Friday, June 26, 2009

Check out Lollishops (and a New Charm)!

Have you been to Lollishops lately? There is now a new category section, click here to see>>>Categories>>>for easier shopping if you are looking for a specific item. Searching is pretty easy with this new feature. Also, keep an eye out during the next week or so on my right side bar for a Lollishop widget where you will be able to see a glimpse of some of the items in my Lollishop. Finally, on our trip to Door County I found a little bead shop and some pretty beads that reminded me of Forget-Me-Nots. I came right home and made this Forget-Me-Not charm which is now listed in my Lollishop.

American Homemaker Summertime Swap Box

While away on our camping trip, Angie's (check out her blog!) box arrived. You know someone likes vintage things when they send you a box full of goodies in a vintage box and wraps things in old sewing pattern pieces! You can see from the picture all of the fun things she sent including a clothes pin bag including pretty painted clothes pins, a finger pin cushion, er Jacks (those are all mine--I love carmel popcorn), small beach-themed pictures, two little teacups and saucers with a French lady and gentleman on them, a vintage recipie box with old recipies in it, a July 4th candy stick, a little note pad, and "The Perfect Hostess" (an etiquite, recipe, table setting, and party planning book from 1946). Thanks, Angie.

Camping in Door County

Camping? Yes, a tent, no less. Since camping is one of the cheapest forms of vacationing, away we went for a few days. We figure it's better to go somewhere and camp for $15 a night and bring all of our food when money is a little tight then not go anywhere at all. Besides kids just LOVE camping! We went to one of our favorite places--Door County, Wisconsin--and stayed at Peninsula State Park (yes, it has hot showers and flush toilets!). It is a beautiful park and the whole area is quaint and pretty with little shops galore and gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. We saw plenty of sailboats and even visited a lighthouse--the Cana Island Light, pictured above. We had fun around the campfire at night where we popped Jiffy Pop popcorn and burned fallen cedar that we found in the surrounding woods (talk about good smells!). It was refreshing and fun...even though we got very little sleep...and a worthwhile trip.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Etsy Treasury--Sunny Attic Treasures

Okay, I'm still technologically challenged when it comes to copying a picture from Etsy, putting it in the right form, and getting the picture on here! Ugh! Anyway, Hiptobesquare has generously included my Victorian brooches in her treasury "Sunny Attic Treasures". It is beautiful and reminds me of my grandmother's old attic--sunny, warm, cozy, lots of wood...and she was a seamstress. Check it out--it is really pretty.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #4

Trivets really are nice to use instead of regular pot holders. I have many pretty and practical potholders, but they can render the teapot (especially ones with dainty little legs) tipsy which we certainly don't want for a teapot full of hot water. A trivet can be pretty, colorful, and especially elegant--not to mention a nice level surface to place hot teapots on. I have a trivet collection that I've gathered from gift shops, yard sales, etc. from all over. It is slowly growing (and crooked I see!) because I'm pretty picky about what they look like and the colors. They all must be teapots and not cheap looking. As you can see, there is plenty of room for expansion on my wall, and there is nothing like the thrill of the hunt.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Button Swap Exchange

You never know quite what you're getting into when you participate in a swap. Someday I think I'll host one, perhaps this fall. Anyway, I participated in the Button Swap hosted by Wondermommy (see below to go to her site). I poured though my huge bag of buttons and found a particularly pretty one and put buttons with it in coordinating colors and interesting shapes. Then I made a button as an extra special gift. (See picture above) Truly if I weren't doing beads I would probably do something with buttons. Buttons have so many characteristics and can be absolutely gorgeous. I particularly like unusual ones, shell ones, ones of unusual shapes, and anything floral and pretty. So, I sent the tiny button package out with a little note about myself (as was required by the swap rules) about loving the Lord and being a homeschooling Mom etc. and so forth. Then I waited...and waited...and figured I wouldn't get the swap back.
Then...a small package came...but in the same exact boxes that I had sent. I thought, "Oh, no, she didn't like the note and/or the buttons I sent and has sent my swap back!" But that was not it at all. I got a lovely set of buttons (really like the strawberry one and the purple jeweled one) and a sweet note from Kess who is 13 and has a hobby of button collecting (over 900 at this point!). Shame on me for not thinking rightly! Though my swap partner is a young girl--not at all what I had expected--I think perhaps we my have some more button swaps between us (Kess asked me if I'd like to!) in the future, and I'm already thinking of the next little box of buttons I'm going to send the same exact boxes of course!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Roses in Full Profusion!

