Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Oh man I've eaten and drunk and boxed up and been awed and walked and talked and taught way too much for a respectable post today. Tomorrow, though. Oh, tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

when the itch for wycinanki demands to be scratched

This is how I get: Obsessed. Unable to stop pursuing something, even if it sucks the very life outta me.

Sometime last year -- spring? summer? it's all a blur -- I was minding my own business and decided to mind it at the library. On Wednesdays my branch holds Friends of the Library sales. I sometimes buy a book or two, ostensibly to help out, but really just so I can have more stuff to hoard. Well, this particular Wednesday, the one in question, I went straight to the craft shelf, as I always do, and what did I see there but these:

Lovely, yes? Well, you should know what's inside. More lovely stuff, in that kitschy way that only the '70s could bring us, with directions on how to make it all with your own two hot little hands. I bought these books, bounced all the way home, kicked back, and gleefully leafed through them. Slowly, gradually, the obvious started to dawn on me. These books were part of a set! They were craft-o-pedias! They were orphans from a family! These were volumes 3 & 4 -- "Boxes to Card Tricks" and "Carryalls to Confections" respectively -- and it became my mission like yesterday to find the rest and own them.

I went to eBay, where I spotted a single volume here or there. Same with Amazon's used book sellers. Same with Alibris. I did not let this deter me. If it meant scouring the globe or putting up Schmin for adoption (at 22, he was a lot less surly than he was as a teen, and therefore more valuable as house help), I was bound to do it. Google is numero uno because if what you're looking for exists, you can eventually find it there, and without having to explain to your only child why he must go serve as Benson to a family of four. Google led me to the holy grail, The Family Creative Workshop volumes 1 - 23, plus the index. That's a full set, don'tcha know. And it was going for 20 bucks. On Craigslist. In Seattle.

I live in Los Angeles.

People who put stuff on Craigslist usually want you to come pick it up, so I contacted the seller and told her I wanted the set, and could she please hold it for me until I could come up there for vacation in a month. She said yes, and I began to plan a trip I had only been thinking of taking before. Oh, Seattle is on my list. I want to go there. I wanted to go there then. But I really, really wanted to go get those books. When I couldn't finagle a trip, I contacted her again, and asked if she'd kindly ship the books if I paid her in advance. This was after she'd returned from a trip to Paris, and after she'd had her brother ready the books for me to pick them up while she was away, only to find them still sitting in her living room. I give this woman a lot of credit for dealing with a lunatic like me. She wanted them out of her house, and was therefore willing to weigh them, call up UPS, and ship them to me. She did this without renegotiating the sale price. Obviously she was unaware of how rabid and desperate I was. I slipped a few extra bucks into her PayPal account; I didn't want her to stop and consider the ease of re-listing.

Fifty dollars and an apologetic e-mail later (and a milking of the fact that we're both named Carla, even though her Carla is spelled with a K), and I had my books. I figure I got off cheap, considering the cost of hotels and airfare. I also would've had to go to greater lengths to collect individual volumes and believe me, I would have done it. What began as a four-dollar expense during an innocent library visit turned into this:

I have been known to chase what turned out to be duds with this kind of fervor, but in this case, it was well worth it. They don't make resources like this anymore, especially not in book form. This set is exhaustive. It includes crafts that are now lost arts. Next post, I'll show you some of the good stuff.

If you see this set available anywhere, get it. Even if it's in Seattle. I've done my bit and found a couple of sets for you, at bargains, no less. They're available as I type this. Get 'em while they're hot.

eBay deal 1
eBay deal 2
Denver Craigslist

And what is wycinanki (vee-chee-non-kee)? Look here. And here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

one more thing

And a backup, just in case.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

there now, that's better.

My friend, she was missing... just a couple of things.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

there's no easy way to do this


You always get a glimpse of the pack rat hoarder you really are.

Friday, April 25, 2008

dear god, two thumbs up

Alright so no bawling my eyes out the first night. Schmin came over and we watched Half Baked (we bought a cheap copy in Toledo 'cause we're into high art). I finished a book and a knitting project -- yes, a knitting project. Wow.

My friend has been through her own hard times recently -- the breakup of a 10-year relationship for one -- but the energy in her place is good. Schmin walked around a minute, then sat down and announced, No bad juju here. Today I went to Tarzhay and got some things to homify the place for myself.

