Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 2015 BBA Challenge - Midsummer Night's Eve

Each month the Blogging Business Artisans Team poses a challenge to its members.  Team members must complete a minimum of four monthly challenges per year.

This month’s challenge came from Team Captain Natashalh of StalkingTheWildSnark:

Midsummer Night’s Eve

June 21 is the longest day of the year! It has been celebrated in various ways for thousands of years, and many countries still have legal holidays around the time of the summer solstice. The challenge is to create something that celebrates the start of summer or to show what you like to do with those extra hours of daylight on long June evenings.

My response to the challenge is a colorful padded sunglasses case.  On warm, sunny days, my Inner Child desperately wants to go outside and play or head to the beach!  But the my Inner Adult tells me that with all that extra daylight, we need to protect our eyes from the brightness of the sun as we head out to beaches, picnics, or tourist destinations.  Even if we're just running errands about town, it's a Summer thing to sport your sunnies!   And why not add some bright colors in the process? 

The outer fabric is high quality 100% cotton from the Sanibel line designed by Gina Martin for Moda Fabrics.  I used  a mottled tone on tone bright pink 100% cotton fabric for the lining of the multi-colored eyeglasses pouch.  An inner layer of fusible fleece offers padded protection for your sunnies. 

The eyeglass holder measures approximately 3.5 inches (9 cm) in width and 7.25 inches (18 cm) in height.  A little loop adds a decorative touch, but it can also be used to add a key ring or lobster clasp. The top is secured with a bright pink capped metal snap -- so your sunglasses won't slip out of their case and end up in the bottom of your beach bag! 

Look for these and other fun eyeglass cases to appear in my shop, Pasque Flower Creations, over the next few weeks in the Key Fobs andEyeglass Cases Section.  I'll offer a choice of lining fabric colors.

Now that Midsummer has passed, the days are getting shorter, so get out and enjoy this sunshine while you can!


Treasury Thanks

Each Sunday, I say THANK YOU to curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in treasuries over the past week.  I am grateful that Etsy is a collaborative community of creative people.

If you see something you like, please Like, Share, or Pin.  We're all in this together.

Holly Bean of HollyoftheEarth included my yellow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Whimsical Fun .  These maize goddess earrings celebrate corn  (Native Americans call it maize)-- a plant near and dear to most Nebraskans' hearts.

Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt featured my red and black BBQ oven mitt in her treasury, Fun With Red and Black.  Always a striking color combo, red and black are also Husker colors.  This birthday boy art print reminds me of our grandsons.

Natalie of expressyourself featured my yellow and gray uptown oven mitt in her treasury, Sunny Sunday.  We are actually having a sunny Sunday today, so I'm hoping to visit the Farmer's Market after church.   I love these turquoise drop earrings from Natalie's shop.  Simply lovely.

Nancy C. Eckert of mysticneedle featured my brown and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Rustic .  The beautiful browns remind us that the days are getting shorter, and Fall is on the way.  Gather ye rosebuds while ye may --- go outside and play!!  But don't forget your sunscreen, ID, some ice cream money ---- this cute owl change purse would be handy to take along.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my red and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Red Finds .  I love this vintage truck photo, Out to Pasture.  It reminds me of one my brother and I used to play in when we were kids. We'd take turns "driving" to Disneyland in our imaginary adventures.  I never have been to Disneyland, but it is on my Bucket List.

Pat Peters of WhiskeysWhims included my elephant baby bib in the treasury IN DAYS OF YORE...Gratitude Treasury.    There's a big sale in Pat's shop. This Thomas Kincaid collector's plate is only $0.25.


Kim Cole of BeachDaisyJewelry included my poppies on teal oven mitts in her turquoise and orange-themed treasury, Summer Heat .  If you like to beat the summer heat by heading to the beach, this shell necklace would be a fun accessory.

Joanna's Scented Soaps included my green and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, La Vie en Vert - 1.  This artfully designed scented soap would be a lovely gift -- or a pretty little touch in a guest bathroom.

M.A. Dellinger of MADellingerGarving included my patriotic bunting in his treasury, Patriotic Colors .  I love his old hippie wood carving!   As a Baby Boomer, I know several old hippies.

