Monthly Archives: June 2015

San Francisco Outing #1


A few weeks ago Rem and I had a play day in San Francisco.  The campus where I work is closed on Fridays for eight weeks every summer (LOVE) and I like to make the most of these special days. Here are some of our pictures.

First stop: Spire. An outdoor art installation by sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. It is quite near Inspiration Point in the Presidio, which is where we parked, and also worth a visit.



Not very far away, we visited WOOD LINE, which is also in the Presidio.



We searched for a labyrinth but didn’t find it on this visit.

Instead, we climbed this beautiful mosaic stairway.


It starts deep in the ocean and goes all the way up to the sun!



From the ocean to a flowing river with plants and animals along the side.



And then, above the earth to the sky, moon and stars.  The moon is pieced together from pieces of mirror.


The stairway has handcrafted shapes of animals, flowers, fish, birds and stars with names of local sponsors pressed into them. It is really an incredible work of art.


And finally, at the very top is the sun.


At the top, looking back down.


From the top, we crossed the street and started climbing a whole bunch more steps to Grand View Park. If it had been a clear day, I’m sure the views would have been quite grand.

Our final destination? The concrete slides at Seward Mini Park.


We both had a few runs on the slides and Rem said it was his favorite thing of the whole day.


Thanks for sliding by. Tomorrow I’m starting the 30 Day Journal Project, #30DayJournal!



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30 Day Journal Project for July

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I’m doing this! Do you want to join me? It is 30 days of journaling, starting July 1, with artist Lisa Sonora posting daily prompts and inspiration. You can learn more about it here.  It’s also free – how cool is that?

A few years ago I signed up for a different month-long project: 30 Days of Creativity, and I did it for three years, with some variation in my participation. Here are some of my favorite creations:


Day 6: June 6, 2013, Mosaic Poppies Art Journal Page


Day 28: June 28, 2013, Collage Sand Gild Stamp Art Journal Page


Day 3, June 3, 2012, Icebox Cupcakes


Day 21: June 21, 2012, Bleach Pen T-Shirt


Day 2: June 2, 2011, Embossed Tins


Day 26: June 26, 2011, Fused Plastic Bags

You can look under the 30DOC tab up at the top of the blog to see all the projects I did over three years.

Last May when I couldn’t find 30DOC online, I just skipped it. I don’t know if it happened or not but I wasn’t part of it.  Of course I could have done it on my own, but there is something about doing it with lots of other people that I find compelling.

I’m excited and a little nervous to be starting this 30 Day Project, #30DayJournal, because I know it is a commitment. But I also know that when I push myself, I come up with some of my most creative work.  I purchased a new journal for the project and I cleaned off my craft desk.

Here is the before…


And after.





Ready to go! Care to join me? #30DayJournal

Thanks for stopping by.




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A Special Day


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A White Feather


Last Sunday, I thought it was Father’s Day. I determined I would keep busy all day long and set out in the morning for a good, long walk. I’ve been finding feathers again – lots of feathers. My Sunday walk these days goes around some water treatment pond and one of the paths was strewn with feathers from the geese in the area.  In fact, I ruffled a few feathers striding through a flock settled on the path.  They hissed but otherwise left me alone.

I picked up a few large feathers to add to my collection. At the time I thought “I’d like to find a white feather,” Few of my feathers are white. Later that day, I realized I was early by a week and it wasn’t Father’s Day.

Today, which really is Father’s Day I set out for the same walk. Just as I started around the first pond my dad was on my mind. I saw a white heron just as it lifted off the water. Flap. Flap…and on the third flap, a white feather fluttered down from the wing of the bird and landed in the dry grass along the side of the path. Of course I remembered the previous week and my wish for a white feather.


Tears pricked my eyes but I was also smiling at how perfectly it happened. I didn’t think my dad actually caused it, but I felt that somehow it was a sign. For the rest of the 2-hour walk I focused on happy memories of my dad, which are easier to bring to mind than in the rough time after he died. I also knew that the rest of my plans for the day – which included some grocery shopping, some crafting and some cooking were all things I could relate to my dad.


Which is why I made buttermilk biscuits to have for dessert with strawberries and whipped cream (using up some buttermilk ’cause dad was thrifty.) And Rem and I made meatballs – well we made beef/pork and lamb koftas, but when it comes down to it they’re pretty much meatballs which my dad made often.  He would have commented that homemade pesto was delicious but expensive.  It was very good with the zucchini and bell peppers I picked up at the Farmer’s Market.


I miss my dad but today was a good day. I honored his memory the best way I knew how.  Father’s Day 6.21.15.


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Art Journaling: Vacation Roadtrip


I thought I was the only one who made a visual packing list until one day I saw this on Pinterest.

It just works for me to have a visual reference.  Now I can update the list: I crossed off a pair of  yoga pants I decided not to pack and I accidentally left the sports bra at home. Do you make a packing list? Have you ever sketched your packing list?



I put this page together in our motel room in Ukiah.  I added color later. Even though I walked on other days, this was the last day I made note of my steps.



I have a date stamp that has about a dozen phrases that I can stamp with the date.


After the first two spreads, I didn’t manage to do daily journaling. I carried my (big) bag of art supplies into what ever motel we were staying in, but these were actually done during the second half of the trip when we were at Sea Ranch.


I got the idea for this spread from an old issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.  Awas an article by Jacqueline Newbold described preparing a watercolor art journal before a trip. Lay artists tape out to divide your page, paint a background across all the resulting squares and rectangles and then when you are on your trip, you have a grid ready for both artwork and space for text.


In my case, I’m journaling in a re-purposed book and I’ve used gesso to cover over the text and prep my pages. I used washi tape to make a grid and painted a watercolor background. But the washi tape pulled up the gesso in some pages.  I also need to do more research on what black pen will write on the gesso.

As we drove along the Avenue of the Giants, I was humming and even singing “This Land is Your Land.” So of course I wanted to include that in my page from that day!

In spite of the challenges, I was very pleased with how these pages turned out.  I collected free maps and newsprint guidebooks that are given away because they’re loaded with ads. But they’ve also got some photos that I was happy to use in my journal.


This spread has some paper from my stash as well as washi tape.  I also used a new circular date stamp I picked up at Scrappers Edge in Eureka.




I used some of these new materials from my shopping haul at Scrappers Edge on my next spread.


These are my favorite pages from our trip.

I used ink sprays, embossing powder and gold Mica Gilded Fragments from the Stampendous Frantage Encrusted Jewel Kit, and some of the stencils.




Heart Bead in Arcata has a beautiful business card that I used on this spread.  I didn’t find any new treasures but I enjoyed looking through the store.


My last two-page spread represents an overhead view of a flight of beer, and the names of the different breweries we visited.


There’s the new circular date stamp again.


I stenciled the background and wrote in the names of the brew pubs.

Inexpensive number thickers from Dollar Tree and letters cut out from a travel brochure combine in the page title.


Thanks for coming along.


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Vacation Album: Ft. Bragg to Sea Ranch


Looking at the mouth of the Noyo River just south of Ft. Bragg on my morning walk. State Route 1 crosses over above the river.


Businesses along the wharf have beautiful (and often humorous) signs.



“No phone, no TV, No WIFI. No problem. You are on vacation.”


I thought of you, Ariel.



Hiking up the hill to our motel I looked down at the wharf and harbor it was very peaceful.

After a bit of sunny weather in the Ft. Bragg area, going south to Sea Ranch we found it grey and foggy.

Nearly every day for the rest of our vacation was cool and grey.  Here are some pictures from Sea Ranch where we were joined by first my mom and Molly, and then my sister Kathleen.


Abalone divers getting ready to go into the water.


Low Tide on Walk On Beach.




Gooseneck barnacles and mussels on the rocks.


Rem and I made a cake to continue his birthday celebration: Double Chocolate Layer Cake from Smitten Kitchen.


The cake pans were a little smaller than called for, so we made a few cupcakes too.


I decorated the cake with nasturtiums.


The sun came out on the day we were leaving.  My mom, Kathleen, Molly and I walked at Gualala Point and down on the beach.



There was still a little finger of fog over Gualala.

