first day of fall…!

Fall is here! I love fall – it’s my favorite season. Love the cooler weather, the changing colors of leaves, even fall fashion. Today fall 2017 introduced itself with a somewhat chilly morning – a comfortably cool 62 degrees.  I … Continue reading

Olvera Street’s Muerto Artwalk…

This past Saturday, Lawrence and I went to Olvera Street’s first ever Muerto Artwalk. We took the Gold Line, which gave me the opportunity to see beautiful Union Station in downtown Los Angeles again…

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my first Tap card! isn’t it pretty?

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I love Union Station…

it was a beautiful day for an artwalk...

it was a beautiful day for an artwalk…

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artist Jazzy Jazz at Olvera Street’s Muerto Artwalk (LOVE her artwork!)…

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we had lunch at La Luz del Dia…

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we had lunch on the beautiful patio, surrounded by bougainvilleas and little birds…

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see the little birdie? it was eyeing my chicken tacos…

loved watching the dancers...

loved watching the dancers…

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my lovely friend, Theresa Armas, of Skulls and Stitches...

my lovely friend, Theresa Armas, of Skulls and Stitches…

Lizzy Hernandez of Inspira, displaying her jewelry at Hecho con Carino on Olvera Street...

my friend Lizzy Hernandez of Inspira, displaying her jewelry at Hecho con Carino on Olvera Street…

Lizzy and me...

Lizzy and me…

my husband Lawrence with our friend & artist Annette Armas...

my husband Lawrence with our friend & artist Annette Armas…

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setting was perfect for all the great artists they had present…

the Armas family of CJ’s Angels (beautiful people & awesome friends!)…

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heading back to Union Station to go home…

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Union Station…

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shopped! Items from Jazzy Jazz, Inspira, and Arte de mi Familia...

shopped! Items from Jazzy Jazz, Inspira, and Arte de mi Familia…

items from CJ's Angels, Terra Maya, Lupe Flores, and Hecho con Carino...

items from CJ’s Angels, Terra Maya, Lupe Flores; shirts from Hecho con Carino…

(You can find all these artists on Instagram!)

We had a really good time! Got to see our artist friends, met artists I only knew through social media, and did quite a bit of shopping. I had been contacted about participating as a vendor, but we decided we couldn’t commit to any shows with my mother-in-law in and out of the hospital at the time. I’m hoping next year we’ll get the chance again!

’til next time…

find the beauty everyday…

life’s been rough. for a while now.

i don’t want to rehash here; you can catch up on our almost buying our first house (so – they say things happen for a reason), loss, and more loss…(my sister patty…) add to that, my husband and i are currently living in my parents’ house (waiting to move into his parents’ house, but that’s a whole OTHER story…) and i’m trying to help my mother heal from a long bout with pneumonia.

and when time permits, i try to further my life as an artist.

i’m not looking for pity here. i know lots of people (in my real life and in my social media circles) who have gone and are still going through trying times. when life seems to suck, your dreams seem dashed, and you want to just stay in bed sleeping or eating ice cream (don’t judge me!)…

what do you do?

one thing not to do –

don’t ever stop seeing the beauty around you.

this morning, i was helping my father roll the trash cans out to the street for garbage pick up. i was pulling the trash can with one hand and talking on the phone with my husband on the other. i was looking down at the gravel driveway when i saw something shiny.  (if you knew me, this would be funny – my husband teases me about getting “shinied” – distracted – all the time.)  i thought it might be just broken glass but my curiosity was enough that on the way back from the curb – both hands now free – i picked it up.

my father asked what i’d found.  it was this beautiful, unbroken, glass flower:

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this little found treasure made me so happy! my father and i took turns holding it up to the sun and looking at it.

it was beautiful. and has now found a home in a small box until i decide how best to show it off.

later, i heated up some food and headed to my room to eat, planning on working on the computer at the same time. when i came to my bedroom door, hot bowl of food in hand, i found i’d locked myself out. (i’d locked the door earlier as i was changing clothes, and went out the back door to help my father with the trash cans. thus leaving my door locked.)

i grumbled, then laughed at myself and went outside. i needed to go around the house, go through the washroom door and into our bedroom to unlock the other door. maneuvering around the laundry lines, the air conditioner unit, and our dog, i again looked down.

a tiny yellow flower growing out of the concrete, in the crack between the house and the walkway, seemed to be looking at me…

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a thing of beauty. again.

if i had not been looking at my surroundings today – while dragging trash cans, maneuvering around physical obstacles, scolding myself for leaving a door locked – i would have missed it.

it was a lesson to me today. recently i’ve been angry at our circumstances, feeling tired, fed up, put upon even, and misplaced…

these two flowers – two very different flowers! – reminded me to always look around me. it was as if a higher power was telling me “here’s a little gift just for you.”

things of beauty surround us.

treasures wait to be found.

if only we look.

so please, no matter what your circumstances, whatever is happening in your immediate world – don’t forget to look around.

sometimes all it takes is a little thing, a simple thing, to make us smile. and, if only for a while, forget everything else…♥

’til next time…

Huntington Library visit…

my sister, lulu, invited lawrence and me to the huntington library in san marino last month. if you live in california and get a chance to go, do it – you will not regret it!

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from the huntington’s “About” section on its website at http://www.huntington.org/

A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.

Huntington was also a man of vision – with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe.

These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty.”

It was a beautiful day to visit the botanical gardens, with so many flowers, shrubs, and trees blooming, but the best part of the day was spending time with lulu.

when lawrence’s father became ill, lulu texted me daily to check on his condition and see how we were doing.  she went to see my father-in-law in the hospital on valentine’s day, the day before he died, providing lawrence with support and advice in making some difficult decisions.  so it was nice to spend some time together, surrounded by nature and so much beauty after all the ugliness…

plus – my niece, marisa, has been volunteering at the huntington every saturday for the past 4 years, so lulu (her mother and chauffeur) is now an expert tour guide on the place!

beautiful sculptural pieces (middle is from Shakespeare's garden)...

beautiful sculptural pieces (middle is from Shakespeare’s garden)…

there’s no way to see everything in one visit: there are libraries, and art collections on display, and various botanical gardens. one of my favorites is the japanese gardens…

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japanese garden…

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lawrence, by the pond in the japanese garden…

it’s a great place for inspiring your creative muse!  the three of us took so many photos – everywhere you look is a photo opportunity.  you’re surrounded by all the colors, textures, and patterns nature has to offer.  i can’t wait to go back!

it inspired me to draw again, the way i used to.  just my black Sharpie and white cardstock.  i feel my muse coming back…♥

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