Tuesday, April 30, 2013

let's face it, we've never been that close. my clothing, paint, and furnishings, you don't often grace. your sisters, chestnut, rust, and wine are fine, but you crimson, or can i call you scarlet, well, you make me blush. 

but seeing you here, all grown up, i've had a change of mind. 


what's your color crush of the moment?

images: Domahoka, LA in Bloom, Bethany Nauert, source unknown.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

"a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."

years ago, in the midst of a major restoration on the house, we built this fort under our porch. it's a little space where the girls can go and to play, create, or just get away. it's a place of their own. 

there is something totally freeing about being able to draw on walls or places that are normally off limits, don't you agree? in their fort, anything goes.  

s: a self portrait at my piano recital.
o: a picture of me wearing clothes.


link love: last week i loved rebuca's portraits of her children, especially the middle one with the fence in the background. the lighting and quality of the photos are just beautiful. 

lost + found


Friday, April 26, 2013

things come in, things go out. 

an ipod. *probably misplaced.
a few days time while being sick in bed.
a pair of toddler pants to a knee ripping, sidewalk spill.
my apprehension to apply for an upcoming art event.
my desire for regularly posting on instagram.

the NYT back at my doorstep.
this insightful interview into Matthew Weiner's meaning behind Mad Men
a bird's nest.
a dryer full of treasures from olivia's pockets.
a bin of artwork where each piece was $5.00 & my newly acquired piece, sit

this studio visit with object + totem. it's the perfect inspiration for the upcoming mother daughter ceramics class sienna and i are taking. 

insights from How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read if you don't have time to read it, a few things stuck with me. 

for readers, this: The paradox of reading is that the path toward ourselves passes through books, but that this must remain a passage. It is a traversal of books that a good reader engages in — a reader who knows that every book is the bearer of part of himself and can give him access to it, if only he has the wisdom not to end his journey there.

for non-readers, this: If a book is less a book than it is the whole of the discussion about it, we must pay attention to that discussion in order to talk about the book without reading it. For it is not the book itself that is at stake, but what it has become within the critical space in which it intervenes and is continually transformed. It is this moving object, a supple fabric of relations between texts and beings, about which one must be in a position to formulate accurate statements at the right moment.

the socialite family. i never tire of a visual glimpse into people's lives.  

this dreamy outdoor space which is inspiring all sorts of garden goodness around our house lately. 

in fact, the whole Hernaez Sticotti house is one of the most inspiring homes i have seen lately. Look at this studio!

the colors in this SuperMods Enter Rehab, Vogue Italia shoot.  

a button. 
a rock. 
a shell.


have any fun plans for the weekend? sienna has her first piano recital, we're heading to art walk, stopping by a street music festival, going to a baseball game, and catching up on a few netflix movies i've been wanting to see. full packed, family fun. hope you have a great one!

    Cheers to listening


    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    [ 1 ] Today I had a conversation with a friend.

    Things are constantly coming at us. More and more is being asked of us everyday. From schools, PTA, work, friends, book club, girl scouts; more money, more time, more work. And we have to ask things of other people too. Everyone is so busy and we get easily overwhelmed with simple things because we are so busy. So when we are asking something of people, let's make it so simple, let's not overwhelm. "Here is the question I have for you, here is what I would like you to do, here are two easy steps you can take to accomplish it." Make it so simple they can memorize it.  

    [ 2 ] This evening I found this quote.

    Don't judge a designer on what she adds, but on what she takes away. Johan Jessen


    I hear things when they are told to me, but do I listen? 

    My answer to this question is yes, I really try. What I find helpful is that life repeats itself. Something I hear in the morning, that I needed to hear, is then stumbled upon again in the afternoon. Same message, different words, usually until I get it. 

    I recently asked something of people that was too much, too wordy, too long, too overwhelming. I have been sitting with the realization of that. Hearing these things today confirmed it. They also gave me a completely new insight to how I am going to approach so much of my interaction with people. These two gems are really life changing.  

