Friday, December 28, 2007

Rusty's Got a Sister!


And, I've named her Ginger.

Click here for more detailed pictures of Ginger at my Etsy Boutique

There may be one more Wild Carrot in the works...but now I've got Wild Blueberries on my mind. (Cue maniacal laughter) Yes, I have officially gone mad. The good thing is that I'm mostly ok with that & I'm having fun.

Happy New Year, ya'll.

XO

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Its Still Wednesday

(Late, but Wordless None-tha-Less)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Only B/C I Haven't Heard It Yet Today...the Waitresses



Long Live the 80's. Big Hair. Big Lights. Big Time.

Hope that the holiday met your expectations. XO

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mister Heat Blister

Guess What's Onnnnn Toooo-Night????





Here's to a happy, healthy and groovy holiday to everyone.

XO - wzgirl

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gasp!

Go over and visit Cuteable.com...

(click here)

...to see what took my breath away this morning.

Yay! I think that this is just what I needed this morning. Like an early Christmas gift.

Thanks, Cuteable! XO

Friday, December 14, 2007

My First Doll!

It has been a while in coming - but my first doll has made the transition from the drawing board in my head to reality!



I'm calling it a Wild Carrot that goes by the name of Rusty (after the band Rusted Root). There are more on the way, if only I didn't have to do the old 9 to 5 thing - sewing and playing around with color is sooo much more fun.

Here's a link to Rusty's home on Etsy - and if you'd like to see more pictures!

Yay!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Feuerzangenbowle

I thought that I'd gotten the best White Elephant gift evah a good few years ago when I scored this album:


It remains one of my all time fave cds & is frequently played as background music for social gatherings. I was willing to accept whatever crappy gift I might get in the future b/c I felt that I'd gotten my end-all/be-all gift and that was probably my quota for this lifetime as far as the Dirty Santa game was concerned. Fine.

Last night, however, lucky ol' me actually ended up with an extremely cool White Elephant gift that may outdo the Beastie Boys - we will have to see. First impressions, though, are high on the cool/unique/intriguing factor!

Here's a pic of the gift:


And, here is what is inside:


It is all the ingredients for a real-live-authentic Feuerzangenbowle. Aka - German Burnt Punch, Crambambuli...or "Flaming Fire Tongs Punch". A blazing spirited beverage which was made famous by a 1940's German movie called Die Feuerzangenbowle. Apparantly the show is all about a man who imbibed a bit too much of the firey drink, dressed up as a student and goes back to school at the urging of his drinking buddies.

Gotta love a good German Comedy....one that has (according to University of Google) inspired a cult following all over Europe. Have you see this one, Dad?

Anyway, sounds pretty cool doesn't it? Some of the key ingredients include fresh, organic oranges & lemons, cloves, juniper berries, a bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Some of these:


Sugar Loaves....

And some of this:


Super, duper strong Rum (at least 54% alcohol). Whoa. Plus you add wine to that! Prost!

Ok, and that funky looking sheath-thing above the bottle of moonshine? That is an integral part of this entire process. It is called a "Feuerzange" and holds the "Zuckerhut" (or SugarLoaf) above the pot of punch while you douse it with the hooch and then light it afire.

Oh. My. God.

I found some great vids online of people engaging in the holiday Feuerzangenbowle - and it looks very cool. Especially if you like lighting stuff on fire...and then drinking it. Anyone know Deutsch?


(Contrary to the celebrants in this vid - you are NEVER supposed to pour the rum from the bottle onto the flame...ahem)

Stay tuned b/c you know that we are so going to blog this....now, who wants to come over????????

Alles Gute! Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sometimes Dreams Change



Anyone else get goosebumps?

And, maybe a teary eye?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mexico Lindo

Ah....Mexico.


Mexico - Mexico - Mexico - Mexico.

Si, Mexico.


As a Californian, visiting Mexico feels a lot like being at home. The food, the language, the mellow vibe. I only ate fish and vegetables & I couldn't have been happier. We got a few nice souvenirs but the best one was the tan on our Sorry-Ass-Northern-Californian-Hides. We were in the sea as much as we were on the sand ~ and ~ as much as we were sipping frosty drinks in town post sunset. It was excellent. Muy Bueno, for sure.

Isla Mujeres was our destination. Same place we visited last November. Lovely wee island.


The sands are powdery white and the sun is all too kind this time of year. No sunburns, no blisters...no phone, no internet, no stress. LOTS o' Chillaxin'. Very nice combo.


The sunsets - ah, the sunsets. And, the beautiful blue agua. Gorgeous.

I'll save the food-love for another post, but suffice to say, it was wonderful.


This year we stayed close to the town center of Isla. Cheaper and quieter but still incredibly close to la playa. We found this sweet hotel called The Francis Arlene and scored with the top floor room. I couldn't help but refer to it as The Penthouse. Not only did it rock to reside without others above us - but we got the entire rooftop patio to ourselves the entire TIME! How flippin' cool is that? A nice benefit of being able to travel on the "shoulder" season, I think.


Last November we took a trip to the Yucatan to visit Chichen Itza - this year we embraced the beach and only boarded a bus to get to/from the airport. Good Call. It was nice to unpack our bags and hang on the island solamente.


The main reason we went to Isla Mujeres over Thanksgiving was because of a promise that Jzboy & I had made to each other. Last November we vowed that if we weren't back from China with our child by that time - we would return to the lovely island. Funny thing is that now we're thinking that an annual visit may just be essential for our souls.

Whatever may come...this is how we're feeling now. Now is good.

Be. Here. Now.


Our mantra, as much of a struggle as it feels at times, is how we'll try to focus. As my dear buddy, Barb (who happens to be a Shaman), says - we will strive to be "Grounded In The Present".

Easily (& Thankfully) Distracted

While on vacation I had all of these creative vibes going so by the time I got home, I was totally stoked to have a blissfully mellow weekend nearly alone with my Kenmore. Here's what I did:


I fell in love with this Matryoshka fabric because of the colors and the cute factor. To me, it was an excellent basis for a holiday project. A bit of sketching on the beach & I have an original design! Yay. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to create something with my own pattern...my own vision. Sweet.

Click here for more detail & pics....

So, that being said, I do have a doll pattern coming to life. She/He is slightly beyond rough draft & I'm really looking forward to some time to play around with fabrics/design soon. My goal is to have some for my Etsy shop in early 2008!

This Etsy thing has been a great distraction for me in the midst of the holiday season and considering all of the adoption referral/timelines uncertainty. When I'm busy, creatively engaged and positively distracted - I can cope. You can only spend so much time in Mexico or on the motorcycle to distance yourself from rumors and angst. This is my newfound elixir.

Thanks to everyone who has dropped by my shop and given me feedback...& sales!

xo

Friday, November 30, 2007

View from the BeachTowel

And, oh what a view it was!



We're back from Mexico & although quite chillllly, very happy to be home.

Who's even happier? Iris, of course.


More later, I actually spent some time with my notebook this trip.

XO

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back

That was my response when a old friend asked if I needed my head checked when I told him about our motorcycle trip. Especially when he realized that we'd be covering well over 400 miles. "Cuz' we're 'Bringing Sexy Back', I explained".

Doesn't that sound like a good idea?


Jzboy had his own reasons for wanting to get his bike (& perhaps his wife?) going. But I had to find something flip - with an amusing catchphrase - to afford me some distance between my fear and my desire. Whatever works, right?

Once I put aside the images of crashes, fire, ambulances and paraplegia - I really got into it. It actually took less time than I'd imagined, maybe a half hour or so into the trip. In retrospect, I think that I was more concerned about Jzboy's safety than my own.

And, he was fine.

Surprisingly, I ended up feeling a lot safer than I ever thought I could. I think that my calm had to do with our finding a very quiet road to start our journey, riding as a group (you're much easier to see when there are three bikes vs. one), traveling with friends that embrace the importance of taking breaks, a partner that tells you earnestly that "the passenger is boss" (& that said "boss" is "precious cargo" to him) and the promise of winetasting and bountiful dining options at the end of the journey. Nice.

Here is kinda how we got there:


Highway 25 was beautiful and it seemed that we had the road to ourselves once we got past Pinnacles National Monument. The dusty, craggy hillside and one lane road made me forget that I was in California & gave me flashbacks of motocycle films I'd seen and panoramas I'd imagined as a backdrop for such an adventure. It was beautiful, meditative and humbling.

Jen & her Hubs were the inspiration for this trip. About a month ago, at their pre-pre baby shower/adoption referral announcement dinner they casually invited us to tag along with them on this trip. Both of them are wayyy experienced on the track and on the streets (uhm, yeah, Jen's cool like that) and the invite was just the right inspiration for Jzboy to resuscitate his beloved Yamaha Turbo. The Turbo is 25 years old! Uhm, yeah, Jzboy's cool like that!

(Guess which one of us was dreaming of hot cocoa and a nap?)

I was by far the luckiest of the bunch because all I had to do was kick it on the back of the bike & chill. It was a blast. I got to enjoy the wind through my ponytail, the scent of ripened strawberries in the Central California Fields in my nose, the invigorating chill of the fog as we set out on our journey (& as we made our final approach toward home), the familiar images of freshly turned farmland mixed with pungent manure, the dizzying rush of adrenaline, even the butterflies that were there at the start of the trip.

These multilayered sensations made me forget my initial trepidation as well as the stiff back and sore rear end that became souvenirs of the trip.

Totally worth it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taking a Deep Breath...

...and going for it.

I've got an Etsy shop! It took a bit of work loading pictures and mustering up some courage - but I did it!


You can see a preview of what I'm calling "Cafe Couture" to the right of the blog over there. Click on the blue link "buttercupbloom" to get to the shop.

Or click here....

I got the idea for the "java jackets" after roasting my fingers one too many times on a hot Americano. Over the past week, I've test-driven the design & love it. Got a lot of compliments, too. Cool thing about these little puppies are that they are made from %100 recycled materials - reduce, reuse, recycle baby! So much better for the enviornment (& for your style) than those cardboard thingys they hand out at the cafe.

C'mon over to the shop...
(Just promise not to tease me about the slightly cockeyed and fuzzy pictures, I'm an Etsy-Newby)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I ((Heart)) S. V.


Seeing the Suzanne Vega show Monday evening at the Fillmore was a lot like reuniting with an old friend. It was easy and comforting in just that way. Suzanne sounded great and was cheeky and thoughtful as she sang everything from Small Blue Thing to Gypsy to Caramel to just about everything on her new album. Good thing I love her new album so much. There is a real NY vibe to it - she even had an "I (heart) NY" mug that she sipped from onstage.

The Fillmore is such a small venue so we were really close and I was just mesmerized. Suzanne connected with the audience in an affectionate, teasing way - much more realistic and sincere than the other shows we've seen this year. Members of the crowd shouted suggestions of songs they wanted to hear - there are so many - and she teased back, playfully negotiating with the group. There were 2 encores - the final song being the Queen and the Soldier. A fitting tune, IMO, for a Veteran's Day evening. It was endearing and personal...and we drove home from the City feeling all warm and happy inside.

Can you believe that Suzanne Vega has a blog?? Click on this link to check it out!

This is a movie she posted of a tune from the new album - Beauty and Crime. The song is called Unbound. At the Fillmore show Suzanne explained that this song was about a plant that she once knew. Give it a listen, it is brilliant. If you are a fan (or even if you're not, but are looking for something fresh for your IPOD) check out her the album. I couldn't recommend enough.


Today Jzboy and I have been waiting in the LID-Line for 18 months. That is a year and a half. Here is Suzanne and her band on David Letterman singing - Anniversary. Even though I know that her song is about 9/11 - it felt appropriate in a way.

Not all anniversaries are sweet and romantic. Sometimes..."each year leaves its unresolving fantasies".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Showin' Out

A little known fact about me is that I used cater weddings. Once I got a kitchen of my "own" (I lived in the dorms all 4 years of college) I learned the joy that is cooking for others. Many catering gigs kicked that inclination up a notch. I even spent the day before I got married cooking a huge pot of tomato corn chowder for all of our friends/family that were in town. Some people thought that I was nuts, but it was actually very relaxing.

Today I got the chance to tap into those mad catering skills as I offered to help with some food for my friend, Jen's, baby shower. Here is a before picture of my Crudite Platter:


Know what the big-ol' potatoey looking veg is on the cutting mat?? Jicama.

After:


Doesn't this make you want to eat your veggies??

The BabyGurl we were celebrating today, Ms. Amara, is in Ethiopia. Click on this link for a glimpse of her cuteness. Jen & Lionel are on a cloud. It is pretty awesome to see a really-real friend get her referral and celebrate big time. The party was fun and full of big love for the new parents. Cool.

Here is the gift that I made for Amara.


I wonder what she'll name her?

In other creative news, here is a Kitty that has been waiting to be finished up for nearly a year. Both the Teddy & Kitty have sat unstuffed, without faces for far too long. Now they are free to smirk!


This one is going to a dear friend's daughter who has had some difficult surgical proceedures in the past couple weeks. It has been rough on baby & parents. My heart goes out to them.

Finally, be sure that you go hug a Vet this weekend.


Hugs, Dad! XO

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

If You're Into It


Guess what came out for sale todayyyyyyy??

Run don't walk to your local "bullseye" store to get your copy while it is still on sale! I got mine for $19.99!

Check here for more info on the series.

Listen below for a story about a Hiphopopotamus, his friend the Rhymneocerous and for some insight into why I love this wacky show...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Evidence of Vibrance

When you love color and the coming of Autumn - focusing on Vibrance during the month of November is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.


This amaryllis caught my eye on my way home from exercising earlier this week. The two emerging blooms are so wonderful to watch and remind me of my dear friend's recent news of TWINS!!!!


It doesn't hurt to have special visitors on their way. Brightly colored dishware filled my washer & chocolate pie chilled in the fridge in preparation of their trip.


Orangey fabrics inspired a teething bib project.



Its reversable & made to catch drool whilst looking cool.


Best part of all - having a wee girl here to play with said bowls/plates and to model new auntie fashions!


She also test-drove the freshly installed crib. Sweet.



Meanwhile....out in the garage....here's a special operation that Jzboy is working on. How cool is it that he's getting in on this Vibrance Project??


Looks like it might be time to dust off the helmets pretty soon. Oooo-eeee!

Just because this song has been going through my head ever since I decided on the title for this post - here is one of my fave tunes from Genesis. Evidence of Autumn. Looks like someone from YouTube put the song to some scenes from Autumn in New York with Winona Ryder and Richard Gere. Maybe the song was actually used in the movie, I don't know. Anyway, it serves a nice backdrop.

I know that there are some other Gen-Heads out there, for the rest of you, try it you might like it....



XO

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Struggling for Hope

I'm lucky.

I don't have to work on Fridays. My schedule entitles me to one less day of commuting and I am grateful for that. Lately I've taken to watching Oprah early on Friday before I get to my chores, shower, grocery list or workout. It has become one way that I transition from all the busy-ness/business of the past 4 days to the weekend.

Oprah has sure had some excellent shows recently. She's explored infertility issues a bit, talked about her own struggle with thyroid disregulation, interviewed people that identify as transgender and opened a very informative discussion about mens health. The show that I watched today (via DVR, of course) really gave me some food for thought. She interviewed Randy Pausch - a man with pancreatic cancer who gave a very poignant Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University this past September.

(Click here for a link to look at it if you'd like)

Mr. Pausch talked about his childhood dreams. He described one that took him 15 years to realize and spoke about the variety of "brick walls" that presented themselves along the way. The lesson he learned about those obstacles was that they were proof of how badly he wanted certain things for his life. He explained that, to him, the "brick walls" were not there to keep him out but a way to illustrate the wanting.

