Thursday, February 3, 2011


“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  (The King… “Alice in Wonderland”)


Hello, my friends!

A beautiful day here on the central coast of California…hoping all of my friends are doing well where the weather isn’t being quite so kind!

Alice seems to be everywhere these days, doesn’t she?  Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved this beautiful fantasy…both ridiculous and profound…and I’ve wondered…how many of us have actually read the novel?

I’d revisited the book earlier this last year with my college girl, and as we read the first couple of chapters aloud to each other, we were so struck with the wonderful way the words were put together—so wittily and cleverly done.  We found ourselves laughing out loud and having so much fun with it!

As most of us know, Alice’s adventures were inspired by a real girl, Alice Liddell… 


Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), a friend of the family’s, made up the stories to entertain the young Alice and her two sisters.  Alice asked him to write them down for her, which he eventually did…resulting in the book as we know it.

Mr. Dodgson was also a photographer, and took all of the photos of young Alice that I’ve included here.

I thought it would be fun to share a couple of my favorite parts from the beginning of the book with you…

“So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

wonderland scraps_edited-1

“There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural);


“…but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.”

And this very well-known part, of course…

“It was all very well to say `Drink me,' but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. `No, I'll look first,' she said, `and see whether it's marked "poison" or not'; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them:


“…such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.”

“I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!”

A new card made last yesterday…


…using one of the wonderful vintage Alice images from Crafty Secrets’ “Wonderland Tea” Creative Scraps…


I added a few of the beautiful stamps from Crafty Secrets’ “Tea with Alice” stamp set…


…the frame and “TEA”…


…as well as a small rose stamped over and over again to frame the image…


A lovely, fat bow made of crinkled vintage seam binding, topped off with an old mother-of-pearl button and a few paper roses…

And a little bit of serendipity for me…while doing a last minute Costco run last night, I found this sitting on a stack of books…

“Alice I Have Been” by Melanie  Benjamin

…it seemed to be the only copy they had…so I figured I HAD to buy it…it was there just for me!  Can’t wait to start reading!

To close up today, I thought I’d leave you with a little advice from  “Alice in Wonderland”…

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.  “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day.  Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

alice 1_edited-1 

Believe YOU can do the impossible today!  I’m going to go and work on that  before breakfast…..

See you soon with something new.



All Alice Liddell and vintage book images found online…all else are Crafty Secrets, as watermarked.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Farm Boy

Hello, my friends!
It’s been a week since I last posted—wow!  I had a wonderful visit with my family in Utah—parents, my college daughter, a brother & a sister and their families…had such a lovely time!
You know how much I love a beautiful sunrise……here’s what I woke up to see my first morning in my parents’ backyard…
…this is VERY different than the green & hilly  view I usually share with you from California…gorgeous!
Today I’ve been thinking about a very special man in my life…my grandfather, Rudger Smith, who started out as a sweet little farm boy back on this day—January 31st, in 1910…
In his mother’s words…”Heaven touched earth when we heard your first cry on that cold January day of 1910…”

The beautiful Victorian-style birth announcement postcard proudly sent out to friends and family by first-time parents Asahel and Pauline Smith…one of my very favorite things…

“Mother & son doing fine—son sends love to Aunt Pearl”, it says…wonderful!
 Asahel, Pauline, Rudger and Andrew Smith, about 1912
Here’s the new little family after son #2, Andrew,  came along in 1911…that’s my grandfather, Rudger on the left…it’s a good thing we don’t put our little guys in dresses anymore, isn’t it?!
Two little farm boy brothers…what a sweet moment caught on film so long ago…..
Rudger & Andrew, 1915
A new page made today for my heritage scrapbook…
Two wonderfully vintage images helped me out with my project…both from Crafty Secrets
This adorable farm boy stamp from the new “Down on the Farm” stamp set…I decided to leave it uncolored—just grunged it up a bit with “Vintage Photo” Distress Ink—trying to give it the feeling of an old sepia photo…
…and this sweet farm boy and poem image, from their new “Farm Life” Creative Scraps. 
I love to enlarge photos and cut out the people I’m focusing on for a layout…makes them feel very alive to me…
Some simple eyelet trim with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, threaded through with jute cording…
…and a little farm-like “bouquet” at the bottom of the page…I wanted it to look like the hay these boys would have been VERY familiar with in working along with their father every day on the farm…a few vintage white blossoms thrown in and tied with a jute bow.   Very simple.
Rudger at the Udall house, 1920
Rudger a little older here…still a farm boy, through and through…
This is just a portion of the poem from the Crafty Secrets image above—by one of my favorite poets—John Greenleaf Whittier…here it is, a little bit easier to read…

The Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
                                      --by John Greenleaf Whittier

Rudger Grant Smith--young man
And that barefoot boy turned into a very handsome young man…and later a husband, father…and the most wonderful grandfather anyone has ever had.
Always a twinkle in his eye when he saw me…always a big, warm bear hug with “Oh, my Jewels!” as my greeting…he never left me without a doubt that he loved me very much.
Precious time spent together…sharing a simple Sunday night meal of bread and milk that he loved since he was a humble farm boy…lovingly telling me the stories of our family that have become so important to me…
Rudger G. Smith
It hardly seems possible that he’s been gone now for  28 years…still very alive to me…and I was always so proud that my birthday was just the day before his…
Happy Birthday, Grandpa…I love you.