Friday, May 28, 2010


The day is finally here.  I have been talking about it and posting about it for months, and now it is upon us.  I have been so busy packing, repacking and purging that I haven't had time to really think about what it will be like to NOT live in the Bay Area anymore.  I have been focusing on getting ready, keeping my family somewhat together and living between 2 places for 6 months now.  The finish line I have been racing toward was the ultimate goal of finding a house and settling down to start a new chapter of our life in Southern California.  Initial thoughts were "Hey, it's only a 1 hour plane ride or a 6 hour car ride.  I can come back and forth as much as I want." and now I am saying "I HATE that drive down I-5 and once I get to Valencia, it is STILL another 2 1/2 hours home because of all the lovely LA traffic."   Where did my time go to appreciate all the old things I am leaving behind, and the new discoveries ahead of me?    

I think every town and area has a "vibe" or "groove" that is unique to itself.  I have been many places in the world, and although I have loved visiting them... there were very few that took my breath away enough that I would actually want to live there.  Maui is one... The Amalfi Coast in Italy is another... and then there is my hometown.  Martinez, home of the Martini and Joe Di Maggio and the father of the National Park Service John Muir.  Is it home just because my family has lived here for 5 generations now?  Is it that I know where everything is?  Is it because I know so many people here?  What is it about this town that has cast a spell on me.  I know many who leave, but they come back. Why does this place feel like home to me?  Why do I think of this town when I think of going home?

I think it is like the famous old saying, home is where the heart is.  My heart is here, or a large part of it anyway.  My roots, my friends, my family, my memories and history are all here in this tiny little town on the Carquinez Straits that many people don't even know exists.  I will miss it here...  I will miss my life here.... and everyone I love, but I can't help but be excited for the changes to come.  New adventures waiting to be had.  New friends to discover and fall in love with.  So many opportunities ahead of us with a clean fresh start.  Standing on the threshold of terror and excitement, I am ready to jump into the unknown.  I am ready now because my wonderful husband has already paved the way for us to make it easier.  He is braver than we are.  He has done this before, leaving his country and all that was familiar to come here for a better life...  How can I not do the same with him as my example?  How can I not support him as he has supported us?  I am ready now, because he has made sacrifices that have made life easier for the rest of us.  I am ready to do something difficult for love of him, and all he has done for us.  I would follow him anywhere.   So now I must go where my heart is...  with him... to this new life we are creating for our family... 

Wish us love.....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nini's Garden

My son Austin lives with his Dad and Grandma Nini in Walnut Creek.  She has one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.  Not just because it is pretty, but because of all the love that went into creating it... His grandparents bought the property in the 1950's and raised a large family here.  Gardening was Papa's passion, and he would spend hours puttering in his garden.  He is gone now, but Austin's dad takes care of the garden, and it thrives, a lasting legacy to all the love Nini and Papa and their family have put into it through the years.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I talked about this on Facebook but I want to share how AWESOME my day was yesterday with my pals the Bay Area Art Sisters.  I met these ladies on the Artfest website a few years ago, and we have been getting together once a month to do fun art projects.  This is one talented group of women with a collective pool of knowledge that is fathomless.  I always come away from these get togethers inspired, rejuvinated and wishing the hours would slow down for the time when we are together so I could do more. 

We spray painted all kinds of things.  All my stuff is packed up, so I brought paint, and some vintage wallpaper, and suitcases (I had 10 of them in storage, I thought it was 9, but I found another one today.)  At first I was really feeling challenged.  The other ladies were going to town with a sense of purpose, and I didn't know what to do until I saw this piece Michele did.  I was so inspired, I tried a sheet of wallpaper and then boldly started in on the train case.

I knew I wanted a pastel look to it.  I plan on using them in my studio to hold my vintage fabrics.  I chose all the easter egg colors, with a darker purple and blue for contrast.  After layering the cream, pink, green and blue, I needed something to make the images pop, so I used the purple lightly and loved the look.,  Then I tried the blue and started to really see where this would go.  I just kept layering the colors and images over one another until I liked the way it looked.  Using silver on one of them created a damask effect that was cool, but too different from the other two, so I layered more color over the silver until I got the results I wanted.

I love how they turned out.  My favorite was a stencil Michele had that I used a lot.  The checkered rubber rug mat made cool checks and a neat mono print that I loved.  The plastic doilies made cool floral motifs that all blended really well together with the stencils I used.  I like the pastel paisley hippie look they have.

Here are some of the projects the other ladies did.  As you can see, their talent abounds.  I am addicted now, and can't wait for the rain to stop so I can bust out the spray paint and go to town making pages for journals.

I have been missing the ability to create.  I am really limited on the things I can do with my arm, so this was perfect for me.  I think I want to get a small air compressor and an airbrush kit so I can do more types of painting. 

I love getting together with other creative people and sharing ideas.  There is a consciousness that is created, as we all go into the zone and work on our projects together.  Sometimes there is chatting, and sometimes we are quiet as we concentrate on the process, but no matter what we do, it is always cool, and it is one of the best ways on the planet to spend a sunday afternoon....  I am going to miss these ladies, and plan on trying to make as many of these playdates as I can even after I move.  I urge you to plan regular art dates with friends to play and make art.  It pushes you to stretch out of your comfort zone and try new things.  I can't wait till I move to LA and make new art friends down there.  These ladies gave me some ideas on where to go to meet people, and I have my super awesome friend, the fabulous artist Sharon Soneff down there who I have been dying to spend time with.  I am looking forward to a creative summer!