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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Plüm is open!

Apologies all around for not posting something yesterday. I actually had most of an entry ready but good ol' blogger lost it for me! I decided to wait a little bit and try it later....and then never got back to it!

Yesterday was such a fantastic day here in Southern California. It was in the 80's with blue skies and lots of sunshine....the kind of day that you just wanted to be outside. HB and I cleaned the patio furniture and did some yardwork (not much though!)....and then got out to do some errands.

Now on to the opening of Plüm....the wine and cheese preview was great. HB and I went down early, and my cousin and her husband stopped by so SWHP had plenty of hands on deck to help with last minute organizing. We all pitched in and had the place looking ready for guests. Several people stopped in while out for an evening walk, some neighbors popped in, and friends and family. We all enjoyed music from the 70's (which was about as retro as we could go!) and the general ambiance of the store.

On a very personal note let me just say how very proud I am of SWHP. She has always been an independent individual, and always hates to take help from others. There are times when everyone needs a bit of assistance. She has put this entire store together all on her own except for the platform we helped build. She has gone far and wide to find items for sale, loaded them and unloaded them mostly with the help of her 13 year old son. They are a super team! I wish her tons of success with her new store.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Mental Potpourri ....

I decided that was what I have for you today....a jumble of unrelated things! It has been a busy, busy couple of days.

Tonight SWHP is having a wine and cheese open house at her new store. HB and I will, of course, be there....we're going early to help set things up and get everything ready for the first visitors. She's excited and happy and I'm sure just a little bit scared, too. But this is not her first business. As a teen-ager she had a small jewelry kiosk in a local discount store, and from there she was off and running. I am always impressed with her ability to make money on her own. She's very resourceful.

I haven't had much time to put together an interesting post for today. I do have a photo from the store....this is a shot of the window at night. Sorry for the glare....SWHP set a few pieces on the new platform and took a photo to see how it all looked from the street. I'm sure I'll have a few more for tomorrow....



On another subject, I managed to send four squares to Drew for Heartmade Blessings. Here they are with their hang tags just before mailing. I enjoy making these 12" squares because I know they're going for a good cause. I grab my bag of odds and ends yarn and just make color changes as I either run out of one color, or when I decide I want to add something else. I think they look cheerful and happy, and I think that's the whole point....to cheer up someone who may not feel so good. I hope my little contribution does that....



And just in case you haven't seen enough unrelated items....here is a little drawing I did several years ago. HB had just bought me the big set of 72 Prismacolor markers, and I already had the pencils so I was experimenting. I usually like flowing lines (if I'm not doing my geometric doodles!) and I always like drawing what I call paisley shapes, or teardrop shapes with a little curve at the end. I can fill pages with that shape!! Love it....



Hope you all have a great day. Tomorrow I hope to have lots of photos and maybe a couple of interesting stories to tell you about the pre-opening party!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Recently I saw this meme on several other blogs. I will do a little backtracking here so you can check out some other people's answers. I first saw it on DebR's blog, and she got it from Deb Roby who got it from here....and before that it came from here, here, and here. In there somewhere (!) I got part of this from here.

As you can see, some of these go round and round from one blog to another. I think it's fun to see all the other answers. For me, reading has been something I've always done. I can't imagine a day without reading! When I was in first grade, I got a certificate from my teacher, Miss Nellie Dale Grissom (how's that for memory!!) for having read more books in first grade than any other student. And from there I was off and running....or should I say off and reading!

Now on with the meme. Here are the instructions:
Bold the ones you've read
Italicize the ones you might like to read
• Put question marks - ?? - by any titles and/or authors you've never heard of
• Put an asterisk - * - if you've read a different title by the same author.

Alcott, Louisa May - Little Women
*Allende, Isabel - The House of Spirits
Angelou, Maya - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Atwood, Margaret - Cat's Eye
*Austen, Jane - Emma
??Bambara, Toni Cade - Salt Eaters
??Barnes, Djuna - Nightwood
de Beauvoir, Simone - The Second Sex
Blume, Judy - Are You There God? It's Me Margaret
Burnett, Frances - The Secret Garden
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights (don't remember whether I actually read this or just saw the movie so many times it seems like I read it!)
Buck, Pearl S. - The Good Earth
??Byatt, A.S. - Possession
Cather, Willa - My Antonia
Chopin, Kate -The Awakening (saw the movie!)
*Christie, Agatha - Murder on the Orient Express
Cisneros, Sandra - The House on Mango Street
Clinton, Hillary Rodham - Living History
??Cooper, Anna Julia - A Voice From the South
Danticat, Edwidge - Breath, Eyes, Memory
Davis, Angela - Women, Culture, and Politics
??Desai, Anita - Clear Light of Day
Dickinson, Emily - Collected Poems (I have this on my bedside table right now and am reading it!)
??Duncan, Lois - I Know What You Did Last Summer
DuMaurier, Daphne - Rebecca
Eliot, George - Middlemarch (I think I read this in school)
??Emecheta, Buchi - Second Class Citizen
??Erdrich, Louise - Tracks
Esquivel, Laura - Like Water for Chocolate
Flagg, Fannie - Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Friedan, Betty - The Feminine Mystique
Frank, Anne - Diary of a Young Girl

??Gilman, Charlotte Perkins - The Yellow Wallpaper
??Gordimer, Nadine - July's People
Grafton, Sue - S is for Silence (I don't usually read mysteries anymore. I think I got burnt out on them after overdosing on John D. MacDonald one summer!)
Hamilton, Edith - Mythology (I own this book but have only read parts of it!)
Highsmith, Patricia - The Talented Mr. Ripley
??hooks, bell - Bone Black
Hurston, Zora Neale - Dust Tracks on the Road
??Jacobs, Harriet - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Jackson, Helen Hunt - Ramona
??Jackson, Shirley - The Haunting of Hill House
Jong, Erica - Fear of Flying
Keene, Carolyn - The Nancy Drew Mysteries (I NEVER read Nancy Drew! I was a Trixie Belden gal!)
Kidd, Sue Monk - The Secret Life of Bees
??Kincaid, Jamaica - Lucy
Kingsolver, Barbara - The Poisonwood Bible
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior (I own this book, too but have not read it)
??Larsen, Nella - Passing
L'Engle, Madeleine - A Wrinkle in Time
??Le Guin, Ursula K .- The Left Hand of Darkness
Lee, Harper-To Kill a Mockingbird
*Lessing, Doris - The Golden Notebook (I don't remember which one I read but didn't like it!)
??Lively, Penelope - Moon Tiger
??Lorde, Audre - The Cancer Journals
Martin, Ann M. - The Babysitters Club Series (any of them)
McCullers, Carson - The Member of the Wedding
McMillan, Terry - Disappearing Acts
??Markandaya, Kamala - Nectar in a Sieve
??Marshall, Paule - Brown Girl, Brownstones
Mitchell, Margaret - Gone with the Wind (several times!)
Montgomery, Lucy - Anne of Green Gables (I think I've read parts of this.)
??Morgan, Joan - When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost
Morrison, Toni - Song of Solomon
??Murasaki, Lady Shikibu - The Tale of Genji
Munro, Alice - Lives of Girls and Women
Murdoch, Iris - Severed Head (I read something by either Munro or Murdoch many years ago but can't remember which author it was! Obviously it made a huge impression on me!)
Naylor, Gloria - Mama Day
??Niffenegger, Audrey - The Time Traveller's Wife
*Oates, Joyce Carol - We Were the Mulvaneys
*O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
Piercy, Marge - Woman on the Edge of Time (and several others by her)
??Picoult, Jodi - My Sister's Keeper
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Porter, Katharine Anne - Ship of Fools
Proulx, E. Annie - The Shipping News
Rand, Ayn - The Fountainhead
Ray, Rachel - 365: No Repeats (how does a cookbook get in here?)
??Rhys, Jean - Wide Sargasso Sea
??Robinson, Marilynne - Housekeeping (I had not heard of this book but after researching it, it might be an interesting read.)
??Rocha, Sharon - For Lac
Sebold, Alice - The Lovely Bones
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Smith, Betty - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
??Smith, Zadie - White Teeth
Spark, Muriel - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (saw the movie)
Spyri, Johanna - Heidi
Strout, Elizabeth - Amy and Isabelle
Steel, Danielle - The House
Tan, Amy - The Joy Luck Club
??Tannen, Deborah - You're Wearing That
??Ulrich, Laurel - A Midwife's Tale
?Urquhart, Jane - Away
*Walker, Alice - The Temple of My Familiar
Welty, Eudora - One Writer's Beginnings
Wharton, Edith - Age of Innocence (saw the movie....do they count!)
Wilder, Laura Ingalls - Little House in the Big Woods
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Woolf, Virginia - A Room of One's Own

I hate to admit how many of these I haven't read, and how many of them I haven't heard of....but I do recognize many of the books and authors listed here (maybe because I sold books online for several years) or maybe it's just because I spend a lot of time browsing bookstores! I can spend hours just wandering up and down the aisles, looking at titles, picking a few, and cozying up in a corner to briefly look them over. I absolutely LOVE reading. When I find an author I like, I usually read everything they've written.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Update on tassels

My second post of the day! I decided to go with the tassel idea....here's how it turned out.



It was a bit difficult to photograph in the afternoon light. I like the finished piece and hope that whoever receives it will like it, too.

You may have noticed a new item on my sidebar. I only wish I looked that young and thin!! I couldn't find anything that really looked like me except maybe the hair. Usually mine is much shorter than in my actual photo....and I like it to stand straight up! And it is gray! Other than that the little avatar is not much like me except maybe for the fact she's wearing jeans, sneakers, a tee shirt and a scarf....all things I wear.

Pretty in Pink....or Yellow

The crochet hook has been in my hand a lot recently....that is, in my spare time. I like to crochet or knit while watching television. Then I don't feel like I'm wasting time! I don't watch too many shows....although SWHP and I are both obsessed with "Lost"....love it!!!! She thinks Locke is a hottie, and I like Sawyer and Jin and Sayid. Gotta love those "bad" boys!

I'm getting off-track! I posted a photo last week of the small yellow star-shaped blankie that I had just started. I've made some progress on it and am nearing the finish line. I'm just trying to decide how I want to border it. I can see tassels hanging from each point. Maybe make then in a combination of the yellow, pink and green. This is what it looks like right now....



The colors aren't what I would usually choose but I'm trying to use up yarn already in my stash including some of the yarn sent by my friend. And kids like bright colors so I thought it would work. The pattern is sooo easy. I got it here. I've added more rows than the pattern shows because I don't want it to be skimpy.

This is another one going to Project Linus....I finished it awhile back but just never posted it. It's just a light pink in what I would call a shell pattern. I just "winged" it on this one!



My next one that I have planned out in my mind will be done all in blues. Gotta take care of all those little boys, too. I haven't decided whether I want to make another star shaped one or just do the conventional rectangular or square shape.

I'm probably one of the weird crocheters....I prefer to use a smallish hook rather than a bigger one. I know I can get it finished faster with a big hook but I just don't like the "feel" of using them. And I'm also picky about my crochet hooks and prefer to use these rather than these.

On another subject - I'm still waiting for the apple trees to blossom. There are a few popping out but not many. The nectarine tree blossomed already and I got a few shots of it. I love the color of these blossoms....



That's it from Chez Bee-cause today. I'm off to make some tassels. HB just perked up! But I explained I wouldn't be using them to do any dancing so he's disappointed now! ;-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

D is for....

After all the excitement of the past few days, I thought I would take it easy today and do the alphabet thing. This one might be a toughie. Not many "d" words, names, or things come to mind. It's interesting how certain letters are more prominent in our lives than others....at least it seems so in mine. Let's see what I can come up with....

D - is for Decatur, IL....the place where I was born and lived until I was about 36 years old. It's the home of Millikin University, one of the most haunted colleges in the Midwest! Check it out here.
D - is for DebR, Debbi, and Dee....some nice gals who leave comments for me on this blog. And also Drew, The Crochet Dude.
D - is for donuts, danish, and Dairy Queen....all yummy things that I no longer indulge in! Darn!!
D - is for decorating. I love doing this, and apparently it's rubbed off on SWHP!
D - is for Dummies. I own several of the "Dummies" books and use them for things that I know nothing about.
D - is for David. My mom told me if I had been a boy, this would have been my name.
D - is for Dee (Sandra)....someone I wanted to be as a teenager! And also for Darin (Bobby) a person I had a crush on, and who ultimately married Sandra. Darn!!
D - is for Depp (Johnny). SWHP and I drool over him from time to time. What a cutie!
D - is for driving. Living in Southern California, you get to do a lot of this! I used to love to get in the car and just drive to relax....NOT anymore!
D - is for Donald (Sutherland)....I love his voice and his gorgeous white hair.
D - is for drips. Faucet drips, paint drips, noses that drip (sorry) and people who are "drips"....all things on my "not good" list.
D - is for dance. I'll need a couple of drinks if I'm going to get out on a dance floor! It doesn't happen very often....And look out if it does....lots of flailing about and people hiding their eyes. It's not a pretty sight!
D - is for defiant, deliberate, and determined. All words that might describe me at times! But only in a good way! ;-)
D - is for deductible. A word I dearly love at tax time.
D - is for discount. Another word I love! Especially "senior discount"....I don't mind admitting my age as long as I get to save money.
D - is for dollar. I'm on a roll here....all money related words. Guess I could include dough, too.
D - is for dark (and moody) which I can be at times.
D - is for dainty. Something I am definitely NOT.
D - is for dog. I've never owned a dog, and I'm usually not completely comfortable with big dogs. I guess it just depends.
D - is for diet. A real "four-letter" word in my book.
D - is for dimples. Cute on some people, not on others.
D - is for "duh"....something I say too often. Not the "d'oh" of Homer Simpson!




I guess I came up with more "d" words than I thought I would!

And here's a quick upsate for you. Remember when I mentioned my friend being in a beading contest....and I asked for everyone to vote for her.....well, she won second place!!!! Congrats, to her! Here's a photo of her entry.....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Power tools run amok at Plum!

As I explained in the previous post, I had to split this up into two separate entries because of all the photos!

We'll pick up where we left off yesterday....let's see....where were we? Oh, yes, I remember now. After being chased by Justin Timberlake's security guards HB and I arrived in Burbank with power tools in hand.

SWHP looked a little worried but we assured her we knew what we were doing! Silly girl....she believed us!

HB started with this....



And as promised he began building a platform for the front window display area.



We all got in on the work. Here is SWHP learning to use the drill.



And here's yours truly screwing around! Actually SWHP and I really did do a lot of the drilling and screwing together of some of the smaller pieces. I like using power tools! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! (That's supposed to sound like Tim Allen from Home Improvement!)



On the second day my cousin and her husband came by to help out. The guys finished the platform in no time at all. It's always more fun when there are lots of people to talk with and laugh and joke around a bit, and somehow the work goes so much faster. Here are some "work" photos.....



At the end of the second day, that pile of lumber had been turned into a very solid platform on which to display furniture in the window and we all had a good time.

Here is the last photo....HB (in his safety glasses!) with SWHP in her work clothes, and my cousin, Mary Anne and her husband, Bill....everyone is sitting on the platform so you can't see it! SWHP will either throw rugs over the platform or use some carpet remnants so the bare wood won't show. We offered to "finish" it for her but she declined.



It was a couple of fun days working with SWHP. A special thanks to my cousin and her husband for coming to lend a helping hand on the second day. After all the work was finished we ended up at my cousin's home for pizza and beer....at least, the guys had a beer. I think they deserved it.

Plum has a good, solid base to start from and I'm sure it will be a huge success for SWHP.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Blogger and the birth of Plum.....

I am really not happy with blogger today! I have worked all day trying to get my post set up with photos of the work at SWHP's new shop. Nothing seems to be working right so I think I'll have to resort to posting this in installments! I hate doing that but it seems my only option.

The problem is, once these entries are posted they will be in reverse order! I just love technology!! Especially when it works sooo good.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I guess I should begin. It was a beautiful day, and the drive from our house was fairly uneventful. This first photo is not very clear and I apologize for the distance involved....I'm told this huge house up on the hill is owned by Justin Timberlake. I can't verify that because every time I stop by for a quick chat, he isn't there. I think he must be avoiding me!



The photo was a bit difficult to take, what with trying to focus while the truck was zooming down the freeway with security guards chasing after us (not really!)

I had to include a photo of the freeway as we approached the LA area. There might be some readers who are homesick for Southern California and all the traffic....it was pretty light for a week day morning!



Finally we arrived at the store. SWHP has a fantastic location, right on a corner, with huge windows on two sides....which means lots of exposure and good display areas.



SWHP has curtains up to temporarily block the view until the opening. The building is soooo cool....I think it was built in the 40's, and the rounded area at the door is small mosaic tiles in shades of turquoise and aqua....it matches the tiles on the front of the building. Lots of traffic, both cars and people walking. When we were there working, so many people just popped their heads in to ask about the store. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

For anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area, the store is located in Burbank at 1725 W Verdugo Avenue. It will be called Plum (pronounced Plume because the "u" will have a mark above it that I don't know how to make here) and will be mostly retro-vintage furniture and interior decorating advice and help.

Here are a few of the pieces she brought over just so the place wasn't completely empty while we were there working. She is hoping to be open about May 1st with a wine and cheese "house warming" party sometime right after that. You're invited!



The blue chaise is my favorite piece, so far. It's done in a velvety fabric and is so comfortable. I kept asking HB to feed me grapes while I reclined on it but he just wasn't going for that! Darn!!

That's all for this installment. The work portion will be next. Stay tuned to see me and HB fooling around with power tools!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Red-letter day!

WOW!! I feel so special....and I'm not kidding. A couple of days ago Crazy Aunt Purl left me a comment! (Thank you, Laurie!!) First, of all, I can't believe she actually has any time to read other blogs what with all the comments she has to read and answer on her own. And second, I can't believe she even knows this blog exists! But sure enough....there was a comment from HER right here on my little blog!

Now please don't misunderstand me....I thoroughly appreciate anyone and everyone who makes the stop here at my blog and takes the time to leave a comment. There's nothing better than checking back and finding a comment from someone. I love it! I admit it! And until I had my own blog I really didn't understand how important it is to leave a comment. I read lots of blogs (probably too many!) and I never left comments very often. I just thought "oh, they don't know me and they won't care what I have to say"....THEN I decided to start a blog, and all at once it was clear to me that comments are special, and very important.

It's a validation that someone actually took the time to read what I said that day. I'm still amazed that anyone would actually do that but I'm also thrilled when it happens.

I love to get comments from everyone! Friends, family, people I know, people I don't know....just about anyone! And when a blogger as well-known as Crazy Aunt Purl visits AND leaves a comment, then I feel very happy. She is a celebrity in the world of blogs!

Now on to other things....HB and I spent most of Thursday at the new store, helping SWHP get ready for her opening. We're going back today to finish up some projects so I have very limited blog time but I took lots of photos yesterday so when I actually have five minutes to post them, I will inundate you with scenes of HB and SWHP working!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I've got Spring Fever!

I was very bad yesterday and did not post any entry here. No excuse! Just plain ol' spring fever, I guess. Just couldn't get myself motivated to do much of anything!

I twisted my right wrist a couple of days ago and it made doing most things a bit of a challenge. Even typing was not fun. But all is good today. It's pretty much back to normal.

Looking out my back patio doors I can see tulips blooming around the little apple tree. The jonquils or whatever they are (I just know they're yellow) haven't bloomed yet. Here's a photo of the little tulips....



As you can see in the photo, even with all the rain we've had recently and we have automatic sprinklers, the earth is so compacted and hard that I'm amazed anything can push through it.

Now on to something else....last year, while visiting the message boards of a crafty website, I began a correspondence with a woman who lives in Montana. We have never met in person but through our emails we have discovered that we have so many things in common. In fact it's almost "spooky" at times!

I always look forward to her emails. I had not heard from her in about a month. Yesterday she sent me an email with a photo of an afghan she just completed. I think it's beautiful.....I love the color and the design.



Here is a photo of something I just started a few days ago before I hurt my wrist....



Very similar pattern except mine is all one color (mostly) and mine doesn't have as many "points"....but I just thought it was interesting that we were both working on the same kind of project at the same time. I think mine will become a baby afghan for Project Linus.

The multi-color one is done in sport weight yarn....I ran out of that yarn and will need to buy more to finish it....maybe doing bands of solid colors interspersed with more of the multi-color.

The yellow one is worsted weight. It's from that ton of yarn my other friend sent to me last month. I've made some progress since I took the photo. I've added bands of green and pink and more of the yellow. It, too, will probably go to Project Linus.

So that's about all the exciting news from Chez Bee-cause. Tomorrow HB and I are going to help SWHP set things up in her store. I'm sure I'll have photos and lots to tell.

Monday, April 17, 2006

C is for....

C – is for Cripple Creek, CO. HB and I owned 10 acres there, with a view of Pikes Peak. We were married in this meadow on that land....



C – is for Claud, my maternal grandfather's name. He was a railroad man.



C – is for Clarence, my dad's name....and also c is for cowboy, which he was!



C – is for candy, cake, cookies can you tell I have a sweet tooth!

C - is for calla lily. This flower is so beautiful and graceful.

C – is for cat. My favorite pets LuLu and Harley. You've seen their photos.

C – is for coffee. A must have in the morning.

C – is for cola, too and I prefer Pepsi but drink it only occasionally.

C – is for caterpillar the small fuzzy little insect and not the big ground movers. As a kid, I liked watching them. Also liked the way they tickled my hand.

C – is for Czechoslovakia. As a child this country fascinated me. Maybe it was the name but I think it was the colorful costumes native to that area.

C – is for candles. I like to have them everywhere.

C is for cottage. The vine covered, thatched roof kind as in storybooks.

C – is for crochet. Love to do this in the evenings, and mostly I make things for charity.

C – is for crafts of all kinds. I never met a craft I didn't like! I'll try them all.

C – is for COLOR And crayons. I still like to buy a huge box and keep them on hand.

C – is for computer. I'd be lost without mine! It's one of my favorite tools.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Not really x-rated

HB has a way with words! He makes up his own words to fit the occasion or the circumstances. I love that about him He has a great sense of humor.

One of my favorites is beautimous. He uses that one all the time. I tell you this because a few nights ago we were trying to decide what to have for dinner. Since I hate to cook, this is an almost nightly discussion, usually about 10 -15 minutes before we hit "starvation" mode.

We were running down our options of something fast and easy to put together and HB said "how about turtle weinies?" Well, that one caught me off guard! Turtle weinies? What the heck are turtle weinies? Do turtles even have weinies?! I guess the male ones must or there wouldn't be any new baby turtles! Oops...sorry I'm getting into x-rated blogging here.

As I was picking myself up off the floor, I saw that he was holding in his hand a package of tortellini! Apparently known in our household as turtle weinies.

As I said before, HB does have a way with words! And we did have the turtle weinies for dinner and they very tasty! I think they might be a little difficult to get onto those long forks for your next weinie roast but other than that, very satisfying.



Caution: turtle weinies in this photo may appear larger than in real life.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A young poet and an older doodler

Recently I posted haiku written by my youngest granddaughter. At the time her older sister hadn't given me permission to post her poem....but she finally answered me and gave me the "ok"....so here is a poem by my 17 year old granddaughter....

The Only Truth

Listen to her
With your heart
Her life winding forever, a string binding her to life
And if life were taken
Would she believe them
Their eyes hooded in shadows of black fear
And love
Yes, love
Now, holding a world in your perfect hands
You will dream of a future
Where there is beauty to touch
True captivating beauty, spun
Like silent golden stars
And beaded into her veins
Her blood can hold the curse
And her eyes can hold the pain
But who will she know in the end
When all minds are empty as her eyes
And the only truth is blank.

Both of my granddaughters have grown up with freedom to explore and learn at their own pace. Their very young lives were spent entirely with their parents....they were always together. Their mom carried them on her back papoose-style when they were babies, and so they were part of every thing that went on in their parent's lives.

HB and I went for a visit once when my oldest granddaughter was about 3 or 4 years old. My son and his family lived in a remote part of Montana at the time. My granddaughter would draw on anything, and as she drew she would spin a story about what was going on in her pictures. One of my favorites was about a little girl picking berries in the woods and then taking them back to her mom so they could make a pie.

Her stories and drawings were always very detailed, with lots of people. My son told me he thought she drew that way because there were very few people in her life. She created people to compensate for the lack of the real thing!

She has now grown into a lovely young woman with an interest in dance and drama. I hope she is able to pursue her dreams and have a creative life.

And just so this isn't a "naked" post here is a doodle I did a few days ago. I'm not sure what this is and I don't even want to think of what Freud might say about it.



I seem to either doodle weird geometric shapes or curvy, flowing lines. I have, at times, filled whole pages with tiny little geometric shapes. Obviously, I had waaay too much time on my hands!!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Getting inspired

A few days ago I purchased this book. Yes, I know....another book! I am truly addicted to books. SWHP has suggested one of those electronic leg cuffs, like Martha had to wear!....and each time I get near a bookstore it will zap me. Personally, I doubt that it would work! I would just endure the pain if I knew a book was waiting for me at the end.

Back to the book I mentioned....I love the way it's done with the author's own printing and writing. I'm always drawn to books done this way. I also liked the title and felt an immediate connection.

