Thursday, May 26, 2011

Try, try, try to record...

I took a shopping break this morning and used my DSW gift certificate that was about to expire and treated myself to two new pairs of sandals.   Very reasonable and really comfy.  Both are Impo which I've never bought before but they have soft elastic and look really cute on my feet.  In Florida, you can never have enough sandals.  Working from home makes sandals a great option since I don't have too many reasons to wear all of the heels still in my closet.  Well, anyway, that's my justification and I'm sticking to it.

I'm currently recording audio for Iambik for a book called Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman.  It's a collection of short stories and I'm up to story number 7 in the recording process.  Or, at least I thought I was until I sat down to record.  Everything was ready -- air conditioning off (George hates this but it's much worse for me), extremely large container of water by my side, netbook for reading the text at the ready, my Blue Yeti microphone safe in it's little foam shack, and here I go...

Not so fast.  First, there was the lawn service that roared to life somewhere on my street.  It sounded like it was inside the house but I'm pretty sure it was outside.  They eventually finished.  I managed to record approximately 2 pages when a bird began to sing in the tree outside my closed window.  LOUDLY.  Later, George asked me if I recognized what kind of bird it was and I guess the look on my face gave him his answer.  I couldn't see the bird but I tried knocking on the glass of the window and finally using a kiddy bicycle horn to try to get him to find another tree.  He took the hint.  THEN the cicadas started.  This was in the afternoon -- it wasn't even dark yet.  Aren't they supposed to be sleeping (or something) during the day???   I realized I had better close up shop for awhile when visions of the Texas chainsaw massacre movies began going through my head.  I was the one with the chainsaw.

There's always tomorrow, right, Scarlett?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday estate sales and good food

I headed out early yesterday morning with my buddies Duane and Linda to hit a few estate sales.  The first one was being held in a small old strip mall in what appeared to be a store that was closing down.
They had some decent stuff, particularly furniture, but the prices were really high.  We all passed on buying at that one.  Luckily, there was an old house next door to this strip mall where a lady was having a sale.  She was also selling her house but was in no hurry due to the depressed housing market.  I had a feeling that she was either a big collector or had owned a shop at one time.  I chatted with her and discovered that she used to have a booth at several of the large flea markets in the area.  That explained her prices being a bit high on many items along with the large collections of various things (Precious Moments, teapots, glassware, etc.).  Linda did get lucky at this one, though.  She bought a lovely hand-painted Nippon dish.  She has a small collection of these -- mostly pre-World War I, some passed down in her family.

Our last stop was an estate sale where the house was also being sold along with this 1953 Chevy truck.  Once again, we could tell that this person had once had an antique shop because the types and amount of items along with the prices reflected that.  However, the lady did tell us that she was willing to haggle and would offer a discount on multiple items.  Unfortunately, there was nothing at this sale that any of us could live without.

Since Linda has been looking for small end or side tables, we hit this fab store I've mentioned before called Kaleidoscope.  Very reasonable prices on items from furniture to decor pieces and all beautifully laid out in the store.  Linda is seriously considering a couple of the Haywood Wakefield tables.  She spoke with the owner who also does the refinishing himself on these lovely vintage pieces.  The tables are similar to the ones in this picture.  One thing we've learned from shopping at Kaleidoscope is that if you see something you like -- don't wait too long because items move pretty fast there.
We were all hungry for lunch after our shopping and decided to dine at
Mikey's Cafe & Bakery.  Mikey's is a great restaurant and bakery
housed in what was once an old drugstore called Pickford's Sundries.   
Apparently, Pickford's had a lunch counter and soda fountain and was considered a good place to eat many years ago, too. 

I had their tuna melt sandwich and I couldn't resist one of their cupcakes.  The current owner kept a number of the items from the original Pickford's and has them displayed in the cafe.  They also painted the building pink, which I understand was the original color of Pickford's.  The food is delicious and Duane and Linda and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Iambik debuts Science Fiction/Fantasy collection

Iambik Audiobooks debuted it's first Science Fiction/Fantasy collection of audiobooks today.   There are nine great titles which may be purchased separately for $6.99 each or the set of nine for $43.99.  Complete and unabridged.

Titles are:  An Occupation of Angels by Lavie Tidhar, Ben and the Book of Prophesies by Kirsty Riddiford, Fall from Earth by Matthew Johnson, In the Shadow of Swords by Val Gunn, Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup, Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost, The Golden Casket and the Specters of Light by Katie Paterson,  The Jewels of Valonia by Katie Paterson, and The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. 

Use the code “best-customer” and receive a 20% discount on all orders from Iambik. So, now is the time to stock up!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Polyvore and The Hamster

One of my sets on Polyvore.
As a long-time subscriber to The New Yorker, it was via their article in the March 29, 2010 issue that I discovered the website Polyvore. Just as the writer described it, it's like playing dress-up for adults where money is no object.

I joined almost immediately after I checked out the site and, I warn you, it can become addictive. Lately, due to spending most of my time recording, I've only been able to spend very short amounts of time on Polyvore but it's so easy to get sucked back in. Polyvore is basically a fashion site where the members clip, style and share the sets they've created. The site provides a 'clipping tool' that is easily added to your toolbar. It allows you to collect items you find on various shopping sites -- whether they're clothing, accessories or items for the home.

An art set using only one item.
Most people make fashion sets, of course, but there are also plenty of members who make home decor sets and art sets. The art sets can be really fun -- you don't need to be an artist although there are many talented people on Polyvore!  I really like to participate in the 'art' sets where the rules are that you may only use one item (as many times as you like in the set) and there's usually a theme of some kind. There are also groups where you can make sets using only two items -- once again there's always some sort of theme.  One of my recent favorites for a two item set was the stipulation that you could use only some type of a ring and a face. Yes, that's Andy Warhol.
Set using a ring and a face.

There are various groups you can join which are usually devoted to themed sets --  whether it's decor or a certain style of dress, etc.  Many members keep 'collections' of sets that they've admired made by others or may be a theme collection of some of their own sets.

Ham by Lucy's Valentine.
One of my favorite collections (and he has many fans) features 'Ham' the hamster -- made by Polyvore member "lucy's valentine" -- a very talented lady.  Here is just one example of the many guises that Ham has assumed.   You may view more of Ham's adventures via Lucy's pages of her Ham sets.  You will not be disappointed.  This little guy really gets around.  In fact, sometimes he's a guy or a girl, wearing wigs, mustaches, different outfits and there may be more than one of him in the set.  You just never know. Get your 'Ham' fix from Lucy's page here. Lucy keeps Ham very busy!

If you sign up for Polyvore, even if you aren't interested in making sets, you can 'like' sets of others and leave comments. I like to give my sets titles (optional) and add a music clip courtesy of (also optional). Nothing like a little extra atmosphere. Don't say I didn't warn you about the site being addictive, though!
My Suzy Parker set.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eastern Market and a Dance Recital

Yesterday, I hit one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in the Washington D.C. area -- the Eastern Market.  I love the artisans, people with antiques to sell, and the market place -- all kinds of flowers and oodles of good food.

I've been visiting my youngest sister, Heidi, and she and our mother and Heidi's two daughters enjoyed perfect weather at the market.  Mom found some pottery and we bought food for lunch and dinner in the food hall.  Fresh pasta.  Yum.  The only thing missing was one of my favorite vendors, Paul (aka BoxBoy) and his Demented Decoupage.  He's usually at the market on Sundays and we had to go on Saturday due to scheduling our activities.

That night we attended my three year old niece's first ballet recital.  I always love spending time with two of my favorite people in the world -- my 3 year old and 1 year old nieces.  I took the picture of them with their mother, Heidi, after Bailey's recital had ended. 

We had an interesting experience on Friday at a shopping mall in Viriginia near where my sister lives.  At least it was interesting to my mother and me.  Heidi has worked for a newspaper for years and is pretty used to this.  There were some people in a small group way out in the mall parking lot along with black government SUV limousines.  We don't know who it was but the limos looked mostly like the one in the photo except it was following  a car limousine and had Secret Service agents literally sticking their heads out of the windows, and scanning the area as they sped by -- complete with earpieces, etc.  Definitely not the president but maybe a cabinet member?  We speculated and watched as much as possible since we were travelling in the same direction for a short time.  Believe me, they were watching us, too.  These guys could protect me any time.  There were lights flashing around the edges/sides of one of the vehicles in the small motorcade.  It was kind of exciting even though we have no idea who it was.

I've been visiting D.C. and Virginia for over 30 years because George was born there, grew up there and still considers Arlington his home town.  I was happy when my sister's career after college took her there and she settled in Virginia.  It's like going to my second home.   Back to Florida on a flight tomorrow afternoon.   Have to get back to recording!