Thursday, November 29, 2007

Some Updates, Some New Items and T2T!

Hi, everyone! I'm finally starting to get caught up on some things and let me tell you, it feels sooo good! First, an update on the Mrs. Paul's fish sticks: I sent an email w/a picture of the little guy you saw in my last post and they're sending me a coupon for a free box of fillets. I complained, they resolved the situation and I'm back to being a happy camper with them. Since I shared my complaint with you, it's only right that I should also make you aware that they took steps to "fix" the problem. Becky, the Trash-to-Treasure (T2T)gal I met on the HGTV boards received my box of ornies Monday. I thought I was the last one, but she's waiting on one another to arrive before she mails everyone's package out. Just thought I'd let you know that I haven't forgotten my promise to post pix of all the goodies. Below is a picture of a kitchen Christmas tree that I just put together. Look closely and you'll see that I recycled everything: I generally buy Christmas decorations after the holiday at savings anywhere from 30 to 80% off. This tree is one I purchased several years ago but never used. So, this year I decided to sit it inside an old ceramic coffee container that didn't have a lid and decorate the branches with kitchen-y items, tied on with strips of scrap fabric. Old forks and spoons add some sparkle and dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks add a nice fragrance as well as interest. Also included is an old ceramic gravy spoon (pretty, but no real value), some fake tomatoes, pears and other fruit that I've stored for years along with an old cookie cutter, some recipe cards and a few bells here and there. All in all, I think it makes for a cute little tree. And how's this for another way to recycle drawers as well as save yourself some dollars? This old sled was missing a slat when we got it. My hubby found this (huge!) old drawer in someone's trash. He brought it home because he wanted the hardware, but I told him to save the wood, as it is real wood, not pressed board. When I showed him the old sled, he immediately thought about the drawer and knew he could form a new board for it. The sled boards and the drawer wood was the same thickness. He cut the board, stained it and attached it. Good as new! This red sled needs a cross board for steering. He'll use wood from the same drawer for it! There will still be plenty of wood left over. See that drawer track running across the middle (below). We'll keep that in tact to fix another chest or dresser that has a broken or missing track. The thinner plywood that is the drawer bottom will be used to replace another that is broken or cracked and the front of the drawer? Why, that's mine, of course, to use when I need to make more peg boards for coats. And finally, here's a bobbin-topped angel I just completed today. She's holding a wooden block that I painted to look like a book. An old brooch is fastened to the front of her tie belt to act as a buckle. Her underskirt is eyelet that peeks out from under her dress. I love the cute little primitive angels in the print. Her hair is from a friend's llama. They have to be trimmed every summer for health reasons, just as sheep do. I love working with llama hair; it's so soft and closely resembles human hair when attached to a doll. I needle-felted the hair to her scalp. As you do your Christmas shopping, I encourage you to look for products that are handmade. Support your local craftspeople and artists; you can pretty well rest assured that our creations won't poison your home with lead. As usual, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you'll visit again in a few days!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Late again, it's getting to be a habit

I guess it's the time of year for me and probably a lot of you to be running behind on just about everything. And I do mean everything! I had signed up with some of my HGTV board buddies to do a Trash-to-Treasure Christmas ornie (ornament) swap and guess who brought up the tail end of that one? Yep, guilty as charged. I'm hoping that Becky (the person coordinating the swap) received my package today. She was supposed to have received it Saturday as she was planning on sending out all the goodies to everyone today. Once I know that everyone has received their swap packages, I'll post pix of all the trash to treasure ornaments. The shops have been busy, especially the new Corner Nest mall in Elizabethton. We have three spots there now; however, one will be temporary through probably this month. We're due to move into still another shop in Bristol, TN and Robin (proprietor of the Nest) was good enough to let us rent a spot (albeit temporary) and save us from having furniture piled upon every surface in our home. We were actually lucky to get it, as her building is packed full. If you're in the area this weekend (December 1 and 2), I hope you can stop by for the annual Open House that she always hosts. There will be lots of food, door prizes and of course, quality items available for purchase. Have you noticed something new here? The music? ;-) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and that you really take a few moments to listen to the words of these songs. I admit shedding tears every time I hear the one by Mark Harris. He wrote it for his children and of course, I think of my own precious children as I listen to it. They are grown, of course, as you can see in the slide show and very few moments go by in the course of the day that my family isn't on my mind. Both my kids are excellent parents and I thank and praise God for this. I have an off the topic item to share with you. You know, it's bad enough that gasoline has gotten so expensive that you have to take out a second mortgage in order to fill up your vehicles. But have you noticed how the price of groceries have spiraled up while the contents of the packages have zoomed downward? For example, have you purchased a pound of bacon lately? A real pound? Remembering that a pound is equal to 16 ounces, have you noticed that bacon is mostly being packaged now in 12 and 14 ounce packages? (I'll give you a moment here as you check your fridge...) Here's something I really had to show you:

I'm not one to fix a lot of frozen prepared fish or meat for dinner but we've been so busy lately that last night's dinner was an exception. The top picture is the "before" baking shot of the contents of one of Mrs. Paul's "10 crispy battered fish fillet" packages. I set a teaspoon next to the one fillet for a size reference. Look how tiny that poor little baby fillet must have been! Do you think the egg was completely hatched? It struck me as being really funny as I slid the contents of the package onto a cookie sheet. However, if I was someone who had just searched the crevices of my sofa and chairs in hopes of finding enough change to purchase that box, it surely wouldn't have been laughable. The second picture is the "after baked" photo; my hubby held a ruler above the little guy. You can see it barely measured a full two inches. The other pieces, by the way, could hardly be called "oversized".

Now, here's a shot of a "make-do" snowlady I'm working on:

A "Make-do" is a term that was used quite a bit in days gone by. It refers to what people used to do when they were making something but didn't always have the proper equipment to do the job. I recall my great-grandmother sewing a patch or repairing an item, then declaring, "That will have to make do" as she finished it. Pictured here is a snowlady "make-do". I've fastened her atop an old bobbin. She's looking quite tired but happy, just the same. She still needs a dress or an apron, maybe a cape, and a couple arms. I'll give her something to hold, too. The bobbin I used is the kind that Eastman (remember Eastman-Kodak?) Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee used to use with yarn machines. I love designing and making handmade items and especially enjoy being able to incorporate into my items things that were meant for another use. But then, you already know that, as that's what trash-to-treasure and recycling is all about. Drop me a line sometime and let me know the ways you try to keep things from going into a landfill. Let's share these ideas!!! The earth belongs to us all. 'Till next time (hopefully, just a few days from now)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Late again, but with things of interest

The new Corner Nest has really kept all of us running! It seems I'm over there at least every other day, moving things around, adding more items to replace the ones that have sold, etc. Meanwhile, my digi camera decided to go belly-up and stop working. (See, I have a valid excuse, ummm, reason, for being late this time!) My hubby has been working on this cute old chest and I'll try to keep pix posted of his process if I can get a suitable camera. The wonderful group of gals at Delphi's Prim & Rustic Forum has put together this tree of ornaments and I do hope you read about the cause: The proceeds from the auction will go to the hospital that so lovingly cared for Penny. Have any of you seen this book: It may be helpful for those of you who want to do a little something different with your Christmas ornaments. You might also want to check out these sites: Both show various ways to recycle Christmas cards and paper; All Free Crafts has a little of everything, including things that can keep the kiddies busy and, of course, teaching them the values of recycling and doing things frugally. If you're unable to get your aluminum cans to the recycling center, here are some creative options: And while you're there, check this out: Here's hoping I'll have a functioning camera in a few days!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Gathering of Miscellany

Can you believe that Christmas is NEXT MONTH??? I know that time supposedly passes faster for you when you get older but this is ridiculous. I still have to remind myself that this is 2007 every time I write a check.
Plus, here in NE Tennessee, autumn is just beginning! I was starting to think that we were truly having an endless summer. The temps are still really warm here for the time of year (I think we're supposed to hit 70° again this week) but the trees are finally starting to color.
I love the way this place is tucked behind the trees. No, it's not my place - just one that I think looks serene.
And, I know I said in my last post that I expected things around here to return to normal this week. Well, they haven't. Things are going great guns at the new shop and I'm continuing to clean quilts and linen, pretty glasses, etc. to transport to Elizabethton and replace what has been sold. At least we had a couple more pieces of furniture that had already been cleaned, etc. and were ready for display. We're all pleased that things are going so well.
And in the absence of new pictures to share for my trash-to-treasure ventures, I have this:
We have a very small bathroom with basically no room for storage. Although I did give this old planter a fresh coat of paint, nothing else was needed to make it useful for me. Just wanted to show you that something doesn't have to be completely redesigned to be repurposed.
The planter is slender and not real tall so it doesn't take up much space but it does an adequate job of holding extra towels and TP as well as storing a few magazines for those times in the bathroom that, well, you have nothing else to do but wait for things to happen.
Sorry for this short post but I'm off now to my studio for a day of painting, sewing, sanding and cutting - not necessarily in that order!