Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To The Point

From Time Magazine online: Bush's Last Days: The Lamest Duck


Home again, welcomed by dark grey skies, howling winds, snow, sleet, freezing rain and huge waves roaring onto the beach. The absolute opposite to the past week's weather, it could be "none more" opposite!
Our last few days of vacation were spent relaxing at sea, then a final day in Miami...So rested and I indulged in another visit to Anthropologie. Such a fascinating store and concept. It's probably for the best that there are no stores closer to home than a two hour drive.
Our flight home was uneventful...except that a woman two rows ahead of us had her cat with her. His name was Tucker, I got to pet him in the airport and received a nice kiss on the nose from him (which I appreciated as I was really missing Valli at that point!) She was flying from Miami to Detroit, had a 1/2 hour stopover and then was flying to Germany. The cat was in a soft carry on, the kind that can go under the seat, and he was not impressed by this. She was wonderful with him and obviously adored him, and I am SO glad he wasn't checked into the cargo hold (which I really think is barbaric), but his plaintive me-yowls were breaking my heart so I spent the flight with my iPod turned up to almost hearing-damaging levels.
Yesterday I tackled some of the work waiting for me but pooped out by 9:00 PM, and decided that was it for the day!
The work will always be there, it will get done when it gets done. Today I am back in town, with a short list of stuff to do, to ease me back into the daily routine.

I have some projects planned and some interesting ideas I'm looking forward to trying, though it's chilly in the studio. Fortunately the radiant heater I bought two years ago really makes a difference, as do various layers of thrift-store cashmere. (Being from the thrift store I don't care if I burn holes in it with flying hot glass!)

I'm looking forward to my upcoming offerings for ebay...lots of work to prepare them, but there will be some very nice things with good age. I have quantities of lace, some wonderful Victorian red damask tablecloths, redwork embroidery, Society silk embroideries (and some of them are spectacular!), a magpies treasure trove of fun rhinestone jewelry, more vintage shoes and hats, and...well you get the idea! If only I could actually get all the work done instantly but alas, good vintage presentation takes time!

Most of the Christmas shopping is done, I'm not finished the gifts I'm making but they are coming together well. My gifts for General Mayhem and Major Destruction have arrived from Japan...Pokemon bento boxes and assorted colorful Japanese sweets. JBox really has cute stuff!
My sister commented once that the boys are reluctant to eat anything new or unusual in the shape of a vegetable, salad or fruit, but if presented with a plate of bizarre, unknown and peculiar candies, would have no trouble chowing down! So hopefully the unintelligible labelling won't present a problem when the ingredients are primarily sugar and/or chocolate!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Roma Derry

July 20th, 1934---November 21, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Maximum Relaximum

Hello! We are still floating about. I am making an effort to rest in a way I have not done for years, truly. I get terribly seasick and am grateful every day for the wonders of Bonamine, which takes care of the seasickness perfectly and also makes me sleepy, which equals naps, which equals a relaxed vacationer. Quite a novel concept for me!
Here I am relaxing on the beach on the island of St. Thomas....oh, no, wait, that's not me, it's an iguana. Heheh.
After I took these pictures he perked up and made a beeline for our towels for a little visit. I think he wanted a drink of So's Diet Coke. He certainly seemed to like having his picture taken. The long stripey tail was most alluring, but I've heard they can give you a wicked slash with them so I stayed clear.

Quite relaxed after lunch.

By request, for Samantha, some sculptured fruit. Delightful what they can do with it, and there are different ones every day.

These heavy iron panels were on the ends of all the benches on the French side of the island of Saint Martin. We liked the French side very much, it reminded us of New Orleans.
A somewhat off-putting laboratory. Thanks but I'll have my labs run somewhere else...It turns out it is run by a Doctor Lepers. I would be changing that name, maybe.
There were blocks of posh shops, (Hermes, Cartier, etc), but just a few blocks away was much more interesting with the decayed and weathered buildings I love. Lots of abandoned and falling down ones that I was just itching to poke around in. Probably not advisable, so I didn't.

A somewhat nervous Saint Martin poulet.

Yes, I was looking for broken junk in this vacant lot. There was plenty but it wasn't old or weathered enough to be interesting.

Today was an at-sea day, and the sea was very rough. Most passengers were staggering around, no matter how hard you try it's very hard to walk a straight line when the boat is rolling ponderously back and forth! It's very soothing for napping, though! And it hasn't affected our appetites (thanks to the Bonamine, for me at least), I am sure I have gained 20 pounds this week. I suppose everyone feels that way on a cruise. It will be quite bleak to go back to making my own breakfast, and my own bed, and not having dessert with lunch every day. But I have a few more days to enjoy it and I will!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Travels, Continued

Here is a farewell look at the Port of Miami as we sailed away on Sunday. We always enjoy watching this on our balcony, the ship moves away so silently and smoothly it's hard to realize at first that we're moving at all. The port is a busy on, even on Sunday there was a huge crane lifting shipping containers as though they were matchboxes and placing them delicately onto an ocean freighter. Interesting to watch.

This palatial complex is at the very end of the Port and is only accessible by ferry. It always looks so beautiful in the sunset, and what we can see of the interior looks quite amazing. A different life.

Here is the very front of the ship, it is even more monumental than it appears here! Quite imposing! Truly a floating city.

Another view. Just amazes me that we are floating around in this!

Graceful shapes on the waterfront of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

So and I were quite taken with this pretty horse with it's beautiful markings.

These blue-glazed bricks were apparently used as ballast on cargo ships in the early 19th century, and then reused as cobblestones. The colors and textures are very attractive. I don't think they will let me bring a few of these home with me.

The glazed ceramic tile front of a building in Old San Juan.

Here is the mascot of the "Polo Norte" brand.

And on the other side, the mysterious machine which apparently causes the bottles to have anti-gravity properties. I can't understand why this never caught on!

One of my absolute favorite shops in Old San Juan, "Moon Dance". It's a glorious emporium of beautiful things, mostly from the far east, full of color and sparkle. The staff kitty was around, but was off about her own business when I was taking pictures. She's a tiny wee tabby, and her name, Ranichandra, means queen of the moon. Such a big name for a wee cat!

We're having a restful, relaxing time. I am focusing heavily on reading, sleeping and working on a few little projects.
One small issue about a cruise is the fact that the staff would prefer the passengers to be eating approximately 95% of the time. Every time I turn around someone is offering me a slice off a huge roast, a basket of bread, dessert, fruit, cocktails, cookies....Pizza, Ma'am? Ice cream, Ma'am? Wheelbarrow full of breakfast pastry? It's very tempting but I can't munch ALL the time as I do need some time to sleep and lounge about, after sleeping! However, I am currently quite oblivious to the MOUNTAIN of work waiting for me at home, and that is what a vacation is for!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Well, we are spending a little extra time in the Detroit Airport, due to the person who made our flight arrangements (cough) making a little error (cough) in the departure time. All is well though, thanks the exceptionally helpful NWA staff, and I will be browsing in the Miami Anthropologie in a few hours! It's cold, grey and rainy here and I look so forward to a week of brilliant skies, warm breezes and salt spray.
I'm one of those weird people who actually likes airports! I don't enjoy waiting in lines if it's really crowded, but otherwise I find them quite entertaining. Even little ones are interesting for people watching. And I still marvel at the ease with which we can travel great distances in matter of hours. Our flight to Ireland a few years ago was about seven hours, if I recall correctly. 100 years ago this could have taken a week...or more! And certainly not in the comfort we take for granted. I think I'll always be delighted by and grateful for our ability to be so mobile for pleasure, not because of war or insurrection or natural disaster. We are so lucky!

I have work in 2 shows this weekend and am very grateful to have have friends and family taking care of things for me so I can be away on this much-needed and anticipated vacation. Thanks, loved ones!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008


...teeny weeny diminutive and small vintage buttons, all carded and ready to go up on ebay. None of these measures more than 3/8" across. I love how they look all laid out neatly like this and experience has taught me that the presentation is WELL worth the time it takes. These date c.1880-1940 and are made of glass, shell, vegetable ivory, porcelain, brass, enamel, rhinestones, cut steel and faceted crystal.

