Monday, March 31, 2008

blog #074 >> I finished it!

I finally finished it! Now... what else was I doing?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

blog #073 >> Book of the Week: Baby Dear

My parents got this darling book for my oldest sister Carrie, when my other sister Amy was born. And we all read it growing up. It's a very cute story about a little girl who gets a baby doll when her mom has a new little baby.

And unfortunately we will never know how Baby Dear ends now, because someone ate and ripped the last pages out of Baby Dear. I would like to mentions that... I did NOT EAT BABY DEAR!
Being the youngest somehow these things always get blamed on me. But I certainly don't remember eating Baby Dear, therefore it couldn't possibly have been me. I could have drawn in it though, that would be a very "Theresa" thing to do. But eat it? Never. I don't like to eat paper. It tastes awful.

Anyhow, my point in picking this book for the week is this: Baby Dear's Wee Little Things. My sister's have started an etsy store were they are selling all kinds of sweet little things for your very own baby dear. So, I suggest everyone go and take a look at their store and their blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

blog #072 >> A New Painting

And now it will sit on my drafting table for another six months until I finish it.
I wish I was better at finishing the things I start. But if I can't finish it in a couple of nights, I get distracted with a new idea and start something else. I think I need to start a notebook with all my ideas, instead of starting a new project each time. I'm not even sure what I've got going now... a lot. I think I'll add that to my list of things to do.

Friday, March 28, 2008

blog #071 >> Sort of Snowy

It snowed this morning! Well, sort of. It never really stuck here. But, it was very pretty to watch... And at the end of March! Very rare. And after it snowed, it rained. And after it rained, we had sleet, and then it was sunny, and then it hailed, and then it was windy, and cloudy, and everything in between.
Crazy spring weather. It just can't make up it's mind.

It's a U.F.O... No, it's snow! Here's a failed attempt at capturing the snow on "film." I know it looks like rain. But if you look carefully you can see the snowflakes.

On the other hand, it snowed a lot at my parent's house. So, I'm posting a picture of that too. It seems more impressive.

If you look closely, you can see the daffodils hiding in the snow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

blog #070 >> Book of the Week: Bejeweled Eggs

I realize it's a little late to be posting the book of the week. Especially a book about decorating eggs. But this is the kitschiest-gaudiest guide ever to egg decorating. You know it's going to be a good book, when you open it, and realized the entire thing has been typed on a good old fashioned typewritter. I wish I had scanned the shrine to Mary on the back.

By Reynold & Ann Smith ©1971

Here's one of the eggs Martha decorated.

I got this book a long time ago. And it took me awhile to find it, hence the late posting. It came from a very old (meaning age and how long I've know her) friend. Her name was Martha. Martha Witzel that is, not to be confused with Stewart. And she was the maker of many fine bejeweled eggs. She lived down the street from us and was friends with my great-grandparents when they lived in our house. She even met her husband at the Swiss dance hall where my great-grandfather played accordion.

Growing up I used to go and clean house for her once a week. I earned the outstanding sum of $5 a week and cake (which I usually made myself.) Fortunately, her house wasn't very dirty so it never took me very long to clean it. She would even tear up little pieces of Kleenx and spread them around the carpeting so I'd have something to vacuum. I remember she had this really great vacuum and one day I told her, "This vacuum really sucks!" And she about had a heart-attack right there. So after the cleaning, getting the mail, baking a cake, taking things up stairs, taking out the trash, dishes, vacuuming and the mopping, which I always had to do on hands and knees because she didn't own a mop. We'd sit down and eat cake and pickles. She made the world's best pickles and took the recipe to her grave, although I asked her for it every week. And then after that, we'd watch People's Court.

I'm not sure she ever remembered my name, or at least she never remembered to call me by it. She just always called me "My Girl." And when I was older I'd drive her to the beauty parlor. (Where she'd dye her white hair grey.) Or we'd go to Safeway for groceries. And when we were there, we'd always buy more cake mix. (The one with nuts. Although, she didn't like nuts, and would always pick them out, we had to buy the one with nuts. Because it was the same price as the one without nuts, and it was a better deal.) I remember her frig was a breeding ground for food poisoning. When she wasn't looking, I'd go through it and throw out anything more than a month outdated, which was nearly everything. And then I'd carefully write down everything I threw out and the brand, and when I went up to Safeway for her, I'd buy new and slip it in the frig with the rest. I remember once I told her, "You can't keep cream cheese TWO YEARS past the expiration date." She just smiled and said, "But I haven't opened it yet." Oh, what would the girls at food 4H say about that!

I remember she had this old Wurlitzer organ in the living room and one day she had it in her head she wanted to hear some organ music. Somehow, I had let it slip that I used to play the piano. Before I knew it I was up in the attic digging around for old organ sheet music. I gave it my best shot... but you can't learn to play the organ in a day. And I couldn't find any simple sheet music, her husband was a fantastic organ player. And I couldn't have read the notes even if I had found simpler music. Reading notes was never my strong point. Well, she never asked to hear organ music again. But I wish she could hear me play the accordion now. She'd always ask me about "Little Frankie" meaning my dad, not my brother. And she'd ask, "Does he still play the accordion? "No," I'd say, "He doesn't." But she'd always forgot and ask again, and again...

