Friday, January 30, 2015

Pasque Flower's Book of the Month

One of my New Year's Resolutions for 2015 was to read at least one good book a month and blog about it.  This is the first in my series of monthly posts. 

My January 2015 Book of the Month is The Girls of Atomic City:  The Untold Story of Women Who Helped Win World War II (2013) by Denise Kiernan.

I received the book as a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law, and I found it to be a fascinating read.   I'll be the first to confess that I "don't know much about history."  (Perhaps that's why I loved the song Wonderful World, a classic Sam Cooke hit released in the 1960s.)  I always do very badly in that category when playing Trivial Pursuit. 

Most of the people I knew from my parents' generation didn't want to talk about "the War."  They had survived The Great Depression, the "Dirty Thirties," the attack on Pearl Harbor, and years of war--with rationing of everything from sugar to gasoline.  They participated in scrap metal drives, blood drives, and war bond drives to support "the war effort."  And they felt the emotional toll of the war.  Every family, it seemed, knew someone whose loved one had been killed, wounded, held as a prisoner of war, or was missing in action.  No one wanted to see the telegram delivery person arrive in the neighborhood, bearing the dreaded message, "We regret to inform you . . .."   And neither World War I nor World War II were taught in my high school history class.

Most of what I know about World War II, even today, I learned watching old war movies and the 2007 PBS mini-series, The War. 

But I had heard of Rosie the Riveter:

The famous poster shown above was actually a 1942 art piece by J. Howard Miller, commissioned by Westinghouse Electric to improve morale -- not to recruit more women workers.  But by the 1980s, that poster had become associated with "Rosie the Riveter."  From 1940 to 1944, the number of American women working outside the home increased from 12 million to almost 20 million.  Unmarried women outnumbered men in the defense industry workforce.  Starr, Kevin (2003).  Embattled Dreams:  California in War and Peace, 1940-1950. Oxford University Press, p. 129.

And I had heard of The Manhattan Project, which I envisioned as a bunch of mad male scientists building atomic bombs in the desert Southwest.

But I had never heard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the atomic city referenced in the book's title-- a top secret, high-security reservation nestled in a Tennessee valley that was "home" from 1943-1945 to 75,000 residents --workers who worked round the clock to refine what a substance they knew only as "Tubealloy" to make a Gadget.  Young women, many from the rural Midwest and South, were recruited, sometimes fresh out of high school, to live and work at Oak Ridge.  They battled homesickness, knee deep mud, strict dormitory rules, and isolation.  They were never told what they were doing -- they were only instructed how to do it.  Many of the girls had brothers, relatives, or boyfriends who were fighting overseas.  They seemed to be willing to accept on faith that whatever the Gadget was, it would help to end the War.

Denise Kiernan weaves the oral histories of many of these women (interviewed in their 80s), along with historic research, to tell an engaging story of life, love, and endless work at Oak Ridge.

On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 80,000 people instantly.  Thousands more later died of radiation exposure.  On August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 40,000 people.  Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.

The "Tubealloy" from Oak Ridge fueled the atomic bombs. World War II ended, but the human cost was staggering.  Much as I may admire the courage and dedication of these young women, I'll never subscribe to the theory that all's fair in love and war.

To any objective observer, those atomic bombs were weapons of mass destruction. 






Tuesday, January 27, 2015


It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I am celebrating 1001 Etsy sales!

It's been quite a journey since I opened my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations on February 21, 2011!   My banner and product lines have changed over the years, and the shop is still evolving.

A huge thank you to my Etsy teammates who encouraged me along the way:  Etsy Newbies, Lost In The Crowd, Baby Boomers, TEMPT Team, and especially to my cyber friends from the Blogging Business Artisans Team.  I couldn't have done it without your help and encouragement.

And the biggest thank you of all to my hubby, Jerry, who has been my cheerleader, and who proudly sports his ASK ME ABOUT MY WIFE'S ETSY SHOP button.

Button by malibuquilts


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday post to extending a THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in treasuries over the past week.

This was another active week for treasuries, thanks in part to Saturday Treasury Blast Off promos by the TEMPT Team. 

Steph L. of EarthtoStephanie featured my pastel pink oven mitt in her pink-themed treasury, She Loves To Be One of the Girls.  This pink slouchy chunky beanie would add a cheery touch of pink on a cold winter day.

