Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Under the Stars - Week 4


Hello, hello, dear hearts! Thank you so much for returning for Week 4 of my picks for TCM's Summer Under the Stars Month. I cannot believe August is coming to an end already! This last post will have nine days of film picks to close out the month. I was not exactly the model of discipline for a couple of the days this time around. Nobody's perfect, right? *wink*

Here are my picks for August 23 - 31



SATURDAY, AUGUST 23 | ERNEST BORGNINE

5pm PST - MARTY (1955)



I think one of the reasons I love this film so much is because we get to see Borgnine in a different role. Not the bad guy, not a jerk, like he plays in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY and BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (both excellent films, by the way). He's just a guy, living his life. The interaction between Marty and his mother is probably one of my favorite aspects of this film. Borgnine won a well-deserved Oscar for this role. Director Mann does a brilliant job and was rewarded with an Oscar as well.

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 24 | GLADYS GEORGE

5pm PST - THE MALTESE FALCON (1944)



This is not Gladys George's biggest part in a film, but boy oh boy does she pack a punch. She's mysterious. She leaves you wondering just what she's guilty of, if anything. She's perfect and intriguing. It can't be easy as an actor to take a small role and add so many layers to it, but Gladys does just that in this film. Is there anybody out there who hasn't seen THE MALTESE FALCON? If so, please be sure to watch it. I've seen it too many times to count. Stellar all the way around.

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MONDAY, AUGUST 25 | DICK POWELL

6:15pm PST - MURDER, MY SWEET (1944)


Ok. I may have a bit of a crush on Dick Powell. Noir Dick Powell, that is, and Dramatic Dick Powell. So you see, I could not contain myself to add a teensy bit more than one film for this day. If you only watch one, make it MURDER, MY SWEET. It was Powell's break-out film, away from his musical, light-hearted roles. He's sublime as Philip Marlowe. Sublime, I say! Adapted from Raymond Chandler's (one of my favorite authors!) book FAREWELL MY LOVELY and gorgeously directed by Edward Dmytryk. This film is jam-packed with fantastic actors, including sizzling Claire Trevor and sexy, sweet Anne Shirley (once married to John Payne who I always felt would have made an exceptional Philip Marlowe).

9:30am PST - STATION WEST (1948)
4:15pm PST - THE PITFALL (1948)
5pm PST - CHRISTMAS IN JULY (1940)
12:45pm PST - THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952)

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 26 | SOPHIA LOREN

11pm PST - YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW (1963)


I've only seen this film once, and it was years ago. I recall that I truly enjoyed it, but to be honest, I don't remember much about it other than Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni were absolutely superb. This film is three different stories with Sophia and Marcello as the main characters in each of the tales. I hope you will watch this one! I'm looking forward to becoming reacquainted with this one.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27 | EDMUND O'BRIEN

10:30pm PST - THE BIGAMIST (1953)


I love Ida Lupino. Love! So this film is a double delight because not only is Ida starring in it, she is also the director. What a woman! Le sigh. The acting is remarkable. Edmund O'Brien manages to make us feel sympathy and compassion for his character, a bigamist. Now that's saying something! Joan Fontaine has a smaller role, but she is true to form, delivering an exquisite performance as well. This is the only film in which Ida directed herself although she did direct many films as well as TV shows.

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 28 | ARLENE DAHL

6:15am PST - NO QUESTIONS ASKED


Here's a film that I've not seen so I just don't have an opinion about it. It's a crime drama about a lawyer who makes some bad choices (gasp!). Also starring Barry Sullivan and George Murphy. Directed by Harold F. Kress who won an Academy Award for editing for HOW THE WEST WAS WON (1962) and THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974).

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 | JOSEPH COTTEN

9:15pm PST - THE THIRD MAN


Oh, this film...it's on my Top Five Favorite Films List. If you've not seen it, please do watch it. It's just such a gem. I could go on and on, but I won't. Joseph Cotten plays such an endearing character. I have a soft spot for him as Holly, the lovesick, self-depreciating, compassionate pulp writer. The scenes he shares with beautiful Alida Valli are positively vibrating with his feelings for her. Written by another of my personal favorites, Graham Greene and directed by yet another personal favorite, Carol Reed. A must-see if ever there was one! And don't get me started on the music...or the dutch angles...

