A Quiet Tuesday…

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 12:10 pm by carrie

Well, the Bon Voyage party for Scott and Alicia went pretty well. There are still bowls of chips everywhere and assorted empty cups and cans dotting our yard and living room. It’s like the college party I never had, minus the debauchery ;) Parties are always so much work and all I do is worry that all the food I made is the temperature it was supposed to be. I think I have finally gotten the “hang” of chafing dishes. I have so many great pictures and a few videos (cah-lassic karaoke videos) to share later on, I just need to sift through them all. Here are two of my favorite thanks to Ping:

Scott is perplexed at the large bottle of booze Oscar brought to the party for him to drink by himself, which is a normal Oscar thing to do… he’s very picky about his guinness.

On Sunday we helped them load their two dogs into kennels and got them to the Delta terminal at LAX and onto a plane. Seeing their house empty then watching Scott leave made the fact that they are leaving a reality… So, Alicia and I had a good cry. She’s going to stay here another week or so then head over to her new home on the East Coast. I really wanted to join her in driving across the country, but with Easter upon us, I can’t miss any time at the shop.

People move all the time, friendships change… but these two are our best friends. The four of us could just hang out and bbq and have a great time, hit Disneyland for the evening, go to the beach… or in the case of the other night, go bar hopping in search of karaoke and laugh our heads off all night. They were the first ones over when I was having a crisis at the shop and no amount of late night unpacking or heavy lifting kept them away. I’m really going to miss their Sunday wake-up calls for breakfast… “Hello sunshine! We’re right outside your door, open up!” I would answer the door with an angry grunt, but deep down, I was happy to spend a lazy day with them.

“Hey muffin, I have this idea… will you log onto your computer so I can tell you?”
“But, you’re on the phone now
“Just log onto your computer!”
*silence and typing*

I’m going to miss you guys!



Posted in Main, outings, sidenotes at 4:09 am by carrie

I blame daylight saving’s time… our schedules have been so strange. We took a nap after work today… a nap! argh… so… here I sit at 3:48 am wandering the internet and listening to synthpop 80’s music. The spam from the East coast is hitting my in-box as I type… they get an early start!

I had fun with dinner tonight! I made Irish Tiramisu! Next year I’ll add some green food coloring, but it was tasty without it! ;)

This was easy to make… I made a one layer organic chocolate cake, let it cool and poked it with a fork. I then drizzled Kahlua Coffee and Irish Cream liqueurs, let that soak for about 30 minutes then “frosted” the top with Tiramisu mascarpone which they had at our new Ralph’s. Since it wasn’t very sweet, I dusted it with powdered sugar and cocoa powder and then added more chocolate shavings on top of that. I served it with fresh Strawberries and it was divine!

This is my second attempt at making spicy stuffed shells like the ones we get at Buca Di Beppo (snazzy website). Last time I used ricotta but had more goat cheese than I knew what to do with, so I used that this time for the stuffing, along with some fresh herbs, garlic and chicken sausage. I sprinkled it with a few kinds of cheese and baked it, it was tasty and we have a LOT left over. If you want the semi-exact recipe, let me know and I’ll try to figure it out ;)

Here are a few pics from a walk we took on a recent Sunday afternoon…
I want a yard full of whatever kind of tree this is :)
We turned a corner… and chickens!!!! Meg was so excited about these guys…
I could live here…
This is a 4 month old Great Dane puppy!!! Every picture we took of them was blurry… but I had to show this. Our dog is 3 years old and 75 lbs. The owners of this cutie are brave!
House, house… horse!
We then started driving… if Nathan wasn’t on call that weekend we would have headed for the snow, but we had to get back down to sea level :( I think this is the Tujunga Wash… it’s up Angeles Crest somewhere :)

Stick! Meg found a very large stick… but she couldn’t get the idea that you had to hold it up to keep it from dragging on the ground and tripping you. She’s cute… acts tough… but really… she’s a dainty little princess ;)

Getting a little tired… I’m going to try to count some sheep now :) Thanks again to everyone for entering the giveaway! I’m amazed at the response!!!! We’ll definately be doing that again!


eeeek! I’m behind on that giveaway!

