May 31, 2013

Friday Drive By

Hi, folks,

Today I spent hours doing deep cleaning in our utility room, which left me hot, sweaty and tired. That's why there was only sufficient energy left for a tiny, little project. 

These are dead easy to make and a good way to use up small bits of ribbon, too. I read all the time and like to use stiff cardboard bookmarks, rather than fabric or other materials. A fun thing to do is use the prettiest parts of greeting cards, too, which has the added benefit of reminding you of the sender. 

Are you attending a wedding, graduation or family reunion this weekend? We're going to the opening reception of an art show for an artist who's a parishioner at my church, so that should be fun!

Take it easy,

May 30, 2013

A recipe

Hello, friends, how's it going on your end? Today I  thought I'd share a recipe. We first at this at a fancy deli/restaurant decades ago. At some point it dawned on me it would be super easy to replicate this salad at home, so here it is. The ingredients are:
small red potatoes, cooked and quartered;
sliced mushrooms;
broccoli florets;
 and vinaigrette dressing. Toss them together and you have:
this. Cover and refrigerate till time to serve. This has been a huge hit at every potluck it's ever been taken to, and a staple on our summer menu rota. The dressing is oil and vinegar and bleu cheese. Toss again before eating, and adjust the seasoning if need be. The broccoli gets about a minute to a minute and a half in the microwave so it's not completely raw, but still crisp. There you go, super easy and fine to make ahead. Enjoy!

Take it easy,

May 29, 2013

Cloche Encounters

Hello, friends, how are you this warm, wonderful Wednesday? I'm back into my walking routine; maybe one of these days I'll take my camera along and give you a glimpse at our neighborhood.

Today, though, I'm sharing a project copied from Flea Market Style Magazine, here:
It suggested using vases and other containers to make your own cloches.  With two picked up recently at the Sand Dollar, one seen in the  post called Thursday woes, and some other pieces already here, we now have:
As usual, Flossie had to investigate.
It's hard to think of an easier project, especially one with materials you may have on hand already. A vase or glass container that can be turned upside down and something to use as a knob or handle, clear cement and you're all set. I'm already thinking of how to incorporate shells and other summery themed items to use with this pair. 

Do you get a huge sense of satisfaction out of finding a new use for an old item, like I do?

Have a great afternoon,

May 28, 2013

Tuesday, I think

Hello, I hope you all enjoyed your three day weekend. One of the highlights of ours was attending a wedding on Sunday. Thanks to  Dawn at We Call it Junkin' for the idea of adding a pretty candle inside the gift cloche. The event was fun and quirky. To give you an idea, one highlight of the reception was a Beer and Bacon Bar on a mezzanine level above the main room; how cool is that?

All good things must come to an end, though, and Mr. B reluctantly went back to work this morning. After cleaning up the results of him being home three days in a row instead of two, I turned my thoughts to the project that didn't get finished last week. It started with this:
Yes, it's ugly. It probably cost less than a dollar but I'm still not sure why it came home with me. 

We've had spring decor out for the past couple of months featuring birds, but when June comes it's going to get beachy  around here and there'll be a whole lot of seashells instead. So, with the aid of some spray paint and an old map, those revolting cherubs hit the road for good. Now it looks like this:
It's a little better than it was before. The center section will surely be the  spot to set a starfish or shell or candle, since that wrinkle obstinately refused to smooth out, despite me rolling over it multiple times. With summer about to arrive, whose thoughts don't turn to a Hawaiian getaway, and this will help the daydream, since we won't get there in reality.

Are you thinking ahead to trips and travel and wonderful adventures, or are you more of an armchair traveler?

Till next time,

May 24, 2013

Finally Friday

Hello, all,

I hope your week is coasting to a close with plans made to enjoy Memorial Day.

This is a small project. Yesterday I showed you some soap from a local thrift. It is in the middle, the black and white box with a silver sugar bowl on top of it.
Since I'm going to use the very fancy Mandarin orange bar, it won't need the box for long. Its dimensions are 5 3/4" x 2 1/2" x 3 1/4", a nice size. So I upcycled it with some gift tags and a jewelry choker to get this:
I got a bag of 100 new tags once at the Salvation Army store for .99 cents. Two of those covered the logo on the side. The top has a piece with pearls and glass beads on a stretch strap; it was free from a box at a yard sale. 
I think Flossie  is hinting it would be an ideal place to store cat treats, but I was thinking more along the lines of a small gift, a bracelet, key chain, perfume or something like that. It's just a mini makeover, but means this box won't go in the trash and will be ready for a friend on a birthday or other special  occasion.

That's all from me for now; have a wonderful weekend!


May 23, 2013

Thursday Woes

Hey, everyone,

This has been a day of frustration for me. I tried to get on the internet this morning to no avail. Mr. B checked things before leaving the house, assuring me everything was up and running. Except it wasn't. I am trying to use his computer which hasn't been easy. Just to get to the screen to do a new post was an ordeal. Which is a long way of saying since I've been fiddling hopelessly with the computer all day, I've not done a project as planned. All there is time to do is show you my purchases of the week.
These are mostly from Family Thrift. I went crazy with sugar bowls for some reason. One is Homer Laughlin, the pink one is Syracuse and the other is silver. I got a new wallet, , a couple of books,new fancy bar of soap in a box and some books. The Air France toiletries bag is cool. It has two toothbrushes with toothpaste, comb. lotion, ear plugs, shoe horn, covers for headphones and a do not disturb sign.

Today at Sand Dollar (it's right by the church where Bible Study is held on Thursdays, how could I pass it up?) I found a few items too.
They include a few books, a cigar box, big vase, little wooden tree and a Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee mug from 1977. The two pads are from the other day but were hard to see in the other picture. They are new from Punch Studio and have magnetic closures, so pretty cool.

I got a book by Ruth Rendell at the Bering Methodist sale last week. It was the second in her Inspector Wexford series, written nearly 50 years ago now. I read her most recent one last week, and he's still working in 2013. Will that poor man ever get to retire? It looks doubtful!

If things get back to normal tonight (translation: if I convince Mr. B that yes, there is indeed a problem with the laptop and he fixes the issue) I hope to do at least one project tomorrow, inspired by pictures in a magazine.

Now there is laundry to fold and a dishwasher to unload, better get busy.

Have a pleasant evening!


May 22, 2013

Help needed

Hi, friends,

Mr. B and I have a wedding to attend next Sunday and I've got a question related to it.
Remember the cloche in this picture?
I got the couple the same cloche from their gift registry. It occurred to me, fortunately before it was wrapped, that it would be fun to put something inside it, to add some oomph, so to speak. What do you think would be good to use for that? Champagne flutes sprang to mind, but alas, that was the one and only idea. Does anyone else have a suggestion of a cute or thoughtful extra to stick under the glass before wrapping it up?

Coming to you from the corner of Blank and Uninspired, TIA


May 21, 2013

Tuesday Tweak

Hello, all, I hope your Tuesday is going well so far. Today I'm going to share a small adjustment to the recent addition in the kitchen, the cabinet and hutch. First, I added one more item to the display on top. It had two bird cages, backed with a tray. Now the tall tin pitcher seen last week in a table setting has joined them:
It looks better with three things to me. What do you think?
In this picture you can see the other change. Since one shelf is a different color than the rest, until there is inspiration about what color to repaint the piece, there are now doilies covering the edges to make them both prettier and uniform.
I moved things around a bit, too. The silver pieces are in the middle of some glassware, including four mugs I got out and polished. The two smaller ones are family pieces.
This picture is dark, but you can see the doily edging better in it. It has been fun to work with this piece since we got it last month. The extra storage is heaven, and being able to display some things that had been in deep storage for ages is great, too. Small changes aren't very dramatic, but sometimes they can be deeply satisfying, too. 

Do you find minor adjustments, tweaking and rearranging your home profoundly fulfilling at times, even if major renovation or buying furniture or new appliances isn't possible? What would you do with the hutch and cabinet? 

Till next time,

May 20, 2013

Minor on Monday

Hello, all,

Here it is Monday again, however do the weeks go by so fast?

Today there has been a small shift in decor. Remember these?
The succulents in silver containers made a nice effect, and being under the bird cage kept them safe from nibbling kitties. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be doing very well inside. The dining room is in the middle of the house and gets little natural light. They've gone outdoors now, in a different bird cage. Now the table has these:
a selection of glass bottles of various sizes, colors and shapes.

They will do fine as a centerpiece till next month, when it will no longer be possible to pretend summer is not upon us.

I hope your week is off to a great start.

Later, Michele

May 17, 2013

Thrift Serendipity

Hello, everyone,

How's it going with you today? I went to the semi-annual sale at Bering Methodist Church this morning. I didn't get very much, just a few small items, but had a great time browsing and looking around. On the way home I stopped at the Assistance  League store and picked up one paperback before walking round the end of some shelves to see. . . .
It's a pet stroller with a zippered front section to keep your kitty inside. After consulting by text with Mr. B it came home with me. We haven't gone outdoors yet, but there is already considerable interest in this new addition to the house.
Flossie and Trixie are quite intrigued with the whole idea.
The odd thing was just the other day it crossed my mind to wonder if one of these would ever turn up in a thrift shop or at a yard sale, with my conclusion highly unlikely at best. How wild is it that one did show up so soon afterward? Sometimes the thrift angels must be paying attention and decide to oblige and grant a wish once in a while. 

