Monday, November 24, 2014

This tree smells so fresh!

Let's face it - the real purpose of the Christmas tree around my house is to add some sparkle to the endless gray days of winter.

It may not be winter yet, but endless gray days are here.

So while Sam was at school Grant and I started the EPIC project that is putting up the *First* Christmas tree in our house. (Sam has requested one in her room and one in Grant's room and I always do a green tree with our family ornaments too).

These two knuckleheads!  When Sam saw the tree she said, "this tree smells so fresh!" Um, okay? LOL

Then she let Grant sit on her in the chair and said, "mommy, he is sitting on two butts! giggle giggle".  Funny one, that girl.
I don't use this tree very often because it is shedding so much. She is my favorite old girl - a lovely champagne color instead of white and I am scared that in not too many years she will be bald. New trees do not have the same charm. (Although I still have SERIOUS regrets about not buying that champagne tree at target a few years ago.)
700 tiny lights later. I wish they still sold the white wire lights in 50 light strands, it could use another 50 near the top.
When I finished Sam was making Grant take her and dollie's photo in front of the tree.

"Its like a store in here now! The mall, the beautiful mall!"
This girl is a SERIOUS fashionista. And she is good at it already! I remember how frustrating it was when she was just over 1 and she INSISTED on dressing herself. Now its a source of wonder and amazement. Her sense of color and pattern.  She can look at a fashion magazine and immediately point to the ones who are the worst dressed in those "who wore better" lists.
And this boy? OBSESSED with wires. I have no clue how these trees are going to fare since he insists on plugging and unplugging everything.

Now to get it screwed down so I can get the start of the ornaments off the counters!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Flea Market Sundays might be dead

 I fear that Flea Market Sundays might be dead for the year now. Flea Market season is long past, and despite hitting five thrifts this week (in an attempt to keep my online shops stocked, lest anyone think I am positively thrift store crazy) I have only a few little train houses to show for it.
They are sweet little cottages, aren't they?  I bought them to sell but then, oh dear, I couldn't do it.

We might need a new Sunday theme for awhile, but my brain is just too dead to even come up with anything.

Happy Sunday to you!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thrifted, spotted, funny & super


Thrifted. Complete with seeds from 1977.
Spotted on the kitchen table. I never noticed the cat on this block before!
Funny. Enjoy that yogurt (eat-you is what he calls it) much Ginty?
Funny - Sammi asked for help wiping in the bathroom and when I went in there she says quite seriously "are your hands clean?" LOLOLOL
And super! Last night Jack had his 5th grade musical performance at school. This one was much, much better than ones we have been to previously.

Good job Jack! (And lucky. I managed to get his face framed quite nicely here!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The autumn Thanksgiving mantle

Since my enthusiasm for all things autumnal is quickly fading with this crazy weather, I thought I should show what I did get up before it turned bitterly cold.

The mantle this year.  Silver pumpkins, seed garland made from those Hawaiian necklaces, glittered leaves, porcelain acorns and some crepe paper black eyed Susans I finally made from an old Martha Stewart kit.
Feathers and gold mercury beads.
The only Gurley candles I have.
Crepe paper flowers in a lovely faux bois vase.
Blurry! The kids are really in a mood this morning...
Plus a few die cuts and kid crafts on the other wall.
My wire tree with acorns, pumpkins, mushrooms, pine cones.
The rest of the die cuts and more kid crafts.

A lot of people are asking again (in life, on facebook, etc) where do I get the time to do any of this stuff?!?!

The honest, simple answer is that I make time. I take 30 minutes every morning to list things in the shop and blog. And then I try to take 1 hour every evening to make things.  Sometimes I use that time to decorate a tree (or a wall), paint furniture or sew. We have dinner and then the kids are Dave's problem for an hour. Just about the time I am wrapping up it's time to start having baths and getting ready for bed, which is a 2 person job still.  Sometimes the afternoons are quiet for an hour, and I do something then, but because of the RA I usually just use that as down time. I often will snooze for 15 minutes while Sammi lays down with me and Grant sleeps in his room. Or we watch princess movies. :-)

But really - in order to pull all of that off, we have a pretty rigid schedule. This hour is for housekeeping stuff, this hour for cooking, this hour for outside play, this hour for baths and stories, etc.

And of course, some days are just total chaos. Crying, spilling, hitting, needing, messing, chaos!

Speaking of which - today is a chaos day and my time is up already!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Flea Market Sunday and the first snow (!)

 Its been snowing here this week already. It snowed Thursday while we were going to KC, it snowed about an inch last night and it's snowing again today. It's not sticking very well (I think the temp must be hovering close to 32), but still, snow! already.  In St Louis this is really, really unusual. We don't start getting snow really until January. It is also making me sick of the "autumn" decorations already and Thanksgiving is so darn far away still!

On to the flea market. I tried SO HARD to buy something other than Christmas. I am sworn off Christmas unless it's really unusual. In fact, I just cleaned out my Christmas bins and emptied two bins with stuff for the shop because I just have too much.  But despite walking around the flea market at least 3 times there was really nothing to buy BUT Christmas! So I did what any rational junk girl will do - I bought Christmas.
 Well, first I bought this huge piece of heavy vintage cotton duck fabric. It matches my rocker so well! I think in the spring we need new porch cushions, eh?
 And then I gave into the Christmas. A paper mache Santa. (He is unusual, so I would have bought him anyway.)
 More glass garland.
 Very tiny glitter birds. Still on a mission to have a tree with nothing but these birds.
 Pine cone critters. Let's be honest - I would have bought these anyway too.
 And then I gave in to the siren call of ornaments. A slippery slope that is.
 This year I am crushing on these decorated indents.
 But really Sarah, another 3+ dozen ornaments?? LOL
 These are unusual too. I have been trying to talk the guy down on the price of these for more than a year. I just gave in and bought three. He still has 5 more. I will probably give in and buy more.
 This is an awkward photo, but I did not want to employ wet children to hold them. When I first saw these cones I thought immediately of German school cones, or Schultüte.

 I have never seen them for Christmas before. They are marked made in Western Germany, but I don't think they are terribly old. 1980's maybe?  All the Christmas dealers commented on them when they saw me carrying them around, so I was glad I bought them despite my waffling. (I really didn't want to buy something so big that I am not quite sure what I am going to do with it!)
 I need to figure out a way to hang them up somewhere.
I need to go try and take photos of Christmas stuff for the shop. The kids are INSANE today so that should be F U N!

Happy Sunday to you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Stephen King, with no pictures

There are a few things in life that have been constant for me - my love of Stephen King and my love of Bon Jovi. Oh sure, right now I am crushing hard on Tim McGraw and Kate Furnivall, but that will fade.

One day I was scrolling facebook and I noticed a post on Stephen King's page about a book tour for his new book, Revival.  Clicked through, saw a Kansas City date, checked my business bank account and discovered I had $3 more than it was going to cost me to buy the tickets, hurriedly blew my entire wad buying the tickets without even thinking and jumped for joy.

So yesterday Dave and I set off to Kansas City to hear him speak at the Unity Temple courtesy of Rainy Day Books.

Listen - it was SO GOOD. Like so, so, so, so good. WAY better than I ever expected. On par with seeing Bon Jovi (which I have done at least three times now).

I never want to forget that 75 minutes. It was bucket list material for sure.

I read my first King book at 11. It was "It." My mother was a King reader and she left that book lying around after she was done with it.

I could NOT resist it. It was calling to me. It said read me all the way through, every last page, even if it will scare you shitless.

My mother warned me that it was scary, but she didn't prohibit it.

And I was hooked.

Almost thirty years of reading those books (many of them over and over!) came to a beautiful moment in that church last night.

He is funny and warm and entertaining and told us stories of a very normal life lived.  Of having his wife say when their kids were little that the hours between 4 and 6 should never exist (AMEN to that brother) and that as a way to help her during that time of day he would read to his little kids. Except that Richard Scary books were total "bullshit" (I could not agree more - what is with these kids books with SO MUCH SHIT ON EACH PAGE?) so he read them spiderman comics instead.  There was talk of him reading all the current popular books (from Harry Potter to Divergent to 50 shades of Grey - which he says took him three months to read and I give a hearty AMEN to that shit too, and how to him the best books ever are those books which were forbidden when he was young. (Which is obviously what brought me to read It, even though it wasn't expressly forbidden. Jack is already awaiting the day I let him dive into my pile, and he is getting very close.)  There was talk of life in Florida ("we didn't want to move there, but we turned 60 AND IT'S THE LAW) and the way people act in Florida (umm, yes please! after living there for 2 years that's another Amen from me) and how being characterized as a "horror" writer is utter bullshit. (To which I also heartily agree, plenty of his stuff is not horror at all.)  There was talk about religion and marriage and relationships and oh so much more.

The lovely owner of Rainy Day Books was just beside her that she FINALLY, after 40 years, was getting the chance to sit down with STEPHEN KING, the man who is to her bigger than the presidents she has interviewed in that chair. 

I get that. 