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in her blue-themed treasury, Gift Ideas . . .  This blue opal necklace is one of my many favorites from Lisa's shop.  Simply elegant.

Valerie of NandysNook featured my aqua and brown key fob in her treasury, Medley of Blossoms.  With January drawing to a close, we are one month closer to Spring, when we can enjoy some real blossoms in the chilly North.  In the meantime, we could part a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa on these pretty blossom coasters.

Sarah Beth of Magnolia Surprise featured my Valentine baby bib in her treasury, Gifts for the Ones You Love.  This red heart trio would be a lovely Valentine's Day keepsake.

Deco Uno from Spain featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in the treasury, Tuesday.  These contemporary limited edition earrings are one of the lovely jewelry pieces with a modern vibe you can find at Deco Uno.  And that hint of green would be fun to sport on St. Patrick's Day.

Vicki Hyatt of KudzuandRomance featured my pastel floral oven mitt in her treasury, Pretty in Pink 
This feminine thinking of you card could be a day brightener -- perhaps for a friend battling breast cancer, or facing a personal crisis.

Lisa Lavender of TheBumbleBeadCompany featured my studs and chains key fob in her black treasury, I Hate Valentine's Day.  That title made me smile, because although I have had a few nice Valentine's Days, many were cold and lonely.  And the treasury reminded me of the oldies classic, Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones.  But I digress....  Whether you want to protest Valentine's Day, or you just want to add some killer earrings to your go to little black dress ensemble, these EMO metallic and mirrored beaded earrings may add just the right touch.

Lynn Watkinson of ItchyFingersLynny featured my blue baking utensils oven mitt in her treasury, Dark to Light - Sixteen Shades of Blue .  Baby blue is such a pretty color - and it is used as a pretty little accent for this straw favour for baby boy

Lisa Lavender of TheBumbleBeadCompany featured my Valentine's Day bib in her treasury, TEMPT Team's You Had Me at ETSY :-)  These pretty pink beaded earrings are just one of the pretty and affordable jewelry pieces you will find in Lisa's shop.

Kellee and Dorian Thomas of MoretheBuckles featured my pink roses oven mitt in their treasury, TEMPT Team Blast Off 2 - All About Colors  You'll find more than belt buckles in their shop, but they do have a very impressive collection of vintage buckles.  This buckle circa 1978 caught my eye.

Kathy Read of DixieVintageShoppe featured my zebra stripe key fobs in her treasury, Rainbow of Colors.  This gorgeous porcelain china bird thimble would be a lovely gift for a quilter or sewist.

Liz of TheLittleEmptyNest included my gray farm baby bib in her treasury, Soft Wonders.  I love this blue and brown pendant necklace from Liz's shop.

Lacote of LacoteDesign featured my zebra stripe key fobs in her treasury T187 .  This teddy bear print is SO adorable! 

Christiane Schnabel of Germany featured my gray and white chevron oven mitt in her wintery white-themed treasury, White  For a cute pop of color, try these red heart cupcake toppers.  So cute!

Janyce of pineconeandsparrow also featured my gray and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Just Gotta Be True  This white birch painted and stitched wall art is one of the great mixed media creations you will find in Janyce's shop.

And last, but not least, Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my tiny cars baby bib in her treasury, Blue   These colorful heart earrings are a reminder that beautiful Valentines Day gifts can come in many colors.

And there you have it!  Another great week of treasuries! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

He Holds the Key to My Heart

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and with Valentine's Day approaching, I decided to feature some of the 20+ newish listings from the Key Fobs, Eyeglass Cases section of my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.  

I always struggle finding gifts for guys and teens.  But these man-friendly key fobs could be accompanied by a not too mushy note - You Hold the Key to My Heart.  

This studs and chains key fob would be great for the teen who likes steam punk.

Or how about this gears on black key fob for your favorite wrencher?

Guys of all ages (even grandpas who tend to lose their keys) might like this geometric key fob with richly textured jacquard ribbon designed by Parson Gray, the pseudonym for the husband of one of my favorite fabric designers, Amy Butler.

Or, if your guy loves his horses, this horses key fob might be great for keeping the spare key to the horse trailer or tack room.

I give key fobs to my grandkids the year they turn 16 to celebrate their new driver's license.  In the rural Midwest, especially, it's almost a rite of passage.

Do you have a "go to" guy gift, or new guy-friendly items in your shop?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week my Sunday post is a THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, over the past week.

This week was a real BLAST, as members of the TEMPT Team saturated cyberspace with LOTS of new treasuries -- some of which made the front page of Etsy treasury!!  (Alas, the days of a true "front page" appear to be gone forever as Etsy focuses less and less on showcasing artisans and more and more on courting would-be IPO shareholders whose concerns focus on the bottom line.  It's the PROFIT not the PROCESS, the MONEY not the MAKER in the "new Etsy.") 

Okay -- I'll jump off my soap box now and share some TRULY handcrafted and vintage items.  If you're looking for a unique handmade Valentine's Day gift, you are in luck, because many of this week's treasuries had Valentine themes.

Valerie of NandysNook featured my pink ripple key fob in her treasury, Valentine's Gift Picks!  Although Valerie is expanding her product line, she is best known for her colorful crocheted cup cozies.  This mug cozy in pink would be a lovely Valentine's Day gift.  Love the heart button accent!

Maria Eugenia Ramos of Mukenia  (Argentina) featured my Valentine baby bib in her treasury, Valentine's Day!  Maria's shop features handcrafted jewelry with a modern vibe.  I love these
geometric silver plated earrings.

Lisa Lavender of TheBumbleBeadCompany also featured my Valentine bib in her treasury, TEMPT Team's The Heart Attacks.  I love this colorful shamballa bracelet from Lisa's shop!  And Lisa is having a pre-Valentine's Day sale in her shop:  50% off orders over $40.  Use Coupon Code HEARTSALE. 

Suzanne Perry of GlowBlocks also featured my Valentine bib in her treasury, A Touch of Red.  Suzanne makes unique night lights, like this wonderful coffee night light -- reminding you to wake up and smell the coffee in the morning. 

Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArt feature my pastel owl plushie in her treasury, January Rain & Blues.  Abigail Jayne is closing her shop.  Everything is 40% off.  Use Coupon CLOSEOUT15.
I love this hoop art piece

MemoriesforLifeSB feature my floral oven mitt in her treasury, Marsala - Pantone Color of the Year 2015 . This mustache Valentine is a perfect gift for a special guy.

Lisa of TheBumbleBeadCompany included my pink ripple key fob in her treasury, TEMPT Team's Be My Valentine.  These beautiful peach crystal earrings are just one of the beautifully-crafted jewelry items you will see in Lisa's shop. 

Patsy Bechtold of PatsysPressedFlowers featured my colorful birds oven mitt in her treasury, TEMPT to Blast Off.  Patsy's shop is full of gorgeous presse flower creations, like these pretty bookmarks.  I LOVE the pansies!

Claude Freaner of ClaudesWoodcarving featured my pink and red Valentine's bib in his treasury, Valentine’s ay Gift Suggestions from the Etsy TEMPT Team and the Woodcarvers of Etsy.  I love this cowboy bottle stopper.  

Liz from TheLittleEmptyNest has my Valentine bib in her treasury, Follow Your Heart - TEMPT Team.  This sterling silver heart charm necklace is a lovely Valentine gift suggestion!

Rena of LovelyKnotsBoutique has my colorful hearts bib in her beautiful treasury, TEMPTing Valentines Gifts #1.  This crochet boot cuffs set is a pretty yet practical gift for someone in the chilly North!  I wish there were boot cuffs when I was a teen / coed, many winters ago!

Kellee & Dorian Thomas of MoretheBuckles chose to showcase my purple chevron oven mitt in the treasury TEMPT Team Treasuries.  This vintage kissin' salt and pepper shaker set is SO precious!!

Jessica & Bryan King of FeathandKee chose to feature my retro-inspired red linen bow clutch in a BEAUTIFUL treasury, TEMPT Team Valentine's Day Gifts. This unique key ring made of aged wood is a great guy gift!

Lynn of ItchyFingersLynny featured my colorful hearts baby bib in her treasury, Heart to Heart - TEMPT Team Treasury List.  This straw favour for all seasons showcases Lynn's awesome weaving skills.  Love the pretty purple ribbon accents.

