Thursday, September 25, 2008

Star Watching and the North Star

This is for my sister, Linda:

How can I find the North Star?

The easiest way to find the North Star (also called Polaris) is to first find the Big Dipper in the northern part of the sky. To find the North Star use the two stars that form the edge of the cup of the Big Dipper away from the handle. These stars are often called the pointer stars because when you line them up they point to the North Star. Follow an imaginary line through these two stars and this line will point you toward the North Star. The North Star is not a very bright star, so it might take some practice to find it easily.

Also, let's make it known:
on this night...
I saw 10 falling stars.

My sister saw 3.

Mom saw 1.

Now, who has the longest attention span here (and probably deserves several apologies)?

And, who can sit under these stars and doubt they were not created? Who would be so arrogant? Who would be so proud? Who would be so blind?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

At the Beach (in August)...

We are so blessed to have taken a trip with my parents and both our married daughters and their husbands in August. We all went to the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Above is our view out the back of the condo where we stayed. That is hubby David in the picture above.

We spent one day in Montgomery touring the World War II battleship there. Above is David, my mom and dad, and my daughter Ashley and her husband Matt. (Alicia and Josh had to leave early for Josh's new job.)

If you ever get a chance to go through the ship, you really should. It makes you better appreciate not only the danger those crewman were in, but also the sheer sacrifice they made day-in and day-out by living in such cramped quarters for months on end. We should all fall on our knees to them and kiss their feet.

P.S. This was our first vacation in FIVE years! Where does the time go? But maybe the next time we go to the beach we'll be taking a little grandbaby along! Wouldn't that be a peach?!?

Working on the Living Room

I've been updating our living room by retro dating the furniture and looking everywhere for 50's and 60's "prissy-butt" pieces. I've been collecting them for about three years now, waiting for the big change-over when the kids were all gone and the dogs were all perfect angels (yeah, sure!)

The first picture in each set is our before... the next picture is the after (forgive the messiness... I didn't do anything but snap the pictures).

Also: All the curtains aren't hung yet (and certainly not ironed). The walls haven't been repainted. The floors aren't done. The rugs aren't vacuumed. The old rocker needs recovered. The pictures aren't hung yet. The TV is blaring... but here's what I've been puttering around with.

This first area (above) is the entry way.

This is the regular living room area (above) with my cool French Provincial couches I bought from this lady off e-bay for a hundred bucks each. Until they became ours, the only time these couches were ever "sat upon" was for a bridal shower and a wedding shower. She had had them since 1965!

Following is part of the dining room, including the humongous old china cabinet that I am remaking into a coat closet (it wouldn't fit by our front door... about four inches too big for the opening, poodle-dogs!) I've taken out the shelves and am re-glassing the doors with yellowish glass you can't see through (like old church window glass) then I'm going to put hooks for coats inside. The cabinet is from 1967 and was also in the same family since it was purchased. I bought it on e-bay for $50.

First picture is before, second is after. All are in the works still.

This is the no-mans land between the dining room and living room. We have this horrible huge bump on the floor where the "new" living room (in the 50's) was connected to the old house. I guess I'll just have to paint it. It makes arranging furniture a challenge, but I guess that's part of the character of these old houses. I love it... wouldn't trade it for a newer one and I'm sure no one with a new one would trade me either!

P.S. My cool old phone actually works. We use these old dial-up phones to call between the house and the apartment (where my girls lived after high school when they were in college and before they got married). I feel like a regular Doris Day when I talk on this telephone!

Here are some pictures of some odds and ins that are in the room, including the old color of the room and what color it will be after I (ever) paint.

My beloved Nancy Drews... several of them courtesy of baby daughter Alicia.

The prissy-butt box that serves no purpose and is made of plastic but which, for me, is pretty much as Hollywood as it gets.

One of several of my prissy-butt 50's lamps with the little night lights in the bottom. That's the best part!

Our stellar Syrocco peacocks that actually were stellar before I got them and broke the plume off the boy. Lasted in tact for 50 years in somebody else's collection... 10 minutes in mine!

Here are the frosted windows I'm working on for the china-cabinet-not-any-more-now-a-coat-closet-so-now-you-can't-see-the-coats.

And here's the paint. It's pretty much the same, I guess, just like the curtains are pretty much the same... but really it's REAL different (that's what I tell my husband).

Soggy Wiennies!

Our baby dogs at the big swim for canines a few days ago!

It's my Lucy (the long-hair), my Frankie (in his fashionable life jacket), and my daughter Alicia's Buster (the red). Handsome and gorgeous all. Brave and brash. Wet and smelly, mostly.

My favorite picture is Frankie with the big dogs. What an expressive face!

Our Chocolate Panache Business Cards

Oh yeah!

And I forgot to show you our Chocolate Panache business cards for the show. What do you think?

A Lazy Blogger; Confusion Reigns

Months. It's been months. And I knew it too. Usually, I don't realize how much time has passed, but I even knew how lazy I was being on this thing. Well, here goes.

I've been making drawings for my cards and trying to figure out how in the world to get these ballyhoos printed. Good grief it's complicated. Okay. No, it's not. If you have oodles of money to spread around, it's easy. But when you're not just budget conscious, but budgetless conscious it takes some creativity.

My old faithful buddy Lynne has been a constant support and unbelievable good adviser. We haven't figured a ding-dong thing out, but we at least keep trying and somehow - despite all the other things she is trying to do - she is managing to keep me from just giving up.

I read the other day about this dude who went to the National Stationery Show with 16 card designs and now he and another guy are employed full-time with his little company, trying to come up with 24 new card designs in the next 12 months. ha ha ha! That blows my mind! We have so many card designs we don't know what to do (the Lord has set my drawing fingers on FIRE!) and we're trying to decide if we need to reserve designs in order to limit how much money we're going to have to sink into getting the initial runs printed. Sixteen designs. Humph. Sixteen designs is a Saturday afternoon spent in the studio. Sixteen designs.

Anyway, obviously, there's a grouch sitting here typing this today. What is YOUR prescription for being at a crossroad where you have no idea of what you're doing, but you're hell-bent on doing it anyway?

I'm signed up for market next May. I have our hotel room. We almost have our booth designed and a lot of it is constructed. We have lots of card designs in the works. But I don't have a clue as to what to do next. It's hard to get any reliable information about what to expect... so we go from expecting the moon to expecting the grave. Makes me plum tard.

Blessings to all and love love love, d.

P.S. Check out my new humongous signature next to my drawing here. This was Picasso's advice: Sign your name big.