Friday, September 25, 2009

The Things We Miss When We're Not Looking

Well, summer has put a crimp on my blog entries, hasn't it?
Over the years, I've become more and more (and more) interested in mid-century design and the history of material culture of the 1950s and 1960s. Lately, in looking at our family photos, I've begun to look beyond family and have become intrigued by structures within the photographs...a chair, the wallpaper, floors, cars, etc. Most of these things were around when I was a child, but they were such fixtures in the background that I never really took notice of them. Here are a few photos I recently pulled from the hundreds I've already scanned that show some really neat things in the background (or foreground, as the case may be). I think they're fantastic (and kind of miss them, too).

My mom's wedding shower, February 1955. My grandmother's kitchen table was sooooo cool!

My grandpa Ralph and a family friend. Love the chairs - each one is different!

Great-grandma Katie in her very 1950s kitchen. Look at the metal cabinets - I wonder if they're still in this house?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Speaking of Green...

This is my new rechargeable electric lawnmower. Yes, it's in my living room (well, it was when the photo was taken)! That's the battery charging at the left side of the picture. I love it! Well, if you can love a lawnmower, anyway! I have a reel mower, too (for anyone who doesn't know, the kind that has no motor and the blades rotate kind of like a cylinder), but this one is so much faster on a big lawn - and still green!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Green Sewing

I FINALLY got a copy from my local library of Green Sewing by Betz White. I have GOT to get me one! I love this book - possibly the best "being green" book I've ever seen. I hope to have more on this post later, but for now, just go check it out! (

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Earth Day Project

An impromptu project for Earth Day - just a stick, nine bottles with their caps and some fishing line (the lizard isn't climbing onto the stick - he's just hanging out on the wall). When I get it balanced, it's going out on the porch to swing around in the breeze.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Let's Save the Earth!

Happy 40th Earth Day (counting the very first one on April 22, 1970)! Although I tend to honor Earth Day every day by trying to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible, each year I add something on Earth Day. This year, it's water - I'm going to attempt to reduce my use of water, water my garden entirely from my rain barrel, shorten my showers, not buy water when the water from my tap is perfectly fine, turn the water off when brushing my teeth, keep my gutters cleaned out to reduce rainwater run-off, etc.
On the Go Make Something site (, the weekly "Make It Mondays" this week is anything inspired by a footprint, and all I could think of was a carbon footprint! So I added another page to my art journal, and here's my entry - very impromtu among all the other things I was doing last night - enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009


I've seen signs of spring for a few weeks now - a little more sun in this part of Ohio, more rain than snow, a generally more green appearance. But yesterday, it really LOOKED like spring! My first tulip is blooming! Peonies and raspberries are coming up, and the buds on the trees are noticeable. And a little grey squirrel sat watching me as I walked around taking photos. Welcome spring!

A curious little grey squirrel..

Leaves on the bushes

and trees...



My potted plants

And my beautiful little first tulip!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Orange You Lucky!

I just discovered this blog, showcasing the really delightful designs of Helen Dardik! The illustrations remind me of the graphics of my childhood, like they ought to be on greeting cards or bark cloth somewhere! Now go check them out at!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Girl of the Limberlost and Gene Stratton-Porter

A Girl of the Limberlost, a book written by Hoosier author Gene Stratton-Porter (born Geneva Grace Stratton, nicknamed at an early age "Little Bird Woman"), turns 100 this year. The cluster of Indiana State Historic Sites encompassing the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site in Rome City, Indiana, the Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva, Indiana and the Loblolly Nature Preserve near Bryant, Indiana will all be holding events during the week of April 24 through May 2 - designated "Go Green with Gene Week." According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (, these events include hiking, nature photography, and stories about the life of Stratton-Porter. If anyone is in that area at the time (or really at any time), these venues would be well worth a visit.
For my part, I've decided (of course, in addition to everything else I'm doing right now) to read the book once again. It has always been one of my favorites. Alternating between routing for Elnora and wanting to be her, she was a significant part of my childhood. When I was about 8 or 9, my great-aunt - an avid visitor of the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site herself - purchased several of the author's books for me. From her, I received A Girl of the Limberlost, Freckles, The Keeper of the Bees, The Song of the Cardinal, A Daughter of the Land, and Her Father's Daughter. My grandmother had At the Foot of the Rainbow and Laddie and eventually gave those to me. Beyond those, I've also acquired The Harvester and Michael O'Halloran. But in my heart of hearts, I love A Girl of the Limberlost best!
If anyone is interested either in reading any of these wonderful old books, visiting the sites or supporting the Friends of the Limberlost, please visit one (or all) of these sites: or or

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flower Loom Crafts While Watching TV!

I just saw the neatest thing over on Craftstylish! For some time now, I've loved the loom flowers of the 1960s and 1970s (see cathy of california here: for numerous posts on this really cool craft). Today on Craftstylish, there is a post on the many uses of the ubiquitous VHS tape in craft, and one of them (it is actually linked to cathy of california) is to make those flowers! Check it out:!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cute Little Spring Giveaway on Pixie's Ponderings!

Hope at Pixie's Ponderings has set up a little giveaway for spring ( All you have to do is make a comment and you're in the drawing! Looks like just the stuff to make spring get here faster! (Of course, here in northeast Ohio, it is a rainy, chilly, typical early spring day). Good luck!

Esme 2006-2009

One week ago today, I arrived home from work to find my sweet cat laying on my bed not moving, not breathing. She was already gone - and she was "just perfect" when I left for work that morning. She arrived at my house in November 2007, just after Halloween, and especially being a black cat, she was probably lucky she survived it. Anyway, one evening, I let my dog out, and she pranced in like she owned the place (little did I know it, but she did!). I put her back outside, telling her she had to go on home. So, she proceeded to sit on the table on the front porch all that evening and into the next day, staring in the window at me.

