Friday, December 31, 2010

i realize it's been said a thousand times before, but i really do hope we all have a good and prosperous new year. i know i could use one.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry merrys

 whether you were naughty

or nice

i hope you have a wonderful hoilday season.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

retro mummy:giveaway


doesn't this fabric just make your synapses sizzle? doesn't it just make you want to start creating something? it does me. head over to retro mummy's blog to check it out.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

in this house

do you ever have moments when you walk down memory lane? last night i found myself awake at 1:30 in the morn. what to do? i thought i could work on trying to finish up a few gifts, but didn't really want to turn on the lights. so i grabbed my laptop and went for a little jaunt.

in this house i can remember

taffy pulls in the kitchen with my mother and oldest cousin
listening to the radio while i played right below those two front windows on the porch
my father's garden that his boss told him shouldn't be as grand as it was
badminton games played in the street between my mum and her neighbor friend, mary
mary's first husband, shot, being a exceptionally tall man, at least to a wee girl, being very kind to us kids
stubbing my big toes till they bled due to the way i walked (hip dysplasia)
trying to hide my leg braces from my mum in, an oh so clever place of, the closet
eating my lunch of sardines, white bread and ketchup while sitting on the floor at the coffee table in the living room and watching match game after i had come home from kindergarten
playing with my sister and the other neighborhood children in the street
of walking down to the corner house, (a total of two houses away) after waking from my nap to let my mum know i was up and not being afraid or concerned
the hardwood floors in the house
the man next door keeping bees and always having to be quiet when you walked by his fences so as not to disturb them
seeing my first ghost
my mum winning a 10 foot stuffed dog that rode home on the top of our small car and sat in the corner of our bedroom
my mum making the three wise men from old wall paper samples
the back porch catching on fire because of a hot coal from a barbecue and thinking my dad such a brave man because he put out the fire
going for walks in the evening with the whole family

these memories were gathered in a period of about 5 years, from the age of 2 to about 7. amazing what we can remember. what can you remember from one of your childhood homes.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

popping memories

has everyone gotten all they're holiday shopping done? have you been able to get all the decorating done? i'm actually glad to say that i'm done with both of those things. i, of course, have not, as yet, gotten any presents wrapped and under our wee tree. it's too tempting and too dangerous for the wee folk of the house. they have a hard time keeping their little hands off the ornaments and other holiday decorations. i know if i put presents out now they would be having small fits to open them and see what was inside.

for some reason the other morning i begin to think of past christmases. in particular when we lived in monterey, ca. the area in which we lived and i grew up had a large italian influence. there were many large multi-generational italian families. it was wonderful. around the beginning of december i would start to hear certain school mates talk about cookie night. being 11 years old, i wasn't quite sure what this was, but i was greatly intrigued. i soon learned that many italian mothers and grandmothers would gather together on one night and spend the whole night baking cookies. they literally would bake the entire night. it always sound like such fun, such camaraderie. i imagined these older women dressed in their mourning weaves, yes many of them wore black all the time, with aprons on, mixing and measuring and baking like crazy. all the while exchanging the latest family gossip, nibbling on treats and drinking coffee (or stronger stuff). after preparing all these cookies they would exchange a certain amount with each other and make packages up for the less fortune family members to give as a holiday gift. as i grew up i would still hear of these magical baking nights but never was invited to attend. funny how certain memories just sort of pop in your head.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

it took me long enough

well i finally finished a project i started some time ago. don't you love when you accomplish something like that? i do.
i started a project in november of 2009. on my old blog, the tink-n-frog i showed this picture:

this pattern was knocking around in my brain and just begged to be drafted out. i got the pattern this far and had even gotten a great deal of the wee creature sewn together before it went into hibernation. i kept running across this project and wanted to finish it. since it was meant for a christmas decoration, i thought this would be the perfect time to complete him. and i'm so glad to show you him today.

our middle son has named this wee fellow Stewart

he's a very clever and dapper fellow. i had originally planned on just having him visit for Christmas, but as long as it took the dear fellow to arrive i think he will probably stay on for some time. of course he will have to be fitted with a change of clothes as the time passes. i mean he would not want to be seen in his christmas vest all year long.

after seeing him, and naming him, the middle wee one has decided that he would like to have his own wee mouse. this of course means that i need to make one for the youngest wee one as well. you know in my free time. (grin)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

looking back and looking forward

i read a woman's blog this evening in which she wrote about her family making the decision to home school their child. i found that it made me remember when my husband and i made the same decision. only our oldest one wasn't even of the age to start regular school. we had watched and listened to the stories our friend's, whose children attended public schools, would relay. stories of children not getting the assistance they needed. or of homework being sent home in a different language, and the class wasn't a language class.

so we figured that when the time came for our first born to start learning his abc's and 123's we would take the task on ourselves. it became my responsibility, and it turned out to be one i have enjoyed. i enjoyed "seeing" our wee son's gears turning in his growing brain. it was fascinating. i discovered that his way of learning was for me to explain it a couple of times and then to leave the subject alone. i would then return to to the topic a few days later and "ta da!" he would have grasped the concept.

