Friday, October 31, 2008


Mid October, just about when the leaves are at their peak of screaming fall colors, I start thinking about what I call the “End-of-the-Year Slide”. This is the time when we get pummeled with holiday after holiday after holiday. At times it can make us feel exhausted, overrun and not very festive and cheerful. But just remember, while we are driving to yet another holiday obligation or errand, we are doing all these things for a reason: We are trying to making memories for ourselves and our families.

Holidays and festivities are often deeply-rooted in traditions; things we always do every year on certain occasions that make our lives and holidays richer. The constant errands, projects, and parties are all ways of creating, adding to or maintaining traditions that, in the end, add to our family's mental memory books.

Now Halloween is almost upon us and one of my personal tradi
tions is to procrastinate with the kids’ Halloween costumes. What makes my procrastination particularly bad is our family's tradition that we make homemade costumes. This tradition allows us to spend quality time with each child discussing what they want to dress up as and why. It also affords us the opportunity to get creative with the kids in discussing how we will make the costume with the clothes and supplies we have on hand. Since my daughter is a hockey fanatic and a hockey player, many years her costumes are hockey related. This year, we added a little gore to the hockey gear costume and made her into Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks. My son is a Star Wars character so we took some old black adult t-shirts and cut them up into capes and hoods and stapled them all together.

Once Halloween is over it seems Thanksgiving comes rushing at
us like a defensive lineman! It is only about three weeks, but it feels like one week. I often rush and scurry to get things just right so that our Thanksgiving is just perfect: groceries, cleaning, setting up the guest room, etc.

Our Thanksgiving traditions:
  • Dad & Grandpa Make the Meal – isn’t that a great twist on tradition! This year we are going to add a new Thanksgiving tradition; the main chef will be wearing my Thanksgiving apron, which you can view on under holidays.
  • Mom (me) Makes the Traditional Dessert – the same ice cream pumpkin pie I have made since I started having my own thanksgiving. Another interesting twist on traditional Thanksgiving rituals. My family requests it each year. See below for recipe
  • The Fight About the Meal TIME – since the men are making the meal, the timing of the meal is always built around the football game.
  • Dress Comfortably – No dressing up this day. We have a casual relaxed day wearing just jeans or whatever we are comfortable wearing.
  • Dog Thanksgiving – The dog gets a delicious plate full of do-friendly scraps after the meal. The best part is we get a stopwatch and time how long it takes him to eat it.
  • Never Shop on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving shopping frenzy) - But I do get out the gift-giving list I have been creating all year and start to edit it. I also check my wrapping paper, ribbon and gift tags.
Check out www.fineline-antiques for some darling, vintage-inspired gift tags for your holiday hostess gifts or your Christmas gifts. While you are there take a look at our Holiday category for Thanksgiving decorations and supplies.

If Thanksgiving came at me like a defensive lineman, Christmas comes at me like a linebacker!

Shortly after Thanksgiving, we get our family Christmas Tree. We like to go to t
he one of the local farms and cut down a fresh tree. This way the cut on the trunk is fresh when we come home and we can set it up right away and we don't need to bring the chainsaw into the living room to make a fresh cut. (That was a childhood tradition for me - my parents would always fight about my dad bringing the chainsaw in the living room in order to make sure the cut was fresh on our lot-purchased tree). We have cut down our own tree for many years and it is now a solid family tradition. Every year there is something memorable about our tradition.
  • One year we had a baby in a backpack on our backs.
  • Another year my daughter was sick but insisted we go so she was wrapped in many blankets and miserable but happy.
  • Every year dad has to lie down in the snow and crawl under the prickly branches to cut down our tree…our hero!
  • We ride out to the grove of trees on trailer attached to a tractor. We are wrapped in blankets and can see our breath in the air as we chatter about what kind of tree we are gonna get.
  • Last year was truly picture perfect. There was a nice covering of snow and the section of the farm we went to had many mature trees. Many trees had their boughs dusted with snow. It was so beautiful and quite, I felt like we were in a make believe world.

Although the last quarter of the year is crazy busy and, quite frankly, exhausting for me, I also love this time of year. I love the spirit and ritual of it all and look forward to each and every one of our traditions. But more importantly, our traditions help to give our children very vivid memories of their childhood. And that END is worth all the headache and exhaustion.

Frosty Pumpkin Pie Recipe
I think this recipe is from Southern Living, but I cannot recall.

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½-cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/8-teaspoon salt
  • 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼-teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8-teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-quart vanilla ice cream softened
  • 1 ½-cups gingersnap cookies finely crushed
  • ¼-cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3-cup melted butter
First make the gingersnap crust.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 9-inch pie plate, combine gingersnap crumbs, powdered sugar and butter.
  3. Stir well and firmly press mixture along bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
  4. Bake for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Let cool for at least an hour.
Then make the filling.
  1. In a very large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir well.
  2. Fold in the ice cream and combine gently.
  3. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust.
  4. Cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight.
Then eat the deliciousness.
  1. Remove from freezer and let stand at room temp for 10 minutes.
  2. Add slices to plates with a generous topping of fresh whipped cream.
Special Addition.
Our special touch on this pie is to add whip cream with a special flavor. When making our whipped cream, instead of using vanilla as the flavoring, we add Bailey’s Irish Cream. Give it a try, you will be wowed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

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This morning I was helping my 10-year-old daughter study for her test on the brain. I would ask her “What does the Temporal Lobe control?” She would answer, “Problem solving and emotions.”

I would then ask her, “What does the Occipital Lobe control?” She would answer, “Vision.”

Well she seemed to get most of the answers correct when asked in this format. So I decided to change things up and ask the questions in a different way. So then I asked, “What lobe controls emotions and problem solving?” She answered, “Frontal Lobe.”

Finally, I asked her, “What Lobe controls hearing?” She didn’t recall this one as well. She paused while she thought about it, at which point her 6-year-old brother chimed in, “The Ear Lobe.”

Talk about a good laugh over a plate of waffles. Leave it to kids to be so literal and so funny.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dogs – ah, Dogsadd to kirtsy

What could be better than the love of a dog? Really, who greets you at the door every time you come home - and with such Fanfare! You would think you were the newly won president. Who faithfully follows you from room to room just to be near you? Who listens to everything you say, even as you drone on and on about that annoying co-worker?

Why do I love dogs, particularly my own?

Because dogs…..

1. Live in the Moment
They usually don’t worry much about the fact that 10 minutes ago you were yelling at them for spilling their water. “Sure it unpleasant to have you my beloved yell at me, but I got over it, I’ve moved on. Lets play fetch!” They live in the moment of now, not what happened 10 minutes ago and not what is going to happen in 10 minutes.

2. Love Unconditionally
Dogs love you no matter what. If you work a lot and you must crate your dog often and cannot spend much time with your dog, you will feel guilty, but your dog will love you no matter what. He will always be excited to see you when you get home, no matter how long he’s been in the crate and will not hold any sort of grudge or put conditions on his love.

3. Are Loyal Beyond Match
Trust me, your dog will always side with you when you fight with someone. Just watch your dog’s reaction when you raise your voice in a stern and serious manner towards someone else! Or if you are sick or crying, your dog will always sense something is wrong and be right by your side. Faithful.

4. Exhibit Uninhibited Passion for Life
  • Have you ever seen a dog bark at the wind?
  • Have you ever seen a dog chase its tail?
  • Have you ever seen a dog swing a dirty sock to and fro with a gleeful look in his/her eye?
  • Have you ever seen a dog that knows that since the leash is out, it must mean he gets to go on a walk?

This is Mojo, my sweetheart. About 6 months after I had to put my first dog to sleep, Mojo came into my life.

My first dog was old, sick and on subcutaneous fluids and oral medications every. She just no longer had her zest - her uninhibited passion for life. So the time came to put her down; that was a low like I had never felt before. Making the decision to end the life of a living creature, a member of our family, tore me in half.

After a time of grieving, I longed for another dog. When I say I longed for one, I mean I felt it deeply in my soul. I didn’t just want a dog; I needed a dog. I love having something or someone whom I can lavish with affection at my whim!!

First, though, I had to convince my husband that a new dog was a good idea. First of all his heart was broken too. But he also did not want the responsibility (financial, logistical and emotional) of another living creature under our roof. It took many weeks of showing him dogs online before I could even get him to respond to my showings. After many weeks, I found a Dalmatian that I really wanted to see, and I finally got him to agree to just “go see” the dog. I am not sure how I talked him into it, but I did. However, as fate would have it, it didn’t work out.

