Easter

Easter
Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain

Boadicea

Boadicea
The Original Bodacious Woman

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Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

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Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

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A Goddess

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! A Peaceful 20...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! A Peaceful 20...: We wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season, and a Safe, Happy New Year!  Love from all of us at Antique Doll Collector Magazine, and of course,...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! A Peaceful 20...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! A Peaceful 20...: We wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season, and a Safe, Happy New Year!  Love from all of us at Antique Doll Collector Magazine, and of course,...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Solstice 2016

It is the Solstice, Blessed Be.

As they days grow slowly longer, may we also grow to love one another and to learn to live in peace.  Holidays are about peace, not hectic, frantic madness.  I admit I love shopping, and I admit I try to start early, but remember that sometimes the best gifts are those we can't buy.  For me, I want my dad to stand up again, and to try to walk.  I bless the girls who help me with him, who are my new found sisters.  Other simple gifts are the emails from my friends who are ill, or those who are far away.  It's the last Christmas poem our good friend Steve from Writers; Group wrote to us last holiday season.  It's Rick from across the street coming to help me shovel Dad's walk, even though he has a stint himself.  "Mom said to come help you," he told me with complete guileless, innocence.

It's my late friend Kathy, who brought me a box of cards as a gift, because she knew I couldn't get out to buy some to send out.

My best memories are of my mom and my grandparents, who knew the value of little gifts, and small kindnesses.

Keep warm this cold winter night, and bless the shortened day, and read Rosamunde Pilcher's, Winter Solstice. 

Image result for winter solstice rosamunde pilcher public domain
Image result for winter solstice rosamunde pilcher public domain
Public Domain
Image result for winter solstice rosamunde pilcher public domainPublic Domain




Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : For the People of Berlin

Μουσείο κουκλών του Δρ Ε στα Ελληνικά : For the People of Berlin: Original Wir begrüssen und trauern mit den Menschen in Berlin Heute sind wir alle Berliner. Wir bedauern die obszönen Akt ...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas 2016, Arctic Snows, Stress R Us

There comes a point when we have to "let it go!"  It is so cold, that I think the cast of Frozen has moved to Florida. Thanks for the overwhelming reader response on Part I of my Ruby Lane blog post on Holiday decorating.  Part II is now up as well.


I am very grateful to Rachel Hoffmann, Ruby Lane, and R. John Wright for giving me opportunities to blog for them.  I wish them a very Merry Christmas and Peaceful 2017.


150 million of us are freezing our Christmas stockings off today in below zero temperatures, with more coming.  Snow is drifting and blowing, but we have very little here.  We are nearly finished with our own modest Christmas preparations, and I'm looking forward to a few days off to write and to finish some art projects.


We did some fun things at work and in my various clubs for Holidays.  Last week, I went to a tea to benefit Heifer International, complete with candies, home made sweets, cucumber sandwiches and gourmet teas and coffees.  There was a rousing round or two of Christmas bingo and write elephant gifts, for which I tried to find a white elephant with no luck.   My gift was a hand stitched angel  and a tiny porcelain angel ornament in white bisque. Maybe they can watch over me in 2017.


At my doll club, we played a form of dirty bingo, where the prizes were white elephant gifts. You had to fill in the bingo card with a mix of numbers 1-60, with no numbers repeated.  I won a beautiful character baby porcelain doll, and also a small vinyl doll brought by a member.  We also had small vintage calendars as gifts, and lots of great snacks and desserts.


At my job, we drew for an exchange of Christmas socks and stockings, wearable, stuffed with goodies and presents.  That was a big hit!  We then had a party at a local restaurant, and I won a set of Ralphie tumbler glasses from A Christmas Story.


Simple, no bake cookies are the dessert of choice, especially since the legendary baklava flambé episode last summer.  I will be baking baklava an other items for the New Year, but in my own oven, not a borrowed one.


Life is challenging and difficult these days, because I'm the designated go to and caregiver in three families.  Then, of course, there are inlaws and outlaws.  The Feloni Family Christmas saga will continue, I'm sure. God Bless Us Everyone!


Goals for 2017 include working on the museum project and finding a literary agent.  Good Health to all, enjoy the Moon and the upcoming Solstice.


Till next time.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Supporting Small Business; Antique Collectors and Crafters have done it for Years!

