Saturday, April 27, 2013

Check on Dolly

When I was a girl I loved watching old movies where the kids go up to the attic and find lots of treasures that were long forgotten. A dress, a rocking horse or a lamp hidden because of a gaudy shade.

I am very nostalgic and saved many things over the years. If I could have, I would have saved more. This playpen once held all the napping Cabbage Patch Dolls residing or visiting our home along with Teddy Bears, our cat Sophie and even my great-nephew Jeff when he was an infant.

I brought this out about a week ago while babysitting my 22-month old granddaughter. She brought along Dolly and we had a good time playing. We tried on doll clothes I made many years ago that fit and put her down for a nap in the play pen. Dolly fell asleep and Ada went on to play with other toys. Every once in a while though she would get up and say "Check Dolly" and off she went to look in on Dolly. It was precious to see her take such care of Dolly. It was a day well spent with my special girl and her doll. I hope we spend many more days like this, especially as I make more clothes for both of them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Collecting Transferware

 Like many fellow bloggers I collect Transferware dishes.To me they are a unique art form. I don't know when I began to love these rich patterns and designs but my first memory was when my sister was going to be married.  My mother started collecting a set of Currier and Ives ironstone dishes from the grocery store.  I turned 11 two days before the wedding so I wasn't well versed in the ways of securing dishes or why it was important to start off with a full set. Over the years though, I pondered the design of these dishes and became a fan of Currier and Ives pictures on anything.  Eventually, my sister became interested in Johnson Brothers, most particularly the Friendly Village. She began to collect mugs in this pattern and by that time I wanted some too. She brought me a few pieces of the British Castles from England that I will always treasure. I love all things old fashioned and these patterns truly give a glimpse into another seemingly simple lifetime. 

I started this collection from the middle and worked my way out. There are new plates mixed in with vintage  and I think it is rather an eclectic group because there are a variety of designs and patterns. 

I added this platter from Johnson Brothers British Castles to replace a  Home Interiors picture that faded. I wanted something the same size but would hold up against the elements. I have not been disappointed. Perhaps it is busy on the patterned wallpaper but I like it.

This shelf holds more British Castles pieces and my angel collection.

I found this plate at an antique mall. My every day dishes are from Williams-Sonoma in a Wedgewood pattern called Kent. The green in the pattern is the very same green. I put this on the kitchen wall.  The borders on Transferware are so intricate. Some of my favorites have both flowers and acorns.

The smaller plate on this wall is one I found at a vintage farm flea market sale. The pattern is Kent but looks nothing like my Williams-Sonoma dishes. I bought it because it is green, a color not as readily found as blue. I also 'needed' it for its name and irony of not really being the same pattern as mine. The large platter, not Transferware of course, was found in an art gallery in Long Beach Washington. The colors and uniqueness called out to us to bring it home. My toucan was purchased on a long ago trip to Belize. We named it Billiken Bill for a local beer my husband enjoyed on the trip. A bit of whimsy in the kitchen but we like it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April at the Lake

We spent this past weekend at the family's cabin on Priest Lake. My husband's parents bought this wonderful property in 1961 when their 7 children were young.  This is a great place to bring kids where they can run exploring to their hearts content, swim, look for minnows and float on large old inner tubes. Memories at the lake are stuff of legend. We took our girls up for weekends and vacations and now our grandchildren are enjoying this legacy.  They are the fifth generation to enjoy this incredible haven in a busy world. 

 We are prepared for any weather as seasoned veterans of many storms, such as the one brewing in this picture. Rain or shine, this view across the lake is breathtaking to me.

 First order of business is to raise the flag! 
Our grandson, barely visible in his red hooded sweatshirt, 
helps Grandpa with this important task that one day he will do by himself.  
A teachable moment, he learns the importance of flag etiquette.

Up up she goes! 

Notice the dock at the top of this picture.
When the water rises, perhaps in about six weeks, 
the dock will be floated out to the water 
welcoming us for fishing, swimming, skiing or tubing. 

Up at last is the Marine Corps. flag, honoring my father-in-law, a WWII veteran, and my husband, also a veteran of the Marines. In addition to the Marines, our family enjoys a rich tradition of service; two of our  brothers-in-law retired from the Army and Navy respectively. When their families are staying at the lake the Army or Navy flag is raised, showing who is in residence. Otherwise the Marine Corps. flag is the default flag. It is a tradition that started many years ago. No matter which flag is raised, it fills me with pride to honor years of dedicated service. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It is Spring time in the Northwest!

Spring is here and I hope it stays around for a while. Easter Sunday was warm and sunny for the first time in six years. And it was earlier this year.  Monday came on sunny and warm and Tuesday has held out on the promise of good things to come. It is distracting. It is wonderful. I feel like I should call it an early day and go home to work in my perennial beds. The plants are peeking up from the dirt and the trees have buds on the tips of their branches.

I can do some things but it is hard not to go out an try to do as much I can to promote an early bloom of my favorite flowers. Why not? Why not spend time before and after work getting that head start that is often elusive with the cold and rainy springs we often get in the northwest.

Reality sinks in as I remember rainy and sometimes frosty weather; the Cottonwood that chokes our garden in mid-June. Then there are the definite times that compete with the garden. It is a fine balance to get it just right so that in late July I can sit back in my lounge chair with a good book and tall iced tea and take in the lovely views of all the flowers and in bloom. I will be looking for a view like the picture above from a few years ago, early on in the season. ah....this one is before our new fence. How happy I am that project is over with!

What I can do now is take stock of some projects we talked of putting off until spring. There is a lot to do. I am eager to see what happens when our dreams come to fruition. Will it be a water feature, revamping the rock garden or carving out a new spot for flowers? Is it just me or do others' plan and dream lie this every spring?