Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yoo hoo!

Life feels as if it has speeded up lately -- I know you know what I mean.
I have been so busy but also really wanting to get over here to my blog to say hello and catch up a little bit!
Work is going well! While still underemployed, I am so happy there -- it is such a big improvement over my last job that I am walking on air.  You should have seen me doing the happy dance just the other day when I had my benefits orientation.  I was able to purchase BETTER health insurance for my family at less than HALF THE COST than what was offered at my last job, or by my husband's employer.  We are breathing a sigh of relief over here.
There are so many things I like about my new job, and here's just one: in the evenings, after I've done all the training and other work in between phone calls during the first several hours of my shift, things will generally slow down a bit and we are allowed to bring in quiet work, or reading.  Some of the younger people who are in school do homework.  I sew.
I whipped up these white pumpkins at work last week and I am in love with them.
I'm thinking of glittering them up but am a little afraid to try.  I might have to make a smaller version and experiment with that.
It's so nice to have time in the mornings to spend homemaking. Above, I replaced Halloween decor with some of my Georges Briard collection. I'm enjoying the look and thought it fit in well in-between holidays -- soon to be replaced by vintage Christmas.
 An enamel chicken pot that used to be in my Etsy shop; I am thinking about keeping it.  So iconic.
On the left, a green pear and apple design on a clear serving plate, and on the right, a milk glass plate with strawberry design gifted to me by Kathy.
The lid only of a decorated glass casserole dish, with doves, leaves and thistles.  I just love it.
And, filed under keeping it real: I thought I'd show you a solution I picked up at a recent estate sale. My son has gotten in the habit of piling/dumping his stuff next to the sofa after school which is fine because, hey, we live here.  But it was becoming problematic because the junk pile can grow to block the basement door.  So I bought this rolling cart for $10. Now he has 3 shelves to pile his stuff in, and when we need basement access, we just roll it out of the way.
Also under the heading "keeping it real" -- I was in such a cranky mood the other day when I was out running errands (other people's unkind online behavior -- enough said) that I had to grab this calendar.  Anne Taintor is the original mixed media artist and queen of snark, and now I have a whole year of her sarcasm to enjoy!
Last but not least: take a look at these window panes I got at another estate sale a few months back.  I paid just $10 for the four of them, and here I have photographed them as is -- unwashed and all. They are antique and show it -- at least one of them is losing its metal and has loose glass, so they will need to be reinforced (or framed.)
For now they are living in my garage, and I have NOT had any epiphanies about how to use them. Any suggestions, my artistic and designer friends?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh yes I did

 -- make yet more pumpkins!
 for these, I used those wool squares I bought and posted about here
--find more vintage Vera
 here are those pumpkins sitting on some Vera napkins...

 I like how the geometric scarf mixes oranges and pinks
--buy more vintage Christmas kitsch
--buy a grab bag of fabric

 I didn't expect it to include these finished quilt squares but I think they may end up in my Christmas crafts this year
I know.  I can't believe I did it, either.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A happy Halloween

Halloween has never really been my favorite of occasions, but I had such a nice one this year, how about you?
Dennis had been out of town all week and I had started my new 40 hour work schedule Sunday.  It was hectic and I was never happier to see Friday, and a day off -- and Dennis.
On  a day that just so happened to be Halloween.
After a morning spent shopping and running errands, I came home and saw this post by Sheila Rumney on my blog feed about a Halloween mini album she had made.
I was smitten.  Instantly inspired!
So I made one of my own!  Seriously -- I dropped everything and rummaged through my pre-digital camera albums to find each year of Halloween fun back to Ben's first.
I scanned them, printed them, got out my very limited supply of Halloween themed papers and goodies and got to work.  
All in all, I spent about 3 hours on Halloween afternoon/evening putting together this little album!
While Dennis helpfully took over the handing out of candy.
Scary movies were my "background music" as I worked.
Our son was off doing a trunk-or-treat fund raiser at the high school.
It was just a wonderful way to spend Halloween.
And remembering...

I have very little in the way of Halloween paper or crafting accessories, but I did my best.

My "album" consists of tags and chipboard pages, double-sided, that stand up in a wooden box.
 I was reminded of how we got Ben this paduan costume of Obi-Wan Kenobi one year...
and for the next several years he insisted on wearing it -- until it didn't fit anymore!
 And all our visits during the season to go see the fabulous huge pumpkin display done by a local enthusiast.
When Ben finally did agree to a new, non-Star Wars costume, it was this super cool one dreamed up by him and his friend, with light sticks!  They looked AWESOME out in the dark trick or treating that year!
 I always enjoyed how much Dennis enjoyed Halloween; as a kid, he didn't participate in the holiday so with Ben, he made up for lost time!
One year, there was a pumpkin shortage so they cheerily carved squash, instead!
Ben stopped trick or treating around middle school, and from then on couldn't be enticed to dress up...
until she came along and asked him to help out with her fund raiser.
They dressed up like Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
They looked awesome, didn't they?
I'm grateful for the inspiration of other bloggers, and even though my own album was no where near as fancy or artistic as hers, I was happy with it! Thank you, Sheila!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Christmas swap, continued, and thrifty finds

Happy Fall Back Day...and welcome to November!  Now we can say that Christmas is next month!
I can say it -- but it is still hard to believe it!
Not that I am not looking forward to it.
Terri surprised me the other day with even more lovelies -- some of them that didn't get into the original Christmas swap box she sent...
and some that she sent to celebrate my birthday, like this FABULOUS Vera scarf!
I love it so much, it gives me goosebumps!  It has the perfect Autumn motif and colors.  And is from the same "line" as this set of table linens that I bought in KC a couple of years ago:
But more colorful, with the pomegrante pink.  I didn't know she'd done fashion accessories in this motif, too!
Once again I realize how lucky I am, with very thoughtful friends who really "get" me!
More treasures -- that little crocheted bird is "doubled"/folded over!  I can hardly wait to use it in a project but I might have to hoard it for a while because I love it so much!
Did you notice this frothy crinoline slip in the background of the last few photos?  It is a treasure I found at the Goodwill store that recently opened in town -- it is one of those "by the pound" stores.
I soaked it in OxiClean and I think it turned out great.  That same day I also bought:
this large bag full of wool blocks...sweaters and tartans that someone was likely going to use in for a quilt...
 I couldn't resist it because of the "pumpkin" colors...
and have already made a couple of Thanksgiving pumpkins from it!  Of course. 
It was the first time I have been to the by-the-pound store, as it opened while I was employed by Goodwill and employees are not permitted to shop there.
I also had to buy this silverly rub-on holly leaf design because it was so "white Christmas-y" -- and light weight.  This entire grouping (crinoline slip, quilt squares and paper) added up to $1.44 at the checkout.  By the pound is very thrifty if you leave behind the heavier items!
In other thrifting that same day...I found a hard cover book by one of my favorite authors.  I started it last night.
I've been doing all my reading on a tablet lately, so it is a treat to hold a book in my hands. 
I just loved this fabric and had to have it for its unusual motif -- with leaves that are fall-like but done in pastel colors.
A stamp/transferred couple of linens with sheep motifs -- one begun -- that I wanted because I have been on a Little Bo Peep kick lately.  It's hard to see it but the one on the right is that nursery rhyme.
And this border fabric, with its teal blue/green basket motif on delicate, handkerchief-like cotton -- old but still crisp and unused.
And a hat, out for Halloween costume fodder, covered with lovely pale purple/lavender cloth and velvet flowers. These will be showing up in my art for sure.
More lavender velvety goodness around the house!
I hope your week gets off to a lovely start, too!