Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello. My name is Debbi. I am a bibliophile.

Yes.  That pretty much sums it up. 
I borrowed the photo from Yesterday's Books in Modesto, California . . . one of my favorite places on Earth . . . even if they have retitled their previously Pre-1950's Fiction section, to Pre-1960's, and totally allowed that category to atrophy.  I can live with that.  I have Internet.  But as a previous small business owner, I would really, truly, rather buy locally. 

I still recall the day, gosh, a lot of years ago when after months of searching, that they finally found a copy of For Love of a Rose, by Antonia Ridge* for me!  In England! Oh, my word!  The wonder of it all! In England!

Recently, I wrote this little recommendation for them . . .
I might be a bibliophile, but . . . I picture the first time I walked into Yesterday's Books {100 years or so, ago} as though it were a scene in a movie . . . slowly I wandered through the aisles {which glowed with a golden light from above . . . the air is a little bit misty in my movie version}, awestruck . . . unbelieving eyes moving from row of books, to stack, to the next row . . . taking in the beauty of it all . . . ;) and the scent . . . oh, my Goodness, the scent . . . the perfume of wisdom and knowledge . . .
I have had the privilege to visit the basement of Princeton Theological Library where the very oldest tomes are held {it is the second largest theological library in the world, second to the Vatican}, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England . . . I want you to know that this place shares the very same wonderful perfume of aged and wondrous books. Yesterday's Books is a little spot of wonder and wonderfulness in this world.

Would you like to see a picture of pure glee?

Princeton Theological Library, with my favorite theologian, our youngest son, Sam.

See?  I'll bet you thought I was kidding!
In our home, we have 24 running feet of floor to ceiling book cases . . . and piles, and boxes, and stashes of books.  Then there's our son's very large theological library, and while, technically, they don't belong to me, we are storing them {possession being 9/10's of the law, and all} . . .  
I have often said that my legacy will be that I have left all of my children with a love for reading, and an entire library.

The minute that we moved into this house, my husband built window seats and bookcases in each of our children's bedrooms.  A proper place to read, you know . . . with curtains that draw . . . allowing for quick transportation to Neverland . . . or Wonderland . . . or Dreamland . . .

As a child, I was often called a bookworm.  I always thought it a compliment. 
I have completely missed the intended mark of this post . . . {I rest my case}
I wanted to share with you the manifesto that is posted in the window of:
A World Class Bookstore in the Heart of Mendocino Village

I stood there and read it with complete joy and satisfaction!

"WE BELIEVE IN THE BOOK. We believe in quieting the noise and listening to the stories. We believe in traveling far and wide between paper pages. We believe in touching the words, scribbling in the margins, and dogging the ears. We believe in surrounding ourselves with books long finished and books not yet read; in revisiting our younger selves each time we pull old favorites off the shelf.
We believe in five-year-olds inking their names in big letters on the flyleaf. We believe in becoming someone else for four hundred pages. We believe in turning off the screens and unplugging the networks once in awhile. We believe in meeting the author, reading the footnotes, looking up the words and checking the references. We believe in holding our children on our laps and turning the pages together.

We believe in standing shoulder to shoulder in comfortable silence with our fellow citizens before a good shelf of books; we believe in talking face to face with friends and strangers in the aisles of a good bookstore. We believe that together, readers, writers, books and bookstores can work magic.

If you believe, please join us: SAVE THE WORLD. BUY A BOOK."


~much love!~

*For Love of a Rose was recommended by an article in Victoria Magazine . . . the Rose issue that year . . . which also directed me to an annual antique rose garden tour in the gorgeous hills and Gold Rush era gardens of Placerville, California . . . that Rose Garden Tour is still one of those special moments in my life . . . you know the kind . . . every time you think of it, you can even feel the feelings that you felt at the time . . . feel the heat, remember the fragrances . . . hear the footsteps on the gravel paths in the gardens . . . taste the lemonade, revisit the must and the darkness of the antique stores . . . 
I'm sorry.  I'm back, now.  :)  Don't read the reviews!  I didn't know that it was a history book when I read it, although it becomes obvious . . . what it IS about, is three generations of the same family in France . . . the story of their struggles to develop and propagate some of the most famous and still sought after rose varieties, ever . . . while having their homeland and gardens ravaged, repeatedly through two World Wars.  All reviews contain a spoiler!   Not this one . . . such as it is . . .  Since I hadn't knowledge of the end of the book, it was all the more wonderful for me . . . I remember thinking it was as much a romance as an historical account {not that kind of romance} . . .  I promise . . . I still wish I could see it in movie form . . . maybe I'll write to Johnny Depp.   
Two year old Fiona, deeply engrossed in a good book . . . her Mommy noticed that she was curled up with a book in my favorite reading chair.  "How sweet."  I asked her if she could tell which book . . . Jane Austen's Minor Works . . . that's when camera came out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Left Brain, Right Brain

I need no other words . . .    Click on the photo to enlarge . . .  It's a Mercedes Benz ad.  Go Mercedes!  It can be difficult to enlarge enough to read the descriptions . . . just for you . . .