I've read the first couple of chapters and done a few of the suggested drawing lessons....and so far, I like it. I used to draw a lot more than I do now. Maybe this will help get me back into it again.

I have stacks and stacks of "doodles" and little drawings but have never felt that I've found my own style. I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'm ever going to be a "real" artist but I would like to be able to create things I like and enjoy doing.

Mostly I love bright colors. I'm drawn to artists who do bright, cheerful paintings much like this artist. Her work always puts a smile on my face. The people in her artwork look like people I'd like to know. I especially like this one....



These ladies remind me of my relatives on my dad's side of the family. They were cattle ranchers in Kansas. One of my great aunts was an unmarried woman (an old maid in those days!) who owned her own ranch, and was written up in one of the cattlemen's journals because she was such a successful rancher. I never got to know her because she died when I was quite young but I heard about her from other family members. She had to have been a strong-willed woman to be that independent in those days....and to be involved in a business dominated by men.

Please vote

I think I mentioned earlier that I only recently learned to knit. HB gave me gift certificates for Christmas, good for lessons at Michael's.

It was one of the best gifts he has ever given me! Not only did I learn to knit, but I met a special woman. The instructor was so friendly and helpful. After my three lessons were finished, we have stayed in touch through emails and the occasional visit to Michael's.

She is also a beader and is entered in a contest at this website. I think her piece is beautiful....it's #21....and if you agree, please vote for her. I know she has taken a lot of time and effort to create this unique and interesting beaded entry. In order to verify the vote they will ask for an email address....but that's it. Thanks for your help in promoting more of these lovely beaded pieces.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Photos and Freeform

While doing my recent whirlwind cleaning (and I'm not finished, by the way!) I came across several of those old photo albums that have the sticky pages with a plastic overlay....you know the kind that were popular in the 70's.

Some were mine and some had been my mom's. And all of them had photos that were really stuck to the pages....as in, this isn't good....S-T-U-C-K!

I sat with an old frosting spatula, because it was the only thing I could find that was flexible and thin enough, and pried each photo off the sticky pages! Not a lot of fun but I felt that if I left them much longer I would never get them off.

Now until I can decide how to handle all those photos, they are stored with a piece of paper between each one. I'm not into scrap booking so I need a quick and easy way to organize them somehow. Any ideas?

Now for some updates....still no photos from the recent re-decorating but I'm still working on it. The good news is SWHP has found a rental space for her business. She is very excited....and I am too.

The tote bag I started a few weeks ago just wasn't turning out the way I wanted it to so I ripped out several inches of crochet. I've been experimenting with freeform crochet....making some scrumbles. Here is what they look like on the tote bag. They aren't attached so there are still loose ends but you can get an idea....



I like the look of freeform crochet and knitting, and while doing a "google" search the name Prudence Mapstone always comes up. Her site is very interesting and there is lots to see. I ordered this book a few days ago. I hope it helps me come up with some new ideas for doing freeform. If you have some time, check out this website. They have some amazing examples of handbags done in freeform. I could (and have!) spent hours looking at these!

And last, the gloomy, gray weather is still hanging around so no new photos. This is one I took recently of some bright red leaves against our weathered wood fence.



I'm sorry this is so late today. I had it all ready to upload and blogger lost it!! I had to re-create everything again tonight.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The second installment

Today I'm continuing with my alphabet. It's Monday and not much happening around Chez Bee-cause so it seems the opportune time to add "b" to my list.

B – is for bread. One of my favorite things, and I'm not talking about white, squishy Wonder bread! I like good whole-grain bread with lots of seeds and nuts.
B – is for bread....the other kind....as in "dough"....I like that kind, too!
B – is for bunnies. They have a special place in my heart.
B – is for book. I have way too many of these but always manage to find more.
B – is for banana. Add one to my oatmeal and I'm a happy gal.
B – is for basketball. Growing up in IL it was the predominate sport.
B – is for blog. I love having mine! And I'm thankful for all the interesting ones I read daily.
B – is for blackberries, the kind you eat, not the device.
B – is for beauty. Thank goodness it's in the eye of the beholder!
B – is for Binchy (Maeve)....I like her books for a nice, easy read.
B – is one of my initials....and part of my blog’s name.
B – is for the blues....I enjoy this music but not all the time.
B – is for broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Yum....I like these veggies.
B – is for Bejeweled. This is a game I play late at night.
B – is for blue jeans. aka my uniform! I wear them almost daily.
B – is for "Bond, James Bond" and for me that means Sean Connery!
B – is for Birkenstocks. Mine are Milano black leather.
B – is for birthday. Even after soooo many, they're still fun to celebrate!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm not a writer

Once again, I'm linking to something that DebR has on her blog. She is spreading the word about Blogging 4 Books, a writing contest. You have until midnight on Monday to enter.

It looks like a lot of fun. You're to write about "a fly on the wall".... it can be any way you want to interpret that. I read some of the entries that are already posted. They're quite good, and I enjoyed most of them. Check them out if you have some time.

