Sunday, May 27, 2007

Jazz Jubilee & Willemina's with the Tip Top Trio!

Yesterday was day two of Sacramento's annual Jazz Jubilee. I normally detest the entire function on the basis of serveral things. One is it completely clogs up all of downtown/oldtown. It makes driving and parking in these areas near to impossible. Next I am not all that fond of the whole traditional jazz thing. And I associate the event with loads and loads of white haired people with fanny packs and overpriced mardi-gras beads. Not the image I would like to associate with my fondness for other types of jazz, you know?

The jazz jubilee gods, whomever they may be have I think tried over the last couple of years to make things better. They have spread the event to other areas of Sacramento which has helped to alieviate some of the congestion. Also they have designated certain areas for different types of jazz so it is easier to find and hear what you like. Last year I went to the jazz jubilee and spent my entire time at the Swing Emporium which they set up in the convention center. I loved it. Away from the heat, dust and noise of Old Town.

Well, I did'nt visit the Swing Emporium this year, because I have to say that I got a better offer! I had the opportunity to vend at Sacramento's best and only hot rod club, Willemina's! Jason and Syndi were kind enough to include me and Yoli (sacred snatch) in their jazz jubilee festivities.

Yoli came and picked me (and my huge rolling suitcase) up at my house at 11 something. The things were supposed to get rolling at we would be leisurely. Considering the traffic, we thought we should try and get their early-ish. So when we got their we decided to forgo the overpriced and crowded parking garages..we thought we would be real slick and park near the river and the railroad tracks where lots of other participants were parking. It was a bit of a walk to get to the club, but we thought worth the savings.

We rolled our way to Willemina's to find we were the first ones there! Old town was filling up with the white hairs, fanny packs and mardi gras beads, but the weather was beautiful and it wasnt horribly crowded, yet.

We went around to the back entrance where the band typically load in and found the gate and back door open.

We went in and got to work setting up our display. As we were finishing, Jason (club owner) came to us and asked "you guys wanna make some money today?"
Well, YES!
Jason suggested we set our stuff out in front of the club outside! Now, I don't know what other vendors had to pay for permits or space, but we felt pretty damn special that jason let us use his little bit of outside real estate to set up our wares!

Big, strong Jason helped up with the tables and chairs and Yoli and I went to work making everything pretty.

We had brought a very small version of what we normally sell, but I think it was a nice display of what we do. I went heavy on the hair flowers, because that is something I know sells almost anywhere, especially in the summer.

Our friend Dara Devil (sacred city roller derby) showed and helped to and then kindly took a photo of us in our Old Town Sacramento glory!

We joked that we don't have many pictures of us together because I always take her picture and she always takes mine. But here it is! :)

Vending outside was very nice and somewhat profitable indeed. It was not too hot and there was a very good mix of people milling by. I think we were really on a roll when jazz disaster struck!

A roving jazz marching band came along and parked themselves right in front of Willemina's. We thought it was amusing at first. They started their set with a fun horn filled version of Madness's "Our House". I got some video-you can check it out in my myspace videos. Then they kept playing. And playing. And playyyyyyyyyyyying. ugh. Jazz zombies from all corners of the jubilee came and with video cameras and glazed eyes and mouth breathing and stopped right in front of our table. The sidewalk jammed. The area clogged. Fanny packs and well fed booties knocked and shook our table. Hair flowers went flying. Sales died.

At some point I went for a potty (and drink!) break inside with Dara. Then we got stuck ourselves because Sacramento's own Tip Top Trio well well in swing! So I watched in the cool, dark space of Willemina's as those boys were tearin' it up.

I went back upstairs and was happy to see the marching band has ceased and moved on. The bad news was, so did every body else. With Dara's prompting, Yoli and I decided to call it a day and we went back down stairs to enjoy the rest of Tip Top Trio's set.

We ordered up some beers, chicken wings and fries and made ourselves real comfortable right in the very front of the club! It was just great.

I freaking LOVE this band. We chatted here and there during their breaks. I learned they played on Thursday night, they played their 5 hour show that day at Willemina's, they had a party they were playing that night and they have another 5 hour gig at Willemina's today (sunday.)

I joked with them they were in the midst of a "Rockabilly Triathalon"! They are some crazy dedicated musicians, and real swell guys, too.

When the show was "over" Dara and I went out to the back patio of Willemina's for some rockabilly improv sing along silliness courtesy of Tip Top Trio and members of the Maniac Cadillacs. I laughed so hard I screwed up my eyeliner and made my face hurt. Good stuff.

Yoli had ducked out to tend to her "day job". And as Willemina's was being set up for a private party, Dara and I made our exit.

Dara was driving me home when I got a phone call from Yoli saying that she was done working and our friend Marcella was "on a mission" and that I should meet them at Benny's. Well, Dara turned the car around but as we pulled up to Benny's we realized that at barely 8pm the place was not even open yet. I called Yoli back and we settled on Sacramento's "Depot" a local gay bar. I had never been there, and was a little wary about hanging out by myself there waiting for my girls. I tried to beg Dara to come with me, but she had hungry doggies waiting for her at home.

So looking like a rockabilly drag queen with what I started refering to as my "satelite dish" on my head,(I made a giant arrangement of my favorite stargazer lillies especially for the jazz jubilee.) I went into the depot for a beer.

Soon enough the girls came and Marcella bought a pitcher. Good conversation and I enjoyed the breeze coming through the open Depot windows and how empty midtown was with everyone down at the jubilee or gone for the weekend.

We then decided on going on to Benny's, now that it was later. Yoli busted out her fun light up hooka with some tasty mango tabacco. We smoked and had beers till it was just too chilly to stay out side. ( I was also getting annoyed with some drunktarded sorority type chicks loudly singing some crappy top forty song.)

Our next plan was to see the White Barons play at the Distellery. En route, I decided to text Amy to make sure I had not missed her play. He answered back via voicemail that their van broke down and the show had been cancelled. Bummer!

We ended our evening at Hot Rod's for a bite to eat and really crappy music videos. (fun to make fun of!)

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Party with The Tip Top Trio!

I wanted to do something for my third wedding anniversary. We can't really go anywhere cuz of our little ones-I have practically NO sitters I can leave them with, so naturally my brain went straight to "party". It is about the only way I have a social life now that I am a mommy. I make people come to me. It works out okay-We make everyone stay out in the backyard, I usually get a band or two, drinks, people, thats all I need. This party was a difficult one because a couple months ago, Rob and I started to attempt making over our shed/garage into a "tiki" hair salon. I need a place to do hair for friends and family that isnt the kitchen! It is something we have wanted to do since we bought the house and I have already purchased the equipment we need to do it. So while Rob was in between projects he started. We took everything out of the shed, and put it in our driveway. The first big thing we had to do was the plumbing. Therefore it was neccessary to dig a HUGE trench through the backyard. So he did. Then he plumbed it so there is water TO the shed. Then we need to plumb it so that waste water goes FROM the shed. We hadnt gotten that far when Rob started to get busy again. Then REALLY busy. Meanwhile the trench through my yard is still there. Making it difficult to mow. Really pretty, huh? weeds and mounds of dirt and a giant gaping trench. Not great ambiance for a party. I had mentioned the idea of a party to enough people, though, I just HAD to do it. We just decided to go g-hetto and keep the people off the grass and go ahead. It was a really fun time after all. Not at all on the scale of my bigger parties, but that was actually just fine. Some very near and dear folks were there, and thats all I really need. So I made pitchers of "my" sangria, made a few snacks. The first to arrive were the boys (and girl!) from the Tip Top Trio. I enjoyed a glass of sangria with their sometimes vocalist, Melissa. It was a real treat chatting with her. A real doll-and what a voice! Once the boys were all set up, a few people trickled in. Given that there were a few events that day and evening, including a big roller derby bout, I expected people to show late, and that is what happened. My dear friends J and Ginger
(ginger, J and ME!)

