Monday

paper petals to the rescue

on a recent outting mini's daddy purchased a petite hydrangea plant for me to plop in a pretty pot and put in the entry hall. he knows i like to have flowers indoors everywhere this time o' year but those i've planted previously aren't particularly prepared for picking' just yet. once the bountiful blue blossoms were in position they looked just plain wrong all alone. so i headed outside to grab some white petunias that were patiently waiting to be planted. i jammed them in the black vessel and the result was better but not best. what was needed were roses. lots o' roses. in lots o' colors.

i've never had to arrange roses in my residence that were raised elsewhere but since none o' my own have yet risen up to rescue the hydrangeas i had no choice but to make some from scratch. thankfully pretending' to be mother nature by makin' faux flowers is no problem as i have years o' experience - another talent my cousin jo takes credit for bringing' into our bag o' tricks..


actually, our first foray into fashioning faux flowers was brought about by my cousin jo's jealousy - jealousy of sassy sissy babineaux who was in our sunday school class. see - suddenly sassy sissy started showin' up sunday mornings with sprays o' flowers shooting' outta' the shiny blonde curls that sprung from the perfectly pretty face that sat above her crisply ironed sunday school dress. her floral headed appearance forced compliments right outta every mouth - even the mean old women and creepy boys and this was all just too much for jo. she had always been the dictator o' all style and of course mean old women and creepy boys were HER challenges to charm and she wasn't about to lose her sunday mornings to some blossomed blonde who was lucky enough to have a dad with a part-time job deliverin' flowers on saturdays and a mom with an obvious addiction to her ironing board.

jo decided we too had to have flowers in our hair the followin' sunday but they had to be bigger 'n better than anything sissy's daddy buddy babineaux could rescue from the trash bin and bring back from the blossom barn. after sunday school we pondered the problem o' not posessin' any petals while sweltering' on the plastic covered backseat of aunt laura's station wagon. the only person we knew with an appreciation for flowers that didn't have to be dusted was our grandmother but we had been banned from her blossomin' backyard ever since we left her bushes barren when we sold all her roses door to door to raise money to buy new barbies after jo's brother bubba shot holes in ours with his BB gun. we made so much money we were able to get two new barbies , GI joe boyfriends for each and give the BB filled barbies a proper burial.

anyway - aunt laura unknowingly provided us with our situation's solution when she pulled off her pink peony plied pillbox and pitched it backwards where it landed in jo's sweaty lap. by the time she pulled up to her porch 'n parked we had enough plucked pillbox petals in our pockets to provide us with a pattern so we headed for the pantry to pilfer paper for our project. we weren't sure what we'd prefer so we pulled out waxed, butcher, freezer and even folded grocery bags. before heading' home we pinched a pile from the already-read newspaper basket.

after just a bit o' practice with our pattern and plethora o' papers we felt like petal producin' pros. we worked all week on the little table outside jo's turquoise trailer, tearing', tintin' , twisting' 'n turning' tiny pieces o' paper until we had two towerin' floral tiaras. finally finished we left our crowning creations outside so the globs o' glue could dry and headed for bed.

unfortunately during' the night it rained and our paper petaled towers had melted into pathetic piles o' pulp. jo was devastated that after all our work we'd have to arrive at sunday school flowerless. though i didn't tell her, i was thankful. thankful 'cause i thought we had gotten a bit carried away and coulda' stopped pasting' petals days ago but in pursuing our project 'til saturday, our helmets o' fake flowers were more madi gras than worship worthy.

in the end it didn't matter that we were bareheaded that sunday 'cause much to jo's delight, sassy sissy babineaux didn't appear. sally, our sunday school teacher, said her daddy had been transferred to texarkana and the family packed up their trailer and traveled there with him. this meant jo was top dog again.

we didn't get to show off our crazy creations at sunday school as we planned but i've always been grateful that jo's jealousy added flower makin' to our resume and with the passin' o' time we've mastered the art in just about anything that can be forced into the shape of a pretty petal.


for my current floral dilemma i decided to use mostly crepe paper 'cause it is easiest, quickest and would survive if it got in the way when the hydrangeas and petunias were watered. after a just a coupla' hours this is what i ended up with...
now, i'm sure you're thinking' it's not proper floral etiquette to mix fresh 'n faux flowers in the same vessel. i'm sure you don't see many other people doin' it but i 'm guilty of it all the time since there's always one spot or another that needs a lil something' extra.

if you like to have fresh flowers inhabit the inside of your house you might try makin' up a few emergency flowers too. there are oodles o' tutorials with just a bit o' web travel and i'm sure you already possess a glue gun and some sort of paper that would be perfect for your petals. if not you can set yourself up with enough crepe paper to make a flurry o' flowers without spending much at all. if you can't find some in your neighborhood, one of these internet locales - HERE or HERE - will deliver mighty fine crepe paper to your door.

don't be worried about failin' when fashioning your faux flowers. it's almost impossible. and even if you do end up with a few that you don't like, it's just a bit o' paper and a tiny bit of time - so pitch those aside and start again.

