Monday, August 31, 2009

Personal Treasures From My Memory Box

While perusing through boxes in my garage recently, I came upon these items from my "memory box". The box contains items with sentimental value from my childhood. These two books were some of my favorites. The nursery tale book I would read to my little sister. And the poetry book I would devour in my room. It contains the most delightful poems for children.

Here is one of the poems accompanied by a color illustration. I still remember some of them as in "The cow is of the bovine ilk. One end is moo, the other milk", by Ogden Nash. I don't remember the name of that poem, but it stuck with me all of these years.

I also loved fairy tales. I spent a lot of time reading as a child and living vicariously through the stories. Occasionally, my grandmother in Sweden would mail books. The book above is about Peter and his four goats and a mean troll. My mother would read to us in Swedish although we never learned to speak it.

This little gal was one of my dolls. I loved playing with the dolls and stuffed animals. Oh, how I wished they were real!

I rediscovered this silver cup I received upon my birth. It has been in this box for, well, let's just say a lot of years. In the background is my blue baby blanket. I was supposed to be a boy (my name would have been Steven) but I surprised everyone! I don't think my poor dad ever did figure out what to do with girls.

I loved the sweet spoon handle on this cup. After seeing it, I thought why keep it in the box as it has been for decades? So, I have put it in my creative space where I'll use it to hold things.

This is actually a very small dress that my next door neighbor made for me when I must have been five years old or so. She was a wonderful seamstress and it's very well made of corduroy fabric with heart trimming. She made this for me when her daughters and I were taking lessons at the roller skating rink. My older sister took ice skating lessons and I attached her ice skates pin to it way back when.

It was fun to revisit these items and the memories they brought back. I have fond memories of several other items from childhood but unfortunately I no longer have them, like a patent leather penguin purse and an animal face lollipop pin. But I can see them clearly in my mind's eye and they still make me smile.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Garage Sale Success

Today I went late to some garage sales (you know, after 99% of the treasures have been sold). But, I still had some luck! I like this metal storage basket for storing supplies.

This cute Betty Boop clock is for my niece. I'm going to mail it to her as a surprise.

A great find! This large picture (about 3 1/2 feet wide) was only $5. I get so excited when I find great stuff at super low prices.

I found two costumes that belonged to a woman used for dance programs when she was a teenager. Well, she was waaaay past that age now but she had kept them all these years. I love having costumes around for photos or holidays.

This one is kind of funny with all the leaves on it. Can you see the leaves attached to the shoulder? I feel like I should make a matching hat so I can be the girlfriend of the jolly green giant in it!

This small silver bowl is a trick... I didn't buy it at a garage sale; rather, I shopped my own garage where I have some items stored but have not used. I decided it would make a great container for some sparklies. If you know of a quick and easy way to clean silver, I'd love to know. Next week, the monthly flea market!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Silk Roses Don't Need Water!

Today it was 91 degrees and humid! Now, I really didn't even know until I left work late this afternoon as I was in an air conditioned building all day. As I arrived home, I thought "Oh, my poor plants"! Yes, my flowers were dry, thirsty and tired. I gave them a nice long drink right away and am hoping they will perk up overnight. So in the spirit of beautiful flowers, I've posted one of my silk roses. This one adorns a cream ribbon that holds an oval mirror.

I hope to finish posting my pink cupcake photos this weekend - so many cupcakes, so many photos, so many decisions! But first, I must prepare for my dad's 85th birthday lunch on Sunday. Yea Dad! It starts with a trip to the farmer's market for a berry pie for dessert. I'm hoping the gorgeous produce will inspire the main entree as I don't know what that will be yet. So much to do...

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pink Summer

Now that it's getting dark outside much earlier, and darker in the wee morning hours, it's made me think about the onset of autumn. Not that I want summer to end, mind you - summer is my favorite time of year.

I like the freshness and lightness of summer. Of soft quilts, and light airy colors. Especially pink, in every shade.

The sunlight as it arrives in the afternoon on the west side of the house. How Miss Gracie plops herself into the first tiny bit of sun on the floor.

Wearing shorts and tee shirts and going barefoot. Having a big salad for dinner. Eating cold watermelon on a warm day.

Leaving the windows open and letting the fresh air float through the house. I like everything about summer.

So, I am hoping to hold onto summer as long as I can. Yes, September is just days away and that means autumn, sweaters and holidays. Oh, I'll enjoy that as well but summer is my favorite time of year. Miss Gracie's, too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cupcake Time

Last weekend, I got a new cupcake from Whole Foods Market. Oh, was it pretty! I took lots of photos of it, then Miss Gracie jumped into the shot and began to lick the frosting. More photos, then more frosting. After that, I gave it to my sister since I would rather photograph it than eat it. Miss Gracie didn't get too much of it. More photos to come soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tribute to Smokey the Bear

Did you know that Smokey the Bear just turned 65 years old? I loved Smokey the Bear when I was growing up. One of my oldest and fondest memories is of receiving my very own Smokey the Bear.

When I was a small child, my sister was born prematurely on October 3, weighing just two pounds. Shortly before Christmas, she was finally allowed to come home. However, on Christmas Eve she became sick and had to be rushed to the hospital for an operation. My parents took me to our neighbor's house across the street while they were at the hospital. Before they left, they gave me a Christmas present to open. And inside the box was this Smokey the Bear. He's quite old now and his nose is a bit smashed from being inside my "memory box" all these years. But, he's still one of my fondest memories.

To learn more about Smokey the Bear, visit for lots of interesting facts, old radio and tv spots and tons of nostalgia. You can even send an ecard from there to celebrate his birthday!

Happy Birthday, Smokey!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Great Garage Sale Find

Last weekend, I got up early and visited a few local garage sales. Since I don't have kids, I often bypass the houses that whose front yards are loaded with kid's toys, clothes and baby items. However, this time I decided to stop and was I glad I did. I have been lusting for a pair of rain boots for decoration and luckily for me, this house had two kids who had outgrown their boots. The larger pair is near my red front door as I like the juxtaposition of colors.

The smaller pair I placed nearby in my front entrance also, close to the yellow pansies.

I'm so pleased with this purchase. I've seen the rain boots made into planters. I would just need to fill them up with dirt and place a plant atop. However, I like the playfulness of this pair just sitting here, as if maybe it might rain at any time!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Silver Bella Banner Swap Sneak Peek

Almost done....! I had to make six of these banner pennants for the swap. In return, I'll get six back, one each from six different people. The actual name of this swap is the Vintage Winter Sparkle Banner Swap.

I am 95% finished with these. I still have to glitter up the bodies of the butterflies and attach them. For the middle of the pennant, I used the German glass glitter and was I thrilled with the result. I am in love with this glitter and can't wait to get more in other colors. I've heard that some people have an allergy to glitter (ahem... Jodie), which is unfortunate. Life without glitter is like, well, I'm not quite sure but I can't imagine creating without it!

I was really happy with the way these came together with my palette of blue, silver and cream. We were instructed to use vintage shades of pink, blue, aqua, cream, white plus silver and gold in any combination.

Each one is slightly different from the other as I could not resist mixing things up a bit. And would you believe that even though Miss Gracie helped, they appear to be relatively fur-free! I can't wait to see what the other Bella's have created!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scrapbook Expo 2009

A few weekends ago, I went to the annual Scrapbook Expo show. I signed up for three classes and spent the in-between time browsing the vendor's booths. I adore anything velvet, so I was able to find these autumn-toned velvet leaves to add to my velvet leaf collection.

Ohhhh, new pink flowers! I hope to use these beauties soon, as they are begging to be made into something beautiful.

I've always wanted these appliques so I finally broke down and bought a small assortment. Melissa Frances has some wonderful vintage style embellishments. I was fortunate to take one of my classes from her. It was a surprise to see she was teaching but I was happy to meet her and her fiance who managed her booth. He was a hoot - offering me a basket and then telling me he had none! Have to say that the chandeliers hanging in their booth were most delicious.

More bling! Pink rhinestones on sale for $1 a package at the Queen & Co booth. They had several other colors as well and I got some of the clear ones, too.

