I have Issues ...

So ... I am not the first blogger to moan about the fact that Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion has bitten the dust. I have loved this magazine from the beginning and have really grown to love Mary herself. I was first introduced to Mary in October of 1987. While innocently purchasing groceries at my local Safeway, I happened upon this magazine (below) which temporarily put a spell on me and forced me to buy it.

I believe that this was the second issue of Victoria magazine. It's the only 20+ year old magazine still in my possession. And that's all because of Mary.

While thumbing through it, I came upon what I could only describe at the time as the most charming house I had ever laid eyes upon. I was absolutely captivated and went on to learn as much about ME as I could. I will say in all honesty that I never painted checks or cherries in my kitchen, nor did I stick a bunch of bowls on a chair, but I have quilted cherries and I eat cereal every single morning ... from a bowl ... on a chair.

I have watched with interest as she moved ... and moved ... and moved ... again. But I never loved a single one of her houses as much as I loved this one.

So good-bye my magazine friend. In fact good-bye to several of my magazine friends. What the heck is the deal?

Does anyone else have memories of this home of hers? Is anyone else bummed with this stupid-head economic turn? Do you have pictures of checks in your kitchen to soothe my aching heart?
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a pirate's life fer me

So ... my rearranging/decorating a go-go extended to many different rooms in the house. Take this guest bathroom for instance. It was the recipient of a new floor and a new rug, but then I started gathering what turned out to be a plethora of sailing memorabilia and put it all together in this teeny-weeny room.

The framed pictures have not been seen on my walls since we lived in the Speilberg House* but I uncovered them in an upstairs closet. The middle platter on the wall was last seen above my kitchen table, and I don't know where the heck that top plate came from, but apparently I own it.

My little sailor friend is part of my nesting doll collection ... and yes ... that sailor houses two more sailors inside of him. I am pretty certain that I have felt a wee bit of the scurvy while sitting in that room.

And I mean that in a good way.

*For six years in the 80's, we lived in the home that Steven Speilberg grew up in. Someday I will tell the tales from that adventure.
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All Play and No Work

So ... I finished the quilt. Truthfully, I figured out just a couple of days ago that I really needed to have it done by tomorrow morning to take in to here for the REG(istration) Party since it's the January/February sample for Patchwork Pilot Club.

So ... I was working pretty hard.

Or was I?

While in the throes of my labors, I happen to come upon the following quote by James Michener:

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both."

I decided I had been playing all along.

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Now I just need a fancy dog ...

So ... I won an award. Seriously. Someone thinks my blog is fabulous. Truth be told, it's my bestest friend Glamma Fabulous ... who pretty much defines the word. That woman has more creativity in her pinky than I have in my whole body. Check out her blog to see what I mean. She has had many ... many ... creative personnas. And she has many, many (as in 5) creative daughters.

One of her titles/talents is being a locally famous painter, particularly with pastels. This picture below is one of hers that I feel proud to own (and hangs above our bed.)

I am also proud to call all of her children and grandchildren ... family. They are much harder to hang on the walls, but are always welcome to hang around the house.

Thanks Glamma. In your honor I will admit that I'm the older one.
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all dressed up and no where to go

So ... I've been making all sorts of little changes around this place. Movin' stuff. Switchin' stuff around. Shakin' stuff up. I decided after all the hard work I put into my slipcovers in the Living Room a couple of years ago, it was high time I showed off my favorite part. Because I have an unnatural fear of zippers coupled with a deep and abiding love for the button hole feature on my Bernina, I will always choose buttons over zippers when something needs closing.

The aforementioned switch necessitated moving my favorite chair to a greater place of honor. I did not make the slipcover on that chair so sure enough ... it has a zipper. And in answer to your immediate question ... yes ... I still sit in that chair quite frequently.

Lately I have been sitting in The Kingdom, churning out Cherries with abandon.

When I'm done, I hope to have enough to make a pie.

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Sew ...

So ... I actually ventured into the sewing room the other day. Keep in mind that I haven't sewn on anything but the kitchen curtains for several months. Keep in mind that this is weird.

I am going to make this easy strip quilt (see picture #1) from this pattern (picture #2) from my good friend Renee (here.)

As usual ... I'm changing things around a little. Instead of hearts, I will applique cherries. I've said it before and I'll say it again ... I get a tic if I try to follow a pattern exactly. Even though I think Renee's pattern is too cute for words.

