Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Bleeding Heart Liberal's New Year's Eve
Spent the evening watching Who Killed the Electric Car on pay per view tonight with my kids. It really makes me want to go out and buy an electric car. I tell you, this movie, plus the fabulous An Inconvenient Truth just really makes you think, to open you eyes and see what b#((@Y&%! is being thrust upon the American public.
For the first time ever I am compelled to make one of those previously mocked-by-myself New Year's resolution; to help end global warming by doing something, whatever I can, to add to the movement.
Best part of this: My kids feel the same way about it!
Here's to 2007!

The Ride Home

We were able to get out of the house by 8:15 (I like to get an early start.) The girls wanted to stop for breakfast at the Madonna Inn (San Luis Obispo) and we made it there in no time flat. If you're ever up there, you should really check it our (we went there on our honeymoon, as did my mom & dad on theirs)...each room is decorated with a different theme, and their restaurant is fabulous.
Heading south from there, we stopped in Solvang for our usual rounds. Though bitterly cold, we managed to visit everywhere on our list. The miniature horses weren't very playful today (too cold, I guess) but we had a fun time anyway. We had a clear ride home; not even a delay in Santa Barbara, where there always seems to be a bottleneck near the zoo. I don't think I've ever made such good time coming home.
I dropped off Donna & Izze, and picked up Harmony (she missed us!) We had a quick lunch at Bread & Porridge in Santa Monica (saw Bonnie Hunt eating at the next table) then went on a few errands. I took Harm home (she has a big party tonight in Venice) and went home for a deep-conditioning hair treatment.
I don't really like to go out on New Year's eve (crazy drivers) so we are in for the night!

Hope you all have a wonderful, safe evening...Happy New Year!!!

A Chilly Evening

From Harmony, we headed further south to Morro Bay (the girls wanted to feed the sea lions.) The sun was going down and it quickly became pretty cold out; none of us had our coats, as we had been out since morning. The bay was so beautiful, the air crisp and so clean, we had to stay awhile (we walked really fast to stay warm.)

Making our way back up to Cambria, we watched the sun set over the ocean. The sky was shades of hot pink, purple and blue, there was no traffic,
lungs (and they sounded great!) By the time we got back to town we were all pretty hungry, so we picked up my aunt and had dinner at Las Cambritas. As far as Mexican restaurants go, it was so-so; the chips were stale and the margaritas on the weak side, but the fajitas looked good. After dinner, we did a little antiquing, but it was SO cold (we could see our breath) that we thought it best to go back to the house.
I'm so glad Carol has a fireplace in the bedroom; we really needed it!

Friday, 12/30

After spending a delightful morning walking the Village (and a delicious tea at The Tea Cozy) we drove with my aunt to our favorite apple farm, where they split open fresh Granny Smiths in a bowl and pour hot caramel over them (I had mine with wedges of cheddar instead.) Carol had to do an exchange at the Target in Paso Robles (and we had to visit Pajamanation, Central Coast-style!) From there, we took Carol home and drove to the TINY town of Harmony (population 18) where we couldn't resist taking these pics!

This once bustling burg has but only one lone shop open now; a pottery store with some pretty cool stuff. I picked up the funniest brooch made from a real sardine (pretty gross!) and Izze got some silver treble clef earrings.

Best Find of 2006!
Donna found these Space Food Sticks in the west Village (Cambria)at the Australian/New Zealand shop. I can't even tell you how long we've been looking for these, having such great memories of them from our childhood. Remember the peanut butter flavor? These don't taste exactly the same as we had remembered, and the shape is a little off, but we couldn't be happier to have found them!


We got into town around 7:30pm (made great time; light traffic) and picked up dinner from the Main Street Grill (salmon sandwiches.)
My aunt Carol has this great home overlooking the ocean on "Happy Hill" (she designed and built it from scratch.) I thought you might enjoy these pics of the house.

The Kitchen

Dining Room, Foyer & Living Room

Master Bedroom and Daphne the Labradoodle!

Images from a cool shop in Chinatown.
(Friday, 12/29/06)

Friday, December 29, 2006

We're off to Cambria.
Donna, Allie, Izze & I are off to Cambria, a small art community nestled in the shadows of San Simeon. Our aunt Carol lives there, and when I called to tell her we were driving up, she squealed with delight.
This morning I ran around with Holly, hitting my favorite Swarovski crystal wholesaler, my button place, my scarf place and Chinatown. We then picked up the kids and lunched at Jack 'n Jill's (a popular Beverly Hills eatery.) Of course we had to pop in to see Harm, who generously swagged my empty bag with loot for my aunt. She is going to love everything. I have to pick up some deli for her on the way (no good delicatessens up there) and then we're off! Have a great weekend!

