Thursday, October 31, 2013

Colette deVil...

I'm not a big Halloween fan...never have been.  Maybe it hearkens back to the kids wanting me to make them a costume at 2:30 in the afternoon on October 30 for the next day. "Just be a hobo", I'd tell them.  Or a pirate...something easy that we could throw together. Truthfully, it's probably more about me not ever getting to go trick or treating...we lived in the country and it was five miles between any houses...sour grapes, probably.

Fast forward...I still don't get too excited about this day...until about 9:30 in the morning and all of a sudden I think of the kids and grand kids coming over for Trick or Treat. and how much they love this day.  And the race to make soup, cupcakes and decorate the courtyard is on!!!

Today, I decided that just because I don't dress up, doesn't mean that Colette can't. I wore a Cruella deVil outfit (I think it's Amy's) one year...she's so deliciously evil.


So.......... My mini-me "Colette deVil" is by the door waiting to give you candy!!! 
Drop by for some Corn chowder, a glass of wine and cupcakes! 



Leave your puppies home....MUUUAAAAAHH!!!!!!


Happy Halloween.  Be safe!

Laurel

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life's Simple Pleasures...




Ni Hao Yall

It's Sunday morning...a beautiful crisp Fall day about to awake...looking back on my week, I am reminded that it is the simple things that give me pleasure...I see them through the lens of my ubiquitous iphone...

Shopping... for tart pans in Sur La Table...


For a Ruby port to go with a Marscarpone and Berry tart...


Afternoon baking of aforementioned Tart...



Sharing a meal with friends...


Driving to Tahoe, enjoying the aspen...


Celebrating a friend's special anniversary with dinner at Jake's...


Finishing a sweater...finally...



 Staying home with my hubby watching the Boys of Fall...


And just enjoying the changes in my yard...


The last roses of Fall...


Laurel. Enjoying the Simple Things.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cowgirl Up!

I'm not really a cowgirl, but I might have been one in a former life. As I thumbed through the pages of my latest "Cowboys and Indians" magazine, I felt a wash of covetousness creeping over me. I wanted everything in the magazine - furniture that would look great in our hacienda, boots that would make a rodeo queen drool, and skirts and dresses that are begging to be twirled around the dance floor to "Sweet Home Alabama".

Feeding my secret yearning to be a Texas girl at heart (after all, I married a Texas boy) are the photos of the jewelry.  Oh the jewelry! When we traveled to the Southwest last year, I splurged on a Rocki Gorman pendant and I have worn it to death - it goes with everything! There's just something about turquoise that makes my heart sing.


This month, there was a stunning necklace featured in this month's magazine - it was a simple set of long strands featuring the same colors of stones in my pendant, but also featuring lots and lots of $$$. So....you all know me: "I could make that necklace myself!"

Katerina's Treasures is right down the street from my house and Rosie was featuring some bead strands of glass and natural stones that I knew would make a fabulous necklace, and I don't mind saying, would be at a fraction of the cost of a designer necklace. I am on a fixed income, you know.

I added some beads from my own stash to complete my necklace.




Why not make a bracelet or two...


Cowgirl Up, Colette!!!



Laurel. California Girl in need of new cowboy boots!

Friday, October 18, 2013

All Hairdressers are NOT Created Equal...

My hairdresser won't mind if I tell you about her...she's very special to me.  I've known her for years and might even have been her very first client.  She married young, like me, and when it didn't pan out the way she thought it would (sometimes it doesn't) she put herself through Federico College...she needed a career to support herself and her two small children. She thought she'd like to "do" hair.

It took a year of study, but she hung in there. Cosmetology license in hand, she embraced the salon life like she was born to do it. She steadily built her client base and they loved her. To this day, she has many clients that gave her a chance years ago, like me, and they still visit her for trims, colors and perms. There is always a listening ear and a kind word.

She is as fierce with the hair color tubes as she is gifted with the scissors. And since I was born with hair issues and countless bad hair cuts (many of them self inflicted), I am all the more grateful that she chose to "do" hair.

I love my rockin' hair, babe. 

Much love,
Mom.


She was meant to do hair.


Laurel. It's a good hair day today!

Friday, October 11, 2013

On a Clear Day...

You know when you travel you try to catch the key historical sites and famous points of interest of a region while you're there, but sometimes you get too busy or too tired to cram everything into your visit? Often times, we miss some of the most important treasures because we think we'll be back some day and time just runs out on us. It's rather like traveling to Arizona and not driving the extra 60 miles off the freeway to see the Grand Canyon...or visiting the Louvre and not fighting the crowds to see the Mona Lisa...or driving near the city of Pisa and skipping the Leaning Tower because you've already seen a million pictures of it...or like going to the Smithsonian and not seeing the Hope Diamond.

I have been to Palm Springs three times. I have shopped, eaten at great restaurants and taken in the beauty of the desert. Every year after the trip I was asked by people who had been there "did you ride up the Tram?" Naturally I hadn't - didn't even know what it was. Every year we would settle into our desert vacation routine and not take the time to get back on the freeway and travel a few miles down the road to see it.

Well, this year, I did. And I can tell you it's not something you should miss. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was just a dream back in 1935 which finally came to fruition in 1963.  Traversing the rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Springs, the old tram cars have since been replaced by large state of the art round cars with a rotating floor.  Holding up to 80 people, it takes 12 minutes to climb to the top of the mountain at 8,500 feet.

And on a clear day, you can see forever.






