Thursday, January 29, 2009

And for the 100th time..

In the great scheme of all things sacred, special or just plain silly, the 100th post on a weblog really doesn't rate up there. Well, here it is. Ta da! Not so special, certainly not sacred and one can only hope to achieve a little silly here and there!

~chasing sky in New Mexico~

All-in-all a complete waste of time really. Hello out there reader, how are you today? Are you cold, warm or wet where you live? Talking about the weather is a national pastime for us Brits, no matter where they live. The almanac fascination draws us in, whether it be to ponder the culminating cloud formation and what fabulous Latin name they may be accurately called or, relying on a less scientific methods of folk lore and dreaming up reasons to watch, wait and predict the coming few days. I've always been able to 'smell' rain in the air, (not very often around here) or lose myself in the very real sport of heaven watching!! Pulling over the car to watch clouds travelling fast in wind and spotting shapes or running to catch the last few mins of a stunning sunset before stars peek out, tornado hunting and playing with shadow characters are for me very lovely and real diversions from being a grown up.

Weather slang is truly worth some wasted time, as it not only relates to the meteorological names but also to old folk description's. One of my favourite's being the "There's no weather today" statement. Ya know, that day that's kind of a grey/white sky, not too cold or hot, no wind, humidity or rain. :-)

Winter sunset, Playa del Rey, Ca

Ok, so you get the picture of my ramblings...Candlemas and Groundhog Day are one and the same - February 2nd - and all to do with the weather.
Taken partially from the Old Almanac - The Celtic Candle mas celebrates days getting longer and Spring is not far off. Traditionally, the celebration anticipated the planting of crops, and forecasting of either an early spring or a lingering winter. Sunshine on Candlemas was said to indicate the return of winter. Similarly, "When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day / There it will stick till the second of May." A bear brought the forecast to the people of France and England, while those in Germany looked to a badger for a sign. In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, or woodchucks, there, they adapted the New World species to fit the lore. Today that lore has grown into a full-blown festival, with Punxsutawney Phil presiding.

rolling across Tahoe

So, "What's in the garden", you ask? After much composting, digging, weeding and moving some things around, just before our annual spot of drizzle, the boys and I recently sowed, radishes; carrots; peas; onions; potatoes; broccoli; various herbs and flowers for companion planting and are in the midst of creating a new strawberry bed that I envision to be gloriously festooned with mountains of my favourites this Spring and Summer..ha ha ha ha ha!!!! We'll see if the heat destroys my attempts at a winter spread here in So Cal!

For a wonderful and easy way to plan your crops please visit The Old Farmers Almanac and customise the planting table for your area..

~my little garden plot of raised ceder beds ( last spring)~

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Animals

Another great band name.....with all the excitement of Washington antics recently, my body decided to lay low with pestilence of the viral persuasion, the worst part being having no energy to really make something for days. Yesterday I managed to whip up ( thanks to coffee) these two little animals as example pieces for a couple of felting classes I'm guiding next month. Look out for more as the coffee flows and energy comes back, I can't seem to keep these critters around long enough to show, they do have a habit of skittering away but I'll try and keep them around for a month until the classes are done.

I'll be posting some Valentine treats - fat and sugar free - to grab off my Etsy shop with gratis shipping next week too, so look out for that!

For those who even care about such things, we had a jolt of a earthquake last evening here near the beach, not many of those come out this way, but that shook things up a bit over here in laid-back ville La La Land! It felt like we were picked up and dropped, but it seems there were many yesterday all around the ring of fire at around the same level of intensity M3.5 ish - it seems the world was taking a big sigh of relief that we have new leadership! tee hee!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We've been sharing some beautiful moments with the wee boys who have been following ( on their own) the historical rise of the O man. I don't have a T-shirt -yet- but I'm sure Venice beach will pack 'em in 3 for $10. I don't have the pearls to wear for Michelle tomorrow sorry P! Just had to post something joyful today!! YIPPEE!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Surveys Says.....

