pen rainbow

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday—Have A Colorful Week

Get inspired with this great writing & art project by the color website, Pantone

Tone Poems

Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color

In 1956, Frank Sinatra released a concept album of tone poems composed by eight of the most notable Hollywood arrangers of the time.  A tone poem is a single movement orchestral piece that illustrates the content of a non-musical source, like a poem, a novel, a painting or a photograph.

Each composer was assigned a color...

White (Victor Young—22 Oscar nominations for his work in film)

Green (Gordon Jenkins—wrote music & lyrics for Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald & many others)

Purple (Billy May—originally a big band trumpeter, he wrote songs for Peggy Lee, Vic Damone, Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, among many others)

Yellow (Jeff Alexander—scored 35 films, including Jailhouse Rock & music for the TV show, Family Affair)

Gray (Alec Wilder—wrote Tony Bennett's beautiful redition of "I'll Be Around")

Gold (Nelson Riddle—highly successful film & television musical composer, including the theme song for Route 66 & the film score to Ocean's 11.)

Orange (Nelson Riddle)

Black (Victor Young)

Silver (Elmer Bernstein—a long & prolific career in film & television music, including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Man With the Golden Arm)

Blue (Alec Wilder)

Brown (Jeff Alexander) and

Red (André Previn—nominated 13 times for an Oscar, winning for Gigi, Porgy & Bess, Imma la Douce, and My Fair Lady; Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2013)

All of that talent inspired by colors!

The Pantone Prose & Pictures Project
And now, the industry standard color provider, Pantone, is sponsoring a collaborative creative arts project inspired by the Pantone color palette.  Neat!  Writers are invited to choose a color, then create a piece of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, list, pretty much anything that is written based on a Pantone number.  The word count has to match exactly with the Pantone number.

Isn't this a fun idea?  It is along the lines of the Sinatra color tone project, but with a modern twist.

According to the project website, the goal is to create works of art that lift the spirit and define who we are as individuals.  What's your favorite color?  Now, get started!

What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

tHe sATurDaY sToRE—Nevada Gold Mine Postcard c.1908

An exceptionally lovely vintage Nevada mining postcard

Neat vintage postcard showing gold miners, the state seal & sunflowers

For mining enthusiasts, vintage postcard collectors & Nevada historians!

Condition:  Excellent (unused, with a handwritten message from the sender)

Enclosed in a plastic inner sleeve + a non-bendable protective outer pocket

Price:  $25 + free shipping

Date & Description:  Copyright 1908 by Williamson-Haffner Co., Denver—This neat color postcard predates the 1917 designation of the sagebrush as the official state flower.


Dated 105 years ago, this postcard shows the sunflower and the state seal with a banner reading, "All For Our Country."  The motto was later changed to "Battle Born."  Next to the flower & seal is a neat color inset of 3 miners hauling ore out of a snow-covered mountainside.

This poem is above the inset:

Golden Sunshine on they plains,
In thy mountains, golden veins,
Truly hath the sunflower told, 
That thou art as good as gold.

Unused, but hand-inscribed by the sender in black ink...

Hand-written message from the sender - unstamped & unposted
"4   I guess you are tired of this nonsense so I will close hoping this bunch of cards will please you

As ever your friend


Wm V. Rossen"

On the back:  PLACE STAMP HERE.  DOMESTIC ONE CENT.  FOREIGN TWO CENTS.  (Unstamped & unposted)

Very cool POST CARD font & American flag graphic stamped in antique gold color

Cool antique gold printed graphic & text on back

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday—A New KittyCat Blog!

KattyTales: The Adventures of Seven Much Loved Cats

This blog is for anyone who has ever had to leave their animals with a house sitter.

When you're not a pet parent, it sounds simple enough.  Hire a reasonably competent person to take care of the pets and the house, water the plants, and pick up the mail for a week or two...easy-peasy!

Leaving a pet, however, is not like asking someone to water the ferns or take the garbage down to the curb on garbage night.  There's a little sentient being behind those adoring golden eyes, and when the humans are gone, they are missed.  We miss our fur friends and fret over how much they will miss us, especially when we leave a sick animal in someone else's care.

That is why this blog was created.  I am housesitting 3 krazy kittycats for a couple of weeks, and this is a daily journal of their adventures at Camp DontStealMyPen.

Click HERE to visit KattyTales 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Mini-Post: Mercury Messenger

Check out these awesome color enhanced images of Mercury taken by the Messenger probe

Click HERE to link up to the Messenger website

Mercury_view 2_photo courtesy of
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/
Carnegie Institution of Washington

The color view is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye.  The chemical, minearalogical, and physical differences on the surface of the planet are enhanced by the color based imaging map.

Mercury_view 1_photo courtesy of
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Mercury_monochrome & color base map views
Photo courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/
Carnegie Institution of Washington

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Keurig K-Pod Mini

i ❤ my Keurig k-pod mini!

Freshly-brewed single serve coffee, tea or hot cider

Check out this great little single-serve coffee maker from Keurig!  Uber-cute & practical, it uses individual k-pods to brew a fresh cup of coffee, tea or hot cider.  K-pods can be purchased at Safeway and Target in a variety of blends by dozens of manufacturers, including Starbuck's, Gevalia, Peets, Donut House and Twinings.

Starbucks makes 18-count packages that cost around $18.  K-pods also come in variety packs that can be ordered off of Amazon (35-count variety pack for $21.49 on Amazon Prime).


How It Works
Each pod contains real ground coffee and a paper filter.  It works exactly the same way that a fresh pot of coffee is brewed, just on a smaller scale.

The One I Use
The model I have is the Keurig mini coffee maker, available on Amazon Prime for $88 up to $119, depending on your choice of color.  There are 10 colors to choose from:  Flash green, red, turquoise, orange, black, white, platinum gray, yellow, blue and purple.

Love the compact size!

Keurig makes several other k-pod brewers that are larger & heavier and include water storage reservoirs, so you don't need to refill the dispenser every time you use it, like you do with the mini.  I like the mini, however, because each cup requires a fresh refill of water, so it brews a fresher cup.  It's a dorm-size, light-weight machine that does not take up a lot of counter space.  It seems a little flimsy for a $100 machine, but I love the diminutive size and the small-size convenience of moving it when I need to clean the counter.

How to Brew
Fill up the cup, pour it into the top of the coffee maker, pop in the k-pod, hit the brew button, wait for the water to heat for a minute, then voilà—a hot & tasty beverage!  And, this cool little machine turns off by itself after 2 minutes, so you don't have to worry about leaving it on.  Extra drips are caught by the pull-out tray underneath the dispenser, which can be cleaned out when needed.  Compared to the amount of drips and dribbles that I used to get with my Tassimo, the Keurig mini is practically drip-free!

For Hotels
A lot of hotels are switching over to in-room k-pod brewers.  Unless they provide complimentary k-pods, hotels charge by the pod.  So, check ahead and bring your own favorite blend.

What I Love About This Machine
What's great about a k-pod brewer is the ease of use and the wide selection of hot beverages, plus the freshness of real brewed.  Flavor-wise, it's better than instant, and it takes about as much time to make as a cup of instant in the microwave.  Cost-wise, k-pods are affordable, and coupons are available through Safeway's Just-For-You club card program.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Shirazi Salad

A recipe for using summer veggies when they are plentiful & fresh

Serve this fantastic summer salad over a bed of fresh greens

Enjoy this fantastic & healthy salad by Bay Area chef, Samin Nosrat!

My substitutions:

•  1/2 red onion for the spring onion
•  Omitted the 6 small red tomatoes & used 2 pints of red & yellow cherry tomatoes instead
•  Instead of 1 lb. of cucumber, I used one Japanese cucumber
•  Flavored olive oils (rosemary & garlic) instead of plain olive oil
•  I mixed the herbs into the veggies, then tweaked the flavors with white wine vinegar & freshly ground black pepper & pink finishing salt
•  I served this salad over a handful of fresh spring greens & topped it with crumbled feta cheese

Substitute red onions if you can't find spring onions

Shirazi Salad 

JUNE 2013


  • 1 medium spring onion, thinly sliced (buy spring onions at the farmers' market)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound Persian, Armenian, lemon, or English hothouse cucumbers, peeled, leaving alternating strips of peel, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2–3 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 6 small red tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 pints small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 bunch chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 bunch dill with tender stems and blossoms, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves


  • Combine spring onion and vinegar in a small bowl; let sit 20 minutes. Drain.
  • Toss spring onion, cucumbers, garlic, all tomatoes, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss gently with hands to coat. Transfer salad to a platter, reserving bowl.
  • Add herbs and remaining 1/4 cup lime juice and 2 tablespoons oil to reserved bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Mound herb mixture over salad.

