Monday, April 30, 2007

Teresa McFayden's Quirky Assignment

The fantabulous TMcF tagged her readers to list seven quirky things about themselves. Being one who faithfully peruses her minutia on a daily basis, I had to comply. Here are the rules…. each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

I don't take ice in my soft drinks ever (hate anything diluted.)

I don't like my food to touch...think borders between the rice and chicken. You can guess that it follows that I eat each section separately in their entirety before moving to the next section.

I have no patience for poor service. I expect to get as good as I give, and can be quite nasty. Really.

I can't bring myself to drink tap water.

I engage strangers in random conversation practically wherever I go, much to the chagrin of my companions, unless I'm with my sister, who happily joins in on the banter.

I can't stand having anything on my hands. This is really odd, as I used to be a professional cake decorator, and somehow managed to rarely get the icing on myself. Can you imagine how I would freak out when the airbrush color would occasionally get on my fingers? Ew!

I totally immerse myself in the moment, in an obsessive/compulsive kind of way. Can't help it. On the flip side of that, I can completely shove unpleasant thoughts right out of my head (talk about denial!)

Now that that's done, who do I tag to reveal their nasty little issues?
Amber Dawn

Later this evening: Harmony told me that I should have written about how I like to nuke my ice cream until it's all melty, don't stand up for myself enough, trust too easily, believe that mostly everyone is good, give everything away for free, but don't get rid of the one thing I should get rid of. She's a very good friend (and a little bit too right sometimes.)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

More to Love...
Ben got the call tonight; he's been asked to play Danny Zuko in the Youth Academy of Dramatic Art's production of Grease.
But of course.

You're Going to Love This One...

Tonight, while the kids were at a Bat Mitzvah, I babysat for baby at Donna's Rosewood Elementary School fund raiser (I couldn't go to the party and socialize right now...too many things going on here.) I dragged Beau Peep with me, as I often have issues with crowds (I need a buffer.) She kindly obliged my idiosyncracy, and sat beside me all night while Donna did her duty.
Puppy was very good, using the Potty Pad when necessary and sleeping away most of the night. Out of nowhere, a security guard sat down beside us, telling us that an evil mom in red

wanted the dog outta there! He laughed and told us not to worry, she was welcome to sleep there. We shot the breeze with him for awhile, teasing the 23 year old guard, asking if he thought if any of the moms at the event were hot. He said "Oh no...none of those ladies would do" and went on to say "If she ain't 280, she ain't my lady!"
We were dumbstruck, then broke out laughing. That was one we'd never heard before; he was a total chubby-chaser! Ha!
By the way...don't worry, baby never got even a lick of that beer!

Big Day.
We took Donna's puppy everywhere today. It was my niece Izze's 10th birthday (Allie's 10th is next weekend) and she wanted to celebrate everywhere. We had tea at Prana Cafe this morning, then lunch at Jerry's Famous Deli in the afternoon. Allie held baby while she dozed during lunch (we were sitting outside, so no health department rules were broken.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dinner with the gals
A delightful evening was spent tonight with dear friends Holly (Dye) and Linda (Woods.) The setting? M's pic Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks. What a treat!

Linda and I had the delicious sesame crusted Salmon on a bed of thin potato pancakes and a mushroom reduction.

Holly had the spicy shrimp with angel hair pasta. Mmmm, divine (the cocktails served up by "Matt" were pretty tasty too!)

The waitress got the idea that it was Holly's birthday (I don't know how?) Don't worry...the banana custard in a puff pastry drizzled in chocolate was on the check!

Tiramisu? Yes, sitting in a pool of fresh custard!

AND a flourless chocolate cake. I was told that it was on the "eggy" side...but still devoured.

The best thing about the night was just hanging out with the ladies. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Britney Spears likes Sweetpeas style!