 i loved it when he showed an interest in a certain topic, because then we could investigate that idea in every way possible. through discussion, reading, writing, researching on the internet, talking with people, or maybe even watching a program. i looked at every thing that happened in our day as a way to learn. there was even a time when we, as a small young family, were going through a very hard time.we, our then small son of 5 and myself, were sitting outside one evening, it was dark and the stars were out. i started to pray about our circumstances out loud to God. it wasn't intentional, it was just one of those moments when you just need to seek solace in a higher being and it just tumbles from your mouth. my son looked at me and asked who God was? it wasn't that he had never heard of him or that the concept was foreign in our home, his question was one of someone really wanting an explanation of who this was. and so my moment of fear and doubt turned into a lesson on religion and faith.

now at the age of 16, i still find our oldest son's way of learning thrilling and exciting. most times, now a days, if he gets an idea into his head or becomes curious about something he researches until his heart's content. case in point, i read something in the news about some happening in space. i mentioned it to him and he popped off with all this information about black holes and crab nebulae. it blew my socks off, and it was wonderful.

i am older now and i have two, new young minds to help fill with, hopefully, useful knowledge. these two are definitely different. our middle son does not want any recognition that he got something correct. no pats on the back. the youngest one wants fanfare and applause for simply repeating a right answer his brother already gave. i do worry about our middle boy, though. i feel, often times, the information is not sinking in. i can not "see" his gears turning. i haven't learned his learning style as yet. and that concerns me. but then out of no where, when he doesn't think any of us, older ones, are listening he will inform, or correct his little brother on something. i have heard him say "no it's 'a' ", and the little one responds with "oh, okay".  heaven's forbid i walk in and try to tell the middle one good job for helping out his baby brother. as soon as i make a positive remark, the middle one starts to whine, frown, and tells me to stop. odd little duck. but i just keep moving forward and hoping that one of these days, in some small moment, i will catch the faint hum of tiny gears turning. i feel it's a sound i shall never tire of.


Monday, November 8, 2010

16 years ago i gave birth to our oldest son. 
today he is the best teenage guy i have had the honor of being around. 
he is kind, strong, intelligent, funny and a smart aleck
sometimes he can be a big pain in the hiney, but those times are really far and few between.
so to one of the greatest guys i have ever met
Happy Birthday!!
we love you

Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

- by Sandra Liatsos

There's a goblin at my window,
A monster by my door.
The pumpkin at my table
Keeps on smiling more and more.
There's a ghost who haunts my bedroom,
A witch whose face is green.
They used to be my family,
Till they dressed for Halloween. 

have a safe, fun and happy halloween.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

have a cuppa and a wee berry tart

well good afternoon one and all. here i sit (trying to stay alert and awake) after a morning and early afternoon of baking. that and chasing the wack-a-doodles

in one of jaunts around the internet one day i ran across this recipe:

2-2-2 Pastry Recipe

Recipe from Mrs. Jessie-Mae

This recipe makes the wrap and you can add any of your favorite fillings in the wrap. 

Example: strawberries, apricots, pears, apples, meat, etc.

2- 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

2 sticks margarine (room temperature)

2 cups all purpose flour

Mix up and roll out into 2 1/2 inch squares. Before putting in filling, place in refrig. and chill for an hour or two. Then when ready to put in filling, put 1-2 teaspoons. Filling and then bring each corner up to meet and mash together. Bake at 350 degrees.and it didn't have for how long on the recipe.
( i baked them for about 16 minutes at the 350 degrees)

(i found it on this website . )

when i saw it i wrote it down in my cooking journal, as i do when i run across an interesting sounding recipe. and yes i do have a cooking journal. it's nothing fancy it's just a blank journal that i quickly jot down recipes in. the wee wack-a-doodles got a hold of it one day and were flipping through the pages and landed on that recipe.  it sparked my creative juices and i remembered that i had some wild blueberries in the freezer. hmmm maybe some wee berry tarts are in order, my creative juices were saying.

i was a wee bit hesitant to try a new recipe, because the new recipes that i had tried as of late had not been real winners. i felt safe in trying a halved version. so i made a 1-1-1 pastry dough. i mixed up a quick blueberry filling with some frozen wild blueberries and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. 

this dough mixes up quickly and  after it chills it's very easy to work with. i rolled it out on a floured surface. even with the slight addition of more flour and my rough handling of the dough, it did not get stiff or hard. it actually became a little more stretchy.  the flavor of the dough after baking is slightly buttery. so it would complement wither sweet or savory fillings. i followed the directions in the recipe and made squares and smooshed the ends together. but while baking the ends sort of separated and some of the filling  tried to make an escape ( i guess you have to watch those wild blueberries, otherwise they are apt to run amok).  i figured the next time i made this recipe i would use my mini muffin pan and make tarts instead of bundles.

so yesterday i was daring and made a full sized batch of the dough and chilled it in the fridge over night. for i had decided that today would be a good day to make tarts with various fillings.

i then created three different fillings. (i wasn't too exact in measurements for these fillings)
mushroom filling 
chopped some mushrooms - about 4 or 5 button or regular
chopped a green onion - i used 1
sauté them in butter - about 2 tablespoons
add a little bit of bread stuffing - about 1/3 of a cup
a few dashes of tabasco sauce
after filling the cups i sprinkled the tops with some grated parmesan cheese.
at the time i took the photo i didn't have any of the mushrooms tarts left. they were a big hit and plus i hadn't made that many of them. the wee wack-a-doodles even liked them.

