A DISPARATE ASSEMBLY OF THINGS, IDEAS, AND PEOPLE.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

CHOP! CHOP!

Recently, I latched onto this little nine-inch chopping block.  
Actually, it has been stored in our garage for a few years, but originally it was in my mother-in-law's kitchen.  I remember her chopping anything and everything on it preparing for many meals.  (She never heard of bacteria-contaminated cutting boards!)  Her father, Grandpa Bloyd, had made the board from salvaged walnut and apple wood.

Now, it has a future in our kitchen.

It elevates anything ordinary ---
Serves as a frame for a garden bouquet ---
Or, simply,  be a reminder of family history.

For now, I must go roast those tomatoes to put in the freezer for use in winter soups.  I always think the tomatoes will never ripe on the vine; then I wonder what I'm going to do with all of them!!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

YUMMY CINNAMON ROLLS

For you semi-homemade devotees -- have you tried this recipe?

What you need --
Rhodes frozen Cinnamon Rolls (12 to a package)
 4-serving box of Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding
Stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted
Chopped walnuts (optional)
 The night before, spray a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.  Lay the frozen cinnamon rolls in a single layer in the pan.  (Reserve the icing packages that come with the rolls.)  Sprinkle the unprepared pudding mix over the frozen rolls.  Pour the butter over the rolls.  Sprinkle on nuts, if desired.
Cover pan with lightly sprayed plastic wrap.  Refrigerate over night.

Remove thawed rolls from refrigerator and place on counter for an hour or so until doubled in volume.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Spread with reserved icing.
I made these for our fellowship hour at church; and then for my Wednesday morning coffee group.  These coffee-break connoisseurs wanted seconds and the recipe!
In my current stage of old-age laziness, I may never make cinnamon rolls from scratch again.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

THE GARDEN, THE CUTIE, THE BEAUTY!

THE GARDEN ----

Usually by the middle of August in our dry, arid climate, our garden is looking a little weary.  We've had more rain and cool weather; so things are still looking good!
In the vegetable garden, the lettuce, beans, and peas are finished, but Bob is harvesting zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, blackberries -- and the Halloween pumpkins are growing.

That's not all that's growing ---

THE CUTIE ----

That would be our grandson, Wyatt.  He has grown 3 inches this summer, and is now taller than I am.  He spent 8 weeks involved in recreation-district track and field.  I love watching him run the hurdles.  How does he do that?  I was so uncoordinated as a child!  He has also spent three mornings a week at the high school lifting weights with the big boys.  In our small community, that's a 'Rite of Passage' for boys -- all in preparation for 7th grade football.
Every Friday this summer, he has spent the day with Bob and I.  He mows the yard, helps Bob with the garden, and they do their favorite activity of putzing in the garage.
This kid also loves to cook, so this past week he and I had some kitchen time together. 
We made empanadas for lunch with a hamburger, green chile, and cheese filling.
Football practice has already started, school begins next week.

THE BEAUTY ----

a.k.a. Caitlin, our favorite (only) granddaughter.  This is her second summer working for a local rafting company.  Conditions and business for rafting have been good this summer, so she has gotten lots of hours.  I've hardly seen her.  On her one day off a week, boyfriend-time cuts into Grammy-time!

She has decided, though, that she wants me to take her senior pictures.  So, on her day off last week, we spent the whole day together.  In the morning, we went out for Photo Shoot #1; then in the afternoon, we shopped.  We have more photo shoots planned - more outfits, more locations.

This girl and the camera do play well together.

Even the out-takes were fun.  Focus, Cait, Focus!!!!
"I'm off to see the wizard!"                                         "What's that wire thingy up there?"
And, now she is a Senior in high school.

After taking care of both kids as preschoolers all day, every day way back when, and now this -- I'm having a hard time and experiencing pre-empty-nest syndrome.  It's almost worse than when my own children flew the nest.

I have to tell myself, "It's all good."
(Just don't fly away too soon.)

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN - PART THREE

Previous posts of "Sew Much Fun" about Clark's O.N.T. collectibles may be viewed here and here.  This post includes some of the other old sewing paraphernalia I've accumulated over the years.

