Thursday, March 30, 2006

The City of Los Angeles has officially declared that in order to park in Los Angeles you now will need a PhD or a very, very fat wallet.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I thought I'd post a couple of photos of my *ahem* "studio space/living room" area. This is "my corner" right as you walk in the front door. It's even messier right now at almost 11 a.m. as I proceed to get ready to teach in CO next weekend (Artists' Nook in Fort Collins) AND for some weird reason, I've decided I need to "clean" as I prep. *sigh* It's art I want to do, but here I am cleaning :P

The hardest part of packing for a trip for me can be broken down into three parts:

A. Realizing that I'm leaving home-which bums me out when my family isn't going with me...(Tristan will be with me this time, but David will be home :( )

B. Trying to figure out what to pack for "collage stuff"-I can't always fit my Pink Barbie On Wheels Case in the rental along with everything else I need to bring so what do I DO? LOL

C. Trying to figure out what books to bring..eek! We are driving to CO-me, my Mom and my's an almost 16 hour drive and that gives lots of looking out the window/reading time...what to do, what to do ;)

I haven't been able to do "much" artwork lately as I have been spending most of the time prepping for CO, and last week (plus part of this week) was spent doing all car related stuff. Luckily the state of CA gave us a two year waiver to get the car fixed (read: engine replaced) but the stuff that they make you go through is amazing. I will post that "rant" in another note. Let's put it this way, for "low income" working people, in order to go through their "program and receive an extension" you have to spend a ton of money (we had to pay for THREE smog checks-they amounted to over $200 worth of work) not to mention the fact that you miss days/hours worth of work. It not only made me miss a ton of my own work but hubby missed a lot as well. So it is not "worker friendly".

A Short List of Recommended Reading/Eye Candy:
Street Art by Louis Bou
Index A by Charles Wilkin
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez-a wonderful children's book about an amazing man

One last comment for the day, those of you in favor of either of the two new bills that they are trying to pass on immigrant workers (both bills I disagree with, BTW), just remember this: there are over 3 million children of Immigrant workers in this country. Most of these children were born here which makes them US Citizens. If their parents are deported, families will be ripped apart-where will they go? Just one thing that they are not covering on the news...Though, surprisingly, the news is covering a lot about the marches though I don't agree with the numbers that they are reporting (I think they are much higher-especially after the people that I saw in the LA area on Saturday-tons of marchers in the a.m. and then almost 10 hours later!)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I saw the *coolest* sight today. I was on the way to my class in Lake Elsinore at A Little Bizaar driving down Melrose. There were tons of people waiting at the bus stop on Melrose-brown people, white people, black people, -people of all kinds-GOING to the mass rally in Downtown LA to protest the new bill that those in power are trying to pass to make it a crime to help immigrants who have come into this country looking for work and a better life. I was on the 101 at 8:30 a.m. there was a huge STREAM of people marching, waving-it was amazing. I passed the overpass almost 11 hours later at 7:30 pm, and they were STILL there-waving at passerbys, people in cars-holding their banners, their flags, their signs. It was amazing.
What inspired me most about it was that -it's proof that people, if they are interested, if it affects them-are willing to show up en masse and speak out-to try to get their voices heard, to demand that people listen to them.
I mean, c'mon, our families at some point in time were all immigrants into this country unless you're a Native American. For the most part, we all came here searching for a "better life" for ourselves and our children...and we all work hard trying to provide for our families. That's all these so called "illegals" want to do-work hard, provide and just be able to live a decent life. It's what this country was founded on.
As Lennon said, "Power to the people..."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Had to change the settings on my blog-sorry!!! I will still accept comments (good, bad and the ugly LOL) but I don't want people reading spam so there is one tiny extra step before comments get posted from now on-they have to go through me before they get posted. Thanks for understanding :)
Cavallini & Co has some really NEAT new stickers. Dick Blick had them today when I was getting supplies for the classes this weekend-lots of birdie stickers!! I loved them!!
Don't ask about my day...just trust me, I am SO looking forward to the weekend, teaching and making art!!! I am teaching a brand new class, too-"A Woman's Notebook". REALLY looking forward to it!!! :)
I made this "canvas" (it's actually a piece of masonite painted, collaged, etc...) a couple of months ago to sell on ebay...but the buyer didn't follow through. I have one of these for $25 if anyone is interested... :) It's an original and one of a kind.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Well, I just found out that my car needs a new engine. They're not letting it pass the smog test.
Sooooo in honor of that and since I don't have the money to buy a "new" car, I'm going to have a big online garage sale.
If anyone is looking for anything in particular, please email me directly
I'll be selling original art (postcards, books and more), books, magazines, stamps, grabbags and more...
All money going directly to help buy Kelly a new engine for her car. (Hey, if anyone has had any experience with this drop me an email too as I'd love to hear). We are thinking of buying what is called a "young Japanese engine" as I guess the Japanese only drive their cars til they hit 25 -30,000 miles and then get rid of them. That is the best option $$ for us.
Thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

These are just a couple of the postcards I've made lately.

