Friday, August 28, 2009

Blue Alice Little Pullip

Blue Alice Little Pullip, originally uploaded by confections.

In addition to being obsessed with Blythe dolls (12" and mini 4" ones), Little Pullips have caught my eye lately, too. This Little Pullip, Blue Alice, (about 5" tall) was one of the birthday gifts I gave my sister this year.

We took a trip to Los Angeles in February and found her at The Valley of the Dolls at their old location. She is quite charming. Here she is next to a folk painting that my sister found at a thrift store in July on our Colorado vacation.

My eight-year-old niece is a collector now, too. At last count, she has one 12" Blythe (Lounging Lovely ADG), one Petite Blythe (Little Miss Retro Mama), and at least one Little Pullip (Bohso).

I have a Little Pullip, too (Calfy) and my sister has Froggy. I'll have to organize an official photo shoot with her and her cousins and share them here.

Detail of Folk Art Painting

Blue Alice Little Pullip Portrait
Folk Art Painting

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Floor Plan of a 1911 Craftsman Bungalow

Our humble abode (which was remodeled a bit by local architects three years before we purchased it) will celebrate its centennial in May of 2011.

We're gearing up for some spit and polish before that momentous occasion. Life in 850 square feet! (Fortunately we have a double detached garage and a partially finished basement, AKA the Dog Den--that would be my husband's domain....)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Laundry Day Hand-Appliqued Quilt

One of my favorite late August activities in San Diego County is going to the Outdoor Quilt Show at the Country Loft in La Mesa, California.

The Country Loft is a quaint white cottage with a picket fence entwined with Cecile Brunner roses. Inside is a wonderland of quilt fabrics and primitive antiques. In late August each year, the front yard is filled with donated quilts which are sold in support of Quilt for a Cure.

The backyard features quilts and other fiber arts projects completed by students who have taken classes at the Country Loft during the last year. What a joyful way to spend an afternoon!

My sister and I ran into a long-time quilting friend and her daughter and sister-in-law during our visit on Saturday--fellow kindred creative spirits.

The much larger San Diego Quilt Show happens in about three weeks. That one signals the last bit of official summer and the beginning of fall quilting season for me. Happy Quilting!

Hand-Appliqued Wool Flowers on Quilt
Wool Penny Quilt, Hand-Applique
Sunflower Quilt by Donna Yackey

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Mom & Dad, 1956

My Mom & Dad, 1956, originally uploaded by confections.

Today would have been my Dad's 92nd birthday, but he's been gone for nearly 18 years. I lost Uncle George, my Mom's brother, earlier this month; he was born the same year as my Dad.

In the wake of Uncle George's passing, I have been doing a lot of genealogical research into the wee hours, placing pieces of the puzzle into my family tree.

I would encourage you to conduct an oral history interview with all of your loved ones, especially the old-timers. Vast amounts of knowledge are lost when one of them passes; putting their recollections down on paper or (even better) in their own voice will provide an invaluable record.

My Mom's older sister had a faint recollection of the name of a small town in Germany that she had heard the elders mention. That bit of information led to my finding one of our great-great-grandmothers. (My Mother is two-and-a-half years younger than her sister, and did not recall this vital clue.)

I'm in the middle of another family mystery as I write this and am waiting to hear from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh with some details about a great-grandfather. One of my aunts provided a clue that (knock on wood) has enabled us to identify him.

So, Happy Birthday, Daddy! Farewell, Uncle George! I can hear them now, swapping stories behind the pearly gates.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Tiger Press Contest Winner


Thank you, Ebby Puttence, for your recent comment and entering the Green Tiger Press notecard contest. You are the winner! I will be sending a hand-selected Green Tiger Press image to you shortly.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Handspun Yarn on the Lendrum Bobbin

I had two small batts (1.75 oz. total) from terrabellaspun in my stash that were begging to be spun. Here is the result.

The skein will be plied with a thread to become a balanced two-ply yarn. I'm not sure yet if I will knit it up, but I'm considering a small amulet bag.

Handspun Yarn on the Lendrum Bobbin (2)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cape Cod, Summer of 1969

Cape Cod, Summer of 1969, originally uploaded by confections.

I wasn't at Woodstock that summer, but I was on Cape Cod--first for a family visit with my aunt and uncle, and then to work a summer job between my freshman and sophomore years in college.

Here I am with two of my brothers, one of my sisters, and a cousin who is now gone, off to spend the day at Hardings Beach in Chatham. Halcyon days....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jessie Willcox Smith & a Little Contest





One of the rare images from my Green Tiger Press archive is the one shown here by Jessie Willcox Smith, "Washing Day for Doll Clothes". The sentimental way in which she captures moments from childhood reminds me in this particular instance of the illustrations from the "Dick and Jane" readers that I grew up with as a child of the 1950's.

Vintage collectors know that often we try to collect the essence of our childhood, what we delighted in at Grandma's house, the favorite casserole dish of our Mom. I suppose my attraction to the Green Tiger Press images that led me to collect them close to a generation ago could be explained in that way. I love classic children's books and their timeless illustrations and have surrounded myself with them all my life.

What do you collect that reminds you of your childhood? Please leave a comment below and at the end of the week (next Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Saving Time), I will hold a drawing with a number generated at and send the winner an image from my Green Tiger Press archive.

Hint: in addition to answering the question about your personal collections, please mention a favorite fairy tale or character from children's literature, and I'll do my best to select a Green Tiger Press card that complements that theme for the winner. Thanks, and happy reminiscing!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Aunt Betty and I, June 1951

Aunt Betty and I, June 1951, originally uploaded by confections.

I've been doing some serious genealogical research this week and have been in correspondence with my cousin Diana, whose mother is seen in this vintage photo along with me as a baby.

We're putting our heads together to solve a few family mysteries and are making some progress. I feel like I'm part Hercule Poirot and part Miss Jane Marple as I put the puzzle pieces together.

My grandparents' old wicker chair seen here lasted many decades and may still be in use somewhere on the planet....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cottage in Little Italy, San Diego, California

I parked in front of this sweet cottage in the heart of Little Italy in San Diego the other day. It was a Friday afternoon, people were gathering for dinner at the many enticing restaurants. I indulged in some pistachio gelato at Cafe Zucchero and had a passagiato through the neighborhood. A little bit of Roma right in my own hometown....

San Diego Sky

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Brother at the Muncie, Indiana, Municipal Pool, Mid-1960's

Last night I discovered that I can scan slides with my funky scanner--not at very high resolution (300 dpi for now), but they will be in digital format if I decide to undertake this massive project. I'm researching the additional hardware that I will need to scan them at 4,000 dpi.

This motion shot of my brother jumping off the diving board in the mid-1960's is a bit blurry, but I like it nonetheless. It captures the essence of the sweltering midwest summer and the relief of jumping into that swimming pool.

Who knows what I'll find as I unearth the carousels of time....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie and Julia

My sister and I saw this delightful film on opening night. Grab a friend who loves a good meal and go!

And if you want to read the blog that resulted in Julie Powell's book of the same name, the archives are still online.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"She Wore the Star-Dress, which Sparkled at Every Step", by Arthur Rackham

This is one of my all-time favorite images by Arthur Rackham that was reproduced by the legendary Green Tiger Press.

The illustration was made for the Grimm's fairy tale "Little Brother and Little Sister" (1917).

This image inspires me--the voluminous sparkly gown, the woman with her long golden hair, the dancing slippers on the lower right--she could well be Cinderella getting ready for the ball.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Home is in My Mother's Eyes by Jessie Willcox Smith

One of my favorites by Jessie Willcox Smith from my Green Tiger Press archives.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mader Fabric, Karlstad Couch, IKEA

Lovely slipcover fabric being discontinued by IKEA in their Karlstad range. A shame, because I had just fallen in love with it....

Mader Fabric, Karlstad Chaise Longue, IKEA
Mader Fabric, Karlstad Chaise Longue, IKEA

Mader Fabric, Karlstad Range, IKEA