Tag Archives: green

Bear Valley Trail 4/60


Want to know something cool about getting older? I get to do things over that I forgot doing before, so they are NEW again! A friend and I walked part of the way to the coast on this beautiful trail on Saturday. I wasn’t planning on counting this as a new thing for my 60 New Things Project because I knew I’d taken this trail in the past. But it was completely unfamiliar to me.




I left two painted rocks for others to find.



Thanks for stopping by.

All photos except rocks: Shook Chung


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Believe in Love & Magic


When I saw this sweet handmade card by Violet Annie on The Paper Wallflower, I knew I would be borrowing the phrase for one of my Hello Soul, Hello Mantras paintings.

My intention, when I started this one, was to play. So I did.


First things first: get some color on the canvas board – canvas that is stretched over a hard backing.  A squirt of green acrylic paint and I was off.


I smeared it around with a plastic card, added different shades of green, squirted on some water to create drips, dragged a plastic fork crisscross through the paint and use a bottle lids and a cork to stamp some circles.


I smeared more paint and then stenciled some hexagons in different sizes. I painted over some of the stamped circles, but decided to re-stamp them.


Once this verdant background paint was dry (with the help of my heat gun), I started collaging paper onto it.  A piece of map, some textured flowered paper, a bus transfer I found while walking earlier in the day, green tissue paper and a photo of a leaf  with raindrops from a birthday card.

Even though most of these things don’t show in the finished painting, I love how they are all part of it; the layers make the whole thing more interesting. I know what’s under the collage and paint.


Now back to paint to start to blend the paint and paper layers into a more cohesive background.

I’ve done some painting, dripping, stenciling and a bit of rubber stamping. I’ve also added more collage elements including a fortune from a fortune cookie that says “You are a deep thinker with a knack for problem solving.”


Several of the collage papers have orange-red on them which you can see peeking from under all the green. I decided to add more of that color to the piece along with more pattern; stamping a harlequin design in black ink.


Here I’ve added some buff paint to help the letters of the mantra stand out. Once I’ve stamped the letters, I’ll go back in and put some richer color around the letters. A horizon of lace, fabric and paper has been added along the bottom edge.


Finally – the mantra is stamped onto the background. I think it was a bit more to the right side than would have been ideal, but it just seems to be the best location.


Last but not least: finishing details. I used the same harlequin pattern for a border, and brought the flower back into view with more of the red-orange color. I also added lots of little details with white and black pens.


I love how these final details seem to bring the piece into focus (and I do mean more than my photos, which can be a little uneven).

Thank you for your visits and comments.








Filed under Crafts

Happy Spring!

Plum Blossoms

I pulled myself away from my desk to walk around the campus and enjoy the first day of spring.

My office


Little purple flower

Pink Flowers

Rooftop Meadow

This meadow of wildflowers in on the roof garden of the Fine Art building.

Blue flowers

Strawberry Plant

Our building has a roof garden too but it isn’t doing as well.  There are some flowers but less color and greenery.

Bee in Rosemary Blossom

A huge patch of rosemary is in bloom and it’s buzzing with bees.

Pink Toesies & Green Grass

I’m very grateful it is warm enough to be wearing sandals.


I tried to think “Spring” when I got dressed this morning: pale pink embellished sweater, aqua print top, freshwater pearls.

It was hard getting back to work, so I decided to give you a little tour of the inside of my office.

Perpetual Calendar

Calendar #1 is on my desk. A gift from my friend, Nicole, I think of her every morning when I change the day and date.

Paper Source Calendar

Calendar #2 is on the wall behind me.  It is from Paper Source and has wonderful artwork plus templates on the back of each month to recycle it into folders, cards and gift boxes when you finish using as a calendar.

Bird Tile Art

My friend Shook gave me this picture.  It goes beautifully with the perpetual calendar.  I love the color scheme, the bird and the collage-like layers.

The bulletin board

Special notes and cards from special people around me.  A feather that reminds me of my dad.

View out my window

One more peek at the view (looking out to the “orbit court”) before getting back to work.

Thank you for your visit.


Filed under Life

Everyone’s Irish on March 17


Shamrock’s at Muir Woods.

Here’s a little round-up of some of my previous green-themed posts.  It includes links to recipes – just click on the underlined headings.

Rem and I had our St. Patrick’s day dinner a little early over at my mom’s, and enjoyed a sodium-nitrate-free corned beef from Whole Foods.  Happily I have enough leftovers so I could leave some for mom and still have some for tomorrow night’s dinner.

This is a a post about Roasted Root Vegetables which is how I did the vegetables we had this year.  The corned beef and cabbage cooked in the slow cooker.

Root Vegetables

These two salads are both green and both delicious: Baked Feta with Greens and Avocado

Baked Feta with Greens & Avocado

And Emerald City Salad with nutritionally dense kale and chard, brown rice, fennel, apple and craisins.

