Weeeird New Jersey
But, lets see...The 85 degree temps were not totally unwelcome. We wish it was a tiny bit cooler but at least the novelty of the drastic temperature leap got us out of the house for an hour or two on Saturday. My sister Missy, who is also my next door neighbor, gave us a call around noon and said, "Interlaken is having a townwide yardsale. I have an hour break at one o'clock. Put down your paint brushes and we'll hit as many yardsales as we can in one hour." Interlaken is the name of the gorgeous town directly next to ours. When I say "next to"...I mean it's within yelling distance. That's how our little area is down here at the shore. We've got a cluster of beautiful tiny towns all within walking distance. The town directly to our south is so small that it's technically called a "village" and it occupies only about four blocks in total. I promise to soon take photos of the neighborhood and give you guys a great little travel guide to my neck o' the woods. The streets and homes and trees and bodies of water in the vicinity of our little apartment are worthy of the most heartfelt, relaxing, and pleasant SIGH. We are so very thankful for the sheer beauty and calm of our surroundings.
So...Saturday we went out and hit the Interlaken townwide yardsale. Whoever planned it did a fab job. Each participating house was marked with a hot pink metallic helium balloon. So you could drive the streets and at a quick glance you could see how many houses had yardsales....the balloons were visible from at least 4 blocks away. This made it easy to see which blocks were worth going down... and since we only had an hour we had to be selective. Interlaken is a fairly wealthy town...not quite mansions...but very nice homes under grand old trees with sprawling lawns etc... And I know that 1:00 is late to hit yardsales but I do believe that we've had much better finds at yardsales in much less affluent neighborhoods. Maybe it's just our specific tastes...but upper income homes don't have good junk for sale. Though I did score a sweet shadow box which I plan to make into a project...and I also got a great old, peely paint, oval mirror with beveled glass. Missy got a box of classic car hubcaps, a brand new paraffin wax hand spa, some earrings, and other miscellany. No real treasures were to be had and with 15 minutes left before Missy had to return to work we took a quick drive over to the previously blogged about Ocean Grove Bake Shoppe for an assortment of amazing cupcakes!....red velvet, strawberry, and ....pistachio!!! One of my all time favorite cakes! Growing up, my mom baked a pistachio bundt cake, with pistachio pudding in it. It tasted so good that no frosting was required. Just a faint dusting of powdered sugar.
And speaking of cakes and cupcakes....the warm weather has brought back our nightly, calorie burning walks. Actually just got back from one now. I have to admit, we're all out of shape... including the dog....Carlos actually stopped at the halfway point and requested to be carried for a few blocks! Last summer he was leading us full speed ahead at six plus miles! Which is big time for a Chihuahua.
Alright, I have to jump to this... I simply can't rave enough about the package that my friend Holly sent..."Just Cuz". It just goes without saying that Holly is a girl after my own heart. I really just opened the box and as I revealed each treasure it seriously felt like I had packed the box myself. Not one single item was even a micro-millimeter off the mark. She just KNEW that I'd adore the pair of vintage children's tap shoes. I never talked to Holly about tap shoes. She just knew that I would treasure them and see them as the charming little instant keepsake that they are. And the rolls of vintage wallpaper are beyond generous. Me and Aar were instantly planning a new painting around one of the patterns. And when a paper mache rabbit like the one Holly included shows up...it's like he's finally arrived at HOME...this is where he belongs. And the tiny bouquet of vintage millenary flowers... I treasure those so much that I'm seriously shocked to see anyone gives those up. I hold onto 'em for dear life! I can't thank Holly enough...wow. The box arrived on a pretty stressful day and upon opening it, the day took a 360 degree turn. I couldn't dare frown for the duration of the day.
I was soooo excited to read all the great feedback on my last post about our new vintage menu board paintings on black. So thrilled that so many of you are on the same page. We just love mixing in black...the juxtaposition of black with pretty pastel frosted cakes. We have a couple new paintings in that series. We've reworked some of our old paintings and gave them a new venue. Petit fours are just so sweet and they are perfect against the black backdrop being that Paris patisserie menu boards were one of the primary inspirations for this series of paintings. And "cupcakes for all occasions" uses our classic, cherry topped cupcakes in a brand new way. We have a couple more black paintings in the works but at present we have them on pause because we've got so much work to do... so much catching up. We simply can't afford the luxury of doing all new paintings. When we finally do get caught up, that's our dream...new paintings like every other day!
