Friday, March 6, 2015

Gary and Gretchen

When I was a very young,
my mother had Jim Ingwersen prints of
Gary and Gretchen in our house.  I remember thinking
they were pictures of me and my brother.
The fact that my brother and I both have brown hair
didn't hinder my opinion in the slightest.
Since these prints were popular in the 70's,
thrift stores abound with different sized
framed editions.
Every time I saw them,
I remembered being that preschooler
looking up at "my" picture
at Mom and Dad's.
When I noticed Gretchen's red shoes and baby blue dress,
I thought I'd try to give Gary and Gretchen
a little make-over. 

As you can see, Gretchen in her original frame
is a little too dark --
typical 70's.

The unvarnished frame was easy
 to coat with some spray paint.

 Any touches of blue and red
received a coating of extra fine glitter.

I added some flocking glitter on Gary's collar.

Red ric-rac was added.

 At Christmas time, I added red gingham ribbon
and some vintage ornaments.

Then, in February,
 I removed the vintage ornaments
and displayed the siblings
with some jadeite,
vintage pyrex,
and a couple of
old kitchen tools.

Do you remember Gary and Gretchen?

Friday, February 27, 2015

For Theora

I came across her picture today. 
 I keep the image protected
between the pages of my Bible.
I see her when I read
 the words she loved.

  I recall her tellings,
 her passing-ons
 of the one-room school house;
of the brothers,
loving mother;
  of the farm work;
  of the loss
of brother Ernest;
 of the leaving home
 to work;
  of the courtship
 with the farm hand
 who would soon trade
 overalls for uniform.
 And I remember
what she told me
 of motherhood,
 of her dear children,
 of her husband -- wounded veteran.

 She told me
of his passing,
how she lost him
before I could find him.

And I remember
what I witnessed
 of widowed woman
 with work-weary,
twisted toes
And I remember
 her moving
 far -- far
 out of reach
to live
with my cousins.

Ah! how jealous I felt!
And I remember
 her taking time
every summer season
 to drive up
from the South
 to see her children,
and her children's children,
and her children's children's children . . .
  my children.
the anticipation
of these visits!
  My bedroom -- her guest room.
My twin bed,
with each
 of the various comforters
 that marked
 the chapters of my childhood.
 Holly Hobbie,
 the horse phase,
 frilly flowers,
comforted her.
 I would sleep on the floor
beside the bed
 on a thick blanket
 padded perfectly
with the envy
seeping out
from under
my brothers' bedroom door
 down the hall. 
 --Alone time with Grandma--
 A girl,
middle child's
only available taunt.

At every visit,
she'd help my mom
with the household chores --
drying dishes,
ironing our clothes --
even the permanent press sheets,
and our jammies.

At other times,
I'd find her in the kitchen
making her roast beef dinner
 and apple pies.
I'd hear her
 talk to Jesus.
 I'd listen to her quiet prayers
 at night
 when she thought
 I was asleep
 on my pallet
 on the floor. 
She would
also talk
 about how
 others talked to Jesus.
 Her Bible
and religious biography
  always beside her
when she'd sit to rest
in the afternoons.
  She'd share
stories with me
 of people
she knew
 or people
she'd read about
who came
to know God
despite difficulties.
Grandma's troubled-in-mind
came to our house
 during Grandma's visit.
 I knew
didn't get to see her
 I watched
 standing with her
 in the doorway
getting ready
 to say
Her hands
 on her sister's.
 Grandma's voice,
"Remember, Jesus loves you."
 I knew
 from her stories
 that many counted on her
 to get them
 to church,
to read to them
God's Word.

Grandma's voice again,
"Remember, Jesus loves you."
For many
of those early visits,
 she came
to us
 an old yellow car.
 Its ailments
 in her prayers.
 I was
 too little.
I couldn't
what that car
 meant to her.
 I only knew
 that it was
Grandma's prayers and duct tape
 that held it together.
For many
of those later visits,
she came
to us
in an airplane.
in her prayers.

I hated
each year
to say
and wondered
I will always treasure
 that memory
out the window
 hoping to see
 her yellow car
 into the driveway.
her petite form
 from behind
the car door.
what special gift
she'd have
 for me
 in the trunk.
Those gifts,
 those mere trinkets,
 were just accessories
to the priceless worth
 of mine inheritance
 -- her legacy --
 the knowledge
that an abundant life
can be lived
with a little bit of duct tape
 and a whole lot of prayer. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Red, Pink, Hearts, Glitter . . . .

I loved Valentine's Day as a little girl.
 What little girl wouldn't?
Red, pink,
hearts, glitter,
paper heart doilies,
 the little cards I'd fill out
for each classmate . . . even the boys.
In fact, Valentine's Day may be the only holiday that
still pretty much has maintained
the same level of simplicity it's always had.
It's not been made into the preview day
of a national shopping event.
It's not been materialized
by the expectation
of countless wrapped packages.
It's not been complicated
by store-bought costumes and
fancy, glow in the dark treat bags.
It's still just a special day to tell loved ones
how precious they really are to you.
A little card,
maybe some flowers,
a favorite meal.
 I enjoy this holiday even more
now that emails and texts have replaced
 handwritten letters.
A handwritten valentine is
For this Valentine's Day,
 I printed some vintage valentine images,
most of them with a tea theme.
I then added them to some crepe paper rosettes
 left over from a past project.
A few buttons and some ribbon were the final touch.
Some glittered cardstock, bright red ric-rac,
and some easy to use bottle-cap stickers
were all I needed for a mini-pendent banner.
Have a beautiful, blessed Valentine's Day!
"For I am persuaded, that neither death,
 nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor powers, nor things present,
 nor things to come, nor height, nor depth,
 nor any creature,
 shall be able to separate us from the love of God."
Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thrift Therapy

Sometimes life gets a little too hectic, and you have to choose to stop for a moment.  The decision to take a breather is difficult when life's responsibilities surround you vying for attention.  Last Friday, I made the decision to take a little breather.  I turned the car right instead of left at the traffic light and headed for my favorite thrift store.