A few more weeks went by and then I saw him. Tigger was this darling, brindle-colored, 3-month-old, “lab mix". He just stole my heart! I simply had to see him; had to meet him; had to hold him; had to have him. I was able to convince my husband to just “go see” the puppy. We walked into the room and Tigger bounced all around so happy to see us and eager to get to know us. He was full of that boundless puppy energy and loving dog spirit. I looked at the dog and fell in love; I looked at my husband, and fell in love with him all over again. I knew he was a goner; he too fell head over heals for Tigger.

We took Tigger home that night and began thinking of a name. It didn’t take long for us to come up with Mojo. Our last dog was named after a Los Lobos song, so this dog should be named after a song. My husband loves blues music and I just loved the word Mojo and how it rolled off the tongue and was almost a guttural sound. So Mojo it was, Tigger had a new name. A name more suited to a proud, strong and athletic dog ("Tigger" was just too silly and wimpy).

Well Mojo has proven to be the best dog ever and a wonderful daily companion for me. He lets me hug him and kiss him all the time. I reward his loyalty with daily controlled walks off leash in a safe open area and getting to ride shot gun with me on my early morning Starbucks runs. We have great trust in one another, love each other immensely and I think we both feel lucky to have found each other.

Dog Stuff
As a testament to my love of dogs, I decided to create a category in my online store for all things Vintage Dog. There are still many things I have yet to add, but here are a few recent highlights. You can view the whole evolving collection at

Many dog lovers love Scotty dogs, so I have a few tributes to the Scotty in my shop like this Bakelite black Scotty dog brooch.

Others are fanatics for Terriers. I have a few Airedale Terrier items like this vintage bisque wall hanging of a gorgeous Airedale Terrier. This wall hanging has fantastic detailing and is quite beautiful.

Then there is the quintessentially perfect companion dog, Lassie. I have recently added a vintage children's book called Lassie Finds a Friend. Who could be more loyal?

Another great place for a dog lover to shop is on Here are some of my recent favorite finds there.

I actually purchased this precious “Vintage Labrador Retriever Vizsla Dog Pendant” and I adore it! It is a wonderful charcoal sketch of a Labrador Retriever taken from a 1934 postcard. There are more avaialable for sale at

Check this one out, this is great! A very stylish and sophisticated sweater for a big dog. Not a hokey "purse-dog" sweater with ruffles and fru fru. A handsome sweater for a proud dog. This can be purchased at

Last but not least.....If you love dogs, what about this precious, yet heartbreaking, art print of a shelter dog. Each print from this seller is numbered in limited edition of 100 and hand signed by the artist and 10% of the purchase price will be donated to the local animal shelter. You can buy this and other like prints at

I will close with a great dog quote:
“Today I sniffed many dogs’ behinds. I celebrate by kissing your face.” --Author Unknown

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Creativity Envy

add to kirtsy Creativity Envy


This word holds a lot of power for me; I have always admired and envied the truly creative.

Creativity is defined by Webster's as:

“The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations”

As a child I always gravitated towards the girls with the artistic talent. When I was in 6th grade, I would always ask my one friend to draw me a picture. This girl was particularly good at drawing caricatures with exaggerated features and big hair etc.

I studied my friend like crazy, but I could never quite replicate her talent. She saw things differently and she was able to translate them into a visual thing on paper in a unique way. I didn’t have that vision or that talent. But I did take away one cool tip from her that I still use today on occasion when I doodle. If you wanna draw the picture of the back of a girl sitting on her butt with her legs crossed Indian style, you can do so. First you draw a “W” then you modify it.

Brilliant Right?!?! I think so at least. I suppose it is a bit formulaic, but it works and gives me a sense of satisfaction. But it is not creativity; it is not a natural flow, it is not transcending a rule, it is following a rule.

Many people today are being creative and it just comes naturally. Take for instance my good friend who makes cakes: birthday and other special occasion cakes. Sounds pretty mundane right, “Oh she’s a baker.” Well in this case “baker” is not an accurate description. In this case my friend is first and foremost a creative. Her specialty is sculpture and her medium is cake(yummy). Essentially, she makes edible sculptures.

