Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Robbery...

Not to worry, I wasn't burglarized or anything. It's just that my weekend went and I didn't know it had come. A blur. A big 70's naked, streaking through my church parking lot, blur. Yes, that really happened. One Sunday my mom and I were headed to our car, along with other congregants disbanding from the 10:30 service, when lo and behold a nude man ran streaking across our parking lot and into the woods which conveniently abutted (pun intended) our parked cars. I wonder what possesses people to do such things. Streaking has just never been one of those things to grab me by the horns with the slightest bit of temptation. Maybe if my body looked like Heidi Klum's, I'd be all about it.

So what did I do this weekend in retrospect?
Well, I watched Atonement. Even though I said I wouldn't until I finally finished reading the book first. Note: I bought the book on several friends' recommendations over five years ago and never managed to get past chapter one. It wasn't the book's fault. It's that I wait too long to go to bed and then still want to read, but can't keep my eyes open. Even toothpicks can't help.
I do have a weird thing about not wanting to see any movie that I think I might want to read the book for, until I've read the book. It ruins it for me. I think it's because I have a masochistic disorder that makes me live to complain about how the movie didn't live up to the book.
And so what did I think of Atonement? Good, but make sure you are in the mood for sad. I bawled (but I am a sap).

I also made BLT pizza, not to be confused with my Cuban pizza. Yes, that is guacamole in place of sauce. It was pretty yummy. But, be sure to eat it all in one sitting. Leftovers are all wonky as you don't want to eat cold, white, anemic looking bacon the next day which makes you want to heat it, but then when you heat it, you get hot guac & warm, wilted lettuce. Not so yummy.

Super simple. Use premade pizza crust (I used Pillsbury refrigerated crust). Bake it fully. Spread on guacamole (I love to make homemade, but cheated this time and used Sam's Club premade). Sprinkle with crumbled bacon (the only thing I had to "cook"), sliced cherry tomatoes, lettuce shreds & shallots (I used red onion, as I didn't have shallots handy).

Oh and for a little too much information (and my discovery of the day), if you are sick with severe head congestion (like I was all weekend), be sure to try blowing your nose with wet wipes. Yes, wet wipes. This is one of those act of desperation things.. like being in the kids' room and having my nose start acting like a faucet with only my arm or a wet wipe to wipe it on. Who knew? The wet wipe moistened my sinuses and really was productive in helping clear all that gross congestion. And it soothed my sore nose which was all scratchy from blowing. It takes a little getting used to, as your nose expects something dry, but I swear, try it. Maybe I need to mail off my poor man's patent for "wet noses". Necessity is the mother of invention after all, right? :-) Oh, and while I am at it, wet wipes are also the best thing for lifting rug/carpet stains too! Just call me Heloise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Picture Says 1,000 Words

Two posts in a row with no photos? Criminal.
So, in hopes of correcting my terrible blogging faux paus and making it up to you, here is a mini photo smorgasbord with only snippets (in my world = long paragraphs) of text to bog you down.

I know these are everywhere and have been since the dawn of crafting, but I was happy to pull out several vintage pillowcase dresses that I made way before my daughter was even a twinkle in my eye. I used to sew them and sell them on ebay back when I first started selling there in 1999. Because I suffer from easy onset boredom, I stopped making these (and didn't bother even trying to sell the last of the batch, apparently). These were in a Rubbermaid bin in back of a gargantuan closet that the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe all live in.
It's a wonder I found them. Now I want to make more as I have a stash of vintage pillowcases that rivals Mt. Everest--
And they are so easy and only need the teensiest bit of elastic as I make the straps from the pillowcase too. Some people use ribbons or other trims I think? So I always have what I need right on hand.
Here are two faves of the ones I stumbled upon.

This is a sweet little print I found thrifting. I love her expression of wonderment.

This little sunny vase was left in a box of trash alongside the road when I took the kids for a stroll. Finders keepers!

And this quilt was bought at an antique shop in Foley, AL that has since shut its doors. $3.
I love it as it reminds me so much of the Gee's Bend Quilts. Alot of it is poly, but I don't mind one bit. I took lots of closeups of various configurations, as it's the details that really reel me in.

The back:

I am hoping to use my quilts, vintage fabrics and aprons to do some domesticity/vintage textile inspired product offerings very, very soon to be offered on etsy! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sick Child Syndrome

Some days, all else fails. Plain & simple. Not to be a pessimist, but with a statement like that I suppose I have outed myself. Yes, hard as I may try to be ever & uber positive, I often see the glass as half empty. Especially when I have two sick children. Two sick kids who are only fifteen months apart and both under four years old AND who love to fight. Or rather, one who loves to antagonize (the recently turned two year old boy) and one who hates to be antagonized (the three year old going on eighteen girl). So all I have heard for three days straight has been "Ow!!" Whine. "Ow!!" Crying. "Stooooop!!!" Crying & whining. "Owstop!!" (Ow & stop said all at once). And so on.
Two sick kids who desperately need sleep, but refuse to close both eyes at once.

So now it's my turn, "Ugh, groan, sound of hair tearing out, s%#x@!!!!!!! bleep..profanity, profanity, profanity!"
Once I saw an episode of Intervention devoted to a woman by the name of Leslie. Leslie would wake up every morning and say, "I'm Up!" then head directly to the kitchen in search of alcohol, which once she found, she guzzled right in front of her kids who were readying themselves for school. It was so very, very sad to watch. In fact so much so, that I have never watched Intervention again.
Today, the thought crossed my mind that living like Leslie, just for a day, didn't sound so bad.
You'll be proud though. Instead of drinking a Sam's Club sized bottle of mouthwash, I opted to pack the kids up and head to the beach instead. The warmth of the sun paired with the sound of the waves crashing in was enough to make me forget the long, hard last few days and get back to where I needed to be.
Do you ever have days like this where everything just builds and builds and needs some type of dismantling (mine usually involves immersing myself in nature) for you to forget your troubles and get back to being the you, you like being?
I'd love to hear your stress coping secrets.

Monday, April 21, 2008

This is one chick who can't party like a rock star

So, I got invited to come over to a friend's for Friday night happy hour. And it sounded like fun, so I went. Even as I readied myself, I felt pangs of guilt. Shouldn't I be helping out with the kids at home, so that Michael could relax? After all, he had been at work all week long and was most deserving of a break. Then I realized I think it had been close to 4 years ago that I went out on a Friday night. Alone. Without the kids. Without my husband. So, Michael gave me the "it's alright. you deserve it." pep talk and I was out the door.
I decided to wear the t-shirt one of my girlfriends gave me a birthday or two ago. It says and I quote: "Jealousy is a disease. Get well soon bitches."
When I first got this t-shirt I used to wear it randomly in my mix of clothing. So just like the songs that cycle through your ipod selections, this t-shirt would turn up every now and again. One day I was talking to a very elderly lady at our local farmer's market. She & I were sharing our mutual admiration for some local produce when I noticed her start to stare at the (small) area of space that my breasts occupy. That's when I realized I was wearing a shirt that said "bitches" on it and implied that I thought I was better than. Hmmm. While funny in certain circles, as it is obviously so silly and unlike me, I decided it was time to retire this shirt for public usage. A small cocktail hour with friends that have known me for 8 years + seemed like the perfect occasion to break it out. So, imagine my surprise when I pull up and only know the hostess and one other gal. Everyone else was new to me and mostly elementary school teachers. Nothing like walking up and looking like....a bitch.
Some old friends turned up a bit later and we were all having a great time drinking overly iced margaritas (which made you feel like you were innocently drinking just water). All seemed well & good.
After a few hours someone noticed that there were a ton of cars, in addition to ours, parked up and down the street. That's when we realized that the guys across the street were also having a party. The college guys across the street. All of whom are under the age of 22. And that's when someone in our group mistakingly suggested that we all go over to that party. This is the time I feel it important to mention that the average age in our group of ladies is say, FORTY-FIVE. Every last stinkin' one of us could have been those kids' mothers. Insert sound of a needle scratching across a record.
I don't know the last time I went to a college party. I guess I was in college. Back then I didn't notice things like cabinetry in need of an update or holes in the floor too much. But now I do. Even when I've been drinking. My friends and I stood in a corner of the kitchen where everyone was congregated. We just sort of sat there, giggling, feeling awkward, and taking it all in. A young man was very friendly and admiring of our "good beer", which turned out to be Michelob Ultra's fruit infused beer. No beer connoisseur would ever even take a sip of the stuff, but to a 21 year old on a student budget, it looked golden. As we were talking to this guy about beers ( a favorite topic amongst 2o year olds), another guy comes up out of nowhere and slams a beer atop our new "friend's" beer causing a volcanic beer eruption to the loud crowd cries of "PARTY FOUL!". We were like deer in headlights, we had been so removed from this behavior for so many years. As we moms began busily looking for things to help clean up with (that's what 40 somethings do at 20 somethings' parties), I whispered to my girlfriend that I was going to copy that same move at the next dinner party I was invited to and see how it went over.
Realizing that all we could think of was how much we wanted to desperately redo their cabinets and worried that someone was going to refer to as "ma'am" and ask us to go buy them some beer, we took this as our cue to mosey back where we came from and then head home for the night. Happy to be in bed well before midnight. By the way, I still ended up with a horrible hangover. I'm old.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Cleaning brings Show & Tell Fever

I have turned into a purging banshee. On a roll. No stopping me now. Another carload to the Goodwill today. Many great, good things come out of this, and one unfortunate one. From the looks of it, I have greatly reduced my chances of starring on Oprah's sequel to her 2 day hoarding extravaganza she hosted last year. That's ok though. I would much rather be on a makeover episode anyway.

As I clean out, I find fun things I want to share with my bloggy friends.
I am still learning to use my new camera. My indoor photography plain sucks. I hate flash, but haven't mastered the various settings to get the right look without everything being so grainy.
Please accept my apologies and know that I vow to get better, for me & for you.

I love all things embroidered, but have a particular affinity for the wonderful creations that I inherited from my great aunts on my father's side. Aunt Vivian & Aunt Ferol were sister spinsters (great blog or band name by the way), that were always making something. Something good! They lived together all their lives and had interesting ways of going about not unnerving one another by say, splitting the burners up on their stove so it was clear whose was whose. They also wore curlers with hair bonnets over them (in public) and rolled their knee high pantyhose down to their ankles to be worn as socks with their "Grasshoppers" by Keds. I am ashamed to say this embarrassed me as a teenager when we would go to the mall. I am also ashamed to say it would probably still embarrass me now. Come to think of it, they were probably equally as embarrassed of my 80's mile high bangs, horrible perm & ridiculous this..

(current inside out, green striped shirt of mine used for scale)

And rightfully so. Can you believe my mom brought that over to me the other day? She still had it in the bottom of a bureau drawer. She thought I might want it. God bless her. Sure. Let me just pull it right on and let's see....hmmm..maybe a gigantic belt bigger than my torso, voila! I'm ready for that PTA meeting. Or maybe my husband's work picnic at his new firm. Either or.

Back to my aunts...when I would visit them as a child we would always make something fun. Tiny baby food jar terrariums stand out in my mind. Or their delicious divinity. Ummmmm! When they passed away, I was hoping I could move into their bungalow as I loved it so, and it held so many wonderful memories for me, but I was away at college, so it didn't make much sense at the time. I wish they were still with us and think of them with much love & affection often.
I hope you will enjoy their work as much as I do.
Aunt Ferol

Aunt Vivian

They didn't make this one. It's thrifted. But I like it too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A thank you, a teenager & some vintage dolls

Thank you to everyone who popped by and offered your wonderful words of encouragement and support. I can't tell you enough how much your kindness means to me. My mom goes for her second CAT today. I will update once results are in. Thinking positive thoughts.

And on a positive, celebratorial note, my oldest, Matthew, became a teenager today. I can't believe it. 13. Thirteen. Thir-teen. Emphasis on the teen. I am still in desperate search of the Nintendo Wii he is coveting. He didn't ultimately make up his mind on the Wii vs. the Playstation 3 until this past Friday evening, so seeing that I couldn't afford both (we're talking $800 + for just the basic game systems), I was laying in wait for him to decide, so I could go out and buy one. Little did I know that the Wii would still be sold out everywhere known to mankind. I knew this had been the case initially, but hadn't kept up with the fact that they still cannot produce enough of this item. Really. I am baffled. How does this happen in today's day & age? Aren't you a bit curious that this isn't some economic/marketing ploy tampering with the whole supply/demand concept? Suspect, at the very least. So my brilliant idea of just popping into a store and paying retail, is clearly not going to happen. Now my poor child will be getting a raincheck while I wait & try to win a not obscenely priced one via ebay. Wish me luck!
His "safety gift" was a portable adjustable polycarbonate basketball goal system that will run me at least $300 & up (probably closer to $400 +), so it's a bit hard to have that for him in the meantime as a "tide me over" 'til the big gift arrives.
Wow. Kids get crazy expensive, don't they?

And last, just for fun here are some show & tell treats---
I haven't shown you many of my dolls yet, so I hope you enjoy taking a peek at my ever growing collection. The more beaten and battered, the more they tug at my heartstrings. I don't like to fix them up. I just love them as is.
p.s. Apparently they all decided to hit the sauce just before our photo session. I mean come on. Some of them are actually passed out! The least they could of done was to invite me to their little soiree. Ingrates!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I don't mean to jump the gun, but I'm worried and sad, and I need to get it out.
My mother received the results from a CAT scan yesterday and was told she has a tumor in her lungs and several spots on her liver. She has not been diagnosed further and the next step is actually awaiting another scan, as the operator apparently misread the physician's instructions to do a full body and only completed an upper body read.
I am worried. Terribly worried. I am trying to be hopeful and think positively, but my fear is overwhelming me. My mom is 63 and has never really lived life yet. She has always been much too frugal and careful to enjoy life as she should and has never realized most of her dreams, despite my constant encouragement for her to do so. (I am an only child). I am hoping & praying that the findings prove benign and that this simply becomes the wakeup call to spur her on to go out and do all that she has always wished to do. I would like to ask a favor of you, that you please keep my mom in your thoughts and prayers. I will continue to post here as more information becomes available. I appreciate your taking the time to read this and send advance thanks for all your kind thoughts, helpful prayers and heartfelt wishes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Giveway Winner (It's About Time!!)

