Sunday, January 16, 2022


When the gym doesn't happen,
there is the rez.
A mile and 3/4 and 3800 steps.

Friday, January 14, 2022


Back in the day,
student and cheerleader Aileen Palmiter,
Whitney High School (I'm guessing 1992ish) maybe Freshman or Sophomore year?
I never had Aileen in an art class when I was teaching there
 but I knew who this cutie was.

Fast forward to 2022,
Aileen Palmiter Perry,
Whitney High Alumni 1994 and current A.P. Biology Teacher there.

Aileen has become a dear buddy of mine
 when she started my retirement Fiber Arts class every Tues. nite at my little Home/Studio.
She is such a fast learner and her favorite fiber and technique is yarn and knitting.
So we are coming up on almost 2 years together now 
with her sister Suzi dropping in every now and then,
along with the occassional neighbor and ex-art students.

Aileen is addicted to knitting and carries her bag everywhere she goes including inside her classroom.
One of her A.P. students, 
Madison Plotkin,
tattled to me the other day that while the kids are taking a test,
Aileen sometimes brings out her current project to knit while she waits for them to finish up.
I love that! 
And the kids enjoy seeing a whole other side of Aileen besides all things science,
as well as what her latest knits are.
She is currently working on two new projects,
a colorwork yoke cardigan and her first pair of socks.

Note the scarf Aileen wears so beautifully around her neck.
That was her Xmas present this year from me.
The pattern is by Andrea Mowry called Free Your Fade, 
and I used 3 different colorways of Malabrigo Arroyo.
It's a yummy superwash DK, Sport Merino yarn that has a lovely drape 
and feels so good against the skin.

Thank goodness for Aileen and her sis,
they have helped ease me into my retirement.

Happy Birthday Aileen!!
And may we celebrate many more together.
Love you xoxox

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


My grands,
Granger and Tatter Tot

Sunday, January 9, 2022


dyed wool roving or yarns, old nylons, hot soapy water, felting needles, 
felting pads

Saturday, January 8, 2022


My newest grand.
She's a rescue my daughter found from our local pet place
and was mistreated at her first home.
She's very shy and scared,
 mostly living under my daughter's bed.
Recently she has started venturing out and about
being mothered by sweet Tatum and bossed around by meany Granger.
She's let me hold her only a couple of times,
 very briefly,
quickly scampering under the bed when she's had enough.
And after several months they've all become a family.

She is such a gentle creature and I've fallen in love,
It's truly amazing how much love the heart an hold.

Thursday, January 6, 2022


So yeah,
my son and his wife as we susspected tested positive
but are on the mend.
Felt just like a regular cold/cough/sore throat, chills. 
My daughter is sick again with something new,
super mild this time and different then a couple weeks ago.
but no test for her yet.
My husband and I think we may have had the new varient when it first got here,
but were never tested and never left the house till we were better.
And because tests are so scarce here we don't want to use any up.
But boy, oh boy,
a lot of people are sick right now in our home town.
Wishing all of you a speedy recovery if it gets you.


wood base (Michaels), broken up glass and dish shards, tacky or white glue,
grout elf or old retired piece of credit card, acrylic paint and grout

by a middle school teacher aross the country,
 if grouting the mosaic frames is too messy for 7th and 8th graders.
 I'm going to direct her to these pictures of my seniors (12th graders),
from 2018-19.
Chris Campos and Gabby grouting theirs.
I definitely wouldn't do this with an entire class of 7th graders.
I have found them to not remember multipule instructions 
for a task this tedious and messy.
And I hate to say this but I've found it to be true too many times,
but especailly for the little boys.
I have had 8th graders in my classes,
a handful mixed with the older kids.
 If I'm not paying attention,
the elder ones will catch something right away and help out the youngsters.
The biggest problem with this assignment 
is that none of the powdered or wet grout can go down the sink.
It all has to be brushed or thrown into the trash can.
You can't even clean your mixing cup or grout elf in the sink. 
 All has to be cleaned with a wet paper towel.
Cuz if you don't it turns into hard cement in the drain pipe
and requires a major pipe refitting.
Has that ever happened in my classes you wonder?
You betcha,
but only one time!
Never more.
Ha ha

I love this picture of Gabby above.
At the time we had to tell her she had black grout smeared all over her face.  
She didn't even realize it.
We were cracking up.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022


So it's only taken me 2 1/2 years to get here,
but I think I might be back
 to finishing up the hundreds of pictures 
that I still have left to post from my last 2 years of teaching,
2017-2018 & 2018-2019.

