Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making Memories: A Saturday Drive In Oregon

My plan today was to get something done around the house but I was letting my day get away from me as usual and I was getting nothing done. My sister called me out of the blue and insisted that I go for a drive with her to take photos and enjoy the beautiful sunny day. I'm so glad she did! We would take our cameras and go see what we could see!

Along the way we pondered why people don't take "Sunday Drives" like they used to. I think most families did it in the 1950's and 1960's. It's such a fun thing to do with friends or family along for the ride. I get cabin fever this time of year so today was a welcome reprieve from the long winter!

We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful area. Linn County, Oregon. There are lakes, rivers, creeks, streams and a reservoir within minutes in almost any direction. We live in the Willamette Valley with it's rich farm land and we have the Cascade Mountain Range too! It's not far to the beach, mountains or high desert. It truly is a beautiful place to live.

We made the loop from Lebanon to Brownsville, through Holley to Sweet Home and back to Lebanon. We stopped every so often to take a few photos. We only spent a few hours on the road but it was fun and relaxing!

These are some of the many photos I took along the way....

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things from my china cabinet. I inherited the china cabinet from my grandparents estate in 1994. It is filled with things that I chose when the time came to move everything from my grandparents condo in Seattle. Many things have sentimental value and a few have monetary value as well. The milk glass coffee cup is purely sentimental! I think everyone's Grandma and Grandpa had one of those coffee cups back in the 60's or 70's!

The teacup and saucer along with the serving dish came from a large collection that my Grandparents received at their wedding in the 1930's. They received 2 sets and when my sister and I were teenagers our Grandma let us choose the set we would like to inherit. I was the oldest and I chose this service for 8. Sorry Sis! Her set was not nearly as grand. I love the floral design. It is Bohemia Royal Ivory in the Supremacy pattern. Made in Czechoslovakia. I think the entire set is nearly complete and is only missing one piece.

I believe the beautiful lady in pink and green is a porcelain German made Powder Box. I love this piece too! She used to reside in my Grandma's guest bathroom. It is one of the only things I specifically asked for. She is in perfect condition. I love the detailing and mix of colors in her dress.

The nude glassware was a gift from my sister. Our Grandma gave them to her years ago. They had belonged to my Great Aunt Marjorie and Great Uncle John E. My Grandparents had had to empty their apartment after Marjorie died and John E. went to a Nursing Home. I guess there were a great many treasures to be found in that apartment. Marjorie had impeccable taste. Marjorie was also a smoker and my Grandparents, who were not had the unpleasant task of wading through all the smoke filled items. A collection of these glasses were found among many other interesting items. A very nice reader of my blog has let me know and I confirmed that these are French made by Bayel Bacchus although I still haven't found any that are in the gold plated trim. Thank you!

The Amethyst purple glass perfume bottle was in my Grandmother's things but I don't remember ever having seen it before then. I'm not sure where it came from originally. It is one of my favorite treasures.

There are many more things in my china cabinet that are not pictured here. I also have a set of 6 very old, thin glass Parfait glasses. All in very delicate shades of pink, yellow and blue with a clear base. These had belonged to my Great Grandmother.

I have a few very fine handkerchiefs that were also made by my Great Grandmother that are laying along the edge of the cabinet shelves on display.

I have a few Dutch clog/shoe figurines as my Great Grandparents were from Holland. There was usually a blue and white theme somewhere in the decor at my Grandma's homes as she had a collection of Delft or Delft-inspired things.

I also have some newer things in the china cabinet. My oldest daughter gave me a beautiful miniature Swarovski glass flower vase with lots of rhinestones to sprinkle on the mirrored display base. I have gifts from the world travels of friends and family over the years. There is a mix of old and new.

My Grandma's "everyday" dishes are in the bottom of the china cabinet. I bring them out when my younger daughter Kristina needs dishes for her annual Tea Party with all of her close girlfriends. Grandma would be very happy that her things are being used.

The china cabinet and all the contents are supposed to go to my oldest daughter when the time comes. I know she will value it as I do. She still remembers her Great Grandma Kay and Grandpa Larry. I hope someday it will go on to my Granddaughter Emma as well and on from there.

I thought I would add this little blurb that my sister just emailed to me about the Bayel stems:

I got the box out not too long ago and took a look inside..I think there are still about 6 in there. And I've NEVER seen the gold dipped ones anywhere else. Grandma absolutely HATED them and was so happy I expressed an interest in them. Funny, because we were just sitting around talking and I told Grandma how I remembered when we were younger going to J & M's and looking into a cabinet they had and seeing these "exotic" gold frosted glasses, not even remembering that they were nude (gasp) and thinking how beautiful they were. She got up, left the room and came back a few minutes later with this old "Chatham Purry Blanket" box tied with string. Opened it up and said "I always thought these were just awful and didn't know what to do with them. I'm so glad someone else wants them." And handed the box to me. I thought there were probably two or so stems in the box just packed really well (because I'd only seen two or so on display) so imagine my surprise when I did open the box to find there were SIXTEEN of them! WOW! And that's why I decided to share them too since I have no need for that many and I certainly wasn't going to sell them.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A New Red Hummingbird Feeder

I saw a hummingbird hovering around my backyard the other day. It was cold and blustery. Not the sort of weather you would expect to see a tiny hummingbird braving. So I bought a new feeder and filled it with fresh nectar for my new found friend. I hope he likes it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BLOG-IN: Help Protect Endangered Handmade Children's Items From Unfair Regulation Due To The CPSIA

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law


I am participating in a this Blog-In to protest the CPSIA as it is written. Please see my Etsy Mini to the left which features many more shops that this law will affect as of February 10, 2009. Please take a few minutes to contact the CPSC, your congressman, senators, the media, friends and family or anyone else who doesn't know about the far reaching effects of this law. Thank You for reading this!

All the photos that are posted here are directly linked to their etsy shop. Please click on them to visit that shop.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Collection of Vintage and Antique Marriage Certificates 1893 to 1925

In Holy Matrimony

In honor of my 22nd Wedding Anniversary which was yesterday I thought I would share my small collection of vintage and antique marriage certificates. My husband Rick and I have been married since January 26, 1987. We met in the fourth grade at our elementary school! We dated on and off over the years, through most of high school, we separated for several years after that and eventually married later. There were a lot of detours in our lives before we finally found each other again. I'm happy that we did. I have a great husband!

I love the art work on these certificates. The marriages date from 1893 to 1925. I have a few more in my collection that are unframed but they haven't fared as well as the framed ones have. They are brittle and torn. I keep them in a drawer for safekeeping.

One of the framed certificates has photos hidden behind but I can't remember which one and these are all fragile too. A few have very brittle wood backings that I don't want to remove.

I often wonder why a family would let these precious memories go to a stranger. I wonder that about family photos and heirlooms too. I can't imagine letting these things go but I know not everyone feels the way I do. I still have my Grandma's Milk Glass candy dish full of gum and candies just as it was the day she died. That was in 1993! Not everyone is so sentimental!

I like collecting these bits of family history but I wish the families could have enjoyed them as I have. They have a place of honor in my home. I've thought of looking for the descendants of each family but I haven't had the time. I've done lots of genealogy research myself and I'm sure I would be able to find them easily. Maybe I will work on that soon...

I acquired most of these on eBay a few years ago when I had time and money to spare! I really love them all and they hang in my guest bedroom where I can admire them. I often wonder if these couples stayed married and for how long. I guess that's another reason why I love collecting them. There are unanswered questions.Each has a bit of mystery to them. It is my hope that they all lived long and happy lives with their own families.

I tried to take good photographs of them this morning but the weather wouldn't cooperate. Freezing rain and paper don't mix so I had to take photos outside under our covered porch area. Not the best for lighting so please pardon the reflections. I hope you enjoyed looking at my collection!

For Better, For Worse,
For Richer, For Poorer,

In Sickness, And In Health
To Love And To Cherish

Till Death Us Do Part.