Welcome to my blog! I am so excited to share my art and adventures as an administrator with others. Thank you for making the time to view my blog and giving me your input.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I just put the finishing touches on my paper dolls. The plan is to mail these lovelies to Tammie tomorrow. I feel good about having gotten these dolls completed before Monday's deadline. Now that these dolls are finished, I am ready to move on to swap #2 - the mail art. I need to create 12 postcards and have them to Carol by February 6th, my birthday. I am hoping to make 4-6 extra postcards to send to some of the most special people in my life. Having been a recipient of mail art, there is nothing quite like getting one of these little gems in the mail, especially since most of the mail we are bombarded with on a daily basis is crap and really bad for the environment. Can hardly wait to see what Tammie sends me in the swap. Tammie's artwork is really spectacular. Each piece she creates is exquisite. Maybe Tammie is reading this and will get the hint about writing her own book, a book chocked with her creations. Just a thought...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Waiting On A Friend

I started my morning today by listening to the Rolling Stones, while I got ready for work. I think the Stones are the best band ever! One of the best concerts I ever attended was the Rolling Stones and Guns 'N Roses show, at the Coliseum, in L.A. Talk about pretty fucking amazing! I went to the concert with my sister, Rachel, and we had a great time. We got home @ 4:00 a.m., went to our respective schools to teach our English classes just a few hours later that morning, got rained on at the concert, and I got laryngitis. Dad gave each of us a big lecture, even though we were both big girls and were no longer living at home. But who cares? This was the Stones we're talking about! My dad said something to me like, "Are you crazy or what? The cemetery is full of stupid people!" My response was, "It's only rock 'n roll, but I like it." Because I was already sick when I went to the concert, I lost my voice for a few days. That night was one of the most memorable moments in my life-time - magical. "Waiting on a Friend" is my all-time favorite Stones' song.

A shot of the San Rafael Bridge, near our home, in Pasadena. There are several bridges in our neighbor-hood and they are something to behold when the sun is rising or setting over them. This shot was taken during a lull in the rain. The land surrounding the bridges is actually the arroyo. It is quite beautiful anytime of the year, but especially during the fall, when the leaves start to change color. My husband took this photo, but I found just the right place to shoot it, so I guess I get half-artistic credit.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The following are some of my ATC's (artist trading cards) that I have started to make for the Valentine's Day swap. I completed 8 over the weekend, but still need another 26 to go! Last night, I designed labels that I am going to put on the back of my ATC's, to promote my blog. The labels should be here by Wednesday. I am so excited about the Valentine's Day luncheon that Carol is hosting. I really love Carol and am so appreciative to have her as my friend. She is such a caring, supportive, and inspirational person. Every time I go over to her home, she literally rolls out the red carpet and makes all feel welcome. Also today, I got started on my 3 paper dolls for a swap that Tammie Moore is hosting. The deadline is looming over my head! I think the deadline is this weekend. I really put a lot of detail into my cards. I spent about an hour on each, getting the look just right. The dolls will be much easier since I am going to leave the torsos nude. I had a very busy weekend! I had my drawing class this morning. We were off from class last Sunday because of the Martin Luther King holiday. We are off next Sunday because of the Super Bowl. I am the most undisciplined person I know! I do very well on Monday-Friday, but the weekend is another story! I usually stay up really late and sleep in a couple of more hours on the weekends. So, getting up early and being ready for a 9:00 a.m. class is hard. I am very proud that I have made it to every class on time. We have 5 more class sessions left. After class, I headed to the mall. I haven't been to the mall since late November. I had to run a couple of errands: my shampoo, conditioner, and hair gloss needed to be replenished and I searched for a sexy, red lipstick! The red lipstick is for Valentine's Day! I rarely use red lipstick unless I am going to some kind of formal event. I am so pale that the red gives my skin a little color. I already have one red lipstick; it is a gorgeous gloss by Chanel, but I wanted something just a little more subtle. Needless-to-say, I left the store without finding what I wanted. I did get all the hair products I needed and I bought some Valentine's Day paper. I am such a paper whore - like Kelly and a lot of other artists out there! I also bought a really nice, black dress that I could probably get away with wearing at work or out for a dressy event. It is one of those dresses that definitely needs a black pump with a killer heel to give it some oomph! Who said assistant principals can't be sexy?! I hope my bosses aren't reading this...

