Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm here for another year

I decided to renew my domain name and continue on. I've really enjoyed blogging the past few weeks and hope to make this blog interesting to someone other than myself.

I've gone completely mad with the dish collecting, so I hope to feature more posts of table settings and maybe participate in Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. I'm planning a fancy schmancy dinner party for the end of January and I'll be sharing all the details of that adventure as well.

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

More Goodwill scores

I hit Goodwill one town over today and I think I bought every dish they had. Well, not really, but I did buy quite a lot. In addition to the pictures below I also got 2 white glass baking dishes, set of 3 stainless mixing bowls, juice glasses, rocks glasses, shot glasses and some watermelon printed glasses for mom. She'll love those!

I wound up with four of these sunflower dishes for .99 each. I've seen similar at Pier1 for $8 per plate. Not sure of the brand, but they are food safe, no dishwasher, no microwave.

These are Nikko Provincial Designs salad plates, a steal at .59 each.

And here are the blue and white dinner plates to go with them. Another deal at .99, and they are Walmart Mainstays brand, so the set can be added to easily. I also have some blue and white toile bread and butter plates and a blue and white teapot and sugar pot that round this out nicely.

See! They look great together.

And not too shabby with the sunflower plate either.

Clear glass bowls go with anything, and I picked up a set of seven.

I'll be keeping all of these for my collection, but I'll also be looking for more to put on eBay. I have a couple of auctions going for myself right now. Some lovely pink floral plates and a set of Anchor Hocking Laurel clear glass footed dessert bowls.

Who wants to have dinner?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goodwill Scores!

I dropped off some donations at Goodwill today and decided to do some shopping while I was there. Well, I came out with some plates and cups, some of which I'm keeping! Top to bottom: Spode Christmas Tree saucers, Noritake Mandarin Garden bread and butter plates, Celebrations by Radko appetizer plates, French Garland Fine China Japan, and Royal Doulton Burgundy saucer.

I'm keeping the French Garland and listing the rest on eBay. I've thought about collecting Spode, but I'm still on the fence. Check out my listings!

I'll be hitting the Goodwill in another town later this week and I hope I can pick up some more deals.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chalkboard, decorated

In a previous post I showed you my new and improved kitchen wall with a painted chalkboard. Chalk markers came in and madness ensued.

Here's the finished product, courtesy of the artistic stylings of Lonnie and Meredith. Christmas is next week and Mom and Dad have their 40th anniversary at the end of the month! I can't believe another year is almost gone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

From Pinterest to Office

I found this on Pinterest last week when I was browsing and had a lightbulb moment.

I have similar elements in my closet! So I put it together and wore it Friday. It was casual day, but we had a company dinner after work and I wanted to look a little nicer.

Jacket - Kim Rogers (from Belk)
Sequined tank - Cato 
Jeans - Ann Taylor Curvy Flare (clearance rack!)
Shoes - Dexter patent wedge (from Payless)
Earrings - I don't remember where I got them. Probably at a discount store like Burke's outlet. They are so classic and simple they pretty much match anything in my wardrobe. I don't usually like gold toned jewelry, but these work.
Nail polish - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, Grey Area (Walgreen's)

Not the best picture, but one of my co-workers took it with my phone. It also looks like a family of chipmunks moved out of the seat of my pants... I guess it's the way I'm standing.  

The top is very subtly sequined, but I usually prefer that for work.

Newtown, CT

I don't even know what to say about this tragedy. Nothing I could say would ever be sufficient, but I feel as if something must be said. That the people who lost their lives should be acknowledged.

I haven't felt this affected by something since Katrina hit the coast of my state in 2005. I watched and waited, wondering if everyone I knew there was safe. Prior to that, the events that took place on 9/11/01 shook me to the core.

I cried at work all day Friday. The images of those terrified children being led from the school and the faces of the parents waiting outside the school will haunt me for a long time. My only hope is that the survivors of this horrible tragedy can find peace.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What inspires you?

Inspiration hasn't come easy lately. I try to look for things that will spark my imagination or propel a current project to even greater heights. I have a bad case of the blahs, a funk really. Coming home from work to a messy house pisses me off and I'm sick of the same daily routine. Holidays anyone?

What is it about the holidays that makes so many people miserable? I'm healthy, my partner is healthy, we are both employed and the kiddo is also similarly spectacular. Winter is my least favorite season for many reasons. It's cold, it's dark and it rains a lot. We still have so many projects left undone that require more money, motivation or time than we have right now. I hate unfinished projects, but I'm also the QUEEN of unfinished projects. Quite the conundrum, huh?

This year I lost an uncle (my dad's brother), a great uncle, two great aunts and Lonnie lost his mom. We both got promotions and M has become more active in extracurricular activities. To say the least, it has been a hard and stressful year. Nothing I've tried seems to help remove the funk, and each project I attempt leaves me with more crap to clean up.

The good news is I've started decluttering. I'm also trying to journal and blog on a regular basis again. Journaling is more personal than blogging. You guys see here what I want you to see. My journal is a way for me to organize my thoughts and try to make sense of the trainwreck in my brain. My refillable journal in lavender came in the mail today! I also got chalk markers in today and we finally decorated the chalkboard wall.

Back to the topic at hand. What inspires you? I find a lot of great ideas in magazines, on Pinterest, life in general. Sometimes I really have to force myself to stop and take notice of the beauty right in front of me, especially if I'm stressed or in a foul mood.

Here's what I've been mulling over:

I was up before sunrise last Friday and got to watch the sun come up. That rarely happens, so I took a picture.

I also dug out my cheapo gold rimmed dishes (from Walmart last year) a couple of weeks ago and played around with my salad plates.

Top to bottom: Swirl (found on eBay), Pfaltzgraff French Quarter and Pfaltzgraff Villa della Luna.

Next week a massive cookie bake will take place and I will be off work from 12/19-12/25. I'm really looking forward to my time off!

Where are you gathering inspiration for the holidays?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Latest project: Chalkboard wall calendar in the kitchen

I just finished a quick and easy project that I've wanted to do for a while now!



For a couple of years now I've been trying to come up with a solution for the wall by the fridge. I wanted a calendar or dry erase board for keeping up with our schedules, important dates, grocery lists, etc. I went with a chalkboard wall because it just "fits" with the rest of the house so well. And who doesn't like to write on the wall?

This was a very easy project. The wall was already primed and painted with two coats of paint, so I simply painted over it with two coats of chalkboard paint ($15 at Lowe's) and a small roller. I measured and drew off 5" boxes (7 across by 5 down) with the level, yardstick and a pencil and then checked it from across the kitchen. Five inches square should be plenty of room. It's far from perfect, but it is just what I wanted and very functional.

The calendar was drawn on with a permanent paint pen and yardstick and the lettering was done with a small stencil set. I recommend drawing everything out with a pencil FIRST before you commit to the permanent paint pen. It's easier to make corrections with a pencil. I had to go back and touch up with the chalkboard paint and a cotton swab in a couple of places where I dinged it with the level, but it won't be noticeable after it dries completely.

I debated on whether to start with Monday or Sunday, and chose Monday. I like the weekends together on a calendar, but I can paint over it later if I decide I don't like it. I also decided to use chalk markers instead of chalk, because our house is dusty enough already. I haven't written anything on the wall as of yet, but I think a nice set of colorful chalk markers will do the trick.

Supplies for this project:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Painters tape
  • Permanent paint pen
  • Letter stencils (optional)
  • Chalk or chalk markers 

Tools needed:
  • Yardstick and/or tape measure 
  • Paint brushes, roller, edging sponge or brush
  • Pencil 
  • Level

Friday, November 30, 2012

Site revamp coming

I sort of gave up on my blog after Lonnie's mom passed in April and have been busy with my position at work. Life just sort of got in the way. It's hard enough to work all day and then come home and do everything that needs to be done there and THEN find time to blog. Things have settled down somewhat and I would really like to get this party restarted.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wild grapes

My uncle has a secret "possum grape" vine that he found and made jelly from. I've been begging Dad to ask him to get a cutting. Well....

I found a grapevine in the back yard last year after we did some clearing and it appears to be Vitis baileyana, or what we refer to as "possum grapes."

I'll post pictures and let everyone weigh in, but all my research points to it being what I think it is. I'm excited!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How is everyone?

I've been busy mixing nail polish, working on my book, working in my flower beds and going to my 9-5.

Lonnie's mom is now on hospice care. I don't have much to say about it because it isn't my story to tell.

I would like to ask everyone to find an organization that provides free or low cost mammograms and screening for early detection and donate or ask how you can help. I have many reasons for not supporting Komen, but won't get into that here. Early detection is the best way to fight breast cancer.

Encourage the women in your life to get their yearly checkup, keep up with their monthly self exams and get an early mammogram if they are at risk. If they can't afford it help them find a way. Everyone knows someone who has had breast cancer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So, we joined the gym...

I bit the bullet and paid for a whole year in advance. I'm tired of being tired and feeling out of shape.

More to come...
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