Monday, September 29, 2008

Willow's Soire

I'm just back from a sneak peek over at Willow Manor. The house is a-buzz with all of the preparations for the grand ball October 1st. All the girls are chattering about this dreamy hunk and that suave fellow, of this Vera Wang gown and that pair of diamond studded slippers.

I thought you might need some help picking out the perfect pair of slippers to wear to dance the night away.

How about this pair of Christian Louboutin silver beaded satin 'Perchoir' slingbacks for $712?

Or this pair of Jimmy Choo 'Diva' Watersnake & leather slingbacks for 395 pounds?
I like these Manolo Blahnik 'Sadarby' Satin D'Orsay pumps for $675.

What do you think of these Peacock Beaded satin 'Let's Go' pumps by Louboutin?
I like this pair of Louboutin 'Rosazissimo' feather shoes. They're only $760. Extremely affordable.
As for me, I'm considering wearing these.

Maybe with the right shoes, my Prince will come.

If you haven't made your plans to attend the ball yet, hurry and return your RSVP. It's sure to be the social engagement of the year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black & White Or Merely Gray?

Are you a black and white thinker? Do you have a ready yes or no answer to every question put to you? Is everything either love or hate, wonderful or terrible, perfect or hopelessly flawed? Do you find it easy to categorize your world?

Or are you more like me? Do you see the world ever unfolding in an endless color wheel of gray?

Seeing gray makes life more complicated. It clogs the decision making process with what ifs and why nots. Sometimes it is hard to see your way through to the other side.

Don't get me wrong or misunderstand the point I attempt to make here. I confess that I absolutely believe in absolute Truth and absolute Justice. But God and His Word are the only way that one can define those essences. I mean I get caught up in the minutia of what he said or what she meant. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. When too many choices are given I tend to get caught in a spiral of indecision.

Because I don't want to make the wrong decision. Sometimes I long for the ability to see things the black and white way.

How about you?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did You Hear That?

.....the screams of our frustration?!!

If you read my previous post today, you will have discovered that my son was going to come over to (finally) finish remodeling my bathroom that has been out of commission for about 3 years.

See, here are his tools.....

See, here he is drilling (trying) holes to hang the shower door.

Oops, the bit broke. Okay, here is my credit card.....(he's off to Lowes for a replacement).

While he's gone, I put the finishing touches on his "I appreciate all your hard work meal."

(I didn't take a picture, but we had homemade spaghetti, toasted sour dough bread with drizzled olive oil, Parmesan cheese and green salads.)

See, here we are having lunch and some nice mother/son conversation (Any nice girls in your life? What have you been up too? You're not a cad, sleazeball, libertine or masher are you...mother did teach you better than that didn't she?). Sweet son went/escaped back to work.

See, here he is back too soon...."I have good news"...he was able to get the holes drilled this time. "I have some bad news too"...some grout was knocked out by the vibration of the drill.

We both agree...there's something evil about that bathroom. It has a mind of its own and refuses our best efforts to finish the job!

See, there he goes again, this time to the tile store to see if this color of grout can be matched cause we are all out.

Behold evil personified!


See, he's back again...."they had to order the grout, it'll be Tuesday before it comes in...."

Listen carefully and you will hear my new mantra....

One day it will be day it will be day it will be ........

Post Those Postcards

I opened my mailbox and discovered a happy surprise yesterday. The first batch of postcards arrived. Here's a little tease. Can you guess who its from?

I've heard from several of you, that your cards are in the mail. If any of the rest of you have forgotten, this is your reminder. Post those cards straight away.

Procrastinator that I am, I will be finishing my cards up today. Here's a little sneak peek.

Well, I'm off to get my day started. I'm thinking about making Rebecca's delicious looking pumpkin bread. I'm in the mood to cook. And my youngest son is supposed to come over today. And he will need something good to eat.

He is supposed to come work on my bedroom bathroom that has been under construction for 2+ years. The shower pan under the shower floor was rotted. One thing lead to another and we wound up remodeling the whole bathroom. Said son was only 21 at the time and after 2 years of coming over and muddling his way through a complete redo, many tasks of which he had never done before, he got understandably burnt out. This left me with a bathroom that looks almost done, but I am unable to use.

Anyway, I hope he won't back out on me. I really want to get it finished. I'm using the hall bathroom, but the shower faucet in it is broken and the water trickles out all the time.....ugh.....I need money and a plumber! soon as my bedroom bathroom is finished I am going to coherse oldest son to come down to help youngest son replace those faulty pipes. Middle son lives too far away to be called upon to help. But when he and his family visit he always does a project or two.

I would love to move to a new house that would have new plumbing and no holes in the sheetrock (left over from the last plumbing fix), no eaves that need replacing and no yardwork that gets of hand. I would love not to have to ask my sweet sons to come to Mom's house to work when they have their own stuff to take care of....did I say I have sweet sons yet?

