Sunday, January 26, 2014

Small Town Bits Sunday - A snowy Owl

Good Sunday evening friends! This week has been a week, that is for sure! The more I read tonight, the more it seems this week was crazy for everyone. Here's to hoping the week ahead isn't quite as crazy!!!

At least one snowy owl has decided to "winter" nearby. This is not a usual thing. This beautiful creature has become heavily photographed. There is at least one that isn't far from us. There are some others not too far away, at Presque Isle. I have seen some amazing photos of the owls in both locations.
I recently bought this magazine based on the cover. I was hoping for a story. Inside there are a few more pics, but not the extensive story I was hoping for. Awesome pictures from Presque Isle though.

Small Town Guy and I went for a ride today to see if we could find the one nearby.
Our search turned out to be much easier than we had anticipated.
The pictures aren't anything over the top, but we got to see the beauty with our own eyes!

It was way cool to see such an awesome creature!

I hope you have a great week!
Take at least a few minutes and do something for yourself!

Hugs from my small town to wherever you are in the world!

hugs ~ Jen

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Card, A Card, I Made A Card!!!!

For those of you that know me, you know this is a big deal! I can only hope this sets us on the path towards a lot more cards being made! The occasion that sparked this momentous day? My Grandparent's 40th wedding anniversary. I would say that is a pretty good reason, wouldn't you??

I must say I am pretty proud of how the card turned out, especially since it has been a year since I have done any considerable card making. Ready to take a look??

I had purchased a "Love is patient" stamp with the intentions of using it for the wedding. Those plans changed a little. So this awesome stamp was still sitting on the shelf unused and felling far from loved. A 40th anniversary card seemed like a great time to give this stamp some love!

The pieces! 
40th anniversary is the ruby anniversary.
So I chose red, black, and white.
Sharp colors when put together!

The card base is 5x7.
I cut the red layer at 4 1/2 x 6 1/2.
The ribbon is by Darice.
The Love is Patient stamp is by Stampabilities.

I brought the outside colors in!
The love birds in the bird cage is from Valentine Favorites by Inkadinkado.
I started to sign the card before I remembered I hadn't taken a picture of the inside. oopsie!

My new stamp is in the middle.
"This card was made by hand
If you throw it away those same 
hands will make a doll in your
image and stick pins in its butt."
he he he he!!!!!
My Grandfather wanted to know if I would really do that to him??
I told him he probably didn't need to worry about it since his wife keeps the cards. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!
Everyone loves a little comment love!
Hugs from my small town to wherever you may be in the world!


Partying here:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Small Town Bits Sunday #3 Sugar Grove Joint Vocational School

Another weekend has come and gone. Why do they go so quickly? I think they go even quicker when you are under the weather! I hope you have managed to avoid all of the nasty germs floating around right now!

Sugar Grove Joint Vocational School. This topic was chosen because this is where my Great Grandfather graduated from high school. It seems that I really do have what appears to be endless tidbits from this side of the family. I love it! Tonight, my Dad and I were looking through a box of things that were my Great Grandfather's. Small Town Dad was looking in an envelope and I was looking in an album and we were holding pieces from the same time frame. I, of course, joined the two together and became curious.

After getting home and looking through the envelope, it is a pretty neat find.

This was the piece Small Town Dad was looking at.
I was holding a newspaper clipping about the same thing.

You open the piece Small Town Dad was holding and this is what you will see:

Class of 1932!!!

Now for the piece I was holding.

There were a few clippings, all the same.
One was dated July 31, 1982.
My Great Grandfather's high school class was celebrating 50 years!
50 years later and only 4 of the original 23 had passed.

There were some photos in the envelope as well.

This one is a color image that resembles the paper clipping.
There is no notation as to who had taken the photo.

The best I can figure is this picture is the the same folks from the above picture and their spouses/guests.