Who says cakes have to be simply sheet cakes or layer cakes or bundt cakes?

Where is the rule of the world that defines cakes as those forms?

My friend does a brilliant job of taking a person’s favorite thing or theme and turning it into a three dimensional, fun and interesting (not to mention delicious) cake. Essentially, she applies Webster’s definition of creativity: she transcends traditional ideas, rules, and patterns and makes something incredibly unique and new. She doesn't follow the traditional idea that a cake has to be a sheet cake or a layer cake to be a cake. I admire her creativity and her talent. To see more of her awe-inspiring work, you can go to

Then there are those who create something that just makes you say, "Wow! I would have never thought of that!

Take for example this great knitting pattern I found on Etsy. I don’t knit, but boy, now I really wish I did. Who’d of thunk…….a knit frog being dissected!! Brilliant, interesting, educational, visually stimulating – perfectly creative; transcends the traditional idea or knitting (hat, scarf blanket) and makes a frog. Not just any cute little stuffed animal frog , but a natural frog being dissected. Then this artist is creative one more step, she creates a pattern for those of us, who are not creative, to follow. To see more of this artist's inspiration ideas, please log onto the crafty hedgehog.

Now I am not necessarily the most creative person I know, but I do have some creative ability. Unfortunately, I still do not have the artistic ability I so badly crave. So I try to make due with what I have: a computer. I have created a wacky birth announcement using my computer and some great clip art. It’s not fancy and it’s not complicated, but it is funny. This card is tongue-in-cheek and it is creative: it transcends the traditional idea of a baby announcement, which is formal, blue, has no art to speak of, and is completely devoid of humor.

To view more of my funky and vintage-inspired ephemera and other vintage and antique items, you can go to my website FineLine Antiques or my etsy shop.

Then I am always so wowed when someone takes an old and or discarded object and turns it into something totally new. What about this idea....take used plastic bags and make them into something useful!!! The epitome of brilliant creativity - transcending the intended use of an item by making something entirely new from it....trash to treasure.

Look at this, plastics bags crocheted into a water bottle sling with a strap. Water bottle sling made by juani1.

Or this, a gorgeous handled clutch by Legacy.

Well now I am truly inspired to be creative and I think I will stop blogging to go rummage through my things to see what I can do to be creative. Or maybe, better yet, I will just keep searching, admiring and acknowledging all that have accomplished wonderfully creative pursuits.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Fashion Trends

Fall has already begun and traditionally we look at Fall fashion trends prior to the start of Fall. However, seeing as how I just discovered blogging in October and Fall began on September 22nd, I am a posting this a bit late. But better late than never.

Fall Fashion Trends 2008 show a Return to the Classics….

Plaid: Fall magazines and websites show lots and lots of plaid, particularly plaid on plaid.

Country Life: A return to the country life a la Ralph Lauren circa 80’s/90’s. We’re getting back to that look with very tactile type fabrics such as tweeds, velvets, furs, but in classic styles like high-waisted pants.

Feminine: You will also see lots of feminine touches: flouncy blouses, chunky sweaters, and lots of ruffles. Lots of ladylike handbags will also be present.

Jewel Tones: Contrasting the Feminine is another fall trend, which accentuates the body: long, lean silhouettes in monochromatic color schemes, particularly purples, citrines, and teals.

At FineLine Antiques, we try to stay on top of trends and offer you signature pieces for your wardrobe.

Check our site for Fall Fashion Finds like robust vintage fur coats, plaid skirts and monochromatic designer dresses.

Mention this blog for a 15% discount until October 31, 2008.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blogging - A Whole New World.

Oh what have I done?

Where are the rest of the people? I feel like I walked into a room and everyone is hiding behind the curtains snickering at me....."Look at her, what a goof!"

I don't really know what a blog is, what blog etiquette is and who is part of this society (meaning who is hiding behind all the curtains!)

I have just gotten the urge to start writing about the things I love antiques, vintage stuff, fashion, creative projects, food etc. But where to start?

Well blogging seemed like a good place to start.

So here I am am am am (Thats my voice echoing around the empty room!)

Now what? We'll see.