Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time to break in a new pair of walking shoes!

With the first training walk of the season approaching soon, it's time to break in a new pair of walking shoes!

I've had my last pair since April of last year. Since then, I've put hundreds of miles on them in great places as Italy, North Carolina, New York, Boston, Dubai, Japan, London, and of course, San Francisco. These shoes have walked me through some amazing places, and also got me through last year's training and the first Immediate Impact Breast Cancer Walk.

I've been wearing the Ecco Biom Walking Shoes for the last four years, even since I started training for multi-day breast cancer walks. They obviously work really well for me, and last a long time. Unfortunately, Ecco discontinued the first style that they made (updating it, of course) last year, or the year before. Luckily, I found them on deep discount on early last year, and ordered the last 2 pair in my size. I should be set for the next couple of years still. :)

I'm heading out on my short, 2-1/2 mile neighborhood walk now to break in the new pair.

Out with the old, in with the new

comparing the soles of the shoes. That's the only part of the shoe that is really showing wear. They've held up really well, all things considered. I'm pretty hard on my shoes!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Starting a New Painting: Warming Hut

I started working on my next painting today. Actually, I had started last week at Dean's, but only got so far as toning the canvas and sketching the image. Today was the first time that I applied any paint to it. :)

The subject is a place that's near and dear to my heart, and it's a pretty place to boot. It's the Warming Hut Park Store and Cafe in Crissy Field. It is the location from where most of my team's training walks start, and was the inspiration for the team name, The Warming Hut Hotties. The team name was retired last year, after it's tenth year, and after having raised over $3 Million towards multiple breast cancer walks.

I always thought the view of and from the Warming Hut is one of the most beautiful in the City. You just can't beat it - whether it's a clear and sunny day, or even if it's cold and foggy. It's a classic San Francisco setting. The vantage point of this image is from the last stretch of a training walk, as we walk back to the Warming Hut. I've considered painting an image from this spot for several months now, so I'm happy to be starting it now.

I painted from home today, a first since the hat painting last year! My painting instructor, Dean, will be away traveling (and teaching)for the next several weeks. I think this is good timing, as I've been meaning to start painting at home again, to try to get into a rhythm here on my own.

Today was "fill the canvas day", meaning, I just wanted to fill the canvas with color to get the basic elements and shapes up. I actually took the time to mix and match my paint colors before I started today, which I haven't done on "fill the canvas day" in a while (if at all!). I think the result is good. It looks like it's further along after the first session than some of my other recent paintings. It's just a thin layer of paint so far, just to get some color in right places.

There's still a long way to go, but it's a start!

The canvas, toned, with the rough image drawn in with pencil

My palette of mixed paints ready to go!

end of session 1

Platelet donation - Apparently, it's my version of "Cheers"

I went in for a platelet donation again today. It's been since April 1st since I last went, which is a little long for me.

It's funny - I've noticed that last few times that I've been that everyone who works there knows me now. I walk in the door, and the person who checks me in at the front desk says, "Hi, Trina!". The person who takes me back to have my credentials checked also greeted me, and the people working the machinery also address me by name.

Now, I realize that I go several times a year, and I've been donating for several years now. However, the staff at the center changes all the time (they rotate between all the different blood centers in the area). It used to be that a different person would help me every time. There are certainly some people who I don't recognize (and vice-versa, of course) but I think that so many of them have helped me in that past, that most of them know me by now.

Plus, it turns out that I'm well-known for my platelet count. Again, my donation lasted only about an hour, and I was able to donate 3 units of platelets. I'm pretty sure the average amount is one unit, and it usually takes over 1.5 hours. I'm a platelet producing machine. :)

Anyhow, it's nice to go somewhere where people know you, and are always friendly.

Plus, I get a cookie at the end. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ridiculously Inexpensive (and high-quality) Produce!

Dick and I were down in the Richmond district late this morning and had an early lunch on Clement Street.

