Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In search of bluebonnets...

I don't really need a scientist, doctor, transcendentalist or psychotherapist to tell me of the virtues of being on the water.  An evening boating on a lake, one of America's great pastimes, is proof enough of the healing, recuperative powers of water.

With Spring in full force and summer around the corner, we were once again drawn to the lake.  There is something magical about floating across the waves, drifting slowly by the green hillsides, still Spring fresh, and taking in the fragrance of the lake air, ripe with California Lupin.

It's Dave's boat, so I guess I have to say that we went out on the gorgeous Sunday afternoon for Pu-Pus and wine, and to see the "bluebonnets". I had seen them earlier this month all along the roadside on the way up to Mom's.  They are luscious and plentiful this year, so I had an inkling that the shores of the lake would be equally decked in the fragrant blue blooms.

We were not disappointed. I tell you, there is nothing better than being on the water with good friends, a nice chardonnay, some BBQ ribs, fresh orzo salad and a host of other treats....floating past the banks, adorned with Dave's Texas bluebonnets.  You had to be's music for your soul.

Laurel. He says bluebonnets, I say Lupin...but who cares?

Friday, April 19, 2013

No Dove on my face, BUT...

Beauty: Noun \ˈbyü-tē\

1) the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : "loveliness"

I am forever intrigued by the minds of the people in advertising, both the genius and the somewhat warped. Knowing that we are but pawns in the minds of a group of brainiac nerds ramped up on Red Bull who dream up ways to move our feet to  the stores and our pocketbooks to give up their cash.

Despite the momentary intrigue of "how did they ever come up with that", most ads leave us flat. They are fodder for the fast forward button. We are not moved. However, there are moments in the world of marketing ploys and sales gimmicks that grab us by the heartstrings.  It doesn't happen very often because we are so jaded by the general sense of falseness and mistrust that we have come to expect after years of spending money on cleaning products that don't clean, knives that don't cut and lotions that don't magically erase wrinkles.

Like millions of women, I was struck by the latest online video from Dove, that soap with "one quarter moisturizing cream in it". Dove launched a "real beauty" campaign back in 2005 as they found that so few of us women consider ourselves to be "beautiful". The video shows a forensic artist who draws some women without ever seeing them based solely on their own descriptions of themselves.  He then asks another person to describe that same women and he creates a second drawing.
Forensic artist Gil Zamora didn’t see the women he was sketching, or the strangers who later described the women.

The resulting drawings when compared side by side show how distorted our visions of ourselves have become. Clearly, we don't see ourselves objectively, and certainly not like others see us. One subject even credited her mother's view of her "big" jaw, another spoke of her big forehead, another of her protruding chin. All negative. And why is that, I would ask?

The naysayers of the video believe that we spend far too much time defining ourselves by how we look and bemoan our efforts to constantly "fix" ourselves.  There is a thread of truth in that view - the giant cosmetics industry is proof .  But more to the point, we don't see ourselves realistically, beautiful or not. I admit that the video caused a little twitching in my soul and a tear to my eye, as I realized that like so many women, my vision of myself has been largely impacted by my gawky growing up years. Because I never "felt" pretty on the outside, it took years to undo the negative self talk that had become my habit over the years.

Though the Dove ad may outwardly focus on being "more beautiful than you think", its undercurrent message hits at the heart of the issue.  It's about how we have learned to drill down into our flaws and make them who we are. Like it our not, there are precious few of us women who can see past the crow's feet and age spots to the beautiful women we are. Plain and simply put, our outward beauty comes from within. And ultimately, if more of us saw ourselves as God sees us, we wouldn't worry so much about it anyway.

Laurel. A beautiful mess.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jewelry for a good cause..

Every once in a while I am asked to donate a piece of my jewelry to support a worthwhile non-profit organization, usually for an event or gala. Though I haven't been making much jewelry lately as I have focused on dressing Colette and knitting, I am happy to do it.

A friend asked that I donate one of my one of a kind necklaces and I just happen to have several worthy contenders.  The event is a fundraiser for the Performing Arts of Roseville to be held on April 24 at Sammie Hagar's restaurant at 238 Vernon St., Roseville, CA 95678. Live music, great food and some silent auction items.  That where I come in. (In fact, if you're in the Sacramento area, you may just want to grab a bite at Sammy's that evening - a portion of your check goes to benefit the performing arts.)

One of these lucky necklaces will be there and hopefully find a new home with an enthusiastic "patron" of the arts!!

1). Fused Glass (yes I made it) with free-form bead work...

2.) Hammered silver wire with turquoise

3.) Stunning bejeweled fob with tiny leaves...

4.) Turquoise and red jasper with one of my twisted wire pendants..

5.) Long necklace with wire wrapped glass, turquoise and jasper...

6.) Turquoise, copper chains and bobbles.

7.) And if they want the big guns ($$$), there's my pearl and shell extravaganza...

So, which one should Lori choose for her event??

Laurel. Support the performing arts!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz..."

"...I wonder where the flowers is..."

It's not my favorite time of the year - you all know I'm a "Fall"- but Spring is a close second.  True to the craziness of the weather around the globe, the Valley isn't getting much rain.  While other areas in the East have been digging out of snow piles, we are drying up here like a raisin.

Though they promised rain on Easter Sunday, it was sunny and warm.  Mother Nature dumped a couple of inches of water on us the night before, amid huge claps of thunder and quite a lightening show - just enough rain to wet down the yard and allow for some great mud tracks on the carpet (that's what vacuum cleaners are for:)

Spring is a sign of renewal.  Spring is the color green. It's fresh...and what looked dead actually comes to life again...

Our first rose...

The frost has killed this banana tree every year, but it forges on...

I love to add some Spring touches around the house...

I'm not traditionally a big "Spring Cleaner", but I tried that cream of tarter paste thingie that I saw on Pinterest on my grimy all Pinterest hints, some work, some not so much.  I'll give this hint an 8 out of 10.

And of course, with the warmer weather, Colette needed some new fashion...

I love Stone Mountain and Daughters fabrics in Berkeley, CA. I'm headed down there again next week with an old friend to pick up some more knits for summer.

And finally, a poem for you...for Spring.  I wanted to write it myself, but I am fresh out of wit this morning. This classic below, although considered rather "melancholy", actually gave me a little snicker...


By Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892–1950

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. 

Laurel. Bring ye the flowers, O yard...
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