Today I caught an AOL headline that made me pause; the "heartbreaking" news was that Duck Dynasty was entering its last TV season.  Call the grief counselors, I guess.  I would think the other headline I caught on ABC would be more heartbreaking, and give us more pause;  Stephen Hawking announced that the human race was disappear from the earth in another 1000 years.  Granted, we probably won't be there to worry, mourn, or fuss, but that, to me, is a lot more heartbreaking than a cancelled TV show.  Oh well, I guess we all live on in syndication.


Maybe like the artifacts in Wall-E, our dolls and collections will outlive us, mute future antiquities to whom we were.  That's why they deserve museums to save them. 


With that in mind, it occurs to me that most of us how deal in dolls/antiques, collect them, write about them, restore them, curate them, etc.,  are small business people.  We buy from each other, and thereby support small business as naturally as breathing.  We invented Small Business Saturday, recycling, and buy local, a long, long time ago.


We represent peoples' dreams, hopes, and passions.  Those of us who write and craft carryon the tradition. We are resilient, and show that we can make things and take care of ourselves, even in the worst of times.  Ben Franklin would be proud of us, and so should Martha Stewart.


I could write a book on this subject alone.








As for the human race disappearing, somehow, I don't think so. We are an optimistic lot.  At our local astronomy club last Monday, I listened to a presentation on science v. science fiction, and the point was made that all aliens in sci fi are anthropomorphized in some way, either with human characteristics like speech, or as humanoid figures that walk, even if they look like monsters with big eyes and antennae.  Is it arrogant that we assume if there are aliens, they will resemble us?  Think back to Gulliver's Travels, and the strange worlds of his voyage, where even the intellectual horses talked, and thought, like men and women.


Dolls reflect these imaginary musings.  We have alien dolls, and talking animal figures, and androids galore.  Even Make magazine talked about marionettes, and robot-mixed drones, along with the usual topics involving animation and robotics.


The are some thoughts that swim in my head that I wanted to ponder.  Forgive any misspellings and typos; it's been a hard week.  But, Happy Thanksgiving, Seasons Greetings, and Peace to All!!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: With Love from Tin Lizzie, Prof is Doll Collector...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: With Love from Tin Lizzie, Prof is Doll Collector...: Below are excerpts from a very kind, and flattering article my school had written about me.  I am an administrator and teacher in legal stu...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

PROGRAMS OFFERED BY THE HOLOCAUST EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF THE GREATER QUAD CITY AREA

PROGRAMS OFFERED
BY
THE HOLOCAUST EDUCATION COMMITTEE
OF THE GREATER QUAD CITY AREA

SPEAKERS AND PRESENTERS
Authors, exhibits, Holocaust specialists and dramatic presentations are provided to schools, libraries, churches and other community venues through grants and collaboration with community groups.

INSTITUTES AND WORKSHOPS
Since 1993, Holocaust institutes and workshops have been offered to Quad City educators, students and community members.  Institutes are scheduled in the fall of odd-numbered years.

TRUNKS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
The Jeff Leibovitz Special Collection, housed at the Western Illinois University Quad City Campus in Moline, provides access to over a thousand resources, including sets of traveling curriculum cases focused on Making a Difference, Rescuers and Resisters, and Diaries and Memoirs. 

ESSAY AND ART CONTESTS
The Ida Kramer Children and the Holocaust Essay Contest and the Meyer and Frances Shnurman Holocaust Visual Arts Contest are open to students in grades 7-12.  Submissions are due annually on February 1.

TEACHER SCHOLARSHIPS
Applications for the Rauch Foundation Teacher Scholarship, from $200 to $2,000, are due annually on April 1 or October 1 to support professional development.  The scholarship covers expenses for travel, housing, and/or registration for conferences, workshops or tours.
A BOOK BY ME
Youth, 18 years old or younger, interview, research, write and illustrate a 10-page book about a Holocaust survivor, liberator or rescuer.  
           
Promoting a higher awareness of the Holocaust as a unique historical event with universal implications for today


WEBSITE: www.hecqc.org

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: October Interview with Rachel Hoffmann

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: October Interview with Rachel Hoffmann: When did you start collecting? When I was a child, I remember collecting Barbies and Polly Pockets. I had a lot of fun with those. I wa...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Positive Take on Ovarian Cancer Month by Stephanie Hammonds

Below is a post from my dear friend, Stephanie Hammonds:


Stephanie Hammonds




Stephanie Hammonds
Stephanie Hammonds is a survivor of ovarian cancer and was first diagnosed in 2009. She is involved with various cancer-related speaking engagements, including with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance's Survivors Teaching Students Program®. She is a life-long artist, freelance writer, lover of Italian cooking, mom and grandmom.



