Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getty Villa

It feels like it has been forever since I've been to the Museum - a baby's arrival tends to put a damper on such things! But yesterday I had a terrific outing with my girlfriends to the Getty Villa up in Malibu. I mentioned to Gina that it has been on my to-do list for years, and it looked like I wouldn't make it happen before moving away.
Well she waved her magic wand and got me there, along with Emily and Margie. What a fun way to spend some time with my brunette beauties! It was an unusual day for Southern California - cool, gray and rainy. But the dreary weather made the Villa even more luscious.

Per usual with these girls, it was kind of hard for us to concentrate on anything since we had so much chatting to do, but we had such fun walking the grounds with the Getty umbrellas, and just generally goofing around. Oh, and the Greek and Roman antiquities were stunning too!

This was the longest I've ever been away from Chloe - a whole six and a half hours! She and daddy did great, although apparently she refused to eat, but didn't seem bothered by it. But by the time I walked in she was noshing on some avocado, so all was well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Pop Up Shop is back!

The LB Pop Up shop gang are at it again, this year presenting their very cool wares at Portfolio on 4th Street this coming weekend. I can't believe it has been a year since we first launched the Pop Up. I'm so glad they're doing it again, it's a great way to shop local, and buy some really cool stuff! Click here for more info.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rest in Peace, Andrea Burden

I received some really terrible news today - a friend from Austin named Andrea Burden died suddenly of meningitis last Saturday. This is such a loss, both for the art world and for all of us. I didn't know Andrea well, but we kind of ran around in the same crowd when I lived in Austin, and I was always glad to run into her. The last time I saw her was two years ago at the Maker's Faire in Austin. She had her new baby girl with her, and her daughter Bella, who was nine or ten. Andrea was, as usual, just glowing. She always had a huge smile and an aura of happiness radiating about her.

Andrea was an amazing painter. Her work always reminded me a bit of Spanish Surrealist Remedios Varo. You could just get lost in Andrea's world as depicted on canvas - a dreamy, mysterious and beautiful world, much more magical and serene than the one in which we actually live.

This self portrait perfectly captures her spirit. Click here to see more of Andrea's work. I can only begin to imagine the impact of her death among her loved ones in Austin. I know she was adored by all who knew her, and my heart goes out to her family, particularly her darling girls.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Patchwork Festival in LB this Sunday

So there's a nifty indie arts and crafts festival this Sunday in our neck of the woods. We're so so lucky to have Patchwork right around the corner, at Marine Stadium. It's an offshoot of the popular semi-annual Patchwork Festival in Santa Ana, which I've always wanted to check out and just never can make it. Can't wait to check out all the locally-made goodies!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gingersnaps with a cause!

This post is way overdue, inspired by a birthday gift that Eric's mother gave him last July. The gift was a lovely tin continer filled with yummy ginger snap cookies, sent by a non-profit organization called Gingersnaps, which is an agency of the United Way that benefits mentally handicapped people with its sales of yummy cookies and other treats. The treats come in nifty containers, with handmade paper ornaments, made in San Felipe, Texas at Willow River Farm, an organic farm and artisan community.

Gingersnaps is volunteer-driven, and all proceeds benefit 700 children and adults served daily by The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation in Houston, TX. So keep Gingersnaps in mind this coming holiday, if you're in the market for gingersnaps, cheese snaps, chocolate nuggets or fruitcakes! I love finding things like this - nifty, creative gifts that serve a greater purpose!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Soylar Candles

Our friend Julie told us about a nifty new home-based business here in Long Beach, Soylar Candles, run by a stay-at-home mom named Irene. She came up with the ingenious idea of using all her kids' old baby food jars and other old jars as candle holders, and she now creates and sells the candles online.

Not only are the jars recycled, she uses solar energy to produce the candles, which are are all custom made with phthalate-free soy with lead-free cotton wicks. They are adorable and make a great gift, plus they leave only a tiny footprint! If you're in the LB area, there is free pick up, so you can even avoid shipping costs. She also offers lots of other green goodies, like organic beanies for kids and reusable shopping bags. Good luck, Irene!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rebecca Mann on Etsy

An old friend of mine named Rebecca is ridiculously talented - photographer, ceramicist, foodie, artist. She's now taking Etsy by storm with a new shop. I'm sure these amazing mobiles are going to be a big hit. Click here to visit her Etsy shop, and click here to check out her cool blog (feauturing her beautiful boy Calder!).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

LB Organic T-shirts at Merry's

Long Beach Organic recently held a Summer Solstice party at our community garden - alas, we didn't make it, as it was just a week after Chloe was born! But I hear it was a great event, and they made these nifty t-shirts to commemorate it. The T’s are made ethically of organic cotton and printed in good ol’ Long Beach. Local artist and gardener James de Boer did the design, and they're available+ in men’s and women’s cuts.