Sunday

lucky charms for you



a batch o' delightful digital lucky charm doo dads is waiting for you to download HERE. 
i'm hopin' they'll bring you good luck all year 'round. if they don't work in that way maybe one of 'em will be just the digital doo dad you need some time down the line. or you could do like jo did when i refused to let her borrow the actual charms - she made some o' those lil' shrinky dinks outta the art. and mini 'erased' the rings and printed 'em all out as stickers. whatever you decide to do with this download of about a dozen doo dads i do so hope you'll be delighted.

xoxoxomo 

Saturday

thanksgiving aftermath



since mini and her best friend from college did all the cooking for thanksgiving this time 'round, i thought i'd have time to shoot some shots o' diners who share my DNA all dressed up 'n sitting around my beautifully set table delightfully devouring mini's perfectly prepared offerings while enjoin' my excellent hostessin' skills. i would then share my inspirin' snaps with you just like those who blog beautiful do on a daily basis. as you can see, things didn't work out the way i hoped.

our gathering to give thanks was bumpy from the beginnin'...one group arrived waaay too early, another waaay too late and someone got called away to tend a slight emergency. when everyone was finally seated and appeared to be sufficiently thankful i decided i could begin to properly document the day. i picked up my camera and focused on the head o' the table where my aunt of eighty-eight was seated. i commanded her to 'smile' but instead o' doin so, her eyes rolled back in their hallow sockets and her boney hands went into fierce fists that flew up in the air as she slid down lower 'n lower until she completely vanished under the table. there she joined her granddaughter who had disappeared under the tablecloth upon arrival and refused to reappear unless she was given permission to sleep over.

my aunt's two sons immediately went under and began arguin' over what to do while the four year old screamed for them to all get outta' her 'club house'. our dining room table is very long and the guests toward the other end seemed unaware o' the chaos down below 'cause they just kept on eatin' 'n chattin'. thankfully mini's daddy had eyed the commotion between bites o' mini's tantalizing turkey and managed to dial 911 without ever havin' to put his fork down. within minutes a dashing and well equipped duo darted through the dining room door and ducked into the darkness to rescue my aunt from her sons and grandchild. the duo declared her far from death's door and drove her away with her immediate family - minus the granddaughter - closely following. assuming being left behind meant she had finally gotten her way, our youngest guest climbed into her grandmother's vacant chair at the head o' the table.

when the only guest remaining was the one who refused to leave i decided to peek into the kitchen to see the damage done by mini's day o' cookin'. my mini has always been a messy chef so i didn't expect to blinded by sparkling' clean countertops but what i found was beyond what i could have ever imagined. i do believe this thanksgiving meal preparation puts her at a whole new level - a level few could (or would want to ) compete with. i've always told her that whatever she decided to do, she needed to attempt to do better than anybody else. i'm not sure if you can tell from these photos but i can't imagine ANYBODY doin' this mess better. havin' failed to get beautiful pictures o' our thanksgiving celebration i shot the the aftermath so i'd have somethin'. not quite the pretty pictures i had in mind and certainly not inspirin'…but DEFINITELY entertaining'.

those who blog beautiful would surely shun such a showing. maybe i'll have better luck with the next holiday - maybe not. either way i'll keep trying.

my aunt is fine now. seems she hadn't eaten all day in anticipation of mini's cooking' and fainted. i'll get a good shot o' her at the head of the table next thanksgiving.

i hope your holidays are comin' along exactly like you wanted them to .

xxoxoxoxmo

Monday

bella

bella

there are two rules i've asked mini's daddy to agree to when he's out n' about and the urge to take ownership o' somethin' or other takes over. the first is that he not buy somethin' that we should decide on together (snapping potential purchases with his iPhone has made that one easier to follow) and not to bring home a dog. he's never done either until now.

i know i must've written here at sometime or another over the eight past years about mini's daddy's need to hear a cash register ring at least twice before noon to feel all is well in his world. if i haven't divulged that info i'm sure i've at least mentioned how he seldom returns from even the shortest outing without some sort o' new acquisition. his 'gifts' to me, mini, jo and/or anyone else who happens to be residin' within our home are completely unpredictable. they can be really small and greatly appreciated - like a hershey bar - or really big and hugely bizarre - like the time he n' jo went to pick mini up at school in the pick-up and shortly after delivered her home in a brand new bright red prius (with jo following closely behind in the truck).

seldom are the doo dads my dear husband decides to drag through the door n' drop into our domicile disparaged. most o' the time he exhibits excellent taste. off the top o' my head i can only draft a list o' less than a dozen duds that made me dread his disposition for obtainin' what he deems desirable. and while i still hate the lamp he bought mini at a street fair made outta those plastic 'bright lights' and can't count the times i've pitched out those life sized fish mounted to wood that without warning start moving 'n beltin' out show tunes only to discover them back in position to serenade, i've come to feel the man's penchant for procuring is more of a benefit than a disadvantage. after all, he does happily welcome requests before he departs the house and with even the longest o' lists returns back with everything we actually need.

anyway...about the rule breakin'...he recently went to visit his best friend t.o. and i expected him to return with a bag full o' beautiful wool fabric since that's what a trip in that direction usually brings. instead he walked through the door carrying a wooly weary white dog. before i could demand he take her back where she came from he told me her sad saga.

her name is bella and she's eight years old. she lived all her life with a couple and their daughter but when the parents divorced recently she became homeless 'cause not a one of them wanted the responsibility o' carin' for her. so she was given to a woman who rescued dogs. when the woman had to leave town for a few days she asked t.o. to take care of her. he fell instantly in love with the homeless bella but knew he couldn't keep her 'cause he's single 'n travels constantly. it seems the dog gods were looking down on this homeless canine for the first time in a while 'cause right about the time she was supposed to leave mini's daddy arrived and not only does he have a weakness for shoppin' but also for any child or animal that might not be receiving' what they deserve. knowin' his wonderful wife - me - could care less for shopping' but was of like mind when it came to helping those who couldn't help themselves, he adopted bella into our family on the spot.

our new dog bella has a sweet face that always appears to be asking' if everything is okay and a clumsy sort of way that makes her oh so lovable. and unlike any other member o' my family (this includes men, daughters and cousins as well as canines), she is perfectly trained. the only problem so far is that she is completely devoted to her rescuer. any time he has to leave the house without her she sits by whatever door he departs from and cries until he returns. if we are able to pry her away she continues to stare in the direction from which he disappeared and quietly sobs until he returns. when he does reappear, she rejoices in leaps and loud yelps and refuses to leave his side. this behavior would be annoying if we didn't understand that she's scared to death o' bein' abandoned again.

i don't know the people who gave bella up after eight years so maybe there was a reasonable excuse for abandonin' a family member without any inquiries afterward. i often ponder how they could give her up and not need to know she is okay. disappearin' from her life did some serious damage to the poor lil' thing. until we can make her feel secure in her new home, mini's daddy can't indulge as often in his shoppin' habit since not every establishment allows dogs to accompany the spender. that's okay for now but i'm hopin' by christmas we succeed in makin' bella feel at home so he can get back to professional procurement status.

if you'd think you can use the art surroundin' the shot of my terrific trio you can download it HERE.

