31 December 2010

out with the old...

in with the new! I trust you all had a great holiday and are spending some time reflecting on 2010 as the last day of the year is here. I had a fantastic Christmas, quiet, filled with love and relaxation. I needed it after a whirlwind of rough times at work and projects that left me feeling tired a slightly bitter.

after some time to relax and refresh I feel great and ready to face 2011 with an open heart. there have been so many changes taking place in my life and many more on the horizon. I am hoping to attend graduate school next fall for art therapy and my life is certainly taking a new direction going from art assistant to mental health. in the meantime work will also have some changes, as some relationships will have to end and new ones will begin. It's a bitter sweet time for me. I grew fond of my life the way it was, but as with everything, the only constant is change.

with all of these changes I have been inspired to make even more change at home, both in my environment and in terms of health. part of that decision process is to let this blog go in favor of a personal journal, handwritten, for me. so, dear blog, you have done me well these past 2 years, but I need to be more private with my thoughts and become more introspective so that I can cope with the massive amount of change ahead of me.

since I gather that many of you readers are those I see or speak to regularly, thanks for checking in and I'll see you on the non-virtual side of the world. for the others out there, you can still visit jillringler.com to get updates on my art and such.

good bye 2010, farewell blog....happy new year! xo

19 December 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I am trying to make time for the sweeter things in life this Holiday, like time with friends and long phone calls to those that are far, tea, warm sweaters and cuddling up with the cats and my love. In other words, I am trying to make time for simple pleasures during a time that can be rather chaotic and stressful. I am rather sick of life being such a ball of stress! It can be challenging to make time or have money for it all, but living creatively I've turned things around a bit this year.

Decorating: A smaller tree with handmade snowflakes on the windows and stockings.
Baking: I will make one treat instead of baking for a small army.
Cards: Making it simpler, but still personal. A small personal list will receive hand written, mailed cards and the larger mass will receive an e-card, but still artful and personal. The artwork for each are photographs by Philip:

Gifts: Bought and Handmade. Rather than making everything this year, I've caved into buying some things and it feels pretty good! Less stress to make the 'finish line'.

With all this, I am able to meet my budget and even take a short break off of work to enjoy it all. That my friends is priceless!

I hope you find warmth and joy throughout your days this Christmas and I wish you the happiest of New Year's! xo

14 December 2010

Twas a successful event!

The Richmond Art Center was a success! We had a great time, sold some stuff, and supported a good cause.
The table
More pictures here.

01 December 2010

Richmond Art Center Holiday Arts Festival

Friday, 3 – 7 pm & Saturday, 11 – 5 pm

Hope to see you there!!

26 November 2010

busy as a bee....what else is new!

It's that time of year and oh-so-many changes are happening, hence the lack of posts, although I am certain no one is missing me. (just being honest, i've been considering letting the blog go bye-bye and sticking to a private journal-guess we'll see!)

The big event on the horizon is keeping me the most busy and I am very excited for this year's annual Richmond Art Center Holiday Arts Festival - Next weekend to be precise, December 3 and 4. Two whole days! It's going to be great! Last year certainly was and they've made some great improvements to the schedule and overall event.

Please come and support me, along with the fabulous Chase Clark and Sylvia Min. We have a great assortment of handmade accessories for you, your home, your friends and family! Last year Chase's ornaments were such a hit, we thought it would be nice for all of us to create our own for the table.

Pardon the poor images, but here is a sneak preview of what I've been working on:

Hope to see you there! x

07 November 2010

where to find a living tree for christmas

Any ideas on where to find a live Christmas tree in the Bay Area??
I found this awesome 'Adopt a Christmas Tree' service that delivers a tree AND picks it up to plant it somewhere when Christmas is through (they even come dressed as elves!). Sadly this is only in the San Diego area. I found another version in the LA area, but nothing up here the Bay Area yet.

I've been using a cheap-o, made in China, fake tree, and probably will continue to do so just out of sheer guilt of what happens when the time comes to get rid of it (landfill). Lately I've been thinking about ways to have a live tree because I've been inspired on my hikes form inhaling the most fragrant, delicious, refreshing air.

Creatively speaking, what about alternative ways of decorating with ornaments?
It's so difficult to be eco-conscious and creative sometimes. In some ways you never win on the eco because everything has an impact especially in the art materials section. But seriously, if we are supposed to make strides toward it, we have to use our creativity to find solutions.

Perhaps the answer is to use what I have and keep pondering.

If you have some links to share, brilliant ideas, or just some thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them!

Hope autumn is being kind to you!

31 October 2010

happy halloweeeeeen!

check out some photos for our second annual pumpkin carving party / silent movie at the sf symphony. sooooo super fun:)

24 October 2010

i'm back

Back to the Bay and happy to see the summer is behind us and fall is here to greet us with rainy days filled with warm beverages and baked goods:)

Click Here for photos of our road trip. Perhaps you need a preview?

i've waited a long time for this

Amboy, CA


tumblin' tumble-weets

Mojave Dessert, CA

Route 66 is a great summary of americana from the landscape to the food and everything in between. We both took tons of photos and soaked it all in. What an amazing adventure! Glad to be back though. x

30 September 2010

new artwork!

there's more to see on my website

27 September 2010

road trip prep and art update

well well well. i can't show you the new series just yet because we have to take photos and prep them for the little show I have coming up. we are installing this Friday so I should be able to post them over the weekend so stay tuned!

on a more 'my life is so crazy my head spins' sort of news, we are in full 'must do before we leave for the road trip mode' over here and I know i am neglecting many things because of it. before we leave town every little project or other thing in my life seems to need major attention. it always works this way, but since there is nothing I can do, I am just taking it a day at a time and trying to breathe. so, my apologies in advance for not responding to snail mail, phone calls, emails, or any other mode of communication in a timely fashion.

with that in mind, here are some October events we have going on that may interest you:
I think that's all for events in October...sheesh! We also have Best of the Bay, a photography exhibition of student work opening November 2, 5-7pm at the University Art Gallery at CSU, East Bay.

say it with me, "vacation"

15 September 2010

30 days of September-half way

we're here at the half way point of "30 days of September"...the question is not "can she do it?" but "where is this all going?" themes are popping up, but thus far it looks like it's going to be a weird-y.

so far only one day was like pulling teeth to get me to draw, but I did it anyway and must say this is all very good for me and my motivation. not to mention I am having fun...here is a sneak peak of what the first 15 days has brought to the drawing table:


since i still have 15 more days, i am tempted to try and pull it all together by following the thematic patters, but at the same time, this is about how everyday is, well, different...any thoughts? i'll be back with more sooner than later...x

11 September 2010

I tell you what, this is the stuff. amazing. delicious. so good for you. i have been obsessed for a while, but my obsession has recently amplified due to my new juicer. today we braved the green juice and it turned out spectacular! i made 2 versions-traditional green (spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, romaine) and the other was pure magic---greens + ginger +lemon + lime + apple = whoa! i shall name it wowie zowie green genes. I found the recipe on Dr. Oz's web site. smells a bit like fresh mowed grass in the house, but the drink tastes more like heaven and worth the labor. I was worried it would not yield much juice and end up being cheaper to buy pre-made, but not so...i think you get about double the amount. here's to greens!

10 September 2010

30 days of September

no, i'm not trying to recite that little poem that helps you remember how many days in each month. i'm trying to make an october deadline for an exhibition of my very own at the Oakland Professional Development Center downtown.

since i paint slow and procrastinate when it comes to important me things, like making art, i thought better to challenge myself to a dual than give up the fight. the book i've been reading has been amazing at helping me see where my creative 'road blocks' are. apparently i am a generator-which means i have so many ideas that it's easy for me to loose sight/keep track, let alone complete each project i want to. so here goes...

the rules are simple--one drawing, one hour, one day, every day for september. and so far so good! next week i hit my midway point and will give you all a little peak into what's happening visually. for the exhibition i will pick the 15 best and pair them in interesting ways. so far there is lots of potential for silliness...but what more would you expect from me? dark, deep, poetic? nah...I leave that stuff up to Philip. me...I just want to have a bit of fun.
stay tuned for more!

04 September 2010

island adventure...

whoops! i got lost at sea for a minute here. let me tell you about my adventures to an island not so far from my home....
scooby dooby doo
Forbes Island is a short little boat ride and yet feels a million miles away. This place was once a mobile island home of sorts, now turned restaurant, just off the shore of San Francisco's Pier 39. Between the boat ride, lighthouse, underwater dining room (complete with fireplace and endless nautical themed decor including actual portholes), and bathroom set up as the captains quarters, this place feels more like a scooby-doo episode, or as the author of this great article put it, a place James Bond would dine. The owner is even captain of the little vessel that takes you out there! Too cool.


Although it's quite expensive, it's worth every penny, and for my money, should be saved for a romantic evening or celebration. The staff is amazing, the atmosphere is charming, and possibly most importantly the food is delicious!
(see my complete set of pictures here)


30 August 2010


No, it's not Halloween (yet--although the weather could prove otherwise out here in the Bay...), but we certainly don't need a holiday as an excuse to play this very very cool board game. Chase and Dennis came by after we had a delicious meal and broke out this game. It was great fun! The board gets built as you go along, creating dead ends and weird twists as you battle each other and Zombies to the finish! Wish I had a better image to show, but there are plenty of photos here if you want to know more details.

hope summer is being summer:)

15 August 2010

good days

In a follow up to my earlier post on 'good mornings', and because this blog is dedicated to living a creative life, i thought i'd share what's been occupying my free time as of late: "Creating a Life Worth Living", by Carol Lloyd. This book was given to me a few years ago when I graduated as a motivator to not give up on making art and finding a way to support myself in the process--something we all struggle with, a delicate balance at that. I recently picked it up and have found myself wowed and challenged by the experience.

Without reading the book I created a post graduation life by starting a business from my freelance work. I came to pick the book up after finding myself feeling that there is something more that this, something better, something that will leave me feeling deep satisfaction at the end of a day. Although I am not completed with the book, which is a self guided tour of the author's workshop, complete with exercises and real life examples to help you along, I am beginning to see patterns within myself and getting many ideas for the future!

Philip and I have embarked on some major lifestyle changes around here and this book is merely one of my self motivating/disciplinary challenges. After 3 weeks things are going great and I am feeling much more inspired. We quit some of our less healthy activities (mostly tv/computer attachments) and replaced them with walks, talks, record playing, book reading, letter writing and home cooked meals--all things we love to do, but mostly saved for the weekends. Now on the weekends we do more of the same, but also get creative and take day trips. For my birthday last week we took off to Point Reyes for a 6 mile hike. Leave it to me to choose a challenging hike as a way to celebrate life! It was fabulous though. Breathtaking.
looking at the trail ahead

here's to living a creative life!

26 July 2010

philip's art happenings...

well it's been a whirl-wind of a month and so much to fill you in on, but for now let's go with a highlight....about my dear husband's recent art happenings...
One of Philip's photos was shown for "Wondrous Strange: A Twenty-first Century Cabinet of Curiosities" at the SFMoMA Artist Gallery! It was a great opening complete with a costume theme and variety of spectacular performers! (The costume theme was 18th century-Modern time travelers...which basically translates to a Steam-Punk aesthetic. Note the aviator version of me below...)

If that wasn't exciting enough, Black and White magazine published a fantastic 8 page spread on the guy! It's the September issue which came out early to subscribers, but look for it this fall at your local bookstore! So proud:)

10 July 2010

good mornings

I've been thinking about self discipline and how inconsistent I am. Granted it's human nature to be inconsistent, but I am feeling off track these days. In an effort to get back on track--meaning back to feeling good and energized-- I am creating a 4 day jump start plan that will hopefully get me going again. Why 4 days? I am house sitting and it seems like a good idea to begin something when you are out of your comfort zone and more likely to get up and go!

The plan is simple--for the next 4 days I will create a morning routine that enables me to feel energized and centered as I begin my day. Such as:
  • get up earlier (I am a 8:30-9 girl, but want to try for 7:30-8)
  • do a yoga/meditation routine for 30 minutes
  • Have coffee and light breakfast
  • NOT check my email
  • NOT go back to bed for 10-20-30 minutes
  • Take the time to gather my thoughts and intentions for the day (rather than leaving the house and forgetting something 5 times)
  • Use any extra time to do one chore before leaving the house
So some of this I already do, like the chore, but it interferes with things I would rather do, like meditate or take time to figure out what I need for the day. Hopefully this jump start will get me going beyond 4 days and give me inspiration to do more self discipline exercises, like afternoon walks and evening back stretches. Not that I want to be a metronome or anything...I'm just looking for some quality of life changes for the things I know make life easier and more manageable.
~be well

26 June 2010

road trippin....

