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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Love Story - The Squirrel, A Cat, and Me



I am not sure where my delusion all began but I am in love with squirrels.  Their cute little pudgy body is just screaming to me "Hug Me."  It doesn't start here but it definitely was a pivotal point in my crazy squirrel affair. 
Sweet little squirrels found in ETSY Shop Val World at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/valworld?ref=seller_info


On my last trip to the Midwest we spent time in a remote hilly forest that was actually a tough course of disc golf.  While waiting for my son to finish a hole I kept hearing a strange sound.  It sounded almost like someone plucking a rubber band but more scratchy.  I investigated and found the noise to be coming from a tree.  I looked closer and became excited when I discovered the sound came from the plumpest little squirrel chewing on a nut.  He was in the branch slightly above my reach he was so intent on his project that he didn’t seem to notice me; at first.  With camera in hand I approached slowly.  His head lifted slightly to watch me while continuing to chew on his nut.


I inched closer taking a picture and closer taking another.  I was thinking all the while about how sweet he looked and how I would love to scoop him up and cuddle him.  But having been raised in the country I knew not to, but oh how tempting...  I continued to inch forward, the squirrel stopped and then continued to gnaw at the nut keeping a good eye on me.  At this point I had convinced myself that maybe I could get closer even yet, right below the branch.  He is so sweet... so cute...until…


He sprung up squeaking, nut still in his mouth, tiny little hands stretched out in anger for my disturbing his peace.  Of course that didn't stop me yet.  I continued to take pictures up close and personal like a deranged paparazzi.  I’m snapping photos faster and faster as the squirrel is becoming angrier and angrier.  Then he jumped to the main trunk of the tree and stuck his upper body out as if to lunge.


At this point the temptation faded and images of cuddling a squirrel left, replaced by images from Chevy Case's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  I envisioned the squirrel leaping from the tree to my chest in one swift motion and I decided to back off.  I left, his angry squeaks echoing through the forest behind me. 


I have learned, my friends, that I should stick to cats.  They are just as pudgy and soft and they don't bite...Usually.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer Fun - Fireflies, Frogs and Sparklers



Growing up in the Midwest made me appreciate the summers.  I have the best memories of those hot Wisconsin nights when the air would cool to a nice 80 degrees.  The breeze would be light and cool after a scorching summer day and the laziness you felt earlier gave way to a new excited energy.  No school in the morning and with a light afternoon nap we would be ready for a night of country fun.
This whimsical print was found in ETSY Shop Dianna Bonder Studios at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DiannaBonderStudios?ref=seller_info
In the background, sounds of chirping frogs from the creek in our front yard rang out in the stillness while we hunted for little sparks in the night sky.  We would catch as many fireflies as we could and gently place them in an old mason jar that had a warm nest waiting for them made from handfuls of freshly plucked grass.  These amazing living lights were out around the end of June which meant we would also have little sparklers to light too.
Beautiful art from ETSY Shop Best Art Studios 2 at http://www.etsy.com/shop/BestArtStudios2?ref=seller_info
With our flickering jars we would sit on the benches in our yard waiting for a turn at having our sparklers lit.  When I was young they only had the metal wands with one color but that was enough to light our imaginations.  At that age the night was exciting and full of mystery just because we never were out that late during the school year.  We often found ourselves cooped up through the winter months not daring to brave the cold winds.

This beautiful photograph is from ETSY Shop Spark Poets at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sparkpoets?ref=seller_info
In the Midwest country side the night air was filled with the scent of beautiful evening primrose and strange sounds emanating from the woods.  I felt so daring to be outside that late and the cool air on my skin was so freeing.  Months of heavy layers and thick coats having been shed I ran lighter than air with a sparkling trail behind me.  While serenaded by the friendly frogs and greeted with salutations from the blinking fireflies in the jar.  Even now when the summer temperature is just right I get a brief prickle of excitement as I remember those wonderful summer nights.
Lovely Print found in ETSY Shop Irish Viking Designs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/IrishVikingDesigns?ref=seller_info

My New Discovery on ETSY


I just discovered what they call BNR and BNS treasuries. These treasuries are wonderful fun for sellers and buyers alike. I have bought an item from each of the treasuries I am proud to post below and then they add one of my items to the treasury. I have purchased two pieces of jewelry, some homemade lip balm and some Lilac Soap. Please tweet, FB or convo these for me. Stop by each and leave a comment, I appreciate the support and I am sure the other shop owners will appreciate the feedback and sales too. I am really excited about this new opportunity (I am sure you can tell.) Hope to see you there.





