Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy-Happy Joy-Joy Mail

In the last QB5 swap, I sent out coasters to alter with Asian bits and pieces.

I liked the results so much that I asked a couple of other on-line friends to do a coaster (or two) for me. Jo was one of those generously obliging folks.

I had forgotten I sent her two coasters.

I like this one so much. One of the coins look genuine!

Lovely image of the two girls!

And so much fun stuff going on in the background.

I am inspired,

because, of course,

I have yet to do one of these myself!

The saturated color of this one appeals too!

Jo used the tissue from a paper umbrella I sent her.

(I sent you one, Jo, didn't I?)

Jo and I have a private joke about using "man images".


The back sides are more understated.

I like that about them too!

The front of the envelope showed some stranged green tape...
I flipped it over to find--
Aha! The U.S. government added their own alteration to the envelope too!
I have yet to have one for my envelope collection.
This one is a keeper!

Now what could have drawn their attention?
I am convinced it's the piece of fortune cookie celephane wrapper that caused them concern.

It wasn't properly glued down and must have flapped in the breeze all the way from the U.K.!

The U.S. Customs kindly stuck the celphane down again with their green tape so the package arrived intact here in Missouri.

Wasn't that nice of them?

Thank you Jo for indulging me!

AND for your amazing mail art!

Friday, June 24, 2011

CREEPY DOLLS Viewer Discretion Advised

An old friend recently invited me to look at some of her attic treasures in the hopes that I might sell some of it for her. God only knows why some people hold onto some things like these broken, decayed dolls, but some of us are now glad that they did.

If old dolls creep you out, look no further.

If you are fascinated by the beauty of peeling paint and antique doll construction, read on.

No child would play with these now, so I am amazed that these dolls were kept as if some child might want to.


The dolls were stored, jumbled together, in a cardboard box in the attic, exposed to extreme heat in the summer and extreme freezing in the winter.

Most of their heads are spilt open.

This doll, although damaged, has her original (very fragile) clothing and is quite beautiful.
She has the kind of face you only see on old church statuary.

Unfortunately, her head is split open.
Fortunately, her fragile bonnet hides the scar.

Then there's the doll my 14 year old said, "Please, Mom, promise me that you'll lock her away so she won't come and kill me in the middle of the night!"


Old dolls have really gotten a bad reputation.

All of these and more will be available for purchase in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Place to Dream... on Tea Tuesday!

I tried drinking hot tea yesterday and sat there, in my air conditioned house, sweating and melting, like butter in the sun. So today I am drinking Arizona iced Green Tea with Ginseng and it tastes SO good, that I had a hard time pausing between sips to take these pictures (I had to refill my glass once, because it was looking unglamorously empty!)

Do you have a place to read and dream and relax?

I didn't before, but I do now.

My mother-in-law found this narrow day bed at a local estate sale for a ridiculously low price and let me have it, vintage coverlet and all (she buys stuff with no idea of where she's going to put it-- lucky me!)

I have to work on hanging more things on the walls
(a future post).

This cozy corner is in my dining room.
My dining room is so big, I have room for a day bed and daydreaming.
It's not just for dining any more!

Here's the proof.
So you know I'm not kidding.

For more Tea on Tuesday posts, visit our hostess, Kimmie.

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Thrifty Finds

I found the angels this past week. They are actually a framed antique Christmas card (I suspect a reprint, not original). I couldn't resist the guilded frame. They are the perfect companions for the Italian lady I found weeks ago. Neither picture cost me more than 25 cents I think, but they look like a million bucks hanging together in my front entry way!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

The sticker said, "All for $1.50".

I was not thrilled with the cheapy candle holder I had no use for,

but I was willing to take the good with the bad.

Here is the good.

The octagon pieces are all chipped up and at least one of the drops has it's end cracked off, but I am still thinking "icicles" on my Christmas tree this year!

Anyone want a candle holder?
Or have a suggested re-use?

This saucer was dirty when I first spotted it, but I could see through the grime that it was old and pretty.

Looks more like a round picture frame than a saucer so I am thinking of adding a photo in the center and hanging it on a wall.

Cost me maybe 25 cents.

I can't resist matching bowls. These are larger than the dessert bowls I have already. They are shallow enough to serve cake, but deep enough to hold berries with sauce (think "strawberry short cake"!) I invested a whole $1.20 (12 @ 10 cents!) They aren't china, but humble ceramic.

Oh well. I'll live.

White goes with everything.


I couldn't not buy them!
Some days I go to the thrift store and find nothing.

Other days I find a ridiculous number of things to buy.

This was one of the "other" days.
More show and tell to come!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dining Room- It's Tea Tuesday!

You have to understand that I am excited to have a room that is dedicated to dining. In our old house, the dining room was the center of the house which sounds domestically poetic and all, but what it really meant was that the dining table became the catch-all for homework papers, unopened and opened mail, art projects in progress, coats, mittens, toys, laundry and stuff. Anything anyone was too lazy to put away in its proper place, deal with or just plain throw out.

In short, we rarely actually dined in the dining room.

Now in this house, the only thing that covers the dining table is a table cloth. And there is always room to dine at the table. You cannot imagine how wonderful that is to me! And yes, that is a plate rail that goes all the way around the room. In fact, I ran out of dishes to display- guess I will just have to buy more! heehee!

So today, dear readers, although I am not having tea I can host you at a moment's notice.

Drop by anytime.

My table is always ready to receive guests!

For more Tea on Tuesday posts, visit our hostess Kimmie!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Green Gold

I think it's Susan Branch who refers to pesto as "green gold" in her illustrated recipe book, "Vineyard Seasons".
It's a perfect description.

