Let the Mania Begin!

Published on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

View this post on Instagram

Today is the first day I have done actual hand to paper artwork in so long! I had to do some housekeeping, literally and figuratively. The result is that I've appropriated more than half our living room for my art after ridding myself of any ephemera or projects that would not contribute to the focus. This shelf represents so much: all the media I use housed like jewels on a shelf that is upholstered in the new fabric pattern of the passion leaf logo I designed years ago. Atop the shelf are three paper suitcases holding all my pencil drawings of @louisxivofbh @louisxivofbh and more fabrics ready to hit the road. I suppose this is the last time these things will be so orderly; 'cause imma 'bout to tear some stuff up on a creating jag! #art #medium #coloredpencils #pastels #acrylic #ink #watercolorpainting #artist #artistsoninstagram #newattitude #indigenous

A post shared by alexandra90210 (@alexandra90210) on


Rockin Out at the Rocket Room

Published on Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Every year we rush through from my husband’s birthday and then to my son’s birthday, to Mother’s Day, and all this happens around end of school year activities which all have special programs and events to schedule. This year has been no exception, and I found myself precariously close to the Critter’s big day with no plan! So, even though it’s taken me awhile to post, I couldn’t get too far into summer before I made sure I gave a huge thank you to the folks at the Rocket Room at RocketFizz in Westwood.

As my Critter (I know, I know, he’s getting too big to call a Critter, but later for that) gets older, the main things he likes are video games and candy. I was so excited to find out that RocketFizz, which is known for its INSANE stock of every kind of candy imaginable, has a party room upstairs that has a video game WALL. I met with Yasmine, the events manager and she walked me through the whole event. It was so easy – all I had to do was show up with cake and have pizza delivered from Ronis.

The staff greeted our guests under a custom banner with the Critter’s name on it and escorted the kids up to the Rocket Room, so there was no worry for me or the parents that they were dropping off at a safe location. The party room is like a lounge for kids and had air hockey, foosball, and a huge wall with four video game screens so that they could fulfill all their old and new gaming fantasies. In addition to these activities, there was a cotton candy machine, and the staff took the kids down to “shop” for their goody bag, which the staff wrapped up in really cute gift packages.

Two hours flew by, then the staff escorted the guests one by one to their parents, and we went to dinner. I think this was the most relaxed I’ve ever been after a party. Thanks again to Yasmine and the Rocket Room / RocketFizz staff for making it so easy!


2018 – It’s ON!

Published on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

My day every day since the strike of midnight December 31, 2017: work on the picture books! I have now completed the first and am nearly finished with the concepts and images for book two. My mother unearthed the book above and brought it to me because I NEEDED it to recall something that I want for my Louis XIV books: a feeling. All I have left each day after loving on my husband and The Critter is for looking for a way to give children the wonderful feeling I had when I read those stories. I have a very important meeting in March that is giving some structure to my quest, so until then I’m all picture book illustrator, all the time. I’m ready to make the dream happen.


Art in Life

Published on Friday, February 10th, 2017

I’m spending time with my other mistress – watch my process (and other stuff) on Instagram Facebook or Twitter!


“Beverly Hills Life” on the Beverly Hills Mom

Published on Monday, November 21st, 2016

Congratulations to Fish Media on their new magazine "Beverly Hills Life" and thanks to Jo Stevens for the great interview on pages 32-35!

When I opened the large white envelope from my mailbox this morning, I wondered what was in it. It’s such a busy week – The Critter gets out of school early every day, I am finishing up the fall cleaning and purge for the holidays, reorganizing my work space to get started on two new projects, and I have new tools that need to be integrated into the ephemera and art media (the kind that includes paint). Once I saw the cover of the other kind of gorgeous media – a new magazine called Beverly Hills Life, I remembered that I’m in this issue! A huge thanks to the folks at Fish Media for including me. I am very proud of the interview by Josephine Stevens – she asked great questions that I may actually use in that artist’s statement I’ve been agonizing over. The mag is super fine – glossy with luxe paper, and includes fabulous stories on Beverly Hills concierge Beverly Harris and photographer Dominick Aznavour This, among MANY other blessings, is something I’m grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! xoxoxo


Selfie Skills from 1986 #TBT

Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Alexandra Anderson Bower at the Greyhound Bus Station, Jackson, Mississippi, December 1986

During my senior year at Millsaps College, I completed forty two semester hours for my Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. This meant that I had a pretty crazy schedule – all I did was work at The Limited, work backstage in the theatre, direct a play for children, take theatre comp exams, take four fine art courses, found the time for the labs for all this artsyness, and a LOT of other core requirements I had not felt like taking when I was in the earlier years of my college career. My photography course required that I have my camera with me at all times, and if my professor ran across me with it off campus, I would get an extra “A” in my projects grades (or an “F” if I didn’t have it). I took this very seriously and always carried it with me, fortuitously receiving two surprise “A’s”, particularly when I was out drinking. I was shooting with my stepdad’s old Nikon F that he took with him to Viet Nam. It was very special piece of equipment with which I managed to take this selfie at three AM at the bus station in downtown, one of my favorite spots to take modern architecture photos. Some things never change. I’m still trying to entertain children with my art, I still love architecture, and I’m still at my creative best at three AM.


Nintendo 3DS and Yo-Kai Watch 2 Bring Generations Together

Published on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

You may have noticed that there’s lots of Nintendo happening on my Instagram recently – it seems that when it comes to games and kids’ entertainment, the blog follows my kid. We received a brand spanking new Nintendo 3DS for review this week, and I hid it for a few days until The Critter made some good grades and did a few good deeds. When I gave it to him yesterday, I realized that it probably made him happier than most anything I’ve ever done – I think he actually had mist in his eyes. He’s very happy to be my “tester”, dove right in, and was able to play with very little interference from me, other than to set the parental controls. I already really like everything about the device, especially the easily accessed information on the Nintendo site, which explains everything a parent would want to know, and that the games rated E for Everyone.

Also being released TODAY is the Yo-Kai Watch 2, which is a game that can be played either on a the watch or the Nintendo 3DS, complete with an adorable city and characters that we love. This post from The Verge really helped me understand the worlds so I have an even higher appreciation for the design and layers that help me relate to my kiddo. The new watch can even project the characters onto the wall!

I really have to thank the folks at Nintendo for making my kid think I’m cool again – I brought home a personalized shout out video just for him from the Yo-Kai Watch Event proving I had met Evan from EvanTubeHD, and now I’m the best mom ever!


Summer Goals Met: Art + Tech with KUBO and Splash & Bubbles

Published on Friday, September 16th, 2016


We are already in school for a month, Labor Day has come and gone, but the fun memories linger on from what felt like a super lazy summer. I didn’t make The Critter do summer camp, but secretly made a pact with myself that we would do some fun, stealthily educational and creative things to keep us sharp while we lolled in the pool or the freezing air conditioning that I love when it’s scorching heat. He told me that he had a GREAT summer, which comes to light in these photos taken from the last month(ish) of our break.

The entire month of June until June 26th, we were dealing with the loss of my wonderful father in law Harry, and tried to keep busy. He was truly one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to know.

It was quite fortunate that there was plenty of busy work getting ready for Woofstock 90210, which we worked on steadily until the event finally happened after its reschedule from the usual springtime date. It was SUCH a fun community event – we met hundreds of new dog lovers, and they all loved on the Lou. Since then, I have been minding the little store, and planning the next two Louis XIV of Beverly Hills books. The Critter learned a bit about having a paying job – he bought a ton of new Skyanders for his XBox360 with the money he makes helping me get prints mailed out and stuffing greeting cards into cellophane. We had a great Mommy and Critter lunch with my BFF Debra, where we learned to truly appreciate craft cocktails with video games for the kid and UBER. The journey to find the perfect publisher and agent continues – it’s learning a whole new set of rules and creating an entirely new network. Part of this learning was that I took a great webinar from literary agent Maria Vicente, and I feel like with each bit of information I glean, I am closer. I will probably write about this process more in the future, because it has truly blown my mind.

