Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas 2016

The Holidays are upon us. Are you ready? Am I ready? Well, I for the most part I am ready. Just a few things left to do. I have to say, having Christmas fall on a Sunday this year is very convenient! I wish we could do it this way every year!
Sadly, I did not get to go to the December flea market on Saturday. Last minute errands made it too difficult to arrange my schedule so I could go. And I am glad I skipped it and instead went out and ran my errands early. this time of year it seems people fall into two extreme classifications. Happy, friendly full of holiday cheer and thoughtful or angry self centered assholes. Yesterday was asshole day. In the two early morning hours I was out running errands, I was very ready to go home and get away from people. Wow...I cannot imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone after my flea market run during the height of the holiday shopping traffic. I shudder to think!
So home I went and my daughter and I dedicated our day to Christmas baking. It was a perfect weekend to spend baking.
Sadly this years Gingerbread house was condemned. Crappy contractor I guess.
We also made my husbands favorite chocolate dipped pretzels.
And we cannot melt chocolate without dipping some strawberries.

We snack on these while we work, they did not last long!

But the most fun to make was probably the Cracker Barrel Coke Cake.
We kept just enough batter aside to make a tiny cake to try. Wow! It is delish. I expected it to be much sweeter, but it was not. I added a pinch of salt to the frosting, and loved the difference it made! this recipe will definitely be going into regular rotation.
And one more thing. One of my sons friends loves sugar cookies. Well, since I love all my boys, I told him that I would find a good sugar cookie recipe (it's my "if you feed them, they will come" strategy, I love my boys, and I want them to have lots of reasons to come visit me :)) I am not thrilled with this recipe. But it was a good first try. Too "cakey" for me, I like a sweeter denser cookie. Onto the next recipe.
One thing I did not get to do. Start my new craft project. Hobby Lobby, Joannes, Lowes, Home depot, Harbor Freight and Ace Hardware...struck out. Easy to find the soldering iron I wanted to use, but the copper tape? That is what sent me on the wild goose chase. I struck out everywhere. I can be very tenacious, but six places, I am done. Hello Amazon. I should have the final materials by Friday and hopefully have some time the day after Christmas to putter around and see what I can get into. I am excited to give it a try.
I will be taking a blogging break the next couple of weeks to enjoy the holidays with my family, but will  be back after the New Year with some new projects to share, and with any luck some thrifting treasures as well!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest of New Years!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

When life hands you lemons.....

Everyone goes through periods where NOTHING goes right, right?
Well for about a month now, I have had just a run of bad luck. Started with getting rear ended (not my fault) at Thanksgiving to making stupid mistakes, forgetting and breaking things.
I don't like it when I feel like the forces of the universe are working against me.
But, I feel very strongly that if you let a bad attitude and negativity take over.. it only.makes things 100% worse. So, whenever I find myself confronted with yet another freaking thing that goes wrong, I try to find something positive in it or make something positive out of it.
For example, I decided that I wanted to get two more Fire King honeysuckle plates (I only had four) so I would have enough for everyone to use for Christmas dinner. Excited to have my Honeysuckle Christmas table! Well, about a week ago, I found a couple at a good price on Ebay. I hit Ebay because I very seldom find that pattern around here. I was so excited when they arrived on Saturday, I practically skipped out to the mailbox. But the minute I picked up the box, I knew there was a problem.
Dammit my bad luck hit again.
They arrived smashed.

I was heartbroken...and pissed. They were very poorly packaged and not properly cushioned in the box at all, they never stood a chance in the mail.

It breaks my vintage loving heart to see these beautiful old plates broken and thrown away, so, I decided to take a negative and make a positive. I did some research and decided to try my hand at making jewelry out of china shards!
I was happy to see that the materials needed are not very expensive, so off to Hobby Lobby and Lowes I go this weekend to pick up supplies and see what I can do! I needed a new craft project anyway right?
AND, as it turns out, the seller of the above pictured smashed plates graciously refunded my money, and as luck would also have it, I found two more plates, buy it now, out on Ebay, 5.00 cheaper than the ill fated plates above. I should have them by Friday.
I will take that as a positive. Maybe my bad luck streak is coming to an end?
I hope so. Cause I am getting tired of this crap.
I sure hope it is turning around, because this is December Flea Market weekend and I am really hoping for a good buy or two!
Maybe I need to look for a vintage shamrock to help turn my bad luck around? Somehow I don't think a vintage rabbits foot would be a very pleasant find, lol.
Hope you are having better luck this week than I am!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Warning, rambling post to follow.......

The small town I live in has the sweetest little Christmas parade and a holiday 5K every year one of the first weekends in December. Love the parade, but, because of the traffic and road closures, we are pretty much trapped in our neighborhood for a few hours on parade/5 K day.
Not that I really mind, I did my grocery shopping Friday night, and a quick run out for a few basic necessities early this morning, so I was happily in for the day by 8:30 AM, long before the parade started. Since I am caught up on stock at Creative Village and did a bunch of Christmas shopping online this week, I decided to take a day and just take it easy. 
And what did I do? Well, I made lemonade. Yes, it is finally freezing outside, but I decide I need to make some fresh squeezed lemonade. Meyer Lemon Lemonade that is!
I love Meyer Lemons!
And they are soooo good mixed with a couple oranges in a citrus bomb!
And since the weather has turned cold, what better than to hover over a steaming hot fondue pot full of fragrant broth and cook some fillet, shrimp, chicken and giant scallops?
Let them cook their own dinner tonight, but think they are getting a treat!
Oh and it was so good! This is one of my kids favorite dinners. And yes, there was cheese involved as well. Trader Joes cheese fondue. So amazing good!
I did warn you that this was a rambling post. I find that with craft projects wrapped up for the year that I have time on my hands....I am not used to that! I feel a little lost and directionless today, odd feeling for me.
But I think I will make the most of it while it lasts!
Hope you enjoy a rambling relaxing kind of weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Any excuse to go junkin

My favorite indoor flea market is less than five minutes away from Creative Village and opens an hour before they do, so it works out perfectly for me to stop in and do a little treasure hunting before I drop stock off at Creative Village.
Any excuse to go junkin! I mean really, if I am going to be that close by, why not treat myself and stop in to look for some vintage treasures?
And I found a few!
I have never gotten into the whole vintage lunchbox/thermos craze, don't get me wrong, I like them and think they are cool, but they just never really grabbed my attention.
And then I saw this one.
As far as I can figure out, it is a 1930's era railroad lunchbox. There are tiny initials written on the top in very lovely handwriting, although it is very hard to see. Overall it is in pretty good condition, no dents and very little rust. I saw it sitting on the shelf, and it just called to me, I picked it up, looked it over and just could not bring myself to put it back down, it was meant to be mine. Once I brought it home I immediately incorporated it into my Christmas decorations.  I think it will live in this chair year round.  Will be fun to find different things to tuck inside of it!

Vintage ceramic tree, vintage lunchbox filled with vintage cookie cutters and Christmas bulbs. I think they all look great together!
And more vintage garbage...uhh, I mean another vintage bottle!
I still have to giggle thinking about what my grandmother would have thought of me sticking flowers in things that she would have put in the trash, and setting them on my windowsill.

It's a tiny Lysol bottle! So CUTE!!

I saw this mug the last time I stopped in. I decided to pass on it then, even though I thought my daughter would like it. Well, it was still sitting there a week later and I was right, she liked it. When she saw it she immediately asked if we could bring it home with us. For three bucks...sure, why not, what's one more mug?
Have I mentioned she is a blossoming hot tea addict? What tea addict could pass up a cute vintage vessel to steep your high quality leaves in?
Not my child tea addict, that is for sure.
I picked up a cool old tool box for my husband and well. Txted him a picture of it, and he said to grab it. He was at my car the minute I pulled in to grab his new toy and bring it directly into the garage. I did not even get a chance to photograph it before he loaded it up! So he ended up with a pretty nice score as well.
Well we are down to the last few weeks before Christmas, and I am painfully behind on my shopping and preparations, but I am still hoping to sneak out to the December Flea market!
I had such a nice time at the December flea market last year, that I am willing to kill myself getting things done the next two weeks just so I can have my stroll around the flea again this year.

Totally worth it!

Hope you are doing better with your Christmas preparations!

Have a great week! Happy Shopping!

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? 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! 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!