Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Food Stop: My Big Fat Greek Restaurant

My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
Wednesday to Saturday, April 30 - May 2, 2008
Approximately 6:30 to 9:00 P.M.

After being disappointed with the Phoenix Public Farmer's Market, Tina and I scooted to the Arizona Center after picking up necessities at Trader Joe's. We were hoping to find something interesting and different for dinner. And then there it was, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. We knew having seen the restaurant earlier, this meant that we must dine there TONIGHT. We noted that they were still having HAPPY HOUR. Not being one to drink but only an occasional glass of wine, I was actually eyeing the fact that between 2-7 p.m. on weekdays if you sit in the bar or patio you'll get your appetizers for HALF OFF. What a bargain!

With 8 locations in Arizona, you're bound to find one close you. The menu is full of mouthwatering deliciousness. This is how they describe themselves and their cooking. "A Mediterranean flair of cooking created by the gods. Only virgin olive oil, fresh ingredients, selected herbs and just the right amount of spices are used. Secrets cherished and kept for thousands of years are now yours to enjoy. After Zeus released these great recipes to his children, we were finally blessed with great health and a long, prosperous life. Enjoy our warm hospitality along with your dining experience. Yasou!"

So Tina and I couldn't help ourselves. We went a bit crazy with the appetizers not realizing that they were actually a meal in themselves. After ordering 5 appetizers, we had no room for dinner. We will make up for that in future days! But more on that later.

Dolmades, homemade ground beef and rice rolled in grape leaves topped with a lemon cream sauce. DELICOUS. Everything is served with slices of toasted pita bread.

Keftedes, tender spiced meat balls "the Greek way" served with diced tomatoes and onions. More pita bread too! This was YUMMY when hot so eat this one quickly or the meat will taste dry when cool.

Zucchini cakes, filo dough stuffed with feta cheese and spices served on a bed of julienne veggies and tomatoes. This was good but not the best zucchini cakes this girl has had.

Spanikopita, filo dough filled with spinach, feta and fresh herbs. I love FILO anything, just about. It's fun eating the different layers of flaky goodness until you reach the center. The feta topping was so rich so I suggest eating that with some of the meal as it can tend towards being too salty otherwise. And, unfortunately I can't have much Baklava which is made with filo, honey and nuts, but that is one dessert you should have if you can have SUGAR and love LOTS of it!

Because sometimes you can't have too much of a good thing, on Friday night I took Rajeev and Paul, my buddies from Miami back to the MBFG Restaurant. I was surprised to hear Paul tell me he never had real Greek food. Being from NYC, I thought he had most foods. We'll I guess that is where I come in to help the fellow out. We also just had appetizers and that was enough for a full meal. It was good company but Tina had to go back to study for her presentation (for school). I had a good time catching up with my friends but they were too tired to keep the conversation going past 9:30 p.m. I wore them out or maybe just the crazy drive from New York to Phoenix is what finally caught up to them.


When Nick flew in on Saturday, we decided to treat him to MBFG also for lunch, since he is a fan of Greek food. We had more deliciousness at the booth and then that evening, because all the local restaurants were not all that appealing, we took Nick's Uncle Joe and Aunt Dee with family to MBFG Restaurant also. So all I can say is that MBFG Restaurant holds many memories for me now. It was a good fun time.

Saturday night, we had to order the Flaming Saganaki since I was dying to see fire put to good use in creating delicious food. This dish contains imported kefalograviera cheese flamed with ouzo and metaxa. Okay, all that was hard to pronounce but I can tell you it was an interesting flavor of saltiness and you MUST subdue the flavors with the pita bread. It was good!

Here is the waiter finishing up preparing the Saganaki and taming the flame. We also had some Greek fries which were very delicious. The dinner was all around YUMMY. I give the MBFG Restaurant. three YUMS and definitely I will return, if in Phoenix.


The Arizona Center

The Arizona Center is at the center of downtown Phoenix. There are many tourist type shops, restaurants and movie house on the premises.

Palm tree lined skyline

At center court, right outside the MBFG Restaurant, there are these tall palms trees with spiraling lights. As the sky darkens and night falls, the lights brighten the court with a water sprouting spiral to entertain the guests. Little twinkles of light, sparkling in the dark.

On the side adjacent to the restaurant is a nice waterfall. The sounds of water, is so serene amidst the human chatter of jovial celebrations.

