Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bright Star Thai Vegan Cuisine

It's Restaurant Review Time!

Went with Dad and son for our 2nd trip to Bright Star Vegan Cuisine in Rancho Cucamonga, California the other day. It was simply scrumptious!!

First off we ordered Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced Coffee. I enjoyed the tea most, although both are decadent treats. Wesley later got the coffee to go, it seemed more sweet in the to-go cup for some reason. He couldn't even finish it.

Remember this restaurant is entirely vegan, so no cream in here!

We ordered the Tempura for our appetizer, featuring potatoes, brocolli, cauliflower, onions and carrots with a maple-syruppy type of dipping sauce.. yum!

The first entre to arrive was the BBQ Chicken. You can never go wrong when ordering fake meat if you choose the "chicken"! This was my favorite, I think of the meal.

The salad we ordered was the High Protein Salad... a gorgeous display of color and taste!

We have a strong craving for the fried rice at any Vegan Asian type of restaurant. You can choose from your choice of fake chicken, beef or fish. We chose the chicken, delish!

Lastly, we ate up the Grilled Beef. Every time I've had fake beef at a restaurant there is a certain mystery spice in it. Not sure just what it is, but it's very enjoyable to the taste buds!

All the food here is wonderful, I highly recommend to you vegetarians/vegans, and also to you meat enjoyers who want to be daring and try some health/karma conscious food!! Just be sure you have some time to spare, they're a little slow in preparing this delicious food. They also tend to smoke the place out a little with their woks a burning. They are on it though, and open the doors up quickly to give it an airing.

Bright Star Thai Vegan Cuisine is located at 9819 #F Foothill Blvd in Rancho Cucamonga, CA..Phone - 909-980-9797

Monday, August 08, 2011

Half Dome Thru the Years - Yosemite Art, part 2

Here's another look at the progressions of my plein air paintings while in Yosemite.

Our tradition from when we first started these journals we have made a point of going to paint Half Dome at sunset. This is why these pieces may be slightly more bright and saturated with color, it's the sunset glow.

Unless stated otherwise, these were painted from the bridge by North Pines campground.


2003 from Sentinel Bridge




2011 - from bridge by North Pines campground... This year we were extra ambitious and not only painted from the usual spot at the bridge by the campgrounds, but in another spot as well....

2011 - view from meadow by Curry Village

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Progression of Yosemite Plein Air Art

I just returned from my trip to Yosemite! I'm most inspired when I'm there! I just want to paint constantly. Always seeing something beautiful everywhere you look can do that to a person.

I've been making our own travel journals for every trip we go on since 2001. There have been 6 trips to Yosemite since then. I've painted many scenes more than once, so I thought I would put them all down to compare from year to year.

My first group of scenes is from the North Pines campground, along the river, looking west, viewing upper Yosemite Falls.

It's interesting to see the progressions.... do you have a favorite?







Friday, April 29, 2011

the lovely creatures of Spring

This year there is a bumper crop of caterpillars. They are everywhere. Not sure what kind this is, the Painted Lady maybe, I really don't know. The extra water this winter maybe the reason. It's sad to see thousands of them in a driveway, with many smashed from the car wheels.

And this is the first ladybug of the season that I saw this year, sitting on my car window. Just saw it 2 days ago.

I love the warm months, and these bugs. Not looking forward to the nasty mosquitos though!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Illustration Friday - Bottled

I did this drawing/watercolor a year or so ago. It was perfect for Illustration Friday's theme of "Bottled". I have neglected doing an IF for far too long. I did work on one last week for "toy", but didn't finish in time. I will get it done I'm sure though.

This is an autobiographical piece for me. I was feeling very bottled for far too long. A couple of years ago I was able to finally break free, much like this genie here. It was a terrific feeling, but I'm sure some think I was going over board! It felt good anyway. I have calmed down quite a bit, and am content in other ways. It's called happiness.

I have prints available in myEtsy Shop.

Art Lesson - Painting - K-1

This year I've done a couple of painting with tempera lessons. First you see the lesson I did with the Kindergarteners. It was a Spring theme. First, I talked about Spring with the kids. I had them give their ideas about Spring. Luckily, one boy brought up butterflies, since this is what I had in mind for my lesson.

I had them draw with pencil first so that they had a large butterfly. I didn't want small butterflies. If they went directly to painting, there would've probably been a lot of little butterflies, and I was hoping to spend some time on these.

I had them mix a little white with red to get pink, since that's a Spring color to me. The same was done with the dark purple to get a lavender color. We also mixed yellow with the dark green to get more of a light, new-leaf green.

When they were done with their butterflies, I wanted them to paint some other Spring things around it, such as leaves, flowers, bugs.... whatever they wanted.

These are some pretty creative little Kindergarteners, ya think??!

Another lesson was given with the 1st graders. One of the California Art Standards for 1st grade is to.... "2.2 Mix secondary colors from primary colors and describe the process." So I wanted to spend some time with that.

They had been learning about weather that week, so I wanted to do some weather pictures. I thought I would first focus on a sun. This would give me a chance to do some paint mixing, yellow and red to make orange. Since I'm a whimsical type of painter, I wanted them to make faces on their suns. I know, not very realistic, but fun anyway!

They went through that first painting very fast, so we did another painting. This time I had them mix green for some grass. I had them paint more of a stormy day, instead of sunny day.

Painting with tempera takes extra time and patience. I give each kid their own palette with the colors I intend for them to use. It's helpful with the little kids to maybe give a couple of dollups of yellow (for instance). One can be just for mixing, and one can stay yellow.

The funny quote of the day was when this little boy was describing his painting. He was going on saying how it was a very powerful type of storm, with lightening, rain and such.... "You know, when God was real."..... HILARIOUS!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Idyllwild goes Idol-Wild

Yes, Idyllwild is bonkers over Casey Abrams! Or I am at least.... well it's true, me, the town and many other non-Idyllwildians, that's for sure. He's so very talented, and now has gotten the one save of the season. I hope he has lots of non local fans. Being from such a small town could hinder someones's chances. But at least the town is passionate about it, and of course his own talent will help, I'm sure.

Tonight is another elimination. After last week, the nerves are on edge!

This is a little drawing from Idyllwid Arts Academy's web site. They are very excited too.

Good lucky Casey!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Etsy Pick O The Week - Ampoids

This week's POW is ampoids. These little upcycled items are just pure genius! Ampoids makes portable amps and speakers for your MP3 player, and also little amps for your electric guitar! All this big sound coming out of a little, recycled Altoid tin box. They are very reasonably priced and how convenient to carry.

"Come on and break free from your headphones! -You know you want to!" says the high tech, creative mind at ampoids.

I especially love these because I have a strong fascination with tins.... round tins, square tins, old tins, new tins, large tins, tiny tins, larger tins to hold the tiny tins. They are just a more attractive way to store my many trinkets and supplies for creating!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Little Story About Perseverance

This is a recent piece of art done by my son. I hope the recent line of events will encourage him to get on his blog and start updating again!........

I've been living in my little mountain town for nearly 23 years. One of the draw backs of this life in the jewel of a forest, is the life for a teenager. K-8 is pretty good with the small community. Everybody knows everyone and keeps an eye out for the kids. The school is wonderful with excellent teachers and a large group of volunteers, myself included. This is how our smARTS Program was developed... with concerned parents getting involved and making more art present in the school It's been a big passion for me for the past 9 years.

My son is now in 8th grade. He's been at the little sheltered school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. What happens after 8th grade in this town? Well the nearest public high school is almost 30 miles down the mountain road, in the not so quaint and neighboring town. When my son started kindergarten, that's when I began my fret over what would happen to him once he hit high school. Not only is this school in another town and a whole other environment, the kids are on the bus before 6 am, sometimes being ridden through terrible weather conditions of ice and snow. It's a lot of time being taken to and from school. Not to mention the very large school where after being in this safe community can be overwhelming for some kids. I do have friends whose kids have attended this large school off the hill. They all insist that it's been a great experience, so long as your kid gets in with the good crowd. I, on the other hand, have hated the thought of my kid so far away on a daily basis, as well as the things I've mentioned.

One of the alternatives to this school is either homeschooling, which definitely has been something I've considered, although I'm really not much into that. I've also actually considered moving. The other option is the extremely expensive private arts academy here in my own little town. This is a very prestigious school with talented students from all around the world who are gifted in all aspects of the arts, both visual and performance. I knew I, in no way, could afford the tuition for this school, it rivals many universities in price. But I had to try.

So the time came, this last February to apply for the art school. My son had to create a portfolio with at least 10 pieces and write an essay. I had to fill out an extensive financial application, write a letter of need, and whine and moan for help (ha ha!). We got the tedious application completed for the February 1st deadline. I bitched and moaned and fretted and worried to my friends and loved ones. I knew my kid had the talent and the excellent grades so that he would be accepted, but the financial part?? I was feeling pretty glum about it. Some kids would be accepted completely with a free scholarship, because one of their parents worked there. Some of these kids, I'm sorry to say, have barely tried to get good grades, or even be creative in anyway, yet they'd get in with a free ride. My kid on the other hand, is very creative, tries very hard in school, really wanted to go to this school, as much as I wanted him to. It just didn't seem fair to me. I felt my kid would be unable to attend, purely because his parents are not well off-financially. Plus, I had heard stories from other locals whose kids applied in the past. They would tell me how the school would give them a partial scholarship, but this still wasn't possible for the parents to handle. Thus their kids were bussed down to the enormous high school down under. It just all seemed impossible to me, and I often sat and worried myself sick over the future.

Two weeks ago was the day that they were to announce to us whether my kid could attend this special school. The email came, late in the day, but on the day it was suppose to happen. My son and I read it together. We both could not believe our eyes as we read the amount of scholarship they were going to give my kid!!! How could this be??? My eyes literally filled with tears. This is not how I've heard of it happening before. I thought at the best I'd be having to beg and plead with them and wheel and deal to get them to give more. No, they gave a very generous amount right off, It was as if it were a miracle! It seemed it was like the perfect storm. My kid had talent, brains, excellent teacher recommendations. His portfolio was superb, I was told. He did it with his own hard work. All this and maybe because of his dad having health problems, and being nearly poverty stricken, all these things lined up and an amazing scholarship was given. All my worries for most of his life were over. I do need to come up with some money to pay his tuition, but it's not the amount I had dreaded. It's a very doable thing now.

My moral of this story is to not give up. Don't let what has happened to other people stop you from trying. Each situation is unique. You just don't know until you try. And most importantly remember that hard work can very well pay off. If you want something bad enough and truly try, good things might actually happen for you!

I'm still an emotional wreck over all of this. And yes, I'm still on the verge of tears when I talk about it. It's a fantastic feeling for sure!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

more pendants

I ordered some more cabachons for my pendants a few weeks ago, and have put a few into my Etsy shop. Little prints of my art work art encased in resin on the antique brass cabs. I also purchased some vintage glass pieces to put onto the necklace with the pendants. They are also made with antique brass chain. Kind of Steampunk lookin.

So far I have the Perplexed Little Flapper.

There's also my older little Martini Cat, (also known as "Roses and Martinis." I'll be adding more as I get them finished and pix taken. Find the jewelry section of my shop here.

This last week while watching American Idol, my friend calls me to say "Is Steven Tyler wearing one of your pendants?" I cracked up! So now I find this pix of him, not from last week, but another night. Not my pendant, but same type, different art. And now you too can be like Steve, how cool is that?!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Traditional Batiks

I got my most extensive art lesson of the year completed this week! This is the 6th year I've done this lesson with all the 6th graders. Unfortunately, last year's class didn't get to do them. It was so busy, and I couldn't fit it in when they were learning about India. The teacher wouldn't let me do at a later date. To see the details and more examples you can see my earlier blog entries here, here, and details of the process here.

Elephants are a very popular design, since this lesson is based around India. This is one of the better elephants that has been done over the years. This girl was very meticulous with her drawing and then with the painting.

This fish was my favorite one for the year. Don't ya just love it? It's very inspiring and makes me want to get back into my own batiks, which is my plan for the near future.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Maze Rock

Recently we went to see the Hemet Maze Rock. I'd read about this fascinating petroglyph years ago, and finally journeyed out to see.

It was discovered in 1914 by Adelaid Wilson Arnold and her parents. Yes, there are other petroglyphs in the area, but these are from the local Cahuilla Tribe. This design seems to be more of Chinese origin and dates back to possibly 458 A.D. There are accounts of Buddhist missionaries sailing the seas in a Chinese junk, on a journey to spread Buddhism. This is long before Columbus set sail.

This symbol on the rock is Buddhist symbol, what they call a quadruple swastika. The maze traps evil spirits and allows travelers to proceed in peace. The square in the center symbolizes purity. Chinese coins have had the same square for centuries. There are other examples of these petroglyphs signifying a route these missionaries took.

Before this study was ever done, the original family that discovered this rock asked the local Cahuillans to see the maze. They responded that it was very old and and their father's father had said it was made by the people who came from the sea.

Very interesting local Californian history!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

hello there

Today I saw this creature, not in a wind swept meadow, but in the Stater Bros parking lot at the bottom of the hill. I sat waiting in the car and doodled it out in my little journal. What a perfect expression the tree gave to us!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Etsy Pick O The Week - MossTerrariums

This POW features a unique shop with delightful little terrariums! MossTerrariums has gorgeously lush little mini gardens in a jar already for your enjoyment. There are many different types of mosses that are included in the little plant habitats. Very unique and inspiring, indeed!

I also enjoy the many types of containers available. These lightbulbs are unique and interesting. I love these little fairy worlds in a jar!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

You're the one I Pick

I received a new order of buttons, they're all package onto a little greeting card.... In a field of many flowers, you're the one I pick. The buttons are of Evelyn Nesbit - the original Gibson Girl, the sad little flapper who is very perplexed in her cute hat, the girl with stomach fluttering with The Butterflies, and the sad little party girl flapper.

Here they are available in my Etsy shop

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Snowy Tale

"When snow falls, nature listens" ..... - Antoinette Van Kleef

"After every storm the sun will smile".... - William R. Alger

"The impossible is often the untried." -Jim Goodwin ...... this is my impossible to pass through road

"Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled." --Author Unknown

"The sun will shine in my back door some day"..... I know you Rider, traditional song

“Are cats lazy? Well, more power to them if they are” .......Ziggy is just bored with it all. He's too lazy to run and jump and play like some other dogs!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

gorgeous icicles freezing drips do make

“Honesty is like an icicle; if once it melts that is the end of it” ...... American Proverb

I am thigh high in snow. Snowed in for the day or more. More winter woes from a mountain girl longing for the green days of summer. Winter's hardships do make lovely photographs though!