I am the left brain.
I am a scientist. A mathematician.
I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear.
Analytical. Strategic. I am practical.
Always in control. A master of words and language.
Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers.
I am order. I am logic.
I know exactly who I am.

I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter.
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colors.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remember Your Old Friends

Did you see "For Better or for Worse" in your comic pages, today?  Pardon me, but I have to comment . . . it's not my intent to pick on the cartoonist . . .I think this was the greater thought that she was after . . . and I would like to expand on it . . .

Eight years ago, my blessed Father passed away near the end of September.  Two months later, December 2003, I was still in no emotional condition to send Christmas cards.  I planned to send notes in January, I had so much to tell!  We had our first grandchild!  Our son had safely served our country and was now out of the service! . . . but in the very first week of January, they were suddenly able to squeeze me in for the right hand surgery that I cancelled the day after we lost Pop.  No Christmas cards, and no notes went out that year.

The next year {2004} the number of Christmas cards that we received dropped to half.

That's not all!  The day before Thanksgiving {also 2004} {the year we received so few cards . . .}, I had a second surgery on the same hand.  For that one, I got to wear a 10 pound cast that immobilized my arm from my fingertips to between my elbow and shoulder for six weeks.   . . . again, I wasn't able . . . after six weeks in a cast, I wasn't even able to hold a pen . . . sigh . . . no Christmas cards, and after having the cast removed somewhere around New Year's Day . . . no New Year's letter to explain . . . you can imagine what that did to our Christmas cards the next year! 

There were so many other sad and difficult events that took place in those couple of years that it even hurts to remember those times . . . At a time when we were absolutely reeling, so many of those who we thought cared the most, dropped us from their lists. When we could most have used the greetings, the remembrances and the cheers . . . old friends assumed we were cutting them off . . . so did the same to us. 

Here is my plea . . . if you haven't received a Christmas card from someone with whom you have exchanged greetings for years, Call them!  Check on them!  Reach out to them!  SEND THEM A CHRISTMAS CARD!  This year AND next year, and the one after that!  What's the worst that could happen?  They could know that you care?  Isn't that worth a few minutes of your time, and the price of a postage stamp?

I'll step down from my soapbox now.  Thank you very much. 

~Much Love!  Merry Christmas!~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The P.I.N.K. Method

This post is definitely gonna fall in the T.M.I. category . . . and I'm embarrassed to admit this, but . . . I am on a diet. There. I said it. {They say that it's a good idea to share that . . . accountability and all . . .}

My doctor says, I am not obese. Well, that's a relief.  Here's the most embarrassing part, I bought the P.I.N.K. Method. I've never been on an actual organized diet before, but I guess I've finally arrived at that place . . .  you know? . . . where I am ready to do something about it. So far, in three days, I've lost four pounds.

Let's say that I'm a mature person {I am a Grandma . . .}.  {Had to make sure you know where I am coming from . . .}   I've read through the book, and I can tell you this much . . . prudish, Christian Grammy's are not their target market. I am completely offended by the writing, the silly visualizations, the language . . . Sexy Salad?  Come on.

. . . but the diet makes sense. I bought it because I get to buy and prepare my own foods. No additional cost, and it seemed like a reasonable price to me, two $40.00 payments, or one $67.00-ish payment . . . which still came to about $80.00 with the addition of sales tax and shipping . . . que sera, sera . . .

I have certain dietary restrictions . . .{one of those health things mature people get. . . sigh . . .} I can't eat nuts, seeds and berries. These things are staples on the diet. . .  you know, whole grains, strawberries {any berry, really}, nuts . . . great fibre and protein, but not for me . . . I decided to substitute as nearly as I could . . .  I'm using strawberry nectar instead of strawberries, which includes a certain amount of sugar . . . this substitution displaces fibre, so I take fibre . . . what can it hurt? I will eat cracked wheat bread when it's called for instead of whole grain . . . am using dairy milk instead of dairy substitutes . . . and it is working! {If I had known it was this easy, I would have gone on it the minute I had to take prednisone!} . . . and still, for the first time in my life, I'm losing weight!

