Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thrift & the birthday gift

Here are my thrifty finds for last weekend. MIL Joyce & I spent John’s birthday (Hey don’t look at me like that! He was at a shoot with the guys & that was what he wanted to do it’s not like we abandon him!) down in Schoolcraft at 2 antique stores. That’s right it took us the better part of a day to get through 2 antique stores! If you are ever passing though the south west corner to Michigan and have a day to kill, I highly recommend going to Schoolcraft. It is a tiny town & from the looks of them you would not have thought that these two stores have much going on. Oh my gosh! They are packed full & the one is huge!

The first one we went to was pack to full & had a basement to look through. I don’t usually like those stores that are so full that you have to me careful not to create a landslide when you want to look at something, but this one was fairly organized & there was so much to look at. Some things were a little pricy for me, but I did find an embroidered towel, some neat buttons & a bunch of vintage patterns. Most of which I will probably sell, but the price was right (3 for a $1!).

Then the next one was just huge! Over 9000 sq ft! The down stairs is all more expensive china & such, but up stairs (which spans 4 store fronts!) there is about anything that you would want. The prices where actually pretty good, I got the two Blue Ridge saucers for a $1 each, pillow case for $.50, 2 napkins for $1.25. Not too bad. We will defiantly be going back there.

Ok now on to the previously discussed birthday gift. I found the fabric & have it mostly cut out.

I think that it is cute & I am sure that much like everything else I give her it will never be used (case in point she still has the crockpot that belonged to my mom & dad got as a wedding gift, so it is over 33 years old, I bought her a new one that the inside comes out of a couple years ago, never seen her use it. She still uses the old one & I haven’t even seen the other one around. Oh well, that was $30 well spent). So on to the bag. I am going to use the navy print for the outside pocket & lining, yellow gingham for the outside, bird houses for the inside organizer, & green gingham for the inside pocket. I haven’t actually started sewing it yet. I’ll up date you when I do.

James & the Giant Peach or was it an Egg?

This I just have to post!!! One of my chickens laid the most HUMUNGOUS egg the other day!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Of beads & baubles……

I was telling my friend Gina that I treated myself to some beads the other day. Not that I need them mind you. I have 2 large plastic totes full of divided containers, bags & jars of beads, but I have been in such a slump lately with making jewelry I hoped that maybe by getting something new I would be inspired. This is not the best arrangement for storing things, it’s hard to see what I have or find what I am looking for but it’s the only one I have at the moment. I did decide yesterday that I needed a new arrangement for how the beads are arranged in the smaller containers in the larger totes. I need to get them organized by main color instead of by material. I started on that last night & made some head way but I think that I am going to need some more floss boxes first. So as I sifted though the first couple boxes grouping beads by main color I did get a little inspired & made a couple of items.

The first is a bright & cheering colorful bracelet that I am going to call my “Beat the Monday Blahs” bracelet. I wore it on Monday & found myself looking at it often as I trudge through another blah Monday work day.

Then I finally put to use a nickel from 1868 coin that my dad gave me a couple years ago. I think he got it off Ebay & it came with 2 holes drilled in it. He thought I might be able to make something out of it. So I made a bracelet, with the coin, matching earrings & a necklace from a silver Celtic cross that I picked up at a garage sale a few years ago.

I think that might be a good start to getting out of my jewelry making slump. If I can keep at it that is!

Thrifty finds!

Before heading home from my short day of work last Friday I stopped by Goodwill. It turned out to be a good choice! I found several “vintage” sewing patterns. I doubt that I will keep most of them as they are for little girl’s dresses, but I thought that they were neat & I would be able to finds a good home for them on Ebay once I make sure they aren’t missing any pieces. Then since we were at Brush Creek Antiques Joyce & I made another turn around the shop “just incase” they had something new.

Between Goodwill & Brush Creek I ended up with some great little treasures. I found a curtain & valance in a vintage pink & grey flower print, a length of fabric with a cute bright floral print, a funny little oval cup thing (might have been a cigarette cup back when such things were expectable.) and a couple vintage hankies that I have plans of turning into some cute purses. (They are in my head anyway).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Birthday Gift Dilemma

I am trying to figure out what to make my step mom for her birthday next month. Which sounds nice doesn’t it? To bad they (my dad, step mom, ½ bro, step sis & her hubby) have treated us like the plague since we moved 1500 + miles from FL to MI in Oct. 2003, only picking MI for our move because they were here. We would have moved out west somewhere (MT, WY, CO, NM, ID, etc) had we known, but you know that whole hindsight thing….. I digress….

