ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Extentions are not just for hair, AND look what I found on Craig's List!

Well, Colin is not so sure about our "new" coffee table (shown here at its FORMER owner's home), but so far the opinions are running 10-3 FOR it. Care to cast an opinion yourself?
Also, turns out there's still a little time to tell us about the music that rocks your world, and the scents that carry you away, if ya haven't! You actually have until Friday night since I won't be back from Denver until then! So have at, darlings!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

We're one, but we're not the same - U2

Turn my Sonific player down to listen:

And now - for something not COMPLETELY different:

Don't forget, there's still one more night to leave your comments on my December 20th post, before I go over to iTunes to get me some new songs! I'm going to add an 11th hour prize - one of my mix cds with a few of MY faves.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy New Year - almost!

Okay kidz, for my next Ragtags contest, you have to do more than just leave a comment, hope you can handle it! I would like to know what song, whenever, wherever you hear it, makes you want to dance. I will add your name twice if you also tell me what song has the power to transport you from the here and now to a time and/or place that makes you happy just to think of it. And if you include a smell that does the same, you will have three chances. Just like in the fairy tales. (Only with an assured pleasant outcome!) Here's the front view of the Creative Underground calendar, the prize (I bought an extra, and some of the artists have signed it, just for YOU, whoever you are). It includes art by me, Angela Cartwright, Suz Simanaitis, Caterina Giglio and more:

my art adorns the pages for January: Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul
I was inspired by the They Might Be Giants song and sorta wanted to call it:
Make a Little Birdhouse in the Snow, but then I thought some people might
be kinda sick of me never taking anything seriously. . .

Want a chance to win a funky pair of SF earrings or a cool SF necklace? Go here - and don't dawdle!

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Hanukkah Flashback #2, OR, it's always 5 o'clock somewhere

Another 8 Crazy Nights prize from Lisa. That's how I like mine, straight up and retro.
I'm talking about my coffee, silly, see, it says so right on the glass. . .

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Flashback - Hanukkah Plates

Even with the reflection, you can see how pretty these two little plates are.
They were some of the Hanukkah bootie I received from Lisa.
At our recent Holiday Soirée, they held the Rugelach, but not for very long-alach.

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Oh yeah one more tiny little thing (and I really DO want World Peace)

Oh! de No! Quel oversight!
Yesterday, I almost forgot one of the most important eee on my Dear Santa list:

11) I want Yardley of London to bring back all (YES! EVERYONE!) of THE ORIGINAL 1960's formulas (and packaging) of the Yardley of London and Oh! de London product lines. I know it would make hundreds of thousands of people just about reach NIRVANA. And I have a really good feeling that that would open the door to - yup - you guessed it:

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Save the Earth - but not today

Okay, fine, I admit it, sometimes I don't really think through the consequences of my own good intentions. I have been a little TOO good about the bag dealio. You know, you go to the market, they inquire in a bored voice, "Paper or plastic?" and you cheerily chirp, "Oh, neither, no worries, see I brought my own," (though you secretly totally wanna say, "Um, really, I like guys. . .") or alternately, "Naaaah, whatevuh, I can just stick all this s*** I probably don't really need anyway in my pockets. There. Ohhhh, did I leave that pretty little Comice sitting on the counter? Well, hehehe, that's not gonna fit in the old pockie, I'll just stuff it down the front of my shirt."

What, you never follow either of those scripts? Well, you're a better man than I. So, I find myself in a dilemma. I really DON'T have any plastic shopping bags, and I sure could use some for my Art 101 project, due right after New Year's.

Haha, fooled ya with that one I bet. No Art 101, but I seriously NO REALLY I TOTALLY MEAN IT, find myself in need of a couple of handfuls of plastic bags for an art thingie I'm starting to work on. I would love if I could get a few from some of you - can trade for them, if I have somethin' you want. . . Would love if any are clear, as I have a vision, or if any have funky writing or images, but will not turn any reasonable offer down.

Let me know if you think you can (or even wanna) help this tree hugger; as the cliché goes, I'll be forever in your debt.

