Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Fly Me To The Moon

To Celebrate 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission, and Moon Landing on July 20, 1969.

Issued May 5, 1969

Issued May 5, 1969

Showing the Earth rising over the Moon, this stamp design was based on a photograph by William Anders, one of the Apollo 8 astronauts who took part in that historic December 1968 mission — the first manned lunar orbital flight.

The biblical quotation represents not a religious observation by the Post Office Department, but a famous Apollo 8 moment. Instructed by NASA to “say something appropriate” from space during a Christmas Eve transmission, the astronauts alternated reading verses from the Book of Genesis as viewers across the country watched the Earthrise on television.

My parents (like many) kept quite a trove of newspapers and magazines with historic headlines.   I was fairly ruthless as there were reams of documents to go through, and the information is easily available. Plus may were stored in the basement, a less than archival environment.  (And yes, I cried too.) I gave away and donated many, and recycled most.  But like a good book, sometimes it is just nice to hold an item in your hand. This lovely stamp was tucked away in the stash of memorabilia with a card and envelope.  I may need to liberate it for a project.  These items below also reside in the 2″ stack remaining of the time capsule. (And yes I forgot about it until yesterday. But look what I found.)

Seattle Times 7,21,69

Detail from the front page article on July 21, 1969,

The word Groovy appears twice

The word ‘groovy’ appears twice in these 1st few inches of the article. What else was on the front page?

Luna 15 Landing


This was a surprise to see on the front page. Of course I know about the race to the Moon with the Soviets. But if I’ve learned that the Russians landedan unmanned craft on the moon 500 miles away from Apollo 11, almost to the day, I certainly have not retained it.

The Seattle PI July 20, 1969

Seattle PI 7.20.69

I’m guessing the use of color, even on the front page, was a significant too.

 Summer reading program 1969.

KCLS Summer Reading Record 1969Kids across Seattle joined in the Astronaut’s Reading Club. Love the graphics.

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren’t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon that summer. (See Buzz, I put you first.)

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren;t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon.

For readers in this millennium , I recommend The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story  by Lily Koppel.  Perfect 45th anniversary summer read.

In both 1969 and in 2014, July 20 fell on a Sunday. Cool. Or should I say groovy?

Fine, yes I realize it’s now been 45 years and two days, before I hit publish.

Speak To Me

Collection of foreign language dictionaries, guides and phrase books.

 Quelle surprise, I’ll start with French.

Jr Classic Dictionary English-French

Copyright 1932 and published in 1939. The oldest member of the collection

A wonderfully worn, yet still vibrant cover.

Some of the new words: talkie, television, and tank.

Italian, Portuguese and Norwegian dictionaries,

Detail from the Visual Italian Dictionary.Instruments in ItalianMaybe I can speak Italian! But not sure how often ‘la tuba’ may come up in conversation . . .

The most recent addition to the collection is this vintage dictionary.

Russian English Dictionary for the Foreign Student 1

1962 Moscow publication printed in the USSR.

Russian English Dictionary 3During the Cold War, at least one person must have had a sense of humor. . . .Russian English Dictionary 2

The acronym and the use of color on the cover made me laugh in the used book store.

The first Berlitz Language School opened in Rhode Island in 1878. This Russian language book is from 1951. It has handwritten notes throughout the first half. Love it.

Berlitz Self Teacher Russian

I’ve now learned that Russian uses three noun genders, feminine, masculine and neutral.

Not too long ago a pocket guide like the one below was a key travelers tool.  While “I’d like a room with a view of the garden next Tuesday” might not be the most practical phrase to practice, it is imperative to learn please, thank you, and pardon me.  A woman at a shop in Victoria, B.C., mentioned she was originally from Hungary, so I thanked her by saying “Köszönöm”. It made her so happy it truly surprised me. Of course, that is 100% of my Hungarian vocabulary.


Turns out to be a well regarded program. The most recent positive review for a 1989 edition was posted today (19.7.14)

I picked up this book on a whim. Even if left unopened by the Spanish students in the house, it has a terrific cover and title. It may turn out to be quite a find. I didn’t notice until today, but the career of then 25 year-old illustrator turned out pretty well too.

He went on to illustrate Amy Vanderbilt's  Complete Cookbook in 1961

He went on to illustrate Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook in 1961, and a few additional projects. . .

And hey, not only can I speak Italian (only) if percussion instruments are discussed, but I might be able to draw (stick figures) as well as Andy Warhol.

OK, maybe just for this example.

Gosh this was fun. Thanks!Madgrial's Magic Key to Spanish

Note: Sorry if visually shouting, my options for image sizes used to be a %  & now more of S-M-L.  Ends up huge or mini. Working on it. Would welcome any tips. Thanks

Tickle My Fancy, Veggie Edition

It’s a Saturday in the middle of summer. I’ve taken a moment to sort through my random digital wranglings/images.  An item, a message, an unusual grouping, a spot-on or far-out marketing campaign, interesting product placement, a look, or a reflection, or an instant of plain ol’ serendipity may catch my eye.  Whimsy really.  And all have become kind of schmooshed into a big bloggy bucket.

What I found upon sorting was that along with a plethora of amazing public art, creative utilitarian pieces, clever colorful items, sweet, sassy and/or ironic things, useless or useful items, turns out there also happens to be a garden of inspiration that tickles my fancy. (#TMF)

So here we go!  And why not, it’s fun. Let’s celebrate summer with an ‘un-collection’ of vegetables.

Happy Veggies

Happy Veggies

Natures Bounty, Spring Radished

CAM08480 - Copy Thoughtful Veggies, both water-colored and real.

Carrot Humor, who knew?

The Sassy Birthday Card à la Veggies

1st Birthday Pepper "Cake"

When life gives you lemons but no eggs, you invent the Pepper Cake.

This yellow pepper ‘cake placebo’, wrapped with a washi tape bow, was actually a big hit.  How many time does a mother say, “Why I’m glad you’re up sooooo early, and YES you may eat your entire cake this morning”.  Magical really. Thanks to a vegetable.

Oscar Orange? Here’s a ‘friend’ of a popular toy. Vintage, yet I had never even heard of Oscar the Orange. Hmmm. Mr Potato Head might not have wanted to share the limelight perhaps?  It was no surprise that poor Oscar was practically NIB.

Eggpland & Karrot

Who wouldn’t enjoy an anthropomorphic eggplant & carrot, especially during a soggy Saturday market? As this is the fourth set of smiling veggies, I might be on to something.

Expanding a bit from produce to food. Starting with this FEASTmode sign.


May be only in the Seattle. But seeing this on a Mickey D’s run during Superbowl season was a hoot.  The 12th man is having a McMuffin–people can I get a woo hoo!

While waiting for burritos to-go at a mom and pop shop, I glanced over to the corner of the counter. Some children with their mother were giggling and insistently pointing at something. Gathered together was a collection of impromptu foil sculptures. Then I spied the one that was making them so happy, The foreground is a (perhaps) grasshopper, but the second item in is a pair of Wall:E glasses.  You may need to squint. Cute! Wearable too. I hope the couldn’t-be-starving-with-these-enormous-tacos artist had a great day.

Taco Art

Yoga and grapes

Well, grapes definitely are used to produce wine, so let’s include this sassy shirt. (Thx Pat)

And lastly, and very very loosely this tickles my fancy too. Squirrels are nuts, hide nuts and eat nuts. So here, Just go Nuts

it cracks me up.

Happy Summer!


Money Makes The World Go ‘Round

This is just a temporary collection. An array of vivid, pretty colors and patterns.

For origami? Not quite.

