Thursday, May 31, 2007


After reading the review on Apron Thrift Girl, I had to have a copy of my own. It is an excellent book and a quick read. (I am done with it already.) Added bonus points for making me even more excited about going to the 127 sale in August.

Craft in America I missed the first hour of it and I was highly skeptical after the crack vial necklaces , but, it improved (at least for me) after that.

Hystercine Rankin was so inspiring. Her memory quilt was truly amazing. My favorite line of the series came from her, "How far can a needle take you?" Apparently a needle can take you far, Hystercine. All the way to the White House in fact.

I have been looking high and low for the perfect paper to cover some cheap cardboard magazine files from IKEA. Shortly after Heidi was kind enough to send me a sample of the wallpaper she has, I started finding plenty of possibilities.
I tried several versions, but nothing was really speaking to me. Then yesterday was rainy, so Jack and I went wandering around for a little while and I found this awesome vintage contact paper at a thrift store we rarely visit. It was perfect. I love them. The roses, the polka dots, it almost makes me want to squeeeeeeeee.

In the interest of full disclosure, you can see an abandoned decoupage version on my flickr .

(I think I need a few more links in this post!)

Monday, May 28, 2007


Ahhh, memorial day. The official arrival of summer. BBQs. Fireworks. Swimming pools. A healthy dose of rememberance and patriotism.

I am a painfully slow paper crafter. I have been working on this banner forever. I used a little bit of everything: Martha Stewart Glitters*, card stock, an old french textbook, vintage crepe paper, rick rack, some of my grandma's costume jewelry. I really wished I had more of the crepe paper, because I really wanted it more ruffly, but what are you gonna do?
As soon as I get the chance I will thread it on some red satin ribbon and get it hung up. Hopefully that will include getting out the rest of my patriotic summer decorations soon. Time seems to be flying past me lately!

*If you are thinking of buying her glitter, I wouldn't bother with the glitter glue. It is hard to spread and the glitter is so fine that the glue has to be really thick to get it to stick well. I also wouldn't bother trying to use the shaker function on the glitter unless you want to drive yourself crazy. I just dump it on there and spoon it back into the container when I am finished. Actually, I am not sure I would buy her glitter again. I really like the glass glitter better, but I didn't have any in the right colors handy.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Not too shabby

I really wasn't planning on going to the flea market today because tomorrow is the 35th annual Gypsy Caravan , which we usually attend, and it would have been my flea market for the week. But boredom (and curiousity!) got the better of us, and off to the market we went. Because it is sort of rainy it was actually nice and quiet, and I definitely prefer that to the heat and insanity of last week's market.

Besides, look what I found! Those of you who have been hanging around here awhile may remember that we sleep on this bed , which I consider one of my best antiquing finds ever. I was ridiculously excited to spot this at the flea market this morning, since these beds are rarely (if ever) seen around here. It's a small one, and something wierd has gone on with the foot board, but woooooohoooo it is all mine! The quilt top I found isn't too shabby either.
(Jack is showing me a picture he drew of "outside.")

Yesterday we all went to the brand new, gigantic Cabellas to look for a handheld GPS. Ordinarily I boycott these places purely because the stuffed animals in there are, well, rather gross to me. Before we had even gone into the store Jack was asking what store this was. Dave replied with something like "this is a manly store." So Jack looks at me and says, "this is a manly store, in'nt Mama?"

While my husband was investigating said GPS, I had the (not so very nice) pleasure of pushing Jack around to see said dead animals. A few more gems from Jack on that trip:

Upon seeing a mountain lion, with fangs and claws bared, ready to rip the throat out of a deer, "Look mama! A kitty! Meoowwww!"

Upon seeing an elk standing in a stream, "That cow needs to take a bath!"

Upon seeing a mini cooper in a parking lot, "Look at that bike trailer."

LOL, kids. He gets funnier every day.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost and Found

I started collecting pyrex dishes when we lived in Florida. They were at every thrift store, flea market and yard sale down there, cheap and plentiful. It was the snowflake pattern that started it. Being in hot, dry (there was a very bad drought the year we moved there) Florida, I longed for the snowflakes of Missouri.

When we moved back to Missouri, I put the collection up in the kitchen and never thought twice about it again. Except when I had to take it all down to wash it. My love for all things ovenware has recently been rekindled and I have added a few extra nice pieces to the collection. (I had planned to photograph the entire collection for you, but it is really rainy today and too dark in the kitchen. That will have to be saved for another day!)

