Apr 27, 2011

Thrifty Finds

I feel like I've been having good luck with thrift shopping lately--hopefully that keeps up once garage sale season finally gets here!
I went to an indoor [garage] sale on Saturday with my friend Heidi. I am so glad I did! There were a ton of boys clothes and I was able to find somewhere along the lines of 7 pairs of shorts and 6 pairs of pants that will fit Adrian this summer, fall...winter. He still fits into 18 months pants so who knows how long these 'new' pants will last! It's always fun to get lucky like that, now I can focus on tops for him, especially when he has enough that fit him now so I don't feel so desperate as to buy anything I can find!
I also found the animal puzzle (with the big red barn). When Adrian first tried it, he threw a fit. He was SO mad when he couldn't figure it out. Now, 4 days later, he can finish it no problem. Then he dumps it upside down and does it again. It's pretty awesome. So, I was at St. Vinny's today (a local thrift shop) and found 4 puzzles, grouped in 2's, for $0.74 each. (There is another, Elmo puzzle for older kids that isn't shown.) What a deal! Adrian couldn't wait to play with them. I'm so serious, he wanted to open them in the store! I might just hold onto the alphabet puzzle and give it to him for his birthday in August.
I found ties for the boys, Jeff always seems to be looking for striped ties and you can't beat $0.87 or whatever it was I paid for that. I'm hoping Adrian's tie will work with the vest my Mom is knitting for the wedding. I paid 3-something for the dress and it may actually become the dress I wear to the wedding. I really lost steam working on this dress, I think it was the navy, I'm not a big fan of dark colors for myself. I do still plan on finishing it and I'll post a picture when I do. Anyways, this dress should be a quick redo, I probably won't change anything, just resize it. I'm guessing it's about a size too big and it's pretty simple. Then, I just need to find a contrasting belt or make a sash to make it a little different!
I found Adrian's shoes about a week ago. St. Vinny's sells a lot of their kids shoes at $1 or less so I will always look, whether he needs them or not. I love, love, love, the blue and white striped Ked-style shoes! I want to find more for him! Unfortunately, these are in the size he wears now so he may only be able to wear them for a few more weeks, barefoot. ETA: Scratch that, I just put them on and his toes are right to the end. I guess we won't be wearing them after all. And the other pair are two sizes too big so I'm still on the lookout for shoes! I did find a pair of brown, leather sandals in the next size up that will work most of the time but I still need something for cooler, rainy days.
We're going downstate very, very soon and I'm hoping to spend some time at Salvation Army. (I know I've mentioned it before but it is HUGE!) That is, if we have any money to spare...

Apr 26, 2011

Happy Easter!

I had some friends over for Easter and I haven't done a thing since. 'Kay, that's sort of a lie. I went to the park with Adrian on the two nice days that we had and then surprise! I woke up to rain and snow this morning, it hasn't stopped yet. The first year we lived here, it snowed until sometime in May. Good thing too, I don't expect the last snow storm until the second week of May at the earliest. At least we have had some beautiful weather in the mix!

On Sunday, after eating a delicious meal of (you know I'm all about food) ham, green beans, my Mom's mashed potatoes, corn, and homemade bread, The girls--Kate, Heidi, and myself--took a little walk in the sunshine. I was hoping Adrian would fall asleep since it was already so late in the day but we stopped at the park for a bit and he didn't end up napping until about 4 o'clock. Oh well, he had so much fun with the kids, he's still talking about it! (I mean, he drops their names every once in a while.) It was a tight fit for all of us in our little apartment, around our little table but we made it work!

I have a few projects to finish up this week before we head downstate (early) for Jenna and Dave's wedding! I can't wait! There is supposed to be junk-picking the day before the wedding, waddya think my chances are for getting out? Oh well, our car will be crammed with hockey equipment, golf bag, and luggage so we really don't have room to be taking anything extra.

Apr 22, 2011

Just Something I Made

I made this a week or so ago but it was a gift so I had to wait until it was received to show it on here.

I kind of wanted to keep it for myself. I love how this apron turned out, if only I could make a skirt like this...