Thursday, April 28, 2011

Aromatherapy Thursday - Mandarin

This beautiful fine art print was found in ETSY shop Honey & Jam Photography at http://www.etsy.com/shop/honeyandjamphotos?ref=seller_info
The lovely fragrance of Mandarin oil is an uplifting and stimulating scent that can create a feeling of euphoria.  The Mandarin is part of the citrus family and has similar properties but with a gentler action.  This property makes using Mandarin oil for aromatherapy ideal for most people including children and those that are pregnant.  

A wonderful Mandarin Orange/Citrus Blend Sugar Body Scrub found in ETSY shop Sweet Sunny Girl at http://www.etsy.com/people/sweetsunnygirl?ref=ls_profile
I love the citrus family because it reminds me of summer and sunshine.  So it is a wonderful treat to make a lovely bright colored sachet or potpourri mix to brighten up your room in the winter.  The stimulating scent helps chase my winter blues away.  It is also a lovely refreshing fragrance on those hot summer days.  What a perfect natural gift.
My Sunny Citrus Sachet mix in ETSY shop Butterfly In The Attic at
http://www.etsy.com/listing/67026880/handmade-sunny-lemon-grass-sachet-mix
The Mandarin’s fruity and mild aroma blends well with many other fragrances such as chamomile.  This mixture of 4 drops Mandarin and 1 drop Chamomile oil in 2 teaspoons of carrier will be a nice soothing rub which can also prevent and treat stretch marks.  A bath of 3 drops Mandarin oil and 3 drops Rose oil mixed with 1/4 cup Epsom salts creates a relaxing home spa in your bathroom.  There are many uses for Mandarin oil in aromatherapy.  I have included a treasury with many wonderful treats that use this Heavenly fruity scent.
A wonderful Satsuma- Whipped Soap found in ETSY shop Paradise Body Shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ParadiseBodyShop?ref=seller_info
Always use a carrier oil such as vegetable oil or sweet grape seed oil with essential oils at a ratio of approx. 5 drops of essential oil to 2 teaspoons of carrier.  A carrier can also be Epsom salts, sea salts, or anything that will dilute the oil.  Often essential oils are very powerful and can damage the mucous membranes of the nose if inhaled directly from the bottle.  A technique called "wafting" is used when testing the scent of essential oils.  This technique is simple:  open the container and holding it at least 4 inches away from your nose, use your hand and gently wave across the top up to your nose to waft the fragrance to you.  Never directly sniff from the container's opening. 

Aromatherapy Thursday Picks...Mandarin...Part 1


Aromatherapy Thursday Picks...Mandarin...Part 2


Luxurious Bath and Beauty...Mandarin


Sunny Citrus Summer Fun

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Treasuries Featuring Butterfly In The Attic

Some of the wonderful people at ETSY has featured items from my shops in treasuries recently.  I would love to share their creative choices and curation.


Always End Up Wearing Grey featuring my Lavender Bath Salts



Sweetness featuring my Lavender Oatmeal Bath Sachets



Pink Lullaby featuring one of my antique postcards



Sunshine featuring my Handmade Lemon Grass Sachet Mix



Summer is Just Around The Corner featuring my vintage saucy seaside postcard



and last but not least
I Love You Mom featuring my vintage plastic buttons



Thank you to all my ETSY friends for your support.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Treasuries

Again, Happy Easter Everyone!!! 


I hope you enjoy the following treasuries:














Please Don't Forget to check out the submissions at:
Aulani
The rules have changed and the winners are drawn randomly. But the more clicks on the items the more winners they select. So I am asking everyone that reads my blog to go to the page and check us out and click around.  There are so many wonderful items today from many different artists and crafters. I know you will love it.

Happy Easter! Welcome Spring & Rebirth!

Easter is my favorite holiday even over Christmas.  While I love Christmas, to me Easter is such an obvious sign of rebirth and new life.  I have always been very in tune with nature, so when we are struggling through the dark cold winters I get an overwhelming feeling that the earth is void and its life gone.  Then at Easter a warm breeze and a refreshing rain awakens everything and I see the natural world come back to life. 