To get your T-Shirt stop by Merry’s Fashion with Passion, Tuesday – Sunday 11ish to 6ish. Bring a check to Long Beach Organic or $15 cash. For each purchase made at Merry’s shop, $1 will be donated to the charity Pennies for Peace, which builds schools to educate children, particularly girls, in Afghanistan. Merry's is a great shop, offering all kinds of goodies made in developing nations, with money going straight back to the artisans behind the good.

Friday, August 14, 2009

LB Depot for Creative Reuse

For the past year and a half, I've somewhat obsessively saved things like egg cartons, twist ties, wine corks, the green plastic baskets that berries come in, and gift bags (and we've had a lot of those!). Once upon a time all those things would have gone in the trash, but now we can put all that random stuff to use by donating it to the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse! The brain child of the incredibly sweet Lisa Hernandez, the Depot is one of those win-win propositions - people like me can put a serious dent in their waste and re-purpose all kinds of stuff, and artists, teachers and other creative sorts can put all that stuff to use! Shopping there is such a blast, and gets your creative juices flowing. I always leave there trying to think of ways I could use some broken ceramic tiles, wooden nickels and beer caps, among other things. There is a section of free stuff for teachers to use in classroom projects. How cool is this??

This "magical shop" is now an official non-profit, and they have a list of ways we can all suppor their mission to "Promote, Inspire and Encourage creative reuse of all those items that don't make it to the thrift stores but too good to put in the trash!"

1. Sign up online for eScrip and follow the instructions to register your grocery and credit/debit cards. Everytime you shop at Vons, etc, or use your cards, the merchant partners contribute to us at no cost to you! We are under "The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse".

2. Please tell all of your Artists friends, Teachers, Students, etc. about "The Depot"."

3. Write, Call or Email anyone who's connected with the Media (newspapers, magazines, t.v., etc.) including stars like Ed Begley, Jr., Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Tyra Banks, Justin Timberlake, Al Gore and yes, even President Obama on the importance of small "green" businesses like "The Depot" that help boost the economy and is good for the environment! Let them know that "The Depot" would be a great model for others to emulate across the country! Imagine Creative Reuse shops in every community!

There is also a link on their web site for those of you who may want to contribute via Paypal.
You can also follow them on Twitter:

"Choose to ReUse...Art is Education!"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fab Etsy Stuff for Babies

We were given so many amazing baby gifts from sundry Etsy sellers, I really have to give a shout out to these terrific artists and crafters.

Devilish Grin
Margie gave Chloe this incredibly adorable kimono (with matching booties!) from Devilish Grin. I'm so in love with the fabric - wish I could get a mommy-sized dress in that fabric.

Organic Quilt
We received two quilts from Organic Quilt, plus some great burp cloths. Again, the fabrics are so gorgeous. Chloe hasn't used these quilts, I'm waiting until she gets through the massive spit up stage!

Tiddly Winks
I was the shopper here...just had to get Lily the Lion for Chloe, plus a little Elephant for wee Lola.

Backwoods Babies
Karin gave us this nifty portable changing pad (the one on the far left), which we actually use as her main changing pad in the living. This thing has probably gotten more use than anything else we received!

Sophie gave us a now-indespensable diaper organizer thingy from Bundled. It's perfect, compact and so cute (again in fabric that I want to turn into a dress!).

I'd like to include here some small, non-chain shops that have great things for kids. We love Etsy, but we also want to support locally-owned businesses!

No Sugar Added in Claremont, CA

Sol Baby in Hermosa Beach, CA

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ashley (and Anne!) at Pacific Art League

Our friend Ashley Smith created this gorgeous painting of his wife Anne - it's uncanny, how perfectly he captured her (with kitty and pregnant belly!). I love how realistic it is, yet so dreamy and sublime. I know Ashley more for his theater work, and I always forget what an amazing 2D artist he is. Fortunately the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, CA took notice, and accepted this piece for their upcoming exhibition"Figures and Faces." It opens Friday, August 7. Oh how I wish we could travel north for the opening! The painting is titled is ANNE, oil on board, measuring 14.5" x 33.5. Congrats Ashley!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fantastic Plastic in Johnson City, TX

I discovered Rebecca Tolk's lovely Holga photography at Yard Dog Gallery in Marfa, TX last year. Not only are her moody, mysterious shots so appealing, she mounts them on little wooden boxes made from reclaimed barn wood. How cool is that? I learned from her newsletter about the show above, the Fantastic Plastic show in Johnson City, TX, my old stomping grounds! I love this concept, a show of works all created by the cool old vanguard of cameras - Dianas, Holgas, pinholes, etc. The show opens tomorrow and runs through Sept. 19. Click here for details.

