Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Photo Shoot at 17-Mile Drive Through Pebble Beach

In July we took Lisa and the boys to Carmel and the beach. Lisa loves the beach and sea, we just love anything in Carmel and the area.

She wanted their annual family Christmas photos taken at the beach, a little late, it was December 20. Joe had arrived from Texas the night before so we all went to where Lisa wanted, 17-Mile Drive, the scenic road through Pebble Beach on the Monterey peninsula. It is stunning.

Joe posed at Point Joe.

We were watching the photo shoot. They were wearing Gafton line shirts and hats. Football player, Kenny Wiggins, started the line with his high school friend. Kenny is married to Lisa's niece.

Jan snapped this photo with me carrying my favorite bright yellow umbrella I bought in Holland in 1990 for the gloomy drizzly days. I couldn't understand why most of the umbrellas people used were black, when I saw a rack of bright ones I picked sunny yellow.

Afterwards we had lunch at The Bench Restaurant at the Lodge at Pebble Beach.
Waiting for our table opa Jan saw the boys on their phones and wanted to join in for a shot. Isn't this typical of teenagers?

Lisa's shot of wine and menu.

After lunch Joe, Doug, Lisa and the boys went home and Jan and I went on to Carmel, can't miss it when we were so close.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fairy Land Christmas Tree

The chill is in the air and the wind is blowing so we are inviting all the fairies to come in and warm up.

A few days ago I asked hubby to make a flat Christmas tree to display many of his hand painted fairy doors are are so charming. There is a door for every style of fairy.

It's topped with the quilted star I made a few years ago.

Hubby's hand painted fairy doors are available for sale on our
Paris Cabinet Etsy shop, click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Guard Dogs at The Castle Shed and Lemon Curd Soon

It has been a gorgeous weekend in Fresno, sunny and 70 degrees. Maybe that's why two of the three guard dogs at the Castle Shed are laying down on the job.

We've been doggie and kitty sitting since Thursday. Three frisky rat terriers but they have been good, grandma is spoiling them, evil laugh. So with the weather so nice I did a little organizing in the shed and look at that, through the turret window you can see lemons starting to turn yellow.

That means it will be tea time with crumpets and lemon curd soon.

Looks so inviting, time for a cup of tea and work at the medieval table while the weather is so nice.

I can go down the rabbit hole in here.

One of the mini notepads I listed on the Paris Cabinet shop last night
is handy, more about them here.  

And where is kitty? Shadow has to stay indoors.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Norton Simon Museum for the Soul in Pasadena

Viewing Van Gogh paintings is something I need for my soul! In Amsterdam, in 1990, I saw the 100 year anniversary of his death exhibition of paintings that Van Gogh considered his most important works. It left a lasting impression on my life.

Last week we visited friends in San Marino for several days and when we found out the Norton Simon museum was open till 8 p.m. on Saturdays we went in the afternoon. It was Halloween, when we arrived at 3 there were people there but by 6 p.m. we were practically the only ones left besides the staff. It was our treat to take our time without fighting crowds like there are at the Getty museum.

The Norton Simon museum has six Van Goghs, an amazing number for a small museum. Three are on the wall entering the first room.

Portrait of a Peasant was painted in 1888. You can never appreciate Van Gogh art as much until you see it close up to experience the thick paint and use of colors.

Much of Picasso's work leaves me feeling as disconnected as they look but this piece was interesting, at least it was a complete figure.

It was like a private visit to this impressive museum.

Another Van Gogh from his earlier darker period in Holland, one of the potato eaters.

Downstairs with a view to the gardens.

And the closer view.

It was the art we wanted to see again, we first visited the museum several years ago. Another Dutch artist, Frans Hals, did this Portrait of a Young Man. The Frans Hals museum in Haarlem, Netherlands, is where I first saw his work.

And then the master! Portrait of a Bearded Man in a Wide-Brimmed Hat, 1633, by Rembrandt.

It was amazing to see the face close up, almost alive, just ignore the few reflections from the glass.

The self-portrait of Rembrandt was amazing.

What a beautiful way to spend Halloween evening among the works that are so unbelievable. These are just a few of the many famous paintings, we won't wait so long to return to the Norton Simon museum.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fun Witches of Clovis California

Grizelda the witch passed the torch this year. We were away for Halloween so Lisa borrowed my witch costume for her friend, Sandy. They had a fun time and now I'm getting requests for witch costumes! Last month I posted the story about how it all started, you can read it here.

Here are this year's fun witches of Clovis, California, Lisa and Sandy sitting on the photo bench squeezing out the skeleton.

They had fun before all the craziness of trick or treat started for the evening.

Would these witches scare you if you were 5 years old?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Libraries and Bookstore Shakespeare and Company

Home libraries and bookstores are like old friends with lots memories and information to share. Now, in 2015 the internet is great for research and reading our Kindle is easy, we love the way you can increase the font size and eliminate the reading glasses. Books are different. They take up a lot of space but they can create a cocoon that can take you anywhere and still remain within its walls.

Hearst Castle was one of our day trips this summer. The library above was a warm cocoon and then the butterfly emerged in this light filled expanse below. I wonder how many years it has been since any of these books were handled and read and maybe held to a chest. So grand yet so sad, all tucked away behind doors.