For Christians and those of similar beliefs this is also the day to celebrate Christ's rising from the dead.  It is the perfect time of year to celebrate His rebirth since all things around us are coming alive once again and you can feel the dawn of a new cycle of life.  I have so many things to be grateful for and I am especially grateful for our Savior’s precious sacrifice. 
While many say that the Easter egg hunts, bunnies, and chicks mask the true meaning of Easter, I disagree.  I believe that these are things that symbolize the rebirth and resurrection of our Savior and therefore are to be celebrated.  The butterfly is the symbol of the resurrection (reincarnation); eggs, chicks and baby bunnies are the signs of rebirth; and the cute little lamb is the symbol of our Shepherd and the Lamb of God.
So, I am very excited for this special day in my life and appreciate all the visual cues and symbols around me.  Whether you are of similar faith or believe differently I hope that you enjoy all of these beautiful treasures that we have around us and the sign of new things to come.
 
Happy Easter Everyone!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stitch In Time - Vintage Needlework

http://www.etsy.com/listing/69726651/vintage-needlework-bambi-fawn-thumper?ref=pr_shop
Vintage needlework is such a beautiful treasure to find.  Not only is the item a part of history but it is handmade by someone putting passions and dreams in every stitch.  When I see some of these pieces of art it makes me think of a young woman sitting in an old parlor stitching by lamplight.  She is lost in thought dreaming of what her house will look like when she is married, what clothes she will sew for her children, and how the cushion she is making will look arranged on her own davenport.  Some day she will be married and will have a home of her own; lost in a dream she continues to stitch her future.
This is just like my grandmother's box  I found it in ETSY shop I Found This For You at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Ifoundthis4u?ref=seller_info
I have so many memories that involve this beautiful hobby.  I can remember when I first seen my grandmother's sewing box.  It was so intricately designed and fascinating I wanted to immediately open it.  I was not allowed to go into her sewing box on my own but she would open it up to show me the mysterious contents.  There where so many tools, needles and gadgets that I could hardly keep my little hands out of the beautiful box. 
Vintage collection found in ETSY Shop Tattered Rebel at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TATTEREDREBEL?ref=pr_shop
She told me about what the items were for and how she used them.  I, of course, thought I could immediately start making clothing and doilies just like her.  My mind raced, but she was a good teacher and started me out with a little knitting bobbin that she knew I wouldn't be able to put my eye out with.  I was only 4 years old, at that time, so the wonderful sewing box was put out of reach for a later time in my life.
Knitting Spool (we called it a bobbin) found in ETSY Shop Vintage Polka Dot.Com at http://www.etsy.com/shop/VintagePolkaDotcom?ref=seller_info
My grandmother came from the depression era so she understood the value of saving; reusing and never letting things go to waste.  I was lucky that she had that mindset not only because most of her sewing tools were antiques (which I love) but it also taught me how to be resourceful.  She was an expert seamstress, she crocheted the most beautiful things, and she was always trying the latest needlework techniques.  She didn't need to have the latest gadgets because she was so knowledgeable and could use the things that she had already.  But once in a great while something new would come in the mail and that was quite an event for me.
One of the gadgets my grandmother had that I sooooo wanted to use  Found in ETSY Shop Yonks at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Yonks?ref=seller_info
She taught me how to crochet and showed me all of her lovely pattern books.  She showed me how to needlepoint and use the patterns on her shelf.  And as the years went by when I visited her that sewing box became a bigger part of my life.  When she passed away I was still very young.  I worked so hard to keep learning how to crochet and sew and stitch.  I used her books and patterns until they were missing their covers and tattered.  With every stitch I made and every loop I crocheted it would remind me of her.  All the hours she spent showing me patiently as I became frustrated with my lack of skill would eventually pay off because I never gave up even after she died. 
Found in ETSY shop Once Upon A Gem at
 http://www.etsy.com/people/OnceUponAGem?ref=ls_profile
Because of my memories it makes me wonder about the needlework I acquire.  What thoughts and dreams the crafter had when they were creating the piece.  I don't know of any artist or crafter that isn't a dreamer so when we buy someone’s piece, new or vintage, we are buying a little bit of their dreams with it.


Even while putting these treasuries together I was reminded of my grandmother.  That is why I ended up making one about the tools and patterns.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.










Please don't for get to vote for me tomorrow on Aulani
My Lavender Oatmeal Bath Sachets are featured under Butterfly In The Attic. Your vote will help me win free advertising and you don't have to sign up to vote. Thank you

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trip to the Midwest and the Mississippi River

Our trip back to the Midwest was one of necessity but I also took this opportunity to show my family where I had grown up.  Our eldest son plays Disk Golf with a high level of skill and enjoys taking his father out with him to practice.  I remembered that there was a great course in a park where I used to spend hours walking looking at the Bald Eagles and wild life.  At that time I noticed people playing a game but had no knowledge of the sport my son has mastered until he introduced Disc Golf to me.  It was, of course, nothing remotely like what I thought it was at that time.  I was excited to show him about this wonderful course off the Mississippi River in one of my favorite parks. 



We arrive in La Crosse Wisconsin on the chilly April day with a simple goal; my son and husband were going to play Disc Golf, while my daughter and I find something to do that will keep us warm.  During the drive I had mentioned some of my childhood experiences with the river flooding but had never expected what we were about to find.
Fine Art Photo found in ETSY Shop Dank Dezigns at http://www.etsy.com/people/DankDezigns?ref=ls_profile
I pulled off La Crosse’s "Big Blue Bridge" and immediately noticed to the left that the campground that was there last summer was completely gone.  As soon as I seen the water I knew we were not headed to play Disc Golf but to view a natural disaster.  Again the mighty river has flooded its banks overtaking the parks along its shores.  It was disappointing but it also led us to an awesome demonstration of the power nature still has over mankind and his technology. 
In the early 1900's people decide that they are going to control the mighty Mississippi River.  They completely changed the river’s natural path and flow with locks and dams eventually narrowing and deepening it into a natural resource for commerce and recreation. 
Photograph found in ETSY Shop Paul's Pics at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/PaulsPics?ref=seller_info
They developed the land up and down the river; building parks, housing, and businesses along its banks.  They gave them wonderful names to lure the people (Riverside, Riverfront, and Riverview) with no consideration to the amazing will that the river has.  With one season of heavy snow along with the spring rain the river will wash away what our human hands have created without hesitation. 







Although my son and his father were not able to play their sport at this park; I was able to show them first-hand what I had witnessed as a child; the amazing power and will of the mighty Mississippi.


So here is some treasuries saluting the power of water:



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stormy Weather - Song Lighting Crashes by Live

It is funny what will trigger a song and a memory.  I was working and stopped by one of the teams I belong to and found a challenge.  The person starting the thread created a treasury based on a theme and presents the first challenge theme and the next follows suite.  Mine was to create a treasury based on Stormy Weather which of course triggered memories of the song Lighting Crashes by Live.  Even if you do not like heavier music the lyrics are beautiful with rich meaning about the circle of life.  The transfer of one life as the body passes and leaves on to another as they are newly born.

Live Lyrics - Lightning Crashes



I hope you enjoy the video and the treasury:



Please note that I will not have computer access for a week but will be back soon.   I will miss my Blog friends.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Aniversary of The Titanic

This amazing print on canvas was created by an artist that has a family history from the Titanic.
I found his shop, Painting Ports, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PaintingPort?ref=seller_info 
On April 10, 1912 over 2000 people boarded the largest ship built for a luxurious trip overseas from Southampton, England to New York.  The ship was boasted as "unsinkable" constructed with the newest technology and the protection of the double skinned hull.  The ship was a floating luxury hotel; it had fine dining, a gymnasium, saloons, a library, and much more.  The ship was staffed with over eight hundred employees to cater to the passengers every need, except of course one. 
Found in ETSY ShopBooze Hound Artworks at  
http://www.etsy.com/shop/boozehoundartworks?ref=seller_info
The ship stops in Cherbourg the same day and Queenstown the next, where more passengers board and then the Titanic crew sets course unaware of the fate that lay before them.  April 14, 1912 the "unsinkable" ship hits an iceberg around midnight.  They built this ship for luxury and speed and spent much effort lavishing their guests with the best that money could buy but overlooking something, in hindsight, seems so basic.  The creators of the Titanic, so confident that this ship was truly unsinkable, did not provide their guests with the simplest comp; enough lifesaving boats.
Amazing antique map found at ETSY Shop Banana Strudel at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/bananastrudel?ref=seller_info
In the early hours of April 15th the band played as the Titanic, along with all but just over seven hundred of passengers and crew, meet their fate at the bottom of the frozen ocean.  Survivors clinging to life, the situation surreal, most likely unbelieving what had just happened even as they are wet and exposed to the elements.