Then further down some steps there is a lovely pond garden

Another view of the water ponds and garden

The Leaping Frog Sculptures

Mr. Frog sees something in the horizon and being the curious inquisitive one, he wants a closer look

He eyes the next lily pad and thinks to himself "I can make it", he starts jumping towards it.

He has his sight a little beyond the lily pad. Oh, the drama, will he make it? Oh what the heck, he just GOES FOR IT! Go, Mr. Frog, Go! You can do it!

Here's to Beautiful and Delicious Food
with Fond Memories Shared with Love Ones

A View of Phoenix: The Day Before the Setup

The Day Before the Setup

My sister Tina and I were on the way to Phoenix a day early for some sister time, but also to explore Phoenix a bit, before setting up for the show. I usually like to drive at the crack of dawn to avoid the Los Angeles morning traffic, so poor sis' had to endure leaving at 5:30 a.m. I actually enjoy these long drives now because it allows me time to think and reflect upon many things. Normally my days are so focused in the bead world, in one aspect or another, that I don't have time to just sit and not do anything. When you are driving 6+ hours, well not much is done during that time. Maybe I drove Tina a bit crazy, but I had Marty Casey cycling over and over again in the the background, while we caught up on things in our lives. It was a good break and time well spent catching up with my sister. We stopped off at Denny's for some much needed COFFEE and then I was fully awake to drive the remainder of the way.

I drove the entire way to Phoenix with only two small breaks. Egads! Yes, it was exhausting but once we arrived, we had an interesting time finding our hotel. While looking, we spotted an antique store and I just had to stop to check it out. Oooh little tiny treasures everywhere in dusty corners and in secret cabinets. I looked at everything, sometimes twice, and found interesting things (I'm keeping them a secret) for some possible future projects. I love visiting antique stores to find those elusive bargains from yesteryear. I imagined who could have owned the pieces that I now own. We visited another antique shop but they were way too expensive for this bargain shopper to relinquish any more money so we moved on to discover more of Phoenix.

We hadn't eaten all day but decided we'll try our chances in checking in early at the Central Phoenix Best Western so we could unload our luggage and freshen up a bit. Last minute I decided to leave for Phoenix one day early so I had to make reservations elsewhere than the host hotel, Wyndham. I'm like that. I do somethings spontaneously, spur of the moment, even though most of the time I plan things well in advance. It's fun to just have fun for the fun of it. Well the hotel was right across from Channel 12 NBC News Studios. (Interesting, Friday I would appear on Channel 15 ABC Studios (KNXV) on the Sonoran Living Live.)

After we checked in, we thought we would go check out the Phoenix Public Farmer's Market down the street. However, it was a disappointment, so disappointing that I didn't even want to waste my digital "film" and Canon's power on snapping a photo for prosperity. I think many people were either on vacation or maybe the Wednesday event is just smaller. We were looking forward to picking up some fresh veggies for snacks! There were a few booths but it was not the standard farmers market that I am used to attending. We were STARVING by this point. So, Tina and I decided to drive up to Camelback Blvd. to the Biltmore Fashion Park, an outdoor shopping center. We had hooked up with a nice map from the Best Western so was on our way.

When we arrived, I went to pick up some necessities for my TV appearance (more on that in a future post), such as real makeup from MAC Cosmetics. They fixed me up perfectly and made me look pretty for the evening too. While there we noticed a scent of SMOKE in the air. Someone came into MAC and said there was a fire at California Pizza Kitchen. Whoa. I'm all for playing with fire but this was not what I had in mind for my first night in Phoenix.

The Phoenix fire department had things handled and interestingly enough, they parked their fire engine right next to my CRV! So I figured while Tina (yes I gave her the car keys - only because of pure exhaustion of driving from California - otherwise generally no one touches my car... hahah) would figure out how to get us out of there and to dinner. The firemen were very nice so I thought to snap a photo to show you! YES, Do "Watch Your Kids!" Hopefully, no one got hurt in the CPK fire.

We left the Biltmore Fashion Park and returned back on Camelback Blvd. We had spotted a Trader Joe's and you know me withTJ's. I had to go get some snacks and water for the show anyways. After parking we saw a Pizzeria named "Pie Zanos". I thought it was funny because Nick's last name is Pisano. So the photo below is more for him as a good laugh.

Before we found our way to TJ's, I spotted a bookstore. I ALWAYS have to enter a bookstore in whatever town/city I am visiting, if it is within eye's view. Bookstar is also know in some cities as "Barnes and Noble". Aaaah, guess what? I belong to the frequent book buyers club so we waltz in. I found a few books to add to my library in the bargain section. I love looking in the bargain section of bookstores.

