Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Can Resist a Cupcake?

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Having a few days off this week, I took my mom and sister to Stanford Shopping Center on Monday. Cupcake shops are always on my sister’s list of places to go and of course I don’t resist since I want to photograph them.

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We had not been to Sprinkles Cupcakes before but had heard all about it. It has a reputation for having long, long lines of people waiting to get their sweet bites of cake. It’s supposed to be the hottest cupcake store in Beverly Hills, although they’ve now spread to other locations.

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I really didn’t intend to get one for me, but the banana with chocolate frosting just sounded so good. While Tina got a red velvet and lemon cupcake, the gal in the store was very convincing that we should get an even four.

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So I ordered the flourless chocolate cupcake, too. I have to say that as cupcakes go, these were delicious although way too much sweet frosting. We scraped all the frosting off and trust me, whatever bits were left clinging to the cupcake were quite enough!

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And since when has our Miss Gracie ever resisted a cupcake herself? She got a few licks in before she became distracted by something else.

We had planned on saving two for the next day but the label said not to refrigerate them and recommended eating them the same day they are made. We saved two for the next day anyhow! After this latest cupcake adventure, I asked Tina to never ask me again if I want a cupcake as I don’t need all that sugar. I’ll stick with my gorgeous Whole Foods cupcakes to photograph since they happen to be less expensive and just don’t taste very good!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lovely Lavender

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This past weekend, I was able to spend time working on an art project. We had gorgeous warm and sunny spring weather although I must admit I spent more time inside than outside. Miss Gracie hates it when I leave the house. How can one little kitty create so much guilt?

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Naturally, she was by my side as I pulled out various ribbons, trims, papers and vintage findings. Oh, which ones to use and where to apply them? Decisions, decisions… we made our selections after much deliberation.

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We had a grand time gluing and cutting before she led me to the bedroom where she could nap under the covers while I sorted and caught up on some magazines. Miss Gracie stayed napping under those covers until she heard me open the popcorn bag in the kitchen (I had to tiptoe out of the room as she is not happy when I leave her). Once she heard that sound, she came running as fast as her little legs could carry her, in the hope that she would get a kernel or two. Popcorn, pastry crust and butter are her favorite non-feline foods. Of course, I gave her just one kernel!

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Have a lovely spring week!

 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

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Birthday Fun

Well, I think my birthday is finally over. Last Friday and Saturday I had birthday lunches with friends. My Saturday friend and I met at a Thai restaurant as is our tradition twice a year (once for her birthday and once for mine). We had a great time catching up and sharing art projects. I can always count on a hand decorated envelope and card as well (sometimes she even makes the envelopes!).

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Oh, Miss Gracie!

Well, guess who this is? Yes, my sweetie Miss Gracie joined me for a photo session again last weekend. She just made herself comfy on the bed after plopping herself on my fabric backgrounds. I admit I can’t resist taking photos of her. She’s my constant companion and is always doing something. I’d love to get bunny ears on her for a spring photo but she won’t allow that. I guess I’ll just have to wear the bunny ears this year.

The rest of this past week has been quite busy. Too busy, in fact. And to top it off, a friend sent me the link to the live web cam on the owl’s nest and I’ve been hooked. An owl named Molly has hatched three baby owlets and two more are due any day. If you love animals, you have to see this.

This weekend I’m looking forward to finishing the tussie mussie for the swap. And with some vacation days, so much more (yes, it’s tax time again). Or not. After all, that’s how vacation days go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Few Favorite Shops

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Everyone has their favorite shops. Two of my favorite ones occasionally mail postcards to announce special events and holiday happenings. At Shelby’s Garden in San Carlos and The Holiday House in Burlingame, everything in those stores is inspirational. From house decor to ribbons and jewelry; furnishings and faux food to the most incredible window displays.

When I visit those stores, I want to buy everything. I might buy a few things or just browse to fill up my creative well. More often than not, I’m just browsing but it feels so good to be in such a creative environment.

Each summer, Shelby’s Garden has a parking lot sale where they sell past merchandise as well as display items. I love to peruse all of it looking for bargain treasures. A great find in past years was a pair of orange French fishing chairs. You never know what you might find!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome, Spring!

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Don’t you just love the beginning of a new season? Spring is like a breath of fresh air; I am always so ready for warmer days again.

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The last days of winter have been fabulous this week. Our weather has been in the 60 and 70 degree temperatures. That’s not quite normal but certainly a nice way to end winter and ease into Spring!

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Flowers begin to bloom and I can hear the birds chirping outside. It makes me smile when I see the ducks and wildlife around the neighborhood. A few days ago we had a hare in our yard who stopped by to hang out and eat some tasty grass.

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This weekend I’m having a birthday lunch (yes, I’m still celebrating my birthday one month later!) with an artsy friend. We meet twice a year for our birthdays and share what we’ve worked on since we last saw each other and just catch up on each other’s lives. I can’t wait to show her some of the things from Silver Bella.

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My poor mom is sick at home with a bad cold but when I told her about the sweet comments made in last Sunday’s post, she just cheered right up. Thank you for saying such nice things as it certainly made her feel good and I was glad I could share that with her.

 

Happy first day of Spring!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Reason Why I Love My Job

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Each year, we have a holiday where we dress up and have a staff costume contest. Who doesn’t love to dress up? Well, some people don’t but I do!

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The little kids looked so cute, too. I took a couple hundred photos of them (trying to get just a few good ones) and had so much fun doing so.

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They had the cutest costumes…. lots of princesses, a UPS man, a Home Depot guy, dragon, panda, policeman, fairy, bumblebee, bear and so many more.

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This little gal was dressed up as… Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Love those shoes!

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Another little one was all Barbied up and had on these sweet, little high heels.

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Can you guess which one is me? I didn’t win but I had fun dressing up. I look forward to this day each year. Usually I’m a fairy or princess but I surprised everyone this year by looking more “normal”.

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I was dressed up as a lady from the 1930’s. Gotta love those garage sale and flea market finds!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Visit to Mom’s House

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This weekend, I spent an afternoon with Mom. While I was at her house, I took advantage of taking a few extra photos like these lemons in her kitchen.

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I just adore this little fella. He sits on her counter watching over her as she does her dishes each day.

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Mom had asked me to come over to take some photos of her paintings and garden. In the eighties and early nineties, Mom used to paint watercolors and oils. She recently took several of her painting out and had some framed. Mom will be turning 80 years old in just one and a half months. Can I mention that she doesn’t dye her hair and that is its natural color? Thank goodness for those genes!

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This is the front of Mom’s house where the flowers she calls her “firecrackers” grow. She likes to look at these from her living room window.

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Mom has an art deco style sofa and chairs that we found at an antique store probably 10 or more years ago. She combined that with some of her Scandinavian style that goes back to her Swedish roots.

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The bowl of apples gives a little pop of color in her neutral palette living room.

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Mom also redid her bedroom Swedish style. I really like the fresh white colors.

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Mom did a great job decorating. It’s clean and simple. I think it looks just like it came out of a magazine. Now, if only I could get her to make my home so clean and simple. Actually, she has tried but I can’t give up all my “stuff” that I love so much. Every time she puts something of mine away, I put it right back out. I’m not a clutter-bug, but I do need to be surrounded by things that make me happy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Notes

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One week closer to Spring… we had rain today but clear skies are ahead this weekend. And Daylight Savings time is this weekend, which I always look forward to each year.

So my decision about the flea market is… not going this weekend. As much I want to, I’m going to take a break this month and most likely go next month. I really do love going when the weather is sunny and warm although that is a few months off yet. Jodie, your idea about going and just photographing what I see is an interesting idea but I just don’t have that kind of willpower. Take pictures but not buy?! Hmmm, you are a much better woman than I! So instead, I’m going to visit my mother and take some pictures of her garden and paintings that she made several years ago but only recently hung on her walls (she requested that I take these).

I’d also like to spend some time this weekend working on my calligraphy – I love to see beautiful letters. I’ll spend a bit of time reading and some time planning my tussie mussie for the swap. Yes, as much as I love flea marketing, I can use the time this weekend on many other pursuits. TGIF!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flea Market Finds

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Last month, I went to a smaller flea market in Palo Alto. It was actually more like a big garage sale, but I liked the smallness of it. It was definitely low key compared to the giant one I usually go to in Cupertino. I bought this tin of vintage style labels to play with – I love the vibrant colors.

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A little assortment of glass buttons caught my eye and begged to be added to my new button collection. And any rhinestone earring, especially one that has lost its mate, also calls my name.

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I’m always looking out for French themed items. This may be a military book, but I found it quite interesting.

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About eight inches long, this metal scroll had “Sharon” written all over it. It’s a bit heavy and I’ve yet to hang it, but it certainly is pretty.

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And now for the Pièce de résistance: The antique button collection!

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Some of these buttons go back to the late 1800’s. My favorite vendor who I buy my bags of broken jewelry from had several of these that she had just purchased from a collector’s estate. There were so many fabulous and beautiful buttons. I paid way more than I wanted to (or probably should have) but I simply could not resist these. I had so much trouble deciding which cards of buttons to buy, I wound up purchasing my two favorite ones.

So this Saturday is the next flea market (I missed the big one last weekend) and it’s decision time. Go, spend more money and bring more items home, or skip the (ever so fun) flea market and spend the time utilizing what I’ve already bought. Or, I could clean the house, go to the farmer’s market, read a good book, try a new recipe or have some creative play time. Well, I haven’t convinced myself one way or the other yet, but I still have one day to decide! If you were me, what would you do?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is in the Air

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I am dying to run out to Orchard and buy some new flowers. This weekend, it’s a must. After all, daylight savings time will be here and it certainly is starting to feel like Spring. First up, I must find some of my favorite pansies. My neighbor has a garden of tulips that have bloomed and they are just gorgeous. I look at them every morning as I drive down my street – it’s a beautiful way to start the day.

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Inside or out, flowers can brighten any mood. And doesn’t Spring just make you feel like surrounding yourself with flowers?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Yes, Easter is Sneaking Up

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Oh, such a busy time it was last week! Yesterday was filled with errands including getting my car fixed (ouch!) but I did manage a wonderful breakfast of Danish strawberry crepes at Copenhagen restaurant while I waited. Today I spent my day making a milk carton bunny and an Easter basket from a milk jug for the craft section of gotmilk.com.

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My sister surprised me with a mini Peep last week. I got classic yellow while she chose a lavender Peep for herself. These little guys are just too cute and when you press them, they make baby chick noises.

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It was a little hard to photograph these as Miss Gracie first wanted to eat the Easter grass (a dangerous no-no for kitties), then wanted to sit by the mini Peeps. I only got off two frames before she plopped herself right in the middle. That’s my Grace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Rose is Still a Rose

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My beautiful bouquet of roses may be gone, but I have these pictures that will live on.

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My favorite roses are multi-colored. Well, it’s not like I’d turn down solid color ones.

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There’s nothing like a bunch of fresh flowers to make you feel wonderful.

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Unfortunately, I cannot have fresh flowers too often at home because Nipper insists on eating them. Silly cat!

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Of course, Miss Gracie would never do such a thing. Nope, not my Miss Gracie.

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I’m about ready to put a big color bowl of assorted flowers out front on my garden chair now that Spring is almost here. I feel the need for more flowers in my life.

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Oh, look – these two appear to be kissing.

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I hope my roses have brightened your day – happy March to you!