Friday, August 31, 2007

My Dream House

I stay in a lot of homes all over San Diego County.
Some are more comfortable than others, some are more inviting, more welcoming, more like places I can really feel at home.

My friend Carol's house is one of my favorite places to stay.
And not only for the bay view
Sunset on Sail Bay

Bay View

The house was built in 1927.
For someone like me, who is in love with architectural details, it's a joy.
The ceiling was white when they moved in. They sandblasted it and discovered redwood beams underneath all that white paint.
The archways are lined in wood.
The bookshelves are built-ins.
There's an interior courtyard where they plan to place a fountain.

It's my dream home.

On my first visit here, I spent most of my time with my mouth open in awe, pointing out details.
Carol and I have known each other since 7th grade, but even she didn't realize the extent of my passion with architecture.

I plan to go to the San Diego Museum of History and do some research on the architect.
They're looking for sconces that are similar to the originals (which were taken before they moved in).
I love that this couple is aiming to keep the character and integrity of the home intact.
Too many people remodel without consideration of the age of the structure or the architect's intent.

Here's the girl I'm watching.
It's so fantastic here, I'm taking a vacation in San Diego--I took two weeks off from my retail job.

A little slice of Heaven...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Photo Friday

Vintage photo, man painting in his backyard
Another anonymous man, painting in his backyard.
These images fascinate me--moments captured of people making art.

The man I purchased this image from said it was from the 1930's.


Getting sconed at Rebecca's

Rebecca's Coffee Shop
(click on image to enlarge)
Posted especially for KT, who used to live in San Diego and misses this coffee house in South Park.

Rebecca's is known for its scones, which were unfortunately sold out on my first visit.
I saw that they offer a coconut frappuccino, so I'll be back...

Loteria windows
This is right next to Rebecca's--I'm not sure if it's part of it, but I was enamoured with the Loteria images covering the windows.

South Park is an older, small neighborhood in San Diego that epitomizes the idea of "community".
Every year around Dia de los Muertos (the day after Halloween), neighbors set up shrines that are visible on a walking tour, along with explanations of their importance.
The community rallies together to better the area, including derailing a planned freeway expansion that would have gobbled up their church--a cute, almost folk art Catholic structure painted in bright colors.

The old homes are being refurbished, and it's really getting to be a lovely place to hang out.
Other fun business in the community include The Grove (yarn shop),
The Whistle Stop (a bar that has a monthly knitting meet-up),
and The Grape Street dog park, where I took Duke for a little photo opp
Duke at Grape Street Dog Park


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wiggle room

Sorry for my lack of posts lately.
I have lots of photos to upload, and several posts in 'draft'.

For now, just a hello and a recipe that intrigues me for Pomegranate Gelatin.
From Good Eats (Alton Brown, The Food Network)

This jello looks really good to me
Pear Church Mice
That jelly roll with canned pineapple rings gets its shape from using the empty pineapple can as a mold.
The rings are surrounded by strawberry or raspberry jello.
Cranberry might be yummy too.
Grapes or manadarin oranges are placed in the center.
From Cooking for Special Occasions, by Jeni Wright, 1978.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Playful Joy in Motion

Playful joy in motion
Seeing this kind of joy is a great stress relief for me.
For anyone.

Missed photo opportunity last night:
The silhouette of a crow, back lit by the orange globe of a setting sun.
Just as I was about to click the shutter, it flew.

And recently, while driving through downtown Encinitas, I drove past the La Paloma Theater.
The small marquee listed two movies.
I had to laugh as I drove by. I should have stopped and taken a picture, but I thought I'd be back soon.
I missed it.

The two movies on the marquee?
Knocked up....Waitress.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photo Friday

Vintage photo
I don't know the history of this photo,
nor the identity of this man,
nor the location of the house he's painting.

I purchased this image on ebay because it so eerily looks like my dad.

I love the Irving Gill-style eaves pergola eaves, and can imagine the shadows cast...
an interplay of shadow and light.
I envision the breezes that blew...
the blossoms that danced.

I love the high-waisted, swabbie-style pants,
and the carefree playfulness of this moment captured in time.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Elvis pb and banana Reeses
(click on image to enlarge)


Neckties Galore!

Most of you know I have some kind of obsession with neckties.

I was cruising and came across some necktie images that are not related to sewing.
But they're still fun.
(click on images to enlarge)

Like this decorated vehicle posted by Cynner.
(she also posts under Cynner SF)

Neckties galore (art car)
Originally uploaded by Cynner_SF

Cynner says, "...all I really know is that it's a truck, covered in men's neckties, and it was parked near Barbie Death Camp at last year's Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. and I took a picture of it."

There are also assorted photos of dogs and cats wearing neckties--here's one handsome fellow.
Posted by JellyWatson. Visit her website.

Top Model
Originally uploaded by jellywatson

I would love to see this sculpture in Frankfurt, Germany, by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen,
entitled Inverted collar and tie (1994).
More information here.invertedcollar

Tree of ties,
an imaginative department store display posted by Redxdress.

Onesies by Vintage Katie Jean (etsy).
You can also visit her website).
I guess this one does involve sewing. My bad.
I can see it in paint though too. Cute whichever technique is used.

necktie onesie
Originally uploaded by katie jean

Towel art
Posted by Slingload, who says, "The Wingate Hotel in Bozeman, MT folds the guest towels into a shirt and necktie presentation."

Shirt and necktie towels
Originally uploaded by slingload

Vintage ad for a glow-in-the-dark necktie (multiple sources).
I need to find myself a copy of this!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pricing the cute factor

Organic Dog Shampoo and Conditioner: $13

Vitamins and minerals food additive powder: $25

Jasmine rice because it makes him happy: $4

Having furry feet like a Clydesdale....
Jacumba feet



Monday, August 20, 2007

Personalized checks

This is such a great idea!

Your personal or business checks with your own photo (or up to four rotating photos).
They also offer a side-tear option, which is my favorite style but hard to find.

Great way to show off your kids or pets.
Or to promote your business.

Through Unique Checks--info here.


Saturday, August 18, 2007


Ever the champagne taste, beer pocketbook....
I haven't mentioned shopping ideas in awhile.

Whoever is lucky enough to be the person who writes about stuff like this for major, what a dream job!
Just cruising sites and catalogs and shops and showcasing fun stuff.
Man, that would be cool.

Anyway, I can't help drooling over a bunch of goodies.

Monkey measuring spoons from Gooseberry Patch.

Spider towels, also from Gooseberry Patch.

I finally bought this print that has been on my 'gimme' list forever--Come on In, by AshleyG (etsy).

This recipe for strawberry tarts looks yummy.
One of a gazillion I have on my 'to do' list.
I love the cooking sites that include reader reviews and have a place to keep your recipes in an online recipe box.

Speaking of food, I'm craving me some Dakine style...
gotta have macaroni salad (sans tuna or artificial crab...eewww).

Ooh, how about a refreshing Pomegranate Cosmopolitan?
Several recipes are available online. Here's one version.

Fun site by Lisa Butler, called Spinning Tails, about spinning dog hair (something I really do want to learn how to do).

Also just a quick note here to say how lovely it was meeting Laura K of Blogging Project Runway and her daughter Kaitlin this weekend.
I wish we had more time to talk, but I'm sure there will be many opportunities in the future.
It's fun to finally meet blogging pals!
Laura, by the way, is gorgeous and so so sweet--even more so than her blogs indicate.

I was hoping to hook up with Jen of The Felt Mouse also, but it was not to be.
Hopefully soon for her luau party.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 17, 2007

Subliminal intent

Paul Fredrick Necktie
This lovely Paul Fredrick silk necktie is a recent thriftstore purchase.
I love it.

The design, from afar, seems like an atomic splash.
But upon closer inspection, it is made up of what I assume are divers.
It reminds me of synchronized swimmers--the type like in old Esther Williams movies,
or the views in old musicals where the camera is a bird's eye view...
and the dancers align themselves into intricate shapes.

Then again, maybe it's something more...
Like those books of colorful pages of optical illusions, where you close your eyes and an imprint of design remains in the darkness.
Or perhaps an obscure message?
An unprecedented attempt at communication?

Like this:
(caption, content, and photo all blatantly stolen from Aubrey's blog.
Sorry Mel--I couldn't help myself. It was just too perfect)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Apron Inspiration

For those of you that love aprons, there's a great article in the July/August issue of Belle Armoire Magazine,
"Artful Aprons: Fit to be Tried".

I, of course, was especially drawn to the apron with neckties appliqued to denim
Necktie Apron by Joy Osterland

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Amber's ring-bearer pillow

Amber's Ring-Bearer Pillow
(excuse the crappy Kinko's scan)
You can click on the photo for a larger view.

I've been sewing on this like a mad woman.
I just delivered it, past 10pm at night.
Uh, the wedding is tomorrow.

I posted about this earlier, and I did indeed choose the Amy Butler Mod Pillows pattern.
I reduced the small pillow to 57 percent in order to get a final product at 8 inches.
By the time it was stuffed, however, it was really quite small.
I probably could have gotten away with making the 14 inch one.
Oh well, live and learn.

It just takes me forever to make things.
I always seem to have problems.
Like when I went to stitch on the button (there are buttons on both sides), I used a standard needle.
A long needle, but a standard, versus the doll-making needle the pattern suggests.
Well, my needle got lost in the pillow form, so I had to take the thing apart.
Then I went out and bought a doll-making needle.

