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Meet the artisans

Perfect Gift Artisans #1     Eight local designers who create handmade jewelry, handbags, hair bows and more will greet shoppers today and Saturday (May 29-30) at the Perfect Gift, 6000 Goodrich Road, Clarence Center.
    The artisans will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for questions and signings both days.
(Store hours both days are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

 Here's the list:
   * Amy Dipirro, Charmed: handmade jewelry and fashion accessories.
Jean Fasinello, Hip:  handmade belts, watches, headbands and accessories.
*   Kim Fentor, Creations by Faith: handmade semi-precious stone jewelry.
  Kim Gionis: one-of-a-kind chunky, semi-precious stone bead work.
*   Edie Gillis and Laura Lewis, More than Rubies: handmade jewelry.
*   Laureen DiMaria, Cute as a Button: handmade children's hair bows and flip-flops.
*  Ann Scherer, Annie Mags: handmade women's purses and accessories.

   That's not all! Don't forget the Kenan Center's 39th annual 100 American Craftsmen show runs today through Sunday, 433 Locust St., Lockport. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit for details.

Soda jerk jargon

728-inset1[1] Hamilton Beach, which has been designing drink mixers since 1911 (including this modern one), shares with us some "soda jerk jargon" dating back to the days when everyone looked forward to sipping a malt at the local soda fountain or ice cream parlor.

* Requesting the soda jerk (server) to "Shake one van and mash it" meant you ordered a vanilla shake with mashed bananas.

* "Spit in it" meant you wanted raspberries mixed into your drink.

* "Spit on it" meant raspberries on top of a drink.

Other jargon: Gravel (nuts). Fuzzy (peaches). In the hay (strawberry milkshake). Sand (sugar). Draw one (coffee).

 This cracked me up (and made me hungry!)

Best wishes. Bow wow!

Dog 7  I was told in a recent e-mail that it is becoming increasingly popular -- chic, even! -- for couples to include their pets in their weddings.

   If you or anyone you know is planning on having, say, a four-legged flower girl or two (photo, left), here are some tips from, the online database of adoptable pets:

   1. Make sure your ceremony and reception locations allow pets before finalizing your plans.

   2. Take photos with your dog before the wedding or on a different day. Animals can
sometimes be like children in photo sessions; they don't always have the best attention spans.

   3. Do you have an "easily-excitable" pooch? Does your dog love table scraps? Many pets may
not handle large crowds and intense situations well. Know your pet before making the decision to include him or her in your special day. OR, of course, you can consider tailoring your wedding plans to fit your pet's needs!

Dirt. We all have it!

12400781H5208858[1]     I started reading a gem of a book, and I just had to share. It's called "Dirt: the Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House" (Seal Press, $15.95).

   Now don't go thinking this is a how-to book on getting rid of dust bunnies. Rather, this is a collection of essays from 38 writers, including Joyce Maynard, who "come clean on how they deal with dirt in their physical, psychological and relational environments," writes Mindy Lewis, who edited the book.

   "Dirt, and how we deal with it, is a subject that goes far deeper than appearances. Identity and relationship are at the heart of these essays," she writes in her introduction.

   And whether you are a clean freak  -- or not! -- don't be surprised if you see yourself in these pages. As clearly as you can in a freshly shined bathroom mirror.



Ah-ha! Maybe the reason I've been thinking about Lemon Up shampoo (see previous post, please) is because I've been seeing so many side ponytails lately!

We all wore them as preteens (usually with some sort of hideous fuzzy yarn hair accessory!). I've seen the hairstyle resurface from time to time ever since.

Last night, Katy Allen -- wife of "American Idol" winner Kris Allen -- wore the hairstyle. Carrie Underwood's recent glamorous take on the side ponytail made the list of the "Top 10 2009 Celebrity-Inspired Prom Hairstyles."

And for our daughter's recent dance performance, one of the hairstyles she and the other girls were asked to wear was -- you got it! -- the side ponytail.

You know something? They're cute!

That '70s smell

12394081H4127435[1] Anyone remember Lemon Up from the '70s? The shampoo with the big plastic lemon on top? I don't know why this shampoo of my youth popped into my head the other day, but it did.

   So I googled it and found out that the Vermont Country Store sells Lemon Up shampoo -- "still made with the juice of one lemon." Check it out at ( Granted, it sells for $14.95 a bottle ...

     The store also sells Body on Tap and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoos and -- oh my! -- Love's Baby Soft fragrance.

   Sadly, there is no Long & Silky hair conditioner. Loved it.  Any products you miss?

Hanging out

Even if you are not into "solar drying" (hanging your laundry out on a line), you may want to check out the Web site, I came across it while flipping through the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Here you will find a gallery of photographs taken by California resident Laura Shafer, a line-drying advocate who sees the beauty in sheets blowing in the wind.

Also found here are "Tips & Tricks" for line-drying (turn most clothing inside out to prevent fading and dry pockets and seams faster). Shafer also offers custom clotheslines. There even is a laundry-theme song to click on and listen to.

Laundry has never been more fun!

Date of birth?

I was born on my mother's birthday. Her mother's birthday -- my late maternal grandmother's -- was the day after ours. But a woman I talked to this morning has us beat. Her husband shares the exact same birthday as his father and his mother's father.

Now that's something.

Many families I know have clustered birthdays, the topic of my column today. Sometimes siblings' birthdays fall within the same month, cousins are born within days of each other or, as in our case, different generations share the same birthday.

Either way, it makes for fun conversation -- and for more work for party-planners!

Any clustered birthdays in your family?