Friday, June 29, 2007

The creamers gather.

Collection of the week: the creamers, with a couple of gravy boats alongside. Thinking of gravy boats made me wonder about gravy trains. I was sad to find out that there was probably never any gravy involved in the origin of this saying. It most likely became a saying when the railroad workers went on an easy run with good pay, or maybe the hobos started it, meaning a free ride. Take the gravy train to easy street. That sort of thing. Gravy being an automatic by-product of cooking a roast. No work there. (This saying was obviously started by men who have not tried to turn that automatic by-product into a beautiful lumpless sauce to present to the mother-in-law at Thanksgiving.) And apparently a gravy boat was akin to a gravy train before it became a place to put your gravy.

A creamer is a creamer, nothing to wonder about there.

I think the white ones are my favorite.

So I'm wondering what an updated form of "gravy train" might be...."life's a beach"... that's similar. I'm thinking more like, "That was a trip through the drive-thru", or something like that. This reminds me of the time I had a root canal done and the Dr. was thrilled that it went a lot easier than he had anticipated, but he still charged me the same amount. ( We didn't have insurance at the time.) He probably told his staff, "That was like drilling for oil!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To the beach.

Now that my daughter is driving herself around, I have more time for walking. I thought I would share some of the things I see when I take Max to the beach.

I think this sign means that you should have your dog on a leash, but it looks more like "When your dog sits down, poke him with a long stick and he will get going."

We've all dreamed of riding a dolphin, right?

What does this mean? Is there beach front property in Arizona after all? Is that the way to Phoenix, down there?

I love to see the flowers growing out of the sand.

One last dig before we go home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I have been enjoying the simple pleasures lately.

Snapdragons and tulips.

I love the way the sun comes through the windows in our house. So far this summer we have had a lot of sunshine. Our little section of the coast is normally plagued with fog in the summertime. Sun to the left of us, sun to the right of us, but in the fog we dwell. It does keep the heat away, though, so I'm okay with it.

I LOVE the fragrance of these soaps. Olive oil " flavored with lemon", (that's what the box says, but I'm not planning to taste it) from Italy, and lime and coconut from Scotland. Bought at bargain prices, of course.

Listening to the fountain in my little fish pond. I have to cover it up with a pond shaped piece of plywood every night to keep my little fishy friends from being raccoon entree, but it's worth the effort.

And watching the birds come to my backyard, which I can see from my workroom window.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Darn it! Or just go buy a new pair.

Collection Reunion # 4 is actually a combination of two collections. The sock darners and the crochet hooks.

Crochet hooks will never go out of style. At least they shouldn't. But sock darners, well, you don't see too many people (women) sitting around fixing the holes in the family's socks. The darner goes inside the holey sock in order to provide a surface on which to do the darning. I'll be darned if I'm gonna darn any darn old holey socks, unless they are special hand-made ones.

So why do I collect sock darners you might ask? I think I bought the first one at a time when I was much younger and was actually knitting a pair of socks on four little skinny needles. I do admire people who do that. I love hand-knit socks, I just don't think I have the patience for it myself. Maybe in a few years. Anyway, I think there was never an actual pair of socks. If I remember, the one I finished became a sort of Christmas stocking. (What else can you do with one colorful hand made sock?)

An update on my latest craft project:
Yesterday I finally visited a thrift store a friend has been telling me about for years. It is a couple of towns away, and I was there on business, so I stopped by. Alas, I only had 20 minutes. The place is HUGE. I did have enough time to find a bag of 26 Prismacolor colored pencils for 69 cents. Yea! So I used my pile of inspiration from the other day (with a few changes) and made a pencil holder/carrier for my drawing pencils.

The ones in the box are woodless colored pencils. They are great. No lead to break, and not too expensive either.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Max and the Bean

This is Bean. We have been keeping the Bean for the last week while our friends were visiting their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. The daughter and son-in-law both dance for the Houston Ballet. We got to watch them dance here in a local production of The Nutcracker this last Christmas. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

Bean is a great pal for Max the Pomehuahua (Pomeranian-Chihuahua). It's not often that Max gets to be the big dog.

Max is looking a little smug here, like he's saying "I know that, you don't have to tell me because I already know that."

They should be here soon to pick him up. Max will miss the Bean. Won't you Max?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Crafters' Block

I am trying to use my evening time as crafting and creative time. I went down to the "slipcover workroom" last night and just sat there. I'm blocked! It could be this low lying bug I seem to have with slight aches in the body and head, but nevertheless it was a bad feeling to have time to do something and feel frozen.

I looked into why people get writers' block and a couple of the suggested reasons hit home. One was the fear of falling short. Hmmm. I think that I am so worried about making something that EVERYONE will love, that I make nothing at all. I guess we've all been there. I don't think of myself as a perfectionist because I never do anything that's perfect.

Some of the suggestions were helpful, like just write something (or make something) quickly before you have time to over think it. Another idea: have a friend give you 3 words and write a vignette using those words. That could work for crafting as well.
I think the main idea is to just get moving and then the creative flow will follow.

I have been looking at this pile of stuff for a few days now. The elephants were recycled from a big ladies shirt with elephants all over it. My plan is to make a tote bag because I love tote bags. Colleen gave me the trim the other day. Thanks, Colleen.

Maybe there will be something crafted to post later this week.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why buy when you can rent?

I stopped into my favorite thrift shop the other day. (They close at 2PM and are not open on weekends, so I have to pretty much plan a visit.) I was actually there to drop off a printer that we no longer use. I love having a place to take used electronics, knowing that it will benefit someone. And of course, I had to look around while I was there.

I found these great old cookbooks. They gave me a chuckle, so I wanted to share them with you.

This one has mouthwatering recipes like Clam-Frankfurter Dip, Avocado-Frankfurter Dip, and Shrimp-Frankfurter Dip. Mmmmmmm

And what would we do without the joys of Jello?

Here is a picture from inside the "Joys of Jello". This section is about how " Jello is a young dessert. Cool and sparkling.
Fresh and fruity. And the colors are pure pop art." ...So true, so true.

So as I put these books in my paper grocery bag (it was "bag day"- fill a bag for $5) I thought "I may not ever use these books. Do I really need encouragement to eat more sour cream and sausage?" But then I remembered that half the stuff I buy at thrift stores ends up there again eventually. I have begun thinking of such places as rental stores. I pay a reasonably small amount to take the items home with me for an amount of time determined by me, and then, when I no longer need them, or want them, I take them back. No questions asked, no papers to sign, and I should add that I never accept the tax deductible receipt for rented items that I'm returning. That just doesn't seem right somehow.

Sometimes I wonder, when I am selecting things to take home with me, how many times has this thing been rung up at the register? How many homes has it been in? Because, I'm assuming that other people do this too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Collection Reunion #3, Pin...cushions???

Who decided that the place we store our pins should be called a cushion. Shouldn't it be a poker, or a stopper, because that's where the pins stop as we poke them there? I have a collection of pin storage units.
The tomato seems to be the most popular form for pin stop-overs. And strawberries.

This pinelephant was in a very pretty sewing box that came from England via EBay.

I like this group a lot. My daughter, now 22, made the little chair when she was little herself. (not as little as the chair, of course)

A tower of Chinese children holding giant Chinese beachballs for pins:

Some that are very old:

And this is what I would call a pincushion:

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to add Sparkle to your life...

And to the lives of those around you.

First, take an object like this beautiful graduation cap for instance.

Next, locate the spray glue, glitter, and plastic rhinestones. Lay out a towel to do glittering on, with friend who is also desiring sparkle, and procede. You are using a towel instead of say, newspaper, because you are in a hurry and you are not using the "follow through" method of thinking. When project is finished, leave the house quickly in order to make it to event on time.

Later, after all the excitement is over, throw "glitter catching" towel in laundry basket without notifying chief washing machine loader, (the mom) who places the guilty towel in with about seven other towels.

We will be picking glitter off of each for weeks or even months.

Now, if you see my husband looking like he got too close to someone who was all glittered up, you know that that is not the case, he just has "sparkle".

Monday, June 11, 2007

Big Day, Big Doughnut, Big Delicious Dinner!

Graduation Day was just beautiful, held outdoors with perfect weather. The next day we had a graduation party. We made the cake ourselves and I think it turned out pretty cute.( Decorated by Raya. )

With the extra cake batter, I decided to make a "little cake". When I took it out of the pan, I said "This looks like a big doughnut.", so Raya worked her magic and WahLah-A Big Doughnut!

I traded some sewing of curtains by me for some catering by a very talented friend. It was so delicious and so great not to have to prepare the food. The party was a success.

I thought I would take a few pictures while the place is all tidy and decorated with flowers.

My favorite deck chair:

Later this week-Collection Reunion #3.......

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Collection Reunion #2, The Yard Birds.

I am busy this week painting the house. (really) My husband and I decided to take on the task, and are trying to get a fair amount done before the graduation party on Saturday. We have actually completely finished the back and it looks pretty good. Hoping to get one coat on the front and paint the front door. I whined a bit about the whole thing, but I'm actually glad we went for it. We got some great advice from our friend who is a pro and color advise, also from a pro. (I highly recommend professional advise).

The Yard Bird reunion took place in the Hens and Chicks of course.

The waterfowl in the Lemon Balm.

And we can't forget the working birds:

And speaking of list is calling.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Look, a book!

I like to read when I can sit still long enough, but my mom LOVES to read. When she found out that To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book, she sent me her first edition copy. Wasn't that sweet of her.

The photo of Harper Lee on the back of the book jacket was taken by Truman Capote.

We share books back and forth often. We don't live close enough to each other for regular visits, so I enjoy our correspondences and book swapping. We have been sending each other copies of the" No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. They are fun to read and the characters are interesting and lovable.

This is the most recent novel in the series, hot off the presses.

Even the inside cover is fun!