Tuesday

dorothy's kitchen

dorothy's kitchen seventeen - the doo dads


it's hard to believe it's been seven year's since dorothy's kitchen first appeared here on the blog. i'm thinkin' that would be considered a really long time in the world o' digital doo dads designed for delivery via download on the worldwide web. it's nothin' tho when compared to the time the real Dorothy created concoctions in her actual kitchen. i'm pretty sure her able arms whipped, stirred, patted, beat, rolled, chopped, cut and served from the small kitchen on rose avenue and any kitchen she might be visitin' for around ten times that seven.

the real dorothy (my mother-in-law) just celebrated her ninety-second birthday and if she had her way (which she did most o' the time) she'd still be spendin' much of every day doin' more whippin', stirrin', pattin', beatin', rollin', choppin', cuttin' and servin'. unfortunately she was forced into retirement by macular degeneration and her kitchen is now closed .

in honor o' those two tupperware containers crammed full o' martha washingtons dorothy mailed me every birthday and christmas I was her daughter-in-law i decided it was time to dish out some new dorothy's kitchen doo dads. I was so enthusiastic I got a bit carried away...so like the original dorothy doo dads, the new ones will served in a number o' different courses (or parts).

the next sets that appear will be in honor of you - whether a doo dad devotee for all or bits o' the past eight years or allowing me sometime over the past four to decorate your baby's noggin' - for providing' me with your incredible friendship and givin' me an excuse to continue my love o' designing' and creating all kinds o' doo dads. thank you ever so much.

you can download the first batch HERE. i'd love to see what you whip up so please let me know if you post anything anywhere or you can post 'em on my lowercase facebook page HERE.

hope you enjoy these new doo dads as much as i enjoyed doing' 'em for you!

xoxoxomo

p.s.let me know if you have any problem with the link.

croonin' cocobelle

canine crooner

i've been busy bundlin' up beanies, blossoms 'n bows for bitty babies and somehow i've gotten lost every time i bounded toward blogdom. once the latest batch o' boxes were on their way to bare headed babies everywhere, i dedicated a dozen or so days to uploadin' dozens o' new digital doo dads designed for doo dad devotees and dabblers to download. but today, before i could send the server the store samples, i surmised i'd squinted seriously at my screen for far too long and should shut down my system and switch back to sewin'.

it didn't take me long to decide i'd dedicate the day to designin' darlin' dog dresses in damask, dots and maybe a bit o' ditsy. once done, i'd decorate my darling dog duo - tinkerbell and coco - in the divine duds and get them to pose for a dozen or so delightful digital dog dress demonstratin' photos to display in my shop.

i did my designing and constructing but darn if my dainty dog daughters displayed absolutely no discipline - not a drop. they loved loungin' around in the lovely layers of linen 'n lace i'd stitched and even made me hopeful as they leaped a bit after lappin' up a large lunch of livery lookin' lumps. but while i snapped shot after shot after shot of the well-shod sisters, there wasn't a single sit nor one submissive stay in the whole bunch. they insisted on behavin' like beloved dogs instead of modelin' mutts.

all my shots turned out shoddy so i'm not sure any o' today's tailored togs will ever travel beyond my table. but bad as they are, i love these three shots of cocobelle seriously singing one o' her solos. she sends out series o' serenades several times a day and seems to sense when a tune or two might be needed. i must admit it's difficult to desire discipline when a diminutive dog, decorated with daisies, dandelions and such, successfully delivers melodies meant mainly for liftin' your mood. i feel quite fortunate to have such a musical maltese on this day after marathon monday. i hope the snaps of her singin' (it's probably just as well that you can't also HEAR her) make you smile - if only for a second or two.

Saturday

the birds

birds

since i felt a wee bit better yesterday i spent some time ponderin' why i was fallin' victim to every nasty germ that attached itself to me durin' my daily doings. my ponderin' led me to decide it might be because i eat too many things that have labels listing sugar as the main ingredient. in fact, i think i remembered puttin' practically nothin' but peppermint patties and peanut butter cups in my person right before becoming so sickly. how dumb i have been for delvin' into such a disgustin' diet. i vowed right then and there to hack my way out o' that horrible habit as hastily as i could and would do so by headin' to whole foods for a heap o' healthy hash 'n such.

i seldom go to the grocery store and when i do i stay for hours - going up and heading down each and every isle, gazin' gleefully at every grocery item that grabs my glance. but i would not give myself that gift on this grocery getaway. i was on a health mission and could not allow myself to be mesmerized - for even a minute - by minty macaroons, midget mud pies or mighty malted milk balls. i would carefully curve my cart to the carrots, cauliflower, cranberries and cantalope then right for the radishes, radicchio and red peppers. only fresh fare would be flung into my fast moving buggy.

when i arrived at whole foods they had a recordin' of birds chirping playing out into the parking lot - not little song birds i decided but maybe blackbirds. big black birds with loud singin' voices. at first i though it was really nice for whole foods to offer up those extra lil' things. once inside i realized i could still hear the birds and decided i would have preferred they pipe in some snappy tunes to shop to. after only a short time o' pushing my buggy up and down the aisles searchin' for somethin' sumptuous to supersede all the sugar i had recently consumed i found the constant bird babble was really beginnin' to bother me .