Then an idea came to mind. Hmmmm.... I wonder if Bead Romantique would be here. And then, there it was. Ah! It was so cool to find my book in a bookstore. I had also found the book in the Pasadena Barnes and Noble but didn't have my Canon there to capture it. A sense of joy came over me. How cool is this? It's way cool to a first time author!

The Bookstar employee, helped us with some directions on getting to the Arizona Center (where we headed to after TJ's) According to Wikipedia and this knowledgeable Bookstar employee, the street system in Phoenix is laid out in a traditional grid system, with most roads oriented either North-South or East-West. The zero point is the intersection of Central Avenue and Washington Street. Numbered Avenues run north–south west of Central; numbered Streets run north–south east of Central. Then somewhere in there, there are streets named after Presidents in downtown Phoenix.

So we finished our TJ's run and while driving out saw My Big Fat Greek Restaurant as we were leaving the shopping complex. Boy, we were STARVING but the restaurant didn't looked like it was opened and we both wanted to see the Arizona Center. But seeing the MBFG Restaurant was a premonition to a fantastic meal later that evening. Hold on... one moment folks... I will tell you all about it in the NEXT post.

The Valley of the Sun

I love living
Never the dull life
Full of adventures
Full of sights
Full of the things
That makes me alive

Blue skies up above
Sun in my face
Walking here and there
Soaking in the city
The life that is
Within and without

Watching the people
In their everyday living
The singular and multiples
Dancing through life
Me as their visitor
In the Valley of the Sun

Shine on Phoenix, shine on
As I walk through your city
In the streets and alleys
Seeking, looking, and finding
Visions of today and tomorrow
Smiling secretly

Be HAPPY as happiness is ME
Right now, this instant
As time stands still
Enjoying the moment
Enjoying the memories
Enjoying the telling

Stories of my travels
Stories of my discoveries
Stories of my life
Read, listen and enjoy
My what a wonderful life
To just breathe in this JOY

Peace, JOY and Happiness,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food Stop: Carney's Limited Express

Carney's Unlimited Express
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Approximately 6:00 P.M.

As the sign above states "Beware of Trains" when you enter Carney's Express Limited in Studio City. You will first notice the wonderful aroma in the air. I have definitely prewarned you if you DARE to read this post further, as you too will be tempted to travel far and near distances to this haven of the BEST hot dog in the WORLD. Just look at the scrumptious menu and then you'll know why I don't need any excuse to want to come here twice a year.

The hot dog was purportedly invented in 1874 by German immigrant, Charles Feltman, at Coney Island, NY. Well, listen to this girl, I've had the so-call best hot dogs in New York - Nathan's at Coney Island and Papaya King in Manhattan. I've even tasted the Dodger dogs MANY years ago which are supposedly one of the best ballpark dogs. HANDS down, Carney's has the BEST hotdog in the WORLD. As somewhat of a connoisseur on EATING, I love the way the Carney dog extends outside of it's bun and actually, really SNAPS when you eat it. The chili is DELICIOUS and I am not one for fru-fru toppings on my hotdogs either. No need to get too fancy on me. The recipe is top secret but I'm betting it's the special casing they use to hold together all that snappy scrumptious goodness. All I can say is that I give Carney's a TRIPLE YUM YUM YUM!

Can you see Nick excitedly ordering our Chili dogs and fries for dinner?

There are actually two trains in parallel. One train is the kitchen and the other train is the customer sitting area. There are also additional outside patio sitting too. Just look at all the yummy-ness going on with happy, smiling patrons. (Yes, they are smiling even though you are only seeing their backs!!)

Our standard order, THREE chili cheese dogs to share amongst the two of us with one order of chili fries. (Nick is already eating his dog and fries, while I snapped and posed this photo!) Just look at those HUGE tomato slices. I have to eat everything with a fork and knife it is so darn sloppy. And yes, this meal is a heart attack waiting to happen but considering I only eat like this twice a year, I think I'm allowed. So this is the REAL reason why we love exhibiting at the Los Angeles Bead Society Bazaar. Uhmmmm... I mean... no we are really at the show to support the bead society and talk to our wonderful customers. Forget I showed you all these photos and told you about my well hidden secret. Eeeek, now the world knows my weakness! And, you didn't hear about Carney's from ME. You heard all this from Jerry Connell!!