Or I got to the house I'm staying at, and realized I'd left my thread at home.
Grrr. Walmart to the rescue (they stay open super late).

Then, the itty-bitty pieces were too small to use my point turner, so I tried a bamboo skewer.
It went right through the fabric.
Sigh, start over...

I was stitching on the button in too dark a room, and didn't realize a piece of the thread hooked over one of the petals.

My seam ripper and I are 'like this'.

Anyway, the bride and groom seem pleased.
I hope so. I really tried anyway.
It didn't turn out all cute and curved, so I did something wrong...
but it will do the job.
Normally I'm not a 'good enough' person, but it really did turn out okay.

Their wedding is black and white with bright pink accents.
These fabrics, if you look closely, are both heart prints.
I tend to like asymmetrical, which is why the pink petals are placed in this arrangement.
Matchy matchy is just oh so boring.


Monday, August 13, 2007

My Favorites

Trish has tagged me for a Four Favorite Things Meme.

Four Favorite Colors
*Fuschia (I vividly remember this Crayola crayon as a kid)
*Glossy Black
*cranberry, especially in soft, velvet-like fabrics

Four Favorite Foods
Oh geez. I'm all about the junk food.
*Elotes (cups of corn) off the street vendor carts in Mexico, smothered in cotija cheese, lime, chile, and mayonnaise.

*Coca-Cola. Life is more joyous with Coke in it. Even better if it's made with cane sugar.
*Homestyle Mac n' Cheese, made with a white sauce, with bread crumbs on top. Perhaps also with home-grown heritage tomatoes.
*Cheese Melt from PL Bagels (Point Loma)--everything bagel, cream cheese, a slice of tomato, covered with swiss cheese, then all toasted into a cheesy chewy yummy mess.

Four Jobs I've Had
*I sold wedding gowns in a mall. The dresses were shown by appointment only. I was always get pulled outside and reprimanded for wearing my hair down rather than up. I see her point now, though I still wear my hair long and down.
*Delivery driver for a florist. I used to also wait on customers at night, and when we were slow, I'd fantasize about how I'd arrange the flowers in my wedding. Then I never got married.
*Delivery driver for a pharmacy. I drove all over San Diego county to convalescent hospitals or places where teens were locked up for drug abuse. Oh my, the stories I can tell....
*I worked reservations for a major airline. We regularly received calls from people with foot fetishes (what shoes are you wearing?...). Weird. But we were always there to answer the phone, 24 hours a day. Sometimes people would be on hold for so long that they'd be snoring by the time I got to them. We were monitored by management and time is money, so calls were supposed to be ten minutes maximum. When lonely WWII vets would call, I would converse with them for half an hour sometimes. It was interesting for me, and it gave him someone to talk to. People are always my first priority in situations like that.

Four favorite tv shows
I like to have the tv on for the noise during the day (hate it on when I'm trying to sleep though). I could watch A&E and the Food Network all damned day.
My favs change all the time. Right now, um, let's say
*Top Chef
*Forensic Files
*Ace of Cakes
*So You Think You Can Dance

Favorite Children's Names That I didn't use
This is another list that changes with the times

Four Website I visit every day
*a gazillion blogs (via Bloglines usually)
*Yahoo for my email

Four Movies I would watch over and over
Watching movies over doesn't appeal to me.
I don't really understand why people have DVD collections unless it's to entertain their little kids.
So I'll just mention the movies I HAVE seen more than once
*Babette's Feast
*All That Jazz
*The Buena Vista Social Club
*any of the Wooster and Jeeves episodes (not really a movie, but whatever)
Oh! And back in the day, I saw Love Story 13 times.
I guess if I'm mentioning multiple viewings, I have to say
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Cabaret (and A Chorus Line, but that was an album. Uh, literally).
I know all the words to all the songs of each.

Four Places I Love to Be
Again, a list that changes over time.
When I was younger, it was behind the ranger station at the park by my house.
Then, when I lived in Aptos (Northern California), it was on a cliff overlooking the beach. Again, by my house.
For awhile, I loved a lookout point behind some stores on Prospect Street in La Jolla, overlooking the Cove. Then they started closing it early, and the vibe was tainted. I used to love to go there and journal.

Now, maybe
*walking Dog Beach in Ocean Beach
*any coffee place with good friends and good conversation
*anyplace tropical, especially with a boyfriend to keep me safe and snuggly
*minutes spent alone and free and unencumbered--something I do every day, and cherish.

I'm going to skip the tag part, but feel free to post your own answers to your blog also.
I think it's fun to learn about one another this way.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fun ideas

My not having children doesn't prevent me from reading family/kid-oriented magazines.
In fact, Family Fun Magazine (and website) is one of my favorites.
I mean, look at these cute ideas!
(both from the May 2007 issue)
Strawberry Mice
(note to Jen: I think of you every time I see this!)
Wouldn't these be adorable as cupcake toppers?!

And I want to try this idea
Homemade bird feeder
This might be a cute gift basket idea for some friends of mine.
Maybe for Christmas I'll copy the magazine page, get some kind of container that she can reuse (a flower pot?), birdseed, an empty soda bottle, some spoons...
Yep, that could be successful.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Photo Friday

Vintage artist photo
I wish I knew the history of this sepia-toned wonder.
Who was this artist, and where is he painting this scene?
In what year?
Who is the woman watching?

I find this artist in the process of creating.
Something about a view that sparked an urge to capture it in paint.

For now I'll just have to speculate.
This was an eBay purchase.
Once I mat and frame it, I think it will be even more intriguing.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Snippets of miscellaneous

More often than not, my mailbox is a joyful surprise.
From ebay purchases, to letters, to gifts 'just because'.

My Fairy Blogmother, Mary of A Very Mary Design, has generously given once again,
this time adorable tags applicable to my dog-loving nature.
Tag fun from Mary Ann
It would take me lifetimes to repay her all her multiple kindness, but someday soon I aim to surprise her also...

Other random thoughts and happenings:
I house-sat at a new client's place last week.
It wasn't like the mansions I am becoming accustomed to, but it has a lot of potential.
The poor yard, however, is in need of some serious TLC.
The plants were calling out to me, scratchy voices saying, "heeelllppp meeee....".
Well, I watered a few times (a novelty evidently).
I also swept the side yard, the back yard, and the front yard,
filling up an entire trashcan with bougainvilla leaves.
She came home and I envisioned a big 'wow!' smile.
Uh, she didn't even notice.

I was talking to a 40-something co-worker today.
He said he was in bed last night, and his wife came into the room exclaiming about how the neighbor (gorgeous 6-foot blonde 20-something), normally quiet and reserved,
was dancing on her car.
The dancing included upward gestures of her top, flashing the neighbors.
He said it's really evident he's getting older--
he didn't even get up to check it out.
That made me laugh out loud.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

Art Doll Hat

Yay, I finally finished my Art Hat Doll Art Doll Hat
(I always get that backwards).
The doll was made as part of a swap.
The swap was organized by Crafting by Candlelight.
It is based on class instructions posted on the Art Chix Studio website (a site that sells collage supplies).

I've never made anything quite like this before.
The instructions say this is should take an hour to make.

In Barb lingo, that comes down to several days.

We were supposed to use an image of a woman, including her arms.
We could use clipart from Art Chix, or other sources.
I decided to use a copy of one of my own family photos.

The top half of the lady was then inserted into a birthday hat (or you could make your own cone), and she was 'dressed'.
Usually participants used fabric or three dimensional paper, but because my swap partner seems to be mostly a paper crafter, I decided to collage her skirt rather than 'dress' her with fabric.
(see other examples in the group pool of photos on Flickr)

This is what I came up with:
Art Hat Doll for Justiss

My partner is Justiss, of Down the Rabbit Hole,
so I emphasized this in my collage:
Art Hat Doll detail(click on any image to enlarge)

I spilled the letter 'J' down the front of the skirt.
Art Hat Doll front detail
The raven shape is for her love of Poe.
The shape is defined by words like resolutions, intentions, believe, expressions...

I went through her archives and pulled out phrases, interests, etc
So her doll is completely personalized.

She seems quite introspective, and is always seeking to better herself.
I took motivational phrases straight out of her blog and wrote them out on star shapes, then attached these to wire so they had a BOING!, sort-of in-your-face good energy thing going.
I wasn't sure at first if I was going to attach the wire to her head or her skirt...
then I ended up with a handful of inspirational balloons.
"Be Not Afraid", Live More Artfully, Make Art Daily, Give Yourself Permission To Be Who You Are".

One of the arms of my lady was cut off in the photo, but that was okay--
I just added a doll's arm there!
I thought that was a fun solution.

The hat is a google image of a radio.
Art Hat Doll face detail
Um, because she's likes Radiohead.
The pink glitter is a nod to Ziggy Stardust.

The cape is organza that I hand-stitched with silver thread.
It is printed with lyrics to the Beatles' "In My Life".

Art Hat Doll back
The ribbon is from a package a sweater came in--it says "pure cashmere".
I love using fabrics and paper with words, and it's applicable for someone who loves journaling.

I had so much fun making this.
I hope she's pleased.

Labels: , ,