Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We're up Glade Creek Now!

That's going to be our new phrase now when all Hades breaks loose. Over the weekend we got a letter in our door telling us we were on a 'Boil Water Advisory'. Stories have been changing over the past few days, but what matters is that massive amounts of manure was dumped into our town water source setting off alarms for contaminants. Fun fun news article here-->The Frederick News-Post Online - Frederick County Maryland Daily Newspaper

Until further notice, all our restaurants have been shut down by the Health Department as a precautionary measure. Our schools only had Uncrustables & Frosted Flakes to serve at lunch time for $4 a pop which is $1.50 more than the usual. (thank heavens my girls are brown bagging it) The boiled water looks questionable and I told the hubby that if he brushes his teeth with that water to expect no kissy kissy to go on for a loooooong time.

Don't laugh when I tell you that if you want to prepare for catastrophe, come visit us. This one glitch in our daily lives has caused a fracas you don't want to be involved in. There are a lot of highly upset people in our tiny town for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that unless they want to visit friends in the next town to bathe, we might be stuck taking s#*t showers for the next 6 months. (If you know me, you know I'm not a regular curser, but the humorous alliteration was too good to pass up)

Enjoy the simple conveniences folks, even doing the much maligned laundry duty becomes far more appreciated when you can't just throw it in and turn the machine on without worrying that you might be dunking your undies in something unmentionable.

And that, my friends, is the true poop! Smells like a winner, don't it?

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Morning After

Okay, so technically, it's a couple of mornings after. And technically, I did no drinking. But, I did have all the symptoms of a hangover. What brought this on? The phenomenon known to mothers worldwide as the Birthday Party Sleepover (imagine this said in a bold James Earl Jones voice of God kind of vibe). It all starts with good intentions and a vision for a party your child will fondly look back upon and tell stories to their own children. It all ends with you passed out on the sofa getting embarrasing pictures taken of you while you snore like a chainsaw.

The Plan: 10 girls. Sleepover. New Disney movie and hours of Dance Dance Revolution. Pizza and ice cream cake. Waffle bar in the morning. Send them home by 10:00 a.m.

Bwahahahahahahahahaa! Hardy Har Har! Knee slapping guffaws! (this is what God does when we make plans)

First, it's always a good idea to inform the hubby that after the last sleepover, you didn't get amnesia and decide to do it all over again alone, but that this time you would either be 1)hiring help or 2)turning him into an indentured servant. Well, I tried #2, but after a few minutes, he runs faster than me and kept claiming that his silly thing called a job just had to be done, so while he was good to pay for pizza, he had to lure specialists with donuts or steaks depending upon the time of day he was doing the luring.

Fact is that I did have amnesia after the last sleepover. It was all a blur. Thus, I naively set about to throw my daughter the best party EVER! Hardy har har (there He goes again). A couple of years ago, I did a Candy Bar for a party that was a huge hit. Those girls lined up to get bags full of candy like true sugar addicts. This time, I thought I'd throw in some healthier snacks like fresh fruits, healthier muffins and 100 Calorie packs and recreate it as a Snack Bar instead. Sure, there was candy and salty stuff thrown in too. I wasn't going to go all crunchy granola on them. They loved the Snack Bar and cleared out every last sugary bit. I still have muffins though. And fruit. The sugar addicts won over. Anyone want a peanut butter banana muffin or some grapes?

Also as a little diversion, I set up a mock tattoo parlor dubbed "Walkersville Ink" The back porch got 'transformed' into a rough tumbling dive. I put a red light in a lamp and covered the shade with a scarf. Mary Beth the Mannequin even got into the act by wearing a Jolly Roger bandana. Put on a little tattoo-ing music in the form of ZZ Top's Greatest Hits. Oh, okay, alright. Seeing as how the closest I've ever gotten to a tattoo is admiring someone else's and my big exposure to a tattoo parlor is from Miami Ink and my back porch is all 50's decor, it's the closest this girl was getting to recreating the world of tattoo-ing or inking or whatchahoozie. But you know what, it didn't take much for this crew of girlies to line up and spend a loooong time deciding exactly which temporary tattoo they were going to choose and they also accepted that it was perfectly normal to have to count to 30 as a group for the process to work.

