There’s Just Something About Balsam…


Do you know what I mean?
These little balsam-filled pillows that you get in souvenir shops throughout New England.
The smell reminds me of childhood, as do the seemingly unchanged graphics and notable heft of the balsam needles.
Happy, happy summers!
These 4 particular pillows are sitting on a box I made for my cat Georgia. It’s sort of her “couch”. It was my attempt offering her a better place to sleep than my scanner or my keyboard.
I am happy to report that it works about one third of the time.
The other two thirds of the time she spends on my scanner or my keyboard.
Personally, I’d rather nap with the balsam pillows!

Holy Cow…A New Product!

I have a new Fall 2008 product out via the FRED company (where I have been on staff for lo these almost-17 years).
I do think it came out nicely if I do say so myself.
It’s a little double-walled glass creamer called Calf and Half:


This little product has been receiving a lot of blog love. Here are some of the blogs I have found it on:







Thanks for the luv!
If anyone sees this item out in the world, do give a holler!

Good Times at the Five and Dime

I have an bit of an obsession with 5 & 10-cent stores. As a kid there were still the last vestiges of them around for me to pick thru.I clearly remember the Ben Franklin that my aunt worked at, and the Woolworth’s in Garden City and Providence (both complete with lunch counters). Too bad they’re all gone!
Or ARE they?
No, there are a few left.
One of my favorites is in North Conway, New Hampshire.


It’s just a cute little hometown version that still has an authentic candy counter:


That’s pure joy, right there.You can get yourself a little basket and fill it with various candies, then they put them into the traditional little paper bags.
So-weet! They also have all kinds of things that I haven’t seen in years- Dennison seals, those little gummed stars, dollhouse furniture, etc. And, it being New Hampshire, they have all those wonderfully tacky cedar chests and balsam pillows and the like. I really wonder where they get some of this stuff. The staff assured me that the makers still make the stuff. I guess there’s just not much call for it anymore. Thanks, WalMart!

With this image in my mind, I made a new Scrap Shack that’s based on the N. Conway 5 & 10. I love the exterior color!


In my version, there’s a bear entering the shop, and the store seems to be filled with toys.
My kind of place! I made a few of them- one for me, one for my mom, and a couple for you at the Etsy shop!

NOW, here’s one place I NEED to go:


The National Christmas Center in Pennsylvania!

Amongst the many Christmas exhibits, they have recreated a vintage Woolworth’s at Christmastime.
If you follow that link, they have a “virtual” tour of it.
Have mercy!! I am so there!
Has anyone been to this?? Do tell!

This was the Best Cat Ever.

Unfortunately, thing shave not been very rosy at Maison Dubois.
Our beloved cat Flo had to be “put to sleep” this week.


My poor, old girl. That picture was from a couple of years ago, when she was happy to just hang around in the garden. She was already elderly, though- she was born in the 80’s!
1989, to be exact- that’s when Eric and I, freshly minted RISD grads, got our first apartment together and filled it with these two kittens:


We got Flo first (which is short for Florida, based on the shape on her head). She always had a short nub of a tail, which I found adorable right from the get-go. We got Georgia (named because she came after Florida) a few weeks later.

We never thought they would live to see 19 years go by! The kids, of course, do not know life without them, so it’s been a hard adjustment.


The two kitties have always been fine with each other, though not usually all cuddly like this! This photo was taken this past winter when they uncharacteristically curled up together.

This is one of the last shots I took of Flo.


She looks like she’s had it, and she was really weary of the whole thing. Her systems were shutting down.
I know we did the right thing, but I will forever miss her wise, silent ways and kissing that little head!
I estimate she received approximately 50 billion kisses applied directly to the forehead over the 19 years.
I still wish I could give her a few more.