If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy flowers. For although the bread will nourish your body, the flowers will nourish your soul.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yet More Bargains

It probably seems that all I do is spend my days going to flea markets. Not true. I spend one day a week away from home, teaching piano lessons. During that time I often have cancellations, during which I run errands. I am fortunate to teach close to several thrift stores...Goodwill, Rescue Mission, and Salvation Army all being within a few minutes drive.  Price-wise, the Salvation Army thrift store is by far the best (and I just recently discovered it). 
On my last visit I made four purchases.

I bought 4 wine glasses...plain goblets with pretty swirled stems.  Unfortunately I gave them to daughter #2 before taking pics.  They were 15 cents apiece. I couldn't believe it. 
The 3 white ironstone plates were 25 cents apiece. I was tickled to find these, as I already had four in this pattern at home. There are no markings on the back of the plates.
The blue bowl was 75 cents and the silverplate knives 20 cents each. 
Total spent....$2.50 plus tax. 

I enjoy fleamarketing for several reasons.  The fun of the hunt. There are many times I walk out of the store with nothing. I don't buy just to buy. The economical aspect.  I'm saving money bigtime, and am still able to have very pretty things that I might otherwise not be able to afford. The whole "green" thing. I believe strongly in recycling. This is recycling usable and often beautiful items. Anything we can prevent from going into a landfill is a step in the right direction.

And did I mention, it's fun!!

Yard Sale Heaven

Last Thursday I found the best yard sale I've ever been to. Most of the time I'm happy to find one or two items at a yard sale. I had some time to kill while my husband was at an appointment. Having noticed that we passed a yard sale about a mile back, that's where I headed.  This is my list of purchases.

* 3 small white oval bathroom rugs that look like they've never been used
* a 1/2 pound box of straight pins (that's a lot of pins)
* a neat vintage suitcase (that I already gave to daughter #2)
* a little Goofy bobblehead (for daughter #1 who collects him)

* two galvanized metal watering cans
* this great wire basket

* a pair of glass candle holders
* a heavy duty gingerbread man cookie cutter 
* a very cool set of nesting cookie cutters with choice of straight or scalloped 

Grand total?  You won't believe this...... $4.00
I know... unreal, isn't it.  Everything I bought was either 25 or 50 cents.

I had a blast.  I know...I'm easily entertained.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This and That

Remember this lovely sand painting?

And these?

A little cleaning, and behold...


Definitely worth keeping.

Not the greatest photograph, but these hastily grabbed branches of stunning, gorgeous simplicity have given me so much pleasure this week. 

Pumpkin Dip...Yummers!

Always on the lookout for pumpkin recipes, as I preserve pumpkin puree, I wanted a recipe for a dip I could use with gingersnaps. I'd had it once before at someone's house.  I googled pumpkin dip and ended up with four slightly different ones. I don't know if I'll try the others or not, because the first one I tried is soooo delicious. I found it on a blog called "Closet Cooking". It was fast and easy to prepare. As good as it was right after making it, it was even better the next day. So try to make it a day ahead of serving and refrigerate.  My version is probably a little lighter in color than if you used storebought pumpkin because we grow the green striped long neck pumpkins for canning.

1  8oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1  cup brown sugar
2  cups pumpkin puree
1  tsp cinnamon
1/2  tsp ginger
1/4  tsp cloves
1/4  nutmeg

Beat with mixer until smooth.  Serve with ginger snaps.  (I would think it would be delicious with fruit, too)

Monday, October 25, 2010

If I Were A Rich Man....

...daidle deedle daidle, diggah diggah deedle daidle dum.  Boy, did the spell check ever go crazy on that phrase.  Sorry, but certain phrases always lead me into song.  Anyway...

Once in a while we have fun speculating about what we would do if we were fabulously wealthy.  Daughter #1 and I have one venture we dream about.  We would buy and restore wonderful old buildings.  We love to go on drives with no particular destination in mind and you almost always go by a crumbling old house, church, factory, barn, etc...that still retains a hint of it's former self.  We hate seeing these beauties  being lost to time and neglect. 
My husband and I went on a short fall drive yesterday and passed this old church.  I don't know why, but I am always drawn to these structures and would love to stop and explore.  We were speculating about the nature of the building. He thought it was a town hall or community building. I think it was a church/schoolhouse (like Little House On the Prairie)...used as a church on Sundays and school through the week. I'll have to do some researching.
I at least had to grab some pictures.

This charming old church will eventually just die and be lost.  How sad.  If I were a rich man.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Project Accomplished

Remember this?

Just using this and adding bits and pieces of supplies I had on hand, I have my fall wreath finished.  

Please look past the faded and peeling door paint...that's to come. But I'm pleased with my wreath, especially since I didn't need to buy anything. Thanks Mom!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And I Was Doing So Well....

...until yesterday.  I went shopping at the "House of Mom".  Mom and Dad cleaned out their attic, and Mom put everything she didn't want in the dining room. The table was full and overflowing onto the floor.  She scheduled a day that all four of us girls (three sisters and our sis-in-law) could come for a morning of choosing what we wantedand then she fed us a delicious meal.  
I went with the best of intentions. I wasn't going to bring much home...I'm in the process of purging.  I had adopted the philosophy of bring something in, take something out, and was doing pretty well.  I have several big boxes in another room that are being filled with yardsale and donation items, and I've even thrown things away!!!  Gasp!
Well, I didn't do so well with my resolve yesterday.

The easy stuff first.

Now, who could resist this beauty?  So 80's.  Contents dumped, container washed, and now a useful vase or candle holder. 

I needed a grapevine wreath to make a fall arrangement for the door and one can always use good quality silk greenery for arrangements. Right?

Next, the obvious choice.

Aren't these pretty?  They are sushi plates and small, but will service very well as dessert or bread plates and mix beautifully with my blue and white dishes. I couldn't pass them up, and the price was right.

These next items I have to admit, I really didn't need, and I really don't have room in my overcrowded china cupboard....

 but....they're so pretty!  And they aren't even washed yet.

I brought these home, too.  I love birds. The large one is kind of a funky planter and will go on the kitchen windowsill and be filled with the cilantro plant I just bought.  The paper mache ones will be used on a country style pine tree from A.C. Moore that I sometimes put up in the kitchen with the tiny white lights.

I can't even rationalize what's coming next.  I don't have any of this color in my home.  But nobody wanted them.  And I love transfer ware. They needed to go to a good home where their beauty would be appreciated and cared for.  I'll find room.

And this?...

Not my usual taste. Something I would probably never purchase, even though it's vintage tinsel.  But it was Meme Gamby's.   I'll use it somewhere, and love it.
I guess I'd better get busy and find some more stuff to get rid of.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Tops and Silver

One of our family's favorite things about the arrival of fall, is the steady agenda of fall festivals. There is one close by almost every weekend. The first one of the season is Two Tops...food, music, tractor and horse pulls, crafts, food (oh, I said that already, didn't I?), and.....fleas! 

Okay...we arrive. And the first stand I walk up to has a utensil organizer with tarnished and dirty silverplate in it. I ask...how much?  "Oh...50 cents apiece."  Cool, I think to myself, and pick out one place setting. $2.50.  Pretty good!  While I'm picking them out he says..."Or you can have the whole thing for $5." I assume you can figure out how long I hesitated on that one.  I walked away with 1 knife, 3 tablespoons, 11 teaspoons, 5 dinner forks, and 7 dessert forks of Community silver plate in 1932 Lady Hamilton pattern. 

I love the magical transformation that takes place with a little silver polish.

Also included was the heavy duty, perfect condition stainless steel utensil tray which cleaned up beautifully, a few miscellaneous pieces, and this cute little brass thingamajig with a lid that unscrews. 

As I polished it up, I rubbed extra hard in case there was a teensy tiny little genie in there.  No....

On Beauty

In the last few years I have grown more aware of a need for beauty in our lives. As I experience His creation I think, God could have created a functional world with just our survival needs being met.  But He did so much more than that.  He gave us incredible beauty. And He instilled in us a desire and need for it. We need a protective structure to live in, but we also want our home to be a beautiful sanctuary.  There is a lot of ugliness in our world. We need to balance it with loveliness when we can. Not for the sake of having "things", but to remind us of the wonder of His provision.  We have become a society of fast foods, plastic and busy-ness.  Don't get me wrong...my husband and I often eat on paper plates in front of the TV. And when our four children were still living at home we were on the go a lot. But I feel more and more that we need to sometimes take the time to pull out that "good china" that sits in our china cupboards, use those precious hand stitched linens that grandma madeand leisurely converse with friends and family...surrounded with beauty.  As we go through our daily activities we need to be able to rest our eyes for a moment on that wonderful photo we snapped on the day trip we took with the kids that was so much fun.  Or catch a whiff of the fresh flowers on the table as we pass by. Or pause, just to enjoy the beauty of a vignette we created with some of our favorite things.

One recent evening, after a long day, I had a glass of a special gingerale my sister shared with me. I was in shorts and tee shirt with my bare feet propped up. But I drank it out of a gorgeous etched glass goblet.  I felt like a queen.  ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Little Stamping

I get to do a little stamping once a month with some dear friends. And I actually got a few cards made.

On this, and the rose card, I lightly sanded the raised portion of the embossing. This exposes the white core of this cardstock, highlighting the embossed design. The white oval bearing the sentiment was lightly sponged with blue sky while still in the oval die, to protect and emphasize the white border. Also, I stamped the flower portion of the oval stamp again on the blue paper, cut it out and adhered it to the white oval. Then I used the 3D paint to make tiny dots in the center.

Recipe:  paper-  white, Core'dinations canvas textured cardstock "vacation blues" (Storage Units, Inks & More);  stamps-  Oval All (Stampin'Up);  ink- archival black, blue sky (Stampin'Up);  accessories-  Elegant Bouquet textured impressions embossing folder (Stampin'Up), sanding block, ribbon (American Crafts), Nestabilities (Spellbinder), shiny white Scribbles 3D paint.

As soon as I saw this stamp of Ronda's, I knew I wanted to paper piece it. 

Recipe:  paper- white, K&Company designer papers;  ink-  black archival;  stamps-  need to find out;  accessories-  Square Lattice textured impressions embossing folder (Stampin'Up),  punches (Stampin'Up), shiny white Srcibbles 3D paint.

Recipe: paper-  K&Company designer paper, white, black;  ink-  black archival;  stamps-  Oval All (Stampin'Up), hummingbird stamp;  accessories-  Nestabilities (Spellbinder),  Scribbles shiny white 3D paint.

I used the same sanding technique on this as the first card.  Also, I cut away part of the embossed panel to highlight the roses. 

Recipe:  paper-  white, K&Company Classic K Designer Mat Pad, Core'dinations canvas textured cardstock (Storage Units, Inks & More);  accessories-  Manhattan Flower textured impressions embossing folder (Stampin'Up), sanding block.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Oh my!  Every once in a while it happens. That fun, big bargain find. I had an hour to kill on Tuesday (two piano students out on vacation). So I slipped to the Goodwill store close by.  Thanks to some of the amazing blogging thrifters out there, I've gotten more into the habit of checking out boxes. Off to the side, before I left the store empty handed this time, I saw two large cardboard boxes...one marked "Pottery Barn Kids" for $3, and the other marked PBTeen for $4.  Pottery Barn! How can it not be good? I've seldom seen anything from that place that I didn't love. Each box contained an item that had never even been unpackedI couldn't find the chair in a catalogue, but I did find the lamp. It's listed for $79! Granddaughter #1 needs a lamp for her new bedroom, and what child can't use a classy chair just his or her size?  Thank you, Lord!

Not bad for a total of $7.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Best Laid Plans...

I had visions this summer of projects, gardening, alfresco entertaining, regular blog posts. Oh well.  Number one...it's too miserable outside most of the time to even think about picnics, dining out, or sitting around a fire pit. Number two...the outside looks terrible because everything is burning up. My poor, once beautiful flowers. And finally, the biggest reason it's "oh well" to my plans, is that we're renovating a house. Only it's not ours!  Daughter #2, husband, and three grandkiddos are moving into my husband's parents' house. Both parents passed away within the last two years and the family preferred that the house be kept within the family if possible. It brings daughter and family 25 minutes closer to their respective jobs, and right around the corner from us. Yay!!  The house was an old one and had not had hardly anything done to it since it was builtNeedless to say, it needed work. So while everything there is being scraped, sanded, painted, and cleaned, everything at my house is being....ignored. Dust and dirt included. 
However, we do need groceries once in a while and to go to the grocery store I need to pass a thrift store and an antique mall. Grin. So, Friday I treated myself to a couple unscheduled stops before groceries. I found 3 beautiful blue and white plates and two very nice silverplated serving pieces. Total spent, $12.  

At least when I finally do get around to working on my house, I'll have some pretty things to use. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Squatter's Rights

Squatter-  a person who settles on land without title, right, or payment of rent. 

I took this pic of a potted plant on my my front porch on July 15th.  Doing pretty well.

A few days ago I went out to water and, at first glance, thought my four year old grandson had been digging in my plant. (I apologize sweetie).  At closer inspection, I realized that I had a squatter. 

Of all the acres of plants, bushes and trees this little bugger had to choose from, she had to make a nest in my planter. Oh well...she new I wouldn't chase her out.  I haven't seen her yet to know what kind of bird she is, but she has startled the tar out of a few people as they unknowingly walked by and she whizzed out past them.

No eggs yet.