Monday, July 30, 2007

Grumble Grumble

I can't find the cord for my camera. I know I SAW it somewhere but I can't remember where. Hopefully I'll find it quickly and be back on Wednesday with some pictures from the Wizard Helmet Sweat Shop. Yeah, don't ask. It's just not as interesting with out the pictures.

Anyhoo . . . you can visit here to see the Summer Fun Swap package I sent to Dana! Her pictures are WAY better than my own. I'm sure you are surprised. But since I had already loaded up the pictures of my swap goodies before the cord went missing, let's take a look, shall we?

First up, my crocheted bag:

Yeah the picture is sideways, I'm still having issues with Photobucket. Anyway, I used Lily Cotton Elite which they just don't seem to make any more and that saddens me. The pattern is from this book and is featured on the cover with contrasting ruffles and a wooden handle. I modified the pattern to make a smaller bag.

I lined it with a thrifted sheet. See that pocket in there? I SEWED IT. ON MY SEWING MACHINE. Yes. You read that right. It looks pretty good, too! Well, for me at least. And this picture shows the true orange color of the yarn, it's not that bright tropical orange of the first picture. I filled Dana's bag with orange and yellow beauty goodies like toe separators, lip gloss, shower gel and one of my favorite Henri Bendel candles. Oh boy do I love products!

I also made some fabric flower pins from that same sheet and another yellow and white one also thrifted. I tied them onto a thrifted lunch basket that I really had a hard time giving away. I have never seen one like this before! But I was good and gave it to Dana as I intended when I purchased it. She is lucky. :)

I also included some crafty items like ribbon, embroidery floss, a pillowcase and some buttons I covered with that sheet. Dana seemed to really like the sparkly D I added. I just love those glittery chipboard letters! I have silver and red and find loads of uses for them.

Here is the whole shabang where you can see the Vera scarf and embroidered pineapple napkins I also included. I really had fun putting this package together. I thought I would have a hard time with the orange and yellow combo but when I started looking it seemed to be everywhere!

I hope everyone else is enjoying their Summer Fun Swaps. You can see pictures of many of the swap packages here. We'll be posting details soon over at Sweet Goodness Swaps about how you can vote in our Swap Container Contest!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inspiration Station

So around blogland you'll see lots of way people obtain and organize their inspiration. I myself use Bloglines for my inspiring reads (thanks Sarah!) and keep notebooks of the things I would like to make or replicate.

I always use quad ruled composition books and quad ruled computation notebooks.

Because of the large pages in the computation notebook I use it for magazine clippings and things I've printed from the Internet. You can fit a whole page and still have room for notes in the margin. I use Pritt Glue-It rollers for the adhesive. I love them but they don't seem to last very long. I use the composition books for lists and designing. I like the quad ruled because I make little check off boxes for my "to dos" and also can go by a scale, 1 block equals 1 inch or whatever, for designing. This is a system that works well for me. When inspiration strikes, I just grab a notebook and write it down! I also use red pen as contrast so I'll notice the notes I made right away. Also, I sort of like red pen.

So what else is new? I haven't made any progress on that baby blanket but I agree with the consensus to keep it one color. Thank you all for your thoughts! They were very helpful. Now I'm deciding if I want to keep it at all because it just doesn't seem like a practical blanket for a baby. I just see little hands getting caught in the lace sigh . . . That seems to be the way it goes for me lately, a whole lot of starting and then restarting but no finishing. I did, however, manage to finish this:

It's my favorite baby bonnet pattern and was a custom order from Melissa. She is a photographer and wanted it as a prop for her baby portraits! I'm very excited to see it on film, pretty cool huh? You can visit Melissa's blog here. Her baby pictures are so cute!

So I'm off to Baltimore tomorrow night for my Sister's Fairytale Picnic. I'm really looking forward to it and will be back on Monday with lots of pictures to share. I had such a great time planning my Bridesmaid's Tea Party that I know this will be a fun event as well. Have a fabulous looooong weekend and I'll see you next week!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Hmm . . . Opinions Needed

I started crocheting a baby blanket. I have a few gifts to make for expectant friends and since there are so many cute knit and crochet patterns out there I thought I'd whip up something on the old needles.

Using the Heirloom Lace Throw pattern from Lion Brand I have this:

Hmm . . . well? What do you think? Should I continue on with the blue? It will be four rows of each color alternating and probably with a pink border or should I stick to pink? Or should I scrap it considering it's maybe not as cute as I thought it would be . . . it is incredibly soft though. Thoughts?

And speaking of babies, I told Luis that we shouldn't call our smallest dog, Kaiser, puppy anymore because he's 2 now. It was kind of a joke since I'm assuming Kaiser won't get a complex and honestly I think he thinks is name puppy anyway. Then we are watching TV last night and look over and see this:

Um yeah, still looks and acts like a puppy so I guess the name is staying. :) That's him camped out on my husband's belly by the way, his favorite place. I told L. it's because it's warm and makes gurgly noises. ;)


Today is the day to get those Orange and Yellow swap packages in the mail! If you think you'll be late please let us know at and your partner! If you haven't been over to check out the Flickr site take a peek here. There are so amazing packages going out!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Orange & Yellow in the Summer Sun

Look what I got:

Oooooo what is it???

Why it's a hat box full of sunshine from Dana! She painted it and then decoupaged the top with happy flowers!

Look at all of the goodies! How about a closer peek?

Dana makes hand made soaps and sugar scrubs and lucky me, I got a HUGE set! You can visit Dana's website where she sells her goodies here. The soaps she sent me are Sweet Orange & Chamomile, Oatmeal Milk & Honey and Cinnamon Apple Peach. I can't wait to use them! She also included two lovely orange candles that look homemade to me. Dana?

Before the swap Dana emailed to ask if my house had white accents or black and then she painted those adorable wall ornaments to fit my taste! The black will go perfectly with my butter yellow walls and rich red accents. And see that sweet sunflower water color? Dana knows the artist, Carolyn Molder!

The little quilted pillow has that perfect rustic country look about it and will go perfectly on my sun porch. The floral hand bag is so sweet and look at the appliques! Don't you love the butterflies? Dana thought the pink, blue and white flowers would go well with my crocheted tea cup pot holders. The Noel paper coasters are vintage. And speaking of vintage Christmas . . .

Look at these cute vintage Christmas napkins! They are the 12 days of Christmas and came in the best box. I love them! (I think if you click on the picture it will rotate it properly, Photobucket is being difficult today.) I love the 12 Days of Christmas. Funny story, when we were kids my parents would have a Christmas party every year and the whole family would get together. At some point in the night my Aunt Gloria would assign small groups one of the days in the 12 Days of Christmas and that would be your group's solo in the song. Everyone wanted 12 so they would only have to sing once. :) They taped the song each year and we would listen to the previous years singing before taping the new year. We were awful! The word "caterwauling" comes to mind. ;) Anyway, one year when my sister Mandi was about 4 years old she didn't want us to sing so she sat under the table with her hands over her ears and screaming at the top of her lungs. When you listen to the tape you would hear everyone sing "And a partridge in a pear tree" and then Mandi would yell "SHUT UP!" really loud. Ahh, sweet family memories.

ANYWAY, thank you Dana for such a wonderful swap package!! If you have better pictures of the goodies you sent than I do please post them! I took quick pictures so I could show everyone all of my great stuff.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Luck of the Irish

Hello! I'm back! And boy have I missed you guys. Luis and I had a lovely vacation which was much too short. They always are. I got a touch of sunburn and drank something called a Naked Angel. It was very yummy. I should go on vacation all the time. ;)

So when I was visiting my parents my Mom asked me to help her go through some things in my Grandfather's house. He has recently moved to a nursing home and they are planning to rent his house to give him a little extra income.

That's my Pop when he was in the Navy during WWII. He was stationed in Saipan. Sorry for the glare, I only thought to snap a shot of the picture I took from his house this morning on my way out the door. I need to scan the photo in I think.

So why the luck of the Irish? My Granny, who passed away in the late 90s, was Catherine Mulaney. About as Irish as they come. I found this in her pantry:

Thanks to my resident Pyrex Expert Sarah, I know this is the Friendship pattern and I believe it's a complete set. There are 5 dishes in all and the lids are intact. The only difference I noted where that the lids of the two large refrigerator dishes are different. You can see it below:

Notice how the bottom large cover doesn't have consistent ridges like the other lids do. Does anyone know if this is the original lid? I'm so excited to have this set!

I have some more things to share from my Pop's house but first, right after we left his house we stopped at the thrift and I found this:

This is the New Holland pattern and this is a large baker, I'm guessing the 2.5 quart. Usually when I see colored Pyrex at the thrift it is badly worn. So I guess I have a collection now! I already had a few of the Butterprint refrigerator dishes but this is the best haul yet.

So what else was at Pop's?

Four pieces of Franciscan Ware that I just adore! It's so pretty. I also found an old box of Christmas wrapping paper and a few pink ornaments that will look great on my feather tree.

And did someone say orange and yellow??

This is all from the thrift store and the orange & yellow pieces you see MAY be part of the prize packs for the container contest winners in the Summer Fun Swap over at Sweet Goodness! Don't you just love that metal pineapple upside down cake pan?? I have a mini cake pan that matches. :) And that table cloth! Usually I don't find something in the exact colors I'm looking for. What a lucky find. And my favorite item from above?

This tiny bunch of vintage velvet millinery flowers was hiding in a bag of fake silk flowers and tiny baskets. :) Yes, it was a lucky day.

So it's good to be back and I'm glad to share some unique finds with you. Now I need to catch up with every one's blogs and get my Summer Swap package out. I'll be seeing you soon!


