Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Welcome, Vintage Thingie Thursday friends! Glad you "clucked" on over to scratch around a bit.

Okay, that's it for my chicken-related puns today.

First, we have the chicken--or was it the egg?

Oops! Now I bet you're crying "fowl" because I said that was it for the silly play on words. I mean it this time.

I was never big on the barnyard decorating theme, but this well-crafted pair by Royal Copley was too cute and colorful to pass by.

Royal Copley china was made by the Spaulding China Company of Sebring, Ohio from 1939 to 1960. These were probably made in the '40s or '50s.

Found this cute little egg plate at a flea market last summer.
While I don't completely endorse the sentiment, it does make me chuckle. Having been married over 25 years, I can safely say that some days you feel like a peck, and other days you just feel peckish.

I did it again, didn't I? All right, I'll quit now!

Enjoy the music (just click the play button), and have a very Happy Easter!


And just because I love Asleep at the Wheel, here's another song, plus a bit of trivia: The steel guitar player, Eddie Rivers, is from right here in my little city, Wisconsin. My husband went to high school with him.




Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Freeze Frame


A few years ago, I bought what I thought was a decent point-and-shoot digital camera, a Sony Cybershot. They made a big deal about it having a Carl Zeiss lens, which was supposed to be the cat's pajamas. Or something.

All I knew is I wanted a decent camera I didn't have to fiddle with. Took it on vacation to Arizona shortly after I got it, and it seemed to take good outdoor pics. See those red rocks? Point, shoot, done, beautiful.

Then I started taking quilt pictures indoors, and to say I was less than impressed would be an understatement. Blurry McBlurry-pants. Fuzzy DeFuzzmeister. Darthy Van Darko.

Now I fully allow that it may be my mad picture taking skilz, or the lack thereof. I thought I had a steady hand. Mr. Sony Cybershot, however, calls me a liar, repeatedly. I've tried holding my breath, bracing myself on something, etc. Oy, it can be exhausting to get a clear shot.

Sony does provide software that is somewhat useful in covering for mistakes. The sharpen tool, for instance. I hit that mofo like a rat for a food pellet at the end of a maze. Thirty-five percent sharpness seems to be the magic number. Does that mean my hands shake 35 percent more in my late 40s than they did when I was 20-something? It's a conspiracy to make me feel doddery, I tell ya.

So I bought this little tripod recently, and I just don't know. It may be a total POC (piece of crap). See it "standing" there? Why is it leaning toward one side already and I haven't even mounted the camera? And when I do, it becomes top heavy and wants to fall over. So sometimes I have to hold the tripod, which, you know, sort of defeats the purpose.

Some of these pics were taken with the tripod, some with me holding the tripod, some where I'm bracing against the faucet, and some with just me doing what I always do--trying not to dance with the camera. All of these are straight out of camera, no sharpening or retouching.

Can you tell which is a tripod shot?



If you guess correctly, you may win a prize. And it may rhyme with "tie rod."

(This green California Pottery tray came from the antique mall a couple weeks ago. It's by Roselane of Pasadena, in their "Chinese Modern" line, popular in the mid-1940s. Four bucks--what a deal!)

What kind of camera do you use (and do you like it)? Do you use a tripod, or does your camera have any kind of image stabilization?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Inspiration

We took a walk today along the marsh.

Early spring is one of my favorite times to hike this trail.

It may seem bleak to some, but I think it's beautiful.

Winter has leveled and blanched the tall grass of the last growing season. You can see things you might not other times of the year.

I find inspiration galore here, in color and form.

Interesting contrast, like red against gray.

Rocks that echo the early spring landscape.

Moss in shades of gold and rust, as well as green.

Textures.

Sounds. The sand hill cranes were making a ruckus as we approached on the trail.

There are two in the very center of this photo, so well camouflaged as to be invisible.
In my excitement, I completely forgot I had a zoom.

Sorry, you'll just have to take my word for it.

They eventually took flight.

As did Norm's hat at one point. It was a bit blustery. He had to move fast to retrieve it.

Back at home, I've made more progress on the string pinwheel units. (I am also working on a tutorial.)

Now it's time to remove the foundation papers, which can be tedious.

Hopefully, there's some good TV to keep me company for the task this evening.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Silver Streak


We have an eclectic mix of silver for this week's Vintage Thingie Thursday, and I am not even talking about my hair.

This vintage set of silver and glass drink coasters is my husband's latest find. He spotted them at an antique mall last fall. Of course, he didn't mention he wanted them until we were in the car and well on our way home. Fortunately, when we revisited the place last weekend, the coasters were still there, and a bargain at four dollars for the set! Way cheaper than those rims he's had his eyes on, and they seem to make him almost as happy. Almost.

Something I found at Goodwill a couple months ago was this Stangl pottery double candy/nut dish. You know I am all about the sweet and/or nutty--and vintage pottery--so this came home with me. I think it's about 40 years old. The hand-painted finish is called "Colonial Silver."

Generally, when I think of colonial silver, I think of things more on the order of this serving spoon.

It came from my late mother-in-law, whose family name began with the letter A, as is monogrammed on the spoon. It was the only piece of its kind in the house. On the back, there are some hallmarks--a lion, anchor, and something else I can't quite make out--and the words "Sterling," and "Pat. 1895." Wish I knew more about it.

I obviously don't know anything about polishing silver. I hear you need something called "elbow grease," but I haven't had any luck finding that at Walmart. :)

Ever wonder where the phrase, "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth" originated?

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I was destined to put a silver knife in an electrical outlet.

As kids, my sister and I had a play area in the basement. We used an old dull butter knife to cut our modeling clay into shapes. One day when I was maybe 2 or 3 years old (and I vividly remember this), I became curious about the little brown box halfway up the wall. I climbed up onto the couch and stood level with the outlet, butter knife in hand, to get a better view. What goes in those tiny holes? I wondered. I decided to experiment with the tip of the knife. BAM!! The shock knocked me backwards into an upholstered rocker several feet behind me, and I saw colorful stars--not unlike the ones on this fabric!

And that is how outlet covers were invented. The End.

Finally, a spoon with its history literally written all over it. It's from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, celebrating "A Century of Progress," Chicago's centennial. Neat looking art deco image on this piece, which was also a thrift store find.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today! Be sure to check out more vintage goodies listed and linked at Colorado Lady.

Happy Birthday, Sis!


Today is my sister Nita's birthday!

We've always been close.

Close in age (she's a year older) and close in our hearts.

(Me, Nita, Mom-April 1980)
She was my ready playmate and partner in crime growing up. We got into our share of mischief and other adventures together.


We developed different interests over the years, but we still have a great connection and can talk about anything.

Hope you have a great day, Nita, and a wonderful year ahead!

(Me & Nita-August 2009)