I have not yet begun the work out portion of the program, I need to stay in the first stage till I have lost 5 to 10 pounds, then the next stage including the workout begin . . . I'm loving that 5 pounds could be tomorrow! It could be right now! This minute!

I plan to partake of Christmas festivities and all of the goodies that come with it! So my start may be slow-ish . . . but doggone it! Christmas only comes once a year! And I started just two weeks before Christmas! But start I did. And so far, while I find the book to be crude, tasteless, and  unprofessional {it is self published} the diet is working just fine. And I am very pleased. Thank.You.Very.Much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Wishes Theatre

Have you always hoped that someday you would be able to take a class from Colleen Moody, too?  I found one that I loved, and I couldn't find a single reason not to go . . .
I can't believe it!  I finally did it!  Above is the beautiful project, originally designed by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox {this day Iva couldn't make it to teach}.  Such a shame, but Colleen, I think can do anything she turns her hand to . . . it was a wonderful, if intense day long class . . .
This is not my doll, but the model that I'm working from . . . don't you just love it?  Colleen is such a uniquely talented doll atelier . . .
and if I wasn't aware before, after I had the opportunity to observe her talented and capable hands form a lump of clay into a beautiful doll face, I certainly am aware now!

Colleen's sweet little snow lady . . .

And mine!  Only partially finished . . . but maybe tonight her skirt will happen . . . 


My lighted theatre was a only slightly more complete than this, the last photo I took of it before leaving it in Dede's tender care.  :)  I flew . . .  didn't even try to get that on the plane, Dede Warren is shipping it to me.  Bless her sweet heart!  Thank you, Dede! 
The completed theatre made by Colleen Moody and Iva Wilcox . . .
Mine only dreams of being so lovely someday!
Hopefully before Christmas!

I had a sweet little visitor the day that my package arrived . . . Thank you, Dede. 
Now I really can't wait to finish it.   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Heart for Tammy

When I think of all the times in my life that I have uttered the words, "Bless your heart" . . . 

This is a wonderful photograph of my beautiful friend, Tammy Lumpkins.  Tammy made history today.  She is the first person on the West Coast to leave the hospital with an artificial heart. {And one of only 22 people in the country.}

Tammy and Dale

  I have been posting prayer requests {on Facebook} for Tammy and her family, especially for Tammy, for months now . . . isn't it beautiful to see the fulfillment!? 
Thank you, Keck Hospital USC, and Dr. Michael Bowdish, {a cardiothoracic surgeon at Keck Hospital} for caring enough to do something about it.
I couldn't tell her story better than Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times has:  An artificial heart offers a real chance -

Photos Borrowed from LA Times Article above ~
(Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times / November 8, 2011)
Please continue to remember Tammy in your prayers.
~Much love!~

Another terrific article from the Hospital's website: 
Home is Where the Heart is.

This article from the local CBS news includes video . . .
Tammy leaving the hospital

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hand Born

I'll be at Hand Born again this year!
I'll have loads and oodles of soldered charms, each one an original . . . and some wonderful metal jewelry!  I'll be introducing some industrial tie~tacks . . . so the guys aren't left out . . .  It all happens as inspiration strikes, so it's just not possible to tell you what will be there . . . but I'll post pictures before the event!  {likely the very day before}  ;)

Hand Born . . . by the way . . . is a brilliantly conceived handmade gift faire  . . . Around closing time, businesses in the Modesto's hip downtown area, push their tables back and open their doors to artisans of youthful oriented wares.  How cool is that!?  Always anxiously anticipated  . . . this speed shopping event takes place in just 4 hours, once a year!  It is hugely popular, and honestly I don't think one could possibly see all of the wonderfulness in the time allotted!

Don't forget!! November 26!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

in case you wondered . . .

. . . this hiatus is not permanent . . . life has intervened . . . I will be back the very minute that I find one free . . . besides this one, I mean . . . it came along and surprised me . . . caught me totally unprepared . . . so did the "life intervening" part . . . sigh . . .  
~ Much Love ~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Copper Tags

What do you think?  I've been experimenting . . .
. . . and I'm really pleased with the outcome.

I told somebody tonight, that I have lost more sleep over this project . . . that's not a bad thing . . .
. . . rather, I'm enjoying the challenge enough, that I lay awake planning the next step . . .
That's a good thing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One More Shadowbox Treasury Post!