And speaking of....we now have a chocolate brown version of our Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake print. Available as a ready to frame print and as an 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 wooden plaque...though the plaques aren't yet listed...if you're interested just shoot me an email and I can set up a custom listing. The chocolate brown looks just like a Hershey bar, or rich chocolate frosting.... a wonderful color to just stare at. We've got the pink one hanging in our home but we're thinking of switching to the chocolate...it's definitely a new fave.
I'm so looking forward to the break in this weather. I'm sitting here in my livingroom and I'm on the verge of breaking out in a full-on sweat! We've yet to install the AC in this room and Aaron doesn't really feel like doing it tonight and I don't blame him...since it's gonna be 30 degrees cooler within 24 hours! Weird New Jersey... oh, which reminds me...I've got a typical Jersey experience to relate. A few days ago I took the trip with Aaron to the post office. I regularly don't go because the car is usually so full of boxes that there's no room left for me. But on this occasion I managed to squeeze in there with all our packages because I wanted to get out for some air, grab a bite to eat, and take a ride to Borders Books to see if I could find one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that I loved so much in my childhood. I got to reminiscing with a few friends on Facebook about how much I loved those books and I wondered why the heck they don't make them anymore. I LOVED those books... ie: "...If you want to go down the stairs into the dark and creepy basement then turn to page 84.... If you want to leave the haunted house and walk to the cemetery then turn to page 120..." it was so fun... once you chose your fate you'd read along and wonder what might've been if you chose otherwise. Anyway, somebody told me that they are making the Choose Your Own Adventure books again and that they're in the "independent reader" section of Borders. So we cruised over to our Borders...I waited in the car while Aaron went in to find the books. Well it turns out that the CYOA books at Borders are for VERY young readers and there are more pictures than words...and overall, Aar said the story lines seemed pretty lame...so no CYOA for me. : ( I WISH somebody would write CYOA books for adults....and they don't have to be Literature...I'd be fine with a Mystery or even Sci Fi maybe. I'm sure there's a market for it. I can't be the only one who's nostalgic for those. But this isn't the point of the story anyway. Here's the point... While Aar was in Borders, a car parks in front of me and a guy gets out. I get a look at him for a brief second and he looks just like Bruce Springsteen. Then a car drives past and totally blocks my view so I can't confirm it. So then Aar comes out, no books, but he's got a brownie and a scone. I tell him about my possible Bruce sighting and say that we can't leave til Bruce or the imaginary Bruce comes out. Aar pulls our car to a better vantage point so that we're parked directly across from Bruce's car. At this point, both of us are almost hoping that it's not Bruce because it would be hilarious to see that it's a guy that really doesn't look like him at all, or is like a bad stunt double version! So we're eating our sweets and then the man comes walking out of Borders. He's nearly hobbling...he's got the stiffest, slowest, limping strut...like a guy who played in the NFL for 20 years. And YES...IT IS BRUCE. Man...rock n' roll took it's toll on his legs...he really did walk so slow and so hobbled! Can't believe it's the same guy who pulled off the camera crashing knee slide at the Super Bowl! So Bruce gets to his car...he's right in front of us...he's dressed so so raggedly. Every article of clothing has multiple tears and holes and frays. So he hops in his car and as he pulls out he stares right at me and Aar and waves to us... a wave like he knows us... like a super casual, "hey what's up" style wave. We cracked up. Aaron happened to be on the cell phone with his mom right then and he gave her the play by play. After Bruce drove away Aaron said how it would've been cool to get out and ask Bruce to say hi to his mom on the cell phone. But we didn't want to go step on his toes. A wave was good enough. Aaron has this big hard bound book of Bruce's lyrics...he got it for his birthday one year...well he's thinking of keeping it in the car from now on so he can get it signed if we run into Bruce again. It's not a crazy notion. In our area Bruce sightings aren't rare at all. Aar has run into him in the record store twice. And his drummer, Max Weinberg, actually came into our handpainted furniture store. And the best part about the Max meeting was Max's outfit. He must've come straight from the gym because he had on very short shorts...and they we shorts that used to be red maybe ten years ago...but now they're faded and PINK. It was quite a sight...I said right to him when he walked in our door " Whoaaaaahhh Maaaaaax!" ...he was definitely taken aback. He asked us the price of a couple things...he said his wife sent him. We told him the prices...he thanked us... and then he left. I think I scared him off. So yeah, if you live in our little section of Jersey, you've got a good chance of running into Bruce Springsteen AND the E Street Band! or Bon Jovi...or Kevin Smith...or Queen Latifa....Aaron ran into her in Whole Foods.
Wow...I'm a bit verbose today! I'm almost done...I just want to say how much FUN Facebook has been! And I want to say hi and welcome to my blog all my new friends from Facebook and Twitter!! If you're not part of the Facebook fun yet...please, I beg you, SIGN UP. We work from home, as you well know, and the work we do often requires drying time. Paint, Mod Podge, varnish, etc... So Facebook is just such a great device to pass the idle time. And me and Aar really barely get out...we have an embarrassing social life...I mean: lack thereof! So Facebook partially makes up for it. And everybody on there seems like they're on there for the same reason...just simple, no strings attached socializing.
But you know what?...I think I'm oversimplifying.... it's so totally NOT just socializing.... it's networking...but it's like NETWORKING on performance enhancing drugs! It puts you directly in touch with all the people you want to be in touch with...in an instant. There just simply is not enough time in the day to click through the thousand blogs or websites I'd like to click through. And the same goes for leaving comments on my favorite blogs. I wish I could find the time to leave comments. I treasure every comment that you guys leave me here. Me and Aaron both read them all...either side by side or separately... and we beam from ear to ear. You really spoil us with well wishes and compliments. And more than that...it just rules to know that we're all on the same page about so much stuff! Blog comments make the blogosphere spin. But like I said...it's hard for me to keep up so that's where Facebook comes in. It's a definite "world shrinker".... You can link up with a thousand peeps like yourself...drop them a line about a sale your having in your store...pass on a recipe...blurb a little review of a new bath product you picked up and let everybody know where to find it on Etsy. I mean, a couple weeks ago I asked my Facebook contacts which art supply they prefer: Mod Podge or Gel Medium? There were about a million passionate responses! (and I think it was pretty much a tie!....we like Mod Podge...but we need to start using Gel Medium in new ways to really get a handle on it's capabilities.) And just yesterday me and Aar & Carlos went for one of our night time walks and a bat flew up right in front of us...sending us scurrying into the street. When I got back from the walk I mentioned the bat and my lifelong fear of bats on Facebook and immediately I'm getting all sorts of pro-bat comments from my friends. I think the bat debate is capable of rivaling the mod podge/gel medium one.
Also....I LOVE the TOP 5 lists that go around on Facebook. I think the one that impacted me most was the top 5 cereals. Me and Aaron barely ever stock up on cereal. We pretty much get Frosted Mini Wheats and an occasional box of Raisin Bran. Then the top 5 list goes around and I'm seeing all these names: Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, Cap n' Crunch! Next thing you know...we've got ten boxes of cereal on our kitchen counter!! And I'm sure a million other people went out and did the same. Talk of food on Facebook is ubiquitous and infectious. You know how in college you'll gain the famous "freshman fifteen" pounds. Well add to that the "Facebook fifteen"! Somebody posts a recipe...mentions a meal. Next thing you know, life's imitating art. You're at the grocery store with a list that you jotted down from somebody's Facebook raves about the perfect cookie recipe! Along with the "Facebook fifteen" I also coined The "Twitter twenty". But that's a whole other can o' worms. It's way too late at night and this post is already resembling Tolstoy...for me to bring up the topic of Twitter! Basically, it's the short, one or two sentence version of Facebook. Get on there too...Tweet away....become one of my Tweeps! But seriously, I can't keep you here any longer. You guys have lives to live and I've taken enough of your time already! That's why you need to get on Facebook and Twitter if you're not already....we can talk everyday, all day, easy as pie! Thanks so so much again for stopping by! There's a sweet breeze coming through my windows and I can feel the temperature dropping by the minute...I'm thrilled. Bring on the Spring! xoxo Jenny