Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to Feather the Nest

It's time for one of my little birds to feather a new nest. 
Images for banner can be found at


The new nest is near the beach. She loves cottage style. I like saving money. Decorating ideas like this appeal to us both.

This fabulous vintage find is a gift from a friend. It will be used as a full length mirror.

And she'll need a hook for beach towels.
Some of my favorite Vintage Summer Images.


They have been in my collection for  a while. I don't recall where all of them came from. They were collected way before I started blogging. I have seen the bloomer sign a couple places including The Graphics Fairy.  Also, Altered Artifacts has free Sun and Sea images as well as downloads at her Etsy shop.


So  it is only natural that I had my little bird in mind as I browsed
Be Inspired Friday
I found  a recipe for homemade laundry soup at Hickory Trail.
I'll be mixing up a batch of this!

and lots of inspiration pictures at

I have  a similar quilt and the same set of dishes packed away.
Tea Rose table
And the  Seaside Hues at Quirky Vistas are and have always been the colors of home.

Thank you to Debra at Common Ground  for hosting such a great link party!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memoirs of an Eclectic Shorebird:Mermaids, Shakespeare and Which Way is the Ocean?

I want to say this about growing up on the eastern fringe of the continent. You grow up with the most mixed of messages. The Ocean is beautiful and wonderful. The Ocean will kill you if it gets the chance. Never stand with your back to it. 
A large part of any day at the beach consisted of being knocked down by a wave then  scoured along the shoreline, usually bowling over a couple unwary tourists as you tumbled by, then scrambling to your feet coughing and retching. If you came back up more than half drowned or knocked over anyone who needed help getting back to their feet your mom sent you to gather shells or build a sand castle. That lasted until an unsuspecting visitor tripped into the sand castle excavation site. 

Visitors tended to walk along the shore while gazing at the horizon. Locals know you gotta look down while you're walking. Forget sharks and undertow, back in the day the real water hazard  was the local youth. The tourism board was not  likely to mention any of the above.

Mom might cough up a buck and send you for a nice long ride on the beach train if you were really driving her crazy.

The importance of tourism to the town was an ever beaten drum. Come to our town! Bring your kids! Bring your mother! Bring your money! And they came in droves.  Station wagons full of families, backseat piled high with blankets and beach toys and children who looked out at us with the bleak eyes of the terminally bored.

Pill and Buzz head to Boy Scot Camp. Wait 'til Pill discovers his latrine trowel is a kiddie sand shovel!

We zipped past the lines of traffic on our bikes, our handlebar streamers streaming, playing cards clothes pins to our spokes. We gawked at the well groomed children sporting stylish summer togs.  Little terry cloth beach jackets. Sun hats. Sandals strapped to their tender little feet. You could tell a local kid. We were  barefoot, and sunburned. Most of us had scabs on our knees. Girls wore sun faded cotton sun suits and boys wore cut off shorts made from last years school pants.

Out-of-towner apparel.

  Summer always meant lots of interesting new friends from exotic places like Iselin and Jersey City.   It was great except for one thing. The Nice Bad Man Paradox. It was the dark cloud  that hovered over our seemingly endless summer sky. We 're inviting lots of people to our town. Don't let any of them kidnap or murder you.  Officer Al came to school and warned us all about  Dangerous Strangers.

Thanks to Mighty Mouse! We knew just what a Bad Guy looked like.

 Don't take  candy from no strangers, he said. Why, we wondered, did our town want a bunch of  kidnappers trolling our streets, and if someone is giving you candy how bad can they really be?  Be careful, he cautioned. Some bad guys look just like regular nice people. Grown ups don't need no help from little squirts like you Go get a grown up you know, stay clear of strangers asking you for help.   Officer Al was right.  The summer had barely gotten started when my brothers, Pill and Buzz* and I had a run in with some real dangerous strangers.  
A morning in late June, my brothers and I are riding our bikes back from  a crabbing expedition. 
Pill has a tin bucket on each handle. There is enough water in the pails to keep the blue claws relatively comfortable. Buzz has the crab nets balanced across the handlebars of his new bike. It is sleek royal blue Stingray with a white banana seat and a sissy bar just like a real motorcycle.
A sissy bar! 

