Archive | October, 2011

Gravestones and a Wedding Dress.

31 Oct

Tonight (cue Halloween music — so, I guess, Monster Mash?), on this, the advent of All-Hallows-Eve, I am attempting a feat few women before me have achieved. Among the costumed revelers of the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, I will attempt the most daring, most dangerous, most balls-to-the-wall display of fiery rebellion. I will cast down my garters, my go-go boots, my vinyl corset, my falsies! I will become….


And she will not be beautiful!

*(Please do not attempt this at home. It might not even work. It’s possible that the mere act of putting on a plaid skirt transforms even the most well-intentioned, into, at least, a slutty field hockey player. But I’ll document it for you, of course…)

In the spirit of the holiday, I’m posting some pics from an old church graveyard in Lancaster, PA. With dates in the 1700’s, these folks will be itching to stretch out those legs, for a nite…

My Mom gave me her wedding dress, which I brought back to LA with me. It’s a gorgeous gown that she wore as a fresh-faced 21 year old with a pixie cut in 1974. Here are a few pics of me, modeling it.
Nostalgia turned swiftly to terror in this next photo. I do not embody the same youthful hope that my Mom did, in her wedding photos. I look more like….well, yeah. Every single horror film you’ve ever seen.

 So naturally, I married the two. Wedding dress, meet graveyard.
 Happy Halloween! I gotta go back-comb my hair into a frizz nest.





Convertible Living.

28 Oct

If someone calls you up and says “I have a convertible. Wanna drive to Malibu?”

Say yes.

You’ll get to hang out with your friend Jesse and your hair will do fun stuff.

Oh — Hello, Batman! (His other car is a Batmobile). That one’s for you, Jesse.

Have a fun and treats-y Halloween weekend, you guys!




Quilt it.

26 Oct

The other night – in the wee hours of the morning – I couldn’t sleep. A weird feeling washed over me (I’ve had it several times since living in LA.) It’s a sinking hopelessness in my stomach, along with the encompassing sensation of being on another planet. I don’t know where I am, who these people are in the world around me. I feel completely alone. It always makes me get teary. My brain can’t find anything comforting to grab ahold of.

I find a way to calm my little heart enough to go to sleep and things are lighter in the morning. But it makes me think about what’s comforting. Macaroni and cheese. Friends within reach. A hot cup of something, warming my hands. Cash in my wallet. Feeling hopeful. Fat woolly socks when the hardwood floor is cold.

I visited The Quilt Museum  at The Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA. I think this is the first point in my life where the thought of visiting a museum about blankets didn’t make me sigh UGHHHHHH and throw myself to the floor.

I had always imagined the “kountry-kraftsy” version of quilting. But I was delighted to discover these brilliant designs. I didn’t know quilts could do this…

*That quilt is hanging flat against the wall, by the way.
Scandal! One of the patches on this quilt had sexy Can-Can girls on it! My parents say they’re ballerinas. Either way, those tarts are showing their ankles.

My great-grandmother was an orphan, raised by… the AMISH. We drove by her adopted family’s farm in Intercourse, PA. It was big and plain (typical — no electricity or shutters on the windows. The laundry, a somber palette, drying on the line). It was intriguing to me. That somehow I have step-relatives in the Amish community.

This pic is one of my Mom, Dad and I, designing quilts. All I could make was a lame parallelogram-themed flower. So much for almost being Amish… (Wink!)
These quilts have a kind of powerful energy. Something that derives from the skill, passed through generations. The hands who worked together. The heart and soul sewn into gorgeous pattern.

There is something comforting in that. Being part of a whole.



A little indulgence.

25 Oct

Oh, I’m not done with Lancaster…

These are a few of my pics from downtown. Queen Street, King Street…walking distance from the square.

We visited The Candy Factory  (Sorry, sweet tooths — it’s a social creative space, not a chocolate shoppe) to check out my friend Amelia Polys’ photography as part of a 3D photo exhibit. YEAH – You had to wear the glasses to get the full effect. The first image is by Taylor Brown and here is Amelia’s…

That’s one of her pieces, with my 3D glasses in front of it. So you can feel like you were there…

Then we did a bit of exploring in one of my favorite vintage shops, Mommalicious (in partnership with My Aunt Debbie jewelry). Both of these ladies craft and curate some yummy little items…

We strolled past the radio station where my Grandpa had his weekly radio show…

A little cozy pick-me-up… gingerbread and toasted marshmallow lattes in the cafe at Bonbonniére. And maybe I bought a tin of drinking chocolate WHAT who said that?!

