Friday, June 29, 2007

concrete living

Rough week at work. A co-worker lost a
parent. Massive stroke at age 53. Now a
relative of a client has called with the
news that client's mom is in the hospital
and probably not coming out. All our clients
are incarcerated so we set up a phone call
but that's about all the contact he'll get
to have with his mom. Then when he is
done talking to his mom - maybe for the last
time in his life- he gets to go back to his
grey and beige cell.

My life isn't anywhere near perfect and I'm
way off track from where I want to be but
I am so, so, so thankful that I am not in
a prison somewhere - and that none of my
loved ones ones are.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Useful Contest!

Etsy is having a cool contest called Sew Useful.
I have one good idea for it and the deadline
has been extended to July 16th so I might
even have time to enter. The grand prize
is the Singer Quantum 9940 and a Leatherman
and an Etsy giftbox (if I didn’t need a new
sewing machine so much the gift box would be
the main draw!)

Etsy is donating one dollar per entry to the
One Laptop Per Child Program, which I need to
read more about. You can too here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Internet Spenthrift?

On Meshell’s I found some very cool gift tags made by
Laura Crow so I went to her website to find some and instead
found these cool earrings which I bought, just like

Pearls help me deal with the landlocked feeling of living
in Idaho and they were on sale, they were a good price but
still, I’m starting to wonder how much money I spend due to
interesting blogs with pretty photos. I think I’m going
to keep track of my internet spending for awhile.

I’m all for supporting independent artists and craftspeople,
being one myself, but I don’t want to be a huge consumer
either. I’m not sure what is a reasonable amount to spend
on such things per month. I am a single mom after all -
saving money for retirement and daughter’s college (in
theory). So I'll keep a tally and see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crochet Dilletante

I am new to the art of crochet. I had a hard time
learning it even though I have been a knitter for a
long time. Still, I really wanted to learn to crochet
when I saw Posie’s ripple blanket. It’s a nice
calming process, this rippling thing. Except
when I lose my place.

Then I came across the website This Eclectic Life
which is trying to get crocheted granny squares
donated to make blankets for kids with cancer and
I thought, “Well, I like crochet and I love kids and
I hate cancer so I’ll do it”. But Eclectic Life mentions
gauge and measuring and her instructions look so
complicated that I think I’m not up to the challenge
yet. I need a bit more practice and knowledge first.
Someday I want to make granny squares like these by
Posie (who I think has a remarkable eye for color).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Take This Job and . . .

At work, my “team” has a pleading due, which
means I have a stressful and busy day ahead with
little time for reading blogs and daydreaming
about NOT working 40-45 hours a week.

So in lieu of a full post - here’s a photo of
downtown. The fountain is often full of
bubbles, sometimes due to my daughter
and her friends stealing my dish soap and
using it for the enjoyment of the community
by pouring it in said fountain.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bagpipes & Firemen

I heard a brief snippet of bagpipes on the news
this morning - New York City’s Emerald Society
Pipes and Drums Company was playing. I’ve
always felt strangely moved by bagpipes. I
can see how they would spur someone on to
battle, build one’s courage.

I also find bagpipers in kilts strangely
attractive. Well,anyone in a kilt really.
Who wouldn’t!

And of course, firefighters are universally
attractive because they are usually nice guys
and they save people. Look at this guy - dirty,
sooty, slobbery - but still attractive.

All of the above led me to the conclusion that
a fireman who is also a bagpiper must be close
to the perfect man.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bonnie Girl

My very nice dog Bonnie died last month and I have
been doing ok with it but had a quite a pang after
reading SouleMama’s entry about their dog Luka.

Bonnie was one of 13 puppies that my dog Fergus
had a few months after we took her home from the
humane society. Bonnie was the puppy we kept and
we had her for almost exactly 13 years. We still
have Fergus who is in pretty good health, though
she misses her daughter.

There’s really nothing one can say to make someone
feel better after their dog dies. One thought that
helped me though was the after-death theory that we
all die and see a light and go down a tunnel where
loved ones await us. If that it is true, I expect to
see Bonnie there. I hope its true.