Also in the envelope was a handwritten packet. This packet contains names, addresses, and a little tidbit about each of the classmates. This is pretty cool to me. I can't wait to sit down and read the entire packet.
In addition to my Great Grandfather, my Great Aunt also graduated from here.

My Great Aunt's tidbit reads:
Graduated from Penn'a State University class of 1937. Was a school teacher for 28 1/2 years. Married and widowed twice. No children.
Now lives in Santa Rosa California, neighbor Charles Schulz Studio, Cartoonist of Snoopy, Peanuts, Lucy etc.

Yes it is true. Someone in my family personally knew Charles Schultz. This is mentioned in a couple different places in all the 'treasures' we have.

My Great Grandfather's tidbit reads:

I worked for the National Forge Co, at Irving, Pa as a crane operator for 35 years retiring from there in 1971.
I also was an electrician and did house wiring for 22 years.
In 1937, I married Ethel and made our home in Youngsville, Pa. We had three children, a daughter and two sons, Six Grandchildren, three girls and three boys and two great granddaughters.
We spend the summer at our cottage in Findley Lake, N.Y. and the winters at Bradenton, Florida.
The handwriting is not my Grandfather's. There is a p.s. that says "I also know Evan is a stamp collector"
That little bit was also true.

The piece that made me curious was this one...

This photocopy is marked "Sugar Grove Seminary and Conservatory"

There was nothing else in the envelope indicating a connection between the Sugar Grove Joint Vocational School and the Sugar Grove Seminary Conservatory. I remember hearing stories about the Seminary and was pretty sure they were connected.

I found some information at ""
"In 1881 the Erie Conference of the Brethren in Christ church let it be known that it desired to build an institution of learning in the community that could donate the largest amount of money to the cause. Raising more than $8000, Sugar Grove outbid all other communities in northwest Pennsylvania and in the autumn of that year, construction began on the project that wouldn't be completed until 1884. The United Brethren Seminary educated 180 students at its peak offering collegiate instruction in theology, the fine arts, history, language, the sciences and also offered courses in "commercial branches" of law, economics and pedagogy. Tuition ran between eight and ten dollar a semester"

CAN YOU IMAGINE???? also states "In 1921 the community had taken over the use of the United Brethren Seminary building and began using it as Sugar Grove main educational facility offering k-12 instruction at the site. With the development of the Warren County School District, the building was used for high school students from Farmington and Sugar Grove townships, while elementary students from those areas attended a school in Lander. Numerous buildings that are now used as homes surrounded the school and were used for educational instruction as well to serve the numerous students who hailed the facility as their alma mater until the completion of Eisenhower High School in 1956."

**I would later graduate from Eisenhower High School. And it is currently undergoing renovations.

The Seminary building was replaced by the Sugar Grove Elementary School, construction began in 1963. The bell from the tower of the Seminary's main building rests in the front of the elementary school.

**I attended 6th grade at the "new" elementary school.

So....they are kinda sorta the same school!!!

Also in the stack of things we were looking through was this photo.

This would be the class of 1932!

I love these time travels!
Have a great week everyone!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hugs from my small town to wherever you are!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Small Town Bits Sunday #2 Starbrick, PA

A fair number of thoughts have transpired about what I want Small Town Bits Sundays to be. All those thoughts happened in a week's time. I am sure the thought process will continue to evolve and that is part of the fun. Just because I liked the sound of it, didn't mean I had a whole list of what I was going to write about. I still don't. There are a couple things on my list and one post that is currently in draft form, but there isn't a big long list.

Small Town Guy and I were out and about earlier today before he went to work. Part of the conversation in the car had to do with Small Town Bits Sunday and how I wasn't sure what I was going to sit down and write about. It was about that time we turned left off our usual/beaten path.

A year ago I saw a photograph similar to this one...


