Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I had fun over the weekend going to a community garage sale. Now that I'm not in business any more, I don't buy half of what I used to--so I'm buying stuff that I need, or at least pretend I need. (Like the date bars and peanut butter cookies.)

Yardsaleloot The magazines were a steal at a nickel each, 3 new cat bowls, a make-up bag, doilies up the wa-zoo, Rubbermaid spatulas, a veggie brush, pumice stone. The Mary Engelbreit book was only 50 cents.

Why do I need a wedding guest book? I'm going to put something over the top and use it for another purpose where I want to collect names and addresses. These things are sooo expensive new, that I buy them whenever I find them. This one was only a dollar.

Cottage_barn_starWe also decided to get a barn star for the family cottage. It was a great price but the wrong color. Luckily, I had a can of Ivory Silk paint. Four coats later, and it looked good. I had to get on the ladder to hang it. That was a little scary--but I'm a brave woman. Now I'm wondering if it should be lower. What do you think? (See my beans on the left side of the picture!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Whoa! Is it Thursday already? I meant to post this on Monday. Where did the week go?

Last weekend I was able to put the corner cabinet back in its place. I wanted to give it time for the paint to harden before I put anything back on it.

If you'll remember, it was originally painted forest green. I saw this "leapfrog" green in a magazine and though it might make a nice contract in the yellow bedroom. I really like the way it turned out. What do you think?

Corner_cabinetps_2 Corner_cabinet

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I've posted four things on Criagslist so far and for the first two I had people who e-mailed me and said they wanted them. Then they found out how far away from them I am and decided, "eh, fuhgetaboutit."

Last week I posted two of my display pieces from my old booth at the antiques co-op. I didn't even get one call or e-mail. I posted best offer, but apparently nobody wanted my little orphaned pieces.

Hubby says it's time to take them to Goodwill.


Monday, June 30, 2008


Not much to post about. I spent the weekend painting my corner cabinet, but I didn't want to put anything on it until the paint had hardened for a few days, so I will post a picture next week. I forgot to take my other paint, so I didn't get all my projects done. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions ...

Meanwhile, it's a holiday week! Wow--can it almost be 4th of July already?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I've been inspried by DonnaLynn over at Blushing Rose Antiques. She spent the weekend painting everything in sight -- and boy is she good at it. I aspire to have a yard like hers (weed free with lots of flowers) and a gorgeous house.

To that end, we did some major weeding yesterday, and hung the plants we bought over the weekend. This is the first time we've had hanging plants. I don't even know what they are, but they are pretty. We also planted tomatoes and the first of our annuals (really late this year).

I'm getting psyched to spend the weekend painting. I've got my corner cabinet (mentioned yesterday), a small hanging shelf (which is currently blue and will soon be Ivory Silk), and we're going to paint the cottage bathroom. It's currently got paneling halfway up the wall, and then embossed (white) wallpaper. We're going to paint it "asparagus" green. If we hate it, we'll replace the paneling with beadboard. (Yeah! That's what I really want.)

Paint_3 I also want to seal our home deck. It's been years since I did it, and it really is in need. First I have to scrub off the green, which isn't really mold...is it? Anyway, it needs to be cleaned.

In the meantime, I need to do my freelance job. Where will these hours come from?

Monday, June 23, 2008


The weekend yard sales were a bust! I must have gone to at least 10 of them and hardly bought a thing. I did get four beautiful old handkerchiefs for my mother (for a buck), and two heart-shaped cake pans for the same price, but the real prize was 8 issues of the old Victoria Magazine for 75 cents. (Such a deal!)

Victoria1The truth is, I already HAVE all but one of these issues, but I figured if I left the duplicates at our family's cottage, I could read them again on a rainy afternoon (with a cup of tea, and a cat on my lap).

I have projects I want to accomplish, and most of them involve painting. For instance: I have an old display piece from my antique co-op days. A corner cabinet. This cabinet was painted a god-awful shade of forest green, with a high-gloss finish. I saw in a magazine (Country Home?) a dresser painted a vivid green, so I decided to go for that color for the cabinet. I started the job by painting the cabinet's door with a white primer, and then did two coats of the bright green, but didn't get a chance to take a photo. If the weather cooperates, I'll paint the rest of the cabinet next weekend.

