Friday, November 30, 2012

Checkin' In, Quilled Flakes, and Stevan Dohanos

Just checkin' in.  It's been a busy it's been a "full moon" week (those of you who work in an emergency room or work with children know exactly what I'm talking about *wink*). 
My evenings have been spent quietly quilling snowflakes, and doing laundry.

Here are some of the flakes I've been working on.  Some of them I did in October.
Hobby Lobby had some little hot fix crystals that are meant to be ironed onto clothing. But I've found they can easily be glued onto the flakes to add a bit of "bling" and sparkle to a few of them.
I've been listening to a station on my computer that plays Traditional Country Classics from the 1940s--1970s.  Here is the LINK if you'd like to take a listen.
I like it because they really do play the oldies such as Hank Snow, Hank Williams and Marty Robbins.  It's neat to think that these songs could be the songs my grandparents listened to when they were my age.  There were a lot of sad songs...cheatin' songs, and songs about lovin' another, etc.  But there were some funny ones too! 
Like this one from Roger Miller called "Dang Me"
"Roses are red, violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so is maple syrple"....Dude must have been smokin' some wacky tobacky when he wrote that one.  Haha. 
Wanted to take a bit of time to share a bit of art by Stevan Dohanos.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Stevan Dohanos.  He painted 123 covers for the Saturday Evening Post and many paintings for different companies and advertisements.  He was born in Lorain, Ohio.
Here are just a few of his Saturday Evening Post Covers that I enjoy looking at. 
This one is a gal and her friends in the middle of a bridal shower.  Don't even get me started on how they just aren't the same as they used to the bride seems to have most everything she needs before she even has a ring.  But I love that she received a set of 4 Pyrex mixing bowls!
This one from 1944 is entitled "Penny Candy".  It's a cute one and reminds me of the little grocery store we had in Epping. 
This one, from 1952,  is one of my absolute favorites.  Going outside to fetch the laundry is something so everyday, so mundane and yet in this painting it is so interesting.  I like the shadows made by the late afternoon or evening sun, I like the woman's scarf and the fact that even though it is cold, she's wearing a dress (Women back then usually did).  I like the yellow glow from the window, although I can't tell if it is the glow of light or just the color of the curtain's lining. 
This one speaks volumes!  Look at the calendar it is June 1945 and just after victory in Europe.  The picture of the hands holding up a loaf of bread hint at a future of prosperity.  No more rationing!!  The baker looks like this is just one of many wedding cakes he's made this year...just look at those arm muscles, he's iced a few cakes, I'd say.  You can tell that the cake it is for a soldier and his bride by the cake topper.  The future looks bright again.
Well, that's all for today.  Until another day,
Have a Happy Vintage Day! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Not Into Black Friday...And I Despise The Idea of a Gray Thursday!

As much as I love Thanksgiving Day....I don't like what's happening to it.
It seems that Thanksgiving is becoming synonymous with black Friday. I don't like the words "black Friday" brings thoughts of plague, dread, dust, and death even though I know it has nothing to do with any of those things. Black Friday is actually about money, stores making a profit, and being "in the black".

For the last 10...maybe 15 years I've noticed this black Friday phenomenon boom (some say it's been around since the mid-70s). I've read news reports of people being shoved, bruised and even trampled to death (yes, to death) by eager shoppers rushing through the doors of a discount store to do what?  Save 10$ on a blender?  Really? This is where we are headed as a society?

I didn't mind so much when the line between Thanksgiving Day and black Friday was clear. Ten years ago or so it seemed that sales usually started at 5AM Friday morning (long after the turkey coma had worn off).  This didn't seem greedy, it seemed good for business, good for the economy, and good for people who like to get their Christmas shopping done early.
But now the line has begun to fade...stores want to be open earlier to gain the hard-core bargain shoppers.   And now, it is greed. 
A few years ago one well loved discount store even started to open their doors ON Thanksgiving. Now, more and more stores are following suit. Soon we'll be glossing over Thanksgiving completely, lumping Thursday and Friday together as one giant day of greed instead of thankfulness. How opposite can we get.

I'm reminded of the dad in the movie, That Thing You Do and his quote about the local discount store, Telemart.  "Open Saturday ten to ten. Open Sunday twelve to six... open on Sunday from twelve to six! You know, I don't believe I want to live in a country where you have to stay open on Sunday to business. You shouldn't have to work on Sunday to support your family."

I feel the same way about stores being open on Thanksgiving.

This quote was floating around Facebook the other day and pretty much sums my feelings towards black Friday.

It's meant to be cheeky, but it really does say it all...doesn't it?

Again, our grandparents who lived through the great depression and the years of WWII would probably click their tongues in disgust if they knew the chaos of black Friday.

Tomorrow's post will be more cheerful (I promise) I just HAD to get that off of my chest.
Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Books for Children

Here are some wonderful children's books for the Thanksgiving holiday ahead.

Yesterday, I posted about the song "Over the River and Through the Wood" and now, here is a beautifully illustrated version of the book by L. Maria Child and Matt Tavares that I found on  If you follow this Amazon link and then click on the book you can view the pages inside!

