Thursday, November 16, 2017

IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE WORK?

Our first couple of days of reorganizing the antique shop have gone very well.  We managed to move a couple of large pieces and are on our way to creating our "county kitchen" complete with an operational wood stove, which in a few weeks is going to be called to duty to heat, and also to add the scent of Christmas to the shop.

But first, the kitchen area has a beautiful old early 1900's kitchen cupboard in original condition.  This piece is a rare find, and is as solid as it was the day it was built.


  We are adding a beautiful wooden country kitchen table, and loads of marvelous treasures to please any cook or baker, or collector, who just wants to add that special antique or vintage touch to their own decorating.



Nothing says vintage better than this Corning ware coffee percolator, or these Corning ware pie plates!
 And we have have 6 of them!

We have moulds, cake pans, a glass rolling pin, and we also have the glass and earthenware pitchers.  These are wonderful accents for any kitchen island.

We have a beautiful collection of vintage cookie jars, and antique and vintage cookie and cake tins...


And we are just getting started...

We haven't even started adding Christmas yet, and already I am way past excited!

Stay tuned!



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

THE WORK BEGINS...

Do you realize it's only 6 weeks until Christmas?  How did this happen, exactly?  I swear I feel like it was only weeks ago, I was still out working in the yard, and Christmas felt like it was a long way away.

Now W network has Christmas movies all day every day, stores are in full Christmas attire, and I am listening to and practicing Christmas Carols and music for our Nine Lessons and Carols service coming up in just 4 weeks.

I am participating with UNIQUES AND ANTIQUES (our local antique shop here in town) in a Christmas open house.  Louise, the shop owner and myself met this past weekend to plan our event and discuss things we want to do.

We are holding our Open house over 4 days - December 6th through the 9th, with extended hours on Friday evening.  In the next few weeks we will be busy rearranging the store and refitting it for our Christmas event.  I will be adding my handmade articles to her antiques and uniques, and as well we will be serving hot apple cider, cookies and sweets to our customers.  We also will be having daily draws for gift baskets through our event.

It's a big undertaking for both Louise and I.  It's going to be a lot of work, but I think, also a lot of fun.

I will be linking my blog to the shop's face book site for the time up to and maybe even past the sale.  Both places will have the same articles, stories, recipes and images for a little while.

The work starts tomorrow in the shop... packing up some items, unpacking others.  Moving furniture around, and setting up "Christmas rooms" within the shop to better feature the items we want to promote.

I will have lots of photos of our progress as we go along, and hopefully a few of you will have the opportunity to come out and experience our event for yourselves.

YOU ARE INVITED:











Thursday, November 9, 2017

LETTING WINTER OUT OF THE CLOSET!

I guess the snow is here to stay.  It doesn't look like we are going to have a significant warm up to melt any or all of it, so that means one thing in Dale's home!

Snowmen can come out of the closets, or cupboards - wherever they were stashed at the end of the last winter!  The very first one to come out, usually with the first snowfall, is the snowman cookie jar that our son Jonathan gave me for Christmas when he was about 8 yrs old.  To this day it remains one of my most favourite and beloved Christmas gifts ever!




He was a bit tardy coming out of the cupboard this year - I think he waited until the third snowfall - but he's out now, and yesterday I baked cookies, so he's also full.  He will stay on the counter now until all the snow is gone in spring - it's Tradition!

Christmas crazy me, is just itching to start decorating, it is a bit early for Christmas decorations, even for me - but thanks to the snow - winter decorations are quite appropriate.

I'm not supposed to do anything strenuous because of my eye, but there were a few things I could do this morning just the same.

I dressed this little beauty who sits on my mantle in her winter coat and hat, and because she is so adorable, I also made her my profile picture on Face book.

Then I decided to make a wreath for the front door.  Every time I find a bag of Christmas greens or things at the recycle I haul it home.  Today was the day to make something pretty out of all the used things I found.

I started with a pair of skates I have had for a long time.  I took the laces out and replaced them with some red cord, and added some bells on the laces as well.  Next I crocheted some red cuffs for the top.  I found a little wreath in a bag of stuff that I had picked up, so I attached the skates to the wreath.


Then I added some greens to the wreath...

add some pine cones, glass balls and decorations...


and finally a bow.

The finished product:


a pretty door decoration made 100 % from recycled used materials. 

Who says you have to spend big bucks for pretty!


And now I will rest... for a little while!








Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A TURN IN A NEW DIRECTION!

Everything happens for a reason - do you really believe that?

I do, actually.  I have found that when things happen in my life that are not exactly planned or even wanted, my brain goes into overdrive thinking around the problem, and often times pointing me in an entirely different direction.

Something like that happened to me on Sunday.

I had worked so hard for months preparing for my craft sale here at the local community center.  I had no expectations, but I did have some hope that I might do well, or at least fairly well.

But that was not the case.  There were 40 tables at the sale, and many many wonderful crafters with well made, beautiful things to sell.  But there were also commercial vendors like Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Epicure, and more.  In fact I'd say there were more of those tables than crafters.  There was even a lady there doing nails!

It was a bitter pill to swallow.  It was more common to see people walk right by my table without even glancing at what I had to sell, than to make eye contact with me as they passed right by.  That told me that the buyers were there for specific tables, and not to shop the whole floor.

My table rental was 30.00, and I made 28.00 the whole day.

As if that wasn't punishment enough, after standing all day, the foot that I had been nursing along for the better part of the week was past painful, and I had a massive headache from the florescent lights.

I went home with my tail between my legs, put my feet up and fell asleep in my chair for a couple of hours.

When I awoke, it was to a light show happening in my left eye.  At first I thought it was just my eyes getting accustomed to being open from a deep sleep, but the bright flashes of light continued all evening and all day Monday.

Yesterday, in full panic mode, I went to the hospital to have both my eye and my foot checked out - my eye being my #1 priority.  The foot needs orthotics, and the eye will be seen by an eye doctor on Monday.  In the meantime, the flashing lights have pretty much stopped, to be replaced by a very large fuzzy floater in my eye.

I'm sidelined from just about everything - not something I do well at all.  About the only thing that can keep me sitting in one spot for a time is music - but even I can't do that for days!

So yes, I am sitting quietly, looking for all intents and purposes like I am resting - but oh, is the mind every moving.  I have been writing a new story.  Formulating a new novel.  It's been about 10 years since I wrote my last one, maybe its high time I returned to something I truly love doing.

I'd love to write my Aunt's story - the story of her life.  I already have the characters and a lot of the pieces of the puzzle, but there is research to be done, which is another aspect of writing that really pleases me.

I can do this - with my eyes closed!

Well, you know what I mean...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

INSPIRATION FOUND!

I love to use the first good snowfall of the season for an opportunity to take my camera for a walk.

I know a lot of you don't love the snow - but I really do.  There is something so quiet and peaceful about snow.  It says Shhhh.... no talking - just look.

After Gary and I dug our driveway out on Saturday, I decided to spend a little more time outside taking some pictures.  I had plenty of great subject matter, and I went no further than the edge of my property.

Here are some of the beautiful images I was able to catch...


In my garden

Heavy Laden




The Colours of Winter

One Last Sing



Greetings!



In The Dark


None of these images would have looked quite the same, without snow.  One good wind, and all the snow that is clinging will be gone - and so will my beautiful subject matter - but I was lucky - I went for a walk before the wind blew.

I decided to send one of my photos to our local TV station on the weekend, and yesterday the photo that is on the top of my blog was featured on the 6 o'clock news.  My 3 seconds of fame come and gone so quickly, but I was happy to share the snow with the rest of Manitoba, and maybe even some of Canada.




Saturday, November 4, 2017

MERCY, GRACE AND THANKFULNESS!

I don't usually post on a Saturday, but today is a perfect day to be sitting at my computer writing, so here I am.

Did you see my cover picture?  Well that explains, why I am sitting at my computer writing.  We are getting snow - a LOT of snow.  It started overnight and is supposed to leave us 20-25 cm by the time it is through.

It's a very gentle falling snow - not the type we usually get here in Manitoba, I suspect it is filled with water and if the temperatures warmed enough it would be gone, but I can't see that happening, so I guess it is ours until spring.

It's been a slow day.  I finished the last of my projects for my sale on Thursday evening, yesterday I finished pricing and packing everything up, so today is sort of a rest day for me.

Even though my sale hasn't come and gone yet - my mind is already on my next major project.  This one occurs Dec 10th.  I am playing my first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.  I am not stranger to this service, I have sung it many times in the choir, and have heard it many years when our Son was a boy chorister.  It is one of my favourite events of Christmas.  It is a simple service of the nine lessons ( readings) of Christmas, and the singing of many many carols.

Our little church doesn't have a choir to sing some of the music, so I decided I would play selections where a choir would normally sing - so I will be playing 17 carols - some to be sung, and some just me and the organ.

It's quite the undertaking for me the non-organist, but the organ and I are starting to really get to know one another, so I think we will do fine!

Today I decided that perhaps I should get out some popular Christmas music and start practicing that for the nursing home.  I have a huge Christmas book with nice arrangements so this morning I started practicing.

At the back of this book there are some more challenging Christmas and New Years songs.  One I forgot was in there, is one I really love.

FOR THY MERCY AND THY GRACE.

The music for this piece was written by Georg Christoph Strattner - an Austrian born composer from the 1600's.  It is a beautiful piece of music that always tears me up when I play it... and I'm not sure why.

Same thing happened this morning when I played it, and I was so moved that when I finished playing the song I bent over and kissed the keys of my piano.

I have no idea why - I have never done that before, but just at that moment I was so very thankful for the gift of music, and for my ability to play it.

Right on the heels of that kiss came another thought - I am so very thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to learn to play the piano.  Even though they had little money for frivolous things back then, they somehow found a way to buy a piano and pay for lessons with a Registered  Conservatory teacher.  Their actions have given me a lifetime of pleasure, comfort and purpose, because of everything I do - I love to play the piano the most.

So many times in my life, I have turned to my instrument -  whether it be a keyboard,  upright, or spinet, whether it be electronic, hammer, or air.  I have turned to it for that which nothing else can give me...  Comfort, peace, or pure enjoyment.  My life just would not be the same without it.

So on this snowy day, once more - one song has taken me here - to share this experience with you.

My oh My - how lucky I am.




FOR THY MERCY AND THY GRACE
(Words by  Rev. Henry Downton 1843)

For thy mercy and thy grace,
Constant through another year,
Hear our song of thankfulness,
Father, our Redeemer, hear.

Lo! our sins on thee we cast,
Thee, our perfect sacrifice,
And, forgetting all the past,
Press towards our glorious prize.

Dark the future; let thy light
Guide us, bright and morning star;
Fierce our Foes, and hard the fight,
Arm us, Saviour for the war.

In our weakness and distress,
Rock of strength , be thou our stay;
In the pathless wilderness
Be our true and living way.

Who of us death's awful road
In the coming year shall tread,
With thy rod and staff, O God,
Comfort thou his dying bed.

Keep us faithful, keep us pure,
Keep us evermore thine own.
Help, O help us to endure;
Fit us for the promised crown.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

THE "WINNIP"EGGERS" !

Did you have a close look at the picture on my Blog header.? The beautiful egg with the crystal tree in it, was made by my Aunt Margaret.



Aunt Margaret started "making" eggs in the early 1970's, starting with simple designs drawn or decoupaged onto chicken eggs. Her inspiration was the gorgeous Faberge eggs, known the world over. 
 She brought a couple of her early eggs up to show my Mom, and our friend Dianne and I, and the "Winnip"Eggers" (as we called ourselves) were born!

We all started our hobby working with chicken eggs, but soon we were sourcing duck, and goose eggs to make larger egg creations.  Aunt Margaret went even further - working with Rhea and Ostrich eggs.

Here are some of her beautiful creations from her work over the years.  She had many display cabinets full of her eggs, I wish I had taken more pictures.


This shows a variety of chicken and goose eggs...


The teapot on the left, with the scene built inside of it is made from and Ostrich Egg.  The one on the far right is made from a double yolked goose egg.  Note that she has cut away( with a Dremel) both eggs at the front and built scenes inside each egg - the one on the right holds a miniature set of china tea cups.


My Wedding Cake top was an egg that Aunt Margaret made for us, with a Bride and Groom inside it.  It broke in transit when we moved back to Canada from the USA.   I haven't been able to find a picture of it yet, unfortunately.

Most of the eggs that Mom and I made were for the Christmas tree.  Eggs that she and I made together over 40 years ago, still decorate my Christmas tree every year.  

I did make a few novelty eggs however, and as you can see mine took a slightly different twist than My Aunt Margaret's.


Outhouse, Snowmobile and a 10 Commandments egg, made from a goose egg, with each opening segment decorated with a charm from my Childhood bracelet.


A wood stove, and coach and a ballerina  - all made from goose eggs.



An Iron Lung made from a goose egg 
( I was working as a RN in a post-polio ward at the time I made this)


My Mom and a few of her eggs...

Mom's egg "Wedgwood" set, and her hanging egg "Mugs"


Mom cleaning goose eggs with a hose at Aunt Margaret's


One thing I have noticed is the difference in the quality of photos.  All the pictures of my and my Mom's eggs were taken in the 1970's  - all with film cameras - no digital yet in those days.

Aunt Margaret's eggs were taken about 7 yrs ago, with a digital camera.  So much better.

Most of my Mom's eggs and mine are long gone, except the Christmas tree eggs.  I do have a few of her other eggs still in a cabinet, but I don't take them out much any more as with age they become more and more fragile.

Even the eggs I hang on my tree every year require some repair each year.  Every year that I hang them on the tree I tell myself it will be the last, because if they fall there will be nothing left to salvage - but then I think of my tree without them, and I just can't imagine how horrible that would be.

It was a hobby enjoyed by Dianne, Mom, Aunt Margaret and myself - we did it together, often times sitting long into the evening and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.   Together -  cutting, painting, gluing, trimming, decorating and creating in the most wonderful environment of friendship, family, fun, and creativity. 

I miss those days - 

I miss those women....