    Nutritional Information

    6 servings, 1 serving contains:
    Calories (kcal) 140
    Fat (g) 10
    Saturated Fat (g) 1.5
    Cholesterol (mg) 0
    Carbohydrates (g) 13
    Dietary Fiber (g) 4
    Total Sugars (g) 7
    Protein (g) 3
    Sodium (mg) 100

    Read More
Summer's bounty!  Fresh organic herbs & heirloom toms from Safeway

Juicy, crisp cucumber chopped into bite-size pieces

Chives, cilantro, dill & flat-leaf parsley

A beautiful & tasty summer salad!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday—The Writing Corner: Typewriters

From Maria Popova's wonderful website, Brain Pickings

First, let's start with typewriters of famous writers...

Tools of the trade

Now, let's see what Bay Area metal sculptor, Jeremy Mayer, can do with typewriters...

 Delilah— An astonishing creation
Assemblage art (no glue, welding or soldering)

Watch this amazing vid on Jeremy's artistic process!  From TEDx GoldenGatePark (2D)_29 Nov 2012

Click HERE to watch an enlarged screen on the You Tube site

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday—Have a Cosmic Week

Enjoy the fullest moon of the year!  

Check out the supermoon
I love the summer night sky, especially during the summer when the days are long, and the planets rise slow and bright over the horizon.  

The fullest moon of the year happened this morning at 4:32 a.m. PDT (7:32 a.m. EDT).  At 4:12 a.m. PDT, the moon reached its perigee, the closest point in its orbit around Earth, making it a supermoon.  

So, check it out tonight when the moon rises at 8:54 p.m. Bay Area time.  The moon will be 99.9% illuminated!

Orlando area:  moonrise at 8:44 p.m. 
Las Vegas area:  moonrise at 8:20 p.m.
Copenhagen area:  moonrise at 9:36 p.m.
Honolulu area:  moonrise at 7:50 p.m.  

Click HERE for the moonrise & moonset calculator 

Pull up a lawn chair and check out this wonderful astronomical event tonight!   

Happy Summer!  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

tHE sATurDaY sToRE—Harold's Club License Plate Topper c.1940's

A cool piece of advertising history from one of  Reno's original iconic casinos

Named after Harold "Pappy" Smith

"Harold's Club or Bust!" was the advertising brainchild of casino club owner and local philanthropist, Harold "Pappy" Smith.  Billboards and signs began to appear in California and eventually reached 45 other states by the mid-60's.

It would make a nice addition to any collection of Nevada memorabilia!  Great for anyone from the Northern part of the state.

Check these recent listings:

•  Ebay —  $55.03 — Sold April 7, 2013
•  Ebay —  $200 — Current listing
•  Hakes Americana & Collectibles — $86.25 — Sold March 21, 2012
•  Ebay (brown cows) — $31 + $22.99 shipping — Sold 9 June 2013

Size:  8" x 13-7/8" flat

Condition:  Used — Nice vintage!  Rust around the attachment slots & edges of plate; slight warp on front end (see photo); no cracks or tears; clear bright colors.  Manufacturer's vertical marks in white are clearly visible in the bottom right corner.  Red cows.


Manufacturer's marks

Description:  Silkscreened steel c. early 1940's


Price:  $50 + free shipping!

Slightly warped
Clear, bright colors
Red cows (v. brown cows)
Slight discoloration on the back
Wear on back
Back of plate

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday—The Photoshop Gallery: AP42 TRIO

 My pix for this week inspired by my favorite graphic designer, Saul Bass

Posters for Steve's office

Click HERE to see the AP42 website

Incorporated from the AP42 website_Why 42?
My artwork & graphic design

Using the dial graphic from their home page

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Mini-Post: Simon The Cat—Flower Bed

Happy Thursday!

