Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Mom and a Good Friend, 1940's

Near-Wordless Wednesday post:

My Mom on the left with her good friend Dorothy on the right.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hand Mannequin

Hand Mannequin, originally uploaded by confections.

This expressive hand mannequin is a thrift store find which belongs to my sister; the ring and bracelet are from her private jewelry stash.

I've been sifting through some finds of my own this week and will be posting some additional photos as I unearth the treasures gleaned over the last year or so. A few will be put into my various online shops, others will find places of honor throughout my home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Harvest

Apple Harvest, originally uploaded by confections.

Just a few photos today to honor the fall harvest.... These were taken in Pennsylvania in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Bushels of Apples at Baughman's
Baughman's Country Market

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Stash Fabrics (2)

New Stash Fabrics (2), originally uploaded by confections.

Here are the latest additions to my ever-growing stash of quilt fabrics, purchased at the San Diego Quilt Show which took place from September 17 - 19th, 2009.

Most of these are one-yard pieces or fat quarters. They are destined to be incorporated into some new projects, including quilts, handspun Ragamuffin yarn, and yo-yo's. Fall projects aplenty!

New Stash Fabrics (3)
New Stash Fabrics

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apron Kit

Apron Kit, originally uploaded by confections.

I found this lovely apron-making kit at the San Diego Quilt Show last Thursday and had to put it into my queue of fall projects. It features one of my favorite color combinations--pink and green.

A simple pattern is included which gives directions to slightly modify and decorate a tea towel and turn it into a cute apron. The Amy Butler Mid-West Modern print is the delicious accent fabric to be sewn at the neck and hemline of the apron. The jumbo pink rick-rack is the piece-de-resistance in this project. I can't wait to bring out my Featherweight and make it up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Log Cabin Quilt, Straight Furrows

I spent two days last week at the San Diego Quilt Show, enjoying all the quilt exhibits and adding to my stash at the vendors' booths. Here are a couple of my favorite quilts. More to come later in the week.

Vintage Quilt
Quilt, Michelle & Barack Obama

Vintage Flower Garden Quilt

Friday, September 18, 2009

Extraordinary Desserts--Cakes

Extraordinary Desserts--Cakes, originally uploaded by confections.

Yummy, exquisite cakes fill the display case at Karen Krasne's Extraordinary Desserts on Union Street in San Diego, California.

Enough said! Where's my Valrhona mocha?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My New Alter Ego

Pictured here is a Little Pullip doll, "Little Cornice", with wild flaming red hair. She's one of the newest in my collection, and joins her sisters "Little Calfy" (which my sister and nieces gave to me in July), and "Little Berry". Cornice reminds me of a red-headed Stevie Nicks in her heyday.

Little Pullip, "Little Calfy"
Little Pullip, "Little Berry"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saint Agnes School, Mifflin Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, circa 1910

One of my Dad's cousins shared this old photo with me from her archives. Three of my great uncles are in this photo taken circa 1910 in Mifflin Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

[If you click on the photo, it will take you to my flickr website where there are notes indicating which of the boys are my paternal grandmother's little brothers.]

I knew all three of these great uncles, but the one I remember the best was my Great Uncle Dose (for Theodosius). When he would visit us, he would always have a treat for us kids, often Kraft caramels or spearmint leaves.

As I have pieced together my family tree, I have learned more about the trials of Uncle Dose's life. His wife left him early in their marriage and took their young daughter Florie away and he never got to see her grow up. He was asthmatic and died at a relatively young age in a family where longevity is the norm.

I attended this same school (from second through fourth grades), as did my father, his brothers, and both of my Dad's parents. Even in the days when I was in attendance (1957-60), it was the equivalent of the fabled one-room school house, with many grades intermixed.

I remember having the distinct privilege one day in third grade of ringing the handbell out of one of the windows of the second storey classroom, signaling the end of the school day--a very 19th century tradition that lasted well into the 20th at my parochial school.

When I was in fourth grade, a new school was being built across the street. I attended it for half a year. We moved that winter and the next fall I went to public school, leaps and bounds ahead of my new schoolmates academically. I credit the very demanding nuns for my good educational foundation. I especially loved learning to read music and remember the special tool Sister Mary Anselm used to draw the music staff with chalk on the blackboard.

The old school and the 19th century church (where my grandparents were married and celebrated a Mass in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary) burned to the ground in the 1970's--the end of an era.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Ragamuffins, 1956

Summer Ragamuffins, 1956, originally uploaded by confections.

Here is a portrait of my cousin Sandy, me, and my brothers Gary and John, taken during the summer of 1956 at my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Pete's farm in Muncie, Indiana.

Sadly, my beautiful cousin died of a brain tumor at age twenty, nine years after this picture was taken. She was like the big sister I never had in my life and she was taken much too early.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Collage of Circus Animals & Toy Train

This is a pristine toy set that I got a number of years ago at Pier One after Christmas. Since I am a doting aunt and great-aunt (!), I have a stash of little gifts at the ready for birthdays. This one is about to be put into the mail for my 5-year-old nephew, Lirit.

He is a lover of all creatures (especially bugs), and I know he will appreciate the zoo animals included in this circus train set. I wrapped up a few additional Schleich animals that I found at Target, too, so he can have a proper animal parade! Happy Belated Birthday, sweet Lirit!

Circus Train and Animals
Circus Train Wooden Painted Animals
Circus Elephant, Wooden Toy

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Cousin and I at the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, 1964

My cousin and I are all dressed up here for my brother's high school graduation on June 16, 1964. My Mother took the photo.

For musical/cultural context, the Beatles were taking the world by a storm, and the top hits of that spring/summer were:

May 30 - June 5, 1964:
Love Me Do by the Beatles

June 6 - June 26, 1964:
Chapel Of Love by the Dixie Cups

June 27 - July 3, 1964:
A World Without Love by Peter & Gordon

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the Beach at Ostend, Belgium, 1971

In the days of my youth as an exchange student in the summer of 1971. My friend Reenie (Maureen Thomson) took this photo. She was my traveling companion and fellow exchange student at the University of Cologne, Germany.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stained Glass Peace Sign, Ocean Beach Hostel

This peace sign is a local landmark above the OB International Hostel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California. I snapped this a while back at the local farmer's market that takes place there on Wednesday afternoons/evenings.

A similar sculpture used to sit atop a rock just off Sunset Cliffs at the Pacific Ocean, but was apparently removed by vandals. This one, I understand, is by the same artist.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Grandfather & My Brother, 1956

My paternal grandfather, age 71, and my little brother, about 8 months old, circa April 1956.

I love this tender study of my grandfather holding my baby brother. I remember this corner of the dining room very well. Usually there was a rocking chair at this spot, where both grandparents would rock the babies of the family.

My grandmother would sing "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" or "We are Marching to Pretoria" or "Are you an angel, my glad heart sings, are you an angel, where are your wings? Are you an angel, are you an angel? Tell me, dear."

My grandmother's indoor plants are visible on the little side table. Her glass-front china cabinet was in the opposite corner, and the sideboard that held the cookie jar was just to my grandfather's right.

I loved exploring the contents of that sideboard reverentially. In addition to the cookie jar and lovely embroidered linen scarf beneath it, the drawers and cubbies of the sideboard held many treasures. I recall thumbing through my grandmother's yellowed copy of The White House Cook Book which she kept on an inside shelf.

Above and behind my grandfather was a photographic portrait in an oval frame of my grandmother in high-button shoes at about age six--lost to posterity as far as I know.

My grandfather's preeminent realm, however, was the basement (in my child's mind, at least). He had an old-time crank Victrola and an extensive collection of 78 rpm records. We played a lot of foxtrots, as I recall, and danced around.

Every year he made sauerkraut in huge crocks, following a tradition that I'm sure he learned from his grandfather. I have a vivid memory of going with him and my parents to Trax farmstand in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to buy bushels full of cabbage in preparation for this ritual.

He made potent red wine that aged in the cellar where my grandmother kept her canned tomatoes and piccalilli and homemade ketchup. He, alongside my father, built a cabin in the Pennsylvania woods that served as a hunting and fishing camp and family gathering place.

He and my grandmother cultivated flower and vegetable gardens and five strapping boys and lived to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, a grand fest which was documented on 8mm film by my uncle.

I'm still trying to solve a family mystery about the identity of my grandfather's father. I have a few clues, but no hard primary data. The genealogical research continues.

I know I have mentioned this just recently, but I reiterate: please conduct oral history interviews with significant people in your life. Future generations will thank you.

My Sister in My Grandparents' Rocking Chair, 1957

My Paternal Grandparents

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Corner Room, State College, Pennsylvania

The Corner Room, long a gathering place for Penn Staters....

My contribution to (almost) Wordless Wednesday blog posts. This was one of my favorite places to have lunch with friends when I was a student at Penn State many long years ago. It warms my heart that it is still going strong.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Collage of My Parents' Garden (2)

If I were Shakespeare or Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I would write a lilting sonnet about my parents' riotous garden, so full of beauty and life and grace.

But I will let this collage of photos that I took (probably in 1987) speak instead. Please click on the photo to go to my flickr site to see more detail.
In My Parents' Garden (2)
In My Parents' Garden (4)