Friday, April 27, 2007

friday finds

Randy and I just ordered the carpet!! So relieved. So happy.
On the way home, we stopped at the mother of all yard sales! The same place that I found the aqua Pyrex a while back. This family is raising money to go on a mission trip to S. Africa. And they have since inherited an entire Estate that they are gradually unpacking. Oh my gosh, I am so going back tomorrow!
Today I got a pink Pyrex refrigerator dish (a dollar), three vintage aprons (dollar each), pink glass sconce and pink container (50 cents each) and a container of hankies (2 dollars). There were 44 gorgeous hankies inside when I counted! That's a nickel each! Be sure to clic the pic to see all the detail!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

sewing in the 70's

I have been sewing since I was 9 years old. That is when I started 4-H and that's about when I started sewing. Dirndl skirts were big back then. Little did I know that gathers are a pain and rather tricky for a kid. I remember getting so mad if the thread broke as you were pulling the gathers! I made so many dirndl skirts that it was years before I ever made anything with a gather. Then onto the shift dresses... made lots of those. Because my sewing garments were judged at the Jackson County Fair each summer, the inside had to be as good as the outside looked. I was quite a perfectionist, and very competitive, so need I say more.

When I was sixteen (1973), this is the dress that I modeled for the annual Jackson County Dress Review. They chose me to go to the State Dress Revue in Madison, WI! You are judged on the choice of fabric, (I still love the print) the pattern style, the accessories and how it looked on you. I was thrilled to be chosen to go to the State Fair and model my garment several times throughout the week. That was where I saw The Carpenters in concert (huge Karen Carpenter fan!) and actually touched the limo that wisked them away after the concert!

When I was a senior in high school (1975), I took my first sewing class... a tailoring class. I made this three-piece lined and tailored suit. (jacket, vest & pants) Years later I was stunned to find out that at that same time my future Mother-in-law was making this very same outfit for her daughter (my husband's sister Patty) using the very same fabric! Patty was killed by a 16 year old drunk driver when she was 18 and some of her last pictures were taken in that outfit.

Patty & her boyfriend Phil

The winter before I moved to Phoenix (1977) I made this patchwork denim jacket and matching vest, using old jeans that my dad and brothers wore on the farm. I was all about recycling even back then! I even sewed a Levi pocket on the back of the vest! It was always fun to see what I would find in that pocket after a night out with friends! (money, ticket stubs, bottle caps, candy wrappers!)

During this season of downsizing, reorganizing and rearranging rooms, oh and Tyler needing to get into the costume boxes, I came upon these garments. Sure took me down memory lane. Kinda wish I had saved some of the Prom dresses and Homecoming and Winter Carnival dresses that I made back then. Those styles are coming back you know.
They always do

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

living in shambles

It's starting to get to me. Our home is in shambles. It looks like we're either moving in or packing to move out. So all this clutter is really bugging me. This is the very reason I waited so long to replace our 27 year old carpet!
You see we bought this house from the original owners in 1994. They had owned the house since 1980... newly retired at the time and lived half of each year up north. That's two people in a five- bedroom house! So needless to say, the carpet in the bedrooms were in good shape and so we left as is even though it was an ugly orange shag. After 13 years, we are finally recarpeting and repainting... and also making way for one of the rooms to become a sewing/ scrap/ craft room for me & Mrs. McGillicutty! I'm off to IKEA to find me a work surface. Oh, I bought the dress that Mrs. McGillicutty is wearing for 25 cents at a yard sale. It was too snug on me, but fit her perfectly. That even bugs me.

Oh you guys, just got back! Found the perfect work surface!!! I saw it yesterday in "as is"... came home to measure... talked to Randy... went back today and bought it for $33.00!! It's an 8 foot long, real heavy, solid white counter top!!! It's so perfect! I will be putting it on two kitchen cabinets that I rescued from the street a couple years ago. I will paint them white, give them new pulls and have myself 8 feet of luxurious work surface!! I was just planning on setting up 2 of my 6 foot light-weight banquet tables (that I love). But then every time I have a gathering or a scrap day I would have to clear the surfaces to reset them up in the main part of the house. My theory... you can never have enough work surface! I have 3 of those light-weight tables and I use them all the time! So I think I'm getting there... now we just need to finish the painting projects, get the carpet installed and then put it all together... whenever that will be.

Monday, April 23, 2007

vintage hats

Woke up Saturday morning to rain! That's a big deal in my world. I love rain! So the only way to enjoy the cool weather was to get out there and do some, ummm, yard work? ummm, no... yard saling! The rain had stopped but it was overcast and down-right chilly... ok, for us desert dwellers. Randy is up north at a Men's Retreat this weekend and they actually got snow! He sleeps in the van when he goes to things like that or else he's up all night with the snoring. He must have been really chilly.

Anyway, here's my favorite find... a fancy vintage hat for Mrs. McGillicutty! (check out former post) Won't these aqua hats look lovely in her new room... that we're painting aqua... just like Alicia's room. The hat box and two hats for just a dollar! I know, I was shaking as I paid the gal!
AND it was a great day to start some of my painting projects. True confession... I have never painted a wall. You heard me right, I have never rolled paint on a wall. But I LOVE to paint furniture! I love the prep, the sanding, the priming, more sanding, the painting, more sanding and more painting. I really do love the whole process! The transformation from this ugly old, funky piece to whatever I want it to be is so gratifying! And I have my own little paint store, with all the "oops" cans that I have acquired over the years for a buck or two. You do know that Home Depot has a shelf full of paints that have been returned and for only a fraction of the cost! So I kinda determine the color by what I have on hand. I'm easy that way.

YA BABY! SUNS WIN!!! SUNS beat the Lakers to start off the playoffs! And I got my orange on!

Friday, April 20, 2007


Mrs. McGillicutty! She's here! She arrived safe and sound... and none the worse for wear !
You guys, it happened, just as I imagined it would! We clicked... instantly! She fit right in. She's perfect! It's as though she has been with us for years!
I wanted her to wear something glamorous for the photo shoot... but she didn't want to give you the impression that she was some sorta diva. Not that she isn't opposed to glamming it up a bit... in fact she is quite willing to wear most anything I ask her to wear. But I could tell she wanted the reveal to be a tad bit conservative.
Like I said, I don't know much about her. Here's what I am surmising... yes, I'll be surmising often.

She was born in the 40's or 50's in Brooklyn, New York... a direct descendant of the ACME clan. I'm surmising that she's a retired Home Ec teacher... which is why I was so excited about having her come live with me. Hey, I can use all the inspiration and expertise I can get! And she was quite delighted to be retiring in Arizona... the dry heat and all.
You see, I'm about to enter a new season in my life. After 25 years as a full-time, stay-at-home Mom... my career is about to end in a month. Oh, I know, I'll always be a Mom... but you know, more like a Mom-on-call. So I'm thinking, what's next?
So I have some ideas brewing... that I will be sharing in the days and weeks ahead. And here's where Mrs. McGillicutty comes in. She seems like the perfect partner in this new adventure. I think we will work well together. In every partnership, there is always one that does all the talking, is more outgoing, more hands on... and then there is the one that just stands in the shadow of the other, embodying the creative endeavors, looking pretty and subservient. That's her... that's Mrs. McGillicutty... never one to steal the limelight... always willing to take the back seat. (well, of course, whenever I take her anywhere). She will be the perfect assistant. Yes, that's it, my very own personal assistant!
So, I think I've shared about enough for today. I want to get her settled in over the weekend. Her room is not done yet, as we had hoped.

OK, so if you haven't figured out by now... I love a good story... so it would only seem natural that I give Mrs. McGillicutty her own story. She will be evolving as time goes on. Who knows what I will uncover about her. I mean, you can understand her reluctance in divulging too much too soon. A certain level of trust has yet to be earned in order for her to feel comfortable in revealing one's true self. Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

She's coming!

Yes, she's on her way. And I am sooo excited!
She's been traveling all week, all the way from Hays, Kansas. And she's suppose to arrive tomorrow! I am praying she makes it here unscathed. She's rather up there in years and that concerns me a bit. But I did assure her that this would be her last trip... that she is now a part of OUR family. You guys, I am so nervous! I want her to like us. I want her to like her new home. I want her to fit right in.
We don't know all that much about her... in fact we have never actually met. I was assured that she adapts well... although the change in climate could pose a problem. It IS a dry heat though.
I have been working on her room all week. I think she'll like the color that I had Randy paint it. I hope so.
I was surprised that Randy even said she could come live with us. Not that I didn't have my moments... wondering what in the world I was doing! But then it all became crystal clear to me... when I saw her picture... that she was going to add so much to my life! It was just meant to be!
I have so many plans for her and I. She is going to keep me so busy. You see... well... we are actually going into business together! A sorta partnership, if you will. Oh no! I've done it again! I have said waay too much! I hate when I do that! Just forget I ever said it!
OK, OK... so some of you are thinking I haven't said enough. Well, trust me, you will be hearing a lot more about her in the days and weeks ahead. Stay with me now! Oh, I can hardly wait to introduce her to you!
Gosh, I hope she doesn't mind having her picture taken... cuz I will for sure be posting some pics as soon as she arrives... no matter how worn out and frazzled she may look from her long journey out West.

*** And YES, feel free to take a guess at what I am about to reveal to all you sweet inquisitive bloggers!

Oh and KERRI B. !!! (there was no email or blog for me to contact you) You asked what grocery store my kids did commercials for, back in the late 80's. It was Smitty's! Do you remember their slogan? "Smitty's, the store that cares for kids!" and the spokesperson was Jan D'Atri. Check out her awesome web site and all that she is doing now! Hello! QVC!! Love this gal to pieces!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

aprons on a hay hook & a lefse turner

The red gingham apron was my Grandma Larson's. I have it hanging from a hay hook. I found this one at a yard sale but my Dad has one just like it. It's what farmers use to grab hold of those heavy bales of hay. I recently found the yellow gingham apron at my little thrift store for a dollar. I love seeing them together!

Hanging next to the aprons is a lefse turner. And not just any lefse turner... a Norske Nook lefse turner! That I got at a yard sale this past summer for a dollar!

The Norske Nook is a well known restaurant & bakery about 10 miles from our farm in Wisconsin. They serve a variety of home cooked Scandinavian dishes and THE best homemade pies on the planet! I'm serious! And it doesn't matter where I am, I will either meet someone from Wisconsin or tell someone I'm from Wisconsin and they will know of the Norske Nook! And btw, the owner Helen Myhre was on the David Letterman show many years ago to talk about her award-winning pies!

Monday, April 16, 2007

so sad...

My heart goes out to the friends and families of those lives that were taken this morning at Virginia Tech.
I was aware this morning that it was 8 years ago this week that lives were lost in Columbine and 12 years ago this week that lives were lost in the Oklahoma City bombing and 14 years ago this week of the Branch Davidian tragedy. So when I heard of the VA Tech killings later on in the morning, I got such a sick feeling in my gut... such overwhelming grief and sadness...
This is when I cry out "Come Lord Jesus, come for your children!"
God help us! So very sad and disturbing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

pink & aqua Pyrex * France & England Pyrex

These little pastel Pyrex refrigerator dishes are my favorite. As I have said before, I started collecting Pyrex over 25 years ago and have paid very little for my collection... that is until Martha did a feature in her magazine several years ago and from then on the prices went up and they became harder to find. I don't shop at antique stores nor do I buy on Ebay. So I am even more thrilled when I can find some at thrift stores or yard sales. I maybe paid a dollar for the pink & aqua and a quarter for the top one.

You also know that I am drawn to little containers. So it was only natural for my to pick up these little casserole dishes. Well upon inspection, I was completely surprised to see that they were stamped Pyrex France and Pyrex England! Serious! I was ecstatic! Where did they come from? How did they get here? The two 7 inch ones are from France and the 5 inch one with the lid is from England. I found them at thrift stores and yard sales for less than a dollar each.
So if anyone out there can tell me more about them, I'd love to hear from you! I have found very little info at Pyrex Love.
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

chenille rooster

So at the same yard sale that I got the vintage tripod... I found this... my chenille rooster... that I named Shaquille Chenille. No, I'm not a Shaquille O'Neil fan... but I love basketball and I love the SUNS and Shaquille rhythms with chenille... so there you go. Oh and they wanted a dollar for him!

Look at the variety of chenille fabrics! I love the nubby textures (enlarge pics), the deep, rich colors and the fact that he does not fall over. Seriously, perfect balance... you set him down, he stays there. He is quite a handsome, stately ole gent. All to say, I'd have paid more.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

vintage finds

I love anything vintage! I have always been drawn to fabrics, notions, dishes, fashion, Pyrex, furniture and music from the 40's and 50's. Invaribly I will fall in love with something and find out it's from those decades. I even wore my Mom's 1949 class ring for many years. I always want to know the story behind whatever it is that I have found. The item means so much more when it has a story.
Take for instance, this vasoline glassware... I went to a yard sale several years ago and saw this breathtaking piece of art. I asked the elderly lady about it and she said that she was selling it for 35 cents. I told her that I would have to pay her more cuz it was worth a lot more than 35 cents! She went on to tell me that she had gotten it from her brother for her 13th birthday... over 65 years ago! She was sad that no one in her family wanted it. I immediately knelt down beside her and took her hand... and told her that I would cherish it forever and that I would think of her every time I looked at it. And I have... to this day.
That's why I prefer yard sales to thrift stores, because I can get some history along with my find. I feel such a sense of responsiblity to pass along that history. Have you ever noticed on "The Antiques Roadshow" that when they disclose what the item is worth, that it's always worth a whole lot more when it has a personal story associated with the item.

I got these linens over the weekend at my little thrift store. I wish I knew who made the two doilies and who wore the pink & aqua apron and what was talked about over the meal that was served on the table that this aqua tablecloth graced... and who made up this chenille bedspread each morning...

... and oh my gosh, this was a little girl's apron! Could you just cry, it's so dang sweet! I think I might have to frame it. You've got to enlarge and check out the detail! Oh and btw, 99 cents!

Monday, April 09, 2007

my new vintage tripod

So, you're thinking, gee Linda, those are some pretty nice pics! Well, it's cuz I used my new tripod and put the camera on a timer so there would be no movement whatsoever! I am sooo pleased! Went to my neighbors yard sale over the weekend and bought this old vintage tripod that he bought at a flea market near San Francisco and sold it to me for $5.00. It's an old surveyor's tripod... made of beautiful wood and chrome... very solid. I love it!
Hey, I got me some can-can hollyhocks blooming over the Easter weekend! Aren't they stunning! I will be sure to harvest those seeds, as they are so rare! And more thrifty finds from the weekend to come!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter

The two Easter basket on either side of the yellow wagon were given to Shawn and Miranda while they were shooting Easter commercials for a grocery store here in Phoenix 18 years ago. I remember that day clearly because I was in labor with Tyler during that whole filming! Shawn (7) and Miranda (4) were so excited because they got to keep the Easter outfits they filmed in AND the Easter baskets they carried during the egg hunt portion of the filming. I remember savoring every moment, knowing my life was about to change with the arrival of our 3rd born!

A while back I posted about my collection of give-aways that I got from all the years I entered 4-H exhibits at our Jackson County Fair. Recently I went to a yard sale and found the PINK rain bonnet basket for 10 cents!! I was so thrilled! I mean, what were the chances I'd ever find another one after all these years!