Check out the Sweetpeas and Snapshots blog to read about our Britney Spears experience (I got permission from her staff to blog about the event; no sneak attack here!)
From my perspective, I got about as up close and personal as one can get with her in the back room (zipper duty)...she was in really great shape (and very nice!) I've read lately that she was "lumpy", but I can tell you from a this-close-perspective, that she was slim, tanned and toned. I was also surprised to read elsewhere that she was "saggy", but I protest: they were standing up and talking to g_d! All those nit-picking-nellies should just leave the girl alone. She's been through it and is doing a great job staying on track; they should give her a break!
Remember...the camera adds 10lbs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Among other things....
What've I been working on? Besides tapping into the deeper creative regions of my mind for my book projects, I've been putting together a May Basket Swap with Artsy Mama's group. Kari's really arranged a fun trading experience here; a wonderful diversion!
We'll all be posting the baskets we receive on May the First (it has a "May Day" theme) so be sure to check back then to see what my swap-buddy (Artsy Mama herself!) has sent me.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And then...
Donna brought her puppy home to stay! She's officially six weeks old today, has had her first round of puppy shots, and just gets cuter by the second!

Summer Hair

Allie wanted a change of hair style to go with her crutches; why not? Her bangs were in her eyes anyway!
(Yes, that's Harm with the G.I. hat behind her at Floyd's Barbershop.)

She likes to mug for the camera; from a happy smile...

 a serious stare; Miss Sassy just cracks us up!

Our Own Version.

Last night was the first in an anticipated full summer season of episodes of the new "Finer/Feinstein series, "Trading Spouses: Save a Sister's Sanity"

I've written occasionally about the issues my brother-in-law Rand is having with his memory loss and Alzheimer-related dementia symptoms; his brain biopsy and other assorted tests. Well, he has been declining pretty rapidly, and it is very difficult for my niece and nephew to comprehend. The worst part: his uncontrollable cursing. In order to give the kids a break last night, Ben, Allie and I spent the night at Donna's place, and Rand slept at ours. The results were very positive. The kids had a fun sleepover experience, and Rand was happy to have someone to listen to his repetitive rantings (Gary is being a very good sport in all of this.) This may be our summer vacation!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The X-Rays Confirmed...

Allie has a broken foot! The "sprain" incurred at school Wednesday (she tripped over a back pack left in the hall) turned out to be a break (albeit small.) Rand's brother Dr. Barry zapped her X-ray in his office yesterday, and ordered up a walking cast (due Tuesday.) She is now wearing a post-op-orthopedic boot until the cast arrives, and is using crutches.

I don't think I've ever seen her so happy!

Remember when you wanted braces, or glasses, or crutches? A great dream...until you got what you wished for! I have a feeling she'll be griping about those crutches by the end of the weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Shout Out:
Carol Wingert{!}
Thanks for dubbing me a "great networker" (it makes one feel good to be called an "awesome blogger!") I've come up with five of my current favorite blogs to keep the chain growing!

Charlotte Lyons: One of my key inspirational place to visit; my virtual friend makes everything look so easy...and cool!
Ashley Rose Helvey: A fresh face who should be out there teaching (love her mom too!)
Carolyn Peeler: Can't wait to meet her at Sparkle Bella!
Sadie Olive: A new find for me; exciting stuff...!
Dispatch from L.A.Grrrrreat! Take a moment to L@@K.

The growing number of great reads out there is just mind-"bloggle-ing"!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Allie was Amuse-d...
A big manila envelope arrived this afternoon, thick with surprise, earmarked for miss Allie. What a treat; a decorated stamped tin (definitely Amuse rubber,) a delightfully tissue-wrapped paperback book, and some sweets, all from our friend Michelle M. White (Allie especially loved the Crocs charms!) Michelle's site always showcases such creative ideas for inspiring aspiring stampers; take a peek and you'll see what I mean!
It arrived at a very good time, as Allie twisted her foot at school today, and is in some pain (looks like a sprain.) She was feeling a little sorry for herself, but this treat totally lifted her spirits.
A big Finer thanks to this talented stamp artist...Michelle, you rock!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Times Change.
So much is going on in my world. Gary is still out on disability, and I'm busy trying to open new creative windows; working to accomplish my set goals.
Mornings, I can be found investigating new venues and making mini-masterpieces; look for me in the afternoons at Sweetpeas and Snapshots helping others make their dreams come true. I'll be around there from 2ish-5 if you need to reach me.
The best is yet to come...

Recommended buy, recommended by (me!)
Kids Scrapbooking Easy as 1-2-3 by Debby Schuh...perfect summer projects for the kids (or beginners) by my favorite project designer in the entire world!
It's worth the Amazon click (and then some!)

Sportie LA: My kids love it there...

My bff sent me this youtube featuring our fave sneak-shop. I think you'll like it as much as we do! Enjoy.

Monday, April 16, 2007


This should be Holly's. It would make her really happy, so I had to take a picture of it.

Not Mine.

Coach Hampton Swing bag, black (from Harm.)


Finally, a Coach bag that I like.

Thanks, Harm.

La Provence, Beverly Hills.
Alright, so they don't like people to take photos, but I wasn't told that until I had already snapped these. Love the colors.
Those rainbow colored cookies on the left are their famous Parisian Macaroons. I'd send you all some, but I've heard that they don't travel well at all.

Vintage Canisters at reasonable prices.

Unusual gifts (you know how I appreciate those.)

All in all, a nice little place, but the staff could use a dose of friendliness!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just Seven More Days...
Then Donna gets to keep her puppy forever! This morning, however, the breeder allowed us to take her for a few hours; ther first official "play date"! We of course had to whisk her off to see uncle Leon. He was totally smitten. Sadly, Paul was still sleeping while we visited. He'll have to wait another week to see her.

Scenes from a red light.

The view from the crest; Olympic Boulevard entering Beverly Hills. The red brick fence on the left marks the perimeter of the High School. I just loved the way the clouds were resting on the lower hill tops.

This sight is one we'll never see again; the crowds lined up for the night, hoping beyond their dreams that they'll be selected to go up on stage with Bob Barker tomorrow, when his final "The Price is Right" appearances will be taped. Tents, lawn chairs and make-shift shelters were set up all along Fairfax at Beverly (in front of CBS Studios.) I had mistaken them for a misplaced group of homeless with an odd "tent city", but when I saw the location, the reality of their idealized determination set in.
I wish them all the best of luck!


Thanks to "Anonymous" for the recall tip on the Agent Cool Blue we bought the other night...we would have never known if not for you!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What the Helle, I've been tagged!

Mucho thanks to Helle Greer for tapping me on the I get to be "It"!

Five Blogs, besides those I know have already been tagged by others, which inspire me on a daily basis:

Visual Chronicles: Longtime friend Linda Woods IS art...and the girl who jump starts my creativity on a regular basis. I can't thank her enough for her generosity and support.

Norman P. Dixon: How much do I love this man? SO MUCH!

Creative Chaos: I recently found artist Sooz, who has a fabulous style you will adore!

Holly Stinnett: Norman P. Dixon turned me on to this site; then I got to meet her. Talented and nice!

DeDe Warren: This girl really makes me laugh; irreverence and talent all at one site.

I must tell you that I would totally mention S&S & M.S.,if t wasn't such an obvious conflict of interest!

I had great news today...

I was able to get in on the fun of Artsy Mama's May Basket Swap, and I've been assigned a buddy who seems like she's really cool (can you see my sly grin?) I'm going to do my best to make her a very happy recipient. You never know what kind of goodies I have hidden in my stash of unusual bits...there is literally a closet filled with my favorite's from the Suzi Finer collection.

I was even more elated to find that Holly-Holly got in on the fun as well! We've already been on the phone for almost an hour tossing ideas between us. It is so emotionally rewarding to be a part of this virtual community. I've met so many great people via this electronic venue, and look forward to knowing more in the years ahead!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thought I'd give y'all a little taste...
Just in case you had no plans tomorrow, I thought I'd dangle some carrots in front of you. Here are the tables I prepared for Lisa Guerin's Paper Doll workshop tomorrow at Sweetpeas and Snapshots. I know there are still a couple of seats available, so if you're in the mood to make some really cool little collaged-paper dolls, you should call the shop (310-479-2444.)

