Saturday, October 27, 2012

Memories Framed.....

My family says that I love all things vintage. This is true, but I especially love all things vintage if they have a family connection. I've been on a quest this year to try to display, while preserving, some of the old photographs I have of family members. There are so many of my parents, grandparents, and even my great-grandparents. I want to display more of them so my children will be able to feel a connection to the faces in those photographs.

I set out one day to try to find an old vintage frame that I could turn into a bulletin board.  I found the perfect frame at a thrift shop during and afternoon of thrifting with my husband. It cost $3.00! Here's a picture of the frame before I sanded and re-painted it.

It was really a very easy project.  The finish was in decent shape, it just needed to be cleaned up a bit.  Then,  of course, I  had to paint it.  I paint most all things I find I thrift stores and flea markets.  My rule of thumb is if it's a family heirloom, I never paint it.  I want to maintain the same patina that has been with the piece throughout the years.  However, if the piece is "new to me", but still vintage, I love to add a new and fresh finish if needed.  So, the frame got a coat of black paint, followed by a generous sanding, to make sure it looked old again. (My husband just shakes his head when I do this.)

Here's the bulletin board all finished.  I had the fabric, batting and ribbon on hand, and stopped by Michael's to pick up a piece of form core to use as the base.

The pictures displayed are of my grandparents cooking in the kitchen along with a handwritten recipe from my grandmother.  There is also a picture of my mother with my aunt and  uncle.  The two pictures at the bottom are of my grandfather in World War I in France and my uncle in World War II.  I've blogged about my uncle and aunt in "A Vintage Love"  here before.  Click the title if you'd like to read it again.

I love the end result.  We have it displayed in a small hallway off our foyer that leads to our son's bedroom/guestroom and bath.  There are no windows at all, so I can be assured our photographs aren't being exposed to sunlight.  

I have plans to make another bulletin board like this again soon.  Goodness knows I need several to display all the family photos and papers we have.  There just never seems to be enough hours in a day.........

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Love My iPad! ~ Tuesday's Treasury List! (a day late:)

I know it's Wednesday and I'm a day late with my Etsy Treasury List....but I thought better late than never. Yesterday was a super busy one at work ~ I used my iPad a lot and thought about all the new options for cases I had at I think I will be purchasing one of these great iPad cases soon. Which one do you like best? Please leave me a comment and help me decide.

'I Love My iPad!' by hartleyrowe

Unique iPad covers for those of us that love, love, love our iPads!

iPad Cover Case, iPad Padded Sleeve - Floral fabric in brown, yellow, peach and green  - Linen - GaranceCouture
Leather IPad Case 1, 2 and 3 - Saddle Brown - Hand Stitched Leather - Wee Green Press Designs (IPAD004) - weegreenpress
iPad CASE, iPad 3 SLEEVE, iPad 2 & iPad 1 Cover, Green Brown Cream Padded Protector, Cotton, Pocket, Wood Button, Tree Motif - NATgirona
Ipad Sleeve, Ipad Case, Ipad Cover, Ipad2 Case, Ipad 2 sleeve in Majestic Oak - OhKoey
Funky Flowery Book Cover for Nook and Kindle in Blues, Greens, Browns, and Cream - waltzingmonkey
Handmade Leather iPad Case. Available in six different colours. - DecueroLeather
iPad Sleeve, Journal Pouch, Padded Tablet Case - CottonCellar
iPad case - hand embroidered sleeve - lush green woodland leaves - unique one of a kind on Etsy - gadget - Pioneer Woman feature - julieandco2
Lime Green Faux Leather and Brown Faux Suede Vinyl Fabric iPad Tablet Sleeve with Appliqued Dinosaur Embroidery on Front Pocket - nitchick
iPad Sleeve Case in Green Brown and Beige - PeetSwea
iPad case - hand embroidered iPad 2, 3 cover - gadget tablet sleeve - modern garden in neutrals - quilt lined slim design - julieandco2
Quilted Cotton iPad 3 Cover, iPad 2 Case, iPad Cover, iPad Case - Paisley Print - ByAThreadVt
Leather IPad 1, 2 and 3  Envelope Case -Dark Chocolate Brown - Hand Stitched Leather - Wee Green Press Designs (IPAD009) - weegreenpress
MacBook Air 13" Macbook Pro - MACBOOK Case - Macbook Sleeve - MacBook Cover ....Brown Blossom....Buy 3 Get 1 Free - Sweetlittlethings4u
Woodsy Forest Tablet Case Made from Upcycled Fabrics in Olive Green - WillowsNestCreations
iPad case with zipper and button closure in travel theme - AnnaTereDesigns

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Applesauce Season!

I must say, I love my day job!  I also love creating things for my Etsy shop as well, but there are just some weeks that I am reminded how much I truly love being an elementary school librarian.  Last week was one of those weeks.

I shared the book, Applesauce Season with my fourth graders last week.  I love this time of year and all the  memories it brings back of  harvest time as a young child.  I remember the bounty from our own garden and how much fun it was to pick all the vegetables and prepare them for canning and freezing.  But one of my fondest memories is applesauce-and-apple-butter season!  I loved sharing the book and tying in family traditions and seasonal celebrations in a nice perfect package with yummy applesauce as a bow on top.  It gave me the opportunity to share with my students some of my memories as a kiddo when all of my cousins would meet at my aunt's house to pick apples.  We would then proceed to my other aunt's house to take turns stirring the big cauldron of simmering apples.  We all played a vital role in turning out the season's perfect apple sauce and apple butter.  There are some books that just transport you back to another time in your life.   This books does just that for me.