Each year, there is a booth where almost everything is $1. A herd of women make for that booth the moment the door opens and a long line forms as many bargains are scooped up. I'm not a fan of lines, so I waited until the afternoon when there were fewer people. I just love these fabric covered button brads. A super bargain, I thought! These are a few of my favorite items from this year's trip. I always look forward to this because there are so many booths - a great assortment of items in one place. Now, to use the new embellishments is the next challenge!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Helper Gracie

Here's my Miss Gracie last weekend, "helping" me again.

I have a white tablecloth on my workspace, but rolled it to the side so I could work on the table. What an invitation to get inside the tablecloth! All the better to sneak up on my ribbons and buttons.

But wait! I think I'd rather take a quick cat nap here in the warm sun.

Is this one cute sleeping baby, or what?

And here's what had her attention. All the bits and bobs, bling and buttons. Well, I really can't blame her. After all, I wanted to play with it myself!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silver Bella Swap Book

This is my special notebook that contains all my notes and sketches for my Silver Bella swaps. It is a Cath Kidston book that I found at Paper Source a few months back. Did I need another notebook? Well, no, since I am addicted to buying notebooks and journals. My main two reasons for my addiction are: first, I'm a list maker. I'm always making lists. In fact, at one point, I even made a list of my lists! Second, I can't resist the many beautiful notebooks and journals that I see. So, I do have more than I could possibly use at any one time. And, thank goodness I got over not being able to write in them for fear of ruining their perfect, pure state. Now that I actually write in them I'm much happier. Has that ever happened to you?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Of Birds, Butterflies and Blues

Do you like my new birdie? I could not resist bringing him home.

He is the new addition to my creative space, perched on the shoulder of my mannequin.

A week later, I found this wonderful butterfly, all feathered, glittered and rhinestoned.

She is resting on miss mannequin's tulle skirt.

How could I possibly resist anything so sparkley?

Speaking of sparkles, I am ready to begin my Silver Bella Vintage Winter Sparkle Banner Swap items. With the fabric pages 98% complete, I am moving on to the second of the five swaps in which I'm participating. I only have to make six pieces (all identical) so my goal is to complete it this weekend. I put together all the possible items I might want to use for these last weekend. It turned out I had way more than I could ever use, so I narrowed it down to these yummy pieces. Next step: piecing this together into beautiful banner pennants!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Le Veggies

Besides the flower photos I took at the farmer's market, I could not resist the beautiful vegetables too. Just look at the colors! Mother Nature is pretty great.

Love the red bell peppers. They add a nice zip to salads.

Have you tasted these small pear shaped cherry tomatoes? Oh my gosh, they taste like candy!

Sweet potatoes galore. Autumn is the time to bake these until they carmelize - yum!

Button mushrooms... another favorite of mine. How about sauteing them and topping a nice burger? Or over chicken marsala. Or even just in a salad.

Japanese eggplant are glorious to look at. I'm not a big fan of eggplant but what a unique vegetable they are.

Bell peppers tri-colore. Stuffed bell peppers would make a good dish.

I don't use these other peppers but they were displayed just beautifully.

So many peppers!
Rows and rows of different varieties. This must be heaven for a chef. Which reminds me, have you seen Julie and Julia (the new movie) yet? I've heard it's fabulous.

I couldn't resist the egg display. I had to ask about the purple eggs. It turns out they are duck eggs dyed purple to distinguish them from some other types of duck eggs.

Lots of chicken eggs but many duck eggs were available as well.

Nicely displayed and a friendly vendor happy to discuss the eggs.

I think this vendor was pleased when I complimented her beautiful produce. I'm sure she would have preferred I purchase it, but was very nice just the same.

If you'd like to photograph your farmer's market, go early before the crowds arrive and while it's not too hot. Try to shoot items in the shade, not the sun. Compliment the vendors - they are always happy to talk and enjoy knowing their produce is appreciated. You can't miss with subjects like this! I hope you enjoyed this little trip to my market today. For more farmer's market photos, please view the two previous posts.