So excited to announce that we have a winner for our handmade gift giveaway! The Happy Scarf mentioned in the previous blog post will be heading out in the mail to…
Congratulations! You are the new storyteller and caretaker of this vintage sari table runner – a piece of fabric that intimately ties together at least the lives of five women, two continents, and a journey that spans over 8,300 miles.
How fun! I hope it brings many years of happiness and joy to your table.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this giveaway. Guesses as to the contents of the mystery box were incredibly creative and ran the gamut of possibility. My most favorite ones included a set of decorated bowls, a spice grinder, napkins, a set of bracelets, a henna kit, a mini mortar and pestle, spice seeds, a Ganesha statue, a travel guide book, a piece of Indian art, an Indian stamp set and a collection of powdered dyes. How fun would any one of those prizes be?!
In a marvelous feat of guesswork though, there were two entrants – Christine and Karen – who both suggested that the box could contain a scarf. Christine even went so far as to say a small sari for use as table decoration! If the giveaway was about guessing the exact contents of the box these two ladies would have tied as winners for sure. But alas, the contest was open to anyone who submitted a guess. From there, all names were then written down on paper and pooled together in a box. Tomi’s name was selected from a random draw, and I like to think, a little bit of fate from India:)
Cheers and congratulations to Tomi for the win and to the Happy Scarf who now has a happy new home!
Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner! Well three actually since the Spartan Souvenir giveaway includes three gift packs. Technicalities aside, cheery congratulations goes out to Jessica W., Michael B. and Kari T. on winning olive oil and oregano samples from the gorgeous Greek city of Sparta courtesy of The Spartan Table. Winners, please check your emails for contest notifications and respond with your postal address for receipt of your prize via mail.
A big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! Look for more exciting chances to win souvenirs from around the world as we head into 2017. Ms. Jeannie would also like to extend a special thank you to everyone who sent private messages about this post in particular and the magical world of Jehny and George. Comments are like stars in the night sky – always delightfully unexpected and always very rewarding for the spirit – so keep them coming! Ms. Jeannie loves (LOVES!) to hear what’s going on in that brain of yours.
While you head into the holiday stretch, please keep The Spartan Table in mind for both holiday cooking and gift giving. Jehny and George ship so fast from Greece, you’ll have barely placed your order before you see your international package sitting pretty in your post box. Unlike mail from Italy that can sometimes take up to a month for delivery, Greece is definitely on top of their postal practices and procedures with usual delivery time-frames hovering between 5-10 days. (The souvenirs for this post took just 5 days!) That, combined with the accommodating, kind and friendly attitudes of Jehny and George, your Christmas shopping experience with The Spartan Table is guaranteed to be not only easy breezy but also thoroughly enjoyable. And so very delicious!
Cheers to Jessica, Michael and Kari and to the ancient city of Sparta for bringing history home.
When Ms. Jeannie first started doing her genealogy research, the holy grail of success for her was finding the faces of her ancestors. She worked close to a year before she uncovered any. Ironically, that first photo that opened up the pictorial floodgates, was right under her nose… in an album Ms. Jeannie’s mom had forgotten about in the back of a closet!
The day Ms. Jeannie looked at the face of her great great grandmother Martha, for the first time, she was so overcome with emotion, she cried!
Silly but true. Ms. Jeannie is not really the weepy kind, after all. Anyway, she just got caught up in the moment. All those months of researching Martha’s life – her 11 kids, her journey in covered wagon from Indiana to Ohio to Iowa, her husband’s military service in the Civil War, her farm life in Iowa… all those details rolling around Ms. Jeannie’s head for all that time. And then suddenly – there was Martha! There was the shape of her face, the evidence of glasses, the style of her hair.
Since then, through help from online forums like ancestry.com and genealogy.com and the kindness of sharers, Ms, Jeannie has found handfuls of family photos. Her family. Spread out over many trees, many lines and many countries. These are some of the more recent finds…
Had she never done the research, Ms. Jeannie would never have known what any of these people looked like. With the exception of great grandmother Juna, these were all brand-new faces of family.
Ms. Jeannie likes to look at these pictures and think about the context in which they were taken. What was great Aunt Leona thinking about? Why were Juna and Hannah wearing paper dresses? What was the pin on the lapel of J. William? Noticing small details like this paints a vivid picture for the imagination!
In the same vain, whenever Ms. Jeannie comes across old photographs for sale, she can’t help but do the same exact thing – she thinks about the back story surrounding each image. She has several examples of this in her Etsy shop… let’s take a look…(click on any of the pictures for more information about each photograph)
On first glance, you might just see a picture of a girl on a bench…
But crawl inside Ms. Jeannie’s head and she’ll tell you this story…
“Nina waited patiently for Spring. Well, technically, she was waiting for summer – but you had to get through spring in order to get to summer, so she had to dream in order. This summer, she’d be done. Done with high school. Done with wearing plaid skirt uniforms and done, done, done with all that homework, thank goodness. Sure, she was going onto college in the Fall, but that would be different. There would be boys, and classes she wanted to take and parents that she only had to see on breaks. At college, her preferences for life would bloom and Nina couldn’t wait for that. She’d study literature and she’d become a writer and her very first piece would be about the suffocation of long skirts and loafers.”
Here, you see two bathing beauties…
And Ms. Jeannie sees Rose and Evelyn…
“Rose and Evelyn stayed in their swimsuits the whole entire vacation. And who could blame them? With that ocean stretching out behind them and the infinity pool disappearing in front – it was all they needed. This was the vacation where Evelyn perfected her dive, and where Rose realized that she was now technically old enough to flirt with boys without looking ridiculous. It was an ego-booster for both of them, this vacation.”
This one is a school scene from the 1920’s…
Sometimes, Ms. Jeannie sees many stories in one scene. Such is the case, with this one! Here is all she imagined…
“There’s the obvious one, of course, about how smiling Dorothy is in love with Gilbert and absolutely thrilled that her crush of the past two years is now sharing elbow space with her.
There’s the story about lively Pauline (in the forefront) and how she talked her way into getting the traveling photographer to stop by her Biology 101 class. “You’ll want to document the budding scientific genius occurring in room 9, sir. I guarantee you that.”
There’s the story of Mr. Whipple, first year science teacher, who doggedly fought the school board for months over the right to buy 37 microscopes so that each student in his class (not just the boys) would have use of their own scientific study instruments.
Then there is the story of three friends, who spent all summer in the science lab researching why the bullfrogs in Tillman Pond were genetically bigger then the bullfrogs in every other pond in town.
And let’s not forget about humble Pauline who was the first girl, in the state of Texas, to win first place in the national science fair, which yielded not only a cash prize for her, but new textbooks and supplies for her school.
Oh, Ms. Jeannie could practically write a novel with all the situations going on here! Now it’s your turn to look close and see what stories you see…”
This one is a miniature portrait…
Ms. Jeannie called her Marion and wrote about her neighbor, Arnie (short for Arnold)…
“Marion’s got a suitor in her neighbor, Arnie, across the street. Well, technically he’s not really her suitor yet – but one of these days she’s going to fall head over heels for him. He just knows it. In the meantime, he does his best, on a daily basis, to try to impress her – nothing’s really gone gangbusters so far. Most of the time she stands there, with her arms crossed and that same as ever are you kidding me expression. But Arnie’s of a hopeful mindset…one day, she’ll see it.”
Ms. Jeannie got a little help from the inscription on this photo postcard…
This is what she thought was going on inside Bobbie’s world…
“Oh that Bobbie – she’s quite a clever kidder, calling her beau a schnook like that. She hopes this subtle Merry Christmas postcard tactic is all that she will need to make handsome Dean realize that she is quite over the moon for him. It’s only taken her the whole semester to get her nerve up – but what the heck does she have to lose now? It’s Christmastime and she’s feeling hopeful. She’ll just slide it under Dean’s dorm room door before she heads home for the holiday. Let him stew on that during winter break!”
Of course, all these photographs are open to interpretation,. You may see something totally different in the bathing beauties or in Bobbie’s cheering stance, but that is sort of the fun of these old photographs. Don’t you think?
Following this train of thought, Ms. Jeannie came up with a fun little challenge for all of you dear readers!
Here it is..
Now it is your turn to come up with the back story about this picture above! Write your own quick little story snippet about this photograph and email it to msjeannieology[at]yahoo.com
It doesn’t have to be long… just a few sentences is great. The most creative entry, as determined by Mr. Jeannie Ology (for fairness, of course) will win the picture! The challenge will be open for one week so be sure to get your entries in by midnight on Tuesday, February 26th. Winner will be announced via blog post, and also email, on Wednesday, February 27th.
Lucky for you – there’s a little extra help with this challenge! On the back of the photo, written in pencil, it says…
“Grace & Me. I have on Grace’s hat and she has mine on.”
Here’s a few more close-up views of the photograph. In case you want to know the size – it measures 2.5″ inches x 3.5″ inches.