I have wanted one of these egg nog sets forever. They are always way too expensive for my wallet though. Imagine my delight when I picked this one up marked $4 at a yard sale a few weeks ago. Then imagine my delight to discover that everything was 50% off! $2 netted me one bowl and 6 cups. They are not Pyrex, but rather Anchor Hocking or Hazel Atlas, I haven't yet sorted out which.
I also picked up the big hot air balloon cinderella bowl while we were in Chicago. Until I started doing a little research I didn't know that the hot air balloon pattern was only made in 2 pieces of pyrex, a chip and dip set. Good to know, now I won't waste time looking for mixing bowls or something in that pattern.
A recently thrifted snowflake garland custard cup.

Need more Pyrex Love ? How about help with Pattern Identification ? Flickr Pyrex ?

The piece that I am dying to find now is the "Lucky in Love" pattern on the pyrex identification site. Click on the picture even though it says no picture available to see it in all of it's adorable glory!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One chapter closes

Today is Jack's last day of school and, for me, it feels like the closing of his first little chapter on schooling. He has come so far from the bad experience at the first school we tried to really enjoying the program he is in now. (Even if he still tells me every Wednesday morning that he "doesn't need to go to school today.") I am sure he is going to miss it for the next 7 weeks until the summer session begins.

I ended up going with notes and gift cards for his teachers. Target has nifty gift cards right now that come with wildflower paper that you can plant, so to continue the flower theme I made each teacher a little vintage button flower pin. It was all I had time for, and to me it honors who Jack is right now, because he still adores those buttons.
I also squeezed in a little applique on one of my tee shirts. The bird doesn't look it, but it is pink, cut out from Simply Shabby sheets from Target, but found at Goodwill (of course). My sewing machine is having some issues with keeping the presser foot attached. I have no idea what that is about, but it was frustrating to deal with while trying to sew on a complicated applique. That'll teach me to try and squeeze in a project!
I thrifted this chandelier this week, also from Target but found at Goodwill. I was a little iffy about it because I am not sure where to put it, but Jack convinced me. "Put that in the cart mama! Put it in there! Right there!" Really he wanted to play with the beads, but who I am to argue with that kind of demand?

The crystals on the bottom are pink, but clearly my camera is not feeling pink today. I really liked it under that big tree and if my, ahem, "neighbors" didn't steal everything I owned, I would have probably made myself a little sitting area with a nice chair and a chandelier under one of our trees.

Oh well, a girl can dream.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


A few weeks back I made myself a new wreath and I had the (not so) brilliant idea to make a few extra for an Etsy shop. Why was it not so brilliant? Let me count the ways...LOL. Really though, I have quickly discovered that while I like to make things, I like to make that thing right then, in that moment, and I don't really like to revisit it. My head has been swirling with no fewer than 3 new ideas for other projects, and instead I have been committed to finishing the wreaths!

Anyway, here they are below, and they are indeed for sale on Etsy.
A patriotic version, complete with vintage US NAVY fabric.
And a version made with more of the 1930's reproduction fabrics that I hold near and dear.

If you feel like you need one, you can find them here .

And now I can get onto those other Patriotic crafts that are burning a hole in the creative thinking spot in my brain!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flea Market Sundays

As flea marketing season continues onward toward summer, the crowd swells along with the heat. Frankly, that makes me crabby, so I hardly even stay to see the entire market. It has been a few not so great weeks as far as the market and yard saling go anyway, so I don't feel like I am missing much. The things in this week's post have been picked up here and there, a yard sale, the flea market, an antique mall, etc.

I just love the star ornaments in the box above. I have a few others that are space themed, but they seem hard to come by.
I have been wanting to find a cherry tablecloth, and I love this one, but it is a bit too small for the table, so the hunt for a bigger one continues.
A rather tall bottle brush tree, complete with ornaments. This is the only one of these I have the pleasure of owning.
And a sweet, summery pair of pillowcases.

Oh my current junking to hunt for list:
An enamel pitcher
Old wallpaper (I NEED this for a project darn it!)
More millinery flowers
A victorian scrapbook that I can afford
Vintage Independence Day bunting

How about your hunting for list? Looking for anything special?