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 30 |  BETTY GRABLE

8:45pm PST - I WAKE UP SCREAMING


This is another new-to-me film. I chose it for a couple of reasons besides the fact that I've never seen it: I love classic crime drama films and Victor Mature is part of the cast. This is a remake of VICKI which I have seen and enjoyed. I'm looking forward to comparing the two films. Directed by Bruce Humberstone who also directed SUN VALLEY SERENADE and several of the CHARLIE CHAN movies.
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SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 | ALAN LADD

9:45am PST - THE GLASS KEY (1942)



This film is a must-see, dear hearts! Adapted from the novel by Dashiell Hammett (said to be Hammett's favorite of all his work) and the inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's YOJIMBO (another must-see!). The chemistry between Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake is the stuff of legends in this, their second film together. Also starring the underrated (in my opinion) Brian Donlevy and directed by Stuart Heisler. Super snappy dialogue and fast-paced, I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.

I've sort of fallen off the One Film A Day Wagon already for this post so I'd like to recommend SHANE and if you love Ladd and Lake together, THE BLUE DAHLIA.

5pm PST - SHANE (1953)
12am PST - THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946)

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I can't believe it's already the last of my Summer Under the Stars Month post! Where did the time go? I had such a grand time with this little series. I hope you were able to catch some of the films I recommended. If not on TCM, then perhaps elsewhere. Thank you so much for checking in, and I hope you found some valuable information and some new favorite films through these posts.

Thank you for being you.

Until next time...

xo





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Under the Stars - Week 3


Hello, dear hearts!

I'm so happy you've come back for Week 3 of my picks for TCM's Summer Under the Stars! This week is an unusual mix because three of the films I chose are films I've never seen. I love when I find films on TCM that are new to me! I really did stick to my one film a day plan (unlike last week) this time. It was tough, I tell ya!
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Here are my picks for the week of August 16 - 22:



SATURDAY, AUGUST 16 | HERBERT FALCON MARSHALL

7:15pm PST - MURDER! (1930)



I had a difficult time choosing between MURDER! and THE LETTER for today's pick. I chose MURDER! because it's a very early Hitchcock film, and I've never seen it. I want to see Herbert Falcon Marshall in this role. In truth, I prefer him in his earlier films. I can't wait to see Falcon directed by Alfie!

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 17 | JOHN HODIAK

7pm PST - A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)



John Hodiak is an actor that I'm not very familiar with. I've seen LIFEBOAT, which he was very good in and a few others. I've not seen A BELL FOR ADANO, and I chose this as my pick for that reason. It's a WW1 film centered on a small Italian village. Directed by Henry King and also starring the mesmerizing Gene Tierney and underrated (imo) William Bendix.  I am so looking forward to this one.

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MONDAY, AUGUST 18 | CLAUDETTE COLBERT

7pm PST - SKYLARK (1941)



This is the third day of my picks this week and the third new-to-me film. I'm so excited to see this one too! The only down side to choosing new-to-me films is I don't have much to offer as far as an opinion. SKYLARK is described as a sophisticated romance. How can it lose with Claudette Colbert in the line-up? She is impeccable. The leading men are Ray Milland and Brian Aherne. And the incomparable Edith Head in charge of costume design. Heaven!


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TUESDAY, AUGUST 19 | PAUL NEWMAN

7pm PST - BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID



There are many things I love about this film. The direction by George Roy Hill is fantastic, unique and beautiful. I get giddy when I see his use of sepia tones. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we are gazing at Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katherine Ross for 110 minutes. AND it's a western, which I have a definite soft spot for. Good westerns, especially those that add a modern touch, are my favorite type. This is an excellent example. I believe that most of us know the fate of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid which is why I think the ending was done masterfully.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20 | THELMA RITTER

5pm PST - THE MATING SEASON (1951)



Oh Thelma! How I adore you. I sort of wish Thelma Ritter could have been in every movie. She brings me such joy. This film, THE MATING SEASON, is a true gem that does not get enough praise. It's a complete delight to watch. Please don't miss this romantic comedy. The cast is very impressive with Gene Tierney, John Lund and Miriam Hopkins, and the director, Mitchell Liesen (whose has directed many special films such as REMEMBER THE NIGHT and HOLD BACK THE DAWN), gives us a gift with this film.