Here is one that Autumn and I like very much.  And even though she is older now, we still grab it off the shelf to read it every week before Thanksgiving.  The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing, and Illustrated by Tammie Lyon.  You can see it here at  The book is all about the hustle and bustle that accompanies Thanksgiving for the family in the book.  They bake, watch a bit of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, play with their cousins and finally eat. 

Here's another cute one for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland and Illustrated by Sonja Lamut

And finally, this is one of my favorite books for the fall and winter season.  It's not necessarily about Thanksgiving but it does make a person thankful for the folks who have braved the prairies back in the 1800s.  We are here because of their hard work and perseverance.
It is a My First Little House Book called Winter Days in the Big Woods.  It was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Illustrated by Renee Graef.
You can take a sneak peek here on Amazon.

These are just a few of my favorite books to read during the time before Thanksgiving and  I hope you enjoy them too!  I'm sure there are many many more that I haven't discovered yet!
Until tomorrow,
Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stitching Practice: Long and Short Stitch and Bullion Stitch

There is a new project hanging out in the train case. I've been practicing the long and short stitch and more of the bullion knot roses.  I'm using a little piece of scrap towel that I've been practicing a number of different stitches on.
The pattern came from Flickr Group Vintage Embroidery Pattern Pool.

Transfered onto the fabric using a Pilot FriXion pen that disappears with ironing.

And here is my progress so far.  This was one of my first "real" attempts at doing the long and short stitch and I really enjoy doing it, although I'm not very good at it yet.
To learn more about the long and short stitch check out Mary Corbet's Needle & Thread site.  She has a group of lessons all about creating the long and short stitch.  This site is amazing!  I was wishing for a place in town that might be giving embroidery classes but then I found Mary's site and it is like an embroidery class right on the computer!  And it's in the comfort of your own home so you don't have to drive out into the blowing snow and cold!  I can't wait to get started on learning how to create beautiful leaves and flower petals!

Until another day!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November TUSAL

It's TUSAL time and I realized that I totally forgot to post a picture of my OTR (Old Ratty Threads) jar for October.  But, I really didn't stitch much in October, I quilled instead.
So here is November's Totally Useless Stitch Along!
To read more about TUSAL, visit Daffycat's link here.
And if you like stitching you might enjoy reading her blog,

Until another day!
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where Can't You Rollerskate?

Just a quick post today.  I came across this funny song, "You Can't Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd"  by Roger Miller and just had to share.
The pictures in the video are a little goofy...the song is goofy enough without the pictures.
You can read all about Roger Miller HERE.

Until another day,
Keep Your Toes a Tappin'

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snowed In and Embroidery

This past weekend brought quite a few inches of snow over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were "snowed in" with no travel advised in the area, and therefore spent the weekend watching vintage TV (Lucy, Andy Griffith and Bewitched), embroidering and crafting. 

Autumn switched from one thing to another (gee, I wonder who she gets that from) but she did do quite a bit of coloring in her new color book.

And here is what I worked on...

A little blue bird singing with musical daisy notes.

I zipped into Hobby Lobby Thursday night to get a craft to keep Autumn busy through the snow storm. This 1/2 yard of daisy fabric was my treat! I think it matches the embroidered picture pretty well.

I spent some time practicing Bullion Knots by making these little Bullion Roses. 
Here is a nice tutorial on how to make a Bullion Knot.  The tutorial is from Mary Corbet's Needle n Tread site and is probably one of the best video of how to make a bullion stitch that I've found so far.
Here is another video showing how to make Bullion Roses.  She uses yarn and embroiders the roses onto a sock.  She shows how to make a French Knot and Bullion Rose.  It's kinda fun to watch.
A little more practice with roses and tiny flowers. 

On Sunday, I did get my snow boots and parka on and walked Autumn down the block to the neighbor boy's birthday party. It wasn't so bad going, but coming back I faced the cold, west wind. I was reminded of my childhood in Epping, walking the two long blocks to school every morning, with my little brother. Then once inside the school we'd put our mittens on the big antique radiators to burn...I mean dry. Walking to school on the plowed roads in Epping was nothing compared to the distance our grandparents had to walk through fields of fresh, deep snow. They talked of having to walk at least two miles in snow up to their knees. If they were lucky they got to ride to school in a sled. Thinking about that made walking down the street to the neighbor's place seem like a piece of lemon cake.
How easy we have it now! Back when I was first married I had a car starter. I'd point the little remote out the window and in five minutes my car would be nice and toasty warm and ready to roll. And now they make cars with seat warmers...really?
Horse drawn sleds didn't have heaters, and they especially didn't have built-in butt warmers. However, I have heard stories of kids taking baked potatoes, fresh from the oven, and putting them in their pockets to keep their hands warm. Then, they could place them on the stove at school to stay warm until lunch. Yum! How delicious that would be as a mid-day lunch. I'd eat mine just like an apple. (I actually do that from time-to-time, skin and all).

What a fun weekend!
Until another day,
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blackout and Axle Annie!