Most of my things are still at The Bubs's, but tomorrow we're going to change that. I did lock myself out of there tonight. Walked out and clean forgot my purse because I was carrying a box and my laptop and I was fried. It's a good thing I had the keys to this place in my pockets. And that it's right around the corner. Can't beat that.

It's night two. Schmin and Froggy are here and we're watching The Last Dragon. Taimak at his finest. Me and Schmin are quickly making it safe for the cheesy ghetto classic around here.

By the by, you can still leave a comment here if you want a shot at some good stuff. I'm extending the deadline to Sunday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

argentina, are you crying for me?

Hey, hey, hey, ladies. What's up?! You guys don't want a shot at free cuteness? Even if you already have a ton of it, and even if you don't knit or sew, there's a chance I'll send some sunshine to your mailbox if you leave a comment on yesterday's post. Heather, yes! You're in! What the hay?

Perhaps you lovely people are feeling a bit like vying for a gift would be like dancing on my grave, in light of my current situation, but, trust me, an opportunity to give would keep me feeling good. So, please, indulge me. Otherwise, it's like visiting your great aunt's house and refusing to eat any of her Ladyfingers. :)

(And if you don't have a blog -- or even if you do -- you can certainly "pay it forward" in some other area of your life.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

returning the favor

Every single one of your comments on yesterday's post has meant so much to me. Thank you, ladies, for taking the time to offer support and good wishes. Meg, girl, you're so right. No one tells you how hard marriage really is. (And what's up with that?) It's wonderful, too. But boy, it can be something on the scale of life's bigger challenges.

I have so much packing to do and y'all know what most of it consists of. Books. Yarn. Fabric. Sewing machines. I knew this day of reckoning would come. I have to take some to my friend's place, and some to storage. Instead of feeling like a big ol' greedy pig, I am thinking of the message in the sand, "GOD WER BLESSED." We are. I am blessed with an abundance of things I love, and between that sandy reminder and your sweet comments, I see that I am due for giving something back.

Seems like a thousand moons ago, but it was only back in January. I left a comment on one of yaiAnn's posts and won a present to be made by her and given sometime this year as part of the Pay It Forward Exchange. One of the rules of entering was that I, too, would give away some no-strings-attached gifts on my blog. Here's the fine print, lifted from yaiAnn, and originated by I can't figure out who:

It's the Pay It Forward Exchange, based on the concept of the movie "Pay it Forward" where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return... just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness continue to pass it along as well. Here's how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won't be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that's a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I've got a gift list coming out of my wazoo, so I'll be exercising the option of giving either purchased or handmade gifts to three people, one of whom I've already chosen (and she doesn't have to pay it forward unless she wants to, sez me). For the other two, I'm thinking of two numbers. Leave a comment, and if your comment number is one of the two, I'll send you a gift (within a couple of months). I guarantee cuteness in whatever I send, and all you gotta do is say you want some. I'll leave the comments open for entries until Friday evening.

Again, thank you in-the-flesh friends and blog friends alike -- there are no strangers here. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

his own world

Early this morning The Bubs and I had to drive to Malibu to handle some unpleasant business. Afterward, he asked if I'd like to spend a little time at El Matador, a beautiful Malibu beach that means a lot to us. It's where he proposed to me. It's where I said Yes.

This week I am moving out of our apartment and into a friend's place. This friend will be working in New York until August, and generously asked me to housesit while she's gone (generously because it's more for my sake than hers). To speak plainly, The Bubs and I are separating, so it's not an easy time for me (for us). This July = 5 years of marriage, and 7 years together, and I'm trying to figure out what to make of it all, or if anything needs to be made. Maybe it just is what it is.

I get crazy and want to erase it all, forgive it all, kill to bring it all back together, kill to tear it apart, and this is in the course of, say, any given hour. But we have agreed to do things gently, and I am for that, and I live it as strongly and as often as I can.

I know I've said it, and our dear Oprah says it often enough, but A New Earth is a balm in a trying time like this. There is nothing you can ever need that the present moment cannot give you.

And so more and more I let it carry me.

Today, this is where I ended up:

With The Bubs, who likes himself an ascot when the occasion arises.

I was dressed for staying in the car and coming back home for a nap, but wearing my new hat, made especially for me by the woolanthropist, which gave me an element of cool right up there with The Bubs. I tried it on him for a minute, then took it back because it looked too good.

The Bubs is a tongue slipper.

Sometimes I forget that Bubs is his own world. Even now, I think of him as mine, mine, mine. He's his, most of all. I want the secret to how to love without devouring.

Hard to read it here, but someone wrote "GOD WER BLESSED" in the sand. We laughed at the spelling, but we got the message.

On the way out, Bubs picked some wildflowers.

And set them in a vase.

Monday, April 21, 2008

goodbye 21 (finale)

I knew we were in trouble when I kept hearing myself ask, What'd he say? Sandra, my friend, replied, Uhh -- something about something. Then, I'm ready to go whenever you are. To which I said, What'd you say?

With Mary J, we did just fine (Get it, "Just Fine"?), though I kept reminiscing about the time I saw her at the Essence Festival in New Orleans in the mid-'90s. Ask Mary what's the worst show she's ever performed, and she'll name that one. I heard her say it during an interview years later. I couldn't believe she'd had such a bad night. It was one of the best shows I'd ever seen. Still is. She said she'd started her period (y'all know Mary is candid) and was wearing stockings that kept rolling down. She'd had a hell of an off night. From what I saw she took all that and put it into her performance, and I hate to be corny and use the word electrifying, but that's what she was that night. This time around she was consummate, but much more refined.

When Jay-Z came on, I tried to wait for "Hard Knock Life," but after his first two songs I realized he'd probably do it last or close to last. There was no way we were going to stay the whole time, because we'd already discovered that we were two old ladies spiritedly trying but failing to be down with the youngsters. The minute we walked on the grounds at Irvine, we found ourselves shrinking from the loudness of the radio stations and DJs camped outside the amphitheater. Sandra wasn't having it. She'd cooled to the whole affair when I told her the tickets she'd scored from her childhood friend, Jay-Z's business manager, meant we'd be seeing a show outside (she's a New Yorker, and greatly accustomed to intimate -- read: tiny -- indoor venues). And during Jay-Z's set, I screamed whenever they'd do the loud pop and fireworks between songs. I mean I screamed from fright, not excitement. It was loud, I tell you. Loud and bright.

Sandra just looked bored.

Then it dawned on me what was going on, and I said to myself, Hey, this is just a guy talking. And he's got a band.

I mean, really?!

Can somebody tell me how it is that Black people could have been slaves for more than 200 years if we possess the power to pull off this kind of trickery? It's magic fairy dust, this hip hop, and we've managed to blow it all over world. Talking over music and people dancing and swaying and singing the hooks and just eating it all up.

And we're not even talking about Nas or Talib Kweli.

Two happy old biddies in more familiar surroundings a couple of years ago.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

goodbye 21

Two nights in a row outside my apartment and I need a three day nap.

Friday, April 18, 2008

what's the 411?

If no one else appreciates this, I know yaiAnn will: I'm on my way to see Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z in Irvine tonight. Yay! And even better, I'm going for free. Gotta love that.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Comment of the week, from Heather, on yesterday's post:

...did you know that there was a ghost with you in that hotel room?
Look carefully at the top picture, he is wearing a hat!!!!! how scary...LOL

Heather, I'm cracking up at this one!

That's actually Schmin.

At the last minute, he was able to book a ticket and go home with me. He and my father, his granddad, are two party peas in a pod, and the minute Schmin heard Granddad was sick, he was determined to make the trip.

Even though we didn't book our tickets at the same time, Priceline was good to us and we got the same flights heading out. On the return, Schmin was scheduled to fly out an hour and a half ahead of me. His flight was delayed, and we got to fly home together too. Once he's in Toledo, Schmin is Mr. Popularity, so he helped me get set up in the hotel room then went his own way.

The hat thing is his latest fashion statement. He's done the rock star. Skater/Trucker Dude. The Preppy. And now he's doing what I've dubbed Bohemian Bum Chic, which he thinks is hilarious, but isn't that an accurate description? I mean, really. The fedora tops it off.

The photos were taken on the way to the baggage claim at Detroit Metro Airport. It's a trippy passageway between terminals. Groovy.

It changes colors. Watch.

Magic walls.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, where we had brief layovers, won't be outdone. They've got themselves a flying pig.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

hotel styling

First I thought I'd make my father a scarf. Specifically, the Patchwork Scarf from Denyse Schmidt Quilts, because I didn't have much time and I had the materials on hand. Not knowing he'd be released right before I arrived, I pictured him lying in his hospital bed with a wool scarf wrapped around his neck, and the image didn't quite work. I settled on more useful pajama pants, which sounded quick and easy, even though I'd never made anything resembling pants before. The pattern, New Look 6764, claimed 1 hour construction. I tripled that, knowing I'd make some mistakes. Well, Wednesday morning, an hour and a half before my flight was to leave, there I was, still sewing pajamas. I got them done and made it, but there was no time for fartsy pictures. I snapped these in the Red Roof Inn, before driving over to my grandmother's to see my father.

When I gave them to him, he said, These ain't pajamas. These are summer pants. He's always had a way taking our mediocrity and raising it to art.

Regarding the pattern, it's a good introduction to basic pants construction. I need to practice making buttonholes on Blanche. The ones I made on the linen PJs, in particular, really suck. They're sturdy enough to keep the drawstring from wearing on the fabric, but they look a fright. Another thing is that the crotch on these things drags pretty low, so there's a slight diaper effect, which I guess is okay for pajamas, or for that MC Hammer look. My father is a small man, especially since he's been sick, but I made mediums because I didn't want them to be too small. The small would've fit him better (he didn't try them on but I could tell by looking at him), but he doesn't mind.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

someone who kinda looks like me

My father and I at Easy Street, Thursday, 4/10/08

My goodness. I'm hourly at work now and really should be there making money, but I feel like I've been run over by a tractor. It's not just the time change, but the effect of the amazing technicolor dreamcoat experience known as my family. My father being the eldest of 11, there are so many of them. Were I to try to list all my cousins, I'd probably come up with different names each time. Just oodles of people, all coming at you in a random, chaotic non-order. It's all love, except when it's not, and it's loud no matter what.

I kind of have to gather it all, but I do want to talk about it some later. For now I can say that I'm happy my father is alright, and that I wholeheartedly thank you guys for your wonderful support. I'm glad some of you were reminded of family members in my description of my father! It's nice to know there's a character in (nearly) every family.

In the end, my father will be my father. Actually, he'll be Eric, himself. He will continue, as he likes to say, to test his resolve; drinking, smoking, getting high, gambling, running the streets, philosophizing, fighting with and looking out for his family (no one I know loves family more than my father does), giving us shit, and taking a break from it all when he feels like he needs to. One night, my sister cried to me, What are we gonna do about Dad? I said to her, We're going to let Dad be Dad, and we're going to love him no matter what. That's what we're gonna do.

With my brother, Laddy, at Easy Street again (hey, it's Toledo), Monday, 4/14/08

Monday, April 14, 2008

what a long, strange trip it's been

It was good to be gone; now it's good to be home.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

saturday in the midwest

At a very low point in his hospital stay, my sister asked my father, Out of all your 61 years of living, which moments were your favorites? My father answered, This one.

Toledo today tells why I came to think of Prince as a genius. Years ago, he summed up the mixture of sadness, disappointment, and longing:

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes you feel so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
But all good things, they say, never last

It's cold, and I am decked in my California living clothes -- boots and a long sweater, but knees and head exposed to the elements, making me feel the chill all over.

I am in a place that wasn't here when last I was, Organic Bliss. Not a lot of organic going on. Lunch was on the happy side, but blissful, I dunno. The hot chocolate was pretty close.

Tomorrow, Chicago. I got peoples there. Peoples I haven't seen in ages and I don't know when I'll see again, so off we go. Yahoo Weather calls for morning snow with a high of 40. Really, I do love those people.

Thank you to everyone who commented on the character known as my dad. Yesterday he decided that medication and alcohol do mix. And guess what, they mix with shooting dice! And winning! And stepping backward in a show of celebration! And tripping over a branch! And falling down hard! And having to be carried home by my brother and cousin! And throwing up! And finally admitting defeat by going to bed!

Today he's at the junkyard, looking for parts for a Cadillac he's going to restore, so he's okay. Probably he's enjoyed every moment of these last few days, or most of them, at least.

Friday, April 11, 2008

meet my dad

Have I ever really told you about my father?

I've glossed over him before, but I don't think I've sufficiently trolled his depths here.

I adore him, but he is crazy. He's crazy in the way of people who live in worlds the rest of us don't see or occupy at all. My father's attitudes and positions are way out there, and we all know this, but he's intelligent too, and sometimes it takes work not to fall for the wacky things he says.

On top of this, he's completely inappropriate. Once you're, say, twelve, you're old enough to be privy to all kinds of stories that you'd much rather never be subjected to.

