Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowman Ornament

There's not a lot of significance to this guy, although I really like him.  I can't remember where he came from (though I have a guess or two), but however he got on my tree, he knows he is loved because I really, really, like snowmen for some reason.  I don't particularly like snow, but snowmen are always so sweet and innocent and happy.  And who doesn't aspire to be happy? 

Well this is my last post until I return from my post-Christmas trip to South Carolina in mid-January.  I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year, and of course if you celebrate something apart from these, I hope that is wonderful as well. 

Just so you know, I've closed all my shops for a while.  Milemarker will reopen on Dec. 31 as it can operate from anywhere, really.  But Milemarker 2 and 3 will be closed until I return January 17.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just Married Christmas Ornament

Some of my favorite ornaments were gifts.  Soon after we were married, my husband and I loaded up in an RV with his parents and sister and brother-in-law and drove down to Disney World for a week.  We had such a great time, just barely adults, still having child-like fun in our newlywed daze.  Just a couple of weeks later, Bri's sister and her husband gave this ornament to us for Christmas.  It's nothing I would have ever picked out or had customed, but I love it even more for that.  Every year when I unpack it, I smile and think about how it symbolizes that you really can have the joy of both adulthood and childhood at the same time. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vintage Ornaments

Equally as precious to me are the vintage ornaments that came from my other grandmother.  These actually reside with my parents still, but I grew up with them and I see them every year right after Christmas.  They just don't make things that look like these anymore - little dioramas and mirrors and atomic-looking stars.  These definitely make me nostalgic for the mid-century - a time I didn't even live through.  Strange, maybe, but I think I'm not the only one.

My grandparents used to run a dimestore in the town I'm from, and after it went out of business, I remember going through the contents of a shed out back with my folks.  It had been where they kept the seasonal decorations.  There were life-sized cardboard cutouts of Santa and huge window banners that were fifties and fabulous.  I was only a teenager and, though I was drawn to these things, I didn't have the foresight to see that I'd one day want those things (despite space limitations).  As an adult I buy a lot of things and I get rid of a lot of things, but there are only a few items that I look back on and wish I had held on to.  Those store decorations were one of them.  So every year when I see these vintage ornaments, I feel both happy and sad, thinking of the '50s sweetness of our favorite Christmas ornaments and t.v. specials and songs, that never go out of style.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Grandmother's Christmas Ornaments

This week I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. They are all so special to me, collected or handed down through my life. I look forward to decorating the tree every year because it's like taking a stroll through memory lane. There are no distractions and there is no hurry so I am free to reminisce.

All of the photos today are of ornaments handmade by my Grandma Bonnie.  I grew up with a set just like this on my tree, made by a great-aunt, and when I left home my mom revealed that there was another set, nearly the same, made by my grandmother.  I nearly did backflips then (or maybe I nearly cried, instead) but you get the idea - these are precious to me.  They are all made of felt and whip-stitched, with sweet details on each.  I've only photographed four, but there are nearly a dozen to remind me of the time and care my grandmother spent on making beautiful things.  They not only remind me of her, but they remind me that every little project I do, everything I make or write or photograph, is a legacy, that may one day sum up my memory to a family member.  These remind me to take care and pride in all the things I do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I realized not long ago that I've hadn't shared the bold, beautiful work of ZukZuk with you all and I felt so badly about it.  Helen Acraman is one of my favorite artists on Etsy, and I think one of the first artists I found when I started shopping on Etsy.  And here I've been keeping her a secret!  Shame on me! 

I bought the green "Bear Hug" print for a friend's baby room, and I confess I bought the black and white bear family for myself, thinking that one day I might have a little bear of my own.  There is such a genuine sweetness to Helen's bears that I find so very touching.

I love each and every one of ZukZuk's bears and I'm so excited when I see a new bear print appear in her shop.  Today I am so very in love with "Masked Bear."  The individual patterns on the trees are very interesting to my eye, and the bear peeking out is just perfection.

Helen also has beautiful birds, including this print, "Lovey Dovey."

These prints, "The Best Time of Day" and "Tiny Autumn Landscape" look both alien and familiar at the same time.  I think it's those funky bulbous trees - they have me wishing trees really looked like that.  When I imagine living in that little house, tucked among those trees, it makes me smile.

I think that is what I love so much about Helen's work.  It makes me smile, again and again.  This piece, "Neptune's Partay," is so inventive and cheery.  I don't know where Helen comes up with her ideas, but I like how she thinks. 

Helen's works are in the boldest of colors, and that also really appeals to me.  She often offers her prints in different color combinations, so there is a good chance you'll find something you like in her shop.  Helen also freqently gives away prints on her blog, so check in for a chance to win.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Light Abstractions

I love the abstractions the Christmas lights make when you play with the focus.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  There is some church, some present wrapping, some eggnog, and some "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" in my future.  I'm excited to see you next week.  I've chosen some of my favorite Christmas ornaments to share with you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Evergreen Branches

What is there to say?  Aren't they so very pretty when they are healthy?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slushy Snow

The thaw has begun, and the snow is starting to melt off.  It looks like it's going to be another sunny day, which will be nice as I'm off to Cheyenne to do a little holiday shopping.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Enough Of This Snow

I'm thinking warm thoughts.   I'm already thinking of my trip to South Carolina, after Christmas.  In the summer, I went with a friend to Cypress Gardens, and I shared earlier photos of the beautiful swamps and the alligators, but we spent a lot of time in the Butterfly House as well, and I am just now going through those images.  I did not get a single great shot of a butterfly (they didn't sit still for long) but I did take lots, predictably, of the flowers.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guernsey Snow

It's snowing again.  It had just started to melt off yesterday (I can even see the pavement of the streets) but today it is snowing again.  But today is different.  The sun is shining, while the snow is coming down.  That doesn't happen very often.  More often, it's overcast and dark like in this photo I took back when we lived in Guersey.  I loved how the undisturbed snow had covered the fence, mimicking the scrolls. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ETSY PLUG: Urban Paisley

I can't remember how I first came across Urban Paisley, but her sweet little creations were too cute to pass up.  I bought a couple of these bunny ornaments for a friend and a relative as baby gifts.  I thought they would look sweet on the tree come Christmastime as "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments. 

There are lots of sweet and subtle ornaments at Urban Paisley, all hand stitched and embroidered wool felt.  Some are specifically for the holidays.

And some would be sweet any time of the year.

Urban Paisley has more than just ornaments.  There are other cute little decorations, like this fall pumpkin.

I love this little apple bookmark (and what a great stocking stuffer this would be).

Same goes for this keyring.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Reading Material

Again, I had some fun photographing these in the snow.  I liked the idea of finding a stack of books whilst out on a walk in the fresh snow, left by some kindred spirit.  In real life they'd get all soggy, if ever found at all, but not in my picture.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Reading

I was going through yet more books that we've not put on the shelves in the library, when I rediscovered a set of Reader's Digest Condensed Classics.  I had vowed to replace them with full versions of my favorite books from the series, but after removing the dust jackets to reveal these gorgeous printed covers, I'm not sure I can.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gingerbread Buffalo

Here's the last batch of cookies, gingerbread buffalo.  Since they are going to Wyoming boys who are in Kuwait, I thought they were the perfect thing!  They went out in the mail yesterday, so I hope they get there sometime before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I spent the weekend baking cookies to send to a friend who is far, far away from home.

I made White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Rasin Oatmeal.  I hope they stay somewhat fresh on the long trip through the mail.

Little Bear, as usual, was on hand to help with the food styling.

Monday, December 7, 2009

SALE: Free Gifts at all three Milemarker stores

Hi Everyone!  I wanted to start out Monday with a sale.  Today through Friday Dec. 11, when you buy any size photograph from Milemarker, you will get another one of your choice, free!  You will only pay shipping for the first photograph, too!

To take advantage of this, purchase any photo like you normally would, and then in the message to seller, indicate which other photo (of the same size) you would like to get for free.

When you place an order at Milemarker2 or Milemarker3, I will include a set of 4 free notecards and envelopes of your choice.  Choose from Blue Circles, Pink Circles, or Red Dahlia.  No extra shipping will be charged for the cards.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Cards

If anyone out there is still in need of Christmas cards to send to family and friends, look no further than Milemarker 3.  I've got two kinds in stock, including this folded card featuring one of my favorite images, of vintage ornaments passed down through my family.  You can get six for $12.00.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Isn't it fun to receive packages this time of year?  Especially if they are from somewhere far, far away?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Glendo Reservoir

I took this a couple of weeks ago at the Glendo Reservoir, which is about 30 minutes north of Wheatland.  The water level changes drastically over the course of the year, and you could tell that before the leaves fell, this entire spot had been covered.  You can see where the reservoir is currently, in the distance between the trees.  It's probably dusted with snow, today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009