Tomorrow: 6th Annual Crafty Chica Art Cruise

By this time tomorrow, I'll be floating somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, heading toward Mexico. Blue skies, warm sun, turquoise seas and a handsome man holding my hand.


Michael and I will be embark on our very first cruise at sea this week. An 8-day cruise. By ourselves! Alone! No kids! Can you believe that! Did I mention we're going by ourselves?!

I guess I can stop using exclamation points now, but you can surely understand my excitement. Michael and I haven't been away together for over a year. In fact, we've never been anywhere without all of the chil'rens for as long as seven days.

What in the world are we going to do with ourselves? Riiiiight?

Well, we'll definitely have plenty of things to do, like...making cool crafts and art! We'll be on the 6th Annual Crafty Chica Art Cruise with Kathy Cano-Murillo.

I am super excited, not only to spend some amazing quality time with my husband, but also to meet new people and make some cool stuff. Right now, I am knee deep in packing. I will most likely burn the midnight oil, making sure everything on this list will be complete and ready for tomorrow.

I can tell you right now, I've got at least a quarter of this list to finish, and it's nine o'clock at night. Can't wait to get away from the daily grind so I can remember what it's like to just be.


Sinerlandia at Crewest Gallery

This was my absolute favorite piece. The Virgin Mary and a bottle of Aqua Net?? It doesn't get any better than that.
I recently made the trip out to L.A. to see the opening of Sinerlandia at the Crewest Gallery. Siner is one of the most well known graffiti artists from the infamous LTS (Last to Survive) crew in Los Angeles, respected as one who has created his own distinct style.

When I heard he was having his own show, I knew I would have to make the opening and represent because sadly, Mike was working on a mural in Studio City and wouldn't be able to attend.

The running joke is: I like Siner's graffiti style more than his.

But seriously, I've always considered Siner to be one of the best graffiti artists to come out of the L.A area. And I'm not just saying this because he is a good friend of my husband's and they have O.G roots in the same graffiti crew. I am completely unbiased! I swear. Ahem.

I've known Carlos for about sixteen years now, and he has steadily been on his grind. He's got more amazing talent in his freaking pinky finger and a hundred graffiti artists combined.

For reals.

What I dig about Carlos and his art is that he melds together L.A scenery from your mind's eye. Signage, graffiti, murals, tagging--all the things that people here in Southern California visually ingest on a daily basis--and he combines them into something that is stimulating and beautiful to look at. It grips you. What I really love about his work is how he incorporates designs and motifs from the ancient Americas. Aztec, Mayan, with some religious icons and Chicano iconography sprinkled in.

This Minnie Mouse piece looks familiar. It was also in a show at the Buckwild Gallery in Venice beach.

Carlos (a.ka. Siner) and I, in front of one of his newer pieces.
Loteria cards, I see you.

So, head over to downtown L.A. where you can check out this really amazing show at Crewest Gallery. Sinerlandia will be up until April 29th. You can also check out Siner's other professional work at El Sapo Studios.


April is National Guitar Month

Did you know that? I didn't. Since I have a lovely guitar strumming son, I thought I'd share.

Funny thing is, when your children are young, it's hard to look at them and see what they are going to become when they are teenagers. When I decided to sign up my son for guitar lessons two years ago, I envisioned him strumming peacefully around the campfire, perhaps volunteering to play in church on Sundays.

I'm so naive. 

Noah will turn fifteen this year. Fifteen. omg. He has developed a taste for classic rock and Metallica. I cannot tell you how often I've heard Shortest Straw blasting from my son's room. He plays both acoustic guitar and electric. Every day my family enjoys the loud noise of him practicing with the amp plugged in. Some days, I find that we are yelling louder than we normally do just to communicate the simplest things.


After a while, I'm like, why in the world are we yelling? 

It's because my dear son has his amp cranked up like he's in a music studio, and not a 1400 square foot house with seven other people. So yeh, this is what it's like living with a guitar player. Sometimes when he mentions that he wants to join a band, I cringe a little inside. Believe me, I love that he can play an instrument. But the thought of him making a career goal out of it kind of gives me heart palpitations. I imagine this is what it felt like when I told my mother I wanted to be an artist. Michael's mom probably felt the same way.

