I've been tied to my camera and tripod all morning photographing the vintage goodness shown below. My plan is to have all of these eighteen items listed in T-Party's Etsy shop by the end of the week. Ugh . . . so many photos to take and descriptions to write! I must have spring fever because I'm itching to get outside today.
See anything here that catches your eye? If so, feel free to leave a comment on this post or email me at email@example.com. If you want to purchase something, I will gladly get back to you with more information and the item's price. And best of all, you just might save me the effort of doing the listing.
Time for a break. I'm heading outside to enjoy some sunshine.
We have a very special guest staying with us. His name is Anner (pronounced like the word 'honor') and he has traveled here from a small rural village called San Jose de Cusmapa located in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. Anner is part of a children's choir called Coro Fabrettino that is visiting and performing in this part of the United States.
Seventeen-year-old Anner is a talented singer and guitarist. When we brought him home, he immediately discovered Jacob's guitar and gave us an impromptu concert. Anner is also the most courteous, well-mannered gentleman and it is our extreme pleasure to be his host family for the next week.
Anner speaks almost no English, and John and I haven't spoken Spanish since junior high. Luckily, Jacob takes Spanish in school and is doing well bridging our communication gap. Our fluent Spanish speaking family member is away at college, so Anner has been video-chatting with Hannah who is able to hold an actual conversation with him. But the language barrier really isn't a problem. We have to look up the occasional sentence using an online translator, but all in all, it's a fun challenge.
I think Jacob is enjoying showing Anner around and having a "brother" for ten days. Yesterday, we went to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.
After that, we had pizza and his group did a couple of songs at an event for our local middle school. The Coro Fabrettino will be performing at several schools in the coming week.
Anner's choir is comprised of 14 boys and girls who participate in education, nutrition and community health programs at the Fabretto Children's Center in their town. They have grown up in severely impoverished households and look to a brighter future through quality education and creative expression. For many of these children, participation in this choir gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride and is the highlight of their education. Being in this choir becomes a driving force for their continued success in school and in all other realms of life. To learn more about the Coro Fabrettino, please click here.
So far, we're having a great time with our new Nicaraguan friend. I will share more of Anner's visit with you next week.
Today is my open studio sale. How nice that my Japanese weeping cherry tree is in full bloom for the occasion. Isn't it glorious? With all this pink around, I figured why not participate in Pink Saturday.
Aren't these pink vintage aprons hanging outside my studio pretty?
Here's another view of my pink weeping cherry. My studio is located around the far side of our house, so I made signs and tied them to vintage watering cans to help guide the way.
That's all my pink for today. Please be sure to visit Beverly's blog, How Sweet the Sound, for links to all those participating in Pink Saturday today. She is the wonderful host of this fun group share.
Gotta go. It's going to be a busy day!
I'm spending the day getting ready for my open studio. Tomorrow, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the doors of my little studio will be open for some shopping, scones and iced tea. I still have lots to do, so here's a quick pre-sale peek . . .
The weather is supposed to be spectacular tomorrow, so I'll be setting up items outside as well. There will be vintage aprons hanging on the line and lots more treasures to poke through. And with Mother's Day approaching, there's sure to be some shopping going on for mom. If you're in the area, do stop by. (Click here for more info.)
I'd better get going. I still have to get to the grocery store for scone ingredients. But first I'll take my morning walk, which I should have done about three hours ago!
Today is the day to focus on how we can be kinder to our planet. But shouldn't every day be Earth Day? There are so many simple ways to save the Earth. Here are some things we can do to be a little more green . . .
The single-most important step we can take is to reduce our emissions by driving a fuel-efficient car. That's what I did three years ago when I bought my Prius. On it is my one and only bumper decal; a simple and striking EARTH sticker created by painter and sculptor Philip Krohn. You can order yours at earthsticker.com. They're only $2.50 each, with a four sticker minimum. All net proceeds go to nonprofit organizations working to protect biodiversity and wilderness.
Another important step is to reduce the need for plastic and bring your own reusable bag with you when you shop. Here's my favorite bag I always have in the car with me.
The most recent Earth-friendly step I have taken is to purchase a refillable water bottle. So no more plastic (PET) water bottles for me. Did you know that scientists say you can fill a PET bottle ¼ of the way with oil to symbolize how much energy goes into every bottle? Yikes!
The water bottle I tote everywhere with me is a SIGG. They make bottles that are ecologically sound, reusable and ultimately, recyclable. SIGGs are extruded from a single piece of pure aluminum for seamless, leak-proof durability. It's liner is one-of-a-kind and is a proprietary formula (containing no BPA) which is baked on for the life of the bottle. It remains flexible and crack-resistance despite how dinged up the outside of the bottle might get. Plus, SIGGs come in an array of beautiful designs. You can visit their website to order your own bottle here.