Behind the Purple Door

I suppose anyone who had anything to do with Mr. P.
Pan, Esquire as a child is a lover of faeries but seeing
the photo of the fairy door on Not Martha put fairies
in my mind all day yesterday. It was a very cool door as you
can tell by the crowd in front of it below.

I remember hearing that in Ireland, they have support groups
for people who have experienced fairy sightings, sort of like
the groups they have in the US for those who have seen UFOs
or who have experienced alien abductions.

I tried to find fairy support groups on line and couldn’t, but
I did find a fairy marketplace here and a site that lists
that celebrate fairy culture (how do they do that - steal
solemn eyed human children perhaps?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Birthdays are done and everyone is happy.
Now I am birthday free until December. Gosh
what a lot of work.

Now it is back to my own projects which
include, but are not limited to:

- Learn how to use new camera.

- Photograph VIPs (vintage ipod pouches.)

- Correct title page and print more of the
James Joyce Quizbook.

- Plant thyme in the front corner of yard.

- Find gold charms or tokens to go on new chains
I found at Goodwill this weekend.

- Start kids' suitcases.

- Finish short story I started.

AND work 40 hours a week. Drat.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Very bad day at work today and I doubt
I will have time to write about Bloomsday,
but to all those Joyce-appreciators out there,
I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow.

More on Bloomsday if things lighten up

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Portrait of Del

I bought another b-day present for my daughter. I found
the print below at The Black Apple-an Etsy shop.

Amazingly, it actually looks like
my daughter who is about to turn
15 has long dark hair, a round
face and big eyes. I hope she
likes it. She has been gone on
a camping trip this week so I am
also redecorating and cleaning her
room. It’s been a lot more work
than I thought.

When my new camera arrives (hopefully today) I’ll take
some photos of it. I got her duvet cover after reading one
of Posie’s posts - the print after clicking on a link to the
blog Inside The Black Apple which then led me to her shop
and I bought the camera after reading this post from Boing
Boing. The internet is getting pricey. . . but I haven’t
gotten a new camera for about five years so I don’t feel
bad about that and the rest was birthday stuff so, again,
I’m justified in my bad spending habits, right?

Next week, with birthdays behind me until December, I’ll
get back to working on my writing and making things.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


While reading one of my favorite blogs this
morning (Not Martha) I found this link
about cakes. If you read the “Eight things
to Ponder Before
Buying Your Next Bakery Cake” at the bottom
of Smitten Kitchen’s post you’ll know why I
have decided to bake my daughter’s birthday
cake instead of buying one. But what kind
to bake? I make cupcakes quite often but
rarely do I bake a cake. The Ganache frosting
sounds interesting (Tip No. 5) but I have never
made it before ... Hmmm. I’ll let you know
what I decide.

Happy BIrthday Mr. Yeats (and Ty)

Two very creative people were born on this day:

Tyler and WB Yeats. You can find one of William
Butler Yeat's most famous poems here.

I got the chocolate Han Solo in time to add to Ty’s
birthday package and hopefully he has received his
cupcakes by now. I mailed his package with his B-day
goodies on Monday so he may not receive it until

Now I have to start getting things ready for my
daughter’s birthday. June is packed full of birthdays
AND June is also Bloomsday. When I lived in
California - June was my most hectic month. In
Idaho, no one celebrates Bloomsday.
That’s right - NO ONE!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Call to Create

I wonder what it is about us that calls us
to create things - or to express ourselves
through some kind of art. In the corner
of my office are two boxes, made by
painstakingly folding colored paper, created
by one of my incarcerated clients. Our office
is full of his artwork. He lives in one of
the most depressing places I have ever seen,
but he feels the call to create art, the best
he can.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Bad News About Finland

Ms. Matroskin, aka, Vasilisa the Fair has asked me to explain
the difference between cupcakes and muffins.
Are there no cupcakes in Finland?

Cupcakes are frosted and have a lot more sugar and are
usually prettier. They are like cakes (same recipe) but
smaller. They are usually baked in their own paper cups
as opposed to muffins which always go straight
in the pan.

Here, even if your mother does not bake, a child is
exposed to cupcakes early on because it is common to
bring homemade cupcakes to school for your birthday
(at least in the first few years of school).

