She’s crafty!

Yesterday was art day for my sister and I.

First we had a delicious vegan breakfast at Grate Full Gardens in downtown Reno.

Then we went to the Nevada Art Museum and stared at art.

This was outside and made me think of Burning Man:

We were so INSPIRED by the art we saw we decided to try our own hand at it and went to Clay Canvas to paint pottery.

I started with a small blank platter.

I added a little paint and voila. . . a nice cheese platter for my mom:

What amused me about the whole painting process is that my sister and I picked up a bottle of wine to sip and enjoy while we were painting.

Right next door to The Clay Canvas is a restaurant that sells bottles of wine to go.

It’s a match made in heaven.

So we got our bottle of wine, slipped it into a brown baggie, and opened it at the pottery store.

Since we didn’t have cups, I grabbed two dixie cups.

Classy, eh?

Well, the hostess at the clay store OBVIOUSLY thought this was insane, because she came to us while we were sipping out dixie cups and she handed us two clear plastic cups.

I mean, it’s okay to drink wine while you paint, but could you please drink your wine out of a proper cup?

That’s my sister and I – always classing up a joint!

Color me happy

Once again, I somehow managed to convince not one but TWO friends that it would be fun to run around on a muddy field throwing paint at each other for Stanford’s Holi celebration.

Poor Barbara and Yvonne.

Truthfully, Barbara knew EXACTLY what she was getting into because she went with me last year.

Yvonne was a total newbie and it was fun introducing her to the CHAOS THAT IS HOLI.

Think Indian music, Bollywood dancing, Indian food, and A WHOLE LOT OF COLOR!

Basically you go to Holi to enjoy this festival of spring by throwing color on all your friends.

A few tips:

  1. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  2. Keep your mouth closed or you’ll be eating color.
  3. Whatever you do, DON’T GET WET. The dye will set in.
  4. Wear white. It shows off the color to the best advantage.
  5. Have fun and wish everyone a HAPPY HOLI!

Here is our BEFORE photo!

And here we are mid festival:

And finally, what we look like when we exited the festival:
So much fun!


Dolly, exposed

So here is Dolly, in all her 1990s era glory, complete with mauve curtains and teal seat cushions.

But first, the beer I drank while I was hanging out in Dolly.  Sure, it was 10 o’clock in the morning, but aren’t you supposed to drink when you’re in a tent trailer?

And now Dolly, the right side of the tent trailer, showing the king size bed.  Note the dated curtains and cushions.  And the mess.

Now the left side of Dolly, showing the full size bed and kitchen area.  Grungy. [Please ignore my son’s airsoft weapons in the trailer.]

And finally, the kitchen itself.  Sad.  Pathetic.  God, that faucet needs to be swapped out.

imageAnd finally me, sitting in my tent trailer, happy as a clam to be working on it.  And VERY HOT.

So here are a few of the improvements I have planned:

New curtains.  I have 11 yards of vintage trailer fabric that I’m converting into curtains for the tent trailer.  Bright, festive, and colorful.  They certainly cheer the place up.  A touch of retro glam.

A new lock on the door:

A new faucet:

Freshly painted cabinets:

And, of course, stick-it-to-it vinyl faux wood flooring:

I am doing these remodels all on my own.  Perhaps with a little help from my friend Jeep.  But I’m insanely proud of myself to be tackling these chores solo since I’m usually the type to need a partner to keep me going.  And since the tent trailer has spiders, I’m having to confront my phobia at the same time. Brave and strong, that’s me.

Can’t wait to post pictures of Dolly after her makeover.

My Paint Adventure

If you know anything about my family, you know that my birthmother is a PHENOMENAL artist. Truly extraordinary. No matter what the media, she excels in it – be it painting a mural for a church play or sketching an image in pen and pencil.

If you know anything about me, you know that I DID NOT INHERIT MY BIRTHMOM’S SPECIAL TALENT.

Oh, I’m passably good at three dimensional stuff – quilting, sculpture, and makeup. But that’s nothing compared to the true artist that my birthmom is.

I challenged myself to take a paint class with a coworker at one of those wine and paint parties. I wanted to push past my self-imposed limitations and see what I could do.

Here are all our blank canvases. We had a full house of almost 40 people!

Here is my “paint palette” – basically a paper plate with tempera paint on it (basically the same kind they use in preschools all across the country).

I know. Don’t get me started. I was quite disappointed that we weren’t using REAL paint, but in the end the result was still impressive.

Here’s a bit of the progression of my painting.


And here’s the finished product

And finally, a shot of my biggest concern during the whole painting experience… accidentally dropping my paintbrush in my beer.

Now that would be tragic.

Artistic Abilities

Groupon is determined to make me take a painting class.

Clearly, they have not received the memo re: my artistic skills.

No matter how hard I try to paint or draw, everything turns out looking like a kindergartner drew it.

I find this ironic, because my beautiful birthmother (below) is an AMAZING artist and can draw and paint absolutely anything to perfection.

I guess it skipped a generation.

What am I good at as far as art goes?

Well…. I can quilt up a storm (samples below) and have probably completed at least 40 quilts for my family and friends.

q1 q2
q3 q4
q5 q6
q7 q8


That’s about it.

Oh yeah, I can sing too.

Does that count as art?

In any case, I’m still looking for activities to do, that don’t involve a paint brush and canvas.

Here’s a list of what I’d like to do:

  • Attend the Elton John concert
  • Go great white shark diving
  • Go camping
  • Go fishing
  • Go boating
  • Go sailing (doing this on 6/14/14)
  • Learn to surf
  • Fly an airplane (again)
  • Learn to make beer
  • Take a go go dance class at Sedusa Studios
  • See Jim Gaffigan perform
  • Go to the theater
  • See an opera live
  • Go rafting with friends, drink beer 🙂
  • Play ball at the batting cages
  • Take a mixology class
  • Take a Barre 3 class (under the high recommendation of my friend Christina)
  • Go to a Giants game
  • See the 49ers play in the new Levi’s Stadium

Any other ideas?  Share them with me at or comment below.

The one where she lands a date in less than an hour

I was all set to go to Holi with Jeep.

Me: Don’t forget, the festival is tomorrow. Do you think you could be at my place at 11 AM?

Jeep: Good morning….. I can’t wait to hang out with you…. 🙂

Jeep: Really excited.

And he wasn’t the only excited one. I was excited to go to Holi too. I was looking forward to it.

Then at 8 am the morning of the festival, Jeep cancelled.

Jeep: Good morning Michelle… I had one of the guys no call no show… I got called into work this morning so I’m not going to be able to go with you dammit… ugh.

So I scrambled to try and find a “date” to go to Holi with me. And who I found was the Beekeeper – a 50-something-ish professor who raises bees and teaches Aero/Astro in the Bay Area.

He was a lot of fun, and a really good sport for someone who was about to get covered in paint…

Him: Sounds like fun. I’ll need to cut out around 3 – 3:30. If that’s not a problem, I happily will join you.

Me: You will need to cut out earlier and shower.

Him: Shower?

Me: Lol… the paint…

Him: Paint? What kind of a festival is this?

Me: Like a color run but without the running. It’s a Hindu festival of spring.

And indeed, it was a spectacular festival. The beekeeper was a total gentleman and sprinkled color on me instead of throwing fistfuls of it in my face, like my boys do. We danced, we ate tasty Indian food, and had an all-around great time.

Here’s a BEFORE pic:

And here’s an AFTER pic: