Monday, May 28, 2007

Gladly the cross-eyed bear...

Well this past Sunday I had my Maryland debut of acolyting! It's been a long road to this point... When I was growing up at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Bryan, Texas girls were not allowed to be acolytes (not just at that church but all churches way back then). As my older boys grew up at St. Mary's By the Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Grove, CA they were able to be acolytes and so were the young girls in the church. One Christmas when the boys were with their dad for the holidays someone called me in a panic saying they didn't have enough acolytes for the Christmas Eve candlelight service. When I told them that the boys were not in town they asked me if there was any way I would consider doing it. Of course I jumped at the chance. It was one of the most special experiences in my life, I got to be a torch barer, and I didn't even care that the girl I was walking beside down the aisle was at least a foot shorter than me and that she was so young she fell asleep during the service. It's a very beautiful church, inside and out and the candlelight service was one that a lot of folks attended who weren't members, it was well known to be very special and the church was packed. When Easter came around, I was blessed to be able to serve side by side with Justin. I was 35 years old and finally got realize a childhood desire. Some things really are so much sweeter when you have to wait. Recently, I volunteered along with another person to oversee acolyte service at our church which had fizzled out a couple of years ago. And this last Sunday, being Memorial Day weekend, and another service having Confirmation for the kids who are all acolytes, I stepped up to the plate (actually, I ran and I think I might have elbowed a few old ladies) to make my Maryland debut. It's just such an honor, I mean, I was carrying the cross! I guess you'd have to be there but it means enough to me to want to share. It's never too late for your dreams to come true... P.S. Not a good picture, Paul was trying to get it before disrupting the flow out of the church.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The process has begun...

We are starting our traditional Annual Family Summer Fun Game. Every year we go through the same process of "where are we going on our summer vacation?". The obvious is, though not so to us, go to Oregon and see my family (blessedly, my family is coming here later in the year). We only have one trip for Paul, Matt, and I to go on (good luck getting Justin to take a day off from work) each year. Last year Matt and I went to Oregon for two weeks at the very beginning of the summer, but last year was...ummmm...differn't. The guys love the beach, I love Texas, but Texas in the summer is not a viable option, so...I want to go here, yes, above IN the picture, but not in Florida which might as well be Texas as far as I'm concerned, weather-wise and without being, well, Texas. We like to go out of state but not drive very far. I found this photo while I was "working" in my studio today and it reminded me that I need to be pondering this subject. How blessed can one woman be that this is what I'm fretting over (well it's not all but this is supposed to be a mostly-uplifting blog)? Realistically I know we'll be going to the beach like we do every summer...and then I remember, keeping things very relative, to thank God that it won't be in the Middle East...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby Ben!!!!!!!!

First came the momma, my first baby-love, my niece, Maya. When I met her the first time I fell hook, line, and sinker for her. I had never known a love like that before in my life, baby-love. Then she grows up and marries a hairy-legged (albeit handsome, smart, nice...wonderful, really)fellow and produces this little bundle of beauty, Ben, one year ago today.
Da 'rents...
Daddy and Ben...
Mommy and Ben...
Have I ever mentioned how time flies...?

Texans meeting in California

Going through old photos today I found this one from 1986 of me and Frank Beard, the drummer in ZZ Top. He, his family, and the Gibbons brothers had come to The Peninsula to play golf on a break from the concert tour they were on. The Beard family stayed at my parent's inn, Forest Lodge, in Carmel and my mom arranged for me to get this photo-op with him (but only after a couple of mis-fires like the time she said, "Oh there was the nicest man here last week, said something about having some Grammys. What was his name?". Quincy Jones!!!! We had a long chat about running names by me before they leave.). I was way too nervous to enjoy this. I had just had Justin and was totally feeling new-mom-frumpy-sleep-deprived-and-out-of-place. Breast-feeding, so not drinking like when I met Clint Eastwood. You see I was ready, though, as I already had all their albums (remember those?) because I was and am still a huge fan. Also being a big fan of irony, I enjoyed meeting a fellow Texan in Carmel! He was telling me how his wife's sister was attending Texas A & M at the time...Jesus just left Chicago and He's bound for New Orleans...

Amy Inspire Companied me!

Seeing Amy's bubble bath that ate Milwaukee reminded me of this picture of my babies at 4 and 2 in their bubble bath. This has always been a favorite of mine. And, yes, Mildred, it is almost 20 years ago~yikes~time scoots by. They are 23 and 21 now, whew...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another day in Frederick

Today was another Frederick day which means that our space at Emporium Antiques Mall has a new look. Seems I can't just take a few things in, I'm still trying to organize in such a way that I can have most of my artwork there without being too overwhelming.
These are photos of our space, ever evolving...
There is a lot of crammage in my area, if you don't like the look please buy a bunch of stuff and it won't be so full. Here are some pics of other folks' spaces...
There's something for everyone from purest antiques, to vintage, to repro, to...
Mackenzie Childs~esk...all this and a cool, beautiful city with lots to see, do, and eat!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Big Weekend of Family Adventures!!!!!

Well I jumped the shark by posting Paul's Saturday morning makeover 'cause I shoulda started with Friday night. As you can see, we hooked up with our friends the Simpsons and caught the first day run of Shrek 3~highly recommended. Marge and I laughed our asses off. After the Saturday Morning Cowboy Makeover of 2007 we headed south to College Park just as Gayle and Oprah had told me and went to the original Ledo Restaurant. See the brick like Gayle had behind her in the show? You can't fake that.
Oh my, what a pie! Here's mine with zuccini and bacon! It was fantastic. Thanks Gayle. Thanks Oprah.
Then today, Sunday, it was off to church for another inspirational service. I love our church. And a bonus today were these flowers in perfect bloom...had to share.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

He's an old cow hand from the Rio Grande...

Who would guess this is my New York City born and raised, scientist hubby? Today was surprise makeover day for poor, unsuspecting Paul when he got up and just happened to throw on his Texas Dirt Shirt and Aggie sweats. Little did he know I had brought home three big bags of ex-Woody-wear and, when he came downstairs, I was sorting through.
He started looking at the shirts, saw this fab Ralph Lauren jacket and decided to put it on. When he got distracted with making breakfast I whipped out the boots...wait for it...Justin brand boots!!!!! Yes, that's who my second son is named after-Justin Boots. Paul's first ever pair of boots! Then came the straw cowboy hat to complete the ensemble.
I think I had some subliminal help from his trip to San Antonio in January and his trip to Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. Not everyone is aware of the magical, mysterious ways the dirty south can work it's wiles on unsuspecting victims. Snap, the south's gotta nother one...
P.S. If you are waiting for your prize from "Fun and Games with Doojie" think again because there has yet to be a winner. I posted a couple of hints in the comments section on that post if you would like to try again. Buenos suerte!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I've been tagged!

Well, I don't know what to say, this is sooooo unexpected...well I might have some notes in my pocket just in case such a thing were to occur suddenly, out of nowhere, without warning...I don't care, I crack myself up. See how I put this photo on THE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! Har, har, don't be thinking that you know my politics by looking at this photo from The Bryan Daily Eagle circa, whew, 196...? That's me, the girl (with a PONYTAIL~the last time I had more than 2" of hair on my head other than The Mystery Pigtails of The PFM of 2007), that's my mom in the sunglasses (aka Emily Gilmore), that's Mrs. Whosit (used to babysit her kids), and, yes, that's Dubya. So sorry about the black and white photo from the can't see how we are all wearing RED, WHITE, AND BLUE! It's was Texas, I was drunk...oh wait I was only 11, I was under duress.
Okay, so I've been tagged by, thank you very much, Mellie of Little Melfie's Studio. Here are the rules: Each player starts with seven random facts or habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blogs about their seven things as well as these rules. At the end of the post they pick seven people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and to read your blog.
Okay, so as I said, I'm totally unprepared (plus blushing, I'm usually SO private) for this but here goes...
1. To explain the above photo, my mother was campaign chair for H.W. when he ran for congress. On this day Dubya, my mom, and I were making the photo-op rounds about town. Our family was good friends with their family at the time. I went to see H.W. the next summer when I was in DC at his capital office. It seems like I've had more than my share of irony in my life but this is one of the more obvious, humorous ones. Just check out my sister, Valori's, blog listed at the right to see what we really think about our dear old friends now. I'm from Texas, where I first met the Bushes, lived 20 years on the West Coast, and now here I am spittin' distance from my old bud on the East Coast and we aren't friends no more! My life of ironing...
2. A lot more proud declaration...I kissed Clint Eastwood on the lips!!!! Now this is only news to y'all who have never met me 'cause when I meet new people I say, "Hello, I'm Stephanie, I kissed Clint Eastwood on the lips.". I scream it out at parties or in bars or in restaurants. Thankfully it's the only tag I have for my turret's thus far. It was 1977 and my sis and I were living in Pacific Grove, CA when my parents came out to visit from Texas. One of our fave spots was the outside bar at the Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel where we liked to drink the hot spiced wine by the outdoor fire. We had run into a woman my sister knew and she had joined us and when Mr. Eastwood appeared inside the bar she went in and told him that there was a table full of Texans just dyin' to meet him. He came over, allowed us to introduce ourselves, and, knowing this would be the only chance I'd have in my life, I strapped on my big girl panties and asked for a kiss. He obliged! I was very proud of myself and I've had a great story to tell (over and over and over) for 30 years.
3. What character in Gilmore Girls am I most like? Depending on my cycle...Paris Geller on a good day. Trixey on a so-so day. Taylor Doosy on a not-so-good day. How 'bout you?
4. I can remember almost every lyric to every song I've ever heard. Also I know the melodies and grunts, intonations, etc. BUT, I can't carry a tune in a bucket of Jacksons. I love music and love to sing and love to dance. We sit in the very front pew at church so I don't hurt any one's ears. I like to sing loud and proud.
5. Which leads me into...I am a Christian child. I was born and raised an Episcopalian, I am proud and thankful to say, but I found Jesus through Young Life Camp at Frontier Ranch in high school and it has been the main influence in my life ever since. If you know of any at-risk youth I would highly recommend supporting them for a week's stay at one of the many Young Life camps throughout the U.S. I was blessed to be able to go to Frontier in Colorado and witness for the first time true natural beauty of such magnitude as the Rockies, then to Windy Gap in Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It's not hard to find the Lord hanging around in those places.
6. My sister, Valori, is my hero. Sidebar irony~she owned a clothing boutique named Heroes in the 70's and also had a bassett hound named Hero. I've never known anyone who knew my sister who didn't like her. She's the only person I can truly say that about. And she's benevolent as all get-out. She's very global, Oprah~esk, she cares deeply about the world and everyone in it. She's Mother Theresa with a different habit (and Buddhist to boot). Lest I start to sound like this list is about her, check out her blog, she's an inspiration to me, is and has been to many others as well. Valori's new to Corvallis, OR but already has made the news and papers with her work for peace and the legacy she made on the Monterey Peninsula continues on and will go on for a very long time and is permantly on record through her many awards including Monterey County Woman of the Year and the United Nations' Peace and Justice Award. I just decided to "Google" her while I'm typing this and I see she's got more than two pages of hits! I'm am so proudly overwhelmed I really have to pause to blow my nose. There's no more I can say other than check her out if you feel moved to do so.
7. Which naturally leads me into...I love Oprah too. There was an article about her in the Washington Post on Sunday regarding the honorary doctorate she received last week. They quoted a professor who's an expert on nonverbal communication saying how Oprahs' presence and demeaner show that she is truly authentic. When she started to cry with emotion she turned to the crowd without shame to share her true feelings. That's how she makes such a great difference in the world. The quote from the professor is, her "completely emodied-what someone is feeling internally is congruent with what they're expressing. That's what we call presence or charisma.". The paper says, "She's engaged...She's always absorbing and always expressing something. The impression I get from her is that she's showing us how to be in the world." (Wow, that's huge.). On a scale of 1 to 10, the professor rates Oprah as "a 12" as a communicator.
I guess I get the award for longest fracking list in history. What I really want you to know about me if you care is that I want to be like Oprah, I want to be like my sister. I want to be authentic. I'm turning 50 this year and that's my goal. I'm way silly, some may find me a little off-putting (I can also surgar-coat things), I've been that way especially since 9/11 but I also grew up in a home with everyone having the same slightly-twisted sense of humor. But 9/11 taught me that life's too short to take too seriously and to not have fun, so I stopped trying to hide my silly. I want y'all to know that I'm for real and if I'm your friend I truly love and cherish you and that I also care deeply for the world at large...
I'm tagging Hope, Shelley, Maya, Christine,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to Me

