Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shopping: random vs retail

Like many of my readers, my "go to" shopping places do not include the malls.  In fact, other than groceries, cleaning products and toiletries, I rarely buy anything that wasn't pre-owned.  Shopping the thrift stores, yard sales, and consignment shops requires a reverse kind of thinking.  Although you might have a "would love to find" list, you go without expectations and generally come home with things that hadn't crossed your mind.

For example, yesterday I picked up this framed picture of Saint Anthony.  It measures 33"x 29".  Did I have a spot picked out for a picture this size?  "No!"  And I still don't.  But I have a solid friendship with this Patron Saint of Lost Things.  He has saved me time and again in my searches, so when I saw it, there was no doubt it was going home with me.

At that same yard sale I picked up this set of drawers.  Not on my non-existent list but they do fall into that storage/container category that occupies a file in my mind. They also fit other criteria like old, carved, interesting hardware and so on.

There are some items that are perpetually on that mental list and are automatic purchases when they show up for the right price.  Scrabble letters fit this category because they are so handy for a variety of projects that include gift wrapping and table settings.

Then there are those items that are currently popular and desired by that group of whatever we call ourselves. (collectors, crafters, DIYers)  So when such an item presents itself for a good price, it is an automatic purchase. ($3 at St. Vincent de Paul was the right price.)

 At the Goodwill Outlet store the other day where everything is sold by the pound, I saw four of these. (2 tall and 2 short)  They were so tangled together that at first I wasn't even sure how many there were.  I spent some time getting them separated and then some more time wondering how I would use them.  Finally I decided I now had too much time invested in them to leave them behind.  (This should not be a tough decision at 39 cents a pound but my storage area is getting a bit crowded and sometimes I have to talk myself into things no matter how cheap they are.)

 Yesterday I stepped over this iris stem that was growing parallel to the ground and thought...I should stake that up with something.

And lo and behold, I had just that something.

So now that beautiful-to-be iris is upright and ready to blossom with out being trampled.

And random shopping has been vindicated once again.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not Novel but Majic

You all know how I can't resist a furniture rescue so it's no surprise I didn't pass by this little chair when I saw it in the alley.

Cute enough but... heaven knows I have a plentiful stash of single chairs.  Without a seat this one was begging for a non-traditional approach.

I turned to one of my new favorites....Majic spray paint.  This stuff is great for a no primer job.  I have used it in black and in white but this time I went for the color of the year and chose Tangerine.  (The label says ORANGE but I'm going for poetic license here.)  PS:  This stuff is great on metal too.  I've used it on lamps and chandeliers with great results.

There you have it!  That's the Majic part.

I have seen this idea in a variety of places and always thought about giving it a whirl.  This was the opportunity I couldn't pass up.

Obviously my plants have a little growing to do before it looks lush and blog worthy.

But I'm not known for my patience, so I'll have to follow up later with that lush shot of purple and white petunias cascading over the rim of the chair.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Antique "Little Worker" Sewing Machine

This past weekend was the monthly meeting of a group I belong to that has been meeting for over 25 years.  We deviated from our regular agenda of discussing and analyzing our dreams to a special program for some of our members who turned 60 this Spring.  Part of that ceremony involved bringing an item that had special meaning for us that we were now ready to release.  We were allowed to then choose an item someone else brought and take it home with us.  I am delighted to share with you the item I brought home with me.

This sewing machine was part of a collection that belonged to my friend's mother.  This little machine measures 10" wide by 6" deep and 9 1/2" high.

The needle moves when you turn the wheel with this handle.

It even came with instructions for threading.

This shows it from the back where you see the lever that raises and lowers the presser foot.

Imagine what might have been constructed or patched using this little machine.

As adorable as it is, it makes me appreciate the advances that have been made in this arena.

This Little Worker, as it is called' was patented April 4th, 1911.  It was produced by New Home Sewing Machine Company in Orange, Massachusetts.

It was advertised as: "The small machine that produced large results."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Measuring Growth

As of April 6th, I have a new grandson named Nathan.  Nathan has a brother named Gabriel who was born exactly 17 months ago on Nov. 7th.

So when I saw this cute idea on Pinterest I quickly pinned it knowing I would be making one of these as well.  (Pinterest is such a great resource for creative ideas.)  You can see step by step instructions for the one shown above on Whipper Berry.

I started by marking off the inches.  That was going fine until I reached 39. (rather mimics life, don't you think?)  Anyway, I thought about stopping for the night but kept going even though I was getting tired.  You would think I would have learned by now that is never a smart idea.  Yes, I lost focus and put the number 39 above 37 without skipping a mark.  I was able to clorox out the number, tea stain the burlap and then put the little red stitching back in with a colored pencil.  (When things like this happen, I always tell myself that only God is perfect. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I continued stencilling on the numbers when I was wide awake and took them up to 6' just as Heather did with hers.

I could not find the little tags shown in the original. (would you believe Hobby Lobby does not carry these?)  I could have tried an office suppy store as Heather suggested but because I planned this chart for both my grandsons, I punched circles of two different colors from card stock.  I used sticky backed dot circles to write their information, stuck the two together and laminated it.

I used tie tacs instead of safety pins for mine. 

I just hot glued the little circle tag to the head of the pin, pushed it through the burlap, squeezed the backing and slipped it onto the pin.  It worked quite nicely.

I used a circular box from Hobby Lobby as my storage container.  I painted the bottom and the lid in red acrylic paint, cut paper to fit around the sides, and glued a ribbon around the lip of the lid.

Rolled up, the webbing fits nicely and additional tags store easily in the middle.

Because I plan to use it for two boys, I did not put their names on the burlap.  As you can see here their birth height/length is quite close. (only 1/4" difference) It will be interesting to see how that plays out as they get older.  I'm thinking that means they will be really close buddies even at 6' tall.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Have a fantastic Easter.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poetry in Color

My daughter has a blog devoted to children's literacy.  This week, because April is poetry month, she shared  her favorite poetry books for children. (She is also doing a give away of one of these books.)  I happened to be at her house while she was working on this post and I browsed through a few of the books.  I was really impressed with one in particular titled, Hailstones and Halibut Bones, authored by Mary O'Neill.  It is beautifully illustrated by John Wallner but for this post I am adding some pictures from Pinterest to a few excerpts from the book.



Red is a lipstick,
Red is a shout,
Red is a signal
That says: "Watch out!"

Red is a show-off
No doubt about it----
But can you imagine
Living without it?

Brown is a house 
On the edge of town
Where wind is tearing
The shingles down.

(Zoom In)
Orange is a happy day
Saying good-by
In a sunset that
Shocks the sky.
Orange is brave
Orange is bold
It's bittersweet
And marigold. 

Dandelions and
Daisy hearts 
Custard pies and
Lemon tarts.

Gray is the color of an elephant
And a mouse
And a falling-apart house.

Content is gray
And sleepiness, too
They wear gray suede gloves
When they're touching you....

Pink is the sash
With the lovely fold
You'll remember 
When you're old.

There's purple jam
And purple jell
And a purple bruise
Next day will tell
Where you landed
When you fell.

Gold is the answer 
To many a wish.
Gold is feeling
Like a king
It's like having the most
Of everything-------

Think of what starlight
And lamplight would lack
Diamonds and fireflies
If they couldn't lean against
The colors live
Between black and white
In a land that we
Know best by sight.
But knowing best
Isn't everything,
For colors dance
And colors sing,
And colors laugh
And colors cry-----
Turn off the light
And colors die,

 Not all the colors included in the book are in this post.  This is just a few lines snatched here and there from the book to give you an idea how delightful this book is for all ages.  I hope you are intrigued enough to read the entire book.  Even better, I hope you have someone older or younger than yourself who is willing to listen as you read it aloud.