Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Best Thrift Store Find of the Year

I frequently shop at Thrift Stores, because I like to reduce, reuse and recycle.  You never know what you  are going to find.  Each shopping trip is an little adventure. 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we were in Cape May NJ to have a Thanksgiving dinner with my daughter and her family.  She is very pregnant and wasn't able to travel here for the holiday so we packed up the fixings and headed down there first thing Friday morning.  Until recently, there were very few thrift stores in her area.  There was a new one called The Arc on Rt 47 in Rio Grande, so we headed over with the kids on Saturday morning.  Since we had the kids with us, we couldn't spend the amount of time in the shop that we would have liked, but in addition to a Christmas-y tablecloth and a couple of other small things, I found these gems:

I love old things, they have so much character.  So this sugar and creamer set caught my eye, just sitting on the tray on top of a bureau. 

The pieces were very heavy when I picked them up, so I figured I had a good buy on my hands.  I got the three pieces for $9.  Yes, only $9!  The tray does not appear to be an original piece of the set, as there are no markings on it. 

The sugar and creamer are Quadruple-plated by Van Bergh S.P. Co, Rochester, NY, and numbered 468, and apparently date back to the late 1890's.  Parts of them were black when I bought them.  Here is an  'after polishing' picture.  They still need a little work, but here they are after the first go around of cleaning.  I love them, and they look beautiful on the table.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My *Free* Christmas Craft of the Day

No blogging lately - trying to get all of my Christmas Gift Projects finished for the holiday.  I'm a long way off, but I think everyone seems to be in the same situation this year.  We have no specific plans all weekend, for the first time in forever, so I think this will be a sewing and Christmas cookie-baking weekend. 

Here is my Craft of the Day.

I always save the Christmas cards that people send us, in the hopes that I will use them for crafting.  I tuck them away with our Christmas ornaments, etc, and they go in the attic 'til the following year.  Then the next year comes along and I end up throwing them out.  So this year, I decided to go through them all last night, while we were watching a movie (Night at the Museum 2, if you must know).  I found a bunch that had pictures on them that I really liked. So I grabbed some picture frames that we had in a bin, and went to work.  

I really like the one below - it was a card that showed two small boys making snow angels.  I cut the card up to fit the frame.  The picture doesn't do it justice, really - the snow is all glittery and it is really cute.

This next one was also one card that I cut into 2 pieces. 

I liked this next one, it has a folksy look to it.

And, Lastly, my retro-looking card.  I do have several other cards that I need frames for.  Two of the frames had family pictures in them, so I simply tucked the Christmas cards in front of the pictures that were already there.  Once the holiday season is over, I will just take out the cards and the family pics will be there.

The best thing about the craft, is...it cost me NOTHING.  I had all of the materials in the house already.  Yay!  I love crafts like this, that I can throw together on a whim.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Holy Cow, this month really got away from me.  Expect more of the same in December as well, I guess. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I think this holiday reminds people of what they have to be thankful for - but shouldn't we be doing that all year long? 

I love the image of a cornicopia. In addition to the colors of the rainbow, it signifies to me a great bounty of food we should be thankful for, especially in this economic period when more people are doing without.

I am thankful for my husband and children and grandchildren, and our good health and happiness.  I guess I should include the dog and cats in that, even though they can be trying. :)  I am thankful for our extended families and siblings.  I am thankful that my sisters share a love of crafts and sewing and thrift stores!  I am thankful that we are employed and can put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads.  I am thankful for my friends, and even though we don't see each other much, we can always pick up where we left off and rely on each other in a crisis.

 I am thankful for my coworkers and customers at the quilt shop who inspire me to be better at the craft and try new things. I am thankful that our washing machine is still hanging on (it is older than my last three kids, but owes us nothing at this point).  I am thankful I have the privilege of working from home, as it allowed me to spend time with Kara - a luxury I did not have when the other kids were young.  I am thankful that we have the opportunity to live free and especially thankful to our military who are serving to continue to allow us to do so. 

Have a great holiday everyone!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shop Hop

My sis Sue and I did some shop hopping this past weekend.  My shop participates in an annual Shop Hop with 9 other stores in the area.  Unfortunately I am not eligible to win any of the grand prizes, since I am an employee, but I can still register for the daily gift baskets.  Neither of us won anything. :(

However, we had a nice relaxing afternoon and a peacful lunch, plus ice cream later.  Woohoo!  Neither of us bought a lot, but here are some pics of my Shop Hop pleasures this time.  Two cute patterns,  the first from PatchAbilities.  It is a long skinny wallhanging.

The second, from Lizzie B Cre8ive.  I can't wait to do this appliqued project to hang on the wall in my sewing room.  It is three-dimensional, which you can't tell from the pic.  The sample at the shop was adorable.

A little bit more Figgy Pudding, to use for Binding and other projects.

And lastly, I picked up a bunch of fat quarters in the Farmer's Market line by RJR Fabrics.  These food fabrics always catch my eye when I am shopping, so I finally caved and bought them.  I have a wallhanging planned for the kitchen, and we'll see what is left after that.  If I have enough, I will do napkins and potholders perhaps, or applicance covers.  They would be fun.

My Cute Pencil Cup

I needed a new pencil holder recently, so I made this one out of a clean soup can, and a scrap of Kaffe Fassett that I had.  He would probably be mortified to know that someone added rick-rack to his fabric.  But, we must be psychic-ly linked - he has the same exact fabric line on his sidebars of his website.  Cool.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Soccer Practice this Week

This is Kara's first year for playing soccer for the local Boys and Girls Club.  Apparently it is Club tradition to allow the kids to wear their halloween uniforms to the first practice after Halloween.  So here are a couple of pics of her team playing soccer in their costumes. 

It was tough to get a decent picture because of the lighting on the field.

It was pretty funny to watch.  One boy was Superman, and his cape was flowing behind him as he ran around the field.  They had a good time.

Country BBQ Chicken and Fried Onions-n-Potatoes

I didn't have time to post my last recipe in the challenge until now.  Day 4 was a BBQ sauce recipe I came across.  I have no idea where it came from, I found a copy I had printed or someone had given me.  We eat a lot of chicken, and it is always nice to have a dish you can count on.  The sauce was very easy.

Combine all of the following in a saucepan over medium heat:
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions, sauted briefly to soften (this was my addition to the recipe, the original did not call for sauteeing the onions first.  I prefer the cooked onion flavor)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  •  1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I wouldn't skimp on this part - it really needed the 15 minutes to get the best flavor.  Then I just poured the sauce over a batch of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  I usually eat the boneless breasts, but we did not have them in.  Bake  in the preheated oven until done and the juices run clear.  This would be even better on the grill, but I didn't have the time to stand outside and watch it.

I served it with just mixed vegatables, pretty ho-hum but I had them in the freezer, and my best fried onions-and-potatoes. 

For my potatoes, I used three large baking potatoes, and microwaved them for 5 minutes after piercing the skins with a fork.  This makes for a much faster side dish.  While they are microwaving, I chop onions, and start them in a frying pan in some olive oil.  After 5 minutes in the mircowave, the potatoes are almost fully cooked.  Remove the skins if you like (I prefer them on but hubby does not), and chop into bite size pieces.  Add to the onions, and let them brown a bit before turning. Stir periodically. 

After about 10 minutes (and here is the part that makes them so yummy), add some chunks of butter to the bottom of the frying pan, and allow that to melt.  Then mix the butter into the potatoes, and let them sit again.  A few minutes later, add a few more chunks of butter (think Paula Deen) and wait for it to melt and mix again.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.  By now, parts of the potatoes and onions have gotten nice and crusty and brown.

Good comfort food.  The BBQ sauce tasted good mixed into everything.