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Archive for July, 2013

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Harry Potter wine charms at Auntie B’s Wax.

Over the past few months I’ve been reading the Harry Potter books. They were well-received gifts to Paenney (my nephew) for various occasions when he was younger, so Charlotte has a nice collection of them in Paenney’s section of the bookshelf. Unfortunately the collection stops at Order of the Phoenix, which is the fifth out of seven books. I got a little panicky when I finished the Order of the Phoenix because I knew there would be no more, at least coming from Charlotte’s house. Going to sleep with Hogwarts on my mind had become routine, and everyone knows I loathe a change of routine.

I’ll revisit Hogwarts at some point, but for now I’m revisiting a book I read years ago. About twenty years ago to be more specific. I read it on the beaches of Sanibel Island, Florida during a time where an imaginary escape to New Orleans to meet the Mayfair witches was just the medicine I needed, along with the calming seashore. The book is The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.

My latest indulgence.

Way back then, Anne Rice was the only person I knew of who wrote about things that fascinated me, like vampires and witches, in such a captivating way. Her descriptive powers could put people, houses, and cities in my mind’s eye with incredible detail. I’ve collected a number of her books throughout the years and really love what she wrote throughout the decades of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

So I’m being enraptured all over again with the Mayfair witches. Maybe when I’m finished reading the one thousand plus pages of this book I’ll go back to Hogwarts. Or maybe I’ll choose to stay in New Orleans and select another book from my Anne Rice collection. One thing’s for sure, my reading choices lately are those of extreme imagination. Magic and the preternatural in a gothic setting will get me every time.

To what kind of worlds do you like to fly when you read?

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The Doors

Once upon a time there was a convent.  The convent was attached to the school I attended for six years.  After some time the convent ceased to be a convent because, well, there were no nuns left to live there.  The building was put to use, but some time after that some people decided to tear down the convent.  Much to my delight a salvage hunt was offered to the people of the parish to which this school/convent belonged.  That is to say one could go through the building and take whatever she wanted, free of charge.

By the time I could get to the convent it had been picked apart pretty well, but there were things remaining that no one even thought of taking.  I was armed with my little screwdriver and helped myself to things like doorknobs and keyhole plates.  Then I got to thinking, if I’m going to take these little pieces of hardware, why not take the entire door?  Most of the doors weren’t worth taking and didn’t have interesting features.  However, I decided to take both of the french doors that led onto what used to be a little balcony.  Husby helped me, of course, and rolled his eyes knowing it would be a long time before I could think of something to do with the doors, much less actually doing that something I thought of.

There are actually two doors here, one in front of the other. Dimensions each: about 7 feet by 3 feet. Weight: approximately two tons. Of course I would strip and turn the wood of these into whatever color suits the room they live in. Another plus ~ I have the original hardware.

Husby was right.  It’s been over ten years since I retrieved the doors and only now have I figured out what I want to do with them ~ turn them into a door-enclosed bookcase.  It would be a huge bookcase, but what a conversation piece!  However, there are some very serious obstacles.

1)  The doors weigh about five-hundred pounds each.  (The picture caption above says weight is about two tons.  It doesn’t really matter which is more accurate as long as you get the idea that they’re heavy.

2)  I would have to get rid of a piano in order to put the gigantic bookcase where I wanted it.

3)  Husby didn’t think he had the expertise nor the tools to build the bookcase.  Initially I thought I would do it myself, but after hearing even he couldn’t do it, I figured it was way out of my league.

The first two obstacles would be a pain, but doable.  The third?  Who would I hire to do this massive undertaking?  Then, a lightbulb went on above my head.  Ray!  Ray is a professional cabinet-maker!  He could do it for me!

Luckily for me we were going out for a long-overdue Dive Night with Ruthie and Ray and the nightcap would be at our house.  I posed the situation to Ray and then took him down to the basement to see the doors.  He didn’t look thrilled.  He came up with all sorts of carpentry complexities that I didn’t understand and said he would “check around” to see if it could be done.  Apparently my idea is way more complicated that I thought it would be.

So, on the very good chance that Ray can’t or won’t take on the project, my brain has been scurrying around trying to think of new ideas for the doors.  If I ever put them to use I’ll be sure to let you know how the project turns out.  In the meantime, I welcome any ideas you may have.  I need all the help I can get.

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Wordless Wednesday

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This past weekend I took my wares to the Cannon Falls Art & Wine Festival in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  It was my second showing there, and I consider it one of the nicest venues I’ve been to.  Artists and representatives from local wineries are situated in a way that lets those attending the event meander gently through the park sipping wine and enjoying (and hopefully buying) the work of local artisans.

