Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You All

I live in a pretty cool section of town.

I use to be afraid of what I would see when I drove down the main avenue.

When we moved in it was a seriously depressed neighborhood, that often had multiple police cars stopped and arresting/questioning people, ambulance sirens every 10 minutes speeding in one direction or another up and down the main street. There was a high level of visible streetwalkers and drug dealings but all that seems to have subsided.

The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial and industry now. We had huge, tall propane tanks as our view for over a year parked next door. Now it seems to be long term parking for a tow company or something and the tanks are gone. The sirens have faded and the police arrests are now a rare site.

I find my section of town a colorful one now, at dusk a whole group of taco trucks push open their windows and the avenue is dotted with shop lights and busy with people eating street food and walking to and from home and the markets. The building are brightly painted and decorated. There are open doors to all the churches that are often overflowing with people....

but I have found a market, a market that I love to visit and buy produce from. I have taught myself how to make enchiladas and I go to a particular market to by the cheese and toppings.

Yesterday I went there and it was alive with activity, is the biggest tamale weekend of the year and there were long lines of people buying meat and corn husks and masa....the butcher counter was taking numbers and the all the ingredients were on sale.

This is what a market use to be...this is why I think I love this store, it reminds me of a time before Super Mega Stripmall grocery where people really cared about what the food looked like and how it was presented and a community they are serving and feeding.

My wish for all of you out there is to find that place in your lives that feeds you, literally and emotionally and spiritually and savor it!

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 11, 2009

December is happening

Have had a busy month and I am only at the 11th day!
The month started out with new work being delivered to the studio space we have a First Friday here in town and our group makes sure to hang new work every month for this event.
Then onto a holiday fair inside a secured building! It is a brilliant idea...this business has a holiday shop open up inside their offices so that the employees can shop while not having to drive anywhere.

My scrabble tile necklaces were a hit...not only that but I got to meet some amazing new local artists and bakers!

Next was the VITA art center reception for their "Anonymous Show" that benefited the youth art scholarship program. It was really well attended and many of the pieces sold right away.

although I am not suppose to tell you...mine is the woman image the ladies are looking at
(top row, fourth over from the left)

It was a long day but great people watching!

Now is the holidays and with all the sewing and crafting and artmaking I have been doing for other events I am very ready to settle into making art for me!

My goal of making donations to KIVA and Heifer Intl is still a slow one, but I really believe in them and have already made donations to both ahead of time hoping to be able to make some more as time passes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Working like a crazed woman...just look at my hair!

At least it feels that way....Once I finish one thing I am onto the next!
Watch out I might start throwing cats soon....

Today was finishing up some of my scrabble tile photo necklaces:

I am partaking in a holiday craft/art fair at my hubbys workplace and wanted to bulk up my stock on these plus they are great fun to make!
 I have others currently being sold in a shop downtown...leaving me low. I will also be selling some framed and matted photographs and printmaking as well.
Mostly, I am looking forward to not take home as much as I am bringing.
 I am wanting to make another donation to Heifer Intl and "mama needs some printmaking paper"!!

In other art news:
I dropped off two pieces to a new co-op style gallery in Summerland, CA
Montecito Frame and Gallery

My dance card is filling up quickly and I feel so lucky for it!

Super great things are bubbling and I am enjoying this ride...If only I can figure out how to add a few more hours to the day!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

30th post- the final day of blogging

I wanted to end my month of blogging with a bang, this could not have been timed better if I tried.... the universe delivered it to me today via good old fashion snail mail.

My whole month was consumed with this and it seems only fitting to finish the month off with this:

                                it feels good.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

29th post!

Today I spent the whole day either sewing or posting the stuff I had sewn into my etsy shop:
The Bird & The Bean

My goddaughters live next door and they are often my was no exception...they had me laughing and remembering what it was like to be 4 and 7 years old.
So here is your reminder in this season of grinchs and unkind words:

don't let the holidays get to you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

28th- I ran back home

We are not one for crowds or congestion or wackadoodle people.
Weekends often involve a trip to FRY's I go when I feel like I need some good people watching... and boy did I hit the motherload when we made a trip to FRY's electronics, post thanksgiving.
I needed to replace my ink cartridge and hubby wanted to look at stuff.

It took a while to find parking, but it was alright, then the police car outside, and the line that exceeded the space for the registers. These did not scare us off.

...past the front turnstile into the approaching toddler who was screaming at the top of their lungs because they were trapped in the shopping cart, no we didn't turn back then....onto the first isle of random things.

A Hannah Montana lamp that did things we could not figure was purple, it caught our attention.

Then onto the next isle...the isle of things that all look the same to me, the untrained tech eye...I am sure they are all very different diodes* and transistors and things...but they all look the same. It must be a total bitch to restock.

Note* I use to work at Dow electronics many moons ago, so I know a thing or two about diodes.

