Monday, October 29, 2007

An Anticipated Visit!

"Although I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
Ofttimes I hover;
And near the sacred gate,
With longing eyes I wait,
Expectant of her."

Thackeray - Pendennis. At the Church Gate. St. 1.
Dear readers, I will be taking a blogging break for a couple of days. I am so excited! I sent an invitation to a most lovely lady and she has accepted, so I must take a little time off to spruce up for her arrival and her visit. I have anticipated a visit from her for quite some time now. She had a date set to arrive but was delayed. I was so looking forward to her visit and was very disappointed at her delay. Everyday I wondered if this would be the day I would hear from her and at long last she is coming! I will tell you all about her when I return from my break. I will try to take her picture but she is a little camera shy like Corey over at Tongue in Cheek, but maybe I will be able to catch glimpses of her unawares. She did not give an exact arrival time so I must keep looking down the lane to see if she has come. This has got me all aflutter as I flit from task to task and try and keep a lookout as well!

In the meantime I invite you to visit my new blog buddy, Pinkie Denise over at Pinkpomegranate, who has signed up for the Pay It Forward crafting idea. I still have two spots left if anyone is interested. Thank you, Denise, for signing up and I hope you enjoy your gift from me!

I wish you all well in my absence and look forward to visiting with you again upon my return.

Miss Sandy

Photos: My Grandmother's garden gate, her mailbox, and the lane leading to her house

Sunday, October 28, 2007

And The WINNER Is......

One last sneak peek and then we....

Enter the number of participants.....

and we have a WINNER!

Checking the number assignments from the previous post and our winner is.....

Susie Q


Rabbit Run Cottage


Susie Q, email me your address so I can mail the "goodies" to you.

Miss Sandy

An Audio Visual Treat Laced With Truth

"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the majesty."
1 Chronicles 29:11
"Majesty, worship His majesty........"

Someone emailed me this site and it blessed my heart, so I am passing it along to you, dear readers, and pray it will bless you also with its visual beauty, soul stirring melody, and truth. Just click on the presentation button and make sure your sound is turned on, enjoy! May you have a blessed day of rest and peace.

Miss Sandy
Photo: My beloved Ozarks

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blissful Elements Indeed!

"The two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light."
Swift - Battle of the Books
Did any of you dear readers hear a high pitched squeal this afternoon around 12:30 in the central standard time zone? If you did don't despair, it was not a banshee, it was just me opening my package of swap goodies from Kris over at Blissful Elements! Her work is amazing, awesome, and inspiring, plus it is quality and professional! (I'm a little bit embarrassed at my paltry attempt at Halloween goodies after seeing hers) The "trick" is still on me and the "treat" is definitely on me this time, just see for yourself:
Yep! I just ripped into that package, (I'm a ripper, no nice and neat opening for me!), but I did remember just in time to grab the camera and start snapping away. Here they come...... with a sweet note enclosed......
Riiiiiiiip! goes that little gold vellum envelope and out pops this.......
And then I unwrapped these........
And these too......

Plus this cute tag.......

Yipeeee! THIS is the piece of art I wanted for a gift......

And then.........

These darling little hand stamped tickets!
Can you believe such sweetness and generosity in one package? I instantly emailed Kris and gushed over my goodies! You would just have to see the real items to see the detail and quality not to mention the craftsmanship and love put into them. Thanks so much Kris, and I have decided to mail myself all the cards so I can enjoy them all over again! (a bit selfish you say, yes, but can't help it this time!) Kris, again, thanks so much for putting some sweetness and light into my day.

Selfishly Yours,

Miss Sandy

Photos: Vintage Image from the Grenta Collection; Halloween Swap Goodies from Kris at Blissful Elements!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Give Away Number Assignments

"Expectation whirls me round.
The imaginary relish is so sweet
That it enchants my sense."
Troilus and Cressida Act. III. Sc. 2. L. 19.
Dear readers, I trust that expectation is swirling around in the air as the Give Away winner will be announced tomorrow! I hope that you have had a sense of enchantment as we have traveled through the featured book memories together. I have so enjoyed this Give Away and feel I have gathered new friends, savored old memories, and re-embraced a creative spirit. Thank you all so much for all your sweetness. I wish I had 43 gifts to give, in my book you are all winners! Good Luck!
The numbers were assigned in order by name, date, and time of comment. I will use a random number generator to select the winner. Winner notification will be posted by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, 2007. Here are the number assignments for the drawing for the Give Away:

