Sunday, September 27, 2015

October Class

I love paper.
My father was in advertising 
and he received boxes full of
sample papers at work
which he brought home for me 
when they became outdated.
I adored the stacked sample cards 
of colors and textures
and happily created projects
for hours with just scissors and glue.

I still can cut and paste happily for hours,
so October's class is all about paper
with a few pretty beads thrown in.
Join me?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Still Here - Still Playing

Brown Paper Packages Class was last weekend
We went from these kits,

to this, in the blink of an eye.

I provide all the supplies needed,
but encourage students to bring special 
items to make their projects
more personal.

I didn't snap a pic of the two big racks of 
ephemera, papers, tapes, ribbons, tags,
tinsels, stamps, inks, etc they also use.

We were all in the living room,
since the late season heat wave
 prevented us using the new garage 
studio space.
Next class hopefully.

I had some samples left over so 
I painted and silver leafed
a branch from my 21 year old tree that
I just had removed, and then hung it above
my sink and draped
more tags and mementos from it.

I will add some teensy battery lights,
 as soon as I remember the
perfect spot where I put them, dang it.

I'm playing in the studio all week
making pumpkins
like these yummy chenilles.

also working on projects for two
 upcoming Gatherings,
and Christmas items for boutique.

I rearranged the studio about a week ago and
I am loving the new lighter, brighter area. 
I removed the curtain that kept the studio hidden.

Floor space remains the same,
 but visually much more open.

I also cleaned and purged 
every single cupboard and drawer!
I now have many empty ones which also 
makes me happy.

All the kids will be here  
quite soon, fitting in a visit,
 in between extremely
busy schedules.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Need Fall

If you arrange it, it will come?

I may only hold on a few days longer


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On A Personal Note

DD, Hannah and BB, her beau Blake

At Del Mar for his birthday and their 4th Anniversary.

Two of my three favorite people.

Now that Dearest Son and Darling Daughter 
live five minutes apart,
they see each other often.
They like each other as friends,
as well as love each other as siblings.
Mama could not be happier.
They are even going on vacation
together this year.

The three kids are campaigning to 
get me to LA permanently and I have spent hours
researching any possibilities,
but location and financials are mind boggling.

Houses are unaffordable since I refuse to 
take on a mortgage, after not having one
for over a decade, and condos come
 with large HOA fees.
Both come with triple the property taxes 
I pay here.

The worst though is where?
What small town within 60 minutes
of Culver City would suit me?
Definitely not more than 90 minutes away.

My eyes cross after hours on Zillow

Any CA girls out there I'll GLADLY take any advice, 
area recommendations, realtor names etc.

I'm just thrilled that they want me near.
Till then the 4 hour drive seems to
be getting easier for all of us.
We're averaging about every other month.
and if they ever would build the super train...

of course in 80 years they will live much closer as the
rising ocean will have pushed em back 1 hour my way...
BUT I'm sure I will be long gone by then.

I told them last week maybe they should hold 
onto this property as it is in the very south of town and 
will be beach front real estate some day in their retirement! 
forever stuck in lala


And yes Amy, since you asked, I would love to have
 folks travel in for a Gathering class.
3 blocks away is a lovely large casino hotel 
with spa, movie theaters,
and adjacent a wonderful mall called the District. 
Mall has Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma,
Anthropologie, West Elm, great dining and more.

by car
I am 2 hours from St George and 
4 hours to Culver City in LA.
if that helps...

There are still a few spots in Sept class,
and it will be cooler then.
Bring your hubby, leave him at the casino
and come play with some great gals for the day.

Friday, August 7, 2015

On A Stage With No Vaginas

"On a stage with no vaginas there 
were a lot of opinions about vaginas."

and if you still don't get it,
none of the federal funds to 
Planned Parenthood can ever
be used for abortions.
again and louder....
The fed funds @ PP do not fund abortions

So by all means dickheads,
(sorry my friends) but I am riled,
go and take more aid away from 
those who least can afford it.

If the heavens could open and make it so that no
woman you care about could ever receive
medical care, cancer screening, pre-natal care,
birth control, disease prevention,
or for that matter any funds for woman's disease
 research since you good ole boys only care about Viagra;
maybe we could drill it into your thick skulls.
While we're at it let's remove your premium
 health insurance and make you go to the
 emergency room and wait hours for any
kind of care for your babies....

I am disgusted and repulsed by men
 proposing to be our leaders,
telling out and out lies and fear mongering.

And now we no longer have Jon Stewart to call em out.

Oliver, Maddow, Colbert, Wilmore
save us from ourselves.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hot August Days and Nights

Oh, those hot August days...
so much going on..

Had workmen here all day Sunday
 as they ripped out
and sawed down 21 year old
trees to make life easier.
My enormous African Sumac 
in the far corner had to come down,
as well as decrepit, way past their prime,
 bottle brush trees that lined the walkway.

