Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wants v. Needs

I don't need these........

And while that is true of quite a few things I buy, I _really_ don't _need_ these.

However, if you define "need" as "if I don't buy them someone else will and really, will they love them as I do?"
Then, I suppose I do need them!!

The one I truly love is the one on the right with the neato backyard bbq theme.
Lobster, anyone?

My husband liked the VanGogh and the Pennsylvania tray I justified because one of my dads is from Pittsburgh.
Not that he wants or needs a metal tray with the state on it...but it made me feel better about buying it.

And yes, it's all about me!!
I'm glad we are all up to speed on that point!!

So, tell me!!
What do you buy at thrift stores that you don't need but just have to have???

~ * ~

Have a lovely day!!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Found It!

Ever lose your momentum or mojo for a favorite hobby?
I sure did and it was so depressing!
I love to crochet and was so discouraged over the last few months as I just wasn't feeling motivated.
I knew I wanted to try something new and I knew I didn't want to make more scarves yet nothing was grabbing my attention.
I love granny squares and would gaze at beautiful blankets, cute sweaters, funky bags on the internet and still I wasn't finding that "it" project.
I would start things just to crochet but with no grand plan I had no staying power.
And then, I figured it out...I realized I needed paper!
I needed a book or two to sit with, turn pages and have on my lap as I worked with yarn.
As much I love technology, I love books more!

So I got on Amazon and did some soul searching.
I knew I wanted something on granny squares and I also wanted to learn some new stitches.
After reading reviews and going back and forth I procured these babies!!
"The Granny Square Book" is incredible!
So much creativity in one little book!
There are 75 patterns but you would swear there are twice that!
The color example pictures are perfect and the pattern is given in diagram and writing.
In the front are the usual basics and tips on joining.
And, in the back, are some neat projects.
I made one square with some scraps just to see one and decided I loved the colors so much I am making a pillow for the bed!   
It's hip to be a square!
I even learned to make a popcorn stitch!
I found this ironic.
Just a few days before the books arrived I was online and had found a cute flower to try.
It used a popcorn stitch and I gave up on it because "dropping" the last stitch and going back to the first one and joining them together was just too much!
"Dropping" is for knitting, I thought!!!
Ha, jokes on me!!
I learned it and I like it!!
It's getting there!!
I can't wait to be done and behold a pillow cover that I made!!! 
The sexy close up!!
As for the other book, Crochet Stitches, A Visual Encyclopedia, it is wonderfully full of crochet!
It also has color pics, diagrams and written directions.
I can't even explain it so I will let Amazon do it:

"This visual encyclopedia features step-by-step instructions for 300 gorgeous crochet stitch patterns, from basic stitches to cables, lace, textured stitches, mesh and filet crochet, fans and shells, clusters, puffs, bobbles, spike stitches, colorwork, and more. Each pattern is accompanied by a full-color photo and a chart. Every crocheter needs a book like this on her shelf—the content is timeless and will have a place next to the crochet hooks for many years to come."

I know, right??????

I am SO glad that I can crochet contentedly once again!!
Come to think of it, I bet my family is, too!!!

Do you lose your mojo?
How do you get it back?

~ * ~

Have a lovely day!!!!

~ * ~


Liz Marie Blog

Friday, June 22, 2012

Food - Out and In

We had another birthday this week!
This time it was my niece turning 19.
I remember the day she was born....and it feels so recent!
Mixed emotions on these birthdays the kiddos have!!

The birthday girl picked her current favorite place, Stacked.
I think I had heard of it before but didn't realize it was so local to us.
There are three locations and we are near the one on Cerritos.
What makes it interesting is that you place your order on an Ipad.
No wonder the youngin's like it so much!!

The atmosphere is lively and fun!
The "thing' here, other than the Ipad ordering, is that you can "stack" whatever you want on your salad, burger or mac & cheese (stacked mac!).  
Even dessert!
You can either start from scratch or modify something off the menu.
Don't go here if you are feeling....iffy!! 

I have to say that I was a little concerned that the place was all about the gimmick and the food would be just okay.  
But, I was happily wrong!!
The food was really, really good!!!
I hope we go back soon!!
1. Ipad ordering. 2. Wall decor. 3. Sign outside. 4. Inside facing the entrance (loved the colorful windows!) 5. (middle) The entrance and other side of the colorful windows!

And in gardening news!!
My delightful husband has cleverly solved my strawberry problem!!
You see, while I love homegrown strawberries, we never grew enough to really make it satisfying.
Going out to the garden and finding one ripe strawberry at a time was lame.
Solution: Plant more!!
So simple!!

And, so wonderful!!
He's a peach!!

Our grapes are back with gusto, too!!
I suspect we are not people who should have so many grapes.
These established vines of concord grapes (I'm pretty sure that's what these are because they taste like grape jam!) know what they are doing and we, sadly, do not.

This year I hope to figure it out.
They aren't really eating grapes....I mean, you can eat them, but they have seeds and while they taste like grape jam they also taste a bit like wine.
I truly have no problem with wine, believe me!!
I just don't think they are our preference when eating grapes.
I've heard the term "table grapes" before and I think we have here are not those!

I'm not a make-jam-and-save-it-for-later kind of girl but after that, what does one do with grapes?
I hope we can figure it out!! 
1. Our garden gate. 2. (below) Ripe strawberry. 3. (top right) Some grapes. 4. Strawberries planted with geraniums. 5. Sunflower.