Over several months, I've been sharing excerpts of a favorite and engaging book with you. (To read all of those "Save the Earth Saturday" posts, click here.) 365 Ways to Save the Earth is filled with stunning pictures by Philippe Bourseiller, a field photographer whose talents as a climber, caver, and diver enable him to capture extraordinary images of our planet. The book is presented in a simple format consisting of a full-page photograph along with a daily practical step we can take to help maintain the beauty and health of our planet. Each day of the year has a different photo and action we can take, so it's easy to make every day an Earth Day.
So have yourself a green day, week, month, year . . .
Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. It's a day of particular importance to me and my family.
Did you know that I 'm a first-generation American? My parents were from Europe and, unfortunately, have a direct connection to the Holocaust.
Born in Poland in 1918, my father's life was derailed by WWII. He was a Holocaust survivor who endured several death camps in Eastern Europe. My dad emerged from this nightmare as a young adult who lost his parents, nine siblings and most of his extended family. My mother, also from Poland, was separated from her mom and three siblings at the age of seventeen. She never saw her family again. A benevolent young woman gave my mother her birth certificate and she survived by assuming this new identity.
My dad met my mom in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war. They came to the United States in 1950. Married for 57 years, they had a happy life. Having survived many horrors during WWII, they miraculously emerged wanting to carry on and have a family together.
I feel fortunate to have had such loving parents. I only wish I could have had grandparents and the large, extended family that should have surrounded my sister and me.
Please take a moment today to think and learn about the millions of people who perished in the Holocaust. In whatever form you do so, the memory of its victims will live on.
At last! Yesterday was warm enough to work in the garden all day.
Though I'm a bit sore this morning from the hard work, it felt great to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Now my garden is all cleaned up, mulched and ready for the warmer days ahead.
Time for a walk with John. I hope you have a lovely Sunday.
Don't you just love old framed mother poems? And how about some classic Mary Engelbreit? It will be Mother's Day before we know it, so I'm offering some fun items for sale just for mom.
This print below, copyright 1930, has a sweet sentiment with an illustration of a mother, son and daughter in a lovely garden (on Etsy here).
From 1993, the hardbound journal below is designed to provide mothers with an opportunity to preserve family memories with space to collect favorite stories and a personal history. It's filled with some of the all-time best loved Mary Engelbreit illustrations (on Kitsch Encounter here).
The vintage print below has a charming illustration of a mother and daughter feeding the birds. Its sweet eight line poem is entitled "My Mother" (on Etsy here).
Tea time for mom; this tea cup and saucer has a design of pretty roses and a pink ribbon spelling out "Mother" (on Kitsch Encounter here).
The Mother poem below must have once been given to a cherished mom by her two daughters as there is a handwritten note on the back saying "May 12, 1946. To Mother from Gloria Jean and Roberta Ann" (on Etsy here).
I've listed these items well in advance of Mother's Day to make sure you'll have them in time to wrap them up and present them to mom. (Or perhaps there's something here that you fancy for yourself. If so, time to drop a hint to your kids!)
While we were in Baltimore, Ixia was the restaurant that Hannah chose for her birthday dinner. What a feast for both the eyes and palate as the food was amazing and the dining room spectacular. I didn't want to disturb other patrons by snapping photos, but the powder room was another story. I couldn't resist sharing it with you.
Down a set of bright red stairs and through a floor-to-ceiling bright red hallway, you'll find a place with the most dazzling decor. Welcome to Ixia's gaudy yet glamorous powder room . . .
A Plexiglas box marks each rest room door; one with a man's lace-up shoe, the other with a lady's pair of pink sparkly pumps.
Once inside the ladies room, you are greeted with a flower-covered ceiling and an enchanting vanity.
Lined with red velvet, the vanity displays vintage treasures under glass. This room is adorned with glittering mini chandeliers, gold fringe trim, comfy pink chairs and most unusual of all --- green Astroturf covered walls!
The vessel sinks are perched on a pink painted antique dresser. Everything about this powder room was magical.
Ixia was the perfect place to celebrate Hannah's birthday. I wish I could have shown you more of their stunning interior. Click here for their website with pictures of how over-the-top gorgeous this place is. Ixia has the same owner as another renowned Baltimore restaurant, Paper Moon Diner. Click here for my post about that whimsical eatery. You'll see that this restaurateur has a true appreciation for all things vintage.
Back at Hannah's dorm, members of her floor surprised her with birthday desserts. There's our fondant-covered flower cake. Hannah loved it and it actually tasted great!
We spent the past weekend in Baltimore celebrating Hannah's 19th birthday with her. Before we left, my good friend Sherri offered to help me make a special cake to take with us for Hannah. Sherri has always wanted to make a fondant covered creation, so with John's help and moral support, we all got together after work one evening to do just that.
Though we don't have a lick of experience working with fondant, we carefully read the instructions on the package and jumped right in. We decided the cake should be in the shape of a Gerber Daisy which is Hannah's favorite flower. First, I baked the cake in a flower shaped pan using an easy Passover yellow cake mix. Then the fun with fondant began . . .
Here it is! Our cake looks more like a sun than a Gerber daisy and it's a bit rough around the edges, but for a first attempt, we're all pleased with it. And Hannah really appreciated the effort.
At one point, we thought about ordering a cake for Hannah from the famed Charm City Cakes bakery located near her university. But the starting price for one of their cakes is $1,000! Although our cake, made with Sherri's invaluable help, may not be as spectacular as one created by the Ace of Cakes himself, ours was a lot of fun to make. Plus, it was made with a lot of love.
I met such nice folks while participating in Pink Saturday a couple of weeks ago. So I decided to join in the fun again.
Today for your pink pleasure, we have a wonderful old hat covered in pink roses . . .
A felt cut-out of a young lady dressed in pink (for sale here) . . .
The prettiest plate patterned with a delicate pink blossom (part of a set for sale here) . . .
. . . and a whimsical pink cake in the shape of a flower that I'll tell you all about in my next post.
Beverly, the gracious host of Pink Saturday, does an incredible job organizing this group share. Please visit her blog, How Sweet the Sound, for links to all those participating in Pink Saturday today.
It's time to lighten up. Say goodbye to the brown grass, dirty snowbanks and gray skies of winter. Now that spring has arrived, we can look forward to blossoming trees and blooming flowers in pretty pastels. Items in soft hues, like these from my website, are one way we can introduce spring colors into our homes.
The dark, oppressive days of winter are behind us. I feel lighter. Don't you?
The American Heart Association has named April 8 National Start Walking Day. Adults nationwide are making the pledge to start walking and to become active and healthy.
As you know, I'm a walker. It's something that has become part of my day and I just don't feel right unless I walk. Rain, snow or sunshine, I walk every day. Sometimes John or friends join me. Other times, it's just me and my iPod. Of course, there are those mornings that I don't feel like hitting the road, but I force myself to get out there bright and early. I'm always glad I do.
Here's what my walk looked like on this beautiful April morning . . .
I always see other friendly walkers who say hello. I've been passing some of them for years now!
Did you know that walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity? It's the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.
Companies across America are encouraging employees to walk for at least 30 minutes tomorrow. So be sure to wear your sneakers to work and pledge to live heart-healthy lives. For more information, visit the AHA website here.
Support the fight against heart disease. Take a walk!
Yesterday, I was asked to participate in a special event for women where I offered a tea tasting along with tea education.
At a beautiful country club overlooking Long Island Sound, experts in an array of fields set up tables for women to learn about and explore new things. The event was called "A Day for Me." One could sample my teas, have your tarot cards read, learn to stamp for scrap booking, try out fitness equipment, have your portrait professionally taken, and ask experts about health, fitness, nutrition, wellness and weight management. There was even a wardrobe consultant, a Reiki healer, a make-up artist offering makeovers, and a flower arranger potting up free pots of pretty pansies.
It was a busy afternoon, so I wasn't able to leave my table to snap photos. Here are just a few shots of the event . . .
This afternoon of exploration was put together by a group in my area called My Time For Me, an organization dedicated to bringing women of all ages together in the spirit of camaraderie and fun. I met so many nice ladies that I am considering checking out some of their upcoming outings. The Grand Central Terminal tour sounds right up my alley, or I might try an art gallery trip or a day hike. But I think I'll pass on the pole dancing party!
This seems to be the week for people in my family to be in magazines! Our daughter is in the May issue of Seventeen . . .
Seventeen and a few other teen publications have started using "real girls" in their magazines. Advertisers, like Dove, have also started using regular women who are not professional models in their ads. It's a nice, refreshing change, don't you think?
So our daughter, Hannah, is not a model. She's an average teenager who was offered a chance to spend an afternoon with a professional photographer, make-up artist, and stylist at Seventeen's headquarters. The result is the photo above. Pretty awesome!
Here's a little photo montage of some details in my studio that provide a touch of whimsy and inspiration. Enjoy!
Fun, lighthearted and optimistic. These vintage goodies remind me to keep a cheerful frame of mind and never take myself too seriously. As Judith M. Knowlton said, "I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude."