Wednesday, October 31, 2007

yet another halloween carnival

man, this makes it three official halloween carnivals. this one was at lizzies preschool. funny, i was there but she didn't seem to need me much (cool but made me sappy for my little baby!) she really loves going to school now, talks about it all the time. last month i was paranoid she would never finish toilet training or like preschool, now look at her, growing up over night!








Tuesday, October 30, 2007


slidefire, originally uploaded by quiggphoto.


slidefire22, originally uploaded by quiggphoto.

couldn't resist this shot!

owls checked off, gift from afar

wow! what a surprise! look what came in the mail


all the way from japan, thanks diane!

i was busy getting this order out when that great package arrived, i am so happy to be finished and now i can sit a few minutes with my cool new books before i head off to work. thanks again!





pumpkin carving party, trial run

last night we tried out our idea for a neighborhood pumpkin carving party (these plans were majorly sidetracked after the fire last week) and i think it might work (we will shoot for next year). we just set up a table and all the knives/spoons/buckets for pumpkin guts/trashcan/hand washing station.... and went to carving. we only had one neighborhood guest, lauren and she gave it a thumbs up.


i'll admit i was a little spooked lighting the candles, fire isn't my favorite thing right now, and hosed the entire front yard down first.


a special pumpkin for pat down the street



Monday, October 29, 2007

gvl fire video

pretty scary stuff! we still have not seen a photo of our house or video of it, but we are pretty hopeful it is ok. latest news is that the slide fire is 85 percent contained. there is going to be a little drizzle this week, good news but they predict santa ana winds next weekend as well, not so good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

weekend getaway

for my birthday i wanted to do a little getaway with the girls and this was the weekend we had booked months ago. growing up in southern california, palm springs was always the place to go and i went for years and years with everyone but my own parents (they had no interest) and later as a teen for spring break (no comment!) it has always been a mysterious place, super hot, but gorgeous in its own way, rich people and not-so-rich living together. it has the hollywood fifties glam reputation and the retiree golf thing going on. for me, i just wanted a place with a pool so i could swim.

my neighbors recommended this place in desert hot springs (even huell howser has been here for one of his shows on so cal places to visit). it is mid century modern (used loosely, i think it was just built in the fifites) and has these great rooms with a view of the pool at one end and the mountains on the other. there are 8 pools of hot spring water, some are hotter than others and you go from one to the other getting hot then cooling off. after a short time you get a rhythm going, super hot, then cold, then warm, then hot, then warm... changing it up a bit here and there. they also have a sauna (140 degrees!) where you can really roast yourself. there is a freezing pool in the center with a fountain, ice cold but oh so refreshing. the girls went with us from pool to pool (there was even a 1 1/2 foot teeny pool for liz) and somehow we made it through the weekend with minimal meltdowns.

the hotel was full of fire victims (some from gvl) and the smokey air was a reminder of the still burning fires. we saw parking lots full of trailers packed to the hilt with belongings, i wonder if that is all some people have left. i cant seem to escape these fires now can i?












Saturday, October 27, 2007

another halloween carnival, last day of painting class

still waiting for a picture of our cabin posted somewhere, still pretty hopeful. our street isnt listed much for burned cabins, glad for that.

my last day of class, i had fun but didnt quite finish my painting. i got sorta hung up on the big rocks in the front and didnt finish the water and background, my instructor tore it apart more than usual but i didnt want to interupt his critique by whining it wasnt done (he kept saying it was too simple, the background wasnt interesting enough, yeah i know!) he kept going back to my picture as the crappy example (not to be taken personally, but still...) i just wanted to snap, "it's not done, okay!!!" man, my nerves were shot and the poor guy was just doing his "teacher" job, but i just started shrinking on the spot. luckily a lot of people got similar comments, so it wasnt just me. i really didnt finish any of my paintings this week, it was just such a stressful time. oh well, i will get them all done soon and since i learned a ton of new techniques, i am hopeful they will look just fine. heck, i am glad i challenged myself at least. i also met a lot of neat people who painted some awesome pictures. i am pretty sure i was the only person there without any formal art training. my dad and i painted together for many years and i learned by copying things i liked. i think i am doing this whole painting thing backwards and if i ever get the time, may take a basic painting class to actually learn what the heck i am doing.

ok, more halloween carnivals, this one at school:


this ride went on so long i was sure liz was gonna get sick, luckily she didnt





letting off some steam


Thursday, October 25, 2007

another reason green is good!

our cabin went from a blue mark on the google map (questionably standing) to GREEN (which means it was officially "eyed" by a person and checked off a list). whew! a very deflated... whooshy whew! something about me is that i go completely bonkers nuts while i am in a stressful situation and then just fizzle fizzle crash when its over no matter what the outcome. hang in there, i will come around soon.

i still need my own proof. to see, feel and smell my little a-frame... but i will take this as a very good indication it is still there. funny how this roller coaster ride has knocked the wind out of me (more than a little). i didn't really enjoy my fourth day of painting class, sensory overload and lack of sleep makes it hard to concentrate on even the most gorgeous scenery (plus the class "psycho" has taken to following me around, i could do several posts on her alone). so todays picture i actually quit before it was done, i am hoping to get a good gust of creative energy tomorrow to finish it and complete my final picture.

thanks to everyone for all your support, monday and tuesday were particularly bad days and i was shocked at all the emails and comments and support in general! gvl is a very special community and i am still so saddened for anyone who lost their cabin. even though i am thankful ours seems to be spared, its hard to not feel the pain for those who were not so lucky. to get some specific news and having it be good is so sweet, so wonderful!

day four plein air workshop:


our subject today




demo almost done and...




fluff between my instructors masterpiece and my half finished piece of ... no comment


just needs major contrast, major i-dont-know-what-thats-why-i-am-in-a-painting-workshop kind of stuff.

what a week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


16577869E, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.

orange and purple

16577984E, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.

while we tried to sleep

16598330E, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.

this was raging

not my cabin, but oh so sad!

16598334E, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.


SLIDE 102007 CITIZEN, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.

green valley lake fire

SLIDE 102007 FIGHTERS, originally uploaded by Garry Collins.

hope, hope, hope

going from extreme dread to extreme hope around here. i will post some amazing flickr photos with a link next. for now, here is day three of my class. we had the most amazing strange wicked weather (thanks to the fires). an all day sunset glow, makes for great paintings, difficult breathing and dread in the heart.


todays view, orange light on green waves


my instructor michael situ, in progress


and finished:



for anyone who wonders what a painting workshop is like, a plein air painting workshop at least, basically you watch a master painter each morning do a demo and then you paint your own in the afternoon. for me, i try to clear my head at lunch after watching michael paint a masterpiece effortlessly, calm myself. try to remember a few things he said... orange with blue, red with green, purple with???YELLOW! ok, then just try to get through each stage of composition sketch, paint sketch, darks in, focal point and then adding warm and cool tones moving away from the focal point. thats it! lets go...


and done


(don't compare mine to his, ha ha!!!) but i did use much more color and went way out of my comfort zone today. hoping for miracles tomorrow.


can you believe the light looked like this for hours and hours all afternoon? too bad it comes at such a great cost.