The bird ones front and back are finished and ready to fly away on me, already to a new home (they're on their way...)

I will be posting more soon...they are "works in progress".

I had a great weekend teaching-lots of laughs and fun and amazing art done this weekend. I had a few "new students" so that is always a lot of fun to have someone new to bookbinding or mixed media painting or to a class with me :)

Been busy working on my zine-trying to get things done...

My favorite quote of this past weekend is from Harry Belafonte talking with Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now) about the current state of the world this past weekend in NYC. The whole speech is available at

"Everybody has a part in this. Everybody has something to look at, and I think it is a collective experience, and that's why I think rather than sitting here drifting, we’ve got to talk about this, not just where we failed and where you failed, and we’ve got to come out of this discourse and this discussion, not just talking about it but saying, “Here's where we go,” and take courage in the fact that we can turn this around, because the truth of the matter is we are the only ones that can turn this around. Nothing and no one else can do it. Nothing."-Harry Belafonte

It's something that I've been saying-we need to talk. We need to be able to listen to each other without being irrational. This society, as a whole, needs to talk and figure out in which direction we are going.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Had a great time teaching today-GREAT group of artists producing some amazing artwork.

Thanks to Sue Nan I picked up "Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiders and Textile Artists". I've only flipped through it but it looks really great!

Annoyed right now as someone posted basically what I consider "hate" speech on MY blog. If you want to post a comment on my blog-either positive or negative, fine, but please have the balls to post your identity. OK? Also make sure you have your facts straight 'cause I'm Irish and I love a good argument. Some people might sweep "political" talk under the rug and fear talking about it in public. Guess what? I don't. Especially in today's world.

No pix today 'cause the site isn't working 100%...I have some new stuff to post soon any ways :)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Am too tired to find any artwork done in green-so I found this woman wearing green on one of my books (LOL)
Took my kiddo to school this morning (dressed him in green) but was too sleepy to find a green shirt for ME so I wore pink. TWO moms stopped me and asked why wasn't I wearing green (figure this out-one was NOT wearing green either). I told her that I was Irish and didn't have to wear green. LOL
Some interesting "Irish" trivia this morning-google or go to and look up info on the San Patricios...and the treatment of the Irish in the US...the stereotypes that still exist to this day. Very interesting indeed given all of the "debates" on immigration into this country (*sigh*-I guess no one remembers that basically everyone who came into this country except the Native Americans were immigrants).
"Dissent makes this country healthy." -Amy Goodman host of Democracy Now!

Great books that I have found lately:
-ANYTHING on the artist Hunderwasser I LOVE his artwork and have been wanting to purchase something with his art in it for a long time. I finally found two old (full color) books at a local used bookstore.
-The latest 3x3 Illustration Annual magazine It's got a $19 cover price on it but it's full of inspiration
-"What Shall We do without Us?" Kenneth Patchen-found used as well
I think I've bought at least 15 books in the last two weeks so I will list more later...

OH and hubby found on google last night, a brilliant "re-edited trailer" of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". It makes it out to be a completely DIFFERENT film then the original. Sooo, that being said, if you've seen the original, you HAVE to watch this online. It's hysterical!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

UPDATE on Emily Quinlan:

Emily is still waiting for her treatment plan so that she can start her chemo. The goal is to keep her leukemia "smoldering" while her liver heals.
This will give them time to look for bone marrow donors.


These are the upcoming drive I have:
March 18, 2006 - Chatham, MA Chatham Rec Center., 12 Hitching Post, Rd, Chatham, Saturday, March 18 from 10AM - 4PM
March 24, 2006 - New Bedford, MA. First Unitarian Church, 71 8th Street, New Bedford, MA, Friday, March 24 from 2PM-8PM.
March 25, 2006 - Cohasset, MA. St. Anthony Church Hall, 10 Summer Street, Cohasset, MA, Saturday, March 25 from 10AM-4PM.
March 26, 2006 - Danvers, MA. Masonic Temple, 30 High Street, Danvers, MA, Sunday, March 26 from 10AM-3PM.
April 5, 2006 - San Diego CA. NorthMinister Presbyterian Church, 4324 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard San Diego, CA
Apr 8, 2006 - Merrimack, NH St. James United Methodist Church, 646 DW Highway, Merrimack NH, Saturday April 8 from 11AM - 4PM

Also, there are some fundraisers coming up:

Disco Ball
Friday, March 24, 2006 at 7:00pm
Riverview @ Hudson Portuguese Club,
Port St, Hudson, MA

Sydney Jo's Hope Chest
1st Annual Dinner-Dance
April 29th 2006
5:45 to Midnight
DiBurro's Ball Room
Ward Hill MA

PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!!! Emily is 18 years old and is fighting strong!! (Her photo and more info are further below in my blog)

PLEASE pass this on to ANYONE who may be able to help or donate.