Monday, January 21, 2008

I can't believe how this past week flew! This was an extremely busy weekend too. On Saturday, one of my friends, Carolyn, had a few of us over for lunch at her place. I had a great time. I got to catch up with 3 dear friends from Garfield. It's kind of funny that every time I see people from my old school, Garfield, the first or one of the first questions to me is, "When are you coming back to Garfield?" I have no idea what next year will look like for me. I am hoping just to stay in one place for awhile, whether that be our next home or this crazy job of mine. Yesterday, I had breakfast with Maria. Maria and I try to have breakfast every Sunday. We hang out at a little restaurant in San Marino, called "Colonial Kitchen". We spent part of the afternoon cruising my neighborhood. Maria is thinking of buying a house this year and really loves my neighborhood - so do I. So much so, that I am hoping our next place is in this same neighborhood. This morning, my husband, Mike, and I had breakfast at my favorite place to have breakfast, "Julienne's", in San Marino. I LOVE their french toast! We got back around 11:30 and I headed out the door to run errands. I spent a couple of hours shopping for art supplies, particularly Valentine's Day themed artwork. I have a couple of serious deadlines coming up for Valentine's Day swaps. One of the swaps I'm a part of is a paper doll swap. We will make 3 dolls and then, mail them off to the hostess. I haven't made a paper doll since I was a little girl, but these type of dolls are not the kind I would have made or played with as a child. The second swap is on a grander scale: I will be making 36 Valentine Day cards. My dear friend, Carol, is having her annual Valentine's Day tea party. This will be the first time I will be attending the tea party and I am really excited about all the art we will be creating and swapping. Each of the guests will receive a Valentine's Day card that I have created for them. Both deadlines are for early February, which is right around the corner. While I was checking out what art supplies I was going to buy, I received a text from my dear friend, George. George was at an appointment in Pasadena. We hadn't seen each other since before the holidays. Anyway, since George was right down the street, we decided to make some time to meet for coffee, tea, and dessert, since I am not a coffee drinker. I invited George to our house since he had never been here before. George got a chance to meet my husband and check out our place. Then, we were off to the "Coffee Table", in Eagle Rock. I drove. The restaurant is just down the hill from us, about 5 minutes. George had a burger and coffee and I had a slice of cheesecake and iced tea. We got a chance to catch up. Then, I drove through the arroyo so George could see how beautiful the view is at night and he got a glimpse of San Rafael. We got to our place and I made George a cup of coffee before he left. After George left, I went to the market, got back and made dinner, then cleaned up. I think I need another 3-day weekend just to recuperate from this extremely busy weekend! These two journal pages are my latest art. I started working on them at the end of December and into early January. I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. The December page is about all the great things I experienced in the past year. Although there is some sadness to some of those things, all were learning experiences. I am hoping to speed up the artwork, beginning tomorrow night. If I can swing it tomorrow, I hope to do a little artwork after dinner. I am hoping to go to the gym too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Speaking of the Art Center, these 2 pages are from one of my books. I made the book a month prior to taking "Artists' Sketchbooks and Journals", my first class at the Art Center. Two of the most prominent, symbols I use in my work are hearts and hands. Because I have a short attention span, I get bored using the same book. I bounce back and forth with my journal books instead of using only one, from start to finish. By bouncing back and forth, I can pick up an old book, work in it again, and actually see just how far I have come as an artist. This book is a year old and still has a few blank pages. It is time to re-visit my old friend. I prefer to make my own journals, what I call "visual journals", then to buy them. Every once in awhile, I will buy a blank book or I will receive one as a gift. Somehow, the book calls to me to do a little of my "alterations" so that it has its own personality. I have recently altered a sketchbook and am working in the pages inside.

This past week was extremely busy. I went back to work on Tuesday and although I still don't feel 100% yet, the job couldn't wait for me to feel better. Friday was the craziest day I have ever had as an administrator. I made 8 visits to the dean's office, had 5 parent conferences, and I suspended 2 students who we are going to move to new schools. And that was only half of my day! The weekend flew! On Saturday, I spent a couple of hours finishing my drawing for one of my classes. There is no class next Sunday, so that will give me a chance to finish my homework and reading for the following week. I start school tomorrow @ the Art Center. I have been attending the Art Center for the last year. I will be taking a storytelling class and have absolutely no idea what the class will entail! I really don't care; whatever class I take is always a good challenge. I SO enjoy the change of pace that my art classes provide me. It is a quite a welcome departure from the fast pace of my job. This was our first homework assignment for my drawing class. The instructor gave us 2 copies of a famous female nude and had us draw her upside down, using one of the copies as our guide. A different approach from how I have been taught to draw, but it really gives you a completely different perspective and so, I was very happy with the results.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I went back to work today! It was an extremely busy day. I still don't feel 100%, so I don't want to over-do it. But it was good to be back at work. This is one of my favorite pieces. I altered an atlas awhile ago and this is a piece I created inside the book's pages. I am taking a drawing class at one of our local community colleges. The class meets from January to March, on Sunday mornings. Class is from 9:00 a.m. (what was I thinking?!) to noon. It is really, really hard for me to get up early on the weekends! Unless I am working on a Saturday or have some type of social engagement, I am just awful about getting up before 7:30 a.m. My rationale is there is no reason to get up any earlier. The getting up isn't the problem - it is the getting out of bed that is the hardest part for me. Besides the drawing class, I start back at the Art Center, here in Pasadena, this upcoming week. I will be taking one class, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., on Mondays only. It is a story-telling class that I will be taking for the next 4 months. I am really excited about this course since the class will give me an opportunity to combine my writing skills with art. Sort of what I have tried to do with my photographs and books all these years.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Gipsy Kings - Pida Me La 2001

Speaking of Spain, more Spanish culture. This is a video of my favorite Latin group, the Gipsy Kings, singing my all-time favorite song of theirs, "Pida Mi La", "Ask Me For Her". The Gipsy Kings have put flamenco music on the world map for the last 30 years. I NEVER get tired of these guys!

