Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby Buggies-Past Due Tuesdays

This beautiful baby buggy is hanging in the studio and was purchased at the Alameda antique Fair.  I just love the style, it's endearing crinkled and wholly worn top and imaging young girls putting their favorite dolls inside and pushing them throught the park on a spring day.  I was inspired to research the history of the stroller for anyone who is interested read on....
  William Kent developed an early pram in 1733.[1] He was a garden architect in England who had become well known for his work. In 1733, the Duke of Devonshire asked Kent to build a means of transportation that would carry his children. Kent obliged by constructing a shell shaped basket on wheels that the children could sit in. This was richly decorated and meant to be pulled by a goat or small pony. By 1840, the baby carriage became extremely popular. Queen Victoria bought three carriages from Hitchings Baby Store.[2]
The carriages of those days were built of wood or wicker and held together by expensive brass joints. These sometimes became heavily ornamented works of art. Models were also named after royalty, Princess and Duchess being popular names, as well as Balmoral and Windsor.

Pram in Assam, India about 1902
In June 1889, William Richardson patented his idea of the first reversible stroller. The bassinet was designed so it could face out or in towards the parent. He also made structural changes to the carriage. Until then the axis did not allow each wheel to move separately, Richardson’s design allowed this, which increased maneuverability of the carriages.
As the 1920s began, modern baby carriages were now available to all families. They were also becoming safer, as new features like larger wheels, brakes, deeper prams, and lower, sturdier frames began to appear.
In 1965, Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer, worked on complaints his daughter made about traveling from England to America with her heavy pram. Using his knowledge of aeroplanes, Maclaren designed a stroller with an aluminum frame and created the first true umbrella stroller. He then went on to found Maclaren which manufactured and sold his new design. The design took off and soon “strollers” were easier to transport and used everywhere.
Since the 1980s, the stroller industry has developed with new features, safer construction and more accessories.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Lovely Winged Lady

The lovely winged lady....was at this gorgeous store called Rhapsody in Sonoma.  My sister and I went on our annual overnight to celebrate her birthday and Sonoma is always so inspiring.  They have such an eclectic mix of art, shops and style.  I always come back from there feeling creatively charged.  I am going to paint this mannequin and then I'll post it if it turns out well, there's just something yummy about old mannequins, tutu's and wings don't cha think??!! So this hip chick is now cleaning up the shop, painting the floor, getting ready for the Alameda antique on Sunday (please don't rain!) and excited to have the Grand Opening in a couple of weeks.  Until then I will be painting, collecting and preparing as best I can......hope you all had a good Christmas,  if you're like me you did, and you're glad it's all done too!!! 2010 here we come!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It is simply Wicked!

 Merry Christmas Eve to all, this post is dedicated to "Wicked" the musical.  We splurged and bought tickets for the family to go last night and it was awesome!! First we shopped in the city and had dinner at Alex's favorite restaurant "The Empress of China" and we topped off the fun with Wicked.  It was even better than I had anticipated and for those who have seen it you know what I mean.  I loved the first half, the back story to the wicked witch's life and the costumes and songs.  The second half wasn't as dynamic but enjoyable and what's better than a broadway show??!!! If you haven't seen it I urge you to treat yourself.  Merry Christmas Eve friends!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1972 Ford 250- Past Due Tuesday

Here's Hip Chick's new ride a 1972 Ford 250.  Ain't it perttie???? In keeping with my love of old things I needed an old truck to haul my treasures and I just bought this baby on Sunday.  It's a creamy yellow with a Mack truck doggie as my mascot/hood ornament to show me the way to the nearest flea.  Inside it has one long seat with the old buckles, no radio (which will have to be rectified soon), a giant steering wheel and crank window handles, imagine that!!! I swear I was cracking up driving it around downtown Danville which is basically SUV and Lexus heaven.  I can't wait to get my tunes so I can crank Tom Petty's "American Girl" sport my cowboy hat and yell "yee-haw!!".  Funny thing is I don't even like horses........Now that I'm a good ole girl I will be learning more about these ole cars, I used to drive an old Plymouth Fury that I bought for $200.00 with a V8 back in the 80's and this so brings me back to that time.  This baby is LOUD too, let me tell you you'll be able to hear Hip Chick comin' from far away......hope I don't get kicked out of my neighborhood......