Auld lang syne BAGPIPES

To my old friends, new friends, and those I still have yet to meet, a very happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Name is Suzi Finer, and I am a Blogoholic.

It has been thirty-three minutes since my last blog.

I can't help it, it feels so good. Part of me wants to quit cold turkey, but the other part of me just pulls me over to type, type, type some more.

Then I feel better, but only for a little while. Then that little voice inside my head starts saying, "just one more thing, Suzi, just one more post for the night...I promise!" I get sucked in all over again, feel the release, then of course, the vicious cycle begins ALL OVER AGAIN!

When will it stop?....Do I really want to slow down, to keep it all festering inside like before?

I don't think so. Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa.

Harmony is Back
What would a day off be without our Beau Peep? Now we can really road trip this weekend! Just how many times can a person drive to Rancho Santa Fe in one month? Looks like the answer is 4.
We got a pow wow going on over here regarding a destination. Update to follow.

Fashion Statement

This is the shirt of which I recently wrote about finding at the Beverly Center for $59. (my source cost: $5.) Now I know that I was getting an over-run lot, but I can usually get them for $14., after which I would sell them for $29. retail (I always keystone, not quadruple my stock.)

We will be getting more of these hot Hardy-esque babies in stock early in the new year. So for half of what you'd pay at the Beverly Center, you can be on the cutting edge twice!

Give me a call at the store after the 3rd of January (off 'til 1/2) taking requests...310.479.2444


Found this pic by artist Stan Cline on is his rendition of Beverly Park (the best amusement park that ever was) and Ponyland. It looks like a good portrait of ponies Popcorn and Cookie.
My grandfather Ben would take Donna and me there basically whenever we asked (they just lived a few blocks away, where Donna lives now.) We would always ride the roller coaster, where we were always shying away from the waving farmer, and afraid the barrels would fall on us .
I long for the spinning Tilt 'a Whirl, the Ferris Wheel that always stopped with us way up on top, and the Merry-go-round, which we never got tired of. I've never been able to find another place with that great crunchy gravel ground. There are no pony rides anywhere near me (Griffith Park is just too far.)
I wish they would tear down the Beverly Center and bring back my first happiest place on earth.

A Mighty Wind

Today it is so windy outside that I have to keep the store door shut, or the paper just wants to dance around in the air. Though it does look pretty to have the 12x12 papers fly around, it is really not such a good idea.

It is so windy, Holly's power went out in Granada Hills.

I heard that the Grapevine is like a parking lot due to wind and snow; they're escorting vehicles through to the other side. Clear skies here, but oh, the swaying trees and flying debris!

The air is so dry, I had to use extra moisturizer this morning. No lines around these eyes today. My favorites: Strivectin, Hylexin, and Kinerase. I also like to liberally apply the Kinerase to the back of my hands; keeps them soft & youthful. Another favorite moisturizing product I keep at hand: Chanel Lip Correction. Allie even uses it to keep her lips from ever being chapped. My most unusual tube: LMX 4 (Lidocaine creme) used by dermatologists to prep for laser; I keep it to numb any tiny splits I get around my cuticles. It moisturizes, numbs and heals! I get everything (except the Chanel) from Mickey Fine Pharmacy (and Camden Pharmacy; same owners) in Beverly Hills, where you can find 'lil Donna working a few days each week.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How wrong is this?

I went to the Bullocks at the Beverly Center and found a whole rack of I. Magnin lounge wear...except that there is no Bullocks anymore (it's now Bloomingdales) and I. Magnin has been out of business since 1993! What is up with this!!!

Hello Gorgeous!

This is a Creative Imaginations mannequin dressed up by Sabrina Keep using cocktail napkins and Golden Soft Gel Medium! I just love what she did with them. I would totally buy this dress.

Maybe Saturday...

I'm looking forward to my couple of days off this weekend; thinking about going to Solvang for a bit. The kids really enjoy this little Danish village, and it only takes less than two hours to get there. I especially enjoy the miniature horse farm, where we can pet the tiny foals.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For your viewing pleasure.

My own artist rolodex, used as a sample for a little workshop I put together.
Students learned basic lay-out techniques skewed to fit an average sized rolodex card. Best feature: each card has it's own individual page protector. It's like a real mini-album!

This page highlights our store business card.
Each unique card captures the feeling of the number to which it corresponds. Here, the screaming lady rubber stamp by Viva Las Vegastamps evokes the terror often felt when the school office telephones.
We encourage you to customize your rolodexes to each number's own personality.

You never know when you'll need the family Doctor to make a house call. This homage to the master of medicine just makes calling the healer just a little less painful.
A hidden flap makes for a fun dimensional element. These elements are sprinkled throughout the project, for surprise little secrets to please.

Your work has no limits; from impeccable proper calling cards to decadently altered messes, it is really up to you!
Want to make one yourself? Give us a call at the store and we can get a workshop together for you.
Just call us at Sweetpeas & Snapshots
310.479.2444 and ask for me,
Suzi Finer. I'll hook you up.

"Dr. Arthur, Something's wrong with me....

As soon as I walked into the group therapy session all the other patients _blanked__"

Yes, Ben and Elliot are watching very old reruns of Match Game on the Game Show Network. The funniest thing about this is, I could swear that I watched this same episode when it first ran like 31 years ago! Boy, do I feel old.

I've always loved the Raven.
I guess it all started with our teenage neighbor, Fred Ives, who used to pretend to be a talking raven named Auk Auk through the backyard fence. He used to leave little gifts in the backyard for my sister and me...totally exhilarating for a 6 year old child. One day he left us a little egg in a box, which we took to our room and covered with a blanket. That lasted about a week; when it accidentally broke, did it ever stink! I remember crying with Donna about not being able to have our own little bird.
There were many other fond memories of these dark birds (Uncle Billy's bird in It's a Wonderful Life for one.) and of course, that alliterative Poe-m. I still have dreams of keeping one as a pet. Maybe one day...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas with the Robakowski Family

One of the nicest things about Christmas is being with friends. This year, we again shared a holiday feast with the Robakowski Family. Alisa is a very talented graphic artist and custom scrapbooker. Her mother Bobbi (and dad Bud) were very generous this year and got her a Cricut die-cutting system. We had a really fun time playing with all the cartridges she received. Is that thing ever detailed!

Alisa's husband, Piotr, didn't really understand our fascination with all the Cricut could do. He totally mocked us, but then we got him back with golf jokes. He really likes to play golf.

Alisa served this delicious spiral cut honey ham, along with corn souffle, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, home baked crescent rolls (not Pillsbury) and vigas, a polish sauerkraut dish that Piotr took three days to make. So satisfying!

For dessert, Alisa served up a huge apple pie, a pumpkin cake, some custardy-cup with raspberries, and this Oreo yule log made by Josh Peck's mom Barbara. I think that was Allie's favorite dish.

After the feast, I went to Donna's to pick up the kids for pizza-movie night at my house. We got side-tracked there and ended up watching a really strange documentary called Grey Gardens, the story of big Edie & little Edie Bouvier Beale. What an odd mother/daughter relationship; with the two of them living in a ramshackle mansion in East Hampton. Now back at home, all the kids are watching a pay-per-view...and there is no fighting going on!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just a lovely day...

Spent the day with friends and family. First, we brought uncle Leon a huge box of lox from Costco. It is so delicious on a Ritz with a dab of sour cream. Donna, Rand and the kids joined us there, and we lunched on a variety of Subway sandwiches (I had my usual.)

We then picked up some pinkberry and met up with Harmony for a few minutes before she drove up to Lake Arrowhead for a Christmas with mom. I like my pinkberry totally plain, Harm takes strawberries, Allie likes the Capn' Crunch, and Ben just doesn't like anything there at all!
From there, the kids and I drove over to Beverlywood Bakery on Pico Blvd. I've been getting my gebecks there since I was a baby; now my kids know we can't go anywhere without a box of their decadent pastries (jewish-style.) Then a quick pop in to Whole Foods to get the Egg and out in five minutes!

I made my best time ever over Coldwater Canyon to Studio City, where at Miriam's, the fun began. While the kids watched H.R.Puffenstuff in the back...
Miriam and I had our usual Scrabble Marathon (I won tonight) then Ann and Lisa joined us for the rest of the evening (The good Lisa & Ann.)The kids (Ben, Allie, Ian, Collin, David & Savaughn) watched shows and played while us mommies yapped the eve away sipping through many bottles of Perrier-Jouet and nibbled on so much take out food. Just came home all relaxed and happy.

