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 SeƱor 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.

Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17

It was a gorgeous day today, and I am feeling SO much better. I walked down to Trader Joe's and took the long way home, passing this piano frame at the gutter in front of someone's home. It's been there a while -- the grass is growing up around it. I would have stayed longer and drawn more detail but the icecream was melting.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16

I caved under the nagging of my dear husband last night and started a course of antibiotics. My dreaded lurgy must have been at least partially bacterial, because I'm feeling a lot better today. Not exactly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, mind you, but well enough to notice, and be bothered by, the dust bunnies in the hallway. Also alert enough to feel the returning pressure of All The Things I Have To Do ... a Pol Sci quiz, that damn Leadership Project, the web site job I accepted last weekend, on top of the graphics for Josh's show. And to wonder why there's no food in the house, and what the heck do I feel like eating anyway.

So here's the question ... do I use my little reserve of energy to clean the house somewhat, hoping that it'll make me feel even better and give me renewed strength for the Other Stuff? Or will an hour spent vacuuming and putting stuff away and maybe even cooking a meal wipe me out for the rest of the day?

As you can see, I'm floundering. Lucky there's always another option. Make art.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15

I took a slow walk to the post office, and on the way home heard a loud, unfamiliar bird call. Finally I spotted this large creature atop a distant telephone pole. I'm not sure, but I think it was the red-tailed hawk that lives in our neighbourhood.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14

A birthday card for a special little friend. It'll arrive late (sorry, Eve). I haven't been on top of the birthday card situation since saying good-bye to Mum. I haven't been on top of so much ... my eating and exercise habits, especially. Right now I'm on Day Three of a cold, so I'm particularly feeling it -- I haven't been taking good enough care of myself. Screw the birthday cards -- I need to prioritize my well-being.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11

This morning my friend Evie and I did Walk #1 from the book Walking L.A.. We explored the Castellamere neighbourhood of Pacific Palisades, enjoying wonderful views, fresh sea air, and some gorgeous gardens. This tree is in "Nana's Garden". What a great way to start the day. Thanks so much for the book, Annette. I can't believe it's taken me so long to start using it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10

Oh my god, I just spent ALL DAY (eleven hours straight, actually) on this week's assignment for my Political Science class. Two essays, twenty short answer (paragraph) questions, and research into my two state representatives. I can't believe it's only worth 100 points, the same number of points as last week's assignment, which just required asking 25 of my friends what political party they most identified with.

Still to come: the big Leadership Project, for which I'm watching all these movies. (Tonight: Hotel Rwanda. Or maybe not tonight. I'm pretty buggered—not sure I want to watch a few hours of bloodshed tonight. Or any night, for that matter. Which is why I keep procrastinating about watching it.)

Before I began this morning, while I was still in my jammies, I adapted my new web site graphics to business stationery. I'd post a picture here but I don't think I want to put my home address on my blog. Just in case one of you out there is a crazy Los Angelean. Not that you couldn't find out where I lived if you were, and you wanted to try. OK, now I'm rambling. Time to turn off the computer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9

"You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word. When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace." —Don Miguel Ruiz

"I observe my thoughts and entertain only those that empower me." —T. Harv Eker

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8

Waiting for a file to print at work ...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7

The doll perched on the top right is Agatha, a wingless guardian angel with a very large bottom which I made to watch over Mum when she had major surgery a few years ago; it was one of the gifts I brought home with me after Mum's death. Now she watches over my shoulder as I sit at my studio table.

On another note: it's hot here today! 94°F (34°C) in November -- in the northern hemisphere! God I love southern California's weather!

Monday, November 06, 2006

November 6

Cabbage white butterfly larvae are devouring my broccoli plants. I don't think I've ever actually eaten any member of the brassica family from my garden, in all my years of growing veggies -- they always get snavelled by these grubs. Where's a good hungry toad when you need one?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 5

Josh has started work on a new pilot that involves a comedic judge. I made this magisterial sock puppet prop for him today. Apparently it's going to be a major star on the show. Fame and glory for my advanced doll-making skills, at last!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

November 4

Renting movies is something I -- we -- very rarely do, but I have to watch a bunch (from a specified list) for my Poli Sci class and write an essay on leadership. It's due soon, so tonight I brought home Citizen Kane. I saw this movie as a teenager and am looking forward to watching it again. But tonight all I had time for was a sketch, in Photoshop.

Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3

For weeks now I've been feeling so very grateful for everything. Every time I've felt the start of nagging negativity I've quickly turned it into gratitude. Annoyed with a child for her stubborness? I'm grateful for her strength of character. Pissed off by a demanding client? I'm grateful for the work and income. It hasn't been hard to do, it hasn't been forced ... and this tiny (?) mental turnaround has given me so. much. joy.

But yesterday, in the face of bad choices made by a teenager I love, I lost my Pollyanna smile. So W.S. Merwin's words are a timely reminder that there is always something to be thankful for, and if we choose to focus on that instead, our lives are infinitely better.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
taking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying and waving
dark though it is

- W.S. Merwin, Thanks

(The art above is by Federico Acerri, who sent it to me as part of a postcard swap in Feb 04. It's been on my pinboard ever since.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2

Josh and I are so very sad tonight. Parenting is tough.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 1

The "business" end of my new web site ("graphic services") is up here. I'd really appreciate it if you would check it out and tell me if you find anything broken. I've used tables to build each page so I'm especially interested if the bits don't line up in your browser. If you do find anything wrong, please let me know know what browser and operating system you're using. Thanks so much for your time :-)