It was time to pack up and get ready for our drive home after a wonderful vacation.

Thanks for your visit.

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Vacation Album: Eureka to Fort Bragg


After nearly a boatload of beer on our trip (I don’t like beer), it was now my time for utter indulgence. We saw this shop a few days before and it was closed. I was so happy to realize we’d pass it again on our journey south.


It was really delightful wandering through Scrappers Edge. My favorite local scrapbooking shop, Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley, recently closed. I didn’t have a shopping list but I was looking for new crafting goodies.


There was plenty to see.


Rem went and had a pint at Lost Coast Brewery while I shopped.


This is what I ended up purchasing:


Some reusable cardboard stencils, several ink sprays, a set of embossing powders in different colors and textures, including teal mica fragments and another jar of gold mica fragments, a pair of washi tapes, one with gold lace and the other with silver chevron design, a circular rubber stamp that has month and days to use in art journaling (and maybe on special occasion or birthday cards) and some Gelly Roll pens by Sakura.

I’ll do another post about playing with my new goodies, but it was a very satisfying shopping expedition!

We got on the road and continued southbound. I pointed out we’d be passing Ferndale, and that there was a good chance the pie shop, that had been closed on Sunday, would be open.


Rem needed no convincing.



Next stop: Vista Point.


And we had saved this stop for our drive south.


The corny but fun Confusion Hill was a good place to stretch our legs.



We got a vacation photo of ALL our critters.



Then a long drive and a transition from the Redwood Highway, to the Shoreline Highway; the start of Highway 1.  After quite a bit of twisting and turning, we got out to the coast and made it to Ft. Bragg, home of North Coast Brewing Company, the final stop of the Brewery Tour.


Even after all the beer he’d tried, Rem still looked pleased when his flight of thirteen beers arrived at our table. This brought his grand total of beers tasted on this trip to (at least) 80!


We’ve visited here before and he enjoyed two of his favorite stouts: Old No. 38 and Old Rasputin.


Although the tour was nearly over, we still had a few more days of vacation to enjoy. We would leave Ft. Bragg the next morning and drive to Sea Ranch to spend 5 days with no more motels or long drives. My mom and Molly were joining us on Friday and Kathleen on Sunday and we will head home on Monday.


Thanks for coming along!






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Vacation Album: (More Beer, More Trees)


Pretty little Victorian town: Ferndale. We found many shops closed on a Sunday, but still enjoyed walking around.


Every town should have clean, centrally located restrooms like these.


The cemetery is on a hillside overlooking town.


Onwards to Eureka and more closed shops in Old Town.  We went into a  Los Bagels shop and they had this great piece: Frieda with Glitter by Michelle Graham de Martinez. (Thought of you, Vic).


More Victorians, including the Carson Mansion (hi, Carson!).


Across the street, the “Pink Lady” was built for William Carson’s son as a wedding gift.



Dinner and of course more beer at the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka.

Rem’s birthday started grey and turned rainy. After the dry weather in Marin, it was nice to see so much green everywhere and Rem didn’t mind the wet weather on his special day.


We drove north into Redwood National Park and took a little walk in the woods.




Heading south again, we took a quick detour when we spotted elk in a campground.



We found Luke’s Joint, a little lunch place in the Arcata Plaza, because the next brewery, Redwood Curtain Brewing Company, doesn’t sell any food beyond potato chips.





After careful research (and don’t be fooled by the photos, he tried more than four beers here), he decided the Pine & Pineapple Pale Ale and Irish Dry Stout were his favorites.


The brow a LOT of different beers here and were happy to give Rem small samples so he could try more varieties.

We didn’t want to miss one of McKinleyville’s top things-to-see:



It is located, rather unexpectedly, behind a Safeway store.  Once, years ago, I took a stroll through what was supposed to be a totem pole park and somehow missed seeing the totem poles!  It was in Alaska and I guess we (hi, Lis), took a wrong turn.  So it was nice to see the World’s Largest Totem Pole, even if it was in a Safeway parking lot.



Birthday dinner was at the Six Rivers Brewery, which along with Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, is female-owned.





We shared a very good “Sweet Heat” pizza: habañero hot pepper jelly, caramelized onions, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese and a sprinkling of green onions.  Rem gave high ratings to the Raspberry Lambic-Style Ale and the Anniversary Blarney Stout.

A brownie-sundae finished the evening and Rem’s birthday month was off to a great start!

Thanks for your visit.





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Rem’s Redwoods & Brewpubs Birthday Roadtrip


For Rem’s birthday, we’re enjoying a road trip in Northern California that includes flights of beer and beautiful redwoods. A flight, or small sampling of different beverages or foods, is a practice that is probably better known in winemaking, but has also gained popularity in the culinary world.

Last year, we experienced a different kind of flight when we celebrated his birthday!  This is less exhilarating but I think I’m enjoying it more.

We left San Rafael heading north on US Route 101, on the segment known as The Redwood Highway. The Redwood Highway starts in Marin at the Golden Gate Bridge and goes all the way up to the junction of 199 near Crescent City.  We won’t make it quite that far, but we’re seeing loads of redwoods and enjoying the incredible scenery along the way.

From the quirky to the sublime.



Our first stop wasn’t a brew pub, but Rem was still able to sample two beers on tap.


Graton is really ginormous. Because it is on tribal land, smoking is allowed.  They have non-smoking sections and I’m sure there is an elaborate ventilation system to suck up the cigarette smoke, but it is still there and you can still smell it.  We played a few slot machines after lunch. I used a dollar from Rem and put in a dollar of my own. Oh, so exciting. I just do NOT see the attraction.

Here are my winnings:


Did I get 97 cents worth of entertainment?  Well, I would have paid that to leave, so I’ll call it a win.

Onward to Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub in Cloverdale, the home of Cloverdale Ale Company, for the first official stop on the Brewpub Tour!



Rem enjoyed tastes of eight different beers (the flights have ranged from 2 to 4 ounces in size, and he hasn’t finished all the beers in a flight).  He is using an app called Untappd to track and rate the beers.  His favorite here was the McGowan’s Dry Irish Stout.


I enjoyed the signs I noticed:


I was a little confused by this one (in the Ladies Room)…


…until I looked in the mirror. (It says “You’re Beautiful”). Awww.


It was in the low 90’s as we headed on to Ukiah and our next brewery: Mendocino Brewing Company.



A flight of nine beers for $10 is a great way to sample the offerings.  Rem particularly enjoyed the Eye of the Hawk Imperial Ale.

Our dinner that night at Ritual, also in Ukiah, kept with the theme of samples; we shared 4 appetizers (Firecracker Won Ton, Lumpia, Thai Chicken Wings and Lamb Lollipops) plus a delicious salad of greens, beets, locally-made goat cheese and caramelized walnuts for me.


Ukiah Brewing Company is adjacent to the restaurant and is no longer a stand-alone brewery.


The server told us about a specialty beer, Navarro Yarrow, but cautioned it was particularly foamy that night.  She brought Rem a sample in addition to the flight of beer he was trying, and it was his favorite of the evening.

I had a walk in Ukiah early the next morning before we hit the road.


Church mailbox in front of church.



We both dressed for the hot weather we expected after the first day.  However, the temperature never rose above the low 70’s and the scenery was just gorgeous.  It was a beautiful day. We deterred off Highway 101 to drive the Avenue of the Giants, a scenic roadway going through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.


Of course we didn’t want to miss the Drive-Thru-Tree.



We took a short walk along one of the park trails.




I was charmed by this little bunny.


Continuing back on 101, we went to the tiny town of Loleta to visit the Loleta Cheese Factory and tasted our way from one end of the shop to the other.  We didn’t try all 34 varieties they make, but we did try quite a few of them and bought some to take with us.


We backtracked to the town of Fortuna and after checking in to our motel, we walked to the next brewery on the list: Eel River Brewing.


We split an order of baby-back ribs and I had a salad.  Rem, needless to say, also had beer. His top pick here was Raven’s Eye Imperial Stout.River.

I started the next morning with a good walk along the Eel River, which is at record low levels due to the drought, but pretty nonetheless.




I will post another section of our trip soon. Thanks for stopping by.


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