Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thrifts and Misses

Sometimes I go to thriftstores and I find incredible items, yet elect not to buy them.
Maybe I can't afford the price, or maybe I don't have the storage space, or maybe for some reason it's not appropriate.
These are some of my passes (sorry for the fuzzy cell phone quality, but I figure it's fun to share anyway).

Gorgeous chair. I love simple lines on furniture.
I love Shaker and Mission style furniture, with very little hardware.
I think this was around $150, and I was too poor.
It may of even been sold already--I can't remember.
I do remember it killed me to pass it by.

Eek, this one made me squeal with joy, but again I lacked the $79 required to purchase it.
Vintage record player/stereo cabinet.
Stereo cabinet

Toy horse
toy horse

Really interesting table made up of multi-colored real horseshoes.
If I remember correctly, they wanted over $30, and I didn't have the cash on hand.
horseshoe table

English tea cart
tea cart

Rooster-shaped mailbox.
I may have picked this up for my sister-in-law were it in better condition.
Rooster mailbox

Cute mouse-shaped bank.
I considered picking this up for Jen, but I doubt she needs or wants another "dust collector.
It's a cute shape that may inspire a future pin cushion or something.
Mouse bank

Cool stuff in an antique store in Temecula.
Temecula antique store


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Video Sunday

"Deep Forest"
Deep in the jungle,
Are living some little men and women,
They are our past,
And maybe,
Maybe they are our future...

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saints bracelets

Someone contacted me about these Saints bracelets, wondering if I might be able to track down a manufacturer or vendor.

I rock at research, but so far the information eludes me.
The woman thought they might come out of Mexico City.
These seem to be of higher quality than the ones out of Brazil, but I could be mistaken.
They are possibly made from a lucite material.
Any clues?



Speaking of Danielle, I love her response to my Battling Stepford post yesterday:


Friday, April 25, 2008

One Day at a Time needs your help

Geez, my third post today.
Can you tell the tv isn't working? ;)

Please donate to help Danielle in the Walk for Animals.


Photo Friday

A nameless person shot this photo, probably on a 110 camera, with my friend Sue and me off in one corner.
en route to Catalina
We were 18 and on our first big adventure...a long drive to Long Beach and a boat ride to Catalina Island.

I've known Sue since the fourth grade.
Her mom was like a second mom for me.
Our friendship has survived despite attending different high schools, then her move out of California when we were juniors.

That was over three decades ago.
I really need to take a trip to Catalina again.
And this time I won't wear a silly hat.

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Battling Stepford

It's really interesting how opinions go.
I've complained to a few blogging friends about what I like to call The Stepford Blogs.
These are blogs that are all happy-happy-joy-joy.
They talk about their perfect spouses, their perfect children, and their perfect lives.

Despite their popularity, I'd rather read posts that don't dance around on the surface.
Give me some grit, some reality, some introspection.

That being said, this all changes when it comes to a couple of different topics.
One is music.
If you go through the comments on YouTube videos, for example, people get opinionated, defensive, and downright nasty.
They point fingers, say "you suck", and all matter of juvenile name calling.
I used to write CD reviews for a website, and one particular band must have had a pretty good fan base, because I started getting vile emails.
The review I wrote wasn't even that bad, but the fans were pissed I didn't give five stars or something.
I got cussed at, told I had no writing ability, on and on.

Another topic that brings out venom, is new mommyhood.
Brand new moms are paranoid that something is going to go wrong, or they won't be perfect enough, or someone is going to hurt their precious little one.
Yeah, that's normal, but some of their reactions are not.

Several years ago, I took a one-day writing seminar at a local university.
The instructor started talking about Disney movies, and the entire class (mostly made up of young moms, for whatever reason) got really animated in their discussion of how much they hated Disney, how the movies were too violent, blah blah blah.
I said, um, I LIKE Disney movies.
I am not kidding when I say my memory is that the entire group turned in unison to me, eyes spitting fire.
One lady asked me if I was a mom.
I said I was not.
"Oh. Thaaaaaat's why". And I was dismissed.

A friend of mine once told me "I hate it when people who don't have kids say stuff to people who do.".
Uh, sorry, but most of what I've said is just common sense.
I see customers at my retail job every day who let their kids walk all over them, and then we wonder why teenagers are so self absorbed and rude? Hello.

I made a comment recently on a blogger's site, suggesting she shouldn't get rid of find new homes for her cats just because she's pregnant.
The reactions from other commenters has been just like that classroom.
I am "self righteous", among other things.

