you get a's a nice place to visit for inspiration and tips from serious (but friendly) artists...
I just posted an article on my Angels of the Arts drop by for a visit if you have the time...
ok now back to the holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

some traditions are worth preserving....

I have put this Santa out since it was given to me when I was about 6 years old. Somewhere along the way he lost his hat. But he is charming just the same. Out of curiosity I went to EBAY and saw several Steiff Santas there. I wonder how many years they have been making this Santa. He is indeed a jolly fellow.

The holidays are filled with traditions in this of them is all going together to pick out the Christmas tree. We got a beauty this year...can't wait to get the decorations on it. Thanks to Jesse's long arms, we were able to get this family tree shopping portrait.

Because of my English heritage, since I was a child I carried with me the European tradition of the Advent Calender. Veronica and I would trade days and open the chocolates behind each window. I loved how it counted down the days...I carried this tradition into the lives of my kids and we had an Advent Calender with small doors that opened to reveal a teeny ornament behind each day. Becca and Jesse would trade off days each morning in December.

Several years ago I created an Advent Calender with glass tags...and now I am the one counting down the days till Christmas morning... Here are the tags I made...25 of them in all...

I think it is traditions like these that keep the magic in Christmas... yes...some traditions are worth preserving....

Friday, December 07, 2007

all dolled up and christmas to go...

I had my hair cut today where this mannequin sat looking so coy and ready to party, I just had to take a picture of her.
It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas around the house. I have the garland and wreaths up and I think we'll be getting our tree next week. Then there will be more decorating to do. I've been listening to Christmas music every morning with my cup of coffee...just to get into the spirit. I love Christmas music, though the song "Christmas Shoes" is so sad...I prefer thinking of chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

On the home front....
Jesse's back from he is on the set dressed up in Bicentennial garb with Dylan
Sprouse in the new movie "The Kings of Appleton". If you don't know who the Sprouse twins are...ask a preteen....

and The Girls Next Door Season 4 the show on which Becca is a Story Producer, airs this coming Sunday, Dec. 9th on E channel, check your local listings...Being she's working right now in reality television, the strike is not affecting her...but it sure is affecting others I know.
I have a bit of a sniffly nose, thanks to this crazy weather we're having in LA. It was nice we got some rain today, but yesterday it was all hot and not at all like winter. I wish we had seasons here...though I bet all of you who are buried in snow right now are longing for our LA sunshine, so I better be careful what I wish for...

Well, there's plenty of holiday parties coming Mah Jongg, a trip to Balboa and Pirate Times to celebrate my nephews 16th birthday.... So much to little time. I better get going...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

cupcakes, champagne & jingle all the way...

It was a fun weekend, and now I am really in the spirit. Starting with an appearance at Sweetpeas and Snapshots on Saturday to sign my books... Mary at Sweetpeas & Snapshots
To the book signing at Stamp Your Heart Out on Sunday...
I had a great time at both stores...thanks to owners Mary and Joan and their terrific helpers. Both of these ladies have beautiful stores just bursting with holiday spirit and irresistible artful goodies...Thanks to all who came out and had a chat with me.
Now I have to buckle down and do some not so serious holiday decorating!

Joan at Stamp Your Art Out

Friday, November 30, 2007

the rain has stopped...come out and play!

If you're in the area, drop in and say hi to me at these groovy locations. I'll be doing book signings of "Mixed Emulsions" & "In This House"...I plan to bring some of the houses from "In This House" so you can see them up close and personal. I don't think there will be tea...but I hear they are serving champagne come on by...
December 1, 2007 - Saturday - 11:00 - 2:00

11726 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, California

December 2, 2007 - Sunday - 3:00 PM
141-C Harvard Blvd.
Claremont, California 91711

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

art play

The Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close, which means Christmas and various other winter holidays will be upon us before we know it. I have many things on my agenda to finish up before the year is through. It's also time to find those ornaments and decorations to deck the halls once again. There's something exciting about this time of year...the secret is not to let the holidays overwhelm you...I'll see if I can stick to that bit of advice as the 25th draws closer.

In the meantime I thought I would post some of my art that has appeared in some publications lately. In Somerset Gallery they printed a collaborative swap I was in, hosted by my pal Sarah Fishburn called the Funky Fold Alphabet Book. I was the letter 'M' for Music. It was a terrific swap, and I have it hanging in my studio.It says on the cover it is the Winter 08 Issue.

Click here to see the whole article

Also in this issue are some inked notecards I had given to them nearly 3 years ago. (Which goes to show, you never know if they will finally print something they have had in their possession for awhile.)

And in this brand new magazine called "Artist Cafe" they reprinted my article called "Pieced in Color" which was first published in the March/April Issue in 2005. Artist Cafe is a very cool magazine with what they consider the Best of Somerset Studios. There are some cool articles in it if you may have missed from the past. I was honored that my article was chosen to be in the premiere issue. It hits newstands December 1st 2007. Or you can order it here.
Also keep a checking back for when Pasticcio Issue 2 will be available. It won't be long now...and it's a super sized issue stuffed fatter than a holiday stocking!
It's not snowing here in LA like it is up north in Colorado...but it's cold right now. Think I'll go put some socks on...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

we are grateful...

We are grateful we're not turkeys...

My Thanksgiving greeting was created with
a little photoshop magic...
The original artwork "September Song"
appears in the month of September
in the Timeless Creations 2008 Calender.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...and remember the things you're grateful for...

I don't think of it as working for world peace, he said.
I think of it as just trying to get along in a really big strange family.
Brian Andreas

Saturday, November 17, 2007

party on...

The Lomo Exhibit opens tomorrow night at A Studio Gallery. It's our last exhibit of 2007. It's a fine display of Lomographic photography from 12 photographers. The show runs through January 6, 2008. Come on by for a look. It's a great deal...8x10 framed lomo photographs on fiber paper for $100.00! The perfect gift for that photo lover in your family this holiday season. But first, tonight, there is an exhibit at the Mainstream Gallery, where 27 photographers are showing 1 photo each of their photography. I have a piece that will be showing here, and will be at the opening.
So come on by and kick of the holiday season!