"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."













Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Visit to Vermont!

Hi! We just got home from visiting a friend in New York, combined with a trip to Vermont. I had hoped to blog while I was there, but discovered there was no internet access! Besides a bird pooping on my new jeans...with me in them...it was a real nice time! Can't wait to show you all the goodies from antiquing and yard saling! But for now, there's tons of unpacking to do.

See ya!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hello. My Name Is Jill. And I'm a Wool Addict.

Before last summer, I never even heard the words "needle felting" and now it's become one of the many loves of my life! Could it be the warmth of the wool? Maybe it's the soft, yet firm texture that draws me to it? Or maybe it's the fresh, clean scent after its been felted in the hot dryer. Wait, I know. It's the versatility of the wool. The creating possibilities are endless!

Whatever the case, I'm addicted. If you dare to try working with pure wool, it may happen to you. Be forewarned my friends.

Isn't she cute?! I made this for my Mom when my father was undergoing a triple bypass this past Christmas. I was hoping it would bring a much needed smile to her face. It did.



Here's a Woodland Santa Claus I made for Ted's Aunt Candy. She lives out on a farm with Uncle Dane. While making this particular Santa, I kept picturing him walking out in the woods near their farm, trudging through the snow in search of a yule log to put on their fire.



It's so fun combining mediums! Santa's head is made from paper clay and painted with acrylics. His body is a wire armature that was needle-felted using wool from different types of sheep. Santa carries a vintage tree on his back using an old basket and twine. Little does Santa know, but a little squirrel was living in that tree!



I carved the snowman on the top of his staff and wrapped a home-spun gingham fabric around his neck.



Happy Creating!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sometimes it's just fun to rummage!

I found this vintage tin Valentine heart the other day for 10 cents.



The perfect container for all my pastel pearls and strings of rhinestones!



After "ooooohing and ahhhhhing" over all the pinkness, my daughter Mary spent hours in the studio nimbly creating little bracelets and necklaces. Sharing the same tin of pearls, I sat across from her decorating vintage-style pink Christmas trees.



I don't know what's more fun, rummaging myself or watching her eyes widen with excitement as SHE rummages!



From pretty and pastel to rustic and primitive - I love it all!



Vintage jewelry....oh the ideas that come to mind!



Sometimes to get the creative juices flowing, it's just fun to step back and rummage!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Well, Color Me PINK!

Maybe it's all the rain we've been having, but I'm just in a PINK mood today!



This was my first time bleaching and dying a dark green sisal tree into a shabby chic pink one!



Vintage pale pink pearls and sparkly pink glitter.....



An assortment of paper flowers, pastel balls, and mini sea shells...



....and a vintage blue bird pin as the tree topper made for a very creative, shabby chic kind of day!

PRAYERS NEEDED FOR YOUNG MOTHER!

I just found out that my cousin's wife and mother of two very young daughters, has been diagnosed with cancer AGAIN. This poor young woman already fought Breast Cancer a few years ago and now it has come back to haunt to her. It looks like Chemo is the next step.

Whoever may read this, please take a moment and hold a prayer up for Chris that she will be ok and spared any more of this nightmare.

With Sincere and Grateful Thanks,
Jill

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Muse Came a'Calling!

I think the amount of mess in an art studio is in direct proportion to the amount of fun one had in it!



And I had myself a good old time!



Broke out my vintage tin valentine filled with pretty pastels.



There was plenty of rummaging, searching for just the perfect pieces.



Sculpting paper clay Santa heads, dying and decorating shabby pink Christmas trees, and carving vintage spools into old world Santas gave me the perfect balance between work and play!



Hoping YOUR Muse comes a'calling!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Congratulations Shawn!



Tonight, my younger brother Shawn received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Here's Shawn dressed in his altar boy attire, leading the procession for Mass in High School. You could tell he was always very uptight and studious!

All the hard work paid off Shawny. You made Mom and Dad so proud!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My 1939 Kitchen

Thanks so much to all who have written comments or emailed me about how much you like our home. That means so much to Ted and me. It's just a humble little place that needed (and still needs) tons of work done to it. Slowly but surely we're getting there!

So, you've already seen my Dining Room, which now doubles as my art studio (and has quickly become my favorite room in the house!) If you've followed my older posts, you've seen the Living Room while in the middle of Spring Cleaning. Now, how about visiting our kitchen?

The way our house is set up, the kitchen is now considered the front door where everyone enters.



This is the second time I've painted it. It used to be several shades of green and white. I called it my "Celtic Kitchen." Can you tell I was totally craving the Fall when I picked the color scheme? It was hot, humid, sticky August when I decided to undertake this project and just couldn't wait for the cool crisp Autumn!



All the original METAL cabinets! They were a very dark blue when we moved in and the walls were dirty yellow. And I do mean DIRTY! Ted replaced the counters with formica. Nobody could figure out what they were made out of before, but whenever we'd put something down on it, like a hand, our hand would turn black! And it felt like it was made of tires. So strange.



We have TWO dishwashers in our house! They're called "Ted" and "Jill."



I must have been hungry when I picked the colors too: Cabinets - "Sweet Annie", Ceiling - "White Corn", Top Half of Wall - "Cider Toddy", Bottom Half - "Fragrant Cloves", Middle Rail - "Belgium Waffle" and are you ready for this? Floor - "Sauteed Mushrooms"! Yes, we painted the floor. After ripping up the old linoleum, we found it was horribly water stained. There was no saving it. And without the funds to redo it, there's nothing a good can of paint won't cure!



I painted this rural picture on the door when Mary was just a baby. This is what happens when a woman leaves the workplace and tries to adjust to staying at home. I was still jumpy and needed an outlet! There's a tiny couple holding a little baby, which represents our little family at the time. Even Blue's in the picture!



Nicolai playing with an antique wood and metal mixer. Kids just love these!



Did I mention I LOVE gingerbread men? The taste is ok, but I can't get enough of the aroma. It's even my favorite Yankee Candle fragrance!





My favorite part of the whole kitchen is the overhead shelf. It's custom-made by my Dad. He had made a few country shelves in his home, as well as my brother and sister's. I wanted something different and saw this shelf in a country magazine. I asked Dad if he thought he could make it. Sure enough, he made an exact replica!



It's fun decorating the shelf with old bottles, crocks, and anything that gives our kitchen the warm, cozy feel.



When the kitchen was painted green, we had all kinds of pictures and wall hangings. After repainting, Ted and I decided we prefer to keep the walls bare and just fill Dad's shelf. This gives it more of an open feeling in such a small house. I also like to decorate with functional items as well. My friend, Beth gave me her grandmother's crock after she passed away. Beth was moving to California and wanted it to go somewhere it would be appreciated, especially since as Beth put it, "It's VERY old!" I use it to store old and new cooking utensils.



Here's an old bell I just fell in love with so Ted hung it on the cabinet for me. I actually use it when Ted's out working in the yard. No more excuses that he can't hear me!



Although I somehow deleted the picture, we DO have a stove across from the table in a little nook. The house came with the original stove and although we hated to part with its total coolness (the top looked like the dashboard of a car from the 1930s!!) we got ourselves a more efficient, reliable one.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A THOUGHT FOR WHITE WEDNESDAY

I bet I can out-white anybody for the next White Wednesday. All I have to do is take a picture of my legs.

December 25, 1776

On Christmas Day, 1776, General George Washington and members of the Continental Army and the militia, crossed the Delware River, changing the fate of the colonies forever. And it all began here, at what is now called, "Washington's Crossing Park."



Diary after diary chronicle the horrible weather conditions for this journey across the Delaware. Rain, sleet, and bitter snow pelted the soldiers in complete darkness.



By risking this courageous crossing, Washington and his troops marched into Trenton, NJ, where they surprised the Hessians and achieved resounding victory. This defeat reignited the cause of Freedom and gave new life to the American Revolution!

During the winter encampment of 1776-1777, NY Artillery Captain James Moore and many other unknown soldiers died of camp fever. For unknown reasons, Captain Moore's death was the only one recorded.



The absolute location of the soldiers' remains are unknown. When the Delaware Canal came through in the early 1800s, as well as other building projects, ground disturbance surfaced many of the soldiers' partial remains. It is believed that 40-60 unknown soldiers are buried throughout the Soldier's Grave site.



The tombstones that stand today are only representative of the many souls buried here. (There are actually about 20 tombstones lined up. I just couldn't get them all in the picture.)

Originally, I was going to save this blog for "White Wednesday", but then I got sick and missed it!



Washington's Crossing Park was founded in 1917 to preserve the site of where the Continental Army crossed.



The park interprets early 19th Century living. Here is a Spring House, which was a 19th Century refrigerator!



This is the Frye House, which was used as a tenant home for craftsmen. It's believed that the county blacksmith lived here.



Frye House from behind.


If you're ever in Bucks County, PA, Washington's Crossing Park is a beautiful place to visit!

Scored at the Rummage Sale!

Sometimes the simplest thing can turn into the best idea!

I scored this shoe organizer at a Rummage Sale the other day for just $2.00. I brought it home and reinforced all the cardboard cubbies with clear packing tape. Now it's solid as a rock!



This is how I used to store my wool roving. Trying to find all the different colors in a big tupperware worked, but wasn't really efficient.



Now check it out! All the wool is separated by color and the clear plastic makes it all easy to find, while still keeping the wool clean and protected. It fits right under my work table too, so it's completely out of the way!



*sigh* I remember when it was first dates and Carnival rides that were exciting. I'm definitely showing my age!