It is always an honor when small pet projects that I do are featured anywhere. This month Altered Couture chose our shoes, a side project called the play haus, to be featured in their magazine. Through this article you learn a little bit about the process, the inspiration, and what cute options these shoes are for baby shower gifts, kid’s birthdays, and back to school presents. I want to thank Stampington and Company for coming to me with the desire to showcase these cute works of art. Adult sizes are available as well. Check out the magazine here. The article is written up on page 82 with a two page spread! The shoes are available for purchase at this Etsy shop.
This is the year I get out of my comfort zone and try all of the things that scared me in the past. Being on stage was always one of them. It has been my dream to audition for a musical, and when the email came about a Beauty and the Beast production, I had to jump at the opportunity. I will be playing member of the ensemble which is a great honor. So if you want to come see me dancing around as a French Aristocrat, an enchanted fork, an angry mobster, and a drunken bar fly, purchase a ticket. If you can’t purchase a ticket and want to support, click below and donate to the production. Even $10 would be a huge help! This should be a jolly good time!
For tickets click here.
To donate to the production, click here.
Cal Poly Spanos Theatre
Friday July 11th: 7 PM
Friday July 12th: 7 PM
Friday July 13th: 2 PM
Friday July 18th: 7 PM
Friday July 19th: 7 PM
Friday July 20th: 2 PM,.
For some reason, I am always drawn to gun shows. No part of me wants to purchase a gun or have a gun in my house, unless it was a miniature antique one with a mother of pearl handle and did NOT work. Yes, I have spent considerable time thinking about this, mainly because I am a klutz, and if I had a real gun, I feel like something would go terribly awry. I have accidentally dropped kitchen knives millimeters away from my intact toes luckily missing them. I should knock on wood right now! SO the thought of me having some pretty shotgun mounted to the wall in my home, just leaves me with a fear that it would possibly fall off the wall and shoot some mysterious bullet after the salesman said it wasn’t loaded. My “worst case scenario” brain sometimes protects me from making silly decisions.
Anyways, this week I was driving and saw all of these signs for a gun show in Paso Robles. I immediately was excited to buy some old empty bullet shells and see what else they had. Gun shows are known for taxidermy, antiques, old knives, army paraphernalia, and so much more! Last time, I found an awesome bullet belt and tried on a Viking hat so I was in. I woke early Sunday morning and flew up there to see what I could find. The cost was $10 admission, which was a little steep considering it was a small room compared to the one that I had been to in Orange County, but it was still full of interesting booths and cool stuff to keep me busy for an hour. I perused the isles of oddities and mentally calculated the cash vs what I wanted to purchase ratio. I settled on these two cool boxes and some old used empty bullet shells that would look intense in a mason jar or a glass dome. I left behind an interesting rusted old machete and a giant brass bullet casing, but those were on the higher end of my budget, so they were left in the dust to go to the next Gun Show in a month. Check out these boxes on the shop. They make great planter boxes or old paper storage. The bullet listing will come soon!
Check out their website for future shows. The next one is in Bakersfield June 21st and 22nd. The following is in Fresno July 12th and 13th.
There are times in our lives when we are faced with hard decisions. Do I accept this new job offer? Do I move across the country? A few weeks ago, I was faced with a tough decision. On a beach, I found a whale bone, a unique piece that probably would only happen this one time in my life. This would be the only chance I would have to make this bone mine. Very few things in my life I have wanted as much as this bone, this giant 200 pound piece of whale remnants. The question: Do I break the law to try and get it? Do I risk the possibility of getting arrested? After spending 24 hours day dreaming, talking about and contemplating this whale bone, I knew it was worth it. My car was not leaving that parking lot without this piece of whale in the back of it. One fat ticket and court date later, the bone is bleaching in the back of my brother’s back yard. My mission was complete, but the story was the best part. SO here is the story of how I found and am now the proud owner of THE whale bone.
It was a Monday morning and I was up planning my day. The usual stops at USPS and Fed Ex were about to begin, but something else was missing. In need for an adventure, I decided to get out of town and head up to Hearst Castle. There was a void of inspiration in my heart. I needed something to visually fill my soul. So that 45 minute drive up the coast would be just that for the day. Living on the Central Coast has so many perks. One being that at the drop of a hat, I get to jump in my car and flee to Hearst Castle to take one of their multiple tours, immersing myself in the rich beauty that the castle has to offer, So that Monday I made a reservation and being so excited to get there, I decided to get underway. At 1PM, I arrived in San Simian for a 3:45 appointment. I already knew exactly how I was going to kill time. drink a glass of wine at the Hearst Tasting Room, maybe get a sandwich and go walk on the beach and collect driftwood. Unfortunately, the Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room. wasn’t serving food so that negated the whole sandwich possibility, but they were serving wine, so I decided to get a glass of some lovely cold Chardonnay and sit and enjoy the afternoon. On the patio I drank my tasty libation planning the day, what I needed to get done, and what I should be doing. After a serious amount of time planning, I had an empty glass. So onto my next phase of the day. I moved my car and walked down to the beach to check out the driftwood situation.
There was a large pile at the far end of the beach so I meandered down there hoping to find at least one piece to take home. Then, I saw it. It was a mound of white from a far. It looked like a stump until I got closer. Immediately, I knew this was bone. Some surfaces were smooth and some were porous. The piece looked like it had been rolling around in the sea for quite a long time and it was finally ready to find a safe home, my home. I started trying to move the chunk of bone. I was able to roll it over so I figured it must not be more than 80 pounds. I have a very good sense of space and distance, but I do not have a good sense of weight and time. I don’t know if it was the glass of wine or my lack of sense, but I figured the bone would be easy for me to lift into the back of my car if I could get it to my car. I attempted to drag the bone, my mind churning with ideas of how I was going to do this. Knowing that my appointment at Hearst Castle was going to be soon, I decided to leave the bone at the end of the beach because no sane person could take it there. I was the only weirdo who would want a giant whale bone.
I got to the castle early and was able to go at an earlier slot. This would be perfect, I would have plenty of sunlight after to drive to the hardware store in Cambria, get a giant trailer or dolly and wheel the bone to my car. After enjoying the sights at the castle, I jumped back in my car and headed back to the town. It turned out the Ace Hardware in Cambria had closed for business a few months back so I googled the next option. It was in Morro Bar which was a half an hour even more south. With blind determination, I drove to the store, confided in the sales associate my whale bone dilemma, and together we decided on a thick wheeled dolly and some thick rope. Another 40 minutes drive back north, and I was wheeling my empty dolly down the beach. I easily mounted the bone to the cart, but once it was on, the metal flange started to bend. It was then I realized that 80 pounds was more along the lines of 200 and there was no way in hell little scrawny me was going to lift this to my car even if I got it to the end of the beach. So I decided to head back to my car, sad that the whale bone would not be mine and at least relieved that the bone probably wouldn’t ever move from this location, after all, if I couldn’t move it, no one could. That night I went over to my friends house for a dinner and of course the first thing I brought up was my whale bone. Two of my strong muscly male friends, Dustin and Andrew agreed to assist me on the adventure the next day. With two physically strong men and one mentally strong woman, we would sure be able to get this into my car.
The following afternoon, we drove up again the 45 minutes to San Simian and trekked across the beach. Andrew and Dustin attempted to lift the bone each to no avail and then when we three tried we could. The unfortunate part was that we would not be able to lift the bone down the quarter mile beach. Dustin came up with the genius plan of driving on the beach. If we could make it through the fence in the car, to the end of the beach then we could definitely lift the bone into the back of my Tahoe. So we assessed the situation. There were only a couple people on the beach. There was no sign that said it was illegal to drive on the beach. And there was no ranger in case it actually wasn’t legal. So we took some measurements. My car would just barely fit through a gap between a shower and the gate. Where there is a will, there is a way. I drove my car through the gap with inches to spare on either side and down the beach we went. We made it to the end of the beach with no problem, hoisted the bone into the back of the car and drove back. As we were approaching our exit to freedom, I realized that a woman had moved and parked her truck across our exit route. She was out of her car on the phone, playing policewoman. I parked my car on the sand and asked her to please move her car. She just yelled at me, “I am on an important phone call… Emergency call…” Not being an idiot as to whom she was speaking to, I went to her husband. I asked him to please move the car. He seemed confused and told me sure, he would happily move it. So up he went and back to my car I went, hoping that I would be able to escape before anyone was going to come take away my whale bone.