 I've been telling you about the Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap that has just wrapped up over at Inspire Co, in my last post I shared my submission . . . now I want you to see what my partner sent to me!
 Isn't it wonderful?  My swap partner was Heather at Speckled Egg.  The thing that I am so intrigued with here, is this:  If you wrote out a list of the items that we used, and a description of colors, you would have very similar lists . . . with amazingly dissimilar results!  I don't know about you, but I think that sort of thing is fascinating. 
 Do you love that she personalized it with my initial? The D is for Debbi, silly.  :) 
 I shot off an immediate email after it arrived, and told her how fascinated I was by the items that she included . . . she couldn't even know how these things applied to me.  A small list: I sew, kind of a lot actually, {measuring tape}, I have an entire wall decorated with keys and escutcheon plates {I buy antique keys as souvenirs when we travel.}, I have a major thing for typewriters {which includes typewriter keys, natch, I even have 3 or 4 antique typewriters!} Have you noticed that a frozen Charlotte is represented?  I so love frozen Charlotte's that I am, as we speak, preparing molds to cast them in sterling!  I think she got me.
 Thank you, Heather!
This is the shadowbox that I sent to her.  We discussed that she loved nature {wasp nest, bird nest, natural quail egg} {the pennants obstruct your view of the little copper bird nest with pearl eggs on the top shelf}; she has 2 little girls {the clipboard soldered charm}; her birthday is represented on the bottle {but hidden},  ~ the bottle sort of represents a bit of me ~  her blog is Speckled Egg {self-explanatory}  ;)  . . . and these are her colors of choice. 
I was generally going for a Natural Science sort of look {porcelain crucible and other previously mentioned pieces}, and age, and then there was my plan that these things should be able to be handled and studied and manipulated by her children.  Which she tells me they are.  {Yay!  A win!}  I loved the way the doors made the shadowbox into a tiny cupboard, and I think that makes the items stored within feel more precious.
It is only 5 1/2" X 5 1/2" overall.  Don't you just love tiny things?

If you would like to see what the other participants came up with, click on the links below for the two blog posts that Amy at Inspire Co. has shared with us!

~ and ~

Scroll down to the next post, or click here to see more photos of the one that I sent to Heather.

I would so do this again!  I am, in fact!  It's an entirely different theme . . .when I finish, you know me,
I'll share pictures!  :) 

~ Much Love! ~

Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap

While I have a little breather, from, what I like to call our Summer Party Season, let me show you a little teenie bit of what I've been up to! I have just participated in a Birthday Treasury Swap designed by Amy Powers of Inspire Co. Wasn't it just the bestest idea!?

We purchased these Tim Holtz Configurations {this is where I bought my shadow box}, filled and decorated them according to our swap partner's taste {I hope}, and shipped them off!

I know that Amy went to a great deal of trouble to match us up with someone compatible. . .
because I gave her a little trouble . . . a result I am certain, of my usual problem, tmi. :)

I was thrilled to discover my assigned partner was somebody that I already admired! Heather from Speckled Egg . . .

You know that soldering is kind of my thing . . .

So doors came into being. Poof! Just like that!

{and the bottle and charm . . . I can't help myself!}

{The little copper nest contains pearls eggs. Of course, I made it, silly.}

and then there's that nature thing . . . I kind of think Heather and I share that . . .

I tried to personalize some of the trinkets. . .

Heather's birthday is represented here, really it is! . . . it's just in kind of . . . almost a secret way . . . ;)

I like this quote . . . it defines a part of me . . . and I suspect a little of Heather . . . Gosh, I sure hope it does, anyway!

"She was a noticer. . . for all the shelves are lined with shells, bird feathers, dried sea grasses, pebbles, eggshells. . . They're just bits that were lying on the ground, that anyone else would step over or on, but she saw they were beautiful and brought them home.". . . The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society . . .

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, Amy! I absolutely loved this!

Thank you, Heather for playing! I have just loved every minute of it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

~Douglas H. Everett~

Personally, I believe that I live my life with one foot in each of those worlds. It's a balancing act, to be sure, but I really like it here.

Thank you, Valerie {Bohemian Season} for posting this quote for me. :) You're always inside my head!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday Treasury Shadowbox Swap

Oooh! I know you'll want to be part of this! Amy Powers is hosting a really wonderful exchange based on this positively scrumptious prototype that she designed for her Inspired Ideas Magazine, The Birthday Edition.

This is a one on one exchange, we'll each make one, and receive one back! Pop in on Amy to see the particulars, and sign up! It will be so much fun to see you there!

"Swap sign ups close on May 31. Swaps due to be exchanged the week of June 13."

