Sweet Little Treasures

Thought I would share a few of the teeny sweet goodies I’ve picked up here and there in the last few months.

Acorny Bird
This little birdy came from Bazaar Del Mundo in Old Town.

He is cast in resin or ceramic or something – not the carved wood I usually prefer, but the hat!  I love his little acorn hat!  So sweet.  He makes me happy.

acorn hat bird

Hammered Heart
Continuing the bird theme, this two-sided hammered brass and decoupaged heart is also from Bazaar Del Mundo.  It was part of an after Christmas sale, but it’s really rather perfect for Valentine’s Day.

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Cigar Box
I bought this cigar box at a Salvation Army thrift store.

When I first saw it, I picked it up and examined it for a long time.  There was nothing wrong with it and the price was right, but what would I do with it?  I put it back on the shelf.  Such a mistake.  When I spied it in someone else’s basket a few minutes later, I felt really disappointed.  😦

cigar box

I even briefly stalked watched the other shopper browsing ahead of me and I thought about the Mary Randolph Carter book I recently received from my mom-in-law:

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I had stopped to think about the cigar box.  Shopping fail.  Fortunately, the other guy changed his mind and plopped it onto a shelf near the registers.  I scooped it up and felt lucky for the second chance.  After the 50%-off-day discount, I paid a meager $0.75!  Ha!

That Book
And speaking of that book above, it’s great.  It’s really fun to learn about other people’s collections and obsessions.  The pictures are true eye candy and the writing is very engaging and thoughtful.  Over all, it’s a delight to read or just browse through.  It’s a large, thick, heavy, well constructed coffee table volume that I am eager to share, but will likely never give away.  I am enjoying it so much!  It’s a keeper.  Thank you, Jenifer!

Bundting Baby
I also added another fabulous large Nordic Ware specialty bundt pan to my collection.

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These things are generally $20 to $40 in stores or online, so I always snap them up when I find them.  This one was pristine and only cost me about $5 at the local Goodwill bookstore.  It’s called the Fairytale Cottage Bundt Pan.  It holds 10 cups of batter.

I actually put this one to use right away with a cream cheese pound cake recipe.  The cake was good and it helped me to learn a few things about using the pan.  That said, I’m not as concerned with function, as I am with form, when I buy these bundt babies.  I just like the way they look and feel and I enjoy putting them on the wall or stacking them in my kitchen as decoration.  I have a lot of them…you know?  A lot of them.  🙂

Kokeshi Dolls
And last, but not least, here are pictures of something I’ve been hiding away for over a year.

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I got this collection of kokeshi dolls from my sweet friend, Leighann.  As part of a spontaneous cross country move, Leighann and her family shed half their belongings a year and a half ago.

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They uprooted their entire lives and trekked thousands of miles with two kids, two dogs and a u-haul in less time than it has taken me to display these kokeshis!  And really, I’m not done with this.  The wall will eventually be painted and the shelves rearranged with a few more items, but you get the idea.

The real reason I think of this as a recently discovered treasure, is the fact that those two little minis in front were a surprise to me this week.  They were stored inside the two mamas on the right and left and I didn’t even know!  Such a sweet discovery, from a sweet friend.  Thank you, Leighann!

That’s all for now.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. What little treasures have you added to your collections this season?

♥♥

 

Help Me Save This Art – Part 2

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Many of you asked me about the artist’s signature on the painting I posted yesterday.

Thought I had included that pic, but I guess I didn’t.

Here it is now.

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All I am sure of is the first name of Cyril.

The last name appears to start with CA or maybe CO.

It ends with WAY.  I think.  Callaway, Callway, Conway, Comway, Camway?

I have already searched online quite a bit, but have not found anything definitive.

Let me know if you have better luck!

By the way, this is the second less-than-perfect painting I have purchased on impulse.

Do you remember this one?

It’s hanging by clips in my coat closet, still damaged, still unstretched, and still unframed.

I need to do something with both of these paintings.

I can’t just be a collector of damaged art.

Can you imagine my epitaph?

“Here lies Becky.  She liked Mexican food and ripped paintings.”

Ha!

P.S.  What are you up to this week?  I mean, other than helping me save my art?

♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Save This Art

A few weeks ago, I bought a painting at one of my local thrift stores.  Or rather, I bought the remains of a painting at one of my local thrift stores.  It’s pretty beat up.  😦

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It was leaning against the wall of the store, outside, near the donation bin.  It looked like trash.  Or at least, it looked like what someone else had decided was trash.

To me, it was a charming treasure and I wanted it.  I decided I would go inside and ask.  If I could get it for $3 or less, I would take it home.

The cashier came outside with me to survey the scene.  It wasn’t pretty.

The painting is separated from its wooden stretcher in several places.  The canvas has holes where the nails have ripped through.

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There are bare spots where the paint is completely gone and several more areas where it is flaking away.