  1. Lenna Andrews, Creative Swaps
  2. Helen Read, Brushstrokes, Inc.

  3. Rosemary

  4. Karen Eileen, Karen Eileen Design

  5. Lidy, French Garden House

  6. Ele, A Bit of Pink Heaven

  7. Vicki Page

  8. Julie, Nunnie's Attic

  9. Madrikarin

  10. A Book Worm

  11. Terri and Bob

  12. Beachy's Cape Cod Cupboard

  13. Sandra Evertson

  14. Pinkie Denise

  15. Susie Q

  16. Jill

  17. Cheryl

  18. Louise, LW

  19. Pamela Jane

  20. Alison Gibbs

  21. Lori

  22. Sharon

  23. Becky

  24. Becky K.

  25. Lizzy

  26. Jennifer, Old Painted Cottage

  27. Karen Benson

  28. Pricilla

  29. ikkinlala

  30. Laura Williams

  31. Angelbrew

  32. KJ

  33. Joanie Hoffman
  34. Dottie Mucha

  35. Heidi

  36. Cindyforeyes aka Cindy is crafty

  37. Rena Matus

  38. Carol

  39. Sondra

  40. Dawn, The Feathered Nest

  41. Christi, Charm & Grace

  42. Lori, Faerie Window

  43. Joan, Joan's Journey

Again, thank you all so much for participating, this has been such fun for me!


Miss Sandy

Photos: Goodies for Give Away and Decorated Book Box

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The End.....of the Give Away "Goodies"

"Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were-
Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter...."

Beatrix Potter
Well, dear readers, we have come to the last post for the Give Away "goodies" today. It makes me a little sad to leave so many book memories untouched, like the beloved Little House, Anne of Green Gables, and Elsie Densmore series, all of which I cherish. Also, what about all those wonderful fairy tales, especially those by Hans Christian Anderson. Then there is Heidi, Pollyanna, and The Color Kittens, plus oh so many more! I can't possibly cover them all, so I have had to pick and choose the books and items that speak to me at the moment and let them tell the stories.

I just could not leave out one beloved author and illustrator from my book memories or resist tucking a memento into the ''goodie" stash that represents her. She is, Beatrix Potter, the author and illustrator of Peter Rabbit and many other wonderful and whimsical stories. The "goodie" is a little Peter Rabbit Birthday Book. This little volume will help you to record and remember special days and dates or it could be used as a mini diary. Each of the 365 days are listed with three blank lines underneath for recording. It also includes 62 illustrations by Beatrix Potter from her famous stories. It is a charming little volume.
I don't remember the exact moment that I was introduced to Beatrix Potter only that it was love at first sight in the form of a naughty little red squirrel named Nutkin! This was my favorite story and I was enthralled by the illustrations in this book. I had a tiny soft cover version of this book, it was a little pocket size book and I took it everywhere.

I thought I knew where Old Brown the owl lived. I was certain that he lived on the little island in the middle of the river over which we crossed to go the capitol city of our state where we often went shopping. I was equally sure that the little band of red squirrels lived on the nearest shore and that if we didn't go so swiftly across the river bridge that I might just be able to catch a glimpse of them building their little stick boats or sailing across to gather nuts. I would beg to slow down or stop so I could see these wonderful squirrels who could build boats, sail, and gather nuts in little sacks. Once my step-father humored my vivid imagination and pulled down the ramp to the boat launch across from the little island and he let me scour the shore for signs of the little squirrel band. He thought this would be the end of my insistence but after looking around I stood with my hands on my hips and declared, "Well, I guess we just missed them, but NEXT time we'll catch them!" He kind of groaned and looked a little exasperated, kind of like there would not be a next time if he could help it. As happens to all children, I grew up and knew this childhood belief to be just a wishful thinking on my part but that naughty little squirrel never lost his appeal for me.
Now my daughter loved another set of naughty characters, Two Bad Mice. She loved the part where the mice try to eat the food and the fish would not come off the plate so the mice put it into the red paper fire in the kitchen, but it would not burn. She would always exclaim, "Silly mice, don't they know that paper fire is not real." and she would giggle. She always liked that Tom was not really such a bad mouse after all, as he found some money under a rug and on Christmas Eve he stuffed it into the dolls stockings to pay for the damage they had done and Hunca Munca came every morning with her little broom and dustpan to sweep up the doll house. She always justified the taking of the cradle by the ending picture of Hunca Munca rocking her little mice babies to sleep in it, she would say, "Mama, they needed that little cradle for all those tiny babies or they would have to sleep on the cold hard floor."

