"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pretty Little Boxes

I've been busy in my studio again...creating what will probably be the last of my Altered Matchbox Gift Boxes for Christmas & Hanukkah.  I particularly like the ones above with the cute Santa & Rudolph buttons on them.  I can see these being used to give money gifts or to hide little stocking stuffers...or a nice piece of jewelry! 
As you can see, each box has a drawer lined with coordinating paper.   The candy cane & holly above are vintage appliques...most likely from the 1960s. 
There are some with nostalgic scenes...and this set has one box with a cute little carved shell bird.
And of course there are Snow Baby boxes...I love the expression on that kids' face...I don't think he really likes the snow...just like ME!  The Snow Baby is a Red Lead Paperworks image.
There are some other little holiday giftbox sets in my Etsy shop...but once they're gone, they're gone until next year.  I'd love it if you'd visit me at KittenCreates

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Jingeling

I think we need to get our Christmas tree up this weekend.  I'm feeling the need to decorate early this year.  The pic above is a part of our tree from last Christmas...and shows a Cleveland OH Christmas icon..."Mr. Jingeling....Keeper of the Keys...on Halle's Seventh Floor...you'll be looking for...him to turn the keys".  Or something like that.  He's the little bald guy in green with a red striped shirt next to the flamingo under the palm tree above...that one is probably from the 1950s...it's been on every tree I can remember since childhood.  He's also featured in blown glass higher up on the tree. 
Halle's is near & dear to my heart.  I remember going to see Santa & Mr. Jingleing at Halle's when I was a little girl.  You can read more about Mr. Jingleing here.  Halle's later became the place I worked as a buyer for a few departments until I left & moved to San Diego just before they closed in 1982. 
I'm thankful for the Christmas memories I have from the old downtown Cleveland & the wonderful department stores there.  All of them are gone now.  Some of the Christmas magic died with them...except in our memories.
Yep...I think I need our tree & Mr. Jingeling here soon. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a CYBER WEEKEND at KittenCreates!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.  SNOW is falling...even though we had windows open for the past 2 days...say it isn't so!  MY Christmas should be warm & green...faux snow is enough for me...and snow on the Southern CA mountain tops...where it belongs!  But NO...the nasty SNOW had to come to NE Ohio already...DRAT!
Anyway...I'm offering you a nice little thank you for reading my blog & shopping at my Etsy shop, KittenCreates.  Just add anything from my shop to your cart and use coupon code THANKS20 to get a 20% discount on your purchase through the end of the day Monday, November 26.  Regular shipping costs apply...since I can't get Santa to deliver your goodies for me.   
As always...I'll wrap your items nicely & include a little giftie...I really appreciate your business. 

Avoiding the crowds...

No...our tree isn't up yet...but soon.  This sweet pic is last year, just after Sunny came to live with us in her forever home.  Such temptation for a kitty who had lived in a cage for months.  She was good, though...and only stole some soft ornaments we hang at the bottom of our tree for that very purpose.
There is no going out to the malls for us again this year.  Been there...done that.  Santa DID do a bit of shopping for me...in an Etsy shop...he knows what I like.
Maybe you want to avoid the crowds...and the cheap foreign made merchandise that is so prevalent these days.  Etsy shops are certainly the way to go.  Or shop on Saturday at small local shops to support Small Business Saturday. 
Here are some of MY favorite Etsy shops...
My friend Kimber has some very cute items in her shop, Kimberiginal.  I especially love her new candy box mini books...I have one like this:
These books are perfect for stocking stuffers & for keeping your lists & notes handy...they fit right into your purse or tote bag. 

My friend Gabriela is an extremely talented jewelry artist who lives in Mexico City.  Her wonderful Etsy shop is MariayLaLuna...and here is just one of her gorgeous pieces...

Gabriela has been designing & casting silver pieces that are amazing.  Here is your chance to gift someone special with an original jewelry piece or two...and maybe YOU deserve a treat, too. 

Maybe you want some great items from Hawaii...I can help you out there, too.  My friend Cris has a lovely Etsy shop called Crispart.  Enjoy a bit of Aloha...and if Santa wants to set this bracelet under my tree...I'd LOVE it!
It reminds me of the Pacific Ocean & my beloved sunny Southern California...where I would much rather be than here in NE Ohio.  Santa LOVES the sunshine & warm breezes, too!

