I have been so long away from this blog, I would be surprised if anyone was still following it!   If you are, thank you for being so patient with me.

Allen and I took a year off from doing the Hwy 62 Art Tours and that freed us up for traveling. We got back recently from a fabulous fall foliage trip to New England.  The change of scenery was refreshing one and it acted like a jumpstart on my creativity.  Then, as soon as we returned we toured as many artists’ studios on the Hwy 62 tours as we could fit in both Saturdays and I helped Karine Swenson with sales in her open studio on both Sundays.

A few days later Ann Congdon invited me to be part of  the upcoming         Broadview Open House and Desert Bazaar.  This event will be an unusual and exciting mix of Vintage and Handmade, hosted by 6 eclectic women from 29 Palms; Ann Congdon, Pam Anders, Vickie Waite, Sue Kelly, Terri Haskell and myself.

 I will have available my most recent small canvases, some older “tin can collages”, brand new collaged holiday themed magnets, ‘Round Twentynine Palms ornaments, cholla luminaries, tiny paper houses, and other handcrafted items……

Please join us at the historic Broadview estate

Friday December 12th  from 3-8


Saturday December 13th from 9-3

Bazaarcard by Ann Congdon


An abundance of good friends,  new friends, art patrons, curiosity seekers, fellow artists, and wanderers showed up for our Annual Open Studio Art Tours Event the end of October.  It was a homecoming, of sorts, since Allen and I were in Detroit marrying off our youngest during the 2011 Hwy 62 Art Tours.  My new direction of small canvases was well received, in fact I sold several, and my large canvas was the topic of much discussion.  Fellow artist, Deborah Martin, gave me the canvas with a challenge to work large and after staring at it for a month, I took the first brush to canvas .  I was pleasantly surprised with the result and at the feeling of  “opening up” that working on a larger piece gave me , physically as well as artistically.   If you are interested in seeing it in person, I entered in the Southland Show currently hanging at the Twentynine  Palms Art Gallery.

Allen and I will be traveling during much of the next couple of months but my art is available at ArtF/X & Furnishings  in Yucca Valley, D L Bowden Frame Shop and Gallery in Twentynine Palms, and the Glass Outhouse Gallery in Wonder Valley.   If you are in the Bakersfield area, I have entered four pieces in the Small Works Show at the Metro Galleries on 19th Street.

This holiday season keep your eyes open for the abundance of unexpected  small pleasures hidden beneath any burdens you may carry.

Endings and Beginnings

The first month of 2012 has been a busy one. I closed my shop doors for the last time, and expected to sit back and relax a bit.   Instead, life  quickly rushed in to fill any void  I might have experienced!  Moving an entire bookstore and art gallery back to my small home studio,  finishing the last traveling moleskine and sending it back to its owner, family members in need of care, cupboards desiring restocking, and long neglected home tasks.

I have managed to begin several new pieces of art, they await me.  I was asked by Carlos Reyes to hang some in his new gallery in Yucca Valley,  ArtFx& Furnishings,  so those are the priority right now ~he opens in 4 days!!!  Beginning March  4, 2012 Jennifer Ruggiero and I will share the walls of the Twentynine Palms Inn with a show featuring her luminous photography and my petite assemblage,  those pieces are next on the list.

I eagerly anticipate being part of a new long distance art project, Hilary Emerson Lay has launched a Sock Critter Adventure that I have been chosen to be part of.  Read more about Hilary and her quirky pals with the link above.

Hope you are all making interesting inroads into 2012!

September Events

Hello friends:
Just a reminder that MitaBee ~ Art and Books will be closed from August 16th-September 8th.  When we reopen in September there will be a couple of exciting events you won’t want to miss.
 Saturday, September 24th from 9:00-4:00: Embellished book workshop
Put them all together in an exquisite repository to inspire and delight you, to remind you and to enliven you.
In our workshop we will create beautiful pages with collage, paint, stamps, found objects, layering and  embellishing, texturing and aging, until the beginning and  end are one in the same and you never end up with what you  had planned …. 
but something much, much better.
Using a small cardboard book as our base, so we can  spend more time on content and creativity than construction and you will go home with an adorned  and treasured tome.
I will provide all materials, paints, papers, books,  magazines, glues, stamps, found objects and ephemera  

HOWEVER  you will end up with a more personal piece if you use things that you find and that are interesting to you. When you are going through your everyday life keep a look out for pages from  magazines, newspapers, fortunes from cookies, quotes, maps,  wrapping paper scraps, bits of lace or material, ribbons,  vintage packaging, images, old photos, tickets, small found

 objects and memorabilia that might work for you. Bring extras to share!
This is a beginner’s level workshop but if you have  any favorite tools (scissors, exacto knife, pens, mediums, glues) bring those for your personal use.

 This workshop is limited to 6 people , class  is  $50 with a $10 material fee
You may reserve your spot  by emailing me (

Friday,  September 30th from 7:00-9:00 pm  Ruth Nolan book talk and signing

Ruth Nolan, Professor of English at College of the Desert and poet/writer, will give a lecture based on the California desert literary anthology, No Place for a Puritan: the literature of California’s deserts.*
The lecture is open to the public, free of charge, and will be followed by a question/answer session including members of the audience.
The desert anthology was edited by Nolan during a year-long sabbatical project.
“This book is a reflection of my lifelong passion for the California desert, both in spirit and intellect, and includes a widely comprehensive overview of our region, starting with stories of the Cahuilla and other desert Indian tribes, up to contemporary desert writers,” says Nolan, who uses the anthology as a reading companion for the creative writing and literature classes she teaches, including the popular Inlandia Writers Workshop in Riverside.
The presentation will focus on selected readings from the collection, including works by local authors Susan Straight, Juan Felipe Herrera, Gayle Brandeis, and Nolan, and will include a discussion of historically, philosophically and culturally significant works by nearly 80 other authors in our region and beyond, including voices of well-established, little known, and emerging writers.
  * available for purchase at MitaBee Art and Books

See you all in September!


Finishing up a piece of art today and looking through my discarded books for an odd page or two to “seal” the back with.  Choose a page from Belford’s Chatterbox from the 1800’s  for its nice stained  and aged pages and as I pasted it to the back I noticed the passage, “She had a touching way of referring to her mother as if she were not dead, but still here with us, mixed among our comings and goings.”  I often do that myself and it made me think of my mother (who was part Bulgarian)  and just then The Bulgarian Choir came on my music mix in the studio!

I finished that piece and grabbed another page, completely at random, selected  only for the symmetry  of the print on the page and noticed just before I glued it down that it contained a poem by John Ruskin. I just spent the earlier morning reading all about the Ruskin Mill Educational Trust  where my son Nicholas is working  this summer in Nailsworth ,England.

Inspired by the ideals of William Morris, John Ruskin and Rudolf Steiner, the Trust has developed a unique and brilliantly successful approach to problems of social exclusion, economic decline and environmental degradation.  The trust operates on three campuses that are simultaneously residential colleges for young people with learning disabilities,  seedbeds  for economic regeneration and centres for artistic renewal.

Artist renewal……..

Dog Days

Excerpts from MitaBee ~ Art and Books newsletter:  the Summer Buzzzzzzzz……

 Summertime is entrenched in Twentynine Palms and the heat is on. (although, blessedly the temps were much gentler this last week)  Visitors from out of state and out of the country seem to enjoy the triple digits on the thermometer and every so often when the door opens at MitaBee ~ Art and Books  there is an unfamiliar face.  Lured away from the comforts of a cool hotel and pool they have ventured out to explore our little city.  What is missing this time of year is the steady flow of locals that once populated our streets and bolstered the local economy by spending their  hard earned dollars at the various small locally  owned businesses.  Think Local when planning that next shopping trip.