Boy, could I tell you stories about Martha Witzel. Anyhow, she was an ornery old cuss, but I liked her. And she made really great eggs.

Monday, March 24, 2008

blog #069 >> Chickens n' Eggs

Wow, Easter was really busy... really fun. But really busy. And it didn't leave me much time to blog about it. Sunday, I went to church with my folks, and then I went to their house for lunch. We had one of my favorites: fritters. Then the whole family came for dinner and I didn't get home 'til late. So, I'm just going to post a bunch of photos.

Every year I blow some eggs to decorate. I used to decorate hard boiled eggs. But when you spend 4 hours on one egg, it kinda breaks your heart when they go rotten. Then one day someone told me you can just decorate an uncooked egg and with time, all the insides will evaporate through the shell. It seemed like a good idea. So I decorated a plain egg and let it sit on my desk. It was okay for a few months. Until I started noticing this smell in the corner... Well it seemed like a good idea at the time. So, now I blow them. And since nothing says, "Happy Easter" like Matryoshkas and Fighting Robots that was this year's theme. The blue robot is Space Robot 5: and the red one is Space Robot 6:.

And fake chocolate bunnies say, "Happy Easter" too.

And here are some Easter Egg creations from the past:

Nothing says, "Happy Easter" like the words, "Happy Easter!"
(They say Happy on the back.)

And eggs made entirely from sugar are pretty happy too.

And here's a picture of my brother and sister's new baby chickens.

Well, I suppose that's enough pictures for now.
Happy Easter! and He is Risen!

blog #068 >> All Buttoned Up: Part 2

And here's the new sweater I made.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

blog #067 >> All Buttoned Up: Part 1

I think I need a button sweater... just like hers!
All I need now is the sweater.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

blog #066 >> Blog Quiz

I'm currently conducting a study to see how many people actually read my blog. I think I know the answer. But it's fun to throw a pop quiz out there anyhow. If you don't know an answer, you can look it up.
All answers are on my blog.

1: What does Theodore wear?
a) a mushroom cap.
b) an acorn hat.
c) a beret.
d) nothing but the shell on his back.

2: Vinnie is a...?
a) car
d) tea cup
c) shrimp
d) venus fly trap

3: What's the main ingredient in Mock Turtle Soup?
a) tofu
b) eggs
c) calf head
d) turtle

4: How many ornaments did I break this Christmas?
a) 1
b) 4
c) 6
d) 12

5: Devil's Weed is?
a) scotch broom
b) dandelions
c) sea weed
d) nettles

6: I'm going to the moon! What did I forget to pack?
a) telescopic camera
b) moon boots
c) extra tang
d) magnetically gravitated toothbrush

7: What does Herbert the Monster eat?
a) rocks
b) twinkies
c) trees
d) people

8: The terrific speed of 2 miles a minute is equal to?
a) 30 miles per hour
b) 60 miles per hour
c) 120 miles per hour
d) 180 miles per hour

9: My cream and sugar came from?
a) Deco to Disco
b) Mike's
c) Good Will
d) House

10: What do I (almost) always have in my pocket?
a) rock
b) string
c) penny
d) nothing

Good Luck!
And be sure to write your answers down before reading the comments.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

blog #065 >> Book of the Week:
500 Best Irish Jokes and Limericks

This week's book: 500 Best Irish Jokes and Limericks, contains some of the worst jokes and limericks I've ever heard. Nothing against Irish jokes, I've heard a lot of good ones, just not in this book. But fortunately, they're not all bad. This book does contain a hand-full of good ones, if you like your jokes with cheese. Here's a sampling:

A ghost in the town of Macroom,
One night found a ghoul in his room.
They argued all night,
As to which had the right,
To frighten the wits out of whom.

The doctor was puzzled.
'I'm very sorry but I can't diagnose your trouble, Mahoney. I think it bust be drink.'
'Don't worry about it, Dr. Kelly, I'll come back when you're sober.'

A landlady mean in Adrdee,
Served little of honey at tea.
A new lodger said,
As he shook a sad head,
'I'm glad, Mam, to see you've one bee.'

A lovely young maid of Kilglass,
Wore intimate garments of brass.
Pat, one night on the porch,
With acetylene torch,
Just melted resistance, alas!

An advertisement appeared in a Wicklow newspaper:
'Young farmer would like to hear from young woman with tractor with a view to matrimony. Please send picture of the tractor.'

