Paintings

Gardens, Goodies and Ms Kitty Wobbles

23 March 2011

Well I climbed back on the planet after having fallen off for awhile…  So much fun stuff has happened I’m not sure where to begin… Maybe let’s start with the garden…

We have had so much rain with periods of intense sun in between that the results are my garden has exploded into bloom!

The scent of Jasmine is beyond lovely and wafts into the house in the afternoons…  it’s wonderful!!  It is one of my all time favorite flowers!

I took these pictures right after the most recent downpour so the flowers are a bit past it now.  Of course they peaked right in the middle of the storm!  I think you can still get a sense of how beautiful they are/were.

I love how the Jasmine and Roses are intertwined.

Here the Jasmine has grown right up through a bird cage I have hanging from the avocado tree.

And through a small candelabra.  I will have to cut it back after it blooms or we’ll have a Jasmine tree…  hmm, however…

The Geranium is running rampant too!

This side has a mix of scented Geranium, Basil, Daisies and Roses, all run wild.  Oh and Jasmine of course.

Foxglove…  a proper faerie flowers!

The Calla Lilies are magnificent at the moment.

The bird bath is a bit buried…  it is more like the jungle bath

So in addition to the garden growing like mad I have been a very busy little bee.   Since we last spoke I have refurnished and decorated a 5 bedroom 7 bath home for a bride and groom that spent a week with us culminating with their wedding in the barn (which I decorated).  I also decorated a most magnificent 50th birthday party with loads of pink Peonies and Roses.  I will post lots of pictures as soon as I get them!  In the mean time in searching for goodies for the house I was working on I got to go to the Rose Bowl swap meet in Pasadena… a couple of times…  WOW!  I have been trying to go for years now.  I finally made it and my head is still spinning!  I found so many cool things for the house!  It was just like Christmas!

Here is a sampling of the things I bought for me.

A beautiful vintage wooden hat box, an old tattered silk shawl with great fringe, and a beautiful ivory fan.

Look at the detail in this fan…

Here is another lovely vintage fan.  This one is ivory and silk with a beautiful painted cherry blossom design.

Here is another one that is lace, silk and ivory.  The detail is beautiful!

Look at this great collapsible top hat I found.  That is the box it comes in.  Also some bits of embroidery and

tapestries to play with.

Also a rather dilapidated but precious Iroquois beaded pin cushion (at least I think it is a pin cushion).

The back,

The inside,

I went to the Rose Bowl swap meet with one of my future brides and her family (there’s will be the coolest wedding, when the groom was asked to describe the style he pondered a bit then said “imagine a Zeppelin crash lands in a faerie forest…”  How great will that be?!).  The bride’s parents are just as much as fun as the bride and groom.  The mom found this tea cup and had seen on my blog the collection I have of my Mom’s.  She bought it for me as a present… so sweet!

What was really neat was when I got home and added it to my china cabinet I noticed that it is different from the others.

This is the new lady above…

And below is the lady from my collection.

How fun!!  I didn’t know there was more than one style!  Now I am hooked.  I have to find more ladies!

Now for the best find!  Hang on to your socks Lisa, Queen Mab and Frick over at Medieval Muse

Nobody knew what this was.  The man I got it from said he thought it was a couple hundred years old.  If I recollect my art history college days I think it is a whole lot older than that!

Stylistically this is medieval at the latest I would say.

I think it is of the three kings. The middle name is I believe Balthazar which in my rusty old memory I think is one of their names.

The raised detail appears to be a plaster of some sorts.

Here is the back.  I think it is from a frieze.

Anyone have any idea what I purchased?  Whatever it is I love it!  I can’t believe I get to have it!

Even though this is a long post already I have to tell you about the newest member to our family…

Meet Ms Kitty Wobbles…

We have actually had her for a few months now.  She belonged to a neighbor across the way who had to move.  He couldn’t (wouldn’t?) take her with him so we said we would feed and take care of her.  She is positively ancient, stone deaf and partially blind.  We didn’t feel it would be fair to move her so we kept going over every night to feed and check on her.  We made soft warm beds which she refused.

