Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

This is a slideshow from Easter.  I'm working with embedding slideshows.  You can speed up the slideshow with the fast button (recommended).  You can also click on any image to get a closer look.  If you click, you'll notice something happening, which is you going to my Smugmug site. There you will find a much better viewer, where you can look at the images as you like, in any size you like.  If you like the photos, it's worth a try. These pictures are some photos from my new-to-me camera.  (Thanks Nan!)  I'm really enjoying it, and these I braved the new world of turning off the auto settings.  I took a bunch of others that were either blurry or too dark to use.

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day (tomorrow)

Tomorrow is a big day around here.  Today is too for that matter.  Patrick is coming home!!  Moira too!  Moira arrived early this morning, and so we will all be here for Saint Patrick's day!  We are going to need to do some cooking, which means we will need to do some shopping.  I'm pretty excited about it all.

Here are a few recipes of interest:
Irish Colcannon
Roasted Vegetable Lamb Irish Stew
Irish Soda Bread
Vegetarian Mushroom and Barley Irish Stew

It's so nice to have the energy of the whole family together.  It's even more special, now that we have kids who don't always live here.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  :-)

Time for some Irish music too.  Chieftains, U2.  Who else? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

I've been to Barcelona a couple times now, and love Antonio Gaudi's architecture and style.  I'm not the only one.  All of Barcelona loves Gaudi, and Gaudi loved Barcelona.  This apartment building is one of his later designs at Casa Batllo.  Earlier in the day, we visited Sagrada Familia cathedral, a spectacular, if not seminal symbol of Gaudi.  Still yet, I was tingling virtually my entire visit to Casa Batllo.   It's on what might be opposing ends of the spectrum, both art, and architecture.  Or form and function.  And on both fronts, it's exquisite.  This is a photo of a little artistic note at the top of the staircase handrail.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When in Doubt, Plant Blueberries

I'm learning about different therapeutic techniques and one is, when stressed, turn to Mother Nature.  One trick I am trying to use is to have gratitude, and nature helps me there.  It's so frigging cool, what mother nature does!  As an example, I just wanted a little pick-me-up from the week, and so we went out to Half Moon Bay to the nurseries.  It's bare-root season, so honestly, I was thinking fruit trees.  I know, where are you going to put it?  And that's another story...

Half Moon Bay Nursery
The drive over to Half Moon Bay is beautiful in itself.  There are a few nurseries along 92 as you are headed into Half Moon Bay, and if you don't have time, go straight to Half Moon Bay Nursery.  It's the best in HMB, and maybe the best nursery in the Bay Area.  It's the first one on the left as you make it over the hill.  Anyways, for a few years, I've tried planting blueberries.  I've got about 4 plants that are either dead or almost.  I really think they should flourish, like everything else does.  I know people grow them in the area.  So, I'm trying again.  This time, partial shade.  Under the blue spruce, which it should like, and how I remember them growing wild in Michigan...  So, here it is in the kitchen. Sarah is lurking in the background.  See the Cape Cod glasss?  From our previous adventures...  Also on the Half Moon Bay trip, I got a grape, and a white raspberry.  Actually Sarah got the white raspberry.  We'll see how we do.  I also got a killer teak table from another guy named Tim.  Ask me about that one!

Jib Jab with Tim
I've been thinking how awesome nature is, and sometimes how easy it is to forget about it.  I'm pondering it more, and seeing what gems I can come up with.  Heading over the hill to HMB put me in a completely different and positive mindset.  It seems to be a common thread when in and around nature.  More later...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Draw Me A Story!

That's Malcolm at the Los Altos Art Museum.  LAAM brought in Malcolm's series of children's book illustrators from the Cartoon Art Museum.  Yep, he is the founder of the Cartoon Art Museum.  This  traveling collection has been all over the United States already.  The exhibit includes the work of various artists from the last 100 years; illustrators and comic artists show the breadth and techniques of the craft, from idea to art to print, and how processes and techniques have evolved over the past century.  It's a fascinating study of ways to tell a children's story.
Here's Malcolm with three generations, Kirsty, Sarah and Karen, none prouder than his daugher, Kirsty.  :-) It really was a fun day and an impressive collection and exhibit.
 Here is the art work for a book as the illustrator created it.  You can see all the reference colors and notes in the margins that get used for production.
Here is the final book cover.  Cool!
Here's a nice piece on some of Malcolm Whyte's history.  You can see how this exhibit is a good representation from his experience.  Pretty cool!
 Kirsty is featuring one of the artists from upstairs here.  She is a first grade teacher, and wanted to remember this image.  I think she has some ideas on how she may use this in her class.  Wouldn't you love to see this in your first grade classroom?

Sarah and Kirsty enjoying.
 There was a presentation from the curators thanking all the major donors, as well as the artists on-sight.  At the time, I thought this woman had quite a presence, showing an extraordinary amount of attention to the donor-curator love-fest so I took a picture.
 Later, Sarah and I were upstairs, looking at a comic strip, and the more we read it, the more we were laughing and enjoying it.  The comic is about this character reaching in the fridge for jam, and finding there wasn't any left, so she decided to make some, first, by picking cherry-plums from the neighborhood.  Then...there was a mention of a San Carlos park in one of the panels!  We both looked at each other, saying; "Oh!"  I was thinking, we make jam!  We live in San Carlos!  The more we looked and read, we began to realize the young award-winning artist who created this is from San Carlos, and is a 16 years old.  We liked her.
 Just as we were realizing these things, and loving the strip, this young dynamo, Emma came up to us to introduce herself!  This photo is vintage Emma.  She is a bundle of energy, with a contagious personality.  She's already giving back to the community, including teaching at 826 Valentia.  She's going to be fun to follow, and hopefully we will see her around town.  You can see her strip, the Chapel Chronicles on her website.

Mid-conversation she offered to make a sketch for Sarah, even in the midst of all this attention and goings-on.  It was really quite a generous gesture, from quite an inspirational young woman.  Keep your eyes out for Emma T Capps!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas Preparations

Kirsty's mom was resisting a big tree because of all the work involved, so Kirsty offered to put it up and take it down.  Sarah and I went too, and we helped a little, but mostly we were just getting into the Christmas season.  It's kind of a contrast to be mid-holiday season, and it really was quiet!      Not quiet as much as serene or maybe peaceful.  It was really nice to just be.  All three generations sharing, passing down traditions.  Sarah told Pops she has a record player and is really enjoying it.  Which inspired Pops to turn his on with some Christmas music from his collection.  He's quite a music lover, as is Sarah.  He started flipping through his records and gave Sarah a big stack.  I loved seeing that connection happening.  Really cool for both of them and me for that matter.

 I am forever in awe of this view.  I can't stop thinking about all the people, and possibilities and just how fortunate I am.

This is a necklace from Denise and Samuel Wallace, on the cover of a book about their jewelry.  It's a really special piece, by really special artists.  More on this later.  Time to post before January is over!