It took a long time for me to make peace with this. I've had to find a way to stay true to myself, while honoring him as my father. Plus, when I was in college, and it was evident that I was not going to go into the field of prostitution or drug addiction, he'd every now and then refer to me as a square. I am a very brown person, but this burned my ears bright red. Nobody wants to be a square. My father didn't mean it as a put-down; it was how he summed up how I saw the world versus how he saw it. Still, it irked me. I sure as hell wasn't going to shoot up to avoid the moniker, but I did develop the habit of not acting shocked when he talked to me about things that were, well, shocking.

I'll drop you into the middle of our conversation over lunch at The Olive Garden, where Toledoans go for fancy food, yesterday. Just the two of us, surrounded by polite company (read, white folks):

Dear old dad (DOD): But see, you can't cut cocaine like you can cut heroin.
Me (The Square): Well, I saw on TV that heroin is really cheap now. How'd it get to be so cheap?
DOD: Check this out. A kilo of cocaine will cost you around 20 thousand dollars. A kilo of pure heroin -- I'm talking about real good heroin -- could cost you 180 thousand dollars.
The Square: Wow. Then how can it be sold for so little?
DOD: Wait a minute. Let me finish. You can only cut that key of cocaine three or four times. That's it. You can cut it three or four times before it ain't no good no more. Now look at heroin. Heroin you can cut a hundred times. A hundred times! I've seen dudes cut heroin twenty-eight, twenty-nine times, and those dudes was third or fourth down the line. Three four other dudes had cut that same key before they did.
The Square: Wow. Whoa.
DOD: So you do the math. Look at your uncle. He used to pay 24 thousand for a key of cocaine. His gross profit off that key would be 42 thousand. After he paid everybody, he would end up with 18 thousand net.
The Square: Whoa. Wow.
DOD: Now heroin. You can make more than a million dollars off one kilo. That's how potent that shit is. You cut it so many times. And you have a guaranteed customer too. He won't come back often. But he will come back.
The Square: What do you mean he won't come back often?
DOD: If you sell a man a rock of coke at 8:30 in the morning, by 9:45 he'll be knocking on your door again.
The Square: thinking it over, then -- I wouldn't like a high like that.
DOD: Who does?
The Square: It's too short.
DOD: Right. But that's the way it is. Now. If you sell him some heroin at 8:30 in the morning, you won't see him again until 9 o'clock that night.
The Square: It's the same day! That's not often?
DOD: Not compared to coke! In cocaine the money is made off that repetition, that turnover. In heroin, it's made off that guarantee. You're guaranteed that the dude is gonna come back and buy more, because physically, he'll have to.
The Square: Wow. Whoa. Okay. Um. So that means heroin can cost more than cocaine but it's still cheap, because you don't buy it as often.
DOD: You got it.
The Square: But you will keep buying it.
DOD: Damn right you will.
The Square: Whoa.

This was a gentle exchange. I won't even transcribe our conversation about crack, women, and sex. In fact, I won't even go over it in my own head again.

Today, a family barbecue, in my father's honor. Last night the guest of honor casually, and while reminiscing over how much he loved the man, told his baby sister and me that the favorite son of our family, his brother and best friend who was tragically murdered many years ago at 24, was not only a con man (which we figured), but also a bisexual prostitute (I am putting this in nice terms. My father's words went more like, That n---a would f--k anybody! I shall quote no more). He told us this like, Boy, that boy just tickled me! And then he left, leaving us to stare at each other.

That, my friends, is my father.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

party over here

A miraculous healing has taken place. My father was released from the hospital yesterday, before I arrived. Today he's his usual crazy, animated, curmudgeonly, sweet self, and I am glad.

I should have braced myself for this. A long time ago, my mother was so close to death that the doctors asked me how long I wanted them to wait before they pulled the plug. Two days later she sent me to Wendy's to get her a hamburger.

My father isn't completely out of the woods. We're waiting for test results and such, but today we celebrated, and tomorrow we will celebrate again, because even though I am the child of comeback kids, life is short, and there is no such thing as forever.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

the comfort of home

Sign seen while driving from the airport in Michigan to Toledo:

Beef Jerky Unlimited
70 Kinds of Jerky
Open 7 Days
(not a gas station)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

good gets

I'm getting ready to head home to Ohio, but I wanted to post highlights from Sunday's b-day celebration. To recap, the celebrated were Maryjo and Darcy, the location was the lovely Descanso Gardens outside LA.