We kept this up for a few months and then when the serious winter chill set in we had to bring her back to our house.  She just wouldn’t go into the little houses we built for her and she definitely didn’t have a winter left in her.  So now in her later retired years she is spending her time right in front of the heater in our hall way.  She has a cozy basket bed where we place a hot water bottle every night, full bowls of food and water and even though she can go where ever she wants in the house she seems quite content to stay right where she is.  Occasionally she will join me at my desk when I am writing but overall she seems quite happy in front of the heater.

Hope you are all warm and cozy where you are!

A most blessed life…

21 February 2011

!!!!WARNING…  SUPER LONG POST, LONG WINDED RAMBLINGS, LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!

Sometimes I am amazed at my blessings…  To the point where it almost makes me nervous.  Is it really true, is this my life, is it a dream that I will wake up from?  When I got up this morning this was what greeted my eyes…

It has rained quite a bit in the last few days and it was rather cold last night…  so…  if only for a brief time…  snow!

My husband and I are very lucky to live on a ranch, Dos Pueblos Ranch. The top two pictures are the view looking to the north from our yard over the Avocado orchard.

This is the view looking across the street towards the west…

That is the ocean in the distance.  As much as I love England and the Smokey Mountains and would love to live in Devon or Ashville, this is pretty wonderful!  It is quiet and the neighbors are great people who obviously love rural areas too. Our foreman often rides his horse up the street on his way to his cows.  There are cats and dogs everywhere, I love it!

Our home is beautiful, my Cat Man honey and I share it with lots of cats (for full story click here).  I also have tons of beautiful things.  Being almost 50, having lots of various lives, lots of traveling and hobbies and NEVER getting rid of anything means I have loads of the most wonderful things.  I have posted pics of our home and a few of my workspace (in mid event mode) before but not yet of my office.  There are bits from my whole life in here, the parts that I love that are an inspiration to me.  It is here that I write my bids for brides, paint, draw, pay bills, practice my guitar (I have just started learning!!!  Yea!!!), read, think, dream.

From here on you can click on the pictures for a larger size.

In the above picture on top of my Indian armoire and to the right is one of the sets of wings from the faerie wedding I had so much fun doing.  I have these wings all over, I just love them so much…

This is the view from my desk…

It makes paying the bills much easier!

I was going to say these are my secretaries but really they are my bosses…  That’s Flat Top on the printer and Tiger in front with his tail on the book “A Bit Of Velvet and a Dash of Lace” by Magnolia Pearl’s Robin Brown…  possibly one of my most favorite people on the planet!  To see her lovely web and blog click here.

“Munchkin”. She is my most special companion and muse.  For more about the precious kitties we look after click here.

Below, this is my art desk, where I play…

The wings I made for the Practical Magic Blog Party.  For the story click here.

My toys…

I love the colors in Tiffany style lamps.  They glow like jewels!

Some of the results of my playing…  faeries…  lately always faeries…

A few (surprise!) non-faerie results…

The painting of the blue door is one I did from a photo in a wonderful book on India.

It sits with several of my inspirational mementos.  That is a vintage picture from India on the top left, isn’t it cool?

Below on the right is a collage I made.   For the story that is part of it see an earlier blog (here). Of course I have lots of Tolkien books.  The father of the modern Faerie Tale I think.  I wish he could have lived forever so he could keep writing wonderful stories.  But only if his lovely wife could have too.  I understand they were madly in love…  sigh!

The “taro readings” sign (above hanging on the left) is  from a Moroccan themed 40th birthday party I did.  Like I said I do not throw anything away, especially when it is cool.

Of course I have lots of lovely book-friends I dream with in my office.

That is Nipper at the bottom getting ready to jump on the computer

(what is it with cats and computers, they just have to be on them!).

I love to spend an afternoon loosing myself in great stories…  cup of tea, incense…  bliss!

Of course there is always a cat tucked in here and there…

By the way all the books on the shelves I can highly recommend.  Especially the stories by Sarah Addison Allen. They are most magical and precious, in the same vein as Practical Magic only more sweet and innocent.

More friends…

Below, vintage faerie tale books from Europe.  On top of the stack is a Navajo hogan (their style of house) jewelry box with my tiara from when I was 5 on top.  That is a picture of my mom on the left (the black and white photo, not the painting…lol!).  Sometimes I miss her so, so much.  I think she would have gotten a kick out of my life.  I inherited my creativity form her.

