Monday, June 27, 2011

The Legacy of Ella Marie

My grandmother, Ella Marie Munn, was a wonderful amazing woman. To me as a child she was everything I ever wanted to be, and now, she still is. She lived as a migrant farm worker for most of her youth. Without all the things I now have everyday, she worked until her fingers were tired and aching, without a home to call her own. I only ever knew her as this earthy, free spirit who cultivated her own gardens, flowers, and cactus. Her honeysuckles were sweeter than anything I have smelled since. Her carrots in her garden provided me with keen eyesight so I wouldn't need glasses like my mom and dad, which I still do not. I have 20/20 thank you. Her driveway an endless parade of me on my Care Bear roller skates showing her what i could do. She would melt all her soap remnants down to one. Waste not, want not. Her hens and chicks (cactus) sat eagerly at her front porch reminding me of the time I had forgotten about their unfriendly nature and fell on them. If it was a good behavior day I knew I could look forward to an Oreo out of that gorgeous green depression glass cookie jar. I still have one of her quilts that fills me with love every time I fell its smooth fabric against my skin. She had style and grace and an elegance I have never met except for her. She had countless amounts of costume jewelry hanging around her vanity. Always ready and fashionable even for unfashionable moments like taking me to the park and to ice cream. I am sure many women feel today the way I do about their grandmother, as though she were a saint sent from heaven itself to inspire and nurture in a magical way no one else could. Mine wrote stories and took creative writing classes well into her last years. She was involved in many causes and political events held in her area. Always willing to give a strong opinion. Never to cower or acquiesce. She was a great reader of literature and my first novel Love Story came from her collection. At high school in Oklahoma she met a young schoolmate who took a liking to her right away. She made up for many years she was unable to attend school ,to work in the farms,very quickly and graduated on time for her age. Her senior year that young man asked for her hand every day that year. A few months after graduating she finally one day said "Yes." My grandfather shortly after joined the army while she held down the home front and raised 3 amazing children that adore her as I do. I lost her when I was only 11 but I am so grateful to have had her in my life for even a moment. When my mom read that I had begun blogging her first reaction after seeing it was " That is so your grandma. She would have done that. It sounds like her." It couldn't have been a bigger compliment. Thank you mom. I know it may seem strange but sometimes you just take everything you are from a few small experiences that really form who you will become. And for that time with her, thanks to my mom, I am so grateful. I hope the free spirit in me shines like a beacon so she can find me anytime, anywhere and know what a fantastic, elegant lady she was and how much it meant to me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ya Ya Roly Poly!

In the realm of classic Hollywood most female stars were sly sirens or elegant ladies. Sometimes you just want a wholesome, hilarious, quirky, no-nonsense gal who can hold her own. And for that I go to Doris Day. She makes me laugh so hard I feel like I did my weeks worth of crunches! Her ability to tell it like it is and be so lovable is what makes her great. And she can sing to boot! If you have not been raised on her classics like I have I reccommend you try her out next time you want a funny romp with outstanding fashion sense. My favorite is "That Touch of Mink" starring Cary Grant. After being splashed by his towncar on the street she has a change of heart as she tries to tell him off resulting in a charming romance of hilarity as she decides if she minds being a kept woman. Highlights are definitely her hallucinations that "everyone knows" as they travel around (in a bed) to the pool, elevator, etc. But the best part is her attempt to charm him back by having a little to drink to loosen up and resulting in a drunk Doris with an empty bottle swinging around on her toe. Not much of a seduction... poor Doris! Too funny! You should definitely check out my other fave "Pillow Talk" as she has a love/hate experience with dreamy Rock Hudson. It is full of great laughs, some great fashions, and a song I absolutely love, "Roly, Poly". I get stuck singing it for about a week. I was introduced to her as a child with "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" which I still adore. Thanks, Dad. You can ususally get these on Netflix. Thanks for being funny and real Doris. She had her 88th birthday in April and continues to put all her efforts into her Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Humane Society. Check out this awesome clip from Touch of Mink with her personal fashion show at Bergdorf's. It is fun to check out the height of fashion for the time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun, Flirty, Fourth of July!

