Wednesday, December 13, 2017


When we were in Florida Jack and Sammi REALLY wanted to get airplants. We picked up a pair in Tarpon Springs and brought them home where the kids promptly ignored them. I stuck them in my kitchen window with the other plants.  I rinse them off twice a week or so and get on with my life. Last week I noticed something exciting! One was blooming. It's now made two flower spikes. Woohooo!

For the LONGEST time I refused to have ANY plants in the house. Who needs one more thing to take care of, right?  But the kids keep collecting them so I just keep watering. Ha.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Flea Market Sunday

 The weather has been so, so warm, really more like spring, so I am still hiking around the flea! This week's finds included ornaments (of course).
 A very simple, but oh so sweet quilt! Three people tried to buy it from me within 10 mins.  Quilts really do not need to be fancy or complicated or expertly made to really stand the test of time.

 I washed and sunned her right away and she is over my dining room chair where I can enjoy it.
I could hardly believe when I Saw this pink bunny suit! Ralphie! You'll shoot your eye out. It's true vintage, probably 40s or 50s? Right at home with Santa there.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Vintage Holiday magazine, or that one time our house was in a magazine

Sometime before Christmas last year I received an email asking if I had any interest in having the house featured in a magazine. I very nearly ignored the email - I get a lot of solicitations about the blog and usually I skim right over them.

For some reason this one caught my attention. I pondered it a day or so before I mentioned it to anyone. America had just cracked in half over the election  and I was really NOT feeling like discussing Christmas trees if we are being honest. I asked around a little bit and everyone said DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!  I still really felt like meh, I am on the corner in the snow flurries feeding homeless people and this really feels like a fluff exercise.

However, I chewed on it and decided why not?  So I agreed.  The first step was sending preliminary photos. Then making some changes as the editor requested and resending photos. Do not be fooled - that part alone was a LOT of work!  Then we set up the photographer.

Before the photographer was due to arrive I spent a lot of time taking pictures of everything we owned and analyzing the photos.  What looks messy? Out of place? cluttered? extraneous? What needs more fluffing? What else could go there?  Photos were my best friend. Well, that and my internet BFF. She patiently spent that whole time with me on facebook messenger moving every single thing we own, trying every dust ruffle on Amazon on our bed, etc.

The first photographer cancelled the DAY before he was scheduled to be here.

I was fit to be tied! I had spent a good ten days cleaning and fluffing every single thing we owned with all the kids underfoot (because Christmas break of course!). I'd been cleaning on Christmas day even. And we had stuff EVERYWHERE. Way more holiday stuff than I would usually put out was covering every surface in my house. That was super stressful.

It took a few days to find a new photographer.  He couldn't make it until Jan 6 or so I think? It felt like forever with ALL this super fragile stuff out everywhere!

I was in a complete and utter tizzy until he arrived. It didn't help that there was no one but him and I doing the shoot. I had assumed when this started some kind of stylist would be here and I was super worried about pulling this off with just us.

The first hour was sort of weird still. After that we found our groove. Nick was really amazing to work with. As soon as the photos started popping up on the computer I was ready to cry.

Part of it was seeing our house through someone else's eyes. But a HUGE part of it was seeing OUR house on the screen. The house I grew up in. The house I inherited as a GIANT stinky mess. The house we had big drama, blood, sweat and tears remodeling.  The house I was so unsure I could even live in!
There she was - beautiful. Just perfectly beautiful in every way. Everything my grandpa had worked for and we had been working for was all shined up and starring in her own little show.

I did cry when it was over. The whole thing was stressful but so healing. It really felt like I had come full circle with my house that built me.

And here we are! The magazine came out last month. It was so much more than I expected. A huge beautiful spread, my things splashed in glorious color on those pages, made even better by Nick and his wonderful eye.

 These are just a few of the pages.
And so many more of my favorites didn't make the cut.

I am happy to be on the other side now - with just the memory of it all bottled up.

**If I have one little complaint it's the quotes in the article. As an FYI those are not actual quotes from me. He sort of paraphrased that stuff and some of it is a bit, well, not even close to anything I would actually ever say. Of course I know why they made that flag! The quote was more along the lines of I don't know why I bought it, I didn't know what I would do with it, but I loved it anyway. If you buy the things you love they always seem to work. ;)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

One hour baskets

 A got a little bee in my bonnet to organize my IKEA raskog carts. It required sewing 12 !!! one hour baskets.
Aside from all those bulky batting scraps in the bottom one the baskets are super tidy now. Man, it did take a long time though. LOL

If you make these  I prefer fusible fleece interfacing in the handles and flex foam one sided fusible for the baskets. I tried a few different interfacings and the flex foam is definitely the nicest result. The baskets are sturdy and smooth and hold their shape no matter what is in the them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


 Grant still LOVES yardwork.
Sam still loves all things outdoors. She asks me to take a picture of every single leaf in the yard. LOL

I have had to have an ungodly amount of dental work this year and it leaves me with crippling jaw pain. I was laying on the couch after the last round and needed to keep grant quiet so we worked on spelling with cheezits. He was SUPER proud of himself for managing to spell this! "Mom I spelled I said go!"

Monday, November 20, 2017

A featherweight for me!

One  morning at the flea I walked past a whiteboard that said PORTABLE SINGER $50. It was crossed through and marked SOLD. I died! I have been hunting and hunting for a featherweight for a good four years now. I am not sure that was a featherweight, but there was a chance it was.

I mentioned this to one of my dealer friends when I saw him later that morning. He said "oh, a 221? I used to sell all those to this one guy. He still has a lot of them even though he doesn't sell them anymore. I can get you one."

I died again! Are you kidding?  Welllll that was sometime in August. While the price was a good price, it wasn't $50, so I needed some time to save up the money. Then we had the money saved and it took a whole month to finally get hooked up with it. When he didn't have it again yesterday he sent me directly to the guys house (a 90 year old man) to get it ourselves.

And we did just that!

I am waiting on some motor grease so I can grease that before I drive it. It runs, I did run it before I bought it. Last night I spent an hour cleaning and oiling it.

But eeeeee! At long last she joins the fleet.

What shall I call her?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Flea market Sunday

Man, 11 days huh?  I have been in a funk.  Just sitting here on the couch doing nothing really. It's been really grey this whole month. And cold. And crazy with 10 different doctor appointments (not done yet with those!). 

The Christmas at the flea is REALLY kicking into high gear. I admire a lot, but don't buy a lot.
 I did snatch up this box of ornaments which has a few really special ones in it.
 I waivered and waffled on this FOREVER. It's GORGEOUS but the shape is just so impractical. You can't really hang it up, no one is ever going to finish a huge star...but ultimately I decided I could sell  it of I wanted to, but I could never get it back if I left it. For some reason the close up is way down below. It is indeed fab.
 Postage stamps always call to me too.
 The morning light is no good for photos.
 I have one of these already, but they are just so charming that I bought it. I saw some very special tiny putz houses too, but they were too pricy to justify.
 Those are old German santas with clay faces. I have nothing like them so they were a yes please! There is a tree in that box above that works perfectly for them (they are missing their trees and belts). Now I need one more tree. That little putz house there has a water wheel. I have never seen one like that before. Most of the spokes are broken off though, but it was $1.
 Easter chicks in party hats!
Close up of the star.

I've been listening to Christmas music and watching all the  movies already. I am in LOVE with straight no chaser, Jack loves Pentatonix. What else do you love?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall decor

 I woke up the other morning and found these two on the couch like these. They are peas in a pod. Although they fight like cats and dogs. A lot. Every day.
 I tried a few new fall decorating things this year. Not pictured is the foyer tree - which is the same. I put all my golden yellow quilts on the quilt ladder.
 And I put some golden colored aprons on the other ladder. Aprons certainly say thanksgiving to me!
 Because this little piecing of fencing is new, this is new also. It's quite the handy spot for my holiday postcards. Since my old holder broke a few years back I had not been using them.
And the mantle is mostly the same I think, except I was really not in the mood so I just started piling stuff up there.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

pillow all the things, the fall version

 When I put up the fall stuff this week I dug around in the closet and realized I'd only made two fall pillows last year. Rather than stick the Christmas ones on I just made two more.  This owl was a feedsack scrap I recently acquired. Rather than just hoard it I cut into and made a cute pillow. These are simple pillows, but I wanted to showcase the centers.

I bought this candlewick piece dirt cheap on Facebook before we went on vacation. I almost forgot it! I whipped it up into a quick pillow too, again just showcasing the center.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Quilts for others

 My dad drives for the Amish in his little town.  This often means driving people to doctors and hospitals.  He had been driving a young boy who had cancer who passed away earlier this year. I volunteered to make a quilt for his mother.  This turned out to be quite the project for a million reasons, but I am happy to have it done.
 It was a real challenge to figure out what to do with a TON of huge (and differently sized blocks). It was a real make it work project, that's for sure. I'm not entirely happy with the end product either.
I do like the happy accident of the different colored blues on this side though.

So, I really think that's about all I have to say about that.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Flea Market Sunday, the Florida version

We live in Florida for two years in the early 2000s. I fondly remember getting my real collecting start there. Hunting ornaments and quilts and tablecloths. Buying some of my most loved pieces of furniture that we still live with every day.  I was excited to be on the hunt there again.  And hunt I did. Or try to anyway. We hit two flea markets and probably ten thrifts. I came home with just a teensy bit to show for it. Maybe thrifting has changed there, maybe I am just very used to my haunts at home now, maybe it just wasn't enough time...

So, what did I buy?

 It's kind of awesome to find this set in it's original box. (The box lid is down lower.)
 These eggs were priced pretty high in the thrift but at that point I was getting desperate.
 I actually bought the quilt blocks in Metropolis, Illinois. The day we drove through taking the kids to see superman there were about a hundred yard sales! I stopped at so many and only bought the quilt blocks. The yellow is a super sweet child's smock which is on my ladder right now with the rest of my thanksgiving stuff.
 That big elf and his tongue kill me. This was all I bought at a flea market that used to be my FAVORITE. I used to buy gobs and gobs of stuff there, including a huge amount of ornaments.
 The goodwill we hit was AMAZING. It was so, so, so clean. And so organized. And everything was priced. It was really like a store, except way better because junk! Our goodwills here are overpriced, dark, dirty things in comparison. I bought these two feather trees in there. (And loads of other stuff, but useful stuff like jackets and a front door wreath and sand pails. Ha.)
The ornament box.

I am happy to be back to my usual haunts except this is a pretty slow time of year around here too. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Semi handmade halloween this year

Since we went to Florida for 8 days right before Halloween I had to have the Halloween costumes ready to go before we left. It was quite the crunch there for awhile.

 Grant wanted to be a spider with RED EYES. He cared about nothing other than the RED EYES. I made a quick hat and hot glued some big googly eyes on it and stuck him on a costume we have had kicking around since Jack was little.
 Sammi wanted to be a mouse. Her favorite book Is about a mouse, so she is all mice, all the time.  I had a picture of myself around 4 or 5 years old wearing a mouse costume, so I loosely based hers on that.
 The hat is from the Wild Things book. I love that book for dress up clothes for Sam.
 Jack is reusing a medieval day costume from school last year.
We only had 8 !!! trick or treaters come to the door last night. It was so sad.

Onward and upward now towards the holidays!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween around the house

We took the kids on a week long vacation to Florida, so this is the first time in more than a decade I haven't done my 13 days of Halloween on the blog!  I have to say I feel like I have totally  missed Halloween this year because of that trip.  I still have some of the stuff up in the house, the costumes were ready to go before we left, and I managed to squeeze in the pumpkin carving yesterday, but we've missed a lot of my favorite stuff. 

 A few new additions (I missed the best time for the flea while we were out of time) - the two feather trees.
 And a giant repro skeleton.

 The black tree is up this year instead of the orange. Next year I am hoping to put them both up.
 It was SUPER hard to settle on lights I liked on this tree. I really wanted white, but finding white on black wires was impossible. I tried multi - orange, green and purple and hated them. I settled on a candy corn light.
This is a new addition too. I bought the treat bags on ebay thinking I would use them on the tree to add more brightness to the dark tree. Then I decorated the tree and forgot them. When I remembered them the tree was too full to get them on there!

Back tomorrow with this years costumes (it is BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR here this year). And soon with some vacation photos.