Thursday, February 25, 2010

Solitude in the early morning hours...

I am an early riser... usually waking up between 0430~500 in the morning... while the rest of the world is undoubtedly still fast asleep, I am enjoying a hot cup of coffee in one of my favorite vintage cups and savoring my quiet time alone...


I get cozy and comfy on our couch in our living room, coffee close at hand, and let my thoughts drift away... to wherever they may take me... this is my own time, the minutes belong to me right now and no one else... I cherish this serene morning ritual known as solitude... I believe we all need this time to ourselves, to sort our thoughts, plan our day, let daydreams and fantasies carry us away... for just a little while... if a negative thought interrupts my happy ones, I quickly replace it with something sweet... I am a creature of habit, and I like it that way... there are sooo many things in life that I love and am passionate about... I don't want to sleep too long and miss all of the beauty the day has to offer...
"Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that's where I renew my springs that never dry up"... Pearl S. Buck... Bisous...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beautiful Bauer...


It all started over twenty~five years ago with this one green bowl... my love affair with Bauer... my sisters and I had gone to a wonderful flea~market at the old Sunnyside Armory in Salt Lake City... that many years ago, there were so many more fabulous treasures to find, at literally giveaway prices... I fell in love with this beautiful green Bauer bowl... I loved the soft green color of it and it reminded me so much of the bowls my grandma would carry around her little country kitchen with her, stirring up something wonderfully yummy in it with her old wooden handled spoon... I believe I paid either 50 cents or one dollar for it at the time...

My collection of Bauer bowls began to grow... remember that now famous line in the original Jaws movie when Brody saw the shark for the first time and said "We need a bigger boat"... well, Jack, we need a bigger house! Honestly though, our home is plenty big for the two of us, it's just that the two of us have alot of "stuff"!!! And we both keep bringing home more! One of Jack's friend's wife called to talk to Jack one night about ten years ago, as he was helping her with her computer over the phone... (Jack is so sweet, he helps everyone with everything!) Anyway, I answered the phone that night and talked to this sweet lady I had never met... she asked me what I did for hobbies, etc and I told her I collected antiques and vintage items and loved going to estate sales... when I told her I collected vintage mixing bowls, my favorite ones being Bauer, she said "well honey, I have a bunch of old Bauer bowls I was getting ready to give to the D.I."... the D.I. is a thrift store here in Utah... it smells just awful when you walk in (seriously!) and everything is quite dirty in it as they don't clean much up (except the clothes) before they put it out for sale... you can however unearth some real treasures beneath all of that grime if you are willing to dig... and I am! I put on my old gardening clothes when I go and dig in! Back to the story... she told me she would LOVE to give them to me! She said there were quite a few of them that had been her mothers (for the life of me, I can never understand why anyone would give away their mother's things, but some people aren't sentimental like I am I suppose)... she said she would send them out with her husband to give to Jack the next time they went to coffee. I could hardly wait!... She sent me NINE perfectly beautiful assorted colors of vintage Bauer bowls! Can you believe it! I offered to pay her and she said no (I did send her a gift card to Michaels)... Below is my collection, including the nine from this most generous lady...


All of my Bauer bowls are from the late 30's and 40's... I love the 40's, everything about them. To me that is such a romantic era, the clothes the ladies wore were so feminine and beautiful and I love the old movies and the Big Bands... I do believe I am most content in my little country kitchen, daydreaming about simpler times, a Bauer bowl in my arms, stirring up something wonderfully yummy, just like my grandma did... Besides my very first green Bauer bowl, my other favorite one is the large yellow one in the photo below... it is huge and the color is so pretty! My country kitchen is sunny yellow and red...


Leslie asked in my last post where I keep all of these vintage treasures... I do have a place for most everything, but one day would love an old Hoosier cabinet for my bowls... I also collect McCoy, California Pottery and Fiesta vintage mixing bowls as well as any others that catch my eye... every color in the rainbow... just looking at them all when I took them down to wash them the other day and photograph them makes me smile... (everything pictured in this post is Bauer)... I also collect old Roseville, Hull, Shawnee and Redwing art pottery to name a few... What do you collect that started out with "just this one" and quickly multiplied??? ... xoxo

P.S. Merci to all of you who have emailed me about my vintage kitchen collectibles I have been posting this past week... and yes, I have thought many times about opening my own antiques shop... but there is just one problem... I would be my own best customer! I can't bear to part with anything!... xoxo





Monday, February 15, 2010

Did I tell you about the time I was featured in Romantic Homes Magazine???...

