Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
From the film "Before Sunrise"
it wouldn't be in any of us.
Not you, or me...
but just this little space in between.
If there's any kind of magic in this world,
it must be in the attempt of understanding someone,
of sharing something.
I know, it‘s almost impossible to succeed, but...who cares, really?
The answer must be in the attempt."
Friday, December 29, 2006
Her name was Mary Ellen, but I knew her as 'Nanny'. She was my mom's mom. This photo was taken in Long Beach, California. You can see the roller coaster in the background.
The photo is damaged, unfortunately, but still dear to me.
Labels: vintage family photograph
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Make a bookmark with all those Christmas cards
Vintage Dolls of Nations Quilt Pattern
I love this pattern, which is ironic, because I'm not much of a doll person. But I love the idea of world costumes and traditions.
It is a mail order quilt pattern from the 70's (I think).
I remember sending for this through the mail from an ad in Parade Magazine (the newspaper supplement). It is a set of transfers of children from different nations--meaning in their traditional dress.
The outlines are supposed to be embroidered in floss, then colored in with fabric crayons. I wish it had included a color photo for reference.
The layout is bizarre, considering the interesting and odd choice of nations.
For instance, where's England? I mean, they could have used the Queen's guard uniform, you know?
Notice it is all countries, then included is American Indian, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Here is the child representing China. (click on image to enlarge)
And Russia--so different from what we call Russia today. This was when Boris and Natasha were evil, and Maxwell Smart was battling the KGB.
My gosh times have changed. This is pre the USSR. Pre all the countries that area makes up today.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Continuing my love affair with towels
Monday, December 25, 2006
I feel the child-like wonder again when looking at twinkly lights. I ask customers about their meal plans, or items they purchase, or I ask about their dogs. I seek out conversation and connection. It's not sappy, it's not contrived, it's just simple and...well, nice. And, when it comes right down to it, what more do you need?
I love sending mail, and giving gifts, and of course I love receiving. Duh.
My favorite gift this year?
Well, first a morning phone call from a friend, saying "love you".
It really doesn't get better than that.
But present wise, I got a certificate to take a class at
Amy Malone's School of Cake Decorating along with my friend Jen. I mean, how cool is that?! Jen always trys to tell me that she isn't good at gift giving--I beg to differ. So next year these pages should include a lot of fun cakes!
I hope you found joy in simple things also today. I hope you embraced it.
I just came across this gorgeous photo in the wooden box labeled "old pictures" that I posted about recently. It looks like a movie stage set, or the page off a book, for all it's perfection.
I believe, however, that it was my aunt's, and somehow made its way down to me.
The back of this says, "Night before xmas at my house" and is signed "Mary".
I assume that is my aunt Mary, who is still living, and was the sister of the aunt to whom this (and the wooden box) belonged.
It's a time capsule.
And this is fun. It's an old, beat up box that used to house metallic foil Christmas cards. Original price was $1.25 for 16 cards.
Labels: vintage family photograph
Sunday, December 24, 2006
1940's Photo Christmas Card
Little boy on Santa's knee, mid-1940's.
That little boy, named Butch, is in his 60's now.
Note the cute little US Navy outfit he's wearing.
This is my mom's cousin (so that makes him my second cousin?). I've never met him.
I think the photo is precious.
Labels: vintage photograph
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
1989 Del Mar Fair booth pic with myself and a now ex-boyfriend (I edited his side just in case he is not hip to being on the internet).
We both had little stuffed animal dogs in our hands--we had won them in the fun zone, and they later decorated our car interiors.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Pimp your Nutcracker
Is it Summer Yet???? I'm cold!
Duke, Dog Beach Del Mar.
And Duke at Balboa Park's kid's playground.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I mean, this is a popularity contest when you come right to it.
I tend to find the mold of the perfect little blogger a bit bothersome, however, so occasionally I stretch a bit. I find it more honest, more real. Speaking of honest, here's my motto for friendship. If someone is honest enough to tell you a truth that will hurt your feelings, you know you can always trust them.
That has been my experience anyway.
But I digress. In fact, I'm way off topic. I wanted to talk about my shopping experience.
You know, my saying this may be politically incorrect. It may be insensitive at this time of year. But, in my view of the world, it's the truth.
And it's worthy of thought and consideration.
The other night I actually ventured into a Toys R Us. It's highly unusual for me to step into the mall, much less a toy store, at any time of year. But to think I actually did so in December boggles the mind. I needed a certain toy, however, and it seemed to be sold out everywhere online.
Anyway, I walked in, and people were dashing about...the shelves were emptying (literally)...
I could have been in Mexico.
I may have been one of the few people there who spoke English.
I found it disconcerting.
Not finding the item at Toys R Us, I went to Target.
And found somewhat similar circumstances.
Still no toy, so onward to Walmart.
Ditto on the circumstances, except this time when I stopped to ask assistance from an employee, she looked at me with a big question mark.
She finally grabbed up enough English words to kind of point me in a vague direction.
Still no toy, by the way.
But, well, something is seriously wrong with this picture.
America no longer appears to be melting.
Vintage Christmas Cards
(click on images to enlarge)
Here's a selection of the vintage cards I purchased the other day.
I put these two together because of their similar colors, qualities, and character.
I love the script on the right, and the fact that the candle is three dimensional. The house on the left looks Nightmare before XMAS-like or something.
This one is fantastic--a time capsule from 1944.
This appears to be the same family, one year earlier. There is black paper on the back of these, indicating they were at one point glued into an album. This one also has its hand-made red construction paper envelope, one cent stamp, los angeles postmark, and a holiday sticker dated 1943.
(again, click on the photo to enlarge. Flickr doesn't do horizontals well. Above the photo on the Flickr page, click 'all sizes' to REALLY enlarge if so desired)
And this one, an actual photograph on a card and signed, of Monterey, California. Just beautiful--I'm so glad I didn't pass it by. I assume this is in the 40's, since most of the cards I was going through in the store were of that decade. There's something about the photographs then, perhaps a hand-tinting, that makes them more like paintings. Definitely works of art.
More cards later in the week!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Goodness around Blogland
fun and festive gumdrop wreath I saw on Posie Gets Cozy, (tutorial on Kiddley).
a list never sounded so good (and excellent writing as usual) by Hula Seventy. And one of my favorite of her past posts.
Astro Weenie Tree on My House is Cuter Than Yours
Button Tree seen on Vacuuming in High Heels & Pearls.
one inch square collaged ornament by Art Junk
my favorite version of Little Birds' Soft Tree Pattern, by Oziahz
book recommendation by Aubrey
and a bunch of recipes:
lemon tart and cranberry orange cookies on the awesome Baking Sheet
almond roca recipe on Culinary in the Desert
spiced nut and pretzel mix on David Lebovitz
lemon cookie recipe on Orangette
cranberry cake recipe on Apartment Therapy
coconut cupcakes recipe on 101 Cookbooks
kitty litter cake on Thimble
There are so many amazing blogs out there!
Monday, December 18, 2006
The Pooch Pouch
Baxter, wearing the Pooch Pouch, October 2006, at Miramar Lake in San Diego.
Olivia Diane emailed me to ask if I'd try out her new invention, The Pooch Pouch.
I love it.
It's a bag that clips onto your belt, your purse, the dog's leash, or in Baxter's case, the dog's collar. You stuff the pouch full of plastic bags, which can then be pulled out through the bottom to use during walks, to facilitate poop pick-up.
The cool thing is the bags are right there...no opening anything, no fumbling around. Just reach in and pull out a bag (similar to the type many people have in their kitchens).
AND, no fancy bags or rolls that cost too much money...this just uses grocery-store bags.
Try one. It's nice to support fellow bloggers.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Another Lenticular Postcard at Architectural Salvage
While I was at the store, I rummaged through a box of old Christmas cards and ended up buying several from the 40's (though no more lenticular ones). I will post soon. I absolutely love old cards. I think I have always been obsessed with paper.
If I could chose a dream job,
(well, my ultimate dream job would be to work for a magazine like Lucky, and come up with all those lists of goodies to buy, new goodies on the market, etc. I mean, SOMEBODY really has that job! God, that would be amazing...)
but as I was saying, my dream job would be to start an architectural salvage business. These are abundant, evidently, back east. Very few exist on the west coast, at least to my knowledge.
Architectural salvage enthusiasts (or I guess preservationists is a better term) go into old buildings that are being demolished or 'upgraded', and they salvage items that might otherwise go to the landfill. This includes lighting fixtures, wrought iron gates, windows, glass doorknobs, tiles (especially coveted ones like Roycroft), wood, etc.
(how cute is that elephant in the bathtub? An old child's amusement park-type riding toy)
These businesses are especially wonderful for those people who live in older homes and aim to restore in keeping with the character and integrity of the structure. I respect those folks so much. I wish I had the income to join them. Or the income to start a business like this. The notion of using recycled materials is gaining in appreciation, though it is still quite expensive.
There is one business that deals with this idea in San Diego, and it is aptly named,
Architectural Salvage. It is on India Street in Little Italy downtown.
Here's the resident shop cat, lovingly resting on her favorite teddy bear-shaped bed.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Crafting with postcards and photographs, and the generosity of fellow bloggers
She sent me a Christmas present!
I am blown away by the generosity. I had ordered some goodies from her Etsy shop (I will post about those at a later date), and so tore open the package that was in my postal box, thinking it was what I ordered. The Etsy stuff was actually behind the counter and I didn't know about it yet...so I assumed the wrapped item wasn't really a gift. Well, not that I could have waited anyway...
But check out what I got! (along with more ephemera, by the way)
This incredible angel-shaped ornament is cut from a vintage postcard!
Stop and think about that for a second. I mean, really, how perfect is that?
The tag says it is made by Sarah Lugg.
The key chain is a beaded photo charm. Again, totally perfect. And both inspirational for my crafts, I have to say.
Stuff like this just makes me giddy.
Thank you once again Mary Ann.
Friday, December 15, 2006
(click on photo to enlarge...Flickr never sizes these for blogs)
This is labeled, "Herman Petersen, one year old".
I assume this is the father of my uncle Pete.
This gem was also within the contents of the box of photographs I discussed yesterday. I wondered if a booth was possible at the turn of the century. This was probably taken in Sweden. When were photobooths invented?
Well, I investigated the history of photobooths, and found this:
"Mathew Stiffens filed a patent for an automatic photography machine in 1889. Monsieur Enjalbert also demonstrated a similar machine at the Exposition Universelle in Paris that same year. These automated coin-operated machines were used to produce instant tintypes for use as souvenirs, ID's and tokens of affection. Although these types of automated photography machines were notoriously unreliable, they were popular until after WWI when, in 1925, Anatol Josepho patented his 'Photomaton.' In 1927, the 33-year-old Josepho epitomized the Great American Dream when he sold the rights to his invention for $1,000,000. His machine -- the first mass-produced photobooth -- quickly made an appearance in amusement parks and other public locations."
(source, About: Genealogy, by Kimberly Powell)
Fun article about celebrity photobooth fun, from the NY Times, March 6, 2005. "Why Hollywood says Cheese".
Evidently photobooths also play a role in movies sometimes. Interesting site with links to photobooths in cinema.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wonders in a wooden box
I was trying to find something at my mom's house recently, and I came across a wooden box that I didn't even know I had. It was sealed around with masking tape, on which was written, "old photos"
Turns out these images were from my aunt's house.
There is a huge quantity of wonderfulness in this box.
She was a lady I never really appreciated while she was alive. I thought of her as loud and unsophisticated. I was young and opinionated and rude. Now I realize how much we had in common. She had tiki parties and a huge aloha collection that has since disappeared. She was crafty. She was a writer. I blew it. But I can appreciate her now through the old photos that I will share here on occasion. Images of parties, laughter, travel...
Like this flapper out in the middle of nowhere. Fancy dress and barren landscape. I'm not sure if this was my aunt or someone in her husband's family. Unfortunately the details are long lost. But boy are these fun to look at.