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The decorative outer frame was sitting ten or twelve yards down the sidewalk.  It’s in pretty poor shape too – structurally sound, but badly scuffed and really chipped.

Ignore our dusty piano in this picture.

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The cashier stared at all this for a minute before looking at me quizzically, but then she just scooped it all up and carried it into the store.

I followed as she wound down the aisle and into the back room where another woman was pricing merchandise.  The two of them spoke quietly for a moment, then the first woman turned back to me and said “$2.99?”

Five minutes later, I was in my car with a severely damaged painting and a head full of “what am I doing?”

So, now I ask you.  What am I doing?

I love the scene.  The cows charm me and the colors are serene and comforting.

But this painting is coming apart.  Really coming apart.

Can I save it somehow?

And can you make out the artist’s name any better than I can?  Cyril something.

What would you do with this?  Please don’t say “use it to wipe my boots, then chuck it.”  I’m serious.

I considered taking it to a restoration specialist, but I flat out don’t have the money for that, and honestly, it may be too far gone for them to mess with it anyway.

I also thought about adding a coat of polycrylic to preserve what is left, but I am not a fan of that shiny finish.

I saw a DIY project online for recycling damaged paintings.  It suggested cutting out the good parts and tossing the rest.  But re-stretching the newly cropped pieces or mounting them onto wood or plates or whatever doesn’t really appeal to me.  The parts I like best are the most damaged sections.  I don’t want to just cut them out and throw them away.

I also wondered about the simplicity of just flattening the painting behind glass in hope it doesn’t flake any more, but the flakes might stick to the glass and it would be in worse shape than before.  And really, I don’t love this kind of art behind glass anyway.  I think part of the experience of appreciating it is in seeing the texture as much as the entirety of the scene.

All that said, I did only spend three bucks, so whatever happens won’t be a tragedy if it’s not successful.

Any ideas?

What would you do?

Leave me a comment and tell me.  Please.

♥♥

 

 

 

I Guess I Have Issues With This

Rage Against The Minivan posted about toilet paper today.

She brought up the old under-versus-over debate.  Then she asked her readers to share their preferences.  I was going to add mine at the foot of her page,  but I got distracted by the other responses.  I read every one.  And when I finished, I realized I had more to say than could politely fit in that comment section.

So yeah, this is a post about toilet paper.  Sort of.

Or maybe it’s about incredulity, defiance, misbehaving cats and a really memorable spider.

When I was a teenager, mom and I stayed a night with some friends in another town.  On our first morning as guests in their home, one of them quite loudly informed everyone at the breakfast table that my mother had replaced the toilet paper roll the “wrong” way in their bathroom.  She went on to imply that this insane act, placing the paper’s end under the roll instead of over it, had caused her some barely survivable inconvenience in the middle of the night!  Poor dear.

My mother politely explained that she didn’t know there was a preference.  I didn’t know that either, but I formed one right then.  And it was just the opposite of theirs.  I couldn’t believe this was an issue worth pointing out to a temporary guest in her home.  Why couldn’t she have done the polite thing and simply reversed the roll herself, without trying to embarrass or educate my mom?  Incredible.

My rolls went under from that day on.  And truly, when I saw one pointed over, and I could change it without much trouble, I changed it.  Because no one could tell me not to.  I did it in defiance of social norms and the dictate of that friend.

Years later, when husband and I bought our house, my defiance waned.  There were other things to think about.  Friends and relatives – people I liked – were pointing the paper over, so I just started to comply.

Then I got pregnant.  And I couldn’t have cared less about the direction of the roll.  Instead, I was obsessed with germs that might be on it.

Who had changed the roll?  When did they do it?  Were their hands clean?  Was the lid down when they flushed?  Did the paper get misted with bio-hazardous germs because the lid was up?  Was the paper still wrapped until the point of going on the roller?

If someone else did change the paper, did they put their hands inside the tube or did they touch the entire outside edge of the paper to keep from dropping it?  Or did they drop it and then wind the paper back onto the roll, complete with whatever germs were on the bathroom floor?

If the paper wasn’t on the roller, was it sitting on the toilet itself or, God forbid, on top of the sanitary napkin disposal bin, contaminating every piece?

Think about all of that.  I sure did.  And really, I still do.

Despite all of these heebeejeebee factors, I guess I was still largely compliant with the over-the-roll philosophy.

However, when I was five or six months along in my pregnancy, we got two new cats.  Boy cats.  Brothers.  Mischievous partners in crime.

The fur boys made sport of kneading the toilet paper.  And because the paper pointed forward, the kitties shredded the hell out of it, piling it playfully it a claw torn heap on the floor below the roller.  It was aggravating and so wasteful.  And gross.  Really, really gross.

For a while, we turned the rolls around to point the paper under.  That way, the kitties wouldn’t unroll it to the floor when they reached up to spin it.  But think about it.  Would you use paper from a roll with claw marks in it?  You know all the places those claws go.  You may as well just dip the paper in the litter box before you use it.  We stopped putting it on the roller.

For years it sat up high on the towel rack above the toilet.  Friends mentioned it.  We tried to explain.  I don’t think our home was anybody’s preferred place to relieve themselves.

When our son reached toilet training age, the roll went back.  The cats had lost interest, but our son was a spinner like they had been, so the paper had to point under until he grew out of his toddler toy attitude toward the bathroom.

I suppose there was a very literal turning point, because now we are all again in the habit of pointing the paper forward, over the roll.  Well, except in our son’s bathroom, because he has a different kind of toilet paper holder and it works better to point the paper under.  But whatever.

I guess the point of my post is to dispel the myth that there is a right or wrong answer to this debate.  There just really isn’t.  There is just preference and circumstance.

Oh, and here’s that spider I mentioned.

P.S.  The boy and I met Grammy at the Zoo last week.  We stopped by to see the polar bears.

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What are you up to?

♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrift Store Treasures

On the way to meet a friend for lunch this morning, I stopped in Poway to visit my favorite collection of thrift stores.

Here are the little things that I brought home:

A painted Easter egg maraca for my son.  It’s filled with pebbles or beans or something and it makes the loveliest quiet rattling noise.

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A plastic Halloween bat flapper noise maker.  This is NOT a quiet toy, and as I predicted, he loves it.  I have already warned him against using it near the cat.  🙂

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A matchbox-sized wooden shepherd with his flock, his dog and a tree.  This was in the “25 cents” bin.  I LOVE it.

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A bag of plastic cookie cutters – the old school kind that I love.  They make an impression on the dough instead of just cutting out the shape.  The fish is my favorite.

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Two small spools of pretty cloth ribbon –  because no thrift store adventure is complete without pretty cloth ribbon.  Right?

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A small hand-painted blue and white dish from Portugal.  Was thinking soap dish when I first picked it up, but now I realize it’s a little small for that and who wants to gunk it up with soap scum anyway?  Not sure where this will go.

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And this little thing.  It’s just a reproduction of something – probably an antique cookie mold – but I love it.  I will have to hang it somewhere that my son won’t examine it much since it’s an older alphabet and doesn’t include all the present day letters.  It’s small – a little wider than a playing card.

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I also bought a little plastic elephant and a happy ceramic duck.  They are both camera shy.  (Read that as “my camera sucks.”)

Last week, I picked up this bracelet at Goodwill for just $2.  It has been on my arm everyday since.  Can’t seem to get a good pic of it.  It looks a little like abalone or another shell, but I think it’s just faux something-or-other.  I don’t care about its authenticity.  I keep getting compliments on it.

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I picked up this Wilton baking pan at the same store.  I love unusual pans and this one was pristine (hard to tell in my pic).  Turns out it’s designed for making baked crullers/twist doughnuts.  Here is Wilton’s pan info with a link to the recipe.  I haven’t tried it yet.  Will let you know when I do.

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My grand total for everything was $13.25.  That’s only a little more than going to a movie, it was spread over several days, and it was way more fun!

Just realized my elephant made it into the pan pic.  Ha!

🙂

What have you been up to lately?  Write a comment and let me know.

♥♥

Spice Storage

If the cute vintage spice cupboard holds fewer bottles than the ugly wire racks from Home Depot, then you get rid of some spices.

That’s what I think!

I was more than happy to sort and toss when I found this cheery yellow cabinet at a thrift store a few days ago.

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I cleaned it up with Murphy’s Oil Soap, but I left the paint as-is.

It was already chippy happy.

I love its curvy profile too.

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I tucked things like yeast packets and bouillon cubes into the little drawers.

Now, I just need to find another one!

I still have one last ugly Home Depot rack on the wall below it.  😦

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What are you up to this week?

♥♥

Tool Storage

A few months ago, I bought a shabby little wall cupboard at one of my favorite thrift stores.  It was cheaply made and horribly painted, but I liked it and it only cost three dollars.

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I don’t remember what I intended to do with it at the time.  Truth be told, I’ve twice tossed it back to the donate pile and subsequently retrieved it.

Today I finally put it to use.  Behold the latest unconventional organizer in our home – a shabby chic screwdriver storage cabinet:

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An empty almond body butter container is home to all of the miscellaneous screws we have accumulated in twelve plus years of home ownership.

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I drilled a bunch of holes in the top to hold the screwdrivers.  The wood sort of splintered and the paint chipped as I went along, but who cares?  It’s ugly under there, but it’s tool storage, right?

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The little drawers hold cup hooks, larger bolts and the wee little screwdrivers we use to replace the teeny batteries in our son’s interactive musical story books.

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I know it’s ridiculous to love a storage cabinet, especially one that’s so darned ugly…

but I LOVE my storage cabinet!  Don’t you?!

Happy Friday!  🙂

♥♥