So I guess I won't see you at Carney's next time, huh?

Here's to YUMMY Chili Dogs and Fries

Monday, April 28, 2008

Show Stop: April 27, 2008: Los Angeles Bead Society Spring Bazaar

Another show completed and this time it was a one day event at the Los Angeles Bead Society Spring Bazaar. The LABS bi-annual bazaar holds many memories for me. It was the first major show that I exhibited at, while I was a young up 'n coming glass artisan, still working full-time, as a quality assurance engineer.

Can you find my name on this list?

That first year, Fall 2004,
they placed me on the STAGE. Here I thought I was "extra special" but then I found out that newbies always got placed on the stage because it was generally the least desirable location. Haha! No one really liked being under all the stage lights as it can get rather hot. Imagine glass beads under stage lights! Ouch!

You see, the bazaar is held at the Culver City Veteran's Memorial Auditorium (shown above. Notice the beautiful movie reel sculpture? This is the movie industry (as a matter of fact, Sony Pictures is just down the street) and you can't really escape Hollywood when you are in L.A. I was in the main room with a stage (aka the auditorium). I was just glad to have gotten a space at the show, since I was a new member of the society. So I was placed right smacked at center stage right in front of the mobile stairs. I was afraid that people would hurt themselves coming up to the stage to visit the "lucky" vendors placed there.

The Main Room aka Auditorium
(the stage is way in the back under the lights)

Now reflecting back, it was a pretty good darn first show for me. I consider any show where I make new connections and friends, a good show. Of course making money is good, but it's not the prime objective in my business. I think if one focuses and makes beautiful work, the money will follow. So for me it's all about the connections and re-connections, the links and friendships. I was under the limelight and I met a lot of people being at center stage. One of my future friends was none other than Karen Lewis (KLEW) who traded with me one of her beads for one of my earlier Le Fiore Vive florals. I didn't care how much or how little I sold that day, but the fact that KLEW wanted to trade with ME? Wow that was somethin' else.

Since then, I have been exhibiting at every show except one (Spring 2007.) I exhibit at this show to support the bead society and I enjoy my time spent talking to all the beaders. Couldn't you tell Sunday for those that couldn't escape my chatter? (smile) Not many photos to share at this venue but I did manage to break in the Canon, finally. Woohoo. There is more to Sunday in the next post. What next post, you ask? Be patient.

I want to thank all the customers who came to visit my booth
, to thumb through Bead Romantique, to buy the book and then listened to me speak about the Japanese PPT kit. It was a fun time and I look forward to October when I see you all again! See you then, but don't drift too far, because I wanted to share with you what Nick and I love to do AFTER the LABS show. I am ready to come clean, divulge a well hidden secret and a weakness. Yes, we all have weaknesses, even ME! (smile) I'm not ashamed of it and I'm ready to tell the WORLD!

Okay, now the real truth comes out. I really only exhibit at the Los Angeles Bead Society Bazaar bi-annually because we love going to CARNEY's after the show. You twisted my arm and now I have to show you why we love Carney's so much in the next post. Don't blame me if you end up at Carney's next time you are in Studio City! I DID warn you. (smirk)


Sunday, April 27, 2008


My friend Paul, the "youngest" of the Indian Three Stooges
, whom I met in Miami, made an immense impression on me. But don't tell him that, as he'll just get a big head. haha! Despite his bad habit (he knows what it is and no I am not being judgmental Paul, just "caring") this fellow smiled a lot but didn't speak much. BUT, when he did speak, he emanated a level of awareness about LIFE in how he selected to communicate his ideas and thoughts, that was quite memorable to me. So now it's time to make Paul blush, like I did Rajeev.

There are few people that I meet whom I connect with on the philosophical level. I think you know who your friends are, if you can disagree with them, and still come away from those disagreements as friends. No? Actually, many times I come away from these thought provoking discussions/debates with a smile on my face and in admiration of how some friends project their viewpoints.

So, in South Beach a few weeks back, after dinner while everyone was relaxing with their cocktails, Lisa was sipping her lovely ice tea. Paul was very silent so I was challenged to get him more involved in our conversation. I always like to involve everyone in the discussion(s) and Paul seemed to be drifting into his own quiet world. I think he was trying to mentally "escape" but being the bad self that I am sometimes, I didn't let him. HAHA!

Besides, conversations are two or more ways with two or more people, right? Right. You can't have a conversation if only one person is talking. After some prodding by moi, my new friend, all of a sudden started talking about how a certain movie changed his outlook on life. He asked if I saw it. And uhmmmm I had to admit that I hadn't because I don't have much time to indulge in movies nor watch TV these days. He said "YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT!" Okay Okay, I promised to and we went on to discuss other topics.

When I landed at LAX April 14th, arriving home after a one hour delayed flight on American Airlines, Nick and I went straight to get some good old Chinese deli food. This is a staple I NEED after a long week of being away from home. It's a tradition and there's nothing like Chinese roast duck (No in depth food talk this morning, but maybe next time I'll recommend some good restaurants.) During dinner, I was thinking about Paul's recommendation and said to Nick "WE NEED TO GO TO BLOCKBUSTERS!" (No I didn't yell but I thought typing in caps would be a dramatic effect to get your attention.) So I found the movie, THE MOVIE - Crash and as promised, made time to watch it the following night.

Of course I immediately emailed Paul to let him know that I had the movie and was going to critique it. I can't assume everyone is like me and checks emails (a thousand times.. okay I'm exaggerating.. MANY times during the day) but I haven't heard from Paul "yet", so maybe he is reading my blog instead. I hope he is reading, because I want him to know that I DID watch Crash per his recommendations. I now have this movie listed as one of my all time "favorites". (Perhaps I will bump into Paul at Bead Expo Phoenix next week.)


Well there is a reason Crash won the 78th Academy Awards for Best Picture. Why it didn't win for Best Director, I can't tell you because a Best Picture had to have been directed by a heck of a great director, no? How does that work? Anyhow, I digress.

Why am I writing about a movie? THE Movie Crash. This blog is about my interests, my writings and my passions. I select the "topics" I choose to write about in this public forum and I write when the mood strikes (even at this crazy hour!) There could be a million other subjects I could be writing about but I selected Crash, tonight. (Yes I am up in the wee hours again as I seem to be more productive at these crazy times of the day.) I want to encourage all of you who haven't watched the movie yet, to go rent it. Make sure you rent the 2005 version not the 1994. Will it change your life, like it did Paul's? Maybe yes, maybe no. Did it change my life? No. Why? Because I already knew racial stereotypes, prejudices and bigotry existed in this world. Seeing it on the big screen only made it more "real"? No, it IS real as real is. The movie's message is one that we should all be in tuned with, our own inner dark side. We all have a good and a bad side, in each of us. The point is how do you control the bad and emanate the good? Some people have more bad in them than good and others have more good which overcomes the bad.

In 24 hours, you get to see some of the happenings that occur every day of our every lives. Open your eyes and see, then change to become a better person, if you are not already. Love thy neighbor and your neighbor will love you back. Love thy enemy? Well, that is going a bit too far for me. There is a place and a time for all actions as well as reactions. Use your judgment and if you don't have good judgment then ask a friend, a sister, a brother, a mother, a father or anyone else that you feel has good sense.

Remember this "What goes around, comes around" Bad karma yields bad karma. Read on for more info on the movie, Crash! then run, don't walk, to rent this movie. It will open your eyes wider and allow you to see better, if you were blind to begin with on this societal plague.

According to Webster Online, Crash may refer to:

transitive verb
1 a
: to break violently and noisily :
smash b: to damage (an airplane) in landing

2 a: to cause to make a loud noise b: to force (as one's way) through with loud crashing noises

: to enter or attend without invitation or without paying <crash the party>

: to move toward aggressively (as in fighting for a rebound) crashing the boards>

: to cause (a computer system, component, or program) to crash

intransitive verb

1 a
: to break or go to pieces with or as if with violence and noise b: to fall, land, or hit with destructive force c: to decline suddenly and steeply d of a computer system, component, or program : to suffer a sudden major failure usually with attendant loss of data

: to make a smashing noise crashing overhead>

: to move or force one's way with or as if with a crash <crashes into the room>

slang : to experience the aftereffects (as lethargy or depression) of a usually prolonged episode of drug use (as of amphetamines)

slang : to go to bed or fall asleep; also : to reside temporarily :
stay <crashing with friends for a few days>


Crash is an acclaimed Academy Award-winning drama film directed by Paul Haggis. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2004, and was released internationally in 2005. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles. It won three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing of 2005 at the 78th Academy Awards.

