Snowflakes and a tiny Mr. Elmer Frost

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Here are the snowflakes I've made so far, it's really fun making them. The idea came from Cat @ and she proposed that if we would like to get snow soon, every blogger should cut out a paper snowflake and post it on your blog! Cat I'm in a snowflake fever now, will try out more and different pattern as soon as I find the time again!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I've been inspired to take the following picture of my Frosty the snowman pen (now called Mr. Elmer Frost because I so like this oldfashioned name) by a post of the talented and enchanting Mrs. Staggs, who is the owner of one of my favorite blogs A happy Miscellany. Have a look at her post of this Tuesday where she has shown us pictures of her utterly gorgeous "Mrs. Eleanor Frost" sitting on her lovely front porch!

Oh and I just saw her inspiring post of today, just go and have a look at what she has created now! :D And the snow has already made it to her part of the world too!

In other news, I'm quite happy to say that I've finally sent out all my swap parcels and hope that they will arrive at the participants houses soon! NG your's too! I have already got 4 lovely selfmade nostalgic Christmas ornament parcels (still 4 to look forward to :D) and all 5 collaged Christmas postcards. Please let me know when you have got yours! Oh and if you don't wanna spoil your surprise, you better don't go to Sandys Art tea life blog before you've got your parcel because she has posted her 8 absolutely fabulous ornaments there and I for one are even more looking forward to get mine now :D!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


NOW OPEN! Our new website, ANTIQUES AND TEACUPS, for exclusively tea table related items is now open for business at

Come visit us! We have teacups, teapots, tea cozies, knife rests, and everything for the tea table, and adding more every minute!

Took a lot of work and I'm still tweaking the site, but it's coming along. Rather high learning curve at the moment....whew!

Now it's back to loading items while it snows outside at 30 degrees. I love seeing the snow UP THERE on Mount Ashland, although we have about an inch here at 1800 feet at the moment. Nice thing is, I can enjoy it but not have to shovel it because it's gonna melt soon!

Have a great day and come visit our new website.


Vix Bit


I install a lot of hardware, mostly in my own home, largely antique brass stripped free of paint, polished, or re-plated nickel.

One of life's little annoyances is an off-center screw hole. How to ensure a perfect pilot hole when drilling? Use a vix bit, a self-centering drill bit. The spring-loaded chamfered tip, or guide, centers the bit, then retracts into a larger housing as the bit penetrates. Vix Bits come in multiple sizes, most commonly 5/64 (intended for #3 & 4 screws), 7/64 (#'s 5 & 6), 9/64 (#'s 8, 9 & 10), and 11/64 (for #12 screws).

You're probably best buying them online, in a set (of three), or at a place like Rockler (feature coming soon).


Sunday, November 26, 2006


My fave color for the Advent/Christmas decoration this year is not red and silver like it usually used to be, no this year it's a mix of turquoise, grey-green and light blue, which you can for example see here in the table decoration that I did this morning and it also shows in almost all of my crafts and collages, for example in the Christmas stocking (click on "stocking" to see if you have missed it) which I've already created in September.

On a curly hazelnut branch I've decorated some of my Christmas cones

I've finished this Christmas cone today, you can see another one that I've finished last month, also in my fave color theme here

This X-mas card I've finished last night, in my fave color of course:

Can you see the garland with green and turqoise Christmas ornaments that I've tighten between the two white posts in my living room?

A little bit closer look:

This one is my favorite Christmas ornament from "Housedoctor", I so love almost all of their decoration items, because they have such a lovely vintage touch.

I'm not yet finished with the Advent decoration, but at least I've had a good start today which has really brought me into the festive mood again :D So what's about you, have you already started to decorate for Christmas, do you have a new color scheme, or do you prefer the traditional red/green? Well of course I also have to find a few corners for my red and silver decoration items somewhere in the house but there are still a few days to do this before the first of Advent next Sunday.

Long Beach Flit


Another go-to hardware establishment named B & B? Yep, in Long Beach's California
Heights neighborhood. Long Beach's B & B Hardware mixes an extensive decorative hardware section with old house parts, and everyday items.

Tom Barnes/B&B Hardware
929 E. Wardlow Road Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 490-2669

Near by, at the intersection of Orange and Wardlow (near Jan's Antique Mall), packed into a tiny streamline moderne storefront, Antique Emporium peddles vintage linens, California pottery, jewelry, and bric-a-brac. Open since April, proprietress Julie Brown-Wooley hopes to expand next door, unable to showcase her extensive backstock.

California Heights, the largest of Long Beach's 17 historic districts, was developed beginning in 1922. Fuzzy cheeked Sunset Magazine included the former Los Cerritos ranch land, in their 2004 Best Neighborhoods in the West feature.

The Vintage Emporium
3423 Orange Avenue
(562) 988-8460
TU - FRI 2 - 7 pm
SAT 10 am - 6 pm

Antiques On Sale Nov. 26-Dec 2nd


It's 40 degrees, we're supposed to have snow showers are there's still turkey to be creative with! Life is good!

