Jan 09 2009

California Journey…

Published by at 4:15 am under children,photography

My partner and I took a short trip during Christmas through the New Year to visit family in California.  Getting out of town was not an easy thing.  I was down with a bad cold, the car needed work, and a snow storm had just hit Portland, bringing record snow fall, the likes of which we haven’t seen for something like 40 years.  I’m not kidding.  It took us 5 hours to travel from Portland to Salem, which is usually an hour drive.  Portlanders had been snowed in for days, so the first break in the storm saw a crowd of anyone with chains willing to travel south.  We broke a chain just outside of Portland, so we (courageously or foolishly) pulled through the Sisiskou mountain passes with just one chain.  It was pretty scary, and we’d heard that two 18-wheelers had jack-knifed into each other the previous day, sliding into the ravine.

After driving for 20 hours (normally a 10-hour trip), I was very happy to settle in to spend Christmas with my sister, Beverly, in Ukiah.  I really enjoyed spending some time with her family (which included my bro-in-law, Steve, and my favorite nephew, Warren).  My only regret is that I was still very much under the weather at that point, and forgot to take any photos!

California beach children By the time we arrived in Carlsbad (near San Diego), my congestion had lifted and the weather was practically balmy.  We stayed with my partner’s brother, Matt, his wife Danielle, and their 2 beautiful children, Isabella and Ian.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take some photos at the beach.  The kids are so involved in whatever they are doing, whether it’s playing with each other or making pictures in the sand…. and I even got a few that may inspire some paintings.  Another wing of Christo’s family joined us a day later (Niko, Amber, and their 3 kids), so the house was full and quite rambunctious.

While we enjoyed the New Year in a nearly tropical setting, Portland continued to be hit by snow and rain.  I was quite happy to miss it.  I even started to think about a more permanent southern migration, but I haven’t lived in Portland long enough to say it isn’t working for me.  I’ve actually got a great set up here: a terrific house, membership in a cool co-op art gallery, web clients, a teaching job at the community college… and a neighborhood that feels like home.  The main thing is that I need to remember to leave a couple of times during the winter (next time, before or after a storm, not during).  I also think it’s time to consider the art market in California.  I’d like to get some gallery representation, or even just boutiques to sell my prints and jewelry.   On my next visit I’ll focus more on that.  This was a time for connecting with family.

Child's pendant choker I was really glad that I happened to bring some of my pendant jewelry with me to give to the girls in the family.  What surprised me was that the boys were interested in having pendants too.  In addition to the give-aways, I sold several pieces which actually helped pay for this trip!  Also, when it came to adorning the pint-sized Telullah (Niko and Amber’s daughter, at right), it was clear that the large glass pendant was overwhelming on her, so I created a tiny pendant just for her.  This encourages me to start a new line of children’s necklaces (or for adults who prefer smaller jewelry).  The cool thing is that the necklaces are adjustable… and for some reason, everyone really digs them, so I’m happy to have something that people can’t seem to get enough of!

On our way back up, we visited with Christo’s niece, Sunya, her husband Randy, and their kids in Fairfax, California.  Tao, Satchum, and Inua were just as photogenic (and eager to get in front of the camera).

Mama Sunya with Tao

I created a slide-show from my trip, which I made mostly for family members.. or anyone who’s a fan of pics of beautiful children (most of them on the California beach).  Click link below (or any of the images on this page):


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