What I hadn't really planned on was this group of girlies invading my private, most sacred, respect the coolness scrap studio. They had seen Ashley's Nintendo DS all blinged out and were dying to get their chance to bedazzle (seriously, that was the word they used) their own miniature electronic digital toy things. There is no shortage of bling in my drawers, cubbies and bowls, so I pulled some down and let them have at it. In the end, I think there were almost as many rhinestones on the floor as there were on their phones & Nintendos, but for a few blessed minutes I was a cool mom in the eyes of these preteen fashionistas! Don't laugh. I was cool!

I also didn't plan on them having the stamina to stay up practically the ENTIRE night giggling and gaggling away. Hubby can sleep through a tornado unless he's waiting for his older daughter to come home for a date. So he's sawing logs while I'm going downstairs to have them bring the volume down lest the neighbors 10 doors down decide to call the cops for a domestic disturbance. At about 4:30 a.m., after being told they were going to be individually tucked into closets alone for the rest of the night, they fell asleep. I, also, drifted into a merciful slumber.
Brrrliiiinggggg! 6:30a.m. my alarm rings. Hubby hits the snooze button, but I've got to get up. Oldest daughter is taking her SAT and I promised her a hot breakfast. I feel like death. I look like death. I must do this. Wearing the exact same clothes I fell into bed with, I trudge downstairs to find her banging pots and pans because I hadn't already prepared her breakfast. She's banging them really loudly. Right next to the room where 10 girls are sleeping. And she's yelling because, hey, that's what 16 year old hormonal teenagers do when they're stressed out. This morning I'm guessing she was really stressed out because she was doing a fantastic job with the yelling. I make her breakfast, roust her father out of bed to drive her and turn around to see a bunch of wide-eyed girls looking to me for food. All that banging and yelling was no match for their sleep deprivation.

I had planned to do a waffle bar, so set about working on that. Fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits (who knew that 8 out of 10 girls thought yogurt was more gross than green boogers?), fresh juices in cute little glasses and all the fixings for a bang up waffle bar. But, and this is a big one, I had neglected to think that you need approximately 1 can of Reddi Whip for every 2 girls. The can has something like 20 servings in it, doesn't it? Fights and ugliness over the abuse of Reddi Whipness ensued. My 12 year old looks at me with disbelief. How could I have been so shortsighted? Didn't I know anything? Aha! Fortunately, my hubby's secret stash of Cool Whip saves the day! (it's his secret stash because I don't want anyone to know I let my husband eat it. Don't be hatin')

Finally, the magic hour comes around and girls start going home. Not all the girls because I guess to some parents the bliss of being childless for a night carries on into the later morning hours or they forgot to move their clocks in the Fall because I still had kids at 11:00a.m. and after. All this time I'm answering the door looking like a refugee from a POW camp.
Once the house was left with only one 12 year old, I sat down. Then I laid down. That sofa never felt so good; all warm and cozy. I vaguely remember getting blankets and pillows draped all over me, but I don't remember this:
Yep, if you ignore the leftover sleepover mess like beanbags, blankies and soda cans, I'm under there somewhere. Dead to the world for a few hours. Girlfriends, it was soooo very lovely while it lasted.
Until the 16 year old who had finished her SAT that morning rousted me to doll her up for a Winter Formal that night. Now what I want to know is who's ready to take a mental health day with me because I surely need one after all this! Forget the Calgon, retail therapy and junk food is the life for me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Putting it all together

I cannot believe that my baby has turned 12. My baby! Girlfriends, I am far too cool to have a freshman in college, a 16 yr old and now a 12 year old. I remember when I was 12, it seemed like all moms were ancient with beehive or Carol Brady flip hairdos who only watched All My Children. All except for my friend Jana's mom, Lonnie. She made us call her Lonnie and she had a Farrah Fawcett do, read trashy novels and wore electric blue eyeliner. Now she was cool. I can't pull off the Farrah do or the eyeliner, but I can read the occasional cover of People magazine while waiting in the checkout line. Does that make me cool? Isn't this girl lovely? And amazing? She's having a sleepever this weekend and the house will be filled with the trill of preteens. Pray for me. And my coolness. Or lack thereof.

I am so jazzed that Dianna has done me the honor of giving me a Spread the Love award! Now, that makes me feel cool! This award is meant to spread blog love to others through support, comments and really all-around blog love. I really cannot state emphatically enough that over the past year that the creativity freely shared in so many blogs has been an endless source of inspiration both creatively and personally. I read them more than I do the daily news. I may not always get the time to comment on every one, but I really try because if you're anything like me, you love to hear from other like-minded people.
In that spirit, I would like to share this award with a few lovely blogger friends:
Retrospection~Danielle, who is very much my Sister from another Mister. It's spooky how we do the same things. Woooooooo
Too Much Stuff~Kim, an antiquing, scrapping, wine-loving wunderkind who is far more talented than she realizes.
Laura~Extremely talented in both digital and paper. Her digital Christmas journal was amazing!
Kelly~ Finally stretching those blogging wings! I used to work with Kelly at our LSS and I knew when we worked together, it would be an awesome day.
True Confessions of a World Traveler~Amy, who is now on a plane for Budapest where she is spending the semester. She is one of many who is always welcome at our house and she thinks I'm cool! I am excited for her and jealous of her! What an adventure! This is her new Budapest blog. I told her I want photos, fashions, colors, light. She's a fantastic photographer. Can't wait to experience this incredible part of the world as seen through her eyes.

And Dianna who gave me this most awesome award is also the hostess with the mostest on the Deck of Me project I'm doing this year. Each week, she sends the group a prompt and we are to create a card inspired by that prompt. I love that it's low-pressure. If I want to do a 20 minute card that's great. If the prompt leads me to spend several hours on it, that's great too. And the group is filled with many, many women who have incredibly diverse interpretations of each prompt.

Here's one of my cards to give you a glimpse into the group and there is a Flickr site as well: Flickr: *A Deck Of Me~2008*

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Should've brought a steamer trunk or a cargo container

to pack all the stuff I wanted to go home with from the Rose Bowl Flea Market! In 2 words, it was, indeed, junker's mecca. I so want to go again and with friends to share the experience.

Many booths were a bargain. One of the first stops I made was to a vendor who dumped out linens on sheets or piled in boxes. Not folded or organized in any fashion. Her prices were jaw-droppingly cheap. Let's just say that according to her price scale, I could've bought every single vintage tablecloth she had and it would've fallen well into my acceptable price range. Since it was my first stop, I held back because I had no idea of what might be in store.

Other booths were merchanised very well; their displays worthy of a top-notch home store. Sometimes the prices were great. Others weren't. Never be afraid to haggle and move on when they don't care to. Unless you will be bereft if you can't live without the item.

A vintage culture shock to me was the pricing on jadite. I didn't bring any of it home because I couldn't bring myself to pay those prices! Hubby is probably adding up how much of our children's education we could clear if I sold my jadite at the flea market. Egg cups, of which I have many, were $32 each and I'm not saying that to trump the value of my 'collection', but to stand aghast at the pricing I saw in many booths. The one booth that had a nice Jane Ray platter for a decent price I made the mistake of thinking about it for 2 more booths. By the time I got back, the platter had sold.

My favorite purchase was a pair of Italian tole sconces. They've been painted white which isn't exactly the soft pastel colors I had in mind for the flowers, but they are still lovely and suitable for electrical wiring. Finally, I will be able to place them in the holes that have been waiting for the right set for over 6 years in the living room! Yes, I did a happy dance right there at the booth while holding my prizes. If I were a size 2, which I'll never be, I would've come home with piles of cashmere sweaters. The side of the market that had vintage clothing had jeans worn in all the right places, pumps, heels, boots, belts, fun jackets and coats galore. The next time my girls groan when I come home from a consignment shop, I'll remind them of all the hippy chic people I saw filling totebags at this market. What made me really swoon were the tables piled high with buttery soft cashmere sweaters. Many had holes or stains, but they still felt of heaven. As it was, I came home sweaterless since none was perfect and I refused to buy the one aqua blue size 2 confection which would just live alone in the far reaches of my closet.

Some of my finds~2 vintage tableclothes (I really was so good), an apron, several hand towels, a few hankies, 2 large yardages of barkcloth; one a fab floral and the other a soft green vaguely island feel (great for pillows), a pair of Italian tole sconces, a Japanese Putz house, a sparkly tiara, a tole brooch and several vintage Valentines. All packed away just right in my empty suitcase I brought for the trip.

And yes, I did wear that tiara on the plane home. Oh, I took it off through security, but I sure was cute for a few hours there!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Flea Market Mecca

4 out of 5 people I tell about the following give me a look that says "Just go with the nice men in the white jackets sweetie. We knew this breakdown was coming soon." The 5th person begs to be packed in my bag because they get it.

What is it? Why the mecca of flea markets, the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which is where I'll be on Sunday! (jumping for joy, happy dance, whooping it up, high fives and air horns all around) For years, this has been among the top destinations for shopping fun on my list. Not hundreds, but thousands of vendors! Endless possibility to hunt down treasures. Eeek! I can barely stand it. For those who would rather shop a mall, fine, I'd love to go with you. I'll even brave the free gyros samples in the food court, but oh, don't deprive me of the joys of junking!

Reminder: Pack the camera. Both for the shopping pics and the possible celebrity sightings among the vintage prom frocks.

And wouldn't ya know, Dianna tagged me?!? 7 random things. I did 7 random Christmas things when tagged by Abby and Dianna got me right before Thanksgiving. So to change it up again, I'm going to share 7 retro, vintage loves in the spirit of prep for the Flea Market.

1. I'm crazy for chandeliers. Italian tole is my personal favorite, but the occasional chandelier dripping with crystal will capture my heart. I have chandeliers waiting to be hung! Witness the chandelier love in my home....

2. I stop for suitcases. Don't ever buy those things in an antique store because at auctions, they usually go for $2 and that's because they might have something inside like old sheet music or tools. You can find them at yard sales for $1-2 as well. Not only are they vintage; they are useful storage, architectural and when stacked, make the best tables. Like shoes or lipgloss, I can never have enough suitcases.

3. You don't need to see more evidence because a peek into any posts in December makes it abundantly clear that I love vintage Christmas goodies. Shiny Brites, mercury glass garlands, vintage tinsel, old cards, Putz houses and more. Love it!

4. I drape almost every surface in this house with a vintage printed tablecloth. They make me so very happy! We set our mail on them, eat our meals on them and sometimes watch them fall to the floor as a kitten skids across them. Do I need more? Nooooo. Will I get more? Oh yeah. In order to slow down my purchasing of these beauties, I've set an arbitrary number of $18 or below to buy one. It works pretty well because rarely do I find one in good condition for that price unless it's at an auction. Heck, we even use them as curtains!

5. I have a few pieces of jadite. This is a photo of maybe 1/3 of what I have. The rest is in a Hoosier cabinet. The color is fun. The heft and weight of the restaurant ware pieces is comfortable and satisfying to hold in your hand. The lighter pieces feel almost dainty although many were packed away as freebies in canisters of oatmeal. My Uncle James saw my collection when I fed he and Aunt Doris BLTs from summer's last tomatoes on salad plates and pudding in egg cups and remarked that his family used to leave the teacups out at the barn because they were just throwaway freebies from the oatmeal. Like anything else vintage I bring home, I don't buy it unless we use it and we eat several meals on these dishes. I just imagine that it tastes better.

6. McCoy pottery jumps into my arms somehow whenever I come near. It loves me. See the pic of the suitcases? Right below it is a McCoy jardinierre that I picked up at the last auction I went to and it's now being used as a magazine holder. I use smaller pots to hold tools in my scrap studio. The latest report says that popularity for McCoy is waning. Whoopee! More for me!

7. I have the most fun reading the little recipe booklets and brochures from back in the day. Their graphics are usually super cool or super kitschy. Sometimes the recipes sounds incredibly yummy and sometimes, I wonder why we're a chubby nation now when they ate everything with a generous serving of lard back then. I love to display these in a flower frog in the kitchen. I have Christmas ones, turkey ones for Thanksgiving, grill ones for summer, etc. We've even made ice cream from a brochure on frozen desserts. This one cracked me up. Notice the 'Husband Tested' on the evaporated milk one? Bwahahahaha!

That my dears is probably a good guage of what you might see me looking at on Sunday. That is when I'm not checking out Bakelite, Shawnee pottery, barkcloth, vintage costume jewelry, ephemera, old keys, locker baskets, etc, etc, etc.

I'd love to see 7 random facts from Danielle, Kim, Abby and Cheryl. Tag, you it, if you can get to it! No hurry, no worries.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Shut Up! (in the best possible way)

I won a drawing over on Teresa McFayden's Winter Bella blog! I was so excited that I jumped up and hit my head on the top of the computer cabinet. How's that for dorky? If you haven't already, get over there and join in for some cabin fever crafty fun. Read about it and sign up here-->Paper Bella Studio

I have the first project in progress, but not finished. Following up on my Cupid's Cottages and the abundant sharing of Target Dollar Spot mailboxes on Two Peas in a Bucket, I took down a mailbox that I bought last year (how's that for procrastination!) to alter. It's very much a 'make-do' project. Well, almost. I made it with scraps of paper, old rub-ons, old stickers, bits of ribbon, German glass glitter from Little Pink Studio and some older Heidi Swapp product. The only new part to it was a crystal flower brad from, yes I admit it, the Target Dollar Spot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


As a general rule, I'm not a Miss Pollyanna, but wow, I'm feeling a possibility attitude coming on! How odd, considering that last year (all of 2 days ago) wore me out that I should wake up on January 1st feeling that things are right shiny.
Hey, I'll take it over being a Little Miss Rain Cloud anyday. What are your possibilities for this New Year?

To play catch up:
Abby tagged me before Christmas to name 7 odd facts about me. I had done something similar shortly before, but considering we're coming off the holiday, I'm going to treat her to 7 odd Christmas facts.

1. I paid a lot of money to have 2 choice cds this Christmas off Ebay. The first was Tales from the Crypt Christmas. I had bought it for my sis circa 1995 and she lost it. It was awesome! Classics like Deck the Halls with Parts of Charlie and Juggle Bills can never be forgotten. The second was A Christmas Gift for you from Phil Spector. Made with Phil Spector's revolutionary wall of sound technology, it is regarded in some circles at the best Christmas music compilation ever. I'm not sure about that, but I was so glad to finally get it into my greedy little hands. Well worth the bidding!
2. Regardless of the fact that I spent well over $100 on various Christmas scrapbook supplies, stamps, etc., I used NONE of it on my Christmas projects. For shame, for shame. Remind me of this next year when Basic Grey, Autumn Leaves and Making Memories come to visit me like the 3 ghosts of Christmas. This year was largely vintage or stash supplies. Rebecca Sower helped me to get over my angst of repurposing vintage items and now I can't stop!
3. I stayed up most of the night on Christmas eve watching movies. There was an amazing line-up! First was The Bishop's Wife, then I took a break to play Santa. After that, it was The Bells of Saint Mary's followed by Meet Me in St. Louis. Hmm, maybe I stayed up most of the night because my daughter gave me a stomach virus!
4. Okay, I know it's a love it or hate it kind of thing, but I lurve with a passion the movie A Christmas Story. We quote it all year around in this house. I think being a vintage nut, half the attraction is the cool sink and Hoosier they have in the kitchen, the rampant use of jadite and milk glass at the dining table, the toy window display at the department store and well, wouldn't you like to have a Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring regardless of whether it told you to drink your Ovaltine or not? (guess who has Ovaltine in their pantry)
As a bonus, our tiny little hardware store around the corner on Main Street had a display that, I kid you not, had a Daisy Red Rider BB gun in the window.
5. I have so much wrapping paper, I could never buy another roll for 10 years and still have plenty left over. To make matters worse, I bought 4 more rolls after Christmas and much to my surprise, won 2 auctions for vintage wrap on Ebay. It's a surprise because I was outbid on the first zillion lots of vintage wrap I tried for.
6. My magazine purchases spike in November and December because it seems I cannot turn down any special holiday edition of any magazine. Well, maybe not Guns & Gardens. I was so ticked at Borders because they didn't get the December issue of Marie Claire Idees until this flipping week! Um, bought it anyway. And if Matthew Mead doesn't get a holiday something out next season, my copy of his idea issue from last year is going to Staples to be spiral bound.
7. I'm already imagining what next year's Christmas season will be like. Sure, I complain about seeing Christmas merchanise alongside school supplies in August, but secretly, I'm gathering ideas and information and forming a vision of what Christmas might be like in our household come December.

Now that Christmas is on it's way back up into the attic, visions of Lurve enter my mind. Note #2 on my list of Christmas facts? I have a lot of Christmas supplies that I bought with good intentions and little time. Luckily, yesterday I was able to play with one of those Christmas supplies. Never got out of my PJs (oh I put on deodorant, calm down) and spent a lot of the day putzing around in the studio.
I picked up a set of Martha Stewarts Frosty Village Favor Boxes thinking I'd jazz them up a little bit as decorations. Christmas was coming. Christmas came. Christmas went. Package remained upopened. One day I started writing an annoying email to Danielle of Retrospection asking a lot of questions since on occasion I get into this stream of conciousness train of thought when the idea came to me to repurpose those little favor boxes into Love Shacks. Now that I look at them, I might rename them Cupid Cottages since all I can think of when I say Love Shack is a technicolor B-52s image and these are softer, sparkly, sweet kinds of creations. For the kiddos, they may be filled with candy. For the hubby, I'm thinking a tiny house-shape book of love quotes/poems and er, lovey-dovey types of married people stuff.