Wee Cottage Lane Christmas

Wee Cottage Lane  Christmas
by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Playing dress-up with my vintage dress form :)

Full size view of my mannequin
I just love this mannequin I purchased last spring in the darling town of Diamond Springs, CA. She's been waiting for me to get my studio tidy enough to really appreciate her and now I'm ready to play dress-up with her. Today, I took off her Holiday attire in favor of something soft and sparkly. The tiara and crystal necklace look so pretty against the silky sparkly scarf I found at Empress on Main Street in Placerville. I tried it with and without the antique shoes. They're so cute, I included a picture, but I think I'll leave them off till I re-do her for Easter.

She still doesn't have a name.... Just haven't come up with the right one, yet. :)
Antique shoes with little hearts I found in Jackson, CA

A closer view of the jewels and birds.

An Ode to Coffee

First thing every morning, I think about coffee. I've been that way for as long as I can remember. My first memory of coffee was of my grandmother talking about going across the street and to have coffee and "visit" (code for gossip) with the neighbor that had this great window that looked out into the street and  of everyone's business. My grandmother lived in a neighborhood in Long Beach, CA that was always being annexed. It started out Long Beach, and was briefly Wilmington, Carson, Los Angeles, and finally returned to having a Long Beach mailing address. It was called the "Presidential Estates" which is really funny because they were all tiny bungalows, mostly no more than 1,000 square feet. Every day, just after breakfast, grandma would anounce that she was headed over to the Boone's for coffee. Strange, because she'd already drank a pot, but there she'd go...

At her house, I always wanted to try coffee. It smelled so good! She seemed to love it. I just had to give it a try. So, she filled this teeny tiny little cup with a drop of coffee, a teaspoon of sugar, and some milk. It tasted like coffee flavored candy! So sweet and yummy. I sipped at my little china cup and soon it was gone. As time progressed, I graduated to larger cups and a stronger mix, but my favorite way to drink coffee is still with sweetener and milk.

Working in hospitals through my teens cemented my addiction to java. I loved how we flouted convention and treated day no different from night. Coffee was a big part of that! If you're going to go to school in the day and then work all night, you gotta have your coffee.

When I was just 20 years old, I joined a fellowship which helps people who want to quit drinking alcohol. Let me tell you, that group loved it's coffee! I remember getting a cup at my first meeting over 25 years ago. I remember how the hot coffee sounded when it came in contact with the Styrofoam cup. I remember how my hand shook a little. I was reassured by an old-timer that the shaking would stop; and it did. To this day, I love to go to meetings and listen for the sound of hot coffee on Styrofoam, I find it comforting.

During my 30's I was introduced to Starbucks and fancy coffee drinks. I must admit I fell in love with the fat-free, sugar-free, vanilla latte! For Christmas that year I got an espresso machine. It didn't taste quite as good as the ones at the coffee shop, but it was wonderful to have it whenever I wanted and not pay a fortune for it. When my espresso machine finally died, I didn't replace it, though...

I guess, for me, what I love about coffee is the ritual of it. Setting up the coffee maker, waiting for it to brew, stealing a cup if I can't wait till it's all the way done. Although I've had some wonderful coffee in pretty fabulous places, there is just no coffee that compares to the first cup in the morning in my own kitchen.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The third Chakra Tree is complete!

Following a very busy and overwhelming December, I've finished the third painting in my Chakra Tree series. I was planning to do three paintings however, my daughter looked at all three together and asked, "Are you going to do Fall next?" The funny thing is I just painted each painting independently and didn't notice that they certainly do look like winter, spring, and summer. I haven't decided if there's a fall to be created. I was just enjoying have the three complete. :)