This probably is a good prediction of what we'll be doing this weekend, giving the cats turns at exploring outside, what a thrill! 

Have a good one,

May 16, 2013

Using what I have

Hello, all,

This  is a very modest effort, using existing possessions. We had one of these:
It's a curtain rod with magnets to attach on a surface. Add a can of these:
These are clip hooks with a loop on top originally from Ikea.
Combined they provide a  good way to hang pot holders. They're actually going on the side of the stove, but there's no way to take  a picture of them hanging there.

Tomorrow is the spring edition off the semi-annual sale at Bering Methodist Church, so I'm saving my energy for shopping then. Wish me luck!


May 15, 2013

Hi, Folks,

How's everything going with you today? We had some much welcome rain, whoo hoo!

In a recent post called Thrifty Thursday these fabric covered cork squares showed up:
Today they were introduced to some Command strips and wound up on the side of the fridge:
This is right above the new wine bar location. Actually, today I found another square in a similar, coordinating print, but ran out of fasteners, so it's still waiting to be hung. And here they are in use:

It never hurts to have space to stick things up so they don't get forgotten, does it? I know it's not done by decorators to put things on the refrigerator, but in a house this small with little wall space that's a luxury we can't indulge in. Not to mention the price was definitely right at .60 cents each. Have you found anything while thrifting or at a yard sale lately to use for storage or display? Isn't that a great feeling?

Have a good one,

May 14, 2013

Rare Table Sighting

Hi, Peeps,

I usually leave table settings to my fabulously talented friend, Tricia, who can be found at Some recently purchased cheery bamboo striped place mats tempted me to venture into those uncharted waters.
The centerpiece is a tin pitcher from the Sand Dollar with some eucalyptus in it flanked by pale yellow candles, also from SD in inexpensive glass holders.
The bamboo mat is striped in bright, primary colors, which seemed a great companion to the bright flowered napkins that came from a yard sale several months ago. There is a plain white plate with a polka dot salad plate on top of it, a gift from Tricia. She never hesitates to enable my love of red. It's kind of hard to see, but there is a blue wine glass too. The silverplate belonged to my in-laws and I don't know the name of the pattern, although it's fairly common..
That's a little closer look to give you a better view. The combination of stripes, flowers and polka dots all together makes me happy.

Are you an all neutrals type of person or ready to let color run riot like me? It may not be the stuff of magazines and designer looks, but it's fun, and fun is always good, right?


May 13, 2013

Nothing but Cats

Hi, Friends,

I hope you're all enjoying a May day as lovely as the one we have here. 

Today I'm sharing our purry pals with you. 

Trixie mysteriously appeared on the street where we  used to live before Hurricane Ike. Mysteriously because she wasn't one of the feral colony. She was young, but not a tiny kitten and seemed tame from the start. Since the block was a short cul-de-sac we knew she didn't belong to any of the other neighbors, so her origins remain up in the air. She's good natured, and was very motherly to the latest additions to the family.
The next three are litter mates.
They were born of a very wild mother, Sally Calico in 2006. Butterball was the last captured in 2008, along with her own first litter of kittens.
There she is with her brother, Junior. Junior and Tilly were caught at age six weeks, so have lived indoors since they were tiny kittens.
Junior is a big guy. That table is 33 inches wide and he's nearly that big, even with his puffy tail curled under him.
Their sister, Tilly, is small and still totally feral nearly seven years after coming inside to live.
Butterball had five kittens in her litter. The other four found new homes, but Freckles is still with us.
Minnie has beautiful blue eyes. She came to live with us when a terrific rainstorm was causing flooding. Her offspring both found homes too, even though after an escape attempt they were dubbed the Outlaws, Willie and Waylon.It's hard to believe  she first   got her name because she was such a Skinny Minnie then. Now she's more what you'd call matronly, or let's just say she might need to shop in the Stylish Stout Department.

Freddy and Flossie were born around April 4, 2011 and were found about four weeks later, not long after we lost a beloved orange tabby. We certainly didn't need any more cats, but somehow they wormed their way into our hearts.

Still greatly missed are Tiggy, Buzzy, Pharaoh, Crumpet, Teddy, Nosy and Onslow. Even though the kitty hoard make a lot of messes and are responsible for a fair amount of breakage, it's still impossible to imagine life without them. 

Do animal companions loom large in your life? Have you conceded to decorating around their toys and detritus and resigned to the removal tumbleweeds of fur as a constant in your daily routine? Do your dreams of winning the lottery immediately leap to using some of the proceeds to build a  rescue farm in the country so there would be room for more furry friends? Pull up a chair, then. I think we're going to get along fine!

Take it easy!