Saturday, October 31, 2015


My girl,
2015 Alumni Daphne Chiang,
is in her first semester at prestigious Georgetown University in Washington , D.C., 
and loving every second of it.
She's making a great group of new friends,
and visiting the sites,

Her class load is an interesting mix of classes from Disability Studies, 
Religious Studies (the Problem of God),
Chinese III,
Operating Informational Management Systems,
to Ethic Entrepreneurship.
Daphne tells me her days are definitely engaging.

In addition,
 she has joined the Ballroom Dance Team
 and is headed into her first competition with her partner here.

She tutors two days a week for underprivileged children,
many of whom have just arrived in the U.S. and speak no English.
And she has also joined a consulting organization on campus
 that works with social businesses and non-profits,
helping others to give assistance to people in need. 
this is one busy young woman.

Daphne told me that it's so beautiful in D.C. right now.
The leaves are starting to change and fall is in the air.
Hoping for some of that here in the So.Cal.  :)

Know Daphne,
 that we couldn't be prouder of you  here at Whitney.
You are already touching so many lives.
Love and miss you like crazy!

Friday, October 30, 2015


from my little fruit bat and I.
My cutie patootie dressing up for Halloween at her shop
where she works.

Happy Hallo's Eve everyone.
Stay safe.


This is what one of my favorite fiber artists,
  does with her eco-dyed pieces.
How beautiful Nat!
You inspire me everyday,
and I can't wait for my 3-D students to see your work.
We are working on a similar project right now.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Using my eco-dyed string leftovers to wrap around an old embroidery hoop,
I whipped this delightful old doily that I salvaged from a garage sale,
onto the hoop for a very pretty dangling window light catcher ornament.
I think this doily might be at least a 100 years old because it was really browned with age,
and I even washed it first before mounting it.
It went perfectly with the eco-dyed strings.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Happy Birthday to my handsome husband.

Celebrated with the grandkids and parentals
at yummy Brooklyn Pizza with an extra large New York Greasy
and delicious Zeppolis.

Here's lookin' at you babe!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The numerous Art Displays Alyssa Olea hung in the office to show off you work.

The Tye Dye clothesline outside the art door,
always full of color.

Senior Square at Christmas Time

Your last Open House Display and Sale

The last Glaze Firing of the year

The last time my rolling basket will be loaded for home for the 2014-2015 school year,
with all your thank you cards and gifts.

The last time you will see the Art Room tables and shelves so empty...
the potter's wheels so clean.

The last basket full of trash to be thrown out.

And all the drawers and cabinets taped shut for the summer.

Memories and friendships to last a lifetime,
Hail to Whitney High.

Monday, October 26, 2015


So as you seniors get ready to line up
with the faculty by your side...

as academic super stars Mindy Kim and Andrew Perley
 give their Valedictorian speeches,
with your advisor Mrs. Perry,
 looking on with great pride...

as Pete Thiengtrong and Tiyi Christopher sang the sweet and beautiful song 
they had written for all of you...

and as you all linked arms to sing your Alma Mater 
for the very last time that all of you will ever be together again...

we watch the last streamer fall,
as the Class of 2015,
the Mighty Lions, 
after 6 long & grueling years,
graduate from Whitney High School.

Farewell my Lions,
may your road be full of exciting adventures,
true and lasting loves, 
and healthy choices.
Your real journey,
your lifes journey,
 has really just begun.

And always remember,
it's all about surface design,
using those critical thinking skills,
and safe sex,
very, very smart safe sex!!

Drink wisely my friends, 
 and with great moderation,
and don't do anything stupid.
And absolutely 

Behave yourselves and stop by,
I'll see you on FB.
I Love You to the Moon and Back

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Karisma Dev,
you have touched my heart & my life 
 like no other student in the 36 years  since I've been teaching.
You came to me as a shy 7th grader 
who stood out because of your creativity on each  and every assignment.
I definitely took notice.
Who was this youngster who was thriving,
hardworking and respectful,
who clearly had a gift?
Little did I know at the time
 what a big part of my life you would become.

You mother,
 saw it too.
She watched you blossom into a young artist in a short 8 weeks
in that 7th grade class.
You both were hooked.
So much so
 that your mother fought to have you in my classes
 all six years of your Whitney career.
You were the first!
No parent had ever convinced a counselor, 
at the # 1 Academic High School in the State of California,
# 10th in the Nation,
to allow their child to take six straight years of art & crafts.
Unheard of.
But then no one had ever come up against Joodhi Sood  :)
With your mother in our corner there was no one to stop us.
Oh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

So let's list those classes shall we:
7th Grade - Art Wheel
8th Grade - Beginning 3-D Art
9th Grade - Intermediate 3-D Art
10th Grade - Special Studies 3-D Art
11th Grade - Advanced 3-D Art
12th Grade - Beginning 2-D Art

You have pushed yourself harder than any student I've ever had,
and made many of the most important art pieces to come out of Whitney High School.
We know this because when you took your Portfolio to Portfolio Days,
the colleges reps. were blown away by what you had created and built.
They told you that no other high school student
 was doing anything even remotely close to what you were pulling off. 
And in addition,
you continued to take a full academic load as well.
You are quite a woman Karisma Dev.
Your mother has instilled in you one of the best work ethics I've ever seen 
in one so young.
Not only that,
she has raised you to be one of the most disciplined, 
honest and responsible people I've ever met.
She has also taught you to be a strong and independent woman
who can take care of herself,
as you are doing now at Syracuse University in Upstate New York
where you earned yourself a full scholarship ride 
as an Architecture Major.
No easy feat!!