Past the motherboards and onto the game section, I glaze over at this point as I am not a gamer, but live with one and so after many years I have learned to not try and pick out games for him any longer, as my tastes are clearly different:
" Mini Ninjas?...ummm NO"

So I watch the some kid play Rockband/Guitar hero ( I can still not tell the difference)
while hubby sifts thru the new releases.

Then it is time to look at monitors and keyboards and processors....we do the same loop every visit.

Then the quick look at the ink cartridges and realize I could get a new printer for the price of the replacement ink for my current one!! ...still can't rationalize the price, we move on.
Then the TV's and the cameras and then I see this.....

I was actually concerned for a moment that it was real...but I am in an unreal place and this is just the kind of thing that makes sense...this paired with a candy bar.

I stood there staring at it for a while wondering, is the vampire thing that big that you need to feel like you are drinking it straight from the blood bank? I simply turned and looked at hubby, who didn't know what to say about it.

He took my hand and said, "you ready?" ...all I could say was " OH YEAH, I think I have enough to process for today"

Friday, November 27, 2009

27th- Evidence of a good meal

Dinner last night was amazingly relaxing and yummy....
pick one from the appetizer, one entree and one dessert
There was a RAW option in each area...but I went traditional.
I ate it all and left with a full belly and a happy heart!
(you can click on the pictures to make them bigger)

hubby started the day by making an apple pie from scratch

mother and son...and a sunset at the restaurant

let the food begin...

salad option


mushroom option



Hey the only bummer about getting dinner out is the lack of leftovers!!
I'm kind of hungry now...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26th-Thanksgiving as a vegetarian

I have been a vegetarian since I was 16years old.
I started by not eating beef, then poultry and it was clear sailing from there.....

Thanksgiving is a strange holiday...besides the obvious embarrassment of being the ancestors of people who lied and stole and killed off the native persons of this land.
(well technically, all my peeps were still in hubby's fam were actually on the Mayflower and were the first recorded marriage in the new world, true!)

I am not a "soapboxer", any more, I truly believe that people can come to their own choices about food and there is no need for me to preach my choices to them on spoons.

For me, I choose to be a veggie as a teenager in a time when it was still a "hippie" thing to do. None of my friends were veggie and I was an island to myself. I started off as a teenager veggie, eating french fries and grilled cheese sandwiches and not putting much "thought" into what I was choosing as food.
Over time, it evolved into a deeper understanding and I educated myself as to what the secret words for "animal" were in have to learn a LOT to be a smart veggie.
I became more and more aware of what I was eating, what others were eating and what I wanted to not eat anymore.
I have settled into a life of lacto-ovo vegetarianism....I flirt and swing into veganism now and then, and recently have been reading about RAW food diets.
I don't drink milk, I only eat egg whites when we go out and whole eggs in cooked items.
No seafood, and read labels on all sorts of stuff still....

Over the years Thanksgiving has been a dreaded time, as the gathering often focus on what people have made "special " for the vegetarians in the group...when it is really just me.
So many moons ago I started traveling around now....I would be overseas where thanksgiving is not celebrated and it was easy to "just eat".
This year, we are going to a vegan restaurant to have a meal with my in-laws. Hubby's is a relief in many ways...I can just sit and eat, and feel not so "special".

My hope is that people just THINK about what they are eating, where it came from how it got there and how it feeds you.

I had my last bite of turkey at the age of 17, and my first bite of pumpkin pie at 27.
I am thankful for all I have learned about food since then, I am glad that hubbys family survived all those years and gave me a great man, I am thankful that my peeps crossed all that land and ocean so I could meet him.
I am thankful for my 5 senses, my imagination, my emotions, my dreams.
I am thankful to be a sister, daughter, wife, godmother and aunt.
I am thankful for being able to read, write and communicate freely.
I am thankful for food on the table, and in the earth.
I am thankful for bad, so i know how wonderful the good can be.
I am thankful for the good , so that I can share it with others.
I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

25th - Wine

I have had two glasses of wine.
A plate full of mashed potatoes, broccoli and "quorn chicken" cutlet with BBQ sauce.

I have fallen asleep twice, I will relinquish to the haze and enjoy the sleep.

Tomorrow, what a vegan thanksgiving looks like and what I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

24th day- Garden

I watered the garden today, it was quiet and just before sunset.
Alone with only the sounds of the birds busy before nightfall and the water hitting the ground.

The pamelo tree that is over grown with fruit

a neighbors cabbage

morning glory finding new items to climb

the scarecrow that amuses the crows

sunset creeping in

Monday, November 23, 2009

23rd day-the honey makers

So I have posted for 23 days this month...kind of strange.

When I visit my garden, I often stop on the way out and watch the bees...they are so soothing and warm.
The other day many of them had bits of pollen stuck to their legs and were drinking what nectar they could find...Thank goodness for the honey makers. They make life sweet.