Its weird… she has been gone so long (35+ years) that it feels like she is a figment of my imagination.  In some ways she is like a secret invisible friend I carry around with me, like you used to do when you were kids.

OK, this is funny…  my mom hated having her picture taken, absolutely loathed it!  Every other picture I have loaded so far as been fine.  The one of my mom I had to try 3 times before it would align properly.  I told mom to cut it out, the picture was beautiful and I would put it on the blog no matter what even if it was upside down so she might as well let me do it properly…LOL!

Here is one of my beautiful Indian cabinets that hides the ugly paper work, files and such.  All through out my office I display my most precious belongings.  On top of the cabinet is my collection of Native American pots.  I gathered these during the time in my life when I had a Native American art store.  This was somewhere around 15 years ago!  Boy does time fly!  Also…  surprise, surprise, faerie wings on the wall.  Those were Bathilda Buzzwings, the reporter for the Faerie Wedding I did.

Up close of the beautiful pots…

Just in case you are curious…  from left to right there is a Story Teller from the Cochiti Pueblo, a Navajo pot (brown), inside is a Zia Pueblo piece with an Acoma pot inside.  Behind those are a Chumash basket with a vintage tourist kachina on top.  Next is a San Ildefonzo black pot (not by Maria unfortunately) and a vintage tourist kachina.  Behind these in the center is an antique tea pot from India.  Then there is a Hopi (my favorite) Nampeo family pot with another Hopi pot inside.  Next are two more Hopi pots with a plate from the Zia Pueblo behind it.  Behind the plate is a Santo Domingo pot with a Hopi pot inside and on top an old Pueblo pot of unknown origin.  Behind that is a Navajo wedding basket (whew! ).

On the doors are a collection of Native American and Tuareg fringed bags…  That’s a flint bag on the left and a paint bag on the right which has powdered ocher inside.  They are in the Sioux tradition but made by a local Chumash man.

The green bag is Tuareg and the white buffalo bag is from Taos pueblo.

Another one of my favorite pieces is a traditional wedding dress from Pakistan.

That is an Indian wedding Sari on the right.

Another thing I utterly delight in is my ridiculously large jewelry collection.  When I had my Native American store we carried tons of jewelry.  So consequently I have an embarrassingly huge amount of turquoise.

Behind the jewelry is an antique doll clothing steamer trunk.  I used to keep my jewelry in it but slowly it has all come out to be displayed so I can see everything easily.  The jewelry is just too pretty to be kept hidden.

My turquoise…  There is a mix of new and old pawn pieces.

Do you remember the scene in Amadeus where Mozart is trying on wigs before he is to meet the king?  He tried on several, three of which he loves.  He says, and I am paraphrasing, “Oh there all so lovely…  why can’t I have three heads”… and then he gives one of those ridiculous laughs.  I wish I had more arms so I could wear all my bracelets at once.

My Indian bangles…

My earrings, definitely need more ears too…

Necklaces too. at least with these the more you wear the cooler it looks…

Look at this beautiful piece.  It is a miniature Buddha shrine.

Here it is open, showing the Buddha.  That is a rather magnificent turquoise pendant behind it.

And look at this adorable mini Christmas tree.  I got it from Karla’s Cottage. A lovely lady and beautiful artist.  I couldn’t pack it away with the Christmas things as it was just too cute.

Well I think that is enough eye candy for one post.  If you have made it the whole way through…  thank you for letting me share.  Don’t you agree I am one lucky lady!

Blessings!

Leslie Clark

30 April 2010
Comments Off on Leslie Clark

I wanted to show you an incredible artist whose work I just revisited.  Her name is Leslie Clark and I love her paintings!  I went to Ojai the other day for a beautiful photo shoot with Elizabeth Messina (I will show you those photos a bit later) and afterwards I stopped in Leslie’s gallery.  I had first seen her work several years ago and admired it then but have not had an occasion to go back to Ojai.  It was such a treat to see her gorgeous work again!  She spends half of the year in Africa painting the people she lives among, capturing their beautiful faces and traditions with her magic.  She particularly focuses on the Sahara and the Niger regions but has traveled all over Africa.  She also has the Nomad Foundation, a non profit foundation that “… seeks to blend cultural preservation with economic opportunity”.  Feast your eyes on these amaizing paintings.

… and of course one of my favorite things, saris!