Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two of a kind and some catch and release

The last time we went to the flea market I spotted a pile of my favorite quilt pattern ever, Grandmother's Flower Garden, from a mile away. I rushed over to it ready to sign my life away to own it.

At first I thought it was pieces of one quilt top, but, it's really a matched set. A small crib sized quilt top with small hexes and a larger quilt top with larger hexes for the big bed.
The little person one.
Look at how she fussy cut that purple fabric.
And the bigger one. These don't look impressive in my hurried photos, but each piece of fabric is spectacular.

She has fussy cut so many of the printed fabrics, like the one around the pink flower here below:
And here again with the clover fabric:


And the catch and release:
I have several quilts that I am ready to part with and before I put them on Craigslist or Etsy I wanted to let you guys know about them. You can see them on my other blog Clean out my closet . Just email me,, if there is something there you want or if you have a question.

I only have 2 places to store them all, and as new ones come in, some of the old ones have to go out! :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On the line

On Friday Dave and I are heading out of town to What Cheer Iowa for the What Cheer flea market. Exciting! That flea has been on my "want to do" list for several years now.

Perhaps I had better post the photos of a great garage sale weekend that is now several weeks gone before I go to Iowa and buy new stuff, huh?

I picked up a load of new linens:
A pair of these wonderful brown and blue feedsacks that were used as kitchen curtains without being cut.
A lovely linen and lace table runner.
A fantastic tablecloth that the woman holding the garage sale gave me for *free*!
And the sweetest vintage baby quilt. My photo here is really not doing it justice.
Look at those little lambs!

I'll be back with the rest of the quilts.

Oh yes. The rest.

Monday, April 26, 2010

For hire

Seamstress available for hire. Can hem anything, including curtains. Cheap rates.
See photo for details:
In all seriousness, I actually hate hemming curtains. It's hard!

But after trying and debating all the existing "options" for covering up the french doors, it seems like hemming curtains is the only way to go for me.

First I tried those magnetic roller blinds. They were total junk. And ugly.

Then I debated the usual french door standard - curtain rods at top and bottom with curtains gathered in the middle. Eh. Totally not me.

Mini blinds? Nooooooooo.

Patterned window vinyl? Maybe, but you can't look out and watch the rain/snow/kids/etc.
So I just used store bought curtains. Made them shorter. Changed the rod pockets so there was a little ruffle at the top.
And voila! french door coverings that are much more speed and style.

On a side note, I finished painting the french doors blue and it's love. The blue is awesome. Nice spur of the moment decision I made there. :-)

Perhaps my want ad should read:
For hire

Painter available. Will paint anything and everything. No job too big or too small. Truly passionate about paint and color! See photos for details.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Something you will want to know

Until April 29th, you can watch Food Inc. for free on-line HERE at

Set aside two hours after the kids go to bed and go watch it.

You won't be sorry you did.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Upping the cute factor

I bought this big armoire thing at IKEA last Thanksgiving when we bought our kitchen cabinets. It certainly does it's job well (holding the printer, paper and Jack's craft stuff), but a big white piece of furniture in that white office? Blah.
And since I am ALL about "sweet" things right now, I wanted to sweeten it up.
Add some SUPER cute vintage contact paper to the doors, switch the knobs for glass, and it is definitely much cuter.

(Never mind the messes all around it, that room is my thorn, remember? It's clearly still in progress.)

I would love to change the drawer hardware for glass too, but the handle IKEA has fitted it with is so tiny that nothing else but that handle will fit. Maybe I need to spray paint it.
Look at that contact paper!

Never underestimate cute contact paper. Even if you haven't used it since your mother made you help with it in the 70's or 80's. :-)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth day, again.

Happy Earth day everyone.

Environmental issues sort of wax and wane in the public consciousness. When I was in high school I was the "hippie" girl, always encouraging everyone to recycle, choose consumer products wisely and be aware of our footprints on the earth long before carbon footprint talk was cool.

It seems like nothing was heard about "earth day" for 10 years or more and now being "green" is really experiencing a resurgence. Even Jack's preschool class has been learning "reduce, reuse, recycle"!
This past year was a hard one for us in many ways. We tend to be big recyclers and reusers. But remodeling meant a LOT of trash. (Almost 6 big construction dumpsters, ouch). And loads and loads of "consumerism", with nearly everything being bought brand new in big box stores.
A lifestyle like that is certainly one we are not used to. It was tough to away. But with the terrible stink it was unavoidable.
Now that things have settled down we are back to old ways.
But it hardly makes up for the landfill of stuff thrown away, does it?
How about a few links to things that are environmentally related that I have read this week and found interesting?

This article on radical homemakers caught my eye. I am by no means a "radical" homemaker, but I have often wondered what the effect on our society as a whole would be if there were more people choosing homemaking as a life's work. For the record, I think there is no right or wrong choice, everyone does what they have to do/want to do, but I find it interesting to think about the many aspects of our world that are changed by being a "commuter economy."

This article on Fiji water was a REAL eye opener. I simply had no idea. Hospital patients forced to bring their own water to hospital while Fiji ships expensive bottled water to other countries. Whoa. Total insanity that is.

I also always like to give an earth day nod to freecycle . If you don't have a freecycle group near you, start one! I freecycled our old play gym yesterday and I can never say enough good things about being able to pass things along to people who want them (or need them) without hassle or trash cans.

The one change I had really hoped to make this year was to have our own veggie garden. We are losing the war on the poison ivy in the yard though, and I just cannot see the garden happening this year. We have to get rid of that stuff first. Almost half of our backyard is totally unusable right now.

What changes are you hoping to make this year?

*Jack and I spent the morning at the zoo. I was so surprised when I saw his outfit choice this morning, I could not have matched his clothes better myself. (His shorts are blue and brown and the shirt is blue and brown.) Not too bad for a 5 year old!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's all Greek to me

I found a pretty pair of pillowcases at the thrift this morning.
They are too large to be regular pillowcases, maybe they are for Euro squares.
Really it was the tag that sold me.

Any thoughts on what language that is?

It's all Greek to me. :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thank you Craig

Thank you Craig, whoever you are, for your "list" occasionally yields a brilliant treasure for our new house.
Like these beautiful concrete urns, times three! for 10 bucks each.
They are gloriously shabby and awaiting some pretty flowers on the front porch.

(Just one of the many yard sale treasures I took pictures of yesterday.)
I am seriously struggling with what to put on the foyer table now that the feather tree is down until Halloween.

I don't want to spend any money (other than a thing or two I might find in a thrift), because for 6 months out of the year there is a holiday tree there.

But I feel like whatever I put there needs to be tallish. And "solid" somehow.

I tried the cloches on cake plates (they have no other current home and were in the closet), but the glass + mirrors = meh. "Vignettes" are so not my speciality. I kind of prefer the "I plopped there and I loved it there, so there it stayed" style of decorating, but that is taking too long. LOL

I am fairly confident I have at least one of everything you might come up with for ideas, so lay them on me! What on earth should I put on that table?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hello again

I've been unintentionally gone for a bit, eh?

We are STILL working on the fence, which is taking a lot of time. And of course, the weather is warm and wonderful, so we've been outside a lot. And garage saling a lot. And flea marketing.
And going to baseball games! Twice this week. Although not the greatest photo of him, I love how this photo looks like Jack is standing in front of a picture of the stadium.(I had him stand on a chair in front of me.) The new camera does interesting things.
We've seen a double rainbow.
And I've been buying things for the new house at all those yard sales/flea markets/etc. Which means "projiks!"

I drove by this dresser twice before I decided to get out and buy it. What was I thinking?!? (I have no idea what to really call this style of furniture. That door on the bottom opens to reveal an armoire type space, with a bar for hanging clothes. Clearly it is meant for little people clothes, it's pretty petite.)
It's been freshly painted in a soft green (Martha Stewart LemonGrass*), had new knobs and has replaced the dresser that Jack was always complaining about. (The bottom drawer was hard to open and close.)

Speaking of the Jack attack, he was watching Peep this morning and he asked me if Quack (the duck) was an amphibian. I told him no, that Quack is a bird. "But mom, the teacher said that amphibians live on land and in the water. Like Quack." "Well, yes Jack, but it's more complicated than that. Birds have wings and feathers and 2 legs." "WAIT! I have an amphibian book , we'll look it up." He returns with the book, flips to the index (!), looks up amphibians and then brings me the book. "Ok, we need to read page 116 through 118."

It ALWAYS amazes me when I discover little things he knows. When did he learn to use an index? As a middle school teacher I was *still* teaching my kids how to do that!

For kicks we asked him who won the baseball game two days after we went. "Them," he said. (He was right.) What was the score? "5 to 2." (Right again.)

Silly me, I didn't think he was paying any attention at all. :-)

Ok, I have a bazillion messes to clean up, loads of things to photograph so that I can, you know, actually blog again, photos to collect from Costco and so forth. See you soon.~~

*I wish I had chosen a bolder green. The color is a little too pastel for Jack long term. And I really wanted silver knobs instead of glass for him, but I had too hard of a time deciding, so I went with the old standby. It works for now and I can change when he gets a little bigger.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Junk and fences

One of the last big jobs to be done at the new house is a fence around the huge yard for containing our "wild thing."
So Dave and my Dad (thank God for Dad, we could not have done this without him), spent 3 days building the fence skeleton.
Now all we need are 500 cedar pickets.
This is a HUGE project, but also one area where DIY makes a HUGE costs savings. Just in case you need a fence too. :-)

When I wasn't shoveling up 3,000 pounds of dirt, I was trying to keep Jack busy. We went to the neighborhood garage sales on Saturday morning.

The pictures speak for themselves:

LOVE this squiggly blue plaid quilt.

I will take the rest of pictures of the linens tomorrow on my new laundry line! I hope.

In the meantime I will be washing 500 loads of laundry. Our yard is INFESTED with poison ivy, which got Jack sometime last week and now he has contact dermatitis on his face and ears from who knows what. Everything has to be Not.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Buy it cheap

I was digging through photos the other day and I came across this before photo of our hallway:
It was SO SO dark and horrible.

Here is the hallway this morning:
Total transformation.

We opened up the doorway a lot. It was a regular sized doorway and now it is nice and wide (you can see the dining room there by my yo-yo lamp.) And the addition of a window (actually we added two windows) in our master bedroom made the hallway so much lighter.

Onto my chandelier from craiglist...
buy it cheap and ugly (this one was so bad I almost didn't buy it, it was seriously ugly)...
add a $3 can of paint and spiff it up! (And add a few black marks to the ceiling while you are stripping wires. ha.) It turned out WAY better than I expected.

Current chandelier count = 13
Bare lightbulbs remaining = 6
Craiglist chandeliers awaiting purchase tomorrow = 1
Number of hours spent trolling craigslist for suitable, paintable, cheap chandeliers = too many to count
Number of people who think I am insane in the chandelier department = I suspect nearly everyone!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Jack catches a fish!

Jack has been DYING to go fishing already this year. It's been 90 degrees for nearly 2 weeks now, so I figured it was a good time to go visit my dad in the country to collect some doorknobs from a house he is demo'ing AND do some fishing!
My dad knows a nice secluded lake that is loaded with fish, he was positive Jack would be able to catch a fish there.
Within minutes of dropping poles in the water we were reeling in blue gill like crazy.
A fish! His first catch. (He REALLY, REALLY wanted to catch sardines though, lol.)
Thank you grandpa!

A few other things I have been wanting to note for awhile:
* Jack cracks me up right now, he is saying the funniest things like "I don't mean to complain but...(there is a fly in my room, the cat is outside)".
* He LOVES Max & Ruby. There is an episode where they play beauty shop and when Ruby puts a wig on Max Jack will yell out "BON JOVI!" and he does look a little like Bon Jovi.
* I didn't really have time to mention this in the midst of it all, but he handled moving very well. No upset in sleeping or otherwise being crazy. I was really proud of him for that.

I am off to pick up a new chandelier off craigslist I hope, Happy Hump Day!