Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

My friend Sheila and I went junking on Saturday. I thought I was good at this stuff, but Sheila's got it down to an art! We even went online and found estate sales in the area.... and she knows the Richmond area well enough that we never got lost (her GPS helped!) We also checked out a couple of big thrift stores that are closer to downtown (no luck at those, though!)

My favorite find of the day was the copper bracelet I got from an estate sale. It was $4. The cufflinks are for my hubby, of course.... they were $2. Also at the same sale was the base to a bench. I hope to make an ottoman from it. If I succeed, it will be well worth the $2 I paid for it!

 At another estate sale, we found this Pyrex double boiler. I have always wanted a double boiler... even better that it's Pyrex! Chocolate sauce, anyone? At the same sale, I picked up an assortment of beautiful fabric, crocheted doilies, and an embroidered mat for 50 cents each. I also found lids for my Pyrex divided casseroles I found last weekend at a thrift store.

This was another goody from a different estate sale. This sewing book was published in 1972.... it's older than I am (although not by much...) It's full of wonderful 70's artwork! At the same sale, I got a small Fire King white bowl for 10 cents, several glass containers for terrariums, and an assortment of vintage bindings and laces. Sheila got a very old Singer sewing machine still in working order with the table and bench for $25. The bench was full of scissors and accessories for the machine. That was the bargain of the day for sure!

Have you found any lovelies this week? I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Manic Monday! Dalia project...

The last time I posted about embroidery, I mentioned how much fun it was to do the woven picot stitch. So much so, in fact, that I decided to make a dalia... full of way too many of these woven picot stitches to count! I think I've got it mastered now. I also realized that I am terrible at estimating how much embroidery floss I will need for a project! This is done in a 4" hoop. I traced concentric circles and formed each of the woven picots along those lines at equal intervals. I tried to stagger the stitches so they would overlap where the previous ones met, but this became increasingly difficult as I filled in the flower! I filled in the middle with a few french knots. I hope you like it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photo Friday! Spring has sprung.. :)

 Here in Richmond, the past week was a flurry of flowers on trees all over town, especially the Bradford pears and cherry trees. This particular blossom is on one of our peach trees. It has been so wonderful to see all of these signs of spring! Yet in typical Virginia fashion, they are calling for snow on Sunday!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

Oh joy of joys! The early bird definitely catches the Pyrex at my local Goodwill store! I got there on Saturday just a few minutes after the store opened. These beauties were hiding... in fact, I missed them completely upon first look. However, I found the snowflake divided casserole on the bottom shelf, and the white one pushed behind a few other things. These were the only goodies I found this week, though! How about you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Manic Monday! Terrarium....

So last Thursday one of my thrifty finds was this fish bowl type container that I wanted to use for a terrarium. After seeing a few examples on sites like Design*Sponge and in print in magazines like Fresh Home, I was really excited to make my own! I made finding the container a part of my thrift store quest. This one wasn't exactly what I was looking for because I really wanted one with a lid, but I thought this would work for my first attempt. :)

After I found my container, I bought the other supplies I needed at the Home Depot and Wal-Mart. I washed my container, then layered a bit of rock on the bottom, scattered a small handful of charcoal into the rock, and then spread a few handfuls of dirt on top.

Finding plants for the project was the most difficult part! None of the big box stores I went to had anything small enough. I ended up going to a local nursery (Strange's) to find what I needed. They also had a "terrarium expert." Imagine that! She was most helpful. My tall plant was just too tall for this project, which means I'll just have to make another one once I find the perfect container! I planted the two smaller plants in my prepared container, then lightly watered.

I love the finished product! I hope I can keep this alive... I've been known to kill a few indoor plants, which is why I wanted to try a terrarium in the first place (less maintenance!)

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Friday! Fish Fry...


We had a good old-fashioned fish fry tonight. All of the men in my husband's family love to fish, so whatever they catch on the Outer Banks during Thanksgiving week (usually lots of stripers...) become yummy meals a few times a year. It was a group effort with cooking. We had 11 total for dinner!

We used our "new" fire pit tonight and, of course, roasted marshmallows. I say "new" because our pit is actually an old 30 gallon cauldron that used to belong to my husband's grandfather. We found a local blacksmith to make a stand and lid for it. He did a beautiful job!

Plans for the weekend include a wedding reception tomorrow.... should be fun! Hope you get out to enjoy the weather if you are on the east coast.... have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday! All about storage...

I really wasn't too lucky at any thrift stores this week. I visited my favorite one on Saturday and found these... a very nice wine crate, two large, divided boxes with hangars on the back, and this glass bowl. I am thinking of using the crate for some additional storage in my mudroom, but I may need a collection of these to make it work. The boxes I think I'll use flat to store beads or some other crafty goodies. The bowl is for a terrarium.

I have been on a quest to find the perfect glass container for a terrarium. This bowl wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it will do. I fell in love with the idea after reading the holiday issue of Fresh Home Magazine. I have the charcoal, but I still need rocks, soil, and plants. My hunt for plants has left me empty handed thus far. I'll have to make a stop at the real nursery on my way home from work one day.

We went to my daughter's science fair at school this evening. My favorite project (other than my daughter's, which was a model of a tsunami made weeks ago) was an experiment involving plants. The student compared how each plant grew when exposed to different types of music (classical, pop, hip-hop, jazz, and country). The one that had to listen to country music died. I thought it was pretty funny, since I'm not a huge fan of country music!

Hope you've had a great St. Patrick's Day! I am honoring the Irish with a cold beverage in a green bottle... but it's brewed from apples, not hops!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Manic Monday! Art appreciation....

