Fringe Meets Gotham...

The Gotham Brooch is my newest design. Inspired by, you guessed it, the magnificence and magic of comic book art. I wanted this piece to be larger than life. True fashion couture. I challenged myself to see how huge I could make this brooch yet still have it actually function as a brooch, and I have to say I'm in love with this one.

I'd Like a Redo, Please...

Can I please have a redo of my wedding? Or may I borrow someone's time machine? I want to be able to wear this dress on my wedding day. Isn't it the most beautiful creation? I just want to eat it up. The Helene Wedding Dress by none other than Leanimal. And we all know who she is...Even the name of this little slice of heaven is perfect...Helene was my maternal grandmother's name.

My Daily Visitor...

My second video. This little hummingbird comes by every day. It's not the best example of her in action, the lighting's off, she's half hidden, but I was happy to get it.

Most early mornings and late evenings you will find me sitting on my back patio. It's a peaceful, lovely way to begin and end a day. I'm familiar with many of the creatures out there. They are creatures of habit and I can pretty much rely on them showing up on schedule.

There are two little hummingbirds that frolic and feed and zip around my backyard. I think they are young siblings, but I can't be sure. A male and a female. The female will come very close to me and feed at the feeder while the male comes close to her to chatter what I think is a warning that she shouldn't be so close to me. He scolds her and then flies to a branch at a safe distance to watch her. They chase and play and chatter right in front of my eyes. Sometimes they give me a Top Gun fly-by that sounds like two mini jets buzzing past my head. It's really magical.

One day my son was standing out back talking to my husband. My son's legs were wet as he had just been swimming. That little female hummingbird came right up to his leg and drank a drop of water off it! We couldn't believe our eyes. And of course, I was kicking myself for not having my camera at the ready. He later said something tickled, he looked down to see the hummingbird and was in a state of disbelief.

If you have the time, and the space, I sincerely suggest you spend a few minutes (or as much time as you can spare) each morning and evening outside, quietly observing nature, reflecting, and relaxing. It's the best medicine. Happy Monday, sunshines!

Naughty Berries...

These gummy berries are one of my favorite candies. I try to avoid sugar at all costs because we all know it's evil, but sometimes a girl's gotta treat herself to some sweets. Not only are these little berries delicious, they are so darn pretty to look at. The serving size is supposed to be 10. Yeah, right.

My Littlest Friends...

While sipping my early morning coffee in the backyard, I ran across my dear childhood friends. It was so lovely to see them out and about, enjoying the fresh air and greenery. Such sweet little friends, always cheerful and a bit mischievious. As usual, we had many pleasantries to exchange. Once we had finished reminiscing, I left them to catch up on their daily news with each other.

A Peaceful Place...

My very first try at a movie with my new camera. I know it's terribly amateurish, but I'm hoping to improve with practice...Anyway, isn't this waterfall peaceful to look at?

Hurry, Mr. Postman...

Last night I ordered two books from Barnes & Noble. I cannot wait for them to arrive! And have I mentioned how much I love Barnes & Noble online? If you sign up for their membership, they send you coupons via email and all kinds of lovely messages about when your favorite authors' books are available. Plus (and this is the dangerous part) you can pay with Paypal. A girl can get in a lot of trouble this way. Just like when I found out Zappos takes Paypal and they have all those fabulous colors to choose from for my Chuck Taylor addiction...but I digress....

I am so excited to see the artwork and read the story of Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?,the collaboration of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert. Thrilled about this one.

And The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar is a book I've been trying to get ahold of for months now, ever since Shana said she had bought it on a book shopping trip at B & N. Yesterday I was there and still, it wasn't in stock...grrr. Hence, the beauty of online shopping. Now I'll have this book in my hot little hands in "3 business days or less".

Did I mention that if you spend $25 or more, the shipping is free? Holy Awesomeness, Batman!

Summer Beauty Essential...

I've always loved girly stuff like eyeliner, lip gloss, lipstick, lotions and potions and painted toenails. One of my summer essentials is Liquid Liner by Urban Decay, a cosmetic line I adore. Just sweep it over your upper eyelids for instant glamour. That along with mascara, a gorgeous shade of lipstick/gloss, a swipe of bronzer and your ready for anything in a matter of a few minutes. It comes in lots of fabulous colors that stay put all day. My two favorites are silvery Revolver (I'm wearing it today) and plum Crash. Sexiness in a bottle.

A Day of Love...

Intimacy. A photograph by littlebrumble.

Today is my wedding anniversary. Love is in the air. A better man I'd never find. My husband is everything to me. In the spirit of neverending love, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite poems...

somewhere i have never travelled by e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

A Warm Embrace...

My contribution to Etsy Project Embrace. The Day Dream Scarf. 100% of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society with love for Lynn of UnaOdd and Laura of creativelytangled as well as more than one of my family members. If you purchase the Day Dream Scarf you will be giving two gifts; one to the American Cancer Society as a donation, the second as a warm, cuddly scarf to someone you love or as a gift to yourself.

My way of giving a warm embrace...


I Held a Jewel by Emily Dickinson

I held a jewel in my fingers
And went to sleep
The day was warm, and winds were prosy
I said, "Twill keep"

I woke - and chide my honest fingers,
The Gem was gone
And now, an Amethyst remembrance
Is all I own

Two Little Roses...

Two little roses in a tiny glass vase my Dad gave to me years ago. I snipped those tender posies early this morning and set them outside on the back patio with a beautiful blue piece of glass. I was inexplicably happy to just sit and look at that little display for quite some time.

Happy Weekend, Dearlings!

Is it Saturday morning already...where did the week go? This summer is flying by for me. I hope you're able to do some of the things you wanted to do over this summer. I always make a wish list (I know, you're shocked) of things I want to do during the summer. All of them fun things, of course. If I want to make a dent in that wish list, I better get crackin'...I don't think I've even looked at it since I composed it in the beginning of June. I need to get ahold of Ms. Time and tell her to slow down...

I wanted to let you know that there's a wonderful movie on
TCM this Sunday night at 5 PM PST, for the entire family. It's called An American in Paris (1951), and it's delightful from start to finish. Starring the handsome, energetic Gene Kelly and the adorable, graceful Leslie Caron. Directed by Vincent Minelli, it's filled with visual beauty and color. Nobody made musicals quite like Mr. Minelli did. It's magnificent. I hope you're able to watch it.

Have a happy weekend, everyone! xo

To You...

May your dreams
never disappear with age,
but may they continue
as alive and as beautiful as you
with the knowledge that they
will someday come true.

~ Joanne Domenech

Dennice, Laundry Puma...

Last night, my 12-year-old son and I had the following exchange, with a bit of husband thrown in at the end.

Me: Where did you put your pjs from last night?

The Boy: In the dirty clothes, I've only worn them 3 nights in a row. (slight sarcasm here)

Me: No, you haven't, I washed them yesterday.

The Boy: Oh. I'll take them out of the dirty clothes then. It's no big deal anyway because there's nothing else in the dirty clothes. Sheesh. You're so diligent (yes, he used that word) with the laundry. You pounce on the laundry like a lion!

Me: Puma. I'm like a puma.

Husband: Dennice, laundry puma.

P.S. I think there's a screen print t-shirt opportunity for the phrase laundry puma.


Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
~Benjamin Franklin

Truer words were never spoken, my friends. Which is why we all could use a Secret Keeper by Shannon of HELIOstudios, the ingenious creator of these enchanting vessels...Shannon's imagination and skill is so romantic and magical that her Secret Keepers appeal just as much, perhaps even more, to adults as they do to children.

Worth Repeating...

How to find your creative niche. Jena of Modish and Modish Biz Tips presented it perfectly. I think it's worth repeating.

Whether your niche is very narrowly defined, or able to spread out into a more broad base, remember the key is still simply to listen to and trust your own, unique point of view.

Don’t create based on trends, what you “think” will sell or what you’ve seen others do before. Keep your integrity and personality in everything you make, and you’ll easily create a “look”, “style”, or niche that customers will come to rely upon you for.

You have the ability to make something that no one else has made before. Do it!

Thank you, Jena. This should be The Golden Rule for crafters everywhere.

Mad Skills...

I know he's my son, but the boy's got talent! Isn't this photo he took at the County Fair awesomely coolio? I absolutely love it. He took many others. This photo will soon be available at SuspiciousPie.

Francis Liked Me...

Francis the mule, that is, gave me a very friendly look. At the County Fair. Isn't she cute? I think she was posing for this picture.

I have so many photos from our visit last week to the San Diego Fair. I can't wait to share them with you!

Ode to Summertime...

My favorite time of year. Hands down. Here are a few photos that say "summer" to me....

There's nothing like a bucket of colorful water balloons. Almost a daily occurance here. Our only rule, don't aim at the head.

The boy's testing the water in his schnazzy swim trunks...

Taking the plunge....

Me. Photo taken by sneaky SuspiciousPie.

Gorgeous peaches from our tree. I plan to share with you my semi-famous Mama D's Peach Cobbler recipe in a future post.

I hope you are all having a beautiful summer, sweet friends! xo

The Leggings!

If you're not familiar with The Uniform Project, please check out the site as well as my previous post in June about it. It's a most worthwhile project by the delightful Sheena Matheiken.

I had to post about Day 69's fabulous ensemble. The leggings! I'd kill for them. I love everything about this outfit. Doesn't she look chic and amazing?

I'm sure this won't be my last post about The Uniform Project. I find it mesmerizing. Go Sheena!

Comfort Food...

For my family, there are few dishes that say "comfort food" more than mac and cheese. I have a simple and truly delicious recipe that I came up with. My super secret Mama D's Mac and Cheese. I wanted to share it with you, my lovely friends, so here it is. Let me know if you try it...

- 2 quarts of water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of milk (I use 1%)
- 1/4 stick of butter, melted
- freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- about 3 cups grated sharp (or mild, whichever you prefer) Cheddar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add pasta. Bring back to a boil and cook until al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, half and half, melted butter, salt and pepper (to taste). Stir in 2 cups of the cheese and add the pasta. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Add half of the remaining cheese to the bottom of the pan, spread it out as a layer over the bottom. Add the pasta mixture. Top with remaining cheese. You can dust the top with paprika, if you like.

Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Around Town...

This edition of Around Town is about our little local strawberry stand. It's been here for as long as I can remember. Each year it draws a bigger crowd and they become busier. The best strawberries around are found right here. Whenever we have out-of-town guests, we buy them these strawberries, or if we're going to visit friends or family, we take along a 3-pack. It's expected of us now. I hate to think what would happen if we showed up without them during strawberry season!

Each January I see the owners giving this little stand a fresh coat of paint and it makes me happy to think that these delicious strawberries will once again be available. You can pick your own berries or buy the ones already picked and ready to go. There are also tomatoes, green beans and corn available, equally yummy. They even provide a large water-filled container with a spigot so you can eat the strawberries right then and there. Very smart.

Happy Independence Day...

We had a wonderful 4th of July. I hope you did too. We stayed home and relaxed and had a lovely barbecue. The weather was perfect.
Fortunately, we can see the local fireworks at a semi-secret location. Just up the hill, and only the folks in our neighborhood go there. So it's quiet, low traffic and just right. Except for the mosquitoes (I always make sure to spray all of us with deet before we head up the hill). The fireworks were magnificent and exciting, coming into the sky in an array of shapes and colors. They were a poem!
Independence Day is extra special. It celebrates our great nation and the freedom so many have fought for, and are still fighting for. I always think of the heroes who have fallen for our freedom. We are so fortunate to be in this great country. We have had a flag flying at our home every single day since September 11, 2001.

Every Girl Needs One...or Two...

I didn't realize I needed one until I saw it on the front page of Etsy. Delightful hollow book safes by pommesfrites. Yes indeed, every girl should have a few hollow book safes in her library.

You never know if/when that trustworthy lover will empty out your bank account and leave town. Never fear with the hollow cookbook safe as your true stash of cash.

Annoying co-workers, unruly teenage child, unexpected letter from the IRS, or perhaps just a spectacularly bad day? This is when you need that secret flask hollow book.

And finally, the gun-toting hollow book. One can only hope there's never a need for this, but it doesn't hurt to be on the "safe" side, now does it?

With books like these, you should perhaps think of carrying a canvas book tote. Have hollow book safe, will travel.

Good ole Irish Whiskey will serve it's purpose here.

I suggest you mix in some small bills with the big ones. For practical purposes.

What every pistol-packin' mama wants for Christmas.
~P.S. All of the above scenarios are purely fictional. Although these situations may seem realistic, they are not part of my personal life story. No matter what you may have heard. I was being facetious, really I was.