Of course, at the end of the week, I had to make sure to cook up some applesauce just for us as well.  We have amazing farmers' markets in our area and I am always keen on buying an extra apple or two, just to watch them ripen to the perfect "applesauce" apple.  All week long, as I read the book, I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive so I could whip up a batch of fresh applesauce for my youngest kiddo, Patrick...the only one still at home in the nest.  He loves apples. He has an organic gala apple every day in his lunch.  I just knew he would be happy to come downstairs to simmering applesauce on the stove for breakfast.  I took some pictures along the way to share.....I can almost smell the "long gone" applesauce as I post the pictures here for you to see.

Here is about half the batch of apples I used for the applesauce.
(I forgot to take a picture of the full amount!)
I love using our simple apple corer/slicer.  I just peel the slices after they have gone through.  I then simmer the apples with a bit of cider for a good while.  When they have simmered for a bit....

I add the brown sugar and cinnamon...not too much, but just enough to give it that special autumnal flavor.  I put almost as much cinnamon as sugar!
I then mash the apples with my grandmother's old potato masher.  I do think it's one of my most prized kitchen possessions!


Patrick and I are both vegan so we no longer add butter (I miss it so much) to our dishes.  But I did find a worthy substitute in this Earth Balance spread.  Don't use too much butter (or spread) ~ half a teaspoon for the entire batch is plenty.

The end result was perfect.  Patrick just finished off the leftovers tonight.  It was the first thing he had Saturday morning and the last thing he had Sunday night! 
Yum ~ Yum
We love applesauce!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

....and Let the Decorating Begin!

I love this time of year!  This week I started pulling out the Halloween decorations.  I love the process of going through box after box and deciding what to put where. Most of our decorations are family treasures that my children have made over the years.  It takes me longer and longer each year to go through each box and decide where I am going to put each creation.  

We are renting our last house as we prepare for my husband's retirement from the Navy next year and the purchasing of our final (can I say "dream") home.  So this is the next to last house I will have to design a new decorating scheme for the holidays.  I think  I have lost count of all the wonderful homes we've had over the past 26 years. is somewhere near there.  I find that my decorating has changed from being all for the kiddos, to being all for my husband and me.  

Three of our four children aren't even home any longer.  They are off to college and beyond.  Two of them are not even in the country at the time!  But they know that I am here busy getting the house ready for all the neighborhood ghosts and goblins who will knock at the door in a couple of weeks looking for a treat.  I also think our 16-year-old, who is still stuck at home with his father and me, secretly likes all the decorations.  He may not say it, but I'm pretty sure he's glad I still take the time to get everything on display.

I hope my children know how much I look forward to this time of  year.  It brings back so many memories.  The little ghost above was one of the very first Halloween decorations we ever made as a family.  Our oldest son was only two years old and we did not have a lot of extra money to spend on holiday decorating.  The little fella above is made from a syrofoam ball covered with a napkin and tied with a ribbon.  I drew the eyes  and nose on with a Sharpie.                                                                    

The sweet little ghost above was made  years ago at the children's preschool.  It's actually an embroidery hoop and a handkerchief.  We made felt cut-outs for the hat, eyes and mouths.  The children all got to glue on their hats and faces....(and oh, the painting in the picture of the turkey was done by one of my sons when he was in middle school ~ aren't the colors perfect for this time of year?)

Our mantle is usually held for our very special treasures.  This is one of the only places that is Smokey-proof.  Smokey is our cat ~ you will meet her at the end of this post.  We always hope our homes will have a great fireplace and mantle.  It becomes the focal point of all our holiday decorating.

Here is a brown lunch bag jack-o-lantern and a startched cheesecloth ghost.  I am constantly amazed at the fact they have survived packing and unpack over so many years.  The ghost is now 17 years old and the jack-o-lantern is 14.

 This precious jack-o-lantern was made by my daughter when she was in the first grade.  She's now away at college studying to be a teacher:)

new halloween clipart image: creepy black widow spider dropping from its spiderweb by a thin web

In addition to decorating with my children's creations, I also love to use vintage items grouped together.  Having a similar color scheme or another like theme ties them in with their surroundings.

The arrangement above uses a silver pitcher we have  had for years and years; it was my grandmother's before it was ours.  Together with our antique metronome from Australia and my Goodwill candlesticks, the collection sits on one end of our piano.

Whenever we have a chandelier in our new home, I always try to make it a focal point as well.  Here, I've simply used a leaf garland.  I'm trying to decide if I want make simple shades as well....but I'm sure time will get in my way.

These sconces are on the wall and flank our dining room window year round.  The candles and embellishments change with the seasons.  Here I've used napkin rings, cut in the back to allow them to be stretched around the three inch pillar candle.  Our white walls usually drive me crazy.  But for some reason, I really like this white tone on tone look at this time of year.  However, you can bet your boots, the minute we buy our retirement home, I'm painting every room!  I love paint!

One of my favorite Halloween decorations is our very own Black Cat.  Meet Smokey, here she is lounging  
on one of her favorite spots in the house.  The very bottom step of our stairway.

Happy Halloween!