And ... yeeeesssssss ... I'm aware that I'm doing the red/green thing again. With a little yellow thrown in for good measure.

And yes, I'm blogging about this to force me to get moving. I am pretty sure that all this decorating has fried the quilt side of my brain.

Ever happen to you?
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Always feelin' Blue

So ... here are the kitchen curtains ... in the daylight. My other curtains were very cafe style and these are a little more formal. I like the way the dark of the curtains balances that end of the room. And in answer to some questions that I have had in person:

* No, I did not line them because direct sunlight never hits these windows due to the patio outside ... and ...
* Yes, I can pull them closed to actually serve as a window covering, but I doubt that I ever will. For some reason, the functional part of such things always takes a back seat to the decorative part, in my mind. This mindset played a huge part in the lamp shade debacle of the last couple of weeks.

And no ... I probably won't be learning from that lesson to help me in the future. I'll probably continue to blissfully wing things.

How about you? Function or Decor? Which is the default setting in your brain?

Oh, oh I forgot to mention that I have been tagged by my all-time favorite daughter-in-law. (Look at that face and admit it's pure heaven.) I am too old to have eight choices for anything, so I'll wing this as follows:

* Favorite TV shows: 30 Rock, The Office, Chuck, House and my new fave, The Mentalist.
* Things I did yesterday: Went to my Institute Class, picked out fabric for my next project and talked to my sis who is home from the hospital after 2 nasty weeks.
* Things I look forward to: Seeing my children, seeing my grandchildren, and time with the PDaddy.
* Favorite Restaurants: Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Southern Cal
* Things on my Wish List: Trips to So Cal, Chi-Town and the Big Apple

Thanks my Steffa-Effa. Miss Mary Mack adores you.
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Home fires of the Vanity

So ... I actually started out to take pictures of the Kitchen Curtains, but alas it was too late in the day for the light on that end of the room ... and I don't do "flash". So here are some pics of the Family Room ... where we basically spend all of our time while not asleep.

Take note of this vanity table that I inherited from my mom ... who did the swell 70's antique-ing ... in the seventies (duh) when everyone transformed their good wood furniture that way with the same fervor that we quilt or scrapbook. Try not to gasp, but I almost painted this white a few years ago until I remembered that I was way ahead of my time and knew the green would be tres chic.

Oh ... and even though PDaddy continued to love/endure the squirrel lamp with the brown shade ... it absolutely gave me a headache because it eliminated no light. So I'm sorry ... I did some shade switching ... and you must learn to deal with it.

And one more note ... I got my bound sisal rug at Overstock.com for a steal. I'm just sayin'.
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try, try again

Grrr ... we'll try this again. Fill in these pictures in the boxes below and just hope the Blogger Boogie Man is nowhere to be seen.

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It IS thicker than water ...

So ... I can officially say that the work (by others) is done on the house (for now.) I am sweeping (floors) and hanging (pics and plates) and rearranging (furniture.) I have blog posts up the wazoo, but really ... who cares ... 'cause I have pictures of these two and that is much more entertaining.

These cousins really thrived on their (short) time together over the Holidays. They wore hats together and drove cars together and played together.


How is it that everything is done just when the biggest somethings are missing??




So ... I bought a new lamp. I could not believe what a fantastic find it was.

* Right size. Check.
* Cool suede shade. Check.
* Hip woodsy theme. Check.
* Takes a 3-way bulb. Check.
* On sale for a smokin' deal. Check.

While waiting in line at TJ Maxx, conversing with my fellow line-waiters about how I had the buy of the century, it suddenly dawned on me that there was one small flaw with my new lamp. Because of the brown suede lampshade, I knew that it was not going to emit as much light as it's predecessor. And I worried that PDaddy was going to miss that light because ... well ... I tend to go for a lower-light-ambience than he does.

The first night he didn't notice the lamp or the lack of light. (The blazing light from the Christmas tree from across the room probably helped out.) But sure enough, the next night, the following actual conversation took place:

PDaddy: "Is that a new lamp?"
Me: "Yes ... do you like it?"
PDaddy: "Sure."
Me: "I am well aware that it has one major flaw."
PDaddy: "You mean ... that it's a squirrel?"

I love that man.

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