Sunday, April 30, 2017


With his dad on Pop Pop's motorcycle.
It's only a matter of time before this guy has one of his own.
He is fascinated by them.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


All of the bulb plants seem to be larger this year.
The blossoms taller, 
the leaves hardier.
I'm guessing it's the loads of rainfall we finally had,
or that the soil is so rich with it's own mulch.
I could bag that soil and sell it,
it's so yummy and full of nature's goodness.

I don't even remember planting this lovely champagne shade of hyacinth,
but I do remember these tiny crocus below (mixed with daffs)
but they were never popped their heads up this high before. 

I had way more tulips last spring then this single one,
because the squirrels have returned to the area. 
This winter they dug almost all of them up and ate them.
Pesky buggers.

And this year I am planting two new additions.
The lovely drapey Wisteria that will climb over one of Jim's handmade arbors,
and the fragrant yellow shrub that smells similar to gardenia called Sweet Broom.
We see it every spring on our way up and down the mt.
making our drive a glorious experience for our senses.

And of course the incredible daffodils that always make me smile.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Dearest Whitney Alumni, Students and Staff,

Just want you all to know I'm OK.
Lost my balance and fell off the third rung of ladder yesterday 
and conked the back of my head and my back on the floor.
Definitely knocked the wind out of me,
and I may have uttered a few inappropriate words on my way down,
I apologize LOL

Special thanks to Ms. Improta and Mr. Spratt who was in my room at the time,
they were on the spot to hold my hand,
get me help and eventually call an ambulance.
More thanks go to Joe Cruz our S.I.A.,
 who wouldn't let me move and took all my vitals.
He told me I went into shock a little,
and that I may have cussed a few more times :)

And a great big thanks to Mrs. Shea who rode with me in the ambulance,
made me take big deep breaths when I threatened to lose it,
and held my hand in the emergency.
And to our Principal John Briquelet and Dean of Discipline Cragg Spratt,
who followed the ambulance to the Hospital,
and stayed with me until my ex-husband Inars and daughter Dani could get there.
My husband Jim was up at our cabin and couldn't be reached till it was all over.
My daughter had just had surgery herself so I sent them home.

X Rays were taken of my spine and neck,
and a CT scan of my head.
No injuries to either,
 thank goodness.
What they did find were broken blood vessels at the back of my head 
that were causing my scalp to swell.
Feels really inky.

I think my biggest injury was to my pinky on my right hand.
I think it got caught on something because I might have used it to break my fall.
and it looks as if it was getting ripped off at the nail quick.  
Still bleeding.

The Doc at emergency released me at about 4:00ish to drive and return to work,
and a cool nurse named Ozzie helped me load Uber onto my phone,
so I had my first Uber ride back to school.
My children will be so impressed ha ha

When I got back to Whitney,
 they didn't want me to drive my car home which was fine with me 
since I was still  shaky,
so another special thanks are in order for teachers Andy and Aileen Perry 
who followed each other and
drove myself and my car home.

So one big more thank you to my Whitney family!
I love you guys!!


Oh My!!
I walked out our front door and was stopped dead in my tracks this last week.
My Bearded Iris that my son brought me several April's ago has come into it's own.
Three blooms at one time.
Made my day.
And this Easter Sunday my son Zach and his girlfriend Nicole, 
who hosted us at their new home,
gave each of their mamas a new Bearded Iris.
I'm so excited to see this new one planted and blooming.
They showed me a picture of what it will look like.
Mine is yellow in the center,
 then goes into white,
 then into a tye-dye looking blue-violet edge.
Whoo Hoo,
Thanks kids!
And thank you for the delicious food and wonderful time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I was trying to remember how many years old Alumni Josh Berger's Garden is now.
What I do know is I don't think he'd recognize it.
The succulents have quadrupled in size after the rains this winter,
so that there is barely any negative space left to plant/fill in.
In fact,
now when I see staff or students admiring it, 
I break off succulent pieces to share.
I find that so many of our students have never gardened 
and they are so thrilled to try their hand at this growing thing.
Recently I gave Coach Milan several handfuls for his home.
So please don't be shy,
they is plenty to go around.
Speak up!
What's blooming right now are the Amaryllis bulbs
that have multiplied over the years.
And just finishing are the Freesias 
that were remarkable this year and are proving to have great dye properties.
Also in the backdrop are the variegated geraniums.
I've been thinking a lot about this garden recently because retirement is looming closer.
Who will take care of it when I'm gone?
Water, weed, fertilize, and deadhead?
it might give me a good reason to visit my home away from home.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Because of all the wonderful rain we finally had this year,
the daffodils on the mountain were plentiful,
with some of the heads ginormous.

Our governor has finally told us that the California drought is officially over,
but I still find myself in water conserving mode.
But I have a bad feeling we are in for a really hot summer.
Thank goodness I will be able to water the yards this year.

Below I'm trying to get the daffs home in the jeep between my feet so they don't spill over.
Couldn't move my legs for an hour and 15 minutes.
But look at them,
 it was so worth it!
We brought home a good 100 every weekend for about 3 weeks
 which I was able to share with students and staff.
Made everyone happy!

Saturday, April 22, 2017



Ok, maybe,

Friday, April 21, 2017


Sometimes it's just fun to show off my kids.
These hardworking students are my Intermediate 2-D class.
There are 6 of them.
They come to me 7th period along with 3 other classes,
Advanced 3-D (back of room right side on sewing machines).
Ceramics II (outside wedging her clay),
and Intermediate 3-D (off the the right outside the picture plane).
All are in Right Brain,
with no idea I'm standing on a chair standing over them taking their picture.
There is soft instrumental music wafting thru the room,
my super dupper T.A. Deb Harris is working her her magic keeping my room organized,
and I'm going from group to group making sure all is right in their world.
what a wonderful job I have.
I love these kids and the effort they put into their pieces for me.
Thank you all,
you guys make my heart swell with love.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017



I couldn't resist taking this picture of the Ceramics I class crafting their whistles 
and trying so very hard to get them to whistle.
Senior Eunice Shim (standing left) was one of the first to get hers to whistle 
and was going around the room offering up her expertise.
She helped many of the kids understand the concept 
of air being blown thru a tunnel hitting a sharp ledge to split it 
thus creating the whistle sound.
She and senior Marjorie Balaoro (center end) where so good at this very difficult task
that they were able to make an ocarina,
a musical instrument that goes an entire octave.
We were all really impressed!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


paper collage on recycled jewelry boxes, craft wire, tissue paper, stamps and stamping ink

we only have 7 or 8 more weeks of school left 
and I'm only still posting 2nd Quarter posts.
Seems like every year I get more and more behind schedule.
So 7th graders,
 bare with me as I try to get to you 3rd quarter kiddos.
Let's see these stunning boxes and pendants.

We start with Felicia Hidalgo with her Inspired theme box.
Loving that light blue mixed with the black and white tissue.
And her pendant is so well  crafted.
Bravo young lady!

Samantha Catacutan uses an Analogous Color Scheme for her very pretty box.
And we loved her stamped tissue.
She found the coolest leaf stamp to use in an Alternating Pattern.

And the class favorite was this black and white themed box,
stamping and pendant that all flow so well together by Samantha Becaria.

This beautiful box in a Cool and Analogous Color Scheme was done by Katelyne Gonzalez.
I really like that textured purple pattern paper she found to incorporate in her lid.
Really makes this box pop.

And we end with Keilani Alejandro and her Live Laugh & Love box.
I feel like she picked a stamp that feels very Hawaiian when Mirrored with itself.
It reminds me of a traditional Hawaiian needle turned quilt I bought in the islands several years ago.
And how well that goes with her turtle pendant.

Friday, April 14, 2017


india ink on construction paper w/ watercolor accents

Every year the kids manage to come up with a new twist to this already complex assignment.
Junior Gauri Deshpande hit the lotto below by adding strings of lights to her piece.

The assignment:
to draw a silhouette of a subject (Gauri drew a sun motif),
and then to sit in front of a real plant/branch of leaves 
and draw them in Negative Space over top the silhouette.
Afterwards to paint in the positive spaces with India ink.
And at the end to add a special twist.
The results are always stunning!
We do this on a large format,
18" by 24".
You can see the battery packs on either side that Gauri glued down.
Because the paper was so thin and couldn't support the weight of the packs,
she mounted the work on a thick piece of poster board.
Now the artwork hangs beautifully,
and man oh man is it beautiful on display.  
Way to push this assignment even further Gauri and inspire next year's group!

This next gorgeous piece was done by senior Jocelyn Chou.
The plant came together perfectly with the tiger for a crazy balanced composition.
And the topper,
the watercolored green eyes.
Just the right touch.

In this next one by junior Mary Kim,
she picked an incredibly complex silhouette 
wherein she mixed the bronco buster with a piano keyboard.
When she first tried to explain her idea,
I told her it sounded a bit too difficult to pull off,
but Mary was not deterred,
thank goodness,
and brought this together in splendid style accompanied by bits of glass shards and buttons.
bravo young woman,
you rocked this assignment!

Next is senior Melissa Ongko.
Instead of totally overlapping the plant with the silhouette,
she figured out a way to bring them together in a complex oval border,
with watercolored flowers underneath for a breathtaking piece.
And make sure you note the dragon morphing with the plant.
Where do these kids come up with these complex ideas??

Junior Tiffany Chen brought us this eye catching piece.
Instead of doing a recognizable silhouette,
she chose to work with geometric pieces for the plant to go over.
And for her special twist she came in with copper paint.
Her's was one of the class favorites.

Photographer senior Luna Chen,
cleverly chose to do a self-portrait for her piece.
Luna is rarely seen around campus without a camera hanging from around her neck.
She photographs most all the sports events along with other happenings at our school.
Thank you Luna for your great art and your service to our school.

I found this work by junior Madelyn Uchiyama really sensory,
capturing my attention from the moment I laid eyes on her finished piece.
Love how she used the watercolor in the background to make it come alive.

And we end with very sweet and hardworking 8th grader Ariel Kim.
She took music for her 7th grade elective 
so I didn't get a chance to work with her in the 7th grade Art Wheel class.
But she told me she really wanted to do art,
and I'm so glad she did.
She came up with this adorable young girl and her umbrella
with the plant running thru like rain.
Her special twist,
she Zentangled in each of the leaves which took a lot of extra time.
Like I said,
a hard working little one.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


recycled white cotton sheeting & indigo vat
plus some rubber bands, cotton string & clamps
and of course anything rusty

There are several techniques used to make Japanese Shibori cloth,
but with the 7th graders I pick the fastest & funnest,
using tye-dye methods.
The results are always spectacular & varied.

Youngster Janice Ji folded her cloth like when making a paper airplane.
Then she held it tightly shut it with a rusty paper clamp.
And tah dah,
all different shades of indigo plus speckles of orange rust.
Are you wondering where the pink is coming from?
I hope you noticed.
She also clamped it with a wooden clothes pin
 that had previously gone into a red tye-dye bucket.
The clothes pin became stained and passed it onto the cloth.
Ooh, ooh,ooh, Liz from Texas,
what cool things you could do with that idea!

Lorenzo Rodriguez fan folded his cloth on the diagonal 
and then used rusty clamps as well all the way down his fan,
so that when he opened his cloth he had beautiful orange spots all the way thru.
So beautiful Lorenzo!

Now compare,
young James Lee also fan folded on the diagonal
 but mostly used rubber bands or string to resist the dye with.
Which look do you like best?
Hard to decide,

Then there is Roshni Powers
who looks like she folded her cloth in half,
 then in half again,
and two more times to get 16 little squares in her design.
But it's what she did on one of her corners that turned out super cool.
Looks like she wrapped it with rubber bands,
and when she opened it up she had an eye going on.
That's so neat-o Roshni.

Kira Curry fan folded on both the horizontal and vertical
to get these really intricate squares using clothes pins to clamp with.

And oh my,,
Justin Lee did the class favorite with this one. 
You'll have to ask him,
he's not telling his secrets.  
ha ha!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Not these two.
looks like seniors Jacqueline Yu and Shreya Sheth  
 are in perfect sync with their sewing machines and their Paper Quilts.
Too cute!

muslin, white tissue paper, Elmer's glue, stamps & ink, acrylics & sewing machines

I first saw the idea of combining paper & cloth in the Quilting Arts Magazine years ago.
They had featured Mixed Media Artist Kelly Nina Perkins 
and her Stitch Paper Quilts and I was a goner,
completely smitten.
So much so that I contacted her
 and bought two of her pieces to show & inspire my students.
Then a year or two later she wrote a book to explain in greater detail her ideas and processes,
so it gives the students even more visuals to try out.
Over the last couple years this assignment has evolved with each current crop of kids
 giving it their special twist.
If you were to put Stitch Paper Quilts in my search engine
 you'd be able to see what I'm talking about.
So let's see what these two goofy girls came up with.

 here they are hard at work.
They put in a lot energy and creativity,
so let's see what they came up with.

We start with Jacqueline's super cool and surrealistic piece first.
It's really amazing to me where these students come up with such sophisticated design ideas.
I could have never in my wildest dreams have come up with something like this at age 17-18.
They are so many layers of goodness here.

Below and above are some close-ups for you.

Shreya's piece was a tribute to our fighting servicemen,
                                                    and the loved ones they leave behind.                                                                                                                                                        
Some close-ups.
If you look closely you will see pieces of a hand written love note that Shreya incorporated,
along with the skyline that so is a part of her daily commute.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Accessing Right Brain is easy for these young ones.
They've had several months practice.
The key,
to present the left side of the brain
 (dominant side in most people)
with a task it will turn down.

So get comfortable,
don't talk for at least 20 minutes,
 and stare at the item you want to draw for 30 seconds,
and boom,
you should be there.
Of course,
 a bit of instrumental music wafting in the background doesn't hurt.

Once you are in Right Mode,
these things should happen:
A) you should loose track of time
B) be alert yet relaxed
C) words will recede from your consciousness (which means you don't want to talk)
D) you become free of anxiety

Sounds pretty good,
It is,
 a natural high!
Here are senior Cathy Huang (above) and junior Karna Errande (below) 
in deep right brain activity.
Notice how clever both kids are to figure out a way to suspend the leaves they are drawing.