Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Purging inventory, computer images....all sorts of stuff, my own little fall cleaning...

Here is one of the dresses I sold a few months ago that reminds me of fall

As I prepare to sit around a cozy table filled with gastronomic delights and very good friends who love to cook, thank goodness! I cant help but think of some of the loved ones who will not be here with us.

Last night I was going through some vintage I will be adding to the store and found a travel bag tucked away at the back of the closet where it was placed the day we moved into the house. In it many letters from my mom who passed in 2004. My son and I moved from NYC in the early 80s, no matter what we did mom would never leave NYC but we always kept in close contact with her, this was before the days of cell or internet phones and the phone companies knew just how to get you on long distance charges so mom and I wrote each other quite often.

After she passed I read her letters occasionally, specially during the holidays. The letter I read last night was the one she sent us Thanksgiving of 1996 the one where she finally moves in to her own home and is able to have a big dinner for the family, a large dining room with a big table for everyone to sit around, nothing made her happier.

Today we will be moving a big table into the living room of my friend's house so everyone can sit around it.

Mom was very thankful for so many things, she worked very hard for many years as a NYC teacher in order to be able to realize her dream, this after raising four children practically on her own.

When I visited her she always had the guest bedroom ready for me, complete with feather pillows. I never told mom I am allergic to feather pillows.

I am thankful for having found her cards and letters.

I wish a happy Thanksgiving to everyone, ending this post with a few of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes, feel free to add your own.

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. ~Author Unknown

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." ~ Cicero

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men, but be careful that you do not take the day and leave out the gratitude." ~ E.P. Powell

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. ~Seneca

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brighten up a Gray Day with vintage

I love fall, the rain, the overcast skies, the crispness in the air, I dont know what it is but the same way sun energizes some people that is how fall energizes me.

"Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!"

—Humbert Wolfe

I understand not everyone feels as I do, these are a few of our beauties guaranteed to add some warmth the coming season.

At figure8studio

60s Suede Harlequin Patchwork shoulder purse

In our store:

Vintage Adele Simpson Wrap Long Dress from I Magnin is sure to cheer up any cocktail, opera evening, formal affair...

A Shimmery Lurex Mod 60s Dress

Are you planning on a get away this winter? This Hawaiian style 70s dress with bolero jacket is a must for warm sunny skies. - SOLD!

I LOVE this Anne Klein Lion Label Wool Dress so soft, cozy and cheery!

Many more beauties coming to figure8studio including a fantastic 60s 2 piece Malcolm Starr dress!

Do not miss out! Be sure to visit us if you are in search for extra special holiday glam!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Wire Hangers!!

One of my passions is mid century furniture so when I first spotted the image of this table in my issue of Ready Made magazine I had to see how it was created.

If you decide to make this table you may have to tell your visitors that the legs are actually hangers, at first glance they are cleverly disguised, dont you think?

It cost a grand total of $15.00 to build out of 4 matching wooden hangers, the trick is to be sure they match as even a slight differences make for uneven legs.

You can find the plans here the digital version of Ready Made magazine

and what's doubly cool is that I have the same style rug, except mine is a cheetah :)

To be fair to wire hangers and in the spirit of recycling and re using here is another entry, a wall sconce made of wire hangers:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brita® and Preserve® Announce Filter Recycling Program

11/18/2008: TheTake Back The Filtercampaign is thrilled to announce that Brita and Preserve have teamed up to create a take-back recycling program for Brita pitcher filter cartridges! Read the full press release here:

PDF document

In a nutshell, beginning in January, folks will be able to drop off filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them in. PRESERVE, a U.S. company manufacturing household products from recycled plastic, will recycle 100% of the plastic casing. And the filter material will be regenerated or converted to energy.

At this point, there is no information available about Brita faucet or other types of filters.

Please write a letter to Clorox executives and thank them for helping us keep our pitcher filters out of landfills and ask if they have plans to recycle faucet filters.