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Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I realize my name is not necessarily 100% without a doubt on the NICE list, but with only 8 days left until your Big Night, and just in case, I thought I should give you an inkling of my heart's desires for the Best Case Scenario.
1) Across the Universe - the DVD. I realize it's not even out on DVD yet, but to quote Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels, "I love Late Presents!" I should be more precise and say paraphrase, not quote, since her character actually loved TICKETS, but for all I know, she loved late prezies, too.
2) Stardust - the DVD. Now that one I know is out, and Target is open late, for your shopping convenience, in case the elves are all tuckered out although officially, it's not even the 10th hour yet.
3) Tin Man - the DVD. Okay, I totally realize not only isn't it out yet, but I haven't even seen it, so I am making a big Leap of Faith here, on some good friends' advice. I hope they weren't just messin' wit' me.
4) A new book that I will be able to get lost in. For a few hours anyway.
5) Rose Syrup - Jesus, why is it so hard to find. Just because I live in Colorado, I have to be punished and not have ready rose syrup access? Why, God? I mean, Santa. Why. A simple bottle of rose syrup, is that so much to ask?
6) I'm not sure what you call these, but that set of giant spoon and fork thingies, for serving salads. If it's a cool 'n' arty set, so much the better.
7) More pants just "exactle" like those rockin' ones I got in Little Tokyo.
8) Okay, I realize this will probably take a damn miracle on any street, or be like those freaky "scarlet ribbons, scarlet ribbons, scarlet ribbons for her hair", but there was this fabulous sweater in the Sundance Catalog, for which I totally considered dropping some big bucks. The Starlet Metallic Cardigan. I wanted it in black. I would have worn it every day. With everything. By the time I had a way to pay for it, the black was all sold out. Now, I think even the Fog Grey Heather is gone. The temptations of the world are great, oh Lord. I mean, Santa. But I loved that sweater, and imagined myself wearing it. I can even imagine myself in the Fog Grey Heather - guess I could go make art in my journal about it, but it's not the same. Really.

8) MSMO - Santa, Baby. Do I need to spell this out for you?
9) An irrevocable, Once and For All Sign from my mum. One I can have faith in. I would also ask, in that same vein, for World Peace, but these days, who doesn't? You know we want it, Santa. So come on already.
Finally 10) Actually, this is something you can HAVE, my special little gift to YOU, in lieu of biscochitos. Those lines by the side of my mouth. . . they're all yours darling, puh-leeze, just get them outta here.
PS: Sebastian is already giving me LOTS of those little seeds from the sumac trees, so I probably don't need any more, okay Santa?

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G. W., whassup with you?

No, not that G. W., the other one. Global Warming.

Last year we had a few miscellaneous sort of snowfalls here in Northern Colorado starting in October, seemingly business as usual. Then on December 17th (last year) by evening, the Denver Airport was all but totally shut down, and then we had snow on the ground in our little town for over 70 days straight. This year, it snowed for Thanksgiving and several times since, and that snow is still sitting here, with more predicted shortly. When I was a kid, this was common, but as my own kids grew up, I was the only one calling Snow Days for them and the ice skates languished in the shed. Despite so-called Global Warming (which yes, I do think exists, or I guess, to be precise, because of it) some parts of the world are now regularly buried in what def. resemble the Snows of Yesteryear. Including not just us, but my kids, grandkids, family and friends Back East. Yes, it's Pretty (as long as you're cuddled in front of that Big Picture window, Swamp Rocket in hand) but doesn't it really give Agoraphobia a whole new meaning, in a good way?

This morning on a mitzvah errand to pick up and take a few fellow students to the airport from their school in Vermont, Silver's GF Heather spun out on the ice in their old pickup. Listen, I'm seriously down on my knees with gratitude that she has only a headache, since their truck was totaled.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

it's an 'appening, over at the APS

Click on the logo above and *SNAP*. You'll be magically transported to one of my auxiliary garrets, over at Art Pub Studios. APS was created in January 2006 as a means for professional artists to help promote and support each other. How was the name was created? "Art" represents our common bond and the word "Pub" is synonymous with "a place where friends gather and share", as well as a shortened abbreviation of the word "PUBlished". Each member of Art Pub is featured on the site with her own weblog for sharing art information, tips, ideas, and thoughts related to being a working artist. There is an Artist of the Month focus and interview - this month it's Angela. Hope to see you over at The Pub. . .

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

My friend Pat

is clever, lovely, and OH SO ARTICULATE on PBS:

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? (Shelley)

Almost forgot - I wanted to show you this photo (September and me, New Mexico, 1976) - dug it out for my 'cuz and figured if I could stand to show him, I could share it with you all:

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful

We had our holiday party last Saturday night (the 8th); our little house was comfy and cozy, filled with candlelight and the sweet smell of hot cider. Snow fell thick and fast all day and throughout the night - no one much made it in from Boulder, Denver, Hygiene, or Loveland. Even a few friends in town decided they would curl up at home rather than venture out. Those who did brave the elements all seemed to have a good time. We had retro green and turquoise lights (the big ones) in the little aspen copse in the SE corner of the yard, and glitter light snowflakes artfully "fallen" onto the pretty cotton-batting "snow" filling the clawfoot bathtub. This will be our last year to create that particular effect - we kinda decided it might really be a fire hazard - don't ask! - but it was pretty while it lasted. Caterina's Lakshmi (not quite paid for) hung above the cd player and received well-deserved attention. There was wine, cider, soda, tea, hard berry, and swamp rockets to drink, lots of nuts, tangerines, chocolate, rugalach (3 kinds) and even more delicious treats. A few of Colin's friends from swimming were here, and a few artist types, and neighbors and friends and family.

