16 October 2009

Such a pretty place...

It is no secret that I prefer books for Children to books for Adults. Anyone who knows me or sees me walking around might assume I am a teacher (well, I am, but anyway...) or that I might be a Children's Librarian. I usually have some "juvenile" book tucked under my arm. I do HAVE kids, so maybe it wouldn't be so odd, I mean I could be carrying the book for them. But, I never am. I make them carry their own books. It's a life lesson. What!? I assure you, it is! I also love movies made from children's books, and a particularly great one is The Witches by Roald Dahl. The movie is so enchanting! No pun intended! I love Anjelica Huston's portrayal of the Grand High Witch, the whole cast is DELICIOUS! Again, no pun intended... But my favorite part of the movie is the scene where they are telling the story of a little girl who disappeared and wound up living out her days in a painting. It just stays with you. It was told so well, and the paintings were so lovely, that you almost envied her living in that painting. If it weren't so sad that she was taken away from her family, you might even imagine that her "painted world" was lovely and simple and filled with quiet pleasures. Anyway, I did! Which brings me to my picture header today. This painting is by one of my favorite artists in the whole wide world. Carl Larsson. If I could live inside of someone's paintings, it would be his. Probably. The first painting is entitled Das Blumenfenster, which translates from the Swedish to Flowers on the Windowsill. Das Blumenfenster is so much more fun to say though. His palette is so lovely, his subjects so graceful, that to live in his paintings would be a treat! At least I hope to recreate a bit of his colors and atmosphere as I redecorate my new-ish home. I am fascinated by how the Larsson's ran their household as well. It is worth reading up on. They seemed a perfectly lovely family, if a bit unconventional. But, I have never been one for convention! The next painting is entitled "Old Anna". I LOVE the little black-shoed feet that barely appear in the picture! The man is a genius of the understatement! What we imagine upon seeing those little footsies, obviously their owner is up on the counter or table top. How wonderful "Old Anna" must have been! Allowing little ones to help in the kitchen, teaching them wonderful skills of baking bread, making cookies, all of her lifelong wisdom being passed from old one to young one. Oh what we miss when we don't have multi-generational families together!
With Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays upcoming, we should remember to get together with friends and family, take time to pass some wisdom along, some little something we enjoy doing or reading or looking at, take a moment to share it with someone else. It is okay if it isn't a smallish someone! Any someone will do. It is just the teaching, the sharing that is important. It is like giving a little piece of you to someone else. Whenever they think of it or do it again in the future, they will think of you as well! And they will probably smile...

09 October 2009

And the mice began to play...

I happened across this completely out-of-this-world photo while blog hopping this morning. I SO want to make this. I actually have a pattern for some similar little mice, and the pumpkins would be difficult but not impossible to find. I have seen similar pumpkins around, but the expense might be ridiculous. Also, I will never find belt buckles like those. One might suspect that all of this impossibly clever craftiness would originate with one Martha Stewart. However, one might be wrong...it actually came from last years Hallmark Magazine. I checked the website, and much to my disappointment, it has gone belly up just like my FAVORITE magazine of all time Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. How that mag could not exist is beyond me. Anyway, I thought I would post the instructions for the pumpkiny transport device here. I found it on a blog called www.artsanddafts.com. Photo and directions are from Hallmark Magazine. If this doesn't make you feel all Halloweeny inside, I just don't know what will!
How-To Make the Carriage Pumpkin:
You'll Need
  • 3 ornate metal belt buckles
  • 1 pumpkin, about 12 inches tall
  • Pencil or marker
  • Knife
  • Craft glue
  • 1 ornate lamp finial
  • Cordless drill fitted with ¼-inch bit
  • 4 gourds, about 4 inches tall
  • 2 quarter-inch dowel rods, cut to the approximate diameter of your pumpkin
  • 4 ornate drawer pulls
  • Heavy-gauge florist's wire

1. Trace the inside of each belt buckle on the pumpkin with a pencil and cut to create openings for two windows and a door. Glue the hardware over the openings. Remove or cut down the stem until it's even with the flesh of the pumpkin, and twist the finial into the top.

2. To create wheels, drill a hole through the center of each gourd. Insert one dowel rod into the holes of two gourds to create an axle, and secure with glue. Repeat to create a second set of wheels. Finish off all four wheels by inserting a drawer pull into the outside hole of each gourd for hubcaps.

3. Line up the two sets of wheels next to each other at about the same width as your pumpkin. Then wrap wire from one dowel rod to the other to fasten the axles together and to create a webbing for the pumpkin carriage to sit on.

4. Gently place your carriage on the wire.

I do believe little white mice can become cheese-loving footmen with cute little noses.
I do believe that large pumpkins can become sweet smelling carriages with a slightly damp interior.
I do believe in Fairy Godmothers.