Years ago when we were in Paris we stumbled into the bookstore Shakespeare and Company. In the early 1990s American George Whitman was still alive in the bookstore with a view to Notre Dame. We squeezed through rows and stacks of books, we climbed the old stairs to an amazing place where books had no prices, stacks of books were everywhere. Many hand written notes were pinned up.

What appeared to be a bed was covered with books. Another bed? More stairs. Suddenly I was uncomfortable, like I was not in a public bookstore but a book hoarder's hideaway. We made our way back to street level and I found a book to purchase. We left thinking it was a strange place and not knowing it was one of the most famous bookstores ever.

In recent years I looked up the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.  It now makes sense, the beds were for George's tumbleweeds, young writers needing a free place to stay for a few days in Paris. We read a little more and then a couple of books by people who spent time at the bookstore over the years. Hubby and I enjoy reading aloud together. We don't watch much TV, usually just Sunday evening PBS.

Earlier in the year we re-arranged our bookcases, switching the bedroom and living room bookcases. Now our living room is a wall of bookcases. We still have many more books and are sorting and eliminating those we no longer want. The shelves are arranged by subject, still to change.

We have three shelves of Dutch, Amsterdam and the Netherlands books and decided to do a Paris & Writers shelf. It includes books by American expatriate writers who spent time in Paris in the 1920s, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. The American, Silvia Beach, started the original Shakespeare and Company, her memoir is there also. Some shelves have artwork relating to the subject. At the front left is a framed photo with a scene in the bookstore. George Whitman let writers stay in the bookstore, in trade they had to write a one page biography of themselves, work two hours in the bookstore and read a book a day. In the morning they were to make the bed, put books back on the bed, that's what we saw in the early 1990s.

Over a door in the bookstore is his famous sign.

George Whitman died in 2011 at the age of 98 after 60 years of being a bookseller. His only child continues the legend.
For a short history of the bookstore here is an article in Vanity Fair.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Woz, Steve Wozniak and Finder Babies in Fresno California

Steve Wozniak, known as "Woz," is a legend in the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. He developed the Apple I computer and made history with Steve Jobs when they co-founded Apple Computer. Woz was the electronics engineer, Jobs was the public image.

Woz came to Fresno and I was there with a gift from, FMUG, Fresno Mac Users Group. We gave him Finder Babies I created in 2009. Woz loves humor and was a prankster so this was for the kid in Woz.

Doug Cox is our president and "Your Mac Guy," here with Woz.

I'm an Apple girl, all the way back to when I bought the Apple II Plus. By then Woz was no longer at Apple but he was the genius that started it all. I still have and use my 1983 favorite recipe book I printed from my first computer.

My souvenir. Signed!

It was the first sell out for the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall series at the Saroyan theater. The food at the VIP reception was fabulous, loved the stuffed mushrooms.

The Finder Baby faces are the Finder icon on Apple computers.

They come complete with birth certificates.

It was my son Doug's idea that the baby should have a red cape, the story is on my Treadle Lady website. This page.

There is a short video clip on the website that doesn't seem to work on all browsers so try a different one if you want to see a Finder Baby birth. Later I had to make a girly icon baby. Here they are on my cutting table.

The babies are listed in my Treadle Lady Etsy Shop.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Carmel-by-the-Sea Day Trip

Carmel-by-the-Sea draws us to it several times a year. Last time we went with Lisa and the boys during the summer. We had the inevitable whining from a teenager wanting to go home.

Yesterday we went alone and spent seven hours exploring, eating, looking through some shops and galleries, walking the beach and more exploring. It was a gorgeous day.

We discovered this pedestrian walkway halfway through a block of homes.

We liked the combination of stone and wooden fence.

If our library looked like this in Fresno I would want to spend time there every day. It is two levels and even has a fireplace.


Old habits are hard to break, we tend to go to the same restaurant for a few years till another entices us so it was La Bicyclette again for lunch. This month they have a weekly dish inspired by the impressionists. This week George Seurat and his pointillism work was featured. This was the special menu for the week's dish, printed like a postcard.


Jan had one of the burgers and fries. He asked for his Dutch style with mayonnaise. No ketchup. I chose the pointillism inspired dish.

Carmel is such a dog friendly town, some restaurants even have doggie menus for their outdoor seating. Here is Bistro Beaujolais, angus beef patty or grilled chicken $5.95, side of bacon $3.95, steamed veggies $3.95, scrambled eggs $3.95, add bacon for $1.95. Ice H2O on request. A little doggie in the corner dreams, "I love Carmel." The metal sculpture frog holds a bucket of doggie biscuits.

On to a walk on the beach, here overlooking from street level.

On the way down the steps was a rinse off area and dog bowl for water.

From the beach looking up towards the street level. All the brown streaks in the sand is dried seaweed.

This fresh seaweed was interesting with the light shining through the 4 to 5 inch wide ribbon-like leaves. The pods and stems are rubbery.

We walked the length of the beach then up to street level again.

As we were leaving we drove an area we hadn't been and saw this home. Did the architect or home owner realize it was going to look so whimsical?