Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Surprise and Some Reprises

  Yesterday was my day to get my stitches removed; I thought that was a pretty good thing in itself but when I came home this sweet surprise was waiting for me in our mailbox!
Deb, aka Garage Sale Gal made this get well card for me!  She knows I love her cards.  I also love her blog and of course I love her!  She is such a thoughtful gal and I appreciate her!  Thank you, Deb, for all your sweet thoughts and prayers.

Are you on Pinterest?  It's become one of my web obsessions and it was Pinterest that lead me toward the cutest paper angel, posted on http://chocolatecraftsandbearsohmy.blogspot.com/2010/11/paper-angel-ornament-tutorial.html.

I decided I had to try my own versions.  I don't have paper punches but I do have plenty of lace and fabric that I can use to "dress" them up!

 Remember the estate sales we bought out?  Although most of what we purchased was clean and immediately useable other items were geared Spring and holidays like Valentine and Easter.  Those, of course, had to be separated out and packed for more appropriate times to use in the shop.  Still other items need some help or repurposing.  For example, this sweet basket below was among our goodies; however, baskets by themselves are not normally good sellers.
Craftsperson that I am, of course I have lots of pine sprigs and "picks" that I've saved from other sales or auctions.  I cleaned up the basket and planted some of those sprigs, mixing in some beads, pinecones, etc.  I love the way it turned out, if I do say so myself.  I'm tempted to keep it but will take it to the shop.

China is something else that doesn't necessarily sell really well.  If it has silver or gold in the pattern people might buy one piece and use it as a decorative wall hanging but not for use on their dinner tables.  It's a sign of the times - if you can't "nuke" it in the microwave, customers are slow to purchase it.  The plates below are beautiful but are only a one place setting - dinner plate, salad and dessert plates.   We could put them in the shop with a cheap price and hope that someone will come in and want a one place setting of the pattern or it could be coupled with a couple of the thousands (okay, a slight exaggeration) of candlesticks we have.
It's now a cute three-tier serving dish with a reasonable price.  This is the time of year people want pieces like this for finger foods and I'm thinking this re-do will sell much quicker.
This little seamstress is one of those items that just has to stay with me.  Okay, it will probably eventually end up in the shop but for now, it's mine to enjoy.

Until next time...Enjoy your lives!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Post Op, We Did it Again and Future Thoughts

Here we are, 8 days post-op.  My doc removed part of both meniscus and did some repair work on a ligament.    Some bruising is showing up and I still have swelling but nothing like the swelling I had before the surgery.  It still hurts to put much weight on my right leg so I'm using either crutches or a walker.  The walker is pretty handy; I have a ready seat  if my leg gets over tired.  All in all, the surgery went well and (I think) I'm doing well with recovery.  Thank you, Lord!
Yep, we did it again!  We didn't buy out an entire estate but we did go to an estate sale last Saturday and ended up buying a large number of box lots.  So, I'm back on the couch surrounded by boxes upon boxes of things that need sorting and tagging.  Most items are clean but not everything is "shoppable".  For example, take a look at this familiar-looking brother and sister. 

The boy looks pretty good but I'm not sure what happened when his sister was getting her eyes painted. 

She looks downright possessed.  I think I can fix her eyes but this isn't a set that is headed to the shop.

Our annual open house is happening Saturday, December 3.  If you live in the North Carolina, southwest Virginia or east Tennessee area, put us on your calendar:  the CORNER NEST, Elizabethton, TN.  The shop is looking even more beautiful, in its festive dress.  Sweet Hubby and I were there until late Sunday night.  I was adding to our merchandise, replacing sold items and Hubby was working on the display for one of our booths. 

My Hubby and his coworkers yesterday were told that the Exide Battery Plant they work at will be "idled".  I guess that's a new term for "closed".  The work they do will be transferred to one of the other plants over the next 12 to 18 months.  The department Hubby works in has an unknown future. Decisions will be made within the next 90 days; we have no idea what that means.  Could be that their jobs will be closing out earlier, maybe later, maybe never.  Please pray, not just for us, but for all the  over 400 families that will be affected. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I've been kinda "Under" lately - literally!

Hubby and I last Friday bought the remains of an estate sale.  We didn't buy out the furniture - we bought all the "smalls" (lamps, pictures, glassware, etc.  basically, everything except furniture).  I plopped myself down on one end of the couch and began sorting and pricing.  Estate sale items have a tendency to be clean because they've been more recently used as opposed to consignment auctions.  Many consignment items are unearthed from forgotten corners of garages, basements, even abandoned houses.  Sooo...I had fewer items that needed scrubbing and laundering.  The picture above was taken from my perspective on the couch AFTER one full day of sitting there working.  Most of the items were still in our box truck, which was packed completely full, all the way back to the door.

The lady was a super-seamstress as well as a wonderful crafter.  This snowman is a jar that she had covered.  The nose was sewn onto the snowface before it was glued to the jar.  I thought this was just too cute and had to show it to you.
We've since taken two loads to the Corner Nest.  Most of the remaining items have been moved from the truck into the office where I can sit at the computer desk and work on them.  The living room is once again ours! 
My goal was to load our booths in the shop to almost overflow status as my surgery is MONDAY and it may be a few more days before I can get back there to restock and "fluff".
The results of my MRI?  Are you ready for this???  I tore both ligaments, both menisci, fractured my tibia (hairline), have bone spurs behind my knee (which I already knew) and have quite a bit of swelling from not only the injury but from my OA and RA (osteoarthritis and rhematoid arthritis).  My ortho had to wait for my Orencia infusion to be worked out of my system before he could operate.  As you probably already know, rhematoid meds reduce your immune system to pretty much zero so the meds had to get out of my system in order to fight any onset of infection.  I should be able to resume my meds two weeks post op (if no problems arise). 
See you again soon! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No Excuses, "New Boots" and a Waiting Game

Nope, no excuses.  I've been a bad blogger and I admit it.  I've decided the best way for me to blog is just to do it when I feel like I have something worth sharing and have the time to blog.  And, I'm hoping you all understand.

This will be a quick post.  Sweet Hubby and I are always going to estate sales, auctions, tag sales, etc. in hopes of finding wonderful things for the shop we're in (The Corner Nest, Elizabethton,Tn) and I must admit that we do find some great deals.  We recently scored a box full of vintage Christmas ornaments and this cute boot was included:
 The boot has an old coffee can inside.  I've seen a lot of crafts but have never seen one quite like this before and thought it was just too cute.  Clearly, this "boot" survived many Christmases and was well loved by its family.  Its can could have been filled with candy, Christmas money, florals or even a little Christmas tree.  I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a similar one.

 It somehow ended up looking like an old-fashioned boot, kind of like shoes my grandfather wore in the early 1900s.
I decided it's okay, but of course it's nothing like the original.  I think I may have gone a little overboard when cutting the side flaps.  *giggle*  This was my first attempt; here's hoping my next try looks more like the original shoe.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have another visit to my orthopedist scheduled.  Sweet Hubby and I will find out the results of a knee MRI I had done Monday.  We'll learn whether a knee replacement is in the near future.  Personally, I'm hoping it is.  Everyone I know who has had the surgery is grateful for it and I'm hoping to get this knee pain behind me.

Meanwhile, take care and if I don't talk to you before Halloween, don't let the goblins getcha!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Quick Re-do and a Quirk in Canning

It's been awhile since we've had a new puppy in the house so every time we sense an unfamiliar odor we turn our attentions toward Sam.  I mean, does this look like an "Honest, Mom, it wasn't me!" look or what? 

But, alas, this time he was actually innocent. 
I've been canning tomatoes and I canned one group using an unfamiliar canner.  (I'm one of the strange breed of women who prefer the cold pack method) A couple of the jars I canned "failed".  It's been several years since I've had that experience - probably about 30 years.  Wish me luck on my next batch!   

Look what my hubby found while mowing:  Isn't it too cute?  Of course, when it's all grown up and nibbling in our gardens, the cuteness has a tendency to go away. 

Anyway, it was missing part of one foot.  We never know how the animals we find get injured - it could have been trapped in something, attacked by something - or, it could even be a birth defect.

How's this for a cheap makeover?  We all have an idea of how expensive chaise mattresses can be.  We've had these for at least four years. 

 They're still in good condition (comfort-wise) because they really don't get much use.  But, the colors have really faded and they look pretty haggard. 

