I was born in Pasadena, California, and raised in nearby Sierra Madre. During the Hippie era, I headed back East for college. I majored in art history and printmaking at Wheaton, then returning to the West Coast, where I obtained a teaching credential from USC’s Graduate School of Education. I got married four weeks after passing my last exam. That seems young to me now, but I was the last of my friends to get married. I taught elementary school in the Pasadena and Menlo Park Unified School Districts for five years, then took a break and had two fabulous kids.
When my kids were four and six, I got divorced and returned to school at Art Center College of Design to obtain my BFA in Graphics and Packaging. Graphic design was a perfect career for a working mom. I created toothbrush and prophy-paste packaging for Oral-B Laboratories, theme parks for the Walt Disney Company, bottle labels for Nestlé Beverage Company, and video game packaging for Electronic Arts and Sony Computer Entertainment. Sony printed 2.5 million copies of the Online PlayStation® packaging I designed for them. I also taught. I enjoyed passing on my craft to budding designers at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where I had moved in 1995.
Meanwhile, I wrote a book about my dad called The Man in the Purple Cow House. That got me interested in genealogy. I wanted to know why my English ancestors moved to New England, hence my webBook Before Winthrop. Those subjects led me to the history of the Portuguese looking for a route to the Far East. Hence my webBook, Crossing the Ocean Sea.
I closed my graphic design business in 2018. Today, I use my design skills to publish books. Most are about my ancestors. My latest is a children’s picture book about Henry Knox (a 5x-great-grandfather) called Henry’s Big Kaboom. I wrote it as a sing-along ballad to appeal to my grandchildren. Check out the videos.
Thank you for joining me.