Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mysterious, Sexy, & Powerful!

I went to college in Cambridge, MA, a city where it is important to have stylish street cred, and where people walk everywhere. This was the mid-80s, the era of big hair on both men & women, bright colors, the early Madonna, and music videos. Being ultra-cool myself (NOT!) I had a black cape coat that I LOVED! I had large vintage jeweled brooches on it in strategic places where the cape fastened to the coat portion, and I wore bright blue leather gloves and a bright blue scarf if it was really cold. Boy, did I stride around Harvard Square in that cape coat! I tell you this story because I still regret getting rid of that coat.
Especially today, as I started thinking about a Halloween costume. I have never been a witch for Halloween, can you believe it? If I had the coat I'd be 1/2 way there to an awesome costume. I went online to see what kind of cheap capes or mu-mu type things might be available. Instead, I ran across some vintage capes, and was off on one of those internet tangents we all get caught in from time to time.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I am a huge plaid fan. At one time every room in my house had some plaid in it. One of the vintage capes that came up was in plaid, and that just made me refine my search. For Vintage Thingies Thursday I usually share things I own, but this week I'm going to show things I wish I owned. Unfortunately they've all already been sold at the sites where I found them.
This classic plaid cape has great toggle buttons.Look at the wonderful details of the cool collar and trim.Here's my ultimate favorite. Check out the lacing detail on the shoulder and sleeve.
Doesn't the idea of a cape make you feel like a heroine or a strong, powerful leader, like Xena?
For more vintage goodness, visit ColoradoLady, our Vintage Thingies Thursday hostess.

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Forever Yours by Patricia Hebert

I just finished a wonderful book by Massachusetts author, Patricia Hebert. The title is Forever Yours which gave me the impression it is a romance; which is sort of is. The romance in the book is a story within the story of twelve year old Sarah, who has just moved all the way across the country from the only home she has ever known. Younger sister Molly is excited, as is Dad, who has found his dream job in Stockbridge, MA. (The town made famous by Norman Rockwell, hence my choice of illustrations!) Mom is not thrilled to be leaving her beloved Bainbridge Island, WA, but supports her husband's dream. And then there's Sarah. Refusing to eat. Refusing to talk. Or even walk to the car - her dad has to carry her! Sarah is bratty and mean-spirited during the packing, the drive across the country, and setting up the new house.
And what a house it is! Very old and needing more than cosmetic renovations, the house was home to two women since WWII, with little changing during those years. A big, old, musty house. What do you think the kids at school immediately tell Sarah? Her house is haunted! Sarah, who has seen mysterious lights and objects that have been moved, believes the tales.
Sarah makes one friend at school, Melody, who has had several tragedies in her twelve years. Melody is enthralled with the ghost stories, and believes the ghosts in Sarah's house killed her baby brother. Sarah's hunt for information about the house leads to the romance story within Sarah's tale.
I really enjoyed Forever Yours because of Sarah's honest brattiness! She knew she was being a jerk about the move, but she truly was devastated. She couldn't make the best of things as her mother did, and she took it out on everyone around her. She would even think to herself that she couldn't believe how horrible she was being, until she finally realized that she wasn't accomplishing anything and the family was not moving back to Washington.
I would have liked to know more about Jeff, the bully who has it out for Sarah. Why is he this way? Does he bully everyone? Why do no adults see this? Speaking of the adults, as a teacher myself, I really did not like the way the teacher and principal handled situations between Jeff and Sarah. They basically blew it off, which would NEVER happen, especially if other students witnessed something violent. There was no "investigation" of any kind, not even listening to each child's side of the story.
According to Amazon, Forever Yours is for young people ages 9-12. I would say that while it is great for girls in that age group, it's also an interesting read for adults, and doesn't need to be thought of as a children's book per se. We'll see what my 11 year old niece thinks when she reads it! If you're getting Christmas gifts now as you find things, you probably won't go wrong with Patricia Hebert's first novel.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Halloween Inspiration

As I said in yesterday's post, the trees here are just not turning the gorgeous, vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges of most autumns. Instead they're going directly to dead and brown, making it difficult for me to get in the fall decorating spirit.

