28 April 2010

Making Rope

I love cord and thread and yarn and even wire. And rope, and twine and anything else that can be rolled up into a ball. So when I made this wonderful rope at a Heritage Festival in Ohio, I was delighted. I was so enamored with it that I gave it to my Dad as a gift - he didn't want it because I told him he couldn't use it. But, he kept it anyway.

As we were sifting through my parents' things and deciding what to keep (just about everything), give away (a lot), donate (a lot, too) and sell (hardly anything), I found my rope.

A very old Amish gentleman farmer taught me how to make it with a contraption similar to Leonardo's Rope Machine that we sell on our website. I remember him so distinctly that I can almost see him in his blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up perfectly only once on each arm. He had part of his thumb and forefinger missing on one hand. I asked what happened and he was so surprised that I would ask. Not very many people were so bold, I suppose. He never did answer, which is just fine, because I can create any story I choose.

18 April 2010

BLOG SPECIAL - Dirty Stamps! - Sorry, All Sold Out!

Sorry, these are all sold out!

OK, so these are really messy - at least some of them are - just check out the picture. But others are in close to pristine condition.

There are big ones, small ones, medium ones. There are words and phrases, edgy collages and images and some cutesy pictures. We have thousands of used, uncleaned rubber stamps from SilverCrow's images and those of other companies worldwide. We don't use them as much as we once did and many are duplicates.

The rubber is easily cleaned with soap and water or commercial rubber stamp cleaner. You can even use rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol to clean the rubber. So, these will still make a very clean image. The indexing area may be dirty as well - oftentimes we use permanent ink when stamping because we're big fans of water coloring stamped images - and only permanent ink works for this technique.

Very few (if any) stamps are created from polymer, so you don't have to worry about the durability of your stamps.

All the stamps are mounted nicely. Some of the stamps are indexed with stickers, some traditionally (stamped with permanent ink on top and some have the picture glued on top (very few like this).

Each package contains over 1 pound of mounted stamps!

There will be NO DUPLICATES in your grab bags - no matter how many grab bags you order!

17 April 2010

Antiquing with SilverCrow!

Route 19 Antiques
2597 Washington Rd. (Rt. 19 South), Canonsburg, Pa. 15317
Open 10-5 Daily

SilverCrow Creations no longer operates a table at this location.
Find some of our antiques on our Flea Market website page.

We did it - finally! Oh, how we really wanted to open our own shop, but, alas, not yet! So, the next best thing - or maybe it's even better - we opened a little space in the Route 19 Antiques shop in Canonsburg, PA. It's easy to find. There is a ton of parking and best yet there are all kinds of dealers with a glorious conglomeration of stuff that anitiquers will just love.

Four of us packed up Cindy's van (Tanner's Mom) and our car and off we went to Canonsburg. We set it up in no time, because Valerie dreamed of the layout last night. Our shop has vintage firematic items, lamps, Stickley chairs, linens, ephemera, tin types, floor candelabra and more. Even Yogi, Cindy and BooBoo Bear are sitting around waiting for new homes. Just like SilverCrow Creations, our vintage and antique items are an eclectic mix from around the world.

And we haven't even scratched the surface of our loot. So, we'll be able to add new stuff every week, we hope. We had a great time putting the stuff together, signing contracts and meeting the other folks! So, please come visit and buy something if you like it! You might even see one of us or another relative there - each seller has to work three days a month. But, it should be fun, because the people are all a delight and it's a very happy place.

Tanner left before we took the pictures - off to help his brother - he's always helping someone - we surely don't know what we'd do with out him. So, here are Pete, Valerie and I - posing with some of the stuff.

The Long Way Home

They closed our bridge! And, now we hear that it's slated for demolition.

We moved to Donora, Pennsylvania in 2006. I was raised here and my first 17 years included an almost daily trip over this wonderful span. The surface is always a surprise - even if you're accustomed to driving over it. As an open-grate bridge, you can see through it down into the very clean waters of the Monongahela River.

Daddy and I used to walk across the bridge over to Webster and down to the river to sit, to fish (we never caught anything and I'm not sure we really tried). How I loved to look through the grates where the cars drove. We'd drive over the bridge to get everywhere - to Bill's Dari-Delight, to Sweeney's Restaurant, to Pittsburgh (via the naughty Route 51).

The first time I drove over the open grates, I thought I was driving on ice - it's a special experience and easier than expected - and the sound is so unique that it stays with you forever.

Now we have to drive all the way to the other end of town to cross the New Bridge - the Donora-Monessen Bridge. It's not really that new, but it will bear that name forever. Functional as it may be, it is merely concrete with no real beauty. Then - to go to the Webster river entrance that my Dad and I used to enjoy, we have to drive all the way back plus some - it's walkable if we had hours to walk, shortening our sitting and fishing time.

Believe it or not, the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - it even boasts some significant technologies. The complete details can be found on the Historical Bridges website.

The bridge just turned 100 years old on December 5, 2008. Scott Beveridge created a nice video, with the whole story  featuring our good neighbor Dr. Chuck Stacey.

Originally meant to be a railroad bridge, it was converted to an automobile and walking bridge soon after. The bridge opened originally with a wedding. In fact, the parents of my Mom's very good friend, Helen Herk, were married on the bridge on December 8, 1908, when the bridge was dedicated.

Of course it's inconvenient. And it's old-fashioned. And, maybe it's hard to fix. But, it's special to those of us who grew up here and even more special to those of us who moved back.

The new bridge can take me anywhere I want to go. But, only the old bridge can really bring me back home.

(Photographs for this story were taken by my good friend, Tanner Brice). Thanks, Buddy!

14 April 2010

Whew! Taxes are Finished! - SilverCrow Tax Refund Give-Away

Whew! Taxes Are Finished - At Least Ours Are!

Celebrate with us!

Every on-line order placed on April 15 and April 16, 2010 will receive a refund check* from SilverCrow Creations from $1.00 to $50.00.

That's right - every order gets a refund - checks are already written - we only have to fill in your name. The checks will be distributed in chronological order - we will fill in your name when we fill your order.

Just imagine! Your refund might even be bigger than your order! Wow!

No extra paperwork. No fancy accounting. No special codes. Every order gets a refund! We promise!

*Orders shipped to outside the USA will receive gift certificates instead of checks. Gift certificate will be printed on your order.

We added some New Stuff and some Bargains. And, a few things are Back in Stock, too!

05 April 2010

Easter Dinner with Aunt Betty & Uncle Harold

Aunt Betty always calls Uncle Harold, Hal. And, I always forget that. She and Uncle Harold (as I know him) took Pete and me out for Easter Dinner yesterday and was it ever wonderful. I only wish I had taken more pictures.

We went to Mitchell's Fish Market at the Waterfront in Pittsburgh. What an old world experience! We sat outside on that glorious afternoon that was yesterday - along the Monongahela River. There is a well-traveled walking trail right along the edge of the river bank. Lovers, friends, dogs and bikers wandered by and some even stopped to contemplate the Homestead Grey's Bridge, named for the famous African-American baseball team of the early 20th century.

Our dinner was delightful. Pete & Aunt Betty had the broiled scallops; Uncle Harold a seafood sampler; and I had the extremely tasty blackened rainbow trout.

I ordered a "shareable" carrot cake for dessert - it could have been shared by the entire restaurant, as you can see.

My dear Mom's little sister, Aunt Betty (now 89), has made every holiday a great deal nicer for us since my Mom and Dad are no longer with us. Thanks, Aunt Betty and Uncle Hal!

02 April 2010


April Fool's Day + One. I try to ignore April first because my wonderful grandmother, Katherine Adele Heupel Schempp, died on April 1, 1977. She never knew that I finally got a great job at Alcoa; got married to my very special husband, Pete; or moved back to Donora.

My Dad was her only child and was he ever her darling! She once made me answer the back door because she thought it was a burglar and she didn't want her Billy to have any trouble. I was 19 at the time.

Because I was Daddy's only child, I was the next best thing to him! I was adored by Mummer and Poppy (my grandfather) every moment I knew them. We were BFFs for sure. Daddy loved jazz an "the brushes". Here we are: Mummer, Daddy and I - on Daddy's 44th birthday. Just look at that Hi-Fi!

Mummer was a pianist extraordinaire, having graduated from Professor Little's School of Music in Beaver, Pennsylvania, with a gold medal. She felt sorry for me because, as she said, "poor little thing, she knows all the notes and all the words, and she just has no talent". If only she were wrong! But, that still doesn't stop me from singing and playing my only piano piece, Moon River.

http://www.silvercrowcreations.com/Mummer-Rubber-Stamp_p_9000.html#.VRB5uOEblmMMummer was a gorgeous young girl, growing up in Pittsburgh, Charleroi and Donora. We even made a small rubber stamp (A2229)  from one of her girlhood pictures. Such a haunting yet hopeful look.

We now live and run SilverCrow Creations in what was my grandparent's church. How life circles around. And our roof is leaking! We're waiting for the roofer to appear - he's working downtown on a building that had to have the whole roof torn off and has to replace it before it rains. It is just wonderful living in a small town again.