Thursday, May 31, 2018


I didn't see him at first, 
sitting on the piece of wood in the middle of Josh Berger's Succulent Garden here at school,
but it looks as though the garden has it's first resident and he's made it his home.
Do you see him?

He's sitting sunning himself right in the middle of the photo below.
I think he needs a name.
Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


old jewelry boxes, tissue paper, stamp pads, rubber stamps, craft wire, pliers w/ wire cutters

Oh boy, 
we have so many beauties it was hard to stop photographing for this post.
What you are seeing are three assignments in one,
collageing the outside of a jewelry box, 
learning 7 different surface design patterns & putting at least 2 together on tissue, 
and making a wire pendant with a personal treasure.
The kids seem to love this
 because we are entering the world of 3-D and craftiness after all the drawing exercises.

I want to start with Eva Matentsian because I felt her box was really eye catching
with her keyhole design rather then just random patterning.

And this one by Serena Lee was simply gorgeous!
I adored her layering of leaf shapes on the lid.

And Alanna Chan made great use of the recycled Vans tissue.
I love how she turned the word all different ways.
Feels a bit like looking into a kaleidoscope.
We are also seeing her stamped tissue done in a Drop Stack pattern.

Emily Ahn has chosen the prettiest color scheme to work in.
And by throwing in a bit of black & white it really makes the design pop more.
And check out her softly patterned tissue as well.

Sai Samatham brought in a lovely rhinestone piece of jewelry that his mother gave him to use.
And he wrapped it so perfectly to show off all the stones.
He even flanged the bale to give it a softer look.

Shaniya Gentry had so much fun picking out all kinds of text for her lid.
And take a peek at the two keys she wire wrapped together for her pendant below.

Monday, May 28, 2018


I got real lucky this year and had a double Mother's Day with my kiddos.
On the actual day my girlie took me out to brunch and shopping in the Orange Circle District.
It's one of the oldest communities in Orange County
 filled with cute eateries, boutiques and antique stores.
It's also a thriving college town filled with young people.
It's home to Chapman University,
a prestigious private college here 
where several of our Alumni have graduated from or are currently attending.
Right Shreya Sheth!  

Then last weekend both the kids were able to hang out and take me to brunch
at a very cool place for hipsters called Bosscat Kitchen and Libations in Newport Beach.
It was pretty much out of my comfort zone,
loud and trendy,
but my children loved it.
From there it was off to Rogers Gardens in Newport,
my all time favorite Nursery.
Because it's Spring,
the flowers were amazing as you can see.
And there was a Rose competition going on where we could vote for our favorites.

Mine were the Ketchup and Mustard Rose above and the Yellow Tea Rose below.
My son was able to stay into the evening and helped me plant all the lovelies we bought.
Thank you Dani and Zach for making Mother's Day so very special for me!
I love you both with all my heart.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Recently I've been trying to duplicate a glaze that is no longer being manufactured,
that all my students and myself loved to use.
It was a transparent blue-green.
I pretty much failed what I was going for on this first attempt,
but the kids loved what I came up with,
so I stopped messing with it.
Have I given up?
it's way too much fun!
The students wanted to name it so we turned it into a contest.
It  was a close race between the name Blueberry that junior Sara Ryave submitted,
Moonlit Pond on a Tuesday Nite (December 27, 1932) by junior Eugene Ho. 

Here is the winner after the kids voted,
Sara holding the prize,
the pot I made and experimented on.
Congrats Sara!

Thursday, May 24, 2018


embroidery hoops, felt, perle' cottons, crewel or embroidery needles

Well I hope you enjoyed the Hoop Embroideries from yesterday's post.
There were so many outstanding pieces
 that it was just too hard for me to pick only a few to showcase.
So let's take a look-see at the others I have picked for you.

We start Part 2 with junior Angelica Luza
and her fish & bones.
Everyone loved her quirky subject matter as well as her lovely stitching.
The chain stitch makes for a really swell filler stitch.
If you recognize Angelica's name 
it's because she has also been showcased this year 
for her pieces in the Intermediate 2-D art class.
A talented young woman.

This next one was crafted by junior Dustine Ansiboy.
It was so clever of her to make the braid separate from the felt,
this way you could make the young woman a completely different do.if you wanted to.
An interactive piece. year?

And vivacious little 8th grader Annie Nguyen created this delightful piece
with the title "Art 2017".
So very sweet Annie!

And oh my, 
what do we have here?
Complex thinker and 8th grader Sophia Oporto embroidered almost an entire piano!
What a hard worker this young one is to pull off something so difficult!!

And check out the gorgeous design and craftsmanship in this next one by senior Sophie Yang.
Everything is so delicately and perfectly placed and executed.

8th grader Kira Curry always comes up with highly unique ideas.
When I look at this I see a young girl looking into a bowl and out floats some scary eyeball.
But when I double-checked with her today, 
she told me it's a  mermaid holding a dolphin with a jelly fish floating nearby.
Wow, completely different interpretations.
She spent a lot of extra time putting in all those French Knots and Satin stitches.

I wish I had a better pix of this next one.
We all loved how the balloon strings trailed off the edge of the hoop.
And the craftsmanship that 8th grader Shivani Kedila displayed was impeccable.