I hope they do this again next year when we'll be living nearby again! Who knows, maybe I'll dust off my Diana camera and try to enter one of my shots. This image, "Oatgrass," is Rebecca's work in the show.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Henry Levine on Etsy

I'm finally coming out of my baby haze to do a little art blogging! Eric's old friend Henry Levine is an amazing craftsman, specializing in custom wood furniture. Someday hopefully we can commission him to design and build some furniture for us. Fortunately, he also offers some starter items, like these beautiful votive holders, made from re-purposed solid chunks of American black walnut and now available at his new Etsy shop. I love it when such talented artists join Etsy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flora Bowley's online sale

I blogged a while back about Flora Bowley, whose lovely work we discovered on a trip to Seattle. She's having a nifty online sale of her "mini" paintings, little 8 x 8" gems painted on bamboo. And she's offering them on a sliding scale! So you can have a little original Bowley for between $95 and $165. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Junebug Art by Lisa Dawson

I have to give a plug to the artist behind this gorgeous piece of art, given to Junebug by my friends, sisters Kelly and Jackie. They commissioned it from a Long Beach artist named Lisa Dawson. I love it so much, and can't wait to watch JB grow up with her in her life. Lisa doesn't have a web site yet, but I will post when she does!

Lisa is hosting a "Make Your Own Art" workshop at The Kids are Alright in Long Beach on Wednesday, June 3rd. Click here for details!

Rest in Peace, Grandma Vada

My last grandparent passed away last Thursday, and the world lost a mighty force of nature. My paternal Grandmother, Vada Edith Marshall, just turned 96 years old and was, until the very end, one of the strongest people I could ever hope to meet. While her health was not great in recent years, her mind was as sharp as ever and she was fully lucid until her final moments. Eric and I raced to Dallas for a quick visit a few weeks ago, so she was able to feel the baby belly and knew she had another great-grandchild on the way (actually, two on the way, as Cousin Gretchen is also expecting!). We're all sad to see her go - but BRAVO! What a life! She made us all proud and I'm so happy knowing our little Junebug has a little piece of Vada inside her.

So, as I did when dear Grandma Norma passed two years ago, I've come up with a Grandma Vada Top Ten list. Here, in no particular order, are some great memories I have of Vada:

10. Her appearance at our wedding. I'll never forget when, the day before our wedding, my dad pulled into Austin from Dallas with Grandma in the car, and she had a hospital bracelet on her wrist. "Um - was Grandma in the hospital?" I asked Pop. "Oh yeah, Grandma had a heart attack a few days ago." WHAT?? Then Grandma said "Yes but I told the doctor that he had to let me go today so that I could go to my granddaughter's wedding in Austin." I think they literally drove directly from the hospital to our wedding site, three hours away. That perfectly illustrates Vada's resilience. Here we are just after the ceremony.

9. Videos of a younger Grandma - a hilarious memory I have of Grandma happened way before I was born. In a video my Grandpa shot while they were out somewhere in the country, near a river, Grandma is walking along a shady dirt path. There was camping gear and tents. But per Grandma's usual clothing preference, she was wearing a dress and pumps - I think she even had hose on. My mom told me even when Grandma would come to pool parties, she'd dip her feet in the pool with her hose on. Impeccably dressed, that Vada!

8. Her stories of childhood - I loved her stories of growing up in a small Kansas town. Since she was the oldest of the siblings, she got to ride her own pony to school, where her two younger sisters had to share one.

7. Going through her jewelry with her - as most Grandmas do, Vada had an endless array of jewelry she had collected over the years. In the last few years, as she was trying to get the grandchildren to "claim" some of her things, I told her I'd like to see her jewelry. So a couple of my visits were dominated by sifting through several boxes and suitcases of amazing old costume jewelry, and listening to her stories of their origin.

6. Sitting on her back patio - she was very proud of the fact that she never fenced in her back yard, and her back patio was such a fabulous, open spot for our frequent family gatherings. There she is on her patio in the top photo. This is a typical gathering with the cousins, for Grandma's 95th birthday last year.

5. Traveling to Florida with her when I was a teenager - she and I went to visit my Dad in, I think, 1985 in Vero Beach, Florida. I just remember having a great time with Grandma, although I was a little afraid of her driving. But walking on the beach with her was great.