A Positive Take on Ovarian Cancer Month
Hammonds discusses how she leaves the scary stuff behind and focuses, instead, on the good stuff after ovarian cancer.
PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 22, 2016







September has always been my favorite month. Looking forward to the start of a new school year, great weather, crunchy leaves and cool, back-to-school clothes was always pretty exciting.
 And now, September has taken on a new meaning: it’s Ovarian Cancer Month, a time to reflect on life and celebrate my good fortune to have had access to ovarian cancer treatment.
 As I reflect, I don’t dwell on negatives, get angry or blame anyone. I don’t curse my bad luck, lousy genes or the family tree.
 After my diagnosis in 2009, I had a serious operation to remove tumors (believe me, “debulking” is not a bad word) and then chemotherapy to help capture errant cells. It was a journey along a road I was unfamiliar with, but a necessary one. 
 I’ve met women who have had similar operations and treatment; many are still working and still caring for families. Some have been celebrating their survivorship for several years. It’s a huge accomplishment dealing with any type of cancer because, let’s face it, a cancer diagnosis is tough. Thanks to my support group, it’s been a journey I’ve taken with ladies who have been down the same roads I have been. We find strength in each other. We celebrate together.
 I’ve seen or heard many ovarian cancer clichés which serve to hurt our cause and perhaps even discourage or frighten others. Maybe it’s the reputation from years ago. We’re hoping that ovarian cancer outreach will bring about better outcomes. Rather than repeat the “gloom and doom” with outdated clichés and operative scary "horror” stories, I feel it’s better to get involved with working on the solutions. I do my part, along with others, by speaking to medical students about early signs and symptoms.  It’s very empowering to help the cause, and the students learn from us as real cancer patients who are able to answer their questions and put a face on an illness.
 Oncology researchers are coming up with new medicines, protocols and clinical trials. I bow to those who take part in the clinical trials so that others may benefit in the future. Genetic testing is a huge part of all this research. Let’s applaud and celebrate all the inroads made in slowing down the negatives in ovarian cancer.
 Let’s celebrate how much has been achieved, and continue to stand up to ovarian cancer and all GYN cancers. Let's hope for and look forward to a better prognosis for all cancer patients.
 I still love the month of September, only more so in the last few years. The leaves are prettier, the weather is more crisp and lovely, and a cool, new outfit is still something to look forward to.
 I’ve had some of my greatest accomplishments in my art, classes I’ve taken, my associations and writing projects since 2009; it seems cancer has spurred me on.
 And, a few short years ago, I discovered my newfound favorite quote from Horace Mann, the late Massachusetts educator:
“Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.”


- See more at: http://www.curetoday.com/community/stephanie-hammonds/2016/09/a-positive-take-on-ovarian-cancer-month#sthash.hCSi0Zt6.dpuf

Garden Visit, for those of us already Nostalgic for our Gardens and for Planting!

Garden Visit.com retrieved from :  http://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens



National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September 2016: An Interview with Laurie McGill

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September 2016: An Interview with Laurie McGill: Laurie is a member of the Dallas Doll Club, which received its charter in the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc. in 1959. She is a f...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Erzebet on the Blog "Heroines of History" With Puzzles, Mazes, Quizzes, and Graphics

Here is the entry on Erzebet from an interesting blog on women's history.  It is the same story, of course, focusing on the 19th century accounts of Erzebet, and including the blood bathing stories, and calling her a serial killer.  Here is the link:  http://heroinesofhistory.wikispaces.com/Elizabeth+Bathory.


You will find the graphics interesting, and the blog is attractive and over all well done.  There are entries for many other women, including Boudicca, Madame Mao, Amelia Earhart and many more.


More, soon.  It is a hard life, these days, and I often found myself metaphorically trapped in my own tower.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Re purposed Dolls

Part of recycling and living green is learning to conserve and to repair what we have.  Collecting dolls, especially Antiques, embraces collecting and recycling.  Therefore, I will be doing various posts on this topic, stressing the repair and reuse of materials already available.  we will continue with the original 49 tips, too.

I look forward to hearing from readers who want to share tips, especially gardening.  I have a glorious volunteer Cinderella pumpkin thriving just in time for Fall, and a volunteer impatiens taking root.  These are wonderful.

So, more soon, and I hope your Fall is cool, sunny, and early.  Catch me also on the R. John Wright Design Blog and on Ruby Lane's Blogs.








Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: National Teddy Bear Day and More!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: National Teddy Bear Day and More!: Dolls are everywhere!   In the aftermath of an apartment house fire today on the news, a girl who survived was rejoicing that she found ...

