Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yard sales and a progress report on Duane's studio

Duane, Linda and I hit assorted yard sales this morning along with the semi-annual parking lot sale held at the vintage shop YesterDaze.  Duane was the lucky one at the parking lot sale.  She bought three pieces of really nice costume jewelry, two cuff bracelets and a necklace, for a pittance.  Then we hit the other sales.  Duane and I both bought numerous items.  I found a trivia game called The British Invasion, a DVD of the movie Donnie Darko and some yarn, needles and hooks to donate to The Humble Stitch.   Besides the jewelry she found at the parking lot sale, Duane purchased a small piece of blue and white Delft pottery, a set of pretty chopsticks, a mat cutter, a book, and some cool looking vintage pic buttons to use in her designs.  Linda was the only one who escaped making a purchase but that was only because nothing popped up that grabbed her. 

Today's haul.

Afterwards, we headed to Starbucks, as usual, for refreshments.  The weather was pretty nice when we started but it had started to become really warm.  Cool drinks all around. 

When we headed back to Duane's house (these sales were all in her neighborhood), she showed us the progress she's made on her home office/art studio.  She's about 80% finished with the office part.  She has a separate building on her property that houses this.  It has electricity so there are lights and air conditioning.  She painted her desk and work table a hot pink gloss.  It took three coats.  She's already hung a number of items on the wall, etc., and now she's getting ready to paint the concrete floor.  The 'studio' section is coming along, too, but there's more work to be done there.  Duane wants to have it set up with her easels and paints so that she can leave things out and go back to them as she pleases.  Linda and I were very impressed by all of the work that's she's done.

Duane's home office.
Duane's Jim Morrison poster.
Linda and I also liked Duane's framed poster of her forever crush, Jim Morrison of The Doors.  I had to include a photo showing the poster.  By the time she finishes, Duane plans to have chairs for company (like Linda and me) so she's been on the lookout for a pair.  She's also planning to hang black beads in the doorway that separates her office from her studio.  I'll post here as her progress on this continues.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Three-Estate-Sale Day

A sampling of smalls.
As you've gathered by now, Duane, Linda and I love hitting estate sales on Friday.  Those are generally the best sales on the best day of the week.  Almost all of the big sales start on Friday as opposed to Saturday.  Today we were very lucky to hit a triple.  The first two sales were on the south side of town so it took about a half hour just to get to them.  Sale number one was held at an older house on the water and had very nice items.  I found a lovely handcrafted leather box made in England that has a little age on it.  Linda found another piece, two pieces actually (they're a set) for her Noritake/Japan china collection.  The prices at this sale were fantastic.  The company conducting the sale definitely wanted to get rid of the contents.  The house is already on the market so I suppose that may have been an issue.

One of Bunny's rooms.
The second sale was at a lovely home just off the bay.  The owner had been a woman who was a decorator and antique dealer.  She was known as 'Bunny.'  The house was so beautifully furnished with a large number of items and the rooms were gorgeous.  'Bunny' had excellent taste and, apparently, a large purse.  I purchased a small Halcyon Days enamel box.  I have a collection of these -- mostly given to me by George and other family members as gifts.  The price was very good for this one so I couldn't pass it up.  

Bunny's sun room.
The third sale was very near to where Duane lives so that worked out since we could head to Starbucks for a treat afterwards.  This house was much more modern in style than the two previous houses.  The owner had a nice collection of American made matte white pottery priced to sell so I had no trouble finding one I liked.

Linda and I were very happy with our purchases.  Duane had been tempted by a few items but was a good girl and prefers to wait until she finds something she really likes.

We don't get many Fridays with sales this good so we enjoy them when they come along.

My treasures.
Linda's lovely find.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recording update

I've been crazy busy working on a recording that has required more 'prep' time than any other book I've done thus far.  The title is The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola.  If that title sounds slightly familiar it's because it's been adapted for the screen and is currently being shown on PBS Masterpiece Classic as "The Paradise."  I love the series and became curious about the book.  After beginning the book, I just knew that I wanted to record this story.  However, since the book was originally in French (the location was moved from Paris to London for the Masterpiece series), there are a ton of French place and surnames to research.  So, I read the book first without worrying about the French.  Then I began a second reading to note each French word (and a few other words here and there) that needed to be checked for proper pronunciation.  Thank goodness for sites like!