But like I always have a tendency to do, 
I try to save the very best for last.
And as much as I loved all the others,
it was this one that called to me the most by junior Rachel Tibayan.
I think it's because reminds me of a bygone era,
it transports me to a time 
when women used to sell their wooden baskets full of flowers on the streets, 
and probably still do in some European countries.
It just really spoke to me.

I hope you all have enjoyed seeing these beginners put their needles into work.
It's so satisfying for me to know that I've shared with them a life skill.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


embroidery hoops, felt pieces, crewel or embroidery needles, pearle cottons

Oh boy did we have fun with this new assignment.
In years past,
 to teach the embroidery unit,
 I've had the kids make Preliminary Felt Embroidered Pouches.
But ever couple of years I like to change things up a bit.
Or I'll see something done by another artist in a gallery, show or magazine
that causes me to pause and think,
hey my kids could do that!

I've also been noticing in all my Fiber magazines that embroidery is coming back into vogue.
How wonderful!

We start with this incredibly well designed and crafted piece by 8th grader Bhumika Kalaimalai.
Besides bringing in all the stitches I taught the kids,
she also brought in a few of her own.

This next beauty was made by senior Vivian Shi.
Viv also did an extra stitch that she taught herself in the middle flower.
For each assignment,
 I bring to school my art books to share with the kids
for additional resources.
And in this unit
 there was so much interest that many of the students took advantage of learning a few extras.

How sweet is this next one by junior Kiana Hernandez.
So delicately balanced thru both color and design.
And also beautifully crafted.

This next cutie patootie was made by 8th grader Yusuf Karan.
Yusuf loves cats and usually uses them as subject matter in all his assignments. 

One of my personal favorites was this one by junior Ann Luong.
Just lovely!

And check out this coilorful peacock by 8th grader Heer Patel.
One of Heer's signature moves in all her pieces is to try to use every color in the rainbow.
I really like how she was able to distribute those colors in a balanced way
by filling up a lot of the negative space..

One of the classes favorites was this one by senior Inna Sikar.
She also made great use of her negative space and color choices.
And don't you just love that tye-dyed felt backdrop?

I'm so thrilled to show these off.
Tomorrow will be Part 2

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


watercolor & felt tip marker

When I was in school we called these marks doodling.
Now the catchphrase is "Zentangle".
Whatever you want to refer to it as,
 the kids love it,
as well as learning how to do a watercolor wash.

I've graded hundreds of these over the years,
but I never see two exactly the same.
These kids create beauty & magic with this assignment.
The gorgeous one above was made by Reya Syed.

The students are allowed to use repetitious line, shapes, text, images,
pretty much the sky is the limit;
as long as they fill up as much negative space as possible.
Above we have Shaniya Gentry.
I really like how she turned many of her lines into shapes by filling them in.
And to pull it all together she drew the continuous trail of circles.

Next up we have Eileen Rodriguez Salehi with this gorgeous rainbow of color and design.
Just so yummy!

 Alia Cortez has brought us a much more serious and dark design 
that moves our eye diagonally across the paper.
Such cool & expressive work Alia!

These next two beauties belong to Sara Wong and Serena Lee.
Fantastic movement in value thru their watercolor backdrops.

And these two were done by Sabrina Wang and Anika Kasula.
Note the amazing craftsmanship going on in both pieces!

And one of my favorites was this playful piece by Eva Matentsian.
Just adorable!

Great job 7th graders!!

Monday, May 21, 2018


tissue paper, various other papers. cardboard, ribbons, duck tape, modge podge, glue

I've always had the kids make their own Portfolios to house their artwork in.
Over the years the design ideas have changed up quite a bit.
I think this current one that I've been using for about the last 10 years is my favorite of all.

Here we see 8th grader Sophia Matthews beginning her collage.

This is by far the most complex design process to try to explain, 
and the requirements were numerous,
so I'm not even going to attempt it.
Ha ha
Just know the students probably worked harder on this piece than any other work they did all year.

We start with junior Manishka Ranjit.
She pushed herself and went all out with her incredible design.
When she showed me her idea 
I told her it was going to be too difficult to do within the the time allowed.
So rather then give up,
she took her piece home almost every nite to work extra on it.
And I'm so glad she did because it is truly a work of art.
Here is a close-up of all the cutting and gluing she had to do to put both sides together.

For some reason, 
this next one by junior Ellya Gholmieh was not photographed completely open.
Sorry Ellya.
Her design was so very modern as well as non-objective.
So very unique.
Here is a close-up as well.
I love how she used the same tissue over top itself to get those fractures with a darker value range.

In this next one by 8th grader Madison Plotkin.
we see a fabulous contrast between light and dark which really showcases her design.

And another 8th grader,
Eric Ren,
created this wonderful landscape that contains so much movement.
He manages to move our eye across entire piece.

And check out this wild & exciting one by senior Jessica Mones,
another very complex design that took her extra time and effort as well.

Senior Esther Ahn created this very delicate under the sea design.
In this particular technique that we did,
it's very difficult to work with linear elements,
but Esther was able to pull it off with her precise craftsmanship skills.

I love the powerful colors and paper choices that 8th grader Ashley Lee brought to this portfolio.
And talk about movement,
8th grader Brandon Delgado worked with a snake as his subject,
and really pulled off a gorgeous piece below.

But it was senior David Tung that came up with this perfect, timely piece.
I love that he used a patriotic theme during this time in our lives with so much strife.
A true Patriot!
So proud of you David.