Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Donna and I drove down to a scrapbook store consortium meeting (I went to "represent"; Donna kept me company for the 44 mile ride) at Scrappin' in the Hills, (Anaheim Hills,) today. About a dozen stores have now made a friendly arrangement to support each other with referrals and interactive events. It was great seeing everybody (and hooking up with my old rep friend Ms. Yost!) I was especially happy to meet Trish from Scrappin' Good Times (San Dimas.) We'd been talking on the phone for a bit now and I always feel better having a face to put with the voice.
After the very productive session, we headed across the world to E-Powersellers (Granada Hills) to pick up a paper display from dear Holly's dear husband Philip. He made Donna's day by gifting her with one of his multi-packs of multi-colored hot glue sticks with matching 8.5x11 paper packs. By the time we were done there it was time to pick up Ben from school (Allie had a play-date with a friend) so I snatched him up and took him back to the shop.
Apparently the UPS man had decided to bring an entire truckload of new stock to the shop today while I was away, because there was barely enough room to walk inside due to the masses of boxes. Mary had done a remarkable merchandising transformation; everything looked so fresh! She really has a magic touch when it comes to making everything look amazing. Ben and I rolled up our sleeves (Tanja and Sabrina were already knee deep in embellishments & papers) and I went for the pricing gun. I had to leave at six to drop Ben off at his youth group meeting, but had a fun few hours with the girls (and Ben.) Tomorrow is going to be quite a display challenge!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 7:31 PM
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Here's a Coptic-stitched mini-journal I sewed together using gift wrap and PVA glue to cover the chip board. I added the Swarovski crystals with Diamond Glaze, and used waxed linen thread available at Sweetpeas and Snapshots (with a single, curved needle also available at the shop.) I added my own signature-signature covers to each signature (grouping of pages in the real world) to bring visual continuity and beauty to the open pages. The pages in this book are made of regular copy paper; there is no rule saying you need to use expensive paper inside!
Want to learn to make your own? Give me a call at the shop (310.479.2444), all you need is forty dollars and two hours. I call it my Kamakazi Coptic class.
The single curved needle method was taught to me by master book artist Jeannine Stein, who allows me to share this knowledge & skill with others (I feel the need to give credit where credit is due however. She is the best.)
Speaking of book arts, I am still planning to get this fore-edge painting thing going. I bought the special press from Martin Frost in England, studied up on it; now I just need the time to test my talent. I'll let you know when I get around to it.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:10 PM
I don't think the people at 2peas intended their frames to enhance my dinner, but what the hey. This is a delicious seared Ahi with long grain rice and grilled peppers (fiery pineapple salsa added to the flavor-fest.) Ummmm.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:48 PM
It's that time again.
Girl Scout cookies. Our good friend Adrianna Robakowski is the dealer of delicious this year. We got a few boxes (dropped off the Thin Mints and Sugar Free Brownies to Leon and Paul.)
Allie gave up the scouts after 2nd grade. Although she enjoyed it very much, the camping aspect of the program just wasn't for us. Allie employed a very special technique when she was selling the cookies. When a potential customer walked past, she would accost them, piping something like "love your purse, would you like to buy some cookies?" or (to Larry King) "I like your tie, would you like to buy some cookies?" It usually worked.
I'm so relieved that part of her childhood is over (although she still is quite adept at using flattery to get what she wants.)
Here are our nails today (from Sunday's polishing.) They've lasted quite well; much better than usual (no, they're not fake!)
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:30 PM
Monday, February 26, 2007
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 10:23 PM
An Oscar Note
To the winners: A hearty congratulations to all who were awarded the much honored statuette last night.
To the stylists: Many gorgeous gowns, many not-so gorgeous.
To the producers: Too many montages!
To the director: Too long.
To the host: Ellen, you're SO funny! Loved your myspace photo op.
I personally loved the shadow art. It was really amazing the way they contort themselves (how did they ever get that gun to shoot?)
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:12 AM
Last night I worked on a banner for this blog, and have encountered some difficulties with the blogger format. New blogger brought more features in an easier program, but the templates provided a challenge to personalize. Claudine for one, had some brilliant suggestions, which did not come to fruition (great for old blogger, bad for new); the best solution seems to be to create a new template from scratch (not fun.) I've succeeded in being able to place the banner at the end of the blog (see bottom) but will continue to play with the html format. Hopefully, by the time the banner is finished, it will be able to take it's rightful place at the top of the page!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:05 AM
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Big surprise this morning.