Since I don't consider myself a "writer" I'm only telling you this to pass the word along. I wrote some poetry when I was younger but that's about it. SWHP did my astrological chart several years ago and told me that writing and communication is the strongest thing on there....it keeps popping up in all the houses and signs. I thought she must have read someone else's chart!

I don't consider myself a writer in any way, shape or form. When I started this blog, I asked myself "are you nuts?"....but I thought it would be like an online diary or journal. Then I really got into it and realized that it's more than that.

Each day I wake up with the same thought....what am I going to write about today.... something that won't bore everyone to death with the stupidness of it. By everyone, I mean the handful of people who visit here. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there are hundreds of people out there just waiting for the next installment of "life with Janet!" I don't have the following of someone like Crazy Aunt Purl and doubt that I ever will! I don't live a glamorous, life-in-the-fast-lane, party every night lifestyle even though I do share the same birthday (not year) with Nicole Ritchie! (See yesterday's entry.)

I do love to talk though! I wake up talking....much to the dismay of poor HB! Most of the time I end up talking to myself! I wonder if that qualifies as being a fly on the wall?

The spring cleaning continues today. Also the throwing out of useless accumulations of stuff. My theory is, get rid of the old stuff so you can have room for new stuff!!

A little update....the rain has left us and here is the result....a healthy, green lawn. All except for that leaf and some dandelions!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It's a date....

DebR had this on her blog today and gave permission for anyone to use it. The idea is to go to wikipedia and enter the month and day of your birthday....not the year. It will give you things that occured on that date throughout history. (Mine is September 21.) Then list 3 events, 3 births, and 3 deaths...I did 4....there were too many to choose just 3. Try it....it's fun.

Here are a few of mine:

EVENTS
1897 - The "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter is published in the New York Sun.
1937 - J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is published.
1981 - Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female supreme court justice, is confirmed by the senate in a 99-0 vote.
1993 - Grunge rock band Nirvana releases its album In Utero.

BIRTHS
1866 - H. G. Wells, English writer (d. 1946)
1947 - Stephen King, American author
1967 - Tyler Stewart, Canadian drummer (Barenaked Ladies)
1981 - Nicole Richie, American actress

DEATHS
1776 - Nathan Hale hung by the British as a spy.
1860 - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (b. 1788)
1904 - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce leader (b. 1840)
1998 - Florence Griffith Joyner, American athlete (b. 1959)

That's about all I have today. No color thingie except for the title color. At least I did that. I'm finally beginning my spring house cleaning. A little late but at least I'm doing it! Yea....what fun!! I have lots of things set aside to take to the thrift, and the trash containers are filling up fast. I'm determined to get rid of a bunch of "stuff" that just clogs up my life. So no time for photos or anything else today.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Orange You Glad....

Sorry! I couldn't resit that one.

As I thought, orange was very difficult to find in our house. Now had this little color thingie been done back in the late 60's or early 70's I would have been able to find tons of things. At one point, I even had orange drapes at my sliding doors. That was "back in the day" when the kids and I lived in a townhouse in IL.

I searched everywhere to find these few meager offerings....



Most of these items are from my work room....beads, another fleece scarf waiting for embellishment, a yin/yang doodle I just did....it's mostly reds and pinks but there are some oranges if you look way down in the corner....my craft scissors and rotary cutter, a little candle I got for Halloween and forgot to use, and the orange crochet is the beginning of a round summer purse. The cotton yarn is from a recycled sweater. I de-constructed it and got a lot of usable yarn for about a dollar! Couldn't pass that up since the sweater looked brand new.

In my own defense I must explain the fake orange-y leaves in the corner. They are part of LuLu's "jungle" play box (I stole them for the photo op.) HB is completely obsessed with providing LuLu with toys and play areas, and has put together a vine covered box for her to play in, and it provides a good hiding place, too. She seems to enjoy it, and loves to play there. This is what it looks like (not very attractive!)



Then I went into that room that I hate, aka the kitchen! I try to avoid that room as much as possible. Everytime I venture in, something terrible happens. Food turns black and crispy and the smoke alarm goes off, and then the warning light begins blinking and an eerie voice booms out "step away from the stove"...all in all, I'm not a good cook. I'm personally waiting for my own "replicator" to be installed. If you don't watch Star Trek then you won't know what I'm talking about. I just want to walk up to a little door in the wall and have my food magically appear behind it. That will be my kind of kitchen!




That's another tin I like....it holds spaghetti to make HB's favorite meal....and those are a couple of HB's oranges...I seldom eat them, a bottle of wine that SWHP gave us, and a little paperweight that I've had for about 30 years. My son gave it to me when he was a kid....I think it was for Mother's Day.

So that wraps up our tour of the color orange. I'm looking forward to Saturday because it will be the color purple....hummm....sounds vaguely familiar....that would make a good title for something....let's see, maybe a book or something like that. Wow, I can't believe how I come up with these things!! Anyway, since purple is my favorite color, that one should be easy. See you then...........

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Today's color under the wire

Today's colors were white, brown and black. Tough colors for me. I don't have much to show you in those colors but my best friend just emailed me to ask where the colors were today so I thought I'd at least check my photos!

All I found was this photo of new family room furniture. We bought it a few months ago and this is just after the delivery. I guess it qualifies. It's actually a carmel-ly brown color.




