August 25, 2015

You must see...

this man's sidewalk art.

David Zinn

 His name is David Zinn. Check out all the tabs at the top of his art,  Sluggo, all of it!  You will thank me. Trust me on this one.


August 23, 2015

This is my friend, Claire....

...who creates the most lovely watercolor travel journals, photo books, and artistically-rendered class notes.

They are for the most part, in style, the exact opposite of my own. So I love to travel with her via these delicate watercolor images, surrounded by serene white space and lettered masterfully. I asked her to share a few pages from her recent travel to Paris which she graciously has done.

Claire Russell

Claire Russell

Claire Russell

Claire Russell
Handcrafted front to back, Claire Russell

We have a mutual love of travel and other sketchbooks and journals and probably would win prizes for our collections of them. Both of us find obscure titles and proudly share them with each other, as well as the other new artful goodies we have found. At our last lunch, she showed me this accordion photo book she created. Her work is immaculate - another trait I admire but pretty much lack in my own style.

Her name is Claire Russell. You won't find her on a blog or web site, because she doesn't have one! I am working on that...trying to convince her to do it!  But you can find some other work she has done on Molly Hashimoto's site here.

August 21, 2015

The chair to sit in...

while contemplating the end of summer...

carved images and alphabet i created for an exchange a few years back


August 13, 2015

'It's because I have lots of books."

Apologies to my Facebook friends where I first posted this. I can't help it. It tickles me so.

I defy you to resist this Very Pink Articulate Preschooler Book-Lover.  Uh...yah!

She sounds a lot like our book club conversations!  In fact, we have each brought some possible titles for the next year to our gathering. Now we each have a month to do some research.  We'll choose ten titles from among these gems. Anybody out there have some thoughts on books from the list we should not miss? or otherwise? Would love to hear any opinions as part of my "research!"

  1. CINDER by Marissa Marr...young adult
  2. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson...young adult
  3. LANGUAGE ARTS by Stephanie Kallos
  4. MAISIE DOBBS by Jacqueline Winspear
  5. DEAR THEO memoir by Vincent Van Gogh
  6. MRS. POE by Lynn Cullen (mystery/historical fiction)
  7. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins (mystery)
  8. LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell (science fiction time travel to past)
  9. NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH by Richard Flannagan (Australian “War and Peace”)
  10. FEARLESS by Eric Blehm (military fiction)
  11. AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Adichie (Nigerian)
  12. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir (science fiction)
  13. THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert
  14. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough (sp?)
  15. THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY by Gabrielle Zevin
  16. SHORT HISTORY OF WOMEN by Kate Walbert
  17. WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham (memoir)
  18. CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain (ficitonal account of Beryl Markham)
  20. EXODUS by Leon Uris
  21. DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson (sinking of the Lusitania)
  22. H IS FOR HAWK by Helen MacDonald
  23. IN DEFENSE OF ELITISM by William A. Henry, III
  24. THE CLOUD ATLAS by Liam Callahan (It's not THAT Cloud Atlas from recent movie fame)
  25. THE PIANO TUNER by Daniel Mason
  26. THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai
  27. THE DINNER by Herman Koch
  28. IN THE GARDEN OF THE BEASTS by Eric Larson
  30. SHIRLEY by Susan Scarf Merrell
  31. THE SECRET OF MAGIC by Deborah Johnson


August 12, 2015

A Day in Bratislava

We interrupt Box o' Stuff to share what I've been working on for a few days.

A Day in Bratislava. Regular version.

A quickie version:

I used Photos (iPhoto), Photoshop Elements, and PicMonkey to play with images and put this together. I enjoy the process and relive the experience. I am progressing through a long and lovely journey one day at a time and completely out of order. Going where the muse takes me!

I have also added these to my web site where they will live.


August 11, 2015

Box o' stuff. Part 2. .

This has been sitting in my "to send" box for a few days. Wondering what else I had planned to put there. Oh well. You should enjoy this now and wait no longer.
I saw a peacock ... led me to this; see other interesting illustrative takes on familiar stories here 


August 9, 2015

Cleaning out my box o' stuff. Part 1.

That is,  my box of posts waiting to be polished and posted. I'm posting one a day this week to clean out the box.

This recent Brainpickings post is such a lovely post and a sample of how Maria Popova on this amazing site melds together books, quotes, articles, and images topically and gracefully.

In her most recent post, she reminded us of an out-of-print book, Letters from Amelia, in which Amelia, who, before marrying Albert outlined her expectations of marriage (which included not adopting the last name of her husband), advised her sister Muriel, whose own otherwise decent husband was gambling away the family funds. Amelia and her sister grew up in a financially strained household under an alcoholic father; both as a child and adult, Amelia felt it her responsibility to guide and assist her younger sister.

Maria makes the point that through these letters, one observes that Amelia was quite thoughtful, independent, and philosophical at an early age. She has liberal views on education, human nature, and relationships.

To demonstrate Maria's ability to artistically blend resources, she moves to Anne Lamott, who she is reminded of in reading Amelia's writings decades earlier.  Maria links  us to an earlier BP review of Lamott's book on grief, passages, and the difficult times in our lives we must occasionally face. Although the topics are often difficult ones - grief and sadness - there is an uplifting spirit in her message.

"The worst possible thing you can do when you’re down in the dumps, tweaking, vaporous with victimized self-righteousness, or bored, is to take a walk with dying friends. They will ruin everything for you. ...
...They ruin your multitasking high, the bath of agitation, rumination, and judgment you wallow in...they bust you by being grateful for the day, while you are obsessed with how thin your lashes have become and how wide your bottom."

Here are some other quotes in the varied references of this post that resonated with me:

"but you know the more one does the more one can do...Despite my unusual activity I am very well organized to do more the more I do. You know what I mean. … I am not overdoing and all that is needed to bouncing health is plenty to eat and happiness. Consider me bursting, please." (Earhardt) 

"I felt a moment’s panic at the thought of Barbara’s impending death, and maybe also my own. We are all going to die! That’s just so awful. I didn’t agree to this. How do we live in the face of this? Left foot, right foot, push the walker forward." (Lamott)

And if you should find that you are the first woman to feel an urge in that direction, what does it matter? Feel it and act on it just the same. It may turn out to be fun. And to me fun is the indispensable part of work. (Earnhardt in her memoir The Fun of It: Random Records of My Own Flying and of Women in Aviation.)

It’s called having friends, choosing each other, getting found, being fished out of the rubble. It blows you away, how this wonderful event ever happened — me in your life, you in mine. (Lamott)

The two nonnegotiable rules are that you must not wear patchouli oil — we’ll still love you, but we won’t want to sit with you — and that the only excuse for bringing your cell phone to the dinner table is if you’re eagerly waiting to hear that they’ve procured an organ for your impending transplant.  (Lamott) 

Amelia Earhart was clear as glass and cloudy as milk at the same time, and she was marked for greatness. She rarely failed either in public or in private to live up to what she demanded of herself. She would not compromise with integrity, she did not quail before danger, and she brought honor by word and deed to her sex, her country, her kin, and herself. (Jean L. Backus, editor of Letters from Amelia, on Amelia Earhardt. )

"What if you wake up some day, and you're 65...and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life?"

And to further illustrate my point that Maria Popova is a master of compiling and flowing interesting and relevant resources, I quote the last part of her Lamott post: 

"Small Victories is an enormously ennobling read in its entirety. Complement it with Lamott on how to handle those who refuse to welcome us, then revisit Aristotle on the art of human connection, Andrew Sullivan on why friendship is a greater gift than erotic love, and C.S. Lewis on true friendship."

Once again, I encourage you to put on your list of sites to visit regularly. Sign up for her weekly newsletter and donate a few dollars to keep it healthy and ongoing. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the richest sites on the aptly named worldwide web. 

August 6, 2015

Three Dog Night (and 500 Faces!)

As I promised, here are my Picasso dogs I made in Kids Art Week on Carla Sonheim's site....what fun: ears become tails,  tongues turn into paws, and still they are so dang cute. Don't you think?

And here is a Buried Treasure that someone posted on Facebook a few days back ...time for a second look.

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art from Philip Scott Johnson on Vimeo.
by Philip Scott Johnson

Music: Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma

Nominated as Most Creative Video
2007 YouTube Awards

For a complete list of artists and paintings visit


August 3, 2015


my really favorite flower. 
sunflower: an awesome flower and my favorite
rose begonia: truly, my favorite flower.
tulip: my absolute favorite flower. 
dahlia: my regal favorite

A combination of a watercolor and some digital playing around on Elements and PicMonkey.
#5 in Flowers Through the Calendar series.

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