Italian Chicken

From my Friend, Kim G.:

This is an amazing casserole for the crock pot, or else, bake it in the oven.  Adjust times and temperatures as you would for other casseroles involving similar ingredients, or for dishes like chicken and dumplings.

2 large chicken breasts

1 envelope Good Seasons or any brand dry Italian dressing mix [if you're stuck; try using Italian seasoning mix like Aldi sells.  Put the same amount as in the envelope, or try the spaghetti sauce seasoning in Kraft's Italian spaghetti dinner, an old family favorite for us.

I can chicken broth, 8 oz

1 can cream of mushroom soup, any brand

1 can cream  of chicken soup, any brand

I oz container whipped cream cheese

Crock Pot:

{Or the way my memory is work, I should say, Crack Pot!)

Combine chicken, Italian dressing mix and chicken broth.  Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the chicken.  Cook 2 hours.

(On the stove, combine ingredients in a Dutch oven, and cook till chicken is browned and cooked through.  Add liquid as needed . Then, combine and stir other ingredients, and bake for about 4-45 mins or so, watching constantly to see if there is enough liquid.  Again, follow directions for baking Tuna casserole)


In  Crock Pot, add all the other ingredients and stir.  Cook another 3 hours, but watch.

Serve over white rice or noodles.  I would add canned or Fresh Mushrooms for flavor, but it its heavenly even without them!

This is real comfort food!!


Italian Chicken

From my Friend, Kim G.:

This is an amazing casserole for the crock pot, or else, bake it in the oven.  Adjust times and temperatures as you would for other casseroles involving similar ingredients, or for dishes like chicken and dumplings.

2 large chicken breasts

1 envelope Good Seasons or any brand dry Italian dressing mix [if you're stuck; try using Italian seasoning mix like Aldi sells.  Put the same amount as in the envelope, or try the spaghetti sauce seasoning in Kraft's Italian spaghetti dinner, an old family favorite for us.

I can chicken broth, 8 oz

1 can cream of mushroom soup, any brand

1 can cream  of chicken soup, any brand

I oz container whipped cream cheese

Crock Pot:

{Or the way my memory is work, I should say, Crack Pot!)

Combine chicken, Italian dressing mix and chicken broth.  Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the chicken.  Cook 2 hours.

(On the stove, combine ingredients in a Dutch oven, and cook till chicken is browned and cooked through.  Add liquid as needed . Then, combine and stir other ingredients, and bake for about 4-45 mins or so, watching constantly to see if there is enough liquid.  Again, follow directions for baking Tuna casserole)


In  Crock Pot, add all the other ingredients and stir.  Cook another 3 hours, but watch.

Serve over white rice or noodles.  I would add canned or Fresh Mushrooms for flavor, but it its heavenly even without them!

This is real comfort food!!


Recycled Art Opportunity

Soon, I'll have more photos and information about the doll club exhibition I visited which consists of art dolls and dolls made from recycled materials, but I found a napkin from Moe's Southwest grill with a chance to make re purposed art.  The slogan on it is " YOU CAN MAKE ART OF OUT ANYTHING."  It invites the holder of the napkin to share one of a kind napkin creations on Twitter at #Welcome to Moes.




Friday, September 9, 2016

When the Going gets Tough, the Tough Blog

Fall is finally in the air; summer simply won't let go.  It envelops us in a mist of heat and humidity, sort of a pall.  I see leaves turning, and the cattails are in their glory.  Slings and arrows of fortune continue to jap at me.  Do I break them into little pieces after catching them, or dodge them?  I have one glorious pumpkin growing, and many blooms on an amazing vine.  I started putting put fall and Halloween decorations, just here and there.  And I think all the time, here is one more autumn.  We used to hit the road on Sundays, my parents and I, and haunt country roads for pumpkin stands and carmel apples.  We were always looking for antiques shops, and for dolls.  My mom could scout them out anywhere, in out of the way places with names like St. David, Altona, Los Altos, Macoupin, Milan, Silvis, Carterville, Christopher, Fairview, London Mills, etc. I've been lost in more places and dusty barns and sheds than other people have had summer vacations at camp.  I loved it all.


This is an elegiac post, and I'm sorry.  My stress levels are astounding; to say I deal with fools constantly is not to tell the half of it.  I am grateful, very grateful, it is not worse.  But dealing with other people in your home, even when they are there to help, is too much for me.  They feel the need to interfere, to "tidy up" and lose things that matter, to comment, to deposit their own crap everywhere, to take over the fridge.  We also realize quickly that no everyone is that bright.  Well, the shenanigans of this election year should have shown us that.