The old camelia bush at uncle Leon's has begun to blossom. It's been at least ten years since this ancient plant has presented anything close to a semblance of a bud, and she's doing a darn good job of it. The leaves are not in the healthiest condition (any tips?) but the blooms are fat and white. There was even a hummingbird buzzing around it today!
These two-tone pink flowers have never stopped their bloomality. Lucy always sees to it that there are fresh cut flowers throughout the house (friends keep him happy with live orchids as well.) Now the bulbs I planted over the years are getting ready to bloom.
In the next few weeks, we're going to replant the boxes around the pool for spring.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:52 PM
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:48 PM
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:01 PM
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 6:40 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:48 PM
The Craft Cottage
This is a peek into Alicia Walker's amazing Craft Cottage. Walking down her "candle-lit" stone path through her spacious yard, one would never imagine the world inside this special structure. She has it done up with a decidedly vintage feel; very Sweetpeas and Snapshots but with Alicia's own personal touches. I, of course, was completely drawn to her collection of Alice in Wonderland pieces (I had started a small collection myself for my daughter Allie when she was born, and personally enjoy creating art inspired by the characters.)
Alicia and Alice had totally decked out the main house for Erin & Norman's Chinese New Year-themed birthday bash. An abundance of fresh, delicious Asian food filled Alicia's spacious kitchen (and the caramel apple martinis were divine!) So many decorating details; everything was just lovely (and fun fun fun!!!)
The girls had set up the Craft Cottage with scrapbook papers and embellishments, and a few friends were snapping away with their digitals. Erin had brought her HP personal photo printer to the cottage, and another friend busied herself printing out the fresh pictures so the guests could put pages together for the birthday babies. Just fabulous.
Everyone was so nice; got to see Evelyn and Rachel (Norman's crew), Hila and hubby, met Mary's brother-in-law & cousin, Sabrina had her hair straightened (gorgeous) and Alicia's husband Robert looked dashing in his smoking jacket! So many other familiar faces; I have chronic name-forgetting problems (no offense.)
Gary and the kids were surprised to see me home so early, but it was my own fault. I should have asked about pets before I arrived at the party; I didn't know she had a cat. I have chronic asthma and had to make a swift get-away when I started to feel my chest tighten. The body always knows when cats are around even when the eyes can't see them! I made it home before it got out of hand, and heavily medicated.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:33 PM
Courtesy of Anthropologie on South Beverly Drive. They always come up with something cool for their windows.
Holly Dye and I spotted it on our brisk walk this evening (before the party for Erin & Norman thrown by Alicia & Alice.) We also popped in to the Paper Source on Brighton Way to see Monica. We just love her. Monica used to work at Judikin's Stamp Stamp Stamp; I met her years ago when she used to pop in to my old shop (she was an avid rubber stamp enthusiast.)
Her mother, Merrill Morris, is a very talented artist in her own right (and really nice too.) Paper Source is so lucky to have Monica.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:18 PM
Chocolate por favor.
I just love this individual serving of chocolate that is just one of the many party favors in the swag bag for tomorrow's Bridal Bar/Patina Wedding event at Disney Hall. Harmony Walton has really put together (along with her corporate party-partners) a world class event. I can't wait to see how it all comes together!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:09 PM
Friday, February 23, 2007
Being Friday, I didn't need to go to the shop until the afternoon, so after seeing Gary settled, I popped over to my friend Chachi's house.
She lives over on Hillcrest Road in the 90210 flats of Beverly Hills (think Walsh.) She was having the house painted again; she has an on-staff painter to keep up with her ever-changing wall whims. Totally cool. She wanted to pass on down some wear-ables to Allie (she has three daughters who have great fashion sense)
Four bags of clothes later, she whisked me off to Urth Caffe on South Beverly Drive for hot beverages. After sipping some fresh brewed Royal Breakfast Tea and nibbling on baguette toast, we went to the Beverly Center, where Chachi bought a white Le Sport Sac Tokidoki to match the one Donna bought for me last week. We like to match*
We went back to her house where she dug out a saxophone for me to give to Donna (Izze decided that she wants to play the sax, and Chachi's kids have lost interest. She'll get it back if/when Izze's done.)