berry filling
blueberries- i used 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries which are smaller than regular blueberries 
blackberries - about 1/2 cup 
granulated sugar - about 1/2 cup or sweeten to your own tastes
lemon juice - 1/2 -1 teaspoon
cornstarch/flour - i used a table spoon (not a measuring tablespoon, a spoon for eating with) i added one at a time until i had the consistency i liked. which was actually fairly thick.

i also used some wickedly wonderful strawberry jam that i was given.

now to ease your tart making path by learning from my errors, i would strongly suggest that you use a strip of parchment in each muffin cup. place a strip of parchment in the cup, with the ends of the strip sticking above the rim of the cup, before lining with your pastry dough. it makes it far easier and less messy to lift these somewhat dainty tarts out of the pan. of course i didn't remember this clever baking tip until the last five i baked. (durh! who's a dork? im a dork!)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

my crazy wack-a-doodles but i'm better now

as i have mentioned before, on several occasions, i am the vintaged mum of three boys.

our first born, unbeknown to me at the time, was a wonderful and amazing wee child. i should say i knew at the time that he was a fun and loving little boy. but what i was unaware of, when he was small, was that we would be surprised with two other little boys later in life. and these two....these two make me question why we don't eat our young. these two give me a run for my money EVERY single day. not one day goes by that i am not having to literally chase one of them through the house, or threaten to throw one, or both of them in the garbage, (at which point they usually just giggle and say yeah momma throw me in da' garbage) i wish i could say i'm one of those amazing mum's that have all the patience in the universe and is able to work with her children with grace, style and complete presence of mind. but reality is reality. and our wee boys are wack-a-doodles. they cause me to say such crafty and profound things like, "if you don't behave yourselves i'm gonna beat you." (which i haven't done but the threat and loudness of my voice seems to get my intent across)

so this morning after coming home from work and the market, i came home to the boys being their normal demanding selves. i want, momma i don't want to watch, momma can you put on this movie, momma i don't want anymore breakfast.....etc etc etc. so out of frustration and a mild attempt to do something with my hair after sneaking in a shower, i decided since they couldn't agree on which movie to watch that i would turn off the movie they were watching, lilo and stitch, and do some school work. out comes the worksheets and the colored pencils.

the middle wack-a-doodle decided the best tactic to use was to pout and look pitiful. i ignored his valiant attempts. i asked him to pick a pencil color he would like to use. whether he was being cagey or not was hard to tell, he chose a white pencil for the white paper. ummmm yeah not such a good choice. i suggested he pick another color. while i'm helping him the youngest wack-a-doodle is anxiously (read bouncing in his chair) waiting for his turn for help. after the middle one finally decides on a different color he informs me that "o.k. momma, i'm done" it was a nice try, but i forged on and showed him what he was to do.  i then turn my attention to the youngest wack-a doodle and told him to pick a pencil color. he chooses....white, and then looks at me with a wee glint in his eye and then smiles at me. yeah, don't tell me there isn't some master plan these two have to drive me nuts. i sighed and suggested that he chose another color. we made it through the worksheets. a whole three before they both decided that was enough of that for the time being. we went back to lilo and sitch and then on to the movie we're back. i figured this might be a good time to put my feet up and try to relocate a recipe i had seen online. the youngest wack-a-doodle would come and give my feet and legs a hug every few minutes. i didn't think much of it, until he came up, bent over my legs and licked my ankle. at first i wasn't really sure if he had licked me or just breathed hot air. but then he wiped my leg looked at me and announced, "there you're better momma" . oh good. up until that point i hadn't been aware i was unwell, or that i needed to be licked. but i guess i'm better now. thank goodness, it had me worried there for a minute, i guess.


Monday, October 4, 2010

And here is what it looks like....

i thought you might want to see how my decorating for ol' hallow's eve turned out. so here are some gratuitous photos.

taken with the light off

and obviously taken with the light on 
i hope every one is getting in the "spirit" of the month. i'm off to start on my christmas bunting. it's going to involve some cross stitch, something i haven't done in a fairy's age. i would have said "coon's age" but raccoon's can freak me out sometimes. i think it's the whole little hands and mask thing. plus the fact that if they get miffed they can become quite unpleasant and unruly.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

soft in the head about halloween

i'm not sure why but halloween is my favorite holiday. nope not christmas, nor easter, thanksgiving is so-so. i'm not sure if it's the implied possibility of magic happening, or the concept of being able to fly around on a broom. maybe it's the true beginning of fall for me. the corn mazes. the apple picking. the ability to start baking yummy things because the weather has cooled. i don't like the gruesome, ugly, commercialized concept of slasher movies and horror flicks bit of halloween. i'll pass on that stuff.

i mentioned in the last post that i saw these lovely and amazing beauties on flickr. they inspired me to create my own felt skullies bunting to display with my other halloweeny things. i finished the last one tonight. i thought i would show you the collective group before i sew them onto the vintage black ric rac i found recently.

the color is a little wonky in the photo because the skull on the bottom here, that sort of looks gray is actually a lovely pistachio color. i used glow in the dark embroidery thread on it. i'm not sure if it will really glow that much since i only used two strands. i'll have to let you know. i'm rather partial to the red, black and white ones. they seemed the easier to do. isn't that odd?