Emerald City Salad

A pre-spring hike in early March 3 years ago was the source of some pretty green pictures.


This last post includes a recipe of Irish Soda Bread, a redhead, and a lovely blessing.

Irish Soda Bread

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Filed under Cooking, Crafts, Life

Day 20: Spiral


Day 20: Spiral.  I started this spread last night.  I’m getting near the end of my journal and I want to keep all the pages for this 30-Days-of-Creativity  project in one book.  I had a few blank pages at the beginning of the book, so I started working there.  The binding was coming a bit unglued, so I used some torn pieces of white paper and matte medium to reinforce it.

I really didn’t have anything in mind for today but as I layered the torn white paper onto the pages I formed two spirals.  When I showed my friend and colleague, Shook, at lunch today, she immediately saw the spiral design I had created and said it made her think of two things: a fiddle-head fern and a wave.

The natural world is full of spirals – curled green tendrils on plants,beautiful nautilus shells, a rose bud, a succulent, and a ram’s horn to name a few. I grabbed some images off the computer (including photo’s from Shook – thank you!) and after work I looked through my scraps of printed paper and pulled out bits with curly designs.

Spiraly Scraps

Before I started adhering the paper, I put down a wash of green with water soluble oil crayons and highlighted the spiral with yellow-orange. Than I layered torn pieces of paper.

I finished the collage, including this piece of map showing Drake’s Beach, before going to Jazzercise, but I was still picking dried matte medium off my fingers during class.

Drake's Beach

After dinner I added the quote from author and educator, Christina Baldwin.

When you’re stuck in a spiral, to change all aspects of the spin you need only to change one thing.

When You're Stuck

Change One Thing

It is a good thing to keep in mind.

I’m NOT going to spend as much time crafting this weekend as I did last weekend.  Much as I enjoy it, doing a spread a day in the art journal takes a lot of effort.  I am trying to maintain some balance – I’m keeping up with my hiking and other exercise, but I’m not reading much at all and a lot of free time is at the craft desk.  So – let’s see what I can create tomorrow with less time crafting.

I am treating myself to a visit to Imperial Day Spa in San Francisco (sorry, their site wouldn’t load) with a visit afterwards to Japantown for sushi and shopping.

Day 20 last year: Thick, Chewy Granola Bars.

Day 20 the year before that: Aluminum Tape Tags and Charms.

Thanks for your continued support.  Comments encouraged!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 17: Niche with Wings

Niche with Wings

Day 17: Niche with Wings.  Here is another feather from my collection.  It is set in a little niche or shallow recess that I cut into about 8 pages all glued together.

I started this page on Saturday, worked on it a bit yesterday and finished it today.

Feather in Niche

After work I took another challenging hike with my sister Sarah and a few other hiking buddies. I’m tuckered out, so I’m just going to share some more pictures and call it a day!  We combined the last two hikes, going up one hill and coming down the other side instead of looping back down the same way we’d come.  It took a little logistics with cars, but it really felt like an achievement.

Here is our view coming back down.  It isn’t the best quality photo, but it shows the view.  The Richmond San Rafael Bridge is in the foreground, Larkspur Ferry is a little dot in the middle and the Bay Bridge is in the background.

Bridges & Ferry

Now back to my page.

Bird and Leaves

Leaf Detail

Feather Close Up

More views from the hike: Bay Bridge and SF Skyline.

SF Skyline

Richmond San Rafael Bridge with Oakland in the background.

Richmond SRafael Bridge

And one last look at the Niche with Wings.

Niche at an angle

Day 17 in 2012 was my big Chocolate Bowl Fail – what a mess!  I found splatters of chocolate on the ceiling.

In 2011, Rem and I went into the city on Day 17 and so I did Friday Photos in San Francisco.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Shamrocks, Sea Ranch, March 2011

Daffodils, Filoli

Daffodil, Filoli, Spring 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread (recipe here)

Fennel Fruit Juice

Fennel Fruit Juice (recipe here)

Emerald City Salad

Emerald City Salad (recipe here)

I’ve been humming this Irish Blessing in my head today and send it out to all of you and your loved ones:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

And may the rain fall soft upon your fields.

Thank you for the visit.


Filed under Cooking, Life

love & hugs

Home is Where the Heart Is

I’ve been up to my eyebrows in valentines.  I no longer send Christmas cards but I do like to give out a bunch of valentines.  I make some for the women in my choir, a batch for family members, and a pile to give to colleagues at the community college where I work.  I also do a Valentine project and a card for my sweetie (2013 project photos coming soon). For all the hearts I’ve punched and beautiful greetings I’ve embossed, I am a bit red-faced that I didn’t do a better job of sharing much of that process with you!

In past years I would come up with one design and make multiple cards.

Itty Bitty Valentine's

Masterboard Valentine Tags

A few years ago I made heart-shaped crayons that were a part of my valentines.

Crayon Hearts

It’s a good way to do lots of cards – production line style.  But sometimes by the time I made all my valentines, I was really tired of the design.

This year I did some multiples but I also did lots of variety.  I looked in my supplies and found some unused envelopes in different sizes and I also bought some small envelopes from Paper Source.  Then I started crafting different cards to fit in the different-sized envelopes. I showed some of the cards in these posts.

I made great use of my heart-shaped punches, washi tape was on many cards, I embossed greetings in gold or silver and I embellished with dots, buttons, jewels and charms. Here are a few of the valentines I made:

Script Love

love button

Big Red Paper Strip Heart love


I also lined the envelopes for many of the cards – it’s easy to do and adds a lovely touch to the finished valentine.

Lined Envelopes

Coordinate Card w/  Envelope

Almost all of my valentines were created with pink, grey, white and turquoise paper but I did one that was completely unique: a green valentine for my friend who loves green.  Thanks for sharing this picture, Shook. 

Green Valentine

What I didn’t do was my blog –  only one post before this for February!  So here are my belated best wishes, love & hugs to you all.

love & hugs


Filed under Crafts

Papa’s Stone

Most of my immediate family got together a few weeks ago.  It was the first time many of us were together since my dad’s memorial service back in June.We were putting a stone on his grave.

It was an informal gathering without any ceremony.  Dogs were running around.  Fog was rolling in.

The view down the hill is of an elementary school.

A spot on the hillside a short distance away affords a beautiful view of Mt. Tam

Some of these photos are from a previous visit to the site.  The hillside has old eucalyptus trees.

We had a little picnic with bread, cheese, fruit and homemade cookies.  Some of us stood and some of us were sitting on blankets.  It is hard to imagine a family gathering without food and it was something my dad did: fed the people he loved.  Or even liked.

We also planted a few flower bulbs.  The pink amaryllis that my dad was so fond of we all know better  by their more common name: naked ladies.  The dirt was very hard with rocks and roots but we all worked to give these bulbs a chance.  It may be a few years before we see blooms but I think my dad would enjoy the flowers and love the idea of being surrounded by naked ladies.  I believe the sight of these flowers will always remind me of him.

The hillside were my dad’s ashes are buried is in the green part of a cemetery that also has a conventional area.  In the green area, cut and polished grave markers are not allowed.  Small  natural boulders can be used to mark the final resting place of your loved one.

One of my sisters collected several large rocks from a beach at Sea Ranch, the location of a family vacation home and many wonderful, relaxing visits.  I’m really not sure how she and her friends got the rocks up the path but somehow they managed it. The one that was picked weighs over 26 lbs so it was a labor of love.  It feels right to have a rock from this special place as the grave stone.

In addition, she had the wonderful idea of using dad’s signature for his name on the stone.  A piece of abalone shell was incorporated in the design.

The result is unique and creative, an appropriate marker befitting the man whose grave it rests on.

Shells and rocks that had been temporary markers now sit around the heavy stone.  We lay flowers, shook out the blankets, and walked off the hillside.

Thank you for your visit.


Filed under Life

Day 22: Water Marbled Nails

I don’t have long, beautiful nails.  I use and abuse my nails and they get beat up with crafting.  Today they got special attention when I tried out this water-marbled nail technique.

I saw some amazing versions of this on Pinterest and ended up looking at several tutorials.  This is a good one at Chloe’s Nails: Water Marble Picture Tutorial.

First I put on a coat of white polish as a base: White Out from Orly.

The other colors I used are Dreamer from Revlon, Austin-Tatious Turquoise from OPI, and Royal from Love & Beauty.

I didn’t use filtered water though I understand it is best to do so.  You put water in a cup and drop colored polish on the surface of the water.

Than use an orange stick to swirl the polish around a bit.

To protect the skin on your finger from getting covered in polish you can either put tape around the nail or rub some lip balm on the skin.  Both ways have their pros and cons.  Either way you’re still going to have polish to clean off.

This project involves lots of cleaning off of polish.  And lots of nail polish remover. Lots.

It is also a tricky project to photograph.  Water, nail polish, polish remover and fingers covered with lip balm and or tape limits the times when holding a camera is easy.  So use your imagination.

Once you protect your skin from polish, you dip your finger, nail down, into the water.  Then, with finger still underwater, you use the orange stick to skim the surface of the water and pull off the thin, floating layer of polish so you don’t pull your fingertip through the polish for a second time.

Once all ten fingernails are done and the extra polish is cleaned off, and the messed up nails have the polish removed, the white coat painted on and dried and the fingernail water marbled again… that’s when you wish you’d bought those q-tips with the little pointy ends.  Because you’ve got to get the polish off from around the nails.

In the picture, above, my index finger doesn’t have a base coat (because I redid it twice and wanted to finish up).  I kind of like the sheer effect.

Clear polish was the top coat.  Unfortunately the clear polish made streaks on two nails where the marble effect smeared.


Fabric Covered Notebooks was my creation for Day 22 last year.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts