Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joyeux Noe'l !

I know that we are all busy with preparations for our Christmas celebrations, but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to each one of you that has followed my blog this year. As 2010 comes to a close I am reflecting on all the wonderful people I have "met" through blogging and the blessing of friendship you have extended to me. I appreciate your kind comments and emails more than you know...and I appreciate that you take time from your busy lives to read along, encourage, and inspire me.

I also want to take this opportunity to say that I am so very grateful to all my customers for your patronage over the past year. I love to hear how much you love the things you have purchased and the ways in which you display and use them. It warms my heart to know that you find such pleasure in the things I make with my own hands. So, thank you for that. I have some lovely things planned for you in the coming year...including a giveaway in January, that I'm sure you'll love.

I began this blog because of an "epiphany". I believe this is the path I was meant to follow, and doing so has brought so many good things into my life. I want to encourage each of you to follow your path...whatever that may be. I hope that you will continue to "walk along" with me as we begin the new year together. Here's to adventure!

Until next year time...

Wishing you a Joyful Christmas Season, and a healthy, and prosperous 2011!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~Tuesday Display Chain~Winter Whites~

Each Tuesday Misi, of Gable House Musings, chooses a theme and invites bloggers to play along with her "Tuesday Display Chain" by featuring items from their collections. The theme this week is Winter Whites.

This theme was a challenge for me as my decorating style tends to be a bit on the dark and somber side. I've tried, really I go with a more neutral pallet, but the truth is I just can't resist mixing in splashes of reds and blues. These are the things my eye (and heart) are drawn to.

Still, I was able to find a few little of puddles of light...

When my boys were small we made an entire village using chipboard, glue and instructions from Martha Stewart LIVING magazine. I cut all the pieces, they painted and glittered. The little white church is  always at the center of our display.
I found two pairs of these cotton lace stockings at an estate sale. Just look at the beautiful workmanship. Click on the photo for a better view of the lace patterns. I can't imagine wearing these, can you?
This lone baby sock, from the same time period, was found in a box of "junque" I brought home.
I love the textures of the linen, cotton lace and the old glass next to each other.
A simple ironstone bowl perched high on a shelf of the buttery.

Turn of the century stockings, and mercury glass beads, hang in the back hall.

A precious little bell from my Grandma Beulah's tree.
A closer view of that beautiful cotton lace.

A snowman, desperately in need of a makeover. He used to be an angel...but tells me he would prefer a top hat & something festive to hold in his icy little hands.
Old glass against a child's calico dress.
And for those of us who are not fans of the white stuff (I'm speaking of snow here), this plate of orange pomanders, studded with cloves, adds a bit of winter sunshine to a corner of the buttery.
See the other Tuesday Display Chain participants at:

Until next time...

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's beginning... look a lot like Christmas all around blogland. It's been so much fun to see the different ways that everyone incorporates their family and vintage pieces to make their homes cozy and inviting for the holidays. You've all been so generous in sharing photos of your beautiful homes that I thought I'd join in. Slowly but surely I have been decorating. I am going for a much simpler, natural look this year. Of course some of the old favorites must make an appearance.
This jointed Santa was a very special gift from a dear friend. It is one of a set. These were hand carved and painted by her father. I love unwrapping them each year because they remind me of my friend who was called away to ministry. This time of year California seems especially far away. I'm sure some of you know what I mean...
This is a photo of the buttery...just a few holiday additions with the smaller of our two trees in the background. This tree will be decorated with beeswax hearts and old children's dishes and kitchen ware. I warned you...I'm decorating slowly.
~A wool star, orange pomanders, and a favorite Christmas portrait of our boys decorate the buttery shelves~

~Bottle brush trees, old lead deer and a handmade village dot the buttery landscape~

A dry sink in the kitchen entry, decorated with pottery, bowls, granite ware and a small potted fir.
And because I know you were hoping I'd show's the other Santa.

Well, I'd better get busy. Those trees won't decorate themselves you know!

Until next time...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

~Bead and Needle~

Once in a while I discover something really wonderful and want to tell everyone I know about it. That's how I feel about Tanya's unique and beautiful work at Bead and Needle. When I saw this beaded pendant necklace, made from an old tintype, my heart went pitter pat...and I just knew I had to have it. So I saved my pennies and hoped it would still be for sale when I had enough put aside. Lucky was!

Just days after placing my order my necklace arrived in the mail. And I must add here, that pictures do not do it is even lovelier in person. Don't you LOVE when that happens? Add to that...Tanya included a matching pair of earrings to go with the pendant. I know...can it get any better? Well, yes it can. Not only is Tanya's work beautifully and meticulously executed...but she is just the dearest person to deal with too!

Here's a closer view of the necklace. I've already worn it a lot. The fun part is making up a different story about the identity of the pretty lady pictured, each time I get complimented.

Here are some other examples of Tanya's work...

Sparkles and Beads
Beaded Cameo

Beaded Porcelain

If you hurry, you just might be in time to call one of these beauties  your own...
Still for sale in her Etsy shop.
 Beaded Antique Tintype Necklace

 Glass Beaded Button Pendant Necklace

I'm sure there's someone on your Christmas list who'd love to find one of Tanya's pieces under the tree. Or maybe YOU'LL be adding to your own wish list. Either're welcome. 
Until next time...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

~Simply Primitives Update~

I'm pleased to announce my very first update on Simply Primitives, December 1st, featuring some of my new cut paper silhouettes. I hope you'll join me along with the other talented artisans there.

Our silhouettes are adaptations 19th century works, finished and framed in the early style. Each image is hand cut from heavy card stock and mounted on parchment. They are then tinted with our special solution to replicate aged paper. Each silhouette comes in a distressed, wood frame, under glass. The back of the frame is neatly finished with paper and comes ready to hang.

Until Next time...

~Star Rug Company Giveaway~

Just in time for Christmas! How many opportunities do you get to win a fabulous hooked rug like this beauty from The Star Rug Company? Well, here's your chance! Just follow the link to Maria's page and enter to win. Good luck!

Tuesday Display Chain~ Homemade Granola by Kattywhompus

Each Tuesday Misi, of Gable House Musings, chooses a theme and invites bloggers to play along with her "Tuesday Display Chain" by featuring items from their collections. Since many of us are browsing through magazines and looking online for holiday ideas such as gifts, decorating ideas & recipes, Let us give a little of ourselves here through blogland. This week's theme is "To Share".

I'd like to share my recipe for homemade granola...a huge hit at out house. My husband & sons think this is a real treat for breakfast served with fruit and yogurt. It also makes a great healthy snack. I make up a big batch at Christmas for gift giving. It looks great in a cello bag tied with a piece of homespun and a handmade tag. I've made it for fund raisers and bazaars and it is always the first thing that sells out. I hope it will become a favorite at your house too.

Homemade Granola by Kattywhompus

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients except raisins until well blended.

2 1/2 Cups Old Fashion Oats

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Sunflower Meats

1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

1/4 Cup Wheat Germ

1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

* 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins & 1/2 Cup Dark Raisins

Of course the above ingredients can be adjusted to your taste...try a variety of nuts and dried fruit for lots of different flavors!

Melt butter and honey together and then add vanilla. Pour over dry granola mixture and toss until well coated.

1/3 Cup Butter

1/3 Cup Honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Spread granola in a thin layer on two lightly greased cookie sheets (pans with sides work best).


Forgive my "well seasoned" baking pan...the best kind. :)

 Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Stir frequently while baking. Pay special attention to granola around the edges of the pan. When granola turns a golden brown, remove from oven & spread on wax paper or foil to cool. Stir in raisins, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy! 

See the other Tuesday Display Chain participants at:

Until next time...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blustery Black Friday

As I sit here typing I can hear the fierce wind whipping across the Indiana prairie, the creaking of the house, and the voices of our eldest son and Mr. Kattywhompus deep in conversation. We are staying cozy inside, awaiting company this evening. How wonderful it is to be restful and relax with family gathered round! With leftovers in the fridge and dogs at my feet I feel blessed beyond measure.

In between checking the turkey and serving up pie, I was able to get a few things listed in my Etsy shops. I am working on a series of cut paper silhouettes, some of which are already available here, and some of which will be available on Simply Primitives on December 1st. I am thrilled to be included among their newest artisans, and hope you will visit me on my page there. Look for me in the Artisan Directory after December 1st. I have also added a couple of things to my vintage Etsy shop, including this Artisans Sampler, perfect for Christmas crafting!

I've been putting these together from my stash of vintage lovelies...things that are wonderful, but don't necessarily fit with our primitive style home. It's been fun to see how much the people who purchase these kits appreciate and enjoy them. I have several more in the works that should be listed in a day or two.

Here are some of my colonial style silhouettes. The designs were adapted from early portraits and are hand cut from paper.

I'm going to decorate a short wall in the living room, next to my desk, with similar pieces. I'm still looking for some little oval frames to mount some of the smaller cuttings.

These are available in limited numbers, so please...if you see one you must have, don't hesitate.  I'd hate for you to be disappointed.

I think they are really special...and hope you will feel the same.

I can't believe I forgot to show you the lovely little gift I received from Michelle Palmer. Out of sight, out of (my) mind... 

I was one of SEVEN winners in her generous fall giveaway...

Michell is such a talented lady...I  just adore her little drawings on fabric. Wouldn't this look fabulous on a fall themed sewing roll?

Michelle chose this drawing especially for me. Does she know me, or what? It's perfect! She also included one of her magnetic Christmas sets in my package and as always, a sweet note.
I encourage you to visit her lovely blog, and afterward her Etsy shop. You'll be glad you did!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
~Melody Beattie~

Thanks to each of you for following, what a blessing you are to me!
I wish you a joyous Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Display Chain~A Woman's Glory~

Each Tuesday Misi, of Gable House Musings, chooses a theme and invites bloggers to play along with her "Tuesday Display Chain" by featuring items from their collections. This week the question was asked, "Do you have a cherished hat or bonnet?" 

In times past, a woman's covering was her "glory". This post is a celebration of the glory of  hats! 

An antique gingham prairie bonnet hangs near the back door.

A simple cotton head covering is displayed alongside children s clothing in the back hall. I love that the wearers initials, J.L. Butler, are inked along the inside. 

The little calico dress dates to the civil war era and is one of my special treasures.

This straw day hat dates from just before the turn of the 19th century. I waited all afternoon for a chance to purchase it at the estate auction of a 101 year old spinster. Very Jane Austen.

This vintage hat was given to me by a fellow church goer. I love the long ribbons of tulle that tie under the chin. While on a high school field trip, I met Katharine Hepburn at the Chicago Art Museum. She was wearing a hat similar to this. Ms. Hepburn, and her hat, made quite an impression. 

Antique aprons and bonnets hang near the front door.

A faded red bonnet, soft with age.

This delicate white bonnet features tiny pink polka dots and a quilted brim.

I found this beautiful straw hat at Goodwill, still in it's original hatbox. 

I love the little flowers and berries...ever so cheerful.


The next few hats are no longer in my collection. 

They have moved on to new owners via Etsy. 


A 1940's "high crown cloche" in a creamy wool, meant to be worn perched on the crown of your head.

 This stylized high crown cloche, a 1940's classic, has a definite "Breakfast at Tiffany's" feel. The wide bow on the front lends a touch of romance, while the back curves slightly upward to show off those silky 40's hairstyles.

Sometimes referred to as a "tilty hat", the details on this 1940's ladies beret are what make it extra special. The mocha brown wool felt has been stamped with a striking whorled pattern that radiates from the crown of the hat. Beaded and wire bullion flowers, surrounded by felt leaves and a bit of tan grosgrain ribbon embellish the left side of the hat. 

This sweet 1940's ladies platter hat, in a creamy straw, has a rolled brim wrapped with russet grosgrain ribbon. In front, the hat features one long slim feather, accented with a single rhinestone. Mushroom brown netting covers the front of the hat and is long enough to tie or pin in your hair. Dyed to match velvet trim, finishes the inside of this hat. Still available on

This is a contemporary April Cornell Straw that I wear on sunny days.

And finally THIS...for your entertainment.

Me, modeling an antique calico bonnet in our motel room at Simple Goods. Lessons learned? Don't let friends photograph you after you've just driven 6.5 hours...and don't take yourself too seriously.  :)

Until next time...

See the other Tuesday Display Chain participants at:

This week's theme by Pamela at Civil Folks