Monday, December 28, 2009

and this too...

i didn't get a good complete shot of my christmas cards. this is almost the finished product, except that there should be gold glitter on the star and then the paper cut square gets black photo corners and is placed onto a silver card stock. it was kind of a pain to make them because my glue stick was more icky than sticky and then i found myself uttering curses at the little bits of snow. i apologize to my local family of who no one got one. i just couldn't finish them in time and was suffering from santa's little worker elf traumatic disorder. so i decided to take my supplies with me to cardiff where i figured i would make them before bedtime the night before our family fete, but i forgot the cardstock and envelopes. i had a minor tantrum(done in the car when i was stuck in 1 1/2 hours of traffic just to get out of l.a.), but after three glasses of wine with my beloved step mom i stopped worrying and just let the visions of sugar plums dance in my head.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

what i made...

*delicious gingerbread popcorn(really really very good in the i can't control myself kinda way)
*good lookin' but poor tastin' caramel peach upside down gingerbread (sorry family)
*my sister jessie's favorite green bean casserole
*a mess of my work area in the apartment
*some boats made of a pizza box(supreme combo) and a discarded album cover(jethro tull "heavy horses", don't ask)

maybe i should add that the post it stuck on the frame in photo number one does say "i must not think bad thought x." ummm that's a song. by the band "x." not a reminder to myself to keep my chin up. in fact, i heard the song while driving and it took a lot of focus to get myself to work and not talk to anyone as i dropped off my hobo lunch in the fridge and made it back to my work room so that i could dig for a post it pad to write down the name of the song because i loved it so much.
seriously, that takes a lot of focus for me. but then i didn't want anyone to think that i was suffering from pre~christmas suicidal tendencies, so i stuck the post it in my tote bag. i found it a month later. and i can't find the song on itunes.

and...boat inspiration comes from the very talented ann wood. she was generous enough to provide a very basic boat pattern with instructions. i altered the pattern and methods to suit my own needs. i wanted stronger boats, so instead of just doing regular paper mache, i used buckram squares which made for a nice solid hull. i then did paper over the buckram to smooth out the texture as the buckram was a little too gridlike and textural for my taste. i am totally inspired by her and can't wait to increase the fleet(even though these went out to a nephew and a god daughter). the blue boats name is "the sea nymph" and the purple one is "the anemone rose." you should make some too!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

this has absolutely nothing to do with anything or a brief word from somewhere else...

i have memory recall that is extremely motivated by music. i'll hear a song and shazaam i'm thrown into a trip down memory lane. anyway, this song popped up today and while i am not particularly a huge Rocky Horror fan, this tune really floats my boat. perhaps it was a highschool ex(and not bongwater boy from a previous post) who used to prance and highstep and bump and grind to this song using his single bed as a stage while i giggled and rolled on the floor in hysterics.
that said, we did not go to prom together...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

everybody's doing it...

yeah yeah, home made marshmallows are all over the place...and they're gooooooood.
vanilla marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs. snaaap.
recipe found here.

saturday brings...

image from here
* a 1 1/2 hour massage at elements(thanks greg!!!)
*an afternoon party(probably will arrive in a state of loosy goosey relaxation and will embarass myself by showing up in a robe or wrapped in a festive sheet because i won't want to get dressed)
*potential hand to hand combat at Target, Macy's and possibly Michaels(which will ruin all benefits of massage) i am so behind in my present constructing escapade. this is compounded because i need to head to Cardiff on the 23rd for the family fete.
i have a history of waiting until the last when i was a junior in highschool and i put off doing a research paper until two nights before. i didn't even choose a topic, i just avoided it like athlete's foot. i say athlete's foot because there was always this little itch in my brain that i should be working on it in the months that followed it's assignation, but somehow hanging out with my glassy eyed boyfriend and his friends with their homemade bong that smelled like the business end of a goat took presidence(uhhh i never used that bong. it stank).
anyhoo, i ended up doing my research paper on...effects of smoking?home made bong making? procrastination? i truly don't remember, but i used a couple of tattered library books and get this...a whole stack of readers digest. i'm serious! i think this was one of the first times that i used limited resources to finish the race. ok, i'm presents will be awesome, but there just might be a reader's digest or two involved, ya never know.
unrelated, listening to Roots Reggae on SKY.FM through my itunes...they make it nice.
and damn you Pandora for limiting the number of free hours that i can partake in your tunes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

baby got bundt...

marshall and my bake-off entry, a salted caramel banana chocolate chunk bundt. yum...
didn't win, but i'm now in sugar coma bliss and so happy to not have to go back to work until the 4th of january. i do have to swing into overtime at ye olde homestyle christmas workshoppe though.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


finally finally finally, i sold my first "hallie original" in my etsy shop after months of selling vintage only. thank you artyoneoz in australia who ever you are, you just made my morning!
unrelated...i'm trying to decide what to make for tomorrow's 2nd annual costume shop holiday bake-off.
it will definitely involve a bundt pan and chocolate. more to follow...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

not tacky and almost just right...

the only thing that i don't like about my branch is the vessel that it rests in. right now it is nestled in a really large terra cotta pot with three bricks supporting the balance. i'll have to figure something else out. or maybe it's the gold lame' fabric the i swaddled it in. i've been dragging that fabric around for exactly ten years now and this is the first time it's seen the light of day for exactly ten years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

just a touch of the spirit or i speak for the trees...

look! it's a snowflake garland made of lace scraps and this stuff called stiffy(how funny is that name?) which is essentially white glue. i made this at work today before deciding that i should probably just go home since i had nothing more to do(a small luxury that i have in exchange for being salaried and having to work many extra hours unpaid during busier times). i found the perfect scandinavian minimalist organic Christmas branch in an empty lot around the corner from me. i almost poked a bicyclists eye out when i was dragging it back home(sorry stranger). i'll have to snap a couple more pics as i can't tell in our dimly lit apartment if i love it or if i made it tacky. no live trees were harmed. this branch has been laying around for a few months and the little pine branches that i tucked in were cast off under bough clippings from the Target tree center...merry thrifty Christmas to me(and the mister who made chicken and waffles for dinner).
addendum~ no live trees were hurt by me, but perhaps i fall into the carrion scavenging category for stuffing the trunk of my car full of left over pine boughs...sigh...i can't win.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sausage Curls and a Hex...

please note that i have no true photographic reference and/or evidence for any of this...
yesterday afternoon the mister and i decided to take the curling iron to our respective heads of
hair. his is already curly and mine is straight as a slightly crooked arrow. it was fun. i curled his into antebellum era sausage curls and mine into something resembling a kinked and steamrolled slinky. we were a mostly kind of curly mopheaded couple as we stopped in at the library for him to pick up some anime dvd's and for me to do a drop off. i was thrilled when i spotted an older lady scurrying through the stacks looking like someone straight out of Hogwarts...long hooded cloak over long flowy dress and hair braided and coiled with silvery ribbon. i tried to spy on her in the "S" fiction stacks, but she was onto me i think and vanished herself away. later that night i made the worstest grossest most blech cookies(i truly have no idea what could have happened and how pumpkin snickerdoodles could go so wrong...maybe there is the slightest use of hyperbole here, but really wow, yuk) ever and my luscious almost curls straightened themselves back out...i think she hexed me. oh but we did make some delicious chicken and dumplings even if the dumplings were done in the mister's mom's style(cut into strips and chucked in the pot) and not in my oma's way(batch of bisquick biscuits mixed up and dolloped on top of simmering liquid).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happily Listing...

i'm starting to feel the holiday spirit. i think that the mister and i will need to drag the christmas decor out of the garage. good thing that the night time marauder who stole about 12 bags of recycling cans out of our garage was kind enough to not go digging into the giant cupboards that are in there as well(is it wrong of me to suspect my cat hoarding neighbors??).
this year my california family has decided that for our gift giving that we would each select(or have selected for us...thank you Jessie) a single name and give to that person only(except for the little niece and nephew who deserve the king's ransom for just being so awesomely adorable).
here is one of my lists:

Buy Handmade

the swanbones prints are so hauntingly beautiful and i have been eyeing the little le creuset sugar bowl and hippocampus print for many moons now...
unrelated...i want everyone who reads this to know that i am still taking my prenatal vitamins(man my hair and nails are healthy) and i'm really looking forward to another go in the new year.
and also that i will always and forever love this song. i love that scene in Valley Girl(yea i'm old so what!) when Randy is hiding out in the bathroom at the "val" party and this song is playing in the background. oh! adding this movie to my Amazon list.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Family Closet...

photos from my personal collection
every few months or so i type my great great grandmother's name into google. a couple years ago there were a few blurbs and photos here and there along with her
Hollywood Forever memorial. so, a couple weeks ago i was doing some computer dilly dallying and thought that i would type her name. the basic information that is always provided i'm familiar with as it is family history...she was a Zeigfield Girl as well as the highest paid performer on the Vaudeville circuit. her name was a dark cloud over my great grandfathers stiff moral code. her daughter(my great grandmother Florence Tanguay Dufresne) was illegitimate and handed over to her aunt and uncle to be raised in a more "wholesome" manner. my aunt debbie has a stack of old photos and i have a few myself that i hold very dear. but when i stumbled upon some images that had been posted by the Henry Ford museum (that aren't the same ones that i had seen over and over as a little girl) i was blown away with pride. the one thing that i had never heard was her voice. in june i had done a youtube browse for her with no results, but this last time when i found this clip, i almost cried. Eva're a star.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

H is for Hippocampus or Little Ignacious rejoins the stars...

i'm glad that November is finally out the door. it was a tough month. the first day was beautiful. a joyous and love filled birthday with cake and hugs and family. the second day blew me out of my knee socks and down a blustery barren mountain. on the second day i found out via ultrasound that the little spark of life that i carried inside me had flickered out, packed it's bag and returned to the stars. every day since has been spent in slightly misshapen states of normalcy and emotional repair.
a miscarriage really fucks with you. if nothing more, i am a trooper and i lives to fight another day...that's pretty much all that i really want to say about that.
but i would like to add that sea horses are awesome.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

some randomness...

a date to my favorite three dollar a ticket glorious Academy Theater to see "Inglorious Basterds" last night. it was a hot box this favorite theater of mine that always promises some sort of extra quirky perk.i don't think that they have any heat or any air...or maybe they were trying to replicate the days of yore when people would bring hand fans to keep the air circulating. unfortunately all i had in my purse to use as said fan were some seed packets that i had picked up at the nursery earlier in the day. for obvious reasons, they were a no go. i also tried a tissue without much success. almost as entertaining as the(mostly ok, but a might long in spots mr. tarentino) film was a fellow who had fallen asleep in the back row and was snoring and breathing heavily for about an hour or so. and this is a small theater (as it is oldy timey), so the whole audience were privy to his apnea rythyms. it was definitely more comical than the time the large gentleman in the seat next to me was ahem...pleasuring himself under his coat(i was alone that night) and that was during "Children of Men." nothing sexy about that film aside from handsome mr. owen of course.
i also am so in love with this song right now...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

lost in a forest...part deux

i rode the 5 miles on my squeaky old bike. listening to the Church, the White Stripes and Bowie on the way there. a grove of towering sequoias. a bed of pine needles and an old sarong. sucking in the majesty of the trees and getting my vampire on with Sookie. nibbling on almonds and watching an army of ants bum rush an artery of sap. a beautiful day...

Friday, September 11, 2009

listening to...

oh this new~ish band takes me back to the days of my teen angst. these lads are lovely in their brooding.
so very Echo, so very Joy Division, so very themselves...