This is all about YOU, so it's awfully interesting to some ( mainly to you when you do it) but fun nevertheless. It's on Swap-Bot (I'm PhaedraPhoenix) where I spend too much of my time swapping little trinkets of fun and fancy with anonymous peeps from around the world and I thought I'd post these answers along if you like!!
1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: "Like a post", I said. ( the red tent)
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can...what do you touch first?
a sofa
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
4. Without looking, what time is it? 1ish
5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time? 12.19pm
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
children playing and birds

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? yesterday, yoga
8. What are you wearing right now? a nightshirt!
9. What did you dream about last night? my Mum ( died June 2006)
10. When did you last laugh? this morning at the kids being silly playing air guitar
11. What's on the walls of the room you're in?: art, a surfboard, a cabinet full of curiosities and a New Years' end collage!
12. What's the most memorable experience you've ever had? Watching the sun rise over the top of a volcano I just climbed in the dark.
13. What's the last film you saw? Burn after Reading
14. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first? A newer car and more health care!
15. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change? Ignorance
16. Do you like to dance? Absolutely love to and never do it enough!
17. Imagine your first child is a girl. What would you name her? Meara-Grene
18. Boy? Fionn (Finn)
19. Would you ever consider living abroad? YES! I am already actually! Maybe France next!
20. What time did you get up this morning? up - morning? ha ha 10.30am!
21. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds all the way!
22. What's your favorite TV show? Probably a tie between 30 Rock & True Blood
23. What did you have for breakfast this morning? coffee, lemon water and detox pills!
24. What's your favorite cuisine? Indian
25. What foods do you dislike? Fast, overly processed fake food!
26. What is your favorite chip flavor? Crisps for me are Salt n Vinegar!
27. What's your favorite song at the moment? no favs really, I like my old stuff!
28. What kind of car do you drive right now? A VW camper bus and an old lady Volvo wagon! 29. What was your first car? Fiat Cinquaqento (500) a teeny bubble like car! Loved it!!
30. Favorite sandwich? old Cheddar cheese and vine-ripe tomato with sea salt! Fussy aren't I! 31. What characteristics do you despise? Vanity, laziness, ignorance and dishonesty.
32. What is your favorite article of clothing? a long red skirt that's double sided
33. What color is your bathroom? boringly white, but about to get a treatment of waves!
34. What is your favorite brand of clothing? Kathmandu, but really not into branding.
35. Where would you/did you retire to? Somewhere with an acre or two and lots of trees
36. Favorite time of the day? twilight
37. What was your most memorable birthday? my recent 40th
38. Where were you born? Rochford, Essex, UK
39. What fabric detergent do you use? Ultra Ecos Lemongrass from Trader Joes
40. Were you named after anyone? yes. a Greek meanie!
41. Do you wish on stars? not anymore...but I wish I could see more
42. When did you last cry? yesterday
43. Do you like your handwriting? yes, I currently teach penmanship and handwriting!
44. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? maybe, probably...of course definitely~
45. Are you a daredevil? have been known to be so...sans enfants
46. Do looks matter? looking healthy is more important than just 'pretty' so a maybe yes?
47. How do you release anger? yell and then clean the house
48. What were your favorite toys as a child? Loopy loo ugly cloth doll and a pedal race car my brother thought was his!
49. What class in high school was totally useless? sociology, so boring!
50 Favorite movies? LOTR, Life of Brian, Elephant Man, High Society!
51. What are your nicknames? Mrs P, Pip, Phae, P, Oddsocks, short
52. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Nope, only wear boots or clog type stuff 53. Do you think that you are strong? yes, mostly.
54. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? mint chip and coffee ( unless it's Rossi's vanilla!)
55. What are your favorite colors? green and purple
56. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? too righteous
57. Who do you miss the most? my mum
58. If you were a crayon what color would you be? silver
59. Last person you talked to on the phone? hubby

60. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? hands and voice
61. Favorite drink? that's a hard one...champagne then gin!
62. Do you wear contacts? nay, but need reading glasses now....ho hum.
63. Favorite day of the year? mothers day ( I get two!)
64. Do you prefer your endings happy or sad? depends on the story, I choose happy for now. 65. Winter or summer? both! Winter for weather, Summer coz the kids are home!
66. What is your favorite dessert? Rhubarb Crumble and vanilla ice cream
67. What book(s) are you reading? The Iluminatus Trilogy, The Fountainhead and & May You Be The Mother of a 100 sons.
68. What's the furthest you've been from home? New Zealand, which was as far from England as you can get!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Resistance is useless racing around doing all sorts of not-making-things errands (scouts/karate/music pick any or all), sweating in this heat, (really, I'm not rubbing it in, I like cold weather in winter) so have absolutely nothing useful to share, I couldn't resist showing off some more of our little crafty ladies' work. At our annual silent auction at the end of March, you can be sure to find many outstanding handmade items that will blow your mind - and possibly your budget but it's all tax deductible- so if you are in the area (land of smog and angels) and are free to come and play, please contact me and I'll send you an invite!