I headed off to the shop where things were bustling. There were so many people there (checking out the new CHA releases) and things had been moved all around. Mary likes to totally redecorate the store all
the time; today she was moving the "Baby" section across the world next to weddings. This move is to make way for her new "Candy Bar", which is reminiscent of an old-school candy counter (our old school, not our mother's!) We're loving all the evolving going on, especially the soon-to-be-unveiled "wall of color" invitation center, where anyone can just walk in and take care of their personal paper needs. Everything should be in place very soon (hopefully in time for the March 10th Home Companion cover-celebration festivities. Emily Falconbridge and Gina Armfield will be gloriously presenting free make 'n takes, and I've arranged with my friend Catherine Moore (Character Constructions) to hold a "Mad Tea Party Collection" trunk show to introduce this cool new collection then.
Mary was hosting a private party this afternoon, so I manned the floor while she, Pauline and the fairy princess led the group in their festivities. I closed up shop at seven, worn out but happy with the day.
*Holly and I also have a huge matchy-matchy thing going on. Makes things much more enjoyable.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:38 PM
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Must be all of the top secret projects I'm creating for my upcoming Suzi Finer craft book (F & W Publications, Fall 2008 release) ...Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
I have approximately 144 projects to complete by my December deadline (I'm a little ahead of my time-line track) and am filled with ideas for the fierce new pieces to pump a shot of life into an enthusiastic mind. I got my peeps watchin' my back and have enlisted some personal faves to add a piece or two just to mix things up a little. All the themes are in order (I'll be dangling some teasers now and then...can't show too much); but I can tell you the entire project is twerked to work.
I've emailed my crew with the deets, but if you personally have had a dream project you'd like to create to fruition, shoot me an email, and I'll see if it would fit into my vision. My only promise is that I will not "steal" your idea, but can't promise you that I had come up with a similar project at an earlier time, as happens often in this art world (remember the cigar box purse debacle?) I am not here to plagiarize, just to put out my best pieces, and find the best of the best contributors to include in the project. No guarantee in the final cut department, just a chance for an opportunity to be a new usual suspect. I can tell you from personal experience that life if much more vivid if you take chances. We'll talk.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:41 PM
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Charlie is my teacup Yorkie. He has one eye (his left)...the other was knocked out a few years ago by another dog (we won't talk about that.) He weighs about three pounds, and last Monday, he turned seven years old. We got him for Allie as her 2nd Birthday gift (really for mommy!)
He loves to sleep in his little doll chair we had bought for Allie at Target (Christmas, 2001.)
Having him around makes everything good. The first thing Gary had to do when he got home from the hospital was to cuddle up with our pupalooda. He rarely barks (only if our buzzer rings) and will let any child dress him up and play with him. Definitely not an alpha male.
He is a mommy's boy (likes to climb up on me to sleep) and favors the Beverly Drive loop for his course of choice. I love my dog. (sorry gals, he's neutered!) He socializes very well ("plays well with others") and his best night out was at the SPCA doggie ball in San Diego a 'coupla of years back, hosted by Bill & Lauri Walton. He loved his swag-bag and still talks about the celebrity pooches he got to hob nob with at the event.
He is such a Yorkie. He refused to use the amenities from the entire trip down to San Diego, through the entire festivities, and on the long ride home; a good seven hours. Then, as soon as I parked, he leapt to his spot and allowed the pent-up you-know-what to flow freely.
Ah, Relief. He was the perfect guest.
I Love my Dog!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 10:35 PM
I went to The Church of the Good Shepherd tonight with Harmony for Ash Wednesday observance; it was my first experience attending this sacred ritual. I had been to that church before (Chachi's kids all had their first communions there) and my friends often accompany me to services at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. I figured with all that was going on at home, it couldn't hurt to add some outside-my-usual-spirituality to the day.
The house was packed; by the time the priest was ready to anoint parishioners with the ashes, it was standing-room-only.
The service was lovely...the only thing that struck me as strange was when the priest added some comments as to how the parishioners should conduct themselves at prayer; to "not be like the hypocrites at synagogues" by "standing and showing off their praying" and "not be like the hypocrites at synagogues" by " donating alms for personal attention" and "standing in synagogue to pray in front of others" (like we weren't standing at intervals there.) Harm shot me a perplexed, embarrassed look as the priest was saying these things, as she had never heard a priest ever say anything derogatory against any other house of worship. I thought it off-putting (I'd never heard any clergy publicly admonish another religion at a service either) but shrugged it off. I really don't believe that he meant to offend anybody.
She received her ashes, and later, her communion wafer (I received a blessing.) Everyone was so friendly, and the singing was very nice.
