Saturday, October 26, 2013

i shock myself

 down a winding country road, past a shimmery silver lake, thirty minutes from my home, lived the mama of dada, american artist and studio potter, author of 'i shock myself' beatrice wood. we made a day of visiting ojai valley and the home and gallery of wood....

 lake casitas, ojai, california

 but first, a stop in meiners oaks, and a bookstore, 'bookends bookstore & other curiosities'...

  a beautiful former church

 we met the owner, sipped ginger ale, and perused the shelves

 there were charming surprises around every corner

and perfect cozy reading nooks

and outside, we found yarn bombing!

 hello handsome  :)

our next stop, was just a short drive outside of ojai, in the upper valley...

 welcome to beatrice wood center for the arts ~

 outside, workshops were in progress

  more of beatrice's art

 we were graciously welcomed into her studio, and given a tour

 the kilns! my friend karen, also a potter, was thrilled to see these!

  beatrice's tools, still in use...

 with great care

 and some of her glazes

 work of new students

a view of happy valley, from beatrice's home, she looked out on this landscape until she passed at the age of one hundred and five. it's difficult to write about a visit like this, about someone so legendary. feels incredibly special, every bit a privilege.

 back in ojai, after the excitement and awe of the studio visit we were hungry! time for lunch!

restaurant azu

 temperatures were in the high eighty's in the valley, it was hot, thirst quenching sangria was in order!

tapas too, yum!

  my bag again!

and here is where i shock myself...

i rode a camel! i think it may have been the midday sangria, or maybe it was the indescribable inspiration of beatrice, she was a ground breaker, a risk taker. but while we were having lunch, i saw the camels across the street (it was ojai day) and had to ride one. now i don't have to go to the sahara. hee hee.

our last stop was at infamous bart's books. this is one of my favorite places on earth. 
 Bart’s Books, at the corner of Matilija and Canada streets in Ojai, CA, is the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A. 

each time i come here, i plan to take photos, but after arriving i just want to look at the books! it's a huge place, there are so many sections to get lost in. there is always a resident cat to pet and penny candy in old fashioned glass jars. and bookmarks (a favorite when my children were small). outside, there are more books on rustic wooden shelves. if you arrive after hours, you may take any that you like and throw your coins through the fence. the honor system!

at home, a little piece of beatrice wood is here now, smiling over my woolly knitting room. for a small donation at her studio we were able to bring a poster home.

when i dropped my friend karen off at her home at the end of the day, she gave me pottery she and her husband made! mama and papa bear bowls, with a place for chopsticks! LOVE!

and another yarn bowl. which i put to immediate use. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
thank you for coming along, it is always a pleasure!
xxxxxxxxxxxxx lori


  1. thank you Lori for sharing these pics!!!! It has been a loving (and interesting!) visit even for me!!!!
    love, xxxx Ale

  2. Wow, what a day! And the gifts of pottery, just beautiful.

  3. What a wonderful day, so many gorgeous things, and a camel ride! Priceless!

  4. What a fantastic and lovely post, like always! I missed coming here! <3

  5. Beautiful lady... how I love reading your posts. They are so full of LOVE LOVE LOVE. xxx

  6. What a beautiful day with so many interesting things to see. I am so glad you always take us along on your trips! :-)

  7. You have such lovely adventures. (:

    I seem to have vague memories of riding a camel when I was a kid. That bar-harness-contraption sparked some lost memory.

  8. Wow, Lori! Now that sounds like an absolutely wonderful day! Those bookstores are absolutely fantastic. So unique! And the art studio. Fabulous! No wonder she lived to be 105. With a view like that and doing what she loved! Incredibly inspiring! Karen is a great potter. Her gifts are lovely! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day! Tammy

  9. Oops! I forgot to say way to go on the camel. It's tricky when they have to raise up from their knees. You feel like you are leaning way too much. :) Yummy sangria.

  10. Such a delight to be brought along on your adventures! Your shot of Lake Casitas is incredible, as are all of your photos really. You make me want to travel. But rattlesnakes? Yikes!

    You look very comfortable on that camel :-)

  11. What an interesting post, she seems to have been a facinating person, I didn't know about her before! I also enjoyed the pictures and your words about the bookstores!! An outdoor bookstore, never heard about that either, thats a funny idea!
    But I love, love the little knitting pottery, such a sweet idea!

