"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Tiptoe Through National Tulip Day

I saw online today that it was 
National Tulip Day.
(Don't you wonder who gets to make up the occasions for these days?)

 But since I love all things tulips, I am playing along. The tulips I am going to focus on are the tulip wreaths I like to create. I wrote about creating this one last year. You can find it here. It is one of those tutorials, that is almost embarrassing to make into a tutorial. It is that easy. 
 I have created about ten of these now. Many times I use the foam wreath (that I purchase with a coupon at Hobby Lobby). Sometimes I use just a simple grapevine wreath. The grapevine wreaths are usually a little smaller. Keep that in mind. 
 But always, yes always, I use tulips from Dollar General. That means that each bunch costs me $1. You can't beat that for tulips! 
 If you look at that $1 bunch of tulips, you might think it looks a little cheapola. Or the green a little plasticy. Let me assure you that enmasse it is not more cheapola or plasticy, but actually quite cute. 
 Here is one I made with yellow tulips. I added some small tulip buds as well. I also added some white flower that has a yellow and black center. It needed something to break up all that yellow. 
 As you can see I used a twig wreath for this base. I just glued the flowers directly to the twig wreath. Between the hot glue and poking the stems in the twig wreath, I don't expect the flowers to be going anywhere. (And remember, I am in WINDY Oklahoma where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains"!) 
 You can see the three different types of flowers I used in this wreath. The basis for the wreath though are the tulips, glued down in a circle, all facing the same way. Theoretically, there are no tops or bottoms to the wreaths. Even with the bows. It is however you like it to look. 
I gave this one to someone, and I included a green shamrock for St. Patty's Day, this Pier 1 bunny for Easter, and a cute little bluebird for spring. These are all Iphone pics, and I did not get any with the other add-ins. 
 I put the bow on the side and slipped the bunny down into the wreath. Here you see it with and without. You get the idea of what you can do! 

 This is a different red tulip wreath than the one I made for my front door. This one has regular tulips and others that are very wide open. I had to buy both to have enough for the wreath, but I really like the look of it besides. Again, it is an Iphone pic and the only one I took. 
 The biggest problem I find in making these wreaths are finding enough tulips at Dollar General. I don't know if they just get a certain amount in, or if everyone is creating these. I do drive to two or three different locations to get enough at times. In the case of this wreath, I never did find enough of one color, so I made the wreath hot pink, yellow and orange. 
 It ended up being one of my favorites. When I was looking for more tulips, I found these butterfly "picks" at Dollar General. They came in bunches just like the tulips. I cut the bunch(es) up and glued them all over the colorful wreath. It was very cute. (Go back up one picture and look at all the butterflies.) 
 During summer last year I kept the wreath up clear till August. I simply added flags to the bow area, to "summer" it up. This is the only wreath I have kept of all the ones I have made. They make wonderful gifts to give-away and can be personalized easily. 
If you use a coupon to buy the wreath, you are only out about $20 when you are finished.....That is even after buying massive amounts of tulips!  I have seen these on Etsy for $100. (Don't forget to factor in hot-glue burns as well. OUCH!!) 
Despite the fact I used mainly Iphone pics, I hope you enjoyed our little tiptoe through the tulips. Happy National Tulip Day!
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All Hearts Come Home For Easter

 For Easter we hosted 24 adults and three children between the ages of 1 and 2. And it could not have been a better day. I worked hard to have the house be ready for the guests as well as having plenty of food. In all that, I did not take very many pictures before. You are seeing the afters!  I do have a few food pictures I will post in a day or two though. 
 Among our guests was one of my best friends from my childhood. She brought her two beautiful daughters and her beautiful niece and great-niece who were visiting from Arizona. The niece is actually the daughter of one of my very best friends from childhood. (I wish she could have come from Arizona too! But it was fun hosting her two beauties.) Are you confused now? Well what is important is that the crew not only came, but also gifted me with the beautiful roses for inviting them. Not a bad deal! 
 The bunny parade is from the Meri Meri line. They can be found on Amazon if a shop near you doesn't carry them. The entire line is adorable. 
 Although you can't tell, this table was set with green plates and pastel bunny salad plates. I set three tables, all with different dishes, but all in the Easter theme. Another table had cobalt blue plates and the orange carrots plates. The third table had white ironstone with blue and orange carrot plates (salad plates). You will see them in the last picture. Lots of fun tables.....OH, and I can't forget the kiddie table I set as well. I will try better next time to remember to take pics! 
 This is also my end-of-the-school-year-state-testing-to-the-maximum-stress-season. Because of that, I kept things simple at home. When I come home from school during this testing period I am mentally wiped out. I figured the focus would be on the three cute babies we would have over and not on my decor. And I was right! In fact it is so simple, it is hard to really see what was on the mantle. I'll take you through it. 
 At one end is my all-time-favorite Easter picture. It is of my own five children. They were ages (almost) 1 through 8. I don't think I will ever take a picture I have loved more. 
 This is from 1990, when we still used negatives. Of course I never kept track of something like that. I wish I did. I would love to have this picture in a big canvas. 
 Simple urns that march down the mantle, holding a few eggs. 
 At the other end are a couple of antique Peter Rabbit books I have from the 1920's. The little plush rabbit was one of my daughters. He looks old though. (Possibly well loved!) 
 The simple burlap garland I bought at Target this year for $5.
 You can't beat a bargain like that. 

 This is EB (short for Easter Bunny). He has been hanging out at our family Easter's for 32 years. No lie. He was my oldest son Fielding's on his very first Easter. He has sported the same ribbon around his neck for that long too. If you will notice, he is as big as the wingback chair. I know, I know. Dorky. But after 32 years, we can't leave him in the basement come Easter now! 
 I love this green bunny plate. I have the green cabbage leaf plates to match too. AND...I got them all at Ross. 
 One more dorkism...This little bunny is "only" about 26.  He plugs in and lights up, although we have not done that in years. This big plastic guy has NOT got to come out in the last 10 years or so. But this year I brought it out and put him on our front porch. All three babies hugged that bunny to death. They talked to him, they pet him, they put their arms around him, they kissed him. Apparently he is not a dorky giant plastic bunny in a child's world! 
 Those Meri Meri bunnies come about eight (or more???) to a box. Well worth the investment. This guy was sitting on the entry table. 
 And finally, there was an urn just sitting in my dining room, so I plopped the fake grass into it with a couple of those oh-so-famous-Pier 1 bunnies. There were also several Easter eggs hiding in the grass, but those got "found" very quickly by the toddlers. 
 It took three dishwasher loads for me to get everything washed! I guess I could have washed by hand as well, but I didn't. You can see the green and blue dishes I used as well as the green goblets. I promise the table were pretty. 
I actually got TWO bouquets for hostess gifts! I hit the jackpot. You can see some of the salad plates under these flowers. Lots of fun stuff. But the day wasn't about the simple decor or the cute tables. It wasn't about the painters tape still on the trim in the dining room where I never finished!!  Or the helium balloons still on the ceiling from a birthday party several weeks ago!! It was about family and good friends getting together to celebrate the fact that we are all believers and we know He Lives! It was a wonderful day. 


tcerroC sI sdrawkcaB gnitirW nehW

 ˙pǝʇɐʌɐɹbbɐ ǝq oʇ puǝʇǝɹd oʇ ǝʞıן ʎǝɥʇ ɥbnoɥʇןɐ 'ʇı ǝʌoן ʎǝɥʇ ˙ʇxǝʇ dıןɟ buısn sʇuǝpnʇs ʎɯ oʇ buıɥʇǝɯos ʇuǝsǝɹd ı ɹɐǝʎ ʎɹǝʌǝ ˙ʎɐp sןooɟ ןıɹdɐ ʎddɐɥ

Don't worry. I won''t write the entire post that way. But there are fun things you can do on this April Fool's Day with text! When I was writing the questions for my students, it occurred to me that a post about my letterpress table would be a good one for today. After all, the words on it are all written backwards. 
If you have read my blog before, perhaps you have seen this table. It started out a little forlorn. I had been looking for a good table with a lip around the edge. I knew that I wanted to make a letterpress table and the lip would help keep the blocks in order. 

