Archive for the finds Category


Posted in finds, food, gardening with tags , , on September 7, 2011 by darcyarts

Tomato harvesting yesterday. This represents under half of what we have had the pleasure to devour so far this season! The first big batch thrown in  a pot to boil became tomato soup thanks to Frank’s suggestion that we try it.

It was very simple — cook, remove skins, blend, add a little cream — and we had a delicious homegrown, homemade tomato soup. Like back in the days of our agrarian past before the super market came into existence.

The real flavor of freshly prepared food kicks the skinny butt of long-hauled produce but I am addicted to the convenience of the big stores.

I’m within walking distance of the city hall farmer’s market location. I wanted to go the first weekend but it was insanely crowded, so much so that the checkers at Raley’s were talking about it.

I still haven’t gone but I think I’ll try the Churn Creek Blvd location instead.

I sometimes take photos at the grocery store. Not of produce. Just things that strike me as curiously set. The pix here are from my last trip.

I thought these Jesus votive candles were interesting. He is so wide-eyed, like a pretty twink but with super soft beard hair. He does not seem to have any gravitas.

I was amused by these fake foods with really big eyes. They seem happy and excited about something I don’t quite get.


Green First

Posted in finds, food, gardening with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by darcyarts

It’s a sea of green out in the planter boxes.

It won’t be very long before these turn reddish-purple brown. They will be fat sweet and juicy.

We should have ample supply. They will provide delicious tomato sandwiches, tomatoes for all other sandwiches, diced fresh tomatoes with gently cooked fish and bruchetta for days.

Trader Joe’s had samples of a very tasty bruchetta snack a few weeks back.

Customers were invited to try TJ’s bruchetta with cold cooked lentils and very fresh feta cheese served on a pita chip. It was so very good. You definitely must try it.

I love chips and salsa and could eat them every day. This Trader Joe’s recipe offered me a good Mediterranean alternative for spicy Mexican flavors.

We’re going to have cucumbers too. Yum.

Changing Formats – Vinyl, Tape, Digital

Posted in finds, music, projects, rock n roll, tech with tags , , , on July 2, 2011 by darcyarts

I have always loved music, rock n roll, anything really interesting, sincere, sexy music and a deep appreciation for those who make it.

What I do not like are the regular innovations that give industries new material to pedal. Planned obsolescence –>Yuck.

What was wrong with vinyl? There is nothing like the sound of it pouring through large speakers filling a room. Being bathed in sweet, warm sound had been one of the great pleasures of my life.

In the 80’s,I was forced to move off vinyl and onto cassette tapes. I resisted as long as I could. A turntable and a cassette player were required to hear my complete catalog. Too much stuff.

Yes, records are heavy, they take up space but the art and info is so, so superior. I could whine all day about cha cha cha changes. Sometimes you just have to yield and wait for the creamy versions to return.

Come the late 90s, I’ll admit I was fully committed to the short glorious dawn of Napster.  I was gladly dealing in digital. Yes, I know that musicians sometime lost money but when big changes rumble though your time you gotta hold on tight.

Poverty stricken, then, I drooled at the thought of an endless supply of music.

Finding Napster was just like that scene in the Shirley Temple movie, The Little Princess. A  well-off child is reduced to a tattered, perpetually hungry scullery maid by a cruel boarding school mistress after her father’s apparent death. Shirley is banished to the attic  to live with another  neglected orphan. One Christmas morning they wake to find sumptuous fur-trimmed robes, warm slippers and a table full of beautiful food.

Cesar Romero, playing the handsome, wealthy and empathetic East Indian man  who lives next door to the boarding school,  is their secret benefactor. this picture of Cesar is actually from the film Wee Willie Winkie. He looks as fab as ever.

Napster made me a pirate desperate for treasure. With my measly 56k internet connection it was a full-time enterprise. It was a blessed enterprise, coinciding with my Jeff Buckley mania. I captured so many bootleg shows.  Napster fed my obsessions. Thanks Sean Fanning.

Mountains of  free bread and cheese are manna from heaven to the starving, ill-gotten or not. The question of “how”, “who” is shoved aside until after the goods have been devoured.

