Sparkling Night Lights
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sparkling Night Lights
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A casual back yard engagement party for 80 close friends!
a photo of Couple Number One in each floral arrangement
Towers of yummy mini cupcakes
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Imagine walking through a lush garden filled with color and native greenery as a live butterfly flutters right by your nose or maybe even lands on your head! ..The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Butterfly Pavilion allows for an intimate look at over 1,000 of these magnificent creatures as they bask in the sun or sip nectar from flowers". (quoted from the Museum's website)
Only one week left to visit this fabulous exhibit. The Butterflies will be back to the Eucaluptus Grove at Ellwood in the Spring, in the meantime do take advantage of this wonderful experience. Admission to the Museum of Natural History is nominal and very worth it! The site is historic, and the exhibits at the Museum are absolutely fabulous for people of all ages.
I recall taking my elderly and fragile mother to the exhibit a few years ago. She literally came 'alive' watching the butterflies dance in the exhibit solarium. When one landed on her jacket she laughed with delight. I had not seen her so animated in a long time.
Mom always loved to garden and grow flowers...she was raised on a farm and was a natural. Her children and grandchildren all inherited her green thumb gene. I began growing milk-weed in my own garden just to invite the monarch caterpillars to visit. Milk-weed is truly a weed. It grows without help and re-seeds regularly and easily...everywhere...and monarch caterpillars love it. The wonderful thing about the caterpillars is....they turn into Monarchs! My garden is therefore always filled with Monarch Butterflies dancing in my garden.
This Exhibit is also a delight for small children. My little great nephews are crazy about Butterflies Alive! They know everything about the process from caterpillar through chrysalis to butterfly..and they learned it all at the Museum! When they visit my garden they are always on the hunt for the little crysalids hiding in the garden.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara, CA; 805 682-4711; for more information: http://www.sbnature.org/
Friday, September 11, 2009
Santa Barbara's lifestyle and architecture is very eclectic..and therefore so very relaxed and enjoyable; just like the French-Kissed blog. It's better than reading a decor magazine, is available almost every day and with no subscription fees! Enjoy!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Carla's Design & Work Shop
About 7-8 years ago I began taking classes in crafting jewelry. It was pure serendipity!
My weekly route home from the Saturday Farmer's Market often took me by a little shop on the corner of De la Guerra and Santa Barbara Street, called "Beads." One day I decided to stop and take a peek. That was it! I was hooked...it was like walking in a store filled with candy...eye candy! There was a sign offering classes in beading instruction..and I signed right up!
To say that I have become addicted is an understatement!
As Mom got on in years her hands became unsteady so she couldn't use the tools any longer. It was quite sad because she had developed such camaraderie with her fellow students at the Adult Education Jewelry classes, workshops & labs. One day she gave me a box of her 'stuff' and told me I needed to have a hobby.
The box sat in my garage until the serendipitous stop at the Bead Store on SB Street!
The classes of 5-8 people were held after store hours. I was probably the clumsiest student poor Barbara ever had. However, I am tenacious and Barbara is patient, and once I got it! I got it! Now I may be one of her most successful students.
They are so busy with their store, that they no longer teach. However, Adult Education is currently offering classes in beading and other facets of jewelry making, metal work, soldering, setting stones, lost wax method, etc. I have taken several of the classes and have discovered that they are quite challenging! I have also gained a lot of respect for the craft people who make jewelry by hand for their livelyhood such as the Hill Tribe people from Thailand. It is truly a craft which requires patience, precision, delicate work and creativity! The teachers of these classes are terrific artisans themselves and outstanding teachers.
I have not graduated to making my own silver & gold findings, clasps, and jewelry and for now I am concentrating on creating fashion jewelry with pearls, and semi-precious gems. It truly is instant gratification, while the designing of a piece may take several days to get it right, at least you don't melt the silver into a useless blob. It does take a great deal of consistent and concentrated time to develop the learning curve in order to create the 'real' stuff. My real estate business requires most of my time. However, in the evenings I can create all the necklaces, earrings and bracelets to my heart's content....and I do!
