Sunday, May 27, 2012

Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Holding his niece prior to moving to Hawaii
My son, enlisted after 9/11 and serves in the Air Force, currently he is stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Pearl Harbor. Don't let the base on the beach fool you, he works 12 hour shifts arriving 45 minutes early and staying 45 minutes late for briefings  He is my hero.  He spent his first four years of active duty in Tacoma, Washington; I figure he needs at least six more months of sun to dry out from the rain there!

He endured Basic Military Training in August in San Antonio; grueling days in the sun, running the required four miles per day at 4:00 a.m. because that's when it was cool.  He went to Texas at 155 lbs, he is 6' tall.  At graduation seven weeks later he weighed 142 lbs and his waist was smaller than mine!  As any mother will tell you, when your child is it training so are you.  He called home, told us what life was like and in the next five weeks I lost 10 pounds!  Torture the child and tell the Mom and they both think they're going to die!
He turned 21 while deployed to the Middle East.  His fellow Airmen served him  a bran muffin with 21 toothpicks in it!  You can only use what you've got and birthday cakes were sparse there. It was 130 degrees during the day cooling down to 80 degrees overnight.  

I have a Blue Star flag in my window, it's been 10 years now and I am very grateful and proud of all of the service men and women who sacrifice for our freedom.  I am also indebted to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

We miss our Airman, he is a Technical Sergeant now working the night shift, keeping our country safe.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

From Another Time

Cute Counts.  This is yet another example of things I have saved from life in the thrift store.  Top price:  $ 1.00.  How can someone donate all those hours of work?  I don't get it, why buy one of those strip-mined department store hot pads when you can have one of these?  
I use them like a border under my cabinets and can't help but smile looking at the variety of patterns and colors chosen with care.  Who knew there were so many patterns for hot pads?
I pick these syrup pitchers up when I find them at the thrift store too.  The red handled one is not usually on this shelf, it's on my kitchen sink and you might have guessed:  it's Palmolive and I'm soaking in it!  (Old line from a commercial with 'Madge' for those of you who are old enough to remember)
Swanky Swigs!  I found my first set in the carrier at the Gold Rush Flea Market last summer, those are red and the ensemble cost me 11 big ones!  I was jumping up and down happy; I had seen them for  $ 35.00 at the antique store and wasn't feeling that flush, even if I loved them.  These yellow and green ones appear brand new, and I paid 50c a piece for them.  Swanky indeed!
Even a vase was colorful in the 1950s, this cutie was saved from The Great Big Thrift Store for $ 2.50  I think at one time she might have held an umbrella but we both like Tootsie Pops better!

I love the colors and the cheery usefulness of this earlier time.  Now, I'm off to set the table with the turquoise Fiesta dishes and a pair of Swanky Swigs for my honey and me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Merry Go Rounds in my Life

I love Merry go Rounds!  I  always look for the historic hand carved carousels when we travel so I can ride!  St. Paul, Minnesota, originally at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, this all wood carousel was the one I rode as a child each summer when visiting the HUGE state fair.  It was moved from the original site and restored to perfection.  It is housed at the Como Park Zoo grounds in St. Paul.

These horses are all natural  but their saddles and decorative trims are brightly colored.  This carousel was made by The Philadelphia Tobaggan Company.
In Minnesota there are over 20,000 lakes, and of course fish and what eats fish?  A pelican!  The Lark Toys Carousel is all wood too, carved in the 1980s by a craftsman who learned to whittle when he had Polio as a child.  This carousel is brightly colored and highly varnished with very a unique assortment of animals and birds to ride on.
This Carousel is south of the Twin Cities in Kellogg, Minnesota.  See the flamingo in the background? 

And now to the West Coast:  California
Taking my daughter to Los Angeles in 2006, I had to see the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier!  It's a big one and a beauty! 
I love the bright colors on this carousel.  I ride each carousel I visit and this one is fast! 

A trip to Story City, Iowa included a trip to the Story City carnival sized carousel.  It has matched pairs, just two rows of animals but they are unique.
Just an hour north of Des Moines, Story City is a small farming community so what child wouldn't want to jump on a rooster for a ride?
Or the pair of pooches?  This smaller size Merry Go Round was pulled on a trailer to small town carnivals, the animals are smaller and there are only about 10 pairs and a bench seat.

There are several more carousels that I've been to and I'll share them later. If you have a favorite, please tell me about it!  I am adding to my 'Bucket List' of must sees.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grand Central Station!

