Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adventures in Shopping

Isn't it wonderful!? Elizabeth and I spent the day looking at new furniture, and finally found the perfect piece for her nursery, at an antique store, naturally. The doors are tied shut in this photo, but it has all of it's original hardware and lots of nifty nooks and crannies inside the desk; which, when opened with supports, she plans to use for a changing table. Just wait till we're finished with it, it's going to be wonderful.

She found it at Main Street Antiques, in Betty Sue's booth, of course.

Next door (to Main Street Antiques), we visited a new-ish boutique that had been closed the last time we were in Turlock, but was open this day, and we were so very pleased that they were. Vintage Rose Interiors, it's called. Don't you love the little treasures that I found there?
These fabulous clock drawer pulls are destined for my guest room, I think {maybe}. I would hate to think that I have to go out and buy a new piece of furniture to go with new drawer pulls. :}

Love this little tag, handmade by the store's owner.

Everyone knows that I have a thing for Bees {my name is Debra after all}. Is there one among you whom I have not told that the Bible definition of Debra is; the Bee, the seeker? This little pendant is only about 1/2" wide. The back side has the words, "just be".

Vintage Rose Interiors is just getting their website and blog up and running, but I'm including the links anyway. Always like to support small business! {November 7, 2009 update: Sadly Vintage Rose Interiors has closed. I understand they are working on a new equally exciting artist cooperative venture. Here's hoping!}

After our shopping adventures, which you will have to agree were pretty terrific, we stopped for a quick snack at The Bistro 234. We dined on the patio on this gorgeous Spring day, largely because we were dragging a three year old boy around, and outdoors seemed like a pretty good idea {it was}, and he deserved a lemonade break. We treated ourselves to their scrumptious lemonade and bruschetta, and had the bestest topper our day could have had. Gotta tell you, the little guy was terrific. It wouldn't have been as much fun without him.

Instead of a thirty minute drive to Turlock, it felt as if we had ventured to Monterey. It was positively lovely. Next time, you should go with us!

The aforementioned three year old guy peeping through the fence at Bistro 234. {heart, heart, heart}

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Picnik . . .ooh, you're gonna love this!

It's just too good to be true! Free Photo editing, on your browser, which I love, because this trusty ol' memory box is running out of free space!

Before Picnik Photo editing

After Picnik Photo Editing

You won't believe all of the wonderful features! For free! Although the minute I have a chance, I want to upgrade anyway. It's easy {especially for a novice like me}! The applications are positively instinctive. It's easy to understand, easy to apply and easy to undo in case the appearance isn't what you had in mind.

Wanna know where to get it? Picnik

Rush on over there and play!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Lady

In this post in January, I promised you that I would show you why the Lady Banks Rose is worth all of the cleaning up after. Here she is, in early bloom. Just wait till she is in her full glory!

Here we have it just three days later! March 28, 2009

The view from above. I took our window screenn off to take this one and can't get it back in. I feel sorry for poor Mark. I just go around making jobs for him.

The blossoms occur in clusters.

The largest, fully bloomed flowers are probably 1 to 1 1/4 inches. When the entire plant is in bloom it has the softest, most delicate fragrance, lightly sweet, and a little earthy.

This particular tree is trimmed twice a year, as it has two growth spurts a year, and is ten years old. I adore my Lady Banks Roses.

The first one that I ever noticed in bloom was in the yard of my childhood playmate and best friend, also a Debbie. I had taken my daughter over for a play-date with her daughter. They used to be the bestest of friends, just like their Mothers. Debbie's family had moved back to the old family home in the midst of their almond orchard, where many years before, her Mother had planted it over the well to protect and keep it cool in our blistering Summer sun.

I'll bet I bought my first rose tree before the week was out! We have even moved since then, but Mark dug it up for me and moved it with us to our current home over 16 years ago. That tree sees a little less sun, so has barely begun to bloom. When it does, I'll show you just how really, truly, beautiful my Lady is.

The first thing I did this morning . . .

. . . before I even put the kettle on . . .
was pick a posy of violets to share with you!

~wishing your morning is all flowery and beautiful, too!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thirsty Puppy

Whenever I water, whether he's thirsty or not, he thinks it's his duty to drink from the hose. I really think so. Here's how I think his mind works; he sees the water running, and thinks, "Oh, Look! Mom is running fresh water for me. I better drink some, even if it makes me sick (which it inevitably does) so she'll know that I appreciate her. I wonder why she always makes me stick my head in the flowers to get it? She's odd, but I love her."

It's a Butterfly sort of day.

As I sat at a long stoplight in very heavy traffic today, I was entertained by a pair of dancing butterflies. There must be a new hatch in our mostly rural area because everywhere you look the air is just full of orange butterflies! The pair on the stage before me pirouetted and looped, flitted and flirted in and about a set of high tension wires, sometimes spiraling together in a double helix and sometimes touching for a moment and then off again! One took a moments rest on the wires, while the other rode the air stream above passing cars (the daredevils). Missing one another (I presume),they found their mates, and began the dance anew. Sometimes I think it would be simply delightful to be a butterfly.

Added April 1st ~ I researched a little . . .our sky is full of Painted Lady Butterflies! As I drove through the country a couple of days ago, I counted off seconds between sightings of these beautiful orange butterflies twirling across the road . . .only a couple of times did I get above the count of three. It is just the loveliest thing! Imagine walking outside with delicate little butterflies flitting around you. Such a delight!

Very Surreal

Update May 20, 2009 . . . the very same nephew sent this photo to me, just today. There appears to be visible steam in the photo. I stand by my original impression; very surreal.

I had the most surreal phone call yesterday morning. It went a lot like this. . .
"Aunt Debbi? This is your nephew. Do you have Grandma's cell phone number?"
"I'll have to look it up. So, how are you?"
"I'm fine. The thing is, uh. . .our volcano erupted last night, and I want to call Grandma and tell her I'm okay."

So my nephew is fine, he lives about 35 miles from the Mt. Redoubt Volcano in Alaska. They shut the power plant down "because of ash", and his house doesn't have a fireplace, so he'll be moving someplace warmer pretty soon. Probably by now. Must be a lot of cold people in Alaska right now. I pray they're all safe.

As I called family members to pass on the news, it felt so odd, practically prehistoric, you know? "Hi. The volcano erupted. Everyone's fine."
How strange.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cow-Buddies and Springtime Bunnies

My current project (one of them . . .)

I am having the best time!

. . .although, I seem to be kind of Internet-absent these days. Thought I would take a minute's break and tell you all about it!

I told you that I was taking the pearl stringing class, and have made, hold on a second . . . let me count . . . I have tied seven necklaces and one bracelet! I am sooo loving this! The class included three different techniques and poor Mark, he thinks I'm going to put us in the poorhouse buying pearls. :) (Maybe I should consider easing up a bit . . . afterall . . .) Pearls, pearls, pearls, everywhere! Ooh, this is such great fun!

Then there is this project (the one above) . . . If I ever finish them. Don't you love my bouquets of freshly sparkled-y bunnies? I just love to decorate with bunnies in the Springtime. That's the time of year that I break out all of the cute, and just let myself embrace it.

And isn't the dollhouse wonderful? When I bought it, it was very, very pink, as you would naturally expect. With three little Grandboys, that just wouldn't do. But, when you think of it, a small child's life revolves around their home, boys and girls. Little boys should have the opportunity to play with a house, too. Manly play, of course. :) So Elizabeth, my resident artist, fashioned a much more gender neutral facade for our precious little home. Because she's busy with the big move and other pressing projects, I am finishing up the roof, and finish coat, which explains it's presence on my work table. (Which sadly, was formerly called our dining table. . . . sigh. . .)

Let's see, there was the Gem and Mineral show last weekend. Bebe and I took her boys, who dressed like archaeologists (in their pith helmets), selected their own geodes, and got to touch a REAL Mammoth bone and a REAL Mammoth tooth (Courtesy of the Great Valley Museum). Thank you, Diana. Ooh, so exciting when you are a budding paleontologist.

My guys.

Afterwards, my nephew and niece held a Cow-buddy Birthday Party for their two year old daughter. They live on a dairy and raise other farm animals which was a HUGE hit with the kids! I mean, come on! A petting zoo, pony and horse rides! Oh, oh, and they got to dress up like cowboys! Could there be a more perfect birthday party? Shane gave town-dweller, Owen a choice of a baby chick or a baby duck for winning a game. You can imagine how much enthusiasm his Mother mustered. :) Suffice it to say, the baby animals stayed at the farm. It was a tongue-in-cheek offer anyway, but delivered totally deadpan, and definitely produced the desired response from the Mommy. (giggle, giggle)

Want to talk about buddies . . .
these two define the word.

Very pregnant Elizabeth is still unable to lift moving cartons and frustrated in her pursuit of domestic settlement and bliss. But making progress everyday! It's nesting time for the Mommy, after all, and Justin's work schedule isn't allowing him much time to work at home. When we go over for a work day, our goal is one more complete room. (This must be the most frustratingly slow process for a nesting Mother.) Just a little left! And one of those is 3/4 finished, and an hour or so of heavy lifting should finish it up. The other two are start from scratch rooms, her office/studio and the nursery. Isn't it delicious, though? Of course, the nursery will be just the most fun! I can't wait!

In the midst of this, the girls are planning a bridal shower for Amy! It's a really good deadline for settling in. The shower will be held at the new house. We can do this!

We're having way too much fun over here!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pearly Pearls for Girlie Girls

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls off a string."
~ unknown

I am taking a class in pearl stringing. I made this necklace! It's a gift, for someone special.
Just like a little girl, I was hopelessly drawn to the pink pearls for my next one. Couldn't help myself. {grin} Sometimes a woman just has to embrace her inner little girl.

Added: March 10 ~ It's a week later, now, and the pink pearls have been strung into a necklace. we used a slightly different technique than last week. My Mother was the recipient of that first string. Since my Mother-in-law isn't online, it's safe to tell that I think I'll string a necklace for her upcoming birthday. And I have daughters! I am looking forward to spoiling all of my girls with the luscious things!

My girlfriend Julie says I'll be dripping in pearls. Maybe all of us will. Sounds like fun to me!