Open Thread

Monday, May 23, 2011



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Summer Inspiration


Today marks our first week of summer vacation. Let the revelry begin!

These photos make me look forward to warm temperatures, bare legs, spontaneous play dates, sun screen, late bedtimes, eating outdoors, and making memories with my girls.  

Source: None via Samantha on Pinterest

Source: via Caryl on Pinterest


This is our "first craft of summer"! Get a piece of poster board and write down all those goals for the next 3 months. I hung ours in the pantry. It's a great idea for keeping track of all those summer activities and it will be helpful on the days when 'boredom' comes knocking on the door.

What are you looking forward to this summer? Need some ideas for your list-- check out this link "100 Things to do with Your Kids".


Also I am so happy that one of my favorite crafting blogs "The Crafting Chicks" featured my Rapunzel Party on Friday!!! Check out the feature and their super creative blog!
 I Was Featured on The Crafting Chicks

In the happiest of our childhood memories, our parents were happy, too.  ~Robert Brault

Ibanez PGMFRM1 Paul Gilbert Fireman

Proving once again that Gibson aren't the only ones who can do reverse body designs, here we see an Ibanez PGMFRM1 Paul Gilbert Fireman, the signature guitar for the Mr Big guitarist. With a set neck, korina body and three DiMarzio Area '67 pickups, the body is based on a flipped around Iceman with a little tweaking to create a lower horn.
This post originates at - beware of those damned scraper blogs!
This example, one of a very limited edition, is currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $6,999.99 - which, I'm afraid, puts it into the realm of the serious collectors only.

G L Wilson

© 2011, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

BNM announce Malaysia new coin 2011


Today, Bank Negara Malaysia BNM announced Malaysia New Coins & Banknotes this year. After many people has been speculating about the new Malaysia currency release date and design. Some information that I get said that the new notes will have Sabah and Sarawak culture/motif as its main design. Whatever the new design is, let just hope it will look more beautiful then the current banknotes & coins that had been circulated since 1989.

Picture: Malaysia old coin design from Dickson book collection.

Here is the announce by BNM website:
Bank Negara Malaysia is pleased to announce that a new series design of Malaysian banknotes and coins will be issued for circulation in early 2012, an exercise that is undertaken periodically every twelve years. The theme of the design of the new currency series will include features that are distinctively Malaysia. It will also have enhanced security elements in line with the latest advancements in technology for currency notes.

The new fourth series design of banknotes will be featured in the denomination of RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20 and RM100. The current design of the RM50 banknote already in circulation since December 2007 to commemorate Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary of Independence will continue to remain in circulation. The new design coins are the third in the series for the denominations of 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen. This new series of banknotes and coins will co-circulate with the existing series until the latter are gradually withdrawn from circulation.

In preparation for the issuance of the new currency series, Bank Negara Malaysia will be working closely with financial institutions, businesses and cash handling vendors to ensure a smooth transition to the new series. Vendors of cash handling machines will be given six months to calibrate their machines to ensure public convenience for the use of the new currency.

As part of the effort to increase public awareness on the new currency series, Bank Negara Malaysia will issue the commemorative coins for the third series and unveil the new fourth series banknotes design in the third quarter of 2011.

Source: BNM.

I think everyone in Numismatic world will be waiting for the new Malaysia Coin & banknote 2011. No actual photo release has been published by BNM. Hopefully we can see it in a news tommorow.

The View From A MiniVan Window

Sunday, May 22, 2011


We took another short trip last weekend, drove from Southern California up Interstate 5 to Medford, Oregon....and on the way saw some very interesting road side art....

The first item is something that we have checked out on each of our trips up Interstate 5....a Cow (Yep, I said a Cow) created from scraps of metal and standing tall and proud on a property in Northern California...
The creator of this great piece used to dress it up for each holiday, I think my favorite was the red, white and blue outfit for the 4th of July...we haven't seen any costumes  the last couple of times so I am not sure it still sports it's  finery on special occasions...but this is very impressive just the way it is now!

A little bit farther up the road is a relatively new creation. On our trips we watched as this one took shape and each time we drive past it seems to have some new bells and can't see them in the photo but there is a solar panel by the side and what appears to be lights the length of the DRAGONS body....I would love to see him all lit up at night!
This spectacular Dragon stands in another roadside field...and he too is created from bits and pieces...amazing what someone can create from scraps of metal!

Farther up the road and just a little while before we cross the border into Oregon is a BARN ROOF that we always look lifts our spirits just to see it!
What a lot of love (and talent!) in this painted message that greets all who drive up the road....This has been there since sometime after 911, as you can is kept in beautiful condition....This has a very special place in our hearts!

If you are taking a car trip somewhere, remember your can show up just about anywhere!

Antique Wooden Mail Cart


This is a great find I picked at local auction.

I have been told that this is the Wooden Mail Cart, Antique!
It has "Royal Mail Cart" with Patent number on side handle, stamped.
Since it has "Royal" stamed on a handle, I'm assuming it is from either
United Kingdom or Cananda.

It is a wooden pull cart with wheels made of wood spokes and metal.
Very rare indeed!
It will be a great decoration piece for a restaurant, bar or
any furniture store.

I am proud to introduce this piece.
If you know anything about the history or origin about this
mail cart, I would like to hear from you.

Also, I will be happy to be entertained by serious offers.
If you are interested, make me an offer.

Any serious or reasonable offers will not be refused.
Dimension: L 56" x H 30.5"

For further inquiries, pls., contact:

All contents: Pictures, descriptions and writings are copyrighted. Unauthorized copying and use of any contents without written request to the author is strictly prohibited. Copyrighted(c)HigginK 2011.All Rights Reserved.

Vintage Tins


Picked up both of these tins for $.50 a couple of weeks ago. They'll join my two collections-Candy tins and Bathroom tins.
This one is neat-for Katherine Beecher Butter Mints!
Sorry for the blurry pic-I tried again and again to get a better shot. Here's what the tin says and it's itsy bitty too.
Dentists Trial Size-Alkaline Denture Powder Net wt .16 oz.
Backside are the directions.

I'm joining Blue Monday at and Mellow Yellow Monday at

Zenta vintage semi-hollowbody bass

This late '60s Zenta semi-hollowbody shortscale bass is quite an interesting one. The angled neck pickup (and the end of the fingerboard) looks to be distinctly Mosrite-influenced, whilst the symmetrical shape and the S-holes combine to present an attractive instrument. Although the seller refers to it as a Zenta, the headstock clearly proclaims "Felt" (although looks suspiciously as if it were done by hand) but no mention is made of this in the eBay listing.
This post originates at - beware of those damned scraper blogs!
Currently listed on eBay with a starting bid of £225.

Edit: As Greg Cadman points out on our Facebook page, it's probably a copy of a Martin guitar (this one for instance, complete with the S-holes!).

G L Wilson

© 2011, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

It's been a beautiful weekend!


Yesterday was very productive. I got my house cleaned up, laundry done, front deck cleaned off and organized, had a barbeque with some great friends and made duct tape dress forms with my friend Lydia.
Today has been so beautiful and finally NOT raining that I decided I could safely scrub and paint these old wire baskets that I've had for a while.
Had to take a wire brush to them as they were very rusted and then I spray painted them white with a rust blocking paint. I plan to sew up some burlap liners for them.  I think they are going to look very nice in my studio...
   We also got the rest of our garden planted. Yes we got a late start but I think it's gonna be alright.

Rodney found some neat colored carrot seeds and Abbi was excited to plant them...

Rodney's ankle is healing, as you can see he still has to wear a strong ankle brace on it, has metal supports on both sides....

William even came out to help plant...

Now we're off to another barbeque/ high school graduation celebration/ paintball party. The kids are going to have a blast!

Hope your weekend went well too!

Sunday Shuffle


Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World

How about you?

Sunday Viewing: The Petrified Forest, 1936


Before Jezebel and before Gone with the Wind, Leslie Howard and Bette Davis were young actors signed by Warner Brothers who were struggling to get the kinds of parts that they knew would best showcase their talents. Both Davis and Howard had starred in Robert Sherwood’s Broadway hit, The Petrified Forest about a group of people from vastly different backgrounds who are held captive in an Arizona diner by a ruthless gangster, Duke Mantee.

When Warner Brothers purchased the rights to the popular play, they immediately signed Davis to play the poet/waitress, Gabrielle and Howard as the dreaming philosopher, Alan Squire, who falls in love with Gabrielle. For the pivotal role of Duke, Warners wanted to cast Edward G. Robinson, a studio favorite and top-box-office performer. Davis and Howard were against the decision, stating that their former stage co-star Humphrey Bogart should play the role that he made famous on Broadway. Warner Brothers wasn’t keen on the idea. Who was this Bogart anyway? He had no record of film experience and he wasn’t terribly appealing.

Leslie Howard insisted that Bogart play Duke. He even threatened to walk off of the picture if Bogart wasn’t hired. Despite his reservations, Jack Warner relented and cast Bogart. Wasn’t he surprised when Bogart proved him wrong. This film introduced the world to Bogart and caused audiences to flock the theatres to see his understated performance which he based on real-life thug John Dillinger.

Bogart never forgot the fact that Leslie Howard was responsible for launching his film career. Later, Bogart and Lauren Bacall named their daughter Leslie in honor of Howard who had been killed in a plane crash during World War II.

The film is sublimely underplayed. Even Bette Davis gives a subtle performance which caused a reviewer from The New York Times to note, “Davis demonstrates that she does not have to be hysterical to give a grand portrayal."

While the film’s theatrical roots are still evident (the picture is somewhat set-bound, rarely venturing from the diner set), it is much more successful than most films adapted from stage plays. The claustrophobic nature of the filming works with the plot and is a fascinating container for some of the most electrifying performances of early 1930’s cinema.

Prat 12-string bass

We've heard of 12-string basses before, but ordinarily (if such an instrument could ever be said to be ordinairy) they consist of four courses of tripled strings. This Prat 12-string bass is an ERB - Extended Range Bass - and has 12 individual courses.
Yes, such instruments can sound very nice, although I'm yet to be convinced as I've never heard a truly incredible (or even particularly memorable) piece of music made with one. Touchstyle instruments have been around for a long time (I can't imagine this Prat 12-er can be played any other way than touchstyle), but they've not really set the music world alight innovation-wise have they? They just remain an intrtiguing curio; the audience is more interested in the number of strings and unusual playing technique than the actual music produced. (Oh - prove me wrong, someone!)
This post originates at - beware of those damned scraper blogs!
I've said it before and will very likely say it again: if you want that many strings, get a harp already!

G L Wilson

© 2011, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

Masterpiece of the Week: The Queen Mother’s Ruby Necklace, 1907


Boucheron, 1907
Rubies, Diamonds, Gold
The Royal Collection
A close friend of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and King George VI, the Honorable Mrs. Ronald Greville was known for her beauty, style and impeccable taste. Mrs. Greville was a keen collector of jewels, and during her life amassed an unprecedented assortment of diamond and gemstone pieces.

Upon her death in 1942, Mrs. Greville bequeathed her amazing collection to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother presented her daughter (now Queen Elizabeth II) with many of the pieces from Mrs. Greville’s collection on the day of her wedding in 1947.

This magnificent necklace was among those jewels given to Her Majesty on her wedding day. Created specifically for Mrs. Greville by Boucheron in Paris in 1907, the necklace of diamonds and bold red rubies is the epitome of Edwardian style with its floral pattern and dense settings.

The only change to the necklace since being presented to the Queen in 1947 is that it has been shortened by the two smallest, uppermost, flower clusters.

Sunday Morning Special: Lady with a Fan Automaton


This beautiful clockwork lady by Phalibois not only fans herself in time to the music played by the music box in her base, but she breathes and turns her head. In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, such automata delighted young and old alike.

With all of our technology, we’ve never been able to replicate animated figures with as much charm and beauty as these early clockwork people.

Reminder: "Punch's Cousin" Will Return on Monday


Things were looking up for Mr. Punch. After the tragic mistake of faking the deaths of Robert, Mr. Punch and the child, the group of friends were finally on their way toward reuniting once again. Thanks to Marjani, Robert, Adrienne and the baby were safe and able to communicate with Mr. Punch and Cecil who waited for them. Barbara’s change of heart and the assistance of Charles added strength to their fight. Despite the interference of Ulrika and Arthur, Marie Laveau, Giovanni Iantosca, and, of course, Iolanthe Evangeline, it seemed that Punch and Robert would be able to finally leave for England with “Colin” and start a new life.