These are the letterpress blocks. They come in all shapes and sizes and fonts. Just like our many fonts today, there are also many sizes and fonts for letterpress blocks. The different colors on the block are from the ink that has been rolled over them. A lot of times, the red is there to stay (which is fine with me!). To clean these blocks, the printers (back in the day) had a little jug filled with gasoline. It had a mesh circle on top that would press down and a small amount of gasoline would come up through the mesh. The printer would soak his rag with the gasoline and use it on the blocks to keep them clean and gunk free. 
 My family has been in the newspaper and publishing business for almost a hundred years. (There IS a difference between newspapers and publishing by the way.) As a young girl I would see these letterpress blocks used all the time. I began collecting them at antique shows, long before Ebay. Then I collected them off Ebay. I used them for decorating fun, but I was just waiting on the perfect table. Finally, I had it and I poured out my bag(s) of letters one night and had fun. If you will notice, the letters are backwards. They are supposed to be. The word is laid out, the ink rolled on, the paper (or other) set on top and the weight rolled over the paper. Then when you pick up the print, your words are correct. Get it?  
You know the old idiom, "Mind your p's and q's"? Well now you understand what they meant. When building your words or lines, it is easy to naturally put the letter down as we know and see it. (I am the WORST at that!) Therefore the p's and q's could not be mixed!
 As you can see in the pictures, I set up names, places and things that are special to our family. I also put in special numbers. I laid them out and sat them on the table then gathered the extra letterpress blocks around them. There is TAYLOR3 (her birthday day) above. 
 Tim & Lori (above). Yes, I interchanged the fonts frequently. I had to because of the blocks I had. Plus it just makes it more fun. 
 The SON from Ferguson. Sooners and Wucas. (Well I did Wucas for two reasons: 1. I was out of L's. 2. When my youngest son was little, he said his L's and W's. Therefore that made him Wuke Wucas. :)  Since I had the other letters for Lucas, I figured why not make it Wucas? 
 Yes, I even included our beloved pets. Howie. (We've got them ALL on the table!) 

I flipped the picture, so the words/letters were facing the camera. The arrows are just a sampling of the words and dates that are on there. I did not "arrow" them all. See what you can pick out! (Don't forget...dog is really God!!)
The same picture without the arrows. See how seamlessly the words and dates all blend together?  It's a great puzzle and conversation piece! 
 Notice the really big blocks, like the L and 1?  Aren't the fractions fun? 
 I also have every single type of punctuation in the big size. An ode to the English teacher in me! This could be a comma or an apostrophe, depending on how it was used. Notice I did not put all the filler letters and numbers in the same direction either. I just filled to fill! 

In this picture (in the lower left corner) and the big block in the middle, are advertising blocks. I have lots of old advertising blocks as well. Many of the advertising blocks are brass and can be shined up beautifully.
Believe it or not, I need to start another table. Since I did this one, we had two grandbabies, Leightyn and Behr. One of my sons is engaged as well, so we need to add Tiffani. I thought it would be fun to begin another table, instead of trying to redo the original. I have already begun to store up more letters, numbers and advertising. If you plan on collecting them, be aware, the letterpress blocks are on wood. There are some metal pieces as well, but those were used in linotype machines. I have a few of those as well, but they are the tiny filler pieces.  
Now you know everything you ever (or never!!) wanted to know about letterpress blocks and why the letters are always backwards. Don't you agree it was a great April Fools Day lesson? 
Here is the ugly little table that I got for $10 (along with another one).  
Here it is after I cleaned it up, painted it and made a cute little chalkboard table out of it. It would have been great to keep it just like that. 

But I had all these blocks that needed a permanent home.....
I added some very small casters. Mainly for the effect! 
And I ended up with the table where all the words are backwards! Now you know why! Have a great April Fools Day.  Or as I told my students.....¡ʎɐp sןooɟ ןıɹdɐ ʇɐǝɹb ɐ ǝʌɐɥ

Linking with:
Metamorphosis Monday
Wow Us Wednesday
The Scoop
Furniture Feature Friday


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