To me, there is something serene and magical about this photo. This is definitely not the same photo that piqued my interest a year ago, but it gets the job done. When I moved home, I HAD to know where this spot was. Guess what?!? Small Town Guy knew right where it was. Driving by here isn't much out of our way, we just get too busy and don't do it. Well, today we did. We took that left hand turn mentioned above and headed here.
A couple days ago we could have taken a snowy picture like the one above. Today, not so much. This weather is really crazy. It was in the 50's and rainy today. That rain melted most of the snow. Unfortunately for many, this is the second time since Christmas that we have had enough rain to melt a fair amount of snow. Snow melt and rain usually results in flooding. Here is what this area looked like today.

This is the view from the road.
Quaint, serene, and magical come to mind.
The forbidden factor due to the "no trespassing" sign also adds some intrigue.

These photos were taken around 11:30 a.m. 
That is fog you see. Fog, rain, and 50 degrees on 1/11/14. CRAZY!

Sometimes swans can be seen swimming in the area.
The swans were no where to be found today.

We continued our drive down this road. This is River Road in Starbrick, PA.
It is named River Road because, yep! it runs along the river, the Allegheny River to be exact.

As we continued our drive down River Road we were still talking about what I was going to blog about for STBS #2. As I started taking pictures it was decided I would blog about Starbrick. In a day where information on EVERYTHING is available at our fingertips, I didn't figure it would be too much ask. I was slightly wrong. My initial search didn't turn up much at all. Wikipedia told me it is a census-designated place in Warren County and as of the 2010 census 522 folks lived there.
I reworded my search a little and still came up pretty empty. I am a member of some pretty neat local groups on Facebook, so I turned to one of them and asked the question "Does anyone have any information or stories on how/when Starbrick came to be?"

Sometimes, answer comes immediately. This wasn't one of those times. I now knew that 522 lived here in 2010 and I also knew the area was named because star bricks were made here once upon a time. The latter being something I have heard for a long time, but I had no information to substantiate it. So...perhaps it wasn't true.
The star bricks look like this...

They make great additions to backyard gardens.

The Facebook conversation wasn't moving very fast. We have a quarterly publication in this area and my family has a set of the publications from from the 50's through to the early 80's. I thought for sure there would be something in one of them. NOPE! I will, for sure, be looking into additions printed after 1981, but there is nothing in the issues we have.

The topic made for good conversation. My Grandfather offered suggestions of someone I could speak with. My Grandfather received a phone call while I was visiting and he even asked the caller what they new about Starbrick. It wasn't much and they suggested I call the person suggested by my grandfather. My Dad went home and pulled out some publications, books, etc written on different topics relating to Warren County. At first glance, it seems we are going to come up empty handed there too. I need to sit and do more than just a quick glance.

Small Town Dad suggested a couple different terms to use in my internet search. I did finally come up with something.

Warren history dot org has a document titled "Places in Warren County, Pennsylvania" written by an Ernest C. Miller. It seems there are a number of places in Warren County that little information is available. This is what he published about Starbrick:

"STARBRICK --- a village in Conewango township just west of Warren.
This now important industrial suburb of Warren owes its name to the somewhat transitory existence of a corporation named The Star Brick Company. The firm was located on the western end of the propery now owned by the General Concrete Products Co. It was first organized in 1899 by well-known Warren businessmen and the kilns were located near the railroad, and the clay pits were in the rear. 
During the early years of the company, the bricks, with the figure of a large star moulded therein, were in great demand because of the lively building spree going on in Warren.  About 1908 the plant failed, probably due to the fact that the clay on the land became exhausted. These bricks were in great demand among the boys of Warren; they melted lead, poured it into the star design, and inserted a heavy safety pin in the star as the lead hardened. The result was a fine replica of a sheriff’s badge!
Today both sides of the highway at Starbrick have been built up with diversified industries."
Some say that isn't much, but for me it is enough. I now know that Starbrick was organized in 1899. It was named for the company that made the star bricks. I also know there is a good chance boys today still want to melt stuff and make star molds.