The slow times  do give me the perfect opportunity to work on my petite assemblage pieces in my onsite studio.  Small rusty tins (often sardine cans with their vintage key attached) surrounded one of a kind collages.  Pieced together with faded photographs, old maps and words clipped from discarded books then adorned with found objects and bits of  forgotten memorabilia. Rarely measuring over 4″x 2″ and priced at 30.00 each these small moments in time are the perfect hostess gift or birthday present. Easy to mail and easy to hang.  There is always room for one more MitaBee!  I have finished 3 series since May, the first using a background of fabric from a dress I found wrapped around a creosote bush along a dirt road in Wonder Valley, the second series features a vintage playing card with an image of a Joshua tree and for the third series I used joss paper printed with a hand carved original image of a Joshua tree.
MitaBee Art and Books will be closed from August 16th – September 8th so I can replenish
my rusty bits, my used books and MYSELF!

In closing, if you haven’t been in to MitaBee ~ Art and Books, please drop by .  If you have visited  but it has been awhile, check back, we have new books and  new art every week!
  Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 9-5. Friend us on Facebook for the latest news, happenings and sales!
And you can also find me on my new online gallery at ArtFire!
MitaBee ~ Art and Books
An eclectic little shop with 
Local Art and Low-priced books  

6594 Adobe Road (just south of the fire station)

Twentynine Palms, CA 92277  


Friday ~ Saturday ~ Sunday ~ Monday  9-5

The Shrine Auction is Open!

Over 25 artists have contributed stunning pieces to the 4th  Gallery of Hope online auction to benefit the street children of Oaxaca, Mexico.  I am honored to be included with these remarkable, talented and caring individuals this year.  The website is now available for viewing and registration and the bidding lasts a short week so waste no time.  Please read browser notes at bottom of this post if you have trouble accessing the link.

“Imagine a virtual gallery teaming with  love, compassion, inspiration, kindness and joy.   A gallery where each offering was created with the intention of making a bright difference in the lives of others.  Please join our efforts and help us transform hope into reality for children in need”.

Rebecca Brooks, founder of the Gallery of Hope

The Gallery of Hope Shrine Auction is open for registration and viewing June 1-4 and for bidding  June 5-12

You will need to access with firefox/mozilla or google chrome,  internet explorer does not seem to work.

Mozilla/Firefox are alternative BROWSERS to Internet Explorer if you do not have these browsers use the links below to download them.

 for windows use this link
for apple use

Spring clings to the Desert a little longer this year!

Normally by this time of the year we are hitting 100 degrees with some regularity.  But not this year and I , for one, am ecstatic.  I think, create, and function better when the mercury is lower.  I just finished 4 pieces of art for Woods in the Desert Art Gallery . Andy is celebrating the one year anniversary of his gallery in Joshua Tree , California this month with new works by featured artists Robert Arnett, Scott Monteith, , Rik Livingston, Mike Smiley and Mike Fagan and me!  My piece “Time Flies” is featured in the postcard advertising the event, thank you Andy!

The Artist Reception  is this Saturday, May 14 starting at 5pm as part of Joshua Tree Second Saturday Gallery Crawl. Hope to see you there!

Desert Sanctuaries

This is the finished “shrine” piece that I made for the Gallery of Hope .

Gallery of Hope

I am please to be part of the Third Annual Gallery of Hope.

This worthy cause raises money for the street children of Oaxaca Mexico. Take a moment to visit this grassroots organization that supports by offering a hand up, encourages positive change through education, and “pay it forward” ideals.  Supporting the lives of countless indigenous children who otherwise would never have the opportunity to go to school.

Participating artists create shrines that are then auctioned off online. Get a peek at some of the beautiful shrines created .  I am still working on mine!

The site for the auction itself will be released later in April….the auction begins May 1, 2011