365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 242/365: In Which I Tell You About Dolly

You may or may not be familiar with the pop surrealist artists Mark Ryden and Marion Peck and their body of work.  In 2008, they collaborated on a short film called Sweet Wishes.  (Go ahead and click on the link to watch the film.  It’s less than two and a half minutes long.)  The film features Dolly, Baby, and Bear, and it’s a story of what happens when the three of them get what they wish for.

Ryden and Peck also released a hardcover book based on the short film.  Even though both Sean and I are fans of Ryden’s work and have even been to a couple of his art shows in Los Angeles, we were unaware of the film and the book until just a few months ago when we stopped to browse the Kinokuniya Bookstore in L.A. before heading out to a Galaxy game.  I spotted the book on the sale rack and quickly snatched it up.


Sean wanted to make sure that we got to the Galaxy game in plenty of time, so we left the bookstore shortly afterwards and headed out to the Stub Hub Center.  Once there and safely ensconced in a parking spot, we realized we’d made it with plenty of time to spare, so I pulled out the book and we sat in the car and looked through the pages together.  I never laughed so hard at a picture book as I did with this one.  We went through it quickly, and then I had to go through the book a second time, enjoying it all over again.

Fast forward to last week, when Sean and I were walking to the Golden Egg Café in Ventura for Sunday morning brunch.  A few doors before the Golden Egg is a thrift store.  I always stop to check out the display in the window if something catches my eye.  This time, something definitely made me stop.



Unfortunately, it was Sunday, and the thrift store wasn’t open on Sundays.  I wanted to make sure that this doll was the same Dolly from Sweet Wishes, so I stood in front of the window with my phone and snapped a bunch of close-up photos of the doll’s face.  Then Sean and I went on to the Golden Egg.

I forgot all about Dolly until I returned to Morro Bay the following day.  As soon as I remembered, I went downstairs and pulled my hardcover copy of Sweet Wishes off the bookshelf and compared my photos to the ones in the book.  Sure enough, the two dolls were the same make and model.

“Sean,” I said that night when we were talking on the phone.  “That doll was Dolly!  And I didn’t buy her.  Someone else probably will.”

“Aw, I doubt it,” Sean said.  “That doll will still be there.  You can go back and get her when you come home this weekend.”

The week passed, and on Friday Sean caught the train from Ventura to Morro Bay.  We drove back down to Ventura late Saturday afternoon and stopped for dinner and then groceries, so we didn’t get back home until almost 9 PM.  Sean was still unloading the car, so I got to the door first and let myself in.  Guess who was propped on the coffee table?  Sean had gone back to the thrift store on Thursday and purchased her for me as an early birthday surprise.

I did a little bit of online research and found out that she is a vintage doll from the late 1960s.  She’s in pretty good condition, considering her age.  She was made in the USA by the Ideal Toy Company just a few years before I was born, and speaking of birthdays, I told Sean that his purchase of Dolly was all the birthday gift that I needed this weekend.




Day 241/365: The Florida Trip Sock #2 Gets Its Heel

Today I finally sat down with the second sock and carefully followed the fish lips kiss heel instructions that Aunt Georgia emailed me.  Shortly after I finished the heel and had worked my way to knitting in the round again, it was time to pack up so that Sean and I could make the drive back down to Ventura.  This time I drove, so this is how far I’ve gotten on the sock.  Tomorrow morning we are getting up early to run 8 miles for half marathon training, and then I’ll have the rest of the day to continue this sock.


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Day 240/365: TGIF

Between my long days at work and half marathon training when I get home from work, I haven’t had any time to knit, sew, or crochet in these last few days.  I am so glad to have a four-day weekend coming up.

In the meantime, this is dinner.


I’m going to have to do some grocery shopping, too.


Day 239/365: Bagels for Dinner

I got home from work this evening and decided that I felt like eating bread and cheese.  I didn’t feel like driving out to the grocery store, so I pulled out my well-worn copy of Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and got to mixing up some bagel dough.

Three hours later, I’ve got my dinner.  And tomorrow’s breakfast.