My magnets are always a good draw to my booth.  The pulp fiction magnets to be exact.  They’re colorful, they’re funny, and best of all they’re kind of naughty.  On my previous blog I wrote a little piece on the background of my attraction to pulp fiction cover art.

January 21, 2010

When we went to my Grandma’s house I was always intrigued with her True Story magazines.  My mom would never let me even look at the pile of them laying by Grandma’s chair because they were not something a child should see.  They were, okay I’ll just say it, smut.

Maybe it was those taboo magazines that gave me a fascination for trashy publications, or maybe there’s just some kind of naughty-girl archetype that lives in all of us.  And the best part about smut?  The pictures.

Auntie B is proud to present to you for the first time over the interlinks her version of  Pulp Fiction Artwork, magnet style.  These images-turned-magnet are the cover art of actual paperback novels.  The ones from which your mother would shield your eyes.  They gave good girls bad ideas.  They fed your alter ego. 

At the Wine & Art Festival there were two young girls, grade school age, looking at the pulp fiction magnets.  Their mother came along and one of the girls was giggling and said, “hey Mom, look at this!”  The mom stood in front of the magnets for a while and then quickly led her children away.  I gave her a little nod and she looked relieved that I understood.  She also looked like she wished she could linger for a while more for her own amusement.  It’s good to know there are still mothers that don’t want their kids looking at smut.

Shortly after that a woman was looking at the magnets and commented “I really want to get this one for my camper, but it’s kind of naughty.”  I told her “you totally should get it, it would be perfect.”  She bought it with a shy smile.

Sin on Wheels

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The day on the peninsula was cool compared to the heat wave we’d been having in the city just a couple of days earlier.  I was looking forward to the Olde Ellison Bay Days craft show for a couple of reasons:  1) The event had a new organizer so I hoped it might have a little more energy than in the past couple of years, and 2) there was a good chance Tony  Shalhoub would show up and be so captivated by my wares he would buy a bunch of them, share them with all of his famous friends, and I would become the candle supplier to the stars.

Tony Shalhoub, a native of Green Bay, WI, was slated to be the Grand Marshal of the Olde Ellison Bay Days parade.  He’s always been one of my favorite actors and I was greatly looking forward to seeing him, and perhaps having dinner and becoming close personal friends.  When we heard the parade coming Husby took over watching my booth while I made my way up to the parade route.

OMG!  There he is!

Of course he was in a red convertible as a proper movie star should be. I don’t know who that other guy in the car is, but I’m pretty sure he’s amazing.

Tony was so cute, giving the beauty queen wave as he passed his adoring fans.

Tony’s having a good time, but that guy next to him is more entertained by his phone. Who is that guy anyway?

After the Grand Marshal passed I rushed back to my booth to get ready for the possibility of Tony meandering among the artisans after his big parade ride.  I waited and waited.  There was a couple looking at my magnets, and after a while they came up to me.  The woman said, “I was just wondering which magnet Tony will buy.”  I looked at her, trying to register the familiarity of her reference.  “I’m Lisa from Fond du Lac.  We read your blog post this morning.”  Husby and I chatted with Lisa and John from Fond du Lac for a while, and Lisa even took our picture.  I’m the one who felt famous then!

Still no sign of Tony.  Husby took a walk to the other end of the park and came back with the news that Tony was in the big tent signing autographs.  With that I grabbed my camera and left Husby with the booth once again.

There was a very long line of people waiting to have Mr. Shalhoub sign their t-shirts and DVDs of Feed the Fish, which stars Tony and was filmed in Ellison Bay.  I didn’t care much about getting an autograph, but I did want a picture or two.  Unfortunately, sneaking pictures of him signing autographs wouldn’t allow me to have words.  Oh well.

Tony was very smiley. He’s also much more handsome in real life than he is on TV and movies. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

As I stood there snapping away the mom of a family getting autographs asked if I could take their picture with Tony.  She handed me her phone and showed me where to push the button to take the picture.  There they were, a happy little family, a smiley Tony Shalhoub, and I said one, two, three…and then I pushed a button I shouldn’t have and didn’t take the picture.  Oh no, I said, I think I hit the wrong button.  With that Tony walked over to me and took the camera/phone from me and pretended to take a picture of the family by themselves.  I gave him a playful nudge (physical contact!) and told him to get back to his position.  The mom showed me once again which button to push, I did, and the photo was taken.

So now Tony Shalhoub knows me as the dweeb who doesn’t know how to use a cell phone camera, and my life is better for it.

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