Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year! I have to admit that New Year's isn't my favorite holiday. In fact I really don't like it much at all. Not sure why but it just isn't my thing. What I do like is a new beginning. I'm also a fan of quiet winter days - which is what January and February in Pennsylvania bring. Yes, there are those of us out there who don't cringe at the W word. I enjoy being at home, cooking warm food, crafting, reading, watching movies. I'm sort of a home body so Winter suits me just fine.

Do you make resolutions? I do, but try to keep my list short. The main reason is I'm pretty bad at keeping them. This year my resolutions include:

praying more
crafting more
spending less & getting on a budget

Let's hope I can actually keep on track this year and follow through.

I also want to blog more. I follow some amazing ladies out there in cyber space who always inspire me. It is so nice to see other women who love homemaking, vintage, cooking, crafting, creating. There is a scripture passage from Provers {27:17} that says "iron sharpens iron". I believe in that totally.

Source: http://wanelo.com/p/6435928/religious-coaster-mug-rug-bible-verse-scripture-as-iron-sharpens-iron-proverbs-27-fellowship-light-blue-flowers
When I am in fellowship with other creative, spiritual, inspiring, women I want to be better myself. Of course sometimes looking at others and their accomplishments can backfire and become envy. If I compare myself to others in a negative way {Their blog looks amazing. They have more followers.} it most surely will zap my joy.

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/stacij15/cool-sayings/
Because if you aren't doing something with joy in your heart than you shouldn't be doing it. So while I look to other's for inspiration I will stay true to myself.

So if you are here for the first time, or you have visited before, thank you! Thank you for giving up some of your time to walk into my life for a few minutes. I hope that in some small way I have inspired YOU - because that is what sharing in this forum is all about - inspiring and encouraging others. If you would take a few minutes more and leave a comment I would greatly appreciate that. I love it when you comment to let me know your thoughts about what you have read or seen or just to tell me that you were here.

And with that lets move on to one last resolution - to use this in 2014!
This beauty came to me back in the summer. It is milk glass and in amazing condition. My husband found it at a flea market and bought it for me. He told me that the seller was an older lady who was parting with some of her own treasures - downsizing if you will. I won't even tell you how much he paid because it is criminal. Let's just say that it cost less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks - her marked price, not my husband's.
I wanted to show it to you months ago - filled up with some delicious-looking frothy punch. I never did because I never actually used it. As we speak it is boxed up and stored in the basement. I hope to change that this year. I may need to have a party purposefully to make punch - because that would be good enough reason to have a party in my eyes anyway. :)
Truthfully I would be happier receiving a gift like this than jewelry or furs. This is just my kind of happy!

I have this wonderful vintage cocktail book with some recipes for punch.

Now there are no excuses! I will be keeping this resolution!

So here is to new beginnings, staying true to yourself, being inspired and making punch {and serving it in a vintage punch bowl of course!}.

Happy New Year

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Another Christmas here and gone

Another Christmas here and gone. As I sit here looking at all of my decorations I wish I could just snap my fingers and it would all be put away. Oh how I dread packing it all up! I'm ready to move on to January!

My gift from my husband this year was pens (it is what I asked for). I can't wait to get started journaling, crafting and doodling with them.
I bought some blank journals and pretty pencils & pens for myself at Target in the dollar section.
I also received these wonderful vintage advertisements from Lee & Frannie. I plan to hang them up in my kitchen.
 (Use Crisco - It's Digestible!)
and the Pioneer Woman's latest cookbook.
My 3rd Grader made me some wonderful gifts this year. This was a favorite. A book she wrote called "Super Parents - A Story About My Awesome Mom and Dad".
I am always drawn with an Afro when my girls draw pictures of me. :)
I am the "chicken nugget queen".

The day after Christmas I found myself shopping at the thrift store again. I was happy to find 3 Pyrex fridgies with their lids on the shelf. Yeah me! The patterns weren't anything that I collect but I bought them just to have the lids.  I needed 3 in this size for bottoms that I already own. I'm thinking I will just re-donate the dishes. I know all of the Pyrex collectors out there would probably cringe at hearing me say that I am going to re-donate Pyrex, but I don't have the space to keep pieces that I don't really like.
I also did some after-Christmas decorations sale shopping. I wasn't planning to, but seeing other people's blogs definitely influences me. First I saw a red tinsel feather tree on Heather's blog decorated for Christmas. That got me thinking that I needed to have one of those for next year. A few days later I saw on Sarah's blog a red tinsel tree that she purchased at Target the day after Christmas for 50% off. Not a feather tree, but Sarah mentioned "trimming" the branches to make it look less full. I had never even thought of doing that. The next morning I was off to Target. I was lucky enough to find one left on the shelf. It was 50% off - so I paid $4. I asked my husband to help me trim it. We cut off a few branches from each level with wire cutters. I like how it looks  - less full and bushy. (picture below isn't great but you get the idea). I've decided that I'm going to decorate it with hearts for Valentines Day.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to you

I haven't posted much this December. Just too busy. This season flew by. I didn't have much Christmas spirit this year either. I'm hoping it kicks in tonight when I'm at church and carries through to tomorrow morning when my kids are opening their presents. Since my blog has been around now for 2 Christmases I'm only going to show some of the new things I've added to my decorations. I am using most of the same decorations this year that I have used in the past several years. If you want to see click on the label to the right that says Christmas to see any past posts.

These are my new to my collection. The Jingle Bell bowl was found at an antique store. My husband bought the Egg Nog bowl and cups for me for my birthday from eBay. I am hoping to actually use these for egg nog tonight.

These paper bells were found at a yard sale this summer. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I decided to just hang them up and use them. (glitter letters from Target/Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic)

These trees aren't new but how I am displaying them is. I like how they look inside the vintage containers. I was actually thinking of getting rid of them but they have new life now.

Thank you for stopping by to visit. I do appreciate all of my visitors - both new ones and familiar ones. I know I will never know all of you personally, but it means a lot when I read comments from people that I've never met before that appreciate the pictures and also share a love for vintage things. From my home to yours - Merry, merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May God Bless You!


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Thrift Store Finds - December

I have been doing some SERIOUS thrift store shopping over the last few weeks - and I've scored some amazing things! After months of finding nothing special, my luck has changed and I've been finding some good stuff. I've always thought that December is a great month for thrift store shopping. My theory is that while most people are out shopping at the box stores buying Christmas gifts, the thrift stores aren't as busy and the good stuff is ripe for picking. Just a theory - but I'm about to prove it right.

First let me begin with these. This has to be the BEST find yet from a thrift store in my shopping experience. Not vintage - but awesome still. The only thing to top these would be the Pyrex Christmas bowl (which I'm still waiting to find).

The back story on these is that my oldest daughter has been wanting a pair of UGGs for while and asked for a pair for Christmas. Now if you are familiar with UGGs you know how expensive they are. That is why I've not bought her a pair before - too pricey. The boots at the thrift store just happened to be in her size! And - here is the amazing part - I only paid $1.49 for them!!! I am not kidding. I decided to give them to her the night that I bought them - instead of for Christmas. I cleaned them up a bit and she has been wearing them every day since.

I also found this set of Hazel Atlas Crinoline dishes in pink this past weekend at a Goodwill store. Happy Christmas to Katie!! I am tickled with them. There are 12 dishes, 8 cups & 11 saucers. Plus a sugar and creamer that matches. (not crinoline pattern but also Hazel Atlas). I can't wait to use these on Easter. They are so sweet. Baby Shower anyone??

I decided to buy these Mary planters from the thrift store this weekend also. I've never collected Mary, but being that it's Christmas I thought they would be pretty on display. They are vintage Haeger pottery.

And these came home with me too. I have a weakness for hand crafted things at the thrift store. I envision some sweet grandmother making these - only to have her family donate them to the thrift store years later - oh how mean!!! OK I know I am insane, but I can't help but feel for these sweet granny-square stockings. They are hanging in my dining room as I type this. A new home - a new life!! ha ha

I enjoy thrift store shopping more than any other kind of shopping around. I love the hunt, the thrill of finding something vintage or getting an amazing deal. When I'm Christmas shopping at the mall or box store I don't enjoy it at all. It zaps all of my Christmas spirit (and my money). I'm telling you - you can find some awesome things at the thrift stores if you take the time to visit often. I believe that you could probably buy several items on your Christmas gift list from the thrift stores - and your recipients wouldn't be the wiser.
I did just that when I bought both my daughters a pair of Christmas jammies at the thrift. I actually hunted for PJs at Target and Kmart a few weeks earlier but couldn't find anything in their size. I was lucky enough to find some at the thrift store. I didn't have to spend a lot of money on them - which in the long run is great because I doubt they will wear them more than a few times anyway. I also found some great vintage items for a few people on my list who appreciate old things. I (can't show pictures because the people I bought them for do read my blog.) Anyway, you get the point. Happy thrifting!


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Handmade Christmas

I've always enjoyed making Christmas gifts. It's just something that I do - and have done for years. I do it mostly because I enjoy it. I get a true pleasure out of creating something for another person. I go back and forth as to whether or not the people who receive the gifts really like them or not. I realize that it would be so much easier to just go to the store and buy something. I think it depends upon who you give the gift to. Some people really don't "get" homemade gifts while others do appreciate them and think they are special. Either way - I still went ahead and made some gifts. This year I decided to make fudge. I'm not an expert fudge maker by any means. I found an easy recipe on-line and gave it a try. Here is a picture of the fudge before cutting- in some Pyrex (of course). It looks so pretty!

I decided that it would be nice to package the homemade fudge in vintage containers to give away. The container would be part of the gift. I've collected so many vintage items over the years that I have plenty to spare. Here is a gift that I gave to one of my daughter's teachers packaged in Pyrex. I know I would love to receive something like this. I think it looks so much prettier this way than in a disposable container - plus it saves me the expense of buying something new by using what I already had. I didn't have a lid for this one so I slipped the entire piece inside a cellophane bag and tied it with ribbon.

Another thing I make every year at Christmas for gifting is bread - in these vintage star tins. They always turn out so cute. This year I made banana bread. I just used a recipe that I always do but something about making them in a shaped mold makes them so much more festive. Two of these stars and a little bag of coffee make a great present for some one. (I don't give these with the mold. Instead I pop them out and wrap with plastic wrap.)

I also made some crafty things other than food. This year I became obsessed with making Pom Poms. I've seen so many cute things on Pinterest that are made with homemade Pom Poms. I tried making a few using an old Susan Bates Pom Pom maker that my grandmother had in the 1970's. They took forever to make - which is not fun at all. Luckily I discovered THIS pom pom maker by Clover. I bought mine at Michaels. I was able to whip out several pom poms over a few evenings in front of the television. I made this wreath for a co-worker who likes the colors pink and purple. Not sure how she felt about it when she opened it. {like I said above - it does depend upon who you give the gift to if they will "get" the whole homemade thing} Oh well, at least she will be the only person around with a wreath like this. You certainly can't buy something like that at Walmart!


Hope you are enjoying the season and finding time to do something that you love.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Decorating

This past weekend I was able to get some of my Christmas decorating done. I still don't have a tree yet - that has to wait until payday :) - in any case, it still looks pretty merry around here with all of the rest of my decorations. This is a corner cupboard that sits in my dining room. It is made of knotty pine. I often look at it and think that I should paint it. Maybe I will someday. I packed up all of the things that sit on here throughout the year and filled the shelves with lots of trees and vintage linens.I guess you could say that my decorations are a combo of vintage, handmade and country. 