Man, we're hopeless! Heh.

While I grip my chest, enjoy these gratuitous rock god photos of my boy.

The hair only adds to his potential rockstar status, right?

An electric guitar, which was gifted to Noah by Elissa and Joey of Punk Rock Parents.

Hope you enjoy National Guitar Month. Give someone who plays the guitar a big hug and thank them for making beautiful music!


Sister love

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.  ~Author Unknown

When I was seven years old, my mama had another baby. A girl. All I remember is that when I woke up one morning, my mom and dad were gone and my dad had whisked my mom to the hospital. My aunts explained to my little brother and I what was happening.

Your mom had the baby. She's almost as big as a sack of potatoes.

I didn't get it, being only seven years old. But she was a big baby, just shy of ten pounds. When my mama returned from the hospital one grey afternoon, I remember running alongside our yellow Datsun as they slowly drove through the driveway to the back of the house. My cousins ran alongside me. We were excited.

I mean, she was this big fat baby the size of a sack of potatoes. Come on, now.

But my mama shooed all of us and our dirty hands away from the baby. Typical mama. Eventually, she let us see her close up. My baby sister Jennifer was all fat cheeks and big, bald head. Her birth was a blessing to my family, I realize now. My entire family had just gone through this huge traumatic event--my grandfather tragically died and my uncle was fighting for his life in the hospital. And yet, this little baby was born. She was like a healing balm on my mother's heart. My uncle's too--he used to hold her and give her kisses from his wheelchair and neck brace in the rehabilitation home.

She was my roommate for several years. She would wake up early and sing softly to herself and her dolls. She used to cut off my Barbie's hair and write on their faces with marker. Once, when she was about three years old, we were driving home from a summer BBQ in the back of a VW bus, and she was bouncing around on my lap (there weren't any car seat laws back then). Suddenly, she puked up her lunch all over me. I reeked of hot dogs and mayonnaise for the rest of the ride home. I think I can still smell it. Oh, and remember that Pacman drawing for the book fair contest you ruined, Jennifer? Obviously, I haven't let it go.

I can see all of my beautiful nieces in my sister's photos.

I had a laugh because I couldn't find any photos of us together when we were younger because we were probably too busy scratching each others eyes out and grabbing fistfuls of hair.

Sister love.
Happy birthday, sister. May you have many, many more. I love you from the bottom of my heart!


My Instagram Life

I'm still posting over at Babycenter's MOMformation everyday. Most days it's awesome sauce and other days it's as if I beat a hornet's nest with a bat, and a gang of angry bees are chasing me, ready to sting me something fierce.

I'm also writing for Mamiverse, which is a site for Latina moms and daughters. Add homeschooling, baseball, music lessons, tutoring, family, my art--well, life is crazy as usual. I thought I would share some random photos of my daily escapades since pictures speak a thousand words.

Nevermind that I can't remember life before Instagram.

Where you can find me every Saturday morning and afternoon, cheering on my boys and leaving a pile of sunflower seed shells in the dust.

This is the sky I get to feast my eyes on when I'm sitting at the baseball field. Not too shabby.

Michael, working on a painting as a going away present for our friends.

My collection of plates on my kitchen wall.
Sometimes me and man sneak away for some sushi. Mmmmm.

It kills me to pay this much at the pump but recently I've become quite the adult, filling up my tank and not driving around town on fumes!

Pear collage on a 4 X 4 inch canvas, using collage pauge and cut pieces of paper.

Sol was honored at his Boy Scouts meeting because of his positive, non-complaining attitude. Um, wow!

Mike worked on a giant Buddha mural in L.A. a couple weeks ago. The jewelry is real, and mounted onto the mural.

Batting cages. Someone needs a haircut.

Pear collage/painting.

Dirty Ghetto Kid.

Poodle curls.

I have this giant cactus in my front yard. I'm so afraid it's going to collapse because of its size.

Two finished pairs of Phil. 4:13 TOMS shoes, off to a good home.

The Mission Inn, a main attraction in my hood.

How adorable are these cake pops for my nieces birthday? So yummy and delicious.

Michael taking a quick photo break on the job.

That Costco margarita mix is the business. I just needed salt on the rim.

Until my next photobomb....much ♥ to you.
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