Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and/or friends. I am getting ready to watch my favorite movie of all time, "It's a Wonderful Life". And maybe make a second pie run...YUM! Anyway, I will leave you with a few random Christmas pictures I wanted to share.  Click on the photos if you want to enlarge them.

One of my little antique bisque dolls that I dressed up for Christmas...

A glimpse into my talented friend Melanie's shop, called appropriately "Handcrafted Santas and More".  She makes the most divine large Santa vignettes, using beautifully put together antique and vintage items that she gathers up from estate sales, flea markets, garage sales, and antique shows.  I'd have one in every room if I had the space.  This little guy was so wonderful.  Look at the colors on his coat and accessories. 

This fellow is a "sewing" Santa done up in shades of pink.  How could you not love it?  All of Melanie's Santas have some sort of theme whether it is sewing, music, cooking, reading, etc.

This creamy white seashell Santa is glorious...

More randomness...

I didn't do much decorating this year, but this was one of the "use what you have" things I did up and just fell in love with.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Just wrapped up some empty boxes with old papers, added some pretty ribbons and laces, and topped them off with old jewelry.  And added a little glittered dove for an extra punch.  Voila!

Still loving the dove theme, I used another one perched on some old maple sugar molds and antique tinsel I've had forever and added the wonderful 1920's rhinestone and feather millinery piece I just got at an estate sale.  All were nestled on an old Italian pottery compote.

Finally, a present I wrapped up for my friend Denise. I made her a darling doll which was inside, but she loved the wrapped box so much, I'm not sure she has opened it yet! I admit it, I was proud of myself at how cute it turned out.  I think glitter and tulle make everything better, don't you?

Well, that's about it for now.  My last Christmas movie calleth.  Go make the rounds through the leftovers once more before bed.  Diet is just DIE with a T at the end, ya know!

Until next time,
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yes, Judy, there is a Santa Claus...

The participants of Pink Saturday hosted by Bev are doing something special this week. We are sharing one of our favorite holiday memories. This is mine...

As an adult, I've always heard how much kids love to stay at home for the holidays. Judging from my own children and the children of my friends, I'd say this is generally true. However, it was not true for me. I absolutely LOVED going to my grandparents' homes for the holidays. I loved seeing aunts, uncles, great aunts, and cousins.  My parents grew up within 9 miles of one another, so we had the routine down pretty well, spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my dad's folks and then Christmas mid-day meal and late afternoon with my mom's folks. After my dad would get off work on Christmas Eve, we'd get in the car and make the 2 1/2 hour or so drive to my dad's parent's house. We'd usually arrive in time for a short visit before supper and then more visiting and maybe the news before little kids like me were shuttled off to bed.

When I was about 5 or 6 and starting to "wonder" about certain jolly fellas in red suits being real or not, we were watching the weather portion of the local news. The newscasters broke in to say that Santa had been sighted and was due to arrive in the area around midnight. They even had the radar blip showing him and his sleigh (and don't forget his 8 tiny reindeer). Being a child who wanted SO BADLY to believe, I was SO relieved. I mean, they wouldn't say it on the news if it weren't true, right? Sort of like Virginia and her letter to the editor of the newspaper, I suppose. Ah, childhood wasn't more than another year or so that I pretty much had the truth figured out, but on THAT Christmas Eve, one little girl in Texas went to bed very happy and satisfied that the Santa Claus was real and all was right with the world. That feeling sticks with me every year when I put up my Santa collection and trim the tree. Whenever I think back to my childhood and my family at Christmas, that is one of those cherished memories that gives me the "warm, fuzzy" feeling.  Nowadays, it isn't always easy, but I choose to believe in the magic of every day, especially at Christmas. Won't you join me?  You'll be glad you did. 

Until next time,
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Antique French Postcard for Pink Saturday...

I got this antique French postcard online.  I didn't realize how pretty it would be until it arrived from Quebec.  I just love it!  It reminds me of some of the beautiful mixed media creations I have been delighting in out here in blogland...only it's 70 years old or so.  I thought it would be a lovely contribution to Pink Saturday, don't you agree?  Hope you had a chance to work off your turkey by power shopping on Black Friday so now you can enjoy the rest of your weekend!  And while you're recovering, pop on over to Bev's at How Sweet the Sound.  She hostesses this event each and every Saturday and it's a lot of fun to see what everyone comes up with. 

Until next time,
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from My Table to Yours

Wishing you all the best on this Thanksgiving. And for my non-U.S. readers, Happy Thursday! All of you are part of what I am thankful for this year. Now I'm going to eat some pie and count up more blessings!

Until next time,
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Big City Dreams in a Small Town


I was born and raised in a small Texas town called Mineral Wells. It is a sleepy little town of 16,000 or so residents about 50 minutes west of Fort Worth. The area is very pretty with lakes and rolling hills. The water around the town became known for its healing properties (hence the name, Mineral Wells) and in the late 1800's, the town was founded. Stories of Mineral Wells' healing waters brought tourists from around the world in the early part of the 20th century. Little hotels, drinking pavilions, spas, and bathhouses started popping up, taking advantage of the benefits of the water both for bathing and drinking that were becoming so popular. The tourist trade came to town and put Mineral Wells, Texas on the map.

