Thursday, March 30, 2006

Angels and demons and questions throughout

I have a guardian angel. Or spirit guides, or whatever you want to believe...all I know is that I have been in some dangerous situations where I was protected, and I have missed accidents several times. Like the time I was leaving my then boyfriend's house, and when the light turned green, rather than race out of the gate per usual....for some reason I hesitated. That's when a car in crosswise traffic ran a red light. Hmmm.

Tuesday, I couldn't remember where I had put my keys. I readily remembered on Wednesday, but on Tuesday I drew a blank, so I drove to work with my spare set of car keys. Usually, when I work a closing shift, my habit is to check my post office box before heading home. Because I didn't have my key, I turned the other direction and came home. One of my co-workers was driving the street and direction I habitually drive, and he was killed by a drunk driver who hydroplaned into his lane. Ramon was a bright light--always a smile on his face. Always a joke to tell or a way to make people laugh. One of my manager's said, "you know, I'll be lucky if I just touch a handful of people, but Ramon touched so many people". Work was in a state of shock yesterday, with people crying, contemplating, questioning why. Another of my co-workers was driving behind Ramon and saw the accident take place. He was the one calling 911 with one hand while nudging Ramon with the other. I saw him talking to an EAP (employee assistance) representative later.

I mean, what if Ramon would have stayed one more minute to talk to someone? What if he wouldn't have stayed one minute to talk to someone? All the miniscule steps of the evening that brought him to that place at that time that put him in the line of danger. Was it God's intention? One never really understands. I know that when I am delayed for some reason (maybe in a line at a store, or something similar) I tend to think that perhaps it's calculated to keep me safe. Like I said, there are so many questions, what-ifs, and unknowns.

You've heard all the cliches about life being short. But really, it can all be gone in a flash. No warning. No time to tell people you love them.
Live life without blinders on versus just skimming the surface.
Meet people.
Don't be afraid to have a conversation.
Make your life mean something to other people.
This is your chance.

Woof Nanny is One Today!

Well, technically my first post was May 31, but my introduction post was a year ago today. Wow, that year just zoomed by! I started this blog with Laura's inspiration, and it blossomed from there. I have learned about the computer, about new projects, and the joy of meeting cyber friends. I hope this blog continues to grow and that more people find me here.

(credit for image: here)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I'm an even bigger ebay hound than a thrifting one. I buy too much, but I also get tons of ideas, inspiration, and history lessons.

These are pics from completed auctions. I just pulled them out randomly for fun. Vintage wooden doggie needle case (crochet hooks or knitting needles). I can see recreating one of these in paper mache or even stiffened fabric.

Groovy mod bird fabric ala the Partridge Family. How fun. This went for over $30 for one yard. This seller, Majikhorsefabrics, always has amazing vintage stuff.

Or this mod owl fabric--such lovely simplicity. I can see this as an applique pattern.

This I may have to buy. This is from seller Tokyo_gift. An owl coin purse. Continuing auction through seller's store. There are also kitten purses and other cute items.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Free patterns!

How cute is this Knit Buddy?! Free pattern from Lion Yarn here.

A pattern for crocheted socks that looks interesting.

Paper penguin.

Tomato pincushion.

Crocheted tote made with recycled plastic grocery bags!
Another version here.

Celebrating Women Artists

At the Rummage Sale recently, I purchased two copies of Craft Magazine. If you're thinking glue sticks, think again. These are images from galleries and professional artists. To say inspiring doesn't say enough. Like this amazing 3D construction with photographs, by Anne Lemanski. More info here.

Or this washroom, by Cynthia Consentino, created with more than 2,000 hand-crafted tiles. More info here.

Etched glass mirrors by Karen Lamonte.

Amazing photographs of the sea, merged with cloth and stitching, by Luanne Rimel.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Post Script

Can you tell I'm excited about having access to a computer :).
I went back to the Rummage Sale today (goodies posted yesterday, so scroll down). It's the first time I've ever attended the second day of an event when everything is half price. I went in expecting empty and lots of junk. I therein learned a powerful lesson:

Don't go into situations, events, relationships, etc with preconceived notions or expectations. You might find yourself thereby disappointed, or you may not be alert enough to notice important details. And that might cost you.

Today I screwed up in that I just ho-humed through things because I really wasn't expecting to find much. I was wrong. Later in line (I found perfect pairs of pants and shorts for work, more books, and some clothing to cut up for fabric) the lady in front of me had a drawing of a seagull that I wish I had seen. That area was the first place I checked, but I didn't really look well. I wanted a large Sullivan cat print that I knew my friend would want for her daughter's room, but some man who had just put it down claimed he wanted it after all. Grrr... but the seagull is still haunting me. Had I had more money on me, I would have offered to buy it off her. Maybe I should have tried anyway. Crap. I don't think she was even hip on it, it's just that it was only $2. Another man in line had a huge wooden chest that I can't believe I didn't see. That would have been perfect for storage. Gack! So now I know better.


