Sunday, December 16, 2012


Family and friends ~ HUG THEM TIGHT AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS ~ and remember those precious lives lost, so senselessly, this past week.
A Christmas mug of cheer from my dear friend, Jackie - hot chocolate (or even "better" - I just saw the ad for the new maple flavored Crown Royal) will taste extraordinarily wonderful from this one - set amongst a fabulous tea set I bought about twelve years ago at a speciality store "Going Out of Business" sale, and have never taken out of the box until this week.  Did I need it?  Evidently not (BUT, in my defense, it was 90% off the original obscene price).  Is it FABULOUS?  Look ~ LOOK with your special eyes!
Friends in my Mom's childhood doll buggy, with her doll being the beauty with the bonnet.  I believe the blonde friend was my grandmother's...someone in the family loved her, I know that.  The Mohair bear in the front was made by me, years back - took a class with an "at the time friend" (friends come in so many guises, and serve many purposes in a lifetime) in the art of real fur/old fashioned ways bear making.
The white bear wears a baby sweater that was knitted for my firstborn, by a dear family friend.  Tiny, beautiful white bunnies knitted into the design - too special to pack away, it now keeps my furry friend warm.  I made the second, golden bear, also...actually, he was the first made - never start easy when you can jump right in with an open mouth (much like my own!).  Both are heavily weighted and have jointed arms, legs, and heads.
The past few weeks brought some special treats from Internet friends, both far away (Denmark), and one state over.  Dorthe, at DEN LILLE LADE, sent me another of her enchanting little angels, who has joined her driftwood friend on my tree.  Sherry, at CREATOLOGY, gifted me with a beautiful little Christmas bag, perfect for holding some special jewelry items (and with two secret pockets!), a handmade (actually, it's all handmade by Sherry) journal with clever pages inside, and some delightful little Christmas adornments for my ears and scissors.  Thank you to you both, dear friends. 
My old Christmas Cactus, in the corner, never lets me down come December, though buds this year are sparse.  Running (literally) through the grocery store, looking for tree lights, I ran straight into this new cactus, loaded with about 200 blooms (literally).  Lighter in color than my first, I WILL be posting photos of this as it takes off and opens up.
A bevy of fake, but yummy looking, gingers from my friend/sister, Joleen, sits on the antique plate I recently obtained from yet, another friend...another gift, from Z, sits under my tree and will make an appearance here after I know her other friends have seen theirs, so I don't spoil anything.
Yes, I DO get by with a little help from my friends, and count each one among my dearest assets in life!  I hope your Christmas is wonderful, friends...if I don't show up here on a regular basis for the next week or so, know that I am VERY happily making wonderful Christmas memories with my dear folks (including physical therapy for her while she's here), and my own little family.  Merry Christmas ~ XOXO ~ Tanya
"Many merry Christmases, friendships, great accumulation of cheerful recollections, affection on earth, and Heaven at last for all of us" ~ Charles Dickens

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Joan Crawford has arrived at our house for Christmas...and LOOK!  She's brought along cigarettes!
Actually, I just finished this up this morning, and wanted to share...the last large present that needed to be finished before Christmas.  My daughter and I sat down one evening, a few weeks back, and shared some special Mother/Daughter moments watching the ever enchanting "Mommie Dearest"...I hadn't seen it in years, and she had never seen it.
Overly penciled eyebrows and batshit crazy outbursts aside, she was enchanted with the fabulous costuming of the 40s - especially the glamorous dressing gowns.  I was asked if I knew where she could get something like that for lounging around the house, and spewing her new favorite snarky quote from the movie, "I would rather be here, with you, than anywhere else in the world".
Shortly thereafter, I ran across this in the Butterick pattern book - and at 99 cents for the day at Joann's, it SCREAMED (No wire HANGERS!) to be turned into a Christmas gift for my Jaci.  The fabric is something they label as Simply Silky Prints - a stretchy, satiny/shiny polyester (perfect for washing) charmeuse, in "Betsey Johnson-esque" (another of my daughter's fav's) pink and yellow roses.  The pattern was marked "Easy", and they weren't lying!  I put this together in a day - start to finish.  I haven't sewn an actual garment in some years, and was PLEASANTLY surprised at how well this went together.
My daughter is built much more slender than my antique mannequin, so this should hang pretty close to the illustration on the pattern cover (she's built like the girl in yellow - we should hate her, by golly).  Where there should be "two" on my mannequin, is but one...a "dove breast" from the late 1880's.  Sadly, there is no "lift and separation" on this old gal, but she's pretty great for display purposes.  I am expecting this to drape exactly like the pattern, once on.
Black lace overlays on the front and back bodice - like I said, this really went together beautifully...especially for being a vintage pattern.
Extra wide sash belt - big flowing sleeves, gather into tiny bands at the wrist - fabulous and uberfierce!
Who knew they still made shoulder pads?!  The pattern called for them...Joann's had tons to choose from, happily.  I thought (or perhaps, wished) they had died with the 80's.  Yeah, who knew!
I think the only thing missing from this ensemble now are marabou mules for her dainty polished toes...
and a padded, satin hanger!  Happily retiring the sewing machine until after Christmas - hope your weekend is wonderful.

Friday, December 7, 2012


"...December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy..."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
A remembrance of those who have gone before and, again, a thank you to those who serve today! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

AEROSMITH AND CHEAP TRICK - The Most Fantastic Adventure!

I have the BEST friend in the world.  Her name is JACKIE.  She called me up a few days ago, and told me that Christmas would come early for me this year - she had some bizarre, unwarranted notion that she couldn't make me anything "gift worthy" for Christmas this year, and instead, got us tickets to THIS!  Aerosmith AND Cheap Trick, ON ONE BILL!  The Global Warming Tour!  At The MGM Grand Arena!   Believe me, my HUSBAND is going to have a hard time giving me anything gift worthy after this!  My friend ROCKS!  How many apostrophies am I going to need for this post?!  Let me mention, right here (so she knows) that I'M going to have a hell of a time with the whole "gift worthy" thing for HER this year, after this.  What an INCREDIBLE evening.
(Photo credit
Had seen Cheap Trick before, but singing the Sgt. Pepper album on their tour though Vegas a few years back - this time it was all them - with one Beatles song, thrown in for good measure.  SOOOOO great.  I don't know if it's Robin Zander I love, or those beautiful "nothing left to the imagination" leather pants!  Yeah, it's him. And Rick Nielsen.  And the rest of  "The Best F#* You Up Rock Band EVER", as they were introduced. And the pants.  The Dream Police were living large inside of my head last night!
And then, AEROSMITH - how do you come close to describing the wonder of THAT?!  On my "Bucket List" of bands, and there with a friend that evidently has that very same Bucket List!  I don't know how Steven Tyler is possibly alive this morning...movin' and shakin' for an entire 2+ hours.  And, "Little Miss We Need to Sit THISCLOSE to the Stage", did it to me again.  I could have shot the video above (which is the same opening we got last night), myself.  Steven Tyler, JOE PERRY (who has his WIFE on his guitar!  A Guitar God AND a romantic - SIGH!).
AEROSMITH!!!  I spent most of the evening with my hands over my mouth, speechless...unless I was singing along, and I must have been because my throat is scratchy this morning.   An unbelieveable (believe it) night of music from two LEGENDARY bands, shared with one of the best friends I could have ever hoped for in this life, or any other.
"Something right with the world today"...ALL day...and it will LAST for days!  It's left a HUGE smile on my face this morning - thanks for Christmas, Chica - know how much I loved it - and you.  By the way, your Christmas gift will pale, in comparison, just to let you know!   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!