One more for today...ChristineHansenGlass.  Chris is an extremely talented lampwork glass artist.  I'm currently in love with her Calla Lily beads...
...but I also love her tulip beads & just about everything in her shop. 
Of course...my own shop...KittenCreates...is always open to help you with your holiday shopping.  I added some pretty Hanukkah bracelets today...and I have lots of special Christmas ornaments just waiting to add a bit of cheer to your tree. 
Shop Handmade this year...it's much more fun than those crowds at the mall!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my most vivid Thanksgiving memory.  Mom...in Grandma & Grandpa Metti's kitchen...at the tiny little table in there...carving the turkey so we could enjoy our Thanksgiving feast.  Of course there were many sides...and the big table in the dining room...and the kids' table in the living room...with family all around...just waiting to dig in.  But this photo will always say Thanksgivng to me.  The kitchen where the turkey was being carved was THE place to be...and there were fights over the crispy turkey skin...
soooooooooooooo yummy & quite carefree before we knew the dangers lurking there.
BTW...could she have had a smaller platter?  Why wasn't she carving on a cutting board?   Oh...and the stuffing was INSIDE the turkey...and none of us died from stuffing poisoning or overcooked turkey.  I also wonder who has that killer knife!  I have that apron...maybe I'll wear it today.
To you & yours...have a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ON SALE in my Etsy shop...

Are you in the mood for Christmas yet?  I'm preparing for a friend's Christmas Craft Fair in December, so it's been Christmas around here for a long time now.  That's ok...I like Christmas.

Back in July, I listed some vintage Christmas sewing patterns in my Etsy Shop, KittenCreates.  A few sold, but since it was time to renew the listings, I figured I'd give y'all a break on the prices so you could jump start your sewing projects.  I've loved gifting people with handcrafted ornaments over the years...and I still hear from some of them as they decorate their tree & think of me. 
In the mood for a little holiday entertaining?  This one is crafted mainly from felt, so it's quick & easy!  It's a fun retro look, too.
There's even a vintage Vogue embroidery pack with all of the iron-on transfers unused.  These can add a festive touch to napkins for your holiday table & more.
Each of these patterns...and more that are in my shop...is priced from $1.50 to $2.50...so they're a great deal for discontinued vintage patterns.  Once they're gone...they're gone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's the simple things that make me happy...

It really doesn't take a lot to make me happy.  The evidence is shown in this picture...I was talking to our next door neighbor & mentioned how I was making things for Christmas using clothespins.  She asked if I wanted some old wooden clothespins that had been her mother-in-law's.  My neighbor didn't like this type...and they're the ones I always look for.  These have been well used & have an awesome patina on them...and now I have a nice basket full.  They are probably from the 1950s-1960s...vintage just like me!
Life's simple pleasures...from one neighbor to another.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My last day of being in my 50s...

The year I turned 4, I never dreamed that one day I would be facing the very last day I can say I'm in my 50s!  But that day is here today.  At times, I'm amazed I've survived this long.  Most times, it seems as if it's all gone by so fast.
I got my Ohio Buckeye Card in the mail a couple weeks ago.  I'm officially a card carrying oldie now...but I can get some discounts...which I'm not too proud to accept.
Even the NE Ohio weather seems as if it will cooperate for my last day in my 50s.  We're supposed to have sun & temps in the 70s.  We'll spend the day running around to some favorite places like Trader Joe's, and making sure we get the snow crab legs for my birthday dinner tomorrow.  My birthday looks as if it will be miserable weather...the forecast is for rainy, gloomy & cold again...so we'll just hibernate with all the good stuff we gather today.
Have a great week...be sure to remember the Veterans who fought to give us our freedom...and toast me with your beverage of choice tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's a SUNNY day in NE Ohio today...and even though I have a cold, I'm a happy camper because of the good news that Obama will be our President for 4 more years!  And Sherrod Brown remains in the Senate...so that makes me & my Democratic heart happy, too.  Now if only I could say that my House Representative actually represents ME...but he doesn't.  I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad.  My big hope & wish came through...so I'm thrilled.  I love the artwork above from Obama's first victory...and hope they come up with a new commemorative for this year, too. 

Of course I was up late to hear the concession speech...and Obama's VICTORY speech.  I feel confident we're being led by a strong man who cares about all the people & that things will continue to move FORWARD in the next 4 years. 

Oh...and the blasted robo-calls have STOPPED!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I voted early...by mail...

I hope everyone exercises their right to vote this year.  You can see how I cast my vote...I really think Obama is the best & only choice for President in 2012.  The other side scares the shit outa me!
It's been both interesting & frustrating to live in OH through this election.  I keep looking for something good that has come from our time here in this hell hole.  Maybe helping Obama win Ohio will be the reason.  I'd like that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

I did not get a new ofrenda made this year, but this one is always in a place of honor in our home.  I originally made it to remember my dear friend Tom.  I think he likes it.  He's never come back to tell me he doesn't & he has visited me to tell me he hates one of my lamps...decorating advice from the Beyond.
Growing up in WASP headquarters in Parma, OH, I had never heard of Dia de los Muertos.  Death was a very very sad occasion...mourned and commemorated by weekly visits with my parents to my Grandma's grave.  My Mom was always so very sad, standing there crying at her Mom's grave.  I never got it...I didn't need to go to the gravesite to remember my dear Grandma.
I much prefer the Mexican culture's view of death.  Death is a part of life.  It is inevitible.  And rather than mourn lives of loved ones who have moved on, their lives should be celebrated & remembered. 
"Life and death are not contrary worlds.  We are a single stem with two twin flowers."
~ Juan Rulfo