Monday, January 30, 2012

thrift junky chronicles { 16 } & catching up


Whew!  The last couple weeks have been ca-ra-zy!  First we got snowed in for a week.  Well not literally unable to leave our house, but still.  And after that we got the flu for a week!  Again!  We just had the flu not too long ago.  I didn’t get it last time; this time, I was in bed for 24 hours in severe pain everywhere.  A friend asked me, “How do you take care of your kids when you are that sick?” I said, “You leave your bedroom door cracked so you can hear if someone is in a life threatening situation.”  Yeah, that was all we could do.  The kids were sick for like two days, then hubby and I were sick the next two days.  We were blessed because our house guests who were already exposed to anything we had were around to keep an eye on the kiddos a lot while Ty and I were dying.  And then one of them got it too.  Whoa.  Glad to be back! 

Anyway, had a couple more good finds at the thrift stores the past few days…

DSC_0512 DSC_0521


cool tree notebook that is unused for $0.99

Le Cruset dish for $2.99

a “Fred” mug  ($1.99 and 50% off) – a must have with two Freds under my roof (hubby and son – family name)

those little tiny loaf pans?  I think I will make pin cushions out of them… still thinking about it.  They were $2.99 for the four which is fine for reselling.

three neat old jars.  No lids or anything, and just marked with a “W” on the bottoms with a circle around it.  They are really thick and seem old and remind me of expensive “found” ones Pottery Barn had this summer.  They were $0.25 each



new vintage threads on wooden spools ($3.99 for big bag

a vintage metal embroidery hoop ($0.99). 

set of mini loaf pans ($2.99)!  I have no idea what I will do with these loaf pans yet other than to hold on to them until I see the perfect organizing opportunity for them, perhaps a bathroom drawer?  And also to make miniature banana bread for the kids to have a tea party.  Side note: my friend Leah looked all over Farm Chicks flea market for these and did not find any.  When I found this I took a picture in the thrift store and texted it to her and might have said “neener neener” at one point.  Is that a sin?  I am pretty sure it is.  Leah will you forgive me? 

Anyway that is plenty of that.  Want to see one non-thrifted purchase?  Some new fabrics to replenish the zippered pouches in my Etsy shop…



Thrift store fabrics (scrap yardage, sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers) make a lot more profit for resale, but these fabrics just had me at hello.  This is why I go thrift store shopping now instead of to fabric stores!  Do you see the fattest piece in the top picture?  It looks like the grid paper AshleyAnn always crafts with – SO SWEET.  Super excited about some combinations with these and some of my current stash, too.  I’ll keep you posted.

I think I might make some of this bag to sell…


It is a photo of a page in the Amy Butler book, “amy butler’s style stitches” which has “12 easy ways to 26 wonderful bags” in it with instructions and patterns.  This one is the “origami bag set” which stands up on it’s own like a long triangle.  So cute.  I would like to sell nested sets of two.  What do you think?

The shop has been going well; since opening about a week ago I have had 4 orders, selling 6 items.  That is decent.  Of course I am already swarming with better ideas; better pictures, different designs, new items… hopefully a lot of it will come to fruition!

Reserved for Sue



Been packaging things cute, that is a vintage sewing pattern I am using as tissue paper in the middle picture – you can get millions of patterns at Goodwill every day.  A long time ago I bought a vintage kitchen scale, only to get it home and realize it is a postal scale!  Now it is coming in handy, so cute and retro too!

Anyway, going out with the kids to join hubby’s family for 24 hours of vacation!  Gotta go!  More this week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

giveaway winner


Well, thanks ladies for entering my little blog giveaway!  I think I got a couple more entries than last year, plus some Facebook shout-outs and a couple new followers, so that’s fun!   =)  AND, I sold a few items in my Etsy shop already!  Yay!  And only one of them was someone I know.  By the way, I put a logo and link over there ---> for my shop.

Okay, I know, I know, what you’ve all -– all six of you -- been waiting for… and the winner is --- Sue G.!  That’s my mom, hahaha.  She wasn’t going to enter but I made her do it.  Good thing, huh, mom?!  She had me keep out one of the tote bags from my Etsy shop so she could buy it, and now she gets the pin cushion she picked out in the giveaway, for free!  Aren’t I nice?  Are my mom and I the only ones who are always owing each other money for this or that or buying stuff from each other?  We are kinda weird, so it wouldn’t surprise me.  =)

Well, that’s all I got for today.  I have a pot roast in the oven and I really want to get started painting some cabinets, but I have a chicken coop to clean, and homeschool to do.  Such is life! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

it’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!!!