In 1929, Texas hotel entrepreneur T.B. Baker opened a 14 story, 450 room Spanish revival hotel smack dab in the middle of Mineral Wells.
It was an elegant hotel with a huge lobby, large Olympic sized outdoor swimming pool, marble spa areas for a variety of treatments including mineral baths (nice), massages, (really nice), and colonic treatments (eeeeoooooowww). Mr. Baker spared no expense in installing the newest features such as circulating ice water for the guest rooms which he used in many of his other hotels. The hotel was to be fully air conditioned which was a novelty during this time. Also the lights and fans were controlled by the key lock on the guest's room doors. When the guest left the room and locked the door the lights and fans went off. Valet doors were also installed so the guests might place clothing to be cleaned in them and not be disturbed by the employee that came to remove the items for cleaning. The Baker Hotel had wide porches, its own bowling alley, a full sized gymnasium, and several restaurants and ballrooms with the most impressive (in my mind anyway) being the Cloud Ballroom at the 14th floor with its large windows all across both sides of the room overlooking our little town and beyond. It was the scene of big bands and dancing and good times on a Saturday night.

There were tales of movie stars visiting the hotel in its heyday and big bands playing in the clubs. Bonnie and Clyde stayed there for a time. U.S. Presidents and congressmen visited.

I went there once with my dad as his "date" for a Rotary Club banquet when my mom got sick at the last minute. The hotel was 45 years old at the time, but I remember how big and elegant it still seemed. There were tall ceilings, cloth napkins and hotel silver, and beautifully patterned rugs. Even then, I could imagine back in the day when people would come from all over to take the baths, maybe enjoy a little entertainment, and a chic cocktail from one of the bars. The swimming pool was also quite beautiful and impressive to a little girl with its fountain and children's wading pool on one end and the huge pool at the other.

But, times change, then, as now. Antibiotics, the Food and Drug Administration, the interstate that diverted traffic 20 miles away-all of this came together to bring an end to the glory days of the Baker Hotel. After slowly becoming an obsolete destination, it closed its doors for the last time in 1972.

Even as a young teenager, I was intrigued by the history associated with this grand old gal, although she was not aging well and was becoming more and more tattered and run down (and vandalized) each year as she slept, waiting for her prince to come rescue her. Back then, I, as most of our town, still had the hope that someday, someone would rescue the hotel. As of yet, that day has not come, despite many tries by various entities to renovate and reopen the Baker Hotel. Not much call for a GINORMOUS hotel in a little town that seems to be shrinking rather than growing.

Now, almost 38 years after she closed her doors for the last time, she sits. Getting more decrepit and broken down with each passing year, she waits. Becoming such a hazard that the city finally closed her to visitors altogether in 2006, this once grand old lady is getting dangerously close to passing the point of no return-too far gone to restore, too expensive to tear down.

It breaks my heart to see her standing there in her current state. I often wonder if my love for cities, bright lights, grand hotels, and, in general, HUBUB might have had some beginnings growing up in the shadow of this grand old hotel with its rich past. Unlike so many of my friends, both in my real world and my virtual world, I've never been at home in the country-at least, not for more than a short while. I've always loved big cities as long as I can remember. My parents were both from small towns and lived their entire married lives in small towns, so I can't attribute it to them. I just love the sound of humanity carrying on at all hours-the sirens, the traffic, the hum of the city. Throw in a far off train going down the track, and I can go to sleep like a baby. I don't know why, it just is what it is.

I haven't been back to Mineral Wells since a few months after my father died in 2006, but I assume the Baker Hotel is still an albatross, dying a little more each day. It makes me so sad to think about it, but it is a part of me, so I pay it homage here in Blogland. For what it's worth, this is where I come from. Thanks for listening.

Until next time,

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Shabby Pink Mosaic Goodness

We had a ball doing our 4 hour marathon listing on Our Cottage Garden on Saturday night. It was crazy, but good. We put TONS of new items on, including this whisper pink mosaic birdhouse created by little moi. It has a mix of vintage and new china, stained glass, and a couple of handmade and painted clay tiles. It even has a cute little drawer that opens at the bottom. It is purely decorative, but so fun to add a little whimsy to your decor.

I have so many mosaic project ideas rolling around in my head, but my ability to start them is limited by the fact that I am currently without a proper studio to work in. BUT, that's about to change. We have been working for over a year on building a new garage that has a studio over the top. It is basically a studio apartment, but we won't be renting it out any time soon. So, I will finally have a place to work where I don't have to clean up before I cook dinner or go to work. I can't wait for it to be done so I can start using it. And I can't wait to show it to you (I'll have to take pictures before I mess it up-I'm just NOT a neat artist!). I hope by the first part of next year, I can be in there working away.

Until next time, I'll be dreaming of my studio...
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Happening Event at Our Cottage Garden

Come on over to Our Cottage Garden tonight for a 4 hour marathon of new items. Denise, Ronda, and I will be listing our brains out with vintage Christmas items, great antiques, and handmade art. It's our first ever and is one event you won't want to miss!
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun...

Happy Pink Saturday! Wow! I can't believe its been almost 2 months since my last post! I guess that birthday hit me harder than I thought! LOL! Just kidding, folks. I've just been attending to life. Getting kids back in school, finishing a mosaic table that I did with my kids' whole elementary school back in April which I had not finished doing the background on (until this month), beginning work on a 12 foot long mural mosaic for the same school with my friend Juanita, and...taking a weekend long polymer clay class from the awesome Laurie Mika. If you aren't familiar with her work, go check our her site. The things you can do with polymer clay are amazing. Her art is awesome, the class was awesome, and she was a darn nice lady, too! Her studio was just featured in the most recent issue of "Where Women Create". Her book, "Mixed Media Mosaics" was an awesome find, tying together my love for stamping, mosaics, and iconery. When I found out she was coming to Ft Collins, CO (yes, of "Balloon Boy" fame) to do a workshop at sweet Christine's Artists' Nook, I just jumped at the chance to take it. It was 2 days of bliss. I've never done any type of workshop like that before, although several of the more well known artists meccas like Silver Bella, Art Fest, and Art and Soul are definitely on my "Bucket List". So anyway, my finished project is my offering for PS. My photography wasn't up to par as I was doing a couple of down and dirty pictures to do show and tell with friends and family, but you get the idea. It was a cool metal box made to look like a book which we embellished with our completely handmade tiles and collage on the back and the inside. The tiles are polymer clay which has been stamped with rubber stamps (no ink), painted, embellished with mica powders, and occasionally embedded with doo-dads. We also learned how to handpaint simple white tiles and do transfers onto the tiles. My inspiration was the Paris Opera House. I had a cool postcard of the Opera House that my father had brought back from Paris in WWII when he was stationed there. I made a laser copy of it and brought it up with me to the workshop along with some bits and bobs I had stashed. Laurie had all of the stamps and mica powders and seed beads that she let us play with. I can't wait to play with polymer clay and stamps again. Who knew it could be so fun??? When you're done oohing and aaahing (come on, indulge me here), pop on over to our Pink Saturday host Bev's place, How Sweet the Sound to check out all of the offerings for Pink Saturday.

Until next time,

Me and the Goddess of Polymer Clay, Laurie Mika.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's my birthday and I'll post more dolls if I want to...

I know you are probably getting sick of my little doll posts, but doggone it, this new one I just did up is SO cute! And, this Pink Saturday, it really is my birthday, so I guess I will ask for your indulgence in putting up with yet another little doll. This antique bisque doll is larger than the ones I've done before, so I was able to be a bit more bold with the trims I used. This one has an antique silk velvet bodice and a very pretty scalloped lace trim skirt. Vintage rayon seam binding forms her belt, shoulder straps, and little rosette "dress clips". Topping it all off is a wonderful garland of vintage velvet flower trim at the hip and forming her headband. I just love her gold hair (not golden, really gold!). She is SO 1920's. And SO sweet.
Now, before I go off to eat my celebratory birthday sweets, I'm going to pop over to Bev's at How Sweet the Sound to check out the other Pink Saturday participants.
Until next time,
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nothing to Wear on Pink Saturday

I found this little bank at an antique show recently along with the "Pin Money" bank in the background. Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen? I had never seen a "Nothing to Wear" bank before, but here it is in all of its pink glory. It's in pristine condition. I should probably start putting my change in it for the fall and winter season-its a tough economy these days, but a girl's gotta look good, right? Well, I don't know if I'm actually going to put my pennies in this little cutie, but its going to look adorable sitting on my shelf.

While I count my pennies, you should pop on over to Beverly's at How Sweet the Sound to see the other Pink Saturday participants. Its always fun and always a bit eclectic with something for everyone.

Hope you're having a great summer!

Until next time,

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

New at Our Cottage Garden Boutique

Just a quick note to let you see some of the cute things I just posted at Our Cottage Garden. They just make my heart sing and I thought they might "sing" to some of my blogging buddies as well.

This is a precious vintage pincushion I found while out antiquing a couple of weeks ago. Can you even believe how cute it is???? Can you even believe I would sell it????

This is a vintage hanky box which I repurposed as a sewing box after I dolled it up with some great vintage wallpaper, antique millinery, trim, and then filled it up with great notions and a little bit of whatnot!

Lovin' the whatnot, especially this little bisque basket pincushion!

The top got a beautiful vintage millinery rose along with some of Heather's FABULOUS wide silk ribbon.

This little bisque doll is from Japan, circa 1920 or 30. She was in need of some clothing, so I used antique lace and old trim from the 1920's which I hoard like a mizer. I'm surprised I pried a couple of inches out of my little hand to make the bottom of the skirt! I think she is just precious with her little pouty face and pretty dress (and socks and Mary Janes, of course!).

Hope you are all having a great weekend! I am going to be playing outside with my family, so cross your fingers that the weather cooperates!
Until next time,

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