Monday, February 29, 2016


At the cabin.

The lilac trees are opening their sweet little leaves...

and the crocus are in full bloom already.

The daffs have all popped up 
and it's just a matter of days before the first ones explode into bloom.

But it's my hydrangeas that I worried about the most.
They are my most favorites.
I planted four bushes last year.
Three made it back but one seems to be a goner.

And the hydrangea tree that I planted in honor of Karisma Dev,
my extraordinary student that graduated last year,
it's still too early to tell if that fabulous tree made it thru the winter.
I've got my fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


and a bit of a mis-calculation,
as I tumbled down our stairs.
Trying to take up too much stuff so I didn't have to make a second trip.
Have I learned my lesson?

Thursday, February 25, 2016


plaster, milk cartoons, carving tools, wood scraps, dowels, paint & wood burning tools

This have been a long time in the making.
My 2nd year crafts kids began carving them in first quarter,
then let them dry out so they could be sanded and mounted.
The results were worth the wait.
Below is a group shot of all but senior Hazel Cruz's.
(hers came in late because she was absent and missed this photo op)

But let's first take a look at the kids getting started,
and the messes they made  :)
Above they are mixing their plaster. 
Some have chosen to pour in acrylic paint to marble into the liquid before it sets up.

These are all my cuties in the class.
In the first shot way above we have senior Will Kim center,
senior Antoniette Jabat left, 
and junior Shreya Sheth right. 

Sitting around the tables are happy campers from left front to right front,
 senior Kristine Luong,
 junior Jacqueline Yu ,
senior Liana Chie,
 and senior Amber Wu.

And I couldn't resist taking this photo of Hazel & Antoniette.

These are the individual works.
We start with Hazel's.
So many things to love about Hazel's piece.
First of all her figure form.
Crisp, clean, angular & interesting.
And then her mount.
More angles to compliment form,
lots of interesting woodburned marks, 
the height and importance of the triple stacked mount,
 & the carefully place glass shards.
And then if you look closely below,
you will see she dusted chalk over top the wood for a look of snowfall.
Masterful Hazel. 

Will Kim is the artist on this next fun piece.
I love how he mounted it,
so very creative with the bamboo sticks and grasses.
I also like how he thought to suspend the figure with two poles instead of one.

This next one is the work of Amber Wu.
Very formally balanced and lovely.

Shreya Sheth enjoys pushing the envelop.
She did that herre in several ways.
Two abstract figures instead of one.
Using glass instead of poles to suspend them with.
And giving us a dramatic painted effect on her wood.
Brilliant piece Shreya.

And then there is the work of Liana Chie.
She will spend hours and hours on a piece getting it just right.
Notice how she has even decorated the cool off centered pole?
And the sensitive colors she has used along with the lovely pearls, 
shells and glass shards.
Very pretty Liana!

I wish I had a different angled photo of this next one by Kristine Luong.
And then a close up of her mount.
She stained the wood so beautifully
 and then she has taken real rose petals and glued them down.
Really sensory and appealing.

What a voluptuous figure Jacqueline Yu has sculpted.
And then she has accented the form and mount with glitter to tie them together.
Beautifully done.

And Antoniette has floated her form on a billowy cloud of fluff.
just like Antoniette  :)

It was wonderful sharing these,
I hope you enjoyed seeing what they'e been working on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


She's back for her 2nd semester at U.H,
 and taking another pottery class.
Kaili has fallen in love with clay  :)
I so get that,
I fell when I was 16 and a sophomore in Sally Foster Wilde's ceramics class
at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, Ca.
Let's see now,
that was 44 years ago,
and the love has grown even deeper.  :)

A few of her new finished pieces to come out of the kiln.
She is also experimenting with some of the upper division cone 10 glazes.
Is one of those called Flambe Kaili?
Looks like a glaze I used 40 years ago at Cal State Long Beach.

Kaili's pots are getting bigger ...

and her shapes more varied and interesting.

But it's this big beauty that intrigues me.
Are these solid pinched forms scored together?
Or are they hollow?
Or perhaps she has throw each one separably on the potter's wheel?
I'd love to know Kaili.
Get back to us please!

Monday, February 22, 2016


One of my favorite 8th graders,
Malia Pulido,
along with her mom and dad,
Gloria and Mark (both ex art students of mine)...
got a chance to meet and connect with Presidential candidate,
Hillary Clinton this weekend in Las Vegas.

Isn't this the greatest pix?
An experience of a lifetime Malia  :)

Sunday, February 21, 2016


to my beautiful son Zach,
and his lovely girlfriend Nicole,
for buying their first home together in Canoga Park, Ca.
They found a 2 bedroom,
 2 1/2 bath townhouse off Topanga Canyon Blvd.
They got their keys on Thursday,
and we & Nicole's parents spent the whole day Saturday cleaning, repairing and changing out fixtures.

I can't tell you how proud I am of you Zachary for being only 27 years old 
and being able to do this.
You make my heart soar.
You are definitely on your way.
Grandma Patti & Aunt Elena would be thrilled for you.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


potter's wheel & clay

We are seeing some mighty good progress at the end of our second week on the wheel.
They have all got the hang of centering the clay,
and are now practicing recentering passes 
and pulling up and thinning their walls.
Doing the "donut".
We are not seeing much height yet, 
possibly we will by the end of next week.
We have two students who have now thrown their required two cylinders
and are ready to move onto vase forms next.