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 | LEE TRACY

5pm PST - BOMBSHELL (1933)



This film...love love love. Jean Harlow at her best. I dare you to take your eyes off her for one second. She will hypnotize you. Lee Tracy is very sexy, snappy and just plain wonderful. The chemistry is definitely evident between Harlow and Tracy. A gorgeous film, photographed by Harold Rosson with stellar writing by Norman Krasna (who also wrote BACHELOR MOTHER and MR. & MRS. SMITH, to name just two). Directed by manly Victor Fleming. Jean's delicious gowns by Adrian. This is another must-see!

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 | AUDREY HEPBURN

5pm PST - ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)



This tender film is Hepburn's first starring role. I can hardly express how much I love her performance. She is so sincere, it will maybe break your heart just a wee bit. It did mine. Gregory Peck is so handsome and really, sublime. As if that's not enough, this film is set in Rome. There is so much to look at between the actors and the setting. I feel this is a very special film for many reasons. Written by blacklisted Dalton Trumbo who did not get credit for nearly 40 years. I urge you, dear friends, to read more about Dalton Trumbo here. Directed by William Wyler.

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There you have it, darling dears, Week 3! If you get a chance to see any (or hopefully, all) of these films, I hope you'll let me know your thoughts about them. I'm having such a grand time picking them out. Three of these films I will be seeing for the first time which is an added bonus. Anticipation...

I will post my picks for August 23 - 31 next week.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thank you for being you.
Until next time...

xo





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Under the Stars - Week 2


Hello, dear hearts.

Welcome back! I have for you my picks for week 2 of  TCM's Summer Under the Stars.  Again, it was painful to choose just one film per day, but I managed to do just that (with just one teensy weensy slip-up). And what a week of films!

Here are my picks for August 9 – 15:



SATURDAY, AUGUST 9 | WILLIAM POWELL

5pm PST - THE THIN MAN (1934)


This film is in my Top Five Favorite Films List. It's a must-see. Sophisticated wit, snappy dialogue, oh, and a murder mystery! So many excellent characters flit across the screen and Loy and Powell are sublime.

"I don't like crooks. And if I did like 'em, I wouldn't like crooks that are stool pigeons. And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't like you!"

Psst. I realize I'm breaking my own One Film A Day Rule, but these are wonderful films on the schedule today:

7am PST - DOUBLE HARNESS (1933)
1:30pm PST - I LOVE YOU AGAIN (1940)

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 10 | CAROLE LOMBARD

3pm PST - MR. AND MRS. SMITH (1941)


This sexy comedy is directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I believe it's not a film that is well-known. I adore this one! Gorgeous to look at and (of course) beautifully directed. Fun from start to finish. Lombard and Montgomery were made for each other. I wish they would have done more films together. And by the way, Gene Raymond is nothing to sneeze at either (You'll get the reference once you watch the film. I hope.*wink*).


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MONDAY, AUGUST 11 | MARLON BRANDO

8:45pm PST - ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)



Where do I begin? The acting (by every actor in this film) is absolutely impeccable.  What was Kazan's secret? He could bring out the gritty, intense, grindingly realistic performances in his actors like no other. Keep an eye out for the heart-wrenching scene between Steiger and Brando in the back of the taxi. And the steamy, passionate apartment scene between Eva Marie Saint and Brando.,

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 | ALEXIS SMITH

12:30 am (August 13) PST - THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959)




I've only seen this film once before. That was quite some time ago so I don't feel I can give you much insight. I definitely want to watch it again. What I remember most about this film was Alexis Smith's heartfelt role as a frustrated wife.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13 | CARY GRANT

9:45am PST - THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)


Good grief. Too much to write about! Watch this film again and again. You'll catch something new every time. It's sparkling and brilliant. And remember these sage (but true) words from a drunken Macaulay Connor:

"Champagne is a great leveleler... leveleler. It makes you my equal."

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 | CHARLES CHAPLIN

9:30pm PST - CITY LIGHTS (1931)


I have a confession to make. I've never watched this film (runs and hides). I haven't seen it, but I have it on good authority that it's a masterpiece. I've avoided it because I've heard it's a tearjerker and let's face it, I'm a wimp. I am going to square my shoulders and watch it this time around. Who's with me?

