Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My studio

I always like it on other blogs when people post pictures of their studios or work spaces. So today I thought I'd post a couple pictures of mine! This is my home studio, and another place I work is Holy City (another studio, 2 miles from mine) Another time I will take some pictures there and post those too. In these - my self portrait is propped on the window ledge, and a painting in progress is on the drawing board. The room is actually supposed to be a bedroom, so I keep my drawing board in the closet, so I can shut it away at the end of the day, and I have notice boards on the insides of the doors for little bits of paper relating to certain projects.
Usually The bench in the middle is bigger, but I recently made it smaller so I have more floor space. This is the best work space (at home) I have ever had, and feel very lucky to have it. I love spending time in it, being creative, with a cup of cardamon or chai tea, and some good music on the Ipod!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday is Pixie and Cookie day!

It's friday, and what better way to end the week, than with a picture of the buttons? An arty blurred picture of Pixie and an action shot of Cookie - running towards the camera!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You shall go to the ball!

The meadow in Santa Cruz is looking greener than I have seen it before, and is awash with yellow spring flowers. The new, young grass and tissue thin petals of the flowers move with the cool breeze like fabric - Cinderella dressed for the ball. But by June, it will be back to dusty rags, as the sun drys the grass to brittle ochre, and the spring flora is but a memory.
These seed pods drop from the huge madrone trees, they remind me of buttons and are quite beautiful and incredibly robust. Pixie helps me gather some, sniffing each one to know it's story before I arrange them in fissure in a fallen tree - organic art! I wonder who will notice it, and who will wonder where it came from?

The next day I went back - and the pod art had gone. I imagined a child, excitedly stuffing them into pockets and taking them home, perhaps to creatively imagine them into something else, or to join dry pasta and glue on crumpled paper on the fridge - a dinosaur? The thought makes me smile, and I continue with my journey as the seed pods continue on theirs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nearly Easter

This morning I have been doing my admin - sending pictures and 'events' news to the local papers about the upcoming Easter sale at Holy City Art Glass. Yesterday, I wandered out the back of the studio, to take photos of various bits. So I thought I'd post them here too, as they look rather sweet. The 'bunnies' are a new thing I've just created for Easter this year, and the nests and eggs are a yearly thing, this picture shows a nest made by Tom Stanton, who I work with down at Holy City.

Deer wandered around as I took the shots - and the spring sunlight was wonderfully clear and bright, shining throught the redwood trees. I think the nest is resting on Mimosa. All the Mimosa trees are blossoming with thousands of tiny yellow pom-poms, so the side of the ountain looks awash with yellow and green.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here I am

So, here is the finished stained glass of the self portrait drawing from yesterday. It is painted, stained, sandblasted, flashed, enamelled, leaded glass. Any guesses or thoughts on what she's up to?! Be interested if anyone has thoughts - I'll do the full explanation tomorrow!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lets get serious!

Seems like a while since I've posted artwork, rather than (much more exciting!) pictures of button dogs and stray dogs! So today I'll go all serious and post a drawing I did for a stained glass window.

This is actually a self portrait, and it is one I own rather than it being a commission. I decided to make it as a 'sample' piece to showcase my skills and techniques for glass. Now I'm glad I did, as it is so easy to get carried away with doing work for other people, that you never have anything for yourself. I'm glad I actually have this, rather than just photos of it. There is kind of a story behind it, but today I will post the drawing, and tomorrow - the finished window.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yin and Yang

Here is todays gratuitous picture of Pixie and Cookie - who, I think, if they had arrived to me at the same time I might have called Yin and Yang!

This bed is actually a small cat bed, but they still both manage to fit easily into it. For the record - Pixie weighs 4lbs and Cookie weighs 5lbs. They are unrelated, and possibly not even the same mixed breed!

For Sooty and Laurie

Hello Sooty and Laurie, and hello to Ruthie and Gunnlaug! So glad you could join the adventure! Do let me know if there is anything you would like me to put in the magic bag for you - we want to make sure we have everything we need for the journey!

Well, I promised I would upload a picture of Teddy (The Teddy Princess - as known to his royal subjects) and this is for Laurie and Sooty, as Sooty is of the same variety as Teddy.

Teddy arrived as a catatonically terrified skinny matted mess, in a 'hold all' bag. Our good friend Gam had found him roaming the streets of San Jose. Once it was clear the little dog had no home or owner, we fixed him up, and - having served quarantine living with me, he is now living happily with my parents in Lyme Regis, Dorset, Uk. So he really has travelled a long way, but is now doing very well! The bottom picture is Teddy with little Pixie (bottom step, left) Dolly (right) and Nangi is the redish colored dog who belongs to our friend Gam. Whilst Teddy lived with us, these dogs were all his good friends, and helped him to recover from what, for him, had clearly been a very scary time of his life.
No Cookie in these pictures as we didn't have her yet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just because!

No reason, no excuse, no link - Just a random picture of my two little buttons. Everytime I see them close together like this, it makes me smile and feel happy to see how much they clearly gain from each others company.

Pixie-Stix on the left (cream) and Cookie on the right (black and white)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Further afield

Todays adventure takes me a long way, but to a familiar place. Over the weekend, I spoke to my parents, who live in Lyme Regis, Dorset,UK. Lyme is a place that I spent much of my youth, from holidays at the seaside, to snatched hours after school for fish and chips.

The conversational journey centered on JRR Tolkien, (amoungst other literary figures) who enjoyed Lyme, and vacationed there every year when he was young.

Apparently, Tolkien spent much time drawing and illustrating whilst visiting, and based many of his fictional places on actual places around Dorset, including 'Hobbiton' - supposedly the Marshwood Vale.

This was all fascinating news to me. I have loved the works of Tolkien since I was a child, and Lyme Regis has also always been close to my heart. My Dad is going to investigate further, to see what else he can learn of Tolkien's connection with Lyme - so I look forward to hearing more about it!

Here is a detail of a window of Lyme Regis. The window itself is bigger, but the picture is a little blurry!

The location of Lyme Regis was used in the film 'A French Leiutenants Woman' with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Time to visit a friend

I think my blog is in need of some illustrative color. So we'll stop by the painted house of the 'Jaquets' and have some tea. Thats Cari and Skippy on the front porch, watching their daughter Lili play with Tulip the dog. Sadly, no more than two weeks after I painted this picture (just before Christmas) Tulip died after a rattlesnake bite. But I'm glad I have her here on canvas - captured in time. This is actually their house. And I thought it looked so 'folk arty' that I decided to paint it as a folk art picture. It is acrylic on canvas board (16x20") finished with crackle glaze.

I am thinking of having a few made up as giclees maybe.

Skippy has a wonderful new copper tea kettle, and I think I can hear it whistling now. Hmm - black mango or cardamon tea? thats a tough one! Welcome Karen to my blog! thankyou for coming to see me, I hope you like adventures and tea - I've laid you out a cup!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


At last the 'Morris' rabbits are finished! I decided to do it as a circular panel instead of a square one, but other than that, it's pretty much like the drawing I did.

Now I have a glass commission to do - of a sun - which is funny as I recently did a moon (already posted pictures - D'Orsa winery) and I'm going to paint another canvas too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

sneeky trip

This morning I took a sneeky trip over to the coast at Santa Cruz for an early morning stroll. I don't do this kind of thing nearly enough, as I'm usually too involved with work projects, and am very self controlled when it comes to not taking time out.

But today I'm glad I broke the rules! It was beautifully cool and crisp after an early frost, and I went to one of my favourite walking spots with the dogs, watching as they sniffed amoungst emerging wild flowers and spring grass. Woodpeckers drummed a tattoo at the tops of the smooth barked giant madrones, and the fresh breeze carried their pungent menthol scent through the meadow. What a perfect way to start the day! I followed that up by a quick stop at 'The Buttery' for a croissant and hot tea, and purchased a whole grain loaf for lunch.

I think I should break my own rules more often, as I have returned to work feeling inspired and witha pink glow in my cheeks!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Time 'sprung' forward yesterday, and it's impossible not to notice the difference in the late afternoon, as the day draws out with wonderful golden light. When the sun comes out, it's instantly warm, and the damp trees and roads around the house steam as moisture is spirited skyward, ready to re-fill the clouds and fall elsewhere as rain: re-incarnated again.

This little panel of a birdhouse and blue birds was made for the front door of a friends' mountain home, up in the Sierra's. They have recently moved to a beautiful home in Morgan Hill, and, to my surprise, brought the panel with them. Over the weekend they asked me to put hanging rings on it so they can place it in a window in their new home. So now, it too, will start it's second life.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Preserving rainbows

I've just finished a couple new panels for a bathroom. Mostly clear textured glass, with a few glass nuggets and some sand blasting. Always hard to take photos of, especially where I live amongst the redwood trees - not much good light. Should have thought to harness some of that rainbow light and keep a jar or two of it in the magic bag - but was to busy trying to take photos!But still, I think you can just about see the textured effect. They look nicer in the flesh!

Today I'll lead the rabbit panel, so should have pics of that by next week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

After the storm

After so much rain there came a beautiful rainbow! I was at Holy City yesterday (Art Glass studio) and Tom (who I work with) called me outside to see the spectral arc of color. I ran to the end of the building to see it better, and noticed seven deer grazing underneath it on the land behind the studio.

I grabbed my camera and ran outside. The deer were not too keen on me being close, but I took the best picture I could, before the rainbow faded and the deer blended into the bushes.

Meanwhile, Cookie (fast becoming the studio dog) was oblivious to the excitement, and did not move a paw from the comfort and warmth of her furry bed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Mermaid

This week there is an article in our local paper (Los Gatos Weekly Times) about me and my work! and it mentions my blog. I think I have to wait until next week for it to be online, but when it is - I will post it here! It also shows a picture of the Mermaid window I made, so in the meantime, I will post some pictures of that.

It's in a cocktail lounge in Oregon (Portland) called 'The Atlantis Lounge' It was the most fun to draw and make.
Thats me working on it too!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Remembering Morris

Rain, rain, rain! The mountain is covered with new little riverlets and streams, seeping out of fissures and bubbling up from the ground. And all of it runs down hill towards the thirsty Lexington reservoir, Hooray! whose tummy is gradually swelling with chocolate brown water.

So, best for me to find a cosy corner of the magic bag and settle down to some work. Today I will bring the 'Morris' rabbits to life by providing them with fur and twitchy noses. I love William Morris designs. So much wonderful detail and pattern. It reminds me of my training in Stained Glass. Many years ago, I went to The Morris Museum in Walthamstow, London. I was so inspired having been there that I decided to do a copy of one of the Morris angels. Here is the finished panel. It is only small, but something I am now very pleased to have made, whilst I had the opportunity.