Friday, December 18, 2009

Grand Opening Celebration!!!

Grand Opening at Hip Chick's January 16th 12-5 everyone is invited, there will be live music, food, drink, fun and frivolity!! I am busy busy getting the place ready and SO excited to bust out and share this with all of you.  Today is my sister's 40th birthday and we get to go to "Prom" tonight as her party.  I am thrilled to wear a fancy dress and have my handsome husband wear his tuxedo and be my date.  Standby for pictures as Alex our son is the hired photographer (also helped me with my flyer, thanks Alex!) He's a jack of all trades actor, ballon artist, photographer and basic entertainer.  Things are just going fantastically for this hip chick.  Thank you all for your moral support, I hope you come celebrate at the opening party......

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Brooches-Past Due Tuesday Post

Today's post showcases brooches and I took pictures of the two I posess.  I purchased these beauties at a thrift shop (of course) and found them to be utterly charming.  I imagine a lady in the 40's wearing a fancy dress cooking her holiday dinner with the table set beautifully, her husband sitting by the fire smoking his pipe with the children gathered around reading books.  She's calmly preparing the meal, looking elegant and sophisticated with her brooch sparkling in the Christmas lights, a real woman of style and class.  Fast forward to 2009 and today's woman frenzily prepares her dinner from Trader Joe's, while wearing whatever clothes she hastily threw on, while juggling the driving of her children to the various activities they have, while her husband (if she has one) is sitting by the fire smoking his pipe......haha!! Ok maybe I overexaggerated but times are different and for the most part women don't dress like they used to.  I admire women who take the time to put themselves together and I especially admire women who dress in vintage as it's so creative and fun.  So to you ladies who dress up and put on your dresses, good job!! I think I'll put on one of these sparkley brocches for our holiday dinner and play the Donna Reid role for 5 mins or so.  If nothing else it'll be good for a laugh!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frida Kahlo

 Today we went to the studio and transformed the place.  We froze our butts off but it was worth it.  While we were there a brave customer came in amongst the clutter and found a treasure she had to have (we all know how that is).  It was a mini Frida Kahlo painting and it was only $10.00 So many women love Frida, we love her passion, her intensity and her lust for life.  So I was inspired to highlight her and perhaps I'll do some portraits of her when I can find some time.  For those of you who haven't watched the movie get it, Salma Hayek is amazing. 

Frida, the person and her art, defy easy definition. Rather, they lend themselves to ambiguous description. Often volatile and obsessive, Frida was alternately hopeful and despairing. She loved dancing and crowds and flirtation and seduction – and was often miserably lonely, begging friends and lovers to visit, not to "forget" her. She had a ferocious and often black sense of humor, as well as a sharp command of wit and metaphor. She took great pride in keeping a home for Diego and loved fussing over him, cooking for him and bathing him. She delighted in pets – mischievous spider monkeys and dogs – and adored children, who she treated as equals. She loved nonsense, gossip and dirty jokes. She abhorred pretension. She treated servants like family and students like esteemed colleagues. Frida Kahlo embodied alegría, – a lust for life. She valued honesty, especially to self.

She once wrote to a former lover (who allegedly had jilted her because of her physical infirmities), "you deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts."

When Frida Kahlo died at the age of 47 on July 13, 1954, she left paintings, each of which corresponds to her evolving persona, as well as a collection of effusive letters to lovers and friends, and colorfully candid journal entries. All are irrefutable evidence that her life was nothing less than a quest to be honest to herself – 1910 birthday and all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Logo

I went to Santa Cruz and collected my son Alex from his dorm and brought him home to the bosom of his family.  This son of mine is amazing and for those of you who know him this goes without saying.  It's wonderful to have him home and I have really missed him.  He's very clever and he made me this amazing logo today.  I have to say he can do just about anything he tries and with excellence as well.  Thank you Alex.  I have been slowing my pace a bit as it was in maximum overdrive and frankly I'm not good at sustaining that pace indefintely.  I hit a wall and it takes me a few days to resume my natural spunky self.  I did put some Christmas decor out even though we still don't have our tree.  I think we'll get it this weekend and I'll enjoy having the whole family together to decorate it.  So that's what's the haps with this hip chick, hope you're all staying warm and bundling up with some hot chocolate and a blanket. 