Diving headlong into the diverse melting pot of post-9/11 LA, this compelling urban drama tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining fear and bigotry from multiple perspectives as characters careen in and out of one another’s lives. No one is safe in the battle zones of racial strife. And no one is immune to the simmering rage that sparks violence - and changes lives.

"Crash" is a thought-provoking look at racial stereotypes in America. Written and directed by Paul Haggis, "Crash" is set in Los Angeles, a city in which strangers never come into contact unless they crash into one another - literally.

Featuring an ensemble cast which includes Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Phillippe, Don Cheadle, and Ludacris, "Crash" is an intense drama that leaves audiences with plenty to talk about after the credits roll.

Plot summary

The film depicts several characters living in Los Angeles, California and brings them together through car accidents, shootings, and carjackings. Most of the characters depicted in the film are racially prejudiced in some way and become involved in conflicts which force them to examine their own prejudices. Through these characters' interactions, the film attempts to depict and examine racial tension in America.



Thank you, Paul
You are a TRUE friend
No matter how long
It only matters
That we ARE

This movie, Crash
Which you recommended
For me to watch
I did, as I said I would
I kept my promise

Crash confirms,
What I already knew
That there is room,
For us all,
To love and improve

In order to love another
You must first love yourself
Be rid of the anger
And the anger will be rid
From within you

This is the message
I send to everyone
Love will conquer all
Let it into your heart
And watch happiness grow

(written April 27, 2007)


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!

Will Robinson looks towards the direction of THE danger after hearing Robot's warning. (as dramatic music plays)

"Geez, Robot, it's just Lisa with her new Canon Powershot G9. After over a month, that girl finally got her new camera rearing to go for the Bead Expo Phoenix trip. " says Will. "Come to think of it, she can be DANGEROUS! Let's go warn the others."

Lisa runs towards Will and Robot, then points and shoots, flashes and dashes, running with her treasured new Canon Powershot G9 hugged closely to her bosom.


YES! I *AM* one DANGEROUS photographer now. I LOVE THIS NEW TOY of mine. I don't know why I procrastinated this long in getting the camera setup. It only took me an hour or so to get this baby rearing to go after the batteries were charged and tonight was THE night I made it alright. Muhahaha! (evil sinister laughter) I'm loving this camera and the possibilities! Look out world. Here I come to shoot and flash at you! (silly grin) So SMILE back at me, will ya, if you see me coming? Just don't run and hide.

P.S. (Wikipedia) A bit of trivia for you folks, Billy Mumy, who is probably best known as "Will Robinson" from the 1960s television series Lost in Space, was born in San Gabriel, CA. Hey guess what? That is where I grew up as a kid too. HA! So many coincidences in this small world. I actually never watched that show when I was young. I thought I would just be a bit silly for you folks, so you would know that I can "hang loose" at times, as I'm not always THAT serious.

P.S.S. Egads! Just look at those wild costume colors on the set of Lost in Space. What WERE they thinking back those days? Or maybe they weren't thinking at all. Yikes. Double and triple yikes! (I like to do things in sets of three's btw!) The entire cast NEEDS to get themselves the whole series of Rockport Publisher's Color Harmony Books. Dang it! My eyes are hurting. Give me some shades before I go blind. (laughing at silly self.)

If you can laugh at yourself,
You're one step ahead
in the Happiness Curve

Until next time,
Silly Smilin' Lisa

Friday, April 25, 2008

He Said, Said He

He Said, Said He

Quiet whispers,
Spoken softly,
Twinkle in his eyes,
Breathing gently,
Oh so slightly,
Tickling her ear

She nudges closer,
To feel his warmth,
To smell his scent,
To hear him speak,
Sweet nothings,
Nothing sweeter

He said, said he
Blowing a kiss,
Eyes closed,
A secret smile,
In the silence,
They tightly embrace

"I love thee"
The words, those words
Spoken out loud,
Dances in the air,
Floating, drifting,
Glowing in her

The heart sings,
A sweet melody,
She melts back,
Into his arms,
Smiling as he grins,
Cheek to cheek,

She said, said she
To him next,
Eyes sparkling,
Her voice tender,
"I love thee, too
Now let's kiss"

(written April 24, 2008)

Just a bit of romantic poetry for you folks because I am the romantic one, you know. (wink) with a soft heart and an easy step. As my book Bead Romantique states in the introduction, "Welcome to My Romantic Side". Another ad lib poem for you, written by moi just for my and your enjoyment. Perhaps I will create a poem someday about BEADS! Now, that would be interesting. I think my subjects will mostly be about life, love and happiness! Three wonderful subjects.