This is yet another reason that it's good that we have someone gainfully employeed around here. I went a little nuts on myself for Mother's Day. It all started at the cottage PFM that I decided that I wanted yard art for mamma's day so I got myself this concrete lamb and iron honeycomb table and, plop, it's in the front yard garden. Close up of Lambchop, he's braver than he looks. Then, last weekend at Nene's Totally Amazing Spectacular Sale (if you snoozed, you loosed), she had thought she was gonna sell this gate to a stranger. Nutty Noodle! It is full-on, beefey iron, heavy like a car, but it still went, plop, into the front garden. I'm one happy mother...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Still Life...Your Life as Art

When I brought home this painting from Nene's it put me in the mood for a still life. I recently purchased the wonderful nest from Lucy and Ethel's at Savage Mill. This nest's got it all. There's, well, the nest, then beautiful soft pastel silk flowers, berries, leaves then wonderful robin's egg blue (dur) eggs. I think it's the prettiest faux nest I've seen so far and I've got a lot of nests.
At the Paris Flea Market I purchased the Stacey Bear button card from Amy/Inspire Company. It's got my same fave
colors of r.e. blue and pink buttons. I got the antique fishing
reel came from Emporium Antiques, because, well, my color
is there and a little pop of yellow on the handle. It reminds
me of all the times my Daddy and I fished on the little lake on our farm in Texas while I was growing up.
All the things I use as "decoration" in our home
have some kind of meaning especially the
heirlooms, none of which are
n drawers much less boxes, they are out.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Yeah, Come See Me On Etsy!!!!!

Yippie! After only badgering me for the 300th time I finally took Hope and Mellie's advice from yesterday and posted my art for sale on Etsy! I guess I have to be drug(ged) into the 21st century and get over that mom-and-pop-come-and-shop-where-we-know-your-name mentality and get rational. It seems that the face to face sale is so last century. People want to make anonymous purchases, forget meeting the artist~most the time he's a 5 year old in China anyway. I'm hoping the thrill of scanning the bar code yourself will wear off eventually and we might get people back out into a kinder, gentler world. BUENOS SUERTE WITH THAT! Oooooooooo, I knew I shouldn't post today even thought it's really tomorrow now, by over an hour~there's been no sleep break transition between Sunday and Monday yet so I'm still having my grouchy hangover from the show at Savage Mill yesterday. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...I did the world a favor and stayed in bed as long as I could until almost noon but then I had to rear my ugly head and unload from the car VERY NEARLY everything that I had loaded in there for the show (hint, it's not supposed to follow me back home). High from the confidence booster of the great weekend at the cottage Paris Flea Market led me down a glitter laden path skipping into what I thought was going to be a string of newly re-found interest and another perfect venue for our art. We DID receive very many compliments, but, believe it or not, that's not the entire reason for being creative or alone allows perpetuation of such creativity. Artists are supported by patrons not compliments. The compliments, while fabulously wonderful, don't help perpetuate our business. That's another reason that artists are poor is because we realize that support through purchases is what keeps a favorite artist going so we purchase from other artist to support them. Many times it goes both ways so it can be a wash but breaking even's not what we are looking for, that doesn't begin to pay the up-front investment of overhead booth fees, hotel rooms, meals, etc. But I'm not one to get discouraged for too long. I had a small, intimate pity party this morning then quickly plotted a new course. Hey, life gives me lemons, I use Mike's Hard Lemonade to help wash down the Twinkies and pills and get back on my horse and go. And went, I did, to Etsy. The link to my wares is on the right, just put a few things on since I didn't get started on it until almost midnight but I shall be adding more soon. I promise I shan't post again until I'm no longer at least this grouchy. I do want to share pictures of mine and Mellie's set ups from the Art Asylum although many didn't turn out very well, I got some but I forgot to get one of Mellie and Hope together and I'm quite remorsful about that. Anyhoooooo, negativity aside, the positive is that there do seem to be endless options out there and I've been hearing good reports about Etsy. Soooooooooo, check it out! Have a blessed day! I promise you, Joyce Meyer, that I'll try for the "it's not what happens to you but your reactions to what happens to you" attitude for tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Fun and Games with Doojie!