Solea por Bulerias - Manuela Vargas, Joaquin Cortes

This video is from Almodovar's "The Flower of My Secret" ("la flor de mi secreto"). Almodovar is one of my two favorite directors; Woody Allen is the other. Joaquin Cortes smolders in this dance number with the great, Manuela Vargas. There isn't an Almodovar's movie I haven't enjoyed. And after I have seen whatever is his latest, it leaves me wanting more. I have been a HUGE Almodovar fan since the mid-80's, when I first discovered his movies.

One good thing that has come out of me being sick, I have been able to stay on top of my blog. I am hoping to be back at work tomorrow; that is the game plan. And although I don't feel 100%, it is time to get back to my routine. Today, I thought about all the things that didn't get done while I was on vacation these past 3 weeks and that got me thinking about places I have been to in the last 10+ years. One of those places was Spain; Madrid to be exact. I visited Madrid in March 1997. I went on my own and stayed in Madrid for a week. I fell in love with the city and vowed to return in a year. Well, that didn't happen! But I am itching to go back as early as this summer. There are 2 regions in Spain I would love to see: the Basque area, particularly, the village where my grandmother's family is from, in Bilbao, and of course, one of my BIG loves: Andalusia, the part of the country that includes Sevilla and Granada. Since none of my Madrid photos survived the fire we had at our old house in Eagle Rock, I decided to search for photos online of some of my favorite places in Madrid. Here are a few of those sites:

This is a very famous site, the fountain of Cibeles, or in Spanish, la fuente de cibeles. The fountain is located on one of the busiest streets in Madrid, "Calle Alcala". It was extremely difficult for me to get across the street. In fact, I got half-way across the street and realized there was still another half of the street to go. I almost died getting across that street, but it was worth the risk. Breath-taking!

Speaking of Calle Alcala, here it is in all its glory!

This is the "hub" of the city: Puerto del Sol. I spent a lot of my time in this area. Puerto del Sol is a quad, a gathering place for tourists from all parts of the world, as well as for Madrilenos. One day, a week day, I was strolling through Puerto del Sol. I was taking pictures and saw a teenaged bride and groom, dressed in traditional bridal clothing, dancing through the quad. There was a small group of family members following behind the couple and a few musicians. I followed them, in the hopes of taking some pictures of them. I kept thinking this opportunity would make a great photo! A photo of a life-time! I didn't get too far because I got stopped by an older, American woman from the Mid-west, who spoke absolutely terrible Spanish! She had her dictionary in her hand and asked me something so off-the-wall in Spanish, that even I couldn't understand what the hell she was saying. I remember telling her I spoke English and that I was also American. Omigod, she went absolutely ape shit hearing those words. When I was first stopped by this woman, I thought she had a real emergency. I later found out she and her husband were looking for Puerto del Sol and did not realize that they were already at their destination. I told her she was standing in Puerto del Sol, then I took off to look for the bride and groom. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found. I ran into that American couple one more time during my week in Madrid; they were at the Prado the day I visited the museum. They sure remembered me. They came up to me in the restaurant at the museum, to say "hi". They had another couple, also Americans, with them. The other woman in the party asked me if I knew where the "no smoking" section of the restaurant was. I told her, "This isn't the U.S. There is no such thing as 'no smoking' areas in Europe." WOW.

I am still not 100% yet. I can't believe I have been sick for almost 2 weeks. I am still congested and it makes it hard to sleep at night. This flu has really kicked my butt! Thank God I got a flu shot back in late October, or I would have probably been a lot sicker. I go back to work tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. On another note, I finally took down all the Christmas decorations - it took me several days to accomplish that. I am now anxiously awaiting my favorite holiday of the year: Valentine's Day. When I was a kid, because I attended a Catholic school, we always got Valentine's Day off because it was a Catholic holiday. I love the old Victorian designs, the hearts, and angels that can be found in Valentine's Day art. I LOVE Valentine's Day so much, that I got married on that day. Something must be going right since we will be celebrating our 27th anniversary next month! Here is some of my Valentine's Day stash. In the background is a box of hearts. My best friend, Sergio, gave me this gift for Christmas. He knows I collect hearts - I have since I was a little girl. I took the Christmas decorations off my small iron tree. Now, the tree is covered in hearts and birds to welcome Valentine's Day. The milagros, stickers, and collage sheet will be used for cards and a swap that I am involved in. Now, I need to get better to get moving on all the things I wanted to get done while I was on my 3 week "vacation"! After being sick for the last 2 weeks, I promised myself I would slow down; my "gift" to me. But I am itching to make some new art.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In a blink of an eye, the holidays are gone! This year's Christmas was especially magical for me. I never strive for Christmas to be perfect. Perfect is almost impossible and very stressful. But, we had a very nice and special Christmas and the most important part of it was that we got to spend time together as a family. Here are some shots of the big kids and children. Today, I am going to spend part of the day taking the tree down and putting all the decorations away. Happy 2008!