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 1:56 am by carrie

We had a strange yet exciting day today… let me go back… and try not to make this a novel :)

A few days ago my Volvo let me know that she wasn’t long for this world. “Bessie” is 15 years old, almost totalled while parked (I’m finding out this is more common than you think), doesn’t start when it’s over 90 degrees out and the odometer just broke. While backing up there were loud clunking noises followed by a jerk or thud. I knew it was time.

I never thought myself to be a minivan gal, but here I am. Ninety minutes into owning a minivan… the realization has set in that we are now SO far from cool, it hurts. And let me tell you, I was cool… hehe. Many many thanks to Nate… and Robert and Linda… they kept completely collected as I was trying hard to keep my foot out of my mouth and keep my palms dry ;) I’m not very bright while under pressure and trying to haggle.

You have my permission to point and laugh via comments… but only on this post, so have at it ;)

Spring-themed goodies will be up for grabs in the next day or so… I promise :) Please come back ;)


The rest of the Springy-ness :)

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 1:59 am by carrie

I’m feeling quite lucky… every time I put a good display together, I sell the piece of furniture right under its nose :) So, in the spirit of being able to purchase more fun pieces, I give you… new springy themed displays! (Thank you for indulging me yet once again! hehe!)

The whole of the Easter display is overwhelming… I have things draping from the ceiling and little bunnies and ornaments everywhere… a picture just didn’t make sense, I instantly wanted to look for Waldo. There are two pictures from the baby section and two pictures from part of the jewelry section… just to mix it up a bit :)

I’m happy to report the store taxes are almost done and most paperwork is complete! I think I should write that in German, too… Die Schreibarbeit ist erfolgt! There, it feels even MORE real now! There’s something about German to give you a warm, fuzzy, concrete feeling inside.

It’s been quite cold outside… we’ve been doing a lot of walking while bundled up in layers of shirts and puffy jackets. The dog loves it. Most of the time, we aim for a beverage hut as our half-way point (i.e… Starbucks or Coffee Bean) to reward ourselves with ample calories. The pup gets a cup of the “good” water and we hike back home. I love cold weather… it’s comforting :)

Not the best picture, but here’s today’s sunset. Cloudy and bluey-purple up top with reddish-pink light coming through. Crisp. California sure is swell :)

Please think a happy thought for our friend Wendy who passed away this Sunday morning… Her family and friends are surrounded by so much love right now, but I’m sure they could use a little more :)


Viva Mexico…

Posted in Main, outings, sidenotes at 3:50 am by carrie

I’m sifting through the hundreds of pictures we took and I’ll be posting them later today/tonight :)

A HUGE thank you to everyone who came to the store and left those awesome comments below about my strange encounter earlier in the week… I had no idea there were so many readers out there :) I got some great tips and lots of justification for listening to my instincts ;) You are all too kind!!! It’s pushed that darn “faith in humanity” gauge in my mind back into the default position… plus a few karma points ;)

Have a great and relaxing weekend!!!! :)


We’re back from vacation :)

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 12:50 am by carrie

Just got back from a week at sea (mexico for 8 days)… there’s a lot of photos to share but first… paperwork, valentine’s, st. patty’s and easter goodies need to get sorted, priced and put out :)

I miss blogging :( Hope to be back soon!!!! Thanks for all the wonderful comments while I was gone ;)


So long, old friend…

Posted in Main, Mind Wanderings, sidenotes at 2:49 am by carrie

Okay… those of you who have read my blog once or twice know that I’m a little nuts… if you weren’t sure, then this will totally make it gel for you :)

I find myself getting attached to inanimate objects, constantly. It took me forever to get rid of all my stuffed animals (thank you velveteen rabbit for informing me about the trauma in the playroom when a new toy would appear). I am convinced that anything that has brought me joy should not be tossed out, ever, otherwise I’m being ungrateful (there must be a 12-step program for this). And the most recent cause for the demise of my sanity… 800 lbs of wood and aluminum… and I would pull her behind my little Volvo. Gidget. Our little travel trailer.