Monday, September 7, 2009


taking pics for a shop update, eating apple slices with almond butter and Tom Waits pulls up on my itunes. years ago when i was married, my then husband(who liked the drink) decided at about one in the morning that he was going to track down the great Mister Waits' phone number. there were many calls put to 411 in New York City(?)...we were living in Tallahassee at the time. i just remember this drunken slurring of words, "no! thass Tom Thomas Tom Waits heez a musician.why don you know who he izzz? i dunno where he lives thass why i'm calling you."
man, what a drunk...
but, i am snickering as i write this and i definitely still have a fondness for tom waits.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

just some stuff on a saturday...

i haven't been very interested in keeping up with the journal lately. but i'm trying to shake that a bit. i killed my garden errrr beastly hellaciously hot southern california killed my plants. and so did the night squirrrels aka the rats. and then there was the bad ass green worm army that knocked of my woad and nasturtiums. so now i have a dirt garden. it's nice and brown and guarded by a humble gnome with an ax. on the other hand, i am growing a rather beautiful strain of fungus in my terrarium.
i have been sequestered indoors because of the fires burning up the hill. the air stinks. greg doesn't smell it, but he smokes. my sniffer is in sneeze and blow mode. i'm over it. and i want to go running again and i want to turn off the canned air in the flat. i did brave riding my bike to the train on thursday. it felt great to get a little exercise even if every inhale smelled like a smoldering bbq pit. on that ride i learned that wearing a wrap dress to ride a bike is not exactly the best idea. several good citizens of pasadena and little tokyo definitely got a morning flash of my lily white upper thigh. i hope that it gave them a giggle! also on the train was a very odd and slightly off large woman panhandling and talking to her self. people did the bury their noses into their blackberry's in order to not to attract her attention. she plopped herself down into 1 1/2 seats and pulled out a hello kitty notebook and wrote two words. i strained to see what they were and what i could make out looked like:
elasticity pusssy(yes with extra esses)
that made my day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

holy wow...i love this!!!

i stumbled on this amazing artist, celeste potter, while dilly dallying before work...the song is pretty groovy too. and then i....whoops, almost burned my oatmeal trying to post this.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

as a milestone approaches...

Ms. Christensen you are so absolutely stunning at 40...thanks!
i think that it is so easy at times to slip into feeling a dread or a denial of age.
...for me that it is. i used to always say that i had a dorian grey complex.
and i wept on my 21st birthday for the passing of years.
time is swift and can often be cruel. and now 20 odd years later(yes, for real some ways and quiet and simple in others) i feel the number forty creeping up the path and i truly don't feel that much different. i mean i don't wander around in a macrame bikini top and a gypsy skirt so much anymore, but the converse are still there. i still loathe cottage cheese and i still love to ride a creaky old bike with a bell on it's handlebars. ok i need to wrap this up...blah blah blah. i could go on and on waxing poetic on the virtues of being forever young as a state of mind. all i will say is that i have something big planned in my year that will be forty...and that i have a slight girl crush on helena christensen because she IS forty and also i resurrected my love for john cusack after watching say anything for the gazillionth time the other night. the end.
photos of Helena Christensen for Odd Molly (via Haus Maus)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

go ask alice...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

treasures from wisconsin...

little treats from my trip to lush and green madison,wisconsin...
*a carousel ride with a very dear friend(i miss you Monica!!!)
*a tiny milk glass pitcher
*a pink pony holding down a mountain of lava
* an ode to dr. evermore
"can i come hide with you in your post apocalyptic garden?
i'll care for your creatures of iron and steel.
i'll sweep out the remains of life as we know it and

bake you a pie of cobweb and thistle
and together we shall be fed for all eternity...
*my feet catching sun at devil's lake
* the little girl who has stolen my heart
i had a most excellent vacation!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

lost in a forest...

