Saturday, January 24, 2015

I "Heart" Snow White...Valentines Crafting!

I "Heart" Snow White!

When blogging pal, Tammy, found this Snow White magazine cover for me on Pinterest I knew at that moment what my theme for Valentines crafting would be.  The first thing I did was print a larger version of this darling graphic on printable fabric and applique it to a white tee-shirt shirt to wear on my Valentines trip to Disneyland.  I will wear it with a red sweater or hoodie and everyone will stop me to ask which shop I found it in.  Lol...I just love messing with other Disney tourists.  If I am feeling especially obnoxious whimsical I will tell them I got it in a little shop in Fantasyland.

Snow White's Valentine Party...

Garden Party in a Chocolate Tin...

It took some searching on Pinterest, but I was able to find Snow White and all seven of the the Dwarves Valentines from 1938.  I just love the soft colors and Snow White's sweet expression. The tin was an oval about 10 inches long.  The cottage backdrop was from a Snow White playset I bought at Disneyland last fall.  I will be using the playset figures in another project.

The Dwarves are so cute and quirky!

Snow White's bluebird sings on top of the flag pole.

Tiny Tea Cup Ornaments....

Tiny Tin Tea Cups Fairy Garden Ornaments.

I have been wanting to make some of these tin cup ornaments since I saw them on Pinterest.  They are inspired by "Dime Store Chic."  I was unable to find any of the cute little tin cups until a few weeks ago when one of my favorite bloggers, Meri of ImagiMeri's offered some for sale on Facebook.  I hope she likes what I did with them.  So far I have only made these two, but my daughter Sascha...who loves Alice in Wonderland...thought they would be cute using Alice figures for cake toppers.  I'm hoping there will be an Alice-themed wedding in the next couple of years.

The wee cups are only 2" across.
I want to attach them to ornament clips when I find some.

Snow White cake topper came with seven gnome-like dwarves.
The dwarves have little tools and wheel barrows.

More Snow White-Inspired Goodies...

Pocket-sized Notebooks.

Snow White Valentines Tags.
Made with heavy canvas-covered banners from Michaels.

Coffee Filter Wreath.
Repurposing an old Easter wreath...simply clip on cut-outs with small clothespins.

Snow White Valentine Shadow Box.

Tiny Disney-esque Porcelain Bunny

Back of Shadow Box...Another Sweet Valentine.

A Fun Christmas Surprise!

Water Tower in Stanley's Oasis...Cars Land!

I just love Cars Land in Disney California Adventure.  They built the whole town of Radiator Springs...which amazes me.  You could spend a week there and never see all the detail built into that attraction.  The line for Radiator Springs Racers takes you into Stanley's Oasis which has a Route 66 vibe with its old garages and a building made out of vintage oil bottles.  Entering the Oasis, you pass by the cutest old water tank...the 8 and 3/4s Wonder of the World.  I just love everything about it.   This Christmas, my DIY DIL, Lori, surprised me with my very own Stanley's Oasis water tank.  I can't believe she made this for me!

Isn't it the cutest thing ever?

Have Fun Valentines Crafting and...
Whistle While You Work!

Three Sweet Snow White Valentines Just For You...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Vintage Vacation...Santa Claus, Arizona!

Looking For Santa Claus...
Since Christmas was over, George and I figured the perfect time to look for Santa Claus would be on New Years Day when he wasn't so busy.  Just a few miles south of the Chloride turnoff on US Highway 93 we located the sad ruins of Santa Claus, Arizona.  A frigid wind was moving through the snow-dusted sagebrush as we pulled off the highway.  We found the remaining buildings imprisoned behind a chain link fence with signs warning us not to trespass. It was obvious the warnings came too late, judging by the rude graffiti on the Christmas Tree Inn.
Colorful postcard from the Inn's heyday.
I found a fascinating website called Atlas Obscura.  They have articles on abandoned Santa Claus lands, amusement parks and other cool places.  According to the author of the article, a real estate investor called Nina Talbot arrived in Kingman Arizona with her husband in the early 1930s.  She called herself the "biggest real estate expert in California."  Not because she was good, mind you, but because she weighed over 300 pounds!  She did have a flair for public relations, though.
This looks like a nice place to stop along that empty highway.
The author writes, "The Talbots founded Santa Claus, Arizona in 1937 as an attempt to attract buyers to the desert location.  It featured several Christmas-themed buildings and visiting children could meet Santa Claus at any day of the year.  The town's post office became very popular in December as children and parents could receive mail postmarked with the town's name."
Year-round Christmas menu at the Christmas Tree Inn.
No one ever bought land there, but the restaurant, the Santa Claus Inn...later called the Christmas Tree Inn...was quite successful.  Food Critic Duncan Hines (yes, that Duncan Hines) described it as being one of the best in the region. And according to the article, in 1950, Sci-Fi writer Robert Heinlein wrote a short story about a gourmet meal served there by Mrs. Santa Claus.
Cinderella's Doll House
Santa's "Office?"
"The last gift shops and amusements went out of business in 1995, leaving little recognizable, except for a few vandalized buildings, a wishing well, and the "Old 1225", a derailed, pink children's train covered with graffiti."  The train was no longer there when George and I visited.
Then and Now...A Study in Contrasts
The Inn and the Office/Gas Pumps
The Inn now.
Red and white stripes usually make me happy.

The gas pumps are long gone.
Interior of the Inn.

Happy children enjoy the nursery rhyme characters.
Inn interior in recent times...picture from a Google search
The Third Little Pig's House...all of brick.

The Big Bad Wolf must have driven them away!
No one bought any land...but they kept on trying.

The old "1225" in a Google photo.
I finally got it...12-25...Christmas Day.

The wishing well just over a week ago.
This has been part two of my first Vintage Vacation of 2015.  I found a Pin on Pinterest that lead me to an article in Country Living Magazine. One never knows where the road will lead sometimes. I sure hope you like road trips because I have a few leads for some weirdly wonderful places in Armargosa Valley.  If you are the foolishly brave and hardy type, Santa Claus, Arizona is still for sale...maybe it's just the place for you!




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Vintage Vacations...Chloride, Arizona!

Happy New Year!
Greetings from Arizona!

Happy New Year, friends!  I love this time of beginnings and new places to explore.  I have had so much fun with my Vintage Vacations series of posts.  Traveling the seemingly endless roads in the wide open spaces of the Wild West, one can come across the strangest and most remote of places.  And I have come to believe that the hardy souls who settled these lonely places had to be strong of will...and filled with a longing for beauty where ever it might be found.  Western settlers often had a sense of the whimsical and used whatever they could find to express it. 

I am so excited to share with you the quirky little town of Chloride, Arizona where we went exploring on New Year's Day.  Look at the top left corner of the vintage Arizona map.  Follow Highway 93 about 50 or so miles from Boulder/Hoover Dam southeast toward Kingman. 

First stop...Breakfast 

The Southwest Diner in Boulder City, Nevada.
Boulder is a vintage lover's dream...I'll be blogging about it someday soon.

Welcome to Chloride
We passed by this exit sign many times over the past few years.

Chloride is considered the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona.

From our good pal Wikipedia we learn that prospectors first located mineral resources in the area in the 1840s...silver, gold, lead, zinc and turquoise.  The town itself was founded about 1863, but mining was not widespread until a treaty with the Hualapai Indians could be signed in the 1870s. The mountains above Chloride are called the Cerbat Mountains.

Abandoned Railway Station

The Arizona and Utah Railway from Kingman was inaugurated on Aug. 16, 1899.  It is a point of pride that Miss May Krider drove the last silver spike.  The town once boasted a population of nearly 5,000 inhabitants, but by 1944 it was nearly a ghost town.  The population today is somewhere between 200-300.

Here is a fun factoid...sometime between 1927 and 1929, author Louis L'Amour visited Chloride to check out a claim he had purchased.  During his visit the town caught fire.  Though Mr. L'Amour assisted with the bucket brigade, they failed to stop most of the town from burning to the ground. 
It's probably just a coincidence.

This post office is the oldest continually operating post office in Arizona

Christmas Greetings

As you enter town you are greeted by a fence covered in rusty odds and ends and strings of glass bottle necks.  The picture above does not do it justice.  I was told by a resident that the owner of Shady Lady's Attic Antiques created the fence art.

Rusty Chloride Sign

Purple People Eater.

Glimpses of Ghost Town set and Shady Lady's yard art.

Junk creations are located all over town.

A few folks decorated for the holidays.

Old Gas Station

Roy Purcell's Journey

"The Journey" a 2000-square-foot set of murals.

When we stopped at a little general store that offered tourist information we were given a map of local points of interest.  At the end of Tennessee Street was written "To Murals...1.3 miles unpaved road."  We had no idea what was in store, but we shifted to 4-wheel drive and followed the bumpy snow-covered dirt road up into the hills above town.  Every so often a painted arrow would direct us where to go. We were only the second set of tracks in the snow.

The murals were very much a colorful and filled with symbolism.  We later learned the murals were the work of artist Roy Purcell with the help of local residents.  In 1966 Purcell had taken a break from working on his Masters degree in Fine Arts at Utah State University to work as a miner in the Cerbat Mountains near Chloride.  The murals, called "The Journey" are done in the abstract Modernism tradition.

This panel is called the Premonition Scene

The Goddess Panel is to the far left.

The Mandala Panel.

Roy Purcell restoring the murals in 2006

I hope you enjoyed this little Vintage Vacation.  The town of Chloride was very sleepy and quiet on the day we visited, but I hear there is always something going on in town.  Gunfights and Melodramas take place most weekends...except when it is too hot or too cold.  Chloride has over 20,000 visitors each year.  I think we were the first for 2015!