Tree Decorating Lifts Spirits

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This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Last Thursday evening I had an unexpected request from Lift Up, an inter-faith thrift store and food bank where I volunteer twice weekly. I was asked if I would help decorate for the annual “Festival of Trees” at the Tred of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs, CO. I and three other volunteers, who I rarely come in contact with each other, because of our differing schedules and duties, had a great time together!

Our tree was sponsored by the Community Food Bank at Lift Up. Ninety or ninety-five percent of the “food-themed” decorations that went on the tree were donated to the thrift store or came from recycled materials. Georgi, a very creative and energetic person had used her skills to make some of the ornamental food from plastic bags and “Mod Podge,” a crafting material. She also made the tree topper – a red chef’s hat. The tree turned out beautiful. Here are a few pictures.

Below: Georgi is here in Steamboat for a one year stint with the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps. She would make a great full-time resident of this community.  She has yet to experience a “three wire winter”  since she just arrived in town a few months ago from Pennsylvania.  (That’s what locals call winters when snow so deep it reaches the third wire on fences (in other words, it exceeds your armpits!). And it happens frequently.

Georgi

Below: A few full-time employees of Lift Up

Lynn food bank mgr

Angela case worker

Below: Four representatives for all the dedicated people who make Lift-Up the

wonderful non-profit organization that it is.

Hundreds and hundreds of volunteer service hours are donated

annually.

Lift up volunteers

LU tree with topper

As Christmas grows nearer, I will share more pictures of the beautiful Festival of Trees from the Tred of Pioneers Museum on All Things Fulfilling. They were all delightfully decorated.

I was fully thrust into the festive spirit and it continued the next day as I helped the United Methodist Women prepare for the Fall Harvest Fair. We wrapped and priced all the baked goods, jellies, jams.

Come back tomorrow to see what that shopping experience looks like. Hundreds of people come through the open doors at the United Methodist Church every year to shop for the holidays and fill their empty stomachs at lunchtime with homemade soup and bread.

This blog is brought to you by  EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.

The Art of Antiquity

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Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton

Today we will continue our trip down Main Street in Berlin Maryland through images. The biggest treasures you will find in visiting each of the well-organized and well-displayed antiquities stores in the Antiques Capitol of the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake will be your own recollections and reflections that will be stirred up. Most likely flashbacks will be associated with your childhood if you are a baby boomer.

Besides being The Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin has been the location for several movies. More about that in tomorrow’s blog along with information about why the town has earned a great reputation. We will be discussing some common elements between Berlin, Maryland and the town that I’ve called home for the past seven years, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These characteristics help a community’s vitality and a community becomes notable for it’s uniqueness.

If you really want to step back in time, listen to the You Tube video as you scroll through these images. Thanks to all the businesses in Berlin who allowed me to take interior photographs. These pictures were captured at the following antique shops: Town Center Antiques, Uptown Antiques, Culver’s Antiques, Stuarts Antiques or Pitts Street Antiques.

IMG_20150728_095842_941 typewriter autogr

IMG_20150728_095523_236 statue pirategirl autog

IMG_20150728_095935_388 antique toys autog

IMG_20150728_095850_861 Gum ball autog

IMG_20150728_100446_025 pin curler autog

IMG_20150728_101438_936 telephone signed

 

antique globes lights signed

 

IMG_20150728_100632_832 ladies with hats autog

 

Amusement ride signed

Rest on Sunday

Hope you had a grand time, and we will see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling when we finish up this three -part blog series on the community of  Berlin, Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Berlin. Maryland, that is.

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Happy Monday! Glad you are with us!

Today, we are taking an on-line road trip to  Berlin, Maryland. Join me over the next few days as we take our journey down memory lane on All Things Fulfilling. America’s Coolest Small Town is indeed “historically charming & artistically alive & eternally young.”  I love this community which is only seven miles from the natural beauty of Assateague National Seashore.

Don’t forget to turn on the modern-day record player by listening to the music from this You Tube audio as you scroll through these images. 

 

IMG_20150728_094713_565 autograph

IMG_20150728_093438_332 bike autogr

 

cupcakes berlin signed

IMG_20150728_094128_471 TaDa autog

IMG_20150728_094502_559 Atlanti 2 autogr

IMG_20150728_110116_608 Church mouse thrift

IMG_20150728_094430_245 Atlanti autogr

IMG_20150728_094913_918 enhanted tearoom autogr

 

IMG_20150728_110523_398 methodit autogr

IMG_20150728_102249_009 hore and buggy autog little

IMG_20150728_094943_369 Bungalow Love autogra

IMG_20150728_102859_380 bakery autogr

IMG_20150728_103155_647 dumpling bakery autog

IMG_20150728_104721_491 interior off main autog

IMG_20150728_110058_836 Bank autogr

 

 

 

blacksmith restaurant signed

 

IMG_20150728_110050_772 red door autog

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IMG_20150728_093835_289

IMG_20150728_094017_526

 

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I wish I could feature an individual story on every business in Berlin because they all contribute to the overall good feelings that I got when I walked the charming streets. Do return tomorrow there will be a myriad of images that will illicit memories from the past. Hopefully the pictures will stir up thoughts of only the good times in your life.

Thi blog is brought to you by the author of the three time award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Don’t Step on the Crack!

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Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back. Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back, don’t step……” Remember repeating that over and over again as you paced all up and down the  sidewalks?  For our family, it was a novelty to walk on city sidewalks because we lived in a wooded suburb. When we went to the city being able to sketch on pavement with chalk or to draw out a hopscotch course, we thought was pretty “nifty.”

When we visited our grandparents in Baltimore City, we got to do all kinds of things that we couldn’t do at our house. At home, our playground was the forest and stream. At least an acre or more of land separated the neighbors. At our grandparents, we thought it was pretty neat that we could sit in rocking chairs on a  porch and politely greet passers by.

The ragman  I can still remember the voice and the words of the Ragman’s banter as he navigated the horse and cart down the city streets of Baltimore. “Rags! Rags for sale! Come get your rags.”  Hearing the clip-clop of the horses feet coming down the street, was so exciting. The rag man called out, “New rags for old. Give me yours, and I’ll give you another.” Recycling, I assure you is not a new concept.

All in good jest, my parents used to threaten to sell or trade us to the Ragman if my sister, my brothers and I didn’t behave ourselves. That was enough to make us sit up and pay attention!

If you are a baby boomer, you might have recollections of having the Ragman arrive in your neighborhood and seeing people run out in the street to greet him and check out his wares.

Do you know the origins of the Ragman story? Here’s a link, you can read it for yourself. I found it quite interesting because as a child, the only thing I was interested in was seeing the big horse (usually an old gray mare) pulling the cart down the street. Little did I know there was an inspirational story behind The Ragman.  Check  it out! http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/573/ragman/.

In 2010, Walter Wagernan’s short story The Ragman was produced into a movie. Click on the link if for more information and ordering the DVD Ragman.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author and narrator of the memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book.  Click here to listen to the audio book sample, narrated by the author

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Booksellers Dream Wedding

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Dreams are illustrations….from the book your soul is writing about you.”

 ~ Marsha Norman

The best thing about planning any wedding is designing a day that is uniquely designed to reflect the tastes of bride and groom.

Last Saturday, The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont http://www.northshire.com/  closed early for a private party. The store hosted the wedding of Sarah, one of their booksellers.

The event was everything fulfilling that a bibliophile could dream of. Even the bride’s bouquet was made from book pages and I’ll bet she tossed the paper posies from the commanding iron staircase that is the outstanding architectural feature in the store.

bridal bouquet with book pages

northshire bookstore stairs

I hope “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry,” the Expresso Book Machine, gave up her famed status for the day and let the bride be the star. I don’t want the  EBM to feel downgraded or upstaged, so I’ll give her a repeat feature of the blog I wrote about her early last summer. Click on this link to read more. http://bit.ly/10RIonQ.

Rumor has it that one of the wedding gifts was a handmade quilt with titles and cover images of the bride and grooms very favorite books. Imagine the pressure of having to decide which publication should be included and which will be left out. Avid readers have a long list of favorites, and I am sure there were too many books and too little space on the quilt’s surface.

I wonder if the couple first encountered each other between the shelves of the book store? Do you think they had custom written wedding vows that included a little poetry? Ahhh..the beauty of a relationship where two people come together with the common interests….and the advantages of owning an independent bookstore. “Nothing is set in stone,” as it is etched on the pavement leading into the Northshire Bookstore. That means you can do anything you please including closing early to host a booksellers dream wedding.

To learn more about this event, please visit the Facebook page of the Northshire Bookstore. http://on.fb.me/1cZVDKU

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

A Fashionable Read

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“The secret of fashion is to surprise and never to disappoint.” ~ Edward G Bulwer-Lytton

Do you have a want-to-be fashion designer in the family who you are  looking for something to give them other than clothing for Christmas? Tired of seeing your hard earned money thrown in the trash because the clothes you have given your budding fashion stylist, as gifts, do not fit their own unique look?

How about an independently published book about the fashion industry that encourages high fashion at low cost? In this economy, many feel that is the wise way to shop.

Consultant Marisa Lynch’s book, developed out of her blogging efforts called New Dress A Day: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Creating Fashion Dos from the Thrift Store Don’ts  is now available. Click for info and ordering

Lynch has gained further fame by appearing on Nate Berkus’ Show, RickiLake, Martha Stewart and has also been interviewed by Anderson Cooper. She as part of the E! Red Carpet team at the Oscars, transforming dresses from thrift stores into stunning gowns that met the approval of many of the top fashionistas and the paparazzi, too.

Support literary arts  through your Christmas shopping. There are unique books being published independently. You will be doing our local economies a great service by helping to build a creative economy industry.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Fairy Tale Paper Artist

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I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library.” ~Beverly Cleary

Last week I posted a blog about ways to creatively recycle book pages. Su Blackwell, an artist from the U.K.,  creates three dimensional book sculptures made with discarded books. Many of her creations are scenes from fairytales and folk lore stories.

Her work is reflective of the books she read and the fulfilling make-believe world she created while playing in the woods during her childhood. Blackwell went on to study arts, specifically textiles, obtaining a M.A. degree at the Royal College of Art in London.

“The Quiet American” was her very first sculpture which was created from a second hand book called the Kao San Road she purchased on a trip to Thailand. She says she reads books once or twice before she begins her creation of a scene from the book.

The trend of repurposing books to create art sculpture is becoming popular in many places, including here in Colorado. Artist Kim Keith, exhibits and sells her geometric shaped paper sculpture and other mixed media, at the Red Contemporary Gallery here in Steamboat. She says her creations keep “alive the tactile sense and physicality of “book”. http://bit.ly/PrThwI.

Click here for books on repurposing books for art projects.

 
For more information, on the amazing work of Su Blackwell, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/RTrcwA.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.