Monday, January 23, 2012

50 Years, an Elephant, and a Seashell Valentine

Okay, so I just turned 50. Now what? I could say the sky's the limit, but that's already covered when I fulfill my promise to skydive this year. I've fortunately been blessed with good genes, so at least I don't look 50. :)  I suppose the best gift you can give yourself, at the half-century mark, is a medical check-up. Well, aside from the inevitability of menopause, at least I now know I do not suffer from diabetes or thyroid problems, and I got an A+ on my cholesterol test. So I think I'll just saunter over to the fridge and gift myself another slice of cheesecake, Thank.You.Very.Much! 

Courtesy Oregon Herald
A local Oregon celebrity, of sorts, will also be turning 50 in a few months......Packy the elephant. I know this may seem like a strange factoid to include in this post, but my mother has a soft spot for Packy, since his mom, Belle, was pregnant at the same time as my mother was with me. 

Courtesy Jim Vincent/Oregonian Gallery
For those of you not familiar with Portland history, in 1962, Packy was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years, so at the time it was a very big deal. LIFE magazine covered his birth with an 11-page spread. Packy is currently the largest Asian elephant in the U.S. More about him here.


Okay, so when I started this post, I had no idea it was going to veer off on a tangent about an elephant. Perhaps the menopausal mind fog is kicking in sooner rather than later.......


On another note, I just finished creating some lovely little Valentine trinkets with white Nassa seashells. I kept them understated to showcase the natural elegance of the shells, rather than the overkill one might find in a coastal souvenir shop. I applied them to skinny little pipe cleaners. The kind of pipe cleaners actually made for pipes, not the long, thick chenille stems you buy at craft stores. They were just the right length for bending into a 2" heart shape. I used Ultimate glue to secure the ends of the pipe cleaner, and also for attaching the shells. I opted for white glue over glue gun to give myself more open time for positioning each shell. 


I attached a great vintage faceted metal button for antique charm, and dotted hints of clear glitter around the shell base without being over-powering. Finally, I added some exquisite, thin white and silver tinsel cord for tying it to a gift or bottle. I didn't permanently attach the cord, so the heart could be re-purposed into a jewelry piece or for mounting in a little frame. 


I don't know yet if I'll be making any more of these, 
but I've listed this sweet trio in my Etsy shop.

Well, I'm off to get that cheesecake now.......

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Soul Stirrers

It all begins with divine inspiration. 
Followed by the written word. 
As powerful as the phrases may be, 
there's something mystical 
about vocal delivery that 
Brings them to life,
Brings out our humanity,
Stirs the Soul,
...and moves one to tears.

Puccini's Nessun Dorma

Star Spangled Banner

Martin Luther King Jr "I Have A Dream"

".....little children will one day 
live in a nation
where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!"

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Silver Lining in the Clouds of 2011

2011 was not the most exciting year on record for me. In fact, it was a strain on my health and my pocketbook, so it requires me to dig a little deeper to find the highlights. It began with a wicked mystery flu-like illness, so I suppose it's apropos that it ended with a flu from Christmas through today. What I can say, was it was a year of firsts.


In February 2011, I went to Junk Salvation in Hillsboro, and met many vendors whose blogs I read. Sometimes when you meet new people, you aren't aware at the time that there  is a reason, or that someday your paths would cross again. Three vendors I chatted with a lot all had a ripple effect on my year.


First: This may sound silly, but I was unaware that Blogger was free, as I had only researched Typepad, which I believe charges a fee. That lack of information was the only reason I hadn't started a blog yet. So when I met Tracey of Cottage Industry at the Junk Salvation show, and she told me about free Blogger, I started this blog right after I got home.


Second:  I met Pam of One Gal's Trash and Plucky Maidens, who I would later cross paths with again, when I threw my hat in, to be a vendor, for my very first vintage show in Plucky Maidens Junk Fest this past November.


The third vendor was Chris of Mack & Momma. After being only one of a few people I conversed with at JS, and she ended up being my neighbor at the Junk Fest, and a perfect neighbor she was. I look forward to getting to know her better this year.


Hooked myself up to Facebook, though I'm not a frequent participant. 


Since I've only been in the vintage market loop for a few years now, Monticello Antique Marketplace wasn't even on my radar, since I don't frequent East Portland. Who knew it was merely blocks away from a dear friend. Doh! Needless to say, I made a point of visiting it for the first time last year, and it didn't disappoint.


Went for the first time to the Boys of Barn House show, and A Vintage Gathering on the same day. Met many more wonderful vendors at both, as well as my bloggy friend Amy of Into VintageRecap here and hereAfter meeting the fabulous Deb and Bob Kennedy of Retreat, at Barn House, Deb explained to me how to start a Facebook page for my Etsy and blog, so I did just that when I got home that day. 



As I mentioned earlier, I participated in Plucky Maidens Junk Fest in November, at McMenamin's Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. It seemed like a no-brainer to make this my first show, since it is less than 20 miles from home. I had grandiose visions for my booth design, but didn't have enough time to even come close to fulfilling the complete vision. Newbie mistake. I've done better productions in my own living room, but at least my sign turned out well. While my first show wasn't profitable, I did learn a few things. I won't do another show with stairs involved that eats up my set-up time, it would behoove me to not rent a U-haul again that eats all my profit, and as a vendor you need to walk into a show with the same mentality as walking into a casino. Go for the sport of it, the atmosphere and the people, and if you win money, it's a happy bonus. I would like to try my hand as a vendor again this year, so we'll see when my gambling spirit is replenished. :)

Photo Courtesy of Oregon Skydiving
Since 2012 marks my 50th year on this planet, I've made a commitment to myself to make this a year to try new things. Therefore, NEW is my word for the year. From an unimpressive perspective regarding new things, I've started a Pinterest account, and yes, it is a glutton of time. On the more monumental end of the spectrum, I promised myself years ago to go skydiving for my 50th year, and I fully intend to do so. Can't wait till the person in that picture above is replaced with me!


I think this has been a good exercise to write down last year's events, no matter how simple they may have seemed at the time. Sometimes we forget how much has transpired, and how much we have accomplished. I guess there really is a silver lining in every cloud.......
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