In the meantime, here's the before picture. Corner_cabinet1 All the items on the shelves were bought at yard sales for $2 or less. (I love a bargain!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yesterday was kind of sad here. We reluctantly decided to have one of our trees taken down. It was a soft maple. In the spring it shed seeds, and then afterward, seed stems. In the fall, leaves. The seeds and stems played havoc with our gutters. They were always full. You'd clean them of seeds, and weeks later they'd be full of stems. When we had our roof replaced last year, the gutter problems were at the heart of it.

The tree was also planted much too close to the house. We'd have to pay to have it trimmed every year just to keep it off the roof.

Notree_2 So, tree man came and the tree went.

Now our deck is exposed to summer sunlight, probably for the first time in twenty years.

The deck needs work. It hasn't had water sealer on it for a number of years. That's next on my list of things to do (when I can walk properly again). We may have to get an umbrella or an awning, but the truth is, we don't use the deck much because we have an enclosed porch and like to sit there with our kitties.

Look what I bought at a church sale last week--for a dime! I got some alyssum for it and hope it likes its new home.


Thursday, June 12, 2008


The walk from our enclosed porch to our deck was getting hazardous. At one point (before we moved in), I suppose it was landscaped. We yanked a rug juniper out several years ago. But because of the nearby maple tree's roots, and some pavers that had sunk and were sticking out at all angles--and because it was a weed patch--we decided to put in a little brick patio. (It would also discourage the critters that like to live close to the house. Toads, mice, whatever.)

Bricksalmostdone_2Here's what it looked like this morning at the 90% completion stage. They should finish up later today. And then there'll be no more tripping hazard.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I've been having a lot of fun finding new blogs to read. One I found yesterday is YARD SALE BLOODBATH, which shows a lot of weird and wonderful things found at yard sales. Since I also love reading mysteries, I was drawn to the name. Okay I don't read thrillers where there're serial killers and a lot of blood and guts, but I can imagine that fistfights might break out at a yard sale.

Meanwhile, where am I going to find the time to read all these new blogs as well as some of the old? You'll see under my favorite blogs that I read several that pertain to books. I love to read Mary Kay Andrews's blog. She often talks about her junking expeditions and her vendor's booth on Tybee Island (Maisy's Daisy--the same name as her character's shop in Savannah Blues.) I've read all but her newest book--will have to get my butt to the bookstore soon to get it.


Meanwhile, here's my picture of the day. It's the china cabinet in my dining room. Because of the angle, it looks like it's about to fall over, doesn't it? The room is small and is stuffed with furniture (except for that wall), so I couldn't get the angle in right. I need to play with my camera some more.

The china on the second shelf belonged to my grandmother. The china on the next three shelves are called "Silver Maple" by Royal Albert. My mother had a tea set of it, and I always loved it. So one year with my "bonus" money from work, I bought various pieces from one of those "replacements" houses, since the company had long since stopped making it. I have to admit, I rarely use it simply because it has a silver band and isn't dishwasher safe. But I never tire of looking at it.

The stuff on the top shelf is mostly stuff I've picked up at yard sales and junk shops.

That pewter platter above it belonged to a friend of my father's. Or rather that friend's mother. It's really old now (friend has been dead at least 40 years), and it's a little banged up. That's probably why I like it so much.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm not usually very crafty, but over the weekend I found a framed piece of quilt in a rustic frame and I knew it was perfect for my Mom, who's a quilter. I added a few sewing things to it and voila! Instant (albeit very late) Mother's Day Gift!Framedneedles

Those little metal corner pieces came from an Emperor clock kit. The buttons, needles, lace, and hook and eyes were yard sale finds. I figured they might come in handy some day--and they did.

I have something similar to this hanging in my laundry room and for years my Mom has admired it. She's asked me to find something like it for her. I'm glad I could put all these elements together and hope she likes it.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Last year we had to have the roof replaced. We kind of waited a bit too long and had some water damage in our entryway. We didn't get around to fixing it until now. So all the spackling is done and what are we left with?

Chipcrop2Choosing the paint color.

Unfortunately, hubby and I had a bit of a disagreement. I wanted a lighter tone--still in the terra cotta range, but he wanted something darker. (Sinister?) And you can forget the yellow and green range 'cause it ain't gonna happen.

The chips were up for a couple of weeks before he made up his decision (bottom row, third from right).