Here are the names of key individuals at Clorox to write to:

- Mr. Don Knauss, Chairman & CEO

- Tom Britanik, Vice President – General Manager, U.S. Auto Care & Brita

- George Roeth, Vice President – General Manager, Food, Charcoal, U.S. Auto & Brita

- Tarang Amin, Vice President – Global Health & Wellness

Mailing Addresses:

The Clorox Company
1221 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

The Brita Products Company
PO Box 24305
Oakland, CA 94623-9981
Telephone: 1-800-24-BRITA

Brita Canada Corporation
150 Biscayne Crescent
Brampton, ON L6W 4V3
Telephone: 1-800-387-6940

Web links for communicating via Brita's customer feedback form:



An additonal note about Preserve, they not only recycle their own products but if your area does not provide recycling for #5 plastics, like yogurt containers, they will recycle them for you.

Recycle Preserve Products

Recycle #5 plastic containers

Please add Takebackthefilter to your myspace page and help pass the word to your friends!

You can tell them sent you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Save the Earth

it's the only planet with Chocolate

Theo Chocolate prides itself in being the only Organic, Fair Trade Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Factory in the United States. They are also partners with Dr. Jane Goodall.

Theo Chocolate resides right here in Seattle in the neighborhood of Phinney Ridge.

Theo Chocolate has made it to several media publications including radio, the Seattle Times, all over the world including Japan, it was even among the offerings at Arrianna Huffington's Huffington Post Oasis at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

CLICK HERE & Treat yourself and your friends to something sweet this coming Holiday Season!

You can tell them that I sent you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Iconic Seattle Mucisian Dies

I came to my blog to post about Obama's great victory and clicked on my favorite daily blog Seattle Daily Photo link at the right of this page>>>>>>

I noticed today's article "Seattle's Beloved Tuba Man Silenced" and was shocked to see when I continued reading that I knew this person.

Goodbye Sweet Ed

As The United States of America celebrates the victory of president elect Barack Obama, the city of Seattle mourns the loss of a special person. This is the second memorial posted to my blog in a week, the first about Obama's grandmother, this one hits closer to home.

This week we lost a sweet soul due to a horrible senseless assault by young thugs roaming the streets unsupervised.

When my son and I arrived at the Emerald City, from the east coast fall of 2005, Ed happened to be in the lobby of our apartment building, he had been a resident there for some time. Ed welcomed us with a big smile and asked if he could give us a hug, that was my first impression of him. He struck me as a free soul, a kindred spirit, an 'independent dealer of mirth' as Art Thiel, columnist of the Seattle PI described him.

We settled with our busy lives a mere block away from the Space Needle in a studio apt that I loved directly above Ed's studio.

My son returned to his job at sea on a ship confident that I was in a decent place in good hands with friends and a helpful building staff.

Every time I ran into Ed anywhere in the building, doing laundry, in the lobby, outdoors...he always wore a smile and if he noticed that you were having a particular difficult time his mission was to make you smile and make you forget your troubles, always offering help, holding a door, offering to carry packages...

Ed had a bit of a reputation as mischievous prankster.

One particular thing I noticed, he owned a large collection of hats and they were usually themed, if he attended a game he wore one corresponding to it, one particular chicken hat cracked me up every time I saw it on his head.

I ran into Ed once and when I asked him about his day he told me he had been outside Key Arena, most probably during a Sonics game, when a Seattle radio station, the wolf 100.7 FM, asked him to howl for a television commercial they were filming.

One evening while my son was visiting, sitting in front of the tv, I heard him say 'Isnt that your neighbor?' sure enough, Ed's howling smiling face covered the screen with the Space Needle poised behind him.

Months after I moved from the studio into an apt in Greenwood, a very cool Seattle neighborhood, the commercial was still running, it always made me smile to see Ed howling for the camera, he was such a ham.

During one of my shopping trips I found a cool hat and immediately thought of Ed, when I presented it to him as a show of appreciation for his warm Seattle welcome on that stressful fall evening he was so thankful and grateful I had thought of him it touched me deeply.

