Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jello Fruit

jello fruit
I love love love this idea of Jello fruit slices as posted by Not Martha. Some friends of mine have a Jello party every year where guests are to bring edible liquor. I think this would be the perfect option (this recipe is just Jello, but one can always add a bit of Vodka, I say). Not Martha has tons of fun projects posted in her archives, including Hostess snack cake sushi. I'll bet Mary will be all over that one!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Omiyage, by Kumiko Sudo

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Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition. This book is basically in the Japanese craft book category, except all the text is in English. I came across one of Kumiko Sudo's quilting books several years ago, and am fascinated by her origami with fabric techniques. She has two origami flowers/applique books, Folded Flowers and Fabled Flowers. Both books are on my "gimme" list. I think this is an interesting technique that could be incorporated into a variety of projects. This book, Omiyage, is different, in that it is full of fun little bag projects versus quilting--gift bags or gifts themselves.

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Cute flower shape

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Adorable teapot pincushion

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Sparrow coin purse (there is also a pattern for a butterfly purse in the book)

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More window shopping...

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What a fun way to display photos! I saw this at the Museum of Contemporary Art, but it's available many places (google photo mobile). I wonder if it would work with Christmas cards?

Gosh, this shawl is so lovely. From the J. Peterman catalog, which I just found out was still going strong. Old catalogs sell for a surprising amount of coin on ebay.

Cute snowshoes for kids from Rei.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Woof Monday

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I had intended to share a funny dog cartoon, but I can't find it, so I figured I'd post this anniversary card. By Ambassador cards. Still animal-related, and I love all animals.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

San Diego Art Festival

I played tourist again yesterday, and took the trolley down to the Convention Center to see the San Diego Art Festival. I miss the Harvest Festival. The Originals show doesn't have the same vibe, and this show is too high end. Still fun to go though. I ended up buying some products from the Lavender Fields (same place I posted about a few months ago) for friends (scone mix) and some lip balm and shea butter hand cream for my mom. I wish they had a pic on their site of the organza pillow sleeve that has multiple pockets filled with lavender. What a perfect gift! It rolls up and ties with a pretty ribbon for presentation, but the rolled out item can be slipped into one's pillowcase for aromatherapy-indused sleep. I love it!
Lavender Honey
Lavender honey.

I especially enjoyed Anett Schneider fashions. I wish her website had photos of her amazing knit sweaters in big thick varigated yarns and cast on big fat needles. So yummy!

There were $57 dog collars there embellished with enameled glass (or whatever that glass art is called that people make jewelry out of). Beautiful, but out of my price range.

tp holder
And this amazing surf-inspired furniture. This tp holder would have been a perfect gift for a couple of surfers I know. I'll have to get one for next year.

When I went to the Originals show recently, I also posted pics of a grafitti banner outside the Santa Fe train depot, and across from the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was surprised the banners were no longer present, and inquired about this at the museum. Evidently several were stolen, so the rest were removed. On the one hand, this is a compliment to the artist if someone felt they so coveted the work that they needed to possess these. On the other hand, it is a violation to the artist who could have sold the piece or displayed it for his own enjoyment. Grafitti really has come a long way though, hasn't it? Not just an eyesore anymore, but art that sells for thousands of dollars. Interesting.

Movie magic

I finally, belatedly, rented and watched Finding Neverland last night. What a wonderfully magical movie! I dreamt last night of fairies and nymphs and sensual exploits. I feel phenomenal today--like a fog has lifted and there is something really bright and powerful ahead shortly. An ex-boyfriend of mine used to describe depression as his body searching for his soul that was wandering around lost. I feel like my soul is firmly where it should be, and my North Star is beaming brightly. It has been a long last few years, but what a fruitful course it has been! I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Clamp-on apron, 1955

Clamp On apron, 1955

I still haven't made my apron for Tie One On. This month is a holiday theme. I have so many options. This pattern has embroidered reindeer. It's called 'clamp-on' because one of the designs utilizes a readymade plastic hoop--I guess to hang the dishtowel. It looks like it has an elastic waist, but it doesn't. Although that would be interesting. I have considered a bunch of ideas for a Christmas theme, including sewing a red fuzzy fabric with a white fur-like trim and a big black belt. That would be so cute. But that's not what I'm making. A tree design with a battery pack and lights that flash would be fun. A mistletoe theme would be fun. A reversible Naughty/Nice one would be awesome. But instead I'm going to use one of my vintage patterns, and a thrift store sheet. Now just to get started....