While we were there, we took some time to walk up and down the street a bit to check out the various stores and restaurants.

Clement Street is considered a second Chinatown in SF. There are plenty of great Asian markets and restaurants. Somehow, it never really registered with me that it's pretty close, much easier to get in and out of then Chinatown, and most of the prices seem to be even cheaper.

We noticed that a lot of the fresh produce at several of the markets looked really good, and that the prices were great. (The same is true on Chinatown, but as I said, is too hard to get in and out of, and forget parking.)

We went into a market and bought the following:

A HUGE head of cauliflower
A bag of cherries
2 Asian Pears
Two yellow onion
A bunch of bananas
A cantaloupe
A bunch of cilantro.

Total price at checkout: $8.80.

I've got to plan on buying my produce out here more often!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Perfect Tomato

I promise I'll stop posting photos of tomatoes from our garden soon, but I couldn't let this one go by without being recognized.

Behold: The perfect tomato!

Seriously, it's gorgeous.

I put it next to an apple to give a sense of size. It's quite large.

I wish I could adequately describe the smell. It has that amazing, just picked from the garden smell. :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Congratulations, Graham!!

This morning/early afternoon, Graham graduated from San Francisco State University with his Masters Degree in Psychological Research! Congratulations, Graham!!

My sister, parents and I went to the ceremony today at the school. We were told that it was the largest graduating class in the history of the school, with over 8,700 graduates! Needless to say, it was a VERY full stadium.

Congratulations, Graham! So proud of you, and happy for you! Onwards to your next adventure!

Graham the Graduate

a panoramic shot of the entire crowd and stadium

Trina & Mom

Dad and Tiff

There's Graham, right after he received his degree! He's nearly in the center of the photo, just to the left. Tall guy, wearing a hot pink lei

Graham and Tiff!

Tiff, Graham, Mom and Dad

The Graduate in front of the Psychology building

another great shot of Graham and Tiff

Friday, May 24, 2013

Trina Chow Design Announcement

Well, wow. I just sent "the" email to my clients. After 16 years of working in web design, I have decided to close my business at the end of June. I've been thinking long and hard about this for the last year, and have decided that it's time. It's been a great, long journey, and I'm so proud of the work that I have done, and grateful for the relationships that I have built with clients over the years. It's time to close one chapter, and open another. (and yes, that new chapter will involve more painting.) I've realized over the last year how much painting fills my soul, and makes me happy. I'm so grateful to my husband for being so supportive through all of this. Exciting times!


Dear clients of Trina Chow Design,

After much thought and consideration, I have made the difficult decision to bring my web design business to a close. It's been a wonderful sixteen year journey, but I have decided that it's time to focus my time on other interests. I have always appreciated the great clients I have had over the years, and the business relationships that we have built. I thank you all for using my services throughout the years, and for putting your trust in me. It has been my great pleasure to work with you.

I plan to officially end my business at the end of June. Please let me know if you have any other minor updates to your site that you will need to have made before I leave.

Thank you all again for your business over the years. I have a great deal of pride for all of the work I've done with all of you over the last sixteen years, and wish you and your businesses all the best.

With gratitude,

First Tomato Harvest

(And they smell amazing, too!)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chinatown Painting: Session 6 - Completed

"Chinatown Treasure Hunt"
oil on canvas
24" x 24"

So, it turned out that I did have a little more work to do on my Chinatown painting after all! It was smart to take a couple of days away from it, then look at it again with fresh eyes.

Based on the photos of the painting that I had shown Dick, he thought that the whole painting still needed to be a bit darker. I didn't disagree, and mentioned that to Dean. We decided to put a glaze over most of the darker sections of the painting, using Transparent Brown Oxide, which happens to be the same color that I used to glaze over the Woodward's Garden Painting. I think it worked well, and really made a significant difference. It made the whole mood of the painting darker, and more mysterious. :)

I also darkened the figure in the foreground by putting a black glaze over him.

The last bit of touches were adding a little bit of bright white to the bright lights in the painting. Just a little dab made a big difference.

Finally, I signed it, and framed it. Dean had ordered a frame from his framer, Frances, Tuesday afternoon. Miraculously, he had it made and delivered yesterday (Wednesday)! There's still wet paint on the painting, so I haven't had a chance to varnish it yet.

Anyhow, always happy to have another painting finished. Happy with how it turned out.

a view from the side, which shows the colors a little more accurately.


As always, when I finish a painting, here are the progress photos from the last 6 sessions:

original photo
(photo by Miguel Ulloa)

session one

session two

session three

session four

session five

session six - complete

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tomato Progress

Remember the tomato plants I bought from Costco in early April? They seem to be doing very well, and our first tomato of the season is just about ready to be picked!

I did end up potting them, after hearing from a few friends last month. They seem happy!

Yay for homegrown tomatoes!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do you know this bird?

I saw this bird walking on the street on the 200 block of Eureka this morning.

It doesn't look like any of the wild birds that I've seen around. Made me think maybe it belongs to someone? Or, is it wild, and I just haven't seen any like it before?

I tried approaching it slowly, but it ran away from me. (Did not fly.)

Haven't seen any other bird like it before. Is anyone familiar with it?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chinatown Painting: Session 5. Maybe it's done?

I'm not positive, but I think I'm done with the Chinatown oil painting! I painting this afternoon with Dean, but will go again for another session on Thursday. Dean suggested that we wait until I see it on Thursday to decide whether it's done, or if I want to do any other little changes to it then.

Regardless, it's mostly done. I'm pretty sure. Any changes from this point would be very minor.
But, until it's signed, I'll refrain from saying that it's completely finished. :)

We did a lot on it today. I started by mixing glazes and applying the glazed colors to various parts of the painting. This was done to add a bit more depth and color. I mostly did glazes in yellow ochre, a mixed gray/blue, and burnt umber. I think it unified the colors throughout the entire piece, and made a big difference.

I also worked a bit more on all of the figures, especially the one in the foreground (who needed more detail, but not so much as to be distracting from the rest of the composition). I also cleaned up Dick (the middle figure) and gave him a little more detail. I realized that I had missed his right arm before! oops! :)

I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far. I'm especially happy with the different colors and shades in the alley street itself. I think that effect turned out nicely.

We picked a frame for it, which will be made to size within the next couple of weeks. I think it'll pull the whole thing together, and will really make it look complete.

Once it's "done, done" on Thursday, I'll post more photos of the final product, as well as the progress photos.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lucky Girl

I came home tonight, after having finished my fourth and last night of working at the SF artMRKT, to find Spencer making dinner. So nice!

He made an amazing gazpacho (which Dick helped him with, baked fish, and asparagus.

We finished the meal with a slice of berry pie from Marie Calendars.

It was all so delish, and much appreciated. :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy 82nd Birthday, Grandma Chow!!

Happy 82nd Birthday to my Grandma Chow!!

The entire Chow Clan (minus Uncle Wes, who is on vacation) gathered at one of Grandma's favorite Chinese restaurants in Stockton tonight to celebrate. I think this is the first time so many of us have been together since our wedding, nearly 8 years ago. It was so nice to see some people that we hadn't seen in years, and I know that it made Grandma very happy. :)

Happy Birthday, Grandma!! We all love you so very much.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 San Francisco artMRKT

It's that time of the year again! I'm working at the SF artMRKT for the third year in a row. I'm helping out my friends, Jim and Cynde of Adler and Co. Gallery.

Big Bonus: I have one of my own oil paintings hanging (ie: for Sale!) this year!! VERY exciting!!

The artMRKT is at the Fort Mason Festival Pavillion this year, which is a fantastic venue. We're at booth 101, and will be here Thurs evening through Sunday evening.