His loss to this city is great, so great that Art Thiel called the Seahawks to help arrange a memorial at Qwest Field, one of Ed's favorite hang outs, Wednesday November 12 at 6:30 PM.


I am a firm believer that one simple word, one act can touch someone's life forever, Ed's kindness touched many and he did not deserve this.

Tuba Man was a grin set to music

Images and videos of Ed

All musicians are invited to play at a special, musical memorial

Saturday, November 8th


In front of McCaw Hall


Added Nov. 18, 2008

It has been almost a week since we buried Ed. Thanks to the generosity of so many people, hundreds, probably thousands...Ed's family was able to pay for his funeral.
So many other folks donated their services, the Pastor, a funeral home donated the casket, so many many kind beautiful people.

I was one of the folks at the private funeral service. I will scan the program so that folks can see it, a tuba pin was also given along with the program as a memento.

Images of Ed as a child and many others shared by folks who had their photo taken with Ed flashed on a screen. We told of our personal Ed experiences, his childhood music teacher who first taught Ed to play on the piano, friends from childhood and beyond, people he met in so many different places not just in the streets of Seattle, many touching funny stories.

I told how on a fall night after driving the biggest moving truck in the fleet over so many mountain passes from the east coast, we arrived at our destination in Belltown exhausted and sleep deprived, the task of finding a parking spot for the massive truck began...'Good luck!' many told us, all we wanted to do was crash for a couple of hours, as we had a long day ahead of us meeting a crew that would help us move it all into a storage unit downtown.

My son finally found two parking spots in a private lot across the street right under the watchful eye of the Space Needle. As we finally made our way back into the building Ed happened to be standing in the lobby, to the side, a smile on his face, not pushy, I thought probably eccentric friendly fella in a funny hat, watchful, waiting for the right moment where he seemed to want to find a way to make us feel just a little better, to take our minds away from our pressing needs and make us realize that we should be thankful, that we had finally arrived and that our journey was only just beginning.

Ed asked very simply if he could give us a hug, he also planted a quick peck on my cheek. That was my first Seattle impression.

A beautiful oil image of Ed playing his tuba sat on an easel next to a gleaming copper casket, on top sat a fall arrangement of flowers with his furry orange and green Dr Zeus hat. Later under a canopy, as we said goodbye to Ed on a rainy November Seattle day his brother barely able to contain his sadness stood in front of the casket and reverently, respectfully with all the honor Ed deserved saluted him one last time.

Ed's story makes it to the NY Times

Video of Tribute to Ed.

Added 11.22.08 {click on the image to enlarge}

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama's grandmother dies a day before election


HONOLULU (AP) — Barack Obama's grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died late Sunday night after a battle with cancer.

"She's gone home," Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.

"And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I'm not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about."

But he said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and World War II, working the latter on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country. He said she was humble and plain spoken, one of the "quiet heroes that we have all across America" working hard and hoping to see their children and grandchildren thrive.

"That's what we're fighting for," Obama said.

Obama learned of Dunham's death Monday morning while he was campaigning in Jacksonville, Fla. He went ahead with campaign appearances. The family said a private ceremony would be held later.

"So many of us were hoping and praying that his grandmother would have the opportunity to witness her grandson become our next president," said Hawaii state Rep. Marcus Oshiro, an Obama supporter. "What a bittersweet victory it will be for him. Wow."

Republican John McCain issued condolences to his opponent. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives," the statement by John and Cindy McCain said.

Last month, Obama took a break from campaigning and flew to Hawaii to be with Dunham as her health declined.

Obama said the decision to go to Hawaii was easy to make, telling CBS that he "got there too late" when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at 53, and wanted to make sure "that I don't make the same mistake twice."

Outside the apartment building where Dunham died, reporters and TV cameras lined the sidewalk as two police officers were posted near the elevator. Signs hanging in the apartment lobby warned the public to keep out.

The Kansas-born Dunham and her husband, Stanley, raised their grandson for several years so he could attend school in Honolulu while their daughter and her second husband lived overseas. Her influence on Obama's manner and the way he viewed the world was substantial, the candidate himself told millions watching him accept his party's nomination in Denver in August.

"She's the one who taught me about hard work," he said. "She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me."

Michelle Obama's voice choked with emotion during a campaign appearance in Colorado as she asked people to remember the woman her husband called "Toot," a version of the Hawaiian word for grandmother, tutu.

"Say a prayer for Toot and thank her for raising Barack Obama. I think she did an amazing job," Obama told about 2,500 people at a suburban Denver high school gym.

Madelyn and Stanley Dunham married in 1940, a few weeks before she graduated from high school. Their daughter, Stanley Ann, was born in 1942. After several moves to and from California, Texas, Washington and Kansas, Stanley Dunham's job landed the family in Hawaii.

It was there that Stanley Ann later met and fell in love with Obama's father, a Kenyan named Barack Hussein Obama. They had met in Russian class at the University of Hawaii. Their son was born in August 1961, but the marriage didn't last long. She later married an Indonesian, Lolo Soetoro, another university student she met in Hawaii.

Obama moved to Indonesia with his mother and stepfather at age 6. But in 1971, her mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with her parents. He stayed with the Dunhams until he graduated from high school in 1979.

In his autobiography, Obama wrote fondly of playing basketball on a court below his grandparents' 10th-floor Honolulu apartment, and looking up to see his grandmother watching.

It was the same apartment Obama visited on annual holiday trips to Hawaii, a weeklong vacation from his campaign in August, and his pre-election visit in October. Family members said his grandmother could not travel because of her health.

Madelyn Dunham, who took university classes but to her chagrin never earned a degree, nonetheless rose from a secretarial job at the Bank of Hawaii to become one of the state's first female bank vice presidents.

"Every morning, she woke up at 5 a.m. and changed from the frowsy muumuus she wore around the apartment into a tailored suit and high-heeled pumps," Obama wrote.

After her health took a turn for the worse, her brother said on Oct. 21 that she had already lived long enough to see her "Barry" achieve what she'd wanted for him.

"I think she thinks she was important in raising a fine young man," Charles Payne, 83, said in a brief telephone interview from his Chicago home. "I doubt if it would occur to her that he would go this far this fast. But she's enjoyed watching it."

Stanley Dunham died in 1992, while Obama's mother died in 1995. His father is also deceased.

When Obama was young, he and his grandmother toured the United States by Greyhound bus, stopping at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Disneyland and Chicago, where Obama would years later settle.

It was an incident during his teenage years that became one of Obama's most vivid memories of Toot. She had been aggressively panhandled by a man and she wanted her husband to take her to work. When Obama asked why, his grandfather said Madelyn Dunham was bothered because the panhandler was black.

The words hit the biracial Obama "like a fist in my stomach," he wrote later. He was sure his grandparents loved him deeply. "And yet," he added, "I knew that men who might easily have been my brothers could still inspire their rawest fears."

Obama referred to the incident again when he addressed race in a speech in March during a controversy over his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother," he said.

Dunham was "a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world but who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her on the street."

Still, much of who Obama is comes from his grandmother, said his half sister.

"From our grandmother, he gets his pragmatism, his levelheadedness, his ability to stay centered in the eye of the story," she told The Associated Press. "His sensible, no-nonsense (side) is inherited from her."

Madelyn Lee Payne was born to Rolla and Leona Payne in October 1922 in Peru, Kan., but lived much of her childhood in nearby Augusta.

She was the oldest of four children, and she loved to read everything from James Hilton's "Lost Horizon" to Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd."

Dunham and her husband were "vicious" bridge players, according to her brother Jack. After retirement, the two of them would take island cruises and do little but play bridge and a more difficult version called duplicate bridge.

Associated Press Writers Nedra Pickler in Charlotte, N.C., and Kristen Wyatt in Littleton, Colo., contributed to this report.

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