Jester apron, 1965

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I don't know how many of these 20 cent booklets Good Housekeeping published, but this one certainly is fun. It features this apron, a peasant apron, a child's pinafore, and a Japanese apron (more like a smock-type dress). Layout and pattern piece dimensions are laid out, as well as step by step instructions for construction. This one is rather oddly festive, as is her expression. With a look like that, that spoon in her hand could be a magic wand, or more likely, a dominatrix whip.

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Here's the Japanese apron. Her poses are so creepy

Friday, November 25, 2005

Keeping it real

Pretty much the essence of who I am is intense honesty and expression. I try to explain how I feel, often to my detriment. For example, tell people about your failures, and they may remember them forever. Tell people a weakness, and they may pounce on it with glee, or just assume you have a screw loose. I will not change, however, and become someone who shelters emotion or puts up a facade. Yes, I may attempt to no longer so easily wear my heart on my sleeve, but if I have learned anything in the last year of self-discovery, it is that I'm overall pleased with my own character. Do some things need work? Sure, everyone has problem areas. I have as much to work on as the next person, but I certainly do lead an ethical life, and I am thankfully not plagued with huge issues that some people have to deal with like drug addiction or abuse or whatever else. So I'm already ahead of the game. Anyway, I have chosen recently to blog about some personal issues, and the people involved in that discussion have taken it personally. I'm frankly shocked by it all, because I didn't think I came across rudely or that I threw a tantrum or that I was being selfish. Evidently there was more resentment going on than just in my own head, because my friend has chosen to wash her hands of me. Because I blogged about her? What's that all about? Why am I writing again? Because I encourage all of you to be forthright and open and upfront with your feelings. It's okay to voice opinions even if they differ. It's okay to be angry at times. It's okay to have questions. It's okay to believe in yourself. Too much stuffing emotion under the rug winds up in disease--of the body and of relationships. I have never ever intended for my comments to be game playing or barbs that wound. I always just wanted to have honest and special relationships with people. Sure, I make mistakes, and I thought I owned up to them. In the last two years, I have lost my father (he passed away), and my boyfriend (breaking up is its own form of death that requires mourning). Neither was my fault, and I tried to be the best I could possibly be to both of those people. I have no regrets. I lost another relationship prior to that that was dysfunctional but still so close to my heart, and I am thankful for it and all of its angles. The sum of all parts, however, still equals loss. Loss hangs off me like dodder, waiting to strangle. Now I lose my best friends. But, you know, I have gained insight into myself. I am comfortable with who I am and what I represent. That is a huge discovery. I feel awakened, and am therefore calm. I move forward, that's all one can do.


I just discoved Hot Patterns. They have a couple of free patterns on the site, including this domestic goddess apron.

Back to eating. There are all kinds of fun shows on the Food Network today, utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers. Like Posole (Mexican Soup). I swear, between Food TV and Court TV, it's amazing I ever get off the couch.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Doughnutmisu Recipe