    Heard, and noted.


    [ 1 ] Yesterday, I heard this poem while driving.

    The Committee Weighs In

    I tell my mother
    I’ve won the Nobel Prize.

    Again? she says. Which
    discipline this time?

    It’s a little game
    we play: I pretend

    I’m somebody, she
    pretends she isn’t dead.

    Andrea Cohen

    [ 2 ] An hour later, I heard this story from a friend.

    She had three young kids, lived passionately. She did work she loved, her family was everything, she volunteered, gave to everyone, she had that life. Forty-eight, energetic, driven, healthy and happy. The diagnosis was only stage two. Even though they said it was in only in one breast, she had both removed. It was in the second. She was a bright light, the kind of woman you admired. Within a year it was in her liver. Maybe because she lived so brightly, her light burned out fast. 


    I hear things when they are told to me, but do I listen? Do you?



    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.” The Hunger Games

    {images: decade diary, susan cianciolo, cliff climbing at cabrillo, tidal rocks, narnia, seeing me, basquiat }

    ode to replenishing


    Monday, April 22, 2013

    rocks in la jolla.
    painting at noon.



    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    "a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."

    This week I watched the Dove's Real Beauty Sketches ad that has been going around. It made me feel something, not sure entirely what, but it did made me think. As one of five sisters and the mother of two young girls, body image and self worth are something I think about often. One of our most memorable and poignant women's group meetings was on body image and the topic seems to come up frequently when I am together with friends. Unsure of my initial reaction, I started to google people's responses to it. Of course, I found many. One that I came across was this response by Jazz Brice on her Tumblr, Jazzy Little Drops. She makes some insightful points and it's worth a read, just as the Dove video is worth a watch. My personal opinion lies somewhere in between.

    This morning I woke to Sienna handing me a picture she drew of herself. She was so proud of it, she loved it! And I love that she is still completely free of this issue right now. I want to do my best to ensure that my girls grow up as self-assured, compassionate women, who have an expansive definition of beauty, 
    who whose primary focus is not their body, and who have a self-love and self-worth that no one can ever take away from them. 


    s: "This is me. A happy girl with her cat."
    o: It's been a hard week for this little one, sick and a full of tears. "I don't want to make art," followed by a foot stomp.

    Last week I loved these three sisters. This looks like a fun bunch and I love their caravan!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ad and the article. What did you feel after going through both. Thought provoking, right? 

    what is left behind


    Friday, April 19, 2013

    life is heavy.
    it is sad,
    and it is short.
    too short, and sometimes
    just taken away from you.

    when watching these tragedies,
    it's hard to know what to do,
    even what to feel. 

    i found this picture yesterday,
    a meal shared by friends.
    but look at the table.
    look at the life stained in. 
    look at how many meals and moments have carved themselves into this place.
    look at the memories showing through,
    the signs of life left behind,
    reminding us to live.

    this morning i dragged my huge dining room table outside.
    i got my belt sander and am taking off the waxed surface. 
    this is something that i've been wanting to do for sometime.
    but the moment finally struck. the time is now.

    this is the gift of images. 
    whether it's horrible images that we don't want to see or beautiful ones, 
    they sink in. 
    they propel change. 
    they bring action. 

    i don't know what i can do about the greater world around me right now, 
    but i do know that i can make my table raw.
    i can let it absorb the wine stains, the water spills, the homework indents, the board game impressions, the conversations, the laughs, the struggles, and the precious years that we have together. 
    i know that i can get under the surface and let the moments show through
    becoming evidence that we lived.

    because life is short.
    and when it's over, all we have 
    is what is left behind.


    how do you deal with tragedy? after seeing so many play out in the media, can you still feel? does it bring about change in your own life? 

