Thursday, December 07, 2006

Snowy, cooooooold Colorado

I'm just back from an adventure with my son Kyle. I helped him move to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, high in the Rockies near Aspen. We drove out in a Budget moving truck, pulling his Mustang on a car trailer, with his two cats in a carrier between us in the cab. It took two full days to make the trip, since the truck could barely maintain 45 mph on some of the climbs. We stayed in St. George, Utah the first night, with the cats crawling all over us. They were so happy to be out of that box and had lots of stored-up energy.

The second day we had to have one of tires on the car trailer replaced in Beaver, Utah. The good 'ol boys there took care of us, and we were glad to have discovered the bad tire before we started dragging that thing up the Rockies.

Despite the slow going and somewhat rough conditions (boy, have I gotten soft in my middle age!), we had a great time on the trip. Some of the scenery was breathtaking, and we discovered that Utah has NPR stations that span the entire state! We arrived in his new town at about 6 p.m. and unloaded the truck in the dark, and it was about 8 degrees. A friend from work came to help (after skiiing all day!) and the two guys hauled all the heavy stuff up the stairs, but I'm sure I made at least 50 trips up and down in my new snow boots, and I have the blisters on my heels to prove it!

But the most breathtaking scenery is right where Kyle now lives. It was a true winter wonderland! No need to flock your tree here; there are ready-made Xmas trees on every corner!

Here are some views from Kyle's balcony at his new place. The last one shows the condo complex.

And here are a couple from his bedroom window.

Talk about picturesque!

The town of Glenwood Springs in spread out along the Colorado River, and boasts a HUGE hot-springs pool right in the middle of town. Here's a shot I took from the car of the downtown area:

The drive up towards Aspen is stunning. Here's a shot of Mt. Sopris, which towers over all else at more than 14,000 feet.

Kyle works in Basalt, which is a picture-postcard town about halfway up the valley toward Aspen. Here's a shot of his office building, and the view from right in front of the building.

Kyle's condo is very nice. He has two bedrooms and two baths and a two-car garage, so he has plenty of room for guests. He's hoping lots of his family and friends will come out to visit.

Here are some shots of the kitchen and living room during the move-in process:

As you can see, Kyle was a bit tired after sleeping on the inflatable mattress for a couple of nights! And here are his bedroom and bathroom after we got done with them:

So, I've done my mom job and made sure my baby is all settled into his new home, far from his family and friends. :-(

I'm excited for him and so hopeful that he will love his new life in the mountains.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It Doesn't Stop When They Turn 18

Well, it's been more than three weeks since I published an entry here. The reason is my two "babies" needed me. Big time.

Kyle, who just turned 23, got a job in Aspen and had to wrap up his life here and get out there to start work in less than three weeks. I spent lots of time helping him make lists, advising on decisions from which furniture to take to his new home to buying a car that would be safe for snowy mountain driving. I also helped him pack up his entire apartment. That kid is a real pack rat!

He'll be back the first weekend in December to get all his stuff and load it into a U-Haul truck for the trek to his new apartment. I may go with him to help him get set up, then fly back. That ought to be fun, since he has two cats to move too. But I would love to see the area and be able to picture where he is when I talk to him.

Kyle arrived safely in Aspen on Sunday, November 12. On Monday morning the 13th, I received a hysterical call from Lianne (age 20) that her apartment in Isla Vista was completely flooded. And she was NOT exaggerating! When I arrived two hours later she was still sitting in up to two inches of water and nothing had been done beyond turning off the source of the water in the apartment above hers. Three days and dozens of phone calls and hours of internet research later, she and her boyfriend will be moving back in today. It took a call to the management company's corporate office to get her property manager to take the situation seriously and put the kids up in a hotel for a few nights. On Wednesday, I helped them pack up their entire apartment, including washing every dish, pan and untensil in the place, and do 14 loads of laundry. They've had to grow up very fast and learn how to stand up for themselves and argue succesfully with people in positions of power who supposedly have much more knowledge and experience than they do.

So, my "mom" planet must be in the house of packing belongings and coaching adult kids through big life decisions and crises. Oh, and did I mention Mark was in Seattle at a meeting all week? I barely had a chance to talk to him the entire week because whenever he had a break to call me, I was up to my elbows in moldy laundry or making phone calls to building inspectors and landlor-tenent mediators.

As a result of all this, I've done no artwork this week. I have finished a couple of Xmas gifts in the past couple of weeks, but I don't want to post photos of those here, since they're surprises. I will say they involve wool sweaters purchased at thrift stores and then felted, cut up, and given a new life.

Next week I have a pretty big medical procedure on Tuesday, then Thanksgiving for the family, without Kyle ;-(, here on Thursday. Gotta go order that turkey!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I've been having a great time sending and receiving postcards all over the world via Postcrossing, a web site that facilitates this exchange. Yesterday and today I've been finishing some handmade postcards. i enjoy sending a little bit of myself out into the world in this way.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Last week, I completed two collages with book covers as part of the compositon, or used as the substrate. This was an assignment for my weekly collage class, and though I'm not thrilled with the results, it sparked a lot of ideas.

