April 30, 2013

Fairy Spruce Up

Hello, everyone,

With the weather continuing to be warm and summer barreling towards us like a bullet train, it seemed like a good idea to get a small, simple fix done outside before it gets hotter. Our fairy garden was  showing the effects of winter weather, as you see:

The path had washed away, the tree was seriously overgrown and there weren't a lot of amenities.
That's not a great picture because of the lighting. Let's try again:
That's a little better. The  path has been neatened up and resanded, a pond element added, a birdbath and a gazing ball.
The tree has been pruned and a couple of mushrooms have sprung up. It still needs a couple of more size appropriate plants, but at least now the fairies have a much prettier area to enjoy,should they come to visit.

Till next time,
Michele




April 29, 2013

A Bit More Spring

Hello, friends, may your Monday be as bright and beautiful as it is here today.

You might not remember, but there is an open small briefcase on the top shelf of a bookcase in our living room.It normally holds all kinds of blank and other greeting cards, envelopes and other small paper items. In December it was pre-empted to use for decorating; here is a picture:
It seemed like celebrating spring in a similar fashion would be a good idea, too. Out with the cards and instead:
A little spring-themed potting bench, completed with feathered friends, a china house, small chair with bird and a candle. All of the contents of the suitcase, as well as itself and the other items on the top shelf are from thrift shops over a number of years.
That's the project for Monday. Not a big deal, just an extra hint of the season in one corner of the room, but definitely more fun than tending cat boxes!

TTYL,
Michele



April 26, 2013

A PS Post

Hi, folks,

Are you t-ing gif today? Mr. B certainly is.

This is a kind of follow up to the nesting tables tale. A couple of years ago I got this silverware chest for under $2.00 because it was so beat up:
It was every bit as scratched and bunged up on all four sides as you see on the top.
Flossie saw the problem with glare and tried to assist by blocking the light, but was too small to be very effective. Still, the effort to be helpful is much appreciated.
One application of this magic elixir, though, and voila:
No more damage visible. Is this the greatest product since sliced bread or what?  I'd hoped to do something a little more ambitious, but a lack of sleep last night did away with that plan.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead, with time to enjoy family, friends, yard sales or whatever you find fun. Breakfast tacos and yard sales would make me happy.

See you next week.

Michele




April 25, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

Hi, Friends,

I thought I'd show you a few things bought recently. 
You see books galore and a nice flat sheet
A box and a pitcher and spoons so sweet
Kitty note cards, a cloche like a bell,
A scarf and a penguin and book mark as well
Clothes not pictured for both me and the mate;
Shopping last week has been pretty great!

Thus ends my tribute to April as Poetry Month.

Actually, some of these things are pretty cool. There are four silver plate grapefruit spoons and a sugar shell, made in England. Those were from the .49 cent bin at Salvation Army, less a 25% discount. The scarf  is silk and was made in Italy for Saks Fifth Avenue. The scarf and spoons are on top of a box, which has a pretty  blue and white print pattern with a label holder on it. It is knocked down, like a flat pack from Ikea. The clock is by Marjolein Bastin, and there is a new in unopened box ornament by Mary Engelbreit to come back out in December.

 Flossie checked out the pitcher.
 Here's a better picture of the scarf.

There are two cork squares covered with a lime green dot print fabric that were .60 cents at Sand Dollar. Under the cloche is a magnetic book mark with a picture of a tulip on it from the Metropolitan Museum in NYC that was inside a book, discovered after getting home. The copy of Alice in Wonderland is from 1955 and has beautiful illustrations by Marjorie Torrey. Another shopper at the SD said she still has her copy of that edition and still loves it 50+ years after receiving it as a gift. 
Value Village offered this Martha Stewart sham for .80 cents, and two by Ralph Lauren in a plaid fabric:
That was also where I found a pair of pants in my oldest son's size--not easy, since he's short--but not why they went into the cart. It was because someone had written in permanent marker on the inside waist band "Cameron"; how could I pass up britches with his name on them already?

How are your spring exploits so far? Any special treasures to report?

Till next time,
Michele

April 24, 2013

A Fascinating Person

Hello, all, can you believe there is less than a week left of April? Me either. Maybe the weather where you live isn't all that great yet, and you're stuck indoors. Perhaps these titles can help you pass the time till it does.

For my birthday in January a friend gave me this book:
It is a short but delightful account made more special by numerous photographs. It inspired me to get from the library:
a detailed account of the life of Julia Child. She was an amazing person who lived an unusually interesting life, filled with riveting events and compelling people. Her family, marriage, and most of all, her love of France and French food makes for a enthralling story that was hard to put down. There are several other biographies published about her, too.

Since finishing Dearie I recently picked up at a thrift shop:
It is based upon the chef's letters and those of her husband Paul focused mainly on the years they lived in France from 1948 through 1954. If it's half as entertaining as the other two,  it's sure to be a treat.  I also read Backstage With Julia by Nancy Verde Barr, which added a little more to my stockpile of admiration for this spirited woman.

Mostly fiction is my drug of choice, but these  bios and memoirs are an outstanding exception I would recommend to anyone. To learn more about such a captivating personality is well worth your time and attention, and who knows? It might inspire you to tackle one of her classic recipes, too!

Happy reading!
Michele


April 23, 2013

Succulents, the Sequel

Hello, friends,

When I wrote the Better Late than Never post recently, the project was done in a hurry. It's since dawned on me that the whole birdcage with plants display would look better with a third one included. We all know odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye than pairs, so it seemed like a good idea to fix this before much more time passed. I stopped at the local nursery on an errand run, and the result was this:
While I was gone to get the camera, who showed up but Trixie, Official Snoopervisor at our house:
She didn't appreciate my potting technique and tried her own, which is why there is a handful of dirt on the table in the next pictures.