Monday, July 09, 2007

Long Overdue

Hello! Yes I'm still here. Just been busy with work and holidays and all that. :) How are YOU? I have so much blog reading to catch up on! Hopefully soon you'll be seeing me in your comments section. :)

So no messing around, let's get right to the thrifty goodness . . .

brown "transferware" plate - $2 - I collect these in all colors. It started with a set of blue and white dishes found years ago at a Goodwill. Now I am lucky enough to find one here and there and currently have at least one of each color (brown, green, red & blue) in my collection. We eat off of these plates, they are not displayed.

blue enamel pitcher - 50 cents - cute, blue, little. :)

Lotus Bowls - 79 cents each - these are Pier One and I was very lucky to find four at such a bargain price! I have some smaller lotus bowls, rice bowls I believe, in white and pale blue.

Mikasa Ruffles Basket - $1 - I love white accents and this is nice as a "catch-all" on my dresser.

Maryland tin - 25 cents - as you know, I am from Maryland and was tickled to find this in a Long Island thrift store.

cocktail napkins - 49 cents each - there are 6 of these and only one is a little damaged. I love the tiny blue embroidery.

blue & white mug - $2 - just pretty I thought. From Harry & David. I have a small blue and white plate from there that this matches pretty well.

egg cups - $2 - originally from Marshall's and already stashed away for next year's Easter brunch.

Pyrex gravy boat - $3 - I have another one of these in a different pattern. I am planning to put small plants in them for the kitchen. Maybe herbs. Cute, no?

frame - $1 - this is one of those vintage frames I just adore. That brown in the frame edging is wood. I have one that is just the same but has mother of pearl in the edging. I think this one will hold a picture of Luis as it's quite masculine don't you think?

sea shell box - $2 - I plan to gift this. I may have a thing for little boxes. Maybe I plan to keep this LOL

linen tea towel - $1 - Mom's ARE special.

hot pad - 49 cents - you can never have too many of these. I thought this one was particularly cool.

green depression glass champagne glasses? - $2 each - champagne? sherbet? I don't care, I love the color of the glass. I do think it is vaseline glass though not really sure. The rims are a bit chipped but I plan to use them for display so I'm okay with that. :)

And my FAVORITE finds?

How awesome is that bike basket??? Do you SEE the tassel? Oh I love it. It's already gone to the sunroom to be a holder for mail. Don't know if it's vintage or not. And the milk glass sherbet dish? Definitely a close second to the basket as I've been looking for some milk glass items to accent my living room shelves. It must have been compote dish day as I found this one and the two greens ones plus a very cool clear glass one that I realized was broken when I got home. :(

And last but certainly not least, I found this sheet:

Gorgeous! I think someone made the sheet as the stitching is a bit dodgy in places and there are no tags. It's a nice heavy cotton, too. Now if only I sewed . . . LOL . . . don't worry, I will use this for something I just know it. Pretty tote bag maybe? To line a knit bag? To make that bed side organizer thing from the Amy Butler book?

I'm going on vacation and won't be back for a week. I'll post when I return!


PS - don't forget the deadline for sending out your Summer Fun Swap is now July 23rd!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bear Mountain

The weather has changed here! After some big rains we had lovely cool temps in the low 70s. So on Saturday Luis and I took a drive up to Bear Mountain.

Our first stop was the Plumbush Inn in Cold Spring, a town just past the mountain and right on the Hudson River. Cold Spring is one of my favorite places to visit. I've been there several times and always enjoy it. They have numerous antique stores and quaint little restaurant. This is a view of the grounds of Plumbush from our table:

The weather was breezy and we sat on the veranda. The food was excellent, the wine crisp and the view superb! Bliss!

We then went to Bear Mountain State Park.

Young black bears live in a habitat on the mountain. You can see how close we were to them and there are no fences, only a ravine which I'm assuming they can't jump. However, the young bears really could care less that we were there. They frolicked and played like any kids would on a breezy summer day.

Here's handsome hubby in front of a statue of Walt Whitman:

People in the Northeast sure love Walt Whitman. You find statues of him everywhere. Someone should do a whole blog called "Where's Walt?" or something like that.

To the Garden the World
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

To the garden, the world, anew ascending,
Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding,
The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being,
Curious, here behold my resurrection, after slumber;
The revolving cycles, in their wide sweep, have brought me again,
Amorous, mature—all beautiful to me—all wondrous;
My limbs, and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous;
Existing, I peer and penetrate still,
Content with the present—content with the past,
By my side, or back of me, Eve following,
Or in front, and I following her just the same

And just so you can get a peek of how beautiful our day was:

The Bear Mountain bridge across the Hudson. We plan to go back again and walk the trails to Fort Montgomery which played a major role in the American Revolution. Happy Fourth of July.


Just a note . . . seems my post on Friday about cheap finds at the dollar stores may have ruffled some feathers and brought up issues of cheap labor forces in foreign countries. While I consider myself aware of these issues and countless others I do not wish to make this blog a place for discussion of them. I am more than happy to discuss these issues through emails but would rather not do so in this public forum. I feel it can lead to bad feelings and this is a happy place! I will refrain from posting about other dollar store finds so as not to offend anyone and do appreciate the additional information provided on the topic. I'd rather stick to thrifts and crafts and the occasional ramblings on other mundane subjects. I hope you understand and consider to give your opinions, I really do love reading them. I only wish to keep things light and cheerful here at Thrifty Goodness. Thank you.


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