Monday, June 16, 2014

Before the Heat Chases Me Inside

Note to self...think about the reflection in the front door when taking photos.  But these are my new urns, courtesy of the antique store on Salem Street.  Mind you they've already been moved around a bit, but still...quite pleased with these.

This photo was taken as I stepped out the door onto our second floor deck.  Those 2 crepe myrtle trees were purchased a couple of years ago at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Use Center for just $3 each.  Can you believe it?  And now they reach beyond the deck, offering us privacy while shading the patio below.  But I actually wanted you to notice my asparagus fern, which pretty much blends right in to the background.

Like my two little lanterns?  They hold suspended tea light candles, and when lit at night, the holes create patterns of light that's just very subdued yet striking.

All these lovely plants were purchased at the farmers market a few weeks back.  Just love the mix of colors, textures & heights.

Another fern, plus more potted plants.  The large one in the corner was from the market, but the 2 smaller ones were planted my me, with plants purchased at the Apex Wal-Mart, if you can believe it.

And the pot on the left with all the broken pottery affixed to the terra cotta was done by me and the hubby a few years ago.  We have tons of broken crockery in the basement and need to do more.

And yes, I need to put the cushions back on the furniture when taking photos of the back deck.  Duly noted.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shopping and Building Class Kits


Sunday afternoon we stopped at the local antique shop where I proceeded to spend lots of cash.  It all began with this very old ledger, dating to the early 1900's. 

The spine was horribly worn, with pages barely attached, but of course since I plan to tear them out for collage classes, it really didn't matter to me.  I worked my way to the front of that glorious old store to inquire about a price and he asked what I was willing to pay.  I said I'd love to get it for $15.  His eyebrows raised and he said he was thinking $50, so I knew he'd be keeping it for a very long time.

But he came back after all and countered with $20 cash and it was SOLD immediately.

Now take a look at that new purchase (on the left) and my flea market purchase from 2 weeks ago in the center.  Asking price for this one on a late Sunday afternoon was $35 but I paid $18, again quick cash changing hands before anyone changed their mind. 

Not sure if you can see the difference in penmanship or not between the two, but the oversized journal makes me yearn for a chance to repeat elementary school, spending a bit more time on my cursive.

My other purchases at the antique store were 2 very tall urns for my front porch and a grinding wheel, old and dirty, marked down to $35 from $50, but we got it for $30.  No idea where we'll put it, but when was the last time you saw one?  For me, the answer was never.

Will have to take a photo of the urns for you.  You'll be impressed too.  Didn't even haggle on those.  However we were on that tiny Mercedes with the retractable top, which of course filled the trunk.  So the top went back up, one urn, the wheel and the ledger went into the trunk, and then I climbed in and they squeezed the urn down between my feet for me to share space with for the 3 block drive home. 

It was 15 minutes past closing time but he was so pleased that he made $100 cash, he said to call ahead next time and he'd put cones out to block the parking spot at his front door for us!  We were very fortunate that (a) it was available on Sunday, and that (b) I wasn't the one who had to do the parallel parking to squeeze into it.

I found these 3 ledgers back in April at an antique festival and I'm thinking these will become altered books, leaving them as is since the bindings are good, but altering the pages.

Again, admiring that penmanship.  It speaks to me.  Can you hear it?

That same festival is where I buy my stamps and the above photo shows bundles of stamps from India, plus packets of butterfly stamps I knew I could use for collage kits.

What I didn't expect to find was this gold mine...a box filled with hundreds...probably thousands of foreign stamps.  The collector had died and a friend of the widow was asked if he could sell them.  He wanted $50 for the entire box and I got it for $40.  We were both thrilled!

They've been sorted by country and while part of me likes to pull them out and admire them while I can still see those noted, I'm itching to dump them altogether in my container of foreign stamps.  Something about this sorted packaging is preventing me from actually using them, and let's face it, I'm a stamp collector of rubber stamps

Do you see these 2 bamboo bowls of keys I found that day?  They were a steal!  2 bags of keys for $5 per bag!!  This is unheard of for keys.  Most places want anywhere from $2 to $8 per key, especially for skeleton keys. 

Just look at these babies!  Teeny little keys in all shapes.  Makes my heart sing every time I see them.  And it's worth the dirty hands to dump them out and plunder through them. 

On a closing note, I should've looked at last year's blog post and I'd have discovered the birthday boy was only 82 this year.  We began serving cake with the 83 cut off first!

Mind you, I couldn't have even a bite but everyone raved about how wonderful it was, making me miss it even more.

The last piece of birthday cake with buttercream icing that I tasted was tiny tot's cake with the very blue icing in February.  Had I known it was going to be my last, I'd have ordered an entire cake just for myself.  We'll chat about this celiac business another day.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Birthday Time Again!

I have a rubber stamp that says "Time flies whether you're having fun or not", and it's so very true.  It's hard to believe that another year has passed and it's time for a birthday celebration for my step-father. 

Last year he chose to spend it with us, staying overnight, going out to dinner and coming home for cake and a few hours of domino play.  And tonight, we're doing it all over again.

He's just a big kid.  Aren't we all?

I lost my father 38 years ago when he was just 42.  This past Monday would've been his 81st birthday and I can't begin to tell you how odd that sounds.  I can't imagine him old.  But then I look in the mirror and see for myself that I'm no longer the fresh-faced new mom I was back then either.

We celebrated our 14th Anniversary at The Angus Barn, just as we did on our wedding night and each year since.  Tradition.  Isn't it grand?

So tonight it's another tradition, celebrating with a lot of laughter and the rattle of many a domino clattering around and occasionally careening off the table onto the floor. 

There might even be cotton candy.  You never know. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Distracted, but well intentioned

I've been fretting a bit of late.  And worrying.  And staying a tad distracted.
I've been bounced around to doctor offices, had my first endoscopy, and learned everything I never wanted to know about celiac disease and how to live gluten-free.  Ugh.

Life continues to get in the way of my creativity.  Although I have been adding art to the pages of my latest journal, welcoming the distraction and enjoying the bright colors.  Adding pockets, playing with rubber stamps, and planning a few new projects.

But I've had some great fun with the boys.  Who can resist those little cuties?  I watched Luke take some tentative steps on Saturday before deciding that he could crawl much faster than reaching for one more thing in his path on foot.  And Jackson entertained me, playing Trouble followed by some excitement with Operation.  Not sure which of us laughed the most when that nose would light up and the buzzer would go off, making me jump every time.

It's my 14th anniversary so I'm about to head out for a lovely dinner at The Angus Barn. 

I'll be back tomorrow.  Hope you will be too.