31 December 2010

Happy New Year


Now, of course we know that it's too late to order these fun items for the New Year - but wouldn't the bleigiessen be fun for any celebration of change: birthdays, retirements, wedding showers - even divorces! Or, even any time that you just might want to tell a fortune or two or three. And the Blasrohre for just about any time!

Bleigiessen - Fortune Telling Tradition
We just love the different traditions throughout the world. New Year's Bleigießen is the Austrian and German custom of pouring molten lead into water and reading the results as though they were tea leaves - so that you can foretell your next year. When the hot lead touches the water, curious shapes are formed.
Reading the shapes a big chunk of the fun - it's almost like reading the clouds in the sky! For example, if you find a ship or boat, perhaps you are destined for a long journey, probably by sea.

Because these contain lead, there are some safety procedures to follow - but they're included with your package. And children should never play with products involving flame or heat like this!

Blasrohre (Blow-Pipes) for Celebrations
Fun for Oktoberfest, New Year's Eve, Birthdays and more, these cardboard paper blowpipes allow you to shoot soft fabric balls in the air for a festive time! Three pipes and 45 balls are included in this fun German package.

Of course, this is not suitable for children under 3 due to swallowable parts. And, please, don't aim at humans or animals!

29 December 2010

The Bath - SilverCrow Style - Part 1


We've always had a utilitarian bath with appropriate décor, a nice shower curtain, bath mat and towels. But, when we finally moved to SilverCrow's new location, we had to renovate the two bathrooms and here's a bit of what we did. 

Our wonderful sink is traditional Talavera pottery made for a modern bathroom - well, almost! And the tin an Talavera tile mirror fits in nicely. We bought a plain, small (so it would fit) wooden vanity at Lowe's. All of the bathroom fixtures are from Beacon Supply in Belle Vernon, PA - a local business. 

Now the marble top is another story altogether! Of course, I had to make this harder than it needed to be - I wanted special marble. So, our grandson, Bobby (now 14, he was 10 at the time) and I made a trip to Pittsburgh Marble & Granite Company on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Bobby and I were treated like royalty and were shown lots of different pieces of marble and granite and other hard stone. We were lucky to be able to use a scrap from another job which saved us a lot! Just look at the gorgeous piece of marble that Bobby chose! I thought that it really didn't match, but I had already told him that he could choose, so.... And it was perfect!

My Mom just loved the toilet seat - made of acrylic and shells! The décor is pink flamingo, Mexican folk art, shells, vintage paint by number and framed greeting cards and advertisements.

We found a wonderful used claw-foot bathtub at Construction Junction (Pittsburgh's non-profit recycle/reuse construction company). Gypsy thinks the tub is hers. 

More to come....


Diary or Journal?

My Mom, Gladys Balmer Schempp, kept a diary from her 10th birthday until the day she died. She always used 5-year diaries - just to make a few notes about each day.
Glady & Bill Schempp
So many articles have been written about the healing and cathartic power of journaling. But, I think like maybe (a phrase of my Mom's) my Mom was right. Just a few words can trigger memories, feelings and create those broad images in imagination that journals try too hard to narrate. Now, I'm not suggesting that journaling is wrong - only Glady's might be a lesson in a simpler way for busy times.

One of my Facebook friends, Sarah Myers, wants to start a journal. I mentioned my Mom's technique and offered to post some scans of my Mom's diary - when she was in her 20s. What wondrous fun this has been for me. Her stories came back to life. I could almost hear her voice. I understood every abbreviation - almost every name and almost felt that I was part of the activities. All of this was conjured with just those few words.

My cousin, Valerie and I transcribed the pages for those of you who can't read Mommy's writing. A click on the diary pages will expand the picture so you can read for yourself, if you choose.

I'll attempt to explain a few things and save a few for my own memories, too. The years are 1943 through 1947.
July 14-15, 1943-1947
JULY 14
Mother Dell                          JULY 15
1943 Weiner Roast - the four of us.
1943 Pittsburg with Mary, Betty & Kent. Saw Horace Heidt. Ate at 7th Ave.
1944 Cleaned Made clothes press    blinds
1944 Shopped – stopped at Library & Aunt Juel’s. Took Mrs. Wayne a milk shake
1945 Aft. Downtown with Mom. She bought me stockings. Dentists Nite - Downtown with Rita - Saw a terrible show at Palace
1945 Church – Read. all afternoon.
1946 Ride to Wash. Park with Andy & Marion - ate dinner at Sweeny's Nite - Glenn & Bob were down
1946 Washed clothes – aft - with Trudy Nite – to Mother Dells – gave her powder & cologne.
1947 Washed clothes - To Pitts – got Air Race Tickets. Nite - Visited Scout camp to Fire Station
1947 Had a birthday party for Mother Dell – She got rhinestone pin & earrings. Nite – Bill went to a fire parade got stuck in mud Betty – Jane & Mary were down.

You'll see Mother Dell at the top of July 15's page - she was my beloved grandmother (Daddy's Mom) and that was her birthday. The other people were school friends and couple friends. My parents were married in 1941 and then Daddy (Bill) was right off to the war. He was severely injured, but hardly anyone knew it! In 1943, Glady was 24.

December 25-26, 1943-1947
DECEMBER 25
DECEMBER 26
1943 Morning – Church with Bill. Then to Marie’s. to home – to Jane’s for a little while.
1943 Had a lovely day - doing nothing. Just company.
1944 Three to Church – Then we visited all the relatives – to Bomita’s!
1944 Ate dinner at Aunt Juel’s – Peg & Uncle Lawrence came over Aunt Mary stayed til 12:30
1945 To Charleroi at 2:30. Jane & Kent were home – exchanged gifts – ate at Mom’s. then Bill went home sick. I went to Donora on 12 bus. Got spice set – cookies for – bed slippers. pajamas, etc.
1945 Bill was sick in bed – Nite - Daddy – Mom, Betty & Aunt Juel came down. Had a lovely time.
1946 To home on 1 bus. All at 2 pm - had company rest of day – Kent & Jane were up. Harold. Mom & Dad brought us home – a fire next door. got a silver service. Moccasins slippers. cups & saucers – vases – jewelry – can opener – glasses    perfume.
1946 Bill got plaid shirt – socks – tie. holder – cologne - $50.00 screwdrivers. Marion & Malcolm were down at noon – then I shopped, helped stuff papers – Went up to see Marion’s gifts. Nite – fixed lingerie chest.
1947 Wonderful – Visited all the relatives. Got silver Tray from Mom & Dad + cologne & ruby ring necklace & wrench – silver & crystal cream & sugar - tea pot – refrig. bowls + Rosepoint plates – diary pinking shears - $50.00 - slip & records. Bill got book & pjs . lotions. Harold & Betty brought us home - Bill has sore throat!
1947 Shopped Stopped at Peggy Dean’s – Sally & Andy were there Nite – Beany & Mary were down   Grandma McCleary & Bill Creesy

My grandfather was responsible for most of the newspapers being delivered in those days - with lots of boys working for him. On December 26, 1946, my Mom helped stuff the inserts (rotogravure, advertisements, etc.) into the papers. All the rest is pretty understandable and probably not that interesting to everyone. But, I could easily tell the story of every line on every page - just from my Mom's stories and these little snippets helped her memory so that she could share them with me

I'm delighted that Sarah started me on this journey. My end-of-the-year resolution has me writing in the last diary I bought Mommy. A few years before she died, she told me that she couldn't live any longer because she couldn't find another 5-year diary. We searched elegant stationers and old five-and-dimes and even eBay to no avail. I finally found a lovely red one from a journal bookbinder in England. She set up her diary - with special events atop their special pages, and the years recorded. She didn't make it through the 5 years. So, it's my turn. I'll keep you posted.

21 December 2010

Last Minute Crochet Flower Scarf Necklace - Free Pattern

     
I saw my first one on Etsy and then more at Macy's. They were a bit pricey - so I thought I'd try to make one myself. If you can already crochet, these are pretty easy to make. If you can't crochet yet, it just might be worth learning how, just to make one.

I was able to complete one in an evening - about 2 hours while watching television - as long as the dogs and kitty left the yarn alone. 

Use scraps of worsted weight or sport-weight yarn and a size G crochet hook. I only seemed to need a ball as big as a fist - and didn't use it all - I didn't really measure it.

There is no right or wrong when making this fun accessory, so don't worry about your work's gauge - just try to keep it consistent.

The whole thing is done in one long piece. You don't have to sew the motifs together and that means you only have to weave in the beginning strand and the end one! Hallelujah! 

Start and end with a flower motif. Make it as long as you like and as many motifs as you like. We made 10 motifs about 10 inches apart.

START
Ch5 join with Sl St creating a circle.

MOTIF
Round 1: (SC, Ch5) 5 times. SC. You should have 5 loops. Join to first SC with Sl St.
Round 2: (SC, HDC, 3DC, HDC, SC) in each loop (5 petals). Join to first SC with Sl St.

CONNECTOR
Round1 : Ch50 (for a shorter connector, just chain fewer stitches). Sl st in 5th chain from hook, creating a circle.

FINISH
Repeat Motif-Connector-Motif until your scarf necklace is as long as you want it to be. Fasten off. Sew or weave in the two end threads.

Ch = Chain
DC = Double Crochet
HDC = Half Double Crochet
JT = Join Together
SC = Single Crochet
Sl St = Slip Stitch

18 December 2010

Kitchen Candles

Try as I might, I can't identify when I fell in love with devotional candles. I guess it was long before my First Communion. The gorgeous display of red and clear glass full of wax burning all at once in church stole my imagination. The flickering flames lit for special devotions and memories of loved ones conjured such thoughts in me that I thought they must all be saints and that they were all there to protect me.

Then I discovered these wonderful specialty devotionals. The first one I bought was the glass Our Lady of Guadalupe on the right. After that followed La Mano Poderosa, Saint Dymphna, Saint Michael and even the Santisima Muerte. They line the kitchen shelves my Dad made for my first apartment. I had no storage space, so he decided that I should display my food and staples.

Long since needing such storage, and seven residences later, the shelves still store popcorn and some other dry goods, but they are mainly there for my candles and other treasures. Those treasures include the memories of my Dad, the good times and friends in the other living spaces, the good and bad times gone by and all the saints who are still there to protect me.

13 December 2010

Star Search

Plastic Nativity Sets (No Longer Available)
NativitySetPlastic.jpg
I just got a new computer - how wonderfully fast it is. It came with Windows 7. I was excited about that because of all the My Windows - My Idea commercials.

OK, so it took some practice - after so many years on XP. And, then I was looking for a picture of a product that I wanted to sell on our SilverCrow website: Vintage Plastic Nativities. I knew the picture's file name had the words

PLASTIC and NATIVITY

in it, but I just couldn't remember the name. So I searched for PLASTIC in my pictures. The only pictures that surfaced had names like this:

PlasticChain
Charm Plastic Fish
Greyhound_Plastic

Alas, I was told in the documentation and by Dell (the manufacturer) and even by a $59 phone call to Microsoft**, that the only files that could be found must have PLASTIC at the beginning of the name or after a space or hyphen (-) or another separator. I was told that this was an improvement to previous searches.

My 5-year old beat-up PC with XP could find my file in a second. I felt betrayed.

While I was on hold with Microsoft, I thought I'd try something from my old mainframe days (yes, I'm that old). So, I typed in the search box:

*plastic

It worked! My search found every file on my computer with PLASTIC in it!

So, if you want to find everything, use a STAR SEARCH - the asterisk, or star(*) and then your search string.
-------------
**Microsoft did not charge me the $59 after all as I solved my own problem while they were researching an answer! And, the search does now look inside text files, word documents and emails, among others.

12 December 2010

An Awarding Life

I wanted so very much to write this back in August - when it was more timely - but my old computer wouldn't let me. So, I thought this might be a good time, too. I lost my wonderful Daddy, Billy Schempp, two years ago Tuesday (December 14, 2008). I miss him so every day.

Daddy was a volunteer firefighter in Donora for most of his life - and for a while, Assistant Chief, in Donora. He loved everything about firefighting and he was so proud of his fire engine, a 1947 American La France 750 Pumper. I'm quite proud to be the owner of this today. Throughout the years, Daddy maintained The Truck (as I call it) to keep it in perfect condition - as it is now. It pumps and it could get to a fire if need be. I can even drive it, but not so well.

He developed macular degeneration and was unable to drive the last few years. He had some great friends drive to the local (and not so local) parades. We still participate in the local parades, but mostly just in Donora. And we're proud that Bobby Bettinelli (Sr) drives in every event for us now. He, too, was a Donora firefighter.

Over the years, The Truck won many awards, including best pumper, longest distance traveled, judge's choice, people's choice, oldest truck and best open cab pumper. There are trophies in every room of the house.

Nowadays The Truck is just about the only open cab pumper in the parades. At the Donora Fire Company Street Fair this summer, just look what I won:

11 December 2010

Captain Miaow - Bummi

This is Captain Miaow, the pirate. We fell in love with this postcard and have been selling it on SilverCrowCreations since October 14, 2009. He's a pretty popular guy, indeed. Just recently we came to find that his real name is Bummi.

We received a lovely email from the photographer, Cora-Mae and her 6-year-old male cat, Bummi. Bummi and Cora-Mae are both from Germany - as is the company that publishes the card. We are told that the true caption should be: Käpt'n Silver.

They wished us here at SilverCrow "nice days auf allen sieben Katzenmeeren (of all seven cat seas). And, we wish them and you the same.

Kapitän Silver (aka, Captain Miaow & Bummi) is available on our website.

30 November 2010

Scented Ink Sampler

Scented Ink Sampler
We don't usually write about our products in such detail, but this is a favorite of ours. - Well, it's probably not Pete's favorite, but I love it.

When I was a little girl, I had tons of pen pals. There were lots of reasons. My Mom was a librarian. I'm an only child and I love projects and meeting people around the world. I fancied myself a world traveler and my stuffed animals were my entourage!

There was once a store in Donora named Howard's. My mother's friend, Evelyn and her husband (Howard, of course) had a bit of this and that - stationery, gifts, stickers and a wondrous supply of fanciful and exciting objects. I was always drawn to the stationery. Whenever Crane or Eaton introduced a new box, I wanted it so badly that I'd spend my whole allowance on it. My very favorite was the tissue-like rose-scented stationery. I envisioned myself writing billets doux, even as a 10-year-old, and dancing in lush evening gowns in Paris on my way to the Orient Express.

So many of those dreams returned when I found this glorious sampler.

What a wonderful gift for a child or for yourself - I wish you every dream that I had and more!

Amber scented with Orange
Red scented with Rose
Violet scented with Violet
Blue scented with Lavender
Green scented with Apple

16 November 2010

Abandoned Amusement Park

A friend shared this on Facebook and it has taken over my evening. It is so compelling. Maybe it explains everything and maybe it explains nothing. It is an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans.

You decide.

Click on the picture below for the tour.

Please let me know what you think.


https://www.youtube.com/v/Bcja8UBtXdk?fs=1&hl=en_US

28 August 2010

Loukamades

We just got back from the glorious Greek Food Festival at Saint Spyridon's Orthodox Church in Monessen, PA. The food was superb, the lines were long (as they should be for such culinary delights) - but, they moved so quickly that we barely had decided what we wanted by the time we reached the actual food. The stuffed tomato, pastitsio, spanakopita, rice, salad...everything was wonderful.

But, nothing compares with the loukamades. These are the reason that I love Greek food. Now, I have to wait another year for the next festival. You see, I cannot make these myself. Oh, I am perfectly capable of making the dough, deep frying it, heating the honey and sprinkling on the cinnamon.

But, I am not capable of offering these delights to anyone else. I would eat the entire batch. In fact, once, so many years ago on the North Side of Pittsburgh, a co-worker and good friend, Dale and I bought the big bucket of Loukamades - there were dozens - coated with hot delicious honey and sprinkled so gently with cinnamon. And Dale and I ate them all - at lunchtime - and attempted to work that afternoon.

I missed you, Dale, at dinner - maybe next year!

25 August 2010

White House Construction Completed Ahead of Schedule

Teddy Roosevelt made it official - the place where the President of the United States resides is known as The White House. And, according to a bunch of internet sites, it takes about 570 gallons of white paint to cover the exterior. (Can't help but wonder if the number of gallons would change with the color of paint).

Well, it only took Grayson a few hours to make his 560-piece Lego White House - of course, he didn't have to paint it!

Grayson received this for his birthday, along with some other interesting stuff. Here's the blog link.

23 August 2010

Controversial Phrases

While doing research on the internet (sometimes a good idea - often not), I came upon the following advice:

LIVE LIKE YOU'VE ONLY GOT ONE GRENADE

I asked Pete what he thought of that - he said it was negative. Without thinking, I decided it was positive. Now, after thinking about it, I'm sure it's positive - even if the original author didn't mean it that way.

It is so easy to get irritated, distracted, or just plain tired of it all - to just want to blow it all up and start over...or worse yet - to end it all. Now, of course, one phrase won't help anyone with disastrous problems, clinical depression or a lifetime of strife. But, for those moments when someone annoys us, this might be a good reminder to save that grenade for something much more serious - and to have faith that it never arrives.

22 August 2010

Happy Birthday, Grayson! Presents, Presidents & Peanuts!

Grayson, our middle grandson, turned 9 on Wednesday. The family party was today. He's a giant Lego fan, a Wii gamer and a voracious reader - and, of course, he loves money, too! And he got a little bit of everything he likes.


Grandpa (Pete) and Annie were told today that our presents are complicated and sometimes hard to understand. We still don't know why. We always try to put a theme together. This time it was the White House, the Presidents and USA Government. We found the coolest White House Lego Set on Amazon. along with a gift card, a couple of mystery novels about Washington, DC and a wonderful Eyewitness Book about the Presidents.

We were informed about our confusing status right before he was about to open his gifts. So, we tried to make it a bit better for him. So, first, he opened the Eyewitness Book.
 
But, first we asked him to find President Jimmy Carter in the book. Smart kid that he is, he went right to the Table of Contents. (I, on the other hand, would've paged through the whole book until I found him.) Right smack dab in the middle of the Jimmy Carter page was Grayson's confusing gift. A Smiling Peanut - the symbol used in President Carter's campaign back in 1976 - the President was always smiling and grew up on a Peanut Farm! It was featured on Jimmy Carter's page in the book. And now Grayson had one, too!

The charm looked new (it is new old stock) and Grayson was delighted with it and even wore it around his neck for fun. He thought it should look a bit older because it had weathered so many years.

I just can't tell you how pleased we were that he loved everything from everyone - nothing is more fun than a happy boy on his birthday! But we revel in absolute delight at his enjoying that simple confusing gift - and especially how much fun and information came from that little smiling peanut charm!

In fact, I've started to memorize the names of the Presidents in order - something I've wanted to do since my college days. I knew the first 6 only this morning. Now, thanks to a plastic peanut and a great kid, I know 11 in a row tonight.

***Thanks to Sandy, one of our customers, for identifying the peanut for us! We just thought it was a silly peanut***

21 August 2010

More from Our Customers - Four Leaf Clover Necklace


 

Check out this stunning I Feel Lucky Necklace by Paula of VeyCourtCottage fame on Etsy. She used our Four-Leaf Clovers available in SilverCrow's Etsy Store and on SilverCrow's website. Is this gorgeous or what?

20 August 2010

Timing is Everything

WE MISSED THE BUS!
We were planning to have our sale last Friday through the weekend - that is - Friday the 13th! But, just like every other day, life got in our way!

We've been planning a replacement for our main computer for some time now, but, of course, it needed intensive care most of last week. Our new security software seems to have totally disrupted it's life. So, after a lot of re-organizing our work habits to avoid the problems, we finally got things working well on Tuesday - after the sale. So, we had to scrap our original Friday the 13th plan. Couldn't really do that on the 17th!

So, we decided to move our Back-to-School Sale up into August. After all, all the kids around here go back to school on Monday - whatever happened to after Labor Day!?!

So, after some copying and pasting, we realized that we didn't even make the sale a whole 2 days! So, that's why we're extending it. We didn't even get all the cool new (and vintage) stuff up on the site in time. So, I'm going to add a few more items tonight and try to get some more on tomorrow! So, keep watching.

So, there's still time to save 30% on all on-line orders (see Omar's Features for the entire scoop) using Discount Code SCHOOL. Offer valid through 8/31/2010.

Some of the New Stuff coming in the next few days:


BERGEON CORKED TUBES These tubes are pretty cool. We couldn't really tell if they were plastic or glass. The look and feel like glass, but the tops lead us to believe otherwise. In any case, they're pretty neat. Inside most of them, you'll find watch parts called rollers - just a few tiny pieces. Great for your assemblages and altered art.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MILAGRO Lots of folks have asked for more affordable decorative milagros. We have quite a few in sterling silver, but here 's a more moderately priced nickel milagro - it offers some of the shine of silver, without the cost of sterling!