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 15 | FAYE DUNAWAY

9pm PST - CHINATOWN (1974)


I love love (yes, I double love it) this film! A film noir in color. A modern film (neo-noir) set in the early 1900's Los Angeles. Directed by Roman Polanski, written by Robert Towne. It's a mesmerizing film. The acting is immaculate. Dunaway is a master. The costumes are heavenly. If you're as big a fan of noir as I am, I believe you will fall head over heels in love with this one.

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Week 2 complete! If you have a chance to watch these films, I hope you enjoy them as much as I will. Let me know your thoughts on any or all of them, if you wish.  I always love hearing from you, and I could talk movies till the cows come home!
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I will be back next week with my picks for August 16 - 22 next week.

Thank you for being you.
Until next time...
xo




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Perfect Summer Cocktail


Ever since I tasted my first Aperol Spritz, sitting at an outdoor cafe on the banks of the Tiber (our trip to Rome, summer of 2012), it has been my favorite summer cocktail.  So light and refreshing, festive and pretty.

I thought I'd share the recipe I use when making them here at home. Give it a try and discover the taste of summer, dear hearts.



Aperol Spritz

3 parts prosecco
2 parts Aperol (I get mine at BevMo)
1 part club soda
Orange slice, optional 

Pour over ice and if you want to get fancy, top with an orange slice.

To be Rome-authentic, serve in large bowl-style wine glass.

Cin-cin! 




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Under the Stars - Week 1




Hello, dear hearts!

If you happen to be a TCM (Turner Classic Movies) fan, then I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s that time of year again. My favorite month on TCM is August, Summer Under the Stars Month. Each day they feature one actor’s work. This year they have a great line-up.

I thought I would offer my picks to you, one film each day to watch or record for later. It was extremely difficult at times to choose just one film a day, but I stiffened my backbone! I won’t always pick the best film, but I am choosing the film that I would watch if I could only watch one per day. For each film I choose, I’ll write a little snippet about it. I thought the best way to tackle this ambitious project was to break it down into one week increments. So, without further adieu…

Here are my picks for August 1 – 8:



FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 | JANE FONDA

6:45am PST - WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (1962)


I have been waiting for this one to be shown on TCM again! It's such a special little gem and not well known. The cast is stellar, as is the directing by Edward Dmytryk. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just impress upon you to be sure to catch this one, you won't be sorry.

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 2 | DAVID NIVEN

7am PST - THE WAY AHEAD (1944)

I will be tuning in to watch this David Niven film for the first time.  This British war film was the first film for Trevor Howard.  I really chose this one because it's directed by Carol Reed. I adore Carol Reed!

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 | WALTER PIDGEON

5pm PST – HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)


A perfect John Ford film. Be sure to have your kleenex handy, darlings. It's a tearjerker, for sure.
Maureen O'Hara can bring tears to my eyes like nobody's business. She's so tender-hearted in this film. Walter Pidgeon is understated and extraordinary in his role. I believe you will understand immediately why this film won the Academy Award.
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MONDAY, AUGUST 4 | JUDY GARLAND

7am PST - MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)

Once again, I was torn when choosing just one film to recommend. Finally, I decided to go with the one I watch over and over. This is a personal favorite of mine. It's a delight to watch this film. And the music! The Boy Next Door is my favorite song in the film. Vincente Minnelli's camera follows Judy around like a lovesick puppy and with good reason, she was never more beautiful. The entire film is gorgeous.

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 5 | BARBARA STANWYCK

5pm PST – BALL OF FIRE (1942)


All you could ever want in a comedy! So fun to watch. Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper are wonderful together, they certainly have chemistry! Also, the other professors are like a who's who of fantastic character actors. A complete joy from start to finish. Not to mention, Barbara's costumes are designed by the one and only Edith Head.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6 | PAUL MUNI

6am PST – BORDERTOWN (1935)

This is a new-to-me Paul Muni film. I don't have a wide knowledge of Paul Muni films. To be honest, I chose this one because Bette Davis is in it. Also, the description of the film mentions it was used later as a basis for THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940), which I am a big fan of.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the two films compare.

