Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spooky!...........by Joyce Oroz

Thrill the World Dance


These days, when you tell someone they look like a zombie it is usually taken as a compliment—unless it’s Myrtle in the morning before she colors her cheeks.
Many of our youth want to look ragged, pale, sad and desperately tired—or even dead, while older folks strive to look perky, well-dressed and good for a few rounds of golf.


Did the zombie-look start because of Michael Jackson and his Thriller dance?


Our local children swarm into Santa Cruz each year around Halloween, dressed in rags and made up like hideous zombies. Cooper Street is closed to traffic, the music starts and all ages of youth dance to Jackson’s “Thriller” in the middle of the street. Obviously they have practiced the moves everyday for years—probably at Myrtle’s house. The event is over in six minutes—time to go to the Saturn CafĂ© and become a flash-mob doing another six minutes of dancing to “Thriller.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Artist of the Month--November..........by Joyce Oroz

The Dragonfly Gallery in Aromas is proud to announce the “Artist of the Month” for November, Kay Walters, a distinguished fuser of glass and jewelry maker. As an exceptionally talented AHA member and very nice lady, Kay answered my questions with enthusiasm.

Joyce: “Kay, please tell us about yourself and your lovely work.”

I moved from Big Sur to North Monterey County 20 years ago. I live with my miniature horses, and rescued dogs and cats.

My interest in glass started when I was a glazier in San Diego. I replaced the glass in broken windows and doors on new housing projects. I cut many sheets of glass in those days.
Around 10 years ago, I started fusing glass. I purchased a small kiln and fused up a storm. Of course, that led to a larger kiln; for awhile. Now I have 4 kilns of various sizes and shapes.

I have played with pottery and sculpting, painted on silk, painted with encaustics (wax), among other arts, but am passionate about fusing glass.
The colors pull me in and I never know exactly how a glass project will turn out. That makes it fun. I start with sheets of fusing glass, frit (various sizes and small pieces, from powder to small chunks), stringer (strings of glass), and dichroic glass (the most expensive glass, derived from space technology and made in a vacuum).
I lay out the combinations of glass and heat it in a kiln up to 1700 degrees. (Usually 1500 degrees is plenty. Some pieces are heated more than once to created depth. Some pieces are heated again to slump them into molds for bowls, etc.
Nature gives me endless ideas for fusing glass: trees, oceans, creatures.
Yes! I am Mad For Glass!!!

Glass Madness!

What is this Glass Madness that has captured my soul?
It is the myriad of colors: reds, yellows, greens, cobalt blue, mauve, violet, that light up my spirit.

It is the joyous process of combining translucents, opaques, dichroics, iridescents, frits, and stringers for my inspirations.

It is the magic of the glowing, flowing, fusing process. The kiln melting the glass into a white-hot taffy-like material, the molecules connecting.

Then! After each individual artwork ever so slowly cools, it presents itself to me; inspiration for new visions that beg to be brought into the world.

Yes! Yes! Yes! Glass Madness guides my spirit and passion of creating!

Kay Walters has worked as a massage therapist for twenty-four years.

Right now she has a fine display of glass creations at the Dragonfly Gallery, 

380 Blohm Ave., Aromas, CA 95004

 Open10:00 to 4:00 Tues. thru Sat.









Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Fall Story........by Myles Laurin

Intentional Friends


The leaves are starting to fall off the trees.

On this tree there is one leaf left.

All of the other trees are evergreen trees.

So they tease the balding trees.

This tree wants to keep it's last leaf.

Then the wind starts to blow!

So the leaf hangs on to the tree so it wont blow away.

The leaf and tree become good friends, they tell jokes all winter long

like;.... 'make like a tree and leaf!'

but the jokes could not be too funny or the leaf would fall off.

At the end of winter the leaf started to get old and crackly.

On the first day of spring the leaf fell, it started to twirl in the air.

The wind took the leaf and carried it all the way around the world and then the leaf came back to the tree.

The tree was overjoyed to see the leaf again!

When the leaf saw the tree again, it became green and then the leaf grabbed the tree and never let go.

The end.


By Myles Laurin.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Community Celebrates..........by Joyce Oroz

Please join us in celebration
November 3rd

A very special community has supported its library by coming together and producing an attractive mural on the outside walls of the historic building. Aromas is the community and the Aromas Hills Artisans are the painters who created the lovely country scene. Characters from five favorite children’s books float on imaginary clouds above golden hills, a meandering river, fields and trees and two children reading in the shade of an apricot tree. Leading up to the library entrance are colorful flowers painted by local children, patrons of the library.

The work is finally finished—all that is left is to celebrate the coming together of library patrons, painters, donors, Monterey Free Library officials, property owners and art-lovers.

