Thursday, April 30, 2015


Junior Avanthi Dev is trying to put together a Garden Club for next school year here at Whitney.
I'm so excited, 
this is so up my alley.

Avanthi wants to be a Professional Chef and grow her own herbs and vegetables.
She has been coming by to visit me after school 
and asking questions about how to start her own gardens.
So I gave her a bunch of starter succulents that she has planted and is nurturing.
She has put in the necessary paperwork to start the club so I will keep you all posted.

This blood orange marmalade above was made by Avanthi as she hones her cooking skills.
She gave me a jar the other day to try,
and it's so yummy, 
I've been putting it on my morning toast.
Thank you Avanthi,
I look forward to working with you next year in the garden.

In the meantime another bunch of students have put in a butterfly and hummingbird garden that I am thoroughly enjoying.
It's already drawing tons of birds and butterflies,
and our photography students are using the blooms on the plants as subject matter.
I'm so lucky to teach at this wonderfully creative school.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


What a beautiful evening it was.
There must have been close to 500 people who strolled thru the art room that night.
The biggest joy for me was seeing old faces from the past,
our retired band/music teacher Jan Olson, 
our current Cerritos Mayor and my ex art student Mark Pulido with his wife Gloria Perlas,
 another art alumni.
I was also really happy to see many of my colleagues stop by for a look see. 
I'm so very thankful to our staff for supporting the arts by buying the numerous student art pieces that were for sale.
Our students love when you hang their work in your classroom.
And they are especially thrilled and flattered when you take the time and money to frame it as well.
Just step into Mr. Z's science lab/classroom to see his display of our student's works.
He collects mostly figurative pieces,
 but this year he made an exception when he was just had to have senior Kaili Hamada's woven Saori piece.
Go Kaili!!!
We displayed over a thousand pieces of student art this year,
That's probably more then we ever have in the 35 years I've been teaching here.

I want to take the time to acknowledge my 2nd period boys;
Elias Rodriquez, Michael Cantu, Jovani Garcia, Nathan Chong & Jonathan Hsu for helping to hang a panel each.
And to Laarnie Barcelon, Kaili Hamada, Daphne Chiang and Bianca Tolentino for noticing that I needed more help to get all the pieces hung and stepping up to the plate to help,
and earning some extra credit to boot.
Not that they needed it, 
these are all A+ kids in their own right.
And of course to my faithful assistants,
alum Alyssa Olea & Joshua Berger for hanging the most difficult of the panels.
It was such a combined group effort to make this happen.
And then the day of Open House a very special thanks Elias, Hazel Cruz and Risha Bhakta for helping me for over an hour after school move a couple hundred works of clay 
onto the student desks for display.
Also a shout out to Laarnie, Alyssa and Reis Misaka for coming back that evening to help with sales.
I haven't forgotten the Jamba Juice gift cards I promised  :)  
It truly takes a village to bring something of this scope together.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
There is no way this could have happened without you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


dyed roving, bouncy balls, hot soapy water & elbow grease

They loved this assignment...

wrapping their bouncy balls from the grocery store with layers and layers of splayed colored rovings.

And then felting them up with the hot soapy water.
Here is senior Kaili Hamada proudly displaying her felted ball.

Once partially felted they cut a small opening and continue to work the inside to shrink, shape and stiffen it.

Then they've got to decide what to build.
Maybe hats?
Too cute!!!
Maybe not.

While they are deciding,
I show them a bit of dry needle felting for embellishment possibilities.
Above are senior Bianca Tolentino's practice pieces,
below is Kaili's practice sun motif.

And senior Daphne Chiang's fishy.
So sweet.

I also show them coil basketry with the lazy and figure eight stitches
because I'm requiring them to find a way to incorporate it into their vessels.
Above we see Daphne's prelim. coiled basketry disk.
Love how she mounted it for display.

And now onto the finished works.
Kaili was inspired by last year's  Advanced 3-D student Karisma Dev,
who built a hanging lamp.
Kaili's jelly fish light was one of the stars of the Open House Show.
Magical when it was lit.

Notice how she incorporated her coiled basketry
 and needle felt designs into the surface for visual interest.
She also beaded onto the surface for a bit of sparkle.

Daphne knocked it out of the park with something completely different,
a desert landscape.
Her basketry element is the coiled base it stands on, 
and her needle felt designs the cactus and sun.
I also really like how she cut away part of the felt layers on the side
 to expose her other colored rovings underneath.

