Saturday, February 27, 2010

A THANK YOU & Giveaways Old and New

I just received my wonderful give away in the mail from Ann Tatum @ Keepin' Up With the Tatums as part of that fabulous One World One Heart Journey. What an amazing ride that had been and what an amazing giveaway from Ann. I was thrilled when I got the news I was the winner.
My delightful goodies included fabulous tags and Valentine cards, each beautifully done. Please be sure to stop by her post and Etsy shop to see for yourself. Thanks again Ann.
I also wanted to put the word out about a giveaway over at Alabaster Rose Designs. Melinda will be giving away a necklace, one of her own fabulous designs, to the lucky winner. Her jewelry is so lovely and delightful, you just have to go take a peek.

Good luck Melinda on your first official giveaway. A winner will be announced on March 7th.

Have a good day!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Junking Intervention -- Who, Me? I'm saving the world.

Hello, my name is Sherrie. It has been 2 days since I shopped at Goodwill or had a thrift-find-fix. I have a problem.

Apparently, from the fun responses I received from my last post, I am not the only duck needing a Junking Intervention. I am in good company!

Fabulous Find For Free Club

You all admitted to hoarding fabric, pretty bottles, cookbooks, dishes, and scraps of ribbon and paper.

All are in agreement that Thriftiques , as Sissie over at Sissie's Shabby Cottage calls them, beat out fancy & pricey mall boutiques any day.

Even better are the lawn sales.

Yvonne Quarles at Ink Spillers Attic, reminded me that we are doing our part for the 3 R's. I mean what better way to Recycle than a lawnsale? Who knew us little duckies were so good for the environment.

And not only are we saving items from landfills, we are a vital force in saving the economy. Mimi at In the Middle of Nowhere pointed out that with her purchases, it was her duty to keep the economy going. Almost patriotic, don't you think?

Who knew the power of one little Junking Duckie ........ Just how important we were, crucial even, to saving both the environment and the economy. It is a heavy burden that we shoulder, but I know you can do it. So fellow ducks, and you know who you are, lets unite and save the world, turning one ugly blue chest of drawers found curbside into a thing of shabby chic white beauty, one drawer at a time. Quack! Quack!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If it walks like a duck........ A tale of a Junking Intervention

There is an old expression that I would share with my corporate clients back in the day at the law firm. In trying to explain how to act like a corporation for legal/tax protection purposes, that in all manners of their business, they had to conduct themselves in a certain way. In other words " If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it is a duck." The other day, I was reminded of this phrase when I was trying to tell my friend that I did not have a problem. That I wasn't a hoarder, perhaps a packrat but there is a difference. I also was arguing that I could go into a Michael's store and spend less than $20 dollars .......... if I wanted to ..... I could, I'm sure. And last but not least, I could drive by a roadside pile of interesting looking junk marked free, without stopping (of course only if I was just the passenger and had no control over the vehicle, but that counts, right?) She just looked at me, shook her head and said, call it what you want, but you are a duck.

So to prove my friend wrong, that I don't need a junking intervention, I have prepared a list of questions for you to share your thoughts on and eagerly await your responses. We will call this a social behavior survey. Let's begin.

1. Do you have boxes/shelves chocked full of fabric that you enjoy just looking at and are waiting for just that perfect sewing project before getting out your scissors?

2. Do you save empty mayonnaise jars to possibly fill with sand and candles for luminaries, or fill with seashells, or to use as a place to showcase a little handcrafted fairy or bird's nest under glass? For that matter, do you save any interesting shaped bottle for some future craft project?

3. Do you own boxes and boxes of plates, all mismatched of course, but still delightfully coordinated, each being a gem culled from a lawnsale trip or from Goodwill? I am talking about enough plates to set a table for 100 guests from dinner to dessert.

4. Do you have trouble sleeping the night before an enormous flea market trip or neighborhood lawn sale extravaganza, eagerly anticipating what treasures await you, just like a child on Christmas morning, up before the crack of dawn to be the first in line?

5. Do you save any scrap of fabric that is at least 6 inches across? (Hey I use them for making my yo-yo quilts, doll clothes, quilted pieces, pockets on aprons .... you get the idea.)

6. Do you pick up a vintage tablecloth covered in holes and stains, (for free or for just pennies) because the 25% of its usable surface is just too fabulous to waste? Or what about that children's book from the early 1900's that is torn, tattered and yellowed, but the few pages that are salvageable and scannable put you in paper heaven?