How does anyone cope when she is sandwiched between to coasts, and too families?  When she has become chief cook and bottle washer and her own life is too complicated and full of work and minutiae that only matters to other's schedules?


Having said all this, I will try to have more posts on Green subjects.  The Green party candidate made headway and is about to be arrested for ecoterrorism and protests on the new pipeline.  Global warming is in the news again because of the record muggy temps we've had, and the floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes abounding.  I call it climate instability, or the rollicking roller coaster of weather.


Still, my family remembers when it was cold in September, and very rainy, and we needed sweaters and jackets. I remember my mother buying me a special out fit, rust colored slacks, a cream sweater with rusty read flowers with yellow centers across the front.  It was in a crochet pattern, with a shall collar, and a little rusty/maroon silk scarf fit at the neck.  I still have the scarf, though I've long outgrown the outfit.  I wore it Sept. 12th to a pep rally at school, then we ate out, then we went to the fall Antique Show.  I bought terracotta Frozen Charlottes, and a few paper dolls from old comics, and I saw a tiny, cabinet size light brown bisque Jumeau, priced $500!  She didn't come home that way, but the dealer took an interest in me, and explained a lot about the doll and Jumeau.  That's how I learned so much about them, I guess. Not many 15 year olds were into that kind of doll.  Mom bought a gold lavaliere; she wore all the time, and it looked so nice.


Now, it is my turn to be cumbered with much serving, and it is hard to be under so much stress and stay gracious, let alone responsible.  But, I do it.


On this blog, look for more recipes, Italian chicken, some other casseroles and ideas, and tips for letting volunteer plants grow. 


Also, look for more adventures of the Feloni Family Chronicles.  Be well.  The Solstice will be here before we know it.  The grasshoppers and squirrels are out everywhere, and the frost will soon be on the pumpkin.










Sunday, September 4, 2016

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: What happens when Chemotherapy Ends

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: What happens when Chemotherapy Ends: From our friend, talented writer, artist and excellent woman, Stephanie Hammonds: http://www.curetoday.com/community/stephanie-hammonds/20...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Halloween Dolls; Think Cool!

An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Halloween Dolls; Think Cool!: The grave's a fine and quiet place, but none do there I think embrace. John Donne I belong to a Facebook Group titled “For the Lov...

An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Library Wars

An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Library Wars: From Atlas Obscura:  http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-fierce-forgotten-library-wars-of-the-ancient-world?utm_source=Boomtrain&ut...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Bunraku Puppets and PBS...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Bunraku Puppets and PBS...: This afternoon, Great Performances featured Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" in a lavish production that featured amazing bu...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Original Tips 26-28; Coupons, Collecting, and VCRs

26. Coupons and sales


This weekend, I went to a terrific fashion sale where everything, I mean everything was $1!!  I bought a pare of Cole Hahn shoes, silk scarves, Sag Harbor outfits, Talbots blouses, J.G. Hook, Koret of California, a girl could go mad!  I got an invitation through networking at work, and through a friend.  I also found wonderful things at a neighboring state's tax free day.  With coupons being given online and in store, and a zillion reward cards out there, take advantage of the sales and discount cards that you can.


It can be overwhelming, but with a little practice, you can save a lot of money.  Even big chains like Schnucks and Dillards have terrific sales, and the runoff can end up at dollar stores or at thrift stores, still with its original tags.  For more sales ideas and free items, I'll try to post some of my Dress for Success booklet, and recommend the book, "The Scavenger's Manifesto."  It's available on Kindle, and if you have Kindle Unlimited, even better.





 27. Collecting is always a great way to recycle and make use of things. Collect for art materials, store inventory, personal enrichment or investment, for children, for fun. People who collect tins, baskets, and boxes use them for storage as well. People who collect vintage pens and pencils use them and sharpen them whenever they can. People who collect buttons often use them on their clothes.

Old shoes sometimes make good flower parts, and old bowling balls make interesting garden ornaments. Victory Garden and other shows have made good use of incorporating them into garden landscape. Same for old signs, old wheelbarrows and garden implements, wooden doors and fences, statutes, old tires, old claw foot tubs, milk cans, and tractor seats. They have found new life in garden landscapes. DIY scarecrows or other scarecrows as collectibles serve dual purposes as well. For one night special occasions, luminaries from paper bags are still a great effect, especially if you use LED “fake” votives which are save and effective.