Zylo of ZyloHanmade included my gray and yellow uptown oven mitt in her treasury, Golden Light.  Zylo's shop has a great selection of these cute cup of tea hand warmers.  Mint is such a refreshing color!

Valerie of NandysNook featured my nature pillow cover in her treasury, TEMPT Team's Sugar and Spice.  This cup cozy in baby blue is one of MANY awesome crochet items you will see in Valerie's shop.

Lacote of LACOTEKIDS has my colorful hearts baby bib as one of her features in the treasury LAC2633.  I thought of Isabella and Angel when I saw this pretty shabby chic cat with pink roses. 

Lacote also has my colorful hearts bib in another treasury, LAC2630.   So that gives me an opportunity to showcase more pretty pink from her shop!  This pink nursery art is so precious!

THANKS again, curators!!  I treasure the mutual support of Etsy teams. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.  I'll be off to the tax office soon.  We were QUITE busy yesterday!


Monday, January 12, 2015

I Heart Bibs

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring a newly-listed Valentine bib from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.   I listed this Monday afternoon, and by 9:00 pm, it had already been featured in three treasuries! 

While I do love that vibrant pink and red combo, my personal favorite bib is this oldie but goodie that reminds me of conversation hearts:

I also sold my first personalized bib today!  It was a custom order.  (Not all Valentines have hearts.)

I would not have thought to personalize this colorful print by Rashida Coleman Hale, but my customers are more creative than I am sometimes!   I hope she likes it. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Treasury Thanks

It was a nice "back to the normal routine after the holidays" week on the Etsy Treasury scene.  This post is my opportunity to extend a big THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in treasuries over the past week.  Special thanks to Marcia of ImagineThatBaby, who curated multiple treasuries this week, and featured items from my Pasque Flower shop in three of them!!!

Seductive Body Works featured my lavender chevron oven mitt in the treasury, Lavender.  Although I personally have way too many fat rolls to wear a belly button ring (new diet starts with two chubby buddies on January 17), if I were younger and svelte, I'd love this triple heart belly button ring. 

Marcia from ImagineThatBaby featured my hearts baby bib in her treasury, Love in Purple, Pink and Green.  Speaking of love and pink --- I think these pretty little pink heart booties are just the cutest things ever!

Georgia of HappyHeartsKnitty also featured my hearts baby bib in her treasury, Let It Snow.  School kids in Lincoln had a Snow Day this week, and we had bitterly cold temperatures all week as well. But this handmade neck warmer in red, purple and pink, would help fend off those wintery blasts in style!

Lisa Lavender of TheBumbleBeadCompany featured my nature-themed pillow cover in her TEMPT Team treasury, Salt of the Earth.  This lovely beaded necklace in earth tones would feel right at home in her pretty treasury.  Love the matching earrings, too!

LovelyKnotsBoutique featured my pink roses oven mitt in her treasury, Tempt Team Featured! #1. This crochet scarf in shades of red and orange is one of the beautifully-crafted crochet accessories you can find at LovelyKnotsBoutique.

Marcia of ImagineThatBaby featured my poppies on teal wedding registry oven mitts in her treasury, Hearts and Flowers.  Wouldn't these red Valentine booties be cute for baby's first Valentine's Day?

And last, but not least, Marcia of ImagineThatBaby featured my pink chevron oven mitt in her pretty in pink treasury, Tickled Pink.  In addition to the pretty crocheted items in Marcia's shop, she also sells these pretty little baby gift boxes in sets of 12.

And there you have it!  Another great week for Etsy treasuries!  Thanks, again, to all the curators for the features.  I love the spirit of cooperation and teamwork on Etsy.  As"truly handmade" Etsy entrepreneurs, we are all in this together as we fight to stay competitive in the "new Etsy" with its mass produced goods and re-sellers.

I was so sad to see the brightly colored packages on the Etsy holiday season front page give way to more dark and dreary photos.  As if the dark days of Winter aren't depressing enough!! End of rant.

A friend sent me a link to a calculator to determine my age in days.  I'm 22,505 days old today. Wow, does that sound OLD!!

On that sobering note, I'll sign off and wish you a great week --- 7 MORE days!