Monday, June 30, 2008

Children's book, 1958

Vintage German Children's Book, 1958
I found this vintage children's book at a thriftstore and fell in love with the illustrations.
The text is in German.
According to Babelfish, the title says, "glad beginning"

The book appears to be nursery rhymes and seasonal festivities.
This looks like a May Day celebration
May Day illustration

Vintage children's book illustration

Vintage children's book illustration

This one is about taking a bath
Vintage children's book illustration
rough translation:
The bath
Bruno may in the bath
Raus from the trousers
raus from the shirt
in the Water to the belly
to the neck brrr
Soap ago mummy soap
I am clean

Vintage children's book illustration

This one appears to be Ring-around-the-rosey
Vintage children's book illustration
Update: someone on Flickr just commented that I was incorrect.
" was an exercise game of the easiest sort. There was going in a circle holding hands the first two lines, hunkering down to the floor for the third, jumping up and clapping hands at the fourth or some such. Most I remember wondering about the second line, saying "we are three children" as we did it with the kindergarten teacher in a circle of at least 25 people (and never a shrub in the middle)... :)

The second is some kind of sensory finger counting game for people from newborn up to kindergarten age, referring to each one that is touched as if they are little brothers at harvest time, telling a little story:
This one is the thumb ( touch thumb)
This one shakes the plums ( touch forefinger)
This one picks them up ( touch middle finger)
This one carries them home( touch ring finger)
And the tiniest, he eats them all alone. ( touch little finger)"

The book was $5--rather expensive by thrift standards.
But I love illustrations.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Video Sunday

From this week's VH1's Top 20 Countdown.
Jason Mraz

I didn't really like it at first, but it grows on you.
And it helps that he's so cute :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More miscellaneous

I stopped at a gas station tonight--one that usually has the cheapest gas around.
As my tank was filling, I started up a conversation with the lady across from me.
I said, "It's pretty bad when you think 'woohoo, $4.37!'".
She laughed and said she was thinking the same thing.
Sheesh, as if that's cheap.
But a couple of weeks ago it was up to $4.73.

The landmark Kansas City Barbecue in downtown San Diego was destroyed by fire two days ago.
According to NBC, "The Kansas City Barbecue was made famous by the movie "Top Gun." According to the restaurant's Web site, the location director for Paramount Studios was driving through downtown San Diego. After stopping in for a beer, he brought back the film's director, Tony Scott, who approached the bar owner for use in the film.

And over the years, hundreds of tourists have flocked to see where Maverick, played by Tom Cruise and Goose, played by Anthony Edwards, belted out the lyrics to "Great Balls of Fire."

A helmet from the movie was now sitting outside, charred and melted. An estimate on the damage caused has not been given, but employees said there were items lost that cannot be replaced.

The restaurant just celebrated its 25th anniversary last month.

Turns out all of the memorabilia from the movie was lost.
I listen to Los Angeles radio stations, and one reporter described the event as "Top Gun goes Cheech & Chong"
(you know...Up in Smoke).
News story here.
Then again, this website said "Oversexed Top Gun BBQ Joint Succumbs to Great Balls of Fire" (referring to Tom Cruise having sung the ironic song choice in the movie at the restaurant location).

I have some more links for you guys to check out:
Bella Dia explains how to write a tutorial, and how to make a daisy chain.

Under Construction has a great example of sewing with flour and sugar sacks

Have an iron-on shirt party! (an older post, but I just discovered it)
They also had a DIY Christmas ornament party that seems like a great idea too.

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It's a bird, it's a plane...

Most of you already know how much I love green design.
Stuff like this just thrills me
(there's a very short commercial first, just be patient)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tasty Possibilities

I haven't actually tried any of these recipes (yet) but they sure do look yummy.

California wrap-ups, from the Avocado people.
There are so many options with these tortilla roll-ups--these ones have turkey and a cream cheese spread mixed with ranch dressing.
Costco sells them with a cranberry cream cheese (yum! Canned sauce beaten into cream cheese) and turkey filling in a flat bread, and calls them Highrollers.
Just vary the filling to suit your tastes--think of what you like on a sandwich, and pretty color combinations.
For example, you can add pesto, or sundried tomatoes. Maybe you'll want to add chopped olives, or make taco-like concoctions by spreading refried beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa or sliced tomatoes, and maybe hamburger meat.
Just make sure you eat them when they're fresh--these suckers get soggy way too quickly, and are gross if left overnight (Costco prepares them a day in advance, which I think is the wrong thing to do). Some of the online recipes for these call for refrigerating overnight, but I would advise against that. One recipe calls for pineapple chunks--hello, those things are so juicy, the tortillas would turn to muck overnight.

I'm not a meatloaf fan, but this recipe intrigues me.

I really want to try B's Peanut Butter Coleslaw

Speaking of peanut butter, I really want to try these peanut butter mashed potatoes, even if Lisa is my least favorite contestant on Top Chef.

I love the cookies you get at Chinese Restaurants with the almond on top.
This recipe for almond cookies looks promising.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Saint Francis
(click on images to enlarge)
I love this photo of the front side of my friend Carol's house.
Saint Francis of Assisi is actually a small statue, but at this angle appears to be watching over everyone.

Ah, memories.
Remember jack-in-the-boxes?
Old toys
From Crafts and Things Magazine, Feb-March 1976, this article featured ideas for making your own wrapping paper by printing with a hand-carved linoleum block.
Maybe I should make a linoleum block print again...sounds like a good craft to revive.
But I especially love the old toys here--a time capsule.

I bought these iron-on letters back in the day when they were new. I had elaborate plans but they never materialized.
I still think it's a really fun set
Iron-on transfer letters, 1977
McCall's pattern, 1977.

I'm not even a meat eater, so I don't know why this apron from Cost Plus World Market appeals to me so much.
I guess it's just so kitsch.

My friend Jen bought me the adorable cherries set--apron, towels, mitt.

Jen posted about bath fizzy cupcakes.
How cute are these?!
Instructions posted on Crafty Chica.

I got together with Sue who is visiting from Taiwan.
I wish we'd had more time!
I'd post the pic, but I look way too fat. Ah, I really should address that issue on this blog.
Eventually, perhaps I will.
But it was great seeing her, as always. No one at the bbq even looked at me sideways when I said we knew each other from blogging!

I just ordered these.

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Monday, June 23, 2008


duke in the flowers
I posted this photo three years ago (it's also part of my banner), but I'm going to post it again for a good cause--the city is talking about developing Fiesta Island.


Oh my gosh, San Diego dog lovers need to unite to save this precious retreat.
More information is available from FIDO: Fiesta Island Dog Owners
Save Fiesta's LIFE (Leash-free exercise).

Fiesta Island is an undeveloped recreation area for Over the Line, cycling, walking, swimming, boating, bonfires, etc.
A large area enclosed by a fence (with borders of water on three sides) is for dogs to run and play off leash.
There's a one-way paved road around the island, but otherwise it's sand and brush--NO fancy hotels, condos, concrete, paved parking lots, or coiffed landscape...and that's just the way we like it, thank you very much.
The LAST thing we need here is yet another manicured "park" with little or no space to roam.
Let the developers find someplace else to spoil.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, (August 2006) "With five miles of accessible shoreline, Fiesta Island is the city's largest undeveloped coastal park, dramatically underused for its acreage, according to state and city agencies. A recent count by city consultants found about 12,000 users on a weekend day.
The same consultants estimated that, if improved, the park would see the number of visitors double."

More info from Earth Times also.

What's great about this place is that it's a large expanse of land to walk (yellow daisies come up in Spring).
Or you can cool down by the water, play fetch, or let the dog's chase one another.
If you want to keep to yourself, there's enough space to do that too.
It's a really unique environment, and a true gem for the city.
You can hear the antics across the water at Sea World, see the rowing teams practicing maneuvers, see people jet skiing, let the dogs on shore try to chase the thunder boats...
It's truly wonderful.

Duke at Fiesta Island

Duke at Fiesta Island

another pic from a previous post


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Video Sunday

Oldie but goodie--Billy Joel, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weaving on a handheld loom

This booklet from 1945 features design ideas using a handheld loom.
Vintage Potholder Loom booklet

Look at all the great weaving designs possible, just from varying color and direction.
(click on images to enlarge)
Loom weaving designs

And looms just aren't for potholders either!
Wow, stuffed animals--
Loom Animals

Baby items--
Baby items made from handheld loom

Even a doll!
Doll made from handheld loom

Purse designs are posted on my bag blog.

Vintage goodness, little girls weaving
Vintage loom weaving

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Friday, June 20, 2008


Vintage Postcard Wonderland, San Diego
(click on images to enlarge)

Wow, I would love to go back in time and see this.

This postcard shows the bandstand and casino from Wonderland, an amusement park that used to be in Ocean Beach (San Diego), at the beginning of the 20th century.
This postcard is dated 1917.

According to wikipedia, "(Wonderland) opened on July 4, 1913 and was constructed on the sand at Voltaire and Abbott streets. It boasted a large roller coaster, dance pavilion, large menagerie, roller skating rink, merry-go-round, children's playground and 22,000 lights outlining the buildings. Wonderland was a popular attraction until 1916, when most of it was washed away by high tides. Some of the bungalows built as tourist accommodations atop the cliffs on either side of Niagara Avenue are still in use as businesses and homes."

From the historical society website, this lovely image


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Whew, far too long since I've posted.
So much going on.

I finally went to a chiropractor again today.
Serendipity brought an amazing doctor via, of all things, an online search.
After one adjustment, there is already a huge improvement.
I was tired of being tired. Tired of low back and right hip pain.
This doctor treats the whole body--which I love.
I have high hopes.

I also got a writing gig for a local San Diego website about environmental issues.
My first article will be about Slow Food.
Soooo much is involved, yet the concept is so simple--it's a movement away from rushed lives and fast food, back to traditional and fresh and flavorful.
It's about pleasure at the table.
More soon.

I started my T-shirt bag for the current challenge on
my purse blog.
Care to join the challenge?

My garden is coming along.
Yesterday I organized an herb bowl, and planted carrots, radishes, and tomatillos.
My asparagus are getting taller.
Though I should be harvesting melons right now, I am just about to plant some.
I'm behind, but I think they'll still be okay.
The garden will really change once I get a fence put up (hopefully soon).

Also, Gina saw the post about kissy bandaids and asked me if I'd send her some (they don't deliver to Australia).
I sent a tin of kiss-shaped bandages, and a few other thrifted embroidered items I thought she'd appreciate.
I've seen embroidered items go for top dollar even at thrift stores lately, but luck was with me when I found these things.

Embroidered flowers/spices
Embroidered Flowers/Spices
I had a tough time parting with these, and Gina said she can understand why.
I think they'd make cute pockets on an apron.
Caraway and poppy seed, only 50 cents each at a thrift store!

This small needlepoint for a personal address book--though soiled, it was just beautiful.
Needlepoint Leaves
Coincidentally, Gina collects phone book covers, so it was meant to be!
I can't believe I got that for just a quarter at a thrift shop!
She asked what I'd like in return, and I chose candy (of course!).
I sent her a sour apple Abba Zabba (one of my favs).

Gina sent this yummy assortment (that I scarfed up right away!) in a 'biscuit' tin (we would call it a cookie tin).

And the perfect goodie from a thrift shop too (she would say
'op shop')
a frame that says Woof!
Also two ties for my sewing projects, in unique colors.

Boy, the shipping charge from Aussie Land to the US was ouch expensive though (not so bad my way). Eek.
Thank you Gina!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo Friday

Vintage photograph ladies in San Diego
I'm a sucker for vintage photographs of San Diego.
This one is an ebay purchase, so I don't know the location of this interesting 'sculpture' these ladies are seated upon, nor the history of the ladies themselves.

On the back of the photo, writing indicates this was taken February 1920.
Writing on the top front says San Diego, and another word I can't make out.
The ladies are identified as Mae (or is it Mar?), Billie, and Peggy, and they are suited up fancy indeed!

My mom made a guess that this was taken in front of the US Grant Hotel, because she remembers a balcony like that.
I'm wondering if it might be closer to the port.
Does anyone know?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Any suggestions

I have had an email address with Yahoo for several years.
I switched over from Hotmail, because Hotmail just wasn't reliable about getting my mail to me.
It has worked out fine until last week.
Yahoo switched over to Beta--a supposed "improvement".
Though the switch occurred awhile ago, it only hit my account last week.

I hate it.

When Blogger switched to Beta, I hated that too.
But Blogger gave me the option to return to the classic template, so I'm happy.
Had I not been given that option, I would have found another blog site.

That being said, Yahoo doesn't have the option of going back.
Do you have a suggestion for a new email host?
I've tried gmail, but that won't work either.
Though I like how gmail doesn't have all the stupid preface pages that Yahoo has (you go straight to your open mailbox), I just don't trust Google anymore.
I had spyware on my computer recently, and the damn thing kept switching over to Google.
I read on some blogs that Google sets spyware on your computer if you add their toolbar.
That's wrong on too many levels.
I try to not even use Google for a search engine anymore.

Anyway, any hints would be appreciated.

On a completely different topic: I heart Mia Michaels.
I thought that Tim Burton Wedding choreography was amazing tonight on So You Think You Can Dance.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Corn recipes

Vallen just posted about one of my favorite treats of all time--Esquites (elotes).
That's corn with mayonnaise, chile, lime, and cheese (I prefer cotija).
This yumminess is available from cart vendors down in Mexico.
And don't even think about turning up your nose at the mayo--try it.

I found some similar recipes online, but some add epazote (an herb I have growing in my garden) and/or cilantro.
This recipe from Recipezaar looks good.
Or a similar recipe from Saveur.
Some add serranos and chopped onion.
Some add lard.
I've personally never seen a version with a bunch of extra stuff, but perhaps different regions offer different recipes.
The Hunger has a version with jalepeno.

This got me to thinking about Gulliver's.
Gulliver's used to be a restaurant in Mission Valley in San Diego.
It offered diners prime rib served by wenches.
After a couple of hepatitis scares, the brand new brick building was razed--I always thought it was such a waste.
But what I loved about that place was the creamed corn.
Jen gave me a cookbook of recipes that had been featured in the Los Angeles Times, and I was thrilled to see Gulliver's corn printed.

Creamed Corn
8 ears corn
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
2 teaspoons flour
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cut corn from cob and place in saucepan with whipping cream. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in salt, sugar and MSG.
Melt 2 teaspoons butter in small pan and stir in flour.
Do not brown.
Stir butter-flour roux into corn and cook until slightly thickened.
Turn corn into ovenproof dish, sprinkle with cheese, and dot with butter.
Brown under broiler.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Interesting variations are available online. I like this one, from, that has a dash of cayenne.

This recipe from Health Nuts for Mexican Creamed Corn looks yummy too (though I'd use regular cream cheese).

I still want to see the movie King Corn.
I don't think all the negative controversies about high fructose corn syrup are myth.
I do personally believe the stuff is crap.
And along the same lines, I think genetically modified food is scary scary scary.
Too, if you don't already know about some of the ethics violations of Monsanto, my gosh, get some information (scroll down the page...the article is quite long).


Monday, June 09, 2008

Art with impact

I am just ga-ga over this room.
Hopefully one day I'll have my own house, and when I do, I'm devoting a wall to a mural.

This is from Surface View and was featured on the incredible website, Retro-to-go.
Seriously, I saw this and made that "hauh" sound where you involuntarily inhale.

Several years ago, I was at The Bob Marley Festival, and fell in love with a banner hanging over the stage.
Investigative soul that I am, I asked enough questions to figure out the name of the artist.
I tracked him down (he's a local muralist) and commissioned him to create a similar image of Mr. Marley.
I think we agreed on 5' x 6' or something like that, at $750.
Ever the poor child, I was paying him in increments.
I paid $250 when he went on a pilgrimage to Peru, and I was doing something...
and we lost contact.
I know he's still around town.
I hope he'll still honor my down payment, and I'll get my painting eventually.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Video Sunday

I <3 Danielia Cotton

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Art inspiration

It's unfortunate that I am still trying to figure out what I want "to be" when I grow up.
I know I have to focus on examine those things that make the breath catch in my throat.
The problem is that a lot of things do that.
I tend to get confused, to walk in circles, to be afraid.

I think, in retrospect, art was probably the path I should have walked.
I suppose I still can.
I know that the epitome of what I am lies in trinkets and photographs.
I love the idea of making art by stitching together three-dimensional items, and by telling a story in images.

That's why the work of Lisa Kokin speaks to me so clearly.

"1963" table-shaped sculpture of sewn found photograph, 6-1/4 x 5-1/4 x 5-1/4, 2000

She says, "I am intrigued with other people’s photographic recording of their lives both for the generic quality they possess -- the family and social rituals, studio portraits, vacation shots -- and for the feeling of sadness and nostalgia that acquiring other people’s memories provokes in me. I feel somehow that it should be illegal to own them, yet since they are for sale it might as well be me who buys them.
Sometimes there are inscriptions on the back (“Susie, 7 years old”) but more often they come to me stripped of all identity. I sit in my studio and speculate about the nature of the photographed people’s lives. I will, of course, never know the truth, so I feel it is my job to give them new lives and rescue them from the obscurity they would be headed for were it not for me, humble servant of the arts. I try to invent an altogether different identity for them but of course, in the final analysis these works are more about me than any of the hundreds of anonymous individuals who appear in my work.

"Vestige" sewn found photographs, batting, paper, 51 x 16, 2001

"Baby" reminds me of memory jars
Mixed media sculpture, 18 x 12 x 7, 1995

Thank you, yet again, to Art for Housewives, for continually introducing me to art and ideas that make me stop and say, "wow".


Friday, June 06, 2008

Photo Friday

Mom, around 1943
(click on image to enlarge)
My mom, probably in 1943, standing on a piece of land in Coronado that would soon become the location of their first house.
My parents married in October 1942.
My brother was born in July 1944.
So I'm guessing this was taken before my brother was born.
She says my dad's mom sewed the dress she is wearing (evidently she was an excellent seamstress. I don't remember that).

My mom said there were so many choices of land to buy.
The American Dream was ripe for picking.
They considered Bird Rock in La Jolla (worth a fortune now), but settled on where they grew up, Coronado (also worth a fortune now had they kept it).
The house was on 'J' street, and as they became friends with their neighbors, the group became known as "The Jolly J's".
She remembers it fondly, and says Coronado was idyllic then.

Sorry I haven't posted much lately--I am fighting a cold AGAIN.
What is the deal?


Monday, June 02, 2008

Beauty at no cost

I came up with a unique solution to one of my problems recently.
You see, I have been really strapped for cash, but I love to spend money.
I like going to thrift shops and finding a deal.
I like finding hidden treasure.
But after the initial rush of finding and acquiring, I'd be pissed at myself for being so impulsive.
I'd be disappointed to have that less money to spend on something I really need.

What to do?
Well, I started collecting rocks.
Yep, I said rocks.
Aren't they gorgeous?

Everytime I go to the beach to walk a dog, there are usually rocks (often more plentiful than shells, depending on location).
I figured I could use pretty rocks to delineate planting areas in my garden.
So I still get the rush from finding and acquiring...
I just don't have to experience the down of spending.
Hmmm...that sounds like a win-win to me.

Granted, I have to keep within the limits of the law--not every area I go to allows you to take stuff.
"Leave only footprints", if you will.
I have been spraying the rocks with a clear gloss acrylic to keep them shiny and wet-looking.
I think this makes the colors pop.
I wish I had a digital camera to better capture some of my fun finds.
The scanner can't handle the extra large stones I've collected, but here are some of the small and medium ones.
Rocks are my new obsession
The ocean tumbles these into gems.
My favorites are the white agates.
But the beauty of stripes and veins and colors is amazing and varied.

The irony is that no one has known about my new obsession, yet Jen of The Felt Mouse sent me Stone Cats for my birthday.
It's a book about how to paint rocks to look like cats.
Really, how perfect is this?!

I have a rock set aside on which I have been penciling in a cat design.
I'll post it later when I've painted it.

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