Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Big Box in the Basement...Tiny Treasures!

Tiny Treasures...

Most of us have one...a large unmarked cardboard box that moves with us from house to house.  It must contain something of importance or we would never have kept it.  Yet we never seem to get around to opening it to find out what's inside.  It may be stacked in the garage on a high shelf...or buried behind something heavy in a basement closet.  It nags at us, but still there is no feeling of urgency...other more pressing tasks await our attention.

A few of my New Year's goals included organizing the photo albums, updating family histories and dejunking the house.  Usually I have to watch a Hoarders marathon to get motivated, but this time I genuinely want to lighten the burden of "stuff" that has taken over my home.  And I have been itching to go through the contents of that big box in my craft room closet.

I spent a full week on the photo albums...buying new binders and organizing our family life into time periods.  Slowly, but surely, the stacks of random photos found context and a place in the binders.  In a way my life has "flashed before my eyes."  Our children have come and grown and moved away in the space of one week.  It was an exhilarating and nostalgic journey!

What do photo albums have to do with the Big Box in the Basement?  When I finally opened the box I found it was full of baby clothes and small nursery keepsakes.  So that's where I put them!  As I laid out each little item a "photo" would flash into my mind of the child who wore it.  My feeling of excitement grew...I would photograph the little clothes and match them with photos of my little children wearing them!  I would show them what I found in the Big Box in the Basement.  My only regret is that I have no baby clothes photos of our youngest, Greg, to share in this post.

 Amber Lee...
Her newborn dress.

Amber had very few things that were pink when she was little.  Her dad didn't like pink for some reason.

A gift from Grandma Devey

My favorite dress...her cutest outfit.

In 1977 we moved to El Paso, Texas.  It's very hot there in the summer, but Amber was so cute and cool in her little blue outfit that people would stop me in the shops to admire her.  In the photo she is sitting in the sand at White Sands, NM.  She used to cry whenever she saw that photo..."Where's the baby's mama?" she would sob.  "Baby's all alone."

Christmas at Grandma Devey's...just before leaving for Germany

Missy Marie...
Missy...sweet in blue gingham.
Missy and Amber wore red, blue and yellow...no pinks.

Missy wearing Amber's overalls.  Kitty Luna photo bomb.

When Amber was born we had so little money that many of her baby clothes were hand-me-downs from her cousin, Christopher.  I embellished the little boy overalls with some iron-ons that came in a box of cereal.

Geoffrey Georg...
Geoff in his little German Sweater.
Purchased in a Flohmarkt (flea market) in Bremen.

Sascha Anna...
I never doubted that Sascha would be a girl.
Had fun making girly dresses for the first time.

Vintage Thrift Store Dress.
Her baby colors were "Sascha Green" and "Sascha Pink."

I made this baby version of a "Gunne Sax" dress.
Loved the ruffled bloomers.

Baby Sascha loved Care Bears and the Snuggle bear on TV.

Jumper crocheted by our Swedish neighbor, Kristina.

Kristina also made this cute little vest.

So, this was what I found in the Big Box in the Basement.  There were many other items...but no others with matching photos.  I hope my children will enjoy this story...and their children as well.  It's amazing these little clothes survived all these years...a couple of these dresses are almost 40 years old.  Sorry, Greg...you were way too hard on your clothes!

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!