Mailbox Fun!

I certainly enjoyed what the mailman brought in the past week. Of course there were the usual bills and junk mail, but also some goodies!
From J-Box in Japan, very fun speakers for my iPod! Aren't they cute? So well designed, the cord nestles securely along the edge when they are closed. They weigh next to nothing and sound great.

These exquisite beads arrived from my friend Carolyn...we did a trade, a few rods of rare, out-of-production glass for a set of her beads. She outdid herself, they are incredibly beautiful and shimmery, pictures just can't show how gorgeous they are. I keep picking them up to look at them. I think I must make myself a juicy bracelet! I really feel I got the best part of the trade!

I forgot to take a picture of this delectable cashmere yarn while it was still in the's soft as a cloud. It's a hand dyed yarn which shades from cream to pale tan to soft sea blue, it reminds me of the lake on a cloudy day. I am making this cashmere lace rib cowl from Purl Soho.
What a treat this is!!! Our very own signed copy of Alison Bechdels new book, which she generously sent to participants in this project. I'd love to take it on vacation with us but it weighs a ton! I've been too busy to read it yet, but I look forward to enjoying it over Christmas. It has almost all of the strips since the very beginning, plus a few extras. Fun!

We are almost ready to head off on vacation tomorrow. I have 8 audiobooks, my yarn, half a dozen books, a secret Christmas gift project to work on, my laptop, iPod, 40 gallons of sunscreen and a new pair of sunglasses. (Cheap ones as I instantly lose any expensive sunglasses, and also expensive gloves.)
Now I have to persuade So that since we are going to the tropics, some short sleeved shirts will be okay, in fact desirable to wear and that no, she cannot bring her parka!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pointy House

A friend just got back from a vacation in Turkey...and graciously gave me permission to share some of her photos. She takes AMAZING pictures. They are all interesting, but am quite taken by these houses in Cappadocia. They are carved out of volcanic rock, which apparently starts out soft and carvable and then hardens with eposure to the air. I would think they would be lovely and cool.
I would love to live in one of these. Though I would also like it to be completely covered with glass evil eye talismans and shisha mirrors. And camel tassels. I'd need to abandon any severely geometric or symmatrical decorating ideas and go big on the floor cushions, carpets and adjustable tables!
Wouldn't you like this to be your neighbourhood?
Which one would you choose?

They call these ones "Fairy Chimneys".

In the one above, you can get an idea of the scale...see the door carved near the bottom of the middle one?
Thank you so much Marilyn for sharing your pics. They are all fascinating!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

11:14 PM

We have an icon of peace, recognized around the world.

There is an icon of happy, even children know it.

Now we have an icon for hope.

November 4th 2008

I'm full of hope and optimism. If you live in the US, please vote. Canadians are following your election with much more interest than we followed our own!

If you can, please spare a positive healing thought for a dear friend of ours. She has recently been diagnosed with cancer and it does not look good. She asked for a pink comfort bead, here it is, as crammed with good energy as I could make it.

It was quite warm yesterday...last week we had so much snow that trees were crashing down because of the weight of the wet snow on the leaves that were still on so many of the trees. Weird weather. Today it is supposed to be 20C (about Canada). I seized the chance for a November beachwalk.
Someone made a happy little drawing on the seawall.

Misty and grey and golden, the slope up to our yard.

A beautifully sculpted piece of driftwood. I wanted to drag it home but it was bigger than I was.

Even pumpkins like to get out to the beach now and then.

A beautiful pristine stretch of sand. Part of me really wanted to throw myself down and make a sand angel. But a larger part of me didn't want sand in my hair!

The meadow in the afternoon light.

Treasures from the walk. I love the acid-green glass. It glows!

Confused Queen Anne's Lace, unaware that it's November!

Dinner: Roast pork with garlic, lemon and fresh rosemary, fingerling potatoes cooked in with the roast, Greek salad. It was pretty tasty!