“I ain’t no monument to justice.”

Now the magic of technology will allow me to  take hundreds of seldom played cassette tapes and convert them to a digital format. At least I’m hoping so. It was the cheapest solution involving the fewest elements. I’ll probably lose sound quality but  it’s simple and time’s a wasting.

I have so many good things on tape. Now I will be able to put them on CD and play them in the car or in my kitchen work space. All my cassette player/boom box combo have bitten the dust. They were space hogs anyway. Adieu, old technology.

I think I’ll make art out of the old material.


Shop, Garden, Crush

Posted in film, finds, food, reading, shopping with tags , , on June 23, 2011 by darcyarts

This morning was dedicated to laying in supplies. The frequency with which this must be done is mind boggling.

I went out early in order to avoid the heat.

Target and Trader Joe’s had pretty much everything we needed including a new garden hose. I was done with the bulk of the task in just over an hour.

One of my stops, actually a monthly treat, was Barnes and Noble to pick up Mojo magazine and The Hollywood Reporter.

I quickly realized the magazines had been rearranged. In the place where I usually find the music mags was a large collection of comic books. That is pretty cool.

Two whole sections are dedicated to, comics, fantasy items, sci-fi, tattoo mags, magazines about music and film and lots and lots of shiny covered heavily pictorial publications on marijuana. I think it’s fair to say that the heads are making their dollars felt.

Last Stop Pix

Posted in design, finds, travel with tags , on June 16, 2011 by darcyarts

These pictures were taken  in an old graveyard in Sebastopol.

Warm and May Day

Posted in family, finds, gardening with tags , , on May 1, 2011 by darcyarts

Ah, color! Ah, Sunshine! It will be warm today and tonight as we sleep.

I’ll be doing some transplanting this evening to my new DIY planters. We have tomato plants galore. Can’t wait for the juicy sweet fruit later this summer.

The tomatoes are just too small to see in this photo. There will be more film in a few weeks.

I think this is the third season for the catnip. It is going wild in the sun. The leaves are gigantic. I hope it retains its intense cat-seducing aroma.

I bought a little container of basil from Trader Joe’s for $2.99. It will be transplanted as well.

So glad we had a visit from Brian M. Pratt. I need to see my boy sometimes. The week was a very pleasant mix of work and play. The next time I see him will be at his graduation ceremony. He receives his Juris Doctor in June!

Buckets to Box

Posted in constructions, dolls, etsy, finds, handmade, nature with tags , , , , on March 13, 2011 by darcyarts

True confessions — I cannot work well with loud noises or with obvious home projects undone. I need quiet, except for music or the soft bland visial hum of the home and garden channel and order.

Friday morning there was lots of noise and plenty of really efficient doing away with a tall pine.  The landlords decided to cut down an old pine tree in the front yard because it was leaning towards the long driveway which allows folks in the small cottages behind our house to exit the premises. Those workmen knew what they were doing.

Does the center of this trunk look healthy?

They had the stump removed and the thinner sections of branch consumed by the chipper all within four hours.

Saturday a woman (yes! Go girls.) came by and took her chain saw to the leavings. She hauled away three or four truck loads of  now newly cut firewood.

Still that meant Saturday was a noise fest and pretty much right outside the window of my cozy kitchen work space.

I took the opportunity late Friday and early Saturday to quickly finish my veggie  table conversion project.

After three years of service our collection of blue buckets have turned really brittle and ugly. Wouldn’t you after being baked by the sun that long? I’m sure the sight drove my dear landlady crazy and the sight was starting to get to me.

This squash was tossed into an old bucket,  the top half of which had busted off all around, leaving the jagged edge. Sometimes I’d wrap the edges in silve duct tape. So, so classy.

They were once new and fresh. You can see the rectanglar box I used in this transformation beneath the freshly planted buckets in 2008.

 I nailed on some extra boards and closed up the box I scavenged/recycled years ago, flipped it over and turned it into a planter.

It’s much neater, less distracting.

I should probably bring this streamlined sensibility to the rest of our dream studio but that will be a slow process.

The box is mostly filled with catnip which I grow organically and use in my plushy squid catnip toys.