Javier cut stump for me with foot rest

The Sumac was always too big for the area, 
invaded into neighbor yards and created 
so much debris that at least three times a year I 
had to pay for help in clean up.
I was dangling from tall ladders
cleaning out gutters,
making friends and kids frantic with worry.
(Ok I only fell once ...geez)

totally new updated sprinklers,
new plantings...
new dog run area..
pre-plans for vegetable gardens

The yard looks foreign to me 
right now. Far less shade,
less cozy.
I'm working on it.
But as we age we have to come
 to terms with our capabilities.

I was astounded when my folks moved 
down to a wee space when we had always had
sprawling homes with lots of land.
I get it now.

made a fountain

Finished all the prep for the next Gathering class.
Kits ready and waiting, very early this time, because 
I am sooo excited for this one.

Marking items down at boutique
to make room for new holidays to come.
job interviews.. new directions
Proofing latest script for DD
Kids are thriving with
exciting projects, possibilities.
A surprise visit from my "surrogate son"
Ivan, made for wonderful long chats as the sun 
went down last week.

Making smoothies
has been the extent of my cooking 
this summer.

Cannot wait for cool weather
soups stews casseroles.

I am such a cold weather gal,
stuck in 
the wrong place for a long time....


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Can You See Me?

Can you see me Sweetie?
I'm here....

My poor sweet Justice is 14 and 
deaf and blind.
But she keeps on truckin'.
Wish I were as brave.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

This is another "get 'er done" post
This chair in my studio gets a lot of use.
Both sides looked like the left one 
before I thought to snap a pic.
Around 11 pm last night I decided I had put off fixing
these arms long enough, as in YEARS. I knew it was a quick fix
and I was tooling right along, covering the damaged
"PLEATHER", and glued it all back together....
 until I hit the last of four bolts
holding the arms on..
Over 30 minute later and many, many, many, 
curse words later, I went to bed.
Tried again today and poof, went right together.

I was feeling pretty smug and pleased
 until I tried to download pics into new "photos"
on my new Mac.
Dropbox kicked up a mighty storm for some 
freaking unknown reason and 2 hours later
on the phone with Apple Care my brain exploded.
Can we all agree we 50+ somethings 
have a steeper learning curve with techno crap?

Just sent out my first class announcement
for September.
 It's been 2 years since my last class, so
we'll see how it goes.
I keep forcing myself to face
new challenges, and deal with dignity
when life disappoints.
It's all a journey and I am NOT 
in first class seating, ha!


Monday, July 27, 2015


Spending hours in the studio:
Preparing for classes,
listening to playlists as my mood changes,
pondering life's condition
and hibernating.

oh yeah
it's hot

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It Started With An Unsold Cabinet -WBC 2015

When my friend Ronda and I closed our little space in 
Boulder City, I had a leftover cabinet that did not sell.
I parked it in the garage and there it sat for a few months.

I had a painting project that I worked on out there
and in the process I used the cabinet to hold supplies.
The lightbulb flickered and

A garage studio was born!

 A few years back I held a class out here,
 and draped some of the walls
 and ceiling with tulle and canvas to hide all
the storage and unpainted walls.
Gosh girls do you remember 
how much fun that day was?


Normally I held classes running 
down the center of my living room,
and that worked too.


I have not taught classes for several years now 
since I had the canvas, the space and the time,
I figured go for it.

Determined to set it up
with no expense,
I began a couple weeks ago.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Choosing to listen- choosing to act

Are you turning a deaf ear?
Refusing to listen? 
Refusing to act?

If you are brave enough,
look at your heart and
ask yourself why?

The glorification of busy
is a damn lousy excuse.

If nothing else, make a phone call,
write a letter, send an email.


Will you finally care when
 it touches someone you love?

and everyone else is shaking their head saying
"something should be done"

there ya go all nice and easy for you NV folks

other states
just google your state______ then senators/congress
                        ______then legislators

their emails phone numbers etc- all there

rant complete
for now......

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Don't Follow Alice

On days such as this one
it seems to me 
that the world is no different
than the one Lewis Carroll
had Alice fall through
down the rabbit hole.

Emmanuel A.M.E. Church

It will not stop until
silent people stop being silent.
Until people in this country
care more about life and decency than
they do about their favorite 
sports team, tv show,  
and fake celebrities.

This does not happen in other
industrialized nations.
What the hell does that say about us?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Thought you might enjoy the before 
shot of yesterday's dresser.
I obtained it for free from pal Annie.
It had been behind "the little shed that could",
 exposed to the elements
for a loooong time.

Now she is all pretty,
with classy new knobs.

Elbow grease and complete lack of funds
go a long way for me.
What are you working on?


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Into the woods, er, garage

Remember when I said I was 
heading out to the garage next 
for my purge/organizing quest?

Well, I've been out there for many many days.
Purged through every box and bin
 and scrubbed and cleaned. Whew!
Emptied out six bins and 14 boxes.

Then I took one side and turned it into another
studio space for painting and classes.
This involved painting and hinging together
4 shutters, 3 coats of paint each side,
a dresser that had to be stripped A LOT
and then painted...
but the sides were too damaged,
so after all that work I added burlap to it instead.
I still have garage ceiling to paint
 and lighting and, and, and....

Stay tuned.
I'll show you my VERY organized 
garage and studio very soon.

Four carloads of stuff over to the warehouse
and Ronda and I have so much more stuff
(how is that possible?)
to sell this Saturday the 6th, 
as she is purging big time in
anticipation of a move.

Local gals, let me know if you want to 
preview and purchase early. 
You will soon get email
with details if you are on my email list.

It's going to 105 today. oy vey!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Men

Mad Man
My Father

If you're a fan of the show, you have heard
Ketchum and BBDO mentioned
several times.

Dad worked at both agencies in Pittsburgh
during the 50's and 60's.
He moved to Kennametal in Latrobe, PA
and worked there 2 decades until his retirement.
Advertising man through and through,
who forever influenced my appreciation of
a clever "turn of phrase".
He would be astounded by how 
social media controls advertising these days.

Anyone else been binge watching?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Heart To Heart to HomeTalk

 I left home at 21 so I have 
over 40 years of accumulating
stuff,organizing it, and storing it.

I have also purged hundreds of items, 
no, more like thousands of pieces of my own STUFF
and I cannot begin to guess at the thousands of 
client's belongings I have sifted, 
sorted, trashed, bagged, donated and 
wrangled into submission.

and yet....
I continue to purge frequently.
I'll tell you a secret..
the stuff breeds
No other explanation....

As I reviewed the pics I recently shared,
I noticed many items that I never or rarely use.
Granted, they are all neat and tidy and I have 
created efficient ways to store them, but 
why would I keep them?

While I've pondered this a lot lately, my good friend 
Sue has said "but you have the space
 to store them and your house is all clean and tidy
so what does it hurt?"
Granted.. I do not have overstuffed drawers, 
unidentified boxes or bins, crowded
closets that you have to push the door closed
with your hip but still...
Why should I keep a food mill that I might use 
every two years, or 4 -9"cake pans 
for the rare occasion I bake 
2 double layer cakes at the same time? (never) 
and I baked only one cake in all of last year!
So I am going to switch gears on you
from the organizing posts I had planned.

To start with 
I am going to re-show you that cupboard
on the porch. All nice and tidy..

I am going to give myself 
a heart to heart to home talk
 and show you what happens.

I will honestly tell you and show
you how I work through this.

How I plan to rid myself of
Just In Case Items that are 
so unnecessary.
JICI items are now my enemy.

Over the years I have read of several plans 
to de-clutter
1st day- throw out one item
2nd day - throw out 2  
etc for 30 days
(I know folks who would count post it notes and pencils)
pick a number of items of clothing say
100 and edit down till you reach that goal.

Now both of these and others are said to work
and I do believe they help you concentrate
 on your needs versus your wants,
but none of us live in the same spaces,
with the same amount of family members,
in the same climates,
with same job wardrobes etc...

A person living in 5,000 sq feet making $300,000
a year who entertains clients and friends every weekend
has different needs than my daughter,
living in 400 sq feet who meets friends out for dinner,
freelances and crosses her fingers for income.

So a heart to heart to home
for each of us is crucial.

I am an excellent purger,
organizer, and tidiness freak,
always have been,
and yet I have JICI's by the bagful..
now known to me as "jickies".

If a constant purger and organizer
 can down size, what can you accomplish?

I have no idea if I can do this
as well as I hope to,
but follow along and watch me 
succeed or flop...
I promise to be 100% honest,
and I may hit some bumps,
so feel free to call me on it.
My stomach just clenched,
when I looked up and noticed my paperbacks.
I love the look of my mini library....
Oh no!
What have I done?
Thank heavens I'm not starting in this room!
Ten minutes later
I had this....

with this...
headed out the door

On the top shelf were some float glasses
and vintage juice glasses from
my Grandmother.
I decided to get rid of my plain juice glasses 
from the kitchen and swap out for the yellow ones.
I'll enjoy using these much more.

I tested the amount of liquid 
held by another set of glasses I
frequently use (on the left) and discovered it held
 more than the specialty 
float glasses so out they go.
I also purged..

 *1 glass covered cake plate - kept one

 *some tupperware I never use
because other storage containers
 work just as well.

* the aforementioned food mill

*plastic popcorn holders cute but not necessary

*a fourth springform pan
(I kept mixed set of three sizes)
I had kept this fourth one cause it had the neat
raised insert which I never used!

*a small rice cooker 
lost my mind at 3 am on QVC one night....

I will give to whichever kid wants it.

* small barbecue tools I got for son
who has since moved and sold his barbecue

Since I took the pic I also purged the brown snack set
on the second shelf.
I am struggling with the vintage bowl stack..
occasionally used BUT>>they are JICIS

Then I hit the candle cupboard and purged into a box all 2/3rds
used up candles and scents I did not like.
A friend said she wanted them.
This freed up two drawers.
One I filled with extra outdoor candle holders
that were in a box in the garage;
and I still have one empty drawer, 
and more space on garage shelf.

None too shabby for ten minutes, eh?
Getting the idea?
Getting the groove?
I am psyched!