if you've been a reader o' this blog from way back in the olden days you might remember that i because of my mother's penchant for birds as pets i picked up a perpetual problem with birds (HERE just in case you've forgotten). i'm okay with 'em if they keep their distance - like waaay up in the sky or no closer than where they look like lil' bitty specks...i only like birds as specks. once they start getting close enough that i can tell without a doubt that they are birds and not specks that are possibly birds i can't handle it.

my fear o' birds is not all my mom's fault. mr. hitchcock is equally to blame. one viewin' of his movie 'the birds' thrown into the pot with a mother's passion for perched pets and i had myself a life long bird phobia.

so once the whole food's bird barkin' began to make me want to barf i could no longer focus on my mission. i never even made it to the fresh fruit 'n veggie aisles. before i knew it i had abandoned my buggy and was headed briskly back toward the door. i couldn't wait to be belted in my black car, headed home and away from the blarin' o' those beastly birds.

when i made it out the door it sounded like the recordin' o' the black birds had been turned up REALLY loud. but as i looked up to see where the speakers were blarin' from all i could see was black specks. in fact everywhere i looked there were black specks...big black specks that were movin' hither 'n yon. and then i realized - everywhere as far as i could see there were big black cacklin' birds. the only time i had seen this many birds bandyin' about in a bunch was in that horrid bird movie. i could tell most o' those were fake and just bein' hurled at tippy, who i knew was just pretendin' to be scared...even so, that movie had scarred me for life. and here i was - smack dab in the middle o' the real thing - hoppin' on the ground, the cars, coverin' every tree, every pole. i was surrounded by thousands o' birds and they were all screamin' and flappin' their wings which made me start screamin' and flailin' my arms. i have no idea how i made it to my car but once safely inside the birds began to bash into my windshield leavin' big white blobs as they flew off. i was certain i would die of a heart attack so i snapped a few shots to document what had killed me. i then quickly applied a fresh coat o' lipstick and fluffed up my hair so i'd at least look good when finally found.

the heart attack didn't come and i somehow made it home peerin' through the only poop-less area in the windshield. the bird scare had left me feelin' really hungry but since i had given the dumpster everything decent to digest before departin' i had no choice but to open up one o' the bags of candy santa had planned for mini's stocking. after downin' a roll o' neccos and half a pack o' my favorites - plain m&ms - i came to the conclusion i'd just wait 'til after christmas to start my healthy habits - another few days shouldn't be too bad. but someone else will have to get the groceries 'cause i'm not sure i'll ever wanna go back to whole foods.i do so hope your plans for the holidays are coming together nicely. be sure to have a lil' sugar and think o' me.

Thursday

christmas doo dads to download

dec8

i have been nothing but sick with one ailment after another since i last blogged. while i'm certain it wasn't the bloggin' that sickened me nor was it mini appearin' so slutty or her daddy's attempts to convince me he should have been a comedian, i have no idea what IS causin' this series of maladies to strike me. i swear,if one more round o' coughin', sneezin', scratchin', limpin', nose-blowin', throw-uppin', or etc. etc. attacks me i'm gonna' have a hissy fit...of course that could be the symptom of yet another new flu so i'll just keep hoping this past 24 hours straight o' good heath means i'm on a streak.

i had to pull myself together at least long enough to blog up these delightful digital doo dads designed for december for you, my dear friends, to have delivered via download. i've made some mighty nice wrappin' paper 'n tags from this batch. maybe if i get a bit more energy in me i'll snap some shots of my packaging efforts to show 'n tell.

i wish i had something really powerful to provide during these disturbing days but maybe once you get these doo dads downloaded you'll be distracted for just a bit...even a small byte might help.

you can get 'em here. if you have a problem gettin' 'em let me know. i'm sure hopin' i'll be my zippy self from here on out and therefore here more than not. xoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday

the mini march

marchin'-mini

as soon as mini's daddy made it through the front door tonight he yelled up to my creative perch askin'... "did you tell mini she could put red streaks in her hair?"

i quickly responded no then had time to think a bit before receiving her father's next batch o' words. those thoughts included me thinking...now that mini had abandoned me - her devoted mother - in an effort to gain more education and with this effort takin' place in a locale far far away from me, she could and probably would do a few things without asking me first and a few of those things might not be to my liking.

mini's daddy interrupted my thinkin' with, "well she did."

i then asked, "how do you know she put red streaks in her hair?"

he answered, gettin' a bit clearer as he climbed the stairs, "she sent me a picture."

i then repeated what he said as a question - "a picture?" - to which he responded "yeah - a picture... that was published."

i asked "published? where?" wonderin' why in the world would a picture of her with red streaks would be published.

"in the paper...maybe on a website."

"what was she doing to get her picture taken?"

yikes - maybe the red streaks were of a really bizarre nature.

"she was protesting.....in a march."

"what was she wearing?"

i wouldn't normally ask about her clothing before other more important queries but mini has always wanted to participate in a march protesting a cause she felt strongly about and has often expressed disappointment that her generation didn't seem much interested in marchin' for things they were for or against. knowing this was a big day for her and it was happening right after i had sent her two boxes of new clothes, i wanted to know if anything i sent had been deemed special enough to wear to her first ever protest.

"a gay pride rainbow sweater."

i knew the exact one - i bought a rainbow striped cropped sweater for her and one for me from the garnet hill catalog when she was in kindergarten, back when she liked for us to match. we wore them over our overalls.

"what was she wearin' under it?"

"nothing....i think she was wearing it with jeans." he had now made it to my studio door and was shufflin' through the day's mail without a care in the world as usual as i pummeled him with quesions.

"nothin'? was her stomach showin?"

"yes....her stomach was indeed showing and she had something painted on it." he was now headin' back downstairs. i may have even heard the beginnin' of a bit o' tune whistling - as if we were done with the topic and he was free to find our herd o' dogs who, unlike me, would welcome him home properly regardless o' the news he carried with him.

"painted on what?"

"painted on her stomach."

"WHAT was painted on her stomach?", i yelled down.

"i think it was the word 'slut' but i couldn't really see all the letters.", he yelled back up.

"SLUT! why would she wear a cropped gay pride lookin' sweater with her stomach showin' and on her showin' stomach paint the word slut ?." i think i may have been screechin' a bit by this point.

"well....i don't know but she looked happy and really pretty...except for those red streaks." and then he disappeared.

with my heart poundin' and havin' held my breath so long i feared i might pass out, i finally located the picture of my only child, my dear daughter, in her first official march - wearing my cropped garnet hill rainbow sweater (she outgrew hers long ago and it's arms are now two lil dog sweaters worn by coco and tink) with the word slut painted on her bare stomach.

the march mini was snapped participatin' in was somethin' called SlutWalk. i looked it up on the worldwide web and discovered it began in canada april of last year and soon became a cause 'round the world to protest anyone explaining or excusing rape by referring to the way a woman was dressed at the time the crime took place. the protests began when a toronto police officer suggested that to remain safe, "women should avoid dressing like sluts." the marchers are typically young women dressed in whatever their version of slutty is.

though i was quite relieved to discover mini's attire, bared body portion and the word it displayed were all quite appropriate for the march she participated in - and glad to see that cropped sweater gettin' a bit more use - i'm not sure i agree with the need to dress slutty for the march. but, even dressed and labeled slutty, mini's daddy was right about her lookin' happy.

but...red streaks? maybe he saw 'em but for the life o' me i can't. which is good 'cause i didnt give her permission to have 'em, slutty or not.

Friday

forget-me-not

forgetmenots_for_my_friends

what better time to finally make it back to the blog after such a very long hiatus than world gratitude day. it's good that i arrived bearin' a special gift i worked up to express that very thing - lotso gratitude to all o' you who have continued to stop on in here, havin' to see the same ol' thing time after time but knowin' i'd return eventually.

i blogged out a long missive o' all the adventures and calamities that have been bestowed upon me - or that i brought upon myself - since i was last here but wouldn't you know - just as i was about to hit the button to push it through the postin' pipeline and out into the worldwidewebisphere, i heard the familiar fanfare that announces my dear cousin jo's return from another evening' out on the town (this time a session stalking' a batch o' TMZ shooters as they steadily stalked stars who stand around nightly on the sidewalks hopin' to be shot then shown on the small screen). it's always the same - the front door slams, then the refrigerator door opens followed by the sound of a pop top pulled...finally there's the stomp up the back stairs in her latest pair of red bottomed shoes (i'm suspicious that many have become red courtesy of red spray paint rather than mr. louboutin). tonight she was sportin'a platform/stiletto combo that added seven additional inches to her god given sixty four. add to that a 10 maybe 12 inch tower o' aquanet powered teased tresses and cousin jo's height for the night topped out around six 'n a half feet. it's always a bit shocking when she arrives so tall but it's somethin' we have always longed to be so it's nice that jo's figured out a way to make it happen whenever she wants if only until her feet start hurting.

anyway, jo showed up and read through the my genuine excuses for remainin' unblogged for such a long stretch and made it quite clear that if i decided to post my prose up as it was you'd think i was either offerin' up a batch o' fictional horror mixed with a tad o' drama and a bit o' comedy or accuse me of asking for a big ol' pity party. since i desire neither i deleted that first attempt and what you are readin' now, still not to jo's likin', is what i ended up with. i'll provide those excuses soon enough but jo's right - doin' so all at one time was a bit much.

besides, jo says things have changed so much since i first started up this window o' words that i should probably not bother unless i'm willin' to do a major overhaul. back in the beginnin' of bloggin' it was much easier - whether you were the writer or the reader. all the blogs looked pretty much the same - you could choose from a handful o' colors and maybe six fonts and get the thing up and runnin'. if you ventured out to do some readin', you could make the rounds and return back to where you started in under an hour. nowadays there's enough reading available - about anything you could think off - to waste away weeks at a time if you were so inclined. and just about every window that appears has things swirling' and blinking' and some stops along the way even provide music to read to.

i'd love to think i could provide some o' that entertainment here but it wont be any time soon..it took me forever just to get a sidebar that stayed in place and buttons that actually took you elsewhere when poked. when the doo dad shop got deleted in the spring i came awful close to lettin' it stay that way. i do hope you noticed i finally got the 'snapshots' up and running. i'll continue to add to it and will get the artwork page going shortly now that i sorta' know what i'm doin'.

thanks again for not given' up me. if you click here you can download that pretty bunch o' forget-me-nots i made for you - a lil token of my appreciation. underneath it i tucked a rare shot o' me - i'm always the snapper and very seldom the snappee. i'm all dressed up 'n doin' one o' the many things i love fillin' my day with - tendin' my garden.

please leave me a few words if you have the time. currently there's a small delay between leaving' a comment and when they appear. those bullies still stop by and rear their ugly heads now and then so for the time bein' i take a look at things first.

it's nice to be back.

