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.  😦

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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.

fairytale cottage bundt

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?

♥♥

 

I took a stab at saving this art.

Remember a few months ago, when I asked for your help to Save This Art?

 

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Well, I got out my wallet to do it…

and then realized there was nothing in there,

so I got out my paintbrush instead.

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It’s not perfect.  There is still a lot to do, especially over there on the right, but I’m happy so far.

What did you do this week?

♥♥

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?

♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up On The Roof & Gumby

It was really windy today.  Things were whipping around in our backyard like crazy.  It always amazes me that our dirty old inflatable beach ball is still out there when we go looking.

There’s a weird downdraft at the top of our back wall that prevents stuff from escaping.  It doesn’t prevent them from dancing violently on the ground until the wind dies down though.  The beach ball never leaves home, but it sure does cha cha.

Wind like this always makes me think of my dad.  When I was little, a windy day usually meant Dad would be climbing onto the roof to check that nothing had blown off and away.

We had a long aluminum ladder that he would lean against the wall behind the garage.  Up he would climb.  Sometimes my brothers and I got to go with him.  It was truly a great adventure and treat – doing something dangerous with my dad.  Looking back on that with my grown-up eyes, I see now that the whole thing probably made both of my parents very nervous.

Having the three of us so keen to walk the edges of the open roof was worrisome enough, but finding wind damage would mean money, time, and inconvenience.

Dad climbed the ladder fearing the worst, I suppose.  And he always took his tools in hope he could fix things himself.

My dad was a true DIY pioneer back then.  He taught the three of us how to hammer nails, use a saw, and improvise, whenever we could.  On the roof.  In the wind.  Even in the rain.  Eventually though, Dad’s age and declining mobility would keep him on the ground and away from that ladder.

Husband and I are lucky enough to have sturdy clay tiles on the roof of our own house.  We don’t worry that the wind will mess with them much.  I wish my dad had experienced that same peace of mind when he was my age.

Then again, I’ll bet he really enjoyed showing us around the top of the world.  🙂

P.S.  Someone just knocked on my front door.  I peered through the peephole and spied a well dressed man whom I didn’t recognize.  I did not answer the knock.  What’s your policy?  Do you answer when it’s someone you don’t know?

P.P.S. And for your viewing pleasure, here is something I didn’t buy from the thrift store this month.  Ha!

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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.

bracelet

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.

pan

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.

♥♥

It’s officially a collection.

I bought another Bundt pan.

That’s two in two days.

This one is more modern than the others.

It’s non-stick, silver, heavy, and made by Wilton instead of Nordic Ware.

And it’s beautiful.

See?

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It’s already on the wall with my red and blacks pans.

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Yesterday, I raised my eyebrows in wonder and slight disgust over the condition of the chippy yellow pan I bought on Sunday.  Someone was mean to it.

This one, on the contrary, was treated like the beauty she is.

The pan has clearly been used, but it was basically clean, and the previous owner had even kept the flimsy plastic insert to protect the pan’s interior.  Amazing.

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You can see some dust on the plastic piece – this is after I washed it with warm soapy water.

It was really gross, but the pan beneath it was happy and safe.

Now, I just need an occasion for popping these pans into the oven.

Send me your favorite Bundt cake recipes.

I also bought a few more children’s books and a teeny patchwork pumpkin.

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A few days ago, I swapped out all the books on my son’s display rack.

We now have enough Halloween books to read a different one every day in October.

Our Thanksgiving titles are in shorter supply though, so I was happy to find a few at the thrift store today.

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The display rack is mostly for seasonal titles.

He has a couple of tall bookcases in his room for other books and some of his toys.

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Heh heh.  I just noticed that Wreck-it Ralph is in the hospital.

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Brundibar is a Maurice Sendak book that I’ve had on my wish list for a while.

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It’s always nice to find a $20 hardback picture book in perfect shape and marked just $2 at Goodwill!

Can’t beat that!

I can’t really imagine paying full price for a children’s book – not when Goodwill actually has its own bookstores.

Unless you’re looking for a new release or a specific hard-to-find item, it pays to go second-hand.

My favorite place to buy books is the DAV thrift store on Elkelton in Spring Valley.  They seem to have a permanent half-off sale – all books and magazines too.

And their prices are low before the discount.

Anyhoo, here is a close-up of my little patchwork pumpkin.

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I am really quite ready to usher in the Fall.

In fact, I can’t wait to see miniature pumpkins at the grocery store.

They make me happy.  🙂

That’s all.

Well…except for here’s my kid and my messy house:

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Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Still No Armadillo

Remember Gourdy?

I got a friend for him today.

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His mustache reminds me of Snoopy’s brother, so I named him Spike.

He is Gourdy’s Uncle Spike.

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He makes me laugh.

I also picked up a few children’s books (big surprise).

I found two small Wilton cake pans too.

The pans are oval – perfect for making Easter egg cakes next spring – and they were a steal at two for a dollar.

The price was extended to me because the vendor was an acquaintance of my brother’s.

It pays to hang with a sibling who knows the sellers by their first names.  🙂

My favorite find of the day is this chippy yellow bundt pan.

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It was dirty and neglected when I found it.

It astounds me that people can’t be bothered to scrub a bit before tossing things into the donate pile.  Gross.  Sad.

I’m not sure how well it will actually bake, given the abuse it suffered from its previous owner, but I love it up there on the wall above my spice rack!

I will try it out over the holidays, for sure.

A few months ago, I bought a small red bundt pan that hangs on the opposite wall.

DSC00240It’s chippy too.

I love them both.

That’s all.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Look at this:

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I tossed some leftover ground cover into a planter pot a few weeks ago.

I actually thought it was dead.

I guess I was wrong.

Happy Surprise.

♥♥