This is my boy...........who couldn't love that face????
He has a blog you need to follow at http://alexeclayden.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bottle brush Christmas trees-Past Due Tuesday

Bottle brush Christmas trees are hugely popular and easy to make.  I decided to learn about them as my topic for Past Due Tuesday unfortunately I didn't come up with much on the origin of these decorative  beauties.  I did however find out how to make them myself and I like that even more!!! The attached link shows a fun loving guy making these trees and they couldn't be easier.  Just run off to Michael's and buy their ready made trees, dip them in a bowl of bleach, if you want a fun color you probably add food coloring I'm guessing and then let it dry.  When it's dry take glue and spread it on the edges and add glitter and then embellish with balls and garland.  What fun, I can hardly wait to do one myself.  Hope you all try it too, let me know if you have ever done this or if you do ok???


Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Boutique and Grand Opening

The Red Tree Christmas Boutique was a fun filled event yesterday, all the jewelry artists along with Hip Chick came to Colorz Hair Gallery to sell their wares.  It was a frosty and winter y day but we did manage to make some sales and have a good time socializing.  Now it's time for this hip chick to get ready for her Grand Opening event which is January 16th from 12-5 come one come all.....I am going to get some entertainment, have refreshments and get the place looking gorgeous for all to enjoy.  The floors were just finished a few days ago and I haven't even had a chance to get the place jazzed up yet but all in good time.  One can only do so much I'm realizing as I haven't even decorated my own house for Christmas yet!!I have pet portraits to finish for Christmas presents so there is no rest for this busy hip chick.  It's all good stuff, I'm not complaining, just trying to catch my breath......Saty tuned for updates and photos of the shop as it starts to take shape......

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boutiques and Open houses

This weekend there are two fun events happening if you want something to do.  First off on Saturday the 5th there is an open house in Benicia at the Commandant's house in the arsenal district.  It's from 12-7 and there will be non-profits combined with businesses in the area decorating each room of the house for the holidays.  Sound like fun?? Hip chick is partnering with Arts Benicia and decorating one of the rooms in vintage motif.  There will be Christmas items for sale and artist's handmade ornaments for sale if one needs to find Christmas presents and who doesn't??!! One for you and one for me......
Holiday Parlor Tour
Saturday, December 05, 2009 at 1:00 PM
Benicia Historical Society will hold its inaugural Holiday Parlor Tour with six historic homes on the tour and then non-profit organizations in the community will participate by “hosting” a room in the newly renovated Commanding Officer's Quarters (formerly the Commandant's)  This is a chance to see how beautiful this antebellum home is.
Tickets are available while they last at Bookshop Benicia, Camellia Tea Room, Benicia Chamber of Commerce and Benicia Main Street.
For more info call 745-3551.

Sunday is another opportunity for fun at Colorz Hair Gallery in Walnut Creek.  There is a Christmas Boutique with art, jewelry and hip chick goodies along with great gifts.  This is my first time at the event so I'm excited to participate.  My good freind Sally Rodriguez will be selling her amazing art work and a good time is sure to be had by all.   The Christmas boutique will be from 12-5 at

Colorz Hair Gallery

1815 Mt Diablo BlvdWalnut Creek,CA94596-4497
Local: (925) 933-2888

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Today we painted diamonds and how fabulous are they??!! I wish I had a before picture to show you, it was HORRIBLE.  The floor was paint splattered and filthy from years of neglect and use.  Honestly it's amazing it could just be painted over.  We finished one half  today and tomorrow we finish the other half.  It's painstaking to wait for paint to dry, I wanted to finish it so badly....but you can't rush these things.  How we did this was with a broom handle for measuring, a board and pipe to hold the string  for our lines and screws in the walls to keep it all straight.  Then we masked off the lines and painted black around the tape with a brush and rolled the rest with a long roller.  The whole thing only took a couple hours, the hardest part was waiting for it to dry!!!  Day by day my dream is taking shape......woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shiny Bright Christmas Ornaments

Vintage Christmas ornaments are delicious and somewhat easy to find. I remember the first time I scored a box of shiny brights was in Carmel Valley at a thrift shop and the whole box was about a dollar. It was love at first sight and ever since I swipe them up when I can. I made my first ornament wreath the other day hot glue gunning balls and balls and I used a few of my precious shiny brights. It would be ultimate to make an entire wreath with all vintage balls, costly too but I will make it a goal to try to make another one for next year. I am painting at the shop (Hip Chicks-Benicia) and I am jazzed at the progress. Tomorrow we begin the checkerboard floor and then I can bring more goodies, do a photo shoot, and advertise. Let's get the people flocking to Hip Chick's for fabulous finds and fun!!!

Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments were made and sold by Max Eckardt from the 1940s to 1960s.

They can be identified by the words "Shiny Brite Made in USA" stamped into the ornament's top cap.
According to information on the box, there were factories in North Bergen, New Jersey and West New York, also in New Jersey.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas....

Today was very productive for this hip chick. I got up early and did some positive reinforment for the soul, then I got to shop at The Station in Danville for the Christmas extravaganza!! I am a volunteer there so I got to get first dibs on the goodies and I ended up walking out buying $175.00 worth of treasure. Yes gluttonous indeed but when you're building a business you need inventory and you can't beat the prices. Plus all proceeds go to help people get counseling who otherwise might not afford it. WIN WIN. So I "worked" the Christmas shift and then came home and busted out this fabulous wreath. It was a big project and it just kind of keep getting bigger and bigger.....but it was also very addicting like it could just go on forever and ever....I did glue my fingers together and then rip them apart but it's all part of the process. I am very pleased with my finished wreath, it is in my nook above my mantel shining magestically for me upon entering the house. I would make many of these to sell except they do take hours and they also take gobs of ornaments. Perhaps I will make more if Santa brings me buckets of balls for Christmas....hahaha. So Christmas is starting to arrive and with it comes clutter, not my favorite. I need to take it in phases so I can enjoy it as decorating for Christmas is my favorite part of the holiday. I know surprise, surprise...Hope you all had a fun weekend, if you did share it with me...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

This hip chick will not be joining the masses buying Christmas presents today. I don't care how much money I'd save and I'm all for saving money, as anyone who knows me can attest. I will be crafting instead, getting ready for the Christmas Boutique next Sunday from 12-5 at Colorz Hair in Walnut Creek. I'm making wreaths, and tags, ornaments etc...all in the vintage hip chick style. FUN!! My camera is still in the shop (annoying) so I can't take any shots of this stuff but as soon as I can I shall post it. Hope you all are safe at home and not out getting trampled by the mobs of crazy bargain hunters on a mission.............

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and gratitute

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I have always loved Thanksgiving, it's the most genuine holiday we Americans have. People get together with loved ones and give thanks with a delicious meal. I adore turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce all in one bite. It's a perfect 10. I spent the day today (wednesday) decorating at the shop for Christmas. This weekend my sweet sister Holly is coming to help me paint the walls in Bob's old space and get it looking pretty and polished for Hip Chick's grand opening. (date to be determined after the holidays....) This hip chick has much to be grateful for. For starters I will brainstorm the first things that come to mind......my health, sobriety, my family including my husband and children, my loving and fantastic friends, my studio, my creativity that constantly keeps me moving forward and focused, my connection with God, miracles, laughter, smiles, ice cream and the smell of roses, artist's, women, water, antiques, learning, mannequins, living in a beautiful and safe town, having enough money to eat nice food, pay our bills and afford treats. And the list goes on.....one thing I am most grateful for is the ability to choose to live the life I want, to realize now that I am a grown up (in age only) I have the freedom to create the life I choose. When I was young all I wanted was to be free to make my own choices and that is something I never take for granted. So I wish you the best of holidays and if you are living the life of your dreams I congratulate you, if you aren't sure what your dreams are then read the Artist Way. This book changed my life and I promise it can change yours too. Happy Thanksgiving to all you sweet people who support this hip chick, I love you!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie

I saw this recipe in the Food and Wine section of the paper and thought it sounded good. Well let me tell you it was!! DELICIOUS! I will make it again and again and it's light, easy and oh so tasty. I still have one piece left and I think I'll go eat it right now........
Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
  • 2 cups peeled cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar divided
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 9 inch pie crust
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350
  • 2. Using electric mixer, mix potatoes and 1 cup sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt and spices. Add milk and continue to mix.
  • 3. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 35 to 45 mins. Or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before covering with meringue.
  • Meringue
  • Beat 3 egg whites until soft peaks form and add remaining ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon at a time. When mixture is glossy and stiff spoon meringue onto pie and bake additional 10 mins. or until topping is browned.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rainy wintery friday

