Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wounded mermaid

When I was in Key West eight years ago I was just beginning to fall in love with glass. This was before I had even thought about working with glass, or owning a kiln, or anything of the sort, but I was just mesmerized by it. There was a glass gallery there, Glass Reunions, that I haven't been able to get out of my mind in these past eight years. Years ago, the gallery had several adorable small blown glass mermaids that somehow did not manage to come home with me. I've thought about those mermaids too in the time since then.

Fast forward to current day. We purposefully wander down Duval, and the gallery is still there (although apparently it had moved next door). And though it seems that mermaids are no longer in fashion, we spend a good deal of time looking around.
We are literally headed for the exit of Glass Reunions as Larry looks up and points to something that has caught his eye. Half a dozen or so blown glass mermaids (and anatomically correct mermen) dangle from the ceiling. These aren't the small whimsical baubles I had seen years earlier, but large, flowing elegant sculptures. One of these eventually did make it home to me. Unfortunately, however, she was damaged in shipping and her arm was sheared off. I only hope they can track me down another one with similar coloring -- I'm now in love with a mermaid.

You can't see in the photos, but her face is clear, in front of her purple hair. She can hang by either hand, or by loops on either side of her tail.

Update: The beautiful (repaired or remade?) mermaid made her way back to me in mid-April. She was more delightful than I even remembered.

Best. Gift. Ever. (Part Two)

My friend larry got me a rather interesting gift for Valentine's Day. It's a cleaver. It's a rusty cleaver with a human heart painted on it, as a matter o' fact. and i love it.

I can't imagine many folks who would really welcome or appreciate a rusty personalized miniature cleaver, but luckily larry knows his audience well. It did take me a little while to figure out that it's not just a heart painted on it, but a human heart. All the better.

It came in a cute hand-decorated box as well. Elizabeth McGrath is the artist and her work is amazing. It's funny -- I was familiar with her sculpture from my Hi Fructose subscription. It wasn't until I went to her site while writing this post that I realized it was the same artist. Makes me treasure the little cleaver even more.

Best. Gift. Ever. (Part One)

I have been meaning to post for a while about a remarkable gift that a friend got me for Christmas.

Anyone who has read earlier blog posts will be well aware of my fondness for margaritas. My friend Robin went to the time and trouble of researching if a lime tree can grow indoors, and she tracked down this adorable dwarf citrus tree. It is a Bearss Seedless Lime tree, and will yield full size fruit. In theory. My track record with plants is less than stellar, so I am really trying to pamper this guy. I got him (or her?) a moisture meter, and he has some new growth, so we seem to be getting along well so far.

A Jaunt to Key West

We took a short trip to Key West last week, and while it was fresh in my mind I wanted to make sure I noted where we dined so I'd have it for reference. It was a lovely short trip, and I was sad to leave on Sunday.

The food*

The Cafe: A "Mostly Vegetarian Place" with excellent sweet potato fries with a key lime curry sauce.

Mangoes: I had an excellent meal here about 8 years ago, and after seeing very mixed reviews online, I was worried that I might be disappointed this trip. No worries -- our meal was very good and so was the service. Fresh stone crab, tropical drinks, a beautiful patio.

Bagatelle: a mid-afternoon snack of shrimp and tuna 'sliders' with incredibly tasty rum runners. I must learn what is in those.

Blue Heaven: Breakfast with the chickens after we walked in the sand that morning on the tiny southernmost beach. The food was excellent - even better than I remembered. More tropical drinks.

Cafe Solé: Best meal of the trip. More stone crab, Angels on Horseback (dates stuffed with garlic, wrapped in bacon), and a fantastic artichoke dish.

Nine One Five: Might have been able to usurp Cafe Sole for the "best meal" if I had been feeling better. It was an eclectic meal - we actually ordered french fries and pate as one of our courses (and had more Angels on Horseback).

Fogarty's: Better food than I thought it would be -- just a quick spot to grab lunch. Offered a great view of the hubbub on Duval.
* I find it bizarre that only two of these restaurants have web sites . . .

We stayed at the Gardens Hotel -- once the largest private estate in Key West. The place is quite popular, and with only 17 rooms we had booked our stay last May. The gardens offer a few winding paths with some fantastic art and sculpture throughout. The Master Suite was a sight to behold, with a large sitting room, two fulls baths, jacuzzi, sauna, and large private balcony. It's no wonder I wanted to extend our stay!

I can't get the flickr badges to work in blogger to save my life today, so instead here is the link to the rest of the key west photo set.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feeling like Goldilocks, Feb 11, 2009

Feeling like Goldilocks, Feb 11, 2009
Originally uploaded by paigeh

Working from home with an assortment of laptops lined up across the breakfast bar I was feeling a bit like Goldilocks, just missing my porridge . . .