Tuesday, June 30, 2015


…as Amy, Nikka and I started last Saturday with a Center Theatre Group Season Preview Event... Brunch at the Montage Hotel in the Marquesa Ballroom.

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When the day starts out like this you know you’re in for a ton of fun!IMG 0963

Always wonderful to see Natalie!

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 Thank you Jennifer for the beautiful centerpiece which found a perfect home in my studio.

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A stop at the Montage Gift Shop to see Lissi Kaplan’s treasures…..

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 We ventured forth from the Montage without a plan.  I saw two gals with bags from Taschen, one of my happy places, so off we went….headed down Beverly Blvd.  Our first stop…Mitchel Gold + Bob Williams where Amy fell in love with this chair and said she would marry anyone who bought it!  Price with tax, over $7,000.00.  Of course she’s already married but when a chair like this comes along….Linda W. said “She looks like a beautiful bird in a cage."

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 This classic chevy was in immaculate condition.  Beautiful to see!

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Of course I have to take a photo of every puppy I see. Here we have another classic….this time, a Beverly Hills doggie!
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 Here’s where the journey really got interesting….We met David Rafaeli, owner of the Templar Diamond and had great fun talking with him.

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To top it off, David gave each of us a beautiful bracelet to match our outfits!

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 It was right outside of Sephora on Beverly Blvd. and happened to be their opening day.  To celebrate they had several hearty young men take people around on their 'vehicles’.

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 Of course we had to do it so up Beverly we went and then circled around Rodeo passing Hermes where we waved and shouted hello to Reza.  Funny part of that was he was inside at the time!

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 I’m so glad I thought to be dropped off at Taschen….saved us a lot of walking!

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Thank you Amy for this beautiful book of my favorite city.  Well, next to Kyoto…and of course New York!IMG 1070

 And thank you for this acrylic book stand that I immediately put to good use. It’s soooo cool!

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Heading back we had to stop in at  ‘Monnalisa’, THE shop for exquisite dresses and such for little girls.  Everything is created in Italy with magnificent designs, fabrics and prices to match!IMG 1037

 ‘My Dream is to Fly’ is seen on this precious dress.

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 Amy fell in love with this one…..even tried it on…it almost fit!

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 Oh well.  Forgot where we met Charlie….

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 But this pooch was dining at Bar Bouchon…our final stop.

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 Nikka had a prosciutto & brie panini…..(you can see her bracelet…it’s similar to mine).

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 Amy & I opted for the ahi tuna….

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 The real reason we love Bar Bouchon?  Foie Gras de Canard!!!  Oh my….can’t begin to describe it’s lusciousness!

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May your week be luscious!

Monday, June 29, 2015

IT's FATHER'S DAY and LOVE is in the AIR......

Let’s start off with love and hugs for Sir Charles….IMG 0812

But wait….there’s more……Otto and Vicki….our love at first sight couple!  How cute are they!!!

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Mom loves Otto too...

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Enough of this love stuff…What’s for dinner???  Why Gourmet 88 of course!

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O.K., time to open presents….Chanel ‘Platinum Egoiste’ from mom….

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Cards too…..

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IMG 0796Awwwwww…………….

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Thanks for the wine Otto….it was wonderful!

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I’m so glad I went to that wine tasting so I knew what glasses to bring out.  Our favorite Baccarat of course!IMG 0831

Kita felt she was ignored long enough and wanted to join the lovebirds!

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Little did puppy dream she would be off to the vets for her yearly shots in the A.M.  It helped somewhat to be greated by her loverboy……or should I say one of...

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No surprise at the vets that puppy garners new fans….

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She was such a good girl that a trip to Centinella for treats was called for...

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Meanwhile, my weekly stash from Amazon had arrived and added to the clutter….how funny is this!!!

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My first shipment from ‘Try the World’ arrived from Argentina.  Hmmmmm….not so sure about this one.

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Beauty and domesticity were called for on Tuesday.  First stop…’Cinema Secrets’ in Toluca Lake.  I think I just got more stuff to add to the clutter.

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Now this was a good thing….delicious cherries from Trader Joe’s!

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The fountain on the patio gives me so much pleasure so when the motor burned out I had to call Francisco Luna to get his guys out here.  Francisco is amazing….He started working for us many years ago with a crew doing heavy garden clean up & tree topping and thru the years studied to get a contractors license.  I’m so proud of him and call him for all the little things that continually need to be done.  (I try and make a list and bunch them together.)

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This has a five year warranty so all I have to do is remember where I put it!

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The idea to plant the Phalaenopsis  along the walkway to the studio turned out to be a great one as they have all bloomed!

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 John-David, Lizzie’s awesome son has an amazing project that he plans on incorporating an enso into.  Interesting….

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 John-David too a picture of my glasses on one of his practice papers so I did too!

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 Special thanks to Family Service Agency for this beautiful plant.  As you can see, I had just the spot for it!

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 O.K., dinner with Tomiko that night and I promised….no photos!

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 We met at Recess Eatery on Brand and as always, I opted for the Ahi Tuna.  Soooo good!

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 Then time to be a little bad…..Mascarpone with Raspberry Sorbet and fresh fruit.

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You remember last week we had a little leak….I thought a new faucet and disposal would fix it….

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Oh no….soooo wrong.  Mr. Genius Plumber discovers something that could be serious….terrible….. horrible…..disastrous if he didn’t fix it. IMG 0914

 Yes, that hole he created had some pipe in it that had been DISCONNECTED in 2000 when the kitchen was remodeled. I spoke to the owner of the company three times and listened to his explanation and am no closer to understanding than at the beginning.

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 This is looking at the area from outside the house.

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 Here is the new pipe that will do about the same thing the old one did….NOTHING! I told the fellow doing the work that he looked like a very happy man.  Oh yes indeed, he was thrilled that I had accepted his plan to save me from possible mayhem. With that I announced I was going to lunch and wished him a delightful time!

IMG 0919Thank you Trudy for the rescue….

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 ….and for the delicious birthday treat at Katsuya!  It was great fun catching up and hearing all about Trudy’s grand adventure in Switzerland and Germany. Kita was the happiest as Trudy had been away five weeks and puppy gained 10 pounds!

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 Back to the outside of the house.  This was last Thursday and today they put another layer on…possibly finished by Wednesday.  I’m suspecting the plumber needs to go to Hawaii.

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 Oh well, I picked up dinner at Cheesecake for mom and Nikka.  It was good to get back in the routine of that.

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 Berry Cherry Plums from Trader Joe’s are a sweet note to end on!  Try not to eat them all at once!

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Just wait until you hear about Saturday!



There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.