today i woke up after a couple car-azy dreams. dream vignette number one was that i was turning into a vampire. well, i was in the pre-blood phase, so i just had the floating off bed syndrome and the shakes. i know that this dream came about because G and i watched a swedish vampire flick called "Let the Right One In" last night. it is well worth a watch as it is super original(hard to find these days) and heartbreaking...just don't make the mistake we did and accidently watch it in the dubbed mode. i don't know how two film buffs could be such doofusses and not think to check the set up features, but ahem cough cough. so i woke up just positive that it was saturday and so excited because i have a massage appointment. stupid thursday!
but enougha my freaky dreams and wakey uppy letdowns!
this is a papercut that i did for my dear friend and hostess with the mostest Monica's birthday. it's part of my "Lost in a Forest" series.
i really love it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

i forgot something...

i almost forgot that i have a blog. i've been up to all sorts of things and i have pictures and projects aplenty, i just haven't felt like sitting in front of a computer screen for longer than a minute or three. soon soon soon i will be ready for proper documentation methinks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

onward and forward...

photo by me...from the most wonderful vivienne westwood exhibit at the v&a several years ago
this has been the first week of my glorious two and a half week vacation and it has been spent in a haze of toothache vs. headache vs. grogginess. i had the second part of a grueling root canal excavation last friday. it started ok with minimal pain, but then by monday, i was really hurting and out of it. i'm really not a big fan of slipping into the "valley of the dolls" with the pain killers, but i haven't had much of a choice. greg gets to chauffer me everywhere and he is a great sport. hopefully, maybe only another day or so of ache...wait scratch that. i want to wake up tomorrow with a fairy tale smile. i have projects to work on, places to go and people to see!

Monday, June 22, 2009

sunday was where it was at

sunday was beautiful! so beautiful that i had to wear a sunshine-y dress. i was so happy to visit my friend heather and her brand new, just hatched most adorable baby boy in the hospital. i always forget how tiny newborns seemingly fragile and just impossibly amazing. his name is dashiell a name that i love because it is french, it is unique and it is oldy timey.
after my visit, greg and i decided to take marshall up the hill for a hike. i don't normally wear a dress or jewelry when hiking(nor do i carry a vintage bag, but i needed it for the camera) but in my defense, i had just watched 'picnic at hanging rock' the night before and felt inspired by lasses hitting the foothills in their frocks and i was wearing converse.
i also managed to save a drowning bee from some hooligans who were too idiotic to just scoop it out of the rock fountain. there were cheers of "ohhhh she's brave" to which i replied"hmph my father raises bees." they found this impressive and really my dad only just started with bees and is still in the "learning" phase. mostly greg and i figured that the hooligans just wanted the old folks to move along so that they could smoke pot. oh to be young in the summertime...


saturday was chilled and misty and made for sitting on the couch and finishing a book. also i made a sort of french peasant stew(no pics, i have yet to figure out the fine art of food styling and my indoor lighting sucks when it isn't sunny) and snuggled with the dog.


friday was nice with a walk to the cafe for some apple juice, some goofing in a phone booth and the videostore...

Friday, June 19, 2009


this is my first little baby from the garden. sweet little lemon cucumber, how lovely you will taste sliced with some feta and sardines...

standin' in the shadow of the stinkiest flower ever

yeah, i know the shadow picture is kind of played and not so artful, yet i kinda like it. except that i look a little hippy. not hippie as in patchouli wearing, but wide, but i was carrying a big ol' purse and wearing a cardigan and it is an exagerated shadow and...anyhoo, sorry for the hip rant, greg and i went to see the very rare corpse flower. actually, we smelled it waaaaay before we saw it.
it did smell gross. but not like two day old cantelope rind in the garbage can gross or like my cousin russell's week old feet migraine inducing gross. it was a damp and musty and sickly sweet odor that permeated the air and zapped our nostrils. it was most incredible to take in(rare too) the last time one flowered at the huntington was in 2001. i should add that it was difficult to get a clear picture, because old folks were literally jumping in the way of the camera to get a closer look.