 We pull to a stop at an intersection.  A dusty black car idles at the cross street. The  woman riding  shotgun  is struggling with a Esso map, a whining kid  is kicking the back of the woman's seat.  A surly man with hunted eyes is at the wheel. "Hey, kids," he hollers. "Com'ere. Which way is the ocean?"

The three of us glance up at the street sign. The black car is headed East. On Ocean Avenue. The name of the town we are in has the word Beach in it. Even Buzz who is in 3rd grade knows that the Atlantic Ocean (our ocean) is as East as you can get in New Jersey.  If you are in New Jersey and head East eventually you are going to run out of continent and need swimmies or a boat and this carload of dangerous characters is about 6 blocks from doing just that.  Actually, if the kid quit whining they could hear the ocean.
We three exchange uneasy looks. Adults asking kids directions instead of yelling  at them to get the heck out of the middle of the street on those bicycles?   Obviously these are a couple of those dangerous stranger Officer Al told us about. We shift nervously. The whiny kid is kicking the back of the seat harder now, "Out! Out! Out," he chants. Beach chairs and a large canvas raft rattle. He begins to open and close a large ice chest. Thump! Thump! Thump! "I wanna get outta this CAR!"

We can't go wrong  with directions from some locals!

"You're going the wrong way," Pill blurts out. He points west. "You need to turn around and head that way. Just keep driving."  Muttering  the surly man swings the car in a tight U-turn and heads west.
     "That was close," Buzz breathed. "I thought we were goners."
"Too bad for the kid he already got," I say. We look both ways then pedal our bikes across the street.
     "That's how I knew for sure he was a Dangerous Kidnapper." Pill explains. "Parents wouldn't put up with that."

These are their real names. I swear. Well, okay, but their real names rhyme with Pill and Buzz.

And now the mermaids and Shakespeare. . .

Here are the mermaids.

I made this mermaid sign for my sister using  The Toymakers mermaid pattern which  can be found here.
And here is the Shakespeare. . .
I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.

- William Shakespeare

The three pieces of wood are salvaged from an old fence. I made a stake using a four foot piece of 1x2, then screwed the sign pieces to that. A simple raffia bow with long streaming ends was staple gunned to the stake just beneath the sign. It sits in a bucket of beach sand in a sheltered spot on my sisters deck.  (If I find a picture of the finished project I'll post it here). The sign has three coats of  poly urethane and had weathered reasonably well outside but is sheltered from rain and sun.

Last week one of my favorite posts is from a favorite blog

I made the sea glass candy and shell with pearl cookies. Her directions are excellent! The free tag to download is perfect.
The sea glass candy I made using root beer barrel candy is very realistic looking.

I will be linking with  the following   and hope you'll come join the fun!
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen

I would love to have you join me for my link party, Share Your Cup!
Vintage View Sunday Link Party @ Sunday View

Spoiler alert! Lana designs for Oxford Impressions!

Beverly's Pink Saturday@ How Sweet the Sound
 How Sweet the Sound
Cottage Style  @ Lavender Garden Cottage
 Lavender Garden Cottage

Be Inspired Friday@Common Ground
I hope you will come join the fun!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day


I saw a burial with a bugler playing taps;
I turned to my father, “what happened?” I asked.
He clutched my hand and with a quiver in his voice,
he began to explain and his eyes became moist.

“My son,” he said, “this is rather difficult for me;
for an old veteran like myself this is tough to see.
In that coffin lies a genuine patriotic warrior,
an honest-to-God hero, an American soldier.

I appreciate that soldier and the service he gave,
and I honor his sacrifice as he’s laid in his grave.
He was honorable, selfless, courageous, and bold;
please remember him son, as you grow old.

The value of his service, I must explain,
if not remembered, will be lost in vain.
As a nation we’re nothing without soldiers like him;
and failing to remember would be a terrible sin.”

I listened in awe as my father spoke,
it seemed as if his heart were broke.
I suddenly remembered when he went to war,
and when he returned I thought nothing more.

I never asked why he walked with a limp,
and I didn’t care about why he was sick.
I was too busy enjoying the life that I had,
to realize that I had it because of dad.

I finally understood what my dad was about,
and it hurt so bad I cried out loud.
He sacrificed so much so I could be free,
and his battle scars were suffered for me.

It was my father’s spirit that spoke to me that day;
thank God I finally understood what he had to say.
I saluted his coffin as they laid him to rest,
and I thought about the medals pinned on his chest.

That I didn’t honor him sooner, I will always regret;
and I pledged that day to never again forget.
I’m proud that my dad was a patriotic warrior;
I’m honored to be the son of an American soldier.


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae, May 1915

Monday, May 13, 2013

Okay, I'm just going to read one more... and free summer theme mini flashcards

I love Link Parties.
There are always so many great posts.
This week I am enthralled by posts on d├ęcor, and home decorating blogs.

I would love to have you join me for my link party, Share Your Cup!
Share Your Cup

How Sweet the Sound
How Sweet the Sound

Lavender Garden Cottage
lavender garden cottage

So here I am, cup in hand, craning over my desk, nose pressed against the screen taking note of all the lovely details of your rooms.

I think it would be nice to just tumble into a room like this - a la 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'.

Or, maybe I need a special pair of shoes. Clicking my heels twice!

 the porcelain rose

 Not so nice for you, though, dear blogger. You'd be over run with readers. We'd be like mice. Scampering  thither and yon, peering into those closets you've organized, rummaging through your vintage collections. You'd walk into the dining room and find four or five of us sitting at your beautiful tablescape.


Someone would be serving  Pink Champagne Cake from  Penny Wise.   Mrs. Olsen would be wondering where in heck her coffee pot had got to,
 while Miss Elizabeth at Creative Breathing  would be shooing readers out of her craft room with a broom.


Imagimeris would bustle us into her work room, have us setting up folding chairs and organized into classes in no time. I always think of Meri as being  'Most Able to Go With the Flow.' Over at   Magpie Ethel an impromptu  fashion show of  cats eye glasses and vintage hat would spill in to  Dear Helen Hartman .
Someone would turn up the stereo in a swingin' 1970's advert.

The Asti Spumonte would flow. A tray of Hawaiian meat chunks would appear next to a scale  model of the Eiffel tower made of Wieners and all hell would break loose.
Someone would make a pass at a Vintage Bettys. A glass would break.


A baby would cry. A paper clay bluebird would be criticized. Civilization would be ending, right there in a  parody column.

This is, I'm sorry to say, how all my fantasies go. It starts so innocently, beautiful and cinematic. Birds chirping.  Flowers blooming. I'm having a good hair day. A shirtless Mike Holmes is building me a screened in porch.

The next thing I know, it's keystone cops style chaos, and Mike is talking to me about rising damp in my basement.

Old Glory Cottage

 Which, although initially titillating, turns to Fifty Shades of Home Repair, and now I have set aside my project for the day and am making a To Do List. ( Are you happy now Ms. Home Beautiful? Are you? With your Starched lace panels and your fancy tablescape.  I bet you never toss a ShopRite Rotisserie chicken in the oven and call it homemade do you? I thought not.) However now at least I know why some of you Don't Do Reply - No Reply Blogger .

Looking at  Glitter and Roses Mother's Day Tea, I realize a cupcake would really make me feel better.

magic cookie bars 7
(  Snippets of Inspiration's Magic Cookie Bars  would do  but I don't have all the ingredients on hand.)

 If I'm going to the bakery I may as well stop at the Dollar Tree. I can buy some little doilies. Cupcakes taste better when they're served on pretty little doilies. In fact I do believe they have less calories that way.

 If I add a trip to Michaels I can pick up some glue and finish my pedestal cake plate project  and  ribbon for the flip flops I'm fluffing up.

Ribbon & Sachet from Creative Home Expressions

Better add a stop at  Home Depot for another can of paint for the ice cream parlor set
that is half painted, and herbs while I'm there. I need to add cilantro, and thyme  and more poppy seeds to my list.

 The Thrift store is right on the way.
I want to find some do dads for the fairy garden Poetry in a Pot of Tea inspired. Maybe my friend Irene wants to ride shotgun. We can do lunch. Hmm the list is growing. May as well  plan on swinging past ShopRite on the way home for a rotisserie chicken. Well, if I'm doing a take a way dinner, I have time to read one more blog...

 Here are some nice mini flashcards for your personal use. Please do not sell as part of a download.