Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taking Kayleigh to Visit RPI

Last week, I took Kayleigh for her second visit to her 1st choice of colleges, RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in Troy, NY.  Her first visit was to check the school out.  This second visit gave her the opportunity to talk to a professor in the mechanical engineering department (where she wants to major) and make a positive impression on an admissions advisor.  She will be doing the early application and we will hear by December 10th if she has been accepted.  Wish her well!!

While we were enjoying a snack together on a bench outside the engineering building, a nursing mama squirrel approached us and 'asked' for a bit of our muffin bites.  We gladly obliged her.  She came nearly to our hands to take the treat, and sat nearby eating before running back up her tree to her waiting babes.

And I had to capture these lovely blooms in a photo to share with you.  There are lovely plantings all over the campus and most were still in prolific bloom.  Such a wonderful atmosphere.  We enjoyed a lovely day together with lots of catching up on the drive there and back.  Can't believe my girl is off to college next fall!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Gift Wrap

I had five minutes to quickly wrap two gifts.  I wanted them to look special, but with little time, I was not sure what I could do.  Fortunately, with my studio set up completely now, I was able to quickly grab the materials I needed and with quick assembly...VOILA!

I stamped the paper sack the gift came in from the shop with two vintage post office stamps:  'special delivery' and 'first class mail'.  I then adhered several vintage foreign postal stamps to the parcel, folded down the top and tied vintage seam binding through two holes I punched.  Gift number one, done.

Sorry, didn't realize in my rush that I did not photograph the whole package.  But for this one, I wrapped it in this fun craft paper, tied it with vintage seam binding, added a vintage photograph, two 1958 theme park ticket stubs and typed out 'RELAX    KICK BACK     ENJOY' to go with the relaxing woman in the photo.  Gift number two...done!  Four minutes flat and one to snap the photos to share with you.  Whew!  And happily, both gift recipients oohed and ahhed over their packages and I knew I had succeeded in making them feel special and appreciated.  Yeah!  Sometimes it's the little, out of the ordinary, touches that have the most impact in telling someone you care.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Making a Vintage "Autumn" Pennant Banner

You may recall that I made a pennant banner for the September Cooperage Market to sell.  I recently sold a handful of them to an antique shop in Dunstable, MA called Seasons at Calmore.  I will be making a few more at the request of Mary the store owner with a Halloween theme.  I thought I'd share with you the process of making the 'Autumn' banner in case you were looking for instruction/inspiration for making your own.
The project:

Tear pages from an old book.

I made a cardboard template of my pennant.  Pointed at the bottom with some straight at the top to allow for folding over later.  Lay template on top of torn out book page.

Fold edge of page using template and then tear off excess using fold as guide and template as straight edge to tear against.

Repeat for however many pennants you need to accommodate your word.  Here are six for the word, "Autumn."

Loosely crumple pennant.

I used Tim Holtz "Distress Ink" pad to 'age' the pennant.  Lightly glide felt ink surface over wrinkles and edges to leave behind 'age' on your page.

Using black ink and vintage letter stamps in size of your choosing, stamp the individual letters of your word on each pennant.

Flip over and fold down top edge.

Line pennants up in reverse order, cut accurate length of string for hanging, and using adhesive of choice (I have used both Vario tape tabs and glue stick) adhere flap to pennant, sealing in the string.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zinnias on my Windowsills

Invigorated by the cooling days and nights of the approaching autumn season, my zinnia beds are blossoming with profuse blossoms.  Thought you may enjoy seeing where some of them ended up.  You just can't help but smile when you see a zinnia.

Two peppers from the garden and a couple of late strawberries snuck in here, too.

On the windowsill for the photo and then delivered around the house.  One to each daughter's room, one to the living room and the beaker (love this as a vase!)  stayed on the bathroom windowsill.  So happy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sailboat Pitcher and Glasses

As you may recall, I picked up a set of six drinking glasses at Brimfield.  The glasses, in pristine condition, show little sailboats on them.  I bought them thinking that they matched a vintage pitcher I had picked up a couple summers ago.  Well, I was correct!  It is now a matched set.  I can't wait to use them regularly next summer when the sailboat theme will fit in to my decor for warm weather's return.  Don't they look sweet?

What a great find!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sure Signs of Autumn

A recent drive to a favorite New Hampshire farm stand, Rosaly's Organic Farm, just off route 101, revealed that autumn has not only arrived, but is hunkering down to stay for a bit.  The leaves lining the fields of cutting gardens for flowers and herbs at Rosaly's are just starting to show the faintest hint of fall coloring.  What best gives the approaching season away is this great display of fall harvest.

An earlier stop at Lull Farm in Milford had revealed similar findings.

As sad as I am to see summer ushered out, I can't help but embrace this new season.  How can I not, when there is such great, yet simple beauty to fill the transition!  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honey's 5th Birthday - WOOF!