She was equally as sure that these same two bad mice payed visits to her dollhouse at night when she was asleep as I was about the squirrels. She kept a little yellow flash light by her bed and she would lie still with light in hand thinking she could quickly turn it on and catch them in the act. She never did but she thought she may have seen their shadow as they hid behind the stairs. She is all grown up now and these two bad mice have never lost their appeal to her, just mention Beatrix Potter and she will quickly tell you what her favorite story is.

This brings us to the last item to go into the "goodie" box, in honor of the ATC swap at Creative Swaps, I am enclosing a Mother Goose ATC of The Three Little Kittens. The front features the kittens rolling in the balls of yarn from which their mittens are made. The inside is a pop-up with a charming little scene of the little kittens surrounded by soap suds and glittering soap bubbles as they happily wash their soiled mittens.
I hope you have enjoyed reading these memories as much as I have enjoyed recounting them. Thank you all so much for your kind comments.

Miss Sandy
Photos: Sculptors of Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter; Give Away item - Peter Rabbit Birthday Book; Squirrel Nutkin and Two Bad Mice illustrations by Beatrix Potter; Give Away item - Three Little Kittens ATC

Two Days until the Give Away!

"The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied, "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico...."

Eugene Field
Only two more days until the Give Away! On October 27th the completed "goodie" box will be revealed and the assigned names and numbers will be posted. The winner will be announced on October 28th so tune in to see if you win! ( See details here.)

The little book box is fairly bursting at the seams, actually it is overflowing, but so is my joy at recalling all these book memories and at being able to share them. There are yet a few more memories to share and the "goodie" box will be complete.

When I saw the next "goodie" a nursery rhyme instantly popped into my mind and I knew it just had to be included. This adorable gingham and calico tea cup with its patchwork of gourmet teas is the next "goodie" item.
Nursery rhymes were my very first exposure to poetry and rhyme. They were easy to remember because of the sing-song way they were written and they were often funny in content. I was particularly fascinated by The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, who side by side on the table sat.

I remember my Grandmother reciting this one to me. She had the most wonderful memory and knew all kinds of stories, songs, poems, and rhymes. Her home was about thirty-five minutes from ours and going from our house to hers seemed an eternity to a small girl. To occupy me and to pass the time she would tell me stories, we would sing songs, and recite poetry and rhymes. This is where I learned The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.

Often she would pick me up on a Friday night and I would stay with her until Sunday night. There was always an adventure to be had when going to her house. She not only passed on her love of reading and recitation to me but her gift of creativity. She taught me how to wrap gifts and embellish them but not with just an ordinary bow, she believed that the outside should make one anticipate what is inside. She taught me about gardening, although I did not inherit her green thumb. She taught me to bake cookies and I had my own special cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls, at her house where she indulged me by taking me shopping for ingredients for any recipe I desired to make and then I would make the biggest mess in her kitchen and she never cared. We would laugh as she wrapped me in a large calico print apron and lift me onto a chair for cleanup duty.

I loved sinking my little arms up to the elbows in that hot sudsy water and washing the dishes with her. She made everything, even chores, fun. She would make my gourmet feast special by teaching me to set a pretty table or by dinning on her covered patio with a blue and white gingham tablecloth covering her patio table,candles glowing, and fresh flowers from her garden.
We often dined on Raggedy Ann or Bunny Salad and ate Good Kid Cookies for dessert.

I loved the breakfast foods such as Pig in a Poke cereal, (it's the one with the pear, apple slices, and raisins, not sure why it is called a pig in a poke but I thought it quite tasty and the name made me giggle), Eggs in a frame, and Initial Pancakes. I tried every recipe in this little volume and some of them I still use today.

My own children benefited from the gifts my Grandmother passed on to me as her tradition of story telling, singing, and recitation was something I did with them every time we got into the car. As soon as my son was old enough to talk he would pipe up from the back seat, "Wets sing mom!", (his L's sounded like W's when he was small) and sing we did, all the songs I sang with my Grandmother. We recited nursery rhymes, counted, and told knock knock jokes. I baked with them and let them make messes in my kitchen and served them Raggedy Ann Salad and Turtle Pancakes and taught them, yes, even my son, how to set a festive table and to give gifts with a flourish. Sadly this tradition and the stories I have to tell them about her are the only connection they will ever have with this wonderful woman. I was only blessed to have in my life for twelve years before she passed away at an early age. Her legacy lives on in my patchwork memories of gingham and calico.

Miss Sandy

Photos: The Gindham Dog and the Calico Cat illustrated by Eulalie, from the cover of The Bumper Book; Give Away "goodie" tea cup & tea; Poem by Eugene Field from The Bumper Book; Cover of my childhood cookbook; Raggedy Ann Salad, Good Kid Cookies, Eggs in a Frame, Initial Pancakes, and Pig in a Poke Cereal, all photos are from the cookbook.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More Give Away Goodies!

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

Bacon - Essay. Of Studies.

Things have been a little crazy here at the Quill. I had intended to have this post done by Thursday at the latest but it didn't happen. My mystery allergic reaction is back so I have been hanging close to my new BFF, Eppi and now have five new fighter friends that I must ingest daily. These little guys make me so sleepy and dizzy that I am having a hard time getting things done. I found out all the things I am NOT allergic to but not what I am, test results should be back in the next two to three weeks, until then I guess I'll be moving at a snails pace!

Speaking of mysteries, this brings me to the next "goodie" in the Give Away I am holding in conjunction with the Mother Goose ATC swap over at Creative Swaps. If you have not been over there, you must visit and see the wonderful ATC's that are rolling in for the swap. So far I want one of each! I am getting so excited to see which ones I get. Anyway, back to the Give Away.....

I remember the exact moment in time that I fell in love with mysteries. I was in Mrs. Brown's fourth grade class. (Can you guess which one is me?)
We went to the school library every Thursday and this was one of my favorite times of the week. Our librarian, Mrs. Vines, was a solemn looking woman who reminded me in the manner of her dress of Aunt Bea. She always wore floral print dresses, one of those triple rope pearl necklaces and matching earrings, and sensible black tie granny shoes. For some reason when I think of her I always remember her in a blue and white floral print dress. She always wore an expression as if she had just eaten a lemon. To be quite honest I was terribly afraid of her. She was a no nonsense type of woman and I saw her harshly scold some of the other children and I never wanted to be on her bad side so I just avoided her with the exception of timidly handing her my books to check out.

For all her dour disposition she had a lovely reading voice and she always picked a chapter book to read one chapter from before we were allowed to wander down the isles of what could loosely be termed a library. Our school library was in a large shared room which served as library, gym, and auditorium. At one end of the room rested a small stage, a hardwood open area in the middle served as gym/auditorium, and at the other end was a beautiful carved wooden hand railing that sectioned off the library end. The books lined the back and side wall, with four rows of shelves end to end making little isles. At the end of one isle was a big podium with three steps leading up to it. Resting upon the podium was a huge dictionary. I loved to climb the steps and turn the pages, read the words, and look at the line drawings. I spent many a happy hour with my own copy of the Thorndike Barnhart red bound dictionary, that each student was required to have, drawing those little pictures.
One Thursday, Mrs. Vines, chose a book from one of the series she had purchased for our library, one of two actually, one that would appeal to boys, The Hardy Boys, and one to girls, Nancy Drew. The book she chose was The Secret of the Moss Covered Mansion. She chose a chapter right in the middle of the book that left you hanging at the most exciting part. I remember sitting across the table from two little girls who were often my rivals. We sat looking at each other knowing that we all wanted that book! I just knew the little blond girl would surely get the book because she was a book monitor and Mrs. Vines seemed to like her. I was sure her little dark haired shadow would trip me to keep me from that book. Now I was a very timid child but I wanted that book! I don't exactly know what happened but when Mrs. Vines released us to check out books, the three of us shot out of our seats. In the scramble the two girls collided, knocked over a chair and became entangled and got the wrath of Mrs. Vines for all the noise. I reached the check out desk first and the book was mine!

I read every book in that series and discovered the Meg mysteries, as well as the Trixie Beldon mysteries. Another thing I discovered was that underneath her dour exterior Mrs. Vines was a really nice lady. I once was sent to help her because I was finished with my work. She began to talk to me about books and I opened up and we had a lovely time dusting book bindings and shelves. Later on the two little girls and I became quite good friends and even started a book club that met at recess on the play ground under a sprawling oak tree. We would share mini book reports on what we were reading.

How does this relate to the Give Away you say, well, look at the lovely package below.
Would you not just love to know what it contains? Here is a clue........ I am not going to tell you! This Give Away "goodie" will remain a mystery until the winner unveils it! To enter the Give Away just leave your name in the comments section of this or any of the Give Away posts and you will be added. You may read the details here.

Stay tuned for the next Give Away "goodie" post coming soon........

Miss Sandy

Photos: The Give Away "Goodie"; Mrs. Browns 4th Grade class; Nancy Drew Books

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