I love white trees - especially bottle brush in white. This wreath is not vintage but sure looks like it could be. The ceramic tree on the top is one of my favorite decorations. I bought it over 20+ years ago at a rummage sale from an older lady who had made this and then didn't want it anymore. I fell in love with the white tree with the candy-colored lights. It looks especially pretty at night. I guess I was ahead of my time because I recently saw one sell on eBay for over $100 - which amazes me. I am still keeping this one.

The red bottle brush trees are ones that I did myself. They started out green and then I bleached them and used RIT dye to color them red.
These are vintage ornament hanger boxes.
Burlap trees that I made last year that I decorated with vintage buttons. I decided to put them on top of spools of Christmas ribbon for the height. I found a bag of vintage ribbon this past summer at Goodwill.
Miniature mercury-glass ball ornaments look pretty in this little cup.

Vintage Christmas table cloths
A stocking made by my talented friend Cindy - who also creates things using vintage materials.

More to come..

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday

Since it is "Cyber Monday" I wanted to share some snaps of some of the vintage Christmas things that I've collected and am now selling on eBay. Yesterday all I did was take pictures for some 40+ items and then begin to list them for sale. Fellow collectors will understand - sometimes you just need to lighten the load. I love all of this stuff, but none of it has sentimental attachment so I've decided to send it on to the next collector. Everything shown here was found at either a yard sale, estate sale or thrift shop. If you are interested, I sell under the name kayteejane on ebay. Or, just enjoy the vintage eye candy!

Happy Monday!

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Ornaments

In all the busy fun of the Christmas season each year I purposefully try to set aside a little time each day to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. I especially want my children to know that Christmas means more than stuff and Santa. Last year I saw THIS idea on Pinterest. I cannot take credit for the idea itself, but I adjusted it to reflect my style by using vintage ornaments instead of new. I like this idea because it is simple and can be whipped up last minute - which is how I roll much of the time. This idea is so simple that even though today marks the first day of Advent, you could still make these ornies in a jiffy and get started. {It won't matter if you do it a day late either - the point is you are doing it}.
To get started all you will need are:
~25 solid colored ornaments {I just dug into my stash of vintage ball ornaments since I already had a ton and didn't mind using some for this - but you could just as easily buy a box of plain or clear glass or plastic ornaments at Target}
~A white or black Sharpie or paint pen.

This advent calendar will celebrate 25 different names for Jesus used in the bible. Each name will have a scripture reference to go with it. We'll hang one on our tree each day of December as a way to learn more about Jesus and celebrate His birth.

To begin choose 25 names for Jesus that you would like to use. Go HERE for an online reference of names and coordinating scripture reference. When I chose 25 I wrote them down on a piece of cardstock in my own handwriting. I keep this with the ornaments. When I pack up my decorations after the holiday I put this list along with the ornaments in the box to be used each year.

Next get out your ornaments and your pens. Begin writing one name from your list on each ornament. If you have kids, get them into the act too. If they want to decorate the ornaments in addition to the words, great! For me I just went simple and only put on the names.

I place all of my finished ornaments in a bowl by the Christmas tree. Each day I allow one of my kids to choose an ornament and then hang it on the tree. They must also look up the scripture in the Bible and read it. It doesn't take much time out of each day, it is simple, and if you miss a day because you were really busy, that is ok because you just do two ornaments the next day or one in the morning, one in the evening - whatever suits your schedule.

Variation - If you didn't want to do this every day you could adjust it so that you only hang the ornaments on Sunday - instead of doing one ornament at a time allow each member of your family to choose an ornament. Or, wait until Christmas Eve and do them all. If you are having guests over to celebrate this could become an activity with each guest choosing an ornament to put on the tree or a family tradition to be done before bed.

 This would also make a fabulous gift for a newly married couple or new parents. Make up a box of ornaments for them and include the list of names/scripture references. The gift that becomes a keepsake year after year.

I hope you will try this idea. It is super easy. It will work for all ages also - not just for kids, not just for adults. I like it because there is very little pressure involved and it gets me into the Word. I have tried other advent calendars and daily scripture readings and truthfully I usually don't do them after a few days or the kids lose interest. This idea did work for us.

Happy Advent!

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