Okay, so I told you a few posts back that I had gotten four footed milk glass bowls and was making pincushions out of them for my Etsy shop.  But then I thought, wait a minute… a while back I found three in one thrift shop in one day, then the next time I found four… this isn’t just going to keep happening to me.  Maybe I should keep this nice, neat little set of four vintage milk glass footed dishes for things like…
the WORLD’s BEST fruit salad that’s like nothing you’ve EVER had before.
I pretty much say that about everything my friend Sandy makes, and it’s pretty much always true.  This recipe is from Sandy, and it is no exception -  have had this three times this week and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
Okay, are you ready to try it yet?  There are three super easy parts:
Fruit: Chop strawberries, apples and banannas.
Sauce: Stir together 1 cup each of plain yogurt and sour cream, plus about 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and about 1/2 tsp. vanilla (more to taste).
Toppings: Granola of choice, coconut flakes, sprinkles.
This serving size was about a cup, so I layered in 1/3 cup bananas, 1/3 cup apples, and 1/3 cup strawberries.  Then I took a large spoon and drizzled on a heaping spoonful of the sauce.  Then I sprinkled on some coconut flakes, followed by granola and sprinkles.  That’s it!
Easy right?  Wait till you try it, it is so darn good.  I had it for lunch yesterday.  And a little after dinner, too. 
Okay, so those little dishes didn’t make it into my Etsy shop, but guess what… a whole bunch of other stuff did!  I finally put my leftover items from my sale into my Etsy shop.  It fittingly called, WillWorkForDecor on Etsy.  Right now it is full of camera strap covers, zippered pouches, teacup pincushions and some art prints.  I will have some vintage plastic signboard letters coming up soon.  I also hope to keep an eye out for thrifted treasures to sell in the vintage section.

And here’s the kicker (boy, this post just keeps getting better!)… head on over to my Etsy shop and pick out your favorite item… leave a comment here, telling me what your favorite item is and (drum roll please?) … you will be entered to win that item! 
You didn’t think I had forgotten about my blogiversary giveaway did you!?  Get over there, pick out your favorite item and leave a comment now!  AND, Follow my blog or give me a shout out on Facebook and you can enter twice (leave two comments).  I will randomly select one winner next Tuesday, and announce it here.  If you win but your favorite item has sold, you can pick another or I may custom make you another.  Giveaway closes Tuesday morning, January 24th, at 8am PST.
(Note: this giveaway is now closed!)

Have fun, ladies, and thanks for reading this lil’ ol’ blog!  =)

Friday, January 20, 2012

productivity at last


I haven’t really been snowed in since the new van is excellent in the snow and hubby LOVES driving in the snow, working on his rally-car-driver-on-a-snow-course-skills, getting sideways and freaking everyone else out.  Whenever we go somewhere I have to inform him constantly, “You know everyone hates you when you drive like this, right?”  He loves every minute of it.  He is not dangerous – he only does it when there aren’t other cars around us, but when they see us coming, then we straighten out and drive normal, they are always staring at us with worried expressions as we drive past.  Sorry people.  We pulled out three people who were stuck… does that make up for scaring the other people?

But school and work have been cancelled for the kids and hubby and myself, and we are all staying home a lot – so there is still a feeling of “cabin fever” even though we aren’t truly stuck here.  As is typical, at first I was thrilled, and now it has turned into long days getting a little boring and the kids getting a little wild.  They had to be pushed to go outside yesterday to get some fresh air – they are apparently over the snow as well. 


We got over a foot; I last measured two days ago at 9 inches, and it snowed at least another 4 inches after that.  Almost over the tops of my boots!  That picture was really hard to take with my 35mm lens, by the way.

Having a borrowed computer (I told you my old one died, right?) without Photoshop on it has shown me I need to be more diligent about getting each shot right,  SOOC (straight out of camera).  I always seem to end up a little dark on my exposures!  Sorry, you’re going to have to put up with it for a bit.  =)


The good news about being snowed in?  It finally gave me some time to get my Etsy shop up and running!  I have about 70% of my items loaded and ready!  It is my goal to get the rest done today, and I will get them all active and blog tomorrow and link you to my little shop!  I’m a little sad I don’t have Photoshop, so I can come up with a better header than the one I have which I made like a year ago, but, it is what it is.

So, until tomorrow … by the way… I have the world’s most glorious recipe to share tomorrow!  It involves fruit, but it is like nothing you’ve ever had before!  You might salivate when you see it.  Or maybe that is just me.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

restaurant style guacamole


There are different types of guacamole. 

Growing up we smashed avocados and used one of those spice packets.  Now, I consider that really gross.

Later, my Mexican friends taught me their recipe, and I would make it fresh with onion, jalapeƱo, lime, salt, tomato, and cilantro.

Now, when I get the craving but am lazy (which might be always), I do it Mexican restaurant style…


I forgot to photograph salt in the picture.  Make sure you use salt.


2-3 avocados

1/2 lime

small can jalapenos

sour cream



Slice the avocados in half, then slice each half, in the shell, into chunks and scoop out with a fork (this accomplishes most of the smashing for you).  Smash the avocado chunks with a fork till creamy.  Add about a teaspoon of the jalapenos (more to taste), a half teaspoon salt, squeeze in a teaspoon lime juice, and a dollop of sour cream, and stir.  Devour.


By the way, those Juanita’s chips are THE BEST.  We are hooked on them, and I refuse to eat any other chip.  Aren’t I horrible?  And when I say “we” I mean me and the Mexicans who live with me – they are their favorite too.  They are so crunchy and not overly salty.  We find them at Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, and I think Safeway.  Sometimes they can be sold out.  I throw a fit and stomp in the store when that happens and grumble under my breath that that company must be making big bucks and why don’t they just expand and make more so the stores don’t sell out and I don’t have to be without their blissful chips for a day of my life  for crying out loud.


This is when you tell yourself avocados are the healthy kind of fat.  =)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

snow days


Greetings from the white and fluffy Pacific Northwest!  We have been playing in the snow since Saturday! 






These photos were taken yesterday but my computer has quite literally died, so I am back on a borrowed computer until I set aside a few paychecks for a new laptop. 

Susie had the sledding system all figured out; just act cute and cold and helpless and like you can’t move cause your mom put so many layers on you, and the girls will feel sorry for you and you will get to ride down the sledding hill every. single. time.



That was her last pass.  I didn’t have the heart to snap her face planting, I switched into mom gear.  Let’s just say it was not a graceful dismount, and Carmen and the sled kept going.  Susie was highly offended.  =) 

Anyway, the snow and the kids being off school kinda threw a spoke in the wheels of me being productive on my few days off.  It takes a lot to entertain kids when they are “stuck in” and when they do go out, it creates so much work dressing, undressing, and drying mass amounts of clothes and shoes and gloves and… yeah.  Regardless, I still love snow days!  Good thing, because today/ tonight/ tomorrow, we are supposed to get up to 14 more inches!!!  

Friday, January 13, 2012

thrift junky chronicles { 15 }


I am pretty sure something is wrong with me.  I seriously cannot think straight, stay on one task, or finish anything to completion.  I am going to be admitted to the looney bin at the age of 40 I think.  :(

At least today I managed to take some pictures during good light for the blog; that is important right?  Actually I did some important things done, but they don’t sound very important so I’m not telling you. 

Anyway, I haven’t shared any thrift store finds in a while so I thought I would share some goodies from my last two trips…


Right before my sale, I found three footed milk glass bowls ($2.99/ea) at one time, and thought that was crazy, and now this time I found four!  They will become pincushions for my etsy shop which I still have not gotten up… I have the stuff… hopefully hubby will let me lock myself in the bedroom Saturday and get everything listed.

The old wooden rack with dividers ($5) in the back is super shadowed – sorry – but it is going to hold all of my ribbon spools, whenever I locate them in my attic.  Here is a closer shot…


I have my vintage ric rac find holding the ribbon’s place for now.  =)

I got that little blue juice glass ($0.69) to use as a tea light holder in my room.


I am discovering that I am moving away from country and more toward vintage with my tastes, so I thought it would be a nice touch in my room, which is stuck in a year long makeover… it is officially on the to-do-list, though!  Progress!

Next we have some books and a sweet blue loaf pan ($1.99)


The loaf pan holds hubby’s fancy new shaving supplies he got for christmas.

