Sep 22, 2007

We are actually having some weather!


FORGIVE ME FOR A LITTLE EXCITEMENT HERE, but we are actually experiencing WEATHER here in Southern California! You know the tune and you're probably singing or humming it right now...

Seems it never rains in southern California

Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

Well, it's raining, it's pouring and no one is snoring because my husband's retreating in the mountains right now. We've been experiencing drought conditions here, so this rain is welcome. I'm even a bit more gleeful because this marks the first official rainy night at my new abode! I was afraid that this storm system had eluded us, but indeed it has dropped in for a visit; the length to be determined.

The DESIGN MOM blog is doing another random Giveaway! This time, she is giving away a Land's End Backpack (which retails for $39.50) and a $100.00 Land's End Gift Card! All you have to do is go to THIS link and post a comment. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Tuesday morning.

Sep 21, 2007

And the winner is...

The winner of the local Gift Card Giveaway is...
D E B B Y !
From Whittier, California

Tempting treats await the winner
Of the "Loaves and Goodies" Gift Card;
Sorry, Debby, you won't get thinner,
But it beats a meal of Swiss chard!

For those of you in the surrounding communities, 
I hope you'll drop by for a bite.

Laura's Loaves and Goodies Inc.
505 W. Whittier Blvd.
La Habra, CA.
(Located on the North side of Whittier Blvd. just West of Walnut)
(562) 697-6117
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Sep 20, 2007

Magazine Week

Photograph from Romantic Homes magazine

Did you know that it's Magazine Week in the UK? When it seems like everything has it's own special week, I must say that magazines are something I can rally behind! Over the years, I have seen many of my favorites come and go. Although we see Victoria resurfacing; other publishers have discontinued periodicals due to low readership, or they have unsuccessfully tried to modernize old themes. I know all things have their seasons. Nevertheless, it's a huge disappointment when one has become attached to a tangible source of inspiration.

As much as I enjoy the cyber world, it can never replace the tactile privileges we enjoy when holding, perusing, absorbing, and clipping the pages of a gorgeously written and photographed magazine. While dreaming over a magazine, we are not dependent upon a computer, an ISP, or the idiosyncrasies of page loads. A computer will never grace a coffee table the way a magazine can.

Even one's home can add luminance to the pages by the way daylight filters through window treatments and panes, or by the way lamplight casts it's glow. The pleasure of reading a magazine is enhanced by the scent of candles, a steamy cup of coffee or tea, and even the perfect selection of music sounding like it was scored for just that moment. I'm sorry, but a computer screen cannot compete with the real experience.

The "Magazine Week 2007" website wrote:

"In the UK, we are officially a nation of magaholics, with over 2,000 magazines sold every minute of every day in the UK and a whopping 500 new titles launched every year. We started Magazine Week because we wanted everyone to know just how big and diverse the UK magazine industry is, with a magazine for every available lifestyle, hobby or interest."

I thought it would be fun to elaborate on our own passions or dislikes concerning magazines. What thrills your soul? Have you been disappointed? Why not take a moment to share your thoughts with a quick post...

Last Day to Post for Local Giveaway

For all visitors and bloggers in the areas surrounding La Habra, California, today is the last day to post for the Laura's Loaves & Goodies $10.00 Gift Card. Click here to go directly to the link. Then click on "Post a Comment," at the bottom of the web page. All of the details can be found at that post.


Never lose an opportunity
of seeing anything that is beautiful,
for beauty is God's handwriting–
a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face,
in every fair sky,
in every flower,
and thank God for it is a cup of blessing.
- Unknown

Sep 19, 2007

Pumpkin and Roses Centerpiece

When teaching workshops, one of my favorite themes is Tablescapes. I cover all aspects of creating the perfect ambiance for a beautifully prepared meal. The use of natural elements is certainly top on my list. Autumn graciously supplies a multitude of building materials.

This photo, again, exhibits how a neutral background gives this centerpiece center stage.

Sep 18, 2007

Fresh Pumpkin Centerpiece

Photography by Matthew Benson - Country Living Magazine

The delight of this tablescape lies in its neutral backdrop and a random lack of symmetry. It gives one the impression that these gorgeous blooms just might have grown this way...

Sep 17, 2007

A Life Showing Peeking Through (Pentimento)

Noun 1. pentimento - the reappearance in a painting of an underlying image that had been painted over (usually when the later painting becomes transparent with age) [Italian, correction, pentimento, from pentire, to repent, from Latin paenitere.]

My first memory of the word “pentimento” was during the opening scenes of the 1977 movie “Julia,” starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. The film introduced this provocative word in the beginning and then used it to thread the storyline.

My first inclination is to think of peeling paint rather than buried images peeking through. I’ve seen what peeling paint exposes in a home with years of paint and wallpapering. Stories unfold.

What intrigues me is the word’s application to life. Uncovering a few layers of life is akin to spiritual exfoliation. However, pentimento deals more with something that was seemingly buried, only to press through the overlying pigments.

As defined, pentimento is connected with the transparency of age. When I was young, I recall eating across the table from my Great Great Aunt Mary. Her skin had become so thin and transparent that I would periodically gaze at her throat to see if I could watch her meal being swallowed. Although impossible, the transparency gave me greater awareness.

I believe God enjoys thinning the veneers in our lives. Perhaps we will revisit a thing that we missed the beauty of because we hastily painted over it. Maybe an issue that has been deliberately hidden is scheduled for some liberation. Or what if our next inspiration has been with us all along: we just need to see it.

Sep 16, 2007

Cats in the Window Pumpkin - Uploaded on October 17, 2006 by artbeco

This design was carved into a realistic Styrofoam pumpkin (found in craft stores) using an exacto knife. The possibilities are endless. This particular artist has created many different themes, a few of which can be viewed by clicking the above link. The beauty of Styrofoam is that the labor intensive carving is preserved for future enjoyment. I would use the battery operated flicker lights to prevent meltdown.

Today's Bouquets:
  • My friend, Torri Deming, treated me to breakfast yesterday at Crepes & Grapes in Uptown Whittier, California. That in itself was a glorious bouquet! The sweet and savory crepes were pleasing to the palette, and the fellowship of a faithful friend was even better! Our breakfast segued well into mid-afternoon. It was surprising how unaware of time we were.
  • While at Crepes & Grapes, I noticed a cheery, round faced man with twinkling eyes, a white beard and mustache, and long white locks pulled into a ponytail. He was seated with his wife and friends next to a picture window. Towards the end of his meal, he slipped into the restroom directly behind our table. Boy, was I prepared for him when he came out. "This is for you," I told him as I handed him a quickly scribbled note. Without flinching, he looked down at the note which read: Karen Miller, bicycle. He looked at me and asked, "How old is this person." I replied matter-of-factly, "It's me." He asked me if I had a preference and I told him, "Pink with high handle bars so that I don't have to bend forward." "Alright," he finished and I caught one last twinkle in his eyes. He walked back to his table and returned with an adorable business card that boldly displayed a mirthful color photo of him in full Santa Claus garb. Torri returned from the powder room towards the end of my conversation with Santa. She laughed and of course wanted her own photo. I now have a head start on Christmas!