Friday, October 19, 2012


All of this time, I thought Betty Crocker was real.  Didn’t you?  She’s not – she’s a figment of our imagination!  If you “google” her image you will get kind of a reverse (in the 50’s/right -  she looks so much older than in the 80’s -left yet I don’t think she’s actually aged!).  It also looks like the 80's BC decided to make her "brown eyes blue" (if you know what I mean ;).
She’s a conglomerate – a result of a corporate merger.  In 1930, General Mills – which is really a consolidation of 24+ companies started publishing promotional pamphlets by Betty Crocker.  “Betty” was chosen because it was a popular name at the time.  She was probably one of the first “super models” of her day if you think about it. Her image wasn’t real, she looked “hot” (lots of stove time) and had a line of products to boot!!

The best part is that she was created by a woman (no offense if you are a guy…).  Marjorie Husted was a home economist (housewife) and businesswoman (whodathunk?).  Go Marjorie with your 1950’s self!

The whole Betty Crocker thing is prompted because I was on another little trip to Goodwill and I ran across this handy little cookbook for 89 cents.  I thumbed through it and got really inspired in a “vintage-y” kind of way. 

It’s a theme that started earlier in the week when my 15 year old-aka-Monica L.  needed to make a “baby” book and we had to go through her memory boxes.  I found this! Circa 1959+ish.  “When pulled, the Bee's wings twirl, his antenna bounce, and he makes a realistic "Buzz-Buzz" sound. In 1956 the Bee was given a crown and introduced as the #314 Queen Buzzy Bee. The #444 Queen Bee came along in 1959 in a new color. After Easter 1962, the Bee was changed and given new colors again, but the new colors would be used for a whopping 23 years! 

 Notice, the bee was male until 1956, then he/she was given a crown and called “Queen” Buzzy Bee.  That’s an interesting piece of factual info in itself!  I want details!  ;)

So….Vintage…..what is our obsession?  I personally love to go to antique stores and scour the shelves for tiny pieces of my past.  One of my favorites are these old aluminum glasses.  We used these in the South for tea.  It was the perfect solution to a hot Summer day – sweet tea and ice.

If you want a set – Vanessa on etsy can help you out!

Today I worked with my “vintage” pink ornaments with “vintage” silk flowers.  I love working with the flowers because they are hand cut.  Some were marked from Germany with a tiny, old, yellowed sliver of paper.  The colors are different from what you see today at your local silk flower shop…..I think the best way to describe it is less obvious in your face color….they are subtle, delicate and mellowed.

Here is one of the ornaments.  I will be making a collection to sell at the Holiday Bazaar and on etsy.  The hanger is handmade in 18 gauge metal with a crystal bead.

Now, let’s check out a BC recipe for dinner!    

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween, Zig Zags, Monica Lewinsky and Christmas!

It's almost Halloween here in the U.S.  Yet as I shopped for "things" to send my mother for her birthday, I saw lots and lots of Christmas stuff. 
Do we experience each holiday, or just look to the next?  Fall just "fell".  I personally would like to take a breather and relax with each wonderful event. 
I've always liked Halloween, but I am not a huge, huge fan.  I think the most fun I had was when I was about 19 and decided to dress in black tights and a leotard and took 2 orange poster boards and recreated the Zig-Zag logo. It was another one of those "inside" jokes because it was so not me. 

The other time I had loads of fun is when my youngest daughter was about 8 months.  It was during the height of the whole Monica Lewinsky thing and I happened to have a green beret and one of those ridiculously oversized cigars.  I know....I know....I tricked and treated in the city of Chicago with my 5 year old and "Monica".  I got loads of laughs and "oh my god's that is so funny but could you do that???!!!"
 I guess I've had more fun than I remembered.  I went out to dinner the other night with a very good friend and her daughter and they were talking about the time I showed up at my daughter's school (on Halloween) with just one tooth blacked out - regular clothing and all...just one tooth gone.  Yeah....that's my twisted sense of humor!
Back to holidays......I used to have a favorite store in Deerfield.  It was called "Romancing the Home" and it was a wonderful cornucopia of pure delight for the eyes.  I thought they went out of business, but just discovered they moved to the next town over!!!!  Yay!  So happy they are still around. 
A couple of weeks ago I was at Goodwill with (the above mentioned daughter) and found this....
for two dollars!    I think I have about 35 pink, light pink, hot pink, scarlet, red and fuschia globes....vintage....1970ish?
Then I found this at Romancing the Home...
I not only found one, but about 8 and each bag was $2 each....and filled with amazing vintage things! you get it, right?  :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Fall is officially in full swing up here in the North. My fireplace is graced with fresh soot as tiny twigs scent the chilled air with their perfume. This is always a fresh time of year for me. Physcially, it's when I was born - I always equate it with "starts". Artistically, this is when I begin new projects and as I head into my studio (dressed in layers) I am excited to discover what's to be.

Layering is part of my painting process. Painting, then scraping, then painting, then drawing, then scraping......the process can at times seem never-ending. Scrubbing back a tiny bit of paint to reveal another tiny bit of paint, uncovering is a process of discovery for me. My work then becomes alive and starts to reveal a personality and in a short time it has memories all it's own. Some of what I do is expected - after doing it so many times, I know what will happen. Sometimes though, even I am surprised by what shows up.

Right now, I am designing a series of 11 wine labels. Each label is unique to my style, but I want to try new techniques and expand my horizon a bit. Layering - of course, will be part of this process.

I personally do pick wines not only according to region and blend, but I am drawn to a wine partly because of the label. Actually, I am completely drawn to a wine because of the label. Let's face it, almost every single bottle is exactly the same, right? I am excited to get to work on a new project, in new medium in a smaller scale.

These lovely beauties serve as a reminder. They hang on my dining room wall awaiting fresh flowers (which I need to pick from my garden before it's too late!). The hardware I found on etsy. They are beautifully hand crafted pieces that I purchased from Amber from Great Bottles of Fire She is quite talented.

Stay tuned for which little pieces of art get picked for their "green bottle" debut!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Current view outside my living room window.....brrrrr!!
Glittery garland aligns the mantle.  I found this beautiful strand at Michael's the day before Christmas.  Yes, it was marked down 70%!!! 
This is a Christmas ornament made of all recycled materials.  It contains bits of the following:  macaroni and cheese box, straw, dvd, cd, spiral notebook, push button telephone, Squirt bottle, milk bottle top, tuna fish can, alumininum foil, plastic, water bottle, Old Navy tennis shoe, cardboard, cell phone parts, Dairy Queen plastic spoon, copper wire, old checkbook cover, paper muffin cup, Diet Coke can and more!

The Reason for the Season

It's Christmas!  The ground is covered with a velvety, crystallized cloud and all is quiet.  We opened gifts last night and I am eyeing the packaging, ribbons and bows for secondary uses.  Maybe next year's ornament or gift tag.