My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was about five years old -- I enjoyed it, but was always anxious to try making something on the sewing machine.  A friend of my mother's evidently saw the sewing gleam in my eye, because she gave me this little toy Singer sewing machine and iron.  They had belonged to the friend when she was a little girl.  The patent date on what is left of the instruction pamphlet is 1922.  I loved playing with this little machine and iron at the time -- I was told that to have good sewing skills, you also need good pressing skills.  I really cherish this gift now -- some 70 years later!!
By age eleven, I was a whiz on an adult sewing machine, and made my first quilt for my doll from my grandmother's and great-grandmother's apron and dress scraps.  At age 15, I bought my own sewing machine on lay-away -- $5.00 a month for 9 months -- that seemed like a very long 9 months waiting for my machine!
I haven't stopped sewing since (or accumulating vintage sewing stuff from both sides of my family).  This was my other grandmother's sewing encyclopedia from the 1940s and is stuffed with clippings and notes.
As a child, I was fascinated with this type of sewing basket - the ones with the beads, foreign coins and tassels - exotic stuff for a kid on the prairies of Colorado!  And, they were always full of sewing accouterments.
One of the best things about being a sewer and quilt maker has been all of the people I've met through guilds and groups.  They have given me their friendship, plus so many handmade gifts -- needle books, pin cushions, lots of quilted hearts, and adorable little creatures!
These little dolls are about 1 1/2" tall - impeccable workmanship.
I guess it was only natural being the oldest grandchild (and girl) on both sides of my family that I should inherit my grandmother's and great-grandmother's sterling silver thimbles.  What a treasure with the wonderful engravings!
Advertising thimbles have been fun to collect, also.
That's it for today's post -- some day I'll dig out the button boxes with all of the vintage buttons, plus some other little bits and bobs.
I'll leave you for now with this page I have from a Dick and Jane book - 1940s.  I was always so proud as a kid that one of the characters' name was Sally.  Here is Sally watching as "Mother Makes Something".  What is ironic is that my mother never sewed a thing -- the sewing gene skipped her generation!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN - PART TWO

I hadn't forgotten about continuing my posts on my sewing collectibles -- I just got sidetracked a bit.  To view the first post about the promotional items from Clark's O.N.T. from the 1800s, click here.
Now for more Clark's O.N.T. stuff --
I love finding these little cardboard boxes that the thread was delivered in to the stores.  Spanning the years, the graphics are fun and different.
It's especially fun to discover them when they are full of unused thread.
The Clark Company also distributed instructional booklets such as "Sewing Secrets - The Modern Methods of Stitching-Decorating-and Finishing" (Copyright 1930).
Over the years, they have sold all kinds of thread from darning thread, crochet, to different weights and colors of sewing thread.  Love all of the wooden spools!
The large decal of the logo was probably to be used on a storefront's door.
I've really enjoyed searching for Clark's collectibles over the years just because of the variety available.  Plus, they can be found for pennies to a couple of dollars.

The next installment of "Sew Much Fun" will be a variety of other sewing trinkets that I have accumulated.  Please come back.

I'm joining the following:
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Monday, July 28, 2014

A CHANGE OF SCENERY

I've felt really yucky the last two weeks fighting a couple of infections -- not much energy, etc.

However, we had previously planned a trip to Denver to take place over the past weekend to do some of our favorite things like antique and/or junk hunting.  It was the weekend of the big antique show at the Denver Merchandise Mart; so I decided to suck it up, and we should go anyway.  I was past being infectious.

Maybe what I needed was a change of scenery!


The antique show was great, as usual, quite high-end and way above our usual price point.  But, enjoyable none the less -- we didn't buy a thing.  But who doesn't like just looking at the beauty of Tiffany lamps and amazing antique jewelry?


After the show and with my low energy level, we only hit one antique mall; then headed to our hotel.   I love staying at a hotel.  We don't frequent the expensive, resort type; but do like a good mid-level establishment.  We don't participate in any of the amenities - just enjoy a different surrounding.  This one was very nice - a suite, complete with a fireplace, two TVs, and even a dishwasher.  I think loving it has something to do with not having to wipe down the shower and make the bed!


