Woodblock art

The Seacoast in Autumn by David Bull

The Seacoast in Autumn by David Bull

Boy in boat- simple black and white woodblock author unknown

Boy in boat- simple black and white woodblock author unknown

Okiie Hashimoto 1959

Okiie Hashimoto 1959

Ray Morimura

Ray Morimura

Temple author unknown

Temple author unknown

Clifton Karhu

Clifton Karhu

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Kawase Hasui 1935

Kawase Hasui 1935

Amanda Gordon Miller

Amanda Gordon Miller

 

Woodblock art is a favorite medium of mine. With its youthful playfulness, deep, rich colors used in this type of style speaks with an honest and realness that I just really love and admire. The process of making a single woodblock is quite labor some. Each color you see in the print is made from a seperate wood block. Here is a great tutorial by David Bull (tutorial here)

I have been scouring the internet for classes in my surrounding area to learn in the traditional Japanese way in the art of woodblock. Unfortunately, it’s such a small niche that not many people are doing. So the searching continues…

One of my favorite modern day wood block artists is David Bull, out of Tokyo, Japan. He became obsessed with woodblock art after seeing an exhibition in Canada. Unfortunately, there were no classes offered so he started making them himself (I should take this as a hint to myself!). I hope you enjoy the collection I have presented here.

Family Trip: Santa Barbara & Hearst Castle

Playing in the sun- Santa Barbara

Playing in the sun- Santa Barbara

Coastal Pine and blue sky

Coastal Pine and blue sky

Found a pretty one!

Found a pretty one!

Moonstone Beach, Cambria

Moonstone Beach, Cambria

It was so peaceful here

It was so peaceful here

LOVE

LOVE

On the bus ride up the hill to Hearst Castle

On the bus ride up the hill to Hearst Castle

Main house

Main house

Gorgeous view

Gorgeous view

Entertaining hall

Entertaining hall

Dining Hall

Dining Hall

Marble statue

Marble statue

View of Neptune pool

View of Neptune pool

View from below

View from below

hitching a ride- it was a lot of walking

hitching a ride- it was a lot of walking

Goddess Nike

Goddess Nike

My girl

My girl

She was ready to go!

She was ready to go!

A girl and her bird statue

A girl and her bird statue

Roman pool

Roman pool

 

Over the Christmas holiday break our family traveled up the California Coast to beautiful Santa Barbara for some holiday R & R. After a very long drive through L.A traffic we made it to our destination-the beautiful Hotel Santa Barbara (conveniently located on the very happening State Street). We headed out to eat and found a nice restaurant- Kai Sushi. We weren’t too hungry so settled on a warm bowl of Ramen.

After a good night’s sleep we got up early and headed up the 101. Before our trip I did a search of places we needed to make a stop at- our final destination being Hearst Castle- over three hours away.

We drove through the beautiful oak tree dotted hills in San Luis Obispo (SLO) and made our way to Moonstone Beach, in lovely Cambria. People had said that Moonstone Beach was not to be missed. The colorful rocks that blanket this beach are truly unreal. So many colors, shapes and sizes. We spent a good time here, playing on the beach, looking at all the pretty rocks and just relaxing.

After a little drive longer we made it to Hearst Castle! We had booked our tour (you should do this a month or so in advance- tours fill up quickly) and needed to be at our gate at a particular time. We made it up there with some time to spare so we watched a 45 minute long movie on the making of Hearst Castle- the amount of labor involved was unreal. Hearst definitely left a lasting legacy. The grounds, the art, architecture, the sheer mass size of everything is larger than life.

 

A year in pictures

Weekend in Palm Springs

Weekend in Palm Springs

Blissful weekend with friends at Big Bear Lake

Blissful weekend with friends at Big Bear Lake

tether ball fun

tether ball fun

Lots of beautiful music everyday

Lots of beautiful music everyday

Fun homeschooling!

Fun homeschooling!

Fresh beets from our garden

Fresh beets from our garden

Took Olivia snowboarding for the first time

Took Olivia snowboarding for the first time

Aerial Tram up San Jacinto Mountain- view of Palm Springs

Aerial Tram up San Jacinto Mountain- view of Palm Springs

Planted my first Japanese Maple (love this tree!)

Planted my first Japanese Maple (love this tree!)

Watched Olivia become a really great ice skater

Watched Olivia become a really great ice skater

Saw this sweet girl write her first book about a little panda

Natalie wrote her first book about a little panda

Spent lots of time creating art

Spent lots of time creating art

My best friend had her baby- Welcome Farra!

My best friend had her baby- Welcome Farra!

Good times with good friends!

Good times with good friends!

Did my first tea ceremony for others to see

Did my first tea ceremony for others to see

Many hikes in wilderness

Many hikes in wilderness

Has had the best year getting to know this great lady-good times at the blueberry farm

Has had the best year getting to know this great lady-good times at the blueberry farm

Training in Hombu Dojo, Tokyo Japan for the first time- amazing experience!

Training in Hombu Dojo, Tokyo Japan for the first time- amazing experience!

Awesome traveling companions to Japan

Awesome traveling companions to Japan

Had my first onsen (traditional Japanese bath) experience

Had my first onsen (traditional Japanese bath) experience

The people who make my world complete

The people who make my world complete

Aikido has really challenged me and has been a year of growth for me

Aikido has really challenged me and has been a year of growth for me

A fun trip to Disneyland

A fun trip to Disneyland

These girls are inseparable

Besties performing in their first play

Spending lots of time here makes me happy

Spending lots of time here makes me happy

Going through this last years pictures, I became quite emotional. As I clicked through which ones to highlight for this blog post I completely lost it- I was in tears. So many pictures, so many stories told. For me, there is something about seeing your kids growing up so fast, catching them as they become more independent, confident and watching them become their own person is pretty powerful to see as a parent. I am just so happy to be Olivia and Natalie’s Mom. I’m so lucky to have Philip as my husband and life partner. I could not ask for any more. My world is complete, and rich beyond my wildest dreams because of them.

What an amazing year~ So many fun, exciting, wonderful times and memories I had, shared, and lived with those I love and care about. Those experiences will forever live on as long as I keep snapping away on my camera.

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year full of wonder, excitement and joy.

Until next year…

Ramen soup with Kabocha and Turkey

kabocha ramen

One of my favorite things to prepare is soup. Nothing warms the body and spirit like it- and I really like having some for the next day as lunch, so I usually make a big pot of what-ever I’m making.

I have only recently been doing more ramen bowls. Each one has been different, and that’s the great thing about Ramen- you can add practically anything you want. I especially liked this one I made as I added fresh kabocha squash (one of my favorites). The kids have a fun time eating Ramen because they like using chopsticks to eat it with!

You will need:

Ramen noodles

Chicken stock

kabocha squash- chopped into chunks

turkey breast- chopped into chunks

2-3 scallions- chopped

Start heating up chicken stock in pot. Chop up turkey breast and kabocha squash and put into the pot to cook. Once the stock is near boiling, add the noodles. Cook for just a few minutes. Ladle into bowls and add the chopped scallions and season with salt and pepper. Super easy! Enjoy!