BTW fingers, toes and whatever else you can cross for me as I find out on Jan 19th if I'm accepted into that local fiber art show...not very sure if my work is even appropriate but I'm hoping....

OK enough blabber - on with pretty stuff..
Marie Antionette By Beth

turtle by Jody

piggy by Julie
gauntlets by Susan (FLY)

unicorn by Kami

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Applause Please...

.....for the Ocean Charter Crafters Circle/Group or possibly committee......can never quite agree

Anyway, I've had the profound pleasure of being a part of this strange 'little' group who churn out some of the most awesome work (IMHO) in the woolly world of school stuff. They certainly are a talented bunch ( about 30 or more) and anywhere from a handful to a whole massive roomful can be found in the yellow house every week, making, chatting, sharing ideas, fixing problems and feeling good!

The teachers request weird and wonderful items for the classrooms, from birthday or attendance charts, math gnomes or crayon holders to every which character from folk and fairy tales you can imagine! All things here are created from supplies donated, or bought from funds raised by the crafters. They have become an invaluable part of this school, the glue so to speak. In addition, the Crafters raise dollars ( yes - in the thousands) whilst saving the school where is all the glory that everyone really deep down wants...? The highlights come as a surprise visits from a specific class who may sing for us or deliver beautiful handmade thank you cards. JOY ( & some tears)!!
yes, it's a cross section eye for the upper grades biology!

felted cannonballs and a troll to fire them, what more can I say?
This group was started in a broom closet by a few talented parents who wanted to hand-make some Waldorfy support items for the kindergarten classes. Out-of-the-closet had another meaning back then, when teachers came knocking to see what those Mums were up to, they were whispered away and handed a puppet or doll for their trouble. Fast forward 5 years (to a few struggles to be included officially in the finance scanner) we are a thriving tribe of fiber artists creating the kind of work and energy only some can imagine! Thank you!!

twit twhoo!
a few more random pics of work from some of those ne'er-do-wells!!

virgin felters make pumpkins en masse every September

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shed a Tear

Tahoe Sky

Just a quick serious one...

You may shed tears for loved ones passed, maybe it comes and grabs you from behind and you are 'hit' with an urge, the need to cry, grieve or just commiserate with those that are hurting. Celebrity deaths make us appreciate their work and the mark they left behind. Losing a parent or a child hurts so deeply you cannot bear it and your body feels like failing.

Grieving is a natural process and necessary for our bodies and brains to cope with loss. Most people are uncomfortable with the process and know not what to say or do. It's ok to say nothing, but just to recognise and respect the process. Eat, sleep and keep your hands busy.

Jamaican Rainbow

Shed a tear for those lost in the wars around the world, in natural disasters. I shed a tear for Lama, 4 year old Palestinian girl and Irit 39 an Israeli woman today. I don't know them but they represent so much of what is exhaustively wrong with the world. Those that choose to serve are courageous, brave, willing and trained to face death, these are are just a few civilians who are everyday caught in crossfire in the Gaza strip.

I could bore you with a list of those I am remembering today, from family to friends to acquaintances, but I will light a memorial candle tonight for those that have passed, for your Mum or Dad, or brother or sister or child or baby, feel them in the ether and they are never gone if we remember.

Blessings in any and all faiths, languages to you.

Road to Taos

Monday, January 5, 2009


We ( the hairy one and me) have had a silly Wassail party for Twelfth night for about 12 years, but not so today. Instead, I thought I'd share this funny rendition, made me laugh anyway and the actual lyrics are below for those who want to sing in the New Year with us next year!!

The Wassail Song unlike other Christmas carols does not celebrate the nativity. The Wassail Song celebrates the New Year! "Wassail" is an olde English word for a toast similar to "Good Health" and the wassail is the content of the glass or goblet ( spiced or mulled wine or ale) The author of the lyrics is unknown but the tradition of going wassailing dates back to 12th century England. The composer of the music to the wassail song is also unknown.
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbors' children
Whom you have seen before
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year

We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;
We want some of your small change
To line it well within.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a cheese,
And of your Christmas loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


No, not the football kind, but one inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy and others like him. A bunch of crunchy parents and their kids set out, complete with eggy sarnies, cluster nuts and a pocket knife, to try and create some art in the hills of the Palisades this morning.....

Ta da!!

twiggy ladder

with the greatest of ease!

the all seeing eye..

trees releaved
By the time the kids were finished with the fairy abode, the big-uns were all snapping pics like the paparazzi, just imagine them coming out to the flashes!

Temescal Fairy house with wishing well

Yep, we are tired but pleased with the results!