Monday, December 31, 2012

Another fresh new year is here....

               Another fresh new year is here
          Another year to live,
          To banish worry, doubt and fear
          To love and laugh and give.
         This bright new year is given me
         to live each day with zest...
         to daily grow and try to be
         My highest and my best.
          I have the opportunity
         once more to right some wrongs
         To pray for peace, to plant a tree
          and sing more joyful songs.
                           --- William Arthur Ward  

    "Cheers to a new year
     and another chance to get it right!"
                                                      -                                                           ---Oprah Winfrey

"Be always at war with your vices,
at peace with your neighbors
 and let every new year find you a better man"
quoted in Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac, December 1755

"Approach the new year with resolve to find
the opportunities hidden in each new day."
 Michael Josephson,

These words of wisdom inspire me to start a positively,

 Have a rockin' New Year!
Love, Linda

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It is still Christmas at my house!

Now is when I really enjoy Christmas, the rush is over, but there's still visiting to do,  and friends to call.  The grandchildren are home from school and eager to hear about the real meaning of Christmas, as I play with them and they show me all their new things!   I'm still celebrating and my work is done and now  I can sit and enjoy  my decorations,  read my  Christmas cards, and  savor the holiday atmosphere. I have no intention of putting anything away for some time!    It is still Christmas at my house!  A vintagey Christmas, I might say.

teacup byVcagco, Made in Japan,
  and a favorte old book,  A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg

 Finally, I can sit down and  leisurely sip a cup of Christmas tea,
  without thinking about a million things that I need to do. .

                                          I like my vintage decorations best.
Some vintage glass ornaments and  paper gnomes are arranged
 in an old bookcase with some old silver.                                     

 A couple fine  Ken Ebert's prints, my very special and treasured old gifts,  from  my sweetheart, who is  also an artist and  car enthusiast,  are hung for the holidays.   An amazing automotive artist, Ebert's work was on the cover of Antique Automobile, the publication of the Antique Automobile Club of America,  for many years.  Many of his pieces depict Victorian homes decked out for the holidays, with the vintage cars.

 Another gorgeous  Ken Ebert's piece featuring a lovely wintry home and antique cars

 My vintage Lefton ceramic children,   I've named them after my grandchildren . These are Grandma's toys!
The children are content to play quietly all day with their new dollies and toys.

These little vintage Napco figures stand in my kitchen windowsill,
while  my favorite carols are still  playing on my old cassettes and CDs.

These beautiful  vintage  Coke ads hang in my kitchen.
I just popped the whole magazines in some old frames.
 I love my old Santa Coca-Cola ads hanging  in my kitchen. The artist was  Haddon Sunblom, who used Clement C. Moore's Santa from"Twas the Night Before Christmas" for inspiration.  He often used himself for a model, and for the children he used a neighbor's little daughters, changing one to a boy.  He painted for the Coca-Cola Company from 1931-1964, creating the modern day image of Santa that we mostly see today.

  Vintage glass ornaments are so pleasing to me, and usually get hung
 in a small window, with ribbons, instead of  on my tree.

My holiday gift orders were successfully delivered
 and thankfully my customers are happy. (sighing!)
I truly enjoyed my Etsy shop this year and I am grateful to some really special post office  employees in my town.  They are super friendly and efficient and  made all  my shipments go smoothly. 

I love the illustrations from the  vintage Little Golden Books!
 I remember them fondly from my childhood. 
"Frosty the Snowman", and  "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
  were two recent sales items from my Etsy shop.

And this darling little reindeer head planter also went to a new collector.

Thank you to my Etsy customers!
 I wish you the happiest holiday season and a blessed New Year.
 It has been such a pleasure, sharing  unique little "pieces of the past"
 with you in my online shop, and I look forward to bringing you
 many more unusual and special  treasures in 2013.

Hoping you too, are still celebrating Christmas!
Love, Peace and Joy!