My uncle Pete and his sister, May. I love the old quilt.
Uncle Pete's parents. They were from Sweden, with the last name Sundgren. I am related only by marriage. My dad's sister Jackrose married Howard (who we always called Pete). This is metal (tin type, right?). A wonderful turn-of-the-century find, despite the blush and the creepy eyes.
Labels: vintage family photograph
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Check out the amazing idea from the December 2006 issue of Country Living Magazine!
Cookies that have been decorated using rubber stamps to cookie dough.
The impression is then painted by dipping the brush into lemon extract, then luster dust (used for cake decorating). Springerle are usually an anise cookie, but you could do standard sugar too. I like Martha Stewart's sugar cookie recipe with royal icing.
I can envision this in a clay also, and shellacked, then strung on a garland. I absolutely love this idea.
I love it so much that I took this magazine to my favorite stamping store to share it with the employees.
I then turned to a customer to show her--look, look how cool!
She stared at me like I was loose from the mental ward, then without saying a word, turned and continued shopping. Alrighty then.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Despite the fact that this blog seems to be devoted to recipes lately, I am going to post this one anyway. Truth be told, I'm not personally hip on white chocolate, but I'm told this recipe doesn't taste as good with alternatives. It's a super popular treat at Costco. If the store near you has a candy shop, you can always buy it there.
But, I mean, why not make your own?
This is the perfect bring-along snack, gift for neighbors, etc. Make up a bunch, wrap it up in pretty jars or tins, and you've got a great gift 'just in case' an unexpected guest arrives and you're empty handed.
Ingredients (quantities depending on your own taste)
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, or O's
Red sugar sprinkles
Green sugar sprinkles
Melt white candy coating, or white chocolate (note: if using white chocolate, temper it first. That means Take 2/3 and melt it, then as this starts to cool, add the remaining third that has been chopped into small pieces. Stir to melt, but you don't want this hot...you want it room temp)
Pour chocolate over all the goodies and sprinkle all with red and green sugar sprinkles. Mix em all up. What you get is sort-of chocolate-covered Chex mix type deal.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I've Got Mail!
Thank you so much to Mary Ann of A Very Mary Design for sending me ephemera from her stash when she found out I am enjoying collage.
I urge you to click over to her site, or to her Etsy shop, and buy some of her amazing bookmarks (well, she calls them page markers. They are the nicest ones I've seen anywhere), or magnets or maybe some jewelry.
Her products are well made and very affordable. Plus, she's a nice person that deserves your support.
And sincerely, not to kiss up, but her stuff rocks. So there!
She sent me a ton of goodies:
fun vintage cards
pages of old books (don't feel bad--better into art than the landfill)
and wow, a mixed lot of game cards, envelopes, a cool pic of a lady on a vespa, and scrapbooking papers...
note she uses those 'Hello...' labels as address labels. I think that's fun.
and, the piece de resistance...
this awesome gift tag that looks like a luggage tag, and appears to be cut from a vintage wedding card. I love it.
Thank you, Mary Ann, for your thoughtfulness. And for regularly reading my blog too.
Speaking of, check out Mary Ann's blog here. I'm sure it will quickly be added to your favorites list.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Christmas at the Del
I saw some teen boys walking around with mistletoe over their heads. We stopped for gelato. I bought a wooden Santa.
It's always nice.
Another of the holiday traditions I share with my mom is to visit the Christmas tree that is all decked out in the lobby of the Hotel del Coronado.
We missed the parade this year, but we did visit the ice-skating rink, the fun little shops, and the tree. It's not as spectacular this year as the sea-themed tree from last year, but it's still charming.
(click on images to enlarge)
I love the ice skates on the package.
Next week is the Parade of Lights on the boats in the San Diego Bay. And tons of Christmas lights around town to check out.
I'm bummed I missed the parade in Ocean Beach. I love a parade.
So many things to do, and I wish we could see them all.
For those of you near Trader Joes, they have the cutest little wreaths with wired-in walnuts.