i am going to be sewing these to the ric rac after i complete this post. i'll watch one of my "fall" movies, bell, book and candle, one of my favorite movies (i seem to have several). kim novak, jimmy stewart, elsa lanchester, hermione gingold, ernie kovaks and jack lemmon. kim wears a beautiful red velvet dress that at first glance looks black. it's simple in shape and form, but the color simply captivates me every time i see this movie.

off i go to start stitching.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

non-crafting post

well now that's not entirely true. i am crafting , or at least trying to. i'm working on a skully garland, inspired by this one, for good ol' hallow's eve. i'm still trying to complete some wee dolls for the wee ones. i need to start on the monkey patterns  for Christmas presents. i also have an idea for Christmas tree decorations this year that will require me to do some counted cross stitch.  i figure i end up with about an hour a day to do all of these things. (sigh)

so i have a question for all of you crafty type peoples out there in blogland. how do you do it? how do you raise your children, (i home school, or at least try to), work, run all the errands, manage the home and still craft? i get help from my dear mum, and even with that i just can't seem to be able to get more time to craft. when the wee ones are up and going, i find i spend my time doing the whole go-for thing.  mama, i want something to drink, mama i want something to eat, mama i want to go outside, mama i want to watch a movie, mama i want to sit on your lap. and if it's not the mama-i-wants, it's finding out what the most devious child in our home is doing. that would be our youngest. he is emerging to be "the most impish creature in the known universe", a title he is beginning to wear too proudly. he will quietly go into the kitchen to snag cookies, hamburger patties, crackers, suckers, stickers, heck even fingernail polish, and then just as quietly and quickly run up the stairs to partake in his ill gotten booty. often times i am completely unawares of his nefarious deeds, until oft it's too late, i.e. the finger nail polish ends up on the ends of his fingers. this afternoon while they were supposed to be down for their naps, and i was actually able3 to work on some embroidery. i discovered that the imp had gotten a hold of the hairspray. i discovered this fact when i went to comb his hair after telling him to come down since i was aware that they hadn't taken naps. i found his hair difficult to comb through, which it normally is not. I suddenly suspected some liberal usage of hair spray had taken place. i went to the upstairs bathroom, and upon stepping on the bathroom floor immediately understood how a fly felt when it had flew into fly paper. seriously sticky. the bathroom rug was sticking to the bottom of my feet when i would lift them up. hmmmmm not good. the linoleum was actually still wet from his fervent use of the the hairspray. and i noticed that the middle wee one's face was exceptionally shiny. and yes his facial features would not blow away in a strong wind. (sigh) so an impromptu scrubbing of the bathroom and quick baths were the order for the afternoon. and no more embroidering.
now i need to quickly rap up this post because the imp is having a fit for some unknown reason about his brother getting a different coloring tablet. yes it is the end of the world and i feel fine. (sorry just a bit of nostalgic R.E.M. song referencing there)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

let the bells ring out across the land

let the celebrations begin
raise a toast to....
ma boots!
yes it's true i finally found a fantastic pair of boots! at least they are for me. here they look quite chocolate colored, but they are are more ox blood. 

i'm wearing a dress made from some of the 33 odd yards of fabric
i found them on ebay, last week, in an auction. they are mens but i don't have any problem with that. they started off at .99 cents. i watched them until the last 4 minutes and then placed my bid. and i won! woo hoo. with shipping the grand total was $21.05. shipping was the bulk of the price, $15.00, which means the boots themselves were only $6.05 (grin). i am thrilled i finally found a pair of boots that are leather, can be worn with either blacks or browns, are in great shape, fit my big ol' flapper feet, and were a great price.


Monday, August 23, 2010

anyone for some kite flying?

hello m'dearies!
today was a really nice day weather-wise. not too hot and with a slight breeze. i took the wee ones outside this morning to let them run off some energy. as i sat on the stoop, i thought about kite flying. i love flying kites. the oldest and i used to go out in one of our pastures with our sheep, ( yup we used to have sheep and a llama and a 25 acre farm, but that's a story for another day), and fly kites.
well the space we live in now is considerably far smaller. so i thought about kite flying in a small space. i came to the conclusion it would require a small kite. hmmm.....small kites? seems as though it should be easy to make. so i started to peruse the internet to see what i could find. the information i came across seemed easy enough. i got the supplies out and... created some kites. the young ones couldn't quite get the idea of not grasping the kite string, but just gently holding on to it. so the oldest came out and we had fun flying mini kites.

i figured if we had some laughs playing around with these maybe someone else might. sooooooo..... i decided to try my first tutorial. yes i know, gasp! a tutorial with lots of photos. now please understand i am not claiming to be a kite master. this was simply how i made the kites we played with today in a light intermittent breeze.

~a kite tutorial~
remember the key is to keep the kite as light weight as possible

tissue paper
glue stick
plastic drinking straw
quilting thread
exacto knife
safe cutting surface

i used some salmon colored tissue

1. cut the straw 6 inches long.
if using a bendy straw, cut the straw below the bendy part
save the top part of the straw for later

2. use your exacto knife and slice the straw length way, to open the straw up.
flatten the sliced open straw on the cutting surface

3. carefully slice 2 thin strips from the straw approximately 3 mm wide
two strips of straw approximately 3 mm wide

4. cut one of the strips to 4.5 inches long. leave the other straw strip the 6 inches.
one strip will be 4.5 inches long and the other will be about 6 inches long

5. slide the curved side, if there be one, of  6 inch strip of straw along the top of your glue stick.

