Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ahoy There Banner

Have you ever caught yourself while in the dentist's office looking over the shoulder of a little one sitting in the chair next to you busily lost in concentration, their Highlights turned to "Can you spot what's different?"

I love that game, but not in my real life. I like things to always be the same. I guess this comes from having a father who only let my mother purchase a household full of very fine furniture once expecting it to last a lifetime.

My brother and I both can describe in the smallest of detail every last item contained within the rooms of our childhood. There is a comfort we share in the familiar I believe because we lost our parents at such young ages.

This is always why a visit to my blog finds the same header and background month after month, year after year. But Ahoy There just a minute. New papers from October Afternoon begged a banner to be made, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps I could keep my craft room cupboard header but change the banner for different seasons.

I absolutely love red, white, and blue especially when combined with the theme of sailors.

Yes! This is an idea that must be.

And so for today from a life that has at least added one change, I wish you a wonderful week ahead; and I will be seeing you soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Forever Young

By now you know my brother is quite the character. It is why so many of my cute as can be creations are of the male persuasion and why some of them have black hair. My brother has an abundance of black hair.

His vacation in Cape Cod at an end on Sunday, his first day of school begun on Monday. I asked didn't he need time to make bulletin boards in his classroom. His story to tell was classic, "My Brother".

Mrs. Smith corners my brother every year at the end of the school session to remind him to remove his bulletin boards so the room can be painted.
"Mrs. Smith", my brother begins his yearly diatribe, "I use the same bulletin boards every year. I have much better things to do with my time than take them down only to put them back up again. I cover them with brown paper, and remove it the day class begins again."
To which Mrs. Smith harrumphs and toddles off to find teachers fearful of her imagined superiority.

And so on the day he should have been stapling his always familiar music charts, he was instead walking hand in hand with his long time girlfriend Ann and her little seven year old boy down the furthermost beach of Cape Cod to view the evening's sunset.

Far in the distance Ann's young son spotted a man walking alone on the beach in what seemed to him to be his birthday suit.
"No Branch, the man just has on a white bathing suit." My brother offered.
(Sue Loves Cherries made this wonderful postcard for me!)

Well, That's all it took for Branch to run and see for himself. Catching the man completely by surprise, Branch stopped steps ahead of the man and turned to yell back at my brother and his mom. "He's naked! I told you he was naked!" The man "covered" himself and beat a hasty retreat into the dune grasses.

Unbeknown to the vacationing trio, they had wandered onto a nudist beach! John is ready for another vacation, his bulletin boards are as well!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Value your Assets!

One of the adventures Only Girl and I took during our Blueberry Summer in Maine was a day boat excursion to Nova Scotia. For two girls just entering their teens, this day of independence away from the watchful eyes of parents held the anticipation of a glimpse into adulthood.

We felt brazen in our choice to sit on the top level of the boat and slide into the bench seats close to the edge we were assured would get us the most wet. We were alone to giggle and assume manners we would otherwise be reprimanded for by Only Girl's school teacher mother.

As the turbo engines roared to life, the bow of the boat rising into the blue summer sky, our hearts soared with the possibilities of adult freedom. Boothbay Harbor's familiar clapboard cottages faded as the ocean before us deepened it's blue color, a final island drew our attention. A speaker voice came to us from somewhere below, "To the right you will see the mansion belonging to actress Jane Russell. It is called, 'The House that Playtex Built.' Jane may not have been known for her acting, but her assets served her well."

As the ripple of adult laughter filled the boat, Only Girl and I looked at each other completely confused but with a certainty of understanding that left to ourselves, we were nowhere near ready to become adults.

Please do not Pin pattern on Pinterest

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blueberry Summer Revisited

These adorable salty characters from the cold North Atlantic waters so remind me of the sweetest summer of my young life. The summer spent with Only Child Bobwhite and her parents in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Knotty pine walls, twin beds with chenille coverlets, a nightstand between to hold our latest mystery. Grey clapboard, screened in porch, pine trees casting us in shade all through the day. Pedal bikes with baskets, lunches in brown sacks, red Keds and swim suits, pine forest thick at the edges with wild blueberry bushes, a red rag tacked to a tree marking the path we needed to take. Bright green ferns tickling our ankles, clear blue up ahead, the Magdalena Hagdalena waiting in our very own cove.  A light house nestled on ancient boulders that were the shore line. Lobster men could be seen through their wooden traps, colorful red and white buoys tossed to one side.

Our days were wonderfully slow and overlong. Talk of our futures filling our every moments. Who would we love, who would love us. Fisherman's Wharf our dinner destination every evening, the same window table, the same favorite meals ordered, the same cute busboy who visited my dreams with romantic kisses as I drifted off to sleep each night. Blond hair, blue eyed, lanky and tan. A shy smile my only offering. A summer's end with First Love pining in my heart.

Home again, summer nearly at an end, a letter sent to Fisherman's Wharf, a note on the outside of the envelope, "Would you please give the enclosed letter to the cute busboy with blond hair."

Summer long over, leaves beginning to fall, Blueberry Summer fading from memory. "Hello, I got your letter! I thought you were a really cute girl. I didn't write sooner because I've been getting settled into my college dorm. Hey, you are a really special girl, but my girlfriend says I can't write to you. Well, I gotta go now, hit the books.... Always, Your Busboy, Dan."  

Blueberry Summer always remembered. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ye Ole Cape Cod

My brother called to tell me these remaining days before his return to school that he decided to take a last minute vacation to Cape Cod. This is SO my brother! He returns tomorrow, school for him starts Monday!
My first thought was, when will you do your vacation laundry?????

John loves to swim as much as I do, but I am not an ocean swimmer. He said many beaches on the Cape are closed due to an abundance of Great Whites spotted there to feed on the population of seals. Swimming in eight feet of crystal clear cold water, a seal swam right underneath him! He said it looked like a telephone pole zipping by. "ZIPPING BY!" I nearly yelled into the receiver, "Did you look to see if it was being chased by a SHARK!!!!!"

The seed was planted by this phone call to make characters that depicted a vacation to Cape Cod. "Where Women Create" provided the perfect inspiration.

To my utter delight a first introduction to Jody Battaglia was in store for me within the covers of this magazine. "Jody, where have you been all my life!" Her wonderful creations are just like the ones I see in my own imagination. Faces sweet enough to love with their wonderment of something new discovered.

Jody has been designing for 31 years and began as a teddy bear creator. This year I have struggled so with blogging in part due to wondering "Why"? Seeing this studio filled with Jody's creations that she has come to love as friends is a revelation to me.

As my characters become a little more detailed, I realize this is just a part of the growing process. My own vision is to always create a pattern that anyone with very basic sewing skills can accomplish for themselves at very little expense.

By chance on this day of my brother's call and reading this article, I found all of the doors opened to my craft room cupboard. My husband was the one who opened them. He told me he was so proud of all that I had created.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knock, Knock!

Do all my craft room characters look slightly shy to you? Slightly hopeful they will be invited to the party of their holiday?

It seems I stitch my own character into each and every one. Oh my goodness, why on earth did I get partnered with Joe for an evening of card playing with my Twirly Swirly Girl? He would play a card, and I would play the totally wrong card knowing as soon as I layed it down I had made the wrong move. Worse still was the absolute kindness of Joe's comforting words, "That's okay."  I was mortified to have to give the poor kid a hug as they left for the evening. I wanted to call on the phone before they had even rounded the corner, "I'll practice before the next time, I promise!"

Did my own mother feel this pressure to make a good impression on my soon to be husband? My husband has said he nearly didn't survive the endless Chef Pierre's Apple Dumplings he had to eat every time he called once my mother had discovered they were made in his home town.

Knock, Knock. Who's there? Orange you glad it's your Mother-In-Law!

Please, for personal use only.

Friday, August 5, 2011

When Roy Met Dorothy

When we traveled home this summer for vacation, I begged my husband to take me to the part of town where the World War II Honeymoon Homes were, 13th and Division. Here, one after the other were the homes built for returning Veterans and their young wives.

It was almost impossible to imagine Roy as a newlywed due to his irrascable nature. It seemed to me he barked more than spoke. How on earth did he ever woo a young Dorothy to become his life's companion. I had only ever witnessed him giving orders and Dorothy carrying them out.

Dorothy always had a cheerful disposition for every day greeted, a "Hello there!" called through her kitchen window before you could even ring the door bell. A promise to return at the end of a visit before her embrace would end. A well being that would stay with you for the rest of the day.

Roy would pass away first, Dorothy began an immediate decline and would soon join her husband. It was this I would recall as I looked at their Honeymoon Home so tiny you couldn't possibly be anything but close. I couldn't imagine Roy without Dorothy or Dorothy without Roy, and I knew in my heart that True Love had found it's only home within the the two of them.