Thursday, March 28, 2013

See America

It's beautiful.

From sea to shining sea.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Be Kind to Books Club

NDL - card carrying member since 1965.

Just a few of the books we were kind to this winter*.

Remember...if you are kind to books they will be kind to you.

* Plus the latest Maisie Dobbs story by Jacqueline Winspear, the most recent Ladies Detective Agency and Isabel Dalhousie books by Alexander McCall Smith, opening chapters of All the Pretty Horses, The Book Thief, Loving Frank, and the book that made us giggle the most, A Girl Called Zippy - Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana, by Haven Kimmel. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

W.P.A. Poster

Yes, originally it stood for Works Progress Administration, but for awhile here, until inspiration strikes, it will be the acronym for Weak Post A-day of W.P.A. posters from a S.A.D. weakened poster.

Unless you would really rather have updates on our pathetic attempts to keep cabin fever from driving us and everybody else mad, please enjoy a few days (or possibly weeks or months) of W.P.A. posters from the collection of the Library of Congress. 

We will try not to hit you little bunny even though, due to height of the snow, you were able to go over our rabbit fencing and eat down to the ground all seven shrubs that we just bought and planted last summer .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Cruel Joke

It's the first day of Spring so why do we feel like crying?

Hard to believe the same Mother Nature who has buried us in mounds of white could also give us all of this. 

With a little help from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Will it really be spring tomorrow?

Monday, March 18, 2013


Found while searching the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs online catalog for "buttons".

"Sew on your own buttons, I'm going for a ride."

You go girl!

Friday, March 15, 2013

NDL Illustrated - The This Old House Years

We read this book over and over to the children when they were small.

It is not just an amusing  and nicely illustrated tale, but an important lesson in symbiosis. 
It helped inform our policy* on living with the multitudes of spiders who love to call our 100 plus-year-old house their home. 

When Billy left his pet spider, Helen, at the Zoo, the animals suddenly became happy and contented. The lions snoozed all day long, the elephants enjoyed their baths, and the zebras ate their hay in peace -- all because Helen was spinning webs and catching flies.

But one day Helen's webs were swept away. The Keeper had the cages cleaned for the Mayor's inspection tour. Soon the flies were back again and the animals were miserable once more. But not for long...  

We are pretty nice to spiders around here. We often ignore them. Sometimes on purpose, but mostly because we are lax housekeepers. We never scream at them - unless they land on us. And we often give them at least a chance for survival of the fittest by putting them outside rather than squishing them.

But....this year, shortly after Christmas, when kids were home for the holidays, we had an invasion of ghostly, translucent, little white spiderettes.

They seemed to like the climate of the steamy upstairs bathroom the best. Billowy webs were spun in vain as there were no other creatures indoors to catch and eat.

Our usual rules went out the window as we pinched, flushed, and stepped on the poor little things with the rationalization that we were probably saving them from starvation.

"They must be confused about the seasons." we said to each other.  

We were amazed at the size of the hatch. Each time we evicted the web residents, new tenants found their way to the humid corners of the shower. This went on every day for weeks.

Then one day we were telling a friend about the weird nature phenomenon that was occurring here right in the middle of winter. "Christmas trees!", was all she said. 

And then we knew that the little brood was indeed seriously confused about the seasons when their egg sack came in on our balsam fir from the cold outdoors to a nice warm house.

Nothing is ever straightforward is it? We were totally at peace with the concept of cutting a live tree every year. It is part of our state's economy. We mulch it afterwards. Fake trees have their own environmental issues. No tree just isn't right. And now this.

We'll be doing a scan from now on as we string the lights and hang the ornaments. 

If we miss an egg sack it's likely the same scenario will replay itself . But, if one of the hatchlings ever were to write "Peace on Earth" in its web strung over the Christmas tree it will have saved all their little lives. 

* The basement is all yours. But if you, Mr.or Mrs. Spider venture to the upper stories it is at your own risk. The same goes for all you creepy centipedes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's All in the Kinks

Everyone knows that!

Sadly the thrifted* tin contained none of the wonder-product.

Happily it is a great container for sewing notions.

Kinkiness can be patented. Who knew?

*Spell check does not like thrifted as a word, but we all know it is one. It describes the items one brings home from thrifting**.

** Which spell check does not like either.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Great F. Scott!

Along with this set of vintage coat buttons came a revelation -
Horn buttons don't have to be horn colored.  They are dyeable!

While from the correct era, and in a lovely shade of blue, 
these seem a bit plain for Jay, Zelda, and friends.

When The Great Gatsby comes out on May 10 
let's keep our eyes open for roaring '20s buttons and other fancy fashion details. 

Based on the spectacular number of sequins and jewels in the trailer alone, 
an Oscar nomination for the costume designers seems to be in the (little beaded) bag.

Here's a Fun Fact: buttons made of antler are not considered horn. They are classified as bone buttons. Although buttons made of deer hooves would be in the bone category.

Friday, March 8, 2013


This could easily be an advertisement for the Society of People (like us) Who Hate Overhead Lighting,
but it is not.

This French flea market find is promoting better light that doesn't cost much by asking,
 "Why tire your eyes under insufficient light?". 
"Good light is cheap."

We wholeheartedly agree. Task lighting for everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

By the Light of the Moon

Moonglow buttons have a layer of clear glass over an opaque glass base.

They come in many shapes and colors, and in several sizes. All of these are small 3/8 to 3/4".

Most of them came from West Germany in the 1950s and 60s.

This little beauty has an iridescent finish referred to as aurora borealis.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Iridescent luster black glass. One of our very favorite button types.

You can check here to make sure we have made the correct identification. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Party's Over

The sticky glass rings are wiped up, the aspirin bottle is a little lighter, and the recycle bins are overflowing with evidence of a very good time. 

But wait! Before you do the schlep of shame out to the curb take back some of that fodder-for-tongue-wagging and re-purpose it for more straight-laced pursuits.


Pin your hair back up. 

Find the free printable graphics from Just Something I Made that you cleverly bookmarked 
or filed away for just such an occasion.

Print, cut, and paste. 

Fill with your favorite buttons.

Admire while re-hydrating or caffeinating, or whatever it takes to return to the land of the living.

And remember: Button collecting, while habit forming and potentially damaging to your pocketbook, 
seldom leads to a hangover.