Thursday, December 20, 2007

Swedish Pepparkakor

A Swedish Christmas celebration requires pepparkakor, or Swedish ginger snaps. Paper thin, crispy, and spicy, the perfect go-together with any hot beverage. I tried a new recipe today. They were easy to roll to that desired paper thinness, and they baked quickly. But, after cutting out nearly 300 hearts, and breaking my heart cookie cutter, I must give myself a break. I still have a largish lump of dough left for another day. I know these will disappear fast; they are so easy to pop in the mouth.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crafted Gifts

My studio has been in an uproar over Christmas gift crafting for the past few weeks. The end is in sight now, at least of this particular mess. Here I am finishing up work on album pages that I do every year for part of my family. The pages tell the ongoing story of our lives.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Saver

The end of the month is fast approaching, and I have expiring coupons to use. Some of my best deals today were:
"Pom" brand fresh pomegranate, on sale for $1.29, used $1 coupon. Should have been .29 net, but the register wouldn't accept my coupon. The young cashier entered a few wrong things and got flustered. A manager helped but also didn't enter things correctly, and ended up giving it to us free. I didn't realize until we had left.
2 pr No Nonsense pantyhose, $1.87 each, used $1 coup on each, net .87 each
L'eggs pantyhose, $1, used $1 coupon, net: FREE!
I had to look carefully for these pantyhose. Most L'eggs hose are over $3 a pair. But I found "Today's Girl" on an end cap. In smaller type the package says, "by L'eggs". So I figured I could win an argument if the cashier wouldn't take the coupon. I'm wondering why L'eggs issues a coupon for $1 off, if they sell a product for $1?
I also looked at, but didn't buy, some Hanes underwear (2-pk) on clearance for $4, with my $1 off coupon, the 2 pair would be $3. I might go back and buy it.

I did my regular weekly grocery shopping here because there were many good BOGO items this week. Most of what I bought was on sale, and many of those items I had coupons for also. Thus, I was able to get free sour cream, free Chex Party Mix, tissues for .66 a box, frosting for .24, pan spray for $1 each can, canola oil for .80, 5 lb flour for .59, frozen boxed vegs for .50 a box, Ziploc containers for .50 each package, and Ritz crackers for $1.32 a box. But my best deal was on bath tissue. Scott 12 mega roll, regularly $9.59, was mine for just $4.25. ($5 minus .75 coupon.) It turns out that this particular store doesn't carry the advertised product, so the manager substituted this much larger package for it. I certainly didn't complain. I spent $68.82 but I saved $61.29.

It is so fun to take the Professor along to CVS because he walks out astonished over how little cold cash leaves my wallet. I "bought" the Schick razor and the Tylenol vial for .81 after sale prices, coupons, and ECB's, and then used my store gift card (from a previous return) to pay that .81. So, no money left my wallet and my husband loved it. Both items will show up in Christmas stockings.

I wanted to get the yeast deal that Crystal tells about on her blog, but mine came out differently. The yeast was indeed on sale for $1/strip. And I had the .45 coupon, doubled. But I was given a Catalina for .50 off any purchase, not .50 off more yeast. So it won't be doubled as far as I can tell. That means that my yeast deal ends when my coupons run out. So sad.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saving Pennies Again

I found fewer deals this week at CVS and Walgreens. I wonder, are the deals catching on with too many shoppers? Are the stores cutting back on the "good stuff"? Even mfr coupons seem to be for fewer cents off. A .25 or .30 coupon is a throwback to 30 years ago, when I first started grocery shopping. It hardly puts a dent in the price of a grocery item today, even if doubled. But, like other couponers, I'll take anything I can get, as long as I can use the item.

I did most of my bargain-hunting late in the week after spending most of the week with daughter and new baby. At CVS, store #1:
Small J&J Baby Shampoo, $1.99, used $2 coup, .01 overage
3 pks Energizer batteries, $5.29 each, used $5 printable coup, 3 $1 mfr peelies, earned $5 xbucks
2 Robitussin, $4.99 each, used (2) .50 coups, earned $5 xbucks
Dove body wash, $5.29, used $1 coup, earned $1 xbuck
L'Oreal eye shadow, $6.99, used $2 coup, earned $2 xbucks
Stacked $3/$15, $2/$10 coups, used $15 xbucks
OOP $6.13, earned $13 xbucks
I tried to use two more $2/$10 coups, but the cashier at the photo counter wouldn't let me, nor would he let me use the other $1 mfr Energizer coup I had. Also, I later regretted buying the Dove body wash. I spent too many xbucks on it, with not enough gained in return. My oop could have been $1.84.
This store was out of stock on free CVS tissues

So, on to CVS store #2:
CVS tissues, .99 sale, coup for item free
5 pkgs CVS cough drops, .99 each, earn .99 xbuck on each
12-pk CVS disposable razors, $4.49
Total about $10.50, used $2.50/$10 coup, free tissues coup, and $5 xbucks
OOP: $1.89 and earned $4.95 xbucks

I raced through the store while helping out my daughter. Her state tax is over 9%! I bought:
3 Celestial Seasonings tea, $1.50 each, used $1/3 coup
2 Arrid XX deo BOGO, $2.99, used .55 coup on each (net .95 each)
Splenda packets, $1.99, used $1 coup
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, $1.99, used $1 coup
2 boxes envelopes, .59 each
2 bottles spices, .50 each
4 rolls Scotch Magic Tape, .50 each
2 bags Hershey's kisses, $1.50 each, used $1.50/2 coup, net .75 each
Ajax detergent, .99, used .20 coup
Curel lotion, clearance $3.59, used $1 coup
Nivea Firming lotion, clearance $3.59, used $2 coup
Purell Foam Sanitizer rain check from a few weeks ago, net .49, used $1.50 coup, $1.01 overage

I don't often shop here, but I saw several deals, so daughter and I stopped. They were reasonably well stocked on what we wanted.
2 pkgs O-Cell-O Sponges, .99 each, used $1/2 coup, net .50 pkg. I had one more coupon, but the store didn't have enough sponges left for me to use it.
2 tubes Crest Toothpaste, .99 each
2 bags Russell Stover International chocolates, $2 each, used $2/2 coup, net $1 a bag
Whitman's Sugar Free chocolates, sale $4.99, used $2 coup

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Little More Christmas Decorating

Some additions to my Christmas decorating:
The mantel decorations change from year to year; this year I decided on red candles with greenery.

Tempting the sweet tooth; red-striped candy canes spill over a vintage glass pitcher in the kitchen.

A small portion of my angel collection brightens the dining room.

Swedish handcrafts in celebration of the "old country", the Professor's place of ancestry. I still need to purchase red tapers for the candelabras.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas is Coming

I began our Christmas decorating in the dining room. A cheerful corner, white baby chair with silver and white satin pillow...
My Christmas plate collection came out of hiding in the china cabinet, to be used daily for the entire season. I have 21 plates, each a unique design. Here are three.

Stealing an idea from Maryanne (see below), I made this branch tree. Mine isn't appropriate for the dining room table because we use our table constantly, but it is a perfect fit for the bedroom dresser. A little bit of Christmas sparkle in a room I don't usually decorate at Christmas. Quick, simple, and free. What could be better?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Browsing at the Thrift

I went in my favorite thrift store looking for tiny gold Christmas balls. I came out with an unusual handled basket ($1.98), a new roll of green granite-look wallpaper (.60), and a silicone muffin pan for Heather (.99).

I envision using the basket for picnics, perhaps to carry bottles. The roll of wallpaper won't end up on my walls even though I do have a green house. It might make nice shelf liners for my china cabinet, or backing for a shadow box, or a million other uses in crafting. One thing for sure ~ it will last a very long time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turkey Soup

Done! The worst part of Thanksgiving is finished: deboning the turkey carcass. I really don't like the tedium of that job, and I don't like the smell of the bones cooking. But I just now finished deboning and adding chopped veggies, barley, and rice to the broth, and it will simmer the rest of the day. Turkey soup for dinner tonight!

Now I will move on to thinking about decorating the house for Christmas. I believe I will start with Maryanne's idea for a branch tree.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Preps

We will be traveling for Thanksgiving tomorrow. After picking up family at the airport early in the morning, we head north 1 1/2 hours to daughter and son in law's. They are unable to travel right now because baby is expected to arrive at any moment. Perhaps we won't even make it through the turkey before we become grandparents!

Under the circumstances, I volunteered to prepare all the food and take it up. So we will travel with a raw turkey (in large cooler), potato casserole, sweet potatoes ready to become casseroled, assorted canned goods to be turned into various dishes, fresh cranberry relish, two pies, and low carb cheesecake. It was a busy day in my kitchen. Here is the final result:

In the middle of all the baking, I made ham 'n pineapple pizza for lunch. We decided we like it best with a thin crust.


I canned eight jars of Green Tomato Chutney yesterday. Chutney is really good as a garnish on chicken curry, and spread on ham sandwiches instead of mustard. Usually it is made with assorted dried fruits; I made this batch with all the green tomatoes left on our bushes after our first frost. I added raisins and chopped apples to it also. Sugar, onions, vinegar, and spices complete the recipe. I didn't have a recipe, so I googled for recipes, combined recipes, and finally adjusted by taste. I'm sure I'll never be able to duplicate it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Bargains

3 dozen eggs, $1.00 dozen
2 bags m&m's, sale 2/$5, $1/2 store coup, $1/2 mfr coup, net $1.50 bag
small Hershey's candy bars, sale .25 each, BOGO mfr coup (boohoo I only had one coup)
Sunsilk shampoo and conditioner, sale $2.99, $2.00 mfr coup (had 2), net .99 each
Sunsilk cream conditioner, clearance $1.89, $2.00 mfr coup, net: Walgreens paid me .11!

I've never tried Sunsilk shampoo before, so I don't know if I will like it. Because of that, I don't mind not having more coupons.

I also wanted to get that Purell foam sanitizer that was a net cost of .49, but they were all out. I went to another Walgreens, they were out too, so they gave me a raincheck and told me to keep the store coup to get the price. So I will be able to combine it with my $1.50 mfr coup and earn $1.00.

Sunsweet dried apricots 6 oz, sale $1.99, $1.00 coup, net .99 (That coupon might be from my dumpster diving foray)
Tylenol vial, sale $2.49, xbucks $2.49, mfr coup $1.00, net earn $1.00 (yeah!)
Keri lotion $8.49, $4.00 xbucks, $1.00 mfr coup
Olay body wash $4.99 ea, $5.00 xbucks, $1.00 coup on each
Paid with a $2/$10 coup, a $3/$15 coup, and my previous $10 in xbucks, total oop $3.35
xbucks earned for next visit: $11.50

The annoying thing is Robitussin being recalled just when CVS is having a sale AND xbucks. I wanted to buy two bottles (plus coupons) to get me over the $30 point and then be able to use my $5/$30 coupon.

Found some great stuff here.
No Yolks noodles .99, had five .50 coups, all doubled, got five pkgs noodles FREE
Green Giant boxed froz vegs, sale $1.00, had several different coups which got me six boxes for .50 each
cake mixes .89, $1/2 coup, net .39 each
cans of pie cherries $1.50 each. I bought all five remaining cans.
tortillas sale $2.00, $1.00 coup
Sundown vitamins BOGO, combined with one $3.00 coup and three $2.00 coups, I paid .24 for one bottle of vitamin C, and .59 each for three bottles of echinacea.
Eagle Brand sw cond milk, sale $2.00, $1.00 coup
Pet evap milk, .89, .25 coup doubled, net .39
I bought a few other things such as meat and fruit, for a total oop of $29.40. My savings through coupons and sales was $49.54.

Monday, November 19, 2007

An Autumn Evening

Soft candlelight brightens a chilly room on a cool fall evening.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Good Bargain Week

Rite-Aid (Grand Opening this store only):
2 Colgate Max Fresh paste, BOGO, reg $2.99, .75 coup
Tylenol 24 ct, .99, $1.00 coup
Total OOP $2.22 plus tax

2 Fantastik sprays, $2.13, $1.00 coup on each (expiring today)
Oxy-clean spray, $2.77, .75 coup (expiring today)
Keebler graham crust, sale $1, .55 coup
Russell Stover sugar free candy, $1.50, BOGO coup (to freezer for xmas stocking)
Butterfinger Stix candy, clearance .25 (to freezer for xmas stocking)

I did the Tylenol xbucks offer, as well as the Advil xbucks offer. I used coupons on all the products and earned $10 in xbucks. I also got a $3 off $15 coupon for next week. I'm getting there!

