Saturday, September 29, 2012

Think of Me in Gay Paree

So many choices. What will we see? What will we do? What will we eat?

On ne sait pas!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Know Your Polka Kings

Oktoberfest is here and we wouldn't want you to be at a loss for polka facts to add to conversations around the dance floor. Especially if  if there is any debating about who is the true polka king. 
L'il Wally vs. Whoopee John.

Walter "Li'l Wally" Jagiello, "Mały Władziu" (August 1, 1930 – August 17, 2006), was an American (of Polish background) polka musician and songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. A self-taught Chemnitzer concertina and drum player, who sang perfect Polish as well as English in many of his songs. His most famous compositions include "Pukaj Jasiu" "No Beer in Heaven" and "I Wish I Was Single Again". 
His song "Let's Go, Go-Go White Sox", as recorded by Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers underwent a resurgence in 2005.
Originally starting out at the age of 8 singing with the Eddie Zima Orchestra performing up and down "Polish Broadway" in Chicago, Wally soon struck out on his own and formed his own band "The Happy Harmony Boys". He was a pioneer in the concept of the independent record label, starting his own Jay-Jay Records in 1951 after a brief career recording stint on Columbia Records, at the age of twenty. He was renowned for his drumbeat and slower and more danceable tempo, which became a mainstay of "Chicago Style" Polish polka sound. His arrangements of many popular Polish folk tunes, and many originals as well, are those used today by polka bands all over the United States. His nickname was derived from his short stature (5 foot 6 as an adult), especially during his youth, when he would stand on a picnic table to sing.

The highlight of Jagiello's career was performing for Pope John Paul II in 1984, who requested Wally to continue playing after his initial song, "God Bless Our Polish Pope". The pontiff blessed him after his performance, telling him "God will reward you for all your hard work."
He also appeared several times playing his concertina on The Lawrence Welk Show. He was one of the first two inductees into the International Polka Association's Hall of Fame in 1969. All total, he has collected 17 gold and 4 platinum records. In his later years, he retired to Miami Beach, Florida, but continued to perform and record and please audiences nationwide. Li'l Wally died in 2006 in Florida at the age of 76. - From Wikipedia

John Anthony Wilfahrt, (May 11, 1893 – June 15, 1961), the eldest son of John Wilfahrt and Barbara Portner, was a professional polka musician who recorded with Decca Records. He went by the moniker "Whoopee John." Wilfahrt was born in New Ulm, Minnesota and got his start playing the accordion at local gatherings and concerts in and around his community. In the 1920s Whoopee John and his band relocated to Saint Paul, Minnesota where they became regulars at live shows and on the radio. 

Wilfahrt first began recording commercially in the 1920s and would sign with the newly-formed U.S. division of Decca Records in 1934 as the label's second act. (The first act signed to the label being Bing Crosby.) Wilfahrt and his band enjoyed popularity through the 1940s and 50s on the polka circuit.
Over the course of his professional career Wilfahrt would record nearly 1,000 songs, some of the most popular being “Mariechen Waltz” and “Clarinet Polka.” -  From Wikipedia

After you listen to the Chug-a-lug polka and enjoy the accompanying vintage images there should be no doubt in your mind about who deserves to wear the crown. Long live Whoopee John.

Chug A Lug (Chug A Lug Drink It Down) by Polka_holic7839

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Flashes

(of Genius)  Bachman's 2012 Fall Ideas House is open through October 7.

Outside the Ideas House. Burlap wrapped and lined tires as planters.
 Amazing, colorful borders of mums, kale, and marigolds, millet, and more.

 Maybe we'll try this on the East side of the garage. Why not? 
The neighbors already pretty much think we are crazy.

Burlap wreaths with wheat flair become giant wall flowers with honeysuckle vine stems.

The porch entry beer theme includes a German beerstube table, bottle lighting, 
stools made out of kegs, and bottlecap embellishments throughout.

In the doggy suite the upside down table-bed has felt pads placed on the 
up-in-the-air feet just as dog paw pads would look. A fun detail that made one ideas house visitor 
imagine the designer laying in bed at night with a notepad jotting down ideas 
when brainstorming kept her from her sleep.

The door onto the roof terrace led to this doggy play land complete with 
bone-shaped pool, shuffleboard, and topiary.  
Just don't throw the tennis ball over the hedge while playing fetch. Rouch! Bad news for Bowser.

 Dog dish placemat as framed art.

Teatime for pampered, prizewinning  pooches under a dog biscuit chandelier.

Mirrored dog dishes.

Nicely accessorized bathroom radiator cover .

Sweet, bird-themed nursery.

Office with desk fashioned from solid wood doors and fabric.

A bit of decor available to purchase or, perhaps for a clever crafter to imitate.

 Salvaged crates as wall unit, shelving and message board.

 The conveyor belt coffee table looked cool, but you better keep a hold of your wine. 
Especially after the first glass.

Another nicely appointed radiator cover. This one is in the sunroom.

Dining room built-in buffet ready for a harvest meal.

  Bright bathroom embellishments and a sneaky peek at the coat closet across the hall.

Vintage fixture and bulb with re-purposed strainer cover.

Kitchen shelves featuring Now Designs' "Posy" print dishes and linens. Over-the-sink curtains were cleverly and simply made from dish towels with grommets for hanging on teacup hooks.

 One of many lush container plantings around the porch and walkway. 
Orange pansies are a surprise in a Fall flower combo.

The garage decked out for a creepy and festive party 
with a fireplace drawn on one of the tarpaper lined walls.

Scary swag for the guests, and Halloween decals on the wine glasses.

Little lanterns serve as place card holders.

Centerpiece, complete with bones, contained in a galvanized trough.

The Clubhouse. We're thinking this is a "no boyz allowed" 
or enter at your own risk of pink blindness, situation.

Artists welcome here.

 Hanging sofa made from tires as seen through the beaded ribbon door curtain.

Outside the shed/clubhouse. Ninebark shrubs anchor the marvelous mixed  border.
Little Devil perhaps?

A last look and a parting thought - If Bachman's  lawn is suffering this year, 
as it appears to be and as are most, 
we have no reason to be ashamed of our own grey gardens.

And a word from your University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer - 
Keep watering those thirsty plants until the ground freezes.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Adventures in Sewing

More Made in Japan needle holders, and yet another woman gritting her teeth 
to get through the experience of mother daughter sewing.

We really don't understand the connection between hand sewing and spaceships, 
but these girls at least look to be having a bit more fun than the above duo.

Maybe they just sent their pile of mending to the moon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fifteen Minutes and Counting

Guess who has the exclusive on Pop Art tomato soup? 
Yes, that's right, Target and at just 75 cents a can.

And did you know Campbell's Condensed Soup has it's own facebook page? 
Yep, That's right, even soup is on facebook before we are.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Buzz Around Town that neighborhood bees from The West Hill Honey Company need a kick start. 

Typically we wouldn't recommend that you disturb a hive, 
but after you read  The Story of a Blossoming Honey Business and learn how you can help a young entrepreneur succeed at growing her business through Kickstarter 
you will want to give those bees one swift figurative kick to help get things going.

Of course all of us West Hill gardeners feel invested in this venture just by virtue of the nectar our flowering plants produce and share with Natalie's bees, but how can we pass up the opportunity to be part of enabling  this industrious young beekeeper to get the equipment she needs for her pretty darn sweet 
and very local business to expand? 

Check out the fun appreciation gifts for each level of pledge. 

Tell all your friends about it too.

Act soon. The pledge period ends on September 20.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Scenic Sewing

It is a pleasure to sit and stitch with doors and windows open to the 
sights and sounds of the forest and lake.

It is even more fun to be working with themed materials that fit perfectly with the work environment. These pillowcases are made with Woodland Friends fabric designed by Ellen Crimi-Trent  for Clothworks and will be used for guests staying in our new basement treehouse. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

This pattern from Kickass Country Store is similar to the one we use. Missouri Quilt Company has a  really good tutorial on YouTube that demonstrates the steps of the (at first) somewhat confusing process very well.