I've always wanted to be one of those people who does a great scene on the front lawn for Halloween, and I found some nifty ideas on Better Homes & Gardens web site with a great photo slide show called Your Best Ideas: Outdoor Halloween Decorations. They are all yards shared by the magazine's readers last year, so they're all doable by the average Jane or Joe. Some are funny, some are cute, and others would be downright creepy in the dark. My favorite is the pirate ship with skeletal sailors; you don't see too many of those! It looks a little too complicated for me, personally. For my first attempt I'd probably do a graveyard with hands coming out of the ground and crows flying around.
Or, maybe I'd make some of these funny ghosts. e used to make little ones as kids, but bigger is always better, right?Getting the kids involved in decorating is what holidays are all about, so creating your own ghost family is an easy project you can do together, and hang to greet your trick or treaters. There have got to be about 50 or more craft projects explained step by step on the BHG site, and most can be done with kids. I know how many of you like to do crafts with your children and grandchildren.

After all that hard crafty work, of course you'll need a snack! These are rice cereal treats shaped like ghosts and then dipped in white chocolate. Yum! You could easily do pumpkins or bats or even black cats, depending on your own craftiness! There are a ton of great foods that are healthy and geared to kids and easy enough for kids to make, as well as more grown-up foods in the Halloweeen Recipes.

BHG.com has a really cool tool that your kids will absolutely LOVE! It's a virtual pumpkin carver. Not only is there the choice of type of pumpkin and facial features, users can edit the features or draw their own. When done, it can be emailed it to grandma or auntie! I spent about an hour playing with it myself. If you like real hands-on pumpkin carving, BHG.com has tons of stencils to help you design a truly magnificent jack o' lantern display.
I hope this has inspired you, as it has me, to do a little crafting or baking for the Halloween season.
Don't forget my Halloween Bracelet Giveaway for Followers or Facebook Fans. If you're not one of these, you can just sign up. Follow the instructions for entering, so far only 1 person has done it correctly.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Lotsa Blue Beads with a Giveaway

Happy Blue Monday my friends! I hope you all had a fantabulous weekend. We had yucky weather here on Sunday, and the leaves do not seem to be changing colors as vibrantly as usual. They are going straight from green to dead looking. Not very New England-y at all, I must say!
I have been madly at work this week taking pictures of
things I've made for my etsy shop and getting things listed.I love all of the cool colors together in this one.Of course I've got my signature hemp waves done in shades of blue.Not all are listed at Little Somethings yet, so if you have any
interest, just leave me a message in the comments.And now for the giveaway!
Next Monday I will announce the winner of this adorable Halloween stretch bracelet, featuring 3 dimensional glass pumpkins and candy corn. Super-cute! Here's the requirements for entering:
First Entry: Be a Follower of this blog, OR a Fan of the Little Somethings Facebook page. State this in your comment.
Visit Little Somethings on etsy. In your comment for the giveaway tell me something you like that is not part of this post. This is 1 entry.
For extra entries:
  • Twitter about the giveaway with a link back. Leave the link to your Tweet in your second comment.
  • Blog about the giveaway. Leave the link to the post as your third comment.
Comments will be open until Midnight EST next Sunday, October 3.
Have a wonderful week, after you enjoy all the blueness at Smiling Sally, the hub of Blue Monday!
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pink Halloween Babies!

It's Pink Saturday again, and finally getting a little autumnal here in the Boston area. Last week I visited storyteller @ Happily Retired Gal, as well as many others, of course. She does lots of fun things with Photoshop, so check out what she's got for us this week.
We're starting to think about Halloween around here. Just yesterday my friend's 4 year old asked what I was going to be, and I sold couple of Halloween items in my etsy shop this week. I know many of the Pink Saturday girls are moms and grandmas so look at these fun pink Halloween things I found for the kiddos!
A bright and fun bib at Bee's Cozy Creations.A gorgeous and sweet Bo Peep costume at What Kids Like.Super-Cool pink skull shoesies at My Rockin' Baby.
These pink-trimmed ghostie hairclips are so cute, I kind of want them for myself. Also from Bee's Cozy Creations.
For more fun pinkness, visit Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound, our Pink Saturday hostess.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lots Done, Not a Lotta Pictures