Oh well.

That said, he bought a gallon and is now hoping he'll like it on the wall and if not ... well, it was only a gallon, right?

Thursday, June 5, 2008


The garden is coming back to life. It's wonderful to go out there every day and see something new has popped up or is blooming.

These are one stand of our Irises. Every year they seem to change color. Last year they were a deep purple. Aren't they pretty?


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Okay, I admit it. I like kitschy stuff. And I like cute. And I'm trying to declutter my life while accumulating more. Go figure!

I was thinking about that $1 box lot with all the figurines I got on Saturday. Definitely kitsch. And very little I want to keep. So why did I buy it? (Yeah, the little bride and groom, but I could have offered them a quarter and not taken the rest.)

Coop_0411_3_2I wonder if I filled my (former) booth at the antique co-op with too much kitsch. I admit it, I often felt the need to "rescue" kitschy things. And since I made my rent on smalls, I didn't have to invest a lot of money in this kind of stuff. (But then it turned out I often made my rent on used books. First Romance was hot for me, then it cooled right off and Mystery took off.)

I find myself buying too many things to hang on the walls. And decorate shelves. I find it hard to part with some stuff. But junking is a release from my "day" job, and I sure miss having a booth at the co-op. *Sigh* I've tried to sell stuff on Craigslist, but my first two forays haven't been entirely successful. (In fact, my first listing was for something that's absolutely free. I had a taker, but she never came to pick up the item.)

But I won't give up--at least not yet. I have too many leftover pieces from my booth to part with--and hubby is getting sick of looking at my old display pieces.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I'm still getting used to downloading pictures from my camera. Mind you, I've had this camera almost three years, but hubby always downloaded the pictures. I decided it was about time I learned to do it myself.

We hit a Community Sale first thing Saturday morning. All the "press" said it began at 8 a.m. We got there at 8:10 and there was no one there. Including people selling their stuff. I glanced at the few offerings and back home we went to wait for 9 a.m. and the other sales listed in the Shopper.

BridegroomsspNot a great day for junking. As a collector of wedding cake toppers, how could I pass up this little girl and guy, Made In Japan salt and pepper shakers on their little wooden bench, and a steal at a dollar.

We went to several other sales and there was just nothing worth getting. (Bummer.) Then we stopped at a pretty big sale in Wolcott. They must have had several hundred Avon perfume bottles, glasses, whatever--still in their original boxes. And since they were cleaning out a house, they'd put just about everything else in box lots that ranged from $1 to $3. I ended up with two box lots. The first didn't have much. I bought it for the five vintage pennants (which I neglected to photograph)--the rest went right in the trash. Cost: $1.

Boxlot_2The second box was a lot more fun. I bought it just because it had--what else?--another bride and groom. (Also Made in Japan--and probably older.) But what a treasure trove! The little kid figurine walking the dog, the parrott, the two metal coasters, the Made In Japan Indian, etc. Of course, I'm probably not going to keep them all. (Although I am partial to that green dog coaster.) There was a LOT more than this in the box, too, but it wasn't worth keeping. Cost for all this stuff: $1.

I also bought some cake pans. You know what that means...Coconutcake508

Friday, May 30, 2008


Today I went to a rummage sale. I love these church sales. Lots of people donate all kinds of stuff, and if you go early enough, there's lots of really good and sometimes unusual items to choose from.

I bought a lamp with hand-painted ivy leaves (I wonder why?), but alas, no shade. I'll probably have to rewire the thing, too, as it looks like the cord is pretty brittle, but it's very cute. I'll look for a shade at other garage/tag sales before I succumb to buying a new one. (Heavens! The expense!) I bought two brand new purses (tags still on them) for a buck, a hand-painted light switch plate for 50 cents, and best of all...a carved swan. Isn't it adorable? Now how could someone have parted with that?

Swan1_2On the way home, I stopped at another sale and bought a pink lamp with a shade for 50 cents. (No need to rewire, either.)

I've got my Saturday garage sale route all planned. I hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Back in March, I gave up my booth at a local antique co-op. What with the economy and all, people just weren't buying antiques and collectibles--or at least enough of them for me to make my rent. This trend started more than a year ago and it just came time to give it up.