This is "my" Easter basket from when I was a little girl. My parents would hide all the Easter baskets and when we found one, we'd cross off the name of whoever had it the year before and write "our" name on the basket. How weird is that! And the eggs in the basket were made just for me by my sister Ginny over 25 years ago! Those fabric eggs are my very favorite Easter decoration! I mean, look at those fabrics!

Remember the Lego Santa's that I collected when the kids were little. Well, around that time they also came out with Lego Easter Bunny's. Are they not the cutest!
OK, soooo, who wants to know about my new aqua/blue cake stand that I am completely in love with!! Well, I found it at Ross... most unexpectedly, I might add. I mean, there it was... and it was everything I ever wanted in a cake stand... the aqua/blue color, the pink peonies and HELLO! the price tag...$8.99! YES, she came home with me!
Hey everyone, have a blessed Easter weekend! HE IS RISEN!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

cause to think

I want to thank my dear blog friend Sandy for giving me the Thinking Blogger Award. Oh my gosh, I am so honored! This award is given to those that cause one to think and are inspirational to others. And can I just tell you, that Sandy is that to ME! I love her blog and it's always one of the first I check each morning because I know it will give me something to think about throughout the day. Here are some other blogs that do the same and are so worthy of this award. So please take the time to visit these blogs and maybe carve out some time to read their past posts, it will be sooo worth it... Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer... Jody at Nitty Gritty... Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy... and Beth Moore at Living Proof Ministries. They never fail to challenge and inspire me. The rules are that they are now to pass this award on to blogs that encourage and challenge them in their thinking.
Hey, who out there is inspiring you and causing you to think? Let us all know!

my dress form... in print form

Do you know how much I want a dress form? Well, I do.
So I went on Teresa's blog a week ago and saw that she was wanting to mail out one of her very own prints, made from her original painting. She just asked us to comment on why we'd want this print. Well, I was all over that! Cuz I loved the dress form with the old vintage apron! I would so do that if I had one! I commented that I want a dress form but couldn't justify the cost. (I'd just wait and let one find me someday) But in the mean time, this print would do just fine hanging in my craft studio! I loved the painting! And so she emailed me, to tell me that I was getting the print!! Yes, ME! And look at the cards she makes! Such complete loveliness!!
Go to Teresa's blog right now and you will see all her amazing art! She is so talented! Thanks Teresa!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hollyhock seed packet winners!

And the winners of my Hollyhock seed packets are- LBP, Rhoda, Shara, Becca Bluebird Rose, Kristen and Heidi.
Please check out these awesome blogs! And gals, please send me your address so I can get a seed packet out to you in the next day or so.
Thanks to everyone that left a comment! This was sooo much fun!

Monday, April 02, 2007

my hollyhocks *** a seed packet drawing!

My hollyhocks are beginning to bloom and each day I anxiously step outside to see what colors await me. You see, I harvest the seeds each year to give to friends and family... but I have not planted any seeds myself in years. They reseed themselves so I never really know what color blooms I will have from year to year.

Last year I had yellows and purples and faded pinks and varigated hot pink can-can hollyhocks... the kind that look
 like ruffled crinolines. (that you wore under dresses when you were little)

I don't hesitate to pull over when I see an unusual colored hollyhock and ask the homeowner if I can take the seeds to plant. They are always so gracious and excited to think their seeds are going all the way to Phoenix, Arizona.
Yes, I am all about Friendship gardening... where your plants and flowers have come from a friend that is willing to share their seeds or a part of a plant for me to root and grow. As I have said, I am all about the story. So each of my plants have a story... about when and where I got the original plant or seed. For years I got a magnet from a vacation destination... now I bring home rocks and plants and flower seeds!
*** Oooh, I just thought of something! Several years ago my husband made me my very own Hollyhock seed packets that I fill with seeds each year and share with friends & family. Would you like one? Well then, leave me a comment and I will have a drawing on Wednesday!! I have several packets ready to be send out... so I will definitely be drawing more than one name!