Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Playing with Art History

Q: What do you get when you combine a tissue box with graffiti artist Banksy in a kid's room?

A: Playful lessons in art history and keeping tidy. 
It's all about scale and location.



1. Download Pdf (above link) and print out. Cut out image of just the maid and the lifted "veil" including empty "negative" spaces around her.  Make sure you use a sharp blade for a clean cut, but DO NOT perforate the cut out from the rest of the paper just yet. (I'll explain.)

2. It's much easier to apply glue to the back of the image before releasing it from the rest of the page. The broomstick is quite small and thin and could easily break off or get smeared with glue on the front side, if not done carefully.

3. Place your image along the bottom edge.

Difficulty Level (1-10 scale) : 4 *
* Cutting and applying glue accounts for the #4 difficulty level, if you aren't accustomed to using an Xacto blade or neatly gluing fine bits of paper.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Early Spring Morning Goodness

One hour ahead . . . one step closer to Spring.

Still a bit dark out, but no better way to start the morning off than with peach blossoms, Sandbox pastries, a cup of coffee and some homegrown artworks [mattress springs a gift from a neighboring apt complex dumpster, blue period paintings by the wunderkind, "totem" by Bret G. Hansen]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween: Bald Hill Cemetery Cakes

Squared-out bundt cake holes make great freshly dug graves.

Insomnia makes you bake cakes at 4:30am.

Halloween spirit nearly trumps my love of Christmas spirit, now that the kiddo is around to keep things lively.  Here is an easy decorated vegan recipe for your next halloween party.

  • Simple and Quick Organic Vegan cake recipe. I use 1/2 the sugar.  [HERE]
  • Wooden Toothpicks and long Skewers
  • Cardboard
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Mini Bundt Cake Pans (optional)

 1. While the cake is baking, cut out grave stones and signage in corrugated cardboard with the wavy internal bits in a vertical orientation (I'll explain why later). Decorate as desired. 

 2. Insert toothpicks into one of the corrugated carboard's "channels". This keeps the toothpicks straight without gluing/taping. Then place on desired location on your cakes.

Crime Scene

 3. For added fun, I cut out a little mini knife and added a little pool of blood with a few drops of food coloring.

Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY Kids Craft Table

With the kiddo now in school full-time, I found the mini-me art table at my studio was languishing, unloved and unused, so I brought it home and tricked it out a little. This post is a quick and easy IKEAhack recipe for how to "build" your own kiddie art table.


  • (1) Ikea LÄTT  table and chair set 
  • (1) Ikea MÅLA paper holder + paper 
  • (2) Ikea EKBY STÖDIS shelf brackets 
  • (1) Ikea BEKVÄM spice rack 
  • (3-4) jars or cans that fit the spice rack
  • (4) 1" screws
  • (2) 3/8" screws
  • (2) 7/8" screws 
  • Screwdriver 
  • tape measure (or pencil and paper for eyeballing)
TOTAL COST: $36.96 + tax 
Compared to the $100 - $450 models currently being sold, it's a relative bargain. 

TOTAL TIME: 1-2 hours 
. . . For full assembly and attachment, not including your trip to IKEA

1. Attach Brackets 
Once all your pieces are assembled . . . you'll find that the paper holder snuggly hugs the short side of the table. I decided to line up the tabletop with the tray on the paper holder. For a cleaner look, line up the table with the paper holder base legs. Hold it up to the height you need to make either the tray or the paper holder legs flush with the tabletop. Make a mark underneath the holder on each table leg. This will serve as the registration mark for the top of the brackets. Using the 1" screws (top holes) and 3/8" screws (lower holes), secure the two brackets (which also happen to be the perfect width) onto the legs.

 Note the placement of the bracket and
how the tray (and not the leg base)
lines up with the tabletop on my table.

2. Attach paper holder Place the paper holder on top of the brackets, flush to the side of the table. You'll notice that the brackets are slightly longer than the paper holder. I pulled the outer tray slightly forward to meet the end of the bracket so it would look more purposeful. Now take the 3/8" screws and secure the outer tray to the bracket, being careful not to pierce through to the other side. Then take the 7/8" screws and secure the inner tray to bracket, again being mindful not to pierce through.

I pulled the outer tray forward a little to line up
with the end of the bracket which was a little long.

3. Attach spice rack On the other side, center the spice rack (I eyeballed it) and make a light pencil mark on the table above the center point of both left and right bars. Measure (roughly) 1.5" down from the pencil mark. My mark was slightly above the vertical center of the table crossbar.

Note the rack isn't flush to the table top. There is a bolt
from the table blocking where the screw should
go, so I decided to lower the nail hole slightly.

I used Ikea Godmorgon plexi-boxes, but
mason jars or tin cans work just as well.

Happy kid crafting!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

End of Summer ~ End of an Era

Last night in Italy. Dinner's view on the terrazza in San Pancrazio

Somehow the summer came and went, and so did I to Italy and back. It was a wonderful yet bittersweet month spent with longtime mentors and old friends (like family). An amazing workshop on creative thinking, helping my mentors (sadly) pack and move from a villa and studio that holds a special place in my heart and memory (for the last 21 years) and moving onward to new, no-less-spectacular digs. Truly an end to a most amazing and heartfelt era and the ushering in of new beginnings.

What remains . . .
when all is said and done and packed away

Il Granaio (lo studio + Kiki e Piero) . . .  we will miss you.

Old to New Spaces

The glorious play of light and shadows on the new space.

Hello, Poppiano! I look forward to knowing you better.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome to the Weekend

   Peonies have arrived at the farmer's market! 
                                                 And it finally feels like Spring.

I felt compelled to whip out the springy linens, the prosecco and Lambec, bake some banana walnut bread, poach some eggs, wilt some kale and just enjoy the morning before the day gets away from me.

Recipe for Banana Walnut Bread [HERE]

Butterfly Effect

We found a beautiful dead butterfly on our weekly hike with friends. It'd been sitting on the kitchen window sill the last few weeks until I decided to finally do something with it this morning.

I made a simple Terra-scape with some things that were around the house and put it in my bathroom.  {Think I might tinker with it a little more when I get another free moment.}

  * Bell jar
  * Driftwood
  * Lichen branch
  * Butterfly

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the 20th century. Best known for his homage to the square.

Today a visual tribute to the man and his work on his 124th Birthday!

SF MoMa's Albers Cheese and Crackers. Now available at the Cafe.

Peace Industries Felted Wool Rugs

Costume National Fall 2011 Collection

Michelle Prazak's Painting: Vertical Transparency 1

Vintage '60s Industrial Metal Pop Art Cube Geometric Sculptures

Les Ailes Noires (Hanging Rack) by +tongtong

Sources 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Blush of Spring

Spring in the Cumberbatch step.
Love that touch of brilliant pink.

While searching the intertubes for the 
return of Sherlock Holmes this season, 
it seems the blush of spring has made an appearance. 

Sources: 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 ::  6 :: 7

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bringing a Bit of the Outdoors In

Indoor Succulents!

My daughter picked out the
little pink flowered one. 

I always thought succulents were only bright sun outdoor plants, but on a visit last week to my favorite nursery, Flora Grubb, I found out there are such things as indoor succulents (or at least ones that don't require as much sun to thrive). They were having a sale so I couldn't resist bringing back a few goodies, especially since I found a sweet little ceramic pot at a discount chain store and the perfect spot in the sun for it in my daughter's room.

Due to rain I put off potting them until today. I had a little pocket of time and once finished, snuck it into her room without so much as a peep during naptime.

10 minutes later. . .

A quick pick-me-up of creative energy and greenery to add to my day.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When Art and Food come out to Play

The SF MoMA introduces some splashy new edible works.
Images via SFMoMA Facebook

: : : :

Mark Rothko Apricot Butter
and Blueberry Jam on Toast

Recipe for Tomato Soup

Donald Judd Tomato Soup + Saffron Buttermilk Cracker

The making of Damian Hirst Lemon Velvet Cake

Isn't it great when Art and Food come out and Play!