Saturday, April 19, 2014

Here Comes Peter Cottontail....Swapping Down the Bunny Trail!

 Happy Easter!
Easter Cloche Swap
I meant to post this two weeks ago, but life got in the way.  This past year has been a challenge for many of my blogger friends and I guess it was my turn for a time.  One of my younger sisters passed away.  It was sudden...but not unexpected.  She had a lot of serious health problems and the past few years were a struggle for her.  I feel comforted...especially at this time of the promise of Christ's Resurrection and His Plan of Salvation.  Even if one is not a Christian, the signs and symbols of Easter and Spring can be messages of hope and re-birth.  I have faith that I will be reunited with my family once again..."Families are Forever."
Easter Cloches...Springtime under Glass!
I really enjoy swaps...especially in the Spring!  Sandy of 521 Lake of my favorite bloggers...sponsored an Easter Cloche Swap.  Whoever discovered that dollar store wine glasses could be put to such an adorable use is a total genius!  What fun...a package of 6 wine glasses with removable bases for a dollar!  My heart just soars with happiness to see the tiny scenes captured under each small dome.  I feel like a little girl again with a little girl's love of miniature things. Thank you, Sandy for hosting!
I was so happy to be partnered again with Jenny of Jenny's Heart.  We met through an Easter swap two years ago.  She is delightful and I am so glad to get to know her better.  Jenny truly has the sweetest of hearts.  Thank you so much, Jenny.  The lovely items you sent me were part of the Easter decorations at the memorial luncheon at my home. 
Treats from Jenny...
Sweet, sweet things.
The red box is filled with note cards.
Jenny and I both love truffles!

"Sugar Egg Cloche"
Tiniest of chicks and bitty little eggs.
I love little chicks as an Easter symbol...I have collected them for years.

 I laughed out loud at this bunny wearing "bunny slippers!"

Look!  Tiny little!
Flashback!  Ribbon spool scene Jenny made for me two years ago!
What I made for Jenny....
I love lambs at Easter...but I keep them up through Mother's day.
She's resting against a little fence.
Top of box I made to hold an Easter garland.

Lambs, chicks and bunnies...sweet symbols of Spring.

Can't resist pretty little chicks.
Random Easter D├ęcor...
I love to use this shelf at holidays to hold little things that might
get lost in the shuffle...more chicks!
Not shown, but Jenny's "bunny slipper bunny" has joined the party.

Kitchen table vignette.
I made a Spring folding backdrop to take pictures of my Easter Parade.
But I didn't get a chance to work on new characters this year...maybe next Easter.
Have a lovely and blessed Easter Sunday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Vintage Birthday Party...You're All Invited!

A Surprise Party...For Me?
Hello, Friends!  My birthday is coming soon and it occurred to me that it would be a really nice gesture on your part if you were to throw me a surprise birthday party.  I haven't had one since my BFF Charlotte planned one for my 12th birthday.  It was a lot of fun and I got white lipstick...all the rage...and the issue of Tiger Beat that had "heart throb" Jay North on the cover.  You remember him...the kid who played Dennis the Menace?  He was 16 and so dreamy!
Let's get started...
If you need any ideas, this book should prove helpful...but really...all you need to do is follow 10 simple steps...
1.  Buy some cute invitations!
Invite all my Bloggy Friends!
2. Gather all your party supplies.
3.  Decide on the cake.
Forget those other cakes...I want a Barbie cake!

I don't want another disappointment!
When I was growing up in Alpine, the little blonde girl next door got a Barbie cake for her birthday.  Her grandma, a talented cake decorator, made the most beautiful Barbie cakes around.  She also created cute choo-choo train cakes and those gorgeous sugar Easter eggs that had scenes of bunnies and chicks inside.  Not to mention divine chocolate eggs decorated with frosting flowers. We were lucky at that time to get jelly beans and Cracker Jack in our baskets, let alone anything chocolate.  And our cakes were usually Betty Crocker sheet cakes with those hard sugar flowers and "Happy Birthday" letters.

4.  Buy me a present...I like paper dolls!
I will also accept a pogo stick, a Skipper doll, or a ginormous bottle of bubbles!
5.  Wrap my gifts in cute paper.
6.  Don't forget the birthday card!
Hint...the best ones have nickels, dimes and quarters taped inside!
7.  Play Musical Chairs and...
...Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
No Clowns!!!!
8.  Please don't sing "Happy Birthday!"
As a child I never could stand this song...I guess I didn't like the attention.
Also, I would hide when it was time to sing at other children's parties.
9.  When it's time to blow out the candles, make sure this kid keeps away from my cake!
I can blow out my own candles, thank you very much!
Do you remember that kid at your birthday party that didn't go home when it was over...who hung around hoping for another cupcake?  Remember that strange little girl who wanted "do overs" on the "Drop the Clothespin" game and wanted to "help" you play with your presents?  That was me!

See...I told you so.
10.  Send the guests home with party hats and balloons.
These 10 little steps should make it the perfect party!
Big Party "Don't!" 
I'm 59...not Methuselah's Granny!
Oh, dear shouldn't have!
I was going to wait until the 7th to post this...but I was too excited!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vintage Vacation...Death Valley Days!

Greetings from Death Valley!
The first time George and I visited Death Valley was in the middle of summer...what were we thinking?  The temperature that day at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center...elevation -196 ft...was 114 degrees.   Since we spend a lot of time in the Vegas area, how much hotter could it be, right?  It was brutal!  But we were going to see the sights!  We had a lot of water and a packed we were long as we stayed in the car.

Vintage travel ad...encouraging a trip to Hell.
The brochure reads..."It has all the advantages of Hell without the inconveniences!"

The Indians called it Tomesha...the "Ground Afire."  The heat of midsummer shows how perfect that name turned out to be.  In July and August, temperatures of 120 degrees are not uncommon.  The record hot day was in July 1913...134 degrees Fahrenheit.  It makes me wonder if Hell might be a tad more pleasant on a summer's day.  We visited the park this year on Valentine's weekend and the temps were in the pleasant 70's.

Twenty Mule Team Borax!
As a child I watched "Death Valley Days" on TV,  while sitting on my father's lap.  I remember handsome Ronald Reagan was the host and the sponsor was "Twenty Mule Team Borax."  I still buy that borax to make homemade laundry detergent. 

Not far from the visitors center are the ruins of the Harmony Borax works.  Part of the interpretive trail passes by some enormous wagons left from the days of the mule teams.  It is little wonder that the 20 mule team borax outfits of the late 1800's became world famous...they hauled 46,000 pounds of borax, their own water and hay through Death Valley over a 165 mile, ten day trip to Mojave by way of Wingate Pass.  I was just happy our car had air conditioning! 

The next time we visited Death Valley, it was in the spring.  We were hoping to see the wild flowers, but were a bit too early.  We did come across a strange...and colorful...sight at Zabriskie Point...a British pop group making a music video.  Their 12 man bicycle had broken in half and there was a lot of scurrying to and fro trying to make do, while their seamstress toiled over a sewing machine sitting in the middle of!

Scotty's Castle...
1940s Postcard of Scotty's Castle.
I found this old card in Aunt Jane's scrapbook...the one she filled with valentines, postcards and pictures of cute dogs.

A trip to Death Valley without a visit to Scotty's Castle would be like going to Disneyland and just peering through the gates...substituting Scotty's Castle for Sleeping Beauty's.

Death Valley Scotty and His Castle.

Death Valley Scotty did not own Scotty's Castle.  It was built by a Chicago businessman named Albert Johnson in the 1930's.  Scotty was a charming "flim flam man"...a con man and fortune hunter who was the Johnson's constant houseguest.  How he beguiled the Johnsons and managed to keep his exploits alive in the press for over 50 years can be found here...

I bought this in the Castle gift shop, but it is available on

Death Valley Scotty...
Walter Scott in his trademark hat and red tie.

Scotty's Room!
Scotty's Room at the Castle is filled with his personal belongings.  His clothes still hang in the wardrobe...his hats and trademark red ties are on a rack above the dresser.  On one wall hangs an autographed picture of Buffalo Bill.  In 1890, Scotty was discovered by a talent scout who signed him as a cowboy performer with the Wild West Show.  He did daredevil riding and roping stunts, branding exhibitions and the grand spectacle of the "Custers Last Stand" re-enactment.  This was only one piece of the puzzle that makes up the story of this fascinating scoundrel. 

A Quick Tour of the Premises... 
Scotty's Castle as it looks today.
California Mission is one of my favorite styles of architecture.

Tour Guides in Period Costume.
The man represents a CCC worker who helped build the castle.
The girl is standing in the Music Room.
Each guide tells you the story from the viewpoint of his or her character.

Living Room...
Scotty told his tall tales to the Johnsons and their guests while sitting in one of those leather armchairs. 

40's Postcard View of Music Room.
The rooms look as if the owners just stepped out.
The clothing and personal affects are still in their bedrooms.
I loved the vintage dishes and kitchenware.

Architectural Details...
I do the same thing at Disneyland...capture all the unique details of a place I love.

I am in love with these Mission-style shutters!

Courtyard View.

Unfinished Swimming Pool.
There is a small spring that waters this oasis...
But how could they ever justify filling this pool with precious water?
The blue tiles for the pool are still stored in an underground storage area.

This was only a short tour...too many pictures!
But I am so glad you joined us on this Vintage Vacation!