Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

a little pink, and in French . . .
Bonne Annee!

I hope you have a wonderful day.
My husband & I will be watching the Rose Parade.
I'll be oohing & ahing over the creative use of florals, & thinking of my family -- the engineer who loves the mechanics, the horsewoman who knows horses & riders!
My husband will be listening to the bands and commenting of their turns.  In high school he marched in this parade.

Visit Bev's How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday participants.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giving Back A Little Sunshine

I've probably mentioned this, but I love going out to lunch --  when my husband is free we have favorite places; doing lunch with a girlfriend is a treat; and getting to eat out by myself where I can sit and read a book can be a real highlight to my week.

A couple times a month I eat out at a restaurant next to the closest Michael's.  I've gotten to know one of the waitresses.  There are all sorts of reasons we hit it off.  She is a good listener.  We both like to read.  I've suggested books for her to read.  She has a favorite series and said I might like it.  I read it, I liked it, I told her so.  It's fun to talk books together!  I always ask to sit in her section and she seems genuinely pleased when I come in.  She is such an upbeat person, it's nice to see her when I eat there.

She & a friend are going to Hawaii for the winter and I wanted to give her a little bon voyage gift.  Having a daughter her age, I know -- cash is always welcome.  My friend Mary made creative holders for gift cards and a holiday gift book and they inspired me to be creative in the packaging of my gift.

Front of card
I love the snapshot.
The beauty in the canoe seemed apropos!

Open to Inside
All sections of the tri-fold card.
I used walnut ink, distress stamp pad ink applied with Ranger blending tool & foam, rubber stamps, printed tape, markers, ribbon, a MS border punch, vintage paper, rhinestone strips.

The glittery ribbon holds the money.
I cut a strip in the card, laced the ribbon through and taped it in place on the back.

Compartment to hold bills is closed.

I went to the restaurant today for lunch.  She said she was hoping I would come in today as tomorrow is her last day -- so sweet.  I gave her the gift, and she was so pleased.  It was wrapped up and she didn't open it while I was there.  I figured she might like to open it by herself.  I'm terrible at getting gifts, but I love giving them, specially when it's to someone who is so nice!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh My Goodness!

Giveaway winner &
A Backyard surprise!

you are the giveaway winner.  Send me your mailing info and I will send a package out to you!  Thanks to everyone who left messages and shared what you celebrate.

Backyard Surprise!

My son & I both heard the "crack."
He, being a tree guy (degree in Environmental Studies, Senior Project - Sugar Maples), knew exactly what the sound meant.  I knew when he told me -- I think he actually said, "mom, the tree you hate is now gone and it means more light into the back of the house."  When I saw this, I actually felt awful, as if my not liking this tree caused it to break and fall over.  I'm pretty sure it was the wind gusts of up to 60 mph that knocked the tree over, not my thoughts!

The best part of this photo is the house --
No part of the tree is touching any part of the house.
We are truly grateful!

This Magnificent Spruce once stood 45' tall.

Currently it is leaning on one of our 20' Holly trees.
My son & husband spent some time cutting off lots of the branches.  I was worried the holly tree would be pulled over by the weight.  The hollies are unique, maybe the tallest on Cape Cod & really beautiful.  I wouldn't want to lose them.  My neighbors love the hollies, always remark on how cool they are.  They probably look at them more often than we do, since they can see them out their front windows and we can't see them from our house at all.

We called a tree service, they came out, assayed the damage, gave us an estimate we can live with, and will return next Monday to turn the tree into mulch.

More excitement than we planned for this week.
Hope your day was way less exciting!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Tradition

 This afternoon we continued a Christmas Eve tradition started when I was a child.  We ate dinner out at a local Mexican restaurant. 

 Our son's comment on my photo taking at a restaurant was, "If this was the summer or I was my sister, I would give you grief for taking photos."  It really is the height of gauche to look like a tourist, or be embarrassing.

Eh!  We eat here a lot, the staff recognize us, I don't think we will be taken for tourists.  Mostly this post is about a restaurant 3,000 miles away, I can't get photos there, so I took them here!

When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, one of my parents friends told them about a great Mexican restaurant in Camarillo.  It was a good hour's drive from our house.  But my dad enjoyed driving and we gave it a try.  My parents' friends were right!  The food was wonderful and the staff made us feel like family!

We'd go about once a month.  I can remember my Dad's birthday dinner there one year.  Once or twice we took my brother's best friend, and ever after the owner's son would ask if we had Norman with us.  It really was one of those places amazingly important to my family history.

One year my parents decided to go to El Tecolote for Christmas Eve dinner.  So we piled into our station wagon and off we went.  Little did we know that El Tecolote closed for the entire month of December.  In the 1950's & '60's, the owner, Mike Loza,  hired Mexican nationals and their work visas allowed them to work in the US for 11 months and required they return to Mexico for a month.  When we arrived at El Tecolote, it was dark.  I think there was a sign saying why they were closed.  I remember my mom saying how nice they could be with their families.  We all thought yes it's nice, but where were we going to eat?  

At the time, Camarillo was a very sleepy little town.  Home was an hour away.  We found a Mexican restaurant that was open.  It was a bit of a hole in the wall, but my parents had 3 hungry little kids in the car and they were game.  I remember, the food was filling, there were lots of lights and Christmas decorations and everyone was very kind. 

We continued the tradition, My dad got recommendations from co-workers of restaurants closer to home.  El Tecolote always made us feel part of the family and each year we would say, this is good, but we wish we were at El Tecolote!

 My husband likes Mexican food as much as I do, so it was no trouble keeping this tradition going with him.   The kids embraced the tradition and I hope they keep it going when they start their own families.

I loved eating out this evening and I have loved remembering a really wonderful part of my childhood.


Stop by How Sweet The Sound to see what other Pink Saturday participants are doing on Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Gift Tag Book

My daughter asked for the sweetest things for Christmas.  She's away from home this year, so, I made this little tag booklet, full of coupons for the things she wanted and had to order herself.   She likes things a little less over the top than I do, so I toned these tags down.

Glinda's Girl Soldiers
from Ozma of Oz
When I participated in Karla's Dorothy Tag Book swap, I ran across this great graphic.  I thought it would make cool bookmarks.  I like it equally well as the front of this gift tag booklet.

This stamp is part of a collection of snowflake clear stamps I purchased at Michaels this year.  I have been using it on everything -- tags, our Christmas card envelopes, etc.  The embossing power is called "Winter Wonderland," and depending on the stamp pad, is more, or less, opaque and nicely glittery!

My girl has a real passion for tap dancing.  Last summer at the Beantown Tap Fest, she saw cool new tap shoes worn by most of the instructors.  They have a heart on the heel.  Her Grammy, who is also a tap dancer, is giving these shoes.  This tag is a reminder to send her Grammy a thank you card!

I guess she can thank Grammy/my mom for more than the tap shoes.  Mom at 82, still taps in a group.  This Christmas they have already given 3 shows and I think they have 3 more scheduled in January.  Mostly they dance at retirement homes and care facilities for older people.  I'm so grateful my mom is active enough to be up on the stage and not in such a facility.  My daughter can be grateful for new shoes and the prospect of dancing for all her life!
The last coupon is for a haircut.  Now a haircut may seem an odd Christmas gift, but her funds are tight  and she loves a good visit to an Aveda salon.  A massage is part of their service, nice!

She's already gotten the haircut.  She called to say she loves the new salon and the cut is good.  We actually talked a long time about haircuts, new stylists (cheaper) vs experienced stylists (more expensive) tipping and how long it's been since her last haircut.

She moved to the west coast with a friend and we wanted to get something for him.  The two of them love going to the movies.  So, I asked what movie chain was near them.  Then I went to AAA and bought 2 booklets.  They can go to 5 movies together on us.  It's a gift I would have loved when I was first on my own.

The back of the tag booklet.
I had fun digging out my old rubber stamps for this project!

I cut pieces of colored vellum to fit between the tags -- to protect the tags and because it was pretty.  I had fun with stamps and colored pens and tape.  In fact I just had fun altogether putting this gift together.  I know she'll like the gifts.  I hope she likes the packet too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Favorite Holiday Album

Pink Saturday December 18, 2010
This is my favorite Christmas album.

It's mostly standards, with a touch of Latin beat!
I've been listening to it a lot this season.  It's on regular rotation in my shop along with 40 Years, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

This song reminds me of the wonder I felt the first Christmases after my children were born.  

  I have been struck by how much the bass player on this track reminds me of my husband playing.  B has a distinct sound.  So, for this blog I went to the liner notes to see who it was.  I had to laugh when I saw the credits!  It happens to be a programed, synthesized bass part.  That might be insulting, that my DH sounds like a synthesized bass part.  Except the arranger & programmer on this track turns out to be an old friend of ours! We actually all lived together briefly in a drafty Boston apartment.   The guys went to music school together.  They played in bands together and very much appreciated each other's musicality.

It's possible I knew of the connection, but I had completely forgotten until just now when I looked.
What fun!

Another pretty tune on the CD.
This one in Spanish

If you wander over to Bev's blog, How Sweet The Sound, you can see and hear Pink Saturday participants' favorite holiday music.

Credits:  The Album:
Christmas Through Your Eyes.  Gloria Estefan.  Produced by Phil Ramone 1993.
Christmas Through Your Eyes, words & music by G. Estefan & Diane Warren 1990.
Arbolito de Navidad, words & music by Jose Barros 1966.


I walked out to my car this morning to find the windshield iced over and small snow-like dots on the hood.  I'm not sure it really counts, but it's sort of the first snow of the season.

The color attracts customers, I hope.
This chair is next to my shop sign.
I think I need to invest in marine paint if it's to survive the winter!

 Galvanized tub
with a couple inches of ice,
also next to shop sign at the road.

Frosty grass
This looks more like mornings in my LA valley suburb as a kid.
Hence, I didn't grow up with white Christmases.

 Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen

Have a great day, snow or not!

Check back tomorrow for Pink Saturday's Holiday Music picks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Very Vintage Christmas Package Arrives!

I participated in Cristina's

She used this beautiful paper . . . 

. . . to make a pouch to hold all the treasures!

Some of the papers were loose, 

like this great wrapping paper.
I'm pretty sure my grandma had this paper when I was a kid!

Some were packaged,

like this,

and this by Hope,
my Silver Bella '09 "big sis,"

and this by Cristina's wonderful mama, Catherine,
who most certainly had a hand in getting these to us!

I recognized my friends' packets, but I haven't opened any of the others yet. To all the participants, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your creativity and generosity in sharing such lovely pieces.  I can't wait to use these! 

I'm afraid I forgot to include my cards with my contribution, so to see the items I sent, click here

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Favorite Pinks and a Giveaway

Today's Pink Saturday request is to share a favorite holiday movie.  When you drop on over to How Sweet the Sound you'll see lots of wonderful holiday films.  My Christmas movie favs are at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of my favorite pinks. 
Haviland Limoges china, 
even if it is chipped!

The bridal bouquet from my friend's wedding.

Glinda the Good
& all things Oz.

Vintage clothing

Making displays
Shelley tea cups, buttons, millinery flowers, linens.

Books my grandma gave me.
I could have an Oz picture here too.
My family has two favorite Christmas films:  White Christmas and Holiday Inn.  We've watched them every year since the kids were little! Holiday Inn is actually the first movie to showcase the song "White Christmas."  It stars Bing Crosby & Fred Astaire and has an Irving Berlin song for every holiday.  "White Christmas" was so successful as a song, they decided to build a whole movie around it.  If you watch both films, you'll notice they used the same set! (taking off my reference librarian hat now)  My family likes Holiday Inn best, but I'm both a Rosemary Clooney fan & a romantic sap, so White Christmas always gets my vote!

                                   The song "Snow" in 4-part harmony.

 I also love a little movie (made for televison in 1997) called The Christmas List.  It stars Mimi Rogers and tells the tale of a department store perfume counter saleswoman who makes a list, drops it in Santa's bucket and then finds her wishes coming true in unexpected ways.  I'm sad it's not on ABC Family this year.

This holiday season I am also celebrating my 100th post.  Leave a comment by December 24th to be entered in the drawing.  click here for details of the giveaway.