I am joining " A Return to Loveliness", the pary at 
I also joined the Cottage Vintage Style Party at

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie Baking Marathon with the Grandkids

I'm all through with cookies, although I don't have any at my house.  I baked with my granddaughter, and with my daughter and grandson, 7 kinds,  about 54 dozen.  They are using them for gifts and have shared them at school and at work.   I don't want to eat another cookie.  Not from taste-testing, I really only tried a few.   My boyfriend made the dozen or so I brought home vanish quickly.
Amber loves gingersnaps and makes them perfectly round and bakes them just right!

 My grandson, Gary, 16 years old, just passed his driver ed exam.   Yikes!
Took a homework break to help us out with the Spritz and was quite good at it!
 He also sampled the others and said, " I'll come out again
 when you've made the chocolate chip cookies!"

My daughter and I bake cookies every year.  
     Laughing and baking away!

Well, now I'm just about over a 48 hour bug of some sort that knocked me off my feet, so now I'm behind with my Christmas preparations, more that ever.  I'm so glad we got the baking done before I got sick!
Today, I realized that this illness made me jump-start a diet, because I  haven't eaten for two days, have totally lost my appetite.  So now, I just have to start eating the right stuff, right?  Tea and chicken soup for tonight, though.  I am drinking lots of water, appreciating my general health, (usually very good), as I  recover from this nasty setback.

Thomas , in the back, next to one of the wise men

  I took Thomas, now 2, across the street to see  baby Jesus in the neighbor's nativity scene,
and while I was trying to get a picture, he hopped on the camel.  Didn't understand that it was not a riding toy.  I did get a picture of him next to one of the kings, but he's extremely hard to photograph, never still for a moment!    He didn't think much of Santa either!

I went to a school program for a third grader friend who was awarded the Student of the Month Award.  At first, I cried when I saw the children, reminded of  the precious ones we lost in the Newton, Ct. shooting.  But my heart was uplifted to see the  eager young faces of really good kids with their marvelous  teachers. The speaker talked about Respect.  Each month they focus on a quality of building good character.   I am so thankful to see young people and their caregivers and nurturers learning compassion, trustworthyness, good workmanship, leadership and respect.
 The teacher read this:

List of Christmas Gift Suggestions
                                                              by Oren Arnold
 to your enemy- forgiveness
to an opponent-tolerance
to a friend-your heart
to a customer-service
to all-charity
to every child- a good example
to yourself-respect
I am really glad I got to make cookies with my grandkids, and take my friend to her grandson's school program.  Whatever things I didn't get done. as far as my decorating and shopping is concerned isn't important.  Last weekend,  I did manage a night out with my sweetie. We went to historic Cape May to see the Christmas festivities.
Shop windows were splendid!
The magnificent  parlor tree in Congress Hall, Cape May, N.J.
Charlie Brown Christmas in a store window
Hey, remember these?
 You can by these reproduction bubble lights from the "five-and-dime"
 in Cape May, or from catalogs, like the Vermont Country Store.
 Some reproduction toys in the nostalgic  5 and 10 cent store in Cape May, N. J.

In the middle of the craziness getting your house ready for company,
 making sure you've cooked all the right food, bought all the right presents,
remember what we are celebrating and what really matters.
God sent his son Jesus, to show us how to love one another,
  how to care for one another,  and to save us all from sin. 
Merry Christmas!  Celebrate the gift of God's son!
May your hearts and homes be filled with love,  peace, and hope!  
Love, Linda 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Decorating for Christmas! (I'm Next!)

    Thanksgiving was easy on me this year.  My daughter-in-law  made most of the dinner and I had an easy assigment to bring a green vegetable and an extra dessert.  I made the oldie-but-goodie, green bean casserole.  It was so popular, and easy, I'll probably make it again at Christmas!

