Monday, September 29, 2008

Blog Business

I've been so busy organizing upcoming posts for my Birthday Giveaway Week that I haven't acknowledged some lovely awards that have been bestowed on my blog lately. Bear with me, this is a long post and includes questions for all of you, as well as information on giveaways sponsored by other sites!
Carolyn, the Harbor Hon from Baltimore has graciously declared my blog to be a place that gives her peace. Not my intention, but a positive outcome just the same!
Bridget @ My Silly Blog has put together a full story about her blogging friends, Red Carpet Divas!She has Photoshopped us into gorgeous outfits, and tells all sorts of funny behind the scenes tales about the Divas.
Karla from Another Road to Ramble has a great book blog with reviews and recommendations on both adult and young adult books. She has presented me with the Share the Love Award, created by Crystal at >Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of the donor family who saved her baby son Noah's life with the donation of their child's heart. The award encourages us to share the love. The rules for this award are to pass it along to some people whose blogs you love. They make you laugh, smile, leave encouraging comments on your blog. You would like to share some love with them because they have uplifted, inspired, encouraged or prayed for you. Please include this paragraph with the link to Memoirs of a Mommy so that everyone know where this award originated. As the recipient of a bone marrow donation, of course I think this is a great message to spread around.
Ronda, that generous, big-hearted reader from Ronda's Rants has honored me with the PROXIMIDADE award. Translating from Portuguese to English, it means, "This blog invests and believes, the proximity," meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy. I have taken this to mean a feeling of community. I get to pass the award on to up to eight other blogs, so I am going to choose very carefully. There are many great people blogging, but these are actively working to build a sense of community in the blogging world. I am passing it on to:
Meghan @ AllMediocre
Heather & Tiffany @ The Secret is in the Sauce
They all have great community building blogs that support link sharing and comment love!
On another topic, is anyone having trouble with the Followers widget from Blogger? When I visit a site that has a Followers widget, I am unable to click on it to become a Follower. I have to return to my Dashboard and enter the URL there. The same thing happened when I put up my own widget. Just wondering if it's me, Blogger, or maybe just a quirk. Please let me know what I might be doing wrong! Regarding Following and Blogrolls, I've decided to Follow blogs I enjoy reading, but the authors don't seem to visit me, due to no comments or not having me on their blog roll. My blog roll will be shorter, making it easier for others who want to check out some of the sites.
Have you ever participated in any of the blogland swaps? I have done several, all with different themes and I've met some great people and received some wonderful gifts. The neat thing about a swap is that you are communicating with one person and then putting together a package for her or him, based on the theme as well as what you have learned. You're guaranteed to get something back, too, which makes waiting for the mail a lot of fun! MommyHolly is sponsoring a Snowflakes & Sparkle Christmas Swap, which is right up my alley! I love anything that sparkles, and I am very into snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas, etc., so I am all revved up! I've already got 3 cool things that are seasonal and sparkly put aside for when I am assigned my partner! Sign up is until October 24 if you are interested in participating.
Here are some giveaways that might interest you.
Joanne @ My Little Cottage in the Making has a beach-themed giveaway going on through October 6.
CanCan @ Mom Most Traveled has a giveaway for a Sesame Street Kid KNEX set that will end October 8.
Maricritas from Zen Ventures is giving away a pair of earrings to giveaway until October 15.
PJ from Many Children, Many Hugs is having a giveaway for 3 bars of goat milk soap in your choice of scents, ending October 15.
Sally @ Book Critiques has a book giveaway ending October 20.
Be sure to come back Sunday to learn about the giveaways I am having here next week!