I ❤ Simon's cat

by Simon Tofield_animation by Laura Nailor_editing by Isobel Stenhouse_sound by Shrooky

Click the You Tube icon in the bottom right corner for the You Tube website.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday—Good for You, Good for The Home: Vacuum Maintenance

Zen & the Art of Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

My trusty vac
Model:  Hoover Windtunnel Model No. UH70120

It's important to know how to take apart your vacuum cleaner in order to keep it in good running condition for more than a year.  I've gone through about a dozen vacuum cleaners over the years, including the apartment and dorm vacuums that I bought for the kids.

I've had a top-of-the-line Dyson (useless, don't waste your money) and a series of mid-line Hoovers and Eurekas.  I stuck with Eurekas for a long time because they were reliable and sturdy, but they were heavy, and I needed a vacuum cleaner that could navigate stairs easily.  I switched up to Hoovers when Hoover came out with the bagless Windtunnel series, and I've been happy with them ever since.

Today, I want to show you how to clean a vacuum cleaner.  It's easy if you have the right model, and if you have a good You Tube video to help guide you through the steps.  I highly recommend the how-to You Tube series by Crucial Vacuum.  They have a variety of instructional videos for Dyson, Shark, Hoover Tempo Widepath, and Hoover Windtunnel T-Series (like I have).

How to Replace the Belt for Hoover Windtunnel T-Series by Crucial Vacuum

So, here we go!  Start with a sunny warm day.  Things dry quicker outside.

You'll need:  a hose, some kitchen wipes, a damp rag, a dustbuster

Do this outside
1.  Remove the cannister, empty it into a plastic garbage bag & toss the contents into the garbage.

2.  Pop the top off of the rinsable filter & rinse it clean with a hose.  Set it aside to dry in the sun.

3.  Unlatch the swing plate from the bottom of the cannister.  Rinse the top and the bottom of the cannister out with a hose making sure to power wash the inside compartment of the cannister—stuff collects in there.  Turn the cannister on its side to rinse the inside compartment.  Set aside to dry in the sun.

Rinse the cannister & filter with the hose & let dry outside

Follow the video
Nicole is great, and this is so simple!  You're going to open up the vacuum cleaner the same way...

4.  Open the vacuum up with the foot pedal and turn it onto its face with the back of the vacuum facing up.

5.  Unlock the bottom plate by simply unlocking the red latches as indicated by the arrows.

6.   Shake debris from the bottom plate into the garbage and rinse off the bottom plate in the utility sink or with the hose.  Set aside to dry on a towel or outside in the sun.

7.  Back to the vacuum:  Detach the brush roller from the belt as shown in the video.  Remove as much debris and material from the brush roller as you can (strings, hair, etc.).  You may have to use a pair of manicure scissors to release long strands and unwind them from the roller.  Wipe it down with a couple of kitchen wipes to remove debris that is stuck in the bristles.  Set aside.

8.  Use your dustbuster to suck out dust and dirt from the interior of the vacuum.  Use a damp cloth to wipe the interior clean.

9.  Check the condition of the belt.  Order a replacement online, if necessary.

10.  Reattach the roller as shown in the video.  Make sure that the belt is in the correct place on the roller.  Just line up the square notch on the non-belt end and pop it back into the slot.  While holding down the non-belt side, stretch the belt and force the roller into the notch.  It will pop right back in with only a little effort.

11.  Give the roller brush a couple of turns to make sure that it's in place properly.

12.  Reattach the bottom plate by lining up the 3 notches on the bottom edge of the vacuum.  Lock it back into place with the red locks.

13.  Set the vacuum upright.  Go get the cannister and the filter after they have dried completely.  Snap the cannister back into place and VOILÀ!

Good as new & Good for You!!  