Apr 20, 2011

the good ol' days

I am missing these days...

We had such perfect weather for a week or two and Adrian and I went to the park every day. It was awesome! Then, several inches of wet snow reminded us that we live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It still hasn't left, in fact, it was snowing a bit this afternoon. Ah, well, spring will get here eventually!

Apr 15, 2011


A few days ago, I walked to a few local thrift shops. By myself! Jeff wasn't working that day and Adrian was napping. It was a perfectly wonderful day for a walk and going by myself with many hours to spare, I kind of felt like a single teenager again. I can't remember the last time I took a leisurely walk...
I spent several hours slowly browsing each store, drooling over Pyrex dishes all the while. Oh how I love vintage Pyrex dishes! I was on a mission to find a bookshelf but I didn't mind the other distractions. There is one shop in particular that always has tons of furniture. Really nice furniture. Like, crazy lots of furniture. This shop is kind of weird though, it gives me the creeps every time I go in but still check it out every time hoping that just once I'll find something I'm looking for. Like a mid-century modern bookcase. When I walked in, I didn't see anyone else, this is normal. I swear the guy that runs it is like a phantom. He popped out rather quickly this time (sometimes I don't see him at all) to say 'hi' and that he was having a sale--he's always having a sale. I asked about the bookcase style I was looking for and he clearly had no idea what I was talking about as he directed me to the basement and more 'stuff.' I looking around, as always, a little afraid to go in the basement. It is so crowded with stuff, you have to squeeze through tiny little walkways to get around and it's so quiet...anyways, I didn't find anything and breathed a sigh of relief as soon as I was outside again. I should mention that the guy running the place doesn't creep me out, he's kind of an absent-minded sort of person and has never bothered me in the least. He's just always hiding out somewhere and I can't see him or hear him. I don't know where he goes, maybe he lives upstairs??
I found a Pyrex percolator at another shop a few months ago and I went in there hoping to find a bookcase because I remembered seeing a bunch of furniture in the basement of that building. Which wasn't creepy at all, by the way. I was a little confused when I walked in and the whole store looked different, the people working there were unfamiliar, and the basement was closed off. Not to mention that the place looked half empty. Turns out, there were new owners, the previous owner moved across the street to another (humongous, old bank) building. Anyways, it was at this shop that I found this little lady and I wasn't even looking for one! I guess that's just how it goes!

This is the only thing I bought that day but man, I was pumped!

You'll notice it's a little crooked; I was playing around with it and didn't put it back just right.  This dress form is way more customizable than the ones being made now. And I got it for $50!

I'm so excited to start using it--just as soon as I can figure it out. It adjusts from the inside (I forgot to get a picture) and there are no measurements so it might be a little trickier than the newer models but I'm sure I will love it once I get the hang of it.
The manual was taped inside but it didn't give me any more hints. It originally comes with a stretchy sleeve that slips over the entire thing for a smoother surface for pinning (I'll have to post a picture once it's all adjusted to show why this would be useful) but it was nowhere to be found. I'm sure I can make something down the road if I feel like I need it.
If nothing else, I can start using it for making skirts right away, that should be easy to adjust for!

Apr 12, 2011

step right up and claim your prize!

Congratulations to Loretta! Who learned a valuable lesson btw: if you want something I'm selling, sit tight and you just might get it for free! ;) I'm sending you an email right....now!

Apr 11, 2011

Fresh Fish

If you haven't checked out my giveaway (below) you have until 10 pm (eastern time) to enter!

We had a pretty low-key weekend here. The weather was PERFECT so Adrian and I made it to the park several times. If this past week is any indication of what summer will be like, we are going to be the 'tannest' kids on the block!
 Jeff went fishing one morning with my cousin Tom and brought a small Coho Salmon home. I broiled it using my Mom's recipe for Asian glazed salmon. Oh yum! I wish I could eat it again right now! Even Adrian loved it!