Susan McAnany of McAnany included my red and pink hearts bib in her treasury, Follow Your Heart .   Some of us old hippies remember the strong bass lines in some of our classic rock favorites, so I couldn't resist adding this bass guitar photograph  to my features list today.

Kim Roluti of KimRolutiArt included my colorful birds oven mitt in her treasury, Birds of a Feather .  This wonderful painting, Songs on the Wind, is from Kim's Whimsical Women II series.  Love them all!

This one reminds me of my friend Rita, in younger, happier days.  Rita recently lost a valiant fight against breast cancer.   Rest in peace, lovely Rita.

Marcia of ImagineThatBaby included my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Personal Favorites .  One of my personal favorites from Marcia's shop is this cute beach baby diaper cake.
If you're ever invited to a baby shower, I'd encourage you to browse in Marcia's shop -- cuteness overload!

Crystal Cuff of Sensational Yarn included my red and black BBQ oven mitt in her treasury, What's Black and White and Red All Over .  These handmade dishcloths are so much nicer than the flimsy store-bought variety!!  They are hand knit with cotton yarn - durable and absorbent.  Pretty, too!

el boem of zuzuJewelry (Greece) included my yellow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Weekend Finds .  I love this vintage stone bracelet!   The stones include citrine, garnet, amethyst, peridot and smoky quartz.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my utensils on bright blue oven mitt in her treasury, Ocean Blue .  I love everything in Susan's shop, but I am especially drawn to her abstract photo seascapes.  This one is called Gulf Waters .

Crystal Cuff of Sensational Yarn included my patriotic bunting in her thank you treasury.  These colorful baby socks are SO CUTE!!!

Darla of UniqueSilverBox included my dark blue prairie pioneer sunbonnet in her treasury, Saturday Favorites .  This London blue topaz art deco ring is one of the unique jewelry items you will find in Darla's shop -- at very affordable prices.

And last, but not least, Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt featured my BBQ oven mitts in another red and black-themed treasury, Unique Finds .  As we celebrate Summer while we may -- here's a wonderful beach boy and girl art print.

Get out in the sun and have some fun!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Will Work for Fabric #3

Just a quick post to share my last shop sample for The Craft House, a delightful yarn and fabric shop in Lincoln, NE.

This Itty Bitty Beatle Bag was made using a pattern designed by Abbey Lane Quilts.  The pattern and the cool plastic inserts are also available at The Craft House.

With lots of zip-loc compartments, a unique criss-cross Velcro closure, and lots of padded protection for your items when you're on the go -- this is a GREAT little bag!

These pretty fabrics are from the Happy Home fabric collection by Sew Caroline.

Hope you're having a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Book of the Month: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

One of my 2015 resolutions was to read at least one good book each month, and blog about it.  I chose the novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished fiction by an American author, as my June book of the month.

It was the first full-length book I've read on my Kindle Fire HD 7 e-reader (and more) -- a most generous gift I received from my son Tim and daughter-in-law Carrie.  It was followed by yet another gift of a free year of Amazon Prime.  I love its portability, the digital bookmarks, and the well-lit screen. The text is easily readable, even with my tired old eyes and early stage cataracts.   And the calculator fills the entire screen, making it almost impossible to "fat finger" when entering numbers.

But enough about my gadget!  Back to the book!

The book is a gripping account of the lives of a host of brilliantly-crafted characters whose lives were indelibly impacted by World War II.  And yet, it is not really a war story or a love story.

There are two parallel stories.  One is centered around the life of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who is raised by her widowed father.  Her father is kind and generous, but insists that Marie-Laure learn to be independent and resourceful despite her disability.  He works as a locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris which, in the novel, houses a rare and mysterious Sea of Flames diamond.  According to legend, the gem bears both a blessing and a curse.   He is also a talented wood carver, who carves clever wooden puzzles and entire model neighborhoods -- sort of a 3D Braille map, which allows Marie-Laure to memorize the shapes and locations of buildings and sewer drains, which she counts as she walks the streets of Paris (and later Saint-Malo) with her white cane.

The second story chronicles the life of two orphaned German siblings, Werner and his sister Jutta.  They live in a poor coal mining town. On one of their outdoor adventures, Werner discovers a discarded radio which he cleverly repairs, allowing the children to listen to a children's science program broadcast from France.  This sparks Werner's interest in science, and his skill in repairing radios along with his extraordinary proficiency in math and calculus, earns him a place in a boys' academy, and later a respected position in the German army.

In short paragraphs, we are given glimpses into the lives of a number of strong, well-developed characters who seemed very "real" to this reader.  Each character suffers some excruciatingly painful hardships during the war.  Marie-Laure and her father are forced to flee Paris with the priceless diamond.  They move in with her great-uncle, the brother of the scientist who broadcast the children's science program heard by Werner and Jutta as children,

Both Marie-Laure and Werner find themselves in Saint-Malo during the German occupation and the Allied "liberation" of the city near the end of World War II.  And so, the parallel stories each veer off course and eventually collide.  What happens next?  I won't spoil the ending for you.  You'll have to read it for yourself -- or wait until it is made into a movie.  And it will be!  Fox Searchlight Pictures has the movie rights, and  Scott Rudin and Eli Bush of Scott Rudin Productions  are set to produce a film version of this compelling story.

There are some instances of unspeakable violence, cruelty, and suffering.  And yet, this is not a dark novel.  Through its strong characters, the novel celebrates ingenuity, perseverance, bravery, loyalty, and the resilience of the human spirit.   For those who survive, life goes on.   A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it (to paraphrase John 1:5).

I rated this 5 stars in my Goodreads network.  If I hadn't used my Kindle, I'd call it a page turner.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Cartoon Me

Little Sunbonnets on the Prairie

It’s Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I’m featuring my prairie pioneer sunbonnets for girls, available in four colors.  

My sunbonnets are made from high quality 100% cotton reproduction fabrics - -new fabrics made to look authentically old.  I choose prints from the 1850-1890 era, because those would correspond to pioneering days on the American prairie. 

Sunbonnets are not my best sellers, but I love making them.  Most of the recipients are little girls who love the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books as much as I, and my daughter, and my granddaughters did.  

Now that the reruns of the TV show, Little House on thePrairie are on the INSP cable channel, a whole new generation of girls can be captivated by the stories of Laura and Mary Ingalls.

INSP: Little House on the Prairie

Here is a nice review I received from one happy sunbonnet customer:

This sun bonnet is made extremely well and it is beautiful! My daughter wanted a sun bonnet like Laura in the Little House series and she was soooo happy to have received one. Seller is responsive and very nice, item shipped ASAP!

And here is another -- one of my favorites:

My daughter has barely gone a day without it dangling from her neck. Thanks so much.

I was delighted to learn that Andover Fabrics will be releasing a Little House on the Prairie line of fabrics this November (barely in time for the holidays).

The little town on the prairie, De Smet, Kingsbury County, South Dakota, is not far from the farm where I grew up in neighboring Lake County.  They hold an outdoor pageant each weekend in July on the old Ingalls homestead.

Here is a photo of granddaughter Madeline taken a few years ago at the Ingalls homestead.

Perhaps my current fascination with tiny houses stems from my childhood wish to live in a claim shanty like Laura:

Dugout claim shanty on the Ingalls homestead - DeSmet, SD

Someday, many years from now, I hope to retire to a tiny house by a babbling brook.  For now, I just collect pictures and post them to my Tiny Houses board on Pinterest.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday blog post to saying THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my shops, Aunt Pheba's Vintage and Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week.   This week was truly a mixed bag, but many celebrated Summer, which is now officially here -- at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sit back and enjoy some eye candy, as I show you some of my faves from the shops of these talented Etsians.

Kim Cole of Beach Daisy Jewelry featured my red white and blue patriotic bunting in her treasury, Red White and Blue.  This sea turtle bracelet would be fun to sport on Independence Day -- less than two weeks away!

Sharla of Beaded Tail featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, All the Joys of Summer.  This red and white beaded memory bracelet would be a great accessory -- especially here in Nebraska -- Husker colors!

Greta Guizzardi of Ilgiardinolncantato featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Azzurro chiaro .  This precious sleeping fairy from Greta's shop reminds me of my granddaughter Madeline who loves fairy houses.

