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Thursday, June 28, 2007

the hat debuts. style. At Urban. With Karen, sauvignon blanc and fried calamari.

What a way to meet perfect strangers! Glad I remembered to ask Chris for business cards - gave away one today.

Urban is really good. Beautiful chocolate, lime green and blue interior, with glass, leather and tile. All the food looked delicious. An eclectic crowd. Friendly service. Next time we need to go for dinner.

Catching up from yesterday. Sara made Ina Garten's peach blueberry crumble - making a small dent in the peach crop we brought back from the camp pickup and four pints of blueberries from Harrys. Yummy, yummy!

And - another mandevilla update. The blooms from earlier this week are now deep pink, but there's a new one today - light pink on the inside and swirly pink (like a peppermint stick) on the outside. ...yes, I'm totally enchanted! closing, made my day today that kal visited to comment on yesterday's post. triple arm pump to me. and many thanks to kal for the inspiration!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

playing with pencils. - I got brave today and tried a new technique with colored pencils. I mean, how could I not be inspired by this post? Kal's blog is first on my daily read list (I guess because - surprise?! - I have the list in alphabetical order and the "[" at the front of the title sorts to the top!) and I read this and thought - ok, this post was enough to pique my interest, but the scrapping application, I must try it.

my results:

I wasn't at all sure about how I felt about it - too simple? I love how the girls' faces just "pop", but the colors? And tonight I showed Sara and she said "wow - that's cool". So maybe it is, or maybe it's the photo (which is obviously a favorite - it's in the masthead on the blog), but so what. I intend to try this more. Maybe with flowers. Since I can't draw them from scratch, maybe I can color them!

Lydia asked to see a picture of the new pixie cut that showed more highlights. Honestly, I've been a bit disappointed with the highlights, because I can't really tell any difference (and Marc hasn't commented, but I wouldn't necessarily take that to mean...anything). But I saw wonderful Jo today at Spa Sydell and the first thing she commented on was the cute cut and the highlights. So - maybe it's just me that I can't see it. Another photo - what do you think?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

books for the beach.

...despite the fact that the last Harry Potter volume is due out the day we leave for the beach and Karen and Jillian have volunteered to camp out on line at midnight to ensure we all have our own copies to read. and that my "unread" stack of books has overflowed from the nightstand to the bookshelf (and is about to overtake another shelf). I continue to buy books. I love the whole process of shopping for books - maybe because there's a Barnes & Noble pretty close to home that's staffed with nice, helpful people and a Starbucks. And of course I have the beach week coming up next month - and some measure of the week's relaxation is how many inches of books I read. Karen usually wins that contest (and maybe Jill is a front-runner this year?) but I try to put up a good showing. There are two things I dread running out of that week - books and wine. So we've also made a tradition of Sundog Books in Seaside and I was thrilled when a wine bar opened up in Rosemary Beach...walking distance!

Anyway - I've been thinking about what to bring in addition to the Harry Potter and Julia's Chocolates for bookclub.

I really enjoy books that have a series. Where you can follow a character over time. Read reviews just recently about Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series (#4 is just out in paperback) and Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels (#11 is out in hardback this week). The Lee Child was completely new news to me, but I know I read a Maisie Dobbs novel - maybe a few years ago at the beach? It must've been Karen's book because I don't have it. Maisie Dobbs is "an intelligent, intuitive young London maid who went to France [during WWI] as a war nurse." The novel I remember was set in early 1920's London and was delightful. "Jack Reacher is a muscular 6-feet-5, has no address, no belongings, no social adhesions..." [sounds a little like Magnum P.I. - a good thing for me!] {quotes courtesy of the AJC}

So maybe the the four Maisie Dobbs, maybe the first one or two Jack Reachers. And to be sure I have some mental stimulation something by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pete Hamill, Don DeLillo and/or Paul Auster.

A sampling of my unread pile - if anyone has recommendations, please comment!

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
Goodnight Nobody, Jennifer Weiner
Children of Men, PD James (actually, I read this years ago, remember liking, and need to re-read in case I see the movie...Clive Owens' picture on the cover is probably enough to justify bringing this one!)
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
In Country, Bobbie Ann Mason
The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus II

Also - I did buy the bold brights watercolor crayons from Stampin Up. Just arrived yesterday and I'm looking forward to trying them...probably this weekend. And the hat is for every day. Well, maybe not every day, but certainly not just for special occasions. Expect to see me wearing it "around"!

