Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Vintage Paper Exhibit to Treasure

Recently I checked in at the MSU Museum and was pleased to find this exhibit of pressed and embossed paper art was still in place.

These pieces were often given at Christmas, such as calendars and holiday items, like advent calendars, creches and Santa figures.

I'll save the Christmas pieces for next December, but I thought I'd share a few of the calendars and other pieces that were in the exhibit.

By 1910, Germany, which was at the center of the printing industry, had developed a process of embossing layers of heavy papers to produce colorful wall decorations.

I loved the combination wall-pockets/calendars.

Many of these were produced for companies around the United States. I was particularly fond of these birds, a detail from one of the calendars above. They're so cheery!

And the detail on the love birds is outstanding. (Even if my photo is a bit fuzzier than I wish!)

These puppies were just my cup of tea!

And all holidays came into play -- these patriotic calendars might well look perfect on July 4!

Here's another.

Of course, when it comes to pocket wall calendars such as these, I must say one of my favorites of all time is in my own collection.

My friend Jerry in Paris found this at a flea market. The embossing on the leaves climbing the trellis is deep and the die cuts are clean. It's one of my favorite treasures.

Curator Val Berryman is quite the Santa/Christmas man with an enormous personal collection, which includes these pieces. WKAR Radio did an interesting interview with him at the holidays. It's a couple of minutes long -- if you care to listen, you'll find it HERE! He's an interesting fellow and yes, the resemblance to one Mr. Claus is striking!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Deck the Halls with Hearts So Jolly!

If you've been reading The Marmelade Gypsy for any length of time, you know I love holidays and I love decorating for holidays. When December's Santas come down, January's snow people return! And more than a few of them these days are carrying hearts!

Well, Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away, so I thought I'd share a few of the things already up. This beautiful stained glass heart from a good friend starts before Christmas and stays up rather a long time (and will, long past Valentine's day!)

A few flowers? Well, what would a day of hearts and flowers be without them?

And there must be a tree! This wee one benefitted from a few Christmas tree hearts and some cheery ladybugs.

I don't think I'm done yet!

(If you haven't visited Chopsticks and String to check out my take on Diane Keaton's new memoir, come on over!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Studio Time!

Sometimes you just have to just take the time to do what you want and love.

Valentine's Day is coming and I wanted to get some cards ready for the shop that sells them.

And it wouldn't hurt to have a few myself.

So, the art table is in business -- all sorts of things are sprawled out as I go between glue, paper, ribbon, buttons and more.

Here's a sneak preview. Doesn't look like much, does it?

But even though I'm keeping this one relatively simple, I'll show you the finished card soon -- along with a few others! You'll see what even just a little embellishment can do!

(AND, I've finally started writing about reading again! On Chopsticks and String check out my take on Diane Keaton's memoir, "Then Again."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Furball Update

A number of you have asked me in emails "How's Charlie B. doing?," "How's the puppy?" and "How's Gypsy doing?"

So I thought it was time for a furball update.

Charlie B. first -- as you can see, he's much improved!

This isn't the best photo, but it sure describes the action he picked up after his Parvo treatment. He's a whirling dervish and I learned I need the flash to stop the motion!

He's picked up weight -- all muscle and very stocky!

He's definitely Kevin's dog -- he's learned to come, sit and (usually) shake hands.

But Molly is his gal-pal...

...and his Grandperson Rick is smitten, too!

We're glad he likes us, because we all have a financial share in his wellness! (Or will, after payday!)

Gypsy continues to do well with his kidney treatments. He still gets his subcutaneous 20-minute fluid dump every Tuesday. Juicy Tuesday -- the day I load him with electrolytes.

He's hungry all the time, which I understand many cats with kidney disease are.

He'll beg for treats like a crazy boy...

...and if that doesn't work, he plots a devious strategy to help himself!

First, he'll eyeball it, check to see if anyone looks like they'll stop him and then make the reach...

Mission accomplished! The tin tips, the gluttony begins.

(Let me add here that when unattended, we hide his tin. And, we don't give him regular treats -- we give him his dry catfood, which he doesn't digest so well as a meal, in exercise treats, tossing them down the hall or across the room.) I was pretty worried that when the tree came down, we'd find some in the quilt I use as a tree skirt. I should have known better!

The tree is down. Finally. It came down a week ago, with regret.

That said, my Winter Wonderland tree remains and will until close to the solstice. I love the light.

And finally, a comment on my most wonderful winter evening so far. Rick made pasta, Kevin, Molly and Charlie B. came over and they spent the evening. I even won at Scrabble (and that rarely happens -- Rick and Molly are killer Scrabblers!) I didn't want it to ever end. A moment I will freeze in time.

Soon, I'll share my Valentine tree with you! And with any luck, some Valentines!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cork Poppers Wine, Dine, Design!

You can't have a Cork Poppers gathering without an abundance of corks!

Meet this month's Cork Poppers "hostess with the mostest!" (Check out the wines we tasted HERE)

Some people make it look easy. Barb is one of them. Even the onions on the counter look like art!

Our wine group meets every couple of months, and we've seen beautiful tables and settings at every venue. But when we go to Barb's, the women get very excited!

We know we'll walk away with one of her centerpieces!

A floral designer in a previous life, Barb knows how to mine her own garden in season (and out, for that matter) and make the most of a bunch of roses.

Corks get flower picks and are included in the arrangement along with twigs from the yard.

And of course she has quite the collection of corks!

Barb knows how to do things simply, yet they look so perfect! I loved these vases and smaller crystal bowls and goblets filled with cork. She also made a garland, knotting corks together on rope. Wish I'd photographed that. She said it was easy, but I fear I'd have made a knotted mess!

You can count on the table looking just lovely!

Everyone gets their place card -- there was a distinct Leonardo feel to these!

Even the food matches the plates!

Of course we hover before seating, everyone making sure their dish is out and ready.

We line up at the counter, load our plates with an embarrassment of riches.

And then just laugh as we work our way through dinner and then dessert!

Our dinners are always great fun, filled with lots of laughter. This time, Barb provided the meatloaf, I came with cheesy potatoes, Anne had the traditional green bean casserole with fresh green beans, Dick had made bread and Meredith brought homemade peppermint stick ice cream and brownies.

Of course, all good evenings come to an end. As we looked out Barb's back door, the moon was a balloon, high above an inky sky -- nearly dark, except for a glorious brightness. We headed home (a centerpiece on my lap), and our memories were of wonderful wines, delicious food, and the beauty Barb brought to every detail.

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