It is only the yummiest condiment on the face of the earth!

Spread thickly on Italian bread and topped with garden fresh tomatoes. swoon!

Tossed with warm pasta and cherry tomatoes. aaaaahhhh!

Baked into a cheese pizza, instead of tomato sauce. OMG!

You can buy pesto at the grocery store (for about the price of gold!), but freshly made is definitely the best.

Basil is the key ingredient in green gold and every year I mourn when I am too lazy to grow some.

Just the smell of basil is intoxicating

So this year I gave myself a kick in the pants and planted basil in some containers left on our patio by the previous owners. I bought a couple of plants and the rest is started from seeds. It took an hour out of my life to prepare the pots with fresh soil and plant, but I will reap huge wealth in about 6 weeks or so!So how do you spin basil leaves into green gold?

In a food processor of course!

Add olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic(!), salt and pepper.

I consider the pine nuts/ walnuts optional, but the rest is essential.

I will post again when I spin some myself.

I am already drooling in anticipation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tea Tuesday and a Guest Photo Stylist

I fully intended to do a post about iced tea today, but although it is hotter than Hades, Rebecca and I had hot tea for breakfast. Iced tea just does not wash down warm toaster pastries very well. School is out, so there is time for taking time for breakfast, no matter how late we get up in the morning. And why not use good china? (As good as 25-50 cents will buy at the thrift store! heehee)

I let Rebecca pick out her own cup and saucer, with instructions to choose from the crockery in the bottom cupboard of my china cabinet. This cup does have a matching saucer, but Rebecca found this orphaned saucer first and was immediately attracted to the pierced, lacy, edging and thick, gold rim.

I told her, "That's okay. The cup and saucer don't have to match."

She replied,

"I know. I think it's more fun that way."

She also offered me the remains of her toaster pastry when I told her I was taking a picture.

"Here, Mom. It will look prettier with this,"

and placed the gooey morsel on the saucer.

She is very wise for a 6 1/2 year old.

We should all have a guest photo stylist come to tea occasionally.

For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bringing Down the (School) House

No, this is not tornado damage (surprise!), but an intentional salvage and slow demolition.

The last graduating class from this K-12 school was 1965 I believe and then the doors closed to students.

I'm sure it's hard for those Corder, MO residents to watch their alma mater (did I spell that right?) be slowly taken down board by board and brick by brick. A lot of the old wood is being salvaged and the bricks are being rough cleaned and stacked neatly on pallets to be hauled away to California (I was told).

The huge slate blackboards were the first items to be removed and claimed by a buyer.

I was not lucky enough to get one.

I'm glad the building is coming down slowly because seeing the layers "peeled" away reveals alot about old construction. The solid brick walls were a foot thick, then faced inside with lathe and plaster.
I find it fascinating.

No air-conditioning in this place so the windows had to be big for cool breezes to come through.
Would have cost a fortune to heat in the winter.
It's why any tennant using the school later didn't stay long (a garment factory and most recently a computer refurbishing business).

The school house is coming down, but the gymnasium, built later and so is "newer", will remain standing since the Lion's Club uses it for community breakfasts twice a month. The gym is also available to rent (it has a stage, bleachers and basketball hoops still intact).

The whole time (50?, 60? years) that the school was used, it was segregated.
Now it's African American laborers taking it down.


My mother-in-law thinks its justice.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Heirloom of Sorts

I took a break from boxes a couple of days ago and spent some time out in the fresh air.

Rebecca has been sleeping on two mattresses piled on her bedroom floor because the bed I had in mind for her had rusted from years stored in a damp basement.

Husband: "Take it to the dump".

Me: "NOooo! It was the first bed I bought when I moved to Kansas City!"

(Therefore, it was an heirloom of sorts.)

I found this bed frame at a flea market and the appeal was that although it looked like a Jenny Lind, it was metal, and the fake wood grain was chipped off in places (bonus!)

Just my showing interest in it immediately knocked $10.00 off the asking price and I happily took it home feeling I had gotten a bargain.

It got my mattresses off of the floor!

Fast forward 22 years.

The wood grain is no longer evident and is replaced by rust. The frame would be more at home stuck into a garden and planted with a "bed" of flowers.

But I am undaunted.

The bed was coming indoors once again, with a new look. If my son needed a twin sized bed, I might have just steel wooled away the worst rust, varnished it and preserved the aged look.

Rust is so IN now!

But the bed was needed for a little princess who wanted it painted pink. Thank goodness I couldn't find Rustoleum in that color at our local Walmart.

She would have to settle for white.

I passed on the spray cans, deciding that brushing it on was more cost effective (and the paint wouldn't be blown away by the breeze).

A cheap, $1.00 brush (disposable!) and a package of steel wool and I was equipped to "transform".

Oh how I hate sanding. It's just no fun, but it is the most important step if you want the paint to last. Rebecca even helped a little until she saw her little neighbor friends come out to play, then suddenly vanished.


I was on my own to paint two thin coats of paint, which was probably best.
I used barely half the pint can of paint and patted myself on the back for my frugality.

The frame looks marvelous!

A bit of unintentional "character" I must point out.

Lucy, our St. Bernard, brushed past the tacky paint in pursuit of a motorcycle she heard roar by our yard. I didn't try very hard to remove the neat flag of fur she deposited, thinking more paint would cover it. Not! *sigh*. I was 98% done with the bed at that point and too tired to think about cleaning, sanding and repainting her mess. Oh well. Just one more reason to never part with this bed. It now has our dog's DNA imbedded in the finish!

It's definitely a family heirloom now!