Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Mix ... beauty and happiness

March was a big mix!

Monday, I drove up to the area around U.C.Santa Barbara. I took pictures, for studies to work from, (for the P.S.G.C. pastel show in May.) These, below, were taken with my iPhone. It was a gorgeous day, as you can see! I hung around until sunset at the beach. Oh, how I love the sound of the ocean! Somehow, it's so much easier to be mindful and present with that sound of crashing waves on the sand. It's very grounding.

I will be sharing more of my photos from that day later, since I took a couple hundred photos on my little Canon PowerShot! Don't worry, I will do some "extreme editing!" Anyway, the pics should be fun to work from and I got quite a variety.

Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued,
is always beyond our grasp,
but which if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.

~Horace Friess

My friend Karen and I talked for weeks about going out for a cocktail, before it actually happened. We finally had a cocktail! Yes, singular. One cocktail (each) and it was delicious (Ketel One Vodka, with fresh squeezed lemon and raspberries!) but before the second one came, I realized one was enough. I don't know if was the drink or the crazy combination of hors d'oeurves we ordered, but all of the sudden my solar plexus felt like it was on fire. Good gravy! How old am I? Hopefully, our sweet server enjoyed the second one on her break.

Early in the month, my niece Rachel came down to L.A. and spent the night. Her one request was to go to OH WOW gallery on La Cienega to see the Terry Richardson show, TERRYWOOD. Yes, the long legs in red belong to Rachel.

This, below, was a huge photo of paparazzi and as you walk by, flashes go off, sound and all.

The In n' Out Burgers were my favorite. Very iconic for Southern California. As you can see, they weren't kidding around blowing up these pictures. They were huge.

What we call the secret of happiness
is no more a secret
than our willingness to choose life.

~Leo Buscaglia

One thing I couldn't miss in March was my nephew's 1st grade play, American Heroes.

Each child represented an American, from history or modern times, who either changed things, made a difference in some way, or represented some positive message. There was everyone from Mia Hamm and Helen Keller, to Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea, (and even Steve Jobs!) They all sang a song about heroes and they either said a quote or told a story of the person they represented.

My nephew had the honor of representing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His friend Tara represented Rosa Parks.

When Ben stood up, he said "I speak for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who dreamed of a world where all people were judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. He encouraged all people to seek changes in unjust laws by peaceful means."

Oy, I know I am partial, but look at that face!

I also finally photographed my vision board that I put together after the New Year, thanks to some inspiration from lovely Turid at A House and a Garden. (If you haven't checked out her beautiful blog, you should!)

Then there was a bit of babysitting ...

Seriously. Love that kid.

When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person,
you know that a man can have no vocation
but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him ...

~Albert Camus

As March is coming to a close, I am off to a "healing workshop" with Christel Nani. I will let you know how it goes! Hope you all had a great month and I have to say, I am really looking forward to April!

Lots of love, blessings and light your way!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seeing Red

From the website Sensational Color ...

Increases enthusiasm
Stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate
Encourages action and confidence
Provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety
  • Red is the highest arc of the rainbow.
  • Red is the first color you lose sight of at twilight.
  • The longest wavelength of light is red.
Red is the color fo the base or root chakra. This chakra is located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to the universal energies.
First chakra, base of the spine. Groundedness, trust, belonging, lessens feelings of mistrust.
Gemstones that will aid the Root chakra include lodestone, ruby, garnet, smokey quartz, obsidian, hematite and onyx.

All photos were taken on my little Canon point and shoot
Art piece by Malaika Zweig

NYC 2007

Twin 1
Acrylic Ink on Polypropylene
by Malaika Zweig
(I love this piece! She's amazing!)

The whole world, as we experience it visually,
comes to us through the mystic realm of color.
Our entire being is nourished by it.
This mystic quality of color should likewise find expression in a work of art.

~Hans Hofmann

NYC 2007

Geranium Ojai 2010

NYC 2007

The Good Luck Bar
Los Angeles 2008

You can spend a lifetime studying the interaction of colours,
and painting how red can dance,
so when the viewer 'gets it'
and says 'Aha!"
their way of seeing is tranformed.

~Gayle Konantz

Do you have a favorite color? When I was little it was "rust" (I know, weird for a little girl) then it was maroon, then purple, then I went for color combinations like pink and green (what can I say, it was the 80s!) But honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite because when I see beautiful turquoise pottery I think, it's definitely turquoise. Deep purple velvet has me rethinking that, so does cobalt blue glass and the color combination of hot pink and orange, especially in flowers!

The one color I can never seem to resist though is red. If I see a sweater in any other color, it might be nice but I can resist. But in red? Pull out the credit card, it's time to shop! Red cars, red shoes, lipstick, fingernails, sofas, walls, dinnerware ... it doesn't seem to matter. (Of course, who doesn't love a red Valentino dress?) Christmastime, as you can imagine, I am beside myself! Red balls? Red beads on a tree? LOVE it! Maybe it's the fire sign thing. ;)

Here I am almost four years ago, in red, with my friend Dawn. I think it's the last time I was in a skirt that short, by the way!

Do you have certain colors that get you? That you just absolutely love? A color that makes your heart sing? And what does it mean?

Remember this song? I loved this song in high school!
O.K. I guess I just dated myself! ;)

I love love love this song from 1977!!
Good ol' Elvis. (Costello, that is.)
Who was was cooler than him? AND he wore glasses.

Here is his Sesame Street version of the song!
30 years later!!!
So funny! I love it!

What's in a name? I guess they must have named the band after his hair?
Anyway ... Here is another song released in 80s
Simply Red

I am as curious about color
as one would be visiting a new country,
because I have never concentrated so closely
on color expression.

Up to now I have waited at the gates of the temple.

~Henri Matisse

Hope you are having a beautiful, colorful week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ojai Raptor Center ... Fly away little bird ...

The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith,
for to have faith is to have wings.

~ J.M. Barrie
The Little White Bird

Occasionally, the Ojai Raptor Center has an open house, which I always seem to miss. BUT, this year I made it! I left my pastel class one Saturday, an hour early, to head over there with Wendy from class. Turns out it's only about a 5 minute drive from my parents' house.

Apparently, they had at least 1,500 people that day and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new large flight aviary. The next open house is November 10, 2012, if you're in the neighborhood!

Volunteers who regularly handle the educational birds where there to introduce the "resident raptors." If at all possible, birds that are brought there, are rehabilitated and set free. That is the goal. The educational birds are either physically unable to be released or were imprinted on humans and are unable to fend for themselves in the wild.

Barred Owl

American Kestrel

How cute is Bob? Unfortunately, someone else thought so too and he was imprinted on a human (someone hand-fed him and tried to turn him loose) and then he was unable to care for himself. He is non-releasable and now an educational bird.

The Raptor Center is located on what was an old honor farm in Ojai.

Bald Eagle

Hitch was born in 2005 but has had head trauma and wing fractures that did not heal properly.
He's been at the Ojai Raptor Center since 2008.

Golden Eagle

Shytan sadly is unable to fly because he severed his right wing on a power line, flying after his prey.They don't know how old he is because he came to them as an adult, but he has been in captivity for 20 years. (These birds can live up to 50 years in captivity.) The trainer said he still tries to fly sometimes ... not remembering his wing isn't there. It must be like a human amputation where you have a phantom limb? Anyway, it is really sad but he is so majestic and is a great ambassador for conservation through people experiencing these amazing birds.

They built their new flight aviary so that it curves and will strengthen their wings for their in-flight turns.

On the way out of the property...

I pulled these You Tube videos from the Raptor Center's YouTube Channel.

"Avalon" gets chattier and chattier throughout the video below.
She is a female bald eagle and arrived in August of 2011.
For her full story, click here.

They also have a barn owl box on USTREAM that will hatch sometime this spring. You can see the mamma in there preparing her nest. Here is the USTREAM LINK

I wrote about the Ojai Raptor Center in a previous post, after meeting some of the birds at Ojai Day in October of 2010. To check out those photos, you can see that post here. I had an actual camera that day, not just my phone!

Hope you all have an amazing week. Please enjoy this song, which I love love love, by the indigo girls! Warning, it's a little sad but really beautiful.

O birds, your perfect virtues bring,
Your song, your forms, your rhythmic flight,
Your manners for your heart’s delight,
Nestle in hedge, or barn, or roof,
Here weave your chamber weather-proof,
Forgive our harms, and condescend
To man, as to a lubber friend,
And, generous, teach his awkward race
Courage, and probity, and grace!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson
May-Day and other Pieces

Blessings and light for a beautiful Spring Equinox!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The "Pink Moment": Patience and a piece of Heaven

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.

Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough,

to pay attention to the story.

~Linda Hogan

from wikipedia ...

"Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles(24 km) inland from the Pacific coast.

Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a "Pink Moment" occur as the sun is setting, when the fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley, over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet (910 m) in elevation."

So... on a day when the sky is clear enough (and there are many in Ojai!) just wait patiently for the perfect moment, when the mountains are all aglow in pinks and purples, and you will experience a little slice of heaven. - Even my six year old nephew likes to point out "the pink moment" in all it's glory.

In these shots, I had taken a friend form Los Angeles on a walk, along the horse trail near my parents' place, just above the dry riverbed for a great view of it.

almost ...

here it comes ...

Everything comes gradually and at it's appointed hour.


Amazing right? Hope you enjoyed the pink moment! It's a beautiful way to start a beautiful evening.

Have a beautiful weekend!