Sunday, October 14, 2012

...the passing of time.

Time. Where does it go? In the blink of an eye or the snap a finger, moments, hours, weeks, and years just fly by. As little children, time stood still. Christmas took an eternity to arrive, and summer seamed to last forever. As an adult, there simply aren't enough hours in a day. I look at the date of my last post and it seems unreal that almost an entire year has gone by since I have "put pen to paper". Well... at least not here. 

Since starting this blog in 2008, I have kept my Blogger persona quite separate from my everyday work life. It's been and will continue to be a place for my insights, my photographic view of the world around me, and glimpses into what inspires me to create. But, for the past year or so I've been kind of busy doing other things! And what are those you might ask? Well... a little background info on my "day job" might be in order. You can read all about that here. And while your there, please spend some time reading through the archives of "Atileier", where I have been spending a good deal of my time. The rest of my time has been curating and building the Walker Zanger following on Facebook,where you'll find Mosaic Mondays, and all things inspiring about design. And, if that's not enough, pop on over to Walker Zanger's Pinterest page, where I get to go crazy until the wee hours of the morning. (You can follow my personal Pin Boards by clicking on the tab at the top of this blog.) I'm also still working on the Walker Zanger San Francisco page and welcome new followers! 

I recently started working with two of my most favorite people and their Social Media presence, MacArthur Place, and Very Important Pets. Head on over take a peak and if the mood strikes you, become a fan. I know they, and I, will appreciate it!

Now all I have left to do is to work on Time. How to manage it, and have enough of it to tend to all the things I love. I'm getting the hang of it, but as they say... "Only Time will Tell".

Friday, November 4, 2011

... je ne sais quoi.

{click on the image for an intimate close up}

Literately translated this french phrase means "I don't know what".  It's that certain intangible something that is difficult to describe in words. It comes from within and is often sought out and imitated, but rarely captured outside of the original that inspired it. Audrey had it from the nape of her neck to her iconic ballet flats. Paul and Joanne had it subtly on the screen, but it simply sizzled when they were captured together. Marilyn had it in her quite unguarded moments, and Miss Ella had it in each perfect note that she reached on the scale. It can be in the turn of a hem, the whiff of a certain perfume, or the sparkle of the perfect gem. Journey into the image above for a bit of that "je ne sais quoi" ,than leave me a note and tell me what has that certain something for you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

...Sunday in "The Park".

 My best friend, the female dog whisperer, calls my back yard "The Park".  I guess you could say she's right. I'm the only one on my block with huge 60 years old trees that stretch high into the sky. Or at least higher than anyone else on my street. When you walk out my back door, it's like walking into Mother Natures playground. Most mornings you can hear the squirrel family chasing each other from limb to limb, Mom sometimes scolding away in her staccato chirp while hiding a peanut she found from who knows where.  There's the possum family, who I once caught out early one morning climbing on their Mom's back after a long evening out; the Raccoon clan with their bandit masks who feast on unripe oranges leaving them in sections on the "Park" floor; and the more than occasional skunk, who probably only wants to be left alone but has managed to have more than one run in with Miss Lexie! Add in an orchestra of song birds, humming birds, finches, and the neighbors black cat, and that pretty well rounds out the usual tenants. Every once and awhile though, we have a visitor that will drop by unannounced, stay awhile, and move on. This morning it was "Cooper", the Cooper Hawk. 

I don't know what made me look up, maybe it was the louder than usual chirp from the squirrel, but up high in one of the trees, there he was. As if he knew I was headed for my camera, he stayed perched, content not to move, and seemed to almost pose in his stoic, proud way. He didn't stay long, probably headed out to somewhere that held a more promising breakfast, but he definitely added a regal touch to this "Sunday in the Park".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

...Hipstamatic flowers.


Black eyed Susan

David Austin Rose

Grosso Lavender
Black eyed Susan
Lace cap Hydrangea

Took a quick walk through the garden today with my "Hipstamatic" camera! Sometimes is good to look at life through different eyes.
It's surprising the perspective you can get with simply a different view.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

...the first day of Spring.

It may be the first day of spring but Mother Nature is apparently not quite finished with winter yet. As the weekend storm keeps dropping rain, wind, and a winter chill...I am inside doing some much needed spring cleaning in my office. While I plow through stacks of paper, try to get organized, and dream of the San Francisco Garden Show this coming weekend; I will leave you with some old and new images of raindrops in my garden.

Friday, March 18, 2011

...a bird, an umbrella, and a moment.

{image courtesy of vinyl fruit}

An earthquake, a tsunami, a nuclear meltdown, radiation, the threat of another war, lives lost, and more lives missing...could the collective spirit of the world have had a worse week? These were some of the thoughts crowding up my mind as I made my way through traffic toward home. One quick stop at the store and my day would be over. What happened next was, well...I'll let you decide.
I pulled in and managed to score a space in the parking lot right by the front door to my local grocery store. I even managed to run in, grab what I needed and get out with no lines and in record time. Home would be just a few minutes away. As I walked out to my car, I found 4 people crouched down between the front of my car and the car parked directly in front of mine. I of course, stopped to see what they were doing. As they parted, I was shocked to see that there was a bird stuck in the grate of the car in front of mine. It's little head was caught between the slats of the grate, while it's body was hanging outside. I immediately gasped and began to join the chorus of "oh, No's" and "oh My's", with the quartet that had gathered. And than, there it was..."The Moment". You all know's that tiny little space in time where you make that split decision to stay or to go. We have all experienced it. You see a stray dog, no human around, you're late for work, and it's dangerously crossing it's way into you stop the car and do what's needed, or do you hope the next person will be the one who stops, coaxes him, or her over and saves the day? Well..I recognized this as one of those moments and knew that once I stepped closer into the group, opened my mouth and said "What should we do?", I would become part of the solution. Of course we were all baffled as to what that solution could be. One of the girls in the group worked for PETA (only here in the Bay Area could that be part of the scenario) She whipped out her cell phone and starting calling...not sure what she expected, but it made her feel useful. I offered to drive up the street to the vet, who I knew helped wildlife, but realized it was after hours and they would be closed, that made
me feel useful. Someone than suggested we try to pull apart the slats of the grate. The women who owned the car said "go ahead, I don't care about the car", a gracious statement as it was a Lexus. Meanwhile as we were right by the front door, shoppers, the security guard, even a checker walked out to see what was the matter. It was surprising to me how many people just continued to walk on by. Until one gentleman, the quiet, take charge kind, came right up to us, saw the situation, and jumped right in. He along with the only other guy in our little group, positioned themselves on both sides of the bird and with all their might tried to pull the slats apart. Now, up until that time, we all thought the bird was dead, as it was as still as could be...but as the slats opened up a bit the bird would chirp frantically and flap it's wings. This of course caused a collective chorus from our group, of more "oh No's", and oh My's". With each try the bird would chirp and flap, and than become silent when the men let go of the grate. Clearly this would take more than the effort of bare hands. Feeling rather useless, I opened my door to put my groceries in and realized I had my umbrella in the front seat...not just any umbrella mind you, but a huge umbrella, the kind that can cover 3 small people, and most importantly a sturdy umbrella. I grabbed it and turned to the group..."This might sound silly", I said, "but maybe we could use this umbrella to pry open the slats?" It was certainly worth a try. So there we were..."Take Charge" guy started using the umbrella like you would a car jack, while the other guy tried to pry his side apart with his hands. All the while one of the women held the birds body as steady as she could. This went on for about 10 minutes, which must have seemed like hours to the poor little bird. We would glance at each other through the effort and I knew we were all wondering what we would do with the injured bird should we succeed in getting him free. For after all, that would become part 2 of our rescue efforts. Than the slats opened up just enough and in an absolute instant, with a loud chirp, and a flurry of wings the bird was free. And than in that absolute instant, quicker than you could blink your eyes, he flew away...high into the sky, wings flapping toward home. There we stood, whooping, clapping, and giving each other high fives, congratulating each other on a job well done. Than came our release...the women standing next to me looked at me with teary face was wet with tears, as was "Take Charge Guy",the man next to him, and the women he was with. TCG handed me back my umbrella and stated very matter of factly that we had done our Good Deed for the Day. With that we wished each other a great evening, got in our cars and drove away.
The world may be a difficult place at times...unfair and unforgiving with some of it's actions. We may all feel helpless when catastrophes strike and wonder if what we can offer is enough. It is. Our gestures don't have to be big to have big results. We just have to stop and care for one another. Just ask the bird...who I'm sure is grateful to the 6 crazy people in a grocery store parking lot who recognized "The Moment", took a moment, and saved a life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

