Monday, December 30, 2013

My New Year's Top 10 Countdown!

Happy New Year! 
Ring Out Wild Bells!

You all are probably tired of New Year's Top 10 lists...but I promise this one has a twist...if you stay on this ride until it comes to a full and complete stop!

Zetta's Apron's Top 10 Countdown!
Quick Craft...Parade of Easter Peeps!

Christmas Crafts...Vintage Tins!

Vintage Vacations...Yellowstone!

Halloween Family Traditions!
Fairyland Park...and the Carousel of Happiness!

Disney Halloween Carnival...Vintage Holiday Fun!

Pinterest Inspired...Pot Lids Pumpkins!

Mystery of the Nauvoo Angel!

High School Years...Homecoming 1972!

Pilgrims and Pioneers...Family History at Thanksgiving!

Spammer's Choice Award!
And the award for the post with the most absurd number of views...3760...and comments by spammers goes to...

Lehi Roller Mills...Flour Sack Pillows!

I accept this award for you, my dear, dear bloggie friends...
...because I never want to make you prove you're not a robot!

Thank You for a Wonderful Year! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All is Calm...All is Bright

Christmas at Temple Square
Seeing the Christmas lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City is a beloved holiday tradition for my family.   It brings many people together...not just Mormons, but those of other faiths as well.  The lights...the Nativity...the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir...all these things send my spirits soaring.  But there is nothing like the beauty and majesty of the Temple to bring joy to my heart.  Its towering spires draw the eye Heavenward and reminds me that life...and families...are eternal.
The Angel Moroni
On December 17, 1976, George and I were married in this Temple for "Time and all Eternity."  This brings me so much comfort, joy and peace knowing that our life together will not end at death and that we will be reunited with our loved ones again.  Having our "temple anniversary" so close to Christmas gives more depth of meaning to our celebration of Christ's birth.
Temple Square.
The view from our table at The Roof...a restaurant on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Building.  My favorite view at my favorite time of year.

Lovely winding paths through colorful lighted trees...
Shepherds watching over their flocks by night...
Hurry...come see the babe lying in a manger.
The Christus Statue...
Taken outside the window of the Visitor's Center...He looks out over Temple Square and the sweet Nativity scene under the trees.

On our 38th Christmas together,
George and I wish you all...
...A Merry and Very Blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Miscellaneous Christmas Decor!

A Cozy Country Christmas
I feel a bit out of the blogging loop.  My blog book entries for December will be very few, I am afraid.  I know I am not the only blogger to be sidelined by that Christmas Grinch the "Christmas Flu."  It sure does a number on a person's holiday spirit.  With less than a week to go I am so glad that I was a bit of an "overachiever" in the shopping and decorating department.  I have no more gifts that need to be purchased or mailed...YAY!  I still haven't taken a lot of photos of my rooms, but I do have a few to share.  My porch, front hall and main family room are pretty rustic this year...Cozy Country Christmas.
Family Room Mantel...
Cozy Cabin...

Sweet Deer...

Hungry Little Mice...

Ornament I made from Graphics Fairy tutorial.

Family Room Tree...
Burlap, Felt Snowflakes, and Woodland Creatures.

Hallway Village...Vintage Style Houses.

Smaller Hallway Tree...
Sits on an old German sled.
George's Grandmother's Nativity.
The pieces are quite large!
For the garland I found some lovely Nativity Christmas cards from other lands

I kept the cards simple.

I made paper chains for the garlands over the doors.
They are from the pages of an old dictionary I have been crafting with for years.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief peek.  I left a couple of rooms undecorated this year...and the sky didn't fall!  Imagine that!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Collecting Vintage Christmas...Snow Domes!

Vintage Christmas Snow Domes!

 The Kitschier the Better...
One of the things I loved about Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion was the "Finders Keepers" feature in each issue. One December article was about plastic snow domes (or globes.)  Plastic snow domes became popular in the 1950's, made in Japan or Hong Kong.  Some of them are so cheesy and cheap looking that you can often find one at the thrift store for less than $1.  Seen a collection...they are colorful and very, very fun!

My Small Collection...
Five Figural Snow Domes

I had already started a small collection of figural snow domes before the magazine article came out.  I was please to find out that figure-shaped domes are hard to find.  Some shapes, like an elf with a gnome and mushroom in its tummy is really rare.  I have a Santa with a Nativity scene in his tacky is that?  The tipsy Santa hanging on a light pole is really a funny one.  I don't think any of my little guys are particularly valuable to anyone but me.  I don't always display them, so it's fun to post them here.
Love, Shirley

I'm reposting this from November of 2011.  I hate being lazy, but this is the third year in a row that I've gotten sick the first week of December.  My Christmas Spirit has been sadly lacking and my computer is having issues since Comcast dropped off the new router.  Hope to be back in good spirits soon. =D

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pilgrims and Pioneers...My Family History at Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in old Alpine, Utah...
Autumn brings with it the desire to put away food, fuel, warm clothing and bedding, along with feed for livestock against the harshness of winter.

The days shorten and feelings of urgency grow stronger.  There are no longer enough hours of daylight to get everything done.  Many hands make for lighter work.  If everyone in the village helps out, there will be plenty for all.  When the work is done, there will be time for fun and celebrations.  A time of Thanksgiving.

The hardy settlers of Alpine and Highland, Utah found ways to mix work and fun during harvest time.  When the fruit trees in Alpine started to produce, those with orchards shared with others.  The ladies came with paring knives and pans and worked for hours preparing fruit to be dried.  It would be placed on clean cloths upon the roofs, slabs on sawhorses, or whatever else was handy.

The men brought their husking pegs and shucked corn while the ladies did fruit.  The children enjoyed these occasions and anxiously waited for the piles of corn shucks to increase, as they had several games they liked to play among them: hide-and-seek, run-my-sheepie-run, and tag.  At the end of the day, a delicious dinner would be served under the apple trees on tables made of boards laid on sawhorses.

Note: Turkeys in Alpine were raised by the Watkins family.  Hertha, left, is admiring that year's fine flock.

Other autumn activities which combined work and recreation were quilting bees and "rug-rag bees."  No materials were wasted.  If the cloth wasn't too worn it was patched into quilt tops.  What wasn't good enough for quilts was torn into rug-rags and the remaining scraps were clipped into small pieces to stuff bed ticks, pillows or cushions.

I remember some old quilts Grandma Zetta had from the time when her family raised fruit in Fort Canyon.  In those days whenever a quilt began to wear out, she simply recovered it in another layer of fabric.  Women like my grandmother definitely followed Brigham Young's counsel to "make it do, or do without."  They were born recyclers!  Those quilts were extremely heavy, though, as well as damp and musty.

When Thanksgiving Day came in Alpine, it was generally celebrated rather quietly.  People spent the day at home with their families.  Later they added an afternoon dance for the children.  An adult dance and ball game was held in the evening.

The Pilgrim...
Going back even further in time, I learned the First Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was a traditional English harvest festival to which the colonists invited Massasoit who was the most important sachem (leader) among the Wamapanoag Indians.

The festival was celebrated in response to "God's favorable Providence" in times of plentiful game and bountiful harvest...with no little thanks to the Indians, who had introduced the settlers to native food plants and animals, and deserve much of the credit for keeping the Pilgrims from starving.

Among those gathered at the feast in 1621 was a man named Francis Cooke and his 14-year-old son John.  Francis' wife, Hester, was still in England.  She would follow in 1623 on the Anne with her three other children, Jacob, Jane, and Hester.

There isn't anything particularly remarkable about this family.  If Francis and John had not sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, no one would have remembered them at all, except maybe their descendents.  But this is where it gets interesting.

The Pioneer...
One of Cooke's direct descendents was a Mormon pioneer named John Joshua Tanner who came to Utah in 1851 and settled in South Cottonwood in the Salt Lake Valley.  The family of John Joshua Tanner now numbers in the thousands...hundreds of which live here in northern Utah County.  He is my ancestor as well.

Both men...Tanner and Cooke...were men of conscience and conviction, a remarkable family pattern to hold up over such a long stretch of time.  The Pilgrims were refugees from religious persecution in England, just as the Mormon pioneers traveled west to practice their faith in peace more than two centuries later.

I became a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in 2003.  Since then I have learned many things about my pioneer ancestors.  Because of what I have learned, Thanksgiving has a special meaning for me.  Family history is kind of like an archealogical dig.  Among the dirt and stones a single golden nugget of information could be hiding.  Discovering my  family genealogy is a blessing for which I am eternally grateful. 

At the top of my list of things for which I am grateful this season, I am placing the names of Francis Cooke and John Joshua Tanner...the Pilgrim and the Pioneer.

Blessings to you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Note:  This is a repost from November 2011.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Crafts...Vintage Tins!

This cute card says it all...
I "borrowed" these!

Pinterest Inspired Christmas Tin Arrangements

Repurposed cannisters from Kaytee Jane's House
The moment I saw these candle arrangments on Pinterest I knew I would have to make something similar.  Of course, when I want to use vintage tins and cannisters...they are either impossible to find or too expensive outside of yardsale season.  Kaytee Jane also used the vintage candle lights for hers...mine were from Walmart.  I just love her cute blog...I just became a follower.  I think you will love it too.  When I get done posting, I am going to go back and look at more of her fun projects.

Cute Little Elf in a Flour Sifter.
The first one I made.
The candle was a battery powered one.
They were I painted them all cream.

Larger Bucket/Tins...Hobby Lobby 2012 Clearance.
Larger plug-in lights.
I found that the small wreaths in Hobby Lobby's miniatures section were just right to use for these arrangements.  I wish I had bought more. George drilled me a few holes around the top edge so that I could wire the wreaths to the buckets  Vintage Elf and Deer...mix of new and vintage doodads.

Deer Arrangement for My Front Hall.
I decoupaged the tin years ago...I'm glad I kept it.

A little winter scene in a nicely rusty coffee can.

Cute Vintage Kitchen and green graphics.
This is for daughter Missy.
Elf, Cookie Cutter, Cupcake and a Vintage Rudolph (not seen)

Darling Tins from Michaels.
Used some old Victorian Santas to match.
For my DILs

Cool Muffin Tin From "A Vintage Chic!"

I first saw this on Pinterest...tho' I am a Faithful Follower!
This wonderful muffin tin is from Julie Campbell of A Vintage Chic.
Julie has instructions on how she made it.  She also has a cool Halloween version here: halloween Tin

My Muffin Tin...
It took me almost a year to find the perfect grungy muffin tin.
I like the 8 muffin configuration with the hole at the top/bottom.
For this I used images with a more "antique" feel for my Cozy Country Cabin Christmas theme... alliteration is fun!!
Another smaller vintage Santa head and a few rosettes from Christmas sheet music.

Back to the Workshop!

A Few Cute Cards I've Found Recently...Enjoy!