What’s up with that?

So what is up with that blog name you may ask?  Well, I totally dig contrast.  It can be contrast in color, in style, in art, in design, in nature, just about anything.  I recently realized that it is contrast that really draws me to so many things.
Contrast shakes me up and gets me going.  I love modern & mid-century design.  I love about anything vintage…anything REALLY old.  I can’t handle one solid color or style in my home…it makes me crazy.  I love contrasting colors.  I love black & white.  I love stores that have a great variety of styles no matter what they sell (which is part of the reason why I love places like TJ Maxx & thrift stores so much).  Matchy-matchy makes my brain sleepy.  Contrast just seems to kick my brain into gear.  I am an eclectic for sure.
So when I was trying to figure out what to name my blog I had the standard long list of brainstormed ideas.  None of them seem to fit.  And then I thought about contrast.  Glorious contrast.  Sigh!  And then I snapped out of it and started Googling contrast quotes.  There were lots and lots of quotes that contained the word contrast but few had the “ompf” I was looking for.  And then I found a quote by Eik Kahng, author, and Chief Curator of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art
“It’s just such a wonderfully jarring contrast”
That was it!  I wanted to find out more about the quote itself and what she was speaking about but after a thorough online search and watching two very enjoyable local :25 long Santa Barbara art shows with Eik as the guest describing upcoming events at the museum and giving her views on the featured artists & their works, there just wasn’t any more info.  Oh well!  She was definitely talking about art, and contrast, and that’s good enough for me.
Speaking of style contrast, the girls and I recently made the 10 hour trip from our home here in Austin up to  my parent’s house in Kansas so our eldest daughter could go to Hula Camp in Fredonia (I know…sounds awesome, right?).  As a college student in Idaho and Utah it always cracked me up to hear the responses that other students (and sometimes teachers) would come up with then I said I was from Kansas:
“Hey Dorothy!”
“Where’s Toto?”
“Oh, you’re from ‘back east’.”
“Have you been in lots of tornadoes?”
And, by FAR my favorite:
“Oh, do you have to mail order your clothes?”  (ha ha ha!!!  Good times…)
Wait, that’s not about style contrast at all!  Silly me!
My awesome mom is always sending things home with us, things that belong to us kids and things which have just been in the house for a loooong time.  For me, that is VERY welcome!!!  See, my parents were children during the great depression and they married in the mid 50s which makes them about the same age as the grandparents of many of my own pals.  What a great blessing they have been in my life.  They have such a great work ethic and still have a “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” attitude about many things.  Because of that, they take VERY good care of their belongings which means that there are lots of fun treasures to be had at their place.  I was thrilled to come back to Texas with some great goodies. 
The first treasure is a set of three books written for children by Emma Marr Peterson.  The Story of our Church, Book of Mormon Stories, and Bible Stories for Young Latter-day Saints.  My grandparents gave these books to my Mom & Dad when my oldest brothers were very young.  The books are really quite amazing and have fabulously intricate artwork.  My grandparents wrote in the front of each book before they sent them off in the mail.  I am so happy to be able to have them in my home!
Copyright, 1951, 1952 & 1950
Love that 1940s influenced artwork…very Hollywood!
Another treasure was a bottle of beads. 
Mom has probably had this jar since I was REALLY little!

Doesn’t sound like much but when my Mom asked my little gal, EJ, if she wanted to use them to make a bracelet I was right there with her!  We poured the beads out on the kitchen table and a flood of memories came back.  There were beads from Mardi Gras back when we lived in New Orleans in the 60s, glass beads, fun bumpy plastic pink flocked beads, molded plastic beads which look like 3D roses, and some that looked like gummi candy.  

Love the variety of colors & textures here.  I even found beads from some of my old ponytail holders in here!

