Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter CHA Show: My first order was for new rubber stamps

How much do I love these new rubber stamp images?  Had to place an order.  Can't wait for them to arrive.  I smell a class.  Interested?

Nethercutt Museum Again

I forgot to mention that we paid another visit to the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar during this trip.  Enjoyed the tour a second time.  I'll have a Rolls please; help me figure out how to pay the insurance, won't you?

We also visited the Reagan Library and enjoyed that a great deal.  Had our photo taken boarding Air Force One, doing the presidential wave.  Will post that another day.

Oh Sure, NOW the Sun Comes Out!

Can you just believe it?  3 nights with a balcony overlooking the marina and it rains, with cold wind blowing.  Bah humbug.  But the morning we're leaving this locale and heading south we awake to our first day of sunshine since arriving in CA.  I'm telling you, my luck is holding.

We drive away from that sunshine and hit the rain within minutes, which stays with us all the way to Anaheim.  Now CHA has begun and you guessed it:  I'm inside the convention center from 9am to 6pm and yes, the sun is shining!!!!

So much for vacationing in CA in January.  Write it off, let it go, it's CHA and it's divine!!!
More in a minute, with photos!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You've Got to Laugh...

I'm laughing because the alternative won't do me any good.
Before I forget to mention this again, we've been in CA since the 16th and haven't seen an open rest area on any highway or freeway, anywhere.  Instead you see signs telling you that the upcoming rest area is closed from Nov. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2010.  Or the next one that says it closed Dec. 1, 2009 and won't be open before Dec. 31, 2010.  The state has no money to keep rest areas open????
So now let's add to the lack of restrooms all the rain & wind and cold temperatures.  Such a lovely time we're having.
We had rain 2 days & nights of rain getting to, staying in, and leaving Carmel.
It rained cats and dogs last night in San Simeon and continued this morning as we headed across the street for breakfast.  The waitress informs us that Hearst Castle was not only closed yesterday but is closed again today due to the high winds and rain.  Are you kidding me?  I drove down that twisting, winding Hwy 1 in the rain yesterday for the sole purpose of visiting this castle and they've shut it down again? 
What can you do?  You eat your breakfast, get back in the car and head out for Santa Barbara.  We didn't stop for lunch, which was a mistake.  But we did find our first open rest area.  You'll soon know why that's such a good thing.  About the time we hit Santa Barbara we hit a traffic jam like you can't imagine.  3 lanes narrow to 2 with a sign that reads "road construction next 3 miles".  And 2 car lengths from the first sign is a new one that reads "road constuction next 15 miles".  And now the right lane ends and all traffic is merging into one lane which is chaotic.  But wait! There's an entrance ramp dumping more traffic onto Hwy 101 South at the very spot the lanes have merged into one.  Who's the moron in charge of this stuff?!?!?!?
We sat in that bumper to bumper line for an hour, barely moving and were thrilled to finally get past it.  We both commented on how grateful we were to have found that rest area open for business.  But the euphoria was short-lived...like less than one minute, because our rental car died on us as we climbed a slight incline.  We coasted over to the emergency parking shoulder right next to a call box in total shock.
I used my cell phone to call Alamo, who tells me first that they're going to have a wrecker collect us and take us to our hotel.  Then he comes back on the line to say no, they're going to bring us a car, and then back again to say we're going back to plan A.  First he says they'll get to us in 1 1/2 hours, then it's 30 minutes.  It was 2 hours before they arrived with a Chevrolet that's smaller than the Nissan Altima we've been driving. 
But it runs beautifully, which is certainly an improvement, so we'll keep it thank you very much.
And while we're waiting for the tow truck my cell phone never rings.  I've now missed 8 phone calls, 4 from the tow company, and we can't figure out how to turn the ringer or the vibrate mode back on, no matter how many buttons we push.  It's been ringing all day but from the moment I called Alamo, there's not been a peep.  When it rains it pours...isn't that what they say?
Alas, we've now checked into our hotel with a view of the marina (less than 30' from our balcony) and had a fabulous seafood dinner at the end of the road, also overlooking the marina.
I'm wearing my piggy footies, sipping my ice water, and awaiting the new episode of Modern Family.  What more could anyone possibly need?
So I'm still smiling and able to laugh about all this, and have high hopes for tomorrow.  First stop:  Verizon, to get my phone whacked back into shape.  And then we're off to explore.  Keep your fingers crossed that the car keeps moving!