Too many to list. Suffice to say that I purchased only one item at full price, a 2-lb bag of carrots. Everything else was on sale and couponed, or BOGO. Publix had a really wonderful selection of BOGO this week; usually their BOGO's revolve around prepared food or junk food. But not this week. This week's receipt is a keeper! I purchased 55 items, and spent $53.20 including tax. I redeemed 28 coupons; 22 were doubled. My total savings through sale prices and coupons was $63.45.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Homecoming Formal Dinner

It was homecoming this week for the one college student presently in our midst. Being a senator on Student Government, she was quite busy with activities all week. Tonight was the culmination with the formal Homecoming Dance. A double date with brother and friend, a dress, a hairdo, but no meal plans. Mom came through: our home dining room turned into a romantic little candlelit restaurant for four, a three-course meal prepared by chef Mom, and Dad as waiter/busboy. The finale was this five-tier chocolate mousse cake. With raspberry sauce.

Friday, November 9, 2007

This Week in Bargains

I didn't buy much here this week because I'm finding my grocery bargains elsewhere now.
Krusteaz muffin mix, BOGO $1.15, .55 off coupon, total .60
8 oz Athenos feta block $2
5-lb Domino sugar $1.99, manfr .55/2 coup, total $1.71 ea
4-pk white tuna BOGO, ea can .74
Pillsbury cake mixes BOGO, .80 ea
(Wouldn't you know, the day after this sale was over, our throw-away paper had a coupon insert with $1/2 Pillsbury cake mixes. Those cake mixes could have been .30 each!)

First trip to CVS:
I had a coupon for $2.50 off $10 in CVS brand products. I bought:
body wash on sale $2.99
Sudafed look-alike $3.49
Acetamin. $4.79
$11.98, minus $2.50, minus $6.58 xbucks, OOP $2.32

Secret deodorant 3/$5 store sale
travel size Aleve $1.02, .75 off coupon, OOP .27

Second trip to CVS:
I tell the whole story on a separate blog entry on Nov. 6, entitled "These Women and Their Coupons"

Crest toothpaste, $1 store coup, $1 off coupon, OOP .79
Kleenex 200 ct, $1 box, bought 6 boxes
candy bars 3/$1, used a BOGO coupon, OOP on 6: $1.35
Sunsweet apricots 6 oz, on sale $1.99, $1 off coupon, OOP .99
Nature Made vitamin C: BOGO store sale, used one $1 off coup, OOP each $1.99
Purell foam sanitizer, on sale $3.49, store coup $2.50, manfr coup $1, FREE!

travel size Old Spice body wash, .97, $1 off coupon, net gain .03

Dial liquid soap, store sale $1, .30 coupon doubled, OOP .40

And to CVS again:
Ester-C, BOGO store sale, used 2 $1 off coups, OOP each bottle $2.99
Dawn dish detergent, sale .98, .50 off coup, OOP .48

I guess I should confess that I went dumpster diving this week too. I didn't actually dive inside, but I reached in and pulled out what was within arm's length. And it wasn't a true dumpster, as in smelly and germy; it was a newspaper recycling dumpster at a nearby church. We recycle our newspapers there, and it occurred to me that, when those dumpsters are getting to the point of needing to be emptied, plenty of coupon inserts might be within reach. Well, it wasn't quite full enough yet, but someone had carefully stacked their papers right next to the dump hole, and I found lots of inserts. Some were so old that the coupons were expired, but I found plenty to keep me clipping. That's what sent me back to CVS so many times.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"These Women and Their Coupons"

I could just hear it, but I didn't. I think they waited until I left the store. I was in CVS just now, wanting to use my $3 off $15 coupon. I also wanted to maximize xbucks credits, manfr coupons, and sale prices, as well as not go much over $15. I checked prices up and down many aisles, and checked both the weekly flier and the November xbucks flier. I finally chose:
  • Dawn dish detergent, sale .98 and .25 coupon
  • Cold Reduce, $9.99, $2 xbucks and $1 coupon
  • Sudafed, $5.49, $5 coupon
  • 4 bags candy corn, .09 each
All that came to $17.64. First I handed the young clerk my CVS $3 off coupon, then I gave him my manfr coupons, then my $1 xbuck. After he deducted the $3 coupon,the register wouldn't accept the manfr coupons or xbuck. The clerk then told me I'd have to pay the total, and then he would give me cash back for the coupons. It turns out he hit the wrong key (the total key?) before he realized I had the manfr coupons. Oh, and by the way, I would have to pay with credit or debit he tells me. I said no way, I only use cash. At that point he called the manager.
The manager emitted deep sighs and mumblings under his breath that didn't sound all that polite, all accompanied by head shaking. He was frustrated. He was annoyed. The register didn't cooperate. He tried and tried to get it to deduct. He even refunded some of the items, then charged them back again. Still it wasn't coupon happy. Finally he just opened the register and gave me cash. As he handed me $10.50, I timidly told him he had already deducted the $3 from my bill so he was giving me too much. He said, "I know. Take it. You had to wait a long time." I told him I didn't expect him to do that, but thanked him. So my total OOP cash for $17.64 in merchandise was $4.14.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Week Bargains

This was a good ad week, although it was frustrating dealing with their inaccurate registers.
Blue Diamond almonds BOGO, final cost $1.64 each can
Hershey's candy, final cost $1 per 10 oz bag. I bought Miniatures and York Peppermint Patties for Christmas stockings. They are hidden in the freezer now.
Pantyhose .69 each
large bubble mailing envelopes .33 each! I'm serious. The cashier said no one was buying them. I bought the limit at one store, then went to another store and bought the limit again.
Mandarin oranges .39 each. I bought the limit on these too, at both stores, so now I'm well supplied.

I went to a Super Target when I had to ferry a kid to a distant class. I used my second $5 off a $25 purchase coupon.
Frozen turkey .68 lb (It might not be the very best price we'll see this Thanksgiving, but it's a decent price and I thought I'd buy to pop in the freezer)
eggs .99 dozen (This is the best price I've seen in months. Even at Easter there were no sales on eggs in my area)
3 dz corn tortillas .74 on clearance
taco shells .84

I found a basket of bakery items marked manager's special
1 dz chocolate cake donuts .50
Angel food cake .75
6 hoagie rolls .75
6 ww bolillo rolls .79
Also, chicken leg quarters .49 lb

Taco Bell:
We got our free tacos after the stolen base in the World Series. I don't keep up with news like this on my own, but teen sons do! He took me through the drive-up window on our way to Kroger.

Mrs T's Pierogies 2/$4, plus $1/1 coup, one box $1. We have never had these, and we were very unimpressed. Glad we bought just one box.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lingering Tomatoes

Our tomato plants are still producing, and tomorrow will be November. My neighbors all ripped out their tomato plants weeks ago, but mine are happily perking along, blossoming, fruiting, and turning red in the sun. The nights are getting cold now, though, and I expect our first freeze could be soon.

These tomatoes are fresh-picked this morning.

fall tomatoes 002

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I made a batch of biscotti and added craisins and almonds to it. It's my favorite variation so far. Excellent dunking in tea or hot cocoa, but hard to stop nibbling.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Neighbor Goodies

My neighbor is in the habit of giving our family groceries that he doesn't want. Usually it's one item which he gets free at the market, but he doesn't eat. It might be a sack of flour, a tray of cookies, a bottle of soda, that sort of thing. Today he brought over all his leftovers from his football party: chips, party mix, bread (I don't think this was from the party), salsa, and cold pizza. The pizza didn't hang around long, so it's not in the picture.

bargain food 001

We're always happy to take what he doesn't want!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Bargains of the Week

I had some time freed up this week, so I worked extra hard to collect some grocery bargains. Firstly, a new Target opened in my area, and they mailed out two coupons for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more. One had to be groceries, the other didn't specify. So I hit the new Target. (It's not a Super Target, but it has an expanded food section, without produce, bakery, or fresh meats.) I took my time browsing the grocery section, comparison shopping, checking my price book, and couponing. Some of my best deals were:
1/2 gal ice cream $1.34
5 lb flour .94
Splenda on sale 5.99 minus $3 off on two bags
20 oz Dole pineapple .72 on clearance (And the store just opened! Why clearance?)

I also scored a few deals at Kroger:
Sundown vitamins BOGO. I bought calcium and Echinachea, each rang up less than $3, plus a $3 off coupon on each. Kroger paid me to take them out of the store!
Hunts tomato sauce .62, minus .25 coupon doubled (had 3), net cost .12 each
Armour Sizzle n Serve sausages on sale for $1, plus two .35 coupons doubled. I paid .30 ea box

2 tubes Crest Pro Health toothpaste $3.29 each, xbucks $3.29 each, minus a mfr BOGO coupon. I paid with previous xbucks so my out of pocket was just .50 for the two tubes, plus I got $6.58 in xbucks. What a deal! BUT I had to go to three stores before I found the toothpaste in stock.

