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June 19, 2011

happy birthday & father's day

Reno Cuties

It's a busy day and everybody has something to celebrate! Happy birthday Grandma's Monica & Sherry, a one day belated to Uncle Yaya, and a happy fathers to day to all our dads, Mike, Marcus, Rey, Lou, Bill have I forgotten anyone, I hope not! xoxo love from us all

June 17, 2011

safari west

Safari West-1
Safari Family1-1
Safari Family-1
Safari Africanbird
Safari Antelope
Safari Cat
Safari Cows
Safari Duck
Safari Flamingoes
Safari Giraffe
Safari Parrot
Safari Parrot2
Safari Tortoise
Safari Zebra2
Safari Zebra
Safari MaxSafari Kids

We had a super fun sleep over at Safari West. We stayed in the tent cabin No. 10 which had a great view of the canyon which I enjoyed at sunrise. It was too high up to see any animals, well maybe the flamingoes. However we could hear the animals — all night long! I was the only one kept awake by the raucous. The bbq dinner was pretty good, the kids loved the marshmallow roast and later the feeding of the catfish (ewe giant chunks of raw chicken!) We all enjoyed sitting on the benches in front of the lemur monkeys and watching them play. The next morning we took the 9am safari tour. Our guide, Richard, was fantastic! He's an ex substitute school teacher and was not only knowledgable about the place and animals, but also incredibly tolerant and accepting of children and all their antics. Vivienne struggled on the tour because she got hungry and food was supposedly not allowed. Richard had told the other families they could bring some snacks so my kids were audibly upset and frustrated that we didn't have any! Fortunately after much indirect but loud complaining by my kids, the other families shared theirs which was very helpful. They probably wanted to enjoy the journey in peace and quiet! At first we sat in the back of the tour truck, about half way through we switched and sat on the top. It was incredibly thrilling and bit scary to be up there! I recommend sitting on top. It was well worth it since the excitement and fright was quite memorable. You can see the wide variety of African animals we saw in the photos above. There were more too like monkeys and small cats, but I only photographed what I could see without a fence or cage interfering. In short — you should go, it's a good time!

June 10, 2011

serious stitches


Found these amazing embroidered art works by Jenny Hart via the Craft site.

June 9, 2011

white ribbon

Max Whiteribbon
Max got his white level swimming ribbon today. Yay!!
Max Lastdayk
It's also the last day of Kindergarten. It's a bitter sweet moment as Max just finally started to enjoy school and now it's ended.

cheap treasures

Sunflower Mao
Communist Leaders
Communist Revolution

While in Beijing last May, I found these very old, mass produced Mao posters (more here). These are in no way valuable other than that they represent and old era. The thin newsprint paper they are printed on is yellowing and decaying by the second. However, I love the bold designs, the two color screen printing and the demagoguery that these propaganda prints convey. I do have a soft spot for communist ideology, just not in practice.

According to Pierre of Mao Post, my posters are not authentic. He wrote me via email:
Regarding the posters you bought in Beijing, they are recents interpretations of the propaganda posters. That is, they were done by artists for commercial purposes - but not officially by the Chinese propaganda. Still they are nice looking posters. Yes, I guess the paper looks old, but this is an easy trick for the printers of these posters. If these posters were authentic they would have cost, say, at least 1,000 RMB each.

The one with Mao says "700 millions people, 700 milllions soldiers."
Communist Nook

Here they are, hung together, in the tiny hallway toward our bedroom.

June 7, 2011

words to live by

Lick Communitynorms

Vivienne's ballet recital was at Lick Willmerding High School. While dropping her off in her dressing room/classroom I saw this poster on the wall. It's a brilliant reminder, must post it here to remember.

June 5, 2011

paint party

Splatter Vivi2Splatter Vivi1
Splatter Vivi3
Vivienne had a marvelous, and yes entirely too messy time, splatter painting al la Jackson Pollack style while celebrating her friend Talia's fourth birthday party. Viv, her boots, and clothes all took a long and thorough bath and washing afterward. That's Viv next to schoolmates Lily and Zizou. The party was at 4 Cats Studio.

June 4, 2011

in the wings

Vivienne Inthewings

My angelic cutie pie's mesmerized face taken backstage while she waits in the wings before her ballet performance.

June 3, 2011

nigel peake

Nigel Peake1
Nigel Peake2
Nigel Peake3

I happened to walk by Needles and Pens and a poster taped to the door caught my eye, luckily I had enough time to stop and enjoy the moment. The show in the gallery was Nigel Peake, In the Wilds. Never heard of him before but I instantly fell for his work. I love the sharp graphic pen work combined with the soft water color washes and the simple and subtly abstract, even meditative, subject matter. I bought a little glicee print of an abstract bird. When I took it to the corner frame shop the guy chuckled as he wrote up my order. I asked what was funny, he said he likes trying to figure out how to describe the art people bring in. In this case he called it "colored blobs." I chuckled back and said, it's a bird. I'm sure he thought I was a nutter.