Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm Pixilated Over You : An Elusive Piece of Sheet Music

Today is a banner day! It is pretty gray and rainy outside, and it was thunder storms all night, so there is a new little pond in the area inside the driveway. This doesn't really have much to do with it being a banner day, but I thought I'd lay the scene out for you . . .

First off, Elizabeth opened a gorgeous little box of chocolates and shared them around. Aren't they beautiful?! I definitely recommend the chocolate truffle. That was pretty nice, as she and I have always wanted to get a "fancy" box of chocolates --- just for the fun of it.

The really cool thing though, actually came in the mail! Ordered from England, and the only copy that we could find available anywhere on the Internet, it is the companion song to (inspired by) Frank Capra's 1936 film, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The name of the song is "I'm Pixilated Over You." It was written by Edward Heyman and Harold Spina. Elizabeth and I have been looking for this song for years now. One other piece of our sheet music had a one line sample of this song. This was supposed to make you go to the local music shop to pick up a copy. Unfortunately, living in the past is not always easy. No music shop today has this song for sale! Years have now gone by, and I think about this song quite often --- wishing that we could find it. Lo and behold, our fabulous Mom finds one little copy on

It wasn't a far step from jumping around in sheer joy (not really --- that is, not quite) to hitting the purchase button and joyfully paying $14.00 for a piece of music that originally sold for six cents. It's a funny world we live in!

Well, it arrived today, and it's even lovelier than we'd hoped. I'm so thrilled! Elizabeth played it through on the piano, and it's an adorable little ditty. And if this entry hasn't convinced you that I am totally pixilated, then --- well, I don't know!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Crowning Touch to My KGVI Collection!

eBay is a good way to find things that are unavailable in your own local area, but --- it's also frustrating at the same time. Half the time the item that you receive is not as nice as it was described in the listing. Or the seller is slow and/or rude. Or the packaging of the item is so bad that the item you've been waiting for arrives in a ruined state that is irreparable. Buying on eBay can be quite disappointing.

I'm also fed up with the "sniping" programs that so many people use to place their bids. I bid on an item and wait there, hoping to win, for days. Then in the last five seconds some sniping program comes in and beats you out without even a chance to see what's happened. In fact, I barely look at stuff anymore, and then only bid towards the end. I can't stand getting excited about something and then being disappointed in three final seconds.

Well, Mom and I sat and browsed through the "George VI" category the other day. I've collected stuff from his reign for almost ten years now. Mom and Lizzy even gave me a flag from his Coronation one year for Christmas! That is cool. Not to mention the sheet music song of the theme song at his Boys' Camps. Over the years it has become increasing difficult to find "new" items that I haven't already seen or purchased, so we don't browse through the category very often. Well, we were sitting there eating lunch with nothing else to do (right?!), so we browsed. Boy, did we hit on something cool! A brooch/pin released in commemoration of the Coronation shipment of Cutty Sark Blended Scots Whiskey. It's a gorgeous gold tone, enameled crown with red, green, white and blue accents. It says "Coronation George VI" on the front.

Oh joy! It arrived today, and it's SO much more beautiful in real life than any pictures. Wow! It's been a while since I was this happy with an eBay purchase. I just had to post a picture of it.

I also collect George VI postage stamps (from Great Britain and the entire Commonwealth). We're all counting down the days until the National Stamp Show, which is actually being held in Columbus this year!Oh joy, again! The show is actually four days long, and some of the dealers have told us that it will literally take that just to make it around to all the booths. Not even counting any displays and exhibits! I'm hoping to pick up some of the harder to find stamps --- we'll see how it goes.

And no, we're not going to watch the new movie about KGVI. I'm so irritated, disappointed, upset and disgusted that they would turn my favorite king into that. What a shame. Historically inaccurate and offensive portrayals of some amazing people. That's another post. Sorry that this sounds so "down". I guess that's what I get for typing a blog entry so late in the evening, right?!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Working of Those Winter Projects

Amazingly, the month of February is almost over! Shocking. It seems like just last week we were saying "in January we'll work on . . ." and now we are facing the end of Winter. We've been really trying to clear out cluttered areas in the house. Some of the stuff we've gotten rid of has gone to Goodwill, and some of it has been sold on eBay. All in all, we've gotten rid of quite a bit --- it's just amazing how much more there is to go through.

We did manage to make a little baby quilt. This was for a friend of ours who just had her first baby --- a little girl! This is some of the fabric that we got on "Black Friday", and it was so fun to see it come together into something finished. The colors were so cute, and I loved the hot pink!

I haven't really been doing much felting lately, but we did get this cool book in from the library. It is a catalogue of Commedia Dell'Arte figurines that were made in the eighteenth century. The book itself is in German, but the pictures are amazing! Some of the statues are less than beautiful, but there are sure a bunch that are gorgeous.

The things that I find most interesting are the huge berets on the men. They are so large that they actually drape down their backs. I love that! Definitely going to have to felt a beret like that one day. :)

We're all white again outside, and supposed to be more snow tonight or tomorrow. Well, I better quit now. Mom and Elizabeth are making a gorgeous Dinner of spaghetti and hush puppies, and it's my job to make a salad!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mrs. Keultjes' Cheesy Apples!

You know how some tastes and smells just bring back moments and memories. There are quite a few of those that Elizabeth and I enjoy. The smell of lipstick for one, the smell of dill weed and the smell of our grandparents' house (Dad's parents). You've never smelled anything so wonderful. I actually have a table cloth that we brought home from their house in October and have slept with it in my pillowcase ever since.

Well, one of those lovely tastes that is SO special is Mrs. Keultjes' Cheesy Apples. She used to make this quite often when Hannah and the two of us would be playing together. There was even one time that she made a big pan of them and let the three of us eat the whole thing as a snack! Oh joy!

Elizabeth and I have been working for months now to try to make them ourselves, and every recipe we tried just was not the same. It was just like cooked apples with cheese on them. Not like that heavenly nectar that we love. Then, at Christmas, the Keultjeses came over for a Dinner and she brought a whole tray over. We actually forgot to serve them (how convenient!), so we enjoyed them all by ourselves later on. Amazing things! So, this finally gave us the brilliant idea to ask Mrs. Keultjes for her recipe. Should've done that in the first place, right?!

Tonight we made them for the first time, and they were almost exactly like hers!! Victory! Here is her most wonderful recipe, in case any of you would love to try them. You'll never be the same again, I can tell you.

Mrs. Keultjes' Cheesy Apples

3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. flour
Mix these together then cut in:

1/4 butter then add
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese.

Mix together some lemon juice w/some water (3 T each?) and cut into that bowl:

7 (granny smith) apples, cored, peeled, sliced (a scant 5 cups)

Shake off the apples, put in a 9X9 (greased in some way).

Put cheese mixture on top and pat down.

bake @ 350* Let it bake long enough that the topping is nicely browned.
(We baked it for about 1hr. and 15min.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Needle-Felted 'Pierrette' of the Commedia dell'arte

She's finished! This is another wool needle-felted doll. I'm working on set of Commedia dell'arte characters. Hopefully there will be seven dolls in the end . . . but we'll see!

Pierrette is eight inches tall, weighs a fraction over one ounce and took about 32 hours to complete. Since she hasn't got a tall hat on she is a lot taller than the gnomes --- even though she measures the same height as several of them.

She was a bit more challenging to begin with since she is so tall and thin. Because of that she doesn't really stand up well by herself, though she can if you have some patience! I'm hoping to start another one later this evening. Elizabeth makes little sketches of the characters for me to use as a guide, so it depends on when she does that for me. She's so good.

This Pierrette doll is actually based on a Meissen figurine. Of course, I did take some "artistic liberty", especially in the hair and hat. The figurine we picked for this one actually appears in the Poirot TV show called The Affair at the Victory Ball. There is a whole set of Commedia dell'arte figures, and Elizabeth and I have always wanted to make dolls out of them. We have also gotten pictures from a book of Meissen figurines for some of the other characters. I'm really looking forward to making Columbine!

I've got a bunch more pictures uploaded in a photo album. If you're interested in taking a look at more pictures: CLICK HERE

This makes the twelfth doll that I've finished in twelve months. Not a bad average, is it?!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Reagan!

Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old today. That's amazing. Elizabeth and I are so thankful to have been born during his presidency (and not that of the "unmentionable" follow-ups). Not only that, but we think of him as he appeared in Hollywood, so he doesn't seem nearly one hundred!

His acting career is kind of eclipsed by his political one, which is a bit of a shame, as he really was good in films. My favorite moment ever is from Errol Flynn's WWII film Desperate Journey. Reagan (with Flynn and crew) crashes into Europe when their bomber is shot down. They are captured by the Germans and taken in for questioning. The German leader is played by Raymond Massey --- who does a wonderful job of being thoroughly despicable! Reagan does a great job double-talking Massey into a right hook. This allows the bomber crew time to escape out of a conveniently placed window in the office.

Double-talking is SO cool. I wish that I knew how to do it, and nobody can do it like Ronald Reagan. He's fabulous!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Autographs and Misc.

We got another fan mail response back the other day. This time it was from 1950s actress, Rhonda Fleming! We sent our own pictures, and she signed them and even included another one! She plays Princess Sandi in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court starring Bing Crosby (and her, of course!). That is one of the first movies that I ever remember watching . . . and I don't remember a time of not watching it. Oh, when I was little I wanted to look like her . . . well, until I saw Jane Russell. I sure wanted to look like Jane Russell. Oh well. :)

Buddy and Kay brought some books up from AiG for us the other day. Elizabeth had sent a few of our books with them to have Ken autograph them for us (how did those slip by?), and Ken sent us copies of his new book and some other stuff. It was really sweet because he even inscribed them! He's really great! One of these days I should post some pics of all my special "Ken Ham" stuff. I've got tons of it packed away to save for Little Kenny. :)

Tomorrow we're supposed to have a big "winter storm", so it looks like we'll be staying home. Even the auction house has canceled the sale tomorrow! Well, got to go for now. I'm hoping to work on my scrapbook!