I am LOVING working in my new studio. Everything I need is accessible (whereas before it was most likely buried under other stuff) and the room is inviting and inspiring. Who knows what will come out of that room????

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hearts for Charity

I've been working on two paper maché hearts for a charity event to benefit a senior day care center in Santa Barbara. This is something my collage teacher offered as an extra project for our class, and being the over-achiever that I am, of course I had to make a couple.

The first one I did I wanted to use stitching and give it a patchwork look:

For the second one, I tried a painted lace method from an article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors, which I'm pretty excited about:

I already have some ideas about using this technique elsewhere!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fun with Art Friends

This past Sunday Susan and Jean and I channeled Jackson Pollock and painted the huge floor cloth for my studio. It took a while to figure out the whole drips versus squiggles thing, but it was messy and fun, and I love the result!

Here we are out on my driveway dripping and splattering (from left to right, Lori, Susan, Jean):

Here's the finished product drying on the driveway after a few coats of varnish:

And here it is in the room:

I love the artsy touch it gives the room, and I think I'll be a bit more free with the paint and inks from now on.

Oh, and I wanted to post a photo of my paper hangers, for those of you who asked. This was such simple, inexpensive, and effective solution. It doesn't impede the door at all. In fact, I forget it's even there when the door is open.

I've been enjoying using my room. Susan and I just hung out on there Saturday night and looked at art stuff and art books and magazines, and it was relaxing and inspirational. My two remaining challenges are my chair, which is not as comfortable as I had hoped (I think it was made for a male derriere), and the lighting, which is just a mess at the moment.

Here's a photo of the chair. If you have any ideas for padding it, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tricked Out Tissue Box

Just a quick post to show off my "Totally Tricked Out Tissue Box," which I made in a class of the same name taught by my friend Shari . I just added the embellishments and it now sits on my desk in my India/elephant-themed office.

Shari is such an inspiration. She decided to pursue her artwork full-time, and now has her work in a gallery, has had work accepted to shows, has written some articles for art zines, is teaching classes, and has some other surprises in store. Go, Shari!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ikea Rocks!

Went to Ikea on Saturday and got just about everything to finish my studio! And guess what? EVERYTHING is out of the living room! I'll post photos of that area once I get it spruced up.

Here are a couple of photos of the two bookcases and smaller CD/DVD shelf I got, along with all the organizer boxes, which are so cool:

And I was stunned to find a pot rack for just $20. With all the stuff hanging from it, it was still less than $40!

We added the light you see in the center of the rack (with zip-ties!), but it's really not bright enough, so I need to get some stronger bulbs. And Mark's going to run some conduit (not the right word, but you get the idea), across the ceiling and down the wall to the outlet to hold the cords. He was SUCH a trooper this weekend, going with me to Ikea and then putting everything together and hanging stuff, all with a very sore back.

So here's a view of the room from the door:

I made the bulletin board by removing the glass and print from the frame, but it's kinda hard to push pins into it. I think I need to add a layer of soft-ish material behind the cork, rather than the hard cardboard that was behind the print.

And here's how the closet area looks now:

That iron holder on the wall is also an Ikea item. To recap, I got the two bookcases and the CD/DVD shelf, all the organizer boxes, the pot rack and all the stuff that hangs from it, the iron holder, some clear glass jars to hold buttons and other goodies, a few random goodies for the rest of the house, and a couple of things for the kids, and it was all about $360!

I love Ikea and MARK!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Lest you all begin to believe I am freakishly single-minded, I thought I'd post about the OTHER projects that I've spent time on this week. The creation of my art room has resulted in changes to my office, and I had a big wall to deal with over the bed, where a bookcase used to be. So I decided to finally hang some of my artwork:

In the center is a numbers collage made from tags, envelopes and stencils. On the left and bottom right are altered cabinet card photos I did in a class with Sylvia Luna at Art Unraveled. Here are a couple of close-ups of those fun little pieces, which I finally found frames for at 40% this week.

At the top right is a sampler mosaic I also did at Art Unraveled, in a class with Jill MacKay.

The guy at the bottom right was a lot of fun to create.

I also made a bulletin board as a going away to college gift for my neice, who leaves next week for UCSB. I'll give it to her at a party tomorrow night. She's doing her dorm room in black and white and hot pink, so I painted the frame and glued buttons on and stamped a bit on the cork. The buttons in the middle of the cork are glued onto flat-head tacks, so she can use them to post photos of her friends and other memerobilia.

Next up is decorating an envelope for an ephemera swap that must be in the mail by tomorrow. And at some point I might get motivated to dust my house (still fighting the ash) and clean the bathrooms. Ugh.