Then the worst thing happened. I pressed on the accelerator and my wheels started to spin. I was in the sand and there was no traction. My two wheel drive Tahoe was not experienced for this type of terrain. So the more I tried to go, the deeper my car got. In a panic, I jumped out of the car and started digging. I wanted to dig myself under the car and bury myself. But I just started digging the wheels out of the sand. We had cardboard in the back and maybe we could stick the cardboard under the tires. Every idea we had just seemed to dig us deeper. My friend decided that it would be best to get the whale bone out of the car. None of us knew if this would be the ticket item to get us in trouble, but we didn’t want to take the chance, after all he already had a few misdemeanors under his belt. Then, I looked up and saw two State Ranger cars driving down. A feeling of doom overcame me and I saw a vision of handcuffs, the back seat of a cop car, an impounding ticket and a very angry father as he got a call his daughter was in prison. Yes, I do have an overactive mind, but I also have never been in trouble so I have really no frame of reference as to what might happen. I knew I just had to face my punishment even though I thought that jumping in the ocean and swimming for Mexico might be a possible solution. The rangers pulled up and walked up to face them. With a smile and a look of guilt, I explained that my car was stuck and that I was trying to drive on the beach because I wanted something at the end of the beach. As I said all of this, the whale bone just stared at the rangers, laughing at me and my tall tale. They told me that was illegal here and only legal at Pismo Beach. I handed over my license for a background check and went to check in with the boys who were trying to dig out my poor car.
Then, the lady started to get involved. She walked over to the rangers telling them her side of the story. This nosy woman had to be the world’s busiest busybody. Soon they were asking me why I was driving on the beach relizing that it wasn’t just for driftwood, but for a whale bone. I tried my best to get out of the questions considering I thought the whale bone would have been a bigger issue.
“Were you trying to get one of the whale bones on the beach.” The ranger asked.
“No. I wasn’t.” I shyly retorted hoping that would be the end of it.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes……. Yes…….. Yes I was trying to get a whale bone.” I said as far under my breath as could be possible, hoping that the stump I was sitting on would swallow me up.
“Well you know, if you want one there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done with forms and the government and such.” This is exactly what I didn’t want to hear.
The bone was sitting right next to me staring at us. It was obvious what I was doing. I felt like a little kid with chocolate all over her mouth trying to tell mom that I didn’t eat all of the candy. The cop suggested I call AAA to get my car out and soon I was on the phone with the towing company driving from Cambria. It would take an hour for him to get there. After the rangers decided on my ticket, we had a bit of time to kill before my car would be functioning again, back on terra firma. After the first cop left, Dustin and Andrew, and I sat and talked to the one ranger for an hour listening to some of his crazy stories about Hearst Beach and some of the insane people there were out there in this world. I guess I can categorize myself on that list for I was risking a ticket in order to get a whale bone. I’ve added this to my list of crazy stories if I ever write a book.
In the end, the ranger said that if I wanted the bone I would have to register it. I agreed and back in the car the bone went. With all of the weight and adrenaline out of my body, the bone seemed a lot heavier, or maybe it was because I was absolutely exhausted from the days activities. I needed my bed and a stiff drink of Jameson, but first I would have to fill back up the tires in my car and drive us all back to San Luis Obispo. And by us all, I am referring to, Andrew, Dustin and my whale bone, my newest and most prized possession. Move over Wolfgang, mommy has a new favorite.
And yes, I did get the busy body’s license plate number, just in case someday I want to get someone a Penthouse subscription.
For years, I have been looking all over for these Marie Antoinette dome style chairs. I didn’t know what they were called, and I couldn’t quite track them down. Restoration Hardware sold them under “The Versailles Chair.” So for the longest time, I thought these eggs shaped beauties were of French ancestry and called Versailles chairs. Then yesterday while killing time on Pinterest, I ran across a picture of four of these beauties with the description of “Porter Chair.” I had struck design gold, finally uncovering the name of these incredible quilted dome chairs.
Wikipedia says that these pieces originated in England when they were placed at the front door of an estate so the gatekeeper could sit there and screen visitors. This was necessary because some homes were too large for the knock to be heard deeper in the home. Because the entryway was usually breezy, an egg shaped design was created to make sure no wind or weather would disturb the gatekeeper, keeping him from doing his job for long hours.
If you are looking for your own Porter chair, check your local Craigslist. If you are more desperate, eBay and Etsy have quite a few for sale, though a lot of what is available online is pick up only. You should also look at estate sales and even consider purchasing a new reproduction. This novelty chair adds a feeling of regency and Hollywood glamour to whatever room you decide to put one in. They would make a great desk chair in an office, a corner chair in a bedroom, or even an end seat at the dining room table. When I find myself with an extra $2000 to fork over, I am going to splurge on one of these pieces.
Here is what is available online: