Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crafts San Jose : Button Crafts : A Work of Heart

Is there someone who really knows how to push your buttons?? They say the reason our Mom knows how is because she's the one who sewed them on in the first place.

I'm a big button fanatic and am looking forward to visiting A Work of Heart. 

If you can't make it to the workshop, Button Bracelet Jewelry Kits are available online. There are many ways to make the bracelets. The Charm Bracelet Jewelry Kit incorporates Mother of Pearl buttons. The Precious Pearls Necklace Bracelet Comboat top is inspirational. It's by Grandmother's Buttons.

Try a book on Making Button Jewelry, there's a lot of variety available. Button Jewelry & Accessories: 22 Unique Projects has been on my shelf for years. It covers accessories, too including statement rings. Pretty cool that it's out in a version for Kindle e-readers now.

A Work of Heart has week-long kids' camps over the summer months. Check to see which camps still have spots available and what your children may like. There's even one for creative writing. You'll see some of them listed on our Non-traditional camps in the bay area page.

They're located at 2196 Lincoln Ave. across the street from the Senior Center, just north of Elva's Coffee Shop.

Any artist or crafter will appreciate their blog which is beautiful and informative, definitely worth a click.

The shop is closed in early July so get in there and have fun while you can. After that, check out the variety of hot and exciting arts and crafts that are offered.

Buttons are symbolic, they're nostalgic and they're very green and eco-friendly to use in craft and art. Upcycle buttons from your family's clothes. Mother's coat. The kids' old baby clothes. Can you make a cha-cha bracelet from buttons. I sure hope so!

Monday, June 20, 2011

BreastFest : Beer Festival : 11th Annual San Francisco Beer Tasting

The 11th Annual BreastFest Beer Festival happens in San Francisco on July 2nd.

BreastFest is a breast cancer brewfest. More than 60 breweries are represented with unlimited tastings!

The event is 5-9pm, but Happy Hour is 4-5pm. Purchase a VIP pass for an additional $10 and receive that special VIP entrance at 4:00pm.

Enjoy a variety of great food as well as a a choice of non-alcoholic beverages. There'll be live music and raffle prizes. come early, have fun and show your support.
Get your commemorative glass!

The Breast Fest is a benefit the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic.

Breast Cancer Charity Art Bras : Bra Art Raising Money for Breast Cancer Research

Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Ribbon iPhone Cases
Pink Ribbon Cases, Covers & Faceplates for your Apple iPhone 3G or 4G, 3 or 4

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Imaginary Invalid : Live Theatre : Glam Rock : San Jose Theater

"Argan, an aging rocker, has everything - wealth, two lovely daughters, a beautiful second wife... and a bevy of imagined illnesses. 

"Engaging several doctors to prescribe medications and treatments for his supposed afflictions, Argan resents the mounting cost of his therapy, constantly looking for a way to save money." 
-- From the Shady Shakespeare web site.

Argan is the bespectacled and befuddled hypochondriac anchor character around whom all of the action occurs. The lovers scheme to be together, the other eccentric characters - good guys and bad guys and guys who'll make you go, hmmmm - thrive.

"It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." --  Moliere

In this version of his 17th century comedy, baroque meets glam rock. The two styles intermingle in set design, music and definitely in the very luscious costumes.

I knew if I waited long enough the 1970s would be hot again. We have enduring hit shows (coming in multiple permutations) such as Mama Mia by Abba, the adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Better still do you ever watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels? Can you imagine a glitter rock version of the second series of Blackadder?

"The duty of comedy," Moliere once said, "is to correct men by amusing them."

 Mr. Diaforious (David Toda), Argan (Chuck Phelps) and Thomas (Christopher Mitchell)

Can't get enough talk of doctors and health care? You'll find some very clever and surprisingly timely discourse coming from back in the 1660s. There's some potty humor and some parts of the show are slightly risque. It all flows deliciously.

You don't have to be a baby boomer to enjoy this production, but those of us who are of a certain age will just eat it up. ;)

** Whatever you do, be sure to stay until the very end. You won't be disappointed. This is a great and budget-friendly night out that you'll enjoy and remember.

The show is at the Historic Hoover Theatre in San Jose CA and runs through July 2nd.

Doll Piccotto as Toinette the maid with Chuck Phelps as Argan

This show is over. Tickets to their current shows may be available at the Shady Shakespeare site.

"Get your tickets while they last."
Moliere probably said this, perhaps in French

This is his final play. During one of the very first productions in 1673, the playwright, who was also an actor, was playing the role of the hypochondriac, Argan in his own production. 

Moliere became ill during the show but managed to carry on until the end of the play. He collapsed and died hours after the play concluded.

Inside Information:
For fun, bring your Mustache on a Stick, wear your Mustache necklace and/or your FingerStache temporary Mustache Finger Tattoo to the show. 

Loyalty and good taste forbids me from saying anything beyond the fact that you may very well be glad you had them with you! A little audience participation can be fun, too.

Fingerstache Tattoo Pack

Fingerstache Tattoo Pack

Shady Shakespeare offers two Shakespeare camps over the summer. Be sure to check them out.

Top left Image is Chuck Phelps as Argan and Angie Higgins as his wife, Beline

Play images used by permission

Information about Moliere's last show from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, 1995, Cambridge University Press

Friday, June 17, 2011

Platform Shoes : Shoe History : Disco Party : 1970s Fashion : Halloween Costumes

The Heights of Fashion: Platform Shoes Then and Now. The Mint Museum in Charles, MO has a show through July third focusing on platform shoes. No discussion of 1970s fashion is complete without a look at the shoes of the era.

In the 70s, we wore platform shoes and they're popular once again. Seventies style in general is trendy in a big way.

Platform Shoes: A Big Step in Fashion
Over 300 eye-popping, platform shoe styles, shown in color photographs, demonstrate the creative spirit in shoe design.

These shoes span the globe & the decades and include snakeskin, fur, glitter, colored leather, woven raffia and fabric materials. ...  Some are practical, others simply outrageous. The book includes estimated values. -- info from Amazon

"Elevated shoes have appeared for centuries in cultures around the world. In Ancient Greece, actors wore thick-soled shoes to heighten their stature before their audience." -- From The Mint Site

The Steve Madden Women's Whisper Wedge Sandal, Leopard (available in multiple sizes), is the perfect 2011 platform wedge. 1970s meets 2010s. See leopard at top of page.

Thanks to our present-day love affair with the little white dress, the neutral shoe is a must. Here's something that shows your appreciation that the exotic animal print is the most chic and wild of the neutrals.

Madden and other designers also offer wedge sandals in bone such as Steve Madden's West II Wedge Sandal in natural raffia. Brown, nude and other shades  complement your summer outfits, too.

Alejandro Ingelmo Platforms are hot. Dress them up or down. Each season the designer comes up with a version of his popular platform sandal, the one above, dubbed the Thriller Sandal. You don't have to book a trip to New York City to get a pair of his shoes.

The Jessica Simpson Women's Bendie Sandals are popular wedge platforms with a slingback for a modern design. They come in lots of color combinations.

Some have a colorblock design to lengthen the look of your legs and bring that extra pop to your outfit. Great price, too.

Fast to sell out but fun to browse through are the latest in the selection of platform designs by Sole Boutique. icon

Riding Motorcycle in Platform Heel Shoes

Another popular book at the show is the fun and historical Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & more.

Unfortunately the show has closed.

Do you have any of your old platform shoes, a la your Saturday Night Fever days still in your closet? Platform shoes for men are hot, too! This DVD version of the film is the Saturday Night Fever : 30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition.

Men's Monster Black Shoes

Men's Monster Black Shoes for Frankenstein Friday?

Whether you are a dancing machine with a penchant for leisure suits or are a polished pimp bringing back the all-but-forgotten days of disco, these men's costume shoes are sure to complete your adult costume.

These Men's Pimp Shoes have a 3 1/2" heel and a lace-up front. Bring out the animal in you and choose from cheetah fur or zebra fur platform shoes to add the perfect finishing touch to your adult pimp costume.

Having a party with a 70s theme? Maybe you're just enjoying the seventies resurgence of 2011?! Live it up in these Funtasma by Pleaser Men's Platform Disco Shoes. These come in several sizes, colors and styles. (right)

Get your boogie on, ladies and gentlemen.

How much do you know about the Tall Boots that Elton John wore in Tommy the Rock Opera by The Who??

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Taking apart a piano : Harvesting the Harp : Photo Tuesday

Deconstructing the remains of a piano. A neighbor was hauling part of an old, beat-up baby grand piano to the dump.

Francois asked if he could have it and now we have a great project for recycling, upcycling, new music, art and jewelry projects. 

The garden will get a piece, too.

First is the instrument autopsy The job sounded like we were hitting harps and piano keyboards with hammers, just resounding. Echoes.  

Awesome, in the truest sense of the word. We really wondered what the neighbors thought. Piano abuse? The folks who got to it before we did were guilty of that if anyone, I guess.

As Francois is an experienced woodworker, furniture and guitar builder, the deconstruction of the old piano has been an interesting process. 

The goal is to save as much of the whole, the wood, the keys, whatever is left, in tact as we can.

We'll be posting more photos and information. There's something magical about using musical instrument parts in upcycled art and jewelry.