When the mood strikes, I shall write poetry to share with you all, so excuse these sudden interruptions but I don't always write or talk about beads. There is more to this gal than just beads and beading, you know. I continue to explore my creativity, this time in my writing. Enjoy.

Until the next opportunity to grace your screens.
Write Creatively,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Thursday Tease

You may be wondering why I am posting at this hour. Well now you know that I really DON'T sleep.

Today I returned back to the studio, after nearly a three week absence, due to intense show hopping around. My other secret identity is a superhero, who flies off from one part of the nation (Portland) one week, followed by flying clear across to the other side of the USA (Miami). It's so fun to be a superhero, if only I had useful superpowers! Btw, I also talk/write about weird subjects in the wee hours of the morning. I think it's because I like to tell stories to keep myself entertained in lieu of listening to the creepy noises around the house. HAHA!

Lighting the flame, watching the glass melt and manipulating the shape with my guiding hands (not bare hands, with specialized tools, silly) reminded me today of why I LOVE, absolutely LOVE working in this medium. So I found myself working, working and working until this hour with one of my favorite bands playing in the background. I never get tired of cycling that CD over and over again, driving people nearby me to wonder what is wrong with me that I would want to listen to the same songs over and over again, continuously. Well, because Marty Casey is one cool dude and has a divine voice. He can sound "romantic" but yet "rock 'n roll" too. My favorite song is TREES! (because I love trees). (Click to read more about Marty. See Marty below wearing a wonderful T-shirt with wings that conjure up some design ideas.)

Another favorite is "Casualty", from Marty Casey and Lovehammers CD released in January 2006 (this is the CD I keep on playing over and over): Aren't the lyrics COOL!

Rise and fall,
Climb the Walls.
Won't stop till I have it all.
One man can make a difference.
The battle's inside of me.
The fight's begun, but not yet won.
And I won't become one more casualty.

Now I want to quote Marty, who said this about his fame after the Rock Star competition where he ended as the runner up to being the lead singer of INXS! I heard about Marty from a local radio station one morning thus leading me to his glorious music. (Note to self: Fan club president, Jenny Creson, emailed me this morning to say that there are actually previous CDs that I am missing out on. She was notified that I was writing about Marty on my blog (ain't the Internet grand?) and wanted me to know that they are working on a new album NOW in studio. Woohoo. I'm excited. Now that is one fan club president that is on top of things. No I don't belong to the Fan club "yet")

"I don't feel like I am a different person since Rock Star, he says. "Some people presume I am, and they treat me differently now. The challenge is to remain true to who you are even when that foundation gets shifted. You gotta' bend and not break."

These are the words that I too live by. I remain true to who I am even though Bead Romantique has taken off and has been quite successful. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!! Keep the letters coming! I love reading from all of you.

Of course I could go to bed but I'm still energized and need to wind down before sinking into my dreamworld. Okay... Okay... With no further delays and quirky conversations, in today's Thursday Tease, I tease you with TEXTURE! but in BLACK and WHITE. Even though the image is void of "color", the different tones of black and white along with the added texture lends to our imagination. (Or is it just me?)

What does this image conjure in you to want to create?

I see a glass bead or an intricately woven bracelet in there, don't you? Hmmm... further contemplation and study also makes me think of a lovely texture one could create and achieve in a rolling mill to create perhaps a metal cuff. The diamond shapes on the brick stones makes me think of the diamondback snake. (Hey, the Arizona Diamondbacks! how strange that this Thursday Tease would connect to next week's Bead Expo Phoenix special Friday night baseball outing!) Wowza, so many connections in my LIFE these days, it's amazing.

All silliness aside, with all that being said, it's time for bed people. I will sleep for a "few" hours, maybe. I'll seriously think about it. Haha.

Until next time,
Design Creatively,
(with a smile and some humor, as well as GREAT music!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Between Here and Eternity

Between Here and Eternity

Living life,
life's living
Eyes a looking
On and on
Some see backwards
Into a PAST
Moving through life
In shadows

Sink or Swim!
They say to you
It's all in
Your perceptions
Life is ...
As LOVE is ...
What you make it
Step one,
Step two,
and three steps later
Moving forward,
Slowly but surely

Learn from,
But not live by,
As mistakes are made
For Growth,
Through Sorrow,
And Tears,
In Fears,
Now you stand TALL
Between Here
And Eternity

I say again!
LIVE life
Life is ALIVE
Then Smile,
Next Laugh,
Be Well,
And True
To Thy Self
Life is short
So why CURSE?
Or Cry?
Instead, just LIVE,
And LOVE well!