So many of you lovely ladies have had your homes, your shops, your crafts featured in favorite magazines... well... I was featured several years ago in Romantic Homes magazine... honest, I was...well... sort of...

Among all of the treasures from the past that I collect, some of my very favorites are my pie~birds... the photo below shows my little collection in one of my hutches... some of these I purchased myself, some my sweet sister Jill purchased at antiques stores on trips to California for me... (merci Jill!)... the teeny little yellow one in the very front belonged to my mama... the yellow chicken at the back is not vintage... it was represented to be by a shop owner (who knew better) and I knew it was not old, but it was so darn cute, I brought it home anyway!... (I just did not pay the price a vintage one would have been!!!)... I adore these little pie~birds, and they always bring a smile to my face...


I'm sure most of you all know what a pie~bird was used for, but for those of you who do not, they were used to vent the steam in a pie so as to keep the filling (usually fruit) from spilling over and also to keep the crust from sagging in the middle... Imagine my surprise when I purchased Romantic Home's book "Vintage Vavoom" several years ago, and there on page 23...


was a picture and story about collecting vintage pie~birds, and I happen to own three of these treasures identical to the ones they featured!... (photo below of page 23)...


I was soo excited to see these!... I personally do not know anyone else who collects pie~birds, and was so happy they had shown these... I decided to photograph the three of mine that were like the ones they showed, and wrote a "letter to the editor" of Romantic Homes magazine... it is the one and only time I have ever written to a magazine, and Jack told me not to get my hopes up about it being published, as they were sure to receive thousands of letters each month... (I still had my hopes up!)... Then in November 2008, I bought the latest issue... (one of my all time favorite covers too!)...



I opened up the magazine and started to read it, when there I was!!! Well, not ME... but my little pie~birds in "letters to the editor"...



So, as the late Paul Harvey (who I adored!) would have said... "and now you know the rest of the story"... tee hee hee... P.S. Since I have kind of a kitchen~collectibles thing going on this week, I will post my Bauer bowl collection next and tell you about a very generous lady!... xoxo






Saturday, February 13, 2010

Collecting Vintage Recipes...

If you have followed my blog at all, you know by now how much I treasure anything and everything from the past... I collect so many things I love... some of those things are vintage recipes... boxes, cards, recipe books, you name it... here are a few from my collection I wanted to share with you...

There is something so sweet and wonderful about vintage recipe cards and boxes... it's like stepping back in time to the simpler, gentler days I yearn for... I have many that were my mama's and many I have gathered here~and~there... I always wonder how the family can part with such irreplaceable family treasures... the pretty little bundles of recipe cards tied with pink fabric were purchased at my sweet friend Alice's shop, Painted White... she offers these adorable little estate sale finds she has bundled together in her shop and each one is different and unique... some are handwritten, some are typed, some have special notes handwritten on them (my favorite!)... I just love everything about these!...

Several summers ago I went to an estate sale at a neighbor's home on the street I grew up on and I blog about often... the sweet vintage mother had passed away and the family was selling so many things... they have a daughter a little older than me and we were friends growing up... she was selling her mama's old wooden recipe box full of recipes for $3.00... I tried to talk her into keeping them, as I felt she would be saddened later on if she sold it... she said they had to part with many things and she gave it to me... it is one of my most prized possessions... many of the recipes have the ladies names on them who wrote them, ladies that all lived in our old neighborhood and I remember so well...one recipe I found at the very back of the little box called out to me... it was a recipe for "How to Preserve a Husband"... it goes like this ..."Be careful in your selection. Do not choose too young and take only such varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever settled and give your entire thought to preparing for domestic use. Some insist on keeping them in a pickle while others are constantly getting them in hot water. Even a poor variety may be made sweet and good by garnishing them with patience, well sweetened with smiles and flavored with kisses to taste. Then wrap well in a mantle of charity. Keep well seasoned with a steady fire of domestic tranquility and serve with peaches and whipped cream. Thus prepared they will keep for years." Too cute! They were married for over sixty five years...