The other fun part of this hobbie is that I no longer have to shop for gifts...all my friends and relatives are decked out in Carla's Baubles. And the beading buddies I've made! It is such fun to run into each other at Gem Shows or Jewelry sales. My grandmother was the village clock fixer and I have become the jewelry fixer for my friends and family. I do sell my jewelry at benefits and Holiday Shows...at a most reasonable price. I just need to get my $$$ back so I can keep my addiction going. My accountant has told me that this is NO business as far as the IRS is concerned! I would have to earn money at it!
The first time I went to a GEM Faire I was overwhelmed! Through the years Mom would come to the Gem Faire with me. When she couldn't go any more, I would stop at her apartment to show her my treasures. It was my turn to make jewelry for her. She was not an easy customer because she knew exactly what she wanted. It truly was a fun interest to share with her.
four times a year the Gem Faire comes to
Santa Barbara's Earl Warren Show Grounds.
The next Gem Fair in Santa Barbara will be in December. Details at http://www.gemfaire.com/ You'll find me there!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Reminder: Santa Barbara Sandcastle Festival free workshop on building sandcastles Saturday, September 12th from 11am-6pm, to be held at East Beach by the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.
Santa Barbara Sandcastle Festival September 19, 11-6 pm. Public is welcome for free. Entries are nominal.
Bring the family, picnic and stay the day! Visitors note that the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion is located across from the Mar Monte Hotel. The Pavilion has an excellent take out cafe (yummy breakfast, etc) and public bathrooms. City parking lot approximately $4/hour; $12/day; fee parking also available across the street at the Fess Parker Hotel; street parking free.
more information: http://www.sbsandcastlefestival.com/index.htm or call805 966-3979.
Cute downtown hotel: Holiday Express; http://www.hixpress.com/
Monday, September 7, 2009
The Other Wine Country, like Santa
Only one of the Belles still lives in Calgary, Ann Marie,...but she ownes a gorgeous summer home in Kelowna, BC. Since we've done two 'Sideways Tours' in Santa Barbara Wine Country, it was time to see what Kelowna's wine country offered. How fitting that in Sunday's Santa Barbara Newspress, there was an article by my friend, Michael Cervin, famous local food and wine judge featuring Kelowna's wineries headed: "Just Like Santa Barbara, only different." If you'd like to read the entire article, see http://www.sbnewspress.com/
Our hostess, Ann Marie (aka AM), comes from a large family who are spread over Canada, and gather at her Kelowna home in the summer for family get-togethers. She had invited us to her "little cabin at the lake", (like us girls used to rent in the Summer at Gull Lake); but this was no cabin! A gorgeous home overseeing the lake and the entire valley. Her eldest son, Kevin came along to "veg out", and instead he played Butler to us all week. Breakfast & Dinner, and of course appetizers and cocktails when we arrived home from our daily adventures. What a life!
Two of our Belles were not able to come; Sally in London needed to attend a 90th birthday party and MJ in Vancouver Island, was attending to her elderly father in the Hospital during his last few weeks of life. Joan stopped by for a day and evening with her Fiance Michael, as they were on their way to a family wedding.
It didn't stop the three of us, AM, Marg and I from having tooooo much fun! AM showed us all the sights...beautiful scenery, wine tasting at 3 wineries and raspberry picking at a farm in Oliver, visiting old and new friends along the way, including a few darling consignment &vintage shops where we all found some treasures.Diamond Diva, AM, showing off her Vintage Bling purchases!
One of her friends actually sells vintage and antiques from her Lake-side home at Wood Lake (shown below), as well as at shows from Calgary and Vancouver. She buys at the Orange Bowl Flea Market. I scored some wonderful vintage broaches which I'll incorporate in some of the jewelry I create. Her husband had a real estate brokerage in Vancouver and is now retired and travels with his wife to do shows.
What a beautiful area....right next door! I'm signing up for a month stay!
Ahhhh...the good life!