Monday, December 28, 2020



The phrase "it's for the birds" has long been one of derogatory meaning...something that is worthless, not to be taken seriously, no good. Well, that sure is NOT how I feel about birds, as many of you know.

To my thinking it is a good thing that Laguna Beach is designated a bird sanctuary. . Their very presence so often brings joy to so many--from feeding the pigeons and gulls (which should not be done) at Main Beach to following the flight of an osprey to watching the antics of an armada of brown pelicans just offshore. 

Birds seem to play a part in my own joy and often appear in my artwork in myriad forms.From the onset of twittering birdsong at dawn right on through midnight hooting of owls or the crazy trill of a nighttime mockingbird nearby, I am filled with the joy provided.

Then there is the soft cooing of doves, the laughter of gulls, the scurrying of shorebirds, the near-constant caw of masterful black crows and the the shrill, harsh cry of the occasional scrub jay.

And flight--what of flight? We have soaring hawks on alert for prey in our many canyons. Evening brings the migration of large numbers (yes, murders) of crows up through these same canyons. 

The aforementioned brown pelicans either swoop low over the ocean or fly in formation high above the cliffs, then comically dive with a graceless splash to obtain some morsel below. There is even the occasional roadrunner clumping along before catching a current to ride down canyon from the fire road. It's almost possible to feel the soar in your own bones.

Each year I eagerly await the sighting of pairs of black oystercatchers with their red-orange bills and loud, piping call. These can usually be spotted on the rocks below Crescent Bay Park and I find myself listening for their sounds as I walk that direction. It's that joy thing, right?

Just outside I watch as a territorial Anna's hummingbird, with its wings beating oh so rapidly chases off an intruder from the feeder. And I think to myself...there are so very many opportunities for joyful moments if we stay tuned in and watch for them.

If you're just not into the bird thing as I am (in fact, think my thinking is for the birds) well what of a child's easy laughter? Or the baby's soft smooth skin, the very miracle of its being? What of the sound of water gently rushing over rocks or lapping at the shoreline--joyful music for sure? The mysterious beauty at the very center of so many flowers and so many other of nature's bounties are wondrous (and joyful) to behold.

I need not go on, right? Get going. Just do it. Choose joy (yes, again!)

Saturday, December 26, 2020


Dear World,

Hard not to be hopeful with this kind of beauty around. Call me a Pollyanna if you will for the stereotype of young girl with infectious optimism does not insult me at all. If my optimism, my hopefulness, my own joy in life extends to just one other person in the world I can be glad.

2020 has without a doubt been a truly rough year and more so for some than for others. Still, out of this year have come many beautiful stories of hope amidst struggle. I choose to hang on to those stories. 

There is much to hope for on the horizon. We have vaccines beginning to be approved and administered and, while it may be some time before the full effect can be felt...well, how hard is it really to wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, etc? When the going gets tough.... We ARE tough, and the toughest have found ways to work through. The future is pretty bright after all.

Life has thrown us a big curve this year, but we cannot operate well ruled by fear. It takes an attitude of joy and hopefulness to surmount the tough days along with gratitude for all that we do have, however little it may be. Choose joy. Choose beauty. Choose gratitude. Choose awe. Choose hope and optimism.

Love, Pollyanna

Wednesday, December 23, 2020




"Hope rises with our collective realization that humans imagine these systems that are killing people and the planet, and that we can imagine our way out of this mess." (Brooke Larsen)

The beauty of the vine seen on my morning walk two weeks ago has changed drastically. This got me thinking. Change is always with us. And, yes, this simple and indisputable fact and give us hope.

Reading the children's book There Must be More Than That by Shinsuke Yoshitake only served to further my thinking on this. The scenarios in this fun book are reassuring while being at times ridiculous. As is stated on the flyleaf,"'s often just a matter of choosing hope over hopelessness, and seeking an affirming alternative to challenging situations."

While that is exceedingly difficult in these trying times, perhaps we can consider the possibility of good. Change is always with us...always a possibility exists. Grab hold.