Of course, my booth was never as cool as I wanted it to be. First of all, I never had the money to invest in the kind of stock I wanted to sell. And there's no guarantee if I had better stock that I would have had better sales. (Many of my co-op neighbors had the kind of stock I wanted to sell, and they weren't doing any better than me.)

I bought most of my stock from garage/tag sales. I used to start shopping for stuff I could resell in early April, going to any and every garage sale. With the price of gas, I haven't been to many sales this year. But this weekend (with gas finally reaching $3.99 around these parts), we did make the rounds.

It's painful not to be able to buy the stuff I normally would. I saw so many vintage orange juice glasses in mint condition for a quarter (which were guaranteed to sell for $2.99 each...eventually), and jewelry, and dishware, and Pyrex and....

But now I'm "shopping" for other things. My family puts in requests and I go find them. My mother collects hankies with crocheted edges. Got two of them for her on Friday. Dad has broken a number of glasses. Got six of them for him. Hubby wanted a meat tenderizer. Got one of them. For myself, I'm looking for blue plates. (I'm decorating a bedroom and have chosen blue and white plates.) Found a really old one for a quarter and, even better, a bag of plate hangers (at least 15--they're a bit tangled) for $2.

A Little Princess A portion of my booth was devoted to used books. I can't stop looking at all the titles when I walk into a sale, and Saturday I found something I've been looking for for about a year: a beautiful hardcover edition of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (illustrated by Tasha Tudor) for fifty cents. (I've already read half of it. I'd seen two movie versions of the story, but never read the book.)

And then the holy grail of my searches: 1950s "Made In Japan" Christmas figurines. First up, a Santa & Mrs. Claus sitting on a see-saw music box; wind it up and it plays "Jingle NOELSanta Bells" while the Santa and Mrs. bop up and down (for $2). And then at the North Rose Ladies Auxilery sale at the fire hall, a duplicate of what started my collection about 15 years ago: a Santa and reindeer "candleabra" that spells out NOEL. Now, do I really need a second one? Of course not, but it was only a buck. In mint condition--IN THE ORIGINAL BOX!!!!!!

In all, I spent less than $10, but boy, what cheap entertainment.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Dream House

One of my favorite TV shows is This Old House. I marvel at the amount of effort they go through with their rehab projects. Currently, PBS is airing reruns of a shingle-style home in Newton, Massachusetts. The couple outgrew their house and didn't want to spend a lot of money adding on to the house. Instead, they bought a HUGE home that just needed a little work.

Little? My god, for what they spent on that rehab, I could've bought five houses! Where do these people get that kind of money?

Stained glass door But I love the show anyway. I love the "hosts" (Kevin, Norm, Tom, Rich and Roger--hmm...no women). I love the attention to detail. Last Saturday I watched a rerun of a show I'd missed. It concerned stained glass restoration. Wow. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. If I had some kind of crafty talent (which I don't), I'd be interested in trying stained glass. (Maybe I should take a class anyway?)

I love watching home renovations. This Old House takes months for these rehabs, unlike other rehab shows that take an entire house and fix it up in 30 minutes. I learned with my very first house that every home improvement project takes 6 million hours longer than you expect.

I live in a contemporary ranch and I would DEARLY love to add details like crown molding. My husband doesn't agree. Therefore, anything I want to do in that direction would need to be accomplished at our summer cottage. Unfortunately, I don't have any "building" skills, either. (Hmmm.)

TRex house Our entire neighborhood is nice, but pretty much...well, boring. And our neighbors to the south are making their house even MORE boring by ripping off all the cedar shingles and replacing them with vinyl siding. Beige vinyl siding. (Our house is unique to this street, which is at least a tad more interesting.)

Logans run I don't know about where you live, but here any time a new neighborhood goes up around here all the houses are ugly (do these builders ever hire real architects to design these houses--and if so did they graduate with mail-order degrees?), outfitted with white, beige or gray vinyl siding. All of the fronts of these houses are dominated by a double (or triple) garage. All the mature trees are ripped out and twigs are planted. (We call these developments "Sunny Acres," and there sure are a lot of them.)

When I first thought about owning a home, I wanted an old one. Preferably a farm house. All three of my homes have been one-story buildings--one a shotgun, two ranch houses. Don't get me wrong. I love my house. I just wish the details were more, well, girly. Hubby doesn't agree.

Maybe I should have married a woman.