Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our pool!

It's been way too to hot for the guys in the family to do their 4 mile park walk so we've been getting up very early everyday and going to our small pool (North Richmond Recreation Association.)   We do our own version of water aerobics. The pool isn't chlorinated, it's salt water, which is really nice. The pool is located at the end of two streets, alongside Interstate 95 (for those of you not in the U.S. that's the major highway that goes up the east coast from Florida to Maine.) We can hear the traffic, which sounds like the ocean, but since they've put up the barrier wall, we can't see vehicles.   As you can see, we're usually alone at this time of the morning. We're pretty lucky to still have our membership. We were members when our kids were young. They learned to swim in this pool, and our son was the last lifeguard we ever employed. Lots of good memories. By the way, the pool water has been very warm, like a warm bath!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My birthday week! ¡Feliz cumpleaƱos! Joyeux anniversaire!

This is the week of my birthday.
 Because of my birthday, I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop, Fritzi. I put the Skull Pockets on sale!

I love my birthday. I don't plan any big celebrations but I always feel so great on my birthday. I do only the things I want to do, which this week includes attending my Spanish Meet-Up group, having lunch at Amuse, the restaurant at VMFA, with some friends, and pizza for dinner with my husband, son and nearly daughter-in-law. I'm so excited about MY day. No joking, I just love it! It's MY day, though I did find out last week, that Jessica, another student in my Spanish class, shares MY DAY! There were only 4 students in the group that day and two of us have the same birthday. We found that really interesting. I'll bake a cake to take to class, but someone else plans to bring cake to the Meet-up. Grateful me, grateful me.

I don't have many photos of myself as a very small child. I treasure this one.   I wonder what is in my hand? What am I playing with?

Saturday, June 26, 2010


A former student of mine, and she loves to remind me of that, has this amazing shop in Doswell, Virginia. She sells things from "the olden days." On a recent visit, I scored some envelopes from a chicken farm in Pennsylvania. Very cool. AND she had these enormously large bottles of Shaefer's blue-black ink for $29. The real deal. It's always such fun to visit and see the treasures and they're all for sale. You can read more about Squashapenny Juntion on another blog here.

Another really neat shop is at Quirk Gallery. They have terrific exhibits and a very neat shop. Currently, they have two of my vintage tea towel Pockets for sale and a dozen of my Purses for Change. Plus I was asked to come up with a sunglass "case." They're selling sunglasses and people want cases for them. SO I'm currently working on a design. My first attempt is a bit less than satisfactory but I have some other ideas to try out.
Fun for me, a design puzzle to solve.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Smitty, the Market, and some more sewing.

Here is Smitty contemplating going down the stairs. I think it must look like something really scary for him with his bad eyesight. We actually carry him into the yard. He's so cute still, and sooo old for a dog. We walked around the block a couple days ago and he had to lie down a few times and my honey carried at the end of the trip.

The heat is so hard on the veggies. These are photos from last Saturday when it wasn't so hot. What will be this week, oh boy, we may not even have Market on Saturday as BIG storms are predicted. Did I mention the temperature? It's now 98F/36.6C, yes, hace calor!! 

Yesterday, I had such a fun time making more Purses for Change. Really, I have so much fun doing this. Today, my honey helped me choose names for the ones that I put in my Etsy shop, Fritzi. I've decided that I'll name them all (a la Ikea.) Here's one that has a butterfly on the back of it. I call this PfC (Purse for Change) Lara. Got any cool short names that might work for PfC's or for Pockets? Send them to me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baking and sewing!

I've been busy sewing Pockets. Today, I took lots of them to my Spanish class, along with lots of my little Purses for Change. My prof wanted to buy one. Happy me, she bought the two orange ones, and my classmates, also, bought some of each of the items. This afternoon, I got busy at my sewing machine making more of them.

Yesterday,  I baked a cake. The recipe is here. This cake was a hit with everyone who tasted it. It was favorited by my husband and son!

A note from a Company

I was inspired to write to a company about a product by  A Year of Letters. I have been enjoying a specific cereal by Nature's Path Foods and wrote them a fan letter. Yesterday, I got a lovely hand written postcard from them.  Irene, the company rep has really lovely handwriting, doesn't she? This was nice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Little Girl Pockets

I had some short lengths of cording left over so I decided to make smaller pockets for the little girls who live down the alley. The ones who helped me bake cookies during the snow storm this past winter.  It's the first time I've used my Lego buttons on anything. Perfect!

I brought them over to the girls last night, and this evening, the 9 1/2 year old came by, looking so ready for a party, with a lovely sparkly dress, hair in neat braids, and the little Pocket. She took out something from her new Pocket and presented it to me. A wonderful drawing of her with the pocket on, a thank you note! It promptly was posted on my refrigerator.   Lucky me to have my Pockets appreciated like this!

Monday, June 21, 2010


The Phone Lady's post about looking for a photo of her father sent me looking for one of my Dad. I didn't do a good job on the scan so it's not all that clear. Can anyone date the car? Notice the bullet bumper detail? Dad has been gone for over 10 years. The apartment building we lived in, in Chicago, is gone also. I looked for it on Google and it's an empty lot now. I have no idea how long it's been gone. It appears that a building is now on the empty lot across the street so the view of those back porches (behind the tree) is obscured. I think one of the girls looking at the ground in the background is my older sister. My Dad was a very nice man. He was a good husband and father, kind, funny, playful, musical and inquisitive. He loved to learn new words. He loved to fish and bowl. He taught us to ride bikes, ice skate, roller skate, fish, and treat out mother with respect. He told me once that he chose to be happy. Thanks Dad.

They flew the "coop!"

I snapped this photo on Sunday. The babies were all alone looking like statues, shoulder to shoulder. Big, though, these babies are BIG. Is mom gone for food or for good? Is this how it works, mom leaves, babies figure out what to do?

I snapped this photo this morning. The babies are GONE! They figured it out, instinct kicked in, they flew away.  I guess we get to clean up after them. What a treat to have seen this process and learned a bit more about our natural world. Glad you got to share it with me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Dove photos, and today, baby doves, all alone!

I snapped this from inside the house. The glass block distortion make this look like a painting, yes? It's our own little nature center.

Here's what the nest looked like from the outside.

And this morning, the birds were alone.  I spotted them and then walked closer. They were VERY still. I assume that mom was off getting some food for them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Birds, New Clogs, and a New Pocket.

Here's a photo of the baby doves that hatched in the nest by our side window (which is made with glass blocks) near the young magnolia tree and our air-conditioner.  They are SO big. The mother and  babies are still, very still when we go over to look at them. My niece captured this view with her 'phone two days ago. I'll go take a peek shortly to see if the babies are still there. They may have left the nest already.

My birthday is coming up shortly and these are the clogs that my honey got me. We only saw them in pictures so had no idea that the fabric would be kind of velvety.  We thought they looked more summer-y that my usual python patterned clogs. These are vegan Sanita clogs. I love that the fabric pattern falls in different places on each clog. What fun. I'll start wearing them on my birthday.

This image was sent to me by Babs in Chicago, who ordered a bag like the one I made for the person in my Spanish Meet-up group. I have more of that vintage upholstery fabric, so I was able to accommodate the order.  I'm happy to hear from a satisfied customer and get this photo.

I, also, sent the Skull Pocket to the winner of the random drawing on Skull-a-Day. I hope she sends me a photo, too. I'd love to see her with her bag.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I've recently taken photos of a small collection of these little figurines (called Snowbabies) that I acquired as gifts over a decade ago. They decorated my office (when I had an office.) They've been gathering dust on a dusty shelf, in an out of the way place, so I've decided they need to move on to a home where they'd be appreciated. That said, I've been enjoying thinking about snow, the three snow storms we had this past winter, and how they effected us, and what people said at the time: It's going to be a very hot summer.

Okay, so they were correct. It's VERY hot here. It's going up to 95 F (35 C) today. It was very hot yesterday and it'll be very hot tomorrow. They were correct, and I'm looking at these little figurines, playing in the snow, with a bit of envy.

I'm off to the gym to work out, in air conditioning!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A storm, a dove, and a sunset.

A storm was approaching last night, but we made it home before it hit. Winds over 60mph/96kph were predicted. Luckily, it wasn't that bad at our place.

We have a dove nesting on our sill, behind the little magnolia tree sprouting next to our air conditioner.  The air conditioner makes noise and blows a lot of air when it's on but the dove just sits still, with it's black eye looking out at us when we stop to check on her. I took the photo of her looking left, my son took the photo of her looking to the right a few days before.

Tonight the sunset was gorgeous. I loved the view of the clouds, the sun rays, and the parking lot lamp coming on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pocket in use!

J stopped by after going to the farmers' market and she had on one of my Pockets. It looked so great that I had to whip out my 'phone and grab a photo before she left. She said that she likes that she can attach her keys to the strap. She "fancied" it up with a little metal button up at the top corner.  I was delighted to see the Pocket in use!

Now to make some more!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A BIG ball and a new pocket.

My Spanish Meet-Up group meets at the cafe in the science museum and today I had the opportunity to snap a photo of the big beach ball out front. I couldn't believe this when I saw it. I had to go close and touch it. It's a nylon cover over this BIG granite kugel. To find out more about kugels, http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugle. Hopefully you can read Danish! The Science Museum of Virginia had this on it's site:
January 2003. Mary Morton Parsons Earth-Moon Sculpture “the Kugels” dedicated. Features the Guinness World Record-holding 29-ton solid granite globe of the Earth. Hopefully, the woman sitting nearby gives you and idea of the scale. It's BIG. When not covered with nylon, the kugel sits on water in the base and can be easily rotated. Even a little child can do that. It's a globe so you can touch the earth!

My amiga, Anna, requested a customized Pocket for her Spanish immersion trip this summer. This Pocket is a teeny bit wider than my usual pockets. Anna was able to choose her own fabric combi. She picked a striped fabric for the inside.  If you look closely, you can see my "python" clog on the left.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some questions about plants.

This tree is outside the window of my little cousin in New Jersey, USA. It's some kind of pine tree. Are those baby pine cones? They look really sweet, like decorations. Do you know what kind of pine this is?

This fruit looks like a cherry. Is it? The leaves are a dark reddish color. Someone, who shall remain nameless, took a bite out of one, with the rest of us saying "don't do that!"  The tree is in the park near my home in Richmond, Virginia, USA

I've been busy making "pockets." I'm obsessed with them. I've got lots made but only a couple (other than the Skull-a-day ones) in my Etsy shop. I've been too busy sewing to take pix and list. Soon, I'll do it soon. Isn't this flowered one cute? It's shown here on a mailing bag because I sent it off to my older sister. I hope she likes it. She's the person who gave me the fabric awhile ago.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Totes and Pockets

I'm having the best time sewing these days. Staying indoors, out of the heat, playing with fabric, is such fun. I used more of my Ikea fabric to make a new tote, which will eventually go into Fritzi, my Etsy shop.

       I have been making small bags, which I'm calling Pockets, because most of my clothing doesn't have a pocket for me to carry around my cell phone or iPod while I'm in my house going upstairs and down, and out in the garden, and in from the garden, or at the gym. You get the picture (I'm needing to be attached to my stuff.) I'm always putting the phone somewhere and forgetting it, thus a pocket is needed. I made one for myself, one for one of my sisters, and several from the remaining Decorative Skull fabric from Skull-a-Day. I'm pretty excited about them. I've also started to make my Purses for Change again, to help me raise a bit of change for Art180. Their slogan is "Change through Art," which I whole-heartedly agree with.  This is all so satisfying. Lucky, lucky, grateful me!