Find the model no. on the back of the vacuum

Remove the cannister before you clean the roller compartment

Clean the roller & check the belt (on the left hand side under the red latch)

Reassembled & good as new!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Animal Corn Cob Holders

Something different for your Fourth of July picnic table!  

on instructables by mikeasaurus

Check out these fun homemade corn cob holders from the DIY craft website—instructables—by mikeasaurus. 

corncob horse

corncob rhino

Click HERE for the step-by-step tutorial on

For the original fancy version, check out ceramics artist, Lana Fillippone  

Have a great summer, everyone!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday—The YouTube Corner: Wooing Women in Public

Unsuspecting women are stalked by the fantastic NYC experimental music video group, CDZA

Times Square_2 September 2009_by dsmp

CDZA, short for "collective cadenza," was founded in 2012 by musicians Michael Thurber, Matt McCorkle, and Joe Sabia.

With over 55 members in the group, these highly trained singers, musicians and performers are from Juilliard, the Berklee College of Music, Broadway musicals, Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College and other music conservatories in and around New York City.

APRIL 27, 2013...Wooing Women in Public by CDZA—Enjoy!

Click HERE to go to the enlarged YouTube version

Click HERE to find out more about the group

Click HERE to check out their other videos

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday—Have A Happy Father's Day Week

I saw this fun website by Greg Pembroke, father of 21-month old Charlie and 3-year old William, and had to share.    

Submitted by Cheryl M._Manitoba, Canada_ReasonsMySonIsCrying

For all of the dads whose kids are crying for perfectly logical not wanting to share the grocery cart leg hole with a sibling.  Welcome to fresh Dad Hell!  This dad tweets & takes pix of his kids crying and invites others to join in.  I love it!

It's a fact of life that kids cry for all sorts of trivial reasons that parents can appreciate and enjoy.  Well, it's not so much fun at the time, but let's say later...much later, we can look back and remember that it really was as bad as it seemed at the time.  We've all been in the crying zone!  It's just that dads tend to take it in stride and not let it ruin their day.   

Click HERE to see Reasons My Son Is Crying  

Click HERE to follow on twitter

a pretend ride in grampa's MG
Here's to all of the dads and what they teach us about courage & confidence, manning up to life's challenges, and FUN.  Serious, crazy dad fun.  

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weekend Special—Pinterest Mouseover for Blogger!

For the pinterest addicts!  (That would include me)

Add a small mouseover Pin it icon to your blogger images

Here's a super-easy tutorial on how to add a mouseover Pinterest button to your blog!  Thanks to by Maria Mosley for this fantastic, easy-to-follow tutorial.  

Click HERE to go to the tutorial—How To Install the Official Pin It Hover Buttons on Blogger

It's as simple as 1 - 2 - 3!  It works with all of the blogger templates except Dynamic Views, which does not accept customization.  

1.  Copy the line of code

**  If you're not comfortable with adding code to your HTML template, back it up first

2.  Search for the end of the code by finding the </body> tag & paste in the line of code just above the </body> tag line

3.  Save template


Now, each time you hover your mouse over one of the images on your blog, the official Pin It button will appear in the upper left corner of the image.  I gave it a test-run, and it works just fine.

This is an official Pinterest button, and you can find direct support at the Pinterest Help Center.

Click HERE to go to the Pinterest Help Center 

While you're visiting, check out their other great blogger tutorials, including Practical HTML for Bloggers, which gets into the basics of how to read & understand HTML code.

Also, under Resources, check out the link to DON'T FEAR the INTERNET by Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer.  This is an introduction to HTML & CSS (Cascading Style Sheets programming language) for absolute beginners using the Wordpress template, but applicable to Blogger because, know, code is code.  

Enjoy learning!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday—The Photoshop Gallery

My pix from last week

These pix are good examples of how Lightroom and LR presets work.  Presets are groups of settings that can be saved as a group,  then applied later with one click.  Lightrooom comes with a variety of really cool presets, but you can also make your own which I have done in these photos.

 The original photo was taken at the Rockin' Roller Coaster exhibit in Disney World, Christmas Eve 2008.  

Lightroom Split Tone1 Preset + Radlab on a Linear Burn blending mode

Lightroom Split Tone Preset + 2 of my own presets

Lightroom Split Tone1 Preset + my B&W oldrocker preset +
2 Kim Klassen textures (one edited in PS to denim blue)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Mini-Post: The Basic Difference Between Dogs & Cats

For all of the cat & dog people out're gonna love this!  

for Caraboo & Snowie

This mama dog is amazing!  Check out the cats at the end...LOL

The Basic Difference Between Cats and Dogs