It has been said the star bricks are favored by collectors. I don't know if this is true or not, but I do know we like to collect them. If Small Town Dad or I are out and about on a hike and a star brick is found, it doesn't get left behind.

It was said in a different article in a different outlet authored by Elaine Rhodes, the Star Brick Company closed around 1908 due to  having depleted the clay deposits on site. It was also said the plant only ran in the summer and could produce up to 30,000 bricks daily. The bricks were marketed mainly in Warren.

I learned through conversation with my Dad and Grandfather, and also through the facebook conversation, there were also bricks made with raised stars. It is said the raised star bricks are even more rare.

I did learn some firm and concrete information. I was also left with more questions.
My research on Starbrick isn't complete, but it is enough at this point to have written this entry and for that I am thankful to all that helped!

Some times it pays to take a left turn off our usual beaten path and see what else is happening in the world. It can lead to conversations with those in the car with you and it can lead to conversations with other members of your family. All important. There is nothing wrong with plain old, old school conversation!!!

I do have two more pictures to share from our ride down River Road. I mentioned the rain and snow causes flooding. There was definitely flooding taking place on River Road.

This image shows chunks of ice being washed onto the road. The river is on the left side of the road. This flooding was occurring from the melting process and a stream on the right side of the road. I should have taken a few more pictures to show more of the raging water. I was more interested in the ice though.

Something else that caught my eye was this tree. With the fog and the white snow this tree definitely stood out! I believed it to be a woodpecker tree, but wasn't certain since I could only see one hole in the tree. I showed the picture to Small Town Dad and he agreed it was done by wood peckers. I might need to start stalking this tree to see if I can see the wood peckers that are guilty as charged.

Again, sometimes making that left hand turn off the beaten path can be a good thing.
I hope you enjoyed today's tid bits and the photos.
I also hope you will take some time to not be so busy with your every day doings to enjoy the small things around you!

Best wishes from my small town to wherever you are in the world!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mason Jar Bridal Shower

To know me means you know I have a love for "Mason jars." This term is interchangeable, kinda like Tupperware. When you send someone to your cupboard to get you a piece of Tupperware, are they really getting you Tupperware or is an empty, cleaned out and no repurposed cool whip container?? Uh huh!!! You see where I am going? In this sense a "mason jar" is any jar with a screw on lid. I know, I know!!! There are people out there freaking out about my use of these terms, but I am sure people freaked about the loose usage of Tupperware, and look...the world is still turning! (oh, if that world turning surprised you, we will save that for a later date and time.)

Those awesome girls referenced here decided on a mason jar themed bridal shower. Check out this pretty cute invitation!!! They enlisted the help of another pretty cool gal pal to get these invites done! Can you believe they had a party in my honor WITHOUT ME?!?! Geesh. Aw, well, the invites turned out way cute!!

The invitation asked the guests to bring a "mason jar" filled with collectible items.
I can tell you this request stirred up LOTS of conversation. I believe at one point, everyone was worried I was going to end up with 3 dozen mason jars filled with M&M's. I am not really sure what the problem with that would be, but I am sure you can see where the alarm in this might come from. I was part of some of the conversations. The shower wasn't a surprise to me, which made it easy for some on the invite list to ask questions. Some on that list were quite good about asking questions in a way that I didn't know why they were asking, others, well they just went straight to the point! HA!!!!

I said time and time again after the shower..."The mason jar thing turned out way cooler than anyone could have imagined!"  It did. People put thought into it. There were some way cool jars gifted on that August day. Are you ready to take a look at some pictures???

There were mason jar center pieces! They ribbon and clothespins on each jar was a task delegated to one of the flower girls.

A table of jars. These are some of the jars that were brought as per the request on the invites.
Some people brought them separate, others brought them as part of their gift.
To those that brought them as part of their gift, I am not sure if I thank you or not! I thank you because that was one less jar I had to guess, but that messed up the thought process. Yes....I had to guess who brought each jar.

Ok, but here comes the cool part. I hope by now you have at least partially thought about what you would put in a mason jar if this request was made of you! 
These people ROCK! (some of them literally)

 A plants jar filled with peanuts and Yuengling bottle caps.
Something significant between the giver and myself.

This jar was filled with the rocks Small Town Guy would put in his pockets as a kid.
Those are also some of his toys. (I bet you figured out who gifted this one, huh?!?)

A frosted jar filled with scrapbook supplies.
Those supplies are sitting here in the wedding project pile, waiting for their purpose in life. 
I can't wait!

This one is from my Grandma. The note reads:
"The things I put in this jar cannot be set on a shelf unless they are pictures, but you can
carry them deep in your mind & in  your heart. I love you & pray that you & "Small Town Guy" will be very happy with your life together."
Her pieces of paper read "lots of happy times", "happy memories", and "loving families"

Again, too cool, right?!?!?

This jar has buttons from my Great Grandmother's button collection.
I can buy all the buttons I want at yard and estate sales, but THESE were my Great Grandmother's!

Speaking of Great Grandmothers.
This jar (above and below photo) has sea shells that were collected by another Great Grandmother...just days before her stroke. It even has her handwriting. {{love}}

I have since been given a picture of my Great Grandmother on the beach the day the shells were collected. I can't wait to display them together!!

Shells picked up by yet another set of Grandparents.
I very much love the square acme jar on the left. The marbles are cool, but the jar is cooler!

This jar was sweet too.
There was a note explaining the jar.
The butterflies and locket you see belonged to my Grandmother.
The locket would become part of my bouquet and make the walk down the aisle with me on our wedding day. The photo inside the locket is of my Grandmother when she was in high school. 

This jar got some laughs.
Can you see why?
A "Ball" jar full of balls. 
ah ha ha!!!

My grandfather thought this was brilliant and if I receive this request I should take and cut up an atlas and put it in an "Atlas" jar....

Oil for making hard tack candy. The story behind it, specific to the giver!
I love the outside of the box thinking, don't you??

A jar full of pennies. 
That sucker is heavy!!

A  jar full of "date night" ideas. Each guest was asked to write a date night idea on a popsicle stick.
There are some fun and yes, suggestive date nights.
The one that says "Go to the Plaza for Pie" should just become a magnet and go on the fridge.

My favorite jar came when Small Town Guy showed up.
Look at the contents of that jar! GORGEOUS!!!
The jar....

We had picked the jar (half gallon size) up a flea market a week or two prior to the shower.
Apparently it is a good thing I hadn't done anything with it yet!!!

Oy vey!!! Mmm hmm!!!
Those roses have been dried and are actually back in that jar and it sits here in the office.

There were many other very cool jars.
Some of them did not photograph well.
There were jars with fall themed products, lights, Christmas themed items, marbles, wooden spools, an empty jar labeled "secrets", Pittsburgh related stuff, and more. 

Not only were the contents of the jars cool, but there were some way cool jars too!!

The threads on the towels will wear thin, the glasses will break, other stuff will need replaced...all those things we are most thankful for because we needed those items.
 MOST of the coolest items came in jars!
The one really cool gift that didn't come in a jar was the cutting board used by my Great and my Great Great Grandmothers.

Thank you to everyone for the outside of the box thinking and some awesome memories!
I encourage you, my readers, to think outside of the box the next time you have a gift to give!

Hugs from my small town to wherever you may be in the world!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

All You Need Is Love and a Wedding Invitation

So we have established that in my hiatus from blog land a lot has gone on! The biggest and most exciting note of all that has gone on is that I married Small Town Guy in October. The post where I first announced our engagement can be found here.

In the land of Creating With The J's I was a pretty busy card maker. When I started talking wedding plans people were asking if I was going to make my own invitations. My initial response was no. That seemed like a task and stress that I could delegate elsewhere and not have to worry about. I completely agreed with my friends that it was silly for me to not be making my own wedding invites, but at the same time, my stuff was packed, why add undue stress to a bride, and Small Town Guy hadn't been a part of my creative world for roughly 5 years. He knew that side of me, but what was to say HE wanted handmade wedding invites. Well...we started looking, ok ok ok, I started looking which meant he had no choice but to look at night after work! I looked at ideas on Etsy and Google Images. We had some thoughts. We even had some thoughts of taking those found ideas and making them ourselves. Here is one of the ones we found on etsy. We even ordered a sample. The sample was awesome, but it seemed crazy to spend the money they were asking when we knew we were capable of making it. We tried a couple things with this format and had to accept defeat. (Music is highly important to us and very much a part of who we are, so the ticket concept was pretty cool) As you can tell by this first image, there is going to be plenty of out of the box thinking!


There was some technology that defeated us one some of those initial ideas and there was a price tag that was far from pleasing on some of the other ideas. I did what most brides do and sat down in front of this trusty computer and ordered catalogs. I KNOW!!!! Me, of all people was ordering catalogs to order my wedding invitations. ME, the card maker, the maker of smiles and pick me ups, I wasn't even going to make my own wedding invitations. My friends, and especially my nearest co-workers were still in shock of this news.

The catalogs came and all the pages that were dog eared or sticky noted were pages that had other "stuff" on them. I wasn't seeing a single invitation I liked for one reason or another."The price is too high." "This one is kinda nice but yet it says we are too cheap to spend money on a nice invitation." "I suppose this one will work." Ah, you see where this is going don't you? Yep, you guessed it, off to the drawing Pinterest board I went. There were some thoughts in my head but I needed that spring board. Pinterest can be a great spring board for me. I no longer have that inspirational pin and couldn't find it now when I just searched for it, but it was a square invite and it was put together in a way that everything that comes in a wedding invite was tucked neatly inside. The final invite and that inspirational image look nothing alike, but there was something in that original photo that made the rest of the pieces in my head click!

I am a visual person. That means that sometimes it is easier for me to explain something when I have a visual aid. Explaining things through text messaging or email or Facebook messages can be even harder. Rough draft number one was born!

 If you are the crafty type you completely "get" that the protege or the "rough draft" doesn't have to be in "THE" colors and exact products. This is just a test run of the idea in your head. If you remember, I told you all my stuff was still in storage at this point. I had these supplies (I use that term loosely here by the way) on hand from something I had on for Small Town Guy's Aunt. ah, if only I had taken a picture of that, homemade scratch offs. Anyway, back on topic. These were the colors and pieces that were laying around. It worked for me. I sent this picture to a couple of my girlfriends and they were all like  "WHAT??? You are having a Mardis Gras themed wedding?" or "Are you REALLY using those colors??" This made me laugh and shake my head. Once I explained these were the colors on hand and that 1. anything purple would be black. 2. The yellow would be a paler yellow and 3. all parts and pieces are a work in progress....well we were all ok.
Rough draft was good, but once the rough draft was done my brain was really working and I really needed the pieces to start working toward the real deal. A shopping we will go! One of the downsides to moving back to my small town is the lack of places to shop for things such as paper supplies. I managed, several counties and stores later, but that is an altogether different story.

Well the rough draft evolved. It evolved a few times.

The invitation on the left is phase two or three of the second rough draft. Yes, I made it and then changed it and changed it again. It went most anywhere with me. If I was sitting idle somewhere, it was sitting out where I could look at it now and again and ponder what would happen next, what was missing, etc. I was waiting. Waiting for what you ask? I was waiting for it to speak to me, kinda like those Pier 1 commercials. :)

I knew I didn't like the inked effect so I made another one. The upper right photo was an attempt all its own based on likes and dislikes from the photo on the left. I am not certain why there isn't a piece of ribbon on it, but the ribbon stays! Promise! Someone was having a hard time understanding the pocket idea for the inside, so I had to get the help of a trusty pink sticky note to help them visualize! Apparently my friends are visual folks!! The pocket was important to me. The pocket was going to keep all the pieces from falling on the floor when our guests opened the invitation. C'mon, you know those pieces fall on the floor when you open up the invitations! I was just looking out for our guests and saving them a trip down to their toes and then hitting their head on something on the way back up!

Parts and pieces were added and taken away and then a final decision was made. There was help from most of those awesome girls mentioned here. This "niece" spent her summer summer vacation Tuesdays working on wedding invitations. She thought the was just getting away with arts and crafts every Tuesday night, but her Mom and I snuck in plenty of math lessons!!

It seems we failed to take pictures the nights more of the adult girls were present. No worries, Small Town Niece is almost always willing to be a cheese!

These photos were taken during the final make all the pieces stage. That led to assembly. Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty and it is time to work on other details but someone decided to make their own wedding invites so that is what must happen first. It all worked out in the end, but that isn't to say I wasn't ready to see these puppies head to the post office!!!!

 I had come across the rubber stamps seen on the front at a very early stage in this process. I knew I wanted to use them somehow, but wasn't entirely sure how. Well, this is how the pieces fell together. The stamp on the front is actually two stamps. "all you need is love" is a stamp by Recollections (found at Michaels), The heart with wings is by Stampabilities. "Love is all you need" found on the inside pocket is from the Fiskars Music Sheet collection. We will see more of that collection once I start working on the scrapbook. For whatever reason, it has become a trademark of mine to have something on my envelopes. I can't send or sell a handmade card without stamping something on the envelope. Our wedding invites were no different. This stamp is by Inkainkado.

Now that credit has been given where credit is due lets get to that pocket shown in the lower left picture. That pocket is holding the stuff that falls on the floor...the return envelope, additional details, and the response card. And yes!!! we made the response card too. When you open this flap up you see what is shown in the photo in the upper right. "All you need is love and that is just what we've got. Please join us as we tie the knot!" Cute huh??? We think so!!!

Alright back to the response card! I had seen these madlib ideas on Pinterest. I didn't see one that I was completely happy with. I sat down in front of the computer with lots of tabs open and tooks bits and pieces from three or four ideas and made our own!

Reading them was a hoot! Some were serious, some dirty, and some were flat out funny. There were a few that came back with just a name and the number attending. While not what we hoped for, at least they still rsvp'd. One of my Great Uncle's didn't rsvp and when his daughter asked him about it he told her it wasn't a standard rsvp he didn't have to fill it out. he he he. We were prepared for some of that too. No one said we had to be traditional and we weren't going to conform just because many people thought we should. We now have these rsvp's to look back and chuckle, one of the many fun memories of our day.

It was time consuming (made 100+) and, at times, tedious. It was, however, definitely worth it. Our invites were unique and so are we. Yes, our wedding colors were black and yellow. Yes, those black and yellow wedding colors may have been influenced by Pittsburgh sports teams. Say what you will, but they were sharp looking colors on our wedding day!

Are you a  mad libs fan? Did you make your own or help a bestie make their own wedding invites? What do you think?? I hope you will leave some comment love!

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you are in a region affected by this bitter cold, please stay safe and warm and don't forget to check on your elderly neighbors! Hugs and best wishes from my small town to wherever you are in the world. ~Jen

Linking up at these awesome blogs:

Keeping It Simple  
Creativity Unleashed at Shaken Together Life

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Small Town Bits Sunday #1

Hello friends! Now that I am back home, local history is something that I find even more interesting. I have always found it interesting and have dabbled here and there, but being home makes it different. The interest is real and pertinent. The questions are different when you are looking at something from the past and know that isn't how that spot looks today.

I have chosen Sunday for this piece because that is when the "history lessons" started. Sundays quickly became "dinner at Small Town Dad's"night. Conversations, publications, unearthed family treasures, or inspiration from somewhere altogether different, would prompt a local history lesson. In nice weather, definitely not on nights like this one, sometimes a field trip would even take place to the present day spot.

Small Town Bits Sunday will be about something pertaining to the small towns in the area I call home. Who knows where the inspiration will come from, but you can rest assured something will have prompted it.

Wanting to start this today, HEY!! The thought came to me today, no better time than the present!! Don't judge!!! Anywho, I am a little unprepared for the first post. I have a post I have been working on and it will come on a future Sunday as I am doing some research for it. On my list of things to do is to become a Historical Society Member.

I thought tonight we could take a little walk around the small town of Warren, PA. Wikipedia tells me the 2010 population was 9710.

Warren, PA was named after General Joseph Warren. This is one of at least three statues of Warren on public display. It sits in General Joseph Warren Park on the corner of Third and Pennsylvania Avenues.

These pictures were taken in the spring. I can promise you that Warren is presently covered in snow and slush. I wish I had some winter pictures to share with you. Perhaps that can be a future post. I am thinking this winter is far from over and there will be plenty more snow for snowy pictures.

These two pictures were taken while standing near General Warren's statue.

I just love all the ivy growing up this tree!

Downtown Warren has some awesome old houses with plenty of curb appeal.

I think the only this picture is missing is a couple of folks porch sittin' and a pitcher of sweet tea.
Ah yes, the southern girl in me coming out. ;)

The day these photos were taken was a beautiful day for a walk around town.
Definitely something we all should do more often. We also need to look up  more often.
Up is sometimes where the neatest things are. "Looking Up" will definitely be a future post. There are plenty of up things to look at and take photos of. This day the up thing was the down spout (I know you just chuckled). Yes, that is a pineapple you see.

Do any of you look at things outside of the box? I instantly saw the heart in the design instead of the whole pattern. There are little things everywhere that can warm your heart if you are willing to open your eyes and take a look around you.

This fountain and pond seem so peaceful. Nicely tucked in someone's back yard.
Perhaps what my someday yard will be when it grows up??
Hey! It never hurts a girl to dream!

Ok, maybe I have a thing for ivy growing on stuff...

This one might get the attention of some of you. Warren, PA is the home of the New Process Company, now known as Blair. Are you a Blair catalog shopper? If so, your order comes to and is most likely shipped from Warren. :)

 Looking down you can find interesting markers.
This marker is on a set of steps leading down to the Allegheny River.

Have you ever payed attention to where all those plastic mugs come from?
Dunkin Donuts, convenience stores, amusement parks, and so many other places contract with Whirley Drinkworks to have their products made. YES!!!! There are things that are still made in the USA!!!!!!
You can learn more about Whirley here if you feel so inclined. I am always picking cups up and looking at the bottom to see if they were made in my small town!
I have been told this building was previously a bakery. 

Warren is definitely a city of churches!
Here is a look at St. Joe's.
We will save all the churches for another post.
If I keep making a list there will be plenty of walking in my future and that is a good thing!!

The Allegheny River is right here. That means we are also a city of bridges.
This train bridge is one of my favorite views.
I am not certain why, it just is.
Had we had wedding festivities in Warren, there would have been some wedding photos on this bridge.
That merely means there will be a photo shoot on the bridge at some point in our future. :)

This is the main bridge leading into town. The direction we are looking here is a direction that does not include any of the above photos!

I hope you enjoyed some tidbits from this small town.
I will work on being more informative next time.
I am hoping that one of the next Small Town Tidbits will be about Piso's Cure for Consumption. That is the post I am working on. Are any of you familiar with product? It was part of the conversation over Sunday dinner this evening (again).

Thanks for stopping by!
Hugs and best wishes from my small town to wherever you are in the world!