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and spent some time being thankful for the many things in our lives that we take for granted the rest of the year like friends, family, health, food. clothing and shelter, and for living in a country that allows us the freedom to think, believe and even spout off about our agreements or disagreements freely without fear of punishment or jail time. I for one am VERY thankful for that.
Time Was Antiques weekly Sale Before Christmas, from Nov.26-Dec 2nd, is 10% off on all antiques. So, if it's more than 100 years old, made before 1906, it's 10% off at :
So come and browse and find that perfect Christmas or holiday gift. The photo here is of a gorgeous Wedgwood jasperware biscuit barrel made between 1880-1891. In perfect condition and a great gift!
Have a great day. I'm off the church, brunch and then some time working on our new niche site Antiques And Teacups while my honey watches football.

Guessing Game

Saturday, November 25, 2006


1. Guess the location:

a) Studio City
b) South Los Angeles
c) Monrovia

The answer is: b
(Location: 64th & Cimarron, Canterbury Knolls)

2. Guess the location:

a) South Carthay
b) South Los Angeles
c) Burbank

The answer is b
(Location: Leimert Park)

3. Guess the location:

a) East Los Angeles
b) South Los Angeles
c) Mar Vista

The answer is: c
Location: Mar Vista (Allin St. & Marionwood Dr.)

Thanks for playing!

White Roses

Thursday, November 23, 2006


This story I got through a forwarded mail. I guess sometimes these forwards are also quite good.
I was walking around in a store. I saw a cashier hand this little boy his money back saying "I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll." Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ''Granny, are you sure I don't have Enough money?''
The old lady replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.''
Then she asked him to stay there for five minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. "It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her."

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will Bring it to her after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. "No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there." His eyes were so sad while saying this. "My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.''

My heart nearly stopped.
The little boy looked up at me and said: "I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall." Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me, "I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister."

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. "What if we checked again, just in case you do have enough money?''

"Ok", he said, "I hope that I have enough." I Added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the Doll and even some spare money.
The little boy said: "Thank you God for giving me enough money!"

Then he looked at me and added "I asked yesterday before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mommy can give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a White rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.''

"My mommy loves white roses."

A few minutes later, the old lady came again And I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned of a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car, where there was one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-assisting machine, because the young lady would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that this little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

And so the story ends........................

Another wreath and more garden deco


of mum's patio:

Initially I wanted to post about the presents I got of NG and Marias Christmas ornament today, but Maria has kindly asked me to wait a while, so I won't spoil the surprise for the other swap participants from overseas that haven't received their ornaments yet. Of course I don't wanna be a spoiler, so for now here are more pictures that I took at my parents garden instead.

Physalis flowers of mums garden used in the wreath in the picture above and as a natural garland below:

As always, you should be able to click on the pictures to enlarge them! I hope you'll enjoy what you see! xox

P.S.: Okay I've just checked it and two pictures are not showing up bigger by clicking on, but because they sure look much better in their whole size I'm adding the links here for you to see if you like to.

First picture:

Last picture:

Wednesday's Loose Change

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Hey interested old house buyers: we lowered the price on 2042 S. Oxford, to $1,099,000.00.

The bricks stacked in the foreground, are remains of the original foundation, ready for patio makings or pathways.

The grass seed has grown full and tall.


Danny Miller's piece ran Sunday in the Times, re-titled: Old? It's Gold!

Harvard Heights BMOC's are interviewed, including Steve Pallrand and Steve Wallis.

Youngstown, Anyone?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population reached a landmark 300 million sometime around 7:46 am Eastern time on October 18th (2006). Amongst so-called industrialized nations, the U.S. is a bit the anomaly, still recording significant population growth. The U.S. Census Bureau claims that an American is born every 7 seconds, one dies every 13 seconds, and the nation gains an immigrant from abroad every 31 seconds.

How does this seldom-checked growth relate to the housing market? Here's some additional numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau:

In 1915, when the U.S. population hit 100 million, the home-ownership rate was 45.9%, and the average price of a new home was $3,200. In 1967, when the U.S. population reached 200 million, homeownership had increased to 63.6%, whilst the average new house cost $24,600. In 2006, home ownership is higher yet again at 68.9% (though perhaps because of the significant recent appreciation in urban markets, the rate is in slight decline since 2003). The average cost of new-home in 2006? $290,600! That's a percentage change (since 1915) of 8,981! Real inflation, my backside!

(The home ownership rate is computed by dividing the number of owner-occupant housing units by the number of occupied housing units or households.)

Thank goodness consumers aren't limited only to new homes. Still, one wonders why ("affordable") housing advocates hesitate to rope population growth into the dialogue. (Am I "wondering", or am I asking?)

On that note, consider five metro markets that lost value in the 2005 boom year. (Statistics given are from 2005 year-ending.)