I haven't done any real Christmas decorating myself this year. Though I am considering making an Astro Weenie tree.
Labels: san diego
Vintage Christmas Scene
Vintage holographic (well, three dimensional) postcard. It doesn't change into a different picture or anything, so maybe I can't label it as a holograph...I'm not sure. Anyway, I purchased this at Architectural Salvage in downtown San Diego yesterday. It's just so....happy, I guess.
There's also a nice juxtaposition with the Christian side of Christmas, and the secular Santa side. I like that. I enjoy both parts of the festivities. It's all about joy.
The one drawback to uploading pics to Flickr, is that by the time I post them here, most of you have already seen them. I do like the interaction that goes on over there though, so I keep them open to public viewing. This is a brand new pic, so hopefully it's new all the way around!
(oops, smudge is my scanner, not any damage to the postcard)
*update* Go check out: this post by Petula Darling that explains this type of image.
Friday, December 08, 2006
My mom (Mary Jayne),
her brother Eddie (always called 'Deano'),
and my grandmother Mary Ellen (who I always called Nanny).
My mom was born in 1925, so this must be early 30's. Damaged, probably from when the roof leaked onto boxes of albums and so many memories were lost...
but still oh so so good.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Share a Past Project Thursday
Shell crafts have a bit of a bad rap--people envision little bazaar animals with googly eyes. But crafting with shells can be really beautiful too.
Here I glued 'junk' shells around a wooden Ikea mirror. These are just bits and pieces, and common shells like mussels that few people value. These are from Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, versus the beautiful shells available elsewhere. I still think it's fun. Taken together, I think these make a handsome frame.
I even used a few pieces of plant life.
The corkscrew on the lower left is a particularly wonderful find.
Made in October 2000.
I am at the beach a lot because I like to walk dogs there. Sure beats asphalt and a leash, I gotta tell ya. But I spend a lot of time looking for treasures, including broken bits of shell that still look great in mosaics, and sea-tumbled rocks.
I painstackingly and tediously paint all the pieces with clear fingernail polish prior to assembly, to bring out the color and the wet look.
Somehow the idea of spray acrylic just doesn't seem like I'd get the same result.
I use a popsicle stick to spread a layer of Alleene's Thick Designer Tacky Glue, then arrange the shells in it.
It dries clear.
Rocks and shells with natural holes in them make excellent beads. Here, a few items swing at the bottom of the mirror on hemp twine.
I have another shell frame that is a memory keepsake using shells collected during a trip to Mexico with an ex. It's very simple, but I really love it. I will post it at a later date.
Monday, December 04, 2006
and new recipes.
I just tried the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bars from Poco-Cocoa, and they are amazing. Like a big fat chocolate-chip cookie, made more moist by the pumpkin. A delightful holiday treat.
Find the recipe here.
(a lot of people seem to not realize that high-lighted text on a blog is a link field. I always have people asking me about stuff that was actually available to them at the click of a mouse. That's why I'm making it a bit more obvious in this post to get the information).
Also, African Kelli has posted several recipes lately. I tried the Lemon-Thyme cornbread she posted (a Martha Stewart recipe). It is moist and yummy and has the incredible scent of lemons. I agreed with Kelli though, I think I'll omit the pine nuts next time.
Kelli's post about it here.
Find the recipe here.
Kitschy Christmas, continued
Pack-O-Fun scrap craft magazine, December 1964
Ooh, yummy, food over a bleach bottle
I just have to add this one
What's with all the bleach bottle crafts in the 60's?
This is called Dachshund Pretzel Holder, but it sure looks more like a pig to me. It's actully kinda cute.
Pack-O-Fun scrapcraft magazine, February 1965
1. nails on a foam ball
2. spiral made from cutter on a wax paper box
3. pic from xmas card atop a blade dispenser
4. tape inserts
5. tape dispenser
6. paper fasteners
7. hair curler
8. typewriter reel
9. flash bulb
10. pill bottle
And of course, no holiday decoration is complete without a village scene. Your choice between matchstick (December 1964):
or...Ta Da (congrats to tackiest display of the year)...
Plastic Basket Village!