{Which, it occurs to me just happens to be my birthday week! How do you like that?}

I can't wait to discover who my assigned partner is! This is going to be so much fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Budget Minded Bride

I did a wedding last week . . . on a budget. Of course, all weddings have a budget, but I happened to know that this bride was going to try to do her own flowers . . . and she's related to my nephew {by marriage}, and I am a florist . . . I know very well how much work goes into a wedding, and I know the tears that I've shed, working on that kind of deadline . . . wedding flowers are a last minute deal, afterall . . .

I couldn't wish that on her, especially when it was an easy thing for me to do, and I had the time . . . you know? So they bought the flowers, delivered them to me . . . which is surely out of the ordinary :) . . . and here I share with you, the resulting Bridal Bouquet. The reason that this is all noteworthy, is this . . . this bouquet is made from 1 bunch of mixed Spring flowers from Costco. 1 bunch! We are talking budget here, people!

So I just want to give budget minded brides some hope. It does take a little training, but these days, doesn't everybody know someone who can teach them how to wire and tape flower stems? These are wired, then shaped, and wrapped. Oversimplified, I know . . . but take heart! It can be done! You can have beautiful flowers, on a budget . . . learn how to wire and tape, and practice beforehand with flowers from your garden. And practice, practice, practice! . . . Do not wait till the last minute to figure this out . . . it is not rocket science, but in this case, practice does make much prettier. :)
And you're really gonna love this! The centerpieces! She bought sweetpeas from a local fruit stand, and vases from a dollar store. $5.00 centerpieces. It is my intention here to be of assistance . . . to maybe instruct a little . . .

Buy flowers in season at Farmer's Markets or like this bride did, at the local strawberry stand . . . if you have time, grow them yourself {I hate to admit this, but you shouldn't depend on growing them from seed . . . it's just too risky} . . .

To arrange, simply gather them in your hand till they make a pleasing arrangement, then cut the stems off to one length. Lovely. Lovely.

My gift to you. :)

Note: Minutes after posting this, I mean really, truly . . . just minutes! I peeked in On one of my favorite blogs, Running With Scissors . . .and lo and behold, she's making a Bridal Bouquet, but she took the instructions, oh, so much further, and included how-to photographs! Run over to see! Fresh or silk flowers, the instructions are the same! You can do this! I promise! Tell her I sent you! Love!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Flowers

I promised a couple of friends that I would post photos of the centerpieces from my Mother-in-law's birthday party. See!? I try to keep my promises! {I really do try. Honest!} I kinda wish I had cleared the background a little better . . . but do you have any idea how vain I looked, when the party was in full swing, and I was taking close ups of the flower arrangements . . . that I made!? And since it was family and close friends . . . I think the guests might have known that.


This angle was an attempt to show the butterflies . . .

I'm gonna give you a quick tutorial on those. I love them! Aren't they just the sweetest!?

I found a tissue paper that was printed in a friendly little butterfly design. Yep. The very stuff that we tuck into gift bags. I liked this particular one for it's overall design of the same butterfly, in multiple Spring-ie colors, and lots of great sizes.

I color copied the tissue paper at my friendly neighborhood copy shop. Just for you, I'm sharing that first step with you! Click on the picture above to enlarge it, then print! I hope it enlarges to full page . . . I don't know to what size it will enlarge . . .I'm only kinda geeky . . . {I surely don't know everything about this stuff. I think most of it is just magic.}

I carried my color copy all the way over to the copy desk and asked them to make three more copies on transparency film. {You know, the stuff they use for overhead projectors.} The color will be waaaaay lighter than you expect. I recommend that you start with really intense, vibrant colors.

Took those home, and sometime in the middle of the night . . . with a girlfriend that I enlisted {coerced} into helping me . . . cut them out. I think you should cut them quite close.

You're not gonna believe this, but they didn't melt when I hot glued* them to the frame, wires and nests! Instant Spring! They were kind of adorable! {If I do say so myself.} {Gosh! I hope this doesn't mean that vain thing was accurate.} . . . sigh . . . *I did use a lower temp glue gun. The truly hot ones can really cause nasty burns! And would probably melt the transparency film.

Fold your little cut-out butterflies in the middle, so they appear like . . . like . . . like butterflies! . . . and using the cool melt, hot glue gun, glue them to light weight floral wire . . . or like I did, the nest and twigs of these arrangements . . . but they would be super cute sprinkled on a table . . . used on paper goods . . . somebody even tried them in a little bottle at the soldered charms class that I taught last weekend.

They seem so delicate and ephemeral . . . I think you'll love them, too! And will very likely find a million other uses for them! Please tell me if you do! I would so love to hear!

Now. . . don't say I never did anything for you! ;)

P.S. Do I have the world's best flower suppliers or what!? I said Spring, they delivered SPRING!