Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Heart Mushrooms, Gnomes and Fairy Gardens...and Kitchen Clowns!

Oil Can Fairy Gardens...
I kind of went overboard this weekend on the fairy garden front...but Hobby Lobby had these really cute rusty oil cans in their "Man Cave" department...and they were 50% off!  I have wanted to make a fairy garden for some time.  I collected a bunch of ideas on my "I Heart Mushrooms, Gnomes & Fairy Garden" board on Pinterest, but just couldn't seem to settle on anything...until I found the cans.  Normally I would have used old coffee cans, but that would have required trolling the aisles of every antique store for reasonably priced rusty cans...and you know how lazy I am...lol!  I saw the perfect can in a cool store in Boulder City, Nevada, but they wanted $75 for it...so Hobby Lobby got my money this week.

 My first can...I liked how it turned out, so I went back and bought a few more.
The mushrooms are tart pans and sticks.

The gnomes are cake toppers...Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
I bought them from one of my bloggie buddies.

This can uses a Christmas ornament I've had for a few years

I thought Quaker State would be a good match for this gnome.

Snow White finds a wheel barrow full of "poison apples."

She doesn't look all that intelligent...she may eat them.

By the fourth oil can, I was running out of ideas, but there is a cute deer hidden in the weeds.

Steel Days Inspired...Kitchen Clown!
I found this clown's head in my pal Paula's booth at Treasures Antiques and stuck it
on one of the tins I painted for mushrooms.

Daughter Sascha said this tin would be perfect.

More circus figures from Paula.
Spice tins and a glue gun...it's starting to come together.

Come one, come all!  It's a Kitschen Klown!

Hope you're having a crafty week!
I've had a lot a fun with all this nonsense...lol!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vintage Vacation...Come to Steel Days!

Steel Days!
"In the summertime when the weather is high
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find."
Mungo Jerry

In your youth was there a summer song...a special anthem that so typifies summer that all you have to do is hear the first line and you flash back to the sound of kids splashing in the neighborhood pool, the scent of coconut suntan lotion and the feel of hot concrete on your bare feet?   For me that song is "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry.  Just thinking of it...I saw myself at the pool in American Fork flirting with an older boy...and almost falling for his pickup line.  Not today, Romeo...I need to get home and get ready to go to the Steel Days carnival with my friends.

City of Fun Carnival...2010

Is there a small town in America that doesn't celebrate itself every summer with parades, rodeos and a carnival?  Usually the celebration focuses on an industry or crop or something historical.  Here in Utah County we have, for example, Strawberry Days, Lehi Round-Up, Onion Days, Pony Express Days, and the Ute Stampede.  Highland...where I live...has the Highland Fling.  Some of Highland's first residents were Scotts.  But in my heart I have always been an American Fork girl and our days are Steel Days!

Steel Days 2014 is going on now!

American Fork's celebration has evolved over the years.  In pioneer times it was Timber Day, an all-day picnic held in a grove of trees near town,  known as "The Timbers."  Eating and horseshoes competition, along with ball games and foot races were the main activities.  This tradition continued from 1865 until about 1904.

 Liberty Day...
Parade entry for Tennessee.

Liberty Day was a patriotic July celebration held either July 4 or July 24, which is Pioneer Day...or Days of '47... in Utah.  The dates alternated to please both the patriots and the pioneers.  This began in 1905. The biggest addition to the celebration was the grand parade.  Whether in horse-drawn wagons or decorated automobiles, parade participants moved very slowly over American Fork's gravel paved Main Street.  The parade of 1925 honored the various states of the Union.  A Goddess of Liberty was crowned to reign over the festivities.

Poultry Day
Poultry Day Parade...

Poultry Day began July 1927.  American Fork raised a lot of chickens in those days. The day began with a Sunrise Salute of cannon fire.  A free lunch of over 10,000 chicken sandwiches were passed out...our trademark product.  Pleasant Grove served strawberries and cream to their townspeople.  The first Poultry Day Queen was Miss Mary Pulley...one of American Fork's most beloved citizens. The last Poultry Day was July 1941; then Pearl Harbor was attacked.  There would be no more city celebrations until 1945.

Steel Days...at last!
A Nicely Dressed Family at Steel Days!

By 1945, the mayor of American Fork decided that Poultry Day no longer reflected the economy of our town.  World War II brought a lot of change to the area with the construction of the Columbia Steel mill...the largest employer in Utah Valley.  So Steel Days it would be!
I have many fond memories of Steel Days... but my very first memory is of leaving the carnival with my very own pretty balloon and watching it slip from my little four-year-old fingers.  I remember crying as I watched it fly away growing smaller and smaller until I could no longer see it.  That was the summer of 1959.  Would you like to take a Vintage Vacation trip back in time to Steel Days circa 1959?  Find a spot for your folding chair and wait for the parade to begin.

Note:  Photos are courtesy of Don Hansen from his grandfather Joe Hoglund.  These pictures are a mix from 1955, 1958 and 1959.

Steel Days Parade and Carnival 1959...

Blurry...but every parade has to start with the Color Guard
The background looks like a 50's classic car show.

American Fork High School Marching Band
I was in this band in 1971.

Miss American Fork
As a child my goal was to be Miss American Fork of 1973...just to ride on the float in a pretty dress and wave a princess wave.

Many floats were religious in theme.

Still 10 years from walking on the moon.

A Cornucopia of Blessings...or Prosperity I guess.

Devey's Float.
Devey's was an upscale shop owned by a distant relative.
My second choice float to ride on in a pretty dress.

Ship of Dreams.

The Cold War...or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb.
Just a couple of years before our air raid drills.

Carnival Time
LDS Wards had food stand fund-raisers.

The Giant Ferris Wheel!


Scary Clown Ride...yikes!

The Big Show!

The climax of Steel Days is the Big Show and Fireworks.  These days American Fork is able to attract major country and pop stars.  I don't know exactly when the Big Show started, but in 1962, my relative who owned Devey's...C. Richard Devey...was the Steel Days chairman.  The head of the entertainment committee approached him and asked if he could have $60 from the fund to hire a group of young kids from Ogden to perform for the evening.  The group was....

Osmonds in 1962...Andy Williams show.
...the Osmonds, with cute little Donny as well.  This was before their appearance on the Andy Williams Show in December.   I saw them perform at the Utah State Fair when I was in the fourth grade on a field trip.  They were singing barbershop music which I thought was pretty lame.  After all...who could compete with the Beatles?

One Last Parade Picture....

American Fork High School Marching Band 1971.
I am somewhere on the left in front of the drummers.
We played in every local parade all summer...it was a blast!

Happy Steel Days!
Note:  I found a lot of information about Steel Days in "American Fork City...The Growing Years" by Betty G. Spencer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Banner Swap...WWII Images!

World War II Images...Banner Swap!
My good friend Tammy of Tammy's In Love and I missed out on the Patriotic Banner Swap...so we decided to do one of our own.  The challenge was to use vintage WWII propaganda images.  Tammy chose some of my favorites as you will see further on...but my Disney loving heart just had to see what I could find Mickey-wise.
According to my old friend Wikipedia, "Between 1942 and 1945, during World War II, Walt Disney was involved in the production of propaganda films for the U.S. Government.  The widespread familiarity of Walt Disney's productions benefited the U.S. Government in producing pro-American war propaganda in an effort to increase support for the war."
My "Toons at War" Pennants.
I used a cool shield graphic I found on Pinterest.
The tag was a large brown craft paper about 5 x 11 in.

I turned the music upside down so the title would be visible.
...or else I goofed five times...lol!

Tammy's WWII Tags...
My package came wrapped in a map of Minnesota!
So clever...Tammy marked her house!
It's so nice to know our place on the planet.
I always have a map in my head of where I am..."You are Here!"

Buy War Bonds!

Clean your plate!

Plant a Victory Garden!

Loose Lips Sink Ships!

Eat M & M's...It's the Patriotic thing to do!
Tammy sent a lot of fun things in her package...like this cute
cowboy set ...a card and small gift box.
I have always loved vintage cowboy
I am so thankful for the friendship I have found in my little blogging circle.  Tammy has become such a good friend...it's almost as if we have always known each other.  She is my childhood friend...separated only by mountains and prairie.
Have a Fabulous Fourth!

