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August 31, 2006

clink & kiss

Bocce Logo

I can excel at any sport which allows you to hold a glass of wine while playing. As an end of summer activity idea, I want to share these bay area local wineries with bocce courts that invite you to toast and taste while aiming to kiss your ball with your opponents. It's so totally civilized, roll yourself there!

Armida Winery, Healdsburg
Seghesio Family Vineyards, Healdsburg
Byington Vineyards, Los Gatos
Diamond Oaks Winery, Oakville
Pedroncelli Winery, Geyserville
Summers Estate, Calistoga

Above is one of the logos my husband and I designed for the SF Bocce Club. Here's an article about the aquatic park club, volo newsletter highlight and locations to play throughout the states.

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August 30, 2006

that which I refuse to leave behind

Refuse Toleave

While stopping for a pastry (yet again!) at DeLessio on Market street I saw a kiosk advertising an art blog project called That Which I Refuse to Leave Behind by Kate Pocrass (artist statement). It's part of an exhibition titled The Dust Never Settles which is an exhibition of visual art projects by San Francisco-based artists exploring the 1906 earthquake from a contemporary perspective. I was struck by the question the poster was asking: What one object would you choose to take with you, if you were faced with having to evacuate your home?

This is a tough question for me to answer. Since we are sticking to things [obviously I'd take Max, Madeline & Miro before any object] I think irreplaceable photos and art are at the top of my list. But which ones? My wedding album, portraits of Max, paintings, oh I don't know!? I think I would have to see how I was handling in the moment. Part of me thinks worrying about objects at all is wrong. Huh. Guess I'll have to mull this over and get back to you.

Meanwhile, here's where you can upload your image and statement. And here's where you can view the blog entries.

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August 29, 2006

purl soho, patchwork & bee

Purl Soho

Many months ago I strolled into a new nearby knitting store called Noe Knit. I had one of those freaky "where are they now?" moments when I saw my college house-mate's book Last Minute Knitted Gifts on the shelf. Wow, there was Joelle Hoverson! She's no longer the artist I knew, or the Martha Stewart employee I'd heard about, now she's a published knitter and a store owner. It's funny but I had wandered by her store Purl in Soho when I was in New York the summer I was pregnant, but of course didn't know it was hers. I clearly remember the darling itty bitty sweaters strung across the door each with an intarsia letter spelling P-U-R-L. I keep coming across many links to her book, store and new blog on the knitting and craft blogs I read. Today I toured her e-store. What an adorable website curated with impeccable taste - yes, this is defiantly the Joelle I remember. I couldn't help myself, I bought one of the sweet small fabric bundles. I hope to sew some into the wee wonderful kitty, bunny, and bear patterns. There's a good list of links to browse too.

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August 26, 2006

sleepy bunny

Sleeping Bunny

While Max is napping...I couldn't help posting this dreamy image by the delightful Camilla Engman.

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August 24, 2006

secret pal revealed...

and I'm reveling in all the goodies! Wow. Allow me to visually walk you through the surprises. As you can see they were all wrapped in colorful tissue paper. Max insisted on helping me open all and he carefully walked each one into the living room before opening under my intense supervision.

The first was a beautiful needle carrier in deep warm purples and earthy greens. I love the abstract batik floral and olive green grosgrain ribbon. What a lovely gift! It has nice deep and wide pockets for all my circulars. However, Max really seemed to think that the tying ribbon should come "off." I had to put down the camera and rescue the bag.

Then we opened the two skeins of soft orange sherbet Rowan kid classic. I LOVE this! It's a lambs wool and mohair combo in my favorite color. I am absolutely sure I have THE best secret pal. You are so thoughtful.

Next we opened the darning needle and beads. Ok I must confess here that the beads are darling but I have no idea if they are for stitch marking, decorating, or if I should hang them from my ears? I am just too novice to know I assume? Max opened the beads and immediately stuck them in his mouth. That means they are officially yummy.

Lastly we opened a knitscene magazine filled with folklorico design, city knits, flirty and femine ideas plus some mod stuff. I want to knit the fabulous large "uptown mommy" bag [they're calling it a diaper bag] on page 24. Lots of great ideas in here. And they have extras online at knitscene. And one is a fat knit cat!! Fun fun. Oh and Max went choco-baby crazy over the Ritter. At first he thought it was a "snack" because the packaging was similar to the Odwalla bars I let him eat. But when I broke down and gave him a corner I didn't hear the end of "MORE CHOCOLATE" for far too long.

So who is my secret pal??? Drum roll please... http://www.artwinknits.typepad.com/
You're the best! Thank you so so so much.

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August 23, 2006

sprouting jewels

Claudia Kussano

I walked a different route today [uh yes, by way of the waistline fattening Tartine] and came across this tiny store window filled with sweet silver and beaded baubles. I liked quite a few, especially the sprouting seed earrings. I hope to stroll by and have a look-see one day soon. Her name is Claudia Kussano.

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August 22, 2006

rompin' silhouettes

Romp Silhouette

Romp Lion
Ya Ya sent me this link to Brooklyn store [in the hip Park Slope hood of course]Romp's hip site full of beautifully well designed expensive modern toys, most of which I covet whole heartedly. They feature one really unique product idea and something a crafty type could reproduce fairly easily — vintage wallpaper animal silhouettes. What a brilliant idea! I love, love, love it. Now if I could just find some free time...

And as a post script for anyone out there in the blogosphere who actually reads my blah blah, I apologize for the lack of posting this week, and for the next two. I am slammed at work and at home with freelance jobs...so I'll be procrastinating if you catch me posting [like right now!].

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August 18, 2006

print pattern

Yamauchi Kazuaki

Orla Kiely

The blog print pattern is my new most favorite! Seriously it's overwhelmingly delicious. I just can't get enough look-see and admire. It's so full of beautiful palettes, wonderful textiles, and inspiring illustrations. I must stick it in my blogroll, simply perfection. {thanks Diana!}

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August 17, 2006

jack the dripper

Pollack Drips

See how much time I just wasted! This was on today's daily candy, so you probably already saw it, but I can't help posting this silly site where you can paint your own Pollack.

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August 15, 2006

a nod to noggin

Dotted Bunny-1

Elephant Snout-1

Girl Boy-1

Moo Cow-1

Is anyone talking about the wonderful illustrated Noggin graphics?? They are delightful and the little ditty that goes along with them is quite catchy. I can't find anything out there in the blog-o-google-sphere talking about the artists or artwork. I must say that I don't mind my son watching Noggin 'cause I feel like the aesthetics are truly superior to other networks (and not just for kids) and the content of the shows he watches like Blue's Clues and Dora are smart and engaging. I also REALLY appreciate that the programing is commercial free ( just learned that Noggin is a part of MTV Networks empire). Even Sesame Street has evil commercial advertising these days. (yes I understand it's a funding issue) and I still LOVE PBS so no worries. I just had to say that Noggin has something good going on.

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August 14, 2006

a little birdie showed me


I was revisiting illustrator extraordinare Alex Noriega's site and saw that he's launched another blog [in his native tongue] which also features wonderful illustrations. This one is titled el petirrojo and features artists selected through Alex's curatorial lens — what a treat! Alex and I see eye to eye on EVERTHING related to pen and paper. I love his selections.

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August 13, 2006

Oh Oh Ahhhhh

Graffiti Brush

Foliage Brush

Worn Brushes

The downloadable psd brushes created oh so miraculously by Jason Gaylor give me The Big graphic design "O." These are the best I've found and a real pleasure to play with. He offers amazing foliage, graffiti, and distressed brushes created with print resolution sizes in mind. I just love love love these. Jason, you are too cool for sharing these with the world! All of the above sketches made by moi sampling Jason's brushes. Seriously these are too fun!

How to create your own brushes: Photoshop > draw something or find artwork to use, then go to menu > edit > define brush preset > and let the stamping fun begin. A couple of links to add —here's a cool publication website with too much web design information to know where to begin but obviously it gives good linking: stylegala. And hree's a design and marketing blog with good advice: authentic boredom.

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August 11, 2006

hello I'm ssba



While shopping in Insadong, Seoul I found this darling illustrator's work and bought many stationery pieces, a stamp, and some printed boxes as gifts and keepsakes. Of course I can't read Korean {though I understand the Spanish above!} so I have almost no idea what anything says, who she/he/they are etc. And as I mentioned before not many Koreans speak English — including the ssba ssba sales girl. So sorry I have no info for ya. But here's the link to the site and here's the artwork link {which has some shop pictures} so you can see more of their adorable goods. Maybe if you read Korean you can let me know about them? I'd like that.


I noticed on the stamp's hang tag they listed another website. This one has some kooky and cool downloadable images too. enjoy!

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August 10, 2006

skwak bunny

Skwak Bunny

Wild bunny illustration eh?! Take a glimpse inside this guys trippy head @ skwak.

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August 9, 2006

sf shorts

Sf Shorts

Couldn't help notice the unmentionable illustrations in the BART station this am. Actually the version I saw was in pink, even cuter but my TREO couldn't handle taking an image across the tracks, it was too far so it ended up blurry and sadly unusable. Anyway I love the drawings, so take notice that sf is hosting a short film festival honoring mini movies. It starts tomorrow, get moving.

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August 8, 2006

delight sites

Deightful Blogs

I feel lucky to be included in delightful blogs listings. Seems like they have a whole family of delightful sites: www.delight.com, www.delightdeals.com, www.delightvitality.com, and www.delightfulblogs.com to explore. No, sadly I'm not getting anything for this little endorsement. I just thought you might enjoy their fashion blogs, shopping blogs, design blogs, blogs about family life, sports, food, travel and a wide range of what they consider well written blogs — like mine!

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August 7, 2006

happy birthday to me

Rockpaper Birds-1

And what a wonderful day it was, indeed. Mr. Millian sang me {and you and himself} the happy birthday song dozens of times. And this evening when we went to Maga Paga's house in Sau-sa-li-to, he blew out my birthday cake's candles three separate times and then screamed for mas C-A-K-E! Adorable. Life couldn't be any sweeter. Happy birthday song birds illustrated by Rock Paper Scissors, simply darling.

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August 5, 2006

i so happy!

Happy Baby


To be home with my little man and my baby daddy. That first look-see and squeeze were delicious. I'm truly enjoying every moment. I'm also so proud of them both for taking care of each other. They are obviously both so much the better for it. Awe, yummy yummy.

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August 3, 2006

trip report

My women’s empowerment journey was awe inspiring. I think there are many truths for women [and so many are mothers!] world wide in the stories I will tell you. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to travel, learn more and possibly even give.


Meeting Room

Council Leader

I went deep off the world grid and hours into the northern fields of Cambodia and met one of only three women provincial council leaders in the whole country. Her story of surviving the Khmer Rouge regime and being one of the only survivors left in her village who knew how to read was gut wrenching [she was interned at age 10]. She became the “go to” person for helping aid in any necessary reading — especially important documents like land deals and government legalities. It slowly became clear that she naturally held an important role and she desired to make it official. She easily won her seat on the provincial council but it took much longer to gain the trust of the people as the previous leader had tricked them out of the funds they had given to create a ground water well and he was never seen again. She decided to put up her own land and only ox as collateral so the people would trust her and invest again. If anything went wrong she would be homeless and have no assets. I think only a woman would have done this, don’t you?! It worked, she gained their trust and was able to get the village their first ground well. She’s gone on to do many wonderful things for her people, has been re-elected many times, and has joined forces with other female leaders to give training sessions on how to lead and best practices. She is a widow and mother of five and was proud while not at all arrogant to say she can do anything a man can, and even more. More lovely images from Cambodia here and here.


Media Center

Media Founders


While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia I met two women who founded their own media center/radio station [above center] which airs programs entirely dedicated to women's issues. Yes, this is the one and only station doing such a thing and it bumps up against government and other male agendas frequently. They’ve overcome many obstacles over years. Both women always knew they wanted to be journalists. One said that as a young girl she saw a woman journalist reporting while speaking into a microphone that she was holding and that image has motivated her for her whole life. The media center has a women’s exchange program which allows Cambodians and other world students an opportunity to learn how to become gender conscious journalists and producers. The station does a lot of work to engage the general public about women’s issues such as rape and domestic violence, women’s rights and legal access, and political participation. They have a giant antennae in the center of their parking lot which runs on oil from a tank, which is also in the parking lot, that they have filled weekly – truly grass roots. Go visit their website and learn more.



Quang Ning


In Vietnam I traveled east many hours from Hanoi to Quang Ninh province 200 km from China’s border. There I met a woman helping trafficking victims repatriate, get legal aid, counseling, and possible employment. I learned so much about the horrors of human trafficking that I’m still reeling from this encounter. After hearing about this woman’s successes and struggles with her local women's union of which she is the leader, we traveled to meet one victim whom she had a typical afternoon appointment with. This young girl was tricked by a local person she knew, which is often the case and why trafficking is such a disturbingly deceitful practice. The trafficker promised her work just across the border in China in an administrative role. You have to realize that so many village women are extremely poor and there is no work in the their province so the idea of work, anywhere — no matter how far, is serious motivation as they and their family’s survival depends on it. She was lured across the border, held against her will, and forced into prostitution. She tried unsuccessfully to escape and was then beaten and trafficked even further inside China, so far inside that her captors believed none of their victims could ever find their way back. This made her captors lax and inattentive. She escaped and against all odds made it home. But in Vietnam if you don’t register with the government every six months you will no longer be recognized as a citizen. So she has no homeland. If a victim returns to their village, and they think about only 20% return [it’s impossible to to have accurate trafficking statistics], they are shunned and outcast by their neighbors – sometimes even by their family. The young girl I met was having horrible health problems and feared she had contracted some diseases for which she was unable to afford to even see a doctor for a diagnosis let alone receive medicine or care. The women’s union leader is helping her go through the legal system to get her citizenship restored, but they have to prove that she didn’t willingly leave Vietnam and as we know she did — a catch 22. She is also hoping that her rudimentary Chinese translation abilities may land her a job. That’s the positive. You can’t imagine the squalor and psychological pain she is living in, it was horrible and deeply saddening. In the photo above you see the back of her head, her parents, and children supporting her during the meeting. It was heart wrenching. Here's a link to more images and the next day in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Shelter Bed

Shelter Kitchen

Shelter Guests

I visited the first, and so far only, women’s shelter in Laos about an hour outside Vientiane. As part of a comprehensive legal and judicial reform process in Laos, the Laos Women’s Union was given responsibility by the government for drafting the first laws related to women’s and children’s rights. By law, they are now required to have a women’s shelter for protection, counseling and to teach vocational skills in addition to now having laws stating that domestic abuse and trafficking are illegal [up until 2005 one couldn’t prosecute as it wasn’t illegal]. I went to the sewing and embroidery rooms to see the women at work. I bought a few of their pieces. One piece I bought took three months to make and sells for $20. The average person in Laos lives on $382. per year. Obviously most live in serious poverty. I met a few victims of domestic violence while there, including a new baby just born at the shelter. One of the shelter victim's [above] oldest male son [age seven] was taken by her husband, his second wife and her mother-in-law, and she may never see her son again. There’s no happy ending here as the shelter can not help this woman get her son back because there is no legal recourse for the first wife/mother. This mom feels she’s lucky to even be at the shelter and is resigned to lose a son. It broke my heart and brings tears to my eyes while I type this. Here are more images from my time in Laos.


Beautiful Batiks

Mother Child

Next I was off to Indonesia. Again I traveled so far, so deep into northern Aceh about an hour and half by car and then moped outside of Langsa which was five suicidal driving hours by car from Medan where I had flown into. I have to reiterate, it was sooooo far. I went by field after field of rice, down dirt roads that only ox, bicycles and the occasional moped drive down. An hour outside Langsa, I found myself holding onto the back of a paid moped driver our guide picked up at the last village that had a paved road. Oh, and I was wearing a skirt that day since it was 95 degrees and 100% humidity, swell eh, if only I’d known all the details the day had in store for me when dressing. I was so far out, but surprisingly not at the end of the road, when we stopped and were invited into a community room about ten feet off the ground, about 300 sq ft, with the windows open but there was no wind, no fan either – duh, no electricity. I was in the shade of the roof but swelling and suffering from the radical heat and humidity. The women I was meeting are Muslims and they are dressed in clothes covering their entire bodies including the traditional head coverings. I have to say it again — it was so f#@king HOT — and I am the only one sweating buckets. Ok enough of me and my problems. These 20 village women were amazing. They have each saved about $30 [272,000 rupiah] and pooled their money together to join a microcredit program. As we know, women are often responsible for the upbringing of the world’s children and the poverty of the women generally results in the physical and social underdevelopment of their children. Experience shows that women are a good credit risk, and that women invest their income toward the well being of their families. At the same time, women themselves benefit from the higher social status they achieve within the home when they are able to provide income. As it stands now, if one family member has a health problem the medical costs [often just simple procedures] will send them permanently into debt and into a desperate state of poverty. The women I met were wonderful, engaging and happy. They invited me to stay and learn Acehnese. They were so excited to learn I was the mother of a 21 month old and our motherhood commonality crossed all cultural boundaries. Amazing! My photos of these women are my favorite from the trip. I have a few more wonderful images to see.


Korea Politician Leader

Korea Politician Protigee

Lastly I went to Seoul, Korea. I must admit that ending my travels in a developed – actually an over developed — city was very welcomed at this point. The bath, the food choices, corner store shopping, and ease of access to anything I needed was thrilling and comfortable. In Seoul I met a leading female politician [top], an elected assembly woman, who has done years of work recruiting women to become politicians. She is a serious mentor to most Korean women politicians. She said so many true and inspiring statements. But my favorite was when she said women make better politicians because they are natural care takers, as they are the mothers and wives, and that this makes them care deeply about the virtue of people. Caring about people is the main goal of a good politician. Women are also cleaner politicians [all that house work eh?] remaining clear of common scandals. We also met with a few of her protégées [bottom] who spoke about many women’s issues we are familiar with such as work life balance and child care. Korean women leaders still have a lot of work ahead, but I have to say I think they are farther along than the US in some ways as they have a female prime minister and a quota system to help women advance. We can learn a few things from them. To quote from the Korean Institute for Women in Politics...It is not desirable if the expansion of women in politics is so expedient and passive as to simply join the male-dominated paradigm or to have access to it. Women should change the past politics - which has been authoritarian, dominant and sometimes violent, based on male standards - into a new one that is serving for people, transparent and clean for the progress of quality life, based on love, service and devotion. Here are links to my days in Seoul: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

A legal-eeeze post script: My views are my own, they do not reflect the views of my employer.

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August 2, 2006

Day Seventeen: Leaving Seoul

Seoul Airport

Happy to report that I'm on my way home. I have to route Seoul to LA, LA to SF. It'll take a bit longer with the layover etc. But I'm home about 18 hours earlier than scheduled, and every minute I'm early is worth the long flight. I can't wait for that movie reunion moment. xoxo

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August 1, 2006

Day Sixteen: Seoul



Is this a persons worst fear? A stranger, a benign tourist — me, takes your photograph. Within hours that image is on the world wide web. Welcome to modern life. Strange, odd and a little unnerving. I saw these two on the street, they were photographing each other. Apparently they are getting married tomorrow. They asked me to use their camera to take some pictures of them together. I did, but of course asked to take a few of my own. I had the feeling this whole spectacle was a prank. But at least you can see traditional Korean dress before it's gone, because I've been told the new generations refuse to wear it.

The majority of my day was spent photographing female politicians. I heard their stories about how they were inspired to enter politics and the challenges they face in recruiting more women to run for office. They have the same struggles all working mothers face — keeping your family happy and running smoothly while being successful at your job. Their paths are not an easy life, but they are inspirational and motivational as I think they have sacrificed much for the virtue of many. I'm so happy to be coming home tomorrow night. I lose a day while traveling. I leave at 7:30 pm and arrive at 6:30 pm the same day. I'll be flying against the earth's rotation. That's weird too.

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