Thursday, May 30, 2013

Photography Art and Family Heirlooms

 "A View From Below" by Etsy Shop Grits and Daisies

 Maple on the Hill
Written by Esther Penn

In a quiet country village stood a maple on a hill
Coming up from a tiny seed of long ago
When the stars were shining brightly, we could hear the whippoorwill
As we sat beneath the Maple on the hill.

Don't forget me little darling when they lay me down to die
Just one little wish my darling that I crave
As you linger there in sadness will you think of
Let a tear drop kiss the flowers on my grave.

We will sing love songs together when the birds have gone to rest.
We will listen to the murmur of the wind.
Will you love me little darling as you did that starry night
When we sat beneath the maple on the hill.

I will soon be with the angels on that bright and happy shore
Even now I hear them coming o'er the hill.
Don't you cry my little darling, it is time for us to part
I must leave you and the maple on the hill. 

One day while tidying up my mother-in-law Beverly's kitchen cabinets and going through some of her old things, I stumbled upon a recipe box full of old handwritten recipe cards by her dear late mother Esther, and among them I discovered this old poem that she had written on a typewriter long ago when she was a young lady. It was called "Maple on the Hill" (as shown above). Once I read it, I was moved by its beauty and imagery that it placed inside my mind...Esther was a talented poet with a romantic heart. I showed the poem to Beverly and she remember it; she said that her mother had written the poem before she was born.


This Mother's Day, I wanted to put together something special and sentimental for Beverly, something that I knew she would cherish and would honor her dear mother, who passed away a few years ago. As a daughter-in-law, I am so blessed to have met Esther. She was a loving woman full of warmth and adoration for her family; she always wanted everyone to be comfortable and happy. She lived well into her 90s and was full of life...she certainly aged gracefully with her beloved family by her side. 

I knew that I wanted to do something with Esther's "Maple on the Hill" poem. When I read it, I picture Esther with her loving husband Joe sitting under a maple tree and treasuring tender moments together. My husband Joe (Esther's grandson) was named after his grandfather and just like Esther called her husband, I call mine "darling" too. I decided to search for a maple tree photo that would be perfect for framing with this original poem of Esther's and I found two (pictured above) from Etsy Shops "Grits and Daisies" and "Hans Reich Studios". I purchased both of them and framed them in two old picture frames that I found. I kept one for my husband and I to cherish and printed out a copy of Esther's poem for our frame. The other one I included Esther's original typewriter written poem and wrapped it for Beverly's Mother's Day gift.

Since I did not have these images matted or framed by a professional, and being the crafty novice that I am, I decided to improvise and work with what I had. As you all may already be aware by my Etsy shop "Eco-Friendly Freckles", I love recycling and upcycling! So one day while enjoying one of my favorite cups of Dreaming Cow Yogurt, I noticed that the "maple ginger" yogurt cup paper wrapper had a cute image of a maple tree leaf branch! I thought, "This is perfect for my picture frame project!", which led me to eat and enjoy several more yogurts and save the paper wrappers so I could upcycle them by cutting out the maple leaf images and using them as border stickers for framing the poems and pictures. By the way, I also love these Dreaming Cow Yogurt cups because the wrappers are paper, they can easily be removed, and underneath you are left with a beautiful plain white yogurt cup that you can upcycle into a cute party favor cup! We made some of these for my sister Andrea's baby shower! It is nice to have a plain white cup ready to use because you don't have to worry about painting over a printed on label since this label can easily be removed!

In my order package from Etsy shop Grits and Daisies, I received this beautiful original photography greeting card as a special gift that came with my maple tree photo. This just happens to be one of Beverly's favorite flowers and color hydrangeas! So I wanted to include this in her Mother's Day gift as well...because this photo is gorgeous!

Beverly recently got married and I was blessed to be her maid of my bridesmaid bouquet were blue hydrangeas! You can view more pictures from Beverly's wedding day along with the handmade wedding cake recipe here in my blog article "The Whimsical Wedding and the Creative Cake".


...And thus, I framed this original photography greeting card in a similar way with an old picture frame that I found and I used a blue textured card stock matte that I embellished with blue hydrangea scrapbooking stickers. Beverly loved her gift, it brought tears of joy to her eyes and a smile to her face...and touched my heart as well. My husband, Joe, and I also gave her a bouquet of fresh cut blue hydrangea flowers for Mother's was that perfect "extra touch"! ;-)

 I want to send out a special "thank you"...I could not have made these nostalgic, family heirloom gifts if it weren't for two awesomely talented photographers with two very different and breathtaking maple tree photos! Thank you Hans Reich Studios and Grits and Daisies for making this dream come true possible! The warm tones in their maple tree photos beautifully complement the sepia tones in our beloved old family photograph of Esther. I highly recommend all of my readers to check out these two photography Etsy shops!

Please also check out my mother-in-law Beverly's darling Etsy shop "Maddie's Trinkets and Bobbles" filled with her one-of-a-kind crocheted treasures!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Polish Your Vintage Patent Leather Shoes with Coconut Oil!

Add a glistening shine to your vintage patent leather shoes and make them look new again with just a little good old-fashioned coconut oil. Not only does coconut oil bring revitalized beauty to your hair, skin, and over all health (not too mention, it is great to supplement with it daily to prevent Alzheimer's), coconut oil will polish up your favorite pair of vintage black patent leather pumps beautifully! Likewise, you can even use coconut oil to polish the vintage wooden furniture pieces in your home!

All you need to do is get yourself a soft terrycloth towel and first dampen it with a little soapy water or just water by itself and delicately clean the exterior of your patent leather shoes to ensure that you have cleaned away any remains of dirt or other stains. Then take about a teaspoon of coconut oil and place it on the tip of your terrycloth towel and gently polish and shine your shoes with a light circular motion...and voila, you have revamped your vintage pair of patent leather shoes making them shiny once again and now they're ready for the dance floor!

You can view this 1970s pair of Naturalizer black bow tie patent leather pumps as well as my other shiny vintage patent leather ladies shoes here in my shop.

This blog article was written by Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Candle in the Wind...

As I light a red wax seal candle to seal up some of my Etsy order thank you notes, I gaze into the flame and pray as I can't stop thinking about the poor families in Moore, Oklahoma looking for their loved ones tonight. I live in Bixby, Oklahoma and although we had some severe weather warnings, it is nothing like the devastation that Moore endeared this afternoon with the horrific tornado that passed through. My heart goes out to everyone in Moore tonight...May you find peace, love, and strength through this difficult time.

Below I have found some beautiful Etsy items from my fellow Etsyians from Moore, prayers go out to all of you tonight. I am sharing this post with the supportive members of the Oklahoma Etsy Team as well.

This blog article was written by Jessica Woody of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Darling Niece's Lovely Baby Boudoir!

 My sweet pea niece Lydia warm and cozy in the wee hour sunshine as she snuggles with her crocheted traditional granny square baby afghan handmade by my darling mother-in-law Beverly. You can view this granny square baby afghan and other crocheted creations by Beverly her in her delightful Etsy shop: "Maddie's Trinkets and Bobbles".

On April 4th we welcomed my precious little niece Lydia into this world, she is our blessed little angel baby filled with love, warmth, and cute little baby noises! I absolutely adore her and I treasure our long afternoon cuddles and playtime with her big (almost 3 year old) brother Bobby. My twin sister, and Lydia's mother, Andrea of Storybook Artifact has put together the most beautiful, feminine baby nursery room for Lydia with a cozy, heirloom family quilt covered queen size bed for mama and baby to bond during their precious nursing and co-sleeping time.
Thus a proper lady's bed shall express this beautiful, feminine moment in a mother and child's lives; and paying homage to this dearest season, Andrea has fittingly placed two twin retro pin up pillows handmade by our talented Aunt Mary Lynn and capturing the colors of the nursery room. These handcrafted bed pillows depict ladies with full bosoms like a nursing mother carries for nurturing her little one the natural way. You can view more one-of-a-kind handmade retro pin up pillows here in our Aunt Mary Lynn's Etsy Shop: "LaOohLaLa Boutique".

Decorated with antique china dolls from our beloved late great-grandmother Catherine's closet and painted with a fresh coat of mama's favorite color since childhood "purple", baby Lydia's room is elegantly embellished with nostalgic nursery decor and timeless Victorian era charm.

As alluded to previously, Andrea and I both treasure handmade treasures, they are unique and often one-of-a-kind, and by purchasing them from handmade online marketplaces like, you are supporting cottage industries and many of them are owned by mothers, who thanks to their at-home businesses can spend more precious time with their children...and this is something that I am passionate about supporting!

Andrea and I are looking forward to the day when Etsy will open up a baby registry, similar to their wedding registry, yet Andrea creatively found a way to create a baby registry Etsy treasury, a collection of desired Etsy items for Lydia's baby nursery. Among those items, Andrea featured these cute, classic, handmade ABC flashcards with vintage children's illustrations from an alphabet book from 1939. Andrea has adhered these cards to adjacent bookshelves in the nursery. These darling handmade ABC vintage flashcards are found in the charming Etsy shop "Pretty Little Studio"

On one of the nursery shelves pictured above, you will find this delightful handmade retro floral pig, which is one of the many vintage children's toys found in Andrea's Etsy shop "Storybook Artifact".

Another gift that Andrea received at her shower was an adorable pair of lavender crocheted Mary Jane style baby booties for our darling little Lydia. Naturally, I purchased the organic cotton yarn on Etsy from an eclectic shop filled with gorgeous hand-dyed yarns called "Yarn Hollow". I then gave the yarn to my creative mother-in-law Beverly, Etsy shop owner of Maddie's Trinkets and Bobbles, and she hand-crocheted these precious Mary Jane style baby booties (pictured above on Lydia's feet)! I also gave Beverly four vintage faux pearl baby buttons that I found in my great-grandmother Catherine's old sewing supplies that she could use for Lydia's crocheted slippers. Thereupon Beverly made two sets of these booties with the Yarn Hollow yarn, one smaller pair are a newborn size and the other pair are for Lydia's feet to grow into.
In closing, I'd like to share another picture of our little angel baby Lydia (see her dimpled baby hands!) whom we love ever so dearly! She is pictured here in a vintage crocheted granny square outfit and bonnet that was found in our great-grandmother Catherine's (aka: "Nana Cate") things which belonged to our Aunt Mary Lynn and her daughters when they were babies long ago. Lydia is once again nestled with a hand-crocheted granny square baby afghan in a lovely seafoam green which can be found in Beverly's baby boutique "Maddie's Trinkets and Bobbles". I am one happy and proud auntie! This little lady has many dress-ups and tea parties on her horizon!