Honey, our youngest golden retriever, just turned 5 (I guess 35 in dog years) on Friday, and as is our silly custom in our house, we bedecked the canine guest of honor and her "sister" in vintage people hats, sang "Happy Birthday" and presented her (and Maisy) with a "cake" made of whatever leftovers we had on hand that would make any dog drool.  Fortunately, my pictures capture only the silly business; drool strings and drool puddles were not visible (although they were present!).

The guest of honor (and yes her muzzle is a little longer than the average golden, but we love her anyway!).

Her "sister" and partner in crime, Maisy Lou, who we will celebrate on her 8th birthday in December.

Waiting patiently for "cake" while we sing, "Happy Birthday."  Honey can't take her eyes off the tasty treat.

Mmmmmm.....boy was that delicious (mashed potatoes, a sauteed pear quarter and a chicken "candle")!  Happy birthday Honey Belle.  You bring your family pack so much joy in your canine companionship.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

bowerbird & friends antiques, gifts & art

The second stop on my Monday birthday wanderings was to my favorite shop in Peterborough Center, down along the river.  Not only is is a delightfully packed antique store offering unique treasures, home decor and lush greenery, but Katherine, the owner is such a joy to visit with.  Often, I find when I enter a store these days, the staff is busy chatting amongst themselves or otherwise occupied, not greeting the customer.  Not so here!  At Bowerbird, customers always feel like old friends being welcomed back.  It is truly a pleasure to stop in.  I thought you would enjoy the eye candy I have to offer you in the form of these tantalizing photos.


Love the just hatched chick painted onto this vintage black rocker.  And the blue of these autumn asters is phenomenal.

Wide open spaces, good lighting and lovely displays greet the visitor.  And while you know you are on a riverbank in New Hampshire, you can't help but feel as if you've been transported to a European market somewhere.

The patina on this honey colored cupboard is lovely.

This is one of two metal medical cabinets that I covet.  And not only for sale, but perfect for display of one of my favorite things to collect: vintage tablecloths.

Once, formerly a florist shop, the bountiful light nurtures the many plants still calling this shop home. 

The second medical cabinet that I covet.  Oh, but for a place to put them and money for the purchase...

Beautiful displays, incorporating botanicals, natural materials and antiques grace every surface, this one on the top of a cabinet.

This planting bench and the sink below are located in a small greenhouse like planting room looking out on the river.  Just lovely...


Last, but not least (actually one of my favorite little ditties in the whole shop) is this clever display of bubblegum rings from an era gone by.  Katherine's 13 year old daughter, young entrepreneur that she is, has these for sale at mom's shop.  What a great way to display them:  a vintage BINGO card adhered to a wooden box.  Slits in the card in place of BINGO markers, for called out numbers, serve as perfect holders to display the eclectic little rings.  If you'll recall my birthday post on Monday, the Elsie the Cow ring ended up being a very happy, warm fuzzy birthday surprise for me from Kathy.  Thank you again Kathy.  I grin each time it catches my eye.

My trips up the mountain to the dairy are always more special when I continue on down the road into Peterborough to visit Kathy's shop.  You will not regret taking the trip yourself.  The only regret you may have,is not having enough time to poke through every nook and cranny.  Enjoy!

Twin Elm Farm Home Furnishing and Antiques: Early Autumn Days

This past Monday, as a part of my enjoyable birthday, my mom and I trekked up the mountain to the dairy followed by adventures in Peterborough, NH.  First stop was at Twin Elm Farm, my new favorite stomping ground.  The place was already hopping with activity of shoppers and dealers alike.  By the change in stock, it is easy to see that so far, this new establishment is enjoying a good measure of success.  It is no surprise since the atmosphere is delightful, the employees very pleasant and helpful and the prices, very fair.  Twin Elm offers a wide assortment of items ranging from new to old, traditional to eclectic, and from decorative to collectible.  I thought you might enjoy some updated photos of some of the displays.

I love this booth.  It makes me feel so serene.

LOVE the sign.  Not sure if it is old or not , but love it just the same.


What a great use for a tired out wicker chair.  These mums look happy to take a seat.

This booth remind me of a trip to an old country store.  It just feels homey.  Love the little red table.

I did make a couple purchases.  One of the purchases lent themselves to showing me just how honest and kind the staff at this shop are.  I asked the young woman at the counter to please take a good look at the jadeite teacups and saucers I wanted to purchase while she was wrapping them.   The light in the back where I found them was not conducive for my not so good eyes to check closely for chips or cracks.  She could have easily wrapped them up and said they were all fine, but she did exactly as I asked and did it with honesty.  She did find two flaws, one so small I probably never would have noticed, the other a crack.  She pointed them out to me and I was able to make my decision to purchase a set of four or six based on that.  Thank you Twin Elm for being as kind and supportive of your customers as you are no doubt to your dealers!

I leave you with this silly picture hanging in the powder room.  Hey, how did a quarter get in there?