    (image source)

    nothing to say


    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    sometimes we have nothing to say,
    nothing original anyway.
    and by original, i mean authentic.
    puling up that which is inside
    and expressing it through thoughts, words, images or even a smile.
    i feel depleted.

    but the wind is blowing the warm air in,
    and the sprinklers are on
    and the sprouts are coming up.
    so i am heading to the garden
    to revitalize it
    and me
    and try to dig up
    something to say.

    Are you fully living?


    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    This is a screenshot from a video I shot at the park of Olivia and her best friend. The video is 00:07:37 minutes long and there are three more just like it. In others, the girls twirl up tight on the swings and then spin around in a fit of giggles. They played for over two hours. Most of the time we were the only ones in the park. This sweet moment was 00:05:53 into the film. 

    I have watched this video a handful of times now. To be honest, it's pretty meditative and I've been playing it in the background as I work. The girls, their laughter, the creaky sound of the metal swings, their friendship, conversation, and you can almost hear the soft sun shining through. I often wonder how magic happens and how much of the time it doesn't, or it does, but I miss it. What makes some moments come alive, I think about this a lot. I need to. These moments, strung together, are the whole of life. 


    How to live, fully.

    • Question life. Questions are catalysts for change. They open up the world, challenge us, make us think and grow. 

    • Cause wonder. Create moments of awe. Asking a question causes wonder. So does stargazing or watching kids swing. Try it. 

    • Don't answer. Live the questions. Let the answers find you. The asking distills what's important, then the answers rise to the top. Scoop them up.

    • Lose your balance. Life is moving, let go and embrace change. Even better, seek it. Nothing makes us feel more alive than a change on the horizon. 

    • Stand at the center. At the center of all movement there is stillness. Position yourself there. Chaos is always better from this vantage point. 

    • Live in-between. It's called liminality. Let go of your stance, don't get stuck being defined. Open up, embrace not knowing.

    • Be patient. Everything ripens in it's own time. Cease the moment, but believe in eternity. 

    • Be present. Dive into now. Have a look around.

    • Find acceptance. This is really the key to everything in life. To being at peace with yourself, to being present in the moment, you must find this. Dig deep. 

    • Practice gratitude. Say thank you, everyday.

    Do you have those moments when time melts away and you're perfectly content exactly where you are now? Want to have more of these moments? Me too. Let's figure out how! Share your tips.

    Here's to fully living your week. xx



    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    "a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."

    As I type in 15/52 this week, late sunday afternoon which is becoming the norm, I'm wondering how I'm going to keep this project up all year long. What I'm finding is that since starting Kindergarten, life's really changed. Our midweek leisure time evaporated. Schedule took over, homework filled free moments, and similar to what happens to me when I get busy, creating usually gets sacrificed. 
    Since Olivia is home with me many days of the week, there's a bit more time for her creative endeavors. On top of the busyness, Sienna and D were gone camping all weekend, so I documented one of her older works this week.


    s: This is my favorite painting that Sienna has done. She painted this a few years ago when she was four. It hangs in our dining room. She has always loved painting and gravitates towards big canvases. When entertaining, people always comment on the piece, amazed that she painted it, and as with most abstract art, always offer opinions on what it is. Care to take a guess? 

    o: Little o and I painted a few times this week. She prefers paper, making smaller detailed moves and watching the brush swish around. She's a delight in the studio. 

    sienna's piece: a moose in a river. 

    Legacy of Me


    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Do you think about your legacy? Do you wonder how people perceive you, what they will remember, and what you're leaving behind? This year, my women's group is focused on our personal legacy. We have many different projects planned for documenting our life and creating a memory kit. My paintings, oral stories I tell my children about my life, old pictures of my travels, and my writing are all ways that I currently document, but I've noticed that I rarely step in front of the camera anymore.  

    When I look around my house, most of the photos that I hold dear are of my mom and dad when they were younger. I love seeing my parents, as parents, in the years when we had come into their life. Pictures of us together, my family, my history, I value much more than pictures of just me as a child. These pictures place me, I'm part of something larger, a legacy.  

    This month, I vowed to be in front of the camera more often. To hand the camera to someone else, to ask the waiter to take a picture, to photograph myself. And I am so happy I did, I love this photo, especially how Sienna is holding me. melt...

    Do you get in front of the camera regularly? What about self portraits, do you take them? Are you focused on your legacy? Let's talk.

    Enjoy the weekend! xx

    how to find me


    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    image by Ali Bosworth

    The year's energy has picked up again, do you feel it too? What went from a lazy spring break feel has suddenly refocused into an intense work week and a long list of things to do. I have so many projects going on I'm feeling buried beneath it all. 

    After I saw this image, I told my husband that he could find me by chance or appointment. 

    I don't think he was amused.

    if I was french


    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    If I was french and had a few extra kids, this would be my life. Tous Les Jours Dimanche, translated means, Everyday Sunday. A delightful blog about a family living in a french country house.

    The takeaways: 

    • start back up our simple evening strolls.
    • dust off my sewing machine and make some simple french frocks already. or at the very least, buy them here.
    • choose words when writing as if english were my second language (I read through my rss which translates french interestingly, beautifully).
    • the ocean and I are well acquainted, think farmhouse for our next getaway.
    • let our unfinished side yard channel the land surrounding a french farmhouse. muddy, grass growing where it will, well worn paths, with tin pales and wood hanging stacked around. don't over-think it.
    • snap my camera at more, moving through life moments.
    • petulance makes a good picture.
    • even people in that live in french farmhouses sometimes dream of going elsewhere.

    Hope you enjoy. When you read a blog or go to a site, do you look for things that you can apply to your life? I'm always looking for new ways to see or things to learn. Any good sites you're loving right now? 

    The creative gap


    Monday, April 8, 2013

    “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. 

    But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. 

    It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” 

    Ira Glass, public radio host of This American Life


    Whenever I'm stuck, or need to get started, I return to this. It's simply one of the best things I've ever read. I often dream paintings. I have vague visualizations of things I want to do. But executing that vision, well... Do you have things you read or do when you need a creative jumpstart?

    The kids are back in school, the house is empty, I'm back to the studio. I've got a show coming up in one month. It's a new week. A new day. Hope yours is a good one. 



    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    "a portrait of my children's artwork, once a week, every week, in 2013."

    “And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.” Nicholas Sparks

    s: India, our cat
    o: A collection of treasures, in abstract.


    52 project links: Nothing better than catching kids in moments of concentration. Except maybe their feet. Love xx. 

    A sea change


    Friday, April 5, 2013

    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.

    From Shakespeare's The Tempest, 1610


    After a few weeks of easy living, I am putting the sea to rest. Back home, back to work. It's only a few short months until summer. How that is possible, I don't know. 

    What does it take to make a sea change? A phrase I have long loved. I've had ideas, almost executions, starts and stops, in my head, out of hands, for literally years now. Along the way there are many successes. So many incredible things in life to point to and say, this is the result of my work. But for some reason, it does not feel enough. There were three things that I wanted to accomplish this year. Once those are done, I think, I will feel my sea change. 

    Walking in the yard I pulled two avocados from my tree, leftover fruit of last year's yield. I set them on the counter to see if they would ripen. Sure enough, yesterday, they did. 

    Maybe we're always in the midst of change. Do we ever arrive? How long can you stay? 

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx

    Thoughts on solitude


    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    it's still spring break. 
    my husband is still gone.
    my kids are still here.
    i haven't been alone in fourteen days*

    for many people, so many mother's I talk to, they are rarely alone. i try to be. i need to be, i always have.

    do you know what the number one creativity habit is? 