(ginger and Cap'n Sal-my sister.)

showed, and later my old friend and derby Queen Tara Armov came. My sister showed, and the party was in full swing! My other Derby pal, Dara Devil came too, with some interesting tales of an earlier party she attended. (tee hee!) That kept us girls pretty amused for a while. My newest homie, Yoli came with her man and being with her is always a great time.
(Rob and Mando pow wow, Yoli watches the band.)

I think the highlight of the evening came when Junior of Sacramento's Hell Outs showed up, fiddle in hand. He jumped right on stage (my back porch!) and joined in with the Tip Top boys. Zack and Junior really swung it. It was GREAT! My other favorite moment was The Tip Top Trio's cover of Warren Smith's Ubangi Stomp. It was creepy, cool, kinda Crampsy, but thoroughly their own.

(junior and Zack!)

As things started to wind down Rob started to wind up-on vodka that is. As the boys were trying to leave, Rob began insisting that they start doing shots. I endured for a while, but soon snuck off to my room floating on a cloud of sangria induced bliss. Apparantly things went on for a while-I was definately OUT! It was alot of fun, though-and if you ever need a band who can really swing, make your toes tap and remind you what roots music is about, please seek the Tip Top Trio! They are goin' places, I tell ya!

So thank you, Tip Top Trio (and Junior, and Melissa!) for making my party a real hoe-down good time!
Also, if any of you Sacramento locals (or not!) would like to take in this fabulous band, they are playing July 14th (a second saturday) as the entertainment for the grand opening of a fabulous NEW Sacramento gallery! Tangent in Curtis Park opens that night and to kick it off right, The Sacramento Craft Mafia will have a fab sidewark Art/Craft show out in front, featuring The Tip Top Trio! More details to follow, so please stay tuned!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The year was 1939....

So, as usual I have been asked for my help to throw a party. Anyone who knows me, this is just what I do. Yes, I do love it, but it's more than that. It's a knack. It is a chance achieve a moment of perfection, no matter how small or fleeting. Thats what parties are. The rest of your life can be a big pile of you know what, but when you have a successful event or party, you have thwarted all of the nastiness life can some times offer. It is escape, pure, simple, attainable escape. When you think of the good times you have had at parties you have gone to or had, even the not so successful ones are still pretty fun, right? Candles, and party lights, flowers and festive decorations, good music, happy people. The allure of all of that is just simply irresistable to me.

The party I am helping to plan is for someone so special to me. It is my little nephew who will be turning 8 this June. He was "my" baby before I ever realized I would ever want a baby. He was a sweet and happy and playful baby who never fussed much. When he did cry you could easily stop it by singing "Bingo" over and over again. "B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name, OH!"As he has grown he has developed certain fixations for things he really really loves. When he was really little (like age 2-5) he was completely and utterly obsessed with trains. With his little lisp and his neglect of the letter "r" he could tell you make, model and type of nearly every kind of toy and real train. The rail road museum was his most favorite place to be. Nothing made him happier than train songs, shows or movies with trains and of course playing with his sets. Later he got really into Star Wars. The action figures, the movies, the characters. I think we were all very surprised that he would ever move away from his train obsession, but it happened. We never really thought much about it, it was just him. Well, it turns out that his single mindedness is not just a personality trait but has to do with how he has learned and developed. It is actually a type of condition. It's not really anything serious and he is recieving tutoring in school to help him with the way he learns.
And so, given that bit of history, "Bubba" as I call him has a brand new fixation. It is that of most thing Disney, but especially for the ride inside Disneyland's California Adventure called "The Tower of Terror". There is a movie that goes along with the ride and a story line, too. Bubba has gotten really into the style, the music, swing dancing and everything to do with the era that the movie takes place in. (The year was 1939.) So a brief summary of the movie and the story is that The Tower of Terror is the elevator that is inside the "Hollywood Tower Hotel". Basically the elevator killed a child star and 4 other hotel guests who were on their way to the "Tip Top Club", and now the elevator and hotel are haunted by their ghosts.
Kinda creepy, but kinda cool, toSo Bubba now likes to spend a considerable amount of time at the website taking in and learning every morsel he can. He can tell you about the ride of the same name at all of the different disney resorts. (no, they are not all the same.) He is really just the cutest, smartest and most unique lil dude that an auntie would be lucky to know!

So yes, this party is special. He wants a "tower of terror" birthday party. Yah. How ya gonna pull that off, right?
Well, finding the location was the hard part! We considered homes of friends, a beautiful period hotel on the delta (wayyyyy tooo pricey!) parks (not period!) and other ideas. To no avail. Then I remembered a place where local swing dance fans go weekly to dance. Eureka! So I called, and they wanted $400 for the day. Not a horrible price, but a bit much for an 8 year olds birthday. So a bit bummed, my sister and I were back to the proverbial drawing board. Then I decided to take a chance. I called the place back and offered $200 for a 4hr. time slot. THEY AGREED! So with the place taken care of the ball really got rolling. The first thing I started to work on was some decorations. At my daughters preschool one of the parents brought in some very thin tubes of rolled newspaper. And my first idea came. Those would make some awesome flower stems. Paper flowers would be much cheaper than the real thing, and I figured that calla lillies were period-y and within my skill level.

This is my forty stems I made by rolling newspaper onto a long wooden dowel and then taping. (thank you, Coffee Garden and Sister for helping!) This picture was during the painting process.

This is a picture of the "blooms" I made with thick paper towels, cut and rolled and fixed with a gold pipe cleaner "stamen".

And here is the finished product after the blooms were spray painted and affixed to the stems.

Next on the list My sister really wanted to make a pinata. But not just any pinata, of course. A replica of the tower of terror itself!


So here is the Tower of Terror. We studied it alot. We gathered our supplies. We went to work!

This is my totally cool sister, ready to ROCK some art! (wearing what else, a Disney shirt!)

Here you can see the form we created. Some cereal boxes, some foam, some tape. Some of the archetecture would be lost due to scale, but we continued!
While I was working on my flowers, sister rocked the paper mache'! The girl is a PRO!

When our form was dry, it was time to paint! My honey, Rob brought home some very closely matched spray paint-and we had in our collection some rock-texured paint. We layered the paint on to give it a stucco type texture.

Here is Rob lending a hand. He did'nt mind at all that he had worked all day-he was down to do some art, too!

I got busy making the hotel sign.

Next it was time for some details.

I did the "fire damage" paint and the "copper" domes, rob made the teeny windows and the mouldings. My sister had gone home, and it was fully dark. But then I got so excited with how it was turning out, I called her up, made her get out of bed and come back over. Yup. Tweakin' time now, huh!!? Those spray paint fumes got me! ha ha ha!

Windows, windows, windows. Rob made a cool detail for over the arched doorway-the glue stick helped to hold it in place as the caulking dried. Yes, thats right. I said caulking. Rob went to his truck and pulled out the big guns...the caulking kind that is.

Well, so here she is, the finished product. She sits on top of my cabinet...waiting for the best birthday party ever. However, we have decided that no one in no way can beat this thing with a stick. After like 14 hours of one better do any thing but look! Besides, my sister and I are pretty sure that Bubba would cry!

In the meantime I have also made 20 plus wee boutineres for lil dudes at the party and am starting work on the same number of corsages for the girls. I also want to make some "hotel" coasters using this art:

I have also arranged for some swing dancers to come and do a performance, and we are planning on using a projector to show the movie.
I am so excited to do this party!!!! More pictures will follow!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Get Made!

Stuff for the Get Made/Handmade show is really coming along nicely! We are getting lots of folks interested and TWO great bands confirmed! In our lil mafia group we have 12 confirmed participants, so our show is gonna have really amazing shopping! I am so thrilled that I get to participate in showing us all off to the world! (or at least sacramento!)

And so here is the AWESOME flyer that was designed by Jessica of My Punk House!

