::How I'm Related to Ball Jars::

So we all love us some vintage aqua Ball jars, yeah?

Like seriously adore that perfect shade of aqua and their galvanized zinc lids.  I want to marry them.

I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of my history as it collided with those jars because, well, I have connections.

I didn't recognize my connections until my adult life.  Growing up with my mom storing everything in them from vintage buttons on her sewing table to beans and elbow macaroni in the pantry, those lovelies were just part of my upbringing.

I didn't really appreciate them until I had a family of my own and mostly out from under the demands of nursing babies and homeschooling. You know, when I could actually spend some time decorating the digs instead of wiping noses and cleaning the digs....

Connection #1: When I graduated high school in Noblesville IN, I went off in high hopes as a vocal performance major to Ball State University in Muncie IN.  Did ya know those Ball boys had a college named after them?....incoming indoctrinees were told the Ball bro's gave the city the teaching college as a gift back in the day.  My husband and I spent our first 3 years of married life on that campus, and my sister also graduated from Ball State with a teaching degree.  It's still considered one of the best teacher colleges in the country.  As a kid, my family actually lived in Muncie for a few years right next to Ball State U and my brother was born at Ball Memorial Hospital!

Connection #2: Fast forward to the turn of the millenia, and my uncle is named President and CEO of Alltrista (dropped both the 'B' from Ball and the "Minne" from the street name the Balls lived on in Muncie)...which aquired the Ball Co.  Their consumer products business sold home canning and related products, primarily under the Ball®, Kerr®and Bernardin®brands.  And yet, I wasn't hording those seaglass-like beauties yet.  I was still drowing in dried milk-stained blouses and grammar worksheets.

(circa 2001, with a 16 year old at one end, a 2 week old at the other and lots of kiddos in between!)

My uncle has now retired to Florida, and Alltrista is now yet another company called Jardin or somesuch.  They sell plastic food storage now too.  Too late for an 'in' I suppose. I'm not sure they're even in Muncie anymore.  *shrug*

By the time I decided I was in serious love with vintage Ball jars (and they must say 'Ball' on the side, mind you), I couldn't find them easily.  I'd pick up a chipped one separated from its lid at a thrift store now and then, but that's it.  The big ones, the really old ones were seriously out of reach.  'Round these parts (I live an hour or so north of Muncie now), a decent aqua gallon size jar with an original lid will run ya $40 or more.  My brother, a resident of Nashville TN and the aforementioned babe who entered the world at Ball Memorial, picks 'em up for me for a mere $10 at their world famous Flea Market.

(My bro Adam -being kissed-also happens to be Mumford and Sons booking agent...
told ya I had connections.  This pic was taken just after filming "I Will Wait" at Red Rocks CO)

If you're ever in central Indiana, and you want to know more about the Ball family and their glassy offspring, it might be worth your time to visit the Minnestrista Cultural Center:

"Minnetrista, "a gathering place by the water," takes its name from the original F.C. Ball home that once stood on this site.  This name applies now more than ever as Minnetrista keeps this name alive through programming, workshops, and exhibits. " (from their site)

Now that my Mom is gone, my sis and I are splitting her collection.  But their value to me will be far more than just pretty eye candy for my vintage-loving heart.  They'll represent a childhood hometown, baby brothers, college years and early married life, extended family connections no longer nearby, and the humble service they rendered to my mother as they stored the raw materials of homemaking.

I love when something I collect has real meaning....and now you all know why vintage aqua blue Ball canning jars are one of my LOVES.  They will always play a prominent role in my decor because they play a prominent roll in my life and history as a Hoosier from central Indiana.

And that's my story of how I'm basically related to Ball jars.  So it's like we really are married.

Do you have significant connections to vintage items you collect?  Do tell....

Sharing this with A Favorite Thing @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage


::Girlie Girl Birthday Party::

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


My Grandbaby Robyn Rose just rounded her first year, and we partied on Sunday to commemorate the occasion.
Pinterest helped. Duh.

Robyn's mommy, my daughter Kristen, worked for a couple months crafting all manner of decor during Robyn's naptimes.  

Mighty proud of her...not just for her decorating/crafting abilities, but for being such a terrific mama to my grandbaby.   See her below with her big sis Maddie, who hosted the shindig at her place.

I only pitched in by bringing the serving pieces, fake flowers (I own a plethora, as I don't get along with real flowers as yet), and styling the cake table.

Kristen made all the cupcakes and cakepops.  Robyn's cake was two hearts stacked.

Love the wee candy cups and cupcake wrappers she used!

(dollar store candlesticks, plates and bowl made into a cupcake stand...

Everything looked so sweet and springy and festive...

Especially the Queen of the Festivities....
Here she is just hangin' out with her bink.  
And wondering why all these people with cameras are surrounding her....

Wait a sec...what is that?

Now that looks interesting.....

Are you kidding me?  I get to eat this?
All by myself even?

You mean I get to *SMASH* this?  

Now THIS is what I call a party.

It was (ahem) a smashing success, and all Kristen's hard work paid off.....I told her she was setting a dangerous precedent, but in these days of Pinterest, all bets are off, yo.

I'm just in awe how my wee grandgirl went from this...

to this in just a year's time...

And although I don't celebrate her with a party and all the party trimmings everyday, 
I DO celebrate her presence in my life every single morning.  
Can't wait til they live next door so I can get my Robyn Rose fix everyday! 

So how'd my daughter do?  She's got some skillz, eh? And BTW,  how cute is Robyn?  *wink*


::Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Workshop::

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


If you follow me on Facebook, (and if ya don't, please do!) you'll know I hightailed it to an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop at the very.last.minute this evening at this new wee shop just down the road from me.  It's called The Poppy Cottage, and well, I'm smitten. 

With both the gal who runs the joint, and the paint she peddles.  

(Meet Tammy, my new girl crush.  And meet Tammy's banner, my new, um, banner crush.)

I'm fairly certain I totally freaked her and her hubs out with my incoherent ramblings upon entering their shop for the first time earlier in the week, realizing such amazing-ness was a mere 2 miles away from my front door, in a shop I used to work in no less (it was a children's book store when I worked there).  

My new word, by the way: Serendipity.  
You might be hearing more of it 'round these parts.  
I've had a run of serendipities...er, serendipitous moments recently.

It means "happy accident".

And finding Tammy and her uber-awesome shop was most definitely Serendipity.

'Cause I was actually looking for a stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, having attempted a few DIY versions that left me wondering, 'Oooooh reeeeeally' in my best skeptical Steve Martin voice.

And not only did I find a stockist, but she's like a long lost bosom buddy.  
Yes, I typed that out loud.

(a quart of *cream* ready for action at the workshop)

I just wanted to see what all the stink was about, really.
(There's no stink actually.  I mean, no literal stink to this paint. It's awesome.)
I bought a quart (*provence*, of course), a brush, clear wax, and a waxing brush on my first visit.

And made a brand-spankin' new friend.
With SERIOUS ::cottage instincts::

(it's playtime girls!)

Stopped back a couple days later under the guise of checking to see if my brush was in, 

.....aaannnnddd picked up two sample jars: *coco* and *old white*.

("laying on" the paint, barely pulling the brush along)

Popped back in tonight for the mini-workshop and might have bought a sample jar of *duck egg* and the bigger waxing brush.

I also may have a wee problem.

(practicing the rustic technique, which looks great after adding the dark wax, pic down the post )

I was impressed.  My DIY versions were nothing close to this paint.  Which is not to say others don't have success with DIY versions....but mine were nothing like the consistency, quality and coverage of the true blue (lettered) Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

(on the left side we did the french technique)

Tammy's hubster Jon actually taught the class, which was really helpful, even though it was taught by a man (KIDDING!). He cleaned all our brushes about 4 zillion times...which is where he was while the gals got their pic taken below.

(my classmates, who all have lovely names that I can't remember.....someone forgot the Dr. Seuss nametags, but I won't name names.  I do remember my name was Vicki.  Don't ask.)

I'm still scared of the wax, especially that evil dark wax, but after I play some more I may come around.
It did look all kinds of awesome on my *duck egg* board....

So, did I mention I've decided I'm going to get serious about starting a furniture painting business?

I may need to call it 
~Painted Funiture and Finds~

Because truly, isn't every cast off, thrifty furniture find a happy accident?
Isn't every trip to the junk shop/estate/garagesale full of mystery and happy surprises?

Serendipity, I'm tellin' ya.

I'll keep ya posted....

Thanks to Tammy and her Hubby Jon for hosting and teaching us all about the Magic Paint.
If you're ever in Fort Wayne IN, get yer rear into The Poppy Cottage.
But leave the cute stuff for me.

ps...I stole all the pics of her shop from her facebook page.
That's what friends do.


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