on the occasion of a new hand-me-down car, plans for a grand adventure have begun and are in full swing! a new road atlas and some great new music are my new best friends! oh i just love summer days- day dreaming and making big plans for the future! i am sooo super excited that i've even begun to organize a cd binder centered around our destinations and am brainstorming all of the little goodies we'll need for the road, including cute outfits!

so, where are we going? mostly a route 66 adventure between my beloved birthplace, Michigan, and my home sweet home, California, set for this October so the colors will be brilliant and the weather unpredictable.

we're working on the details, but i can say our major stops will be something like this:
Michigan (all over to see family), St. Louis and Branson, Missouri, Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2 glorious nights!), and a final stop at the Grand Canyon before heading home! All very adventure packed, on a rather tight schedule I'd imagine. I look forward to hitting the road with my sweetie, finding some strange road side attractions and hopefully a great pair of cowboy boots!

14 June 2010

new website / interview with valiant v

dear bees,
after careful consideration of what was a lovely year and a half of crafting and so forth I am closing the curious bee studio and etsy shop.

merely looking for simplicity in life, i have switched my domain name to jillringler.com, and have begun to re-vamp the site for a more up-to-date version of what i have been up to and where i am headed.

i will have an updated shop on the website and this fall a new series of art to share with you all! i will continue to post current events and announce updates via this blog. so in truth, not much is changing except my website address and the closing of my shop on etsy.

the curious bee lives on as my alias, but not as a formal craft business--cuz that gets complicated and i so need simple in these times--too much to keep up with and new things are on the horizon which will make life even more rich with flavor and consequently time suckage.


on another note, many of you may not know, but my dear friend Ashley (aka valiant v) in London recently posted an interview with me. check it out here. 'twas super fun!

wishing you all happy summer time love,

13 June 2010

homemade shaving cream and more!

at long last, i finally got around to making some deodorant, lip balm and shaving cream. the deo. and lip balm came from angry chicken's mail order #11. a very savvy guide to homemade cosmetics and remedies. while preparing for this i began thinking about other items not in her recipe book, like shaving cream, lotion, and facial masks. The last two I am working on recipes for, but the shaving cream was made and it was oh-so-fun!

i thought i'd share the recipe for those interested in saving oodles of money. i myself have a husband who shaves his head, so needless to say shaving cream is a staple in our house and the natural/organic blends at the store add up quick. so after some research i found a base recipe that i modified to whip up this cream.

equipment: blender, double boiler, medium mixing bowl, container to store it

2 cups hot water
1/2 cup stearic acid (use a vegetable based one like this)
4 tablespoons evening primrose or jojoba oil (canola oil works too)
4 tablespoons grated soap (2 oz)
2 teaspoons borax powder
1/8 teaspoon liquid lecithin (optional - preservative)
1/4 teaspoon vitamin e
10 drops essential oil of your preference (i used atlas cedar, black pepper and patchouli)

  • melt stearic acid and oil together in double boiler, until clear and fully melted
  • add vitamin e and lecithin and stir well
  • in a separate bowl, mix hot water, soap, borax, and essential oil together until powder and soap is fully dissolved
  • pour the soap mixture into a blender and blend 1 minute
  • pour stearic acid mixture into blender
  • blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until a cream forms
  • scoop cream into airtight container, cool and store int he refrigerator
  • mark with date and check after 2 weeks, esp. if not using lecithin
some notes on this:
first about stearic acid... vegetable based is essential to avoid the toxic animal version that is found in most conventional cosmetics. there is a lot of info on the web and most of it is bad and is referring to the animal variety, which is made from animal fats (not a cruelty free method..) my go to source is mountain rose herbs, a wonderfully knowledgeable place for all things organic, sustainable etc.

second, about the lecithin... this is a soy preservative that is usually in a granule form. i was lucky to find a liquid form, which is very easy to use. while it's not essential to use a preservative, i feel a little better knowing that it will not spoil after all this effort. since my homemade concoctions have been limited to cleaning products, i thought better to be safe with the cosmetics.

last, about the method... the blender will create a crazy soap froth on the first blend, when you add the oil mixture it may be difficult to get the lid on without frothy spill-over. i recommend letting the soap settle for a few minutes before adding the oil, but to be sure the oil is fully melted, keep it on the boiler until it's time to add. once you get the lid on and start blending the mixture condenses and will not explode on you--which i was oh-so curious about when making this last night.

it's really rather lovely:)
we made some deodorant and lip balm as well. the lip balm is delightful, although it will melt down to a liquid in the summer heat, so i am avoiding throwing it in my purse! as for the deodorant, it works. i do not stink. my husband is a little underwhelmed by the coco butter smell being most dominant and the combination of this with his essential oil blend, according to him smells a bit like weed. to me it smells like soil, which i find pleasant--but apparently he's not into smelling like a pot head. my blend smells a bit like lavender brownies when you get your nose in there, but otherwise just lavender. i am enjoying it, but will work on some variations in the future that are less coco-buttery.

well, that's a wrap from the ringler lab.

22 May 2010

cherry pickin'


we went to brentwood to pick some cherries and pet some alpaca! what an adventure, we went to a you pick farm called Bacchini's Fruit Tree. we lucked out when we decided to do this because it was the first weekend of you pick cherries. we also snagged some huge apricots! it was so nice to hop up the ladder and find clusters of gorgeous deep red cherries.


then we headed off to an alpaca farm called Black Diamond Alpacas. These creatures are so amazingly distinct and silly looking, but oh so adorable! they had the males and females separated and it was amazing to see how differently they behaved. the females were much more excited than the males and the males were so cuddly and curious.


they had just been sheered so they had these crazy mop flop hair dos. they reminded us of new wave hipsters in a way. they also have these crazy teeth, in fact only on the bottom jaw. one of them, i believe his name was 'Max' nibbled on my hand a bit and gave me kisses.

afterwards we headed into town and had burritos at la costa. muy delicioso and only $4 for a huge portion! we were so amazed at how inexpensive things were out there. we even caught a movie, iron man 2, for a mere $4.50 each! i tell you what, it's worth the drive to get some great farm filled goodies and a date on the cheap. we will be back this summer for berries and peaches! yum yum. x

14 May 2010

Give Global:: Alive Chiropractic Fundraiser for Haiti

I recently donated a bunch of handmade goodie bags to my chiropractor, Alive Chiropractic, run by the power duo Jennifer Wilhelm and Kara Waltz, for a fundraiser to send money for food and water to an orphanage in Haiti. Kara recently visited Haiti with a group of doctors and they held an event where she could share her story and give the community an opportunity to donate to the cause. It was amazing to see where donations were going. These children are true survivors and all the money goes toward feeding them. The first of two events was today and the second one is on Tuesday, March 25, 3-6pm. I highly encourage you to go if you are in the area. You can purchase raffle tickets for $10 and there are also chair massages offered for any donations given. The prizes for the raffle were all donated and include my goodie bags, yoga and pilates classes, jewelry, haircuts, therapy and ayruveda sessions, massage, acupuncture, wine and personal training sessions!! Need not be present to win! All very good things people.

09 May 2010

congratulations natalia!!

my very talented friend natalia has finished her MFA at CCAC in SF...(that's alota abbv's--master of fine arts at a very very art college, for those of you not in the area). she is very brave and talented and inspiring and i am so happy for her! the show was like a circus, marching band, performance artists in bondage gear and stripper poles, food and people and art EVERYWHERE. outside there was some firefighters doing their job to keep the fire code in check as they removed bikes that were chained in doorways--i think they had quite a bit of fun with the chain saw!!
it was quite a scene which made it difficult to really see any one thing, but I did my best, had fun, and I was very happy to see Natalia's vision in person-here are a few shots of her installation:

I also got around to reading her accompanying thesis. i am not done, but so far i am amazed and cannot wait to see where it ends up. it's a very emotional tale about blurring the line of predator and victim from the perspective of horror film characters. woah. heavy stuff, let me tell you, but brilliant. i am half way into it and i had to put it aside and let it soak in. it's very hard to read, but in a good way, so I'll take it in 2 parts please. man my dreams were weird after that night. anywho, here's to all the MFA grads, especially my dearest Natalia! xo

27 April 2010

writing letters, homemade everything, free art

i have a bit of fire under my seat over a few things...new art supplies, handwritten letters, and angry chicken's email order #11. she is such a brilliant human! after downloading, printing, and ordering what i need to make some things, i am antsy antsy antsy--which is good because it's fueling the other projects i have going on. (more on this later when i have the chance to make homemade deodorant and lip balm!)

