i haven't named him yet... but i'm going to spend the day sitting by the open window cleaning him up. open window?! that's right! it's 80 and sunny here today. apparently the rains were for oscar week. the gods are angry with awards shows.

so! i picked him up for twenty five american dollars all the way out in lawndale california. he came in a beautiful mid-century desk that easily fit in tank. tank was very happy to meet him. oh, have you not met tank?


this is a 403A singer slant-o-matic. and, as i have found out from the awesome peeps at various yahoo! sewing boards, the "A" stands for anderson, south carolina, where he was made.

i do like me some southern men.




seriously, isn't the payoff for living here constant sunshine and a median temperature of 77 degrees?

we are not only underwater outside, but also inside... pretty much everyone in LA has got the plague, and r caught it a few days ago. so the good doctor has advised us to drink plenty of water and cram vitamin C and zinc. said doctor practices in beverly hills... in a beautiful office where all the other patients were waiting for their botox injections. ah, the good life. did you know virginia madsen advertises for botox? yep. i was surprised. most women around here do it, to be sure, but i think her support is akin to dole's viagra announcement. as for me, needle in the face? no thanks.

more importantly: in an effort to drink water, i gussied up the reusable glass bottle.

picture taken on a sunny day, like, 2000 years ago.

i can't say it's made me drink more water, but i sure do like looking at it.

off to heat up some soup. our world is made entirely of liquid.


the doves are back!

we live in a tree house. every window of our second floor apartment has ficus, palm, and evergreen (i think) trees within arms reach. when we first moved in, there was a pair of doves right outside the window by my desk. layla made quick work of scaring them away, they would sit and stare at each other for hours, layla making this weird no-noise at them. they left, and i think they left their eggs behind as well. damn cat.

but they're back!

so far the cats are really upset about it.

the doves will get payback when i shatter the felines' cozy existence with my mad painting skills. i have the thumbs up from our lovable jekyll&hyde landlord to PAINT! what color do you think? yes, i know there are about 80 shades in that picture. and?


jeb & co.

these are some of r's ancestors... hopefully they had a sense of humor.

they live on the veranda, dontcha know. hopefully soon these flowers will have actual living mates.


hello, sugar!

yeah, it's more like valentine's week around here as i have not yet sent out any of the 25 valentines i made... it's the thought that counts, right? meh.

these were made from a big bag of cards r's grandmother saved over the years. his dad has got me pegged, he gave them to me over christmas... hope he likes his :)

and r liked his valentine's day pants. he's got green horsies, and i've got red. cause nothing says valentine's day like horsies. we don't really go for chocolates (buy it once a week) or flowers (cats eat them) on valentine's day. r got me stephen king's "the gunslinger born"-- marvel comics is doing king's gunslinger saga as a graphic novel. i danced around the living room in glee when i saw it sitting on my desk.

i gotta give it up for ms amy butler's "in stitches". i was at first very irritated about this book-- liked the results (your kimono robe & apron, mom 'n dad), but hated the instructions. because they weren't written as i would write them. and my way is ALWAYS THE BEST WAY. when i finally decided to follow the directions without judgement (or outright skipping of steps) i was much happier. this book rocks.

yeah, my hands are pretty big... but they're not that big.

the pants, however, are HUGE.


good morning

breakfast of champions.

so my mom has what you would call a green ARM. every plant she looks at grows. when my mother walks into a greenhouse/nursery, every leaf in the joint straightens up like it's adoption day at the pound. "she's here again! i hope she picks me!"

i did not inherit that gene. i walk into trader joe's incredibly cheap, incredibly beautiful plant section like a kid at christmas, and anything remotely green recoils instinctively. and yet, i am about to force some living thing to brave my care again. green mom is sending me-- what are they called? tubers? of canna. big beautiful 6 foot tall canna with names like cleopatra and king hubert. (thanks, by the way, mom. in my complete terror at the thought of growing something FROM A POT OF DIRT UP i forgot to say that.)

so here, mom, is our back porch. about a 5 foot rectangle of real estate that gets about 5 hours of blinding sun a day.

those poor plants. so excited to be sent to such a glorious address... only to end up with me. what's next, dad, are you going to send me the makings to build my own motherboard?

cats, now... those critters have NO problem growing for me. 


CAOK III (or, these are the people in your neighborhood)

i just spent 2 hours with the wildest lady i've ever met.

75-year-old sheila met me at her door wearing bedazzled eyeglasses (with matching headband, of course), blue eyeliner, a caftan of several hundred colors (which she kept hiking up to show me her "dancing gams"), and black poofy slippers. her house is filled (and i really do mean filled) with every crafty supply, knick knack and collectible vintage item imaginable. there is not one inch of usable surface in the house. and i know because i had to find said surface.

she is me in some alternate universe.

i saw sheila's ad on craigslist. she has arthritis, and needed help cutting sewing patterns. in exchange she would barter "great sewing supplies and fabric!". now, that was easier said than done, as it became clear rather quickly she is not the type of person who lets things go too easily... she ended up giving me a remnant of fabric (pictured above) that was way too 100% cotton for her style. but more than that i enjoyed helping her out. it was like being phoebe in Friends and just having a totally out there couple of hours. we made a dress for her grand daughter, and started a caftan made out of a huge island wrap she got on a cruise. she showed me every, and i mean EVERY, piece of clothing in her closet. she played me her son's cd and showed me her moves. she gave me chocolate covered cream puffs, 2 of which fell on the floor, and although she wouldn't eat them, she also wouldn't throw them out.

i mean, and she lives on the same street as me, 2 blocks away. it was all in all a neat experience. it made me feel like i live in a neighborhood, and it made her happy. afterwards, i surfed my favorite blogs and found african kelli's CAOK. i think i have committed a CAOK! wahoo! and i may even commit one next week when i take sheila over to the valley to the thrift store where she gets all of her booty. she's very excited to show me this secret place, she doesn't share this information with just anyone, you know.

and we had a CAOK happen to us yesterday: our awesome next door neighbors gave us this gorgeous chair because they know we're finally trying to make our apartment something we love to live in, rather than a holding pen while we're here in LA. i didn't think it was possible... but there are actually good people in LA. people who like to laugh and eat and talk and don't give a shit about the business... oh yeah, and they curse too! and they live right next door to us! shhh, don't tell anyone.



so howdy and welcome...

what to do with a 54 x 54 inch canvas that refuses to produce acceptable results? cover it with fabric! i swear this canvas is--was--cursed. i mean, it can't possibly have anything to do with the artiste. i got it right about this time last year for 40 bucks at a garage sale, which is insane for a canvas this size. now i know the reason. it is impossible to paint. i've tried twelve times. it was probably used by an art student who was constantly brow beaten by some cranky teacher who told her not to paint the thorns on the roses because they aren't pretty.

okay, that was me in the 5th grade, but i'm SURE she had a similar experience.

R actually really liked version 12 of the painting, so i couldn't destroy it. i also couldn't look at it anymore. so now it's waiting patiently (demonically) underneath what i guess you would call a quilt, until the day when we have a three story lavender house with a wrap around porch and it shall live in The Room I Will Rarely Visit.

and the quilt will live with me.