All Images © Monica Wiesblott 2009

All images © Monica Wiesblott 2009


Today would have been my grandmothers birthday, sadly she passed away just last year.
it is 2:30am and I am awake with thoughts of her.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

21st..You like me, you really like me!!

As some of you know, I have submitted to a very prestigious printmaking group in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Printmakers Society (LAPS), is a very well respected printmakers society that considers new membership twice a year.

I submitted earlier this year, but was not accepted (you can view the gritty details HERE).

Keeping their comments in mind and talking with a dear friend and art mentor,Nicole Strasburg, I created a new strategy and submitted again.

I received a call Saturday afternoon from the press that is hosting the jurors...needless to say my heart sank...
"I am sorry to tell you but your disc is unreadable"
I started by saying I was so very sorry and apologized for this. Then came the tech details and my offer to drive down my submission, or email it.
I was asked if I had a website, and on seeing it (while still on the phone with me) he asked if I had submitted before, he remembered my work!

I was given instructions about emailing the files and calling back.

I called back and was greeted with a "cancel that order...(pause) we got your email and you got an immediate thumbs up."

I think I said thank you a million times, I thanked him, the jurors, the chance, the phone call; in fact I said thank you so many times he started to laugh and ended the call by saying "congratulations"

So ladies and gentlemen, meet the newest artist member of the Los Angeles Printmakers Society!!
My submission is viewable here:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday funday the 20th day of blogging

I have a lot of commercial building around me, well not directly around me but where I live and work.
I use to find them boring, but then something clicked in me and I started to find them interesting to look at.....
I have found myself photographing some of the many commercial buildings around here....

There is a strange lonely quality to them at something was forgotten there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

19th...Due date day

I could not stop thinking about my submission to the fact the USPS made sure it was on my mind way more then I wanted it to be.
I mailed the submission on Monday with the assumption that it would arrive overnight as normal. Well you know what they say about assumptions...
Boy did it make me feel like ass...

According to the USPS tracking sat in never-never land for a whole day and then materialized in Los Angeles for half a day, then half a day in Santa Monica...before finally getting delivered today.
****ON THE DUE DATE...the last day.*********
urhg I think I need an antacid or something.

So it is there.
I have to ween myself off the thoughts of it is totally out of my hands.

Here is what my workspace looked like in the middle of it all:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18th day of November

I got a cryptic message two weekends ago to join a friend for cake.
She was bringing it, but I was to bring a fork.

Hello, no need to ask twice.
I am always happy to help a friend.

This was the cake, the swirling around the cake was how I saw it....all else went blurry when in the presence of this CAKE. Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream frosting, raspberry topping and filling.
Two layers and big enough to serve 20!

the cake was in honor of a dear new friend and local SUPERSTAR!!
She can easily be recognized by her sparkles, grace and beauty.
Plus she strikes this pose when spotted.
We (there were three of us) took on to the task of eating the cake and overdosing on sugar.
I was the first to fold. One piece complete with ice cream had be begging for mercy.
The Superstar and her like minded cake eating accomplice went for a second piece!

Many giggles, and spoonfuls later, we shared tummy aches and the quiet that only a sugar overload can provide.

All in all I am impressed, three people took out almost half the cake...
I think I will be dreaming of buttercream for the next day or two.
What a great way to celebrate being a grown up and eating cake for dinner!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

day 17...I have fallen but I am getting back up!

OK OK I messed up and forgot to post on Sunday and then last night I was suppose to post about Sunday...
Well I am gonna give it a try again:
Day 17 offers new hopes for my month of blogging!

Sunday was a lot of bouncing...and sugar

It was a celebration of my nephews 2nd time around the sun!
I am so lucky that I get to make the birthday makes my heart full and happy.
plus when I see this It makes all the world stop and laugh!

blue teeth, red teeth, fingers....clothes.
It was a lot of fun and I spent a good bit of time bouncing in the huge bouncy house in the middle of the back lawn with squeeling skreeching little clowns!
I was a little deaf and rattled by the end of the party.
So that brings me to yesterday.
I had also spent all of Saturday printing.
I set a goal to submit again to the LAPS (Los Angeles Printmakers Society), the process means you submit work to a jury that reviews (only two times a year) it and decides if you are really a printmaker. I was given a lovely,rejection letter eariler this year telling me that they did not see enough "hand of the artist" in my solarplates. I was hurt, but I got off the pity party train and submitted again. This time I entered new work, in different printmaking styles:

a collagraph called "sweet pea"

a linocut called "Harriet & Rae"

and a solarplate with chine colle
called "Searching For "

Hopefully I will get a different letter in the mail.
Now I am off to start sewing....Thanksgiving is around the corner and I have things to do!


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