Snapshot, 1956: Play Ball

These are my parents in 1956, engaged to be married, both poly sci majors at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, taking a break from studies.

My mom was 5’10”, and my dad was 6’2″. He played high school and college football, and she played softball from the time she could pick up a bat until 1958, when I was born. I inherited her gorilla arms and his chin dimple, but sadly not their athletic abilities nor their height.


We’ve been going through lots of old family photos, both sides of our family, many of which neither of us has ever seen before – so do stay tuned.

Bright blessings, CJ

Kitschy Psychedelic Owl? Yes, Please, With a Side Whiff of Cedar

How amazingly amazing is this raw cedar woodburned and painted wall hanging? I will tell you: it is AMAZING. Umm-AAAA-zing.


I tried to get a really good closeup of the owl, but the reflections were crazy. Trust me – the owl is amazing, too.

It’s Kay’s most recent woodburned piece. She made it from a big raw cedar plank that she sanded on one side until she could see what she wanted to do – the owl was looking right out at her. So she got out her woodburning tools, and her paints, and she went to work – just disappeared for a few hours. The finished piece she finally emerged with is almost two feet tall, weighs three full pounds, and it smells SOOOOOOO good, because, cedar. It’s going to make any room it hangs in smell lovely.

Kay’s been woodburning off and on since she was a teen, starting in the mid 1970s, and her fabulous style has remained pretty much the same over the years. You can easily see who two of the biggest influences on her as a young artist were – her art has a very cool Peter Max psychedelic vibe combined with lots of Georgia O’Keeffe-style lusciously sexy lady flowers.


You can see more of her woodburned art pieces by clicking here, and don’t forget she loves to do custom work.

Bright blessings, CJ & Kay

Aunt Ruth, Sculptured Grape, and Some True Love

Last week, I had a conversation that started off pretty much just like most other routine conversations with etsy customers who are shopping around. This lady was asking about two separate listings we had for pieces of Sculptured Grape, an iconic mid century modern pattern produced by Metlox Pottery beginning in the mid 1930s, when they created the Poppytrail dinnerware line.

6 days ago 2:50pm EST Message: Hi, interested in purchasing the set of 5 small plates, and also the pepper shaker, but not the saucer that is with it. Could you discount the shaker/saucer and combine shipping fees? Thank you, Mary Ruth 

6 days ago 3:16pm EST Message: Hi, Mary Ruth – sure! What’s your zip? I’ll pull the pieces, weigh them for shipping for your zip (we charge you our cost only), and give you a total price. Did you see the oval serving bowl we have listed in this same pattern? 

When Mary Ruth answered, the conversation went instantly from being routine to being a bombshell reminder for us: how truly loving and amazing we as human beings can be to each other, and how truly lucky Kay and I are to be in a business where we get to see stories like this one.

6 days ago 3:38pm EST Message: Thank you. My zip is 3xxxx. Yes, I did see that other piece, but it’s not in my budget at this time. I am purchasing this set for my aunt who lost this china due to a fire. It was her wedding china and will be given to her, a complete set, at her 50th wedding anniversary. Can’t wait to see the look on her face! I’ve been collecting the pieces for 6 years now and I’m down to just needing a couple more. While all four of my mother’s sisters are wonderful, this aunt is extra special – she chose my name when I was born, and my middle name is her first name. My mom, her little sister, died when I was 14, and my aunt more than stepped up to the plate! She taught me to cook, and to can, and to sew – she’s taught me so much over the years. She even gave me my grandmother, her mother’s, engagement ring, over her own two daughters. I really wanted to do something special for her 50th anniversary – she’s going to be so surprised! Thanks again, Mary Ruth

I combined the listings for the set of plates and the shaker and adjusted the price, and Mary Ruth made the purchase. Later that evening, as Kay and I were packing up that box, we took great delight in including not only the saucer (hey, everybody needs extra saucers, yes?) but that oval serving bowl as well. Those pieces are gifts to Mary Ruth’s aunt from us: two people whose lives were made immeasurably richer by the simple sharing of Mary Ruth’s story.

And that, my friends, is why we’re sharing it with you. Be kind to each other, now more than ever, and remember that love always, always trumps hate.

Bright blessings, CJ & Kay