It's raining, finally!! I am not usually a big rain lover but I am loving it today. 1. we needed it 2. it's a nice change 3. it feels festive. I mean it's Nov 20th but the weather hasn't really felt different except the chilly evenings. Ben and I went to Rockridge today and walked around in the rain, had lunch at the Crepevine which is so yummy, and I went to my usual thrift shops. Got a few Christmas items and had a lovely time walking in the rain and window shopping. Last night I had dinner at Linda's with 5 other dynamic beautiful women and they all bought Joy Jars!! How fortuitous is that??!! So I am feeling really inspired, motivated and assured that I am on the right path with Hip Chick's. I'm excited to see where this all leads..............

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cow skulls and the joy of living authentically

Yesterday was a great day for this hip chick. I went to the studio and right away made a sale in the first five minutes of opening. What a way to start the day! I am so delighted that my shabby chicy merchandise is appealing to customers and it's validating to me as I am about to expand and move forward. I spent some time tagging items, and I wanted to paint out our fireplace cover that Ben made out of fiber insulation. It was hideously obnoxious and as it's a focal point in the room I had to do something to jazzy it up. This "plug" if you will, is pretty big about 3x3 and glaringly white...what to do.....I thought about painting a scrolly design but that wasn't firing me up until I looked up at my cow skull over my doorway and knew I could get psyched about that. So I furiouslly painted my skull and shazam our hideous screen is now a work of art that makes our fireplace dazzle. Maybe there's a market there...hahaha. As I worked on my skull I had another sale to top off my jubuliant mood, two tables for a little girl's room were out the door for a mere $50.00 (Bargains are the norm at Hip Chick's) As I was driving home in the usual traffic, I was so satisfied by my day. I am able to do what I love and make some money doing it. I'm not making enough to support myself yet but just getting started and making small sales has me excited and motivated for the future of my business. I get to paint and sell my paintings and that feels fantastic. It shows me that I can do what I love and make a living if I only believe in myself. It's scary to be so open and exposed, to say here's what I am and what I can do, but the benefit to it is worth it. The satisfaction that comes from living authentically is priceless. Money is merely a symbol, a validating useful means of getting what we need and want. There is no amount of money that equals the satisfaction of putting yourself into a passion and getting positive feedback. That personal connection is what it's all about, the essence of what drives us as people. We all love to make people happy and we all have our own unique ability to do this. To me that's the beauty of life is seeing how everyone finds their way to express themselves and live authentically. Are you living your life authentically?????? I'd love to hear about it.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Past Due Tuesday-Dress Mannequins

I love dress mannequins, they are so charming and fun! This beauty was found at a shop in Sonoma and I fainted when I saw it. I bought my first and only mannequin Nov 1st at the Alameda antique fair for $30. I have wanted one for ages but they are so pricey, usually the vintage ones start at $200 and go up from there. My girl is a bit bigger than the one pictured here , she's more of a plus size and she's got a pink tutu on and pearls (of course). I would've taken her photo but my camera is in the shop, she'll get some exposure at a later date. Here's some interesting findings about the history of these dress mannequins.....

Mannequins - A brief history.

Wickerwork form from 1797 and wirework form from 1835Mannequins have been around for thousands of years but their use in store display is more recent. Kings and Queens who were concerned about their appearance, like the ancient pharaohs, would have a dress form made to their body dimensions. The court dress maker or tailor would use the ‘dress form’ to display and make the clothes thus avoiding any royal embarrassment during the course of a fitting.

The evolution of this ancient crude dress form through the middle ages and up until just before the industrial revolution is unknown because there are so few written records and no museum examples to study. Wickerwork mannequins were certainly around in the late 1700s and were probably filled with stuffing and leather. Wire-framed versions came into existence in 1835 but mannequins were still not in use for store display. The invention of plate glass, the filament lamp and the sewing machine were the catalysts that put mannequins in the store.

In the 1880s window panes began to be installed in retail establishments and street lights started to appear. The improvement of sewing machines enabled ready to wear clothing to be made in large quantities. The industrial revolution also created a new middle class with money to spend on what was previously only available to royalty and landed gentry - fashionable clothes! More retail stores opened and the store owners needed mannequins to display the latest fashions.

These early mannequins were made of wax, wood or heavy fabric and because they needed to stay upright their feet were made of iron. To give them shape papier-mâché and sawdust were used. Consequently the result was an expensive, hard to maintain and very heavy object. However such was the interest in fashion that by the turn of the century the mannequin was already the center of a fledgling industry called 'window trimming' which later became known as 'visual merchandising'.

The advent of the department store with its large show windows, behind which mannequins bearing the latest fashions could be admired by the crowds, encouraged window trimmers to be artistic as well as practical. Mannequins slowly developed from being just a simple prop to display the merchandise towards a more realistic form. Mannequins with glass eyes, real hair and facial expressions began to appear.

The First World War sent millions of European men off to fight and left the women at home to do the men’s jobs. This change brought about a revolution in women’s clothing, they shed their bustiers and crinolines and adopted a more fluid line of clothes. Mannequins gradually became more lithe and realistic to reflect these changes but never could they be mistaken for the real thing. Not until the 1930s and Lester Gaba did realism become ubiquitous.

Lester Gaba was a soap sculptor in New York and was asked by a large department store if he could produce some mannequins in a more stable material with the same detail and quality that he could get with soap. He created six astonishing specimens from plaster that become known as the 'Gaba Girls'. They were each given names and a party at a prestigious hotel where they were dressed in fine clothes and jewels, New York high-society loved them! The socialites also loved Lester Gaba who had taken to the eccentric habit of going everywhere with a sitting mannequin called Cynthia. Cynthia, elbow on her knees with a cigarette in hand, traveled by taxi and appeared with Lester Gaba in a box at the opera, the Stork Club and many other famous venues. The publicity was enormous and stores could not get enough of the Gaba Girls or their imitators.

The depression and the Second World War brought about shortages and shop windows became rather somber with the mannequins of the day looking slightly melancholy and concerned. However it all changed when the war was over and by the late 1940s mannequins looked happy and prosperous, some of them even wore a radiant smile. Male mannequins in particular looked relaxed and some even had holes drilled between their lips for inserting pipes!

In the 1950s new materials became available and by the late 1960s the true mass production of fiberglass and then plastic mannequins became a reality. Advances in technology have continued so that mannequin artists can now manufacture any conceivable design and are bounded only by the limits of their creativity.

(Article by Jodie Deen, © Displayarama 2004)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My son came home and it's Christmas tomorrow!

I have neglected my blog this week, I was on such a roll at first and the momentum has slowed I fear. I shall attempt a renewed interest. To be honest, and I have to be honest, because if we aren't honest we're fools, I have been fighting a lot of negative emotions. I felt better towards the end of the week but I didn't feel like posting about my being a downer! I had a great day on Friday hiking to the Tao house (Eugene O'Neil's) and touring, learning and doing something different. Ben (hubby) and I had a picnic overlooking the meadow amongst the cows grazing it was quite idyllic. Then our long lost son Alex came home from college with 6 friends and boy did my spirits lift! He's so full of life and his friends are all wonderfully polite and mature so it's a pleasure to have them. I made a HUGE (3 bags) pot of pasta and salad, bread, the works and they loved it, they are all sick of the cafeteria food (who can blame them?). Then today (sat) Ben made pancakes for them and they went to the city to run around and goof off. I went to some garage sales, and scored at the thrift shop in Dublin where sweet Robin works. I went for a run and I tagged all my stuff for the Christmas boutique tomorrow at Judy Maher's house. For any who wants to go it's at 242 Las Quebradas in Alamo from 12-5. Lotsa food and friends, fun and things to buy. I am selling Joy Jars, pet portraits and miscellaneous christmas stuff. I made my world famous sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles.....ummmmm. They really are good. I can just eat them all day long but they have 3 cubes of butter in the batch and that means they are uber fattening. That's why they are so darn good!! So that's all for this hip chick, hang in there with me and I promise I will be there for you!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What a Weekend!!

Ok, as down as I was is also as high as I was this weekend being in the bosom of my old homestead Carmel Valley. For those who don't know this I lived there for 8 years, raised the kids there, and truly made life long friendships within the community there. I got sober there, I saw my son go through preschool to 6th grade there and we bought and sold two homes there, it was a huge part of my life. So how grateful am I that I can go back and be welcomed with open arms, housed, fed, shown love and fun, and get nurtured on virtually every level all within a few days. I saw my friends Annie who housed me, Benson who bought me dinner and we watched a great movie at his AMAZING home, and Megan who fed and massaged me. These people are so dear to me. Ironically we don't all stay in touch, everyone has such busy lives, but the beauty is it doesn't matter. Years can go by and it"s as if it was yesterday that I saw them. The bond is so deep and the love is genuine and effortless. Annie and I went to Big Sur on Saturday and it was spectacular. Of course. The ocean was churning and waves were breaking across the cliffsides, we found a sweet spot on the side of the road just past Nepenthe and Annie painted her very first painting!! It was a Joy Jar day and later that day I went for a run on the old Carmel Valley airport, I remember when Santa used to fly in on a small Cessna and then there was a parade. Such special times. Sunday I went to Megan's and we hiked around the old familiar roads, catching up on each others lives and solving the problems of womanhood. Megan is an incredibly gifted massage therapist and I treated myself to a massage to top off my nurturing weekend. It was just what this hip chick needed. What I valued most about my weekend was the love from my friends. Sometimes we all need a little help and I am very fortunate to have people who not only care but show me they love me. It's interesting how in the everyday happenings this can be overlooked, taken for granted. I know that a change of scenery is vital for my artistic senses, my well being and appreciation for my own life. I sometimes forget how helpful it is, and this weekend gave me all that I was lacking and more.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Funk Fest

I'm gonna be real with ya and just tell you this Hip Chick has had a funk fest this week. I mean to say I have been DOWN like Debbie Downer. I don't like to admit it but I gotta be real with you, I mean if we can't be ourselves what's the point?? So off I go to get rejuvenated in my ole stompin grounds in Carmel Valley. I called up my friend Annie McKeckney and she's all psyched and I'll go check in with my familiar friends and see my old house and town. I have been off balance and there's nothing like a road trip to right this hip chick and get her creative juices flowing again. So I shall hopefully paint in Big Sur and tell of good experiences upon my return on Monday.


couldn't seem to download it but goes with the vibe here.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Best Costume Winner and Alameda Antique

This costume was all built around my fabulous mask I scored at a garage sale for about a buck!! I got the mask years ago just for it's dramatic look thinking my son the actor would find a use for it. Who knew it would get such exposure...The gown and mink were loaners from The Thrift Station, the hair, tiara and gloves all from Boswell's and the jewels were from my collection. It was delicious to be incognito to even those who know me SO well, I didn't realize it was that effective!! Good fun. Today was the Alameda and I scored some goodies. I got a mannequin, a metal bed, a metal table, a birdcage and some eggs. It was fairly quiet there today and I was pleased with my finds. Kat scored a dining room table and Linda got a frame for her portrait and a plate. It's been a creative weekend and I look forward to seeing what the week will bring!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday at Hip Chick's

Great things happen in Benicia, I'm convinced of it. It's the creative energy, the pleasant and friendly people and the blending of the two. My friday started with getting my costume ready for the Halloween party I'm going to tonight (I have high hopes of winning the best costume contest) then I dropped off a birthday present and made my way to the studio. EVERYONE seemed to come by today, all at one time I had Jeannie and Sally, Carol, and then Laura all of whom are dynamos in there own right. It was wierd, wonderful and wierd. I saw Laura's studio for the first time (Green Paintbrush-jewelry for those who are interested) and she and I are cooking up how we can benefit from our creative forces combining.....I cranked out two pet portraits one for Linda the other for Cathy, my first commision pieces and just as I was leaving had a great sale!! How great is that?! I swear I get so fired up when I am rewarded through my creativity and productivity. Now I am going to get ready for the party and tomorrow I'll post my photos for my costume......stay tuned!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First sale at Hip Chick's!!