Recovered Chair Seats

Welcome to Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally! After being amazed at what a fantastic home maker I am, be sure to visit Sally and the other participants to see the blue items they are showing off this week.
I bought my first home last year, and I decided to change the colors I used in my living room. I went from a plaid couch in deep jewel tones, very early 90s, to a solid khaki couch. The other color I am using is a smoky sky blue. The carpet was already here when I moved in, only 1 year old, so it worked out perfectly.
I found a fabric I LOVED at Joanne's for the curtains and seat cushions of my antique wicker chairs. Listen to this bargain: The fabric was $36.00 a yard, marked down to $18.00, and then I had a coupon and got it for $6.00 a yard!!
I've watched Design on a Dime, Decorating Sense, and the other bargain decorating shows so much I figured I could cover the wicker chair seat covers no problem, even though I had never done this before. I got out my handy staple gun, popped the cushions out, and tried to go to work. Well, a circular seat creates a good pattern or system for pulling the fabric tight, as does a square or rectangle. My seats are arched. Straight in the front and then a curve in the back. Also, because they are handmade and so old, they are all distorted. It took a long time to figure out where I should start stapling and how to go around corners and curves without making sloppy lumps. I was actually sweating by the time I was done, but I think they came out pretty good! Please note that I did this project 9 months ago when I could still breathe normally!

Now, take a rest from your amazement at my homemaking abilities, and then go visit Sally and the other Blue Monday participants! Think about joining us next week with your own blue item.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthday Giveaways

Sunday, October 5 will be my 2 year "birthday" of a successful bone marrow transplant from an anonymous, unrelated donor. To raise awareness about the ease of becoming a donor, I have planned several giveaway prizes that can be won during that week. Crafters and vendors throughout blogland have generously donated wonderful items that I have grouped into 4 super prize packs! More items are still coming in, too!
As a little teaser, here are pictures of the four prizes that you can only win next week by answering some easy questions in the comments of different posts. Each comment will earn you one entry, so be sure to visit daily!
The Longaberger Desk Basket
handmade keychain, magnets, & bookmark - Jennifer @ Me & My Sister
handmade notecards - Mommy Holly
Longaberger basket, address book, cool pens, desk whimsy - my contribution
The Snowman Tote Bag
handmade keychain - Jennifer @ Me & My Sister
cute stocking ornament - Heidi @ Foxgloves, Fabric & Folly
handmade bookmark & vintage hankie - Laura @ Decor to Adore
blue gingham apron with snap-off dish towel - Lisa the Apron Queen
raspberry colored slippers - Twyla & Lindsey @ 2 Crazy Crafters
tote bag, tissues, & a treat - my contribution

Happy Homemaker Tote Bag

handmade bookmark & vintage hankie - Laura @ Decor to Adore
handmade keychain - Jennifer @ Me & My Sister
blue patterned handmade pillowcase - Heidi @ Foxgloves, Fabric & Folly
Birthday Party pack - Jess @ Polka Dots & Pirates

scone mix, tea, and strainer - Karla & Kerri @ The Summer Kitchen Journal
purple gingham apron - Lisa the Apron Queen

Entire prize donated by Ronda @ Ronda's Rants!

To win one of these great prizes, come back and visit beginning next Sunday, October 5. There will be special posts and a few simple questions you will need to answer in the comments to be entered in the drawing. You can also earn 2 extra entries for posting this button on your sidebar, including a link to this post, and another 3 for blogging about this giveaway anytime before October 9.

You can copy the code below to link the button to this post.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

20 Things abut Autumn

Melissa at The Inspired Room asks, "What 20 Little Things do you Treasure about Fall?"
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons...
1. Sweaters! I know they make you look bigger, but I've always loved sweaters, especially in the 80s; I was a Benetton addict!
2. Colors of the season. They look good on everyone, no matter your ethnicity, hair color, or skin tone. At least I think so!
3. The annual Foliage Tour! Notice the capital letters? It's a big deal in my family. Living in New England, each year my parents would take us on an all-day driving tour somewhere, along the Housatonic River, following the Mohegan Trail, antiquing in the Berkshires, and one year we went to the Anheuser Bush plant in New Hampshire!
4. The start of school. I always love getting ready to go back to school/work, anticipating what I will teach, who my students will be, and buying new school supplies.
5. Scarecrows! I don't know why, but I am a big scarecrow fan. I know they scare some people, but I think they are funny!