Senior Klyne M is having the time of her life on the wheel,
while senior Eryne B. is recycling her slippy bucket of clay.
Clean up is the worse part.
But instead of taking 15 minutes like it did the first week,
they've got it down to 10.  "_
Happy Throwing!!

Friday, February 19, 2016


Every morning on my way back from picking up my mail in the office,
I stop at Josh's Succulent garden that is adjacent to my classroom.
I love to note the minuscule changes from day to day,
and to also uncover things I might have missed.
Like how lovely the center of this succulent has become in the last couple of days.
I'm really enjoying how many petals it's produced and how they are fanning out.

Or this little one that is just beginning to bloom for the first time since being planted.

And the delight I experienced the other day
 when I was cleaning out the trash that blows in from the kids snack and lunch food.
(yes we have trash cans,
but no,
the kids don't always use them:(
I found this baby star succulent that I had completely forgotten about
buried alive amongst trash, 
 and human hair.
long pieces of hair wrapped round and round it.
It's pretty amazing how much hair I clean out of the garden that blows in off our students heads.
Kind of gross actually.
But at the same time it was like discovering a buried treasure  :)

But back to the beauty of it all  :)
The color in this plant is remarkable.
Such a gradual transition.
Only in nature! 

And sadly we loose a few plants.
This unusual and sweet little guy that I planted above was so healthy a year ago.
But then weather happens,
or too much watering takes place...
until we end up with just a shell of the original plant below.
I still have high hopes that it will come back.

And then there are the couple of students who want to have a bit of fun 
and throw their food into the garden.
I'm hoping that this summer we will have a couple of cherry tomato plants
so I just left them rotting.
Life and death in this small space.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


recycled jewelry boxes, tissue scraps, text & modge podge

I'm noticing I'm really missing these 2nd quarter kids
 as I continue to break and reshape
my new batch of 3rd quarter newbies.
Yesterday I had to implement the old seating chart 
to separate groups of friends that don't work well next to each other. 
Afterwards they really seemed to settle down,
especially after I put on the right brain music.
I like the Native American artist Carlos Niki for his soothing flute and piano sounds.
So now I'm looking forward to working with the new kids on the block.

But enough.
 let's get to these boxes.
The kiddos really enjoy the art of collage,
and I enjoy recycling materials from other projects,
so this is a perfect fit for both.
You are also seeing a few peeks inside their boxes to the wire pendants they created,
along with the stamped tissue pattern papers they made.

First off we have the lovely stylings of Clara Kim.
Note her clever wire pendant.
A pretty rock inside a bottle cap.
Clara spent extra time doing both the inside and outside of her box
and picked up some extra credit.

Let's see what Stella Hong did.
Besides bringing in the required text,
I also like how Stella thought to collage down pictures as well.
She has also turned this delicate shell into her pretty pendant.

Everyone loved Parth Patels' stamped tissue pattern. 
I taught the kids 7 different patterns,
and they were allowed to combine them if they wanted to.
 Parth is alternating both stamps and colors in a regular repeat pattern
for a striking design..

Yesenia Navarro combined natural and man-made elements
into an interesting pendant design.

And I really enjoyed Aishwariya Idhayakannan's use of color in her collage.
The kids were responsible for choosing to work in one color scheme only.
Aishwariya picking the cool colors and pulled it off beautifully.

We end with Emmanuel Alvarez.
He chose a complimentary scheme that I felt flowed well 
between his box and the stamped paper.

Great job young ones!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


potter's wheels & clay


Week I
It's way harder than they thought
ha ha ha

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


2015 alumni Daphne Chiang 
sent these pix of her weather in Washington D.C at Georgetown.
Oh my!!
She said she sank to her knees in it  :)

And that this is her first time in snow like this.
School was even cancelled for 2 days,
oh yeah!!
Here she is center with her girlfriends and their adorable snowman.
Miss you sweet girl!!

Monday, February 15, 2016


wood scraps, saws, drills, jigsaw, sand paper, paper collage, 
wood burning tool, dremel set, staining w/ acrylics & watercolor

Drilling and sawing for the very first time is really scary.
But after several safety demos.,
 the kids took a deep breathe and went for it under my watchful eye.
Each one of them had to take a turn showing me that they could successfully use all the power tools before they could even begin working on their preliminary pieces.
It took two full class periods to accommodate all of them.

Here we see 8th grader Malia Pulido trimming down her wood piece.
And below her finished prelim.
The kids had quite a few hoops to jump thru on these little practice pieces.
Drilling a hole to fit their dowel  
sanding it all, 
wood burning designs,
staining the wood with both watercolor and acrylic to see which paint they liked best,
paper collaging,
and then a little bit of re-staining over the paper to see how that would affect the look.
Malia made one of the class favorites.
We were all so impressed with the amount of time and effort she put into wood burning 
all the cool designs below.
And then her paper collaging was lovely a well.
And all with such precise craftsmanship.
She is such a super star!

Now here is junior Cheryl-Mae Mallabo using our Dremel tool to drill with,
and below her finished piece.
She had the other class favorite.
These kids are incredible,
the amount of attention they give to just practicing.

Senior Hapshiba Kwon thought to paper collage dimensionally with those sweet butterflies,
and senior Elias Rodriquez uses his incredible zentangling skills with the wood burning tool,
 and then senior Eileen Wang is also creating amazing design with the wood burning tool
along with her sensitive use of paint staining.

And lastly,
our dear Mrs. Parks,
happily making a pencil/paper clip holder for her teacher desk.
Pretty darn clever Deliana!!!
We love you