Spread the word, K?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I am a chocolate strawberry cupcake.

Tasty, yes, photogenic, not so much, unless you like human sized chocolate strawberry cupcakes. LOL!

So the pictures of the Sacramento Craft Mafia have me thinking I best be RUNNING to the nearest weight watcher's meeting. I am a pink brown and black dumpling! But clever with a glue gun, right? ha ha ha! This time of year just sucks because the weather is so beautiful, and I just run around sneezing, red nosed, red cheeked and practically narcoleptic from the allergy drugs I take. I take zyrtec which does work, but I am seriously so groggy and sleepy if I close my eyes I am out. Every year I do the same complaining and every year is just the same. It is a fricken curse and Nature is my undeserving foe! sucky.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Last night was our third meeting of our newly formed Sacramento Craft Mafia. We seem to just get better and better! Crazy how close to thirty members who were all strangers (for the most part) a couple months ago can now call each other friends. I love our group and am having such a great time getting to know everyone better. Our meetings now have a "show and tell"at the end-and it is so great to see what everyone makes, discuss what works and doesnt, learn new things. It's alot of fun! We also had our group photo taken last night-we all wore our pink and black finest-I am anxious to see how they turned out. Coffee Garden I think is now the official SCM hang out-they are so good to us! And, stay tuned, kids because we have some awesome great collaborations with coffee garden coming up that I think will be amazing!
On another note...I am excited that summer is on it's's a balmy 80 something degrees right now, and aside from the horrendous allergies I have-it is a beautiful day. It is also my third wedding anniversary that I am celebrating with the coolest guy around. Last night as I was coming home from my SCM meeting I got a text message from him that was a picture he sent of our engraved toasting glasses with our name and wedding date on them. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! So adorable. This morning I woke up and Rob was gone-getting me a latte, some beautiful red roses and a card. He said more will come this weekend. What a doll. The only real plans I have for him so far are a wicked taco salad for dinner! whoop de doo, huh!?
I am thinking though we will celebrate proper this weekend.
And in the summer vein...I made this flyer for myspace yesterday.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

the big hit at handmade parade.

I wish dearly that I had more photos of the fun and hijinx (mostly due to the crazy wind!) of the handmade parade...but anyone who was in earshot of me probably heard me complaining that I do not at the moment have a really compentant camera. Oy. It sucks. But my pal Melody from Sacramento's hand made luck, saved the day and came and snapped some pics of some of my recent creations. The night before handmade parade I was busily decopauging a few necklaces (my absolute favorite craft obsession at the moment!) When I came up with these great lil pins. They are made in the same fashion as my necklaces-but I think the effect is quite different. The size and shape of the wood I use to make the pins really makes the images look different. I had someone at HP ask if they were stained glass! A real compliment, I thought! They turned out to be my biggest hit at HP and so I thought I would share pictures of my new "babies".

This one is a vintage reproduction fabric that I just love, being a giant tiki/hawaiiana head. I love the colors and the graphics!

And this lil choo choo came from vintage children's fabric. I have a real thing for trains, as when my oldest nephew was a toddler, he was utterly obsessed. Therefore I cannot see or think of trains without thinking of my sweet lil "bubba"! So I guess this train is no exception! These two are both currently available in my etsy store at

Anyways, it's funny how something sort of as a last minute afterthought turned out to be such a hit.

In the meantime, I have a brand new camera I ordered from ebay on it's way to me, so hopefuly I won't be pictured impaired anymore! So stay tuned!

Ignition Blog-for you and yours!

So, yesterday I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in the very first "Handmade Parade". It was such a great time with many of our Sacramento Craft Mafia members as well as some amazing crafters from outlying areas. The array of talent was truly amazing and inspiring! After talking to several participants, I was encouraged to step up my game so to speak and join the world of blogging. I am not sure what benefit I will reap from doing this, but I think like joining the Sacramento Craft Mafia and some of the events I have done this too will if nothing else serve as great networking. I am, world of internet blogging...another place with my name on it!