Tuesday

yooooo hoooo....

believe it or not...i am workin' on some words to blog on up - bet ya' thought i was long gone. please stop back by and i'll make it worth your time. first i gotta figure out how to get it all back in order here....all my bloggin' neglect created a ol' big mess. can't wait to see you again. xoxoxomo

rizzoli & isles

rizzoli & isles in moland
i live in a neighborhood full o' celebrities. these stars o' the sceens you have to buy a ticket to view as well as those you just plop down in front of aren't of the human nature - though there's plenty o' those poked here 'n there...the fabulously famous i'm talkin' about are the houses that those with the speakin' parts pretend to live in.

right around us are some you might be familiar with....the house behind ours was home to jed clampett 'n granny in the movie version o' the beverly hillbillies...on the other side o' the street from it was where the fresh prince lived when he left philly... down my street a bit is where that handsome guy from madmen pretends to live....not too far from it is my favorite - the house that starred with steve martin - twice - in those father o' the bride movies.

seems not a week goes by that there isn't a slew o' trucks and a swarm o' headset wearin' workers in somebody's driveway. often while takin' the lil white prancin' pups for a parade to be petted by everyone we encounter i'll realize a house on our route is one i have recently seen in a commercial.

personally, i'm not a big fan o' livin' in a neighborhood of homes that have their own agents. luckily, with one exception, our neighborhood consists o' like minded home owners who may allow their residence to do a lil actin' once or twice a year, make a point o' followin' all the strict rules for doin' so and donate a bit o' their earnings to a cause their neighbors support.

that one exception is a couple o' doors down from us...these people use their house as a main source o' income...their downstairs is kept just about empty to accommodate whoever might wanna pay the fee to shoot a commercial there. before mini's daddy started payin' attention to what they were up to they violated just about every rule and paid no attention to the limited number o' days one house is allowed to 'act' in a year.

since our home had a major role in an academy award winnin' movie in the early seventies - a movie on the list of the best 25 ever made - we have gotten requests from location companies since the day we moved in. right away i announced we were NEVER going to let anyone use our home for a shoot. but mini and jo have always wanted to do so....mini's daddy only if it was for whatever his favorite tv show was at the time. finally i told the three of 'em that we could do it once but that only the outside was available...that the inside was off limits. years have passed and there have been many requests but none for just outside.

FINALLY...around the time i tumbled down the back staircase - a request was made to use JUST the pool and back yard. i don't recall anyone askin' OR tellin' me but all three say they did both. the shoot was for a new show called rizzoli & isles with angie harmon. here are a few pictures mini's daddy snapped. as you can see, the rule was bent just a wee bit so that angie could sit inside. we locked jo in her trailer so she could watch from the window but not attempt to be in front o' the camera. she, mini and mini's daddy are still fightin' over who gets the majority o' the ridiculous amount o' money paid for a day's use of a backyard 'n pool. once i found out what the current rate was, i understood a bit more why that family a coupla' doors down was so upset when they found out their house's unlimited actin' days were over.

i do so hope you are enjoyin' your summer. i plan to enjoy every remainin' second....as soon as i finish puttin' all these doo dads away in their new home. i've got one big box o' miscellaneous 'crap' left but it seems to be bottomless. i must admit - the stuff in it is lookin' less 'n less necessary to my existence.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxmo

Friday

favor number three

digital doo dads party favor three
finally....here's party favor number three. i apologize for takin' such a very long time to get it ready for you to download. i do so wish i could say it was delayed due to days doin' nothin' but dippin' doughnuts in dark drinks while daydreamin' 'bout the most desirable designer dresses bein' delivered to my door without me havin' to drive to any department store....with shoes to match 'em all of course. but i wouldn't dare drone on about deeds that i didn't do.

what i have really been doin' while keepin' you waitin' for a new dab o' doo dads was movin' into my new art studio aka doo dad den. i have always done my desiginin' 'n dilly dallyin' upstairs facin' east. i am now downstairs facin' west. my new den has divided digs - a place for doin' digital doo dads and another for whippin' up the real life doo dads. and now that i do what i do downstairs, i can also easily dance outside durin' the day to dabble in the dirt and what sprouts out of it.

the idea o' movin' downstairs to a place done up just for me sounded dreamy when first discussed and is just that now that it's done...but the actual move dared to do me in. if i had known it would take me three damn weeks to move all those doo dads i hold dear down from up i doubt i would have thought the idea was so delightful. to deliver an idea of the trips i traveled up 'n down 'n down 'n up to accomplish the move, on more than one day my dainty pocket pedometer drummed up digits equallin' over five miles - and i had never even left the house!

as anyone who drops by this blog would guess, all that draggin' things from upstairs to down provided the perfect diagram for a deluxe calamity. as the days dragged on i found myself tyin' to quicken the work by takin down more 'n more with each trip - with tinkerbell ridin' on top o' the pile of whatever i was currently cartin'. i coulda' cared less if i lost all feelin' in my limbs as long as i could get finished. so of course in no time durin' a trip down tink 'n i took a dangerous dive. the items i was carryin' (includin' tink) survived the tumble but i was certain i would never be able to get back up. i summoned a pop tart 'n stayed crumpled in the spot i landed for 'bout an hour 'til i was removed from the scene 'n placed flat 'n outta the way until i could once again move. today is the first day all my body parts seem to be almost workin' again.

i'm all moved in now - thanks to a visit from an adorable six pack packed 15 year old nephew 'n a coupla' hours donated by a coupla' jo's beaus - so party favor number four won't take near as long to appear...in the meantime i hope you'll enjoy number three! you can get it by going here.