...and in closing, the mandevilla - just now - I love how the colors have deepened:


Monday, June 25, 2007

mandevilla update.

...because I'm sure everyone is as interested in the progress of the blooms as I am :-)

you can see the raindrops on the blossoms. This might be a very quick ending!

I stopped by Dick Blick on the way home and doubled (almost!) my colored pencil collection.

Have been checking out Kal's pencil crayon tiplets for advice...

and way to go, Lydia! love your new blog!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

i journal more than i scrap.

...often when I visit the multitude of scraplifting/blog sites I've linked as favorites, I feel more overwhelmed than inspired. I love making scrapbook pages. But I just don't feel inspired to do it more than a few times each month. And what I realized just recently, is that my journaling habit might be channeling some of my creative energy. All in a VERY GOOD WAY! So I decided to share a few of my recent journal pages. Here's today's cupcake exploration (recall this inspiration):

And the results of several months of magazine reading/clipping and looking for my personal style (which Ali said I needed to do). What I've collaged here are the bits and pieces of inspiration that stand on their own. I've created a separate album for layouts, music and books - ideas that need more space and aren't so time-tied as the journal. And a completely separate "shopping now" folder for time-sensitive ideas like a good stretch mark cream, a new natural soda and a terrific MAC powder. I totally LOVE magazines!!

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that garrison girl.

...Sara said she read about this already on my blog, but I don't think I've posted about it. [of course I could be completely mistaken - and if I am, please comment and enlighten me!] I think I wrote about it in a letter to her...

I met Chris Harris, aka "that Garrison Girl" at Starbucks last Saturday morning. A very spur-of-the-moment visit for people watch and have something to eat/drink a bit out of the ordinary. I decided on the Mansell Rd/Alph Hiway location because it was on the way home (from my manicure at Spa Sydell and nothing else to do that morning) and decent outside seating. I love to watch people. So I settled in with my tall, non fat, double, extra hot latte {not even a blink from the barista - is my order that usual?!} and chocolate biscotti and watch the people. Didn't take long for a lovely woman, with her dad's wife and a completely beautiful hat to stop by my table. I commented on the hat

... and turns out the hat's creator is coming to meet the lovely woman. (the hat's a bit too big and the hat's creator can fix that...on the spot at Starbucks!) So I play along, engage in more conversation and totally take part in the conversation with Chris, the hat's creator. I tried on the hat she wore to the meeting.

and I'm totally smitten. (for years, I've been buying hats, and wearing them, but none have seemed totally "me" so far...come on ... a baseball cap? :-) So we exchanged info and met this morning for a "hat fitting". I'd originally wanted a pale pink hat ... and ended up with dark brown. The fitting process was fun, and messy.

The finished product - so different from what I'd originally pictured, but seems so more like me. I love it!

creative inspirations.

...another Saturday at Impressive Ideas with paper, scissors and glue. Bonnie is such a good teacher - she's very good at what she does and very good at giving instructions that make sense, and when we're slow to catch on, or don't do what she tells us, she's so patient getting us back on track. Yesterday's creations - two scrap pages, a card and a baby brag book.

In between the scrap pages and the brag book, we had lunch at Metanoya in Plum Tree Village. I continue to be amazed at all the wonderful places I've yet to find even after living in Roswell 20+ years! This is a great place for lunch and I can't wait to visit with the girls.

As usual, there is plenty in Bonnie's store to inspire. Yesterday it was Karen Lockhart's delightful stamps. And all these designs are colored with pencils - yes, just pencils. Bonnie had three boards covered with Karen's designs and they're beautiful. Karen's website has tips&techniques about how to use the pencils and when I found out they're the same pencils I own, I bought some stamps to try out. The cupcakes and the knit one, purl one. Of course I don't have all the colors she uses - my collection is especially deficient in yellows, greens, reds and blues. Can't wait to try out coloring!

And while I was on Karen's site, I found this one. A scrapbooking/stamping store in Mt Dora. Which is very close, I think, to Leesburg. Maybe an excursion when we're in Leesburg in July? ...if memory serves, there might even be a good yarn store there, too? Yarn and scrapbooks - and antiques! - are things I simply can't pass by! closing, the mandevilla is getting closer!

