The Circle ~ Pine and Promise

I would like to begin this post by thanking my dear friend, Roxana, for inviting me to join this special and meaningful Circle. Roxana, you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. I have so enjoyed reading all of the contributions to this unique circle. Each one had a message that touched me. Thank you all. You’ve added extra joy to my holiday celebration.

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
~John Muir

The scent that defines my beliefs and brings most meaning to my holiday season is pine. To me, it stands alone as the single most significant element.

Nature is such an important part of my life, and my family’s life. It inspires all aspects of who I am. During the holidays, this inspiration takes the form of a pine tree and its scent. It symbolizes hope, growth, new beginnings, and perhaps most importantly, promise. Promise of a bright future, exciting and perhaps not yet known miracles to come, the possibilities that each and every one of us have to make our dreams come true.

Yes, I’m an optimist and yes, I’m a bit sentimental and sappy. But after all, what is there without hope and promise? I feel that life is about making our dreams a reality and finding our special niche, our unique talent. Taking that talent to the absolute peak of our ability, creating challenges for ourselves to become the best we can be. That’s the secret of happiness. Love yourself and that love will encircle everyone around you. What better time to renew our hopes and dreams than while sitting in front of our Christmas tree with all the promise infused in our senses?

“Why are there trees I never walk under
But large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892

For a native southern Californian, there is no snow for the holidays. All the holiday traditions surrounding snow and signifiying the start of the holidays don't exist here. The pine tree and its scent is the tradition of Christmas for us. It's enough to give us all of our holiday spirit. It triggers the meaning of Christmas for my family.

That is what a simple miracle in nature, the pine tree, means to me. It’s sturdy, and can grow in the most impossible places; between magnificent boulders, out of the side of a sheer granite mountain. Yet they do grow and flourish.

“Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend,
Unnerves his strength, invites his end.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The scent of pine has a magical effect on me. The holiday season doesn’t begin in my heart until we bring in that beautiful pine tree. The fragrance envelopes the house and fills me with every Christmas of my life. The lights are strung and the warmth and glow brings joy. We unwrap each ornament lovingly, like an old friend, and as we hang them, our tree whispers it’s memories, one by one as each ornament is hung. They’re like little memories on display intermingled with the scent of pine, reminding me of loved ones lost, new lives beginning, bittersweet thoughts of days I can’t bring back, but most of all they remind me of my life as a whole.

Our decorated Christmas tree is a story of my life. A story with a new chapter every year, a story of my loves, a story of how fortunate I am, and a story of the promise of tomorrow.

“It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees.”
~Wilson Flagg

No matter the size of the tree or the decorations. Your particular tree is a miracle of nature. The sight and scent of it will fill you with the spirit of joy, love and peace.

"I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
~Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas

In closing, I would like to wish each and every one of you a season of joy and happiness. May your New Year be filled with love, laughter, good health and prosperity. Keep the promise of growth and hope close to your heart…

Much love,

New Favorite Quote...

So, I was watching "Out of the Past" this morning for what was probably the tenth time. By the way, if you haven't seen it, it's a must-see. In my opinion, it's in the top 5 all-time best of film noir...

As I was saying, I was watching this movie (procrastinating about all the things I should be doing) when a line in the movie came up that I had never caught before. I couldn't believe I'd missed it all the previous times, and it is such a fabulous line. Of course, the film is filled to the brim with excellent one-liners, but this particular line is my new favorite quote:

"A dame with a gun is like a guy with a knitting needle." So awesome.

Thanks for checking in, pals of mine. Hope you're enjoying your holiday season...xo

Brock Street...

I'd like you to meet my brother, the apple of my eye. Isn't he beautiful? Let me tell you, he's as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. And so very talented, in so many ways. Am I prejudice? Perhaps. Am I exaggerating? Not in the least. You'll see what I mean if you visit his amazing blog, Brock Street. He'll get you jonesing like no other.

Above are some examples of his decorating style, and his home. He is such an inspiring man. He'll make you want to go through each and every room of your house and make it perfect. His taste is impeccable and he loves thrifting and digging out treasures just as much as I do. He's the best person I've ever gone treasure hunting with. He finds beauty in just about everything, and never misses an extra special hidden item.

And let me tell you, no one knows fashion like my brother. He could whip anyone into fashion perfection in no time flat.

Truly. The best brother. Ever.

Thank you for stopping by, darlings...xo

Top Tweet of the Day...

A Financially Unstable Mess, But At The Liquor Store They Call Me Ma'am. Print by Mincing Mockingbird.

Top tweet of the day by mmockingbird (aka Mincing Mockingbird), via Twitter... I actually have a tie for best, both by Mincing Mockingbird.

"I have difficulty displaying naked courage. I get scared thinking that there is a day when McRib will not be available."


"Snow-capped mountains behind palm trees? I don't pay to live in a super expensive city to have clashing exterior decor!"

Hilarious, as are most of mmockingbird's tweets. Not only is he an artist with command over all beasts of the air, he has command of twitter as well.

Thanks for checking in, friends! xo

I'm All Aflutter...

Robert Downey, Jr. + Sherlock Holmes = One very happy girl.

Opening on Christmas Day...I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by, friends...xo

The Uniform Project (and me)...

I'm so honored to have my Wallflower Brooch on The Uniform Project. Sheena is wearing it as a very chic hat and it makes me all kinds of happy. Doesn't she look amazing and beautiful?

Exciting news! For the entire month of December, any donations you make to The Uniform Project will be doubled! All that's wanted for the holidays is 175 kids in school.

Check out some of my other blog posts about The Uniform Project, and thank you so much for taking time out of your day to visit...xo

New Additions to Fringe '09 Fall/Winter...

The Scarlett Piffl Brooch in bubblegum pink.

The Out-of-Print Cowl in taupe and cream.

The El Grande Cowl in solid cream.

This being the busiest time of year for Fringe, I seem to have less time for the build-up of designs in my mind and on paper, the pile of half-way finished items silently pleading for me to make them whole, and the new inspirations whispering in my ears, threatening to escape me before I can write them down. I need a clone or two, as well as at least 12 solid hours a day, 7 days a week to make all of my Fringe dreams come to fruition. In the meantime, here are three new pieces from my Fall/Winter Collection to check out...

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wondrous, love-filled holiday...

Thank you for stopping in, darling dears...xo

As Seen on The Uniform Project...

As you probably already know, I’m a huge fan of The Uniform Project. I’ve written several posts about it. I was so moved by the idea behind this project, that I sent several Fringe items to them as donations, including this El Grande Cowl and a flower brooch. I’m so honored and truly thrilled to share with you Day 179, a.k.a. Lil' Red Riding Prude and Day 203, a.k.a. Cowl Play…Yay!

Sheena has raised over $30,000 for her very worthy cause. I can feel the love, can't you?

Thank you so much for stopping by, dear ones...xo

Fringe Fall/Winter '09 Continued...

Mrs. Soffel Capelet.

El Grande Cowl.

Indecision Capelet.

Double Down Cowl.

Bobby McGee Lariat.

Espresso Scarf.

Hello lovelies. Here are a few of the recent additions to my Fall/Winter '09 Collection. As you can see, these all are quite neutral. Soon there will be several new items in bright, saturated colors.

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful week....Thank you for stopping by....xo

Poetry in Song ~ A Series...

I realize I am stating the obvious, but it just occurred to me (again) that songs are like poems...with music. There are so many beautiful, sad, romantic, inspiring, funny, sexy, edgy, confusing-but-makes-you-think songs. Sometimes when you pair it up with a stunning visual extension, it's like magic. The song becomes a mood transformer, a creative inspiration, a motivator...perhaps the video makes it more so.
I'd like to point out some that I feel are perfect examples of poetry in song. Beginning with Evanescence. Because this particular song was playing when the idea of poetry in song came to my mind

My Immortal

by Ben Moody

I'm so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave
Your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

You used to captivate me by your resonating light
Now, I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me, I've been alone all along

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me, me, me

~I wish I could write music. If I could, I'd make music for some of the old, beautifully written poems that move me deeply. I'd keep those songs to myself and they would be my own secret poetry in song, a private tribute to those exceptional poets of times gone by.

Famous Knitters, Part 2...

Betty knitting in a scene from Now, Voyager.

This looks like Betty knitting with a women who could have been a stand-in for her on the movie set, but that's just a guess on my part. I love Betty in that hat.

Betty and Ann Sheridan (another famous knitter) knitting on the set for The Man Who Came to Dinner which is a must-see film. I love that Betty is just in her stocking feet and has her legs crossed that way.

Betty Davis was a knitter and a crochet expert. It makes perfect sense to me that knitting and crocheting would be an excellent way to pass the time on a movie set. It would be calming, relaxing and make the endless hours of waiting pass in a pleasant way. I hope you enjoy these photos of the famous knitter, the amazing Betty Davis.

I'm so glad you stopped in...xo

Happy Halloween!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) is the best, in my book. I just can't get enough of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang!

Stumped as to what to be for Halloween? Well, take the advice of the very wise Lucy Van Pelt, "A person should choose a costume that contrasts her own personality." Happy Halloween to all of you!

Thank you for stopping by...xo

The Today Show...

Recently, I had the most amazing, thrilling news. My Nerves of Steel Cowl would possibly be featured on The Today Show. What an incredible idea! It came out of the blue and hit me with a whirlwind of stomach butterflies, crazy dreams and an extended period of scattered-thoughts-can't-sit-still-for-five-minutes-itis. It's such an honor to think one of my designs would be noticed on that scale. Truly a dream come true. I really do have Etsy to thank for it. They have given me the venue to create and be seen on such a huge scale.

If you would like to read more about The Today Show, Regina Lewis wrote an extremely kind and generous post about it here.

A heartfelt thank you to Etsy, Regina Lewis, and The Today Show...and thank you as well, dear ones, for stopping by...xo

A Gorgeous Cottage...

I love the open feel of this family room. The ceiling beams, the view into the bedroom and the peek at the built-in bookshelves. It's welcoming and airy.

This kitchen couldn't get more charming if it tried...well, maybe if Daniel Craig were sitting at the table it could be more charming...Seriously though, I love the vintagesque, farmhouse style look with it's wide plank floors, creamy cabinets and beadboard. Just delicious!

This bathroom is so elegant. I could kill for that mirror..and the magical little table next to that glamorous tub! Imagine soaking in it and gazing out the window at what appears to be the beautiful California sea...

See what I mean? The beautiful California sea, right at their back door....Swoon. Photographs are from House Beautiful. The interior designer is Michael Smith.

When people from other countries/states come to visit us in California, they often mention the light here. The natural light. It's different from say, New York. It's hard to explain, but I think the above photos show the "lightness" of California's sunlight off beautifully.

Thank you for visiting, lovelies! xo

Famous Knitters, Part 1...

Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt knitting together as newlyweds, and Eleanor knitting in flight. These photos make me happy, and I hope you enjoy them too. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to own a knitted piece by Eleanor? Something she had knitted just for you? I wonder what's become of her knit work...

As always, thank you so much for stopping in...xo

I Don't Know Him, but I Love Him...

Usually my posts are about fashion, art, daily life, nature, or some other creative idea. To be honest, I try to avoid politics, religion or other such controversial topics because I believe my blog is not the forum for that. Yet when I saw this man speaking from his heart, I was moved to post it here on my blog. I hope you'll listen to his comments in their entirety. What Philip says about his four sons at the end is so touching.

Thanks for stopping by, dear friends...xo

To My Love...

Today is a very special day, it's my husband's birthday. At the risk of sounding completely sappy, I want to dedicate this much loved poem to my much loved guy...

How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Fringe Fall '09 Collection, continued...

Life in general has slowed down my blogging as well as the addition of the many new designs I am creating for this Fall/Winter season. I hope to have things moving along nicely starting this week. Here are 3 more pieces in my Fall '09 Collection. I hope you enjoy looking at them. I am very much in love with the saturated purples/fuschias/blues this season as well as the dreamy neutrals. Drama and elegance, couture and urban chic, prairie and rustic. A tall order to fill, but I do believe I'm just the woman to do it....

Thank you for stopping by, dear ones...xo

Slow Train Capelet.

Bobby McGee Lariat in a deep, saturated purple.

Bobby McGee Lariat in vanilla cream.