Friday, January 6, 2017

The Lights of the World Lantern Festival

For the final week of our holiday break we took a day to visit the "Light of The World Lantern Festival" which boasted acres of lights, an acrobat show, amusement rides and international food vendors.

It was a bit of a drive out to Chandler during rush hour, but well worth it!

Though, right away Mike was attacked by a dinosaur!

He recovered quickly....

The girls in the entrance tunnel.

Mexico in lights.

A stunning phoenix sculpture!

The Statue of Liberty

We took a minute to walk on the changing light steps.

The panda by the China light display.  Most of the festival was influenced by China, as it's based on the Chinese Lantern festival.

Phoebe and Chloe on light swings.

Mike and I in the lantern tunnel.

The pretty lotus flower on top of the lantern tunnel.

Mike by the dragon. It was made entirely of china plates and was really incredible craftsmanship.

Walkway to Africa.

Egypt in lights.

Camels of north Africa.

Me by the Kremlin lights.

Seahorses under the sea.

Mike by the jellyfish.

Naomi banging the Korean drum.

Phoebe picked up some fancy cotton candy that they sculpted in front of her.

A baby dino hatching by Dinotopia

The big mouth dino by the entrance of Dinotopia.

  After walking around a bit we headed over to the light tunnel for the food and craft vendors. Though they advertised international food, it was really just one French Canadian stand selling fries with gravy,  a lot of Chinese food, and Mexican (which is really just regular food in any state that borders Mexico). It was pretty good though, but it made us late to the acrobat show. Which I was way too busy watching to take any pictures. It was truly a spectacle!

All in all a great night out!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Right now it is New Year's morning and outside it is pouring rain. It's really uncommon for Phoenix to be so dark and gloomy and WET!

Christmas morning came and went in our house, and off we went into the mountains....

We live in a place that gets excited to see snow on the ground, so I took pictures of it as we headed up north.

The mountains in the distance.

We arrived at Mike's uncle's house fairly late, but seeing family was all that mattered. Here's Naomi with the cousins on Christmas day.

2016 has been full of trials but also many good moments. Here a few of mine:

#1 Watching Chloe graduate from High School.
#2 Getting lost in Tijuana and discovering our Spanish is not as bad as we thought!
#3 Finally trying one of those Segway tours (which was loads of fun till I fell off and got a bit scraped up).
#4 Getting invited to an artist residency at the Green Olive Arts Center in Morocco (which means 2017 will be even better when we go!!)

For New Years Eve we broke with our hat making tradition and went to see the new Star Wars movie. Chloe is home (after an epic journey through snow and ice a couple of weeks ago) and she made us all her homemade lasagna. Unfortunately, Rogue One was a bit gloomy to ring in the New Year with as literally everyone dies (kind of like a zombie movie). However it was also the second to last night of Hanukkah, so that was quite nice. As I sit here eating lasagna for breakfast (Did I mention, Chloe made A LOT!), I just want to say.....

Happy 2017!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A year of masks

Last week I past a milestone for my etsy shop , I past the one year mark since I opened! It's been much more of a success than I ever hoped. In addition to selling over 200 masks. I supplied masks for fashion shoots in New York city, Tucson and just last week for one in Texas.

From the John Varvatos event at CBGBs in NY.

I also created a massive and grotesque over sized mask for a show at The HP LOvecraft Film Festival in L.A.

Wilbur Whately mask

I provided masks for various shows across the country and shipped to more countries than I can remember.

Bands have ordered my masks for various performances and photographer Sharon Covert has created an amazing portfolio of work using my masks and landing my rabbit mask on the cover of Adore Noir magazine.

Tomorrow I shipping this mysterious order for 2 frog masks and I'm starting on a commission for a mask for a music video.

Not sure where next year will take me with this store but honestly it's the most successful venture I've ever had with my art career. 

Anyway, in other news I received my show catalogue from the Brüder Grimm exhibit I contributed to
 in Germany. Also,  Mike had a tough week when he splashed scalding water on his foot and got a 2nd degree burn on the top of it. It made for some long days on the couch, but he's finally back to walking with shoes on. 

Christmas is fast approaching and I'm playing catch up with getting ready. As usual there's my work and teaching and Chloe's coming home again on Friday (Yay!)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Phoebe's Mystery Party and Chloe's back!

This past week just flew by! Chloe was home from college for the first time since August.

No, she did not travel home in a suitcase, (she did bring one full of laundry though).

These are just some fabulous photos we took before the showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which was a great night out).

But, of course, we are huge Harry Potter fans in this house, so we're a bit biased.

And finally the last one with Phoebe and Chloe.

The day after Chloe came home was Phoebe's birthday party. She wrote an elaborate mystery for her guests to solve as they wandered around the midtown area of Phoenix. This is Naomi on our way out the door. 

This is her big crowd of guests gathering at the Twirl (....mmmmm frozen yogurt)

                        And here they are later that night after the big reveal at Joyride Tacos!

 The kids had a blast and one of her friends gave her a Quinceanera card. Unfortunately for Lucas he can't read Spanish and was quite embarrassed when Phoebe translated his sappy card for him.

This week I was still doing some teaching (just one class) and keeping up with numerous mask orders. This one is a Jhin Mask from League of Legends and a custom commission.

Thanksgiving morning we headed up to Rimrock in the mountains to visit with Mike's aunt and uncle. The photos from Thanksgiving were pretty lame (I must get a new camera before Morocco!!). However, here's a very windy selfie of Mike and I on our way into the mountains.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tree Creature and the new world

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for us here. We bought our tickets to Casablanca for my artist residency in May! It's so exciting to know that we will spend our summer immersed in a culture so different from our own and during Ramadan as well!

Then Donald Trump had his shocking victory and this country has split in half. It's like we live in a new world. Today we went to church and they gave us these....

This is my safety pin. I will wear it from now on. Some say it's a meaningless gesture, but it's something anyway. 

Friday night I created my sign for my sculpture.

On Saturday morning we installed him in his planter on Grand Ave. for the Grand Ave. Festival.

I had wanted to make 2 sculptures for the event, but mask making took over my life for September to October. I will plan better next time.

All in all he looked pretty good out there.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween and more

This is Naomi's pumpkin. She named him "George" and we never lit him up. She carved him without any help from us, but if she'd asked me I'd have told her that 4 nights before Halloween was way too soon to put a jack-o-lantern outside in the heat. It was flat, rotted and swarming with flies by Sunday morning. This was on a better day for him though.

Halloween night was driving for us as both our kids made plans across town. Phoebe's friend was actually out of the city a bit and Mike and I decided to stay in the area. We ate at the one of the three restaurants around there and then wandered around an abandoned strip mall till it was the agreed pick up time. I didn't get any photos of Naomi but Phoebe was dressed as Edgar Allen Poe and her friend was the raven and wearing my mask.

Phoebe posing in a dark and empty playground.

A slightly more bizarre picture of her.

Her friend Edona as the raven. They clearly were having a good time that night.

In other news Mike's art opened at a Moebius tribute show down in Tempe.

Just the 2 of us made it that night but we had a nice time and tested out a vegan restaurant with interesting results.

I'm making progress towards buying our plane tickets to Morocco. I'm only a few hundred dollars short to buy all five. That means that I search ticket prices, find what I need and hop up and down groaning about it a lot. Anyway I now have 4 out of 5 passports in hand and I checked on the status of Mike's (the last one that hasn't come yet), and it's been posted priority mail and should be here soon. Also this week I need to organize and submit my portfolio for another grant application. Hopefully this is the one that will work (5th one's the charm right?)

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut


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