Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I need your help!

Pin It Now!

I remember hearing a quote, something about....
I would rather have fresh flowers in my home than diamonds around my neck.
Does anyone know that quote and who said it? I love that quote because that's so *me*! I love fresh flowers in my home and I would have them in every room if I could afford to. I cut flowers from my garden in the spring and summer but my garden does not provide me with enough. I need a huge cutting garden, like Martha Stewart or the Barefoot Contessa! I also love the quote that says something about...give me a small home with a large garden...anyone know that one? That's so *me* too!

I bought these flowers at Trader Joe's last Sunday and only two of the flowers have opened. I love long-lasting bouquets.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Do you Freecycle?

Pin It Now!

Who says you can't get anything for FREE? Can you believe I got this ficus tree for free? I got it from Freecycle. If you are not aware of freecycle, it's a place where you can give things away that you no longer need. It was originally started to keep things out of the landfills. There are groups all over the U.S. and even outside the U.S. You sign up on their website and then you receive email with all the things people are giving away. I suggest you set up a separate email address because you get a ton of email with this, although if you live in a smaller town you probably won't. You can find out more and sign up at Then on the left you will see "groups in your local area"

So here's how I got the ficus tree about 2 years ago. I saw it on freecycle and I replied back to the person who posted it. Since there are so many people trying to get the good stuff it's a good idea to say more than "can I have that?" I told her I had just moved into my new place, that I'm a single mom and I have a big empty corner that I really wanted to get a ficus tree to fill in that area. I didn't hear back until the next day. She said she had about 30 people that wanted it and she didn't know what to do. She asked her mom how she should chose the right person. Her mom told her to pray about it and make a decision....and she chose me. The tree originally belonged to an elderly lady and when she moved she donated it to her church. She told me that the lady loved this tree and hated to leave it. It wasn't doing very well so they decided to give it to someone that could take better care of it. It looks a better than when I first got it so I think it's pretty happy in our home. I sometimes wish I knew that elderly lady so I could tell her how much I enjoy this tree.
(I should add that I didn't get the blue and white pot with it, I bought that but it was a great deal. I think it was originally around $100 and I got it for $30.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Busy Weekend

Pin It Now!

I made these two button wreaths about a week ago. They are made with the vintage buttons I bought on Ebay awhile back.

This weekend was so productive for me. Saturday I cleaned house and did laundry. My daughter and I also rearranged her bedroom. Sunday was the really productive day. Here's a list of what I did (I hope I didn't forget anything)

  • Grocery shopping at 8:00 AM

  • Came home and cleaned out the fridge

  • Marinated chicken that I was going to cook for dinner but didn't because I was too busy. It's Indonesian chicken from the Barefoot Contessa's first cookbook. Recipe can be found here if you don't have the cookbook. If you love ginger and garlic, you'll love this recipe.

  • Went to the hardware store to get paint, ran through the nursery section and found impatiens

  • Went to Trader Joe's.

  • Came home and planted impatiens (wow, I've never planted them this early in the year before, let's hope for the best)

  • Repainted the nightstand I painted last weekend. Now it's the right color of white

  • Painted a side table that I bought at 75% off on Friday. It was black and I painted it white

  • Stripped the finish off 5 drawers on one of the pieces of my bedroom set. (the other piece has 9 drawers so this bedroom set paint job is going to take forever and I may have to take some of my vacation days if I want it done anytime soon)

  • Painted a footstool and recovered the top

  • Painted my thrift store birdcage white. I painted it with a brush. It would have been so much quicker to spray paint it but the weather did not cooperate and I lost patience.

  • Vacuumed the whole house even though I vacuumed the day before.

  • Took pictures of the button wreaths above

  • Finished my day around 9:30 pm and went to bed at 10:00, whew...very tired!

Now that's my kind of a weekend!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dried Peonies

Pin It Now!

Peonies don't grow very well in California. At least that's what I've heard but I've never tried growing them myself. I found this website, Vermont Dried Peonies that sells beautiful dried peonies. The pictures above are from their website but click on the link above to see more. I think I'm going to order the top bunch to put in my bedroom that I'm redecorating.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bunny Cake

Pin It Now!

I found this bunny cake pan on the Williams-Sonoma website. Isn't he adorable. They just dusted him with powdered sugar and did a few easy decorations at the bottom, so easy but so cute! I may have to add this to my lists of "I wants".

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A glimpse at my next project

Pin It Now!

I got this headboard for free on I'm going to strip it and add the cherub swag applique to the middle, with the cherubs raised above the wood a little. The applique look small in this picture but it is 19"wide by 8" high. The rose vine, which is 7" wide by 1" high will be bent to go along the curves at the top on each side. Then everything will be painted white and then shabby'ed up a bit. I ordered the appliques yesterday from Do it yourself Also, see the dark furniture in the background? That is getting painted white also. I did the nightstand last weekend but I have to repaint it because the color I chose (Martha Stewart Wicker White) is too yellow. I've ordered a new quilt on Ebay and the background color is snow-white so I don't want yellow furniture next to it. As you can tell, I'm doing a whole bedroom makeover! Of course I'll be posting before and after pictures when it's complete.

Can you see my dog, Beau, in the picture? He's in his favorite spot, looking out the window. My bedroom is on the second floor so he gets a bird's eye view from there.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pedestal Dish

Pin It Now!

A couple days ago I showed you a pedestal I found at a thrift store. I wanted to create something similar to what Tina made for Kim. I think hers was a candle stick but I'm not sure. I have no idea what this was for but it looks like it was a pedestal for something. It has a hole on top but it goes all the way through so I don't think it's for a candle. I started looking around my home for a dish that I could put on top of the pedestal. I found a oval relish dish that had similar cut work. This dish goes into a silver tray that I'm using for something else so it's just been sitting in the cabinet for years. I don't remember the last time I actually used a relish dish but I thought it would work well for cheese and crackers. So what do you think? I haven't glued them together yet, it's just sitting up there until I decide if I like it or not.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Pretty Potty

Pin It Now!

I thought I would share with you what I've done to my toilet. I tucked a lace towel that is folded in half just under the top lid. It's above the water line so it doesn't get wet. It just proves that everything is a little better with lace.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

One Day, Two Thrift Stores

Pin It Now!

There are many days when I go to a thrift store and come out empty-handed. Yesterday was the opposite. I went to a thrift store on my lunch hour and to the Salvation Army after work. It was a really good day. Look what I bought.

Click on Pictures to enlarge

A vintage table cloth for $2.99. I'll probably use it on my patio table. I took this picture at 7:50 AM Saturday morning and it is so beautiful outside. I can't believe how warm it is. It feels like summer. Yesterday it was in the low 70s, I think it will be warmer today. It won't last long though, it's supposed to rain tomorrow.

I bought this pedistal for $3.99 to make a cake plate like the one Tina made Kim.

I bought this little guy for $2.99 to hold my vintage necklaces my mom has given me over the years.

Some jars for my button collection. $2.99 & $3.99

This cast iron mirror with a cute bird on top. This was from the Salvation Arm and they are more expensive. It was $6.99

And, this beautiful coverd dish from Portugal. This was also from the Salvation Army. It was $9.99

Friday, February 16, 2007

A trip to the Grocery Store

Pin It Now!

I went to the grocery store to get eggs last night. We had breakfast for dinner which I love. As soon as I walked in I realized Valentines Day is over and here comes Easter! I found this cute little bunny and I think he was only about $7 and I also found the mug there for $2.99. The grocery store is Nob Hill (I call it Snob Hill) and I think it is only in California but I'm not sure. It's a chain store and their other store is Raley's. I also found a cute little doll that is dressed up in a bunny outfit. My dog is obsessed with that doll. I really think it was love at first sight for him. I had to hide it because he was trying to jump up on the dining room table to get her. His tail was wagging like I've never seen was so funny. I took a picture of it this morning but it didn't turn out so I'll try again tonight or tomorrow. (updated with picture)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pin It Now!

I started making these cookies 3 days ago. On Sunday, I mixed the the dough, which called for 1 pound of butter! Monday night I rolled them out, cut and baked them. Last night was the fun night, decorating the cookies. What fun! I can hardly wait to take my cake decorating class next month. I brought some into work today (the second photo) and I wrapped some in cellophane bags for my daughter to take to school for her friends (the third photo). Look at the cute Mary Englebreit tags I got at Michaels for 25 cents for 6 tags!

The recipe I used for the icing is here I used the 3rd recipe (Leslie's recipe)
The cookie recipe can be found here.
Check out their cute cookie cutters too.
I used Vanilla extract in the cookies and Almond extract in the icing. The cookies are very soft and melt in your mouth. They are also VERY sweet.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Sad Kitchen Aid Mixer

Pin It Now!

First a little history before I get to the story about the Sad Kitchen Aid mixer(and the obsessed person I have become)...

I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer and it is one of my most prized possessions. I got it as a Christmas gift about 25 years ago from my now ex-husband (yes, I was a child-bride). I can't begin to tell you how much I love my mixer. After every use I clean it all up, I even take a toothpick and clean the gunk that gets between the white enamel and the metal band that goes around the mixer. I know, I'm a bit weird but it's 25 years old it still looks like it's brand new. Okay, now for the really sad story....I was in a thrift store the other day and saw a Kitchen Aid mixer. I am not kidding, my heart dropped when I saw it. I mean literally, I had that heart sick feeling you get when you see something that is so disturbing. It was soooooo dirty and disgusting. It made me so sad. It was also missing the bowl, it looked like a poor neglected child. I looked but didn't see a price on it and it was so dirty I didn't want to pick it up to see if the sticker was on the back. I left the thrift store and came back to work. I couldn't stop thinking about that mixer. I was shocked that I was having these feelings for a mixer! I went back the next day and was going to buy it and fix it up, get a new bowl and resell it at the flea market but it was gone. I didn't know if I should be happy or sad. I just hope that someone was so excited to see that there and took it home and cleaned it all up and is bragging about the great mixer they found. I thought this would be good to write about so I could get it off my mind. It's been a week since I saw it and I'm still disturbed and thinking about it. What is wrong with me???? It's a just a mixer not a person! Someone please tell me I'm normal and you've felt this way over something non-human in your life.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Look what I made!

Pin It Now!

I've been busy making things.

This was made with an old table cloth that had holes in it so I didn't feel too bad cutting it up.

This was made with a wood frame I bought at Michaels for $1.00. I painted it white and then hot glued the buttons I got yesterday (see my previous post). The picture is my mom and dad on their wedding day.

This is another heart I made with the table cloth.

A heart I made with the buttons and old lace that I've been saving. The buttons don't really look this dark I just couldn't get them to photograph well.

All three hearts together.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I'm in Button Bliss!

Pin It Now!

I bought 4 pounds of white buttons on Ebay! After I ordered it I thought maybe it wasn't going to be enough for some of the projects I want to do so I ordered another lot of 1000 white buttons. They are mostly vintage buttons with some new mixed in. They are so pretty I hate to even use them. I sort of want to keep them in jars all over my house like some crazy old woman would do. I plan to make a button wreath, button pillows and a button picture frame. I'm going to start the frame today so I should have a picture of that tomorrow. I'm in Button Bliss! I can hardly wait for the next order to be delivered. I wonder which is more buttons: 4 lbs or 1000 buttons?

Click on the photos to enlarge

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Have you tried this?

Pin It Now!

I know this sounds weird but I love cleaning products. I tend to stick to my basics though; PineSol, Windex, Comet, and Clorox Cleanup. When the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge first came out I signed up to get a free one. What a great marketing idea they had. I fell in love with this sponge and have continued to buy it and to tell everyone I know about it. It works great on scuff marks which is what I use it for most often. It's amazing, it has even removed permanent marker off a wall (a friend's daughter did this, not my kids). I've never written to a company to praise a product but I actually thought of doing it for this. If you haven't tried it yet you can get a free one here. The only problem is they don't last very long, they start to disintegrate pretty quickly (probably designed that way so you keep buying them.) I only wish this would have come out when my children were younger.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bluebird Plates

Pin It Now!

Monday on my lunch hour I went to the nearby thrift store. When I drove up I was shocked, it was so busy I could barely find a parking space. When I walked in I saw huge signs everywhere saying 50% off everything. I went to the back of the store where the dishes are and saw these cute bluebird plates. These pictures do not even do them justice, they are so much cuter. You can't really see it well but the bluebird has a very round yellow tummy. They were $19.99 for a set of six....ooh more that I want to pay, but with 50% of it would only be $10. I start looking for more and find 4 smaller plates. They were $9.99 so with half off only $5. $15 for everything. I could handle that. The condition is not great. They having some chips and crazing but I don't care. As I'm in a really long line to pay for them, I'm looking around the store. I see the big sign that says 50% off and then I realize that the sale is not until Feb. 19th! By this time I'm so attached to these plates I don't care, I'm buying them! When I come that evening there is a box on my doorstep. I forgot that I had ordered this cute little bird nest from Enchanted Treasures. I guess my theme for Monday was birds and nests!

The plates are marked on the bottom with: The Salem China Company, Salem, Ohio ~ Warranted Platinum Gold Alloy ~ Made in America. There's no pattern name listed. I've looked all over the internet and I can't seem to find these plates. The Salem China Company makes another pattern called Bluebird but it's different than this one. I would love to know how old they are. I know that company stopped making china in 1967 but I think these are probably older than that.

Today I will be in a Photoshop class for work all day. I hate training classes but at least this one shouldn't be too bad.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Always moving things around

Pin It Now!

When I was around 10 years old I became interested in decorating. I used to come home from school and rearrange the furniture in my parent's house. My dad used to build the interior rooms for local Ethan Allen furniture stores as a side job. Instead of a paycheck he would get furniture. My parents house was filled with Ethan Allen furniture, actually it still is. I loved to polish the furniture because I loved the smell of the polish and loved the sheen it would give to the dark wood. Now it all seems so odd that a young girl would do all of this. Anyway, I continued to polish and rearrange their furniture until I moved out at 18. It's a family joke that that's when my mom lost her maid (me). I still love to move things around because it always seems to make things feel cleaner to me. I guess I just like change. This weekend I moved things around again. This table, named the birdhouse table was made by my dad. I saw a table like this in Romantic Homes Magazine in the early 90s and fell in love with it, so my sweet, wonderful dad made me one. I moved this under my stairs where my white mirror and bench were previously. I also hung some of my blue and white plates on the wall. It will stay there for a few months and then I'm sure I'll be moving it again.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Pin It Now!

I've been tagged by Meg of My Little Cottage. (the picture is the $5 planter I bought at the flea market. I lined it with moss and planted pansies).

I tag Andrea Ashley Diana

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? Martha's Vineyard
2.What's your favorite article of clothing? my linen shirts
3.Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Eyes
4.What's the last CD that you bought? Madeleine Peyroux -Half the Perfect World
5.Where's your favorite place to be? Martha's Vineyard with my family
6. Where is your least favorite place to be? work
7.What's your favorite place to be massaged? my shoulders
8.Strong in mind or strong in body? Mind
9.What time do you wake up in the morning? 5-7 a.m.
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? My Kitchen Aid Mixer
11.What makes you really angry? rude people
12.If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Piano
13. Favorite color? Blue
14.Which do you prefer...sports car or SUV? Sports car, I drive a '99 Camaro but my dream car is a convertable Jag so I guess I would prefer a luxury sports car.
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? yes
16.Favorite children's book? Love You Forever by by Robert N. Munsch and Sheila McGraw
17. What is your favorite season? Spring
18. Your least favorite household chore? cleaning the bathroom
19.If you could have one super power, what would it be? Fly
20.If you have a tattoo, what is it? I would never get a tattoo
21.Can you juggle? No, but my son can
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? Grandma
23. What's your favorite day? Saturday
24. What's in the trunk of your car? folding chairs, a blanket, a quart of oil, rope, it's a mess.
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? sushi...I could eat it every day

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A day at the Flea Market

Pin It Now!

The first Saturday of every month I can be found at the DeAnza Flea Market in Cupertino, CA. My mom and dad have been vendors at this flea market for over 20 years. My kid's have grown up going to this flea market every month. My mom who is 82 years old is no longer able come down because she broke her hip and has had a slow recovery. My dad is 80 and still going strong. He makes different things with wood; potting tables, bird houses, Uncle Sam's, Santas and so much more. I need to meet him every month at 5:30 AM to help him unload the truck, then I come home and take a shower and become somewhat presentable and go back and spend the day there. We start packing up at 2:00 pm and roll out of there around 3:30 pm. It's an exhausting day. My dad lives 3 hours away from here so he leaves his house at 2:30-3:00 AM and doesn't get home unitl about 7:00pm because he has to deliver some of his bigger items. I brought my camera to get some photos of my favorite vendors but my battery ran out. I was able to get a pic of a vendor that sells beautiful orchids, actually there a few vendors that sell orchids. The rest of the photos are my dads booth. The bird is new and the shabby one he built 10 years ago and had it outside. Of course, everyone wants the old one but he doesn't want to sell it. He just wants to show everyone how it ages. (the photo of the birdhouses is dark because I was under an awning). He has two different potting tables which you can see in the pics. Today was such a beautiful day, it really felt like Spring.

I bought a cute metal plant holder for $5, a small chintz mug for $2 and two beautiful linen shirts for $5 each. There is a vendor that sells lightly used clothing and she has a lot of linen clothing, which I love.