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 7 | JAMES STEWART

10am PST – COME LIVE WITH ME (1941)


This is not the most popular or even the best film offered for James Stewart Day, but I love it. It's not a well-known film, but I feel it's well worth seeing. A sweet and charming film with the added bonus of Hedy Lamarr. Hot tamales!

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 | JEANNE MOREAU

11pm PST – THE LOVERS (1958)


I've not seen this film. I have to say I have a soft spot for French films. They can be unpredictable, sad (even though I do love a happy ending), realistic, quirky, beautiful to look at, among many other wonderful qualities. I'm looking forward to this one. I hope you'll let me know if you watch it and what you thought of it.  Jeanne is in the top few of my favorite french actors. The camera loves her.

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Phew! Week 1 complete! I truly hope you will let me know your thoughts on these films. If you watch them, I would love to hear your feedback. More importantly, I hope you have a chance to enjoy these films and perhaps find that you have a new favorite among them.

I will post my picks for August 9 - 15th next week.

Thank you for being you.
Until next time...

xo



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mama D's Super Simple Bread Pudding



Hello, darling dears! I thought I'd bring my sleepy blog back to life with this easy recipe. It is the ultimate in comfort food. It's a versatile recipe too. My family loves it. I hope  yours will too!



Mama D's Super Simple Bread Pudding


8 slices of day old bread*
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup raisins**
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract***

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cut or tear bread into (roughly) one inch cubes. Put bread into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over bread. Sprinkle with raisins**.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar cinnamon and vanilla.  Hand mix until well blended. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is somewhat covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

*You can use what ever bread you have on hand. For this batch, I used whole wheat bread.
**Dried currants, cranberries, blueberries, or diced apple work wonderfully as well.
***I have also used 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon maple extract and it's lovely.

This dish is delicious by itself, but you could certainly serve this pudding many different ways.
Here are a few topping and accompaniment suggestions:

Ice cream and/or whipped cream.
Whiskey, caramel or vanilla sauce.
Warmed maple syrup.
Honey.



Let me know if you try it out, dear hearts.

Thank you for visiting and...
thank you for being you.

xo


 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Busy hands and a Family Affair.


  The beginnings (in part) of my collaboration with Brock Street.


 Made for my dear sweet brother, Levi, as a special request.


More of the stones that are now en route to Levi.


I've been very busy lately (and so have my little hands). My incredibly talented brother, Levi, over at Brock Street SF suggested a collaboration between the two of us. Of course, I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity! I put together quite a bundle of handmade pieces and shipped them to him on Tuesday. He should receive them today. So excited!

I will share more with you as soon as I'm allowed to...*wink*

Thank you for being you.
Much love...xo







Friday, January 24, 2014

Fringe Friday










Four new pieces in the shop this week. I really do love every one of them. I can't help it. I do admit that I've had sweethearts and valentines and love on my mind. These thoughts are definitely influencing my creativity...Love is in the air!

And Phew! What a week. So so busy. I'm plum tuckered out.

I will write more soon. As soon as I get a spare moment. It seems that every minute of this weekend is filled with commitments. I prefer slower moving weekends, and this weekend will be anything but slow moving. Wish me luck, dear hearts. I have a feeling I'll blink my eyes, and it will be Monday.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend. A weekend that is filled with just what you want it to be.

Thank you for stopping by.
Thank you for being you.
Much love...xoxo





Friday, January 17, 2014

Fringe Friday

This week's Fringe shop update is live, dear hearts. 
There are 8 new items. 
You can check them out here.


The following pieces are among the new.


cherry red
black velvet lacing
 like a warm hug
bringing sexy back



dark chocolate brown
dove grey knit bow
one of a kind
roaring 20s




black ink
velvety soft
sexy snugglebunny
faux fur




shades of brown
goldenrod as romance
crocheted lace trim
rustic chic


~

I hope your week was filled with small (or big!) triumphs.
My wish for you this weekend...
warmth
love
kisses
good food
wonderful reading
time outdoors
sleep
poetry
meaningful words
happy moments
passion
desire
laughter
sharing
lively conversation
birdsong
rousing music
inspiration
ideas
sunshine
 


Thank you for stopping by!
Thank you for being you.
Much love...xo