The only other thing I can think of is the shoes I wear all the time. They are my all-time favorites. I bought them in San Francisco a few years ago. They are my first choice for footwear each day when I get dressed. This is what they look like....



I can truthfully say that these shoes are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I have always been a "shoe" gal....love my shoes and boots. But once I wore these for a few days, I knew I was a goner. No more of these for me.....



I've given up "glamour" for "comfort"....WOW! I think that means I'm over the hill!!

I know this isn't very exciting but that's all I could come up with. Tomorrow will be tough too. Orange! I'll try to do better.

And so it begins

Ever since I saw the personal dictionary idea on DebR's blog, I wanted to do one. Her friend Laume has set up some guidelines and is calling it Wordplay. So here's goes....

A – is for apple, isn't that how it always begins? I'll have mine with a bit of peanut butter, please.
A – is for apathy, a word and a feeling I dislike.
A – is for almonds. They grow in my front yard.
A – is for "all righty then"....I love saying this!
A – is for asymmetrical....the way I like things to be arranged.
A – is for art....love it in most every form.
A – is for arithmetic (old version of math!) I was never good at it in school, thanks to Mr. Brown!
A – is for alphabet blocks. I like the cute baby versions, and the ones made of felt.
A – is for "The Artist’s Way"....a book I enjoy.
A – is for Alabama, where one of my best friends was born.
A – is for Alaska, where my son lives.
A – is for Amazon.com They have a lot of my money!!
A – is for Alibris.com and abe.com....they have the rest!
A - is for altered, as in clothing, art, books, etc. Love it.
A - is for architecture. I love looking at architectural photos and drawings.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Green Day

No not that one! The daily color thingie I'm doing! And, yes, thingie is a word. It's in my own personal dictionary!

I found a few items around the house that qualify as green, and once again it's raining so getting good photos is a challenge. Who was that who said it never rains in Southern California?? In our backyard the grass is so thick and lush it would really qualify for today's color but sadly I can't get out there to take a photo.

So here is my feeble attempt at green on a rainy day. First, (and always) are some books off my shelf.



You would think I'm a gardener by the list of titles....sadly, it's like my bookcase full of cookbooks....I like to read them but don't actually do anything from them!

Here is a little fleece and felt scarf I recently made to put in my "gifts ready for Christmas or any other time" box. The box is in my closet and I try to add little things to it throughout the year.



In case you can't tell, that's supposed to be a mouse! His eyes are some adorable vintage flower-shaped buttons and I just used the petals as guides to sew them on.

Here are three tins that I like. The tall one is so pretty. The colors are all soft and muted (hard to photograph)....the dark green one is very plain and I hope to embellish it sometime soon. The small round one is in the style of this artist, and I keep it in the bathroom with other little "pretties".....



And then just so you don't forget that I do make things once in awhile(!!) here are some photos of finished projects.



Hope you enjoy your own "green day"....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Color, Color Everywhere

This is my second post of today. Guess with the rainy weather I have more time on my hands!

Last week this blog caught my eye, especially an entry on March 30th regarding color. The idea is to photograph items each day with a different color theme.

Monday was yellow and believe it or not, I have almost nothing in my house that is yellow except the guest room walls....too cloudy to photograph them so I had nothing!

Tuesday (today) is blues and turquoise and I was able to find a few things in my work room that qualify. So here is my little bunch of blues....

First, some of my markers, pencils, and pens.



Next, a few books from my crafty selection.



And last, a grouping of the items along with a blue cat I crocheted quite some time ago.



There's also some felt pieces and beads and other little items. I like blues, and I especially like turquoise so this was fairly easy. My only problem was the cloudy day which I mentioned in my earlier post. I had to do some fancy shifting of firniture and such to get these right in a window area and then when the rain stopped for a few minutes and it brightened just a little I was able to snap away.

I could also show my age and comment on Blue Suede Shoes, Blue Monday, and Blue Bayou. Or I could send you to this link for other music. Or I could send you here for cool greeting cards. Or here for fun in Las Vegas. Or, finally, if you're planning to be in Australia check here for travel planning.

Now I've really got the blues 'cause I have to stay here in the rain!!!

Swingin' Spring

With spring finally here, I decided to show you a couple of photos of what's happening in my backyard.

We have a swing set (wood structure) in our yard....it was here when we bought the house so we left it. There are a few times when it has been used by visiting grand kids and other kids in the family. And I must admit to using it myself! I love to swing!! Get your mind out of the gutter....I mean I love to swing on a swing!

I took this photo a few days ago because I liked the way the shadows fell, and I love the brilliant green of the moss that grows under the swing area.



These little plants are just beginning to poke their heads out of the ground around one of our apple trees. I think these are jonquils, but don't hold me to that as I'm not a plant expert!



Today there will be no new photos as we are in the midst of a big storm front moving through....rain, rain, and more rain. Guess it's good for the flowers and trees. But in So California it also means lots of traffic accidents and freeway snarls. I'm thankful I don't have to get out today.

I'm planning an update on my latest crochet tote bag but must wait for a better day to photograph it. (Phew....got out of that one!) Stay tuned for more. And I'm still working on getting the photo ok for the re-do by SWHP. I promise it's coming.