January 29, 2015

First Efforts

Hello, peeps,

I hope your week is chugging right along. Yesterday I worked on my first tries for everyone's favorite holiday in February by making valentines. Here is one:
To this cute little felt coin purse was added this sentiment:
For my youngest daughter I made this. It began with a clear plastic box that once contained something that was saved after the contents removed. Here it is ready to go:
The tissue paper was from a thrift shop and the xo cut from another package. Inside is one of these:
It's special too because the brand is the same name as the brother closest in age to her, Theo. Okay, that's two done. Stay tuned for more to come. Do you enjoy Valentine's Day? It's always seemed like such a cheery spot in an otherwise dull part of the year, far from Christmas and nowhere near spring and Easter, that life without it would be dreary indeed.

Keep calm and heart on!


January 28, 2015

A lot of to do for a redo

Hello, all,

We are having lovely weather here right now. I wish it was possible to ship some of it to Massachusetts and other parts of the northeast and give those poor folks a break. I stayed home all day and besides making a start on valentines, worked on this small project. It began with this:
a little box that has held paperclips for many years.
With the aid of:
and this for lining:

and some supplies already on hand, it turned into:
a miniature suitcase for some lucky doll or mouse to take on a trip. Or perhaps be filled with chocolate to brighten someone's day on February 14. My projects don't often turn out as perfectly gorgeous as those of many other bloggers, but it's still fun to try. Except now, when it's time to clean up.

Gotta go,

January 27, 2015

Coming Soon

Hello, friends,

I am thinking about you and sending prayers your direction if you live in the area where the massive snow storm is. Take care and stay warm! Of course, this month is January, so a certain amount of cold weather is to be expected, which is one good  reason for thinking ahead to February. It's short, but does take us a little closer to spring. Soon I will go into heavy Valentine's mode, but today my thoughts turned to another event in that month, Mardi Gras. 

Here are a couple of things to celebrate that:
Last year I made this:

It's a portable Mardi Gras kit made in a mint tin. You have beads, confetti and a crown that can be carried in your pocket. Now I'm wondering how soon is too soon to put the one on the dining room table. Hmmm.

That's all there is to report here. Have a good one!


January 26, 2015

A little more door

Hey, how's it going so far? I hope everyone in the northeast is able to get home and stay there during the storm that's coming.

Today I went to Family Thrift and among other things, bought a wicker satchel, shaped much like a brief case. Its new home is by the front door, although the contents haven't been decided upon yet. Here it is:
It was one of their signature prices, $2.92, so not a bad deal. 
You can never have too many baskets, right?

Are you getting impatient to think about Valentine's Day like me? I am ready to *red* up the place, big time but am trying to wait till February gets here. 

Be safe!


January 23, 2015

In and out

This is just a quickie to show you where the hankies wound up, in my closet.
I want to make more of these but alas, found neither hoops or hankies at the thrift shops checked out today. Maybe next time.

Have a great weekend!


January 22, 2015

Soggy Thursday

Hello, people, from wet and rainy Houston. Nice to get the precipitation, unless you have to be out in it; that's not much fun. I scuttled home as quickly as possible after Bible study was over this morning and was glad to get inside and pt on dry, warmer clothes. Did the shadows in the weather nudge my imagination to make a shadow box from an old drawer? Could be. Here are the elements:
a vintage tin flute with a sprig of green,
a little wooden tree,
a lucky die--for those of us old enough to remember when $64,000 was an unimaginable sum to win on television!

I love this little wooden sofa that was a quarter on my last trip to Manna. It seemed close enough in spirit to fit in with the miniature chairs. 
And there it is together with a little red bird perched on top. Why have dull bookshelves when there's room on them in front of the main contents?

Stay dry!


January 21, 2015

All hooped up

Happy Hump Day to everyone.

No, not hopped up. Don't worry, I haven't started swigging Geritol from a flask in my pocket yet. I've been experimenting with using embroidery hoops to display some of my vintage hankies, and here is the result:
These are fun and could hardly be easier. Plus, they're so light they're a cinch to hang.
This one has a combination of embroidered and appliqued flowers.
This one is a little more flamboyant. It has a wide border of solid green around the edge.
This was the first one tried, a splashy flower print. It's cute, don't you think? 

There you have it, an easy-peasy way to display hankies if you have them. It also seems like an excellent jumping-off place for a Valentine, too. 

Have a good one,


January 20, 2015

Creative Organization

Hello, all,

Like many of you, waste is actually painful to me. It doesn't seem right not to use what we have, or spend $$ on things that end up later in a donation box. Case in point, this:
a nice hanger for pants that seemed like something Mr. B could use. Except he didn't. It wasn't expensive, came in a bag with several other wooden coat hangers that were in service, but still. Then, while working in our bedroom and the closet a light dawned, revealing that scarves aren't a big part of my wardrobe because folded in a drawer it never occurs to me to put one on. Now, hanging on a rod, it is much more likely:
Out of sight, out of mind is all too accurate, and doesn't just refer to people by any means. It's a very minor aha moment, but is working well for me so far.

Take it easy!


January 19, 2015

January Score - 2014

Hello, friends, 

I hope your week is off to a good start. My Monday has so far been dutifully spent at home, cleaning and organizing; sadly, there is nothing wonderful to show off from the effort, but surely credit is given for trying? I hope so!

A lot of bloggers are doing best of posts from the previous year, and I hopped on the bandwagon too. Mine are going to be best score/find per month from last year. 

It didn't take a lot of thought to choose this as the primo pick from January. It was new, with tags still attached made by Jan Constantine. A search on the internet showed one smaller than this, 10"x 14" versus mine which is 18" x  13". The one online was $67. The one in the picture was $2.99. Score! Nothing in the past twelve months has diminished the pleasure it gives me every time I walk past the chair it's currently in near the front door. 

Let's hope we all find something equally as thrilling before the month is over for 2015.

January 16, 2015

Moving right along

from the dining room debacle, today the bedroom got a bit of much-needed effort concentrated on it. I don't know if you have this tendency, but my first impulse is to clean and neaten public rooms and the kitchen and leave our room till it is in a bad way. After removing the terrarium/holiday decor it was clearly time to change that. Since the nightstands are new and fairly neat, the dresser was where the concentration of effort was. 
Everything was removed, cleaned, emptied, wiped or in whatever way necessary sanitized. This was also when I moved the art work up higher towards the shelf.
Here is the shelf. On the right is my first experiment using an embroidery hoop to display a vintage handkerchief. I've picked up a couple more at thrift shops so will experiment with those in the near future. And there you have it. The room also got dusted and vacuumed so is in good shape to finish up on Friday.

May you have a wonderful weekend ahead!


January 15, 2015

Plan B

Hello, all,

Wow, we are nearly halfway through the first month of the new year; as usual, time is flying. Or at least it feels like it when you're this age!

Yesterday the destruction of my attempt to have live plants indoors was revealed. Here is what we're going with now:
Back to fake succulents. The one in the silver cup was found at Dollar Tree this week and is very realistic. It was put in the silver cup, it came in plastic. The others were from thrift shops, as was the Mercury glass container on the right. It has a handle and is almost like a small ice bucket. It was 50% off a $4.99 price tag at Value Village the week after Christmas. 
I like the combination of succulents and silver.
Here are some more fakes, three miniature tea light candles. Their bottoms were wrapped with washi tape to spiff them up a little. 

Today this and going to Bible study were about all that got accomplished, but at least the cats shouldn't be interested in these plants now.

Have a good one!


January 14, 2015

The unrealistic optimist

Hello, friends,

On January 9th, I wrote about this:
my experiment with live plants indoors. That was then.
This is now.
Less than a week later the disaster that shouldn't be such a surprise.
The traumatized plants are back outside. They've got a better chance surviving the weather than our bad kitties. Check back tomorrow for Plan B. Meanwhile, may your projects turn out better than mine.


January 13, 2015

Oh, what a relief it is!

Happy Tuesday, everyone, how is January going for you so far? Cold and wet has been the name of the game here, pretty steadily.

Once upon a time there as an old lady who liked to do crafty things. She wasn't especially good at it, but enjoyed the process, once she got started. That often took a while, because of the struggle to find materials and supplies. A hint read on the internet in one of the multiple articles that always appear at the beginning of each year about organizing changed all that, though. Behold, the new, improved system and admire the new reality here:
A clear plastic shoe bag that hangs over the top of a door from Amazon is the hero. 
Pipe cleaners, paintbrushes, scissors, glue all have their own pockets, and are clearly visible. No more delay to making something because glue has gone awol, or trim nowhere to be found. 
Markers for drawing have a slot and touch up markers for wood furniture a separate one. Push pins and tacks are in baby food jars sorted by color and all the paint samples are together, ready to grab and use. 

Before, everything was in some kind of container, a box, basket or tin, but not accessible without dragging those all out and rooting around, a poor method if there ever was one. It should be light years easier to do anything from now on. Thank you, internet, for suggesting this handy dandy solution to keep many small items available without making a mess!

Have a good one,

January 12, 2015

Let there be dark!

Hello, all,

Before we ever moved here I bought some rods and curtains for the bedroom, thinking that it would be better to have an extra layer between us and the two streets (we're on a busy corner) than just blinds. Mr. B balked. Who knows why, but he resisted a full six + months before bowing to the inevitable, getting out his drill and level and installing the rods. Then, much to my delight, he was furious with himself when he saw how much better we slept with the light and sound blocking material on the windows. It was very difficult to refrain from saying "Well,DUH!" but I managed somehow. Here is the room with the new additions:
The side wall window. The one in the front, behind our bed is a different height. Mr. B. put the rod the same as this one, though.

Freckles seems to be rather skeptical of the project.
One last look. It is a relief to finally get this crossed off the list at last. Now the room is done, insofar as having a rug, appropriate furniture and some relief from noise and streetlights. Now, to start the campaign for a rod in the library and pray it doesn't take another six months! 

That's what we've been doing. How about you?


January 9, 2015

What a day!

Hello, everyone,

I hope you all have power and are warm with the chilly winter weather we're having now. It was sufficiently discouraging to keep me home all day, deeply involved in that horrible experience known as c-c-c-c-c-cleaning. Really more organizing but still bad enough that I'm tired. I spent most of the day working to straighten up and streamline the large closet in our living room all the seasonal and holiday decoration is kept in before stuffing the Christmas stuff out of sight. It was quite a challenge, but is better now, if not perfect. Around midday after stopping for lunch I took a break long enough to fix a display on the dining room buffet. It is an experiment in having live plants in the house. That's never worked out before, because the cats eat them, but this time they're in the terrarium, so perhaps there is a better chance of them escaping the terrible moggie munchers. What do you think? 

Here it is empty. I lined the bottom with broken terra cotta tiles left on the street near our house when a box fell off a truck. Then three succulents from the front area came inside, so now we have:

The one in the blue pot is too tall to shut the top. 

You can see the tiles in this picture.

A little touch of green in the midst of winter is never a bad thing, after all. 

Farewell, Christmas; hello, January. Time will tell if these plants will survive indoors. It's doubtful, but hey, it's a new year; let's embrace new possibilities, right? 

Have a great weekend,