 I almost missed blogging for the Fourth...We have a couple of granddaughters spending the holiday with us and we've been doing all the nearby "touristy" things this week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moments in Time...Memories of the Old Alpine School!

Gone, but not forgotten...
In the misty landscapes of my dreams, the old Alpine School still waits at the top of crumbling steps.  Rough grass has sprung up through the cracks in the surface of the deserted tennis court and the merry-go-round has rusted in place. On the old flag pole, where we lined up at the bell, a tattered flag flutters like fingers waving goodbye.

A wild October breeze whistles and dances through the bones of the rickety fire escape as if laughing spirts have flown down from Cemetery Hill to play hide-and-go-seek.

Hide and Seek...
My friends, Kim and Cathy Pam, are inside the school somewhere, but I cannot find them.  I search for them through dark and dusty hallways.  Maybe they are hiding in Miss Greenwood's cloak room.  No...I must have just missed them.  The kindergarten room looks the way I remember it...as if the children have only just gone out to recess.

The playhouse still sits in the corner near the Story Time Rug.  Empty milk bottles line up like little glass soldiers on Miss Greenwood's desk, next to the Magic Wand used to waken us from nap time.  I so wanted to wave that wand over the other children, but I was too noisy to be the Naptime Fairy.

The Stairs...and Mr. Nicholes...

Echoed giggles drift down the stairs.  How I hate those stairs when I dream.  No matter how badly I need to reach the top...they keep growing steeper and STEEPER.  I am so afraid I am going to fall that I crawl up them on my hands and knees.

If I fall and hurt myself, will someone take me to Mr. Nicholes' office and bandage my knee?  Little kids were taught (by the big kids) to be afraid of the principal.  But he was the nicest man in the world, I thought.  He always had a kind word for shy little girls.

In the picture on the left, Mr. Nicholes and some of his students bid the old school goodbye.  Alpine was growing and there were only four classrooms...for grades K through 3.  The older grades took a bus to school in American Fork.

An old photo of children playing Maypole.
The dream shifts...and I find myself in the old gymnasium, where the corners are hidden in shadows.  My imagination is working overtime because I see little boys in dungarees and little girls in shirtwaist dresses holding the tattered ribbons of a long-faded Maypole.  They skip gracefully in and out to silent music...never getting tangled in the ribbons like I used to.

The children disappear and I'm all alone in the gymnasium...where it's been festively decorated for my Aunt Jane's wedding reception.  It's a western theme...with wagon wheels and driftwood as part of the decor.  I'm wearing my flower girl dress, twirling around and around in the middle of the floor singing "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah" at the top of my lungs.  I only know one verse...but it's repeated ad nauseum.  It's a good dream.  I dread waking...because when I do the school will be gone.

A trip down Memory Lane...
The building was of red brick with a granite foundation.  The sign over the arched entry read "Public School 1899."  More than 100 years have passed since it was built with such high hopes for the children who would grace its halls.  A school may be only boards and bricks and mortar, but it is the caretaker of our childhood.  We spent more hours within its walls than any place other than home...and it's forever gone!  It breaks my heart every time one more landmark of my life is reduced to rubble.

The Monument...
One day, feeling nostalgic...I drove slowly down the street where the school used to stand and pulled into the parking lot at Kencraft...a candy factory that used to make candy canes and fancy suckers.  In a park-like setting stands a sandstone and bronze monument created by sculptor Dennis Smith to commemorate the old school and the children who attended it.

Running my finger down the list of names on the plaque, I'm pleased to find my Father's name and well as my own and my brother Mike's.  It feels rather strange, because people who have their names on monuments are usually dead historical figures...not middle-aged housewives.  Still...it's comforting to know that there is a little piece of Alpine history with my name on it.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip through the past.
Where do your treasured memories lie?

Note:  Before I start on my Father's school days stories I wanted to repost my story on the old Alpine School that both my father and I attended. The first four photos were taken from the book "Alpine Yestedays" by Jennie Adams Wilde, one of Grandma Zetta's oldest and dearest friends.