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...that was the word Sara said best summed up the Playmaking for Girls Public Performance. Surprising content, surprising talent, surprising humor, surprising inspiration. We were very glad we went.

I found out about this program through the Hewitt Associates Foundation (I'm the Foundation's Atlanta coordinator) last year. You can read about what the program does here. The Public Performance is the eight best plays written during the past year at the various workshops. Nine of the performers are girls who've participated in the workshops; the other four are teachers. Two of the performers had written two of the plays selected for last night. And one of those called "Hair Drama" was my favorite - a very creative idea - a wig store - and the main dialog takes place between a very urban afro wig and the wet/wavy wig that sits next to her. Everyone loved it!

Afterwards we ate at the Flying Biscuit and had a wonderful meal - fried green tomatoes and sausage, eggs and grits for Sara and salad and shrimp and grits for me. And of course the yummy biscuits with a delicious cinnamon-y apple butter.

We're sitting at dinner - it's about 8:00 pm and Sara says "so...I wonder what we're going to do tonight - maybe watch another movie?" And of course I'm thinking "this is what we're doing tonight" :-) So I replied "It will be after 9:00 before we get home and unless we want to finish watching the end of Music and Lyrics, that will be it." We ended up looking at Sara's 100+ photos from camp.

my long-armed partner's back!

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

mandevilla and on tap for today.

My mandevilla vine is finally getting ready to bloom.

but it's been about a week getting the buds this big. wonder how much longer it will take to have real blooms!

On tap for me today:
*a good run (one of the only good things to come from our drought - I've been able to run in the park a lot)
*Anna Griffin at Impressive Ideas
*Out with Sara to see the Playmaking for Girls public performance and then dinner at the Flying Biscuit

On tap for Sara today: ...folding laundry...

welcome home!

...successful pickup yesterday. She had fun (she's promised to post, so I'll let her tell everyone about it).

Lots of laundry. I think those piles are just about everything that Sara owns. Whew - I just put the last load into the dryer!

Sadly - she came home with a cold. I think that's the first time in the 10 years she's been going to camp that she got sick. But a few doses of cold meds and she's already sounding better. And I have to think that a night in her own bed will help, too! Continuing a tradition we started last year, we stopped at Marlow's Tavern on the way home for a late lunch and more catching up. Then worked on the laundry, caught up the blog had dinner with Marc and fell asleep watching Music and Lyrics. ...almost like she'd never been gone!

From Thursday's mail - postcard of the Trevi Fountain from Katie and the last letter from Sara. There are also lots of cool pics of the fountain on Katie's flickr site.

1. carte postale 6 front, 2. carte postale 6 back, 3. CH letter 5
When I went to Katie's flickr site to grab the link, noticed that Paris is now up to 372 photos. Wow. They left Paris on Tuesday and went to Brussels. Two days of seeing the sites there and exams yesterday. Today they get to Oxford and I think classes start on Monday.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

hydrangeas and a pixie cut.

these gorgeous blossoms were grown by Carla, my wonderful hairdresser. I think she might love hydrangeas more than I do. yes, hard to imagine. but she does have many (many!) growing in her yard, and for all my love, I have none. Carla and I go w-a-y back. I think she gave Katie her first haircut and Katie has always had lots of hair. Maybe 20 years? She's a good friend and we have fun talking about all kinds of things - not only hydrangeas, but kids, sororities, cooking, beach trips, decor, diet, books, I guess everything!

So today was my usual once-every-four-weeks, booked-months-in-advance visit. A bit shorter than usual, more pixie, and just a bit more blond. The new do:

(and thanks to all that excitement, I got home too late to have good light to photo the cartes postales from today's mail - one from Katie and one from Sara - and the "Love what you do" journal posting...promise for tomorrow!)

drinks well with others.

...aka Hembree Farms Bookclub. Can this be our new name?

Thank you Terri for the wonderful evening - good food, good wine and a lovely setting - adore your patio, and the not-too-hot weather that made it delightful to be sitting outside.

