Friday Finds - What I just can't pass up

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What's new in the world of thrift shopping?
Well here are just a few finds from last week. 

  This ceramic faux bois platter, I looove. It's originally from Crate & Barrel 
but I found it at the Goodwill for less than 3 bucks.  A Faux bois design that's ON a platter? It's pretty much my dream find. Of course I'll say that about the next thing but for today it is. 

Again with the candlesticks.
 I can't help it. Aged brass is my favorite 
and they come in so handy for all kinds of tablescapes and decorating.
Primarily they just sit in a smaller group
on the credenza though. (They number around 20 I think overall?)
I should pare them down but in due time. I can't be rushed into that process.
The large one on the left, I bought in Hot Springs, Ark last year for about $5.00.
But the other two are the most recent at $2.47 and $1.00

I like it when the candle melts and drips all over. It can always clean up. Nothing is that precious around here.

 I don't really need another vintage blue jar but the color is so great and I can't pass them up when I find them so inexpensively. If for nothing else I can use them as vases. A keystone jar has eluded me but I found one and since I live in the Keystone state...well it's kind of a keeper. The other one I found is an Atlas jar with a presto lid (on the far right) I love it when they keep their lids on ;)

I always wonder about their ages. If you do too, here's a handy tool found I on Minnestrista 
that gives the date and distinguishing features of the jars.

A handy guide, isn't it?

We'll see what I stumble upon this weekend. Happy hunting!

Linking to:
 Chic on A ShoestringI heart Naptime | 
Flourishing at Home | The Dedicated House

Intelligent Domestications

A few life lessons learned in Softball

Friday, July 1, 2016

We're finally done with baseball and softball. I loved the season but I'm ready for a little time away from having to get kids to practice, often at the same time and across town from each other. Blair really did a great job in softball. Her coach took me aside and told me how much they appreciated her being so teachable. I really appreciated hearing that and it got me thinking about the season and what our take-away was from it.

3 Things:

The first thing is what the coach said, being teachable. It's a valuable life lesson. Being able to take direction and learning how to work with others will translate in any setting whether it's in school, sports, careers or just being a decent human being.

Because it was her first try at softball, she was a little hesitant and a bit nervous. She felt that everyone was ahead of her in skills. While that may have been true, I encouraged her to get out there with a positive attitude and reminded her that practice was the only real difference. If she was consistent in her practice, she would improve quickly and her determination would catch the coaches' eye. I think we can all be like that. We're looking at the person next to us, thinking that their skills might be stronger than ours. Sometimes they are and that's ok but we all have areas of strength. The only difference is in the area but we're equal in strength.

And the most important thing gained on the field this year was her confidence. I liked seeing her get ready for her game with determination and making sure all of her equipment was in check. She hustled out to the field in such a way that we told her brother his team could learn a thing or two from watching the girls. She quickly became picked for an in-field position on 2nd base due to quick feet and quick thinking. Did she make some errors? Absolutely. But she started out afraid of the ball and in the end, ran up on it, trying to control the play rather than letting it control her. I love seeing that drive in girls! Those goals being accomplished over a short amount of time really boosts their confidence and they take what they learn and apply it to the next thing. And so it just continues and becomes stronger.

We love #42 around here - paying homage to the great Jackie Robinson.

Blair (right) running up on the ball to throw to 1st 

  Adjusting the visor

The last huddle

And they say redheads can't wear pink

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Spring 2016  

A walk through the forest trail


Dress: Marshall's
Blue beads, gold leaf necklace, arm cuff: thrifted

Friday Finds: Goodwill Outlet, the Hunger Games of thrift shopping

Friday, June 17, 2016

Do you have a Goodwill Outlet near you? It's the craziest thing I've seen and I am absolutely hooked.

It's a semi-large building with big blue containers of stuff that you just have to dig your way through. All of the bins are separated in basically two departments: one side for clothes and the other for everything else. You pay by the pound which is usually really low. Mine is .59 cents a pound for clothes and glass but I don't bother with clothes. I head straight for the other side, digging into the dishes and household bins. (Update* I went there today and the price is going up to $1.19 lb)

Let me just tell you that people are not careful about tossing dishes when they dig. I've had to duck a few times when people get a little feisty. Not kidding. When a new bin is brought out people run to it and the workers have to tell everyone to move out of the way. Some days it's hit or miss on the finds but this day was definitely a hit and not as busy as usual.

