Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 31

It's my blogiversary! I have posted something arty every day (with the exception of a week or so around my mother's passing) for a year. I've loved having you visit -- keep coming by, as I intend to continue with my art-blogging in 2007.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

December 30

Late this afternoon we visited the newly-reopened Griffith Observatory. They've done a good job of maintaining the old and familiar while expanding and adding new displays. We were treated to a lovely sunset while there. We'll go back again in the summer and hopefully get into the planetarium this time.

Also, this morning Yvette and I completed walks 5 and 6 from Walking L.A. They are both very short so we did a two-fer. The former circumnavigates a two-block housing tract in Mar Vista designed by modernist architect Gregory Ain in the 1940s. Pretty cool. The latter is at the Ballona Wetlands in Playa Vista. You can see photos of both walks here.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27

A sudden, fierce storm blew through last night. This morning the sky's blue and the sun's out, but there's a bitter wind blowing. I walked to the supermarket for a backpack of groceries, and on the way back looked for a good place to sketch: somewhere that was (a) in the sun (b) out of the wind and (c) with something interesting to draw. Here's what I found.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26

The tiki outside my local Trader Joe's. While I was standing there sketching, a couple of old friends walked by. One was Yvette's mother, whom I saw just yesterday when she came, as she usually does, for Christmas dinner. To see her twice in two days was pretty amazing, because I usually only see her at Christmas, and she doesn't live anywhere near me or Trader Joe's.

Monday, December 25, 2006

December 25

Now that he's seen it, I can post the gift I made Josh. Merry Christmas, everyone!

P.S. You can see our Christmas cracker hats here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24

Growing up in Australia, we always had Christmas crackers on our plate when we sat down to Christmas dinner -- cardboard tubes covered with crepe paper that you pulled (with the help of the person sitting next to you) until they broke open with a "crack" noise. Inside was a tissue paper hat which was then worn throughout the meal to add a silly air to the festivities.

Well, when I saw this idea, I had to make my own crackers, complete with an assortment of materials so that we, and our six guests, can each make our own hat tomorrow.

I'll post photos of the results. Only one more sleep!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 23

A new card series is in the works. The scan doesn't do justice to the vibrancy and sparkle of the real item.

Hang on, is it really the day before Christmas Eve? Eek!

Friday, December 22, 2006

December 22

Tonight we were child-free and Josh wasn't working and we weren't exhausted, so we decided to go out after dinner and see a movie for the first time in, oh, forever. We left a little early so I could scope out Restoration Hardware for a possible birthday gift for Dad. (Yes, sister, I know that his birthday is nearly a month away -- don't roll your eyes.) They didn't have anything perfect, so we checked a few other stores with similarly dismal results before heading into the theater. We had tickets for Casino Royale, which is not a new release, so we thought it would be safe to get there right at the scheduled start time. WRONG! The only remaining seats were in the front row, so we asked for a refund and instead went to a mediocre chain restaurant for dessert. The waitress was so fast in bringing our order that I only had time to sketch two of our fellow patrons.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21

Another opportunity for people-watching today -- at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I loved the big-eyed little boy in hoodie and gumboots, who waited patiently with his mama and big sister and little sister who was in a sling at mama's breast.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

December 20

Faces at the California Science Center. Trying to learn the art of the very quick sketch. It's hard.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18

I found this leaf in my backyard today, and wanted to honour it somehow. This collage developed, with the backdrop being a page from Josh's father's little black book, from back in the day when phone numbers had letters in them. After I was finished I noticed that Columbia Studios, mentioned just the other day, features prominently.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17

Lauren and I went to The Getty Center this afternoon -- the light up there was glorious today! We enjoyed a storytelling session, learning about a marquetry cabinet built for King Louis XIV. Then of course we had to visit Lauren's favourite painting, Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven by Jean-Étienne Liotard. What a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16

Evie didn't feel up to much this morning, so instead of our scheduled Walking L.A. outing, we settled for the two-mile circuit of the lake behind her house.

Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15

Couldn't sleep ... up at four ... had this made and photographed by eight a.m. It's definitely time to replenish my button stash.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14

I took Lauren to the studio tonight to visit Daddy at work. On the long drive home through peak hour traffic I pondered my strong negative emotional reaction to being around tv- and movie-making. I'm OK with visiting Josh's prop truck and exchanging banter with the crew, but once I set foot inside a stage I want to shrink into the shadows. I think it's all the "glamour" and "adulation" that accompanies actors and actresses. I am so NOT a groupie, and perhaps I fear that my very presence implies that I'm impressed by them. But it's more than indifference; I feel an actual aversion. Why is that?

Perhaps it's because I am not interested in the end product. Perhaps it's the fakery of the whole business. I see Lauren looking so star-struck and I know that I hurt Josh's feelings a little bit by having the opposite reaction. I try to hide it, but he knows I don't want to be there. Tonight he walked us around Sunset Gower Studios, which used to be Columbia back in the day when his dad was head writer there (late '30s, early '40s). I know it's really special to Josh to walk the same floors as his father, and to see the names of his dad's movies engraved on plaques at the stage doors. Yet I can't even enter into appreciation for the historicity. Why is that?

