Saturday, January 30, 2016

I'm going on an adventure!

Well, not really.
But, it is the last weekend in January, which means it is the last weekend of my "live like a Hobbit" month. And, since Valentine's day is right around the corner, and I knew I needed to drop some Valentines sentiment spoons off at Creative Village, I thought why not stop at my favorite flea market and try my luck?
Flea market, Goodwill and Hobby Lobby, my kind of adventure!
So, bright and early this morning, my daughter and I jumped into the car and took off. And we did come home with a couple treasures. First stop was Goodwill, struck out there. Then next door to Hobby Lobby for some craft project necessities then off to my favorite indoor flea market. My daughter does not love going to this flea market, but the promise of lunch at Sonic and new handmade soap from Creative Village kept her quiet while I scoured the place for treasures.
First find was this pretty doily, I am getting a stash together for an upcoming craft project.
Next was this sweet vintage jam crock, a  4.00 find. Checked Ebay when I came home and  found one listed for 14.00. I would say I got a bargain!
No reasonably priced Pyrex fridgie left behind right? Not a bargain, but not over priced either. And since I did not have a little yellow one I decided it had to come home with me.

This was my favorite find for the day, A Fire King Catalina Island Lobster platter. This is so fun! I love it! As I was chatting with the store owners while checking out, they were saying that they thought the platters were used as plates for Red Lobster at one point in time.  I could believe that. There were four platters available, this one was the only one with minimal dishwasher damage. And I cannot wait to use it!

And last but not least, this fun vintage bread keeper. I grabbed it not to use in the kitchen, but for my craft supplies for whatever current project I am working on to keep in my living room. Right now I use baskets, and that is fine, but they get tipped and knocked over. I think this will work much better! It is really large!

And my second lot of flatware was delivered today, this one had, well, more than a few that I fell in love with and cannot stand to hammer out.

I guess finding the jam crock today was meant to be, I think a French mustard crock will have to be added to my "must find" flea market list.

The final stop in my Saturday morning adventure was Creative Village. I dropped off some sweet Valentines day sentiment spoons that I was really pleased with. Oh, you want to see a picture? Sure, me too. This morning I cleaned them up, got them polished and priced, popped them into my purse. No picture. Totally blanked it. Dropped them off at Creative Village plopped them into the display, No picture. Totally blanked it. I blame it on the fact that Bruno woke me up extra early and I had not had my usual amount of Diet Coke  before we left on our adventure. I just did not have my crap together and I was a total ditzy space case.  With any luck they will have sold by the time I get back out to the shop in two weeks, but if not, I will get a couple pictures in a couple weeks.
February is almost upon us, time to start going out and about on the weekends again. But I have enjoyed my quiet January. And honestly, we have some fun outings planned for the next couple weekends, worth getting out of the house for!
Oh and did I mention that it was 63 degrees today? Gorgeous sunshine, fabulous breeze blowing through the open windows....A week ago we had six inches of snow on the ground. Today I ran around out on the back deck barefoot in a t shirt repotting Rose Geraniums.
I love the south.
Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just some cool stuff....

 I have been shopping for flatware to hammer out. As much as I would like to find most of my stock at the flea market or thrift shops, I have to admit, I find the best selection (and prices) on Ebay. It does get pretty cut throat with bidding wars on the large flatware lots, and because I am very strict with myself on budget, I bid a lot, but win very little. I did manage to score a couple lots this week and I got the first delivery today. As usual, there were some cool stuff in the mix.
I suspect a lot of these silverware lots are sold by dealers that have already sifted through and picked out what they wanted, but I still always seem to find some cool stuff that I end up keeping.
This time was no exception!
These spoons are TINY! The one on the right is clearly marked "Italy" The other one is almost impossible to read it is so small. They are fun and I will keep them just for the novelty. But they are handy size for Caviar.
This one just cracked me up, M'm good Campbell soup spoon. Too cute!

A Norway souvenir spoon and a Michigan souvenir spoon were included in the mix. I thought these were especially cool because not only am I part Norwegian, but I have a lot of family in upper Michigan!. Cool spoons, they are definitely here to stay.

So cool!

The back of the Norway spoon.

But no worries, most are going under the hammer!
I am heading out to Creative Village on Saturday to drop off some sweet Valentines day sentiment spoons and take inventory. I had really great sales in November and December so I suspect I will be hammering a lot to replenish my stock at the shop, but I also promised myself to have a lot of stock on hand so I can participate in more of the craft shows in my area this year. After hurting my shoulder last summer, I  was pretty short on stock by the fall and had to pass on three different shows, I was pretty bummed, so I don't want to find myself short on stock and unable to participate again this year. That means making more flowers as well! I would love to have some arrangements for the booth.
Since I have to actually leave my house on Saturday, my very last "live like a Hobbit" weekend, because I need to run into Creative Village. I decided to reward myself with a trip to my favorite indoor flea market as well. Usually it is pretty slim pickings this time of year, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can find a couple treasures!
Wish me luck! Have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A blizzard in south town.....

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post to report that there has been a blizzard in South Town!

Last year it was an epic ice storm, this year it was an epic blizzard!
 Per usual, I was watching the weather all week, waiting to see if we would actually get snow and not ice or just rain. So I was ready for it, the pantry stocked and the fridge full. We got a little taste on Wednesday with slush and a bit of snow. Friday we were expecting the storm to hit us around noon or so. I figured I would go to work and they would shut us down around 12:00 before the storm hit. Well, the storm decided to hit around 6:00 am, so I never had to leave the house! No complaints here!
And we got snow, boy oh boy did we get snow!

 Almost eight inches in Nashville before all was said and done!

I like the snow, but, not so much that I want it to stick around for awhile. Nice thing about the South, in a couple days it will all be gone!

I think the birdies that lived in this house all summer flew further South for the Winter.  But the Cardinals always stick around and don't they look gorgeous in the snow?
We had eight Cardinals at one point pecking away at the seed bell. I love Cardinals almost as much as I love my Goldfinches and Blue Birds!

Their bright red feathers are so beautiful next to the snow.

Bruno loves the snow, but this was a little bit more than he had experienced in the past, He was so funny prancing through the deep drifts.

Greater Nashville area reported eight inches of snow, I could only find piles six inches high.

So much snow they actually cancelled the Nashville flea market. Good for me, it removed the temptation to venture out. All this snow and slippery roads made it even easier to "live like a Hobbit" I have not left the house since Thursday, but the need for some odds and ends at the grocery store for next week may force me to run out briefly tomorrow, but, then again, maybe not. I only need stuff for the kids lunches and I suspect they may cancel school again on Monday, easy to talk myself out of leaving the house and just hitting the grocery on the way home from work on Monday instead.
Back to hammering away on some sweet sentiment spoons to bring to Creative Village for Valentines day, and I may even throw a small flower arrangement together as well, I have a fun idea that I am excited to give a try!
Hope you have a great week, Keep warm!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meat and Bread.....

My husband was a bit puzzled when he got a food dehydrator for Christmas. He had forgotten all about  looking into making his own beef jerky. So when we did our New Years eve shopping spree he picked up some seasoning for beef jerky at Bass Pro and we decided to give jerky making a try this weekend.
Oh my worth it and he is very happy with his Christmas present. Now, I should mention that we are all big summer sausage and beef jerky fans in this house. I love good locally made jerky from the farmers market in WI and this was as close to it is as I have ever tasted. And easy to make? Very.
A nice lean London Broil, marinated and sliced nice and thin.
A little over four hours later it was done.

We were quite impressed with ourselves, it was really good. So good in fact, it was all gone by the end of the day, oh yes, we will be making it again very soon!
And when the jerky was "cooking" I decided to make some more magic bead.
Meat and bread. Yes, we are all Hobbits here.

This recipe makes me feel like the accomplished baker that I am not!

Sooo good!

Well, I don't think the Flea market is an adventure for me this weekend. Because currently the greater Nashville area has a bad case of snow storm fever!

We got a little taste of winter today, in my part of town really just slush, enough to cause our offices to open a couple hours late, but the real excitement is coming on Friday and into Saturday when they are forecasting up to five inches of the white stuff....omg...five inches of snow in Nashville? Well that is practically a blizzard!
So maybe my hopes for an extended snow day  weekend will come true for weekend four of "Live like a Hobbit January"! Lets hope so, I am ready for it and have enough in the freezer and pantry to last a week or two, enough steak and seasoning to make another batch of Jerky, and enough crafting to do to keep me busy for a very, very long time.

Hope you are having a great week! Stay warm!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


One of the nice things about the dead of winter is I have no guilt about spending some time during the week or on a Saturday afternoon kicked back under a blanket with my iPad surfing eBay. Seems like around the holidays and for some reason during the dead middle of the summer I tend to score my best bargains.
Cause lets be honest, eBay is seldom as cheap as the flea market. But, when it is too cold to hit the outdoor flea market, and I am too lazy to leave the house to hit the local Antique stores (which are often just as expensive as shopping on eBay) I am willing to pay a little extra for my treasures.
And who does not like getting packages in the mail right?
So I have been spending some time surfing eBay, and with some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket I decided to see if I could score a few things that I very seldom come across in my usual flea market adventures.
And I think I have been pretty lucky!
I scored a nice set of Fire King Honeysuckle dinner plates, lunch plates and berry bowls. Last year I was lucky to find one soup bowl and a cream and sugar set in this pattern at my favorite indoor flea market, I had never seen this pattern in my area before, and I have yet to see it since. So I did not feel bad buying it online. And I got lucky, they were low priced, I was the only bidder and the seller was charging actual shipping cost, not just padding their profits, so I was pleased.

Such a pretty spring inspired pattern!

I just love this pattern! Next on the list will be a couple platters and serving bowls. Complete set! Love it! Humm, maybe my new Easter dishes?

I also found this beautiful vintage tablecloth, I thought it would look fantastic with the Honeysuckle dishes, but, it is far more pink than I thought. But I just loved this tablecloth and I decided it would look fantastic with my milk glass lunch set. At 14.00 this was a real steal for a vintage mint condition tablecloth. Very happy with this find. I may not bother with a tablecloth to go with the Honeysuckle dishes, I love how they look on the dark wood of my kitchen table.
New dishes, gives my daughter and I an excuse to have a "Ladies Only" lunch soon!
And I as I was looking for tablecloths, I ran across these fantastic vintage dishtowels. So very Eames Mad Men cool. I already have a tablecloth just like them so they were a no brainer for me. Five very large, excellent condition dishtowels for 14.99 including shipping? Maybe a little pricy, but again, nothing I see out in my neck of the woods so the price worked for me.

I think they are so funky retro fun! 
And last but not least, my yummie new vintage Chenille blanket!

Dang these things are hard to score online for a reasonable price and hard to find at flea markets in good shape and at good prices. I see a lot more at very reasonable prices up North, but I don't feel like I see as many here. In the 15 years that I have been collecting vintage Chenille, I have only purchased three at flea markets. Two were excellent condition at super bargain price. The third was more expensive, but started to fall apart the first time I washed it. Ug I was sick. I have a very strict budget on buying vintage Chenille, it used to be 30.00, 35.00 tops. Well I have had to nudge that budget up a bit, but I easily scored this blanket for 32.00 including shipping. NO complaints here. I just got lucky. Excellent condition, no holes, missing Chenille or stains and it washed up perfectly. I think someone's sweet Grannie must have had this tucked in the back of a linen closet. I am loving it! Nice heavy weight, perfect for the cold nights we have been having lately.


Weekend three of living like a Hobbit, and I am blissfully content, although I did have to break my rule and venture out briefly on Saturday morning to run an errand with my son and spend my 20.00 in JC Penney cash before it expired. Reason enough to step outside during my Hobbit month. Anyway, Hobbits DO like adventures once in a while, and I got fresh French bread from Panera and pretty flowers while I was out,  a trip worth putting mascara on for. 
I may have to have two weekends of adventure, The Nashville flea market is next weekend, I typically do not hit the January market, but if the weather is nice, I may consider giving it a try. But with snow in the forecast this week, the chances are pretty slim. Chances are much better that I will stay inside and continue my January hibernation.
Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to live like a Hobbit

We have made it through Wednesday, half way to the weekend. It has been a really rough week at work so far so all I can think about is making it to Friday at 5:00 when I can just be home.
I remember back when I was in my early 20's I just hated January. Bleak, dark, cold, boring, never anything fun going on. Ahhh to be young. Fast forward 20 years and two kids later and I live for January. Because it is bleak, dark, cold and nothing is going on.
 Boring then, blissful now.
So if you have been reading this blog for any period of time it is probably pretty obvious from my many "Lord of the Rings" references that I am a pretty big LOTR and Hobbit nerd. Pretty much my favorite books of all time and Hobbits are probably my favorite literary characters of all time. I love Hobbits. I love them so much that I look forward to pretending to be one every January!
How do you pretend to be a Hobbit you ask? Easy, first things first. Since you probably do not have 31 days vacation so you can take off the entire month of January to hide in your Hobbit hole while you craft and eat the month away, you do everything you can so you don't have to leave the house on the weekends. Errands? Get yourself organized, write out your lists and run them on the way home from work, last errand I run is Friday evening on my way home. Once my wheels hit the driveway, that is where they stay until Monday morning. Second, you cook, and bake.
Maybe some Chocolate chip cookies.

 Definitely some fresh bread.

Ohhh and pumpkin muffins.

I should have gotten a picture of the steak, baked potatoes and sautéed mushrooms we had for Dinner Saturday....Hobbits love mushrooms. And soup, yes I made soup as well. But then again I always make soup.
Oh and little Hobbit girls like to dip fruit into chocolate. yummmm.

Third, once your Hobbit hole is nice and tidy after all your baking and cooking,  you put out some pretty flowers to brighten up the place.

Then cuddle up under your newest vintage chenille blanket with your darling pug boy and watch a movie while you surf Pinterest on your iPad.
Darling pug boy.
Oh and don't forget to work on making more hydrangea flowers while you are hiding in your Hobbit hole. Hobbits love to relax but they are still productive creatures.
Then Monday morning comes and you have to put your inner Hobbit away for another week and try to be an adult again.
I think I prefer being a Hobbit.
Two blissful Hobbit weekends down, three to go and only two days to get to the next one. I think I can make it.
I hope you are having a wonderful week, and have an even better weekend ahead planned!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Two does not a collection make....

I have no intention of becoming a collector of Enid Collins box bags, I mean, I like them yes, but I do not intend to collect. Although, I did end up finding another one I just had to have.
In the weeks before Christmas I was searching Ebay looking for a cream and sugar set to go with my Mothers English Botanic set. I had been looking on and off since last Christmas and had been striking out, no worries, I got lucky and found one for a good price at the last minute, a real Christmas shopping miracle. Since I was shopping around I decided to pop in and see if I could find a box bag like the one I have. I like to see what the prices are doing and if they are selling and darn it all anyway if I did not see another one I liked.
Birds...they are a weakness for me....especially owls. Maybe it is because I am a 70's kid and they were very popular then, but, I have always loved owls.

So cute! Who could blame me for bidding on these sweet babies!
I did not get the bargain price that I did on my first bag, but it was not too bad. I decided it would be a Christmas present to myself with some of the Creative Village money I earned in December (oh and by the way, I made a killing in December) it also did not hurt that I was the only bidder, no one to run the price up, if they had, I would have passed on it.

Look at those eyes! Love them!
And they do make a nice pair right? The owl box now holds my essential oil supplies, empty roller balls, vapor sticks, funnels and droppers, so it IS useful.

One justification a day right?
I still don't plan to make these into a collection, unless of course I stumble across another bargain I just cannot pass up. They do have a couple more designs out there that are to die for, and one can always find a use for another box right? Especially a cute one.
Anyway, never say never. 
I have been doing a bit of Ebay shopping lately and have scored pretty big. It seems like the weeks right around Christmas people are not Ebay shopping and there is not a lot of competition so with a little luck you can pick up a few things at decent prices, not flea market prices for sure, but not Antique store prices either.
We are now in weekend two of "live like a Hobbit January" loving every minute of it. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend as well!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kicking off 2016

Well here we are, 2016! And here I am wondering, where the heck did 2015 go?
2015 was a whirlwind of a year for sure. I hope that 2016 is just as interesting and exciting. But, I have to admit, I like a slow start to the year.
Every January, first resolution I make is to give myself a month off to rest, relax, brain storm, plan and....cook! I don't know about you, but after a long football season, craziness of the holidays and a busy end of year at work, I am ready for some peace and quiet. The month of January I like to be a hobbit. I go to work and run all my errands on the way home. I basically do everything I can to stay home all weekend long. So, the first weekend of this year I did just that, stayed home, shopped online, puttered around the house, read a book and tried a recipe I have always wanted to try.
I love Pralines, but have never given them a try on my own, so when I saw this recipe show up in my Facebook feed, I decided it was time to give it a try.
Oh I am so glad I did.
So. Darn. Good.
Creamy New Orleans Pralines
3 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 quart pecans

1) Combine sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup and salt in a VERY large pot and bring to a rolling boil.

2) Add soda~ this is where it gets interesting, and the large pot is very important. The mix will foam considerably after the baking soda is added. Stir and stir and stir  until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (when a ball is formed when dropped in cold water) or softball stage on a candy thermometer. I think I boiled it a bit longer than necessary. Did not effect the taste, but they got white spots after a couple days, I think this is because I they cooked a little too long.

3) Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat until color changes and the candy thickens then stir in the pecans. I did a mix of chopped and whole, I like pecans in every bite!

4) Drop by teaspoons (or bigger!) onto a greased cookie sheet or wax paper (I like the wax paper best) Move quickly! This stuff hardens faster than you think!

So yummie, even my husband said that if he did not know they were homemade, he would ask me where I bought them! I am going to emphasize again, use a bigger pot than you think you need. I did not use quite as large a pot as I should have and as that sugar was foaming, boiling and splattering, I was dancing trying to keep it from spattering on my sleeping dogs. My sweatshirt was covered in sugar blobs, and my hands had more than a few burns.
Lesson learned.
When I am in the kitchen, I have dogs wrapped around my ankles. Both of them, especially if the oven is on, my Pittie girl Daisy loves to sleep in front of a warm oven and Bruno, well, he is always guarding my ankles. He is my little shadow, always with me. I usually don't mind my dogs around my ankles. I always enjoy their company and want them with me, but with all that bubbling sugar, well, it was a little nerve wracking. But still super fun to make. So if you have little ones or puppies like mine, just be careful.
I am definitely making these again. My daughter and I did not get our Christmas candy boxes mailed out as planned, so we decided to do Valentines day candy boxes instead, and these will HAVE to be a part of them!
Successful recipe, a perfect start to a new year!
I hope your having a peaceful, perfect start to your New Year!