Both Yaman and Savitri watch birds; the studio windows are by far
the best bird watching windows because we can see murders of crows, flocks of gulls,
smaller birds, and the occasional antics of a bluejay family.
We’ve also seen eagles and hawks, but the crows give them the what-for every time.

Taking the opportunity to also announce my card shop on Etsy!
Cards as single or as sets, like the one below on Siamese Cats!

If you place an order, drop me a note saying you heard about it on the blog  and you will get an extra surprise!

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
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VSW: San Francisco, 2


I loved returning to regular sketching with a fast one of one of my favorite views in San Fransisco. cable cars.  When I was in college and early 20’s I stayed at the Stratford Hotel.
I did a quick perspective under in a red pencil; sorry bout the midnight picture!

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Lojong 38: Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness


My mom’s Yahrzeit is today… she died a year ago.

Before Thanksgiving, during the dark of the moon, I began finally sorting through
the boxes of things I am storing for family who said they wanted this or that.
As I am sorting through tons of pictures that she never had time to put into an album,
I remember the fun times she and I had up until I went into my terrible teen years —
and she responded with her neurotic crazy mother self.

And independently, I decided to go back to my Lojong practice with the sketching
and my off the cuff take on each slogan, from years of practice.
I stopped a year and a half ago because I could not be involved in my Mom’s death
and family crap and business and and and…
I opened to where I left off and the next one was:

“#38: Don’t seek others’ pain as the
limbs of your own happiness.”

Wow.  No coincidences.

I can’t share what I wrote on the next page about this coincidence at this time,
but know that right now we have a lot of this as an example in our lives,
both personally and professionally.  The various commentaries talk about karma
in these matters, and this is one place where I just don’t see it —
I see people ripping off many for not their fair share of the pie,
not what is owed to them, but stealing… not being generous… harming others while trying to feather their own nest… and see no bad karma coming to them.
I still wouldn’t do that to another, but the threat of karma seems quite empty here.
It has not been a meaningful slogan to me in past,
mostly because it is not my poison to do this to others (I have my poisons),
but this day it is, as the Universe is conspiring to give me a front seat view of these people.  It is effecting our livelihood and our ability to be comfortable going into retirement.

I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.) 

If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE  thang here!

In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open to comments becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.)  I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
For more info about why, go here.


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VSW: San Francisco, 1

It has been awhile since I sketched regularly…
Taking a class and sketching thumbnails just isn’t the same!
I have a couple days off here and NO family obligations and so,
sketching and noshing with my sweetie…
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate!

I bought the loveliest pen, a vintage Pelikan P20 Twist Fountain Pen…
I bought it because it has a palm and parrot on it — I HAD TO —
but dang, it is a sweet smooth nib and I love it.
It has a black Pelikan cartridge in it and I am using that up for now and enjoying it!

Palace of the Fine Arts by the amazing Bernard Maybeck,
built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco.

A touch of Robert Oster Blue Sea on a waterbrush.

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Word Art: Mugged by Reality

What do you do when you are living under oppression
and you have things to say but you are living in fear?
Not little fear, but cataclysmic fear?
For the first time in your life?

I wrote this and got carried away, writing the same words over and over and over…

mugged by reality
sine quo non
leaders from both parties don’t care about pollution
without air water plants sea die
take most of the beauty of our mother earth with us

This was my answer after:

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SoCS: Flyer/Ad

I  journal mornings with stream of consciousness exercises, and
I’m again participating in Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdaywhenever I have time.  I write to a timer, 15-20 minutes, no editing except spelling, and of course I add my art!  You can do it too!
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “flyer/ad.” Look at the latest ad you got in the mail (if it’s a store flyer, choose the product right in the middle of the page) or choose the next online ad you find, and theme your post on whatever the product is. Have fun!

Fountain Pen Revolution came today!  Always nice when they are ads about what you want and about a sale… and there are going to be sales on the Himalayan UltraFlex.

I love these pens so much I draw them when I get them.
Beautiful swirling colors (may b the India connection but they are not color shy —
no boring pens here) and the ultraflex nib allows for flexing lines
without having to pay for a gold nib.

The sexy-flexy nib makes even my handwriting look good!

Some peeps have a bit of trouble with them — I’ve had to heat set the nib,
And that is not what some peeps want to do but it is so easy.
Don’t do it unless it is an ebonite fountain pen feed!

Saturday morning, 10am, and three telemarketers called while I was writing this…
NOT the kind of ads I like.
There is a special place in hell for the person who designed the robocall.

For the rules, go to Linda’s blog;  feel free to join the fun!

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Daily Journal, 3

My favorite WRITING journals?

Personal preferences, and you should try several to find yours.

I like grids or dots best, or blank.
Must take fountain pens… though some bleed can be tolerated — I use fat juicy pens!
I want it big enough to write a lot in, but not too big.
I like bound journals, but not essential.
I like a pockets in a journal, though I can add my own.
I like sturdy closures of some sort.

These red/grey/black Cadic or Okina journals
(above and at the end of Daily Journal, 2) are still my favorite journals.
After trying out several new journals I am going back to them once
I get through some of the others I have bought.
Their size is a bit bigger than the 5×8 (A5 in a Dingbat above) — 7×10 (a true B5).
OE or OKINA NOTEBOOKS (also known as CADIC) can be bought at WetPaint.
Flax may carry them in-store, or contact Bud Felson 505-310-3746

I’ve tried a few journals this year, and other than my
Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook and Hahnemühle Watercolour Journal,
I’ve only found a couple that meet even half my needs.

I’ve enjoyed Dingbat Journals, but like the little bit bigger size of a true B5.
If I was not going back to Cadic I’d buy more of them.
I wish they had a few more nice colors, but I love that they are environmentally friendly.

And while Archer and Olive makes a beautiful journal, they are just not my cup of tea.
I am using the ones I have for special projects…

I think finding a journal you like is important,
may not be able to be put into words.

Get over that “i’m-not-worthy” feeling of
having a beautiful or wonderful journal

and you don’t have the right or best words to put in it…

What do I do if I start a journal and HATE it?
I repurpose it.  I do not ruin my writing for several months with the dang thing.
I mean more to me than that.
Sometimes it goes into our finish room or some such place for note-taking
(minus my person pages!)

WHERE do I journal?

I like a good spot to journal…
wow my mind immediately
went to the ocean.  But then it would, beachgurl that I am!
Most times it is in bed before
the day starts, or at its end.
Fewer chance of interruptions.
If I am not moved to journal, which is rare, I do it anyway.
I take 15 minutes at beginning
and end of the day and give it a go.
I have a Post-it list of things
to write about at the back but I rarely use it.  I also like to have a clean creative place to journal — and so my painting desk is often a journaling spot in our studio, but…

Never ever at my business desk.  Too distracting.

I also like coffeehouses.  I stay away from bakeries, too tempting.

Also, if I go to a coffee house or travel that is the only time my journal
leaves my home… I really don’t want to lose it.
That is just me.  Toooooo much information in that journal.

You feeling like yours might be read?

I’m not talking about a kid,
or if you live with roommates and peeps come and go.
By all means, in those cases, lock it up.
But I know if I had to worry about my mate not respecting my privacy
I’d have to take another look at my mate!
I personally (not saying you have to be this way) don’t care if Mitchell reads mine
but if I asked him not to he would not… trust is important in mates.

I think it is important that you do not have to edit what you write in your journal.

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