7. place the sticky straw strip on your tissue. i started in one corner. but not too close to the edge.

8. i repeated the gluing process for the 4.5 inch straw strip and placed it across the first strip at about 4.25 inches from the bottom of the longer one. i then dabbed some of the glue from the glue stick on each of the corners of the strips.

9. using the ruler and pencil draw a line connecting the end of the glued on straw strips to form a diamond.

10. use your scissors to cut along the pencil line you have just drawn.

11. cut two strips of tissue, approximately 5 to 6 mm wide, as a tail for the kite. dab a bit of glue to the bottom of your kite and attach your two tail strips.

12. now is the time to attach your kite string. take your quilting thread, or heavy sewing thread, and pull off three lengths, approximately 3 yards. thread your needle with one end of the string and tie a knot in the other end. poke the needle through the strips, where they intersect, on the back of your kite. pull the string through until the knot rests on the crossed strips.

13. dab some glue on to the knot of string on the back of the kite to secure.

14. thread the free end of string through your small cut piece of straw.

15. attach the string to the straw by tying a knot.

16. wrap the string around the straw tube to act as a reel or a winder thing-a-ma-bobby.

17. if you happen to have a bamboo skewer you can place the straw tube on it so that the string will pull out freely.

these are the first three kites that i made and that we took out and played with this afternoon. 

the green and the purple were made inspired by some of the information i found online. the orange one and the one shown in the tutorial is based off of how my mum used to make kites when she was a wee lass. i found i like her way better. both styles fly well i just i like the simplicity of my mum's suggestion.

here's our oldest flying the orange kite made like the one in the tutorial. as you can see we have some construction going across the street from out apartment complex, and the trees that left standing are fairly tall. just so you have some point of reference as to how high these sweet little kites can go. 

so there you have it, my first tutorial. i hope some of you out there are inspired, or at least intrigued enough, to try one of these. if you do, let me know how it turns out.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

i'm done

this post is about the fact that i finished my entry for the embroidereading contest. i'm not wholly sure how i feel about what i created. i did discover that i don't like embroidering words that much. or at least not the font i chose. i loved it at first but....then after a while.....yeah not so much. hopefully i won't embarrass myself in entering the contest. but if i do no one will be able to tell (sigh of relief).

i'm also almost done with our two youngest. they are being complete buggers! doing everything between whining, if you tell them they can not have anymore of something, to down right screeching and crying if i tell them no. at least that is what the smallest one is doing. the middle one is making a valiant attempt at trying to figure out new ways to manipulate us into doing what he wants. he used to be a great one for crying at the drop of  a hat. but now it's not working anymore since he's almost 5. so now he's trying to find a new trick. the only time they do not fuss, fight, whine, argue, cry, or act complete blighters is when i sit and do nothing or "wait" on them. no one else, just me. (sigh) i know i'm going to sound like an absolute horrid mum, but i don't want to "wait" on them and do nothing all day. with the children i have helped raise these two are by far the most labour intensive. my mum helpfully suggests it's just a phase they are going through. gosh i sure hope so. because if it's not a phase i'm going to seriously look into advertising two lightly used children for sale. cheap! 


Thursday, August 19, 2010

better late than without photos

i had mentioned in one of my previous posts that i had a shy new camera, digi. after reading that post miss amybel was kind enough suggest a card reader so that mimi and digi really wouldn't even need to talk to each other. well i'm so happy to tell you all that it works wonders. i was able to transfer the pix i had taken to mimi and she was happily none the wiser about where they came from. so without further ado a story and some pix....

one fine, sunny, summer day, my mum and i took the two youngest boys with us sale-ing. we had already stopped at a couple of sales and really hadn't picked up anything of great note. the last sale we came across was a bit off the beaten path, meaning for the life of me i can't even remember where it was. we looked around and found a few things. my mum and i decided that i would watch the boys why she went to pay for the items. the boys and i wandered over to a flat bed trailer that had "manly" things on it. i also like to look at old tools and "manly" things because you never know when you might find some odd treasure or some rusty thing that inspires me to create something. I saw what looked to be a sewing machine case. I saw a price, written on some masking tape, that said $2. I figured a case for $2 wasn't bad and i could have fun decorating the outside of it. I went to look at the case more closely and discovered that it was actually quite heavy. something still resided inside. I unlatched the sides and lifted off the top. well what do you suppose was there? yup a sewing machine. i know startling, (grin). by this time my mum joined me. we both slyly looked at each other, and i quietly showed her the price. i could tell she had the same thought as i, was this really the price and did the thing work. she went back to ask about the machine, as i went to take the boys back to the car. i saw a gentleman start to bring over an extension cord. my mum came over to say that yes the machine was really only $2, and that it did work, he was bringing the cord over to show her how it ran. now sewing machines are my mum's area when it comes to how they sound and how they run. she has been sewing for the better part of her life. i on the other hand am as inexperienced about sewing machines as...a priest is in a bordello. now don't get me wrong i can sew, and i can thread a machine and make it go forward and backward. but as far as being able to say if the machine sounds good or it's running well, i'm a complete noob. The next thing I know the gentleman is walking towards the car with the machine in hand. needless to say my mum and i were very excited. i already have a sewing machine. one that my mum and dad gave to me about 20 years ago. it has worked well, but myrtle is getting a little tired. her foot pedal has some issues and ever once in awhile her stitches skip. she probably just needs a good going over and wee bit of adjustment. but my mum and i felt that maybe this new vintage sewing machine might be one thing to help poor myrtle get a break. 