French's Green Bean Casserole
Thaw 2  9 oz. pkgs frozen green beans, Stir in 3/4 cup milk, 1 can mushroom soup and 3/4 cup of fried onions. Bake at 350, in a greased
 1  1/2 qt. dish until bubbly.  Top with remaining onions, bake 5 minutes more,  until golden.

Everyone loves it!  It was all gone! 
You can also make it with brocolli and try different cream soups.

I got to take home the turkey carcass and had a couple meals off of it, and  I made turkey noodle soup!   Can you believe that some people throw away the turkey after they've carved the Thanksgiving Day platter-full?

French"s Green Bean Casserole
I came home to a really cold  house, though,  and had to call a heating repairman on Friday.
But it turned out to be a real blessing!  The technician  and I got talking and he invited me to his church.  The preacher is an old friend from the camp where I worked as a teenager. I saw him on a placemat at the local diner!  I knew I wanted to visit, but being new to the neighborhood,  I  needed that little nudge, so I went and I loved it!  The preaching was great, and the music wonderful!  So, now I've found a new church where I feel right at home!  God works in mysterious ways.  So don't hesitate to share and invite, because a newcomer may need that warm welcome.
   Oh,  and the heater wasn't broken, I had left a circuit breaker off!  I felt pretty silly!  But I was so  relieved that I didn't have a big problem with the heater!

 But , since I was  stuck at home, waiting for the service call,  I decided  to paint an old 40"s cupboard that I rescued from a basement I recently cleaned out.
First, I thoroughly cleaned it  to remove dirt, dust and grime.   After it was dry, I lightly sanded it and scraped any loose paint.  I brushed Kilz's II primer on a couple bare spots.

Bare spots had to be primed-  I used Kilz II
Painted              -        Unpainted

  See how much difference a coat of paint makes on the first half I did? 
 I continued brushing two light coats, so there would be no runs, of Behr Flat Enamel.   I painted the sides, bottoms, and insides of all the drawers and shelves, in case I use it for a display piece in a shop some day, with the drawers hanging out open.  I kept it original, left the back as it was,  bright red. That's how most of the ones I saw were, when I went antiquing in the south.  
   These same  repainted  kitchen cupboards were selling for $179- $185  in antiques shops in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

 Here are three similar cabinets, I saw on my recent trip.

Displaying vintage wares and antiques.

   and here's one in another antiques co-op.

and another, chock full of antiques in North Carolina.
Now I've got mine all put together.  Isn't it cute?
  It gives me lots of storage and goes with my old vintage kitchen things. 

My "new" cabinet

Love the black-painted border  trim on the glass!

 My  other old cabinet

This is my other cabinet, across the room.  They flank the big window.
Soon they will be decorated for Christmas.

  All I have so far is a blooming Christmas Cactus, and my Christmas teacup
 and storybook, A Cup Of Christmas Tea.
  I  have been  busy putting up decorations for my clients, so mine aren't done yet.

 Doris is happy, her tree's up!
  One of Doris's treasures, a gift from a beloved family member.
 Isn't this cute? 
 Since I'm a painter,  I'll have to make  me one of these,
 with one of my ole brushes!

Doris's Thomas Kinkade Nativity Set
    Then, I  also got the outdoor decorations up at this house
 last week, where I recently painted all the exterior trim.
(Putting up the decorations was lots more fun!)
And indoors...... I got out Sandee's very special nativity set!
A present from her granddaughter, 
carved of olive wood from Jerusalem.
    Remember to offer help to your elderly neighbors.
   It's very difficult for them  to  get out, and put up all their decorations.
   But it brings them so much joy, and seeing their old things brings
    back so many memories, keeps traditions alive!
   I am blessed to have  a job where I help people.
   It pleases them to have their homes all ready for the holidays,
   and I love doing this!  Now, I'll get mine done!

 Have fun with your family and friends in your holiday preparations!
Love, Linda

This week I've joined in the Etsy Cottage Style Market Monday, Holiday Edition! 

and at Kathe's party too!

 and these cool parties too!

  Lots of vintage goodness here!