Here is that salmon recipe if you're interested (it's also in the Magnolia Lane cookbook):

Asian Glazed Salmon

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
1 lb fresh or frozen salmon fillet, 1-inch thick
3 Tbsp rice vinegar

For glaze, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, and mustard. Set aside 2 tablespoons of brown sugar mixture for sauce. Thaw salmon, if frozen. Remove skin from salmon, if present. Rinse salmon, pat dry. Place fish on the greased unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for 8-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, carefully turning once halfway through broiling time and brushing with glaze during the last 2-3 minutes of broiling time. For sauce, stir together rice vinegar and reserved brown sugar mixture until sugar is dissolved. Serve with salmon.

Jeff is planning to go fishing again tomorrow so I'm crossing my fingers that he catches a few more!

Apr 8, 2011

a terrible, horrible, very bad day. oh yeah, and a giveaway!

Ah, wow. What a day. I can't say anything completely terrible and horrible happened but I have felt terrible, horrible, and very bad all day long. Like really, really angry and anxious. I couldn't seem to shake it. That is, until I walked to the grocery store with my little man in the fresh air and sunshine. I feel so much better!
One of the not-so-hot events today was thinking my computer died. Adrian pulled the plug (we don't have a working battery right now) and it shut off. I turned it back on and it was working fine but then when I put it down a few minutes later the intake was rattling and 'smoking.' I quickly unplugged it and left it alone the rest of the day, afraid to turn it on again. Jeff turned it on when he got home and it's working fine. I think a tiny crumb or something got sucked in and it was just powder that came out. I hope so anyways!
Alright, on to the giveaway!
I made these two bags for Circle Boutique but now I'm heading to my own shop which focuses on upcycled items so they don't really fit.

I will be giving away your choice of 1 of these 2 bags!

To enter:
Leave a comment and tell me which bag you would prefer!
Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if we aren't friends on facebook or if I don't already have your email.
Giveaway ends Monday at 10p.m.
That's it! Good luck!

Apr 7, 2011

on my mind

I'm still here. Sort of. My mind has been going like crazy lately but the one subject that keeps coming to the front is, of course, my Etsy shop. The one that was supposed to be up and running last Friday. The one that was also supposed to be up and running by tomorrow. For some reason setting that kind of deadline is stressing me out. So, I'm going to open it when I open it and you will be the first to know! I did actually set it up so it will be super simple once I have items to list. Oh, that made it sound like I don't have anything. Uh, well, I guess that's kind of the truth. I'm a procrastinator. Did I tell you that? Oh yeah, only 7,322 times. The problem is, the more I procrastinate, the more stressed I get, the less I get done to actually fix that little problem. I suppose I have been doing plenty of other activities, subconsciously avoiding Etsy. Like it's mad at me or something. It probably is. Honestly, this has nothing to do with "what if no one likes my stuff?" I got over that a while ago because if I make something I love, chances are someone else will love it too. So, no worries there. I have been trying to make a bunch of skirts made from shirts (I have several in the process) but my main roadblock is sizing. Particularly the waistband. I'll get it eventually, they just might not make it into my shop for a while. Although I did see a skirt today that really inspired me so I might go in that direction...Anyways, enough of my rambling! I have sewing to do!

I am doing a giveaway tomorrow so please, come back and see me. I'll be here. (Yeah, it's my little bribe asking you to forget that my shop was supposed to open tomorrow. Is it working?)

Apr 1, 2011

Just Something I Made

I mentioned that I made something last week and then didn't know what to do with it. It was a sweater dress. I like it...I think. Maybe. I learned something anyways: I don't do heavy materials. As far as wearing them I mean, sewing them is no problem. I loved the color and the neckline/buttons were really cool which is what drew me to this sweater in the first place:

And, of course, cozy sweaters always sound like a good idea. They aren't. Okay, they are, just not on me.

I think I'm going to take this to a consignment shop because I won't be wearing it and I don't feel like it fits into the style I want for my shop. Which won't be opening today by the way. I have a few other projects I need to complete (um, get started on) for gifts and then the sun had to go and shine down so I'm putting off opening the shop until next Friday. I'm crossing my fingers on that one. I've only been working while Adrian is sleeping so it really limits my time unless I don't sleep at night...and I really value my sleep! Also, I put my striped, navy dress on hold at least until my shop is up and running!