Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Laissez les bons temps rouler" or...I Never Met A Costume I Didn't Love

Image via dreamstime.com

Happy Mardi Gras!  I am feeling blessed today as the St. Mark's Mardi Gras party is in the rear view mirror!  There are still some costumes to be put away, but as New Orleans is winding up tonight's Mardi Gras extravanza, we at St. Mark's are turning our attention to LentIf you missed out on the fun, there is always next year!

The party, organized by Diane Reese and her incredible team, was a huge success and we raised quite a lot of money for our J2A (Journey to Adulthood) class to make a pilgrimage to New Orleans for Holy Week.  Notice that we did NOT choose to take a group of teens to New Orleans for the iconic Mardi Gras!
Maren and Fr. Christopher
Girls just wanna have fun!
Top Banana and Second Banana (which David is which?)

Margaret, Charles and Katrine
Nancy and Maren

 This is the first year that I was able to attend Mardi Gras, although it has become an annual fundraiser for St. Mark's.  

Norm as a Venetian Duke and me as Frida Kahlo 
Don't you love that faux lantern I found for $5.00 at Savor's? Tres francais?

The real Frida

Usually my husband and I are traveling out of the country in January and February for sailing, scuba diving, canoeing and rafting in Belize or Costa Rica.  Some of our traveling "compadres" joined us in costume this year as well.
Left-right in back row: Colin, Jim, JoAnne, Peter  Front row, Brittany, Heather Norm, Vicki

For a group of scruffy boaters, we dress up pretty well.

As part of the decorating committee (chaired by Angela Hearron), I designed and painted the photo booth (thanks Ken and Diane Reese for the construction help!), and hung faux draperies (really plastic table clothes in the green, yellow and purple that is typical of Mardi Gras decor) in the parish hall to create the illusion of many french doors.

Fr. Bob generously donated his professional photographer talents to begin to raise funds for the 2017 Pilgrimage group.

 We decorated eighteen tables with purple cloths (sewn by Donna Aldrich in 2014) and centerpieces of beads, masks and metallic foil bursts  to seat a total of 160 people for a dinner of gumbo, macaroni, salad, and bread pudding. 

Hanging from the ceiling were large paper pinwheels in purple, green and yellow with feather masks centered on them. 

The Hiltons

Gini looking fabulous!
Little Red Riding Hood and the Not So Big or Bad Wolf

Adam and Cleo

Jeff and Karen and Norm and Heather

Many Nob Hill merchants were extremely generous with Silent Auction Items as were members of the parish who donated things like vacation time shares, a custom hoop house for the garden, a week in a casita, vintage Native American jewelry, a handmade afghan, catered gourmet items, etc. 

Ann and Ken tending bar

Dollie and Milo

Entourage Jazz had us dancing the evening away to their smooth sounds!

No one is too young or too old to love dancing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

For The Love of Tools or "If I could be a tool, what would I be?"

I have a few blogs that I read consistently and one of them is the Floret Flower Farm blogI read it because in some other life, I might like to grow flowers on a much larger scale than my mountainside home allows.  My husband's sister, Caroline, has a small sized farm in the North Valley of Albuquerque with fertile soil, and she grows beautiful iris.  I picture her in the mornings with her cup of tea cooling on the ground as she tends the flowers among the bees that she also raises.  

Recently Erin of the Floret Flower Farm wrote about her favorite garden clippers....

Photo Via
These beauties are available in her shop.  Her post got me to thinking about what sort of tools I love.  I would really love this clipper!  Especially since my last favorite clipper has mysteriously disappeared....Lightweight, easy to find if you set it down in the garden with it's flashy red handles, sturdy enough to stand up to hard use and very sharpYes, all the things I would like to be if I were a tool. 

My sister had a copper bowl that allowed her to whip up incredible meringues with only a whisk.  I could be that bowl, round and shiny with a few venerable dents here and there.

Or maybe I would like to be my favorite Kolinsky sable water color brushBeautiful silky red hair, perfectly balanced, able to hold a lot of water, with a very fine point. Springing back to its original shape always.  Happily held by someone who loves painting. 

Perhaps I could be my daughter, Brittany's powerful Kitchen Aid mixer, plowing through batches and batches of cookies, cakes, and breads. Sitting in a pride of place on her copper counter top.  Feeding friends and family year after year.

What sort of tool would you like to be?  I never enter contests (can't stand to be disappointed) so I won't be signing up for Erin's contest, but am seriously thinking about ordering those clippers.  You may still have time to make a comment on her blog if you would like a chance to win them.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Georgia O'Keefe Inspired Silk Scarf

Sharing a painted silk scarf.
Monday morning painting sessions have resumed after a brief hiatus for the holidays.  Deborah Bentley has joined us and uses the watercolors she creates as an inspiration for painting her silk scarves.  This week she brought some beauties to show to us.  She is doing a series of scarves based on famous artists.  Of course my favorite is the poppy one "a la O'Keefe!"