Since I first wrote this passage six years ago, Material Culture studies have really taken off, as have some more off the wall disciplines involving "haunted objects."


Whatever.  Collecting is still upcycling.  The popularity of American Pickers and related shows like Oddities and Cash in the Attic, Pawn Stars, Auction Kings, etc., should tell us that before we toss it, we need to repurpose it.


In the same town as American Pickers, LeClaire, IA, is my friend's store, Reusable Useables.  She has a wonderful stock of all kinds of things for crafts, art, study, home making, decorating, and collecting.  All are donated items given new life through a unique system of paying a very small basic fee and weighing by the pound.  She also teaches are classes and ways to recycle.  Angie has one of the most useful, unique, and enjoyable businesses I've ever encountered.







The new CEO of About.com, owned by The New York Times, has jettisoned nearly all the collectibles sites.  He doesn't seem to think anyone is interested.   He just doesn't' get out much.  the Time itself has been featuring articles on people's collections in its arts section.  The long lines I find at auctions, antique shows, church rummage sales, and the fierce online bidding competition make me want to beg to differ with him.  He's young; maybe he'll grownup and realize the error of his ways.  Maybe we need start him on a Pokémon collection?






 28. If your VCR still works, don’t toss it. Make use of videos. 


Just basic old videos are still objects of desire to many collectors, just as vinyl records, 8-tracks, and cassettes are.    Don't toss them.  Donate them; there are many schools online that would love them, and still many libraries.  Also, cult and popular films sell and are kept in any form.   Unusual videos are still on my list, and I still watch them and enjoy them.  I am not old, or outdated, so if I'm doing it, I know others are, too.






More original tips redux and recipes, too!!

Online Literary Magazine for CM 220, CM 107 Classes and Friends of KU: HU 250 Realism in Art

Online Literary Magazine for CM 220, CM 107 Classes and Friends of KU: HU 250 Realism in Art

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Autumn Dolls, or why I Refuse to Acknowledge the 100 Degree Heat Index!


I belong to a Facebook Group titled “For the Love of Fall and Halloween.”  That says it all.  We love, love autumn.  We countdown the days to Halloween, and share our collections of Halloween decorations and autumn leaves.  It is inevitable that the dolls and figurines of the season also frequently appear.  I love the season because of the memories it evokes.  When I started school, it always seemed to get cooler much faster than it does now.  Fall meant apples and new school books, new clothes, new friends, and new classes.  My mother would be sewing my Halloween costume, and we would be planting mums in different colors.

 

Autumn meant caramel apples and The Spoon River Scenic drive.  It meant leaf collecting, and handmade ink blocks to make our own leaf designs and stencils.  Fall fashion meant new sweaters and boots, plans for Thanksgiving, and cool, crisp nights.

 

We got out the blow mold ghosts and masks we loved to decorate with, and took out my cutouts for our window.  Some were vintage examples, scarred with ancient scotch tape but still beloved.  Others, equally loved were now faded, collage projects of construction paper, poster paint and old magazines.  My favorite decoration along these lines was a Halloween poster the local 7th graders made for Bell’s Auto.  The grim reaper, hooded and draped with real material, reached out a hand made of chicken bones! The effect was truly eerie!  I wish I’d had Instagram in those days!

 

My collection of witch dolls, some from Salem came out, along with my Crypt Keepers.  Even our doll houses had ghosts. One Tootsie Pop ghost wrapped in Kleenex was a gift in grade school from a little friend named Joanie. It still haunts the doll house.  Others are was novelty candles.  Beanie Baby ghosts and other Halloween plush share room with vintage pumpkin lanterns and hard plastic figurines.

 

On Halloween night, after we decorated with gourds and as many jack o’ lanterns as we could carve; my dad took me and my friends trick-or-treating.

 

The next day, sugar skulls and assorted skeletons and Calaveras decorated the house for The Day of the Dead, an important holiday to my mom and me; we both taught Spanish.

 

By the time “The Nightmare before Christmas” came out, I was in Halloween Heaven! I also recommend Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and the Bradbury narrated animated film of the same title.

 

At Thanksgiving, my Pilgrims and Native American dolls decorated our table along with turkey statues and chicken candles.  We hardly had room to eat!

 

In memory of those wonderful days, and of my family that made them so good, I share with you some of the fall dolls and collectibles from my collection.  Turn out the lights, plug in the blow mold décor, switch on the led candles and turn up the air conditioning so you can cuddle up under your favorite blanket as you enjoy this tour of autumn dolls, toys, and collectibles.