Monday, February 28, 2011

I Finally Made It To IKEA!

When I went over to Placerville, Lori and I finally made a trip to Ikea in West Sacramento! She and Tina had been there before; I never had.

Did I love it? Come KNOW I did!
Lots of color everywhere - my favorite thing. Naturally, I took pictures:
Bright rugs:
Beautiful fabrics:
A stop for a yummy and inexpensive lunch:
And more fabrics:
Because taking pictures of them seemed to be what I most enjoyed!

I wish I could have brought home something from the huge warehouse floor:
Oh, like maybe some bookcases like these, for instance:
Or these:
But they wouldn't fit in the car, so instead I got this great expandable pot lid rack- perfect for holding my platters in the cupboard (that lovely one you see was a thrift store find the day before), some bed risers, and the least expensive magazine holder files I have EVER found anyplace. Magazine hoarders can never have too many of these, you understand:
And Lori took home some of their delicious Lingonberry Preserves, which we thoroughly enjoyed on our toast the next morning!
But my favorite thing in the whole place?? Well, hands down, the winner was this fabric!
It's HEIDI fabric!
I don't care what they call it, I'm calling it Heidi Fabric. Goats, an alpine snow-capped mountain, little red and green mountain cabins, trees, flowers, pine cones!
Heidi - for SURE.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whitman's Chocolates

I have showed you some of my vintage candy boxes and tins before, but this Fairhill one from Whitman's is my favorite - so I thought I would feature it yet again:

And here is an advertisement for Whitman's Chocolates from 1939:

And my Loveliness tin. It's scratched up, but I love it just the same:
Isn't this Easter ad the cutest? "A Woman Never Forgets The Man Who Remembers".
Or - buy her a box for Mother's Day:
I don't recall which year Whitman's made this reproduction of their famous old Salmagundi box featuring the artwork of Alphonse Mucha, but I had to get one....
...even though what I really want is one of the old tins. (Tina has a couple of them. I am determined to win one on eBay one of these days!):
We received this box of dark chocolates for Christmas last year.
I didn't even know they had a sampler with dark chocolates!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crayola Crayons

I found this vintage package of Crayola crayons in a desk drawer. I've no idea what year they were made, but they're the oldest Crayons I've got:

They're certainly not as old as the ones shown in these two sweet vintage advertisements from the 1920's:

Here's how the new Crayola 64 box looked in 1958:

This advertisement is from 1959. It looks to me as though the artist who created this ad could be the same person who drew the Betsy McCall paper dolls for McCall's magazine::
I also discovered that I had two unopened boxes of Crayola crayons tucked away, both of which I purchased in the 90's because they came in tins. I was kind of into collecting tins at the time:
A box of retired colors were included with one of the large 64-crayon assortments.
From left to right, the colors are: blue gray, green blue, maize, orange red, raw umber, orange yellow, violet blue, and lemon yellow.

So, um...if you ever want to come over and color with me, I have lots of crayons. I don't think I want to use the vintage box or my retired colors, though.
I THINK I might even have some coloring books around here somewhere....

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Cool Necktie

I think I found this in an issue of McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazine - I think this is a pretty cool and colorful idea - what a great-looking necktie!
I'm a bit sewing-challenged, as you may recall - so I don't think it is a project I would want to tackle - and I would need more vintage embroidered ribbon, anyway. These are the only ones I have:

But maybe one of YOU will want to make one. Please let me know if you do; I would love to see it when you're done!
Because I really do think that is one VERY cool necktie.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My "Sewing" Books

So.... I haven't yet tried my hand at making anything again - not since I made my pillow. But I did find this book recently - and felt I needed to have it:
And I got this one a while back at a thrift shop, too:
And I've had this one for quite a while:
And I have also picked up some books about stitchery and embroidery, even though I haven't done any of that for at least 25 years or so!