I've had a large fabric bolt of this wonderful Waverly fabric for quite awhile; it came in a box lot and was so pretty I knew that (eventually) we'd have a use for it.  I did a quick cut and sew (a simple 3-sided sew, shaped like a super-huge pillowcase) and voila! 

 A new look for the patio!  I had enough left over for a table cover, too. 

 We had just painted our patio and it sure freshened it up.  The cost of the makeover?  Less than $1, since it came in an auction box lot!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shoulder Spurs, Surplus and Sewing Patches

Shoulder update: Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts.  The diagnosis my orthopaedist gave me was pretty much what I anticipated - I have shoulder spurs and minor rotator cuff damage.  He did give me an injection to help with the pain but it turns out that the numbness I've been experiencing in my arm, hand and fingers have nothing to do with my shoulder and everything to do with my neck.  Several years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (along with, sadly, several thousands other people). I was told that my spine had quite a bit of damage and the damage seemed to be excelerating fairly quickly. The numbness I'm feeling is from those pinched nerves in my neck.  I'm doing some exercises that will hopefully help to alleviate some of the pain and tingling. An MRI will better define what's going on or, more specifically, what treatment paths we'll be taking.  Continued prayers are appreciated.

Anyone who knows me knows I've been diligently working  trying to use up and otherwise get rid of my miscellaneous mess extra supplies of fabric and needlework supplies for the last four or five years recently.  Believe it or not, I'm actually starting to see success somewhere in that dark hole I call my sewing/art studio.  But, as I was sorting through dresser drawers, I started seeing another hoarding trend that I didn't even know I had started.  
 Pillow cases. Not sets or pairs of pillow cases, mind you.  Just pillow cases.  One at a time, no matching partner, no fabulous story, just single pillow cases.  Lots of them.  A few of them are vintage (very few) with some pretty embroidery work or trim on them.  I can probably recycle and turn some of them into potpourri pillows or the like.  But others are just plain ugly.
I have no idea what to do with them.  Do you have any ideas? Aside from donating them to Goodwill or trying to hide them in a box and send them to the auction, I mean.  (By the way, I didn't include the ugliest of them in any of the pictures.  Yes, they are THAT ugly.)

Speaking of ugly - does your husband insist on keeping a certain pair of jeans?  (Not accusing your hubby of being ugly, just a possible given pair of his jeans.)  Sweet Hubby has a pair of jeans that I have patched and repatched so many times that the only original part of them is the zipper.  Why do I patch them?  Because he would wear them anyway and the holes are, well, in areas that could cause him to be arrested.   And no, I won't show you those particular areas!  I'd love to hear your favorite jean stories.  They don't have to be YOUR favorite jeans, as obviously the above pair are not mine. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Hubby Hates our Property

No kidding.  He's been wanting to move for years.  I think it all started when I fell down our hill  and broke my ankle.  That was the first or second year we lived here.  And, today, I took another hard fall.  He blames it all on our property, which is mostly situated uphill.  (or, downhill, if you're falling...)
Most of you know I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis).  You may not know that I have almost all the other "itis"s, too - osteoarthritis, tendonitis, bursitis - and as each summer approaches I find it more difficult to give proper attention to all my flower gardens.  As a result, I seem to never get all the work accomplished in the "big garden".  The west end (above) is a sad combination of weeds, some perenials, vines and more weeds.   

Today I decided that THIS would be the day to clear out said weeds, vines, etc.  Well, it sure is easy to fall when you're pulling stubbornly-rooted weeds while standing on a hillside.  The good part is, I already have an appointment with my orthopaedist for Tuesday morning.  The bad news is, it's for the shoulder I fell on.  The area between my neck and right shoulder has been sore and swollen for about a month and lately, my entire right arm, hand and fingers, have been numb.  (Crazy-bone hit kind of numb.) 

Anyway, Sweet Hubby and youngest stepson had just returned home from running errands.  Hubby made sure I had no broken bones and insisted I let him and s-son work in the garden.  (Sure, Honey, if you insist...)

I did manage to pick up a broken flower (phlox) on the way to the house.  Don't you think it looks nice against my lace kitchen curtains?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shop Talk, Garden Stuff and (more) Sam

Two posts in two days?  Wow, I'm on a ROLL! 
I was going through some of my photos this morning and thought I'd share some shop photos with you.  But first, get a load of this bumper sticker:

Can you read it?  It says, "Peace Hon".  Southerners are so friendly.
This is one of our booths (Hubby and mine).  I bought the little white cabinet at a garage sale, brought it home, cleaned it up, painted it and Hubby replaced the drawer front for me.  The original drawer front was (we thought) too thin and cheap-looking.  I had the teapot drawer pull in my stash and voila!  Cute, huh? 
 Would you believe I found a supply of these plates at another garage sale? 

These are only a few - some of the sayings were too funny or too true to pass up.
This dress form is to die for - but it's neither for sale nor is it mine!   It's the creation of Gail Schmidt of Shabby Cottage Studio.  I love her creativity!   She made the skirt out of paper that she rolled into cones.  She said she bought the wings off Etsy.  This table isn't ours, either; I saw it in another area of the shop.    I've seen similar on HGTV but thought this was just adorable.  It didn't last long - it sold within a couple days.  Now, this sofa IS one of ours: 
It's in absolutely beautiful shape!  We have a price tag on it of only $399.  I'm surprised it's still in the shop, as merchandise there sells so quickly.  It sits like a brand new couch, looks like a brand new couch but it is antique!  I told some friends that, if I didn't have a husband and parrots, I would keep this piece.  (I obviously chose my hubby and birds over the couch)

Now for a few photos of my cottage garden - these are all of the largest garden:

I never get tired of taking pictures of this angel.

  Puppy Sam seems to really enjoy running into the garden through the gate and out of it under this corner border, trampling my plants and everything else in his path.  I resolved that by "planting" a few boxlot plates that nobody wanted.  This fence is a recent addition:

Actually, it's an "unfence".  Sweet Hubby scored them at an estate sale.  They were twin beds in their previous life but the rails were nowhere to be found. 

Sam, by the way, loves to "help" me pull weeds.  (I do have fingers on both hands, by the way.  The angle from which this pic was taken looks otherwise.)
Problem is, he generally tries to pull the weeds out of my hand.  But, surprisingly enough, sometimes he gets it right on  his own! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Puppies,Potatoes and Ponderings

Okay, so this little shed doesn't fit into my post title. I couldn't find a synonym for shed that starts with a "P".
Did you know that the words "want", "covet" and "desire" don't have "p" word synonyms, either? (I really want a shed like this one!) 
I saw it at a yard sale the other day. No, of course it wasn't for sale and I was by myself so I didn't have anyone to scheme with me on how in the world one of us could distract the owners while the other one loaded it onto the top of my van without being noticed. So, instead, I just complimented the older gentleman who had built it what a cool looking shed it was. Don't you agree it would really look at home sitting next to one of my gardens?

Speaking of gardening: I was tending to our veggie garden the other day and thinking about the first time I followed my former mother-in-law into her garden. I watched in awe as she stuck her shovel into the ground and unearthed a crop of beautiful golden-brown potatoes. We had a small garden when we were growing up but everything we grew happened above ground - you know, tomatoes, green beans and the like. I was so impressed that she knew exactly when to harvest something that couldn't be seen. I was later told that you delay the harvest until the green part of the potato that grows above ground dies. So...would someone like to tell me what in the world happened to my crop?

It would be difficult to find a pebble smaller than this!!!

Thank you for your cards, comments, emails, etc.of condolences you sent when I told you about losing Frankie, my pal and furry child of 17 years. I now understand the pain one goes through when a beloved pet dies. I still tear up when I think of him; we literally traveled alongside one another for the past 17 years. I told my husband I would never have another dog. Not ever. And then... We had to go to Knoxville for my rheumatologist appointment. It was on a Friday and we stopped at a flea market on the way home. It was there we spotted a young man carrying two very cute puppies that he had to sell. The mom was a full blooded pug, the daddy a combo pug and bulldog. Did I mention how very cute those puppies were? Long story short (okay, so the story isn't so long), we brought the black puppy home with us and named him "Sam". Here is Sam and Doc Jones. You can't even tell Sam is getting his first puppy shot; he's being so good. Yep, Sam and I are now an item!