Friday, September 5, 2014


Meet Dominic and Josephine. My great grandparents who came over on the boat from Italy and never learned English. They had 7 children and Josephine used unique disciplinary methods that included swatting the back of the head with a broom when you weren't looking. That was much better than kneeling on hard lima beans until they indented the knees. 

Dominic spent his entire waking hour in a squeaky rocking chair smoking a pipe and spitting in a coffee can called a spittoon. Sometimes he knocked it over with the rocking chair. Then I got to hear lots of interesting Italian phrases, that if I repeated I got my mouth washed out with lye soap. 

Oh, and the walls were decorated with genuine contact paper. When they ran out, they'd continue with a totally different pattern.

Even though Dominic had the look of a dictator, Josephine clearly was the scarier one. You think those are flips on her head, do you? That's why I thought this old photo was so unusually charming. So much so, that I decided to immortalize this tender moment. Oh, and yes I have many other such interesting characters from my past. What? Don't we all?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I LOVE this fragrance from Kate Spade. Okay, I admit there's hardly anything I Don't like from KS, but this is a triple winner. People frequently ask what fragrance I'm wearing, this bottle is gorgeous and the name is my daily mantra. LIVE COLOR FULLY. Yes I Will. I painted my daughter a watercolor for her aqua and pink studio office, but not before I turned it into a print for my Etsy Shop. Available in two sizes.

And speaking of living color fully, we were just in Indianapolis for 5 days. BTW; we saw more rain in that time than we have experienced in the 3 years here in San Diego. Seriously. Oh, and the lightning dancing sideways across the sky and claps of thunder that made you flinch. We soaked it all in. Got to use an umbrella and run for shelter like in the olden days. I digress. We met our dear friends, the Telfords for dinner at Rick's Boatyard, our old stomping ground. I took about 2 dozen photos of the amazing sunset as it changed colors numerous times as it went down.  We sailed here so many times over the years and Jennifer's rehearsal dinner was atop Rick's with an equally beautiful sunset that night several years ago. Here is just one snapshot. Thank you God for this rich display that I'd like to think was meant just for me. 

And finally, we got to hug, kiss on and celebrate our grandson turning 12. I have no idea how this is possible. What an absolutely loveable nut!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Our visit to Paso Robles was so visually inspiring and the booster shot I so needed. Tim and I drove the beautiful countrysides, stopping and taking photos, like hundreds of photos along the way. One of our stops was a hillside with cows grazing. Once they spotted us they all headed down the hill and right up to us, all lined up in a row, getting so close we had to back up. Curious cows has new meaning for this city raised gal. I just love how they hang out. One leans over and decides to clean another cow's ear. Or they just kinda stare and you wonder what they are thinking about…if anything. 

I'M MORE THAN A PRETTY FACE  6x6 acrylic on canvas

This is now available as a fine art print in my Etsy shop in two sizes. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Here are a couple of my recent additions to my farm animal menagerie. The original paintings are acrylic on birch cradle boards with a deep 1.5" profile. 


I have adjusted the colors on the above image 5 or 6 times. Color looks perfect in Photoshop but for some reason it turns out brighter once I post it here. I give up. Below are prints that I've added to my Etsy shop over the weekend. On my screen the prints are the correct colors. Anyway, probably the first pieces that work great in a baby nursery, don't you think?

EWENICE AND LAMBERT prints available in 2 sizes
In the meantime the kitchen remodel is in full swing. Our house resembles some indescribable disaster with old cabinets and all their contents in various rooms, even outside, with boxes of new cabinets intermixed. The kitchen openings are tented with plastic so to go find, say a ziplock bag, I walk all the way around the house and back when I can just about see the box through the plastic. I am trying to embrace the process but cannot wait to be on the other end of this and merely open a drawer to grab a ziplock. xo

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Back in November I began a mixed media painting and thought it was about time I put the finishing touches on it. Let me take you back to the layers and process. First, I chose a photo of my father-in-law's childhood that makes me smile, especially knowing him as an adult. That rifle has to be twice as tall as Paul. I'm guessing he's about three years old here and living on a farm in Texas. With no siblings or anyone closely, his friends were the animals. He had two cows Pete and Repeat. I made copies of various ephemera, like the notes written on the back of photos, maps, rifle targets, pages from his childhood books and anything relating to his life on the farm in the 1920's. I applied the layers onto a 12"x30" x 2.25"d canvas as the foundation.

Even though it was close to completion, I set it aside to move onto the holidays and then other paintings. Lately I am in the mood to finish up. So here you go!
The full piece is on left and a couple closeup shots on the right. Hope he's smiling.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


This is one of several paintings I had in a stack of unfinished pieces. Someone noticed it in one of my Facebook photos of my studio and claimed it. How cool is that? However, this will be available as a print in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


We halted gutting and remodeling our kitchen to focus our creativity on our church's annual Marriage Retreat. Marriage is Like a Roller Coaster had my mind rolling on how to maximize this theme. Tim and I went all out on the photo booth. I mean ALL OUT. 

My husband made the process so entertaining. One morning I walked past the guest room and this is what I saw under the bed out of the corner of my eye. 

If that wasn't enough to startle me, when he finally completed the get-up he sat them in my family room. I admit I jumped every time I turned the corner.

While Tim was creating the coaster cars I was painting this 8'x8' background on my dining room floor…..

and packing up gift boxes at the dining table.

All for this thrilling moment!

All our hard work paid off, and everyone got into character for their photos. The night before the photo booth was revealed we watched some hilarious videos of couples reactions on roller coaster rides. One guy passed out, another lady screamed OH MY about a hundred times and another lady swore she would never forgive her husband. The next day the couples got into character; some guys faked passing out, a gal mimicked the wife who held onto her husband's hair.  

You should have seen the back seat of our car as we transported these legs up to Newport Beach and back for the retreat. If we had been pulled over we would've had a lot of Splainin To Do!  Can't say we don't know how to celebrate and laugh at the ups and downs of marriage. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Can't tell you how many times since living in San Diego; which by the way has been 3 years now, that we have had people say, "What? You haven' been to Paso Robles yet"? You can only hear that comment so many times before you finally say, "Fine then. Twist our arms." So we ended up staying at the coolest cottage on an olive orchard and roaming the countryside taking hundreds of photos, visiting wineries, art galleries, eateries and just enjoying every twist and turn. 

Early evening view from our Lanai

Proulx Winery

Moonstone Beach in Cambria

I took hundreds of photos and hoping you will see some of those along the way in the form of paintings. Tim and I haven't been able to pinpoint why, but for some reason this short trip was at the top of our favorites. 

Now back home we have taken on our biggest remodel so far. Plastic tents, upholstery all covered, rugs rolled back...we are doing it! Finally gutting the kitchen. I will be sharing our step-by-step remodel once we get far enough along, but in the midst of the disarray I make myself little vignettes; hopeful inspiration of things to come.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


ROOSTER ON THE EDGE 8x8 Acrylic on canvas
  I've been ramping up my painting time. Lately it's been roosters. Not sure why, but enjoying their attitude. Sometimes I wonder if they really do have an attitude, or are they merely misunderstood? For the sake of creativity, lets just go with attitude.

DEEP THOUGHTS 8x8 Acrylic on canvas

Prints are available in my Etsy Shop (on the right sidebar).

A friend has a huge chicken farm and has invited me to come take photos. I hope to gather lots of attitude, as long as it's not directed at me.

Monday, June 23, 2014


As usual, much has happened since my last post. We were visited by wildfires, heat, wind, smoke and ashes, sirens and helicopters hovering. And all while we had friends visiting from the Midwest and Northwest. A bit preoccupied as to whether we would need to evacuate and what to pack in the car, we didn't spend as much time with our friends as we had planned. I recorded all the drama in images on my Facebook and Instagram pages. 

After that little adventure, I have been painting with more regularity and since my animal menagerie seems to be a hit on Etsy my painting repertoire now includes roosters with attitude and a close up of a horse I titled SOUL MATE. This painting was inspired by my sweet grand daughter starting therapeutic horse therapy and absolutely falling IN LOVE with "her" therapy horse, Prince. After a phone call with her gleefully describing how they became instant friends, I was thinking about how amazing animals are, how accepting and loyal. I asked my husband if he thought horses could see into a person's soul and he immediately responded with a resounding YES. Eyes have been the focus (haa haa) of my recent paintings, so I concentrated on a close up. This is what I put on the canvas to start off. Somehow, I liked these first strokes the best. But kept going, and going until this Saturday. I finished it in time to submit it into a local art gallery show, otherwise I would have done more; much more. 

SOUL MATE 20x20 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Promise to share the roosters tomorrow.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


VINEYARD SKY 6x6 acrylic on board

This is one of the only paintings I've completed since I last posted. But I must admit I'm liking this one enough to turn it into a larger work. The 5"x5" and 8"x8" prints are in my Etsy Shop here.

I've been busy turning another year older, traveling to Indiana to visit family and friends, be surprised by a, um, surprise birthday dinner filled with several of those precious people I did life with for many years in the Midwest. We drove to South Bend to have a little memorial for Tim's mom and afterwards visited the University of Notre Dame so my grandson could dream about his future possibilities. 

I had a plein air paint and play date while in Indiana with my friend Kelly. She's fairly new to painting, especially plein air but pulled off a very impressive piece and I think she was pleasantly surprised at her abilities. Sorry I forget to take an after picture.

Upon returning to San Diego I arranged another painting day here with my friend Suzanne to celebrate our birthdays together. She, is very new to painting and I chose her favorite vineyard as the subject. What a joy it was to pop her painting into a frame and watch her expression. I did get a picture of her posing in front of her finished masterpiece. See, she is still glowing.

Friends are coming to visit this next week so I won't be painting, just socializing and enjoying every moment of this gorgeous weather. xo

Monday, April 14, 2014


STILL WATERS 6x6 oil on board

I reworked and renamed this one.  Not a huge difference, but wanted to add more texture with a palette knife.  Adding two size prints of STILL WATERS to my Etsy Shop in a 5x5 and 8x8.  

Since moving to the desert we have managed to kill numerous plants and flowers. I somehow anticipate the garden nurseries will plaster our faces on a warning poster stating THEY KILL FLOWERS.  I'm learning the hard way that containers work better than planting in the ground.  I just love having vases of flowers from my garden, but that is tough as it doesn't rain and the heat scorches my favorites.  So last year I tried a pot of succulents and when they didn't die I added another and then another.  So far so good. So a couple months ago we added more containers and filled them with more succulents. Still don't really know what I'm doing, but hoping I won't end up with a bunch of empty pots. Advise anyone?

Every chance I get I pick up a few beach stones to add to my courtyard. Adds a bit of interest I think..looks better than dirt, yes?

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Sorry for the obnoxious title, but seriously; take away the earthquakes, wildfires, cost of living and some crazy people/things and there you have it…PARADISE. I didn't want to rub it in that we never had a winter, well, nor did we have rain. Oh well…..sunshine and roses EVERY DAY. Spring is my absolute favorite season. We recently attended a beautiful outdoor wedding and I made a trip with a friend to the Japanese Friendship Gardens. Looking for some inspiration to paint.

Many more beautiful shots, but I will refrain, as it's probably still snowing somewhere.

The Etsy shop has been doing surprisingly well. I just added my Love Boats. This painting of two sailboats nestled together in the Santa Barbara Harbor is available as fine art prints and available in two sizes; 5x7 and 8x10. Click the link or go to the Etsy Mini in the sidebar to check out all the art and fabrics I've added to the shop.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Well, last time we spoke I was working on building a new website.  But just to be an overachiever I was also building a shop on Etsy to offer art prints and my out of print stash of fabrics.  The plan was to finish the website first, but while my MacGyver husband was helping me with a problem he hit the OPEN SHOP button.  I thought no one would notice I was there yet and quietly kept plugging away.  Wrong.  A gal from Australia found me and Facebooked her Aussie friends.  BAM!  Love those Aussies.  So I just officially added my Etsy shop in the sidebar to the right and invite you come on over.  I'm still listing items, so if you have a particular art print or fabric you don't see, please ask.

In other breaking news, Tim and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary; it rained once here in San Diego and we ran around trying to save the rain water in buckets and trash cans; AND I broke my own record of 6 hours straight in the dentist chair!  

Oh, and I finally broke away for lunch at Cafe Merlot with an awesome friend and it was so much fun to play hookie from the routine.  Sure beats pita chips, garlic hummus and talking to myself in front of the computer.  Must try this again sometime.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Okay, that's the teaser.  That's all I've got today, but my head is filling with dancing images now.  I'm liking it, so what do you think?  

Awhile back I decided I was way overdue for a major facelift….of my logo, that is.  I closed my website in 2010 after some personal tragedies knocked the wind out of me.  Then we moved across the country and had to dissolve the home decor products line we were manufacturing.  It has taken some time, but I have convinced myself that I am capable of redesigning my own website and online store.  I'm making progress, but as you know one thing leads to another, to another, to another.  The learning curves and hiccups keeps me out of the studio, which is where I'd much rather be these days.  Okay, back at it but I am promising myself that I will also work on a few of those dancing images before my head implodes.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014




Not quite sure what got into me, but I just painted a cow and a pig.  And the pig turned out a bit cartoonish which makes me scratch my own head.  A far cry from the abstract I was working on and ready to throw out the window.  Oh well, it's done and I rather like imagining the pig curiously leaning in, hoping to be included in whatever might be going on.  So he stays, or is it she?

Each one of these creatures stared at me while I was working on the next, cheering me on, or at least that's what I felt.  Working alone in a small studio can do that to you.  Here's the whole menagerie now staring at you with those melt your heart eyes,

There will be prints coming soon.  Working on all the details involved with opening a shop and website is time quite time consuming.  Takes me away from what I'd rather be doing these days….hang out with these guys. 

Friday, January 31, 2014


After another disappointing attempt at an abstract painting I decided to paint something distinguishable. See if you can figure out what these are:

Much happier, in fact, I think I'm in love.  Just look at those eyes.  Me thinks these are keepers.

On another note I had an amazing short visit with my daughter.  We packed in shopping, hosted a Stella & Dot Trunk Show, and lots of food.  She came from the Midwest vortex thingy so the weather here was yet another treat.  I was secretly hoping she might get stranded here; oh well.

Happy and safe weekend!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I have absolutely fallen in love with Burano, Italy.  The houses, shutters and doors are all brightly painted.  I already have a longtime love of windows and doors.  Flowers on the sill or a flower boxes make hearts float out of my eyes.  Yup, it's true.  I get on Google Maps sometimes just to "walk the streets" and tour cities around the world. Burano is one of my all time favorite stops.  

I decided to paint a window for my home and place it in my hanging easel.  I bought two easels years ago at market to use in a Decorator Show House.  I wish I had purchased dozens of these easels because the room I designed ended up on the front cover of Better Homes and Gardens Window and Walls and a book (here's a Before and After post about that cottage dining room here). I had way too many calls and emails wanting those easels.  Problem is they were no longer for sale and I sold the other one to a client.  

Speaking of chandeliers (huh?) I sure wish I had the chandelier I used in that Cottage Dining Room.  It was a bazillion dollars back then and sure it would be two bazillion now.

Before the holidays we invited four couples to dinner and our small dining room got swallowed up when we put the extensions in the table. We would have to walk outside and around the house to come in another door to get to the other side of the table. We tried moving the table into the much larger, unused living room.  As soon as we did, it was such a Eureka moment.  We thought, "Why not keep it this way, we're the boss of us?"  So we did.  We lit lots of candles for that dinner, but we are planning another event this week and decided we need a chandelier.  Went about researching something large enough to light a large room and cheap enough to take back down if we ever sell the house and have to turn it into a living room again.  I was not happy with the prices or the timeframe to order one.  So two weekends ago we set out to find something local, cheap and in stock.  I prayed beforehand for a great find, as God knows I can be a tad bit, how should I say, PICKY.  After hitting all the big box stores we decided to check out Urban Barn, a huge flea market shop/antique, um...barn in Escondido.  That can take about two+ hours so I went in hopeful.  Tim and I split up to divide and conquer.  We met up a couple times and Tim mentioned he saw a chandelier way in the back area but too much stuff barricaded him from getting a good look.  He tried to take me to this back area but were told it was off bounds.  Not finding much, we purchased a birdcage and wine holder and as we were checking out the owner asked if we found what we came for.  Ha, next thing we knew we were the proud owners of this big baby.  Cost?  $35.  Yes way!!!

It's not the one from the show house, but looks and feels very Restoration Hardwareish and works just fine for $35, don't ya think?  Oh, and here's our newly converted "sitting room".  It's my favorite place to sit in the morning and plan my day.  Okay, that scary striped thing is a coverlet and I'm usually under it. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails