Saturday, September 30, 2006
I recently participated in the Red & Aqua swap and had the good fortune to have Lauren M. send to me (Lauren doesn't have a blog right now, unfortunately!). Oh my goodness, did she take good care of me! I truly love everything she sent and can tell that she spent a lot of time choosing things that she thought that I, specifically, would like. Who wouldn't want a box full of goodies chosen just for YOU? Everything was even wrapped to coordinate with the theme. I stopped and made myself take a picture, even though I was dying to rip into all those little paper packets! Don't your fingers get itchy just looking at the photo?
As adorable as all the little packages were, the insides were even better! Lauren had me so pegged! LOL I absolutely adore the H that she painted and embellished for me. I have been trying to collect initials for the members of our family (H, Q, and M) to display but so far I only have two Qs and an M. I'm just thrilled to finally have an H to add! She also sent me some very cool rub-ons for scrapbooking that are very much in the flourish-y style that's so IN right now. There is the most beautiful set of cloth napkins, wrapped with a cute red polka-dot ribbon and the most darling little toadstools and velvet leaves! I positively squealed when I saw those! Lauren also included a little red book, perfect for all of the LISTS I am constantly making, yummy vintage aqua-colored rickrack, cute little tissues, pretty red and white woven ribbon, vintage cake decorations, cool polka-dot brads, sweets, and last but not least the most adorable little pale blue pitcher. I am completely in love with it! It will look sweet on my kitchen windowsill next to the aqua Lu-Ray creamer. I think it would make the cutest vase and may have to pick up a few flowers at the store today to confirm my suspicions. :)
Lauren's package was an absolute delight to receive and to open. Thank you, Lauren, for making my first swap experience so WONDERFUL!!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Decorating for Halloween. I haven't actually started yet--I've managed to hold off this long, which is impressive for me especially since I've been feeling the itch since about August 31st. Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate the house for, and I'm so excited to bring up the orange and black plastic tubs from the basement and reacquaint myself with all of my lovelies. I've still got my patriotic stuff up from July (although my house is mostly done in red/white/blue so it matches) and I'm SO ready for a change. I have a few new things to add this Halloween. You've already seen the ribbon topiary, but I also treated myself to these cuties (although I got mine from a different source). I can't wait to plunk a punkin on the big one! I think maybe one of those white Boo varieties would look so very cool. I've also gotten a feathered buzzard that I need to find a place for, and I have the makings for a cool wreath that I bought last year on clearance but still need to put together. I've never made a wreath before but I can't imagine it's too difficult. We'll see.
If you're looking for a cute and easy Halloween craft, check out these adorable jack o' lanterns made out of a paperback book. This was featured in the October issue of Country Home magazine, which I just received last week. I immediately noticed the book pumpkins and was tickled to see on Teresa's blog that she actually made one! They are too darn cute, sound super easy and cost just pennies to make. Paperback books can be had at thrift stores and garage sales for less than a buck. You can even use hardback books as Teresa did and cut off the covers. Wouldn't a whole row of these little guys in varying heights be cute? Yet another reason to lament the lack of a mantel in my house.
Another cute autumn craft idea is this pumpkin topiary. Several people over at Two Peas have made them, including this cute variation using an apple basket. I don't really have a large enough porch to warrant making one of these, but I think they're just darling! I don't usually do 'fall' decorations until November, after I take down the Halloween stuff. Even though I'm rabidly excited to put it all up, by the end of October I'm sick of seeing it!
We're talking about having a Halloween party again this year--that would make it the 2nd annual Halloween bash. We did it last year and it was great fun, even though it was a TON of work. Last year we invited parents and kids, thinking that we'd get a better turnout if parents didn't have to get babysitters. I still think that was true, but it was a zoo. This year, it's adults only and if people are too lazy to get a sitter then they're lame and I don't want them at my party anyway! I need to start thinking of invitations because I need to get them out in the next 2 weeks, so people can hopefully mark their calendars and have plenty of time to find someone to watch their kids. I love party planning. I've always said I'd rather plan a party than go to one!
Friday, September 22, 2006
For lack of anything more interesting to post, these are some altered clipboards I did for a class I was supposed to teach last night. I say supposed to teach because only one person signed up and then she called to cancel on me yesterday afternoon. Honestly, I could feel hurt that no one signed up and maybe they thought my stuff was ugly and they don't like me and I smell funny, but truly I was just RELIEVED! I needed the break.
Here are the clipboards, anyway. They're super easy to make--you use Mod Podge to stick the papers down to the clipboard. When that's dry, you paint on another coat of Mod Podge to seal the papers. After that coat is dry you add embellishments like ribbons, flowers, etc. They can be used like a photo frame or you can use them as an actual clipboard. I did one with Christmas paper with the idea that you could keep your master holiday To-Do list on the clipboard along with gift lists, receipts, recipes for goodies, etc. You can also attach a pen on a ribbon to make it even handier.
These make good teacher or coach gifts if you intend them to be used as a clipboard. You can paint the backside if you want to make it a little fancier. The designs I did here were purposely simple as I anticipated teaching it to a group, so simple is key. For my own use I'd probably use more papers, more embellishments and ribbon--the 'more is more' philosophy for sure. Thanks for looking!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Not this week, anyway.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I think I'm going to go cry now.
I found the instructions for this in the Making Memories book called Ribbonrie and couldn't resist making one, since I love ribbon! It was really easy--you just cut the ribbon/trims to 4" lengths and make loops, sticking them to a styrofoam ball with a straight pin. When the ball is covered, you stick a painted dowel rod into the bottom the ball and into a piece of floral foam that is wedged into your container. Then you hot glue moss to the top of the floral foam to hide it. I tied a ribbon around my pot and later added a little metal charm that said "Happy Halloween."
I made mine for Halloween (since it's my favorite holiday) but you could do any colors/container you want. I found these cute black flowerpots at JoAnn's on clearance and I already had a lot orange/black/white ribbon. I found that wider ribbon/trim is the best because it fills up more space and you need less, but using some skinny ones for a varation in texture is good too. They do take a lot of ribbon, but you can watch and get it on sale or Michael's usually has a big bin of $1 ribbon spools. Cute and easy!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
This should have been added to yesterday's thrift report but I couldn't get Blogger to upload my photo. Blogger may be free, but it may be one of those "you get what you pay for" cases. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and switch to TypePad.
Anyway, this bracelet was the absolute SCORE of that thrifting trip! It's vintage Coro and it is in perfect condition. The stones are all there and they are red with an aurora borealis coating. This bracelet is just gorgeous! I wore it yesterday and had to keep looking at my wrist to admire it, LOL! The best part? It was only $4.95!! That, my friends, is an absolute steal!
In just about 40 minutes I'm going to pack up Maren and head to the airport to pick up my Mom, who's coming to visit for the weekend. We're headed down to southern Colorado tomorrow to visit my grandparents for a few days. I'm hoping to squeeze in a little trip to the junk shop in their small town. The junk is deep and the prices are cheap--just the way I like it!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Big Bowl o' Buttons, $3.95. These are new, not vintage--oh, there may be few, but for the most part they are modern and they are all in pastels: pale shell pink, seafoam green, butter yellow, pearly white. There were several other similar bags of buttons, all divided up by color but I thought this bag was definitely the prettiest. Wonder who donated all those buttons? Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them.
Vintage printed tablecloth, $2.95. The colors on this one are still very vivid and the grey hasn't disappeared, so this must not have seen much use. This cloth is rectangular which I think is a little more unusual; most of the printed tablecloths I come across are 40" squares. This will fit on my table, and the red will look great in my kitchen. There are some stains so I'll do the Oxyclean trick, but if they don't come out at least I won't feel bad if I spill something on it! One of these days I'm going to get a book on vintage tablecloths so maybe I can identify the makers. Some of them have labels but the majority do not, it seems.
Vintage Vera linen tablecloth, $2.95. This is so cute! From the picture it's hard to get an idea of scale, but each strawberry is about the size of a salad plate. There are some pretty bad yellow stains on this cloth so I'll soak it and then I think I'll hang it in the sun tomorrow and hope for the best. I bought it with the idea of resale but I may just keep it for myself.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Speaking of REALLY GREAT DEALS, prior to our trip to Albertson's, Maren and I went to a clothing store with the initials O.N. to pick up some jeans for her to wear this fall. It's been quite chilly here lately and she has nothing but sundresses and one pair of denim capris, so it's time to go shopping. As I was paying for my purchases, I noticed the woman being rung up next to me had an enormous pile of black yoga pants. Then I saw the price tags--$.17! I must have done a double take because she laughed and said, "Yes, they really are just 17 cents each! I'm going to buy them to donate." Wha??? Pants for seventeen cents? Out of my way!
For some strange reason my particular store has piles and piles of these pants that they've been storing since last year and they finally can clearance them out. They originally retailed for $16.50. Why they'd even go to the trouble for $.17 is beyond me--they'd probably be better off donating them and writing them off--but whatever! The manager was enforcing a limit of 10 pair per transaction, but he was allowing multiple transactions so I ended up buying 3 transactions' worth, or 30 pair. I'll keep some for me, gift them, sell them, or if nothing else I can just donate them. Heck, for 17 cents, I can just wear a pair once and throw them away--to heck with doing laundry!
So that was the excitement for the day. Maren took a pathetic 1 hour nap so she was more than ready to go to bed, and I'm headed upstairs to work on the guest room so my Mom has a place to sleep when she visits later this week. Good night!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I was close enough that I ran home and looked up Completed Listings on eBay for similar mugs and when I saw the totals in the $100 range, I grabbed a twenty and jumped back in the car. I'm sure I drove well above the speed limit in our neighborhood trying to get back there, because I was so anxious that someone else would snatch them up before I got back! Lucky for me, they were still there and I handed over my $30 without even bothering to haggle.
After I had my mugs stowed safely in my trunk I headed to Albertson's because they're doing their big 10/$15 sale on cereal and many other items. If you buy 10 of the sale items at once, you get an extra $5 off so that makes each item only a dollar apiece! I harbor a not-so-secret obsession with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and it happens to be one of the cereals on sale, so I stock up whenever they have this sale. I was down to 2 boxes but thanks to my shopping spree today, my stock is now at a healthy 17 boxes (eek!). If the Apocalypse comes, at least I'll have good breakfast.
I bought a few other things as well, enough to make 20 items so I'd get the extra $10 off. I also had a coupon for $1.00 off 3 boxes of cereal to use. Once I had paid, the checker handed me one of those coupons that prints at the register that was good for $2 off 5 boxes of the same cereal I'd just bought. So I walked over and grabbed 5 more boxes, because 5 x $1.50=$7.50 and $7.50-$2.00=$5.50 so that made each box $1.10 each, almost as good as the previous deal! And then when I bought those, the checker handed me another $2 off coupon! At that point Maren was behaving like the offspring of an unholy mating between an octopus and a rabid badger so I had to go, but I may just go back and use my new coupon on 5 more boxes of cereal.
If I had known I was going to get that printout coupon, I'd have separated my first order into two groups of 10. I would have gotten the coupon after paying for the first 10, and then I could have applied it towards the second 10, making them $.80 apiece. (Yes, I thought about this the whole way home.) Ah well. My neighbor said that she and a friend have a little competition whenever Albertson's runs this sale to see who can save the most money. She said her order total was something like $100 but with the savings, the store owed her $4! The friend had an order in the $50 range and with the sales she ended up getting $3 back. That's hardcore, man. Makes me get a little tear in my eye.
Maren's had quite a morning, too. Aside from acting like a rabid octo-badger in the grocery store, she also managed to climb from her high chair to one of the kitchen chairs, and let herself down. I left her in there eating grapes and came into the office to check my email. Seeing her toddle in, knowing that I'd just left her in the high chair and realizing what she'd done definitely qualified for an "oh sh!t" moment. Sometimes I fear that Quin and I are losing the battle of wits with this one. Oy.
Not much later I was standing at the sink washing dishes and Maren was fiddling in the trash with Bronco nearby. I looked over to see her holding out a Dr. Pepper can to him and giggling, and in a sickening flash realized that she was holding the can that I had poured the used oil into after cooking last night's dinner of homemade coconut shrimp. I'd placed it in the trash upright so the oil wouldn't spill into the rest of the bag, but apparently I'd left it just within Octo-baby's reach and she expertly honed in on the one thing in the trash that would make the biggest mess in the least amount of time. It should be mentioned that prior to washing the dishes, I had just bathed Maren and dressed her in the very cute little t-shirt that I bought at Target last night. That same shirt was now nearly transparent in the front because of the amount of vegetable oil spilled on it, and the front of her hair was matted and glossy from the same. Clothes went in the wash with lots of soap and Maren went directly to her crib for a nap.
Now there is blissful quiet and I can work on my list of Things To Do. I've got to whip up an altered clipboard to show the ladies at church tomorrow, make 3 posters to advertise an upcoming church activity, and did I mention that Quin leaves tomorrow for the next 2 weeks? No more blogging! I've got stuff to do!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Last is another reason I should always listen to my Mom! I told her I've been looking at this sequined fruit on eBay for a while and I was actually going to bid on a lot that ended the same day I found these. My mom told me to just keep looking and I'd probably find some at a thrift or garage sale, and she was right! These were $4, which is less than it would have cost to even mail them if I'd bought them off eBay. I'm still on the lookout for a pineapple and some cherries or strawberries, but I think I'll wait on eBay and hope that the thrift gods smile down on me again!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
At left we have 2 sets of Japanese stacking mugs. I have no idea why I keep buying these; maybe it's because all the cool girls have them, and I want to be like the cool girls. I don't drink coffee or hot chocolate and they don't sell well on eBay, so I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. The bowl is vintage Color Craft aluminum and was 30 cents.
Next up we have 2 vintage Fire-King mugs. Both were 60 cents each and both will go on eBay in a lot of FK mugs I've been collecting. The Jingle Bells were in a bag of other sewing supplies I bought a little while back. The 2 vintage pillowcases will be made into dresses, eventually. The pink one in the front is actually the same as one I bought earlier this summer and made into a dress for a friend's daughter. Funny that I'd find another!
I bought these three flower pins a couple of weeks ago. The pink one isn't vintage (it's Joan Rivers) but I thought it was cute and I am a sucker for polka dots. The gold one has little wires in the middle that are topped with little rhinestones in 2 different shades of green. I thought the greens would be pretty for fall. The one at bottom right is special. It's sterling silver and turquoise and mother of pearl and is marked TAXCO. I haven't been able to figure out who the artist was (it is marked with initials) or an approximate date yet, which I'd like to do before I list it on eBay. It's a pin but also has a loop for hanging from a chain. It's pretty, but not my style so I hope it sells well!
There's more, but Blogger won't cooperate so those will have to wait until another post.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Both of the shirts say "TEAM GERMAN" on the front, Maren's in pink and Quin's in black. We wanted to put "The Destroyer" on the back of Maren's shirt but it was just too long to fit, so we went with this instead:
We thought it appropriate. Maren mostly just wandered around looking adorable and being loved on by the older girls who were there with their dads. We did have to put her sweater back on her after a while because it was just too darn cold, but I think the other teams got the message that the Germans were there and they were ready to win. Here's the back of Quin's shirt:
100% inappropriate for a church activity, right? We thought it was pretty funny. I'm not sure if we amuse anyone else as much as we amuse ourselves? Yeah, probably not.
Unfortunately, we had to leave the Olympics after just 3 of the 5 events and before the lunch. Maren has a drippy nose and a cough as it is, and she was wet from playing in the grass and spilling juice down her front, all of which resulted in a slightly sticky, cold, crabby little girl. It was also getting to be naptime, so we packed up the hound and the baby and came home. We'll probably spend the rest of the day in various states of nappage (Quin, Maren and Bronco) and puttering about the house (Me) until tonight, when we're going over to some friends' house to watch the BYU football team lose. Have a great Saturday!