It was amazing. The chance to see, in front of you, all those times and places and words that are in your head for all those years. I know I can mark off periods of my life by which King book I was reading then.

If you are a "constant reader" and ever get the chance, do not miss it. Even if you have to drive 6 hours.

I know I am already desperately hoping that when the next book is released I am able to get to a location for a book signing, as I still do not have his autograph. (This event distributed the autographed copies randomly and I did not get one.)

In the meantime, I will hold onto that freezing cold November evening, squashed in the middle of two big dudes in a warm church sanctuary in Kansas City, listening to every.single.word with rapt attention for the rest of my life.

I am the constant reader.

(who is hoping to get some time with the newest book here very soon!)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ho Ho HO! The annual making of the Christmas cards

I have been watching the weather waiting patiently for a day warm enough to take our Christmas card photos. When I realized the bottom was totally dropping out this week, I knew last week was the do or die moment.

On Sunday it was supposed to be 65 degrees. I waited and waited and waited for it to get warm enough to get the kids outside to take the  pictures but it just never felt warm enough. I knew that Sammi would just cry about being cold (that girl and cold are NOT friends).

Since it seemed like it was never going to happen I put up a Christmasy sort of quilt, opened the French doors wide, made a photo shoot in the dining room and got on with it.

The kids were shockingly easy this year.  I did prep them for two days in advance with warnings that we were going to take pictures.

Grant makes me laugh here even though Sam looks awful.
There was hardly any goofing off.

I had plenty of shots to choose from, all done in 15 minutes!

The cards are already made and that is checked off my list!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Glittered feathers for the autumn tree

Well, these are the worst photos ever, but I am done with the autumn tree. And just in time, since it's time to start gearing up to get some of the Christmas "business" taken care of before December gets here.  Thanksgiving is so late this year!

A whopping cold front rolled through last night. Today is gray, windy and in the low 30s after a beautifully warm and sunny 70 degree day yesterday.

Yesterday I stopped to snag a white pumpkin off the top of the neighbors trash can (I hope to have our own pumpkin patch next year and those pumpkins had not been carved or rotted or anything!). While I was doing so Sammi saw the HUGE one sitting there and said "the great pumpkin does  not go in the trash! It goes in the garden!"  We ended up taking all of their pumpkins. Pumpkins are great garden "volunteers". You just throw them in there, let the squirrels have a winter's worth of meals and next summer you have squash vines everywhere!

So that's how we spent our last warm day for awhile - playing outside and stealing pumpkins!

They are calling for snow this weekend already, which is unheard of in St Louis really.

Anyway. Back to the tree. The last thing I hung up are some glittered feathers.

Blurry "it's too windy out here to take photos of feathers" photo.
And an equally bad shot of the finished tree.
Pine cones, vintage fabric leaves, acorn dolls, and feathers.
It could use more, but I am over it. :-)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Wooden acorn dolls for the autumn tree

I am still plugging away at decorations for our autumnal tree.  I have had this acorn doll pinned for years.  I happened to have a big bag of wood acorns I bought for the kids to play with, so I used those to make a few acorn dolls for the tree.
 My camera settings are weird right now because I am prepping to take Christmas card photos tomorrow (it's supposed to be 62 degrees before the polar vortex swoops down this week, so I am in a big rush!).

 I made 5 of them.  Wood acorns + wood candle cups for the body (it was all I had and for some reason Michaels no longer sells craft supplies*) + wool felt + pipe cleaners + buttons + paint + hot glue.

 If you do these, make sure you have a paint PEN for the mouths! I had to sand mine off and start again.  I still would like the eyes slightly darker, but I am over futzing with these things. :-)
Sammi had to do that disguise a turkey thing for school, so she made her turkey (with Daddy's help) into rainbow dash - her favorite My Little Pony.

*At some point last year they moved everything in our Michaels into new spots. Except when they did so they got rid of at least 60% of the actual craft supplies. Our Michaels now has - 5 aisles of made in China holiday decorations (Christmas right now), 5 aisles of fake flowers and floral arranging stuff, 5 aisles of Made in China toys for kids, 5 aisles of jewelry making stuff, 3 aisles of picture frames, 1 aisle of cake making stuff, one aisle of yarn, one aisle of paint, and like 1 aisle of paper with a few random rounders of current holiday making stuff. They no longer sell things like wooden forms to paint or scissors or basically any other item I would go into a CRAFT store to buy to CRAFT with.  I wander around in there for about 20 minutes, cursing the whole time, then I leave and buy it at all at Joanns or on the internet. I cannot figure out what they did or why. Also the line is taking 30 minutes with one woman with a cart FULL of that China holiday stuff and flowers.