6. Pumpkin chiffon pie! My sister makes the best pumpkin pie in the world. Every year I want it for my birthday in May, but she never makes it for me.
7. Dutch apple pie! A close second to the pumpkin in my opinion. I have always been impressed that my sister makes it every year because getting all those apples ready seems like a lot of tedious work. But last year I first discovered that canned apples can be bought for making pies. Obviously I'm not the cook in the family! Regardless of how she makes it, I LOVE it!
8. Tea with honey. In the summer I drink iced green tea, but as soon as fall hits I enjoy hot tea with honey.
9. The scents of baking. My mom didn't use the oven much in the summer, so when the weather cooled it was homemade cookies, cakes, and brownies. I love the smell of vanilla or chocolate baking!
10. Applesauce! My mom made the best applesauce every fall. We'd all help grind the apples in the big hand grinder. She'd use glass mayonnaise jars and fill 2 shelves in the basement freezer so we'd have enough for the whole year
11. Fall spices! Cinnamon, ginger, molasses, these are all flavors I associate with fall.
12. Baskets! I know, it's a little wacky, but when I think of autumn I think of baskets full of apples or mums, and farmers gearing up for being inside all winter weaving baskets and doing other inside crafts.
13. Crafts! For some reason fall seems to inspire us to get back to crafting making home decor items for ourselves or for gifts.
14. Textures. Fall seems to be a very textural season. I think of corn husks, hay, shiny apples, scaly gourds, feathery turkeys, and harvesting seeds of many textures
15. Halloween candy. That's all I have to say on that topic!

16. Pumpkin muffins and pancakes! Why can't I get them year round? I can get blueberry year round!
17. Back to burning my scented candles! What's the point in the summer with all the windows open?
18. Sheepskin-lined slippers. Heavenly!
19. Fires in the fireplace. Maybe even making s'mores!
20. Watching the leaves change and fall from the trees.

Be sure to visit Melissa and the others who have posted their 20 Things to Treasure in Fall! Hopefully some of them won't be so food-related!
And come back on Sunday to see what will be given away beginning October 5; there are 4 great prize packs!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crewelwork Decor

For this week's Vintage Thingies Thursday I am showing off two of the crewel pieces my mom made in the 70s. She took all sorts of craft classes, crochet, knitting, ceramics, macrame, and our home is still a gallery of all her works. After she learned a technique, she taught my sister and me, and later organized our Girl Scout troop and taught them, getting all of us a lot of badges for our sashes! The hand-sewing she taught me is what really stuck, and I still enjoy cross-stitch, crewel, and macrame, when I am able to both see and not have shaky hands at the same time!Mom made me this dancing rag doll when we redecorated my room for my tenth birthday. She is worked on a rough muslin, and is still in the original frame we used in 1977. I have it hanging over the toilet in my powder room.
Crewel embroidery uses wool and a variety of different embroidery stitches to follow a design outline applied to the fabric. The technique is not a counted-thread embroidery, like canvas work or counted cross-stitch, but a style of free embroidery. It is usually worked on a closely woven ground fabric, typically linen or cotton. Based on dating of historical tapestries, the technique is at least a thousand years old. This pillow shows off a variety of different stitches. The mushrooms are pure 70s, of course! Recently I talked my mom into letting me have the pillow for my own house. All I did was change out the filling and did a hand wash to freshen it up, with a quick, cool ironing on the back side.
The origin of the word crewel is unknown is thought to come from an ancient word describing the curl in the staple, the single hair of the wool.
Crewel wool
has a long staple; it is fine and can be strongly twisted. Modern crewel wool is a fine, 2-ply or 1-ply yarn available in many different colors.
Sorry about the blur! I wanted to show the detail in this particular mushroom stem. First the grid is stitched, then you go back with a second color and connect the intersections.
Thanks for visiting my VTT! Stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen to see the other participants!
I hope you'll be back frequently, especially next week as I gear up for my Birthday Giveaway! Putting my button on your sidebar will earn you 2 extra entries and blogging about the giveaway anytime before October 9 will earn you 3 more extras!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome Autumn!

