Thursday, November 30, 2006

Have YOU Seen I AM ART T's?

Linda Woods made them, and brought a really big bunch of them in assorted sizes to me at Sweetpeas and Snapshots. Then she let me know that no other storefront in the entire world will be carrying them, and that most of the money that they bring in will go straight to Rosie O'Donnell's For All Kids Foundation. Linda is so cool; she will be taping an episode for an upcoming television program and came in today to get some materials for the show. While she was there, she gave me a special autographed copy of Visual Chronicles to give to Harmony (and an I AM ART shirt as well!) Linda will be at the shop on December 9th, all day, leading a free Spirit House workshop and signing her inspirational book; if you have time, come on over, as we will be having our Winter Wishes Holiday Soiree that day, and the snacks will be delish. Did I mention that we'll have our store-wide sale as well at the same time? Well, there, now I did!

I love it that my friends are popping up on television seemingly every week.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Meet the author of Visual Chronicles on Saturday, December 9th (all day) at the store, 11726 West Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles (just west of Barrington.) She and her sister (co-author Karen Dinino) were just featured on The View, where Rosie O'Donnell called Visual Chronicles "The Only Book You'll Ever Need...!"For more info, call me at the store: 310.479.2444

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jenny Craig

I have to sing the praises of this surprisingly easy program; after 20 weeks, I'm down 37lbs, and have achieved "30% off food" status. I was a tad worried after my Thanksgiving weekend off, but there was just a one day minor gain which thankfully subsided the next morning. I had attempted to be a "Craig-ite" in the early '90s, but found the food dull, but now, WOW! My personal favorite is the Meatloaf Dinner (I've had it practically every night for ten weeks.) I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

I didn't mention it in my post from the other day, but for the very first time in my life, I purchased two shirts from Banana Republic. I truly believe had it not been for my recent lifestyle change, these purchases would never had been possible. I love Jenny Craig!


I don't mind a little controversy now and then, but if one is going to make uneducated comments, one should not be a "cowardly lion"..."anonymous" is often just another word for cowardice.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Compressed, Free Vacation

How many things can a determined person do in 24 hours? A heck of a lot, it seems. After working all day yesterday, I snatched my kids and popped over to my friend Harmony's place. We set off for LaCosta at 6pm; by 7:40 we were at her brother's new home (he graciously let sis use the place overnight.) Dumping our stuff off, we headed out to see just about the worst movie ever: Deck the Halls. So stupid, but the kids loved it. Then we headed over to The Golden Spoon, where the frozen yogurt is served with...golden spoons! Back to the pad, I crashed upstairs on the cool "gel" mattress; Harmony and the kids camped out on the biggest, most comfortable couch the world has ever seen. This morning, we headed out to a fantastic breakfast at The Potato Shack in Encinitas where they serve "man-hole cover sized pancakes" with chocolate chips. So decadent, so delicious. From there, we met up with my cousin Candace Naiditch at Costco, where I bought a faux-fur throw for Allie (who was obsessing over the one she slept with at Harm's brother's house.) THEN, we headed over to the Carlsbad outlet mall (40% off at Banana Republic!) before I dropped Harmony off at the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club (she had lunch with her daddy Bruce and grandma.) While she was eating, I took the kids over to the Forum mall in Carlsbad, where we had spicy hot chocolate at the Venezualan Chocolate shop, Chuao. After an hour, I rushed back to the club, grabbed Harm and took her to the coolest market in the world; Stumps. We really enjoy walking up every aisle there. Looking at our watches, we realized we'd have to jam if we wanted to hit our next destination: The Pink Pinapple Scrapbooks in Vista. Without any problems, we made it over there in no time flat. I was so happy to see Marah Johnson's artwork over there...she is teaching at Sweetpeas and Snapshots on December 16th and I am signed up for all three of her workshops. It was really time to head back to Los Angeles by then, but Ben and Allie were jonesing for some Chuckie Cheese, so we caved and took them there for a cup-of-tokens-each amount of time. After that, we headed home; made it back to my place by 7:30pm. A whirlwind of a weekend, but a good time was had by all!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

So Fabulous...

Family dinner last night at a perennial favorite; Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. It is getting more and more difficult to find places that are consistently great; this is never an issue at this restaurant. If you'd like to put yourself in a chiaroscuro-filled environment with the most delicious Mole imaginable, I can highly recommend this spot (the Carnitas are far above average as well!)
T.M.I. time:
Suzi: Albondigas y Chicken Mole
Allie: Albondigas y Flautas sin todos
Elliot: Quesadilla
Donna: Tostada en concha
Isabel: Guacamole (with the best chips; like chicharones, but flour!)
Bubbe: Enchilada de pollo
Gary: Burrito
Rand: Tostada en concha
Ben: Quesadilla
It was great seeing the Foxxy Croppers who came to visit me yesterday, (you've all been so welcoming; it's a pleasure to be part of the group!)
I'm going to be at
Sweetpeas & Snapshots all day today. Happily, Holly Dye is on her way out here (from the far end of the Valley) to work on an ATC project. Some great new product came in from K & Company this week; I know Holly is going to love the cameo brads. We'll be exercising our minds, working hard to come up with a fantabulous make 'n take for the Holiday party here at the store on December 9th. Artist/Author Linda Woods will be leading a filled workshop, after which she will be signing her book, Visual Chronicles at our party, and we'll have some delicious nibbles to snack on.
I can't wait!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Still full the next morning...

Talk about a great meal! We went to my cousin Adaire Harris' home for our feast (she is 86 and is an amazing artist.) That her house is so comfortable always surprises me, as she has white sofas, white carpets, and breakables abound. Yet five children managed to run amok for three hours (mostly playing "trial"; Adaire's late husband Irving was a judge, so there is judge paraphenalia all over the place.) There is a very cool portrait of Irv hanging on the wall painted by his good friend, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Adaire's daughter, cousin Diane (who works for the James Beard House in New York) prepared the most delicious, juicy Turkey ever, plus my downfall, her magnificent white-truffle stuffing. I ate too, too much.
She told us a funny story: She and her fam were in Kauai, when they visited a restaurant which was "hot" at the time (big name chef.) When the food arrived, the dish her mother had ordered was not right; too vinegary. The one snooty waitress on the entire island informed them that "this is Balsamic Vinegar", and "don't you know who our chef is, and this is the dish he personally prepared for the James Beard House in New York City which won him acclaim!" Not one to usually open her mouth, this was too much for Diane, who reached into her bag, pulled out her business card, and told her "Yes, I know, I was the director there that evening, so I do know how good this actual dish can be!" The waitress practically swooned, and for the rest of that meal, the entire staff bent over backwards to see that they were taken care of. Funny.
My sister Donna and I had a rude moment; we excused ourselves at 8pm to sneak into the den. Had to watch Survivor. Fortunately, our family understands our obsession. By the end of the program, half the guests were in there watching Nate get voted off the island.
Great night; warm family, perfectly prepared food, and Survivor.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Diabetic's worst nightmare...

Right now i'm making my sweet pototoes. So good 'cause they're so bad! I'll share:

2 sticks of unsalted butter
One box of dark brown sugar
3/4 bottle of maple syrup
Melt all together in large, deep skillet (I am partial to my All Clad) until CARMELIZED

Add three large cans of drained, cut sweet potatoes. Lower flame. Cover for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often, until soft and golden.

Spoon into baking pans, let cool to room temperature, then add marshmellows before reheating in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Have you seen this image?

I think some of you may have. Let me tell you a little story about her. There was once an instructor at my old Beverly Hills store (the world famous Suzi Finer Artworks & Artware) who used an image practically identical to this one in all of her workshops. "Where did it come from? Where can we get one?"; the pleas at each session almost became a mantra.

Flash forward a few years, when after closing my beloved shop (and after being taken in by a lying partner in Palm Harbor, Florida, who left me high, dry, and out to die) I was found by Sweetpeas and Snapshot's Mary Smilove as I was managing a celebrity-studded pharmacy in the heart of Beverly Hills. She convinced me to leave my safety nest (lunch was right next to the Xanax) and join her team; adding my Suzi Finer Rubberstamps & Specialties section to her paperie. A management team was born. While placing my orders for the coolest rubberstamps, I rememebered the face; her haunting eyes were longing to be pressed onto paper. Through hours of obsessive search and discovery, eureka! I found her via an obscure clip-art aveunu. I made some tiny changes and now are the only venue where you can find our little "Trixie" rubberstamp. We love the way she fits on all of Catherine Moore's fabulous Character Constructions rubberstamp body-parts ( also available at the shop. You can reach me there by popping in, or calling.

Sweetpeas and Snapshots 11726 West Pico Blvd. West Los Angeles, Ca. 90064 (310) 479-2444

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

We've had a very busy time, what with all the buzz about the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes wedding. Harmony Walton ( was instrumental in booking their photographer, Robert Evans, through her very special event gallery. After a phone-call-frenzied Saturday (EVERY mag in town was calling) we got a little respite via Happy Feet up at the Univesal City Walk IMAX with Ben & Allie.
Sunday proved to be a much calmer day, when after spending the morning making samples for an upcoming project, I took the kids to a private event at the Paul Frank Store. We were treated to delicious cupcakes from Frostings in Long Beach, after which we got to silk-screen our own Paul Frank t-shirt. Fun! If that wasn't enough, we then went to Century City and watched For Your Consideration with Donna, Rand & her kids, later meeting up with Gary & snatching Harmony off to my least favorite restaurant in the world (Soup Plantation.) It's that whole buffet/line/wait issue that I have, plus the all-starch-all-day menu. Lets just say that I've relegated that restaurant to Gary.
Monday, after a fun-filled day at Sweetpeas and Snapshots, I rushed back to the Bridal Bar (more sample-making) where we decided to have a little photo-booth fun. Harm & I raced over to the Lucky Strike Lanes at Hollywood/Highland and met the really cool shoe guy and waitress Audrey. As we were walking back to my car, we noticed quite a crowd in the center of the complex; we had to investigate.
Turns out that James Blount was giving a FREE concert there that night...and Harmony is a big fan. She had tried to get tickets to his sold-out concerts earlier this month, and there he was with only a couple hundred people to see. We went upstairs to the French Creperie, got a table by the rail and dined to his tunes. When I got home, Gary was sleeping, Ben and Allie were waiting up for me all excited, so we watched our usual Monday shows 'til late.
Tuesday was dinner with Uncle Leon (91); Aunt Carol & cousin Tony were in from Cambria, so since Carol had been craving Deli (there are no Deli's on the central coast) we went to Canters for dinner. Marc Canter came over to the table to visit, telling us how busy they are and how tomorrow (11/22) they are catering the Rolling Stones concert at Dodger Stadium. Pretty cool...he's a nice guy; Rand used to play softball with Marc when he was on the TIOF team.
Getting set to open at Sweetpeas now...hopefully, it'll be a very busy day.