It's only 10 minutes or so from home, but it's not on my usual route, so I stocked up when I headed that direction.
frozen ground turkey .89 lb, I bought 6 chubs
mandarin oranges .45 each
red grapes .99lb

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Birthday Quilt


The blue birthday quilt is all pieced and ready to hand quilt. 10 columns and 14 rows make 140 squares cut from fabric scraps I saved from the birthday girl's childhood clothing. Maybe I'll finish the quilt by Christmas?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thrifted Baby

I hit a few garage sales yesterday and found three needed baby linens:


A new in package crib sheet, a blue thermal receiving blanket, and a white terry cloth changing pad cover. All look new, even though the receiving blanket and changing pad cover are not. I'm always looking for ways to help the new parents.

Note: The changing pad cover turned out to be too small. But it wasn't that much money, so I don't mind. It was worth the try.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Fall means hearty grains for breakfast! I made a double batch of granola today ~ that means ten cups of oatmeal. I added sunflower seeds and peanuts to this batch. Here the liquids are ready to pour in. Then stir, stir, stir, pour in a flat pan, and bake.
Baked, cooled, and ready for breakfast. This is popular in our house with plain yogurt. Some of us like it also with fruit, some don't. It will last slightly more than a week, courtesy of our two resident teens.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Autumn Color

It's high time I moved the summertime decorations back to storage and put out my autumn accessories. The problem is, autumn is not my favorite season, and I find the colors don't really mix well with my home. On top of that, it's still warm and summery outside. Even so, the seashells and white candles gave way this afternoon for red and orange leaves, brass candlesticks, and sprays of greens.

These leaves aren't quite at home, but at least they blend better here in the dining room than in the living room or family room.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New-Old Furniture

I'm so excited about my fantastic furniture find. On my morning walk one Saturday last month, I came across a garage sale in the neighborhood behind our house. They were selling bedroom furniture: bed frame, dresser, and desk; for $30 or $10 each piece. I thought there must be something wrong with it, or else it was fake wood. But no, every piece was well-built, solid wood, dovetailed joints, and in great condition. I rushed home and dragged Heather out of bed. She was especially interested in the dresser, but she hated the shiny black glaze over the original finish. I volunteered to strip it (mommies-to-be shouldn't breathe those fumes), AND to buy the desk too, in case she would want it later for a diapering table. $20 poorer, we carted them home to our garage.

The desk's current home is my studio. I will finish stripping it sometime later.

The dresser, half stripped. It's a lot of work.

Added later: Here is the completed dresser, stripped and refinished with two coats of tung oil. It is now at home in Heather's house.

Below is another find I'm very excited about, but I can't say any more about it for a few months because it's a gift. All I can say is it's wood and it's quite unusual.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Multi-Colored Quilt

This is a throw-size quilt I finished recently. It's machine pieced and hand quilted. Every 4"x4" patterned block is a different fabric. I listed it on ebay, but I had no bids.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thrifted Glassware

Clear glass is my favorite because it all goes together and food always looks well in it. Here are a few pieces I've thrifted in the last few months. This interesting rectangular tray seems the perfect size for serving celery. I love it's scalloped top edge.

Next are two glass trays, both similar in style and size. They both have little knob feet on the bottom. Their main difference is the pattern on the top. I wonder if this style was popular for cake plates in the 40's or 50's.

I also love this small pedestal candy dish. It's simple design appeals to me. Cranberry sauce looks very nice in it.
Punch cups and footed dessert dishes, useful for all manner of things. They ranged in price from .07 to .39

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thrifted Doll Furniture

On my most recent trips to the thrift I found doll furniture! First I found the little doll bed, and later I found the desk. As I was cleaning up the bed, I found an IKEA sticker on the bottom. That tells me the bed is quite new. The desk looks like an American Girls doll accessory, or at least a knock-off. Both are for my future Grandma playroom. Now I really need to concentrate on finding boy toys since we just found out that grandchild #1 is a boy!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I made doughnuts tonight ~ the real, raised kind. I iced some with apricot glaze. They are very good. Would you like one?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Sheet Wardrobe

Yay! The digital camera finally came home from two weeks at summer camp with its owner. Now I can post what I accomplished while they were gone. Once again, I did my favorite thing ~ I found a cotton sheet at the thrift. This one appears to be from the 50's or 60's (because the label looks like the kind that were on our sheets when I was a very little girl). It is very heavy white cotton, twin size, and I made:

1) Jammie pants! I trimmed the hems with some loopy lace trim intended for sheets. I purchased it years ago at a Springs Mills outlet store.

