Monday, December 23, 2013

Mount Diablo

El Diablito was still a bit cold on the top as Jeff and I hiked in a circle around the summit this morning (link to his photo). We collected acorns, peed on trees, and had an altogether devilish time. But seriously, there is a pretty nice natural history center with old public works project (WPA) art and a lookout menagerie that reminded me of some of the armories we saw in Bermuda. For more photos, click and peep the most recent few from Mount Diablo, and also Joaquin Miller Park in the Oakland Hills. 

Forest Fire remnants in Mt. Diablo, and a view of many kinds of rock

Monday, December 9, 2013

Knitting Adventures!

Just to show you my first 2 attempts at making knit hats. I'm still learning how to close off at the top, so for now have been leaving a hole and sewing it up. In the future maybe I could add pom-poms too.

Also, I found a lot of organizations that donate hand-knit hats to sick people, or troops overseas. For example, this one. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Small Projects

That big pile of projects took a few days to plow through. Here are a few things I completed over this break, sadly over tomorrow afternoon. But I am glad to return to work so that I can send these crafts out into the great wide world via post office magic. 

Neck Cowl

Monogram Hanky #1 and 2

Sunflower pillow (quilted on back)

And one year ago this time, I was looking at birds with Jessica 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Potatoes! Craft Stacks!

Happy week-off-of-school! Also, Happy week to get all the stuff done I've been putting off and hoarding in a "to-sew" basket under my couch. With all my spare time, I hope to plow through this pile and come out with three knit things - I'm circle knitting for the first time, also known as knitting-in-the-round, which sounds like a dance. It is incredibly easy to do and sew similar (pun intended) to straight knitting that I'm ashamed I have not done it until now. Hopefully this little circle of maroon will be a cute hat for my mom. Also in my pile: a mound of clothes with slight rips, tears, or missing buttons that need some love, fabric to make a couple handkerchiefs as holiday gifts, and little felt pads to become the bottom of a hot pad (for setting hot plates on a table). 

My other to-do pile: finish all these books!! I am, as I may have mentioned before, addicted to the library and cannot help but check out three or four books everytime I go in. I showed T the fiction section of the main library. He sighed, "ah, the stacks." Just yesterday I returned two graphic novels written by Charles Burns, and this morning finished another by Jeff Nicholson

And one final image: little tots from the dirt! What a pleasant surprise I had when I began digging through what I thought was an empty container, to find these lil guys growing underneath! And of course they were delicious roasted with just a little salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Recent Sights

More photos here.

Park St. bridge view of inner harbor

Shrine in my neighborhood

Marina on my bike route

Lake Anza picnic with T

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Massacre

Happy spooky week, all. Last night the great pumpkin tradition of 2011 was revived. See also: the results of this Pan de Muerto recipe, the alter where some of it lives, and some pumpkins awesomeness. 

I used chia seeds as an egg replacer, which is why it is speckled brown, and also subbed sugar for Stevia. Mostly eaten before I remembered to take a picture. The orange glaze is the best part of the recipe.

RuPaulpkin, the face was so intricate that I gave up and pinned the stencil to the middle. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Tree of Life and Death

The Oakland Museum of California is one of my favorite places in Oakland. I went there for the first time about one year ago and not surprisingly, I still love the same pieces as I did then. I went last night to the food-truck Friday Night party at the OMCA - the best part of which is exploring the near-empty, nearly-childless galleries at night. On display now is the Dia de los Muertos 2013 exhibit, which you should go see immediately. 

Other things in the works:

This huge pile of cranes which might be mobiles or might continue to orgy together in a basket under my desk. Unknown! Want a crane? I will mail you one. 

Hot peppers in the garden. I used one in an entire meal, without seeds, and my mouth burned for almost 30 minutes. I will not mail you one of these. They are candy to my little bird-friend, though, she is a strong and strange creature.

Happiness Hotel bathroom shelf shrine. No further comment necessary. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Self-Evident Truths

Here is a project that is awesome and coming to the Bay Area next week! (Video link here)

Self Evident Truths from Self Evident Truths on Vimeo.

It is called Self-Evident Truths, and I participated in Boulder, CO last May. Can you find my portrait? 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Still life

The morning after a group dinner, or party, or impromptu gathering (with this many people, it's always a party), the house seems especially quiet. The flowers I plucked during a walk with T are still open, my laundry hangs waiting for the clouds to burn away, and Scout hasn't barked yet today. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Babylon, City Maps, Neolithic Art

It's been a whole month since my last post, but with good reason and I am spending so much neck-cramping time bent over books, watching historical documentaries, and organizing color coded flashcards (yes!) in my pursuit of a passing score on an important test. Ancient History is something I barely understood when it was compulsory in elementary school and barely heeded in college when my focus was on more modern eras. I am astonished at each truth I encounter, from the first forms of writing and art to engineering of humans who had only recently developed language. 

Here are some cool things you might find fascinating too:

  • Babylonian gates (second civilization out of the Fertile Crescent):

  • Development of writing, and the first sound-symbol "true" alphabet from the Phoenicians

Friday, August 23, 2013

Silver Dagger

Joan Baez, live 1965

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oregon, Waterfalls

Portland gets better each time I visit, mainly this time around because I spent time outside of the city, hiking with friends at Eagle Creek and Punchbowl Falls, and Wahkeenah Falls.

I am so proud of these people who are making art and kicking ass in a city that caters to those things:

Elisabeth Horan, collage, fabric, and nonsense extraordinaire. 

Jeff Sheridan, cartoonist, illustrator, and wise-cracking genius. I have this one hanging in my room.

Kai Mathur, all around badass, artist, model, designer.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Autumn of the Chihuahua

A couple weekends ago T and I had the great honor of pretending we were in high school again and dressing up for prom. I wore the same dress I wore to my senior high school prom and drank much more wine than the first go-round.  Here is a totally unrelated, but painfully cute photo in San Francisco last weekend when Jen K. visited!! 

Exhibits A and B: 

Then! This weekend I bought a mushroom mini farm from Far West Fungi in the Ferry Building  and should soon have shitakes alongside my bromeliad and semi-dying orchids. Other happenings around the home and garden: 

Chicken in the sunshine

Fresh from the garden yesterday! 

Peppers, and some unknown plant

Morning Glory vining all over the place

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer's blazing by

Heat wave, ripe tomatoes, quilt of the map of California, amaranth and sunflowers wave. And a silly vase I painted for my mom, and hanging card for my sister (Happy Birthday!)