"The Paradise."
My publisher is good with my taking the time to narrate this one and I'm really glad about that since I hope to introduce audiobook listeners who liked the series to the original story.  The book is much grittier than the world shown in the series and, of course, there's a lot more background on the characters and their lives.  However, I feel that the series definitely caught the spirit of Mouret and Denise!

I'll post again on my progress and when it's available for sale on Audible.  At this point I've recorded approximately 1/4th of the book.  Lots more to go but the story is well worth it.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

A short 'girls' vacation to D.C.

My friend Linda and I had been talking for the past year or so about going up to Washington D.C. for a tourist-y visit.  Since this is where George is from, I've been going up there for years but haven't done anything as a tourist in ages.  Linda lived there for a number of years when she was in college but hadn't been back in years.  Duane visited with a friend last May and had a great time seeing some of the changes and new exhibits.

Linda had never been to Arlington Cemetery and I hadn't visited since the late '70's so we decided to go there on our first afternoon.  The eternal flame at JFK's gravesite was undergoing maintenance but you could still see the headstones of JFK, Jacqueline, and their two infant children.  We also saw RFK's and Ted Kennedy's graves just down the slight hill from JFK's grave.  Of course, we headed to the Tomb of the Unknown for the changing of the guard.  A solemn and beautiful ceremony that is not to be missed.  This would have all been more enjoyable had we not begun walking out of the wrong door of the welcome center.  So, let's just say we took the scenic route in a LONG trip to the two most popular areas of the cemetery.  To say it was painful would be an understatement.  Yes, there is a bus that will take you around but we didn't need that.  After all, we knew where we were going.  NOT.  Our feet and legs were not speaking to us by the time we left.

We hit the Smithsonian's Museum of American History the next day.  Lots of changes from what I remember plus it's currently undergoing renovation in many areas.  I've found that to be basically the status quo for much of D.C.  After the American History museum we walked the mall to the fairly new Museum of the American Indian.  This was interesting to see.  We also visited their gift shop, which was one of the nicest ones I've been to.

We hit the Eastern Market on Sunday morning.  Our favorite vendor, Paul 'BoxBoy' Bierman, was there and we had a nice chat with him.   Paul makes the most amazing decoupage items.  You can find out more about him by visiting his website, BoxBoy Demented Decoupage.  Linda and I both did a little Christmas shopping at the market.  After a nice lunch we headed to spend a little time with my sister Heidi and her family in Fairfax.  I got to see two of my favorite people in the world, my nieces Bailey (6) and Taylor (4).  Heidi and her husband Charlie treated us to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant followed up by dessert at the Baskin-Robbins next door.  Bailey and Taylor liked that part the best.  Then Charlie drove us back to our hotel in Georgetown.  Heidi said that if we had been staying one more night, she would have taken us with her to a black-tie event for work where the actor Rob Lowe was the guest of honor.  Darn.  We just missed a chance to see/meet a member of the Brat Pack.  Oh well.

Since we stayed near Georgetown we had a chance to visit some of the shops there and to eat some great food at the many restaurants nearby.  I particularly enjoyed visting the Christ Child Opportunity consignment shop.  My late mother-in-law sold and bought items from that shop so it holds a special meaning for me.  Linda also really liked the shop.

We packed a lot of walking into 4 days so we were both exhausted by day four and ready to go home and relax.  I picked up a little stomach bug of some sort by the last day but, luckily, it didn't affect me during the flight home.   We've both recovered now and realize that we'll need to 'pace' ourselves next time since, ahem, neither of us is as young as we used to be.

Here are some pics we took at the Smithsonian, etc.  I really do love my 'second home' -- the D.C. area.

Linda with Jackie Kennedy's dress.

Me with Michelle Obama's gown.

Dorothy's 'ruby slippers.'

Linda with Archie Bunker's chair.
Comparing profiles.

A vintage microphone.  Should I switch?