What a busy week! Probably the fastest of the last year. Sunday I had a booth at my first craft fair, which I shared with you on Tuesday's post. That has left the rest of the week for taking photos of merchandise that didn't sell and listing it on etsy. I also spent a lot of time researching marketing and promoting ideas. For non-crafty accomplishments, I read an entire book in one day; the funny and engrossing The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell. It's a graphic novel/memoir, which made Laurie's life even more vivid. I finally got all the phone jacks in my house working, and I made up my bed with new sheets for the first time in a year. I know, pretty lame! But remember, for the past year I could barely pour a glass of milk, much less lift a mattress to slip the sheets around and under it. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and called everyone I knew!
I only made one thing this week. A woman at the craft show bought a bracelet and asked if I had matching earrings. I told her I'd check to see if I had any beads left. I only had two, so I combined them with a few other beads and this is what I came up with.The black wire is pretty nifty, but it's very soft so they'll fall out of shape from time to time. She loved them, which of course made me feel good.
Hopefully I'll accomplish a lot this week and have many things to share with you next Friday. For more finished projects, visit 3 Under 2 @ Lit & Laundry, our Finished for Friday hostess.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Cookin' Images

A couple of weeks ago for Vintage Thingies Thursday I shared Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two from 1958. It has so many amazingly fun images that I only showed you a few and promised more in the future.Well, here they are! Any of this pictures can be clicked to enlarge for your further enjoyment.Besides recipes, there's information on foods from around the world, the culture and why certain foods were more prevalent.There is also a whole section on regional US cooking.Not part of the US regional section is a how-to-barbecue piece. The assumption is that the little woman doesn't know how to barbecue because it's a manly job. I love this illustration fo the city barbecue-er.Some of the illustrations are funny and literal, like this one for making deviled eggs.Or this page, where a little brownie is mixing brownies. One of my personal favorites is the butcher's children washing the cow.
For more cool vintage-ness, be sure to visit our hostess, Suzanne at Colorado Lady! She's got an even older cookbook than I.

P.S. As we move into holiday season, I am wondering what people think about re-posts and/or posts that feature things we showed last year. I know many of us have vintage things for all occasions, and although the old-timers may have seen them last year, we've got a lot of new participants. Whatcha think? I'm not going to buy new old things just to post! LOL
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Imposter's Daughter

I recently won a book from Supahmommy that I signed up for only because the cover intrigued me. I admit it, I only skimmed to see what it was about. Supahmommy's writing style is funny and honest, and she breaks her reviews down nicely for us skimmers.
What stood out to me? Funny/Quirky/Easy Read "OOOH!" thunk I, "I need something easy and funny after the more literary type things I'd been reading for the last few weeks." So I signed up. And won. And felt badly because I didn't remember entering or what the book was about. But I still sent my mailing info to supahmommy because I knew it must have caught my attention for some reason. Then The Impostor's Daughter arrived and I remembered the awesome colorful cover that drew me in. I started to read the inside flap and my heart dropped. A memoir. Told as a graphic novel. Neither do I enjoy regularly. So now I felt really badly for accepting the book.
I flipped through and the colorful images really appealed to me, just as the cover had. I knew that The Impostor's Daughter was not a book to be read in bed laying on my left side, my usual reading spot as I told y'all in the BBAW Reading Habits meme. I got an iced tea, went out on the deck and started reading. Iwas immediately HOOKED! I love hearing stories about people's families, the soil and nutrients from which the plant grew, so to speak. Learning what went in to making the person I know.
Laurie Sandell, the author and illustrator of The Impostor's Daughter brought me right into her home. I always enjoy imagining scenes when I am reading, but having the illustrations made the image of her curled up listening to her dad's fantastical stories about his life more vivid. He treated her as his special princess, taking her on special daddy-daughter outings and even telling her she was his favorite. Laurie's actual cartoons from her childhood show her father as an angry huge head with a wart on his nose, strange from Daddy's favorite. When Laurie was twelve, her father lost his job as a college professor and many things changed. Her mother returned to being a teacher, and her father began sitting around the house in his underwear working on deals and brooding to the point of raging at his family, causing Laurie and her younger sisters to avoid bringing friends home.
Laurie shares with us her college life, first boyfriend, and four years of traveling the world, thinking she was searching for the adventures of her father, but in reality a lost soul searching for herself. Over the years Laurie begins to question her father's legitimacy as different financial schemes come to light, including taking out credit cards in his daughters' names and running up huge debts in their names. This piques her curiosity about the stories of Daddy working for the CIA, sitting in on the National Security Council and having multiple degrees from prestigious universities. Two years of taped interviews with her father, and with his former colleagues and traveling to Buenos Aires for research and to meet his estranged step-sister brought about the amazing graphic memoir The Impostor's Daughter.
I was so entranced by Laurie's tale that I read the book in about three hours, only stopping to come in the house and eat lunch. For a very young woman she has lived an extraordinary life and the plant that grew from the soil and nutrients of her childhood and young adult adventures is an honest, interesting, and talented writer. I cannot reccomend this book with greater enthusiasm than I have shown here, especially for those looking to try a graphic novel for the first time. Be sure to visit Laurie's website where she has a great video showing pictures from the book and her narration explaining her motivation and process.
Author Photo: William Garrett
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Day at the Fair