Tina gave me this beautiful book for my birthday last year. "Simple", it says in the title - I like the sound of that:
Yet another book I've had for some time:
Now, THIS is the one skill I would most like to master - Reupholstering At Home. I'm afraid a book probably wouldn't quite do it for me - what I really need is a local class to teach me what I want to know:
And yet I buy the books anyway - "slipcovering", reupholstering - mastering either of those skills would be wonderful and useful:

I even save magazine articles:

Time will tell whether or not I will make use of these.
Yes, only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Past is Present in Placerville #5: Mission Bell - Bee & Coloma Streets

On the northwest corner of Coloma Street (also Highway 49) and Bee Street in Placerville stands an old monument. It is a mission bell, with two signs, one pointing west towards Sacramento, and one pointing north towards Coloma. I have always wondered about that bell, and the history behind it.
Standing as it does so close to a busy street, I was unable to get a photo of the bell showing the sign to Coloma. If I were better on my feet (I have a bad hip) I could have parked and crossed the street and walked up the path and taken a photo from there. But that was beyond me, so I am only showing photos I was able to take from the basically level and not as busy Bee Street area.
Searching the internet, I found a very interesting book entitled "The Royal Highway" by Edwin Corle, published in 1949. On the cover and just inside is a picture of a mission bell just like the one in Placerville. This bell shown here on the title page of the "Mission Bell Edition" signed by the author, is a desk ornament which you can occasionally find sold on ebay. I am hoping to buy one of those someday.
The King's Highway, The Royal Highway, or the El Camino Real (in Spanish) is basically the California Highway U.S. 101, which stretches from San Diego to Yerba Buena (San Francisco) and then beyond. It does not go to Placerville. How then did we end up with a bell? That is still a mystery I have not solved.
This rather blurry photo from inside the book, which was published courtesy of the California Mission Trails Association, shows Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, showing its unusual outside stairway and one of the commemorative mission bells.

Below is a copy of an old postcard which also shows the San Gabriel Mission and its bell.
Page 254 of "The Royal Highway" reads: "The gold rush had brought some amazing changes. Life in California had been synonymous with life along the Royal Highway. Now the emphasis was suddenly altered, and life in California meant life in the mountain area, the High Sierra country... The population of Los Angeles was less than that of Hangtown, once called Old Dry Diggings, but later change to Hangtown, because the story got about that it was a place where criminals were hanged first and tried later. It is the pleasant community of Placerville today. "
Above is a vintage real photo postcard with a photo of Placerville's Mission Bell. The sign reads "Placerville known as Hangtown in the days of 49. To Sutter's Fort Sacramento 50 miles". The other side which I was unable to photograph points towards Coloma.
A photograph of the Placerville Mission Bell as it looks in February 2011.
From "The Royal Highway": "By 1906 - a year never to be forgotten because of the devastating San Francisco earthquake and fire which killed more than 250 people, injured thousands and caused a property damage in excess of $300,000,000 - a steadily growing California-consciousness began to manifest itself. History began to be something more than dull facts in an equally dull textbook. An innate state pride was developing. Nostalgia, of a kind, became popular. One of the first examples of this having-reached-maturity-we-are-now-looking-back-at-our-glorious-past attitude was expressed by the move to mark the route of El Camino Real with a series of mission bells. This was begun in July of 1906 with the first highway bell being erected and dedicated at the church opposite the plaza in downtown Los Angeles. This church was never a mission in its own right, but was an outpost, or asistencia, of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. Los Angeles County supervisors instigated the move to erect the commemorative bells, and the Automobile Club of Southern California carried it out."
Another "now" view of the bell. Just beyond is the busy Highway 49, which follows Coloma Street at this point in Placerville.
Quite a few years ago I purchased an old photo album on ebay which had a few photos of Placerville. This small photo of our bell was dated March 1917. Beyond the bell towards the west you can see "Bee Street" which is more like Bee path. Just out of sight on the right is the Bee-Bennett House, now the Sequoia Restaurant, and on the hill on the left is the Placerville Bee Street Cemetery where the Gold Country Girls parents are buried.
No Memory Chapel on the right just after the bell, no church just beyond. Just a small dirt road.
February 2011 view to compare to March 1917.
Just across the street from my car is a beautiful old brick church which I will feature in this blog in the future. As I was taking the shots the pastor, John Cowper, a long time acquaintance of the Gold Country Girls, was arriving at his church and walking inside. He may have wondered about the limping Grandma out taking photos on this lovely clear winter day.
If you are interested in seeing more of the commemorative mission bells, travel down Highway 101 below San Francisco and keep an eye out by the side of the road. I saw several on a trip to Ventura with a friend of mine a couple of years ago. They started me on my quest for information about the bells. I am interested in knowing if there are others placed that are not on Highway 101.
This shot is taken from the church side of Bee Street. Alas, the Memory Chapel is now closed and for sale, and so is the church that is next door to it.
One final shot, taken from my car as I drove north towards home. The bell is just out of frame on the middle right.
Come take a drive to our old town and visit a bit of the past present in Placerville.