Saturday, March 30, 2013


Because this is the way my brain works, and I thought someone might find the humor in it all...
I have a Pen Pal...Jenny from THE MODEST PEACOCK has put out a call on her blog for handwritten letters from Pen Pals in each and every state, as well as from abroad.  Fun, huh?!  I thought so, and she needed someone from NV, so I jumped at the chance to participate.  So much is done on the computer nowadays, hand writing letters is fast becoming a lost art - sadly, I have heard they are no longer going to be teaching penmanship in schools.  Anyway, I received this beautiful letter from Jenny, while in Denver...from the envelope, to the beautiful Peacock card, to the lovely polka dotted stationary, it's a very charming, old-school, honest-to-goodness handwritten letter - Jenny ROCKS!
Yesterday, while out shopping for picture frames, I found myself standing in the Stationary Department...I decided that I needed sheets of writing paper, because it's very rare that I can cram everything on one card.  Not finding what I wanted, I headed to the checkout stand, where this pad of writing paper was sitting, all by a "sign" (LOVE the movie SIGNS, too - "Swing away, Merrill")!  I loved the texture of the thin, almost parchment-like brown paper, but as the cover sheet was pretty bent and wrinkled, it wasn't something I normally would have purchased as a matter of principal.  UNTIL, I flipped the cover up and saw THIS on the first WAS a SIGN!
SOLD!  I stood there chuckling - amazed that someone had left a message this way and no one noticed them doing it, but happy that they HAD (and I think they came in peace, if you look at his hand).  Yes, it came home with me!  These are the quirky, weird, joyful things that make up my life.
I've been accused of being "squirrel brained" (this is Roger Nutkin, the squirrel that lives in my parent's backyard, and annoys them to no end), by my daughter.  She laughs at how easily amused I can be, and how quickly I flit from one odd, shiny object to the next.  It doesn't take much - an alien on a piece of brown butcher paper did it for me yesterday!  And, did you notice how I segued from the signs comment up there, to the movie,  it doesn't take much at all, I admit!  Squirrel brained I may be, but human still, and having fun at it!
Hope your Easter weekend is wonderful and filled with the humans (and/OR aliens) that you love...XOXO

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Because it brought a smile to my face, a tear to my eye, and put a gorgeous melody in my heart tonight...back from a "much too quick" trip home - will catch you on here in a few.  Until then, a wish for a happy Thursday, and an ode to joy...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


And what trip to Oahu wouldn't be complete without taking in a hula or two?  Developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there, hula is accompanied by chant or song that preserves and perpetuates the stories, traditions and culture of Hawaii.  And no, it's not just for GIRLS!
You can see authentic hula throughout Oahu at live performances at hotels and resorts, along with seasonal festivals and competitions held right along Waikiki Beach.  The ALA MOANA CENTER, one of Oahu's most beautiful shopping areas was a 15 minute walk from our hotel, and hosts a daily 20 minute hula demonstration in their center court.  Great vantage points and seats on two levels surrounding the stage.
Palm leaf skirts and lots of shakin' goin' on...three costume changes and three different dances during this 20 minute performance.
These two lovely performers were at our hotel's courtyard on Friday and Saturday evening, along with a firework display each and every weekend.
When Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778 there were, depending on the various estimates available, between 300,000 and 400,000 native Hawaiians.  Over the last two hundred thirty five years, the numbers of pure Hawaiians, those with only Hawaiian blood, has declined - today, there are less than 8,000 pure Hawaiians alive.
On the other hand, the number of those who are, at least, part Hawaiian and who consider themselves to be Hawaiian, has increased steadily since the turn of the century. Today, there are estimated to be between 225,000 and 250,000 people with Hawaiian blood living in Hawaii.
Pure or part, it's pretty wonderful to see these traditions being kept alive today.  For more information on year-long Hula Festivals, as well as the dance itself, visit HAWAIIAN HULA INFO
As for me this week, I am dancing my way home to CO for a bit, and already into the "pre-flight non-sleep" issue that plagues me before a trip, each way.  Two days to get things in order before I leave the family here, for family there...two days to hopefully get a few more Travel Tuesdays lined up and scheduled to post here, magically while I'm gone - two days to hopefully get SOME sleep.  Happy Tuesday, and in the words of Jeff Spicoli, "Aloha, Mr. Hand!"...yeah, when you can quote Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you  might just be sleep deprived!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


"Each day comes bearing it's own gifts.  Untie the ribbons"
~ Ruth Ann Schabacker ~
You know those special friends you make throughout the ribbons of your life?  The ones that tie into so many aspects of what and who you are - that stay tied to you, no matter what?  I have amassed a few along the way, I'm proud to say.  True friends - dear friends - ones that are just "there" for you - that you know will always be "there" for you...whether mourning the passing of beloved pets, or rejoicing over happy times and a friendship that has endured.  Ones that will lift the phone just to say, "Hey", before you do!  Ones you can just be YOU with, and they love you for it anyway.  My friend, Carole, is one of those friends.
All of my friends have talent - not a one of them doesn't...whether it's creative talent, or just the talent of throwing me a smile and a hug, and making a day better.  Yesterday I was invited to spend the morning with one of my longest running friends, who has both talents.  CAROLE SIDLOW (those of you who drop by here occasionally may have heard me mention her before, in the guise of "The Ribbon Lady").  Some of you know her personally, already - the rest of you SHOULD!  And for those of you in the Reno/Tahoe and Sacramento areas, Carole has an upcoming show at the GRASS VALLEY OLD WEST ANTIQUES SHOW, May 10th and 11th (did I mention her husband is an antiques dealer?!).  Here's your chance...
Probably one of the most colorfully creative and dearest souls I know, Carole owns The Ribbon Store, online and locally, here in Vegas.  A MEGA mecca for ribbons and laces, vintage and new...if she doesn't have it, she can get it for you, but chances are it's already there - she has quite the eye!  I went yesterday, looking for some ribbons for a gift I'm working on, and found MORE than the perfect item...I always do.  Her imagination and talent are boundless, and her heart is huge - what a happy place to hang out for a few hours.
Not only does she deal in ribbons and vintage textiles, she USES them, the most wonderful ways.  All items here came from Carole's hands (the riot of colors and "stuff" on her workbench yesterday was devilishly fun) - from the mouthwatering little velvet petit fours on the cupcake stand, to the larger, more outrageously delicious pincushions tucked into the shop, between the gorgeous ribbons.
Carole sells in her eBay store (no bidding, except on the antiques and handmades - supplies are all "Buy It Now"), as well as direct, if you drop her an email (info can be found on her "kick-ass" business card in the first photo). She also has a "Ribbon of the Month Club" that she can give you details on - you won't believe the packaging!  No attention to detail is ever missed with Carole - EVER!  And, she ships just about anywhere in the world.
An all original antique beauty among Carole's own, equally mouthwatering creations.  Find yourself in need of pleated ribbon (similar to the vintage silk this pincushion doll is wearing)?  She can custom do that for you, too - yep, she's like the Supergirl of ribbons!
I always come away with a brighter outlook on life, and a HUGE creative itch, when I walk out of her shop - I think ribbons must fix everything.  Drop her a line, if you're in the need - you won't be sorry.  If you're in the GRASS VALLEY, CA area over Mother's Day, a trip to see her will DEFINITELY be worth your while.  I understand she will also be among the vendors at Art Unravelled on August 3rd, in Phoenix.  Tell her a friend sent you...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Each and every morning on Oahu, I waited for the "fog" to lift, and headed off on a walk, camera in hand.  The flowers were so incredible, I made it a game to see how many different colors I could capture.  This post will be light on words, but heavy on beauty - see for yourself...
The main drag alongWaikiki Beach is lined with high end shopping ("Gucci, Gucci, Louis, Louis, Fendi, Fendi, Prada", to quote Kreayshawn, one of my daughter's favs) ~ to an International Market Place, featuring the more "touristy" shops ~ to the store where I traded in the beautiful, fashionable sandals that were rubbing holes in my feet, for a pair "SLIPPAHS" (flip-flops in mainland terms) that I never took off the entire rest of the trip (except for my walking shoes).  Admiring my cute, extremely cushioned feet, at that point, I also started noticing local lingo, carved into the stones lining the sidewalks (it's amazing how much more you see when you're comfortable - I fairly shouted "Mahalo" at the sales person, I was so happy!)
Hibiscus aplenty...sprinkled with Frangipani, Gardenia, Bougainvillea, and things unknown, all set against an incredible blue backdrop.
 A clever way to infuse some island charm into your vocabulary...
The local birds were quite the charmers - this little guy (an African Common Waxbill), and his buddies, were hanging at a beautiful little fountain reserved just for them.
Waxbills, Brazilian Red Cap Cardinals, and CHICKENS!  I'm not sure on the exact "how comes" as to why huge numbers of chickens run wild (mostly on our way to the North Shore), but we saw them everywhere, outside the city.  This one strolled out of the woods as we were stopped for a photo op.
The Bird of Paradise were beautiful, but seemed to be at the end of their growing season, if there is such a thing in paradise.
Finished...ended...PAU - just for today.  Plenty more to come - beautiful faces and fabulous places, all on Oahu.  ALOHA!  May your travels be safe and happy ones!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Thought I'd drop a pattern review on here, for those of you who knit and are looking for a quick and easy; down and dirty; keeping your hands busy at night; super SPEEDY; instant gratification project.  CHURCHMOUSE WELTED FINGERLESS GLOVES pattern is all that, AND a bag of chips!  I'd finished one pair last week, and decided to start a second, Saturday glove done - the next will be finished tonight - they are just that fast!
Did I mention ONE skein (approx. 110 yds. - I'm working the ombre pair in a double strand of sock yarn, so using more, obviously) gets you both gloves?!  Worked in the round - I use two circs, whereas you can also grab your four double points, or "Magic Loop" it.  The owner of my LYS also insists that she knits these on one 9" circular, but the 1-1/2" size of the needle point freaked me out, as I had nothing substantial to hang onto - I've heard tell, you either love them or hate them.  Count me among the haters, but to each her own...
An incredibly well written, EASY-TO-FOLLOW pattern - the thumb hole is knitted right into the round, with no need for additional needles.  These two photos are from their pattern - adorable.
For those of you familiar with RAVELRY.COM (a veritable knit/crochet Mecca), you can access the pattern (and over 1400 members' gloves, and their notes from this pattern) through the link I just left (CLICK IT!).  You can also purchase the $5.00 pattern download through the Ravelry link, or go direct to CHURCHMOUSE for more of their fabulous creations that you can make your own (I'm heading back for the free houndstooth wrist warmer pattern - yes, I might just be a sadist).  "As I get older, I just prefer to knit” ...Tracey Ullman