This sad tragedy has had an impact on people for decades upon decades.  Many, including myself, that have no personal connection to this event continue to be fascinated by the details and carry the memories of those lost onto the next generation.  Perhaps it is partly due to the lavish manor that the ship was built along with the wealth of some and the mystery of others that were aboard but also due to the irony that the "unsinkable" ship met its demise on its maiden voyage. 
This beautiful Antique Dress was found at ETSY Shop Pretty In Prague at http://www.etsy.com/shop/prettyinprague?ref=seller_info
Although this event had such great loss it has been the inspiration for many beautiful stories based on memoirs and accounts from survivors.  The latest movie about the Titanic was one that rejuvenated the interest for younger generations and created a new wave of romanticizing this period in history.  I too romanticize about the beauty and grace of the women from that period, the gentlemen dressed so dashingly and the luxuries that were found on that ship. 

Antique 1st edition book on the Titanic found at ETSY Shop New Life Wood Works at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/NewLifeWoodWorks?ref=seller_info
The following treasuries are created with inspiration from remembering the beauty and tragedy of the Titanic.

The Titanic April 10 - 15, 1912


The Beauty of The Titanic


The Icy Blue Depth...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Childhood Memories


Often as a child I was told not to put too much value on material things.  Although I agree it is not good to put an emphasis on material things over people, what I found was that it wasn't the item so much as the memories attached to the item.  It could have been the plainest thing you ever saw but if it came from my Grandpa, Grandma or my Uncle it was a cherished treasure.  They were special people in my life so even if it was a card, a flower, or the gift wrap I wanted to save it.  I am sure that I am not the only person that feels that way because I found things that my children have saved that surprises me but to them it is a treasure.  So I went on a search for images of items from many generations all the way up to my children's childhood that were a meaningful part of our lives and maybe yours too.  
I am so excited I found this item from Shane's Treasure Chest.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShanesTreasureChest?ref=seller_info
Now here is a funny image for you: this is exactly like the one I had growing up and I would ride it while I watched Star Trek (the original with William Shatner, who I had a crush on, FYI)  I would ride it as fast as I could trying to get to warp speed.  I'm blushing as I write this but I would do it again if I could!

Found in ETSY Shop Fresh Retro Gallery at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/FreshRetroGallery?ref=seller_info
These are from my childhood too.  They were the real Pix-up Stix not those phony blunted plastic ones.  I never poked my eye out because people made sure I didn't run around with them.  I miss the wood ones.
Found on ETSY Shop Abe's Basement at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AbesBasement?ref=seller_info
One from my husband's favorites.  He loves the Green Hornet (the original with Jackie Chan.)

Found at ETSY Shop Retro Reaction  
http://www.etsy.com/shop/RetroReaction?ref=seller_info
I had this exact game.  I remember being really unsure about the images on one hand they were intriguing on the other hand the heads bothered me.  My daughter loved to play Old Maid too.  But she always wanted to be the Old Maid and would cheat to get it; giggling the entire time she was doing it.  She wasn't very good at being sneaky.
Found on ETSY Shop Old School Productions at http://www.etsy.com/shop/OldSkoolProductions?ref=pr_shop_more
Wow!!! Another great find.  I so wanted this set growing up...I loved Star Wars.
Found on ETSY Shop Bargain Mom Of 3 at
 http://www.etsy.com/shop/bargainmomof3?ref=seller_info
My daughter loved Strawberry Shortcake but she fell right in between the time when they first came out and when they started making the reproductions.  So I would search every garage sale I could for these sweet smelling little babies.  They really made them well because they usually still smelled like strawberry.
Found on ETSY Store Happy 2 See U at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/happy2seeu?ref=seller_info
OK one more from my childhood.  When I found this I had to add it.  I was older when the new technology of Scratch n' Sniff stickers came out but wow did I love them.  They were so cool and "so out of this world!"

From ETSY Shop Sew Busy B at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewbuzyb?ref=seller_info
My son was torn between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Biker Mice From Mars.  Eventually the Mutants won.
Once again there were too many wonderful items to include in this post so I created a couple treasuries with more.  I found so many things that I can remember one of us playing with or talking about. 

If I were a kid again...


Childhood Memories...From a Mother's View


Please don't forget to vote for me on I am #19 with the sweet Lavender Bath Salts.  Thanks
Aulani