Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Auction/Thrift Booty

Just a few of the goodies I found at the mother of all thrift sales this past week. I love this purse but it does look kind of grandmother-ish. It was just in such beautiful condition and the inside is a lovely green moire taffeta with a matching change purse! Couldn't resist.
These hankies were picked up at an auction... a whole big box of them for $7.50. I think I will make some garlands from some of them since I have accumulated quite a stash. I just love the way they look blowing in the breeze. Washing and ironing them is the best part for me. After soaking in oxyclean overnight they brightened right up.

This heavily beaded peasant blouse was in the costume section for $3.00! It is so heavy and in perfect condition except for one little spot on the back (another job for oxyclean). I think if I shed a few more pounds, I can fit into it. It would be lovely with a brown woolen skirt for the holidays.

I was on an adrenaline high after finding these goodies but my husband said it was like a cat dragging home a mouse to the doorstep: the cat is very proud but the owner not so pleased. Really though, where can you have this much fun for so little money...I ask you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Miss Mouse

When you really love something, which is in my case old fabrics, it is amazing how that very thing comes to you from sources you barely know or could even imagine. Such was the case of meeting a lovely lady who makes soap in her very own kitchen. Wonderful handmade soap that smells heavenly. This is Judy Lidie of Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps. Admiring and smelling her soaps at a craft show, we somehow began discussing old fabrics and she casually said that she had some old stuff and could I use any? I am not one to pass up old fabrics so of course I said YES!

Here is some of the sweet bounty that came my way. Each one is delicious and lovely and just right amount of faded and sweet (as a side note, they all smelled so good no doubt the result of being around all that marvelous soap!). The patterns are endless and there are so many quilt pieces lovingly hand sewn together with tiny perfect stitches that sadly never made their way into an actual quilt.
I am always honored when someone thinks enough of me that they would pass these treasures along. I will do my best to find special projects for these wonderful pieces.

As a small thank you, I thought that Judy could use a real Miss Mouse to accompany her to all her craft shows. This little lady was made from some old boucle wool and some of Judy's own fabrics and trims.

And then, being that I am getting into a little Harvest/Halloween mood, I made a little Harvest Moon Miss Mouse too.

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Tale of a Table, a Yard Sale and a Funny Story about Moving Furniture

We are in the midst of a big re-arrange around here. Maybe it's the change of seasons but I think I have moved every piece of furniture in my house in the last several weeks. We have a nice "formal" dining room. Problem is no one but me wants to hike the seven extra steps to eat in there. The kids don't like the room... says it gives them bad vibes. This house was built in 1849 and there was a doctor's office in there at one time so who knows? Anyway, I am tired of eating at the kitchen island on hard stools. Plus we have a long rectangular farmer's table which is beautiful but we don't use most of it so I got it into my head that I wanted a round pedestal table with leaves so that you are using just the amount of table you need but can make it bigger on demand. I began to lust for this table. I thought about it all the time but oh... the price. A bit hard to swallow and since we have a perfectly good table it did seem an unnecessary extravagance.

So, I decided to participate in a yard sale with a friend. I hadn't done a clean-out in a while and there are certainly lots of things cluttering up the garage that we no longer use and projects that I will never get to (very difficult to admit that to myself...thus the hoarding). Well, it was a resounding success! I made over $400 but still not enough for my dream table. Someone suggested Craig's List. I had never looked before and was amazed by the amount of stuff available for reasonable prices! I found a great table..oak, pedestal, cheap price. I couldn't get down to see it right away and alas it was sold right out from under my nose. I was despondent for a few days but all the more determined to find a table. I was on a mission.

My husband suggested I look at a couple of antique shops around here and voila! Right across the river in Vermont I found it. Just the table for my spot. It even had leaves and was right in my price range. I loaded it up and took it home, excited that we would be able to have dinner on it that very evening!

My plan was to move the sofa and chairs from the sitting room adjacent to the kitchen into the old dining room and make this sitting area our new dining area. Well, it turns out this old house has very narrow doorways. There was no way that sofa was going into that dining room. In fact, there was no way that sofa was going anywhere without a major upheaval, including disconnecting some plumbing! The way we got it in is still a mystery but I think our new refrigerator sticks out more than the old one and the sofa was literally trapped. It was either get out the chainsaw or learn to deal with it.

Once again, I was despondent. Here I had my table...what to do? I pulled the sofa out from the wall and pulled the table up to it to think. My husband said, "Hey I kind of like the way that looks. Kind of like a coffee house". Well, he is a good salesman because it grew on me and I think I like it better all the time! Of course you have to sit on a pillow when you are on the sofa because it's a little low down but it works. And we didn't have to use a chainsaw..thankfully.

My daughter and I ran around the house playing HGTV and "staging" it with stuff we had. That was so much fun.

And then of course to celebrate we made a nice dessert to go with the corn chowder I made for dinner. This is a fruit kuchen and was made for me by a wonderful lady named Edith when I visited her home in Switzerland many years ago. I usually make it with apricot halves but you can use any fresh moist fruit. It is wonderful. Enjoy the recipe below.

Swiss Kuchen with Fruit

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp lemon extract

1 7/8 cups flour*

2 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

3 Tbsp heavy cream

Fresh fruit such as apricot halves, raspberries, strawberries, peach slices....

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour an 8-inch spring form pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs and beat well. Add lemon extract. Mix dry ingredients and add slowly to the creamy mixture while beating. Add cream and beat batter until smooth. Batter will be stiff but have no fear because the moisture from the fruit will seep in and you will end up with a nice moist cake!

Spread batter in the spring form pan and arrange fruit (artfully of course) on top. Keep in mind that you want each slice to contain fruit. Bake 35-40 minutes until done but not overdone.

This is just the right size for afternoon tea with the ladies. It is best eaten that day or the day after but usually gets gobbled right up around here. Serve it on a pretty cake plate with a doily and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If you really want to go crazy, you could whip some cream.

* (I know this is weird but this was translated from the Swiss recipe which was in grams. I just measure 2 cups of flour and then take 1/8 cup away)

Friday, September 3, 2010

In the Pink

I haven't blogged in a whole month. I have been challenged this month with medical issues and blogging has not been on my mind. But I am feeling well now. As a matter of fact, I am "in the pink". I must be because I have been drawn to pink these days.

A little of this...
Sprayed on a cool little thrift store find
Yields a very pink tiered table that will be a handy of display for all sorts of goodies. I picture cupcakes or flower brooches.
Here is my find of the year! I found this pristine wool coat in a vintage shop in Northampton. It is the most luscious shade of peachy pink. I wore it a couple of times last spring but can't wait to break it out when the weather turns colder.
Doesn't it remind you of Marlo Thomas in "That Girl"? I need to find my white gloves.
Lovely back detail. The lining was so crisp that I don't think it was ever really worn. It was probably saved just for Easter. And it was only $15.00!
A recent purchase from Kohl's at 70% off... I love the colors. It reminds me of Peter Max who was a favorite of mine when I was a teen.
Hope you are feeling in the pink.