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Just when I could have sworn that it was someone else...who KNEW?!
My friend Jackie and I, in an attempt to add a little "happy" to my week, headed out to our favorite antique mall today.  It worked, bringing a smile to my face, some great retro memories to my heart, some new, old treasures in my pocket, and a satisfied appetite, to boot.
These came home with me - a pair of Bakelite barrettes (they're 2" wide); a brass squirrel pin with a beautiful pot metal tail; and the most excellent purchase of the day - a vintage Joan Crawford "publicity" pinback button that I couldn't bear to leave behind because, damn it all - nobody puts ol' Joan in a corner - and, no one would believe me about her title if I couldn't prove it!
A new restaurant experience for both of us, came in the way of CASA DON JUAN MEXICAN RESTAURANT, on Main Street, in the old/NEW art section of downtown Las Vegas.  FABULOUS food - charming atmosphere - the waitress took our order, and (SERIOUSLY) the food was on the table in 5 minutes time!
Across the street, we were beckoned by a large PINK building with a sign promising more antiques, art, furnishings, and accessories.  Seriously not thinking anything would top the Joan Crawford revelation, we wandered over, after lunch.  It was like walking back into my youth...they even had an entire pink kitchen (refrigerator, double oven, cabinets, AND the kitchen sink - no, we did NOT have a pink kitchen...the rest of the stuff was from my youth...the gin was from my 21 and over years).
As I mentioned, this area of old downtown Las Vegas, is seeing quite a movement to clean it up and bring a sort of art culture to the area.  In addition to the galleries and unique shops cropping up, the area also plays host to FIRST FRIDAY, each month - a gathering of artisans, entertainers, food vendors - an all-around wonderful evening out, under the Vegas stars.  RETRO VEGAS is located at 1131 S. Main St. - right across the street from the best Mexican food downtown.
And, as if all that fabulousness wasn't enough today, this was awaiting me in the mail.  Another win from the Grow Your Blog Party - this, a beautiful handmade bracelet from Jenny at PEPPA'S DREAM - vintage rhinestones; a beautiful, large, old religious medal; and brass filigree, all set atop a silver-toned cuff bracelet...pretty retro fabulicious, in it's own right!  You can find more loveliness at Jenny's blog, including a link to her Etsy shop.  Thank you again, Jenny - you ROCK!
Yes, smiles were plentiful today - here's hoping you find your "happy" this weekend, too...