“Chance is the fool’s name for fate.”

If you’re a fan of the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers you’ll recognize that title. It’s from “The Gay Divorcee.”

Fred and Ginger were mainstays of my New Year’s Eve celebrations for many years along with pizza from Pizza Hut. And this year, TCM is running a mini-marathon of Fred-and-Ginger films starting at 8:00 EST. The lineup:

  • The Gay Divorcee
  • Shall We Dance
  • Top Hat
  • Swingtime
  • Carefree

I can’t imagine a better way to see in the new year. And on that note, I want to wish you all the very best for a great 2008. May you have an all-singing, all-dancing good time!

Poking around on eBay

And elsewhere last night. Came to the conclusion that Rachel Ashwell has a lot to answer for with “shabby” chic. Not since Anne Rice used the word “preternatural” to death, has any word been so egregiously overused as “shabby.”

eBay sellers take note: Just because it’s broken, dirty or otherwise funky and unlikeable, it’s not necessarily shabby chic.

Sleepless in front of the computer

I really was going to go to bed about an hour and a half ago, but I made the mistake of poking around my RSS feeds to see what was new, and discovered a new blog. Okay, new to me. Jennifer Ramos has obviously been around for a while now, and reading her old posts is what’s been keeping me up. She’s a tireless design blogger, environmentally aware (Which means I now have twenty tabs open in Firefox, and no hope of sleeping any time soon.) and a designer with an eye for the quirky and colorful. The image to the left is from her line of cards over at her site, Made by Girl.

Now I really need to go read.

Merry Christmas

2003_1224_203821AA (If you’d prefer to substitute another celebration for Christmas, that’s fine with me. The spirit of the season should be one of tolerance and inclusion.)

I borrowed the following from a friend over on Live Journal. If you’re looking for some green, sustainable, renewable gifts that don’t clutter the house and never need dusting:

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect. – Oren Arnold

May the light of the season flood your lives. May your days be filled with joy and warmth.


My friend, Suzanne, is home for the holidays and just posted her bread-baking adventures. In spite of all my good intentions I now feel the urge to make bread, but what I want is a cardamom loaf, or cardamom buns. I want a warm, fragrant loaf of bread with a slight crunch of sugar and almonds on top. But I’m still cleaning up after the gallon of soup and gallon of applesauce/chutney I made on Friday! There’s a soup pot big enough to hold several cats sitting in my sink, filled with hot, soapy water. I must clean before I can cook again.

Perhaps I will bake on Christmas day. As a treat to myself. And the house will smell like heaven. A cardamom braid, saffron buns.

I love to cook.

And again, process

Rifka is my mosaic mentor, by which I mean she not only produces some delightful pieces, often with unexpected materials, but she blithely goes ahead and covers her door frame with broken Talavera tiles and grout color experiments. I love that assurance and devotion to her work.

Recently she sent me a photo which I wholeheartedly embraced not only because I found it both gorgeous and whimsical but because I have collected more buttons than any one human being should ever own. I couldn’t help looking at this photo and thinking: “Wow, that awful pink lamp would look fantastic with a mosaic of buttons!” So I started firing off questions and Rifka, bless her, has been answering them, and sending on illustrations to show me what she means. I asked her if I could share the photos and she agreed. I think you’ll find the transformation as wonderful as I do.

Left: Italian pitcher. Nice enough, but not a Rifka pitcher by any stretch.

Below: Work begins. In the background you can see her famous flower mosaic. She tells me she adheres her materials with silicone, even using caulk. I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve used E-6000 in the past which is great for jewelry, but hellish for big projects.

Later views. Around the top, she’s using aquarium stones. She also says she’s using Diamond Glaze, Wellbond, Thinset, Liquid Nails… I like a “whatever works” approach. *g*

And then, the finished piece! I just loved this. I’m going to have to make a button mosaic before I get too much older. I just love the way the aquarium stones have taken on a frothy quality now that they’ve been painted and glazed. It’s the sort of thing I look at and wonder how I could reproduce this in a ceramic piece.