Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Outdoor Art? Yes please! June 25, 2014

Yarnbomb at Lizard's Mouth

Yarnbomb at Lizard’s Mouth

Living in the paradise that is Santa Barbara, I sometimes wonder, “How could this nirvana possibly be any better?”  And, then something like The Yarnbomb appears and magically, my beautiful adopted hometown exceeds even my own expectations!IMG_2747

Wait!  What?  Yarnbomb?IMG_0529

IMG_2744Yes!  Yarnbomb:  a permanent or temporary art installation created with fibre/yarn.  There are many wonderful examples all over the world–one of my favorites is a pink yarnbombed tank!  Recently however, Santa Barbara was graced with a fantastic yarnbomb at Lizard’s Mouth--a hiking destination in the mountains above Santa Barbara.  A local artist known as The Yarnbomber collaborated with international and American fibre artists and everyday folk who like to knit, crochet or “brochet” (aka: men who crochet) to create a spectacular collage of 19 boulder cozies.  We trekked up the mountains and were able to view it early in the morning.  Definitely worth getting up for!  My friend George snapped a couple close up shots so you can see the variety of work and patterns that contributed to the breathtaking mosaic.  If you have a hankering to go and check it out for yourself, you’ll be disappointed…the installation was fleeting and is now being repurposed into future projects or donated to charity.  Follow The Yarnbomber to learn about his interesting past and planned projects.10445594_10152404525544361_1317191361_o

I might even be inspired to attempt yarnbombing sometime!  Stand by…




Chumash style chalk art

IMG_0547At the same time, the annual i Madonnari festival was underway at the Santa Barbara Mission.  This event features chalk artists creating images on the pavement surrounding the church.  IMG_0545It’s a popular event with lots of locals and tourists swarming wandering the grounds, so I waited a few days and browsed at my leisure.


Do you know where this one is located?

While I was planning this blog post, I happened to notice a few other outdoor art installations in our beautiful city.

How about this one?

How about this one?


Guesses where this one is?



Locals–can you identify where these pics were taken?

All in all, Santa Barbara is a wonderful place to experience art in the great outdoors!  Any alfresco art in your ‘hood?




The Epic Birthday Week December 21, 2013

I recently celebrated my birthday!

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a mix of scorpio and fire horse (Chinese zodiac), but I really believe that my birthday should be is a national holiday.  In fact, I go as far as extending this special day to a full week at a minimum and I have stretched it to an entire season if warranted.

IMG_1984Anyhoo, my Canadian BFF:  Cyndi, also celebrates a scorpio birthday so she flew down for a full week of festivities…

And now  I give you “The Epic Birthday Week”!

Cyndi arrived in beautiful Santa Barbara late Saturday night…IMG_1991

Next day we took a class at The Painted Cabernet.  As my readers will recall, this is a local art studio/wine bar.  Our “Venice at Sunset” masterpieces are stunning!  AND I won a free class while I was wearing the honorary Birthday Tiara!  Following the class, we enjoyed a lovely meal at The Palace restaurant–one of my favorite places in Santa Barbara…cajun food in a happy, festive atmosphere.  It was tasty as usual!

The BacaraMonday we enjoyed a spa day at the Bacara.  IMG_9191This 5 star resort is magnificent.  They featured a local’s special:  Bliss Day.  Cyndi got a massage and I got a facial, followed by a complimentary glass of champagne and access to the facilities for the day.  It was a spectacular day, so we lounged poolside for hours…felt like we were celebrities on a weeklong holiday!  We even managed to dodge those pesky paparazzi that constantly stalk us!  😉Santa Barbara Art Glass

IMG_2008Tuesday we took a glass blowing class with Saul Alcaraz at Santa Barbara Art Glass–always a great experience.  We each made 3 spheres with various colors and finishes.  Saul expertly lead us through the process and we are both delighted with our globes.  So pretty!  Thanks Saul!  A lovely lunch at the Arts and Letters Cafe and then off to Other World Tattoo for Cyndi’s birthday tattoo!  J did a fabulous job!  Cyndi opted for a forearm tattoo that says “Courage begins at the wound” in gaelic.

IMG_9201Wednesday we drove up the coast to see Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  The weather was idyllic…so sunny and warm.  As we approached the castle, I mentioned that there was a legend claiming some of Hearst’s exotic animal collection could be seen in the hills…although I have never seen any, and I have never met anyone else that had.  Don’t you know we saw 13 zebra right then!  It was amazing! Hearst ZebraIMG_9204We selected the Designing the Dream tour–it’s a relatively new offering available for a limited time.  I recommend it.  It’s a longer tour–1.5 hours and a smaller group.  We were 6 in our group plus Mary K the guide.  She was amazing, having worked there for many many years.  We wandered around following the tour, basking in the late afternoon glow.