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
Pablo Picasso

That was my favorite quote from the Picasso exhibit at the VMFA. It was a great exhibit... and I was so glad to experience it with an old friend from high school, Hillary. It was great to reconnect after all these years!

This was one of my favorite pieces from the exhibit. It is called "Three Figures Under a Tree." The computer doesn't do the colors justice! Hillary and I both thought it would look just lovely on my mantle :) What amazed me the most is the range of Picasso's work. He can be very simple... very abstract... very literal... or very wild. He can create paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photos. Some of his work was even delicate. Others, hard to look at. Some definitely above my head. Some I'd love to take home.

While browsing the displays, I became acutely aware of how old my eyes have become. I had to put on my reading glasses so I didn't have to be right on top of the cards to read them. It was pretty crowded, so I either had to feel rude and kind of push through to get to the card or just wear the glasses. Oh, well! I wore the glasses ;)

Hillary was a great art museum companion, because she actually knew about many of the artists whose work was on exhibit, whereas I had never heard of many of them! Warhol, yes. Lichtenstein, no.

If you are ever in the Richmond area, you should definitely check out our art museum! I had no clue that we had such a gem in the middle of our city. And definitely don't miss Picasso if you have any interest. The
show runs through May 15th, and is the only stop on the East Coast of this tour.

In other news this weekend, I am terribly saddened by the events in Japan, as I am sure all of you are. I feel incredibly lucky to live where I do, where earthquakes are not a real threat. I will keep thoughts and prayers on the people affected by this horrible disaster, and watch closely as the nuclear danger continues. I feel almost guilty that while others on the other side of the globe suddenly don't have food, water, or perhaps even some family members, I was enjoying Picasso.

Have a safe week, everyone.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Friday! Oh, deer....

As my husband and I plan our garden this year, I start to wonder how destructive these guys will be this season. I captured this buck right outside our window one day last summer. He had 2 does with him, and they ate our rose bushes directly outside our window. No fear, I tell you... we came home from vacation to find all of our tomatoes lopped off, our lettuce chewed to the nub, and our fruit trees stripped of every inch of new growth. I guess with the severe lack of rain, they had to find moisture somewhere.

I've heard of several methods to keep these guys away, including hanging bars of Irish Spring, sprinkling Milorganite around the garden (read: recycled sewage sludge), and using human hair around the garden. Have any of you tried these tricks? I may just have to resort to using fences/cages of some kind.

And don't get me started about the squash bugs. If you don't use commercial pesticides, you had no hope of keeping them out of your garden. We must have had every genetic variation possible devouring our plants last year. They were so bad that I'm not even planning on growing any squash this year... which is a shame, because my husband really loves them! I'll have to get them from the Ashland Farmer's Market!

Are you growing a garden this year? Do you have any thoughts in safely keeping the critters away?

I have plans to host a dessert party tomorrow night and to go see the Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with an old friend from high school on Sunday. It's been years since we've seen each other, and I'm really looking forward to it! Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday! Pyrex!

This week was a great week for Pyrex! My older daughter and I went to the big Goodwill store here in Richmond and found a couple of things:

This casserole dish needed a bit of love from a Magic Eraser... but for $1, I couldn't leave it in the store... it was a 1/2 price item. And then my daughter talked me into buying this mug:

It was only $1, too... and I see these all the time. Maybe I'll have a set someday.... but this was my best addition to my collection this week:

After talking to my mother in law about what I was looking for at thrift stores, she remembered that she had this set somewhere, and she found it today. We had dinner over there this evening, and she gifted these to me. I am so happy! Isn't the pattern beautiful? I feel like a lucky girl!

That's what's thrifty this Thursday! Have you found any lovelies this week?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Manic Monday! Beading

It's been a long time since I've made a necklace. I've been a bit obsessed with embroidery lately! This is one I made a few months ago. I had the idea for a while, but it took some time to actually bring it to life. The beads are mostly glass with a few agate beads mixed in. All of the findings are sterling. I really need to play with some of the beads I got for Christmas!

I have been working on an embroidery project with about a hundred woven picot stitches. Don't ask what possessed me to create such a time consuming project.... because I have no idea! It has involved more than one trip back to the craft store for more of the color of thread I'm using.

On the bright side, my older daughter has expressed a real interest in learning how to embroider. So, we made a trip to Joann's to buy her her very own hoop along with some cross stitch fabric and her choice of embroidery thread. I hope this will tear her away from her Dsi!

Anyone else creating this week? See you Thursday!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo Friday!

Here's another photo from our trip to Manteo. This lovely lady was part of the garden surrounding the bed and breakfast my husband and I stayed in to celebrate our 11th anniversary. It seems like we just got married yesterday.... I can't believe it's actually been that long! I have the color version of this printed to hang in our home. I still haven't found the time to play too much with my new lens, and I actually have a Lensbaby I got for Christmas and haven't used yet, either. Time is one thing I'm short on, especially time in daylight hours.... how about you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

I lucked out this week... I made a mid week stop at our large Goodwill store and found this tea set... they were $8 all together. I love the simplicity of the pieces... no markings, so I don't know who made them. I had a wonderful conversation with one of my patients about tea sets after I told her about this find. She told me that back in the 50's, they would often serve tea from sets like this when entertaining. She reminisced about her favorite sets and who she's passed them down to. I love to hear the stories from my patients!

I think this set will match my teacups and saucers I found a few weeks ago. Now I need to have a tea party!

Have you found any lovelies while thrifting this week?