The celebration will be on November 3rd, first Saturday of the month, 1pm to 3pm and includes refreshments. We came together for the planning, supporting and painting—now let’s celebrate the completion of our successful library project.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why do girls like horses?..........by Joyce Oroz

My question for today is: do all girls love horses? Dah! Even my own personal survey says, yes, but it might be slanted since I was once a girl who loved horses. When I try to sort this out, it seems like with our cowboy—cowgirl history, it’s an American tradition to love horses. We grew up watching westerns. We grew up watching Dale Evans, and we passed the horse-loving gene to our daughters and granddaughters.

Dale Evans, the singing cowgirl, is an American icon, a woman who rode horses, sang with horses and inspired little girls with her movies and TV show. She was an author, a movie star, a singer a song-writer and an advocate for children.

Dale was born on Halloween, 1912 and died February 7, 2001. She married Roy Rogers in 1947 after working with him in movies for three years.

Dale Evans was California Mother of the Year 1967

Texan of the Year 1970

Cowgirl Hall of Fame 1995

Cardinal Terrence Cook Humanities Award 1995

And has 3 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

16 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren

Friday, October 12, 2012

Solow wears doggles................by Joyce Oroz

Do Bassets daydream? Solow does. Even though he has a great sleuthing reputation in real life, he does daydream as he bench-presses a couple over-weight fluffy-cats. This is how he sees it:

Brazen basset bandit wearing doggles kidnaps a kid.

Being an only-pup, young Solow dreamed of having his own kid. Someone to romp over hill and dale with him, someone to play go-fetch and someone to roll in smelly rotting…..

One day he found the perfect kid, wagged his tail and followed her into a car. Solow put his head out the window to show off his doggles. The kid was not impressed and actually laughed at his doggles, so at the first stop sign he leaped out the window and trotted home. He decided that fluffy-cats were more fun than having a kid of his own.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blame it on George.......by Joyce Oroz

Super woman has a chink in her mature personage. I’m here to tell you that my smooth sailing on the sea of life has been discontinued like last season’s hand bags at Nordstoms. Admitting ones vulnerabilities hurts—kinda like when a surgeon scrapes your old bones as if they had dried egg stuck in the crannies. Maybe I did, but that’s another story.

So, thanks to modern technology and the acceptance of Pepto pink for everything from athletic shoes to zippers, I have a spanking new pink cast on my arm. If I were designing a cast I wouldn’t worry about the color. Instead I would design a clever hook on the end of the cast that would help the free hand with a million simple chores. Chores like dressing, eating, bathing and typing. Ok, maybe not typing. As it turns out I have adopted George, the dragon speaking guy and he writes for me. I speak into a microphone and George writes down something similar to what I said—sometimes not even close. I’m telling you this so I won’t have to take responsibility for mistakes and misspeaks.

George did it.

Right now I am doing my part to hold down expenses. My car sits in the garage for four more weeks. Yikes! While I try to dress myself without a hook or a clue.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Growing Up..........by Joyce Riley


By Joyce Riley


     Someone once said rules were made to be broken but, being a serious child and eager to please, I didn’t break rules.  There were, of course, major rules and minor rules, but, for the most part I honored them all.  I went up the ‘up’, down the ‘down’, in the ‘in’, out the ‘out’ and always obeyed my teachers and the school crossing guard.

     At home my parents were loving, reasonable people who set reasonable rules, the first one being the Golden Rule, which was set more by example than teaching or preaching.  Other house hold rules were more in line with expectations.  I was expected to make my bed, clean my room (this loosely obeyed), dry the dishes (sometimes under protest), hang the laundry and gather the chickens’ eggs.  And, since Daddy worked a swing shift at the bakery, I was expected to be quiet ‘til he got up at ten in the morning.  In fact, the only household rules I recall are Mother’s rules for setting the dinner table. 

     “Knives and spoons go on the right side of the plate and forks on the left.  Napkins should be folded and placed next to each fork.  And, always put a butter knife beside the butter plate.”

     Mother was married for twenty five years before she owned a set of flat-ware (silver plate, not sterling), which included a matching butter knife.  Matching or not, there was always a butter knife on the table, even during World War 2, when there was no butter.

     Sugar, coffee, gasoline, tires and a host of other goods were rationed during the war.  Butter was not only rationed but, it seemed, unavailable.  Soon after butter disappeared from the table, oleo margin took its place.


     Oleo was white, looked like lard, but wasn’t, and came packaged with a small bag of orange food coloring.  It was my job to mix the coloring into the oleo until we had something that resembled butter.  After mixing, the oleo was shaped like butter sticks, cooled in the ice box, then served on a butter plate set with a butter knife.

     Butter returned after the war was over but, by then, margarine had caught on.  It was colored and sold in sticks, just like butter. 

     “And”, we were told, “It’s better for you.”

    I married and, after starting a family, laid down some rules for our children: “Make the bed carefully, mow the lawn thoroughly, set the table properly and don’t forget the butter knife.”

     Those rules were generally followed but, usually, with an, “Oh Mom, do I have to?”

     Our children were a little less anxious to please than I was, but I won’t go into a dissertation on major infractions known or unknown.  After all, it’s often the little things that count, little things like clean under ware and butter knives.  So, I’ll get back to the knives and the butter.

     The next advance in margarine (not knives) was a soft spread in tubs.  It was, obviously, easier to spread and, again, “better for you”.  But, the butter knife didn’t sit well in a tub.  That was when I broke my mother’s butter knife rule. 

     With a conscious, thoughtful apology to Mother, who lived hundreds of miles away, I said, “Don’t bother putting the butter knife on the table.”

     Since I have grown, I’ve gone up some ‘down’ stair cases, in some doors marked “out” and jay walked, when it was safe and no one was looking.  I’ve probably broken a few other minor rules, all with out feelings of guilt; but, I have always felt a little bit guilty for breaking Mother’s butter knife rule.


     Time has passed, ideas have changed and butter, it seems, is not quit as bad as it used to be.  Even if it is, I like it.  There’s nothing better than fresh corn on the cob slathered with butter. But, now, we don’t use a butter knife, we simply roll the corn over the cube, leaving a valley in the butter, which simply calls for more corn.  Mother was flexible, loved butter and would have seen the practicality of buttering corn with a cube.

    Some times, now, I use butter and some times I use a spread.  But, what ever is placed on the table is served with a butter knife.

     Recently, when Dave was dining with us, he said, “I remember that butter knife.”

     I smiled and said, “It was your grandmother’s.  She got it as an anniversary gift.”
Thank you, cousin Joyce. Being named after my cousin is a wonderful thing. And yes, there are other names in the family. really

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nan Madruga in Gilroy.......by Joyce Oroz

Gallery aficionados and regular folks, you may have noticed my blog is a little heavy on the gallery angle, recently. It just happens there are so many good shows right now and my good friends are taking part in the shows so I have to do a shout out to their wonderful work.

The fabulous photos and paintings I want to talk about today can be seen at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, in Gilroy, of course.
The address is 7341 Monterey Rd., Gilroy, CA.

The Landscapes and Portraits Show begins October 1st and ends October 28th, 2012, but the real excitement is the reception Saturday, October 6th, noon to 4pm,  which just happens to be Nan Madruga’s birthday. She will still look young at the reception, but don't let that fool you.
And speaking of Nan Madruga, her work is one third of the show. Go for the refreshments but walk away with Nan's beautiful photographs swimming in your memory. It will be so worth the trip.

Gallery hours---Tues. Wed. 2pm-5pm  and   Sat. Sun. 11am-2pm

info. go to        local.yahoo.com      408-842-6999

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

women artists..........at the Blak Sage Gallery



Art Reception at the Blak Sage Gallery
5-7 pm, October 5th
Women Artists Mailer

5-7 pm, Friday, October 5th
** food, sangria & music **

Blak Sage Gallery
727 San Benito St.
Show dates: Sept. 17- Nov. 30
Gallery Hours
Wed. & Thurs 9-1, Fri. 1-6, Sat. 12-5

Women Artists of
San Benito County

Carole Belliveau
Darlene Boyd
Shannon Grissom
Jane Rekedal
Sylvia Rios
Louise Roy
Kathleen Sheridan
Gayle Sleznick
Janeice Van Loon

More info at

are well represented in this show


Monday, October 1, 2012

October's artist of the month............Joyce Oroz

Beginning this month the Dragonfly Gallery in Aromas will be spotlighting one special artisan each month. We decided to start at the top of the list, the best-known artist and President of the Aromas Hills Artisans, Linda Bjornson.


Linda is a professional stained glass artist who began her work as an art major in college. She brings her training, love of designing and years of experience to creating custom windows for homes and businesses. Using the wonderful assortment of color and texture found in stained glass to their best advantage is still a challenge she enjoys. www.lbglassart.com

My love of color and design led me to stained glass. I was lucky enough to have art all through school and was an art major in college. I have worked in stained glass since 1979, so have gotten a lot of practice along the way. As I am drawing a new design, I am always thinking in terms of what glass would enhance the design the most.
I got my start in stained glass by taking a class. Stained glass requires
several skills and I would recommend starting by taking a class as a good way to avoid frustration or some frustration anyway.”
“After getting a feel for the constraints involved in working with glass, I started designing for glass. After working up some of my new patterns into glass and with my heart in my throat I took them to a local store, the Craft Gallery, in Capitola where I lived at the time.
And to my delight they bought them. That turned out to be my best account during the time I was selling to stores. As time went by and people saw my work, I started getting requests for custom work. They went along the lines of -
" I saw this window of yours I really like in a store, but I would like it bigger for our entry" ( bathroom, bed room, etc.) Then I started working with contractors like Paul Mahus, who I still work with today. From contractors to interior designers and the rest is history.”
Linda displays her work in the windows at the Dragonfly Gallery, works on large custom window designs for her clients and donates her spare time to the Aromas Library mural and the Wetlands mural at the Pajaro High School. I get exhausted just thinking about all the club work, volunteer work and glass work Linda does. And she does all of it very well!

I suggest you check out Linda’s whimsical stained glass creations at the Dragonfly Gallery. They never stay in the window long.