Saturday, January 29, 2011

Needs a Fixin'

Every morning I sit at my vanity and get ready for the day. I keep a notebook and pen handy so that when I think of something I have to do or have an inspiration, I can jot it down. I sing in front of the mirror. Drink a big ol' glass of OJ. Put my makeup on and scowl at the wrinkles and discolorations in my skin that seem to increase at warp speed. I usually have Gideon underfoot; he loves the sweet smells of a girl getting primped.

And one thing continually bothers me. With all the prettiness that surrounds me at my vanity, the labels on bottles and containers stick out like a bad billboard on a scenic road. So I grabbed two sheets of scrapbook paper, cut them to size and taped them to my hair spray and baby powder.(I need to get a life.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Images I'm Loving

Stop on by the Ali Harper Photography blog for images from the full-day photoshoot Ali did at Chateau Gahan featuring my girlie. The photographer is doling these images out in small portions . . . such a tease.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Images from Chateau Gahan

Got to play with my camera this weekend. So much to learn. I need to keep my mantra going . . . make this fun, not daunting.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Craft Table of All Craft Tables

So we have this area at work that has become a dumping ground. You know what I mean . . . the kitchen junk drawer. The president of the company wants it cleaned out. This huge rolling table (8 feet by 40"), whose tabletop and underbelly have attracted much of the office crap, is one of many things in the"drawer" that has to go.

It's always been of use to me. When I need a big surface to roll out fabric on or lay out a big project, I'll oftentimes cart my materials into the office and use this table. So when I knew it would likely see the dumpster or a posting on Craigslist, I approached Tod about buying it. His answer, "if you can get it out of here, it's yours free."

I plan on taking it all apart to load it up and get it home, painting it white and then covering the top with a pretty-patterned oil-cloth. Hoping it fits comfortably in the craft room. I can't imagine how wonderful it will be to work on such an expansive surface!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shell Cross for Molly

Made one of my shell crosses for Molly for her birthday. This one is a smaller version of the ones I usually make. I used half a sea urchin to replicate the crown of thorns, gluing it on purposely askew; it just felt more humanly connected that way.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Good byes

Harleigh has been home since December 8. It was a glorious 5 weeks having my girl here. A bit of a change to the calm and overtly predictable routine I've set for myself at Chateau Gahan with just me and the boy. I loved our time together, and all too soon I was back to that routine, so I'm glad I took advantage of her time home, every single minute of it. And while she loved being home, she missed her routine at school, and so I know that we're both appreciative of this new chapter.

We spent yesterday together stocking up on clothes, school supplies and toiletries for the new semester. Ate lunch out at our favorite sushi spot. And came home to pack up her car, then get in our jammies, drink hot tea, talk for 2 hours, then turn on the TV to channel swap between the Falcons game and Miss America (boy, are we are piece of work, or what??).

This morning I had a meeting at our church at 8:15 and she planned on going to church with her best friend Anna, then head out right from services onto the road for the 3+ hour trip back to the 'boro. We said our goodbyes early this morning (I had gotten the boo hoo's out of my system the day before). After church I headed straight into work for some catch-up — those snow days last week reeked havoc on everything work-related, and so it was either catch up today in a quiet, empty office or stress out while trying to do so as the office comes alive tomorrow morning.

When I came home, this is what I found. She'll be home for her 19th birthday. I got a little teary-eyed seeing it, but quickly occupied myself with cleaning an untidy and dusty house that I've ignored for way too long. She'll call tonite, we'll talk on the phone every day, at least 5 times a day, and in reality, Harleigh won't be gone at all.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have been presented the "I love your blog award" from Elizabeth over at Gossamer Wings. Do stop by and visit her. She's an amazing seamstress, cook, collector of beautiful things, has a lovely and close-knit family. It's just a shame she lives so far away!

The award requests that I share 10 revelations about myself. Here it goes:

1. Why did you create this blog?
I really wanted a place to archive my projects. And then I came to love the sharing aspect of it all.

2. What kinds of blogs do you follow?
As much as I love looking at craft projects and events as inspiration for my own, I am sorta fondest of glimpses into people's lives and homes. More and more I'm appreciating good photography; and those bloggers who shoot well are whom I want to be like very soon.

3. Favorite makeup brand?
I'm comin' clean (although most of the gals at work know this). I use Wet N Wild everything (except for the standard hot pink and lime green Maybelline mascara). I've worn their 666 lip liner and 510 lip color for probably close to 20 years, although their 510 color formula changed slightly over the past year and so I've switched to 502 (and all for a whopping 99 cents each!!). And now they have a mineral powder foundation that costs under $5 and works, for me at least, as well as bareMinerals. I'd like to think that I look like a million bucks for under $10.
4. Favorite clothing brand?
SO not a good question for me. As much care as I put into "dressing" my home and my daughter and the projects I undertake, the effort is totally wasted on me. I could care less what I wear. I literally have four pair of pants and a vast selection of men's dress shirts from Goodwill as my wardrobe staples. Family and friends have tried desperately to "help me" break out of my comfort zone, but to no avail. Back in the day, I lived to look adorable. Now I live to be inexpensively comfortable.

5. Your indispensable makeup product?
Lipstick. Lipstick. Lipstick. (With chapstick as a close second.) I must, at all times, have something on my lips. Can't stand, and I mean CAN'T STAND, dried lips.

6. Your favorite color?
First, white. Second, pink. Third, gray.

7. Your perfume?
Oh lordy, I'm starting to sound like the sweet little old lady on the street who's really a character that the kids talk about in whispers. OK, I put baby powder on every morning. There, the world knows. So my fragrance is the smell of a clean baby.

8. Your favorite film?
White Christmas, followed by 10 Things I Hate About You, 'cause that's when I fell in love with Heath Ledger :-) (No, you dihn't. Oh yes I did a smiley face.)

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
Greece would be one because of movies like Mama Mia and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And seeing Ali's honeymoon pictures here and here sent me into an eye-candy coma. So very colorful, clean and romantic. In second place would be any tropical island that has those over-the-water cottages. For me, any destination has to include water, whether it be a coastal town or a desert villa with a sparkling-clear warm pool.

10. Make up the last question and answer it yourself.
If you weren't in the career you are now, what might have you been? I spent a good part of my growing up years wanting to be an archaeologist. That gave way to a magazine editor. I went to college with my heart set on a journalism degree, but after an art history class, changed my major to Art History. My first job out of college, a publications assistant at The Baltimore Museum of Art, probably came closest to combining my love of archaeology, writing and art history. Had I stayed in that field, I think I could have carved out a meaningful worklife as a curator.

Gideon and the Snow Day

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bitten by the Camera Bug

Ali came to Chateau Gahan to do a photo shoot, an opportunity to test out her new film camera. She insisted that I shoot with her using my digital camera and an assortment of her too-cool lenses. I felt daunted at first, but then got into the swing and was LOVING it! Here are some of my pix. A ton of room for improvement, but a good start.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Balmer Girl

There are many things I miss about Baltimore, and I list these in no order of importance:

- The row homes in ethnic, bustling neighborhoods, with marble stoops and painted screens.
- Steamed crabs, red with Old Bay seasoning, spread out on newspaper on picnic tables, wooden mallets, and big pitchers of cold beer. And I'll always be rather proud of my crab-picking skills.
- The Baltimore accent (with the famous ö), including the use of "hon" when addressing any female and the way we say "Downey Ocean" instead of "down at the ocean."
- The old days of the Orioles (known to us as the O's) playing in Memorial Stadium. Boog Powell. Frank Robinson. Brooks Robinson. Hot Cal Ripken. Jim Palmer. Eddie Murray.
- The inner harbor, especially back in the old days before it got all touristy.
- Eating mussels at Bertha's in Fells Point.
- Bowling duckpins instead of ten-pins. I can never look at a bowling ball with three holes and and not feel resentment, knowing that there's a better way of bowling up North where the ball fits within the palm of your hand.
- Broadway, Cross Street and Lexington markets (today's newfangled outdoor organic farmers' markets don't hold a candle to what was inside the brick walls of one of these gems).

And so I was especially touched when co-worker Laura, whose husband is from Charm City, went back to the hallowed ground on the Chesapeake Bay during the holidays and came back with this gift for me. National Bohemian, or Natty Boh, is a Baltimore institution, first brewed in 1885 by Baltimore's own National Brewing Company. This folk-artish sculpture, made from a Natty Boh can by Baltimore (actually Hampden) artist James Pollock.

Chateau Gahan may be all girly pinks and vintage florals, but this tin can angel will have a place of honor on the study shelves, a smile-inducing reminder of my hometown.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vanity Tray For Today's Girl

Like I said in my last post, furnishing Harleigh's college apartment this coming Fall will be done thriftily! I found this dated gold vanity tray at the thrift store for $2 and decided to give it a coat of black paint (Harleigh wants lots of black accents in her room; fun for me, not one to attempt decorating in black, but always loving the look). Then I painted each flower in daisy white and yellow, adding green leaves, and it now suits the look she's going after.

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