One of my fondest memories was made with you this year 
when you asked me to accompany you to receive your prestigious scholarship award 
given to you by the AAA& E (Asian American Architects & Engineers) 
at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
What an honor that was to accompany you on that special evening,
getting ourselves all gussied up,
 to watch you get up and give your thank you speech to over 1000 adults,
some of who will eventually be your contemporaries & mentors.
I was bursting with pride.

My second favorite memory was this summer,
 being your special guest on stage 
at your Arangetram,
your 3 hour dance performance that you've been studying for 
since you were 3 years old.
What a treat that was for me.
It showed me a whole other side to you that I couldn't even phantom.
But it also reinforced where so much of your training and discipline has come from.

Your strength of character,
your work ethic,
your intelligence,
your maturity,
and your creativity are going to take you far.
That's a given.

I'm so thrilled to have been a part of your life for so many years Karisma,
and feel so blessed to have had you pass thru my classroom doors.
I feel like my life as an art teacher is complete now,
that everything that will come after you is icing on the cake.
I could retire tomorrow knowing that I have taught the best of the best.
I love you with all my heart Karisma,
and I so look forward to what you will create from here on out.
And I also pray that I live long enough to see your work published in Architectural Digest. 
Because I know that's where your journey will take you.
Dear Friends for Life!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I know,
I play favorites.
Don't we all as human beings??
You just can't help connecting more with some people then others.
And I think it's pretty obvious I connected with these three Intermediate 3-D gals.
From left to right:
Daphne Chiang, me, Bianca Tolentino, & Kaili Hamada.
A more civilized pix  :)

I had a blast with you guys,
teaching many of my favorite art forms.
It's a wonderful feeling to be able to pass on the Fiber Arts,
a lost art/craft in America.
I'm thinking that through so many of you,
you will be able to pass it on in college,
and so forth and so on.

Bianca Tolentino,
a Renaissance woman,
talented in so many of the Fine Arts,
and academically brilliant as well.
Your gifts,
 with your sense of the Dramatic will take you far.
You are an outside of the box thinker
which led you to creative many of the most unique pieces these past two years.
It was always a wonderful surprise looking forward to
 and seeing what you where going to come up with.
Wait till those college professors get a hold of you,
they are going to love you like I do.

All three of these young women worked their fingers to the bone for me,
putting in countless extra hours to pull off their amazing creations.
Before school, snack, lunch, 7th period and after school were a daily norm for them.
It's a beautiful thing to see dedication like that in this new computer generation.
Kaili and Bianca sculpting their plaster torsos.

Some of my favorite pix this year where captured by these 3 monkeys
 as they'd grab my camera
 and start shooting pix of themselves.
And then I'd get home and find them on my disk.
I'd be laughing out loud when I saw them.
And knew they would be perfect for the Tribute.

Other times they were just so darn cute ...
.I couldn't resist taking more pix of these characters.

Or times like these when they were so deep into right brain 
that they didn't even know I was watching them.

As you can see I probably have the most shots of Kaili,
 (she has a bit of indigo dye on her cheek)
because she was in the art room ALL THE TIME the past two years.
She threw herself into so many of the art forms
 and then continued to work on them
 long after the other kids had moved onto something else.
She made use of those TYE-Dye buckets until she exhausted them.
She spun more yarn on the spinning wheel then any other student.
She was possessed  :)

As many of you have been following the blog know,
Kaili is now an Art Major at the University of Hawaii.
Her passion for learning and the arts is a beautiful thing.
And I'm so grateful to have worked with one so dedicated.
I miss you like crazy Kaili-girl.
The lei I wore around my neck during graduation
 was made for me by Kaili and her mother. 
They strung many meaningful trinkets on the lei that they knew I would enjoy.
Thank you mom and Kaili for the lovely gift.
It hangs in my studio office so that I see it everyday,
and reminds me of this wonderful young woman.
Love you Kaili!!!

My sweet, sweet Daphne.
You make my heart expand because you fill it with so much love.
We connected instantly in your 7th grade year,
and our paths came together again in your junior year
 when you were able to come back to me
for Beginning and Intermediate 3-D art.
And last year I discovered that you are just as clumsy as I am,
so we will always be connected thru that as well  LOL
You have been an absolute JOY to work with.
Your innate sense of design and impeccable craftsmanship
 sets your pieces apart from the others.
Your hard work and dedication to all your classes sets you apart as well.
You are both an academic and an artist,
the best of both worlds.
I cannot wait to see where your journey will take you.
I do know that you will touch many lives with your big heart.
Know Daphne,
that you inspire me to be a better person.
Thank you for always giving me your best,
even when it was difficult to do so.
This pix of you above is one of my favorites from this year.
Clever of you to use your sweater as a dust mask.
Like I've told you many times,
your amazing critical thinking skills will take you far  :)

Love you to the moon and back sweet girl!