P.S. If I owe you a package, I am working on them today, hopefully we will get to the post office early this week. I still need 2 addresses and then we are ready to go!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sometimes you get lucky

I was fully prepared to photograph the gorgeous bouquet of vintage millinery flowers I bought at a yard sale this morning, thinking they were a lucky score. What was really lucky was that Jack wanted to "smell da flowers".
How gorgeous are these photos of my little redheaded boy?

I love that he smells things with his lips instead of his nose right now. He came up to me this morning and put his lips on my arm. When I asked what he was doing he replied, "Smelling you mama." Awwww, insert melting mama here.
I did make one of the June 2007 Martha Stewart Living pillowcase totes this week also. Except, I didn't use a pillowcase, I used a Simply Shabby Chic curtain panel and cut it into the shape of a pillowcase and went from there. It came together in about 25 minutes, and it really is cute and easy.

And I owe a big thank you to Christy for mentioning my blog on Sew Mama Sew . When I received the e-mail from Beth this morning to let me know my blog was mentioned there that totally rocked my world!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

Much to my surprise, I actually finished TWO projects yesterday. Many moons ago I bought this mirror at a flea market for $3. The frame was interesting, and the mirror was perfectly shabby. The paint however? A horrible brown. All these years I have meant to either try and sand the brown paint off or repaint it, but I never got around to it.

With my brand new sewing room spiffed up (with lots of pink accents), I decided it was time to get it off the floor in there and finally paint it.
So, pink it is! It has gone from being a "so so" mirror to me to "I love it!". You can actually see the flowers on the frame now.

It also illustrates flea marketing tip #1,993, have vision. If someone else had painted the mirror pink the price tag would have been $20 or more (pink is still a hot color at the flea market). Ugly brown? Sure lady, that's yours for $3. So, while my eye is drawn to everything that is already white, pink or aqua and shabby, I try to look at the shape of things, the details, the possibilities, no matter what the current color. If it is a small project, it may be worth buying and doing yourself.

(I say small, because it literally took me 5 years to get around to painting the mirror. And it was a small project. I have to be honest about how much time I have to change things when I buy them. I no longer buy anything that is a massive project because it never gets done.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fresh summer breezes

By now I am sure that plenty of people are thinking "Gee, Sarah hasn't been very crafty lately." And you would be right. It isn't that I don't have projects I want to do; the new pillowcase bag in Martha Stewart Living, magazine files that need covering, a wallet for flea marketing, end of the year teacher gifts, etc.

It's just that summer is coming, and suddenly there seem to be so many more pressing things to do. Soak up some sun, read books, go to the zoo, play in the backyard, mow the lawn, go swimming, plan another big adventure to the World's Longest Yard Sale . (We have been once before.) And, of course, it is high flea marketing/yard saling season. Did I mention I have also been working on something for Etsy? LOL

Busy, busy, busy.
With the summer heat in mind, and the hum of air conditioners already ever present, I have been picking up some gorgeous all white linen runners, napkins and tablecloths. As soon as I get them ironed they are going to replace the quilts on the ladder.

About those teacher gifts, does anyone have any great ideas? I could do gift cards or something like that, but one of Jack's teachers is very ill at the moment, and they both did so much to help Jack adjust to school that I would like to make them something special.

Edited to add: Is anyone here via bloglines this evening? My own feed doesn't seem to be working.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And the winners are...

Drawing #3, for the tablecloths, Autum !

Drawing #2, for the skirt, Emily!

Drawing #1, for the giant fabric pile, Katie Jean!

Thank you so much to everyone for playing along and for all of the birthday wishes! I am sorry that everyone couldn't be a winner, but being the "collector" that I am, I am sure there will be other goodies to give away later this summer.

P.S. If you don't notice an email asking for your address this week, then be sure to email me in case it was lost.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hapda Burfday to you Mama

Well, I am sad to report that for the 20th year* in a row, I did not get the present of my dreams:
Maybe one day...

(However, if you need a little birthday present of your own, do a google image search for "Jon Bon Jovi". Yeehaw! The first picture was not safe for the blog, but boy did it make my day! LOL)

Back tomorrow with drawing winners!

*Yes, I have been in love with Jon Bon Jovi since I was 12.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mudder's Day

Happy "Mudder's" Day! Or a few reasons why my kid is awesome.

My husband reports that they had already chosen a different card when Jack spotted this one and demanded they buy it instead. I couldn't be more touched by that considering this one has a picture of "baby eggs" on it, and Jack and I had spent the last few weeks watching our robins nest, lay eggs, and raise their babies in our backyard. It's perfect.
He also chose those gorgeous roses, declaring them "bootifull." Yes, Jack, they are beautiful!

