Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gratitude and Forces Of Nature

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, can you believe it?  Time to take a day off and contemplate all the things you're grateful for, and enjoy a festive meal with your loved ones.  We sincerely wish all of you the best, and thank you for allowing us into your lives for a little while each week!

We'd also like to take a moment and urge you to Shop Small this Saturday, November 24.  It's Small Business Saturday, the day we celebrate our small, locally owned businesses.  Most retailers will have special buys and lots of fun planned, and we're no exception!  The store is dressed for the holidays and we're all feeling especially merry - if you're in our area, we hope to see you on Saturday!

Although the holiday season is like a force of nature, we'd like to let you know about The Los Angeles County Arboretum And Botanic Garden's show Forces Of Nature, starting on November 30.  Our friend, artist Leigh Adams has curated this spectacular show, where wood from the Arboretum's trees damaged in last year's terrible wind storm, is used as an art medium.  There will be all sorts of fascinating art made from these different trees, and many artists contributing to this show are Altadenans!  Leigh was so excited tell me all about it, and we all think that having beautiful art coming from such a devastating storm is cathartic and healing.  Don't miss this chance to see it - it runs through December 2.

Our Holiday Open House is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, and we've got a full roster of fun for you then! From fabulous food to fabulous artists, the day will be chock full of surprises, but you won't want to miss our interactive Eccentric Poets event, featuring our good friend Aldonia Bailey, followed by a book signing and reading by Margaret Finnegan.  Look for our email about the event to come later this week.

Have a wonderful week, a happy Thanksgiving, friends!  We'll be taking a short blogging holiday next week, so we'll talk again in two weeks....

Lori and Scott

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fun For The Season Of Sparkle!

After all the excitement of last week, you'd think that Altadena would slow down and catch its collective breath, but such was not to be!  Everyone in town seems to be planning something - celebrating the end of election season, perhaps?  We think it's more that there's a bite of coolness in the shade now, evening's shadow comes sooner.  Now that Halloween is over, we've realized that the holidays are inescapably upon us - where did that year go?

Speaking of the holiday season, we've been privy to some exciting event information ourselves! The Chamber Of Commerce is planning a celebration in tandem with Altadena's Fancy Food Truck Friday, on December 14, as the food truck event (held in Webster's parking lot) comes to a close for the year. This will be a grand community party, with Santa for the kids, the animals of Danny's Farm, carolers.....and the business owners of North Lake Ave. and Altadena's Chamber Of Commerce might have a funtastic surprise for you in store!  Make sure you check this blog, or our wonderfully local Altadenablog for more news about it in a week or so.

Ghosts Of Christmas Past At Webster's Fine Stationers!

There's more fun in store (get it, that's a pun.....) at WFS in the next few weeks, as well!  You'll meet local author Margaret Finnegan, who wrote the uproarious comedy The Goddess Lounge, at our Holiday Open House on December 1.  We'll be having an Inner Goddess party, with special giveaways for those who come dressed as their favorite female deity, and we'll indulge in some heavenly goodies normally reserved for those who reside in myth and legend!  You'll be entertained and inspired in word and song by Aldonia Bailey and friends and you're welcome to add your voice to theirs.  Many of the artists we represent will be on hand to discuss with you their books; art; jewelry; gourmet foods and body care; and of course, stationery.

We'd also like to remind you that WFS will be collecting canned and packaged foods and unwrapped holiday toys for Union Station Homeless Services again this year.  When we think of the devastation on our nation's East coast, I know that we feel we have to do something to help.  Their need is immediate, and so are the needs of the many homeless families in the northeastern San Gabriel Valley.  Please consider donating a toy or some canned food - our crew members will collect it all and Scott and I will personally take it to Union Station.  We thank you for your kindness!

All in all, it's shaping up to quite a busy Fall and Winter - I think I need a good night's sleep!  Have a great week ahead, friends, and we'll talk again next week,

Lori and Scott

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It was a hot time in the old town this weekend for sure, my friends!  We're recovering from unprecedented merriment, of indulging in the most wonderful meals and soothing our throats that are sore from laughing and talking.  You'd think that the holidays had arrived early in normally quiet Altadena and its surrounding neighborhoods, but you'd be wrong.  This was a weekend to celebrate two wonderful, local benchmarks - the first public dinner at John Muir High's Muir Ranch and Altadena's 125th birthday party.  Scott and I attended both, and we're thankful that we were able to be a part of these celebratory events for many, many reasons!

While John Muir High School is located in NW Pasadena, many of Altadena's youth attend school there.  About a year and a half ago, the garden was developed by volunteer teachers and students out of approximately 2 acres of fallow land adjacent to the school.  In the intervening time, the garden has flourished, under the watchful eyes of Doss Jones, Mud Baron, and Shirley Barrett - they even offer a CSA (community supported agriculture) program!  You can read here what Slow Food L.A. says about them, and watch Channel 9's coverage of Muir Ranch.  We love what they're doing there, and are honored to be able to be involved in a small way.  Collaborating with Tom Coston and The Light Bringer Project, Scott and I will be mentoring the group of kids that will be marketing Muir Ranch! This program is part of the L.A. Futures Academy and we are quite excited to be working with them!  We hope very much that you will click on the links, learn more about these worthy groups and help spread the word.  We are also in the planning stages of an art exhibit with another Light Bringer project at John Muir, called Room 13.  Room 13 is an international network of student-driven creative studios with a model based on upon four pillars of learning: philosophical inquiry, creative expression, reciprocal learning, and business enterprise.  We look forward to unveiling what comes from this artistic collaboration - be sure to click this link to view part of what is inspiring us!

Muir Ranch held a dinner Friday evening that was just out of this world!  Although we arrived late (started at 5:00 pm, and the store doesn't close until 6:30 pm), they still had a portion of Bison Bolognese, prepared by Chef E, and freshly tossed salad finished off with olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  We sampled fresh fruit and veggies from a vendor at Altadena's Farmers Market and received a pleasant mouth-burn from their sauteed peppers served alongside the bolognese.

The garden itself was cordoned off from trampling feet, and a walkway fenced off, alight with sparkling white lights, led to the muslin-topped dining table.  We very much enjoyed the delicious food, the ambiance and camaraderie of Muir Ranch students, parents, and supporters.  I hear they're planning a Thanksgiving celebration - won't that be a blast!

Saturday evening was, of course, Altaden's 125th birthday party, and wow, what a party it was!  You can find all the coverage at Altadenablog, with pictures and all, but we wanted to show you a partial shot, taken by Tim Rutt of Altadenablog, of the photographic display Scott painstakingly constructed of Webster's history in Altadena (and forgot to get a picture of....thanks, Tim!).

All in all, it was a very busy, fun, and fulfilling weekend, and we won't see its peer anytime soon!  Well, maybe not until this Friday, Nov. 9, when we host local author Patricia Bunin, who'll be here signing her new book PASSWORD: SENIORMOMENT!  In conjunction with Altadena's Fancy Food Truck Friday, Patricia will be here from 6:00 pm until 8:00 - do plan on being here for this great event that kicks off the start of our Season of Sparkle!

Have a fabulous week ahead, my friends, and we'll talk again next week!

Lori and Scott