Saturday

betty the weird wiener dog

bettyjean
if you've been around a while you might remember me introducin' you to betty jean, mini's wiener dog. she 'n mini have the same birthday and therefore celebrate each year with one big party (i blogged quite a memorable one here).

though she arrived with a pedigree, poor betty has never had great beauty, could never be completely house trained, constantly gets her tricks confused (rolls over when asked for a paw shake 'n sits when a roll-over is requested), has a tail that looks as if it spent time in a faulty pencil sharpener and sprouts fur so crunchy only those of us who love her dare pet or pick her up.

but it's not any o' her sensational short comins' that make betty jean the most unique of all the canine creatures created...no...not a one o' those. the thing that is the most - i should say weird but i'll be kind 'n call it 'special'- so...the thing that is the most special about betty jean is her hobby.

i've tried 'n tried to get a good picture but she seems to only enjoy this hobby when no human is around. this shot mini's daddy snapped with his camera phone is the best that we have...actually it's the only we have so far. you have to look really close at the smallest shot above but once you do you'll see possibly the only rose bush climbin' wiener dog in existence. i could be wrong but i don't think there are too many other unattractive badly coated trick twisted wiener dogs with this same talent. and she doesn't just climb the thorny bushes...once she arrives at the top she gets comfy 'n takes a snooze.

Friday

the second fifth birthday party favor

digital doo dad shop 5th birthday party favor
the doo dad shop's fifth birthday celebration continues and here is your second party favor....those semi-tacky sugar letters all of us of a certain age saw sittin' smack dab in the middle o' our birthday cakes. i whipped up some fluffy white frostin' for you too!

if you desire to download the second sensational set o' digital doo dad party favors just head on over to my site and you'll find a link on the news page. if you missed the first party favor just request the link when you purchase your next round o' doo dads!

thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes last week...they were each received with great joy!

xoxoxomo

Tuesday

final bit o' bragging

shabby chair
i got so excited to share my perfect storage solution that i forgot to finish off my braggin'. so....more perfection......

what makes my solution extra special perfect are the wheels i attached to the bottom. in fact i don't think i have ever confessed here in blogdom that i put wheels on EVERYTHING in my work space includin' the shabby couch, shabby chair and coffee table. i can roll everything in the room anywhere at any time. i have tried to convince my family that all furniture in all rooms should have wheels but they are still non-believers. they seem to think this need is because i spent so much time in houses on wheels earlier in my life but they are wrong about that still influencin' my current interior design choices. jo spent more time in trailers than i did n' she is also baffled by my need for furniture to speed across a room. i will convince them all sooner o' later - we are in the plannin' stage of buildin' a house in our lone star homeland and i plan to sneak wheels on everything there. finally they will be forced to accept the ability to roll at will even while sitting.

the other addition i made to what was already perfect...i covered the top of the flat files with insulated batting n' a few yards o' my favorite fabric - bright white cotton muslin. now i can use the perfect travelin' storage solution for ironing too. i love to iron....it is what i do when i am not quite myself. as i mash out the lumps 'n creases in some cotton i feel the ones weighing me down mentally begin to disappear....but i hate the site o' an ironing board (and have never been successful at addin' wheels onto one). now i have oodles o' ironin' surface available at all times that can also be used as work surface. and to make all this perfection almost too much to handle....i attached tape measures neatly all around the top o' the flat files so that i can take care o' that thing i hate to do most - measure.

so as you can see the search really is over. once i had everything set up i only had to make one major adjustment - i had to leave the top drawer unassigned so it can be used as a 'junk' drawer - a lil more influence from my dear mother.

Sunday

the search is over...

flat filesall my decades o' divine livin' i have struggled to develop a way to do up all my art supplies 'n doo dads (the real life doodads as opposed to the digital ones)... a way where they are all divided out by departments, ready for me to dive into dependin' on what i feel like dabblin' in that particular day.

my mother - who handed down to me the genetic desire to create and collect doo dads - spoke o' havin' the same dream but apparently, from what i discovered after she died, just plum gave up 'n let her supplies and delightful doo dads co-mingle in large drawers here 'n there thru out our house. to give you an idea of the magnitude o' minglin'...in one drawer i found dainty antique die-cuts dwellin' deep under a duo o' disney dwarves and in another beautiful bunny buttons beneath fabulous faux flowers made outta feathers. because of this system o' storage, it always took her quite some time to dig out whatever tool or doo dad she deemed desirable for whatever art project she was doin'. at some point i had introduced her to my mason jar set-up and even traveled back to the lone star state to set the whole system up for her...but all it took to destroy the order i had jarred was a neighbor runnin' out o' masons in the middle o' the night while picklin' up a bumper crop o' cucumbers...once again all the doo dads were poured out and blended together. i have come to think my mom preferred her doo dads as well as her art supplies mixed as she got to run her hands through many treasures each time she only needed one.

i think i have tried just about everything for storin' 'n organizin'.....bins, boxes, barrels, buntings...nothin' has been perfect and all now are buried in the basement. all the things i have tried worked fine for fillin' up and holdin' but failed miserably when called into action. a hard workin' artist 'n doo dad collector doesn't need just storage - we also need easy access and even easier clean up. if it doesn't povide both it's just no good.

my search for the perfect solution recently came to a joyful halt when mini's daddy showed me i had the solution right here in the doo dad den for some time but just didn't know it. see, a couple o' years ago i mentioned to him that it might be nice if i had a set o' flat files. while i imagined a nice lil set to store larger printer paper and big photos and art and big things waitin' to be scanned - maybe 11 x 17 would be the largest - a few days later i opened the door to a delivery of what are probably the largest flat files ever made. i'm not sure how big these drawers are....i'll just say they are huge in both width 'n depth. ever since then i have hated them. everything i wanted flat files for could fit on ONE o' the drawers. the rest were just wastin' a large amount o' space i could use for somethin' else. there was no real way to keep things other than paper divided up and i couldn't find any container that would fit and the drawers still close.

then, outta the blue, mini's daddy - who could easily be a professional shopper and feels ill if he doesn't hear the sound o' a cash register at least twice a day, brought home a couple o' sacks from that texas based shop - the container store - filled to the brim with clear plastic bins that fit perfectly in the hated flat files.....and suddenly my lifelong search for the perfect doo dad collecting system was over!

i know the word perfect might sound like an exaggeration....so i will now blog up some snapshots of a few of those big ol' drawers so you can see that no other word but perfect will do.....
flat files

Wednesday

the doo dad shop is turnin' five

party favor 1
it's hard to believe that this summer marks the fifth birthday o' the doo dad shop. you might remember that my digital doo dads became homeless due to the brouhaha that developed after i dared to discuss my disappointment - here on my blog for all to see - that so many designers deemed it okay to design their own doo dads by duplicatin' the original ideas o' more dedicated designers.

while my friend inspired amy and i struggled to get the doo dad shop up 'n runnin' that first summer, i gifted orphan doo dads to all who stopped by.

this summer, to celebrate my five years o' deliverin' delightful doo dads to you via download from the doo dad shop - AND show my appreciation to all o' you who have stood by me through the thick as well as the thin - i thought i'd pass out plenty o'party favors.

if you desire to download the first fabulous favor just head on over to my site and you'll find a link on the news page. if you do up somethin' real nice usin' the party favor doo dads please do let me know so i can show your work off here or add a link. this first party favor will be available 'til june 24th, 2010. if you missed it request the link when you purchase your next round o' doo dads!

xoxoxomo

Tuesday

jury duty

jury duty
i have only heard one person ever say anything good about serving' jury duty. it was hank hill, star o' one o' my favorites - king of the hill. but since he is a cartoon character i guess he doesn't count so therefore i must say i have never heard anybody say anything good about doin' jury duty.

somehow i have lived as long as i have without bein' able to opinionate on this necessity o' citizenship...until recently. it wasn't that i was intentionally left off the guest list and therefore not sent one o' the official red, white 'n black custom invites to partake. in fact a number o' them had been previously delivered into our mailbox. unfortunately each arrived during' times when i was under a great deal o' stress...enough stress to turn me, normally a very good citizen, into a temporarily careless citizen who had no concern for her civic duty. the invites to attend these mandatory gatherings among strangers were barely acknowledged as they were quickly piled in with all other stamped 'n canceled pockets o' parceled papers and forgotten.

when i finally remembered that i had been summoned for these serious soirees whose times had come 'n gone, i was filled with great guilt. when i later learned that the penalty for not paying' attention could mean a chance o' paying a thousand dollar fine and/or a number o' days in a lil caged room in the big house...and after these punishments, STILL owe the time as a juror, i had to add fear to my guilt. but instead of seekin' to fix my sorry self inflicted situation by seekin' assistance in a solution for stashin' away several summons, i just waited to see what would happen next.

while i worried about the time i might have to spend in jail (i have seen all episodes o' oz) i never mentioned my shame about the stashed summons to mini's daddy. i couldn't bear the shock he would show seein' me as the criminal stashin' the summons had turned me into. after all, mini's daddy is a saintly citizen who would never stave off even the lightest summon to show up as a juror or any other need his state - or country - sanctioned him to serve - even those that might not provide snacks.

i was seriously relieved when a new summons arrived but scared when i saw that it was altogether different in appearance than those that had been stashed. this new summons was in all black - no red ink this time - and all the words were in big bold capital letters. the new summons didn't ask any questions or allow spaces for excuses - it just told me when and where to appear to serve and if i didn't, when and where to appear to explain my lack o' doin' so.

when the day arrived to do my duty, i couldn't help but worry that once i arrived i would be made to provide an acceptable excuse for bein' such a sorry citizen and no excuse would be satisfactory and i'd end up in handcuffs once i handed over my thousand buck fine. my family musta' thought the same as mini 'n jo packed me enough snacks for a lengthy stay 'n mini's daddy insisted on dropping' me off - i guess to keep me from runnin' up a big parking' fee while i paid my penalty in the pen. my anxiety grew when he mentioned on the way that it was odd that i was summoned to serve in the middle o' the week - seems serving' usually started on a monday.

once i arrived at the designated den where the duty was to be done, i noticed that all the other citizens that had been summoned to serve were holding' serious summons lackin' red just like mine... i was surrounded by sorry citizens just like myself....hmmm...i wasn't sure if this was a good sign and wondered if it made sense to summon us all on the same day.... maybe they planned to shove us all into the same cell. while i was ponderin' this prospect i realized that all the other strangers summoned to serve along with me were also women. at first i found this quite strange but then felt a lil better 'bout myself knowin' i wasn't the only woman who had come close to bein' a criminal by bein', if only for a lil while, a bad citizen.

much to my surprise there was no suggestion that none of us had shown up for service after several summons. we were safely herded along, signed some signatures and sent into a very pleasant setting with quite plush seating. there was a big screen tv hung high for all the servers to see and lotso sony screens for those who sought to surf the world wide web. i opened up the sack lovingly filled with snacks and set about sharin' with all the strangers then sat, started up my ipad 'n spent the time shoppin' for shoes 'n such. the only unpleasantness was some sexy siren sittin' behind me whose fingers soared sending' silly text messages the entire time and each time she hit a key a sonic sound signaled. this was quite annoying' but everything else was quite satisfying.

after only several hours of sittin', we were sent home. not only was i surprised to have spent such a short time serving' but had become so relaxed shoe shoppin' i coulda' certainly stayed put.

seems so senseless that i had made myself suffer so - after doin' the stashin' o' those summons. now that i know how satisfying' serving' can be i am certainly looking' forward to bein' invited back soon. i may even see if they ever seek out citizens for volunteer service. i'm not sure that every city has the same set-up but i must say, next time you get summons to serve, you might wanna see it as something' to look forward to rather than something' you feel the need to get out of. i wonder what else hank hill has been right about?