But, all of that was soon to change. Robert, Marjani, Adrienne and Colin soon found a new threat in the strange alliance of Giovanni and Marie. As Giovanni threatened Robert with a knife, we were left wondering who would survive.

Meanwhile, Arthur and Ulrika revealed to Iolanthe the facts of the deception which landed her in prison. And, then, to make matters worse, Arthur set about his own agenda by drugging Ulrika with the very same herb she had used on him.

However, the biggest threat of all might just reside within Julian/Mr. Punch. From inside their shared body, Julian urged Mr. Punch to listen to a tale told by Naasir’s spirit. As Naasir revealed that Punch and Robert were not destined to raise “Colin,” Mr. Punch became distraught. Punch’s grief was soon interrupted by a strange, new booming voice. Could it be that a third personality lives within that body? What could that mean for the future of Julian/Punch and their loved ones?

We’ll get these answers this week as a surprising twist ends up changing everything forever. Come back on Monday for Chapter 251 of Punch’s Cousin. If you’ve missed any chapters, you can read them in the Chapter Archive.

Many thanks to those of you who have been reading Punch’s Cousin. I promise this week’s chapters will not disappoint you.

Goal for the Day: Be a Star


You don’t have to be famous or wealthy in order to be a star. Any of us can approach the world each day as if we’re a celebrity.

Does that mean demolishing hotel rooms and running over valets? No. That means that we can all go into the world knowing that we’re each remarkable in our own way. It means looking and acting your very best. And, it especially means that we have the ability to share our gifts with those around us. Part of being a star means giving of yourself—give your time and your talents to make the world more comfortable, more enjoyable and more fulfilling.

You may not get a marker on the walk of fame or put your footprints in cement, but you’ll always be remembered as a generous and exceptional person.

Object of the Day: A Poster from “The Petrified Forest”


In the 1990’s, Warner Brothers had a chain of stores in malls around the U.S. which, when originally opened, carried reproductions of items from the classic Warner Brothers films. Of course, as is often the case here, the stores went the way of Disney and dumbed themselves down—featuring cartoon plush toys and a wide assortment of goofy stuff. I don’t think they exist any longer.

However, this reproduction of a movie card from 1936’s “The Petrified Forest” starring Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard was among the many classic film souvenirs originally offered.

You’ll learn more about this wonderful film in this week’s “Sunday Viewing” article.

Coming this Week at "Stalking the Belle Époque"


Glitz, glitter and glamour are on the menu for the upcoming week at Stalking the Belle Époque. From the vaults of The Royal Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum, we’ll be dusting off some of the most exceptional diamonds and jewels in the world. We’ll take a look at the exquisite gems collected by Queen Mary and passed on to her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II as well as the sparkling creations which adorned Britain’s most celebrated families.

Since we’re playing dress-up, why not have someplace to go? How about London’s beautiful Royal Albert Hall? This unusual building is not only a fitting tribute to Prince Albert, but also a temple of England’s performing arts.

Unusual costumes and dramatic scenes will unfold as we examine the paintings, sculptures and fans which defined the fashions of their times. Similarly, we’ll look at some of the films which have established trends in fashion across the world.

Speaking of world-wide trends, we’ll continue our introductions to Mr. Punch’s cousins across the globe. And, in our online novel, Punch’s Cousin, we’ll have some huge surprises which will alter the course of the adventures of our friends forever.

There’s quite a bit in store for you and Bertie and I are looking forward to sharing it all with you! Here’s wishing everyone a remarkable week.

Open Thread


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Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]


Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis (ACTION/ADVENTURE) [FINAL]

The Doctor is the last of the powerful Time Lords. He is an intrepid traveller through time and space, armed only by his incredible intelligence and his fix-anything sonic screwdriver. He travels alone except for the human companions he befriends. Explore the vast interior of his mysterious time machine, the TARDIS. Join the Doctor in an exciting adventure full of puzzles, avoiding adversaries and collectible items to help outwit and overcome the unknown force that has boarded the TARDIS...
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Doctor Who - Episode 3 - Tardis [FINAL]
Thanks to Vovan


Pink & White Striped Bags


I just had to order these fun bags to match my tent I bought last year. Going with my whole carnival/circus theme. I don't know what I'll put in them-but of course something fun. I can't wait to see all the stuff I've been collecting put together!


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