Saturday, June 28, 2008

Magically Delicious

It's been damn hot here lately, and that's putting it, 104ยบ anyone?  
So, the other day I was perusing the ice cream aisle at my neighborhood grocery and happened upon a new Haagen Daz "Reserve" flavor, Fleur de Sel Caramel.  I was intrigued to say the least.  The description; Fleur de Sel caramels covered in a chocolaty coating blended into caramel ice cream with carmel ribbons and, here's the best part, French sea salt accents.  Are you kidding me?  How could one possibly go wrong?  And, there I was in the check out line clutching my precious little jewel. Later that evening...oh, who am I kidding?, I dove right in the second I got home, and it was DIVINE.  I think I polished off the entire container (yeah, sure it's dainty) in 2 days and was back at the grocer looking for more.  Much to my dismay, the shelves were empty.  I searched for weeks to no avail.  Fleur de Sel Caramel was proving to be quite elusive.  This was not good.  I finally found the perfect ice cream and now it was unavailable?  After several weeks of checking and rechecking the ice cream aisle I finally marched into that neighborhood grocery all set to speak with the manager and make sure that Haagen Daz flavor would be ordered and on the next shipment...when, much to my surprise, there it was...and on sale no less!  I must say I am one happy woman.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A work in progress...

I am lucky enough to have my very own studio.  Sure, I have to give it up when guests arrive but mostly it's mine...ALL mine. It doubles as a guest house, has a bathroom with a shower and is a fairly compact unit measuring about 170 square feet. It took ages  to renovate the inside, (at least that's what it felt like) mostly because my fabulously talented husband did it all on his own, and he has a real job after all.  There are a few things that still need getting around to, but for the most part it's perfect.
The exterior is a whole different story.  I would love to have it re-stuccoed (that will definitely have to wait!) then painted.  And, I hate the door overhang. So, eventually I'll replace it with one of those canvas type awnings that are held up with iron spears.
In the meantime, I am going to undertake a little landscaping project.  My inspiration is a mix of Mediterranean meets desert, meets tropical.  In the planting bed in front of the studio I want to plant a red banana tree, directly in front of that ugly pipe that goes up the wall.  Of course the first thing I'll need to do is get rid of all that insidious crab grass, ugh I hate that stuff!  
I also have this really great cast concrete frog fountain which I will utilize in that planting bed as well.
My plan here is to chronicle the progress.  I'll post pictures of my latest plantings or ideas I might have.  Now that I'm accountable I hope I'll be more motivated...stay tuned!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another one bites the dust

While strolling through Old Town Pasadena last night I happened to notice that the well established Delacey's Club 41 has closed. I have no idea how long it's been closed as I rarely have time to "stroll" anywhere these days, least of all Old Town. But, there it was, doors locked, windows covered in brown paper, the neon sign no longer flickering. No more table side Ceasar salads for me, sniff, sniff.
This is just another example of what
made Old Town special falling by the wayside and making room for yet another chain. It breaks my heart because I was there in the late 80's early 90's when Old Town was that little diamond in the rough where funky, ecclectic, artistic and inspired little shops were dotted up and down Colorado Blvd. in between the thrift shops and dive bars. Anyone remember the original 35er? Or Four Quarters? The Espresso Bar (or E-Bar as it was known)? The Bastille? (I would kill for one of those deliciously flakey ham and cheese croissants)
Now we have The Cheescake Factory, Il Forniao, Tiffany, Banana Republic, The Gap, Victoria's Secret and so on. You get the picture. And honestly, I have nothing against these chain stores (ok, maybe a few of them) but it's the homoginization of what was once an interesting place to explore & shop and find something unique that makes my skin crawl! Now there is virtually NO difference between Old Town Pasadena and any mall anywhere in America. Oh, except you have to pay for parking in Old Town. I guess it's just part of Globalization...
The only hope this brings me is that maybe, no not maybe, definitely, people are yearning for something different and unique, and personal. And this is what keeps my own creativity going. My jewelry business certainly can't compete on many levels with Nordstrom or H&M or even Target for that matter, but I can blow them away in the creativity and quality departments and that's always been the key to my success.
So, I guess the next time I have a hankering for a table side Ceasar, I'll just have to get creative and make it at home.