Other amazing things that Jack is up to right now:
*He has started calling me "mudder". I went from mama, to mommy to mother in 18 short months.
*He asks for "2 kisses".
*When he wants to know what you are eating he will say "What's in your teeth?" I jokingly asked him what was in his teeth the other day and he replied, "Hmmm, some cat hair." LOL Yes, Jack, everything around here has cat hair on it.
*Awhile back I was worried that Jack wasn't asking any questions yet. Of course I was worried for nothing, because now he must ask me at least 100 times a day, "What are you doing?" He is particularly fond of this game in the car.
*He loves an old Woody Guthrie Song, "Riding in my car". He will ride in the car trying to imitate the noises Guthrie makes in that song. You can have a listen to a clip here at Amazon. If you don't already have this CD for your kids, you should!
*His new favorite book is Tumble Bumble . His dad brought it home from a yard sale for him, and only a week later he nearly has the entire thing memorized already. All morning he has been wandering around saying, "tumble bumble up the stairs."
*This morning when I asked him if he had a present for me, he ran off as fast as he could go telling my husband that they had to go downstairs and get a present for mommy right now! Then he climbed up in "the flowers bed" with me and opened it. Between that and a very good trip to the flea market, we are having a lovely Mudder's Day.

I hope the same is true for all of you!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I am not so wierd

When Jack looked over my shoulder and saw the photos in this blog post he said, "Oh, that's why you went outside!" That really made me smile.
I have been tagged several time for a few of the current memes, but since I have already told you 6 weird things about me, I thought I would just add one to the list. I picked up this book at a garage sale this morning after my husband spotted it. You see, my husband knows that I quietly lust after a vintage station wagon.
Oh, to cruise around town with Jack and I in a 1950's version station wagon...How could you not want one of those beauties? Sure beats the minivan. But, I think that might make me wierd. And the book? Awesome. It is loaded with all sorts of crazy 1950's car seat contraptions and experimental boats and so much more. So, other than reading a 1957 book on station wagons, I have been winding vintage ribbons and trims around the wooden spools* I bought at the convent sale a few weeks back. This is a strangely therapeutic task (and it was helping me avoid the gigantic mess in my sewing room that was the result of new IKEA furniture). This is so much nicer than having them waded up in a ball somewhere.
How beautiful is the French label on this spool? I could sit and look at it's perfection all day long.

*Credit for this idea goes solely to Jennifer at The Felt Mouse.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's my party - Part 3

Last, but certainly not least, the tablecloths. An old printed one...
an appliqued one, a cutwork one, and a plain aqua one with a lettuce edge. (I think the aqua one is linen.)

Not the greatest photos because it is raining, raining, raining and the river is indeed rising. But they are very sweet tablecloths. As my printed cloth collection continues to grow, I decided to weed out anything was not getting any use anymore. The first one definitely fits in with my collection, but, I still thought I would share. :-)

Same rules as before, leave a comment to have your name thrown in the hat. Jack and I will draw names this weekend for all 3 entries!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's my party - Part 2

I bought this super cute vintage skirt ages and ages ago, thinking I would use the fabric. The truth is though that I have that cutting things up problem. The skirt is in very good condition, and I am sure it would be happier in a home where someone could wear it rather than meet the fate of my scissors. (It doesn't fit me, or else I would wear it.)
It's cotton, has an old metal zipper and button closure. The waist measures between 28 and 30 inches (closer to 30, but I want it to fit you!). It is mid calf length on me, and I am almost 5'8.

If it will fit you and you will wear it, please leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to send it to you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's my party - Part 1

Thank you for all of the texture book love! The picture above is a teeny tiny sneak peek at a celebratory blog give away. Since my birthday is in less than a week, I thought we would have blog party. For the next 3 days or so, I have something to give away. If you want it, just leave a comment in the comment section. Feel free to leave a comment every day if you want to, there is no such thing as greedy when it comes to birthdays around here!

First up, a lot of fabric. When I buy vintage fabrics I sometimes end up with a piece that is 10 yards long. Since most of my projects require only the smallest amounts of fabric, I don't really need 10 yards of any one print. So, I thought I would share. Almost all of the pieces are at least 1/2 yard, some are more like a yard. I even put a piece of an old pink chenille blanket in there. (I swear you can make a million projects with one old blanket! There is a lot of fabric in those things.) You should be able to click on the picture to get a better look.