I really looked forward to and enjoyed the party, especially after the troubles we had that week with our little old border collie, Josie. She had a rapid onset of idiopathic vestibular disease and we didn't think (at 14) she would survive. She did though, but now has a peculiar head tilt and a seemingly permanent list.

Then, there's the weather. Bad enough to worry over one's kids who live nearby, but now Silver and Heather in Vermont, and Sierra-Marie, Gina and the kids back in Massachusetts are being inundated with blizzard conditions, too. Silver called this morning to ask me to look up the weather in the Brattleboro area on the computer, I said, "Baby, look out your window!" He said, "Everything's white." I said Heather had better take a Snow Day. (When my kids were in school we had a family tradition of Snow Days called by - well, me.) Then SM called to say Gina and Kayla were stuck somewhere between their house and Gina's mummy's rather than at the airport or on their way to Seattle, and that she (SM) had locked herself and Marcus out of the car, they had no food in the house and she had never made it into work, so had to get there tonight to pick up things she needed to work from home. Oy. No wonder I am looking so aged these days. No wonder people move to - well I'm not sure where - maybe Over The Rainbow. . .

Here it is less than two weeks until Christmas and I have yet to finish much of anything on my list. I have been feeling rather like crrrrap for the past few days, just when I really need a burst of energy to finish out the year. Haven't yet made good on more than one promise, and have a feeling my name is going to show up multiple times on a certain Naughty List for laying on the couch looking pale, alternating with flushed and feverish. But as Scarlet said, Tomorrow's a Brand New Day, and though I may not be a Brand New Girl, I bet the world will still be waiting for me to make good!

Until then, here are some more pics you might want to borrow from my vast
Image Resource library! More images can be found here. You'll be able to find the original photographs and postcards of some of them in my etsy shop in the next few days.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

expecting more Stormy Weather

Zooey Deschanel and Samantha Shelton
wait for it. . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . .

Friday, December 07, 2007

Right here, falling all around

Thursday, December 06, 2007

On the third day of Hanukkah, my girlfriend gave to me

some canvas art by Kurt Halsey. Isn't it darling? I was coveting it at Urban Outfitters.
You are probably wondering what happened to the 2nd day gift, like did Lisa somehow forget or what? It's the old scanning a totally round item on a flat screen prob. Will the clever redhead find a solution? Stay tuned. . .

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Here are some gifties for your wooden shoes:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not gonna quit my two-timing ways. . .

If you click on the funky Art Pub button in my sidebar, you can visit me at my other blog.
It's new, though I have no intention of abandoning this one - they are totally intended to be complementary.
Like walking into the party with a nice guy looking good on each arm! I will be giving away different images on both, and will also have some tutorials going on over there.
So stop in and see me, and leave a calling card when you go!
PS Here's a graphic blast from the past - a calling card from Cora Thomas' pocketbook, and you are not just welcomed to "borrow" it, I would encourage you to. . .

On the first night of Hanukkah, my girlfriend gave to me

- - - a funny Snow White style Bird-y.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December's Boudoir

Oh! You caught me, off in a daydream! That title just refers to a Laura Nyro song I happen to love. Nothing to do with these free images at all! Have fun with them; I know you will. . .

Dobbs Hats Fifth Avenue New York

Don't groan! Here's another one of my stories that sort of begins with, "When I was a kid. . ."
I had a couple of slightly mixed-up, vaguely irreligious parents. My mum was what she would call a Humanist, but I would call her a Spiritualist. My Dad really only began practicing Judaism as an adult, but we celebrated the usual, Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, etc.
So we had Christmas AND Hanukkah celebrations, which continued after Colin and I got together and had our small, but still boatload, of kids. Nowadays, there's an all-encompassing name for the "8 crazy nights of small presents and 1 day of big ones" holiday for all of us who grew up confused, searching for the real meaning of the mid-winter holidays and wondering if we would be horribly punished for imagining a delectable supper of Christmas ham, after our latkes with applesauce and sour cream for lunch. It's Chrismukkah, and everyone at our house is happy to celebrate, no matter exactly the firmness of individual belief.
Almost 20 years ago, I met Lisa Hoffman and we became fast friends. Early in our friendship, we began the swell tradition of Hanukkah "baskets" for each other. I mean, they weren't (aren't) always baskets per se, but that's what we call them. Container, bag, whatever, the point is, 8 gifts!!!!!!!! Plus 1 for Christmas! Plus, one or two some little something(s) extra, for fillip.
But just for us, girly stuff, fun stuff, varying every year, sometimes with a theme, others, totally random. Some years the gifties are more precious because means were a bit scarce. Occasionally we have delighted in a flourish of extravagance. But since we began our tradition, we have never missed a single year, no matter what. (Have we, Leese?) Of course, there was the year I drank quite a fair amount of some delicious bubbly at our family's holiday party and, cheered on by some very bad, supposedly adult children, I opened all 8 in less than an hour, and Colin lectured that I deserved my remorse. . .
But that's in the past and will never, well maybe once or twice more, but only under extreme duress, happen again.
Wow! Hanukkah sure came early this year, but it's so lovely to light the lights in the early dark of a winter's night. Lisa came over this morning with an ammmaaaaaaazzzzing Harajuku Lovers tote, filled with pretty pink packages. She made me swear on my mother's grave I will give it back to her if I ever get tired of it. I said not likely, even if I'm lucky enough to see 90, I will still need a way to carry all my crap!
Then we started what could very well be a new tradition, with variations on the theme of course. We watched (in the middle of a Tuesday morning!) The Best Chrismakkuh Ever from Season 1 of The OC, one of my secret television addictions.
So that's my story - the photos above are the vintage Fifth Avenue hat box into which I stuffed all of Lisa's treats this year. The cool ornament you see tied to the white package with red ribbon? That was made by the very clever Jenn Gordon of Stiletto Heights fame, proof that I really meant it in the sidebar when I said I buy HANDMADE! So thanx, Jenn, for helping me out so much on several sweet gift-giving occasions this year. The photo below is what Lisa brought, I think some of you may be jealous when you see it.
So, to everyone out there, reading this (or not) may all YOUR holidays be bright!


What SHE said:
Quick! Light the Candles!!!

I don’t mean to freak you out or anything, but Hanukkah starts at SUNDOWN TONIGHT this year. Early, right? Seems like it.
I’m telling you this because my friend Sarah Fishburn and I have decided to Co-Blog and tell you about our tradition, how and why it started.
We were discussing how much we loved and valued this “thing” that we do and how others may appreciate starting their own version. Okay, here’s how it goes:
Sarah and I became friends about 18 years ago, just a few months after my young husband passed away leaving me a widow at 33 with a 5 year old and a very busy business. Sarah and Colin were in the throes of raising a family that included 4 very bright (and also: Busy) kids in addition to their own jobs. Sarah and I were discussing what we were getting for the kids for Hanukkah and the fact that although we ourselves busted our humps to work AND get the gift scene in order, who ever bothered about us? …that’s when the light snapped on: We would give each other Hanukkah Baskets filled with one gift for our Darling friend to open each night!
Here’s why this is Genius:
*The obvious reason: your pal gets to feel loved and nurtured, as well as having their own gifts to open
*You can “shop” all year. This may involve simply making one extra of whatever cool gifts you’re making for someone else throughout the year.
*A great gift only has to be perfect for that person, not a big cash outlay.
If you’re like US, you and your pal have very similar taste. The next time that you buy that book, cd, dvd or magazine, get TWO. Before you know it, the 8 (well, usually 8 PLUS) gifts are there waiting for nothing but a creative wrap and your LOVE.
*Since Sarah and I are BOTH big Purse/tote/bag fans (we almost NEVER accept a plastic bag at any store) we try to get a great bag to put all of the stuff in. We still call it our Hanukkah “Baskets” but that’s cause we just DO. Some years this doesn’t happen so we’ll just take a paper gift bag, decorate the Be-Jebbies out of it and there ya go!

Now, allow me to say that those of you who never get gifts from your kids….
Are you KIDDING ME???!!!
Once again, this is about Creativity and Love. Hell, tell your hubby, sister, BFF, neighbor….to take them shopping. By the same token, if you KNOW a tired Mom, especially but not limited to Single, for Heavens sake, be SURE that the kids buy/make her SOMETHING. You’re teaching them the value of thinking about OTHER PEOPLE THAT THEY LOVE. Check in advance, not at the last minute. By the way, this ALL applies to Daddies too. Sometimes they get the short end of the stick.

So. That’s our story. Every year the ONE thing that Sarah and I can count on is each other. This tradition is SO very important to us.

Thanks for listening. Maybe this will motivate you and YOUR BFF to start something for each other. I’m betting that YOU are a great example of giving and thoughtfulness. Time to allow other people to experience the joy of giving….to YOU.
Happy Hanukkah and soon?....Christmas, Kwanza and probably numerous other great Holidays.

If this sounded a little “Preachy” that’s because IT IS. Sarah and I want everyone to feel nurtured and we have found this to be a simple and powerful tradition.

So, Happy Night #1…
Lisa and Sarah

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Through the Viewfinder

I took this (manipulated) black and white photo of Corina in July, 1977. She was 4. The City of Ashland (Oregon) has a 4th of July parade every year and she was in it, a baby belly dancer.
This edition of Through the Viewfinder is rather ala Lewis Carroll. Colin is convinced the color and funkification is because I am currently listening to The Incredible String Band from my iTunes library.