This is just so fun and weird, I have to post it. This is from Sam the Cooking Guy. He's a San Diego local, but is gaining in popularity, so look for him on one of your channels soon. He had a cruise last year to Mexico that I almost (so close) convinced my boyfriend at the time to join, but no luck. They had a great time, and boyfriend became an ex. Now Sam is going to Tuscany. Oh my there any way I can come up with the cash? Please tell me somehow there is a way. Anyway, here is Sam's recipe for a crazed version of Tiramisu. First read part of an email he received about this recipe:
I had a leftover tub of mascarpone cheese I needed to use up before it went bad (when it already smells like goat, is it possible to go ‘bad’? Hard to say.) Again with the anywhoo, I saw your recipe for Doughnutmisu & decided to give it a whirl. Someone brought in Krispy Kreme donuts to work this morning so I used those instead of the powdered ones you recommended.
I ate an entire serving in under 30 seconds. I’ve gained four pounds and either my roof is cracking or my arteries are hardening. I still have 3 servings left in the frig which have no hope of making it through to morning.
I curse you, Cooking Guy.

Think Tiramisu, but with powdered sugar doughnuts - yes, it's that simple - and good.

1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
6 small powdered doughnuts, sliced in half
6 tablespoons Hersheys chocolate syrup
1/4 cup Kahlua
Cocoa powder

Blend cheese, powdered sugar and whipping cream until smooth
Put 1 tablespoon Hersheys in bottom of martini glass
Dip cut side of each doughnut in Kahlua
On top of chocolate, place 1 doughnut half, then a big tablespoon of cheese mix, then another doughnut half, then more cheese mix then dust with cocoa powder
Refrigerate about an hour before eating .

Sam's site has a bunch of recipes. I'm dying to try the Strawberry Mojito. Mojitos are my favorite cocktail. I love love love Cuban food. Sigh, reminds me of some good past times. A couple of new Cuban restaurants just opened in San Diego that I can't wait to try.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost 2am and I'm wide awake. Sometimes I get hyper at night, especially if I work late. Tonight I worked 6pm to 11pm, so now I'm full of energy. So I just want to pause and say Happy Thanksgiving to anyone in America or from America, and just happy day to those of you in other countries. I have a tradition with myself every year on Thanksgiving, and it is to get up early and make myself a special breakfast (pancakes or French toast or eggs...something big and wonderful), and then I snuggle up under a blankie and watch the Macy's Parade. One of my favorite things all year, which is ironic, because Thanksgiving is actually my least favorite holiday. But I love that parade. Maybe I'll take the dogs to the beach later too. The weather has been heavenly in San Diego. Up until today when the afternoon was a bit overcast, and the evening had fog rolling in, it has been Santa Ana winds and sunshine like a summer day. I love that. Summer in November--yes. I'm not a cold weather type. I don't ski or anything (skiing is all about good lodge. Fritos with chili and several cocktails, hehe), and I would just hate living someplace where it rained a lot or snowed a lot. That's the great thing about San Diego--I can drive up to the mountains if I feel like seeing white, I can drive out to the desert if I feel like it (not a chance), or I can cling to the ocean (oh definitely). Ah, that's nice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gift cards, revisited

I posted recently about being bummed out that my friends want to do a gift card exchange at Christmas. I was the minority dissenter, so I guess it's a go. I already bought presents for them, so I won't be participating in the gift card thing. My closest friend surprised me by telling me she thought I needed to be less sensitive, more understanding, and that the holiday wasn't all about me. Whoa. She even suggested that writing about it here was lame, but my comments are never aimed to hurt. The point of blogging is to be honest, and to work things out on paper (afterall, it's a web's an online journal). I really appreciate the comments and emails I received on this subject that have kept me grounded. Your comments and "cyber friendships" have kept me from questioning myself or agreeing in my friend's assessment of my being overly sensitive. Maybe it's not all just the ease of gift cards that bothers me, but the the fact that we were each supposed to submit a list of three cards we'd like to receive. I guess it would be cool if they would just ponder the options themselves, versus ask for a list. The lack of effort and creativity in that is what makes me flinch. The thing is, I put together these "survey" questions a couple of years ago in an attempt for this group of friends to find out more about one another and to get info for gifts (like "where do you get your hair cut"? Personal choices that I could tap into). Problem was, no one besides myself thought these were fun. The surveys were too lengthy, they said. Took up too much time. Maybe that's why I love blogging--people get into memes, and dream lists, and 100 Things About Me. It is just so rewarding to know that there are so many people out in the world that have similar reactions, feelings, likes and dislikes as I do. Thank God. But back to the dreaded gift card thing. So I agreed to give them a list of three gift cards that I might want. Initially I was boring and said (yawn) Nordies (well, I DO need lingerie, and they have the best bras around), Starbucks (well, Starbucks is crappy coffee, but it's still easy and available and I need the caffeine boost. And Java chip frappuccinos are pretty tasty. So are Mocha Valencias. So a gift card there would be useful), and Amazon (when in doubt, I said, I am all about fabric or any fabric shop, or bookseller--including ones on the net). Or the love of my life: ebay. Then I amended the list to include a subscription to ReadyMade Magazine, because I really would like that. I keep putting off buying subscriptions. I'd also be interested in Bust Magazine. In other words, yeah, I guess there are some gift cards and certificates I might want and use. I will admit that it has been fun to consider other gimmes (not that they'll all read these (heaven forbid my closest friends even want to read my blog. Debs does, and several of my clients do, but too many don't), but just for fun I'm posting this list):
  • Subscription to Somerset Studio, or sooooo many other magazines. Especially the artsy ones from the UK that cost a fortune.

  • gift certificate to Lemongrass in Encinitas, so Brandie can tint and wax my eyebrows. I need to treat myself to this luxury more often.

  • gift certificate to have my hair cut (it has been a year since I trimmed my hair).

  • gift certificate to T-Mobile, so I can get a cell phone again (unless my credit is too shitty for them)

  • Too bad thrift shops don't have gift cards. Boy, that would be something.

  • Any fun vintage or retro store would be a good choice. Even Urban Outfitters.

  • Any fun shop like Embellishments in Leucadia, or any of the shops on Cedros in the design district. Duh.

  • I refuse, under any circumstances (including a family that no longer celebrates) to become jaded on the holiday. I will attend parades by myself if I have to. And to all those people out there whining about the capitalist crap and you don't want to have to waste money, blah...blah...blah...
    You know what? It's all about attitude. Why are you focusing on your checkbook balance and how many cars are at the mall parking lot? What about child-like wonder? What about snowflakes (even here in California), sleds, the smell of fresh pine? What about the big-eyed wow for a thank you (giving it or receiving it), a perfect gift find for someone, a cup of peppermint-flavored coffee? What about jingle bells on horse sleighs, the Sea World tower in twinkly lights (sorry, San Diego reference), and sunshine in wintertime? My God, there are so many other areas to focus on. So much wonder and joy to still hold dear. That's where I want my priorities to remain. My friend pointed out that not everyone thinks like I do and I have to respect that. Do I? I don't really have to welcome people into my circle if their outlooks contrast. Do I? I don't think I was in the wrong here. I think I need to surround myself with more people who have similar views to my own. People who enjoy getting together and sharing and giving for the fun of it. I love giving gifts. I have had several boyfriends in the past get really pissed at me for buying them things on a whim for a "just because". So many guys seem incapable of accepting with grace. I mean, it's not like I went out and bought them "dust collectors". I really try to put time and thought into things, and I truly love doing that. Anyway, I'm rambling...but I guess I just needed to vent.

    PS: I googled Starbucks to make sure I spelled frap correctly. In the process I found this knock-off recipe for mocha coconut frappuccino. Oh the joy. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! Starbucks used to have a Rumba flavor that was insanely good. It had chunks of chocolate in it--like that stuff that frosties are dipped in sometimes. I found this recipe that says cookie pieces are added. Not the same, exactly, but it has to be good too. But I so miss that drink. I hate that when you find something you love (like Trader Joe's Dr. Joe's soda), and they discontinue it.

