Monday, April 29, 2013


I don't know why, but I always picture that campaign poster of Obama when I think of the word "Hope".

Somedays it seems like i am hoping against hope, when what I am experiencing is simply discouragement.Lately, I have worried about making a living.Nine times out of ten, my sense of worry and discouragement passes and my hope gets restored. Thank God.

The problem too, is when my hopes regarding a certain outcome are not met and I set myself up for disappointment.The last time I felt this was when the Forty niners lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the last Super Bowl.I am not still stewing about it though,because (Come on!)it has been almost five months since that occurred.Besides,I was over that one in about five hours.It helped that they played a good game back then.

Incidentally,The pendant below was made for a hopeful fan who wanted something as a testimony to their loyalty.I trust that the Forty Niners "Quest for six" super bowl victories will someday be realized.This brings me to another problem...Over time,when hope turns into expectation.Today, I can expect miracles when I trust my Higher Power and turn everything over to Him.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Original Artwork

Here is the vector art for the fish design that I put on the sidewalk down in Napa. This is a design I did a long time ago and had etched on to a large bottle. I added the cat in the chalk drawing for an extra added attraction. I mean, those fish were having a pretty good time flirting with each other, the least I could do is add an element of drama by making them part of a cat's dream. Anyway, I am working more in Adobe Illustrator lately, because I am growing more fond of drawings that can be resized and look very clean.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Napa's Riverfront Chalk Festival

Last Saturday I started out by going to Orchard Supply to pick up Carpenter's Chalk and some masking tape. Then I drove to the Riverfront area of downtown Napa. I checked in with a woman named Jill who showed me the designated spot where I was to rough out my chalk creation. It was a 4'X 8' space in front of the local Gelato store.

My friend Veda was going to be working on her creation next to me,around ten feet away.I began cautiously as I had only attempted this type of work on this type of surface once before in San Raphael last June ( it was well over 90ยบ).

My neighbor Don Williams ( a flooring carpenter ) lent me his knee pads which proved to be so necessary for this sixty-two year old body of mine.I also had some latex surgical gloves that protected my hands along with gobs of #30 sunscreen which protected me from the harsh rays of the sun.Now I was ready for business.

I measured out a grid and marked off the squares using the carpenter's chalking device ( a first for me )with a very helpful chap named Brad.I began in the upper right corner as I laid down lots of blue aqua chalk smoothing it over with my hands as I went.Two hours went by and I was already spent!

Veda hadn't arrived but I suspected that she was taking her time driving over from Novato. I left my work for the first day and then went over to my nephew Edward's house to celebrate my sister Rita's 70th birthday party (see pic below).I went home that night and hit the sack early,knowing I had lots to accomplish on Sunday.

Getting up at 5:30am is not my usual M.O., but it felt good as I drove back down to Napa on Highway 29 as the sun was just beginning to rise.When I got to my spot, I could see that Veda had begun her own creation, but she still had not arrived. I began drawing and smoothing out chalk as the morning moved on. Jill returned early with muffins, water, Large shading umbrellas and coffee to help start the day. All the chalk supplies we could think of were provided.It was going to be a long day.Eventually, Veda returned later on Sunday, and again I was feeling tired,yet nearly done with my piece.Initially I had agreed to help Veda with hers, but begged off at the last minute.It looked like she and her friend Bill had bailed out after only an hour or two. My nephew and his family arrived around 1pm and helped me with some finishing touches (see Mila and Miko below).I am very grateful for how it turned out, and may even do it again next year.This time I am certain that was better prepared than last time, but still have a lot to learn about this messy medium.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Awaiting the Summer Season

It is nice to receive a tax refund and have enough money to pay the rent, but it looks like I have to step up my game a bit in the upcoming months.I will be selling the Spirit Rocks throughout the summer at the Farmer's Market in Calistoga and at the Chef's Market down in the city of Napa. That should keep me busy for sure. I do not have the time or inclination to spread myself too thin at this point.

I just recently found a retail outlet here in Calistoga to show these gift items. I will be speaking with another vendor who will be looking at showing the rocks at a retail outlet near Yountville as well. Things are looking up! Two things I want to get established eventually... an actual retail web site where anyone will be able to order and purchase a rock online. That is not a slam dunk at this point, due to construction, maintenance and operating expenses.

Anyone can visit the other blog, however. Check out the links to the right and click on the Your Spirit Rocks to see the "Rock of the week" and read about my musings...

oh joy!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter Monday

Their was a nice rain over the weekend which brought some much needed water to the area. The air is clear and fresh and so I decided to walk instead of drive my car to church today. I noticed a lot of little garbage pieces on the ground left by what I have to assume are the many teenagers in the neighborhood who think that the ground is their personal garbage can.The town of Calistoga may be funky, but I don't go for funky and filthy.Enough said

The sun is beginning to reappear and I am inside planning my week.I just ordered a Dome ledger for bookkeeping, after my brother sent me a link online. I am going to be a better bookkeeper this year... ( a promise to myself ).My business is going to increase this year so I have to keep better records of all my sales and expenditures. Am I preaching to the choir here?

I went on a nice hike with my friend Don last Friday up on Mt. Baldy in the Sugarloaf region of Sonoma. It was really great being on top of the mountain and looking at a 360 degree view of the whole area.One could see as far south to the towers of the Golden Gate bridge and as far east as Mt. Diablo. You could also see Mt.St. Helena and the whole Napa Valley looking north and east. It wasn't that strenuous a hike until you began to scale Mt. Baldy. That was a bit of a huff.All in all it took around 3.5 hours to do this hike.