Hmmm, how did I get off on that rant? Oh yes, I'm going to cook today. A son who gives up a Saturday to help a Mom should be rewarded with some home cooking, don't you agree?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Warning! I've Nothing To Say, Only Blather

In The Interest Of Full Disclosure: I don't feel very creative. I don't have anything in particular to say. I don't have any sudden insight into life or love. But, in the interest of posting something however weak or unimportant, I give you these very random thoughts.

Work is very slow. Us clerical types have been recruited to make collection you don't see any sudden enthusiasm because I don't feel any for this new job description of mine. While I while away the minutes waiting earnestly, phone mashed to my ear, to discover if anyone is going to pick up their ringing phone I doodle. Yes, I'm sure you've already guessed that. I doodle all over the reports I've been given to track my dear friend/customer that I would like to speak with on the phone that is mashed to my ear.

In lieu of any real content, I'm posting my doodles. Yes, again. Sorry.

As you can see, I usually draw in the margins of reports, but if there isn't a margin, I draw on top of anything unnecessary.

I'm back to drawing in the car on my lunch hour also. After reading that list of 100 books you should read, that was making its rounds in the blog world a couple of months ago, I decided that since I only have read 1/4 of the recommended books that it was time for some serious self-improvement. (there are entirely too many thats in that last cumbersome sentence, but I don't feel very articulate so please deal with it)

As I have said before, I do most of my reading via books on CD these days. So whist I listen, I draw. Hence today's offering:

I've finished Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Poor Tess! And I'm almost finished with Lolita. Poor, poor Dolores (the subject matter of which I find utterly repugnant, but the Nabokov's writing style is wonderfully lyrical) Next is Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. And I think I have something else classic checked out, but I can't remember at the moment.

I learned a new word reading Tess....propinquity.

Pronunciation: \prə-ˈpiŋ-kwə-tē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English propinquite, from Latin propinquitat-, propinquitas kinship, proximity, from propinquus near, akin, from prope near — more at approach
Date: 14th century
1 : nearness of blood: kinshiip 2 : nearness in place or time: proximity

Okay, well, hmmmm, I guess that's about all the random I've got for tonight.

I'll be back again another day.
I hope I have more to say.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Half Full or Half Empty?

Is that strange light I see on the horizon a global meltdown? What do you think dear blog friends? Is a disaster about to be averted by the biggest government bailout in the history of the world or is America the Beautiful on a collision course with her monetary destiny? Do you have a personal survival plan? Are you one of those glass half full people or is your glass half empty?

I'm not feeling very optimistic about anything lately so you can guess how I lean on these questions. But enough about me, I'm really wondering what all of you think? Please give me some feedback. Maybe it's time for me to stop watching the news.

And if this post is too much of a downer for you, wait a couple of days until I get my mojo back.
: )

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together

The moon is high in the sky. The fire's almost out.

We've partied until the cows came home.

May the season fill you with a huge harvest of joy.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

(most pictures courtesy of Google or Flickr)

Indian Summer Celebration

WooHoo, I'm down here! Just follow the stepping stones down to the lake. I've set up picnic tables beside the water for Muse Swing's Indian Summer celebration today. Aren't we lucky to have such glorious weather. It seems like the leaves have turned overnight here.

Since there is a little nip in the air today, I have made us a big pot of Broccoli Cheese Soup. Grab your bowl and napkin and I will spoon up some warm cheesy goodness for you.

I've gathered up some pumpkins and gourds. Please choose a basket full to take home for fall decorations.

Or you might like to amuse yourselves and paint a few.

You'll find some blankets over there. Spread out next to the lake in the sunshine. Take a nap. You better take advantage of this summery weather. It's sure to be gone soon. The days are getting shorter. The morning air is brisk. Winter is just around the corner.

ps. Here's the recipe for the soup.

2 bundles of fresh broccoli or 2 10 1/2 oz packages of frozen broccoli
1 onion
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (you can substitute cream of mushroom if you want too, I prefer chicken soup)
2 lbs of reduced fat Velveeta cheese.
2 cups of water
3 cups of milk
1/2 stick of butter

Cook broccoli, drain and set aside. Saute chopped onion in butter. Set aside also.
In a large pot combine soup, milk, water. Cut the cheese into small chunks and add. Simmer everything until the cheese melts. Do not bring to a boil. Once the cheese melts, add the broccoli and onion. Heat thoroughly and serve hot.

(Most photos courtesy of Google or Flickr)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Quant

Those of you who remember Twiggy will remember Mary Quant and Carnaby Street and this dress.

"Mondrian" day dress, autumn 1965
Yves Saint Laurent (French, born Algeria, 1936)
Wool jersey in color blocks of white, red, blue, black, and yellow

As the sack dress evolved in the 1960s into the modified form of the shift, Saint Laurent realized that the planarity of the dress was an ideal field for color blocks. Knowing the flat planes of the 1960s canvases achieved by contemporary artists in the lineage of Mondrian, Saint Laurent made the historical case for the artistic sensibility of his time. Yet he also demonstrated a feat of dressmaking, setting in each block of jersey, piecing in order to create the semblance of the Mondrian order and to accommodate the body imperceptibly by hiding all the shaping in the grid of seams.

Another designer, Mary Quant, took the credit for inventing the mini skirt and hot pants. Supposedly she named the short skirt length after her favorite car, the Mini.