I held off to post this, thinking that Del might've emailed the photos he took with a much more sophisticated camera and no aversion to flash (which I have). But I still think the photo relays the "mood" of the evening...yes, we have longer daylight, but it was certainly twilight by the time we took this. And we all have good faces in the photo. So decided to go for it.

Among many other things, we talked about Funny in Farsi. Donna's pick from last month. Interesting that some of our discussion mirrored Beautiful Dreamer (Patty's pick from March). Couldn't imagine two more different books, but the themes of being an outsider repeat themselves. Bottom line - a good, light read - thank you, Donna!

...and I'm thinking I don't want to start taking notes at our discussions - so here are just the key points I took away:

*the world is (becoming?) flat - too bad we didn't all learn 2nd languages when our 1st/2nd/3rd generation families provided a great opportunity. Having that additional language would really help these days.
*we are all different and that's a good thing - like a garden (so sorry, Shari, that I can't recall your specific words from that terrific story).
*hotdogs and spam and pickled pigs feet are gross - in any language or culture (the hotdog part might be just me, but I think the spam and pigs feet were pretty much unanimous).
*celery in white wine.

Terri has selected Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. Not yet on my sidebar as "reading" because I'm saving it for the beach.

As always, looking forward to our next meeting. Thoughtful discussion. Fun stories. Laughter. Life. (and wine)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

no post offices in italy.

...that's my conclusion, anyway. Today, 7 postcards - yes SEVEN - and 1 letter arrived from Katie, postmarked Zurich, but the postcards are from Florence, Rome and Venice. From my cartes postales set on flickr:

1. carte postale 3 front, 2. carte postale 3 back, 3.carte postale 4 front, 4. carte postale 4 back, 5. carte postale 5 front, 6. carte postale 6 back

and in case you're wondering, I've been good - only read the 3 postcards and 1 letter addressed to me! (but boy am I curious about what she's written to Marc and to Sara...and I can't find about Sara's cards til Friday!)

Mail from Sara has been a bit more regular (after all, North Carolina is in the same country as Georgia, and really, just a state away :-) and she's gotten into collages on her card fronts - can't tell you how much I love that! here's the card that arrived on Saturday (I need a butterfly punch :-)

needless to say, my plans for this evening got a bit sidetracked. Bookclub tomorrow night. and I actually find myself "running out of alone time". hummmm....

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Monday, June 18, 2007

keeping in touch. so much easier with all the technology we have, no? To celebrate Fathers Day, we planned (and executed :-) a 4-way call, and shared photos. And now I'm blogging about it. I guess we could've added on a You Tube video (but I don't know how to do that, and I'm pretty sure the others don't either!). So, here we are, enjoying a 50 minute call, catching up...

...summer camps - Paula's just home Thursday, Sara comes home Friday and Andrew goes the end of June (and Jillian's visit to camp grandparents ends next week)
...Jillian loves driving Grandpa's car - and the daily visits to pickup the mail have probably given her another 30 minutes of practice
...Sheffield vacation to Nashville in July (maybe)...must see the Country Music Hall of Fame Andrew Jackson's driveway really shaped like a guitar? (or is it his swimming pool?)
...where in the world is Katie? (Versailles on Sunday)
...guitar wars on PS2 "rocks" - and maybe the grandkids could start a band? (with the Rogovin girls as manager/bookkeeper?) - Karen's "is", Steve's is a LOT of work and Mary's is ...good for once
...crime is up the ATL - at least in terms of Internal Affairs backlog
...make other plans for the last weekend in June; the ATL will be busy hosting 30,000 (yes thousand!) "socially active" visitors. Yikes!

It was fun - maybe a new way to connect with our long-distance relationships!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

more photos.

...from Zurich and Paris.

1. IMG_5966, 2. IMG_5897, 3. IMG_5861, 4. IMG_5998, 5. IMG_5955, 6. IMG_5974, 7. IMG_5852, 8. IMG_5982, 9. IMG_6027, 10. IMG_5870, 11. IMG_5972, 12. IMG_5907, 13. IMG_5968, 14. IMG_6092, 15. IMG_5858, 16. IMG_6003, 17. IMG_6013, 18. IMG_5947, 19. IMG_5900, 20. IMG_6071

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happy fathers day.

always... inspire me with your courage and integrity.

...your laughter delights. are my Daddy.

...I love you.