I not only remembered these beads but I remembered most of them individually.  I made a bracelet along with my little gal using many of my favorite beads.  It’s interesting that I never made anything with them as a kid.  Maybe that was my love of old things beginning at a young age.  Maybe it seemed wrong to take the beads away from the collection.  It’s hard to say.  Mom loved seeing them being used by one of her youngest granddaughters, and so did I!  It was kind of sad to take these beads from my Mom’s house and bring them home.  The jar is something that I like to see when I go there to visit.  There is just something wonderful about seeing something from your childhood in its native childhood environment.  How I love being able to take my family to my childhood home, where I lived from the time I was six years old.  So many memories…

A treasure I am really excited about is a lampshade.  Yup, one small fabric lampshade.  It was from a sconce (maybe late 60s?) which is long gone (although Mom isn’t 100% positive about that…if it turns up it’s totally mine!).  It has that wonderful avocado green, and gold with slightly turquoise greenish green accents as though the color was trying to escape that fab turquoise from the earlier 60s.  Check it out:

Do you want a few yards of that fabric or what?  Maybe Spoonflower would print it up for me…
Check out this metal shade frame which just grabs onto the light bulb!

It is in great condition.  They really don’t make things like they used to!  I fortunately have a lamp just the right size with a lampshade which has recently cratered.  What a great opportunity to make the base look more retro.

One of the coolest treasures I was able to bring home is a one gallon Ziploc bag filled with 25 snack bags, each filled with a different color of sand.  Sand?  Darn right!  Not just any kind of sand though.  The story goes like this.  Back when I was a toddler, my family was in the Glendale area of Southern Utah visiting relatives while on vacation.  We drove past Moqui Cave (for those of you familiar with the area) and my parents saw a company doing some excavation on a mountain which was close to the road.

Postcard shared by firstyearta at Flikr

It ends up that it was a glass company looking for a certain type of sand which would then be used to make a certain color of glass.  We stopped for a look (my Dad is a geologist so he was probably the one who made sure we stopped).  The excavation had uncovered many sedimentary layers of sandstone in colors from white to earthy orange, green and deep purple.  We asked if we could scrape some sand to take along and they were okay with that.  The story goes that we scraped sand into some bags we happened to have in the car and then we headed back to Grandma’s house in Glendale for more cans so we could get even more.  The sand now lives in my Mom’s basement in glass canning jars (heck, some of those jars are gems in & of themselves!).

There’s a reason the county Glendale is in is called “Iron County”.  Look at all of those oranges & reds!
Some colors are grainier than others, one was powdery.
The grains of this rich purple sand are rounded like tiny balls.
The bags just don’t do the colors justice.
You can REALLY see how brilliant the colors are once they are in a glass vase though!
Once we got home to Texas the girls and I found a few bottles and layered sand by the spoonful into our bottles with a kitchen funnel (I was super jazzed to find three of these fab little glass vases at a KS Goodwill while we were there).  Thanks for the craft op Mom!

I found lots of other fun old things around Mom’s house like this can of Red Devil enamel paint in Empire Blue which had been in the basement for years:

This lovely mid-century baby still had the price tag attached…$1.33 at Alco/Duckwall
And this can of Super-Tex Spar Varnish was right next to it:
And this can was .69 at Duckwall’s back in the day!  This has got to be from the 1950s.

The greatest treasure of this trip was the time we were able to spend with my Mom.  Dad was out in Utah at the time which was sad but we girls had a great time!  Lots of outings to the park…

This park has changed A LOT since I was a kid!  It’s WAY more fun now!

…the mandatory trip to the zoo…

BJ & EJ get up close & personal with the tall guy…
…and his LOOOONG tongue!

…and ultimately out to Fredonia to AJ’s Hula Camp finale, the luau where she danced the Hula, and the Maori Poi Ball dance.

My gal AJ, with my amazing Mom, waiting for the luau to start.
The TeKana Hau Nui Dancers with the 2012 Hula Boot Campers – it was a GREAT show!
Speaking of Fredonia…check out this AMAZING Wrigleys sign we saw as we drove through town.  I had to stop, get right out & take a pic.  LOVE IT!

“Wrigley the Spearman” appeared in advertising as early as the 1910s.  This might be from the 1930s/40s.

What a great contrast it is to think of my childhood from within the walls of my current home and then go back to my childhood home with my own children!  So many old things at my parent’s house and so many new things in my own…  I love being able to bring more “old” into my own home.  How important it is to share the family stories behind these items so they will be long treasured by my own children.


5 responses to “What’s up with that?

  1. Lovin’ your blog. I so enjoyed looking at some the old memory items you have taken home. So glad that you have them and they had sentimental value to you.—Mom

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