lottie decided she wanted to introduce the newest member to our crafty home.

meet sadie the pink sewing lady. of course sedro, our wee sheep, had to get in the picture. he's such a ham.

this a closer look at sadie. she is pink as you can see. she is an atlas sewing machine. it just does the basic, forward and reverse straight stitch. i do need to get her a new rubber ring for her bobbin winder wheel, other than that, she is in great shape. 

she has a great decal on the plate of atlas with the world in his shoulder. the smaller design that runs around the edge is a small worlds. i have yet to put her through her paces, but i'm confident she will do great.

another amazing find i came across this sale-ing season made sadie quite happy. no it wasn't another machine. well i did find a couple of other machines but nothing like sadie. 

it was about a week ago. it was one of those weeks in which you find yourself rather casse (which is french for broke, or at least according to the film victor/victoria). i had to run to the store to pick up some milk. i was feeling rather glum but decided to stop by a garage sale that happens every year. there is always a bevy of things to go through. i figured i was sporting the last two dollars i had as spare change, and who knew what i might find. so i began to poke around. i over heard two ladies chatting, and realized that one of the ladies was the running the sale. her friend then asked how much she wanted for the fabric. me ears immediately pricked up and i realized i was standing right next to where she was pointing. i looked down and began to focus on a small pile of fabric. my curiosity quickly grew. the lady running the sale told her friend to fill up a bag and that she would make her a deal. i figure that this would apply to me as well. as i began to tentatively look through the fabric i realized that the pieces i was lifting up were quite heavy indicating that they were pieces with some yardage to them. i began to fill up my arms. i also began to notice that there were two more piles sitting off to the side that no one was even paying attention to . not only that but there was a plastic tote of trims sitting next to the fabric. i grabbed two trims and quietly asked another lady, helping with the sale, if she had a bag i could place the fabric in. she gave me a rather big bag and so i was able to place a few more "pieces" in. i looked around the sale and began to get a wee bit nervous. maybe the whole "fill a bag and i'll make you a deal" was only for her friend. or maybe her idea of deal would be different than mine. i took a deep breath and walked up to the table. both ladies that were running the sale were sitting at a table, when i approached i reminded the one lady about her deal for the fabric. i then offered her $2. at first she hesitated, but then she agreed. woo hooo! my mum had come over while i was out and i showed her what i had came across. we both got a twinkle in our eyes. my mum then asked if there was anymore fabric there. so we scrounged around the piggy bank and found two more dollars. i ran back down to the sale and even brought the bag they had given me to fill up again. when i approached the table where the two ladies sat, i announced that i was back. the lady said good and asked for the now customary two dollars. i quickly came home and my mum and i began to tote up exactly how much yardage we had gained. our nearest estimation, because we were doing the old stretch-your-arm-out-as-far-as-it-goes-with-one-end-of-the-fabric-and-touch-your-nose-with-the-other-end-of-fabric form of measuring off yards, was that we had bought 33 yards of fabric for $4.  yup that comes out to $.12 a yard. yes that's twelve cents. we were thrilled. 

here is what that much fabric looks like

the black fabric is 9 yards alone. 

i also picked up a few little bits of fabric and two pieces of faux fur to try and create a werewolf doll for the 
boys. two lace trims (there sitting next to lottie on the green suitcase) and a bag of various ric-rac.

this is a little better pix of the trim i found. it's two different types of lace edging.

this is where all that lovely fabric is living, along with some of the other fabric in our stash.. i placed them on cardboard cores and made them into mini bolts. it helps keep them neat and looking wonderful. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

throughly discouraged

wow! what a day. i'll tell ya (why yes i will)

we have a van that we have had in storage for about a year. the reason? it would suddenly decide that it would be on a break when we would be out and about. there we would be running errands, grocery shopping or what not. we would park the van, take care of business, get back in the van and.....nothing. now one might think oh it was the alternator or the starter. nope had both tested and they were fine. some one might think it would be the battery. well at the time it seemed fine. my mum was very generous to allow us to use her reliable vehicle, the gem. so we placed the fussy van in storage.

last week the engine light in my mum's gem came on. it didn't sound any different or drive any different, but we all were concerned. so today my mum took the gem to the garage to see what they would say. at first examination they said it was just the o2 sensor. ummm ok? then they decided to look closer. well of course they did. and they came back with a laundry list of things that have to be done to the little gem. my poor mum was quietly have heart palpitations while she was at the garage and when she called me i started to have fits of apoplexy. actually i just became really snippy. which, as we all know, is just so not helpful (blush). after she left the garage and came over we all sat down and discussed that we would bring the fussy van out of storage and put the gem in until we could slowly work on getting the laundry list taken care of, bit by bit. of course since fussy van had been sitting in storage so long, we had to get the tabs renewed, something we had been remiss in doing, and get a new battery. for my husband had discovered the the battery that had been in the van was well past it's prime, by this time. of course all of this meant that our monthly grocery shopping excursion to town would totally have to be called off. we just didn't feel confident driving in to town and being stuck. so it meant that we would have to pay higher prices and less selection for the months food supply at the local market. (sigh)

now why would this necessarily make me discouraged? because i think i actually found a pair of boots that i like. but the budget this month is well on it's way to being spent. (sigh) and i really just can't justify spending some $51 on a pair of boots. i might spend a wee bit of change on a pair of new tights, but that would be considerable less than the boots.

maybe the benevolent vintage re-use/re-purpose/re-cycle gods (yes there are such gods. please don't try and convince me otherwise. at least not now and definitely not today) will allow me to find a pair at a garage sale for a song. keep your fingers crossed.

cheers! (even though i don't feel like it right now) 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pant, pant, pant....

here i am! i'm here. (pant, pant, pant) geez it's hot! i'm melting, slowly. some one turn the thermostat down now please.

i have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on some embroidery. i have been trying to complete some dolls for our two young boys, but this heat just zaps all my creativity. i also have this pattern to complete for the two young ones for christmas. you know when i stop melting and in my free time.

of course, now i have gone and stuck my foot in it, figuratively speaking that is. i stepped up and said i would enter this contest. luckily i have until september to complete my entry. i have a poem in mind. i don't think i'll embroider the whole poem, just a stanza from it. i just have to find the book that contains it (grin). the funny thing is, i'm not entering the contest to win necessarily. i liked the idea of the project and wanted to participate. which if you knew anything about me, you would know i'm not a "joiner". never really have been. so for me to speak up and say i would enter a little creation in this, seems even odd to me.

in one of my previous posts i mentioned a digi-camera that my husband found for me at a garage sale. well after fiddling with it for the better part of the afternoon i discovered that my laptop, mimi, and it are not on talking terms. i connect the two together via the usb cable and then mimi turns her back on the poor, dear digi-camera and gives it the cold shoulder. the digi-camera tried to introduce itself and make nice but mimi would not have it. (she can be a wee bit stubborn). so i figure what i'm gonna have to do is go old school. i'm gonna have to take photos and then take the memory card to one of those nifty photo kiosks at a store and transfer the photos to a disk. then sneak those photos on to mimi. (shhhh, just don't let her know where the photos came from.) then i can share them with you all.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

having some fun

as you might know i subscribe/joined/participate/signed up for/...oh whatever you call it, to twitter. yes i tweet. not that anyone reads them. not that i say anything worth reading. but i do. one of the people that i follow on twitter is the actor Stephen Frye. oh don't get all impressed or anything. it's not like he follows me or even knows i exist. but every once in awhile he or some of the other people that i follow will "tweet" something interesting.

today he linked to this animation by Alan Becker. the whole family thought it very funny and clever. it got me  and our oldest to thinking (and we all know how dangerous that can be) about how he would have created this. so off i went to explore. i found some basic instructions and the oldest and i set down to create our own mini animated videos. so without any further to do (or any popcorn) i bring you our first animated videos. (the oldest's should probably be rated r since there is violence and blood)

first mine:

now the oldest's

if you want to try your own animation this is the video that helped the oldest and i. it's short but gives you the general idea. if you do make an animated video we would love to see it. post a note here directing us where to see it 


Friday, July 23, 2010


hello my lovelies!

hopefully everyone is enjoying their day, or evening which ever might be the time of day for you.

i was poking around the internet and stumbled across this, muju. this is a close up of the center. isn't that amazing felt work. doesn't it just inspire you to get your felt out and start cutting. making intricate designs of layered colors? well???? or is it just me (blush).

i also found it rather ironic that the artist are currently residing in Cornwall. since our family has been deeply engrossed in watching the series Doc Martin on netflix. if you haven't ever watched this series i will warn you now and tell you it's highly addictive. after i got home from work one morning this week my husband told me that it was all my fault for showing him this show. he had ended up staying up all night watching several episodes.

and because of how the town looks in the show, my husband is walking around telling our oldest son that he wants to move to Cornwall, England (grin). he has also suggested that we move to Canada, become Canadian citizens so that we can go to England without passports.  of course i'm not sure how we are supposed to move to Cornwall, let alone to Canada and then England when we don't even have the funds to move to the western side of this bleedin' state. (sorry for the cursing).

but i digress (as usual). i just thought the muju creations were fun and original. so poke around the site and see if you don't get inspired. i'm off to try and do some embroidery work.

my husband went back to a garage sale to try and pick up an ostrich egg that we saw earlier. the eggs were all gone but he brought home a surprise for me instead. a digital camera. it's low mega pixels, like 1.3, but it might work better than the camera shy cell phone. i will just need to make sure the two of them don't meet and have a chat over a cuppa. wish me luck and now i'm off to play with my new camera.....(grin)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

short but meaningful

i was reading twitter this morning. one of the people i follow is a dynamo lady, Melissa Lewis. She has an etsy shop, Haut Totes, in which she sells some absolutely amazing bags with great graphics. on one her tweets she posted a link to this blog post, Finding Your Voice - Jessica. all i can suggest it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

these boots are made....well you know the rest so i won't bore you with finishing it

i'm so glad some of you decided to drop by. (hi amybel, clare and jody waves)

have you ever found yourself on a hunt for something? no, not like a tiger, lion or bears (oh my!). i have been on the hunt, the search for a pair of boots. now this might seem like a simple thing. boots are boots right? i say to you no! i want to find a pair of boots, first that i can afford. so they must be of the frugal variety. i want leather. can you begin to see how difficult this might be paired with the frugal aspect. i want a tall pair. again the difficulty level increases. they need to be of the whopping size of 10. not necessarily because my feet are so huge, but because my feet are a tiny bit wide and i want them to be comfortable and i won't be able to try them on. so i figure size 10 should do it.  i need them to have a low heel. high heels and i do not get along well. they are constantly trying to prove to me that gravity works. and i think i would like them to be brown. compound  all of those requirements with the fact that i usually only have a small window of buying opportunity each month.

