Every now and then, a really good e-mail comes your way.

It makes you want to smile and laugh out loud.

So, if you have a few moments ( 3:38 to be exact) ...make sure you have the volume on....


Update on the restoration of the mural room....

Patty West, owner of South Coast Fine Arts Conservation Center sent me these photos.
She also said that the fire left dirt and soot on the plastic bits.
As you scrool down, you will see the difference between the soot,dirt area and the cleaned area.
Amazing, isn't it?
Thanks Patty for the photos!!! I look forward to any other photos you might have in the future?!

Patty West from South Coast Fine Arts on top of scaffolding at the mural room.

Partially cleaned section at peak of ceiling.

Close up showing grease and smoke from the fire.

New Garden Section Filled With 122 Wishes!!!!

As you can see by the photos, the lines were full....all 122 wishes.

So, the wishes were shredded and added to the dirt......
They were placed with some shells and succulents..

a new garden section was
made with
your wishes!!!!

To learn more about how the wishing tree and garden started...check out world famous photographer Kenji and his terrific blog that documents this adventure:

Go See The Mural Room @ the Couthouse!!!!

In January of this year, there was a fire in the attic of the Courthouse. Black smoke and tiny bits of burning plastic flooded in to the mural room. The plastic embedded itself into parts of the paint and the smoke put a brown finish over the whole mural. To make things worse, the mural was never finished with a final varnish coat to seal the paints back in the 30's.!!!!
This makes for very delicate and tricky restoration work!!! View the complete story:

This is a copy of the mural...
...............divided into 4 sections =4 walls.

Enter... South Coast Fine Arts Conservation Center...
floor to ceiling scaffolding....
and multiple workers to clean, restore and stabilize the mural!!!

It is rare that one would ever get a chance to see restoration work done on this scale.

So, go up the stairs to the second floor.....................

Go in the door......

Look Up.........................................

It is like magic. They put a solution on the mural and then carefully blot off the smoke. It can go from a cloudy looking day to bright sunlight in a few blots!!


THE LINES ARE FULL, right up to the top of the sign!!!!

Now comes the time to harvest, shred the wishes...all 122 of the wishes(!), mix with soil and plant the back part of the garden.

Thank you to all who made a wish on the lines!!

For those of you who want to know how all this started go t0:
there you will see the photos of this story by world famous photographer and blogger of all things Santa Barbara, KENJI!

SOOOOOOOO,.........the lines are empty again and ready for more wishes. This next batch will complete the garden. COME MAKE YOUR WISH!!!

Got your Wishes Ready?! The wishing tree is back!!!!!

The plumbing repair is done. The wishing tree
awaits your wishes!!

So, on the front window of the frame shop,
sits a box. Look inside. Select the color paper you like...and write your wish on it.

Fold it in some way that covers your wish and clothespin it to the red lines...

When the lines are full, the wishes will be gathered and shredded. Then the shredded wishes will be mixed with soil and fill in the empty lefthand side of the garden. The garden will hold your wishes that will nourish the succulents, that will be planted in the soil.

Hold on to your wishes

Yikes!! The plumbing needed some repair, so the Wishing Tree is temporarily on hold.
If you have a wish that just can't wait, write it in the comment box or e-mail me.
When the wishing lines go back up, I will write them down and pin them to the tree for you!!! Best of Wishes to you!!!

10 Tips for Preserving Treasured Items

1. Pay Attention to materials used…
Pay as much attention to the quality of the materials used in the framing process as the attention you use to choose your frame.

2. Ultra-violet Filtered Glazing…

Choose a glass or
plexi-glass (plastic) covering for your artwork that has an ultra-violet filter. This will help to keep your artwork from fading.

3. Acid-free Matting…

All mats that come
in contact with your artwork should be acid-free; preferably made from cotton. This will eliminate the acid found in regular wood pulp mats and prevent that ‘burn’ (brown) line found on art over the years.

4. Air space for Art…

It is better not to place glass directly on the art. It causes the art to heat up (dry and crack). Your art needs a little air space to
. With pastel, chalk or charcoal, this is especially true. The static field of the glass will pull any loose chalk from the surface of the art and stick it to the inside of the glass…causing the glass to look foggy.

5. Acid-free Backing and Support…

Your art should be placed on acid-free foamcore
and/ or matting. This will eliminate the acid burn (discoloration) that comes from using cardboard or wood backing. It will keep your art fresh.

6.Frame Depth…

If you have a stretched canvas piece (
original or giclee), make sure the chosen frame is deep enough to cover the stretcher bars. It looks unfinished to see part of a painting poking out the back of your frame.

7.Shadow Boxes…

When working with many different objects for a shadow box, make sure to measure your highest object to determine the frame depth. Many deep frames are unfinished on the inside and may require a mat covering for a more finished look.

8.Frame Width…

The width of a frame should be strong enough to support the size of the artwork. A ½”
wide frame would not be a safe support for a 3’ x 3’ piece. The bigger the piece, the wider the frame should be.

9. Plastic Coated Wire….

Living so close to the ocean, the wire used to hang your art should be plastic coated. With time and moisture, regular braided wire will rust and break.

10. 2 Hooks to Hang…

That ‘big’ earthquake is always coming. Use 2 hooks, as far away from center, to secure your frame to the wall. On 1 hook, the art is usually knocked off the wall on the first rumble. 2 hooks keep the art to the wall.

Not every budget or piece of artwork requires a custom frame…

For example:
You have 2 things to frame and $100.00 to spend The art was inexpensive and an inexpensive frame will do. Its going in a place (bathroom, garage, outside patio) that will limit its lifespan…

If you’re willing to organize a little and put in some time, you can use a readymade frame with success!!

1. MEASURE the artwork …Decide if the whole thing is to be framed (as in a poster), or if you only want the image to show with a mat (as in a photo that is not exactly 8”x 10” because it has a white border).

2. WRITE it down..Carry this with you when you go shopping so you can pick from the standard size readymade frames available.
Most ready made frames come with glass and a mat.
Some typical sizes:8”x10”, 81/2”x11” (common diploma/certificate size), 11” x 14”, 16” x 20”, 20” x 24”, 24” x 30” (common poster size).

3. CHOOSE a slightly bigger frame than your artwork. See if the mat provided will work with the opening you need. For example: an 8” x 10” photo will work well in an 11” x 14” frame.

4. Have a CUSTOM MAT cut to fit your art and frame, if the ready made mat does not work. For a few dollars more, everything looks balanced. Ready made frame + custom mat.

5. If you are FRAMING A SERIES of individual family photos, pick one color (black, natural wood tone, silver or gold) and then vary the design of each frame. You will have a group setting by having them all in the same color. The visual interest will be piqued by the variety of each frame design!

6. CHECK the store’s website for coupons or sales, before you shop. Aaron Brothers has gained fame for it s 2 for 1 sale and Michael’s Craft Store or Craft Essentials may have a sale going on!

The Wishing Garden

If you've ever been to the shop you may have noticed a tiny garden planted in the parkway. This is not just an ordinary garden but a 'wishing garden'. You are welcome to place your wish into the garden, who knows, it might just come true.