Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A little ol' fashion charm

The hubs and I had business in Osceola, Iowa, yesterday, and in between appointments, we had a bit of time to spare.  We did a little exploring.  After brunch at The Family Table, we headed out.

To start, a trip to Osceola is never complete without stopping at Farm & Home.  I walk up and down the aisles discovering so many 'new to me' gadgets and possible project material or supplies.

This mild weather has me thinking it's so much further along in the calendar.  It was no different, as I anticipated hearing, first, then smelling, then seeing the sweet chicks and ducks they have in the spring.  Upon opening the door, I remembered...spring is still weeks away. 

After our visit to F&H, we ventured up to the square and into Robinson's Hardware.  Once again, I found my self sweeping the rows of goods, just looking for the one or two things that would grab my attention.  I pick up and put down, making a mental note to myself for future projects.  I do the same thing at the Indianola hardware store, McCoy True Value.  Up and down, around and around...somewhat mesmerized by all the tools, paint colors, plumbing supplies, etc.  It goes without saying...I LOVE doing this!

Robinson's offers a bit of 'a step back in time' for me.  Varying floors, multiple rooms, and so many things I didn't even know they made anymore and have not seen for years.  If you can't find it at Robinson's, I don't know where you'd find it.  

I could have easily made a few more stops, but the call came that my computer was ready to go...and so was the hubs.  So, off we went...a few treasures came home with me, to be put to good use around the house and at Burlap & Roses.  They seemed practical and a great way to help me get organized.  Time will tell...but, I have good intentions and am Inspired to 'get 'er done'.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It really is important...today, tomorrow, always

Valentine's Day...a sentimental, romantic day for so many, and for others, not so much.  An "I could care less" or, "it's not important" attitude, deters some from purchasing a card, a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates. 

I want to share with you a different thought.  I find it so joyful to pull out a box of mementos from days gone by.  Saved cards, a pretty, but empty box of chocolates, a dried flower saved from a bouquet~maybe the ribbon.  In each one lies a memory.  Some distant, others of a different place and time.  Not all are from my spouse.  Some are from my grandmother (who never missed a birthday), my kids with their chubby fisted signatures, my mom or sister.  They all hold a special meaning and memory for me. 

I can only imagine, as time goes by, a spouse or loved one is gone, the chubby fist is now long and lean, that these things will only hold more value.  When in the quiet hour of the day, a sleepless night of missing someone, comes along.  I'll find myself, with my box in my lap, reading each one, holding it to my chest, shedding a tear or two and remembering a special time, a special love, a special place. 

It is then, that I'll discover just how much love there was, how a simple gift...even just a card~picked out just for me has increased in value over time, and...and, it really was important!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Day memories...

As I have been spending some time looking through vintage Valentines that I've collected for resale and collage projects, I'm reminded of the Valentine Days of my and my children's childhood.

Remember the boxes we all had to make in school.  We spent time decorating ours to our hearts content.  Just waiting for the day when we exchanged cards with our classmates.  I still look at a box in the store and remember "when". 

If you were like me, you'd go through each card, picking out the right one for each classmate.  Maybe a super special 'person' would get a super special Valentine...but, you didn't want to  be too obvious, that you thought this super special 'person' was super special to you. 

We were never allowed to leave anyone out.  But, me being me, I wouldn't have done that anyway.  And, you sure didn't want to be one 'left out' either.  Even our teacher got a Valentine from each one of us. 

As I look through the vintage cards, I'm enthralled with the beauty of each one.  Some are cute...but, the ones that I favor are the romantic ones with sweet sentiments or simply ask:  "Will you be mine?".  Or, "Happy Valentines Day". 

What are your favorite memories of Valentine's Day?  Mine are the ones from childhood...a young and innocent time.  And especially from my children's youth.  Watching them decorate their box, bring it home after the party and go through each card.  And, of course, now...as an adult, when you know that Valentine's Day is more than a card with a sweet sentiment.  It's what your Valentine does all year long, that makes life Valentine's Day year 'round.

Friday, February 3, 2012


For the past several years, I've planted Paperwhite bulbs about six weeks before Christmas.  Specially selected vintage and new planters and containers, filled with a variety of mediums set the stage for these winter "forced" bloomers.

My favorite potting base is decorative rocks.  However, last year, I planted the bulbs in shredded paper...and they grew.  They are extremely easy to grow.  The biggest hurdle I've found is finding the bulbs...without a planter and potting mix.  I want to do my own.

My customers at Burlap & Roses have purchased these as thank you gifts, hostess gifts and simply a quick 'pick-me-up' for someone or a Christmas gift.  They.are.fun.  I think if a person were to sit and watch them, they'd see them grow right in front of their eyes.

I've really enjoyed having windows for displays.  Using packing peanuts for snow, I've placed planters filled with bulbs in amongst the 'snow', so as to give the effect of the Paperwhites coming out of the snow...just like they would in the spring. Passersby have stopped and looked at them...some everyday, others once or twice a week. It's been fun for me to watch them 'check out the growth'.

Here's a photo taken of the full grown plants.  Enjoy!