    I'm not older, I'm just more experienced

    Oh my, the twists and turns. I went up to the local community college yesterday to inquire about counseling (I want to find out how to get accepted into an impacted art department). I have attended on and off forever, so it's not as if there has been a hiatus, although I do possess an Associate Degree from this same school that I received in (too bad you can't mumble on a blog), uh, 1982. There, I said it. It's so funny how all the cliches about aging are just screaming at me loud and clear. All those warnings I heard about "time just flies by" are so damned true, aren't they? My God. I mean, I'm basically the same person I was 20 years ago, or 25 even...I'm just a bit more seasoned. Anyway, I walk into the counseling center, and I'm looking at all the names on the doors trying to remember who it was I had spoken with previously. The lady at the desk (she was middle-aged, so you can't chalk this off to snotty teenager) inquired if I needed help, and I asked if the staff had changed as I was trying to find who I had seen last, and none of the names looked familiar. Her response? "Oh, probably retired". Okay, let that settle in for a second, and let your blood boil up like hot soup like mine did. Of course, I have never had the gift of quick response, so I just sort-of stared in some sort of lost shock. Granted, I'm no longer 18, but I have good genes, and look 10 to 15 years younger than I actually I never really think about being older. At least it's better than a co-worker who went out on stress leave and by some miracle returned to work with new boobs. How odd that so many people thought it was a waste since she's over 40--like life is about over or something, so why look good? Anyway, another co-worker and supposedly a "friend" of that transformed girl told her, "you do all these things to your body, but why?...when your face looks like a melted candle?". Whoa. Cue sound of breaking glass. Or rim shot. Something.

    Any good single men left?

    This is may be a silly comment, but it's my blog and I can say what I want to (is that a song?). I want a man like Joe on "Medium". He's cute, he's loyal, supportive, nice, good father, easy going, easy to laugh, has an interesting job....sigh. It's about time I dated a "them's good people" kind of guy. He has to be out there somewhere....

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Bias tape Apron pattern, and Spool Pet, 1935

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    I found this today amongst items that had been my grandmother's. This (and the other one) is printed on the cardboard backing of packages of bias tape! Torn, but still a wonderful find. Directions not too clear here, but I'll enlarge them and put them on the vintage flickr group when I have a chance.

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    Cute little kitty that you make with the cardboard and a wooden thread spool. Fun poem to go with it.

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    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    It's a doll, it's for pins

    I was trying to find more patterns for teacup and mug pincushions, because I know there are several variations. In my search I came upon the collector's type with the doll body atop the pin area. Some of these are quite lovely. Then I came across Mopsy, this bizarre vodoo-esque troll pincushion. Hmmm. Check out the fanny pack too. Whoa. With those around I think my imagination would travel back to when I was a little girl and had just seen one of the creepy dolls on Night Gallery. I started locking my dolls up in a cabinet at night after that. Dolls still creep me to this day.

    Interesting article on what to fill a pincushion with.

    Atkins shmatkins

    I have been trying to find a good bread recipe to make, thinking perhaps pumpkin would be nice for the season. I just came across this banana-pumpkin bread recipe, and I cannot wait to try it. Love love love Heidi Swanson's site.

    Woof Monday

    I have to work early tomorrow, so here's a Woof Nanny Speaks entry, one day early.
    Animal artist, Ron Burns.
    Dog print

    Projects to make: more bags...and garden art

    I was cruising the net trying to find out how to make a bird feeder from a vintage glass pop bottle (I saw one at the Design District), and came upon this amazing site of projects for kids. Also, a pincushion from a tuna fish can!
    But back to the birds. Garden art ideas:
    Ooh, and I really want to make some tea cups on a pole--they can be bird feeders or votive holders. Would look amazing lining a garden path.
    Cute gift idea: make a tea cup pin cushion. I think I might use wool or something instead of a foam ball.
    another teacup one
    more tea cup crafts
    one version of a mug pin cushion
    no directions but pic of a cute flower pot pincushion
    recipe for friendship tea
    Bag Ideas:
    postcard handbags tutorial
    I need to learn how to knit. French market bag
    Cute crocheted coin purse
    Purse embellished with shells