I was finally getting my taste for food back, but not really hungry.  My choice -- the appetizer menu -- a wonderful flat bread with boursin and Monterrey jack cheeses, grilled tomatoes and portobello mushrooms, and arugula with a reduced balsamic glaze.  Perfect!

The next day, we hit a couple more antique malls, then home.
I only made one purchase -- this Johnson Bros. brown transferware bread plate for $4.48.  It is currently being auditioned for the perfect place in our home.



It's amazing what a change in surroundings and a piece of brown transferware can do for your health. 

Oh yeah, and a boat load of antibiotics!!



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Sunday, July 27, 2014

MEETING BJ and MR. SWEET!

As many of you know, meeting a blogger in person is a wonderful, unique experience.  BJ of Sweet Nothings and I go way back in our blogging careers -- 2008 to be exact -- isn't that a long time in the blogging world?

BJ and her husband, Bill, were coming on a trip to Colorado, so we made plans to meet up for a short visit.
In Colorado, we think nothing of driving along on a one-lane road in the mountains; and then come upon a hole in the side of the mountain.  
You will have to go over to BJ's blog, and read her description of what she had to endure to come visit us.
For our part, it was well worth their adventure to find us.
We had such a good time during their short visit -- it was like we had known each other all of our lives.  
Bill (Mr. Sweet) and Bob
The four of us are all about the same age, been married forever, and each have two kids.  As BJ said -- are hair is even the same color and we share the same middle name!
 BJ and Bill -- please come back anytime.  But next time, you may want to try the highway!

PS:  I was so excited to have them visit that I was negligent in taking pictures -- I had to borrow these from BJ.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN!

I intended to knock out a quick post about all of my antique and vintage sewing trinkets.  Who was I kidding? --  this is going to take several posts.  Hope you will stay with me!!

I'm going to start with my Coats and Clark's thread stuff as it is the most sizable in quantity.  If you are interested in the history of the company, there is all kind of info out there on the web.  I'll spare you a really long history lesson.

What got me intrigued with Clark's O.N.T. collectibles was this thread cabinet.  One day while scrounging in the out buildings of my family's farm I noticed it.  It probably had been there my entire life - my Dad said it came from a local mercantile company that was throwing it away years and years ago.  The top was broken in seven pieces where my Dad's vise had been mounted.  This was one of Bob's first furniture restoration projects some 40 years ago.  We've never replaced the broken "George A. Clark" glass on the fifth drawer, however.
On the bottom of the top drawer is stamped C. Tollner (the cabinet maker ?), the date of Jul. 30 1887, and Pulaski, NY.  Anyway, I think it says Pulaski -- the only thing I can discover is that in 1877, the Clark Co. established a special box factory in Pawtucket, RI and turned out 1000s of cabinets to distribute to general stores that sold their thread.  I haven't been able to reconcile the Pulaski, NY location.
In 1970, when I found my thread cabinet, I wrote to Coats and Clark, Inc.; and they sent me the following brochure from their archives.  It has the 1887 date on it and looks just like my walnut cabinet.

Several years later I found this small sewing box with the Clark's O.N.T. advertising on it.
It has the same name on it as our cabinet with the patent date of June 1st, 1880.
I have four of these small sewing boxes with different graphics on the inside top cover -- the cowboy is my favorite!
Over the years I have accumulated a number of trade cards used in advertising Clark's O.N.T. Thread in the 1870s-1880s.
 They knew how to market their thread -- showing darling images of children!

 Below is a little book of nursery rhymes.
 This card has elastic on each side which you can twist -- when you release the twist, it twirls around and it looks like the girl is jumping rope.

Below a little Christmas gift of a calendar - 1878

 A large folding trade card - "Our unanimous verdict is that O.N.T. beats all others." 

 O.N.T. stands for 'our new thread' developed after the sewing machine was patented in America in 1846.

Not all of the trade cards have children pictured.  I have several that depict scenes around the world such as 'The Tower of London'.
My next post will have some of my other Clark's O.N.T. items.
I know --- this collecting thing has to stop!

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