I know I've snuck in a few here and there (not many though),
but mostly I had some kind of mental block about doing it.
Maybe I couldn't admit it was finally over,
the job of a lifetime.
Or maybe I was just too bitter and disappointed 
 about how it all ended and went down to pick my new replacement.
Crushed actually.
My program of 39 years that I built up,
the supplies I accumulated with virtually no District support,
 only pennies a year for each student.
 I could go on forever here (still not over it yet I guess, LOL).
That all went down the tubes because of inner school politics;
neopotism, favoritism and fear of the Administration.
The result is that I never existed there,
nothing left behind of me.
Plus I'm not welcome back by Admin which is the hardest pill to swallow.

The hurt is so very deep. 

 But this past week I feel a new energy,
some healing has taken place I believe,
and I have been posting nearly every night for the next day.
And it feels GREAT!

I'll be skipping around a lot between those last 2 years
 because I'm not as organized as I once was,
and also I might be forgetting a few names.
 But I'll try my best.

7th Grade Soap Scrubs
2nd Quarter 2018-2019
bar soap, dyed wool roving in multiple colors, wool yarns,
old nylons and plenty of hot water.

The last names cannot be found 
but I haven't given up yet!
Asmita and Jayden B.
I picked these 2 because I felt they really stood out visually in color and design from the others. 
And this one above by Cristine because I felt it was breathtaking.
I saw a mountainous area with clouds gathering 
and a waterfall sweeping over the landscape.
What is also remarkable about this one is that during the felting process 
a big chunk of the wool started falling away 
and Christine had to sew it back in place after it was dry.
I love how she was able to save it!

These next 4 were very pleasing crowd favorites 
with all the lovely combos. of  blues and greens.
From top to bottom were Sharanya, Hanna, Ayana and Alexander.

And of course the absolute favorite of the group 
was this one by Ellie Ta.
In her before and after,
 you can see how much the felt shrinks and moves from the oringinal design.
It's super hard to control once you hit it with hot warm and happy hands.
These were all done in a technique called wet felting.

Monday, January 3, 2022


I'd mentioned in a post from a couple days ago 
that my son usually takes a week off work after Xmas.
He stays in town with us,
 and he and I go find cool stuff to do.
We both adore plants and the beach so it usually involves the two.

 I came across these pictures from Xmas 2019,
right before Covid hit and am finally sharing them.
Hope you are a succulent fan like we are.

This is the Succulent Cafe where my daughter first turned me onto in 2018.
It's a ways down south from us towards San Diego along the coast
in a quaint little beach town called Carlsbad.
I adore their clever displays, 
especially the one above with the cuppe ens.
(guessing on the spelling of my mother's Italian word for a soup ladle)
But I couldn't decide which display I liked better,
like the one below with the oil funnels.
 A close-up.
Don't you love how the tail of the funnels cross over each other
 as well as the rusty areas?
Great design!

Zach's two favorites involved driftwood pieces above ,
and this hallowed out piece that I think was made from concrete below.

On the way home we took the sceneic coast road up thru all the beach cities
and stopped in Solana Beach at Zach's favorite nursery,
Solana Succulents.
We are always able to find great deals here.

I just had to put in this picture of Zach from 2009,
the first time Zach and I found Solana Succulents.
He was such a youngster then.
So glad he doesn't keep up with my blog,
he's be so mad at me for posting this old pix.
Ha ha ha

Sunday, January 2, 2022


With several days of rain in the past couple of weeks, 
our Anaheim Hills Reservoir is full again 
after being at record lows for several years.
Even though you can't see them, 
there were hundreds of people strolling it's mile and a half paved trail,
with our majestic snowcapped San Gabriel Mountains in the backdrop. 
It was cold and blustery,
in the high  50's which is cool for us in the Southland,
and a perfect day for for getting out of the house for some exercise.
Note most of the treeline is under water.
I haven't seen that in years if ever!
Oh the lucky homeowners who live round the top of the reservoir 
for the sunset they must have seen tonight.

Saturday, January 1, 2022


has finally reached us.
My husband and I maybe (we weren't tested) 4 weeks ago, 
my daughter 2 weeks ago (not tested),
 and now my son and his wife this week (testing today).
We are pretty sure it's the newest variant,
which seems to be super contagious mask/vaccine or not.
Luckily it feels just like the common cold/flu.
Tests are sold out in our neck of the woods,
but somehow my daughter-in-law was able to find one.
So we will know soon.

My son (33) and daughter (27),
a picture of health this Thanksgiving before Covid/flu? struck.
Zach always takes or gets the week off after Xmas 
and spends a couple of those days hanging out with us.
It's a time I treasure every year.
Sadly this year,
we had to cancel because of sickness.

Friday, December 31, 2021


my students and my classroom.
Here are a bunch of adorable 8th graders working away on their 
Sun Motif Portfolios.
I believe this was from the school year 2017-2018.
I'm guessing these sweet little ones are seniors this year 
and will be graduating in June.
the time goes by so very quickly.
I wonder if I'd recognize them anymore?

Thursday, December 30, 2021


a favorite gift,
a black and white shot of our cabin,
 from my son and his wife.
We haven't been up lately but we hear from our neighbor it is covered in snow.
I think we are offically out of our drought.
It's been raining a lot this season already.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


everyone health, happiness, love, joy and peace.


Tree in memory of my mother,
 with many of her favorite ornaments she made and loved.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Our first winter's snow up at the cabin.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021


to all my ex-students who continue to check on me, 
visit me
 and be in my life.
Because of technology it makes it so easy to keep in touch.
I'm so thankful for that.

Here is Alumni Nicholas Tudor,
 who I believe graduated in 2013ish, 
who came to visit with his his lovely girlfriend.
Nick had taken Ceramics I & II with me 
and hadn't thrown on the potters wheel since he graduated.
He was curious if he remembered how to do it.
Learning to throw a pot is an incredibly difficult global skill to learn,
thus it's the same as riding a bike.
Once you learn,
 your muscles remember the steps and feeling.
So as you can see Nick took to it like a duck to water as they say.
Just look at that smile on his face.
Doesn't get any better!

Here I am with art alum as well as Art Instructor,
 Jordan Joyce.
I believe he graduated Whitney in 2011 0r 2012.
He went on to study art at Cal State Long Beach with famed Fiber Artist
Carol Shaw-Sutton.
I ran into Jordan at the retirement party of our beloved Drama Teacher,
Jodi Improta.
He participated in several of Jodi's productions
and he is the grandson of one of our favorite retired teachers and administrators,
Gary McHatton 
It was wonderful to catch up with him.
I was so hoping he would be the one to take over for me when I retired.
He really wanted to come back to Whitney to teach
 since her practically grew up there,
hanging out as a youngster with his Grandpa.
But it was not to be,
our Principal had other ideas.
 Jordan was hired to teach art at a High School in Azusa, Ca.
which is a town right below the San Gabriel Mountains (near Pasadena)
So I'm thrilled for him and he's on his way. 
I've known Jordan since he was in Elementary School,
 and taught him art from 7th grade until he graduated Whitney,
6 years.

Happy Thanksgiving and much love to my thousands of art students around the whirled.
You will always be in my heart.

Monday, November 22, 2021


for these two goofballs,
Granger and Tatum.
They give me unconditional love and oodles of licks.
I've never known two dogs that have their capacity for companionship and joy.
My babies,
my grand dogs.
I feel my heart swell with so much love every time I see them.
I'm guessing it's the kind of love your feel for your own grandchildren.
I'm still patiently waiting.
Hint, hint!!!!


Especially for this little guy,
known now as Ant,
 who just recently turned 3.
What a doll he is!

Saturday, November 6, 2021


Every so often I like to do an update on some of my all-time favorite students.
Recently I had a request from Liz to do another.
So let me introduce you to Whitney High School 2007 Alumni Grace Kim.
 Grace's art work was never featured on my blog since she graduated before I built the blog in 2009.
But I want you to know her as I do,
a remarkable young woman back then and now.
She took both my Beginning and Intermediate Crafts Classes and excelled in both,
with many of her pieces being displayed at our annual Open House.
And before my blogging days,
 I took several photo/slides of her work and taught with those for years.
In High School,
 Grace crushed so many arenas;
Academics, Languages (she speaks at least 3 that I know of), and Athletics.
She was one of our strongest competitors in Cross Country and Track and Field.
After Grace graduated I really missed her vivacious energy and laughter.
We had grown close and formed a bond after teaching her throughout her 6 years at Whitney.
And what made her even more special to me was that from 2007 to now,
she has shown up on my radar about every 2 years.
When I was still teaching she would run from her home in Cerritos to the school, 
and surprise visit me.
She'd be in a complete sweat but I didn't care because just to be able to hug her
 and be around her has always brought me great joy.
Grace went to college and did her Major in International Business 
with a concentration in Spanish Language Communications,
and now works for a Public Accounting Firm.
She has also met the love of her life, 
 and I've never seen her so happy and content.
Recently she caught up with me again and brought Soul to my Tues. Nite art class
so I could be introduced.
The both of them are like two peas in a pod,
perfect together.
They told me they love to travel, go car camping and explore the U.S.

Soul works for an Aerospace firm,
 but like Grace has a favorite creative outlet,
 sculpting in wood.
Grace has gotten herself back into knitting
and takes it everywhere she goes.
She just finished the pair of socks above.
And she really thrives on reading difficult knit patterns and figuring them out.
Isn't she just a doll???
Dang I love you Grace!

Before I wrote this post I asked Grace if it was ok,
and she said yes,
but that I had to tell you all that my classes were her favorites in High School.
Ha ha!
That makes me so happy Grace,
thank you for that.

She also wants everyone to know that knitting has reminded her 
how important it is to create with your hands!!