I know I would I feel differently if I was looking at the room and desk where CS Lewis wrote the Narnia books, for example. There'd be a little "wow" feeling. I know I lack appreciation for the craft of movie-making. Perhaps if I took more of an interest in that side of the business, my aversion would diminish. As it stands now, I'm the only girl Josh ever dated who was underwhelmed by a private tour of the sets and back lots of the various studios around town. At least he knows it's not his job that I love him for ;-)

All of this has nothing to do with the photo above, which is something I made today from finds in the $1 Stocking Stuffers bin at my local craft store. Fun.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 13

Really wanted to play with paper and glue tonight, so decided to interpret this stock photo.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12

Made myself a new journal tonight, as the current one is nearly full. I used assorted papers from under the bed (where does everyone else keep their large sheets?), and made a collaged and painted cover from a large kraft envelope. I'm not sure how I'll like the random size/texture/colour paper, but I'll let you know!

Monday, December 11, 2006

December 11

Made some more Christmas decos tonight. This'll do me for this year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 10

We decided the tree didn't look covered enough, so we made some more decorations. That would be the "royal we". Lauren made two before she lost interest; I made the other ten.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

December 9

Lauren came with Yvette and I on Walk 4 this morning, along the canals of Venice Beach. Unfortunately, the camera battery died after only a dozen or so photos, so I missed capturing the range of funky dwellings in this unique part of the city. You can see the photos I did manage to take here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7

Not a great photo -- hard to see the detail.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 6

Played in Illustrator with my new favourite icon. I'm loving it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5

Playing with a stamp I carved today based on Mum's wedding lace.

Hmm, this little guy has potential. What shall I call him? Mr Petalhead?

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4

It felt strange and sad and wrong to wrap and mail all my Australian family's gifts and not include one for Mum. So I decided to go ahead and make her a gift anyway. She adored butterflies, so I had to include that image. The daffodils she loved were blooming when she died, so they have also become a symbol of her in my mind. And the bit of lace in between is from her wedding dress. The wording at the bottom says "Smiles are not rationed" ... Mum was known for her big smile and sunny nature. After her death her many friends repeated that refrain over and over, that Mum was always cheerful and smiling.

I cried a lot while making this. That was my gift to myself -- the time and freedom to weep and remember.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

December 2

For you, Tui :-)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29

Playing with my button stash some more. Does anyone want a button brooch for Christmas?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November 28

I've had a productive and creative day today; I was up at five and working by seven, and I only just stopped at ten thirty p.m. But it was all stuff for clients, so I can't show you yet. So I will leave you this, one of my rejected Christmas card designs. I like it, but it'd never make it through them mail.

I also want to share a poem by Maya Stein that really spoke to me this morning, here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26

Thanksgiving is over. It's cold enough for a fire. This weekend we'll get a tree. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

November 25

Walk 3 from Walking L.A. explores the office parks and fringe light industrial areas of south east Santa Monica in and around Bergamot Station. (My favourite haunts there are the Gallery of Functional Art and Hiromi Paper.) I love the colours in this shot, and the way the painted wall echoes the hue of the Boston Ivy berries. You can see all the photos here. I went a little hog wild photographing numbers -- there were so many cool ones! While the book touts the many nice eateries on the route, none of them were open on a Saturday morning. We ended up driving downtown after our walk for pizza at CPK. Could I possibly put more links in one post??

Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24

The Christmas cards are finished -- and I really like them!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23

My goal is always to have my Christmas cards (50) made by Thanksgiving. So today I got busy while the turkey cooked and the rest of the family watched football. I haven't figured out what to use for the star yet -- I'll make a trip to the craft store tomorrow to see what they have in quantity.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21

Boys, boys, boys.

Monday, November 20, 2006

November 20

I walked exactly a mile (according to my pedometer) then sat down and drew what I saw.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19

Last year our family came up with the great idea of visiting restaurants of different ethnicities as a way to expand our palates. We selected well-rated establishments within 20 miles of home, put the names in a hat, and started randomly drawing them. To give the youngest, fussiest member of the family more incentive to try new foods, we posed as restaurant reviewers and put up a blog to inform the world of our opinions.

Great idea, but somehow between me starting Weight Watchers and not wanting to eat out, and Ian spending weekends with his friends, the plan fizzled. However, last night, with a little fanfare, the Meltzer Gang sallied forth once again to sample the fares of a local ethnic restaurant. Our random selection was French, but a quick phone call revealed that they were booked out till 9 pm. So the next draw was Mexican, and off we went to visit Señor Fred. You can read the review here.

While waiting a LONG time for our waiter, we put our reviewers' pads and pens to good use. Here's a sampling of the mutual portraits Lauren and I produced.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18

Walk 2 from Walking L.A. explores the "rarefied air north of Montana Ave" in Santa Monica. Yvette and I saw beautiful houses and ocean views, and the sweaty butts of many people slogging up and down the extremely steep staircases that link Adelaide Ave and Entrada Drive. After brunch at a nice Montana Ave restaurant, we got our fill of tactile pleasure at L'Atelier. Once again, a lovely morning; you can see all the photos here.