I love opening the windows this time of year and smelling the heady mix of roses. Can't beat it! When I hang out our laundry, the large rose bush around the corner from our clothes line sends such a strong perfume on the breeze that it actually makes the task enjoyable. It has been a difficult spring for my rose bushes. It seemed that there were an exceptionally large amount of tent caterpillars this year. Of course, they make those nasty nests in everything (it was a constant work to keep them off our cherry tree and other bush out front of our house), but when they hatch they are everywhere...just everywhere...voraciously eating everything living and green in sight! My tender rose leaves must have been especially tasty to them, because it was a constant battle to keep them off. One rose bush was too small and weak to make it, sadly enough. However, with constant care, the others seem to have made it. Now we must work on strengthening them with some good growth before Japanese beetle (what they are called around here, I believe a "rose beetle" is also a name for them) season arrives in the next few weeks. Roses are certainly time consuming and finicky but worth every moment!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Audrey Hepburn Bracelet

My niece, Christi, graduates from high school this week (with high honors, by the way...congratulations, Christi), and she is a BIG fan of Audrey Hepburn. While I'm not that big of a fan of hers, Audrey was certainly beautiful and glamorous. I decided to make a present for Christi of a bracelet featuring black and white images of Audrey--famous, glamorous, and interesting ones--with some 50's glamor Swarovski crystal and glass bead pearl dangles. It is now done (just in time for Christi's party), and I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry Walnut Bars

It may be because it's almost strawberry season here in Wisconsin or it may be that strawberries are one of my favorite fruits (can't decide between strawberries or blueberries for my all-around favorite), but whatever the case, I've been having a hankering for any way or form. I made an old faithful recipe last night--Strawberry Walnut Bars--which are an adaptation of another recipe with a few changes of my own. These are moist and yummy (perfect, of course, with a hot cup of tea) and can be made all year round.

The recipe is as follows...

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups (or more if you like) strawberry jam/preserves
1 cup (or more if you like) walnuts

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease 9x13 pan. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder; cut in margarine with pastry blender or fork to form coarse crumbs. Add eggs, blend well. Reserve half of mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread jam evenly over crust in pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of nuts over jam. Combine remaining crumb mixture with remaining nuts and sprinkle over top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and cut.
Of course, you may use any other kind of jam...but our favorite combined with the walnuts is strawberry. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thank you, Tiny Bear!

Wow, do I feel special! I received a package all the way from Denmark today. "And who might that be from?" you ask. Well, from Tina of Tiny Bear fame, of course. I had won one of her giveaways in the Cottage Charm Giveaway--these beautiful cloths. They were wrapped up in such a pretty fashion with coordinating ribbon and a pretty business card.
I admit that these cloths are almost too pretty to use! Who is Tina and Tiny Bear? Well, please check out her blog and her Etsy shop to view her gorgeous, vintage-inspired creations and of course ADORABLE little bears--her sites are worth the visit. Thank you, Tina...I really like them! ; )

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #3

Unfortunately I really don't care for green tea. I know it is good for you--very good for you. I used to drink more of it, but I made the mistake while pregnant with my first child of drinking a cup of it that was a little too strong. That was it! I haven't been able to choke down a cup since...except for THIS green tea. It is sort of an un-green tea, I suppose, and very good for you. It has green tea (which, by the way, has a very mild, almost-can't-taste-it taste) and red antioxidants in it (i.e. Rooibos, hibiscus extract, vitamin C). It has a strawberry-orange taste to it which I sweeten with honey (sugar doesn't go!). It's a good, relaxing tea in the evening and/or if I'm feeling poorly. This box I found at Wal-mart, so it is easily found. This cup of tea I put into one of my tea mugs. I'll go on about tea mugs in another post, but this strawberry one is cheery and provides a nice visual accompaniment to the tea.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Lollishop Party? Romantic Homes's Party Spread

