Tuesday, October 25, 2016



Bernice has been crazy busy settling into her dorm & work load 
at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
located right in the downtown area.
The first two years the kids are not required to name their major
 because the Art Institute wants them to try all the various media to see where their strengths lie.
Bernice tells me she's loving it there.
Let's see how much she loves their winters with the super duper wind chill off the lake.
Hee hee
She says it's great being around people that are interested and excited about the same things she is.
In fact,
she's loving it so much that she says she doesn't even feel like she's in school,
more like a fun summer camp.
So let's see some of her first assignments.

For this piece in her research class,
 Bernice was required to make a mixed musical tape that related to a specific theme.
All the others in the class did the same and then they exchanged with each other.
She was to listen to the one she got then draw/paint/design to what she felt from the music.
that must have been some tape!
So many different emotions and messages going thru it.
Great interpretation!!

In this next work for her Core class,
 the theme was to design to the figure.
Because Bernice tried her hand at Fracturing here at Whitney,
she felt comfortable with that format.
Notice how she drew a silhouette of the upper torso,
then fractured around and thru it.
Really cool Bernice. 
I also like how you added a touch of color.

One of her hardest pieces to date for her Core class,
was to sew on the machine a wearable piece of art.
She has never sewn before so this was really challenging for her.
Well Bernice,
for never having worked with a pattern or machine,
I'm super impressed with what you came up with.
Good for you!!

And then this week she sent me a pix of her latest creation,
this Emulation.
She said it is HUGEE!!!
48" by 72".
That's ginormous for a little pup like you Bernice.
That must have been bigger then you  LOL
I'm very impressed with your hard edges,
your balancing,
and your neutral color choices.
Powerful piece woman!!!
Proud of you Bernie,
and delighted to show you off.
More please!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


indigo vat, cotton, strong thread & needles

Not only do my 7th graders get a chance to dip into the Indigo Vat,
but so do my Beginning 3-D kids.
For my 7th graders we only have time to take a Tye-Dye approach to the dye,
but because the Beginners are in a year long class, 
we can go more into depth with needle and thread.

First we practice several techniques,
concentric circles,
various shapes, and wrapping.
Above we have senior Charity Lizardo & junior Cheryl Mae Malabo 's prelims.

This is a close-up of teacher Deliana Park's wrapped Prelim.
We all loved how she got a heart that had so much movement to it.
Super cool!!

After doing the prelims.,
each student gets another piece of cloth
to make their real one that they turn in for a grade.
Again ,
Deliana made one of the class's favorite designs.
All these interesting horizontal lines.

And junior Insha Khan's design was glorious as well.
She stitched circles around some rust pieces with border lines.

After these were graded and handed back 
they had a choice to use them as the backs for their Solar Dyed Pillows (coming up),
or to use these as fronts for another pillow,
or perhaps a journal cover.
The sky's the limit! 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Begonias, Mandevilla & Impatiens 

Thursday, October 20, 2016



I am at a lose as to who made this glorious journal.
I just found this pix the other nite, 
and I'm pretty sure it was made last school year.
So Malia, Syd, Iris X, Ms. Park, Iris L, Charity, Cheryl Mae, Clarissa, Eileen,
Who does this belong to so I can give them credit??
Look at those incredible journal pages!
Absolutely lovely.

Alumni Hapshiba Kwon thinks this might be the work of senior Karen Long.


I started with one lily bulb 3 or 4 years ago,
and now there are 4 major stalks.
They bring me so much happiness with their brilliant blooms and strong scent.
And they add lots of great color to the front of the cabin.
But the lady at the mountain nursery told me that they might not last 
now that the squirrels are back (the bulbs are tasty morsels).
There is so much to learn up at our new home.
I guess before we moved to the mountain,
the squirrels had become pretty much extinct (not sure why).
But this last year we have seen a couple crossing the street and fairly flying up into the pines. 
They are fast!
One of my friends said she sees actual Flying Squirrels at nite time.  
I have yet to see one. 
But man oh man,
 are those few squirrels making an even bigger mess then the raccoons in our yard.
Holes everywhere!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


My dear friend Mary,
who I hope one day soon will be my son's mother-in-law,
suffered bravely thru Chemo this past summer,
and is now out of the woods.
 We are hoping and have our fingers crossed.
During that time I was so touched by the beauty and depth of the sailing ships that Fiber Artist Hazel Monte of Handstories blog fame was creating,
that I felt they would be a perfect gift for Mary to enjoy and be inspired by towards her healing.
Mary is also a quilting artist,
so I knew she would appreciate the delicate beauty that Hazel stitches into each and every piece.
I knew that if she was able to gaze at them,
touch them,
that perhaps they could help her to forget for a moment the terrible nausea she was suffering thru.
This first one reminded me of Mary's journey she was on,
the rocky seas,
yet the hope that the stars were there
guiding her towards a better place.
She just had to hang in there and she would get thru. 