Another of my very favorite recipe boxes is this yellow plastic one that was my mama's... it is filled with wonderful recipe cards that she sent away for many, many years ago from Betty Crocker... I use many of these recipes today... I will share some recipes in a future post so as not to make this one too long... I will also show some of my precious vintage cookbooks as well...


The pretty vintage flowered tablecloth was my mama's too... and yes, it has some holes in it, and gravy stains from our Sunday dinner's roast, but that makes me cherish it all the more... xoxo





Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentines Day...


Wishing you a beautiful day filled with love... xoxo


Thursday, February 11, 2010

My little farmhouse... an emotional post for me...


In my previous post just prior to this one, I wrote about MaryJane's Farm and also told you about our little farm and farmhouse... "The House That Jack Built"... I still get very emotional looking at these photos, because as I explained in the prior post, Jack and I built this home ourselves, out in the country on acreage and planned on living there forever... money~hungry developers changed all of that and we ended up selling and moving, as our bucolic lifestyle was gone to the masses of look~alike homes , mormon churches and schools that took over the once beautiful countryside...the churches were pretty much recreation centers for sports activities almost 24/7 rather than a quiet country church setting that one might picture in the countryside... I chose a few photos to share, as it was very hard for me to get these out and look at once again, and I also could not bring myself to post any photos with our pets in, as they have all passed away now... and I miss them... So, here is our little farmhouse...




Our garden and tractor sheds...

Some of my vegetable gardens...

Our back of the house, driveway and garages...


Our gorgeous Poplar trees and view of the mountains to the east...

Our spectacular sunsets over the Great Salt Lake to the west...

Our little farmhouse kitchen...

Our little country bedroom...

Our farmhouse kitchen and one of our woodburning stoves...

A grape harvest from our vineyard...

Tomatoes from our vegetable gardens...

More of our gardens... with our orchards in the background...


My precious lilacs...

Cosmos and birdhouse with orchards in the background...


My beautiful fragrant Iris (flags as my mama always called them)...


Heavenly pink climbing roses...


Chives from my herb garden...

My spectacular wildflower meadow...


You can probably see why I am emotional over this post... I do not like changes... and I do not like to say goodbye... to anything... my home, objects or people or pets... all of the things I love... but like my pretty wildflowers, I too must go where the wind takes me... I am truly happy in the home we have today... but I miss my little House That Jack Built... xoxo





Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MaryJane's Farm...



I am a farm~girl at heart... ten years ago Jack and I sold our little farmhouse and acreage that I loved... we had built our own farmhouse, (literally!) I don't mean we had it built I mean WE built it! The only help we had was the foundation being poured and some of our friends helped get the trusses up to build the roof... Jack and I did ALL the rest!...I have a beautiful scrapbook I made, with photos of each step we did along the way, I called it "The House That Jack Built"... our dreamhouse, exactly the way we wanted it on some acreage... we planted an orchard with every kind of fruit tree we wanted, and Jack made me places for a huge vegetable garden, an herb garden and a wildflower garden, a grape arbor, besides all of my other gardens... I grew all of our own vegetables and fruits, made my own jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, bottled fruits, dried herbs, dried flowers, you name it... we didn't raise any animals... just our three cats and our dog... our road was a little dirt road, and we had only four neighbors fairly close by... one of our neighbors kept us supplied with farm fresh eggs each morning and another one with homemade bread often... we even had a little John Deere tractor... we had a beautiful view of the mountains to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the west... nothing but sincerity as far as the eye could see...