After the services, Harm took me to dinner at her favorite sushi restaurant, Hamasaku on Santa Monica Boulevard. I have rarely in my life had anything as close to perfection as the food served here (Mr. Chow's chef's menu & the steak at Dan Tana's are right up there!) They specialize in special sushi rolls served cone-style (reminiscent of Puck, only not crispy)...the "Fox" roll (unbelievable hot crab), "Charlize Theron Tacos" (spicy tuna w/jalapenoooooh) and "Tyler" roll (spicy tuna with diced apple & mango) amazed, and Harm had an Ahi salad that she would of allowed me to photograph had I remembered my camera. The restaurant has little table signs to reserve seats for their highly-celebrated clientele; on any given night one could find Enrique, Lindsay, Mary-Kate or Ashley, Cameron, Drew, Justin, blah blah blah etc...sitting at one of the darkly lit tables. The owner is "Mr. Host-extraordinaire", making everyone feel like an old friend. Of course he was very warm to us, as Harm is a regular there (my first time.)
She then took me to pick up Ben at his youth group meeting (who I had dropped off earlier) and we went to Diddy Riese to pick up a cookie for Allie and him. Gary was sleeping on the big chair (he has since gone to bed.) Ben and I are now watching Top Design on Bravo.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:25 PM
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:05 AM
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Good Things (not in any order)
1. Ben played his viola for me tonight; he sounded really great.
2. My friend Catherine Moore (Character Constructions) agreed to do a trunk show at Sweetpeas and Snapshots on March 10 & 11.
3. Looks like Amy Tangerine is going to do a trunk show the following week, most likely sponsored by Bacardi (who doesn't like a fruity drink!)
4. Rand came and changed the dressing. It's great to have a wound specialist in the family.
5. Jenny Craig Macaroni and Cheese
6. My apparently huge base of friends; thanks for all of your support!
7. The jar of Olive Tampanade Megan bought for me at Trader Joe's
8. Jeff Gross (Mickey Fine Pharmacy, Beverly Hills)
9. 500+ hits a day.
10. Finding a gmail-box overflowing with good things!
All topped off with a cherry.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 7:44 PM
Monday, February 19, 2007
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:37 PM
Allie commented on how the balmy heat outside felt like Ching Young Village. It did. That comparison seems to come up a lot in our home, whenever the weather-conductor leads a warm, breezy symphony of a day out here. It's funny how climate can evoke memories that way.
Yesterday evening, however, the weather turned from balmy to bitterly cold. Now we have the rain (pretty much down to a sprinkle now.)
Gary said they may release him today. I'm so angry with him for this horrible episode. Which is the best room for him, will I have to change his dressings? Some relief that Rand is available but unable to drive due to his own medical issues. The kids are tweaked. I feel totally emotionally detached from the entire situation; so not used to that feeling.
We'll see what happens next.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 9:30 AM
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Donna bought me this new Le Sports Sac Tokidoki purse to take a moment of stress away.
It worked for a few seconds, and then gave me bursts of pleasure throughout the day. I love my sister.
Tomorrow is my nephew's birthday, so after visiting Gary at the hospital, I spent the rest of the day with Elliot. I took him to Floyd's Barbershop on Melrose, where he got a trim. I felt the dire need to have them cut off my hair, but stopped short of pulling a Brittney.
I haven't had short hair since I was in elementary school, and I have to say, it is very cathartic. I feel so unburdened.
We met up with Donna, who had arranged a birthday dinner for Elliot at "our" Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown. It was cool to have dinner in Chinatown on Chinese New Year.
Elliot's best friend, Errol, came with us, and Donna bought smoke bombs, sprite bombs, and other fun noise-makers. There were fireworks going off everywhere and celebration held sway.
Gary is mostly off the I.V.'s, but is still having issues with controlling the blood sugar. We'll know more about that tomorrow. He was just really glad to see the kids this evening (they had spent the night at my mom's house and the day at Ben's show in Thousand Oaks.)
Glad to be home. Long Day.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 8:12 PM
Friday, February 16, 2007
My friend Susan Weiner has created these fundraising mirrors, using artwork hand made by children! What mother wouldn't bid on a mirror with their child's masterpiece gracing the frame! The proceeds all go to Susan's favorite cause: School Fundraising! I used to be so involved, now, not so much. Things change. It feels good to know that the torch is still burning in the money-raising game. I hope she breaks all the previous records!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 11:13 PM
As seen on the fifth floor, north tower at Cedars Sinai tonight. It's really big, too.
I know it's difficult not to fall when you're sick; I tripped seven times myself there today; I learned that a hospital is no place to where Crocs (they tend to stick at times.)
Anyway, Dr. Goodman called me to say that Gary has Diabetic Ketoacidocis and a virulent Staph infection, which caused a neck abscess that makes the one in this link file look like a pimple! Add to that a secondary skin infection possibly linked to his psoriasis; there you have it! Toss in some major depression, and what do you got? I don't even want to tell you. At least the doctor is very sweet and they have a crack team working with him. He'll be staying in at least through Monday, according to the doctor.
After we visited Daddy, Donna, Harm and I took the kids to "MILK" a new dessertery on Beverly Blvd. where Harm treated the kids to some sweets. Not soon after we arrived, in popped our Beverly Hills Model friend (from my Camden days,) dear Derrick! What a treat to see him so out of context. We told him how cute he looked, and he noticed I had darkened my hair. I told him that I was going to cut it all off tomorrow.
We all laughed! I love Los Angeles.
Social worker meeting tomorrow!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 10:51 PM
Thursday, February 15, 2007
From Linda Woods & Karen Dinino: here's the deal
"Alright, People! We're making another plea...we want to see the number on our charity badge rising every time we look at it. See, it's over there on the right and the total keeps not going higher. We know that many people can't even afford to spare $10 right now, but know that you can help just by spreading the word... how about putting our charity badge in your blog for a couple days to help raise money for kids? That would help, too! We'd LOVE that! The sad, scared, hungry, abandoned-by-everyone kids will love that. Just click on our badge where it says add this badge to your site for easy instructions on how to do that.I'm gonna sweeten the deal...if 100 people donate by the end of February, I will do a FREE FREE FREE class at Sweetpeas & Snapshots where they will serve cupcakes and smiles and I'll serve arty inspiration."
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 11:10 PM
I know that I often let my personal "filter" overflow and spill my thoughts out all over this blog, but I can't apologize about that; I've made a pact with myself not to bottle up any feelings or emotions anymore, as letting 'em out has drastically improved my self-health. After all, it is my blog.
I deeply appreciate all of your emails and emotional support. Gary is resting "comfortably", but it looks like he's going to be at Cedars for a few more days. I have to tell you, that experiencing bad times like this really makes one hyper-aware of how many people care, and thank g_d for friends and family. Thank you all.
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 10:34 PM
My husband Gary had emergency neck surgery. I myself am filled with mixed emotions for many reasons.
First, he had been neglecting his health (diabetic-cancer survivor) for close to three years, as the group health insurance which covered my family became totally unaffordable (cobra) after my business partner (who controlled our insurance) unexpectedly & abruptly abandoned our business, creating a domino effect of trust and security loss. Gary's been uninsurable since, due to his existing conditions.
Secondly, he kept his grapefruit-sized abscess a secret from us for the past week, feigning a headache, believing it would go away by itself. He hid his abscess due to fear of surgery, fear of more recovery and fear of being scolded for not taking care of his health. He was especially afraid to go to the doctor, as he didn't want to incur a huge medical bill, which we cannot afford. I know he was scared, but things just don't go away by themselves.
Thirdly, Cedars, knowing full well that we were uninsured, performed the surgery there. I was at work when he went in; I thought for sure they would have sent him to County General. I don't even want to know how much that bill is going to be!
I am relieved that he is alive, but so angry at him for his actions. I am optimistic that his family will lend their support. I am hopeful that in the future the Democrats will get some sort of national medical program put into action (that's about as political as I get.)
I'm going to work now to escape for a few hours!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 7:07 AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
No Greater Love
Valentine's Day came a few hours early tonight (10:57pm) when "I-Can't-Sleep" Allie also couldn't until tomorrow to give me the elaborate Valentine she prepared for me.
"Make sure to read the back" she yelled, scampering off to bed.
Here is the front of her creation, it reads:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Thanks for everything and remember
I love you.
This card was attached to the rear of the package, and reads:
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
Happy Valentines Day!
I (heart) YOU
(heart heart heart)
Inside the package I found a very thorough report on "Our California Heritage", spiral bound and in full color.
You know, I have a propensity to read all about California history. I am a huge Huell Howser fan (Look at that!) and love to learn obscure tidbits about my favorite state.
This should be a learning experience!
Human Interest: Stories from suzi finer at 11:00 PM