If more than one person is interested, I will let Jack draw names in a few days.

Still to come, the cutest vintage skirt, tablecloths and more. Party on!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I finally made something.

I recently signed Jack up for a toddler book exchange and after browsing through the Winter 2001 issue of Martha Stewart baby, I got the idea to make a texture (or touch and feel) book to go with our purchased books. I used a clearance pile Sponge Bob address book for the base. I am always admiring those altered books the paper crafters make, and despite some challenges, I am very happy with the result.
Here is the new cover, complete with a few vintage ribbons and chipboard glitter letter for the toddler's first initial.
And a peek at a few of the pages. I made 10 pages total. This is a feather chick made with a piece of a feather boa.
And a bubble wrap frog. Jack is totally enthralled with the entire book, but the frog is definitely his favorite.

You can see the entire book, cover to cover, on My Flickr .

Monday, May 07, 2007

Home again, home again

"To market to market, to buy a fat pig; Home again, home again, jiggety-jig."

My gran to sing that nursery rhyme to me when I was a small child, and now Jack and I sing it together. I was ready to shout it by the time we got home yesterday. We are quite happy to be home, where Jack will actually eat and sleep and play. And where we all feel a little more relaxed in general. And now that I know that Jack really doesn't enjoy travelling, the next time Mama has an itch to wander, Jack can visit with Oma for a little while! (It really is amazing what kids will tell you once they are able to verbalize better.)
Ok, enough of that. Onto the good parts. Most everything you see here was bought at either the Kane County Flea Market or the Rosemont Flea Market. Kane County is always interesting, and there are some very nice things, but the prices are a bit high for my pocketbook, and so I usually end up with only the smallest treasures.

Rosemont on the other hand is what I consider a real flea market. A huge variety of everything with a huge variety of prices. There is real treasure hunting to be done on that parking lot, and every time we have gone there I have filled up my flea market cart to the brim and then some. Those tiny teeny Christmas trees came from there. I am not sure what they were? I think maybe dollhouse trees? They are only about 2 inches tall.
A mix of chandelier crystals, the colored ones are from IKEA, the clear from the flea market. They are going on my May flower tree.
A handful of vintage alphabet blocks. These are so cute. Since they are an incomplete set, I think I am going to use them to decorate a picture frame.
Yards and yards of ribbons from Textile Discount Outlet. This place is really a sight to behold. 3 floors of fabric in a shop that is nearly a city block wide. Jack actually thought this place was heaven, running up and down, picking up buttons off the (very dirty!) floors, yelling "wait for me! wait for me!". Oddly enough, I didn't buy a single piece of fabric in there, just these ribbons. It was a bit overwhelming.

Speaking of overwhelming, I still have things to put away, laundry to do, and I haven't crafted in so long I feel twitchy, so I am off for now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Food for thought

I was reading an old issue of Martha Stewart Baby this week, the last line in the letter from Martha reads, "Be sure to master the art of 'recording.' It's definitely worth the effort."

Oddly enough, I had just been thinking about that very topic when I was reflecting on this little blog. When I started blogging, it was all Jack, all the time. But Jack is no longer my helpless little baby bird and I have regained more personal space and time, and with that my blog has changed. There is time to do things for myself and time to record those things here. Of course I am still recording Jack here as well, but I am becoming more and more aware that my "audience" here is very different than it used to be.
I have thought of splitting the two subjects up, moving myself to a different blog and leaving Jack's recording here. But, the reality is that everything I do still involves Jack, even if indirectly. Whether he is sitting on the sewing room floor playing with fabric scraps while I am furiously trying to finish a project, or whether he is with me at the thrift store, we are still 100% Mama and Jack.

In the end, I am proud of myself for keeping up with my little blog for I truly feel like I am mastering the art of recording our life together. We can sit down together and page through the photos album or look at the blog and see the record of not only the first time he sat up or his first steps, but the little things too. Like the joy of the sandbox, the sunlight in his hair or our feet side by side on the kitchen floor.

And we do that, nearly every day together, because right now he loves hearing about and looking at the story of his life, the story of "our" life. Has it been worth the effort?

For once Martha and I agree, it is definitely worth the effort.

And with that, we are off to Chicago. I will take plenty of photos and see you all next week!