Thursday, July 30, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Advertising postcards.....yep, I save them too!

My local art supply store sends out advertising cards a couple of times a year. The images on the cards are so pretty I can't bear to throw them away. So, they wind up added to the general detritus of my rolltop desk. Here are a few samples

April 30, 2004

November 30, 2004

April 30, 2006

December 15, 2006

December 31, 2008

April 30, 2009

Notice the artwork on this last card. It is Albert Bierstadt's Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California. This piece is part of the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art. I so want it to be on display next week when I take my 8 year old granddaughter for her 1st museum visit. I want her to see it because it is almost as big as the wall it hangs on. I'm willing to bet she has no idea paintings can be that big.

How about you? Have you ever saved advertising postcards?

To see more great Postcard Friendship Friday posts click here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recyclables and Do It Yourself Projects

Have you seen the cool products made from plastic bags? While searching online recently for how-to instructions for this.....I found this cool site. Thought I'd share because I knew you'd like to check it out for yourself.

Or if you would rather have someone make a bag for you:

How about this stylish recycled bag made by ResourcefulRedesign? Check out her Etsy shop.

Or how about this one made by RadicalRecycks?

I love red! Bag by lousupercycles.

One day I'm going to give this a try. If you make or buy one before I do, please show us!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sun Lovers

The bundle of sunflowers I purchased Saturday morning didn't survive the hot ride and the couple of stops along the way home. As soon as I arrived, I cut the stems and put them in a vase of water, but they were already too far gone to revive completely.

So, I am on to plan #2. I'm either going to let the heads dry and harvest the seeds for next year or I'm going to dry the heads and set them outside for birdfeeders.

Either way their sunny loveliness makes me smile.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm a Bacon & Tomato/Chicken Salad Sandwich Girl

What does your sandwich preference say about your personality? Hellmann's mayonnaise commissioned a study recently. Even though the study was done in fun, the doctor who conducted the study, Dr. Alan Hirsch, took a scientific approach in the study of the 2,747 people who were interviewed. These subjects were given all sorts of personality tests. Their sandwich preferences were then cross correlated with the personality results to determine what their choices said about them. Spouses and partners were questioned as well.

My #1 choice:
Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich lovers: We are conscientious perfectionists. We are devoted in all areas of our lives:work, home and relationships. The best words to describe us who prefer the BLT: honest and full of integrity.

My #2 choice:
Chicken Salad sandwich lovers: We are well adjusted and empathic, easy-going and understanding.

My #3 choice:
Tuna Salad sandwich lovers: We are generally aggressive and achievement oriented. We are natural leaders and driven to succeed in both work and personal relationships.

Okay, so 2 out of 3 correct guesses isn't bad. I think I am not like #3 at all, but I do enjoy a good tuna sandwich. #1 and #2 are right on in my humble opinion. I wonder what my love of Firehouse Subs New York Steamer says about me......

So now you take the Hellmann's sandwich challenge and find out if your sandwich preference matches your personality. Click here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Are you one of the 5 million +

This video has been viewed over 5 million times in the 6 days since it was downloaded to YouTube 6 days ago.

Watch the Today show interview of the happy couple.

I hope their whole marriage will be a happy celebration of love and happiness.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pepper Place Saturday Market

I'd like to spend more summer Saturday mornings here. Unfortunately, I'm not one to jump up and dash out of the house early on the weekends. Today was the exception. I happily wandered down the crowded aisles....fruits, flowers, people and vegetables...everything needed for a fun morning.

I came home with tomatoes for bacon and 'mater sandwiches, a bundle of sunflowers and a jar of squash and zucchini pepper relish.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

PFF brought to you by the Smith Brothers

Dear Audrey,

Hazel and I had lunch in this quaint, old restaurant. It was opened by the Smith Bros. of Cough Drop fam. We travel back to Greenwich Friday night.
Nellie L. Schlosse

The postmark reads Greenwich, N.Y. Oct 14 3:30 pm 1947 and is addressed to
Miss Audrey James
Box 124
River Falls, Wisconsin

I darkened the back of the card quite a lot in order to decipher the writing as well as enlarging the image. I don't think I could have read Nellie's handwriting without the help of my modern aids.

THE HISTORY Smith Brothers Cough Drop packaging portrays one of the world’s most famous trademarks. The two bearded gentlemen who distinguish it, affectionately known to generations as Trade and Mark, are legendary. Not well known, however, is the fact that the Smith Brothers really existed. Their names were William (Trade) and Andrew (Mark) and they helped found Smith Brothers in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1847.

William and Andrew were sons of James Smith who moved to Poughkeepsie from St. Armand, Quebec in 1847 to establish a restaurant. Though James was a fine carpenter by trade, he was an even better candy maker and a businessman. The story of the birth of the first Cough Drop is a good example. As that story goes, a journeyman stopped at the Smith restaurant and gave James the formula for a delicious and effective cough candy. James saw a need for such a product in the cold, windswept Hudson Valley and immediately mixed up a batch on his kitchen stove.

The Drops were a quick success and demand for the "cough candy" grew fast up and down the river. Only a few years later, in 1852, the firm’s first advertisement appeared in the Poughkeepsie paper, inviting all "afflicted with hoarseness, cough or colds" to test it. Young William and Andrew were active in the new business from the start. They helped mix the family secret formula in their father’s kitchen and busily sold the product in the streets of Poughkeepsie. The two boys inherited the fast growing business on the father’s death in 1866, and the company officially became known as Smith Brothers. As sales grew throughout the Hudson Valley, this success was met with a whole flurry of imitators-"Schmitt Brothers", "Smythe Sisters" and even other "Smith Brothers" appeared with imitative product. The real Smith Brothers, by this time having long, flowing beards, decided to place their own pictures on their product packaging, which consisted of glass bowls for a counter display and small envelopes into which the shopkeeper counted the Smith Brothers Cough Drops for each sale.

By chance, the word "Trade" appeared under the picture of William and the word "Mark" under that of Andrew. Thus, it happened by a mere coincidence that the famous Smith Brothers’ trademark was born and the Smith Brothers became known to generations of Americans as Trade and Mark. The glass bowl and envelopes then in use, had definite limitations. For one thing, the Smith Brothers could not be sure that only genuine Smith Brothers Cough Drops would be sold in envelopes which bore their pictures, so in 1872 the brothers developed a package bearing their likenesses, which was filled under their own personal supervision. This package was one of the first "factory filled" packages ever developed. Andrew (Mark) died in 1895 but William (Trade) continued as President of Smith Brothers almost up to his death in 1913. He was succeeded by his son, Arthur G. Smith, under whose direction the company continued to prosper. Menthol Cough Drops were added in 1922, a cough syrup in 1926 and the famous Smith Brothers Wild Cherry Flavor in 1948.

So there you have it....famous in Poughkeepsie for generations....the Smith Bros.

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday. Check out all the other PFF posts this week by clicking here.

ps. Yes, Nancy and Pam, I did research this one!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This is Paris by M. Sasek

I love big picture books. I love wonderful illustrations. I love having tons of reading material for my grandchildren. I want them to remember me for the stories I told them and the books they read at my house.

I just discovered the This is series, by Miroslav Sasek, which was first printed in the 50s and 60s. M. Sasek, as he signed himself, was a Czechoslovakian artist, illustrator and writer. He escaped from Prague and settled in Munich in 1948 when the Communist Party came to power. He was trained as an architect. Later Sasek worked for Radio Free Europe before he wrote his first children's book, This is Paris. His This is series can be described as travelogues for children.

My first purchase this past weekend was so delightful that I immediately ordered 3 more in the series from Amazon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Timeline

5:01 pm: left work totally spent
5:37 pm: stopped to pick up some food, corndogs and Popsicles...because needed to eat 'bad' to feel 'better'
6:10 pm: put up cold items, eat tuna and salad because am aware of need to fight emotional eating....wind up have two 100 calories fudgesicles anyway
6:15 pm to 12:00 am: zone in front of television...What Not To Wear and other stuff so unimportant that I can't even remember it anymore....

8:45 am-10:30 am: arrive late, make calls
10:45 am: stop by Antropologie, spend my birthday giftcard, leave there happy girl
11:22 am: stop by Taziki's to purchase my favorite humus for lunch
11:47 am: drop my vacuum cleaner at repair shop
12:15 pm-1:30 putter around, then decide to go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
5:20 pm: see friends in parking lot that I haven't seen in a couple of years, have an intense but fast conversation.
6:00 pm: drop prescriptions at Wal-Mart pharmacy and shop for stuff
7:00 pmish: home, start some ATC cards, eat corndogs and chips, watch New In Town and channel surf for a while
12:00 am to 1:30 am: check Facebook and Myspace for clues as to the whereabouts of non-paying customers from my collection list at work...cause I am determined to GOTCHA them
1:30 am to 2:10 am: finish reading Cemetery Dance by Lincoln and Childs because I can't turn my brain off

8:38 am: read my new children's book, This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek, and then finish reading Henning Mankell's Faceless Killers.
10:23 am eat 2 pieces of cinnamon bread with pineapple cream cheese and a banana
10:24 am-11:47 am: watch mindless ER dramatization on Lifetime or TLC or sumthin....
12:00 pm: Rachel calls to say she and Elijah are coming to visit....I get up, get dressed and clean house quickly, throw dirty clothes in washer
12:30 pmish-6:00 pmish: play with baby, visit, talk, eat tomato and bacon sandwiches, talk, play with baby, watch Under The Same Moon, kiss baby and daughter bye-bye
6:05 pm: eat corndogs again, work on ATC cards, do more laundry, write this blog post


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

According to Wikipedia, Cabinet Cards were "the style of photograph which was universally adopted for photographic portraiture in 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph that was generally mounted on cards measuring 4 ¼” by 6 ½ inches."

I don't know if these two postcards would be considered true Cabinet cards, but I am going to assume so unless one of you card experts can shed light on their probable origin. I acquired them in a lot of cards that I purchased off Ebay. These are two of my favorites.

There is no postmark or message on the back which would give a clue as to their age. So I'm giving it my best guess and dating them using my superior powers of deductive reasoning and my vast knowledge of costumes and clothing of the 19th and 20th centuries. The one I'm titling "Generations" seems to be from the late 1800. The "Sisters" might have been taken between 1900 and 1910. I read both cards as Midwestern in origin. Maybe Kansas. Maybe Oklahoma. Possibly Wisconsin. These women and girls are strong, determined, forged out of hardship and experts in making do with what is at hand.

The ladies in "Generations" look a bit surprised that anyone would want a photograph of them. The photographer better hurry and get their picture. They can't sit under this tree all day...they've still got tomatoes to can and peas to snap before the sun goes down!

The girls in "Sisters" seem to be used to lounging on their porch steps watching whatever or whoever passes by. They make judgments and giggle behind their hands as they whisper secrets about those who intrude on their privacy.

Lillie and Florence Jacobson

We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.

It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All in all, I think what their faces say to me is that "we will persevere, we will abide and we will abound."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No, really I'm not narcissistic....

John William Waterhouse, Echo and Narcissus

Narcissism: the trait of excessive self-love based on self-image or ego.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a handsome Greek boy who rejected the advances of the nymph Echo. She prayed that Narcissus would one day feel the pain of being ignored by someone he loved. The gods on Mount Olympus heard her and doomed him to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. For weeks Narcissus tried to kiss his own face in the water. Each time his reflection would disappear in the ripples. He forgot to eat, eventually starving to death. When the nymphs came to bury him they found that he had changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

Going through my files of artwork, I realized that I've made more than a few self-portraits in recent years. Some are the result of class assignments. Some are ATCs that I made and traded. they are:

1st assignment in digital art class- the instructor took a photo of each of us. We had to use a paint program and digitally change the photo into a piece of artwork.

using the same photo but adding color and filters

playing around with a photo and photoshop one night

I inserted myself into this Renoir.

Another class assignment...draw yourself in the style of another artist. I chose Egon Schiele, but I really wasn't true to his aesthetic because I wasn't willing to draw myself naked. I did attempt to be really depressed looking.

Fabric ATC I made to trade....I think I look like a lioness.

ATC self-portrait made for a trade.

Come on, join Narcissus for a few moments and comtemplate your reflection. If you were to draw a self-portrait, what features about yourself would you want to showcase? What style of art would express your character the best? Which famous artist would you want to hire to immortalize you? Would you be willing to show the real you or would you want to cover all your blemishes and show the world the you that you would like to be?


So, she leaning on her husband's arm, they turned homeward by a rosy path which the gracious sun struck out for them in its setting. And O there are days in this life, worth life and worth death. And O what a bright old song it is, that O 'tis love, 'tis love, 'tis love that makes the world go round! - Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bucket o'Soap

For those who asked here is the laundry detergent recipe that Rachel uses.

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap (grated)
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax Powder

Grate soap and place in a deep soup size pan. Add 6 cups of water. Heat until soap melts. Add the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and the Borax powder. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of hot tap water into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Add soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon + 6 cups of water to bucket and stir again. Let soap sit for 24 hours. It will gel. Use 1 cup per load.

Mid April is when I started using this bucket of detergent. So far I've used 2/3s of my bucket. I've been happy with the quality of the cleaning . Rachel says she has plenty of the ingredients to make a couple more recipes, so you can see that it is very economic.