I’ll add tomatoes. I’m hoping the seeds from the delicious black tomatoes grown in friends Kevin and David’s garden last season will come into being for us.

They are the yummiest!

Okay. The noisy distraction is done and I must turn my attention to my soft sculpture work — 4 girl portrait dolls and a rainbow curly star. So much good handy craft to keep me busy, busy, busy.

In down time, if my eyes aren’t too tired I am reading  Posthumous Keats.

Thanks, Jane Campion. Your Bright Star brought me to Keats.

70s Doll Deelight!

Posted in dolls, finds, shopping, Uncategorized with tags , on March 4, 2011 by darcyarts

Frank and I explored a new thrift shop today with wonderful results. It just a few doors south of the recently vacated space that housed the Discovery Shop for years.

Tresors is a nice little place opened just days ago by Jewell and Tim Totherow on Park marina Drive.

Looking up onto the balcony of their second floor I noticed a very lovely doll.

She looks like the early 70s to me. That time when design artists revisited the wonderful aesthetic of Art Nouvea. It makes think of Mary Quant, Biba and all the vintage shops of my youth. This made me so happy. Thank you, Frank!

Polish for Glasses

Posted in design, finds, projects with tags , , , on February 17, 2011 by darcyarts

Two things are essential to my well-being: change and color.  That’s what these bottles of fingernail polish will grant.

Keeping spending down while keeping visual stimulation up can be a challenge.

I’d grown very tired of my navy blue glasses. Frames are expensive. With die-hard DIY motivation I picked up the polish.

Fingernail polish rolls on smoothly and each of these bottles comes with tiny little brushes.

While checking out the selection at Target and noticed that the more posh polish finally comes with wider brushes, much better for fingernails. I needed narrow brushes for the slim line of my glass frames and found them in these bottom-of-the-Sally-Hansen-line colors.

The lime green was my first choice. Eventually I will tire of this color and move on to another. But this rocks for now. I am sewing a neon green curly star pillow. We’ve got a theme going.

I covered the lenses with masking tape (which later came off really cleanly). I used my trusty Exacto knife to cut the extra tape away.

Later today I am adding a coat of red glitter polish to spare pair of glasses. Ah, variety.

Making Lil Dudes

Posted in constructions, design, dolls, film, finds with tags , , , on February 11, 2011 by darcyarts

The Arthur doll was turned out with many little details.

It’s amazing how many little things need to be included in the whole composition. this type of construction work is a delight!

Let me say this. Dudley Moore was very cool. Bless his soul.

The tuxedo is the suit worn for Arthur’s not-wedding day.

Arthur goes in to where the bride-not-to-be is dressing to tell her he does not love her all so that he may be with his true love — Liza Minnelli!

Of course, Arthur needed liquid courage to accomplish his task. I managed to find a tiny little container to make him a doll-size drink. We know, that just like the drinks on set, demon alcohol is not an ingredient. Use your imaginations.

I scoured the shops about town for little pieces of Arthur’s  get up. Tiny champagne glasses were the first find and, though he does drink champagne in a scene or two, I felt the short cocktail glass was the thing so I kept looking.

he little glass was picked up at a very odd, vintage style five and dime store. It held a Jello-like little pool of  goo.

The shopkeeper there was playing vintage vinyl on an old turntable.

I recognized a song from the Monkees  about three notes into Mike Nesmith’s wild Texas-toned electric guitar riffing on Sweet Young Thing.

Sweet Young Thing is probably my favorite Monkees tune.  I wonder who’s playing fiddle.  A quick google check and I find it is Jimmy Bryant.

Jimmy Bryant (a Django fan) and Speedy West.

The first shopkeeper, on hearing that I was making an Arthur doll was very excited and curious about whether I was making him a Liza companion. I wish! If only I could stop time.

The Soft Boys are teaching me patience. I am happiest with instant gratification. The dolls are all about putting in the time. That means the list of dolls I’d like to make grows longer and longer each week. It’s beginning to drag like Marley’s chains but that rough rattle and scrape keeps me going.

I’m keeping my eyes on the prize. I’m dedicated to making as a way of life.