That book with the diamonds is titled “Harlequin House”… Harlequin rung bells, and it was copyright 1939 and totally cute, so I bought it ($3) without knowing much about it.  Looking up the harlequin novels, I think they are the quite racy and inappropriate ones… looking this particular one up online didn’t show much – only one identical copy for sale for $9.99 with no description.  I read a few pages and it seemed like all the other historical romance… might have to tentatively try it. 

The Hebrew book is crazy (also $3)!  We briefly studied the very basics of the Hebrew language in bible school at my church, and this book caught my attention…


--that is the FRONT cover of the book!  Hebrew reads from right to left so the whole book situated that way… strange!  Looks pretty on the shelf.

Last but certainly not least we have some material that I couldn’t pass up, since it was a manager’s special -- all linens were 30% off!…


The top one is very drapy and soft, I might try to make a shirt out of it, but it is a square scarf ($2.99), so I’m going to look at Wendy’s video and see if there is a cool way I can wear it.  Let’s face it, it’d be like a year before I did anything with it … is that just me?

The middle is a set of sweet vintage pillowcases (set $2.99) that will make great “go but not matchey” pillows for my bed [cough] if I ever get my quilt done!!!

And the bottom is actually a set of fitted and flat queen sheets (set $6.99) which are making their way into my bathroom makeover…


It makes an excellent shower curtain!  The one I wanted at Tarjay was $20 and I needed two because I have another project in this room, so getting this set instead at the thrift store saved me $37!!!  Awesome. 

What is not awesome is losing Susie’s last pacifier and starting potty training the same day…


For some reason she seems to have stage fright and keeps pointing her finger and saying “Hey, get that camera out of here!”… I don’t know why.

But things are looking up, I just found out I am off today through next Tuesday!  WOOT!  WOOT!  Maybe I can get some things done around here and share them with you!

Until then, remember, always wash your hands…



Thursday, January 12, 2012

my christmas surprise story

Update: sweet Nicole sent me pics!  See below!

I am finally sitting down to write the story of my surprise on Christmas Eve.
First you need a little background story.  This is how my husband handles surprises.  It is the story of our engagement in a nut shell… 
Hubby wants to go on a little hike. 
We drive to it. 
Road is snowed in, so little hike now = very long hike. 
I don’t want to go for womanly reasons, if you know what I mean. 
He pushes me to go. 
I say no. 
He says, “Fine, I’ll give you your ring some other time.” 
Horrible, right?  I know he just cannot keep surprises like that.  So I never expect them from him.  Well now he has proven me wrong, in a big way…

Christmas Eve morning we packed up and rushed out of the house to head to my folks’ in the mountains.  We had to stop for diapers and my hubby said we could go to Fred Meyer and go to Starbucks, which he calls “Fivebucks” and only justifies going there if it is a road trip, date or special occasion.  =)

First, I asked him to swing by my work so I could give them their Christmas card which also had a gift in it.  He asks, “Do we have to?”  “Yes,” I said, “it’s Christmas Eve; I don’t want to give it to them late when we get back.”  So he drove me there and said, “We’re just going to put it in the mailbox.”  I was like, “No, that is rude, plus they will see us on the surveillance cameras and be sad that we didn’t say ‘Hi’.”  That is when he stopped at the mailbox, very politely took the card envelopes from my hand, deposited them in the mailbox continued down the road.  Well, that was kind of rude, I thought.  I very consciously decided not to pick a fight about it.  We went on our way.

As we get close to Fred Meyer and Starbucks, he pulls out the Flip camera and asks me to clean it off because the lens is dirty.  I clean off the lens and give it back to him.  He tries to turn it on and sadly complains that the batteries are dead, “Oh man, I wanted to film you getting your Christmas present at your parents’ house.”  I’m thinking, then we will get new batteries there, why are you stressing out?

Then we round the corner to Starbucks.  I notice a van with excessive Christmas decorations on it, and before I am done processing that, Ty exclaims, “Who is that!?” and I see it is one of Ty’s friends, odd seeing him here Christmas eve, I think.  Until I realize what is even more odd: he is running across the street to a whole ‘gang’ which happens to be quite a few of our close friends and family, and as it dawns on me that I might be the target of some horrible –gasp- surprise that everyone but me knew about and will involve people staring at me for a prolonged period of time, which is my worst nightmare… I look back at that van and read the sign in the front window (I saved it and took a picture of it later so I could remember)…


…and start balling.  And proclaim over and over while crying that Ty is “so mean”.  And hide my face in my coat.  And tell Ty that I hate him.  And finally get out of the van and stand there crying while everyone stares at me.  They must have wondered if I didn’t like the van. 