Yesterday was the first day of Autumn, and I managed to hold out on my decorating like I had wanted. I usually decorate right after Labor Day, but then I am tired of the decorations long before Thanksgiving, so I decided to wait until the first day of fall. Let's start outside! Because this is a condo, I have to keep my decorations on the mulched areas. I have 2 scarecrows that are 5 feet tall, and a bunch of "funkins" aka fake pumpkins! I've bought a few each year for the past couple of years. I found buying the more expensive or better quality is worth it in this case. The funkins from Wal-Mart molded within weeks the first year, while I have others that just wipe right up when the season is over.Up by the stoop I've got a little vignette with mums, funkins, and a sign. Of course, I include my gnome, even though he is not necessarily autumnal!

The fireplace is all decked out with scarecrows, mums, and fall leaves mixed in with some of my everyday items.In the dining room I mixed the autumn elements in among the usual fare, also.I love this centerpiece because I just tossed a bunch of elements into one of my Longabergers! The white pumpkins from Wal-Mart are really nice. They are made of a dried corn husk-type material. If you aren't burned out on autumn decorations yet, stop by The Inspired Room to visit Melissa and see the almost 200 participants in Fall Nesting Week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hues of Blue

Welcome to Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally! This week I am showing you my cool Hues of Blue painting that my sister made about 18 years ago. In this photo it looks a little periwinkle, and the wall looks gray when it's really cocoa! I need to do something about the lighting in this room, for sure.
K was an interior design major, and one of her first classes was Color Theory. The assignment was to first draw a design with many areas that could have color. It could be swirly, like she chose, or straight-lined, whatever. Then choose a color. Starting in the center, paint one section that original color. Add black or white, changing the hue with each successive space.
I thought the picture was very cool, and when I received it, I chose to have the wire on the frame placed so that the picture hung like a diamond, showing no real top or bottom. I used to have a blue and purple lava lamp that was on a pedestal next to the painting, and they were very snazzy together in my contemporary living room 15 years ago. The lava lamp died and my living space decor changed, but I still love this piece of art. Not because it was created by my sister, which does make it special, but it really does speak to me and make me feel peaceful, almost like listening to one of those ocean sound recordings! Currently it hangs in my craft room/office, which is actually the place I spend the most time, so I get to enjoy it a lot, but I'd love to find a way to get it back into my living space where everyone who comes into the house could enjoy it. I'll keep thinking! I hope you enjoyed my Blue Monday offering. Please visit Smiling Sally's blog for the complete list of participants and to follow Mr. Linky to see what others are sharing!
Keep coming back for updates on my Birthday Giveaway, happening in 2 weeks!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mr. Postman

