Friday, June 29, 2012

A red train case, and a celebration

Thank you for all your support and for keeping my neck of the woods in your thoughts and prayers.  We have 346 homes confirmed lost.  Among the newly homeless are a young couple that I worked with at my last job; they had to evacuate on their baby's first birthday and lost everything in their rented home that was just last night confirmed as having burned to the ground.  Here's a photo of the smoke plumes from the numerous fires in that neighborhood and beyond that are still smoldering.  We are so grateful to our hardworking firefighters and all the other emergency personnel -- it's going on a week since this particular fire broke out and they have been on the front lines.  The fire is estimated to be 15% contained, today.
To change the subject to something more pleasant: my friend Angela asked me to make her a train case, similar to the one I made for Rebecca to take to Birdsong.  She was going to buy one and send it to me,  but I actually had just the thing already at home!
This SWEET little Starline train case I found at a thrift store recently; I covered the inside with some vintage wallpaper that matched really well.  The case is super sturdy, beautifully colored, and has amazing hardware!
Angela picked out some ephemera images that she liked, and I went to town decorating it!
Angela finally received it in the mail today -- so, now I can show you!
One of the elements was a from our Birdsong Two goodie bag -- this "square" of quilt yo-yos.
 I also created a hanging tag for the handle.
On it: a mini antique yardage tag on a really cool old clip.
Of course I had to put a bird on it!  I'm so glad Angela likes it -- she'll be using it as a sewing case!  She'll be making me a purse in return, and I will show you as soon as receive it!
In other news: Button Floozies blog has 1,000 followers; to celebrate that milestone, we're having a giveaway of this lovely hand painted button.  Everyone is welcome to enter, here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado is burning

I live on the plains east of Colorado Springs; it takes me about 20 minutes on residential roads to drive into the city.  Right now Colorado Springs, as you might have seen on the news, is experiencing a firestorm of epic proportions.  It started on Saturday, far outside of town in Waldo Canyon, and has spread quickly.
Yesterday, I was in Colorado Springs for an appointment and took this photo from Academy Blvd., north.  I was in the parking lot of a thrift store, and the air was smoky and stinky.  This was about 9:15 am.  I was very surprised to see it so close.
Photo by Danielle Mortensen via Facebook
Here's that same fire, from a similar vantage point at a mall down the street from that thrift store, around 5 pm.  In the late afternoon, we had unexpected wind gusts of up to 65 mph and the fire jumped all its boundaries and came into town.  Many homes have been lost.
Yesterday afternoon, we knew without even turning on the TV that the fire had taken a turn for the worse when we saw the sky.  Even where we are, 15 miles east of the flames, this was the view from my front yard.
It just got worse and worse, and we just sat around with friends watching the images from town on TV and murmured prayers and admiration for the firefighters and emergency personnel battling the blaze.  We have had no rain for weeks, record-breaking high temperatures, and those winds.   Today we have more hot weather and winds in the forecast.  It doesn't look good.
Here's this morning's evacuation map; the fire more than doubled in size as we slept -- now 16k acres; 32,000 residents have been evacuated from Colorado Springs neighborhoods alone.  We don't know a lot of people from those areas personally -- just a couple -- but our hearts go out to them.
In the coming hours and days, as emergency management improves, we will have opportunities to help out the evacuees, and help those who have already lost homes to rebuild.  For now, though, we are all instructed to stay indoors, out of the smoke, and away from the affected areas so that the crews can do their work. 
Please don't worry about me or my family!  Ben is home this week, and Dennis' job is in a still-safe area.  We're in wait-and-see mode, not at all expecting to be evacuated but readying ourselves should the fire continue heading east.  As we've already seen with this fire, it is crazy strong and unpredictable!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Week in review

This past week went by so started off with me moping around because both husband and son were out of town.  
My loneliness reached new heights on the second day, as I tackled that hated chore of taking down ALL the stuff that is displayed on top of the kitchen cabinets and washing it, then putting it all back up.  (Above, some of my McCoy pottery in the drainer.)
I had sent off two surprises to faraway friends, so I was waiting excitedly to hear from them when the goodies arrived!
One was this canvas; I used shots of Audrey Hepburn printed onto fabric to make a Breakfast at Tiffany's collage and sent it off to my friend Linda.  I really love how it turned out, with the blues and glitzes of gold and lots of texture.  She really liked it!
The second little surprise was a fabric book (I am obsessed); the entire time I was working on this I was thinking about my friend Terri, so in the end I decided it had to be her book!
The inside of the front cover features a wonderful grey satin patch she had gifted me from her visit to French General.  I made it into a pocket, and tucked in an antique initial "T".

I filled the pages with lots of old fabrics and real theme besides "blush" colors...

I especially had fun with this button page...
The last page was a real patchwork; it was fun to put a bunch of scraps together, and I thought it was a great contrast to the sort of geometric design on the button page.
Yep, I am officially obsessed!
The highlight of the week was Thursday; that's when both gals received their gifts in the mail and I heard from them.  Dennis had come from his business trip the night before and took Thursday off so we could spend the day together, celebrating our anniversary.  We were married on a Friday afternoon, 21 years ago.  How time flies! 
We spent the gorgeous, warm, sunny day west of Denver; first, at Red Rocks Park -- our first visit there!
If you look under the right hanging light near the upper middle of the photo, above, you can see the Denver city skyline in the distance.
What I appreciated about the park was the way they designed all the outbuildings and practical structures to blend in with the natural surroundings.
Here I am -- the only time I will ever make it on the stage in the Red Rocks Amphitheater.  After seeing the park, we are very eager to be there for a concert, someday.
Dennis also treated me to an afternoon of antique shopping before we headed home for a really fresh, delicious take out dinner at home: shrimp salad, sourdough bread, and Chardonnay.

Last night, we went to Family Night at Ben's camp; it's always good to see him when he's been away all week!
Ben is the one standing, far left.  The boys were grubby, but seemed very relaxed.  It had been a very hot, very dry week around here, but luckily Ben was camping away from where all the fires are burning; he was not at the nearby Scout camp that had to be evacuated this week.  Some of the kids from the other camp ended up at his camp, though, so there were shortages of food etc.  But nothing serious.
Right now I'm waiting for the phone call that says they're back and ready to be picked up.  It's been quite a week!  How was yours?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Glorious finds and glorious friends

I was so busy being inspired and over-awed by Old Glory that I really didn't buy that much -- but I spent all the cash I brought with me!
A box of FULL stickers from the 1950s.
You know how I feel about this stuff!
Many, many different stickers.  Their snarky, scolding phrases make me laugh!
The same vendor had this great packet of business banking receipts from 1917.  I usually can't resist anything old that says San Francisco.
I found, separately, this old aluminum clock face and some clock hands.  I'm dreaming of an art project...
Of course, a bag of vintage buttons...and I haven't even had a chance to open the bag and look at them yet, if you can believe it.  That pearl and rhinestone piece was worth the price of the whole bag, to me.
...But this was my very favorite find: a little pile of medals embossed with names of flowers!  They inspired me immediately and I've been daydreaming about making them into necklaces.  I can hardly wait to give it a try!
Sweet Suzanne found two of these long, thin day/ledger books at Old Glory, and gifted me one of them!
So. Much. Fun.
When I saw her the week before (what a treat: twice within a week!), Suzanne gifted me some great supplies, like this vintage song paper, burlap ribbon, notebook...
super fun rolls of Sasheen paper ribbon...
tags, paper, lace and pearls...
and a handmade box full of fancy lavender lace!  Sweetness.
A few days ago, this amazing package arrived in my mailbox from Linda Sue!
Treasures from her recent trip to Europe (England and Italy.)  Sigh.  Linda has an incredible eye, and she knows what I love!
Did you spy the green glass button in the first photo?  Amazing.  And it all came in that silk embroidered bag from Venice along with this hand-made-by-Linda-Sue card; she made it with scraps of Venetian paper.  I love it like crazy!
A friend closer to home, Connie, picked up this wonderful ephemera with me in mind!
Don't I have thoughtful friends?