Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Friday, April 21, 2017

The First "Friday's Finds" for 2017

Well, here we are at the tail end of April, and finally we've had a warm and rainless day here in the soggy Pacific Northwest. That's pretty slim pickings for sunshine even in this climate, so it was certainly welcome. It was especially nice to see that a few stalwart individuals even had garage sales going, and I managed to find a couple of goodies. It's been a long time since the last one!

I was surprised and pleased to find this beautiful vintage baby dress for a mere pittance. It's been hand embroidered and trimmed with picot crochet edging. So sweet! The style is early mid-century, not unlike some of my dad's baby clothes which were made in 1927. Not that this little gown dates that far back, but I think 1940's - early 1950's is a reasonable estimate.

I also found some lovely vintage daisy sewing trim at this same sale. I don't do a lot of sewing, but I couldn't resist this. 1970's? 1960's? Pretty stuff, at any rate. And for only a quarter--cheap thrill, indeed!

Next, I found this nifty retro "purse size launderette" set.

It contains an elastic clothesline, plastic hook clothespins, and little packets of detergent, still in its original plastic package. Just the thing for tossing into your suitcase when you go on vacation, so you can swish your undies in the hotel sink and hang them up to dry. I love to find stuff like this! Made in Hong Kong and the U.S.A., so I'm thinking this is from the 1960's.

This next little sweetie is right up my alley: It's kitsch, it's canine, it's cute, and it was cheap! 

This is "Gigi", according to what's left of her original tag, and she's made from wired loopy chenille stems and pipe cleaners. I was thrilled to find her, as she's obviously very old. I've managed to find out that she was originally sold with a miniature bottle of perfume, "Trystess" by Jean D'Arc, and her tag, if entire, would have read, "Gigi The Playful Pup". I don't know when this set was manufactured--the early 1960's, probably, though maybe the 1950's. If you know, tell me, please! I paid sixty cents for this little treasure, and she'll be joining my collection of miniature vintage poodle toys.

And while I'm on the subject of poodles, I've got a couple others I've been meaning to share with you for a while. 

I thought I'd seen everything in the way of vintage yarn poodles. But obviously, I was mistaken! These two gals take kitsch handmade poodles to a whole new level.

Behold! The little grey poodle is neither knit nor crochet, she's been constructed, as it were, from cylindrical bundles of yarn simply tied together, as you can see from the side and bottom views.

With a few pompoms tacked on for ears, nose, and top-knot, she's amazingly simple, and oh-so-cute! 

When it comes to poodle cozies (or "cosies" if you're from the UK) I thought I'd seen them all, from "Gin Poodles" (or bottle cozies) to toilet roll cozies (my own dubious specialty) to teapot cozies to hot water bottle covers. But never have I seen one like this purple pooch. Can you guess her function? I'll wager not. But let me turn her about for a rear view...

Can you believe it? That's a vintage can of aerosol room freshener spray protruding from her backside! Seriously! I wonder if the person who made this stopped to consider the ironic nature of this design. Was it clownish wit, or utter cluelessness that led to this? All I know is, I've never seen one of these before, and I probably never will again--unless I make it myself, of course...   You know I can't resist the idea!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Old Fashioned Things, Old Fashioned Ways

Gracious, how time flies! I've neglected this blog shamefully and, truth to tell, I can't see the situation changing much in the future. Sadly, I fear one day it will just quietly wither away and be gone. But such is life. Seasons of productivity, seasons of dormancy, but always change. 

Okay, enough with the philosophy. If you've been reading these inane posts of mine long enough, you know I don't take myself too seriously. As I say in the blog description, if you're looking for profound exchanges of ideas, you've come to the wrong place.

Nevertheless, the Lord in His graciousness has so declared that He "has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong," (1 Corinthians 1:27) and to that I shout out a resounding, "Glory, hallelujah!" because that means even my silly contributions make a difference in His sight.

I'm thinking about Easter. And about old fashioned Easters in particular. How I love vintage, and when I find vintage books and ephemera in a Christian vein, I'm always pleased. There's something about the timeless connection with believers who have gone before me that touches me deeply. This morning a few minutes on Etsy yielded some wonderful old treasures that I want to share.

Vintage Embossed Religious Easter Rose Postcard Made in Germany

Vintage Religious Ephemera for Journals and Scrapbooking

Vintage Sunday School Postcard Psalm 27:11

Antique Victorian Pilgrim Songs Booklet - Hymns and Texts for One Month, Psalms, Chromolithographic Illustrations (WTH-1586)

Nowadays it's hardly considered de rigueur to be a follower of Jesus Christ or, indeed, to profess a strong allegiance to any religious conviction. For many, it's seen--at best--as "old fashioned". Well, I like old fashioned. And as one old fine song says, 

If the Lord never changes as the fashions of men,
If He's always the same, why, He is old fashioned, then!

And a jolly good thing that is, too!

I wish you a blessed Resurrection Day.

Monday, March 6, 2017

My Personal Monster Quest

As most of you who have followed this lame excuse for a blog for any amount of time already know, usually I'm making poodles. Or terriers. Or something in the domestic friendly line.


But with the long winter days and resultant cabin fever, I've gone off on a different tangent. I've gone "squatchy". Or "sasquatchy". Or "bigfooty". Or "yeti-y". Or stark raving mad. You may take your choice. 