7. Even though you own 100's of cookbooks, do you still buy that cookbook at the lawnsale with the jacket cover so perfectly matching your collection of Jadite dishes and showcasing recipes from the 1950's of how to cook squirrel, woodchuck and turtle? Those pages will come in handy some day, right? I mean as part of a collage and not on my dinner table.

8. Do you have stacks and stacks of decorating magazines, that you read and re-read? When asked why you don't just get the on-line subscriptions, you argue that you can't curl up in bed with a cup of tea and a laptop. It just isn't the same.

9. While friends find the allure of the mall so appealing, is a perfect day of shopping for you a road trip to all the Goodwill stores within a 25 mile radius of your house? (For me that would be 10 stores). Anybody interested in a road trip with me?

10. Are you a spray paint and glitter addict? Like that's a bad thing?

And for the Bonus Question: Would you climb through a dumpster if spotting a FFFF (fabulous find for free) while wearing a dress and heels? Be honest.

Oh bother ...... It's true. I guess I AM A DUCK!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A little srping time decoration.

I love to decorate. Even as a little girl, as my mother will attest to, I had to decorate my room for every holiday. These would be decorations that I bought with my allowance money or made myself. It was not important if some of these decorations never got seen by others outside the family, they were primarily meant for me and my personal enjoyment. Besides, by age 10 and up, my girlfriends would be more interested in what posters I had on my bedroom walls, David Cassidy, Jack Wild and David Soul, than a basket of eggs, heart wreath or Christmas Tree. But I enjoyed it.

Decorating my dorm room was no different, but there I had a bigger audience to showcase my talents. My roommates would just roll their eyes and let me play Martha Stewart. Even as broke newlyweds, with our meager hand-me down furniture and tight space, I would always find a table or bookcase that would hold my holiday vignettes. As we got established, with work, house, family and life in general, I really got to decorate. Of course you can have a Christmas Tree in the bathroom (doesn't everyone?) and cupids and hearts on the bedroom fireplace mantle (that seemed a fitting choice for the room). So now that we have had Christmas, New Year's, Valentines Day (sorry didn't do anything for President's Day --- that would be too much even for me) we now have St. Patrick's Day.

I wanted to pull something together for the dining room mantle, my primary place to decorate for just the minor holidays. I already had a bunch of green materials that I had just used on my Christmas Peacock Tree (please see my December post for photos) along with some nests and eggs that I found awhile ago at Goodwill. I planned on putting together more of a spring theme design as my base, with a green emphasis for now, that would be all Easter after March 17th. So this is what I created.

I only bought two items to add to what was already collected. I found some decorative excelsior at Michael's for .49 cents. I used just one bag of this as my base and also a filler for this nest.

I cut up a spay of silk white with a tinge of green tulips that I pulled out of a box destined for Goodwill. I never liked them for a flower arrangement, but used as singular blooms looks better and has greater impact as well as bringing in a touch of Spring. By the way, yes I donate as much to Goodwill as I buy and bring back home!

On either end of the mantle, I placed small nests again to set the spring theme. This nest sits upon a spring yellow pedestal (a Goodwill find as is the basket with eggs and moss).

Addendum to this post: I decided to remove the pedestal and put the nest and basket flat on the mantle.

The second item purchased were these little leprechaun hat picks (6 for $1.00 at the Christmas Tree Shop). Notice the green grapes and artichokes from my Christmas Peacock Tree.

Unfortunately, the photos do not do justice to the decorations. It is not a sunny day today and the flash was needed. But like me, in all things, please use your imagination and think spring.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World One Heart Winner

What an amazing ride this has been. My magic carpet took me places that I have only read about. I met some really nice and amazingly talented people along the way. I want to thank Lisa Swifka @ A Whimsical Bohemian for putting this event together, because it wasn't just a blog party, it was a true global undertaking event.

I also want to thank the 266 lovely heartfelt comments that I received on my post. Each and every one was appreciated, especially when you took the time to share a little bit about yourselves, where you lived, your favorite food, etc. By the way, I'm still going with Lobster as my favorite. I'm just waiting for my arms to rest after all that carpet flying I did, and then there are a ton of sites that I plan on going back to revisit in a more leisurely fashion. I can't wait.

