Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I took a trip to Hammond's Candies specifically to buy some of their red, white and blue candies to use in my decorating. Their candy is made the old-fashioned way and it is just beautiful! It's often used by magazines and catalogs for photo shoot props and I can see why--the colors are so vibrant and the candy is very shiny and smooth. I already had the large flag ribbon candy from a few years ago, but this year the mini ribbons, the red/white/blue filled straws and barber poles were new. I love how it all looks in my thrifted jars, and not only does it look pretty--it is yummy too!
Another new thing this year is this jar of poker chips. I found a great old box of poker chips at a junk store (and I do mean junk, not junque) when my mom and I went to Phoenix last November. They are burgundy, cream and navy and have the best worn patina--I love them!
The three iron stars were a garage sale purchase a few weeks ago. I thought they'd be fun to use in my patriotic decorations but I also think they'd be cute spray-painted another color--aqua or shabby pink might be cute! The calendar still says June because I took these photos a few weeks ago; the die cut calendar cards are from Jenni Bowlin and I've loved putting them out every month.
The top of my china cabinet looks pretty similar to last year, although I changed it up a bit with the suitcase and Longaberger baskets and of course my beloved silver trophies. Since I took these photos, I've also added the fab crowns that Cheryl sent me in our swap.
The concert last night was quite the experience, to say the least. The evening started out with Maren throwing a HUGE sobbing fit about us leaving, something that has never once happened as long as we've been leaving her with babysitters. It caused us to be 30 minutes later leaving home than we had planned, and our drive suffered for it. The drive across town went smoothly despite the fact that it was right about rush hour but it took us a full 30 minutes to get off the freeway and drive the 2 miles from there to the amphitheater parking lot! Really, it was ridiculous. We'd anticipated traffic but that was just stupid.
So by the time we parked it was 7:30 pm, time for the concert to begin and we still had to hike (and I do mean HIKE) up a HUGE steep hill from the lower parking lot to the entrance to the amphitheater itself. Even if we hadn't been in a hurry, it still would have been quite taxing because it was just SO steep. Once we finally got in the gates, we that we were seated in row 67 of 70, so then we had to hike up a million stairs to get to our seats. I am 6 months pregnant and admittedly in terrible shape, and I literally had to stop for air about 2/3 of the way up or I thought I might just throw mysef into early labor!
The choir was magnificent and their performance was lovely, but in hindsight I wish we'd sprung for more expensive seats. We bought the cheapest seats on the advice of a friend who said there wasn't a bad seat in the house, but we were really quite high up from the stage, so high the large video screen wasn't even much help. There seemed to be some sort of problems with the sound where the speakers kept going in and out. I'm not sure if there were technical difficulties with the wind blowing the microphones or if that's just normal for that theater, but it was very distracting.
When the concert was over we waited for all the people below us to empty out and then had to walk back down that STEEP incline (which made me regret wearing flip flops, as the strap dug painfully into my toes) and didn't get to our car until 10:45 pm. It took us an hour to drive home, where we found Maren still awake! I know the babysitter put her to bed but either she never went to sleep or she heard us come in and it woke her up, because it was nearly midnight and there she was. Thankfully she went back to bed easily, but I think that poor babysitter earned every penny of her pay last night.
So for my local friends: if you ever go to a concert at Red Rocks, get there EARLY, wear your hiking shoes (and bring oxygen), and spring for the more expensive seats. I know next time I will!
Monday, June 29, 2009
The first thing I saw when I opened the box is this darling 'bunting' garland that Cheryl made from stiff sheet music that she painted to make the red and blue stripes. Each one is fan pleated and has eyelets set in the corners so they can be strung together. I absolutely LOVE it! I've made rosettes before but the thought never occurred to me to just do half the circle to make bunting. And the candies were so clever--red and white striped peppermints and cookies n' cream Hershey's kisses (which BTW are DELISH) that are wrapped in blue and white foil.
Cheryl included this little outfit just for Miss Maren, who as you might imagine was enamored with it and immediately insisted on wearing it. :) She has pranced around in it ever since and I can't say that I blame her, because I'll admit to being a teeny bit disappointed that it wasn't in my size. ;) Seriously, if I'd had an outfit like that when I was 4 years old I doubt I'd have ever let my mom take it off of me!Cheryl also included two crowns (one each for me and Maren) that she made. They are amazing! I had seen the crown she made on her blog a few weeks ago but didn't have any idea I'd be lucky enough to have one for myself! She used small chicken wire, gold-flecked netting, lace, old book pages, vintage crepe paper and glittery stars to
And that's not all she sent--check out Cheryl's blog where she has better close-up photographs of all the wonderful treasures she sent to me. Thanks again, Cheryl!
Tonight I'm excited to be going to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. I lived in Utah for 12 years but I don't think I ever saw the MoTab perform live, and I've lived here in Denver almost five years but have never been to Red Rocks so I'm looking forward to both experiences!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
And the price? One buckaroo, folks! I was happy to find it then, but after seeing what those dresses were selling for this weekend I'm positively thrilled! It's a size 2 so it is too short for Maren to wear as a dress, but I think with a little pair of shorts underneath it will be perfect for wearing this summer. Now, if only I can find one of those quilt jackets...
