August 29, 2009

Progress on the HVR rebuild

Meanwhile, our house in Escondido is also progressing quite fast. We are using ICF (insulated concrete forms), they look like white lego blocks that are stacked and reinforced with steel before concrete are poured inside to create our walls. It's amazing how fast it goes up.

Surprises but still making progress

We had some surprises with our remodel, extensive termite damage, water leak from the bath tub that caused missing floor in the bathroom area were just couple and exterior walls were never protected from the elements were just a few of them. Oh well, it could have been worse.

The house is coming along, we reinforced the foundation, we replaced all the windows and doors, removed all the dangerous old electrical wiring and replaced with updated panel and safe wiring, replaced all the plumbing, repaired all termite damage, insulated the interior and exterior walls. Fun!

I love the cotton candy batting...just looking at it makes me warm all over. oops too much information.

August 6, 2009

It's crazy but there's another project

A couple of months ago the house we were renting went on the market. I dreaded moving again. Did I mention that our first rental after the fire went into foreclosure and we had to move out after less than a year. Renting was not working for us.

Our house rebuild plans was not going well at the time and we didn't think we would be getting the permit anytime soon. I went into a panic mode, and convinced my husband to buy a fixer upper. We would live in it for a year or two until our house was completed. Who knew that we would get our permit to rebuild weeks later. HA HA HA HA HA the irony... now we have two construction projects at the same time.

Anyway, it's been fun fixing up a cute little house the key word is little, approx 800 sf ft. it will be interesting to see how our family will survive in such close quarters. Time will tell. These are the before photos. More pics later of the progress.

August 2, 2009

Rebuilding the foundation

I've been very busy with several projects. One of them is the rebuilding of our house. We finally got our permit last month and have started the process. I'm very excited but very anxious at the same time.

1. it took 21 months to get to this point.
2. one contractor
3. two backhoes
4. one cement pump
5. ten cement trucks
6. a dozen or more workers
7. lots of hard work

The foundation is poured, curing and waiting for the walls...

March 30, 2009

Hanging it up

Did I mention that I've been hooked on plastic bags and paper clips combination? I have been obsessed. This is a hanging sculptural piece using at least a hundred plastic bags and thousands of paper clips. 

It has taken a life of its own.  It almost looks like its doing the can can.

I had to stop working on it when my hand refused to response anymore. I may be done with it. 

March 26, 2009

There's a fortune in this basket.

I love fortune cookies for the fortunes.  I made this basket to hold all my fortunes.  The colors were inspired by the boxes. 

March 17, 2009

More Plastic Bag Art

Another project I've been working on is weaving plastic bags on a cardboard loom.  This started because I was researching projects for my daughter's class.  She's in fourth grade which means there's been a focus on Native American this year.

We created baskets with pine needles and raffia and I thought that we should also weave with a rug on a loom, cardboard looms are the least expensive way to go.  I try to do the projects before I teach so that I could work out the process before I get in front of 24 kids.  

I wanted to inject some color to the project by adding what I have laying around.  Remember I picked up several boxes of paper clips.  I have to admit that I went back to the dollar store and cleaned them up on the paper clips.  I need restocking right now.

March 16, 2009

Low Cost Art

I have a confession.  I love going to the dollar store.  Occasionally I have this itch to spend some money but since the economy is in this state.  I don't have oodles of cash for shopping. Besides, I don't really need anything, I just want to spend a little.  

During my last visit at my local dollar store I spotted boxes of colorful paper clips.  Can you imagine 300 really cool paper clips for one buck.  I couldn't resist.  I picked up several boxes.  I have two kids and we're always looking for paper clips. Plus I was sure I wanted to do an art piece with them.   The colors were great.  

This is one way I used the paper clips.   I'm weaving it into my plastic bag baskets.  

I love the dollar store.  I'll be posting more pics of all the other uses I have for this very common item.

What to do with plastic bags

I had the flu recently and I'm not one to lay in bed or sit around doing absolutely nothing.  I have to keep busy.  So while I was nursing the flu in bed, I started thinking about a project that I wanted to do for the recycling show at the Escondido Municipal Gallery.  