    Ooh, a crocheted cupcake

    Yummy bags....

    tano bag
    I love to make bags, so I tend to pay attention to what is on the market, so I can get inspiration for how things are put together. Right now I'm making myself a slouch bag out of silver metallic denim. I may add some studs detailing. I'm drooling over this bag by Tano, as posted by my favorite, The Bag Blog.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005


    One of my friends just sent me an email, saying she had this "great" idea that we could all exchange gift cards this Christmas. Afterall, she said, we're always postponing getting together because we're so stressed out, and this would be "easier". Okay, this disturbs me on several levels. First of all, I'm not stressed out. Sure, I have more time on my hands since I don't have kids, but I also make a lot less money than my friends do, and that presents (no pun intended) its own issues. What do I do? I keep and eye out for ideas and gifts all year long. I slowly set things aside, so that by the time December comes around, I have a cache of goodies. Works for me. Also keeps me out of those long lines and God awful malls. The other thing that disturbs me about these "ideas" is that they become these set in stone rules that just suck the joy out of everything. Hello, this is supposed to be FUN. This is supposed be a lovely reason to get together. I don't give a shit if you buy me an expensive piece of jewelry or bake me cupcakes--what I care about is whether or not you put some heart into it. Did you even THINK about what might be important to me? What I'm all about? What might matter? THAT is what I want to see. I work retail, and I see all these people at the last minute scrambling all over these crappy pre-packaged gift baskets and the this good? What do you think? I think you could instead put a package together of items that you picked out especially for that person. If you sew, maybe create something that might be meaningful. What does the person like to do? What are their passions? What's their favorite color? For God's sake, put some effort into this. Make it mean something. Stressed out? Well, maybe you need to cut something out that is just too much. Maybe you need to learn to say no on occasion. Are you listening? It gets frustrating for me. For example, one of my brothers decided that Christmas was overwhelming, and therefore made a rule to make the gifts "children only"--only give the kids gifts from now on. How convenient that he has kids and I don't. Now his kids have kids. What, does the magic disappear once we hit 18? What is there to look forward in that? No thank you. I want to continue to find the magic in twinkly lights and warm intentions. This same brother also, when his kids were small, gave everyone gifts in his kids' names. Meaning the card said it was from the child, but it was from him and his wife. I absolutely loathe this concept. Those kids therefore never learned how to give. I urge parents to instead ask kids to draw a picture, or make a card, or give a photo of themselves, a macroni mosaic, ANYTHING as long it is from THEMSELVES and not a parent. And by the way, thank you cards never went out of style either.

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Holiday recipes

    I don't have a close family, nor kids of my own, but I still relish cooking for the holdays. I think it's sad that so many people rush through their days with a microwave, and don't value the joy, passion, and thrill of creating something with their own hands. Cooking can be quite therapeutic.
    *This week I plan to try a mushroom soup from my favorite book in the entire world, Aphrodite, by Isabel Allende.
    *I have been looking through recipes for cranberry jam--I think this and a freshly baked loaf of bread may be the perfect gift for a friend of mine who prefers I not spend money. What better, then, than a tasty treat of my own creation?
    *Ooh--avocado-filled deviled eggs!
    *for another gift for Christmas, I will be making my favorite tote pattern in a miniature size, just perfect to hold the box of Tangerine Tea and Macademia Blossom honey that I purchased yesterday. I may add a vintage spoon, and a tail of ribbon with a tag embellished with a quote about friendship. That will be her very own "tea bag" and may be the prototype for something I sell in the future. I will be taking a class at a local quilt shop next month on fabric collage, and this may be the perfect canvas for that. I am very excited about this idea.

    Quilt Ideas?