Flossie, her able apprentice, checked it out, too.
I think this last container may be a silver mint julep cup; Tricia can probably confirm or refute that. I like being able to have some succulents inside for a change, and really like the contrast between their simple structure with the shiny containers. For the record, the dirt has been cleared away and the cats have given up their stakeout and returned to naps now, since no one can figure out how to break into the cage.

I hope you're having a good day and have a chance to do something fun in your house before it's over.

Until next time,
Michele




April 22, 2013

Courtesy of Mr. B

Hi, everyone, and Happy Earth Day to all.

Today we have a yard sale purchase Mr. B made a couple of months ago. He paid $20 for this pair of nesting tables.
He said they'd been left outside. The finish was really bad with lots of scratches and damage when he brought them home.
One application of the product above produced the result you see in the picture. I heard this recommended on HGTV and hustled down to the local hardware store to get some and have been amazed at how well it works. It comes in many shades, so fairly easy to match what you're trying to rejuvenate.
One last shot of the two pushed together. It's a useful and attractive pair, don't you think? The thrifting way of life has found another disciple, bwahahahahah!

May the rest of your Monday be a good one.

Later,
Michele




April 19, 2013

What's Blooming

Hello, folks,

Today I thought you might like to see what's blooming at our house so far.
These volunteer sunflowers showed up underneath Mr. B's bird feeders in the side yard.
There is the first hint of blue in the plumbago bush by the front door. It's an old reliable and will produce tons of flowers before the year is over.
This purple beauty by the corner in the front bed is Porter plant. We had it at our previous house. It grew fast, big and bloomed consistently.
 
The firecracker bush sat like a lump all last year but has suddenly taken off in the past few weeks, growing rapidly and blooming. Perhaps it took to heart Mr. B's threats to yank it up if there wasn't any improvement asap!

We will be adding color to the pots on the steps and there will be at least two types of flowering vines on the fence around the house.  Hyacinth bean has a purple flower and Confederate jasmine a small white star-shaped one. I prefer coral vine, but somehow that request seems to fall on deaf ears around here! Our backyard area is small and gets the full west sun,so we don't try to grow anything back there.

What is blooming at your house? Do you spend a lot of time with your garden, or go in for tough love? Water a lot or depend upon Mother Nature?

Till next week, have a great weekend!

Michele



April 18, 2013

Picture This

Hello, all,

I thought I'd share some things that have been framed lately. This cute painted wooden one has a little elf snoozing on a mushroom surrounded by flowers.
In honor of the current bird decor, a couple of frames were pressed into service:
This is a cute greeting card that coordinates beautifully with the red frame, I think.
This sheet of stamps is perfect for a hot pink bird frame.

This batch of cheery blossoms is really in a silver metal frame, but it doesn't show up that way, huh??
This double matted picture of bowls of olives in a light blue frame works well in the bedroom with the new bedding in the same shades. 

Do you save favorite images in hopes the perfect frame and situation will show up some day? Can finding an old folder be a treasure hunt with new options for decoration? Or do you go both directions, buying frames and holding on to those until the perfect picture appears? 

Until next time,
Michele







April 17, 2013

Better Late than Never

Hi, Peeps,

I hope your day is going well. Mine was improved by a visit from Middle Daughter Mary, in town overnight for work reasons, an unexpected treat for us.

Today I finally got around to a project first planned over a year ago. Being a big old copycat of other bloggers and magazine pictures I got the materials early-ish in 2012, but had been a real slacker about oh, actually doing the few steps necessary. Starting with this:
Cactus soil, pebbles and a silver cream pitcher and sugar bowl. They seem to be the same pattern, bought months apart in different stores. Outside my succulents have been growing like crazy, so a little dividing and we had:


This is the result, but you've probably already figured out why this won't work in the long run. Here is Plan B:
Now they're safe from nosy kitties, not able to be eaten down to the dirt the first time there's no human in the room to shoo off the furry fiends. I think the look of silver and succulents is very cool, and will probably do some more in a couple of other containers waiting to be used. If you have pets indoors, does this pose a problem to indoor plants and cut flowers, or is it just at our house it's nearly impossible?

Have a good afternoon!

TTYL,
Michele


April 16, 2013

Latest Loot

Hi, everyone,

We made a  brief detour out of the thrift desert last Saturday. While running errands we found one estate and one yard sale. Here is most of the haul:
One thing in the picture  wasn't bought then, the bag with the heart of buttons. It was picked up last week. One thing that was bought but isn't in the picture is a large Matelasse spread which is being used as a cover on the sofa. So, the spread, two aprons, three  hankies, one vintage cloth, one linen dish towel, an oilcloth tote bag, one pad of recipe book marks, a pen in a wooden box and old silver spoon were what we bought this past Saturday, with a grand total spent of $7.60. 
The aprons are embroidered and have pockets.
I love this bright linen tea towel with assorted birds.
I couldn't pass up this goggle-eyed cat bag for .50 cents!
This is another thing picked up last week. It has a cute red-check back.
Flossie had to see what it looked like, too.
A close up of some of the detail on this nice vintage tablecloth.
T
This is a wooden pen in its own box, by Structure. The price was still on the bottom, $19.00.
Three flowered handkerchiefs.
This silver demitasse spoon from the old Rice Hotel may be my favorite find from Saturday. 
I've had this a few weeks. It's a little chair made into a lamp that lives on the kitchen counter.
Flossie didn't think much of the first layout, so I straightened out the things till they met her approval.

Perhaps our luck last weekend is a good omen for a lifting of the thrift drought. I hope you'll find some treasures this week, too. Do you typically go out with a list, or instead trust to serendipity?

Till next time,
Michele