Friday, June 4, 2010


I spent about a week in my home town last month and had a wonderful time - I was flown there by Mary Engelbreit and Company to be a guest teacher at their workshop extravaganza. Everything they did was top notch - the venue was at the venerable Chase Park Plaza hotel by Forest Park, the classes were packed full of women who were very happy to be there, engrossed in learning how to make everything from glitter chandeliers (me!) to antique French jewelry (Kaari Meng)!

One of my teaching projects involved making a Victorian "moss lady" (pictured). Each table was given all the elements to create this whimsical figure, including piles of different moss species, and lots of antique trim from Tinsel Trading, and then unleashed to create from their own imagination. The variety was astounding!

I also took a couple of days off to visit my old haunt in south St. Louis, Cherokee St., which is an ancient neighborhood of old brick buildings, still filled with antique shops.

One of the shops looked just like it did 35 years ag0,
including the old hound dog sitting watch behind the counter....the ceiling was of old pressed tin, knick knacks gathered dust and the light filtered in and looked like a memory from long ago.

I left with a collection of antique file boxes, an old engraving, and a collection of old milk bottle caps!


For weeks I wandered the streets of Manhattan looking for a decent latte - I have been spoiled forever by Peet's coffee in San Franscisco - and I finally found the best cafe for a REAL latte, and a fantastic array of handmade French cookies. It is called MACARON, and it is on 36th street at 7th ave. It is a tiny hole in the wall with only a few seats, within a block of Macy's and the garment district. It is cozy, the people who run the place are charming, and it is a perfect place to sit back and drop out of your day for a moment and reflect on life's pleasures!


I continue to split my time and my life between my home in Port Costa and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, physically and mentally, Manhattan! The pace of business in New York leaves my head spinning and there is endless input everywhere, every moment. But I do get away from it all and just walking the streets of New York is like a smorgasbord for the creative eye. My beautiful daughter Monica came for a week and after lattes at my favorite cafe (called Macaron) we walked about 35 blocks from 35th to 70th and took pictures all along the way. Here are just a few of the gorgeous windows we saw!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mr. Kitty

I know Christmas is long gone, but I wanted to post one memorable picture of Mr. Kitty and my Christmas tree, which is always set up across from my bed so I can see it when I wake up in the morning.

Light Fairies

I had a dream several months ago. I was in some ruined and bombed out building, the windows blasted out and the doors all missing...there had been some general catastrophe that had left everything in shambles. Strangers wandered about the wreckage. I was oddly calm and collected, and stepped outside and sat down on what was left of brick steps and looked up across the street. Up high on the wall across the steet was a shimmering reflection of light coming from nowhere, a refraction that danced itself into some changable, magical shape - and this formless ephemeral beautiful thing was some kind of free gift that left me with a wordless joy in spite of the emptiness of the world I was wandering in.

In my house in Port Costa, I sometimes catch a light on the walls in the morning, reflected from the windows across the street, and they are glimmerings of the same light fairies, and for a moment I remember how I felt in the dream, perfectly happy to live in a world emptied of meaningless stuff, and left with just the dancing of the light.

Meet Me in St. Louis!

This spring, I am heading back to my home town, St. Louis, to do a workshop with Mary Engelbreit! From April 29 to May 2, I will be teaching classes at her artistic conference. Mary and I both grew up in the outskirts of St. Louis, and so I am happy to be visiting and teaching back in my original territory.
If anyone out there is interested, please visit the Mary Engelbreit website and click on the Workshop panel to get more details. You can also email me personally with questions at I look forward to teaching and schmoozing with many new and old friends!
Here is me, in case you need to spot me in St. Louis!