19 August 2010

Great Stuff for Sale from our Customers - Using SilverCrow's Stuff!!!

Send us your pictures and your links and we'll try to post them for you. We absolutely LOVE these pictures. And, now it's just so much easier for us to post everything.


You can find these great little mini shrines in BethamayArts Etsy Store. She made them with our sliding matchboxes - you can find them and other bags and boxes on SilverCrow's Bags & Boxes page.


This one's from Snizzers & Gwoo - she no longer has it in her store, but we love it! She made it with our Small Papier Mâché Mannequin (no longer available).

And how wonderful!!!! Mel wrote the instructions for us, too:
  1. Prepare the mannequin with any paint or other color (crayon, chalk, etc., but I prefer acrylic paint for its ease).
  2. Start with the "skirt" first - I usually pick tissue paper or cocktail napkins as the "fabric", because those are both so light and make it easy to layer, if you want.  But if you're accomplished, you could definitely use a lightweight fabric like cotton!  Work your way up to the waist, being careful to join "seams" of the pattern (if there is a pattern) of your paper.
  3. The bodice comes next - I like to work in a solid color, because it's easier to work around the, ahem, "bumps".  :D  Experiment with necklines!  Some I leave as a regular V-neck or turtleneck but some I edge with ribbon or tatting.  To me, the experimentation is the best part, and your imagination is the only limit!
  4. The last thing I do is add the accessories.  I've made tiny necklaces out of beading wire and beads, or just a ribbon choker.  For the belt and buckle, I usually use ribbons and vintage belt buckles but I've also attached the ribbon with vintage flowers and pins (the mannequins are hollow, so you can carefully punch a tiny hole with an awl!).  To keep these guys in place, I've found that TINY amounts of fabric glue (for the ribbon) and bead glue (for the accessories) works best.
  5. And voila!  You have yourself a fun new addition to your home decor!
Mel says she thinks these look great on a shelf with other pieces, or if you have a "girlie" bathroom you could place her on your counter or back of the toilet, decorated to match the rest of the room!  :D  Remember - your imagination is the palette - go CRAZY!  :D"



And don't forget Anne's gorgeous Dead Fairy from our Dead Fairy Kit (on the Kits page). She and her daughter made these a while ago. We LOVE them! We love making them, too! Fast, easy, fun - or make them more complicated with extra supplies. Click here for the whole story. And the Lone Baker's Dead Fairy Cupcakes are to die for! 





And, just a little bit ago, Ann sent us a picture of her stunning beaded angel matchbox using our 3d Lenticular Angel Stickers. This cute 3d Angel Sticker is available with all the other 3d stuff on our Lenticulars page.

15 August 2010

Ricky Nelson - Travelin' Man 1961



I still love this song ... and Ricky Nelson! I used to dance in the dining room with my Dad - around the dinner table - he was one good dancer - I wasn't!

18 July 2010

Lenticular Angel Matchbox

Just look at this wonderful matchbox that Ann Beck sent to us! She used our lenticular angel postcard stickers (you can find them on our Lenticulars (Winky) Page). She used a Mexican matchbox, but others will work nicely, too. But the glorious beadwork is what makes it especially gorgeous.

Lenticulars are hard to capture in a still photo, but this picture shows the two of the images moving slightly.

Aren't we the lucky ones, though? We get to find the cool stuff and then wonderful customers like Ann show us their possibilities! Thanks, so much, Ann!

17 July 2010

Dad's in Heaven with Nixon

I watched the end of this movie this morning - the second half, that is. Pete came in about 20 minutes after I started watching. We ran late because of it. And, that was just fine.

This exquisite movie is the story of Chris Murray and his art and his life. He is autistic. His brother, Tommy, made this movie about him. I have DVRed it so that I can watch the beginning.

Please check it out! Here's the movie's website: http://www.inheavenmovie.com. Here's a link to his art: http://www.justfolk.com/murray_detail.html.

13 July 2010

Where does the time go? Email!

Everyday, we get up earlier than the day before - or so it seems! And, we still don't finish what we started out to accomplish. Things should be much faster with all the technology available, but they're not. Sometimes, they slow us down - we're open to suggestions to speed ourselves up.

EMAIL Today's email held over 1,300 separate emails for us. Most of those were SPAM, but we must sift through them or else we just might miss something important. We have a SPAM filter - in fact, we use 3 of them, and the programs do help us sort through things - but then, every once in a while, there's a glitch - and ALL our email is read twice or three times. Two days ago, it went through everything 9 times - no kidding!

We've been around a long time and lots of folks recognize our email address, so we don't want to change it, but geeeeezzz, why does it have to be so hard. When people tell us they read their email on their smart phones, I picture my smart phone (if I had one) blowing up in my hands!

WEB UPDATES Other things take longer than they should, too. When we add new items to SilverCrow's Website, we have to manually add each one to every page - that's because we've been online since 1997 - and we created our own - there weren't a lot of e-commerce programs out there. Pete's converting everything - he has 2,203 items already added and we have a preliminary design, too. We can't wait. We think this will allow us to spend lots more time finding new stuff and making samples and lots more features for everyone.

TELEPHONE Sometimes our telephone rings off the hook - with Telephone SPAM. We sign up for all of those programs to prevent sales calls, but they don't really work.

ENOUGH COMPLAINING Now, we don't want to say that we don't love technology - we wouldn't even have a business if we didn't! So, we're keeping calm and carrying on (pretty popular saying right now, so we thought we'd borrow it!

WHAT'S COMING? More new stuff, of course. More sales, of course. Two projects from customers and a Shrine Contest. We have everything worked out for it except uploading images. As soon as I figure that out, we'll start the contest.

12 June 2010

Play Misty for Me

The movie was pretty scary. But just how beautiful is this music? I just couldn't resist. The original from Erroll Garner. He was one of my parents' favorites. It's just so melancholy and the words (not in this rendition) belie that. I surely hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



14 May 2010

SilverCrowCreations.com & Zenith Staplers on Martha Stewart's Blog

Wow! We heard it was coming and then we missed it! Today we were Googling ourselves, and much to our amazement - there we were - on Martha's Blog! Wow!

We've been huge fans of Zenith Staplers for a long time and just recently we have formed a new relationship with the wonderful Italian company that makes them, Balma, Capoduri & C. s.p.a. Look for more staplers, staples, removers and lots of other cool new stuff soon. Right now, we have all of the staplers Martha featured as well as many others.

We use the wonderful Zenith 590 Stapler pictured in the advertisement every day! In fact, I've been using the same one daily for almost 10 years and it shows no wear whatsoever! We love all the models, but this one is lightweight and easy on the hands and the staples are only 6mm wide, making them perfect for tons of craft, sewing, art and other applications.

12 May 2010

Sandwiches in the Oven

Tomatoes are quite lovely this time of year in Pennsylvania. Pete's family exercises what I call the Tyler Tomato Test. Only perfect tomatoes make it past their teeth! I, on the other hand, look at the tomato as an enhancer to other foods.

I'm quite fond of plum or Roma tomatoes, while Pete is open to any and all bright red juicy tomatoes that past the TTT. That's the end of the healthy part of this favorite dinner of ours.

A Little History

My Dad loved this dinner. Pete made it for us while my Mom was in the hospital. And we ate a ton of them. Way back in the 1950s, there must have been a recipe for these in a magazine or newspaper. Pete was growing up in Connecticut at the time. And I was living about 8 doors down across the street from where I am right this minute. We both loved this meal!

Ingredients for 6 Sandwiches

3 Ripe & Juicy Tomatoes (more if using Roma/plum tomatos), Sliced
12 Slices of non-smoked Bacon (we use Sugardale)
9 Slices Kraft American Cheese (1-1/2 slices per sandwich)
6 Slices Italian-style White Bread

Directions
  1. Preheat Oven to 425°F.
  2. Place 6 slices of bread on baking sheet.
  3. (Optionally butter bread) - we don't do this.
  4. Fry bacon until it's crispy. Remove excess grease with paper towels. Break in half.
  5. Place 1-1/2 slices of cheese on each piece of bread.
  6. Arrange enough tomato slices to cover cheese.
  7. Place 4 halves of bacon on top of the tomatoes on each slice.
  8. Bake until the bread and cheese browns (12-15 minutes).
  9. Serve while hot. These are best eaten with knife and fork.

We KNOW this is not the healthiest dinner in the world, but it's comfort food all around. Even our pets know that they shouldn't beg for a morsel of this tantalizing treat.