Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Around the Yard

This past weekend, James planted the fig tree we bought the weekend before. It went into the border at the far end of the yard where there were 3 rose bushes. I walked out to check them the other day and they were dripping in aphids - ew! I pretty much said, that's it. If I want roses, I may have to go buy them. They're going into pots on the other side of the house where they can either thrive or be consumed by aphids, and neither process will have to be witnessed by me. Boy, do I sound bitter!

So, in went the fig tree and a little patch o' herbs and a couple lavender plants. Hopefully this assortment will prove less delicious than new growth on the roses bushes - the new growth and buds are what makes the aphids go cwazy with hunger! Although other insects will eat the aphids (if you wait long enough, as your buds and new growth are demolished) and spraying them off with water is the "natural way" to deal with them, I think I have another decade of patience-building to invest the constant doting I think rose growing will require of me. Other folks have bumper crops of blooms - not this gal. I'm Robin the Rose Killer! And looking back, I have a bit of a history of doing this. Oh, well...

Now, lavender on the other hand! This is the humongous plant that I mentioned the other day.

And this little seedling started on its own from another big plant (same type as this) . And he's doing really well! He was just about 1 inch high when we discovered him. Now he's nearly 5 inches. Is everyone asleep from this blog post? I realized this may not exactly have you on the edge of your desk chair. :/

How about an extra picture of darling Saylor getting some lovin' from her Mom.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saylor Won the Giveaway!

Fun news! Saylor is very excited to report that she won the giveaway from the ever-creative Stephanie over at Crafty Lolly! We are awaiting the bandanna, made to fit our girl's 21" neck!!! If you haven't been to see Stephanie's blog lately, go check out her new angel! It's very cool - it's the fifth picture in this post.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Terrarium Resident!

Okay, so for those who read that I put together a terrarium, you will find this interesting. I should have figured that scooping up wild growing baby tears under a table in a nursery, in a damp, watery area would be a perfect place for little swampy things to live. And indeed, it's true. I present to you, Snodgrass the Snail, a.k.a. helix aspersa. His address is now 1 Terrarium Trail, San Diego, California. I noticed him a few days ago and starting thinking about whether he should be relocated to a bigger area, outside. So, today, I very carefully slid him up the side of the glass (because he wasn't letting go!) and held him in my hand considering which destination in the yard might be best, darkest, moist enough. I walked outside, showed him to hubs, and we decided he's probably fine right where he is and that a once a week un-lidding might be good to change the air in there which I must say smells very woodsy and wet.

But this was my thought process: We have a humongous lavender bush that is literally 5 feet in circumference and about 4 feet high. I was thinking underneath the lavender might be good. Then I started wondering if he would get eaten and didn't really like that thought. Then I decided he was just fine in the terrarium and I'll find out what Snodgrass might want to eat, besides the baby tears. I mean, how much can he eat? He's about 6cm long for cryin' out loud! See what happens when you don't have children?

Check out the cute little shell:

And, this is after I put him back in. He immediately high-shelled it back toward the safety of the green space wondering what the heck just happened.

On another funny note, I just saw the bedspread move slightly as I walked in to our bedroom and you can baaaaaaaaarely notice the little lump just by the pillows in the bed. It's Kate. All 8 lbs., under the comforter for a nice, dark nap. Such a funny little girl.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cart Love Satisfied

Ok, so today I took my friend Nicole to lunch for her birthday, and we were walking by Restoration Hardware, and I had to get her to take a picture of me lovin' up on this cart which I just posted about earlier today. It's just as scrumptious in person.

As always, Nicole and I had a great lunch full of good conversation, and most of it peppered with "in this economy." Is everyone using those three words as much as I am? Anyway, Nicole told this great story about a mousetrap. Apparently, a younger person (I think someone's son) found a mousetrap, complete with expired mouse, and tossed the entire combo into the trash. The father asked, "what did you do with the mousetrap?" to which the son replied, "I threw it out!" to which the father replied, "why did you do that? We've had that mousetrap for 25 years!" I guess in this economy, we are all tightening our belts. But as I think back, this is how my parents lived. If they didn't have it, they didn't get it. Credit was only for emergencies, not for regular spending. I loved Nicole's story, and I'm kind of enjoying getting back to basics when it comes to spending. Does that mean this $910 coffee table is out of the question. Probably so, and that's fine. I at least got to grope it a little today... for free!

Groovy Cart

I'm totally loving this cart from Restoration Hardware, but I'm thinking it would definitely require a rug underneath. But isn't it cool? So rustic and ruff hewn and vintage-y and industrial, and...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've Been Tagged :o)

I was tagged by my friend and fellow blogette Sherri at Foziewisp to do a little Q&A. And here are the simplified rules...for the folks I tag at the end of my post!

1. Cut and paste the questions into a new blog post and respond to the questions.
2. Replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention - and say which one you added. (I left them all as is!)
3. Tag other untagged folks.

What is your current obsession?
Lately, I am obssessed with all sorts of childhood and homey things. Wooden toys, old children's books, the art of Carl Larsson. Just last night I was in the kid's gardening section at Target with a cow print umbrella opened up over me seriously considering it. I'm also obssessed with Masterpiece Theatre productions.

What are you wearing right now?
Green polka-dot pajama shorts, a chocolate brown tee shirt, my Navy blue cotton robe and Ugg-like slippers.

Do you nap a lot?
Not anywhere near as much as I used to. It used to be a daily thing, but not so much anymore. Now that I am sleeping so much better at night, I have more energy during the day. But don't get me wrong, there are Saturdays and Sundays when I have to curl up with Kate the cat and a good book, then end up catching some nice zzzzzzzzzzzzz's.

Who was the last person you hugged?
My hubs.

What’s for dinner?
Not sure about tonight yet, but last night was cheese tortellini with fresh tomatoes and a little cream, basil, other seasonings. Caesar salad.

What was the last thing you bought?
Three magazines - Country Living, Domino, and House Beautiful.

What are you listening to right now?
Birds outside.

What is your favorite weather?
Warm summer. Being at the beach until the sun goes down and it's still warm enough to just wear shorts and a tee shirt. I'm from Florida! Now transplanted to chilly San Diego, I'm cold much of the time. I miss Florida so much.

What’s on your bedside table?
My kitty's ashes and a picture of him and me, books/magazines, a silver dish with my eye drops, lip balm, lavender hand salve, and a couple sleep masks. I wear them as James reads, then take off later.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you.
Sherri! Let's go knitch! (This is the combination of knitting, which Sherri does, and stitching, which I do.)

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?
I would like to move into Tasha Tudor's house. Do you think her family would mind? Ha! But the English countryside doesn't sound too bad either!

Favorite vacation spot?
I love warm water, so the Bahamas are gorgeous. Napa Valley is beautiful. I've always wanted to go to Tahiti and see Gauguin remnants. And I hope to go to India one day. Not sure I answered that exactly right.

Name the things you can’t live without.
This is a hard question. There are things that I've lost that I thought I could never live without, so I think the answer is: nothing. As I get older, I feel more balanced when I am less attached.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
A really old, leather-bound copy of Little Women or David Copperfield.

What is your favorite tea flavor?
English Breakfast, and basic Green.

What would you like to get rid of?
I have too much stuff in the garage - it needs to be purged of excess and organized!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Home to Fort Myers to have coffee with my brother.

What is your favorite snack?
I'm not a huge snacker, but lately I have been crazy about the warm scones at Rebecca's Coffee House in South Park. OMG!

Do you feel as if you’ve lived a previous life or lives? If yes, where and when and what did you do?
Well, a past life regression reader (in New Orleans, of course!) told me about TWO past lives. One was a woman in the 50s (right before I was born) with two sons, and another was a Hungarian MAN who was involved in slightly shady dealings in the late 1800s who lived by a river and also had a fruit tree grove (wonder what she was sippin' on right before I arrived!?). But, in terms of what I think I was? Maybe an elf lady who lived in a hobbit house somewhere. :o)

(Drum rrrroll) Tag! You're it! I hope you'll play!
1. Michele
2. Cheryl
3. Marne
4. Mary

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Little Green World

I was at Hey Lucy the other day, and got so inspired by her terrarium post that I decided to make one myself. I got an apothecary jar at TJMaxx, then went to the nursery close by and looked for a small amount of baby tears and moss. I didn't want an entire flat of the stuff, but that was all I could find. Standing by the flats of baby tears, I looked under the shelf they were on, and well, can you say carpet of baby tears and moss? It was growing wild all over the ground under all the shelves. I decided to be bold and ask the guy if I could have a little chunk. He obliged, and even got me a box to put it in. We did buy a $40 fig tree that day, though come to think of it, he didn't know that at the time. Maybe it was his Saturday random act of kindness, to go with my random act of begging. So, home I went with the perfect little patch o' green, and here are the results! A home fit for a tiny leprechan, gnome, or fairy. It's really neat the way the condensation forms on the inside of the glass - it's all self contained, needs no water. And it's gotten so incredibly perky in there. It was not this perky to begin with.

Perhaps Miss Fairy here will stop by sometime? I love this artist.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Clean Old & New Fabric = Love

So, the results of several estate sales and a purchase from Anna Maria Horner produced a big bunch o' fabric that needed washing. Since I haven't bought new fabric in ages, I was a little unsure how it would wash up or if it would bleed. Well it behaved, and I even threw in the vintage and new together. I use Mrs. Meyer's Lavender laundry detergent. Oh, it smells so good! So, here's my heap, fresh from the dryer, followed by everything folded up.

This is the Anna Maria Horner fabric:

And this is my stack o' vintage finds. I love the green and black plaid (hard to see the green in my dark photo!). I think it is going to have to turn itself into a skirt somehow.

This post makes me think of something my mother-in-law says about a certain sort of richness. She says: Don't you feel rich when you have a big stack of [insert your favorite textile]? When she told me this we were talking about a stash of embroidery floss I'd just found at a sale. Well, I'm definitely feeling it with my hoard of fabric... And I won't even go into what's lurking in the garage!

And now, hubs and I are going to watch part two of David Copperfield on Masterpiece Theatre. Can there be any better end to a relaxing Sunday? Night everyone...sweet dreams.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring & the Weekend!

Tonight, hubs and I are going out for Mexican. A new place called El Camino. Here's a shot of the cool banquette in the waiting area. It's very kitschy and the food is organic! What? Yes. Organic Mexican. Only in Cali. Have a great weekend everyone! Spring has done sprang!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birdy Stitchery

I was talking to my niece, Izabel, the other night at our pre-St. Patty's Day dinner (we celebrated early before Maureen, Fiona's Mum, went back to England). Since there is also a niece named Robin, though she's a Robyn, we were thinking up unique names for us robins. We were laughing at one of the iterations, which was Big Robin, which I felt needed work. Um, yeah. So, besides just being Aunt Robin, I said, "Maybe, Aunt Birdy?" Though I think it makes me sound more like a 60 y/o versus the soon-to-be 50-y/o (what? really?), it does kinda go with the name Robin, the Etsy shop, and my recent stitching theme. So, I'm down with it. :o) We'll see if it sticks.

But, about this stitching. The first one of the two birds is a piece I found at an estate sale. Some lady had started it with heavy yarn, but I pulled all of that out and reworked it using embroidery floss. Well, having not done any embroidery in many years, I was using all 6 strands at first on the top bird! Whoa! Too thick. The bottom bird is much more smooth and silky, since she is done with 3 or 2 strands. I felt like in this one piece my skill progressed from the top to the bottom. Yay! To me, the top birdy is a loud, Italian man, while the bottom birdy is the more refined, quiet type. Yes, they're a couple, but oh!, such opposites! It was so much fun, and I love the idea that I finished it, and maybe somewhere the lady who started it is looking down and smiling.

Then, there's the dresser scarf! I also found this one at an estate sale with just the blue template, no stitches. Brought it home, was able to get a rusty ring out of it, and stitched it up using all red, which you crafty gals probably know is called redwork. But there is a distinction from what I understand. "Redwork embroidery" is done with red embroidery floss and outline stitches. However, "Turkey Redwork Embroidery" used thread dyed Turkey Red, one of the first colorfast red dyes, previously called India Red. Redwork was popular during the Victorian Era 1890s to about 19-teens. So, to get technical, unless the thread was dyed with Turkey Red Dye, it's not Turkey Redwork, just Redwork. A lot more on redwork here for any insomniacs out there. Another tidbit, unless it is specifically performed in an outline stitch, it is not considered Redwork. Well! Picky, picky, picky!

HOWEVER, it is now on my dresser, after an ironing with lavender water. I swear, I'm going back in time. Soon I'll be sewing up folk dress patterns and wearing a hat that ties under my chin. Well, okay, probably not since here in So-Cal it's jeans and flip-flops most of the time.

Lastly, another find that was just a blank template and ready for me to stitch: a little tea towel with my favorite subject matter. Can you guess? I bet you can. I love the blue fish, and the bow tie is my favorite part. Orange, with pink french knots! Love it. For a fantabulous tutorial on making french knots, this site is the shiz - full of wonderfully straightforward videos on almost every stitch! Such a find.

More on stitching in my next post, complete with a story that is now about 40 years old - about my Mom.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

She Writes!

As many of you darlins know, my "day job " is being a marketing consultant. Well, what that really means is I'm a contract writer for a short list of technology companies. And, now in tumultuous 2009, what that actually means is I am scouting around looking for work! I don't know if it's economy-related, but the work gravy train is quite slow. I'm doing all sorts of things to get my name out there. I Twitter, here. I think it's called "tweeting" when you post. My Twitter name is robin_writes. Catchy, no? I keep a wordpress.org blog, which I use as a sounding board on marketing-related topics, and I have my work web site. I recently added a page of recent work on my work site. And...I'm on facebook, here.

As I've been making my rounds, prospecting, I thought I would add the blogosphere to my collective shout out. Perhaps folks who read my blog also work at companies that may need a writer! Got a project on your desk that you want to off-load? I write white papers, case studies, press releases, web content, product briefs, and really any type of document that needs to be written for corporate communications. In the technology space, I've written for CA, Inc., Interwoven, Handshake Software, and we shall see who is next! I have a little bio here, that tells you a bit about my work past. I can also help you with web design/development and print design.

Thanks for reading my little ad!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Katie Laughs Out Loud!

Kate, the laughing kitty! Here, she is clearly saying, "Oh Mom, you're so funny." Can you believe those looooooong whiskers!?? Such a pretty kitty.