Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Finds: Vintage AND Cheap!

I know I can always find good vintage treasure at an antique store, but I am excited the most by the great things to be found at places such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul's.

When I first started thrifting in the 80’s, it was easy to find really great stuff at places like the three I mentioned above—but now not so much. Back then the sorts of items I like to buy were still considered just “used” and therefore plentiful and bought because they were cheaper than new. Now the same type of items are considered collectible, and rarely show up in these stores .

But every once in a while a real gem appears! Here I’ve shown 6 lucky finds that cost two dollars or less…and here’s hoping for many more in the future!

good 3

Gold resin candle holders. Who needs candles?

good scotty dog

Scotty dog perpetual calendar-from the forties perhaps? This little pup is very well behaved..but if Willow got a hold of it she'd chew it right up!

good kleenex

Lucite and glitter tissue holder. What an elegant way to grab a kleenex!

drink markers

Vintage drink markers. These are so cute that what you are drinking doesn’t matter-they look good on my glass of water!


California pottery ashtray finished to look like wood. Back in it's heyday, at some swinging cocktail party, just think--8 people could use this baby at once! I also get a kick out the idea of putting a lighted cigarette on a piece of wood. Hmmm…

good vase

I love this vase, and I have no idea of its age, but it is so pretty in such an old and shabby way. I also love the combination of glass and metal. The top of it looks like a test tube--and would look great holding anything from a flower to a science experiment!

Happy hunting!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

7 Things…

Since today is another gray and windy day, and the birds are eating up all the grass seed we threw down, and my rhubarb is growing to such monstrous proportions that I may need to build a cage around it, and I can’t work outside, I thought I would make my list of seven things people may or may not know about me. (Thank you Suzie ( itch2stitch.com blog ) for the blog award, and for sharing your own list!)

1. I collect sarongs. I’ve been collecting these gorgeous pieces of fabric for a few years now, and each time I’ve been in Hawaii I've bought a few more. What do I do with them? Nothing really, except to look at them when I need inspiration or when I just need to see a good jolt of color. And that’s why I collect them-because they are so fun to look at. ( Unless I wore one with a cowboy hat and boots I would probably look out of place wearing one in my town!) Here are a few from my collection:

sar2 sar4sar6sar7sar8sar5


2. When I was 30 I was hit by a pickup truck while out for a walk. Miraculously, beyond a broken nose and scrapes and bruises, I wasn’t hurt very badly because it was cold out and I was bundled up. The Hershey kisses in my pocket didn’t fare as well and were smashed flat. (Maybe chocolate saved my life!) I have problems today though with my knees and shoulders-- from the impact, and I can’t do things I love like gardening, as much as I would like.

3. I love camo. I don’t know why. I am also really drawn to the color green and army green in particular. When I’m reaching for my Fiestaware coffee cup in the morning though, my favorite color is the periwinkle blue one.

gail 3

4. I am deathly afraid of heights. (I am writing this sitting on the floor!) Well I’m not THAT bad, but the thought of riding in a glass elevator is as appealing as having a rattlesnake for a pet.

5. I love Nutella. Maybe this comes as no surprise. It is widely known that I love chocolate, but Nutella is a whole different matter. Once a jar is opened, forget it. Nutella is gone. End of story.

6. And speaking of chocolate, I love Hula Pie. I’ve only ever seen it on the menu in Hawaii, but I know how to make it myself. It’s a frozen concoction made with a chocolate cookie crumb pie crust, filled with macadamia nut ice cream, and topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and more chopped macadamia nuts. The order doesn’t really matter so much as the combination of ingredients. It’s dangerous, and makes perfectly respectable people act completely out of character!(By the way, I’m going to make one for my Dad’s birthday in June. Hula pie, combined with some luscious tropical drinks made with Sailor Jerry rum, just might make for a very interesting blog post…)

http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/ hulapie/index.cfm

7. On a more serious note, I’ll add to this list that I would like to live someplace, for a year or so, where I would have none of the modern conveniences that I have now. ( I know of some people who did this recently and said it was the best year of their life.) I think it would be a humbling experience and would make me a much better person:)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hey Sailor!

This picture of my Uncle Pete was just found by my parents when they were doing some closet cleaning. It’s always so exciting to discover a long forgotten treasure like a family photograph! Not many pictures exist of Pete, so it’s nice to have this one. Thanks Dad, for sending it!

If you haven’t yet read my Uncle Pete’s story-I did a blog post about him on Tuesday January 6th, 2009.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For the Love of Rhubarb

Daffodils are nice, and tulips do look pretty, but nothing says spring to me like rhubarb…and my own rhubarb at that. Though I’ve gardened for a long time and have tended many kinds of flowers and plants-what I really desired for many years and longed to have was rhubarb.

I love rhubarb. Whether it’s mixed with a little water and sugar and cooked down into sauce, or made into a crisp or pie or jam (which I’m going to make for the first time this year) I never get tired of it. It’s one of those things people either hate or love, and those I’ve met who love it, REALLY love it.

Until about three years ago I didn’t have my own plants. As I walked around town I would see monstrous clumps of it in back alleys-going to seed. I would hint to friends who had it (and it sure seemed like every one else in town did!) that I sure would appreciate some, and then have to be content with two or three stalks. And worst of all was actually having to buy myself some rhubarb at the grocery store. Once I bought a tiny rhubarb start at a local garden club plant sale. It was about 6 inches tall and the stalks were as thick as pieces of asparagus. “That’s ok.” I told myself. “Next year it will get bigger.” That next spring it came up-attained about the same size and quit growing. I may have “harvested” one or two bits. I didn’t want to kill it by picking too much. The spring after that this little rhubarb didn’t even bother to show itself.

I went on a mission to buy some plants at one of the local nurseries in town. There are three. “Do you have rhubarb for sale?” I would inquire. “You want to BUY rhubarb?” they would chuckle back at me. “Why don’t you just pick some in an alley somewhere?” and then they would excuse themselves to “answer the phone” and I would hear them laughing hysterically when they thought they were out of earshot.

So you know what I did…what I had to resort to? I bought rhubarb plants off of Ebay! I got three starts, because I figured at least one would make it. My Mom helped me plant it-and we followed the planting instructions to the letter.(Who knew there was a right and wrong way to do this?) I also listened to the advice to take nothing the first year, and just a few stalks the second year. Last year I cut my rhubarb down to within an inch of its life (like I was told I could do) and this spring-even though it is still early-I can see that I am to be the proud “mother” of three monster sized plants of my own! All THREE plants are still alive and flourishing!

Last spring I was happy to help a fellow gardener who wanted her own rhubarb and had failed several times in her attempt to grow some. I gave her copies of the planting instructions that I used and wished her good luck. I saw her husband later in the summer and he thanked me profusely for my help-they too were on their way to rhubarb success.

Now those same garden nurseries sell rhubarb starts. It seems to be a new trend-a renewed interest in growing one’s own fruits and vegetables—rhubarb included. If I asked for rhubarb now I would probably be asked what variety I was after and how many of each. So frustrated rhubarb lovers can rejoice-no more midnight trips around the neighborhood looking for plants to poach, or begging friends and acquaintances for a mere stalk or two. A chicken in every pot-or a rhubarb plant in every garden is not just a dream anymore—it’s a sweet (and tart) reality!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Snug Bug

This picture of Willow this morning says it all:

"Why should I get up and leave my nice warm, cozy bed?"

A) It's dark.

B) It's cold.

C) It's raining.


Luckily for her, and us, the rain stopped and sun came out. It's still Monday, but what a beautiful Monday it's turning out to be!

Have a good week everyone!