Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring - "New Life and Beauty"

 The  brightly blooming border along the back yard is such a surprise at my new home!
 When I moved in, last summer,  I couldn't tell it was Forsythia!
 I just  had  to bring some inside today.  It's like sunshine!
 Isn't  it pretty with my vintage dresser scarf?
  I'm using the scarf as a table runner on my kitchen table with my red dishes.

Spring is Nature's way of saying
"let's party!"   ---Robin Williams

The Common Violet ( Viola sororia)

 Our State Flower, the common violet is blooming now like crazy here in New Jersey!
Violet, a low-growing and practical groundcover, was originally designated as our state flower in 1918, but it didn'y become official until 1971, at  the  N.J. Garden Club's insistence.  It has many medicinal uses, and all the superstitions about it are very positive, bringing love and good luck. You can make violet water by steeping until fragrant, then use water in tea or to make ice cubes.  Violets can be used as garnishes on punch, salad, or chilled soup.  The pretty flowers can be candied, and used to decorate cakes, and pastries!

 To make candied violets 
Brush flowers with beaten egg white, coating thoroughly.
Make some super fine sugar,
by blending granulated sugar in food processor. 
Holding by the stem,carefully pour spoonfuls of sugar
 over flower,  then place on wax paper to dry.
Use stiffened flowers to decorate as you wish!


 "Be like flowers, turn your face to the sun!"

   I was delighted when today's client asked,
 "would you mind working in the garden  a little bit for me today?"
   In the previous fall seasons, I have planted hundreds of bulbs on this property,
 and it's so cool to see how they grow!  She's a dear woman who shares the love of
 flowers and herbs with me,  but she can no longer get down on the ground to plant
 them.  We've put in lots of perennials, so she will have lots of easy- care blooms
 throughout the growing season, and we have many potted plants on her deck.
 I also got her bird feeders out for her to fill and place on shepherds hooks.
  New butterfly garden plants have arrived, and I will plant them next.

"Spring is the time of plans and projects"     ---Leo Tolstoy

"The flowers appear on the earth,
and the time of singing has come"  Song of Solomon 2:12

Looking up, as I push Tommy's stroller,  I am in awe at spring's returning
 blossoms overhead.  We are surrounded by the glory of springtime!
"Every spring is the only spring-a perpetual astonishment"
                              ---Ellis Peters

"Spring shows what God can do with
 a drab and dirty world"...Virgil A. Kraft

May you be blessed with the
 New Life and Beauty of Spring!

Love, Linda

I'm  joining Debbie's Party

Monday, March 12, 2012

We're wearing green-- for the Girl Scouts and the Irish!

Happy  100th  Birthday
 to the Girl Scouts of America!

               Although I wasn't a Girl Scout, as a mother and grandmother,
           I much admire and support the organization.
           Many famous women were Girl Scouts, from business, science,
           government, and  the entertainment industry, including all our 
           female astronauts, many president's wives and daughters, and
           even some of  today's pop singers!              
                Among the alumnae  are Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, 
            Martha Stewart,  Trish and Julie Nixon, Dr. Joyce Brothers,
           Barbara Walters, Condoleeza Rice, Katie Couric and Taylor Swift!

             Juliet  (Daisy)Gordon Low started with a troop of 18 girls
            in Savannah, Georgia, so that girls too could  experience
            nature by hiking and camping, and  do community service. 
           Now there are 3.2 million members, and 50 million alumnae .
 The mission is to:
 "build girls in 3C's, courage, confidence, and character,
 who make the world a better place".
  Nowadays the girls earn badges in technology, 
 web design, engineering and movie making. It's not just about
 selling cookies,but developing girls leadership potential.
 Girl Scouts have a strong commitment to diversity
 and pledge to serve God, country and help others. 
They have declared 2012 as "The Year Of The Girl"
For celebration events, and to learn more, visit 

I recently sold this cute little vintage brownie outfit.
 I imagine the buyer was making a display to celebrate
 the Girl Scouts 100th  anniversary.  Isn't it cute?
A brownie is a Girl Scout in grade2-3  here's a uniform from the 60's

Now,   I'm looking for my Claddagh earrings, 
which symbolize love, friendship and loyalty, and my green clothes!
I'm "Wearing of the green", for in a few days, we'll celebrate
   St. Patrick's Day!
 I'm reading the story of St Patrick again this year. Visit my friend at for his amazing life story.                 
My family will have an Irish-American meal of corned-beef and cabbage,
 a lot like a New England boiled dinner with potatoes and carrots,
and the next day, with the leftovers, I will make delicious Rueben sandwiches.
We will make Irish potatoes candies, a traditional Philadelphia confection,
 first made commercially by See's, a hundred years ago.
 Now O'Ryan is the biggest producer, selling 80,000 lbs.  a year.