Nothing so small makes me so happy as a little daydream of an Etsy Treasury. I love that I can just make my little vision appear as a story. Poof! OK I will take all of these things and that... and that... and that. Here's a little fun for the 4th of July if you plan to do a little swimming, BBQing, and perhaps cupcake decorating? Oh, any excuse for a festive cupcake! My Aunt would always make jello on the 4th and arrange the blueberries and strawberries into an American flag. She also made homemade ice cream with the old wooden crank ice cream maker. I loved to watch my cousins transform into little daredevils with their giant (buy them in the country) fireworks as I enjoyed my ice cream. After the big event I was always content to spin around in my summer dress with a sparkler or two. I hope your 4th still feels like it did when you were a kid! Maybe some of these little finds will make you smile! Fun Fourth of July picks!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Starlet Photos Inspiration

I love taking portraits! I especially like doing pin-up style or old hollywood style shoots. I often get ideas from pin-up books which are fun for prop ideas, however they are paintings so it doesn't inspire the lighting much. Yesterday in a lucky moment I stumbled upon a great book that is full of gorgeous portraits of starlets. OOOhhh I am so inspired my heart is pounding to try some things out. Luckily I have some willing volunteers. Check these out for a little glamour!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Looking for a night at the drive-in movies?

Summer is here for some and slowly coming for others (the Oregonians):( But the prospect of being outside as much as possible came to mind. I remember when I was a little girl my mom would take me to the Drive-in to see scary slasher movies with her girlfriends. We would load up on popcorn and candy we brought from home along with our favorite blankets and pillows. I miss that. What ever happened to the Drive-in? It would be so great to see a revival of this almost forgotten pastime. Cool news is there may still be one in your area if you look hard enough. At this Drive-in site I found that you can enter your zipcode for the closest ones and find out which ones are still open. The closest one to the Portland area is in Newberg at the 99W Drive-in. I wonder how often they have car shows there. That could be fun. Let's all get out and support our local drive-in! Maybe you can spread the word and they can delight people a bit longer. I wonder, do they still have the dancing hot dogs on screen? I hope so!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Antique Show is coming!

Fellow NorthWesterners! The next PalmerWirfs antique show is coming July 9th and 10th at the Portland Expo Center. They have 1200 booths of vintage furniture, collectibles, linens, jewelry, and oodles more. I went last year and had a great time. They didn't have much clothing last time but if you are into collectibles or goodies for your home it is a fun day for a great price. Here's the link. Have fun!

Ode to Fred and Ginger

Anytime I have a day that I wish my mom were here to tell me "It's o.k. to stay in bed today." or I have an evening where I just need a fun escape I turn to my old faithfuls Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I escape into their movies like a kid to cartoons. I imagine myself next to them on their fantastic art deco sets wearing their elegant, shiny costumes. I get swept away in their witty dialog and sweet flirtations. Really there is nothing better than an afternoon alone with Fred and Ginger and a box of Cocoa Pebbles. And for that I thank them. Always bringing a smile to my face and warm fuzzies to my heart. I have all of their movies and my favorites are Follow the Fleet and The Gay Divorcee.... o.k. well Swing Time too. Ginger is the epitome of the girl with moxie and glamour. Her sassy comebacks to Fred are hilarious! Their dancing is both fun and incredibly romantic. I hope you have discovered them too and are curling up right now with your favorite comfort sweets. Here's a clip of their famous scene from Swing Time. I love their exit! Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet the Boston Beans!

Anyone who loves their dogs like children can understand the need to introduce my dogs Lucy and Bella. They crack me up on a daily basis. They are so great at silently influencing me whether it is to give them a treat or remind me of who I am because they always love me. Being a dog mom has so many rewards. One thing I love about the Boston is that everyone growing up in America from the 1930's to 60's seems to have had one. I love getting stopped when I walk the girls to hear stories of "Sugar Baby was such a rascal but we loved her!" They are a funny breed with looks only their mother (and other dog lovers) could love. And their very human like features and expressions can keep you laughing all day. Anyway, I wanted to share mine with you for a little giggle.