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?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Grizelda the Witch at My Castle Shed

Years ago when my sons were small I and a neighbor dressed as scary witches. The little children were so frightened on Halloween they would not come down the walkway for their treats.

When I became a grandma I decided to become Grizelda the Clown Witch. Who could be frightened of her? My orange crushed hat has a spider web and a rubber spider dangles from the edge. You can see my green felt hooked nose. In the photo above for my Treadle Lady site I posed in front of the Paris Cabinet and sewed on my German Gritzner treadle sewing machine.

When my son Doug and Lisa came over with Davis their heads were shaking. Doug lovingly said, "Mom, you are such a geek." Yes!!! And I love being one. After a couple of years of teasing that stopped and about the 5th year Lisa said, "I want to be a clown witch." Another "Yes!!!" So I whipped up her adorable costume, a much cuter version with a short sassy skirt.

After becoming Grizelda the Clown Witch I designed and made a Halloween quilt with a hand painted scene. Several years ago I asked hubby to paint the scene that I designed for my quilt so I could make Halloween cards, the quilt didn't photograph as clearly as I wanted. Here is the painting he did, propped up on a chair in the castle shed the other day.

When my grandsons were small they used to point to the witch in the quilt and say, "Grandma, that's you." What a compliment! The books on the shelf in the painting are, Potions, Witches Who's Who, Pumpkin Cookbook, Frog Care and it was the title of the last book that sealed my identity, Clown Witch Costumes.

Last week I put up spider web garland banners to decorate my castle shed and then posted the PDF file for sale to make them in my Etsy shop. Here is link.

On a quiet evening this week I took my wine glass and lap top out to write at my medieval style table in my castle shed. I had a little story idea about what is happening in the painting. I propped the painting in front of me so I could tell the story, suitable as a night time story for little children, no scariness. It will be posted in my Etsy shop soon. (Here is the link to the story card.)

The castle shed is so enticing, a great little place to escape and write or work.

Here are party favor baskets I designed a few years ago and made a fresh set.

 And pillow boxes that coordinate, great for Halloween treats.

Are you ready for Halloween or a bedtime story?