Saturday, January 15, 2011


I love my super comfortable, gray and turquoise, open KEEN shoes.  They're more like a sandal, a sturdy sandal.  They looked bright and gorgeous when I first got them, but they've long lost their "new shoe" shine.  You can tell that they've not been sitting in a box in the closet all year. 

My well-worn, well-ventilated (meaning with holes) KEEN shoes

They've been through sand, grass, mud, and rain.  I wear them walking, shopping, gardening, driving, working, dancing, stomping, anywhere, anytime.  As a result I've developed sun tattoos on my feet that look like either exotic leopard spots or a fatal skin disease.

 My lovely KEEN sun tattoos

 Sabra, me, Victoria

For my birthday last September, Victoria took me to a manicure and pedicure salon in Kahala.  Susan and Sabra joined and the four of us enjoyed the services of the very nice Vietnamese staff.

 With Susan

Sabra getting her feet "sanded"

Four pairs of painted toenails complete with rhinestones
See the line of rhinestones along the bottom of the toenails?
And there's our manicure!
* * * * *
How long do manicures and pedicures last?
Anywhere from one hour to....


Would you believe, more than FOUR (4) MONTHS!!!
At least this little remnant lasted that long.  
Who knows, it may even outlive me.

Here's to friends and nail polish!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Every photo I take is perfect...  NOT!   Some fail.  Maybe they're fuzzy, out of focus.  Or the composition is boring.  Or they're just plain stupid.  And if it's a picture of me, it's really easy to find fault with it and press the delete button.

 I'm laughing, but I look pathetic. Boring picture...

I was sitting in a traffic jam and wanted to get a picture of Punchbowl, to show how green it is now after all the rains.  It came out fuzzy and pretty boring.

When Barbara gave me a ride home, I took a picture of her windshield wipers. Grayish colors and not the most attractive composition.

I used to just quickly scroll over such shots, searching for the better ones.  But not anymore.  Because I suddenly remembered what I used to do on Bad Art Mondays...
- Close my eyes and paint right over it.
- Bury it in dirt for a month, then dig it up.
- Crush it.
- Poke holes in it.
- Soak it in tea or Coca Cola.
- Stomp on it.
- Drive the car over it.
- And more...

And if nothing works?  Then tear the sucker up and use the pieces for collage.  Some of my best works contain parts of failed paintings.

Sadly, somewhere along the way I forgot about it when it comes to taking photos. 

But not anymore.  I'm back into making Bad Art and Bad Photos!  Hooray!!!  Now I go out and make bad pictures on purpose!  So easy... point and shoot... point and shoot.  Rush home and see what my sweet little camera has created.  Bad pictures?  YES!  Open up Microsoft PowerPoint photo tools and get to work!

WARNING  It will eat up your time, because it's so much fun, you don't want to stop.

 Bad Art rules!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm modeling a vest made from an old t-shirt that I had mangled, cut holes in, burned, rusted (yes, rusted, like with nails - scroll down for directions for rusting a shirt), and appliqued with clothing labels and odd fabric remnants.  

 Close up of holes, labels and patching

Close up of hand-sewn pockets

 View of the back

When we moved to Bali, I gave this vest and my other trash art clothes to friends who like my crazy style, friends like Sabra, Rea and Alice Anne.  When I came back - surprise, surprise - Sabra asked if I wanted my clothes back.  Since I had again given most of my clothes away when I left Bali and didn't have much to wear, I answered Yes -- much to Sabra's chagrin.  She really hoped I would say No.  Well, she shouldn't have asked.  But trooper that she is, she gave them back, on the premise that if I ever got tired of them, I would return them to her.

Another outfit I got back from Sabra

Meanwhile, I asked for and received donations of old clothes and t-shirts.  My plan was, and still is, to fashion my whole wardrobe from used and donated clothing.  My dear friend Don Cole (see his art at sent me three of his favorite and well-worn t-shirts (they had holes in them already!).  One was printed with a picture of Elvis and Marilyn (the King & Queen), the other two were tie-dyed in lurid reggae colors.  They were extra special since they also carried smudges and splatters of Don's paints.  I patched up the Elvis and Marilyn t-shirt by applique-ing pieces from one of the reggae t-shirts over the holes and adding a pocket.
 It has since become my favorite t-shirt too. 
Always get lots of comments on it.
 View of the back

Collect rusting materials: paper clips, sheet metal, hooks, nails, screws, metal rings, scrubbing pads...
Dip shirt in water and wring excess water out. 
Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of vinegar and water.
Lay materials for rusting on the damp shirt.
Roll, fold or wad up the shirt until it's packed tight.
Fasten it with rubber bands and place in the sun.
When the shirt is dry, open it up, remove rusting materials, and rinse the shirt.
The rust stains are permanent.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


One of my past students in my Creativity Coaching Training arrived today from Philadelphia.  Since I had never met her in person (the coaching is done by email), I was eager to enjoy a visit with her.  We had a great time together.

Linda is a talented and accomplished mixed media artist, printmaker, and business consultant.  You can see her work at   I'm proud to have been her Creativity Coach!

* * * * *

As usual, walking through Waikiki to the Outrigger Waikiki hotel, where Linda and her husband are staying, offered lots of entertaining scenes.

A woman practicing clarinet under the banyan tree by the zoo

 A rugged-looking man, assumed to be the "Vincent" as announced on his hand-lettered t-shirt, wants you to talk with him about "Transportation and Employment Programs needed NOW."

 I love the unabashed use of colors by male Japanese tourists

"What's up with the tarps around the banyan tree?"  I asked a waitress at the banyan tree terrace of the Sheraton Moana hotel.  
"They infused the tree with oxygen to help it live longer." she answered.

For many decades, the banyan tree has given the terrace its wonderful atmosphere, sheltering guests under its branches as they sip their mai tais and pineapple drinks.  Sadly, in return, the tree was not allowed to replenish itself by growing its air roots into life-extending trunks.  The terrace would have been crowded out.   What will they do when it dies eventually?   Can you transplant another huge old tree there?

  * * * * *
Passing Waikiki Elementary School on the way back home, I found the front and side doors wide open.  A pounding beat made it sound like a big party was going on inside. But it was a Jazzercise class.

 Women of various ages, sizes and shapes.
Some were yelling as if they were at a party and having the time of their life.

It was led by a most energetic woman on stage who, when she saw me taking pictures, shouted, "Not fair! I didn't put on my make-up today."


They meet at 6:30pm for an hour on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Waikiki Elementary School is right down the street from our home.  I think I'll join.  It will be my equivalent of Oxygen Infusion like the banyan tree at the Moana hotel.  Hopefully it will make me live longer too, and healthier, and even happier!


"When I Was a Kid..." is the theme for the Honolulu Pen Women Biennial Art Exhibit at the Honolulu Country Club, opening on Sunday, May 22.  Pen Women members can enter art work based on, or inspired by, their childhood experiences, memories and dreams.  With that on my mind, I walked the beach today and found these precious scenes.

My earliest beach memories are of running on the sand along the beach of the Makassar Strait which runs between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan Timur (formerly Borneo) and Sulawesi (formerly Celebes).  We lived in a place called Balikpapan, an oil city run by the Dutch Shell Co. 

My father settled in Balikpapan after surviving being a prisoner of war in Japanese concentration camps,doing slave labor in the coal mines of Nihama Island in Japan during World War II.  He started a construction business and built many of the houses, roads, offices and bridges in town. 

He also built churches for the Christian community there.  One of the churches was a small wooden chapel by the sea where we would sometimes go to after school and play on the beach.  I liked to sneak into the back of the church and touch the organ.  It was such a mysterious thing to me.  I can still remember the way it smelled.

Going into the water was a bit risky because of all the underwater coral.  Plus, the water always seemed scary to me.  I could not swim yet.  Wonder how old I was.  Must have been seven or eight.  I remember a friend of my parents getting hurt by the coral and bleeding profusely.  The medicine of choice for open wounds at that time was iodine.  Whew, that stuff stung. 

I got reminded of it today as I watched a life guard in Waikiki help a girl who got cut by coral.  I heard him say, "This is gonna sting a little."  I'm sure he wasn't using iodine, though.

I took 117 pictures today.  There was so much to see and enjoy.  People walking, sleeping, reading, playing cards, biking, swimming, smooching, exercising, walking their dogs, posing for pictures, playing volleyball...  There is no end to the delights.  I met a couple the other day who told me that when they retire they want to live in Waikiki.  They now live in Mililani.  Yup, that's where we used to live too and I am soooo glad that we're in Waikiki now.  Living here is so interesting and festive.  And it's all within easy walking distance.  Enjoy some of today's snaps.

 Check out this guy's puka lei that he made himself.  "It's heavy," he said.  Yeah, I bet.

I spend a lot of time just watching various games going on.  
 These guys were awfully good and great fun to watch.

Getting ready for the Sunset Sail!

 And they're off!

 Sunset was spectacular today!

I like this kind of moody picture

But going back to being a kid...

 What an art piece, just sticks in the sand.

 I am a kid again!