I have to admit that I love the smell of old stuff.  Old books, especially. Even though I know all the dust is going to cause a sinus nightmare, I can't help myself.  I truly love the smell.

This spontaneous drop-by validated my dust obsession and confirmed the value of a needed break.  I brought home a fifteen piece mismatched set of blue willow china.  Some vintage; some new.  The older pieces have that crackling in the porcelain glaze.  While I no longer use those pieces in the kitchen, I find other ways of using them around the house.  Each piece cost about 60 cents.  The platter is my favorite.  The pieces come from England and Japan.
I also discovered a German souvenir tablecloth set with six napkins in the linen section.  I don't think the set was ever used.  The fabric feels as if it still has the manufacturer's sizing in it.  I thought the blue and brown colors would be a great addition to my blue dining room, especially in this autumn season.

Each napkin features a different German castle.

Sassy Cat must have German roots. 
She's made herself at home. 
Be sure to take a break if you need one!
(I'm still have huge problems with Blogger.  I lost a new post last week, and still have no control over the spacing at the top and throughout post.  If you're a techie with a solution, I'd love to hear from you!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Visiting the Antiques Roadshow

I recently attended
the "Antiques Roadshow's"
Charleston, WV

 I received two tickets by random luck of the draw!
This past winter, "Roadshow" announced their coming summer visit.
Hopeful attendees (me! me!) only had to submit a mail and email address online
 to be entered into the randomly chosen ticket drawings.

About one month before the show, my tickets arrived.
I was thrilled!

I grabbed two family pieces I wanted appraised and my antiquing buddy.
She also brought two items to be appraised.
"Roadshow" volunteers kindly gave me category markers
for my items.  These markers identified what lines I needed to find.
This white gold, diamond ring belonged to my great-grandmother.
I was hoping to find out the time period she probably acquired it.
My answer:
Illusion Setting
 (used to make the 1/10 of a carat diamond appear larger)
14K White Gold
Value: About $200.00
(This appraisal was much lower than one
acquired more than 10 years ago.)
My second item was a large Roseville Pottery
vase that another grandmother had displayed in her home.
Again, I was hoping to find out the time my grandparents
would have acquired the item.
The appraiser told me that the vase
was the "Clematis" pattern,
from Zanesville, OH.
The vase is in excellent condition.
(No surprise . . . . Grandma was careful with her things.)
This vase was made in the 1940's,
and, despite its size, is only
worth about $100.00-$150.00.

My friend also brought two family items.
She was disappointed to learn her Harper's Ferry Civil War Sword
wasn't made until after the Civil War -- thus, the end of that family story!!
She has a wonderful sense of humor and is having
fun pointing out the "fib" handed down
from her husband's side of the family.

"Roadshow" is planning three episodes from their Charleston visit.
I can't wait to watch them air.
Seeing all of the items being carried around by attendees
was so much fun.

Mark Walberg, the host, actually talked with me!!!!
OK. . . . He touched my shoulder and said,
 "Excuse me" as he cut through the line.

Does that count for anything?

(I'd love to know why Blogger keeps putting so much space between my title and my first line. If you blog and know the answer, please let me know!  I'd appreciate it!)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Day at the Ohio State Fair

My family enjoyed visiting the
Ohio State Fair
this past Wednesday.
Here are a few of the outstanding things we discovered!

Can you see the feed sack incorporated
into the middle panel of this
adorable wall-hanging?
(Sorry for the glare.  This beauty was behind glass.)
I met a talented stitcher waiting
at a demonstration table
for her other guild members to arrive.
She graciously allowed me to photograph
this amazing hardanger sewing kit she had finished. 
This Dear Jane quilt was calling my name!!
The talented maker took a Dear Jane class for three years
working on the various blocks found in this gorgeous quilt.
I also loved this stunning sampler quilt.
Look at the tiny hand-quilted stitches,
the beads, the lace addition --
tiny details that add up to a spectacular finish.
I was also inspired by other types of crafters . . . .
I didn't know food could look so pretty!!
I also didn't know food could be so . . . hmm.
I was excited to see my Amish country favorite
at the fair with a booth!
This washtub planter received a ribbon
in the unusual container garden category.
I didn't know this category existed.

These summer chicks were quite entertaining to
young and old alike.
Can one ever get tired of watching new life?
Here's another unusual garden container I admired.
This was an amazing pumpkin!
I watched some of the sheep get sheered. This docile one
had already received her haircut.
We also took a break from the sun to watch
these Belgiums compete in one of the arenas.
Afternoon rain kept us from finding the rabbits and cows, etc.,
but we still managed to fill most of the day.
I love the fair; don't you?
Do you attend a county or state fair?
I'd love to hear.