Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adelbert "Bert" Babcock - 1894 diary

In 1894 at age 27, my maternal great uncle Bert wrote a diary while working on a farm owned by my paternal great grandmother's brother - Russell Dye.  I'll just let you click on the link to go view my opening description of this new diary blogging project.

I'm going to sorely miss Henry C. Olney and his family, but I'm already excited about Bert with his wry sense of humor, and another take on farm life in the Naples, NY area in the late 1800's!

click above for the Diary blog, and click below for some of Bert's gems in Twitter format.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Interesting Day!

Maya creates a gift for her parents. We framed it and delivered it yesterday.

We had a very interesting Christmas Day. Our daughter-in-law Deanna just gave up and said I can't go on - I need to sleep!!!!!. Our son Casey brought Maya and CJ over for Christmas, and Deanna got some well deserved sleep! Caesar James - 6 weeks old - is actually a very good baby, but does not sleep more than about 1.5 hours at a time. Casey is very good at doing his share, and is a great Dad - better than me - but his food supply (a bottle of breast milk) just does not measure up for CJ.

Mom, whose short-term memory problems present a challenge all the time, had three incidents of added problems yesterday, and she and Dad did not even make it next door to our house for Christmas --- and she did not want us to come there. Because of the spells, the nurse from her care program came over, and we ended up in the Emergency Department in the late part of Christmas as the day shifted over to this morning. They could not figure out anything, and sent her home around 2:30 AM. No calls from Dad yet this morning, so I hope all is well?

We did have a very nice - if somewhat smaller - Christmas brunch - lots of leftovers. We also got to hang out with Deanna's family at Aunt Mary's house for a very nice dinner - though we did need to leave early for the Emergency Room part of the day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Annual Top Show

Every year I do my top show at the Perinton Nursery School. Part of the show is trying to spin one of my whirligig tops on the end of the stem of another one. It usually takes several tries to get it - sometimes I just give up. This year I got it on the first try for both the morning and the afternoon show! And the teacher captured the moment on my camera! Doing my top show is always something I love to do, and I really appreciate the fact that they have me back every year. Part of the reason it works out is that they pretty much only do 4 year olds, so it is a new group every year! Click here to see more about having me do my top show for your group!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Recent picture of grand child # 2 - Caesar James Sams VI - or CJ as we know him!

Let's not forget Maeve

Found this 8 year old ornament while decorating the tree. Can you believe this young lady is away at college now? We'll see her in a few days - can't wait!

And, while I forgot my camera last night, we went to Wayland-Cohocton High School for the annual holiday concert featuring our nephew Wyatt, and about 200 of his closest friends - ;-).

They put on a wonderful concert of course, but even if you didn't have a relative on stage, you would have been moved by these young people!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Maya Tuesday

Wonderful day! Maya came over to our place and helped decorate our tree. Then she and I made some cornbread for lunch, and after lunch we decorated some Christmas tree ornaments for the family next Sunday at the Palmeri family holiday open house!

I'll post a picture of the ornaments after the party!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Tops!

Collecting Spinning Tops has been a big part of my life over the years - especially during my years as The Toycrafter. I recently got a nice batch of Mexican Spin tops through my association with a Spinning Top Forum on line. This is the first serious top purchase in several years, and a most exciting package to open. If you are into tops, click here to check out our forum, or here to check out the web site of the guy who runs the forum.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Double Negative

Since this sign says "Do not block this entrance" and "Do not sit or stand in front of door" AND has the international "Do Not" red circle with slash, I took this to mean that I definitely should block this entrance and either sit or stand in front of the door. The fact that this sign is on the door to the teacher's lounge in a school makes the double negative doubly interesting???

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another one!

This is just way too much fun!

Check below for other designs.

I'm working on a design with a business card for the central body - none cut out yet!

$20 including tax and shipping.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some more paper dolls

Spirally version!

Vinyl record version!
Printed on heavy cover stock - NOT made from a record - though I might try that???

Elsie the Cow!

Reddi Killowatt!

These are ones I printed.

About 9" tall

$20 each tax included. Shipping free if you mention this blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paper doll from recycled coasters!

The above poseable paper doll was made from a drink coaster -- one of 4 salvaged when Cheryl and my parents and I went to Ruby Tuesday's for a birthday dinner in October! If I do say so myself I love it! I'm working on some more round images that I can print, but if you have some coasters lying around let me know.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Guest Artist - Maya Louise Sams

Thanksgiving cupcakes by our granddaughter - with able assistance from her Mom and Dad of course!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Me a while ago

Not sure of the date on this picture that my friend Carolyn sent me, but there is no gray in the beard, looks like a bit less tummy, and the red hat has been gone for a long time!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Midnight Rain

I've got about 20 of my violets in early stages of blooming, and can hardly contain myself. Here is the first one - Midnight Rain Standard from The Violet Barn in Naples, NY. (Standard means this variety will grow to full normal size for the violets we all remember.... about 10-12 inches across in a 4" pot, but can grow up to 24" across if grown in a larger pot, and kept carefully trimmed and the flower buds are trimmed to maintain fewer but larger flowers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Something else we made!

How about a 28" tall paper doll - jointed and poseable like the smaller ones! Fairly sturdy - made from hand painted very thick acid free water color paper (1/16" thick paper). Fastened with metal screw binding posts used to bind books, swatch samples, etc.

Check out our booth at the Paradise City show in Marlborough this weekend to see her in person.

$100 and I'll be glad to personalize her for you in whatever colors you choose!

Requests have been trickling in for the small print, cut and make it yourself version, but I've still got about 7 left on my original offer of free PDF files to the first 20 folks who request them, back on October 1st. Requests were slow at first, but I got three folks this week!
Click here to see what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Maya and Grandma

Maya and Grandma enjoy a book while CJ and Mom and Dad are off to the pediatrician.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Mom and Dad's 37th Anniversary!

Yes - I'm a lot older than that! They actually got married twice - First time in 1945 - I'll post that picture sometime. After a rocky stretch - divorce - marriage to other folks - divorced again - they both decided the first one was better than they thought, and they got married again to each other on November 10, 1972!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

CJ Sams

CJ Sams is here - about 2 hours old as of this writing.. more pictures will follow, but he weighs 6 lbs 3 oz. and seems perfect in every way - He took about 10 minutes to emerge at 2:01 AM November 7, 2009!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

For my wine drinking friends

And for the toy maker in me!

Not sure how you make this work at home in this day of CD and MP3 players. My old turntable would have worked fine - in fact, there used to be a whole genre of turntable toys designed to operate when sitting on your record player!

Since I don't seem to be able to make this moving image move here, click on either picture to see the moving version!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Above is Maya in her costume, and below are a few of the wonderful pumpkins our neighbor across the street carved this year! Tonight was a great night. Nice weather, lots of kids, lots of very nice and polite older kids, and a lot of fun. We ran out of candy and had to turn out the lights at the end, but a good time was had by all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall leaves

Most fall pictures are of the wonderful fall leaves on the trees. I found these on the ground. They will soon be a fill on a paper doll dress!

Click on pic to embiggen!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A fall walk with Maya

Walking over to Grandma and Grandpa's house has become part of the Tuesday routine!

We stopped by to see Great Grandpa and Grandma Mel and Peg on the way, and I even got to fix her lunch! This just keeps getting better!

Monday, October 26, 2009

#500 - more poseable dolls

I figured out a way to print the dresses on these paper dolls -- I really like the results. All these are done with pictures I took myself. Above, a picture of some tomatillos I took around Thanksgiving last year? Below a sunflower.
Below - a collection of our heart pins.
Below - light shining through a wonderful glass bowl made by Matt Seaholtz.
Below - a picture of flowers growing in the yard.
And below - not a photo, but a paper doll made entirely from a "Fiddle Faddle" box!
Click pictures to embiggen!
Pretty good for post # 500.
I love it when I get into something new!
About 9" tall - $20 each. I'll cover the postage!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Right out of the 1950's !!!

On the way home from Morristown, we stopped at a place right out of the 1950's - established in 1956. Sorry to say I was even misled by their sign - a blatant knockoff of the iconic Carvel sign - see below. The hamburger was to die for though, and the raspberry sundae was a classic!

Gabels Ice Cream in Tannersville, PA. Click pictures to embiggen!

Wonderful place, but beware - they won't replace dropped cones!

Gabel's Ice Cream & Fast Food on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have we got a great First Lady or what?

During the Healthy Kids Fair on the White House South Lawn, the First Lady managed an impressive 142 hula hoop rotations.

I'm sure there will be detractors - there always are, but I can't imagine any other First Lady even trying this in public, let alone doing 142!

She also did some Double Dutch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evolution in action!

These white deer are found in Romulus, NY at the former Seneca Army Depot.... a fully fenced in army base that protected these white deer from predators including man. (they are not albinos - just a white mutation that has survived in a unique environment) An early morning or early evening drive by on Route 96 will usually reward you with a view of several of these lovely creatures. On the way home on yesterday I stopped and got this shot. A fellow a bit further on was getting some great shots of a young buck, but I decided that he would not be happy if I stopped to join him and scared off his subject!

Click here for some more info.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My youngest African Violet!

Just cut off the stem of a leaf at about a 45 degree angle, and stick in water!
Just seeing the first tiny roots was fun!
Now the first two leaves form on the left!
About 1/16" inch long at most!
Click picture to embiggen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

International Top Spinning Day

This is my granddaughter Maya Louise Sams "throwing" a top on International Top Spinning Day - October 14th, 2009. Remember that she is 27 months old! She actually did her best to copy what Grandpa Don had done to spin the top. She sort of wadded the string up around the top and actually threw it. Not too clear in the picture, but the top is in the air..... making it International Top Throwing Day for Maya!

Go here for more info on the event, and to submit your own picture!