Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

This is Halcyon cemetery in Arroyo Grande. We drive past it everytime we visit our friends in Oceano and the last time Margot pulled over and said "Would you like to get some pictures?"

It was a warm Sunday afternoon and very peaceful walking around and taking shots of the headstones.

There seemed to be a plethora of very diminutive markers,

including some where the engraving had almost worn away with the years.

On this last Saturday of 2011, we'll bid a fond farewell to Cemetery Saturday. I hope you've enjoyed our graveyard visits.

Friday, December 30, 2011

From the Bookshelf

LinkI love this book! Sibella Court has gathered from Italy, Japan, India, Mexico and Syria to create a global tour of colour, ephemera and ideas. Published by Chronicle, so you know you're in for a treat. Beautiful photography, occasional vellum pages, typewriter font used throughout - what's not to like. It's not just an interior design book, but a wonderful tome to keep handy for eye candy and endless inspiration. Highly recommended!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Theatre of Dreams

The sparkle,

The vintage feel,

the joy!

What would the holidays be without a trip to
Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams?

Stopped by last week on my way
to Sebastopol, to see the magic,

and pick up some lovely letter press
letters on circle cardstock.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? When it's a decorative book box and a Whitman's chocolate box holding journal supplies for our up-coming trip to New Hampshire at the end of January.

Our dear friend Franny has a cabin on Upper Kimbel Pond there and I am going to get to see lots and lots of snow!!

And when I get too cold, I plan to come
inside by the fire and journal about it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Shots from the Swarovski salon on San Francisco's Union Square.

Can we say sparkly?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Under the Tree

I was so tickled yesterday to find this waiting for me under the tree. I have long wished for a santo of my own, when seeing them in shops, churches or friends' houses. Margot found this one at The Phoenix Shop at Nepenthe in Big Sur, and knew it wanted to live with us here in Morro Bay.

Daughter Bronwyn hand wove the beautiful blue and white scarf

and daughter Jenny gave me a handful of Tim Holtz Ideology bits and bobs and the exhibition book from Isabella de Borchgrave's show that we saw in San Francisco last spring.

And what girl doesn't want fish skeleton earrings and ginormous vintage keys? Margot found both of these (and the gorgeous green lace scarf) at the Dickens Fair earlier this month.

Gotta love the holidays!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas

A Jolly Old Elf 11x14"

"And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!'"

The best of the season to all of you from Altered by the Sea!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

Trinity Church Cemetery Manhatten NY, the resting place of Clement C Moore, whose most famous work will be read and recited this evening by hundreds of thousands.

"T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

Friday, December 23, 2011

From the Holiday Bookshelf

This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. It is impossible to read it without laughing out loud. The story of how the horrible Herdmans bring the true meaning of Christmas to the annual pageant. It has become a modern Christmas classic. For years, my younger daughter Jenny would read it to us as we decorated the tree. She has a keen ear for picking out just the right voices and inflections for each character and I never read it now without hearing it all in her voice. A double reason why this is one of my favourites. Give yourself a holiday treat - curl up with a glass of eggnog, a plate of Christmas cookies and spend sometime with this delightful story.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dickens Steampunk

One of our favourites at the Dickens Fair was the Jules Verne/ H G Wells-esque explorer-scientist room. Enough steampunk for everyone - even me!

My fingers were itching to get a hold of some of the wonderful old ephemera.

Giant gears,

Giant bugs,

And all with the Victorian touch.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

When is a cigar box not a cigar box? When it's a Christmas chocolate box that holds a small collection of Santas.

At one time I had a huge collection of St. Nicks, that I have gradually, over the years, pared down, gifted and given away.

These are the smaller ones I have left and

the large ones grace the mantel this year
(because that's one place the cat's can't get to!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Circus Comes to Town!

Louis Vuitton's wonderful windows this holiday season -

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls of all ages...

Elephants and zebras that seem to disappear into the pattern of the big top,

And, of course, beautiful luggage to
travel to the next performance!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bay Area Score

On our recent trip to the Bay Area I scored big! My lovely loot, gathered from Dick Blick, Castle in the Air, The Builder's Book Source, and the Dickens Fair included;

Mica, pewter twigs, skull necklace and bracelet (a girl can never have too many skulls!), a cool rubber stamp that prints a file drawer label,

Golden products, mini canvases, bird stencils, a Dover Steampunk book & CD and 101 Things to Learn in Art School. Christmas - a little bit early!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life on a Different Coast - Venice

photo courtesy Reuters

No sleigh and reindeer here, but boats and oars for
Santas to traverse the Grand Canal!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

The final resting place of Charles Dickens in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, London.

Probably the most loved Christmas story of all time A Christmas Carol was penned by Dickens in 1843. Hundreds of editions and dozens of dramatizations have followed that first slim volume that was printed and sold just a few days before the holiday that year. The story was credited (along with Prince Albert's enthusiasm for the Christmas tree) with bringing back the seasonal spirit to the British Isles which had been somewhat lacking since the days of Cromwell.

Friday, December 16, 2011

From the Holiday Bookshelf

This lovely tale of the 8 nights of Hanukkah and a brother and sister's love for a lost kitten and puppy is heartwarming and charming. Beautifully illustrated by Robin Spowart, it's a wonderful addition to your holiday collection.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Putting on the Glitz

Talk about glitterati! Check out the beauty gowns on these lovely ladies.

They're strutting their stuff in the holiday windows
at I Magnin on San Francsico's Union Square.

I wonder - naughty or nice!?