There are hiking trails all through the San Jacinto National Park, which evidently wasn't "shut down", as dozens of hikers and campers came out of the woods to ride the tram back down the hill. We walked down a short paved, but very steep "sidewalk" to the the trail head to see this mountain meadow. Just lovely!!

 Easy going down, but coming back up was a drag...my friend is waiting for me on the bench behind her to stop wheezing...








 Laurel. Never be too busy to see the best an area has to offer.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Desert Shopping

I've never been to the famous Rodeo Drive to shop, but almost every "resort" town has a Rodeo Drive wannabe. El Paseo Drive in Palm desert is theirs.  It's still hot in this desert community near Palm Springs, but not so hot that we were deterred from wandering the length of the avenue on a Friday morning...(and back again on Saturday!)

Being a sewist and creative spirit, I rarely wander these types of upscale shops thinking I'm going to find a bargain. I just like to be inspired by the ambiance of the whole shopping experience and am happy just to walk away with a few good ideas.  

The desert did not disappoint...art on the sidewalks, palm trees lining the street, awesome designer shops...





Evidently, desert women would have loved the fashion jewelry that I made in my LaurelLeaves collections...


Beautiful Fall collections with every possible shade of Autumn leaves...


I love the fabrics that are used in designer clothing lines. When the sales ladies are looking the other way, watch me lift the hem so I can see the finishing techniques...


We actually contemplated some more reasonable fashion accessories.  Hey, you could buy a couple of yards of silk at Stonemountain and Daughter and make this yourself...


Lunch with friends...who can beat that?


Like I said, I go for the ideas, although I came dangerously close to forking over $278 for a yummy green Eileen Fischer sweater. 

When push comes to shove, why spend all that money when I can get great fabric and sew my own designs?

Stretch silk print top, silk noil crop pants...love Stonemountain!!

Don't forget to tune into Suzan at Fabriclady to see the fashion I'm creating for her.

Laurel. Back home on my own computer!! Yay!




Sunday, October 6, 2013


It's Day 6 of the October blogging challenge, Blogtoberfest 2013, and Day 4 of my Desert Peeps Getaway. I am forced to do posts on my mobile device and it is very very maddening... I like my blog to have a certain "flair", and let me say, you can't get there from here on an iPhone. 

Nevertheless, whether I blog or not, I am having a great time in the desert. I could write about about belly laughing over this horribly gross game... Talk about allowing your inner demons to rule... bUT, I have never laughed that hard in a long time. 
Or I could write about this ....

But I think I'll just say we're having a good time. Palm Desert has a Rodeo Drive like street and the shops were yummy... Very very $$$$. But great for design ideas.

But I am going to take a recess from trying to blog on this phone and get back to it when I go home tomorrow. I just can't wrap my head around it this morning!!!

Laurel. Don't eat at Mama Gina's...unless you enjoy canned mushrooms over your filet alongside your instant mashed potatoes ...


Friday, October 4, 2013

Planes, trains and Automobiles...in the Desert


Airplanes don't have any issues taking off in high winds, so they say. what they don't say is you can't get out of your vehicle to do curbside checkin. Try negotiating several hundred pound suitcase against a 40mph wind. How bout finding a parking place in a dust storm in the economy lot when it appears that the entire free world has left town for the weekend? By the time you get to the gate, you're in desperate need of a Xanax and some nourishment....to start your vacation off right.

When is an SUV not an SUV??? Answer: when you rent through Kayak. According to the rental guy, they don't have the correct list of possible cars to rent, so instead of Ford Expedition, you get a smaller Highlander. Doesn't sound like a big deal unless you're traveling with four women who packed their kitchen sinks, their entire LancĂ´me skin treatment line and enough shoes to shod a third world country...and then some.

Third question: how many women does it take to navigate out of the Ontario airport and get to a BJs Restaurant in LA traffic? Evidently, at least one more. And never, never get in front of four women who are on a mission to find the nearest Trader Joes for condo snacks and Baileys...just saying.

And finally, are all TVs and alarm clocks in time share condos possessed? Nothing beats being woken from a sound sleep like a blaring TV telling about all the "marvelous benefits of owning a Marriott time share." Or a remote that doesn't seem to go with the TV. 

And that's just the first day!!! Think we're gonna need some serious retail therapy today.


Laurel. Living large in Palm Desert.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blogtoberfest Challenge

Thought I'd try something fun and challenging - writing a post everyday throughout October. As you can see, it's October 3rd and I am already 2 days behind. And because I am  going to the desert for a few days, I 'll be making my first posts via my mobile device - that should be interesting.
The Blogtoberfest 2013 is sponsored by Shells, who lives in Perth Australia.  She has suggestions for each day of the week that are meant to inspire our writings:

NEW! Blogtoberfest 2013 daily/weekly prompts:

Monday:  Mosaic Monday - make a photomasiac to show and write about
  
Tuesday: Talkative Tuesday - tell us about yourself

Wednesday: Wordless Wednesday - post a photo and no words

Thursday:  Thankful Thursday - write about what you are thankful/grateful for, Throwback Thursday

Friday: Friends on Friday - write about another creative you admire, Flashback Friday

Saturday: Some/Six/Seven Thoughts on Saturday

Sunday:  Sunday Snippets (started by {tinniegirl}) - My week in photos... A collection of photos from your week. No need for words. Let the pictures tell your story.

So since it is now Wednesday, I should be posting a photo with no words. Whoopsie!  Better just get to the photo. Pretend there are no words...
_________________________________________________________________

Wordless Wednesday


Laurel. 
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