So, I brought her back in, and even though I tried to find her first owner - after all, she was spayed and looked like she'd been taken care of - I never found one. So she stayed. And my grandchildren helped me name her Esmeralda Moonstone. I shortened it to Esme for every day use.
From what the vet told me at that time, I estimate she was only three years old at the time of her death. The vet did a necropsy, and although she couldn't give me any definitive answer, she did find that Esme had only one rather deformed kidney that probably was not processing things the way it should. So she concluded that Esme probably had high blood pressure and may have had a mini-stroke that killed her instantly.

Heartbroken is only a mere word. I feel so much more than that. I had always thought she came to me just when I needed her, the year after my husband died. But now I wonder if maybe she came because she needed me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Boys Night Over

Last weekend, two of my grandsons spent the night. They are 7 and almost 4 years old. We had a great time. We made a picture frames with foam cutouts - I'll post the photos here as soon as they're downloaded. Then we watched "The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns" with Randy Quaid and Colm Meaney - and a great, quirky performance by Roger Daltrey as a fairy! They loved it. Of course, they've both seen it before and would probably watch it again tomorrow.

Next Friday, I'm doing it all over again with one of my granddaughters. Plans are to teach her how to play Parcheesi (one of my favorite games), to learn to use the sewing machine (I think we're going to make a tote or a purse), to make shrinky dink buttons (, and another really cool craft from shrink plastic that I saw on Instructables ( The bracelets are beautiful and so easy! Who knows if we'll get it all done, but we'll have a barrel of fun!
Here are the frames the boys made:
Jason's frame...

and Ethan's frame.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Try

I recently found a tutorial at CraftStylish on Shrink Plastic Buttons, written by Susan Beal ( It seemed so simple, I was intrigued. I used frosted clear shrink plastic sheets, a 1-1/2" round punch, a variety of colored Sharpie markers, and a regular hole punch. Here's how it looked after I colored the rough side of the plastic with the markers.

Then I used the 1-1/2" paper punch to cut out the shapes.

I cut the "thread" holes with a regular hole punch (1/4"). When I punched them out, they all looked lop-sided and uneven, but it didn't seem to matter when the buttons were finished.

I put them in a 325-degree oven and watched them for a couple of minutes (the whole process took about 3 minutes). The instructions that came with my plastic instructed me to place the plastic on a piece of a brown paper grocery bag instead of aluminum foil as in Susan Beal's article, so that's what I did. They curled up a little while in the oven, and although I followed my instructions by pressing on them with a pad of paper for about 15 seconds while they cooled to flatten them, I don't think I really needed to do that. They seemed to flatten well on their own. Here's what they looked like when I first took them from the oven.

And here are a few of my finished buttons (each about 1/2" in diameter). alongside a couple of the unfinished ones. They sure do shrink! I just love my first results. I think this is going to have to be a craft that's a keeper!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I thought I'd share a photo of my best old friend, Ralph. He'll shortly be 16 years old and is about the sweetest thing I know. I've lately been remembering when he was a puppy a lot, probably because he's been really showing his age. He sometimes loses his balance, has accidents, etc. But every once-in-a-while, he still trots out after "his" squirrels.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World, One Heart - The Winners!

This has been so much fun! I want to again state I wish I had something to send to everyone - all the comments were so nice. But alas, I only have a couple of giveaways! The winners, all notified this morning, are:

Memory Quilts: Delightful Ways to Capture Today Forever - won by "Loralynn."

"Things to Do Pack" - won by "Pandora's Artbox."

I also drew a third name for an as yet unidentified giveaway. The winner of that one is "Whimsical Creations."

Congratulations to everyone - I know there are winners all over the world!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One World, One Heart 2009


As you can see from my blog, I am very new at this! But this wonderful give-away idea has pushed me to jump in! This is the first year I will be participating, and I've decided to launch TWO give-aways!

The first will be the book Memory Quilts: Delightful Ways to Capture Today Forever by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan. It is a lightly used, but very wonderful intro into the use of quilting as a function of memory.

The second give-away is something I call a "Things to Do Pack."

These are great items for altered art, collages, scrapbooking...or just imagination! The pack includes the following: 5 pieces of decorative paper, each 3.5" x 6," 2 drawings of bugs, 1 silver pipe cleaner, 1 cream bow with gold trim, 1 piece of gold wire (I'm pretty sure it's 24 gauge), 3 Monopoly game cards, 4 Halloween jack-o-lantern stickers, 1 piece of gold netting, 6 vintage Christmas stickers, 1 vintage Christmas tag, 1 vintage three-cent U.S. postage stamp, 3 small silver binder clips, 25 beads of various sizes and designs, 3 heart charms, 1 picture frame charm, and (not shown in photo) letter beads like the ones in baby bracelets - the give-away winner's choice of one word up to 10 letters (so long as I have enough of each letter).

To enter to win either of these items, leave a comment ONLY for this post. Please include your email address, so I can contact the winner. You can enter it like "tothinkthatisawitonmulberrystreet AT whimsy DOT com." I will accept comments for the drawing until 11pm Eastern Standard Time on Feb 11. The winners will be randomly drawn and contacted on Feb 12th.

Click on the blue circle at the top of this post to learn more about the One World, One Heart Give-away. When you get to Lisa Swifka's site (the founder of the three-year-old give-away), you will also be able to enter all the drawings by clicking on the links down the right side of the page. Almost 700, so far! Have a joyful time!

(Comments are now closed. I will be drawing the winners shortly, and will notify them and announce them here sometime tomorrow afternoon. Good luck to everyone! It's been so neat "meeting" people from all over the world. I wish I had 155 things to give away!)