Thursday, August 29, 2013

Frig People

You know 'em. You love 'em. 

We've all got 'em and we couldn't get by without 'em.

They're not all stuck up here. Not on our old 18 Cubic Footer. It would take an industrial-grade, multiple-door model to even begin to display the whole crew of folks who are there for us in body and in spirit.

They turn up whenever there is a birthday, a first day of school, a call from the school nurse, a graduation, 
a wedding, a flat tire, a child who needs tending or soothing or distracting, when a dog needs to be let out or a package signed for or our plants watered, when a toast must be made or when you need a loaf of bread to make toast. They save you when you are clinging to the end of the parenting rope and celebrate with you when your kid accomplishes something pretty amazing. They'll loan you anything from from a crib to a wheelchair, from a cup of sugar to a bottle of wine. 

They know what needs to be done and they pitch in and do it.

We could make a long list of feats and favors, kindnesses and gifts that we have been blessed with from each and every individual you see here and many more in our lives who, although their photos are not seen every time we go for the ice cream, are our "frig people" none the less. 

They are our family, our friends, our neighbors, our mentors, our "village".

Who are your frig people? What have they done for you?

Are you as thankful for yours as we are for ours? 

Could that be possible?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Squirrel Season

This little glass button needed a scene.

Seasons, published originally in France and titled Saisons provided one.

Blexbolex is the illustrator.

The book is full of his strong, graphic depictions of signs of the four seasons.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Button Backstories

More buttons. More books. 

At the National Button Society Convention booth of the famous NYC button shop Tender Buttons 
we found sweet little buttons painted by Edith and Alan Brooks of England.

In the 1940s and '50s the Brooks hand painted designs on 1/2" to 3/4" plastic and glass button blanks. The designs were protected by a clear lacquer coating. The subjects of the tiny paintings included many types of colorful flowers, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other whimsically portrayed creatures and plant life. 

Reader's Digest covers of the '50s and '60s with their very Vera-like cover art provide the background for these two examples of the Brooks' floral motif buttons.

In 1948 and 1950 sets of buttons created by the Brooks were presented to Queen Elizabeth II upon the births of Princess Anne and Prince Charles. 
The set for the Princess depicted a different flower on each button, painted in tones of blue, on white. 

One of them featured a morning glory much like this one. Similar sets were sold to the public.

It was a very interesting design era. Do you love this or hate it or love/hate it?

We're not sure, but leaning toward love. 

No indecision on the Brooks' buttons however. They are solidly on the love list.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Condensed Version

Buttons love books and books love buttons.

That's it really. It's a short story.

This charming, china, morning glory button recently acquired at the National Button Society convention rests on a backdrop of a Reader's Digest Condensed Book cover. They were made for each other.

These covers are from the '70s and '80s.

Because these books are easily found at very cheap prices in thrift stores and at rummage sales they have become an affordable art supply for the creative set.

Just Something I Made has several ideas for crafting with books.

As does The Smith Nest.

Ashbee Design shares some book art inspiration then shows us how to fold some art  
and then fold some more.

Other uses we have seen include, but are not limited to: covers reused as journal covers 
and mini clipboards, hollowed out books as secret treasure boxes, stacks of books as lamp bases, 
folded page photo holders, sewing kit boxes, colorful bookshelf filler, backdrop for photographing buttons, and heck- even as reading material.

The sky's the limit.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mara Mi

In the midst of all the olde timeyness of Stillwater, Minnesota, right on a corner of the main thoroughfare, snuggled in between antiquarian booksellers and antiques shoppes, is an oasis of light, bright, dust-free, color and delight. It is the sunny stationary shop called Mara Mi.

Like a young whippersnapper running circles around the ankles of old geezers holding tight to their canes, Mara Mi adds a burst of  energy to the drab-by-default retail scene of  this old river town.

Oh yes, they have treats too!

If you can't easily take a jaunt over to Stillwater check out the Mara Mi selection at a Target near you.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Mighty Fine Rock

A bit erratic perhaps, but darn pretty.

Two tourists were hiking in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.  
“I wonder where all these rocks came from?” - One tourist asked.
“Well,” said the other tourist. “I hear the glacier brought 'em.”
“So where is the glacier now?” - The first tourist asked.
“I guess it went back for more rocks.” – Was the reply.

Geologists have their faults (bada boom) but no one can accuse them of lacking a funny streak.