Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn Craftiness

Time sure does fly between blog posts! Way back when I first started this blog I posted almost every day. Now I am lucky if I do it twice a week. It is probably because I spend too much time reading all my favorite blogs. Speaking of favorites, Kristi tagged me with an award. Thanks, Kristi! I am supposed to put the picture of the award on my blog and then tag 7 other bloggers. I'll try to do that later in the week.

The first month of my antique booth went very well. I am quite excited! I've gotten several compliments on my displays and people are buying my stuff! The trick is for me to go in, add and rearrange things in my booth and NOT buy anything from anyone else. I did spend $2 in there today. That's not too bad considering I sold $80+ just over the weekend.

I've been trying to keep a good variety of "handmade" items in my booth. My "Halloween Favors" feeder sold right away. Last week I made a chalkboard from an old silver tray (and forgot to take any pictures.) It sold. I also made a journal and it sold today. Didn't take a picture of it either. Of course, there are also things I made earlier that haven't sold. Oh, well.
A couple weeks ago I purchased a tutorial from Dawn at The Feathered Nest. She is an amazing artist and I love that she shares her ideas with others. The photos above and below are my baby shoe pincushion that I made using Dawn's wonderful instructions. Isn't it sweet? It is in my booth, but it is okay if it doesn't sell. I'll keep it!
This morning I made this little collage. It is displayed alongside an Edgar Allen Poe book propped open to "The Raven."
I'm really not a "Halloween" person. I love fall, but could just do without Halloween. Nevertheless, I know other people love decorating for this holiday and I want to accomodate them!
I printed "Boo" onto an old dictionary page and stuck the letters on these old bottles. Didn't even clean them out first. That adds to the spooky factor, right?!

On the homefront, I have been working on cleaning and painting porch furniture. Once that task is done I will put out some fall decorations. Sweet Girl has a nasty cough - typical for this time of year. Other than sounding awful, I really don't think she feels bad. I just put her in bed and she had a beautiful smile on her face. The guys are in town playing basketball at the church. I'm going to finish this post and then sit and read a new magazine that came in the mail today. Love my magazines!

{"Don't hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others....." Ecclesiastes 11:2}

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shades of Inspiration - Gray

This week's Shades of Inspiration is focusing on "gray". You can view my flickr photos here or you can view the entire group. As always, there are some amazing photographs. It is fun to look for a specific color throughout the week. It really makes you aware of your surroundings.

This is my favorite photo for the week. I drive by this place several times a day; it is just 1/4 mile down the road from our house. It brings to mind so many thoughts. Gray. That is the color for this week and the color of this house. Makes me think that there certainly are many "shades of gray" around here. As evidenced by the clothes hanging on the line, someone lives here. Someone also lives in the $400,000 house just around the corner. Then there are the "gray" houses in the neighborhood. Not literally gray, but figuratively somewhere in between.

Humbling. Another thought that comes to mind as I drive by. I whine because my sink doesn't drain properly. I wonder if they have running water? I complain because the electric bill is too high. They swelter in the heat with no air conditioning. I grumble about not being able to keep up with the laundry. Theirs is hanging out for all to see. I am humbled by the sight.

Peaceful. Really. There is something peaceful and comforting about laundry blowing in the breeze. It makes me think of simpler times. I would like a clothesline. I had one (and used it regularly) when we lived in Kansas. I'll have to figure out how to get one here. Not having to listen to the rumble of the dryer is a peaceful thought.

Take some time to look at the ordinary things around you this week. What thoughts do they bring to mind?

{"Look around you: Everything you see is God's—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it." Deuteronomy 10:14}

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Life in the Slow Lane

So, I suppose I could tell you that I haven't blogged in a week because I have been so busy, but that wouldn't really be the truth. Oh, I've had things to do; places to go....but I haven't been swamped. Thankfully. I was thinking the other day how blessed our family is right now because we are not just running here and there all the time. It is "life in the slow lane" for us this fall.

Last year at this time we were juggling soccer, football, piano, hippotherapy.... Where we live now there is no youth soccer in the fall. There is football, but we opted not to do that. Our 11 year old didn't put up a fuss. I am disappointed about piano. We just haven't found a teacher for our 7 year old. Of course, we are still doing hippotherapy.

Wednesday is our "crazy" day. As soon as school is out the kids and I make a 45 minute drive so Sweet Girl can ride. After an hour we drive back to town and meet hubby somewhere for supper. There is no time to make it clear home because he has about 1/2 to eat before he goes back to campus for a meeting. Then I take the kids to church. Everyone is finally home by 8:30.