When I first looked over the article "Get What You Wish For" in the Romantic Homes July issue my immediate thought was, "This looks like a birthday party that Lollishops would have!" It is a totally fun article filled with pink lollipops, colorful polka dots, vintage pretties, old fashioned candies, and lots of pastel colors. If Sadie Lou or Lollishops were to have a real, physcial birthday party, I imagine it would look just like this and have all of these goodies. (Mmmmm, perhaps Lollishops WILL have a virtual birthday party this year using ideas from this article.) It was a fun read and an enjoyable article, so be sure to take a peak (if you're not a subscriber) when the magazine comes out in July. If you're into festive pink and vintage fluff, this offers great inspiration for your next party! ; )

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Star Spangled Treasury

Well, I've made a new Treasury on Etsy--Star Spangled Stars which features all sorts of sparkly stars. It's the time to be thinking about July 4th (which isn't terribly far away) with all of the patriotic colors and sparkles and spangles that go with the day. Sorry, but I still haven't figured out how to save a picture of the Treasury, but if you click on the name above, you will be directed there. Thanks for looking! ; )

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Jewelry Dish

I don't know about you, but for some reason when I'm in the bathroom and ready to say, wash my face for the night, I know I simply must take off my earrings...but I don't want to walk allllll the way back (those five steps) into my bedroom to put those earrings away like I should. Walllah! The need for a jewelry dish suddenly becomes a necessity. It is much safer to put my ring or earrings in a little dish beside the bathroom sink rather than on the edge of the sink and risk having something go down the drain. My mom has a jewelry dish by her telephone in her kitchen. Why she takes her pretties off there, I'm not sure. Some people must take their rings off before they do the dishes and need a place by the kitchen sink. Then there are those who take jewelry off when they come through the door from work in the evening. Many may have a place on their dresser for their "regular" jewelry--the pieces they put on everyday--as opposed to pieces they choose from their jewelry box to coordinate with their outfit for the day. Perhaps others place a little dish for guests to use in a guest room so that necklaces and rings are not lost or left behind.
I remember as a child looking at those hands--you know the ones--with all the fingers and thumb sticking up so that one may put rings on the fingers and perhaps a necklace in the palm. They always creeped me out a little (influenced from the old Adam's Family series perhaps), so a little, fancy, pretty dish is what I need. One doesn't have to take a plain, glass custard dish from the kitchen to place jewelry in. There are many places to look for pretty little, inexpensive dishes. My favorite and the one I use, pictured above with it's scattered roses, I purchased for 10 cents at a charity store.
Next is similar to the one like my mom uses. On a trip to Japan many years ago, I simply couldn't resist all of the beautiful little dishes the Japanese use for meals. They truly know how to present a meal beautifully. The dishes just enhance the beauty of the meals. I purchased many little dishes for gifts, and this is one that I kept for myself, and, yes, have in our guest bedroom.
Do you have a saucer left after breaking a favorite teacup? Why toss the saucer? It can be repurposed as a lovely jewelry dish.
There are many little dishes that can be found if one only looks--check out the "Dent and Scratch" or the 50% off area of a fine gift shop to see if there is an orphaned or slightly chipped dish. Antique stores and garage sales also offer great dishes to choose from. Some other ideas to look for are as follows: small plant saucer/pot, soap dish, small cut glass dish, antique child's glass play dish, old cigarette dish (yes, believe it or not, some of these are truly pretty and one barely notices the notches where the cigarettes are supposed to go), small candy dish, pickle dish, low-profile candle holder, butter pat needs only have an eye for something pretty and small. The opportunities are endless to add a lovely, inexpensive, and useful addition to your home!