The candies are not Irish and they do not contain potatoes,
 but making them is our  fun family tradition..
My kids made them in grade school,
 and we always made them at home too.
 The wonderful coconut cream is rolled in cinnamon,
 and shaped to resemble potatoes. 
  Some people think that they were first made to commemorate
 the Irish potato famine.

Here's my recipe:

Irish Potatoes Candy
Mix together 1/4 cup softened butter
4 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 oz. flaked coconut
Chill for about an hour, then roll into 1 1/4 " balls.
let  dry a little while, then roll in a mixture of 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
and 1 teaspoon cocoa, shaping like small potatoes.
Store in refrigerator, but they probably won't last long!

Yummy!    I arrange them on small plates for gift-giving.

May the blessing of light be on you---
light without and light within.
 May the blessed sun shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

"With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love"
Love, Linda

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Madness

       Well, Grandma Linda was in her glory this past weekend,
 surrounded by tables laden with pretty old things, truly enjoying
 the excitement of "setting up shop",  and meeting with delighted customers.
    I loved chatting with the other ladies while sipping tea,
 sampling homemade cakes, learning more about antiques and vintage treasures.
  Hearing stories about old times, talking about other upcoming antique events.
A fine mess of tea things clutter this table.
 My customers had fun rummaging through,
 searching for a new teacup or sugar bowl.

There were linens, doilies and aprons of every kind!
Here is one of my favorite aprons, a fifties cocktail apron,
like my mother might have worn, at a party.
 It is from simpler times,  a time of peace and prosperity. 
 The country was full of hope in the postwar era.
Ladies were enjoying the availability of new appliances,
new designs.  They were happily homemaking and entertaining.


Marian's blue jewelry collection, all vintage pieces.

Joan has pretty pottery, glass, and china and more!
Here are some  Hall china bowls, in the Autumn Leaf Pattern, 
 made between 1938-1976
Hall China Company, in Ohio,  was founded in 1903. 
They produced daily use pieces, suitable to the needs of the time.
Hall is still in business today, mostly producing restaurant ware.

I showed some tin signs, old barware, lamps, etc. and heard lots of 
 recollections from oldtimers who recognized these old pieces of history!

Valerie always brings stunning vintage  hats, 
 and peacock, and pheasant feathers

Sissie brought some pretty green depression glass from the 1930's.
  The colorful glass was popular and affordable when it was new
and could be purchased in the dime store or received as a premium

These are amazing miniature oil paintings on silk.
 They were painted by Nancy Steelman's husband, only about 2 1/2"x3",
 intended for finely- furnished doll houses or miniature collections.

Carmie brought quilts, tablerunners, and baby blankets.
She specializes in Memory Quilts,with photograph transfers. 
 Here she is displaying a special quilt made with satin pieces
  of her wedding gown!

I like this "egg-quisite"  Napcoware planter and vase.
It is handpainted light blue porcelain. 
 It didn't sell, so I just listed it on my Etsy  shop! 

 And the best thing of all, was when my friend, Kathryn Ross,came! 
 She found some very special gifts for her blog giveaway, in honor of 
  The Writer's Reverie's   1st anniversary.
Stop by and visit her delightful blog!   

I will be listing many items on my Etsy store, now that this March madness is over.
Whew, that was a lot of work for a two day show!
 But, wasn't there a good variety of Vintage and handcrafts here? 
 The Vineland Women's Club hosts this Antiques, Collectibles and Crafts Bazaar
every spring and fall, and we have a lot of fun participating. 
 They raise money for scholarships and other charities.
 It was nice to be a part of the show, once again. 

Today, I was back  with my sweetie-pie. I missed him over the weekend! 
 I think he called me "Gamma, gamma" ;)
So precious! 

Be Blessed!