Darla of Unique Silver Box featured one of my prairie pioneer sunbonnets in her treasury, TEMPT Motivation Treasury .  This beautiful garnet ring is one of the unique jewelry items you can find in her shop. I love the art deco details! So pretty!

Susan McAnany of McAnany included my baby elephants bib in her treasury, Shades of Summer Green.  One of the positive effects of the overabundance of rain we've had lately is LUSH green grass and flowering plants.  This tropical green coconut art photo is a lovely summer green.  I'd love to be on that tropical beach about now.  

Natasha of StalkingTheWildSnark included my happy camper oven mitt in her treasury, The Travel Bug.  Natasha has the travel bug -- she's meeting up with her sailor hubby for shore leave.  And my brother and sister-in-law have the travel bug.  This year their "big" trip was to Iguassu Falls in Brazil. But I digress....

Natasha's shop is in vacation mode now (she truly WAS bitten by the travel bug!), but stop back soon and you'll find a treasure trove of items -- many of them nautical or beach wedding themed, but there are LOTS of other goodies, too!  

Esbjorn Aneer of EsbjornAneerDesigns included one of my oven mitts in her treasury, Home Decor Including You!  This handmade jacket in blue would be perfect for a chilly summer evening.

Orit Bar-Lev of TIMA TIBO also included one of my oven mitts in her treasury, CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE , a celebration of gray and yellow.  Orit's shop has over 800 items, so it was difficult choosing just one!  But I finally decided on this rose crystal statement ring.    Isn't that beautiful!!

Sarah Beth of Magnolia Surprise featured one of my baby bibs in her treasury, Black and White and Red All Over .  I love this tea and cookies play set from Sarah Beth's shop!  Wouldn't that be perfect for a tea party with a favorite niece or granddaughter?  And no crumbs or spills!

Sharmilla of KraftynKatchy included my colorful birds oven mitts in her treasury, Handmade with Love!  These patriotic floating circles would add a special touch to a 4th of July get-together.

Liz of TheLittleEmptyNest included my patriotic mini-bunting in her treasury, Pride 1 .  This pretty beaded lanyard would make a great gift for a teacher, or a coworker who needs to sport an ID badge.  Or treat yourself, and use it to keep your pool pass handy this summer!

Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt included my light pink floral oven mitt in her treasury, LIGHT PINK SUMMER .  This Playing with Dad art print seemed like the perfect feature for this Father's Day weekend.  Boy, do I miss my dad!  He died much too young, at age 43.  I was 14.  He was loving, kind, and the strongest positive influence in my life.  He would have been a wonderful grandfather.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Sunset Colors .  I love this seaside abstract photography from Susan's shop.

Kim Cole of Beach Daisy Jewelry included my utensils on bright blue oven mitt in her treasury, Blue Sky .  This crocheted circle headband in blue would be a pretty way to tame flyaway hair on a breezy day at the beach.

Nancy of SugarFunOrnaments included my poppies on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Blue Skies of Summer .  These red white and blue stars would be colorful Independence Day decorations.

Darla of Unique Silver Box featured my brown and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Summer Promo .  Here's another beautiful ring from Darla's shop -- this one is an amethyst filigree ring.

Pauline Clarke of PolsKnitsnStuff created a tribute treasury.  The co-op which had been a part of her community for over 100 years, and the place she worked, is closing.  She included my utensils on bright blue oven mitt in her treasury, Goodbye to the Co-op .  This small ethnic style knitted purse would be something my teen or tween granddaughters would love.

Tish Keating of DustWitchCreations feature my green and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Tempting Gift Ideas .  This red white and blue tic tac toe game would be a great way to keep the kids entertained on a road trip -- or to play with the cousins at a 4th of July gathering.

Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt included my aqua chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Pretty Blues for You.  This beach boy art print reminds me of grandson Garrison in NH.  They live only about an hour from the beach.

And last, but not least, Joanna Scented Soaps included my autumn leaves oven mitts in her treasury, Gold - The Colour of the Sun .  This artfully designed handmade soap is a lovely shade of gold.

And there you have it!  Wishing everyone a sunny Father's Day weekend!