On two of the hottest days of the year, we trekked down to The Broad. The first trip was The Critter and me, because we did not have the impossible to get reservations and I knew that the no reservation line wait could be uncomfortably lengthy. This would be recon to assess what the absolute easiest way to handle wrangling kids, which involves eating, peeing, taking shelter from the heat, and doing a quick visit to Pershing Square to see Shard, the kinetic sculpture on display with an impending ending limited engagement. Post recon strategy worked really well! Elise and Lola joined in this time (yay they’re back for a while!), too. We valet parked ($15) at the Broad, then walked down to Pershing Square, which was really great; a flea market and live jazz, but we were completely scorched from the heat. We took a short respite at The Biltmore to cool down and rest stop, then lunch, then the Broad. My advice to non reservation line peeps: buy a ticket to Cindy Sherman (or whatever the featured exhibit is) and your two hour line wait becomes fifteen minutes. If you have the time to wait, it’s free. Check out MOCA across the street and Disney Music Hall while you’re at it. Kids love downtown – Lola and the Critter took on a whole different “city” vibe.

KUBO and the Two Strings was not a film that was on my radar this summer, but now it’s one of my all time favorites! A huge thanks to Focus Features and Laika for the invitation to screen the movie, tour the Magic of Laika exhibit at The Globe Theater and attend the premiere afterparty. I have to say that each of these invitations could have stood alone as a creative’s feast, so we were in heaven, experiencing the stop motion animated film and the exhibit of the making of KUBO, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Coraline. Beautiful Japanese folklore and the art of Origami were themes throughout, and we were able to talk to the filmmakers, including Travis Knight, the Oscar nominated CEO of Laika and director of the film. The party was a fabulous fete complete with cool activities and gifts like origami and lollipops that look like blown glass. The best part of this entire scene was the ease the filmmakers had with the open sharing of the creative process and being able to look at how digital printing and technology open new worlds for this art form. Laika is clearly at the top of the game in stop motion in the way that The Jim Henson Company paved the way for puppetry. They all are highly talented artists who love sharing their craft. As you’ll see from the photos, I could have written a book about all I learned that day, and The Critter may have discovered his future livelihood. If you haven’t seen KUBO, do it immediately. It’s that good!

Bringing up the Henson Company, I am VERY excited about the newest PBS Kids program for the little bitties, called Splash and Bubbles, which will air on PBS Kids November 23rd. Headlining the talented cast and crew are Sesame Street alums John Tartaglia and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph. The show incorporates not only the unparalleled voice and puppetry talent of the duo who performed as Oscar the Grouch and Abby Cadaby, but the puppetry has been taken to an entirely new level, using a tech board that incorporates puppetry with digital technology, creating a beautiful, hilarious animated program with STEM lessons in oceanography. Splash and Bubbles are modeled after actual fish, the series is based in real marine biology, and there are plans to work with local aquariums to create more ways to learn. I visited with Leslie and Lisa Henson about the wonderful ways that the technology gives new methods to practice the craft of puppetry. You may recall when I was first introduced to the digital artistry coming out of Henson for Sid the Science Kid by Lisa’s brother Brian – even more techniques have been created, and the result is sure to entrance your preschooler and cause them to say things like “Look! There’s a mandarin dragonette!”

When school commenced, I decided to join my creative bff’s Jeannine and Shannon at The Entrepreneur Edge Live (#TEELALive), as Jeannine would speak on one of the panel that would address branding. The event was organized by Joanna A. Turner, a globally known Advanced EFT & Master NLP Practitioner, Motivational speaker, and author, and promised to be “An EXCLUSIVE fun, TRANSFORMATIONAL and inspiring event for Female entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, healers and thought-leaders who are on a mission to change the world!” As someone who is open to trying new things on the front of self motivation but a good fifteen to twenty years older than the average age of the 150 attendees, I can honestly say that I walked away from the event HIGHLY motivated and secure in my process and progress. The other really big message I took away from the three days of meeting relatable, intelligent, empathetic, strong, and successful women is how wonderful it is that now young women who are ready to face up to their life goals, challenges, obstacles, failures, and successes have events and a group like TEELALive to turn to for connecting and support. In my late twenties, a group like these women would have given me SOOOOOOO much courage that mere group therapy could never provide. I thought Joanna and her team did a great job of bringing out the best of a new whole new breed of entrepreneur willing to break it down and work it out to get the quality life they envision. I’ve made new connections with women I like for all different reasons who bring fresh perspective to my life and I’m so happy to have this infusion of energy. When your life’s work is all about creating things out of nothing, that energy is precious.

The Critter has also kicked off fourth grade with his Cub Scout Troop as a Webelo 1. My Perfect Husband and I have the agreement that I do the gathering of stuff for the meetings and activities, and he’s the one to take the boy to said events. So far we’ve served homemade desserts to the second shift of the Beverly Hills Police Department, rocked the annual Water Splat, and gone on a geocaching expedition. My two men spent Labor Day weekend at Mammoth, while I celebrated Elise’s birthday with Jamie and Danny at PUMP, the recovery from which took the entire weekend…er week. This gave me the perfect excuse to finish binge watching the entire Gilmore Girls seven season series on Netflix. I SO love that show, and I actually miss the characters and wonder what they’ve been doing. I cant wait to see the new season – Hooray for the revival!

Coming soon – fun photos from two awesome events for Nintendo and YoKaiWatch, and more of my new affair with old school publishing.


Skip Brittenham’s YA and AR Novel Are Real Trip Between Worlds!

Published on Monday, July 18th, 2016


When I received the galley copy of Between Worlds by Skip Brittenham, I thought “Ooh cool, it has an app, I’ll give the book to The Critter to read and if he likes it, I’ll read it too”. A couple of days later as I rushed to a lovely luncheon hosted by the folks at Penguin Readers, I quizzed The Critter on whether he liked the book and he said “Yes, it’s interesting – I’ve read three chapters and I want to see what happens next”. I can tell you that a nine year old doesn’t get three chapters into a book in less than forty eight hours without it being quite interesting, so I made sure that I would have plenty to report from the lunch to continue that interest. Kids have so much instant gratification with their iPads, XBoxes and 3-D movies that parents really have to encourage reading.

So now I’m at a lovely table at the Peninsula with the author and many people who love books for young people, and I’m blown away by the personality of said author. Skip Brittenham is one of those people you come to understand once you’ve lived in an entertainment town for awhile. I call them an insider’s insider. This species of person has been behind the scenes of some of the most acclaimed creative people in Hollywood, yet I’d never heard his name. There will never be a reality show starring Skip – he mainly got into the entertainment law business because he didn’t like wearing ties. He understands that writing is a lot of work. So much work that wife Heather practically dared him to write the YA novel, saying “It’s too much work, you’ll never do it”. His first books were graphic novels on which he collaborated with veteran illustrator Brian Haberlin, one of which is “the longest original full-color graphic novel ever published”. Haberlin has again partnered with Brittenham on Between Worlds to create twenty illustrations for the book that react to an augmented reality app that absolutely blew me away!

I’ve tested the app in the short videos above in my own living room so that you can see how the experience relates to a normal setting. For those who say “great, but that will take away more reading time playing with the gadgets”, fear not – the app ONLY works with the book. The YA reader must read along for the characters to evolve. There won’t be much of a problem getting that to happen, the worlds that main characters Mayberry and Marshall magically travel to through time and space are destined to become classic escapes like Narnia or The Hobbit.


Woofstock 90210, PBS Summer Learning Event, and XOJ9 Full Spectrum are THIS Weekend!

Published on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Click here for the Louis XIV Fun. Fine. Art. boutique!

I am so excited to finally launch my Fun. Fine. Art. collection with Louis XIV as muse. The online store is set up, and if you would like to see the work in person, I will be at Woofstock 90210 this Sunday at Roxbury Park from 11:00 AM until 3:00 pm. I have had a great time putting together this little boutique, and love that I can share the pieces with real dog lovers in my neighborhood. Come see me – I have art in price points from $2.00 to $500.00, from cute greeting cards to custom original puppy portraits!
2016 Woofstock 90210 Flyer Eblast

Another fun free family event, PBS SoCal and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes have partnered to celebrate National Summer Learning Day. PBS SoCal is collaborating with other LA organizations to call attention to the importance of summer learning resources and opportunities in curbing the harmful effects of summer learning loss. Join my awesome friends for some family fun and to celebrate this year’s summer learning day – last year the Critter and I had a great afternoon looking at the museum and checking out the resources!
Join PBS SoCal for great summer learning resources!

If you can’t bear to leave the house (no judgement here on that!), be sure to check out XOJ9’s hot new collection of work in the FULL SPECTRUM online auction. I’m loving all the pieces, especially A Street in Culver City. Here are some details from her collection – stop by and bid!
A sneak peek at XOJ9 aka Jeannine Chanin Penn's works with FULL SPECTRUM online auction - click for more!