Jolly Trolley. Our adventure with public transportation.

Moving to Saint Petersburg was in part driven by a desire for a one-car lifestyle.  I wanted to walk to everything available.  If not walk, then take a bus.

Therefore, yesterday Jim and I decided to take the St. Petersburg Central Trolley from downtown St. Pete, where we live, all the way to Pass-a-Grille Beach at the Southern edge of St. Pete Beach.  The ride was expected to last about an hour.

We toted along two umbrellas, one water bottle, and Bronson’s phony service dog vest. Our little family walked four blocks to the trolley stop.  We boarded the bus, paying $1.10 per person senior fare.  I asked the driver if she needed to verify my senior status by seeing my ID.  She looked me up and down, peered directly into my face then laughed out loud.  So much for my “I certainly do not look my age” fantasy.

She inquired if Bronson was a pet.  I stated, “No, Service Animal.  Do you want him in his vest?”  She replied, “Nope, just need to ask.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 9.53.48 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.48.52 AM.png


Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.48.15 AM.png
Our Trolley Dog.


The trolley stops every couple of blocks in downtown St. Petersburg.  Most riders are dressed for the heat.  Tank tops, flip flops, shorts.  At 7th Avenue North we picked up a woman clothed unlike the other passengers.  She had on a broad black sunhat with a gold chain around the crown, lovely sheath dress, large gold beaded necklace, and heels.

I assumed it was her church outfit.  She held up the line attempting to swipe her card. The machine kept rejecting her pass.  A rider behind her recommended just paying the fare.

That’s when Church Lady went Linda Blair.  She screeched, “I’ll be damned if I’m paying again!  I paid too much for this damn card in the first place.” As she careened down the aisle her rant continued.  She plopped down in the back row, howled a few more choice words, then settled back in her seat.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.48.39 AM.png

When she was behind us I pretended to take a selfie.  Florida is a concealed carry state.  I didn’t intend to get myself shot by a demented trolley passenger for taking her photo.

Titters all around, surreptitious glances at other riders, and off we went.  For some reason, CL decided to move a row forward.  She sat in the seat opposite Jim’s.  I considered another photo but could picture her reaching into that big green bag and pulling out a Colt 45.  Left my phone on my lap.

About five stops later a somewhat stoned but harmless looking young man boarded.  He snoozed a few blocks, then climbed off the bus.  I watched as he began to walk away. Suddenly he turned, chased the bus and pounded on the windows.  Everyone was alarmed until it became apparent he was stopping the trolley for two bikers who would otherwise have missed it.

As they loaded their bikes to the front of the bus, Church Lady yelled, “Illegal!” She then held up her left hand, fingers outstretched in the universal, “Stop!” gesture.  I was amazed that several fellow passengers took her on, demanding she put her arm down and shut up.

Didn’t they know about the pistol in her tote?

Thereupon she marched herself to the front seat, glaring at anyone who made eye contact.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.47.56 AM.png

A short while later she exploded again.  “I’m calling 911!  I’m having you locked up!  Arrested. Thrown behind bars. Put in jail.”  That guy in the yellow and blue shirt was nuts enough to demand she dummy up.  Several passengers behind me hollered at her. I hoped I didn’t get caught in the cross-fire.

Fortunately, she disembarked several blocks down the road.  The drama behind us.

We began watching for the “Pass-a-Grill Way” trolley stop.  Through Trip Advisor I’d identified The Brass Monkey on Pass-a-Grill as someplace to have lunch.  When the driver announced “Pass-a-Grill Way and 31st Street” I turned to Jim and said, “Do I pull the stop wire now?”

“Sure, why not.” he replied.

Here’s why not.  The Monkey Bar is at Pass-a-Grill Way and 8th Street.

We decided a walk would do us all good.  I pulled out my SPF 50+ umbrella and off we went.  After 4 blocks we realized walking in 90-degree heat was doing us no good at all.  At 26th Street we located a red and yellow Central Trolley stop sign.

Bronson and I hunkered down in a patch of shade while Jim patiently watched for the next bus.  The stench from Red Tide was sickening.  Few cars passed. And no trolleys trundled by for an half hour.


Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.49.09 AM.png
Patient Jim, watching for the bus.

Eventually, we got a coach.  We were required to pay another $1.10 each.  But we wound up half a block from our destination.  The red tide smell was even worse so close to the sand so Jim requested a table indoors.  Many people were wearing masks.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.49.21 AM.png

The place was busy with enthusiastic Buccaneers fans eager to see their team defeat the Eagles.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.48.29 AM.png

We each ordered an adult beverage and food.  I love eating a very late lunch–at that point, it was 3:30.  It’s a trick allowing me to escape cooking dinner.  Following our meal, it was back on the trolley for home.  This time we didn’t make the mistake of pulling the “stop the bus” cord early.

Tonight we are headed to “Six on Seven” the regular Monday night gathering at six p.m. on the seventh floor.  I’ve got my mother’s meatloaf recipe prepared and ready to tuck into the oven as we walk out the door.  I’ve been making it for years.  It has two healthy tablespoons of horseradish mixed in.  Delicious.  And enough for leftovers tomorrow night.

So, good news for me, no cooking again tomorrow!


The dust has​ finally settled.

This summer has been a whirlwind.  We made an offer on The Perch (formerly know as Cloud Condo) on Memorial Day weekend.  It’s now Labor Day weekend and our lives have taken a marvelous 180-degree turn.

We still have some artwork to hang, a small chest of drawers to paint and then we need to hire someone to roll over these blindingly white walls.  But once that’s all done we will be totally MOVED!

From my seat, I can see The Central Avenue Trolley making it’s way South.  It will be my carriage to writing classes.  Because I no longer have a car.

We sold Gracie the Mini-Van.  We relocated to Saint Petersburg in large part to take advantage of the many places within walking distance.

A short list:  The Dali Museum.  The Holocaust Museum.  James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.  The new Imagine Museum.  We visited there yesterday. It’s all art glass.  Our neighbor works at Imagine and gave us a private tour.  Fascinating.  If you visit St. Pete, do yourselves the favor of–visit the Imagine Museum.

Not within walking distance, but on my bucket list, Deadly Rival Roller Derby!  I’ve only gone to Roller Derby one time.  It was a crazy blast.  Fans crowd the rink, screaming and cheering.  Look at the website.  There is a “Bruises Gallery.”  I’d post photos, but it’s not for the faint of heart.  Jim isn’t too eager to go to Roller Derby, but Brookie will.  She’s always up for a weird time.

In other news, I recently visited Bainbridge Island Washington.  Neice Katie is divorcing, moving from the marital home to a cute guest cottage on a friends property.  My sister, Marilyn and BIL Rob flew from Colorado to help her.  Since I’m so good at moving, having just done it myself, I offered my assistance.


Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 4.17.48 PM.png
Katie with Marilyn and Rob.



Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.02.51 AM.png
This place will soon have a fresh coat of paint.




Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.02.38 AM.png
That’s me, unpacking the stuff Katie’s kids helped me wrap that morning.  They identified all the items they see mom using regularly.  My sister and I had a tricky time figuring out where to house everything in Katie’s new tiny kitchen.  Her nest is going to be darling.  Sort of a doll-house.


My flight from Tampa to Seattle was delayed for three hours due to lack of visibility at Seattle airport.  Forest fire smoke.  The wait was good because I read my book club novel–Lincoln in the Bardo.  Strange book.  Writer George Saunders imagination is massive. The novel is creepily creative and in parts hilarious.

While at airport gates I usually find myself glancing around and figuring out who I hope is seated next to me.  I noticed an obese woman in a wheelchair.  She had all sorts of flotsam and jetsom hanging from her seat, a bright green frog travel pillow draped around her neck and a small white “service” dog on her lap.  The dog’s vest read, “I am an emotional support dog.”


Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.02.04 AM.png
Pixie is sharing the neck pillow. She is laying atop a wee teeny dog bed.


I thought, “Not her, please.”  Well, guess who my seatmates were?

Shirley.  And her small white dog, Pixie.  And her curly headed adult son.

I was on the aisle, Shirley and Pixie in the window seat.  Son boarded late, hauling along his guitar which he stowed in First Class.  It was decided he wanted the window seat.  There was a grand commotion as they shifted places.  Then, as Shirley stood bent over double, Son fished through her carry on and pulled out the following:

A small white blanket.  A tiny green plastic bowl.  A beige sit-upon that looked rather like bubble wrap. A black blindfold. A spoon.  That was used to feed Pixie Thai food Son had brought on board.  (I have an aversion to stinky food being brought onto airplanes.  I suppose I could write a letter.  Right after I write to the commissioner of baseball and demand games be reduced to five innings.  We recently went to a Ray’s game.  Four innings too long.  But I digress.)