You can check this web site and others like it for more money saving cheap cleaning ideas.
Sorry it took me so long to post the recipe.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stories, Tall Tales and Anecdotes

One of my friends called one night last week. She asked had I read the obituaries in the Sunday paper. Since I rarely make a habit of doing so, I answered that I hadn't. "What did I miss," I asked?


I've written about my love of the book Cold Sassy Tree before on this blog. It' a story set in a South that can really only be read about in books now. A story filled with characters that remind me of my grandparents and great grandparents. The author, Olive Ann Burns, draws from family tales about her great grandfather who remarried three weeks after his wife died. Olive Ann recalls her father quoting his grandfather as saying that he "had loved Miss Annie, but she was as dead as she'd ever be and he had to git him another wife or hire a housekeeper, and it would just be cheaper to git married."

In Ms Burns biography, which was written after the author's death from cancer in 1990, her friend and editor Katrina Kenison notes that when Olive Ann began Cold Sassy Tree she relied on the family history she had complied for her children. She also tried to work in bits and pieces from her large collection of authentic expressions, anecdotes and funny stories which she had jotted down for years. She was a lover of colorful country names, superstitions and amusing phrases. It is this authentic touch that more than makes the town of Cold Sassy Tree, Georgia and the people who live there come to life.


The friend who called to inquire if I'd read the obits is always telling me that this or that tidbit is one for the screenplay that we should to write one day.

" Mildred Noland Peake, and her beloved canine companion, Matilda, died within 3 weeks of each other. Mildred was 88 years old and Matilda was 16.
Mrs. Peake lived her life in Birmingham. She was born September 23, 1920, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert Powell Noland. Her secondary education was at Shipley School in Philadelphia. She graduated from Vassar College and received a Masters Degree in nursing from Yale University.................
Mrs. Peake was a serious history buff....She was an active member of the Society of Colonial Dames, Nineteenth Century Book Club, LInley Heflin Unit, Trowel Garden Club and at one time served on the Board of the Children's Hospital.
Funeral services will be held for those who loved Mildred and Matilda at St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands on Monday, July......"

My friend came to know of Mrs Peake through her daughter. On Emily's first Sunday singing as a mezzo soprano with the St. Mary's choir she caught a glimpse of a black miniature poodle making his was to the front of the church along with other worshipers coming to take communion. Since my friend's had their own black miniature poodle at the time, Emily was confusedly thinking that somehow 'Bogey' had stowed away in the car with her and was now wandering down the aisle of the church. Then she saw that the dog, Matilda, was accompanied by an elderly woman who stopped and handed the poodle off to a friend in the choir while she took communion. Then she gathered her dog and they went back to their seats. Matilda faithfully attended St Mary's along with her owner each Sunday.

I wonder if Mrs Peake grieved herself to death for her Matilda. I think so.

So you be the judge, don't you think Mrs. Mildred Noland Peake deserves to be remembered as an original? Are you a lover of stories? Do you jot down the sweet or funny things you don't want to forget? Maybe we all have a book in us.....what do you think?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In A Nutshell

It's been a busy week at work and a lazy week at home.

Here it is in a nutshell:

My garden is over run by grass and weeds. Chick-fil-a has only one weed in their garden.

Taken while waiting in the drive-through. Lunch was a #1.

Had a free coupon for one of these. Since I don't indulge in
these very often, I think I'll stick with Starbucks. The rest of lunch was spent
in my favorite spot listening to my latest book on CD.

Two special people meet me for lunch another day. Two of us had
Thai Crunch Salads. Can you guess where we were?

I finally did it. I bought my first new purse in over 5 years.
It was time, wouldn't you agree?

Not a busy week....but it was my week. How was yours?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Greetings from Gulf Shores, Alabama! Where the sand is white, the shrimp is delicious and the folks speak with slow southern drawls.

My friend Gwyne sent this card to me the year stamps cost 34 cents...whenever that was. I can't read the postmarked date. I keep this card propped up in my roll top desk. Over all the years of our friendship, she has sent me numerous cards. I keep the one of two poodles under hairdryers on my inspiration board downstairs. I appreciate her quick-witted big personality and she says she appreciates my spontaneity.

I like to think that Gwyne's writing reflects the hyperbole of her personality. It is big, bold and decisive, but with a flare that says "I won't let the world miss out on the fact that I was here!"

People come in all sizes and shapes. Just like snowflakes, we are all originals.

For more PFF dash over here.