When I was done making a fool of myself, self-consciously wiping my face and trying to check out the van while knowing everyone was staring at me, we all went into Starbucks and spent five bucks on a drink and visited for a while.  It was lovely, and I did kiss my husband and tell him I loved him and I loved the van and I did not, in fact, hate him, but never to surprise me again.  ;)

After it was done, hubby couldn’t believe I hated surprises, and said, “Would you really rather not had our friends there?”  I told him honestly, “If it was all about me, yes.  But you worked so hard for this surprise and wanted to share it, so I am glad they were there to share it with us.”  Plus many of them helped clean the van, hide it, make excuses for him while he detailed it and one of them brought it there for the surprise, so it was nice of him to include everyone.

And now I am cruisin’ the mom van in style…


It is 4 years newer than our Jetta and 7 years newer than my old van.  Everything was broken, and I do mean EVERYTHING, on the old van, so this one seems like a space ship compared to a wagon, seriously.  It is lovely and I feel super blessed and spoiled and still cannot believe that my hubby pulled off this huge surprise, saving all year, doing side jobs and lying telling me that he only made $100 in a whole weekend, and stashing the rest away for months and months!  I am blessed to have him taking care of me!

Thanks Nicole, for sending the pics, they're great!  =)

The End.

Friday, January 6, 2012

photo for grandma


I thought I would share the product of a seriously last minute photo shoot we did of all my mom’s grand kiddos…


My sister-in-law and I rounded up the kids on Friday before christmas and did the photo shoot in about 5 minutes in my pasture.  On christmas, after we opened presents, I showed mom on the computer – super ceremonious, huh?  But, we got the job done and brought a smile to grandma’s face!  I gave her a few different edited versions of my favorite shot, with and without the text. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

gift ideas { hop scotch mat }


This is one of the gifts I made for some little friends for christmas…


It’s a handmade hopscotch mat to provide hours of healthy, energy-burning play indoors…




It was super cheap and easy to make (I roughly used a tutorial I pinned on Pinterest).  For the mat, I bought a 4’ x 15’ canvas painters drop cloth from the hardware store for less than $10.  I drew out the hopscotch pattern using a sharpie and a ruler and a 1’ square template.  Then I cut off the excess length of mat and hemmed that edge.  Then I used fabric paint and a 5-cent sponge paint brush to paint on the numbers.  I made three little beanbags (there are three girls) for them to toss.  Done!


It was easy, is very healthy and great for moms when we can’t say “go outside!”  It has been used a few times already.  I imagine it would be a great gift for kids who live in apartments… or in the Pacific Northwest where even if you live on a couple acres, sometimes the rain makes it seem like you might as well live in an apartment since you never get to go outside!  Sorry…  Can you tell what the weather’s bee doing here???  Anyway, I had to share this sweet gift for any time of year, for less than ten bucks!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

gift card wrapping


Hey – I didn’t share this in time for Christmas, but people give gift cards for birthdays, anniversaries and thank-yous all year, right?  It still applies.  It’s an easy way to wrap a gift card…

Take a decorative paper – could be scrap book paper, maps, music, book pages, etc. – and (if needed) cut to about 1.5 times as wide and 3 times as tall as your gift card (my hymnal pages were just the right size).  Fold the bottom edge up, leaving enough of the top showing to fold down as an envelope flap…


With this one fold completed, sew around the perimeter of the paper, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance, using thread color of your choice…


Then wrap your gift card in a little tissue (I used vintage sewing patterns which are printed on tissue, which I got at the thrift store), stick it in the envelope, fold the flap closed and secure with some twine or ribbon! 


Ta-da!  I think this adds a personal touch to giving “impersonal” gift cards!

I ended up slipping this little envelope inside a zippered pouch I made for a gift, and then slipping that inside of an old sewing pattern envelope…



See the sewing pattern envelope?  I just love that look.  Any of these could simply be done with different colored ribbon and would be fitting for any time of year.  This little package…


With a brightly colored twine like turquoise or orange, and no holly berries, or another floral sprig, this would make a sweet package for any time of year.