I can't imagine this schedule most every night. I know our day is coming as the boys get older and involved in school sports, band, etc. Right now we are enjoying the peaceful evenings at home. We don't even have cable tv. I love finding the boys in their room reading a book! Sometimes we sit on the porch or walk down the quiet, country road. We might end up stopping and visiting with the neighbors for an hour. Or the boys might get an invitation to go fishing and off they go to the pond. I was describing this all to a friend in an email lately and she replied that it sounded like "Mayberry."

I hope you all can have some Mayberry moments during your week. Enjoy them!

Before I go, I wanted to share some pictures. I walk on a walking trail through campus and Friday I took my camera along with me. The trail mostly goes through the university farm.

There are three cattle guards that I have to cross during my walk.

This is an old ampitheatre on campus.
I'll also show you some pictures of some fall flowers on my porch.
Pansies and kale in an old feeder.

This isn't a great photo, but I stuck these mums in an old wooden tool box. They aren't bloomed out much yet. I'll take another photo later. I also bought a huge mum that I have sitting on my front steps. It is going to be beautiful when it blooms. Stay tuned.

Once again, I have managed to do quite a long post. Guess that is what happens when I only post once a week.

{"The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live." I Timothy 2:1-3}

Monday, September 15, 2008

Feeling {Fall}ish

It was 58 degrees when we woke up this morning! Beautiful! We have the AC off and all the windows open. It is starting to feel like fall. Of course, I do feel a little bad rejoicing about the cool weather knowing that it is probably a result of Ike. We had some fairly strong winds here this weekend. Some people in our town lost power, but ours only flickered a couple of times.

I loved Margo's carriage wheel when I first saw it. I was excited when I found some wheels of my own shortly after that. I've had them for several months now and finally got around to decorating one this week. I'm not completely satisfied with it, but I will probably keep it this way for now. Maybe I will change it for Christmas. I really need my mom here for this project. She is a florist and just knows how to do these things.

I briefly mentioned these little feeders a couple posts back. They were a quarter a piece at a garage sale and I just thought I could do something with them. For the first one I attached the hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves" and then just tucked in some fall decorations.

This one has a dictionary page, some scrap paper and an advertisement for "Halloween Favors" from my 1917 Ladies Home Journal. Doesn't it make a fun candy dispenser?

These are just a couple of old brown bottles I embellished.

Not everyone does seasonal displalys in their antique booth, but I like to change things around a bit. Sadly, I took my little green cabinet off my front porch because I desperately needed it in my booth. Tonight I worked on it for a couple of hours. My 11 year old son helped me.
It was fun to tuck little pumpkins here and there.
Owls seem to be fairly popular right now, so I added a couple to my display.

And a couple more pumpkins....
It may feel like fall, but the grass is still growing. Our grass is about a foot tall! Thankfully, not a lot of people drive by on our road. They'd probably think our place was abandonded. Nope. Our mower is just in the shop. Broken mower + lots of rain = a sad looking yard. Actually, the mower was done being fixed today. Now we just have to figure out how to get it home since we don't own a pickup or trailer.

Today the power doors and locks on my van quit working. Very frustrating. Hopefully it is not a computer issue. I need to take it to a Chrsyler dealer and the nearest one is 45 miles away. Not sure when I will do that. Aaaaah! Life was so much simpler without all this "power" stuff on vehicles. Actually, that is not true. The power doors make my life easier. When I am carrying a 45 lb. child, a school bag and a purse it is nice to push a button and have the door open.

Oh, and have I told you that my kitchen sink drain has not worked properly for over two months? The plumbing issues go way beyone just this one drain, but it is the most pressing matter right now. I'm hopefully getting it fixed this week. When I come up with an extra $13,000 we will get the rest of the plumbing fixed.

Sorry about all that. I guess I just felt the need to let you know that life is not all about crafting, decorating and sweet little pumpkins. Those are just some of the things that help me stay sane!

{"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1}

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I decided that my antique booth needed a name instead of just a silly number. I used old dictionary pages to put the name on an old mirror. I like the way it turned out. I am also stamping the name on all of my price tags.

Isn't this plastic shelving pitiful? I just didn't have anything else to use - especially at the last minute. It will have to do for now. I'm on the lookout for a wooden bookshelf or cabinet. But you know me - it's got to be cheap! So far, no luck.

Here is the stadium chair being used as a shelf. After I took the picture I added a boy scout book. Looks kind of bare as it is. The blocks spell out "Live. Laugh. Love." I've already sold a set that spelled "Dream."
This is an old silver scoop. It was not in great shape, so I decided to decorate it. I used shredded music for the "nest" and then added some little eggs, a tag and some antique lace.
Here is a plate I dressed up. I have no idea if these things will sell, but I enjoy making them.
I also made up some "embellishment packs." Again, fun to put together and not sure if they will sell. I've actually accumulated quite a lot of vintage lace, ribbon and trims lately. Much more than I can use anytime soon. I love it and hope others will, too.

