Saturday, August 30, 2008

Garage sale finds and discounts!

I just love garage sales, don't you? I have found a few things lately that I haven't shown you yet, so I thought I'd share them with you! :)

I found these plates last Friday for twenty cents a piece. I have to say that was more than fair!

I think these will have to be in our (soon-to-be) raspberry and mint green living room! :) The more I look at these plates, the more I like them...

I also found this framed picture. They wanted three dollars for it, but I offered two. I probably could have offered one, but I didn't. Live and let live, that is my new motto...or I'm at least working on that one! :)

I also found this white ceramic container for just a quarter! I just love the little handles on it! I actually almost didn't get it, but thought it would be nice for kitchen tools...I just had to get a picture of it on my "new" old stove (smile!) , and it seemed to fit right in!

I found two of these crocheted pillow shams and two other battenburg lace shams (not pictured as they are not ironed yet). (I am not sure of the correct spelling of "battenburg", and my spell check wasn't sure either!) The woman selling them wanted two dollars for each, which I thought was kind of on the high side, but I still bought them because they were in such good shape. Besides, pillow shams can be pricey, even at stores like Target!

Just one more picture of the shams with the aqua one I found at Marshalls. Normally we have a lot more pillows on the bed, but I have some ironing to do! My husband doesn't really understand why we need eight pillows on one bed, but it just looks so pretty, I guess it makes sense to me! :)

This is kind of a small thing, but this glass jar didn't want to be left out! Just perfect for sweet treats or candy, it was a great find for just a dollar! :)

This vintage pastry blender was a find from one of my favorite antique malls. It said that it really wanted to come home with me, so I brought in on home!

My sister and I were shopping last weekend, and found these little green speckled eggs for just a quarter a piece! So until they are used for a craft project, they are sitting pretty inside here! I just love green and red together!

These plates were tagged as "irregular" (not perfect), so they were only asking three dollars for the dinner plates and two for the salad plates. I went ahead and bought six of each kind, and could only find one flaw, and it's barely noticeable! Hum...I wonder what they saw that wasn't right?

Well, that's all for now! I hope that you have a great Labor Day weekend! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crafting with black frames and ribbon

I was in the dollar section at Target (one of my favorite sections there, besides the cleaning aisle) and I found these little black magnet frames. (Sorry the picture is cut off on the corner.)

They were so cute, I just had to buy a few...even though I wasn't sure what I would do with them. I don't know about you, but I sometimes I just have to think about it for a while before I know what I'm going to do with something. I'll set them out on the table and look at them now and then as I am doing what has to be done around the house and taking care of my kids.

First I decided I wanted to make a word, by putting a letter in each frame. When I was at Michael's over a week ago, I found these transferables. Would you believe I'd never seen these before?

You use what looks like a popsicle stick to rub the letter onto your paper. It looks so cute when it's finished. Some of you could probably do this blindfolded, but I found it could be a bit tricky because if the paper shifts at all, it ruins the letter, which is a bummer! I did have to head back on over to Michael's so I could redo a few letters to my liking.

I think I'll use these more until I get so good at it, I actually BREATHE when I'm rubbing the letters on! :) I had to remind myself, that worse case scenario, I'd just have to run back to the craft store...

Well, add a lot of ribbon and this is what I came up with!

I wanted to make the word "family"~ I had to go back to Target to get another frame to make the word, and picked up an extra few while I was at it!

The frames had no hook for hanging them up, so since I was just doing this craft for myself, I slid the ribbon behind the backing of the frame, closing the back of the frame over it. That connected the frames to the main ribbon. Then all I had to do was tie little bows between each frame! Here's an up-close view of a couple of the letters...

It was so fun, I had to do another one...

I did this one the same, only with some different ribbon.

I am getting so excited about fall and Halloween coming up! I can't wait to haul all of our decorations out and put them all up! :)

Well, I hope you are all having a great week! It is already half-over and the weekend will be here before you know it! :) Have a great night!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Farmer's Market

I know I said a few days ago that I was going to the Farmer's Market last Friday and would show you pictures, and I didn't lie! I DID go, but it's been so crazy around here, and then I wanted to write about my friend Amy on Saturday...but now I will show you some of what I saw! :)

First of all, I just have to say just how much I absolutely LOVE Farmer's Markets! They are SO much fun!

The first thing that always catches my eye at any Farmer's Market are the flowers, and it was no different this time! There are buckets and buckets of every imaginable flower, and so many ready-made arrangements to chose from! But the best part of all, besides just the view of so many colorful flowers, is that the vendors will make a bouquet of whatever flowers your heart desires right there for you! I just love it!

Mainu Vang from Xays Garden was kind enough to let me take these pictures! :)

And if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I love aprons. So I am sure it doesn't come as a huge surprise that this booth caught my eye. Tina Williams, who makes these aprons, is SO talented! She uses such bright colors for her fabric, with kind of a retro look.

I loved this apron pictured above. I just had to get a picture of it!

She even had matching mom and child aprons made from dishtowels~ so sweet!

You can also pick out any fabric you see and she will make you an apron from that. What a great idea! And she makes many other things, such as these adorable children's hair bows and clips.

Her company name is Boomba Boutique, and if you see something you like, you can email her at .

Another thing I love seeing are all of the fruits and vegetables that are usually at these markets.

Everything seen here is grown by Garden Treasures, a nursery and certified organic farm. (Which I thought was cool!) Thanks to Mark Robertson for letting me take these pictures! His website is, for anyone interested who lives in this area.

More flowers!

I was also really impressed by this girl who makes everything from soaps to hand lotion to shampoo~ and they are her own creations! Her name is Kelly and her company is Bella di Terra. It was name it, she has it...even cute little sachets of lavender.

Her website is

All in all, it was a wonderful day at the Market! I had such a great time talking to everyone there, and it was a lot of fun.

Well, I hope your week is off to a great start! :) Tomorrow the kids get to go to the state fair with their grandparents, and my husband and I get a "date night". This will consist of dinner out (very fun) and shopping for school supplies for the kids (not quite as fun). To be honest, though, any time I get to be alone with my sweetie is such a treat, it really doesn't matter what we're doing! It always ends up being fun! :) Have a great night!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Love Story

Usually I try to keep my blog pretty light and fun, a little personal, but not too much so as not to bore anyone to tears! Today, though, is different. Different because I am going to maybe say too much because I love my good, dear friend Amy pictured here. She has been my best friend for so long, and we have been friends for 17 years now! She was in my wedding, and I was her matron-of-honor when she married her husband Stuart, almost nine years ago.(This picture is really fuzzy because it's actually a picture of a picture. This picture was taken before they were even married.)
Today is also different because one year ago today, Amy's husband Stuart passed away. He lost his seven month battle with brain cancer, and Amy lost her husband. I was there with her and their other family and friends when he slipped away, and it was a LONG, HARD day.

I was actually never that close to Stuart, even though I knew him before Amy met him. In fact, I never even really knew how amazing and giving he really was until his memorial service. I did know he was an absolutely great foster father to the foster children he and Amy had, two of which they chose to become the legal guardians of. At the service, someone said that Stuart lived like someone who didn't have a very long time to live. I have wondered since what would happen if I lived more like this...maybe I'd play with the kids more, laugh more with friends, worry less about the little, unimportant things like how the garden looks or how clean the house is.

It sounds a little strange, but death has taught me so much about life. This year I have watched as my friend works her way through the grief process, and wonder, does it ever really end? How do you get to a point where you're past all of it? I would have to say that Amy is one of the strongest people I have ever known. Not because she never has a hard time, but because she will not give up. She has lost her husband but continues to raise their one last foster child on her own. It has been the most lonely, difficult year of her entire life, but she has not lost her faith in God. This just amazes me. I have to look deeper into my heart than I really even want to and ask if I'd be able to say the same thing about myself. It's so easy to say you love God when everything is going well, but what if everything I held onto slipped right through my hands? I am a little afraid of what the answer would be.

But I watch my friend, and she remains faithful. She gets up every morning and goes to work. She takes care of her son. She continues to be a good friend to everyone around her. And I really don't know how she does it. So Amy this is for you. Because I so much hope and pray things turn around for you and that you find happiness again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gone bananas!

I had some bananas on death's door, just perfect for banana bread! I heard a while back that the best bananas to use for baking are the ones WAY too far gone to peel and eat, and let me tell you, it's true! Whenever I use this kind, my bread and muffins taste so much better! :)
My favorite banana bread recipe is actually from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book, but of course I had to modify it a just in case you don't have this cook book, I thought I'd pass along this recipe!

Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 medium bananas)
1/3 cup shortening, margarine, OR butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped nuts

This is the basic recipe, but I have a little fun with it, and add...

2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR banana extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

(I think almost anything tastes better with a little chocolate!)

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, cinnamon, dash nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add mashed banana; shortening, margarine, or butter; vanilla or banana extract; and milk. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and remaining flour; beat till blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased 8x4x2 loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf (16 servings).

My whole family likes this bread~ it has the fruit for my husband and the chocolate for the kids! (And for me.)

Tomorrow I get to go to the Farmer's Market up at Country Village (a cute little place with shops and restaurants). I love seeing what they are selling, and I always come home with delicious fruit of some kind and usually some flowers, because I just cannot help myself! Last Friday I bought a flat of raspberries, and made some freezer jam.

I was feeling so Betty Crocker! (Even if it was just simple freezer jam!)
I even had to take a picture, just because I loved the color! This is the raspberry color I want in my living room...but I digress...

I will be sure to take pictures of whatever catches my eye at the market tomorrow, with permission of course, and show you what I see! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A fall wreath...and fun with feathers!

I don't know if it's the cooler weather the last couple of days, or simply the need for a little peace and quiet around here, but my thoughts have been turning toward fall! I have always loved this season, with it's brisk cool air and autumn colors all around. And really, it is almost here! The summer has been a good one, but I can feel the need for a change. I am so thankful for the seasons, because they give us a new beginning, something to look forward to.

Last week, my little girls and I went to the craft store ("the boys" were on a one-night camping trip) and I got a kick out of my youngest saying," What? It's not Christmas yet" when she saw all the decorations in there. It was true, everywhere we looked, it was either fall or Christmas. I think it was about a month ago that I saw the autumn decor, and thought, "No way, I'm not ready!" Part of this is a knee-jerk reaction to the knowledge that around these parts, once fall arrives, you pretty much resign yourself to six months of gray clouds and rain! Hence, the reluctance to relinquish the summer...

But that was before I saw the grapevine wreath, just two dollars at Michael's Crafts, and this beautiful wide green ribbon, a mere 75 cents. Add a fall berries garland to weave through the wreath, and some sprigs of fall berries, some cute little apples...

...and suddenly, it was okay that summer was almost over. So okay in fact, that I tucked the metal "Blessed" sign in there, too. And some feathers! But the white ones I had on hand looked a little too "wintry" for me, so I picked up a bag of some tonight for I think it was 1.75. There are creme, brown and orange in this variety pack, and I just used creme and brown for now! I think I am becoming addicted to feathers! I keep thinking of new ways to use them here and there, they are just so fun to use!

The picture below is the one I took after I put the new feathers inside the wreath, and I am much happier with it now.

Although now that I am looking at these pictures, I am seeing something I didn't notice before. That apple off to the left there is looking a bit odd over there all by its lonesome. Tomorrow I think I'll have to find a new spot for it. That's okay, though, because it's not glued in or anything. I think this will be an all-year wreath, so I tried not to use too much hot glue! This way I can just swap out and put in as the months go by~ black and orange for Halloween, a harvest theme for the rest of fall, white and green for Christmas, etc. So what do you think of the wreath? I was a little afraid it looked too Christmas like, with the green and all, but think some orange tucked in will help with that.

Thanks for letting me ramble on so, and I hope you have a great night!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A dream come true!

Remember how in an earlier post, I showed you a 1940's cook stove I had looked at but passed up? Well, soon after writing that, I changed my mind and went to look at the ad on Craigs list again...but it was gone! I have been kicking myself ever since!

Then a week ago Sunday, I was checking on Craigs list as usual, when lo and behold, there it was! It was an exact replica of the one I'd missed out on, only I could tell this one was in better shape, at least on the outside...more on this in a bit. I finally went to see it on Monday, but walked away without it because the owner wouldn't accept my offer. (Which was actually already higher than I'd originally wanted to pay for a stove.) I told him to call if he changed his mind.

The more I thought about it that day, the more certain I was that I had done the right thing by not going above my offer. This particular stove would require some further investments and repair. I WAS really disappointed, though.

The next morning, however, the owner called back and said I could have it after all, for my original offer! I was so excited; it just made my day, let me tell you! So now I guess this is where I say in true Disney fashion, that "Dreams DO come true!" and then say that we all lived happily ever after! Well, maybe I won't go that far, but I am certain that this stove is going to be very happy here with us, because I am going to take very good care of it! As I mentioned, it needs some work. Both oven elements need to be replaced~ I know where I can order the spring coil elements it needs. These are much different than the ones that are in our modern stoves~ you actually slide out this "tray" of sorts, and on it the spring coil element is stretched out in a serpentine fashion. We will replace these first and hope that is all it takes for the oven to work, but if it doesn't, it may need a new thermostat. Thankfully, I now know where I can get one of those, too. One of the stove top burner elements needs to be replaced, because it is not the right brand. One other element needs to be rewired, and we have to further investigate why in the world the drop well is not working. My husband looked at the wiring in the back of the stove and said he thinks we should just rewire the whole thing, for safety's sake, and I actually agree.

Okay, I know what you're thinking...yes really, I can hear you all the way from here, saying,"Now WHY did she buy that stove?" I DO know it sounds a little crazy. I have done enough research to be fairly confident that we can fix this sweet stove, and I am very impressed by what good shape it is in. Only small amount of rust in the drawers (rust in them is very common) and it is pretty clean considering it's 60 years old or so. The porcelain and chrome are in such good condition as well, and from what I have heard, having a stove reporcelained and rechromed are very costly.

I guess it's a gamble, a definite risk~ but I have a strong feeling that it is going to be worth it. So do you want to see the stove? I took these pictures in a real hurry, so they aren't the best. I have only begun to clean it and the burners are not in their proper positions...there is my disclaimer!

We have it in our dining room right now, because even if it was working right, it wouldn't fit yet. We have to pull a set of cabinets off of the wall and move them down to make this stove fit! This stove is nine inches wider, and our current one fits snugly between two cabinets...

Anyway, I'll make sure to show and tell all the progress we make as we fix the stove, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)