  12. What a beautiful spot Lori. I had to laugh when I saw the camel, I saw one yesterday mysel. And the pottery? Yes, there is new pottery in my home too. Love how this world works.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  13. Huge happy sigh from my corner of the world, Lori! I could almost feel I was there too! And the sunshine just makes it even more inspirational, right? Such a fabulous, uplifting post, dear Lori! What an awesome day it must have been; a good friend, lots of books, and art!

  14. what an amazing trip. i must get to california some day.

  15. I loved our trip to Ojai when we lived in California; so much to see and take in. What an awesome woman and so talented...a lot like you, XOXO

  16. What a lovely day! And that first gorgeous bookshop - it's love at first sight! The only part of your day that I feel a bit hesitant about is the warning signs for rattlesnakes... but I hope you didn't meet any. thank you for taking us along!

  17. what a great outing!! inspiring...beautiful....tasty.... really had it all!!!!

  18. I love the picture with your reflection in the glass! These were wonderful. Thanks for taking me to one of my favorite valleys.

  19. Great trip. Lori - exactly my sort of day out xxx

  20. that looks so lovely, I've got to visit someday. so much to do and see and so little time!!!!

  21. What a wonderful trip, and all those books ... it looks like a life enhancing day Lori :)

  22. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. I loved going along on your journeys with you. I also loved that you rode a camel!

  23. The bookstore is just amazing. I am telling you Lori, I want to come crash you and Karen's party. BTW, you need to tell Karen that her smile could light up a room. She is lovely!
    What a beautiful museum. That must have been such an amazing experience.
    I am now repeating myself once more, Karen and her hubby need to sell those beautiful creations. I will be first in line! XO

  24. Well, I just don't think you could have got any more out of that day! What a fullsome experience. You know the colours in that yarn bowl exactly depict how I imagine your environs, bleached blue sky, sea and desert scapes and light just saturating everything. Such a special piece to own.

  25. Such a gorgeous post, filled with sunshine, art, books and inspiration, dear Lori! (You shocked me as well, braving the camel ride!! Well done!) And you always look beautiful too! Love the pottery bowls, so very special.
    Helen x

  26. What a wonderful trip! I know what you mean about visiting a place that used to be a work space of a legendary artist. I love to go to those places too! Even more exciting is when the studio is left in the condition it was in when the artist was working there, extra intriguing and mystical, I say.
    Yay for the camels! I also had my first ride on one last year and a Steiner/Waldorf Fair, so special. They really are magnificent beast.
    Perhaps I'll post photos of my next ride coming up pretty soon!

  27. Oh the bookstores! You are lucky to have them, we do not have many independent bookstores, they've all gone out of business, sadly. I remember spending hours in them when they were here. Your friend does lovely pottery and one cannot have too many yarn bowls, right?

    You on the camel is a momentous occasion! glad you did it with the sangria help :)

  28. Ooh I love it when you take us along with you! Now I have more places to add to my "visit" list. And good for you for riding that camel. I love that you were inspired to be adventurous. What fun!

  29. I always love traveling along with you and this is no exception. (have to admit--I wasn't expecting the camel ride ;-0 ., so fun!

  30. oh lori i just love the trips you take me on, the people you introduce me to & the food i wish i would have tasted!



  31. i am thinking as i linger in this post that you create diamonds through your camera. and i am thinking i want you to come to provincetown so i can see through your eyes the provincelands and the way the light bounces off the bay.

    katiebee's comment, above mine, made me laugh. that is so true!

    your friend's pottery is wonderful. the tools and glazes are fabulous. and that picture of you on the camel: of all the photos i have seen and have of you, that is the one that for me captures your joy and vibrance and ability to be.

  32. Really enjoyed your photo trip. I could have spent hours browsing in the church with the books....then the lovely arts centre, inspirational! Lovely place to stop for lunch...then more books. All warm and sunny how glorious, ( it's been raining heavy, cold and wet, for days here in Scotland!). Love your bag, knitting bowls and poster..Julia x

  33. beautiful post & photos ~ thank you for the links to Beatrice Wood ~ an amazing woman ♥

  34. Lori, How did I miss this! You were right, I love Beatrice! She was so amazing and wonderful. Thank you for
    linking me to this post. Oh and the bookstore! And the camel! Love and kisses. xoxo

  35. I attended a family wedding in Ojai many years ago. It is a beautiful, magical place. Thank you for sharing the studio. What a source of inspiration. Thank you!


xoxo lori