4. Her flowers and fruit - Grandma had quite the green thump (which my Dad seems to have inherited, but appears to have skipped me). She always had the most amazing roses and other flowers and some veggies. She had great fruit trees too, and made some amazing jams with the fresh plums and other offerings from the trees. Dad has done a great job of keeping her little urban garden alive.

3. Her and Grandpa's 50th Anniversary - I so clearly remember Grandma and Grandpa's 50th anniversary party in 1984 (I think). I was so amazed at all of their friends and all of their amazing gifts. And I got to wear my first strapless dress - I felt very grown up and proud of having such a long marriage in the family. And Grandma looked so happy and pretty.

2. Grandma squabbling with my Dad - since my Dad lived with and took care of Grandma for the last 12 years or so, invariably The Dueling Marshalls would clash a bit, but it was usually just pretty hilarious to watch. Like when kittens pretend to swat at each other.

1. My last visit - Grandma's health took a rapid turn for the worse last month. The catheter for her dialysis was not working, and after surgery attempting to prepare it she had a couple of strokes. She was still lucid, but unable to walk, feed herself, or say more than a few words. So we made a quick trip, fearing this would be our last chance to see her. It was difficult to see her that way, but on my last visit of the weekend, I distinctly heard her say "How's Miss Cari?" when I walked in the room. I'm so happy that I could tell her that I was well, and that Junebug was on her way soon. It was a very intense reminder of the cycle of life - Grandma on her deathbed, while Junebug was squirming inside me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Solstice Party at the Garden

Who knows if we'll be able to attend this (since it's nine days after my due date), but our community garden is hosting what looks like a super fun Summer Solstice Party on Sunday, June 21 (also Father's Day!).

Artists, artisans and crafters, if you'd like to be a part of the Artisan Market (focusing on homegrown and handmade items), post a message and I'll let you know how. Hopefully we'll be in attendance with the Junebug (on the outside)!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Path Less Pedaled

Our friends Russ and Laura are preparing for a really incredible adventure: a pedal-powered project (aka: a really long bike tour) that will (hopefully) take them around the world over the next few years. WOW!

They're calling their project The Path Less Pedaled. Their web site is full of great information about the project, but right now they're trying to get rid of stuff and line up potential sponsors. Down the road (so to speak) they'll be looking for hosts/connections in sundry cities around the country and world, so my friends out there, be on the lookout, you know I'm passing along your information!

I love this concept so much! I'm so inspired by people who dream BIG - and then actually strive to make that dream happen! Even just reading about their process of getting rid of their stuff is so interesting. Russ is an awesome photographer, so this journey is going to be amazingly documented, I'm sure. Be on the lookout for this courageous duo!

Monday, May 04, 2009

"Grief Becomes Me" at the Art Theatre

This weekend we went to the premier of a very special film, "Grief Becomes Me." It's a bit hard to describe, but over the course of the last five years, filmmaker Christine Fugate has chronicled the life of our dear friend Donna Hilbert. Donna has had a rich and at times tragic life, and it all comes through so beautifully in her poetry. Christine uses Donna's poetry to tell her story, focusing on life, death and heaven. It is so beautiful, and after watching the project grow over the so many years, I am so happy for them that it is complete - and really wonderful!! They've submitted it to HBO and, I believe, sundry film festivals, so perhaps one day it will play near you. For now you can click here to read more about it.

The premier was here in Long Beach at the newly-restored Art Theatre. The city owes a huge amount of gratitude to Helen and Mark Vidor and their partners for lovingly restoring this old theater, and supporting small, independent ventures such as this. Here are Donna and Christine, with their film on the marquee!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stoked Sessions LA this weekend

This just in from some friends in LA. Looks like a fun arty event and fundraiser. I'm sorry we can't make it! Click here to read more about Stoked Mentoring, looks like a really cool organization!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Korakia in Palm Springs

I SO love staying at the Korakia in Palm Springs. It's incredibly peaceful. We first went for our honeymoon and try to make it back once a year. It's amazing that it's only a two hour drive from LA. It was nice to be back for our fifth anniversary - our last without a little one in tow!

I always turn into even more of a shutterbug than usual when we're there. Between the architecture and that unusual desert light, it's very inspiring for photography. Thought I'd share a few photos I snapped around the hotel...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Daniel Wheeler's "Gulp" in the LA Times

It was so great to actually see arts coverage in the front section of the LA Times yesterday (part of the California section, now that it has been folded into the front). There was a piece about Daniel Wheeler's "Gulp" series of photographs. I love Daniel's work - he's on the board of the University Art Museum at CSULB and donated a "Gulp" photo to an auction I curated there. He shoots the photos from under water in various swimming pools around Los Angeles (sometimes surreptitiously, chasing a good photo wearing a wetsuit!). What he captures are ghostly and, sometimes, eery visions of canopies of trees, clouds, smoke...whatever may be in the sky that day. Click here to view the LA Times piece (which includes a nifty slide show of images), and click here to view Daniel's site, where you can view more "Gulp" images plus his wide range of other types of artwork.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Five-Twelve to Us!

