Gettin’ My Green On!

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“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.”       –Chinese Proverb

Today I’m sharing a little gallery of some green treasures in my stash – in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, of course.  It’s right around the corner, and I’m sure everyone is thinking green!

marchThis sweet little vintage planter says “Relpo” on the bottom and I don’t often see St. Patrick’s Day vintage items, so this is a favorite second-hand find.

march2This miniature chair came with a red couch at my favorite consignment shop!  they make quite a pair!  My chair fetish is legendary, but this one fit in my car and doesn’t need re-upholstered.  Bonus!

march3I found this vintage strand of beads at the thrift store that are chunky, funky and definitely in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope you’re ready to get your green on!  Erin go Bragh!

Afghans, Clocks and Owls… Oh My!

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“Junk is the ideal product…the ultimate merchandise.  No sales talk necessary…” –William S. Burroughs

Here is a little peek at some of the treasures I’ve scooped up at the thrift stores lately.  Perhaps junk to some…. but I think they’re simply divine!  I couldn’t resist the colors in this afghan, and the key holder was just too cute.  The clock has an 80’s vibe that looks good in my craft room along with the vintage sewing book.  Finally, have you ever seen such an enormous owl necklace?  I hope to be bold enough to wear it!  I hope your junking trips have been fruitful!  Happy Labor Day and happy thrifting!

Loving the Library

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I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.  ~Jorge Luis Borges

Yes, I am a librarian, and love that I get to spend each day in “paradise.”  I found a little time to get crafty earlier this week, and I made a little desktop sign for my dear friend and colleague who just finished her master’s degree in library science. It was a lot of hard work, but now she is done!  I hope she will display this proudly and remember how lucky she is to work in the greatest profession in the world!

This craft project is seriously easy and you may remember my post from earlier this year when I made a similar one for a friend’s birthday.  Anyway, I took some recycled game pieces that I gathered from the thrift store and a little “tray” that came from a vintage game…. glued them with some E6000 glue…. and there you have it!

Happy crafting, and happy reading!  I hope you make time to visit your library TODAY!!

Simple “Pots of Gold”

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‘Tis better by far at the rainbows end to find not a pot of gold but the heart of a friend.’ — Irish saying

I hope you will enjoy a peek at my latest thrifty finds.  I don’t often see cute, vintage St. Patrick’s Day treasures, so this was a true “pot-of-gold” that made my day. I also love to gather up vintage books with retro graphics such as this little story-book and the Reader’s Digest Condensed edition peeking out from below.  They are so much fun to use in decorating because of their great colors and patterns.

St. Patrick’s Day is about celebrating a few little fun things:  a bright-green scarf, a tasty plate of corned-beef and cabbage, and perhaps the lucky little “pots-of-gold” in your life: a cozy home,  a shelf full of good books, a hot mug of tea and a faithful companion with whom to share the blessings.  Wishing you nothing but luck this week and all the year through.

Finding the Perfect Balance!

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.                 -Robert Fulghum

I wanted to whip-up a little birthday gift for my friend, and this is the perfect quick and easy handmade present!  I don’t know if it’s a by-product of being a former English teacher, a librarian, and of course, a lover of books, but I adore any project that uses letters and words. So, I’ve been collecting board games from the thrift store and using the pieces to make Scrabble tile message boards for the special people in my life.  Today, I met my dear friend for a birthday breakfast, and wanted to reminder her to cut-back, just say “no”, and quite simply make more time for herself!  (Good advice, wouldn’t you say?)  Just take a Scrabble tile holder and a little glue (I use E-6000) and admire your “instant message.”  Once you start, you will be thinking of all the important words you want to share!

McCoy, Red Wing, Haeger, Oh My!

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“The collector is an artist in his own way, by the way he puts things together. You can read a person’s soul from their collection.”
– Ayers Tarantino, Art and Antiques, Dec 2008

Confession time….. I’m obsessed!  With pottery.  Specifically white pottery.  Several years ago, I picked up my first piece at a thrift store for a couple of bucks.  I brought it home and looked up the name on the bottom, McCoy.  I was then very, very happy at my good find, as it turns out, McCoy is a very collectible brand!   Well, since then, I have been unable to resist these creamy vases of beauty, and I have amassed quite a collection.  I absolutely adore the way they look together, and don’t mind filling-in with a piece that bears absolutely no name, but looks as if it may have been lovingly painted by someone’s great-aunt and fired at the local ceramic shop.  I also love little surprises, like my latest find at the thrift store labeled: Frank Moreno.  I’ve looked it up, and it appears he is someone of note, and his pieces are sold in galleries.  I don’t really care about making money on my finds, I just enjoy the serendipity of finding something unique for a good price and adding to my happy little (okay, large) collection.  That first piece, however, is still my favorite, and I look at it as the beginning of a beautiful relationship…. with pottery.

Some of my favorite brands:  McCoy, Haeger, Red Wing, Hull, California, USA, Franciscan, Bauer…. Although, who really cares what name is on the bottom if you really love it!

Christmas: Thrift Store Style

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” — Edith Sitwell

I don’t really have a lot of space in my house for decorations, so I enjoy creating small “vignettes” for each season.  This tends to keep my small decorations clustered, so they have more of an impact.  Yesterday, I made a fruitful stop at my favorite thrift store and hit pay dirt.  First of all, I have a huge addiction to cream pottery from manufacturers such as California, USA, McCoy, and Haeger.  My thrift store has created a new room for antiques and collectibles, and has begun to price these items somewhat higher.  However, they missed this gem…. a Haeger cream planter.  I found it with the other common “junk” for $2.50.  There’s a small crack on one corner, but hey, turn it around, and no one knows!  The next find was the cute little round, green vase/planter.  I’m a sucker for the glassware! The small wooden tray was nothing special alone on the shelf, but it’s the perfect place to cluster my treasures.   Then there was a great box of vintage Christmas tree decorations, so I pulled out this green one for my display.  Oh, the finds continue…. I found a small bag of blocks, and lo-and-behold “NOEL!”   (I also picked-up a great old wooden box of dominoes – which is prime for another project!)  The snowmen were a previous years’ gift to myself, and they make my display come to life.  I love it when I come out of the thrift store with so many wonderful treasures!

Perfectly Pumpkin

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”   -Henry David Thoreau 

I’ve had a lot of fun lately, enjoying some fruitful thrifting, some bountiful fall blooms in the garden, and some happy crafting for Halloween.  First of all, let me say that two years ago, when I toted home a small Chinese Lantern plant from my farmer’s market, I had no idea that it would spread so eagerly.  I has literally taken over my front flower garden.  So, what’s a crafty girl to do?  Find a way to use them for fun fall decorating, and to make cute decorations to give away! I found this cute idea in the Martha Stewart magazine for turning Chinese Lantern pods into small pumpkin favors.  I’ve also had some exceptional luck at the thrift store lately.  The orange pot in the background is McCoy (I’m kind of a pottery snob!) and the pumpkin is a vintage Haeger planter.  I found these things just hiding among all of the other Halloween “crappity-crap.” (thanks for the term, Dottie Angel, it’s perfect!)  Fall decorating is my favorite, and I only wish the season wasn’t so short.  Right now I’m pressing some leaves for another crafty idea I saw on Martha’s website… I’ll be sure to share the results.