Monday, October 31, 2011


Mama (witch), Me (zombieish person) and Sky.  Vince is behind Sky but you can't really see him....
 Today was my mama's favorite holiday....she loved it even more than Christmas.  We lived in a HUGE Spanish house on 2 acres, set back from the street with 100 foot redwood  and pine trees in the front.  It was smack in the middle of San Jose, Calif ( the bird avenue house). Every Halloween my mom would create elaborate decorations-   from full sized coffin boxes on the terrace ....with herself inside as a living witches and ghosts hung from the trees that swept down and over unsuspecting trick or treaters. Homegrown pumpkins and cornstalks were everywhere, We always had the MOST trick or treaters - those that dared to risk ringing the front doorbell, that is.  Back then, after all the little ones had finished trick or treating, my mom would pack all the big kids into the station wagon and head down town for the annual (and LEGAL, then) parade of cars/kids/parents that cruised down the main boulevard and threw water balloons, tomatoes and eggs at each other. ... (and one year someone managed to throw a pumpkin pie through the window i didn't close fast enough that landed in my lap).... yes.....  we really did that......  It's hard to explain, but there were unwritten rules that everybody knew and it was all very friendly and lots of fun.  ...
I don't have a single picture of the house decorated....maybe no one took any....?

...and above are pics of a FABULOUS Halloween card my friend Joanne sent me.  She made it, and it is hilarious!  THANK you Joanne!
here are a few more pics from Halloween's of the past:

clockwise...Me, Lance, Vince, Brian (neighbor...devil), Sky

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This is a beautiful mushroom I found growing on the side of the shop.  I looked it up and it's called an Amethyst Deceiver.  It isn't poisonous, but it doesn't taste good....
 Isn't it beautiful!

..and this is a hawaiian tree was climbing up a's HUGE!  You never touch them without gloves because they carry killer bacteria.....

MORE Incredible Halloween Art - Large Matchbox Swap

Recently I participated in a Matchbox Halloween Swap.....everyone was assigned a partner and you exchanged decorated and filled large matchboxes, one-on-one.
My partner was the extraordinary Kathy McElroy.
This is inside the box- all of the goodies were covered in autumn leaves...
Opening the box...
...deeper into the box...
leaves removed!
carved poppy

skelly ornament
..and I'm not done yet...there's more!
Haunted Halloween Spoon
...spoon hanging close-up
...and this is the matchbox!
the other outside 
the fabulous shadowbox created inside, and other goodies
a little closer
All my loot!
Thank you Kathy! usual, you are way too generous - 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I made a few pewter pieces- a penguin, and elephant and a gothic cross.....

and some copper wings

...and yes, this really is the fire patina....they are about 4 1/2 inches tall, perfect for a doll - the copper drills easily.  The front is etched with the words "breathe"   and "step left"...the backside of the wings are etched with feathers...
...I also finished up a Halloween Large matchbox Swap project, but I can't show that until my partner receives it, as well as 25 christmas matchboxes, for a swap.
This is a solid copper fold formed, etched glass eyeball bracelet cuff......I am really pleased with how it turned out.

This particular eyeball bracelet is already taken, but i'll be making another for the shop...unless I put it in a local art shop that has agreed to display some of my work.....(fingers crossed)

Monday, October 17, 2011


Today i received a medium flat rate box in the mail...from my sister Gigi.  For no reason....just BECAUSE!
I racked my brain, trying to remember if she'd told me about something she was sending.  HMMMM....maybe some of that fabulous jam St. Mark had made?
Imagine the grin that came over my face when i opened the box and found this:
...which is probably what she found first and KNEW she needed to send to ME.  We grew up on these cookies.  They were a special treat...only I remember them being much BIGGER and they had slivered almonds on the bottom.....
but what to send to cushion the cookies?......  why cool halloween goodies, that's what!

I love Halloween....and Gigi sent me 2 ice cube trays of  bones and fingers....big and little SPIDERS  (I collect spiders- I have them everywhere and needed some new tenants)  and
skelly dolls!
...blonde barbie type
a brunette dude
Two (yes TWO) creepy skelly dolls!
AM I LUCKY, or what?
Thank you , Gina Lopita Gustoff (her other name)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Eco Print Dyeing

Today my talented fiber artist friend Lorri Scott from Los Gatos came over to my house for a play date.  Lorri makes gorgeous dyed ribbons, scarves and clothing and lately she has been experimenting with eco friendly dyes. Lorri wanted to test various flowers, leaves, greenery and bark that are native to Kauai, and see what colors they might produce (or not!) on silk, linen and cotton - and i got to be her accomplice!
We tested hibiscus, eucalyptus (2 kinds), African tulip, guava leaves, black eyed susans, plumeria, bougainvillea, ferns...and get the picture.....  and also rusty well as copper.
 It was a blast!  Very exciting - i had so wanted to learn this!
We started the day with a long walk where we "gathered and gabbed" all around the acres called Common Ground and their garden ........and later we returned to Common Ground Restaurant for a scrumptious organic veggie lunch.  Here are a few photos of Lorri at work.   Next week Lorri returns, and I will post pics of the finished  items..

a larger piece...wrapping....
rust eco dye
I, of course, did some dying and experimenting too!  Right now I have a linen dress Lorri found at the thrift store, sitting in a vat of soda ash (from my fire pit) that I will eco print tomorrow.  The soda ash serves as the mordant.
Lorri also left me all the ingredients to experiment and play with more of the eco dyeing process.
Fun! Fun! Fun!
 I can't believe I didn't take any pics of our walk or lunch or us together - with faces...well next time!