Happy Anniversary to us! Hard to believe it has been five years since that amazing day in Austin. We actually call this our "five-twelve" - five years married, but 12 years together. The best 5/12 of my life! We're off to celebrate this weekend in Palm Springs - our honeymoon spot.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Shop Whole Foods to Support KCRW!

A heads up that all Whole Foods stores in LA and Orange Counties will donate 5% of Wednesday's (tomorrow) proceeds to the world's greatest (IMHO) radio station, KCRW. So hit Whole Foods tomorrow and support all of their great public programming! Click here for more info.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

April 4 - a date I'll always remember

As my friends know, I have this weird calendar brain - if you tell me your birthdate, I can tell you what day of the week your next birthday will fall on. Completely useless and pointless, but a good party trick. I also remember key dates in my life, and I'll always remember today's date - April 4 - for two events.

Five years ago on April 4, 2004, I departed with about a dozen girlfriends for the Dabbs Railroad Hotel in Llano, a couple hours from Austin, for the best bachelorette party/bridal shower ever. We had the whole place to ourselves for 24 hours, and we had such a blast. I had friends there from Austin, Houston, New York, Amsterdam and Long Beach, and I'll never forget what a special time it was. I can't believe we didn't get a pic of the full group, but here are several of us with Gary, the greatest host ever (on the left, sharing my feather boa). That's Bubba in back. No seriously, his name really is Bubba. And yes, I'm wearing pajama bottoms, a red slip and a blue feather boa. It's funny to think that four ladies here are either currently pregnant or just had a baby. There must have been something in that cowgirl coffee that Gary prepared!

Thank you again to Christine and Tammy for such a great outing! Here they are in their honorary bridesmaid hats.

And five years before that, on April 4, 1999, I departed Austin on an Amtrak train bound for New York City. It really doesn't seem possible that it has been ten years since I left Austin. It remains probably the saddest day of my life, because I left Eric on the station platform, and I was a sobbing mess. But it was an amazing two-day journey, and disembarking in Penn Station in NYC was one of the most thrilling events I've ever experienced. Fortunately, Eric joined me full time in NYC within six months, and the rest, as they say, is history. I don't have any shots from the big departure, but I did find the invite to my going away party.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Closing day and final flurry of visitors

I can't believe it's already a "wrap," but I'm so happy with the exhibition, and it was such fun working on it simultaneous with being pregnant with Junebug. I started working on the show the same month I found out I was pregnant, so it has been a really interesting experience, expecting a girl while immersing myself in the feminist issues explored here. Thanks for all your inspiration, Junebug!

The final visitorship was 1,570 - a pretty remarkable number considering it was only open three weeks, and for only 18 hours per week. I'm happy!

During the last two days of the exhibition, six more friends (plus one wee baby) came to visit! I have to say I think I have the most amazing group of girlfriends, who found time in their busy week to trek to Cypress. Thank you so much, ladies! And now, for the final "gallery" of visitors with their faves:

Brenda with Moira Hahn's "Staycation." I think this piece helped trigger a little spring fever in everyone.

...and Brenda with DJ Hall's "Giggle." She was about to take off for a reunion with her college girlfriends, and found this piece inspiring.

Jen with Selina Trieff's "The Travelers." I was happy to see people connect with Selina's work - her figures are so mysterious that I think some folks find them unsettling, but three visitors today really gravitated to them. Which bring us to...

Sophie with Selina's "Two Women in Red." I love how the figure on the right is seemlingly staring at Sophie.

Kristen (with wee Isla) and Moira's "Staycation." I'm so glad Kristen was able to make it. She's a terrific artist and can capture the human figure so beautifully - I should have included her work! Funny that the last two baby visitors were named Isla (the Scottish pronunciation!).

Myriam with DJ Hall's "Giggle." She said the ladies made her feel "uneasy." I heard that a lot with DJ's figures. They are kind of unsettling, looking both estactic and melancholy at the same time. The blond is totally checking out Myriam.

And, last but certainly not least, Kelly with Selina's "Two Women in Red." Poor Kelly had to navigate around the crew, who were holding off on deinstallation until after her visit. Sorry for the rush, Kelly!

Thanks again everyone!