Saving the instrument itself was not an option.

For an update on the project please see the post, Recycled Instruments, Repurposing a Broken Piano.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sahara Vegas : Beatles 1964 : Casino Closing : Inventory : Auction : June 16

The inventory of the Sahara Hotel Las Vegas auction was held June 16th, 2011. As they say, it truly is the closing of a Las Vegas Landmark. 

Back in the day, Vegas hotel casinos were often named with desert themes, The Dunes, The Sands, The Stardust and The Frontier.

The Sahara opened in 1952. It closed on May 16th of this year (2011). With the spring/summer 2015 closing of the Riviera Hotel, people are waiting to see when items from that venue will be auctioned off.

Want to own a piece of old Vegas? A diverse and interesting collection of items, some perhaps unexpected, were waiting for the highest bidder for a June 2011 auction. [Note this auction is over.]

In 1964, The Beatles stayed at The Sahara Hotel. The auction is offering a room plaque, The Beatles Stayed Here, August 19, 1964. The Sahara had sponsored the group's first show in Las Vegas.

The Beatles, American Flag 
Buy at All Posters

Surely this would be a great addition, a one-of-a-kind item, for your Beatles Collection. There's also an image of Rory Calhoun and one of Elizabeth Taylor by the pool.

For the interior designers, the items are gorgeous and unusual. A wide variety of chandeliers and other light fixtures including elaborate sconces. Better bring measuring tape, though! Most of us live in homes somewhat smaller than a Vegas casino!

Your poker room will be the hit of the neighborhood with Vegas tables and chairs, baby. :)

Chefs, caterers, those who need to create a kitchen on a budget may get something at a good price here. Check out the freezers and refrigerators, mixers and serving items, too.

Need TV? They have giant flat screens that were hung in the casino to various types that were in the rooms. Turn your home into a media center.

Don't let someone else get the ceramic camel, a swanky round tub from the suite and a big fountain into which for your friends may pitch their coins for good luck.

All in all, this is a great excuse for a trip to Las Vegas. Nothing lasts forever. Visit The Flamingo and Caesars Palace. What do you think of The Aladdin, old vs new? Not many of the old hotels are around any more.

If you'd like to add a chandelier to your own or your kids' bedroom or playroom; girls, boys or gender neutral. There are so many available. This includes the well-known Currey and Company Chandeliers with a wide variety of styles and prices. I like the different colors and materials, the fairy tale looks and the spheres or orb pendant lights. 

Wear a Beatles-inspired t-shirt and you're ready for any Magical Mystery Tour.

Evolution of a Band shirt

Image used under Creative Commons from mrak75 (Flickr)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Erase MS : Paris Hilton : Kathy Hilton : Race to Erase MS : Multiple Sclerosis

Paris Hilton and her mother Kathy have been on some talk shows lately, The View, Ellen Degeneress talking about their Race to Erase MS campaign.

They’ve partnered with the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis. The goal is to fund research and treatment and ultimately cure MS.

Having two members of my family with Multiple Sclerosis, this subject really hits home. Apparently Paris Hilton's grandmother, Kathy Hilton's mother-in-law was diagnosed with MS and their family, too knows first-hand what it's like to live with the disease.  Is MS hereditary? What are the symptoms? These are some things you can find out at the Erase MS site.

If someone you know has had a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, you know how important it is to spread the word and to get all the research dollars possible.

MS Multiple Sclerosis I Wear Orange For My Wife 37 shirt

Paris specially designed a t-shirt including the words, Be My BFF & Erase MS (image at top). You can buy this and other cute clothing items and some sparkly jewelry, the proceeds of which all goes to the charity. Pieces by Tommy Hilfiger, David Osmond and Judith Ripka are offered.

The organization has promoted their Orange You Happy to Erase MS campaign raising awareness funds to fight MS. In 2010, Tommy  Hilfiger, long time supporter of the Race to Erase MS, designed a  window at 10 Rockefeller Plaza.

The window featured information and a huge graphic wave of orange.  Orange is the color that has come to symbolize hope in the fight  against MS.

Also in the window were the Race to Erase MS logo and a  photo of musician Avril Lavigne. Ms. Lavigne wore a t-shirt  designed by Nancy Davis to benefit the Foundation as part of her Peace & Love collection. Peace & Love to Erase MS.

MS Books : Kindle Editions Most also available in other formats

Zazzle shirts come in sizes and styles for Men, Women, kids and infants

Post it notes shirt
Post it notes, MS increasing sales of Post It Notes.... by dmlodge53
Become a part of Zazzle's artist affiliate program

May is both Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month and it's Harley Davidson's Women Riders Month! Vrrrooom! Let's get going on this!

[image of Paris Hilton from web site, see link above]