We enjoyed walking through the gardens, but we were definitely anticipating gift-giving time. We all knit, crochet, sew, quilt, or all of the above, Natalie does beading, and Ellen is a world-class painter. The gifts are always surprising, creative, and so much fun to unveil. Here are the highlights, including a sweater Ellen made for Maryjo (done up in 8 days!), Natalie's fantastic stitch markers, a coaster and T-shirt designed by Lori, and a recycled can bracelet that Darcy bought for Maryjo. The lotus flower was my other gift to Darcy. I bought it from this great Etsy shop.

These aren't gifts, but personal belongings too tasty not to show:

Maryjo's yummy ArtFibers "Cheesecake" yarn.

One of Natalie's wrist warmers made from Pancake and Lulu yarn. For her birthday, I gave her a yarn of the month club membership. This beautimousness was one of the yarns. I highly recommend this gift. Pancake and Lulu's yarn is among the most glorious I've ever seen, and Natalie had a blast receiving a "mystery" ball each month. (Plus she says it smells delightful.)

This is Lori's bag. Oh how I love it! These numbers are pure magic.

For the party girls and anyone else interested, the rest of the b-day pictures are here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

jot this down

I'm so happy with the way Darcy's birthday gift turned out that it's all I'm going to post today. (Alright! You twisted my arm. I confess, I'm a teensy bit pressed for time. I'll post the remainder of the birthday fun tomorrow.) It's the Note Taker, by Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio. The pattern features two sizes. I made the small one. The exterior fabric* is très Superbuzzy, but I got it, and the rest, at the fabric mecca in my own back yard, Michael Levine.

So cute. Let's look more.

Shut up I really love that big red vintage button! Buttons are pretty hard for me to part with. But this one went to Darcy, so it's okay. (Plus, I've got, er, a couple more.)

The pattern is just like Kathy's blog -- thoughtful, well presented, generous in its approach, and such lovely, lovely fun. I would say that there are a couple small areas that might (briefly) hang up a beginning sewer: 1) The small version doesn't have pattern pieces, but in a couple of places the directions refer to the "fold line indicated on pattern," meaning the pattern included for the larger folio. A donning of the thinking cap easily tells you what to do. 2) As far as I can tell, my version of the pattern never says when to sew on the business card pocket. Again, you can easily solve this, if you notice the omission.

I love the way the pattern comes together; it makes so much sense. And did I mention that making this is as much fun as singing "It's Raining Men" at karaoke? That's a helluva lot of fun. I want to make myself this exact one (button and all), but there's so much fabric in the world, and this project requires so little of it, that I'll let Darcy enjoy hers without copying, and go ahead and explore my options.

*I just checked the selvage. It's marked Cosmo Textile, LTD. And it has some symbols I don't recognize -- maybe care instructions -- and shazam! a little image of a vintage sewing machine!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

good friends and flowers

Today me and my knitty crew got together and celebrated Darcy's and Maryjo's birthdays. April is a fabulous month for a b-day, almost as perfect as May (but not quite, heh). Natalie had the inspired idea of going to Descanso Gardens, outside of LA. I'd never been and Natalie's mention was the first I'd heard of it. For starters, we ate at a Mexican Restaurant, a place called Joselito's in nearby Montrose, which was damn good eats. From there, we headed over to Descanso, for a fine walk through the gardens, then a fun round of gift giving and cookie eating.

The day lifted my spirits. When Ellen picked me up to start the trip this afternoon, I was feeling a little low. Someone stole my favorite t-shirts and my bras at the laundromat yesterday. I'd hung them up to air dry, then dipped over to Target while the rest of my stuff was in the dryers. This I do not do, because I don't like the idea of people pawing my clothes if I'm not back in time. But yesterday I went ahead because my father is in the hospital and I needed to get a few things for him. I'll be going home to Ohio this week, and the whole idea of my dad, who is almost never sick, facing a serious illness has me scattered. I'm doing what I know how to do, buying things and making things to make his time in and after the hospital more comfortable.

So this morning I had a case of the yucks. It's amazing what good friends and flowers will do for you.

I'll let the day play out in pictures. You might notice a very special bouquet among the flowers!

Pretty things:

Pretty people:

Tomorrow, pretty presents, pretty yarn porn, more pretty people, and the pretty gift I made for pretty Darcy.