Some women get flowers or candy "just because".  But I get Children's books!!!  Shannan surprised me last evening with these two books off of my wish list.  Thanks Hon!  I am so happy to add these to my collection! (BTW, I still think Blackout should have won last year's Caldecott...just sayin').

You can read my thoughts about Blackout on one of my previous posts here.

Until Tomorrow,
Have a great day!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gene Autry Christmas Album? Yes, Please!

Saturday, I had to make a trip over to Walmart.  I'm not a fan of discount stores.  I'd much rather find what I need at the cute little shops downtown.  But, this is the real isn't 1950, or Garrison ND, and the idea of finding everything we need downtown just doesn't always work here in the city...sometimes ya just gotta go to Walmart.  *sigh*
So, in an attempt to cheer myself up over the idea of having to be there, I decide to just peek at the cheezy, plastic, glittered Christmas ornaments.  I soon found myself in front of a large bin full of unorganized Christmas CDs strewn in all directions.  You know the type of have to dig for 5 minutes to find something recognizable?  Well, my persistence paid off because at the bottom of the bin I found this!!  And wouldn't you know it was the only one!
Gene Autry Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and other Christmas Classics!  YeeHaw!
All of the songs are sung by Gene Autry and friends and all of the songs are from the late 40s, early 50s (1947-1953) with just a couple from 1956.  It will be a fun CD to listen too as the holidays approach.

Now, I know that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I am usually a stickler about not listening to any Christmas music until Thanksgiving is over, but I just have to share one little song.  This song is NOT on the album shown above but it is on Youtube and I like it very much!

Have a happy day!

A Snoopy Birthday

Autumn's birthday party came and went.  She had a snoopy party, and there was plenty of house cleaning, baking and decorating to do.
On of the fun little things I made for her was a Snoopy pillow from her beloved Snoopy sweatshirt.  She grew out of the shirt last year but refused to part with it.  It's been hanging in her closet ever since, taking up space.
1.  Simply cut a square from both the front and back.
2.  Place the front and back together with the good sides facing each other (because you will be turning it inside out to hide the seams. 
3.  Sew around all sides, leaving a small hole to turn the pillow right side out.
4.  Fill the pillow with batting or fluff.
5.  Sew the little hole shut.
It's as easy as that!
A squishy pillow!
Pin the nose on the Snoopy game.

Decorated kitchen ceiling.  She had black and white silverware, plates and cups with B&W polka dotted napkins for cake time.

Cookies for Autumn's classmates.
The local grocery store couldn't make us a Snoopy cake because of copyright laws.  So, we had them make us a plain white cake with red trim and we added a WWI Flying Ace Snoopy plush from the local Hallmark store!  She loved it AND got a cool stuffed animal!
Goody bags.  I found these great little bags for the right price at Hobby Lobby.  Printed the little Snoopy message and sticky taped them to the bags. 
 It was nice to see so many of our friends an relatives and a fun time was had by all!
Until another day!
Have a great crafting day!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Barn Dances

Another "Oldie but a Goodie".  This one is also from 1952.  
This one is "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes" sung by Skeets McDonald.  The song was actually written by Slim Willet (Don't 'cha just love these names?)

I don't know what it is about these old songs, they are just so darn fun to listen to! They make me wanna get up and dance....
in an old hall, in some little country town...
or maybe in a barn!
My Grandma always talked about the barn dances she attended when she was a teenager and later in her 20s.  A relative of hers had a large barn and held dances there on occasion.
If I were to go to a barn dance....
I'd wear dancin' shoes and a dress like this one I found on Etsy, too small for me of course (Boo Hoo).
I'm doing my best to find out a little bit more about barn dances online, but can't seem to find much about them.  May have to spend an hour or two in the library this weekend in the Heritage Room looking for little articles and such on barn dances. 

Here are some things I did find....
There was a radio program in the 1920s called "Barn Dance"   Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it....
"WLS in Chicago is credited with developing the “barn dance” radio format, which was in large part responsible for the advent of country music in the United States. The "National Barn Dance" began as a program of old-time fiddling on April 19, 1924, with George D. Hay as the show's host and announcer. A year-and-a-half later, Hay moved to Nashville, Tennessee and brought in an old-time fiddler to launch the WSM Barn Dance; this show is now known as the Grand Ole Opry and remains on the air to this day.
National Barn Dance
Here's an old Gene Autry movie called The Old Barn Dance.  I haven't seen it yet but it is available to rent for 7 whole days on Amazon Prime.  (Don't 'cha just love technology sometimes!).  Might rent it sometime just to hear the music.
The Old Barn Dance link to IMBD  Read all about it!

And here is a TV program that ran from July to September 1953 called Old American Barn Dance.  It's about as county as a blue ribbon jar of pickles at the county fair!  Yee-Haw!  There are a whole mess of 'em on youtube if you like 'em.

And in keeping with our barn dance theme...there are even a couple of children's books about barn dances!
Barn Dance!  by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, Illustrated by Ted Rand.  And it's still available on

And Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
What a hoot!

'Til another day!
Have a great day, ya'll!