And lastly Bianca has really cut open and exposed her inner layers to create this lovely floral piece.
She embellished with sparkly copper thread,
and lots of french knots in the center.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Recently I acquired this old bathroom sink from the dump store up on the mountain.
I'm guessing it dates back to the 1960's or 70's.
Glued on a couple rolls of pennies,
and WELLA,
a bird feeder.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


to identify this antique spinning wheel.
I recently acquired this gorgeous old spinning wheel from friends and shop owners up on the mountain.
My husband is going to clean, oil and restore it for me,
and I'm hoping someone out there might be able to tell me something about this wheel and its origin and date.
I love it's weathered blue color and I found these initials "AEG" on it's frame that feel embossed into the wood.
I also found these initials on the side "M.N.D.H." that were hand lettered.

It's patina is so beautiful, I can't wait to see it all oiled up again.
It must be old, 
there are no nails anywhere,
only pounded in dowels for joins.
Although there is a piece of metal that has rusted that turns the wheel.
And look at the join on the wheel below,
it's just so cool.

So I'm really hoping that someone out there might be able to share a little info on this beauty.
Note the old piece of leather that the orifice is slipping thru.
It was love at first site  :)

Friday, April 24, 2015


Sydney Joseph Leeb
One day old.

With his grandfather "Pop Pop"

Proud and exhausted parents,
Julie and Mike

And my favorite,
father and son.

Thursday, April 23, 2015



Working with charcoal is fun and easy but it goes everywhere.
 Oftentimes when my kids leave for the day they have little smudges on their sweet faces and they don't even know it.

So let's take a look see at what they've created.

This first one is the work of Carl Estrella,
a very quiet and shy young man with a bucket load of skills.

What I strive for with the kids is for each of them to find their own working style and design.
I never want their work to look alike.
So I love that I can show off Elliana Lee's super crafted piece here versus Carl's highly atmospheric work above, and then down to Chasha Montreesirikul's textual piece below.
All equally wonderful.

Hari Iyer kept surprising himself with how well all his work was turning out.
I kept asking him if he had ever had an art class before and the answer was always no.

I love when the 7th graders bring text into their works.
It gives us more of an insight into who they are,
as well as bringing visual interest into their pieces.
The one above was done by highly creative Joyce Park.

And I really enjoyed getting to know and work with gentle Kayla Kim.
I like the contrast brought into her design between her tightly crafted cone and her soft backdrop.

And we finish off with Adriana Endow-Smith.
I got the biggest kick out of working with Adriana.
In every one of her pieces she would find a way to incorporate a cat.
I thought this cat with the conical ears was adorable and very clever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


for an Easter egg hunt.
My two children,
Zach and Danielle,
still insist on their dad hiding plastic eggs for their annual hunt. 
How old are you guys now?
26 and 20
Gotta love it!
The competition is fierce as Danielle tries her hardest to beat her brother,
something she has never been able to do,
poor baby.
But she sure is cute trying,
 scrambling thru the yard and house like a puppy on a mission.

This year Zach's girlfriend Nicole was the top prize winner collecting over 50 eggs.
Her technique,
slow and steady,
finding the ones that the other two had passed up.

Last year Danielle's boyfriend Garrett (upper right) was the top collector.
We started the hunt this year before he was able to get there.
Hummmm...could that have been planned?

There is always a method to our madness at the Agrums/Sposa hangouts.


Moving and relocating over a 1000 daffodil bulbs is proving to be quite a challenge.
Last spring at the cabin, 
before I built any of the walkways,
the entire yard was filled with blooming daffodil bulbs planted by the previous owner.
So before we laid the foundation for the art studio,
we dug up all the bulbs from that 10' by 12' space.
In the previous post from yesterday, 
you will see that I completely forgot about the bulbs from under the front porch of the studio.
Don't know yet what I'm going to do about those next year.
My husband said it would be too hard to pull up the porch to get them.
We'll see

So this past February I re-planted all those daffs along the stone walkways put in.
Walkway going up to the street

And then there are all the rest of the bulbs I didn't relocate,
popping up wherever they please like behind the studio and around the woodpile. 

And all through the side yards.
So this summer I'll have more digging to do.
Oh boy!!
I love getting my hands dirty 

For Xmas I gave a lot of the bulbs as presents, 
to family, friends and co-workers,
and a good hundred of them to my down and off to the side neighbor Rebecca.
Before she planted them she built this amazing walkway between our cabins.
Then she planted her bulbs along the walk.
You can see many of them starting to come up here.
Can't wait till next year to see what happens after they multiply.
It's going to be spectacular!