Friday, August 31, 2007

Candy Packaging

Refreshing little designs onthe boxes of some Japanese candy that I bought at a grocery in Chicago. The candies were good, too, especially the coffee bean and cone-shaped ones with strawberry and chocolate. It is a beautiful day here and a long weekend to look forward to. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Museums--Some of the best places in the world! The best kind now-a-days are the art museums. They still have lots of real objects to see. It is so sad to watch the history museums and science museums put their real things away in favor of posters and computer stations filled with buttons to push. I remember the wonder of looking through the glass cases at the Ohio Historical Society at a doll's trunk all fitted out with clothes, shoes, hairbrushes, and all sorts of miniature items for the doll to use. Another case would have the real dishes pioneers had used when they first came to Ohio to live. I loved seeing the real stuff and imagining who used them. Now, most history museums store all their real things away and mount up pictures on the wall with lift-the-flap games that tend to be a bit boring. Please, please bring back the "stuff"!
Another neat kind of museum though, is the open-air, living museum. A great one in Ohio during the summer is Robin's Crossing in Nelsonville. It is peopled by students learning how to work at this kind of museum and volunteers.
A wonderful book I just found at the library is about the people who work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and is called simply "Museum" by Danny Danziger. Makes me want to work at a museum, right now!
The girls and I have made our own museum in the past. We started doing this when my oldest read about the boxcar children putting up their own museum. (second in the series by Gertrude C. Warner--"Surprise Island") We collected bird egg shells, feathers, rocks, shells, leaves, etc., made labels for each and then last year we put together our own art museum and a catalog. Tons of fun!

J revisited........

J is for....
Julie--one of my wonderful sisters who had a birthday not long ago--Happy Birthday! :-) Do you remember making me this little felt dolly(see above)? Our family went on vacation every summer and it was an incredibly long car trip--no air conditioning in those days and we were packed three across in the backseat. I don't know how our parents could stand it. Anyway, somewhere in the last years of your vacations with us before you were all grown up and off at college you made this for me on the trip. You used to put together the most wonderful little kits of activites for the car ride. Things to color and make all in a shoebox along with a little bit of candy. It was so much fun to see what was inside to do. Thanks, Julie for your generous spirit then as well as now!! :-) Love ya!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

L is for............

Lace--in nearly every window in Germany are lace curtains. I never could find out why they hang what seems to me short. The Germans rarely have any screens on their windows either. They don't seem to have many mosquitos but houseflies they do have. The lace curtains are said to help keep them out, I don't know how effective it is. Anyway, the lace is beautiful...I miss it.

Lurking--I have done this since, forever. I have tried to add comments to some blogs recently but, I find it hard. I am just a die-hard lurker. I stroll thru sites, admiring and getting inspired, yet I don't make any comment......I must therefore thank you all, you wonderful inspiring, informative people with websites and blogs out there. You brighten my day and I will try to tell you so--at least every once in a while.

Love--My Dad's birthday was yesterday--Happy Birthday! I Love You! Hope you enjoyed your peach pie. Wish I could have been there.....anyway here is a picture of an itty bitty little earring that my dad gave me when I was a teen. I don't know what has happened to the other one but he brought them home one night after work. The heart is hand-painted on the top of a split pea.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Picture for Em's room.....

I finished painting the picture above, over the weekend to put in Em's room. I thought it was done on Saturday but it was nagging me and so I went back to it this morning. I originally had "Miss Green" (the doll on the right) without a scarf on her head and I also added the lace paper clouds and names for each--which are cut from a child's book. Now I am satisfied, even tho it is no "great" work. The clouds are registering a bit brown in the picture but are just a little off-white in the painting itself.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

K is for....