2) A sundress! This is Simplicity 4220, view B. It looks rather ugly on the pattern envelope, but I like how it turned out. I had to take the sides in quite a bit, and I left off the ties. I think they look too juvenile on me. Also a close up of the bodice. The lace trim (at the hem too) is from my stash.


3) A skirt! Actually, only the inset godets came from the sheet. The vertical panels with cutwork embroidery are from three thrifted valences. I was able to cut two vertical panels from each valence, which gave me six panels. The skirt needed eight panels, so I cheated and used non-embroidered areas of the valence to make the final two panels. I hid those at the side back. The skirt isn't hemmed yet, but daylight was quickly fading and I wanted to get the photos tonight.

I was surprised at how much I got from one sheet.


Can you tell I like lacy white things?

Friday, June 29, 2007

My Growing Library

On my recent trips to the thrift shop I found more children's books (I keep looking for The Golden Egg Book but don't find it). Notice my growing collection of Little Golden Books; I love reading them because of the classic stories, and because they are short. I now have two copies of Prayers for Children, but not on purpose; I don't always remember what is at home! I love Eloise Wilkins' artwork of children in this book especially.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wardrobe Advice

I found this gem of a quote on another blog (Pleasant View Schoolhouse), and I thought it was hilarious. Wardrobe advice from 1922:
"Always select or make designs that enhance your daintiness, your femininity, your exquisite delicacy and tenderness. Do this with every stitch of clothing you have, from bungalow aprons to bathing suits, from sport costumes to ball gowns. Endeavor to provide yourself with an entire wardrobe of dainty and cuddlesome garments, each piece as bewitching as the wearer herself." --Fascinating Womanhood, St. Louis: Psychology Press

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Bought An Ancestor for $1!

I'm always amazed what I can find at the thrift. Greta and I popped in the other day because she was looking for vinyl records for a friend. As I made my usual circuit of the store, I found a really nice tablecloth for our dining table when it is fully extended. Then I found some old picture frames. One I liked especially because of the wood; it looks like mahogany. This isn't a shabby old frame to paint, like I usually buy. It's quite nice. But it had an old photo of an old guy in it. When I got home and took it apart to wash the icky glass, I looked the old man over more carefully. Who would donate their grandpa to the thrift store? I felt sorry for him, so I decided to adopt him. I tentatively named him George since we have quite a few Georges back in antiquity. That's how I came to buy an ancestor for $1. What a deal.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tablecloth Blouse

I almost finished a blouse I made from a vintage linen tablecloth, circa 1930. The Professor's grandmother gave me the cloth years ago, and sometime later, I used a corner of it to make a dress collar for daughter #1. I've wanted to make something with the remaining parts of the cloth, and I finally got inspired by a post on a blogsite. Someone made a peasant style blouse from a tablecloth, but hers had cutwork and embroidery throughout the body of the cloth. Mine has cutwork only at the corners.

The first photo shows the pattern pieces in place. I laid the sleeve piece on the bias to use the cutwork. I really could not think of any other way to lay it out and still incorporate the cutwork areas. In the upper right of the photo you can also see the area I previously used for the collar.


The second photo shows the almost-finished blouse. The lace trim edging the plackets and trimming the sleeves previously edged all sides of the cloth. I just cut it off and zigzagged it on the blouse.

Everything is now complete except the buttonholes because my buttonhole dial decided to have a fit this afternoon. I may have to find a friend with a better behaving machine!

The last photo is a close-up of the cutwork area on one sleeve.



Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sheet Dress

My first project for Wardrobe Refashion is complete! I found this sheet at the thrift for $1.48. I decided to make a dress because the floral print is so large; here is the pattern I chose:


But I had several problems with it: Firstly, the flutter sleeves didn't flutter; they flew! Straight out! That's not exactly the look I was after. So I tried cap sleeves, but my oversize arms and shoulders looked terrible. I just about decided it would have to be sleeveless (not my favorite look) when I opted to try the short sleeves from my favorite blouse pattern. To make the cap fit smoothly, I had to cut the bodice armhole bigger.

Next, the waist wasn't working. On the pattern you can see the shirring at the waist; that is created with two rows of casings and elastic. Every time I breathed, the elastic took a hike north. So I had to pull the dress down every few seconds. My fix for that was to rip off the waistband from the skirt and the bodice, cut it down to fit my waist, then add gathering to the bodice under the bust and across the back. For the skirt to fit the waistband, I added 1/2 inch tucks at the center front and at both sides of the back. I really love it now.