The Burton Inn in Cambria was our over night destination.  We were greeted with a complimentary bottle of wine and recommendations of a nearby restaurant featuring live music and appetizers.  Once we settled in, we ventured out to the charming streets of Cambria.  An hour of apps and guitar music was followed by a tasty dinner at the Sow’s Ear.

Piedras Blancas LightstationNext morning we headed north to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Sidebar:  I have been to that stretch of rugged coastline before and it gave an Ottawa blizzard a run for its money in terms of cold and wind!!  Me and my hearty Canadian parents were miserable in spite of the epic views and wildlife!!IMG_9232

Back to Piedras Blancas on this trip…we met up with our guide who toured us around a number of the historic buildings and natural phenomena on the site.  Since it is a designated area, no one is allowed to just arrive and traipse around–you must be escorted with an official docent.   Lucky for us, a tour was available on Thursday morning!  I had prepared Cyndi for a blustery gale…lots of layers and warmth!  However, we arrived to a balmy day with light winds and sparkly sunshine.  The guide remarked repeatedly, “It’s NEVER like this here!”  In fact, he explained that life on this remote outpost was arduous for the light keepers and their families…getting supplies was challenging due to the treacherous surf and high winds.  The constant cold also took its toll.  However, based on our perfect day, you would never imagine their hardships!

IMG_2047Next we stopped at the Elephant Seal rookery–about a mile south of the lighthouse.  It is the season for adolescent seals to congregate.  For the most part they lounged around and ignored the adults–typical teenagers!  Every now and then one of them would get a little feisty and engage in a tussle….and then return to sleeping and sun tanning!

A meandering drive South and we arrived back home, refreshed.

Brophy Bros.Friday was an odds & sods day where we did errands and picked up our glass…had lunch at Brophy Bros. to celebrate Cyndi’s actual birthday.  And Saturday at the crack of dawn (literally) Cyndi flew home to Canada.

It was a jam-packed epic week of art, creativity, nature, scenery, decadence…I thoroughly recommend it!

I just wonder what we’ll do for next year’s Birthday Week???

How about you?  Do you make a fuss for your birthday?  Let’s hear some stories!


Running and Painting… September 24, 2013

Not at the same time!

Prepared Girl & Me before the She Is Beautiful 5k

Prepared Girl & Me before the She Is Beautiful 5k

Last weekend Prepared Girl and I participated in the 2nd annual She Is Beautiful Run at Santa Barbara’s East Beach.

Katie, Me and Kimmie

Katie, Me and Kimmie

It was a glorious celebration of women and pink and fitness and the spectacular Santa Barbara beach.

Despite a hiatus in my training, Prepared Girl and I finished the 5k a respectable 23 & 24 out of the 252 women in our age group!  We ran the whole course–no walking!  Even on the hills!

Sneaker Bling

Sneaker Bling

BeeCause Sneaker Charms offered a great selection of shoe bling!

We had a cheering squad to meet us as we sprinted across the finish line!  Thanks Katie and Kimmie!

If you are a runner, or are thinking about becoming a runner…if you live in Santa Barbara or need an excuse to visit:  I recommend trying this event next year.  There is a 10k race and a mommy/baby category as well.  It’s a super-positive and fun run!


Blank Canvas


Getting started…

And now for the painting!

Crafty Mama and I took advantage of a sweet Living Social Deal at the Painted Cabernet in Santa Barbara.  It’s a delightful wine bar/paint class–quite civilized really!

We arrived to find paper-covered tables topped with blank canvases.  Our welcoming hostesses walked us through loading up our palettes and selecting our beverage.


About half way…

Our artist/instructor was awesome!  She took us through the creative process step-by-step, meeting each “artist” at their comfort level–some had painted before and didn’t require much hand holding, while others were timid and appreciated her positive encouragement and suggestions.

Me & Crafty Mama

Me & Crafty Mama


Almost finished…

As we worked on our masterpieces, a kick butt sound track played in the background–a great mix of upbeat tunes.

It was fascinating to wander around the studio seeing all the incarnations of the sample picture–we are all truly individuals!  If you look closely you can see that I included a tiny elephant as homage to my wonderful Africa safari (can it really be a year since I was there??)

This is another Santa Barbara experience that I wholeheartedly recommend to locals and tourists alike.  Browse the Painted Cabernet’s Calendar to see which project strikes your fancy and then book it!  You won’t regret it!