"what other projects?" you ask? well...i. am. painting. again! wow.
after much time and sketching, until something felt right i, i found myself back at the easel. last night i sketched out my first panel and i am also quite antsy over that too because you need time to paint of course and time is scarce. ooohhh but it's exciting! it took a while to undo the undergrad mind boggle- almost 2 years, yikes!-but keeping the parts that matter and mean so much while leaving the rest behind takes time. making art takes time. everything takes time. so no rush here, i will find time in between it all and report back.

i have also been writing letters to all of my friends who live far. Phoenix, Detroit, London, all too far for a visit, phone calls are great, but hard to get to, and letter are just so enjoyable to write and receive. plus i get to use all of my adorable note cards!
one last exciting thing:
MAY 29, 2-5 at Spritzer's in Alameda

Philip and I participated in the first half of this event over the weekend. It's put together by a former professor of mine, Dickson Schneider, many of his past/current students, as well as his friends and lovely wife. It is very much FREE and you have the chance to walk away with free art. It's simple--show up sometime between 2 and 4 to get a raffle ticket, walk around and mingle with friends and fellow artists and take a peek at the art on the wall. Later they will call tickets one by one and each winner gets to pull a piece of their choice off the wall to take home FREE. They will call ticket numbers one at a time until all of the available art has a home. We each took home a great piece last weekend and are looking forward to possibly more. (I myself am holding out for a Dickson Schneider. I like to collect art from those who have inspired me and he helped me navigate through my BFA, which means a lot to me!)

20 April 2010

help me/help you

well...the spice rack is here, installed and functioning in all it's glory. Philip actually thanked me for the "improvement to our quality of life", which is a lovely thing for him to have pointed out. especially after me coming home, frustrated and crabby, desperate to clean/organize something in an effort to chase the grumpies away...as soon as i walked in i saw the box and went for it. et viola! new and improved spice storage was born and i came back down to earth...
i realize that sanity can only happen for me when i have a way to let the excess build up of life out. lately i have been channeling my extra energy (the crabby kind, the restless kind, and the happy kind) into hiking or cleaning. i have spring fever like you wouldn't believe and as a result...i am *sore* because this little bee was in hibernation for far too long until recently.
i have been hiking, on average, every other day since the 1st of the month. some are long and really push me, others are short and sweet which i fondly refer to as "pipers", and in the in between times i have taken the household chores to a new level. so, getting back to this whole "quality of life" thing, it makes sense for something that i find to be mentally therapeutic to also be seen as "improvement" on the physical or environmental level. i am sure that i am receiving multiple benefits from stress alleviation to cardiovascular health, but for someone else to receive the benefits of me taking better care of myself is so nice to see on such a simple level. i believe it's true that if we take better care for ourselves that others benefit from it too. i remember times when i was not so fun to be around and i know that took its toll on those near...and far...since those days and many big life changes, it's nice to realize that it comes all the way down to the little things as well. note to self: keep doing what i am doing, it can only benefit the whole.

10 April 2010

and the kitchen project begins!

yes, i am afraid to say, that i am about to bore you with another household project, but seriously, i am super stoked and therefore must share! plus it's an interesting thing to consider: aesthetically speaking, does it matter what things look like as long as you can find them?
well...to that i say, as many others before me, that good design is always a combination of
function and form. so i am set to research and find that which provides both with a bit of beauty!

as i mentioned before my goal is to phase this thing out. since i am such a klutz i think tackling the spice cabinet (which i often break things due to sticking my hand in and knocking out several jars) is a wonderful place to start. so here is what i bought:
this expandable, 3 tier, bamboo spice rack was a little more that i would want to pay, but it's so much nicer to look at than plastic or steel with rubber. as a bonus it's more eco-friendly.

i will do some before and after photos this time so you can see the transformation.
stay tuned, or take a nap.

08 April 2010

april brings may brings teaching!

i am in the early stages of excitement here, over teaching a class for the city of Emeryville!

jitters be damned! philip and i have been hoping to add workshops to our business since day one and with having a mobile studio we sought options in the community. we proposed 2 courses and although they were both accepted, the photo class could not happen due to facility limitations that could not support our vision. we plan to propose it again in the fall once we see more of the classroom offerings and make some adjustments. oh, but the good news is that my creative process/mixed media class did go through!! and it will prove to be a wonderful way to keep me and others inspired to MAKE! what could be nicer?

so here is the break down:

Each session is 4 classes and meets 3 hours per class. I have designed the course to explore the creative process by using mixed media techniques to open the imagination and also observe how it feels when working in a particular way. For example, working small vs large--how does your body actually feel in comparison? Is it frustrating or liberating? If I were to ask you to write a word of your choice over and over and over again how would it change? Would the word feel less meaningful or more? The limitations set upon the student during an exercise will allow the endless possibility of what something could be feel less overwhelming and more inspiring.

