Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pottery Barn Post

You may already know this, but it was new to me and someone else may be in the dark too. Pottery Barn has free classes on decorating and they will give you a 10% off coupon for your entire purchase the day of the class.

We were down in Austin early one Saturday, trying to avoid work we needed to do at home to pack for our final move up North. Wild Bill let me off at Pottery Barn and headed for Barnes and Noble to avoid another 'quick trip' through Pottery Barn. We saw people going in the store so thought they were open early (this was before Thanksgiving). When I got to the door, the lady asked if I was there for the decorating class? hmmmmm, I could use a class, how much? Free, come on in.

So that's how I found out PB gives a great class on various topics. The one I attended was on 'Decorating for the Holidays' and was very informative, and I learned how to use PB products to create different table settings. At the end of the class, we were each given a 10% off coupon to use that day for our entire purchase.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I made another stop in Waxahatchie yesterday and spotted this sign at my favorite Junk-tiques store:

We Buy Junk, But Sell Antiques

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time Flies

Nothing makes me feel older than when my first born has a birthday. Jenny was born just a few months before I turned 24. I was not planning on having children, so that was old for a new mother back in the early 70's. By today's standards I was young, but back in the late 60's, half my graduating high school class had babies within a year or two of graduation.

I was quite taken with the dark haired actress Jennifer O'Neil in the most popular movie at that time, Summer of '42, which is why my first born was named Jennifer...along with every other girl baby that year! I imagined a sweet baby girl with dark brown eyes and dark, dark hair. That's exactly what I got. My sweet baby Jenny.

Her sisters have lighter hair (one is light brown, the other is blond) and lighter eyes (hazel and gray) -- no two alike, despite being from the same mother and father. I wonder if I had imagined Jenny with different coloring would she still have had dark hair and dark brown eyes all her life? I really do believe in the power of your subconscious mind!

I don't think any other name would've suited her. From the moment I knew she was there, she was always a perfect Jenny to me. Happy Birthday pretty girl! Boy do I feel old.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What I Learned On My Roadtrip...Eating Ice Cream

My first stop on my solo road trip West was in Albuquerque to see my youngest daughter and her 2 year old, Lily. Despite not being a big eater, Lily chose one of Baskin Robbin's big "clown cones" instead of one of their youth size cones.

Lily proceeded to get "gunked" up in the bright colored icing that some idiot invented a long time ago and put it on the cone right where a child holds the cone. I know this because my own daughters always fell for the clown cones over 20-some years ago, even tho we knew it would make a mess.
Mama had to do a clean up mid-way through. Lily did not like this, but put up with it for the sake of cleanliness.

The brown cookie cap came off so as to get a better bite of the ice cream. The photo below shows how far Lily got before she gave up the cone to Mama to throw away.

And, this is the look Lily gave her mother mid-way when her mother suggested Lily would not be able to finish the cone.

Mama: 1

Lily: 0

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stretching Decorating Dollars

If your Halloween decorations included hay bales (don't laugh, some do) here's a way to stretch out their usefulness. The little town of Belton used their Fall hay bale decorations to make rustic decorations around the four squares of their town.

To be even can break up the hay bales come Spring and make walkways around your garden.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life's Short

I was looking at some random pictures taken yesterday and noted the blaring sign right next to my head in this picture. It's nice to see that Baskin-Robbins and I share the same philosophy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Trip To The Garden

When we told my little granddaughter, Lily, that we were going to Olive Garden, she asked us if we were going to see flowers. HUH??? It went completely over my head (after all, she's a worldly two) and her mother explained it to me by putting a heavy emphasis on "Olive...GARDEN"

Lily's favorite part was putting sugar in my tea for me and licking the sugar off the edge of the packet while keeping a side-long glance at her mother to make sure Mom hadn't seen her do it.

Life is so much better with a 2-year-old around to ensure you remember the best things in life are, indeed, free.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Road Trip

I left home early one morning headed toward Albuquerque NM, first stop on a trip out to the West Coast. I skipped breakfast and was on a road trip high, so I didn't want to stop for long. When I got gas, I managed to round up quite a collection of anti-boredom/anti-sleep foods to help pep me up. The chocolate and soda I hoped would give me enough caffeine and a sugar-high to keep me awake. I figured if that failed, I could crunch on some Cheetos. And, my last resort would be to down the little bottle of some sort of caffeine fix that the guy at the truck stop counter assured me would do the trick. When the sugar and chocolate had little effect on me, I tried drinking the bottle of caffeine -- just to find out the stuff tastes like crap.

The scenery between Texas and Albuquerque is barren and scrubby. But the skies are the prettiest you'll ever see. Believe me, without those bug splattered bodies on that windshield, that sky is as blue as indigo.

Next stop...Albuquerque!

Wandering The Blogasphere

I was reading a few blogs via links on blogs I usually follow and I came across one that really made me laugh.

Seems this woman and her husband were sitting at home minding their own business when a drunk took the corner by their house too fast and drove his truck into the curb by their house. Her husband went out to investigate. The drunk blacked out behind the wheel, but woke up when her husband got to the car.

The funny part was, her husband chased the guy's car down the street shouting the license plate out and yelling to this woman to write down the license plate numbers. But...she hadn't eaten breakfast and said when she got up too fast, got a head-rush, and SHE passed out on her front lawn from the excitement.

I may have a sick sense of humor because I am still laughing so hard I can barely type this. All I could think was 'I wonder what the neighbors thought?'
Check it out. I can't even make up this stuff!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old Friends New Setting

My old friend has a new place in the kitchen. From the smug look on his face, it appears he's happy there.
In our old house, he spent his time cooped up in the china hutch with other objects confining him.

I think he looks much better now that he's got a little more room to stretch out.

Come back again soon and I'll show you his Halloween costume. The chickens don't dress up, but Mr. Pig does. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Take A Moment To Bring You This Message...

I feel like I'm writing an advertisement, but here goes...

The best movie I've seen this year is Moneyball, which is about how the Oakland A's put together a winning team without much money.

No, I'm not a fan of baseball. I went to see this movie the first time to take my father-in-law, who is a die hard Rangers fan. I went the second time today, to take my husband, who is not a sports fan either and rarely watches baseball or football on TV, but who loved the movie as much as I did. Neither of us are Brad Pitt fans, but if it were my choice "...the oscar goes to Brad Pitt in Moneyball!"

Not sure who I will take when I go to see it the third time, but I'm sure this is a movie I will buy on DVD.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Completed Projects: No. 7

Last time I shopped the garage, I painted the bottom of this pair (see Completed Projects No. 6). This time I painted the top. This was an old tin cake cover that I bought for $1.29 a while back at a thrift store.

Lately I've been really loving decorating with glass covers and bought this glass set real cheap at the Home Goods store a month ago. I plan to use it on my china cabinet (when I get it painted) as soon as I get my home put together. It's been months since we moved to our new house and I've yet to finish unpacking boxes from the garage. Slow progress as we've been traveling a bit. We even went over to Albuquerque for a week to see the two youngest grand kids when middle daughter and family went to visit youngest daughter and family.

So here's some before pictures to show you how really dented up and ugly it was. I'm sure my husband is wondering why I even spent $1.29 on it and then stored it in the garage. I'm sure he would consider it a waste of good garage space!

I'm planning on painting the wooden handle black or dark brown, just so when I age it down it will have something to counter the white.

The dishcloth on the left came from Cracker Barrel. I love their dish cloths, which are reasonably priced. These dish cloths are 2 or 3 years old, but have never been used for drying dishes as I love using them for decorating.

I'll show you soon what I did with the four matching bird dish cloths I have. Hope you have a Cracker Barrel close by to shop at their "country store". Their dumplings are great too if you get tired of shopping. I'm joining "White Wednesday" at Faded Charm's blog party and Perfectly Imperfic's party too. Follow me over to see all the creative things bloggers come up with! You can use the links or click on Faded Charm and Perfectly Imperfect in my blog list on the right side of my blog.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Completed Projects: No. 6

I've been out shopping the garage again. Here's an old yellowish pottery piece I painted with a mixture of gesso and old leftover paint.

The before picture shows just how ugly it was.

I like the chalky gesso/paint mixture and will age it somewhat after I get a collection of items done.

Next time I will show you the matching lid I made for this from an old tin cake cover I bought at a second hand shop for $1.29.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Turkeys

Here's one of my favorite pictures of my father with my oldest daughter during a Thanksgiving visit in 1978. He had just had his lung removed due to cancer. He was only around 54 years old and, thankfully, was lucky to survive another 15 years. He seemed old back then, but as I look at this picture I see him now as a young man... probably due to my being a few years past 60 myself these days.

A few years after this picture was taken, Dad left his garage door open just a foot or so to air it out and forgot to close it that night. The next morning when he went out to his garage, he discovered he had been robbed. The thief only took a few tools, but emptied Dad's freezer of everything except one thing... in the middle of that empty freezer sat one lone frozen turkey!

That sorry looking lone turkey seemed to really piss him off. A week later, I stopped by with a gift for him: a coffee cup with a big turkey on the side and the saying "Don't Let The Turkeys Get You Down" written across the top of the turkey. It became our favor sayng to each other and always made us both smile. "Dont let the turkeys get you down!"

One of my favorite bloggers, who always tries to 'stay on the sunny side' thought about plugging out of bloggyland recently. I'm so glad she decided to stay. I left her a message '...don't let the turkeys get you down.' Now, maybe when she reads this, she'll know why I chose those words. And, when remembering those words, I hope it makes her (and you too) smile while looking in the freezer and seeing more than just one lonely looking turkey staring back.

Friday, September 30, 2011

You Say Potato...

Last week, on another trek from Central Texas to North Texas, I decided to have lunch in a little town called Waxahachie (pronounced Waux (walks)-a-hatch-ie) and wound up losing about 4 hours to the loveliest little part of town filled with antique and what-not shops, and the best lunch I've had in ages.

I do have to tell you when I first moved to Texas, my native-Texan husband and his parents told me the town's name is pronounced Wax-a-hatch-ie. Because I am a native California (you can tell a native California because they almost always live in other states) and my husband, his parents, and their families have been born and raised in Northern Texas for the last 5 or 6 generations, I believed them and called it Wax-a-hatch-ie. To which my Central Texas co-workers would roll on the floor in fits of laughter...making fun of my "California" accent. I didn't bother to tell them it was those damn "Northerners" fault.

I spent a half hour in this shop and found several furniture items I will need to convince Wild Bill we need. I'm working on my approach ;-0

Loved this old rusty fencing in the next shop, where I lost the good part of 2 hours trekking through the best little shops on just one of their three floors. This is the shop's sign, Old Town Village...

And this is the shopkeeper, Mary. She and I became fast friends when she lead me around the store showing me four pieces of furniture she had already purchased from different vendors, but didn't have room to take them home! I love me a fellow furniture fiend. She almost made me look normal.

I'm not sure who was older, Mary or her computer...

But she sure could work that thing when we looked up blogs I told her about. Meanwhile, here is my favorite sign I spied in the shop. I'm going to call her and tell her to hold it for me before I publish this post. Wild Bill will hate it, but I know others of you out there will love it too.

Next shop up was The Dove's Nest. Here's a shot through the window as I figured they would have a "no-pictures-policy" since their stuff is newly made, often using vintage stuff.

Their restaurant had the best salads. I had a Greek salad and asked for my dressing on the side because I wasn't sure I would like it...then I had to ask for more because it was to die for and they had given me a small serving -- probably because they thought I was watching my calories. Ha, ha... like that would happen!

For $3.00 I added a flat iron steak as a "salad additive." It was cooked perfect, sliced cold and almost a whole steak. It was so good I asked if it was in the cookbook cuz I was willing to give cooking a try if I could have that steak every day, even though I don't cook very often.

Here's another shot through another window as I was leaving. Eye candy to me. I must take my husband to lunch there soon, Christmas is right around the corner isn't it? You get the picture?

I'm linking up to No Minimalist Here's open house party. Come join the fun...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Completed Projects: No. 5

I unpacked a lot of orange faux pumpkins from the boxes in the garage. I have been wanting a white pumpkin. So, since I've been mixing up a lot of chalky white paint, I decided to see if I could create a white pumpkin from one of my old ones.

I started painting around the stem at the top. I painted with the tip of the brush right into the edges of the fake stem. Once I got the edges of the stem painted, I spread out down the pumpkin to just below half way down.

After the top half dried, I turned it up and painted down. One thing I really like is that there is very little dripping with the gesso-based chalky paint and the brush strokes don't show. The jar to the right of the pumpkin in the picture below is what I use to mix up the paint.

I buy the glass jars at garage sales, usually for around 10 cents a piece. The plastic lids I buy at Walmart for very little money; I think there are about 8 plastic lids in a box for around $3. I like the plastic lids much better than the metal ones that come with the jars when you buy them new. I use a permanent marker to write the color of paint (e.g. yellow) I used to mix with the gesso and then dot a bit of paint on the lid like they do when you buy paint at the store. I also dot the gesso-paint mixture on the top of the lid too.

It would look something like this: yellow paint (dot of yellow paint) with white gesso - mixture color: chalky off white (dot of mixture)

The great thing about the plastic lid is that you can scrub the permanent marker and the paint dots off the lid with a little effort when the paint mixture is gone. I only re-use them for other paint mixes once I've mixed paint in them.

I like how the lines on the pumpkin really show up with the chalky paint. I'm happy with the results and would rather make my own white pumpkins out of old orange ones than buy them new because I can change the white to make it browner, grayer, bright name it...just by adding a little of that color to the gesso-white paint mixture.

I know you might think the drips on the picture above disprove my statement about the chalky paint not dripping, but this paint on the paper is from some testing I did to check out the color.

Here's a close up. What do you think? Have you tried painting pumpkins?