MY WINTER WISH TO YOU: So now, as the 'eve is winding down, I'd like to take the time to wish you a very happily holiday, and hope you all get just what you deserve. Love and happiness, gifts given with no hidden agendas, and time to realize just how lucky we all are to be here together in this world of art.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Going to the Best...

I have to get some headshots made for an upcoming BIG publicity op, so who better to take them than Robert Evans (TomKat's choice!) I think I will go for a sepia tone, serious pose (definately not color, but I'll want to see how those would come out anyway.) I have like two weeks to get ready (bought some Spanx today!)...oh, what to wear?!

This is my role model? Oy Vey!

Okay, why not. I am doing my darnedest to look as svelte as Kirstie looks now. I'm pretty pleased with my progress, that is until the lure of Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll beckoned. Oh, yes, and the Buttercake cupcake today too. At least I was aware of my digressions, and made it a point to really walk that mall tonight. I don't think I will have gained one little bit today. The amount I ate was inconsequential (to a bull elephant!) I'm such a "Loser!"
I am totally on track with my diet, and plan to stay the course for at least another six months. Not so difficult. Still delicious. I'll get a new wardrobe and be the hottest mama in town! Whew!
I can't wait!

Kelly Kilmer

How nice was it to see Kelly today? Way nice. Haven't spent an afternoon of art with her since '04! I don't know anyone else who brings SO much collage ephemera with them to share with students...and the paint! Everyone was slathering on the Golden today! The picture on the left is an example of her "Text as Art" workshop (coming up soon.)

More Custom Work Examples

Looks like somebody really likes to paint
Alice in Wonderland! These panels are actually a foam core triptych I created for the book
"Pockets, Pullouts & Hiding Places" by Jenn Mason (2005, Quarry Books), using Liquitex acrylics, all in shades of yellow. The flowers and textured handmade paper overlays were applied with Golden Soft Gel Medium. Total height, appx. 14".
The panels now reside at my sister Donna's house, on top of my Steinway (she keeps that at her house for me as well.)

Looks like I've been very naughty!

See what I got for an early Christmas?

Hot Santa! ....don't I look promiscuous!
I actually spent another fun-filled evening with little Donna and Harm, this time at the Beverly Center. The real reason we ended up there is that we love to hold the poor puppy-mill puppies at the overpriced pet store there. It really is sad to see those mostly Idaho-born pups being kept there; hopefully, our giving them a lot of puppy love brings some happiness to their little caged lives.

Donna got a new Tokidoki Le Sportsac with little devils all over it. So cute. Then, I found the exact shirts we had picked up downtown yesterday for $5.00, in a store at the mall for $59.00! Donna had also seen the scarves we bought yesterday (for $6.00) at the Museum of Modern Art store on sale for $82.00! Glad WE know where to go! Harm checked out the sunglasses at Louis Vuitton ($580.00) and then we went to Bloomingdales, where she found some that looked really hot by Gucci, for only $260.00. I can't believe I wrote "only $260.00", as that is totally decadent. Fortunately, she has a $350.00 gift certificate at Bloomies, so she just may end up with them. I still have a problem justifying that (though I admit I spent a really stupid amount on some Bulgari sunglasses a few years ago.)

Things change.
Just because a day starts out all wrong, it can be turned around. Today, it totally slipped my mind that Sabrina was coming in early to pick up the huge vintage wall unit/desk that was in the back of the store. A really cool piece, she was lucky enough to be in the shop when Mary decided to let it go (we totally needed more room!) Handyman JoJo arrived late as well, but everything worked out just fine. Now Sabrina has the most awesome piece of furniture, and we have room to add more merchandise (and a few more work tables...that thing was huge!)

Friday, December 22, 2006

La Conversation

After Holly and my productive shopping trip, it was time to pick up the kids and feed. We decided to go to La Conversation, a popular West Hollywood eatery where Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan and Leonardo DiCaprio are often found sitting next to us. Last time we went, Frankie Muniz had a little conversation with Allie. I had the omelet with Swiss cheese baguette & oven roasted potatoes (Ben had the same but with cheddar,) and Holly had an absolutely delicious curried chicken salad. Allie had the Belgian waffle (not worth the photograph) and Harmony popped over and joined us for a few minutes (her shop, The Bridal Bar, is just next door.) She took her diced chicken breast to go (she had to get back to work) and Holly got a couple of boxes of their popular Christmas cookies for the boys at home. I totally ate too much, though Allie did eat half of my omelet. After that, a quick trip to Paper Source, then home!