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I didn't buy much--in fact, everything I bought fit into a very small paper bag--but I found a few things I had been specifically looking for so I was happy.My few purchases: a white folding yardstick (now I have two, except that I can't find the other one--I believe it was hidden from a certain 4-year-old but I managed to hide it too well), vintage Dennison seals that were promptly used in a few 4th of July art projects, vintage milk caps (I bought 35 at a dime apiece and will probably wish that I'd bought more), some old buttons and an old rhinestone buckle, a vintage White Rabbit greeting card for my Alice in Wonderland collection, and what I think was my favorite find of the day: some old fireworks with really great vintage packaging that would look right at home on Shara's patriotic display shelf!
It was a fun show and I'll definitely make plans to attend next year. Another thing I enjoyed was finding out about some more local vintage and antique shops in the area that I believe need to go on my "field trip" list! There are more photos of the show over on Jeanne's blog if you'd like to see some of the other treasures for sale.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Not surprisingly, they do a big program to celebrate the holiday (although it's on the 3rd every year--not sure why). There are performing groups and flyovers from nearby Ellsworth AFB. We had some friends who went last year and said that watching the fireworks explode over the monument was truly memorable. I can't wait! I know it will be crowded and hot but I still think it will be fun.
There are other things to visit in the area as well, like Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse monument that's being built, a few different caves to explore, and another site I'm hoping to see: This is Devil's Tower in Wyoming. I don't have any particular attachment to the movie that made it famous, it's just something I'd love to see up close.
Have any of you visited this area before? Is there anything else that we should be sure to see or any tips you'd like to share? I'm all ears!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Anyway, I loved the shirt and got such a great deal on it I decided to just put it away for the eventual day that I'd be pregnant again and a cute shirt with lots of extra room in the sides would be appreciated. Well, I'm there, and I love it! Every time I've worn it I have gotten compliments and questions as to whether I made it myself. It wouldn't be at all difficult to refashion one of your shirts with this treatment. The buttons are sewn on with bright embroidery thread in a random pattern. I have a jar full of vintage mother of pearl buttons that I think would be really beautiful on the right shirt.
Another refashioned shirt that I'm in love with is this one from Pink Trees. Shanna used a plain t-shirt and sewed various hexagon appliques near the neckline. I absolutely love it, and for the first time in my life wish I knew how to applique! I love the fabrics she chose. It's cute and quirky without being too sweet--very Anthropologie-ish, I think.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I think that the universe or Nature or whatever it is just does not want me to have any flowers or veggies this year! The hailstorm on Sunday beat my newly planted garden all to hell. I spent so much time and energy and money trying to get plants in so that I can have a garden this year, yet all I can think at this point is that it has all been a waste of time.
Last year we planted tomatoes and the weather during June was so horrendous (rainy & cold) that almost none of them ever turned red (although there were loads of green tomatoes) and the few that did dare to ripen were immediately stolen off the vines by my darn dog! It was so disappointing to care for them all summer long, only to have ZERO payoff.
This June is shaping up to be much the same as last year. The weather during May was so crappy that it took me literally weeks to get my garden planted. There were other roadblocks as well--ran out of garden edging and all the local stores were sold out for weeks, couldn't find the onion shoots I wanted locally and had to bring them home from Utah last week, limited energy & ability to bend down due to progressing pregnancy.
I finally, finally got the onions in the ground on Saturday evening, and then Sunday they were pounded flat by the hail. The leaves of the rhubarb were turned into lace, so I had to go cut as much as I could salvage. The strawberries were torn up, and I realized today that the one red berry that I saw last night that I was going to let Maren pick was eaten by a bird, and the other berries were pecked by birds as well. The green beans look terrible. The tomato plants look sickly, and it appears that only 1 of the 6 potatoes I planted has come up.
Then to top it all off, this afternoon I found that the neighbor girls picked nearly 2/3 of the buds off my day lilies and "planted" them in my flowerpot of petunias (the one I had to replant yesterday because it was completely destroyed in the storm), so now I don't even have those to look forward to. (And they did it while their mom sat not 20 feet away 'supervising' them).
Monday, June 08, 2009
On the way to church at 12:55 pm, I remarked to Maren that the dark clouds were coming up on the edges of the otherwise sunny sky looked like they might make rain. Just an hour later, at around 1:55 pm someone interrupted our church meeting to announce that a tornado warning had been announced for our area and that we needed to stop the meeting and all move up against the walls immediately. I looked out the windows and saw black skies, heavy rain and hail and strong winds. I didn't get close enough to the windows to look up at the sky, but several of those who did said that they could see the funnel cloud right over us!
As the storm passed over we could hear the hailstones pounding on the roof and could see debris flying through the air. Finally at about 2:25 pm the storm had passed over enough that we were able to leave, although we still had to make a run through the hail to get to our cars. It continued to rain for a short time after that but the storm was moving very quickly to the east, so the rain didn't last for long.
Here are some of the hailstones from my neighbor's yard, with a golf ball to show you the size (and this is after they had been melting on the ground for about 30 minutes already).Not all of the hail was this big; most was marble-sized or smaller. These big guys are responsible for the half dozen or so dents that the hood of my car now has, however.
In my neighborhood we didn't have any significant damage from the wind but the hail certainly did a number on my poor little garden! Look at my poor battered rhubarb:The strawberries took a lickin' too:
The tornado (one of five spotted in the Denver metro area yesterday) did ultimately touch down a few miles east of here at an outdoor shopping mall and did some pretty significant damage to the tune of broken windows and gas lines, flipped over cars, metal siding wrapped around poles, crumbled walls, and flying trampolines! It's a good thing it wasn't a Saturday as the Farmer's Market would have been just packing up and there would have been a lot more people out shopping. Some of the homes in the surrounding area were damaged as well with broken windows and blown-in garage doors and the like.
It was a good reminder to us that tornadoes can indeed happen here. I know that when most people think of Colorado they picture mountains, but in truth only the western half of the state is mountainous--the other half is the plains, and that's the half we happen to occupy. We do actually have tornado sirens in our neighborhood, which is a bit eerie. I don't think we'll ever see the kind of tornadoes that devastate towns and cities in the Midwest, but yesterday was proof that we're not completely safe!
Saturday, June 06, 2009
I did my best to not sound like a total blithering idiot, a task that is somehow far more difficult when there is a camera in your face. I rambled on for a few minutes and they used a few clips of my dialogue for the story. I find it a bit ironic that I was talking about the benefits of summer reading for my daughter--first of all, she can't read yet! And furthermore, our school is year-round so the longest summer break the kids even have is five weeks, which isn't enough to make your brain turn to mush completely if you don't read. So truthfully the whole thing doesn't really apply to us but whatever. The library was empty and the reporter needed someone else to interview, so I was it, and I'm happy to do it!
The embed feature for the video isn't working so if you want to read the story or watch the video, you can go here. And if you watch the video, please keep in mind that the camera adds 10 lbs, apparently even if all that is showing is your face.
Friday, June 05, 2009
1. What is your decorating style? Vintage, glittery, old fashioned? Clean, bright and modern? Eclectic? Other? What's that old saying...Early garage, late attic? Yup, I think that covers it. :) I love vintage, glitter, and old-fashioned.
2. Do you have any allergies? Scents? Foods? None
3. Do you like to decorate certain areas for the 4th? Your house, hour patio, your porch, your garden, etc. I have a very busy and curious 4-year-old so I have to be careful that what I put out on my few 'low' horizontal surfaces can hold up to her poking, prodding and molesting. LOL The stuff that I don't want destroyed gets put in my curio cabinet or on top of my china cabinet, which is another nice horizontal space.
4. What are your hobbies? Crafting, reading, movies, thrifting, spelunking? Crafting, thrifting, reading, cooking.
5. What sort of crafts do you enjoy? What sort of crafts don't you do? I love anything to do with paper and glue and glitter! I am rotten with the sewing machine (although wish I could snap my fingers and get magically proficient --poof!-- and I don't do any sort of fiber craft (ie, crochet or knitting).
6. What are your 4th of July traditions? Picnics, parades, boating, etc? I LOVE FIREWORKS! Seriously, it's ridiculous. :) But I love, love to go watch fireworks with my family. When I was growing up we often went swimming, boating or to a water park because it was always HOT that day. Then we usually had a BBQ before going to watch fireworks.
7. Do you have children? If so, how many and what are their ages? I have a daughter named Maren who is four years old and I'm expecting a little boy in September.
8. Are you a cook? A baker? A Take-Out Queen? I love to cook and bake. Unfortunately I don't bake as often as I like because I also have a wicked sweet tooth, so I end up eating too much of what I create!
9. What is your favorite scent? Least favorite? In the summertime especially I love citrus smells like lemon, lime and grapefruit. I also love the smell of coffee (but I don't drink it!). I don't care for scents that are musky or spicy.
10. What is your favorite sweet treat? (Chocolate melts this time of year...) I love gummy anything and red licorice!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
It was a good weekend, a quick trip to Utah to see our families for a very few days. The main reason we went was so that The Mister could do his first triathlon of the season. I'm proud of him!Maren also participated in a triathlon while she was waiting for Daddy's race to finish. Her three events were slide, swing, and monkey bars.In addition to family photos and the triathlon, we enjoyed the gorgeous weather that is Utah on the cusp of summer, went as a family to see UP, and drove through snow on the way home yesterday. Seriously! And now it's back to real life--laundry, exterior house painting, the mold on/in the walls in the laundry room, and hiring an electrician to fix an outlet in the basement. It was a nice break while it lasted!