Saturday, December 19, 2020



While I know my version is a bit the situation across the US and the world seems only to worsen, we could probably all use an angel in every corner to watch over us.
Please, everyone, stay safe and care for each other (to help out those angels)

Thursday, December 17, 2020



Sweet time... as in "They took their sweet time about it." At least that seems to be the usual way we view the two words.

But sweet time can be something entirely different. Seems like there might be myriad possibilities for sweet time. Where would my own "sweet time" take me?

Clearly, it would often be outdoors. Beautiful, sunny December days beckon and I can think of no better way to respond than to put on my walking shoes, grab a bottle of water and a mask and just get going.

Birdsong and crisp morning air greet me each day as I step out the door. No rules. I can go anywhere I choose. And, in fact, it seems that during this enduro-pandemic that most of Laguna and a few other shoreline vistas have been explored on my sweet time, either alone or with walking companion, Catharine.

Post walk the days drift along, filled with household and gardening chores, time to read, card-making and other small art projects. No rush, no push/pull, no sense of must do or shoulds. Taking my own sweet time is just that and all about the beauty of simply being.

Sweet time stretches out like a long, soft ribbon floating on the ocean breeze. Absorption in the colors of the season, the warmth of the sun, and the cool touch of a breeze fill the sweet time. Treading along familiar roads and hidden pathways the time is filled with reminders of the beauties of our coastal town and how really fortunate we are to be here.

So often we are told time is of the essence. Perhaps so. Also, though sweet time IS the essence.

Friday, December 11, 2020

HO HO HO!!!!

 It's that time of year, covid or not, and so the hours are busy with making holiday cards to send. They are definitely a bit irreverent this time around, but levity seems needed of late.

Hoping all of you are staying well, staying home as needed, and choosing joy whenever possible.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020


 ...just stops you in your tracks. Such was the case over the weekend as I walked in an alleyway north of town.

I pulled out my phone and took a thirty-second video of the amazing colors dangling over the wall. It somehow seemed such a shame to have such beauty so hidden from usual view.

This screenshot is a bit blurry, but I think one can still see just how glorious this sighting was. I am grateful and so happy to share. 

For the video you can go to Instagram and cherrildotystudio

Enjoy...and always CHOOSE JOY!

Saturday, December 5, 2020


Sometimes it is necessary in this blog to veer off course just a bit. This is one of those times. Let me tell you a bit about a giving project that is going on...

Picked up the first set of kits yesterday for the SAEF WorkshopTo Go project. When all are collected there will be a total of eighty kits to go to the military families. Each kit has all materials and instructions or a link to an instruction video included.  

Three local artists put together these kits that are offered to the military at no cost to them. The artists get paid well for their efforts and SAEF is able to gift the kits. Win/Win.

The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund (SAEF) is a philanthropic effort that supports education of the public about art while providing a hands-on experience to underserved populations. As one of the trustees of the fund, I have found the rewards of serving to be many and am grateful for this opportunity.

This year has been a challenge for SAEF as in person classes were not a possibility. We kept holding out hope, but realized at some point that we needed another way. Thus was born the Workshop To Go concept. Three artists stepped up and pushed to create the kits and the trustees appreciate Rosanne Nitti, Brynne Cogorno, and Erin Proctor for their hard work.

The response from the military was overwhelming once we posted flyers and we thank Diane DeBilzan and Che Ward for their assistance in getting this part done. It really has taken a village to get this done. SAEF trustees want to acknowledge the Festival of Arts Foundation for the grant that got this going, the artists for their diligence and, Diane and Che for their work in linking us up to these great families at Camp Pendleton.

Such a great project! I'm pretty sure there will be more Workshop To Go projects going forward.

Thursday, December 3, 2020


This one really got me wondering: How could it be possible that both of the chair halves would not be on this card any longer when it arrived?? And after all my whole-hearted support of the USPS too.  Hmmmmm

And to take it a step further, is this some sort of omen? Does this mean that our two political parties will not be able to sit down together to work things out? So far the two sides don't often even seem in the same conversation, but.....

I remain hopeful. At least until I am not.