Monday, May 31, 2010

Last Monday in May

We pause to remember those who died
With so much courage, so much pride
They’ll never come back, yet memories endure
To remind us of freedom: fragile, pure
We’re worthy of their sacrifice if we pause each day
...Not just on the last Monday in May
 
by John T. Bird

Sunday, May 30, 2010

46 Squares, Continued

A few more squares completed:

I took the kite all the way down the squares, and put my little family of three at the bottom, holding it.  This is a memory of being at the park in CA with Ben, when he was about 3 years old.

Our Snoopy

Rose vines

Sun shining, and a wheelbarrow full of weeds!

Progress so far -- I'm about half-finished!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer Has Arrived and Time For Some Thrifty Finds

I've been so very busy lately -- those last few weeks of school are always crazy.  Thursday was Ben's last day, and so it's officially Summer at my house!  And a big summer it is, with Ben's upcoming trip to Virginia to the 100th Anniversary of Scouting's Jamboree fast approaching.

I took the above photo of Ben and a fellow Scout (the only other one from our Troop who is also going to Jamboree) Tuesday when we went to pick up their Jamboree hats and patches.  As you can see, Ben got picked up, too!

I did manage to hit one estate sale last week:

Along with the usual stuff, there were lots of items from Germany, like this tiny cigarette case that is decorated leather.

Even though it was written on the inside in permanent ink, I thought it was delightful.  It says: 1) Like, 2) Common, 3) Communication.  I wondered if the previous owner had been to a business course on "how to make friends and influence people" and taken notes; or, perhaps it was sage advice on how to talk to girls?

These creepy little hedgehog dolls were popular in Germany (still are, I think); and that old gingerbread tin is just delightfully decorated -- the photo doesn't do it justice!

Here we have a book written in German, a little handpainted schnapps glass from our famous, beautiful Broadmoor Hotel, and the liquor bottles -- I'm a sucker for anything vintage that's made to look like a book, but isn't...

and these porcelain "bottles" had such a great,shiny wash, and these wonderful graphics!

I also got this cool old rolling pin with the red handles, for 50 cents...

and this cute little plastic sewing box, with wonderful detail!

But, my favorite find at the estate sale was in the garage: a stack of old sheet music:

It turns out that all of it is songs from World War I; I just love the poignant titles and the artwork on the front!

Some of it is very familiar...

Even my husband had to love them when I brought it home.

How cute is this?

And now I have a question for you all:  I found this powder jar at the thrift store.  It has a large, repaired crack in it, but I still thought she was so charming!

Does she look familiar to anyone?

She's unmarked, and has been painted on the inside -- I don't know if she came that way, or if someone added the paint.

If you've seen her before, or know who made her, I'd appreciate hearing!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dear father would be 83 years old today.

He, like me, was born in San Francisco.  Times were tough when he was a kid; he used to sell newspapers in the neighborhood, and shine shoes.  Summers, he would go to the Central Valley and pick fruit for pennies.  He joined the Navy as a teenager and served on a Liberty ship during World War II.

They were the greatest generation.

Dad wasn't one to show his affection.  I realized when I was an adult that the most ardent expression of his love for his kids was the way he provided for us.  No peddling papers or cutting fruit -- we had everything we needed.

Here he is on one of his happiest days ever -- the day he caught this bass.  He loved to fish.


He's been gone 11 years now, and I miss him so much.  It's so hard for me that my son never got to know him.

They loved each other.  I only saw my father cry three times in my life: once, when his son (my half brother) was shot by a stray bullet at a drinking party (he was fine); at my wedding; and the first time he held Benjamin.

Dad (bottom right) with some of his siblings.  (Dad doesn't look happy, because this was the day of his mother's funeral.)

I'm sure he and mom are having a birthday celebration with his older sister, Mary, the one with her hand on his shoulder in the photo above, who went to join him on Mother's Day this year.

Come to think of it, they're probably hanging out with her, her husband who passed away last year, and their parents.  I'll bet they're sitting around the table, drinking coffee, and playing cards.

Happy birthday, Daddy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Etsy Blogger Street Team Blogger of the Month: Handmade by Sandi

Every month we get to "meet" and write about another blogger as part of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team.  This month, it's Sandi of Handmade by Sandi!  Sandi has one of those friendly blogs that she fills up with stories from home, the antics of her various crafting friends, and her passion for her yarn crafts.

She has two Etsy shops: one for fabric and supplies, called Sandi's Stash, and the other for her handmade items, called, what else?, Handmade By Sandi.  Here are my favorite items from her handmade shop:

Crocheted Scarf.  I love how she took photos of the scarf held in place with various pins -- many made from buttons -- to show a new way to wear it! 

Spa set.  It's my color, and she did a great job of photographing it, and including a sample soap from another Etsy shop!

Now through May 31, Sandi's having a huge birthday sale!  Everything in her shop is 50% off, and every purchase is entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate!  Go see!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Surprise

I was so pleased when I found this lovely gift from fellow blogging friend and Button Floozie, Barbara, in my mailbox yesterday afternoon:

It was almost too beautiful to open, along with the handmade card! That red toile tissue paper is just to die for!  And look at the lovely lady on the tag (right -- the card on the left is Barbara's calling card, which is also too sweet!)

Inside was one of Barbara's lovely collages, which traveled all the way 'across the pond' from England!

Isn't she gorgeous?

Of course, done completely by hand by the brilliant Barbara.  See those tiny, iridescent blue green beads at the bottom?  When I woke up this morning, the sunlight was shining through them and they glowed like dew on real leaves!

Right now it's hanging in the kitchen, where I put it up yesterday to photograph it.  I'm not sure where she'll end up in my home, but I know I'll have fun finding a place for her!

I will cherish this gift of friendship from a fellow-lover of buttons, lace, and vintage goodness.  Visit her blog, Vintage Bunty -- I know you'll love it, too!  Thank you so much, Barbara!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tea Cup Birdhouses

I've had this idea forever, and finally put it all together yesterday!  It's amazing what a couple of days of sunshine in a row will do for you.

I bought a couple of weather beaten porch railings from a junk store last Fall and had my husband saw them into pieces.  Yesterday, I hauled them out and painted them.


I had to mix this green color myself, and it turned out pretty well, if I do say so!  After the railing was dry, I screwed in a tiny drawer pull; it's plastic, but looks a bit like glass.

I glued one end to a vintage saucer, and the other end to a vintage cup.

Then, I decorated the bottom of the cup, which is the "roof" of the birdhouse, with some vintage buttons.

Here's the finished piece:

Then while I was at it, I made some more in different colors:

My husband thinks they're funny-looking.  Well, maybe they're not so conventional.  But, I like them!  I'm listing them in my handmade Etsy shop, Twice Shy Restored.

Tonight, we are finally going out for that twice-postponed Mother's Day dinner.  I'm very much looking forward to it.

Friday, May 21, 2010