Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oh My Love, My Darling...

For one of Fermin's Christmas presents, I signed us up for a pottery class at the Creative Arts Center here in Dallas.  (See, I'm smart like that.  My gift giving is often ultimately a gift for me too!)

This week, was had our first night on the wheel.
Fermin, doing his best Demi Moore, a.k.a. Molly.
Holy Guacamole!  That thing is not as peaceful and meditative as it looks!  It's hard.  Very hard to be that still and strong and patient with a lump of clay. 
I can't tell if Fermin looks happy or scared...
There are people of various levels taking the class.  For us beginners, we're just getting our hands wet with different ways of forming clay- and the wheel is only one of them.  The other night, one girl in the class that's been spinning her wheel for about 5 years (no pun intended, well...ok, it was intended), lost a bowl she had so beautifully made last week because it suffered a fatal crack in the drying process.  Then, the one she was working on that night was demolished by someone- We don't know who- She had left it sitting outside, unattended, to dry.  When she went to check on it, after we had heard voices outside, it had also suffered a fatal blow.  She just sort of said, "Oh well...." Had that been me, I would have gone absolutely mad.

I'm not sure I have the patients for the wheel.
But maybe Fermin does!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Up on the Roof

I have always loved the song, "Up on the Roof".  James Taylor's version.  Beautiful, and such a sweet, sweet sentiment.

And I always knew Carole King wrote it.

I'm currently listening to her audiobook, A Natural Woman, and now I realize she co-wrote it-- The lyrics were actually written by her first husband, Gerry Goffin.

Carole and Gerry wrote it for the Drifters, which I also didn't know.

But the best new information I just learned is about James Taylor, who I just adore.  So much in fact, that whenever Carole (yep, I feel like I'm on a first name basis with her now...) starts talking about James, I just tear up.  It's evident what a long and sweet friendship they have had and everything she says about him is just so endearing.

Anyway, she played in James' band on one of his early, early tours.  She was a songwriter, but not really a performer.  She was James' pianist and background vocalist- or as she refers to herself, she was his sideman.

As Carole tells it, one night, just before James was about to walk out on stage he said, "Carole, will you sing the lead on Up on the Roof tonight?"  She really didn't want to, because she was just scared.  But James asked her to do it, gave her a great introduction, and voila-- Carole King had her first public appearance as the lead performer of one of her songs.  That story alone is worth listening to the whole book!

Here's a version of them singing that song, much more recently than the performance she refers to in the book-

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Singing this Friday and Saturday Night at the Fatted Calf

This weekend I'll be playing a new gig-  It's a spot called The Fatted Calf, and it's in downtown Rockwall.  Here's a link with directions, menu, etc.  The Fatted Calf
It's one of those kind of gigs...Just a girl, in a corner, playing her guitar. 
I haven't played out much lately, and in fact just got over being sick.  So I'm especially looking forward to it!  I'll mainly be playing covers, and I'll just be background music.  And ahhh, that sounds so good to me right now- low key, good fun!

This Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26-  I think the music starts up around 7:30pm.  Come early for food and fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Love Blessing Ring

How could you leave us?
Months ago, Fermin and I went to Hawaii.  It was my first trip away from Lucy and Ricky, and I'm really not sure I could've left  if I hadn't have had the best caregiver lined up for them...My sister, Julie!

She came all the way from New Mexico just to stay at my house with them while we were in Kauai.  She, of course, took great care of them.  They got loads of attention, long walks, and most importantly, LOVE!

While on my vacation, I ran across some little "blessing rings" one day...  I picked one out for my sister.  I chose the one that said "love", because she's not only full of love, she's also at the point of opening her heart to new love- So I thought it was perfect for her.

After we first returned from our trip, I made her a necklace using the blessing ring.  For one reason or another, I never got around to sending it to her.  I'm so glad now that I waited!

My sister used to barely even wear jewelry, let alone anything very blingy.  So I tried to make her necklace as neutral as possible.  Here was what the necklace first looked like...

My first attempt at my sister's necklace...  Honestly, a little boring.  :(
During my sister's recent visit to Dallas over the Christmas holiday, she was looking at some other necklaces I had made.  She loved the ones that sparkled the most-  Her days of neutral colors seem to have faded away!

After she went back home,  I ran across this necklace and  I realized it was really not her.  And I wasn't really liking how it had turned out anyway.

So, I recently re-worked it for her...  And now it represents love like I wanted it to! It's got a heart, it's got a little color, and of course a little vintage bling has been thrown into the mix.
The new and improved necklace for my sister!
 See?... the little vintage ball hangs above the red heart

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vintage Finds

You never know what you're getting into when you go to an estate sale you find listed online or in the newspaper.  But there are certain key words that either draw you in, or deter you from going once you're a regular junker like me!

I can't stand when people call a sale an estate sale when it's really just a moving sale.  A moving sale actually means they are leaving behind the stuff they don't like enough to move with them to their next house.  AND it's usually not the old, vintage kind of stuff that I am drawn to.

I also try to stay away from sales advertised as "an interior decorator's dream"-  Ew.  That means it's big, new furniture that looks like it's from Robb and Stucky with big price tags.  Not my deal at all.

The other day, I got email about an "estate sale" but it was in a retail space in North Dallas of all places!  Uh oh. This is another tactic I don't have much faith in.  True estate sales are suppose to be in a houses! But, they also used the word vintage in their ad... and that tends to make me unable to resist.  That, and the fact that there haven't been many estate sales going on during this time of the year. So, I decided to make the drive.

And whoo hooo that I did!

It was actually a consignment store space, and the owner was closing up shop after only 6 months. He was selling everything in the store as quick as possible and then getting the heck out of dodge, a.k.a, North Dallas.  Anything over $10 was half off, and the prices were very fair to begin with.  OH!  And it was older stuff- VINTAGE-y, in fact!  Just like my idea of a good estate sale!

I asked the guy why he was closing after  such a short time.  After sighing a big, sad sigh, he said, "Well, I moved from Oklahoma thinking Dallas would be a good market for selling stuff like this.  But the people around here just don't appreciate older stuff."  He went on to say he barely had any foot traffic since he opened.  And that even that weekend,  listing his "estate sale" barely brought him any customers to the shop.  (Maybe they interpreted his advertisement like I did.)

Anyway, I felt totally bad for the guy, but pretty happy for myself.  His mom had lots of vintage jewelry in really good condition that they were selling.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

Vintage cameo earrings
Tiger eye vintage earrings
Mosaic vintage earrings
I also found a couple of cute vintage dishes for holding soon-to-be repurposed trinkets.
I've been a collector of all things "honeybee" for many years! 
And this cute little dish was made in England- Cheerio!
It goes to show, you just never know what you might find!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Repurposing My Studio Space

"let your light shine"
I've had a recording studio in my house for several years.  I had a guest bedroom that set empty the first several years we lived in this house, and so eventually, I turned it into a good spot to record my last two CDs.

Every now and then, I'll record something just to mess around with the newer software I'm still getting to know, but for the most part, I haven't used it much in the past year or so. 

All the while my passion for jewelry making keeps growing and much that it's spilled out into a few rooms in our house.  I've used several of our kitchen cabinets for storage, and when I'm making stuff (which is quite often) I have jewels, beads, and chains strewn out all over the kitchen (table and counter tops) and dining room and sometimes the den, too.

Poor Fermin.
He has to look at my creative mess on a daily basis.
But he actually hasn't complained.

Maybe he's smart enough to know, if he just waits me out, I'll start to drive myself crazy with my scatterings and I'll come to my senses.

Well, it's a new year and what a better time to make a few changes around here?!

Pictured below, is what I've always used as my writing table.  Over time, I started just piling loads of journals and music books all over the place.  But now, I've cleared it off so it can be the one stop shop where I can repurpose vintage jewelry.
containers full of vintage jewelry ready for repurposing
The bulletin boards now serves as a place to hang chain.
new chain...

and two smaller bulletin boards full of vintage chain...
and more vintage chain!

I told my friend I was doing this, and she gave me the cutest little push pins from Anthropologie!
Yes, that little flower is a push pin!

The closet in that room use to have 6 guitar cases in it.  But I've now scattered them around the house a little better to make room for other stuff...
Now I have room to grow!
I've still got most of my recording set up out where it's pretty accessible whenever I want to use it.  But now,  I've just broadened my horizons and made more room more for creative space.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

For The Man Who Has Everything

Fermin's birthday was this weekend.
Fermin, raising his fist to me.
I got him two big gifts for Christmas.  (More on that soon!) One really should have been for his birthday, but I was so excited to give them both to him, I just couldn't hold one back.  I figured I'd come up with something great by the time his birthday rolled around.

But then, Fermin had a lot of vacation time between Christmas and his birthday and we were together so much I barely had a chance to break off for thoughtful shopping.

AND, we did do much shopping together over the holiday.  Maybe one of the reasons I love Fermin is he's super fun to shop with and likes a lot of the same stores I do!  He found a lot of great deals and kept buying stuff for himself.

So I came up with nothing to give him for his birthday.


I ran across an estate sale looking mainly for vintage jewelry and found these really cool cuff links:
VINTAGE cuff link!
silver and mother of pearl cuff link- up close
We were going out to dinner with friends last night, and I had wrapped up the cuff links to give him.  He came out wearing this purple-y/pink shirt that needed cuff links!  Can you believe how meant to be that was?!?!

And guess how much the cuff links were.

C'mon, guess.

Are you sitting down?

Makes me holla!!  ;)
Happy Birthday, sweet Fermin, from your big spender! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

A slightly White Christmas here in Dallas, Texas!
Happy New Year!
The most wonderful time of the year came so quickly--- and after today, I guess it's over.

I intended to post these photos as they happened but you know how it is at holiday time... I just never got around to sitting down at my computer to do it until now.

So now, here are a few highlights of this holiday season for me....
My awesome sister, Julie came into town.  Here we are at the Winter SolstiCelebration.
My brother, Fermin (on the other side of the camera) and I went to Tuba Christamas!  My 2nd year, their first.  And we all loved it!
Tubas, tubas, and more tubas.
I just couldn't get enough of the joy here!
Time with friends-- Lindsey and Sammy.  Again, Fermin is behind the camera instead of in front of it.  BUT I SWEAR HE EXISTS AND WAS THERE WITH US!

The Ricardo's showed their appreciation for the gifts we bought them by playing hard!  God, I just love these two so much!  They bring me such joy every single day--

And at the end of the season, we're all in need of some serious nap time!
Too pooped to party any more for 2012!