Though cupcakes and muffins look similar - eating a
cupcake is a completely different experience than
eating a muffin. Muffins are yummy of course, but a
cupcake is like a happy muffin, all dolled up
and ready to celebrate.

If Vasilisa the Fair were to introduce cupcakes to
Finland, imagine the fame and admiration she could achieve...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cupcake Order

I ordered a dozen cupcakes today, to be
delivered to my son on his birthday - June 13th.

My order was for:
2 Devil's Food cupcakes
2 Strawberry cupcakes
2 Golden Vanilla cupcakes
2 Carrot cupcakes
2 Lemony cupcakes
2 Chocolate Cloud cupcakes

Thank you Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Brooklyn!

California Girl in Idaho

I currently live in a small town in Northern Idaho. It’s
part of the Palouse area of Washington and Idaho, an area
famous for rolling green hills and Appaloosa horses.

I moved here a little over two years ago from a medium
size town in Northern California.

There are some nice things about my current town, some
not nice things too and some strange things - which I will
elaborate on later - but one of the nicest things here is
my small house which is located:

- three blocks from Main Street
- across the street from the Historical Society
- kitty Corner to the 1912 Center (the old High School)
- on the opposite side of the same block as the Library
- a block away from the new Moscow High School, which
my daughter will attend next year.

In addition to its excellent location, it is also a very
cute little house. Here’s a photo from last fall with
my old Bonnie girl in the front.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Birthday Goodies Redux

After a number of emails sent back and forth between FreakcitySF and myself he has kindly offered to send me a chocolate bar of Han Solo in carbonite. FreakcitySF came up with this idea and he outlines the whole process of chocolate moldmaking here. What a nice guy! I will add this to Ty’s birthday package and he will be thrilled!! About a zillion years ago, he and I went to see The Empire Strikes Back on the day it came out. I’ll take a photo of his gift package before I send it but here is a photo to refresh your memory.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Gemini Days

I have two children born in June, one on the 13th and one on the 18th. My dog Nosey is also born in June - June 16 (Bloomsday!)

I think I just about have everything ready:

For Ty - Cupcakes delivered to his Brooklyn home by Little Cupcake Bakeshop, the book Silent Scream - Alfred Hitchcock’s Sound Track by Elisabeth Weis and also a CD of music from Hitchcock’s films (Ty is a composer), a Vintage iPod Pouch, a CD of music composed and performed by his sister, a couple of childhood photo collages as gift tags and a copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys which I found at Mighty Goods. The Han Solo chocolate bar (see below) will have to wait for Christmas. It’s a little hard to buy for an adult child. My feelings about it are summed up in the photo below:

For Del: The book Sew Subversive (read a review here, a tote bag with Jim Morrison’s face on it from Target, a brass old-fashion looking music stand, a really cute shirt, and most importantly - the DVD of the first season of The O.C. I still have to pick up guitar picks and a capo. I also bought her a cute duvet cover on sale (thanks to this June 5 post from Posie).

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nosey Flynn

I think I'm going to make a stuffed animal based on my dog. Nosey Flynn is a Glen of Imaal Terrier, a breed which originates in Ireland. I found a cute little Scottie Dog on Chrysanthemum (which she got from Allsorts blog) and I think I can convert it to look like a Glen. Stuff the head a little bigger, make bendy fold over ears ... Might work. Here's a photo of the stuffed dog, then the real thing.

Scottie C'Mum's stuffed Scottie (from Allsorts)

glen The real thing. Note fold over ears.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Icing and Rain, but No Han Solo

Purchased lots of flowers and herbs with the intention of making my backyard a floral getaway but there they all sit, waiting impatiensly in their pots. It rained all weekend. Better luck this weekend. When my planting plans were thwarted I thought I would make a Han Solo Chocolate mold. (See this cool instructable by FreakCitySF) My Han Solo in Carbonite arrived on Saturday (thanks to eBay) and I went all over town looking for food grade silicone but no stores in my little town carry it. Thwarted again.

So I made cupcakes. Strawberry flavored cake - some with vanilla icing and some with chocolate. Then I had lots of icing left over so I bought crisp lemon wafers at the Co-op, iced them up and stuck them together to make scrummy (scrumptious AND yummy) sandwich cookies.