Friday, June 29, 2007


When I was in college I learned about Acetabularia (or mermaid's wine glass) in one of my biology classes. Now that the flowers are finished, their shape reminds me of that particular algae. (I know it is hard to judge the cup shape from the photo.) This is not at all what I had envisioned for this project, but this seems to be where it took me. I wish I could find a way to make the cup shape more consistent, you can tell that some are more floppy than others.
Jack and I went to the zoo this morning because it is rainy and chilly, a pleasant treat for late June. He ran the whole way to the train dragging me behind him. That kid really loves trains.

I was thinking last night about some of the things that will not be a part of Jack's life, and it was wierd. Things like rotary phones, vinyl albums, cassette tapes, floppy discs, mimeographed worksheets and more. Sometimes while buying old junk I feel quite nostalgic for the past, wondering what other lives the stuff has had, wondering what life was *really* like then, and then Jack will ask to watch a DVD and I am thankful for present technology. (No rewinding of VHS tapes or fast forwarding that takes forever, no remote controls with wires attached to the tv!) Old junk in today's world is probably the best of both worlds, eh?

Well, I think that wins the award for my most random post ever. :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

By the numbers

1 old dresser on the curb (free) + 1 quart of satin finish white paint ($5.46) + 4 pink glass knobs from Ebay ($21.50) + 3 pieces thrifted vintage wallpaper for drawer liners ($0.10) + 1 green medicine cabinet ($2.00) + 1 flea market vintage duvet cover ($5.00) + 2 garage sale pillowcases ($2.00) = 1 fresh and pretty summery bedroom makeover*.
1 small bag of bits and pieces of the best 1930's Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt blocks ($5.00). More photos of the blocks on my flickr. (Link on the sidebar.)
1 work in progress; 12 new flower cut outs.

Plus 1 funny from Jack. He woke up this morning, came out of his bedroom and starting wandering around the house saying, "Hey, where is everybody?" When that yielded no response he started saying, "Hi mom. Hi Dad." LOL I was lying in bed trying not to laugh, waiting for him to come find me.

*People often ask me what I do with all the "stuff" I buy. We really and truly use it. If you have been visiting us here for awhile you will recognize the bed skirt I made in January and the bed sheets I thrifted in that bedroom photo as well. I also make good use of Craigslist and Freecycle when we find new things that we like better than something we already have.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Leapin' Lizards

Jack has been making some big developmental leaps this past week or so. Since he was about 15 months old, his vocabulary has been well beyond that point where we counted how many words he had, and he has used sentences freely. But the structure and depth of his sentences has very clearly changed this week. A conversation this week:
Jack to his dad, "Is it thundering?"
Dad, "Yes."
Jack, "Is it going to rain some more?"
Dad, "Maybe."
Jack, "I'm not scared anymore."
Dad, "Why?"
Jack, "It's not thundering anymore!"

Prior to this week he had been asking questions like crazy, but no matter what your answer was it seemed like he never heard the answer he was expecting, so he would just keep asking and asking and asking and asking. This week you can answer him and it is final. Another conversation. "Mama, what are you doing?" "Making dinner Jack. What are you doing?" "I am sitting here waiting for a hot dog." And he stopped there. (Speaking of hot dogs, while we were grilling on Sunday he carried around that package of hot dogs for almost an hour. He played ball while holding it, chased bugs while holding it, and who knows what else. It cracked me up.)

And one more, just because it was funny. We were in the car on the way to a garage sale. We passed a sign that said we were entering St Louis. Dave says in a goofy voice, "Welcome to St Louis!" and Jack replied with "uh oh." (I realize this is not so funny to those of you who aren't very familiar with St Louis City. St. Louis is the most violent city in the US this year , a fact that I do not find the least bit funny.)
We have been a little crafty too. After I saw this butterfly , I knew Jack and I had to make them. He has been asking me if he can make more of them ever since, he loved it so much. I think more butterflies are on the agenda for today then! Ours deform a bit when hanging, and I hoping to find a crafty solution to that problem.

Tomorrow I will show you the dresser remake, it is all done and it is wonderful!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Holding Steady

Oh my, the past 3 days have been busy, but my luck is holding steady, at least for now. I picked up the old composition angel at our county's first county wide garage sale this morning. I passed her by the first time, because even after negotiating the price was still too high. We finished shopping, got in the car, sat there in the a/c eating kettle corn and drinking lemonade, and I decided to go back for her. When the seller saw me return for her, she immediately said she was mine for my original negotiated price as long as I would guarantee a good home for her. LOL It isn't as if I was going to let the cats eat her!

As it turns out there was something else in the box that I should be able to Ebay for more than I paid for the angel anyway.
There were other beauties to be had this weekend as well. This stuff is sitting on a gorgeous vintage duvet cover. There is also a beautiful old wedding cake topper (I have 2 really sweet ones now), another set of canisters (always useful for holding things in the pantry or sewing room), pink velvet bows strung on a string, an awesome old medicine cabinet, a Simtex dish towel, and a pink glasbake jar? pot? thing. I always see those glasbake things, and never with a lid. Someone on Ebay seems to think they are honey pots. Maybe one of you knows what they are?

I also managed to see not one, but two, movies this weekend. I really only wanted to see Waitress but because of projector problems we had to see 1408 on Friday instead, and I had to go back to see Waitress by myself. If you haven't seen Waitress yet, go now! It is a quirky, campy, funny, sad and beautifully simple movie all rolled into one. Besides, it will inspire you to make some "Why-won't-magic-fairies-come-fold-the-laundry?" pie.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Working on a birthday gift for a friend, felt covered cork coasters, from an idea from Martha Stewart . Including a beautiful piece of vintage silk in the package for her to create something for herself with. (Impossible to iron.)
Working on fine motor skills with old Playskool beads. He can string them all now!
Working on ironing the recent collection of vintage white linens to freshen up the ladder for the first day of summer. More photos on flickr .

Working on getting my hot little hands on Bon Jovi's new CD, Lost Highway. Excellent video footage can be seen here , just in case anyone else is as hot for them as I am. LOL

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

All things pink

Eating homemade strawberry ice cream for dinner. (Jack is finally cutting his 2 year molars. This is the last time he will be teething. What better way to celebrate than ice cream for dinner?)
Making shell wreaths. I painted the wreath form pink first.
I actually really like this picture of it, but I was sure someone would ask to see more.
Painting the old magazine holder pink. It still isn't gorgeous, but it was David's grandparents, so it is sentimental and here to stay either way. (And now you can see what I have been reading, since this photo is not staged in anyway.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Daddy's Day

This is the first year that Jack has actually understood the concepts of gifts and holidays. When we bought the presents for Father's Day, he totally spilled the beans as soon as Dad came home from work that day. He must have said 20 different times that he "buyed you a shirt today Daddy!"

The photo is a little washed out (it is so humid there that the camera is fogging up outside), but we used Crayola Fabric Crayons to make the shirt. They are easy to use and transfer nicely, but they package should contain a reminder that all writing will be backwards if you don't write the mirror image on the original piece of paper. Jack is so proud of his drawing on Daddy's shirt!

(Edited to add: The fabric crayons don't require using an iron on transfer of any kind. You just color on a piece of paper, put the paper on top of the shirt and iron. The nice thing about that is that the shirt doesn't have that wierd stiffness you get with iron on transfers. Added bonus points for being foolproof as long as you don't scorch the shirt! Iron on transfers are a lot harder to use in my experience.)

Dave is a great father and he and Jack have a very tight relationship. I am so thankful that he does more than his share of the work with Jack. Even if he never trims his fingernails! (Insert the winking emoticon here, LOL.)
Besides, it is one great husband who will leave his father's day grilling on a moment's notice when I yell out the back door, "Dear! Please come get this fantastic piece of furniture out of the neighbor's trash for me!"

I started sanding it today, and with some paint and some glass knobs she is going to be a beauty. (I will be sure to show you the end product!)
I owe a belated thank you to Rebecca and Lucy for the lovely gifts that have arrived in my mail box this past week. Rebecca made me that gorgeous rug above and Lucy sent a box of goodies that have already been put to use in "Operation Clean Up This Mess," a.k.a. do some organizing in my sewing room. Thank you both for making sure I did not go without swap goodies, despite a non-performing partner.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pay dirt

First and foremost, thank you for your kindness yesterday. Yesterday is long gone, and today is a much better day. We got up this morning and took ourselves on a little adventure. We went to garage sales (it is Saturday after all!), we saw the river, we had a great lunch, we ate blueberries and strawberries covered in chocolate, we visited Jack's favorite place (the train haus) and we had a big family nap in "the flowers bed" together. (That never happens around here. Never!)

The garage sales were awesome today. The kind of day where the luck is so good that you hate to see the clock on treasure hunting wind down. If only you could squeeze in just one more. *Some* of the treasures included this gorgeous glass bowl.
Pink and white things: The fluffiest white chenille blanket, complete with HUGE pom pom trim. A pink bushel basket. A big white glasbake bowl. An aqua Wilendur towel. The sweetest pair of rose pillowcases. A semi rusty pair of iron "angel wings" (I think they were probably plant holders of some sort?). An old handpainted bowl. A handpainted, heart shaped trinket dish. Pink plastic roses for holding birthday candles.
Red, white and blue things: An old quilt (pretty ratty in the middle). A pair of paper fans. A pillow made from an old quilt piece. A southern belle tablecloth. A pair of barkcloth curtains. An old painted iron adornment of some sort.
Red and green things: A GORGEOUS tablecloth. (I got 5 or 6 tablecloths at one sale! That is record best for me.) Red glass bead garland. Bottle brush wreath ornaments. Nearly a dozen hand painted hollow easter eggs. Green aluminum star glitter (I also got this in silver.)

Terrific, eh? Wish you had been there.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Sometimes Jack and I hit a particularly bumpy patch in this whole mother/son thing. He is an intense kid. He comes by it honestly. I shouldn't be surprised. But some days are just so damn bad that I am surprised.

I am surprised by how hard the constancy of mothering is. I am surprised that my kid can scream so long for more than an hour that your ears will feel like you have been right next to the speaker at a rock concert all night long. I am surprised that I cannot somehow love him into a more laid back personality. (I realize that sounds ridiculous, but honestly, I am not sure I realized how much of one's personality seems to be genetic before Jack was born.) I am surprised by how much it hurts me when he won't stop crying, because I want him to be happy, and no matter what I do, sometimes he is just going to be mad.

I have been surprised by good things this week too. Taking Jack to see his first movie at the movie theater: hearing him tell everyone about the "baby pen-gwens" he saw there: wondering if I followed his directions in the car "to turn down that switch mama" where we would end up:having him tell me to stop every train he sees so he can get on it: having him ask me if he can climb a mountain: letting him pick out a father's day present: seeing his excitement over the growing "house wheeeee!" (a.k.a. swingset with fort) in the backyard: sharing ice cream together now that the heat is here: building one huge Thomas train together:reading for the summer reading program together: and so much more.

P.S. If you have a Thomas fan near you, don't miss The Thomas Recall .

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Nearly every page in this book is so awesome that I cannot wait to do all of the projects with Jack.
There are knitting projects, paper projects, wood projects, holiday parties and everything else under the sun.
The graphics are bright and beautiful. With a color copier it will go even farther than originally intended.
Mine is the 1953 version. It looks like there is one 1961 version on Ebay at the moment, but when I bought it last week there were several others available, so maybe it is something to look for. (Edited because someone has snatched up the Amazon copy this afternoon!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


So, I returned the camera. LOL All of the pictures are blurry (as you might notice with the photos below.) I think I am just going to try and Ebay a replacement exactly like the current one. Dinosaurs are good. Dinosaurs are useful. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Someone asked if I liked the pillow after all of that. I do like the idea of it, but, in usual Sarah fashion, I tend to fixate on the problems (the square is crooked, the graphic is a little crooked) and not see things as a whole. I am working on that. I am working on liking it. At least it is only temporary right?
July will bring a new napping pillow.
Anyway, on with the (blurry) garage sale find show. This is a cardstock pop up church. There are neat little things to see when you look inside each of the windows or peek through the trees. I am sure Jack will love it come Christmas time. I realized after I took the photo that I didn't have it together exactly right. I will certainly jazz it up a little with glitter and stuff when fall gets near.
New year's party crowns. They are certainly new (but still marked beistle), and I bought them thinking I am going to scavenge the crepe paper for other projects.
An old plastic star tree topper. I LOVE this! I spent a long time carefully cleaning it up and I can't wait to use it next Christmas.
Another tree topper, foil this time. The part that goes on the tree is tearing off, and I will likely end up using the star as something other than a tree topper (I have lots of glass indent ones I use), but it is so sweet and the perfect aqua color. (Bad, bad, bad photo here.)

There is other stuff too, since I was able to go without Jack on Saturday. He went on a bike ride with Daddy instead. I will (hopefully) show you more tomorrow. I have been working hard on cutting a million squares of fabric for the fabric swap and on trying to photograph more of my tablecloth collection. (You can see those on my Flickr.) Oh yea, and finishing the organizing in the sewing room. Basically I could blog every day from now until August and still have more things to blog about right now. :-) It's good to be busy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pillow talk

What should have been a very simple new napping pillow project took me nearly 5 days to finish! First I just wanted to sew a red, white and blue hanky on an old pillow cover and be done with it. But I don't have a hanky like that in the stash. So, I sort of made one with a piece of fabric. Everything was cruising along smoothly until I sewed the darn ruffle on backwards.

Rather than rip the whole thing apart, I thought it would be easier to take the "hanky" off and reattach it on the other side. Wrong. I couldn't machine sew the hanky back on, so I had to sew it on by hand. Ok, not the end of the world. Then I had a different applique in the middle, but after looking at it for a day, I decided I hated it. So, using an image from the 4th of July postcard book , I made an iron on transfer. Of course my printer wouldn't let me mirror image the thing, so the writing was backwards. No problem, forging ahead, must finish this project. Put iron on transfer on a piece of cotton duck. Pillow is already stuffed and assembled, must find way to glue on applique rather than try to sew it on. Heat and bond doesn't work, applique starts to peel apart.

Give up all hope and sew through the cotton duck to attach it. Scream, curse and promise to throw pillow in trash. Bloody fingers sewing through all that fabric. All I can say now is thank goodness it is finished.
While cruising Target yesterday for new shorts for Jack, I spotted this in the kid's section. I was going to make myself a new money pouch of sorts for flea marketing (I seem to lose money if I just stuff it in my pockets), but this is so much easier than trying to make something when I clearly do NOT have my sewing groove on. Besides, it is too cute with the dots!

I bought a new camera last week because my current (much beloved) one is on it's last leg. The new camera is frustrating me to no end. The pictures aren't nearly as good (and it is a lot fancier!) and I hate learning to use something new. I need a welcome to the 21st century pill I think. Do they make those? LOL

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Still here.

Hello again. Long time no see, eh?

My 84 year old grandpa has had 2 accidents (in his house, not the car) this week. So almost every single spare moment we have had has been spent at his house this week. Hopefully things are improving with him now, the whole thing has been a bit more stressful than I realized until I tried to lay down to sleep every night.
We did manage to get to the annual church picnic with Jack yesterday, and good times were had by all. We rode the rides, played the games and listened to the music. We also had a junk food fest. Hot dogs, caramel corn, candy apples, funnel cakes, pretzels and more. Yummy.

Jack would have stayed on that purple dinosaur ride all day if he could have. He rode it 3 times in a row. Last year's favorite was the cars, which were not a big hit this year.
He also loved riding in the "chair" on the carousel. He would wave at me and yell "Hi mama!" everytime he went by. Silly goose.

This week has also brought Jack having a real desire to choose his own clothing, sleeping until 9 am (hallelujah!), asking me to stop every freight train we see so that he can ride on it, the discovery of baseball cards, catching fireflies in the yard at dusk for the first time (that was awesome), a Katy trail bike trip complete with ice cream, answers to the question "how old are you?" (number 2) and "how old will you be in October?" (number 3), an 8:30 bedtime instead of 7:30 (see sleeping until 9 am again) and plenty of playtime with his favorite neighbor now that the kids are out of school.

Summer is certainly here. I found some good stuff at garage sales, hopefully I will have time to take pictures with my new camera this week. And I have a sewing project that is nearly complete. A small one, but, still a sewing project.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tablecloth Talk

You'll have to excuse the not so terrific photos, it is darn hot and the mosquitos are out in full force. I found this vintage bird tablecloth at the Gypsy Caravan Antique Market that we went to on Memorial Day. I paid more than usually pay for cloths around here, which is usually less than $10 (but keep in mind none of them are ever in perfect condition, and I am ok with that). This was one so unusual there was no way I was leaving it behind. You should be able to click on the photo to better see the birdies.
I think I have over 80 of these beauties by now. Once every 3 days I put a new one out on the kitchen table for us to enjoy. (We remove it when we eat though, I am not *that* crazy!)

I had heard about the Startex star before, but have never found one until I had this tulip cloth on the table last week and there was the star, staring right at me. Pretty cool. Can you see it there? There is added difficulty with the Startex stars since most of the cloths do not have tags on them anymore. Lacking a proper identification book, I have no idea which ones are Startex and which ones were made by other companies.
While cleaning out the garage last week, I found a big box of 1950's magazines I had bought ages ago at the flea market. They are REALLY musty and I need to figure out how to sort that out, because there are so many cool things in them, including ads for Startex towels and Simtex tablecloths.
I have also picked a few of the "novelty" cloths over the past few weeks. I thrifted this one last week, and it was in very sorry condition, but it soaked pretty clean after 3 or 4 spins in the washer. I love that it has been mended several times. Maybe it is wierd to love that it is mended, but to me that says that the woman who owned it before me liked it enough to take the time to fix it instead of just throwing it away. Jack loves that it has trains on it.

On Wednesdays my husband has been going yard saling on his lunch hour, and the week before my birthday he found me a tablecloth! How sweet. I certainly treasure that one.

Because I could never possibly get them all onto the blog, I am trying to get more things onto Flickr. You can see more of the tablecloths and the Good Housekeeping ads in my tablecloth set .

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

When did I?

Lately the only crafting I have been managing to squeeze in is paper related crafting. When did I become a paper crafter? LOL My sewing machine must be feeling terribly neglected.

Last year we made a handprint shadow box for Mother's Day. This year Dave and Jack bought me the Shabby Chic shadow box from Target. It has been sitting around a few weeks waiting for inspiration to strike me. As soon as I took those photos of Jack and the flowers a week ago, I knew exactly what to do with it.
I gussied up the card that Jack had picked out for me with crepe paper, more of that Target Christmas tinsel, a few of the flowers from the photo, and some scrap from
Tammy Gilley's etsy shop. I use the sewing machine on a big basting stitch to make the crepe paper ruffles.

In other news, Sunday was the 2 year anniversary for my little blog here. If you want to see Jack in his very first blog appearance (and all of his chubby baby cuteness!), you can click here . This blog has come a long way baby...

While we are (sort of) on the subject of fabric, if you were disappointed to not win that big stash of vintage fabric I gave away for my birthday, you can join me at Jen Duncan's fabric swap . 500 different pieces of fabric! How can you resist? Just imagine the patchwork projects to come from that!

Monday, June 04, 2007


So, I had been eating a lot of mangos. A lot. Then I started to feel not so terrific, and having a lot of food allergies I thought I should stop eating them. Then my lips started to itch. A lot. They have been bumpy and itching for a week. This morning I woke up to Angelina Jolie lips. Apparently you can get something akin to poison ivy from mangos. Poison ivy on my lips. Great! LOL

Maybe this cute Glasbake casserole will inspire me to eat some other kind of less toxic fruit?
This was one of my yard sale scores from Kansas. There are yards and yards of it. It has a rough texture like barkcloth, but it's not exactly the same. It was in an Adler's of Kansas City box, which apparently was an old millinery salon. Not sure if it actually came from there or not, but the research was interesting. Too bad there were no Adler's millinery flowers at the same sale!
I got this wickedly great witch hat at the same sale. It was actually in the trash, so I asked if I could have it. I wasn't sure if it was old or not (the crepe paper on the bottom makes it tricky), and while cleaning it I found a bar code on it. Apparently bar codes came into use around 1973, so it is at least newer than that. It's a little scary to think that 1973 is actually vintage territory now!

I have loads of other interesting stuff to share this week, but probably very little crafting to speak of. Apparently I don't craft much in the summer. And apparently I can't think of any other ways to use apparently in this post, so with that I am off to remind the "supposed to be napping" toddler that it is naptime!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Toto & Thomas

Yesterday we journied to Kansas to take Jack to a Day out with Thomas. The trip was awesome. The train was fun, Kansas is beautiful, we hit the Baldwin City, Kansas City Wide yard sale (I got some real treasures!) AND we got to see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. What more could we ask for? We rode on this 1923 passenger car.
Jack loved every minute of the train ride. He will be talking about it for weeks. Well, that and the tattoo. He is desperately hoping it will never wash off. (And this mama better order some more from Ebay before it does!)
Look at how blue that sky is and how puffy those clouds are! I never realize how close to living in "the city" we truly are until we go to "the country."
Enjoying a snuggle with Great Grandpa. Jack hasn't seen this set of grandparents since he was 14 months old, so this was a much needed visit.
Sharing stories with Great Grandma. Another few months and Jack will be bigger than Grandma!

What a great way to spend a Saturday, eh?