Then the inevitable happened... the Mormon church and big developers bought up the surrounding countryside... soon it was nothing but wall to wall subdivisions with rows and rows of houses that all looked alike, and a Mormon church on every corner, literally! My little farm in the country quickly turned into Grand Central Station... needless to say, we sold and moved... the peace and serenity we had become accustomed to was gone forever...just like so many of the beautiful farms now vanishing from our countrysides across America... I loved that little farmhouse and farm... but that I suppose is yesterday's news... nevertheless, I have remained a farmgirl at heart... my home today is like me, nothing fancy... our home is full of love and comfy things... like my little farmhouse was... I love all my vintage treasures, and collections, but stop and think about it... isn't the reason we love these things mostly because they are from another simpler, gentler time... for me it is... I grew up in my little rural town of Bountiful and now live in the adjoining little rural town of Centerville... I don't like big cities... as much as I would love to see Paris one day, I would much more prefer to see the French countryside where my ancestors lived... two or three years ago, I'm not sure when, I came across a beautiful magazine called MaryJane's Farm... I fell in love with it! MaryJane Butters grew up in Ogden, Utah, which is about 30 miles to the north of where I grew up and where I now live as well... you can read MaryJane's inspiring story on her website http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/. MaryJane now resides on her farm outside of Moscow, Idaho where she lives a beautiful and fulfilling life... I was so impressed with her magazine, I decided to order a couple of her books... I called the toll~free number and couldn't believe it!!! A human voice answered the phone after one ring! No answering machine playing funky music or telling you to choose from 100 different buttons depending on what you wanted, and then disconnecting you anyway... not only did someone answer right away, that someone was her step-son... MaryJane's Farm is truly a family~owned and run farm... I placed my order for two of her books, when her son told me I could save money and pay less if I bought all three as a bundle... I couldn't believe what I was hearing... how many places have you ordered from where they want you to SAVE money??? So, I ordered all three of her books...

I love all of them! MaryJane's Outpost starts out with a quote from MaryJane that says "Haven't we all heard by now how important it is to eat a diet high in roughage? Likewise "roughaging" (spending time outdoors) is essential to our mental health. Even if it's a settee on the porch, we need it... gotta have it"... I sooo agree with her! MaryJane's Stitching Room is just that...47 farmgirl handiwork projects (all of them beautiful by the way), and MaryJane's Ideabook~Cookbook~Lifebook is sort of an all~in~one book... MaryJane's life is all about eating to be healthy, doing what you love and enjoy, going organic whenever possible, buying locally, living a more simple life, and this is a biggie for me... recycling! I have been recycling for years, often having to drive many miles to do so... now Centerville FINALLY got a recycling program!... I buy organic as much as I can... sometimes it is harder to find, and it does cost more, but how do you put a pricetag on your health? Here are two of my favorite organic products... Que Pasa organic white corn tortilla chips and Annie's cheddar bunnies (Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage would LOVE these!)... not only are they healthy for you, they taste YUMMY!!!... I also buy any fruits and vegetables that I can find organically grown, and only all natural chicken (you know, no hormones, etc)...


So even though we do not have our little farmhouse and farm, I still love my farmgirl way of life... it is like so many things... an attitude more than anything else... I still make our jams and jellies, pickles, salsas, bottle fruit...grow herbs and a few vegetables along with all of my flowers and plants in our gardens... doing things the old~fashioned way... I actually like to do household chores, folding laundry relaxes me (I know some of you are thinking "this chick's nuts!)... but I think we all need to slow down, relax, breathe deeply, and "get back to our roots" so to speak...

I know there is definitely some farmgirl left in me... is there in you???... xoxo
P.S. One day when (and if) I can, I will post some photos of our little farmhouse and life in the country... I get awfully melancholy looking at them, especially since all of our little pets have passed away... xoxo







Friday, February 5, 2010

How do you say "no" to a face like this??? You don't!...


If you haven't already met him, this is Renoir, one of my favorite doggy~bloggy pals! His mama is my sweet friend Alice at Painted White... Renoir is auditioning for a part in a commercial and hopes to make it big in Hollywood... and maybe even one day have his own "paw prints" in front of the famous Graumans Chinese Theatre!... Renoir and I email back and forth, and today he sent me all the info on his dream of becoming a star... rather than me explaining it, please visit with Renoir at Alice's blog "Thoughts From Alice W" ... it is the cutest post I have ever seen!... I guarantee you will fall in love with Renoir as I did the first time I met him! Be sure to tell Renoir his Aunt Julie sent you! Also... I did several posts earlier today that I ended up deleting in case you are wondering where they went... I was going to take a break from blogging as I have been a bit stressed out, but when I re~read the posts, I didn't like them! So, when I read about Renoir's dream of becoming a star, I knew I was meant to post, right here and now... my love of animals and Nature is so strong, and usually makes all my cares go away... so, when sweet little Renoir asked for my help in getting the word out about his dream of going to Hollywood, I just could not say no... Could you??? Click here to visit Renoir and Alice... xoxo