Category Archives: Fascination

Paper Cut Dance

From what I can gather, “Paper Cutting Girls” or “Paper Cut Girl” is a national folk dance about Jian zhi, Chinese Paper Cutting. This is a very fun version of the dance. Notice how they have their fingers shaped like scissors when they sweep their hands in a cutting motion. Bonus video! I found this in the side bar, and it’s just gorgeous.… (more…)


The original idea for this post was “Victorian letter folding,” but the tradition of single-sheet letter and envelope combinations goes back much further. Putting several pieces of paper into a separate envelope is fairly recent. The trick is to have a letter that will stay closed through the mail. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of variations on the craft.… (more…)

Calling Cards: 19th Century Voicemail

In the early 19th century, England imported calling cards from France. It was yet another thing to have fussy manners about, and soon there were complex rules and ways of showing how classy you were with a small rectangle of paper. Calling was a complicated business. Early afternoon for sort-of-friends, a bit later for friends. Cards were given to a servant.… (more…)

Custom Car Emblems

You know those chrome (or in the case of Chevy, tacky gold plate) emblems that indicate the car maker? Did you know you can get your own? Yep, pry that Hyundai emblem off and replace it with, oh… Or maybe this. You don’t have to settle for chrome. You can get gold, or even colors. Most companies have stock designs (like… (more…)

Charm strings

In the latter half of the 19th Century, the fad amongst young ladies was to create a “charm string” or “memory string” of 1,000 buttons. There were two schools of thought: the first said that when you collected 1,000 buttons, your Prince Charming would appear. The other said that the Prince himself must string that last button, and if you… (more…)

Discover a Lovelier You, Chapter 2–Your Face: The Two-Way Mirror

One thing that continually surprises me as I re-read this book is how little has changed.  The Clean-Tone-Moisturize routine for oily skin (that’s meee!) is still recommended.  To hold off the march of time, avoiding smoking, hard liquor, and the sun are still on point. One big difference, though: “By the way, if you’ve read a few frightening articles about… (more…)

Opalized Fossils

If I had a pet pliosaur, I would name him Eric, right before he killed and ate me. In 1987, a miner in Coober Pedy discovered Eric’s seven-foot skeleton. Now, if you know anything about Coober Pedy, you know they mine opals there. And that’s what the miner found: Eric had been completely opalized. I think I first heard of… (more…)

The Fun Farm

The Fun Farm is a little bit north of Bend, Oregon, east side of the highway. It’s hard to spot, because the town won’t allow signs on the highway. Just look for the bowling-ball tree and the field of goats. We showed up about 30 minutes before closing, but as we learned at Petersen Rock Gardens, “Bend time” is a… (more…)

Petersen Rock Garden

There are a few things I love more than letterboxing. Which is why, when we recently went to Central Oregon for a letterboxing event, I spent some time touring the local outsider art. Rasmus Petersen immigrated from Denmark, and built the Garden in the last 17 years of his life, from 1935 to 1952. It was his tribute to his… (more…)

Not Your Neighbor’s Scrapbooking

Wandering through an antique shop in downtown Forest Grove today, I found a treasure. I am fascinated with old photographs, but generally pass them by because I want so badly to know about the people pictured that it becomes frustrating.  This, I could not pass by. For the princely sum of $5, I took home an intimate piece of someone’s… (more…)