Skirts had been getting shorter since about 1958 – a development Quant considered to be practical and liberating, allowing women the ability to run for a bus. The miniskirt, for which she is arguably most famous, became one of the defining fashions of the 1960s. The miniskirt was developed separately by André Courrèges, and there is disagreement as to who came up with the idea first. Mary Quant named the miniskirt after her favorite make of car, the Mini, she loved this car so much, she had one designed especially for her.

In addition to the miniskirt, Mary Quant is often credited with inventing the colored and patterned tights that tended to accompany the garment, although these are also attributed to Cristobal Balenciaga.

Quant started out as a boutique owner in 1955 on King's Row in London. For the opening of her store, Bazaar, she designed a pair of "mad house pyjamas" which were quickly grabbed by Harper's Bazaar for an editorial and then copied by an American manufacturer. This event convinced her that she should stock her shop with clothes made by herself. Although she had an art school background, she had no formal training in the fashion business. She experimented by mixing spots and checks, with balloon style dresses and with knicker bockers.

Her designs were simple and she wanted them to be accessible for the mass market.

Remember this big zipper? I had a couple of things that featured this oversized zipper.

Doesn't this dress make you think Mary Tyler Moore? It does me.

As her popularity grew as a designer, she created shiny plastic raincoats, pinafore dresses and patterned tights. She expanded into the wholesale market and began exporting to the USA. Her last fashion invention of the 60s were hot pants. She said in 1967, "Good taste is death. Vulgarity is life."

With all of this nostalgic looking back that I've been doing I've caught myself repeatedly humming "Mrs Brown, you've got a lovely daughter...." Thanks Herman and Mary for the memories!

Breaking News!

I thought you might be interested in my calendar entry for today.

: )

Monday, September 15, 2008

Remember This Face?

As I have said on this blog before, I love Project Runway. I love the drama, the fashion, the characters, but I especially enjoy the design aspect of the show. I've never been a big clothes person, maybe because I've never had the money to buy freely. Perhaps the only exception to this was when I was a teenager. My sister and I made almost our whole wardrobe. I used sleeves from this pattern with the body of that pattern. I mixed and matched at will. I made daring fabric selections. People recognized my sister and I at school because of our clothes. Mini skirts were in style. A-line dresses, tights, pant suits, double knit fabric, these were all in fashion back then.

The thing that got me to thinking about this was something else I found yesterday in my old sketchpad. It was a picture I drew of this girl. Remember this face?

It is my attempt to draw this 1960s fashion icon.

It's Leslie Hornby, better known by her nickname, Twiggy. She was 16 when she became what the Daily Express, a British newspaper, named the Face Of '66. She literally changed the fashion world with her skinny body, her fake eyelashes, the painted on bottom lashes and her androgynous look. Someone aptly said that Twiggy put the mod in modeling.

Twiggy retired from modeling after four years saying, "You can't be a clothes hanger for your entire life." She went on to act in movies and on the stage. She has also released three music albums. Today at 59, she is modeling again for the British department store, Marks and Spencer.

Before anorexic Kate Moss, there was super skinny Twiggy.

The thing I liked about Twiggy the most was her eyes. I loved lots of eye makeup, especially blue shadow. I love eye makeup today still. I have a theory about something...I'm not sure, but she may be the reason I always draw eyes. If I have a pen and a piece of paper, chances are I will draw a set of eyes. I may add a nose and lips if I'm in the mood, but I always draw the eyes. Twiggy made an indelible impression on me, just not in the way you might have thought.

Circa 1969

I went looking for something else and in doing so I found this. Since some of you wanted to see it, here it is. Like I said, its not very good, but I was only 15 and knew nothing about watercolor technique.

The only reason I still have this watercolor is because my mother never gets rid of anything. She returned a couple of old sketch pads and some paintings to me a couple of years ago.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Inspiration

This man and his story is more than inspiring. It's amazing.

"For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139: 13-14

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rambling Around Saturday

I set out this morning to run some errands, but soon was side tracked and wound up driving through the neighborhood taking pictures.

This old cemetery, which is right on the main street of the little town nearby, has a huge magnolia and a huge oak tree in the middle. I tried and tried to get good shots but I couldn't eliminate the glare in the sky. I probably was there at the wrong time of the day.

I saw a couple of old car aficionados taking their girls out for a spin.

I love this old garage with its peeling paint.

Looks like they're serving catfish over at The Mall Cafe tonight.

Sooner or later the owner of this farm land will sell it and someone will build new homes on this rolling hillside. The thought already makes me sad.

Isn't the sky glorious today. It is pretty breezy...probably winds coming up from the Gulf of Mexico.

I'll end this Saturday tour with a look at my first and last flowers of the summer. I usually have a bed filled with blooming flowers around my mailbox. I got a late start this year planting seeds and this cosmos has just begun to bloom. Serves me right for not getting in gear earlier. There are 4 or 5 other cosmos that haven't even begun to bloom yet. I don't know if they will.

Hope you are having an enjoyable Saturday wherever you are.