Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Merry All Hallows Eve to You

Eye of newt, and toe of frog. Wool of bat, and tongue of dog.
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting.
Lizard's leg, and owlets wing.
For a charm of powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

~From Shakespeare's Macbeth~

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heartfelt Thanks

Sometimes when you see wonderful handwork, you just instinctively know that the person behind it is every bit as beautiful as their work. That's Julie. Through blogs and email, Julie & I have become friends...she is one of those kindred souls that I wish lived next door. When I think that we may never have "met" if it weren't for the www, I'm thankful to live in the age we live in. 

Yesterday, a package arrived in my mailbox. Inside was the prize I won on Julie's very generous blog giveaway. Of course I was excited about winning...but I really had no idea HOW excited I was about to be! When I opened the package it smelled of cinnamon and spices...mmmm. When I carefully pulled back the paper I saw this...

Honestly, I wasn't prepared for just how wonderful Julie's work is. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and her stitching and finishing are meticulous. Add to that my love for sewing 'accoutrements' and that it's a make-do heart (one of my favorite things)...well, you can just imagine how pleased I was with my prize. So of course I took a few photos to show off Julie's work in it's new home.

My heartfelt thanks for your generous gift Julie. I'm thrilled to display something made by your hand in our home. It's my newest treasure.

Visit Julie online here: 
OR here:
 You'll be glad you did.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Display Chain- Souvenir

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 "Souvenir."

A souvenir, French for memory, describes a memento or keepsake brought back by a traveler for the memories associated with it.

The things I typically bring back from my travels (which are few, and not very glamorous) are bits of moss, rocks, leaves and flowers pressed into books. If I have a bit of spending money I will I treat myself to one beautiful thing to remember my adventures.

Pictured below is one of those things. This is a fraktur I purchased at the Simple Goods Primitive Show  the year before last. Painted on the cover of an ancient book, it has become one of my treasures.

 Here's a closer look. Aren't the colors lovely?

The next item is a souvenir from a trip to Walt Disney World when I was a girl. It's a jam jar. Tell me, what kind of a young girl brings THIS back from the land of Mickey Mouse? I was an odd kid.

In my early married days I collected Tea Cups & Saucers. I had shelves full of them. All but a few, that I feel especially sentimental about, have found new homes. This is a favorite, featuring scenes from Mackinac Island, in Michigan.

Arch Rock, The Grand Hotel, and The Old Block House encircle the sides of cup.

I think it's the lacy edge and cottage roses that endear it to me.

And this last souvenir is just for fun. Some of you may not know that Mr. Kattywhompus and I have been sweethearts since the 8th grade. I know...adorable, and a little disgusting. 

This is something he won at the county fair way back when. I'm sure my mother was thrilled when I displayed it in my bedroom. It still makes me laugh (as does Mr. Kattywhompus) when I see it among the pretties in my little studio.

I hope you've enjoyed today's Display Chain. Hop on over to Misi's blog to see the other fabulous contributors! Until next time...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Michelle Palmer Giveaway!

I'm always excited when Michelle Palmer has a giveaway...heck, I'm excited just to see her new wares. I adore her enchanting little drawings (Oh, to have half her talent for drawing*sigh*).

I hope you'll stop by and see what she's up to (and while you're there enter her giveaway!). You can thank me later. Good luck!

Until next time...

Button Envy

Like so many button obsession collection started with my grandmother. While she mended the family's clothing I would sit at her feet, poking through the button box and listening to the hum of her treadle machine. I would carefully match and thread buttons onto lengths of string and choose the buttons that would become eyes for the countless teddy bears she sewed.

When I was a teen, Gram presented me with a large tin filled with every kind of button imaginable. I was, pardon the pun, hooked. 

In the years since, I have amassed quite a collection of buttons, fasteners and clasps of all kinds. Enough to make Granny proud. Still...there are times when I find myself the victim of button envy.

For instance, when reading the blog of fellow button aficionados who refer to themselves as the 'Button Floosies'... And although not officially a member, I am certainly a button floosie at heart. Case in point:

 On Monday, an old friend stopped by to bring me these...
(left click for a closer look)

 Her mother was an antiques dealer and had these beauties in storage for years. The original prices are still visible on the cards from her shop.

 Of course they'll need a good cleaning...any recommendations would be very much appreciated.

 These rectangular glass beauties are some of my favorites. I wonder what they were used for?

There are glass, metal, shell, and even buttons made out of walnut halves.  Each button has a history. Each button once adorned a precious article of clothing.

Any assistance in identifying button types would be lovely.

These pastels are made of glass. They look like candies to me.

If you happen to be a collector...I'd love to talk buttons sometime. Maybe you can recommend your favorite website?

Just a few of the rhinestone pretties.

Wouldn't these medallions look lovely worn as a necklace?

Back in Black

Button sets.

I love these little brown glass buttons on the right, with the painted posies.

Should I tell you that this is a fraction of what she brought me? 

After she left, I had to take a nap from all the excitement.

This is one floosie who will never have button envy again.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Display Chain

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 "Make-Do."

In my grandmother's day, when folks had a need, they'd look around to see how they might "make-do" with what they had. It was a common practice for people to pass down or patch clothing, fashion a needed tool, or share what they had with a neighbor.

I can't count the number of times I heard Gram recite the old saying, "Use it up, wear it it out, make it do, or do without."

As I was looking around our home, I realized that we "make-do" with a lot. Almost everything, has had a previous owner...or two. Rather than running around photographing every stick of furniture in the house, I thought I'd share a few favorites.

A litter of goofy sock cats, stuffed with rags.

 We've all made at least a couple of these pincushions, haven't we? Both of these started with candlestick bases.

 This old blue bench serves as a coffee table in front of our craigslist sofa.

A make-do apothecary, made from old crates and cheese boxes.

And speaking of my gram...she made literally hundreds of teddy bears over the years. These from my childhood, are my favorite "make-dos" ever. Their "fur" is made from cast off winter coats. I can remember Gram allowing me to cut the cardboard that lined their footpads. The large bear, was Papa of  "The Three Bears"...Baby Bear is wearing his second skin-because I wore the hair off his first. Momma Bear now lives with my cousin.

I still have Gram's original pattern...she made bears in three sizes.

I wonder how many of her bears have survived?

Baby Bear

I hope you've enjoyed today's Display Chain. Hop on over to Misi's blog to see the other fabulous contributors! Until next time...

Monday, October 18, 2010

I have a secret...

Shhhhh...come closer so I can whisper in your ear. Even though I adore primitives...there's another side to me that you may not know about. I have an alter ego. I'm a girly girl who loves pink, ruffles and all manner of pretty things. 

When I come across an ancient box of old lace or a button tin at an estate sale I just can't resist. Can you?

I love putting together these little inspiration kits from bits & bobs that I've collected on my adventures.

Don't hate.

Maybe you prefer blue?

 Or Aqua?

Old lace?

Or just something sweet?

What's that? You like pretty things too? Don't worry, your secret's safe with me.

These pretties and others, coming soon to an Etsy shop near you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Uncle Louie's Apple Cake

A butcher by trade, Uncle Louie enjoyed baking in his spare time. His 'Hint of Mint Cake' was known all over Starke County as the cake to beat at North Judson's annual Mint Festival. He also came up with what we affectionately call, 'Uncle Louie's Apple Cake'. Every year at Thanksgiving, Uncle Louie presented each family with an apple cake. We looked forward to those cakes all year. Even when he was well into his seventies, he was baking thirty cakes for each holiday. Uncle Louie has been gone for over twelve years. We bake this cake every year at apple time, in memory of Uncle Louie.

 Uncle Louie's Apple Cake
 3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups of diced, unpeeled apples
1 cup chopped nuts (Louie used walnuts)

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend oil, eggs, apple sauce and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredients. Stir in diced apples and chopped nuts. Bake in an ungreased 9" x 13" pan at 350 degrees for one hour and 10 minutes. Great topped with vanilla ice cream or a bit of whipped cream.

Please feel free to share this recipe with your friends and family...and tell them they have Louie Ball to thank for the best darn apple cake they've ever eaten.  

Until next time...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Giveaway Winners Anounced!

Thank you ever so much to all who entered my drawing, and most especially for reading along, both here and in the magazine. Your kind and supportive comments and emails have been very heartwarming indeed.

In the name of fairness, I've conducted the giveaway in the most scientific way possible. Each name was printed on a slip of paper, folded, and dropped into a favorite little bowl.

 My helpers quarreled about who would choose the winning name...and so I have agreed that each of them might draw a name from the entrants.

Murray insisted on going first, as usual.

He chose...Doris, of I Play Outside The Box

Then it was Edith's turn to sneak in for her pick.
She chose...Nan, of Atticbabys.

Congratulations Ladies! You've both won a copy of the magazine! 
 Please email me at with your mailing address ASAP so you can claim your prize.

Thanks again to all who participated! Until next time...