WOW! What a day I had on Sunday at the Franklin Harvest Festival! It was a gorgeous day, sunny, light breezes, temperature in the mid-70s, wonderful for an outdoor family day. There was a classic car show, 2 bands, farmers' market, kids' games, crafters, and lots of great food. I got up early to go over my checklist once again and we set off at 9:30 to set up, with the festival beginning at 11:00.Main Street was completely blocked off, and the street where my booth would be was down to 1 lane, with police directing all the traffic. The booths were set up in the street parking spots, so people could walk by on the sidewalk and go into shops as well as see the crafts.My nephews were with me all day doing the more physical things that I can't do. They also were smart enough to suggest a party canopy, which I didn't know my BIL had. It was a life saver!Did you know that jewelry out in the sun gets too hot for people to try on? See, I learned something at my first craft fair! I actually learned a lot, and was lucky to be next to a very experienced crafter who gave me lots of tips.The boys and I had a great day; they were very particular about how the boards should be set up for display, and how things should be hung. They would go off on adventures from time to time, checking out the bands or cars, and of course getting food as teenage boys do! They brought me back a milkshake from Rick's my favorite Franklin diner on one of their escapades.And when it got boring at the table, there was always my Rollator to play with! Altogether it was a successful day, I think. I learned a lot about working a craft fair, which was my main goal, and made a VERY tiny profit. At least I didn't lose any money. Now I have to get organized to list the leftover on etsy!

The video below was shot by Warren Reynolds who blogs at 02038.com

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Just a Leetle Crack

Happy, Happy Blue Monday folks! Hope your skies are as bright a blue as mine today! I have this gorgeous blue pitcher to share with you. The vines on it are raised glass, and I love the fluting around the rim. It's a good size and could easily be used for lemonade or iced tea.It is very old, my aunt can remember it being around as far back as the early 1930s. She also remembers that there is a small crack that her father fixed, but they never used it to hold liquids after that. Sometimes they would put dried flowers in it. This pitcher is now on display in my parents' living room. I'd like to get my hands on it and see what the deal is with that crack, I don't think my mom has ever tried to put water in it. Maybe I'll ask her to check it out. I kind of feel badly for the pitcher, sitting around for the past 75 odd years unable to do the thing for which it was created. But it sure is nice to look at!
For more blue goodies visit Smiling Sally!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a Week!

I don't usually write a weekly or even a monthly wrap-up, but this past week seems to be calling out for recognition. For myself personally I made tons of cards, bracelets, earrings and Santa ornaments for the craft show that I am doing today. As you know it's my first time selling at a craft fair, so I am nervously excited. As I sit here writing this on Saturday night, I have everything on my checklist checked off, but I also keep adding to it! I plan to take lots of pictures to share with you all during the week.
In Blogland it was the 2nd annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted by My Friend Amy and an army of helpers. There were tons of giveaways, but I only entered those that really interested me. I won The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy from the author's blog, and a package of 6 books, at Bookin' With Bingo, including The Lost Symbol, the new book by Dan Brown!
During BBAW I met a lot of bloggers and added to those I follow as well as who I follow on Twitter. I also participated in my first blogtalkradio show, hosted by Miriam from Hachette Book Group, interviewing a round table of book bloggers. It was very neat because while you're listening to the radio interview, the participants and anyone who has logged in to blogtalkradio are also holding a live chat, and people are calling in with questions. It was very cool, and it was neat hearing the voices of people I think I know.
Besides winning from 2 blogs, I also gave away 6 myself. 3 copies of Anita Shreve's A Change in Altitude were won by Jemima @ The Reading Journey, Megan from Leafing Through Life, and Olivia, aka esspressogurl, 3 copies of A Separate Country by Robert Hicks went to Karen from Bookin' With Bingo, Sue from The Mickelson Family, and Susan B.
So it was a busy, fun, and hopefully profitable week. On Monday I'm going to cocoon up and sleep, read, and eat junk all day. Kind of like a snow day!

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