Now for the finds:

I had this Robinson Ransbottom canister in my cart and a woman came up to me and said she had the lid to it so she brought it to me. I found two pitchers at a yard sale once and put them in the shop so when I saw the canister I knew it was from the same collection. The company began in 1856 and merged to become Robinson Ransbottom in 1920. They closed in 2005 so it's a good time to hunt down the older pottery pieces. Interest in it is gaining. It's well made and the farmhouse utilitarian look is certainly in demand. Be on the lookout for it!

Another favorite was the vintage glass candlestick. I have a collection of candlesticks which I tend to pare down every now and then. I also got the silver one there as well.

I loved finding this vintage paperweight. Any type of ephemera is right up my alley.

Another silver pitcher? Why not? I put this one in the shop.

How about a vintage ironstone platter? I tend to collect those as well, along with cutting boards. The one I found (top) has more crazing and discoloration than the others but I never mind that. It's a heavy 16" platter in the Loop and Line pattern, with no chips or cracks.

J.F. stands for Jacob Furnival and Co. and he produced Earthenware and Ironstone from 1845-1870 in Cobridge, Staffordshire, England. I always love to see markings.

I also found a bunch of mismatched china, some old goblets and a small silver trophy cup. Another person handed me an item, a glass heart candy dish (not pictured) with a large hobnail rim. For the life of me I can't remember the pattern name. She told me that she was married in 1953 and got a 16 piece set (that the candy dish was a part of) as a wedding gift. Regrettably she got rid of it. I told her she should keep the dish but she insisted I have it. Nice, right?

And in all my total was $12.61. 

A quick snap of the outlet

Have a good day!


Linking to

French Country Cottage | Clairejustine

What about Co. |  Chic on a Shoestring

Tidy Mom |  Shabby Art Boutique

The Girl Creative | My Sweet Things

Weathered beauty before and after

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's a quick one!

I picked up this little demilune table for a few dollars. It's nice as is but I wanted to give it a paint wash, similar to the Restoration Hardware dresser pictured below.

The quick rundown:

It took about 15 minutes, tops.

After sanding the top with my orbital sander, I stained it with Minwax Classic Gray stain and sealed it with a wipe-on poly. I love using a wipe-on because I never have streaks that an aerosol or a brush-on can give. While that was drying, I dipped a brush in some diluted Dixie Belle Paint in the color 'Burlap' and just painted it on the legs. 

Since it was watered down, I easily rubbed it off and reapplied until I had the look I wanted. 
Rather than using a gray paint I thought the linen color would blend better with the mahogany stain of the table. I sell this paint line in my shop. 

And now it's perfectly weathered.

Mom, tell me a story

Sunday, May 29, 2016

At bedtime my two youngest always ask for a story about when I was little. It seems I struggle a bit more these days than I used to in recalling stories from my past. They try to jog my memory by saying, "Remember the story when you hit that girl?" I tell them adamantly that I did not hit a girl. "I have never hit another human being, ever. I chucked a snowball at her face, yes, and I was mad at her, but I didn't hit her hit her. And she would've killed me had she gotten a hold of me. Luckily we became friends and laughed about it years later."

Then they go on, "Remember when you fell off your horse and landed on your back on a cow pie?"
"Yep, I remember that clearly. There was a big splat." I say as I bring the covers up and tuck them around their shoulders.
"Or how about the time you were in a greased pig contest?"
"I told you that one? Yeah, I almost had him. I doubt if we'd do that today. Probably not nice for the pigs."
"Or when you use to go haying with your dad and get a milkshake and sit on the hay bales on the truck?"
"I like the one about the goat trying to eat your name tag on your first grade field trip, when the name tag was still around your neck and your mom got into a tug of war with him."

That memory made me laugh out loud. I could still see my mom's face as she wrestled with the goat to get the name tag out of his mouth. She said to me, "Goats like to chew on anything!" as I was becoming nose-to-nose with him.

And that's where they got me to tell another story, drudged up from the vault of memories.

Moments like this remind me that putting down the fairy tale book in favor of a story about when you were young can make for some great storytelling. And I like to think that my kids can more easily envision me when I was like them.

All five of my lovelies with me and Jon in the background talking with Belén's grandpa-in-law

Wedding bouquet surprise and budget-friendly blooms; a DIY

Monday, May 23, 2016

For my daughter's wedding, I handled all of the flowers. While I would've loved to have gone through a floral designer, it just wasn't in the budget. So, I found a site called Afloral that was awesome and they really make it easy to be your own designer. They have many silk flowers and pre-made bouquets to choose from that were quite budget-friendly. They also have a host of ideas to help you make some decisions on what type of flower goes with what. I had a million things in my cart but had to narrow it down of course.

We ordered two rose bouquets in pink cream (which is now unavailable) each were 12.99 before the 10% discount and the others were a mix of pink, white and cream bouquets. with touches of Silver Brunia. Each ran 5.99 - 9.99. Blair's, the youngest bridesmaid, was all fresh. They were all pretty but even when ordering I knew I was going to add in real flowers for fragrance as well as helping to fill them out if needed, especially for the Bride and also because they were going to do double-duty as centerpieces. They really were nice enough to stand on their own, though. The flowers looked very real and were of great quality. And because this was the bride and groom's day, her bouquet needed to be set apart from the rest so she was the only one who had live hydrangeas; the bridesmaids had roses, carnations and baby's breath.

I bought all of the fresh flowers at our local grocery store. I knew they always have a great selection and scoped them out about a week before to see how fresh they were looking. They just so happened to have a sale the day before the reception where it was a BOGO free so I came away with 6 bundles of flowers for 18.00 and added in another 3 at full-price which were bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. All total it was less than 40.00 for two buckets of flowers!

The bouquets from Afloral were tied with raffia but I substituted with gray, blush pink and gold ribbon and let it drape from the bouquets. With floral tape I secured the fresh flowers to the silk ones after I had disassembled the bouquets. I wanted to insert the fresh blooms in-between the silk rather than attaching them to the outer part of the pre-made bouquet.

As a surprise for my daughter, I attached two picture charms that I bought at Hobby Lobby and inserted photos of her late grandmothers. Honestly, that may have been the thing I was most excited about doing. I was so happy when Belén looked to see what was underneath the leaves. We all got misty eyed at that moment.

More wedding ideas to come!<3 p="">

Looking from Heaven, Grandmother charms.

New Sisters-in-law

All the bridesmaids

Thanks for reading.
Have a great day,

<3 p="">
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<3 p="">
<3 p=""> 
<3 p="">Linking to  
<3 p="">Tauni Everett
Handy man, Crafty woman
Rooted in Thyme
Nifty Thrifty Things

Idaho, The District and a Pennsylvania wedding all in one - Belén and Jordan

Friday, May 20, 2016

We were in wedding mode for about 4 months which is one of the reasons I have been super lame in my blogging. But I thought I'd show a few wedding pictures. Eventually I will get into detail about the bouquets, the decorations and budget. (I was on a serious budget.) But for now please enjoy a few pictures from the National Mall in Washington DC. More to come!

An underlying fear in the creative process; who do you think you are?

Monday, February 29, 2016

As I listened to a webinar about how to write a book proposal, something was said that struck a chord with me. Although this was geared towards the proposal, I feel we can apply it to our lives in anything we do.

The admin asked, "Does the world really need another book?"
The answer was no, not really. We have a tons of them.

Think about that for a moment. Do we really need more of anything that we do? Books? crafts? Pinterest pages? IG pictures? Blogs? tchotchkes? No, no, no and a couple more no's. (Or is it nos?) Anyway, there are a million, right?

She said something after that which I didn't catch but then I heard this,
"The world needs you to come alive."

I have felt inundated with all of the informational how-to's out there and also felt that what I've been reading or seeing was just recycled content, my blog included. We could make a list of it all but that's not the point.

The point is that we come alive during our creative process! And the world needs you to do that
because somewhere along the line, someone may be waiting for the right piece of inspiration and yours might just be it, whatever that may be. It doesn't always mean that you're making something either. Creativity is broad and encompasses all sorts of things and moments.

So don't worry that something you want to do may have been done before. Don't let the question of 'who do you think you are' creep into your mind. You're making yourself the subject matter expert!

Don't worry that your idea might be jumping off from another person's idea. Just run with your creative process and see how happy and satisfied it makes you.

Current state of affairs

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This is the scene on the East coast right now. I just opened the door really quickly and took a picture with my computer. We have over 2 feet and 24 hours more of snow to go. The weather had been so mild I never brought in the patio furniture. Oops.

We're in our pajamas, snacks spread out on the table, napping in-between games. I loooovvee being snowed in. Everything is shut down, except Turkey Hill. This is the first time in 16 years that Jon does not have to put the car in 4 wheel drive and head in to a hotel to make sure all the guests are taken care of and that the power has not gone off.

My main job is Mon-Fri and from home for the most part so I have no where to be and we closed the shoppe today so I really have no reason to go out. For those that have to make it in to work, bless you and stay safe!

Non-resolution new year goals

Sunday, January 10, 2016

While I'm not a big resolution-making type at the new year, I do like to have some simple goals in mind that I'd like to accomplish. I tend to look back and see what I have done in the past year and build upon those things and stretch myself in other ways. Nothing I write down is too big of a challenge. I'm pretty simple.

Last year Jon was gone the whole year to Arkansas. I actually 
really liked living there over the summer on Lake Hamilton. It grew on me quickly but for various reasons we couldn't make it our new home. I enjoyed lake living sooo much. I've always been a water person and wish that I could continue to live near it. We took full advantage of having the beach be our back yard when we lived in Hilton Head, SC. I had forgotten how much I loved the water so one of my goals for this year is to get out a little more. Whether that is finding a lake to do a little fishing or heading out early on a weekend to get to Cape Henlopen, I want to be at the water's edge somewhere. We sold our kayaks when we moved back to PA but there's always Craigslist.

(sooc) In our backyard in Arkansas

Another focus is to do more photos that I want to do. If I see another train track photo I may just die. (No offense to anyone doing those. It is illegal, btw!) I just want to go back to what I was doing 20+ years ago; more natural lifestyle, street photography with the occasional portrait.

One of my favorite sessions. I had to get her to stick out her stomach so you could actually tell she was 9 months :0

Gorgeous HS senior

@Home Again, my little shop within a shop, is going well but I want to stretch myself there. It's easy to make/redo or bring in items that you automatically know your demographic will like but honestly, that can get boring. I want to bring in items that I think people might not have thought about yet. I found a 1960's bar cart in Arkansas that we lugged home. The handles were inset brass and were a regency style. The top folded out to create extra prep room. I stripped the top to its natural finish which was a great contrast to the black base. I immediately loved it but knew it could be a hard sell for this area. So I took the chance and was happy today when I went in to the shoppe and saw that it had sold. I just have to go with what I like and take more chances. It will pay off eventually.

I want to create a haven for my family within our home. This has been on my mind a lot. Since Jon's career change, which has been anything but smooth, I have felt the need to really make our home a place where we can close off the world and enjoy our time together. Time goes by so quickly and soon my two oldest will be gone and I wonder where the time has gone. Life is busy and in an unforgiving economy, it takes two salaries to raise a family of 7. There's just no getting around it for us and we live well within our means, opting for used cars and vintage furniture rather than new and top of the line anything (unless we win the lottery, then I may have something new ;)) I'll be focusing on this aspect more than anything I think.

Reading. Jon always reminds me that I used to be a voracious reader. I'm not sure what happened but I know I just need to schedule time to read. I have a stack of books whose dust jackets are literally collecting dust.

Service. I HAVE to make time for this. Not just to be an example to my kids but because I genuinely like people. I like to know their stories, what makes them tick so to speak and whatever way I can help, I want to. I signed up with an organization who makes scarves and places them in public locations (aka scarf-bombing) in the inner-city for the homeless to take to keep warm. I think it is such a sweet service.

Friends. I must do better at keeping in touch. I have been so lucky to have lived in different places and made friends with some of the best of the best. I have to let them know that. Being home in Washington state over the summer really reminded me that those ties are important to ones well-being.

The other, smaller goals will come over time. I'll be bringing updates periodically on those as well as what I've mentioned. Good luck on yours!


Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm recommitting myself to a few things in this New Year - one being this blog. 
The rest will reveal themselves.
Until then, Happy New Year from me to you!