Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy 112th Birthday, Nelson Eddy!

Nelson Eddy is one of my two favorite performers (Bing Crosby is my other favorite!), and today he would have been 112 years old. So, to remember him on his birthday, here is a picture of him. Thanks to Jerry for it, as it is one that I'd never seen before. This is Nelson dressed as the Mountie for his 1936 picture, Rose Marie. How many people get their pictures taken while autographing a picture of themselves?! :) More later.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Busier than ever . . .

Summer is definitely here. Not only are we having our annual round of thunder storms, but it has been in the 80'Fs inside the house all week --- and we went to the Farmers' Market on Saturday. That's the first time of the year. We bought a peck of peas which are now blanched and frozen in our freezer.

We've been working at cleaning out the attic again. This time we've been going through "hope chest" stuff and we-might-need-this-one-day-so-we-better-keep-it stuff. Boy! How can we have fit so much stuff that we didn't want into one small attic?! We've sent a lot of stuff to the thrift store, and the attic is much cleaner. It has kept us pretty busy, though, so I haven't been at my computer much.

We worked our way through a couple seasons of Lark Rise to Candleford over the past several weeks. It's kind of like a British Little House on the Prairie. All in all, they were really enjoyable. Could certainly do without the couple episodes having to do with ghosts and ESP --- but they were easily skipped. I'll have to do a separate blog entry about it soon, as there is quite a bit that would be worth reviewing. In one of the Third Season episodes, one of the characters sings an old song. It is SO sticky. I'm going to have to try learning it in order to sleep again.

I am now officially registered for the State Fair. Entries have to be delivered by mid-July, so I'm working and working on Captain Hastings. He is really turning out cute, and I am working on his face now. Let's hope he's done in time!

Well, it's really hot. Nobody slept last night because of the heat and because we had to chase open windows with the thunder storm last night. So, it looks like an easy evening is on the agenda. More later.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guacamole and June Happenings

The month is absolutely flying by, so I better post an update while I still remember what's been keeping us so busy! :)

The weather has been just great this year. Only a few hot days that are just starting. Plenty of rain. We have been continuing to spend time working around the yard and in the garden, so things are really coming along. Dad has done a lot of transplanting, as we have plants all of over the yard. We've been able to do all of this changing to the garden, etc., without having to go to the nursery and pick up new plants. Plus, we have been able to move plants and bushes from some very inconvenient spots in the yard. Dad has also been laying some brick in some of the pathways, and we've mulched others. The grass is growing like hay with the cool weather and rain, so it looks like today is another mowing day.

About a week and a half ago, Dad had to do some "fix-it" work on the freezer. That meant that it had to be completely empty. Wow! It's amazing what you can find in there. We had frozen some strawberries, so we spent a day and made strawberry jam. It turned out very nice, and we were able to do it before it's terribly hot and sticky. So, that's a start to our canning year.

I am hard at work on a Captain Hastings needle-felted doll. He is going to be the best one that I've ever made --- it looks like. ;) He is really coming along. The questions is, can he "come along" in time to go to the State Fair. Entries are due in by the middle of July, so I'm hoping --- but we'll see, of course. This is the first time that I'm going to try making a doll with his hand in his pocket, so this is proving fun!

Lots of things to fill up the time of day. Before the heat of Summer arrives, we're trying to clean out the garden and the house. I am hoping to get into the attic and do some more work up there (e.g. getting rid of things). We haven't had too much time to work on inventory for our Etsy store with all of this going on, but we need to do that to have stock in time for the Christmas season.

Other than that, there's not much to tell. We bought some avocados on a good sale (big ones, too!), so Elizabeth and I made guacamole. We've had guacamole sandwiches, so that has been a pretty nice occasion. Can't beat that on a warm day! More later.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Weeding, Mulching, Rain and Miss Marple

The last week and a half or two around here has been spent working on the yard. I've been weeding the large flower garden (which is finally pretty much finished!). Mom and Dad went out on Saturday and got some mulch and put some of it down. Still more to go, but we're having lots of rain and big storms. The lawn needs to be mown again, but it's awfully hard to do with puddles all over the place.

We went out on Sunday afternoon and took a few pictures around the yard. It was quite beautiful that day and Oliver wanted to come so badly that we took him along. Elizabeth carried him around and let him smell the flowers. He's not allowed to get down and walk around by himself, of course, as we live much to close to the road --- as well as not wishing to take any chance of a little kitty like him getting fleas or something. :) He's so wonderful!

The peonies have had a good year, and between rains I've been able to cut some for a vase in the house. The weather has been rather good this year, as we have had rain and the temperatures have stayed down. Only a few hot days so far, which is nothing to complain about after the horrible Summer we had last year!

Last week, Mr. and Mrs. Keultjes came up to cut flowers for the wedding. They were making wildflower center-pieces for the tables, so they came on their way down to get daisies, asparagus greenery, privet hedge, Japanese Willow bush stems and Snow-on-the-Mountain. We cut four big buckets of stuff, which they loaded into the trailer. It's been a perfect year for flowers.

Elizabeth and I are trying to get caught up on the miniature Poirot and Miss Marple dolls. We managed to finish a Poirot last week (between yard work and all) and it sold after one hour of being listed on eBay. So, we're trying to catch up and actually get some ready-made stock --- instead of just offering custom orders. We redesigned our Miss Marple doll. New colors, new hat, new purse. This one is SO cute! We were really pleased with the handbag, in particular.

1950s swimming star, Esther Williams, died last Thursday. That's kind of like the end of an era. We got The Columbus Dispatch obituary, and thanks to Jerry (who went "newspaper shopping") we're expecting The L.A. Times and The New York Times in the mail! Guess some scrapbooking will be in order on one of the upcoming weekends. More later.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Seeing the Poirot Dolls in Their New Home

The two needle-felted dolls of Poirot have arrived safely at their new home. And they are not lonely! They were a special order that I've been working on for several months. In the meantime, their owner had also ordered nine Poirot Minikin dolls and his four friends from our Etsy store. She was kind enough to send a picture of her whole Poirot collection in its display cabinet --- and give me permission to post it here!

So, the Poirots are happily displayed. She even has an autographed picture of David Suchet as Poirot. Elizabeth and I have had so much fun working on all of these dolls. We've always been "fans" of certain performers in the true sense of the word: fanatic. I've got multiple Nelson Eddy scrapbooks. One is so big that you have to lay it on the floor to even begin to open it. Elizabeth has been so crazy about Deanna Durbin for years that she's got pictures, scrapbooks, binders, boxes and who-knows-what with Deanna's picture on/in them. We like to think that we're carrying on in the style of the true fans of the 1930s and '40s. Well, we didn't think that many people like that still existed. People these days like something or someone for a fleeting moment, but as soon as they turn the movie off or the show is finished --- poof! Everything is forgotten.

Well, we have voted this Poirot fan one of the all-time greatest fans. She certainly has to be David Suchet's #1 fan! It has been so fun to see someone enjoy something like this. She has also inspired us with all kinds of ideas as to different outfits to put on the little dolls and making the Poirot's little friends. It's been very fun to be able to share this with someone who is enjoying these dolls as much (and maybe even more!) than we have. A lot of effort and time and emotion goes into making these little dolls. We've had some Etsy orders for custom dolls where the buyer just "bought and paid" for the doll. No contact at all. Those experiences have left us rather flat, as there is a lot tied up into making each of these. So, working on this collection has really made up for other experiences. This whole collection is certainly something that we'll always remember!