Saturday, December 31, 2011


I've done numerous posts about my major collections -- mostly dishes!  And when I first started blogging in 2008, I even did a series on my collection of favorite chairs and their stories.  The chair posts can be viewed here, here, here, herehere, and here.
Today, I thought I would share four of my smaller collections.  They may be smaller in number, but big in effort as I've diligently looked for these items in my price range for 20-30 years.
The first is my 'Clark's ONT' thread boxes.  They are small at just 3 1/2"x4 1/2", and probably were given out as advertisement.  The top one has an insert that contains a pin cushion and is signed by the same cabinet maker as signed our large Clark's spool cabinet that dates to the 1880s.

Below are three wicker picnic baskets.  The one in the middle is quite large, and the other two were given out as premiums at Bob's family's grocery store in the 1950s.  They are great for storage of other collections - one holds my collection of old hymnals.
 I began looking for flash cards with the word 'home' on them, and never found any; but I've picked up these three that say 'house'.  Not quite a collection are the flower frogs as I only have two that belonged to my mother.
 As a child, Dick and Jane books were a favorite of mine as they contained my namesake - little sister Sally.  The framed page on the left shows Sally with Mother at the sewing machine.  My favorite is in the middle - "Work, work, work. Sally can work. See Sally work".  The one on the right is a huge page from a teacher's display book.
These are just four of the things I look for when out and around.
I'm joining the following parties to start the New Year.  Please check out these blogs and thank them for hosting.
The Polo House for the collection party on Jan. l
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
No Minimalist Here for Open House Party on Thursday
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday

Monday, December 26, 2011


In reviewing my blog posts for 2011, I realized that we didn't do as many projects as we usually do.  Then, I realized you have to stay home to get a lot done.  But, I was fortunate to do some traveling this year to Germany--
 And to France--
 Plus, I had a great girlfriend's trip to Santa Fe for 5 days, and Bob and I went to the Round Top, Texas antique extravaganza by way of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  At our age, I'll take traveling any day to staying home and working on stuff!!  Here are a few small projects that we did accomplish.

We had been looking for a way to display Bob's collection of plumb bobs for awhile.  When we were in Round Top we saw some displayed on a big spool, so this was our copy of that idea.
This was a cheap yard sale rocker (without it's rockers).  Bob made new rockers and restored the finish to its Mission-style roots.
I upholstered a new seat and made a cushion for a more comfortable back.  This project went home with our son for his study.
 Below was a little rearranging project with a Restoration Hardware vibe.
Another rejuvenation on an old chair -- Bob did his magic in the workshop taking this walnut Victorian chair apart, regluing and refinishing.
We then upholstered it in blue velvet.  We just took it to the consignment shop, and hopefully it will find a new home.
 A two-year entry way project was finally completed when I found this table; and we refinished a yard sale frame and inserted the mirror.  The alabaster lamp was a gift, and I covered a lamp shade with a herringbone wool fabric.

 Another project from the long ago-entryway project was this gallery wall.  I debated a long time about what to put on this wall, and finally decided on this arrangement.
All in all, nothing big or too exciting, but fun projects just the same.  I have a few things in mind for 2012; we'll see how many get done (if I stay home)!
I'm joining the following parties this week.  Check these blogs out for a plethora of inspiration.
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
Southern Hospitality for Top 2011 Projects on Wednesday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Auld Lang Syne Party on Saturday

Thursday, December 22, 2011



Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It was wonderful in Colorado today even though a lot of major highways in the southern part of the state were closed due to a huge snowstorm.  We were on the northern tip of the storm and only received 4 inches of the white stuff.  We took a little time out of the Christmas preparations to go down to the river  to check it out.  The sun was shining and it was beautiful!!
I changed up the decor in our Hoosier cabinet.  The snowmen and Santas were moved into the guest room, and I got out my German Grandmother's set of Putz houses and churches.
She always had the houses and churches on her mantel along with this little mirror, deer, and bottle brush trees.
I, also, spent some time loading up the bags that I assemble to give out to friends.

This year the bags include blogland's famous 'White Trash'.
These cookies are called palmiers in some European countries, which means palm tree.  However, in Germany they are called schweineohren, which means pig's ears.  Gotta love the Germans - we tell it like it is!!!
Earlier I had made these decoupaged wooden tags/ornaments to attach to the bags.
And, everyone will get a couple of the Honig Lebkuchen.
I'm not the greatest photographer, but occasionally I get some lucky shots.  I assembled some series of note cards from pictures I took this past summer while in Germany and France.    I have series of churches, flowers, and other sights that I'm including in the bags.  Just my thing to encourage the writing of notes!
  The big thing I did today was the horrendous trip to the grocery store for the week.  Does anyone else think groceries have really gone up in price?  Tomorrow, we're making the two-hour trip to visit Bob's 97-year-old mother.  
I do believe I'm about ready for the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  How about you?

Friday, December 16, 2011


As a child, my German grandmother and I  would make these honey-ginger (Honig Lebkuchen) cookies together;  except that we would just roll and then cut in circles.  We would pop them in the oven, and that is where everything would go wrong.  My grandmother was a lousy cook and would burn everything!  Recently, my cousin and I were talking about Grandma's cooking - he remembers the rubbery eggs and I remember the burnt cookies.  I didn't know German cookies could be good until I was grown and making them myself!
 I ordered the cookie cutter (shown in the top photo) from a German company about 35 years ago.  I also bought the paper Santas that match the shape of the cutter at the same time.
 The cookies are glazed, then a couple dots of frosting hold the non-edible papers on.  When my kids were in grade school, I use to visit their classes where I would have all the kids glaze the cookies and put the papers on to take home while we would talk about the German Christmas customs.  It was always great fun.  I don't make the Honig Lebkuchen like this very often anymore.  I only have enough paper Santas left to do about one more batch.  I can't find any place to order them anymore, so guess I'll have to resort to photocopying and cut each paper out individually.
And here they are -- all ready to hand out to friends and family.
I'll be joining Centsational Girl for her cookie party on Tuesday, Dec. 20.  Check it out for more goodies!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I had a couple of friends over for a morning coffee/tea -- very informal! It was fun to get out these Debbie Mumm plates and mugs that I use just at Christmas. I bought them several years ago at Target.
There are four different snowmen scenes.
My fixation with plaid this Christmas called for a new tablecloth. I have had my eye on this flannel at JoAnn's for awhile. It is not the usual inexpensive flannel on the racks, but a nice quality. There are some wonderful plaid and houndstooth patterns/colors and sells for $10 a yard; but it has been on sale a couple of times this Fall. I paid $5 a yard for this red plaid.
The flannel washes and dries well, plus it fringes beautifully.
They also had this glen plaid that I used to make a pad for my Jim Shore Santa and sheep.
BTW, that's a great apple and pecan cake we enjoyed with our coffee/tea and conversation. And if that wasn't enough, we then went to our local French restaurant for lunch. It's nice getting older - we get to eat dessert first!
I'm celebrating the season at the following parties. Check them out for a plethora of inspiration.
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
No Minimalist Here for Thursday's Open House
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I've really enjoyed blogland's simplified spaces for Christmas this season, but I don't think it is in my DNA to simplify when it comes to Christmas decor!
Our kitchen and dining room is basically one space; and, of course, it is where we spend a good deal of time. Over the years, we have collected a good amount of Christmas stuff -- so much of it with memories attached. I find it hard to not put it out to enjoy for just a couple of weeks.
This vintage kitchen cabinet holds a lot of the decor.

There are snowmen I have made over the years, along with part of my collection of vintage bottle brush trees which belonged to my grandmother.
Santas made by friends from vintage quilts.
Several years ago, I made a bunch of these snowmen in vintage blue canning jars to give as gifts to friends. Our grandkids love to shake it and see the snow fly.
Then, there is our collection of blown-glass tree toppers and ornaments from the 1940s-1950s. I'm especially fond of the ornaments with the cardboard hangers made during WWII when metal was scarce.

I bet you thought I was in love with only brown transferware, but I have a nice collection of red, also, which I always get out at Christmastime.
Friends have made and given me so many clever Santas over the years.
My daughter gave me this wreath about 10 years ago, but it received a new adornment and ribbon this year.
I guess 'simplify' is just not in my vocabulary during the Christmas season. There will be MORE in future posts - stay tuned.
I am joining the following Christmas parties. Be sure to check these blogs out for lots of inspiration.
Common Ground for a vintage Christmas on Friday, Dec. 9
French Country Cottage for Christmas Vignettes on Friday, Dec. 9
At the Picket Fence for Christmas in the Kitchen on Friday, Dec. 9
Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive 365 for I'll Be Home for Christmas on Monday, Dec. 12
Michaela Noelle Designs of Holiday Decor on Thursday, Dec. 15

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This is our 54th Christmas together, and our Christmas tree has changed very little over the years.
It just grew and grew like our marriage and our family!
Below, is that very first Christmas tree in 1958. We were newlywed students and hardly could afford to buy the tree. We had to forget about buying any ornaments except the one red glass ball. We strung some popcorn and cranberries, and I made those little red puffs out of some red net I already had.
To celebrate, we painted the year on the ball; and thus, began our family tradition. Every year since, we have painted the year on a ball; so this year there are 54 red balls on the tree.
And, of course, we have added lots of ornaments -- some from travels and some are gifts from friends and family.
We have several Hallmark series that we have purchased over the years. (Note to Hallmark: PLEASE can you stop the 'Nostalgic Houses and Shops' series - it's been 29 years now on that series - we're running out of room!)
Below, you can see the 1979 ball. We've never claimed to be artists, and there are some interesting paint jobs.
I found the candle clips about 30 years ago, but we've never lit the candles. They just seemed to complement the style of the tree with the strings of popcorn.

About 20 years ago, when we inherited vintage glass ornaments from both sides of our family; we started a second tree to accommodate those. Then, we bought blown glass ornaments on our trips; plus received meaningful ones from friends. I love this tree at night with the sparkle of my mother's mercury glass roping from the 1950s.

It takes about two days to put up these two trees. No help from the kids anymore, but Bob does help me. I intend to keep putting up the trees for as long as we're able - it's tradition!! I'm sure our kids, and now the grandkids would complain if we didn't.

I'm joining in on the following Christmas Tree parties. Please check these blogs out, and thank them for hosting the get-togethers!
Honey We're Home on Thursday, Dec. 8
2805 on Friday, Dec. 9
Thrifty Decor Chick on Wednesday, Dec. 14