Hi blog followers (God love ya!) Today was a berry good day in Hip Chick land. I saw my good friend Sally who I haven't seen in along time (very talented artist who I met in a painting class FYI) and we are like an explosion of creative forces when we merge. So we caught up, painted, made plans for her to get a studio in Benicia and talked about an upcoming Christmas Boutique we'll both be participating in (details to follow...). While we are caught up in our excitement of all that's artistic and meaningful two ladies wander in and purchase a hip chick piece of merchandise!! How exciting is the FIRST SALE in my new venture???I am going to take a dollar from this sale and frame it as is customary in businesses and it will represent this memorable occasion. For those who are curious and I am always curious so I'm sure you must be too the item was a "case" with a handle for which she wanted to put files, it had a chic look and it only cost her a mere $15.00 The bargains are aplenty at this shop let me tell you! After all the excitement of this sale I took a nap, (HAHA, got ya) for those who know me you realize the absurdity of this statement, I painted another pet portrait. I am cranking them out I tell you, look for them soon on my website if you're interested. How could you not be???!!! Hahaha, I'm really on a roll today, must still be giddy from the sale......

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Past Due Tuesday Post-steamer trunk

If this trunk could talk....what would it say?? Where has it been, what has it experienced....that is precisely why I love antiques, they have such a story to tell and their charm lies in their history. This steamer trunk is one of two matching trunks from this same time period, I'm guessing the turn of the Century but I don't know, all I know is it's wonderfully aged (like me!! ). I looked on ebay at the various trunks people are selling and one just like this was going for $300.00 I sell my merchandise MUCH cheaper, I have this priced at $135.00 and if anyone is interested let me know. Until then it will grace my studio with it's good vibes and it will whisper it's tales of adventure traveling on the Titanic, the Hindenburg and the first Pan Am flight.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tahoe rendevous

My weekend was glorious, I got to get the heck outta dodge and take in the intoxicating aroma of the mountains. The gang (Ben, me, Abby and Ashley) drove up to Tahoe friday night and checked in to the Marriott Residence which was lovely, very Tahoe resortish place. Had some sushi for dinner and I watched "Away we Go" a sweet film (2 thumbs up). Woke up to a gorgeous day Saturday, crisp, clear, sunny and walked down to the lake and looked at the incredible mountains. Ben and I got sandwiches and took them on a hike near Emerald Bay where we found our own little lake and had a picnic on a rock overlooking the amazing scenery. On our way back from the hike we stopped to take pictures of the beautiful Aspen trees, which are so vibrant in color right now. Ben kicked back while I dashed to find a thirft shop to no avail (all closed) but I did find a ROSS which always works and I got a pair of slammin black boots and a black sweater for my evening's outfit. Got dolled up and went to The Forest restaurant at the top of Harrah's for Ben's walk down memory lane (he fondly remembered LOVING this buffet 30 yrs. ago). The buffet was good actually and there was no end of choices, prime rib, crab, chinese, pretty much whatever you want. The dessert's were a lot of fun, frozen yogurt with all the fixin's, pies, cakes, mini eclairs.......no problemo getting all our calorie quota for the day! Then Ben and I went to a Cabaret show of female impersonators, we saw Cher, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Reba, and Barbara Streisand. Fun stuff!! Sunday we had to leave early as Ben had to work so it was cut short but we managed to pack a lot of fun in so that was good. Abby and I ended up working in the garden and crafting (also birthing an AWESOME new product idea). Finished the weekend watching Ugly Betty and getting cozy in our jammies on the couch....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Ben

Happy Birthday to my husband Ben!!! Today is his birthday and we are going to his favorite place to celebrate, Tahoe. This picture was taken at Akaka Falls in Hawaii in August, such a great trip. So this hip chick will be having fun taking in the mountain air, gambling (just kidding) and hiking. Our daughter Abby is coming with her friend Ashley and they are excited as it's our first time taking Ashley on a trip. So I'll be posting all about it when we return. Thanks for checking in on what's happening in this hip chick's world........

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Happenings

Today was spent bringing a load of chairs to the store and arranging items. The space is feeling cramped already and I'm excited to expand in December. I started Linda's grand dog portrait and it's coming along nicely. It warmed up which was unexpected so I went next door to Rags to Riches clothing consignment and bought a short sleeve top. A real luxury to have a clothes store right next door, also very dangerous!!! Little by little I am movin and groovin. I am most grateful to be following my heart and my spirit and the rest will all unfold. Thank you to all my friends and family who are supporting my endeavors!! I love and appreciate you very much.