    I have agreed to help a co-worker make a quilt for her school. Every year the private school (Cathedral, if you're in San Diego...used to be Uni) holds an auction of things the parents make and donate. Proceeds from these auctions can be quite high. This co-worker is like Martha Stewart anyway. Someday I hope to see her home, as she is renovating and is putting in a kitchen countertop of limestone with fossils in it. Can you imagine how wonderful? That even tops my usual favorite, concrete countertops. She also mosaiced her laundry room in a diner-type style that I am dying to see. Hmmm, reminds me I should post pics from some of my mosaic books. Last year this same girl also mosaiced a Welcome Mat. The thing brought in bids that ended up at $1500! Holy cow. She got a commission to do another in Mexico, but backed out for insecurity. Huh? Geez, we're our own worst enemies. Anyway, she has agreed this year to make a quilt. The thing is...she doesn't sew. So I said I'd help her. She's thinking of using old tees from the school, parts of uniforms (including the plaid from the skirts--brilliant). If anyone has any ideas for a fun memory-type quilt, please forward me the ideas and/or links. Someone has donated their services to quilt it, so that's cool. She wants it to be random versus a rigid pattern. Thanks!

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Oodles of purse ideas

    Amazing site posted by Laura. So much inspiration and ideas. I love the collage quality of this one, by Marie Otero.

    You and me up in the trees...

    Oh, one other thing. This especially for croque-choux and Claudia too: just think, if you ever have an extra $50K laying around, you could get your very own treehouse. This courtesy of the infamous Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. I have a love/hate relationship with money. Part of me doesn't want it to be important, hence my lack of career amibition, and my inability to save. Another part of me appreciates Donald Trump in his helicopter on the Apprentice tonight, talking about "the good life" and how that's how you live if you have a lot of money. Part of me would adore being able to shop that catalog. Among other things.

    PS: I obviously can't wait for American Idol and Rock Star to resume.

    Ooh, personalized fun

    I'm house-sitting/dog-sitting again, but that means I'm away from my sewing machine (and I was actually back to working on projects again too), and away from my I can only post here what I find on the web. But then we all know how much I love shopping, and God knows there is a lot of stuff to choose from. The idea of photo stamps intrigues me. I had read that the program was discontinued when people were using the "wrong" type of images (uh, like the Unabomber...see article here). But evidently it's a go again.
    Speaking of personalized items, how about your own version of M&M candies?!

    Too tired for more right now. Lots of books to share with you tomorrow.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    More gimmes and gotta haves

    Nothing like window shopping to ease my mood a bit. This skirt reminds me of the apron Kath just sent me. I am digging the new Boden catalog--like anthropologie, but friendlier. Just sayin'.

    They also have this boiled woil cardigan--a classic never out of style wonder. It's actually a big deal that I'm looking at clothes. I've never even liked shopping for clothes. I always liked dressing in jeans or shorts and tees. I spend my money on other things, like kitchen stuff, books, and fabric. But, like I said in a recent post, it's as if my clothes aren't my own anymore. I need something new to reflect the new me. I need more "grown-up" clothes that are still comfortable and fun.

    This company, Weekenders, appeals to me also. Fabrics for travel can scrunch up and not wrinkle. Simple knit flowing skirts and simple lines. I like it.

    I have decided to cancel my Locals Thursday and Fabulous Friday posts for now--at least until I get a digital camera. I'll continue with Woof Nanny Speaks on Mondays, because it brings back a doggie theme to the blog that I rather enjoy. Well, I have to go back to work today, so I'd better get ready. At least it's in the department I enjoy today. Part of the day should be slow enough to allow me to continue reading Eldest, by Christopher Paolini. Juvenile, you say? I beg to differ! It's right up there with Chronicles of Narnia, and better than Harry Potter.


    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Current emotion: depressed

    Feeling introspective tonight, and figured I'd do a bit of stream-of-consciousness writing that I may regret tomorrow. Whatever. Since I finished reading the North Star book, I have felt much calmer lately...renewed. On the other hand, however, my actions tell me that something is quite amiss. I called in sick to work two days straight (plus a scheduled day off) and never even got out of my pajamas. I never brushed my hair. I have far fewer friends than ever before, and have stopped socializing to a large degree. Blogging helps, but comments have dropped off lately, probably due in part to my not participating in challenges. I guess that all spikes of depression. How odd that I feel so much better inside then. I guess because I finally feel ready for a change. Granted, Sunday was the second year anniversary of my dad's death, and a year since my boyfriend disappeared off the face of the earth. Those last two events have sent my weight skyrocketing up about 40 pounds. That certainly doesn't help matters any. Too, without a close family I find this a difficult time of year. Add to the lot a job that I just cannot stand one minute longer, and...there you go. The question is...

    Fall Cake

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    Isn't this an amazing cake for Fall? I found this copy of Woman's Day magazine that my mom had, November 2003. It's a pumpkin cake (how cool is that?!) decorated with marzipan pumpkins and chocolate leaves (the chocolate was brushed onto maple leaves. There are no maples here in Southern California, but I have done this with lemon leaves before. I really like that they used both dark and milk chocolate. I would probably try to be artistic and combine both on one leaf). I think this is so festive and lovely.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Vintage Cookbook, 1968

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    No, it's not Batman, it's a funky old cookbook. I love this kind of thing. I love the vintage recipes that use real butter, real sugar, and all the flavorful fat. I am positive that the future holds lots of disease all related to processed low calorie nonsense like Splenda. No thank you. There are a couple of recipes in here that I want to try, like Banana Apple Pie--I've never had cooked bananas in a pie, but I am definitely willing to check it out. There are banana oatmeal cookies (I gravitate to all things banana), and salted peanut cookies. The fun part of these old books are the quotations they use, like this gem that just says "from a Sunday paper":
    Something still hot from the oven
    can sweeten a love turned sour;
    women, long before hippies,
    knew about flour power!


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    Woof Monday

    Monday means another installment of Woof Nanny Speaks!, or my suggestion for something pet-related. Last week I talked about toys and treats you can buy, today I'll give a few sites that give instruction for items you can make yourself. If you don't have pets of your own, these could make cute gift items, or bazaar items to sell.

    For cats:
    I want to express some caution with using yarn for mouse tails--beware of items that might be swallowed. I would instead choose leather, sisal, or thick cord.

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    Knit or crochet mouse
    another version of a knit mouse
    tweak you knitting a bit, and get a "mouse-pig"
    cute mouse made from a sock
    fleece mouse
    fabric mouse
    Monster toy. I think this is a cat toy. Could be a child's toy. Could be both.

    For dogs:
    First of all, remember to supervise playtime--cloth that is swallowed can cause big problems (and big vet bills). I have a client who was initially scared to hire another pet sitter because her previous sitter allowed her dog to die after he ingested portions of a chair cushion. The sitter said he had to go to work. Uh, hello, the dog's life is the priority. Work can wait. See safety tips in this article.

    Tennis ball toy.

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    A toy as seen in Real Simple Magazine:
    Make a Dog Toy Out of Dish Towels

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    It's hard to decide which is more painful: paying for a dog toy that's going to be destroyed in no time flat or living with a gnarled pig's ear on the sofa. Take dish towels that look as if they've lived in an auto shop for the last decade and make them into chew toys that won't cost you a penny.

    WHAT YOU NEED: Three laundered dish towels and scissors.

    1. Cut an inch-wide strip from one short end of two towels.
    2. Bunch each of the three towels and use one strip to tie them firmly together at one end. Tightly braid them, then tie the other end with the second strip.

    ALSO WORKS WITH: Napkins and orphan socks, for smaller pooches.
    Written by Joyce Bautista
    October 2004

    And remember our feathered friends outside!

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    First of all, keep your cats indoors!
    Treats to hang in the trees, including edible Christmas ornaments.
    more treats, including photos.