Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rainy Day

It was raining when I woke up today. 

And it's been steadily raining all day. 

But I did venture out to feed the birds and take a rainy day stroll. 

I love the sound of raindrops. Pitter Patter, Pitter Pat.

They cling to branches and soak the ground, 

releasing earth's fresh scent.

And making the moss extremely happy. 

The Indian Plum trees are starting to bud. 

The first trees to flower, here in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. 

The birds are becoming more talkative and the air is full of discussion. 

Who will be my one true love? 

And fly away with me!

The gentle mist rises and falls, changing the landscape minute by minute. 

Floating over the rolling hills.

And highlighting singular beauty. 

The cats are content to stay inside where the fire is crackling, warding off the damp chill. 

Where Maggie can have a bird's eye view of the hummingbird feeder. 

She doesn't have to wait long before there is a tiny visitor. 

A male Anna's Hummingbird stands watch over the feeder, looking for rivals. 

While Maggie lashes her tail and chatters her teeth, dreaming of hummingbird stew. 

Raindrops form a jeweled edge, more beautiful than diamonds. 

Dressing up the late winter landscape. 

And magnifying the delicate beauty of nature's fleeting blossoms.

A nodding Jonquil demurely hides her face.

As I pluck a few winter pansies to brighten a rainy day.

Cheerily watching as I do a little shortbread baking to share a sweet surprise.

Rain, rain, go away!

But until then, I will try to enjoy your stay.

What do you do on a rainy day? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thrift Store Treasures

Over the weekend I was able to get away for a bit of thrifting, my favorite style of shopping! 

Sometimes I don't find anything, and other times I find some real treasures. 

This time I was really lucky! 

These beautiful hand crocheted laces were only a few dollars for the lot. 

Two of them are identical and most likely used for pillow slips. 

I can't wait to make myself some pretty pillows with these beautiful laces. 

I will be able to slide some ribbon through the open work at the edge. 

One of them already has some vintage ribbon. 

I also found this lovely woven cloth with fringed edges. It has never been used and still has its stiff 'sizing'. 

I am picturing it as a table cloth, what do you think? 

I also found these hand embroidered napkins, never used. 

There were only 3, so I think they may be made into pillows, or used to line baskets. 

You can see the detailed embroidery and cut work here. I would say these are heirloom quality. 

You never know what you will find! 

This beautiful piece of lace is a very soft blush pink. It is edged on all four sides with scalloped lace. 

I will also use this as a table cloth or just to drape over the edge of the bed or chair in the bedroom.. It is very soft and fluid. 

I think it may have been a shawl for a wedding or other special occasion. 

Vintage sheets are something I never pass by. I only buy roses. 

They are so lovely for decorating, crafting and sewing. 

I couldn't resist this little basket. I have to be very selective with baskets, because I do love them and would have too many if I allowed myself to take them all home. So I only take home unusual ones in pristine condition. 

This one is perfect for the embroidery floss and wooden spools of thread I also found. 

I have been looking for some of that 'baker's twine' that is so popular now to craft with. But I couldn't justify the nearly $8.00 price tag for one small spool at my local craft store. 

But I was in luck when I found this yarn that is very similar! It is thin and there is lots of it. And the 50 cent price tag was right up my alley! 

The pale pink yarn came home with me 'just because'. 

This pattern caught my eye because of the lines of the dress. With a little tweaking, I can turn it into something up to date with cap sleeves and a shorter hemline. 

Not bad for 30 cents! 

I am always on the lookout for craft books, too. 

The shoes are not my style, but are perfect for an idea I have for planting succulents. 

I will show those to you when I am done.

These wooden hangers were a steal for 50 cents each.

I can't wait to 'girly' these up with paint and ribbons!

Hand Illustrated books and cookbooks are always on my list. 

Here I have found a Christmas Cookbook by Susan Branch, one of my favorite Illustrator's and cookbook author. 

It doesn't hurt that it is a first edition, too! 

How lovely is that? 

Here's another example. 

The whole book is illustrated, every page. 

Be still my heart! 

I am always on the hunt for vintage silk and paper flowers. 

So lovely to decorate a package with or add to a wreath or tuck here or there. 

Even the leaves are pretty.

Thrift stores are also great for finding seasonal decorations for holidays. 

This little rabbit had all the criteria I look for: beautiful, small and useful to hold candy at Easter. 

Blue glass is my favorite. 

My Dear Mother collected these glass, nested candy dishes, mostly chickens. Sadly, I don't know what happened to them. 

The hand painted wooden eggs were just for fun. 

They came all packed together in a bag with all of these. 

They will look sweet dangling from a flowering spring branch in a vase. 

And as a final bonus, I found these perfectly white, unused tea towels with an edging of hand embroidered daffodils! 

I couldn't believe my luck. 

I do love the feeling of walking into a thrift store and not knowing what treasures I might find. 

I do have to search diligently for these little surprises among some truly ugly things. 

Thrift stores can be a little bit daunting. 

But that is why it is like a treasure hunt! 

In among the rocks, you can find some beautiful gems. 


Have you found anything 'thrifty' lately? 

Linking up with Young Heart  for 'The Weekly Thrift'

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ladies, This is for You!

Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan started a movement to liberate women with her book,
"The Feminine Mystique"
Most of you weren't even born then, but some of us remember what life was like before women were granted equal status. 
I recently read a column by Syndicated Columnist, Kathleen Parker with her views on this. 
I was deeply appalled. 
The very difference between Kathleen Parker and women of Betty Friedan's day was one thing;
 A small word with a big impact. 
Please read this column if you get the chance;

She wrote that "women like her (Friedan) - well-to-do, well-educated and stifled by domestic bliss - wanted and deserved more."

What Kathleen Parker never experienced was the prevailing attitudes of those days. 

If you have ever watched the television series, 'Mad Men', you see a very accurate portrayal. 

Women were considered second class citizens and there were few opportunities for women, especially if they chose to get married and have children. 
Sexual Harassment in the work place was the rule not the exception. 
Here are a few actual ads from those wonderful times. 

This really was the prevailing attitude back then. Oh, I have more....

Yea. This is no joke. 


I think it's more than housework putting this woman in a rage.

These men were lucky they didn't actually get close to a ledge with a real woman. 

Obviously they never dreamed of Danica Patrick!

This particular attitude seems to have lingered well past it's prime.

Well, then!

This ad needs no words. 


Every boss' fantasy back in the day. But not too far from reality. 
A woman boss was just not even thought of. 

Amazing! Obviously men dominated the advertising agencies.

Oh yea, - Mother's little helpers. If they're not happy being treated like a servant, they must need drugs. 

I particularly love this one. 

Don't you love this 'diet' ad? 

Don't know what to say about this one. 

It does make me want to cry, though. 

Do we care what most men ask? 

Of course! 

Aprons are making a comeback. Let's hope it's just a phase. 

Thank goodness for perma-press. 

And a couple of classics.

So there you go. This is the reason that women threw off those aprons and took to the streets. 
It wasn't because they didn't love their families or love taking care of their children. 
It was because of these prevailing attitudes that allowed mistreatment, discrimination, limited choice and opportunities. 
It was legal to beat a woman as long as the 'rule of thumb' was applied. 
The stick couldn't be any bigger than a man's thumb in diameter. 
I'm not kidding. 
Women couldn't divorce or she would be thrown into poverty. 
She also needed a valid reason. 
Domestic violence was not one of them. 
Abandonment was usually the only reason.
Once she was divorced, she could work as a waitress, secretary, or if she had skills, a nurse or teacher. 
But divorced women were shunned. 
And forget about the poor woman who became pregnant outside of marriage. 
Society shunned her completely. 
Even her family shunned her. 
So, ladies, if you think that the women's movement was something thought up by bored, well-to-do, well-educated and stifled by 'domestic bliss' women, think again.
Just read these ads again. And think about this. If these were just advertisements of the day, imagine the daily   discrimination and disrespect women had to suffer each and every day. 
We were considered the lesser class. The 'weaker sex', stupid, child like, subordinate to men. 

And it has only been a very short time since these attitudes flourished. 
Around the world, women are still living in the dark ages. 

Every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten.

Around the world, at least 1 in every 3 women has suffered violence, most often the abuser is a member of her own family. 

Every day in the US, more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. 

So, Kathleen Parker, there really is a reason to celebrate Betty Friedan's 50 year anniversary of her society changing book. 

And these are the reasons why. 

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