Friday, July 30, 2010

Guest Writer

They say that behind every great man is a great woman, but I think they should say that behind every great man-or woman-for that matter- is a mannequin.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dot, and as you may or may not have guessed, I am a mannequin. When a certain person I know just couldn’t come up with an idea for a blog post, I thought I’d give it a try. (After all, how hard can it be?)

My full name is Dorothy Dash-or Dot Dash for short. If you are up on your Morse Code you’ll recognize that dot dash, or ._ is the letter A. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Valerie’s daughter’s name begins with an A. Pretty clever-I have to say. Anyway, just call me Dot. I’ll know who you’re talking about.

Here are my vital statisitics-or the dirt on Dot, so to speak. I stand a cool 6 feet tall. My measurements are 32-24-32, and my lovely legs are 36” long. ( But don’t be jealous, because after all I’m not real.) And let me tell you-- not only am I shapely, but I am firm too! Abs of iron, buns of steel…I have it all. (OK so I’m fiberglass to be precise.) I have blond hair, and brown eyes and I came all the way from New York City! I am rather embarrassed to say that when I did arrive, I was dressed only in my birthday suit, and in pieces no less. Luckily Valerie seemed to have a good grasp of anatomy because I was all assembled—and dressed-- in no time.

My life is good. I have an important job to do, modeling for Valerie, and I do it well. But if I could change anything, maybe I’d spend a day or two as a red head or a brunette. I’d have even more cute clothes-though I must say that I love, love, LOVE my sailor dress. (I like the way it shows off my legs-now if I could just meet a cute sailor, but hey, I don’t get out much. ) Most of all, I wish people would talk to me -- ask me for my opinion once in a while. After all, I may be a mannequin, but I am certainly no dummy.

Any way-hope you enjoyed my two cents. Maybe I'll get to write another post some day.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Heavenly Hibiscus

One of my favorite sights in Hawaii is the hibiscus. They are colorful, they are strikingly beautiful, and they are almost everywhere! For a long time I wished that I could have hibiscus in my own garden, but since it can get well below freezing here, and I think of hibiscus as a tropical flower, I thought I was out of luck. Then Randi ( ) a fellow member of the Eastern Washington team on Etsy, told me about a hardy hibiscus-and she was a real sweetheart and sent me some seeds. Hibiscus seeds are tough little buggers that have to be soaked and nicked with a sharp knife to allow them to sprout. Whatever I did, it was wrong and alas, no baby hibiscus appeared.

Recently, my daughter Amy and I were visiting my parents in Puyallup, Washington, and fate smiled upon me twice. My Mom took Amy and me to a local garden center, and there, joy of joys were some hardy hibiscus! Of course I bought one, and it is now residing happily (I hope!) in my garden. It will bloom in the late summer, with flowers that are a deep purple blue. Swoon!

hibiscus blog 1

My hibiscus in front of a pink hollyhock-a flower that is very similar to hibiscus.

hibiscus blog 2

That same week, while my parents and Amy were on an outing, I did a little browsing online and found a piece of hibiscus barkcloth I had only seen in a book about barkcloth and had instantly fallen in love with-hoping some day I would come across some. I knew it was not in mint condition, but when it arrived several days later I was speechless to see that it had been used as a sort of drop cloth-covered with paint splatters and varnish stains. After giving it a careful soaking it is now almost paint free, and I can get a nice sized pillow cover out of it. Even with the abuse this piece had suffered, it is still gorgeous…

hibiscus blog 3

I am happy that beautiful hibiscus barkcloth is still being made. I just finished this bag using fabric with sunny yellow blossoms and palm trees (another Hawaiian favorite of mine.)

hibiscus blog 4

I love the lining fabric for this bag-it’s another retro print that reminds me of the dresses that my Grandmother wore!

I really should add that in the hibiscus department fate has smiled on me three times. As I was doing some weeding the other day guess what I found? A tiny hibiscus plant! So it seems I did something right with those seeds after all!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Which Way Is Up?

I don’t have a very good sense of direction. I don’t know my north from my south so to speak. I think a good sense of direction is something a person either has or they don’t, and I don’t. Mine is so bad, that I even have a hard time figuring out the direction that the wind is blowing-even though we have a weathervane.

When I lived with my Grandmother, she would say something like “Valerie, would you go to the kitchen and get my cherry pitter from that north cupboard?” Huh? Off I’d go-searching as quickly and silently as possible hoping I’d hit pay dirt right off the bat.

My husband Stuart likes to tease me by saying that the town we live in is twice as big for me as it is for most other folks, because I often get turned around when we are out and about and I think we are in a new part of the city. And as far as reading a map goes, well lets just say that it doesn’t matter if it is upside down or right side up—I always get confused by the fact that north can be any direction I point the old Rand Mcnally.

Recently, I asked my husband if he would make me one of those wooden direction signs shaped like an arrow, and with the word “HAWAII” carved into the surface. “Which direction would it point?” I asked, taking in some of the beautiful views from our yard. “That way.” he gestured, straight at the neighbor’s garage.

I may not have a very good sense of direction, but I DO have a great imagination!