When I went to the cottage in Leesburg yesterday to get Amy's things for The Queen's Ink Art Asylum show tomorrow Amy showed me the newer version of photo of us last weekend. She pointed out to me the TWO differences between each photo. If you can find the TWO differences between the two pictures you win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The prize? You win A LIFE. Once you've tackle this exercise it's time for you to go outside, away from your computer, interact with live people, and get a real life. Until then enjoy the new, improved, Swedishly symmetric version of our party pic.
We'll be playing at The Queen's Ink at Savage Mill tomorrow, Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, 11 to 7. See you there!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

what tha are YOU looking at?

And she's just that mean. This is Ellicott City Show House Cat~we call her Ellie. When we did our first Historic Ellicott City show house several years ago at Font Hill Manor and they were clearing out the garage for our barn shop, when they moved the refrigerator, there was a mother cat and her kittens. Well the mother took off and left the kitten so after pondering a few minutes and some discussion with the haulers I picked up the only one with markings. We had lost Paul's beloved Taryn the year before and he had been talking about getting another cat (I'm the dog person~there's been only one true cat in my life, Seymour~and there shall be no other until we meet again by the riverside...), so I thought, voila! Paul had been thinking about getting a male this time but like I said, I picked the only one with coloring. It turns out she's a dead-ringer (my puns are ALWAYS intended) for Taryn, looks wise. She's a little warmer and fuzzier though. She sleeps with us (Taryn always left the room when someone entered), will ALLOW us to pet her occasionally but she's also mean as &*^% and will go ape on your butt without any notice. You walk by her and she just reaches out and claws you or will grab an ankle and goes at it with four paws o' claws and all her teeth. It's a love/hate relationship~cats...

the world IS a better place in my hands...

If figured I'd post this picture before all y'all started hysterically wanting to know how the Duncan bowl looked in the other stand after I put the globe from this stand onto the "new" stand I got from Karen last weekend. Whew, y'all wear me out!!! But you gotta give the public what it wants, right? You are welcome, not a problem. I'm sure this all started out with me coming to my computer to do something responsible to get ready for the show this weekend but, as usual, I musta seen something shiny over there, then there, and then...okay, back on my head (Nene), back to my rat killin' (my dad), back to work.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I've Got the Whole World In My Hands

I have waited five, count them, five years to get my grubby paws on this wonderful old metal stand and last weekend I finally got my wish. Karen was so tired at the end of the PFM that I took advantage and used that against her to trade this stand for a wicker table.
I bought this huge, beautiful globe from PJ's last year and had it on another wonderful wash stand but that wash stand was supposed to be for the Duncan bowl my sis gave me when she moved to Oregon. The bowl fits perfectly in the stand. It was nice on the table (all this excitement has occurred in the dining room) but we always had to move it when we eat in there and all that moving makes me nervous. Sooooooo, I had always wanted this stand with nothing in particular in mind until it re-emerged last weekend,I thought of the globe and there was my justification.
I think Karen was pretty happy with the swap; it was a really nice wicker table that I had just gotten from PJ's for the show. One of the treats that Hope brought to me, the card, left, is so cozy on the rim of the stand~a sweetie girl saying, "Hello There", welcoming visitors to the globe.