We only had her for about 6 years but we worked hard to get her in tow-ready condition. After weeks at a trailer repair garage and many hours of painting and cleaning later, we brought her home to mixed reviews. We had so many problems storing her and it seemed that very few people saw her as “kitschy”… mostly they saw her as an “eye sore” or, as the letter from the city wrote, the trailer was “bringing down the property value” of the neighboring homes. Ugh. We found a storage facility for about a year but the locals were using the poor thing for target practice or their personal playhouse.

So…many nasty letters, bullet holes, a few break-ins (resulting in glass breakage in the window and water damage) and at least one threat of a $500 fine later, I chose to sell her. That was about 6 months ago… I started to draft this blog the day I sold her, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even now I’m trying not to tear up (pathetic, ain’t it?).

Gidget was all of 12 feet long. She had a little double bed in the “back” and the breakfast nook turned into a little twin bed. We re-tiled the sink and stove area with vintage pink tiles. The burners worked great and the icebox kept things cold for days. Across from the sink was a little closet, I guess there is another model available where that closet is a bathroom… how, I’ll never know, it was super tiny! As far as we could find out, this was a 1963 Tepee Travel Trailer. I couldn’t find any other information on it.

So, the day before I listed her on Craigslist, we took a few pictures… in all the years we went camping and used her to tow goods to a craft show, I never took pictures… very strange…

So… the family that bought Gidget fixes up trailers and re-sells them. They told me they would keep the pink theme. That makes me happy :)

I made myself a promise… when I have the funds and the land… I will get another little trailer and use it as a little office or guest house and park it far away from the judging eyes of the neighbors… or live in a neighborhood where everyone can understand the true value of “kitsch” :)


I need some advice!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, outings, sidenotes at 10:46 pm by carrie

I used to joke that I would never get bored with the shop if I were to move or expand every 2-3 years or so. We opened in 2003, expanded in 2004 and now there is a very slight chance that we could be moving soon.

We may have the opportunity to move down to the Montrose Shopping plaza on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose (about 2 or 3 miles from where we are now). They have the really cool annual Arts and Crafts Festival every June (where we got our start!), great restaurants and a lovely walking area where we sometimes go walk our dogs. My Mom would take me to the Paper Rabbit when I was little to pick out stickers… I even won their “name our mascot” contest when I was seven or eight, and they still have him around (he’s a bunny named Scribbles and my mom came up with the name… but let me take all the glory!).

There are a lot of pros and cons to this move… and who knows if all the planets and stars will align perfectly and I’ll find the spot I want :) But… I would really like to hear what you have to say :)

Please vote here:

Should Violets are Blue move to Montrose?
View Results

Looking back to allllll the work we’ve done on the shop, it will be bittersweet to leave… but hey… if someone offered me a great little victorian house with a big parking lot to turn into a store I wouldn’t care where it was, I would jump at it! That’s my idea of perfect star alignment ;) I love that there are so many opportunities out there if you just open your heart to them (my heart is open, just show me the way)! A few of my bestest friends are moving to far away places in the next few months… this is going to be a big year for change. Hey, it IS January 1st, 2007 today :) OH! and my cousin was the 2nd “R” in the Porterville Marching Band in the Rose Parade in Pasadena… how about that!

Speaking of Rose Parade… while zig zagging through the Southland with our new GPS, we got to see La Canada’s cool Rose Parade Float under construction!

2 little penguins getting ready for installation… (please excuse the poor picture quality, camera phone)
Some very friendly kids on scaffolds working on the float
Lens flare and rows and rows of bucket filled with various flowers

An artist’s rendering of the aforementioned float :) “Self-Built Float”

Hmmm… perhaps I should submit a float drawing for 2008???? The theme is “Celebrations Throughout the World”… nothing comes to mind… yet.

You’ll be seeing a lot of pictures of our great stomping grounds thanks to “Maggie”, our Magellan Road mate GPS thingy :) You don’t get lost and it finds restaurants for you… it’s SO awesome for the directionally-challenged :)

Please vote! And I’ll be posting new drawings soon! I’m so excited for Spring!

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