    Reading around online over the last few days, there seems to be discontentment. I guess it's always been there, underneath, but then one person voices it, then another, and it's out there. Maybe it's the astrological time of the year. A friend just sent that to me last night. I've never really been into the astrological world, but hey, I'm all for letting go, clearing out, and starting new. But truthfully, I think discontentment has to do with a lack solitude. 

    As I fell asleep last night I was thinking about the fact that when I grew up there was no internet. When I was in college, there were no blogs. In my early twenties, the way I developed my sense of self was through myself. Of course there were my peers, magazines to look at, and friends of friends with dreamy lives, but reality tv had not begun and the at your fingertips, voyeuristic, comparison culture was not yet prevalent. The world is so different. The fact that we don't have to wonder about anything for even one minute, because we can google it, blows my mind. That alone is life altering. 

    Solitude is something that doesn't seem to get put high on the to-do list. Not only is it undervalued, I feel like we literally run from it. We fill the space with things, activities, and other people. And you know what that brings, discontentment. 

    “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.” Goethe

    This quote by Goethe is very close to a personal motto that I try to live by. Look to others for inspiration, but not for comparison. When I keep my gaze focused inward, I am happiest. My drive to create and to live comes from inside, it is not fueled by an exterior force, like trying to keep up with someone, trying to  have a life as seemingly perfect as a picture. Of course there are moments when I get lost. I become outwardly focused and soon after discontentment ensues. I know this process. I saw a quote recently, I hung it up.  

    Living well is the best revenge. 

    The ultimate in outward focus, right? It is still hanging in my studio. It has been driving me. But I know ultimately, it won't take me far. I am not to the discontented state yet, but I will be. I could stop and refocus inwardly, but truthfully, I am not ready yet. I haven't fully played it out, this envy, irritation, I am holding in my mind. As unenlightened as it may sound, it's my process. And I need and want to go through it. And I will. When I have enough solitude to create from this place, then I'll make one move that will turn everything around. When I inspire myself. When I again become the source of my creating. 


    Solitude is being alone.
    Solitude is thinking for yourself.
    Solitude is formulating ideas.
    Solitude is wondering.
    Solitude is space.
    Solitude is finding your own voice.
    Solitude is the place you return to when you get stirred up, lose your voice, or are feeling bad about yourself.
    Solitude is where you find focus.
    Solitude is where you process.
    Solitude is where you move through the dark.
    Solitude is where real creativity lives. 
    Solitude is where love comes from. If you're ever frustrated with your kids or spouse, go be alone. When you've taken a step into yourself, you can give again.
    Solitude is engagement with yourself.
    Solitude is reflection. Reflection on the kind of person you are, the kind of life you want to lead. 
    Solitude is not accomplishing. But it is essential in the process of accomplishment. 

    My five quick ways I get a solitude fix:
    1. Take a walk.
    2. Paint.
    3. Drive.
    4. Lay on my bed and look at the sky.
    5. Sit on the porch and listen to music while watching the wind.

    * Note. I actually have been alone over spring break. My solitude comes at night when everyone is sleeping. The problem is that I'm up too late and not sleeping. Thus I am pretty out of balance at the moment, and a bit cranky, forgive. 

    Can you relate?

    mar + tierra


    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

    A little lost


    Monday, April 1, 2013

    “For me, childhood roaming was what developed self-reliance, a sense of direction and adventure, imagination, a will to explore, to be able to get a little lost and then figure out the way back.” Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

    This is the place where our children explore. They can run a bit free. The beaches are empty, the vineyards have hidden paths, the roads are dirt. They run around together, in the feeling of another country, almost another time. Under our watchful eye, there are places they can escape to, to feel unwatched, feel independent. 

    Earlier I talked about letting kids take risks, what about letting them be just a bit out of sight? Thinking back to my own childhood I had such freedom. My girls are really young, but there are places that I feel comfortable letting them roam just beyond my glance. How about you, do you let your kids wander a bit? Did you have that luxury in your childhood? 

    It's Monday, have a great week!