Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

How's the weather where u are? The sun has FINALLY Started to shine here in Southern California Thank God!
As gardeners we do have a lot riding on the weather!

Tuesday is Saint Patrick's Day & let's face it HE must have been a GARDENER! How else did he stoop & find that damn Shamrock with the three leaves in order to explain the Holy Trinity! And Yes! people, I KNOW St. Patrick was Italian! But he didn't achieve CELEBRITY until he moved to IRELAND!!

I have mentioned this before but to my Irish Catholic Family... St Patrick's Day was this blessed event after Christmas & before Easter that was truly a cause for celebration!!

We always had corned beef & cabbage (disgusting!) My Mom always made Irish Potatoes (which are really buttercream Easter Eggs but rolled in cinnamon instead of chocolate!) And my Dad & his brother; Uncle Andrew; always went to Mass & then took my beloved NANA out to lunch afterwards! My Father was Charles & his brother is Andrew...just like the ROYAL FAMILY!!! So there!

I can still see my Father dressing for Mass on St Paddy's Day in a grey suit & a green tie secured by this lovely golden shamrock with real "fake" emeralds tie clasp that I still covet!

St Paddy's (please do NOTE the Ds not the Ts!) is a great excuse for decorating, taking off work AND DRINKING!!! As my beloved Grandmother; HANNAH FRIEL TRAINER used to say: "If it wasn't for WHISKEY the IRSIH would rule the world!" Absolutely ignoring the fact of JFK of course!

As you know I like to REPURPOSE things and so I love little creamers & pitchers & butter dishes & any old ceramic piece!!
Here I found a lovely cream colored sugar bowl with handles & a great green ribbon & put ENGLISH (DAMN!) Ivy in it for display!
Also my BUSTY ITALIAN friend; BRUNO sports a SHAMROCK TIARA from the 99 Cents Store! And one of my faves....a Garden Gnome Leprechaun Candle holder just DEMANDS attention on this great CELTIC Feast!

Hope you all have a great day! And DRINK RESPONSIBLY! I myself. am off to THE OLD COUNTRY....MEXICO!! For some very much needed R & R!

And By The Way...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dearest MOTHER....MRS. TRAINER...who turns 68 on TUESDAY!!!! ANd yes you are correct...she'll SHOOT me if she discovers I told her real age on this FLOGGING thing I do all day!!
Love you Joanne!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oscar 2010 Decorating

Several of you have written to me asking in advance for next year I suppose; how 2 decorate for an Oscar Party.

There are so many options!

One good resource are your Christmas Decorations!! Believe it or not!! Look for big round clear strings of lights, anything STAR shaped or any RED fabric! I made an actual RED CARPET leading into our party out of a piece of FAUX red VELVET that I once used as a Christmas tree skirt!!

Also, you know my tip about using your old Photo NEGATIVES wrapped around votive candle holders PERFECT! Also old film canisters or containers work great because HEY! We're CELEBRATING FILM!!!

Grab some cheap 35 ML film from The 99 Cents Store and use for streamers or table runners or just hang from the ceiling! Pull the film out of the cartridge...its already "curled" for you & go to town!

Also check your personal LIBRARY!! I'm willing to bet that you have at least a few ENTERTAINMENT themed books; be they novels or non-fiction works, about famous Movie Stars or famous Films!! Stack them prominently on the mantel or a table & decorate around them!! For our party I collected these titles from my personal library:


Also any sort of TROPHIES After all what is OSCAR but the ULTIMATE Trophy??? I have a collection of loving cups trophies that I love to fill with flowers. You can take you little boy's PEE WEE LEAGUE All STAR Trophy & work THAT into your Oscar decorating!!

I've had yet another REALITY SHOW AUDITION that has resulted in nothing & am thinking it may be time to pack all this gay-guy-who-loves-a-party-and-a-THEME- & loves- to-decorate- with- what- is- on- hand- thingie and go sell insurance or some regular kind of job!! I am ALMOST MIDDLE AGED for Christ sake!!

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Oscar 2010

ugh! What a non event Oscar 2010 was! The show gets worse every year which I suppose is part of the fun!
But seriously can we all agree that CORAL LIPSTICK is just plain WRONG!!?!?!? Sandra Bullock looked terrific in that Marchessa dress but I was so distracted by her tragic lips I couldn't concentrate on anything else. Except for perhaps the sight of Sandy accepting an OSCAR for Best Actress for a role that can be summed up by:

"MAAAAKEL! Dooon't Yooooo DAIR LAAAAAAH toooo Maaaaayyyy!"

That crazy-white-lady-KANYE, that stupid matching of nominees & escorts like it was a PROM, BARBRA STREISAND giving it away that a WOMAN had won (though BIGELOW was brilliant & FLAWLESS!) ugh! Playing HELEN REDDY's "I Am Woman" after Bigelow won, J-Lo's dress appearing as if it was in the act of giving birth to another dress and so on!

It's o.k. even justified to be cheesey & campy but BORING should be a Capital Offense

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catching Up Part Deux

oops here's Valentine's Day

Catching Up

OMG!!! Miss me??? I cannot believe it's been so long since I've updated.

