Sunday, April 26, 2015


Each year, the Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills opens up the estate and garden areas as a major fund raiser and grand event.

This year, on Saturday May 16th, in addition to Robinson Gardens, the following estates/gardens will be available for viewing:

William Randolph Hearst’s mini-castle, 'The Beverly House’.

Hernando Courtwrights Gable & Wyant ‘Hernando’s Hideaway'.

An Italiante villa with three waterfalls and a placid lake with manicured hedges that include a maze.

The Best Exotic Bel Air Estate with Koi ponds, Balinese sun decks, terraced vegetable gardens, an art studio & a hillside amphitheater!

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I am thrilled beyond measure to tell you that our dear Amy of Menuah Flowers has been chosen to be the florist for the guest bedroom and bath.  She will be working with Grande Maison de Blanc who will be doing the bedding, towels and other products.  This past Thursday I went with Amy for a
 second meeting with Katherine and Donald from Grande Maison de Blanc to discuss co-ordinating everything. Hmmmmmm thinks Donald….as does Amy.

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Big, big discussion…..

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What about over there????

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Amy will create a very tall piece for this dresser.  The lamp along with the small items will be going as well as the two nesting tables on either side.

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This charming design will be for the duvet cover…...

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Amy has an amazing surprise for this tub!!!!IMG 7855

The view from one of the guest bedroom windows….

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From the other window….

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It will be interesting to see who does the dining room & what they do…..

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Amy loved all the silver pieces…..

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When we remember that Mrs. Robinson was THE Robinson from Robinson’s Department Stores it’s not surprising she had so many treasures.  Amy was fascinated with one particular pattern….

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And Tim graciously opened another case in the pantry to find the matching cup and saucer….

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The docents had a wonderful feast laid out for us but we had another foodie adventure in mind….

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Amy said these chickens were unhappy…..I suspect she’s right!

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Don’t you just love this?

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….and these nasturtiums…. Note to self:  Plant some!

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It’s a delight to be with Amy as she finds beauty and joy in everything!

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For more information & to purchase tickets please go to

Time to party!  Where else but Bouchon’s where we are becoming regulars.

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I know, you’re thinking ‘tomato soup???’ but theirs is the best and we get it every time!

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Of course you’re aware of my addiction to foie gras?  It’s like crack!

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I forget what this was but loved the little sweet peppers.  Amy brought over a bag of them later and I demolished it!

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We were bad.  Maybe not too bad as we shared….

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Of course there has to be a doggie in any post….

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What a perfect day….I wish the same for you!

Friday, April 24, 2015


At the Ahmanson….these two were sooooo cute with their Cinderella and Prince Charming crowns……..IMG 7617

 … Tomiko & I decided we needed crowns too!  Not so sure about the feather boa…..

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 Great fun when the fairy Godmother flew about.  You really had to pay attention and not blink or you’d miss the more than quick changes into Princess and Godmother gowns...

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 Intermission and time for tea and cookies in the Founders Room…..

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Let’s hear it for the Prince…..IMG 7638

 Everyone loves a happy ending…...

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 Fun with one of the vendors…..

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 Time to walk about the Music Center…..

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We almost played in the fountains and then thought better of it and decided to be grownups!

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 Tomiko went with me to see the damage at mom’s condo and then, hungry, we stopped at Recess Eatery on Brand.

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 We were bad…...

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 The next day Devir from Remodeling R Us came by… many decisions….

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Inspector General at mom’s! It’s a hot mess!!!

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Good thing Gourmet 88 delivers….no time to cook….

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 Kita got a bath…...

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Mom has settled into her new digs at the Embassy Suites.  Of course she has new fans…..Otto and Veronica.

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 If you have dinner during the happy hour you can fill up on lots of very fresh fruit and veggies…...

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 But save room for the lamb chops as they’re good!

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 Lunch and great fun with Judy in the studio…...

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 Hubby Randy is to the left and his brother Jeff to the right.  These are two of the nicest fellows on the planet and we laughed so much I wanted them to stay over!

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What I’m reading now.  Love Donald Brooks, columnist for the New York Times. In his latest book he says we should concentrate more on being the type of person we want to be spoken of at our eulogy and less on our resume.IMG 7710

 I think I’ll just start blogging about Kita.  She’s a source of endless joy and fascination!  Here she is, ready to go on patrol...

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 Saturday when Nikka and I were out & about in Toluca Lake we ran into firemen raising money for MuscularDystrophy.  I told them the police always hate it when I say we love the firemen! (They loved that!)

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 Time for a business lunch at Fig and Olive in Toluca Lake and yes, we actually got some work done!

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 Who wants to know?

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The sun is shinning….make some hay!IMG 7663Hope you get to play this weekend!


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.