Once Shirley, Son, and Pixie were finally settled she turned to me and said, “May I please have some water for the dog?  I forgot to buy a bottle.”  I filled the small green bowl from my $4.99 bottle of Smartie Pants water and Pixie drank happily.

Did I mention Shirley was big?  Really big. She spilled over into my seat whereupon I wedged myself into the far corner, and attempted to read.  But every time Shirley made a move her very large shadow cast my book into darkness.  Ultimately she wrapped her neck in the green frog, put on the blindfold and, using both armrests, went happily to sleep.

As we landed Shirley fished a tiny comb out of her Vera Bradley purse and proceeded to groom Pixie.

Once in a lifetime, right?

Not so much.  Guess who was across the aisle from me on my flight home?  Shirley, Pixie, and Son!

Once again there was a bustle of activity as Shirley got organized.  She piled Son’s lap with a mound of detritus from her carry on.  Then had to juggle Pixie as she attempted to put her bubble wrap pillow in her seat.

I offered to hold Pixie.  As I was attempting to take a selfie with the dog, the man seated in my window seat went NUTS.


Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.02.18 AM.png
Failed selfie.  


Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 11.03.02 AM.png
Crazy guy.



He ranted, “I know the rules!  I did the work!  You can’t hold that animal. No one can touch a service dog but the owner.”  The commotion brought a flight attendant running.  The flight attendant was unable to calm Mr. Chucklehead down.  So he called the purser.

Meanwhile, I stood with Pixie balanced in my arms and tried to sort through, “What now?”  Shirley quickly relieved me of the 2-pound burden.

Then, at Chuck’s feet, I noticed a black blanket.  The blanket moved.  Underneath was a full-size white poodle. The dog’s fur was groomed into the Mohawk atop its head.  I assumed it was also wearing a service dog vest, but the owner kept hiding the poor animal beneath the blanket.

At one point I made eye contact with the dog.  Chucklehead reached down to cover the animal’s eyes, turning it’s face away from me.  Clearly, no one is to interact with his service dog. He spent the entire flight watching home movies of the animal on his telephone.  Odd.

Now, on to exercise.  I’ve been taking the elevator down four flights and hiking back up the stairs.  I’m working my way up to get in shape for a November visit to Galena, Illinois.  Friend Jane lives atop a steep hill.  We walk everywhere.  If I survive the hill I will have to mount a perpendicular driveway followed by a long set of stairs.  Sandy, the showoff, climbs mountains, rides her bike, teaches Pilates and maintains she’s going to leave me in the street to die rather than lug me along.

So, off I go!





The Artist’s Way


Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 10.25.06 AM

I am rereading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.  I found the book while digging out our house in preparation for selling it.  I read The Artist’s Way in 2011 when we were on vacation.  I had just sold a fountain to Costco–my first solo design.  I was feeling flush, so promptly took my new found wealth and spent it, booking travel to Europe.  I only remembered I took the book on our adventure when I found an Oceania menu stuck between pages 138 and 139.

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 10.30.03 AM.png


Oh my goodness, did I eat a lot on that trip.  I recall sailing into Venice while eating figs slathered with cream cheese.  I gained close to a pound a day for the ten days of travel.  It was a spendid oinkilicious feeding frenzy.  Naturally, all those good meals were washed down with vats of wine glorious wine.

But I digress. Finding this book again, actually titled, The Artist’s Way A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, at this particular time is no accident.  I’m reinventing myself creatively.

I got rid of all my canvases, paints, and most of my brushes.  Jim and I dropped them off with acquaintances who are having monthly garage sales to raise money for a dog shelter.

Last night I told a group of party-goers I’d dumped those things and they looked horrified.  “What!  But you’re a painter!  Won’t you miss it?”

Nope, I won’t.

I feel a weight has been lifted.  I have painted for money for decades.  I do not associate painting with pleasure.  To me it’s a means to an end.

I need to create, just like I need to breath. But I want to create for the joy of the process.  I decided to state my truth.  I want to write.  By saying it outright I own it.  I will manifest it.  I will write.  I will take classes in creative writing.  I will journal.  I will blog.  I will trust the universe will give me what I need to live my dream.

I kept my colored pencils.  Perhaps I’ll write and illustrate children’s books.  I know I’ll do one for my grandson, Tate.  Other than that, I don’t know.  What I do know, in my gut,  is it will happen.

I’ll also continue to play around with my Brother Sewing machine, felted wool and vintage buttons.  Perhaps I’ll sell my wares at the monthly Saturday Morning Markets that take place 29 floors below our new home.  I’ve named it Cloud Condo.  I picture days when we’ll be enveloped in clouds, unable to see past the edge of our balcony.  Won’t that be eerily fun?

The Artist’s Way is waking me up.  Julia has me writing my “morning pages” daily.  Three Mead notebook sheets of whatever spills out of my mind.  And I’m not to reread them.   After I write I feel centered.  More Alice, less angst.

There are also exercises.  Jim did one.  It is in the chapter titled A Sense of Abundance.  The chapter centers our attention on our relationship to money and on allowing ourselves luxury.  Luxury means something different to everyone.  To me those cream cheese laden figs were luxury.

Each chapter has exercises.  The Sense of Abundance chapter includes an exercise called “money madness.” Jim did that one. Here is what he wrote.  I particularly like two things he said, “Money equals money.”  And “Being broke tells me I didn’t make good decisions.”

That speaks volumes to me.  I’ve been in relationships where people don’t take responsibility for their financial situation.  They lay blame on everything but their own choices.  Jim, my excellent gentle husband, hasn’t got that “It ain’t my fault” mindset.

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 10.23.14 AM.png


As I write my morning pages I record the many things I am grateful for.  Everything from little joys like cream cheese, marvelous necessities like opposable thumbs,  and the gift of this union.

Each week I am supposed to take myself on an artist’s date.  All alone.  Something that feeds my imagination.  Today my artist’s date is going to see the movie Incredibles 2.  I adore animated films, Jim, not so much.  So I and my inner artist are having a date!  Yay!




Got it done!

In an earlier blog post, I referenced a commission I had to create an evening purse repurposing an elegant evening jacket, yards of vintage silk and lace, along with some random faux pearl baubles.  These bits and pieces had once belonged to friend Sheryl’s mother-in-law

.    Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 6.25.38 PM

I did what I always do, took on the work with not a clue how I would manage to make it.  The final result surprised even me!

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 9.59.09 AM
The front of the bag.


The back.
I used the little pasty looking fripperies where the handle attaches to the bag.

I learned a lot from this enterprise.  It boosts my confidence to take on more complex designs.  For now, my Brother sewing machine is put away.  We are working hard to get this home on the market early next week.

It’s hard to believe how quickly this move came up!  Was it really only three weeks ago Jim and I took our misty St. Petersburg bike ride?  Our new home will be about 800 square feet smaller than our current home.

We’ve been purging like crazy.  Fortunately St. Petersburg acquaintances are holding monthly garage sales to raise money to fund a dog rescue.  Several times a week we load up our mini-van, Gracie, and make the forty-five-minute drive to Jean and Art’s.  They are delighted by the donations, while we are thrilled to have a place to send everything.


I actually got rid of all my mountains of art supplies.  Canvases, gone!  Bags filled with Golden brand acrylics, gone!  Drawers filled with scrapbooking supplies, history.  Paintbrushes, boxes and boxes of brushes are a thing of my past.  My cow painting is my official swan song.

I did, however, keep my sewing stuff, button collection, jewelry making supplies and my Prismacolor pencils.  Time to reinvent me.  Perhaps I’ll write the children’s books I’ve long dreamed of creating.  Life is a wonderful adventure.

I manifested a condominium​!

Our friends, Doug and Charki, live in St Petersburg.  Charki is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking.  She suggested I picture our new home firmly in my mind and simply walk toward it as if it already exists.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  What she DIDN’T tell me is how fast the thinking could make things magically appear!

Two weeks ago they invited us to come ride bikes around the city.  Charki had learned there might be a unit coming on the market that could be in our price range.   Why not hop on bikes and check the area out?

It was a misty day, but still fine for bike riding.  My goodness, the sedentary lifestyle I’ve adopted has taken its toll!   I was sore for days following our six-mile ride.

First stop, Whispering Waters, the building Charki had mentioned.  Only three stories tall but with nice screened porches and in a good location.

Then we proceeded into the heart of the city.  Charki wanted to check out Saturday Morning Market and buy gifts for friends.  The market happens weekly, October through May.  It’s a combination of farmers market, food vendors, and crafters.  She found two pretty necklaces.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.00.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.58.46 PM.png

Beside the market, I noticed a tall building I’d identified on  There was an available unit on the 9th floor. I said, “Hey, how about if I go in the lobby and see what’s what with the apartment?”

So we peddled over, locked up the bikes and entered the lobby.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.26.12 PM.png


I approached the young man behind the desk, Jordan, and asked him about the unit for sale.  He offered to have a realtor there in fifteen minutes. “No, thanks,” I said,”we are already working with someone.”

He said, “How about if I call the owners and ask if Juan, our maintenance man, can show it to you right now.”

And he did!  Sadly the view was of a roof loaded with air-conditioners.  Not pretty.

On the car ride home I called our darling realtor, Judy, and she said, “I’ll meet you there tomorrow.  There are several other units for sale.”

Back we went on Sunday.  Up up up to the 29th floor where I proceeded to fall in love.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.34.33 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 2.08.50 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 1.35.35 PM.png
You can see that roof full of air conditioners on the right-hand side of this picture.


On a clear day, looking left you can see all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  At least that’s what we’ve been told.  We’ve never been there on a clear day.  Florida in summer means rain rain rain.  Looking right is the Tampa Bay.  Below is a pool, putting green, weight room (I don’t intend to ever go there…shudder) and several other big rooms for giving large parties, if you so desire.

We sat in one of those rooms and stunned our realtor by making an offer.  It was accepted.  We close on July 12th.

There are things here I will miss a lot, in particular, several close friends we’ve been lucky enough to make.  I’ve already arranged a standing date to drive out here and share lunch with them once a month. And I’ll continue to come to the ‘burbs for book club.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned there are classes in creative writing just a fifteen-minute walk from our front door.  The library is a ten-minute stroll.  Perhaps I’ll eventually peddle my purses at the Saturday Morning Market!

The Power of Positive thinking worked again!  YAY!  Now, back to cleaning closets and purging our stuff






We have decided to move to a condominium in St. Petersburg.  We want to walk to plays, restaurants, museums.  We want to sit on Beach Drive and people watch, attend weekly farmers markets, visit interesting shops and galleries.

We have targeted a certain location.  Sadly, the builder hasn’t even broken ground yet. Pre-selling begins in the fourth quarter of this year.  10% savings for buying early.  Yay that.  Then we will have a wait.  A very LONG wait.  The is builder The Kolter Group–they put up a forty-one story high rise at the corner of First Street and First Avenue.  The name of this beauty is ONE.  There are only a few units available.

That building has been five years in the making.

The one we’re told about will be shorter–twenty-one stories.  In my imagination, that means it will take half the time.  Our realtor Judy is skeptical.  Very skeptical.

None-the-less I am cleaning out!  Packing up junk piled around here and putting it in my Etsy shop.  Five years from now this place will echo.  Everything must GO.

Today’s project–craft supplies (mine) and mini size Toby Jugs (Jim’s).  He collected those funny looking little things for years–back before the internet made them easily available for next to no money.   We kept only two–‘arry and ‘arriette.

I’m too lazy to photograph them individually, so they are going (I hope sooner rather than later) as a “lot.”

Next, I’ll ask Jim to crawl into the attic and fish out all our old Avon Christmas plates and figurines.  But first I need to ask my daughter which she may want.  She has NO storage now, but that might change in the next few years while our new digs are being built.

Here are the beauties that are listed, packed and ready to ship!

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 4.59.15 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 2.35.37 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 3.05.47 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-17 at 2.36.31 PM.png

I kept the templates of tiny furniture pieces.  I’ll need them to figure out where to put our sofas, chairs, and tables in our NEW CONDO!

Other things I’ve done–crawled along the kitchen floor and re-stained the quarter round at the base of my cabinets.  Then I went outside and rubbed lemon oil all over the front door.  Yes, I know I’ll have to do those things again several times before we go.  I’m practicing getting ready to show this house!

St. Petersburg, here we come.

(Just don’t hold your breath.)


Sewing Lessons

Recently, when my Brother brand sewing machine finked out on me I discovered AA White Sewing Center in Holiday, Florida.

Co-owners Mike and Sherrie, a married couple, have owned the store for two years.  Mike quickly fixed my machine.  In the moments while I waited I struck up a conversation with Sherrie.  I told her what my sewing dilemmas were and learned she teaches classes.  So I set up a private lesson for the next week.

I spend my days’ sewing.  I decided it was high time to sort out how the heck to do it.

WOW!  She taught me how to sew my purse linings in with the machine, how to make a pattern template with thick plastic instead of using graph paper and several other neat little tricks.

Fast forward–I was given another commission.  This one is to turn a vintage beaded blazer, some ecru silk, handcrafted lace and a couple of baubles that look like pasties into an evening bag.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 6.25.38 PM.png

This project is so far over my pay grade.  I immediately made an appointment for another private lesson.

While Sherrie and I sat quietly ripping out blazer seams I began asking her about life outside of AA White Sewing Center.  I learned she and Mike were Maryland High School sweethearts.  He refused to take Shop with all the other guys and insisted he should be allowed Home Ec.  He was such a rabble-rouser in class the teacher made him clean and oil all the sewing machines as his punishment.

They married shortly after graduation.  I don’t remember how they wended their way to Florida.  What I do know is Sherrie has done six triathlons.  She started running when her mom got sick with multiple myeloma.  Her first race was with Team in Training–a marathon–to fundraise for cancer research  I did that years ago.  So difficult.  I did NOT fall in love with exercise.

Sherrie did.  Last weekend she was in Texas where she swam in a lake for miles.  Then she ran to a changing tent, put on bike gear and rode her bicycle 112 miles.  Following that she changed again and ran a full 26.2-mile marathon!  She came in second place.

I got sweaty just imagining all that exercise.

Today I am actually wrestling myself away from the sewing machine.  Jim, who golfs every Tuesday and Thursday, will be home.  Our rainy season is beginning, no golf for him.  So we have a date!  Lunch, a movie, and a field trip to Whole Foods.  Tomorrow night is our monthly Game Night with our buddies.  They always make fabulous charcuterie platters. I’m planning to up my game.

Fed ex just delivered artwork by my two-year-old grandson, Tate.  An ass. (The artwork, not the grandson.)

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.41.22 AM.png

On the back, Mo wrote a sweet note.  She thanked me for not killing her during the two-year-old tantrum stage.  I don’t remember many Mo tantrums.  However, one spectacular moment comes to mind. I failed to call her “Brucie”–a name she adopted when she was three or four.  She also chewed out her pre-school teacher for the same mistake.  She sat on the top of the sliding board, head spinning on her neck Linda Blair style, and howled, “I AM NOT MAUREEN!!  CALL ME BRUCIE!”  The teacher may not have been amused, but I was.

More artwork by cute Tate.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 10.41.01 AM.png


I’m back!

I’ve been buried in wool, thread, buttons and whimsy.  Just completed four commission pieces.  What fun!

The client, Rosalie.  Her mother worked in the NYC garment district and was a phenomenal seamstress.  Rosalie brought me a silver and black knit suit her mother was working on shortly before her death. Her mom would likely cringe at my stitchery.

I’ve been taking sewing lessons, so my skills have improved…sort of.  The three little purses below include mom’s knit and her jazzy buttons, Grandma’s “funeral sweater”–a black wool sweater she always wore to funerals, and cashmere Rosalie chose from my vast collection of shrunken sweaters.  One bag is for Rosalie, the others for her cousins.

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 2.36.24 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 2.34.46 PM.png

The bumblebees had to go on the back so as not to compete with the blingie buttons.

The big purse below includes the same stuff as the little ones, but I added shirred seams from the shoulders of the suit jacket.  That is the “wrong” side of the fabric.

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 2.35.33 PM.png

Again, bee needed to be hidden, so it’s on the pocket under the flap.

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 2.34.26 PM.png

The back of the bag gets really wild.  Rosalie gave me a blue cufflink that had been her dad’s.  He sounds like a marvelous dandy.  He put on a smoking jacket each evening after work!

Rosalie wanted me to incorporate some argyle from my collection.   This purse got pretty wild.

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 2.36.48 PM.png

Now, on to clean up my workspace and get back to coloring all the illustrations in Shel Silverstein’s “Falling Up.”  It’s a Christmas gift for grandkids. There are one-hundred-seventy-nine pages.  I’m on number twelve…

Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 3.23.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-03 at 3.24.02 PM.png



Today as the cobwebs clear

I woke fifteen minutes ago from a horrible dream.  Between crawling from the feathers and shuffling to make coffee, the facts of the dream are nearly gone.

The bits I remember: I was living in a country where I had to make horrible life-threatening choices.  Do I protect the little dark-haired girl with the gold star on her sleeve?  If I do will I die?

What remains in the part of my brain where the dream was only minutes ago is a visceral fear.  A fear of what our country may be becoming.  Somehow, in my sleep, my brain began to chatter about the grim realities here.

I’m astonished by my fear.  As a rule, I’m a smiling (head in the sand) optimist.

School kids are marching out of classes to demand our NRA controlled government make changes in gun laws.

Our leader, the man in the Oval, states, “There were good people on BOTH sides” following a Nazi-led demonstration that ended with horrible violence.

He bullies, name calls, and is ugly and divisive.  He calls on Americans to embrace their amoral ignoble selves.

Change needs to happen, and soon.  Children should feel safe in their classrooms.  Decorum should prevail in the Oval Office.  Kindness matters.

I’ve been pounding the keys creating and deleting sentences for the last five minutes.  The coffee is thank goodness, beginning to kick in.  I’ve got to find the “and that’s good because…” regarding these things.

Okay, Alice.  You can do this.

The part about the students marching out is easy.  And that’s good because this uprising may actually move Americans toward insisting gun laws change.

As for the “and that’s good because” about the tyrant in the Oval?  I’m working on that part.  If any of my gentle readers can help me out I’d appreciate it.  There may be readers who think he’s good for Americans.  If so, please don’t chime in.  Go read some other blog.

Now, more coffee and back to my sewing machine.  My mind seeks tranquility.




What I’ve been up to

You know how it is when you haven’t talked to someone for a long while? There is so much to say it’s impossible to cover all the bases, so you just don’t bother to call?  That’s how this blog is for me.  Too long away from it.

But once again my fan grumbled, so here I is.

Fun stuff: We had a visit from my darling daughter Mo, her handsome husband Stephen and ADORABLE two-year-old Tate.  We went to the Lowry Park zoo with them, and then to Disney World.  Fun to see that place again through the eyes of a child.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 9.45.54 AM

Jim opted out of It’s a Small World.  Smart move.  The song has been stuck in my head for over a week.

They traveled to the East Coast, played golf and went to a Mets game with Stephen’s parents, John and Jane.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 9.37.20 AM.png



Late in the week, they all came back here.  We enjoyed dinner on the patio and had an interesting time getting to know their friend Matt.  He’s a scout for the Yankees.  Fascinating listening to his experiences.

Did you know a first-year major league ballplayer makes $520,000 a year?  Shoulda’ played baseball.  But no.  Instead, I make purses.

Speaking of purses, I continue to be obsessed.  Every day packages arrive from Ebay–sweaters to shrink and chop.  Neighbors have begun to bring me buttons, brooches, bags of wool.  I opened my Etsy shop yesterday.  beatricebeevintage.  There are presently nine items listed.  I have two more to drop in today.

Then I’m sitting down to start another.  Not much else is getting done around here.  And that’s fine by me.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 12.09.35 PM copy.jpgScreen Shot 2018-03-09 at 12.13.27 PM copy.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 12.11.53 PM copy.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 12.14.56 PM copy.jpgScreen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.10.52 PM copy.jpgThis is half of the vintage jewelry I’ve got awaiting new life.  The other side of this bag is equally loaded.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.21.55 AM.png

Since this photo was taken I’ve finished this little number. The black wool was neighbor Rosalies grannies “funeral” sweater.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.23.11 AM.png

Now, back to the sewing machine.  My handy dandy little “Brother” brand.  Jim thought I’d never use it.  Ha!