Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Fun Surprise!

What do you think the best part of blogging and selling on Etsy is? Getting to know new people! As we read each other's blogs and join each other's Etsy circles, we get to know what we each like (and don't like), how our weeks have gone and to share a little of our lives. Whether it's Anna in Colorado, Vonlipi, Deb, Sandy or Chris in the US or Sian & Lakota in the UK, I've made blogging friends across the country and across the ocean, and that's just so much fun! There are too many 'blog-friends' to name and, in a way, we're all connected. I love it when people I've come to recognize comment on other people's blogs that I read. I don't know if any of us will ever meet, but I feel like I know you all.

Anyway, back to the surprise. . . . A while back, I made a little 'Reserved Listing' sign in Photoshop for Anna at Moon Over Marilyn and look what she sent me -- these sweet monogrammed hankies! No thanks were needed, but I'm so happy to have them. (Now that I have something to delicately dab my eyes, all I need is a fancy hat and I'll be all ready for the big wedding tomorrow)!

By the way, Anna sells great vintage items with a Mexican flair over at Etsy -- you can check out her shop here. Thanks for the hankies, Anna!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Blessings!

We just returned home from our annual family Easter Sunday. The day began at 5:30 am (ugh!) to get ready for the 7:00 service. It was a wonderful time of worship, rejoicing & celebration, followed by the church's Easter breakfast. Then we came home, changed our clothes, grabbed our potluck contribution and were out the door for the 2 hour drive to my husband's sister's house in Ohio.

This family Easter gathering has become one of the highlights of the year for me! I was thinking on the long ride home about how much I love my husband's family and how close we've become over the past 33 years. I love getting to see my sisters-in-law & their families and catch up on all the news. I also love seeing my sister-in-law's in-laws -- they've become our family, too. Since all the kids are young adults now (the youngest is a high school freshman), the meal and afternoon are calm & relaxed (no more injuries on the basketball court, fights between brothers or over who found the most Easter eggs). There is plenty of good conversation and laughter and some tears for those who aren't with us any longer. There is no blessing so precious as family and shared memories and history!

Today even held a surprise for me -- my middle son called to report on his sky-diving experience this afternoon. . .he had very wisely not told me about it in advance. It sounds like he had a great time (and is already planning his next jump -- in tandem again, thankfully) but just thinking about my 28-year-old baby jumping out of an airplane is a little too much for this mom!

I hope that, if you celebrate Easter, you had a blessed and happy day today, surrounded by those you love! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Tag Swap

Sandy over at 521 Lake Street sponsored an Easter Tag Swap and I entered it. This is the first time I've ever taken part in a swap and I had no idea what to expect or what to do. We were each assigned a swap partner and then the two of us each created a swap gift and sent it off to the other.

I'm afraid that my swap partner got the short end of this! I expected to send (and receive) a little swap goodie bag with a created tag. It was so much fun to come home and find this huge box on the front porch even decorated on the outside! She was so creative -- here's what she sent:A sweet little (turquoise!) cardboard suitcase, decorated outside and in...(Chris explained to me what the Moscone Center sticker meant. Moscone was a long-time mayor of San Fransisco)
...and FULL of wonderful Easter tags -- each one was beautiful!An Easter recipe included
Even the backs of the tags are pretty...A goodie container (decorated, of course) filled with Hersey kisses and 4 sweet little cupcake picks -- aren't they great? Note: some of the kisses are already gone...A 'story book in a box' -- the box was decorated and each card was a part of the story, all linked together by pink ribbonSewing pattern tissue paper flowersFelt Easter eggsThe story cards...Thanks again to my new blog-friend Chris for this wonderful Easter Tag Swap gift!

Happy Easter everyone -- have a blessed holiday with everyone you love!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Look What Came in the Mail Yesterday!

My husband says that I get a package a day -- that's an exaggeration, but it is fun to get things in the mail. This arrived yesterday -- a dark green Harlequin gravy boat! I realized a while ago that Harlequin is my favorite Homer Laughlin pattern -- I love its art deco angles & lines. I bought several pieces years ago (mostly egg cups), when it was much cheaper, but now it's gotten really expensive. Harlequin's big on my wish list for sales this summer!

Wonderful Wednesday Thrift Trip

I always make sure that I make it to the local Salvation Army on Wednesdays because Wednesday is senior discount day (yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I really do qualify for that 25% off).

Some days there's not much there, but yesterday was a great thrift day and I got some wonderful things:
A pretty 1958 tin with a plastic lid, decorated with spring flowers
Two mirrored vanity trays - one with glass bar decoration and one with a lucite frame
Two swanky swigs - daffodils & irises
I think I have to keep these!
The great buy of the day: a grass green retro salad bowl set
It's the same type as the yellow glass pitcher I got several weeks ago.
I've done some research and found out that it's called 'Blendo' and was made in the 1950s by the West Virginia Specialty Glass Company in Weston, WV

See? Some days it pays to get old!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tech Troubles

I got a new (to me, anyway) camera this week -- a Fujifilm FinePix S5100. It's a $300 camera that I picked up for considerably less buying it used on Ebay. I wanted it specifically because it comes highly recommended for macro and supermacro shots -- which I do a lot of for Etsy listings. I haven't been blogging much because I've been busy trying to get to know it, taking pictures and catching up with all my piled-up tasks.

I had taken lots of pictures with it for Etsy listings (which turned out really well) and had also taken some pictures of my new camera (with my old one) to post here. Unfortunately (here's were the tech troubles come) my main computer died sometime during the night.

It was a very old PC tower that I had replaced the hard drive in and had added memory and RAM, to the point that there was barely anything original left. Apparently, though, there was enough left to go bad. Boo hoo! All the pictures I've been taking for Etsy listings and blog posts are trapped inside, along with the rest of the hard drive. Based on the startup problems I'm having, I'm hopeful that the hard drive can be rescued and the data on it salvaged.

I'm always very careful about backing up data, saving pictures to CDs and taking advantage of cloud storage, so what could have been (relatively) disastrous is only an inconvenience. But let this be a warning to everyone -- back up or save everything you care about, because it can be gone in a flash!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Garage Sale Gold

None of the estate sales looked interesting today, so I decided to go to a few garage & barn sales. There were several frogs and only 2 princes -- I think this must be the weekend for the official Mom-to-Mom sales because there were a lot of those.

At the first sale I went to, I got this great wooden Bissell carpet sweeper. The instructions are still attached to the bottom panel and are dated 3-20-30!
I almost skipped the last sale, but I'm glad I didn't! I got lots of things there and didn't spend much.

Several tablecloths -- they each have some stains, but I think they'll come clean with some workI bought this tablecloth because it was such a strange print. It's really 'politically incorrect'; sort of a Charlie Chan chinese theme. It was hand hemmed and fringed.A box lot of Russell Wright dishes. Don't be fooled by the photo -- just about every piece has either a chip, a scratch or a crack. They're still great mid-century modern, though!An assortment of other stuff -- 2 Santa spoon rests and 2 Santa head mugs (to make into candles), a cocktail mixing glass, a Bakelite bullet-handled fork, a Corning cornflower shaker and some strange mushroom appetizer picks. I think my best buy at that sale was this fantastic 1950s or 1960s pink patent leather purse. The inside is immaculate and even has an unused matching coin purse! Isn't it wonderful?I'm certainly glad that yard sale season has begun again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last Week's Best Buy

I've been playing 'catch up' for the past week -- I just have too much to do in too little time and I'm pulled in too many directions!

I'm just now getting to post about my thrifting adventures from last week...
My friend and partner-in-thrifting, Bargain Hunter did a great job of describing the wet (and expensive) sales we went to on Friday, so you can read about them here. I got a few more things than she did -- all for the booth -- but I did find one little treasure just for me!

This is the sweetest and most unusual little Christmas tree! It's only 8" tall, is really fragile and, judging from the fancy & thin filigree-curled wire on the branches, I think it's quite old. The 'trunk' is a screw-turned wire shaft and the tiers of branches can be moved up and down by rotating them. At the end of each fancy branch is a very tiny, thin dangling leaf.I know it's not much to show for hours spent going to sales, but sometimes just one little thing makes it all worthwhile!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Signs of Spring!

It's sunny and in the mid 70s today and we're all rejoicing!

Besides the sounds of spring peepers and sandhill cranes, here are some other signs of spring:
The beetle is ready to go!
The gravel has been raked off the grass (where the snowplow put it) and back into the driveway
The girls have a clean house
(it's tough to push a wheelbarrow through a foot of snow)
Happy girls!
No, no free range for the girls here. They get a large fenced area outside of the run where they can scratch around-- the 'playpen' -- but that's as free as they get! Every year Mr. Hawk and Mr. Coyote add their names to the girls' on the petition to let them run free, but we never give in.

I hope you're having wonderful spring weather where you are!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I got two great rooster linens last week and I just have to share!

When I got to work on Wednesday, I had a surprise at my desk -- this sweet cross-stitched rooster apron from my friend and booth-partner, Bargain Hunter. My picture didn't come out well, but the apron is a small yellow gingham. Thanks, friend!Then, I had a package waiting for me when I got home -- a tablecloth I'd bought on Etsy. Isn't it great? It's got hens in 3 corners and a rooster in the fourth.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Little Prince & A Nice Man

I went to a sale today where I only got 2 things (hence, a 'little' prince), but both things were great!

To begin with, I was almost knocked off the porch by a man behind me who was worried that I'd get in before him. He ran -- with all the other 'early birds' to a few shelves in the living room with pottery on them. I found out later it was Pewabic pottery -- an old Detroit pottery works that's highly collectible.I walked through the whole house once and didn't find anything until I came back into the living room and found these Hull Red Riding Hood salt & pepper shakers. They're worth far more than I paid for them, so I ought to sell them, but for now they're sitting on a shelf in my kitchen. They're just too sweet to give up!Then I saw a man walking around with a solid glass fish tank. My friend Bargain Hunter had had one in our booth, but I didn't buy it in time and have been looking for one ever since. I was so sad that I missed it, so I decided to be really brave and see if he'd sell it to me -- the worst thing he could do is say no, right? Rather than say, "I want that!" as I've actually heard people do at sales, I asked him very politely if I might buy it from him for more than they had it priced at (which seemed only fair to me). He chuckled a little and said said I could just have it -- he had 3 others at home and just picked it up because it was there. He told me it was a battery case (which Bargain Hunter says it isn't because it doesn't have any writing on the bottom). Aquarium or battery cover -- it made no difference to me; I was just thrilled to have it! I could hardly thank him enough and told him, quite honestly, that he'd made my day (which he found amusing). I've run into some real jerks at sales, but he was really nice!What types of people have you met at sales lately -- nasty or nice?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easter Pretties

I've finally gotten out my Easter pretties. I never decorate for any holiday like I do for Christmas and some years I don't get anything out at Easter, at all. Since it's a serious Christian holy week for me, I've never really gotten into the more commercial side of it, I guess.

But, being a lover of all things vintage, I just can't resist the Easter decorations of the past! Here are a few of my little pretties. I apologize for the pics -- it's so gray and rainy here, I had to use a flash:

This is my most treasured Easter decoration, made for me by my mom in a ceramics studio in 1960. We used to put jelly beans on toothpicks and stick the toothpicks in the holes in his tail.
You can see the wind-handle on the Easter basket music box next to him. Sadly, the music box doesn't work.
She also made this egg for me in ceramics.Here's the music box basket, along with some cool retro 'picks'. The little chick peeping out of the plastic egg is a favorite!I'm a sucker for paper ephemera & any kind of postcard -- this is my favorite Easter one because I love the little cottage (I want to live there) and the bunny's sweet puff tail!A vintage basket with a little 60s nodder and an old bunnyI remember these little chicks and bunnies from when I was little -- we always got a few in our basket. So I usually pick them up when I find them -- aren't the ones in the eggs cute?Gurley and Tavern candles -- animals & flowers. The blockey bunnies are ones I'd never seen before and haven't since (the 3 of them came in the Tavern box behind them)
You can learn more about Tavern & Gurley candles here

These are the only really 'new' things I put out -- three Easter figures by the Snow Baby peopleThanks for visiting my Easter pretties!