Heaven forbid I have an opinion.
I think, were she to follow my advice, ultimately everyone would be happier.
But her blog friends want to coddle her and let her do what she pleases.
Yes, cat litter, in some circumstances, can be harmful to pregnant women.
Can her husband scoop the box for nine months?
I know many many many cats and babies who get along fine.
And that's cats with their natural claws, thank you very much.
I think it's vital that children be surrounded by animals--they teach them compassion, responsibility, love.
Just sayin'.

But with reactions like that, versus an honest discussion, no wonder there are Stepford Blogs.
And Stepford comments.
I know a lot of bloggers who won't honestly state how they feel.
I don't mean rag on someone's art project, but disagreement on something you feel is important really is okay.

I was at client's house recently, and told their neighbor they really needed to keep their cat in the house at night because of all the coyotes.
They had already lost one cat, and I was concerned about this one.
My clients were mortified I said anything.
But you know what?
The cat has been in the house since.
And that, really, is all that matters.
I may be coming across aggressive and overly opinionated, but in reality I'm pretty meek.
Talk about animals, however, and it crosses my own personal line of ethics, so I have to say something.
I aim to do so in a kind, mature way, though it is not always perceived as such.

I think it's sad that too many people in today's politically correct environment fear stating their opinion.
I think it's sad that so many kids (and adults, who am I kidding?) respect authority so little that they walk around cussing in front of little old ladies, or sharing their phone conversations in the grocery line, or making snide comments to others just for fun.
And no one reacts out of fear of retribution.
It's gross.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pants for Ryan

A couple of months ago, I found this cute airplane-themed corduroy in a thriftstore.
Airplane fabric
I thought I'd make my friend Jen's son (who is three years old) a pair of pants.
I really hesitated though--was it too cutesy?
I ended up asking Jen what she thought, and she said the trend seems to be to dress boys in miniature men's wear.
You know, khaki-colored cargo pants, button-down shirts...
She said, what happened to just clothes for a little boy?
Good point.
I looked everywhere to find a sewing pattern for a jacket or something, and even in patterns there are slim to nothing options.

Well, I already had this pattern, so I went with it.
I found a polo-style shirt in a weird shade of blue at Sears so he'd have a whole outfit, and if the pants were over top...well, maybe the shirt would tone it down a bit.

The great thing about Ryan, is that he is already such a gracious recipient.
The pants were met with a gleeful "airplanes!!", and a request to wear them immediately.
The fit was perfect.
Pants for Ryan
(click on photo to enlarge)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yay--my very own crow!

I finally was able to purchase one of Jennifer Conway's crows.
Jennifer is a multi-media artist out of Canada, and her crows are a hot commodity.
I like this guy for his aqua-colored beak,

and of course Queen Elizabeth got me too.

If you're not familiar with Jennifer's work, oh my.
Go spend some time at her blog.
Major inspiration there.

And get out your credit card--you're going to want to stock up on goodies at her Etsy shop.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Dog Days

I love being a pet sitter.
Usually I just watch dogs, but sometimes it's also cats (once in awhile I get a rat, hermit crabs, a turtle...).
I take lots of trips to the beach, and I'm surrounded daily by smiling doggie faces.
Dogs are all about sleeping, eating, and playing--a pretty good take on life, I say.

Some of my clients:
(these are all cell phone pics
click on the images to enlarge if you want to)

Rudy and Mandy
Mandy is his grandma.
Rudy and Mandy

Part Ibithan Hound, part Great Dane.
The cuteness factor is off the scale!

Hey, where am I gonna sleep?
I had to share sleeping arrangements with three black labs and a beagle.
My pleasure.
Hey, where am I gonna sleep?

A German Shepard mix who is smart as smart can be.
She's a character.

Looking out the window of the vet's office while we waited our turn.
He doesn't like a lot of people, but he dances when he sees me.

And I have the most pictures of Duke because I watch him more often than any other.
Too, he's just so cute (duh).
Duke, Itchy, and Scratchy sleeping on the sofa
Puppy and kitties on the sofa

Swimming with Duke in the family pool (I love this photo!)
Swimming with Duke

Fiesta Island
Duke at Fiesta Island

Dog Beach, Del Mar
Duke at Dog Beach, Del Mar

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Video Sunday

I so miss the show Rockstar.
Here's an incredible, beautiful version of Knockin' on Heaven's door, by the lovely Jordis Unga.
I can just listen to this again and again.

I also have to mention a fun video I first saw posted on
This is My Spring, which she found via The Pink of Perfection.
Basically Shauna and her grandma Joy go to the movies every week.
It's so simple and fun. I wish I could go back in time and be at the movies with my grandma again....

More info here.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Slow progress...

Back in November of last year, I decided to transform a small space in my mom's backyard into a garden.
With the holidays, and back-to-back dog-sitting jobs....it is still a work in progress.

Rains came, and by February, dirt had become grass.
grass takeover
(click on photo to enlarge)
You can see a small area on the left where I was starting to pull the grass out by hand.
Beneath and around this, however, is decomposed granite.
Rocks are everywhere.

Another view, from the right hand side.
side view
All that brown twisty stuff is dead ice plant (or, as my family calls it, "pickle weed").

Still I had no time to work on it, so the grasses grew knee high, and the hillside was covered in flowering weeds.
My mom hired some guys to weed whack (for fire hazard, as well as to keep people from squatting on the property), but I asked them to leave my area alone.
Grass is easier to pull if it's long.

Another issue is my family's lazy habit of tossing green waste over the side of the hillside opposite this area.hillside debris

Seriously, what were they thinking?
They weren't, obviously.
Yeah, it will decompose, but it takes a long long time, and this hillside is visible from the road.

I started removing this stuff, but it was so time consuming that I went back to my garden area for now.
I removed all the grass, old ice plant, and the remaining blackberry bushes (so invasive, and nasty thorns).
Now, THE AREA IS CLEAR!, I am just waiting for my brother to show me how to use the rototiller.

I did plant an herb bowl with cinnamon basil and epazote, and dwarf peas (my dwarf peas are sprouting!).
I planted the back area of the garden space with Nigella (Love in a Mist) seeds, and I did artistic things with rocks.

More progress pics soon to come.
So so much more to do, but I'm getting there.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Photobooth Friday

M&M's Collectible Photobooth Tin
Collectible M&M's canister, 2004.

M&M's Photobooth Tin

Side of tin


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Even the Mid-Century Dogs Had it Good

Wow, isn't this amazing?
Posted by the lovely Miss Retro Modern, whose photo stream on Flickr has almost a cult following for its vintage goodness.
This is from Popular Mechanics Home Handyman Encyclopedia and Guide, 1961.
Jetson-esque dog house, including linoleum floor.
(click on image to go to her Flickr page)

Sorry for my absence lately--I think four days is the longest I've ever gone without posting.
Just really busy, watching one dog, stopping by another house twice a day to feed two cats, and working my dreaded retail job.
Too, the house I'm staying at just got a new Mac, and I don't know how to upload my pics to it.

More soon!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Video Sunday

My heart does the tango
with every little move you make.
I love you like a mango,
'cause we can make it every day.


This is the only version I could find by The Mana'o Company,
(I wish I could find a video of them singing live).
But oh so good.

"Drop Baby Drop"

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Talking politics usually opens a can of worms, but let me just give my two cents about the Olympic controversy.

I am not a sports person.
It's the first section of the newspaper I throw away.
Ironically then, I absolutely love the Olympics, both summer and winter games.

I suppose because, at its best, the Olympics is hope and inspiration and aspiration.
It is uniting, and fairness, and setting aside differences.
It's pride in one's country. In the flag.

Regardless of anyone's view of China versus Tibet, the Olympic games are not the place to talk politics.
Athletes dream their whole lives for this chance.
They work for years and years. They sacrifice. They hope.
It's not fair to take that away from them.

Let the Olympic Games be games. Sport. Athletes competing.

Enough of the rhetoric, the grand standing, the trying to douse the torch.
Dreams flicker in those flames.
These are flames of passion, of heart, of soul.
Cheer on the athletes.
Cheer on the games.


Ooh, I've got mail!

page marker
The ever generous Mary Ann sent me this rockin' page marker for my birthday.

I was trying to find a link to these in her etsy shop, but no luck.
LOVE these so much.
The awesomeness doesn't really come across in the scan--the beads are iridescent.

I've purchased a few of these from her in the past for gifts and for myself, but I need more than one because I tend to read several books at the same time.
They're so cool--the pretty beads sit along the binding, and the wire gently fits in the crease of your pages.

And isn't that a cute gift tag?!

Thank you once again fairy blogmother--I so so appreciate it
(especially since I suck and forgot your birthday).


Monday, April 07, 2008

For the love of murals

I love street art.
That includes, for the most part, grafitti, and most certainly murals.
(click on image to enlarge)

This is part of a huge mural on the side of a building on Morena Boulevard in San Diego, featuring two marlin and a school of dorado.
It was painted by Chuck Byron.
The mural is easily visible to the adjacent freeway traffic (Interstate 5 North).

I'm not really a fish person (I'm definitely not into fishing), but this is so bold and colorful, it can't help but make me smile.

Mural marlin
Mural dorado

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Video Sunday

Absolutely fantastic video of an elephant painting.

And no, it's not fake--here's the verification on snopes, and that site includes some interesting additional links.

It boggles my mind that anyone could think of animals as 'less than', or as 'things'.

They are sentient beings.
Intelligent beings.

When Genesis speaks of man having dominion over animals, the actual translation means stewardship, or "to care for".

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Garden Art Ideas

Thanks for all the nice comments I've received about my health lately.
I appreciate it so much.
I didn't mean to generate sympathy or anything, I just don't want you guys to get bored with me if I don't post every day.

Today I took Duke for a walk at Fiesta Island.
The flowers are in bloom, and it's lovely (though I lost one of my prescription sunglass lenses in the daisies when I was getting Duke to pose for pictures).
I'll post those images soon.

For now, I'm just dreaming of how I'm going to make my garden look (if I can ever find time to work in it).
I have a huge, old Elephant Foot Tree, that I need to repot.
I think it started out a gazillion years ago as a terrarium plant, and now it's about shoulder high.
Costco has some gorgeous Vietnamese Pots--huge ceramic vessels for a mere $36.
But those suckers are too heavy for me to lift!
Once they're filled with dirt, they ain't movin'.
Sigh....I'll have to keep looking elsewhere.
Such a good deal to pass up though.

In January I purchased a Chinese Lantern plant.
I had no idea what the plant looked like, but the nursery had a sign on them saying "These rock!".
Based on that, I brought one home.
I was pleasantly surprised to find some great info and awesome pics of this plant on Peaceful Blossom.

Really fun site with recycled garden art.

I like the idea of a recycled bird bath

This idea is from Trash to Treasure (book 4).
She used an enamel wash basin, and two half columns from a fireplace.

I joined a gardening website called The Mulch.
Here's an article about the site on the Sunset Magazine website.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Photo Friday

My mom.
I'm not sure of the year (I could ask her, but, um, she doesn't really know I post all these photos on the internet...).
I'll guess it was early 1940's and she was a teenager.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Foodie Films

I love food-related books and movies.
I thought I'd list my favorite foodie movies, and others I know about.
Feel free to tell me about ones I didn't list, or your favorites.
I won't discuss the plots--you can delve into that yourselves.

My favorites:
Babette's Feast

My Dinner with Andre
Woman on Top
Soul Food

9-1/2 Weeks (not so much a foodie movie, as it is food porn)
Um, is it hot in here?

Others that I've seen and thought were pretty good:
(BBC Series) Chef
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Last Holiday
Mostly Martha

One's that are popular but I didn't like:
Tampopo (basically a spaghetti western, Japanese style. Just too hokey for my , uh, taste).
Big Night (listed on several websites as a number one favorite. Somehow I found it forgettable. Perhaps I should watch it again).
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (despite Johnny Depp, it was just eh)

Titles I haven't seen yet, but will soon:
No Reservations
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and her Lover
Eat, Drink, Man Woman (this comes up on my Netflix queue soon)
Like Water for Chocolate
Tortilla Soup
Eat Your Heart Out
The Wedding Banquet
Soylent Green
Last Supper
The Scent of the Green Papaya
The Mistress of Spices
What's Cooking?
Dinner Rush
Who's Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
La Grande Bouffe
Eating Raoul
Pieces of April

Eat This New York
Rare Birds


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So tired

Bear with me.
I haven't posted as often as usual because I'm just not feeling well.
It's obvious in my face, with big circles under my eyes.
All I want to do is sleep.
I need to find a doctor (I don't have a chosen physician), but I can't afford one right now.
I have an inkling it's my glucose level, but who knows.
I'm sure I'm anemic again.
I do have some new posts to my purse blog and my
neckties blog, and I'll be reviewing another book soon on my book blog (when I get the energy), so don't forget about those.

I'm going to try to make myself sew right now...