Okay so I don't have any new work-in-progress items to share so I'm changing it this week to completed projects Friday. Now that sounds better especially after my year sabbatical from crafting. How could I let an entire year pass me by without doing something crafty? If it wasn't for my stumble upon Thriftcraft I still might be craftless. One thing about me you should know is I have trouble focusing on one craft. In my newly launched Etsy shop I call myself an Eclectic Creative meaning I jump around in all faucets of crafting without any signs of stopping. I can't wait to get my hands on a Gocco machine as well as supplies to carve out my own stamps. I suppose I should seek therapy but that's why they invented blogging right? Sometimes this need to try every different craft out there is a hindrance and other times it is just plain fun to juggle 10 crafts at once. Today's photos explain it all. Of course it was all spurred by inhaling Pamela's Chocolate Cookies all day. There is nothing like chocolate and coffee on a Friday morning in a craft room. This is a necklace I call Desert Rose (after my favorite dish pattern) and it is beading on silk cord. You can see more photos in my shiny new Etsy Shop. I completed this one last night while waiting for my friend to pick me up for our girl's pub night. I call this piece Essentially Summer. I was so pleased to find these vintage style enamel charms at our bead store. This too can be found in my Shop. This is what the children and I worked on this morning. We actually have never really celebrated the 4th of July as a rule. Not because Dave is English and this is kind of a celebration about separating from England but normally we are traveling in July. This year we leave on the 5th so I thought let's make some cards for our morning craft. I found this fireworks stamp at Rubber Soul yesterday while supposedly "buying groceries" in Poulsbo with Cerys. It inspired the two of us to make these cards. Are you interested in one? I'll send one out to the first person who comments on this posting. I can mail it blank or signed by Cerys and I. The one in the middle is to be looked at in a humorous way. It is going to my mother-in-law who is English. Hopefully she'll appreciate my bent humor. I didn't get too fancy on these but they were simple and fun to do. The next photo is a very simple item that I did in five minutes. I find boys clothing to be extremely dull for the most part. So I took a plain pair of Old Navy shorts and appliqued a vintage style cowboy on one of the legs for my 4 year old son. He's so into space, cowboys and dragons. A good crafting day all in all. The kids drove me crazy despite our rhythm but we had fun, smiled and enjoyed eating cherries in the warm sunshine.
Yesterday was a good day. Not all are good and some are downright painful but yesterday things were going my way and that felt very satisfying. It began with chocolate and actually I probably don't need to say anything more do I? If the day starts with chocolate then it has to be okay. During the last year and a half I have struggled with coming to grips with my gluten food allergy. I used to live and breathe food and not just in the "I've got to eat to survive aspect" but food was really an important part of my life. Of my top priorities, I actually put it first above men. I'm one of those people who take great enjoyment in what they eat at any time of the day. When I wake I'm planning dinner in my head. If it is Friday morning and I know my evening snack will be popcorn (with earth balance, nutritional yeast, celtic sea salt and chili powder) I will think about this all day with great anticipation. So when I was hit with this allergy and that most of my favorite foods (waffles, cupcakes, brownies, artisan breads and a million other items) were taken away from me, it really hurt. And I mean emotionally hurt. Even this month at my son's end of the school year potluck I was in tears at all the delicious items I couldn't eat. And this is a Waldorf crowd which usually means pretty wholefood healthy dishes (generally safer than processed, chemically laden food-lots of hidden gluten in those), but it isn't the obvious bread items I can't have, it is the hidden gluten such as the wheat in soy sauce and the gluten in salad dressings. I was stuck eating salad without dressing, my own dish that I brought and some fresh fruit.
But there is one silver lining on that dark cloud that hangs forever over me and that is Pamela's Brownies. Without Pam in my life, I may not be here anymore (or so it felt on the darkest days). I know it sounds overly dramatic but food is everywhere and everywhere I go I am reminded of all the things I simply can't have. But Pamela's brownie mix has got to be one of the most delicious brownies on the planet and I can eat every last one of them. I have a box of too-small-for-me clothing to show for my love of these brownies. Here they are standing proud on my dining room table. I discovered that Amazon carries them for deliciously low price of only $3.00 a package compared to the $4.99 at my local health food store. To me this was a gift from the heavens. I also picked up 12 boxes of Annie's Gluten Free Mac & Cheese for only $2.00 a box which again is much cheaper than my local store. With that long winded tale said, yesterday morning we decided to try the cookie recipe on the side of the brownie package. They turned out great and can you believe, this is the first batch of cookies I have made in a year and a half.
I'm not sure chocolate shows up as well as it could but you get the idea. Here is our bowl of cookies and I was cheeky and actually took a bite before I photographed them. They were scrumptious. And in case anyone is interested like I was when I read Jenn's blog and her gorgeous plate which she didn't even mention (shock, horror) until a later post, here are the details outside of the brownies. The plate is one of my Franciscan Desert Rose pattern that I am very slowly (snails pace) collecting. I'm frugal in all areas and they have to be extremely cheap before I'll add more to my collection. The glass is one of a pair from a recent eBay purchase, my mother made the doily and the bowl is from a Sunbeam pink mixer which is the pride and joy of my kitchen.
My mother brought me a couple items from an estate sale today. She has such a good eye for what I like. I especially love the apron. It is my first smocked apron in my collection and will hang proudly with all of my other aprons in my kitchen. The last photo for today is a wonderful package I received in the post yesterday. It is actually my first blog/etsy purchase and I was completed bowled over by it when I opened the box.
Here is my pin cushion from Simple Sparrow , her card and a lantern. This pin cushion is actually the colors of my office and not my craft room but I had to have it. Maybe it will decorate my desk. Who knows, I might need pins when typing or stuffing envelopes right?
So all in all, yesterday was a day to be repeated. Chocolate, gifts from my mother, and a etsy package in the post. Sigh....now off to the cookie jar for another cookie.
Joyce (of Elliebelly) and I have been on a AP Business email list for possibly three years now. I can't remember when I first joined but I remember her from the beginning. I have always loved her work and insight on running a home business. On our AP list I asked for advice on creating a banner and she graciously offered to help me. I love my computer, I love sending email, writing on my blog but when it comes to graphic designing skills I must look to others for help. The photo behind my blog name is my vintage apron collection. I started my obsession with aprons nearly a year ago as we were preparing to move into our 1927 cottage. I stumbled upon a small antique fair in Poulsbo and sitting there on a shelf was a pink gingham apron with brown cross-stitch. I was in love and from that day everything was just aprons to me. This included my name for my business and my blog Everywhere I go I am in search of aprons. Generally I will not pay more than $5.00 for an apron. I'm still a thrifty girl at heart despite my apron needs. Thanks Joyce for your help.
I love lists. I love to read them, write them and talk about them. I even love the game The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon as that is taking lists to the next level. So in the trend of naming days as many of my other favorite bloggers do, I have joined in and coined Tuesday to be my list day. I guess it is in an organizer's heart to be a little lists obsessed. I think it is healthy. Today's list is all about one of the greatest inventions of my time; The Ipod (well that and Tivo-I never have to miss another Veronica Mars episode as long as I live).
Ipod's are a definite requirement for those thrifting on their own. Never again do I have to cringe at the slow hits from the 70's belting out on the St. Vinnie's speakers from above. Now I am in control of the music I want to hear. I mean how much more Kenny G. can a thrifter take? Yesterday on my day out I took my Ipod with me and played it in the car (some electronic thingy that turns my music to radio music) and listened to it through the aisles of St. Vinnies, Goodwill, S.A.V.E. thrift store and Starbucks (although had to turn it off in Starbucks since their music is generally acceptable). Here is Tuesday's List from my "Top Rated Playlist":
1. Tori Amos - Purple People. 2. Track 15 from Mediaeval Baebes (Ipod didn't pick up song info when I uploaded it from album) 3. Catatonia - Don't Need the Sunshine (Mary might like this one after her post yesterday) 4. Jem - Flying High 5. Suzanne Vega - The Queen and the Soldier 6. Tori Amos - Jackie's Strength (terribly depressing but good sound) 7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer - What you Feel (I love the line about "What I mean, I'm 15 so this queen things illegal") 8. Moulin Rouge - El Tango De Roxanne 9. Moulin Rouge - Come What May 10. Wicked - Popular (recently makes me think of Moki'spost and her running for Homecoming Queen) Here is a photo of her in the flesh. And pink flesh to boot. Her pink skin was one of those lovely bribery gifts when Dave went to England with his job for a week. I get the children on my own for a week in return for a pink skin for my ipod. It used to be jewelry but I'm happy to trade that for Ipod accessories.
Today I escaped my role of being a mother and snuck off to do some
thrifting. Sometimes that thrift crave just isn't filled by Saturday yardsales. We have a babysitter on Mondays & Tuesday in June so I can work on Aprons Tied Round.
Well, I didn't have a client today and the thrift stores were calling my name
rather loudly. At the end of the day I returned home so late that I missed dinner with the family. But when
I walked in I found that Dave had cooked me this special meal of grilled
asparagus with garlic, baked potato slices with melted cheese and fresh cut cilantro and covering the lettuce a mix of shittake mushrooms, onions, sherry
and tamari sauce. There is nothing like a hard days work of thrifting and
coming home to a scrumptious healthy meal.
I have a new album up this morning of our main bedroom which I call the Rose Room. We are doing a deep clean of our entire house preparing for a house exchange in a couple weeks so it is exceptionally squeaky clean. We will trade our cottage for a home down in California in a lovely town called Sebastopol. So this week we are purging, moving furniture around, chasing dust bunnies all with lovely feeling of excited anticipation of our family vacation (holiday) just around the corner.
The email about Friday's finds actually should have went out yesterday evening but instead I was called away by lure of black diamond Cheddar cheese (aged 2 years), kalamata olives, sparkling pink lemonade (we know how to live it up on a Saturday night), roasted artichoke hearts, Mary's Gone Crackers with marmite on them and a good movie (The Rock). Hmmm good food, husband & a movie or finish my blog entry? Easy math. So I am doing a double entry this Sunday morning with borrowing a term I used in my earlier post about working a yard sale. This was originally published in my Aprons Tied Round blog but it seems like this blog is also a perfect home for it.
-I usually wake at 7am and head out the door in search of the newspaper.
In the want-ads tucked away in the back page I will find the current
Yard/Garage Sale ads. Once inside, I whip out my pen and paper and
start writing out a chart of the different times, what they have on
offer that appears enticing and what looks just plain awful. Sometimes
the awful ones are actually the best of course. I grab a quick
breakfast which usually includes an organic banana and Organic Valley
2% glass of milk and head out the door.
I usually arrive with the "dealers" on the island. Most of them are a
few decades older than myself and are looking for different things than
me. I'm not in their "club" and don't usually even get the acknowledged
nod even though I see them weekly. I'm not offended though and with
irony they probably think I am also a dealer as I show up at the crack of dawn. I'm not sure if I'm
a dealer, just a girl who loves to thrift.
A fanny pack is a must for yard sale tools even as un-chic as they may be. Every Saturday I have it
stocked with small bills, coins and one folded blank check. That way I
can offer, haggle and have plenty of money for those unforeseen
treasures. Who wants a purse that keeps flopping in your way as you are
bending down trying to race for that last Starbucks Tumbler. You need
to be hands free and ready.
-Favorite Yard Sale Tools-
1) Fanny Pack (or Bum Bag depending on which country you are from)
2) Small bills (notes) I usually have $25.00 in $1's, $25 in $5's, $30
in $10's and one $20 dollar bill. Plus coins and a folded up check.
3) Emergency Food Pack (learned about from the Salvage Studio
which should include a bottle of water, a can of V8 (recently found an organic version without sugar) and some energy
bars. This way when you are faint with hunger you can have some fuel to
keep you going without having to wait in line at a fast food restaurant.
4) Plastic tub to pack breakables.
5) Old Towels to wrap breakables in.
6) Good Map of the area. There is nothing worse than getting lost on your way to a sale. It's just plain painful.
7) Rope. You never know when you are going to buy something that will
stick out of your car is some odd direction. A rope keeps everything
8) A Friend. It is great to go Yard Sailing with a friend. That way you can help each other out. I go with Sheila Rabe, from Sheila's Place
and we are perfect yard sailing companions. We go at the same speed,
have different taste yet can spot items that would interest each other.
We are a perfect match.
The last thing you need is a sense of humor. Yard sailing should be
fun. It's great to see what others are discarding in their lives. It's
nice to see recycling before your eyes. To see that their junk is now
Do I need any more "stuff". Well, I'll save that question for another day and another blog. Sweet British husband who looks after children on Saturday mornings even if there is an English football (soccer) game on. Husband should definitely should be added to the list of requirements for a great yard sale if you have children.
I hit a wonderful yard sale on Friday morning. If a yard sale falls on a Friday I have two guest with me in the shape of my 4 & 6 year old. It does make the morning a bit more challenging but since they have been going to yard sales since I was pregnant they know how to work a sale. Luckily the woman holding the sale had a great bin of toys right near the entrance offering one free toy to each child. This bin kept my children occupied during our entire visit at her sale. I picked up 4 boxes of holiday items including ornaments from the 20's & 30's, Halloween decorations (kind of creepy looking) from the 50's and even vintage Thanksgiving Candles in the shape of pilgrims and turkeys. All 4 boxes cost me $5.00. I also picked up some vintage linens, an old badminton set and a box of vintage office supplies for $2.00 (including a fan which is fun since I ogled over the one at Mary's. Mine isn't as cool as hers but it's vintage and it's a fan.
The small box in the middle has the oldest ornaments that remind me of the ones my mother shared with us each Christmas. This picture is actually only one of the 4 boxes I purchased. Check out the towel with the parrot pushing the stroller.
*for island moms looking for the kids summer schedule please look at the post below.
I have two Work-In-Progress items to share today. The first is a 2 year old knitting project. Yes, I'm a bit slow with the old knitting needles but I am improving everyday. I'm not sure if my daughter will actually fit it when I complete the sweater but we can hope.
My second WIP item is my apron for Tie One On Apron of the Month. June's theme is musicals and so I've been busy sewing my apron with the help of my 4 year old son who needs to know everything about the pattern and the sewing machine. He was impressed by a story my mother used to tell me. When she was in high school a girl in her sewing class sewed her fingers together. I'm not sure if this was myth or truth but Keiran was fascinated. I'll post a completed photo hopefully in the next week.