 I love visiting the historic train stations when I travel.  This is the outside of view of the Kansas City, MO station.  Not so pretty but HUGE!
Clocks are a frequent site at the train depots, here were no delays, you were either on time or you missed your ride. 
Time spent inside this depot in Washington, DC now includes shopping in addition to trains.  This station includes gorgeous sculptures and is the most beautiful Grand Central I've seen so far.
Here in Washington again, the outside is as photogenic as the inside!  No wonder people loved to 'ride the rails'.
The St. Louis, MO Grand Central is my favorite.  Once doomed to be destroyed, it was renovated and has a wonderful museum of memories in one of the corridors.  Huge display boards of photographs, letters from sweethearts to loved ones, and drawings tell the story of the trains and who boarded.  As a mom to an Airman, I am always touched by stories of the young men and women who left the station heading to WWII deployments.  How many families said goodbye and never saw their child again? 
Clock watching again and here's a verse from Chattanooga Choo Choo:

"You leave the Pennsylvania station at a quarter to four,
Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore.
Dinner in the diner, nothin' could be finer,
Than to have your ham and eggs in Caroliner."

Oh, what fun to step aboard and ride that Iron Horse!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orange Crush and the Good ol' Days

Back in the day, this was a 'TREAT'.  My Mom bought a six pack, half Grape and half Orange Crush.  On Saturday night, sometime after doing our Saturday jobs, yes, I was required to dust, clean the bathroom, shake rugs and wash the kitchen floor.  And taking baths and getting our shoes shined before church we were allowed to have 'pop'.  In the Upper Midwest we don't call it soda, it's pop.  The portion we got was in a Tupperware juice glass and probably equaled two ounces!  It was a treat, not a 'BIG GULP' serving.

I was a kid when people drove cars like this one, COLORED CARS, not the silver, champaign and black variety that drive the streets now.  Is the entire country depressed?  Is this what a recession causes?  People must drive colorless, boring vehicles until the economy recovers?!  I these brightly colored cars there were little impressions on the inside of the glove box door.  If you went to the 'drive in' for food you sat your glass of pop on the open door of the glove box, the cup could be about 5" tall.  Now, how much is that?  About the size of a children's portion at McDonalds today.  Is it any wonder people were thinner? 

The grill on this Harbor Blue 57 BelAir looks like a smile...or makes me smile every time I see it.  This was the car I grew up with, this color, with great big white walls and a HUGE trunk and a push button radio playing Hello Mary Lou.  

See that waist?  That's why we got to drink two ounces of Orange Crush!  I'm going to go put on my 1950's gingham checked 'house dress', grab my Diet Coke and go for a little ride in my dream machine.  Summer has come to the tundra and it's going to be 80 today!  Tammy's in Love...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Red, white and new!

Red is my favorite color, pair it up with white and blue and it's a cheery welcome to the craft room in my new patriotic salute to summer themed paper crafts.  These pin wheels were almost addictive, I glued two papers together, pinned it into the wreath and glued a button on, Easy Peasey!
A word of caution to impatient crafters:  That glitter glue takes a LONG time to dry!  Do not lay the tag on your desk where you are sure to bump it three times while waiting...You would think by the second time I'd have wised up!  Mental pause, my excuse for EVERYTHING!
Extra credit here if you can sing in a falsetto voice like Snow White.  What was she singing to those birds?  Or was that singing while cleaning the house?  I don't sing while cleaning the house.  Maybe I should start.  Cut a little lace doily and pop it under the skirt for a little slip showing and she's done.

You might notice this group of tags are pretty flat.  I put the bird on a pop dot but the rest of the garnishes are not 3D; there's a method to my madness; wait for it...
JUMP!  This reminded me of my Dad telling Mom, "She doesn't remember her subtraction facts but she knows every jump rope rhyme!"  My vintage strawberry jam jar holds wooden alphabet letters.  
Another memory of Little Grama, the cake decorator at Sterling Pastries.  She could make a frosting rose in about five seconds and finish an entire cake in about 10 minutes.  An artist in sugar.
I found this piece at the Great Big Thrift store about three weeks ago, sale price $ 1.83!  It's perfect for displaying paper craft tags.  I tucked in some old stock certificates from the Pennsylvania Trust Company dated 1909 and 1919 from my spring swap partner Stephanie at   Photogenic Lill is back with her great gams and there are few poems from M.E.'s page-a-day calendar.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Patriotic Salute to Summer

My son enlisted four months after 9/11 because he felt called to be part of another great generation.  He entered the Air Force after his graduation in 2002.   I remember standing for the anthem at a high school game and tears streamed down my cheeks.  I took so much for granted until freedom required something from me, my son. 

I told him, "You're a good kid!  You don't need the military to straighten you out."  He asked me who I would rather have serving our country. 

When he went in the service I started planting my yard as a Victory Garden with red, white and blue flowers in all the beds.  It's been almost 10 years and he has been promoted early  and risen quickly; his rank is now Technical Sgt.   Of course I'm proud!  
Seeing this piece at the great big thrift store,  the wheels in my noggin started spinning.  I really loved the printers drawer that 7 Gypsies had but wouldn't splurge on myself...  
I wanted a patriotic theme for my craft room too.  As we approach our summer of patriotic holidays Memorial Day, Flag Day and the 4th of July, maybe you too, will add some patriotic touches to your indoor and outdoor decorations.
I admit that I got stuck and while I had the graphics, I just couldn't get the box garnished the way I wanted it at first.  I spend more time putzing than making the thing in the first place!

Porkys is the Drive-In that my family used to go to in Dad's '57 Chevy.  No, Dad's BelAir didn't look like this one!  I ordered the Kiddie Special, a burger, fries and small chocolate malt with a special toy tucked underneath the burger.  That was 'eating out' on Saturday nights in my childhood.
The pictures are a mix of graphics from Imagimeri, and some from old books and cards,  see the Dick and Jane illustration?   I'm a swinger, I loved this little gal flying off the corner.  I used to test potential boyfriends by whether or not they could swing.  In case you're wondering, Mr. Wonderful was a swinger too in 1977!
Summer road trips in my '57 might include a trip to a Carousel.  I love the hand carved beauties and there is a gorgeous one in St. Paul at the Como Park Zoo.  In the corner on the right I tucked in a cottage and three playful little ones, just like my three.  We're heading to the nursery this weekend to buy annuals, can you guess what colors I'll choose?  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Three Bears Tag Book

Once upon a time, there was a storybook that had some signs of being well loved, and  folded, spindled and mutilated.  It wanted to be read in a new way.  And so, I cut it.  Now I am very sorry, all you collectors of Tell a Tale books, I would be needing CPR if you confessed to cutting up a Little Golden Book that I don't have.  But honestly, the spine was broken off, the pages were ripped, I mean it was loved to death.  There are paper crafters who scan everything, then print the scans and cut; given the cost of color printer ink, I am not one of those people.  
For this tag book I cut the shape I had drawn free hand using a cereal box cardboard and sandwiched it between my layers of paper on each side.  
Using the same four pages of scrapbook paper from The Stack 7, you'll see that when a paper is used on one page, the accent color is the main color on the next tag page.  I learned this from Elizabeth, my  mentor at Creative Breathing.  It really does carry your eye to the next page and give cohesion to your project.
I loved this Isabel Bloom statue the minute I saw it in 2000 on a trip to Galena, Illinois.
As Goldielocks enters into the next room I changed the "wall paper".  I also cut out pieces from the next element of the story and tuck them into the corner.  Do you see Goldielocks sitting on a chair in the page where she is eating the porridge? 
See why I loved the statue?  Here is a picture I took in 1985 of my two oldest kids!

In this page I cut the illustrations from several pages and put them together.  Papa Bear's bed, Mama Bear's bed  were two pages, and then the pictures on the wall came from other places in the book along with the trunk at the foot of the bed.  
Again multiple pages cut out and put together for one page in my tag book.  
"Someone's been eating MY porridge and it's ALL GONE!"

The last page, and Goldie is discovered and she's outta here!  Having heard this story at his house, my grandson loved picture-reading this tag book to me. Is there anything better than a five year old in your lap?  I think not.   The cardboard layer makes it nice and firm for little people. 

I've said it before, I can't draw but I can cut and I'm a whiz with a glue stick!  This is my kinda fun, you can see, I'm easily entertained!  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day! May Day!

There's a little touch of Holland happening at my house this spring.  This wooden shoe found at the great big thrift store is the perfect place for a tulip bouquet.  What flower says Amsterdam more than a tulip?

Playtime for me the day I cut the little Dutch boy and girl out and Mod Podged them on the red button jar, remember, CUTE COUNTS!  The little three color planter holds a few more silk flowers to cheer up my happy place while I work on crafts.
This little pair has been with me for 50 years, another gift from Great Grandma Gina.  The chalkware is in perfect shape and the box they were in states that the set was also part of that trip to President Grant's home in Galena, Illinois.  It must have been a very important vacation to that Great Grandma, she saved her souvenirs and gave them to me in 1961.  

Now, my latest Pyrex purchase, not Dutch but this Friendship pattern looks like tulips to me.  Found at the thrift store, I scooped them up for $ 7.00, less than the cost of a bouquet.  So on this May 1st, I am enjoying these colorful tulips on my table.  Now, do you spose anyone will ring my doorbell and leave me a May Day basket??