Friday, November 30, 2007

Maná - Vivir sin aire

I can't post right now without my scanner, but I love sharing music, so why wait until Sunday?


Photo Friday

Mom and two of my brothers, late 50's
(click image to enlarge)

My mom and two of my brothers, late 1950's.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rudolph pin idea

Forgive my irregular posting lately.
At one client's house I lost internet access, and now I don't have a scanner...
so I had to go into the archives of my Flickr page to find something to post.

Since December is right around the corner, I thought I'd show you this kitschy reindeer pin.
I didn't make it, but someone did (my mom bought it at a craft fair).
Reindeer pin
He's made from pieces of pinecone.
He has a sparkly rhinestone nose, and copper wire with beads through his antlers.
The face is handpainted.

I just think it's fun and festive.

Hmmm...might be cute to recreate with pretzels and chocolate to top cupcakes.
Or with wool felt on a package.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

"Trash" to garden treasure

My mom and I went to the 20th annual plant sale at
Buena Creek Gardens in San Marcos the other day.
We went last year and were so charmed by the place.

What we didn't know until we got there this year, is that the home and nursery are up for sale.
I hope the new owners are able to keep the same magical atmosphere.
My photos aren't great quality, but I hope you get some ideas about how to take common thriftstore goodies, and make your garden something special.

Here they transformed an old clock into a planter.
See what I mean by magical?
Clock planter
They also have a lot of hanging mirrors throughout the area.

Or a wheelbarrow becomes a perfect place for a mini garden
Wheelbarrow planter

An old barbeque, painted blue, earns new life
BBQ planter

Consider displaying plants at varying heights, using thrifted stools and tables,
and accenting with miscellaneous items of interest (like this pineapple glass)
Garden display areas
Chair seats can also be planted upon directly, using moss and soil (especially good for succulents).

Consider architectural salvage like old window frames to add interest, or dividers, or storage areas (they make great cabinet doors).
Too, items like old balusters make interesting focal points, fence posts, or columns for plants or other objects.
Garden focal points

Here they used thrifted silver pieces as planters.
Also consider planters from old tea cups, bean pots, or any interesting container. On the left are blue bottles set onto the tines of a rake, so they can dance in the sunlight.
The spool-like table once stored phone cable (I think. Either that or it was electrical cable, and either way it is recycled trash)Garden embellishments
But here and there throughout this area there are fun surprises--twinkling lights, moss strung on an old chandelier, faux birds in a nest...
I think it gives this garden character and personality.

When you decorate your home, it should be a reflection of who you are.
Do the same for the exterior of your home--let it speak.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Video Sunday

The video is a skate competition, but the song is the ever fun The Real Mackenzies.
Aah, wild, rowdy, and kilt wearing.
And bagpipes!
I wrote a CD review on this band a couple of years ago, and loved it!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Temecula Quilt Show

Temecula Quilt Show
(click on images to enlarge. Flickr doesn't translate well with horizontals on blogger)

My mom and I recently attended a quilt show in old town Temecula.
Temecula is about an hour drive from my mom's house, in Riverside County.
It is filled with antique stores and unique shops.
There were just quilts draped over banisters or hung from shop windows all up and down the street.
It was really a cute event--we just wandered in and out of shops, stopping along the way to admire the quilts.

Temecula Antiques


Temecula Quilt Show

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Video Sunday

A lot of you have probably already seen this Evolution of Dance, as it circulated via email.
If so, it's worth another look.
Or a treat to those who have yet to view it.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Photo Friday

Nanny in her waitress uniform
Nanny in her waitress uniform.
I think this pic was taken in Tacoma, Washington
Astoria, Oregon.

I posted this for Pattie, who requested more photos of my grandmother.

My favorite photo of us here.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Charmed, I'm sure

One of the perks of getting older, is you finally figure out what qualities you respect and value in other people and in yourself.
Especially qualities in regard to the opposite sex.

kt recently posted about nine hunky celebrities that she, ahem, admires.
I thought it was a fun post, and I would post my own list, though mine reflects certain traits I have come to associate with my own McDreamy (the 'real' one, ironically, I don't find so hot...but to each her own).

Cerebral + witty = sexy

Passionate + communicative = life is sweet

Oh please...a girl has to be shallow sometimes...

I saw him naked in a movie once.
Nuff said. He makes the list.

Other traits I find admirable?
Honesty, openness, someone who has a grasp of grammar and who enjoys reading, a man who adores animals, someone willing to do the Chicken Dance without looking like a wuss, someone confident and aware of himself enough to tell me I've crossed the line (i.e I cannot walk all over him), jack of all trades, a manly man, tall (I love tall men with baseball mitt hands), artistic, someone who likes to cook, someone who likes my baked goods, smiling eyes, dimples, men who wink.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dig It!

My mom has a hill behind her house, then a large expanse of land adjacent to a park.
Recently, she cleared all the brush for required weed abatement (fire control), and the workers cleared all the way up to the back gate (so many blackberry bushes had taken over), to this little semi-circle.


This little plot of land has a special meaning for me.
When I was a kid, I planted my first garden atop the little hill.
Now my mom has a cascading rose there.
I planted sunflowers and zinnias, and that garden is why I love zinnias still.
I decided I want to plant again, but this time on the lower area, in the cove-like setting.
It may not be much now, but ah...the possibilities!

I want to create my own little sanctuary--the kind of setting I've seen on home garden tours.
The kind of place you want to linger.

I ordered a handful of heirloom seed catalogs.
I want to be all Barbara Kingsolver and stuff (read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle).
I know for sure I want a pomegranate bush, a blueberry (there are new varieties zoned for this region), a tomatillo, an epazote (Rick Bayless influence), cilantro, other miscellaneous herbs (one can never have too many chives), and I'm not sure what else.
I know I want five-color silverbeet (Swiss Chard).

I know I want a small tree, maybe a peach, and a bench.
I know I want to mosaic some garden stones.

Right now I'm still investigating what I can plant now, and what will need to wait for Spring.
Americans have forgotten which vegetables and fruits are available in which season.
I want to get back to the basics--of eating according to the way nature intended.
It's an exciting prospect.

First step: amend the soil.
That means no chemical fertilizers, just natural planter mix and compost--everything must be organic.
I know I want to think of this space the way I would plant a small pot: use tall plants, fillers, and something cascading.

It's a living art project.

I may treat the back wall by planting something else that cascades down its face.
I want a cottage garden.
I want an eclectic mix.

Someday, in the distant future, I even want to be like my grandma (and Meresy) and harvest my own eggs.
Nanny and her hens
(click on image to enlarge)
Nanny had little banny (or is it banty? I see both names used) hens, and a rooster named Buckshot.

And just for fun: cute baseball cap, perfect for the modern gardener, that says, "Can you dig it?".

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Simple project

Cuddle Dolls from towels
(click on image for larger view)
Cute project from Make it with Towels, booklet by Cannon Mills.
Probably printed in the 60's, but it is not dated.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Video Sunday (posted a couple of hours early)

If I had to choose my favorite song of all time, it would be a really tough call.
But this might just win the challenge.
No video with this one, but the song is timeless.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Photo Friday

bagging groceries
(click on image to enlarge)
Oh my, that's me, turning around.
Working at a grocery store waaaaay back in the day.

Note the good ol' bi-level haircut.
That's what it was called then, and it was a stylin' way to go, let me tell you.
Today it would be a mullet, and not so stylin. Ha!

I've recently reconnected with a former co-worker, and it's fun walking down memory lane.
Even more fun getting reacquainted.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

In case you missed this hysterical news article...

NewsPrank Leaves Police Overrun by Gnomes
4 days ago

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — A number of gnomes and other creatures have taken sanctuary at the Springfield police station.

As part of a prank, somebody stole 75 lawn ornaments from around town and placed them meticulously on and around the lawn of one house on Oct. 17, police said.

Among the figurines are plastic and porcelain geese, deer, frogs are gnomes.

Police took them back to the station to help find the rightful owners.

"We need to get them out of here," Capt. Richard Harrison said. "Every time I leave my office they're sitting in my chair, working on my computer. I can't seem to get rid of the darn things."

The figurines will be put out for public viewing on Tuesday.

"If they come here and they can identify it we're more than happy to let the gnome go home," Harrison said.

Figurines that aren't claimed will be sold at auction.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ha Ha Hee Hee to the funny farm...

I pretty much abhor cooking out of a box, especially when it comes to baking.
I really respect baking from scratch, and appreciate keeping the traditions and old recipes alive.

That being said, I love weird novelty food projects.
Especially whimsical cake decorating.
So whimsical + scratch = pretty damn great.
Jumping around finding ideas and recipes is my own sort of super quest, pilgrimage, shangrila.

Yeah, I know it's past Halloween, but this is just too too good not to share.

Oh my, check out the creepy cakes over at
(what a fun name) They're coming to get you, Barbara.
Not only are these amazing to look at, they also show you how-to photos (a visual tutorial, if you will), assembly, etc.

And not only that, these are fricking anatomically correct, yo.

Dude! That arm has a radius and ulna visible.
Sorry, but that so freakin' rocks.

These sisters also make more 'normal' cakes, including gingerbread houses (extremely elaborate gingerbread houses), available for your viewing pleasure over at their other site.

I found these sites via the most incredible Baking Bites, who has made some creepy stuff of her own.
I just can't stop thinking about her vampire cupcakes --
white cake and marshmallow frosting, with a center of cherry pie filling that gushed out after Mr. Dracula evidently took a bite.
She has the recipe posted.
(note her inspiration was the Vampire Bites over at Zombirella's)

Honestly I could spend hours just following yummy links around.
Let's jump from the creepy above, to a traditional treat.
Like homemade Mallomars from Cookie Baker Lynn.
If your mouth isn't watering, there's something wrong with you.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Risotto Lori

I love to read.

One of my favorite books of all time is, in essence...
a cookbook.

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses,
by the amazing writer, Isabel Allende,
is about aphrodisiacs.
It's about the history of foods associated with the power of love.
It's about passion, about intoxicating fragrance, about food for the soul.
There is art, there is symbolism, and there are stories.
It's lovely.

This recipe tastes wonderful, but is worthwhile for the smell alone.
It is credited to Lori Barra, daughter-in-law of the author.

Risotto Lori
3 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons minced onion
1 Tablespoon grated garlic
1 cup chopped brown mushrooms
1 cup chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 cup arborio rice
1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon truffled olive oil (optional, but it's easy to find)
salt to taste
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Warm the stock, then remove from the heat.
Put 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and saute the onion, garlic, and brown and Portobello mushrooms.
Set aside on plate.
In the same skillet, put the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of butter and lightly brown the rice.
Gradually add the rosemary, nutmeg, and 2-1/2 cups of the stock.
Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
Return the mushrooms to the skillet, pour in the remaining broth and cook 10 minutes more.
When the rice is tender, not dry, add the wine and truffled oil, and cook a few minutes more.
Check the seasoning and add salt if desired.
Remove from heat.
Add grated cheese, and serve warm.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Good Things

A few fun goodies to share.

Ah, nostalgic candy.
Nostalgic Candy
This candy counter is part of the entry area of a gift shop in Temecula.
Temecula also has an old-fashioned rootbeer shop, stocked with all kinds of fun sodas, including Dublin Dr. Pepper!
My mom and I went to Temecula last month to see a quilt show.
I will blog about that soon.

Buy double-fold bias tape in fun patterns from Joyful Abode.

Penguin-shaped cookie cutters from The Baker's Catalogue.

Recipe for Doggie cookies from Taste Goblet.

To work off all those cookies you ate, get motivated with the right tunes.
Workout music to download
(thanks for the tip, Jillian Michaels).

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Video Sunday

My dad had a beautiful voice--he sounded a lot like Robert Goulet. I remember him singing to Goulet songs, including this one. My favorite, however, was "My Love Forgive Me" (I couldn't find a video of that one, but it's a lovely song.)
When my friends used to come over, my dad would get on his knees and serenade them. Incredible. I wish I had thought to tape it.
This song is a tribute to childhood memories, my dad's voice, and to Robert Goulet--who just passed away this week. He will be missed.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Photo Friday

Vintage Family Photograph
His name was Emil (pronounced 'M-mull') Schock.
He was a boxer.

My mom says he was either her grandfather or great grandfather, but she never met him.
She was born in 1925, and he died in 1919.

I think it's an amazing image.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tie One On: local pride (updated)

*Note: this post is currently unfinished.
I will edit it when I have a photo of the full apron.
I wanted to post now, just to show you what I have so far.

Local Pride Apron
(click on image to enlarge)
The challenge for Tie One On was to make a regional apron--to showcase where you live.

I decided to make another apron from a floursack towel.
(I made an embroidered apron for a previous TOO, but I used a heavy duty floursack that I purchased at a quilt show for that one).

For this challenge, I just tried a light-weight towel I purchased at the grocery store.
I took a vintage hankie with a California theme, and fused it to the center of my piece--both to hold it in place and to give it strength.
The hankie is a map of the state, and is surrounded in California poppies (the state flower).
The apron is finished with vintage orange bias tape with white polka dots (why oh why does Wright no longer make patterned bias tape?).
California Apron
(click on image to enlarge)

The embroidered apron I made previously was folded in half to create large pockets.
This time, I wanted the hankie area flat so the scene could be more visible.
I cut the towel lengthwise, giving me the longest possible piece.
My idea was to make a cafe-style apron that is almost like a wrap skirt (except on my fat ass, um, it doesn't quite reach around...but I digress..).
I wanted the ties extra long so they could reach around the front and be tied there.

Initially I was going to have plain pockets on either side, but then I decided to try someting unique, and I made a horseshoe pocket from a 1920's skirt pattern that I purchased, specifically for that fun pocket with the inverted pleat.
Skirt pattern from the 20's

The pattern has only vague instructions, and I couldn't figure out the lap piece on the top of the pocket.
I ended up just finishing it in bias tape, which ties the apron together better anyway.
Because it's so large, I opted to make just one pocket.
I placed it on the left to balance the California on the right...but I'm right-handed, so in retrospect it would have made more sense to place the pocket on the other side.
Oh well, live and learn.
Hard to really see with the scanner, but here it is anyway
horseshoe pocket
(I just realized that the way I laid this on the scanner, the stitching looks cattywampus. I assure you it is quite even. Really it is!)

Here--you can see it better in black and white
horseshoe pocket (b&w to view easier)

I rushed this project, so it certainly isn't my best work, but it's cute.
The orange is so cheerful.

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