The best part about this class is that you do not need to have any experience just a desire to play with art materials and paper. It's geared toward those who have a creative block or simply do not know where to begin. It's also just plain fun for anyone. Philip and I are hoping that much of what takes place during this course is freedom of expression and the gaining of individualized knowledge of what the creative process is.

If you would like details on when, where, cost, etc, please visit our website!
Please also pass the word along to anyone you think may benefit from this class by referring them to this page or our website.

Coming soon: more details from the City of Emeryville at emeryville.org
(they are currently updating the web site)

It's very exciting!

29 March 2010

spring transitions

i am slowly adjusting to the time and season change, which caught me off guard as usual. i am coming out of my winter cocoon of warm milky beverages, baked goods, and movie after movie curled up on the couch during my hard to come by down time and moving toward the active-i-need-yoga-and-hikes-and fruit-smoothies mentality of spring.

i have to say this is a more difficult cocoon to break free from this year. the transition is full of push and pull--i am pushing myself away from winter habits and being pulled back in from time to time. i notice even the weather is having the same back and forth pattern as i am. part of my pull was this weekend when i decided, after a particularly strenuous week, that i needed a baked good and i needed to make it my last batch for a while.

i had a ripe banana and some apples that needed to be baked or composted so i made some banana-apple muffins that were outstanding (recipe below)....so outstanding that i ate 2/3 of them over the weekend... when i approached 1/2 of them (that's 6 between two days and in my defense they are smallish) i was so stunned by this fact --there was a time when i would be upset over this and scold myself, but instead i had a farewell ritual with the last muffin and a giant cup of black tea with milk and honey. it was a great thing to do! instead of gobbling the muffin i ate it slowly and mindfully while sipping my tea. i acknowledged the passing of time and transition into spring, as well as the need to be more active and cultivate my goals.

last week as we entered spring with gorgeous sunny weather, i jumped onto the hiking/yoga wagon and felt energized and strong. this week i feel sluggish and tired as the skies are overcast and the air is misty and cold, even with yoga and coffee in attempt to energize myself. i know that transitions can be difficult and are full of ups and downs. this is true of all transitions from changing jobs to boyfriends and everything in between. through my observations i am of the mind that since we are part of nature it's better to mirror the cycles of the seasons, up and down, back and forth--it's fine--it's natural.

so when you are in the mood for a shameless muffin, here is the recipe:
Makes 12 muffins--

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 TBS unsalted butter
2/3 cups white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 avg. size apple - peeled and shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Grease and flour 12 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg then stir in the vanilla and milk.
Add the flour mixture, do not over mix, stir until just blended in. Add the banana and apples.
Fill each muffin cup half full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy. I like to add just a dollop of creme fraishe or eat plain, slightly warmed.

24 March 2010

2 years and counting on many more

after 2 whole years of marriage i am a believer in the amazing and beautiful bliss of being and staying in love. i suppose it is hard work to stay so in tune with one person for so long, but honestly it feels so easy and so wonderful! a very good sign:)

the traditional gift for the second year is cotton. so i made him a love letter out of the organic cotton notebook fabric kit from Leafcutter designs (world's smallest postal service). he made me the coolest portraits of us from halloween and super sweet love poem on cotton photo paper.

we had a lovely get away to sonoma thanks to the sale of several books to the local book store and a few anniversary gifts from family. we stayed at the fairmont as a nod to our wedding night at the fairmont san francisco. we got a serious upgrade to a junior suite which came with a fire place, living room and jacuzzi tub! holy hell that was nice...far more luxurious than the room i booked online! they take such good care of you if you are celebrating something special. free room upgrade and free booze, but since we don't drink they gave us sparkling cider for the room and a few bottles of voss mineral water at dinner, which probably cost more than the wine they offered us.