...a peak of spring.

While working in the garden this first morning of Daylight Savings...I came across this little Lady in the stem of last summers Delphinium. She timidly poked her head out and, unlike Punxsutawney Phil, must have seen her shadow...for not long after I captured the moment, it started raining and I retreated back into the house to make a pot of winter soup. Yes...winter
is still with us, but on occasion treats us with a few wistful moments of spring.

Friday, January 7, 2011

...a great start.

Wow! What a great surprise this morning to wake up and find my web site highlighted on Patricia van Essche blog PVE Design. Patricia is the artist extraordinaire who created the artwork and logo for Lulalina. Her work brought life to my little shoppe, and lit the creative fire for the Lulalina website. Stop on over and leave a comment for the chance to win one of my personal favorites...The Art of the Handwritten note by Margaret Shepherd.
I will add a box of Lulalina note cards for the lucky winner.
Thank you Patricia for such a lovely words and support.

Friday, December 31, 2010

...have a Happy New Year!

May this new year bring you experiences you never thought possible, the good health to enjoy them, rich fortunes of the heart, and the warmth and company of those you love.

With love,

Friday, December 24, 2010

...Merry Christmas.

"The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads."

Merry Christmas.
May you be warm and safe in the company of those you love this Christmas Eve.

With love, Pat and Lexie

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

...the package.

I always love card shopping and am always finding new ones to add to my collection. I look at them as individual pieces of art. I feel a little guilty though, especially at the holidays, sending one that I didn't make myself. So...I try to incorporate them into the gifts that I make each year. This year I found 2 cards that were just perfect for giving all my baked treasures. After's all in the packaging. And those who know me best, know that I am a sucker for packaging! The card above, with the mouse baking and the great sentiment,was just too perfect on top of the boxes I gave as gifts to my friends who were at the Christmas Dinner. The smaller version below worked out great for the girls from the book club. I had found the card during the summer and it summed up our "No Guilt Book Club" perfectly!
Use the outside of the box as a template for the bottom layer of decorative paper.
I used small mini muffin paper liners to hold the cookies.
Layer the heaviest cookies on the bottom. I used my Toffee Bars.

Cut a piece of chip board the same size as the bottom decorative layer. This will act as the bottom of the next layer of cookies. I used a round decorative punch to cut out a section on the side. This makes it easier to remove and get to the layer below.
Use the lightest cookies for the top layer. If your box is deep enough for additional layers, just start from heaviest to lightest. These are sugar cookie snowflakes and Nighty Nights!

Use what ever card or decorative paper suits the occasion for the top of the box, tie with a bow and your done! There are plenty of box companies out there on line to choose from. I've found that Paper Source has a really great selection of interesting shapes and sizes and have a substantial weight to them. Not especially expensive either. Baked gifts are such a treat and take time, energy, and love...however you choose to gift them should be as special as what is inside. Happy baking, and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010 lulalina.

click on image to enter site

It's hard to believe, but after countless months (and months) of designing, redesigning, screaming at the computer, injections of caffeine, a few cocktails, and a definite self diagnosis of compulsive obsessive disorder and adult ADD...Lulalina is finally launched. It happened last night with just a whisper and the click of a button. I don't know what I expected...balloons dropping from the ceiling, confetti, perhaps the popping of champagne? Oh, but there goes my fantasy life real life it was just me staring at the computer screen a bit choked up and definitely overwhelmed. This was the biggest DIY project I had ever taken on and I still can't believe I actually did it!
A HUGE thank you goes out to all those who had to live through all the madness and were there EVERY step of the way. I am constantly thankful for all the amazing design minded people in my life, whose opinions I value more than I let them know.
Of of the biggest thank you's goes out to
Patricia van Essche, PVE Design. It is she, who with just an e-mail and a few phone calls, created the design and logo for Lulalina. It continues to amaze me each time I look at her illustration, how she captured the exact essence of what I wanted to portray. She is truly an amazing artist and there will be more about her and her work in an upcoming post.
For now, I am feeling a great release for finishing a task I wasn't sure I could tackle and for sending it out onto the world wide web.
Here is a holiday toast to the birth of Lulalina!

Monday, December 13, 2010

...a man and his dog.

I just came from dropping off Greg, my closest friend of 30 years (which really puts him in the family/sibling category) at the airport. He is on his way back home to Panama, where he moved to a few years ago to work on creating his own magical place on this earth. When he is here in the States, he stays with me and my dog Lexie. This last trip kept him here with us for a year and a half. And for a year and a half Lexie has had her own special best friend. Someone to be at home with her all day while I was work... someone to take her on daily hikes with her tail wagging friends... someone to give her extra treats... and someone to love on her all day long just because...well... just because. And for that year and a half Greg has had a companion to garden with...a face full of slobbery kisses every morning when he awoke... a partner to run errands with, who was content to just hang her head out the window and feel the wind in her ears...and a year and a half of pure, unconditional love. The kind of love that only comes from our four legged friends.
They will miss each other tremendously.
Lexie patiently sat at home this last week as all of us human friends had our good bye celebrations, knowing in our rational minds that it would only be months until we all saw each other again. She lay on his bed all week and watched the closet get emptier as the suitcase got fuller, bulging at the seams. I know, as we all do, that our dogs sense change, and somehow are keenly aware of the hidden message behind our suitcases. I wonder if tonight as the three of us set off in the car, she knew it would just be the two of us coming home. After he and I hugged at the curb, he asked me to hold his things while he opened the door and said his goodbyes to Lexie. It broke my heart to see the two of them...him a bit teary, and she full of canine kisses. I know he's coming back in what will seem like the blink of an eye, but there is no way for me to let her know that by summer her companion will be back at the other end of her leash. They say dogs live in the moment and I am sure to some degree that is true, but I also know that for a little while, Lexie will wonder where her friend has gone, probably sleep on his bed, and wonder why she's not getting as many biscuits as she thinks she deserves...
She will bounce back though, for our dogs are nothing if not resilient creatures, and I can already see her tail wagging frantically as we pull up curbside next summer to pick up her favorite two legged best friend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010 evening with friends and family

In my fantasy mind, which is far more organized than my real life mind, I thought I would somehow have the time to post daily quips about the activities leading up to the big holiday dinner. Well, as you know, that never happened and the day came upon me faster than I could type... Merry Christmas. And so, I will leave it up to your imagination...flour flying, boughs trimming, ribbons bowing, and cake cooking! Here are a few images of the wonderful evening to come from all the glorious and frenzied preparation. Every year I say... "this is the last one." But after all the candles are lit, fire is crackling, and the wine has been poured I look around at the friends and family gathered together and know that I will do it all again in a heartbeat. As the inscription says on my new punch bowl, given to me by one of my most closest friends....
" Together with friends and family is always the happiest place to be."


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