©1968 Wolfe Publishing, Ltd.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

blog #064 >> And I Like Mice

In case you were wondering what the DoorMouse Shop is on the top left of my blog. It's were me and my delightful friend-neighbor Trina sell our amazing, wonderful, top-notch, swell, cool, shockingly great, astounding, crafty... crafts. I suggest everyone reading this blog to click on one of the little pictures on the left and visit the site. And then go and tell everyone you know to do the same thing. We also have a crafting blog just for the site: DoorMouse Designs. So, when you're done looking at all of our cool stuff on etsy, you should go and read what's happening on the blog.
This week I'm working on Hair Mice: Like head lice, but nice.
I'm not sure if that catch line will improve our sales much. But I laugh every time I read it just the same. And here are some pictures of me with crazy hair.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

blog#063 >> I Like Mike's

My vintage find of the day...

...this wonderful retro radio clock! It was $8 bucks.
And I found it at Mike's. One of my favorite thrift stores.

Located in Estacada, it's not a close drive. But well worth the finds. You see retro objects haven't quite caught on yet in Estacada. Yes, locals have heard of the mysteries concerning crazy young folk decorating their homes with their tacky unwanted junk for years. But when it comes right down to it... they don't have a clue. So you can find some great deals as well as treasures without any competition from other retro freaks.

But don't get too excited Mike's does have some dangers of its own. For one Bigfoot greets you at the door holding a sign indicating that shoplifters will be eaten. So don't try anything rash, just pay the $5 bucks for the world's first electric waffle iron and everything will be all right. Also, I should warn you that Mike can be a bit feisty. A nice guy yes, but don't let him catch you mixing, moving or touching the merchandise. You will be yelled at for picking something up and placing it somewhere else, even if that somewhere else is only .25 inches away. My dad has a rather tall friend and whenever he goes to Mike's, he'll turn the item on the very top shelf just enough so the price tag isn't showing. And when rather short Mike notices he comes raging out with the step stool to fix it. "Who's the blabedy blah who's always moving these blahdy blah things!" It's quite fun really. But don't worry about it too much. He's got plenty of signs letting you know what you should and should not be doing.

The other danger of Estacada is of course being misunderstood. "Why exactly do you want a broken old radio?" "Why to gut and make computer speakers with, of course." "...Oh.?." I think I confuse a great many people. So, it's important to speak as plainly and clearly as possible without using too much "vintage" jargon. Today I was buying this swell radio when the lady behind me (very confused) asked, "Don't you want a nicer clock that actually works?" Temporarily blown away by the surprise of such a question. I stood momentarily dumb. But thankfully Mike came to my rescue and explained that I was a usual customer, what retro is and how all the kids are into it. (p.s. My clock radio does work but it hums a few bars before warming up when you listen to the radio part.)

It's also important that when visiting Estacada in general, to dress for the occasion. If you walk down a street in Estacada in your black and white oxfords, a poodle skirt and cat eye glasses people will stare. Where as in Portland, you'll just blend in with all the other weirdos. So, think plaid. Simple is best while trying to fit in. Jeans are always a good choice, as are earth tones and sneakers. Furs would also be acceptable. Where as in Portland, you would get a bucket of red paint thrown on you. So you may want to use this chance to wear that old fur coat of your grandma's lying in the back of the closet. Just make sure you match it with something simple and not too dressy. Over all, do your best to keep a low profile. Of course you can still throw a little flair into your attire... but just try not to scare anyone.

All that being said, check out some these great Mike's finds of the past:

(Dear Portland Mercury, I will take your picture of Mike's Bigfoot off next time I'm there and can take a picture of my own. But until then I will grace you with a link to your All About Estacada issue. Cheers.)
Click here to read about other happenings in Estacada including the Safari Club.

blog #062 >> Book of the Week:
Treasure Island

Front spread of Treasure Island.
©1915, by Harper & Brothers - ©1943, by Bertrand Rhead

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

blog #061 >> I love jello

Jello never ceases to amaze me.

blog #060 >> Making croutons is easy!

I will never again buy croutons. They're just so easy to make... and delicious! Perfect for old stale French bread. Just cut it up in cubes. Pour in some melted butter. Stir.and sprinkle with a little of my Italian Seasoning: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, garlic and salt. And bake at 350˚ for 15 min. stirring once.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

blog #059 >> Book of the Week:
Our Wonder World Vol.1

This is Vol. 1, The World and Its Peoples from a marvelous set of old encyclopedias from back when the world was wonderful and there was still some mystery about things. But I only have Volumes 1, 3 and 8. This week I'm featuring chapter 1, The Open Book of the Heavens. This chapter is all about space. And it includes: different stories about the creation of the world, why the earth isn't flat, a study of the planets (up to Neptune), how the tilt of the Earth causes seasons, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, how to use a sun dial, how to find "The Man in the Moon," telescopes, sun spots, how someday man will travel into space in airplanes, and about the "canals" on Mars. And I love that the picture of Earth from space has no clouds. It must have been a really clear day.

©1914-1927 Geo. L. Shuman & Co.

Interesting side note: The speed that these times were calculated by is "the terrific speed of 2 miles a minute" which is also 120 miles per hour. A space shuttle travels between 190-330 miles per hour. And Apollo 11 reached the moon in about 3 and a half days.