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Monday, September 24, 2012

Stairway to the Stars - vintage shelf

I have learned so much by researching this vintage crescent moon shelf.

Did you know it was a pattern designed by A. Neely Hall?
Did you know there was a song by Glenn Miller called, Stairway to the Stars?
Did you know that it was thought to be a wood shop project from the 1950s?
Did you know there are many different versions of this shelf and there was usually a wooden star as part of the pattern?

Well, I didn't know any of that. All I knew was that I remembered them from my childhood. We had one hanging on our living room wall. Ours did not have a star.

This is the only picture I could find with our crescent moon shelf hanging on the wall. 
Seems Mom used it to hang Christmas cards on one year. This is not me, but my niece posing in front of our mantle.

When I saw a dilapidated one on a pile of stuff to be taken to the dump in my neighbor's pull behind trailer, I knew I had to snatch it and try to restore it. With their permission, of course. I try not to take things from my neighbor's trash without their permission, though it may be tempting at times.

It has been sitting in my garage for a number of months, with nails sticking out and the landing unattached and a dangling stairway.

this is a cleaned-up version of it. It was quite dirty and cobwebby. The nails were loose on the staircase, the landing was unattached with nails sticking out everywhere.

I found a small can of stain in the garage and stained the plywood on both sides.

Isn't it pretty? It looks like new.

I love knick knack shelves. Especially vintage ones. 

I also love new ones. . . 

My son made this scroll-saw knick knack shelf for me. I just love it.

Do you remember the Stairway to the Stars knick knack shelves?

Posted by Janet Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall is Here - Easy Place Mats

Fall is in the air.
The season brings with it 
the spiders, the cobwebs,
the grasshoppers, the pumpkins,
the crisp mornings and the
quick sunsets that creep up on us 
in the evening. 
Fall  is here and who am I
to try and stop it.
I welcome it with open arms!

I got in the sewing mood and made four quick and easy fall place mats.

 pick out some material 
I picked out a print and a solid

My beginning measurements were 16" x 12"
You can make them any size you want.

 I placed quilt batting underneath the top layer and sewed curly, squiggly lines all around.
They don't have to be quilted. If you want, you can leave out this part.

I pinned the right sides of the two pieces of material (printed one and gold one) together and sewed around the edges. Leave a space about 3 inches un-sewn, so you can turn the place mats. Turn, iron and sew all the way around the border about  1/4" away from the edge.

 Here is the finished product.
They will look so nice with my fall colored Fiestaware, don't you think?

I was just getting used to the fall decorations in the stores. 
I was just getting in the mood to put out my fall flowers, fall potholders and fall place mats.
We went to the store yesterday and they had their Christmas stuff out!
Boy, am I behind.

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer Survivors

We have had quite a summer. We have survived a derecho, sweltering heat and a drought.

This sweet little sunflower survived and grew where a flower shouldn't grow and survive.
It sprouted all by itself between the sidewalk and the 4 x 4. It is a survivor!

A few weeks after the derecho, we had a  viscous lightning storm. The day after, we saw what the ear piercing lightning hit. Our beautiful sycamore tree was struck at the tip top and the force went down the entire tree and out the earth around it.  Since it happened, the tree has deteriorated more and more each day.

Will it survive to live another year? I really don't think so. I will miss it, I've watched it grow from a very small tree to the majestic one it is today.

If you go here, scroll down the page and you will see what our sycamore tree looked like a few winters ago with it's perfect shape. It also might make you feel a little cooler in this hot weather we're having.

Posted by Janet Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch.