Thursday, November 30, 2017


I'm a bit tardy with this post,
but I really wanted to share what fun we had this Halloween with our little guy Syd.
Pop Pop decked out his daughter's house with so much scary goodness.
Lights, music and eerie noises delighted the neighbor's little ones,
but it was Pop Pop that was the biggest hit in his chair.
While I was out trick-or-treating with Syd,
Jim was giving out treats.
Syd had the coolest house on the block.
Of course Mommy had a tough time getting Syd's costume on.
There was lots screaming and crying,
but promises of much chocolate to come if he put on his suit.
He finally did but his Daddy and I were only able to get a few shots of him 
in his Paw Patrol costume before he pulled off his hat.
I tried snapping as fast as I could .
And man oh man did he come home with his pail full of treats.
I'm hoping he will remember this.
Us parentals had way too much fun and joy watching our little guy do his thing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


About 6 or so years ago I found textile artist Deborah Lacativa 
and fell in love with her and her work.
I wrote to her to introduce myself and told her about my young 3-D students.
She graciously sent me a box of her delightful hand dyed linen pieces
that I gave to my students to work with.
From each of those pieces I cut a small piece for myself to stitch with alongside my young ones.
Of course my students finished their pieces 
but it wasn't until this summer that I finally finished mine.
I was tremendously moved and inspired by her art pieces at the time,
so Deb,
this is what I came up with.
Thank you for sharing with us,
and letting me learn from you.
And I dedicate this to you and your generosity.

I don't know about all you stitchers out there,
but I carry my work with me wherever I go.
I have with me at all times at least 3-4 bags with different ongoing projects
that I toss onto the floorboard of my car.
They get accidently stepped on,
spilled on,
tossed into the backseat when I travel with a passenger,
generally abused to the max.
The bag that held this baby traveled in both my car & mountain jeep
for the past 5 years until I finally finished it this summer.
It went in with me every time my hubby and I went into Denny's for breakfast/dinner
(once a week).
So over the years I was working on it, 
water spilled on it or it picked up condensation from my water glass on the table,
and some of the fabrics bled a bit on the white linen backdrop
(see the turquoise piece above, and some of the pinks below).
But I felt it added to the look of the piece and kind of tied everything together.
It was this summer that I used the Kantha stitch to quilt 
(in the white areas only)
the finished piece to the light turquoise border.
I used a slightly off white #12 perle cotton thread.
Then I put it in the washing machine on my most gentle cycle and laundered it
(cuz it was pretty filthy after all those years of working on it)
It did a bit of shrinking and fraying which I really liked,
and I received the nicest compliment from my harshest critic,
 my daughter.
 She thought it was pretty cool.
Oh yeah!
I'll have to mount it now for wall hanging.
Hope I can get it done by Xmas for my girlie.


An edible gift from sweet 7th grader Kameryn Mitchell.
I'm thinking the biology teacher might want to teach with these sculptural forms.
They are all yours Aileen Perry,
but I might have to try one of them first.
I hear they are delicious!
I'm always telling my students there is art all around you,
you just have to look.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


I love to decorate for each season at my little studio/home where I house & host family,
visiting artists and store all my artwork and supplies,
  and have a large studio space.
We have a lot of Association Rules and Regulations so I can't do a whole lot,
plus I do break a few of the rules and always manage to get a letter,
but it's so worth it.
Here is my 3 story tiny studio's doorway.
I believe I have about 900 square feet inside.
I also have a love of gardening 
and my newest acquisition is the Plumeria in the right front.
Just waiting for it's first flowers.
But this season I'm proudest of my 10 Pomegranates that grew to fruition.
Last year only 2. 
My dear son gave me this plant in it's infancy about 7-8 years ago.  
I've been babying it and it's paid off big time.
Thank you Zach,
these are my favorites of the season! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Fall 1994

This Thanksgiving Season I have much to be thankful for,
and I'm so very grateful for all the blessings in my life.
But the thing I am the most grateful and thankful for are my two healthy babies,
Zach and Danielle.

Halloween 2017

The two of them bring so much love & laughter into my life.
They are fearless, smart, funny and best friends.
They don't always see eye to eye,
but they love each other fiercely.
The most beautiful bond that can never be broken.
And they love to play!

Best Friend's Live Action Role Playing Birthday 2016
 before he donated his hair to Locks of Love

And I can't finish this post without giving thanks to the two women who raised me, 
and were responsible for my children's daycare while my husband and I taught school,
my dear mother Rose Patricia and my vivacious, strong willed Aunt Elena
(my father died when I was a baby, so my Aunt stepped in and helped raise me).
They were my rock,
and my children's rock. 

This is one of the last pictures of my mother before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's,
and Aunt Elena was diagnosed with Dementia.
They both lived for 10 more years after this picture was taken.

They passed away side by side in the same bedroom within 3 months of each other,
without realizing they were sisters.
But I'm so very grateful that we had them as long as we did.
My mother was 92 when she left and Aunt Elena was 88.
My son especially has so many strong & wonderful memories of the both of them.
They instilled in him his love of all things in nature as both of them were avid gardeners.
Therefore his degree in Plant Science.
My mother & Aunt also instilled in the both of them their tender hearts,
their sense of right and wrong & their curious minds.
And Aunt Elena gave Dani her fiestyness and stubbornness  ha ha

Mother's Day 2017
Long Beach Marina

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.
Let's all hold hands around the Thanksgiving table and pray for our families and friends 
as well as peace in our country 
and around the world.

Monday, November 20, 2017


2013 Alumni,
Julia Faith Chanco,
newly graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management,
from the University of Nevada Las Vegas,
is ready to find a job and put down real roots in Vegas.
The Food & Beverage sector is her passion,
and with her bubbly personality she should have no problem finding the perfect position.
In the meantime she quilts.
She recently touched base with me and shared that since she's got some free time now,
she's pulled out her sewing machine and has pieced a quilt top for her mother.
Something she promised her mom 4 years ago.
Ha ha!
Directly above is the quilt she made in my Intermediate 3-D class in 2013,
and below is the new one she has begun for her mother.
It looks terrific Julia,
can't wait to post the finished work.
I'm so proud of you for so many reasons.
Congrats on your degree,
and congrats for keeping art in your life.
Julia also sent me this pix that I've never seen before.
The two of us noodling around on the last day of her senior year during her final with me.
Good Times at Whitney High!

I love you Julia Faith!
Come see me soon.
I need a hug

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


wood, clock kit, sandpaper, stain & wood burning tool kit

Senior Shreya Sheth wanted to try her hand at clock making and putting it on wood.
I believe she was inspired by one she had seen on the Internet.
And because she had an Independent Study Art course with me,
she could go wherever she wanted as long as she created art everyday.
I bought her a couple disks of wood and off she went.
I really liked the touch of woodburning that she chose to bring into the two pieces she made.
Both clocks sold instantly at Open House.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017



Just recently while browsing the internet,
I found Jackie Abrams
and her contemporary work in Basketry.
Her pieces spoke to me & it was love at first sight.
In the 1980's I was into making traditional baskets,
but Jackie's work is so much more alive and inspirational.
I would love to take a few of her workshops.
Perhaps in retirement  :)  
I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

Not Your Mother's Coiling

Collect & Connect

Recycle and Repurpose

Sunday, November 12, 2017


oil pastels on black construction paper with graphite accents

Put Oil Pastels in 7th graders hands after a quick demo. and watch them take off.
They love them and visa versa!
Let me show you.

Everyone was really impressed that Pearl Wang turned hers into an ornament,
and created such nice branches as a backdrop,
even managing to put the required cast shadow into those branches.

And Heer Patel went for the extra credit
by Zentangling with a blunt pencil after laying down her background.

Bhumika Kalaimalai created so much movement in her backdrop,
while putting in a lot of value into both her sphere and foreground.
Then balancing her exciting back by bringing texture into her foreground.

We all loved the amazingly realistic teal sphere that Eric Liao put down.

And Tiffany Cheng brings in so much wonderful texture into all sections. 

And very brave Anisha Hemnani was super successful trying her hand at pointilism.

Let these sweet 7th graders know what you think of their work.  
They get so excited to see your comments!

Friday, November 10, 2017


Over the years I've featured many posts of alumni Josh Berger's Succulent Garden
 that he started for me in the empty dirt space that was next to my classroom.
That was probably about 4 years ago now,
possibly 5.
So I was looking back myself last night 
at how much it has thrived and filled in since this second year photo
and knew I wanted to share the beauty of it all.
These first three pix are of the garden's 2nd spring 
when the Narcissus, Daffodils and Amaryllis were coming up or in bloom.
Still a lot of dirt /negative space showing.

This was our recent spring 2017,
and just look at how filled up the garden has become.
At how the Amaryllis have multiplied.
It has actually become so crowded with succulents that I'm starting to give pieces away.  
So if you live close by,
drop on over, 
get a visitor's pass from the office and let's get a succulent garden started at your home.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Often it takes me awhile to get to things,
like these pictures my son sent me last fall,
from his visit to his almost brother and sister-in-law in Dallas.
(hey, I'm only a year late  ha ha)
They visited a gardens there in the city that was decked out for the Fall season.
I wish I remembered the name of the place.
Perhaps one of you out there is familiar with it.
What a cool place!
I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures he shot.

Thanks Zach for sharing your trip with me.
Autumn has always been my favorite season of the year.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


clay, sawdust firing & embellishments

I'm always sharing with you the student's favorite projects,
well this is one of mine.
I've been teaching the Pueblo Pottery technique off and on since the mid 1980's.
I saw it first hand when I traveled thru small pottery villages in Mexico
as a college student in the late 1970's,
not only the making of it but the primitive firing techniques as well.
I began collecting pieces to teach with and hope to one day own a Maria Martinez pot
from our own Southwest.
I've watched videos of Maria working and firing 
so I can teach this in an authentic way. 

My favorite student piece from last school year was this one by sophomore Olivia Kruger.
The way the flames and carbon licked and embedded into her pot is so sensory.
The ragged lip is sensational as well,
making it really feel from the earth.
And the clay beads she made to embellish with along the side walls is the perfect finishing touch.
Bravo Olivia!

These next two cuties were made by senior Marjorie Balaoro.
She enjoyed the process so much that she did a second one.
The blue beads against the dark backgroud really make the pieces pop!

If you are noticing a slight sheen to these pieces it's because after they come out of the ash,
we wash them off and then apply a thick layer of a glue and water mixture to seal them.
It really brings the surface coating alive.

Now check out this masterpiece by senior Eunice Shim.
Love, love love all that she embellished with.
Braiding multiple waxed linens together,
finding natural jute and braiding it with yarns,
and then the ultimate,
using the dried flowers I save along the top edge.
Brilliant critical thinking Eunice!
I miss you.

And oh my,
what do we have here?
Two gorgeous little works by good friends,
juniors Ylia Madayag & Vincent Nguyen.
Both so lovely and delicate feeling.
I was lucky enough that Ylia decided to sell hers at Open House
 so I snatched it up to teach with this year.
I love to show students outstanding examples of their peers works.

Oh boy,
check out this cool one by junior Sarah Oh.
Loved the irregular off-balance lip and how she scalloped it.
And look at all the fun embellishing she wove and stitched on as well.

We end with this sweet one by senior Ashley Iseri.
I'm so sorry it's a bit blurry.
But it was defiantly a must include work for next years students to inspire them with.
So neat how she thought to hang it instead of stand it.
See how she incorporated those little coil handles on either side
 because she knew right from the get go that she wanted to hang it.

Remarkable pieces all of you.
Thank you always for your incredible effort that you bring to the table everyday.