A Doll’s Valentine Party


When I went to the kitchen for breakfast on this Valentine’s Day morning, I found my little doll table all set for a party.   There was a decorated cardboard box for collecting cards, an assortment of 1940s era Valentines, a luscious looking cake and a box of Valentine chocolates – all miniatures made and assembled by my daughter.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s Christmas Time in my December Kitchen

In 1990, my youngest daughter gave me a Hallmark ornament showing Santa as the caller at a hoedown for his reindeer.  It was especially appropriate because my husband and I were ardent square dancers at the time.

The ornament became the centerpiece of the windowsill over the sink with a few small tins and figures added.  I’ve used the same display ever since.

The shelves on either side of the window hold snowmen made by my oldest daughter, Christmas mugs from grandchildren who are in their mid-20s now, and little S’Mores figures.

deckit-rh shelf

deckit-lh shelf
In the bay window area, I have a vintage paper bell, two favorite Rockwell Christmas plates and red plastic cookie cutters I bought at the dime store in 1953.

The top of my primitive shelf holds items handmade by my daughter

And the rest of the shelves hold vintage bottles, a fragment of a fancy apron I made for my mother over 50 years ago, grandma/grandpa salt and pepper shakers from a favorite restaurant of long ago, Christmas spoons, a St. Nicholas tile and my favorite Mary Engelbreit figures – “I Love Christmas”.
I have two wall hangings I made – one, a primitive based on my Christmas china…

(This is my post on how I designed and made the wall hanging.)

…and a countdown calendar in which felt cookies are removed from the big mixing bowl and placed into a pocket.


A Department 56 lady reigns over everything as my kitchen muse.

The newest addition this year has been a 1940s era doll table and chair set.  The set now has a hostess, a 1960s Penny Brite doll.  She’s graciously serving from a bountiful table with punchbowl, cupcakes, gingerbread house and candy canes.
My favorite is a tiered fudge dish fashioned from small bolts by my daughter.

Luckily, I was able to get most of my decorations up this year before I had some medical problems, so everything is ready for Christmas.

It’s Turkey Time in my November Kitchen

Turkeys are the main attraction in my November kitchen, accompanied by some pilgrims and other fall decorations.

The shelves on either side of the window over my sink hold some turkey items…l

The big rustic shelf holds a painting I did on enamelware and two vintage turkey candles.

The middle shelf has some small vintage pilgrim candles…

…and on the bottom shelf are a turkey tile and some more candles.

My doll table is decked out with a crocheted-edge tablecloth, silverware and plates, plus a miniature turkey and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

On the walls are a cross-stitch piece that my daughter-in-law did for me….

…a quilted turkey wall hanging I made several years ago…

…a pilgrim enamelware platter that I painted in 1996…

…and a patchwork wall hanging with my favorite Rockwell Thanksgiving picture.

It won’t be long until I’ll be buying the real turkey to stuff and roast for my family once again.


Time for Halloween in my October Kitchen

I love to get out all of the vintage, collectible and handmade items for my October kitchen.  On the window sill there is a pumpkin that my mother had 30 years ago, some funny S’More figures in costume and my oldest daughter’s hand-stitched tea towel.

The shelves at the side of the window hold crafted pieces by both daughters.

In the bay window is a painted witch that goes back over 20 years to my decorative arts days.

There is a picture embroidered by my oldest daughter and two wall hangings I made in my early days of quilting.

The top of the big set of shelves holds my painted haunted house and some vintage candles….

…on the middle shelf is a miniature chair I painted along with candlesticks made by my youngest daughter, and some pieces made by my oldest daughter, including some felted wool figures.

I love this decoration my oldest daughter made from an old woman’s shoe.  Remember when grandma wore this type of shoe?

In this case, it’s the “Witch’s Night Out” and she has everything she needs for a good time – an invitation to the dance, a fan, a mask and feathers, beads, her dance card, and her “Eau de Lizard”.

All I have to do is get a big bag of candy for the trick or treaters and I’m ready.

Antique Store Finds in Amish Country

This past week, my daughter and I made our annual trip to Holmes County Amish Country (north-central Ohio).  We traveled on Monday and Wednesday and had the full day Tuesday free for shopping in quilt shops, gift shops and a wonderful antique mall.  At the Antique Trading Post in Millersburg, I found this hanger with tiny china plates and cups which I would date to the late 1940s.  The china is crazed and worn-looking which I love and has my favorite Dutch motifs.

I’m always drawn to the little made-in-Japan pieces that I remember from my grandmas’ and aunts’ houses in the 1940s.  I couldn’t resist this salt and pepper set.

For my daughter and me, the main focus of the trip is the beautiful scenery, the great food and our stay on a Mennonite farm, Mel and Mary’s Cottages, but the shopping is also so wonderful in little towns like Berlin, Sugar Creek, Walnut Creek and my favorite name, Charm.  We like to go in the fall when the colors are at their prettiest and see the rolling farmland and all of the charming (and very friendly) Amish people.

Look What I Just Found at the Antique Mall

Today, we went to one of my favorites – The Covered Bridge Antique Mall in the Mt. Healthy suburb of Cincinnati.  This darling 1930s-40s era metal table and chair set in depression green was marked down from $70 to $35.  I have no idea where I’m going to put it but it had to come home with me.  The table is 3 inches tall and the chairs, about 3-1/2 inches tall.  There is a darling graphic of a sunbonnet girl on each piece.  The color is a little off in this picture.

Now, I’ll have to be on the lookout for a vintage doll or two and some dishes.

Autumn Has Come to my September Kitchen

It seems that almost every decorative item in my September kitchen was made by my oldest daughter…she carved and painted the pumpkin with a crocheted rose that hangs by the window…

…she painted the beautiful door crown….

.  she painted the plates and pitcher on the large shelf…

…in fact, she painted and distressed the shelf itself.

Also on the shelf is a miniature house and figures that the two youngest grandchildren always loved. They liked peeking in the window and seeing Grandma and Grandpa peeling apples.

My favorite of all is a piece that is up all year round in the kitchen.  My daughter painted an old dresser drawer depression green and used it to house a tiny 1930s era kitchen with vintage Tootsie Toy stove, sink, refrigerator and table.  She added so many details which I love such as a clock, a calendar, light fixture  and sink skirt.  There’s a tiny dishcloth on the sink, a grease jar on the stovetop and canisters on the shelf.  I use the bottom section of the drawer to store some 6 inch quilts.  I smile whenever I look at this little kitchen.

Now, I’m ready for bright blue skies, changing leaves, and cooler weather outside with a lot of baking inside in my September kitchen.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1961-1967

On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day.  The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way.  This is what I received this week.

1961 – A 1961 edition of a television schedule that was included with our newspaper.  It’s so much fun to read because of the ads for local businesses.  And wasn’t Andy Williams young and handsome?

1962 – A copy of Life magazine featuring one of my favorites from the early days of television – Sid Caesar.

1963 – My youngest daughter knitted this for me from a vintage pattern – everyone had to have a fancy toilet tissue cover in 1963, right?

1964 – A tiny tray with salt and pepper shakers from the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

1965 – A copy of  Strange but True Baseball Stories.  Anything relating to baseball has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember.

1966 – A token from Cincinnati’s Potter’s Shoes celebrating 100 years in business – from 1866 to 1966.  On the reverse side is a memorial to our Suspension Bridge which was also built in 1866.

1967 – A small plate commemorating Salzburg and The Sound of Music.  My oldest daughter included a note reminiscing about how the two of us saw the movie in a neighborhood theater in the fall of 1967.  She writes, “The theater was packed with kids, who cheered loudly when Maria and the Captain did their “Something Good” number, then again when Maria appeared in her wedding gown.  I always think of The Sound of Music in October and imagine the hills of Cincinnati are the hills above Salzburg.”  In 1990, we were able to go to Austria and visit Salzburg.

All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the right hand side of the page.

The Amish and the Honey Bees are Visiting my August Kitchen

My favorite vacation destination is Amish Country in Holmes County, Ohio.  It is so picturesque with photo-op scenery around every corner and each bend in the road.  In August, I display a few items that have been purchased and some that have been handmade.  The two cast-iron figures on the window sill were a recent gift and I love the one of the woman quilting.  On my shelf I have a set of 4 figures that I’ve had for many years.  They look so similar to the families we see walking along the road when we visit Amish Country.

My first cast-iron Amish figures were an engagement gift from a friend in 1952 -a set of salt and pepper shakers.  This little guy’s mate was lost many years ago and he’s a little the worse for wear because all four of my children carried him around when they were toddlers.

I have two beautiful framed  pieces made by my oldest daughter …

…and two wall hangings that I made ….

My daughter loves bees and contributed several items when she moved back home.  I made two of her embroidered pieces into wall hangings  …

For me, displaying these beautiful things is a nice segue from summer into fall.

Click on pictures to enlarge.