I decided it was something I could try to do while I recuperated in bed.  I started weaving a basket using grocery plastic bags.  Okay, I'm guilty of occasionally forgetting my reusable bags.  I needed to redeem myself by using these plastic bags in art.   

The basket was a bit wavy looking but don't forget I was sick.  I'm still working on this.

APW Gallery Exhibition

I'm currently in a group exhibition in New York at the APW Gallery.  The show consist of over 200 artist each contributing up to five 12" x 12" paintings.  I was in a funk when I received the Call to Artist, and I thought a deadline would be good for me.  Unfortunately, the deadline was so far in advance that I almost forgot about it.  Which meant that when I got my email alert I had to scramble.  Somehow I managed and was able to send all five pieces on time by using 2nd day air, a very expensive way to go.  That's what I get for procrastinating.  Above is one of the paintings in the show.

March 14, 2009

Panache 2009 - Art Auction

The Escondido Arts Partnership will be hosting their annual fundraising event. I donated this painting for the art auction.   For more details go to

March 12, 2009

Exploring recycling inspired art

I'm a great believer in saving the environment. The job seems gigantic at times and we just have to plug along and do what what we can.  

My daughter attends a wonderful charter school, Explorer Elementary, where the community of parents, students and faculty have worked together to help with this endeavor.  Her class and I have been busy working on an art project for the annual fundraising auction with this objective in mind.

The description for our project: 
The earth is a treasure box of wonderful materials that should not be wasted.  This conceptual art piece focuses on being earth friendly.  The class construction a sculpture- a giant beaded jewel bracelet with its own storage box made from surplus wood, boxes, bottlecaps, recycled paper (that we hand painted), and even a hubcap a student found.

The event is on March 28 and I hope the auction goes well and we raise a lot of money.  


February 3, 2009

We are making progress

The plans for our house is almost final. Soon copies will be going to George Eastom Engineering and others. It's been over a year since we lost our home. My family and I decided to see this as an opportunity for a new adventure.

I have designed our new house as a loft in the country with simple and clean lines. It's divided into two sections, private are for bedrooms and public space to host gatherings for family and friends. And maybe an occasional art show.

We still have plenty of details to work out. It's exciting for us to explore the world of building materials and supplies. More on that later.  

Deadlines Inspire

I just had a very productive week. I had so many unfinished work just hanging around waiting for more material and inspiration. Deadlines somehow induces either total frustration or glorious inspiration. Thankfully this week it was the latter.

Since the fire, I've been working only on small pieces because I didn't have the space to work. I like the looseness of a large work surface. Small pieces are sometimes far more difficult for me. But sometimes you have to just make lemonade out of lemons.

When working small, I start one piece and would quickly be stymied. I would put it aside and start another and same thing would happen. I ended up with about 100 pieces of work in process. Thankfully they were small but it was still a real problem. I just could not justify buying more paper or canvas unless I completed some of them.

Then came the invitation to two shows, The 2009 Florence Biennual and a small group show in New York, which meant deadlines. I needed this. I went into my manic mode and painted and created like a crazy woman.

I decided to try to postpone the Florence, Italy exhibition for the 2011. They said they would keep my contact information but we'll see. I just couldn't justify spending the money for the entry fee. It didn't make sense to pay an entry fee to an invitational show. I'm still hoping for an international show maybe by next year. I wished the economy would pick up.

I am doing the group show, I only needed five pieces for that. Check out the photos on Facebook or Flickr and help me decide which pieces I should send.

January 27, 2009

John Updike - Remembered

The character, Harry, gave me insights on what I didn't want out of life.  I can't remember the whole story but I read it in my early twenties and it made a definite impact.  

I think I'll re-read it again.

The whole series were great.  

January 26, 2009

It's been a long time

The grounds at Justin Winery.

I've been so busy and it's looks like it's going to be that way for a little while longer. I've spent the last few months trying to design our new house. It's been going through a lot of changes but we're getting there. Our family went to the central coast for the Christmas Holidays. It was a great time. Wine tasting through Paso Robles, touring Hearst Castle and a couple of missions, and great deal of eating and drinking. I think gained 20 lbs.  But it was worth it.