Day 238/365: New Coloring Book and No Time to Color

I got home this evening around 6 PM after a long day in the joint and was pleasantly surprised to find that my new coloring book had arrived.


Unfortunately, I was also scheduled to run 60 minutes today for half marathon training.  So I went out and did that, and then I came home and stretched, and then I made dinner, ate it, cleaned up, put together my lunch for tomorrow, and now it’s ten minutes to my bedtime.

I think I’ll go color.

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Day 237/365: Thankful For My Own Front Door

This morning as I approached the entrance to the Gate House (the first security checkpoint of the prison), I noticed that an inmate was in the process of being released. He was dressed in street clothes and was holding a large plastic bin that clearly held all of his belongings. A correctional officer was directing him to step aside and wait as the transportation van was pulling up. I recognized the inmate as a former inmate clerk who had worked in our program office. I knew that he had been a lifer; I guessed that he’d been found suitable for release by the Board of Parole Hearings and that the governor had not opposed the decision. I wasn’t aware of just how long this particular inmate had been in prison, though, until I walked into the Gate House and overhead two other correctional officers talking about him.

“He’s a B number,” one C.O. said.

“So he’s been down a long time,” the other C.O. remarked. “He’s in for a culture shock. A lot has changed in the world since then.”

I was pretty sure that this former inmate was headed for post-release housing that would assist him in making the transition from prison back into the community. It would have been part of the conditions of his parole. Silently, I wished him well and made my way into the prison for the day.

At the end of my 10-hour shift, I was glad to be coming home to this.



Day 236/365: My Cherimoya Seedlings


Back in June, when my mom was visiting from Hawaii, I purchased a locally grown cherimoya fruit for us to eat as a snack.  “Save the seeds,” my mom said.  “You can grow your own tree from them.”

I followed her directions and wrapped the seeds in a few layers of damp paper towels that I then sealed in a plastic sandwich bag and set on the windowsill.  After several weeks, a few of the seeds had sprouted.  This is what they looked like.


Isn’t that neat?  I’m hoping to nurture these little seedlings and coax them into becoming a stronger plant that will eventually be big enough to plant in the yard.  In the meantime, I’m very tickled with these little sprouts that I planted in a blue Fiestaware teacup.



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Day 235/365: The Last Day Before The Start of the Fall Semester

Sean officially starts teaching classes again tomorrow, so today was our last day of the 2015 Summer Party.  We got up early, ate breakfast at The Eating Room in downtown Redlands, checked out of our hotel, and then drove on to Carson to attend a sold-out L.A. Galaxy game against New York City FC.


Look at that crowd.

The Galaxy won 5-1, and afterwards we went to Marukai Market, where we had lunch and did some grocery shopping before getting back on the road to Ventura.  Tomorrow I’ll get back in the car to head north and drive 150 miles more to Morro Bay, and if I’m not too tired, maybe I’ll get started on knitting the heel for that second sock.

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Day 234/365: Second Sock, Pre-Fish Lips Kiss Heel

This morning we woke up in Ventura at 5:30 AM to run 11 miles.  This evening we are going to bed in a hotel room in Redlands, having just spent a few lovely hours visiting with old friends.  Tomorrow we are heading to L.A. to see the Galaxy play New York City FC.

I knit a few more rounds on the sock while Sean drove us to Redlands.  I’m at the point in the sock where I could start the fish lips kiss heel, but I decided to wait until I was in my own living room and not in a moving vehicle to undertake that process.



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Day 233/365: TGIF Again

Today I worked ten hours, went home to the Morro Bay house, packed up my computer and weekend bag, and got back in the car to drive the 150 miles (two and a half hours) back down to the Ventura homestead, where I am now typing this blog entry.  Tomorrow Sean and I have to get up early to run 11 miles for our half marathon training, and then we are going to get in the car and drive another 150 miles to Redlands to visit some old friends.  I didn’t make any further progress on the sock, so tonight I present to you the image of a beautiful sunset view from our newly painted deck and newly painted deck chairs in Morro Bay.