Fistful of Australian Dollars

It’s not paper. It’s a plastic/polymer.  Easily recyclable, but I don’t think you’d want to because–

A Rainbow of Currency

–it’s Australian currency!  Filled front to back with fabulous details. Just slight variation in sizes. I had never seen an Australian dollar until this week. Curious like a cat wombat, off I clicked to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade to learn more.

And I must give a shout out to a very engaging, interactive website. Way to go Aussies. Each banknote has a story. Please check it out too. Designs, history and even games.

The mini scoop:

Australian banknotes changed in 1966 as the currency switched from the pound to the decimal/dollar system.  A polymer technology for banknotes was designed in Australia and introduced in 1988. Between 1992-96, a new series of bills were introduced.  The denominations are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Unique as it is the first currency in the (modern) world not printed on paper.

50 AUD

As the mother of 4 daughters here in the 21st century, it is amazing that this next fact was a surprise. Each of the five bills feature a woman on one side. Admittedly Queen Elizabeth II is a slam-dunk to appear. But woo hoo. The $50 note features David Unaipon, an Aboriginal author and inventor.

Go Mary! Australian $20

Must admit that Mary Reibey on the $20 above surprised me, with a resemblance to Benjamin Franklin.  She was almost a contemporary, her life spanned 1777–1855. She arrived in New South Wales as a convict at age 13, and went on to become successful in the shipping business and philanthropy. (Horse stealing, disguised as a boy, seven children, now on the $20. Go Mary. Yes, there are books about her.)

I picture many exotic animals in the Land Down Under but seeing this peeking out was a surprise.

Detail, Camel riding missionaries

A camel? This image is of a Flynn Boundary rider also known as a Patrol Padre, one of the camel riding missionaries from the early 1900′s. That’s just plain fun.

Now what else? Brumbies detail

Brumbies. Do you recall the poem The Man From Snowy River? A brumby is a wild Australian horse. Honored on the $1o bill.

I love the layers, symbolism and meanings of images used in the US currency. But must admit this outback rainbow is very entertaining. The variety of items embedded in each note are impressive.

To those easily distracted by squirrels or sparkly things (like myself), the windows on each bill may be of interest. I saw them, or should I say saw through them, and thought how cute!

They are one of seven security measures.  Still cute though.

A pocketful of history like these bills completely fascinate me.  (As you may recall from previous posts, &   Think I may just go read up on the Hungarian Forint.

More Australian banknote scoop at:

. . . banknotes also offer an opportunity to honour Australians who have made an important contribution to the nation. The notable Australians that presently feature on our banknotes were selected in consultation with various respected members of the community, including designers, art curators, historians and psychologists. The Reserve Bank of Australia


I do not randomly order foreign currency (yet), or travel frequently (yet). So how did I come upon a fistful of fancy dollars?  Our sweet baby is heading off to Australia! And she just exchanged some of the spending money she has earned. She has studied very hard, and applied to an amazing study abroad program. Crazy as it sounds, there is actually a camel trek located within an hour or so from campus. So proud of our little banana. Sniff.  Now please finish packing.)



Quite The Spectrum

The opportunity for foraging was slim given our holiday weekend commitments, but I did have a moment to pop into one sale. Then I did a little happy dance with the following scavenger hunt score.

I’ve wanted one for quite a while. What could it be?Wad of gum? Nope.A wad of gum? Really?

No, no, not a souvenir from a trip to Seattle’s famous/infamous Gum Wall. (One of the attractions at Pike Place Market, a 50+ feet by 15 feet wall of yes, chewed gum. I’d include a photo but it  kind of makes me a bit nauseous.)

Hmmm, this still seems kind of gooey, what is it?

 Still kinda gooey . . .  Detail

A painting?

Nope. However many, many paintings were for sale. The art prices were very much on the healthy/high side, and produced over a period of decades.  Many a vintage treat is found in the garage so I headed that way. I spied two used palettes tucked a way in a stack of boxes.Palette 1

Not the classic rounded shape, shown here by artists Monet and Bob Ross.


One of Monet’s palettes hangs in the Marmottan Museum.

“Let’s add some happy little clouds . . .” Bob Ross, always so positive, anything is possible if you try.

 Two fabulous rectangles, thick with paint and potential. “You want to buy those??”  Yes. 1$ each. Repeat of happy dance.

Palette 2

Not sure exactly where these will land. But one has a new home on our ‘can’t-believe-everyone-doesn’t-have-one’ toboggan of fun.

Nordic Easel

My impromptu Nordic easel is currently displaying a collection of other formerly lost and lonely 1$ adopted items.

Art Toboggan

(I have a tendency want to rescue items that were created by hand, especially unframed art, but that’s fodder for another post.)

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No.
Pablo Picasso

I concur Pablo, and I cannot explain it. But I do hear the siren song. For me, palettes have an intriguing, exceptional energy. Three-peat of happy dance. The nuances as colors mix, the unused globs, the texture. Smile. A piece of history from the universal fraternity of painters. (OK, may have painted that one one on almost as thick as the gum wad.) You know what I mean. Crazy cool. Could it be because my artistic skill set includes primarily hot glue and washi tape?

In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.
Marc Chagall

A painting?  Palette detail

One more for a collection is a perfect quest for the next flea market. . .

I found I could say things with colors that I could not say in any other way, things for which I had no words.
Georgia O’Keeffe

Hope you find an inspirational treasure this month too.  Or perhaps an opportunity for a visit to the Gum Wall.

Time for me to crank Pharrell’s “Happy” and dance.

Out of the Box

Summer is here and I’ve taken a (small) step out of my maternal sandbox.

A warm summer night, driving home at dusk.  The munchkin duo in the car with me spot some sparkling, spinning lights.

In the strip mall parking lot.


“Oh, look can we stop please?  Please?”

I instantly think of many reasons to keep going. Traveling carnival. Not part of a local festival. The best course of action is usually to steer away from a row of porta-potties. It screams ‘no’ to me. But I hung a left at the next light and drove in. Shock abounded. Craziness! I know, I know.

“You mean we’re stopping?!?”  “You asked!”

I do love Disneyland and most roller coasters, but it is common knowledge that I am not a fan of the circus or carnivals. Red and white stripes make me uneasy.  (Fine, just wide vertical ones.)  Plus, I know I am not alone in my coulrophobia**, even though an encounter here was unlikely.  There were other families, and groups of tweens and teens. Part of the small crowd appeared to be preparing for the change of tempo to nighttime activities.  I will admit, we would not be staying long.

“We have time for one ride, what’ll it be?”  I respond, while carefully clutching the health insurance card and my cell in a pocket.

Too Cold

The decision was a bit of a Goldilocks dilemma, this ride is babyish–too cold, this one (the classic Zipper) is too likely to cause vomiting or nightmares–too hot. Now, to find one where the amount of thrill is just right. The Paratrooper fit the bill.  The girls were happy and lightly green when they got off.  I did not end up with face paint like Gru in Despicable Me, (not going that far out of the box).

Music. Laughter. Adrenaline. No mechanical failures or accidents. And no clowns. Not a bad evening. Didn’t even have to use the porta potty.Carnival 1

Not exactly my cup of tea, but sometimes a grape soda is what you need. A good start to summer.


**Fear of clowns.

Made To Measure

Collection of vintage tape measures.

Metal and leather, mini and maxi, buttons and cranks.

Ready for anything from 48 inches to 50 feet.Chases Tape Measure Atlantic Tape MeasureEslon Mini Measure Roe Tape Measure

Pink Mini Measure

It’s the only time I’ve seen a tape measure font.

Blue Mini Measure Mini Black & Decker Trio

Measure Twice, Cut Once – English Proverb

Roe Detail

Love, love, love the patina on the leather wrapped tape measures.

Not Quite A Sewing Basket

A collection of needles.

Space Needle card 1962

The Seattle Landmark opened in 1962

Space Needle card 1962 back Space Needle Menu 1962

View Details

Space Needle Bar Menu 1962

$1.25 for a dry Martini

Drink Menu Details

Space Needle Candle

Surprisingly, these are not served,

Space Noodles

Another tasty viewSpace Needle Menu 2 North

So, tell me more about The Space Needle,

The five level top house dome was completed with special attention paid to the revolving restaurant level and Observation Deck. The top house was balanced so perfectly that the restaurant rotated with just a one horsepower electric motor. In keeping with the 21st Century theme, the final coats of paint were dubbed Astronaut White for the legs, Orbital Olive for the core, Re-entry Red for the halo and Galaxy Gold for the sunburst and pagoda roof. The 605-foot tall Space Needle was completed in December 1961 and officially opened a mere four months later on the first day of the World’s Fair, April 21, 1962.

  • The Observation Deck is at 520 feet, the SkyCity Restaurant at 500 feet and the  SkyLine Banquet Facility at 100 feet.
  • There are 848 steps from the bottom of the basement to the top of the Observation Deck.
  • During the construction of the Space Needle, it took 467 cement trucks less than 12 hours to fill the foundation hole (30 feet deep and 120 feet across). This was the largest continuous concrete pour ever attempted in the West.
  • When the Space Needle was built in 1962, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It is fastened to its foundation with 72 bolts, each 30 feet in length.
  • The Space Needle sways approximately 1 inch for every 10 mph of wind. It was built to withstand a wind velocity of 200 miles per hour.
Pencil Sharpener

Pencil Sharpener

And not quite memorabilia, but memorable

Crank It Up

Tools with hand cranks and wooden knobs used by cooks to create something delicious.

Only one of these vintage items is in rotation in my kitchen.

apple 1

Has a bit of a medieval vibe . . . it’s an

apple 2

Apple Parer, Corer, Slicer

apple 3

Making multiple apple dishes using an apple parer, slicer and corer is not in the recipe cards for me.  I love the color, it’s metal, and is ultra sturdy and useful. But now headed via donation  to find a new kitchen to call home. Bonus, I found the original instructions in the boxes (and boxes and boxes) of papers from my family’s estate and included it with the peeler.  Pea 2This pea green pea sheller was unique, and it called to me, but I managed to leave it at the store. (Those frog feet, so cute.)

Pea 1Chopper 5

From the nuts point of viewchopper 4 Chopper 3

This worn wonky nut chopper is from my Grandmothers kitchen. The blades are a bit bent, and a few missing. I usually see one in similar condition when foraging for vintage treasures. And we still use it. Walnut vinaigrette salad is a family favorite. The chopper can be used with success by any family member. The results are the nowhere near uniform in size, but it makes for a tasty, crunchy salad.  Please pass the feta.


Van Go

An obsession of my fresh(wo)man and her piggies is a certain shoe. And the shoes that have captured her heart are Vans.


For the most part, we do not have a lot of shoes. But she certainly has collected a lot of One shoe. Fun, funky, colorful kicks; I can see why they are at the top of her list each holiday. Practical too.

Vans 1

Plus, they almost work as ‘an unscheduled encore of Easter‘ around the house. What is this purple shoe doing here? Oh look there’s one under the couch or desk, or . . . Yet we don’t wear shoes in the house, how does this happen?  Hmmm? Perhaps a bored Easter Bunny is tucking them ‘hither and yon’ to keep in shape for next spring? Maybe they are bunnies, since they like to hide under desks, chairs, couches and tables.  Endearing, maddening scattered but the collection certainly makes her radiate happiness. And that is somethings I can Go with.


Now if she would just put them away.

And then let’s shop to get another pair with polka dots too! Cute.van tooHobbled, Bobbled, and Mountains of fun