As I've written many times before, I pretty much am at home all the time. So, WHY does the mail man (Yes, it is a man!) leave my packages at the back door? He doesn't ring the front bell and give me the package the way the fill-in guy does on the other 2 days a week. My car is in the driveway. I've talked to him about the fact that I am always home. UPS, FedEx, and DHL all seem to understand. What is UP with this one guy? I understand that he thinks leaving something out front it might get stolen, but this has been a specific request, as well as common sense.
The reason I am ranting about him in particular right now is that during the huge rainstorm vestiges of Hurricane Gustav, he left a package sitting on the back deck, with NO PLASTIC BAG to protect it. I don't use my dining room, which is the access to the deck, and because the room gets heavy direct sunlight I've had the curtains pulled for most of the summer to keep the house cooler. It's a totally separate room from my regular living space. I've been getting a lot of packages lately, so I try to remember to check the back every day just in case of bad weather. I checked the deck the evening before the rain was supposed to come, no packages. I awoke to torrential rain that continued all day long. Because the rain was so heavy, I didn't even consider that packages would be just left sitting out if my car was in the driveway, so I went about my day.
I awoke the next day to beautiful sun and fresh air with no humidity, so of course I opened up the whole house. Imagine my surprise and dismay as I pulled back the curtains on the sliding door to see a nice little puddle in a dip of the deck, with a plain box just sitting in it. WTF?!! He walked AROUND the house in that horrible rain to dump the box that he could have walked 4 steps and rung the bell to hand me! Does he hate me? Is he insane?
The worst part is that the items in the box were not water-proof things that could be saved. Fabric, plastic, things wrapped in plastic, would have been fine. This package was a collection of different dip and sauce mixes in cute paper bags! The water absorbed through the cardboard box, through the shredded paper packing material, through the bags, and into the mixes! What a mess!
Most disappointing was that this package was going to be part of my
Bone Marrow Birthday Giveaway. On October 5 I will begin a week of celebrating my 2 years of cancer-free living! I hope that sharing my experience as a recipient of this life saving gift will encourage people to look into registering with the National Marrow Donor Program.
I am planning on 3 large giveaways at the end of the Birthday Week, and have been receiving donations from crafters and vendors throughout blogland. These mixes would have been distributed among the prize collections. Bummer. But there are plenty of other great things that will be in the prize packs! The Longaberger Desk Basket collection has some beautiful hand made cards, magnets, and bookmarks; cool pens, and other office/desk type items, including chocolate, of course!
The Snowman Tote Bag set has so many cute winter and Christmas-themed items I just can't stand it! Ornaments, jewelry, cozy footwear, and a fabulous apron are just a few of the items stuffing this bag!
The newest collection I am calling the Happy Homemaker package! This grouping has another gorgeous apron, fancy tea and scone mixes, a hand-made pillowcase, and some vintage hankies. I'm sure there will be a snack in there, too, for when the Homemaker takes a break!The prizes are growing each day as different people contact me asking if they can contribute. Some of these generous folks include Laura at
Decor to Adore, Karla & Kerri from The Summer Kitchen Journal, Lisa the Apron Queen from Rick Rack Attack, Twyla & Lindsey, the amazing mother-daughter team from Two Crazy Crafters, Laura at Fifi Flowers Design Decor, Jennifer from Me & My Sister, Mommy Holly, and her mom, Heidi Devlin Home. Take some time to check out their nifty blogs and shops, and I will be getting a picture of all the prizes up soon. If you would like to donate something to the giveaway, please let me know via the comments or email through my profile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nancy Who?

Welcome to my weekly installment of Vintage Thingies Thursday, sponsored by Lisa the Apron Queen! It is also Book Blogger Appreciation Week over at My Friend Amy, so I am once again combining my posts! Be sure to stop by BOTH sites, they each have some great giveaways going on!
We all know Nancy Drew and her amazingly analytical mind that can solve crimes while she toodles around in her coupe with her friends Bess and George. But did you ever meet The Dana Girls? I was introduced to these books by my much older cousins when I was about 9 or 10. I liked the mysteries, since I was really into Nancy at the time, but what I like more was that the books were really old and none of my friends had heard of them! I have 2 of the books, and they are in amazing condition! They are both copyright 1934, however according to research I've done, they are reprints from the 1950s, which is not indicated anywhere in the books. I have books #1 and #25.
"The adventures of resourceful Louise Dana and her irrepressible sister Jean are packed with thrills, excitement and mystery." Louise and Jean are orphans who live at a boarding school. They drive a roadster, another cool 1930s car, like Nancy's coupe! They apprear to be independently wealthy, with their money overseen by an aunt and uncle who are their guardians. Like Nancy, they have lots of independence and are often given special permission to leave the school to solve mysteries. Unlike Nancy, they have an arch-enemy, Lettie Briggs, who is always trying to get them into trouble, but gets caught by the headmistress. "Irrepressible" Jean enjoys playing retaliatory pranks on Lettie.The series was written by 3 different authors under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew books. Leslie McFarlane is known best for authoring the early Hardy Boys books under the pseudonym of Franklin W. Dixon. McFarlane did not enjoy writing the Dana Girls books and declined to continue the job after he wrote the fourth volume. Mildred A. Wirt Benson took over the duty and was the obvious choice since she was already writing the Nancy Drew books at that time. Harriet S. Adams took over writing the Dana Girls series at about the same time that she took over writing all of the Nancy Drew books.Both the front and back endpapers of every book have the same olive green and cream illustration.The books each have one black and white ink illustration with a quote, facing the title page.
I hope you've enjoyed meeting Louise and Jean Dana this week! I have other mystery-solving friends you will be meeting in the future. I also posted earlier this week about another vintage book, if you'd like to look at it HERE.
Be sure to visit the others participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday and Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You Gotta Laugh...