Buffalo-Niagara Falls: median home price $99K, percentage change -0.7%

Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor: median home price $138.9K, percentage change -5.2%

Detroit-Warren-Livonia: median home price $134.5K, percentage change -8.0%

Rockford: median home price: $128.7K, percentage change -5.1%

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman: $85.6K, percentage change -5.5%

Guess what all five metro areas have in common? They all lost population.

Monday Nov. 20th What A Day!

Monday, November 20, 2006


It's almost over!!! What a day!!! Too much to chronicle, but...found out the spam ate some important emails, had an item arrive broken. THAT was incredible, only the 3rd in 8 years and it was a heavy stoneware pudding mold packed in bubble and a syrofoam container. What did they DO to it!!!

There was good news though. Kids & grandkids coming for Christmas and we found a pet friendly hotel here in Ashland that will be happy to take their 3 dogs. Awesome!

Other good news, our order of our favorite Ty-phoo English tea arrived. We've been having to drink american. Just not the same. Oh well.

Am now going to help a neighbor print out a boarding pass...hasn't ever done it before.
Cheers, Ruth

About short weekends and great swaps!


My oh my what a short but beautiful weekend this was. I should have go out in the garden to rake the falling leaves (my maple leaves have finally become yellow, but now they are almost all fallen down and very wet) in my front and backyard, but I've had so much more or even better things to do that I didn't get around to do this yet.

I have been to my fave shop "Rosenrot" and to IKEA getting some candles, boxes, gift wrapping paper etc. on Friday after work and then on Saturday morning I had to do the usual house chores and food purchases for the weekend, but I was interrupted by the mail man two times. An interruption that I love I must add! At first I've got my first "collaged Christmas postcard" from the swap I'm hosting and isn't it an extraordinary peace of art which my sweet Finnish blogging friend Maria has created?

In January this year she was so kind to send me the pattern for that gorgeous skate from a Finnish magazine and I had created this pair of skates out of cardboard. Do you remember? Now I really do love the special way how Maria has made the skate and used it on the collaged Christmas card. Thank you for making this swap so special and beautiful Maria, I love it!

Another great thing the post man has brought to me was the latest issue of the Somerset Studio mag! I'm always happy when I get this inspirational magazine :D

Well and then last but certainly not least I've got an envelope from a private swap that we did, contending my very own first ever copy of the Mary Engelbreit Home Companion mag and some lovely presents, that my enchanting blogging friend Nature Girl from Canada has kindly send to me :D Thanks a lot dear NG! :D

I was allowed to open them already and I did, but I'll show you the content in my next post along with another delicate little treasure that I've also got on Saturday for the "nostalgic Christmas ornament" swap which I'm hosting too at the moment, it also came from Maria from Finland.

There are some magical things belonging together in one post and you'll see why when I show you the pictures.

I've then spent the afternoon and almost the whole Sunday, only interrupted by some blogging, cooking and eating, in my little studio corner finishing off my Christmas cards and ornaments for the swaps which I'll sent of all this week *promised* and packing a parcel for a dear German garden forum and blogging friend who's birthday is the day after tomorrow. Suddenly it was Midnight *EEK*and I had to stop crafting and better go to bed instead in order to be able to get up for work today. The time has flewn by, I can tell you. Just why oh why can a weekend not be as long as a week?

Click on the pictures to enlarge!

P.S. Hm I really don't know why the picture of Marias beautiful Christmas card wont show up in the bigger version when you click on it, while all the other pics do. Have a better look here if you like.

More seasonal patio decorations

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I took these photos at my parents garden & house last weekend and thought that maybe you'd also like to see them:

Above and below: Mum has put some items of her antique enamel collection outside and decorated it on one of her garden tables:

On this iron etagere (cake stand) you can see three of her selfmade wreath's:

A basket filled with winter resistend plants:

A wreath decorated blue enamel jug:

This glass ball has something magical for me:

This is mum's Bougainvillea it's still blooming on her balcony and it's huge, you can only see a small part of it in this photo:

A pink bird and some pink & purple tealight glasses on a hanging iron mini basket:

Click on pics to enlarge!

A big thank you to all of you lovely people who have commented to my last post. It was overwhelming to get so many kind comments! :D xox

The Ugliest Residential Building in Los Angeles

Friday, November 17, 2006


At the corner of 42nd & Main.

Really, what is there to write? Is that a 9.5 gauge galvanized steel wire fence? Yes. Am I sure it's occupied? Yes.

Close by, in a chain maille hat box, the acclaimed Accelerated School operates. Perhaps I ought to organize a field trip, for the young and impressionables.

Some of you four-year olds may become architects or building contractors. You may be forced--by need--to take jobs, or perform work, that does not comport with your sense of self, wherein you are exploited, and your ideals besmirched.

Regardless, you mustn't broker in this sort of aesthetic waste. That architecture is not pure art is obvious, but it is also more than the merely practical. It is part of the public trust, for that which builders do, is visually consumed by all.


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