Creative Types


Liza Palmer

Liza Palmer

Pasadena native Liza Palmer hit the literary big time with her very first novel, Conversations with the  Fat Girl, which was named a Target Breakout book and hit the international bestseller lists within one week of publication in 2005. (It was huge in England.) It was optioned for an HBO series, and she went on […]

Gayle Bluemel: Principal, Dramatist, Musician

Gayle Bluemel: Principal, Dramatist, Musician

Now the beloved principal of the Sierra Madre School, Gayle Bluemel has been a PUSD educator for more than 30 years. For even longer, she has been in love with the theater. Fortunately for her and her students, these pursuits have dovetailed often, leading to classroom after classroom—and now a whole school—saturated with the spirit […]

Zofia Kostyrko, Painter

Zofia Kostyrko, Painter

We recently caught up with the creative whirlwind otherwise known as Zofia Kostyrko. She’s one of the Altadena artists behind the now-famous Fork in the Road at Pasadena and Bellefontaine avenues, pulled in by Ken Marshall to create “Photoshop voodoo” to visualize his wacky idea. After designing the Put a Fork in Hunger logos, T-shirts, […]

Mayfield Musicians Make Merry

Mayfield Musicians Make Merry

Sorry for the alliteration, but the scene we stumbled upon at Jones Coffee the other day made us so happy that we had no choice. As I was leaving with my coffee, girls in red sweatshirts and Santa hats started arriving, laden with black instrument bags, so of course we had to stay and see […]

Michele Zack, Author & Historian

Michele Zack, Author & Historian

After making a name for herself with a local history book that stands head and shoulders above the norm, Altadena: Between Wilderness and City, Michele Zack is back with a new book: Southern California Story: Seeking the Better Life in Sierra Madre. A career journalist and former resident of Thailand, Zack and her husband have […]

William Stranger, Furniture Maker

William Stranger, Furniture Maker

For more than twenty years, William Stranger has been turning wood into beautiful furniture. Only, as he would be the first to tell you, it’s still wood — but not just wood. Rather, in Stranger’s capable hands, lumber that would otherwise be destined for the scrap heap gets a “Second Life” (the title of his […]

Hometown Boy Makes a Movie

Hometown Boy Makes a Movie

We’re sending out snaps to Pasadena’s own Zach Shipko, whose new feature-length video-format film, Why Are You Weird?, is getting a lot of attention. Interview magazine’s film site said it “might just be the best VHS feature film to be made in 2009,” and that it “sets a high bar in the world of straight-to-YouTube […]

Celebrating with Julienne Wins Big

Celebrating with Julienne Wins Big

Permit us to share some in-house joy: At the annual Southern California Independent Bookseller Awards Saturday night at the Biltmore, Susan Campoy’s cookbook, Celebrating with Julienne (which we distribute) won Best Nonfiction Book 2009. It was chosen by the booksellers themselves as their favorite nonfiction book published in the last year by an author with […]

Ray Turner, Painter

Ray Turner, Painter

Stockton native Ray Turner arrived in Pasadena in 1982 to study painting at Art Center College of Design and never looked back. The moment he earned his BFA, Art Center hired him to teach painting, which he did for sixteen years, while working on his own paintings and building a career. During this time he […]

Timothy Rutt, Altadenablog

Timothy Rutt, Altadenablog

Given his devotion to Altadena, you might think that Timothy Rutt, writer/editor/chief bottlewasher at Altadenablog.com, was a native. In fact, he hails from Fort Collins, Colorado, and he found his way to California the way so many do — seeking success in the entertainment industry. After earning a journalism degree from the University of Colorado, […]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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