Tuesday, December 8, 2015


How true this always is with Sandie Girl and how delighted I was to see her completed Christmas Stocking lovingly made for Bella.   

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 The stitchery is so creative and utterly amazing and the love and care that went into this is awesome.  Little details like the tail on the squirrel being raised up and all the other creative details….Bravo Sandie!!! 

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 Chef Vicki prepared us a delicious Green Chef lunch….

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 So yummy I  was half way thru before I took this photo...

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 Kudos and thanks  to the Chef!

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Met The Pie at Bloomies for some lunch and Christmas shopping….Check out their shopping bag.  I’m taking the advice and seeing who’s been ‘naughty’ and who's ‘nice’.

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Back again to Bloomies for more Christmas shopping. Of course it’s always joyful to see beautiful Mary and I had a smoothie to celebrate! Surprised?

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 Fortified it was time to do some Christmas shopping at Bloomies.  I love Sedic….she’s about the most loving, joyful soul on planet earth and it’s a treat for me to be able to purchase something at her 'Jo Malone' section in Bloomies.

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 Mom seems to love the ‘Habit' burgers best of all and I’m addicted to their lettuce wraps!  Anything with fries works for Nikka!  Note:  The Caesar Salad with Chicken is good too!

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 My happy place?  Of course it’s ‘Pirch' and what better than a cooking class there with Sweet Amy! See the bacon???

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 The white asparagus brought back memories of Italy where they celebrate it’s season…..

IMG 7514There was a whole lot of chopping and dicing goin’ on!

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 Amy wants to get a Wood Stone Oven……So I do too!

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 Oh my…the perfect tomatoes…..They would go into the blender with assorted onion, herbs and such for the lasagna…. 

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 …. and the Pork Chorizo that Amy browned.  

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That would be layered with the Béchamel that I made along with lots and lots of grated cheese.IMG 7525

 Oh sooooo cheesy good!

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These fried won tons were so delicious I can’t even begin to describe them...

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Amy made the squash and I got to pour a ton of Maple Syrup on top!IMG 7561

We hated to eat and run but it was time for the 'Lincoln Center at the Movies' at the AMC.  The Nutcracker is an all time favorite at Christmas and this was a film of the New York City Ballet's production with choreography by George Balanchine.  Of course everyone loves Tchaikovsky! Here’s the famous grand pas de deux!

IMG 7596Time for desert.  Back to Pirch we went where John and Jiro (correct….his name is actually Gerald) were whipping up some mighty wicked deserts.

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Miniature pound cakes topped with melted Brie & Chocolate Sauce.  How bad could it be?

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Jiro was an artiste at decorating the Gingerbread Men…..

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Amy and I shared one.  Ooooooo noooooooo Mr. Bill!!!IMG 7636

This little guy wondered where his cookie was…..

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O.K. Peeps.  That’s about all the joy I can take in for one week!

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Remember to take a time out for the fun stuff!


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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.