Friday, March 30, 2012

Big Orange Bird

We ended up walking on the promenade this evening. That's where we saw this bird. Down on the beach, the tide was high and the surface was like quicksand.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things Found

At my library! So much fun to see our book in the shiny cellophane cover.

At Nordstrom

In the mail

On the beach

On the beach

On the beach

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sally Cruikshank Goes Watercolor

Fanhead 1: Small portrait of duck woman wearing a wild head dress, with a group of cormorants standing behind her. This is an original painting by famous animation artist Sally Cruikshank, signed, painted in 2012.

Fantasy watercolor painting on Arches paper, (cold-pressed, 140 lb.) 4.6" by 6.5". Brightly colored with a Central American feeling. 

See more of Sally's new watercolors here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where Things Stand

My Book

My Studio

Kitchen Floor. Fini! (4 Coats of Polywhey Natural Floor Finish)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It Stopped Raining

We sanded and polyurethaned all day. At 6:00 the ocean was still there. We looked up and saw this, we looked down and saw that:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Waters of March

I'm really happy to have the rain, but ...
When will we ever get to varnish our floor?

Have you heard The Waters of March?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Spring Things

David Luttrell sent this photo today. He made it on his scanner! See more of his work here.















Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes

First, her tippet made of tulle,
easily lifted off her shoulders and laid
on the back of a wooden chair.

And her bonnet,
the bow undone with a light forward pull.

Then the long white dress, a more
complicated matter with mother-of-pearl
buttons down the back,
so tiny and numerous that it takes forever
before my hands can part the fabric,
like a swimmer’s dividing water,
and slip inside.

You will want to know
that she was standing
by an open window in an upstairs bedroom,
motionless, a little wide-eyed,
looking out at the orchard below,
the white dress puddled at her feet
on the wide-board, hardwood floor.

The complexity of women’s undergarments
in nineteenth-century America
is not to be waved off,
and I proceeded like a polar explorer
through clips, clasps, and moorings,
catches, straps, and whalebone stays,
sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness.

Later, I wrote in a notebook
it was like riding a swan into the night,
but, of course, I cannot tell you everything -
the way she closed her eyes to the orchard,
how her hair tumbled free of its pins,
how there were sudden dashes
whenever we spoke.

What I can tell you is
it was terribly quiet in Amherst
that Sabbath afternoon,
nothing but a carriage passing the house,
a fly buzzing in a windowpane.

So I could plainly hear her inhale
when I undid the very top
hook-and-eye fastener of her corset

and I could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed,
the way some readers sigh when they realize
that Hope has feathers,
that reason is a plank,
that life is a loaded gun
that looks right at you with a yellow eye.

Billy Collins (via Anna's blog)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guess What It Is

Clue: Found in the fridge.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Progress Report

7:44 a.m.

Doesn't this picture look almost biblical? We're nearly done sanding and the sun is shining through the clouds.
7:44 a.m.

6:31 p.m.

We won't be able to put finish on the floor until Saturday, so after I took this photo we rolled some printer paper out on top of it so we can walk from the bedroom to the living room. Otherwise I'd be trapped in bed until the weekend. Not that being trapped in bed until the weekend would be a bad idea.

Sunday, March 18, 2012



This is a happier time-lapse than the one I posted yesterday. Though we did graduate to 120-grade sandpaper today.

I did some research this afternoon––a little late, I know! ––and found out that maple is the most difficult type of hardwood flooring to refinish. I'm glad no one told me beforehand.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


9:44 a.m.

9:59 a.m.

2:04 p.m. lunch break

2:20 p.m.

5:53 p.m.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucille's 88th

From: Lucille
March 16, 2012 6:43:43 AM PDT
Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Photos
To: Linda

Linda, you epitomize totally the wisdom of my mom: Major in Fun. I woke up this morning thinking of the joy you orchestrated. I must have the luck of the Irish to have you for a friend.   
Love and hugs, Lucille

Peter brought his guitar and mandolin, Anne made a card with eighty-eight 8's (flower blossoms), Tom brought a beautiful box of macaroons from La Boulange and a bottle of Prosecco, and I brought some ice cream (mocha chip) from Joe's. Carmen lay under the table and sighed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Using My Scanner as a Camera

Today I bought two more books by Josie Iselin. She uses a scanner instead of a camera to shoot her work.

After dinner I put some things I had collected this week on top of my scanner and turned out all the lights in the room. I left the scanner lid up.

I have a long way to go, but I'm amazed! Here's what I got, with a little help from Photoshop.

Monday, March 12, 2012


We took a detour off the Coastal Trail, down a long wooden stairway. Halfway down we came upon this maze. We had heard about it and caught glimpses of it from the trail, but had never seen it up close until this evening.  At the bottom of the steps is a beach covered with big smooth stones.

Sea Glass Hearts

Josie Iselin used a flatbed scanner to take the photos for her book.

My very best beach glass find last week actually happened at the BookShop on West Portal. And it's a book! A book by Josie Iselin.

The photos are otherworldly. Josie explains on the book jacket that she uses a flatbed scanner to take the photos ... and a whole new world opens up for me.

p.s. When I asked for permission to post her images, Josie told me that she had just returned from a fantastic sea glass festival in Cayucos. She said that she sold over 150 books in two days. WOW!!!

Sea Glass Hearts by Josie Iselin

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pre-Internet Brain

5:17 p.m.

“Aliens didn’t come down to Earth and give us technology,” (Douglas Coupland) said ...“We invented it ourselves. Therefore it can never be alienating; it can only be an expression of our humanity."

So what is the place of the novel — that rather old-­fashioned technology — in a world where newfangled “content delivery systems” are continuously changing the way we read? “Two decades of profound technological shifts have literally, biologically, rewired our brains,” Coupland wrote. “We all know it. We all feel it. I think new work needs to address this astonishing shift. My agent tells me the only books people are writing or reading right now are fantasy. Great, but I want to see how our new brains tell stories set in present times as long-form fiction. I miss my pre-Internet brain, but that doesn’t help anything. We can only go forward.”

from today's NY Times Book Review

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Found 3/10

Another great evening for glass.

We found these creatures, too.
6:09 p.m.  Time out. Something's going down.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Looking Down

5:56 p.m. A great night for glass. Low tide and beautiful light.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Up One Side and Down the Other

5:39 p.m.
The Great Highway was closed this morning. It was covered with sand. This evening it was still much too windy for some people to walk on the beach, though the tide was perfect. We hit the Coastal Trail. There he goes! The man in the red jacket walks up the steps on the west side of the hill, and down on the east side as the sun sets.

5:50 p.m.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pulling My Hair Out

Well, today my green hair fell out.

Kimberly had actually glued it in this time, and it remained in place for nine weeks. I still have one tiny blue strand.

The book I'm working on is mysterious and difficult, even though I'm the one who wrote it. At the same time it's very satisfying work, especially being that I have such a smart and funny group pushing me to make it better. 

Most of my friends are smarter than I am. I'm not putting myself down; au contraire, Pierre! I'm bragging.