Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Allied Artist Guild in Menlo Park

A visit to the Allied Artist Guild in the rain. What a hidden gem! I had been there almost 20 years ago, oh that made me feel ancient... 20 years ago during my first year here in California, I stopped by
the Allied Artist Guild in Menlo Park. I don't think I knew how to appreciate such a beautiful
garden then. 
I stopped by with a friend who had reminded me of this
beautiful place. The magnolia and cherry trees were blooming. Mandarins
hanging on the citrus trees. 

Artists rent working/retail space and show case their work here.
We stopped by a very cute pottery place and charming floral shop/boutique.

Found this treasure at Royal Bloom a shop worth coming back to! The hair pins are made
by Joan O'Neill a local artist. 

Next time we will stop by the Blue Garden Cafe for lunch and hopefully sit outside 
in the sun.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

knitting fever

My little sister has a itty bitty baby boy in her belly :) so I will soon be an auntie!!!
She just came to visit, all the way from Norway. So nice to see her and her belly!
We spent the day together in San Francisco yesterday. Breakfast at Roses, a favorite, 
maternity clothes shopping on Sacramento St, and a stop at the yarn shop. We picked
out yarn for a baby bunting suit. I can't wait to get started. Fun, fun, fun.

I had also started knitting a little baby bunny a few days ago.

I started out without a pattern and wrote down what I was doing each round
so I could recreate the bunny one more time if I wanted to. Have a feeling my little miss
C would like one too when she sees it. Got tired of writing down the patten after the head was
in place, so I stopped. Hope to be able to see what I have done later on.. might be hard.

 Bunny face emerging

 Miss C saw the bunny and claim that this toy would not be so much fun for tante Rikkes's baby boy, it might be better for bigger kids like her... Just a suggestion I guess... :) 
Might have to make two like I had suspected.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

homemade crayons - fun craft!

Today I sorted through the kids art supply closet. It was full of paint, paper glue and glitter. 
There were two large ziplock bags full of crayons. My little guys are 8 and 11 and don't use their crayons anymore. I joked with the kids and told them that we could melt them into one large crayon. O thought that was a great idea.

We heated the oven to 250 F.

Peeled off the paper on the crayons. It takes a while to remove the labels from that many crayons!

Broke the crayons into small pieces.

I pulled all my fun cake molds out. Crossed my fingers and hoped they would not get ruined from the  melted wax.

 We placed the trays in the oven and checked on them every five minutes. The colors melted and floated into each other. Very cool. 
It did not take long before we had lots of different crayons in fun shapes.

The gingerbread boys looks just like chocolate figures. O almost tricked his dad into tasting one.

The crayons popped nicely out of the molds, thank goodness. With exception of the silicone mold they all  look like they survived our project.
Great craft for everyone! I had just as much fun as the kids while making these. 
I think our new crayons would make great little gifts for the kids to give to their little friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Filoli Garden

Little Miss C has been wanting to go to Filoli Gardens for a while. She has been there a few times before. Every time we go we say we will return with our sketch books. C wants to sit in the garden 
and draw or paint the flowers around her. 
So today even though the weather was really cold 
we took off to Filoli with our sketch books in my bag.

Visiting the doves in the Garden House

Time for sketching, Miss C sitting outside the Garden House facing the Walled Garden.
We sat down for 30 min then had to move around, it was very cold!
Lunch in the cafe helped.

The wintery gardens looks lovely. No flowers and leaves on the trees, just
geometric hedges planted in strict straight lines, the old crabapple
trees contrast them beautifully.

One of the many gates and archways.
An abundance of Daffodils are planted in pots through the property. 

Tulips framing the doorways. 

This flower arrangement framing the main entrance to the house 
had an incredibly sweet and intense scent. 

 We walked through the main house and imagined what it would have been like to visit it in the 1920's,
to be present at a ball or visit in the drawing room. Miss C would have liked to explore the library and I would have loved to see the beautifully dressed guests dance in the ball room.

Love the olive grove by the visitor center, very different from the formal gardens on the other side of the house.

This was a great outing, perfect for a little artist in the making.
She has plans for more sketches, so we will be back soon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

secret garden

I made this chick after my morning walk the other day, before
the rain started. ( We have had rain for a few days now)

There were so many orange and yellow flowers in the 
neighborhood I walked through so I thought I would make something
with similar colors.

mixed media figure made with cotton, paper and paint

I often walk down Edgewood rd at the border of San Carlos and Redwood City.
The houses are large and the lots are park like. 
It is a beautiful neighborhood.

One of the properties intrigues me. The front garden is incredibly overgrown with
huge trees and shrubs that are weighing the poor wooden fence down. You can 
barely see parts of the roof of the house from the street.

My first thought was that the property has been neglected for a long time, until 
I looked closer at the trees and bushes. They are all very exotic and

I am now sure there is a horticulturist living behind the fence. There are sometimes wooden ladders leaning on the trees, work is being done. Plants are being moved.
Every now and then when the gate is not properly closed you can see
parts of the garden. It looks incredible, an abundance of plants and
a fairytale house. 

I have imagined the person living there. He looks a bit like Monet when he
was old. He has a long white beard. 

Love this beautiful birdhouse hanging outside the fence. 

I would love to sit in this secret garden and maybe sketch or just read a book. 
I hope I one day run into the person that lives behind the
fence, just so see if I was right. If he has a long
white beard :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ms Easter B in the making

Ms Easter B came to life Friday morning.

Made of spun cotton, wire and crepe paper.
Coated with a layer of acrylic paint 
and of course some glitter. 

Inspired by flowers on my morning walk

Thursday, March 8, 2012

working on new spun cotton birds

I have been working on some birds to hang in the window.
They sit  on a branch with leaves. All made using cotton batting 
and floral wire.

I had some difficulties balancing the two little birds. They tip over and seem to want to hang upside down. I will need to reconstruct how they hang. In this picture the wall behind them hold them up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

fly away little butterfly

We almost stepped on this confused butterfly on our walk to school this
Maybe he woke up too early. Or maybe it was too cold.
He flipped back and forth but did not fly.
We tried to move him over on a leaf but had no luck.

We decided to not be late for school and hurried off. All of a sudden Miss C realized that someone else
would step on him and crush him. We quickly turned and ran back just to find that it had flown away.. :)

Thank goodness!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Great family hiking at Wunderlich Park in Woodside

My kids often resist when we suggest to head out for a hike. We always end up having the best time ever, but they seem to have forgot about that the moment we suggest a new outing.

My friends suggested for us to join her and her kids for a hike that way the little guys has friends to
hike with. Great idea! There were no objections at all this time. Off we went to Wunderlich Park in Woodside. We have so many  great parks here in Northern California and so many of them are right in our own neighborhood. We had never been to Wunderlich and we absolutely loved it.

Right above the parking you will find the beautiful historic Folger Estate Stable. The kids had a great time watching at the handsome horses. We met a lady who brought her horse out so the kids could see it better and also take a picture with her. Very sweet of her! The girls were so excited.
The stable has a small museum that is open on  Saturdays from 10-4.

Below the stables has lots of trails. We started out on the Alambique trail until it met the Loop Trail that took us back towards the stable and the parking area.
The terrain is a little hilly but easy even for the 8 year old group. The whole round took about 1 hour.
You walk through redwood forest which made me feel like I was far away from home.

A giant burned out tree trunk. Hard to imagine how large the tree must have been many many years ago.

Mossy fence on our way back towards the stables.

I love this beautiful old stone wall next to the stables.

The trail does not allow dogs unfortunately. It is only for hiking and riding. You can make arrangements
to go on a trail ride,  take riding lessons and have a birthday party. 

We had a great time and will be back!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Japan Town in San Francisco - a great outing with the kids

My little guys woke up really early this morning,  for a Saturday it seems early to start the day at 7 am. Funny how I can not get them out of bed on a school day while on the weekend they are up and about at the crack of dawn...

So, by 9 we were dressed and ready to start the day. I gave them the choice of heading to the tide pool in Half Moon Bay or Japan Town in San Francisco. Japan Town won, yay!  (just what I wished for :)

Since we got there a little while before the shops opened, it left us time to swing by Fillmore St for a cup of coffee. Double yay!! 

The kids loved Japan Town, all the fun sweets, the toys and cute little things. A great place for a family outing. 

banana white chocolate mochi :)

Miss C bought a surprise package at the book store. It had some very
cute forest animals in it.

I was hoping the kids would be up for sushi or Benihana for lunch, but
no they wanted to head out. So we did, we will be back for 
sushi another day though. I think the little guys were a bit overwhelmed with
all the new impressions.

On the way out of town we stopped in Hayes Valley to buy candy from Miette
my favorite little bakery/candy shop. And we managed
to have lunch next door before we 
drove home to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in the sun.

We will return to Japan Town in April for the Cherry Blossom Festival

Friday, March 2, 2012

beach day

 in Half Moon Bay.
Dash acted like a little puppy!
Running in circles around me.
Charged into the water.

A very happy dog

a stop at the yarn store at Main St

We might just have to come back to the beach this weekend( with my knitting in the bag :)

Happy Friday!