Thursday, June 28, 2012

Historic Orange Drawn by James Keniston

Over the weekend James and I went to a very special art opening at Copperwood Artware, a local gallery. Why was it so special, you may ask? Well, my friends, I'll tell you - it was special because James is one of the featured artists for their current exhibition, Man Made! His small-scale black and white illustrations of historic buildings in and around Orange will be displayed for the duration of the show, which happens to be from now until July 26th.

Historic Buildings of Orange by James Keniston

James with fellow artist and exhibitor Fr. Bill Moore

Joyce (my mom!), James, and Peter

Me and my cousin Paul

James and Peter

James with our friends Jon and Amanda
There are 6 painters featured, from black and white to vivid color, traditional landscape to contemporary figurative, realistic to abstract. (I know who my favorite is, but then some might say I'm a little biased...) If you're in southern California, check out Copperwood Artware and look for James's fantastic pieces!

Man Made
June 22 - July 26, 2012
Copperwood Artware
148 A N. Glassell St, Orange CA 92866
Tues - Thurs: 10:30a - 5p; Fri: 11a - 8p
Sat: 11a-4p; Sun: 12p-4p

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Heart Lonesome George

Lonesome George
June 25th is a sad day. (But not for my friend Britt, who celebrates his birthday today. Happy Birthday, wherever you are!) The day has the unfortunate distinction of being the day that Michael Jackson died. It's also the day we lost our little cat Mawi. And now, it's the day the world learned of the loss of a very special animal.

Sadly, Lonesome George is no longer with us, and neither are the Pinta Island tortoises. Lonesome George was the last of his kind in the world. The Pinta Island tortoises were believed extinct, but George was discovered in the 1970's and efforts went into trying to mate him with similar giant tortoises. Unfortunetly, all attempts were unsuccessful, and with his death comes the extinction of his species.

He lived out the last of his days on the Galapagos Islands. Many of the giant tortoises that have inhabited the islands have specialized shells that have evolved over time to aid them in getting to the food they need to survive. Some have shells that are very low to the ground because those reptiles find norishment  there, and George's was much higher up to allow his neck to stretch up to reach the leaves he needed. (Watch some David Attenborough documentaries - he was close friends with Lonesome George.)

Although this is a slightly silly post, I really do feel sad that Lonesome George has died. I know I'm putting human feeling on him, but how terrible to be the last of your kind. I think it's a privilage that humankind was able to see George and study him and learn a little more about their world through him, don't you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Traveling Artist Books? Yes, Please!

Have you heard of The Sketchbook Project?

Patricia Gendrom, Quebec
Maria Luisa Sandos Cuellar, Oaxaca Mexico
I heard about The Sketchbook Project a couple of years ago. In a nutshell, it's like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks. You sign up to participate, choose a theme, fill in the provided sketchbook, send it back, and then it's taken on tour around the country for lots of strangers to ooh and aah over. Basically, it's pretty cool.

I've signed up to participate the last 2 years, and unfortunately have never finished a book. How lame, right? Maybe 2013 will be my year! The first time, I chose the theme of "Inside Outside." I don't want to share anything I made for that, because it was quite terrible, to be perfectly honest. Last year, I chose the theme "In 10 Minutes." I set a timer to go off in 10 minutes, and then I just drew. Which I can't do very well, as evidenced below.

See? Do you blame me for going into photography rather than anything involving drawing?

So that's about as far as I got in Sketchbook # Deux. Needless to say, I was not a part of the 2012 World Tour. That didn't stop me from checking out the tour when it came to iam8bit in Los Angeles last month!

Sketchbook Shelf

Waiting Sketchbooks
James and I drove up to Echo Park to and spent a few hours checking out books, sitting on the floor, and perusing said books. One in particular was very touching, about a woman who chose the theme of "Fill Me With Stories" and filled the book with words and definitions having to do with her husband's death and dealing with her grief and moving on. It was probably the best book that I looked through. The woman wasn't an "artist," but what she did was so raw and revealing, you couldn't help but be touched by her story.

The books were at the venue for 2 days only. Entrance is free, and you can get a library card for free as well. You can check out 2 books at a time, and fabulous volunteers run around pulling your books from the rolling shelves. You can go back as many times as you want, and if you're in a group, you can all check out books and then swap them round. Easy way to see more!

If this sounds even remotely interesting to you, you can sign up HERE. You can find more details about this and other projects on, so check it out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Reading

I don't know if I've told youbefore, but I decided that I was going to keep track of how many books I read in 2012. Just cause I'm curious. Now that we're mid-way through June (Happy 1st Day of Summer, BTW!!), I'm on my 21st book. Not counting the 2 that I started and couldn't finish. James says that if reading were an Olympic sport, I would be a gold medalist.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

And then I broke down and went to the dark side.

It arrived last week and although it's weird reading on a screen rather than a page, I'm very happy with how small it is and how little it weighs. And I'm excited for future travel opportunities. I kept thinking back to my sister-in-law's wedding in England last Spring when the only book I brought was Water for Elephants, and I finished it the second day of the trip, and I was too sick and/or busy with wedding- and family-related activities to pick up another book in the bookstore. Never. Again.

Plus, once one has an e-reader, one needs a cute handmade cover/sleeve from Etsy, right?

Made by Ann, from
Also, to add to my competetive reading, there's a percentage tracker on the bottom of the Kindle screen, and I am taking great pleasure in shouting out to James exactly what percentage of Pride and Prejudice I've read thus far. Several times a day. Or hour. Whatever.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Most Wonderful Fairy Tale

Have I ever told you how much I love fairy tales?

I especially love the first one, but really, I would be happy stepping into any of these pieces.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Long Live the Queen!

Royal Corgi
This past weekend was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in London. That means she's been the reigning royalty for 60 years! James and I have been eagerly watching everything we can on TV to feel like we're there, including the Concert for the Queen tonight, a day after it actually happened in England. I think my favorite moment in the whole concert was when the Royal Family got up on stage and Prince Charles began addressing his mother as "Your Majesty...Mummy..." So fabulous!

To mark this momentous occassion, my lovely friend Amanda sent us the card in the picture above. It arrived this morning and had the both of us in a wonderful mood before our workdays. Thanks, Amanda! The artist is Alison Fennell of Wales, and she does the cutest paintings of animals. Amanda also gave me this fox print for my birthday, which I looooove.

In England's entire huge long history, there has only ever been one other Diamond Jubilee, that of Queen Victoria. It's quite an accomplishment for Queen Elizabeth to reach that landmark as well. They're even re-naming the clock tower that houses Big Ben after her. (It's only the bell that's named "Big Ben".) The other tower on the Houses of Parliament is known as Victoria Tower, after Queen Victoria on the occassion of her Diamond Jubilee. Fitting, isn't it? (Can you tell I've been missing England?)

I was lucky enough to experience the Queen's Golden Jubilee 10 years ago at the end of my first year in London. I watched the fireworks from Picadilly one night, and I went to Hyde Park another day to watch the royal proceedings on these huge TV screens that were set up. I saw the Red Arrows do their fly-over trailing streams of red, white and blue. One of the oddest things I saw was a number of old Routemaster buses (the open-back double decker buses) painted gold in celebration. I think this past weekend must have been incredible to experience, and I'm loving seeing the photos of street parties on Facebook!
Hooray for Queen Elizabeth, aka "Mummy"!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My New Addiction

It's Jubilee Weekend in London and I am missing my "other home."
So now I've discovered a new addiction...


London Love

...Etsy Treasuries!!! Plus, I just learned how to do screenshots, so watch out, World!

Pee Ess: I JUST NOW saw the preview for the upcoming film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.