(written, April 22, 2008)

I credit my new friend Michael Brown for inspiring me to return to my poetry writing after reading his. I generally post on this blog, ad libbing as I post. When in the right mindset, magic can happen, and my writing flows out of me, my mind, my soul - naturally, wonderfully and unabashedly. It is *I*, ME in the words, as you read and feel the words, but who am *I* really? Really? (wink)

I think with his influence, I may even start drawing again, if I can find more time in a day. That's usually the limit, which stops me from doing more that I want - but can't (OH I DISLIKE the word "can't", since I am a doer.) - due to the limits of time. Yes, I DO sleep - just a little - sometimes. (smile) But in between my sleep and dreams, I DO "draw", until the day I can lay these images down with pencil in hand and paper before me.

I was fortunate to be born, practically with a pencil in my hand, so drawing is a natural "gift from the gods" and an extension of my artistic expression. Overtime, I hope when I have some drawings done, I will share them here. Then, only then will you see and sense whence I came to be partly the artist who *I* am today but NOT tomorrow, as I grow and learn in this life. I am still exploring the many facets of my artistic expression and being, living life to the fullest capacity I know "between here and eternity", all the while loving every moment.

Thank you Michael for opening the door to some of my past JOYS. Guardian angel, thank you too, for watching over me and sending me these new friends. Keep 'em coming.

Until next time,
Cherish your friendships,
New or old

Be at Peace

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Celebration Time ... Come on

Let's Celebrate

We celebrated my Dad and sister, Sandy's birthday this Friday. My Dad and sister's birthdays are one day apart and she happens to be born on tax day! So April 15th, I would say the entire nation is celebrating her birthday by either paying the US government their taxes or getting a nice chunky refund.

I want this blog to be more about creativity, color and texture - as well as my travels, writing and/or special projects - but I couldn't help myself recently by talking about FOOD. I think this is a topic I will slip in once in awhile. Forgive me but I love food and so I can't help but talk about it from time to time. I blame the influence of the Thorntons. I'm talking about Andrew Thornton and Cynthia Thornton, of the Green Girl Studios family. I don't have much time to read other's blogs but at times, I jump over to theirs to see what they are up to. Andrew and Cynthia often talk about delicious foods. So I'm in good company in this topic. I just saw Cynthia, Greg and Azalea in Miami too as we were all at Bead Fest Miami. What a beautiful family!

Well, I can't have much dessert as you know, but on special occasions I splurge a bit. I was in charge of the birthday cake and I found a beautiful sculptural cake at Vanille de Patisserrie, the one on Huntington Dr. in San Marino, CA.

The Beautiful Cake Box

(click at any of the photos for an enlarged view)

Just look at the box which was just the beginning in the presentation of the beautiful cake! I had dibs on the box and took it home to be filled with goodies later. I tend to keep these things, beautiful boxes and papers, for inspiration later. And I'm driving Nick crazy with this "hording" behavior. Not only are books piling up and filling the house but I am starting to collect paper too! (as well as other hidden secrets, please don't tell Nick. hahah!)

The cake was a buttercream 1/2 strawberry filling and the other vanilla - 3 layers of scrumptious goodness. I was good and only had a small slice. Everyone loved it. Look at all the chocolate decorations on the top! There was dark, milk and white chocolates with HUGE sugared strawberries. They were able to fit both birthday names on a piece of chocolate. I'm sure you are reaching into your screen trying to grab a morsel of this deliciousness. So, if you are ever in Southern California, there are three branches to tempt your sweet tooth. (Irvine and Hacienda Heights are the other locations)


Okay, so I didn't stop at just the cake, I bought the above cookies to give them a "test drive" and also gave the pecan cookies to Nick. I figured for putting up with me and bad-mouthing his Kodak, he deserved some treats. It turned out the green tea cookies were very tasty but TOO SWEET so I ended up giving those to Nick too. What a lucky guy. I think I will just have to test drive some other cookies, maybe biscottis (without anise, thank you very much!) next time, to find the ones with the least amount of sugar. So many mouth watering sweets at Vanille de Patisserrie.

Here's to yummy cake and cookie dreams!
Eat up and enjoy life
(in moderation)

Be at Peace,

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