In this second one the ship is gliding along thru peaceful seas,
finally out of the storm.
Where Mary has arrived and is now.

When I received the ships from Hazel,
she had wrapped them in the lighter blue piece of Shibori fabric,
and it seemed to make a really nice frame around each ship.
Ripping it in half and using Jude Hill's invisible tacking stitch 
I was able to attach them to the back of each ship.
I knew I wanted to mount them onto embroidery hoops to hang
 so I searched thru all my garage sale finds and came up with these two matching dollies.
using Jude Hill's invisible baste I tacked the mounts onto the crocheted pieces...
which I then stretched around the hoops and sewed each point down.
I was so pleased with how they turned out,
and Mary was delighted with her gift.
Just as I had hoped,
 she examined them and touched them for a good 15 minutes,
helping her to forget.

Monday, October 17, 2016


This past spring we had two large raccoons living in the trees around our cabin property.
And then this summer we had 5.
The daddy took off for parts unknown,
or at least we haven't seen him tending to the little ones,
but the mommy is constantly with her 4 babies.
During the day they travel back and forth across our back property
 and climb the trees,
hanging out,
alternating between sleeping in the shade and sun,
 and enjoying each others company.
Then all night long they play and eat,
and eat and play.
They make a mess of both our front and back porches and yards,
overturning the carefully stacked logs that I've built a walkway with,
digging in my planters for grub to eat and spilling dirt all over the porches,
tipping the birdbath over trying to drink the bird's water.
We never know what we will find each morning.
They are mischievous,
but oh so cute to watch.

The mother is such a good mommy.
She makes the kids march in single file across our yard,
standing up on her back legs to scold the last one in line who isn't keeping up.
She is loving and they adore her,
wanting to sit and lie all over her.
And they watch us too,
and don't seem to be afraid of us.
I think it's only a matter of time before they come up on the porch wanting us to feed them.
Everyone tells us not to,
but it's really hard not too cuz they are so dang cute.
What to do?????

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I found this adorable pix of you from 1954.
I just couldn't resist putting it up with you and Santa in your cowboy shirt.
Just one more birthday surprise.
May all your birthday wishes come true.
I love you!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


to the next Chapter in her life.
My baby girl has finally decided to leave Planet Beauty 
after spending the last 5 years of her life there,
2 of the last as Assistant Manager,
first working part time thru high school and full time during college.
Her Assistant Manager and now Manager Boss,
 has been such a great friend to my daughter,
taking her under her wing right after Dani's father and my divorce. 
I'm so proud of what a hard worker you are Dan,
how you fit everything in and still manage to carry an "A" average in school,
work out and eat healthy,
find time for dinner & T.V. nite with me & dad,
and still have a bit of a social life.
You are pretty darn amazing and I love you so very much.
And thank you Adriana for taking such good care of her.
You have been her second mommy.

In Danielle's words in social media"

"Such a bittersweet moment to be leaving my position at Planet Beauty after 5 years. I basically grew up in this store and made so many life long friends in the process. I cannot be more thankful for my partner-in-crime @adri_f_baby for imparting all her thuggish wisdom into me; being with this girl 40 hours a week for the past five years has turned me into her little mini me and I wouldn't have it any other way 👯 I love Planet Beauty and everything it has taught me but I'm excited to start this new chapter in my life."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


My beautiful friend at school,
Cindy Bailey,
secretary to our Assistant Principal Rose Ellen Shea,
is rocking the Ceramic Chimes I showcased yesterday.
Cindy is fairly new to our school 
(I believe she is in her 3rd year),
but she has already made herself indispensable to all of us.
Cindy is steadily building up her art collection by supporting our students
 and buying a few pieces each year at Open House to put on permanent display in her office space.
Her back wall looked so naked,
and she has been so good to me,
 that I thought it would be a nice gesture to gift her the chimes.
She loves them and so do many of the other staff members.
I'm thrilled that she's delighted.