I think my Mom’s hands are really beautiful. They’re soft and kind.

I took a moment to type a profound message on the ole Royal typewriter in the cafe. “I’m in Lancaster with my family”. And I typed it like a T-rex.

Before you go – one more pic for the road…



Blend arrives on Etsy!

24 Oct

My good friend Crystal of Blend finally put her gorgeous hand crafted cross-stitched jewelry on Etsy! These sweet necklaces have been in the works for a little while and she’s officially launching today.

You will want to snag one before I order them all. I have my eyes on that rectangular chevron number (Gasp! We even have the same name!). Good grief. I would never take it off…

…Like little stitchy hugs. Love her designs (It’s only a matter of time before they’re on display in Anthropologie...)!



My market’s older than your market…

21 Oct

This is one of my boasting points about Lancaster: downtown’s Central Market. The oldest farmers’ market in America. I had visited as a kid, way before my food-cabulary included words like “organic”, “local”, and “grass-fed”. I grew up, like most of my friends, with things like “corn syrup”, “transfat” and “roll-up”.

In 4th grade, before I set out on after-school activities, I would come home, scoop myself a g-i-a-n-t bowl of Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and watch Woody Woodpecker cartoons. *Good thing I picked up soccer a few years later…yikes…

This time, I returned, having been sufficiently brainwashed (for the better) by food-centric Portland and Los Angeles. Both of which bloom with farmers’ markets all year long.

Fresh veg! Bah. Boring. There’s lettuce everywhere. I wanted to see what makes the market “Lancaster-y”.

YES! There it is… The shoo-fly, Wilbur chocolate buds, cats…doing stuff (I don’t know what that is… chocolate cat turds? It looks fun and German!) This horseradish is sold by the Longs who are family friends. I worked for them one holiday season to package this stuff. (It is deee-licious. Get it!)

Cream puffs, tea and herbs galore, fudge that swirls your troubles away.

We decide to get lunch at the Lettuce Toss Salad stand (I KNOW… I just said lettuce was boring (your short term memory is fantastic, by the way), but this was a perfect snack…and it also cancelled out the Wilbur buds I snarfed.)

We walked across the street to Steinman Park to picnic by the waterfall and watch squirrels build their nests for winter. Baby deer bound past us as bluebirds called melodically from the trees and a Sasquatch quietly ate his brown bag lunch at a table nearby.

Everything up to the Sasquatch is true. OK…. everything up to the squirrels.



A walk in Lancaster County.

20 Oct

This is the stuff within walking distance of my parents’ house in PA: Starbucks, Bergdorf Goodman, a barn filled with tobacco. (It has made a resurgence, probably in partial thanks to hipsters trying to smoke cigars like old men.) There are also giant oak trees, babbling brooks, cow-poo-scented fields for miles…

We walked around and, SmogLung here, tried to breathe in a year’s worth of grassy, treesy, green, earthy AIR.

An old farmhouse.

An Amish farmhouse. And a farmer workin’ his horses. Wanna sound like you’re from Lancaster? Pronounce that street ee-bee CHICK-eez.

Oh, and lang-kiss-tur.

Look what I find on the ground! Little puffy harbingers of Autumn…

I’m a hideous wildlife photographer. Anything that’s moving at the speed of animals is a problem for me. (See above.) BUT. Yay! WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLARS!

I just Wikipedia’d this guy and learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know: I spell it wrong, it’s actually the larvae of a moth…gross – I let it touch meeee. His brown/black patches tell you how the winter’s gonna go this year. By the looks of this fella, a mild winter’s on its way (tiny black patches, big brown patch).

In PA, we like to use odd animals to predict weather. (Hi-five, P. Phil.)

I tried — a lot of times — to take a picture of this Woolly Bear as my mustache. One looked like a blurry photo of Hitler. One was a little bit Frida Kahlo… I gave up.



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