Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Vintage Birthday Party...You're All Invited!

A Surprise Party...For Me?
Hello, Friends!  My birthday is coming soon and it occurred to me that it would be a really nice gesture on your part if you were to throw me a surprise birthday party.  I haven't had one since my BFF Charlotte planned one for my 12th birthday.  It was a lot of fun and I got white lipstick...all the rage...and the issue of Tiger Beat that had "heart throb" Jay North on the cover.  You remember him...the kid who played Dennis the Menace?  He was 16 and so dreamy!
Let's get started...
If you need any ideas, this book should prove helpful...but really...all you need to do is follow 10 simple steps...
1.  Buy some cute invitations!
Invite all my Bloggy Friends!
2. Gather all your party supplies.
3.  Decide on the cake.
Forget those other cakes...I want a Barbie cake!

I don't want another disappointment!
When I was growing up in Alpine, the little blonde girl next door got a Barbie cake for her birthday.  Her grandma, a talented cake decorator, made the most beautiful Barbie cakes around.  She also created cute choo-choo train cakes and those gorgeous sugar Easter eggs that had scenes of bunnies and chicks inside.  Not to mention divine chocolate eggs decorated with frosting flowers. We were lucky at that time to get jelly beans and Cracker Jack in our baskets, let alone anything chocolate.  And our cakes were usually Betty Crocker sheet cakes with those hard sugar flowers and "Happy Birthday" letters.

4.  Buy me a present...I like paper dolls!
I will also accept a pogo stick, a Skipper doll, or a ginormous bottle of bubbles!
5.  Wrap my gifts in cute paper.
6.  Don't forget the birthday card!
Hint...the best ones have nickels, dimes and quarters taped inside!
7.  Play games...like Musical Chairs and...
...Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
No Clowns!!!!
8.  Please don't sing "Happy Birthday!"
As a child I never could stand this song...I guess I didn't like the attention.
Also, I would hide when it was time to sing at other children's parties.
9.  When it's time to blow out the candles, make sure this kid keeps away from my cake!
I can blow out my own candles, thank you very much!
Do you remember that kid at your birthday party that didn't go home when it was over...who hung around hoping for another cupcake?  Remember that strange little girl who wanted "do overs" on the "Drop the Clothespin" game and wanted to "help" you play with your presents?  That was me!

See...I told you so.
10.  Send the guests home with party hats and balloons.
These 10 little steps should make it the perfect party!
Big Party "Don't!" 
I'm 59...not Methuselah's Granny!
Oh, dear friends...you shouldn't have!
I was going to wait until the 7th to post this...but I was too excited!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vintage Vacation...Death Valley Days!

Greetings from Death Valley!
The first time George and I visited Death Valley was in the middle of summer...what were we thinking?  The temperature that day at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center...elevation -196 ft...was 114 degrees.   Since we spend a lot of time in the Vegas area, how much hotter could it be, right?  It was brutal!  But we were going to see the sights!  We had a lot of water and a packed lunch...so we were fine...as long as we stayed in the car.

Vintage travel ad...encouraging a trip to Hell.
The brochure reads..."It has all the advantages of Hell without the inconveniences!"

The Indians called it Tomesha...the "Ground Afire."  The heat of midsummer shows how perfect that name turned out to be.  In July and August, temperatures of 120 degrees are not uncommon.  The record hot day was in July 1913...134 degrees Fahrenheit.  It makes me wonder if Hell might be a tad more pleasant on a summer's day.  We visited the park this year on Valentine's weekend and the temps were in the pleasant 70's.

Twenty Mule Team Borax!
As a child I watched "Death Valley Days" on TV,  while sitting on my father's lap.  I remember handsome Ronald Reagan was the host and the sponsor was "Twenty Mule Team Borax."  I still buy that borax to make homemade laundry detergent. 

Not far from the visitors center are the ruins of the Harmony Borax works.  Part of the interpretive trail passes by some enormous wagons left from the days of the mule teams.  It is little wonder that the 20 mule team borax outfits of the late 1800's became world famous...they hauled 46,000 pounds of borax, their own water and hay through Death Valley over a 165 mile, ten day trip to Mojave by way of Wingate Pass.  I was just happy our car had air conditioning! 

The next time we visited Death Valley, it was in the spring.  We were hoping to see the wild flowers, but were a bit too early.  We did come across a strange...and colorful...sight at Zabriskie Point...a British pop group making a music video.  Their 12 man bicycle had broken in half and there was a lot of scurrying to and fro trying to make do, while their seamstress toiled over a sewing machine sitting in the middle of nowhere...lol!

Scotty's Castle...
1940s Postcard of Scotty's Castle.
I found this old card in Aunt Jane's scrapbook...the one she filled with valentines, postcards and pictures of cute dogs.

A trip to Death Valley without a visit to Scotty's Castle would be like going to Disneyland and just peering through the gates...substituting Scotty's Castle for Sleeping Beauty's.

Death Valley Scotty and His Castle.

Death Valley Scotty did not own Scotty's Castle.  It was built by a Chicago businessman named Albert Johnson in the 1930's.  Scotty was a charming "flim flam man"...a con man and fortune hunter who was the Johnson's constant houseguest.  How he beguiled the Johnsons and managed to keep his exploits alive in the press for over 50 years can be found here...

I bought this in the Castle gift shop, but it is available on Amazon.com.

Death Valley Scotty...
Walter Scott in his trademark hat and red tie.

Scotty's Room!
Scotty's Room at the Castle is filled with his personal belongings.  His clothes still hang in the wardrobe...his hats and trademark red ties are on a rack above the dresser.  On one wall hangs an autographed picture of Buffalo Bill.  In 1890, Scotty was discovered by a talent scout who signed him as a cowboy performer with the Wild West Show.  He did daredevil riding and roping stunts, branding exhibitions and the grand spectacle of the "Custers Last Stand" re-enactment.  This was only one piece of the puzzle that makes up the story of this fascinating scoundrel. 

A Quick Tour of the Premises... 
Scotty's Castle as it looks today.
California Mission is one of my favorite styles of architecture.

Tour Guides in Period Costume.
The man represents a CCC worker who helped build the castle.
The girl is standing in the Music Room.
Each guide tells you the story from the viewpoint of his or her character.

Living Room...
Scotty told his tall tales to the Johnsons and their guests while sitting in one of those leather armchairs. 

40's Postcard View of Music Room.
The rooms look as if the owners just stepped out.
The clothing and personal affects are still in their bedrooms.
I loved the vintage dishes and kitchenware.

Architectural Details...
I do the same thing at Disneyland...capture all the unique details of a place I love.

I am in love with these Mission-style shutters!

Courtyard View.

Unfinished Swimming Pool.
There is a small spring that waters this oasis...
But how could they ever justify filling this pool with precious water?
The blue tiles for the pool are still stored in an underground storage area.

This was only a short tour...too many pictures!
But I am so glad you joined us on this Vintage Vacation!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Lucky Charms...Secret Leprechaun Swap!

Secret Leprechaun Swap!
This lad is just a little too happy!
I think I know why Padraig the Leprechaun is so happy...he got to play Secret Leprechaun Swap with us!  Vivian from Viv Out on a Whim was the hostess.  She assigned us each a secret friend to bless with Leprechaun treasures.  My secret partner was Chris of  Perfectly Printed.  I have one of Chris's friendship banners for my garland of blogland friends...she makes lovely cards and tags!  And she knows how to make a secret pal feel special!
Chris...My Secret Leprechaun!
Packages of Leprechaun treasure tied up in lovely laces!

Funny little Leprechaun with his pipe and bag-full o'gold!
He is my first ever St. Patrick's Day decoration.
A fine top hat embellished with "lucky charms."

What could be in this pretty candy box? 

Treasures galore!
One day I'll get the knack of making beautiful tags and cards like this!

Tag back...even the backsides are pretty!
Kitty Luna thinks the writing on the back of this tag should say "Purrrfectly Printed."

Kitty Luna thinks these socks are the "cat's meow!"
She was NOT parting with them without a fight!
For Swap Partner Kim K.
I wanted to see if I could fit everything in this box...almost made it!
I got to be Secret Leprechaun to Kim of Musings From Kim K.
A little Irish lass (or colleen) on a shamrock card.

I made a matching "boyo" for friend Tammy.

Little garland tags clip to rick-rack with matching glitter clothes pins.
Bag o' Truffles

Funny chenille Leprechauns hoarding their precious gold coins.
Another Fun Holiday Swap!
Thank you Chris, Viv and Kim!