the trip was amazing. we went on a hike through Jack London park and saw the remains of his old house and had a picnic. we checked in and went swimming, had a lovely dinner and night by the fire. in the morning philip got his lemon pancake wish-- they were outstanding. i got my spa wish and it was also outstanding. i woke up early for some yoga, followed by a "vanilla float" treatment, which consisted of a scrub down and moisturizing with vanilla lotion while sitting in a floating relaxation bed and a vanilla shake afterward. i also did this amazing ritual bath with mineral pools and saunas. needless to say we left super sleepy/relaxed and once we made it home we napped and then stayed in for movies and takeout.

i am SO grateful to have had such a luxurious trip. i really needed the break from the everyday. all and all a fabulous get away.
now back to the real world...*sigh*

21 March 2010

craft show update

reporting back from Craft Happy, Fremont...the show was FUN! a smaller venue and less foot traffic, but a success nonetheless. My magnets were a hit and I received several compliments on the journals I hand embroidered. Our table was fun to design and we also received many kind words on the cuteness of it all. Sylvia had these incredible handmade birds and eggs, which got the attention they deserved with all the awwwwe's and squeals of delight. She had this ingenious idea to make covers for kitchen mixers too and I hope to one day have one of my own.

We also had a last minute art show on our wall. Sylvia came up with the project --we used 3 of each others photographs to make a minimum of 3 pieces of artwork in 24 hours. We titled the show "Limits" to emphasize the limitations we set using these photos as departure points/inspiration. Sylvia is full of great ideas like this and I had to thank her for lighting a spark back into my creative being...This is the first real series of art that I have made since graduation! (that's 2 years and waaaay too long) It was interesting to see how my body tensed up and then loosened as I got further into art making process. It was also interesting to see my color pallet and use of animal imagery were alive and well as they came right back into the creations I made without hesitation.

I am exhausted but elated. I plan to regroup and use the fact that I have plenty of left over stock to set aside craft time for art time.

off to Sonoma tomorrow to celebrate 2 years of happy marriage.
until soon!

07 March 2010

march madness...

greetings from the hive! it's march and it's madness, but the very good kind. we are two weeks away from the craft show and meanwhile Ringler Studios is booked solid this month with 2 installations, 2 regular clients, and one (very exciting) new one. so this weekend was a combination of resting and creating---two of my favorite things!

some new projects came about with a recent donation to my little studio...a button machine!!!! yeah!! many thanks to miss ashley who gave away the lot for her big move to London. (i was also bestowed with a full size ironing board which i cannot believe i lived without for so long! it just makes pressing happy)

here are the first fun creations from the button machine, which I have made into magnets:

i used some vintage animal and nature books from my collection of resource materials, cutting out or drawing in as i went along to create these mini collages.

i also continued with some hot-cup cozies (not shown) and checkbook cozies:

update on the screen printing:
test prints came out okay, not great...mainly because I am without proper inks at the moment and the budget is too low with having spent this months allowance on an upcoming anniversary gift for my dearest. I figure it's been a year in the making, what's another few months? so not in time for the craft show, but in time indeed.

other crafts/projects in the works:
i need to tackle the mess known as 'the pit of despair' that is my pot/pan/bowl cupboard. i am already obsessing over a kitchen re-organization project, penciled in for April, and budgeted for each phase. something like this. a pegboard hung on the wall to host the pans and a few organizing tools to keep the lids-etcetera in order and i should be set. (but a spice organizer and an under the sink drawer would be a bonus, so like i said, phase by phase we'll get it done:)

and that's that...i'm off to get more relaxation in to what's left of the weekend.

27 February 2010


some serious silliness...there are many more where these came from, enjoy!

23 February 2010

and we're done...

*sigh* it was a several hour assembly with some minor swears and now a sore back...i know..you cannot even see the platform in the picture, but i assure you it is there and looks just like the one i posted earlier. so happy to be done. so tired. gut nacht meine freunde. x

craft happy announcement

Craft Happy
Craft Show Featuring
Sylvia Min, Jill Ringler and Other Crafty Folks!

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Niles Banquet Hall
37270 Niles Road, Fremont, CA 94536

Please come out and support your local artists!


Sylvia Min
Eco-friendly Accessories for You & Your Home
• Art
• Bags
• Home Decor
• Kitchen Products

Unique handmade items created from
organic cotton and felt made from recycled plastic bottles.

E-mail: sylviamin@yahoo.com

Jill Ringler
Handmade Gifts and Accessories

Assortment of handmade goods from accessories to stationary,
using a combination of vintage, re-purposed and new materials.

Email: thecuriousbee@gmail.com