Friday, February 27, 2009

Junkin' and Jivin'

Take a look at this fabulous find! I nearly passed out when I saw this awesome dining table and chair set for $350! It is just so authentically retro, in great shape and PINK!

Unfortunately, I had to pass on this charmer :( ....

...but did go home with these little items

A fun swingy charm bracelet and a very pretty gravy boat - Total $7
The kitchen towel is from my mom's collection of linens.

These precious finds are from my favorite thrift shop Mission Outreach on 3186 Adams Avenue in an area known as Antique Row. At the shop you can chat with Dottie who is a gem!

On the walk back home we stopped off at Zac's Attic but unfortunately/fortunately (!) it was closed. But I want to know....How much is that doggie in the window?
Here's a shot of the street I live on lined in palm trees and what about those blue skies!

My sister Barb and I really do enjoy junkin' around. You can catch us this Sunday at the Kobey Swap Meet at Sports Arena. See you there!

Ciao Bella

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A world without books? Never!

As much as I love Star Trek, and I do, it frightens me. There is not a single shred of paper to be found aboard the Enterprise, Defiant, Voyager, Deep Space 9 or any other galactic outpost. A book would be considered a treasure more than an antique. Perhaps something to be traded on the black market. Give me something to curl up with on a cold rainy day, something tactile, something that lets me turn a page eager to find what's on the other side. Give me a book!

Most people know I can be found at the library at least twice a week eagerly searching out new titles and old favorites. Here's my neighborhood favorite the Mission Valley library. In the alcove, one can purchase books and magazines at better than reasonable prices. Magazines are .25 unless it's Martha or Oprah which are .50 and books are about $1-$3. The problem for me is that now I have soooo many books they are spilling out of every nook and cranny!

Whaaaaa, the microwave? Make mine a chicklit martini!

Hey, I've been looking for those shoes...KITTY!

The Literary Cat

A little gravy with your reading, m'am?

More books - hey, you don't know the half of it!

A few book quotes....

Charles Dickens/Oliver Twist: There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Albert Camus/The Fall: I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.

Lewis Carroll/Alice in Wonderland: (The Duchess to Alice) Tut, tut, child! Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.

And the moral of this story? Make sure you have more than enough room for books! I'll be like the old cat lady but instead of cats I'll be surrounded by books well and maybe a few cats! Hey, WAIT, I haven't shown you the closets yet! Come back!

Ciao Bella

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shameless Plug Sunday-2

Gosh, is it Sunday already!?

I am pleased to be continuing Shameless Plug Sunday. This time featuring Safeway's Clear Sparkling Water a beverage that comes in many different flavors. I lean towards....every single one of them!

Some time ago my friend Cheri told me I absolutely had to try it. I did but didn't find myself enthused. Quite a spell went by before I tried it again and this time - EuRekA - I heard the bells clamoring in the town square or something like that. It was as if I had discovered the cure for what ails humankind...a one liter bottle of flavored fizzy water.

Get thee to the nearest Vons, Safeway or Pavillions to pick up this product. It is refreshingly good! Oh, and all the better, it is caffeine/sodium/sugar FREE!

Ciao Bella

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cat not included!

So while most everyone was enjoying champagne and shopping at Serendipity Market this far is Canton, TX from here...neighbor Cristel and I were doing our usual Saturday morning dog walk when we happened across a great little yard sale. I spent only $10 on the following beauties (cat not included).

That framed artwork in the back had a pricetag of $10 but the lovely lady (LL) running the shindig gave it to me for $5. What else could I do but buy more stuff, right?

Hey how did he get up there? That's Kitty the kitty and a box of Whitman's Sampler. I always remember my mom telling me that getting a box of Whitman's back in the day was like getting a box of Godiva chocolates. I re-counted the story to LL and she gave me the box for free! The only problem is every time I look at the box I want to open it and reach for some chocolates!

A lovely pair of vintage clip-on earings of pearls and dizzying "diamonds"

Book on the left just seemed so interesting and was written by two sisters Kay Corinth and Mary Sargent. Kay was Merchandising Director of Seventeen magazine and Mary worked for Time. Published in 1966 the book promises more than 200 original party ideas!

Here are Mary Kate and Ashley...I mean Mary and Kay!

The book in the right of the picture is De Mi Cocina, a home-style Mexican cookbook by Maria Ester Medrano. It's formatted like a notebook with handwritten recipes and when opened, the book stands on its own - brilliant!
And finally, the latest additions to my tea pot and bunny collections

That's all for today!
Ciao Bella

The beauty of chairs

Good morning! Nothing like a contest to get the creative juices circulating and purculating! Fifi at Fifi Flowers is looking for a few chairs to immortalize in her paintings. I humbly submit these beauties for her kind consideration. Hope at least one will be deemed worthy!

With arms or without, that is the question. These are cane back chairs that are a part of my mother's dining set which I now have.

One of my wicker chairs part of a set of two including a love seat from my mom to me.

My lovely shabby rocker that I got at a friend's garage sale for around $40

Crossing my fingers!
Why don't you pay Fifi a call and put in a good word for me!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Beloved Miss Beatrix Potter

The Young Miss Potter
ONCE upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. So begins the delightful story of Peter Rabbit by the equally delightful Miss Beatrix Potter. I can still hear echoes of my mother's voice as she reads this classic tale to me.

Miss Potter was an author, mycologist (study of fungi), and conservationist but best known as the author of children's books.

Have you seen the biographical film Miss Potter with Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor? It has to be one of the genuinely best films ever! Renee Zellweger so totally embraces Miss Potter that I am there with her experiencing her world come alive. I love period films, the costumes, locations, every subtle nuance amazes me. After viewing the Lake District one can understand why Miss Potter became an avid conservationist. The story is wonderfully scripted and left me smiling. Isn't this why we go to the movies?

Images of a few of her delightful characters including the mischevious Peter

Miss Potter was born into a privileged household raised by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and and spent most holidays in Scotland and in the Lake District where she developed a love of landscape, flora and fauna. As a young woman her parents discouraged her intellectual development (bullocks!), but her study and paintings of fungi led her to be widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties Miss Potter published the highly successful children's book The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and became secretly engaged to her publisher, Norman Warne. Unfortunately, this caused a breach with her parents who disapproved of his social status (a tradesman). Alas, Mr. Warne died before the wedding could take place.
The adult Miss Potter

Distraught upon Mr. Warne's death, Miss Potter retreated to her beloved countryside and purchased Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. Quite a feat for a single woman of her day. She began to buy pieces of land under the guidance of local solicitor William Heelis. In 1913 at the age of 47, Miss Potter married Mr. Heelis and moved to Hill Top Farm permanently.

The front door at Hill Top

Tea time at Hill Top
The elder Miss Potter

In her will Miss Potter left nearly everything to her beloved William for his lifetime. She gave her farm and property of four thousand acres to the National Trust that still maintains her little farmhouse, Hill Top as it was when she lived in it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Proud to be an Austen Addict

(after Marianne has first met Willougby)

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change or you will catch a cold.

Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man.

Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

Marianne: You are right. Help me, Elinor.

I am Elinor Dashwood!
Take the Quiz here!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's on Your Wall Wednesday!

I hope you will indulge me but I thought I'd have a little fun and retitle this What's on Your Refrigerator Wall Wednesday!

Here is a closeup of Sadie the duchess in residence and all stretched out in his glory is our kitty, Kitty! According to the vet, you'd be surprised how many people name their cats Kitty. Sort of like calling your little parakeet, Birdie, which I have done! Or relatives of mine who have called every cat they ever had Alexander or my grandmother who called every one of her parakeets Snooky! Guess it runs in the family!


My friend Sandi brought back magnets from the Beatles museum in Liverpool...ooooo, sorry it's a little on the fuzzy side...

and if this isn't the truth...

and here's an actual picture on my wall for the purists at heart...

It's a 1957 Vogue cover shot that hangs over the bathtub.

Happy What's on Your Wall Wednesday! See you next time.

Ciao Bella

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today's Fashion Icon Is....

Hi Everyone! Fashion Friday - tres fab! Thought I would submit this post I did last month on Barbie. It was such a surprise to learn that she was celebrating her 50th at Fashion Week in NY and that 50 celebrated designers were challenged to create Barbie inspired looks for the real world. Here's the post and thank you Fifi for a fun and Fashionable Friday !

Yes, it's Barbie who was feted with a fashion show at NY's Bryant Park on Valentine's Day. And, Shhhh, B. is celebrating her 50th birthday all year long! The BIG news, she is back with her on/off guy Ken. If that doesn't make me fall in love with love I'm not sure what could! Perhaps a happy ending is in the works....finally!

Anyway, our sweetheart was wowed when more than 50 major designers, oh let's see...Badgley Mischka to Vera Wang to Michael Kors and Juicy Couture just to name a few...showcased real-size looks inspired by Barbie celebrating the past, present and future of fashion, seen through the bright eyes of our "Original Teenage Fashion Model." I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see Betsey Johnson still in the mix!

Girrrrl, I would have loved to have been there to help you celebrate! Dish, what was it like to see Bob Mackie after all these years? Have you seen the headline from NY Magazine: Barbie infiltrates the Fashion Industry, and We Are Scared! What about this from Fern Mallis: For many young girls, [Barbie is] their first association with fashion and dressing up and changing clothes - yeah SHE said that, can you believe it!

What about this... I grew up in the Alps and France, and Barbie was my first exposure to the American woman, designer Catherine Malandrino said backstage. For me she was blonde, she was free and she was fun. Catherine freakin' Malandrino, darling! I mean can't you just hear Stacy London saying....Shut up!

Well, must dash for a latte and a mani. See you later darling and Happy Birthday. 50 is the new 30 on, really darling!

Ciao Bella

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays...

...or is it Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Not sure which, either way the wind is whipping up like crazeeee, there's a concert going on outside with all my chimes, and the rain is coming. Yes, this is SUNNY San Diego! The last time the winds whipped up like this, my fence fell down! The good news is we just finished the roofing project, house and garage. Would this qualify for Metamorphosis Monday - hehehe! It can rain as hard as it wants to but I'll be all snuggled up and DRY inside!

Here's what prompted the re-roofing project - hello, is that sky I see?

Re-roofing project last week

The house that love built in 1929, all the old Spanish tile had to be replaced

Lots of work to be done on the little Spanish bungalow, one room/one project at a time. In the meantime there's nothing like a good snooze despite all the craziness going on.

The Lovely Miss Sadie
Until the next time my darlings,
Ciao Bella

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shameless Plug Sunday

In the tradition of Metamorphosis Monday, Tablescape Thursday, etc., may I present Shameless Plug Sunday as a forum to feature a product with no fear of having the brand name fuzzied out like on TV. In this case may I present Archer Farms Moroccan inspired Apricot Currant Whole Wheat Couscous and Chicken entree. What a mouthful, literally! You can purchase this product at Target and the box is a one stop shop because it contains everything you need including the chicken which is canned.

This is my second attenpt at trying this product. Amazingly it's quite tasty and I knew I wanted to try it again this time with roasted chicken instead of canned and a few more apricots and currants. For roughly $5+ dollars, and a 30 minute cook time it is the perfect dinner for a busy work night. Archer Farms promises the vibrant flavors of Morocco come to life in this delicious dish! Which way to the casbah?

Ciao Bella

Fashion Smarts 2009


Saturday, February 14, 2009

I waited as long as I could Mr. Darcy

Alas, with only three more hours left this Valentine's Day, it appears I must put my heart back in its velvet lined box and patiently wait for next year. Perhaps if I could pencil myself in your calendar kind sir?

Instead I had a wonderful day meeting up with my niece, the lovely Jamie.

Over breakfast at Seaport Village we enjoyed a scathingly brilliant time just chatting, conspiring and catching up. Did I mentioning laughing? Lots of laughing!

Unfortunately, we had to part ways much too soon. So after a quick foray into Upstart Crow I headed off to a few antique shops in the hood...University Heights. I found that one of my favorite shops was closing its doors. I was heartbroken but I did manage to find a few items that were soooo deeply discounted I had to bring the little darlings home. And here they are...

I love collecting anything relating to animals especially dogs. Funny it seems that I find more Scotties than any other breed. And that Max Factor Sophisti-Cat is holding on to its own treasure of Hypnotique perfume or what's left of it.

Ciao Bella

I Heart Edward Cullen!

Happy Valentine's Day!
What a great day to start blogging.
Wishing you the gushiest of valentines!
Love you more than my luggage darlings so stay tuned.
Ciao Bella