Thank you Cindy for your friendship and all you do for us at Whitney.
You have definitely become part of our family.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


clay, glazes, oxides, melted glass shards, wax linen & a twig

This piece has only been in a year in the making.
A year!
Shame on me.
It's a new idea I saw on Pinterest that caught my attention.
So I turned it into the very first clay experience for my beginners
 on the second day of the new school year,
last year.
(repeated it again this year, just tweaked it a bit)
I gave each student 2 small pieces of clay & no tools.
I showed them how to flatten it with their palms
 and to see how the edges stretch and crack open.
I gave them a couple of old bisqued stamps that they used to decorate the tops,
and some alphabet letters to stamp a word with.
A straw was used next to pierce holes thru top and bottom of each chime.
The kids were smitten with the clay from that second day of class.
A love affair that I hope they take with them 
outside of Whitney High.
They had a choice after they learned how to glaze whether to sawdust their creations or glaze them.
If sawdusting only one was allowed, 
the second one had to be glazed.
Didn't want them to take the easy way out for both.

Then came the challenge.  
Weeks of moving them around on the wall ,
trying to figure out the most balanced, pleasing placement for each chime.
I gave this task to volunteer junior Lauren Kennedy.
And man oh man,
did she do a great job!

Once we were satisfied I gave her waxed linen to attach them together with.
A lot of knotting went on before she gave me the go ahead to string it up onto the twig.
But then school was over so I took the string of chimes home with me over the summer
to finish it.
Didn't happen.

But I wanted to have a finished piece to teach with at the start of this school year
 so I finally finished it at summer's end.

Tomorrow you will see where & who it went to.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


tea bags, batting, embroidery thread, watercolor

At the start of this school year in an earlier post I featured Mixed Media Artist,
Jen Mullen,
and her delightful tea bag quilted piece that she sent to me to teach with.
I offered EXTRA CREDIT to all my art students who wanted to try doing something similar.
I know for a fact that two of my blog readers are taking advantage of this opportunity.
An artist in her own right,
Liz Ackert from I'm Going toTexas blog fame,
 and my Ceramics I senior,
Eunice Shim,
 have responded that they will give it a try.

The piece has been hanging in my room for the past two months since school started
for all to see and get close to.
But Liz has requested a few close-ups cuz she's far, 
far away in Texas,
but one day hoping to have her drop by here for a visit.
I've been promising her that I will deliver,
so here they finally are.
Sorry it took me so long Liz.
The start of this school year has been a bit of a challenge,
and I'm just now starting to get caught up.
Thank you for your patience.
Looking forward to seeing what you and Eunice will create,
and hoping that more of my students will still take advantage of this great opportunity.

Friday, October 7, 2016


dyed wool rovings, warm soapy water, bits & pieces of this and that, embroidery w/ perle cottons
 & misc. embellishments

Oh my, 
this is a super fun unit.
Lots of barnyard smells going on as the kids learn the age old technique of feltmaking.
The prep before the actual felting was a glorious riot of colors.
And then there was the actual felting experience.
The kids got soaking wet as they worked the warm soapy water into the wool.
We do this outside because of the bubbly wet mess it makes everywhere.
hee hee

Here are a few of the felted pieces before I put them into my washing machine 
to shrink them down even further.

Some close-ups.
And now onto the finished products.

I'm starting with senior Karen Long who made these adorable children's shoes.
These were a class favorite.
I always have thrift-ed antique laces & dollies for the kids to incorporate into their projects.
If you look closely at their felts you will see some that are embedded within the layers of wool.

Next we have was this little cutie by 8th grader Elliana Lee,
another class favorite.
Is it a whale/mouse?
I just want to pet it. 
 So tactile and sweet..

Several of the young ones made their pieces into journals.
Here we have 8th grader Malia Pulido above 
junior Insha Khan.
Beautiful pieces girls with a lot of effort being put into the embroidery!!

And here's another sweet one by junior Helen Park.
Have you noticed that all these students have learned about visual flow?
Every embellishment they add should flow with their colors they chose to put into the wool.
They are graded on this for every assignment.

From above to below for Ms. Deliana Park,
English teacher.
She created a pouch from her very pretty piece of felt.
(note Ms. Hall how Deliana likes the same colorways you do)

One of my favs was this stuffed star by senior Charity Lizardo.
Just really loved how the colors came together in the felt (a lot of cool swirling going on),
how she allowed her seams to show 
& of course the cute buttons at the end of each ray.

And 8th grader Sydney Eng made this very elegant & sophisticated clutch.

And then another of my favorites was this journal by senior Hapshiba Kwon.
I hope you took your journal with you to college Hap,
and are writing your heart out inside it.
Love to all of you,
I miss you guys.