~  *  ~

Have a lovely weekend!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Intentionally Quiet Day

I don't know about you, but I am constantly around sound.
I readily admit to a radio or music, depending on the day and my mood!
I love radio because I can have it on, fill my ears (and mind) and still be moving.

My son likes to play video games and as our home is small and he plays in the living room, those sounds are sometimes added in.

But today I woke up and really noticed the birds outside the window.
It sounded so pretty and sweet I knew today had to be about listening to the sounds around me.
The natural sounds of my life, unfiltered and free!

I do this from time to time and yet, always forget how calming it is.
No radio sounds, very little game sounds.....ahhhhhh, so relaxing!!
And it's as if time moves a little slower.

So, what did I hear?
Lots of pretty bird songs, chickens cooing, my kiddos baking a cake, airplanes overhead (small ones only, the usual military landings we get living close to a base were conspicuously absent today) and then one of my favorite sounds - The Goodyear Blimp!! 

Ever since I was little the blimp has been a very exciting happening!
Night times were the best as it usually had a light show going on it's sides!
But, even in the day, that low, distinctive buzzing is enough to get me out of my seat and run outside to check it out!

It doesn't get out much anymore and we usually only see it during baseball season because we are in it's path from it's home to Angel Stadium.
Is it baseball season?
I don't know...
Maybe there was a game?

Anyway, because our home was so quiet I actually heard that familiar sound!!
I got myself outside and took a few photos.
The June gloom was still burning off so it's not a very clear shot.
I love it!!

And, the cake was yummy!!!

I hope by writing this I will remember to do this more and not fall into my usual habit of radio.
I feel so at peace here at the end of the day and I know it is because I was able to concentrate on my life going on around me.
Lovey sounds they are, too!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Do you have quiet days?
Or are you already wise to them and live that way??

Friday, June 8, 2012

I {heart} the Transformative Powers of Spray Paint!

Do you love to spray paint things? 
I do!!

I found this little pedestal bowl at one of my regular thrift shops for $1 and knew it was for me!
I also new it was getting a make-over!!
Poor little thing had been worn down to copper and was so dingy!

A coat or so of glossy white and it came back to life!!

I love how the white brings out the cutout design on the rim!!

And I think it looks lovely with my spray painted candle holder (thrifted) and transfer wear pitcher (swap meeted).

Are you a spray painter, too?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have a lovely day!

~ ~ ~ ~

you are talking too much

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It Was A Great Show!

1) Make-up and hair room, green room and quick change room. 2) Gandalf challenges crew to an epic battle (no magic allowed for a fair fight!) 3) Prayer and a few words before curtain. 4) Audience waiting for the house to open. 5) Bilbo's house. 6) Dwarfs dance and that's my daughter up in the air! 7) Dori, Ori, Nori, Fili and Kili (super fantastic girls!). 8) The strongest crew member I've ever had!  That barrel is real (not a prop), still smells like booze and was HEAVY! Yet, Alex could move things around like they were 5lbs!  9) Smaug, the dragon, made especially for us. 10) Gollum - amazing performance! 11)  Oh, the things we do, we're the backstage crew!  We had dry ice for the Gollum scene and it created a wet stage, so during that set change three girls went out and mopped up the stage.  12) Inside shot of the dragon during the show...there was a guy in there moving the head and working the mouth, the eyes were lit and I got to work the fog machine which made him look like he smoked!! :)

Ah, the bittersweet feeling of a show ending.
I'm very happy that six months of planning, always having it on my mind and worrying about the things producers worry about is over.
Well, almost over.
We still need to see the final bill from the theater!
But set building, painting and moving is Done!

Once again I am amazed at the talent and dedication of these young actors.
Truly, they never fail to give all of themselves to their parts and their energy and delight at being onstage is evident and fills the theater.

We kept hearing this was our best show ever and I have to say I agree.
Of course, I think that with every show!! 
But this show was pure fun from start to finish and that's always a crowd pleaser.
Our director's vision for this show was spot on and the dances, fight scene, dragon, and original music, that the director's son wrote...while he was Gollum and Smaug no less!....truly made this show shine!

And, as I oversee backstage crew I have to give a shout out to them!!
I'd be remiss not to say that they are the heroes of the show!!
We rely on an all-volunteer crew and they tend to be young people.  Nothing wrong with that except they don't have any experience working backstage.
Even if they acted with us previously, and that was the case this time with most of this crew, they have no idea how hard of a job it really is.
I usually worry that once they see the scope of the job they will say, "Never mind!"
But nobody did and I had, I think, the best crew ever!!
I had 3 guys and 4 girls most nights and they worked so hard!!
Heavy set pieces needing to be moved in mere minutes is a daunting task yet it was done and done well!
Remembering key props needing to be set, keeping the right back curtain -black or forest drop- for each scene, working around each other quietly as some move pieces off and others move pieces on...and doing it all IN THE DARK!!!!!
Next time you see a live show don't forget to give some of the applause to the crew - they deserve it!!

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Opening Night!!


Opening night was last night and I think it was a success!!

Oh sure, there were a few rough spots backstage, but in our defense we don't get much practice before the show goes up!!  Fortunately the actors carry the show so well that the minor things that happen don't seem to be remembered.  (thank goodness!!)

If you live in the southern California area I highly recommend our production of "The Hobbit"!!