Webster's defines renew this way: 1. Revive. 2. Begin anew. I love that. With a little care an antique can be revived. With some imagination an object can begin anew; perhaps with a new purpose. Here is an example of renewal from this week.

I'm calling it my flea market bag. It is quite large - great for holding newfound treasures! Can you guess what it was before I "renewed" it?

A chair slipcover! Not this one exactly, but you get the idea, right? It is a linen fabric. I cut it off just above the ties. So, what would have gone over the back of the chair became the bag. I also removed the ties and used them as the straps. So easy because I didn't have to do any hemming. The small pocket with the embroidery was cut from the bottom of the slipcover. The large floral pocket is from a vintage handmade valance.

I used the same fabric as a band along the top, inside of the bag. I didnt want to line the bag, but wanted the top to be neat. I sandwich the straps between the right sides of the two fabrics, stiched around the whole thing, turned the floral print to the inside and pressed it. I should have taken pictures, because I'm not sure what I just typed makes any sense to anyone but me. Sorry.

Enough for tonight. I have laundry that is waiting to be folded. I'd rather keep blogging.

{"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10}

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Back in Business

There is a fun little antique mall in town and I called last Thursday to see about booth fees, etc. The owner informed me that she just had an opening and I could "move in" on Monday. I felt the rent was quite reasonable and so I decided to go for it. I really had to get busy getting things ready, but by Monday evening I was back in business! I took a few pictures but they didn't turn out well - it is pretty dark in there. I'll try again this next week.

Since I am selling again (already made over half my rent!) I figured I might need to step up the buying just a bit also. You know, I have to make sure to keep that booth full. The garage sales and thrift stores were pretty good to me this week. I found some things to sell and, of course, some things to keep.
My son and I were talking about how nice it would be to take a nap on the porch with these cool temperatures we've been having. This cot will make that possible.
Some linens are drying on the drying rack I got this morning.
Some pictures, a camp stool (that needs the canvas replaced) and some badmitton racquets....This stuff was all super-cheap. The pictures are nothing special, but the frames were worth it. I think the large one would make a great chalk board or inspiration board.
This is just a small sampling of the trims and laces I bought. There is actually a whole box full. Some really fun stuff!
You might want to enlarge this picture. Here is what you are looking at: little metal feeders, vintage fabric, a lunch pail with owls on it, shoe forms, a peg rack and a wooden stadium chair. I am thinking that the feeders might make fun fall decorations - maybe add some mini pumpkins, leaves, etc.
I wish I would have taken a better picture of this stadium chair. It is really neat. I might hang it in my booth and use it as a shelf.
Here is a better look at the fabric.
Isn't this a sweet little sewing rocker? It is going to the booth. I don't have room for more furniture here.
This silver tiered stand is very tarnished but I will probably leave it that way for now. On it are some of those little candle holder clips for Christmas trees. There are more of those and the candles to go with them. I will put them in my booth later on. I have a project planned for the silver shoe forms. I'll show you when I complete it.

Some of the things I bought Friday morning I have already priced and taken in to the booth. I forgot to take pictures. There is the sweetest little vintage child's pinafore apron. I wanted to keep it, but I don't need it.

We got several inches of rain last week, but the winds never got too bad. We have been enjoying the wonderful temperatures. It is so nice to open up the house and let the cool breezes blow through.

Are you having a good weekend? I sure hope so!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grab Your Favorite Mug....

....and follow me! We aren't making coffee (yet). We are making "the most dangerous cake in the world." Prepare yourselves!
We don't need a mixer for this cake, so just keep it covered.
Are you ready? Here goes....

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 T. flour (not self-rising)

4 T. sugar

2 T. baking cocoa (I use dark - dutch processed)

1 egg

3 T. milk

3 T. oil

3 T. chocolate chips (optional) (Are chocolate chips really ever optional?)

A small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to your favorite mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Add the milk and oil and mix again. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and stir once more. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. Please note: the cake will rise over the top of the mug but don't be alarmed! (Actually, mine didn't because my favorite mug is oversized.)

Allow to cool just a bit. Just enough time to grab your other favorite mug and pour a cup of coffee. Get a spoon and dig in! Enjoy!

Why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now you are just 5 minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or the night!

I have just one more thing to say. Shame on my friends who emailed me this recipe.

{"Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib (or chocolate cake) served in hate." Proverbs 15:17}