Looking forward to a good phone call later today - the only "tradition" we keep since my mom and dad live too far away for a quick mothers or fathers day visit!


Friday, June 15, 2007

2 of us.

...together. homage to Sara (and Sara and me together).

so the page looks pretty good, but you can't read the journaling. It says:
how lucky am I? a 15 year old daughter who's not only beautiful...but she takes photos with me!? She is truly...Queen of the "long-armed" shot! LOVE it!

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taking a deep breath.

...yes...multiple, very deep breaths. I am spending my first Friday night alone in practically forever. I do have Chance. But it's been a very one-way conversation.

Me: "don't lick"
Me: "no"
Me: "NO"
Me: "no licking"
Me: "NO LICKING...please"

He listened.

No new cartes postales, no new letters, no new photos and I'm missing my girls like crazy! ...and can't call either one of them. Which is probably a good thing right now. Yes, this is good for me. I feel like I'm building me. I know self-sufficiency is a key trait. And maybe I'm a little surprised that I could think of crumbling just 70 minutes into the weekend. So ... deep breath.... [ETA - and this doesn't mean I don't miss Marc, too - I do!!! but he's close by and will be home tomorrow and I know he's having fun...about the girls I'm not so sure and really, maybe that's the part that matters most - if I knew they were having fun it would help...I think they are, but some reassurance would help]

I have these beautiful new blooms in the front yard. Prize to anyone who actually knows what they are. I loved the 5 minutes of activity it took to get a good shot of them. And how cool is it that I have 5 minutes to capture this kind of beauty?!

I tried to take a self portrait with the camera-mirror thing. Not so good at that! And I think I need a good one to kick off that "self discovery" scrap page... without a picture, it can only be a journal entry...
this is my new favorite outfit. pink silk skirt, cotton sweater with a very cool town design, lace cami underneath and cream patent-leather flats (which wouldn't show up even if the picture did turn out :-) Wore to work today because we had lunch with the new President of HR outsourcing at Hewitt (Jay Rising). Big deal. Old president left about a year ago and he never even visited our office. I sat next to Jay at lunch - glad I thought to wear my "I think I look good today" outfit!

Anyway, about the self-portrait...kind of disappointing...because after I finish the "2 of us" layout (long-armed shots of me and Sara since March) I have NO more pictures to scrap - which is maybe why I'm putting off finishing it - I did the layout last weekend. Figured it all out and typed the journaling. I do need to figure out paper and embellishments, but that's usually the quick part for me. The hard part is the photos and how they fit onto the page with the journaling.

I do take a lot of pictures, but right now, none of them are inspiring me to create a scrap page. Maybe I need to spend some time with the photo album....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

thank goodness I have Chance. talk to! I am officially "home alone" for two nights while Marc's on a golf outing. Marc asks if we'd get another dog after Chance. And I think "duh...yeah" so I'm not talking to myself all the time :-) It's a weird feeling, this "alone-ness". When both girls went to camp, I usually end up with one weeknight while Marc traveled. But I worked more then, so missed out some on the alone time. And I can't remember a Friday night alone... maybe ever! I've booked a manicure for Saturday morning, but that's it for my plans. At least plans to be with other people.

I have BIG plans for getting crafty! Kicked off in grand style last night with the second meeting of our "new stamp club".

in the front, Kelli, Lydia and Joey (with advice from Sharon) working on the Father's Day card - a new technique called "faux metal". Lots of embossing powder, a little bit of versa mark and wow, very cool! In the back, Lisa, Karen and Gratia working on the vellum, watercolor, coordinated circle punch card.

Anne and Sally on the "easy card" - no new techniques, but we had to pay close attention to the assembly with ribbon and hardware and the happy stamp was pretty easy to get upside down!

the finished products: lovely note/post-it holder hostess gift (thank you, Sharon!), the "easy" happy birthday card, Father's Day and the vellum watercolor coordinated circle punch - whew!

So now I have the very fun task of figuring out my order. Definitely this, this and this. But not so sure about this and this. (See, I found this how-to, and I think it looks very cool - not exactly the same, but maybe one with an "m" and different tabs? see... aren't you feeling crafty, too?)

And Sharon delivered my order from Karen's party - so I'm looking at this for inspiration on my work table:

...maybe something like "self discovery"?