Monday, January 18, 2010

So Much for Sunny, Warm California

We packed for sunshine and warmer temperatures than we left behind in NC.  It's not warmer and it's certainly not sunny.
Yesterday I drove from Bakersfield to Carmel by the Sea in drizzle, then heavy drizzle, then rain.  Thank goodness we packed raincoats with linings since it hasn't gotten above 54.  We walked to lunch and dinner in the rain.  And today it was not only pouring rain but the winds were severe as we walked to and from Em Le's for breakfast. 
Then we were off to San Simeon on Hwy 1, with the mountains on the left and the ocean on the right.  Less than 5 miles down the road I was car sick and had to get behind the wheel.  I averaged 30mph all the way down, dodging rock slides and looking everywhere but over the edge and down at the churning ocean.  Ugh.
We made it and found elephant seals at multiple spots the closer we got to our destination.  We did a bit of antiquing in Cambria and Cayucos (found nothing), paid $3.76 per gallon for gas and then found it for $2.99 naturally.  Best part of this afternoon was our trip 4 miles down the road to Harmony, population 18.  No kidding.  We visited a pottery and a glass blowing studio where I bought a fabulous pen.  They offer a 1 hour class where I could learn to blow glass and make myself a vessel and a paperweight for $125, but I decided to pass.
Tomorrow we tour Hearst Castle and hit the road again for Santa Barbara.  They're predicting more rain and cold temperatures for the next 3 days.  But we're out of the mountains now so maybe I can get back in the passenger seat and actually look at the ocean. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Didn't believe me, did you?

The first 2 photos above are different views of my studio, with books piled high on my tables, just as I said.  And the bottom 2 photos show the empty shelves in the family room and in the library. Which explains all the furniture, art, etc also piled up in the studio. ARGH!  Makes me want to scream just showing you the photos.  Imagine living with this mess.

These 2 photos show guest room #1 and guest room #2, packed with furniture, laundry, bedding, Christmas packages, tv's, nightstands, lamps and so much more.  Just imagine 3 days before Christmas with part of the gifts wrapped and buried in one room while all the unwrapped gifts are buried in the other.  We were up til 4am on Xmas Eve trying to get everything wrapped.

And I know you can't tell a thing about the color in these photos, but trust me, it's glorious!!!  We had a crew of 8 working on both floors of the house at once. 

Check back for photos of the finished rooms...

Happy New Year!!

Better late than never...I have a stamp that says just that, and I should be using it daily.

It's been a long time since my last post and so much has happened.  The house is painted both upstairs and down.  The color on the first floor is glorious!!  Remember all those $4 paint samples I purchased over the last 4 months, and hated?  My husband selected a color from the painter's color wheel of samples and purchased 10 gallons of it.  Sight unseen!!  Talk about a leap of faith.  It's beyond beautiful, which makes me wish we'd gone with the same color on the second floor.  Instead we stuck with Tuscan Sunset.

Now having the painters complete all those walls, ceilings and that 2-story stairwell in one day is beyond a miracle, especially since it was 3 days before Christmas.  The wall art and most of the knick knacks are still stashed in guest room #2.  We haven't purchased a new rug, or new bedroom drapes, but we're living in relative comfort downstairs.

The same cannot be said for the second floor.  All furniture, wall art, rugs, etc were stowed in my studio...and remain there today, much to my dismay.  We emptied thousands of books from the built-in family room bookcases, from the library bookcases, and even from the master bedroom, stacking them all on my farm tables in 2' tall stacks.  One of my 4 tables is still stacked but 2 have been semi-cleared, moving the books to the floor.  Just imagine navigating aound thousands of books without knocking them over as I race around, opening drawers & cabinets, trying to create art.

And in the middle of all this we've both had the flu.  I'm better, he's worse. 

My job today is photographing my Stampaway submissions and getting them to UPS.  They're 2 weeks late.  (Thank you Connie!!!)

Wish me luck.

Back later for more news...  Thank you for checking back after my absence.