New Art Studio

Woo hoo! We finally got the building permit for my new art studio, and they poured the concrete foundation for it yesterday. Today they started on the framing, and it’s beginning to take shape. So exciting!

Cassandra Tondro Art Studio Ventura, CA

Cassandra Tondro Art Studio Ventura, CA

Cassandra Tondro Art Studio Ventura, CA

They’ve also been working on the screened-in porch and deck, off of the back of the house. The new sliding glass doors at the back of the house have a beautiful view of the back yard and the mountains, and really open up the bedrooms.

Cassandra Tondro Art Studio Ventura, CA

The cats are going to love their screened-in porch when it’s done.

Cassandra Tondro Art Studio Ventura, CA

We still have a ways to go, but I can see that there’s light at the end of this very long tunnel. It looks like I’ll be able to paint again this spring. It’s been almost a year since I last did anything, except for the performance in November at Cosmotion.

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Art at Community Memorial Hospital

Twenty-three of my paintings are on display in the windows on Loma Vista Road at the Coastal Communities Cancer Center that’s part of Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura. They just hung the show today, and it will be up through early March.

Art Display community Memorial Hospital Ventura

It’s hard to photograph because of the reflections on the windows, but hopefully you get the idea.

Art Display community Memorial Hospital Ventura

Check it out if you’re in the area.

Art Display community Memorial Hospital Ventura

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Construction Update

The construction guys just left for the day, so I thought I’d take a few pictures to show you how the construction of my art studio and screened-in-porch/deck are coming along.

They’ve removed most of the stucco from the back of the house, which was an ear-splitting job. The house was shaking so bad that it felt like an earthquake, and some of the plaster on the ceiling fell down. The stucco needed to come off because the back wall needs to be reinforced for the roof of the screened-in porch.

Construction of art studio and deck

This is the view of the yard from the new screened-in porch, with the foundation for the art studio in the back, on the right.

Construction of art studio and deck

Closer up view of the screened-in porch which is off of the back of the house. It will be a 16′ x 16′ room, primarily to give the cats some outdoor space.

Construction of art studio and deck

And we’re ready to pour the foundation for the art studio, as soon as that building permit comes through.

Construction of art studio and deck

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Milestone

The odometer on my car flipped over to 100,000 miles in the Whole Foods parking lot today, and of course I got pictures!

Toyota RAV4 milestone

Toyota RAV4 milestone

Toyota RAV4 milestone

It’s a 1997 Toyota RAV4, and it still looks and runs like new. It’s been a great car, and I so appreciate it’s many years of service. It has faithfully taken me everywhere I wanted to go, and I hope it will continue to accompany me on my journeys for years to come.

Toyota RAV4 milestone

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Carpinteria Seal Rookery

I was up in Carpinteria today, so I stopped by to see the seal rookery. Harbor seals come ashore there in January through May to bear their young. Those may look like rocks on the beach, but they’re actually seals. They sleep on the beach until the tide comes in and washes them back into the ocean.

Carpinteria Seal Rookery

Carpinteria Seal Rookery

This is the only place on the California coast where you can see seals in their natural habitat, and it’s a very protected area. People are not allowed on the beach, and no loud noises that would scare the seals.

I took a video of them and a second video of a turkey vulture flying by. The turkey vultures hang out and eat any seal pups that don’t make it.

If you don’t see the embedded seal video below, click here to view it online.

If you don’t see the embedded turkey vulture video below, click here to view it online.

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Ocean New Waves Quilt

Look at how fabulous my friend Sally Trude’s “Ocean New Waves” quilt looks in my bedroom. It ties everything together perfectly. Sally creates incredible quilts, some of which you can see on her Objects of Design blog. I think this may be the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen, and I’m so lucky to have it.

Sally Trude Ocean New Waves quilt

Sally Trude Ocean New Waves quilt

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New Year’s Day Hike at Charmlee

Toby and I celebrated the new year with a hike at Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu. Charmlee is one of the prettiest places I’ve seen, with oak covered paths overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful sunny day for it, but cold.

Charmlee Park in Malibu

Charmlee Park in Malibu

This is our New Year’s Day selfie, in front of the eucalyptus trees!

Charmlee Park in Malibu

The hills are turning green after our recent rains.

Charmlee Park in Malibu

Charmlee Park in Malibu

It’s a great place to start the new year — quiet and peaceful, and it’s so nice to be out in nature.

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Mud Mud Everywhere

Not only is my backyard nothing but mud, but now the front yard is mud, too. They took up the grass in front today, because the tractors will be going away soon, and it’s easy to remove grass with them — not so easy by hand. Wow. What a mess. It’s hard to imagine how this is all going to come together. The good news is that no rain is forecast for the foreseeable future.

Ventura House

Ventura House

Ventura House

If we have good weather, the art studio in back should be done in a couple of months, and the screened-in porch and deck a month or two after that. Then someone is going to have to do a LOT of landscaping. Probably me, right? I want to put in a drought-tolerant garden. Do you have any ideas for how I can make this look beautiful?

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Ventura Botanical Gardens

I took a hike up the Ventura Botanical Gardens trail this morning, in the hills behind City Hall.

Ventura Botanical Garden

It was a lovely day for it. I could clearly see the Channel Islands off the coast and the Ventura pier sticking out into the ocean.

Ventura Botanical Garden Islands

Here you can see light fog hanging over the midtown area, and the ocean stretching out toward Oxnard.

Ventura Botanical Garden Ocean

Lupine are starting to come up after our recent rains.

Ventura Botanical Garden Lupine

And the sagebrush has turned green again. The hills have the beautiful smell of pungent sage.

Ventura Botanical Garden Sage

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Happy Winter Solstice!

Here are pictures of the beautiful solstice sunrise in Ventura this morning. Happy Solstice everyone!

Ventura solstice sunrise

Ventura solstice sunrise

Ventura solstice sunrise

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