Sorry so tardy. I have been trying for over 2 days to post to no avail. I kept getting the same error message over and over. It was frustrating, as there were no apparent issues that were plaguing everyone on the whole, according to blogger announcements. But I did take comfort in that there were some other "woe is me" poor souls I found through outside message boards.
So, I am FINALLY able to post my 50th post bloggy giveaway winner and it is Margerie!!
Congratulations, Margerie!

Thank you to everyone who commented. All of your stories were so funny. Really!! You had me in stitches. The things that come out of babes' mouths. :-)
While I was waiting in blogger limbo, I decided to get my etsy shop back up and running. You can check it out here, if you are interested. Right now I have almost all vintage & very few handmade things listed as I am trying to purge first so I get to gettin' crafty next! A bit of ebb and flow.
When shooting my vintage patterns to list on etsy (I still have about a hundred more to list), I loved capturing some of the details of these wonderfully illustrated ladies so representative of their era.

I have one pattern in particular that got me thinking alot. It is a really groovy 60s hip hugging halter outfit shown worn with a scarf swathed about the head.

The pattern is stamped with the former owner's name and address which sounds so very glamorous: "Venetian Way Rivo Alto Island Miami Beach, FL". The pattern was printed in 1969. Can't you see this fabulous woman entertaining in the late 60's with a Pucci printed rendition of the center number, complete with scarf of course, poolside at her gorgeous & very tony waterfront property?
I wondered how the pattern got up here to the thrift shop I found it at, 12 hours north of Miami Beach. I hoped it wasn't sold as part of an estate and that Mrs. Smith is still alive and well, maybe no longer wearing hip huggers, but still quite fashionable, nonetheless. It's funny how a tiny remnant of someone can escape them and give you a glimpse of their life at a certain point in time. The stories draw me in. I like finding lots of old family photos and trying to piece together who's who and their relationships, sort of adopting them, as if they are my own family. Or hearing the past of handmade creations that I come upon at yard sales. When I thrift or buy handmade, I realize I take ownership of the history, along with the possession, obliged to pass these tales along so that the storied history never reaches its end.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Darling Dollhouses & What To Do With Just One Glove

We like to go on outings and play outdoors as much as possible. Busy beavers. Hustle bustle. That sort of thing. With it being spring break, we were extra on the go and tried to mix it up a bit, but still relied upon some of our old standbys. It was at one of our regular haunts, a state historic museum which has a 3rd floor hands on children's discovery exhibit, replete with galleon, trading post, fortress etc. we encountered what appeared to be the rest of our town, also on spring break. After getting swiped with a straw broom or nudged with a toy musket one too many times, we decided to head downstairs to the permanent collections and touring exhibits.
And I am so glad we did. The first collection was of miniatures!! Oh, I how I love wee things! And my heart skipped a beat when I saw one of my dollhouses there on display. Well, not the actual one I owned, but the exact same model. My mother kept nearly everything I owned as a child, but for some reason (I think rust, maybe?), she got rid of the dollhouse. :-( I saw one just like it one time at an antiques shop in south Alabama. The dealer wanted $50 for it, which I felt was too much, so it was a treat to be reunited with it and to have camera in hand to capture the image of this emblematic part of my childhood.
So here I present, my house, in all its nostalgic glory and some of the others as well..sorry the photos aren't great. I'm still not great with indoor photography shooting through plexiglass.

My little humble abode circa 1974 or so?

Then, as if that wasn't fun enough to find, we went just across the hall and found this wonderful display. 3 huge art installations of single, found gloves. I so want to collect these myself and make a similar piece for my bedroom, I think. Or maybe it should be more focal, as it is good conversationally and just really nice to admire. The more you look, the more you are able to pick out individual gloves, then see tiny details of those gloves to ooh and aah about, then compare and contrast.."I like the lines of this glove but with that fabric and those buttons. Oooh! Perfect!". So, anyone have any lonely gloves out there? Seriously! :-) Email me. I'll give them a good home. Promise.