"The donor marrow has to match genetically with the recipient, and Emily's heritage:
Italian (Stromboli, Lipari, Sicily, Travaglia), Azorean (Flores, and others, Lourenco, Rodgrigues, dos Santos, Ferreira), Irish and Native American."

Today is the third year anniversary of the murder of Rachel Corrie. To learn more about Rachel and what she stood for, please visit:

Rachel Corrie, a peace activist from WA, was murdered on March 16, 2003 at the age of 23 in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli army bulldozer (supplied by US company Caterpillar) while wearing a brightly colored vest, holding a megaphone and standing in full view of the driver of the bulldozer. She was there trying to protect the lives and homes of Palestinians.

"Let me know if you have any ideas about what I should do with the rest of my life." -last email from Rachel Corrie to her parents

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Had a wonderful weekend up at Stampers Warehouse in Danville. I drove up by myself Thursday afternoon. The drive up wasn't all that bad even though it always seems to be a long, boring tedious drive! LOL! I was hoping that I'd see the monarch butterflies that I saw going up there last year at this same time, but alas, they were no where to be found. I kept myself awake and alive by listening to some CDs that David made me of some of my favorite songs. My favorite question from hubby "Did you listen to the instrumental CD I made?" Me: "Ummm, nooooo...when I drive and I drive for 5+ hours, I need music that I can SING along with..." We know you can do the "dahhdahh dahhdahh dahhhh..." thing with "Frankenstein" but c'mon you can only do it for so long before you feel like a jack ass! LOL!
It was weird though Thursday night-I arrived in Danville and the road just stopped-crazy traffic PLUS the sky opened up (literally it looked like) and just started POURING. I think NO CA'ers are like SO CA'ers-most do NOT know how to drive in the rain. Being an East Coaster, I do :)...but the scary people that don't know how to drive tend to send me inside when it rains out!
Arrived at Stampers Warehouse safe & checked into my hotel...headed to Borders & Whole Foods. I found the new Quilting Arts, Oprah (collage!) and a great book called "Imaginging Ourselves" about women from all over the world. I managed to eat the exact same thing every night from Whole Foods and still by Saturday night, I wasn't sick of it! I would eat a slice of tomato basil pizza and a small salad. The funny thing was, EVERY night I would ask for a SLICE. They'd tell me to come back in 12 I would go back and they'd try to give me a whole pizza. EVERY night I'd tell them, it's just me, I just want a slice like I asked... it became a running joke there!
I had an awesome time teaching-we did the text as art class, some of us are brave sessions 1 and 2, painted journey journal and the color theory class. WOW! Even with the weather going from being rainy one minute to bright sunshine the next-nothing changed the students spirits! They were game for bright, bold, vivid colors all weekend. It was awesome seeing what they made. I had a great time teaching-I love going up there-the people rock, the store rocks (OMG I get into so much trouble up there! LOL!!!) and the atmosphere is amazing. I loved opening my hotel windows every morning (even when it is 30 degrees outside) and pushing the curtains aside to see rolling green mountains.
The weekend seemed to go very quickly. I had a hard time sleeping Saturday night as I was just about to go to sleep and heard them say that I5 at the Grapevine was closed-eek-due to SNOW. SNOW? SNOW? in Los Angeles? That had only happened to me once before and that was in Simi Valley. It was raining and HAILING in Danville (LOVED IT!) but I didn't have to go over any MOUNTAINS while I was there LOL. So I freaked out a didn't help the fact that the whole ride home Sunday night they kept flashing signs "CHP escorting over the Grapevine SNOW SNOW SNOW". "Snow Snow Snow"?!? Anytime I hear it said like that I think Danny Kaye & Bing Crosby...but throw CHP escorting in there and the thought of trucks and little ol' me going over the grapevine in snow didn't sound FUN.
The thing that kept me going on the way home was:
seeing my little boy and how happy he'd be (and me too-he was-I got lots of hugs and cute little boy "love that you are home, Mom" back rubs!)
hubby and his backrubs (LOL)
my old time radio show CD that I forked $15 for at Borders-I usually just get MP3s from MUCH better then $15 for 4 hours-I pay $5 for hours and hours!!!
AND the most gorgeous rainbows-HUGE, colorful, bright rainbows that stretched across the was pouring-absolutely pouring when I left Danville at 3:30 on Sunday but I got to the 580 and it was clear with scattered clouds. It would rain every now and then but it was weird!
Needless to say I get to the Grapevine, see huge trucks and tons of cars on the other side of the road and figure everything was ok...and it was!!! LOL! I get worked up for nothing ;) It was eerie driving over the mountains with nothing but pitch black all around you with huge globs of white snow to your side, and then a "spitting" of hail/rain/snow/sleet. WEIRD.
It was an awesome, wonderful weekend with lots of art making and fun!
Then it was followed by two days of used book store hopping LOL...I managed to find some Corita Kent books I wanted...two Hunderwasser books...and some others that I will post about soon...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I feel like it's been weeks since I posted and yet it was only a few days ago.
I'm getting ready to go up to Danville, CA this weekend-Stampers Warehouse for classes. Can't wait! It's one of my favorite stores and places to teach at. I always manage to get into trouble there and am hoping I don't this time -LOL, yet Phyllis always manages to find new goodies!

Lately I have found that my favorite supplies to use are my pens (like my Sharpie poster paint pens), a couple of tubes of acrylics; a glue stick (so called "permanent" ones); scissors; "found" collage stuff-paper "ephemera" in my purse, scraps from my table, etc...; and my caran d'ache neo art crayons. Some days all I need are a couple of collage scraps and a glue stick. Of all the supplies I have these are the things that I reach for again and again. I always like to use my rubber stamps-but they tend to be "backgroundy type things"-word fragments, postoids, figure sketches, repetitive images, etc... over and over and over again-how many times can I use the same stamp? Lots I am finding over the years ;)

I've been finding lots of inspiration from "street art" aka graffitti art. There are a plethora of books devoted to the art form these days. Amazing how many artists that there are in the world, huh? What would it be like if there were art centers-with plenty of paint, paper, canvas, wood, glue, -whatever-for people to experiment and explore with on a daily basis? What if we all reconnected with each other instead of going home nightly and being glued to the TV or the computer? What was life like before the TV? Before the radio? What were the days like when people gathered on their porches, in front of their homes, on their stoops, in their living rooms-people actually sat with their neighbors and TALKED. Now a days we don't even KNOW our neighbors. I live in an apartment building-the same building for the past 10 years. There are a couple of people in here that I talk to-the ones that have been living here as long (or longer) as I have...but the new ones-the new ones almost all are grumpy and want nothing to do with anyone. A smile or a "hi" gets a grumble or a frown instead of a hi? What kind of a world is that?? Any ways, we don't know our neighbors. People look at you with suspicion now a days when you smile or say's like you want something. I guess the only thing that would be nice is a smile or a "hi" in return...

My thoughts for the day...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I wasn't sure what photo to use today...not sure of what would "fit" sooo.... I lifted this photo of Emily off of one of the websites...

I was feeling really down yesterday-long story. Won't go into it here...but one of my stupid "down" days that I only get once in a blue moon. One of those days when you don't feel like you are "enough" or "good enough".

Well, now I feel like a f***** idiot for feeling like that today. I get daily (almost) updates on a family friend, Emily Quinlan (she is my Dad's Goddaughter) who has been in the hospital on again/off again (lately it's a whole lot on again) battling leukemia. Make a Wish foundation had a couple of her friends fly from San Diego to Boston (Children's Hospital) to visit with her for a few days. Every day I sit and pray and send good thoughts her way...every day I read the updates and hope-wish-pray...for something good. They put photos of Emily up today. The last photos they had of her -she was yellow. Now she's green-even her eyes. This beautiful girl who is one of the coolest, nicest, kindest people on the face of the planet looks like a superhero character. I've never seen anyone that color. I'm sitting here feeling stupid for how I felt yesterday when there is so much real shit in the world to worry about. War. Homeless. Hungry. The Sick.

I've posted this before, but I need, want, *have* to reiterate it today-

Please please please if you know anyone who can help-anyone who might be even remotely interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, please register. Register today. You don't know who you could save-please.

"The donor marrow has to match genetically with the recipient, and Emily's heritage:
Italian (Stromboli, Lipari, Sicily, Travaglia), Azorean (Flores, and others, Lourenco, Rodgrigues, dos Santos, Ferreira), Irish and Native American."

San Diego bone marrow drive for Emily Quinlan:

April 5th from 6-9pm at the Clairemont Northminster Presbetirian Church, on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (across from Kragen)

There are also drives in MA:
MARCH 4 , 2006 - 10AM - 4PM / VFW POST / 82 INGELL STREET / TAUNTON, MA DOWNLOAD FLYER : Questions contact Barbara O’Leary at 781-964-8299,

MARCH 26 , 2006 - Danvers, MA. Masonic Temple, 30 High Street, Danvers, MA, Sunday, March 26 from 10AM-3PM.

More drive info is at

Please please please help Emily fight and win!