Showing posts from September, 2013

Monday—The Industrial Design Corner: Charles & Ray Eames

The first in a series of my favorite designers — Charles & Ray Eames

On the nature of their relationship & creative partnership...

ELAINE SEWELL JONES (Herman Miller public relations, and Eames family friend)

"Well I think they never talked about it as a subject very much that I know of, but  there was no doubt about the fact that Charles was always very careful to state that it was a partnership between him and Ray."

". . . you have two persons who are symbiotic working

together, agreeing and disagreeing, trusting each other, 

because they had to agree and they had to disagree a lot.

And that was a perfect working relationship."

Charles & Ray Eames on NBC's Home show with Arlene Francis, 1956...Part 1 of 2
Introducing their new lounge chair and ottoman for Herman Miller furniture...Part 2 of 2

Sunday—Keep On Swinging: Triple-Step How-To

Learn the basic triple-step from swing champ, Robert Royston

If you can do this, you can swing dance.  Go for it!

tHe sATurDaY sToRE—Prairie Girl Costume

Quality Halloween wear handmade by me!
❤  This sweet little costume is based on my favorite Laura Ashley dress pattern that I used for my daughter when she was in 2d grade. ❤

Prairie Girl Costume — Size 8

4 pieces:  Dress, apron, bloomers & sunbonnet
Clean & gently used: worn once
PRICE:  $65 + free shipping
Click HERE to compare prices on Ebay

Friday—The iPhone Gallery: Showcase Pix

Random pix from our district-wide dance showcase last weekend

Thursday Mini-Post: Convos With My 2-Year Old

Well, I hate to do it, but I just had to share this viral YouTube series of actual conversations with a 2-year by a grown the 2-year old

If you've ever been around a 2-year old, it will start to make sense pretty quickly.  Just watch.  You'll know what I mean.  There are 8 episodes plus a blooper reel from Season 1.  As far as I can tell, there is one episode in Season 2.  This is Episode #3, Season 1 — The Cookie  
Click on the YouTube icon in the bottom right corner to watch it on YouTube.  Enjoy!

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Repurposed Pallets

A great way to reuse commercial loading pallets!

•  Just clear the ground in the areas where you want to place the pallets.  

•  Shovel dirt over the top of the pallets to raise the level of the soil for planting.  

•  Insert seedlings between the planks.  

•  If desired, block the open sides up with 3ml black plastic or ground cover net to help pack the soil in underneath the pallet.

Enjoy your new garden!

Tuesday's Cupboard—Curried Shrimp and Red Lentils

Rich flavorful broth and hearty red lentils make this a satisfying exotic dish!

This slow-cooked curry is made the authentic way with six different ground spices:  cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.  Add chopped garlic and fresh ginger to enhance the flavors, and finish it off with aromatic vegetables, celery & onion.

I doubled all of the ingredients from the original recipe, except for the onion, which I kept at one very large sweet onion.  I used jarred chopped garlic (in water) instead of fresh garlic, and I included clean, fresh leaves with the chopped celery.

Curried Shrimp and Red Lentils
Adapted from Weight Watchers® Slow Good Super Slow-Cooker Cookbook, 2005

Makes 6 servings

5 c. vegetable broth
2 c. red lentils_picked over, rinsed & drained
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped (2 tsp. jarred in water)

2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. cinn…

Monday—The Design Corner: Lella & Massimo Vignelli

An Italian husband-wife team whose collaborative work is synonymous with modern design

This is the luck that we have.  We are absolutely complementary, one to each other."  
-- Massimo Vignelli  

"The first fifty are really difficult.  The second one are great!"  -- Lella Vignelli

Watch this introduction to their amazing body of work...from the film documentary, Design is One, by Kathy Brew & Robert Guerra (theatrical release, October 11, 2013, in NYC).  

Click HERE for a link to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies

Photos from

Sunday—Have a Swingin' Week!

Here are two great instructional videos that will get you started on (East Coast) swing

Yay!!  Ready?  Here we go...these 2 vids are easy and fun!

First, the basic steps:  walk, touch-step, triple-step & kick-ball-change...

Now, try this She-He Turn with a triple-step.  A rock-step is a single back touch-step, like you're rocking backward.

Good Luck & Happy Dancing!

Friday—The Photoshop Gallery: Vintage Ragamuffins

Post-processing in Photoshop CC & Lightroom5

BeyondBeyond Challenge:  Use basic panels in Lightroom to add drama by adjusting shadows, contrast & cropping.  I added the torn frame, background & tape in PSCC.  The original photo is not torn!

Original B&W photo taken in Pioche, Nevada, on a family camping trip circa 1920's.  That's my gramma Pearle second to the left.  I thought the campfire in the foreground was a nice photographic touch!

Thursday Mini-Post: Birthday Edition

It's my birthday!  56 BIG ONES TODAY

Good for You, Good for Feral Cats

Now, there is concrete evidence that trap-and-neuter + spay programs work better than trap-and-kill and trap-and-neuter programs to reduce and eliminate feral cat colonies

Here is a great article from a pet blog I follow called, PetMD, written by a group of veterinarians.

A new study published in the August 15, 2013, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows how three commonly used management techniques work to reduce &/or eliminate feral cat colonies.

Through computer modeling, researchers were able to determine that trapping male and female ferals, sterilizing them, then returning them to the colony was the most effective method for reducing and eliminating the colony.  This method called, Trap Vasectomy/ Hysterectomy Release (TVHR), was measured against Trap Neuter Release (TNR) and Lethal Control (LC).  The results were striking!

From Dr. Coates' article...

"Unless > 57% of cats were captured and neutered annually by TNR or remove…

Tuesday's Cupboard—Mac & Cheese With Kale

Traditional Mac & Cheese, plus healthy kale

This is one of my favorite comfort food casseroles!  I use a whole 1 lb. box of elbox mac, and that makes enough for a 10" Corningware dish plus an 8" x 8" square casserole to freeze.  From freezer to the table, plan on about 1.5 hours to reheat the frozen casserole.  
This recipe can be made on the stovetop without the kale or baked in the oven with the kale.  I've used other WW mac & cheese recipes with veggie add-ins, and I like the baked kale version.  But, you can make it with or without the kale add-in.  

Mac & Cheese with Kale

Adapted from an original recipe by Weight Watchers In No Time, © 2006 — Page 157
Prep:  25 mins Serves:  6
Special Equipment:  1—10" Corningware baking dish + 1 square Pyrex glass casserole with a sealable plastic lid (for freezing); a large 12" nonstick saucepan; a large 4-cup liquid measuring cup
•  1 lb. box of Barilla elbow macaroni
•  2 c. fat-free milk
•  1 …

Monday—I Know That VOICE

Who are the familiar voices behind our favorite characters?

I Know That VOICE

This fun new documentary will be released on INDemand at the end of the year, on iTunes on December 22, and available on DVD sometime in November or December.

Click HERE to go to their official facebook page

Director Lawrence Shapiro goes behind the fourth wall to show us the real people behind the imaginary characters who have kept us entertained for generations.  June Foray (Rocky the Squirrel & CindyLoo Who), John DiMaggio (Furturama's Bender who also exec produced the documentary), and Emmy Award winner, Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson & Chuckie from The Rugrats) are among the talented voice actors who brought them to life.

Why would we want to put faces on these famous characters?  Because the actors deserve full recognition for all of the great memories we have as a result of their fabulous work.  And, because they contribute joy to the world, which is a true gift.

Photo credits: from Wikipedia…

Celebrating the New Oakland Bay Bridge

An 11-year project concluded on Monday, September 2, with the opening of the beautiful new eastern span of the Oakland Bay Bridge 

Watch this awesome 4-minute, time-lapse video of the construction of this graceful cantilevered bridge...

Click HERE_Video courtesy of

Click HERE to find out why we needed it in the first place!

Friday—The Photoshop Gallery: BC Bench

The last photo I did in Creative Suite3...before my computer was taken over by the Creative Cloud!

Post-processing in CS3 & Lightroom4
Textures by Kim Klassen_BeyondBeyond & Leslie Nicole_FrenchKissCollections
Stacked frames by Leslie Nicole

Thursday Mini-Post: Sounds in Space

Professor Don Gurnett's favorite space sounds recorded by a variety of spacecraft on instruments at the University of Iowa

Ever wonder what things sound like in space?  Check out Professor Gurnett's favorite space sounds recorded over the past 50 years.  They remind me of bird songs, especially the Earth multi-hop whistlers.  The Earth auroral kilometric radiation sounds like alien chatter.  Amazing.

Good For You, Good For Your Declawed Cat

Behavioral issues related to declawed cats:  peeing outside of the litter box AND biting

The #1 behavioral reason for surrendering cats is soiling inside of the house, followed by aggression toward other pets and people, as well as biting.  Declawed cats frequently display all of these behavioral problems, and it is not surprising that the percentage of declawed cats surrendered for peeing in the house far exceeds the percentage of clawed cats surrendered for the same reason.

What's Going On?
So, let's get to the bottom of this problem.  Declawed cats are more sensitive to hard litters than cats with intact paws.  As a result, they experience varying degrees of discomfort, from chronic ongoing phantom pain to intermittent discomfort.  If a cat associates pain with the litter box, he is going to find someplace else to go, preferably someplace soft.  Once his smell is in the new location, he will go back to that location as a pain-free alternative to the litter box.

Change the Litt…

Tuesday's Cupboard—Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies

Think snickerdoodles with chunks of melty caramel in the center
From Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice blog by Reeni Pisano

Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided1/8 teaspoon ground cloves1/8 teaspoon ground ginger1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels (unwrap about 30 of them)
1.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
2.  In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together on medium speed 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and vanilla beat on low 2 more minutes.
3.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and beat on low just until combi…

Monday—The Ransom Note Corner

Letter play with  free virtual ransom note generators & downloadable fonts

Click HERE to go to a fun site for generating your own ransom notes with virtual magazine clippings.

You can also upload your own background image from your desktop.  I created a blank orange background in Photoshop Elements and saved it as a 600x600 pixel jpeg.  The font is always the same, but you can shift to grayscale and reverse negative by clicking the foreground and background links just under the image window.

I saved my image in web archive format, emailed it to myself, saved it in iPhoto, and dropped it into PS Elements to save as a jpeg.  There is probably a more efficient way to save in jpeg format, but that's what I came up with this morning.  You can probably save a finished image from the website in something other than web archive format if you take the time to consider all of the save options. also has a fun ransom note generator, but you can't save the images a…

Going Underground in Las Vegas

Why wait for the nuclear holocaust?  I say we nuke this beacon of horrible decor right now...

Oh, hey!  It's a Vegas...listed for 1.6 Mil.  5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 16,936 square feet...wait...what?

It has an intercom so that you can talk to the post-apocalyptic zombies who live upstairs.

Originally built by eccentric businessman and co-founder of Underground World Home Corp., Girard B. "Jerry" Henderson, the house has changed hands twice since its construction in 1971. The bank foreclosed in June of last year.

According to the the Henderson family website, Jerry and his wife, Mary, moved to Las Vegas in 1969.  They now reside permanently underground, if you know what I mean.

Click HERE to find out more about the interesting life of Jerry Henderson

Click HERE to see the listing on®  Address:  3970 Spencer Street, LV NV 89119

Photos courtesy of Christopher DeVargasVegas Inc and Laughing Squid