Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Reading, Part II

I gave up on my Titanic book. (I know myself so well.) Then I picked up Sister, and I tore through it. Written as a letter from a big sister to a little sister who has gone missing, the story takes place in London and had all these little details that brought the city to life for me. As a fake Londoner, I really appreciated being reminded of all the tagging done in Hoxton, how big and grand the homes and gardens of Richmond are, and how nasty the public loos in the parks are and why you should NEVER GO NEAR THEM AT NIGHT. I found I could really picture London through the author's words, and that made me happy. If you read this, be ready for a twist at the end that leaves you questioning all of your previous thoughts and insights, and leaves you wondering what the real ending of the book is. Excellent read.

*James kept singing the theme tune to that aweful sitcom "Sister, Sister" when he saw me with this book. Quite incongruous.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weddings and Birthdays and Family Visits, Oh My!

Before I show rather than tell, I wanted to take a moment to show you...Cal!!

A friend got married in April at a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the hills. They had 1,000 paper cranes for 1,000 years of happiness and prosperity.


Family Photos

Umm, the cake had glitter. Just sayin'.

Beautiful, happy couple!
James' parents visited us, and we went aaallll over the southland.

Koi at Mission San Juan Capistrano


Can I have one in my living room?

Los Angeles

Financial District Art

The Toga Tour at the Getty Villa. Awesome.

I sorta want to jump in and swim laps...

Santiago Oaks

The Old Dam
 James turned 30 while his parents were visiting! Being me, I had to do something rediculous, like get a donkey pinata and sparklers in the shape of the number 30 to put on his cake. And get up at 6am to bake & ice said cake.

Cal & his new friend
Cake Sparklers
BTW, if you are considering using cake sparklers, I found that the "0" in mine didn't light. At all.

Finally, what says Mother's Day like WWII aircraft?

Lyon Air Museum

It was really great to see the B-17 because my grandfather flew in one during WWII. He was a rear gunner. We even got to go inside a B-17 that was in front of the air museum. Plus, my best friend texted me while we were there with a picture of her newly bejewelled left hand, so it was a great day all around!!

PS. Sorry for the image-heavy post. Well, not really. Sorry if you didn't enjoy it, hopefully you did. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Fruits of my Labors

Remember this?

Work in Progress
It turned into this:

Lighter Than Air, fabric, thread & paint
It's my rendition of our local Marine Corps Air Station LTA Base in Tustin, done for the "Scenes of Tustin" exhibition at Chemers Gallery. I used a vintage photograph as my starting point for this one, although it makes for a much better story if I tell people I chartered a helicopter and hung out the side with my camera to get the ariel shot...There are these two huge wooden blimp hangers there, and I've always loved them, so when this exhibition came around again (it's an annual show with the Tustin Art League), I decided to just do it and see what happened. It's a big departure from my usual artwork, which is photography, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out or if anyone would even like it, but surprisingly, people did! I'd like to do another one of something else once the inspiration strikes. I basically took an old photo, drew it bigger, made a pattern out of it, and hand-stitched a lot of fabric onto a stretched and painted piece of fabric.
Also, I went to Peters Canyon and wandered around with James and my camera and took this photo:

Boundary, digital photograph
This is much more typical of me as an artist. I like to photograph things that look a little lonely, for some reason. I like this fencepost, although I did overhear one person say "Well, I certainly wouldn't hang this in my living room!" but who cares. You can't please everyone!

Show Layout
 *Unfortunetelly I am waaaay behind the 8-ball and "Scenes of Tustin" is already finished. Hopefully next year I'll be a bit more organized in my personal life. I do think that any organizational skills I have are put to use at work and then I have nothing left by the time I get home.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Reading & April Excursions

I've been MIA, but only because life has been so darn hectic. Weddings, birthdays, visiting European dignitaries (AKA my mother- & father-in-law from lovely London)...who can keep up?

Back in April I visited the LA Times Book Festival at the USC campus. Heaven for book lovers like me and my dad. We made the drive up and spent the entire afternoon. I think we saw just about everything except the strangely elusive Getty Publishing tent.

Soooo many books...

There were book tents on USC's athletic field. Why not?

I swear this is LA and not Amsterdam.
I've made a supremely pittiful attempt at reading this month. This must be what it's like for normal people who don't inhale books and instead go through them at normal speeds. This is killing me.

Much as I want to be tearing through this book, I'm really not. I'm stuck on the second (albeit, lengthy) part written by Archibald Gracie, "The Truth About the Titanic." He's very thorough and wants to make sure we have every single piece of the story, but what he does is end up repeating a lot of the same information over and over again. He went down with the ship and survived by climing onto an overturned lifeboat when he surfaced. What keeps amazing me is that apparently there was very little panic among the passengers during the sinking. I suspect I'll either skim until I get to the section of newspaper articles from the immidiate aftermath, or I'll admit defeat and put the book away to re-visit another time.

I have managed to read this book, however:

*Mine is a belated birthday gift from my Mum-in-Law and therefore British, so the title of mine is actually "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops." Apparently the publishers didn't think that we in America would know what a bookshop is so they changed it to something we'd understand. Much like how in the UK the first Harry Potter is "The Philosopher's Stone" and here it's "The Sorcerer's Stone."
It's full of overheard comments and random conversations with rather idiotic customers in bookshops. Just what the title promises. Things like:

"I read a book in the sixties. I don't remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?"

I'd highly recommend it if you like books. Which I do.