When we last spoke I was knee-deep in Thanksgiving! Great success this year...30 for dinner (3 round tables of 10) A lot of fun new decor too. I reused the bails of hay from the "Haunted House" from Halloween & made & really cool bar & benches for outdoor seating. All the flowers & the mantel turned out really lovely too. Still love those mini pumpkins carved out with long tapers inserted on every surface...really makes the room GLOW! Another cool centerpiece for outdoors was a re-used seltzer bottle case with a tall Fountain Grass inside surrounded by moss! Oh, and bunches of marigolds everywhere...they do not make for good cutting flowers but big punches in different pots will keep for the day & look SPLENDID!

And OH! Christmas!! I did an artificial white snowy tree with red lights & red balls & ornaments that cast such a PINK glow it was the GAYEST tree ever or at least one that would be fitting for MALIBU BARBIE's DREAM HOUSE!!!

And before I knew it...VALENTINE's Day!! A small dinner al fresco @ Chez GayGardener.TIP #1 Save all your red fabric & bows & ornaments & angel/cherub decorations & reuse them again for VD TIP#2 or just head to the 99 Cents Store & buy all new ones! As I told my guests: " 99% of my Valentine's decorations came from the 99 Cents Store." Foil red hearts, hanging "mod" L-O-V-E mobiles, red velvet roses....really cute things! But they sell out fast! I'll have to start earlier next year!

So much more to tell but will have to do it in spurts...I'm working on ST. Paddy's Day and of course...OSCAR!!!!

And what's new with YOU????

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I just love Thanksgiving don’t you? It’s all just about a great meal with those you love. You don’t have to buy presents, you don’t have to go to church, hell,you don’t even have to get dressed up at all. I hear straight men sit around watching football all day.

I’m getting ready for our annual Thanksgiving “orphans dinner” We have many friends like us who don’t have family in Los Angeles or who (I would say very smartly) choose to not be with their families. I’m buying flowers at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, ironing linens, washing little used serving platters & reminiscing while my house looks like a soundstage.

I was remembering today a Thanksgiving in 1978 with my family in Pennsylvania. I was 15 years old. I think I can pin-point this date as the exact day I realized I was “different”

It was the first year my Mother was cooking and playing hostess. Her Mother; who had always taken care of the Holidays, had died of breast cancer at the age of 60 earlier in the year. My Grandmother was a fantastic cook. She earned her living AND her place in heaven by cooking for the priests in a local seminary. Her only child, my mother …not so much. But by God, she was determined we would have the day exactly as if Gram Mom were still here.

So there we were: the seven Trainer children, my parents & my newly widowed Pop Pop. There was the usual heavy tension that comes from having 10 people crammed into a 3 bedroom suburban house. Maybe a small fistfight or two between the boys & some yelling from the small kitchen as my Mother attempted to recreate her mother’s decades of successful holidays. Soon dinner was about ready & My Mom was calling us to the table.

I had of course arranged the flowers with the mums that were growing in our yard. I had also folded the napkins into this “Prince of Wales Feathers” style I saw in a magazine & had placed all the forks one & a half inches from the rim of the table! As my mother was still yelling: “DINNER’S READY!!” I looked at the table to realize to my horror, something VITAL was missing. “Where are the candles? I asked. “CANDLES??” My incredulous mother queried. “”We have plenty of light…we don’t need candles!” Candles are not about light…we’re NOT READING at the table….they’re about CHARM & AMBIENCE!” (Both new words for me!) I replied. “I’ll be right back!” I shouted. I had just gotten my learner’s permit to drive. And illegally unaccompanied; my first mission would be to find an open store on Thanksgiving Day; in small town PA, where I could get some candles.

After several false starts I found an open 7/11! Sure enough they had what I thought (then) were some terrific orange tapers with faux wax horns-of -plenty attached…Just the thing. I raced back & when I returned home I could see (and hear) my Mother was still calling everyone to the table (something called OVERTIME!) I placed my new purchase in some old candle sticks & was justifiably proud of my accomplishment.

The dinner was a complete disaster! My Mom, in her Freshman effort, had so overcooked the turkey it fell soupily from the bone and had overcooked the stuffing so that it was mainly burnt.. We ended up having to eat the turkey with a spoon & having to CARVE the stuffing!

As we all sat grumbling & complaining aloud; my Pop Pop looked up at my Mom & said in his most serious voice: “I think it’s DELCIOUS!” at which point he began to cry. And then my Mother started crying, and then we all; my Dad & my six siblings; all started to cry. It was just no good. It wasn’t the ingredients, or the food, or the chef…it was that my Gram Mom wasn’t there & nothing would ever be the same again!

And that was the year I asked myself: ”What’s It All about, Alfie?” When your peers are watching football or trying to smoke some weed while their parents prepare a dinner with their cousins whom they hate…why are you thinking about place settings & CANDLES???

I think we all now KNOW the answer. That’s what I was thinking about today with 2 days left til Thanksgiving.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Third Floor: Ladies' Lingerie

You know why TheGayGardener Wants to just MOVE into the 99 Cents Store ; he loves it so much...because today I was there looking for Christmas Decorations. And the selection just keeps getting better (eg. lots of sequined items... trees, terrific over-sized balls, long glittery ice sycles etc.) I look across the aisle & see a lovely selection of BRAS

Oh not just any bras...but the "New York Elegance Line" In a fabulous HARVEST GOLD Color with a brown braided applique (Hello??? HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Couldn't be more timely!) Seriously you could find multiple sizes & they seemed; with my very limited knowledge, very well constructed

So I bought some Christmas balls, candles, a Thanksgiving flag, some really nice gift tags AND I coulda bought a BRA... all for 99 Cents!! Is this a great country or what?? What WOULD the Pilgrims think????

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