Thursday, July 30, 2015


…..filled with so much love and the joy of friendship.  A ‘Thank You’ tea given by dear Amy, to celebrate everyone who treated me on my birthday that turned out to be a true celebration of love and friendship. We were greeted by celestial music from Karina Ward, harpist extraordinaire! Oh my……how exquisitely lovely!

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 Nikka can you believe this?  I can’t…..It’s just too wondrous!!!

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 Nikka’s beautiful dress that she got for the occasion.  How perfect!  So very girlie and lovely for a tea party!!!

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 I want you to know that besides creating the beautiful floral arrangements, Amy made every delicacy you see…….

IMG 1968……except for the macaroons…..The ‘savory bites’ in the front of this photo were sooooo good I had three!

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 I was told this was my ‘special’ cup!

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Here are the ‘savory bites’ again….IMG 1977

 The sandwiches on the tiered tray were amazing.  Amy had cut out little bread hearts that went in the center of each bread slice….Wish I had a better photo to show you.

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 The glasses with the berries were for water and the ice cubes had blueberries frozen inside…imagine!

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 Eileen was ready for a proper ‘tea’ with her English Garden Hat!

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 Awwwww……so happy!  Sandie Girl, Miss Judith and Lizzie!

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 Lets hear it for the tea!  Flowering tea buds open when placed in hot water.  Jasmine was my favorite.

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Perfectly lovely!IMG 2028

Amy even made a delicious Trifle…..IMG 2038

 Lisa and Amy are entranced listening to Karina’s sublime harp playing.

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 At this point, Lisa got sooooo inspired she danced!

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Beautiful flowers were everywhere.  The peonies were extraordinary!IMG 1973

 When guests were leaving, Amy presented each with a charming ceramic teapot filled with beautiful flowers.

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  How did I not get a good photo of dear Lynne Sims???

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Here’s Eileen’s Strawberry Teapot!  Perfect for her!!!IMG 2041

 The inside of each Peony was dancing with delight!

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 Can you imagine???….Amy had a customer coming over that afternoon to pick up a large order.  How she did everything is beyond me.

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 Precious Amy and her handsome progeny…Andranik and Marianna with puppy Mia!

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 Just think, I’ve gotten to enjoy these beautiful flowers all week!  A heavenly garden in my home!!!  Amy you created an afternoon I shall never forget…One that will linger in my heart forever!  Words are simply inadequate to thank you.

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 Listening to 'Venus Arising'…..the inspiring CD Karina gave me.  You can order it on her website: or

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 I wish you a world filled with beauty!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


The planting are in and should do well as they’re perfect for shade.  IMG 1803

 Kita seems to approve but then you never know about her.

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 The Rosemary that was in the large white pot got delegated to a smaller patio & I hope it’s happy there.

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 Another Wednesday….another Green Chef.  So far we’ve been delighted.  Everything is very fresh and the recipes are yummy!

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 Love all the little containers….

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 Just a reminder……….

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Vicki makes the most delicious Mango Smoothies.  I told her we should open up a roadside stand!

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 Time to meet Laurie Pie at Americana.  We watched ‘Amy’ which was the saddest movie ….watching someone disintegrate before your eyes.  Such a brilliant talent….Here she is hearing she won the Grammy.

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 Here’s the Pie at the Nordstrom Dior counter tracking down some new cleansing water.

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 I’m not so sold on Bar Verde missing Lauren and Hiro  but it works as we like to shop around in Nordstrom.  I’m my own bartender mixing Campari with sparkling water, lime and lots of ice.  I make two drinks compared to a bartenders one.

IMG 1874These tacos are still good.

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 The next day I was off to Encino to get my Global Entry Pass.  The appointment was at ProTravel but somehow I wound up at the Army Reserve.

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Woman in distress…Go Army and help her!!!IMG 1877

 It’s embarrassing that Miss Judith, Eileen and Ralph all found their way with no difficulty.

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 Needing to drown my sorrows in a Smoothie I headed off to Bloomingdales where this model told me I was already on the 2nd floor.  Maybe this is how I got lost in the first place.

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 Mission accomplished…..beautiful pillowcases at 70% off and they’d be sent to me when the sale would actually start.

Moving on I had business to attend to downtown the next day…..not my favorite drive….

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 It was nice to come home to this yummy cod from the Green Chef.  Vicki is really getting into it!

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Love time with Lisa and decided to try a Selfie….What do you call a Selfie when there’s two people???IMG 1932

 Dr. Moradian takes such good care of our tootsies…..or is that footsies???

IMG 1935Class day and Sandie Girl needed to verify the perfume selection she got for lovely friend Julie’s B-day.  All is well.  This is correct.

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 New student John did splendidly.  He really pays attention & even read my book.

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 I’m still working on the moon….

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 ……..while having fun painting Koi/Carp!

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 Saturday night it was a birthday celebration for an old friend…...

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 Just to show you how ‘old’….This is what Jean and Rick looked like when I first met them!

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 Happy Birthday Rick!

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 And Happy Everyday to you!

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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.