i had, for a while, thought i would like to be partnered with a pair of campus boots, something like these maybe. But the price is prohibitive. it does not fit into the frugal category. mind you it's a good price for these lovelies but i just can't bring myself to spend that much, nor would our finances allow me to. i am currently entertaining the idea of these boots. But to be honest they are still on the high side. i just can't bring myself to spend that much on myself especially for foot apparel. because for as much as i would love to have a pair of stylish charming boots don my tootsies i really don't like wearing shoes. silly little dichotomy, isn't it? 

believe me i have tried to ban the feelings of desire for a pair of tall leather boots at a frugal price, but to no avail.  they haunt me at night when i lay there beginning to drift off to sleep. they call to me when i pick up my good and trusty wee lap top. search for me they call like a sirens song. and so i search hoping to find the pair that i know is out there somewhere just waiting to walk with me on one of my sale-ing adventures, or thrifting journeys. 

so in closing if for some reason you happen upon a  pair of size 10 tall leather boots at a frugal price waiting to be given a  good and loving home, please feel free to point them in my direction.

Friday, July 16, 2010

hello and welcome!

yes i know, i know, i can already hear you asking "don't you already have a blog?" why yes i do. The Tink-n-Frog. i started that blog because i was mostly focused on knitting. tink (which is knit backwards and it also means to gently un-knit something) and frog (which means to just wildly pull the loose yarn and let the knitted stitches jump apart like frogs), was the reason I chose that as a title for the blog and the etsy store, which is now laying dormant.

anywho i digress.... i decided that i would like to start another blog that showed off more of the all encompassing crafting and thrifting that i do. as i have stated in The Tink-n-Frog blog that our youngest son kindly dropped my newish digital camera, twice. funny thing, digital cameras don't like to be dropped twice. i dare say the like being dropped once, but the poor digi camera had it on the second drop and decided to pack it's virtual bags and take of to climes less likely to involve being dropped by 2 year old little busy bodies. or at least i would like to think so. having said that, i am currently without a digital camera and am relying on my cell phone camera to take pix. now i am by no means a camera guru, or even a camera novice for that fact. but for some reason my cell phone camera skills are even less than my digi camera skills. my husband on the other hand seems to be able to get good photos by using his cell phone. personally i am beginning to believe that when my miffed and disgruntled twice dropped digi camera decided to hoof it, it chose to warn the camera on my cell phone. so i think that the phone cam is justly a little camera shy (muwahahahaha, yup i totally meant that as a pun).

moving right here we are sitting at my new blog...would you like a cuppa? i found some really lovely tea recently and would love to pour you a cuppa.

it's Primula Flowering Tea, white tea with peach. first it actually flowers after it steeps in the teapot. second, it's got such a light and delicate flavor. i placed the flower in the glass cup so you can see what it looks like after it "blooms".

I think i will start off showing you some of the lovelies i have found while sale-ing this season. if you were not aware i love to garage sale and thrift. it's always like a wonderful treasure hunt. sometimes we come home with some amazing finds and other times....yeah not so much. but come every Friday, after i zoom through my wee exciting job of cleaning the local post office, i run home to see which one of my companions will be joining me that morning. once that is decided we head out for the adventure. i usually restrict my sale-ing to just our town, which is 6.4 square miles (by technical definition a township). our town is very garage sale friendly. there are certain telephone poles that everyone uses to post their signs. it makes it awfully easy to see who is
having what where. our local paper prints a convenient list of sales going on for the weekend that is available on Wednesday.

first, allow me to share with you this wonderful picture i found.

she was marked a whole $.25. yup that's right 25 cents. at first when i saw her i thought 25 cents for a frame in good condition and that size was a great deal. but then i got to looking at her and decided that we could become great chums. i love the wee lasses sweet expression. i'm not sure if you can tell but the flowers and her basket have been embroidered, as well as parts of her dress and hat. the rest of the picture is printed on the fabric. she is currently keeping company with this shelf and a few other goodies in my foyer/kitchen/dining/entrance area of our palatial hovel.

when we found this little shelf it was just your plain ol' boring wood. so i painted it in a casual white (not me being charming the actually color name of the paint) and trimmed it in vintagey aqua (me being charming and picking the name of the color (grin)) that i mixed.

this little pix will hopefully give you a better idea of the vintagey aqua color

as you can see from the scary photo quality how shy my cell phone camera is acting. hopefully my husband can help coax it to be more cooperative with me soon.

well i guess that's a good start to this new wee blog.
thanks for stopping by and come back soon.