Just a couple of thoughts:
I was just out on the road and I saw a couple walking together. Or allegedly walking together. He was about ten feet ahead, and she was talking on her cell phone. If you're going to spend time with someone, make it quality time. Make that person your focus. Just sayin'.

There's a show on the radio on Sunday mornings (broadcast out of Los Angeles on KFI 640AM) called The Jesus Christ Show. The host sits in as Jesus, and answers call-in questions about family issues, moral dilemmas, etc. On its face you might think, huh? Or if you have a religious upbringing your thought might come up with words like blasphemous...but I assure you the show is extremely well done. His answers are lovingly calm, based in Scripture, and full of teaching. I consider myself a Christian, but I never found a church or a pastor that motivated me enough to want to find solace in membership. This show, however, contains thought-provoking and meaningful discourse. If it's available in your city you might want to check it out.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Annual Thursday Club Rummage Sale

Girl's size hand-knit hooded sweater. Perfect condition...I got it for $2!!!!
Today is one of those days that thrifters live for: the annual Thursday Club Rummage Sale. Half of the money raised goes to the San Diego Community, and the other half goes to the historic Balboa Park where the event is held. I don't have a digital camera, so I tried to grab some images with the scanner. It makes me sick to think someone would get rid of this beautiful sweater, but it went to someone who will appreciate it (I do, and I'm giving it to my friend's daughter, who will cherish it as well).

I got a huge assortment of ties--I love the weird, ugly, novelty ones. Here's just some of the ones I scored (the fish and the elephants and the avocado are luscious):

Fun fabrics
Rummage sale fabrics

vintage cookbooks
It was really busy and I just had to grab and run. I didn't even realize what I had until I had time to sort through stuff at home. This chocolate cookbook turned out to be a fun find.
Clue number 1: Copyright 1970 with this being the fourth printing in 1974.
Clue number 2: dedication reads, "To Tris, who digs vanilla".
Clue number 3: the title contains the word, 'addict'.
Yep, all these desserts have names of, ahem, drugs and drug-related stuff. There are recipes (just chocolate, by the foreign additives, so to speak) for Chocolate: joints, weeds, wiggies, grass, LSD's, speed, crystal, fix, hash, turn-ons, far outs, and this dated goodie...the chocolate lid. Also Not Very Squares, Groovy Chocolate Cake, Acapulco Gold Cake, Chocolate Out-of-Sight, and Way Out Pie!!! Let me just make it clear that I'm not giving a thumbs up to getting high, but one has to smile at the naivete in retrospect. This all seems sort-of innocent and Make Love Not War, versus the more scary elements we see today.

I got several more cookbooks, a ton of patterns, some craft mags, a spool caddy, some killer yarn, and a cactus in a kitten-shaped vessel that looks like a Chia pet.
I'll post more goodies later. I could have stayed there all day (they replenish!) but I had plans this afternoon.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Okay, as promised, another post today. I have to get as many in as I can before the computer is yanked away again! So I'm stashing some in 'draft' too, so I can post while I have a short break between house-sitting again.

I'm nursing a cold, and today just decided to curl up on the sofa and finally take on a copy of 52 Projects. Now I undertand why Amy posted about this book and this site, and why she has started a mail order idea. I think what I enjoy the most about this book is the author's (a man!) ease with language and the laying down of his soul. It gives me hope that someday I'll find a soulmate like that--someone who isn't afraid to speak his dreams or his fears. A relative rarity in Southern California, I'm afraid to say. But I digress.

Post Script: Kath at Red Current also just coincidentally posted about 52 Projects.

I like #29.
"Get a regular-sized envelope. Address it to someone special. Then, stuff it with as many things as you can: a letter, photographs, torn out magazine articles or newspaper clippings, photocopies of poems, a short story or passages from a novel, recipes, artwork, poems or stories you've written...Anything that can be folded up and put in the envelope. Make sure to stuff it so full that you need to use tape to keep it sealed. This envelope should have serious heft. Once it's sealed, get the proper postage put on it (definitely use stamps) and mail it off".

I have actually done this many times. It's fun to send a 'just because' with items to tell a person you're thinking of them. And it's fun to assemble as well.

Or #36.
"Stay up all night.
Think about it--all the shit that can go down in one night. The party of the century. The best talk ever. Sexual reckonings. A painting. A short story. A short film. Old friends, good scotch, and the conversations you never get tired of having. New friends, cheap drinks, and discussions about favorite movies. A long drive through the middle of nowhere, stopping to get a large coffee every time you see a gas station. Pounding grooves that keep your body swaying, going way past the point werher your legs feel tired. Talking and talking and just talking with the girl/guy who's going to change your life, for one night, for years, forever. The fight that finally ends it. You lay your cards on the table, over and over again. All this and more can happen in one night.
Just don't fall asleep".

You know, that's really true. We don't have to try so hard to create or plan or evoke the memorable moments of our lives...THESE are the moments. It's all about being there. Noticing. Taking it all in. It's the little day-to-day moments that somehow etch permanent places in our hearts. A laugh with a friend now moved away. The alley of an apartment we loved. A view that is changed. A place we sought out to read or write or contemplate our life. A person we loved once. A person now gone. Little sacred moments clicking away. We all tend to forget that things change, events change, places change. Elements we thought were forever in our childhood are now no more. It's not bleary, it's just a reminder to be grateful for what we have right now. It's a reminder to be present in right now versus forever planning for a someday.
Make your moments mean something, but better yet, take in the world around you and just smile.

Cupcakes and goodies

hi! Gosh I've missed ya'll. I'm on kitty duty at a client's house right now, so I'm able to post a couple of things. Like stuff that is just too cute not to share, like these cupcake towers! Or here's a version from Hallmark.

And how cute are these little bear-shaped containers for cinnamon sugar?! I just made my friend Jen a birthday gift bag, using a cute bag Hallmark has with a big cupcake on it, and in it is this little bear with a bag of his sugar, plus natural cookie sugars from India Tree that I posted about recently, and organic sprinkles from Whole Foods Market. She's in the midst of moving, and doesn't need another item to pack. I figured this might be some stuff she could use and have fun with her kids.

and while we're talking about nifty stuff for the kitchen check out these amazing Geman pepper mills from Penzeys Spices.

Anyway, now that I have a computer to play with (but no photos yet), I have a loss for words! What's that all about? I'll think of something and post later today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

just checking in.... computer yet, so I just have to post this way since I'm at the library. The bumer is that picasso and my scanner still work, but I can't post since my keyboard is all screwy. Aaarrrrggghhh.
The good news is that Amanda received her Vintage Vixen Swap items that I sent. I had a tough time sending that cup, let me tell you.
And awesome news is that I received my Candy Swap items today all the way from the UK from Megan. I will post a pic as soon as the computer Gods deem me able.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Weird Candy

Not time to post (at the library), but I will share this:
Fun store made to resemble Wizards Alley from the Harry Potter books. I read that they sell Troll Booger candy (I love novelty stuff like that) but it's not listed on their website. Hmmm, may have to drive up to Santa Monica. How fun would THAT be for the candy swap?!

Monday, March 13, 2006


after 15 trys and contact with a fist the 'puter is allowing a window to post as long as I don't use all of the alpha_et or punctuation I'll take what I can get this is a Quilts Japan 1994 Posted by Picasa

At the mercy of evil computers

I am typing this from the library, as my computer may be on its death bed currently. Ack! So if you don't hear from me as often, please bear with me while I beg, borrow (but not steal) a computer until I can afford to buy another. Too many other bills looming for me to think Dell right now.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Moments frozen in time

I was cleaning up around here, and came across this old Polaroid of my parents. I could ask my mom when this was taken, but I won't. When were these insta-images popular? Pull it out, shake it, let it dry, stick it on a piece of cardboard. I'm guessing late 60's on this, but I could be wrong. My mom is 80 now. My parents were married 62 years when my dad passed away two years ago. Last Friday would have been his birthday, so he's been on my mind a lot. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Window Shopping

Lucky is my favorite magazine (duh, it's about shopping!). I was totally inspired with this month's issue.
(drooling) lovely Marimekko fabrics (of course I would pick out the most expensive one). Link here.
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And another beauty. Link here.
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Beautiful red berry dinner plate that reminds me of Lisa's photos and art. Link here.
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Lovely shell-shaped salt and pepper cellars (info here)
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and the same site has silver or gilded seashells, fruit, and veggies. I love this silver pomegranate.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chews

I got this from the mom of one of my former roommates. It's one of my favorites. Two pans seems like a lot, but it makes up the standard amount of bar cookies.

Stir together to mix, then set aside:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

In another large bowl, cream together (make sure there are no lumps):
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

then stir in:
1 cup peanut butter (even though I prefer natural-style peanut butter, for desserts it's better to use the standard type with shortening in it. I like extra chunky Skippy)

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Spread into TWO ungreased 9" x 13" glass pans. Bake 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool then cut into squares. Keep covered so they don't dry out (you want them to stay chewy).

You can also add chocolate chips before baking if you want to. Maybe 6 oz per batch.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Stained glass and woodwork by James Hubbell

Yay, I was able to cross something off my 'gimme' list when I finally found a copy of this book featuring the work of my favorite artist/architect, James Hubbell. The book is dated 1982, featuring eighteen doors Hubbell was commissioned to design and build for an Arabian Sheikh for his home palace. With the help of assistants, the doors were completed in six months. The designs are meant to symbolize communication between east and west.

I enjoy gaining inspiration from different art mediums, and I hope you'll consider the same. So what if you don't work in glass--images may translate into your own art preference. These doors might inspire paper collage, or quilt applique, or painting...
It's interesting to view different subjects, genres, textures, learn what is out there, how things are interpretted, and generally what speaks to your soul. What truly speaks to you might come as a surprise--keep an open mind and heart.

Tomorrow, I will attend my first meeting as a volunteer for Hubbell's foundation. I'm hoping this will be a step for me to meet people with similar interests and values. I am hoping to ignite my passions. I am hoping to encounter inspiration. I am hoping to help. Posted by Picasa

I'm having some trouble with blogger tonight, so I'll just post a couple pics.
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Vintage Apron Designs

From a Laura Wheeler Designs book (basically a book of her patterns that were available). No date indicated, but I love the illustrations. I actually own the #700 sundress pattern on the left with the lily. I love that style--both a wrap and a sundress.  Posted by Picasa

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

San Diego Quilt Shop Hop March 4-11

If any of you live in or near San Diego and love fabric, today was the start of the second annual Crusin' Quilters event. Participants have one week to have their "passport" stamped at 20 local quilt shops. There are raffles, prizes, free patterns, and just all around fun. More info here. For local events and info, check my craft resource guide also. Posted by Picasa

More thrifting, and some blogging questions

The absolute last thing I need in the world is more plates. But I adore plates. This set of dishes has been haunting me for over a week. Maybe it's been two weeks. I don't need them. It's gluttony...but, well, I bought them anyway. I got a set of six-plus (8 dinner plates, 6 salad plates, 7 mugs, and 8 bowls, all for $17). The pattern is called Italia, and is by Majesticware. No clue of it's value or age, but it just spoke to me. I have a set of hand-thrown pottery dishes that I had a co-worker make for me (stunningly beautiful), and odds and ends here and there along with a set of black dishes that a client gave me. But these are fun, and mismatching all of them will be fun too. And I bought that Fossil tote too--woven leather with a wooden handle, and a roomy 17" x 12" size. It's really nice! Half price, so it was $12, and it looks new. But I'm pathetic--I have bills to pay! So irresponsible...
But it's like dieting--if I starve myself I binge. Ditto with spending. I need a weekly thrift fix.

I have some blogging questions, if anyone knows the answer, I'd really appreciate it. I can't figure out how to make my posts all individual links versus by the month only (is permalink what I need to figure out?). Do any of you know how I can fix this in my template? I'm brain dead right now with blogger help for some reason. Thank you!
Also, is there a website where I can keep a to-do list, gimme list, goal list, etc? Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 03, 2006

Thrifty finds

Payday Friday means a chance for me to feed my thrift store addiction. This is a pineapple made out of cheese! No silly, I didn't buy a pineapple, I bought the cookbook with instructions on how to make one. I can't decide if it's cool or creepy. From McCall's Cocktail-time cookbook, 1965. Posted by Picasa

I found a metal card file, and when I opened it, it was packed full with someone's recipes (cards, magazine clippings, and hand written). There was no price, so I found an employee, fully expecting the price would be too high. She said, "how about 50 cents?". I about lost my breath. THEN, I brought them home to discover most say "tested by home service department, the Hawaiian Electric Co, Ltd". If you read this blog at all, you already know I was doing back flips. I love all things pineapple, coconut, and banana. So this is a treasure. Posted by Picasa

This is from a cross-stitch booklet, dated 1985. I thought it would make a cute applique or quilt pattern. I picked up a bunch of sewing booklets, magazines, and patterns today. I went searching for more stuff for my Vintage Vixen Swap partner (I'm late in sending my stuff out). I found a killer atomic style cup and saucer for her. I'm eyeing a nearly new Fossil purse for myself. If it's still there when I get off work tomorrow, I'll buy it (Saturday is half off day). It's woven leather (I love woven stuff) with a fabric interior that looks aloha. Posted by Picasa

Note to Mary: you Dixie Doll, I couldn't help but pick up a few things for you today. Email me your address, and I'll send you a goodie bag :)