Actually, I've been squatchy for decades, but I've just recently got brave enough to mingle in the vast Bigfoot-believer subculture. Here I am hanging out with my sons at my first ever Sasquatch convention. (My middle son is behind the camera; my youngest is the one hamming it up, of course.) As for the big guy behind us, well... And I've joined a couple of discussion groups on facebook to compare notes and share photographs. It's a lot of fun! And nice to have people to talk to about one's experiences who don't treat you like you've totally gone off your nut because you know you saw what you saw, or heard what you heard.

One of these days I'll maybe share some of my family's experiences here, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you how this "coming out of the closet" has affected my creative output.

Here are a couple of views of my  prototype bigfoot, which I made and sold a few months ago, mixing together a couple of types of leftover yarn I had on hand to get a furry effect.

Apparently this first cryptid was a swamp ape, because he took off for Florida shortly after I listed him.

And here are the latest, new-and-improved sasquatches. I was fortunate enough to stumble across some specialty yarns--usually very expensive--at the local Goodwill. I almost didn't spring for the bag full of novelty yarn, but now I'm glad I did! You never know what will inspire you. Even these are still somewhat experimental--I'm working on getting the coned heads just right, among other things.





Over the weekend, I was attempting to watch television with my husband but was getting restless, not having a project to work on at the same time. Gotta keep those hands busy! I really didn't feel like making another bathroom cozy, so thought I'd fiddle around with a simple toy instead. Rather to my surprise, it turned out rather well. And here he is, my very sweet little yeti!

He's so soft and floppy! I'm quite enamored of him and tempted to keep him, but I'll get him listed in the shop tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Forget the Romance--Gimme a School Party!

Elementary school Valentine's Day party, 1950's

There are a lot of holidays that go by pretty much ignored in my household, or at least, ignored now that the kids have grown up. Valentine's Day is one of those. I couldn't care less about cheesy sentiment or an obligatory gift of cellophane wrapped roses. Chocolates, of course, are always welcome, but then that goes without saying. Any day of the year, I welcome chocolate.

But growing up as a Baby Boomer, I do hold fond memories of the annual school Valentine's Day party. With what anticipation we kids awaited it--a lovely treat that brightened up the tail end of winter, and promised us, as well, a shortened day of schoolwork as lessons ended early for the festivities. 

I don't know what kids do now for school holidays. I think they're rather tepid affairs compared with the fun we had--after all, we all those lovely unsafe games and toys to enjoy, and refreshments were homemade because no one gave a rip about the possibilities of food poisoning or worried about eating gluten-free. It was a big deal to be designated to bring cupcakes or cookies from home for the party. There was no pre-packaged anything and not a nutritionist in sight!

Best of all was the unveiling of the Valentine boxes, carefully decorated and brought from home on the day of the party, and the ensuing contest for winners. Most beautiful box, most creative box, etc. I don't remember ever winning one of these honors, but it was fun to try every year. 

Most of us made our "mailboxes", using shoe boxes, construction paper, and glitter. A few kids had help from artsy moms and they had fancier boxes, but for the most part they were pretty simple affairs, made with fumbling fingers, pots of paste or bottles of mucillage, and great enthusiasm.

The valentines shared were the standard cheap kids' cards with bright graphics and lots of hokey puns, like these:

Notice we weren't politically correct in those days, nor socially sensitive. Ah, well.

Fifth grade was the last of the parties I remember. That year I decided to forego the standard printed cards and had my mom buy me a package of heart-shaped paper doilies and a pen with red ink, Then I copied out silly verses from a magazine article I had--was it Calling All Girls, maybe? Not sure. I've forgotten all of the rhymes but one, which I gave to a red-haired boy named Carl on whom I had a mild crush:

The man of my dreams 
is handsome and strong
But I'll stick with you
'til he comes along.

I doubt if Carl was impressed with my efforts, but my teacher, Mrs. Fisher, certainly was.

Anyway, I loved Valentine's Day as a kid. And when I homeschooled my own four kids, one of the few things I felt sad about their missing out on was the fun of the school Valentine's Day party. So every year I set out to make up for the deficiency.

The unexpected thing was, my kids couldn't have cared less. Don't get me wrong--they liked receiving the annual treat of a little heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates. They are, after all, chips off the old block in that respect.

But crafting pretty cardboard Valentine mailboxes or fashioning their own cards for members of the family or friends was something that interested them not an iota. They humored me somewhat but it was clear that I was the one who was jazzed about the activity; for them it was just some pointless art project they endured for my sake.

The most famous example of that indifference has remained a family joke to this day. I was trying to encourage the kids to come up with their own sentiments to write on their homemade cards. Nobody was particularly enthused. I don't think they could see the point. But I urged them, suggesting ideas and finally by reciting the old time-worn example, 

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

Then I left them to it.

A half hour later I went to examine the results. I think I finally knew it was a lost cause when I read my oldest son's card to his sister. In all seriousness, he had written:

Meat is red
And I like you.

Well, I guess it could have been worse!

Here are some other vintage Valentine "fails" I thought you might enjoy.

This one obviously slipped past the censors.

Definitely the kind of card that would have you phoning the cops to report a potential death threat nowadays.

Something the Texas chain saw murderer might have sent in his youthful ardor.

Apparently nothing says "I love  you" like finding a corpse in your freezer.

Uh.....  Never mind.

I said, "Never mind!"

A sinister-looking clown. Now THAT'S gonna win her!

What planet is this ad from?