Christmas in the country

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Christmas in the country

Or, how I show respect to dead animals.

Brimfield Antique Show

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Last week I set up in Brimfield MA. at the largest antique show you will ever see in New England. The show is held three times a year, in May, July and September, running for six days. It turned into a full two weeks with set up and then selling, all the while driving back and forth more than an hour each way every day, while trying to work my part time job as well. The work was overwhelming. The rewards and lessons learned were invaluable. I met some pretty quirky dealers, amazing artists and some of the nicest people I’ll ever need to know.

My booth was a mixture of vintage clothing, retro smalls and a few funky furniture pieces. Much like everything I do, it was colorful, lighthearted and fun.

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I am still processing the whole experience, while planning for a return sale next year. My dream to sell at Brimfield has been fulfilled and with it came the knowledge that I know what I am doing, I am good at it and the sky is the limit.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.608128822533562.1073741838.157757290904053&type=1

“Would be nice to not be afraid of men every time I walk outside in the dark.”

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This quote was the first thing I saw on my Facebook wall when I woke up this morning. It was from my daughter. I am convinced she is speaking for every single woman that walks the face of this earth. I am not saying we all are obsessed with fear and let it consume us every time we take a walk, but women do fear men. All of us.

Think about your fears for a moment. Not tsunami or sink hole variety fears, but knife wielding, sex attacking, purse snatching, hitch hiking, help you change a tire, can you spare a dime, will you help me find my doggie little girl, kind of fears. Are they women perpetrators? Any of them?

As a twenty something, like my daughter is now, I would not admit to being afraid of men. I was a feminist and strong woman in the “Age of Aquarius.” Many of us believed in the promise of a new beginning, “Harmony and understanding, Sympathy and trust abounding…” I hitch hiked. I walked the streets of Portsmouth, NH after dark. I had a belief that people were inherently good. I believed that women had finally come into their time. We could do anything men could do. We had power and we were strong.

In the late 1970′s a woman was murdered in my town. Down the street from where I lived. With a screwdriver. In her home. She was my age. It hit me then, that things would never change. I had these fears all along that were blurred by the hope and optimism of my generation. After that close to home crime, I carried keys between my fingers after dark. I didn’t walk fearlessly. I paid attention to the streetlights and picked up the pace.

Little girls who are loved and protected by their moms and dads fear’s are men. The monsters under their beds are men. The burglars they think might break in are men. The stranger danger people are men. The middle school art teachers who lure them into a closet are men. The uncles, neighbors, family friends who touch them are men. The unknown reason that they can’t go without a shirt even though the boys can, are men.

What have we done to our little girls?

I am not a feminist who hates men. My life partner is a man. My dad was a great man who believed in feminism and believed in me. I have amazing brothers. Many of my friends throughout my life have been males, but when I sit in my hot tub in the back yard after dark and I am all alone and I get a creepy feeling, (even at the age of 56) and I have to run into the house real quick, it isn’t a woman I fear.

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Road Block

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I have writers block for creativity. What would that be called? Creative block I guess. Well I have it and the only thing I am able to do is paint little things on my fingernails and then wipe them away. I have many ideas. I have plenty of materials to work with. What I don’t have is the ambition to complete anything. There is a pretty little bedside table in my head. The not so pretty table is in my basement. I have tools. I have paint. It’s just waiting.

Just waiting to be painted

One dollar table

Recently I acquired some horse chestnut burlap bags. My plan was to make a few of these. I made just this one.

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Recycled door mat

I could make more….if I did not have creative block. I have plenty of burlap bags.

Plenty of burlap bags.

Horse Chestnut bags

I plan to use these cupboard door samples,

Cupboard door samples.

Door samples

to make more of these.

Once again, one is all I have made.

Message board

I cut this,

Felt deer

to do this. It’s not sewn on yet.

“Put a deer on it.”

I even have Facebook contests to keep me motivated. Winners get handmade prizes. The last winner is still waiting for her prize. This is what she will get.

http://m.designsponge.com/2009/07/diy-project-shannons-decorative-concrete-garden-balls.html

So far all I have done is collected the spheres.

Collected the spheres.

Glass globes

Recently a family member gave me lots and lots of vintage fabrics. I have it sorted and folded neatly, stored here.

Looks good sitting there.

Packed with vintage fabric

My plan is to use it to sew lots of  Peter Pan collars. It only takes 30 minutes.

It only takes 30 minutes.

Cotton and linen detachable collar

I’ve made two.

I have completed a project recently that I am quite satisfied with. I only planned on making one so I consider it a success story.

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Pinterest copy cat paper lantern.

They say it is the journey, not the destination that matters. My creative block will pass. When it does, I have plenty to work with.

Collecting

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Collecting has always been a passion for me. From the plastic horse collection in the sixties, the political and social commentary buttons of the seventies, to vintage clothing in the eighties, I always have some sort of collecting going on. The one collection that seems to be standing the test of time would have to be my American pottery. I favor white. Brush or glossy, McCoy, Shawnee or Hull, I’ll collect them all as long as it pleases me. 

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This is part of my collection. There are more…everywhere.

Before and After, A Little Footstool

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A “beside the road freebie”

This little gem was sitting in a free pile on the side of the road in the rain. I’m not sure why I stopped to rescue it, often  “free” is a good enough reason for me. I do have an affinity for small stools and chairs. They are perfect for sitting on while playing Scrabble or Apples to Apples at the coffee table. Perfect that is for someone like me with very short legs.

Tramsformed!

I removed the “pleather” cover and  used it as a pattern to fabricate a new one out of cotton. Since I added a two inch piece of foam to the top of the stool, the pattern had to be lengthened. The cover was then stapled to the underside. Lastly I painted the legs. Now it was ready for the slipcover.

All Dressed Up                                                       

Here she is all dressed up! I used three different pieces of vintage linens to sew the slipcover. This little stool, once forlorn and thrown away, will now have a new life in Chicago with my daughter Sarah. Who, by the way, also likes to play Apples to Apples. Not surprisingly, she also happens to have short legs.

Cobbler, Crisp, Buckle and Dump

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My mother-in-law had the biggest rhubarb plants I ever knew. They were seriously under used. Before we sold her house, I dug some roots and transferred them to my new raised bed. That must have been more than four years ago and the plant is still tiny compared to hers. It does give me plenty of fruit and that’s what is important.

I love rhubarb pies but the work (not to mention calories), involved is for sharing, not something I make for myself. I do make rhubarb cobbler at the drop of a hat.

There are as many names as recipes for this dessert. If my grandmother made it with blueberries she called it buckle. If it was made with peaches or rhubarb it was called cobbler.  Tart, pie, torte, pandowdy, grunt, slump,  crisp, and dump.  They are all variations of cobblers, and are usually based on seasonal fruits and berries. They are  simple to make and rely more on taste than fancy  preparation.

Here is my version. I cut up about ten stalks of rhubarb and put it in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of flour and1/4 cup each of brown and white sugar. Mix it all together and add about 3 tablespoons of cut up butter to the top.

I mix up some biscuits. I like to use reduced fat Bisquick cuz it leads me to believe there are less calories but who am I kidding.  Bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. That’s it, simple but delish.


Mmmm. All done.

 

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