Monday, August 31, 2009

Living with Color

I've been all about paint over the last week or so. Here's the family room, with walls in "Golden Glow." It's a rich, bright color, and changes how the room feels depending on the time of day. Sometimes it seems like a cheery yellow, at others a deeper tangerine. We are loving it!

I've moved on to the kitchen and eating nook, which are both at this back end of the house and connected. One wall is a nice, straight-forward red (Benjamin Moore's "redstone," for those you who need to know. And the rest is a very happy robin's egg blue (Ben M's "fairy tale blue). It is intense color but it sure makes me happy.

Pictures when the masking tape is off!

Now I'm eying the guest bathroom off of the dining room, and mentally selecting colors....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Life goes on...

It has been a week of ups and downs. We are still mourning Brad, and will be for ages and ages. I think we're all still in shock.

But good things are happening too. See that tower up there? It's Hoover Tower at Stanford University. And I'm posting it because Caroline has been admitted to Stanford's online school program for gifted kids! We're so proud of her, and so excited for her. Their online middle and high school program is innovative and I think it will be a great experience for her.

Me, I've been in home-dec mode! In that "one thing leads to another" deal, Roger and I bought a tv/shelf/wall unit to replace the ancient tv cabinet we'd hauled from New Hampshire, and it was being delivered last Tuesday. It occurred to me that I should paint the family room BEFORE the wall unit was assembled and put in place, so that I did. Our family room is now a sunny and cozy marigold color, which looks stunning against the white wall shelving unit.

But, of course, you change one room and then other things need changing. The family room is connected to the kitchen, and I have been testing paint swatches all week. I thought I had a plan (a slightly paler shade of marigold) but when I painted a swatch, it just looked flat and boring. So, I've made daily trips to both Home Depot and my local paint store, for more paint chips and samples. I'm now on a first name basis with our local paint guy, who says "See you tomorrow" each time I'm in. Finally, I bought paint today to surge forward...well, maybe "surge" is too strong a word..."Crawl" forward?

Along the way, I learned that the annoying pain I've had in my foot over the last several weeks is a FRACTURE. No wonder climbing up and down ladders made my foot hurt! I figure I'll have a beautifully and artfully paint-spattered immobilization boot by the time the kitchen is painted.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to Heaven

There are times where we are reminded how fragile life is, and how quickly everything can turn upside down. For us, this is one of those.

Over the weekend, we received news that a member of our family -- a man not yet 50 -- died suddenly and totally unexpectedly. He'd just dropped his oldest daughter off for her first year at college, and he and his wife were off with family for the weekend to relax and have fun. On the golf course, he was having a good old time -- and then he keeled over, dead.

We are so sad, and so shocked. I keep having that "but he was just HERE" feeling, totally unable to get my mind around how it could be that he left the house with a smile and a wave, and will never, ever come back.

I know this happens to people all the time.... death and loss strike all the time, seemingly so randomly. And yet, when it happens in your own circle, it is so harshly shocking. It feels unfathomable.

As trite as it is, it makes me want to say this: Tell everyone you love that you love them. Hug your dear ones. Let your friends know how much they mean to you.

I so appreciate you all -- most of you I've never met but your comments and your support cheer me and make me happy. Thanks for your friendship! Now, go hug your family! Oh, and when you're outside? Look up at the blue sky with a smile to welcome those newly-arrived folks in Heaven.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Blog Give-Away!

Some time ago, I reviewed this very appealing book, Paper Quilts by Sandra Lounsbury Foose.

Well, I'm cleaning my office (got to make room for the NEW stuff, you know) and I have a copy of this book to give away!

First person to email me to say that want it will get it! (Do include your postal address!) And who know... I might just sneak a few other goodies into the package...

Okey dokey -- book is spoken for! Lucky Lisa will get it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

No School Allowed

Hey, school administrator people! Listen up! The month of August is still summer! And August is for sand-between-the-toes, and catching butterflies in the backyard, and riding bikes around the neighborhood at dusk, and eating ice cream cones.

It is not for starting school. What are you people, crazy?

Summer ends with Labor Day. And THEN school can start.


[Roger starts back at school today, with classes starting on Monday...]

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zinnia Heaven

Last week, I visited at my mom and dad's house while Caroline attended a near-by day camp. In my folks' neighborhood, there's a guy who plants about an acre or so of land with a vast garden - tomatoes and vegetables and flowers. From about mid-summer on, he runs a small farm stand on the corner where you can get all sorts of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, squashes, eggplants, lettuce, and more...

But oh, it's the flowers that get me. He has rows and rows of zinnias and dahlias and flowers whose names I don't know -- but I can prowl around there with my camera and have a good old time.

So , here are a few zinnias for you...

They're just the happiest flowers.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Fun and surprises in San Francisco

Meet Beth and Moe, two of my best friends in the whole world. When I was a freshman in college at the University of California, Irvine, I had the amazing good luck to be plunked into a dorm room next door to these two. I rapidly learned that I had little in common with my roommates, but that Beth and Moe and I would be lifelong friends. Unfortunately, Moe lives down in Southern California and I don't get to see her nearly as often as I'd like.

But about 2 weeks ago, we finally got together in San Francisco, a trip we'd planned to celebrate a significant birthday for Moe. And what a time we had! We stayed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, a San Francisco landmark (and got an amazingly great rate, thanks to had dinner at the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel (which is like Disneyland's Tiki room but without the singing birds and flowers), then went to see "Wicked" which surpassed our very high expectations.

The following day, we rode cable cars and walked all over the place. You know, you really doln't want to walk up one of SF's hills if you can ride...

At one point, we were strolling along Fisherman's Wharf yakking away (as we do, non-stop), and suddenly a bush jumped out at us. Beth gasped, "geesus!" to which the bush replied, "I AM NOT JESUS!" When we'd caught our breaths (and stopped laughing) we realized that we'd had an encounter with the famous (infamous?) Bushman of San Francisco. He sits on a milk crate, tucked next to a mailbox or garbage can, and he holds a hand-made hedge-like bundle of branches. And then he scares passersby. Given that San Franciso has a pretty wide assortment of homeless folks and/or street performers asking for money (we'd been serenaded while waiting in line for the cable car earlier that day), I was impressed at the ingenuity of this guy. I mean, he was certainly entertaining, and it was certainly original. Turns out he has been doing this in SF's Wharf area since 1980! You can see him here:

If you've got a bit more time, you can watch this mini-documentary about him:

And check out this rather humorous article about him from the SF Chronicle which discusses his "act" as "performance art."

Our encounter with the Bushman not only amused us at the time, but kept us talking (enough to research him when we got home.) We learned that he claims to have made as much as $60,000 in a year from the donations he gets. Just goes to show that there are all sorts of career paths out there, eh?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Where ever you go, there you are.

And look, there I am, the gold car reflected in that huge shiny truck! (I took this at a long stoplight, by the way -- do you think I would try to snap photos while driving?!) I feel like I have been on the road for the last several weeks. Homebody that I am, I am not used to living out of suitcases. But this is our last excursion for a while, so I am looking forward to getting home on Saturday and staying there.

This week, I am on the SF peninsula, staying with my mom and dad so Caroline can attend a week-long computer technology day camp at Stanford. They live just 15 minutes away from Stanford, so it's quite convenient. It's lovely to get some leisurely time with my parents, Caroline is enjoying the camp enormously, and I'm having fun spending time alternately roaming and hanging out at the house.

Yesterday was a roaming day. I delivered Caroline into the custody of the enthusiastic camp counselors (who, in age-old camp tradition have nicknames like "Beep," "Peep," "Danger," and "Fridge." Question for the day: What would your camper nickname be this summer? I'm thinking I'd be "Snap" because I've had my camera with me all the time, taking pictures where ever I go.) And then I headed off to roam through some favorite stores.

I had a lovely time cruising around one of my favorite independent bookstores, Books, Inc. in Palo Alto. I found a great book on making digital art with Photoshop that will be fun to explore. I strolled down University Avenue, the funky main street in downtown Palo Alto, and found myself in the Borders bookstore which took over the big old movie theater. It's a wonderful use of the space, really, and there is something I like about climbing up to the balcony level to look at the kids' books.

I was delighted to find the new Somerset publication "Art Quilting Studio":

I haven't even peeked inside yet -- I'm saving that for when I can sit with it for a hunk of time ... perhaps later this evening.

And then there's Somerset's Artful Blogging magazine, which provides wonderful blogging inspiration:

The only danger about that magazine, I find, is that I end up with a list of new blogs to track down and read, and I have a massively long list of favorite blogs at it is!

I don't often take the time to just roam around when I'm at home. It's lovely play time -- I must remember to do this when I'm at home when I'm in need of a mental break.

When you have time to wander, where do you go? Art galleries? Wilderness? Shopping?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Crime of Passion

I have been a horrible blogger, and I apologize to all of you who have looked here to find no updates. All is well -- in fact, I've been having a terrifically fun (if busy) summer. I've been zooming hither and yon -- and I can tell you for a fact that yon does not have a wireless internet connection.

I am about to zoom off again tomorrow for the week (more on that to come, I promise). But I wanted to pop into say I'm fine and all is well.

But more importantly, today is the reveal date for our Twelve by 12 Challenge. The theme this time was "passion" and I can tell you it was not an easy one! I decided to emphasize the phrase "crime of passion" and to highlight my passion for reading! You can read about how I did my piece and see more detailed shots on the Twelve by 12 blog. Go quick and see the amazing interpretations of this theme!