This was my first One World One Heart event and if Lisa has the courage to orchestrate it again next year, then I will be right alongside her.

And now I would like to congratulate Lyndy Ward @ todaysgold for being the winner of my vintage theme giveaway. She was lucky number 212. Thank you to all who participated. It was one heck of a ride.

Time to wrap up everything and put in the mail to Lyndy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Silver Sunday Vintage Valentines

Today is a combination post which I call Silver Sunday Vintage Valentines. I am joining in again with Beth at Gypsy Fish Journal for the start of Silver Sunday Session II and with Joan at Anything Goes for the Vintage Valentine Card Party. Both parties will be fun. You know what great hostesses Joan and Beth are. Please be sure to stop over and say hi to all their party guests.

I was only planning on participating with just my Valentines, I am short on any new silver. Then I remembered my friend Darcy and a few silver treasures that I knew she wouldn't mind sharing. Darcy lives in a log cabin home that she has decorated in the shabby chic Victorian style. It may surprise some folk expecting a lodge type decor (especially being up in Maine), but I must say her style works. I have made her promise to let me take some pictures to sha
re, for another post. But for today, may I present her collection of Knights in Shining Armour.

The first knight is over 6 foot tall and stands guard in the living room. He holds a sign that reads "Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons ... For you are crunchy and good with ketchup." Words to live by.

*I just found this perfect Valentines Day card over at Fiona and Twig that I just had to add to my post.

She also has two other knights, one 4 feet and the other 2 feet tall.

Definitely not what you would expect to find in a log cabin home
but it is so Darcy.

Now as a segue into the Valentine post, here is a photo of the hubby, resplendent in his tux, in a SILVER frame with VINTAGE VALENTINE DAY card.

This Valentine would have been received by some lucky little girl in the 40's, as would the rest of the
cards in my collection.

This charming little Valentine, shows kittens playing with a puzzle. I thought it looked cute against my Floraline vases and shiny red puzzle piece magnet.

My friend Darcy has kittens, dogs, chickens, a pig and 3 goats. The goats like to try to climb into my car each time I visit. Today, was no exception.

So I thought I would do a goat card for them.

I love old books and use them for decorating as well as reading. I tend to be drawn to them for the color of their jacket as much as the contents therein. These are some of my red books. The little girl is giving a lesson to the little boy.

This next one is my favorite card. It is older than the 40's but unsure the exact date. It simply reads "Will you help me kill time? Now that surely screams out romance.

Music and Valentines Day are a natural pairing, so here is a pair of musicians serenading with guitar and trombone.

Valentine's Day would not be complete without a tasty treat, so here is a little girl cooking up a batch of Valentine Sweets for her beau.

Hope that you all get some chocolate, served on a silver tray, while you sit back ad enjoy Silver Sunday and Vintage Valentine Card Blog Parties. Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh What You Can Find at Goodwill

The other day while doing my weekly Wednesday night perusal at my favorite store Goodwill (because honestly what else is a Wednesday night good for?) I found a book. It was the red cover that first caught my eye but then it was the title that made it a done deal. There in gold letters was the name
Julia Harrington. Now this isn't a name of a celebrity or even a very common name. In the book, it is a fictional 12 year old girl in 1913, but for me, it was the name of my paternal grandmother.

The book describes what life was like in 1913 with pictures of ads for home goods, fashions, houses, cars, groceries and other purchased items. It also details what a typical day would be with school, church or even what movies you might see. All in all, it is a charming little book on its own merit, and even if the name had been different, I still would have purchased it.

Grandmother Benner (Julia Harrington) had died before I was born. I have only seen a few photos of her just as a young bride. I am not sure what she looked like as my father's mother in her later years or what she dreamed or wanted in life. I can tell you the dates of events, birth dates, date of death, how many c
hildren had been born and who they had married, and how many children they beget, etc. Back in college, I had researched my family tree as a senior year thesis project. The old fashioned way of research, pre-computer age with its on-line geneaology sites! A moss covered grave stone found amongst other stone markers in a small countryside burial plot could only provide dates and not a story of the person resting beneath.

My grandmother was born in the 1890's and by 1917, had given birth to my dad. So the life of the fictional 12 year old Julia Harrington wou
ld have been closer to what my father would have experienced being a child born before World War I, before life irrevocably changed for the world.

You just never know what treasures you are going to find at Goodwill.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Its that time again to show your silver.

Today is the final Silver Sunday (Session 1). A big thank you to Beth at Gypsy Fish Journal for hosting this party and for continuing with Silver Sunday (Session 2, which will now be just the second Sunday of the month get together). It has been fun. I have met some great ladies and had a chance to see some amazing silver, in all their tarnished and polished glory, along with some fabulous bling. We were dressed to the nine's for this party.

So pull up a chair, silver of course, and sit down for a spell and let me show you what I found.

These are some of my favorite things for entertaining..... silver crowns with a wire ring. I use them as place card holders or to hold menu descriptions on a buffet table.

You can never have too many knives.

Both of these pieces were recent Goodwill finds, $.99 cents each.

This cake stand is another Goodwill find this past summer. I loved the amber glass/silver base and based my Thanksgiving table on this color scheme. I found the matching silverware (a service for 10) for only $.25 cent apiece.

These are family pieces. The My great grandmother's baptism cup I have already shown. The other two pieces are from my husband's family and came down from Quebec. The silver piece with handle I believe is a candy dish but I have always displayed it with the two handed cup. They have been polished so many times, over so many lifetimes, that all that now shows is this beautiful soft tarnished glow.

This letter opener also came from my husband's family, from his grandparents. Just having these pieces around provide much needed and appreciated continuity, a link to the past. They have no real monetary value but are priceless treasures nonetheless.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you these past few weeks and for all your delightful and heartwarming comments. This is what makes blogging so much fun and rewarding.
Thank you. Please be sure to check out all the other participants over at Gypsy Fish Journal.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Black Vintage Friday

Well, I didn't think I would have anything to show for Vintage Black Friday; however, I remembered this necklace that I had posted for a Silver Sunday Post. Since it is black, vintage and heart shaped (how appropriate for Valentine's Day), I thought it was worth sharing again.

This necklace belonged to my Mom, it was an anniversary gift given to her by my father, over 50 years ago. This is not any necklace. As you can see, it is decorated with the head from a mercury head dime, painstakingly cut by my father. I am not sure what the next three materials are, the black heart, the white heart and the base (perhaps steel?) heart. It is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship. I know it was with great pride and love that my mom wore this necklace. I was thrilled when she passed it on to me. Someday, it will be worn by my daughter..... someday, but not yet.

Please check out the other participants for today's party at the French Cupboard, please see the button to the right. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Valentine Story.

For me, February is full of so many sentimental memories. Of course, there is Valentines Day but it is also the anniversary of when I first met my husband. That story is charming by itself; however, it is the telling of the story, years later, to my daughter, that is the real story for today.

One day, the three of us were driving home from a wedding, myself, my husband, and our daughter. She had just turned 6. It had been a beautiful affair, the bride and groom had shared how they first met and everyone cried. That had prompted my daughter to ask how her mommy and daddy had met. I was glad to respond.

I had been a student in college. I was there on all scholarships and as such made my academics my top priority lest my GPA slip and possibly forfeit any funding. It made dating a little hard. The guys felt I put making the Dean's list before them, and frankly under the circumstances, I did.

Then one day, I was asked out for a date by a friend's new roommate. It was for Valentines Day. I was interested, very; but it was right before a major do or die exam. I had to decline, but politely explained and suggested perhaps another time. I wasn't prepared for what followed. Since I was too busy to go out, he would bring the food to me. I assumed something takeout and not the steak and lobster that greeted me when I answered the door. He was going to cook me supper and had brought both as he wasn't sure which I would prefer.

As part of the meal, there were also potatoes, and would I like baked or mashed? My favorite is mashed with tons of butter, but my girlfriends and I did not own a potato masher. Unfazed, my date responded with "It's okay, I have one in my car." Indeed he did. It had fallen out of a box of kitchen wares into his trunk during his recent move to my friend's apartment. He hadn't taken the time to retrieve it from his car, until that night. The meal was fabulous. I was able to study for my test, and my date even did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, better than my girlfriends and I had ever done.

I graduated with honors from College. My date became my husband. I got a job. We bought a house. We became parents. End of story.

After a moment of reflecting upon the tale of how her mommy and daddy had met, Elizabeth leaned forward from the back seat and looking thoughtfully at me said "Oh you married daddy because he could mash your potatoes!" Isn't love grand.

I call this photo "A Valentine's Toast with potato masher and cherub."