Now, I'm not a gal who gets all excited about the Power of Positive Thinking and that stuff. I prefer balancing honesty with hopefulness. I'm more about keeping it real. To me it is important to acknowledge when things are shitty and not talk someone (or myself) out of feeling their true feelings. I'm definitely not going to suggest to anyone "it could be worse...you could [fill in the blank]". I think that doing that sort of thing invalidates anothers reality.

I like Randy Pausch's description of the dartboard of life. He just happened to catch the dart called pancreatic cancer. Yes, that is life. His message is of encouragement to live life in the process of scaling "brick walls" and in spite of whatever darts one may catch along the way.

So, yeah, that was the part that resonated with me. Life isn't fair - but it is actually pretty good. Excellent, even. Sure we got hit with a couple of darts including a slo-mo adoption path. I'm not going to try to put a shine on it. It sucks. But, this is where we're at...and it is going to be another long year for us of waiting. I've let go of the illusion that if I hope hard enough Jzboy and I will travel to China before the Beijing Olympics. That just isn't going to happen. And, well, if I'm being honest....we actually may be looking at 2009.

My head hurts banging it against this:


Must remember that getting over this obstacle will lead to one of my lifelong dreams.


Today I will think about all the ways I intend to live life during this process. I will do my best to hold these intentions tightly as we enter into the holiday season - a time that tends to be very difficult for me. I'm thinking that if this guy with terminal cancer can find a way to live life in the face of such tragedy and embrace the last few months of his life with such tenacity and love - surely I can follow suit. My goal is to replace the stagnance with vibrance.

I am inspired.



But I tell you life is short
Be thankful because before you know
It will be over

Cause life is sweet
And life is also very short
Your life is sweet


Natalie Merchant/Life is Sweet

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two More Shows Scheduled on the Books

And amazing women to boot......

Tori Amos


And, Suzanne Vega



Couldn't feel luckier in the music department.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nesting

It was a weekend good for sticking close to home - complete with Autumnal baking, meditative gardening, contemplative organizing of pictures and memories and breaking out of the Kenmore to put a bit of thread to fabric. It was good to be home. Very good.


The clouds in the sky were cute.


And blue skies made it easy for Jzboy to get up on the roof to tweak our antenna. My hero.

(Direct quote from Jzboy) "One of the perks of the East Bay is that we have a straight shot to the Sutro Tower in San Francisco. Which means perfect reception of ((free)) over-the-air HDTV broadcasts with an ordinary rooftop antenna...we are now at 100% signal strength". And, that my friends, means we can watch America's Top Model and Gossip Gurl w/o any static. Holla!


While up on the ladder, he realized that the gutters needed to be cleaned. I baked him some pumpkin bread as a reward!


Last weekend we took a deep breath and decided to go ahead and set up the crib that has been sitting in our garage for over a year. It needed a bit of dusting...cough, cough. Quite a bit, actually. Can you see Iris already getting in on the action?

I think that it was quite brave of us to finally make this move to be honest. Before the thought even crosses your mind...no, we are not part of the random group of April-Miracle-Referral-Receivers. Not that I'd broadcast such luckiness on this blog or anything. Heh. The main reason for busting out the crib is that my most excellent neice and sister will be visiting here in the next few weeks & it just seemed a very good thing to do. I must admit - it is kinda fun having it up.


Iris thinks so, too.


Gardening is so different in the Fall. Raking vs. weeding, pruning vs. planting, composting vs. seeding and ROSEHIPS vs. blooms.

Finally, my BIG project of the weekend!!


I finally completed the curtains for the baby2b's room. And, I love them. I really love them. They go so much better with the paint color that we chose and I'm just happier with the colors & style. The production involved with this pair was a lot harder than my first - but somehow I sorted it out and love the result.

Ta Daaah!!


Pic of closeup.


Allrightythen...I think that we're all ready for baby to visit. I even washed the crib sheets and the sippy cups...I think that makes us official now. Well, perhaps a bit of child proofing would be a good idea. Maybe next weekend.