Catherine Moore's original artist stamps have been a personal favorite since I used my first one early in this century. I am so glad she had Lisa contact for this workshop! It's always great to have fresh takes on ways to use these versatile images.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A post without a pic?
A man without a soul.
Not all posts have pics, and
not all men have souls.
Aren't they usually both for the better
with said pic and said soul?
I say yes.
A resounding yes.

"Color me True"?

No, that's my friend's name. This is "color me in"! Allie did the fillage, with a little help from moi. If you didn't know, cotton tees are not the easiest surfact to write on; it needs to be pulled taut to attain the surest line. The paragraph on the back was really the mosts difficult part of the assignment. Let's just say that although they're fun to create, by the time one is finished, one is really done (some of you know what I mean when I say done!)

Next project in line? "The Living Biography" framed portrait of your child's hero (with your child as said hero!) I did a magnificent portrait of Simon Bolivar (the Abraham Lincoln of South America) using my favorite Lumiere paints. Allie is still thinking about who she is going to be. Uncle Leon is on the top of her list...I can just see her dressed as the legendary Dr. Naiditch, white coat and all! Perhaps one of the teachers will volunteer to have Allie fill a cavity during her presentation. (I know where we can borrow some dental tools!)

Answer to question, added 04/13/07: Yes, most of the projects assigned to the students in our school requires the students to do all of the work, however, there are a few projects (such as this one) where the students only need read the book and write the report; the parents are encouraged to be the assisting vessel through which the artistic presentation will flow. In other words, Allie told me what to do (all her ideas) and I did what I was told, with the instructor's full permission. It makes for a fleeting opportunity to work with your they get older, they are encouraged to be more independant. I relish the sweetness of this perhaps-final year of "doing my kid's homework".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Had to put on my Illustrator's hat tonight...
Allie had an illustrated t-shirt book report due the end of this week, and in keeping with tradition, I got to do the drawing. It's not quite finished (we're going to add a little color tomorrow) but I drew it free-hand in about 20 minutes with my favorite black Sharpie marker. The last time I did this (four years ago, same teacher) the instructor asked to keep it as the project sample. Ben was happy to give his up; Allie is hoping she receives the same honor. I'm crossing my fingers for her ('cause I really don't want it in my house when the project is over!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Vestri motto hic Ben est iens ut exsisto eruditio latin in altus schola
That's right, Ben will be taking Latin as his foreign language in High School, and I think I'm even more excited about that than he is!
We had the most satisfying experience today with his assigned counselor, Susan Chamberlain. She just exuded warmth and true compassion; the best mix possible for such an important advisor.
When I got home this evening, Ben told me that he wished that he was already in high school (he is jazzed with the course schedule they came up with together.)

I assured him that he'll be there soon enough. I love the enthusiasm!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Grand Opening w/Harm
We just got back from the grand opening at Joey's Smokin' BBQ in Manhattan Beach. Chris and Luke Walton have teamed up with Joey Maggiore to open the first Los Angeles area branch of this San Diego fave. Before we could even get inside the door, Chris ran over to greet us with big hugs. The smell of fresh BBQ wafted past us as we entered the country-style eatery. Everything sounded so good!

San Diego Padre pitcher of late, Nathan Staggs, Harmony and Chris smiled pretty for the camera.

All the beef is Kobe, and the chocolate chip cookies are baked fresh daily in house.

Tuffy has the most gorgeous, dreamy green he looked adorable in his visor!

Allie was thrilled to be lifted up for a birds-eye view (those Walton boys are tall!)

Anyway, if you're not busy tomorrow (April 9th,) Luke will be there with some other Los Angeles Lakers at 3:00pm for some publicity moments and photo ops.

3200 North Sepulveda Boulevard (just south of Rosecrans)
in Manhattan Beach

When we were finished with the festivities, we headed over to the Manhattan Beach Target, which is just about the biggest location we've seen so far. Harm and Allie picked up that new mouthwash which exposes residual plaque (too much information?)