Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Postcard Design

One thing I really love about the work I do is that it gives me the opportunity to work on all kinds of different and creative projects.

I spent the day with my friend Andrew today. Andrew is the guest curator for an exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum called Raggedy Ann and Friends: The Art of Johnny Gruelle.

Andrew and I first met in 1988 when he co-curated an exhibit for Raggedy Ann's 70th Birthday at the Oakland Museum. I was only 18 at the time, and he was the first Raggedy Ann collector (besides myself, of course) that I had ever met. His wonderful exhibit really had an affect on me. We became friends when I moved to San Francisco in 1995.

I'm very excited to see how this show turns out. Andrew has so much knowledge, and so many resources. (not to mention an incredible collection of his own) I'm also happy to share that I will be loaning a few of my own art pieces to the show: I have an original Johnny Gruelle pen & ink drawing (my pride and joy of my collection) as well as an animation layout drawing, and a couple original animation cels.

Andrew asked if I would be interested to volunteer my skills/time to design the promotional postcard for the exhibit. Of course, I told him I would be delighted to help out!

We were both very pleased with the final product.

BTW, in case you didn't know, I collect Raggedy Ann dolls and related art.

Monday, May 24, 2004


Maybe there's something about moving-in to a new place that makes one feel the need to be hyper-organized.

I suppose it all starts before the move. You realize how much crap you have and go into heavy-duty purge-mode. You sort through boxes and boxes of stuff that you've had stored wasy in the attic or basement, and realize, "Hey. I haven't used any of this for the past 2 years since I moved here." Which is the sure-sign, of course. purge Donate it. Give it away. get rid of it.

When you move into your new space, it's like a once-in-a-lifetime-chance to organize all of your stuff: do it now, before you've been there too long, you fall into a different pattern, and it simply becomes too late to organize.

So, that's where we are. Let's organize everything NOW, so it'll be DONE!

Our best example or this is the media closet in the TV room. We built a shelf in there to hold all of the TV/Music components: the Media PC, the receiver, the VCR (because I still like to watch an old old guard tape now and then) and the internet hub. It all fits really nicely on the shelf. We put up a smaller shelf on the side wall that holds the Xbox console. Above the Xbox, we installed little hooks on the bottom of the big shelf to hang the Xbox controllers. (see where this is all going?) On Saturday, we took a trip to The Container Store to buy a shelving system for all of our DVDs and Xbox games. I really love the elpha shelving system that they have there. In Dick's old house, we built an entire closet system out of it. But I digress....

The shelving system worked like a charm. I'm very pleased. We have all of the Xbox games on the top shelf (yes, we have a lot), and another 2 1/2 shelves filled with our DVDs. Plenty of room to grow...

Today, we went to Target and bought CD storage binders for our CD collections. We figured this would be a good solution to decreasing the amount of space needed for all of our CDs. This makes even more sense when you factor in the fact that we've already "ripped" most of our CDs onto our computers, so we won't need to access the actual CDs very often.

Turns out I have approx 150 CDs. It's a good amount, but nowhere near the size of most of my friend's music collections. I was able to fit all of my CDs into less than 1 1/2 binders. (We bought the kind that can hold the CD as well as the cover art, so it takes up twice the space.) Dick bought another 5 binders for his music - I think he has somewhere near 500 CDs, plus he's organizing them by category. Anyhow, all of this organization means we can store all of this stuff in significantly less space than it used to take. In fact, all of our CD binders can fit on one shelf in the media closet.

We have hundreds of empty jewel cases now that we'll be recycling. Anyone need any? I've already packed a bunch to give my my Mom and Sister. I'm also keeping some for future CD-burning projects.

I LOVE being organized. The closet is just so cool!

Blog Drought

it's odd, but it happens.

it's not that there's not stuff going on, but I'm not in the blog-spirit-of-things for some reason.
It'll pass.

stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Oops, I did it again...

... going for an entire week without blogging, that is. :)
(What, did you think I was trying to be Brittany Spears? ;))

Lots to catch up on, but I want to make sure to blog about this:

Ever wonder who reads your blog?

it doesn't really cross my mind too often. As far as I'm concerned, I figured it was just me, keeping a little online journal that I can look back on one day. Sure, I have some friends who keep up on my happenings by tuning in once-in-a-while, but I really did think that was it.

...until this past week...

in the last 5 days, I've received 3 separate emails from people (strangers) who have found my blog. They were searching for something very specific, which I mentioned in my blog, and found me.

Two people came across my mentioning of my favorite art instructor, Lee Tecang at DeAnza College in Cupertino. You can read the original post here. Both people wrote to inform me that Mr. Tacang is retiring after this quarter. good for him! that was really nice of them to write me. I'll try to visit him before he leaves. I hope he remembers me! It's been almost 10 years!

I also got an email from a person responding to this old post. The guy who emailed me was an old member of the Freelancers Color Guard in 1983 & 1984. He was doing a search on the web to try to find some old friends, and found my site instead. That was pretty wild, and obscure. We've exchanged a couple of emails now. I have copies of video tapes of the shows he was in. He says he hasn't ever seen them in 20 years. I'm going to try to find them, and make copies for him. :)

Finally, I got an email yesterday via What a surprise! I'm not a "member" in the sense that I don't pay any money to access most of their information, but I do have my information in their database in case someone feels the need to search me out. But really, what are the chances of that happening? Well, it did! :) A color guard student from long ago (1990) found me and sent an email. She was a student of mine during my early years of teaching at Saratoga High School. It was so nice to hear from her.

I love the web.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"Little by Little"

"Little by little". That's the mantra that our general contractor kept saying as he worked on our house. He did a ton of work - crown molding, picture hanging molding, window casings, a corner cabinet, and let's not forget the hole in the wall.

Dick and I adopted the same mantra whenever we talked about what needed to be done with the new house.

Yikes! It's been an entire week since my last post. What can I say? It's been a busy week.

here's a brief update:

everything did go according to schedule! :)
The painters finished the bulk of the work Tuesday evening. They pulled up all of the paper covering the floors before they left. They did come back to finish painting the kitchen cabinets on Wednesday morning.

The cleaners came Wednesday morning! that was very exciting! We really did try to keep the upstairs clean while all of the work was going on downstairs, but it was pretty difficult with all of the dust. They finished by Noon, and we had a nice, clean house - upstairs and downstairs! :) We also had a plumber come in on Wednesday afternoon to help us with some gas caps under the light fixtures. We needed to get these installed before we could hang up our new fixtures. Dick also finished the downstairs bathroom - he installed our new medicine cabinet, and the two wall sconces. (he had down all of the electrical wiring for this on Sunday. What a handy guy! The bathroom is gorgeous!

Our new gi-normous refrigerator was delivered on Thursday morning! It's fabulous. The delivery guys were amazing - they took my refrigerator down from the upstairs unit, and hauled it away. They also moved the (newish) refrigerator from the downstairs unit up to the upstairs unit, then installed the new refrigerator downstairs. Lots of work, and they did it in about 20 minutes. The painters came back Thursday afternoon to put install and paint the last two ceiling medallions. Dick and I were then able to install the new fixture in the kitchen. We also had a locksmith come in on Thursday to change out the rest of the old locks. We spent the evening bringing down some of the boxes that we've had upstais in storage, and bringing most of the kitchen stuff downstairs to the new kitchen.

The movers came back Friday morning to deliver the rest of the furniture that we've had in storage for the last month. (it was used to stage Dick's house while it was on the market). My wonderful Mom also came and spent her day off helping us unpack and arrange the furniture. It was a very productive day! We spent the evening hooking up the Plasma TV in the TV room, and hooking up all of the components. I have to say - the TV room is just brilliant. Really. The set-up is amazing. Our general contractor also came back and spent the day finishing up the built-in corner cabinet in the dining room. That room had previously been used as a bedroom, and the original cabinet (like I have upstairs) must have been removed decades ago. Our contractor build a new one based on the design of the original piece upstairs. It turned out really well.

My Mom spent the night (in our new and improved guest bedroom!) and my Dad drove in Saturday morning. We spent most of the day finishing unpacking, and completing projects. We also took a quick field trip to Berkeley - everyone piled into the MINI! We had to go pick up our light fixture rods which had been shortened. (we brought all of Dick's alabaster light fixtures from his old house to the new one. We needed to get the rods resized since my ceilings are 1 1/2 feet lower than in his old house) After we came home, Dick and my Dad were able to hang up one of the alabaster fixtures in the TV room. It looks wonderful. Jim and Cynde came over, and we grilled steaks, and pork chops. Our first dinner party! We were able to eat in the dining room for the first time - really nice.

We took most of the day off on Sunday. Sunday was Mother's Day, so I drove down to Milpitas to spent the day with my Mom and family. My parents hosted a BBQ for our entire family - both sets of Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and nieces! About 20 people in all I think. Happy Mother's Day!

The painters came back yesterday and started to work on restaining the front doors. They are also working on fixing some dry-rot on the back of the house. The last project that they'll be doing is to paint the corner cabinet in the dining room.

So that brings us to today. The painters are still here working on all of the projects mentioned above. I also ordered new blinds today. They should be here in 2-3 weeks. That's exciting.

We were also (just) offered tickets to the Giant's game tonight! Woo Hoo! I'm very excited about that. Should be a blast. I haven't been to a game in a couple of years. It'll probably be pretty cold, so we'll have to bundle up.

So that's the scoop. I'll post pictures soon. I'm going to work on making a little website of the house now. I thought it would be a neat way to show everything.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Almost There!!!!!!!!!

Hurray! We're almost done!

The painters will be finishing the bulk of their work today. There will be some small projects (refinishing the front doors, and painting a built in cabinet) but the major stuff will be done today! They just started to pull the paper in the front room. It looks SO GREAT! It's always so nice when they first pull up the paper covering the floor, and you can see the beautiful newly finished floors against the freshly painted walls. Gorgeous.

Here's this week's schedule of events:

Today, Tuesday, May 4th
Painters finish & clean up

Wednesday, May 5th
Cleaners come and CLEAN both upstairs, and the newly finished downstairs! Boy, do we need some help! We've been trying to keep upstairs clean, but it's been nearly impossible with all of the dust coming up from the work downstairs.

After the downstairs is clean, I'll be able to start moving some things from the storage room/kitchen downstairs.

Thursday, May 6th
Our new, Gi-normous refrigerator is delivered. Woo Hoo!!!

Friday, May 7th
The movers return! they'll be bringing the rest of our furniture that had been at Dick's house, and has been kept in storage for the past 4 weeks. We'll also be moving some of the furniture/boxes that we've been storing upstairs to the downstairs unit. The "storage room" (upstairs) will finally become the guest room/Raggedy Ann room! :)

My Mom will be coming up on Friday (her day off - isn't she the greatest?) to help us with the move and reorganization. She'll spend the night, and my Dad will be coming up Saturday to help us finish.


Monday, May 03, 2004

Clean MINI

I'm embarrassed to say that after 3 months of owning my MINI, I've never actually hand washed her before today! My excuse - we moved to our new neighborhood soon after I got her, and I don't have a driveway here. I've brought her in to the touchless carwash in SF, but it costs around $18.00/wash! Pricey! Yesterday, I was inspired when I saw a neighbor washing her car with a couple buckets of water. I thought, "I can do that!". So I ventured out to Costco today, but one of their handy "car wash kits" for $19 (because I literally had NO supplies) came home, parked MINI as close as I could to my house, brought out the hose from the backyard as far as it would possibly reach, and voila: washed my baby by hand! Good news: my hose can almost extend far enough - I'll look into getting a new, longer hose, and that should do the trick. More good news: she seems to be holding up well here - no major dings or scratches (knock wood). Such a fun car to clean - it's great, because MINIs are so small!

Saturday, May 01, 2004

mini MINIs!

Check out my growing collection of mini MINIs! (I didn't realize I actually had a collection until today.) My friend, Andrew defines a collection as "Having 3 or more of any one thing".

So, here they are:

I have the 1:28 that my dealer gave me upon delivery,
The 1:36 that I bought off ebay way back in September right after I gave my deposit,
The 1:43 radio controlled MINI that Dick's sister just sent me for my birthday,
.... and now the little 1" version that I just got today! My Auntie Lani and Uncle Rob just returned from Germany. They went to drive their new BMW around, and found this at the BMW store! Isn't it cute? And yes, it races along the floor when you pull it back a bit!