Kid--I have really wonderful memories of being a kid...swimming at the pool, clubhouses tucked into closets, vacations up north and...the cardboard wall my parents allowed my sister and I to erect in our bedroom to divide my side from her side. It went floor to ceiling, taped in place with a door cut so we could open and close the flap, eventually we cut a window in the wall when our curiosity won out over our sense of privacy. I remember the little acorn teacups and mudcakes on Sundays when we would go to a little piece of land my parents owned in the woods. There was a little stream we could float bark boats with pinecone passengers. All the smallest of moments...........

Friday, August 17, 2007

J is for....

Jumping Jacks--I remember watching a local kids show in central Ohio in the 60's, "Lucy's toyshop" and she would have an exercise segment singing a song about "go you chicken fat go" and I would do jumping jacks with her and other exercises as I watched.
A couple of years ago we discovered an artist, Michaela Muller, in Oberammergau, Germany that hand carves jumping jacks--called hampelmanner in German. She is so very talented and studied under master carvers for many years. The pictures above show the two sides of one hampelmann. Her workshop--very cool and filled with curls of wood shavings and pots of paint is on Ettaler Strasse (street) number 24 if you are ever in the southeastern parts of Baveria. It is just a block or two from the larger wood carver's shops and tourist area. Oberammergau is the town that puts on the famous Passion Play every ten years--the next one is in 2010.

Jolly and Jingle--I just like these words, they are so happy! I drew a birthday card for a niece several years ago with a jolly teapot on it.

It's big, and it's done!!

I finished stitching on the face, put on the flower and then stuffed this big dolly for Em. It took a huge amount of stuffing. I put a little felt pouch of plastic pellets in the bottom before stitching it closed so it will stand without falling over too often--like a weeble. Em loves it and started squishing it immediately and rubbing it, etc. I couldn't help myself but kind of urge her to be gentle and not goob it up right away. I need to let it go.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I is for...

Interlude--In the big rush to get ready for school this year I have very little time for projects. But, I have been lucky enough to have been able to start this huge nesting doll for my youngest. It is a large 24 inches or so, made out of maroon felt and will go in Em's new PINK and red room.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Seven years ago a group of people walked into our lives and changed us forever. We are so thankful and humbled by their expertise and "heart" in saving our girls heart. Em was born with at least 3 major heart defects and because of these people you wouldn't even know it today. She runs and plays and displays no symptoms of her repaired heart. We are so very lucky and my heart goes out to these wonderful people. We can't thank you enough, Dr. Rowland, Dr. Mee, Dr. Drummond-Webb-deceased :-( , Columbus NICU, Cleveland Clinic's NICU and so many others. And a special thank you to that nurse who gave me the warmest quick hug in the early morning hours as my daughter was saved from a sudden infection that scared us more than the surgery.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Gggg's than I thought......

Gingerbread--Yum! On houses or in a pan, it doesn't matter. I remember giving my daughter of about 6 months old a tiny, tiny taste of gingerbread that I had baked and boy did her face crunch up. It sure wasn't rice cereal. This picture was taken in Germany at a Christmas market.

Genealogy--Oh, another love! I love to work on the natty little details and organize the charts and information, but most of all I love to imagine past family members lives and find out what was going on during their lifetime, in their town, in their country; what drove them to move on, or stay put. Like most genealogists I get carried away and talk this subject to death.

Gnome--Got this book for a birthday gift back when it first came out and liked all the drawings but especially those of the small house amongst the roots of a tree. Always wanted miniature people or gnomes to be real. Palmer Cox brownies, The Borrowers, Teenie Weenie's, gnomes, you name it.

Gypsy wagon--I've always wanted one. The inside so compact and cozy and tiny, like a dollhouse or playhouse on wheels. The excess decoration doesn't hurt ethier.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

FFForgot about....

Flowers--what's not to like...I like the wildflowers and garden grown best. I picked lots of wild daisies and road-side roses the day before my wedding to use in bouquets.
Fairy Houses--Em and I had fun putting this together in a hollow of a tree.

F is for French craft/needlework stores

La Droguerie in Paris is a wonderful place. A small shop packed with all kinds of supplies for crafts. When you first walk through the door there are hanks of wool yarn of every color--ooo the purples--hanging along the walls, then a huge board with all kinds of buttons, jars of beads, rods full of ribbons and throughout; many different glass counters, each with treasures displayed within. Each counter was clustered with lots of chic Parisians discussing their projects with the staff. I felt very intimidated shopping, I have next to no French language skills beyond greetings and nicities and I didn't know exactly what I wanted--no project, per se. I was about to walk out after browsing timidly when my daughter tugged on my sleeve. "We could point at a button, Mom" and she was right, we could point and use our fingers to indicate the number while I mumbled my rudimentary French.
When a pretty young clerk came over to the button counter I launched into my greetings, "Bonjour, Mademoiselle" all in a rush pointing towards the buttons to indicate what we were interested in. Because I had read online about La Droguerie, that they couldn't or wouldn't speak English at all, I worried that she would be very dismissive. Instead she smiled the sweetest of smiles and said "Which may I help you with". I felt like a puppy in my gratitude for her effort to speak my language and Meg and I pointed out many buttons that had caught our fancy. At this point we were reminded of the first Harry Potter film and Harry's trip to Olivander's, the wandmaker. Each button we pointed at would send this young woman on a quick trip towards the back of the store where boxes about the size of shoeboxes, lined the shelves, she would scroll her finger down checking the little inked labels on each box, finding the correct one she would bring it to the counter and lift the lid exposing a partitioned box of buttons within. The style we had picked out would often be offered in several sizes and similar buttons would be in the same box.
After we were done with the buttons the clerk politely asked if there was anything else we needed in the store that she could help with. At this point there were many customers that were in need of help but she calmly waited on us and gave us to understand that she was our clerk as long as we needed her. When we had finished she led us to the check-out booth and turned us over to another lovely lady who was very kind as well. Our purchases were each wrapped individually like little presents in crinkly little bags with a raffia tie around the top. My only disappointment was that we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the store. I found this picture of a button board, I think from a Japanese branch of La Droguerie on Google Images--thank you unknown looks just like the one from Paris.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

E is for.....

Early birds--This group of duckies showed up on our last morning on the lake. It was funny that when they were each grabbing some of the bread I tossed to them one or two ducks stood guard duty for the rest. They floated/swam apart from the group always alert and not taking part in the duckies.

Embroidery--A sampler of stitches I made when I was pretty young, I remember working on it and how hard it was to get the needle to come up where I wanted--still is hard that way.

Embroidery floss--just a lovely pile of it.

Effusive--Can't seem to get the knack of this...wish I could gush more, not fakey, just exuberantly effusive. :-)

Etc.--odds and ends are lovely aren't they? These are labels for Czech.

Monday, August 6, 2007

D is for.......

Dolls--Love them, always have, I remember playing with my mom's old dolls at grandma's house. My great-grandmother had made lots of handmade clothes for the dolls, coats of wool, dresses of slippery fabrics trimmed in lace. Now, I have a special affinity for handmade and folk dolls. This picture has three dolls that I have made and one I found on my recent vacation. Top Row--The wooden peg doll is a small mannequin's model I found at WalMart which I painted up, but haven't dressed . The felt nesting doll is from the free pattern from Hillary Lang at WeeWonderfuls. Bottom row--the felt pixie, I found at a cute shop, Yankee Clipper Trading Co., in Frankfort, MI and the "Shrekish" flat doll I made last summer with Sharpie markers on heavy muslin. The unseen reverse is drawn as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

C is also for:

Cinnamon Rolls--The smell of these babies filled the house this morning......

Chef--Here's a little chef to help out..I like to cook , not haute cuisine, just regular stuff. Wouldn't it be nice to hire a chef tho....

C is:

Contemplation--In one of my favorite spots on earth. We were lucky enough to visit this beautiful place for a week in July. It was very Calming.

Camille--A beautiful doll from the French company Corelle. All wrapped and ready for our youngest who has a birthday this Saturday. This 13" doll looks like she is the same size as the "Marie and Claire" dolls in Marie Claire Idees magazine. Looking into making some clothes this week for the new doll. Pictures to be posted later......

Circus--Check out this new children's book "Who Put The B In The Ballyhoo? by Carlyn Beccia. Gorgeous illustrations.
Clowns--What's not to love with this folk art clown and all those clown for the Cash to purchase.......hmmmm maybe I'll just enjoy the picture.

Friday, August 3, 2007


B is for:

Bumble--cause Bumbles bounce! I was terrified of this "Abominable Monster" in the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". I would watch it on TV--the one time it came on per year back in the 60's and tremble at the appearance of this menacing monster. Yikes! He's still scarey.

Bumble Bee--"Found me a baby bumble bee, won't my mommy be so proud of me" I don't like bees so much. They do bother you even if you leave them alone. But, I love honey---so there you go.

Books--I could live in a library or bookstore and be perfectly happy all the rest of my days. I love non-fiction books, mysteries and kids books. One of my all time favorites is Heidi. I remember the wonder of her putting on all of her clothes to climb up the mountain and shedding each layer as she climbed higher. Having milk-goat's milk from a bowl, cheese and bread for a meal seemed strange, yet yummy and my sympathy for the loneliness of living in the big city and missing her mountain. We had a copy of Heidi adapted by Florence Hayes and illustrated by Erika Weihs and the pictures are just magical. The adaptation-originally pub. in 1946, in our case was part of the Dandelion Library that had one children's book back-to-back from another--upside down from each other.

Babies--Oooouu...the snuggly warm smell of my babies. Nothing like it in the world--I wish I hadn't been so darn tired tho.

Bubbles--in my tum....very uncomfortable...making me quit drinking carbonated beverages, again. I love Coca-Cola.....but I can't take the bubbles anymore.
"Bub-bub-bub-bub....."--a favorite movie line from "Overboard". Goldie Hawn's character, "Annie", is overwhelmed with the household chores and is reduced to a mumble. I know this feeling........

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Very Ordinary Life ABC and 1,2,3

I love the idea that BellaDia has on her website and I am going to try and complete my own encyclopedia (sort of) of my life........starting with:


I have had 19 addresses thus far and would like to have at least one more. I toted up the number of homes I've lived in this morning and was surprised at the number. I don't remember the street addresses for all but I have very vivid memories of certain places in each home. The soft blue hydrangea at one front door, the phone "booth" seat at another. Each home written on my memory, something to love in each of them, even the baby snakes that found their way into the cabin we lived in for a year can be loved now that they are only a memory and not squirming on the floor.

2029 Collingswood--my childhood home, a shared bedroom with my sisters--I always wanted the top bunk and closet clubhouses with my brother-he sat on the shelf over the rod because we couldn't all fit below.

General Delivery, Nassau--folding down the dining table made my bed in the boat we lived on for a year when I was 12, clear blue water and Cinder, our dog, buried on Rose Island.

Apt. B Center Drive--stacked moving boxes in half of my bedroom, playing non-stop jump rope outside.

Dunlap Rd.--a haven in the trees and long bus rides to school.

Cobblestone Apt.--very little furniture in my first home with my husband and getting our first dog, Oliver-who tore up a patch of carpet by the door of that apartment.

Taylor Street 15, Germany--best neighbors who became good friends and the large tiled kitchen where I learned to make apple tart.

My mom thought that I would be the one kid who would not move far from home. It sure didn't work out that way, did it Mom? You see, I married a soldier and have strayed near and far, all over the place. You'd think that I like to move and at first it was fun and, not so much. The packing up of all my "precious" things and unpacking at the other end, uggh, not for me. But, I would like just one more the woods where I can paint my garden fence with polka dots and my front door the color of blueberries. A screen door that slaps shut and just one bathroom--I hate cleaning up bathrooms.

I made the felt picture above for my daughter about 6 years ago.