Friday, June 29, 2012

Roses, Seashells, and Eyeliner

There's a rose in my garden whose stems are weak and whose blossoms are floppy. I can't bear to rip her out, though, because her petals are the most glorious, pale interior-of-a-seashell color:

The rose petals remind me a lot of this little seashell, which I keep with my makeup:

I use the seashell as a little pot to hold water for my eyeliner:

After a long search, I have found my hands-down favorite eyeliner: "La Femme Hollywood" cake eyeliner. It's from my local beauty supply shop. An amazing deal, the eyeliner costs only $3.50 per pot. And a pot lasts for a loooong time.

(Full disclosure: My Lovely Daughters #1 and #2 prefer Stila's "Stay All Day" waterproof liquid eyeliner.):
photo credit:

But I prefer the old-fashioned method of dipping a wet brush into a pot of pigment, and creating a line as thick or as thin as you want. With a brush and water, cake eyeliner allows you to make a thin, dry line along your lashes (bottom line, photo below).

Or you can goop it on for more of a va-va-voom look (the middle line, above). I used this more dramatic approach for The Hubby's office party last December:

(That French Twist took a ton of hairspray and enough bobby pins to set of an airport metal detector!)

With even more water, you can apply a watery wash of color over the whole eyelid (top line in photo below):

Every time I put on makeup, I'm glad I have the little shell. And the best eyeliner, ever.

And the breathtaking roses out front.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vintage Linens for Baby

This lovely young lass is S., four months old. Her momma has already started S. on the road to great style. Instead of using ugly old cloth diapers as burp cloths, Mom uses beautiful vintage linens, which she finds on eBay. Chubby cheeks alert!:

S.  also owns an enviable array of shoes--in her case, knitted and crocheted booties--some vintage, some not. What young lady wouldn't want more shoes?

Vintage napkins, doilies, antimacassars, and hankies are often made from pure linen and cotton. Sturdy and soft, these materials bleach beautifully and look great, whether they are ironed after washing, or left in their naturally, softly wrinkled state.

I am considering buying up a lot of vintage linens right now, like this and this and  this. Because, who knows? Some day, there might be a little miss S. in our future.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Roadside Rescue, Pottery Edition

Yesterday before the summer heat wilted woman and beast alike, I took my pugs out for early-morning walks.

Aaaaand of course, we found stuff by the side of the road. (We are always finding stuff by the side of the road!). This time, it was three ceramic pots:

Mu Shu kept nosing in as I was trying to take photographs. He was certain that the only reason I'd put down something bowl-like on the ground was because there was something tasty inside.

A disappointed Mu Shu:

The first pot is a greenish-tan, low square-ish one, with feet at the four corners and a vaguely Asian feel to it:

In my imagination, I see it heaped with small pebbles and narcissi or hyacinths, come spring. Kind of like this:

photo credit: leedav, creative commons on

The next pot is more of a warm tan, and an oblong shape. It has a nice glaze that flows into the interior, about halfway down:

It could work for almost anything that doesn't demand deep roots. Sort of an all-purpose pot.

The last one has no drainage hole, so it's really a vase. It's a cheerful, deep yellow color and has a little twisty ridge on the outside:

Mu Shu just couldn't believe there was nothing in this vessel. He stared into it so hard!

So I took dropped a plain Cheerio into it. Mu Shu tried mightily to get at the Cheerio:

After laughing hysterically, I took pity on him and handed him the Cheerio. I stacked the pots up away from Mu to get one last shot. I'll take them off to Goodwill later.

They're nice, but not my color scheme.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Up to the Mountain Top

Last week when we were in the High Sierra, a group of us piled in two cars, drove a short distance to a lake, and paid our money to take a ferry across the water.

Nothing fancy, the ferry looked like an open tin can.

We buzzed across the lake to the other side....

 Through a very narrow notch of water affectionately known as the "Jungle Boat Cruise"...

...and out once again on the far side, where we began our hike up to a nearby mountain top.

Part of our hike took us along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Seeing this little sign (below) made me think of  "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," the account by Cheryl Strayed of her experience hiking solo for three months along this epic trail. She didn't actually hike past this marker, but still. It was cool, thinking about her and what she accomplished at the age of 26. (I recommend the book.)

The trail was easy to find because there wasn't much snow obscuring it. Where the path was unclear, cairns helped guide the way:

We were heading for this peak:

It can be daunting, thinking about hiking for four or more miles, mostly up, from 7,500 feet to 9,200 feet. The air is thin, and it can take three or more hours to make the climb.

But along the way, there are lovely things to look at, like Mountain Phlox:

And Pussy Toes:

Step after step, breathing hard and stopping occasionally to take a swig of water from the canteen, you pick your head up, to be rewarded with sights like this:

and this:

and this:

About when you think you are never going to make it, suddenly, you are there! You open up your day pack, dig out a sandwich or bag of granola, and rest your feet while delighting in your accomplishment and the gorgeous view:

Other hikers might be sharing the peak with you, one rock over:

I am always amazed that, no matter how high I hike, there are butterflies flitting about:

On the way down, we encountered several friendly dogs who were backpacking along with their families. This guy seemed genuinely happy to be there:

I took this shot as he and his boy passed by. Look how much that young man is carrying!:

Down again at last to the lake's edge where the ferry would pick us up, we met two yellow Labs about to begin their hike up the mountain. This cutie-pie is Kaiyu, rescued from the pound in Downey, California, just a month ago:

He was wearing booties for the first time in his life. It was comical, watching him walk with exaggerated care. He picked his paws up reeeeeeally high, trying to get used to his new footgear. Meanwhile, his big sister, Naia, was an old pro at booties, and she even knew how to carry a backpack:

We said goodbye to the other hikers and dogs, took the ferry back to where our cars waited, and left the lake in the care of its year-round denizens:

A flock of Canada Geese, who have decided that life is sweet on this lake and there's no need to migrate, ever again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vintage Camp Style

Our favorite family camp in the High Sierra was founded in the 1950s. Like other building projects from the mid-20th century, its vintage style derives from the natural beauty of its mountain surroundings.

The camp's chief design influences are sky, trees, rock, and lake. The major design materials are granite, wood, iron, leather, and woven textiles.

The two major colors in camp--and in the buildings surrounding it--are browns (in the wood, leather, and gently rusting iron) and greens (reflecting the mesquite, pines and redwoods that cover the mountainsides):

It's a beautiful, restful palette, punctuated occasionally by soft reds and faded blues:

Light--the way it pours in through the windows, strikes the granite boulders, and turns the lake a deep, deep blue--plays a major role in the camp's design.


If we were ever to have our own little cabin in the woods, I'd want it to look just like this.


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