Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rocky Top

I am nearing a milestone in my life where I will have lived in Tennessee for as long as I lived in Wisconsin where I was born.
 
The first time I visited Nashville TN, I loved it. I felt like I fit here. It had this great balance of big city, and beautiful country. Down home Southern cooking, and high end cuisine. There this amazing mix of creative artists and business people, I have never once for a moment regretted my choice to move here. Although, I do curse the traffic daily.  Of course, like anyone who lives here I have visited the Smoky Mountains many times, and I fall in love with them all over again, every time I visit.
 
Watching the news reporting the horrible fires that have devastated the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg and surrounding areas are heartbreaking for all who love this State. But, the one thing that almost makes me feel better about it, is watching my fellow Tennesseans again rise up to join together and take care of all who have been touched by this tragedy.
 
Firefighters from all over the state made there way to the mountains to assist in putting out the fires, locals opened their homes to them so they could have somewhere to rest when not fighting fires. There have been so many loads of donated food, bottled water and clothing, they have run out of places to store the supplies, schools in the region are opening their gyms to store and distribute supplies, proving again that Tennessee is not only a beautiful state, but also populated by beautiful, generous and caring souls. This week I have been very proud to be a Tennessean.
 
Home does not mean the place you were born or grew up. Tennessee is truly home for me. 
 
My son asked me to make a Tennessee sign for him. He is definitely a proud Tennessean.

 
Zip code spoons for the Old Hickory area (The Village) in Nashville where Creative Village is located.
 


 
 
Prayers for all of the people who have lost loved ones, businesses and homes in these horrific forest fires. You will rebuild, all of Tennessee will help you.
 
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vanilla, the final report.

Remember my home made vanilla extract project?
 
I was starting to think it was a bust. Supposed to let it sit for 90 days right? Well, after 90 days...the color was good, but it still just smelled like booze to me. So I tucked it back into the back of the pantry and did not pay much attention to it other than to move it around once in awhile.
 
But after six months? Then the magic happened!
 
Even the vodka base tastes pretty good, but the bourbon? Oh...my...gosh. Why waste it with cooking? Heck I will drink that! YUM!
 
 
Deep dark color, wonderful Vanilla flavor!  I will definitely do this again, but plan on adding more vanilla beans and letting it sit longer than the 90 days.
 
I think I will have to make some bourbon balls or pralines with the bourbon vanilla.
 
Has me looking forward to baking Christmas cookies!!
 
Busy hammering and revamping another Hydrangea box this week, fun stuff, but very busy!
 
Hope you are having a great week!
 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November Flea Market

 
I love the Flea Market the day after Thanksgiving. Lovely cool weather and lots of stuff to look at. But believe it or not, I did not find much to bring home. Not much pulled me in.
 
But I loved everything that did come home with me!
 
Like these vintage Melmac Plates. I have a fair sized Melmac collection now, most are from the Normandy Rose collection. I love using them outside. This set of four is so kitchy, such a fun 50's style. Loved them!


 
Loved this old pitcher. Unmarked, but hand painted.  So pretty. I think it looks great with my aluminum hydrangea's tucked inside.
 
 
And two Jadeite restaurant ware chili bowls! I passed on the restaurant ware dinner plates, went back to buy them and....... too late. You snooze, you lose. But, no worries, I cannot say I am heartbroken about passing them up. Another time I guess. But the bowls, those I have wanted for awhile. Love, love!
 
 
And last but not least. Another vintage insulator. This one caught my eye because of the odd shape. I just love it. I have been lighting up my insulators most nights. They look so lovely with the flickering candle. This insulator is marked NY and has the coolest bubble caught in the glass. I especially love the bubbles caught in the glass.
 

 
I grabbed a handful of bigger spoons to hammer out for Creative Village, we had a great small business Saturday, I sold a hydrangea box and some ornaments so I wanted another hydrangea box and a couple more of the wall hangings out there before the Christmas shopping really kicks into high gear!
 
I dragged my kids out to take pictures for our Christmas card this year. They are not the most cooperative models, but I did get a couple of successful shots. 
 
I think this one is my favorite from our little trip out.
 
 
 Look at those beautiful ducks! I love ducks!
 
Wrapping up a lovely four day Thanksgiving weekend. Ready to jump right into Christmas. LOL, no, not really, I am sooooo not prepared.
 
Hope you have a wonderful week!
 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
I hope you had a lovely day with family, friends and good food!
 
I was very happy arranging flowers in pallet boxes and breaking a bit with our usual tradition and using our pretty Jadeite dishes instead of Grandmother Adeline's beautiful yellow rose dishes.
 


 
The table turned out so pretty, and the food was so good, and the day so nice and relaxing.
 
So many things to be thankful for!
 
Tomorrow...off to the November Flea Market!
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New idea's!

Last week at the Home for the Holidays craft show, one of the other vendors purchased three of my sentiment spoons and made a comment about hanging them on the wall. I bet I stood there slack jawed for a moment. Hanging...them...on...the...wall...omg, what the heck is wrong with me?? Why didn't I think of that?? Not everyone wants to stick them in a plant! Signs are so popular right now! Time to appeal to a broader audience!
 
Face palm forehead smack, I am disgusted with myself for not thinking of this on my own.
 
And with that, I was obsessed with putting a couple together and seeing how they came out.
 
This is about as close as I ever come to a step by step tutorial.
 
Here we go.
 
First off you need to remember that you still have a couple pallets to tear up, and cut.
 Still brainstorming what I want to use the fantastic plank with the big knot in it. LOVE that one.
 
 
Sand and stain them a lovely pecan color. I love how the stain highlights some of the "flaws" in the wood. The "flaws" are my favorite parts. So beautiful.
 
 
Stain some pretty decorative wood pieces. To use as an accent.
 
 
Play around with your placement.
 
 
Make sure you can actually HANG them once you finish your design.
 
 
Hammer a couple spoons and assemble.
 


 
I have been wanting to make a ladle candle holder for a long time. I am very happy with how it turned out. I may need to make one for myself!

 
I have three more design ideas that I cannot wait to make! But they will have to wait until after Thanksgiving. But I will definitely get to them in time to get them to the shop for Christmas!
 
Looking forward to Turkey day this week! Hope you are as well!
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Random Thrifter....

The Random Thrifter....that really should have been my blog name.
 
Random thrifting, yup that is me. Between browsing Ebay and wandering the thrift shops, it sure describes some of my buys, you never know what is going to strike my fancy.
 
Monday was a Dr. Appt day, of course, I schedule my Dr. Appts so that I have time to hit my favorite thrifts in between appointments, I did not walk away with a lot, but the one score that I did get, made my morning!
 
Pyrex bowls! I love the Pyrex Woodland pattern. this set is missing the medium size dark brown bowl, but that is ok, gives me something to look for! Three bowls, excellent condition 10.99. Not bad!
 

 
The rest of my random thrifting is Ebay. I like to try and get myself a new chenille blanket each fall. I got very lucky and scored one in excellent condition for under my 30.00 budget limit. Sorry these pictures suck. Fall back, by the time I get home. it's dark.
 
I grabbed one for Bruno as well! 5.99 baby blanket. He loves to curl up in his chenille at night when he goes to sleep. Ok, that is what I tell myself. Truth be told, as long as he is curling up next to me, probably does not matter what our blankets look like. Love my Pug boy.
 

Small shots of my blanket.


 
Great condition, thick chenille, so comfy cozy! I am really happy with it.
 
 And Swanky swigs! I love this size juice glass. They have the prettiest ripple in the glass as well. Just adds to their charm.
 

I got the set of 4, but I was after the violets. Wood Violets are one of my favorite wildflowers. They match nothing that I currently have, but they are so pretty! I love these juice glasses.

 

And a real random buy, Victorian butter pat plates. Why? I don't know, it is close to the holidays and my mind is on beautiful table settings? They are cute? Little? They almost match some of my dish sets? I don't know, I just know they spoke to me and I love them. They will be perfect for having tea lunches with my daughter this winter. Gives us an excuse to mold some pretty butter pats for our tea's.



So pretty!
 
One thing I did not get a picture of, A Hobbit picture book and record from the early 70's. The Rankin and Bass Cartoon Hobbit. I am a total Lord of the Rings and Hobbit nerd, I got so excited walking into Goodwill on Monday morning and finding a 1970's set of the Lord of the rings trilogy paper back set, way, WAY over priced, killed me to walk out without it. But I found the exact set on Ebay for half the price including shipping...I may get it for myself yet!
 
Oh and look I found one picture of my tomato cage/ornament tree. It is now at Creative Village, it really is perfect for displaying ornaments!
 
 
Ok that is a terrible picture, just trust me. It worked.
 
Well this weekend is a cooking and project weekend! Getting ready for Thanksgiving and I have a couple spoon craft ideas that I am excited about. I hope to finish them up and have them to Creative Village in time for Small Business Saturday on the 26th. Hopefully I will have them ready to show you on Saturday!
 
Hope you are having a great week!
 
 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Home for the Holidays Craft Fair

The fourth annual Home for the Holidays craft fair was a huge success!
 
Only the second time I participated and really only at the last minute, I have been hammering and organizing at top speed for the last month. Turns out it was worth my while! I made a really good profit. Of course it helps that the event is very well organized and run, and had a strong Facebook presence. When the doors opened we had a flood of people that only eased up around  the lunch hour, then for the last half hour.
 
I did not get many pictures, as I was half brain dead most of the day after a late football night (a heartbreaking loss in the second round of playoffs). Nothing worse than seeing your favorite boys heartbroken and sobbing out on the field after playing their hearts out only to lose by 3 points.
 
 I still did not get a good shot of the tomato cage Christmas tree, maybe I can get a better one tomorrow before the remainder of the ornaments go to Creative Village. I really like it and it was the PERFECT way to display (and transport) the ornaments
 
Got to use my sign again!
 
 
Some new flower arrangements to sell, They get so much attention, but only one went, even the single stem flowers. Again, lots of attention, no sale.
 
But that is ok, the herb markers and spoons made up for it.
 
 
Several necklaces and key rings sold as well. Not as many necklaces as I had hoped. As happy as I was with putting them on the playing cards...they did not display well that way, next year I have a better idea to display them.
 
Well you can see the bottom of the tomato cage Christmas tree, this really was the best way to display the ornaments. They got lots of attention, and a few sold, but not nearly as many as I expected to sell. I really thought these would sell quickly. No worries, off to Creative Village they go where I think they will sell very well!
 

I hammered up a few more butter knives, a few of these sold as well!
 
I am also going to be watching for handles to make more cheese markers like the Brie below, love love how that turned out.
 
 
I still think this needs a ribbon around it to look more "Christmassy"
 
 
Overall, a very successful show, AND after having a few conversations with some customers and a couple other vendors. I have a couple really great new ideas that I am super excited to get going on! Tired or not, tomorrow I rip a pallet apart and find a really great poem to hammer out!
 
But tonight, I am taking a hot shower, popping "Lord of the Rings" into the DVD player then climbing into bed with my fat Pug dog to mindlessly flip through Pinterest until I fall asleep. I suspect that will not take long.
 
Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.