or You Might Start Crying!
It's still Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and I need to do another post relating to my
October 5 Birthday so I'm combining the topics yet again! Briefly, for my new visitors, I am a bone marrow recipient and will celebrate my second birthday of the transplant on October 5. For that week I will be offering several giveaways, so come back and visit. For more information,
follow the cancer tag on my labels list.
Many online crafters and vendors have been donating items for October 5. Some of these include Laura at
Decor to Adore, Karla & Kerri from The Summer Kitchen Journal, Lisa the Apron Queen from Rick Rack Attack, Jennifer from Me & My Sister, Mommy Holly, and Heidi Devlin Home. Take some time to check out their nifty blogs and shops.
On to the books!!! I did not write these descriptions, I got them from Amazon and just made a few edits. I have read a couple of them, and browsed the others. They are all funny, and helpful at the same time!
Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
This book is an advice-from-the-trenches cancer survival guidebook for young women. Actress and photographer Kris Carr thought she had a hangover, but a Jivamukti yoga class didn’t provide its usual kick-ass cure. A visit to her doctor confirmed her “liver looked like Swiss cheese,” covered with cancerous tumors. She entered trench warfare, wearing cowboy boots into the MRI machine, no less, vowing, “Cancer needed a makeover and I was just the gal to do it!” Kris began writing and filming her journey, documenting her interactions with friends, doctors, alternative “quacks,” blind dates, and other women with cancer—sadly a growing group. In August 2007, The Learning Channel broadcast Carr’s documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. [I saw this documentary and it interested me enough to go and buy the book!]
Full-color photos accompany personal stories and candid revelations in what is essentially a scrapbook of advice, warnings, and resources for the cancer patient. Chapters cover a changing social life, dating, sex, and appearance; health tips on how to boost your immune system; recipes; medical and holistic resources; and information on young survivor support groups.

Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics by Miriam Engelberg

Miriam Engelberg was forty-three when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like anyone faced with a life-altering personal trauma, she sought out a coping mechanism. While fellow patients championed the benefits of support groups and hypnotherapy, Engelberg found her greatest comfort in drawing, her lifelong passion. Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person puts Engelberg's life in focus the best way she knows how - with cartoons. From sex and wigs to nausea and causes - Was it overzealous cheese consumption or not enough multivitamins? - Engelberg leaves no aspect of cancer unexamined.
Cancer on Five Dollars a Day (chemo not included): How Humor Got Me through the Toughest Journey of My Life by Robert Shimmel
In the spring of 2000, Robert Schimmel was riding high. He’d won the Stand-Up of the Year Award, his HBO special was a huge hit, and his sitcom had been picked up. Then it all came crashing down. Diagnosed with Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was told he would have to undergo chemotherapy immediately. The sitcom was dumped and the fire of his white-hot career started to go out. But Schimmel never lost his sense of humor, his knife-like edge, and most of all, his passion to entertain. Indeed, it was his basic need to laugh-even if the only people around him were suffering from cancer and the room he was playing was the Mayo Clinic infusion center-that carried him through his ordeal. From his colorful banter with nurses and other patients during chemo, to his hilarious conversation with a wig salesman, going for the laugh was Robert’s survival mechanism.
Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
“What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds . . . a lump in her breast?” That’s the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. With a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month bout with cancer, from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between. The story is also a portrait of one woman’s supercharged life in Manhattan, and a wonderful love story. Three weeks before Marisa's wedding, she receives her diagnosis. She wonders: How will my fiance react to this news? How will my world change? Will I even survive? And . . . what about my hair? From raucous New Yorker staff lunches and the star-studded crowd at Silvano’s restaurant to the rainbow pumps Marisa wears to chemotherapy, her wit and courage are an inspiration—she’s a cancer vixen, not its victim.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


This Monday it's a 2-for-1 special from the Evil Overlord! I am participating in BOTH Blue Monday with Smiling Sal, as well as Book Blogger Appreciation Week with My Friend Amy. I could even use this post in a few days for Vintage Thingies Thursday! Be sure to visit the Blue Monday participants who are linked at Sal's site and see their nifty blue items. Visiting Amy's Book Blogger Appreciation Week will give you many opportunities to sign up for some great giveaways! It's going on all week, so go check it out!
The first movie I ever saw in a theater was the Disney version of Cinderella. I was about 4 or 5 and it was a special outing just for me with my dad. I don't know if it was seeing the story with the dancing mice and singing birds is what hooked me, or all of the classic fairy tale stories that my mom read to me that were so beautifully illustrated, but legends, myths and other folklore have always caught my attention. While working on my degree in Elementary Education I prepared several projects for classes and units of study for children that taught elements of folklore. As a 6th grade English teacher I prepared a unit studying all types of folklore, which surprisingly, most students had not yet been exposed.
I have a very small collection of vintage books that I collected as a child. These were all bought to be read; I usually got them at yard sales. One of the oldest of my books is The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, which was originally published in England in 1889. It contained a wide range of tales, with seven from the Brothers Grimm, five from Madame d'Aulnoy, three from the Arabian Nights, and four Norse stories, among other sources.I have no idea how old this book is, because it does not have a publication or copyright date, but I used some clues to shoot for an era. Based on the style of illustration and type of binding, and comparing it to other books of the era, I am guessing early 20th century.The front end paper is an aqua blue and cream illustration of a young girl. The book was once owned by Patricia Moran, who left her name behind. On the title page of the book, her sister Jean left her name and class number from St. Ephraim's School!
The paper is very rough and thick, almost a type of newsprint. There are very few illustrations, and most seem to be done in a pretty basic wood block type style. They have a lot of large black areas, which made scanning them difficult. A few illustrations fill a page and are vertical/portrait, but there are 2 that are actually landscape and the reader has to turn the book to see the picture! Another thing about the illustrations that isn't seen these days is that the same image is used multiple times. There is a castle that is used more than seven times, and every story with a cat has the same Puss 'n Boots at the end of the tale.
From this illustration of Puss 'n Boots
you can see how thin the paper is,
with the text from the back coming through.
This is the only colored illustration in my book. It is on a different type of paper than the rest of the book, very smooth.
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or "Coloured" Fairy Books are a twelve-book series of collections from a variety of cultures. Although Lang did not directly collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources, who had collected them originally (with the exception of Madame d'Aulnoy), made them an immensely influential collection, especially as he used foreign-language sources, giving many of these tales their first appearance in English. Although Lang himself made most of the selections, his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and telling of the actual stories. [edited from Wikipedia.]
Again, please take some time to visit the sites of those participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week and Blue Monday! AND stop by and see how I attempt to tie reading and books in to all my posts this week!