Monday, February 22, 2010

Auschwich Revisited

As many of you know I recently traveled to Poland as a parent chaperon for a class field trip. I had great expectations of a wonderful post to my blog when I returned. Well I posted and let's just say that the content was great...but the photos lacked shall we say SIZE. You couldn't even really tell what they were. Many of you were nice enough to read and comment but wished my photos were larger. Shall we say...I am learning every day in this wonderful land of BLOG. So...I figured it out with much anguish & turmoil and lo and behold we have some...let's say sizable photos. My son Lincoln was invited to participate on this class field trip back in early fall. He was the only 7th grader chosen. We flew to Warsaw, Poland and then onto Krakow. We traveled daily to film and capture one of the worlds most gruesome atrocities....the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. We went to Auschwich & Auschwich II better known as Birkenau. We filmed the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwich...the ceremony. We stood outside with no shelter, no food, no water & no seating for 7 hours. Did I mention that the ground was covered by 18 inches of snow and it was 7 degrees outside. Not one person could you at the sight where millions of people perished in way worse conditions. In the above photo you see many suitcases, nicely labeled, and probably filled with wonderful family heirlooms. Family treasures confiscated by the Nazis with the promise they would shortly be returned. A promise never intended or kept as the owners were probably sent straight to the gas chambers for extermination.

...and the massive quantities of shoe brushes. Let's just say that the Nazis didn't let anything go to waste....except the millions of Jewish people who died at their hand Auschwich. Imagine looking into a large window display that is say....the size of a large living room. Filled to capacity with shoe brushes. It is really hard to fathom & that is why I try to give you a comparison.

I am weeping now. Looking at the vast amount of baby shoes in this photo one can only imagine the horror that must have been present in these killing fields. Mommies separated from their babies...the horrific cries. The helpless anguish felt as the mothers realize the fate that will soon squelch the very life from them. What might these infants have become? What great things might we have received from these precious souls? I weep when think about it. These images are in my mind forever...I will never forget what I have seen...but I leave the memory at just the right place as to not cry forever.

....the toys & the wonderfully knit woolens. I can't even begin to describe the sadness I feel when I think about the lost owners of these precious pieces. One can only hope that maybe they weren't all destroyed...maybe just maybe they were taken home by one of the Nazi soldiers and given to one of their they were innocents too. It is hard to call a Nazi child an innocent but after really talking to people you know that they too were innocents. War is atrocious. Lives lost....lives stolen.

....oh my goodness....I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hair. Seeing a large window display utterly filled to the rim with tons of hair. Hair bagged like a crop of cotton...used in much the same way except taken not from a living plant...but from a lifeless human. The images...many too horrific to show or to comment on are imprinted in my brain....the suffering of the millions of Jews imprinted in my heart. May you all rest in peace and may your lives lost be a constant reminder that we must all fight for life....we must all fight for peace...Tikkun Olam.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

....It's Almost Here

I was really happy when I came home from church today. The snow has really been melting here. This is what I saw peeking up through the ground.

Spring is right around the corner. I can't remember whose blog I was perusing last week and I commented to her...'It won't be long as soon as that snow melts we will have spring bulbs popping up.' The tips are bright yellow because the sun hasn't been able to hit them yet. I am feeling recharged. I am feeling happy.

The strange thing is...we are expecting more snow tonight...and I have a big pot of chili on the stove. I know it is still winter...but I see the spring coming right around the corner. So...even though I will still be wearing my winter coat...and not my flip flops and still be wearing the wool sweaters...and the Uggs...I know that soon it will be spring!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tussie Mussie Swap

I joined the Tussie Mussie Swap...okay...I jumped the gun a little bit and am posting about this before I am actually approved. Linda over at A Swap for all Season's is hosting this one. I think it is lovely. I am hoping that Linda will let me in as I really want to participate. I used all the pull I know and even told her I was one of Stephanie Oyler's (over at Crown's & Pearls) closest friends. Some times you have to use your big guns.

I traveled in the wonderful world of inspiration and found this lovely example. I don't know what I will do for my Tussie Mussie. The idea of making one really makes me happy. I have put this lovely task off for far too long. In the Victorian Era flower giving was an art. It was common practice at the start of a courtship for the suitor to give their intended a Tussie Mussie. I think that practice is so special. Was I born in the wrong era??

I can't wait to get started on this project. Ours will be a little different than of times past because we get to add trinkets and baubles. If anyone has swapped with me...then they know that I love this part! I am already wondering what types of goodies I will add...maybe some frozen charlottes or some french dominoes...of course there will be some old lace and lot's of other goodies too. Then I get the task of arranging flowers & herbs on top that will compose a special message to my swap partner who ever she might be.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am a Give Away Winner....Loving It!!!

I am so excited I can barely contain myself. I just found out that I have won a give away. Nicki over at 58 Cherries hosted this give away. I was able to pick two of these adorable silhouette ornaments. Can you believe this. They are so cute and I will rush to put them on my Valentine's Day tree when I receive them.

Look at this lovely lady. I am so happy that I won. Little does Nicki know....but I am the queen of silhouettes. I love to cut them. I have never seen stenciled ones. At least that is what they look like to me.

Isn't the vintage pink script paper wonderful. I bet they are even better in person...things always are. You just can't even begin to know how truly special this is for me. I hope you all have special Valentine's you can treasure...because I will treasure these always. Thanks so much Nicki.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Craft Room Organization 101

We are in the midst of The Blizzard of 2010 so we are snow bound. Well not really thanks to my 4x4...but I am pretending and really staying home. I am loving it. I am purging my craft room and re-organizing. I have to do this periodically so I can regroup...recharge...and re-dedicate myself to creating. craft room won't look like the photo from Country Living because my room isn't like this one. But with a little creativity from my mother who has been helping me...mine will look really wonderful. Most people that visit me think my craft room is the best in the house...let's just say there is lot's to look at and some neat stuff if I do say so myself.

I have this accoutrement. Now I just need to put it to 'cute' use. Mine was more for function in the past...but the 'cute' affect really inspires me. Sometime aesthetically pleasing is more important than function. The visual stimulus really helps inspire me. I like to look at beauty. So...this little piece will definitely be coming back into the craft room.

And I love this inspiration room. This is my friend Jen's craft room (The Cottage Nest) and really the reason it is inspirational and special is because I have actually created in this craft space. We got together before Silver Bella and had a craft and shopping day. It was an awesome day. So...I have my work cut out for me on this wonderfully snowy day. Hope you have a productive & creative day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Petite Valentine Inspiration Box Swap 2010

I had so much fun participating in Heather's over at Speckled Egg Petite Inspiration Box Swap this year. I just love getting creative with something as inexpensive as an empty match box. Decorating & filling become my focus, and this year we were given a theme for Valentine's Day. It was so fun to choose my color palette, and just go to town. I used some red flocked wallpaper, some vintage book paper, and a Frozen Charlotte doll with vintage foil wings. I just love using the Frozen Charlotte's in my creations....and I couldn't resist adding a few into the contents of my crafting supplies for the girls. I want to thank Susan over at My Mother's Pearls for sharing her photographs with me. She captured the images much better than I could ever have done. We met at Silver Bella and became instant friends.

Heather was so gracious when she emailed me and invited me to participate in her swap again this year. I had such a wonderful time last year that I couldn't even resist. She even wanted to use my box from last year as her tag announcing that she was hosting the swap again this year. That really made me happy and honored. Her box is exquisite don't you think? I love the airiness of her flower with the pearl stamen. And inside it was just loaded with awesome crafting supplies. Of course it would be since she is the lovely lady of Speckled Egg. I love to peruse her shop and I get so many interesting and wonderful craft supplies. I heard tell that she is hosting another Petite Inspiration Box Swap later this month. You will want to visit her blog to find announcement times.

Tina sent this awesome box all the way from Denmark. I was delited to swap internationally. Her box was different than ours and that was very charming to me. They obviously have different kitchen matches than we do here in the states. We even had the same vintage bird mini playing cards. I am sure that they came from Europe as I received mine from and elderly gentleman that had fled Germany prior to World War II. Her box is delicate and whimsical and I just adore it.

Susan's box is just stunning. Her attention to detail & love of vintage textiles & lace is exquisite. I love the layered effect of her heart. It adds such dimension that you are unable to visualize from the photograph. I can't begin to tell you what a fun swap this has been. I would encourage all of you to join the next one...and I would love to be one of your swap partners. I hope you have enjoyed peaking at some of the inspiration that came to me.

Happy Birthday Ronnie!

On February 6, 1911 the world welcomed President Ronald Reagan. A day 99 years ago to be remembered. Ronald Reagan a man with deep integrity, honesty, loyalty, a loving husband, and father. Devoted to his wife Nancy he wrote love letters and romanced her. How fitting for the month of February. He gave the government back to the people. He taught how it is better to rely on oneself than to expect a hand out. One of his greatest accomplishments during his presidency was the removal of the Berlin wall. On June 12, 1987 President Reagan challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall as a symbol of his desire for increading freedom in the eastern block. So today I honor a great man on what would have been his 99th birthday. Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Valentine Inspiration

I just love the hunt of searching for inspiration. As each photo unfolds it is like opening a package of excitement. I love most looking for inspiration from Marhta Stewart or Country living. Those are my go to sites & they always have been.

Sometimes the ideas are just too cute. I have always wanted to make this arrangement. Where does all the time go? Marking my words, I promise that I will try at least one of these inspiration ideas.

Wouldn't it be lovely to host a spectacular dinner party and have this lovely as the center piece. Again, I vow to do this...someday. I know, I shouldn't put things off, but time lately has been getting away from me.

I think this is lovely. I would do this in a heart beat. It would be so lovely on my new marble counter tops. This could be my go to arrangement and how fun to add the red hots. There is something about red roses...they are captivating to me. Thanks Martha Stewart Living for unfolding these wonderful inspiration ideas for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love is in the Air

I love a great Valentine's Day Celebration. Years ago, Valentine's Day was my favorite holiday. I would create Valentine after Valentine. I would pass out the lovely creations to friends and loved ones. Why even my grandmother's birthday was on Valentine's Day so the festivities were really great. Today love is still in the air. I have my husband Jeff who is the most lovely sweetie of all. While he might not be the most romantic the love is deep.

We also have another kind of love in the air around our home. It is fun to see my daughter Lindsey in love. She is 17 and has her first boyfriend. I remember those days of young love where the love was passionately romantic. Not so deep. I think both kinds are fantastic. It is fun to witness and bask in the air of romance, and that's not to say Jeff gives no romance, but I will take that secure, deep love any day of the week. To me it reveals strength, deep passion, family, security, and all those things together make me feel whole and happy. The path of love that I am traveling down is very rewarding and bears just enough passion to keep it blossoming. I hope that you feel loved and special during this special time of year and I hope that you have enjoyed these photos courtesy of a magazine I LOVE....Country Living.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Visions from Auschwitz

These are the hideous visions that surrounded me during my tour of Auschwitz. This vision of a massive amount of hair is an image of pure disgust. Not only was it a way for the Nazi's to further dehumanize the Jewish population, it was also a necessary item for making mattresses & pillows and also as an ignitor for ammunition's.

This picture depicts the many pieces of luggage brought to Auschwitz. Vessels for wealth & treasured belongings. Containers wasted by the greed of the Nazi's. Parcels for family's memories too precious to leave behind. The contents ravaged by the Nazi's as if rummaging through a wonderful flea market to give to their loved ones.

Another vision was this collection of shoe brushes. Did the Nazi's really think they might need all these? Or were the fires of Hell...the crematoriums...just too busy burning people? I shutter to think as they were busy 2 shifts a day...24 hours a day.

Peaceful and adorable to look at if we were at Second Chance Antiques in Omaha Nebraska. A vision like this in a Concentration Camp means only one thing...death to babies. These baby shoes total in number 90,000 which means loss of life to 45,000 babies. Babies were used as kindling...yes, I said KINDLING in the crematoriums!! Lord please have mercy. I said a lot of prayers and asked for peace many times at Auschwitz.

And I would be remiss if I didn't include this photo of many empty cans of Zyklon B. The poisonous gas used to kill the prisoners of Auschwitz. Dropped as pellets through the ceilings of the 'shower rooms' by Doctor's to eradicated the entire Jewish race. The poison so potent the doctor administering the poison wore a gas mask. When the pellets hit the floor they would change into gas form and the potent poison would waft up from the shower floor killing the 2000 inhabitants in five minutes of pure Hell. Lord...please help me to process these atrocities...I ask that you please give me peace. I ask humbly for your help in repairing the world. Tikkun Olam.