Back to the birthday gift, I am thinking that I would like to make her McCall’s #4851 Tote with the insert.

Now after reading above you might wonder why I would bother. Aha I have a hidden agenda. I think that this looks like the perfect candidate for this year’s Christmas gifts for Mom, MIL Joyce, Aunt-in-law Betty, etc etc. Mom quilts, MIL Joyce x-stitch, Betty loves the beach etc etc.

So I had hoped to find a review of this pattern on PR but no such luck. I even tried Googling it, nothing but EBay listings. So with any luck I might hear from someone that made it, will read this & give me some tips.

If not I am going to forage ahead & make it anyway. That way I will know if it will be too much of a pain to make in multiples for Christmas. I have to go by Wally World (or as Gina calls it Wallace & Martin, makes me smile every time!) tonight, I will have to check out the $1.00. Only the best right!?

Actually I find some real treasures on there quite often. I will let you know what I find.

Pictures are you there?

This blogging thing has a definite learning curve. I finally got the comment section to work, then figured out that if I actually leave comments on other peoples blogs with my blog addy that they will leave me comments (well duh I know but it’s like learning a new culture or something!). I kept fighting with my blog to post pictures & I finally thought that I got that right, but now Autum says that she can’t see them, but I can!

Are they just red “X” for everyone else too, or are there actual pictures there?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blue Ridge to remember........

On Friday MIL Joyce & I ran out to the Brush Creek Antiques to recovering my left behind birthday gift to me salt shaker. I have since discovered that the name of my latest Blue Ridge Pottery pattern is Bittersweet according to the Blue Ridge Pottery Pattern Identification Page. Aren’t they just too cute?!

I have been reading up on Blue Ridge Pottery/China/Dinnerware by Southern Potteries. It has an interesting history. In brief Blue Ridge China Company started in 1938. The china was designed and individually hand painted by local women in Erwin Tennessee. Southern Potteries, AKA Blue Ridge, stopped producing dinnerware in 1957. I read somewhere on the net that there are over 400 different patterns of this hand painted pottery along with 11 different shapes or line treatments.

I first fell in love with Fiestaware & Blue Ridge Pottery as a kid. My mom had a couple Fiestaware pieces & a Blue Ridge fruit bowl in the Mountain Ivy pattern. As Martha Stewart in all her domestic wisdom found it necessary a few years ago to highlight Fiestaware on her show the prices have shot up to more than I am able or willing to spend. I acquired that little Mountain Ivy fruit bowl when my mom got remarried. Then in the summer of 2003 we spent 2 ½ months with our friends John & Jen, in Sussex County New Jersey between moving from FL to MI. John was one of my John’s best friends & the best man at our wedding. Let’s just say that this was time well spent as we knew that our time with John was limited.

While we were there I found a Mountain Ivy dinner plate in one of the quaint local antique shops. It took 3 times of going to the same shop over the course of those months for me to finally buy it. They were asking more than I wanted to spend for it ($15.00 I think). Seeing as we were moving to MI with no jobs & not working while in NJ it wasn’t high on the priority list to be buying more dishes. I just couldn’t let it pass. I ended up buying it near the end of our stay & now I am so glad that I did. Every time I look at that plate I think of that summer & how the fates granted us that time with John. I smile because he would have liked that I started collecting Blue Ridge Pottery. Just one last little jab to annoy my John with.

Thanks Rain Man for the excuse to have yet one more thing to collect, although I would trade all my collections to have you here to deliver your own jabs in the way only you can.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Bloging "In Crowd"

I have been totally sucked into this whole blog thing. Not that I write that much in my own but I am completely addicted to reading everyone else’s! I only had a couple, mostly sewing related ones, that I was reading only a short time ago & then BAM! I would find where some referenced another blog, then another then another! I must have 20 or more saved to my favorites now. They are so entertaining & inspiring with everyone one sharing their stories & little projects that they are working on. I read them & then I am a little sad because it is like they all know one another. They are always talking about swaps that they are in, or the little package of goodies that they send or received from one of their “blog” friends. It’s almost like being the class geek looks across the cafeteria at the cool kid table trying to figure out how you can break into the “in crowd”. For example here are some of the blogs that I have taken to reading & you can see that many of them know each other.

Color Fool
Pink Trees
Lucky Beans
Bella Dia
Suburban Bliss
Simple Sparrow

That is not to say that I haven’t found wonderful friends through the glory that is the internet. In that area I have been blessed to find Gina, who shares my obsession for shooting & costuming, & Judy, who I bombard with regular clothes sewing questions and share gossip from the PR sewing soap opera, but how do you break into the Blog cliques I do not know.

I guess for now I will just plug away at my own wimpy blog that I am not sure anyone even reads & share my newest finds with the black hole that is cyber space.

Speaking of finds! How cute are these??? If only I could read Japanese!

But I think that I nearly have the little crocheted & patchwork bags figured out thanks to this thread on

This one will take some doing but I think that if I had enough time I could manage to make this one as well.

Monday, July 10, 2006

When did birthdays lose their magic?

So Sunday I celebrated my 3rd 29th birthday in a row. Yup I officially stopped aging 2 summers ago at 29. We have been so stressed with our house vs. “The Man” situation (I would need a week to explain it all & you would be shocked if I did. Let me just say that buyer beware! Even if a house is 16 years old & listed by a nationally known realtor that doesn’t mean that it was built legally or that the Township you live in won’t wait till 2 years after you bought to come after you as if you were the ones that built it! Then you better hope that you live in some state where the attorney’s are willing to help you, hint hint that place does not seem to be SW MI). That said it was not the best birthday. John is stressed; I am stressed soooo….. we didn’t have anything planned which always depresses me because I hope every year that someone will have some big wonderful surprise for me & then stupid me I am disappointed when they don’t. You would think that after 31 year, er I mean 29 years, I would know better!!! Not to say that all my birthdays have always been horrid I fondly remember my 13th & 16th birthdays as being really good, but a pretty dry spell since then.

So we were kind of blah in the morning. John finished up running the new phone line for the computer (I no longer have phone cord stretched ½ across the house & running under the throw rugs) which I am grateful for but not really how I thought I would spend the first ½ of the day. Now don’t ask me how I thought I would as I have no idea but that was not it. We did go out to a nice lunch; the weather was beautiful so we sat outside. That was very nice. Then we went to a couple antique stores. I love looking at other people’s old “stuff”. I found a couple great treasures! MIL Joyce had given me some birthday $ & I put it to good use!

Here is what I got:

2 dark yellow Fiesta ware saucers ($1.50 each). They are old ones. The Pyrex box is from Joyce. I was telling her that I have 2 without lids & to keep her eye out for just lids. She snuck back & bought the whole thing for me. I don’t know why but I just love them!

A box Blue Ridge Pottery for (drum role) $15.00! It contained a sugar bowl w/ lid, creamer, platter, salt & pepper shakers, gravy boat, 5 dinner plates, 6 cake/bread plates & 6 saucers. You will notice that the salt shaker is missing from the pictures. Well when I was unwrapping everything last night I realized that the salt shaker was missing. It was too late to call the store & they are closed today but I have my fingers crossed that it was left on the counter & that they will have it.

Then Joyce also gave me a cream & sugar set shaped like chickens. We have this chicken thing going on. I have a chicken themed bathroom & the chicken stuff is supposed to be contained to there but it is starting to over flow to the rest of the house, much to John’s chagrin. We have entirely too much “chauch” he says & he is probably right.

So not a terrible birthday, but I was very disappointed when we went to the store to got dinner. Joyce said that she would either take me out or we could pick up whatever I wanted. My favorite thing is snow crab legs. Well true to the way things have been going they were out of them at the seafood counter. They did however have them in the frozen fish stick section, frozen in a box. I am sure that at some point the seafood counter crab legs are also frozen but I was not willing to take a chance on these fish stick neighbors for the price that they wanted for them. So for my 3rd 29th birthday dinner we had grilled turkey dogs, sweet corn & tator tots. I know that is a lot of starch but my birthday is only once a year! We were going to have root beer floats for dessert but no body stayed awake long enough! Oh well maybe tonight.

Where did the weekend go?

Ugh it is Monday again. Where does the weekend go?

MIL Joyce arrived Fri nigh from FL. She actually managed to get here without incident. This is her 4th time visiting since we moved to MI & has had a major problem of some kind or another with her flight every time! We thought that might also be the case this time when she called at 4:50pm to tell us that her flight that was supposed to leave at 4:45pm hadn’t even arrived at the gate yet! Not a big deal if you don’t have a connecting flight to catch or if you are flying into an airport that has more than like 10 flights leaving daily. We have both of these issues to contend with. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Kalamazoo International Airport (international because I think that they have 1 flight that goes to Canada weekly) I have to tell you that we have one jet way & I believe that was add in the last 10 years or so. Yeah now you can understand the dilemma, but she made it without any more problems.

Saturday Joyce & I made one of those fabric covered bulletin boards with the criss crossing ribbons/ric rac (something like this). Only I used what I had on hand with exception of the ric rac & fabric (off the $1.00 table at Wally World). I am going to hang it above my sewing table once I can actually get at it. The sewing table is in Joyce’s room. Before she got here we moved the computer desk out & I had to remove about a ton of fabric from the bed for her to have a place to sleep. So my sewing table is buried in piles of I am not sure what. As soon as I can get to it & clean it off I will get the board hung & get a picture. It came out pretty cute.

Sat afternoon we went to our friend’s parent’s 50th Wedding anniversary. That was pretty fun, good food & family gossip (& it’s not your own family so bonus!). A couple weeks ago when talking to the bride of honor she told me that she would making the cake for her own party because 1) she enjoys it & 2) people would complain if she didn’t. Well when she said “the cake” that apparently means 6 cakes of assorted kinds of bakery quality in SW Michigander speak!!!! The carrot cake was wonderful!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Goodness I am glad that I am not paying for this Blog because I certainly haven’t written enough since having to make it worth spending $.

I am very excited though because I have found several new blogs this week & I have figured out how to add a “links” section to my blog! Yippy! Now if I am able to post this & have all my links work I will really be over the moon!

We have been pretty busy. Where shall I start…..

I was asked last fall, by Pepper Box Pete, if I would be interested in participating in a CAS shooting demo for a kid’s camp, for 10-15 year olds. They have been doing for a few years but hadn’t had a woman participate & since the camp is for both boys & girls they thought it might be nice. We had the first one on June 12th. The camp is held at
Willow Lakes Sportsman’s Club through the Safari Club International. It was a lot of fun & they have a beautiful facility there in Three Rivers.

This past weekend we shoot at West Walker in the 2 day Michigan State Black Powder Championship Smoke on the Rangeput on by Two Rig a Tony. We had a blast! We weren’t able to shoot black powder but maybe next year. We met some great shoots that we don’t get to shoot with often as they often shoot at Hidden Valley, like Lucky Lenny, Cactus Kay & Dakota Doc. We were also lucky enough to have to have some of our posse regular to shoot with, Cayuse Jack, Dakota Fats, Jorge Guapo, & Bent Leg Jimmy. I made a shirt that Tony gave away as a door prize. I have a couple pictures of the lucky winner I will have to see about posting them. I also pasted out a few cards. We’ll see if I get some business.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love the show The Office. I don’t know what it is about that show but it just cracks me up! Maybe it’s because I can recognize many of the characters in the many office co-workers that I have had through out the years. Anyhooo I think that it is very cool that several of the actors have their own pages on My Space. One that I particularly enjoy reading her blogs is Jenna that plays Pam. She wrote a very generous in my opinion anyway account of what it is like to become an actor in LA & gave some great advice to all the hopefuls out there.

So in other news we spent Sat & Sun shooting. Then Mon. cleaning & trying to make room for my MIL Joyce to have a place to sleep when she gets here tonight! We moved our monstrous computer desk out into the living room. I have many hopes for this new arrangement.

First I hope that having it nearer the door will prevent bills & all the other mail from piling up on the dinning room table.

Second that it will be easier for me to use the computer at night & I will be more apt to post & return e-mails at home then at work. Not that it matters but often times I have pictures that I want to post/e-mail & I don’t have them with me at work. So that means that I have to burn them to a disk & bring them to work.

Third that it will free up more room for my sewing “stuff” in the guest/sewing room. I did move a small dresser from our room in there to give our room a little more space, but it doesn’t take up nearly as much room as that desk did. Joyce is great at arranging furniture so I hope that she will help me come up with a great arrangement while she is here.

And I think that concludes this blog. What you don't think that I wrote enough? Yeah right! I doubt that would ever be complaint about me. Just ask, Gina, Chris, Judi & Jason they would agree that this is not an issue that I have!